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 134: Orthorexia with Imei Hsu

What's the line between a healing diet and a harmful one? Orthorexia is a term that was first coined in the late 1990’s by Dr. Steven Bratman. It refers to an obsessive focus on healthy eating that becomes clinically impairing. This idea has become controversial in the paleo autoimmune community. Does a healing diet automatically set you up for orthorexia? What does it mean to eat in a way that supports your health? And what does it look like when this goal becomes unhealthy? My guest is...


Episode 133: The Gut Microbiome with Dr. Lucy Mailing

There’s a community of 38 trillion microorganisms living in and on our bodies, and most of them reside in our gut. That's equal to the number of cells in the human body. By this definition, we are only 50% human. This is why gut health has such a huge impact on human health, and research in this area is exploding. What does the science say about the intersection between the gut microbiome and autoimmune health? Where can we apply that knowledge in our own lives? And what are some common...


Episode 132: Sex and Autoimmune Disease with Kate Wolovsky

Sexual intimacy can be challenging even in healthy couples. It’s an area that many of us aren’t comfortable talking about, but when you add chronic illness, the obstacles increase exponentially. Depending on your condition, you might be experiencing extreme fatigue, chronic pain, limited range of motion, muscle spasms, disability, bowel issues, skin conditions, and more. It’s natural for this to have an impact on libido, body image, and relationships. My guest, Kate Wolovsky, is a mental...


Episode 131: Blood Sugar & Autoimmunity with Dr. Jeff Horacek

Blood sugar is one of the building blocks of life. It gives our cells the energy they need to do their jobs. Yet when our blood sugar gets too high, drops too low, or swings wildly between these extremes, it negatively impacts our health on multiple levels, including autoimmune health. In this podcast, we'll be taking a deep dive into this topic. What factors influence blood sugar levels? How can we tell if ours is out of balance? What are the common symptoms? What tests are helpful? And...


Episode 130: Long-Term Healing Diets

This episode marks the 5-year anniversary of this podcast! When I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate, I decided to invite 2 friends onto the show who have been following a healing diet for 5 years or more. But that doesn’t mean our diet today looks the same as it did on day 1 of this journey. We’ve personalized it over the years, learning what does and doesn’t work for our unique bodies. We’ve had setbacks and recoveries, and we’ve learned to navigate our bodies’ changing needs.


Episode 129: Resilience with Dr. Cynthia Li

Our topic today is Resilience, that ability to bounce back from life’s hardships. With autoimmune disease, we get lots of practice. Sometimes we feel strong and capable of overcoming suffering. Other times we feel beaten down and frightened by our body’s unpredictability. The good news is that resilience isn't something you either have or you don’t. Resilience is a trait we can nurture. My guest is Dr. Cynthia Li, a functional medicine physician who has autoimmune disease herself. The...


Episode 128: Best Of – Mind-Body Nutrition with Marc David

Many of you know that July was an intense month for me. I caught pneumonia, and my father passed away. I've been taking time to focus on my health and my family. That means that I'm taking a short break from recording new podcast episodes and sharing favorites from the archives that you might have missed. This episode tops that list! At its basic level, food is sustenance. It fuels us for life. But food is more than just a source of energy. Emotions surround the experience of eating as well....


Episode 127: Best Of – Social Lives on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

Those of you who follow me on social media may have heard that July was an intense month for me. I caught pneumonia, and my father passed away. I've been taking time to focus on my health and my family. That means that instead of recording new episodes this summer, I'm choosing some of my favorites from the archives that you might have missed. While I'm taking some downtime, this is usually a season of barbecues, picnics, weddings, festivals, and more social events overall. This might be...


Episode 126: Hashimoto’s AIP Medical Study

I have some exciting research to share! It's the first medical study looking at the paleo autoimmune protocol as an intervention for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The results were impressive! In this episode, Dr. Rob Abbott and Angie Alt (the research team) give us all the details.


Episode 125: The Pursuit of Perfect Health with Dr. Terry Wahls

Most of you know Dr. Terry Wahls' story. She is a physician who developed multiple sclerosis, and in spite of the best that conventional medicine had to offer, she ended up confined to a tilt-recline wheelchair. She started to research nutrition and lifestyle interventions, eventually creating The Wahls Protocol. She's no longer in a wheelchair, and is now able to ride a bicycle to and from work. That said, she's not cured, even though she's often presented that way in the media. In this...


