I’m really excited to introduce you to an awesome product – Serenity Kids – nutrient dense baby food pouches that are AIP elimination stage compliant (with the exception of a couple of flavors). Now, if you know me, you know I don’t have kids … so you might be wondering why am I so enthusiastic about this product!?
 
First of all, I’ll tell you I keep referring to them as Serenity FOODS instead of Serenity KIDS, because while they were initially created for babies and kids, they’re actually suitable for EVERYONE! I’ll tell you more about that, including why Serenity and these adorable food pouches resonate with me personally (keep reading to find out) … but first let me share a little about the Serenity Kids and their line up of products!
 
  • Nutrient Dense, Simple Ingredients
  • Ethically Sourced Pastured Meats
  • Sustainable Organic, Non-GMO Vegetables
  • Healthy Fats
  • NEW Line with Gut Friendly Bone Broth! (turmeric chicken is elimination stage – others are reintros)
  • Low, Low Sugar Content
  • AIP Compliant (only a couple of their flavors are not elimination stage compliant)
  • Shelf-stable BPA-Free Pouches (recyclable lids and a free RECYCLABLE POUCH PROGRAM since most city recycling programs don’t accept them)
  • Winners of the Clean Label Project Purity Award – Kind of a BIG deal!
  • In addition to making babies healthier, they’re committed to leaving them a healthier planet

Serenity Kids Product Review, Serenity Kids Organic Baby Food, Paleo, AIP, AIPRecipeCollection.com

Learn More About Serenity:

I encourage you to take a moment to visit their website where you’ll quickly learn about the nutrition behind their products, where they source their ingredients, their environmentally focused mission and how they’re giving back.

Special Offer!

 
 

Why Serenity “Kids” is for Everyone!

First of all, they’re an extremely convenient way to carry a healthy, nutrient dense snack with you (they’re meant to be consumed at room temperature but you could warm them a little by immersing the pouch in a cup of hot water if you prefer). 
For adults – Really? Yes – absolutely! Check out the nutritional value on these products … their simple ingredients make them perfect for AIPers (think grab-n-go breakfast, snacks, if you’re in hospital or dealing with medical procedures), backpacking, camping, road-tripping, camping and get this – even dogs can use ’em (my dog eats a whole food, homemade diet and would wrestle me for these)! And, since they’re shelf-stable for up to 18 months, you can easily stock up so you have them on hand when you need them.
 

Why Serenity Resonates With Me

When I first started researching Serenity I was extremely excited by the possibilities for adults! Why? Because the first autoimmune disorder I was diagnosed with was Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EGE/EGID) – a rare inflammatory disease that effects the entire digestive system, starting at the esophagus all the way through the colon and intestines. (A similar condition, Eosinophilic Esophagitis or EOE for short, a disease of the esophagus also exists and is most often diagnosed in children.)
 
What’s so scary about EGE/EGID/EOE?  1) You very often can’t swallow food without extreme pain, panic or choking which can lead to extreme food fears, 2) This often leads to extreme malnutrition and/or is accompanied by nutrient absorption issues, and 3) Traditional medical treatment protocols include liquid steroid concoctions and can involve horrific liquid or elemental diets containing synthetic vitamins or in some cases tube feeding!
 
After being hospitalized a number of times and finally receiving my diagnosis I was completely depleted. I had ZERO energy to prepare foods and was extremely malnourished (massive hair loss, all of my fingernails and toenails fell off, an abrupt 40lb weight loss, incredible rashes and more). The smell of food prep created extreme nausea and vomiting and the stress and anxiety of simply sitting down to try to eat brought me to tears before I even began. I soooo wish I’d known about Serenity Foods back then – it definitely would have made life a lot easier.
 
I’m thrilled to say that the AIP has helped improve my condition tremendously, and I’m no longer in a position to need a product like this for meals, but I will tell you that these are amazing to keep on hand when you’re needing a nutritious snack on the go. They’re perfectly tasty at room temperature, but I personally prefer them heated – simply immerse a pouch in a cup of hot water for a few minutes and you’re good to go.
 
Before I wrap up, I want to suggest one final demographic that also resonates with me for this product – the elderly. All too often older ones fall into the horrible belief that meal replacement shakes are great, fast options to give them all the nutrients they need when they’re too tired or don’t feel like cooking for themselves … because after-all the labels tout how many “wonderful” vitamins they contain and the doctors recommend them! YIKES! I won’t get into the details about these products, but rest-assured that we did a TON of research on them and their contents when the doctors handed me my diagnosis and a six-pack of these things and tried to tell me that I might have to rely heavily on them. (If you don’t believe me about these meal replacement shakes, feel free to do a little digging on the internet about them if you like – and read this cancer patient’s blog, it’s staggering and will stick with you.) Now, I’m not recommending that Serenity Kids is going to replace every-day adult meals, but they can certainly be used in confidently as nutrient-dense snacks or the occasional meal replacement.
 
Disclaimer: Serenity Kids was kind enough to provide me with samples of their product. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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AIP baking is a tricking thing, and even more of an exact science than regular baking, so you’ll have heard me say many times in the the AIP Recipe Collection Facebook Group that I do NOT recommend substitutions in AIP baking! You can read more on the topic in my article Substitutions in AIP Cooking & Baking) so you understand why this is so important.

That said, many AIP recipes call for gelatin or agar agar powder or gelatin eggs, or if you’ve found a paleo recipe it may call for a flax or chia egg!  All of this can be quite confusing, especially since some of them require that you make a gelatin egg separately and others just have you adding gelatin to the mix.

So, what’s the breaking news on AIP egg replacements (see what I did there)? And, can’t I just use the egg replacements available at the grocery store? Here are the answers you’ve been looking for!

The Purpose of Eggs in Baking

Eggs are used for several reasons in baking; binding (holding things together like meatloaf and meatballs – this is the job of the whites), leavening (rising and creating a light fluffy texture – this is the job of the yolk), for moisture and also for flavor and appearance (often aids in browning).

Can we cook and bake with out them? Absolutely! 

Will the replacements yield perfect results? No – unfortunately there is nothing that will ever perfectly replace an egg! BUT we can get pretty darn deliciously close! 

Things to consider:

Binding – You’ll find that most meatloaf and meatball recipes work perfectly well without eggs, or maybe you just need to add a little mashed veg in as an alternate binder. 

Leavening – You’ll find many AIP baking recipes call for cream of tartar – this is a leavening agent and should never be omitted from a recipe just because you don’t have it – the results will literally be a flop.

Moisture & Appearance – Most AIP recipes make up for eggs in other ways, and recipe creators go to great lengths to ensure the the dishes they’re presenting look and taste as close to traditional recipes as possible – so don’t mess with a good thing – follow the AIP recipes folks!  If you haven’t checked out the post I suggested, here it is again – Substitutions in AIP Cooking & Baking.

Commercial Egg Replacements

Let’s start here since this would be considered the path of least resistance and most enticing for some.

The reason why we don’t use these is the ingredients -most contain grain potato starch, corn starch, guar gum and the like. So, sorry folks, this option just doesn’t work.

