It’s not easy to start the AIP (autoimmune paleo) protocol. Various foods like bread, cereal, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, eggs are all of a sudden off the list of foods you can eat, and you’re left wondering what on earth you can still eat!
So, we’ve created this handy guide to help you navigate the AIP diet and heal your body as quickly as possible.
You can also download this list as a printable PDF to stick on your fridge or to take with you when you go shopping.
Items in parenthetical are typically harder to find and not often used in most recipes. If you live somewhere where those items are easier to find and you want to give them a try, then by all means purchase them. Where applicable, items are linked so that you can purchase them on Amazon.com or elsewhere online.
A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol
Click here to purchase the book.
It’s as the title of the book suggests, this is an easy-to-read guide to surviving the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. Eileen has written a great book filled with helpful advice on how to get started, tips on how to snack, how to vacation, what foods to eat, what foods to avoid and more.
Pretty much all vegetables except nightshades are good on AIP. Just remember that grains like corn, wheat, and rice are NOT vegetables.
Mushrooms (All Kinds)
Seaweed (All Sea Vegetables, but avoiding Algae (including chlorella and spirulina)*)
Almost all legumes are off limits, but green beans and peas are actually still in seed form and fine to eat generally (Sarah Ballantyne states to avoid them initially).
* indicates that the food is not allowed on Sarah Ballantyne’s version of AIP
(Limit to 2-5 portions per day for Sarah Ballantyne’s version)
Most fruits are different than they were a million years ago, but some are healthier than others. Here are the best:
Here are some other fruits to consider:
NOTE: Cape Gooseberries, Garden Huckleberries, and GojiBerries are Nightshades and are on the Not Allowed Food List for AIP.
Every meat is good, but the quality makes a difference. Buy grass-fed, wild, and pastured when applicable and possible. Check out US Wellness Meat if you want high-quality meat delivered to your door –https://healingautoimmune.com/us-wellness-meats
There is no other category of food that is as nutritious as organ meats. Eat any of the following from pretty much any animal:
Fish is highly nutritious, but buy wild-caught fish whenever possible. And, apart from organ meats, shellfish is the most nutrient-dense food you can eat. Check out Vital Choice (https://healingautoimmune.com /buyvitalchoice) and Seabear https://amzn.to/2KA1obW) for wild-caught fish delivered to your door!
Pay particular attention to the oils that you cook in. These can make a huge difference in your overall health.
Grass fed Ghee or Clarified Butter (Sarah Ballantyne states that it should be initially avoided with the possible exception of cultured grass-fed ghee)
Macadamia Oil (Sarah Ballantyne states that it’s in the “gray area” -depends if you have sensitivities)
Walnut Oil (Sarah Ballantyne states that it’s in the “gray area” -depends if you have sensitivities)
Palm Oil (but not palm kernel oil)
Turmeric (requires some caution)
FRUITS AND BERRIES THAT ARE USED AS SPICES
(Sarah Ballantyne recommends eliminating these initially)
Vanilla Bean (including vanilla extract!)
Note – check that any pre-made foods contain AIP-compliant ingredients)
Kombucha (make sure you buy or make ones with live cultures and without additives or extra sugar, and if following Sarah Ballantyne’s version, to buy ones without thickeners)
Cocoa (or 100% chocolate) (not permitted on Sarah Ballantyne’s version)
Coffee (not permitted on Sarah Ballantyne’s version)
Tea (herbal, green, black)
Gluten-Free Alcohol (not permitted for drinking on Sarah Ballantyne’s version – ok to use in cooking if it’s cooked off)
Vinegars (including apple cider, coconut water vinegar, red wine, white wine, balsamic)
Organic Jams and Chutneys
Coconut Milk Kefir
Coconut Milk (no emulsifiers)
Beet and Other Vegetable Kvass
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Palm kernel oil
**May be allowed in moderation under Sarah Ballantyne’s version.
Quinoa (even though it’s not technically a grain)
SPICES THAT ARE SEEDS
Sugar Snap Peas
Peppers (of any kind)
Red Pepper Flakes
Chili Pepper Flakes
Curry spice powder
Garam Masala spice
Most spice blends
Chinese Five-Spice Powder
I’ve always loved chicken salad recipes – you can make a large batch and store them easily in the fridge. And they’re great as a quick snack, a side dish, or even an entire meal if you’re hungry!
