Friday, August 28, 2015

The Autoimmune Protocol :: Seven Snacks That Helped Me Survive the AIP Diet



Last week I posted about The Autoimmune Protocol :: My Journey Towards Better Health & Weight Loss with the AIP Diet. Thank you all for the encouraging comments and support!

For the most part my daily diet consists of pastured meats, bone broth, fresh vegetables and fruit... BUT when you are a mother of a large family (or living on the road for nearly a month!) it's good to have a few backup options for emergencies! Here is a peek at some of the snacks that have helped me survive the AIP diet in Seven Quick Takes.




— 1 ::  Plantain Chips —


Ingredients: Plantain, Palm Oil, Salt. 

Holy Guacamole! These Plantain Chips are GOOD! I was so excited when I first discovered them a couple weeks into my AIP diet last March. I buy them by the case at Natural Grocers and make my own delicious AIP approved homemade guacamole to go along with them when I am "starving!" (Meatless Fridays!) At 140 calories per serving, with 4 servings in each small 4 ounce bag which I can inhale in one sitting if I let myself, they are not low calorie, but that hasn't affected my weight loss and they have definitely kept me from feeling deprived at times, especially when everyone else is snacking on chips or popcorn.



— 2 :: Beef Jerky —


Ingredients: Angus Beef, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Water, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Celery Juice Powder, Dried Garlic

I started buying this beef jerky just before our July road trip and it has become a staple in my pantry even though the beef is "raised on grass and grains." It also does include Black Pepper which is on the "Be Cautious" list. I completely eliminated black and white pepper from my diet during the first few months, but now include them occasionally. 

Wyoming Gourmet Beef also makes a "Honey" version that is good too, but unfortunately it includes some raw cane sugar (and honey) in the ingredient list instead of the Pineapple Juice Concentrate... I did end up having some of it on our trip due to lack of other options, but generally I stick with the "Original." 


Ingredients: Grass-fed Beef, Smoked Sea Salt. 

Only 2 ingredients!!! And the beef is 100% grassfed! I happened to run across these just before our road trip at Natural Grocers and they are pretty good. Personally I prefer the regular cut beef jerky, but these would be great for any one who would prefer really thin-cut beef jerky.

I really tried to like the Epic All Natural Meat Bars, 100% Grass Fed, Bison, Bacon and Cranberry, but just couldn't do it... Way too greasy in my opinion. My husband ate them for me. 


— 3 :: Bare Apple Chips —


Simply Cinnamon Apple Chips
Ingredients: Organic Apples, Organic Cinnamon 

The Apple Chips from Bare are another great AIP snack! My favorite is the Simply Cinnamon. I also like the Fugi Red which can sometimes be found in big bags at Costco.  They also make Mango Chunks which I have not tried yet.



— 4 ::  Freeze-Dried Fruit —
  

Red Seedless Grapes - Ingredients: Freeze-Dried Red Seedless Grapes
Pineapple & Strawberry - Ingredients: Freeze-Dried Pineapples, Freeze-Dried Strawberries
Fuji Apple - Ingredients: Freeze-Dried Fuji Apples, Citric Acid

Wish these were organic, but I still have them in the pantry to grab for a quick snack when I am out of fresh fruit. I enjoy the grapes and the pineapple & strawberry. I let my kids have the fugi apples since they do include citric acid in the ingredient list. 

Freeze-Dried Mango
Ingredients: Mango

Some of my kids really don't like the sticky-melt-in-your-mouth texture of Trader Joe's Freeze-Dried Mangos, but I like 'em! I'm highly allergic to poison oak and have found that I do have to be careful with Mangos too, especially fresh, but these haven't been a problem. 


— 5 :: Sweet Potato Chips —


Ingredients: sweet potatoes, organic coconut oil, sea salt

I searched for these chips for months and finally found them at a Natural Grocers we just "happened" to drive by while we were lost in Missoula, Montana! After spending over a week in National Parks I was out of food and pretty cranky. I (and my husband!) was thanking God for that little detour to the health food store! ;)  Our local Natural Grocers now has these chips too! They have been on sale all month so I stocked up. 


