|We all get to a point where we struggle to keeping AIP interesting. In the first few weeks, though, it was definitely “interesting”! Before AIP I had gotten into a rut with eating pretty much the same 5 or 6 meals each week over and over again. But learning to cook without so many of my favorite foods while figuring out how to use new ingredients shook things up in my routine and forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I discovered that I loved roasted broccoli and Brussel sprouts cooked in bacon fat, and they both became staples in my meal plans. I also cooked several new recipes that I thought were delicious, and it was so fun to be adventurous after so many years of eating the same things over and over again.
As I picked out my favorite new recipes, I added them to the new rotation. I started to only cook recipes that included the AIP-friendly ingredients that I already had in the pantry so that I wouldn’t have to make the effort to buy additional things. In an effort to keep things simple, almost every dinner became some version of a grilled meat paired with a roasted veggie and a baked sweet potato. I realized just this week, “I’m in a rut again!”
Don’t get me wrong, you guys know that I’m all about keeping AIP simple, and developing good habits surrounding food like meal planning and advanced preparation are some of the best ways to do that. When you don’t have to spend all your energy in the kitchen, you have more energy for other priorities, including resting and healing. But if you let yourself get bored, that’s when the desires to “cheat” or to jump off the AIP train entirely get stronger.
So last night I made a fantastic AIP Cranberry Balsamic Chicken with AIP “Curried” Cauliflower (check out pics on Instagram later @simply.aip). These were two recipes that I made about a year ago and loved but for some reason had never made it into the regular rotation. The funny thing was, they were both so easy! Interesting doesn’t have to mean complicated and time-consuming, it’s just about mixing things up a little more.
I’m making a commitment to keep things a little more interesting in the kitchen again. Here’s my plan that I wanted to share with you:
- Make good use of all these AIP cookbooks and recipes saved from the FB groups! Each week I’m going to pick out just one or two new recipes to try. Any more and I will probably get overwhelmed, but just a couple should be fun and doable.
- Order a few new AIP ingredients online. I can’t count the number of times that I have wanted to make a yummy AIP dessert only to discover that the recipe calls for tigernut flour (which I have never bought). I’m buying it this weekend and I’m going to make those AIP Pumpkin Pie Bars that were featured in last month’s box. J
- Sign up for a CSA box (farm share). It was so fun this Summer to get a surprise box of produce each week, and the variety kept me on my toes. I also discovered many new vegetables that I had no idea even existed. I just found out that there is a local CSA near me that has a winter session, and I’m joining! If this isn’t available for you, challenge yourself to pick out one or two new veggies a week from your grocery store that you don’t normally eat. I was surprised when I started looking how many vegetables I used to ignore before AIP.
- Treat yo’self! Life is too short to not eat dessert. Eating AIP sweet treats is what has kept me sane and has allowed me to stick to AIP for over a year with just a few reintroductions. I’m planning on picking out a new dessert to try each week.
- Try new AIP products. There are more AIP snacks and ingredients out there than you realize, and more are being developed all the time! They make life simpler and more fun when you don’t have to cook every little thing yourself from scratch. A great way to discover these, of course, is the Simply AIP box.
I hope these tips have helped you, they are certainly helping me get out of a rut!
Let me know what you’re doing to get out of an AIP rut! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our Simply AIP Facebook group.