What is AIP? The Definitive Guide

NOTE: This post has been updated as of June 2019 and reflects the latest updates to the Autoimmune Protocol. We work hard to ensure that this page is the first to be updated on our website in order to share the most current research and emerging nutritional science. Keep it bookmarked to stay informed.

Okay, are you ready for the most detailed, “Full Monty,” every-single-detail Autoimmune Protocol post ever? Good! Strap in and get ready for some knowledge to be dropped. We have assembled the most comprehensive, all-in-one-spot, definitive AIP resource ever and all you have to do is scroll. (Well, and read… you also have to read.)

The Autoimmune Protocol as an Elevator Speech

What is AIP?

The Autoimmune Protocol (also known as “Autoimmune Paleo”, “The Paleo Approach”, or “AIP”) is a science-based elimination and reintroduction diet and lifestyle protocol. It focuses on repairing gut health, balancing hormones, and regulating the immune system.

The dietary component includes removing food-driven sources of inflammation and restoring nutrient density, while the lifestyle component includes approaches to sleep, stress management, movement, and connection (both with humans and nature), in order to help best manage autoimmune disease. It has been used successfully alone or in combination with conventional treatments, depending on a person’s needs, and has even been the focus of medical research.

Who came up with AIP?

The idea that there may be dietary approaches to helping manage autoimmune disease was first floated by Dr. Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo movement. Later, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, and Datis Kharrazian, other well-known members of the Paleo and functional medicine communities with medical or research backgrounds, began to add some detail to the concept.

Finally, in 2012, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (of ThePaleoMom.com) motivated by her personal experience with autoimmune disease and experimentation with the AIP concept, began to use her Ph.D.-level education in medical biophysics to research, refine, and write extensively about the protocol. AIP as it stands today is largely the result of her work.

You can read more about the origins of the AIP movement in our post The State of AIP 2018, or if you’d like a print book with all of these details, check out our co-authored guide The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook.

Now, let’s get into details.

Two Phases of a Three Stage Process

The dietary component of AIP basically consists of two phases: Elimination and Reintroduction, which are implemented in a three-stage process: Transition, Maintenance, and Reintroduction.

The Transition and Maintenance stages together constitute the first phase of AIP known as “elimination” (more detail below). The Reintroduction stage constitutes the second phase of AIP where the focus is no longer on eliminating, but instead on bringing certain foods back into the diet (more detail below).

Stage 1: Transition to Autoimmune Diet (Elimination Phase)

Transition is the process of moving one’s diet to the elimination phase, with a focus on nutrient-density. This can be a slow-and-steady process or a cold-turkey process. Most folks are best suited to a slow-and-steady transition.

Stage 2: Maintenance (Elimination Phase)

Maintenance is the period following full transition. The focus is to maintain the food eliminations while concentrating on nutrient-dense additions, with a goal to maximize healing. Maintenance needs to be 30 days at a minimum for everyone, as this cleans the slate for a clear reintroduction process. For most, 60-90 days in Maintenance is more ideal and allows the most healing.

If by 90 days progress is not as expected, it is time to enlist the help of doctors or allied healthcare providers to dig deeper into possible obstacles that cannot be addressed through dietary changes alone and are preventing progress with AIP.

Stage 3: Reintroduction (Reintroduction Phase)

Reintroduction is the second phase and final stage in the process. This stage is reached when a person has spent 30-90 days fully compliant in the elimination phase and has had measurable improvements in their symptoms from their baseline as evidenced from tracking and journaling (and/or lab testing). Ideally, there will be relief of symptoms.

At the end of this stage a person’s diet is individualized, sustainable (both practically and socially), and nutrient-dense. It should be the least-restrictive diet that gives them the best health.

The Elimination Phase: What and Why?

AIP begins with an elimination phase where foods are temporarily removed from the diet.

The foods to avoid are:

  • All grains (including rice, corn, and grains that contain gluten: wheat, barley, and rye)
  • All pseudo-grains and grain-like substances (think quinoa or amaranth)
  • All dairy (pretty straight-forward)
  • All legumes (this includes soy, peanuts, and beans)
  • All processed vegetable oils (think canola)
  • All processed food chemicals and ingredients (preservatives, dyes, emulsifiers, thickeners, etc.)
  • All refined sugars and non-nutritive sweeteners (like high-fructose corn syrup or stevia)
  • All nuts and seeds (this includes seed-based spices, coffee, and chocolate . . . we know, we know!)
  • All fruit and berry-based spices (like black pepper, for instance)
  • All nightshade-family produce and the spices derived from them (looking at you tomatoes!)
  • All eggs (no, ostrich eggs are not allowed)
  • All alcohol (kind of “duh,” right!?)

Want a handy print-out of all of these foods? Scroll to the bottom to have it delivered to your inbox!

Why in the world would a person eliminate that many foods?

There is a ton of very deep science behind these foods to avoid. This is not just a random guess or an experiment in surviving on air and water (we know you were thinking it!). Each of these foods was carefully evaluated for compounds that can stimulate the immune system or harm the digestive tract.

