Thursday, October 26, 2023

Trying out a 30-day AIP Protocol Meal Plan and why I Quit: What to eat for an autoimmune disorders {Week 1}

Guys, I’m not a quitter, I promise. Once I make a decision, I stick to it until I see it through to the end. So, hear me out here. After just one day, maybe even the first meal on the 30-day protocol I had hoped to follow, I quit. I had to. If I was to make it on AIP, I had to give up the initial plan.

Understanding the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet is a therapeutic approach to eating that focuses on reducing inflammation in the body. It is particularly beneficial for those with autoimmune conditions. The AIP diet eliminates common trigger foods, such as grains, dairy, processed foods, and nightshade vegetables. Instead, it emphasizes nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and quality proteins. By following the AIP diet, you can support your immune system, promote gut healing, and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases. Understanding the principles and guidelines of the AIP diet is essential for successfully incorporating it into your lifestyle.

Originally, my plan was to follow the 30 day protocol and recipes exactly as noted in the book The Autoimmune Solution; however, after the first day I started changing things and realized I would need to supplement and alter meals according to our tastes. Additionally, there are a few things in the recipes that I will be avoiding for the AIP elimination phase like pepper, nutmeg, and mustard, which are used frequently throughout the suggested recipes. Also, despite all of my planning, there were times I just couldn’t source the food to make some of the recipes or they were an absorbent price. Knowing what is okay for AIP elimination is key to making these substitutions. And after just one day, I found myself looking at other options and what I could sub in and out instead. The plan changed almost immediately. Instead of following a prescribed protocol, I decided to go rogue. 

The first day

How I’m feeling:
Going into my first week on the AIP elimination phase, I was excited and looking forward to having a meal plan ready for me and a fridge and pantry stocked with what I needed. For some reason, I didn’t sleep well the night before. I woke up every few hours with some stomach cramping and frequent urination and the pain in my neck and shoulder had my right side tense and tight. Since I wasn’t sleeping, I got up early and started my new set of exercise videos (warmup; arm exercises; 15-minute dance; and cooldown-all videos from MadFit on youtube). I alternate 30 minutes of cardio and a combination of 30 minutes of cardio/weight lifting every 4 weeks. So this set is cardio.

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 1: 
For Breakfast, I had the following (leaving out the pepper and nutmeg in the recipes) from The Autoimmune Solution:
Sweet Apple Breakfast Sausage
Hearty Sweet Potato Hash
Spring Green Veggie Juice 
Organic Dandelion Tea 

Since I had the juice, I thought I’d check my blood sugar level 2 hours after the meal and my level was in the normal range.

For lunch, I made a chicken veggie soup with shredded chicken, bone broth, garlic, onion, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, salt, and fresh dill. I just chopped the veggies and threw them in olive oil in a pan until tender (could have roasted them in the oven first though). Added the chicken, poured broth over all of it, and salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon). I brought it to a boil, let it simmer until I was ready, and poured it into a bowl topping it with fresh dill.

And I had a salad of mixed greens, cucumbers, and cherries (I wanted to use cranberries, but haven’t been able to source any without sugar) with clementine dressing-used ½ clementine, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and a couple shakes of salt.

For Dinner, I followed the Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce over Spaghetti Squash recipe pretty closely although I didn’t have enough zucchini, so I doubled the squash and had a handful of strawberries.

I’d recommend keeping in mind the basic soup and salad formulas for using what you have on hand. My soup formula looks like this: start with bone broth, a protein, a couple handfuls of veggies, ½ onion, 3 garlic cloves, fresh herbs, and 1-2 teaspoons of salt. My salad formula is even more basic: a couple handfuls of salad greens of your choice, ¼ cup or so of other mixed veggies (cucumbers, red onion, sweet onion, green onion, carrots, celery, avocado-I think it’s a fruit, but it feels like a veggie), and a fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, peaches, pears, plums, cherries clementines, mangoes). Occasionally, a dressing, but I find I don’t need it with the fruit.

Creating Balance: I made my bed; spent time in the garden; took a blanket outside to do school with the boys; played a game of cards with Poppa; kicked my shoes off and walked in the grass; and watched Wheel climb trees in the woods. Relaxation practice.

Gratitude: Today, I’m grateful for sunny skies and climbing boys.

Day 2

How I’m feeling:
I slept just a bit better, but still woke up several times with some stomach cramping and frequent urination. The pain in my neck and shoulder is some better today. When the pain made my neck tense up, I’d take a deep breath and slide my shoulders down. I find relaxing into the painful spots helps release some of the pain. (You can find the directions for this here.) When I got up, I continued with my cardio (warmup; arm exercises; 15-minute dance set; and cooldown-all videos from MadFit on youtube).

