AIP Kitchen Tour – April 2015

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AIP Kitchen tour is a monthly feature where we profile someone who eats AIP and has agreed to share their kitchen setup with the community, in hopes that they can further inspire us to get our kitchens organized and set up for success! We’ve heard reports of people who are able to make AIP work in college dorms and small city apartments to large households with family members who eat otherwise, 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. 

dinner prep

While I do some dinner prep, the kids not so sneakily steal some olives…

Name: Erin

Location: WA state

AI Disease: Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Raynaud’s. I also have a slightly sluggish thyroid, but no thyroid antibodies.

How long have you been eating AIP? I switched to a primal diet initially two years ago, but I found the AIP about 18 months ago.

Have you successfully reintroduced any foods? Yes! After several failed reintros, I’m thrilled to finally have black pepper, vanilla, and most recently mustard back. It’s the little things… I also do okay with occasional 85% or better soy-free chocolate.

How has AIP changed your life? This was the first winter I’ve been able to walk around my home barefoot without my toes turning purple. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to do that. Joint pain has become a thing of the past thanks to the AIP and perhaps the copious amount of bone broth I drink. I have had no new patches of psoriasis appear and only have some stubborn scalp psoriasis remaining. The AIP has made me appreciate the signals my body sends me, I just have to be tune in to them.  There are many other changes I have seen since I started my initial diet change. Migraines are a thing of the past, as are menstrual cramps, my keratosis pilaris cleared up,  I had a huge boost in energy, and that pesky brain fog lifted. But best of all, the AIP has shown me that taking the reigns to better my health is not only possible, it is wise.

stovetop

I always have my cast iron skillet on the stove, since I use it daily. But on this morning I was also making a batch of bone broth in the pressure cooker. On the side of the fridge, you’ll see my DIY framed to do lists, they keep me organized!

Size of your kitchen: This kitchen is small compared to our last place! We’re currently living in an apartment until we save enough to buy some acreage and build. Let’s just say this kitchen is not big enough to have one person cooking and another putting away dishes at the same time, let alone with two little ones running amok. Although that doesn’t stop them…

shelf storage

Ikea shelves are handy! I bought this one for storage in our old kitchen, but it has proven to be useful in this small space. It houses our non-chilled produce, cookbooks, supplements, chopping blocks, mixer, rotisserie, even my vegetable peelers and apple slicer are easy for me to grab (but not so easy for the kids).

Favorite thing about your kitchen: The natural light. We have east-facing windows in the dining area of the kitchen, so on clear days there is plenty of light!

Least favorite thing about your kitchen: The size. When we first moved in, the fridge was in the most inconvenient place (where the shelf is now). The door opened into the cabinets, so we moved it. This arrangement works much better. The kitchen has always been the heart of our home. We do lessons and crafts at the kitchen table, our daughter likes to help with sauerkraut making, our son has been known to fall asleep in his high chair, and my husband and I catch up on each others’ days in the kitchen. I’d happily take a smaller living room if that meant the kitchen were larger!

Cheap gadgets or little tools that you have found make AIP easier? I love my veggie peeler set. I use at least one of the peelers daily! I have a large chopping block that fits over our double sink, lending extra counter space when needed. A flat whisk and a balloon wire whisk are the only whisks you’ll need (in my opinion). Lastly, I use a sharpening steel every time I grab one of our knives!

mason jar stash

In this cabinet I keep my pint-sized and half pint mason jars, fermenting supplies, mixing bowls, mesh strainers (perfect for straining bone broth), and liquid measuring cups.

What is the biggest thing that changed in your kitchen setup when you adopted AIP? Mise en place. I’ve always done this to a point since I worked in a restaurant, but I definitely see how having supplies and ingredients prepped and ready can make or break my efficiency in the kitchen. Especially considering how often I cook!

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 pressure cooker, for sure. I also do a lot of home-canning, so having a pressure cooker that could pressure can as well was the best option for me. I use a Fagor Duo. Bone broth only takes a couple of hours to make and I can “put up” shelf stable broth as well. I’d also recommend investing in some cast iron. I have a skillet, a Dutch oven, and a grill pan (grill marks are swoon-worthy year-round) that I absolutely adore! Check your local thrift stores and antique shops or hunt down good deals on Amazon.

condiments and fats

I keep all fats in our fridge door (except the Fatworks tallow) as well as a handful of condiments. Bone broth, juice for the kids, and tigernut milk is shown below. It’s funny, for the longest time we didn’t even have ketchup, but my daughter requested it last time we made burgers! The horseradish, relish, and mustard have been appearing on my burgers lately (all which have mustard of some form as an ingredient).

Are there any tricks you have learned to make AIP work in your space? We have a chest freezer downstairs in our garage. So that helps keep the small freezer available for just bags of berries and bones for broth. And sorbets in the summer. I keep my safe spices in easy-to-see containers and purposely bury my husband’s cayenne and nutmeg in the back of the other cabinet, near his coffee supplies. Other than that, it’s fairly simple!

spices

This side of the cabinet is the “safe spice” side. Since I buy organic spices in bulk, I just keep the extra in mason jars behind the smaller containers. Gelatin, teas, sardines, and fresh garlic are also kept here. Turmeric is always in the NYC taxi, a gift from my good friend.

