My 30-Day Reset Autoimmune Diet Plan & Recipes

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The 30 Day Reset Autoimmune Diet
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For many years I suspected that I had some form of thyroid problem based on my own research and symptoms like dry skin, occasional fatigue, trouble losing weight after having a baby, and hair thinning. Even with all those symptoms, I was never able to get answers from conventional tests which showed that my T3 and T4 thyroid hormones were in the normal range.

Thankfully, I found an amazing doctor who specializes in hormones and endocrine problems and with additional blood testing and a thyroid ultrasound, he was able to finally figure out what I was struggling with: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition where the body creates antibodies to the thyroid).

Why Autoimmune Problems Begin

Many different disorders and diseases that we experience are autoimmune in nature. In fact, there are more than 100 autoimmune disorders! While Hashimoto’s is common, so are Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, and so many more.

Autoimmune disease happens when the immune system mistakenly targets your own body cells as the enemy, resulting in damage. Not all autoimmune diseases present the same symptoms, but they are all caused in the same way.

The immune system is an intricate defense network designed to destroy bacteria and viruses before they can harm the way that our cells work. When the immune system gets its wires crossed and targets proteins of its own body—instead of foreign, attacking proteins—autoimmune disease is the result.

Most autoimmune disorders don’t cause immediate symptoms. Over time, as the damage is slowly done, symptoms may build up. You can be genetically prone to certain autoimmune problems, and usually genetics can cause anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of your odds of getting an autoimmune disease.

The other risk factors come from lifestyle, your diet, the environment you live in, hormones, infections, and stress. You can’t always control these, just like you can’t control your genetics, but you can definitely influence your lifestyle, environment, and diet.

How an Autoimmune Diet Works

Diet is especially helpful for both preventing and addressing autoimmune disease. You can eat to help reverse leaky gut, a condition where the barrier function of the intestines doesn’t act as it should. This can let particles into your bloodstream, which can put your immune system on high alert.

The autoimmune protocol is a dietary system that is designed to remove foods that worsen leaky gut, disrupt gut bacterial balance, cause inflammation, and mess with your hormones. It’s a modified paleo diet to support optimal gut health and help your body start healing. It’s nutrient-dense so that you can rebuild nutrient stores, giving your body the building blocks it needs to get your immune system back in order.

Research from 2017 proved that this type of diet can help improve symptoms and inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Even though the study was small, many functional medicine practitioners swear by this diet with their autoimmune patients.

Why Some Diets May Not Work for Autoimmunity

Once you have an autoimmune reaction, you may need to remove many food triggers to cut down on inflammation. You may not have to eliminate them forever, but even without being allergic to foods, some can get in the way of the healing process.

The GAPS diet was designed on the theory that some foods might need to be eliminated and then gradually reintroduced over time. The AIP, or autoimmune protocol diet, was designed with the same thought in mind, specifically for autoimmune disease.

While autoimmune diseases cannot be cured, they can be put into remission by making changes that reduce the number of antibodies the immune system is producing against your own body.

Not all diets will work to support autoimmunity. While many eliminate foods that might be triggers, diet plans like keto, gluten-free, and even traditional paleo do not focus specifically on inflammation and gut health. The AIP diet was designed to help those with autoimmune problems.

Lots of healthy foods are temporarily eliminated on an AIP diet. This does not mean that they’re not healthy, it just means they’re working against you for now. These foods can include nightshades (like tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers), grains, eggs, seeds, and nuts.

My Experience With the Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP Diet)

I switched to an autoimmune protocol diet after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in hopes of giving my immune system a little time to recover. I was hopeful that it would be beneficial, but I was AMAZED at how quickly it helped.

Within the first week, I saw my bloating go away and I had more energy. My thyroid nodule also felt noticeably smaller. My skin even improved. Talk about progress!

For two months, I followed the protocol strictly. I lost some of my stubborn weight and felt so much better. It also helped me identify foods that I was not responding to very well, but that I hadn’t noticed before were problematic. Eggs were one thing I realized I couldn’t eat, which was confirmed by a blood test later.

After a while longer, I was able to reintroduce most foods without a problem and I felt continually better. I did, however, have a few flares (like from not sleeping and stressing about finishing my book). It just goes to show how tied to stress and lifestyle our autoimmune diseases really are!

Sleep and stress are both huge factors in overall health and are especially important for those with any kind of health condition. The AIP diet is a great tool for working toward recovering from autoimmunity, but you need the lifestyle to support the diet.

