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. Fully Healthy also sells a variety of AIP-friendly meat bars.


  • 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.
  • 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, coconut wraps, and 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, and be cautious of herbs that stimulate the immune system. Truly AIP sells a line of AIP-friendly herbal tea blends.
  • 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, Teriyaki Sauce, Salsa, 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

  • 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.
  • AIP Chips: Fully Healthy sells many whose ingredients fit the autoimmune protocol, but these are indulgences. Don’t eat them every day.
  • AIP Flours: arrowroot powder, cassava flour, coconut flour, plantain flour, sweet potato flour, tapioca starch, tigernut flour, water chestnut and cricket.
  • Natural Sweeteners: raw honey, fruit juice, dried fruit, date sugar, maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses, evaporated cane juice, sucanat, coconut sugar, tamarind paste and carob powder.
  • Caffeine: black/green/white tea and yerba mate. One of my favorite teas is Hannah’s Special Blend, which is an AIP-friendly blend of black, white, green, rooibos and yerba mate tea. Note: If you have adrenal fatigue, avoid all caffeine.
  • Ideally: choose organic.

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.

You May Also Be Interested In

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.

Do You Have My Books?

267 comments on “Paleo AIP Grocery List”

    1. Hi Tahmina. No, it’s not. It contains a number of non-AIP items. Unfortunately, I cannot provide this level of 1:1 guidance. However, I have two great resources for you. First, read my book: A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. It will give a solid understanding of the AIP so you can vet ingredients yourself going forward. Then, if you have further questions, there’s a wonderful peer support group on Facebook who would be happy to help: Wishing you wellness in every way!

  1. Hi Eileen I´m learning about the AIP and I got confused with “pepinos” that´s cucumber in spanish, what do you mean by pepinos?

  2. I’m finally ready after 3 years to *stop* winging it and do the API elimination diet. It’s my birthday so I need to do this for myself and my health and my future. I am so nervous about how restrictive the first 30 days will be. I know it will take a lot of willpower to stick to it before I could add in the other foods to see if I react. I am most nervous about having no spice/heat and how that will affect my adhearance. In your experience Is 30 days absolutely mandatory? How much are you sacrificing if you did a strict two weeks? Or three weeks?

    Lastly…. I am aware that we will all have different individual reactions to each new food group we introduced after the elimination phase … but I need to (pointlessly) ask: in your experience is (1) heat and spice specifically hot sauces and (2) eggs and egg whites frequently not tolerated? I desperately need to know if I should brace myself *psychologically* for a rough reality, lol.

    One more question for anyone out there… I was under the impression that many fruits (besides the high fat avocado & coconut) would not be on the list because of the sugar. Is there any source of misinformation out there regarding fruit? Is the take-home really to limit that fruit/sugar in our food selection?

    I lied one more… I suspect in addition to my ND Auto Immune Disorder (NCGS with severe inflammation as diagnosed from the colonoscopy endoscopy from my Gastro intestinal doctor)… in question to my Auto Immune troubles, I may have a real issue with Candida overgrowth/yeast/mold/fungi (gut/foot/mouth/ent is currently treating my ear). I love kombucha but I’m assuming I should stay away from kombucha… And anything else? I am taking the measures of getting my API diet under control and then maybe looking into a candida control die off.

    If anyone has any doctor recommendations in New York City let me know!

    I am very grateful for any information or insight anyone has to offer and I’m very much looking forward to scouring those podcast episodes!


    1. Hi Alexandra. You could do 3 weeks elimination but ONLY if you see improvements in your autoimmune symptoms in that amount of time, and that’s pretty quick. If you do see improvements, you can start reintros but it’s really important that you do those slowly and carefully (rather than just trying to add everything back in). And reintros are very personalized in terms of what will work for your body as opposed to someone’s else’s. Here are some resources to help:
      1. Spices on the AIP – this is an article that tells you how to get flavor and heat in your recipes in the absence of nightshades.
      2. Paleo AIP Reintroduction Guide – this is my ebook that guides you through reintroductions step-by-step
      3. SAD to AIP in SIX – this is an online class that’s really good for anyone nervous about successfully implementing the AIP and sticking with it. There are health and nutrition coaches to guide you as well as peer support. The next class starts in September and there’s an early bird discount if you register now.
      4. There’s also a free AIP Support Group on Facebook where you can ask other questions and get further support as you get started. This one isn’t led by health and nutrition coaches. It’s 100% peer support.
      Best wishes on your AIP journey!

  3. Hello, so I’m new to the whole AIP thing or even dieting in general. I’m a 23 year old male welder who has never questioned eating what ever was in front of him. Over the last 8months though I developed my auto immune disease and the thought of eating healthy is overly daunting for me. I don’t cook often and when I do I keep it very simple. In fact reading these articles seems like it’s in a different language sometimes. I’m not sure where to get started and could really use some help/advice.

    1. Hi Lance. I totally understand. It is overwhelming in the beginning, but you can do this! Here are my tips: (1) Buy my book, A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. It will give you all the information you need to know to get started and takes the intimidation out of the protocol. (2) If you’re on Facebook, join 2 groups: Autoimmune Paleo Recipes and AIP Support. They’re filled with thousands of people doing the AIP, and you can ask them any questions you want, including their favorite simple recipes. (3) Subscribe to my podcast in iTunes. (On your phone, just open the podcast app & search for Phoenix Helix.) This Friday, I’m releasing an episode called Easy AIP, which is all about tips to make it easier to do. Welcome to the AIP community. You got this!

  4. Hi!
    Ingredient question:
    Ume Plum vinegar is made with shiso leaf for colouring. Does this mean Shiso is ok to use as an ingredient?

  5. Jenifer, I respect Chris Kresser a lot. The thing is that most bacon brands that add nitrates also add other things as well. So, the brands that offer nitrate-free usually have a more natural ingredient list overall and are therefore a healthier choice. At the bottom of my Baked Bacon recipe, I share some comparisons of ingredient lists, including my favorite brand of bacon.

    1. Hi Nicolette. That would be considered a modification. We’re all adults, so some people might choose a less restrictive protocol and see if they see results at that level. But officially, mustard isn’t part of the elimination phase of the AIP. If you’re new to the protocol, definitely check out my book for an accurate overview of what is and isn’t allowed, and options for implementation: A Simple Guide to the AIP. And here’s an online list of herbs and spices allowed on the official AIP. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  6. It depends on which brands they stock. Always read the labels. When it comes to the AIP, most packaged foods will contain ingredients that aren’t allowed on the diet, but there are some exceptions. As for bread, here’s a link to bread recipes and you can find some AIP convenience foods in my blog store. But honestly, the best way to approach this diet is to choose simple whole foods: meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables. Don’t try to re-create your old diet with new ingredients. When people do that, they usually don’t see the same improvements. This diet is about nutrient-density above all else. It doesn’t mean you can never have AIP breads or treats, but try not to make them a staple in your diet. Give yourself time and grace. It’s a learning curve, and there are some great support groups on Facebook that can help you with questions and suggestions along the way: AIP Support and Autoimmune Paleo Recipes. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  7. Rosemary Pedersen

    wow – thanks so much – so the kind I can buy in the normal store has too many additives I assume, or would it be ok?

    also, are there any bread type of products available for this diet?

  8. Mickey Marie Fay Adams

    I am confused…are sweet potatoes ok or not…I got the app you suggested and it gives them a big red light! Thanks

    1. Hi Mickey. Sweet potatoes are absolutely fine, which is why they’re included on this grocery list blog post. The only vegetables you need to avoid are nightshades, which include regular white potatoes, but not the sweets. Here’s a Nightshade-Free Survival Guide with details. PS – I never recommended an AIP app, so that must have been someone else. My list here is accurate, though.

      1. Mickey Marie Fay Adams

        Thanks Eileen, but I mean for AIP/FODMAP. I guess I got lost and didn’t realize it was an AIP grocery list. I clicked over from another page sorry.

        1. Hi Mickey. I understand the confusion now. There is no AIP app, but Monash University does have a Low-FODMAP app. FODMAPs and AIP are 2 totally different things. If you’re trying to combine the diets, you’ll want to cross-reference that app with this list. For example, sweet potatoes are allowed on the AIP, but it sounds like they aren’t allowed on a Low-FODMAP diet. For anyone else reading this, combining diets isn’t recommended unless under the guidance of a practitioner, since nutrient deficiencies can result. Wishing you wellness, Mickey.

  9. There is no AIP-approved vitamin list. You’ll have to read the labels yourself, but I do have a supplements article and podcast on my blog with some overall advice. Just type “supplement” into the search box to find them. The search box is at the top of every page if you’re at a computer and at the bottom of every page if you’re on a smartphone. I have a lot of information on my website, and that search box is magical for finding it. For future questions going forward, I recommend joining the AIP support groups on Facebook. They are filled with thousands of people who know the protocol well and can help you navigate as a beginner: Autoimmune Paleo Recipes and AIP Support. It’s normal to have lots of questions in the beginning. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  10. CleavedHeadsCan'tPlot

    Thank you so very much, that answered a lot of questions. I really hope Chocolate will be a food I can tolerate when I reintroduce it. I’m sorta crazy about the stuff, but I can live without it if it means getting better. I was saddened to read about Stevia though, I’m type 2 diabetic and relied heavily on it. It’s very difficult to control blood sugar with just diet and exercise, but at one point I was able to do that (no meds) and Stevia played a large role. I really only used it for homemade Iced Coffees and to sweeten tea, but I’d given up ALL treats, baked goods etc. Iced coffees and tea were my only “sweet” indulgence. There’s always a catch somewhere, but such is life, just have to work around it. Thank you again for the work you have done, I know you struggle too and yet here you are so generously giving your time and energy to help others. Wish I could give you a hug.

