AIP Kitchen Tour – July 2016

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AIP Kitchen Tour is a monthly feature in which we profile a member of the AIP community and their kitchen setup in hopes that it will further inspire us to get our kitchens organized and set up for success! We’ve interviewed folks who are making the AIP lifestyle a reality in everything from college dorms and small city apartments, to large households with non-AIP family members, and everything in between. Through these interviews, we hope to share how they make it happen across a variety of budgets and living situations, and give the community a wealth of inspiration. Read more Kitchen Tours here!

Rory in Kitchen 1

Name: Rory Linehan

Location: Washington, DC

AI Disease: No diagnosed AI disease but a raft on AI-associated symptoms and conditions, including rosacea and ocular rosacea

How long have you been eating AIP? I have been following the AIP for over three years, although my diet over the last six months has transitioned into more of a standard Paleo diet.

How has the AIP changed your life?
It’s difficult to put into words how seismically the AIP has improved my life. Most of the symptoms which brought me to the AIP have been lifted. My skin is better than it ever has been before, my mental cognition is sharp and my stamina is beyond what I thought possible. The AIP even alleviated symptoms which I considered to be “normal”, such as anxiety, poor sleep quality and excess water weight.

If I can hammer home one point from this interview, it’s that the AIP is much more than a diet. Nutrition is an incredibly powerful tool to heal but if you don’t prioritize a healthy lifestyle (sleep, stress management, social connection, etc.) and mindset (your thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, etc.) then chances are you are limiting your healing potential.

Rory Kitchen 1

Have you successfully reintroduced any foods?
Yes! It took me a good two and a half years on the AIP before I was able to substantially reintroduce new foods into my diet. It wasn’t until then that my doc and I discovered that I had some pretty nasty gut dysbiosis going on, including a yeast overgrowth and SIBO. Since we’ve been treating the dybsiosis, my diet has expanded considerably.

I now thrive on reintroductions such as eggs, nightshades (including hot sauce — #winning), legumes with edible pods (sugar snap peas, green beans, etc.), seeds, chocolate and spices.

Outside of the AIP, I developed an intolerance to sulfur-rich foods two years ago (for more see here) and have been successful in reintroducing a raft of these foods back into my diet after having had to eliminate them for the better part of a year and a half.

Size of your kitchen:
The perfect size for a single bloke! I couldn’t tell you the dimensions but it’s large enough that I never feel crowded or confined but small enough that it is super easy to clean (#winwin!).

Favorite thing about your kitchen:
I like how modern my kitchen is. I am the first person to live in my apartment; the complex was just built a little over a year ago. The kitchen appliances are all brand-spanking new which means that they work well and are a breeze to clean.

Least favorite thing about your kitchen:
I like my kitchen a lot, so I’m really clutching at straws here… But my cutlery drawer ends up always slightly ajar, no matter how many times I close it!

Rory Fridge 1

Are there any cheap gadgets or little tools that you have found make AIP easier?
Cooking simply and quickly makes me the happiest, so I can’t say I use many kitchen tools or gadgets. In fact, I only really have two: my Ninja blender/food processor (hello coconut ice cream) and my Instant Pot for my bone broth.

What is the biggest thing that changed in your kitchen setup when you adopted the AIP?
My kitchen setup didn’t change at all. Some things that did change included actually using the vegetable crisper in my fridge (it’s now always stocked-full!), removing the pre-made meals from my freezer and replacing them with lots of frozen meat, fruit and veg and my microwave getting a much smaller workout than it used to.

If someone was just starting to invest in some useful but more expensive kitchen tools, which one would you tell them to buy first?
A quality knife and a great skillet. For 95% of my meals, all I use is a knife, a chopping board and my super awesome skillet. If you have a sharp knife that can power through the meat and veggies and a skillet that cooks well and is easy to wash, you are very much ahead of the game!

Rory Freezer 1

Are there any tricks you have learned to make AIP work in your space?
Making sure my fridge and freezer are always stocked up with food. A massive element of kick-starting my healing was to remove treats from my diet. In order to do this, I make sure that I always have frozen fruit on hand for if/when get a sugar craving. I keep all treats out of the house because I cannot moderate — give me a block of chocolate and it won’t last long! But if I never see the block of chocolate, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

How do you deal with food for family members that are not AIP?
I keep it light-hearted. My grandma (bless her soul!), is always very concerned at family gatherings that I’m not eating what everyone else is. If I can crack a wry joke, it always takes the tension out of the situation. I have also made an effort to explain to my loved ones just why I eat this way and why it is super important to me. My family is very inclusive, and will generally always provide me with a Paleo option at gatherings and when I cook, they all love my meals (except for maybe my nieces and nephews – I’m still working on that!).

Are there any tools or appliances that you’ve stopped using now that your diet has changed?
Nope. I was never a fancy cook so I had a low base to begin with!

What are your favorite meals to batch cook?
This answer is going to get me into trouble with some of my AIP pals, but I don’t batch cook! I generally don’t eat breakfast, so it’s a meal I don’t have to worry about (I try to get at least a 16-hour fast in every day) and I live literally on the same block as my work, so I can come home and cook lunch as I please. I also live/work two blocks from Whole Foods and go there for lunch when I don’t have the time to cook lunch. I always make time to cook dinner, so I haven’t had the need to batch cook yet.

What are your favorite AIP and Paleo cookbooks?
All of my secrets are coming out here… I almost never follow recipes! I simply use what I have on hand and go from there. For the very special occasions when I want to make something fancy, I refer to The Healing Kitchen, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and the mountain of great recipes from Kate at Healing Family Eats.

Do you have any tips for those starting an elimination diet and setting up their kitchens for the first time?Remove the temptations from your kitchen! If you can, remove anything that doesn’t fall within the AIP and keep sugar to an absolute minimum. Sugar is a catalyst for inflammation and if you want your body to heal, it’s important to provide it the right building blocks.

You can find more AIP real talk on Rory’s blog, The Paleo PI, as well as on InstagramFacebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Would you like to be featured in an AIP Kitchen Tour? We feature members of the community who are willing to share the real spaces where they cook, as well as their stories of transitioning to this lifestyle. If you are interested, fill out our interest form!

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer, content coach and yoga teacher from Seattle, and the Blog/Social Media Director for Autoimmune Wellness. Grace designs websites and creates content that capture how great her clients are so they can effectively and authentically share their expertise with the world. She also shares recipes and explores how to live her most vibrant life on her blog.

4 comments

  • Erin says

    Thanks for sharing a peek inside your kitchen, Rory! I envy your simplistic approach to cooking, I think we can all use a little more of that.

  • Karin says

    A fellow DC-area AIPer! I’d be curious to know if Rory has found any restaurants in the DC area that can prepare AIP compliant dishes? I miss being social with my friends, so I am constantly looking for places that might be accommodating. I’m especially looking for anywhere that can prepare simple seafood! 🙂

  • Sherlyn says

    Thanks for sharing Rory. Also, congrats on being able to have hot sauce, nightshades ended up being one of my biggest intolerances, and the hardest part was giving up the peppers and the hot sauces. Thank goodness for wasabi 🙂

  • Thank you for participating. I enjoyed reading about your healing journey too, you have such a positive mindset. Good for you. I find it hopeful too that you can eat at Whole Foods and be fine. Skin issues are one of my issues too and I have found that my skin had improved on AIP as well. This was unexpected but I am grateful for this! I try to share this info. with others in my family who also suffer from skin issues.

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