Tag Archives: Food

AIP Pulled Pork BBQ (Eastern NC Style)

AIP Pulled Pork BBQ (Eastern NC Style)

BBQ has to be one of the most divisive issues in the US food scene. Everyone thinks that their brand of BBQ is the best. I have lived in a lot of different places and I have tried a lot of different kinds of pulled pork BBQ, from the sweet yet tangy tomato based style of Virginia and Western North Carolina, to the sweet molasses style of Kansas, to the dry slice of meat and choose your own sauce mess that passes for BBQ down in Alabama (sorry, but its true), each of these styles is different but they are all tomato based and heavy on the sauce. The one style that is truly different from all the rest is the tangy vinegar based flavor of Eastern North Carolina BBQ.

Now, I have to watch my words carefully here, but lets just say that with my background this style of pulled pork was an acquired taste. The combination of vinegar and spices is so different from anything I was used to it didn’t seem like “real” BBQ to me.

That being said, after starting on the autoimmune protocol diet and saying goodbye to tomatoes I realized that this style of BBQ might be my best shot at an easy pulled pork recipe.

Traditional Eastern NC BBQ is still not AIP friendly since it is typically made with white vinegar, white sugar and a combo of red and black pepper but a few simple substitutes make this recipe just as tasty as the original (this is coming from true Eastern NC natives, not just me). It is also a super easy recipe that uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry so it is perfect for a weeknight or anytime you need a simple dinner.

What is/was your favorite style of BBQ?


AIP Pulled Pork BBQ (Eastern North Carolina Style)

AIP Pulled Pork BBQ (Eastern NC Style) Ingredients:

2.5 lb Pork Butt

½ tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Ground Ginger

¾ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

4 TBS Maple Syrup



Rub your pork butt with your spices until covered. Place it in a large slow cooker and pour in your vinegar. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. About 30 minutes before it is done shred your meat with two forks and mix in your maple syrup. Cook for 30 more minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Superfood Energy Bites

Superfood Energy Bites (AIP,Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle. This month, I shared a recipe perfect for those days when you are on the run and in need of an energy boost. I hope you enjoy! 

Simple, on–the-go snacks are something that is taken for granted by most Americans. There are countless mini packages of traditional junk foods like chips, cookies, and even healthier options like Lara bars, lining shelves at the grocery store. However, for people like me on a limited yet nourishing diet, on-the-go snacks can be a challenge. Most gluten and grain free snacks in the stores contain nuts, which can be problematic for many people and still others contain a fair amount of added sugar. This leaves making some at home.

Superfood Energy Bites (AIP, Paleo) If you look up homemade grain free energy bites or snack bars on Google or Pinterest you will inevitable get a very long list of date based ideas. All of them are yummy looking and simple to make. So what is the problem? Well, while dates are perfect for an energy boost they contain a lot of natural sugar which can give you a little bit too much of an energy spike and subsequent crash if not balanced out by some protein. If you’re on the go, the last thing you need is a blood sugar crash.

Grass-fed gelatin is the perfect source of nourishing added protein. Most protein powders are dairy or soy based, making them risky options for most, but grass-fed gelatin is responsibly sourced, animal based and incredibly nourishing. Gelatin is fantastic for improving digesting, healing the lining of the gut, healing joint and cartilage damage and reducing inflammation and irritation (source). It is also incredibly high in protein! 1 TBS of grass fed gelatin contains 11g of protein!

Two of these snack energy bites equals approximately 20g of carbs, 5g of protein and 8.5g of healthy saturated fats, meaning that they are a far more balanced option than anything you’ll find in the store. They also take less time to make than it would take you to go to the right aisle of the store, pick out your favorite snack bar and checkout. So, next time you are going for a hike, on a car trip, or just have a long day filled with running errands and chauffeuring kids, whip up a batch of these and take them with you. They will be just the boost you need!

Click HERE For the Recipe

Herbal “Coffee”: An AIP Friendly Coffee Alternative

Herbal "Coffee" (AIP, Paleo)

I will admit, back in my pre-AIP days I was a total coffee addict. I loved my coffee! I had a cup every morning, nice and strong with full fat cream, honey and a dash of cinnamon. Delicious! I enjoyed going to Starbucks with friends and I enjoyed Espresso just as much. The day I started AIP and gave up coffee was absurdly difficult. I switched out my trusty cup of coffee for tea and I have yet to go back.

It seems silly that one little beverage can be such a strong sticking point for so many people but when you think about how big a role coffee plays in the routine and social life of so many people it begins to become clear why so many people shy away from eliminating it.

Is it possible to be successful on AIP and still enjoy one cup of coffee a day? I get asked this question a lot. I mean it is just one little adjustment, how big of a difference can that actually make? Well, maybe if you understand the logic behind the loss it will ease the bitterness (pun intended).

