Introducing Real Plans: A Customizable AIP Meal Planning Service!

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Why Meal Planning?

Meal planning is the number one, can’t-live-without-it practice we preach to first-timers. We all know the feeling of being ill prepared to tackle a big change or transition. By meal planning, you can set yourself up for success on something as challenging as making the switch to the Autoimmune Protocol.

Once you have your meal planning mastered, suddenly the AIP starts to feel easy. Healthful meals become the norm, and you finally settle into the consistency that produces true healing.

But we’ll also be the first to admit that meal planning is easier said than done. From last-minute schedule changes to varying work routines, it can be hard to find a groove. Meal planning services can help with this, but until very recently, none catered to the AIP crowd.

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Introducing: Real Plans

The first thing we’ll tell you about Real Plans is that it is not your average meal planning service. In fact, it is the most innovative, user-friendly, and helpful resources we’ve found, and our first tour of their system completely blew us out of the water.

We were so thrilled with their offering that we agreed to add over 250 of our Autoimmune Protocol recipes from the blog as well as our books to their Autoimmune Paleo recipe package.

You select the recipes you’d like to make based on your dietary restrictions or preferences and let their system know how often you’d like to cook, when you shop, and how many servings you’d like. Their software instantly creates a meal plan and shopping list based on your preferences, from which you can modify or add to. It is that easy!

If you want to cut to the chase, click here to learn more about Real Plans and sign up!

This is a big deal for the AIP community–not only will it help hundreds of you get healing foods on the table, but it’s also a sign of how widely understood and acknowledged the Autoimmune Protocol continues to become. Best of yet, it is very affordable. Read on to learn more about this awesome service!

How does it work?

In simple terms, Real Plans helps you create a highly customizable weekly meal plan by choosing from their database of nearly 2,000 recipes (400 of which are AIP-friendly!).

You can also input any additional foods you may be avoiding (great for those who have sensitivities to things like coconut), as well as how many servings you’d like to make and other factors that help customize your plan.

Based on your selections, Real Plans provides you with a detailed shopping list and cooking timetable along with the recipe instructions, all of which are always at your fingertips thanks to the free app that accompanies the service.

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To break it down, each week you:

  1. Choose what you want to eat from the Real Plans recipe database.
  2. Review your shopping list, removing the ingredients you already have on hand.
  3. Print, email or sync your shopping list with your smart phone.
  4. Shop quickly and efficiently!
  5. Follow your weekly timeline to find out when to defrost, chop and reheat.
  6. Eat good food every day.

The best part!

The best part about Real Plans is that they get us. Their database is filled with recipes we AIPers actually eat, many of which come from our own recipe archives here at Autoimmune Paleo or were written by other bloggers we love like The Paleo Mom and Nom Nom Paleo.

All recipes are clearly labeled and categorized so you’ll have no fear of finding a stray nightshade or legume on your shopping list.

recipe week

A few more details that make Real Plans perfect for AIPers:

  1. You have the ability to exclude or include entire food groups from your plans, meaning that if, for instance, you have eliminated nightshades but have reintroduced eggs, you can tell Real Plans to adjust your recipes accordingly.
  2. You can separate ingredients by grocery store so you can plan exactly where to get what.
  3. You can easily upload your own recipes (or favorites from other blogs) to your collection.
  4. The interface is clean and intuitive and their “Getting Started” video makes things super easy.
  5. You can make changes to your weekly plan whenever you want. So even when family comes to town, you can easily swap out recipes, increase serving sizes, or repurpose leftovers and your shopping list and timeline will automatically update. No other service does this!

Real Plans’ annual subscription costs just $6 per month and gives you access to their recipe database of more than 1,600 recipes (400 of which are AIP-friendly). For an additional $1 per month, they’ll also include the Autoimmune Paleo recipe archives, as well as some of the recipes from our books, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a great intro video describing how it all works:

Until preparing AIP-friendly foods becomes routine, healing will continue to be an uphill battle. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels cooking every night, or you’re struggling to nail down a sustainable routine, Real Plans might just be your answer. We never promote products or services we don’t fully believe in, and this is no different!

Click here to learn more and sign up!

Want to give the gift of meal planning to a friend or family member? Real Plans now offers gift subscriptions! What could be better than giving the gift of good health? Learn more about Real Plans gift subscriptions here!

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.

