Will The Real AIP Please Stand Up

Recently, while going through one of my social media feeds, I came across a description of the AIP that disturbed me. It described AIP as “a very strict form of paleo”. It wasn’t just words. It was the combination of the words and the tone of the post that upset me. A few days later, on a different social media site, written by a different paleo blogger, I saw the same description once again. This time I knew something was up.

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Will The Real AIP Please Stand Up by Paleo Cajun Lady

It’s descriptions like that one that scare people, who could benefit from the AIP, away from trying it. Frankly, I find it terribly irresponsible, especially when coming from others in the paleo community. Our first responsibility should be to accurately describe all healing protocols to our readers. And, by accurately, I mean with the facts.

Facts about the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)

Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach, and also known as The Paleo Mom,  is the modern expert on all things AIP. She is a scientist and master researcher on autoimmune disease and it’s relation to diet and lifestyle factors. She also suffers from autoimmune diseases. She has provided the autoimmune community with a plethora of information on nutrition, sleep, adrenal fatigue, exercise, scientific studies, and so much more. Anything you need to know about the AIP can be found in her books or on her website. She also has a real compassion for those of us suffering from autoimmune disease, as she is one of us.
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The elimination phase is strict. I wouldn’t, however, describe it as “very strict”. You will still have plenty of foods to choose from. Just take one look at my Instagram feed; and, you’ll see I’m not suffering. Plus, it isn’t meant to last forever! That’s right, I said it. The elimination phase is only part of the AIP. Now, it is a very important part. You’re basically eliminating all foods that could be feeding your already amped up immune system. There is actual science behind the elimination of these foods and the improvement in autoimmune symptoms. Once you have healed your gut, and put most or all of your symptoms into remission, you move on to the reintroduction phase. In this phase, you start methodically adding foods back into your diet. Most people are able to reintroduce foods such as eggs, spices, and even white rice back into their diets. Fact is, the AIP elimination phase does not last forever.

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is not just for people with autoimmune disease. Many people have found relief of psychological, neurological, and other health conditions on the AIP. Some discovered food allergies, they didn’t even know they had. It’s a great protocol to help kick start your health journey.

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Dishes from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

The Autoimmune Protocol does not cause disordered eating. In fact, it teaches you how to eat nutrient dense foods to complement your healing. When followed properly, it can help you to avoid unhealthy foods with questionable ingredients, which can be harmful to anyone. Learning to cook and eat real foods is actually healthy. Just because someone turns down a potentially harmful paleo treat containing guar gum, doesn’t mean they’re suffering disordered eating. It actually means they’re smart. Read the science behind guar gum and other potentially harmful ingredients here.

Fact is, there is a lot of misinformation being spread about the AIP. I urge you to seek out only those sources with The Paleo Approach Approved seal. We go through a rigorous vetting process to earn this seal. We are expected to live up to the standards set by Sarah Ballantyne in The Paleo Approach. We work tirelessly to provide you with the most helpful autoimmune topics, scientific data, resources and let’s not forget, the best AIP recipes on the internet and beyond.

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The more informed you are, the better prepared you are to make decisions about your health. Let’s not get confused by bad information, put out by people with no skin in the game. Get your information from people who live in the trenches of autoimmune disease and other medical conditions. We walk the walk and talk the talk. We don’t ask you to do anything we’re not doing ourselves. We’re not super-humans or freaks for taking our health into our own hands and following a “very strict form of paleo”. We are autoimmune warriors, fighting very real, and often serious diseases. Our willpower is strong. But, our will to survive is even stronger!

Has the AIP helped you? I would love to hear your story. Please, share in comments, or email me at tara@paleocajunlady.com.

As always, my fellow autoimmune warriors, I wish you good health…and good eating!

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Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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8 Replies to “Will The Real AIP Please Stand Up”

  1. Love this post! I really feel like I get much more enjoyment out of my food since I’ve been following AIP. Once I got used to the new array of foods I could eat, there was no stopping me!
    I do think a lot of the success of AIP has to do with the state of mind of the person doing it. If you think you’re being deprived then it’s really not going to be a great experience. If, on the other hand, you view AIP as a huge learning opportunity (which it really is!) then the success you will experience will more than outweigh any initial inconvenience.
    Thanks for sharing this, Tara 🙂

    1. Thank you Kirstie! I feel the same way you do. I think we’ve all discovered new ways to enjoy foods. But, it truly is a state of mind. A person has to want to feel better and be willing to do what is necessary to feel better. Between the two of us, and all the other approved AIP bloggers out there, we provide plenty of amazing AIP recipes for everyone to successfully and happily follow the AIP. Btw, I’ll be making your Meat & 3 Veg Meatballs later today! Yay!

  2. VERY well said Tara! I totally agree that it is totally irresponsible to be touting AIP as “a really strict form of Paleo” it is a HEALING Form of Paleo designed to help reduce inflammation caused by Autoimmune Disease.

    Thank you for taking a stand and I stand with you

    1. Thanks Emma! It means so much that you stand with me. Your description of the AIP is perfect. It’s advocates, like us, who need to get the most accurate information on autoimmune, to all of those who need it the most. Thanks for all you do as well!

  3. Fantastic post, Tara. I think in many ways it’s no different than people following a SAD diet talking smack about the “not so strict” general paleo guidelines. It’s just a mix of ignorant people and those that bury their heads in the sand and don’t want to entertain the thought that what they’re eating {psyllium husk anyone?} could actually be doing their bodies harm. *gasp*

    1. Thanks Erin! What you’re saying is so true. I just don’t understand when people that should, and probably do, know better, put the science aside to push their own products or services. It also doesn’t help when people are not suffering from an autoimmune or other medical condition, but feel the need to weigh in as to what’s best for us. I prefer to learn from those walking the walk and talking the talk. It’s funny you bring up the psyllium husk topic. I fell victim to bad information, from my gastroenterologist and others, on the use of psyllium husk. On the suggestion from several AIP bloggers, like yourself, and Sarah Ballantyne, I stopped using it. My stomach issues improved almost immediately. It’s much better to learn through those who have been there before, not those who are using speculation.

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