Getting Started with an Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP)

In light of the recent rise in lifestyle-related diseases, many of us have begun to understand the role of a healthy diet. It has been proven over and over again through various research papers that a healthy diet is of paramount importance in restoring your health to normal while dealing with chronic illness. I’m talking specifically about one such diet here, the autoimmune paleo diet (AIP). There could be several reasons why this particular diet was prescribed for you, or even why you chose it without any recommendation. Either way, if you feel like transitioning to this diet from your years and years of unhealthy dieting is a challenge, a few basic tips can certainly help.

Keep the list handy

Whether you’re working with a health professional or relying on internet searching, you’ll definitely find the list of foods to avoid on an AIP diet. Take a printout of that elaborate list (the more elaborate, the better) and post it somewhere in your kitchen, prominently displayed. That way, when you’re just starting out on your diet, you can quickly refer to the list before you prepare a meal or go shopping.

set a routine

Although food choices are quite limited on an AIP diet, it can be overwhelming to cook with so few items. For example, you may have had a dish made with butter forever, and you can’t even imagine what you would do if you had to make it with coconut oil, and you might think about giving up. To avoid this, it is important to prepare recipes and dishes for all the meals of the day from the beginning. It may seem repetitive at first, but it would help you start the diet before you think about experimenting further with the handful of ingredients.

Create your own recipes

It’s not hard to find a lot of information on AIP-based dishes, either online or offline. Now that this type of diet is gaining in popularity, the world of food is getting rich on its collection of AIP recipes. However, it is important to listen to your conveniences, mainly your local supermarket. For example, don’t jump to banana pasta if you’ve liked pasta in the past and found a recipe in an AIP book. Think about the ingredients: are they locally available? Think about convenience: will you be able to spend the necessary time and effort behind the plate? And lastly, think about your own taste buds: just because someone else likes banana paste doesn’t mean you will too. It’s a good idea to understand what ingredients you have on hand, how they taste to you, and how you can tweak your existing recipes to fit the new recipes without compromising too much time, effort, and flavor.

Jump on the wagon, don’t jump

Unless you have a specific condition where you’ve been advised to ditch all non-AIP items immediately, it might be wise to start with one dish at a time, and then one meal at a time, until meals of all the day, to make a smoother transition to the AIP-friendly palate.

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