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 2:
I broke up a couple of the Sweet Apple Breakfast Sausage patties and mixed the bits with leftover Hearty Sweet Potato Hash in the cast iron skillet (from The Autoimmune Solution). 
I sipped some bone broth and a cup of dandelion tea.

Leftover Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce over Spaghetti Squash (from The Autoimmune Solution). I formed the squash and beef mixture into a patty that I salted. I served it with spinach on the side and topped with cilantro. Picked some garden strawberries and kohlrabi which I ate as well.

Snack: Brussels Sprouts with Dark Organic Cherries leftover from the ½ day when I switched from Elemental Heal to whole foods.

Poppa grilled salmon brushed with garlic infused olive oil and salt. I had some lemon wedges for squeezing over the salmon and fresh dill and parsley. 
For sides, I made 2 of my own recipes:
Cooked Greens-These were a mix of kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens, and kohlrabi greens from my garden. Heat 4 tablespoons of avocado oil in skillet. Saute 4 cloves garlic in oil. Slowly, pour in ½ cup apple juice. Add 1 diced apple. When it is just softened, but still firm, add a bunch of mixed greens. Wilt for about 2-5 minutes. 
Roasted Asparagus-Put asparagus on baking sheet covered with a drizzle of avocado oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder and salt. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
And I served it with Thai Green Mango Salad from the book The Healing Kitchen.

Besides my own recipes for the salmon, greens, and asparagus, I’d recommend the Brussels Sprouts with Dark Cherries from The Autoimmune Solution and the Thai Green Mango Salad from The Healing Kitchen.

Creating Balance: I made my bed; gathered veggies and sunflowers from the garden; took a stroll down to the mailbox, and did shoulder relaxation breathing.

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for blue skies.

Day 3

How I am feeling: It was another restless night sleeping. I had a lot of sinus drainage and had to sleep with an extra pillow. The left side of my head is throbbing and my jaw is a little sore. The lymph node on the right side of my neck is swollen again. It does this when I have the neck and shoulder pain. My gut has been twisting and revolting all day. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on. Mostly in the past, I have just a day of discomfort or two tops. I’m hoping this is somehow a good sign!?! I ran Jo-Jo to class in the morning, so I did yoga later in the day. (I usually choose 30 minute sets from Yoga with Kassandra. Sometimes, I do her shorter morning or evening sets. I’m really enjoying the minimal cues sets right now!) By the evening, the hot flashes started! And in the night the tingling in the right side of my face and tongue was back. 

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 3:

For breakfast, I sipped on some bone broth and had leftover sausage, cooked greens, and asparagus.
I also made an Antioxidant Breakfast Smoothie from The Healing Kitchen.

Lunch was the leftover chicken and veggie soup from day 1 and 
the Tropical Nicaraguan Salad from The Autoimmune Solution without any dressing and leftover Thai Green Mango Salad.

For dinner, I threw together an organic batch of salad greens with rosemary and basil meatballs (following the recipe from The Autoimmune Solution for Rosemary and Basil Grass-Fed Burgers, but without the pepper). I served this with the Creamy Acorn Squash also from The Autoimmune Solution, but with olive oil and no other seasonings. And the green onion guacamole from Meatified.
I opted to make Roasted Strawberries from The Healing Kitchen for a warm sweet. 

The meatballs were amazing and the recipe for the Green Onion Guacamole is awesome. In fact, when I was transitioning from T2 to AIP I tried the Loaded Burrito Bowls with Cilantro Sweet Potato Rice meal sans the Yogurt Sauce. It was wonderful!

Creating Balance: I made my bed and opened the curtains, continued the shoulder relaxation breathing, which really does seem to be helping. It was a beautiful day, so I took the boys out in the plein air to do art class. And the boys started a widdling project to make bows and arrows, while I rocked gently on the fort swing. I walked barefoot through the yard, gathered cabbage for tomorrow night’s dinner, I did yoga on the deck, and took a sweat bath in Epsom salt, aluminum free baking soda, and my herbal bath mix. Completed my weekly self-care routine: dry brush, ayate cloth body exfoliation, charcoal face mask, pumice foot soak and scrub, and body moisturizing with oils and body butter (using all non-toxic or low-tox products).

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for soft breezes.

