Just thought I'd share the simplicity of my meals on the Autoimmune Protocol. You can't get a lot easier than this. You can make complicated recipes if you like, and I will do that on occasion, but there is a simple rhythm to my meals these days: protein, produce, fat. I pictured some of these meals in a previous post, including breakfasts like homemade breakfast sausage patties with acorn squash and apricots, or steamed butternut squash and apples topped with cinnamon, coconut milk, and toasted coconut. I often have *bacon* for breakfast too! That is probably my saving grace on this very restrictive diet: bacon is allowed if it is from pastured pork and has no added sugar or other junk in it. It isn't cheap, but a pound lasts me a long time as I limit myself to 2 pieces of uncured, pastured, sugar-free bacon and don't have it every day. I fry it up and usually enjoy it with some avocado and fruit, such as cantaloupe. So delicious!
I usually have some kind of meat and a vegetable for lunch and dinner. I roast some broccoli, or have a plain salad or a raw carrot with a piece of cold leftover salmon, chicken, pork tenderloin or beef. When I was craving something salty and crispy, I made some parsnip fries for my side dish. I got the idea from here, but only used salt and pepper to season and I baked them for less time. Just slice the parsnips into fries, toss in a bit of arrowroot starch mixed with salt and pepper, then spread them on a cookie sheet and drizzle with a healthy oil (I used avocado oil). Using nonstick foil makes these crispy and they never stick, are easy to flip and there's no pan to wash. I baked them at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, then flipped and cooked for 5 more minutes. Really good!
Last night I was making spaghetti and meatballs for the family. This has been a staple for years; they get whole grain pasta and I get spaghetti squash, and both are topped with marinara sauce and meatballs. However, I can't have tomatoes on AIP, and the meatball recipe we used had ingredients I need to avoid. So instead, I went without sauce. I drizzled my spaghetti squash with a bit of olive oil and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I topped it with sauteed mushrooms and homemade Italian sausage. Wow, is this sausage good! Here is the recipe: Nightshade-free Italian Sausage. It's very simple to make. Just mix a pound of plain ground (pastured, if possible) pork with the following:
1 tsp each: basil, oregano, parsley (all dried)
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sea salt, black pepper
Mix that all together and then crumble it into a hot skillet. Cook for about 12 minutes, until browned.
I had the leftovers today for lunch. Loved this!
Tonight the kids are having tacos and I will have a taco salad. The only changes from my usual taco salad are: no cheese, no dressing, no salsa, no tomatoes, and a taco meat seasoning that is AIP-friendly: onion, garlic, oregano, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
I'm enjoying my food and eat when I am hungry. I do look forward to adding things back in, but I can handle this diet for another couple of weeks. I also bought The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook for more recipes and ideas. Will post how they turn out later!
If you want to learn more about AIP and autoimmune disease, here's an interesting read: Paleo Living Magazine. It's an easy to read summary of the basics.
Off to bike!
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