What Makes My Life Ten Times Easier on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Part II

qrdhsllomha5gIn my last post, I detailed how meal planning and plotting out 4-5 meals a week, PLUS making one or two soups for the week helps me get by and avoid getting hangry. Because no wants to be hangry.

What also helps? Knowing what foods and ingredients I can use, and where I can get them (for cheap!). There’s varying levels of “thrift” to describe shoppers and I’m somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of thrift and extravagance. But if there’s one thing I LOVE to do, it’s getting a good deal! When you start the autoimmune protocol, it’s quite possible you’ll be spending some dough building up your pantry with some new-to-you ingredients, and I have great news: There’s a thrifty way to do that!

Enter Thrive Market.

If you haven’t heard of it, Thrive Market is described as “Whole Foods meets Costco.” It’s pantry, grocery and some household items at “wholesale prices” and they cater to gluten-free, paleo, etc. You can register for free and begin a free 30-day membership trial, where your first order is 15% off! If you decide to join, it’s an annual fee of $59, which, in my experience, I quickly surpassed in savings!

Here’s what I love to buy from Thrive Market:

Do you shop at Thrive? If so, what do you love??

What Makes My Life Ten Times Easier on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)

I’ve been following the autoimmune protocol for almost two years now, minus that one time I was pregnant and had a major aversion to all the foods I had been eating and just consumed whatever I wanted for a while! However, since having the baby, I’ve learned I continue to feel and operate best when I stick closest to the protocol and try not to obsess and stress over the few times or occasions when things don’t exactly work out the way I want/plan for it to (thank you, growth, and flexibility, for not morphing me into a neurotic orthorexic person!)

Having said all that, though, there are a couple of things that make doing the AIP infinitely easier. Do you want to know what they are?!

Meal Plans

I know. Rocket Science, right? The hardest part when you start AIP is figuring out “what in the world am I going to eat?” When you see the list of things to avoid it can immediately and initially feel depressing, like life will never be enjoyable again. I totally get that. Once you focus on what you CAN eat, and how it’s helping heal your body, though, life will start to lighten up and you can experience hope again. The great news is is that in the two years since I started AIP the internet has exploded in terms of AIP bloggers and therefore the AIP community is massive and super supportive to anyone wanting to work towards better health and realignment of autoimmune issues. One of our greatest fears is being ALONE and this community will ensure you never feel that way! Although I haven’t found a ton of people working through scleroderma issues while on AIP, since it all ties back to an inherent issue in the gut, I know I’m still walking alongside people who make gains, sometimes experience setbacks, but are also reclaiming aspects of their lives that were broken or not working. *heavenly chorus*

Back to meal plans. So, what you need to get your hands on are some AIP cookbooks or websites with tons of yummy recipes so you can get your tastebuds inspired and your body fueled. Ain’t no one got time for a cranky person, most especially you!

Here’s a few places to start:

And seriously, that ain’t even the [sixth] of it. There’s like 40 billion more where that came from. Google “AIP + ________ (whatever meal you’ve been craving)” and it’s quite likely someone has come up with a recipe for it!

I’m not a super scheduled strict person, but I do like having options, so what I like to do is find 4-5 recipes to try for dinners for the week, grocery shop according to that, and then I always have some options each night for dinner and hopefully leftovers for lunches and sometimes breakfasts. (I often do smoothies, AIP waffles, or bacon/sausages & veggies & fruit, or soup for my breakfast.)

I have a couple more tips, but this is getting long so we’re going to keep it short today and I’ll add more tips later. My last tip for today is to make one or two batches of a soup at the beginning of the week that you can eat from for any meal if you’re in a hurry. This was part of my survival strategy when I began AIP and I like to continue it even now.

My favorite soups:

Make one of those soups on Saturday or Sunday and then whenever you’re in a pickle you always have something ready to go, PLUS it’ll contain the gut-boosting gelatin from the bone broth we all so desperately need! Ready to win?