But most chicken salad recipes involve mayo (recipe here), which is not only a hassle to make on a Paleo diet but also isn’t AIP-friendly if you have autoimmune issues (read more about AIP here and get the AIP Food List here).
And onto this AIP chicken salad recipe…
I love creating simple AIP salads – they’re nourishing for your body and don’t take an age to prepare. And that makes them perfect for when you’re on the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).
This autoimmune-friendly recipe is one such example. The juicy sweet mango pieces add a tropical flavor to this salad. And what the creamy coconut caesar dressing is the perfect complement.
Enjoy this on a summer’s day for an easy and relaxing lunch that’s fully AIP-compliant. And of course, it’s also great for anyone one the Paleo diet.
Coleslaw is really easy to make and a great side dish!
One of the main issues of enjoying Paleo coleslaw is the mayo in coleslaw (most store-bought mayo uses canola oil). Of course you can make your own Paleo mayo (recipe here), but it’s sometimes too much of a hassle or you may be on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) and can’t eat eggs.
That’s when this easy no-mayo coleslaw recipe comes in handy.
Reintroducing Foods is a guidebook for anyone who has used the Paleo diet to help treat or reverse autoimmune disease. The author provides an overview, advice on what to reintroduce and when, suggestions for dealing with the process and then a host of recipes for getting back to a more complete and healthy eating lifestyle.
One of the questions I get asked the most about the autoimmune Paleo protocol (AIP) is what can I drink if I can’t have coffee?
Coffee has become so entrenched in our habits that we’ve become addicted not only to the daily dose of caffeine it offers us but also to that aromatic smell that wakes our senses every morning. So, what do you do if you’re starting AIP and have to forgo coffee for 30-60 days if not longer?
A reader emailed me about chicory root coffee a while back, but I didn’t see it for sale until a few weeks ago. So, I decided to give this naturally non-caffeinated AIP-compliant “coffee” substitute a try.
This article is a little bit more important than usual.
So it’s also a little bit longer than usual. But you should read it all. Especially if you have an autoimmune disease, and probably even if you don’t.
I get a lot of emails from readers asking about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (often abbreviated “AIP”).
“What is it?”
“Is it right for me?”
“How do I do it?” and
“Will it help me with ______ autoimmune disease?”
Unfortunately, there just wasn’t a great article or series of articles that clearly answered all of these questions. And that was a shame.
That’s why I’ve created this website (as well as this particular article).
It’s designed as a very thorough but easy-to-read guide to AIP, including a comprehensive, printable list of foods that are allowed or not allowed on AIP that you can have emailed to you by clicking below or at the end of the article.
There’s also a handy AIP FOOD TABLE below that you can Pin, so keep reading!
UPDATE: since publishing this article, I’ve also created a beautifully designed AIP 101 Guide that you can download for free (just scroll to the top and click the green button there).
The first time someone told me they had an autoimmune disease, I thought they meant they had AIDS (yes, I was quite clueless, despite the fact that I actually have an autoimmune disease). For the difference between Autoimmune Disease (AID) and Acquired Immune Deficiency (AIDS), check out this article.
Let me begin by explaining the basics of an autoimmune disease, because the chances are that you might have one!
Autoimmune diseases occur when your body’s own immune system starts attacking your own body’s proteins. This happens because your body thinks that those proteins are a foreign substance (e.g., a bacteria) that need to be destroyed. Unfortunately, this can end up causing widespread destruction of your own organs and cells instead.
There are a ton of different autoimmune diseases (some may not have even been identified, and many of them are obscure like the one I have). Most autoimmune diseases differ based on which proteins/cells are being attacked by your immune system.
Here are some autoimmune diseases you might have come across: