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AIP for a Week: the Day After – and – My Favorite New Snack

AIP for a Week: the Day After – and – My Favorite New Snack

I weighed myself this morning and I was a little bit lower than yesterday, about 0.4 lbs down. It wasn’t easy to get strict with my diet again, but I’m so glad I did it. I think it helped me recover from vacation faster and get back on track. I also came to appreciate all the food I’ve successfully reintroduced.

I had coffee this morning, with coconut milk as “creamer.” It tasted okay, but I need to work on improving the flavor. Coffee will be my once- or twice-a-week treat.

I also had peanut butter and celery for a snack today and loved it. I had such a craving for peanut butter it was almost weird. Where did that come from? Was I craving the fat or the nutty flavor?

I remember the exact day I tried peanut butter and celery. It was Memorial day weekend this year at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia. We were visiting the museum with my in-laws and we got hungry and started looking for lunch in the mid-afternoon. The museum has a little cafe, which was the fastest, most convenient food. I looked over the menu for something gluten-free and they didn’t have much. I got a bowl of Brunswick stew (I think). I was still hungry afterwards. Earlier in the day, I had eaten the healthy snack I brought, and I was frustrated because I was going to spend the rest of the afternoon at the museum hungry. I took a second look at the refrigerator in the cafe. There were two items that were gluten-free: a fruit cup and a container of celery with a small container of peanut butter. I didn’t feel like fruit, so I chose the peanut butter and celery. My mother used to eat peanut butter on celery and I had heard of it before, but it never really appealed to me. I would eat the two ingredients separately, but I had never even tried to put them together.

The first time I dipped the celery into the peanut butter sparingly and I was surprised how good it tasted. The celery gives it crunch and the peanut butter gives it a nutty flavor and creaminess. The celery tones down the peanut butter a bit and helps prevent the peanut butter from sticking your mouth shut. I ate the whole container by myself, which was a generous size portion. I could feel the celery nourishing my body with vegetable goodness. Afterwards, my hunger had been satiated and I felt satisfied. We stayed at the museum until closing time and I easily stayed satisfied until dinnertime. What a great find!

AIP for a Week: Day 7

AIP for a Week: Day 7

Today is the last day of my week-long, post-vacation AIP tune-up. I went to my nutritionist today and, according to her scale, I’ve gained two pounds since my last appointment six weeks ago. According to my scale at home, I am exactly the same weight as I was when I left on vacation. She said that two pounds is a normal fluctuation and nothing to worry about. She did say that I should watch the amount of plantain chips I was eating because of the calories. She suggested I rotate those with other, lower-calorie snacks such as carrots dipped in guacamole.

She also recommended that I try to reintroduce rice, corn, and beans. This would help a lot when I’m traveling and eating out. I’ve already introduced potatoes, and I don’t really like sweet potatoes. I’ve already successfully introduced coffee, eggs, raw tomatoes, nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, black pepper, guacamole with small amounts of onions and jalapenos in it, and a few other things, so the next logical foods to reintroduce are the starches.

When I reintroduce these starches, the important thing is that I replace something in my diet and not just add these to my diet. I would replace some of the fruit I eat because fruit is a starch. I’ve gotten used to not eating corn, beans, and rice, and I’m not sure I want to give up some of my sweet fruit, but I understand her point. I need to find out how these foods affect me so I know whether or not I can eat them in the future if needed. The objective of reintroducing foods is to make my diet as broad as possible and still allow me to feel good and be healthy.

I spent most of the day dreaming about the foods I will eat tomorrow. I’ll have coffee with coconut milk, sausage, and fruit for breakfast; meat and vegetables for lunch; 365 brand unsweetened creamy peanut butter and celery sticks for a snack; and meat, vegetable, and corn on the cob for dinner. Yum! I’m really excited about the peanut butter and celery sticks. Peanut butter has roughly the same calories as guacamole, but the celery sticks have significantly less calories than the plantain chips, so peanut butter and celery sticks should be a very good snack.

Breakfast:
green tea
strawberries
sausage (this sausage was pork sausage from Harris Teeter’s deli that ended up having red pepper flakes in it, so I wasn’t crazy about the flavor)

Lunch:
smoothie with strawberries, banana, baby spinach, coconut milk
sausage, leftover from breakfast
carrots, raw, handful
spring greens, plain, handful
plantain chips
chunky avocado
blueberries

Dinner:
slow-cooked chicken, leftover from yesterday
carrots, raw
blueberries
small portion of plantain chips
small portion of avocado

Late Evening Snack:
frozen orange juice

AIP for a Week: Day 6

AIP for a Week: Day 6

I weighed myself this morning and I have lost two pounds since I got back from vacation! I’m only 0.2 lbs higher than when I left for vacation. So, it took me 6 days of stricter eating to get the excess bloat from the trip off.