Apple Sauce, Mashed Bananas, Pumpkin & Avocado

Next we’ll move on to old, traditional favorite substitutions that our mothers and grandmothers would have used. In general I don’t see a lot of AIP baked opting for these substitutes now-a-days – most AIP recipe creators have moved on to something a little more shall we say, egg-like! However, before we go there …

Mashed fruits like bananas and avocado, apple sauce and pumpkin/squash puree can often be a good substitute for an egg in recipe. It’s really very subjective though and you must decide on a recipe by recipe basis what is most suitable.  Overall however, these options work best in cakes, muffins and brownies.

Whichever of these options you choose to use, you can replace each egg with 1/4 cup (65 grams) of purée.

Baked goods made with puréed fruits may not brown as deeply, but they will be very dense and moist.

Be aware that banana will obviously give you more of a banana flavor, so if you want something neutral – try some of the others instead

Agar-Agar & Gelatin

Before we dive in, I will tell you that while neither of these replacements should affect the flavor of your finished product, they may create a slightly stiffer texture. Unfortunately, nothing can replicate the egg exactly.

Gelatin

Gelatin eggs are probably the most commonly suggested egg substitute that you’ll see in recipes. If you’ve made one before, you’ll know why – it’s very close to the texture and viscosity of egg whites. Neither of these replacements should affect the flavor of your finished product, but they may create a slightly stiffer texture.

When it comes to gelatin, quality matters (sorry guys – Knox Gelatine is out as it’s highly processed and not from well cared for animals) – be sure to use gelatin made from grass-fed / pasture-raised animals (pigs – called porcine gelatin and/or cows – called beef gelatin – you can find quality gelatin brands here or in our Amazon storefronts – go here and follow the link for either USA, Canada or the UK). 

METHOD #1:

While there are several ways to make a gelatin egg, this is my favorite and it’s never failed me yet!

1 Tbsp Gelatin
1/4 Cup Water
Add water to a small pot and sprinkle the gelatin over top.
Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes until the mixture hardens somewhat.
Place the post on a burner set to low heat for 1-2 minutes until the gelatin starts to melt. Be careful not to burn it! I usually stand by and start immediately whisking it.
Remove the pot from the heat and vigorously whisk until the mixture becomes frothy.

METHOD #2:

To replace one egg, dissolve 1 tablespoon (about 9 grams) of unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of cold water. Then, mix in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of boiling water until frothy.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE on gelatin: Just because you see a recipe calls for gelatin, it does not mean you will necessarily mean that you will go through the process of making a gelatin egg separately before adding it to the recipe. Follow the instructions as set out in the recipe you’re using for best results. IF the recipe indicates you are using gelatin and water to make a gelatin egg, follow those directions carefully as there are different ways to make a gelatin egg and the specific method recommended may yield better results in that particular recipe.

Agar Agar

If you’re avoiding animal products (though on the AIP you really shouldn’t be – read my article about that – Can the AIP Be Done As a Vegetarian?), you can opt for agar-agar powder or flakes. Agar agar is a vegan alternative to gelatin and is made from a type of seaweed or algae – you can find it here.

I’ve seen different suggestions for how to make an agar agar egg, so you’re going to be best to follow the instructions carefully in any recipe that you find if it calls for agar agar. Again, similar to gelatin, each recipe creator may have very specific reasons for using more or less water in the mix.

That said, here is the information I’ve found for you about making an agar agar egg!

METHOD #1:

Dissolve 1 teaspoon (approximately 4 grams) of agar-agar powder in 1 tablespoon of water to replace one egg.
To dissolve, first sprinkle the powder over the liquid, allow to rest for 5 minutes and then warm to 90 C over medium heat on the stove top.
Using a whisk, whip the agar mixture well to help dissolve, then refrigerate for 15 minutes and whip again. Add the agar to the baking mixture as the last ingredient and mix to just combine, do not overwork the mixture.

METHOD #2:

Use 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar powder mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of water to replace one egg.
NOTE: If you have agar-agar flakes, be sure to grind them into a fine powder first as this will make a difference.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

I haven’t seen this one used all that much in AIP baking, but have heard of some using it successfully.

When mixed together, vinegar and baking soda start a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide and water, which makes baked goods light and airy, making this an especially good option for cakes and cupcakes.

Mixing 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of baking soda with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of apple cider vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes.

Arrowroot Powder

I’ll admit to never having heard of this used as a specific egg replacement, but it very likely is that our AIP recipes employe these ingredients without us even realizing it!  I can’t say this would be my go-to of choices by any means if I were simply trying to substitute an egg in any recipe. 

A mixture of 2 tablespoons (about 18 grams) of arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can be used to replace one egg.

Carbonated Water

Carbonated water will obviously add moisture to a recipe, but it also acts as a leavening agent since the carbonation traps air bubbles, which help make the finished product light and fluffy.

You can replace each egg with one-fourth cup (60 grams) of carbonated water and the substitution is said to works well for cakes, cupcakes and quick breads. Again – I suggest sticking to AIP expert tested/created recipes rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Flax & Chia Eggs

While these are a wonderful Paleo option in baking going forward, if you’re on the AIP and still in the elimination stage, this option simply isn’t suitable for you.

BUT, if you’ve reintroduced these, here’s how to make them:

To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water until fully absorbed and thickened.

Doing so may cause baked goods to become heavy and dense. Also, it may result in a nuttier flavor, so it works best in products like pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies.

Resource: Healthline – Effective Substitutes for Eggs

 

 

 

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When you’re on the AIP you’re likely doing a lot more cooking than usual. You’re probably batch cooking, and meal prepping for the freezer, but what’s the best way to store all of this delicious food? Does it matter what we use? Need the 4-1-1 on food storage basics? You’ve come to the right place!

Since we’re trying to live a toxin-free life on the AIP to give our bodies the fighting chance they need to heal, it’s a good idea to consider what you’re using for food storage. There are a lot of opinions out there about plastics, BPA-Free options, silicone and more (read more about why we should avoid plastics here). For me, I kick it old school as much as possible – zero waste, sustainable living, lovable, reusable glass! 

Since I get asked a LOT about food storage, and especially about how to safely use glass jars in the freezer, that is the main focus of this article – I hope it helps!

Planning Tips:

The first pointer that I’m going to offer is a bit of a warning – batch cooking can be exhausting – especially in the beginning when you’re really not feeling well, so try to pick a day when you’re feeling up to it. Better yet have a friend or family member jump in to help you tag-team it. And it doesn’t have to be all about you – you can work together to create a bunch of delicious options so that they go home with food to stock their fridge and freezer too. Many hands make light work.

My second pointer – don’t go overboard if you don’t have the space to store it all! I’ve done this before when I was feeling super ambitious, I cooked way more than I needed for a week or two and found my fridge stuffed to the brim and I didn’t really want to store much of what I’d made in the freezer because it wasn’t all that freezer friendly. So, evaluate the space you have and choose recipes to prep according to where and how you plan to store it.

