I know that each of you out there has a handful of AIP or Paleo bloggers who are just your favorites! They post your favorite recipes and you love to follow them on Instagram. What you may be surprised to know, however, that most of us are actually friends in real life! We talk often about recipes, our goals and community projects and we also just like to have a good time. Recently, I got the amazing chance to hang out with four of these awesome writers in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains for a weekend and it was a blast! I was joined by Eileen of Phoenix Helix, Angie of Autoimmune Paleo, Sophie of A Squirrel in the Kitchen, and Jamie of Gutsy By Nature, and since we all live in different parts of the United States it was a rare treat to get to hang with these beautiful ladies in person.
So you may be asking yourself what does a group of AIP bloggers do for fun? Well, we do a lot of hanging out and talking to start with. It was so fascinating to get to hear how everyone’s health journey is going, and how everyone’s experience with the autoimmune protocol has effected them. We all have different autoimmune diseases but its easy to understand and relate to the frustrations and victories of each other’s journeys. We also talked about our blogs and our fantastic readers and what our goals are for the future of our writing. When we tired of talking we did some fun activities like getting fantastic reflexology done on our feet… (side note: if you are pregnant go right now and have someone do reflexology on you because it feels incredible after spending all of your time carrying another growing human around). We also explored the local town and attempted to go tubing down a river but were thwarted by some nasty weather. Finally, no AIP retreat would be complete without lots and lots of yummy food!
The bulk of our food was generously provided by Paleo on the Go, which is a meal delivery service that has both paleo and AIP friendly meal options that are already cooked and delivered to your home. Honestly, I have been eyeing Paleo on the Go for months and I even thought about ordering food from them for our trip to Hawaii but I was skeptical so I never pulled the trigger. After this weekend I am no longer a skeptic. My biggest concerns before trying them
were the price and the portion size. From looking at the food online it looked like a lot of money for not a lot of food, but I was definitely wrong on that front. The portion sizes are very generous and even at six months pregnant one meal serving filled me up for everything we tried. The first night we tried their herb roasted chicken, roasted root vegetables and bone broth. Everything was very good and very well seasoned! The next morning for breakfast I tried the chicken breakfast sausage and collard greens. The sausages were much larger patties than I usually make and they were very flavorful and the collard greens were a delicious AIP version of southern style collards. Our second dinner was the shepherd’s pie. I was a little skeptical of this dish because I usually make mine with sweet potatoes on top rather than cauliflower and the meat contained some beef heart, which I had never tried. Let me tell you, usually I can sniff out organ meat a mile away but I gobbled up that shepherd’s pie without a second thought and the cauliflower made a perfectly thick topping. Plus again, the portions were very big. We also had their cream of broccoli soup that night, and honestly that may have been one of my favorite dishes. It distinctly reminded me of my favorite broccoli and cheddar soup that used to be served at this café on my college campus. I will happily admit I ate three bowls of it over the course of the weekend. Over the course of the rest of the weekend we also had their chicken soup, the creamy chicken and bacon alfredo, and the bangers and mash. I was genuinely impressed with each dish. It has been a long time since I was able to put a pre-cooked dinner in the microwave and be sitting down to eat a few minutes later and honestly it was a treat. We as AIPers spend so much time in the kitchen it was a true blessing to get a break for one weekend and instead focus on relaxation and good company. Now having tried the food, I am strongly considering buying some for my postpartum period and for future vacations. Cost wise, I would say that you need to compare it to the cost of eating out at an AIP compliant restaurant while on vacation. The food is up to that caliber as is the convenience and if you look at it through that lens the prices are very reasonable. If you are interested in checking out Paleo on the Go click HERE.
I am so thrilled that I was able to spend time with all of these fantastic bloggers and selfishly, it was nice to have a weekend to focus on myself and think about the blog before we get ready to welcome our new little arrival this fall. If you haven’t added these lovely ladies to your list of go-to bloggers you should do so immediately!
This looks like so much fun! I have been researching the AIP for a month or so – trying to gather as much info as possible. Each of your blogs has been immensely helpful! Ironically, I live near the Blue Ridge Mountains – near Knoxville, TN. Today is my very first day following the AIP. I have several autoimmune issues and other health concerns. I’m praying for some relief! I have created a new blog to track my experiences: https://meandmyblessedlife.wordpress.com/
My blog is not “dressed up” yet but I’m looking forward to sharing in the days ahead.
It was such a treat to hang out with you in person, Samantha.
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