Tag Archive for: Product Review

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. (You can read more testimonials, and how Serenity is helping adults and kids alike on their blog – click here)
 
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. 

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.

From Farm to Chef to Your Doorstep!

Paleo on the Go is a delicious frozen meal delivery service specializing in chef-made meals that cater to those following the AIP diet … Real AIP Food – Delivered!

They’re more than just a company that makes food. They help people heal and thrive when their lifestyle doesn’t allow for them to cook everyday. Their founder’s own health issues were the catalyst for this company. They’re the real deal.

They blend the Farm-to-Table movement with the convenience movement (think Amazon for real food). This is a service that is revolutionizing the real-food and AIP/Paleo movement. They truly are farm to doorstep.

Paleo on the Go seeks to support all of the foundations of health: nutrition, sleep, good digestion, exercise, and community in order to help people enjoy a healthier and more productive life.

Paleo On The Go Autoimmune Meals Delivered Discount Code AIPRecipeCollection.comEverything they offer is made with high-quality ingredients and they even tell you where they source their ingredients!

  • Certified Gluten & Grain Free
  • GMO Free
  • Nut Free
  • Soy Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Grass Fed Meats
  • Organic Produce
  • Quality AIP Ingredients

Lots of AIP-ers use Paleo On The Go whenever they go on vacation (so they actually get a break from cooking), and they’re great to keep a few on hand in the freezer for emergencies, or when you’re just too tired to cook.

Paleo On The Go makes a great gift for a loved one that might be ill … or yourself … so don’t be afraid to drop some hints.  I find lots of folks want to help but don’t know how!  Paleo On The Go will let them help without worrying how to cook for you.

Visit the Paleo On The Go Website with this link and use discount code “AIPRecipes” to save $15 off your first order.
Save even more when you purchase bundles and more again when you sign up for a monthly subscription (10% off your first monthly subscription and 5% off every month after that – PLUS subscribers get free gifts each month related to our AIP lifestyle!)

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

Nothing can de-rail a dietary plan faster than not having a plan at all!  If you’re like me, I tend to procrastinate about cooking and prepping meals, so I often get caught short of ingredients or inspiration.

If you’re on the AIP and struggling because you pretty much have to plan and prepare every single meal you consume then the Real Plans app just might save your sanity!

You’ll hear me say it over and over again:

“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail!”

RealPlans is NOT Your Average Meal Planner! 

 
THE OVERVIEW:
  • It’s perfectly tailored to meet the needs of those on the AIP (gluten free, dairy free, nut free, grain free, egg free, soy free, refined sugar free and nightshade free) and even ACCOMMODATES ADDITIONAL FOOD SENSITIVITIES or family preferences – it shows you ONLY the recipes you should have! (It can be especially helpful if you’re avoiding FODMAPs, coconut or are having to consider macronutrients).
  • It’s completely ADAPTABLE AS YOU PROGRESS FROM ELIMINATION STAGE THROUGH REINTRODUCTIONS as you add individual ingredients back in.
  • It does all the math for you – tell it how many you’re cooking for and it adjusts!
  • LEFTOVER LOGIC & SCHEDULING LOGIC are new for 2020 – makes a provision for using leftovers for other meals (if you wish) and when/how you want to use them (e.g. – left over dinner for lunch), batch cooking days, big cooking (that’s what I like to call it) where you make additional portions for the freezer.
  • COOK ONCE eat often! Since the app asks you how many times you want to cook, it helps you formulate a batch-cooking plan to best utilize your time.
  • Gives you the option for SEASONAL RECIPES so you can eat what’s in season to you locally which SAVES YOU MONEY!
  • THE ONLY SHOPPING LIST YOU’LL NEED! Not only is it a smart list which shows you which recipe the ingredient is for when you hover over the item (helpful if you can’t find an item and need to considering omitting it), you can use it for everything since it allows you to add additional household items and provides the option of multiple lists for different stores.
  • BULK SHOPPING the shopping lists allow you to customize the date range you’re shopping for – perfect if you’re going on vacation, or planning for emergency situations.
  • Due to the COVID-10/Corona Virus pandemic many have LIMITED SUPPLIES – so, they added a feature allowing you to search for recipes based on the number of ingredients so you can locate simple recipes quickly AND a new feature called PANTRY which allows you to meal plan based on what you already have in your house – it’s genius! (See more features below that will help you during the pandemic or any emergency that leaves you short of supplies).
  • There are OVER 300 AIP RECIPES in the regular plan and add-on options that open up the recipe world even further – you’ll never run out of options!
  • You can use it to IMPORT RECIPES you find here in the group & have the app incorporate them in your meal plan.
  • You can UPLOAD FAMILY FAVORITES or recipes from cookbooks you have if you take the time.
  • It has a TIMELINE for REMINDERS WHEN TO THAW INGREDIENTS, optional emails and so much MORE!
  • It’s truly the ULTIMATE APP FOR THE AIP!!