The third pointer is to have your containers ready! There’s nothing worse than batch cooking and then scrambling to find suitable food storage to put it all in. Plan ahead for this. If you’ve never batch cooked before you might need to consider investing in some quality meal containers. Glass if obviously the gold standard, safest method for storing food, and there are some awesome options on the market these days that make prepping a breeze (check out some of my faves in my shopping resources – click here). If you can’t afford to buy new containers, save up any glass jars you have from store-bought items or check a local thrift store, I know our family donates a lot of glass mason jars when we simply get overwhelmed by the amount we have on hand. If you’re lucky enough to score some of those, your investment will be minimal in that you’ll just need to buy some new lids.

Zero Waste Storage Containers Freezer Storage AIP

Practical Tips – Glass Jars #1:

Super … You’re all set! 

Now, you may have heard horror stories of using glass jars in the freezer, am I right? I had heard stories too, but was always fortunate enough not to have any issues … leave enough space at the top of the jar for expansion and you’re good to go! Well …. not always! Even if you manage to freeze them without breaking, they can still break during thawing.

Eventually, my luck ran out. When I started freezing bone broth I ran into troubles and there were tears shed over bone broth lost. I attribute some of my issues to using inappropriate jars and the fact that my upright freezer has coils in the shelves … so I’ve gotten a little smarter about all this.

For me, I’m usually just freezing liquids in jars – sauces, soup, broth, stew and maybe shepherd’s pie. Freezing liquids can be tricky, so here are a few practical tips:

  1. The Jar – the wider the jar the better. Try to avoid tall skinny jars, and if possible use wide-mouth jars without “shoulders” (that just means that the jar is straight from bottom to top and it does not get smaller as it approaches the opening).
  2. Filling The Jar – only fill it 3/4 of the way full or less to ensure you allow plenty of room for expansion as the contents freeze and expand.
  3. Position – always freeze jars standing up.
  4. Freezer Considerations – if you have an upright freezer with freezer coils in the shelves, consider placing your jars in a shallow plastic container until they have frozen successfully. I started doing this just in case they broke so there would be something to catch the liquid, but in actual fact I think the barrier between the glass and the coils made a difference.
  5. Temperature – ALWAYS ensure your liquid is completely cooled before attempting to freeze. Some say allowing them to come to room temperature is sufficient, but I usually err on the side of caution and refrigerate them first until completely cold.
  6. Thawing – NEVER try to thaw quickly! SLOW and STEADY wins this race! Ideally you should remove your frozen jar to the refrigerator for a few hours – NEVER place jars straight from the freezer into hot water – breakage is almost guaranteed!  Plan ahead and thaw slowing in the fridge and then the counter top – that’s your best bet.

Practical Tips – Glass Jars #2:

AIP Food storage, glass jar, pesto

My favorite wide mouth jars with frozen pesto cubes!

Another way to use glass jars for freezer storage is to first pre-freeze your liquids in ice cube trays or silicone trays that hold more. Once your liquids are frozen you pop them out of the trays and into glass jars and you should have no problem putting your jars straight in the freezer.

This method is great for freezing things like pesto, sauces and bone broth since it allows you to easily portion out what you need instead of having to thaw a whole jar of food. Think about the number of times you need a cup of broth or a few tablespoons of sauce! Dispensing a few cubes from a jar also allows you to thaw them more quickly in a safe container or by popping them right into the dish you’re cooking.

Glass Storage Containers:

There are plenty of larger, shallow options for storing all kinds of food available these days. There are even containers that have sections so you can portion out a complete meal but keep items separate. Containers like this are great for meal prepping and are typically thicker and more sturdy than a glass jar. While you should still proceed with caution when freezing and thawing these containers, you’ll likely have fewer concerns since you’ll probably not be storing liquids but rather solid food and there will be lots of air gaps for expansion. Follow the directions that come with your containers and you should be just fine!

How Long Is My Food Safe & How Should I Store It?

Since you know I’m not one for re-writing well presented material, I’m simply going to direct you to this article by Autoimmune Wellness AIP Food Storage Basics – these tips will help you figure out how long food should stay fresh and safe and where you should store it. Because, let’s face it, on the AIP we don’t want to waste any precious ingredients – I know a lot of us are on a budget! 

For more about managing the AIP on a Budget, read my post here.

 
From time to time the topic of essential oils comes up in the AIP Recipe Collection Facebook Group, and I’m always quick to shut the conversation down because it typically turns into a debate or a sales pitch from someone trying to grow their network. That said, I don’t want to leave you hanging on the topic and will provide my take on the topic here. (NOTE: I do not sell essential oils and I am in no way affiliated with any essential oils companies.)
 
Let me begin by saying that I have absolutely no doubt about the power of essential oils! I LOVE them and wholeheartedly agree that they can have a huge impact on our health. My husband I have personally seen the benefits in our lives using them for inhalation, aromatherapy and topical application.
 
It’s really only when it comes to the topic of ingesting essential oils that I really get a little worked up.
 
In my opinion there are too many folks out there selling essential oils and recommending them as “safe for internal use” and claiming that you simply need to make sure they’re 100% pure or food grade quality. I beg you please, consider factual research by completely independent, third-party outsiders rather than the opinions of someone trying to sell you essential oils – that is the only way you will get an honest answer about whether this practice is truly safe or not.
 

When I first began using essential oils, I avoided the big multi-level marketing companies – first, because of the price of their oils and secondly because I wanted a real education about essential oil and not just a superficial understanding of what to use in a diffuser, cleaning or personal products. In my research, I came across Aromahead Institute and quickly realized that these folks are the real deal, and I don’t hesitate to refer people to them for sound advice.

Internal Use/Ingestion

The following is a compilation of snippets from my research on the topic of essential oils for internal use/ingestion (click each link to read the full source article).  Let me lead with this spoiler alert from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne:

“If its from an edible thing that you want the benefits from,
just eat the thing!”

“Internal use requires knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and the chemistry of essential oils. Oils should be used via the skin and inhalation until you understand the potential interaction of drugs and essential oils, know the safe oils to use (the safety issues are different for skin and internal use), and know the right dose and route of application appropriate for internal use.  Internal use also requires an understanding of pharmacokinetics–effects of the body on the oil, how the body metabolizes the oil and eliminates it, and what organs might be effected.  It sounds complicated because it is—and that’s why we don’t widely recommend internal use.”
  • Safely ingesting certain essential oils is wrought with caveats and debate, and it’s not recommended without guidance from a trained herbalist. “The whole purpose of distilling the aromatic components [from plants] was because we wanted to capture their smell,” says Amy Galper, aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. “We understood the power of aroma [to affect] our mind, our spiritual life, and our physical health.” Ingesting, therefore, is outside of boundaries of essential oils’ intended use—enough reason to proceed with caution.  … Essential oils may be natural, but that doesn’t mean they’re inherently safe. “The molecules and chemical constituents that make up essential oils are irritating to mucous membrane tissue,” Galper says. Swallowing essential oils can burn the mucosa in your mouth, esophagus, gut lining, and beyond in the digestive tract.
  • Dr. Lin says, “I usually caution people against taking it orally is because it’s a really strong medicine…You can take too much, too quickly without realizing it. And that can become toxic. Nausea, stomach pain and neurological discomfort like nerve pain and numbness can also occur, especially if you take too much. Like any kind of medicine, it can affect different people in different ways, too.”
  • Moral of the story: It’s possible to ingest essential oils safely, but it’s complex and should always be done under the guidance of a trained herbalist.  A professional will know which oils are safe and work with you to administer correct, non-toxic doses.

