AIP Basics for Thriving with Autoimmunity

AIP Basics for Thriving with Autoimmunity

Although the autoimmune numbers are on the rise, there’s no need to panic, fellow Thrivers. In the realm of health and wellness, science and research are our trusty sidekicks in battling against misinformationAnd with that, join us as we embark on a journey into the inspiring world of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) – a beacon of hope for those navigating the twists and turns of autoimmunity.

What is AIP?

Imagine your body as a fortress, and sometimes, the guards get a bit confused and start attacking the wrong things. That, dear friends, is autoimmunity in a nutshell. Now, here’s where AIP steps in like a profound wizard, helping your body’s guards get back on track.

No complicated spells here! The Autoimmune Protocol is like a set of guidelines for the superhero within you [1]. It’s a way of eating that focuses on the good stuff – nutrient-packed foods that boost your superpowers and calm down the commotion in your fortress.

Food Choices: The Realm of Heroes and Villains

In the world of autoimmunity, our food choices become the battleground where heroes and villains clash. It’s a realm where the right choices can empower us to thrive, while the wrong ones can trigger inflammation and hinder our progress.

AIP-Friendly Foods: The Super Squad

In the grand saga of AIP, our heroes emerge in the form of AIP-friendly (or -compliant) foods – the true champions in our quest for well-being! First, let’s shine a light on these heroes [2]

AIP-Friendly Foods

Imagine sweet potatoes and berries donning capes, swooping in to save the day. These nutrient-packed powerhouses are here to fuel your journey to thriving with a flair for health.

Sweet Potatoes: With a burst of vitamins and fiber, sweet potatoes are the unsung heroes of AIP. They can be mashed, baked, or roasted – a true culinary superhero!

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – these tiny AIP staples are loaded with antioxidants, fighting off free radicals like noble defenders [3]. They not only taste like a treat but also support your immune system like a champ!

… but wait, there’s more! Our AIP-friendly food heroes have an extended team of superfoods ready to join the fight for your well-being. 

  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are like the wise mentors of the AIP world. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, they provide essential nourishment and support for your body’s healing journey [4].
  • Wild-Caught Fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines swim into action as the omega-3 champions. These fatty fish are not only delicious but also provide anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to calm the immune system and promote overall wellness [5].
  • Coconut: Ah, the versatile coconut! From coconut oil to coconut milk and shredded coconut, this tropical wonder adds a touch of flavor and healthy fats to your AIP meals [6]. It’s like the sidekick that’s always there to lend a helping hand.
  • Grass-Fed Meats: Grass-fed beef, lamb, and other pasture-raised meats step up as the protein powerhouses. They provide essential amino acids and important nutrients to support muscle repair and overall vitality [7].

Not-So-Friendly Foods: The Mischievous Munchies

Now, let’s meet the mischievous munchies, the not-so-friendly foods that might try to create mischief in our autoimmune adventure. Picture them as cheeky troublemakers who need a gentle yet firm reminder of their place through the AIP in the culinary universe.

Inflammatory Foods

  • Gluten – The Sneaky Saboteur: Gluten, the mischievous mastermind, can wreak havoc on your immune system. Say goodbye to gluten, and you’ll bid farewell to a troublesome foe [8].
  • Dairy – The Tricky Trickster: Dairy, with its lactose antics, might not seem like a big deal at first, but it can be a sneaky trickster when it comes to autoimmune health. It has been known to cause inflammation and digestive issues for many individuals. By eliminating dairy from your diet, you’ll be one step closer to reclaiming your wellness.
  • Nightshades – The Mysterious Magician: Nightshades, like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, may seem innocent, but they possess a mysterious element that can trigger inflammation in some people with autoimmune conditions [9]. By waving your wand (or a finger) and rejecting nightshades from your plate, you’ll be conjuring up a recipe for success on your autoimmune adventure.
  • Processed Foods – The Crafty Culprit: Processed foods, those sly culprits, often hide harmful additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients that can disrupt your immune system and overall well-being. By steering clear of these crafty troublemakers and opting for whole, nutrient-dense foods, you’ll be nourishing your body and supporting your autoimmune journey.
  • Sugar – The Sweet Seducer: Sugar, the sweet seducer, can be very appealing, but it can also wreak havoc on your immune system and contribute to inflammation [10]. By reducing your intake of refined sugars and opting for natural sweeteners in moderation, you’ll be taking a step towards taming this mischievous munchie.

Thrive with AIP: Tips and Tricks

Buckle up, Thrivers! We’ve reached the treasure trove of Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) wisdom – the land of practical hacks to kick off your journey through autoimmune management. Ready to unveil the secrets? Let’s dive in:

1. AIP-Friendly Kitchen Magic

  • Turn your kitchen into a sanctuary of healing.
  • Swap out the villains (processed foods) with superhero alternatives (fresh, whole foods).
  • Get creative with AIP-approved recipes – it’s a culinary adventure!