Once the foods were vetted based on their allergen and/or inflammatory potential, as well as overall nutrient value, they got an “in or out” vote. Avoiding foods that may contribute to disease via the inflammatory response or, at a minimum, foods which interfere with the healing process, allows the body a reset period and a better chance at wellness. (Check out the book The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne for more info on the “whys” here).

We don’t just eliminate foods during this phase though, we also add them.

Flooding the body with super nutrient-rich foods is a crucial component to success with AIP. The foods to include are:

  • Healthy fats (like olive oil and pastured lard, yes, lard)
  • Bone broth (if you haven’t heard about this, you are living under a rock)
  • Organ meats (for real!)
  • Colorful vegetables (loads of them)
  • Fermented foods (think sauerkraut)
  • Fish and shellfish (as long as there is no allergy, these foods are a rich source of nutrients)

Why do we add these foods while on AIP?

Again, there is very strong science supporting the inclusion of these foods in our diets. Especially in the presence of autoimmune disease, these incredibly nutrient-rich foods can help fuel healing, which is a very nutrient intensive process.

There are specific vitamins and minerals that are offered by each of these food categories and some of them pack a powerful anti-inflammatory punch, but overall these additions represent ounce-for-ounce the most nutrient varied and nutrient dense foods we can consume. Also, don’t fear the “gross” factor. Over time the taste buds adapt, and the body gives strong craving signals that it actually wants these delicious, healing foods.

Still need convincing that these additions are important? Check out our article The Argument For Nutrient Density.

The Reintroduction Phase: What and Why?

During the reintroduction phase, you progress through a process of testing your response to the foods you’ve eliminated one-at-a-time.

The foods are best tested in a specific order, beginning with foods that are most nutrient-dense and least likely to cause a reaction and moving toward foods that are least nutrient-dense and most likely to cause a reaction. To learn about the four stages of reintroduction foods, read our Definitive Guide to Reintroductions.

If you feel good after eliminating all those foods, why bring them back?

There are no gold stars for the longest, most perfect AIP elimination phase. Instead, you begin with the end in mind; a goal to eventually arrive at the least-restrictive diet that promotes your individual best health. You are working toward personalization and your end result will look different from any other person using the protocol. You want to use the protocol to your advantage, identifying which foods are causing symptoms, expanding your diet to include foods that are most supportive, and eliminating more long-term the foods that undermine your health.

Some of the elimination foods are valuable to re-incorporate into your regular diet from a nutrient standpoint (eggs, for example). It’s also true, both from a practical and social sustainability standpoint, that reintroductions are a wise step (i.e. it’s easier to travel if you can eat rice and it’s nice to occasionally go out to Happy Hour with friends).

Finally, there is psychological benefit in working towards expanding your diet as your wellness returns, rather than allowing food-driven fears to take hold. Strict AIP Isn’t Meant to Last Forever, and reintroduction is just as important.

Implementation: How do you do AIP?

Now that you understand what AIP is, how it was developed, the three stages, and the details of the elimination and reintroduction phases, it’s time to talk about how to actually adopt the protocol. For practicality sake we’ll explore implementation by stages.


Earlier we mentioned that during the first stage, Transition, you basically have two choices to help you arrive at the full elimination diet: a slow-and-steady process or a cold-turkey process.

The slow-and-steady process is a gradual, phased approach to eliminating the foods that are initially avoided on AIP, starting with those foods which are least nutrient dense and most likely to be driving symptoms. It is much more gentle and often more sustainable than cold-turkey, plus a good fit for those who may experience a lot of overwhelm with such a big dietary change.

The downside is that results take longer (although not significantly longer) to realize.

The time frame for doing the eliminations in phases is variable (you can do it over a few weeks or a few months), but there is an existing framework for accomplishing it over six-weeks (developed by Angie and used by thousands of people over the last five years in her program SAD to AIP in SIX!).

The cold-turkey process is a fast, immediate transition to the full elimination portion of AIP. This transition method utilizes a three-day quick-start in order to prepare and is a good fit for those who are desperately ill and/or highly motivated. The downside is that it is often not sustainable, and you may burnout before you see results, after realizing that big dietary changes have a whole life impact.

If you are looking for more resources to help guide your kitchen transition to AIP, check out our AIP Food Storage Basics and Stocking The AIP Pantry articles.


Implementation during Maintenance is more than simply “maintaining” the food eliminations.

It is normally the period where the bulk of learning about your new way of eating and living occurs. It includes learning how to meal plan, how to source and budget for foods of higher quality, how to batch cook, and on a deeper level how to manage time and relationships differently based on your changing approach to your healthcare. There are many invaluable, existing resources to do this learning, but the key to implementing this phase is finding support.


Implementation of the Reintroduction stage is not difficult, but it does require methodically following a multi-step procedure.

The reason for this procedure is to help you be the best possible scientist, controlling the “science experiment” you are about to conduct.

