I spent the better part of this past fall learning about culinary nutrition, and I focused on creating an autoimmune meal plan for women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The strategies I included in those meal plans are applicable to anyone dealing with autoimmune disease. As it becomes more common for us to hear of friends and family getting an autoimmune diagnosis, I want you to have the understanding of which foods may keep symptoms quiet.
When I was three, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I recovered, but it means I’m more likely to develop another one. Add in a strong family history of autoimmune diseases, an inflammatory arthritis diagnosis, and I’m using these guidelines myself as preventative measures. For the past 9 months, my symptoms have been extremely quiet and I’m so happy I no longer need to read for Advil to deal with ongoing pain.
How to develop an autoimmune meal plan.
There are a couple of key factors I want you to consider as you plan your meals. You want your meals to be nutrient dense, and anti-inflammatory. Those are your top priorities. How do you accomplish this? By adding in a wide variety of vegetables and gut-healthy foods to your autoimmune meal plan. It also includes the following elements:
*Cold water fish, like Salmon-provides you with essential fatty acids to reduce inflammation
*Bone broth-gut healing and provides collagen and gelatin to ease joint pain
*Chia and flax seeds-helps with elimination and binds with toxins to exit the body
*Organ meat-rich in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are easy to absorb
*Seaweed- provides a wide mix of minerals, including iodine which helps hypothyroid patients.
Changing Your Diet
There are some foods you want to avoid to optimize your health. Those are foods containing gluten, refined white sugar, vegetable oils, and dairy. Why? These are the primary culprits that trigger inflammatory responses. For some people, it’s a flare up of rosacea or lupus. For others, it’s brain fog and joint pain. By eliminating this primary group of allergenic foods, you give your body an opportunity to heal and run as it’s supposed to. For some people with autoimmune disease, you may want to eliminate foods from the nightshade family from your meal plan. That includes tomatoes, peppers, black pepper, eggplant, paprika, and potatoes. I help clients figure this out when we work through their custom nutrition protocol.
Here are some recipe suggestions to get you started. If you need more for a certain category, let me know and I’ll add more to this post.
Chicken Livers with Leeks and Kale by Simple Seasonal
Easy One Pan Salmon with Roasted Vegetables by Cooking Classy
Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks by Paleo Leap
Coconut Quinoa and Kale Salad by Cookie and Kate
Brown Rice and Arame Seaweed Salad– please skip the canola oil and swap in avocado or olive oil instead.
Moroccan Breakfast Skillet from Autoimmune Wellness.
Grain Free Granola from Minimalist Baker
Paleo Breakfast Hash with Sweet Potato from Balanced Bites
Green apples and almond butter
Bananas rolled in chia or flax seeds
Have a healthy Holiday!
Want to feel awesome heading into 2018? There are things you can do now to stay healthy during the holiday season.
Grab my free download with quick tips and advice. Get ready to rock the New Year!
About Emily Roach
Emily Roach is a culinary nutrition expert and works with clients to create a healthy lifestyle design. She loves teaching her kids how to cook, playing tennis and inspiring women to take control of their health. Emily does one-on-one consulting, cooking workshops and speaking engagements.