Phoenix Helix: Maximizing autoimmune health through the paleo diet and lifestyle-logo

Phoenix Helix: Maximizing autoimmune health through the paleo diet and lifestyle

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This bi-weekly podcast combines personal stories of the autoimmune experience, with interviews with experts in the field of health and nutrition. We are empowering ourselves to reclaim our lives! Questions? Please visit

This bi-weekly podcast combines personal stories of the autoimmune experience, with interviews with experts in the field of health and nutrition. We are empowering ourselves to reclaim our lives! Questions? Please visit
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This bi-weekly podcast combines personal stories of the autoimmune experience, with interviews with experts in the field of health and nutrition. We are empowering ourselves to reclaim our lives! Questions? Please visit




Episode 111: Best Of – Paleo Cooking and Baking Tips from the Masters

In support of my own autoimmune health, I'm taking a sabbatical for the rest of December and releasing two of my favorite episodes from the archives that you might have missed. Today's episode originally aired 3 years ago, but it's a timeless topic. When you first switch to a paleo diet, you lose a lot of your standard recipes, are introduced to a bunch of new ingredients, and it’s not uncommon to feel lost in your own kitchen. Today, we have expert paleo tour guides! Mel Joulwan is the...


Episode 110: Stem Cell Research with Dr. Jeffrey Cohen

Stem cell research is an exciting field with great potential for people with autoimmune disease. When we see the headlines, it’s easy to believe a cure is already here, especially since some commercial clinics promise that. In today's podcast, we separate the hope from the hype. We talk about current clinical trials and what they’re showing, the risks vs. benefits of these treatments, which autoimmune diseases are the focus of the studies, and what we still have to learn. My guest is Dr....


Episode 109: The Science of Gratitude with Dr. Fuschia Sirois

When I was at rock bottom with rheumatoid arthritis and experiencing excruciating pain on a daily basis, I started keeping a gratitude journal. That might seem like a strange time do this, but I deeply needed to focus on something beyond the pain and suffering that had become my entire world. And it helped! It didn’t alleviate my pain, but it did reduce my suffering, because it helped me remember there were still good things in my life. It turns out I’m not alone in feeling these benefits....


Episode 108: Trauma & Autoimmunity with Dr. Maureen Pierce

There's a strong link between trauma and autoimmunity. People who are diagnosed with a stress-related disorder like PTSD are 30-40% more likely to be diagnosed with autoimmune disease. Childhood trauma has an even bigger impact. And the shock of an autoimmune diagnosis combined with life-changing symptoms can qualify as a trauma itself. When it comes to maximizing our health, being aware of this connection is important. Thankfully, there are trauma therapies that can help rebuild our health...


Episode 107: Research – The Truth Behind the Headlines with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne

Here’s the deal – headlines are designed to grab our attention, and it’s not uncommon for reporters to simplify, exaggerate, or completely misrepresent a research study’s results. So, when we care about science and how our choices impact our health, how can we be sure we’re getting accurate information? Today, I’ve invited a research expert onto the podcast who many of you know and love: Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, also known as The Paleo Mom. She's going to teach us how to critique a scientific...


Episode 106: From Victim to Empowered with Sarah Kolman

Sometimes we view life in black and white terms – that there are people in the world who play the victim and others who overcome. We obviously hope we’re in the latter category, but here’s the thing: it’s not that simple. This is part of being human. We all find ourselves in victim mode once in a while, especially when life is hard. There is a time and place for throwing ourselves a pity party. The key is not getting stuck in that pattern. How do we identify signs that we are in a victim...


Episode 105: Perimenopause & Menopause with Dr. Lara Briden

There is a complex connection between hormone balance and autoimmune health. The more balanced our hormones, the more balanced our immune system (and vice versa). Over the years, I've dedicated many podcasts to this topic, and in this episode we'll be focusing on the menopausal transition. While smooth for some, this time of life can be rocky for others, leading to sleep issues, mood swings, hot flashes, and autoimmune flares. I'm 49 years old and currently in this transition myself. My...


Episode 104: DNRS with Annie Hopper

If you have symptoms without a diagnosis, or symptoms that remain in spite of all the interventions you’ve tried, this episode is for you. DNRS is a home therapy based on neuroplasticity. With chronic illness, symptoms can actually become wired into our brains, even when the triggers for those symptoms are removed. DNRS rewires the brain (and body) for health. It has helped people with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic Lyme disease, multiple chemical sensitivity, irritable...


Episode 103: Fasting with Dr. Amy Nett

There are lots of different types of fasts: juice fasts, water fasts, bone broth fasts, detox cleanses, intermittent fasting, etc. When is fasting helpful vs. harmful? Why does one person feel better after fasting and someone else feel significantly worse? Can we predict this in advance? For people with autoimmune disease, is this something we should try or something we should avoid? My guest, Dr. Amy Nett, will be answering these questions and more. She's an MD at the California Center for...