    P.S. I’m very interested in how many AIPer’s take vitamin supplements and what kind/brands they use that are AIP compliant. I just read an article about medications with gluten, nightshade and dairy ingredients and alternatives to avoid them using compounding pharmacies. But nothing really on Vitamins and which brands. Any thoughts or referenced articles would be greatly appreciated.

  11. CleavedHeadsCan'tPlot

    Hello, just recently found your website from The Paleo Mom and let me say, it has been SOOOO helpful! I know Cocoa/Chocolate are not AIP foods and Carob is allowed. But then I learned that Carob is a Legume, I was wondering why Carob is AIP and how is it any different than eating Cocoa? Plus it’s much higher in natural sugar. I’ve not been able to locate this answer in any of the literature I’ve read. Thank you so much for your time and generous work.

      1. Thank you for your response, Eileen. Very helpful. I wonder if Whole Foods will take back an unopened big bottle of Colavita extra virgin olive oil? Sigh. 😉

  12. Hi, I’ve been eating cassava chips every day as a way to get beef liver in and also as a way to reach my carb goals (135 grams a day). Limiting my carb sources to fruits and vegetables makes me tired and queasy. I also try to incorporate AIP flours into my diet daily for this reason also (I like to wrap meat in cassava flour tortillas to boost carbs and add textural interest).
    I am concerned and confused as to why you say it should be an occasional “indulgence.” Could you please explain this further?

    I am only three weeks into the AIP diet and have seen no improvements. It has been enormously stressful and I cannot afford grass fed meats or organic vegetables (most of the time I can only afford frozen vegetables, actually) and I’m worried sick that all this time I’ve not even been doing the diet right. I just want to start feeling a difference so I can reintroduce more foods that make me happy and feel satisfied and nourished!

    Thank you — I am really looking forward to your answer.

    1. First of all, don’t worry yourself sick. That’s an accurate phrase for a reason. Stress management (and self-compassion) is just as essential to autoimmune healing as dietary choices. We learn as we go, and your first priority is to make this diet sustainable and joyful for you. If you cannot afford grass-fed organic, that’s OK. Work within your budget. Here are 2 helpful resources.
      (1) AIP Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen – this isn’t meant to stress you out but rather to empower you to make the best choices in non-organic produce:
      (2) Budget-Friendly AIP Tips:

      Next – the cassava chips & tortillas. Both of those are actually pretty expensive, so that would free up a lot of room in your budget if they weren’t part of your daily diet. Instead of buying packaged foods, I recommend incorporating a wide variety of fresh starchy vegetables into your diet. They will keep your energy levels up while also broadening your nutrition and saving your some money at the same time: sweet potatoes, plantains (sold inexpensively at Wal-Mart), parsnips, beets, carrots, butternut squash, etc. You can still have cassava chips and tortillas sometimes but I don’t recommend them every day. My favorite “chip” for beef liver is sliced raw zucchini.

      I know 3 weeks can feel like a long time when you’ve changed your diet dramatically, but it’s actually a very short amount of time. It might take up to a few months for you to see improvements, so you’ll want to settle in and find our groove with this lifestyle. Three more resources I recommend that might be helpful are:
      (1) The AIP Recipe Group – great inspiration for expanding your diet within the AIP template. You can be happy, satisfied and nourished in the elimination phase, too. You will eventually be able to reintroduce foods, but you shouldn’t postpone happiness until then:
      (2) The AIP Support Group – it helps to be able to chat with people who are walking the same path:
      (3) The Art of Stress Management Podcast:

      Wishing you wellness at every level!

  13. Dear Eileen, many thanks for the great work you do. I have read all the comments here and did not find answer to my question. I have been diagnosed with Graves Disease over 10 years ago and started the AIP diet over a month ago. My TSH improved drastically. However, one thing on the AIP diet I find really hard. Since I removed majority of fruits and all starches, grains, nuts, seeds etc. from my diet, I am constantly constipated. My stomach is very hard and not having regular movements is causing lots of distress to me mentally and also my digestion is bad. I feel bloated all the time, despite being strict with the diet, taking probiotics and digestive enzymes with every meal, drinking bone broth etc. I am trying to eat tons of salads and veg, and small amount of fruits in the morning ,yet it is still not helping with my bowel movement. Can I reintroduce gluten free oats or quinoa or something else to my diet, to help me with my constipation? I feel like my body is being intoxicated because the food just sits in my stomach for days. Before I started on this diet, I was very regular and had no problems with passing stool. Your advice would be highly appreciated. Laura

    1. Hi Laura. Fruit and starches are both allowed on the AIP. Is there a reason you removed them? My first advice would be do add AIP-friendly ones back into your diet. That might make the difference right away. You can use this grocery list as a reference. Beyond that, here’s a good article from Paleo Leap about constipation: If those tips don’t help and you feel ready for reintroductions, you can try gluten-free oats. Just use the steps outlined in my guide to gauge your body’s reaction: Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.

      1. Thank you Eileen, I only use bananas, berries and avocado mainly, as most of the websites do not approve fruits on AIP, due to high sugar. Also ,it is apparently not good when healing a leaky gut and candida, which I am sure I have, as I have been fighting daily bloating for many years now. I use starchy vegetables, all that are approved on the diet, just no grains, seeds, nuts etc. Also, I stopped drinking coffee and that used to make a big difference to my daily toilet habits. Thank you for the links, I will look them up and will also try the GF oats and see how I go. Many thanks again!

        1. Hi Laura. One of the mistakes people often make who are new to the diet is believe a more restrictive approach is healthier. That’s rarely true. The more diverse our diet, the better our nutrition, and the less likely we are to run into problems like this. So, while you don’t want to binge on fruit, they are totally allowed on the AIP. And starches sound like they are a necessity for you, so eat a wide variety. Since the internet is full of conflicting information, it’s better to find the sources your can trust (like my website and and and stay away from the ones that recommend too many restrictions. Wishing you wellness in every way!

    2. Laura,
      I also have Graves’, and have been off and on AIP for more than a year. And I also struggle with constipation! For me, what has helped so much is WATER. It’s an easy fix except that I have to force myself to drink it! I start the morning with 16 oz. of warm water and a squeeze half a lemon into it. Chug that down, and you’ve already consumed 1/4 of the of the recommended daily 8 glasses! I will even drink 2 glasses before bed if I have to. I hope this works for you.

      1. Thank you Karen, I live in a hot country so water is a staple in my diet, definitely 3 litres if not more daily. I also start my day with lemon water. I used to then have a coffee and then go to toilet straightaway, but since I stopped coffee, and started this diet, my constipation started. Sometimes I end up using detox tea with senna to help me go….not good I know, but badly needed.

        1. It might be an overused cliche’, however it still remains true. Give some credit to the body. Even in a severe state of sickness, the body will speak as to what it wants or needs. The constipation is merely a dialect of the body language. You already speak and understand your body language fluently, you need to learn and catch the dialects too.

        2. Laura, I know what you mean about the coffee! I wasn’t a regular coffee drinker but pre-AIP, if I was ever constipated, a little coffee did the trick! Let me suggest a couple other possibilities: do you have access to dried plums (prunes)? They definitely can get things moving. Or prune juice (but it’s loaded with sugar, so try half a glass or dilute with water). Another option: Magnesium. There’s a powdered version called CALM available in the US, maybe give it a whirl? It’s here:
          Best of luck! And I do feel your pain ;}~

          1. Thanks Karen, I have prunes but have been eating dates every day, as they are a staple here. Will look for the magnesium, thank you for the recommendation. I am slowly introducing flax and chia seeds, so hoping that these will do the trick. I also tried GF oats one morning and had no reaction, so will include those too.

          2. I realize I am late to the party, but I found that beef gelatin helps me keep constipation at bay. I used Great Lakes. My practitioner recommended I take beef collagen which has some advantages, but I already had the gelatin. After trying both, the gelatin is more effective with constipation. I also have and still do used powdered magnesium often. It is the powdered version that helps, pills do not. Good luck to all!

  14. Hi, Eileen – I’ve been scrolling through the comments and am so very impressed with your skill and compassion! I was diagnosed last fall with Hashimoto’s, after my TSH levels went up to a high of 265. Things have calmed down a great deal, with an almost hyperthyroid TSH, and a thyroid that appears non-Hashimoto’s in appearance in my recent ultrasound. Also, my 15-year-old makes encouraging comments, like “Mom, look at you…you’re actually INTERESTED in making dinner!” ( : I went gluten-free when diagnosed, then began the AIP protocol about 6 weeks ago. I can tell a difference, but am definitely still being affected by SOMETHING I’m eating, as my tongue develops sore, ulcerated areas that come and go. I suspect arrowroot flour, and am wondering if you have heard of any research or if other people you know have had problems with it. I have been eating otherwise nearly all meat, vegetable and fruits, but have been trying a few recipes that call for arrowroot flour lately. Also, have not yet tried plantains, but would they, and cassava, tapioca, etc. be in the same starch category? Thank you!

    1. Hi Bonnie. It’s hard to say if your symptoms are caused by food or something else. There are so many variables in life! It would be a very unusual reaction to starch – usually if that’s a problem it causes more general or digestive symptoms. At this point, I would recommend you consult with a professional to help with troubleshooting. If you aren’t already seeing a functional medicine practitioner, I recommend the team at Replenish PDX. They have a lot of expertise surrounding Hashimoto’s specifically. Congratulations on your healing so far, though. That’s wonderful!

  15. Hello. I’ve been trying to find a peanut sauce substitute. I’ve come across AIP suggestions to use almond or cashew butter. Is it safe to eat almond / cashew butter on AIP because of the way it’s processed?

