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Top 5 Autoimmune Protocol Dinners | Tried & True Recipes

First time at Flawed yet Functional? Welcome! Start here to get a feel for what my heath challenges are and why I’m managing them the way I am! If you haven’t followed along, this week I’m sharing my top 5 breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes that I’ve made and love (and the whole family loves!). Today, I’ll finish up this mini-series with a review of my Top 5 Autoimmune Protocol Dinners!

top 5 autoimmune protocol dinners

Dinner is my one meal of the day that I love variety. I make a fresh dinner almost every night, unless the leftovers are piling up. Oddly, I am one of those people who can eat the same breakfast and possibly lunch day in and day out but the same dinner No Way. I need variety!

As I review my AIP board on Pinterest, there are SO many recipes that I love. I’ll keep today’s post to 5, but I think I’ll need to expand this series in the future. I could easily break the dinner category into soups, one pan dinners, Asian fusion, etc.  (Want more inspiration? Follow me on Pinterest!)

Bacon Ranch Chicken Poppers

Who doesn’t like handheld food? I originally selected this meal as a fun chicken nugget-like meal for my kids’ sake, but the flavors in these poppers are definitely adult-friendly too! The whole family gobbled these up. Add a couple vegetables on the side, and you’ve got a complete meal!

Source

Pan-fried Sage Pork Chops

A fond flavor memory from growing up are my mom’s sage pork chops. I spent some time last winter perfecting my Autoimmune Protocol compliant version of this comfort food. It is now on regular rotation in our diet. To round out the meal, I serve this with a couple roasted vegetable or on a garden salad.

pan-fried sage pork chops

Adobo Chicken Burgers

Burgers of any sort are regulars at our dinner table. I found this recipe to be versatile, easy, and tasty. I’ve made it using ground turkey and ground chicken, and honestly, couldn’t tell the difference. I love that it is packed with spinach that is not easily noticed when eaten. For serving, I like to make this avocado dip to put on top the burgers then I just eat them with a fork. A lettuce wrap would do too, but I find them a bit cumbersome, so I usually just use utensils!

Adobo Chicken Burgers (AIP, Paleo, GF)

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Sweet Potato and Beef Stew

This hearty stew is a favorite of mine once the weather turns cold. I do not have an insta-pot so I just make the soup on the stove. It turns out lovely every time! A soup that uses ground beef versus more expensive cuts is something I look out for. Try this one once it gets cold again! You’ll love it!

Easy Instant Pot Sweet Potato & Beef Stew (AIP, Paleo) - [low allergen and anti-inflammatory gluten free recipes from rally pure] autoimmune protocol compliant, dairy free, grain free, top 8 free, egg free

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Slow Cooker AIP Pork Carnitas

For ease of getting dinner on the table, I plan in 1-2 slow cooker meals into my two week menu plan. Pork carnitas are tender and delicious and, bonus, makes enough for several meals! I make these even in the summer because the slow cooker doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and pulled pork doesn’t sit heavy on a warm day. Serve it with lettuce wraps, on a bed of salad greens, plain with vegetables on the side, or mix it in with your breakfast hash the next day. It’s a very versatile dish!

Slow Cooker AIP Pork Carnitas Recipe #aip https://healingautoimmune.com/slow-cooker-aip-pork-carnitas-recipe

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I hope you see what variety of meat, vegetables, textures, and flavors are possible on the Autoimmune Protocol diet. These recipes are tried and true in my house, and I’m sure they will be in yours too. If you need inspiration on what to put on your menu plan when beginning the Autoimmune Protocol, start with these Top 5 Autoimmune Protocol Dinners!


Do you like variety at dinner time too? Or are you more comfortable rotating between a few tried and true dishes?

Check out the rest of this mini-series!

 

 

 

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Top 5 Autoimmune Protocol Lunches | Tried & True Recipes

Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! My diet is currently the Autoimmune Protocol plus a few reintroductions. I’ve been working to heal my gut (and manage my Type 1 Diabetes) through this diet for almost 150 days, so I know a thing or two about AIP friendly recipes! Continuing on with my top 5 Autoimmune Protocol recipes mini-series, today I’m sharing my top 5 Autoimmune Protocol lunches. (To see my top 5 breakfasts click here!) If you want to dip your toes into a diet change, start with these tried and true recipes!

top 5 autoimmune protocol lunches

Truthfully, most of our lunches are leftovers from the night before, but I always have ingredients on hand for a quick, easy, freshly-made lunch just in case the leftovers run out. Most of the meats used in these meals are ones that have a long shelf life: kielbasa (kept in the freezer), salami (kept in the pantry or fridge), canned salmon (kept in the pantry). Since these are my second-string lunch options, I don’t buy the meat often. They are more of a “just-in-case” lunch option hence the need for a long shelf-life. Let’s check out these quick, easy, and healthy recipes!

Broccoli “Cheese” Soup

Who doesn’t love broccoli cheese soup? This soup is dairy-free, believe it or not. The cheese-y flavor comes from nutritional yeast. Likely, you will need to plan ahead for this meal as nutritional yeast is probably not in your regular pantry stocking! I love the rich flavor the soup contains while not coming off heavy. Pair it with fresh fruit and a side salad or just eat it by itself!

