What is AIP?
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AIP stands for Autoimmune Protocol (also called Autoimmune Paleo). It’s a diet that can be incredibly beneficial to people suffering from autoimmune diseases and various other health problems because it eliminates foods that are inflammatory. The foods eaten on the AIP are highly nourishing and healing. In my case, I am very thankful to say that I don’t have an autoimmune disease. Instead I have an overactive immune system that sometimes takes on a symptom that appears similar to an autoimmune disease, in which the body attacks itself. A few years ago, I had a bad case of eczema on my hands and essentially did an elimination diet to see which foods made the eczema worse. I’d never heard of the AIP diet, but I basically landed on it on my own and then read about the diet on the Paleo Mom’s website. I was floored when I saw that there was an actual official diet for the limited foods I found I could eat. So here’s the list of foods I can tolerate without side affects like rosacea and other skin issues, indigestion and panic attacks:
Meat sourced from grass fed animals and wild caught fish;
Vegetables that do not fall into the nightshade category (no potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, paprika, eggplant);
Fruit (in limited servings);
Healthy fats sourced from grass fed animals, as well as olive oil and coconut oil;
Certain herbs, spices and condiments, including fermented foods like sauerkraut.
And that’s basically it!
I can eat eggs, from free range chickens, but many people who follow AIP can’t tolerate eggs. I go through phases of sometimes eating potatoes and presoaked rice. And I go through varying degrees of temptations involving coffee and chocolate, which I wrote about here.
Other diets that may be of interest for people suffering from gastrointestinal distress include the GAPS diet and FODMAP (Fructose Malabsorption). I tried GAPS before landing on AIP, and couldn’t even make it through a day, gagging on the plain store-bought broth I tried to drink. Now I know how to make wholesome and delicious stocks, enjoying homemade soups and stews on a weekly basis. I shared my recipe for beef stock here. For more on the topic, I’d suggest this Wise Traditions interview with Nutrition Consultant Monica Corrado titled The “heal your leaky gut” Diet, as well as the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book by Natasha Campbell-McBride.
If you couldn’t already guess, I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen. But I do everything I can to eat “slow” and sustainably, while also simplifying as much as possible. Continue following the blog as I share more about my diet and cooking techniques!
Have you ever tried the AIP, GAPS or FODMAP diet? If so, how'd it go?