– Source:  Well and Good – An Aromatherapist & MD Weigh in on Essential Oils

  • Phytochemicals can be anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-angiogenic (prevent the formation of blood vessels, great for fighting tumors), apoptosis (helps cells dies), anti-allergy, anti-mutagenic, anti-microbial, insect repellents, etc.
  • BUT they are cytotoxic: they rupture membranes and cause cells to die. So they ARE NOT SPECIFIC to bad microbes! They’ll kill your friends in your gut! NOT GOOD!
  • Terpenes are damaging to the liver. That’s also NOT GOOD!
  • They may also cause a leaky gut.
  • Drinking essentially oils is not a great idea.
  • There are some essential oil compounds that are more specific, and effective to kill influenza and E. coli, Staphylococcus, etc. BUT some kill the good’uns.
  • Ingesting is complicated! There are many interesting studies, but lots of pros and cons. We don’t know everything that these properties do!
  • If you want these effects, just eat the whole food! 
  • Only use oral consumption with the supervision of a doctor who knows what they are doing.
  • The science is not very strong for most purported benefits (of ingestion). Most papers indicate that we need more research. But, really, if its from an edible thing that you want the benefits from, just eat the thing.

– Source:  The Paleo Mom Podcast – What’s the Deal with Essential Oils

You should bear in mind that essential oils effect every person very differently (whether they are use in aromatherapy, topically or orally) – they are very individualized and can be dangerous – and as with everything we inhale, ingest or apply to our skin there is NO one-size-fits all approach. That said, you should PERSONALLY consult an herbalist or your medical professional before you decide if ingesting essential oils is right for you. Simply finding information online that indicates it’s safe to use this oil or that oil is not wise for the reasons outlined in the references above.

Aromatherapy & Topical Use

Okay, so if it’s not advisable to use essential oils internally is there any point discussing the topic any further for our purposes on the AIP? Yes, absolutely! There are so many  aromatic and topical uses of essential oils to help support your AIP journey – relief of stress, pain, headaches, digestive discomfort, improvement of mood, skin conditions and more – that I could never hope to share them all with you. 

My use of essential oils began out of desperation with my husband’s migraine headaches. He was taking migraine medication EVERY day for a long stretch of time and was finding no relief. Add to that his debilitating chronic pain and fibromyalgia – not a good scenario. It was at that point that I started my research into essential oils, attended a few webinars and took some online courses with Aromahead Institute. I started slowly at first, simply using an ultrasonic diffuser with peppermint essential oil for him or having him use a homemade inhaler, and then branched out into some specifics for his condition which really helped.

Your next questions is probably – what did you use to help him with is fibromyalgia? What else helps with migraine headaches?  Since I’m not an herbalist or aromatherapy specialist I’m simply going to suggest this amazing reference book that can help you – it’s my go-to encyclopedia for all things essential oils! Grab a copy of “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood – click here.

Digestive Upset

Since many on the AIP suffer with digestive upset, this may be an area you want to consider incorporating essential oils like ginger, tarragon, peppermint, clove and oregano – but, if not by ingestion, how? 

Essential oils contain plant-based chemical constituents responsible for the powerful healing benefits. Those compounds trigger a response in your nervous system, sending signals to your brain. These signals can include calming and soothing the intestinal tract, or stimulating digestion by encouraging parasympathetic activity. Each oil is different, but just a few drops of any essential oil makes a BIG impact.

There are two ways to use essential oils to support a healthy digestive system:

1. Aromatically. When used in your diffuser, or just inhaled out of the bottle, the vapors carry active chemical molecules into your body through the nose. They stimulate the olfactory nerve, located in the nasal cavity. This nerve contains fibers that send signals directly to your central nervous system – the system by which digestion is governed. 

2. Topically. Your skin absorbs everything that you put on it. When applied as a rub, lotion or in massage the active compounds found in essential oils enter your bloodstream to support the digestive system. Remember to always dilute essential oils (click here for information about that) in coconut or sweet almond oil. I find it very convenient using roller bottles for the purpose of topical application and love having a number of blends prepared and ready to go.

Digestive Relief Massage &  DIY Blend

Click here for a Digestive Belly Rub Blend from my trusted resource, Aromahead Internation. Note, however that you may want to omit the cardamom in the elimination stage of the AIP, just to err on the side of caution.

When using the massage oil blend, start at the belly button, apply the diluted oil and then gently massage into the skin using an upward circular motion (apply gentle pressure with the pads of your fingertips, circling to the right). This can also be done on the back, over the liver and stomach. 

Quality Oils

As you are likely aware, there are many options out there for essential oils, and prices vary dramatically! I personally will not use the extremely high priced oils offered by the two multi-level marketing companies that quickly come to mind, and I won’t affiliate or sell these products because I firmly believe that people can find exceptional quality oils that are much more reasonably priced. NOW, I’m not saying go out and buy cheap oil – FAR from it – if it’s cheap, it’s likely not good quality or upon further investigation you may find that it’s “fragrance oil” – so beware! I personally choose to purchase my individual oils from Ki Aroma – their products are exceptional and their prices are reasonable but also reflect their quality. I don’t opt for their blends, as I choose to make my own and find creating my own blends more economical.

Summary

Essential oils are very personalized. What works for one might not for another, and I have found throughout the course of my own health challenges I have become tolerant or intolerant to various oils along the way.

Ingesting essential oils is NOT recommended.

There are lots of amazing health benefits that come from inhalation and topical application – explore and enjoy these options on the AIP!

The bottom line – educate yourself and use with caution and awareness.

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By now you probably realize that your AIP healing journey involves a lot more than just changing your diet. In an effort to support our healing journey, we also need to work toward removing all the toxic nasties from our lives – that means choosing natural personal care and cleaning products, among other things.

Today I want to introduce you to Wise Oak Soapery – Kara’s personal care products are designed to beautify and compliment your AIP lifestyle. Her artisinal natural soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars, body polishes, lip and body balms cater to those with autoimmunity and synthetic chemical sensitivity. While many are beautifully scented with essential oils, Wise Oak also offers fragrance free options. Each product is handcrafted from scratch using all-natural, high quality ingredients derived from the Earth. Kara is committed to doing her part to help Mother Earth by using eco-friendly packaging and simple, low waste shipping methods.