This Broccoli Cheese Soup is so delicious and creamy, you won’t even miss the cheese! You will find it hard to believe that it is AIP, Paleo and dairy-free.

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Kielbasa and Roasted Veggies

Take note that the recipe I linked to is made with Bratwurst which is not AIP compliant (contains ground mustard and mace). If you’d like to make this recipe, change the meat to Kielbasa which contains only spices that are AIP approved (black pepper, marjoram, and garlic). However, if purchasing from the store, always read the labels! I recently found hot dogs and brats with dairy in them!

What I love about this recipe is it tastes like you put a lot of effort into the meal, but really, you just chopped a couple veggies and tossed them in the oven. Roasting brings out the best in vegetables, I recommend you roast veggies any time you can!

brat veggie bake

Mediterranean Snack Lunch

While I don’t want to push eating lunch meat all the time, there is a time and a place for quick protein. Salami (original, not spicy as that has nightshades) is my first choice when I’m putting together a “snack-y” lunch either at home or on the go. My favorite flavor combination is salami, Kalamatta olives, pickles, and dates. I serve these with a fresh fruit and something crunchy like pork rinds.

on-the-go meal meat veggie

Salmon Patties

Canned salmon or tuna is a pantry item I always have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. These salmon patties are unique in that they don’t use eggs. Eggless salmon or tuna patties are hard to come by! They are more fragile than usual salmon patties, but the flavor is good so I can handle a bit of crumbliness.

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AIP Chicken Salad

Chicken salad that is creamy and dairy-free?!? Does it exist?? It sure does, and this version rocks! The coconut milk is a great creamy base and the flavor is jazzed up by the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice. The citrus helps cut the coconut flavor and give the dish the tang you would expect from traditional yogurt or sour cream based chicken salad. This recipe is excellent! Try it today!

Eating nutritious, easy lunches while on the Autoimmune Protocol IS possible. Plan on leftovers from dinners as much as you can then use these simple top 5 autoimmune protocol lunches to help round out your lunch menu plan!


What is your ideal lunch? Do you like to cook at lunch time or is the microwave your best friend for this meal?

Check out the rest of this mini-series!

 

Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Stage 2 Chocolate
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AIP Reintroduction Phase | Stage 2: Chocolate

As I am going through the Autoimmune Protocol, my desire for sweets has definitely changed. I can remember craving sweets at times, prior to this diet, but ridding my diet of sugar and processed foods has changed my taste for sweet things. I no longer regularly crave sweets, and when I do indulge, a little goes a long way. Sugary treats are SO much sweeter to me than they once were! My primary go-to for a sweet treat is chocolate, and I’m happy to report that the autoimmune protocol stage 2 reintroduction of chocolate was a success!

Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Stage 2 Chocolate

A clarification is needed first before diving into my blood sugar numbers. I only eat a very clean version of chocolate: dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free. Chocolate without dairy and soy is difficult to find. I have found two brands that meet these criteria: Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Bars and Pascha Bitter-Sweet chocolate chips.

Since I am extremely sensitive to dairy, I shy away from chocolate bars that are processed in facilities that handle milk products. It may be fine for some people, but I don’t want to risk cross-contamination. It takes me weeks to get over a dairy exposure, so it isn’t worth it to me.

Before I jump into my blood sugar results, here’s a quick reminder of the stages of reintroductions for the Autoimmune Protocol. The stages are ordered from foods most likely for the body to handle (stage 1) to least likely to handle (stage 4).

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phaseAs a Type 1 Diabetic, my benchmark for success or failure is based on my blood sugar levels after I eat the new food, particularly my fasting blood sugar the following morning. If my gut is irritated by food, my morning blood sugar will be higher than 150 which is my primary indicator that something is going wrong. My blood glucose goals for reintroductions are as follows:

Starting/Fasting Blood Glucose Before Eating: <130

Two-Three Hour Post Eating Blood Glucose: <150

Fasting Blood Glucose the next morning: <150

Dairy and Soy Free Chocolate

Wine and chocolate are our go-to treat for any occasion: birthdays, anniversaries, putting the kids to bed…big and small occasions alike call for chocolate and wine! While I don’t crave sweets very often, I do love to enjoy this treat with my husband. I was ecstatic when this reintroduction worked!

Meal: Dessert with dinner

Pre-Dinner Blood Glucose: 112

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 137

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 148

My fasting blood glucose remained in normal range in the days following this reintroduction too (130, 126, 136, 114…). Woot! Chocolate, at dinner time and in small amounts seems like it works with my body. I have been keeping my sweets to only dinner time because simple carbs late at night seem to raise my morning blood sugar. So wine and chocolate no longer happens after the kids go to bed, but I’m ok with that!

Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Stage 2 Chocolate

Final note about reintroducing chocolate to my diet: I am still a diabetic and cannot eat copious amounts of chocolate. Maybe that goes without saying, but I thought I’d clarify just in case! My endocrinologist thinks I might forget that I’m a Type 1 diabetic so I get reminders at every appointment. 🙂 I am working with a limited amount of insulin, so large amounts of candy are never a good option!