In this post by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne she explains the drawbacks of coffee consumption that have led to its elimination in the autoimmune protocol. First, coffee comes from a seed, the pit of the coffee fruit. This is a cause for concern, seeing as many seeds contain compounds, meant to keep the seed intact, that are harmful to the lining of the gut. Second, coffee stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CKK) which stimulates the release of bile from the gallbladder. In a healthy individual this isn’t likely to cause too many problems, but in an individual with deficiencies in gallbladder function this can cause heartburn, digestive upset and damage to the lining of the intestines. Third, caffeine of any sort (in coffee, tea, chocolate…) increases cortisol production. Excessive cortisol can lead to a ton of health problems including an overactive immune system (detrimental to autoimmune disease sufferers), disruption of sleep, and disruption of digestion. Finally, some studies have shown that even in healthy individuals, there is a correlation between coffee consumption and increased inflammatory markers in the blood.

So, you see that in order to allow the gut to heal and the hormones to regulate so that you can be well on your way to managing your autoimmune disease, giving up coffee is, unfortunately, necessary. That isn’t to say you won’t be able to enjoy it later on in the future but it does need to be eliminated initially.

So how can you break the habit while still enjoying the comfort of a warm, full flavored beverage in the morning? Why AIP “coffee” of course! This recipe combines the earthy and bitter flavors of roasted chicory, dandelion root, and carob with the subtle sweetness of dates to create an absolutely amazing coffee substitute that is seed and caffeine free.

Collage Cover 2What makes this recipe even more special is that it is a special preview from a brand new AIP cookbook on the market right now : 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts. This e-book is entirely dedicated to answering the question “what can I eat for breakfast on AIP?”. It can be incredibly daunting to have to give up eggs, dairy and grains and then turn around and come up with a satisfying breakfast idea, this book makes it easy. It was a collaborative effort, headed up by Eileen over at Phoenix Helix, which includes recipes by myself Dora Siah of Provincial Paleo  and many more of your favorite AIP bloggers. If you like this herbal coffee recipe I highly encourage you to click HERE and check out the 84 other recipes waiting to be enjoyed in this book!

Do you/did you drink coffee every day? Did you drink it for the taste, the caffeine or both?

Herbal "Coffee" (AIP, Paleo)


Herbal “Coffee” (AIP)

(Recipe by Dora Siah of Provincial Paleo and Taken From the Book 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts

Makes 2 Servings


1 TBS Roasted Dandelion Root 

1 TBS Roasted Chicory Root 

1 TBS Carob Powder 

1 Date, Pitted

3 Cups of Water


Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and serve.



My Favorite AIP Posts of 2014

2014 roundup

2014 has been an exciting year for me. It began with renewed health after having finished 2013 starting the autoimmune protocol and was followed by an awesome whirlwind of connecting with an amazing AIP community and learning more about life with an autoimmune disease and the year has ended with some big life transitions that have me super excited about starting 2015!

This has also been a great year for AIP in general. It is hard to believe that a year ago it was hard to find more than a handful of AIP friendly recipes out there and there were almost no books published on the subject. This year, so many amazing bloggers have joined the AIP movement and have found incredible success in their health while developing some equally incredible recipes!

In honor of this year filled with wonderful and nourishing recipes and posts I have decided to put together a little roundup of some of my favorite AIP recipe and lifestyle posts for you all to enjoy! I hope that 2014 has been a year filled with healing for you all and I hope, even more, that 2015 finds you healthy and nourished.




Mini Pumpkin “Cheesecakes” (AIP)

Pumpkin Spice "Cheesecake" (AIP)

Recently, I was given the huge honor of being asked to write a guest post over at The Paleo Mom. This blog is the work of Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook and one of THE leading minds behind the Autoimmune Protocol diet. Here is a snippet of my post, for the full post and recipe click the link at the bottom of the page. 

Mini Pumpkin Spice “Cheesecakes” (AIP, Paleo)

There tend to be a lot of expectations surrounding the holiday season. We expect to be filled with joy and surrounded by loved ones. We expect to have fun at holiday gatherings, to eat familiar and tasty treats, and to feel content in every way. Granted, these expectations may be a bit of a stretch for most of us. However, if you’re actively sick with an autoimmune disease you may feel as though none of these expectations will be fully met and your thoughts of supposed holiday cheer may be filled with dread. That is where I was last holiday season.

I had been suffering from a non-stop ulcerative colitis flare for almost six months. My body felt like it had fought a war and lost. Blood loss, abdominal pain, joint pain, severe fatigue and unpredictable digestive ailments had left me almost bedridden and as I thought about the looming holiday season I wasn’t filled with glad tidings and thanksgiving but rather with anxiety and sadness. I didn’t know how I would manage to drive out of the state to see my family, let alone enjoy myself. I didn’t know how I would help prepare holiday food when I could barely look at food without getting sick, but most of all I couldn’t bear the thought of ringing in a new year sick and exhausted.

After over a year following the paleo diet and six months spent trying what felt like everything from steroids to standing on my head, I finally decided to try the autoimmune protocol. I had done my research, I knew that it made sense and I knew that it could work, but in my miserable state and with Thanksgiving literally a week away, the thought of giving up so many of my favorite foods seemed almost as daunting as being sick.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake 3A year ago there were no published AIP books or cookbooks on my bookshelves; I had only a handful of blogs and a small set of resources, but I was determined to ring in the new year in a state of health, no matter how daunting. My first full week on the autoimmune protocol diet was the week of Thanksgiving. By Christmas I had gone two full weeks with no blood loss, and I welcomed 2014 in a state of healing. It took me months to fully recover my health and return to normal, but last year will forever be remembered as one of my most joyful holiday seasons, because there are few gifts greater than the gift of health.