49 comments

  • Debbie says

    Is there an extra cost on ‘Plan to Eat’ to access your recipes? I love it but when I purchased it I had no idea the recipes of my favourite food bloggers would not be included unless I paid more per month :o(

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Debbie! I’m not sure what you are referencing for “Plan to Eat” – We are not partners with them, but we are partners with “Real Plans” (where you can spend an extra $1 to access our recipes). The reason is that this fee is passed on to us, who are the original creators of the recipes. Hope that clears up any confusion for you!

  • Karen says

    What does a person do if they are dealing with diabetes, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis? thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Karen! Angie and I are health coaches, and not certified to work with medical issues. I’d suggest looking for a practitioner who is familiar with functional medicine who can help you customized based on your diagnosis – primaldocs.com and paleophysiciansnetwork.com are both great places to start. Good luck!

  • Ali says

    Can you select AIP and GF/DF recipes at the same time in the recipe selection?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Ali,
      Yes, and you can even add in specific foods you’ve introduced, or additional eliminations you’d like to make. It is completely customizable!

      • Susan says

        Not sure how I stumbled upon your service. After another evening feeling 6 months,pregnant after dinner, can hardly breath, you just might be my answer. I have Hasimoto’s, RA, Sjogrens, Raynauds, Osteoarthritis. .. tested “+” again for SIBO. My GI Dr seems inexperienced in guiding me on an elimination diet . I met with a Functional Medicine Dr last week in hopes he could help me, but a year contract would cost me almost $500/ month. I need help !!!

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Susan! I am so sorry to hear about your issues. Here are some places to look for practitioners – primaldocs.com, paleophysiciansnetwork.com, functionalmedicine.org. It is hard to find more affordable docs, but they are out there – keep looking!

        • JP says

          Hi Susan, I share your frustration with expensive practitioners. I have finally found a functional medicine group of doctors across the nation that are cheaper than $500 per month. The group is called BodyLogic MD. I have had my first appointment with them in the Charlotte area (I am very pleased so far with the knowledge and approach to my health issues). My Dad is going to one in the Orlando area, and I also found one in Salt Lake City. They cost about $500 to $600 for the first appointment and also have the ability to get full bloodwork done for about $300 if insurance doesn’t cover it. Then the 3 or 4 follow-up appointments are about $300 each. Much cheaper than the functional medicine doctor that wanted me to pay $5,500 for 6 months of seeing her and getting tests and supplements. Hope this helps.

          • Mickey Trescott says

            Hey Jennifer, thanks for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Diefenderfer says

    I’m not much of a cook. Are there easy recipes to follow until I feel more confident in my cooking skills.

    • Angie Alt says

      Elizabeth-
      There are great, easy recipes found in the recipe’s section of our site, but also simple ones to follow w/ the Real Plans service. Even relatively inexperienced cooks can handle the majority of them.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Elizabeth! Great question – the recipes are similar to what you’d find here on the site, for the most part simple and written in a way novice cooks can understand. If you like the recipes here, I think you will find Real Plans a helpful service. Hope it helps!

  • Suzie says

    Hi there! Real plans sounds so good, but I am just wondering if the AIP meals are for the elimination phase of the protocol? I have not yet started AIP elimination and one of the reasons is that it is such a big shift in the way I shop and cook, it would be so awesome to know that the AIP meals in real plans would have me sorted for the elimination phase (because it is such a big transition). If the AIP meals in real plans are not all compatible with the elimination phase, is there a way to tell which meals are and which meals aren’t? Also, do you happen to know if the meals from the Paleo Mom are AIP elimination phase friendly? Thanks for your fantastic resources!

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Suzie-
      All the recipes that Mickey and I submitted to be included in the AIP offerings of Real Plans are elimination-phase compliant. We cannot speak to The Paleo Mom’s additions, but generally, those of us in the AIP community publishing recipes are focused on the elimination-phase, because it is the harder phase to navigate in terms of cooking, shopping, etc.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Suzie! Yes, real plans has hundreds of elimination friendly recipes, with both a general AIP tag as well as more specific eliminations (for those who are sensitive to coconut, for example). Most of Sarah’s recipes are AIP as well, so between our two offerings you get literally hundreds of recipes. It is a great resource!

  • Maggie Johnson says

    Is it possible to share the meal plan with my daughter and her family or does she have to subscribe herself? Do the AIP or other types of recipes use simple ingredients or do they require unusual things for seasoning? Are the meals complicated and time consuming? My daughter has 7 children aged 3 to 18.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Maggie! You will probably want your own subscriptions, since Real Plans saves all your preferences and then generates a custom meal plan according to that information. You could certainly give her a tour of your account though, before she signs up! And many of the recipes use simple ingredients, along the lines of the recipes you find here on the site. She can specifically request recipes that don’t take a long time to prepare and feed a certain size family. Real Plans has a great customer service team as well as a guarantee so they would be happy to walk both of you guys through their service and help set things up for you. Good luck!

