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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!
Name: Noelle Creamer
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
AI Disease: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (also called Wegener’s granulomatosis)
How long have you been eating AIP?
I began the AIP immediately after being diagnosed with GPA in August of 2018 and have continued since but with many reintroductions!
Have you successfully reintroduced any foods?
Yes! I’ve successfully reintroduced eggs, tomatoes, legumes, nuts, peppers, and most spices. I do continue to eliminate dairy, coffee, and alcohol from my diet, as I feel my best without them.
How has the AIP changed your life?
Oh my gosh! Where do I start? It has literally helped me change every aspect of my health and wellness. It has shown me that we ALL have the power to take control of our health and disease and that there is no limit to what we can accomplish with not only food but so many lifestyle changes as well.
Not only did AIP help put my disease into remission within a few short months it helped me get rid of so many symptoms that I was living with for so long and brushing off as “normal”. I no longer have anxiety, headaches/migraines, or gut issues. I sleep better, I have more energy, and I don’t crave foods that I shouldn’t crave – like sugar. It has helped me to really “tune in” to my body and the way I feel.
AIP has also helped me to experiment more with food and expand my cooking skills. It has also helped my whole family eat and feel better too! I love sharing my AIP journey with others and educating them on the numerous benefits and ways it can help.
Size of your AIP kitchen: 14 feet x 10 feet
Favorite thing about your kitchen:
I love how light and bright my kitchen is! It’s a great space for entertaining — I love the big island and the sliding doors that open up to my backyard and pool. I like to open them up in the cool months of Arizona.
I also love how organized my kitchen is! Everything has it’s “place”. It saves us time when cooking, it reduces stress, it’s easier to clean up, and definitely contributes to us cooking more at home – which I am all in favor of!
Least favorite thing about your kitchen:
I would definitely love a bigger pantry and a second refrigerator/freezer! I am constantly buying produce.
Are there any cheap gadgets or little tools that you have found make AIP easier?
Tons! I love having handheld juice squeezers for limes, lemons, and things like that. I like having spiralizers for veggie pastas, avocado slicers, fruit slicers, and handheld mixers. Anything that makes the home chef life easier! I also love having fine mesh strainers and cheesecloths on hand for making homemade bone broth.
What is the biggest thing that changed in your kitchen setup when you adopted the AIP?
The biggest thing to change was switching out non-compliant foods in my pantry with AIP foods. Things like flours and certain spices had to be removed and replaced with new foods. But once things were switched over and I had my “AIP staples” it was super easy and didn’t feel out of place.
If someone was just starting to invest in some useful but more expensive AIP kitchen tools, which one would you tell them to buy first?
A really good blender, like a Vitamix, for making spreads and dips and things like that. I would also definitely recommend a good Crock Pot for making soups and stews.
Are there any tricks you have learned to make AIP work in your space?
Make sure you have your staple items like coconut oils, flours, spices, and things like that. Stay organized as much as possible to avoid frustration of looking for things and to keep you from getting discouraged. Invite your family and friends over and cook them an AIP meal! It gets people talking about new foods and will make you feel more comfortable about this new way of life and eating.
How do you deal with food for family members that are not AIP?
I’ve been lucky in that my family 100% supported my AIP journey. They know that AIP is a therapeutic and healing diet and they of course wanted to see me get healthy and feel better, first and foremost.
When I first started AIP I was a lot more strict with the diet portion of the protocol so my family would eat “AIP light” versions of things I’d make. For example they might put butter on something or cheese. We love to cook as a family activity so that makes things easier too. When everyone is involved and learning the scientific “whys” behind eliminating certain foods it can help them to understand the protocol so much better.
Are there any tools or appliances that you’ve stopped using now that your diet has changed?
I’ve eliminated plastic Tupperware in my kitchen in order to adopt a more toxic-free lifestyle. We switched to all glass containers and reusable straws, veggie bags, shopping bags and things like that.
What are your favorite meals to batch cook?
Bone broth, hands down! It’s a lengthy process but so worth it. I also love to batch cook sweet potatoes and salads to have on hand. I also love making my own fresh vegetable juice to have in the fridge for 2-3 days.
What are your favorite AIP and Paleo cookbooks?
One of the first books I purchased was The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott. I still refer to it to this day. Other favorites are Practical Paleo and Against All Grain.
Do you have any tips for those starting an elimination diet and setting up their kitchens for the first time?
I would say to first take an audit of your lifestyle and other commitments and really assess how quickly (or slowly) you are willing to adopt the AIP protocol. I would also recommend talking to your family or roommates about your potential plans so that there are no surprises. Communicate with them on how things will go and answer any questions. Make a plan to start with your pantry and organize your foods into compliant/non compliant items and either eliminate the non compliant foods or put them in a different place for others to use or simply donate them. Replace those foods with all of the AIP staples you’ll need to get started. The more organized you are – the more successful it will go!
If you’d like to learn more about Noelle’s AIP journey, you can find her on Instagram.
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!