“The human animal differs from the lesser primates
in his passion for lists.” ~ H. Allen Smith
Meat, Poultry and Fish
- All Fresh Meat: beef, bison, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, etc.
- All Poultry: chicken, duck, turkey, goose, ostrich, quail, etc.
- All Seafood: salmon, tuna, trout, halibut, sardines, scallops, etc.
-Packed with anti-inflammatory omega 3′s, eat seafood at least once a week on the AIP (several times is even better). For the healthiest seafood choices, read my article: Does Healthy Sustainable Seafood Exist?
- Organ Meats: liver, kidneys, heart, sweetbreads, etc.
-Higher in nutrition than any other cut of meat, eat these at least once a week on the AIP (several times is even better). If you need recipes, check out this roundup.
- Ideally: grassfed, organic and sustainable, but work within your budget. If you can afford organic, buy fatty cuts of meat with a bone. If you can’t, buy lean meats. (Organic fat contains wonderful nutrients; conventional fat stores toxins.)
- Avoid: deli, cured and pre-cooked meats. They usually contain nightshade spices and sugar, as well as other additives. The exceptions are US Wellness (choose from the AIP-Friendly menu on their home page), and Whole Foods Naked Meats (because they are unspiced).
- Vegetables to Enjoy: acorn squash, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, avocado, beets, bok choy, broccoli, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, chayote, collards, cucumber, daikon, delicata squash, endive, fennel, garlic, ginger, greens, jerusalem artichokes, jicama, kabocha squash, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, nopales, okra, olives (pimento-free), onions, parsnips, plantain, pumpkin, radicchio, radish, rapini, rhubarb, rutabaga, salsify, scallions, seaweed, spaghetti squash, spinach, summer squash, sweet potato, taro, turnip, yuca and zucchini. Need a recipe? Check out this A-Z Vegetable Recipe Roundup.
- Vegetables to Avoid: (1) nightshades: potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, pimentos, bell peppers, hot peppers & eggplant (2) dried legumes: peanuts, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, etc. (3) corn: it’s actually a grain. (4) for people with Hashimoto’s disease, the thyroid-goitrogenic vegetable connection seems to be a myth; if you want to be extra cautious, eat them cooked instead of raw.
- Grey Area Veggies: Although fresh peas and green beans are technically legumes, they don’t usually cause the digestive problems of the dried varieties. However, they are eliminated on the AIP as a precaution, but are one of the first foods recommended for reintroduction.
- Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen: the Environmental Working Group has a pocket guide you can print for your wallet. It tells which conventional produce has the highest pesticide residue (dirty dozen) and which has the lowest (clean fifteen).
- Natural fats from grass-fed organic meats: tallow, lard, schmaltz, duck and goose fat.
- Unrefined oils: coconut oil, avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil.
- Note: Fats are necessary for your health. Don’t skimp on these.
Herbs and Spices
- Enjoy All Herbs: basil, bay leaf, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, etc.
- The only exception is ashwaghanda, which is an ayurvedic healing herb that is in the nightshade family.
- Spices to Avoid: (1) Nightshades: cayenne, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, curry, and spice blends that contain these nightshade spices. (2) Seeds: anise seed, annatto, celery seed, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, nutmeg, poppy seed, and sesame seed. (3) Fruits: allspice, star anise, caraway, cardamom, juniper, peppercorns, sumac, and vanilla bean (alcohol-free vanilla is OK.)
- Spices to Enjoy: cinnamon, clove, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mace, saffron, sea salt, and turmeric. For more information, check out this AIP-Friendly Spice Primer.
- Enjoy all Coconut Products: fresh coconut, dried unsweetened coconut, coconut flour, unrefined coconut oil, coconut aminos, coconut butter, and additive-free or homemade coconut milk.
- A Note on Quantity: Coconut is high in inulin fiber, and when eaten in large amounts, it can cause digestive distress. Limit coconut milk to 1 cup daily, coconut flakes/coconut butter to 1/4 cup daily, and coconut flour to 1/8 cup daily. There is no need to limit coconut oil.
- Water: filtered, spring or tap water that has tested as clean/pure. You can also add a few pieces of fruit to infuse it with extra flavor.
- Herbal tea: check the ingredient list to be sure it doesn’t contain soy lecithin, gluten or other additives. Be cautious of herbs that stimulate the immune system. Two AIP-friendly herbal teas are Rooibos and Honeybush.
- Fermented Beverages: kombucha, water kefir, and beet kvass. Check labels carefully for sugar content and added ingredients. You’ll save a lot of money, if you brew these at home.
- Fruit: All fruit is allowed on the AIP, but limit servings to 2-3 per day. Goji berries are the one exception; they are a nightshade & need to be avoided.
- Freshly juiced vegetables and fruit: Some people juice to get extra nutrients into their diet. However, juicing too much can actually cause health problems. Limit to 1 cup per day, choose a higher ratio of vegetables to fruit, and drink alongside a meal with plenty of fat and protein.
- Flours: arrowroot powder, cassava flour, coconut flour, plantain flour, sweet potato flour, tapioca starch, and tigernut flour. If you can’t find these locally, I have many of them in my blog store.
- Natural Sweeteners: raw honey, fruit juice, dried fruit, grade B maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses, and carob.
- Caffeine: black/green/white tea and yerba mate.
- Ideally: choose organic.
I’ve written a series of articles to guide you through the autoimmune protocol, step by step. It includes FAQ, mistakes to avoid, book reviews, and more. Click here to see the whole list.
Photo Credit goes to Megan Thackeray, who graciously let me use her fun shopping cart photo for this article. By the way, that’s exactly how fast you should go through the processed food aisles on your way to the real food sections.
This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
Fight Back Friday, Whole Food Friday, Sunday School, Natural Living Monday, Healthy Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Well Fed Wednesday, Tasty Traditions, Simple Lives Thursday, Paleo Rodeo,