There is Only 100%: The Importance of True Commitment When Following the Autoimmune Protocol

The Importance of True Commitment on AIP

When you’re looking at a delicious breakfast of ham and eggs what is the difference between the chicken and the pig? The chicken is dedicated the pig is committed.

As silly as that little illustration may be it is a true reminder of the difference between dedication and commitment. I am often approached by people via email, blog comment or Facebook message saying that they have been trying so hard to heal their gut, or lose weight, or manage their autoimmune disease but they aren’t seeing any results. I immediately start asking questions like, have you checked your supplements and vitamins for non-AIP ingredients? Are you drinking bone broth? Are you eating liver? How much fish are you eating? How much fructose are you eating? How much are you sleeping? How is your stress level? Have you accidentally exposed yourself to cross contaminates by eating out?

I am usually met with a collection of half hearted and wishy washy answers that go something like this, “Well my supplements are compliant except for my probiotic, its dairy based, but that’s ok right?” “I tried drinking bone broth but it was gross and I couldn’t get it down” “I ate a while plate of AIP cookies last night, but that’s ok because they are made with AIP ingredients” “I don’t have any more time to sleep”

The Importance of True Commitment on AIPNo one ever likes what I have to say next.

You’re not committed enough.

You’re not going to see results until you are committed enough. There is no 80% AIP solution. Period. End of story.

It sounds harsh but it is the truth. You have not been 100% AIP for three weeks if last week you ate a handful of nuts because you were hungry. You should not be surprised if you haven’t seen any results and you are taking a supplement every day that contains dairy, nightshades and soy, you are not going to heal your gut just by eliminating certain foods and AIP-ifying your favorite treats without also adding in any other nutrient dense foods like bone broth and liver.

The AIP elimination phase is a short term, all encompassing, healing period. It is not a long-term lifestyle like paleo. You may hear some paleo blogs talking about the concept of 80/20. Meaning that if you are 80% paleo then there is room for some non-paleo, but still gluten free, foods 20% of the time. That is not the case on AIP. There is no 80% solution. There is no 95% solution, there is no 99% solution, there is only 100%.

I am usually a feel good person, I like to hear people’s feelings and emotions, I am all about being kind to ourselves and living a positive life, but that doesn’t mean we don’t all need a wake up call and a dose of tough love every once in a while.

Let me clarify, that yes, when you have been on AIP for 6 months, 8 months, 1 year, 2 years, life happens. I am not 100% all of the time. I go out to eat and probably accidentally expose myself to vegetable oil or soy. I go through periods of stress where I don’t sleep 8-9 hours every night. I forget to make a batch of bone broth one week and go without it, but that is only the case now that I have seen healing, now that I know what my body needs, how it works, and what my triggers are. That was not the case in my first 30-60 days on AIP.

For those first 30-60 days on the elimination phase your job is to live, breath, and eat AIP, if you want to get the most out of it. You need to immerse yourself in it, learn, read, do everything you can do. Plan out your meals, make them ahead of time, don’t go anywhere without AIP food for yourself, sleep like your life depends on it (because it does), take baths, use aroma therapy, manage your stress like your life depends on it (because it does). At any given moment ask yourself this question:


Right now, in this very moment. Could you be sitting outside while you do your work so you can get some more vitamin D? Could you be drinking a cup of bone broth? Could you be drinking some ginger tea with some gelatin and L-Glutamine in it? Could you be taking a walk while you talk on the phone? Could you be eating some liver pate instead of your third handful of dates? Could you be taking a 20 minute nap before your kids come home from school? Could you be saying no to an extra responsibility and making yourself a priority?

If you aren’t asking yourself that question every moment of every day and following through, until you start to see an improvement in your health, you are not committed, and there is still more you could be doing. Do it.



Jesse St. Jean

Jesse St. Jean

I am many things: a wife, a daughter, a sister, a nutritional therapist, a dog-mom… and I’m an autoimmune warrior.


  • Fantastic post! I try as hard as I can to be 100% compliant, but due to very limited finances (I am on social assistance right now) I can’t always afford to eat 100% grassfed/pastured meats. Instead I compromise and use The Paleo Mom’s Best/Worst animal products post…

    It means I eat a lot of wild-caught fish and a lot of organ meats (both grass-fed and conventional), and mostly lean beef, but very, very little poultry.

    I also don’t eat 100% organic produce – instead I buy the clean 15 as conventional, and aim to eat local, sustainably-farmed produce even if it is not organic.

    Other than that I do the best I can – stress levels are hard to manage when you are going through a divorce, and that is impacting my sleep. And that is one of the major reasons why I am on social assistance – if I was working, it would increase my stress levels even more, and I would not be able to take naps as and when I need to.