That being said, it is nice to have a diet-friendly treat every once and a while. Just in case you were wondering, dairy and soy free chocolate taste even better than chocolate with a bunch of additives. Clean your palette and you’ll be amazed how your preference in food changes. I’m getting off topic…let’s wrap this up…This autoimmune protocol stage 2 reintroduction of chocolate has been a success!


What is your go-to sweet treat? Are you a wine and chocolate lover too? Have you tried cleansing your diet of sugar and processed foods? If so, how did your food preferences change?

Want to know more about my Autoimmune Protocol journey as a Type 1 Diabetic? Check out my resource page here!

Autoimmune Protocol Reintroduction Stage 2 Chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

stage 2 reintroduction raw almonds
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AIP Reintroduction Phase | Stage 2: Almonds

I am an adult-onset, Type 1 Diabetic using diet and healthy lifestyle habits to manage my blood sugar levels (no insulin!). My diet consists of the Autoimmune Protocol plus a few spices/oils, green beans, and wine in small quantities. The reintroduction phase is slow, very very slow, because I make sure I have stable blood sugars, my normal, before I attempt a new food. The food up for challenge today is a stage 2 reintroduction of raw almonds.

stage 2 reintroduction of raw almonds

For reference, below are the four stages of reintroduction. While it is not necessary to follow the stages precisely, they are ordered from foods most likely for the body to handle (stage 1) to least likely to handle (stage 4).

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phaseAs a Type 1 Diabetic, my benchmark for success or failure is based on my blood sugar levels after I eat the new food, particularly my fasting blood sugar the following morning. If my gut is irritated by food, my morning blood sugar will be higher than 150 which is my primary indicator that something is going wrong. My blood glucose goals for reintroductions are as follows:

Starting/Fasting Blood Glucose Before Eating: <130

Two-Three Hour Post Eating Blood Glucose: <150

Fasting Blood Glucose the next morning: <150

Raw, Whole Almonds

Homemade trail mix is a go-to snack in our house. I keep all the components in separate containers, and I mix up a bowl of it for my kids every day, sometimes more than once a day! The usual selections are almonds, cashews, pecans, raisins, and chocolate chips. Other possibilities are banana chips, dates, and dried apricots but we don’t always have these on hand.

Since this is a daily snack for us, I was so disappointed to give up nuts to start the Autoimmune Protocol (that and homemade larabars!), and I was SO excited to give raw almonds a try again!

Meal: Snack before dinner

Lunch Blood Glucose: 127

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 102

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 143

Excellent results! My normal fasting blood sugar is in the 140’s so as long as my fasting number remains below 150, I consider the reintroduction a success. I have actually tried raw, whole almonds on three occasions, and my blood sugar responds superbly. Score!

stage 2 reintroduction raw almonds

Raw nuts are packed full of good fiber, protein, and fat without a lot of carbohydrates. They are a great snack choice for anyone on the AIP diet, diabetic, or none of the above! Being able to eat almonds again opens my diet up even more which makes me ecstatic! Stage 2 reintroduction of raw almonds is a success!


What are your go-to healthy snacks? I had to learn to like nuts as I grew up in a non-nut eating family. Nuts are my favorite now!

stage 2 reintroduction raw almonds

 

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Kale Chips | AIP Paleo Breakfast Recipe

The biggest hurdle to get over when starting the Autoimmune Protocol diet is wrapping your mind around what to eat for breakfast. With all grains, eggs, nuts, and dairy off limits, panic might start to set in. What exactly can I eat for breakfast??? This is sort of a “well, duh!” statement, but it took me a while to come around to it: Breakfast is just another meal of the day. This means you can eat anything for breakfast that you would any other meal of the day! One of my favorite AIP compliant breakfast dishes is roasted sweet potatoes and kale chips.

roasted sweet potato kale chip

Are you ready for a breakfast dish full of complimenting opposites? Salty and sweet! Crunchy and soft! Hearty and light! The sweet potatoes and kale are opposites in many ways, but roasting them together with a good amount of fat and seasoning turns these two into a delicious pair.

My goal is for my family to eat a high -starch and low-starch vegetable at breakfast, but I don’t want to cook two separate vegetable dishes. That’s too much work so early in the morning! So one Sunday morning when I was running late, I threw some kale in with my sweet potatoes and it turned out delicious! Don’t you just love happy accidents? This recipe is now in my regular breakfast rotation.

Before I jump into the recipe, first a couple cooking tips:

Prep the Vegetables the Night Before

To save on prep time in the morning, chop the kale and sweet potatoes the night before. Place them in separate, air tight containers and store in the fridge. I take out the meat I plan to serve with the sweet potatoes and kale chips at this time too. Mise en place is done, and I’m ready to cook when I enter the kitchen in the morning!

Dice the Sweet Potatoes Small

To fully cook the sweet potatoes without burning the kale, dice the sweet potatoes fairly small, less than 1/2″ dice. If we’re being precise, I’d say about a 3/8″ dice, 1/4″ is too small. Full disclosure: I had to look at a measuring tape to see how small I dice the potatoes. Eyeballing measurements is not my forte. 

Cooked kale chips

Thoroughly Coat Vegetables

Using bacon fat to coat the vegetables is the best fat to use, but if you don’t have any around, olive oil works just fine too. Any other oil/fat that is liquid or soft at room temperature will work. Coconut oil is not recommended as it will firm up quickly as it is mixed with the cold greens and sweet potatoes even when melted first.

