Getting Healthy–Whole 30, Clean Eating & The AIP Protocol

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A collection of recipes and eating plan with menus for the Paleo Autoimmune Protocal diet.

I thought about titling this post “Getting in Shape Before Memorial Day” because let’s be honest, that would also be applicable! It’s been a VERY long winter, one that called for quite a few carbs and more than a little chocolate to push through. #amiright?

I am so glad I promised you all in this post that I was going to embark on a Whole 30 eating plan this spring, it made me feel obligated to just jump into it even though I have been procrastinating :). While I did a similar diet last spring but didn’t blog about it, this year I thought I’d share my journey for those of you who might be motivated to join in for the next month {with an extra week or two for good measure} leading up to summer. I am only so-concerned with bathing suit season, this is much more important for my health and general well-being, but whatever your motivation is, getting healthier is always a good thing!

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The Whole 30/AutoImmune Protocol Eating Plan

To make this more general I am calling my diet this next month (or hopefully 6 weeks) a Whole 30, which if you aren’t familiar with you can read more HERE. I actually try to do a more stringent version, which is technically called the AIP Protocol (or Autoimmune Protocol). This diet eliminates any inflammatory foods to give your immune system a rest and help in healing. I probably should eat this way 100% of the time with my Lyme disease but it’s just too restrictive for me, life is too short for that! However, I felt fantastic when I ate this way last spring so I thought it would be worth doing again to see if I could get a jump start on this summer, and hopefully feel just as good.

 

 

I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, so I can only share my personal experience with you all. I have been very upfront that I had a long-undiagnosed case of Lyme disease (almost six years ago) that presents an ongoing health challenge for me. Thanks to antibiotics, herbal treatments, and lifestyle adjustments (and great doctors) I feel pretty good most days. However, keeping my overall health in balance is crucial to managing my symptoms. Last year we went through a fairly stressful period and I came out of it with my health starting to fail again. Feeling almost desperate to not go down a repeat path of illness, thankfully I found Amy Myer’s book on The Autoimmune Solution. I began her recommended diet and tried to eliminate as much stress as I could, started more seriously exercising and with the help of my naturopathic doctor, increased supplements that would help my system recover. Within a week I felt better than I had in years.

 

With that positive experience, I thought it would be great to do the diet aspect again this spring. After six weeks last year I did add back in many foods (though I always eat gluten-free/clean/organic to manage my symptoms–I am a fun dinner guest, no? ????) because I didn’t want to be limited in what I could eat or drink for an indefinite period of time. Overall, my baseline energy level has been much higher since I did this diet and I have seen other health improvements as well. While my goal was never to lose weight it was an unexpected benefit of changing how I ate and exercising more, so that is always a plus, right?

 

 

So here is my basic plan for the next month to six weeks. I am eliminating all carbs, dairy, inflammatory foods, wine, sugar and obviously anything processed or ‘fast’ food. I will follow the same plan as I ate last year, and if you are curious no I wasn’t hungry and I definitely lost weight.  My understanding is this type of eating helps stabilize blood sugar, and I definitely felt like my system quickly became accustomed to getting an abundance of healthy nourishing food instead of always looking for its next ‘carb fix’ throughout the day.  While last year I eliminated eggs and nuts (to determine any sensitivity) this year I won’t bother with that, which does open up a whole new level of things I can eat, that will thankfully make things much easier.

As I go down this road, I have four posts planned for you all:

  1. Today’s Post–Introduction/Eating Plan
  2. What to Eat/Meal Plans/Recipes/Shopping List —READ THAT POST HERE
  3. How to Meal Prep {recipes & shopping lists to make ahead}
  4. Self Care/ Supplements/Exercise/ Lifestyle

I will get these up as soon as I can over next few weeks, I’d love it if you want to jump in on a healthy eating plan along with me.  I also wanted to mention Keto since that is the hot new diet plan. I think it’s a great plan (the diet is similar to how I eat but it allows high-fat fat dairy among other things), however, if you suffer from adrenal issues like I do (symptoms here if you are unsure) Keto can make adrenal issues much worse, for that reason I steer clear of that plan, so it isn’t for everyone.

