One of my favorite staples while being on the Autoimmune Protocol, especially given the fall season, are roasted vegetables. I swear, put just about any veggies on a pan in the oven with some good quality oil, and you’re golden…or they are for that matter ;). Roasting them brings out their sweetness and gives them a rich melt-in-your-mouth texture. Both carrots and beets made a large appearance during my first month AIP since I had removed starchy vegetables, and all sugars, including fruit. I knew that my body initially needed to remove some further inflammatory foods, but it wasn’t until I started the protocol that I realized how easy this transition of eating could be. Thankfully, it’s simple and delicious, like these carrots!
Let me just say this, I thought it would be comparable to torture. I mean REALLY, if I am being honest about this. I wondered how much more I could limit myself in a modernized world where it’s more accessible to purchase food in a box than it is to forage? I thought the Autoimmune Protocol was going to prove to be the biggest challenge I’d face, which is why it took me so long to adopt it. I am so glad to report how wrong I was.
My first month on the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol went by so quickly. Not just that, but if you remember, I also eliminated all starchy veggies, sugars and fruit with the exception of grapefruit. A month, boom done! I’ve continued still to follow these exact preferences with a few of my own personal reintroduction of select fruit and most recently some honey (still very seldom) and starches (rutabaga, turnip root, and plantains). I am now well into month number three of the protocol.
What I love most about following an autoimmune Paleo lifestyle is the freedom it has gifted me. For one, I no longer feel the need to overcompensate in my explanation for why I CHOOSE not to eat something. Before, I almost felt guilty when I’d tell someone I didn’t eat something, like gluten. Sheepishly, I’d apologize “Sorry, I can’t eat that”. Am I alone here?
My choices of food are fueled by my burning desire to heal! And let me tell you, that fire is hot. Lesson learned, never apologize for making choices to improve yourself even if you feel it’s bothering someone else. That’s their own stuff. It’s hard to explain the liberating feeling when you know physically yes, I CAN eat that pumpkin salted caramel doughnut, just as anyone else, but CHOOSE not to eat it because I value my health and myself more than that. WOW! That has been the most freeing feeling since starting AIP.
The Autoimmune Protocol has also given me back my creative liberty in the kitchen. As a kid I always loved being in the kitchen under the heels of my Mom or the gentle hand of my Grandma. I was able to be myself, my creative and intuitive self. AIP opened my eyes to the diversity of foods I actually think I was missing out on just being “Paleo”. Beginning AIP I was able to break out of what I thought was a Paleo meal and into what my body craved, what brought joy, what just tastes freaking good (like this recipe I am going to share) and what feels right. I find so much joy being in the kitchen, and while I never lost that, I was stuck in a confined idea of what I thought I could/should eat on Paleo. A friend of mine say’s the word “should” is an asshole, I agree with her. I should eat, I should do, I should say… forget it, what FEELS good!?
Ironically, with what most people would regard (I did) as considerably more restrictions, I have found more versatility in the meals I make and the types of food I eat. I rotate around certain foods that have now become staples for me, but I am constantly amazed by the broad scope of options I have. That’s why one of my favorites are roasted veggies. They are perfect for this fall time of year and are simple for anyone to make.
Aside from my taste buds being significantly happy, my body has responded so well. Which is what you really wanted to know about right? I have seen a significant decrease in my swelling. Solving some problems by removing select foods on my own, allowed me to open up space for awareness to other issues going on with my body that needed addressing. A few things I’ve had to battle were Candida overgrowth, which is something my intuition whispered to me, but was not aware of until a month in to AIP, so thankfully I had already been working on it by removing sugars and fruits (and have now been cleared of it). While on AIP I also contracted a parasite by a random fluke incident (these things happen) but yes, MAJOR EW! Adrenal fatigue was another huge player in my decision to begin the protocol. And of course, lastly to continue healing my autoimmune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and my thyroid. It’s a lot when I stop and think about it too much, when I get in my own head about all the shit that’s wrong. But then, I think about how fortunate I am to be aware, to be constantly moving in the direction of healing.
It helps, also that I found an amazing community to support my journey outside of my family and friends. You can find me @wholelifefullsoul on Instagram and view what I actually ate during my first month AIP and what I continue to eat practicing my lifestyle. I also share my travels, my yoga practice and my practice to find joy everywhere.
A few of my favorite AIP foods I consume regularly
– Collard greens
– Herb grass-fed beef patties
– Bone broth
AND THESE DELISH VEGGIES
FALL ROASTED CARROTS & BEETS
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
2 large organic beet roots
6-8 organic whole carrots with or without tops
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil or lard)
Sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425°
2. Cut off tops to both carrots and beets.
3. Rinse and scrub outsides of all the carrots well, removing any dirt from their exterior (feel free to peel if you like, I usually choose to scrub and avoid peeling if they are organic) set the carrots aside.
4. Rinse the beet roots, take and peel each outside layer of the beets until the flesh is exposed (be careful not to get any color on your clothes, I suggest wearing an apron!)
5. Place beet roots on a cutting board and slice them each in half. Then, laying them flat side down, slice the beets about 1/4 inch thick length wise. If you like you can then slice them in half again, making them into quarters.
6. Access two large baking sheets.
7. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on each baking sheet, place in the oven to melt for about 5 seconds, then remove them from the oven.
8. Lay carrots out on one baking sheet and roll them to coat in the oil.
9. Place beets on the other baking sheet, sprinkle on cinnamon and cover with thyme. Mix the ingredients together, coating the beets in the oil as well. Make sure the beets do not overlap and they lay flat on the pan.
10. Place the veggies in the oven, set timer for 15 minutes.
11. At 15 minutes, check the veggies and using tongs, rotate them to their opposite sides.
12. Allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until they are perfectly roasted and golden.
Serve and sea salt to taste