Two more days until I’ll reintroduce foods again. I must say I’m looking forward to it. Several times this week, I’ve been tempted by other foods, but I held strong.

Breakfast:
blueberries
sausage, leftover from yesterday
green tea with fresh ginger

Lunch:
salmon, wild caught, frozen, with lemon, rosemary, sea salt
plantain chips
avocado

Afternoon Snack:
rest of the salmon from lunch
smoothie with baby spinach, frozen strawberries, ripe banana, coconut milk, splash of orange juice

The smoothie is a great way to eat something sweet and still AIP-compliant. And it’s a great way to get some greens and full-fat coconut milk into my diet. When my nutritionist recommended a green smoothie, I was skeptical. It sounded awful to me to put spinach or kale with fruit and grind it up into drinkable form. She insisted that the fruit overpowers the taste of the greens. The greens make the smoothie turn a green color, but you can’t taste it. I screwed up my courage and tried it one day. She was right! The smoothie turned green but I could only taste the strawberry-banana flavor. Yeah! Easy, tasty way to get more greens into my diet.

Dinner:
strawberries
slow-cooked boneless organic chicken tenders and carrots, with bone broth, coconut milk, and dashes of thyme, oregano, rosemary, sea salt, ginger, and turmeric
plantain chips
chunky avocado

This slow-cooked chicken was an amalgamation of a couple recipes I saw online and turned out very well. I added potatoes to it for my husband, which he really liked, but I didn’t eat any.

I was still hungry when I finished dinner so I ate some plantain chips and chunky avocado. This is my go-to snack whenever I feel like I need more carbs or something crunchy. At $3.49 per 5 oz. bag at Whole Foods, it isn’t the cheapest snack, so ideally I will slow down on my consumption someday, but not when I’m doing AIP strictly. I need that extra crunch.

Evening Snack:
frozen orange juice

Frozen orange juice is my evening comfort food that helps me relax. The sweetness satisfies my sweet tooth and makes me feel like my eating for the day is complete. I would like to limit my consumption of this “treat” as well, but I feel like it really helps me through doing AIP strictly.

AIP for a Week: Day 5

AIP for a Week: Day 5

Brunch:
grapes
sausage, 365 brand from Whole Foods
green tea with ginger

Mid-Afternoon Snack:
plantain chips
chunky avocado
leftovers from Built Custom Burgers
rooibos tea with ginger

Dinner:
slow-cooked pork butt, leftover (my last portion of this)
roasted broccoli, leftover (small amount)
spring greens, no dressing
blueberries, handful

Evening Snack:
grass-fed burger, plain
frozen orange juice

I was hungry in the evening since my two previous meals were small. I really wanted to eat some peanut butter or some nuts, but I decided to cook up one of my grass-fed burgers instead. I bought those pre-made into patties at Walmart.

For the spring greens, I’m in the habit of just grabbing a couple fistfuls and stuffing them in my mouth raw and plain, like a cow grazing in a field. I just can’t be bothered to make a dressing, although I’m sure a dressing would make them taste better. I’m definitely a lazy cook!

AIP for a Week: Day 4

AIP for a Week: Day 4

I weighed myself this morning and I’ve lost 1.4 lbs of my vacation weight. Yeah! I knew it was mostly bloat from all the dairy and the couple of times I ate gluten. 0.8 lbs more and I will be the same weight as when we left for vacation.

Breakfast:
strawberries
sausage
green tea with fresh ginger

Lunch:
plantain chips
chunky avocado
slow-cooked pork butt (yes, I am still eating these leftovers!)
roasted broccoli, leftover (added extra lemon juice to enhance the flavor)
celery, raw, handful
blueberries, handful
ginger-turmeric tea

Dinner:
Built Custom Burgers – burger in a bowl with lettuce, pickles, cucumbers, bacon, guacamole, mushrooms, pineapple, dried cranberries, and olive oil and vinegar (I ate the pineapple and dried cranberries on the side as a sort of dessert)

Evening Snack:
frozen orange juice

For the first 30 days that I did AIP, I didn’t eat out, as recommended by my nutritionist. However since this week is a getting-back-on-track week and not the initial 30-90 days elimination period, I went out to dinner with my husband at the Built Custom Burgers restaurant near our home. It’s difficult to get grass-fed beef at a restaurant, but I was able to pick and choose my toppings to be compliant with the AIP food list. I avoided the bun, the cheese, the tomatoes and sauces, the tater tots/fries, and the onions (because I suspect I’m sensitive to FODMAPS). I was still able to have a tasty, filling meal, and my husband was happy that I could go out to eat.

