Is the Autoimmune Protocol Right For You?

The information here is not meant to replace medical care
or advice. Please consult your doctor before making 
dietary changes.

AIP (The Autoimmune Protocol): This elimination protocol isn’t meant to last forever. It’s a powerful tool to suss out food intolerances, reduce inflammation and help heal leaky gut. As I mentioned in the Food As Medicine page, we are living in a world, with constant access to foods which our bodies have not evolved to eat.


We crave sweet, salty and fatty foods because our primal instinct tells us these foods are calorie and nutrient dense. However, that instinct, meant to keep us alive, when hunting was how we ate. When we needed to wait for the fruit to ripen to enjoy the sweetness, that instinct now guides us to processed foods, engineered to seduce our taste buds, all the while starving our body of nutrition.


This constant battle between modern day living (high stress, malnourished, sleepless and disconnected) with our biological needs (nutrition, connection, sleep, and movement) tell our genes that we’re in trouble! It actives autoimmunity. Our immune system is on high alert and it attacks healthy cells, triggered by certain foods, stress or toxins in our environment. It causes systematic inflammation and a host of chronic mystery symptoms.


Many of us have a predisposition to autoimmunity passed down from our parents, and it’s switched on through gene expression.

However, genes are not static and we can turn it off. We can achieve remission. It takes time, dedication and a lot of experimenting. But a GREAT first step in that direction is The Autoimmune Protocol.


Based on a paleo approach, this elimination diet also removes: chocolate, coffee (both legumes), nuts and seeds, seed-based spices, dry fruit (or other foods which contain mold), eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers), any processed foods, including artificial and non-caloric sweetener, gums and preservatives, food coloring, corn, soy, dairy etc.


The point isn’t to avoid all of this forever, but to heal enough to add most of them back in, if not all. Some, however, may remain lifelong triggers. But again, this elimination protocol is great for figuring that out. It was extremely powerful for me as you can read HERE.


Is the Autoimmune Protocol Right for you?

  • Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?
  • Do you suspect you are suffering from an autoimmunity or leaky gut?
  • Do you have chronic fatigue, pain or inflammation?
  • Are you frustrated with doctors unable to give you answers about the way you feel?
  • Are there any re-occurring inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, cystic ace going on?
  • Does your belly swell when you eat gluten or grains?

If you answered Yes to any of these, then it sounds like the AIP is right for you!


Back to Food As Medicine Page 

Here are some resources to get you started?

Do you also have Diabetes, Insulin Resistance or PCOS? You may want to look into Keto (low carb high fat) to help stabilize energy and blood sugar. Here are some resources on combining the two approaches: Made Whole Cookbook, AIP Keto Reset.



What is the AIP?

Keto Vs Paleo

The Paleo Approach

The Paleo Mom 

Phoenix Helix

Autoimmune Wellness


Grazed and Enthused 

My AIP Recipes:

Ginger Lime Wings

Sheet Pan Taco

Stuffed Sweet Potato Buns

Yuca Flatbread

Cheesy Chicken and Zoodles

Steak Nachos with Delicata Chips

Brats and Brussels with Teriyaki Glaze

Sushi Rice

15 Delicious Low Carb Meatballs (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)


I love meatballs! Going low carb hasn’t stopped me from eating all the meatballs! Here are 15 of my favorite low carb meatball recipes that are dairy free, Whole30 compliant and keto too! Enjoy!!

Click the links or images below to be taken to the full recipe post! 

keto noodle bowl

Low Carb- Keto- Whole30 Teriyaki Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen 

Chicken Meatballs- Everyday Sarah Jane 

Instant Pot AIP Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Meatballs- Paleo Leap

Chipotle Meatballs- The Defined Dish 

Skillet Italian Meatballs- Whole Kitchen Sink

Grapefruit and Leek Pork Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen

Italian Meatballs Zoodle Soup- Peace Love and Low Carb

Spicy Turkey Meatballs- Eat Drink Paleo

Keto Asian Meatballs- The Diet Doctor 

Whole30 turkey meatballsDairy Free Whole30 Turkey Meatballs with Pistou- The Castaway Kitchen 

Dairy Free Swedish Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen 

meatballs and cauliflower riceCarne Asada Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen

Mini Pumpkin Meatballs- The Castaway Kitchen 


Dairy Free low carb meatballs

Meatball Frittata (Whole30, Paleo, Keto)



AIP Chicken and Mushroom Burgers (Paleo, Whole30)

As of late I’ve been missing foods like falafel, baba ganoush, tabouli… see a theme here? All the delicious Mediterranean treats that are grain, legume or nightshade based. I miss the mix of flavors & textures, the zest of lemon- but most of all how satisfying they are. With this thought floating around my consciousness I labored in the kitchen doing meal prep & cooking for a new AIP client. The result was an array of equally clean, complex & fresh meals! These AIP Chicken and Mushroom Burgers are juicy and packed with veggies!