First, consider these important steps:

  • limit variables (this means that you had maximum compliance during elimination, that you’ve given attention to lifestyle factors, more on that later, and that you avoid reintros when you are sick or under stress)
  • follow the procedure (outlined below)
  • track all the data (make use of possible food reaction checklists, journals, and trackers)
  • be willing to accept the conclusions (even if they disagree with what you were hoping for)
  • remember that reintros can be reattempted (sometimes more healing time is all that is required)

Now, here’s the procedure:

  • Select a food to reintroduce.
  • Start with half a teaspoon or less and wait 15 minutes. If there are reactions, stop.
  • If there are no reactions, eat one full teaspoon and wait 15 more minutes. If there are reactions, stop.
  • If there are no reactions, eat one-and-a-half teaspoons and wait two–three hours. If there are reactions, do not go any further.
  • If there are no reactions, eat a normal portion of the food and wait three–seven days. Do not reintroduce any other foods and track reactions during this time. (Many reactions could indicate a potential food sensitivity, but the most obvious is a return of your autoimmune symptoms.)
  • If there are no reactions, that food can be brought back into your diet and you can
  • Begin another reintroduction.
  • Be aware that you may find a food is tolerated when you eat it occasionally, but not when eaten regularly.

It should be noted that this process of elimination and reintroduction is actually the gold standard for identifying food-driven symptoms, even more so than largely inaccurate food sensitivity testing (read more in our article Why Food Intolerance Testing Doesn’t Work).

The Lifestyle Aspects of AIP: What and Why?

There are four areas of your overall lifestyle that should also be addressed when adopting AIP (in order of importance):

  1. Sleep
  2. Stress Management
  3. Movement
  4. Connection (To Others and Nature)

Just like with the dietary aspect of AIP, focusing on these four areas was not just a random guess. Through careful evaluation of the scientific literature these areas were pinpointed as having significant impacts on regulation of the immune system, hormonal balance, and/or the healing process itself.

Those with autoimmune diseases are particularly vulnerable to imbalance in these areas and learning how to approach each can have as great an effect, if not greater, than dietary changes on restoring health and well-being. Emphasizing both diet and lifestyle is typically a powerful combination, improving the quality of life baseline for almost everyone.

The “how” of tackling each of these areas can feel pretty overwhelming, especially when attempting to implement the diet portion at the same time. Just like with diet, we recommend that most folks start tweaking with a slow-and-steady method.

Can I combine AIP with my conventional medical treatment?

Yes! The answer is yes. While we have seen many reduce or even completely wean off medications, that is not always possible. Needing to combine medical care of any kind (whether that is surgical or pharmaceutical) with AIP is not failure. The goal should be living to your highest standard of wellness with autoimmune disease, and if a thoughtful combination and conventional and natural helps you achieve that, it’s great! You may find that conventional treatments work much better after you’ve dialed in AIP.

Luckily, as the movement around this more natural approach to autoimmune disease that patients can put into practice themselves has grown, more and more doctors have started recommending it. Whether your doctor is supportive or not, be sure they know you are taking this big step, because AIP is powerful enough to impact future healthcare decisions and a collaborative relationship with your doctors includes giving them all the information. Read more at Where Medication Fits Into A Healing Diet.

Will AIP help my autoimmune disease?

We are not medical practitioners. We can’t diagnose you and we can’t say if any one approach will help. Additionally, there are over 100 confirmed autoimmune diseases and many more suspected autoimmune diseases. It would be impossible for us to evaluate the impact of AIP on every single one of them.

What we can tell you is that between our two health coaching practices we’ve personally been involved in helping thousands of folks take this step and watched many, many positive outcomes. We’ve also had the privilege of sharing many first-hand accounts in our Stories of Recovery series and The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast from people with all kinds of different autoimmune diseases. Ultimately, the “worst” side effect of AIP comes down to eating more nutritious food, so it might be worth it to give it a shot and see if you can move the needle with your autoimmune disease.

But there is more than anecdotal evidence that it works…

Has AIP been medically studied?

Yes! The answer is yes. In 2016 Angie partnered with a gastroenterologist and helped lead the first-ever medical study of AIP for a group of participants who had severe and long-standing autoimmune inflammatory bowel diseases. The results were outstanding, with 73% of them reaching and maintaining clinical remission by week six of the study.

Some of those participants were able to discontinue medication and still achieved remission. This study lends weight to what we know anecdotally and hopefully opens the future to larger studies and studies of other autoimmune diseases. If you want to know to all the details, they can be found here.

One Last Thing: Emotional Considerations

This seems like a big adjustment, right? If you’ve been paying attention for the last 2,943 words you are probably starting to notice the elephant in this room. The process of changing diet and lifestyle to make health the number one priority comes with more than a few emotions to process.

You may find yourself going through a grieving process, not only about your experience with autoimmune disease, but also now with the steps required to heal. The grieving process might include denial, anger, fear, and sadness. You might have challenges around social adjustments and sometimes in the same way relationships can be strained by chronic illness, they can be strained by such an intensive healing protocol. Some might find there is a lot of struggle around letting go of certain foods, while others might realize they’ve fallen into a need for flawlessness around food. (If you think your patterns are leaning toward disordered eating, it’s important to get the right kind of help so that you can use AIP as it was intended and not allow it to just become another burden on your heart and mind.)