Once you have your fat of choice, make sure to use enough of it. The vegetables should glisten and the seasoning stick to all sides easily. However, don’t use so much fat that it pools in the bottom of the bowl. Just keep adding fat until it looks like below, add a small amount at a time to avoid overdoing it.

Stir Halfway Through Baking

I’m sure I’m not the only lazy cook/rule-breaker out there. You DO need to stir the vegetables halfway through the cook time. This will allow all the kale to dry out adequately and cook the sweet potatoes evenly. Don’t skip this step!

With those few tips, your sweet potatoes and kale chips should turn out fantastic! Serve this dish alongside your meat of choice, usually sausage patties or bacon for me, and enjoy this nutrient dense breakfast! Roasted sweet potato and kale chips, a part of this complete breakfast!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kale Chips

Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Chips

AIP, Paleo breakfast dish that is egg-free, dairy-free, grain-free, hearty and satisfying! Serve with a side of your favorite breakfast meat for a complete breakfast.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine AIP, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 266 kcal
Author Emily Stauch

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced small
  • 6 whole kale leaves stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir to evenly coat. Add more bacon fat as necessary.

  3. Pour onto lined baking sheet. Spread so sweet potatoes are in single layer. Kale may rest on top of the sweet potatoes. If potatoes overlap, use two pans.

  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir again. If potatoes are not soft yet, continue baking for 5-10 more minutes until soft when poked with a fork.

Recipe Notes

One serving has 34g of carbohydrates and 5g of fiber which results in a net carb count of 29g.

 


What are your favorite hot breakfast dishes? Does anyone out there take the time for hot breakfast?

AIP Reintroduction Mace
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AIP Reintroduction Phase | Stage 1: Fruit and Seed Spices and Oils

After the egg yolk debacle that threw off my Type 1 diabetes game for 3 full weeks, I was hesitant to try to reintroduce any more food. While I did really want the freedom of a more varied diet, the thought of a stressful 3 weeks of recovery due to a few small bites was a very nerve wracking thought. After working up the guts to test wine (and succeeding!), I decided to tackle a few fruit and seed spices and seed oils. The objects up for testing today are mace, mustard seed, sesame oil, and green beans.

AIP Reintroduction Sesame Oil

The four stages of reintroductions are in the graphic below. All of the ones I’m discussing today are all in Stage 1. Mace is a fruit-based spice used in bratwurst. Fun fact: mace is the most distinguishing flavor in a brat. It’s not a brat without mace! Mustard seed is, wait for it, a seed spice! Sesame oil is a seed oil, and green beans are a legume with an edible pod.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

Reintroducing a new food to the diet is a structured process, and it basically has three steps:

  1. Take one small bite and monitor for 15 minutes for a severe reaction
  2. Eat one normal sized bite and monitor for 2-3 hours
  3. Eat one serving of the food then monitor symptoms for 3-7 days

I followed all of these steps, except #1 which I forgot sometimes. So reintroducing these four items took some time. I’ll give you the good news up front: all of these were successful! Whew!

For any other Type 1 Diabetics out there wondering how I evaluate a successful reintroduction on the Autoimmune Protocol, below are my stats after eating these foods. If this is too much info for you non-diabetics, you can stop reading now!

Below is a reminder of my blood sugar goals which will help you evaluate if a food is a successful re-addition to your diet or not.

Starting/Fasting Blood Glucose: <130

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: <150

Fasting Blood Glucose the next morning: <150

Mace & Mustard Seed

These two spices were reintroduced together because they are both in the bratwurst recipe my husband and I made. Testing two spices at the same time is not recommended. If it had failed, I would still need to retest one at a time to figure out which one or both was affecting my gut! Lucky for me, they both passed with flying colors.

Meal: Brats with breakfast

Fasting Blood Glucose: 140

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 106

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 132

Win, win, win! Meat grinding and sausage stuffing is a newfound hobby of ours, so this victory is so exciting! No need to stop making brats at our house!

**Note: Mustard seed is not the same as prepared, yellow mustard. Mustard seed is only the seed without other ingredients. Traditional yellow mustard has paprika in it which is a nightshade and a Stage 3 reintroduction.**

AIP Reintroduction Mace

Sesame Oil

With Korean blood running through our family, Asian food is near and dear to our hearts. Many Korean dishes we make are just flat without sesame oil. For that reason, I chose sesame oil as the next challenge.

Meal: Cauliflower rice drizzled with sesame oil at dinner

Starting Blood Glucose: 88

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 134

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 149

A fasting blood sugar of high 140’s is still a success in my book. My blood sugar had been in the 140’s all this week, so 149 was right in line with where I was that week. Another win that will make my food even more delicious!

Green Beans

The final reintroduction today is green beans. Prior to the Autoimmune Protocol, I would buy huge bags of frozen, organic green beans from Costco. For me, it’s an easy, quick second vegetable to add to our dinner, and bonus, cooks on the stovetop versus the oven. Many meals look like this for us: meat and starchy vegetable roasts in the oven and green beans in a sauce pan on the stove. I have a much greater chance of finishing all the dishes at the same time when items are spread out between oven and stove.

