Get prepared for the Autoimmune Protocol with this guide to stocking your AIP freezer for quick and easy AIP meals and snacks!
When you’re first starting out on the Autoimmune Protocol, it’s a good idea to stock up on AIP freezer staples, so you always have an easy option for an AIP-friendly meal or snack. The more AIP ingredients you have on hand, the less likely you are to resort to pro-inflammatory alternatives when you’re hungry but feeling run-down or short on time.
This guide will help you know which AIP freezer staples to have on hand at all times, and which you can build upon as you continue with the AIP elimination and reintroduction phases. If you stock your freezer before you begin the elimination phase, you will be better prepared to make quick AIP meals and snacks, and you’ll ultimately be much more successful on your autoimmune healing journey.
Having a well-stocked freezer will also be more cost effective than grocery shopping for one week at a time. There are often cost savings for buying in bulk, and you can purchase larger quantities when there are sales. Having a well-stocked freezer can also save you from the hassle of making multiple trips to the grocery store each week, which is a huge time-suck.
If you don’t have the freezer space to stock everything on the following AIP Freezer Staples list, prioritize your favorite organ and muscle meats, seafood, and any AIP freezer meals you’ve pre-prepared or purchased. Pre-prepared meals are the easiest freezer staple to utilize when you’re short on time.
If you’re looking for an AIP pantry staples checklist to complement this AIP Freezer Staples Checklist, be sure to check out this post: The Ultimate AIP Pantry Staples List. It will help you get your pantry well-stocked, so you have all the ingredients you need on-hand. Then, you’ll only need to make weekly trips to the grocery store or farmers market for fresh vegetables and fruit.
So let’s get started stocking your AIP freezer!
First, get rid of the inflammatory foods
As with your AIP Pantry Staples Checklist, you’ll want to clear out any pro-inflammatory foods from your freezer that you’ll never use again. Anything with gluten, dairy, corn, food additives/fillers, or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients should either go in the garbage, or go to a friend (or enemy! Hah!). This includes frozen pizzas, any bread you may have frozen, and any freezer meals with pasta, rice, corn, preservatives or dairy.
If someone in your household will continue to eat these products, it might help if they have their own specific section of the freezer that is separate from yours, so you’re not tempted and no one gets confused about which items are whose.
Store the foods you will reintroduce later
As with any elimination diet, when you’re done with the elimination phase, you will begin to reintroduce many foods you had previously avoided. Any food in your freezer that is part of the reintroduction stages can stay in your freezer until you’re ready to start reintroductions. This includes coffee, nuts and seeds (and their flours), and grass-fed dairy.
The same rule applies to this category as the last: even if someone else in your household will be eating these foods, keep them separate from your AIP-friendly items. This will help you resist temptation and avoid confusion.
Stock your AIP Freezer
Finally! Let’s stock your AIP freezer! You may already have many of these items, especially if you’ve been eating a mostly whole-foods or Paleo diet. To start, purchase what you will eat most often and build from there. If you purchase items in bulk when they’re on sale, you’ll not only be prepared, you’ll also save some cash.
For the meat products, be sure to purchase pasture-raised and/or organic meats. If you can’t afford pasture-raised or organic, stick to the leaner cuts of conventional meats. Pasture-raised meats store vital nutrients and omega-3’s in their fat stores. Conversely, conventional meat has toxins and higher amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6’s in their fat stores. Thus, you want to limit fat from conventionally-raised animals.
Also, try to purchase organic fruits and vegetables to minimize pesticide and herbicide exposure. If you can’t afford organic, try to stick to the EWG’s Clean 15 list for conventional produce. And purchase all other produce organic, if you can.
As room in your freezer allows, stock up on a wide variety of items, so you’re sure to get plenty of variety in your diet. If space is tight, rotate what you have in your stockpile.
AIP Freezer Staples
- Meats: Beef, bison, lamb, pork, nitrate/sugar-free bacon, and/or wild game, etc.
