We like to say “if you aren’t adding flavor, you’re doing it wrong!” But we also know that for our AIP friends, this is easier said than done!
The Autoimmune Protocol eliminates nightshade spices like paprika and cayenne and even takes nutmeg off the table. The good news is there’s a whole world of healing, AIP-compliant spices out there—starting with those featured in our own AIP blend!
Spices: Nature’s Cleansing Powerhouse
We love garlic and oregano because they provide an incredible flavor base in our blends. But they also contain powerful healing compounds!
Holistic and homeopathic medicine has relied on oregano oil to cleanse wounds, fight infections and combat pathogens for centuries. Did your grandma ever tell you to swallow whole garlic cloves when you feel a cold coming? That’s likely because of garlic’s antiseptic properties.
Herbs like oregano and sage have amazing antimicrobial and antibacterial properties as well, probably because of their concentration of phenols. In one study, researchers investigating the antimicrobial properties of thyme, sage and oregano found all three plants effective in combating some strains of bacteria.
Unlike many other natural remedies, these herbs don’t work by stimulating the immune system. That makes them a great alternative for those of us with autoimmune disease whose immune systems are already fired up. You can buy spices in a concentrated form as a supplement, but starting out with dried spices is a perfect way to test the waters of these potent herbs!
To maximize healing potential, seek out herbs that are non-irradiated. Many spice blends contain not only nightshade spices, but binding and anti-caking agents that are not AIP-friendly. We’ve made sure Paleo Powder AIP’s clean ingredient list is a safe choice.
About That “Nine Servings of Veggies” Rule…
Whether you’re following the Autoimmune Protocol as laid out by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne or perhaps taking on Dr. Terry Wahls’ protocol, you’ll notice that veggies should form the bulk of your autoimmune-friendly diet. We’re talking a goal of 9-14 servings of vegetables a day!
The reasons for this are pretty plain. Vegetables are the most nutrient dense foods in our system (besides organ meat, and that’s a whole other can of liver!), meaning they provide us with an amazing balance of micronutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Autoimmune disease often leaves us depleted of these key nutrients, and shoring up our stores can mean loading up our plates with veggie matter.
For many of us, nine servings a day might sound like a lofty goal. And if you’re simply chowing down on cut raw veggies, it is darn near impossible! But remember our suggestion at the beginning of this post. You’ll be amazed what adding a little all-purpose seasoning blend to your veggies and some simple cooking techniques can achieve!
For example, we love roasting a big sheet of veggies tossed in olive, avocado or coconut oil and Paleo Powder AIP. A temperature of 425° will yield perfectly soft veggies that are slightly caramelized and crisp at the edges. Paleo Powder AIP is also a perfect complement to mashed and blended root veggies!
Keeping veggies vibrant with spices is a great way to skip the boredom and meet our nutrient density goals.
Keep Cooking Fresh with Flavor
Just as nutrient density helps us make the most of our AIP meals, variety can help us stick with the AIP for the long haul.
That means working in servings of high-quality meat, seafood, fat and veggies along with a little organ meat. If you’re bored with simple meals, why not try a little experimentation? Believe it or not, it’s completely possible to cook delicious, flavorful meals—even some that mimic your favorite restaurant takeout—while following the elimination phase of the AIP.
Some of our favorite, flavorful AIP recipes include:
- Tom Kha Gai from Russ Crandall of The Domestic Man
- Thai Green Curry from The Paleo Mom
- AIP Italian Calzone from Alaena Haber for Autoimmune Wellness
- AIP Hawaiian Pizza from The Castaway Kitchen
There’s freedom in teaching yourself to cook using different techniques, new cuts of meat and of course, different spice blends!
AIP Paleo Powder isn’t designed to be use with a particular protein, cuisine or even cooking style. Instead, we intentionally designed this nightshade-free blend to be versatile and subtle. It’s great on its own but can also be a wonderful base to build on—you can easily add even more healing power with spices like turmeric and ginger.
If you’re bored on the AIP, get into the kitchen and experiment with spice! It’s a surefire way to fall back in love with cooking. Plus, these little micronutrient powerhouses yield impressive benefits for our health, making them a welcome choice for those seeking health through an autoimmune-friendly elimination diet.
When we embrace the healing herbs and spices we can have, we won’t even miss the ones that don’t support our health!