When I first started the AIP diet, I felt the same way that most do... stressed out. After some googling, I eventually challenged myself and volunteered my family to give the AIP diet a try. Now, I am excited to share my AIP food list with you to help make AIP grocery shopping a little bit easier!
What is the AIP Diet?
A couple of years ago, I was doing a demo in Whole Foods, when I spoke with a woman that asked me if we had any nightshade-free options. I had heard of the paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, caveman diet, and the hunters and gathers diet, but never a night-shade free diet. So, I started looking into nightshade allergies, autoimmune disorders, and ultimately the Autoimmune Protocol (or AIP) diet.
For those of you who are new to AIP, it is a long term elimination strategy, which focuses on both food and lifestyle. The diet is designed to get help rid foods that commonly cause inflammation, gut issues, or full-blown autoimmune diseases.
This protocol has been an effective treatment for some people that suffer from common digestive problems and mild stomach issues, leaky gut, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid hormone issues, conditions that cause immune system attacks, and a long list of different types of autoimmune disease.
For more information on what the AIP diet is, check out this incredibly in depth overview from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (the Paleo Mom).
It Takes Commitment
The bottom line is AIP isn’t necessarily easy – it takes commitment, patience, and time. I noticed that I was spending more of my time meal planning and while doing so, my grocery shopping continued to get longer and more complicated.
So, I’m excited to be sharing my ultimate AIP food list to help make sure your kitchen is full of AIP compliant ingredients for those weeks you don’t have a ton of time to meal plan!
Healthy fats are super important to the AIP diet! They help regulate the inflammation process in our body and allow us to stay satiated. Growing up in Czech, my mother and grandmother used Pork Lard to cook with and this is a tradition that I have kept in my own cooking skillset.
In addition to lard, olive oil is a great fat and can be used in many different ways. There are many different qualities of olive oil out there, so make sure to find one that works for you. My family tends to love using Bragg Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil on everything!
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Avocado and avocado oil
Tip: Coconut oil has many benefits, such as oil pulling and lauric acid. When the body digests lauric acid, it forms a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.
While on the AIP diet, it’s important to not overdo it with fruit because it can contain a lot of sugar. It’s suggested to have around two servings a day.
I keep apples and pears in the house because they are super easy to munch on and you can always find a good deal on them! I also always grab a few packages of blueberries and raspberries because they are low in sugar and high in antioxidants which is exactly what you want on the AIP diet.
- Berries (you can usually find a great deal on these)
When it comes to vegetables don’t forget about your leafy greens and root vegetables. Sweet potatoes, kale, chard, spinach, carrots, and cabbage are staples in our household because they are available year-round and are easy to incorporate as a side!
The sweet potato might be one of the most underrated veggies out there. Not only are there a ton of different varieties, but there are also a ton of sweet potato recipes out there! They can be roasted, boiled, baked, or even made into noodles. Check out Thriving on Paleo’s Sweet Potatoe Noodle Recipe! Most recently, my personal favorite is a baked sweet potato.
- Sweet potato
Tip: One of my family’s favorite vegetable side dishes is sauteed chard. Listen up, the secret to chard is lemon juice. Add a dash of olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice to your sauteed chard and your family will be sure to love it!
As far as proteins go, high-quality meats like grass-fed, pasture-raised, and wild-caught raised without any added growth hormones or antibiotics are preferred. Make sure to stop by your local farmer’s market or butcher shop for some great deals on these types of high-quality meats. We try to have lean meats like chicken or fish the majority of each week.
Now, before you skip to the next paragraph, give these next few sentences a read. Organ meats are extremely nutrient-rich and can be fixed in many different ways. As a child, we had liver at least once a week! If you are new to cooking with organ meats try out this simple Beef Liver Pate Recipe from Autoimmunewellness.
- Bone broth
- Chicken feet
- Beef bones
- Organ meats
Fermented foods are a must. They enhance the natural, beneficial bacteria in food and these bacteria, known as probiotics or ‘good’ bacteria help with digestive health, blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cholesterol levels.
We have at least 2-3 fermented dishes a week with our meals. As a family, we make sauerkraut together every season! In addition to sauerkraut, we also enjoy kimchi, pickled fruits, and pickled ginger weekly.
- Pickled fruits
- Pickled ginger
If you are looking for some new reading material and are curious about the countless benefits of the bacteria and yeast in fermented foods, make sure to read the National Institute of Health’s, Health-Promoting Components in Fermented Foods: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review.
Spices & Herbs
There are more spices out there than salt and pepper and you are not limited on the AIP diet! Fresh herbs are amongst the top 5 things I must have in my kitchen. From rosemary, turmeric, dill, cilantro the possibilities of a dish are really endless.
Tip: If you have a tendency to not go through all of your fresh herbs before they go bad, try out this nifty trick, it seriously a life changer!
Words of Advice
When starting the AIP health journey it is extremely important to be kind to yourself during the long and complicated process. I hope from my own experience you can use my AIP shopping list to keep your kitchen table full of homemade and delicious dishes that your entire family will love!
One thing that is always challenging is having easy AIP snacks you can throw in your purse. We have two AIP Meat & Veggie Bars that are packed with protein and organic veggies that can easily go in your bag with you!