Day 4

How I feel: When I woke up today, I felt much better. Wheel had watched a “scary” Magic School Bus and couldn’t sleep, so he bundled in the bed next to me. He’s not the most comfortable sleep partner (read as: He’s the worst!), so at about midnight, I had him use some cushions and make a bed on the floor. After that, I didn’t wake up until the sun came up. The pain in my neck and shoulder is better, but I have tingling still on the right side of my face and in my tongue. And there’s the hot flashes, but I was cold too, so I couldn’t decide if my sweater should be on or off. Today is my day off from exercise both cardio and yoga.

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 4:
For Breakfast I made: 
AIP Breakfast Sausage from Foodborne Wellness (I made 8, so these will stretch over several days 
Coconut Cream Berry Parfait from The Autoimmune Solution (I used blackberries and strawberries, but it would also be good with peaches or raspberries. I used 3 drops of stevia from NuNaturals.)
A cup of Bone broth
I also began taking a soil-based probiotic today, too.

For Lunch
Leftover meatballs with fresh spinach
Green onion guacamole and
Acorn squash

Freeze Dried Peaches
2 tablespoons of tiger nuts

For Dinner
Spicy Fish Tacos from The Autoimmune Solution. Served with a cheese sauce I threw together with what I had on hand! I served it with green onion guacamole, red onions, cilantro, lemon and lime, lettuce and cabbage, and mangoes. 
Brussels Sprouts with Dark Organic Cherries from The Autoimmune Solution 

I whipped up a batch of Tiger Nut Energy Bites for the busy day tomorrow and popped a couple in my mouth. These are so yummy. The recipe is from Gutsy by Nature and I recommend them!

The cheese sauce wasn’t too bad for an attempt at winging it with an AIP recipe, but I think it would make a better base for a broccoli cheese soup. Which is what I’m most likely having for lunch tomorrow. The Coconut Cream Berry Parfait was something I’ll make again with different fruit combinations. 

Creating Balance: I made my bed and opened the curtains, continued the shoulder relaxation breathing as needed, but I’m not near as tense. I went for a walk outside and sat in the sunshine. I was tempted to just keep right on working in the kitchen, but made the time anyway. Relaxation practice.

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for an amazing cow painting at a local art show! 

Day 5

How I am feeling: I was only up once last night. This is the first night that I’ve felt rested. I got up early. The boys had flag football and I needed to do some meal prep, exercise and make my breakfast. Even so, I felt good all day and didn’t get real tired during the day. 

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 5:
Remaining Coconut Cream Berry Parfait with some freeze-dried peaches instead of berries
Hearty Sweet Potato Hash from The Autoimmune Solution this time I still omitted the pepper and nutmeg, but substituted mace for nutmeg
with leftover meatballs chopped up and thrown in the hash
Dandelion tea


I used the cheese sauce base from last night to make broccoli cheese soup. Just threw in a handful of broccoli.
Salad with cucumber and a clementine and drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt

Chicken Coconut Curry I mixed and matched spices and veggies as I had available from The Autoimmune Solution and The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook. 
Cauliflower Rice-2 T avocado oil, ¼ diced onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, ½-1 cup bone broth, 1-2 bags cauliflower rice (or boil your own and process until rice sized). Heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add broth and rice. Cook until liquid is reduced.
Mixed Greens
Li-Li asked to make me an AIP dessert. That was so sweet of him. I was skeptical, but he said he wanted to make Italian Ice. We looked up a traditional Italian Ice recipe and modified it for me and it was amazing.

Li’s AIP Italian Ice
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberry)
2 drops stevia
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Blend in blender. Freeze 30 minutes. Scrap to make shaved ice. Freeze 2 more hours. Sit out until able to scoop.

Serves 1

And here’s my first attempt at an AIP Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe. It’s not perfect yet, but I’ll keep working on it.
1 ½ cups boiled cauliflower
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons avocado oil
¼ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
¾ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup steamed broccoli

Add cauliflower, coconut milk, broth, nutritional yeast flakes, avocado oil, salt, ginger, and garlic powder to a food processor. When liquidy consistency, put into saucepot and heat over low. Prepare broccoli and add to cheesy broth. Stir until heated through. 

Serves 2

Creating Balance: I made my bed and opened the curtains. Took a sweat bath in Epsom salt, aluminum free baking soda, and my herbal bath mix. Completed my weekly self-care routine: dry brush, ayate cloth body exfoliation, charcoal face mask, pumice foot soak and scrub, and body moisturizing with oils and body butter (using all non-toxic or low-tox products). Poppa and I had a date night challenge to sculpt out of clay.  Relaxation practice.

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for football games, apples straight from the tree, and outdoor days.

