Howdy! Thanks for dropping in today to see what’s new at Flawed yet Functional. I am a Type 1 Diabetic managing my blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and healthy habits without additional insulin. Through an elimination diet called the Autoimmune Protocol, I’ve been able to identify the trigger of my autoimmune disease (gluten) as well as other gut irritants (dairy and eggs, so far!). While it might seem like I have nothing to eat, I assure you my diet is not only varied but extremely satisfying. Today, I’d like to show you my essentials for an AIP or Paleo pantry to give you ideas for alternatives if you are thinking of walking down the AIP or Paleo road.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links which just means if you purchase from the links provided, I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you! At Flawed yet Functional, I only reference products that have real value that I actually use.
What is a Paleo Kitchen?
Let’s set the ground rules for you are new kitchen standards. A Paleo kitchen is free from any gluten grains or non-gluten grains. All grains are off-limits with paleo. Paleo does not limit spices like the autoimmune protocol does. Just to be thorough though I have included which spices are AIP reintroduction for your information.
Basically, a Paleo kitchen is the bare necessities you need to cook fresh, Whole Food. It doesn’t have pre-packaged or processed food. It does not rely on frozen dinners, except the occasional Frozen vegetable. It’s the kind of kitchen, minus gluten of course, that you might have seen and your grandma’s house growing up.
Let’s dive into the Paleo kitchen essentials! What dry goods, spices, vinegars and oils, and snacks should you have on hand when living the Paleo lifestyle?
Paleo Kitchen Essentials
Baking is not something that is a daily or weekly event at my house. Processed food, even when processed by me, is not handled well by my body. My pancreas is roughly 80% dead so sweets and highly processed flours (even gluten-free ones) are rough on my blood sugar. That being said, I try to make treats for my family every now and then so I do keep some Paleo-approved baking items.
Non-gluten baking items spoil very quickly, so my list of necessary dry goods is broken down into ones that are shelf-stable and ones that are kept in the freezer.
Other Baking Ingredients
Baking Powder (gluten-free)
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Vinegar and Oils/Fats
Oils and fats are a staple in the AIP and Paleo diets. They make a meal more tasty and satisfying and keep you full longer. In fact, if I am finding myself hungry in between meals, then at the next meal I put a tablespoon or so of coconut oil on my vegetables and find I am full and satisfied until the next meal. Seriously! Try it!
Because I believe fat is good for you, I use oils and fats daily and liberally. Vinegars are used a couple times a week as a meal needs it.
Apple cider vinegar
Variety of infused vinegars for salad dressing ( blueberry, lemongrass, lemon, Etc)
My husband and I were avid cooks before beginning this healing-through-food journey. Because of that, we have a lot of spices. I’m sorry, I meant to say A LOT of spices. The picture below is about half of what we own. Some are in large containers in another cabinet and the infrequently used ones are in the freezer. The ones listed below are used daily or weekly, and I’d consider them bare minimums.
Black pepper (AIP reintroduction)
Cardamom (AIP reintroduction)
Cayenne pepper (AIP reintroduction)
Celery seed (AIP reintroduction)
Chili powder (AIP reintroduction)
Cloves (AIP reintroduction)
Cream of Tartar
Mustard (AIP reintroduction)
For the most part, I tried to avoid traditional canned goods. Since the reintroduction of nightshades, I have found myself purchasing canned tomato products and a couple of other items around the holidays.
Can goods are not bad in and of themselves. However, I would be careful to read the can to make sure it is BPA free and buy the most natural, least-additives version of whatever you want to purchase. When it comes to vegetables, err on the side of frozen versus canned.
That being said, there are several things I keep on hand to make life easier.
Coconut milk, full-fat
Diced tomatoes (AIP reintroduction)
Tomato sauce (AIP reintroduction)
This segment is such a tough one to handle for those switching from the standard American diet. Basically everything in the snack aisles at the grocery store is off-limits. So what does one snack on??? Below is my shortlist of go-to’s, and yes, it is short. Can I tell you a secret?
If you are feeding your body properly at mealtime, you don’t need to snack (If you’re an adult.).
Gasp! Not snack??? Did I lose some of you there? What I’m saying is true, but don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Change your diet, and see if your urge for snack is still present. That being said, this is my list of go-to’s when I do need something in between meals.
Celery sticks and almond butter (AIP reintroduction)
Chocolate chips (AIP reintroduction) – gluten, dairy, egg, and soy-free
Raw nuts – almonds & pecans (AIP reintroduction)
Tea – peppermint & hot cinnamon spice are my favorites
Raw vegetables – carrots, celery, cucumbers
LARABAR (AIP reintroduction)
A Paleo pantry (or AIP) is much simpler than a typical American pantry. There’s a beauty in simplicity though. Many, many dishes with a wide variety of flavors are possible with this concise pantry.
Are you dabbling into the land of Paleo or AIP? What concerns you the most when it comes to stocking your kitchen?