Last week I announced that we would be starting the Autoimmune Protocol. AIP is a stricter version of paleo. We have eliminated dairy, grains, soy, nightshade veggies, processed foods, nuts and alcohol. This was our first full week adhering to the AIP way of eating: no dairy, soy, nuts, grains, alcohol or processed foods.
The first couple of days I felt like all I did was cook. I would throw something in the crockpot at night so we would have meat to eat for breakfast. I would get up and make a huge stirfry for lunch and supper. I would work on getting my kombucha going, hydrate some water kefir grains, and roast some beef bones for broth.
I began to go a bit crazy in the head.
Working with new (to me) AIP-approved ingredients like kelp noodles, cassava flour, and gelatin was incredibly humbling. I consider myself to be a really good cook, but trying to cook new items as well as eliminating all my old standbys (pasta, oatmeal, corn, taco shells) has left me feeling really vulnerable in the cooking/baking area. Gak. I have had to learn new strategies, and put in a lot more time in the kitchen. Thankfully, I don’t work until noon most days so I have been able to practice my AIP cooking skills every morning.
I felt hungry constantly for the first few days. I felt like even though I was cooking, and cooking, and cooking some more the fridge was always empty, and there were never enough snacks to go around. I realized that I really needed to get ahead of this food thing or we were going to drag our emaciated selves to the nearest fast food restaurant and order everything on the menu. I wasn’t used to feeling so hungry all the time, and I can only imagine that switching to meat (which I never seemed to make enough of) and veggies was just causing my body to go haywire. On top of that, the snacks we had come to rely on such as homemade granola bars, chips and salsa (I might be salivating as I type this), and even crackers with homemade hummus are all not allowed anymore.
What was a hungry Nebraskan and Hawaiian to do?
I started thawing more meat and seafood, cooking bigger batches, and investing in more snack foods. I realized that I had purchased only a couple avocados for guacamole, but the truth is that we can’t rely on our old snacks anymore, and now is the time to buy a truckload of avocados to make guacamole. If we want to survive this elimination diet we need to add in more food.
Recipes that Succeeded
Chicken livers with bacon: I made my Mom’s recipe for chicken livers and bacon, and we snarfed that up like crazy. I am not a fan of liver generally, but I coated the livers in coconut flour and fried them in bacon fat with some bacon and parsley. They were sooo yummy!
Turmeric Coconut Salmon: I took a salmon and seasoned it with coconut milk mixed with turmeric, green onions, and assorted herbs. I served it over a bed of steamed garlic kale, and it was quite good!
Beef Chow Mein: I cooked up some steak, combined it with tons of veggies (carrots, cabbage, kale, celery, swiss chard) and then added kelp noodles at the last minute. I seasoned all of this with coconut aminos and salt. The kelp noodles didn’t taste fishy and they were a huge hit with my husband.
Hamburgers: I made hamburgers, seasoned with thyme, garlic, and ginger, and served them over a bed of kale.
Guacamole with plantain or sweet potato chips: Both sweet potato and plantain chips are crazy expensive. So I just sliced some up (make sure the plantain is green, and the sweet potato is sliced thin) tossed with some coconut oil and Himalayan salt, and cooked them in the oven until crispy. I ate them with homemade guac. Mmm.
Beef bone broth: We had a couple big ol’ soup bones from the side of grass-fed beef we got a few months ago, and I cooked them in the crockpot with water for a few days to develop a broth. I could barely keep enough water in the pot, because my husband was always siphoning out the broth! Ha ha! I guess drinking bone broth every day is one AIP requirement he won’t be struggling with.
Cauliflower rice: Okay, it doesn’t really taste exactly like rice, but it still gives the illusion of rice, and illusion is what AIP is all about. We really enjoyed making this, and eating it with beef and seafood.
Peach kombucha: I bottled up some kombucha with diced up peaches, and it was so yummy! Hubs had no problem drinking it every day. Yum!
FAIL: Coconut flour pancakes: Sounds good, yes? Well, let’s just say they didn’t taste as good as they sounded (read that story here).
Saia had a major eczema flare up, just days into starting the AIP. This caused us both a great deal of concern, and I even considered chucking this whole diet out the window, and just heading to another doctor’s visit. However, we started wracking our brains over what might have caused it, and I realized that the probiotic pills we had started taking said that it might have trace amounts of dairy. Since dairy is definitely something we know that he struggles with, we stopped taking those supplements. I, also, think that his body might be detoxing (since we so drastically changed the way we have been eating), and we decided to give it a week and see what happens.
We also took a few other steps to address his eczema, I have been trying to find a natural laundry detergent option and I started experimenting with laundry soap nuts this week. We, also, started using this natural eczema cream which, surprisingly enough, smells all pumpkin-y like Thanksgiving. So that makes me happy.
Goals for next week
- Make some gelatin gummies for snacks.
- Get the water kefir finished so we can drink more probiotic-rich beverages.
- Make some kind of fermented veggie (sauerkraut, carrots, etc…)
- Eat organ meats 3x
- Order more kelp noodles, and some manuka honey.
That about wraps up our first week! If you see a couple wandering around the grocery store, drooling over frozen pizzas, but filling their cart with watermelons, olives, and sardines then you might have spotted us. Let’s up next week is a bit less hungry!