I’ve followed the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for a little over a year now. This particular way of eating, essentially takes the grain-free, legume-free, Paleo way of eating, and takes it up a notch by further eliminating foods that can cause inflammation. Gone are the Paleo staples of eggs and nuts, and say goodbye to the ‘Primal’ dairy foods, along with seeds (including chocolate), and nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and peppers of all kinds.
While doing AIP is initially very restrictive (the most common question being: “What the heck am I going to eat for breakfast?”), there is the life-changing benefit of keeping autoimmune disease under control, and reducing inflammation conditions. For me, it’s been the difference between living with chronically itchy, and inflamed, sensitive skin, and only experiencing minor flare-ups during allergy season, with stress, or when inadvertently eating something that I probably shouldn’t.
Now the great thing about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol is that in theory, if your gut has healed sufficiently by staying away from foods that irritate and inflame it, you should eventually be able to re-introduce some of these former food intolerances again without experiencing symptoms. Because I had food intolerance testing done, I used my test results as a guide to re-introducing foods for myself. But what do you do, if you’ve decided to try AIP and you’d like to bring back some foods? What do you re-introduce first? How do you know if a food is okay for you? What do you do if a food you re-introduce causes an autoimmune flare?
Well, the re-introduction process is a lot of self-experimentation, but luckily, Eileen Laird of Phoenix Helix has taken some of the guesswork out of that experiment with her eBook, ‘Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune rotocol’.
Eileen walks you through the whole reintroduction process, each step laid out, including suggestions on which foods to reintroduce (and in what order), tips on how to keep a symptom journal, and what to do should you experience an autoimmune flare (which is a possibility when you find you’re still intolerant to a food you’ve tried reintroducing). On top of this helpful guidance and encouragement, Eileen has included over 20 simple recipes to help you re-introduce specific foods without introducing too many other variables – that is, only introducing one new, non-AIP food at a time.
One of the first foods I re-introduced after strictly adhering to the autoimmune protocol was cocoa. Why? Well, first off, I really enjoy dark chocolate – who doesn’t? And secondly, according to my food intolerance testing results, I didn’t test as having any sensitivity to chocolate, so it seemed like a safe place to start. Eileen has kindly allowed me to share her recipe for homemade chocolate that will safely let you test if you can reintroduce cocoa back into your diet after having done at least a month of the autoimmune protocol. This simple chocolate recipe makes for a nice little treat for anyone 🙂
I highly recommend Eileen’s book if you’re feeling a little lost or confused about the reintroduction process. AIP is already hard enough, so any additional help is always appreciated. If you’re looking for other books on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, I highly recommend Sarah Balantyne’s book,’ The Paleo Approach‘, or if you’re looking for AIP-compliant recipes and meal plans, check out Mickey Trescott’s ‘The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook‘. And finally, if you’re looking to indulge in AIP-friendly frozen treats this summer, check out the eBook I co-authored with Jennifer Robins, ‘We Can ALL Scream for Ice Cream’.
Have questions about doing the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol? Leave me a message in the comments!
- 6 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1-3 Tbsp. raw honey (to taste)
- 6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
- sea salt
- In small saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat.
- Add the vanilla and honey. Stir to blend.
- Add the cocoa and stir until it dissolves.
- Turn off heat.
- Pour chocolate into small glass measuring cup, for easy pouring into your candy mold. This recipe makes approximately 3/4 cup of melted chocolate.
- Sprinkle the chocolates with sea salt and put in freezer for 2 hours.
- Pop the chocolates out of the mold, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. (They will melt at room temperature.)
If you don’t have a candy mold, double the recipe and pour the chocolate onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Freeze the same way and then break into small pieces