Real life AIP tips and tricks features stories from people like you who are using the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol to manage an autoimmune condition and live well in spite of the obstacles they may encounter. Healing from an autoimmune disease is not just about the food, though. While the food you eat (and don’t eat) is extremely important, other lifestyle factors are at play, such as reducing emotional stress, cultivating quality sleep, practicing regular exercise, or keeping a positive outlook on life. My wish for you is to draw strength and inspiration from these real life stories from all over the world. To contribute your own story of recovery on the blog, click here to download the submission form. To read more real life AIP tips and tricks, click here.
Name: Cory Burdock
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Diagnosis: Celiac Disease, Asthma, and Hypogammaglobulinemia
When did you start AIP? I began eating AIP 1.5 years ago in response to ongoing symptoms
Have you reintroduced any non-AIP foods yet? I have only been able to reintroduce small amounts of almond milk and cocoa (chocolate).
Which tips or tricks made your life easier in the kitchen and helped you stick with the AIP diet?
- When I first started AIP, I identified a few of my favorite meals pre-AIP and created substitutes. Having a couple of base, go-to meals will help you get through the first couple of weeks when it seems overwhelming. For example, I chose spaghetti squash and some sort of meat for my breakfast, coconut chips on hand for a snack, and I always had plantains to fry up for a quick bite or to use in baking.
- Also, become best friends with your slow cooker.
- I rarely make a meal that lasts just one sitting. Learning to cook in large batches not only saves time, but money and sanity as well.
- After a couple of weeks, I picked one new thing to conquer each week. Whether that was a snack or a recipe or an idea I had about food (e.g., “Breakfast isn’t breakfast unless I eat eggs”).
- Schedule your grocery shopping and meal prep each week! It makes all the difference in the world when you have ingredients readily available and some foods prepared in advance. For example, buy three yams instead of one. Cut them into sticks (to make fries) in advance and place in a large freezer bag with a little water. Use within four days. This saves time and money.
What are your top three AIP go-to meals that are easy and quick to prepare?
In the winter, I make a big pot of bone broth chicken soup. It’s a little labor-intensive up front, but it’s worth the effort because I can either freeze it or eat it over the next several days.
I like to sauté zucchini noodles in coconut oil with sea salt, then add some meat I have on hand. Once ready, I might top with sliced avocado. This is the perfect breakfast for me!
I also really enjoy fried plantain in coconut oil!
What are your favorite AIP snacks?
- Banana Bread Cookies have quickly become a favorite in my house because they are slightly sweet, a good choice for batch cooking, freezable, and travel well.
- Canned oysters
- Green juice
- Hot tea with full-fat coconut milk (this brand) in the winter, homemade iced tea (using a fruit and mint tea combination) in the summer
- Unsweetened applesauce cups
How do you manage to stay AIP outside of the house (at work, restaurants, travel, etc.)?
- I am an RN, so having a lot of quick, snack-type foods prepared in advance that I can take with me is key. You cannot heal your body if you are not getting enough nutrients. I rarely leave the house without some sort of food because you just never know what will happen and it is better to be prepared than stranded, hungry, angry, and frustrated that you cannot find anything to eat.
- For me, there has been a lot of letting go of expectations like what food should look like, when I should eat, etc.
- I think the biggest one is getting over my fear of sharing. For most people with chronic illness and allergies, you know all too well the uncomfortable conversations I am referring to. You can’t eat what?! How do you live? Learning that I am not attached to that was very important; someone else owns it and my only responsibility is to be gracious and communicative.
What other lifestyle components have you implemented in your healing routine (sleep, stress management, exercise, etc.)?
My healing routine has been focused on sleep, yoga, walking, journaling, establishing healthy boundaries in all areas of my life, and gratitude. Blogging has been a way of expressing gratitude to the world for everything I learn and giving back.
Of everything, I would say developing my own yoga practice has had the most profound effect as it has trickled over into every other area of my life.
What advice would you give to a beginner just starting the AIP diet and lifestyle?
- Eating AIP is about self-care of the whole body. Don’t forget about your mind and soul, too. For most people (me included), healing the body can be emotional and stressful in and of itself. Keep a journal and offer yourself some love.
- Keep it simple. Take it one day at a time. I found eating AIP and the healing journey easier once I leaned into it a bit and quit worrying if I was doing it properly but just did what was best for me.
What are your favorite AIP resources?
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