The Autoimmune Protocol

The History of AIP

The history of the Autoimmune Protocol goes back to 1985. A physician by the name of Boyd Eaton wrote a paper for the New England Journal of Medicine and later expanded his theories into the very first book on paleo: The Paleolithic Prescription. When Loren Cordain found Eaton’s paper, he was inspired to dig deeper into ancestral health. It was actually his research and vision that led to the creation of the first paleo autoimmune protocol. Sarah Ballantyne, a research scientist with an autoimmune disease herself, took it a step further and authored the first book 100% about AIP. Dr Terry Wahls reversed her own multiple sclerosis using the Wahls Protocol and Dr. Amy Myers created the Myers Way after having graves disease herself. There were many other research pioneers as well that deserve credit. I’m so grateful for all of their work!

These scientists and doctors have seen incredible healing with their clients and in some cases with themselves. While many traditional doctors will tell you that diet doesn’t matter, I beg to differ. The proof is in the results – and there’s now science to back it up. With that being said, the treatment for autoimmune disease is so multifaceted and fascinating. I get so excited every time I hear a success story, yet I understand not everyone has one. When the AIP doesn’t work, many times there are underlying factors; like an infection in the body, like candida, or maybe parasites. Maybe someone “thinks” they are following the protocol, but really aren’t reading or understanding labels completely, or not following the diet 100%. There could always be other factors prohibiting the healing; environmental, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, etc. Our bodies are very complicated beings, but MOST people will see significant results just following this protocol alone.

What is the AIP Protocol?

I will never forget the day my doctor gave me Amy Myers’s book, The Autoimmune Solution, and told me to follow the diet 100%. “No cheating,” she said. “Even so much as a teaspoon of ice cream will set your healing back 3-6 months.” Whew! Three to six months?!? Diving into Amy’s book inspired me to do more research on this autoimmune protocol. It was fascinating. The more I read, the more I was convinced that you could find healing through your choice of foods alone. I like this approach SO much better than taking more pills, or worse yet, feeling like crap.

The AIP diet is referred to as an elimination diet. It is a little more restrictive than the Paleo Diet. Compared to the SAD (Standard American Diet) there are many food groups that are eliminated. The autoimmune protocol is specifically designed to calm the inflammation in the body and heal the gut. This should be one of the first (but not only) lines of defense when faced with a chronic disease caused by inflammation.

I don’t want to get into too much science here, you can research that for yourself. So lets just jump right in.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
– Hippocrates

Ground Rules of AIP

As a simple description, you will be eliminating all foods that have been known to irritate and cause inflammation in the gut: gluten, grains, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, alcohol, caffeine, legumes, sweeteners, gums, and night shade vegetables. Foods to love: Vegetables, Clean meats, wild-caught fish, good fats, fruit, and a variety of herbs.

When you explore the world of AIP you will find some discrepancies. Not all doctors and/or scientists agree on every single component of AIP. Since I am not a doctor or a scientist, these lists are a combination of two doctors’ recommendations that I followed with tremendous results. As always, PLEASE follow the recommendations of your doctor. I’m not here to dispute these differences. I have put an * by the items most disputed.



  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Corn
  • Farro
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Spelt
  • Teff
  • Wheat
  • Almond
  • Brazil
  • Cashew
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Hazelnut
  • Pecan
  • Pine Nut
  • Pistachio
  • Macadamia
  • Walnut
  • ALL Nut Butters
  • Anise
  • Canola
  • Caraway
  • Chia
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill Seed
  • Fennel
  • Flax
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Poppy
  • Pumpkin
  • Sesame
  • Sunflower
  • Hemp
  • Alcohol
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Casein
  • Cheese
  • Condensed Milk
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Evaporated milk
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Goat Cheese
  • Goat Milk
  • Ice Cream
  • Ghee
  • Kefir
  • Milk
  • Powdered Milk
  • Sheep Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Whey
  • Whey Protein
  • Whipped Cream
  • Yogurt
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Pepper
  • Chipotle Chili Pepper
  • Eggplant
  • Goji Berries
  • Ground Cherries
  • Habanero Pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Poblano Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sweet Pepper
  • Tobacco
  • Tomato
  • Tomatillo
  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas
  • Broad Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Fava Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Red & White Beans
  • Soybeans
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Natural Sweeteners i.e. honey*, molasses, agave, maple syrup*, coconut palm sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, brown rice syrup, stevia*
  • Fast Foods
  • Processed Foods
  • GMO’s
  • Processed Meats
  • Food Additives
  • Refined Oils
  • Salad Dressings
  • Mayonnaise
  • Canola Oil
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Hydrogenated Fats
  • Trans Fats
  • Stimulants
  • Caffeine
  • Coffee (including decaf)
  • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)

Foods to ENJOY

  • Organic, grass-fed beef
  • Organic, grass-fed lamb, or Australian Lamb
  • Organic, grass-fed pork, (no nitrites, no nitrates)
  • Organic, pasture-raised Poultry (chicken, duck, turkey)
  • Water-packed fish (sardines, tuna)
  • Wild-caught fresh or frozen fish (cod, halibut, Pacific salmon, pollock, sole, trout)
  • Wild game
  • Animal Fats
  • Avocado
  • Avocado Oil
  • Coconut
  • Coconut Oil
  • Duck Fat
  • Lard
  • Olives
  • Olive Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Tallow
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery Chives
  • Cucumbers
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Leafy greens
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, spaghetti, summer)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini
  • Bone Broth
  • Gizzard
  • Heart
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Tongue
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Anchovies
  • Arrowroot Powder
  • Coconut Flour
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Gelatin (100% Grass Fed)
  • Tigernuts
  • Tigernut Flour
  • Apples
  • Applesauce (unsweetened)
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Clementines
  • Coconut
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Figs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Honeydew
  • Huckleberries
  • Kiwis
  • Kumquats
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Marionberries
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon
  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Black Pepper*
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Dill Weed
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Lavender
  • Mace
  • Marjoram Leaves
  • Mint
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Sea Salt (REAL or Celtic)
  • Shallots
  • Spearmint
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Homemade fruit and vegetable juice and smoothies
  • Green Tea* (caffeine-free, herbal, organic) in moderation
  • Water (filtered, mineral or seltzer)
  • Infused Water

Have faith and believe in the possibilities.
Let’s figure out what works for YOU!

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