I recently had the opportunity to try Wise Oak Soap in my Simply AIP Lifestyle Subscription Box, and I was BLOWN AWAY by the quality of the product. So luxurious and lightly scented, and while it leaves you feeling really clean, it doesn’t leave your skin with that squeaky, filmy feel – it’s simply clean! I’m personally prone to dry skin on my legs which causes itching, but I don’t even feel the need to moisturize after using Wise Oak. I’m also happy to tell you it doesn’t leave soap scum in your tub (I hate that about chemical soaps). Take a moment to learn more about Wise Oak Soapery and how the products were born out of necessity for Kara and her son … read her story here.

Wise Oak Soapery DiscountSpecial Offers:

I’m thrilled that Kara has agreed to offer my followers 10% off any of their orders with Coupon Code: AIPRECIPE

So, be sure to show yourself a little self-care and try Wise Oak Soapery!
Kara pours her love into these products and you can really tell! ♥ 

Shopping Tip!  Some of Kara’s Wise Oak Soapery products are also available in our affiliate shop, Shop AIP (you can save 10% on your first order there with Code: AIPRecipe), so if you are looking for ways to save on shipping, you may want to consider ordering here.

The Recipe:

I’ll let Kara take over from here ….

“I am a soap maker who normally makes solid all-natural soaps, however there are times when a liquid soap may be more desirable while retaining the natural goodness of the solid soap.

  • A bubble bath
  • A foaming hand soap for guests and other members of the household
  • A general preference for liquid soap

Keep in mind liquid soap made from solid soap will naturally have a thinner consistency. Once you have completed this process, you may either add more soap to thicken a bit or thin it out more with additional water. However, when using for foaming soap, you will want a thinner consistency.”

Wise Oak Soapery Bar Soap and Foaming Soap

Foaming Hand Soap

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

♥ RECIPE & IMAGES BY: Kara Vogt - WiseOakSoapery.com ♥
Looking for a beautiful way to support your Autoimmune Healing Journey? Pamper yourself with this luxurious, all-natural foaming soap recipe from Wise Oak Soapery!

Tools

Instructions

  1. Using a bar of soap, shred the bar with a vegetable peeler or cut into cubes using a knife. You may also use a food processor to break it down further, if desired.
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe
  2. Place the shredded soap into a slow cooker and add the water.
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe
  3. Turn slow cooker on high and allow the soap and water to heat, stirring occasionally with a spoon. This process takes approximately 2.5 hours.
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe
  4. Once the mixture has completely melted, you will see some of the soap remains as a solid-like lump. You can leave it as is or give it a quick spin with an immersion blender or standard blender (CAUTION - use care when blending heated liquid in a standard blender – allow it to cool first)
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe
  5. Allow the soap to cool for about a half an hour and then pour into the bottles using a funnel. Note that you may have foam on the top, especially if the soap was blended. This will not hurt the soap.
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap RecipeWise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe
  6. The soap can be used as soon as it has cooled.
    Wise Oak Soapery Foaming Soap Recipe

Notes

If you'd like to use this as a bubble bath, try adding 1/4 cup of the liquid soap (or more) to a running bath. Remember, this is an all-natural product, so your bubbles may not be as voluminous as a traditional product, but rest assured you're still going to enjoy all of the beautiful benefits of soaking in these ingredients.
Relax & Enjoy!

When life gives you lemons … make lemon juice!

Today, I want to discuss the healing power of lemons and your liver.

Over the years, I’ve seen so thousands of people join the AIP Recipe Collection Facebook Group looking for help with recipes to support their healing journey. They describe serious cases of hives, unexplained rashes and reactions, eczema, digestive disorders, acne, acid reflux, cirrhosis, psoriasis, edema, hepatitis, lupus, chronic fatigue and other liver related symptoms and diseases … it’s frankly quite shocking … and most people don’t realize that they are all related to liver function! Did you know there are more than 100 types of different kinds of liver diseases. and fatty liver disease is by far the most common?

I’m posting this information here in the hope that it will help others benefit from the healing power of lemons and understand how important it is to support your liver through the use of a diet and the addition of lemons as “medicine” – if it’s right for you. (DISCLAIMER:  I am not a doctor, lemon juice may not be fore everyone, I am simply sharing my research and results, and you should consult your physician to see if this is right for you.)

My experience using lemons as “medicine” began as I struggled to find answers to my own health issues – first an inexplicably enlarged liver and edema, then an extreme case of hives that left me unable to sleep, and when I could sleep I had to sleep with ice-packs applied to my legs so I wouldn’t claw them open in the middle of the night. I’d been down the road of hormone testing, ultra-sounds and trips to the dermatologist without any answer or improvement – I was ready to try just about anything … and when I tell you what I did, you’ll probably agree, I really was ready to try anything!

While my doctors had pretty much ignored my liver in trying to deal with my symptoms I decided to circle back and focus on it on my own, and I’ve shocked more than a few (including medical professionals) with the approach I took.

Why Focus On The Liver?

  • The liver is the second largest organ – next only to our skin. If your symptoms include skin reactions, it could very well be an indication that your body is overloaded trying to remove toxins from the body, and it is therefore highly likely that your liver is either over loaded or at minimum in need of some extra support.
  • How are your albumin levels? Albumin is the main protein that is made by the liver. While there are many factors that can affect the level of albumin circulating in the blood, chronic liver disease causes a decrease in the amount of albumin produced, and therefore the level of albumin in the blood is reduced. NOTE: you do not have to be a heavy drinker to have liver disease – being under chronic stress can have a HUGE impact on liver health.
  • Our livers are over worked and overlooked! Don’t believe me – read on!

Consider this information from the Canadian Liver Foundation:

“The liver is a resilient organ that’s easy to ignore – until something goes wrong. Because of its wide-ranging responsibilities, your healthy liver can come under attack by viruses, toxic substances, contaminants and diseases. However, even when under siege, the liver is very slow to complain. People who have problems with their liver are frequently unaware because they may have few, if any, symptoms. Your liver is such a determined organ that it will continue working even when two-thirds of it has been damaged.”

“Weighing in at a little over one kilogram, your liver is a complex chemical factory that works 24 hours a day. It processes virtually everything you eat, drink, breathe in or rub on your skin; in fact, the liver performs over 500 functions that are vital to life.

Every day, your liver helps your body by providing it with energy, fighting off infections and toxins, helping clot the blood, regulating hormones and much, much more.

To give you an idea of your liver’s critical roles, here is a partial list of its functions:

  • Cleanses your blood: Metabolizing alcohol and other drugs and chemicals, neutralizing and destroying poisonous substances.
  • Regulates your supply of body fuel: Producing, storing and supplying quick energy (glucose) to keep your mind alert and your body active. It produces, stores and exports fat.
  • Manufactures many of your essential body proteins involved in: Transporting substances in your blood, clotting of your blood, and providing resistance to infections.
  • Regulates the balance of hormones: Including sex hormones, thyroid hormones, cortisone and other adrenal hormones.
  • Regulates your body’s cholesterol: Producing cholesterol, excreting it and converting it to other essential substances.
  • Regulates your supply of essential vitamins and minerals: Including iron and copper.
  • Produces bile: Eliminating toxic substances from your body and aiding with your digestion.”

