What exactly is the AIP?
In short, the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) is a short term diet that eliminates the most common allergens for a certain period before gradual reintroduction to test for food intolerance. Some primal foods can trigger inflammation in sufferers of autoimmune disease, so these foods should be removed for at least 30 days, then gradually reintroduced once the body has started to heal, whereupon you can gravitate towards a Paleo diet. The AIP also encompasses a change in lifestyle such as ensuring one gets enough sleep, moderate exercise and stress-free time.
What is the GAPS diet?
Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) is a protocol designed by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride also aimed at healing the root cause of gut dysfunction. Like the AIP it eliminates common allergens such as grains and other refined foods, sugar, soy products, dairy (in initial stages) and legumes. Unlike the AIP it also excludes starchy vegetables as they contribute to dysbiosis and does not exclude eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades.
When did you start your elimination diets?
We have been following a GAPS template for many years, however in March 2014 we introduced the AIP and now incorporate them both. This means we eat a predominantly low starch GAPS diet but remove all the common allergen foods as per the AIP.
Why did you start GAPS/AIP?
Take a read of my About Me page. I tell you all about it there.
Do you ever cheat?
Nope. We are in it to win it and you can’t do that if you’re not 100% committed.
I want to try your recipes but I can’t tolerate coconut flour?
That could be a problem, depending on which recipe you want to try. You see coconut flour is the only one we can use because the other AIP-friendly flours aren’t GAPS legal. Coconut flour is unique in that nothing else compares to it so substituting other flours isn’t going to work. Sorry folks!
I want to try your recipes but I can’t tolerate coconut oil?
If it’s a savoury dish, use lard instead. If it’s a sweet dish, try palm shortening or lard. I love lard!! But if you don’t do that either, how about duck or goose fat then?
Can you explain the difference between gelatin and collagen?
Nutritionally speaking gelatin and collagen are just the same, and an important addition to the AIP. The company I use is called Great Lakes (GL) as they source their gelatin and collagen from grass-fed cows. They have completely different uses, however. Gelatin (orange/red can) is used to set liquids (think gummies and jelly/jello), Collagen (green can) is like a protein powder and I use it in smoothies and also add it to bone broth, oatmeals and soups to keep up the intake. If you have a particularly sensitive digestive system, you would be wise to stick to the collagen as it is kinder to the gut, in fact it is often used intravenously in hospitals to improve the patients’ strength and healing. A porcine gelatin is also available from GL.
What in the heck is a gelatin egg. Can you talk me through it?
In the absence of eggs in the elimination stages of the AIP, gelatin makes a pretty good substitute and works well if you follow the instructions. Make sure you have everything prepped before you start the process as it happens fairly quickly, basically you don’t want the gelatin setting up before it reaches the cake. So have two small bowls, put the gelatin in one and the required liquid in the other. Make sure the water isn’t boiling because overheated gelatin can affect the setting quality, either by decreasing the setting power, and/or making it smell nasty, but it does need to be hot enough to dissolve. When you’re at the point that you are adding flour to your mixing bowl, start making the gelatin egg. Pour the hot water/lemon juice/apple cider vinegar into the gelatin powder, whisking constantly so it dissolves and you will notice it also goes frothy. Now, with the motor running pour the gelatin egg into your cake mixture, making sure you get it all in. Turn the power up and give it a good whizz for 2 or 3 seconds so you know that the gelatin is distributed throughout the entire mixture. Then transfer the mixture into your cake tin and continue with the recipe instructions.
What’s the deal with shortening, isn’t this really unhealthy?
The shortening I recommend is made from unhydrogenated organic palm oil and is fully compliant with the AIP and Paleo diet. Take a look at this article by Mark Sisson on Mark’s Daily Apple. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/about-2/mark-sisson/#axzz3M6VQxmjG
Can I print your work on my site?
Please don’t. I’m flattered that you like my stuff but would rather my recipes and photos stay here, where they belong. I am very happy for you to link to my recipes so long as you give credit to the original. However please do not use my photos or words without my permission first, it is a breach of copyright to do so. If you would like to use a recipe and/or photos of mine on your own site please email, using the contact form at the top of the page.