For my full review of the app and for information on using the app in cases of emergency where food supplies may be limited (like hurricanes, power outages and even COVID-19), please see below.

Subscription Options:

 

GRAB a Subscription:
Purchasing for yourself – sign up here

GIVE a Subscription:
Purchasing for someone you love – send a gift here

STILL not Sure?
RealPlans offers a 10-day money back guarantee – there’s really no risk!

FREE Printable Meal Plans
If you can’t afford to sign up for the app, not sure you’ll like meal planning or don’t think you’re tech savvy enough? You can sign up for 4 weeks of meal plans and meal planning tips and tricks that will  be delivered to your inbox for FREE!
NOTE – this is FAR different than the app! The free PDFs do not offer all of the features and customization – it’s a pre-set meal plan. – Learn more here

FEELING A LITTLE CHEEKY?
Share this post to social media with a little extra attention placed on that “GIVE” a subscription link as a subtle hint of what your loved ones could get you for Valentines Day … or your birthday … Mother’s Day …. Father’s Day …. or JUST BECAUSE you’re AWESOME Day!

Wishing you all much healing … and I hope you love this app as much as I do! ♥

__________________________________________________

My Full Review of RealPlans

RealPlans is the perfect partner on the AIP, a great source of recipes and a great way to store your personal favorites (from our group, this blog or old family favorites you’ve modified)!  It’s actually the ONLY app that caters specifically to the AIP.

I first saw information about RealPlans MONTHS ago, and I ignored it, figured I didn’t need help with recipes and meal planning, I was doing just fine … “I’ve got this” … or so I thought!

That said … I was an idiot!  I wish I’d jumped on RealPlans as soon as I saw it, and I certainly wish it was around when I first started on AIP! OMG … It’s AWESOME!

Who’s the App For?

Whether you’re a novice AIPer or a seasoned veteran, this app is for you! First of all though, let me say, I’m not into apps and gadgets, so for me to get excited about this, that’s really saying something.

So, what is it? Just another fancy app that you’ll look at a few times and never go back to? HECK NO! You’ll use it every day!

RealPlans is a Meal Planning app that was created with specialty diets like the AIP in mind but it’s really suitable for everyone no matter what dietary plan you’re following. For AIP and anyone with food allergies or sensitivities this is the best thing since sliced AIP plantain bread!

What Is It?

RealPlans is a specialized app that can be used on your computer, mobile device or both (I utilize it on both – some set up needs to be done on the computer so keep that in mind), it helps you plan your AIP meals (it’ll even tell you when to get those frozen goods out of the freezer so you’re ready to get cooking according to your plan), provides recipes, allows you to make more when you want left-overs and creates shopping lists to help you get the job done with ease!

Not interested because you already use a grocery list app? No worries – this app will allow you to add ANYTHING to your grocery list, and it’ll even set up more than one list, allowing you to decide which store to purchase items at.

How Does It Work?

This is a subscription app, and it’s available by the month, quarterly or annually (of course you save more by committing to quarterly or monthly subscriptions) AND there’s a money-back guarantee, so you can’t lose!

Once you sign up you can either go it alone or enlist the help of the experts (their customer service is excellent!) which makes the app perfect for everyone, regardless of your techno-savvy or lack there of.

  1. You tell the app who you are – how many people are in your family, where you shop (so it can set up your grocery lists), what unit of measurement you want your recipes to appear in (imperial or metric), which gadgets you use … like the instant pot or slow cooker.
  2. You tell it what you like to eat, so in our case you’d select our specialty diet – AIP – it then automatically eliminates the top 8 food allergen groups from the options. IMPORTANT: The app allows for ALL stages of the AIP diet, from Elimination through Reintroduction, and allows you to easily add individual foods back into your diet or whole food groups. The app is also customizable for folks that are on Paleo, Whole30, GAPS or Keto, or maybe just vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten free or dairy free and even traditional diets … so keep it in mind … it makes a great gift for anyone that needs help planning meals!  UPDATE:  They’ve even added macro tracking for those that need or want that … these guys think of everything and welcome customer feedback to help make their product better!
  3. You then customize your food selections by telling it what additional foods you need to avoid … you can exclude additional groups of food or individual food items, so for me I excluded all variations of pineapple since I’m allergic.
  4. Tell the app which meals you REALISTICALLY plan to prepare (you make your selections with the use of easy slider buttons) … we’re not superheros folks, so count on those cherished left overs (UPDATE FOR 2020 – they’ve added a feature for scheduling left overs and which meals you want to make extra portions of for this reason), schedule days off if you’re visiting friends or family or eating out, and tell the app how much work you want to do … it’ll figure out the rest. You can even ask it to only show you recipes that take under 30 minutes to make!
  5. Once the app populates your calendar with recipes (all of which are recipes YOU CAN EAT … it’ll never show you something that you shouldn’t have – talk about a fail safe … especially for newbies on the AIP!) you can go about customizing it to suit your family’s needs. Do your kiddos insist on Taco Tuesday? It can do that! Just drag and drop recipes, add items here and there, it’s amazing!
  6. Want to use recipes you’ve collected from our Facebook Group, or an old family favorite … yup … it can do that too! It’ll even allow you to customize the existing recipes from the app to your personal taste – you can edit the recipes to your preference! The sky is quite literally the limit with this amazing app, and the recipe box is amazing!
  7. Want even MORE recipes that you don’t need to go searching for or import? You can upgrade your app and purchase a recipe package from some of the big names in the AIP community, like The Paleo Mom, Meatified, Nom Nom Paleo and the Autoimmune Wellness girls. SCORE!  Life just got easier again!
  8. Once you’re done planning your recipes for the week, the app populates a shopping list and you’re ready to hit the ground running! You can even edit your shopping list to add things not in the meal plan (like tooth paste and toilet paper). As I mentioned earlier, you can add more than one store that you shop at, and indicate where you want to purchase various items, which makes life a breeze once you get to the shops.

