The Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP diet, is a method for managing chronic disease--like Hashimoto's disease. It focuses on removing inflammatory triggers from both diet and lifestyle and instead, giving the body nutritional resources required for optimal gut, immune, hormone, and tissue health. Beyond diet, the Autoimmune Protocol encourages quality sleep, stress management, and daily movement as essential immune modulators.
The AIP diet a temporary elimination-style diet protocol that consists of two phases: an elimination phase followed by a slow and intentional reintroduction phase. This diet is not permanent, but rather a tool to better understand how your body reacts to dietary and environmental triggers to manage your Hashimoto's disease.
The Autoimmune Protocol involves removing gluten and grains, dairy, soy and legumes, sugar, eggs, corn, nuts and seeds, nightshade vegetables, caffeine, and alcohol. However, the goal of the Autoimmune Protocol is not only elimination but instead, to fuel the body with nutrients. So while the list of "no" foods may feel overwhelming, there is still enough variety to make healthy, balanced, and delicious meals on the AIP diet. Foods you can enjoy on the AIP diet—the "yes" foods—are meat and fish, most fruits and veggies, coconut products, healthy fats, bone and meat broths, and yummy, non-seed herbs!
Of course, like any diet, the Autoimmune Protocol can be hard to sustain without proper resources. To uncomplicate the process, check out these health apps for iPhone and Android. Finding the resources that work for you and your health goals can make your thyroid health journey a little easier. Our smartphones—love them or hate them—can be tools to help us lead healthier, happier lives.
The best mobile apps to make AIP easier
Paloma Health - for AIP guidance and symptom tracking
A common sentiment about the autoimmune protocol (AIP) is that it feels complicated, time-consuming, and a little bit overwhelming. This free 12-week guide gives you step-by-step guidance to follow the AIP diet. Key features include interactive learning modules, a symptom tracker, and a library of AIP-compliant recipes. You also get a custom food journal, article database, lab result tracker, and thyroid medication reminders all in one comprehensive home.
Mealtime - for shopping list
They say that success is 90% preparation, and the Mealtime app is helpful for meal prep. You can build your menu for the week with personalized recipe suggestions based on dietary restrictions and food preferences. Once you plan which meals you want to make, you can add all the required ingredients to an organized grocery list.
Calm - for stress reduction
Stress undoubtedly affects thyroid function. When the body is stressed, the adrenal glands produce cortisol. Studies suggest that elevated levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone are associated with high levels of cortisol. Part of the autoimmune protocol is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including self-compassion and stress management. The Calm app features many free guided meditations and breath work sessions to help you reduce your stress.
Classpass- for daily movement
Similarly, the changes you're making on the autoimmune protocol toward a healthy lifestyle include focusing on physical activity. High-intensity workouts can create stress in the body, which can impact T4 to T3 thyroid hormone conversion. However, regular movement still provides countless health benefits. We recommend you opt for 30 minutes of low-intensity activity three to five times per week. The ClassPass app lets you choose from thousands of on-demand workout classes.
Sleep Cycle - for sleep hygiene
Getting a good (or bad) night of sleep affects everything from how your body processes food to how it regulates blood sugar, remembers information, controls inflammation, and more. The Sleep Cycle app helps you understand how you sleep, giving you insight into your sleep patterns, and suggests tips to optimize your sleep.
Find Me Gluten Free and Biteappy - for dining out
Eating out isn't always easy on the AIP diet. You may not know the exact ingredients or food preparation. The Find Me Gluten Free and Biteappy apps help you find restaurants worldwide that accommodate your diet restrictions or requirements.
A note from Paloma Health
Many nutritional and lifestyle factors play a role in optimizing thyroid function. Work with a Paloma Health nutritionist in collaboration with a physician to determine nutritional status for your thyroid health and build healthy habits.