A step-by-step guide to the auto-immune protocol diet 

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet is a powerful tool designed to help individuals manage autoimmune diseases by reducing inflammation and promoting gut health.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to get you started on the AIP elimination diet.


Step 1: Preparation: 

Educate Yourself

The AIP diet eliminates foods that are inflammatory and potentially harmful to the gut, focusing on nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.

Studies show that the AIP diet, which follows principles of the Paleo diet, is a great way to eliminate processed foods and slowly reintroduce them so you can determine what foods are triggering your illness and making you feel sick.

Read books or trusted online resources about AIP, such as "The Paleo Approach" by Sarah Ballantyne, or AIP websites and blogs.

Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Before making any major dietary changes, especially if you have a chronic condition, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s safe for you.

Plan Your Meals

Create a meal plan for at least the first week. This helps you stay on track and reduces the temptation to eat non-compliant foods.

Stock up on AIP-compliant foods and remove non-compliant items from your pantry and fridge. Keep reading for a brief guide on foods to consider eliminating as you make your meal plan.


Step 2: Elimination Phase

Understand What to Eliminate

  • All grains (including corn, rice, wheat, oats, barley, rye)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts, soy)
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers)
  • Processed foods
  • Refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and food additives
If you are vegan or vegetarian, be sure that protein-rich plant foods are one of the first things you reintroduce to avoid protein deficiency.

Focus on What to Eat

Consume nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods

Meats and fish: Preferably organic and grass-fed or wild-caught.

Vegetables: All except for nightshades. Include leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and root vegetables.

Fruits: In moderation.

Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and fat from grass-fed animals.

Herbs and spices: Except those derived from seeds.

Hydrate properly

Drink plenty of water. Herbal teas are also allowed.

Track your food and symptoms

Keep a food diary to track what you eat and any symptoms or changes in your health.

Step 3: Reintroduction Phase

After 30-90 Days

If you are vegan or vegetarian, consider reintroducing protein-rich foods sooner, depending on your symptoms and results.

Either way, be sure to work closely with your doctor in order to make sure you are staying safe during the elimination and reintroduction phase.

Once you have maintained the elimination phase for at least 30 days and symptoms have significantly improved, you can start the reintroduction phase.

Reintroduce Foods One at a Time

Reintroduce one food every 5-7 days to monitor for any adverse reactions.

Start with foods that are least likely to cause a reaction and gradually move to more problematic ones.

Monitor Reactions

Pay attention to any changes in symptoms, such as digestive issues, skin reactions, or joint pain. Keep detailed notes in your food diary; don’t rely on memory! If you have a symptom of any kind, write it down. That way, you can recognize the patterns that happen in your health.

Decide What to Include

If a food causes a reaction, eliminate it again and try reintroducing it later.

If no reaction occurs, it may be safe to permanently include that food in your diet.


Step 4: Long-Term Maintenance

Customize Your Diet

Based on your reintroduction phase, customize your long-term diet to include safe foods while avoiding those that trigger symptoms.

Focus on Nutrient Density

Continue to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods to support overall health.

Lifestyle Factors

Incorporate other lifestyle factors such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, and spending time outdoors.

Tips for Success

  • Stay patient and consistent -The AIP diet requires commitment and patience. Results can take time, so stay consistent.
  • Seek support - Our personalized nutrition programs can help you learn how to build a diet that will help you feel better and see results!
  • Listen to your body - Everyone’s response to the AIP diet is unique. Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust accordingly.
By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully navigate the Autoimmune Protocol elimination diet and potentially improve your health and well-being.

Remember, the goal is to reduce inflammation, heal your gut, and identify food triggers that may be exacerbating your autoimmune condition.

Need some more help? Give us a call! Let our certified fitness and nutrition experts guide you through a personalized program designed to help you take charge of your health.

Mint Condition Fitness empowers people to take control of their fitness and fully enjoy the life they have built.