Why I Eat AIP

Kat Cline
Food Blogger/Recipe Developer/Owner of The Primordial Table

Why I Eat AIP
"I decided to start a food blog to document recipes I've tried or created that I've enjoyed. First of all, this is not about telling others the "right" way to eat. This is not about promoting or condemning others' diet choices. And this is not about holding myself accountable to a "diet". This is about sharing good food with interested individuals. This is about sharing information with individuals who want to learn more. But also, this is about keeping track of recipes to help me maintain a lifestyle that I've found works for me."

So that's originally how the blog started. I ate Paleo/Primal/Ancestral Health for almost two years with somewhat less than satisfying results. I was feeling pretty ok, definitely better than before, but never great. I never got the results everyone else was raving about, but I was eating good and figured it was just a matter of time. I'll stick to my guns, show everyone how it's done, and see how everything goes. I got this. What else was there to it?

And then the summer of nightshades happened. I ate salsa on everything, like literally EVERYTHING. Salsa on my eggs and avocado for breakfast, salsa on my chicken and bacon for lunch, salsa on my steak kabobs for dinner. Snacks of plantain chips and salsa. Did I mention that I love salsa? And I started eating lots of white potatoes, because I started following the Perfect Health Diet (it's still a great diet, just not for me at the moment) and potatoes were safe again! Tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, tomatillos, and eggplants galore. It was heaven on my tongue and my taste buds threw parties every day at the flavorful excitement. I started enjoying spicy foods. Yep, me. The wimp. The girl that used to cry over mild salsa and too much black pepper. I craved it. Such a beautiful summer full of lots of delicious, fresh, flavorful, healthy foods.

Except that I started to feel sicker. The healthier and healthier I ate, the more I noticed constant joint pains and my scalp started to itch more and more. My scalp started feeling crusty in certain spots. And then the horror happened. I remember it clearly. I was at a bar with some friends singing karaoke when I ran to the bathroom because my scalp was itching so badly. A certain spot stuck, so I pulled at it and came away with a thick clump of hair. It was a moment you see in the movies. I remember staring at myself in the mirror, awestruck with this horrified terror to see such a thick clump of hair in my hand that should be still attached to my head. I knew without checking that there was a bald spot where there should have been hair. I checked anyways. I wanted to cry.

At 24, I didn't want to be bald. I didn't have cancer. I didn't have alopecia. I wasn't old. I was tired of having digestive issues, tired of feeling run down with no energy, tired of being overweight, tired of being depressed and moody and irritable, tired of feeling like I had no control over my own body. So I stopped avoiding the obvious. My psoriasis was out of control. I swallowed the tears, and accepted that it was time to take things further. I started the Autoimmune Protocol less than two months later, and I haven't looked back.

I am finally losing weight a lot quicker than I ever dreamed. I am finally pain free more days than not. I don't have constant gastrointestinal discomfort. My nails and hair are growing much better (all my bald spots filled back in). My moods are more consistent, and I'm overall much happier than most of my adult life since starting college as a freshman. I'm taking control. I'm not healed all the way. I still have good days and bad days. But I'm still documenting my healing journey through food. I'm still not condemning anyone for their food choices (although I am promoting the Autoimmune Protocol if its right for you). I'm still all about sharing information with those who seek it. And I'm definitely still all about sharing good food with interested individuals.

I'm currently eating a modified AIP that works for me. I've done the elimination period for several months and controlled most of my symptoms before reintroducing. I know certain foods that work well for me and don't cause issues, so I've added them back in. So here's how I eat AIP:

What I eat (ideally)*:
  • Real & natural ("grass-fed", "pastured", etc) animal products (muscle meats, organs, bones/tendons for broths, fats for cooking, etc.), preferentially fatty and varied (beef, poultry, pork, game, seafood) 
  • Starchy vegetables/fruits (like plantains and root vegetables) 
  • Other vegetables, preferentially leafy greens 
  • Fruits, preferentially berries 
  • A few non-animal fats, namely coconut, avocado, and olive 
Foods I've reintroduced:
  • Eggs (farm fresh from free-range, soy-free chickens)
  • Ghee
  • Seed-based spices (black pepper, mustard, coriander, cardamom)
  • Fresh legumes (green peas and green beans)
What I don't eat (or try to avoid as much as possible)*:
  • Grains, whole, refined, or processed (including corn) 
  • Industrial seed oils (soy, peanut, canola, vegetable, etc.) 
  • Legumes, especially soy and peanut 
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, eggplants, goji berries)
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Dairy

*Adapted from an email from Kyle Cline.