Day 6

How I am feeling: I had a good wake up today. My body felt warm all over. I was singing today for church service, so it was an earlier wake time. It is usual for me to wake up feeling a warmer body temperature than my normal daytime temperature when I wake up with the alarm instead of on my own. I had a few body vibrations throughout the day. The neck and shoulder pain has improved immensely, and the lymph node is not as swollen. I will be exercising today in the evening.

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 6:
Leftover hash and sausage patties
Berry Aloe Juice-Blended ¼ cup frozen raspberries, ¼ cup frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon Leaky Gut Revive Strawberry Lemonade, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 tablespoon aloe juice  Serves 1

Leftover meatballs, acorn squash, and cauliflower rice
Mixed green salad with peaches
Tiger Nut Energy Bites from Gutsy by Nature

Fire roasted apple with avocado oil, cinnamon, mace, and dried apricots

Baked Halibut seasoned with olive oil and Himalayan salt
Topped with caramelized onion that was pan-fried with olive oil and Himalayan salt
Roasted Broccolini and broccoli mix seasoned with Himalayan salt, garlic powder, and olive oil
Cabbage salted in beef tallow with ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar after removed from the heat

Creating Balance: Today, I sat outside enjoying the weather. I read to the boys from some old favorite books while we sat on a blanket. We had dinner out by the fire, relaxing in our Adirondack chairs. I cleaned the bathroom and bedroom for some moderate movement. Relaxation practice.

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for bright, magenta leaves. 

Day 7

How I am feeling: I woke up super tired. Had to make breakfast before I ran Jo-Jo to an early class, so I was up earlier than usual. Had a pimple this morning! I have noticed I’m constantly running right on the edge of overwhelmed. On top of the blood sugar and autoimmune balancing act, our homeschool schedule, getting Jo-Jo to her classes, and organizing church music and events, the everyday life chaos feels close to pushing me teetering over. Trying to take a breath and reminding myself to focus on the thing right in front of me helps restore calm. I tend to reorganize the task immediately in front of me to draw my attention away from the swirling confusion of all the things that are looming and onto what is now in this moment. 

What I ate on AIP elimination phase day 7:
Breakfast Stack-start with a slice of toasted sweet potato (sprinkled with salt and garlic powder and toasted in toaster oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping half way), top with half a sausage patty, slice of avocado, salad greens, green onion, red onion ring, and cilantro.
Dandelion Tea

Tiger Nut Energy Bites from Gutsy by Nature

Mixed greens salad with cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and chicken breast

Chicken breast-dipped in coconut milk, dredged in breading, and pan fried in coconut oil. For the breading, I used coconut flour (1 cup), 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp salt.
Roasted carrots-drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and fresh parsley. Bake 400 for 20 minutes.
Roasted Cauliflower-Drizzled with avocado oil, sprinkled with salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. Baked 400 for 20 minutes.

Creating Balance: I opened the curtains and made the bed. When I was on campus, I wanted to sit outside on a blanket and put my feet in the grass; however, it was overcast and I didn’t want to get soaked if it rained. Instead, I put the sunroof back and the windows down and focused on the bird noises and the trees that are just beginning to change colors. Played a few rounds of uno with Wheel in the evening. Relaxation practice.

Gratitude: Today, I’m thankful for getting homeschool finished early and Poppa helping get dinner on the table. 

At the end of this first week: I’m feeling more confident in my AIP cooking skills. As it gets easier and the transition is smoother, I’ll test my blood sugar more often and make sure it is still in the normal ranges. I’m curious about how adapting some of my recipes to ones that are AIP will go and I’m planning to start to incorporate those recipes into my meal planning. 

I feel some better at the end of this week than I did at the beginning. 

Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to offer medical advice. I am not in the medical field. My purpose is to share what decisions I’ve made in an attempt to improve my health and try to put my autoimmune disease into remission. Remember everyone’s body reacts differently to foods and supplements and you have to make the decisions that are best for you. Consult a trusted practitioner for medical advice. Our resource page details the books, articles, journals, and websites we've researched to put together our autoimmune articles. You can access our Autoimmune Research Resources by clicking.

Have some of you switched to AIP? How did your first week go? Or are you just learning about AIP and starting your own food journey to wellness?

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Want more?

Sign up for our email list! We'll send you a newsletter with all of our freebies, updates on blog content, and notification about new posts! 

Connect with us!

Sharing with you is so much fun! You can share too!

If you enjoyed this post, we'd love for you to share. Like it, save it for later, or share it with your people! Or all three! It helps us know which content you want more of and your support opens up our little corner of the internet and builds the blessings in our community! Simply click the share icons below.

No comments:

All the Seasons Adventure Printable Pack

Subscribe to our newsletter & receive All the Seasons Adventure packet with a bonus Christmas ideas page!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...