Meal: Green beans were drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and served as a side dish to baked chicken chimichurri and acorn squash for dinner. 

Starting Blood Glucose: 103

Two-Three Hour Post Blood Glucose: 110

Fasting Blood Glucose the Next Morning: 143

What a relief to have some successes under my belt! Mace, mustard seed, sesame oil, and even green beans are not a part of my daily diet, but rather 1-2 times a week at this point. I’ve tried all of these multiple times, and I continue to have good blood sugar readings. So I’m confident that these four are a permanent re-addition to my diet!


What have you been winning at in your life lately? Food? Diet? Exercise? Reading? Feeding your dog??? Any win, do share; encourage us!

AIP Reintroduction Mustard Seed

on-the-go meal options
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Autoimmune Protocol | On-The-Go Meal

How do the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and sack lunches get along? I have two young kids, so I am regularly packing lunches for us whether going to the zoo, seeing daddy at work, or just a having play-date at the playground. It can be tricky to think of what to pack for an on-the-go meal when your diet is all fresh food. My go-to for an on-the-go, AIP-approved lunch is what my kids call a “snack-y” lunch. Kid translation: a lunch comprised of all finger foods. One of our favorite combinations is on the Mediterranean side: Kalamata olives, salami, pickles, dates, fresh fruit, and a crunchy side.

On-the-go meals have three parts for us which usually means three separate containers. There’s the main meat and vegetables which go in one container for each person. A sliced fresh fruit in its own container, enough for all who are eating. The last part is a crunchy, salty snack which I also pack in one container with enough for the whole family to eat.

Main Meat and Vegetable

Ease of serving and eating an on-the-go lunch is top priority for me. I take the time to make individual containers for myself and each kid so that serving lunch is just a matter of taking the lid off and handing it to the child.

on-the-go meal meat veggie

Fresh Fruit

The only exception is our fresh fruit. Since fresh fruit is likely to be juicy, I usually slice it up and put it in a separate dish. As you may know, I am one of THOSE parents, so this serves two purposes:

  1. The juices of the fruit not to mix or taint the meat/pickled vegetables and vice versa.
  2. It allows my kids to finish their meat and vegetables BEFORE they get fruit.

I know. I know. What a mean mom, right? Fruit is filled with sugar, and who wouldn’t rather eat sweet fruit than vegetables and meat? I know my kids’ tendencies, so I have them finish the rest of the meal before having fruit.

on-the-go meal fruit

Crunchy, Salty Side

The last part to this lunch is crackers or chicharrones, as diet allows. I have not removed nuts from my kid’s diet, so they have a small handful of almond crackers with their “snacky lunch.” Sometimes they pile the meat on the cracker, but mostly they eat them plain. Chicharrones, or pork rinds, are my snack/treat. They are zero carb as they are only pig skin fried in lard and sprinkled with salt. It is the only snack food I know of that will not raise my blood sugar.

**Note: I only eat the plain chicharrones that are only pig skin and salt. The flavored chicharrones have gluten in the seasoning.**

I love chicharrones far too much. 🙂 Brutal honesty here, I can down an entire bag in one sitting, no problem. According to the nutrition facts, I am consuming 7 servings and 560 calories when I do that. Ha!

Want your mind blown? Calories don’t matter if you are eating the right food. 560 calories in fat will not make you fat at all. Fat is fuel to your body, brain, cells, everything. Eat more fat!

on-the-go meal crunchy

So there you have my favorite on-the-go meal that still sticks to the Autoimmune Protocol, fills me up, and fuels me for the rest of the day. It’s a simple as filling a container with salami, pickles, olives, and dates. Serve it with a side of freshly sliced fruit and maybe a crunchy snack like chicharrones. It’s the perfect lunch!


What is your go-to meal when you need to eat away from home? Any other “snacky” lunch combinations you enjoy?

finger food lunch

AIP Reintroduction Wine
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The Autoimmune Protocol | Stage 2 Reintroduction: Wine

I am a Type 1 Diabetic working through the reintroduction phase of the Autoimmune Protocol. I stayed on the strict elimination phase for 43 days before trying my first reintroduction, egg yolks, and that failed miserably. Today, I’m happy to report a successful Stage 2 reintroduction: wine.

AIP Reintroduction Wine

A quick reminder of the reintroduction stages is below. The stages are organized by which foods an autoimmune-impaired body will mostly likely tolerate (stage 1) to least likely (stage 4). It isn’t necessary to follow in a precise order, but the most likely place for a win is in stage 1.

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phase

My first reintroduction of egg yolks elevated my blood sugar for 3 weeks! In my first report, I thought I had recovered after 2 weeks, but really my morning blood sugar didn’t return to sub-150’s until 3 full weeks after the egg yolk challenge.

Feeling pretty defeated after that first reintroduction, I chose my second reintroduction to please myself rather than following the Autoimmune Protocol stages. I am human, folks. Wine in small quantities was my second reintroduction.

Type 1 Diabetic  Reintroduction Criteria: Two-three hours post consumption blood glucose reading of less than 150, and a fasting blood glucose the next morning of less than 150.

