I started to blog at Food to Heal Ourselves so that I could share 100% autoimmune protocol compliant recipes with a focus: budget friendly and quick and easy. When you are starting the AIP, it can be confusing, overwhelming and intimidating … you name it. My goal is to share with you what I have learned about this protocol.
The autoimmune protocol is an elimination diet designed to allow those millions of us suffering from autoimmune diseases to heal by focusing primarily on a nutrient dense diet free of foods and additives that irritate our “leaky” guts. Coupled with sleep, exercise and stress reduction, the diet can result in an amazing healing for someone suffering from an autoimmune condition. See my story.
Sleep: attempt to get a good 8-9 hours sleep each night and make a commitment to going to bed at the same time each night.
Exercise: we need to be moderate in our exercise regime to reap the benefits. Exercise that is too intense or too strenuous can actually worsen a “leaky gut”. For an in depth explanation see the Paleo Mom.
Stress reduction: this is also an important component of our healing journey. Think mindfulness, meditation, yoga etc.
Diet: this elimination diet (which is an offshoot of the paleo diet) is meant to do just that, eliminate, so once our symptoms begin to subside after a minimum 30-60 days of strict adherence to the AIP we can begin a gradual planned re-introduction of certain foods. From personal experience, I would recommend 100% AIP for 90 days and reduction in many symptoms before attempting any re-introductions.
The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates that upwards of 50 million Americans suffer from one or more of a possible 80-100 autoimmune diseases. The National Institutes of Health puts this figure at about 23 million Americans but this is based on only 24 diseases that they recognize as having an autoimmune origin. This morning (April 18 2016) on the Diabetes Summit I heard Dr. Peter Osbourne quote a figure of 100 million Americans suffering from diagnosed autoimmune diseases … the numbers keep climbing!
Either way the numbers are staggering and the impact on our health and well being is enormous. Autoimmunity is one of the top ten causes of fatality in females aged 64 and under (this includes girls).
Foods to Avoid
- Beans and legumes
- Emulsifiers, thickeners
- Food additives
- Grain like foods
- Nuts and seeds
also be aware of alcohol containing foods like vanilla extract
Beans and legumes: all
e.g. adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, fava beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, peanuts, pinto beans, soybeans (tempeh and tofu), white beans, etc.
e.g. butter, cheese, ghee, ice cream, milk kefir, yogurt (substitute my creamy coconut milk or any coconut milk without additives, coconut yogurt etc.)
Eggs: all chicken, duck and goose
Emulsifiers and thickeners: all
e.g. guar gum and carrageenan
Food additives: all
see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_food_additives for a list too long to include here
e.g. barley (including barley malt), bran, bulgar wheat, corn, couscous, farina, kamut, farro, graham flour, millet, montina flour, oats, orzo, semolina, sorghum, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat (seitan), wild rice
Grain replacement crops:
e.g. amaranth, buckwheat, chia, flax, hemp, quinoa
e.g. ashwagandha, cape gooseberries (not regular gooseberries) eggplant, all peppers (and spices derived from peppers e.g. cayenne, paprika, chipotle), goji berries (also called wolf berries), garden huckleberries (not blueberries), ground cherries, potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yams), tobacco, tomatoes, tomatillos.
NSAIDS: non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like naproxen or ibuprofen (note that some people adhering to the AIP still need to take low doses of an NSAID to manage pain)
Nuts and seeds: all
e.g. almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, chia seeds, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, hazelnuts, hemp hearts or seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts
e.g. allspice, anise, caraway, cardamom, celery seed, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek, juniper berries, mustard, nutmeg, peppercorns, poppy seeds
Agave, sugars, stevia (may use maple syrup and honey sparingly).