If your New Year’s Resolution is to finally embrace the AIP, congratulations! You’ve chosen a major step toward making 2019 a healthy and prosperous year.
But since we know that the statistics on keeping resolutions aren’t encouraging, we want to humbly offer a few tried-and-true tips.
In this post, we’ll explore five easy tools you can use to make sure your AIP resolution sticks.
Plan, plan, plan.
If you’ve made a resolution in the past, you’ve probably noticed that one factor distinguishes the “meant to’s” from the “did’s”: how well you planned.
Plans give us a frame to build our resolutions around. So before January 1 (or whenever you’re beginning your AIP journey), it’s important to set up a solid plan of action.
First, make sure you review your Yes/No list. Give away or put out of sight any foods that will tempt you during the elimination phase of the AIP.
Then, it’s time to start putting together your new meal plan. Meal plans will take the guesswork out of shopping and cooking as you get used to the AIP style. You can tackle meal planning the tried-and-true way with a fresh sheet of paper a few AIP cookbooks like The Paleo Approach Cookbook or The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook.
We also include meal plans, shopping lists, and more in every Strength in Food delivery!
With these plans in hand, you can confidently stock up on AIP compliant foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality meat, healthy cooking oils, and perhaps even some organ meats.
Know How (and Why) It Works
Knowing how and why the AIP works is crucial to sticking with it in the long term.
When you understand WHY the AIP is structured as it is, you’re more likely to stick with change over the long term. When a family member asks you why you’re not drinking right now, you’ll be prepared. When a co-worker inquires as to why you’re avoiding that office cake, you’ll be armed with answers.
Whether you choose to share this information with them is irrelevant—just having the confidence that comes with understanding how your choices affect your health is the real key.
So, how do you learn? Our co-founder Dr. Sarah Ballantyne is our go-to for information on the science behind the AIP. Dr. Ballantyne wrote our go-to guide, The Paleo Approach, which contains a wealth of information, and her website, ThePaleoMom.com, is also an incredible resource.
We’ve also broken down the ‘why’s” behind the AIP inside our Strength in Food Member’s Portal, and include bite-sized chunks of this information inside every delivery.
Any lifestyle change becomes instantly easier when you have a network of support.
Why not plan to sit down with your close network in the next few weeks and explain why you’re making this shift? It might be uncomfortable, but their support will be totally crucial to sticking with the AIP in the New Year.
Be firm in your boundaries, and focus on how you hope to feel once you’ve implemented the AIP. Explain that it’s not forever, that you hope to make some reintroductions, and that you’d love their help in keeping you on track.
Support doesn’t just stop at friends and family—your healthcare team is a big part of your support network. If you don’t have an AIP-knowledgeable practitioner on your team, the AIP Certified Coach network is the perfect place to start.
AIP Certified Coaches are trained in the science and implementation of the AIP. They’re incredibly helpful guides, especially if accountability is something you need, and that’s why we’ve included coaching packages in our offerings!
Stock Your Freezer
This is one little hack that makes a BIG difference in time saved.
Trust us, when you have a few compliant meals stashed away in the freezer you’ll be amazed how easy sticking to your AIP resolution becomes. And the best part? This trick can be as simple as you want it to be!
Option 1: Set aside time monthly to create freezer meals for yourself. Instead of batch cooking for the week, batch cook to freeze. Make individual portions of a few different meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Stews, soups, and baked goods freeze particularly well.
Option 2: Freeze a few extra portions of every meal. When you’re writing out your weekly meal plan, consider making double portions of a few meals, then freezing them to add to your stash. This is a super simple way to stock your freezer without adding any extra cooking to the menu.
Option 3: Buy compliant meals so you always have a stash on hand. We love True Fare’s line of AIP-compliant breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. They’re flavorful and delicious, and the team at True Fare knows the in’s and out’s of AIP compliance well. You can easily add True Fare meals to your Strength in Food subscription.
Once you’re a few months into the AIP, you might find yourself a bit bored. That’s normal! We all get into ruts, and if you’re sticking with a few tried and true meals and snacks, it’s easy to lose that spark of excitement you had in the beginning.
Once the doldrums hit, consider rewarding your hard work with a gift that will help you stay inspired. A new AIP cookbook can go a long way toward refreshing your menu. You might discover a new vegetable, a new cooking method, or a new flavor profile to reignite that spark.
At Strength in Food, we offer a monthly delivery of curated AIP snacks, sauces, and ingredients that changes time so you can always discover something new. We also offer recipes and resources in every delivery so you can learn something new about the protocol each month. The best part is, it’s all 100% AIP and designed to make healing even simpler.