AIP for a Week: Day 3

AIP for a Week: Day 3

I’m getting back to eating 3 meals a day instead of the 5-6 smaller meals I ate the past two days. From what I’ve read, fewer meals a day is healthier because it gives your body a break from digestion so it is more able to heal.

Breakfast:
banana
sausage
green tea with fresh ginger

Lunch:
leftover salmon
spring greens (no dressing)
plantain chips
chunky avocado
strawberries
ginger-turmeric tea

Dinner:
slow-cooked pork butt, leftover
roasted broccoli, leftover
grapes, handful

Evening Snack:
frozen orange juice

I feel like I’m getting back on track now. My hunger is subsiding and my cravings have reduced. I weighed myself this morning and I’m only 0.2 lbs down from when I got back from vacation, which is still 1.8 lbs heavier than when I left for vacation.

AIP for a Week: Day 2

AIP for a Week: Day 2

I went shopping last night at Walmart and stocked up on some grass-fed ground beef, salmon (farm-raised, which is not as good as wild-caught but is better than no fish), organic chicken legs, organic broccoli, chunky avocado (Hass avocado mashed up), grapes, greens (baby spinach and spring greens), etc. So, I should be well-stocked to be successful doing AIP for the next week.

Breakfast:
green tea with fresh ginger (2 cups)
sausage
banana
blueberries, handful

Mid-Morning Snack:
smoothie containing greens, banana, strawberries, coconut milk
blueberries, handful

Lunch:
salmon, farm-raised (baked with lemon juice, rosemary, sea salt, spray of coconut oil)
broccoli, organic (roasted with spray of coconut oil, sea salt, oregano, basil)
Kevita water kefir, several sips (strawberry acai coconut is my favorite flavor!)
blueberries, handful

Late Afternoon Snack:
Bone broth, homemade (pulled this out of the freezer and heated it up in the microwave)
grapes, handful

Dinner:
Applegate Naturals deli meat, Honey and Maple Turkey Breast
plantain chips
chunky avocado with lime juice on top
grapes

Evening Snack:
Applegate Naturals deli meat, Honey and Maple Turkey Breast, couple more pieces
orange juice, frozen*

*Frozen orange juice was a dessert my mom used to make for my brother and I when we were kids. I put 1/2 – 1 cup in a small dish and put it in the freezer ahead of time. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave to melt it enough to eat. Then, I chip away at it with a spoon, like a popsicle without the stick. Makes me feel like I’m giving myself a treat in the evening and it helps satisfy me at the end of the day.

I like to have something sweet at the end of my meal, so I’ll often have a handful of berries or sip some kombucha or water kefir. I have to remember that kombucha has caffeine so I can only drink it in the morning if I want to sleep well that night.

This afternoon, I was really missing my peanut butter! I can’t wait until this week is over so I can start eating it again. My nutritionist is the one who told me about it. 365 brand organic, unsweetened creamy peanut butter at Whole Foods. It only has 3 ingredients: peanuts, palm oil, and sea salt. It’s nice and creamy and the oil doesn’t separate out too much.

 

AIP for a Week: Day 1

AIP for a Week: Day 1

The first day back after vacation and I’m starting my week of the strict AIP diet to get back on track. I have an appointment with my nutritionist next week, and I definitely don’t want to gain weight before I have to weigh-in. Today was a bit hard because I haven’t had time to stock up our fridge with lots of good AIP foods, so I was eating what we had in the house. My husband and I stopped at the grocery store briefly when we got back in town yesterday and picked up breakfast foods, but I’ll go out tonight and get more lunch and dinner foods.

It struck me once again this afternoon as I was looking for a snack and saw the peanut butter, eggs, potatoes, and other foods I couldn’t eat, that AIP is very strict! I hadn’t realized how nice it is to have reintroduced foods. Even a handful of other foods helps. Even just nuts. Even just eggs. But, I kept telling myself that I can do this. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. It’s only a week and then I can start eating nuts again.