    • Camille says

      Hi Maggie,
      While I do agree that with each subscription you’re getting AIP meal plans that are tailored especially for you, I honestly do not see any issue with you passing on the meal plan to whomever you like. If said people are also eating AIP then they’d be familiar with certain restrictions and such. Having said that…it is a paid service so I do understand why everyone would be encouraged to sign up for their own subscription.

  • Kristin says

    We used it for 8 weeks. While it is a great resource for planning, I found it lacking in offal and seafood elements that we were looking for when selecting AIP and some of our favorite Paleo/AIP personalities. You cannot adjust the settings to include more of certain foods. We wanted less traditional protein sources. In order to get those, I spent extra time restructuring the plans they generated each week. They refunded our money without hesitation, and I highly recommend them for Paleo/Primal, but found them lacking in the AIP department.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Kristin! Sad to hear. Did you sign up for the AIP recipe packs from both our blog and The Paleo Mom? With them you get over 500 recipes, including all of our offal and seafood items.

  • MarlaM says

    Hi Ladies!

    My challenge with RP has been trying to incorporate Batch Cooking, along with a few fresh cooked meals, into the week with the interface available.
    Do either of you have any insight into how to make BC’g optimally work with RP?

    My family of guys eats a LOT more than I do (I’m the AIP’er, and they will eat whatever is prepared and maybe just needs reheating – I am blessed!)

    Thank you for any suggestions you may have.

    Luv u 2 and what u so, graciously, provide the AIP community!

    • Angie Alt says

      Aaaaw! Thanks Marla! What I do is use RP to plan breakfasts & dinners. I choose a few of those dinners to be “batch cooked” (think roasts, whole chickens, big pans of roasted veggies) to provide leftovers for lunches. And then in the lunch space, I add two or three salad recipes, soups/stews, & usually broth. I don’t actually prepare all those lunch recipes as lunches on the set days, I just have them worked in so they populate my plan & shopping list, then I prepare them on my batch cook day & have them available all week. Does that help??

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Marla! Have you tried using Real Plans to make a meal plan for the week, selecting for recipes that store/freeze well, and then preparing all of those meals during a batch cooking routine instead of throughout the week? That is how I would hack it! Hope it helps!

  • Marla says

    Yes! That really DOES help, Angie! Thank You! It’s great to ‘see’ you up and about again – many prayers went up for you;) BTW, LOVED your SAD to AIP courses – worth every penny! (And a little note on that: Later, during my re-intro’s, I unfortunately had a health setback, so am using the first course resources to restart AIP elimination again, and persevere – longer this time for more healing, before the intro’s). Those resources you provided in the courses keep on paying for themselves!
    Again, so appreciate your help with RP!

  • Claire says

    Hi Mickey, I’m considering getting AIP Batch Cook. However, I live in a country where all pork products are banned. There are also no fresh herbs and absolutely no sage (even dried) for some reason. Would I still be able to make all the recipes?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Claire! The one recipe that uses ground pork can be substituted with beef. If you can get your hands on some dried herbs you will be fine!

  • Sandy says

    I am just beginning the elimination phase of AIP. Would you recommend Real Plans? Feeling overwhelmed at where to begin! I have Hashimotos. Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Sandy – yes! Real Plans is absolutely a helpful resource for beginners. Wishing you wellness.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sandy! Yes, Real Plans is great for the elimination diet because they filter the recipes for you with their AIP label – and you can also filter additional preferences out (like coconut, or mushrooms) if you have a food you are sensitive to or don’t like. They make eating AIP way easier!

  • Jen says

    I have a general question about the AIP – I try to avoid seafood due to the mercury content and other contaminants – is this something that you all have considered? Do you think it is a potential issue or do you find that eating so much seafood is not a problem? Thanks!

  • Jolanda Rose says

    Hi 🙂 on top of my Hashimotos I have Fructose intolerance. Can I select AIP and Fructose free?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jolanda! You can’t specifically select fructose, but you can individually select any high-fructose ingredients and it will only show you compliant recipes 🙂

  • Liz says

    I have been diagnosed with and autoimmune illness, (Vasculities) I take anti inflammatory meds with tremendous reluctance. I tried reducing my dosage only to have the inflammation flare up again. My Rheumatologist advised me to increase the dosage again. I was on the Blood Type Diet before I introduced the Auto-immune protocol, it was helping me a lot. I waited till my symptoms stabilized then started the PAIP . Once I stabilized on the PAIP I re- introduced some foods I felt were least likely to be sensitive to.
    However Dr Izabelle Wentz’s team felt I should consult you as they felt that you had a certain order in doing so.
    I searched your website first, I could not find it. Perhaps you could point me in the right direction?

