Grieving and Reclaiming Spice on the Auto Immune Protocol

Dinners on the AIP don’t have to be bland or boring, but some spices are off-limits. Read on to discover recipes full of flavor and AIP spices.

Later on this post I’ll be sharing some Indian inspired recipe links to help you reclaim spice in your AIP life.

But, before the recipe links I want to share something a little more personal in nature with you. And I think this will resonate with many of you. Before AIP I loved spicy foods… Indian, Thai, etc. I always had a bottle of tabasco sauce with me and used it to top many of my meals. There was no such thing as a bland meal in my home.

And then came AIP and the realization that nightshades (especially chili peppers) were not my friend. I literally went through the five stages of grief as I dealt with this realization. 

  • DenialI’ve eaten spicy food my whole life, a little bit won’t hurt me…. This is something other people are dealing with, I’m fine with peppers.
  • AngerThis isn’t fair…. I’ll never be able to eat out again… I just want to be like everyone else and eat a bowl of curry.
  • BargainingI’ll give up everything else and I’ll be able to keep nightshade spices…. I’ll never eat chocolate again if I can just enjoy a good biryani. 
  • DepressionI guess all my food will have to be boring and bland…. Why even try cooking if I can’t enjoy spicy chili and curry
  • AcceptanceGinger and daikon and cilantro and turmeric are my new best friends…. I may not be able to recreate perfectly authentic flavors, but I can get some heat and depth of flavor…. My food tastes good again!

How about you? Did you go through those same stages and struggle as much about giving up chili peppers as I did? Or maybe your struggle was about coffee or chocolate or _______.  

This is normal. This is how we, as humans, deal with loss (even with the seemingly simple loss of a favorite food). But, the point of the five stages of grief is that you’re meant to work through them and come out on the other side. 

Funnily enough, because this is also how life works, not long after coming to a point of accepting my new style of Indian cuisine and being pleased with it myself, an Indian man walked into my life. I started noticing this man more and more around church and in our small group and was enjoying getting to know him. But, there was a little voice in the back of my head that kept planting seeds of doubt…. you can’t eat Indian food… you wouldn’t be able to cook his favorite foods…. it would be too much to ask him to live without ‘his’ food

But, these moments of doubt pointed me to my insufficiency to do anything on my own and how even though none of this made sense to me that it all made perfect sense to God. 

Fast forward 10 months and in God’s perfect timing, this amazing man and I are 58 days away from marriage. And guess what… 

  • he’s ok with the fact that I won’t be able to cook his favorite foods…
  • he likes my AIP Indian foods…
  • he wants to help me create more AIP Indian foods (like all the recipes in this ebook)

aip indian/ aip/ autoimmune protocol/ paleo


So, where are you on your spice grief journey?
Are you still at the point where you think it can’t be done?
Have you resigned yourself to plain baked chicken and broccoli because you’re afraid of all things spice?
Are you just constantly unsure about what spices and herbs are and aren’t AIP compliant? 


If you need some help on finding compliant spices and herbs, instead of me recreating the wheel, check out this helpful post from Phoenix Helix… What Herbs and Spices are allowed on AIP?

Now, on to the recipes I promised you. 

In this list you’ll find plenty of options for your next curry night….everything from curry to side dishes to bread…and they’re all AIP compliant. No grains, no dairy and most importantly no nightshade or seed based spices here. Just some spice and herb creativity to give you the depth of flavor that you remember from Indian meals of days gone by. My hope in the future is to continually add to this list for it to serve as a resource for you. 

In case you’re curious, if I were planning a special curry night my menu would be:
– Chicken Curry AIP/ Paleo – with all the toppings
– Ginger Garlic Cauliflower Rice
– Chapatis
– Saffron Mango Mousse

Nightshade Free Indian Inspired Dishes

Curries & Other Main Dishes

(4) Zanzibar Fish from Adventures in Partaking
(5) Beef & Pumpkin Curry
(6) Chicken Vindaloo – from ‘A Clean Plate’
(7) Turkey Tikka – from ‘Comfort Bites’
(8) Indian Style Goat Curry – from ‘Comfort Bites’

Side Dishes

(2) Aloo Gobi – from ‘A Clean Plate’
(3) Ginger Garlic Cauliflower Rice from The Paleo Mom


(3) Garlic Naan – from ‘Comfort Bites’


Saffron Mango Mousse

(2) Sweet Jackfruit Dessert Balls – from Paleo Magazine

Check out this pintrest board for more AIP Indian inspiration

Don’t miss out on this review I did of the
AIP Spice Cookbook… called SPICE.
It’s full of all your spicy favorites made AIP friendly. 

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