One of the first questions people ask when I describe what’s involved in the autoimmune protocol of paleo is:
“Well, what the hell DO you eat?”
No grains, dairy, legumes, eggs, nightshade vegetables, and nuts might be a little daunting. Maybe I should reframe it as just eating meat, most vegetables, some fruit, and some quality fats. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
This week, beyond just doing AIP, I challenged myself with a low-carbohydrate approach as well, working on keeping my carbohydrate intake at 100g or below per day. Definitely not easy. If you’re interested, here’s what week 1 looked like (feel free to connect with me at myfitnesspal at username rick_knowles to see what I eat):
Day 1 – nothing solid until 2PM*
B: Dirty Chai (my go-to daily favorite drink made up of: strongly brewed chai tea, raw honey, coconut milk beverage, ice, full-fat coconut milk layered on top, then 2 shots of espresso on top of that), half glass of organic carrot juice, lots of brewed coffee
L: Big-Ass Salad with lettuce, grilled chicken, dates, apple, mandarin oranges, and a pear-cinnamon balsamic dressing. A cup of homemade chicken broth.
D: Herb-crusted New York strip loin, cauliflower mash, sautéed mushrooms
S: An unsweetened latte
Day 2 – nothing solid until 4PM*
B: dirty chai
D: Big-Ass Salad similar to the one above. Leftover roast, pan-fried chicken wings, herb sautéed spaghetti squash, kale salad
B: leftover chicken, leftover roast, bacon, dirty chai
L: ate so much meat at breakfast that I wasn’t very hungry. Just a little carrot juice, coconut oil, and an unsweetened latte
D: roasted turkey breast, sweet potato, sautéed rainbow chard
Day 4 – nothing solid until noon*
B: dirty chai
L: a ton of marinated skirt steak, mandarin oranges, coconut oil, small glass of almond milk
D: Chicken soup made from broth I’d made earlier in the week. Add chicken, sweet potato, asparagus, and turnips.
S: my wife found a recipe for an AIP-compliant Paleo Breakfast Cookie. Yum! And a 2nd dirty chai.
B: dirty chai, apricot breakfast sausage, coconut oil, chicken broth
L: pork rinds!
D: bacon avocado lettuce wrapped grass-fed burger.
B: Sausage link, bacon strip, coconut oil, dirty chai
L: Deli ham, fruit smoothie, grass-fed burger patty
D: Slow-roasted pork in a lettuce cup, glass of Merlot
S: Dirty Chai, coconut oil, pork rinds
Most of my challenges with keeping carbohydrates low comes from my love of the dirty chai. My carb count for the week ranged from 58g to 112g, with each chai covering 20g on its own. Total calorie intake has been between 1468 and 1913. Normally I would eat at least 2500 calories a day, so leaning out quickly has been pretty easy. My clothes fit better after about 3 or 4 days, so that’s a win. As far as how I’m feeling is concerned, I haven’t really felt very hungry because the ample intake of fat and protein works pretty well to stave off hunger. And, my energy level has been good. I’ll probably do some “carb-refeeding” today and get 200g in, then take it back down again tomorrow.
* Just to reiterate: The autoimmune protocol has absolutely nothing to do with a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic approach. The autoimmune protocol also has nothing to do with intermittent fasting.