The good news is that thousands and thousands of us have navigated similar emotional challenges and come out the other side happier, stronger people, with a greater sense of self and commitment to our miraculous bodies. In general, the emotional piece of this journey can best be navigated if you:

It might help to see this process at its core, to help with the emotional “digestion.” Reading through the key ideas we outline in our Autoimmune Wellness Manifesto can help take the pressure off. You can also find more about navigating emotions at these links:

Professional Support

If you’ve stayed with us all the way to the end, you may be considering AIP, but hoping to do it with professional support. We are one-step ahead of you! We’ve trained hundreds of health and wellness providers from every kind of background (medical doctors to health coaches and lots of professionals in-between) how to help you adopt the Autoimmune Protocol in our practitioner training program. You can search listings to find a practitioner near you on the AIP Certified Coach website.

If working 1:1 with an AIP Certified Coach isn’t accessible for you right now, Angie’s group coaching program runs four times a year. You can check out all the dates and details on the SAD to AIP in SIX website.

Looking for more AIP resources?

Between the two of us, we’ve written three books on AIP. Mickey’s The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook was the very first AIP cookbook and still a favorite in the community. Angie’s The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook was the first to tackle the emotional side of healing along with delicious recipes. And Mickey and Angie’s co-authored guide, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook serves as an all-angles guide to every area those with chronic illness want to cover, from the AIP diet to sleep, stress management, and connection.

We’ll be the first to tell you that you don’t need to buy ANY of our books to get connected to all the information you need to embark on AIP. We have over 100 articles on the site covering every detail of AIP, in addition to over 250 AIP compliant recipes and even more resources and links on our resources page. You can also tune in to The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast for an audio version of the information we present here.

If you are looking for more information and resources on getting started with AIP, you will want to sign up to get our AIP Quick Start Guide. Just pop your email in the box below and we will send you the following over the course of five days:

  • Complete, printable lists of the foods to avoid and include during AIP
  • A 2-week AIP meal plan and shopping list
  • A 90-minute batch cooking video from Mickey
  • A practical tips video from Angie talking balance, temptation, and body image
  • Printable guides on food reintroductions and reactions

You will then be subscribed to our newsletter, where we deliver free, exclusive content in the form of tips, articles, recipes, news, and more! By signing up, you will be the first to know about what is happening in the autoimmune community!

About Angie Alt

Angie Alt is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness. She helps others take charge of their health the same way she took charge of her own after suffering with celiac disease, endometriosis, and lichen sclerosis; one nutritious step at a time. Her special focus is on mixing “data with soul” by looking at the honest heart of the autoimmune journey (which sometimes includes curse words). She is a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy Consultant through The Nutritional Therapy Association and author of The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for All Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook. You can also find her on Instagram.


  • Thank you for writing this! This will be such a great resource both for people with autoimmune conditions and for them to share with family and friends who don’t understand why they are making this diet and lifestyle change. I know I’ll be sharing it with all of my clients!

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Jaime! Thanks for the love!

  • Bruce says

    I would like to see someone do a casual survey, a site like yours would be the perfect place to start. Just to cover some of the basics, say like how many amalgam fillings are in your mouth, was your mom born premature, what would you say the amount of your petrochemical or heavy metal exposure, 1-10, have you been exposed to massive amounts of microwaves, or just a bit, do you live near large power lines or under the shadow of a TV tower, are trees dying in your neighborhood or adjacent to your home, how many tics do you pull in a month, you know just regular stuff. For those of us that can’t quite swing the pendulum, being able to see percentages of success stories from different causes might be an eye opener. Thanks

    • Angie Alt says

      Bruce, that would be interesting, but generally as you get into more specific issues that you are asking folks the higher the need for oversight & ethical review of the data you are collecting + really secure storage of all that data. Maybe one day the right things will be in place for someone in our community to take up that work!

  • Kim Lam Friesz says

    Thank You Angie for consolidating the question and the process. Will serve as an excellent resource to my clients, family and friends. I hope you know how appreciated you are:)

    • Angie Alt says

      Aaaaw! Thanks Kim! I’m glad it will be so helpful.

  • Wendy Goldstein says

    Fighting cancer and food sensitivities I do know I feel so much better without gluten but am unsure about beans I Also ache when I eat the nightshade vegetables

    • Angie Alt says

      You could always try AIP & see if it helps Wendy!

  • Elisabeth Axiak says

    This was incredibly helpful! Thank you for the straight-forward and informative article.

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Elisabeth! Glad it made things easier.

  • Jordan says

    This is an awesome post and I really love it! I’ve been AIP since February and it has been a journey. One request because I can’t seem to find the help anywhere – more resources for people who “fall off the wagon” so to speak. I’ve read the “AIP is not a religion” article, which is great. But there doesn’t seem to be much info for those of us who have “broken the rules” and are trying to get back on the horse. How do we deal with the feeling of failure? How do we assess how much healing occurred before and how much potential damage was done by “cheating”? How much longer do we need to do the elimination phase if we didn’t reintroduce properly? That sort of stuff. Many of the community resources I’ve found tend to point fingers and create a feeling of shame. It would be great to hear from you, Mickey, or even Sarah on how to bounce back WITHOUT feeling like a failure.