— 6 :: Coconut Chips 


Ingredients: Coconut, Coconut Sugar, Sea Salt

After being on the AIP diet for about week I remember going to the grocery store searching for something, anything, that I could have that was not a fresh fruit or veggie and at least somewhat resembled one of my old snacks... I ended up just buying a bag of bulk coconut flakes. I have joked that there is no way I could have survived this diet without avocados, sweet potatoes, and coconut! I still love snacking on plain ol' coconut flakes, but I have also discovered this amazing treat! 

When I first opened a small bag of the Dang Caramel Sea Salt Toasted Coconut Chips and tasted these (just a few) for the first time I felt guilty! They taste like candy!!! Maybe it's because I have been off sugar for so long (it's nice that fruit actually tastes like dessert now!) but boy are these delicious and a perfect treat for special occasions. They also come in a large 3 serving 3.17oz resealable bag, but I usually just buy the small bag since it can be way too dangerous to have the large bag in the house... 

Now that I've been on the AIP so long I actually prefer the Unsweetened Version. It's interesting how our taste buds can be retrained and change over time. 


— 7 :: Roasted Dandelion Root Tea —


Ingredients: Organic Dandelion Root, roasted

Speaking of retraining my taste buds... Giving up coffee was one of my biggest challenges. I still miss it, but I have grown to really love Roasted Dandelion Root Tea as an alternative. It took some getting use to in the beginning, and I would often add some coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk), but now I just drink it plain and love the taste. I buy it by the case from Amazon and enjoy a cup nearly every morning. 

26 comments:

  1. Ahem...no recipe for your guac? ;)

    2015-08-28 20:59:09

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    1. Haha! Okay.... Recipe coming soon! I don't usually measure the ingredients so I need to make it one more time and jot them down before sharing. :)

      2015-08-28 22:01:43

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    2. Sorry it has taken me so long! Here is the recipe: http://showerofroses.blogspot.com/2016/07/guacamo...

      2016-07-23 19:46:57

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  2. I hope I don't sound crazy when I ask, but regarding dried fruit, is it hard on the teeth? I have had dental work done on my teeth over the years and am really afraid of biting into or chewing on hard items. I've never tried it because I've been nervous about that, but I am interested in hearing what you think.

    2015-08-28 23:11:11

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    1. You know, I'm not really a big fan of dried fruit, at least not the chewy types of dried fruit... You can sort of see a bag of dried pineapple in the little white basket in my pantry, but I only ate one or two pieces and haven't been able to bring myself to eat the rest. In the past I would buy these dried apples, but they often have hard centers (hard on the teeth) from the core not being completely removed and they also seem to upset my stomach now for some reason.

      I had braces on my upper teeth again - for 7 months this past year, they came off in June - and during that time I avoided all chewy dried fruit and also wasn't able to eat any jerky. Raw carrots and some other raw fruits and veggies were also a challenge, so I would usually bake, roast, sauté, or toss them into some broth to make a soup before eating to make them softer and easier to chew. I have also had lots of dental work over the years and now have permanent retainers on both the top and bottom. The jerky seems to be the hardest on my teeth, and probably isn't the best idea, but I still eat it sometimes when I really need some quick, easy, and convenient protein.

      Back to the various types of fruit... I definitely prefer the baked fruit (like the Apple Chips) over dried fruit. They are hard/crunchy, and I couldn't eat them for a few days after ortho appointments, but when they are broken into small pieces they seem to be fine.

      I also really like the crunchy freeze-dried fruit (like the little packs from Costco in #4) which aren't at all hard on your teeth and basically just melt in your mouth. These would probably be the best option to try. I also like the Fruit Leathers that Costco carries and so do all my kids. I wouldn't think that they are too hard on teeth...