  16. Hi Eileen,

    Thanks so much for the wonderful blog! I tried to read all comments before leaving one so as not to make you repeat yourself but I couldn’t get through all, so my apologies if you’ve already addressed this. Some readers, like myself, have been on a vegan or raw vegan or 80/10/10 style diet. I found that this diet drastically improved my blood glucose numbers during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and even post-pregnancy, as compared to pre-pregnancy numbers (which were not diabetic, but on the higher end). The low fat vegan diet also appears to be successful for cancer prevention AND reversal (see for fantastic research and interviews). Lastly (and more controversially), interest has peaked for many since Anthony William (Medical Medium) published his books on using advice from “Spirit” and a vegan diet to rid the body of the viruses and pathogens that cause autoimmune conditions (including Hashis, RA, MS etc) and cancers. Tough to argue with “Spirit”… Then of course doctors who’ve been in the biz for a while (MacDougall, Joel Fuhrman, etc) also use vegan diets to reverse autoimmune conditions. I guess my question is, do you think it’s possible to heal on EITHER diet but that individuals will fair better on one over the other? I’m just so flippin confused at this point 🙂 Thanks again for all of your wonderful work on this!


    1. Sorry forgot to ask this–carob powder is listed as an acceptable sweetener but isn’t carob a legume??? Thanks!

      1. I love your attention to detail, Meghen and yes – carob is a confusing ingredient. While it’s a legume, it’s the pods not the seeds that are consumed, which is very unusual. The pods don’t have the digestive difficulty of legume seeds. That’s why they’re allowed on the protocol.

    2. Meghen, honestly I think people can feel better on a raw, vegan diet for a while, because essentially it’s a “cleanse”. But in time, nutrient deficiencies result, and a more nutrient-dense diet like the paleo autoimmune protocol is a healthier long-term diet and lifestyle. There are a number of people in the AIP community whose health plummeted on a vegan/vegetarian diet after feeling great for a short while. I recommend listening to this podcast for more details: Episode 60. In the end, you’re the only one who can decide what’s best for you. Wishing you wellness, whatever path you take.

  17. Hi Eileen,

    It is so comforting to receive your input.

    I noticed that my Curcumin supplement contains black pepper (Bioperine), as do the supposedly better products. I saw that although pepper is an avoid food on the elimination diet, black pepper is ok. What would you recommend opting for, with or without Bioperine?

    I haven’t eaten any of my home fermented food since I read Dr. Kharrazian’s information on aneorobic processing of fermented foods because of risk of bacteria. Trying to avoid TMI, very loose bathroom visits are the reason , I am thinking a probiotic may be a good idea.

    1. Hi Rachel, while I love supporting my readers, since they number in the millions I need to set limits with my 1:1 advice. However, I won’t leave you hanging. Please buy my book: A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. It really will answer most of your questions. There are also 2 peer-to-peer support groups I recommend on Facebook: Autoimmune Paleo Recipes and AIP Support. One final answer for you on the black pepper question: it is NOT allowed on the AIP, which is why it isn’t included in this grocery list. For more information on spices, check out this article: Spices on the AIP. That article and this one is part of the AIP Series here on my blog. You will find lots of answers to your questions in those articles as well. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  18. Hi Eileen, Your website has been a true Godsend! I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos and have been on the AIP diet for about 2 weeks. I’m learning a lot but I am confused when it comes to oats. I know they are not allowed on the AIP diet but I have seen a few sites that say that gluten free oats are fine. Is this true? I think many of us are getting confused because there is conflicting information on the web. Thank you for all you do! I appreciate it so much! DJ 😉

    1. DJ, you are so right that there is a lot of conflicting information out there. You need to find the websites you can trust, and mine is definitely one of those! 🙂 Since oats are a grain, they are not allowed during the elimination phase of the AIP. However, during the reintroduction process, you can test gluten-free oats to see how your body reacts, if you like. I don’t recommend it as your first reintroduction. Wait until you have some successful paleo reintroductions under your belt first.

      1. Eileen, Thanks so much for the info. I’m so glad I checked with you first. No oats for me! I can’t wait to feel better so I’m glad I found your website. Many Blessings, DJ

  19. Hi Eileen,

    So wonderful to receive your response, and so quickly! Are you able to recommend a probiotic suited to the elimination phase of AIP?

    Thank you

  20. Thank you so much for the caring, in depth and helpful information that you offer!
    I started AIP just last week, realizing that my long standing thyroid issues are likely hasimotos.
    After listening to your excellent podcast with Dr. Kharrazian, I would like to take Curcumin,
    Resveratrol, and a probiotic. I checked out Apex Energetics because of connection to Dr. Kharrazian and noticed that the 3 supplements that correspond to these products contain black pepper, xanthan gum, and milk protein.

    I am wondering if a supplement containing a substance that is not permitted on AIP would be appropriate to take..
    With my profound appreciation

    1. Hi Rachel. I don’t recommend it during the elimination period. During reintroductions, you’ll learn whether your tolerate black pepper and dairy, which will help you make an informed choice. Xanthum gum tends to be a gut irritant so is best avoided, but if you want, you can try that supplement during the reintroduction period as a xanthum gum test for you. Just be sure to follow the reintroduction steps carefully when that time comes. Here’s an overview. And here’s a detailed reintroduction guide. Welcome to the AIP community!

  21. Hi Phoenix – love your helpful articles! But I’m confused; I thought caffeine in any form was verboten on AIP. But you seem to be saying that it’s okay in black or green tea. It’s possible I’ve been avoiding it for my Graves Disease and just assumed it was not allowed on AIP. Can you advise?

    1. Hi Karen. Caffeine is allowed in moderation on the AIP, but some people with thyroid problems have trouble with it – that’s true. When that’s the case, they adapt the AIP with that in mind and avoid it. So you are doing exactly what is right for you, but it’s not verboten on the AIP in general.

  22. Thank you so much for the blog. The information you provide here is so helpful. I was wondering if you know where I can get a list of aip approved products for the uk as everything I can find is always for the states. Thank you x

    1. Hi Kat. I don’t know of an online listing, but I recommend that you reach out to Jo Romero, the woman behind the UK paleo blog, Comfort Bites. She knows the AIP inside and out and might be able to tell you what products she’s found in the UK.

  23. Hi there 🙂 First I would like to say everyone should be overjoyed at the long list of foods you can have on the AIP diet. I can only have: fresh white chicken breast, salt, fresh salmon, sweet potato, fresh coconut products & oil, chicken gizzards, white rice, real wasabi, fresh cilantro, olive oil, okra, yellow squash, chicory root sweetener, beef gelatin, nagaimo (this tastes exactly like white potato btw when sliced & lightly fried in coconut oil- please follow instructions on how to prepare though!) fresh horseradish, dragon fruit, coffee (yes, it is the same with or without it for me personally – don’t try this at home kids) and organic cane sugar (which I avoid mostly because I finally beat systemic yeast.)

    I have severe histamine interolerance, Mast Cell Activation, sulfite sensitivity and Hashimoto’s. I find it nearly impossible to find supplements that don’t have something I can’t tolerate. I have been forced to eat this way 2.5 years with no successful reintroductions. Be happy with AIP- it’s an awesome life! If anyone can think of some bizarre & far away food I can try, I would be ever so grateful. If it’s on this list, I’ve tried it …

    1. Hi Kes. Have you worked with a functional medicine practitioner to get to the root of your histamine intolerance? The goal is definitely to expand your diet, because as you say – it’s hard to eat that limited long-term. I did a podcast on this topic, and my guest works with people 1:1 around the world via Skype. Histamine intolerance and Mast Cell Activation is her specialty: Episode 36: Histamine Intolerance with Alison Vickery. Wishing you wellness!

  24. This is an amazingly thorough list! I’ve been AIP for about 2 years but wasn’t sure about sumac. I’ve never really used it before, and wasn’t sure if it’s allowed (I’ve had no luck with any reintros, unfortunately, so I’m still phase 1 and being cautious with new foods). I googled is sumac aip and this came up first thing! Brilliant!

    1. I’m so glad I could help, Rachel. Did you see that sumac is on the spices to avoid list? But it is considered a stage one reintroduction, so if you’ve been able to reintroduce fruit & seedbased spices, you are good to go! Question: Are you working with a functional medicine practitioner? The reason I ask is that after 2 years, you should be able to reintroduce some foods beyond Stage 1. If you’re running into trouble, there is likely a healing obstacle in your way and it might be time to troubleshoot. Wishing you wellness in every way.

  25. Hello Eileen, This is a wonderful article that really helped me in categorizing the AIP foods.

    I did have one question, and that is regarding avocado. Being a high fat fruit with little fructose I belive it would be well tolerated, but I wanted to check with you and hear your thoughts on it.



  26. I have rheumatoid arthritis and am in severe chronic pain despite diet changes, LDN, CBD, turmeric paste, supplements, and everything else under the sun.

    A few months ago I went to a skin prick allergist and the test revealed I may have an allergy to corn, soy, barley, peanut, green bean and cantaloupe.

    With that said, if I’m allergic to cantaloupe and green beans (not common to cause food allergies), then it’s quite possible I’m also allergic to other vegetables and fruits… which means it’s about impossible to find a diet that works.

    What am I suppose to do? I have a tough enough time on these AIP and Paleo diets that I barely eat as it is because I find the food very bland. What can I say, I’ve always ate relatively decent, but I’m conditioned to things.