    • Angie Alt says

      Jordan, you must be a mind reader. I am planning a post about this to come out in a few months. Until then, in general, I’d encourage you to get some great support around you. A very supportive & super judgement free zone where we troubleshoot this issue together a lot is my group program: http://www.sadtoaip.com We would love to have you!

    • Mary Braz says

      I could easily make these words mine, Jordan. I was coached in Paleo 8 years ago with a lot of success but have been off the wagon for a long time. I like to eat clean but with a hub who is not on board, success is hard. Now I feel is a good time to start up again and this time to go beyond paleo. I wonder if it’s possible I could cure Hashimotos. I’m hoping to find support and strength to eat the way I want to eat and feel satisfied.

  • Becky Blair says

    I was introduced to you all from my local Paleo bakery/restaurant. I’d never heard of AIP and the elimination diet or you all :-). I’ve listened to ALL of your podcasts in just under 6 weeks, I’m on chapter 3 of your book and now this great resource! Thank you all for your transparency, diligence and willingness to help others. You are truly making a difference in lives.

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome Becky!! I’m so glad our work is helping you!

  • […] little about AIP: AIP is a diet and lifestyle guide for people trying to heal from autoimmune diseases. It’s kind of a spin-off of the paleo […]

  • Annette Guy says

    Would you please send a list of the foods to eliminate and the list of foods one can eat when first beginning the AIP diet?

    Thank you,

    • Angie Alt says

      Annette, you can sign up to receive a free list via email by clicking on the link at the end of the post. Thanks for reading!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Annette,
      You can get the list by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page!

  • Dana says

    I’ve been reading about AIP for a month, and this is the most clear and straightforward description I’ve seen! Thank you so much for putting this all together with links and all. Autoimmunity is scary and hard – and your work is making a big difference for those who want to address its causes directly.

    • Angie Alt says

      Dana, we definitely saw the same need for a post of this kind. We are so glad it helped you!

  • MaryAnne says

    I’m so very glad to have found your website! Thanks for all the incredible work. I will be trying AIP. Interestingly in the last 18 months i have found I have “needed” to drop many foods listed as not to eat… having done SCD, medical ketogenic diet ( dairy free!! Yikes) combined with food intolerance issues ( yep.. nightshades are a killer) with my son, l “ know” a lot.. and yet… what do you do when the primary problem is a decade of damaged sleep? ( rhetorical ?) … thats how I’ve ended up on your website… trying to avoid the slide into AI.Being stressed and having poor sleep really are a profoundly important part of being and becoming unwell. Big thanks, as i see i will get a lot of support here

    • Angie Alt says

      You are so welcome MaryAnne!! We are wishing you lots of wellness as you start the journey.

  • Barbara says

    I tripped onto your website when a friend shared one of your recipes for me. We are following an AIP diet, and I’ve done a fair bit of reading about AIP approach to reversing autoimmunity. Your website really is one of the best I’ve come across in explaining the diet so that it’s not an open-ended or bouncing in and out of it to different degrees approach. Thank you for such a clear, thoroughly well explained, and concise explanation — and the absence of sales pressure to “buy my supplements!” that seems to be on a number of other sites.

    • Angie Alt says

      No problem Barbara! I’m glad it was helpful!

  • […] Autoimmune Wellness have a great guide on their website where they summarize AIP all on one page: What is AIP? The Definite Guide). So, I have become a big fan of sea salt, basil, and oregano. Tasty and easy – that’s […]

  • Wayne says

    I have been following strict AIP for some time now and have found amazing results.

    That being said, there is one thing that I am having a difficult time with in reconciling- why are nuts and seeds like the cashew which are part of a fruit avoided while there are many other fruits that are permitted but contain seeds that are eaten with the flesh of the fruit. For example: zucchini, blackberries, strawberries, ect. all contain seeds that are eaten and these foods are permitted.

    Also it is my understanding that black peppercorns are not permitted based on the logic that the seed is ground up with the flesh of the berry when making the pepper that is commonly eaten. So wouldn’t this also call for not wanting to eat fruits that do not have avoidable seeds as well?

    Would it be useful to try and eliminate these as well for a time and see how your body reacts? I am curious to hear your thoughts on the matter.

  • Spring says

    Wanting the full food list please.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Spring! All you need to do is sign up for our newsletter and we’ll deliver printables to your inbox. Signup is at the bottom of every page on the site.

  • Kelly Heckaman says

    thanks, looking forward to the printable and the news letter

  • Annette Howze says

    I am interested in a printable list

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Annette! All you need to do is sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this page, and we’ll send it to you in the next hour 🙂

      • Brittany Novotny says

        THank you for writing this! I am very excited to try this – your guides are going to be a huge help and I can’t wait to learn more. I have celiac – and just started having lichen s symtopms – do you find it hard to find certified GF products….like if there is a dijon mustard that is Paleo certified, organic etc do you find a certified Gluten free version? Being a celiac this diet should be easier…but I see some needs for certified GF coconut flour etc. Thank you in advance SO very much!

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Brittany! I find that since I eat mostly food that is cooked from whole-food ingredients (like vegetables, meats, etc.) I don’t have an issue with finding gluten free products. For the items I do use that come from a facility that might have cross-contamination (like alternative flours), I do check to make sure the product was manufactured on dedicated equipment. Hope it helps!