Extraordinarily simple to make, with just one extra step to really make them pop, the protein patties are perfect for parties with a yummy aioli, atop a salad or even on your breakfast plate.


Crispy Chicken Meatza (Paleo, Keto, Whole30)


AIP Chicken and Mushroom Burgers

AIP Chicken and Mushroom Burgers

  • Author: Cristina Curp
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1lb Ground Organic Chicken
  • 7 cremini mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Peel your garlic & dice it with the mushrooms.
  2. Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil.
  3. Once hot add in mushrooms & garlic.
  4. Cook stirring often until mushrooms are tender, then add in spinach and stir a few times until wilted.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer sauteed veggies to food processor.
  6. Pulse with 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice & zest.
  7. Set aside until cooled.
  8. In a large bowl mix ground chicken, salt, pepper & tapioca starch.
  9. Add in cooled vegetable mix and coconut flour.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Let sit for a few minutes.
  12. The mix should be moist but without any pooling fluid.
  13. Shape 5, 4oz patties.
  14. In the same skillet where you cooked the mushroom & garlic, heat a little oil.
  15. Place patties in skillet with enough room to flip them.
  16. They will be too delicate for tongs, you will need to use a spatula.
  17. Cook on medium heat until golden brown on the bottom & flip- repeat.
  18. Internal temp should be 174F.
  19. Serve hot or store for awesome food prep!


  • Serving Size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 178
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 5
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 18

Keywords: Chicken Mushroom Burgers




Best Ever 5 Ingredient Guacamole (Whole30, AIP, Keto)

Guacamole doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be. And it’s fun. Like the Fiesta Guac in my book Made Whole. 

But this version? It’s the best, easy guac ever. Only 5 ingredients, but amazing flavor! Sometimes simple is just better, amiright?


Grilled Shrimp + Avocado Appetizer (Keto, Paleo, Whole30)


Simple 5 Ingredient Guacamole

5 ingredient guac. AIP, Whole30, Keto.

  • Author: Cristina Curp
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Category: Dips


3 cloves garlic
2 ripe hass avocado
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 stalk green onion
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Mince the garlic, green onion and cilatnro.

Scoop out the avocado.

Juice the lemon.

Mix and mash everything together in a bowl.

Add salt. Mix.

Serve, share, enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 83
  • Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 5
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 1

Keywords: Guacamole

Everything you need to know about Plantains!


Plantain! The larger, starchier & less sweet brother to your everyday banana. Plantain is a great versatile addition to a grain free life. In this entry, I will go through the different stages of the plantain from green to brown & what to make with it!
There is something so enticing about the smooth texture of this fruit, the subtle sweetness contrasted by sea salt & garlic.
Plantains are wonderfully delicious! I hope I can persuade you to try them out and discover how fun they can be to cook.

Green Plantain is great to use as you would a potato. Ideal for frying & crispy foods. When the plantain is green it is at its least sweet point & firmest.

Traditional uses for it are mariquitas, also known as plantain chips & tostones (fried smashed plantain).

The peel is hard to remove, one should use a sharp knife to create a slit down the side and peel outwards.
Green plantain can be peeled in advance and kept in cold water with lime juice to prevent discoloration.


plantain chips


How to make mariquitas:

1 large green plantain (for bigger batch use 3 large plantain)
2/3 cup coconut oil or grapeseed oil (if making 3 plantains, use more oil, 1 cup)
Sea salt

You can slice your plantain 2 ways:
Lengthwise with a potato peeler or in very thin circular slices. I’m partial to circles.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet, I use cast iron- to 365F. You can check temperature readiness by inserting a wooden spoon in the oil, if it crackles, it’s ready.

Add your plantain to the skillet, do not overcrowd, you may have to work in batches.
Use tongs to turn them a few times while frying.
They will become golden/yellow when done.
You might have the extra thin slice (you know the one!) go a little brown.
They will be done in 1-2 minutes. This moves fast folks!