    I have also wondered about the validity of the skin scratch tests, so I very well may not even have some of these allergies. The allergist couldn’t even offer a round about % on the accuracy of these tests, which isn’t to promising. I’ve since read they are only around 50% to 60% accurate, which isn’t much better than a coin flip.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? I’ve spent dozens of hours of research and and running in circles at this point. My doctors are useless when it comes to anything other than prescribing drugs. And the alternative doctors don’t take insurance or are snake oil salesmen who just want to sell you vitamins after run their quack biofeedback machines and “nutritional muscle testing” on you.

    Sorry to be so skeptical…but after 14 years of chronic pain and no answers, it’s hard to trust anything anymore. Thanks.

    1. Hi DK. I totally empathize with your frustration. Chronic pain wears a person out, body and soul, and you’ve clearly tried many different things in your search for a solution. I think you’re right not to trust the skin-prick test. I think a common mistake is to keep searching for foods that are the inflammation triggers and restricting our diets more and more. In the end, nutrient deficiencies result and we become even more sick. That’s not a viable path. I wish I had “the answer” for you, but the answer is often multi-layered and very unique to each person. Here are some articles that might help: (1) Navigating Setbacks (2) How to Find a Good Functional Medicine Practitioner (3) Where Medication Fits on a Healing Diet. Wishing you wellness.

  27. I am in process with AIP, deleting different groups of foods, and found my favorite tea has a nightshade spice (which I thought I had removed totally) which is making me extra careful. I’m trying to come out of my first bad flare in about a year. Is Earl Gray tea with oil of Bergamot okay on the AIP? Thanks.

    1. Louise, may your flare pass quickly. Teas are tricky – they contain so many crazy ingredients. But Earl Grey with Bergamot is absolutely fine so long as those are the only two ingredients. Since it’s caffeinated, just limit it to 1 cup in the morning.

  28. Hi,
    I came across your site today while searching info for AIP which I have also recently heard of. Congrats, you have done a great job. I have alopecia universalis for four years. I have not ever taken any sort of medication and have not been diagnosed so far with any other autoimmune disease (thank god). I guess I am kind of lucky, because apart from total hair loss there are no other symptoms in my case. Do you think AIP would be beneficial? Have you heard of other people with alopecia that have followed AIP with success (regrowth of hair)?

  29. Hi Eileen,
    To simplify and shorten a long story. I was diagnosed with MS in 2003. I maintained (forced) a work life using medications for those 13 years. Unfortunately I lost everything else. 3 months ago, I made many changes including weaning off all prescription medication and started on a new way to eat. Originally in started on a paleo fast/diet. That quickly became a vegetarian diet and then vegan. I am now on the AIP but I find that all animal protein causes me increases in pain, irritability and other symptoms. My theory is that it isn’t the food itself, but the internal heat that the body creates by digesting meat. Heat accentuates MS symptoms. Have you heard of someone looking at diet and digestion in this way? I’m curious on your thoughts for me going forward.

    1. Bill, digestion can increase body temperature slightly for a short period of time, but this happens no matter what you eat. Meat doesn’t increase the temperature higher. If you went from a vegan diet to eating meat again, you are likely deficient in stomach acid and that can lead to difficulties in digestion altogether. Here’s an article on natural ways to increase stomach acid (and why that’s healthy to do): Healing Digestion. And here’s an article on the steps to take to ease the transition from veganism to eating meat again.

      1. Thanks for your reply. I am not disagreeing with your reply. It does provide a different alternative to my theory. I haven’t completely accepted it yet as I still believe the complexity of breaking down animal proteins vs whey proteins is a different process for the body. But there are other factors to consider as well.
        Here is my question – and then I will make a comment/idea/thought after.
        Why is it – that I feel my best in my current condition – when I don’t eat at all – nothing, nada, zilch!
        My current intake of food per day, fits into one, open palm hand. I find that I feel my best with little to no food. I get fatigued faster, yes, but overall, i feel better from mind, emotions, spiritual and body.
        My thoughts/ideas/theories about meat and other/any foods i eat – in general. Since I have purposely – by necessity, put my body into a starvation mode, my body does something different with the food when it hits my stomach. I believe it processes it more urgently. My thoughts are that my body uses the food in an undigested state to pull and extract energy/nutrition as quickly as possible.

        1. Bill, starving yourself is not a sustainable option. However, you are not the first person to feel their symptoms diminish while fasting. This is because leaky gut is connected to autoimmune disease, and protein peptides can slip through the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream, setting off an autoimmune response. When you stop eating, this stops happening. But this isn’t a long-term solution. Eventually, nutrient deficiencies will result, and your body will begin to fail on multiple levels. Nutrient density is the key to long-term health, including autoimmune health, but it’s a journey. You won’t feel better overnight, and there will be ups and downs along the way. I recommend you work with a nutritionist at this point who can answer your questions and help you choose a sustainable healing diet that’s right for you. The reason I recommend the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol is that it’s a nutrient-dense diet that gives our cells the fuel they need to regenerate, while also healing leaky gut and removing common food triggers that exacerbate autoimmune symptoms. If you haven’t yet read The Paleo Approach, it will answer a lot of your scientific questions. And for nutrition consulting, I recommend Amy Kubal at The Paleo Mom Consulting. She is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

    1. Hi John. I’m not familiar with that tea, but a quick Google search says that one of its benefits is to stimulate the immune system. That’s always risky for people with autoimmune disease. I recommend avoiding it during the elimination phase of the AIP, and when you’re ready for reintroductions, try reducing this tea separately to see how your body reacts.

      1. Great, Thank you. I will do that. Because after I started eliminating foods and following AIP diet, this tea was the last thing on my list, I wasn’t sure about it. It does have Caffeine as well, and I realized lately that it’s triggering my anxiety 🙁

  30. Just found your site today – so much helpful info, and well-presented. I have celiac disease (diagnosed about 18 months ago), rosacea, and SIBO. I’ve been gluten-free since CD diagnosis, and mostly eating Paleo for about 18 months, but not 100%. I’ve also been working with a functional medicine doctor, and we’re addressing the SIBO. Over the last month or so, I’ve been transitioning to AIP, meaning, as I use up foods that are not AIP-compliant, I’m not replacing them. I just found out that some of my supplements contain non-AIP items, probably in very tiny quantities, but I wonder if you think they will sabotage doing AIP. 1) Rainbow Light digestive enzymes include fennel seed. 2) Flora silica lists corn syrup solids. I called the company and they said they have lab analyses that show there is none (or trace amounts only?) of it remaining in the final product, and that it should be fine for all but the most highly sensitive people (as far as I can tell, I’m not). I think she said it’s used as a substrate to grow something on by the lab they use in France. 3) the Carlson vit D capsules have sunflower oil listed 4) Orthomolecular Products DHEA has isomalt and cane sugar. 5) a few of the other supplements I take that are in capsule or tablet form list rice flour as one of the “other ingredients”. Could you give me your opinion on these additives for someone trying AIP? I just recently did a big restocking and am on a fixed low income, so the thought of not being able to use these is difficult, but I also don’t want to mess up my efforts. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Xenia. I love your step-by-step approach. You’re clearly gaining a lot of knowledge along the way, which is great! When it comes to supplements, they can indeed sabotage your healing, so I recommend trying to find AIP brands, if you can. That said, you are taking things in stages. So, I think it’s fine to use up the supplements you have and replace them with AIP ones as you go along – the same way you’ve done with food. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  31. Do you have recommendations for certain brands that are aip compliant? Ive been looking for red palm oil but noticed that the nutivia brand bottles in factory that also bottles peanuts which I assume is nit good since peanuts arent allowed. Any tips would be great! Thanks!

    1. Good eye, Emily. Here’s another brand. The images on Amazon’s website don’t mention anything about the facility processing other oils, but you can’t see the entire label, so you might want to ask a question on that page or contact the company to double-check. Aunt Patty’s Organic Red Palm Oil

    1. Hi Louise. I don’t recommend it – it’s pure fiber and not a whole food, so it can be hard on the gut. What are you trying to make? There’s likely an AIP version available without those additives.

  32. Hi Eilene! I have been suspecting an issue with summer squash and I wondered about the seeds in it. I notice that I seem to have a weight gain of 2 or 3 pounds the day after eating it. Since I need to lose weight that is discouraging as those pounds don’t come off quickly. Of course, now that I have determined this I won’t be eating it. I wondered if you have seen this before and if you think it is related to the seeds or might there be another issue? I wondered about the whole GMO issue. Thanks.

    1. Hi Vickie. I’ve never heard of that with summer squash, and I don’t think the seeds would cause that effect. Fast weight gain and water retention can be a sign of food intolerance, but it’s also often a sign of hormone imbalance, so do look into that as well. Wishing you wellness in every way!

  33. Hi Eileen! I heard you on the Ben Greenfield podcast and bought your book straight away. However, I don’t have an autoimmune disease so I’m wondering if the diet is right for me? I’ve just graduated from college and began my first journalist job, complete with hourly deadlines and overnight shifts. I was recently diagnosed with insulin resistance, despite eating a healthy diet and having a normal weight. I constantly feel exhausted, making it difficult to maintain my running and resistance training goals. But I also have trouble sleeping. I’m constantly sick with infections, having been on antibiotics 4 times this year already. I’ve been on medication for insulin resistance for nearly two months now and have seen no improvement, so I’m ready to try anything. Here’s hoping AIP can help me like it helped you!

    1. Hi Sarah. Ben specializes in helping athletes recover from the type of exhaustion you describe, and the AIP is the diet he finds most helpful during that recovery. If you listened to the podcast, you’ll know he also recommends slowing down the exercise routine, prioritizing stress management and finding a way to get enough sleep when you are working overnight shifts. It’s tough, I know! The truth is, you can’t push your body to every limit without consequences. The good news is that if you implement all aspects of the protocol (diet and lifestyle) for 3-6 months, you should start to recover your health. And since you don’t have autoimmune disease, this doesn’t have to be a long-term protocol for you. If you want 1:1 guidance, Ben does do consulting, and he’s awesome!