      One thing I always have to remind myself when eating any sort of dried, baked or freeze-dried fruit is to drink lots of water, otherwise I will notice that I feel a little dehydrated myself afterwards! :)

      2015-08-28 23:57:47

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  3. You have inspired me Jessica! After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January and knowing I had thyroiditis I think this would be great for me to do. I'm praying for the strength and discipline to stick with it!! Thank you so much for sharing. Joene

    2015-08-28 23:28:40

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    1. I'm praying for you too, Joene! God bless you!!

      2015-08-30 14:33:40

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  4. Thanks for sharing these idea's! For me snacks can make or break a diet, and I am thinking about starting this diet or a like one. Good to read what's worked for you.

    Have you thought about buying a dehydrator? That might help broaden your range of snacks plus you know what's in them and can have them readily available.

    Coconut chips are a favorite of mine too, very moreish :)

    2015-08-29 05:53:32

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! A friend of mine actually offered to loan me a dehydrator but our schedule is so full at the moment I just haven't had the time to give it a try... I'm thankful that I've been able to find a variety of pre-made snacks/food to have on hand for our extra busy days!

      2015-08-30 14:32:57

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  5. Thanks, Jessica. I may order some of those plantain chips (and repack into four containers!) for when we hit the road shortly. I'm on day 6 today, and even made it through a migraine without caving. Usually a migraine triggers horrible eating, but this time a bowl of cold applesauce actually felt really good and helped calm my stomach. I think the clean eating has helped me not have too bad a migraine hangover. And my face doesn't look as puffy.

    Oh, I was feeling an intense craving for something, anything and I ended up making a strawberry and greens salad (mine was arugula) with a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It really hit the spot for sweet, salty, and sour!
    2015-08-29 18:03:32

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    1. Great job, Nicole! I'm glad that you are noticing a difference! We are fighting off a stomach bug here (so far it's hit me and our 8 year old) and yesterday I was so thankful for applesauce (and chicken/ginger bone broth) as I recover from being sick. I bought strawberries at the grower's market yesterday, but I need to add some more arugula to my shopping list. Your salad sounds delicious!

      2015-08-30 14:38:59

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  6. Thanks for this list of snacks, Jessica! I have been on and off GAPS, Paleo, and AIP over the past 5 years. Most recently I have tried AIP but with nursing (and now pregnancy) I find that I need so many carbs that I get really tired of sweet potatoes and plantains! I seem to be able to tolerate rice without any problems, and thankfully night shades aren't much of an issue to me so I do eat potatoes. When I tried AIP the first time I discovered I was very sensitive to corn, so I have to be really careful of additives. I find being corn-free much harder than being gluten-free, and the I have the most difficulty sourcing supplements and ready-made snacks. I knew about several items on your list, but some were new to me and I will be looking for them now! I also have a problem on road trips staying hydrated enough, because if I forget to fill my own water bottle, I have trouble drinking out of plastic water bottles since they contain a high percentage of corn and most other purchased drinks contain citric acid or sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Then I end up drinking fountain unsweetened tea, which is not a terrific option. Fortunately, since I stopped eating corn I am much less sensitive to additives, but I still do watch myself most of the time.

    2015-08-29 23:24:29

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  7. Would buckwheat be an option for breakfast or a side dish jazzed up appropriately? It is gluten free, not wheat at all and is actually a fruit.

    2015-08-30 01:59:58

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    1. Buckwheat (and quinoa) are not allowed on the AIP. Even though they are not botanically grains, the behave in the body like grains and contain compounds that may cause similar problems. I haven't tried reintroducing buckwheat yet, but I did have some quinoa a couple times on our trip and it caused digestive issues both times. I may give it one more try sometime, making sure to rinse it well before cooking after reading this article. I'm hoping that I will have better luck with rice.

