Book Review: The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol: Foods to Include and Eliminate in The Paleo AIP by Anne Angelone

March 18, 2013 in Categories: by

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This book is the third is a series by the functional medicine specialist Anne Angelone of Expanding Qi. It follows both The Autoimmune Diet: Nourishing Your True Identity With Meals That Heal, which is a book aimed more at the general population rather than the paleo community, and The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough which I reviewed here.  As a matter of fact, it was my review of The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough which, at least in part, inspired this latest book, The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol: Foods to Include and Eliminate in The Paleo AIP.

It is rarely so easy to write a book review.  But, this review is easy for me to write for two reasons.  First, I am intimately familiar with the subject matter, being in the process of writing a  book about diet and lifestyle modifications for autoimmune disease myself (haven’t heard of The Paleo Approach?  Read more about it here).   Second, I was a consultant on this book and provided suggestions and feedback throughout its development.  Yes, this book gets the The Paleo Mom Seal of Approval.

This book fills an important void for people trying to navigate the paleo autoimmune protocol.   It is the perfect quick reference guide for people looking for the do’s and don’t’s of the autoimmune protocol.  I frequently get asked if I’ve put together food lists of “allowed foods”.  And while these lists will be included in The Paleo Approach, you don’t need to wait until September for this information!  The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol contains lists and charts detailing exactly which foods to eat and which foods to avoid.  In fact, the whole goal of this book is to provide you with detailed lists of which foods are included on the autoimmune protocol and which aren’t and which are for some people. The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol also includes information to help people navigate vegetables to accommodate common sensitivities, including: FODMAPs, SIBO considerations, high histamine foods, high salicylate foods high oxalate foods, food sensitivities, and cross-reactive proteins.  It also includes lists of healing foods to include more of in your diet and a list of immune-stimulating herbs and supplements to avoid.

This book is a companion book to The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough, however it stands alone as a quick reference guide for people somewhat familiar with the autoimmune protocol either from one of Anne’s other books, books like Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (you can read my review of that book here), or from my website.   If you really want to understand the why’s behind the food restrictions in the autoimmune protocol, this book won’t tell you that, but if you want to know if broccoli is a FODMAP and whether or not it’s okay for people with histamine sensitivities, this is the book for you!

So, if you are struggling with implementing the autoimmune protocol and think that a quick reference guide of what foods are okay to eat and which aren’t would be useful for you, then I definitely recommend The Autoimmune Paleo Plan.

You can get all three of Anne’s books and a bunch of other great stuff in The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough Kit.

Want to know more about the author?  Anne Angelone is a licensed acupuncturist and functional medicine practitioner with a history of ankylosing spondylitis.  Her practice is called Expanding Qi (also on Facebook and Twitter) based in San Francisco, California.  She is registered both in the Paleo Physician’s Network and Primal Docs.  Anne also offers a month-long teleclass to help individuals get oriented in starting a 30-day Autoimmune Paleo Diet challenge, typically starting at the beginning of each month (the next one starts April 2nd!  You can mention Paleo Mom in the referral box). Update April 2014: read a recent interview with Anne.


I have been following your blog since the beginning. I’m so grateful for all of your information. I have been following the paleo diet for some time with almost no beneficial results. I finally went to the doctor and found out that I most likely have leaky gut, SIBO, and severe allergies to all dairy, eggs, and several nuts. I’m pretty sure the immune protocol is needed for me for quite a while! 😉

What I found most interesting is your information on FODMAP. I tested sensitive or even highly allergic to almost all the foods mentioned on that.

The quick reference guide you reviewed today is very helpful. My issue is that almost all the recipes out there, including this guide, include foods from FODMAP. Very frustrating. Do you know where I can find recipes made for those of us that have to follow the strictest quite of all? I’m struggling figuring out what to eat for breakfast etc….(I only just found out about my health issues this past Tuesday.).

I’m highly motivated to do just about anything because I have felt so awful for SO long.
Thank you again for all your helpful information.

I don’t think anyone has done a compilation of those types of recipes yet. I will certainly have a huge variety of low FODMAP recipes in my book. Also, there are some AIP cookbooks coming out soon, so hopefully there will be lots of resources in the not-too-distant future.

Does the AP heal the gut as GAPS diet claims?
I have had eczema for years and recently GI
Issues. I am wondering which approach to use.
Thank you!

Yes, it does. Have you tried just standard paleo though? Many people with eczema find success with that. Or a nightshade-free paleo. But, if that’s not working, the AIP would be a very good next step.