Breakfast: 
sausage
banana
green tea (2 cups)
kombucha, several sips

Lunch:
slow-cooked pork butt (which I had made weeks ago and pulled out of our freezer)
carrots, raw
plantain chips, probably 1/3 of a bag (I had to eat these plain since I didn’t have avocado)
blueberries, handful

Afternoon Snack:
ginger-turmeric tea (2 cups)
slow-cooked pork butt
apple, raw, with cinnamon

Dinner:
Applegate Naturals Honey & Maple Turkey Breast (3 pieces)
celery sticks
strawberries, raw

Evening Snack:
plantain chips
avocado (Chunky Avocado from Walmart, located in the refrigerated section near the guacamole)
strawberries

When I first starting doing AIP, there were days when I was hungry a lot and I allowed myself to keep eating as long as I was legitimately hungry. My nutritionist told me to eat until I was satisfied. We didn’t restrict my calorie intake and I still lost weight. I allowed myself to have an evening snack tonight because I was hungry, I had a small dinner, and I need to give my body time to adjust back to the AIP diet. Normally, I wouldn’t eat plantain chips twice in one day; I would limit myself to once/day. It also helped to have a banana with breakfast, so I’m doing that the first few days.

AIP for a Week: Getting My Diet Back on Track After Vacation

AIP for a Week: Getting My Diet Back on Track After Vacation

My husband and I just got back from our summer vacation, a 9-day road trip to Massachusetts where we visited Cape Cod, New Bedford, Concord, and several other historical sites on the way up and back. It was a good trip, and I completely unplugged from work. We ate breakfast at the hotel every morning and ate out for lunch and dinner everyday. Since many of the historical sites we visited closed at 5 pm, we sometimes skipped lunch and ate snacks instead. I brought tuna in a pouch, paleo granola that I found at Whole Foods, Lamar bars, peanuts, pecans, and cut up carrots and celery (which I forgot about most of the time since they were hidden in our cooler). I’ve reintroduced nuts which helps a lot for snacks on the road. Still, even with that good planning, there’s something about being on vacation that makes me throw good intentions to the wind and start going back to my previous eating ways.

My husband wanted to stop at Friendly’s since we don’t have those in North Carolina. They do have an orange sherbet, which is likely dairy-free, or I could have said no to dessert altogether, but I didn’t because we were on vacation! So, I went ahead and enjoyed a small sundae. Then, another small sundae a day or two later at another Friendly’s. Then, in the mornings, I drank coffee with a pump of French Vanilla creamer which was dairy and had added sugar. That’s why it tasted good! I noticed some gas from the dairy, but it wasn’t too bad. I also ate omelets with cheese, which several of the hotels offered on their breakfast buffet. I’ve reintroduced eggs fairly successfully, but I don’t really like the scrambled eggs at hotel buffets, so I chose the omelet with cheese.

I did make some good choices as well and resisted eating gluten the majority of the time. That is, until our travel club had cake at an afternoon break and we hadn’t eaten lunch. I ate a piece of chocolate cake, which likely had gluten, dairy, and egg. It tasted pretty good, but it wasn’t decadent enough to be fabulous. The sugar was quite a shock to my system. It was like my body had forgotten how great added sugar could be. It pepped me up and made me want more. Later that day, our travel club had a pre-arranged dinner. I got the chicken, and took a bite or two of the stuffing which I didn’t really like, ate the mashed potatoes and green beans, ate the apple crumble with ice cream on top for dessert. I was so busy chatting with people that I barely noticed what I put in my mouth.

On the long drive home, on the last day of our vacation, I ordered an appetizer of corn chips and spinach artichoke dip at Applebee’s. My attitude had degenerated to “it’s the last day of vacation and when I get home I’ll get back on track so I need to eat this cheesy goodness before I give up dairy again.” I gobbled it up and thoroughly enjoyed the cheeses and crunchy chips. By the time we got home later that day, I noticed I had gas and felt bloated.

The morning after we got home I weighed myself and I had gained two pounds. One of these pounds I believe is bloat, which will hopefully go down in a couple of days.

So, for the next week, I’m going to go back to eating a strict AIP diet to reduce the bloat and get myself back on track. I’m a little nervous. I have been enjoying guacamole with jalapenos, occasionally drinking coffee, eating peanut butter and nuts, occasionally eating eggs, eating raw tomatoes and sometimes peppers, and all of the other foods I added back in. But, I keep telling myself that I did AIP strictly for about 2 1/2 months, so I can do it for a week.