      2015-08-30 14:28:43

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  8. Love the suggestions! We are starting this diet and my kids would love the snacks. Cool! You are so thoughtful to have put this all together and make it look so doable! I am hopeful our immune issues will be better managed thanks to this diet!

    2015-08-30 02:01:35

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  9. Jessica, I know you mentioned you had to give up intense workouts, but how do you feel your energy level is otherwise? Do you feel like you have enough energy to get through the day with kid activities and general bustle of life with so many kids? I have had friends on the diet and they say they don't have enough energy to get through the day. Also, it is not only impressive that you have done so well on this diet, but you did it while traveling! That really amazes me! Great job!! Last question, how much bone broth do you go through in a week (and do you make it weekly)? I feel like I would have a hard time keeping up with the amount needed every day. Thank you for sharing with us!!

    2015-08-30 13:55:40

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    1. Hi, Judy! Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your questions... I haven't had enough energy to keep up with everything! ;) Seriously though, my energy may not be back to what it was when I was younger/healthier, but it has drastically increased from what it was last summer/fall/winter. I do have to make sure that I'm eating enough carbs (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc) and protein, otherwise my energy really drops. I really miss the energy spurts I would get from drinking coffee, and being able to stay up late at night "catching up" on everything. Lately, due to time issues, I've been buying pre-made broth from Natural Grocers (I stocked up when it was on sale) and drinking less than I did before. Right now I'm only drinking about 1 cup a day on average. When I first started the diet I made broth about once every two weeks and drank 1-2 cups per day.

      2015-10-07 03:59:52

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  10. Hi Jessica! Thanks for the tips and congrats on your progress. It's very inspiring! Since you like the dandelion root tea, you might also want to try 'Dandy Blend'. It's also made with dandelion root, but has a stronger taste than the tea. Keep it up and way to go!

    2015-09-03 00:53:59

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Karen! I was excited to try the Dandy Blend but read that it also includes barley and rye which aren't allowed on the AIP. I'll have to remember it in case I get to a point where I've successfully added those back in to my diet.

      2015-10-07 04:12:36

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  11. How did you make the coconut cream for your tea? Did you refrigerate a can or just take it off the shelf?

    2015-09-03 16:49:44

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    1. I would just take it out of the can - either straight from the cupboard, or out of the fridge. Sometimes I will make a creamer by blending 1 can full fat coconut milk, 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, and 1 Tablespoon alcohol-free Vanilla Extract which is really good too! I store that in the fridge, shaking well before each use.

      2015-10-07 04:08:37

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  12. JMJ

    Hi Jessica,

    You might want to check out an online health food distributor called Thrive Market http://thrv.me/RSb8x4 (full disclosure, that is a referral code). But either way, it's awesome. You can get a lot of products shipped right to you that are well below the price at stores and you can filter searches for paleo, gluten free, etc. They are committed to non-GMO as well. I have switched from Vitacost and epantry to Thrive because I like the prices and I like the convenience of one online store. Even though I live in the Portland area, it is not worth it to me to drive all over town when I can have it shipped to me.

    Anyway, great job with your lifestyle change. Kathleen

    2015-09-05 19:12:25

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Kathleen! That sounds great! I haven't tried any of the online stores you mentioned, but it sure sounds like they would make shopping a little more convenient!

      2015-10-07 04:15:39

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  13. Thank you for sharing!!! Always helpful to get new ideas!!

    2016-04-09 18:11:43

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  14. I was sad to see that after being on AIP strict for 4 weeks that I was doing wrong with one thing....Dandy Blend! It contains gluten though it says is gluten free. I guess they mean wheat gluten. I never could get over my joint pain and I guess that’s why. So here I go again starting fresh

    2017-12-20 03:20:51

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  15. I really needed this right now trying to follow the aip diet is not easy for me and I have multiple food sensitivities. I went out and bought the Bare apple chips after reading this....like within 10 minutes lol. I love them! Thank you!

    2018-05-29 21:34:27

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