  34. HI Eileen-
    I bought your book on kindle a few days ago and was so grateful and inspired that i finished it in a few hours. I am already on a restricted paleo diet for fibromyalgia symptoms but I want to do the AIP as I still feel I need more help. I have a question: I take Estroven. It is an herbal supplement that contains soy isoflavones and black cohosh. Could that be a problem? I am scared to give it up because I had to have a full hysterectomy seven years ago – at 38- because of a genetic mutation and it really has helped me. Now I am wondering if it may be more of a problem than a help? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Anna. That’s a tough question. If you can find an AIP-friendly supplement that would work just as well to keep your hormones balanced, that would be ideal. But if you can’t, it’s perfectly reasonable to keep taking this one supplement since it has medicinal use for you and do the AIP in all other areas of your life.

  35. Ana-Laura Giacomel

    Hi Eileen,

    I’ve recently started listening to your podcast and reading your articles – I’m in love! Such an inspiration 🙂 I’ve been gluten free for over a year now and almost completely sugar/dairy/corn/soy free. Today is my first official day with AIP and I’m looking forward to healing! My question: have you heard any case stories dealing with alopecia and AIP? I have had alopecia for many years and am convinced AIP will heal my immune system (I really don’t want to develop another autoimmune disease – some are frightening!).

    Let me know and thank you for all that you do!

  36. Thank you for the wonderful site and podcast. I find your content to be so helpful and encouraging. The recipe roundtable is terrific. Again, thanks for all you do!

  37. I have hypothyroidism (not Hashi’s), have just recently found out I have an active Epstein Barr Virus (>600) and am homozygous for MTHFR. Have been working on balancing hormones and thyroid for about 3 years. Do you think AIP would benefit me?

    1. Hi Helen. Since the AIP is a diet and lifestyle program designed to reduce inflammation, heal digestion, and deliver nutrition that supports health, I would think it would be beneficial. However, since you don’t have autoimmune disease, you might not need to go to this level of restriction. Have you tried regular paleo? That might be enough for you.

      1. Ok first of all, I just found your blog and I love you! Let me tell you why I love you…
        1. You are so responsive to comments and all of these comments help us who are so lost.
        2. You provide so much information for people with autoimmune diseases it’s amazing!
        3. I love you because you are just so inspiring and motivational! I thank God I found your blog!

        Thank you so much!!!

  38. Hello again! “kind of” stalking your site these past few days as a i get my AIP/Wahls Paleo Plus feet back under me after a reaction that lead to a binge that led to another binge that led to…feeling horrible. But, that’s actually not the point of my message…i’m wondering if you can clarify for me what EPIC pars are AIP? I’m thinking at least the sugar free uncured bacon and pork bar may be? Many many thanks for your podcast and blog and open heart, it’s SO much appreciated!

      1. This was SO helpful! For some reason I had not found your market link before or just neglected to click on it….thank you for taking the time to answer me back and so quickly! Merry Christmas to you, wishing you a healthy and happy season.

  39. After 2 months of following AIP to the dot (daily bone broths, liver, tons of veggies), my thyroid blood test results came out to be worse than ever (much higher TSH). I have Hashimoto’s and it’s very discouraging. I feel that there is something in the diet that is not working for me, but how do I find out what it is?

  40. Thx for your Info Eillen
    Hard to go out to dinner on this diet!
    Few starches. No bread, Rice.
    No Potato, (except sweet potato) Tomato, eggplant, or Black pepper/etc used as a spice on proteins almost everywhere…
    and very few salad dressings.
    No Dairy.
    I didn’t see if eggs were allowed?

    1. Marc, you are right – it is challenging to eat in restaurants, and that is a drag! The only thing I can say is that the relief from autoimmune symptoms makes all that home cooking worthwhile. Eggs aren’t allowed on the AIP. This article gives you a quick overview of the foods to avoid: What is the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol? I did a podcast on paleo travel, and we shared some restaurant advice. You can listen to that here. And lastly, we created an AIP breakfast cookbook that has 85 egg-free recipes that you might find helpful.

  41. I am diagnosed Hashimoto’s, with another autoimmune condition yet to be diagnosed. I’ve been on the AIP diet since April. In the last 10 months, I’ve lost 20 pounds. That’s something I can’t afford since I now weigh 100 lbs. I’m starting to go into muscle wasting. I eat three meals per day with two snacks. I really need to up my calories, but feel like I can only eat so much coconut & avocado. I have a genetic mutation as well that doesn’t allow me to consume any hydrolyzed or autolyzed proteins. I’m also highly sensitive to gelatin. It was when I stopped taking the hydrolyzed collagen in my smoothies that I noticed the muscle wasting starting to occur. My question is this. Is there any AIP friendly protein powder on the market that isn’t hydrolyzed?

    1. Not that I know of, but since you’ve been on the AIP since April, you can try reintroducing another protein powder and see if you can find one that your body tolerates well. For example, there are hemp and pea protein powders, that might work for you. Just be sure to follow the reintroduction steps carefully. Also, are you working with a functional medicine practitioner, because it sounds like you have an underlying issue that might be causing this weight loss. The Replenish Pdx team are experts with complex cases of Hashimoto’s. Wishing you health in every way, Julie.

  42. Thank you so much for this list! It is so helpful! We are organic farmers and I wanted to add that you may want to add ground cherries on the list of fruit to avoid (not sure if it is technically a fruit or berry or what but is sold as a berry/fruit). It is in the nightshade family and used to be really hard to find but is now available at farmers markets and Whole Foods. I happen to have a 20 ft. row of them that I can’t eat 🙁 Oh well, lots of other options I suppose!

    1. Good eye, Leslie. I have that listed on my nightshade page, but not here. I made the correction. For anyone curious, it has no relationship to the fruit cherries – those are totally AIP-friendly. Ground cherries are similar to tomatoes. I’m sorry you’re faced with so much temptation right now, Leslie – 20 feet of ground cherries! But like you say, lots of other options. ‘Tis the season of abundance.

  43. Came upon your web site found it so useful. When you start off saying you use food as your medicine, that sentence really hit me, never thought of it that way. I was just diagnosis with sjogrens syndrome. My doctor just told me a little and then he said to research more on the web. I never paid attention to my eating habits until now, and I own my own business so I am so busy I eat fast food and box food that I just have to heat up. I have been trying really hard to make my own food and taking the time to do it. But your statement really hit hard and I am going to say that to myself to eat more healthier.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Monica. Yes – food is so powerful. One thing that might help is batch cooking. It’s a way to cook a lot of food on your day off, so that you can grab healthy food quickly during the week. Here’s a video class that teaches you how to do it, and all of the recipes fit the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP): AIP Batch Cook.

  44. Hi.. What a great site, just discovered it. I would like to ask about Psyllium – mostly the husks. Several sites including The AIP diet seem to say it’s not Paleo as its a grain – but I believe it’s more a seed than a grain? Even if it’s a seed I guess it’s probably not allowed on AIP – but I’m curious to see you what you think? Thank you! (Ps. I have Hashimotos which was diagnosed 20 years ago when I was only 14).

  45. I love your dedication to responding to questions, has been extremely helpful ajd I’m very grateful for this pages existence and your knowledge!

    I have a question about organ meats. I’m happy to eat them but have avoiding them at the supermarket because they only stock regular organs (nothing in the way or organic organ meats). I buy all other organic meat (chicken and beef) which is the only proteins I eat. Because there is no organic option is some non-organic organ meat better than none or should I continue to avoid it?


    1. Hi Adam. I think some organ meat is better than none. Most of the toxins are stored in the fat and the bones of an animal, not the organs themselves, and the nutrition’s worth it. However, if you’d prefer organic organ meat, it’s available online through US Wellness Meats. You can also try to find local organic farmers who you can buy from directly: Like you, I can’t find organic organ meat in the grocery stores, so I buy some online, and some directly from farmers in my area.

  46. Hi Eileen,
    I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism August 2012, Since starting the meds levothyroxine 250 mcg, I have gone from 12 stone to 16 stone 5, my size in clothing was a size 12 to 14 I am now a size 20 to 22.
    Your personal opinion if I was to change to the AIP protocol diet do you honestly think I would lose some weight, I have tried many times are you managed to lose 5 pound and that’s it, your advice would be very very appreciated please can you give me some sort of info of what I could do thank you very much x x

    1. Hi Teresa. The key to losing weight with Hashimoto’s is to focus on healing. The medication helps support your thyroid (which is important), but it only relieves symptoms, whereas the AIP is a healing diet. So, yes, many people have had success losing weight through reducing the inflammation in their body and stopping the attack on the thyroid gland. That said, it doesn’t happen overnight. Healing takes time, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s a success story from Sophie, which you might inspiring:

  47. Hi Eileen,

    I was looking at your grocery list and did not see eggs addressed either way. Please advise, thanks!

  48. Thank you for the awesome info! I was diagnosed with RA and have been researching alternative healing for a while. I started AIP about 3 months ago, have lost over 20 pounds and feel amazing! I am in the process of reintroducing foods and am having a blast cooking different foods. Just wanted to say thank you for creating such inspiring posts and really helpful information.

  49. Doesn’t tuna have a lot of mercury? And why have to avoid certain spices? Stevia is good natural plant sweetner tastes good in white tea milk is raw organic cows milk for those that aren’t ready to give up dairy just yet I got this information from isabel de los rios book

    1. Hi Emma. If you’re new to the AIP and have a lot of questions, I recommend reading The Paleo Approach by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. It’s the ultimate guide to the AIP, and it will answer these questions and many more.