Thank you for all your research and for so generously sharing it.

I have newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism, Lichen Sclerosis and a touch of Arthritis. Am taking Levothyroxine for now to address the Thyroid issue and for the last few days have taken Selenium 100mg per day with Zinc 15mg. Would you consider this to be within appropriate ranges or should I double both doses for example? Until I can build up appropriate levels from food ideally …any tips for foods rich in zinc and selenium, which you recommend, as well as iodine and iron?.

I note you advise keeping up with Iodine and Iron. The kind tip of these four supplements as a starting point is inspired. The cutting out of my beloved broccoli and hummus was despotic!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSERTIONS. I can live again…subject to building up with these supplements….which I’m working on.

I’ve heard the suggestion that supplemenary Iron can be difficult for post menopausal women and difficult to absorb generally for most people so I’m taking Floradix, made in Germany. I’m in the UK. Its not actual iron – but a combination of herbs and fruits that would build it and is described as liquid iron with vitamins. Do you think that pure iron supplementation for post menopausal women is a problem?

On checking I note Floradix has wheatgerm in it…oh no! Does that mean in you opinion its out? (So much good stuff otherwise). Do you know of alternative resources if so?

With respect to Iodine I used to be a nurse and I noted during pre-op preparation for surgery – when iodine is applied to the area to be incised – that frequently some patients would absorb the iodine entirely within the hour or so before the trolley arived to take them to theatre. Remembering this I’m applying Iodine TO MY SKIN, currently on a daily basis, with the idea that then my body can control the uptake.

I note several threads here with anxiety about taking excessive iodine so I thought I’d share this suggestion if its of help to others. Is it an idea you would comfortably endorse?

For some reason I had the impression that you were recommending the Autoimmune protocol from the outset (I’ve just started following this blog). I am so relieved as having printed out the AIP I became despondent and was not eating anything!

I note your advice to another subscriber is to begin Paleo. This is something of a relief as a slower start at least is possible. I might just cut out wheat to begin. To avoid soya I latched on to this absolutely gorgeous oatmilk…made in Scandinavia…but haven’t touched it since finding this blog and am now questioning the tradition that I was trying to get back into of porridge in the mornings (using whole oats and the oat milk). This is quite a blow. But let me ask if I do have chronic bowel inflammation (i’m more tending to constipation that the runs which signalled chrohns or coeliac per my training) …Would I be better with eggs for breakfast?

I would prefer to remain vegetarian (I had been going vegan) but soya milk had to go and I’m not sure about reverting to cow’s milk yoghurt. The difficulty here is finding coconut yoghurt starters to make my own (without sugar in them) and coconut milk is tinned, is that ok however? If added to organic cow goat or sheep yoghurt as starters…in the absence of coconut?

A lot of questions here from me as a newby…but I have tried to comment on earlier blogs but was unable to for some reason. Here I am now hoping to get up to speed and to keep up with your other subscribers and to follow how we are all doing!!

Yes, I think it’s absolutely best to start with standard paleo, keeping the principles of AIP in mind, and see how far that gets you (except in the cases of severe illness in which there is more urgency to get to the cleanest and most nutrient-dense possible diet). The best food sources of selenium, iodine, zinc and iron are shellfish. Fish is also very good as are organ meats. And of course, red meat and shellfish are the best sources of iron. I know you want to stay vegetarian, but adding seafood to your diet would go a very long way to providing your body with the nutrition it needs to properly regulate the immune system. I’m a big fan of getting nutrition through food and not supplements (with the exception of supplements to help digestion when that is required, which you may consider if you are going to reintroduce animal protein in to your diet). I’m not a supplement expert, so you would need to work with a healthcare provider to adjust doses of supplements. Also, with regards to iodine supplementation, it is often more important to supplement with cofactors like vitamin B12 (which vegetarian diets are notoriously deficient in), other B vitamins, and vitamin C. Again, something to discuss with a healthcare provider.

As for coconut milk, you can use a dairy free probiotic as a starter (needs to be lactobacillus and/or bifidus) and it works quite well. Tinned is okay, but look for guar gum-free (better yet if also BPA-free cans, two brands to look for are Natural Value and Aroy-D).

As for the iodine on the skin, I haven’t seen any studies evaluating that as a method to correct iodine deficiency. It seems interesting, but I’m not sure the body has any better ability to regulate update through the skin as it does through the gut, so I would proceed with caution.

Oh, and I would definitely recommend avoidance of wheat germ (many of the detrimental proteins in wheat are concentrated in the germ).

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