Breakfast is an important meal that sets healthy patterns for the rest of the day. And if you’re following a specialized diet like the autoimmune protocol (AIP), then it’s especially important to start your day off on a compliant foot to help your gut feel its best from morning to night. Because of the many restrictions on this therapeutic diet, it can be hard to know what to make for breakfast. Therefore, let’s talk a bit about the AIP diet and what you can eat for breakfast on this regimen.
What is the AIP diet?
The AIP diet is designed to limit foods that may trigger inflammation and related symptoms in those with autoimmune diseases. Such conditions include psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, as well as Crohn’s and colitis, which are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The AIP is a stricter version of the paleolithic diet that is based on meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
The allowed foods on the AIP diet include:
- Meat and fish, preferably not factory raised
- Vegetables, except for nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Small quantities of fruit (10-25 grams of fructose a day); this could include a few cups or medium pieces of low fructose fruits like lemons, raspberries, or strawberries.
- No dairy products; instead choose coconut milk and dairy-free fermented beverages like kombucha and kefir made with coconut milk as well as green tea and non-seed herbal teas
- Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Small quantities of honey and maple syrup
- Bone broth
- Non-seed spices like herbs (basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, mint, etc.) as well as other spices like turmeric, garlic, and onion powder, to name a few
- Vinegars such as apple cider and balsamic vinegars
As you can see from the list above, there are no eggs, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, food additives, alcohol, or dairy on this regimen. Also, the only oils allowed include those plant-based, minimally processed ones such as coconut, olive, and avocado oil.
Breakfast ideas for AIP
Start your AIP diet off right with these delicious morning meal ideas.
- Breakfast smoothie: Blend together coconut milk or yogurt with some strawberries, a bit of honey, and some baby spinach for a creamy and delicious smoothie for breakfast.
- Sweet potato and turkey hash: Pan-fry some diced sweet potatoes with some mushrooms, garlic, onion, and greens as well as some diced turkey and your choice of AIP-approved spices for a delicious and filling breakfast. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can opt out the meat and add more veggies instead.
- Smoked salmon and greens: Use some AIP-friendly oil to wilt some spinach greens, kale, or your favorite greens with diced onion and garlic in a pan. Then, use this fiber-rich mix as a foundation for a few slices of smoked salmon. Enjoy some strawberries on the side for a sweet balance to this savory dish if you choose.
- Plantain pancakes: Take a ripe plantain or banana and mash well. Mix with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg as well as a bit of baking soda and blend well. Pour this mix onto a coconut oil greased and heated pan. Cook for a minute or two on low heat until it starts to bubble a bit and is golden on the other side. Then, flip and cook for a bit more to create delicious AIP-friendly pancakes. Top with a dollop of coconut milk yogurt and some raspberries or enjoy with a glass of coconut milk kefir for a filling and flavorful morning meal.
Take home message
The AIP diet, although restrictive, can provide benefit to those with autoimmune conditions. Therefore, in order to stay compliant and reap the benefits of this eating regimen, it’s important to have some creative meal ideas in your tool belt. It’s especially important to set a healthy pattern for your day by staying on track during your breakfast meal. For more ideas on how to stay on track with the AIP diet as well as some other gut health and AIP products and resources, visit the Casa de Sante website.