  50. Hello, I started the AIP paleo last week after my doctor recommended it for RA. I have followed it for 9 days now and today my stomach was acting strange (heartburn and some nausea). I thought it could be the coconut milk I used to make some “fake oatmeal”. So if there are no other milks we can use on AIP. do we just use water to mix with the coconut flor? Thanks!

    1. One day of digestive upset isn’t really enough to identify a problem food. So many things can impact digestion. If you do think you have trouble with coconut, you should actually avoid the flour, too (basically all coconut products except the oil). But only do this if you spot a trend. Many people tolerate coconut well, provided they eat it in moderation (See the Note on Quantity in the Coconut section above.) If you decide to try coconut-free AIP, here’s a pinterest board of recipes:

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. I’m happy to report I’m on week 3 of the diet and feel much better after that episode. I believe it was actually caused by canned coconut milk, maybe combined with carb withdrawal. Now I just bought refrigerated coconut milk and had no problems. I have lost around 5 pounds and my lab tests from a couple days ago show my sed rate has gone from 27 to 21. I hope the diet had something to do with this; we’ll see… I am still taking meds but hoping to either decrease the dosage or eliminate them altogether. By the way, I have the Paleo Approach recipe book and have also tried several recipes in this and other AIP websites. Thanks for your support!

        1. That’s wonderful that you’re feeling better! One recommendation I have is to always check the ingredient list on any packaged food you buy. Most canned coconut milk contains additives to thicken it (like guar gum) and those irritate the digestive tract. Two additive-free coconut milks are Aroy-D and Natural Value. Or you can make your own, which is what I often do. There’s a recipe at the bottom of this article:

    1. Hi Natasha. Buckwheat is considered a pseudo-grain (a seed that acts like a grain on the body). It’s avoided both in Paleo and AIP.

  51. Hi,
    Just a couple questions. Is Pedersons Natural Farms Paleo friendly no sugar hickory smoked bacon okay (less than 2% salt, vineger, celery powder)? Green onions okay? Is alcohol free vanilla extract safe? So fennel and celery veggies are okay, but not the spices? Why is turmeric okay but not cumin or curry? And to ghee or not to ghee…Jessica from AIP lifestyle allows her clients on this brand of ghee: Thank you for all that you do!! Love your website!! It is very helpful!!

    1. Hey Holly – that’s a LOT of questions. Just kidding. 😉 (1) If that’s all that’s on the Pedersons bacon ingredient list, it looks AIP-friendly to me. (2) Green onions are not only fine, but very nutritious if you eat the green parts (120 times more antioxidants than a regular onion). (3) Turmeric is a root (which is fine on the AIP). Cumin is a seed & storebought curry is full of seeds and nightshades (not AIP). Check out my article on AIP spices for more information. (4) No ghee on the AIP. Jessica is “rogue” meaning she makes up her own AIP rules sometimes. That can be confusing. The rest of us follow The Paleo Approach and let Sarah Ballantyne set the rules (the leader of the AIP movement). While most of the allergens are removed from ghee, traces remain. For that reason, ghee is eliminated for at least 30 days, but it’s one of the first foods you can try reintroducing. Jessica will tell you cultured ghee is different, but unfortunately I have known people who are very sensitive to dairy to react negatively to cultured ghee as well.

  52. Dear Eileen, I live in Germany and I can’t buy any pastured meat here Can you explain what to look out for? No problem to get gras fred beef but when it comes to chicken I’m a bit lost. They are all fed with grains, corn or even soya (yes, even the organic ones – I’ve done my research). I eat red meat and a lot of fish, but I really like poultry too, so please can you tell me what would be the best choice. Last question, can you tell me if Baobab and lucuma powder are AIP? Many thanks for your help and keep up your great blog – its been so helpful! All the best, Annette

    1. Hi Annette. I recommend corn-fed over soy, just because they’ve shown the soy can transfer to the eggs and sometimes the meat of chickens. As for your other question, neither sweetener is AIP. The stance is that there is no way to “cheat” sugar, and it’s best not to try. Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach, recommends avoiding all low-glycemic sweeteners and simply using natural ones in moderation (maple syrup, honey, molasses.) Best wishes to you!

      1. Thank you Eileen. It helps already. I wasn’t aware that Baobab and Lucuma are sweeteners:-). I learn everyday. Best wishes to you too. Annette

  53. Hi Eileen, many thanks for such an informative blog. I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis in September last year, completely by chance after a routine blood test (and further follow-ups). However now that I’ve been doing some reading I’ve had a lot of symptoms for a long time. Since starting medication, my symptoms and even labs are not getting any better, and I’m thinking about following AIP at least for a couple of months to see if I can “reset” my immune system, though I’m not particularly atopic, and consider only sugar alcohols “trigger” foods at the moment.

    I live in France, and it is quite difficult to get coconut products other than normal desiccated coconut, so I have a couple of questions… the desiccated coconut usually comes in a “protective” atmosphere, is this OK? Also all of the different brands of coconut milk, and creamed coconut also contain guar gum, xanthin gum, carrageenan or a combination – I guess these would need to be excluded?

    Many thanks 🙂

  54. Hi. I’ve been having problems with peppers of any sort for a long time, and I always assumed it was an allergy, but due to some more research I’m looking more into the intolerance category. I don’t know if giving up all the foods listed on AIP is going to help me (and I can’t stand coconut and can’t eat seafood/shellfish either because of another food allergy/intolerance) so I’m wondering if you could steer me into a better direction? I don’t have any diagnosed autoimmune diseases but that’s not saying much because I also haven’t been tested for any.

  55. Hi! I was just diagnosed with Lupus. My doublestranded anti autobodies are high at the moment. They want me to start medicine right away but I’m getting a second opinion at Johns Hopkins.
    How long are you supposed to follow this diet before re-introducing foods? Are you supposed to re-introduce all food or just some foods. Are you ever supposed to re-introduce gluten or basically always stay away from that? thank you! This is such a big help.

    1. I have detailed information on these questions and more in my reintroduction e-book, but here are some basics: (1) You wait a minimum of 30 days before reintroducing foods, and then you reintroduce them very slowly, one at a time. Don’t start reintroductions until your autoimmune symptoms have improved enough to give you a good baseline. Then, take a good few months to complete reintros. It’s basically a conversation with your body, where you learn which foods nourish you, and which foods harm you. It’s never recommended that you reintroduce gluten.

  56. Thank you for all the helpful information. Is Tulsi tea and licorice mentioned in your protocol anywhere? I am on a healing diet for psoriasis and pernicious anemia and have been experimenting with Tulsi tea (especially the licorice spice one) with a bit of raw honey to replace my former habit (ie addiction to) of using stevia in green tea (thanks for all the information about stevia too, btw).

    1. Hi Felicia. First, check the box and make sure there are no additives like “natural flavors” or “soy lecithin”. Then, just pay attention to how you feel. Licorice can be an immune stimulant, which can make some people feel better and others feel worse, and Tulsi affects hormones. With herbal teas, the recommendation is to pay close attention to how you respond. As long as the tea has no negative impact on you, enjoy it.

      1. Thank you, Eileen, very helpful. While I picked the Tulsi tea without stevia, this one (with licorice) has organic lemon flavor, and I didn’t know Tulsi was a hormone or licorice had the all properties you mentioned either. Might need to go a simpler route to start on this new chapter, so thanks for all the helpful information and experience.

  57. Hi Eileen,
    I was just diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and my doctor recommended a gluten free diet. Since I have been gluten and grain free for 2 years I decided to take it up a notch to Paleo for AIP. I found out about my condition when I had bloodwork done after I gained 25 pounds in 2 months AFTER the birth my 2nd baby and i am nursing exclusively! I am really discouraged about the weight and will be starting an AIP approach. Any advice? Thank you!

    1. I think the AIP will be really helpful for you, Sara. My main advice is to be patient – some people with Hashi’s see results right away, but for others, it can take a few months to feel things shift. I recommend keeping a symptom journal, so you don’t miss the improvements. I also recommend listening to this podcast I recorded last month. Both of my guests have Hashi’s and we all share our advice for getting started on the AIP.

  58. I haven’t found a definite yes or no on a few foods that I adore. I’m brand new Sarah books have been ordered waiting for amazon to deliver so I don’t know just yet she may address. Maybe you can help. Dijon mustard yes or no? Cacao powder and nibs yes or no? Lactose free Ghee yes or no? Gluten free Worcestershire sauce yes or no? Miracle Noodle products yes or no? Thank you 🙂

    1. Unfortunately, no on all of those TeaJae. Mustard and Cacao are seeds and all seeds are eliminated on the AIP. Ghee still contains trace dairy proteins, even when certified “lactose and casein free”, and all dairy is eliminated on the protocol. Worcestershire sauce contains nightshade spices. Shiritake is pure fiber and more of a supplement than a food. Fiber supplements aren’t recommended on the AIP.

      I know it’s hard, but the best thing to do is to start fresh with the AIP and embrace the whole foods allowed on the protocol. Be sure to follow the AIP Recipe Roundtables for ideas. I also have over 500 recipes pinned on Pinterest. Remember, it’s not forever. Once you have seen improvement in your autoimmune condition (anywhere from 30 days to 6 months), you can start the careful reintroduction process, and hopefully you’ll find you’ll tolerate many of these foods again.

      1. ahhhh thank you OK and that post not forever perfect. I have a clearer understanding. I need to heal first and just maybe after a period of time my body may be able to accept these foods again. Gotcha 😉

  59. I recently just bought some juniper berry infused sauerkraut– how bad would it be to consume it, as I know juniper is on the avoid list…

    Thank you so much for your page, it’s wonderful!

