I made it, y’all! I am on the other side of the very strict 30 day introductory period to the autoimmune protocol (AIP) and it was really great! Now, with our move and packing up everything and having to unpack again, there was about a week that I was without 99% of my kitchen. So I was not able to follow AIP 100% of the time. However, I still feel like I made some great, positive changes, and I really do feel better!
This past week we really got a chance to break in our new grill, which has been so exciting. We LOVE grilling out, doesn’t even really matter what we are cooking 😉 Though, with our recent 40 pound Zaycon delivery, we’ve been grilling a bit of chicken!
In looking back over the past 4 weeks, I’ve learned quite a bit about what it takes to really be successful with a healing diet.
- Keep meal planning simple. Don’t plan elaborate meals, because you’re already going to be making huge changes. Making the huge changes more difficult than they need to be will just make succeeding that much harder.
- Meat+Fat+Vegetables. That’s what you need to make sure you have on hand for meals. Zucchini (veggies) sauteed in olive oil (fat) paired with grilled chicken (meat). Baked fish paired with a salad and olive oil & balsamic vinegar dressing. Crockpot chicken with some grilled asparagus and cauliflower potatoes.
- Stock up on the food you’ll need. Like I mentioned earlier, we use Zaycon to buy meats in bulk so we can save money (hormone free chicken breast for $1.69/lb, hellooooo 🙂 ) and so we can reduce our trips to the grocery store. Buying our meat in bulk basically ensures that we always have something to pull out and defrost, and that not only helps keep our budget on track but it also helps keep our diets on track.
- Aside from meats, stock up on veggies too. I love veggies from a farmer’s market or CSA, but you can’t really stock up on fresh veggies because they spoil. My go-to for stocking up on vegetables is Whole Foods. I buy a ton (probably 30+ bags) of their organic frozen vegetables when I’m there, and then that generally lasts me at least a month. So when I’m in a crunch for lunch, I pull out some defrosted meat and throw it in a pan with the frozen vegetables, and you’ve got a healthy, AIP friendly lunch!
- Give yourself a variety. It’s important that you avoid boredom when you’re on a healing diet. The last thing you want to do is sabotage yourself because you’ve been eating grilled salmon for 3 weeks straight and you can’t even look at one more without getting nauseous. Trust me, I’ve been there! 😉 If you make sure you cook different combinations, with different spices, on different days, then you will have a much easier time sticking with it.
- This one is the most important things to remember is to give yourself grace. You may mess up, you may lose your motivation and eat half of a pizza (not that I have ever done that) or even grabbed a candy bar in the checkout line (seriously, why are they even there!?!?) but giving up the Standard American Diet and replacing it with something long-term and healing, will take a while to get fully on board with. You didn’t get to where you are now overnight, so you also won’t just be able to give up all of the unhealthy things overnight either. Give yourself grace. You’ll stumble, you’ll fall, you aren’t perfect. Thankfully, you don’t need to be 🙂
This past month has been so great. My brain fog is almost gone, my labs are almost back to normal, and I’m able to exercise again! I wake up in the morning without feeling super groggy and I have actually been finding myself craving the healthy foods now! So stick with it. It’s not easy at first, but eventually it will be 🙂