Episode 102: Lupus with Dr. Daniel Lewis

In this podcast episode, we take a detailed look at Lupus. How does it differ from other autoimmune diseases, and how is it diagnosed? Can diet and lifestyle make a difference? What are the best supplements? Is medication always necessary, and how do you make that decision? My guest is integrative rheumatologist Dr. Daniel Lewis. He has over 25 years of experience combining the best that conventional, alternative, and nutritional medicine have to offer.


Episode 101: Heavy Metals with Dr. Christopher Shade

When you start researching alternative health protocols, you quickly run across information on heavy metal toxicity. In this podcast, we delve into this topic in detail. What are heavy metals anyway, and how can they impact autoimmune disease? Is treatment always a good idea, or can it sometimes harm instead of help? I have a wonderful guest to answer these questions and more. Dr. Christopher Shade has a PhD in Environmental Metals Chemistry, and he has trained doctors worldwide on the...


Episode 100: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned About Life with Autoimmune Disease

This is the 100th episode of my podcast. That's quite a milestone! Instead of interviewing someone else today, I thought it would be fun to share what I've learned on my autoimmune journey so far. I developed rheumatoid arthritis in 2012, started blogging in 2013, and started podcasting in 2014. While I never would have chosen autoimmune disease, it has transformed my life in positive ways, alongside the really painful ones. I've come a long way from where I started, and I'm not done...


Episode 99: What Is a Digital Detox?

In modern life, most people feel insanely busy, but few realize that they’re spending hours each day on their phones. The average smartphone use in the United States is over 4 hours per day. What does this have to do with autoimmune disease? A healing diet and lifestyle takes a lot of time to implement, so right away, a smartphone is competing for that time. But it impacts our lives in other ways, too. Technology use has been linked to increases in anxiety, depression, feelings of social...


Episode 98: Gut Health with Dr. Michael Ruscio

How do we lay the foundation for a healthy gut, and therefore a healthy body? When diet alone isn't enough, what's the next step? Do you have to work with a healthcare practitioner, or are there things you can try at home? In this podcast, Dr. Michael Ruscio answers these questions and many more. He is a functional medicine clinician, educator and researcher, specializing in digestive and autoimmune health. He's also the author of a new book: Healthy Gut Healthy You.


Episode 97: Prescription for Joy

A Prescription for Joy might sound frivolous, but it’s actually an essential part of any healing protocol. What if it could be the key to remission? When we focus on autoimmune health, we rightly focus on things like diet, sleep, supplements and medication, but we often miss this very important piece. Life is meant to be enjoyed, even during challenging times - especially then. In this podcast, two people with autoimmune disease share their personal experience with filling this prescription,...


Episode 96: Liver Health with Dr. Alex Golden and Megan Blacksmith

Every day, our liver works hard on our behalf, and when it’s struggling, it can impact our health bodywide. Detoxing is all the rage, but the truth is, sometimes detox protocols can make you feel worse instead of better. Why is that? How can we support our liver naturally, without overwhelming it? And why is it essential to everything from hormone balance to autoimmune health? In this podcast, we'll be answering these questions and more. My guests are Dr. Alex Golden and functional...


Episode 95: Religious Traditions and the AIP

In this podcast, we’re talking about the intersection of religious traditions and the paleo autoimmune protocol. Many traditions – both sacred and secular – center around food. In addition, religions sometimes have specific rules concerning diet. When you’re diagnosed with autoimmune disease and change your diet to support your health, how do you maintain your connection to your religion, your culture, and your community? To answer that question, I’ll be interviewing 3 guests from 3...


Episode 94: Troubleshooting Sleep with Dan Pardi

Sleep is essential to our bodies' ability to heal. In fact, many of us have experienced autoimmune flares caused by lack of sleep. At the same time, autoimmune symptoms can make sleep difficult, creating a vicious cycle. So, what do we do? In this podcast, sleep expert Dan Pardi talks about the science of sleep: what happens when we're sleeping and how much we need at different stages in our lives. We also talk about foundational habits for a good night's sleep, and how to troubleshoot...


Episode 93: Are You Eating Enough to Heal? with Laura Schoenfeld, RD

When we first discover the connection between food and inflammation, it’s an empowering moment. The food we choose to eat can have a direct impact on our autoimmune symptoms, and that’s how food becomes medicine. However, sometimes the list of foods we remove grows and grows, and we make the mistake of thinking that food is the only cause of inflammation. It’s also common to not replace those calories with enough healthy foods that we can eat. This means we end up in a nutrition deficit....


Episode 92: The Pegan Diet with Dr Mark Hyman

Dr. Mark Hyman is one of the most well-known names in the functional medicine movement. He is a practicing family physician, a 10-time New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate. He has coined the term "peganism" and in this podcast, we talk about what that means, alongside other tips for autoimmune health.