Initially there’s a bit of set up with the app (you can even tell it what type of pantry items to leave off of your grocery list, like spices and condiments), but once you’ve got it customized to your liking, you’re golden! Did I mention you can even tell it you want to have the same recipes in weekly rotation? A great feature since I know a lot of us like consistency in our routines.

Having a dinner party – no worries, it allows for that and you can adjust the serving sizes of any recipe at any time! It’s like magic!

Once you sign up, you’ll get several emails from RealPlans in the days ahead … it’s NOT SPAM … the emails are super useful and will help you get the most out of the app with tips and instructional videos.

So – that’s my review of RealPlans! In case you hadn’t guessed, I highly recommend this for anyone struggling to keep up with AIP meal planning, for those who don’t have time to keep looking for recipes … and especially for newbies … what an AMAZING tool to help you keep to your AIP goals! If you use the app, it won’t let you eat something you shouldn’t (though you do still need to watch the labels on ingredients).

There’s seriously so much to this app I can’t cover every last feature … you really need to jump in and get your feet wet … it’s extremely useful, and trust me, I’m not one to suggest spending money on things frivolously!

I find there’s always a holiday or special day right around the corner, so why not show yourself a little self-care and give yourself this amazing gift!

 

Subscription Options:

GRAB a Subscription:
Purchasing for yourself – sign up here

GIVE a Subscription:
Purchasing for someone you love – send a gift here

STILL not Sure?
RealPlans offers a 10-day money back guarantee – there’s really no risk!

FREE Printable Meal Plans
If you can’t afford to sign up for the app, not sure you’ll like meal planning or don’t think you’re tech savvy enough? You can sign up for 4 weeks of meal plans and meal planning tips and tricks that will  be delivered to your inbox for FREE!
NOTE – this is FAR different than the app! The free PDFs do not offer all of the features and customization – it’s a pre-set meal plan. – Learn more here

FEELING A LITTLE CHEEKY?
Share this post to social media with a little extra attention placed on that “GIVE” a subscription link as a subtle hint of what your loved ones could get you for Valentines Day … or your birthday … Mother’s Day …. Father’s Day …. or JUST BECAUSE you’re AWESOME Day!

Wishing you all much healing … and I hope you love this app as much as I do! ♥

In Case of Emergency:

Important TIPS:  In light of the COVID-19 outbreak (or any state of emergency that leaves you short on supplies – think tropical storms and hurricanes folks) and concerns over grocery shopping, limited supplies and meal prep, consider some general tips and ways you can use RealPlans to help you SHOP SMART!

1. Freezer meals are the perfect plan to make fresh ingredients last longer.
2. Meal planning helps you to shop smart and stick to your healthy eating.
3. Use the RealPlans for inspiration or clear the plan and be inspired by the recipe box.
4. Use the filters in the recipe box to find great meals that you can freeze, or batch cook for leftovers.
5. Modify recipes to cater to what is left in the stores (or your house).
6. RealPlans has adapted their app to allow you to search recipes by the number of ingredients – a great feature when supplies are running low.
7. The new pantry feature will help you find recipes based on what you have on hand!
8. Add additional items to the shopping list to make it fit for your real life (paper goods, trash bags, etc).
9. Use the shopping list to shop for more than one week if needed to prepare for any necessary isolation.

Looking for a little encouragement dealing with COVID-19 and the AIP – Click here to read my encouragement post.
Want more tips for emergency planning for a specialty diet? Click here.