  • Ruth Spencer says

    Looking to get started on the elimination phase.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Ruth! You’ve come to the right place. Sign up at the bottom of this page to get our quickstart guide emailed right to you. Good luck!

  • Tifanie says

    I would like a list of the foods that are taboo in the first phase of the AIB diet. Better yet, could you send me a list of the foods that are allowed in the first phase, this may be a bit easier to digest (no pun intended)?
    Thank you

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Tifanie! Scroll to the bottom of this article & you’ll see a teal colored box w/ a newsletter sign-up. If you sign-up, you’ll automatically be sent a series of email, including the food lists you are looking for.

  • […] What is AIP? The Definitive Guide (Autoimmune Wellness) […]

  • […] What is AIP?  The Definitive Guide […]

  • Anna Mills says

    I’d like the list of AIP foods please and any other pertinent info for starting. Thanks.

    • Angie Alt says

      Scroll to the bottom of the post & you can sign up for the guides to be automatically delivered to you via email.

  • CW says

    I would like a printable list of foods not allowed – Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      CW – all ya gotta do is sign up for our newsletter up above, and we’ll email it to you!

  • sue says

    I would like to have all the guides sent to me.
    Thank You

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Sue! Just pop your email in the box above and we’ll send them to you.

  • Yvonne Mooney says

    I would like the printable foods list. TIA

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Yvonne! You need to sign up for our email list up above.

  • Jean Moore says

    Please send me a list of foods to eliminate on the AIP. Thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jean! You need to sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this post, or any page on the site, and we’ll email it to you. Good luck!

  • Gretchen Davison says

    Hi, I have just been diagnosed with scleroderma and am very interest in starting the elimination phase. It would be almost more helpful to see a list of foods that I can eat. Do you have such a list and may I have it?

    Thank you!!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Gretchen! Scroll down to the bottom of the page to opt-in to our newsletter, we’ll send you a printable list as a part of our quick-start guide!

  • Kelly Couch says

    HELP HELP HELP! I am a health professional and well versed in nutrition. So I get the diet and all the things…. We have been “paleo” for 10 years. This is GREAT INFO here ladies. Well done! BUT….

    Myself and my 4 and 6 year old girls have mold illness…so we have to follow a mold diet. AND I also have Lyme and so its suggested to go AIP. AND now we are dealing with histamine intolerance and so bone broth and fermented foods, a lot of fruits, some veggies, shellfish and even avocados are OUT for a while…. Ahhhh

    I am EXHAUSTED yall. I need a SIMPLE way to feed my family. I have searched for Low Histamine meal plans and they are loaded w grains and other non-AIP items.

    Maybe I just need to stick with basic grilled meats and steamed veggies and stop trying to use meal plans all together. #tiredmama

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Kelly! So sorry to hear about what you all are struggling w/, but I think you hit the nail on the head here . . . give yourself permission to keep it really simple as you work on a complex healing process.

  • Karen Orteza says

    Thank you for sharing all of this information. I have Hashimoto’s, Ankylosing Spondylitis, hypothyroidism, just had parathyroidectomy (to remove a tumor), am prediabetic, had a hysterectomy last year, am in menopause and feel tired and achy all the time. I have been following Hailey Pomroy’s Fast Metabolism Diet for several years but have found that with all these new autoimmune diseases and menopause, I am gaining weight again (10 kg in a year) and have no energy. I am hoping that the AIP diet will help! I am interested in receiving your list of foods to eat and any meal plan suggestions. I teach preschool and my mind and body are zapped by the end of each day! Thanks for your help!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Karen! Sorry to hear of your troubles, but happy you found us here. If you sign up for the quick start guide, either up above in the post or below in the website footer, we’ll email you all of the materials. Wishing you the best on your journey!

  • […] now I’d heard of the Autoimmune Protocol through Mickey Trescott at Autoimmune Wellness. And I thought to myself, wow, that sounds impossible! I’m so glad I don’t need to do […]

  • […] If you want to find out more, this is a great article about AIP and elimination diet. […]

  • […] To learn more about the protocol I use, read about the autoimmune protocol here. […]

  • Laurel Worth says


  • […] and then re-branded to autoimmunewellness.com. They had a really easy way of explaining how to start AIP including 2 print outs that I still refer to, to this day of foods to eat and foods to avoid. From […]

  • Susan Howe says

    Trying to understand autoimmune prorecol

  • Chidi Ike says

    I live in West Africa, while I can relate to most of foods on the list, there are mnay local foods here that are not list and I do not know how to classify them; e.g. yam, cocoyam, ripe and unripe plantain, breadfruit seeds, and a few others

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Chidi! I used to live in Guinea & Sierra Leone. I know a lot about the local foods. Yam, cocoyam, both ripe & unripe plantains, & breadfruit are perfectly okay during the elimination phase of AIP. If you can let us know about the other foods you are curious about, I can try to help. So glad to have you in our community!

  • Lisa Gant says

    I have signed up for the news letter and received some information. But I still have not received the print out food list.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lisa! Sorry to hear that didn’t make it into your inbox. If you go to the bottom of our newsletter, hit unsubscribe, and then subscribe again at the bottom of any page on our website, it will re-trigger the welcome sequence so you can get your list!