Autoimmune Diet Resources & How to Start

The general idea of the autoimmune diet is that you are removing any potentially inflammatory foods, but the specifics are a bit more difficult. Some sources consider foods like fruit and sweet potatoes OK, while others do not. For reference, some sources that I find most helpful are:

Below you will find autoimmune friendly recipes. You can also download the complete food list I used by clicking here (PDF). When you know the foods and recipes to work from, it’s easy to set your own meal plan, even if you’re just getting started!

What to Eat

It can seem overwhelming, but this way of eating is actually relatively simple if you follow a template. My typical day on the autoimmune diet was:

  • Breakfast: A scramble of meat and cooked vegetables, a cup of homemade bone broth, some fermented vegetables, and supplements.
  • Lunch: A huge salad with leftover protein (meat, offal, or fish) and a small piece of fruit, a cup of bone broth, fermented water kefir or kombucha and olives.
  • Dinner: A stir-fry with some type of protein (meat, offal, seafood) with a lot of vegetables and allowed spices, evening supplements, and at least 1 cup of healthy starch like cooked winter squash, pumpkin, etc. I also made a lot of stuffed squashes and soups.

I rely heavily on big salads, stir-frys, and casseroles while on the autoimmune diet. When I first started, it seemed like I couldn’t eat anything and I was depriving myself of everything, but it is important to remember that many times the body is deficient in certain nutrients because of an autoimmune disease.

During the course of the 30-day reset, I focused on extensively nourishing my body with as many high quality proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats as I could consume. I may have been tired of my food choices at times, but I certainly never went hungry.

I also focused on consuming a TON of vegetables during this time, after talking to Dr. Terry Wahls and reading her book, The Wahls Protocol. Dr. Wahls emphasizes the importance of consuming at least 9 cups of vegetables a day, including 3 cups of leafy greens, 3 cups of brightly colored veggies or fruit, and 3 cups of sulfur-containing produce such as onion, garlic, cauliflower, or cabbage.

Other Things to Support Your AIP Meal Plan

Diet is hugely important for all aspects of health, and for me, it became even more important after being diagnosed with autoimmune disease. It is by no means the only factor though. Personally, I found that these other things were equally important to recovery for me:

  • Sleep. It is my nemesis! I love to stay up late and skimp on sleep so I can get more done. My body does not love this. I’ve found that when I sleep at least 8-8.5 hours per night, I see my health markers improve (blood tests, fasting blood sugar, etc). Here are some tips for improving sleep (even as a mom!).
  • Stress reduction. Also a tough one for me, but stress can have as much of an impact as diet on gut health and hormone levels. I found that even with a good diet, I started to notice symptoms creeping back in while under the stress of finishing my book. Use these ways to control stress and calm the body.
  • Supplements. I hesitated to include this part because if diet, stress, and sleep aren’t under control, this won’t help at all! I found certain supplements helped tremendously once I had optimized other factors. I personally take WP-Thyroid thyroid medication (under the care of my doctor), Betaine HCL with protein meals, 5-MTHF and Methyl-B12, Probiotics, Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Cortisol support, Omega-3s, Vitamin D (and sunshine daily in the morning), Magnesium, L-glutamine, Gelatin, and Vitamin C. I would highly recommend seeing a good functional medicine doctor and finding out what you personally need before taking any supplements.
  • Gentle Movement. You don’t have to exercise vigorously, and it’s actually probably difficult when you’re just getting started, but some gentle exercise a few times a week can help with joint stiffness, digestion, and overall mood. A slow-paced walk, some yoga, or even a gentle swim can go a long way in helping your body bounce back.
  • Gratitude. You can’t get healthy without healthy thoughts. (Ask me how I know.) Try keeping a gratitude journal to retrain your brain, ease stress, and make peace with your body. It does wonders!

Autoimmune Diet Encouragement

This diet is difficult. So is pregnancy. Sometimes the best things in life require some work and denial of self. The elimination phase is temporary and it gives you a window into your own body and what you need to eat for optimal health.

Don’t let it cause you extra stress. Don’t let this keep you up at night. Try to focus on nourishing and loving your body and providing it with the building blocks it needs to function optimally. If you can, encourage a friend or family member to be on the journey with you for support.

The initial phase is just 30 days. Below I’ve included some resources that will make planning and going through those days far easier than it was for me! I’ve included my favorite autoimmune diet recipes (with some modifications), a foods list, and the best food tips I used to succeed on this elimination diet. The success I experienced as a result made all of it more than worth it.

Getting Started with Autoimmune Diet Recipes

There are some core principles that are beneficial to everyone when it comes to health (like avoiding processed sugars, oils, and grains), but the rest is truly a matter of personalization. That is why the 30-Day Reset is so beneficial. It gives your body a temporary break from potentially inflammatory foods and then lets you reintroduce them later to determine what works best for you.

