Paleo AIP Grocery List

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a person's feet sticking out of a grocery cart as they're being pushed down the aisle

“Spend your life with the people who even make going to the grocery store an adventure.”
~ Anonymous


Abundance at the Grocery Store

When you first start the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, the list of foods excluded in the elimination phase is overwhelming. It’s very common to ask, “What CAN I Eat?” This list is an abundant answer to that question. The wider the variety of foods we eat, the deeper our nutrition, and the greater our chance of succeeding on the protocol. A healing diet shouldn’t be boring. It should be delicious!

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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, corn syrup and other additives. The exceptions are Pederson’s Sugar-Free Bacon and Whole Foods Naked Meats. ShopAIP also sells a variety of AIP-friendly meat bars.

Vegetables

  • 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, lotus root, 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, bell peppers, hot peppers, pimentos, pepinos, tamarillos, eggplant and “ground cherries”. (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).

Healthy Fats

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 (vanilla powder is OK.)
  • Spices to Enjoy: cinnamon, clove, garlic, ginger, horseradish, mace, saffron, sea salt, and turmeric.
  • Storebought Blends: Good news! There are now some AIP-friendly spice blends available: BBQ rub, seasoned salt, herb blends, and more.
  • For more information: check out this AIP-Friendly Spice Primer.

Coconut

Beverages

  • 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.

Miscellaneous Pantry

  • Gelatin and Collagen: Recommended for gut-healing, these are natural components of bone broth, but you can also buy these to add to other foods. Great Lakes brand has two grass-fed options. The red can is used for gel-style desserts like juice jello and making gelatin eggs for baking. The green can dissolves in liquid and can be added to any soup or beverage as a supplement.
  • Red Boat Fish Sauce: This adds a salty-savory umami flavor to recipes.
  • AIP Condiments from KC Natural: BBQ Sauce, Nomato Sauce, Salad Dressing, Ketchup and Mustard.
  • Non-Fortified Nutritional Yeast: This is often used to give AIP recipes a “cheesy” flavor. Most brands have synthetic folic acid added, which can be harmful to health. Sari Foods is a popular, non-fortified brand.
  • Your Choice of Vinegars: apple cider, balsamic, champagne, coconut, red wine, sherry, ume plum and white wine. Just avoid the grain-based ones (rice vinegar and distilled white vinegar).

In Moderation

Printable PDF of the Paleo AIP Grocery List

People who bought my book, A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, are eligible for a free printable PDF of this food pyramid as well as a printable AIP grocery list. Just email me your receipt.

My Blog’s Healing Store

If you have trouble finding some of these items locally, I have tried to provide online shopping links throughout this list, and my blog’s Healing Store has many of these items as well as other helpful AIP Resources.

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Credit: image at top of page from 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.

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