  • […] plethora of detailed articles on her blog: The Paleo Mom. If you want a more summarized resource, The Autoimmune Wellness website is a wise place to start… as well as their book: The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, which I did a […]

  • Lisa Redfield says

    I get your informative newsletters, but would LOVE the printable Food List….
    I’m not seeing where it is, or how to “find” it….


    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lisa! All you need to do is go to the bottom of one of our emails, click unsubscribe, and then come back over here to the site and sign up for the newsletter again. This will trigger the welcome sequence again and the food lists will be emailed to you within an hour. Hope it helps!

  • katherine says


    The AIP diet sounds similar to the GAPS diet, but I have a fundamental issue with both. They are very low carb. I have adrenal fatigue, and low carb diets are a no-no for me (or for anyway with hormonal issues, from what I understand). In fact, it was a low carb diet that was a factor in my adrenal fatigue to begin with. So I seem to be hamstrung. My gut most likely needs healing (since I have autoimmune tendencies and adrenal fatigue), but the healthy performance of my hormones (primarily insulin and adrenalin/cortisol) seems to depend on my carbohydrate consumption. (Too many carbs leads to an insulin spike, too few to cortisol and/or adrenalin.)

    Any suggestions?
    Thank you!

    • Angie Alt says

      Katherine, AIP is not meant to be a low carb approach. It is low in processed carbohydrates or grain forms of carbs, but there is lots of encouragement to eat plenty of the dense carb veggies, like sweet potato, yuca, etc.

  • […] To learn more about AIP, see this blog post, What is AIP? The Definitive Guide. […]

  • Heidi says

    I found all this info very interesting and would be interested in your six week course to transition to sip but since I missed the may course when will the next one be? Just wondering if I want to wait for it or find another approach

    • Angie Alt says

      Heidi, enrollment for the July cycle is open now. You can enroll at sadtoaip.com.

  • Linda Drude says

    I have been whole food, plant based, no added oil for the last 4 yr. This year I was diagnosed with Sjogrens & Rheumatoid Arthritis. I want to try the AIP plan but animal protein sits like a rock in the middle of my chest & is painful to go down. On WFPB I don’t have any heartburn or reflux. I’m afraid to eat all the meat required with AIP Paleo. Can’t I do this & stll be vegan?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Linda! We do not recommend doing AIP without eating at least fish and shellfish to meet protein and nutrient needs. The protocol is dangerous otherwise. When I was transitioning from vegan to AIP, I found that my digestion was the biggest barrier to being able to tolerate meat. My practitioner had me use digestive support, especially acid support, and I found that I was able to digest meat no problem. The issue is that meat has nutrients our bodies need to produce the acids we need to properly digest it, so it is a vicious cycle that can be difficult to disrupt. You can learn more here: https://autoimmunewellness.com/low-stomach-acid-and-autoimmune-disease/

  • jo says

    I subscribed to the newsletter but have not received anything at all that was listed – eg. printable food list ,batch cooking e-book etc.
    Please advise how to get this?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jo! The newsletters may be going to your junk or spam folders. I would add [email protected] to your contacts and try again.

  • Mary Sue Rowan says

    I am currently in the elimination phase of AIP. In general, I love the food, although I am not ready to get into organ meats yet. I haven’t found a lot of information about skin care products. So many lotions, sunscreens and shampoos have seed oils. Is this something to be worried about? I haven’t found much about that online. Also, as I have a lot of musculo-skeletal issues, I take a lot of curcumin supplements, but they all seem to have piperidine in them, which is derived from black pepper. As I understand it, the reason we exclude seed products is for the high amount of omega-six oils in them. Is this a concern with piperidine also? Please share your thoughts on these issues.

    • Angie Alt says

      Hi Mary Sue-
      You don’t necessarily need to avoid seed oils in skincare products, unless you notice they cause rashes or other sensitivity reactions for you. We are more concerned w/ the effects of consuming seeds early in the healing process. As to the curcumin, if it is working for you & recommended by your healthcare providers, it may be that the potential benefits outweigh the negatives. Sometimes on AIP we need to make decisions like that, as it a template that can be adjusted to your individual needs.

  • Cherice Eileen Kelso says

    Is Carob allowed?
    and are alfalfa or sunflower sprouts allowed?

    • Angie Alt says

      Take a look at the Beans, Peas, and Other Foods from the Legume Family section of the article for your answers. The alfalfa & sunflower sprouts would be in the same category as bean or pea sprouts.

  • Jessica Travis Ginter says

    I have recently been introduced to your site through “Whole 30”. Not long after completing a “Whole 30” cleanse last year and feeling great, I lost over 50% of my hair and was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. October always inspires me to reset my diet, but I hesitate to try “Whole 30” again due to the proximity to the onset of my AI. I can’t help thinking of all those eggs and nuts I ate! I wonder if this program has been successful for those in the Alopecia Areata community.