Use slotted spoon or tongs to remove from skillet & place on plate lined with paper towel, sprinkle with salt. Serve with mojo. I like to use mine to scoop up avocado with lemon.

*Yes, you can bake them too. Sheet pan, thin sliced. Lots of coconut oil spray over and under. Spread them out in one layer. 400F for 5 minutes.

Mojo (pronounced Moe-hoe) is a dip made from mashed garlic, salt & pepper, made in to a smooth paste with mortar & pestle. Whisked with sour orange juice, oregano & olive oil. You can put that stuff on anything. It’s amazing!

A second very popular use of the green plantain is Tostones! Fried, smashed & fried again, these crunchy plantain rounds are great for dipping into eggs, topped with pulled pork or served as an appetizer or party dish.

How to make tostones:

3 green plantain (the wider the better, technically Cuban’ use a different, shorter/fatter plantain for this, but it’s a lot harder to find)
1 cup coconut oil (have more ready in case needed)
Sea salt

Peel plantain, cut into 1-2 inch rounds. Heat oil to 365F in a heavy, large skillet.

Place plantains rounds in oil, don’t crowd skillet.
They won’t be submerged, when bottom halves are yellow, turn them over. When also yellow, remove them from oil.
Cook them approximately 2 minutes per side, checking that the bottom isn’t turning brown.
Place on a large cutting board or flat surface.
Unless you have a tostonera (a press made to flatten plantain)- use a small soup pot or bottom of espresso maker- something not breakable and flat to smash your plantains down.
You’re not going to squish them to hell. You need to press down firmly but slowly, just until they are about ¼ inch thick.
(Note: it’s easier to flatten when warm so don’t let the rounds cool too much).

Then fry next batch of rounds and flatten. Once all your plantain is flat. Re-fry in the same skillet, a minute on each side, they will be a deep golden color and be extra crispy around the edges.

Set them on a lined plate to cool off a bit. Salt. Enjoy!

You see a theme here with the green plantain- fried works! So they make great French fries etc.
A more modern use for the green plantain that does not include frying is Tortillas… get my recipe HERE.

A new plantain recipe with green plantain…CAKE!Plantains

Yellow plantain are a little softer than green and a little sweeter. It’s nice to play on that sweetness with contrasting flavors like salty pork, spicy garlic or a spicy chimichurri.

Although not traditionally used this way, yellow plantain has become popular for slicing in 1/2 inch diagonal slices and pan frying. These tender, semi-sweet slices make a great side dish. It’s also perfect for blending in to plantain pancakes!

When you boil yellow plantain, you cut it with the peel on into 2 inch pieces and boil it submerged in water. When the plantains expand and the peel parts to show the plantain, it’s ready to eat. Carefully remove hot plantain peel, and mash it up. A whisk will work nicely.

A classic Cuban dish– Fufu is made by boiling plantain in this fashion then mashing it with mortar & pestle with whole garlic cloves, rendered pork fat & sea salt. Then served with freshly made pork rinds crumbled on top. For research’s sake I made this recently, pork rinds and all (holy batman delish!).


This consistency of plantain is also great for soups! Boiled plantain can be mashed and rolled into balls, then set out to dry (30 minutes will harden them) & later added to soup or stir-frys. They are also popular for being baked into tortillas (not the taco kind, a Spanish baked egg pie). Baking the plantain whole, with the peel on is yummy too! Just pop it on the rack, bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Then carefully open to a soft sweet plantain.

Plantanos Pinton, are yellow-green plantains, regular plantains between green and on their way to ripening. So if you’re green plantains begin to ripen, don’t despair!

I work with this kind a lot. They can go either way and what I use to make plantain pancakes or plantain flatbread! 

For a quicker way, I would make it frittata style.

In an 8 skillet with coconut oil, some garlic & greens, brown yellow plantain slices then add in scrambled, seasoned, eggs and bake at 350F until eggs are set.

Lastly, we have the brown plantain.

That’s right- you can let them ripen until they are black! They will look practically bubonic on the outside and still be edible. This is how the original sweet plantain is fried, we call them maduros (which mean ripe!). It’s really nature’s candy. I have one getting there right now and am having paleo banana foster’s dreams. I’ll keep you all posted!

Whole30 plantains

Plantain Tortillas (Paleo, Grain Free, AIP)


How to Transition from a SAD to Paleo Kitchen