Reintroduction Challenge: Red Wine

The first introduction of wine, or any alcohol, should be in small quantities. I measured out 2 ounces of red wine and drank it in in one sitting after dinner. I did not do the one small sip then wait for a reaction after 15 minutes. This step is to watch for severe allergies with an anaphylaxis reaction; I’m banking on wine won’t do that to me. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t!)

The pre-bed blood glucose reading that night, about 3 hours after drinking the wine, was 116, and my fasting blood glucose the next morning was 155. Since the fasting blood glucose is my major measure of success, I was hesitant to call this a win. However, glucose meters have a margin of error of ±20%. So while my blood sugar could have been as high as 186, it also could have been as low as 124 (20% above 155 is 186 and 20% below 155 is 124).

AIP Reintroduction Wine

Given that information, I decided to try again…

Reintroduction Challenge: Blueberry Wine

I tried blueberry wine for my round 2 reintroduction challenge of wine. Again, I drank 2 ounces of blueberry wine in one sitting then tested my blood sugar 3 hours later. My pre-bed reading was 140, and fasting reading the next morning was 147.

So I am interpreting this challenge as a success, but it is borderline. At this point, I am thinking going forward to only having a small amount of wine, 2 ounces, in each sitting and not having it too often, likely once a week at this point. However, there’s one more step…

Monitor Symptoms for 3-7 Days

The final step after the initial blood glucose readings of 3 hours post challenge and fasting blood glucose the following morning, is to monitor blood glucose levels for 3-7 days. During that time period, do not eat/drink more of the challenged item. Wait and look for elevated blood glucose results.

In the 7 days after the wine reintroduction, I had 1 fasting blood glucose over 160, but my kids were sick and up multiple times that night. Besides that one reading of 164, my fasting glucose was between 143 and 156. That’s a win in my book!

Why wine?

You may be thinking my results aren’t super great, maybe I shouldn’t be drinking wine at all! I realize that my blood sugar is borderline the morning after I consume wine. However, there are activities that bond our family, and wine-making is one of them.

My husband used to be very into beer brewing and bread making prior to my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis. Once we cut gluten from our diet, his desire for both of those foods were gone. However, he loves the process of making food and the experimentation that goes with mastering cooking/brewing/creating. So he took up making wine and hard cider.

While my involvement in the wine-making is minimal, I really don’t help much at all, he and I work together to bottle it. I find the activity fun and a good thing to do while we talk. When he was brewing beer, I used to help him bottle that too. Quality time is one of my love languages, so I love the time spent bottling our alcoholic beverages together. For that reason, I want to make wine work.

As I move forward with other reintroductions, I will be keeping an eye on how wine continues to affect me, but truthfully, I’m biased. I want to make it to work.

My first successful reintroduction after the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol as a Type 1 Diabetic is a Stage 2 reintroduction: wine. Small quantities is all I am consuming right now and not too frequently. After feeling so deflated after the egg yolk fail, a success feels so good!


What hobbies or processes bring you and your significant other together? Have you had to move away from any due to health reasons?

AIP Reintroduction Wine

Aside

The Autoimmune Protocol | Family and Diet Change

The Autoimmune Protocol has become a way of life for me. It looks like I will be on the diet for the foreseeable future, so I’ve embraced it as a fact of life for the management of my Type 1 Diabetes. I’ve mentioned before that the whole family eats according to the Autoimmune Protocol so I thought I’d give you some insight into my family and diet change dynamics: what do they like/dislike, foods they miss, and thoughts on the diet. I was surprised by some of the responses, and I hope this gives you hope that it IS possible to do dramatic things with food/diet and take the whole family with you.

aip and family

First up, let me set the stage with how our boys eat and my(our) expectations as a parent(s). I have two boys, a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old. They are good eaters, but they each have their dislikes, just like any kid. However, we do make them eat what is served. All of it. We are THOSE parents. 🙂 Although we don’t go overboard on serving size if we know it is something they truly don’t like, but it is expected to clean the plate at every meal. If a snack was eaten too close to a meal, then we might let them leave some of the meal for the next snack or meal if they are having trouble finishing it.

I(we) also sprinkle in some grace in the form of ketchup or mustard. Neither are AIP compliant during the elimination phase, but we’ve allowed them to have these condiments for the particularly hard-to-swallow meals. I don’t understand kids in this regard. Put a condiment on any dish and suddenly it is palatable!

With that general guide of how our family eats, let’s see what the kids think!

Jackson – 4 years old

What do you think of mommy’s diet/the food we eat?

Yum

Do you like the food we eat?

Yes

What is your favorite thing that we eat?

Burgers

Do you like vegetables?

Yes

What is your favorite vegetable?

Roasted broccoli (Emily’s note: This is hilarious. Not what I would’ve said his favorite was!)

What is your favorite fruit?

{Sigh} Oh, I like a lot. I like orangeeees, bananas….and kiwi.

What food do you miss?

Pancakes (Emily’s note: Me too, buddy, me too!)

Judah – 2 years old

What do you think of mommy’s diet/the food we eat?

Gross (Emily’s note: This is his new favorite word. I don’t think this is actually how he feels.)

Do you like the food we eat?

Yes

What is your favorite thing that we eat?