  • Anne Vowell says

    Are you aware of any success the AIP diet has had with people who struggle with Alopecia? There are literally thousands of topical treatment suggestions, but I believe that the body needs to heal from the inside-out. Thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • […] your diet can be a powerful tool in addressing your autoimmunity. I recommend starting with the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet to get a strong handle on your autoimmunity symptoms and reduce overall inflammation. However, if […]

  • Amy says

    New to the site. I am trying to locate the list of foods that need to be avoided.
    Can you help me locate this?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Amy! If you pop your email in the newsletter signup at the bottom of the page, you’ll get the .pdfs emailed to you in our welcome series!

  • Gracias por compartir! Recientemente recibí diagnóstico de lupus así que estoy muy entusiasmada por iniciar con este plan.

  • Kirsty says

    Hiya, I am a long time follower. So happy to see how you and the community and company have grown. It makes me so happy that the autoimmune community is more understood and getting the recognition needed to help all the sufferers out there. I am always telling people to look up AIP. I must admit I have fallen off the wagon a few times, but I never fully let go. As you know, being a mom with multiple disorders can put us at the mercy of others sometimes. I know they are helping, but they just don’t understand the real reason why I am so picky with my food. So, now that I am able to get around again I would like a resend of the lists please. I have had them up in my kitchen since 2013. Many notes added to them, they are looking haggard. It is time for a restart. Many blessings. Thank you for sharing with us, I know my life and body benefited from AIP.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Kristy! Thanks so much for being with us. You can get the lists again by unsubscribing and resubscribing to our email newsletter, or by subscribing with a different email address. The link to do so will be at the bottom of a recent newsletter, or you can use the opt-in form at the bottom of any page on the site.

  • Progesterone HRT Helps? No uterus? How? 20+ Functions! Love progesterone! *!*!*!*! Brain & More! - Zenmen says

    […] Nutrients are a part of your HRT Plan. I am an expert on getting more nutrients from each bite of food. The foods with most nutrients are described in The Autoimmune Protocol Diet. This diet is anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense! This keeps your immune system running strong! This diet gives you 7-10 times the nutrients compared to a processed food diet. Here is a link to a topline description. https://autoimmunewellness.com/what-is-aip-the-definitive-guide/ […]

  • Drew Magda says

    Having Hashimoto’s, I was told to keep iodine out of my diet, but all the AIPs I see suggest fish and other seafood, which has Iodine. I’m guessing I should keep these out of my diet? Any advice for AIP with Hashimoto’s?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Drew! Generally speaking, seafood doesn’t have so much iodine that it is a concern for those with Hashimoto’s (which I have as well!). Personally I only avoid the seafoods with extremely high iodine content, like seaweed. Most fish and shellfish don’t cause a problem for me. Good luck!

  • Jasmina Vargas says

    Tremendo articulo, muy interesante. Por favor me pueden enviar la guía en pdf.

  • louise says

    Amazing amount of info. I look forward to starting but I can’t find the two week plan that was advertised! What am I missing or not reading? Please help point me in the right direction. Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Louise! You need to sign up for our newsletter and it will be sent to your email address. If you use gmail, it is usually to be found in your “promotions” folder.

  • Stephanie Slavick says

    I just tested positive for autoimmune. I am looking to rid the joint pain and other symptoms thru diet as well and happened upon your site – but I’m pretty darn sure I’m not willing to compromise my vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons. Can you create a plan that is vegan? Sure we can leave out soy or certain nuts, but bone broth and steak – grass fed or not – it’s still cruel. I’m sure the research is out there, just wondering if you’ve got your hands on it yet or do I have to do it?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Stephanie,
      I’m sorry to hear about your autoimmune diagnosis. I understand wanting to maintain veganism, but I must stress that it is not possible to safely implement AIP as a vegan or vegetarian. My suggestion is to find a coach who can help design a nutritionally-safe elimination plan for you. I’m sorry I don’t have a specific recommendation. Cronometer can be a good resource to make sure your meals meet nutrient requirements. Good luck.

  • paige selvais says

    Hi, I was just diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I also have a salicylite sensitivity. I am trying to combine the following diets and figure out a food list that is safe for me.

    -aip diet
    -diary free
    -glueten free
    -salicylite free

    I am wondering if this is something you can help with or refer me to someone?

    Thank You

  • […] _____________________ Nutrients are a part of your HRT Plan. I am an expert on getting more nutrients from each bite of food. The foods with most nutrients are described in The Autoimmune Protocol Diet. This diet is anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense! This keeps your immune system running strong! This diet gives you 7-10 times the nutrients compared to a processed food diet. Here is a link to a topline description. https://autoimmunewellness.com/what-is-aip-the-definitive-guide/ […]

  • Jennifer Phillips says

    Please send me the list of avoid foods for inflammation.

    Thank you

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jennifer! You’ll find the newsletter signup at the bottom of every page, once you opt-in we’ll send you the food lists and meal plan.

  • Jennifer Brown says

    Signing up to received the food lists, etc.
    Thank you!

  • Julie says

    Hi, I’ almost ready to start my elimination period. When you refer to stevia as a non nutritive sweetener, you mean the processed white powder or liquid extract, right? Would using green leaf organic stevia leaves in teas be okay?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Julie! Unfortunately, we recommend removing all forms of stevia during the elimination phase.

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