Episode 124: The Best & Worst Things People Say When You Have Autoimmune Disease

An interesting part of the human experience is that when we’re going through something really difficult, people are often at a loss about what to say and can end up saying some really unhelpful and hurtful things. But occasionally, people say exactly the right thing. In this episode, we vent about some of the most outrageous things we’ve been told and celebrate some of the most helpful. I also offer a broader perspective on why people might say cruel things in the first place, and finish...


Episode 123: The Forgiveness Controversy with Dr. Harriet Lerner

There’s some compelling research that suggests the inability to forgive leads to negative health consequences, and the practice of forgiveness can have health benefits. When it comes to small injustices, this seems relatively easy to do. But what if you have experienced something that you find unforgiveable? Is forgiveness a requirement for healing? The pressure to forgive can feel like getting re-victimized all over again. In this podcast, we take a deep look at this topic. My guest is...


Episode 122: Brain Fog with Dr. Tim Gerstmar

Do you ever feel like your brain isn’t working quite right – that you can’t remember things, or think clearly, or focus and make decisions? That simple tasks feel challenging, and complex tasks feel impossible? This cluster of symptoms is often called Brain Fog, because that’s what it feels like – that there’s a fog bank surrounding your brain, making everything more difficult. It’s also common to feel physically clumsy on brain fog days as well. In this podcast, we’re doing a deep dive into...


Episode 121: Time Management with Laura Vanderkam

In this podcast, we’re taking a big picture look at time. How can we gain clarity on where our time goes? How can we start to feel in control of time, rather than buffeted by it? What makes it slow down in some moments and speed up in others? Is it possible to be productive and feel relaxed at the same time? And how can we flex our expectations and our schedules when our health fluctuates? My guest is Laura Vanderkam, an expert on the subject of maximizing time.


Episode 120: Scleroderma with Dr. Aly Cohen

In this podcast episode, we take a detailed look at Scleroderma. 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. Aly Cohen. Her approach combines the wisdom of Western and Eastern Medicine together.


Episode 119: Fatigue with Andrea Nakayama

Fatigue is a common side effect of autoimmune disease, but it can have many other root causes as well. For some people, it's mild and manageable. For others, it can be disabling. In this episode, we take a detective's perspective on fatigue. If symptoms are messengers, what is our fatigue trying to communicate about our own unique body? And how can we restore our vitality again? My guest is Andrea Nakayama, a world-renowned functional nutritionist, educator and speaker, whose mission is to...


Episode 118: Boundaries and the Art of Saying No with Dr. Nicole LePera

When we're trying to heal from chronic illness, self-care takes time – everything from preparing homemade meals, to taking time out to manage our stress, to prioritizing sleep at night. If we say yes to these things, we will need to say no to other things. The opposite is also true: if we don’t set boundaries, we won’t have the time we need to take care of ourselves. But today's podcast isn’t just about time. Boundaries are also about respect and relationships. How do we want to be treated?...


Episode 117: Eating AIP in a Non-Paleo Home

The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol is a challenging diet under the best of circumstances. But when you’re the only one in your household following this diet, and you’re surrounded by foods you cannot eat, how do you manage? Today, I’ve invited three people onto the podcast to share their experience with us. They all have autoimmune disease. They all went AIP to improve their symptoms and maximize their health. And they're all making this work in non-paleo households. We talk about everything from...


Episode 116: The Gut-Brain Connection with Dr. Lili Wagner

Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach when you were nervous? Or lost your appetite when deeply grieving? We’ve all felt emotions in our gut – there’s even the common saying “gut feeling.” In fact, the more relaxed and content we feel when we eat, the better we digest our food. But did you know the gut-brain connection also goes the other way? That the food we eat can impact how our brain functions? Inflammation in the gut can result in brain fog, mood swings, and even mental health...


Episode 115: Easy AIP with Mickey Trescott

This episode is all about making the paleo autoimmune protocol easier to follow. We share our best tips for easy breakfasts, easy lunches, easy dinners, easy snacks, easy sleep, and easy stress management. My guest, Mickey Trescott, is one of the women behind the Autoimmune Wellness blog and podcast, the author of three AIP cookbooks, and a pioneer in the paleo AIP community.