Burgers (pronounced “boogers”) and gummies (His multivitamin)

Do you like vegetables?

Yes

What is your favorite vegetable?

Acorn Squash

What is your favorite fruit?

Strawberries

What food do you miss?

Bread. Mommy, we haven’t eaten bread in a loooooong time. (Emily’s Note: Nope, we haven’t. Sorry, bud! This response surprised me. I figured his 2 year old brain had long forgotten bread. We haven’t had bread regularly in about a year.)

Dan – 34 years old

Now for some deeper questions for my husband, Dan (who made me put his age, for cohesiveness), who is hopefully a little more descriptive!

What is your general feeling about our new diet?

I don’t mind it, and I could even see myself adopting it full-time if it were a little less strict, more like Paleo.

Does the diet feel like a hardship to you since it isn’t specifically for your health?

Negative, ghost rider, that pattern is full. 

What do you enjoy the most about the Autoimmune Protocol?

The variety of vegetables we are eating. It’s more varied and the quantity is more than we’ve ever eaten which has to mean good things for our health.

What is the worst thing we’ve eaten?

That breakfast “oatmeal” made from spaghetti squash was terrible.

Emily’s note: This makes me laugh! The spaghetti squash was mixed with coconut milk, cinnamon, and cinnamon roasted pears. I thought it was great, but the rest of the family did NOT agree.

What do you miss the most while eating according to the Autoimmune Protocol?

I’d like to say dairy, but that’s not really true because I feel like garbage when I do eat it. My next thought is sweets because I used to have a huge sweet tooth. However, I don’t really crave sweets anymore. It’s not beer; I have plenty of other alcoholic options.

After thinking through those, I’d have to say I miss the process of homemade pizza and bread making the most. We had really nailed the homemade, whole grain pizza crust recipe, hadn’t we? I spent so much time refining the process of making fresh milled, whole grain, sourdough bread. That’s the only aspect I do miss, the process and experimentation, more than the food itself.

What is your experience with following the Autoimmune Protocol when eating outside our home?

It hasn’t been difficult for me to follow the diet. Finding alternatives on the menu or leaving things out of a dish haven’t been terribly hard. The hard part is getting over not being able to eat what I want when I go out. 

This diet would’ve been much harder if we had tried it cold-turkey early on in our marriage. We were poor then and only concerned with eating cheap food which wasn’t very healthy and only partially homemade. We’ve been heading toward this diet in baby steps for 10 years now. The last 9 months have been strictly Paleo so the jump to Autoimmune Protocol was not a huge leap.

Have you experienced good results from the diet, as a normal, healthy, non-Autoimmune person?

Yes, I no longer experience a mid-afternoon crash. I sleep much better, sounder, at night, and I have successfully warded off die-uh-beet-us. 🙂

Closing Thoughts

While my kids do miss some foods, bread and pancakes, overall they enjoy the food we eat. They are very used to seeing most of their plates filled with vegetables now, but I want to be sure to emphasize that they were eased into it. It all began last summer adding vegetables to every meal. Once they were used to that, I put two vegetables on their plate every meal. So the change was gradual.

If you are trying to make a quick and sudden switch to the Autoimmune Protocol (or any diet!) from the standard American diet, I would expect it to be difficult for anyone, especially kids. Assuming your health needs are not urgent, start taking baby-steps today toward a healthier diet today!

My husband is the best. He is and has always been 100% supportive of any diet or health change I’ve wanted to make. In the area of health, he is usually the one leading the way with me following, dragging my feet (not an exaggeration, kicking and muttering-under-my-breath might be closer to the truth). So when I wanted to dive into this gluten-free thing a year ago, he was all in. He happily eats every meal I make – including spaghetti squash “oatmeal!” You see? He’s the best.

So just in case I haven’t been clear, I’m all in for the entire family eating the same food. The Autoimmune Protocol is strict, but it is healthy and good for all members of the family. If one member of the family has diet restrictions, then I think everyone should accept those restrictions as encouragement. Be sure to add in some grace where your family needs it though (hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, anyone?). The dining table is a great place to learn to eat odd/new/delicious/terrible foods and practice grace, love, and support of fellow family members.


Thoughts? Have you tried a drastic diet change? Did you include the rest of the family? How did it go, if you did?

Aside

Autoimmune Protocol | Egg Yolk Reintroduction

I am a Type 1 diabetic, managing my blood glucose levels through the Autoimmune Protocol and healthy lifestyle habits. I began my second round of the Autoimmune Protocol on February 19, 2018 to bring my blood sugar back into range after being exposed to dairy over the holidays of 2017. With 43 days of the elimination phase under my belt and an A1c of 5.8, I am ready to start my first reintroduction: egg yolk!


I’ve read many sources on the reintroduction phase, and there seems to be universal agreement that egg yolks should be accepted by just about any gut, even an autoimmune impaired one. Egg yolks are the most universally accepted item in the Stage 1 reintroductions. For reference, here are the reintroduction stages and foods to try in each stage:

Autoimmune protocol reintroduction phaseOn day 43, April 2, 2018, I made 2 egg yolks to go with my breakfast that morning. I really had no idea how to cook them, so I scrambled them. Do you know how much 2 scrambled egg yolks is? About a tablespoon. Ha! It was pathetic looking on my plate! Good thing I was not relying on the egg yolks to fill me up!