This year, I feel so blessed to be healthy and I feel even more blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing AIP resources and recipes that allow me to enjoy the flavors of the season without compromising my health. That being said, I know the holidays can be an especially challenging time to follow a restricted diet so here are a few tips that helped me make it through the holiday season while on the full elimination phase of the autoimmune protocol:

  1. Be Honest with Your Loved Ones: Whether you are celebrating the holidays with family, friends or neighbors, be open and honest with them about what the autoimmune protocol is, what you can and can’t eat and why you are eating this way. Give them lists of foods to avoid and help them find recipes that meet your needs. Chances are your loved ones care more about celebrating with you than they do about the menu and they will be more likely to help accommodate you if they know what is going on.
  2. Give Yourself Options: One of the biggest reasons I hear for “cheating” or “falling off the wagon” on the autoimmune protocol is a lack of options and an emotional desire for a food. This is especially true around the holidays. Many memories and emotions can be tied up in holiday meals and that may make it hard to simply abstain from eating something unless you have a suitable replacement. If you know that your mom’s Christmas cookies are a treat you look forward to all year long, make sure you have an AIP friendly dessertnearby to satisfy your desire for something sweet. If you like to ring in the New Year with a glass of champagne and the thought of only having water or herbal tea makes your shudder, make sure you pour some beautifully bubbly kombucha in a champagne flute and enjoy the toast! Is it the same? No, but it will allow you to get through and enjoy your traditions without sacrificing your health or feeling deprived.
  3. Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Its easy to get overwhelmed if you start thinking  about creating new menus for multiple holidays or events, but just remember to take each day as it comes, ask for help, and treat the experience like an adventure. This adventure will give you the opportunity to create nourishing meals for the ones you love, try new things, celebrate the holidays without feeling deprived, and give yourself the gift of health and wellbeing, which will last a lifetime. I promise it is worth it.

So, as you begin to think about this year’s quickly approaching holiday season, don’t shy away from making a commitment to your health. There is no need to wait. If you are already following theautoimmune protocol then there is no need to worry about “cheating”. You can still enjoy all of your favorite flavors of the season while taking control of your health and reversing your autoimmune disease. To help get you started towards a fun and nourishing AIP holiday season, here is a special little recipe the make your celebrations just a little bit sweeter!

For the Recipe Click HERE

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry (AIP, Paleo)

As some of you may know, about twice a month I have the opportunity to write a post over at the blog Homemade For Elle.  Recently, I shared this recipe for a fun twist on an ordinary stir fry. I hope you all enjoy! 

Back in my hometown there is a little Thai restaurant that used to be the go-to girl’s night spot for my best friends and me. It was small and quiet, decorated in a chic modern style and served delicious Thai food. We would go there to catch up, chat, complete a day of hanging out, or prepare for a night out on the town. My favorite dish there was called the tropical rice wok, it was a delicious dish that combined the savory tastes of chicken, onions and curry with the sweet surprise of raisins and pineapple. I could eat the whole thing without batting an eyelash and I was proud of it: it was delicious. However, my days of eating large quantities of rice and curry are behind me now, as I later realized that both foods were contributing to my autoimmune condition. Recently though, I was thinking about that restaurant and I decided to try and make a grain and nightshade free version that would satisfy my craving. This dish hit the spot!

Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry (AIP, Paleo) Turmeric is the base spice in curry and it is highly anti-inflammatory in nature. It is turmeric that gives curry its yellow color and it has been used in India for thousands of years to not only season food, but also provide healing. Turmeric contains substances called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Studies on curcumin have shown that is an effective and strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant and it even rivals some anti-inflammatory drugs. Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. (2)

For More Info on the Benefits of Turmeric and for the Tropical Turmeric Stir Fry Recipe Click Here

How to Talk to People About Changing Their Diet (Without Being Pushy)

How To Talk to People About Changing Their Diet (Without Being Pushy)

Its hard. When you find something that completely changes your life it is hard not to stand from the rooftops and shout at everyone passing by. You want to help everyone the way you just helped yourself. It comes from a good place, but it is not always productive. In fact, it can be counter-productive. Turning people away from your message instead of interesting them. I totally get it. After 21 years of suffering from serious digestive issues that often left me completely miserable I felt entirely enlightened when I realized that I didn’t have to look 5 months pregnant with a bloat baby all the time, when I realized that it wasn’t normal to only go to the bathroom once or twice a week and when I figured out how to live my life without being on 20 different medications. I wanted to enlighten everyone, and to be honest sometimes I still do. But I realized early on that shoving information down everyone’s throat was not going to help a soul. Here are some tips about talking to people (productively) about healing chronic illness and adopting a nourishing food diet. Continue reading