Here are some of our flavorful favorites (listed in no particular order!): 

2. Meal Prep Mastery

  • Plan like a pro to conquer mealtime mayhem.
  • Batch cooking is your new best friend – save time, savor flavor.

  • Prep AIP-friendly snacks for those superhero energy boosts throughout the day. Great snack options include:
    • Veggie Sticks with Guacamole: Slice up crunchy vegetables like carrots, celery, and cucumber, and pair them with a delicious homemade guacamole. Avocado is a nutrient-dense food that provides healthy fats and fiber, while the veggies add a refreshing crunch.
    • AIP Trail Mix: Create your own trail mix using AIP-approved ingredients like coconut flakes, dried fruits (such as unsweetened cranberries or apricots), and tigernuts. This mix provides a satisfying combination of flavors and textures.
    • Baked Plantain Chips: Slice green plantains into thin rounds, toss them with olive oil, and bake until crispy. These homemade plantain chips are a tasty alternative to traditional potato chips and can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a great dip like this salsa or guacamole.
    • Coconut Yogurt Parfait: Layer coconut yogurt with fresh berries and AIP-friendly granola made from ingredients like coconut flakes, chopped tigernuts, and dried fruits. This parfait is not only delicious but also packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber.
    • AIP Smoothie: Blend together a combination of AIP-friendly fruits like berries, mango, or pineapple with coconut milk or water. You can also add a scoop of collagen powder or a handful of spinach for an extra nutritional boost. Smoothies are a convenient and refreshing way to fuel your body with essential nutrients.

3. Supercharge Your Gut Health

  • Embrace gut-loving goodies – fermented foods are your AIP allies.
  • Probiotics: the sidekicks your gut needs for a flourishing microbiome.
  • Hydrate like a superhero – water is the elixir of life.

4. Stress-Busting Strategies

  • Stress? Not in our superhero handbook!
  • Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation into your daily routine.
  • Dance it out, meditate, or indulge in your favorite AIP-friendly hobby.

Embracing the Healing Power of Community Behind AIP

In a world where autoimmunity can sometimes feel like a solo quest, the healing magic lies in community. Science whispers that social connection isn’t just a feel-good concept; it’s a potent elixir for the body and soul [11]. As we navigate the twists and turns of our autoimmune adventures, the supportive embrace of a community becomes a powerful catalyst for healing.

Picture this: a virtual circle of fellow Thrivers sharing triumphs, setbacks, and a sprinkle of laughter. It’s not just about understanding; it’s about feeling understood. We’re all on this rollercoaster ride together, and the camaraderie within our community as well your family, friends, and healthcare team are the secret sauce that turns challenges into victories, and moments into milestones. ⭐️

Embracing Your AIP Journey

As you embark on your AIP adventure, learn to embrace the superhero within you! At BrightlyThrive, The Autoimmunity Community™,  we believe that true healing unfolds when you bring your authentic self to the table. Let your quirks shine, your uniqueness dazzle, and your authenticity be the guiding light on your AIP journey. Because, hey, being you is the superpower that makes this one heck of a journey uniquely yours!

AIP Lifestyle


[1] Rd, A. P. M. (2023, May 30). AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) Diet: A Beginner’s Guide. Healthline. 

[2] Abbott, R. D., Sadowski, A., & Alt, A. G. (2019, April 27). Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Cureus.

[3] Eat these fruits for their anti-inflammatory benefits. (2023, October 20). Harvard Health.

[4] Hidaka, A., Harrison, T. A., Cao, Y., Sakoda, L. C., Barfield, R., Giannakis, M., Song, M., Phipps, A. I., Figueiredo, J. C., Zaidi, S. H. E., Toland, A. E., Amitay, E. L., Berndt, S. I., Borozan, I., Chan, A. T., Gallinger, S., Gunter, M. J., Guinter, M. A., Harlid, S., . . . Peters, U. (2020, October 15).Intake of Dietary Fruit, Vegetables, and Fiber and Risk of Colorectal Cancer According to Molecular Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis of 9 Studies. Cancer Research.

[5] Camerlingo, C. (2023, August 4). Modulation of inflammation and immunity by omega-3 fatty acids: a possible role for prevention and to halt disease progression in autoimmune, viral, and age-related disorders. European Review.

[6] Van Tiggelen, S. (2019, April 24). What’s the Deal with Coconut Milk? Is it even Paleo AIP? | A Squirrel in the Kitchen. A Squirrel in the Kitchen. 

[7] Owens, R. (n.d.). Grain-Fed vs Grass-Fed Beef- What’s the Difference? N.C. Cooperative Extension.

[8] What Is Gluten and What Does It Do? (2021, October 13). Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

[9] Rubin, A. (2023, September 27). Nightshades and Autoimmune Disease. Annie Rubin. 

[10] How sugar promotes inflammation. (2022, March 22). ScienceDaily. 

[11] House, J. S., Landis, K. R., & Umberson, D. (1988, July 29). Social Relationships and Health. Science, 241(4865), 540–545.