Name: Mickey Trescott
Location: Portland, Oregon
How long have you been eating AIP? I first embarked on the elimination phase of AIP 8 years ago, in 2012.
Have you successfully reintroduced any foods? Yes! My earliest reintroductions were legumes with edible pods, most seed-based spices, and most nuts. Over time I was able to tolerate eggs, some gluten-free grains (like rice), and a few nightshades (like potatoes). It took me about 3 years to work through the ebbs and flows of the reintroduction process and land on the way I eat today.
How has the AIP changed your life? Simply, it gave me a framework to determine whether or not a food (or anything else!) is supporting my best health, or holding me back. I spent many years being closed off and disconnected to how my body truly felt in an effort to simply get by. Now that I understand that so many variables that affect my health are actually in my control, I can make better and more empowered decisions going forward.
Size of your kitchen: 140 square feet.
Tell us the story of your remodel. My husband Noah and I have spent the last 6 years living on my family’s farm. While we loved being a part of that adventure, we were ready to move closer to town and bought a home with the intention of remodeling the kitchen to serve as a studio for creating recipes, videos, and photographing my work.
When we started this project in January 2020, we had no idea what the year would bring, both for our personal lives, or the world. We had just completed gutting the space when the pandemic started picking up speed, and met many roadblocks over the 9 months it took us to complete the kitchen (like a catastrophic water leak after which we had to take out the kitchen we had just put in, remediate the damage, and rebuild!). It was a truly stressful experience that tested us in ways we hadn’t expected, and we often felt like we wouldn’t make it. I’m happy that it didn’t get the best of us and that I now have a beautiful kitchen to cook in!
Favorite thing about your kitchen: The solar-powered Velux Fresh-Air Skylights! When we bought our house, it had an incredibly dark kitchen space completely enclosed in walls and a suffocating, 7-foot ceiling. Part of our remodel involved installing a beam so that the walls could be removed, and then installing two skylights running the length of the kitchen to flood it with light. The install process was super straightforward and completed while our house was getting a new roof (If you want to see the before photos and progress of installing the skylights, check out my highlight on Instagram!).
The skylights really make my dream come true! I could not be happier with natural light all throughout the day, being able to adjust brightness using the light-filtering shades, the fact that they open to provide extra ventilation, and that I can put them on autopilot through the Velux Active system. This means the skylights can operate on a schedule or automatically when the air in the room gets too hot or stuffy. The skylights even have integrated solar panels on the outside, meaning that they don’t require any wiring to install and operate. They also have a sensor that tells them to close automatically when it rains (so important in the Pacific Northwest!). I’m obsessed with them, and they make my kitchen the space I want to be in all-day every-day! If you are interested in how skylights might bring some light into your home, definitely check out the free virtual design service
Did you lay out the kitchen in any particular way? I’m actually a big fan of smaller, thoughtfully laid out kitchen spaces. I don’t like to have to travel very far to get something accomplished in the kitchen. In this space, I prioritized counter space, which was increased by taking out the walls separating the kitchen and living/dining rooms and adding a large island. With this added storage space (and seating!), we were able to forgo upper cabinets for a bright and airy feel. All of my appliances have specific spots under the counters, as is my preference. Having a limited amount of storage also keeps me from purchasing additional tools and appliances I don’t actually need.
Since we were remodeling, I kept the sink where it was as the plumbing was already in place, and I love sinks under windows. I swapped the stove and the refrigerator, so that I could add an externally-ventilated hood on the exterior wall (and the previous stove was electric, so we had to run a gas line anyways). I love the flow of having the island to prep and stage things, the sink being somewhat close to the stove, and the fridge handy, with the island opposite to transfer ingredients.
Are there any cheap gadgets or little tools that you have found make AIP easier? My favorite cheap can’t-live-without-it gadget is a citrus squeezer. I love to use fresh citrus to lend acidity and this little tool makes a squeeze of lemon so easy.
Tell us about that stove! I have been dreaming about installing a BlueStar RNB range since I got the chance to cook on one during my personal chef days! I find droning sounds (like fans!) to trigger autoimmune symptoms like headaches, and I was impressed to find out that BlueStar makes one of the quietest ranges out there – seriously, I can’t even tell when it is on, and it is a dream. Even though they make all sorts of cast-iron burner configurations (like a griddle and French top), I chose six burners as I love to multi-task during my batch-cooking sessions (I have yet to fire ALL six up at once, but you just wait!).
The other other features I love are the large-capacity oven with easy-glide rack (already a game-changer for a lady who loves her cast-iron cookware!), how easy it is to clean up, and how neatly it integrates into a tall-person-friendly countertop. Lastly, the modern stainless look fits the vibe of my minimalist kitchen just perfectly (although they can also make them in beautiful colors – check out their gallery!). I LOVE this range and it has already exceeded my expectations in a few short weeks.
If someone was just starting to invest in some useful but more expensive kitchen tools, which one would you tell them to buy first? I love starting with the basics, and I would make sure you have high quality knives before you get into anything too specific. You are almost always going to need to chop to prepare food, and it can be quite a chore if you don’t have good knives that both fit your hand and are sharp! I only have two knives in my kitchen – I use this one for prepping vegetables, and this one for prepping meat. I keep them sharp using this knife sharpener.
Are there any tools or appliances that you’ve stopped using now that your diet has changed? One appliance I’ve been packing around since my vegan days is my juicer. I use it occasionally to juice fresh ginger and turmeric when I’m not feeling well, but other than that it goes mostly unused. If I ever come across a new appliance I really want and don’t have the space for, it will go!
Do you have any tips for those starting an elimination diet and setting up their kitchens for the first time? Start with the basics before buying anything big and expensive. Getting your knives sharpened, having a cutting board that doesn’t slide around on you, and some containers to store your leftovers can be huge steps. See how you actually use your space before investing a lot of energy or money into reconfiguring or buying new tools. As you gain experience cooking, and learn how you like to cook, it will become clear to you how to better set up your space. And don’t forget to have FUN!