    • I definitely understand where you are coming from. My husband and I just got out of a very stressful time in our lives where finances were extra extra tight. I also couldn’t afford all grass fed meat so I did what you are doing, same with the produce. I also avoided doing reintroductions until my life stress had died down, that can be hard, but I think it kept me as healthy as possible until I could better address my lifestyle and stress. Keep up the good work. The point is the commit to the best of Your abilities and it sounds like you are working hard to do that.

  • Thanks I Needed to hear this. I’ve been doing it since October with a few cheats in there and am struggling. I have hustamine issues and fodmap foods really irritate my gut so it feels really hard some days, especially when I have a headache. I’ve going to do a re-start and really commit.

    • It definitely gets hard some days. The thing that helps me is to plan plan plan. That way things are already in place on the days where I am really not feeling well and I am not left in a lurch. I do a lot of batch cooking, I plan all of my meals out at the beginning of the week and I go to the store at the beginning of the week to get everything I need. That way I am never left without food on the days where I just don’t feel like cooking. Good Luck!

    • Thank you. Its something I say in person to a lot of people but have hesitated to write down, for fear of offending too many people, but it is the truth and sometimes its just what people need to hear.

  • This is so true… and I am going to start linking to it when I get these kinds of questions…. there is no way to know whether or not it is really working unless you actually do it. Thanks for a lovely post!

    • Thank you for your supportive words I really appreciate it 🙂

  • Really appreciate your straight talking style. The rev up I needed and the reminder that it’s all or nothing in this particular game. Thanks 🙂

  • This was an excellent post, and so needs to be said. If you want to get well, you have to get serious. Thanks for your awesome post!

  • Thank you for this. This was exactly what I needed 🙂

  • Great post, Samantha! I think we all need a little tough love sometimes!

  • I just wonder if any of you feel hungry all the time. With only 100gr of meat I always feel my stomach empty. I have also lost a lot of weight and I sm already too skinny. Has some one had the same issue?

    • Why are you limiting your meat intake? Outside of limiting your natural sugars you can really eat as much as you want of meat and vegetables, especially if you are not trying to lose weight. I was hungry a lot when I first started on AIP and I had to add in more starchy vegetables in order to have enough energy and be satiated. My breakfast is a stir fry with sweet potatoes apples, meat, spinach, and sauerkraut my lunch is usually meat and vegetables, I have plantain chips as a snack in the afternoon and then have another meat and veggie combo for dinner. sounds like you just need to eat more and maybe add in some more starchy veggies! Also be sure to eat plenty of healthy fats as well.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I needed to hear this, as I am embarking on AIP. I also, like the tips you and some readers mentioned on if you can’t afford everything grass fed or all organic produce. Thanks again!

  • Love this! I have had a battle with this. Any suggestions for me? . I can only eat beef every other meat pork, chicken, fish all have an intolerance too and I can be sick for almost a week. Also many fruits make me react and A lot of veggies. Also no plantains or bananas, onions or garlic. Also I cannot tolerate any tapioca. I went pretty strict aip and starting feeling better. My husband went through a kidney transplant and had to people in our family passed away in the Past 7 months . That brought about a lot loads of stress and I thought my gallbladder was going bad I quit eat beef because I was so sick eating anything with fat. I started eating rice and beans which was the worst decision ever! I’m now taking digestive enzyme which is helping me, Eating aip again. Needing ideas for foods! Any help I would appreciate. Also I am greatful you mentioned about naps in your article I feel like I fight those as if there bad for me. ❤

    • Good work continuing on AIP I know it is hard to deal with stress but getting back up on your feet is what matters. I’m glad you said you were on digestive enzymes because when you mentioned your sensitivities to meats that was the first thing that popped into my head. If I were you I would focus heavily on fermented foods and probiotics if you can, as well as beef bone broth and grass fed beef gelatin during the meals where you aren’t having full meat.The rest of the time I would load up on the veggies you can tolerate. Also trying preparing the veggies in different ways, I know it is still hard for me to eat a lot of raw veggies so I cook most of mine. If you can tolerate any more carb heavy veggies like squash or sweet potatoes try to incorporate them so that you are not starving and carb deficient. My guess would be if you really load up on the digestive enzymes, probiotics and bone broth you may be able to start adding some more meat and veggies is as you heal. Good luck and if you can I highly recommend working with a naturopathic doctor or a functional medicine doctor to help customize a plan that will work for you.

  • This is so so so well said and something we all need to hear. Thank you for sharing and articulating it so well! I LOVE that question…what can I be doing right now to heal myself? Yes!

  • You’re right. Thank you for the talk. I needed it. Bye, coffee.

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Nutritional therapist Jesse

Hi, I'm Jesse

I empower women autoimmune warriors to reclaim their health by teaching each woman how to make the right food choices to heal her body while confidently owning her journey so she can live a vibrant life with chronic illness.


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