Back to the Lemons!

Oddly enough, I learned my lemon, liver support protocol while watching a documentary called e-motion. If you haven’t watched this documentary yet, I highly recommend it – it discussed how our emotions and how stress, sadness, anger and even memories can be held responsible for many if not all of the diseases we suffer today … because they effect our organs, and very importantly OUR LIVER! You can watch the full-length program on YouTube – check it out here.

One of the speakers, Don Tolman – Whole Foods Nutritional & Author (“Cowboy Don” as he’s called – I knew I liked him right away with a handle like that!), talked about the benefits of lemon juice and how drinking ONE CUP (approximately THREE lemons) of fresh squeezed lemon juice every morning before food, for a period of 90 days (none of this tiny squeeze of lemon in water folks) will usually fully restore your liver in that short a period of time! (Watch a clip of him discussing this on YouTube here.)

Everything Cowboy Don was saying about lemons, an-ions, bile and digestion resonated with me and I wanted to know more, so I looked him up on the internet and found this article: “How to Restore Liver Health & Improve Function” – it’s a really good quick look at what the liver does and how it’s impacted by toxins, viruses (NOTE:  it does discuss some non-AIP products as cleanses, but we can look past that and use what will work for us here in conjunction to the AIP).

Here are a few snippets from the article:

A healthy liver is crucial to your overall health and vitality.

Unfortunately, due to modern day life, it’s common for your liver to become stressed, overworked and damaged leading to malfunctioning and eventual dis-ease.

There are a number of things you can do to reverse any damage and heal liver disease naturally without toxic pharmaceuticals or medical intervention.

WHAT IS THE LIVER?

The liver is the largest internal organ of the body. It’s located on the upper right side of the stomach and is vital for the functioning of your metabolism and immune system.

WHAT DOES THE LIVER DO?

The liver performs several important tasks including; storing blood and constantly filtering it to remove harmful toxins; it rids the body of dead blood cells; secretes hormones and enzymes; supports digestion, converting what we eat into life-sustaining nutrition; and even regenerates its own damaged tissue.

WHAT CAUSES LIVER DISEASE?

Liver disease is usually caused by internal infection as a result of exposure to viruses, medical drugs or toxic substances like chemical cosmetics which seep into the body, impacting the auto-immune process.

Since I originally researched Cowboy Don and his theory about the healing power of lemons and your liver, he’s written a new article that you may also want to read – Signs of Fatty Liver Disease and How to Recover Naturally. But, for now … continue along with me on this lemon juice journey.

Liver Rejuvenating Lemon Juice Protocol

One of the most potent and effective foods on earth for healing, regenerating and cleansing the liver is Lemons.

In fact, if you’ll drink one cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice each day when you rise, within 90 days your liver will usually restore itself.

Lemons are the only food on earth that contain “an-ions” (every other wholefood contains “cat-ions”).  Your liver produces “an-ions” known as bile which helps to release toxins and metabolic waste.  That’s why lemons have significance when it comes to restoring your liver to its highest functional capacity.

So, why does it work? The most basic explanation I can come up with is that it gives your liver a break. Since your liver has to produce an-ions to get rid of toxins from your body, manage digestion and more (as mentioned earlier in this post – your liver is pretty busy), it never gets a day off. Consuming lemon juice, which is the only wholefood that contains an-ions, you’re giving your liver the love and support it needs, allowing it to use some of the an-ions (either that it produces or that you’re providing in the lemon juice) to rejuvenate itself.

Okay – I can hear you now – seriously, ONE CUP of lemon juice every morning, 30 minutes before food for 90 DAYS!  No way, can’t be done! And, does it even work?

Well, yes, you CAN do it, I DID and YES, it worked for me! While I’m not a doctor, I’ve share what I learn with others who struggle with recurring flares of eczema, hives, rashes, psoriasis, etc., and it’s helped them too! Oddly enough, I recently chatted with my Functional Medicine Practitioner, who’s helping to put a protocol together to help with my prolonged toxic exposure to mold, and she mentioned that my crazy lemon drink theory that I’d told her about was no so crazy at all – in the course she’d been taking to become a practitioner specializing in mold exposure she learned that another practitioner uses a similar lemon juice drink to successfully to treat flares like this – go figure!

A Recipe to “Zest Up Your Life!”

Let me make this an easier “pill” to swallow. I couldn’t bring myself to take the full cup of lemon juice in additional water, I just wanted it out of the way ASAP – down the hatch!  I tried just chugging that much lemon juice, and while it’s doable, I found and modified a recipe called Zest Up your Life, that makes it a little more bearable and easier to clean up.

Ingredients

  • 3 Lemons (organic if possible)
  • 1 TBSP Honey (raw if possible)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • Pinch of Black Pepper (if you’ve reintroduced)
  • 1 TBSP of Chia Seeds (if you’ve reintroduced)

Preparation

  1. Juice your lemons – I found it much easier for clean up using a citrus juicer instead of a vegetable juicer
  2. Stir in honey, turmeric, salt and pepper
  3. Sprinkle chia seeds on top
  4. Drink immediately
  5. Once you become a seasoned lemon juice veteran you may enjoy it served over ice for a refreshing summer beverage

Lemon Juice & Water

Not ready, or maybe not needing, to go “whole-lemon” into liver rejuvenation? That’s okay, but don’t underestimate the healing power of lemons! Drinking lemon-infused water daily is a great way to show your liver some love! There are LOTS of articles on the internet that discuss the incredible health and healing benefits of lemons and lemon water … so don’t hesitate to liven up your plain water with a squeeze or infusion of lemon.

Is it best to add lemon to cold, warm, or hot water?

A debate came up a while ago when I posted an old family-favorite cold remedy for Hot Lemon and Honey in the AIP Recipe Collection Group – “Doesn’t the vitamin C get destroyed in hot water?” So, in usual fashion, I went digging for information. Here’s what I learned: “Warm water helps extract Vitamin C and polyphenols from both the lemon and its peel. While vitamin C isn’t heat stable – meaning it can degrade once it reaches a certain temperature – even a boiling temperature isn’t hot enough to negate the fruit’s benefits.” You can read more about this topic here –  “The Right Way to Drink Lemon Water (For Maximum Benefits), According to a Nutritionist

This post contains affiliate links.  Click here to see what that means.

In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 / Coronavirus Pandemic I felt compelled to write a little encouragement post .. I think we could all use one about now. 

