I will be honest with you all, I do like to cook. If I didn’t I’m not quite sure what I would do, but even before going AIP or even paleo I enjoyed cooking and baking. I remember learning to bake around the time I was in 3rd or 4th grade and going through a phase of making two tier cakes on fairly regular basis. I was never the typical college student either, always ordering pizza and take out. I made most of my meals. I did batch cooking on the weekend and ate the results throughout the week to keep on my budget, but it wasn’t until going on the autoimmune protocol that I really realized what it meant to cook…everything.
There is very little food that comes in a package that is AIP friendly, and with good reason! All of the things that preserve most packaged foods are also the things causing us inflammation and poor health. I won’t lie to you, no matter how you look at it if you decide to use the autoimmune protocol you will be doing a lot of cooking. That being said there is a lot you can do to maximize your time spent on food preparation so that cooking doesn’t consume your life and there are also the occasional options for store bought emergency snacks. Here is my list of occasional convenience foods that are AIP friendly.
Epic Bison Bars: These are a recent discovery for me. It is basically jerky although it is in the form of a bar that also has some fruit in it as well. The Bison Bacon & Cranberry is the only variety of Epic bars that is mostly AIP friendly as it does not contain nuts. The meat is grass-fed but the bar does contain a small amount of brown sugar in the bacon and some apple juice from concentrate. I really enjoyed the one I had though, and it did not cause me any issues.
US Wellness Meats Beef Pemmican: Similar to the Epic Bars, pemmican is a combination of jerkey and tallow and is a great AIP snack. US Wellness Meats is 100% AIP friendly, the meat is grass-fed and they have two varieties, one that includes honey and dried cherries and one that is plain.
Inka Chips: These are probably my favorite snack. Inka Chips are plantain chips made solely from plantains, sea salt and palm oil, making them AIP friendly. They are crisp and great for serving with guacamole or as a quick way to fill up in a food emergency. I highly recommend them.
Food Lion Guacamole to go Packs: Speaking of guacamole. While this is a super easy thing to make yourself, if you find yourself in a bind and in need of something easily accessible, Food Lion Sells to-go packs of guacamole that are nightshade free. It is just avocados, garlic, cilantro, onion, and salt. They are sold in the produce section in a box containing three 90 calorie packs. I have had to grab that and a bag of carrots a time or two after getting stuck at work with no snacks or something of the like.
Peter Rabbit Organics and Ella’s Kitchen Purees: I have mentioned these before, but I put them at the bottom of the list because they are a true emergency food. I carry these packs because they are technically AIP friendly but they pack a punch with a lot of fruit so you still need to be careful with them. When I am not blogging and nannying I am a birth doula which means that I attend childbirths for very long periods of time. These are one of the things I pack in my bag because they keep for long periods of time, don’t need to be kept cool and give a quick boost of energy. I also keep one in my purse, just in case. I recommend these two brands because they do not use citric acid, which can be made from corn.
Go RAW Coconut Crisps: These are really a treat more than a food because they will do nothing for your hunger. They are large flakes of coconut that have been naturally flavored. The two varieties I have tried are salt and vinegar, which uses sea salt and coconut vinegar and lime which just uses lime. They are fun and a tasty treat, but like I said you will still be hungry afterwards!
Obviously, these are not foods that you can make your diet off of. They are foods that can tide you over in case you hit a long gap between meals or find yourself in a not-so-aip-friendly environment. They are not a substitution for cooking healthy and nutritious food for yourself. Figuring out how to prepare all of your food can be a challenge but it always helps me to remember that it wasn’t that long ago when all of this packaged food wasn’t an option and I would much rather be spending time in my kitchen than time in the doctor’s office.
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