  • EV Miles says

    Hi!
    What a great tool you have created! Any plans on adding the FODMAP’s to your list of exclusions? I know you can’t do everything. I would love it if were on the horizon.

    Many thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi EV, you can definitely eliminate the FODMAPs using their system! Its super handy!

  • Laura says

    Hi,
    I am interested in the Real Plans menu planning. I have RA and Alpha-Gal or also known as Red Meat Tick Disease. I can no longer eat mammal products including dairy and gelatin. Are there a lot of menus for AIP without mammal ? I can have poultry and fish. Thank you, Laura

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Laura! Real Plans makes it easy and you can select out any mammal meat from the recipes it curates for you.

  • irene says

    Please continue! Real plans help me add variety to our dinners! Thank you.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Irene,
      We still continue to affiliate with and love Real Plans. You can see our recipe collection with them by clicking the link above!

  • Bernadette Otto says

    Hi, along with having some rarer auto immune diseases, I can not digest any raw leafy greens…cause severe cramping and diarrhea. Used to be I could get away with baby spinach but now not able to digest that. Really cuts into a lot of menu plans! Suggestions?

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Bernadette-
      The great thing about Real Plans is that you can customize the plans. If recipes w/ raw greens pop up, you have the ability to substitute in recipes that omit greens or utilize cooked greens. There is even an option for you to add recipes you already know & love (& probably work for your individual needs) into your menu plans w/ this tool. I’d give it a try & see if it helps you w/ this need.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Bernadette! Does it help if you gently steam them? My guess if you don’t tolerate raw leafy greens you will just have to treat them like an additional sensitivity and meal plan around them!

  • Nancy Stinson says

    Both my daughter and I are interested in started this this program. My 25 year old daughter suffers from severe life threatening food allergies to all dairy & Egg products; and has also suffers from Eosinaphallic Eosphagatis ( known as EE) ( a very severe case for over 10 years). ( as a result of her condition she is unable to keep down most food she tries to eat. As a result she has to eat 5x times the amount of food in order for some calories to stay with her. She also has Fibromyalgia; anxiety and other physical issues.
    I am 57 years old and I’m a retired disabled veteran; I have recently been diagnosed with food allergies;( if I eat meat I find myself getting severely congested almost immediately) Fibroymalgia; a chronic pain patient for almost 20 years; and several other chronic issues.
    It’s apparent to me that we need more than what we have from our regular doctors. I’m researching your program now to figure how to start. Is coaching available?
    I’m anxious to get started. As for for full blood tests. We have both gone through complete allergy testing to verify extensive environmental and food allergies. What’s funny is my food allergies are now more extensive than hers- although mine aren’t life threatening.
    Has anybody else had to deal with EE and found improvement?
    Advice; guidance on how to start? I’m anxious nervous and hopeful.
    Thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Nancy! Thanks for joining us here, and I am sorry to hear about yours and your daughter’s issues. To be honest we get contacted by so many readers with different conditions, it is hard to keep track of the testimonials – but what I always tell people is that they won’t know if it will produce a benefit until they try! Angie, my partner here at the site has a quarterly group program that would be great for transitioning to AIP: http://sadtoaip.com. There is also coaching available at http://thepaleomom.com/consulting. My advice would be to spend some time learning about these changes and getting ready to set yourself up for success in tackling them – there is a lot to learn, and it is best to avoid overwhelm! Wishing you both the best in your recoveries.

  • Lyn says

    Are the meal plans easy to customize? I have RA, Lupus, and a few other things. I don’t eat much meat for fish, but occasionally crave. It’s not that I don’t like, but either I don’t feel well and it doesn’t sound good or my body just doesn’t process well. I really want a diet that will give me more energy, less inflammation, strengthen my body, and be able to customize my meal plan week to week with helpful tips as to what certain items are known for so I can make better choices.

    My son was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s so it would be good to cook for both of us. Especially since he just started Humira treatments.

    • Angie Alt says

      Lyn-
      Considering you & your son both have autoimmune diseases, I would say try Real Plans w/ the AIP recipes from Mickey & I. They are still easily customized if you don’t prefer certain meats or veggies. That said, protein is an important part of healing. You might want to try slowly adding meat or working on restoring stomach acid to make digest more comfortable.

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