If you’re like me, you’re likely feeling a little overwhelmed, intimidated and on edge with all of the information that’s flooding your in-boxes, streaming across your T.V. screen and saturating every social media feed you subscribe to. So with that, I want to offer a little support and grounding. I’m not here to teach you how to wash your hands or tell you to stop hoarding toilet paper (I think you’re all big girls and boys and have plenty of access to information on these topics) … I’m here to encourage you and help you find gratitude as an AIPer. I know that sounds absolutely bonkers, but we honestly do have good reason to cheer and pat ourselves on the back at this point!
  1. We’re already concentrating on our health. Eating a clean diet and supporting our immune system is what we do on the AIP, so I’m looking at this as being ahead of the curve. (Score 1 for AIPers!)
  2. When you visit the grocery store there are lots of amazing foods that we’re already accustomed to using but others might be passing by (Hello cassava root, plantains, jicama, all varieties of sweet potatoes, kale, marrow bones, liver, offal, chicken necks, backs and feet … we love you and are happy to take you home and call you our own!)
  3. We’re already familiar with batch-cooking, meal prepping, freezer cooking and how to make things like bone broth so we can get the most out of our food budget, prepare in advance and not let precious ingredients go to waste .. everyone else has to figure that stuff out and come to grips with home-cooking. Meanwhile we just keep on keeping on .. and maybe even get to relax with a little self-care.
  4. As AIPers we’re already working on prioritizing stress reduction, sleep and appropriate exercise in our lives … again, we’re ahead of the curve as others are just now considering it might be a good idea to incorporate these things in an effort to stay healthy.
  5. Knowledge is power and as an AIPer I bet you have way more knowledge about how to support your immune system and specific condition than the average person does about how to avoid the common cold! We’re also aware of where we can find quality advice and information about how to protect ourselves, so we’re saving vital time and energy while others scramble to find answers. That’s win, win, win … so many I’m losing track!
  6. Quality ingredients and dedicated AIP products are readily available and are WAY healthier than the packaged “junk” that most people are out there stocking their pantries with (and we already know where to find them). We’re so very fortunate that so many creative AIPers have come before us and created such wonderful conveniences.
  7. Being anti-social is finally socially acceptable!  While I know it’s not healthy to isolate ourselves, we’re again in a position where we’re ahead of the curve … we could hibernate for months and not go stark raving mad like the rest of them will .. we’ve been in training for this for our AIP life! (I thought you could use a little humor – hope I wasn’t wrong)
  8. You’re here where you can be inspired daily to eat healthy and stick to your autoimmune healing goals and stay as healthy as possible! I’m grateful you’re here … it brings me joy to know that I’m helping others remain positive during difficult times and I hope you find health, healing and happiness in this group. 
While I could probably go on for a lot longer about reasons to have an attitude of gratitude, I’m going to move on to some practical tips
  • RECIPES! You guessed it – don’t forget to use the group search in our AIP Recipe Collection Facebook Group – there are LOTS of AIP elimination stage recipes posted that will help you support your immune system, stay healthy or help you when you’re not feeling well. Use the group search for things like #undertheweather #sick #flu #cough, bone broth, etc. Instructions for how to use the group search can be found here.
  • GROCERIES – Yes, this may become a challenge in the days ahead, but there are many stores offering delivery or pick up options and even special hours for the elderly and those at risk (usually first thing in the morning after the store has been sanitized) – check your local area for what’s available. I also recommend checking Facebook Buy and Sell groups, there are some reputable farmers out there offering Grower’s vegetable boxes for delivery or pick up, and some are selling at road-side stands. Of course, Amazon is a great resource for a lot of pantry items as well.
  • ADVICE YOU CAN TRUST: NOTE –
    1) I trust Dr. Ballantyne’s Autoimmune Protocol and her advice on this situation so I simply want to share the article here for your knowledge without further discussion. Natural Approaches to the Cold & Flu” 
    2) Autoimmune Wellness Podcast “COVID-19 Autoimmune Wellness Emergency Pod” and “How to AIP During a Pandemic”
    (NOTE: Just so as not to confuse anyone that may be new to the AIP – Not all of the suggestions in the podcast are 100% elimination stage AIP – these ladies are feeding others in their family that aren’t AIP and they’re promoting the idea that we can’t do the AIP perfectly during crisis times – do the best you can)
  • INSTAGRAM – You can follow my feed on Instagram for a different kind of motivation where I sometimes share photos of my own meals, motivation, self-care and stress-relief tips and more.
  • PRODUCTS & DISCOUNTS: Below is a list of our affiliate products, services and shops to help make your AIP life a little easier – especially in cases like this.  Online shopping is a wonderful way to help us avoid germs, and we can shop with confidence from our trusted partners who are working diligently to help us all stay healthy.
    I will add new discounts as offers come out – our partners are being kind and generous at this difficult time.

Stay safe, stay home and healthy everyone!

AIP Meals & Emergency Food :

Click on each company name to be redirected …

  • WILD ZORA
    Offering a BULK Shopping Offers to help you stock your pantry with their shelf-stable AIP Compliant products at a discounted rate AND free shipping!
    THEN look for the 2 week AIP Freeze-Dried Food Box
    COUPON CODE: AIP15 saves 15% – applied automatically (doesn’t apply to bulk boxes)
  • PALEO ON THE GO
    Handmade AIP elimination stage foods and meals delivered to your door.
    COUPON CODE: AIPRecipes Saves you $15 off your first order
  • SERENITY FOODS
    Shelf-stable, Nutrient dense, top-quality baby food (meats, veg and fruits) in pouches (they have a recylcing program for pouches)! Suitable for adults, kids, babies and even pets! Almost all are AIP elimination stage!
    CODE: AIPRECIPES Saves 15% off your first order

Subscriptions :

  • truLOCAL
    Truly locally Sourced Meat! That means you’re supporting YOUR LOCAL farmers! Orders shipped to Canadian Customers are from Canadian Farmers and Orders shipped to US Customers are from Farmers IN THE USA!
  • BUTCHERBOX
    Quality meat you don’t need to leave your house for!
  • REAL PLANS 
    Completely customizable to AIP and additional food sensitivities! Helpful for planning to use your supplies and resources wisely with leftovers. *Since COVID-19 struck, RealPlans has added a lot of new features to the app to help us plan our meals even when we have limited supplies.*
  • SIMPLY AIP
    Self-Care Subscription box with AIP snacks, treats and a self-care item in every box – OR – Take advantage of Limited Edition Boxes and other supplies
    CODE: AIPDIET Saves $5 off your first order
  • AUTOIMMUNE STRONG
    An exercise program created for autoimmune disease sufferers – it’s suitable for EVERYONE (yes, even those bed-bound or in a wheelchair – there are adaptations!) to help us get moving appropriately and avoid flares. You can even check it out for free!

Multi-Product Shops :

  • SHOP AIP – Where everything is AIP!
    EVERYTHING IS AIP Compliant or part of the Reintroduction Stages and CLEARLY marked as such!
    CODE: AIPRecipe Saves you 10% off your first order
  • US WELLNESS MEATS
    Shop the AIP section and look around – there are other items that are sugar free and Whole30 that are suitable
    USA SHOP
    CANADIAN SHOP
    CODE: AIPRecipe Saves 15% OFF EVERY ORDER!
  • PIQUE TEA
    Top Quality Toxin Free Tea! Be sure to watch ingredients, avoid adaptogenic blends – see my post in the Announcements section for more on Pique Tea
    CODE: AIP5  Saves 5% OFF EVERY ORDER!
  • BARE BONES BROTH & COLLAGEN
    Broth & Collagen (watch ingredients – some of the formulations of broth now contain reintroductions)
    CODE: AIPRecipesGroup gives you 15% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER
  • CASA DE SANTE
    Low FODMAP seasonings

Decadent Treats :

Supplements:

While eating a nutrient dense diet is our goal and best way to get our nutrients, you may be looking for brands you can trust for supplementation.