    1. My gut feeling is that since it’s just an infusion and you aren’t eating the berries, it would be fine. But the AIP is all about erring on the safe side. Are you brand new to the protocol? If yes, I would tuck that sauerkraut into the back of your fridge and eat it after you’ve reintroduced fruitbased spices. If you’ve been doing the AIP for a while, treat it like a reintroduction. Have a small amount, wait 72 hours, and see how your body reacts.

  60. After doing AIP last year for a few months, falling off the wagon, and now starting again, I just realized I should not be having Black Pepper. ARGH! I use it alot, and have made some big batches of food with it…now I need to wait until these are all eaten, then start again. I should say that I have still lost some weight, and my joints feel better anyway. So it may not be a problem – I just want to be 100% for at least a few months. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Black pepper used to be a “grey area food” and optional to exclude on the AIP. This year, Sarah Ballantyne tightened up the protocol with the publication of the Paleo Approach. Since some people have trouble with black pepper and other grey area foods (like green peas and green beans), she didn’t want to sabotage anyone’s healing by saying they were safe to eat. So it’s now eliminated for the first 30 days, but recommended as one of the first foods to try reintroducing.

    1. Hi Ann. A multivitamin isn’t recommended on the AIP. Rather, the goal is to focus on nutrient-density and get all the vitamins, minerals you need through food, as well as all the micronutrients and synergists that can’t be offered through a pill.

  61. Are the spices to be avoided meant to be avoided long term, or only for the elimination period? I’d also be interested in the best way to introduce organ meats in a way that somehow masks the flavor? I’ve tried liver numerous ways and I just can’t get passed the taste.

    1. Hi Megan. How the AIP works is that everything is avoided during the elimination period, and then carefully reintroduced to see how you body responds. I have a reintroduction e-book to guide you through the process. Fruitbased and Seedbased spices are some of the first things to reintroduce. Nightshade spices are often problematic, so they’re recommended as a later reintroduction.

      To answer your second question, I hear you. If you’re trying beef liver, it’s a very strong flavor. I recommend starting with chicken livers instead. Here’s a recipe I created as a “gateway to organ meats”: Chicken Liver Fried “Rice”.

  62. My son was just diagnosed with Arthritis. The tests are not in as to what type? Probably RA. He’s 32. I just recommended Cortisol Manager to him to help with stress. He has 3 kids under 4 and is a lawyer. I had no idea until I read this list that ashwaghanda was a nightshade! I also take Cortisol Manager and have avoided nightshades for years. Or at least I thought I was avoiding. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll do some further research. I wonder if the amount in the supplement is so small that it would be okay. I love the product.

    ….oh…also, I sent him a link to your blog. I love it.

    1. Hi Mary. Yes, ashwaghanda surprises a lot of people. Unfortunately, when it comes to nightshades, even the tiniest amount makes a difference. Not everyone is sensitive to nightshades, but most people with RA are. If your son decides to try giving them up, I recommend he avoid the ashwaghanda as well. Sending healing wishes his way!

  63. A few technical questions…

    Are capers and caper berries allowed? Is bubbly/mineral water ok?

    Also, my neighborhood co-op has some lovely, local smoked trout but the ingredients are: trout, sea salt, brown sugar, hardwood smoke. Does that little bit of brown sugar make it incompatible with the AIP?

    1. Hi Annika. Capers and bubby/mineral water are both OK. As for the trout, that’s your call. Officially added sugar is frowned upon, but I know that Sarah Ballantyne (leading voice behind the AIP) allows added sugar in bacon, since it’s such a small amount. I would think your smoked trout falls into a similar category.

      1. Thanks! I did notice my capers are in ‘distilled vinegar’ which is probably corn… I will have to look for the dry salt ones!

  64. Great info. I have costochondritis for 9 years and I read that diet does play a big part with inflammation. I want to start on the AIP diet asap. Got a question is oatmeal allowed? Just planning out my breakfast and can’t find something fast that I can do.

      1. thanks for the links. I’ve been planning out my grocery list since last night. Also I forgot to ask you. I take omega 3 pills and a multi vitamins daily. should I stop them or continue? I’m kind of excited to start this regime.

  65. Hi I just started doing aip paleo diet and I have few questions! I read your post and It has helping me out a lot!! But my questions are can we eat rice while we’re doing the diet? If so does it matter if it’s brown or white rice? Growing up In an asian family rice is one of main course meal! Also I read on some organic chips ingredients and it says corn starch or rice flour included is that safe to eat? And last thing is what about almond milk?? Sorry for the long post 🙂 P.S. I’m also going grain free.

    1. Hi. Welcome to the AIP! Officially no grains are allowed on the paleo diet, but white rice is considered the one grain that is non-toxic (the toxins are in the bran which is removed in white rice). For that reason, some people choose to include white rice in their paleo template. That said, it’s not allowed on the AIP. The AIP is stricter than regular paleo because it’s designed to help those with autoimmune disease. It’s a temporary elimination diet where you remove potential inflammatory foods for a minimum of 30 days, and then reintroduce them carefully to test your body for a reaction. White rice is one of the things you can test reintroducing. To answer your other questions, no on all of them (sorry!) Avoid corn starch, rice flour and almond milk on the AIP. Actually, you’ll want to avoid most packaged foods altogether. Part of the healing component of the AIP is eating nutrient-dense, home-cooked meals. If you subscribe to my blog, you’ll get notified of my weekly AIP Recipe Roundtable, which will give you lots of great ideas.

      1. Just a clarification, please. You state “Avoid corn starch, rice flour and almond milk on the AIP.” You didn’t mention brown rice, though I gather that is a no-no for the AIP? I just want to be sure, as I cringe at cutting my last carb. I see white rice as one of the later stage reintroductions on the AIP, but no mention of brown rice. Many thanks.

  66. I have a coconut allergy and need to replace coconut milk with something? I am trying to follow the aip diet.

    1. To my knowledge, there aren’t other AIP milks, but if you’re just looking to add a little creaminess to a smoothie, soup or dessert, avocado is a great substitute.

    1. Yes, although that’s a pretty light breakfast. Over time, it’s recommended that you get used to eating 3 good-sized meals per day, starting with a full breakfast. That’s why you’ll see skillet meals and hearty soups often recommended for AIP mornings. To answer your question, try toasting some coconut flakes briefly in a skillet and adding them to your yogurt for crunch. Also, be sure your yogurt is homemade (storebought has additives). Here’s a good recipe:

    1. Hi Kristina. It turns out that gluten cross-reactivity is a myth: This isn’t to say you don’t have a problem with tapioca. It’s just that the human body is so complex, it’s hard sometimes to discern the reason. For example, I react to sweet potatoes, even though most people enjoy them almost daily on the AIP. We are the exceptions, not the rule. When it comes to tapioca, though, how you prepare it is important. It contains cyanide naturally and needs to be cooked a special way to be safe to eat. It’s especially important information now that yuca recipes are becoming very popular. Yuca/manioc/cassava/tapioca are all the same plant: Tapioca pearls have already been through this preparation process, so if you’re reading this Audrey, no worries!

  67. Hi Eileen. I wanted to ask you your thoughts on tapioca pearls on the AIP diet. Do you know if they are permitted? I was thinking of sharing a tapioca pudding recipe for the roundtable, but I’m not sure if it’s AIP approved. I see that tapioca starch is ok, but not sure if there’s any difference when using pearls…? Thanks a bunch!

  68. Hi Eileen,
    What about canned tuna or frozen veggies that have a statement “may contain traces of soy,gluten etc”,but they dont actually list them in the ingredient list?
    I have hashimoto’s and no known allergies and was wondering about these on the AIP and in general if avoiding those foods.
    Thanks a lot

    1. It really depends on how strict you want to be. Some people can tolerate traces of these ingredients, while others can’t. I personally avoid them and recommend others do the same, just to be on the safe side.

  69. Hi! I’m so glad I’ve found your blog because I am looking for a way to treat my symptoms of Nephrotic Syndrome (“Minimal Change Disease”, an auto-immune condition).
    Eileen, how is it possible to stop proteinuria if you would be eating protein rich diet? Ever since my diagnose (I spill a lot of protein in my urine) I am afraid of eating meat, eggs and dairy. I am vegan, but I am not getting better. Please, recommend me a diet to follow. I am on a chemo drug right now and desperate to find a solution for this disease. Thank you so much!

    1. I’m afraid that is a question beyond my medical knowledge. I recommend working with a paleo nutritionist, to guide you, such as Paleo Mom Consulting. They would know how to adapt the diet to your needs.

    2. Hi, I too have MCD and am on cyclosporine, I am just starting the paleo diet in hope that I can help my issue, my dad and aunty both died of MND so autoimmune issues through my family.

  70. I have a question about sweet potatoes.
    I have RA and definately some digestive problems (weak digestion and stuff like that)
    why are sweet potatoes on the GAPS and SCD diet illegal and on the AIP they are both cases the body/gut has to heal right?

    1. There’s a big variance in starch tolerance from individual to individual. Some people thrive on dense starches like sweet potatoes and plantains, while others find them inflammatory. It’s not part of the AIP because starch intolerance is rare compared to other food intolerances. Although I have it, most of my friends in the AIP community do not. That’s why it’s a troubleshooting step to pursue down the line, if standard AIP isn’t working. Check out my introductory article to the AIP for a list of all the potential troubleshooting steps. GAPS is one of them, but if you tried to do them all at once, you’d have nothing left to eat. And many people never need to do them at all, finding standard AIP puts them in remission. If you want to know more about the similarity and differences between GAPS and Paleo overall, here’s an article I wrote: Comparison of 3 Healing Diets.