These are the recipes I used when going through my own 30-Day Reset. If you have your own recipes and want to check to see if they are autoimmune diet friendly, you can download this PDF food list guide.

Autoimmune Diet Recipes

You may not be able to eat all the foods you’re used to, but you’re still in for a delicious meal plan. Avocado, coconut milk, ghee, and grass-fed meat make this a diet rich in healthy fats, and you’ll also get plenty of other nutrient-dense foods like leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, squashes, berries, and more.

Core Recipes:

Main Meal Recipes:

Snack Recipes:

Sticking to a diet can be hard, and having AIP-friendly snacks on hand really helps! These are some that keep me going:

Tips for Success on an AIP Diet

Cooking 100 percent of your food from scratch from a limited list of foods can be pretty overwhelming. I use this meal planning app to help me, and I also make sure I have a stash of pre-cooked approved foods in the freezer during the 30-day diet.

Most of the smoothies from Daily Harvest are autoimmune-friendly, and so are many meals from the Good Kitchen. I use both of these for emergency snacks and meals to keep me from getting off track. My health is worth the extra expense and like I said, conveniences like these keep me from spending money eating out or eating off-plan foods.

This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician and Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Have you ever tried the autoimmune diet? Do you have any autoimmune diet-friendly recipes? Please share them below!

Do it with me! Are you in? Let me know below what your struggle is and the results you see!

I used this 30-day reset autoimmune diet plan to help manage my Hashimotos Thyroiditis and get my autoimmune disease into remission.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

670 responses to “My 30-Day Reset Autoimmune Diet Plan & Recipes”

  1. Lauren Jenkins Avatar
    Lauren Jenkins

    I’m struggling daily with gut issues. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2010. I recently fought through a small bacterial overgrowth episode, followed by a colonoscopy, and a whole host of other issues. All along I’ve been asking my GI doc about changing my diet and she’s continued to say, it’s not necessary.

    I’m miserable. I swing violently between constipation and diarrhea. There is absolutely no middle ground. I have been throwing medicine at it but it’s not a sustainable practice. I have to think this is something I’m putting in my body.

    I started looking for information a few days ago. This blog is the most realistic feeling thing I’ve read so far….if that makes sense. Everything I’ve read is all about eliminating. When you look at the list of what to take out, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and I found myself thinking, “what the hell am I supposed to eat then?” The Eat This column is exactly what I needed. Although I have to do more research on some of it, I feel like I actually can eat again.

    Thank you for this!!!

  2. Barbara Cordova Avatar
    Barbara Cordova

    Thank you for this post. I am very new to this lifestyle, and could use all the help I could get. I signed up for all your newsletters, and info. I’m still at a loss as to or how to start. I think I was looking for more of a day by day plan to follow. It’s all overwhelming, and hope you could steer me in the right direction.

  3. Zahra Avatar

    Thanks for the great article! I have Hashimoto, recently bad eczema on my hands and high ANA and high CPP antibody igg, maybe suspicious to RA. I really believe in functional medicine and AIP diet and I am going to start it soon. I live in the Bay Area and would be great to find someone to do this diet together and support each other, even if remotely.
    @Katie – Wellness Mama or anyone else: I am also having trouble finding a doctor who can really help me and are not only after the money. In one hand I’ve lost hope and trust in conventional medicine but also cannot 100% trust any alternative medicine practice. any recommendation? @Katie how did you get an appointment with Dr. Wahls? I am not sure if the conventional endocrinologist prescribe the natural and clean thyroid medication. What should I do? I feel really confused and desperate and I don’t know what to do.
    I am going to see a rheumatologist and endocoronologist, but even if she tells me I have an RA, I want to do this diet fist and see what happens. I really don’t know what to do about my thyroid medication and supplement. Thanks for reading this and I hope we can support each other in this journey!

  4. Danisha Avatar

    It’s so crazy I found this! Me and my husband had a romantic valentines 2hour trip to get to a doctor that isn’t the status quo…..it’s so amazing the moment you meet the doctor that you know will change your husbands life! I’ve been try to get my husband on THM for the last four years but he wouldn’t do it. The new magical doctor said he really needed to do AIP now! I will of course do this with him for support. I have to say, I’m nervous about it……no stevia?! No eggs?! No cheese?! Whipping cream?! Lol
    I appreciate you helping us out with figuring out what the heck to make! I know this will be a lot to ask but, will you be doing some reintroduction menus also?

  5. Suzy Avatar

    I’m really interested in having a go at this following a very bad dose of flu. I have several autoimmune disorders – narcolepsy, celiac, psoriasis plus gut problems due to a hiatus hernia and I also live without a thyroid.
    My anxiety, however, is that I’m a vegetarian? :o/

  6. Tammy Avatar

    Thank you for the advice. I have since started the diet and at the end of my first week. After being told by my doctor that my thyroid has gotten worse and my kidney protein out put has increased and I have also been unwell for months like I had a cold but without the runny nose and cough. I also have lost about 3kg .