- Poultry: Whole chickens or chicken breasts, thighs and/or drumsticks, duck, turkey, etc.
- Organ meats: liver, heart, kidneys, sweetbreads, etc. (from a variety of pasture-raised animals).
- Seafood: Salmon, cod, shrimp, scallops, trout, halibut, tuna, etc.
- Bone broth (or just the bones, so you can make your own broth)
- Frozen vegetables: Spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Avoid any frozen vegetables that contain nightshades or legumes, such as potatoes, peppers, green beans and peas.
- Avoid any frozen vegetables that are processed in the same facility as wheat/gluten.
- Frozen fruits: Pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mangos, strawberries, etc.
- Avoid any frozen fruits that are processed in the same facility as wheat/gluten.
- Frozen soups: make your own and freeze them in individual portions, using pint-size mason jars, or get the AIP bundle from Captain Soup (this link will save you $10 off your first order!).
- Frozen sauces: Make your own and freeze them in mason jars.
- Homemade AIP freezer meals: Thriving on Paleo, Unbound Wellness and It’s All About AIP have some awesome freezer-friendly meal suggestions. Stay tuned here for some AIP freezer meals coming soon, too!
- Purchased frozen AIP meals: When I’m extra time-strapped, I like to purchase pre-made frozen AIP meals from PaleoOnTheGo. These are super helpful in a bind! If you know you’re going to be too tired to cook or won’t have time, just grab one of these out of the freezer and dinner can be ready in as little as five minutes! Try the AIP meal bundle from PaleoOnTheGo (affiliate link. Use discount code HHN for $15 off your order!). Literally every meal I’ve had from them is top-notch. So much better than so many other frozen meal services I’ve tried!
Where to Find AIP Freezer Staples
Your local farmer’s market, butcher or a local farm/ranch
Shop locally as much as possible. Find farms and ranches close to you using the EatWild database.
Your favorite grocery store, Whole Foods, New Seasons or Natural Grocers
Your local grocery store should have at least a few of these items. Depending on where you shop, pasture-raised and organic options can be hard to find.
US Wellness Meats
Having a tough time finding 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised meats in your area? Check out US Wellness Meats for everything from beef, lamb, and bison to pork, poultry, seafood and organ meats at great prices, delivered straight to your door.
Thrive Market is also a really great resource for AIP freezer staples. All of the foods they carry are non-GMO, and whenever possible, they carry organic options. You can also filter your search results by “values” such as AIP, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan, etc. which is really great for finding new AIP items. Thrive also carries many items other than freezer and pantry staples, such as cleaning products, personal care products, and supplements, so you can cut down on trips to the grocery store even more. Plus, all of their items are 25-50% off what you’d find at other retailers, so you’ll save some dough! Click here for 40% off your first order and a FREE gift when you join Thrive Market!
One of my favorite options for quick grab-and-go AIP freezer meals is PaleoOnTheGo. Their entire menu is AIP friendly, and their pre-made frozen meals are actually the best tasting frozen meals I have ever tasted – AIP or not. I like to buy a big bundle at a time and keep them in my freezer for those evenings when I’m too exhausted to cook, or if I know I won’t have time to cook. Click this link and use discount code HHNfor $15 off your order!
Captain Soup is another delicious option for pre-made AIP freezer meals to have on hand for those last-minute dinner emergencies. They make all of their soups with organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, and nutrient-dense, pasture-raised bone broth! They have five different soups that are AIP friendly, and they are all amazingly delicious! Perfect for stocking up. Click this link for $10 off your first order.
Blog posts to read next:
Here are some more AIP resources I think you will enjoy!
A Final Note
Hopefully this AIP freezer staples list is helpful and doesn’t overwhelm you. Don’t feel like you need to purchase every single thing on it, especially if you don’t have the means to do so, or the space to store it all. Buy a few basics and gradually try new things as you learn more about what works for you.
Did you stock up on anything I don’t have in my list? Let me know in the comments!