Shelbi’s AIP Kitchen: How She Manages Hashimoto’s in New York

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Kitchen Tour

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: Shelbi DuBord

Location: Binghamton, NY

AI Disease: Hashimoto’s

How long have you been eating AIP? Two years

Have you successfully reintroduced any foods?
Yes! Rice, nuts/seeds, occasional beans/legumes, occasional eggs, and very very occasional potatoes!

How has the AIP changed your life?
It has changed my life completely! It has shown me that healing IS possible, unlike what doctors told me. It has shown me that I have the power to take my healing into my own hands and that I can become more and more well through intentional food choices. I am living symptom-free without brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, anxiety or depression, all because I changed what I eat!

My journey with AIP has also taught me that there is no limit to our healing capacities… Once I went AIP and started to heal my body, I was then ready to do the emotional healing work that took me to the next level. I could have never gotten to that level of physical repair and energy without diet change first.

Size of your AIP kitchen: 300 square feet

Favorite thing about your kitchen:
I love how open and light it is. I have huge windows overlooking our property and big white cabinets with lots of space.

Least favorite thing about your kitchen:
We have a non-working lazy Susan that is just taking up space… and we don’t have a dishwasher! Those things are on our to-do list for home renovations at some point!

Are there any cheap gadgets or little tools that you have found make AIP easier?
I am a minimalist… One good knife, a good vegetable peeler, and a food processor are really all I need.

What is the biggest thing that changed in your kitchen setup when you adopted the AIP?
I’ve always been a huge cook so I didn’t have to change much in the way of equipment or supplies, but the types of food I stock in my house has changed dramatically. Instead of packaged crackers, chips, etc, I now have stacks and shelves of sardines, tuna, coconut cream, olives, dates, and nuts. I also have quite a bit more prep work to do than pre-AIP, so I have become more efficient in my food prep and have actually pared DOWN my appliances believe it or not. You don’t really need a lot of things like bakeware, baking tools and the like when you realize how conventional baked goods are inflaming your body!

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?
Number one: food processor. Number two: really good knife and sharpener.

Are there any tricks you have learned to make AIP work in your space?
Batch prep all your veggies at once using your food processor attachments. For example, in batches you can go through and slice cucumbers, carrots, shred cabbage, slice onions, puree garlic, and on and on. I have found doing all the veggie prep at once saves me time so I am not lugging out my food processor daily or having to chop things manually. It literally saves hours of time.

How do you deal with food for family members that are not AIP?
They are pretty accepting of the way I eat, but I don’t force my diet on them. I don’t get together for meals with non-AIP family/friends too often, but when I do I will bring something I can eat. Or in the rare instance I have felt obliged to eat something that wouldn’t be good for me, I will take an activated charcoal along with it and that makes a world of difference. I do that very rarely though because the charcoal absorbs all the good nutrients that my body needs too!

Are there any tools or appliances that you’ve stopped using now that your diet has changed?
Electric mixer, bakeware, frosting bags, pastry tools, etc,

What are your favorite meals to batch cook?
I tend to chop up one type of veggie and store that in a container for mixing and matching throughout the week. My approach to batch cooking has evolved over the past couple of years and nowadays instead of prepping specific meals, I have a more intuitive approach to cooking where I prep all the staples I will need, and assemble meals when I need them. I like to make a lot of homemade sauces to have on hand… like homemade mayo with pastured eggs, “ranch” dressing with coconut cream, tahini sauce, etc. I’ll often come home from work, sautée some veggies, and put that together with some pre-cooked meats, possibly a small side of rice or sweet potatoes, and some sauce. It’s delicious and easy!

What are your favorite AIP and Paleo cookbooks?
The Healing Kitchen is my number one favorite… I have come to love plantains soooo much! They can substitute so easily for potatoes and that cookbook has some amazing comfort food recipes that you just can’t really come up with on your own.

Do you have any tips for those starting an elimination diet and setting up their kitchens for the first time?
For many people, you have to hit rock bottom before you are ready to commit to this kind of diet and lifestyle change. I have seen over and over again friends who start and stop, start and stop… I think when people are ready, they are ready. It was true for me because I did the diet for a month or two, felt great, then decided I would stop because I was “all better”… not long after that I had the worst flare up of my life and my body was telling me in no uncertain terms that it was time to do this for good, and I listened. So my advice would be… listen to your body. It is telling you what you need to know. Don’t ignore the signals you are getting or brush them off because you are used to living that way. You can feel better. Take inspiration from this amazing community of people who are doing it and thriving, and join us!

If you’d like to learn more about Shelbi’s AIP journey, check out her website, Shelbi Heals, or follow 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!

About Grace Heerman

Grace Heerman is a writer, content coach and yoga teacher from Seattle. 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. Here are Autoimmune Wellness, Grace writes book reviews, manages blog content, and organizes social media publishing. She splits her time between living Seattle with her friends, Minnesota with her family, and Asia, where she likes to spend the winter months. You can find out where she is now on Instagram and learn more about how she balances work and travel on her website, Said with Grace.

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