This post contains affiliate links.  Click here to see what that means.

Your Secret Weapon for Gut Health – Pique Tea Crystals

If you haven’t heard of Pique yet, or you’re a little confused about why I’d consider promoting tea while for those on the AIP, allow me to explain.

  • First of all, black and green tea (read my post about Matcha vs. green tea here on the blog) are allowed in moderation during the initial elimination stage of the Autoimmune Protocol
  • Secondly, finding quality beverage options on the AIP can be a challenge. Sure we may find some good herbal, green or black tea options on the market, but often times they’re not as pure as we might think. Some are laden with pesticides, toxins and artificial flavors, additives and even gluten!
  • Pique Tea crystals are free of sugar, grains, dairy, gluten, artificial additives and fillers.
  • Pique Tea is TOP QUALITY and TRIPLE TOXIN SCREENED for pesticides, heavy metals and mold (all things that those with autoimmune disorders have to watch out for)!  Pique Tea contains TWELVE TIMES the antioxidants of regular tea in tea bags … that means WAY more healing power!

Gut Health:

When it comes to autoimmune disease, you’ve likely heard it over and over again that immunity starts in the gut, and without a healthy gut, it’s pretty much impossible to start healing.

As you likely know, your gut contains over 100 trillion bacteria that play a vital role in your overall health. It controls 80% of your immune system, mood, metabolism and more.

Recommendations:

Not only have I done my own research about Pique Tea and tried it myself (BTW, it’s delicious and so convenient – soluble in hot or cold water, no bags, no loose tea and tea ball messes – just convenient single serving completely dissolvable tea crystals in packages you can take with you anywhere!), I HIGHLY trust the opinion and advice of Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, The Paleo Mom who’s the expert behind the science of the AIP. She has this to say about Pique Tea:

“There’s emerging evidence that tea polyphenols can improve your gut microbiome by supporting the growth of probiotic strains like Lactobacillus and suppressing the growth of pathogenic bacteria like C. difficile, even reversing obesity-related changes in the microbiome caused by high-fat diets!

But, not all teas are created equal – Pique Tea delivers up to 12X the antioxidants of regular teas and are also triple toxin screened! That’s why I am absolutely in love with the superior quality and taste of Pique Tea!”

You Get What You Pay For:

As you might expect, top quality tea with this kind of healing power doesn’t come at bargain brand prices, but you can save with bundles, collections and purchases of 5 boxes or more.

Important Note:  Not all Pique tea varieties are suitable for the AIP Elimination Stage (and Pique is continually adding new products), so keep an eye on this – stick to herbal offerings: things like Mint, Ginger, Hibiscus, Oolong and Rooibos  and watch out for adaptogens like Chaga and Reishi to name but two.

Learn more about our affiliates at Pique Tea on their website – click here (SAVE 5% on EVERY ORDER with Coupon Code: AIP5) – and read additional testimonials from the health experts. 

Your Health Is Worth It!

This post contains affiliate links.  Click here to see what that means.

How to Manage the AIP in an Emergency

Whether you live in an area prone to tropical storms, earthquakes and wildfires or not, this post is important for anyone on a restricted diet. (Note, you may also want to read my article on the AIP & COVID-19 for more advice and support)

Wait! What are we talking about here? This topic could easily be misconstrued by readers, because let’s face it, an emergency when you’re on the AIP could simply mean having no energy to cook or go to the grocery store! Keep reading … some of these emergency tips and suggested rations to have on hand could be a different kind of “life saver” when you’re worn out or in a rush.

Now … Back to our regularly scheduled PSA!

Most governments these days suggest that folks keep a “Go Bag” or “Bug Out Bag” and that they have emergency rations on hand in the event of power outages or emergency evacuations. Do you take it seriously? Do you have a go-bag with emergency AIP food you can safely eat?

As with everything on the AIP, preparation is key, so I’m hoping this post will help you to prepare in advance so you won’t experience additional stress in the case of an emergency.

Below is a list of some AIP rations I suggest keeping on hand at all times along with your family’s standard rations like water, first aid kits, a change of clothing, etc. There are lots of great Bug Out Bag prep lists on the internet – use Google to find a list of essentials suitable for your location.

Advice from an AIP Authority

The following is from an Instagram post Angie Alt shared a while back. If you don’t already follow her, you should – she’s awesome! I love her funny and sometimes pointed posts, and in her usual style she nailed this topic too. ♥ Here’s what she wrote:

PSA – PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

In an emergency situation you just do whatever is necessary to be safe. Period.
AIP can be an important component of your long-term health with autoimmune disease, but short-term safety beats AIP every time. Life has hierarchies.

I’m sharing this message today because over the last several years leading SAD to AIP in SIX groups we’ve had members go through all kinds of natural disasters. I wanted anyone in our community preparing for or evacuating ahead of Hurricane Florence to hear it from an “AIP Authority” that your best is good enough right now and you and your family’s safety is priority number one .. 100%

That said, here are some resources that might help should any of you need them.

AIP Survival Tips
AIP Hurricane Prep – Video

Thank you @slightlylostgirl @wendisaipkitchen Sending the best vibes for safety and little to no damage for all the folks facing this right now. The AIP community is thinking of you. ♥

Recommended Emergency Rations

BONE BROTH

Bare Bones – Liquid Bone Broth in shelf-stable pouches – Not all products are strict Elimination Phase AIP compliant .. watch the labels

Vital Proteins – Powdered Bone Broth – Chicken Bone Broth Powder, Beef Bone Broth Powder 

Perfect Supplements – Powdered Bone Broth – Beef or Chicken – Just search “broth”

MEAT BARS & BONE BROTH

Epic – Meat Bars, Snacks and Liquid Bone Broth in jars – Not all products are strict Elimination Phase AIP compliant .. watch the labels

FREEZE DRIED AIP MEALS, SOUP, STEW & SNACKS

Wild Zora – Delicious Freeze-Dried Stew, Soup, Meat Bars & Fruit Snacks – Shop the AIP Compliant menu
Wild Zora even offers BULK Shopping Offers to help you stock your pantry with their shelf-stable AIP Compliant products at a discounted rate AND free shipping!

SHELF-STABLE FOOD POUCHES

Serenity Kids – Shelf-stable, nutrient-dense, top-quality baby food (meat, veg and fruit) in sustainable pouches – they’re suitable for babies, kids, adults and even pets!

PACKAGED AIP SNACKS AND MORE! 

Shop AIP  is an online store dedicated to all phases of the AIP. They offer lots of pre-packaged snacks, canned and packaged goods and ingredients that will help you stock your pantry and your Bug Out Bags. Of course, Amazon is a great resource for many AIP pantry items as well.