If you're unfamiliar with the Autoimmune Protocol, it may seem like an impossible program to follow when you first learn of all it entails. On top of regular paleo guidelines (no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no refined sugars, no modern vegetable oils, and no processed food chemicals), followers of "AIP" also eliminate:
- Seeds (including cocoa, coffee, and seed-based spices)
- Nightshades (and spices derived from them)
- Potential gluten cross-reactive foods
- Calorie-free sweeteners (even those like stevia)
- Emulsifiers, thickeners, and other food additives (1)
Yeah... I know. I always try to explain this one to people and they think this list basically means that AIP followers basically don't eat. But actually, they eat a lot of GOOD STUFF and there are whole cookbooks devoted to this eating style. There's a host of reasons why someone would choose to eat this way, as well as their decision of how long to maintain it. Usually, this is not a permanent solution, but rather a way to "clear out" the body to find food sensitivities and learn what makes you feel.
A•N•Y•W•A•Y... If you follow my Instagram, you know that I have a kick-ass group of primal/paleo friends here in Austin, Texas. We have a Paleo Girls' Night once a month with tons of food and laughter. Some of the ladies in the group are on AIP or varying degrees of it, so everyone tries to make sure that the dish they bring is compliant with as many peoples' health goals as possible.
This past week, Alaena Haber of Grazed and Enthused hosted a Mexican food-themed dinner for our "PGNO." I freaked out a little bit when I realized that most of the spices I'm used to putting in my taco meat is very NOT AIP - filled with chipotle and chili powders, black pepper, and sometimes even dried red pepper if I want it really hot. So, I got creative with a list from The Paleo Mom of AIP-compliant spices and was surprised at how easy it was to recreate Mexican flavors without the touted peppers of the traditional dishes. This mix is a great way to spice your red taco meat in an anti-inflammatory way.
AIP Taco Seasoning
Prep time: 2 minutes Cook time: None... until you add it to some meat! Total time: 2 minutes
Yield: Enough seasoning for 2 lbs of red ground meat
- Mix all ingredients together and add to whatever red taco meat you're preparing as it cooks.
2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp tarragon
1 1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp sea salt