How do you deal with food for family members that is not AIP? Thankfully, my husband was on board with the diet change. He eats how he wants outside of the home, for the most part he sticks to a primal diet with occasional bread, but it doesn’t come into our home. Both kids follow a primal template as well, with rare gluten-free treats. I’ll bake them primal treats for birthdays and special occasions. But other than that, they eat what I make them. For example, I’ll serve beef tacos in romaine leaves or plantain “tortillas.” My husband adds sriracha sauce and grass-fed cheese to his, the kids have grass-fed cheese on theirs. But everything else is what I can eat! When my husband is home for breakfast, he’ll cook eggs for himself and the kids in addition to my breakfast. It works for us and everyone is well fed!

Are there any tools or appliances you don’t use now that you have changed your diet? Before we moved last summer I did some major purging in the kitchen, knowing our new place wouldn’t have as much room. Cupcake pans, angel food cake pan, and just about every other special baking pan! The potato masher (I use my immersion blender or a fork), egg slicer, toaster, dough cutter, microwave — though we dumped that years ago and that was because I valued the counter space more than its convenience.

glass storage containers

Up until just a couple of months ago we still used tupperware. This glass set happened to be gifted to me. I think it’s important to stress that living beyond your means is not conducive to a healing lifestyle, so do the best you can. If you have already made the switch, great!

What are your favorite meals to batch-cook? I try to do batch-cooking and prep work during the week so I can enjoy our three-day weekends without being tied to the kitchen. So each week I make bone broth in my pressure cooker. We’ll roast big cuts of meat or I’ll batch-cook two pounds of Zucchini Burgers. My Garlic Sauerkraut is also in regular rotation. I wash veggies after shopping to save myself time, but I oddly find chopping veggies before cooking to be relaxing, so I don’t do a lot of produce prep ahead of time unless I know I’ll be too busy. Pate is another one I make often. We especially like pate-filled apples! I also make a batch of tigernut milk about every other week, it has been a great coconut-free milk for me to use. And we have settled back into a makin’ bacon routine. I usually have a portion of pork belly in a sea salt brine and a second portion dry curing for Cinnamon Bacon in the fridge. The brined belly gets smoked on Sundays, our bacon supply is replenished again, and all is right in my little world.

What are your favorite AIP and Paleo cookbooks? For the longest time I only had two to recommend! Now I have a handful, I’m so happy to see more AIP resources out there. My top four: The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook — this was the trailblazing cookbook in my mind and helped pave the way for my journey. I am truly grateful for this cookbook and Mickey’s blog. The Paleo Approach Cookbook — my nerdy thirst for knowledge was quenched! I love trying new things, Sarah even had my kids eating trotters and tripe! The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook — Angie adds a realness to her recipes which I love. Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol — I only wish I had this step-by-step guide when I first tried reintroductions. It would have saved me a lot of grief. Although, from a failed premature nut reintro, I received two of my diagnoses, so I suppose that’s a silver lining!

more mason jars

With limited cabinet space, only a portion of my mason jar stash is stored in the kitchen. In this cabinet I store quart sized jars, containers for my DIY essential oil blends, and the sole additional dish set I have for recipe photographs.

Any tips for those just embarking and are just setting up their kitchen: Initially, I boxed up everything that was off limits. I also printed out the AIP Print Out Guides and had them on the fridge for easy reference. In the beginning I kept coming across false “autoimmune protocol” information, I actually eliminated sweet potatoes initially. Imagine my relief when I discovered that was not necessary! I don’t mind saying I was slightly OCD with the diet. I didn’t try to reintroduce foods for six months, but when I did I mistakenly went straight for the things I missed most. So I encourage people to not rush reintroductions and be mindful during the process. Also, sometimes people find they need to eliminate other foods in addition to the standard AIP. My body was protesting coconut. That was a bummer, but I did better without it. I think it’s also important to not beat yourself up along the way. Go easy on yourself. If you slip up, brush yourself off, and refocus. It DOES get easier!

using the smoker

Yes, I use the smoker on our tiny porch. This smoker is “vintage” {can you tell?} and was handed down by my husband’s parents. Not surprisingly, its cardboard exterior has seen better days, but it still makes the most delicious bacon I’ve ever had!

If you would like to follow more of Erin’s recipes and adventures, check out her blog at: enjoyingthisjourney.com.

Would you like to be featured on the blog for 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, drop us a line using the contact form!

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a cook and one of the bloggers behind Autoimmune Wellness. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, a guide and recipe book for the autoimmune protocol, and AIP Batch Cook, a video-based batch cooking program. You also can find her on Instagram.

4 comments

  • Amanda says

    Thanks Mickey for this! Erin, Love this. I also have a small kitchen , but we make it work. I love the smoker, im always drooling over your bacon pics. Might need to get one!

  • Catherine Coleman says

    I love this new feature, the Autoimmune Kitchen Tour. I am new to the diet, having not yet been diagnosed with something specific, but with many autoimmune diseases in my family and years of bad health, I am pro-actively pursuing diet and health. I went gluten free two years ago, and Paleo in 2015. I hope to eventual find out what specifically is wrong with me, but I am slowly feeling better on the Autoimmune Protocol version. It is, as you know, overwhelming. Reading about how others manage is so helpful. This article gave me some more ideas for further cleaning out my kitchen. I appreciate what you are doing. Maybe someday in the far future, my kitchen could be featured here to help others.
    Thank you!
    Catherine

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Catherine,
      So glad you are enjoying! We would love to feature you if you are interested, just shoot us a message through the “contact” form up above 🙂

      Mickey

  • Jerry says

    Something worth pointing out. If you are a men do not use cast iron skillet. Men have tendency to hold on to iron which can cause issues in he future

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