  7. Gail Avatar

    Just getting ready to try this out.
    I have had a lot of changes in the past 16 months.
    I have learned that I have the EpsteinBarr virus. Ya know Mono as a kid, bells Palsey and then the virus woke up. Within 2 weeks of Horrid headaches, sensory overload-paralyzed waist down and drop foot. Numerous doctors MRI’s Scans etc. I ended up with viral meningitis that mimicked Guillan-Barr.
    A year of OT PT and I still fight fatigue in everyday living. My job on hold still. Just getting over a cold turned flu-like and bronchitis. My immune system is shot! During all this my 23 year old daughter is diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I can’t live like this Dr to Dr anymore. I as well as my child and children need to change our diets. Any info Diet, vitamins anything to fight this. I’m done with the Dr route! Gotta heal within!
    Thanks Gail

  8. Dayna Avatar

    I just wanted to thank you for the post. I have looked all over for JUST a food list! All of the blogs want to give recipes–which is great, except I have to eat out a lot as I travel with my job. I was diagnosed a year ago with Hashimoto’s and have been on and off the wagon–mainly because my lifestyle makes it super difficult. I am tired of being tired and over weight (especially since just 4 years ago I was a nice healthy weight and felt great!) I am in and praying that I can stick to it!!!

    Is Green Tea allowed? I looked through the other comments and didn’t see this if you have already answered!

    Also, what about LaCroix? I love carbonation–also it cuts through the gross stuff in my throat–hopefully dropping the dairy will eliminate this issue, but I still like my “soft drink” fix.

    Thanks again!!

  9. Katie Durham Avatar
    Katie Durham

    Hello! I am starting the 30 day reset Sunday! I’m sure I will struggle but I’m ready for a healthy gut and body.. thank you

  10. maria Avatar

    Hello! Just a few questions here –
    The methyl B-12 supplement suggested contains Xylitol, how is that ok to consume if stevia is to be eliminated from the diet? Is there a difference? Was wondering if PURE Encapsulations B 12 Folate with Metfolin® L-5-MTHF is an acceptable substitute, it is not a sublingual product, so maybe not as easily absorbed.
    Some supplements listed by you are not available such as the vitamin c with rutin and hesperian. So ordered Pure Radiance C instead.
    Any info would be appreciated.
    Thank You.

  11. Sharon Avatar

    Do you have any advice/links for vegans/vegetarians who need to follow the leaky gut healing diet?

  12. Charlotte Avatar

    I am thinking of trying the 30 day autoimmune diet plan. I am a healthy eater, 95 percent of my diet is fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds but I still struggle with itchy skin and sneezing and sometimes have trouble sleeping and slow metabolism. Hopeing that the elimination diet – nuts, seeds, dairy, nightshades, eggs and dairy will help me identify what the culprit or culprits are. I love coffee even though it is decaf, and my glass of wine in the eve so I know this will be my greatest challenge!

  13. Mel Avatar

    Thank you for writing this up! I have been following you for 3 years and love what you have taught me or confirmed what I was feeling! I too have Hashimotos and it scares me! My younger sister was diagnosed 3 years ago and she ended up with Thyroid cancer and having a thyroidectomy. I do not want to have surgery. I have a very small nodule that does bother me because it is on the inside of my lobe so I feel it when I swallow.
    I need to do a protocal diet like this one. I have done an elimination diet before. I have pretty much stuck to only eating thyroid safe foods since and take pretty much all the supplements you mentioned except the medication and the digestive enzymes. My hormones are off and and am trying to rebalance those through diet, exercise and supplements. It is frustrating because there are so many pieces to the puzzle! I do have a goof functional doctor so that is helpful. I pray I can see good results with a 30 day reset! I really need to stick with it! I do okay avoiding grains. It is the sugar that gets me! I love coffee too! I’ve cut it out for a month before and started drinking it again! I will miss coffee!

  14. Peter Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama! Your blog is awesome!
    When you say you are on CORTISOL support – what is that? – are you talking Cortef – hydrocortisone??

  15. Carly Avatar

    If you want even more information, the Medical medium has a new book out on thyroid. Amazing amazing amazing. He’s the one that connected Epstein Barr virus with autoimmune dysfunctions. On Amazon.

  16. Liz Avatar

    Is it safe to duo something like this while nursing? I hesitate to start because of this.

  17. Amelie Avatar

    I am confused about the supplements. Are they to be taken during the 30-day reset diet only?

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