Here are some general Whole 30 meal ideas to get your wheels turning….be prepared that you will need to shop more and cook more (meal prep is an important key to being able to stick with it!) but I’ll be posting soon on how I do all that so stay tuned.

BREAKFAST

Homemade pork/chicken sausages (or you can use natural ones if you can find them in your store)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cinnamon and Coconut (sounds strange for breakfast but so good!)

Eggs with Avocado Slices

LUNCH

Salads with fresh greens and lean protein (grilled chicken, turkey)

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Veggies

SNACKS

Terra Chips with avocado

Carrot sticks with avocado

Organic Green Apples with Cinnamon

Bananas dipped in Coconut (unsweetened)

DINNER

Zucchini Noodles with Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash with Basil and Grass Fed Ground Beef or Natural Ground Turkey

Steak, Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts

I will be posting my favorite recipes and meal prep soon. In the meantime, you can follow my Whole 30/AIP Pinterest board HERE.

If you plan to get on board, I suggest starting by making a list of recipes {my favorites are on my Pinterest board HERE} and gathering your kitchen tools–you will need to cook and prep your food! Some useful items for this type of cooking are a vegetable spiralizer {I have this one}, a garlic press, good storage for meal prep {I use this set}, measuring spoons/cups and cutting boards.

XO,

 

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Comments

  1. I helped my husband follow the Amy Meyers AIP diet last October. He suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. He wasn’t happy with the restrictions at first, until 2 weeks in he started feeling better. Since then he’s lost 40 pounds, reduced his medicines, and feels 20 years younger. the 30 day adjustment period isn’t easy but it is so worth it!

    • This is such a great success story! I am so glad to hear that, the diet definitely really worked well for me too. That is wonderful your husband is feeling so great. I have another friend with the same results. Thanks for sharing that with me. XO, Amy

  2. I had to laugh when you said, “I am a fun dinner guest.” LOL Girl..We could share stories. It can be daunting, but when you health is involved it is so worth it. As you know, we (the girls and I) eat gluten, dairy, soy, mostly nut free…but add in eggs for some of us and then the other pesky individual things like Beef, Pork, Turkey, certain seafood, veggies (and not all of us the same). Whew! While none lead to anaphylactic shock or anything, we can definitely tell when we’ve eaten what we shouldn’t. Looking forward to following along.

    • I know-we’d be a great pair to try to feed! I know you get it though, and it isn’t hard when it is all about your health. You do such a good job and are so creative with your meals, I love seeing your ‘whats for dinner’ posts. XO, Amy

  3. Heidi Gurley says:

    I just started 30 day of clean eating yesterday, so nice timing on this! I look forward to your posts and food ideas, can always use new ideas.

    • Yay–we are on the same schedule 🙂 How is it going? Be sure to check out clean food crush–she has the best clean eating recipes! XO, Amy

  4. ALI TAYLOR says:

    Looking forward to following along. We do eat fairly healthy but I find my greatest weakness is not having a meal plan. I see a lot of avocado on your list. we live in AZ & are fortunate to have pretty much year round access to most produce. I like to buy avocados at costco but they are either rock hard or rot too fast. any tips you have for keeping certain “fragile” produce fresh would be awesome! Thank you 🙂

    • I’ll include that in my next post because yes, I live on avocados and it’s frustrating when they rot so fast. I find the best thing to do is wrap them in a paper towel then put them in a sealed container. They last a few days that way. I also put mine in the fridge as soon as they get semi-ripe which gives them a few more days. I hope that helps! XO, Amy

  5. I am week 2 into my round 2 whole 30 eating. I feel so much better. Thank you for this series. I look forward to reading each article.

    • Yay–good for you. You are a little ahead of me but we’re in it together! Ha, good luck you are almost halfway there! XO, Amy

  6. Looking forward to reading more! We started Keto the day after Easter this year and that is working well for our family. We are bored with the “allowed” food so I’m looking forward to exploring your boards. What I don’t like about Keto is the fruit restriction – I plan to add that back next week. We are all feeling good, have lost weight, and are surprised how NOT hungry we are. I think understanding the science behind the diet really helps me to stick to it.

    • I think I’d love Keto–I was bummed when I read about the adrenal issue. Anything with high-fat dairy is good for me 🙂 That is great that you’ve had so much success. People really seem to like that diet. All the best, Amy

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