  71. My daughter has been unwell for nearly 2.5 years. I am at my wits ends. We started a wheat, dairy, sugar and preservative free diet over 2 years ago, and although she is 100% healthier and her immune system is working better, she still has flare ups of these horrendous, nasty boils. She has had a plethora of tests, antibiotics, vitamin supplements, specialists, hair analysis, allergy tests. We have now found the autoimmune protocol and have been on it successfully for 10 days. This morning she woke with 5 lesions again, and am an absolute loss why. My daughter is 14 and been faithful to the diet. Is there a second tier of the AIP … i.e. should I take her off all fruit perhaps? Any ideas would be gratefully received.

    1. I recommend the book Hidden Plague. It’s about an autoimmune condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa, whose symptom is skin lesions in the form of boils. The author put hers into remission through a modified version of the AIP. I believe she found some of the “missing pieces” that specifically help this condition. I don’t know that your daughter has HS, but it sounds like she might, and it’s one that is often missed in terms of diagnosis. You’re a wonderful mother to search so hard for an answer, and I’m so impressed that your daughter is willing to change her diet at such a young age. My other advice is to be patient (which I know is hard). Whether you do the AIP or the book’s modified version of it, healing takes time, and flares will continue to happen as the body heals. However, they should slowly lower in number and intensity as the immune system begins to calm down, and eventually go away altogether. Don’t think the diet’s “not working” if a lesion pops up. She’s had this condition for years, and it can take years to heal it as well. I don’t say that to discourage – I do believe you should expect improvement after a few months on the protocol, and hopefully remission as the end result.

      1. Hi,
        Thanks for your incredible blog. I have HS. I was wondering if AIP is still appropriate if There are Candida issues (thinking of the sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc…other startchy veggies). Or do I just try to limit those?? I am in a high stress time…but also recognize my diet has too many grains and seeds (sesame, tahini, pumpkin…even if ground up). My painful flare occurred right at the onset of the high stress situation. Any doctor I’ve seen says diet isn’t a link, which I don’t believe.
        Thank you for your thoughts. I can’t wait to read more of your blog.

        1. Hi Michelle. My first question is whether or not you have been tested for Candida? That’s often overdiagnosed – meaning that it’s not the cause of many of the symptoms often attributed to it over the years. If you have tested positive for Candida, it’s best to work with a functional medicine practitioner to do an anti-fungal protocol to eliminate the infection so that you don’t have to over-restrict your diet long-term. If you haven’t been diagnosed, I recommend simply starting with a regular Paleo Autoimmune Protocol without further restrictions and see if your symptoms improve. Many people do great without needing to adjust their diet further. You are right that both stress and diet are big triggers for all autoimmune disese, so if you tackle both, you will definitely boost your healing. Wishing you wellness on every level!

    2. I know this post is old..but in case she still suffers… I have realized through reintro’s after 3 years very strict AIP that I experience huge boils and lesions when I eat nuts seeds or beans, or anything that can basically be sprouted, and even sprouted seeds and nuts like sprouted pumpkin seeds, soaked almonds, coffee, mustard… was causing this for me. My 21 year old daughter is revealing the same thing.

        1. There is no controversy, Kristen. Sweet potatoes aren’t a nightshade and are therefore allowed on the protocol. That’s why they’re listed on this grocery list. Unfortunately, there is inaccurate information elsewhere on the internet, but you can trust my blog and this list. I’m one of the AIP experts and I know this protocol inside and out.

  72. Greetings and a big THANK YOU!!
    I have RA and have been trying to keep it under control for the last 5 years. I thought I knew what I was doing, diet and exercise, no meat, juicing….. but kept getting flare ups and lately its been pretty bad. I was ready to go on meds… I am so glad I found you and all your wonderful information. I really enjoy juicing and was wondering if you recommend juicing with the AIP. I just bought The Paleo Approach and downloaded the Cookbook. It does not say anything about fresh juicing.
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Sylvia. Juicing is only recommended in moderation on the AIP – meaning one cup a day is fine as a way to get some extra veggies in, but one of the keys to healing autoimmunity is healing digestion, and juicing bypasses digestion. Eating whole foods stimulates it, and here’s a great article on digestive tonics that I think are helpful as well. Just don’t do the cayenne one, since that’s a nightshade.

  73. Thank you for providing this information! I was diagnosed with Lupus this past November. I do not want to be on prednisone and plaquenil forever. Hoping this will help. I have four boys ranging from 7 months to 11 and I do not want their memories of mom being tired and achy all the time.

    1. What an inspiring Mama you are! Sometimes love of self finds its root in love for our children. Both are powerful things!

  74. I had thyroid cancer, and just finished RAI . I have gain so much weight that I’m ready to give up! I need to find out what I can do for weight loss. I’ve been back on syntroid for about 3 weeks now. Can you please help me with the weight loss.

    In need

    1. At the end of the grocery list, you’ll see links to all the articles in the AIP series. One of them is “20 Egg-Free Breakfasts & Desserts.” Click that link it’s full of great ideas.

    2. Jus wondering if anyone has tried a short/long juice, bone broth fast to give the gut a rest? Eileen, I would be very interested what your views are on this. I’ve read mixed reviews. Thanks.

      1. Generally, fasting isn’t recommended for people with autoimmune disease, because it kicks off an intense detox process that’s too hard on a body that is already overwhelmed. The AIP itself is automatically detoxifying, especially if your follow the Wahls recommendations of lots of vegetables daily. Some people are tempted to fast because it can temporarily stop the flares, but they’ll start up again as soon as you start eating again. It’s more important to slowly, steadily, tone down the inflammation in your body longterm through a nutrient-dense, healing diet. So drink bone broth every day, and if you want to add one cup juice daily to get in some extra nutrition, that’s great! But I don’t recommend making that your entire diet, even short-term.

    1. Hi Karen. I eat canned tuna every week, but not all tuna is created equal. This is what I look for: (1) BPA-free cans (2) Sustainably caught tuna (3) No preservatives or additives (4) High omega 3’s. For example, Starkist only has 125 mg omega 3’s per 2 oz. serving compared to 1384 mg in wild planet tuna. That’s a huge difference, since the omega 3’s are what we seek. Generally speaking, you’ll find quality canned tuna at health food stores or online. I list some good brands in my Healthy Sustainable Seafood article.

  75. I consume a lot of coconut products, and have just learned about the high content of salicylates in coconut. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Hi Linda. Unless you know you have a salicylate sensitivity, I wouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes it’s scary to learn about all the potential sensitivities out there, but many (like salicylates) are rare, and it’s more important that we eat as wide a variety of food as possible, to get the deepest nutrition. Only add extra restrictions when absolutely necessary. So, enjoy your coconut, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  76. Thank you so much for all the great info. I have hashimotos and have been following AIP for 3 weeks..I am a little confused..Are we allowed honey? I thought that was a no no on AIP and regular Paleo because it is a sweetner..Again, thanks for all the hard work you do

    1. Hi Debbie. Only refined sugars are excluded on paleo. Unrefined sweeteners in moderation are fine, and raw honey is a good one.

      1. I am so sorry to be so dense.So I am on AIP, can I have raw honey on that? I just really want to get this right. I have been house bound for 2 years due to the neuro symptoms, anxiety/panic 24/7.. Thank you, Debbie

  77. How essential are the organ meats? I am seriously considering AIP, but I am currently a pescetarian, and have not eaten land meats in over 20 years for environmental reasons, although, at this point, there is a decent measure of “meat is icky” mixed in there too. If I were to start it, I was hoping to focus on seafood protein sources and limit meat, although be open to it if need be. My problem is organ meats are a big leap – texture and handling wise – so how essential are they? Are there sea foods that I can focus on to minimize the gap?

    1. Kristina, you can absolutely take it in stages and postpone organ meat for now. Seafood is an excellent source of protein and nutrition. I recommend making bone broth from fish bones, shells or heads, if you can get them. And also read my seafood article to maximize your seafood choices.

  78. Are split peas allowed? I also wanted to ask about buckwheat and quinoa since they are not “grains”…are seeds and nuts allowed later? Thanks! 🙂

    1. No, split peas are a dried legume, so they aren’t allowed. As for buckwheat and quinoa, they behave in the body like grains, so they’re not allowed either. All of those are permanent exclusions on the paleo diet. Nuts and seeds are part of the autoimmune protocol, which means you eliminate them for 30 days, and then reintroduce 1 at a time, to test for tolerance. But that means seeds like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, not seed-like grains. Let me know if you have further questions!

      1. Hi Eileen. I just joined your blog and have a question. I was diagnosed last May with stage 3 autoimmune liver disease. Scary because although I had a scare the previous October, I WA told my liver was fine. Hematologist assumes it was triggered by the meds I take for degenerative Ortho Arthritis. Bottom line since then kidneys are at stage 3, now a diabetic, and a slew of other minor although uncomfortable health issues. I have been on a low glycemic diet, non-dairy diet for 6 months. My blood work has been normal for 2 months but I’m on prednisone which makes it hard to control my appetite. My liver doctor wants me eating protein every day. All of my primary and Dietician would prefer me to be on a completely vegan diet but I have resisted. Do you believe the AIP will help me? I don’t mind giving up on tomatoes and pepperoncini, if necessary. It’s nothing compared to what I’ve already given up.

        1. Hi Josie. The AIP is a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory protocol, so I think it’s a powerful diet for healing, no matter what the health condition. I definitely recommend giving it a try.

  79. Thanks for writing this Eileen! I love the tip about buying leaner meats if they’re not organic. Such common sense, but something I don’t consciously think of when buying meats.

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