The short answer to the question, “Can I do the AIP as a Vegetarian?” is … NO … but before you throw up your hands and say – “the AIP isn’t for me” – I want you to understand why and a little bit more about the protocol itself.
Trust me, this is not just some off the cuff response from someone that doesn’t love animals! Before I started my AIP journey I had SERIOUSLY considered becoming a vegetarian myself, so I found this information extremely interesting and it helped me make my decision too.
I see a LOT of people join our Facebook Group who mention they’re struggling trying to find vegetarian recipes for their AIP journey … well, there’s a actually good reason for that, and you’ve come to the right place to learn why.
Through my AIP research I’ve run across a number of AIP bloggers and experts that USED TO BE vegetarian but found it necessary to incorporate quality grass-fed, grain free meat and wild caught fish in their diets in order to achieve maximum nutrient density that’s required for healing.
One of the biggies I want to refer you to is my friend Mickey Trescott. She was a vegan at one point in her life and her story is a valuable one for anyone facing this question – Read more about Mickey’s Recovery Journey by clicking here. Mickey also wrote a fantastic article, called AIP is a Plant-Based Protocol, that helps dispel some of the myths surrounding the AIP. Unfortunately many people think the AIP, being a variation of the Paleo diet, concentrates heavily on the consumption of animal protein … this is not the case. The AIP is actually a plant-based protocol with its focus on nutrient density. I found it interesting to hear Mickey say she eats more vegetables on the AIP than she did as a vegetarian! Read more about it in her article here.
You can learn even more in this in-depth article on the topic by Eileen Baird that compares the nutrition of vegetarians to those on a Paleo or AIP diet and then she offers excellent tips on how to transition to eating meat after being a vegetarian – it’s recognized that this can be a real challenge. Check out the article here – such a great resource.