Family was in town that day so I had a normal busy morning playing and wrangling kids then we all headed out to eat for lunch before everyone headed home from the Easter weekend.

I thankfully remembered my glucometer and tested before lunch: 146.

Cue deflation and depression.

For reference, a normal non-diabetic’s blood glucose is around 100, and my normal for pre-lunch from the 2 weeks prior to this introduction was 105.

146 is high for me.

Rats.

For dinner that day, my blood glucose was 147 and at bedtime 146. What? So high! I’m seriously kicking myself now. Two little egg yolks just messed everything up.

The next morning confirmed it. I woke up at 163.

For the next 14 days, I was out of range for my blood glucose goals. Fourteen days! I’ve had mornings as high as 197 and pre-bed as high as 207. I’ve had nights where I was high and had no explanation, nothing to eat since dinner and dinner was not high in carbohydrates. And yet, my blood sugar was high come bedtime. There was even a day I test in the 170’s all day. All. Day.

My interpretation of this is my gut is re-inflamed.

I looked back in my food journal to when I had the duck egg at the beginning of Week 3 of the elimination period. Would you like to take a guess as to how long it took me to see normal results again? Fourteen days. At the time, I blamed our sickness and my sleep schedule being all messed up, but I’m thinking the more likely culprit was the egg.

The last two weeks have been very taxing on me emotionally. While I have felt just fine physically, each high reading gets me really down. Even knowing I would probably see improvement in two weeks did not really help to lift my spirits.

Let’s walk through my methods for this reintroduction, what I did well, what I did wrong, and where I plan to go from here. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t mess up your gut during reintroductions!

egg yolk reintroduction

What I did Well

Reintroduce only the egg yolk at first, avoid the egg white. The egg white can permeate the gut wall causing the autoimmune response to worsen. Surprisingly, I actually did this part correctly! I had two egg yolks scrambled for my reintroduction. 

Unfortunately, this is the only part I did right!

What I did Wrong

Steps to Reintroduction

  1. Take a small bite then monitor for a reaction for 10-15 minutes
  2. Take a normal-sized bite then monitor for a reaction for 2-3 hours
  3. Eat a normal serving then monitor the results for 3-7 days

I didn’t do any of that! I just cooked two egg yolks and gulped them down. The only monitoring I did was checking my blood sugar 4 hours later at lunch, and as you know, that was high.

Blood sugar doesn’t react as rapidly as an allergic reaction, but I wonder what my blood sugar would have done if I’d followed the steps above? At the very least, I may have discovered the elevated levels before I ate 2 egg yolks. Maybe I could have lessened the damage to my gut.

Pasture-Raise, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free Eggs

I had read that quality of the egg mattered, but I didn’t really believe it. The eggs I ate were the cage-free, organic ones from Costco. Obviously, that wasn’t high enough quality! They are not pasture-raised, likely not soy-free, and I have no idea about wheat-free.

Where to Go from Here?

As you might be able to tell from this post, I’m not exactly posting in real time. I’m giving myself a couple weeks to analyze results and share with you. Currently, I am on Day 58 of the Autoimmune Protocol, and I can absolutely see why people are on this diet for a year or more before they feel healed and know what they can eat. Reintroducing foods is hard!

I’m going to give myself another week or so to stabilize my blood sugar. Once I am confident that I’ve returned to my normal, then I’ll reintroduce the next food.

Eggs are not on my list for next reintroduction. 🙂 It’s hard on me emotionally to fail. I hate seeing high reading after high reading for 2 weeks following an introduction. So I’m going to seek out a win before I go back to eggs (Also I need to find a source for pasture-raised, soy & wheat-free eggs!).

Next, I am thinking of trying sesame oil. I like to cook Korean food, and when I leave out the sesame oil, the flavor is really lacking! Sesame oil would be a big win for me in the cooking-tasty-meals department.

Finally, I plan to actually follow the steps for reintroducing foods and document this process better. Here is my plan for reintroducing foods on the Autoimmune Protocol, as a Type 1 Diabetic:

  1. Test blood sugar for a baseline.
  2. Take 1 small bite of the new food. Wait 15 minutes then test blood sugar again. If the result is reasonably close to the baseline (which I think it will be, not sure how quickly blood sugar can react.), go on to step 2.
  3. Take 1 normal bite of the new food. Wait 2 hours then test blood sugar again. If the result is higher than 150, consider the food a fail. If less than 150, go on to step 4.
  4. Eat a normal serving of the food. Continue on normal blood sugar testing routine (fasting, pre-lunch, pre-dinner, and pre-bed) and monitor the results.

Egg yolks were a failed reintroduction on the Autoimmune Protocol. Ingesting two scrambled egg yolks resulted in higher than normal blood sugar levels for 14 days. Since I did not follow the reintroduction steps exactly, I will try to reintroduce egg yolks again, but I will be waiting a few weeks or months to let my blood sugar stabilize and gut heal.


How do you handle let-downs in your life? Don’t give up! Keep pressing on, the results might not be visible right away!

AIP Reintroduction Egg Yolk