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. 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.


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

  1. Angela L Avatar
    Angela L

    Can flax seed be used on this protocol? Specifically, as an egg substitute in the Greek meatballs?

  2. Melinda Avatar

    Giving up nightshades, eggs, dairy, nuts, and grains has made me very sensitive to squashes and curcubits. I loved butternut squash soup and roasted squashes, but now my entire face breaks out when I eat them. How can I stay on this diet? Broccoli and cauliflower is great, but I really want some vegetable variety.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Not every diet or every food works for every person. A GAPS practitioner or functional nutritionist should be able to offer personalized advice for your situation.

  3. Randi Avatar

    if following this diet should I not be drinking the tea made of coriander, cumin, and fennel? I was drinking this tea and it has been helping with my digestion but this diet says no seed herbs.

  4. Kami Avatar

    I have done the AIP diet combined with Whole30 and low starch all at once (very restrictive). I felt really good doing that. I have an autoimmune disease that many believe low starch to be beneficial for (ankylosing spondylitis) and it is difficult to follow AIP because the diet involves a good amount of starchy veggies and flours. I have not tried the GAPS diet but it seems like it might be a better fit for me overall.

  5. Ali Avatar

    I’m curious to read some of your articles about steps to take at the end of the 30 Day Autoimmune Diet Reset. When you have time could you add a link or two?

  6. Alison Avatar

    I use duck fat in place of butter. It keeps that richness that real butter has better than coconut oil. Epic makes a few different “use the whole animal” type fats, I think tallow and pork fat- I haven’t tried those, but the duck fat is a great replacement for butter.

  7. Vero Avatar

    I have Lupus and fibromyalgia, and also vegetarian. do you happen to have any meal plan options?

  8. Juniece Avatar

    Hello, I have lupus, hoshimotos as well as a few other autoimmune issues. I’m on numerous medications including steroids. I’m weaning off the steroids but, I fear the pain I will be in without them. Have you heard or know if medication reduction or elimination had occurred for people on AIP?.

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I was able to slowly wean of my medications after getting my inflammation under control but would definitely recommend working with a doctor or practitioner who knows your situation.

  9. Sara Woodford Avatar
    Sara Woodford

    Which tests would you recommend doing before and after the 30day? I have low thyroid and take levothyroxine but have recently been diagnosed with two skin conditions which are also autoimmune diseases and I am realising I need to investigate the causes more deeply. Your thirty day diet looks exactly right for me but and Id like to get some kind of measures of change beyond flare ups to help me. Any advice? Thanks very much, Sara

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I find that symptoms are actually often the most helpful short term indicator but I also personally track by running a thyroid panel, CBC and comprehensive metabolic panel.

  10. Candice Avatar

    While doing this diet, is it normal to have sandy , grainy stool. I’m in the first week and have had this for two days now. Curious if it’s normal for die off and if it will subside if I keep going.

    1. Kristin Avatar

      A change in bowel habits and stool can be part of AIP. If you feel they don’t seem “normal”, I would be sure to consult a dr.

  11. Dana C. Avatar

    Hi Katie – Thank you so much for this very encouraging post. You mentioned taking WP Thyroid in the article—Are you still taking it? If not, would you mind sharing what you’re taking instead and how it is working for you? I am looking forward to the benefits of a good reset. I have Hashimoto’s and switched to a compounded NDT for the past 6 months and my labs took a nosedive—I have all of the symptoms to show for it.

    Kind regards,

    1. Kristin Avatar

      No on corn. And green beans are a gray area. Some say no b/c they are a legume. Others say they are ok b/c you are eating the pod. I am fine eating them but you will have too see how they work you.

  12. Marti Avatar

    Did you have your Hashimoto’s antibodies tested before and after your 30 day? I have Graves and just got the results of my latest blood test. TSH, T3 and T4 are all in the normal range (borderline, but normal) but my TSI is still way too high. I’m about to start the 30 day AIP reset but my endo is convinced that diet makes no difference. I can’t find a functional med doc in my area who will treat thyroid, but I’m still looking. My endo is fresh out of residency and goes by the book. Period. I would like to have my TSI rechecked at the end of my reset, but convincing her will take a miracle. I guess I’d better start praying now. 😉

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      I’ve done both, as it took a REALLY long time for me to get a correct diagnosis. Look into SteadyMD. They have some great functional medicine doctors that might be able to help…

      1. T W Avatar

        Hi Katie, The pdf complete food list link doesn’t work. Can it be fixed? Thanks a lot. Love your helpful site.

        1. T W Avatar

          Thanks for fixing the link. Do you know why stevia is a no no by chance? I would think that tart lemon juice would be alright even though it’s citrus. Any thoughts? Thanks so much. I appreciate all of your help.

    2. Julia Avatar

      Is there a specific link with a meal plan? Or the idea of what to have for each meal? I was looking for recipe ideas.

  13. Ruth Margaret Haberkorn Avatar
    Ruth Margaret Haberkorn

    Hello, my husband has been experiencing lots of pain in his foot or ankle. I was hoping to get an appointment with a holistic doctor but the out of pocket cost is more than we can afford. I am thinking a diet change may be his last resort. I feel he would be able to do this but my worry is when we are invited over to people’s homes and they offer food. My husband sees it as rude to say no and when I tell it could hurt his diet he thinks it is ridiculous because it’s just a little slice. I am of course not a doctor so he would not believe me. All I want to know is will it matter if he is on this diet and he happens to eat something processed once a week?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      It will take a full 30 days of eating perfectly clean to get the full benefits. Cleaning up the diet so you’re eating 80% healthy is great, but to get the maximum benefits, you really need to go a full 30 days without cheating at all to get the full effect…

  14. Johnna Avatar

    Katie, I’ve been going through this rest, however I ate a sandwich on vacation. Can I keep going or do I need to start all over?
    Thank you

  15. ana Avatar


    Nice article on auto immune disorders. Can you write the same plan for vegetarian group? I do have lot of allergies / sensitivities around various food groups and its hard to come up with a solid meal plan being a vegetarian. Thanks, Ana

  16. Becky Avatar

    Starting the reset diet tomorrow. Thanks for the head start. I have found your article very helpful! Wish me luck!

  17. Kristen Avatar

    Starting the diet this evening with the help of blessings from St. Joseph on his feast day. 30 days will bring me to Good Friday. Offering it up as a Lenten fast will help me stay focused! Thanks you for all of the wonderful info. Your team and your families are in my prayers.

  18. Diane Avatar

    Hi, what do you do after the 30 days?? If you have already answered this, I’m sorry! There are so many questions and answers in the comments I couldn’t dig through all of them…

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