Episode 32: Leaky Gut with Dr. Alessio Fasano

Episode 32 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Leaky Gut with Dr. Alessio Fasano

The Connection Between Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

Episode 32 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Leaky Gut with Dr. Alessio FasanoDr. Alessio Fasano is a gastroenterologist and a world-renowned expert on intestinal permeability (aka “leaky gut) and it’s connection to autoimmune disease.

In order for autoimmunity to be triggered in the body, three precursors need to take place: (1) genetic vulnerability (2) environmental triggers (3) leaky gut.

Then, once autoimmunity is triggered, the body attacks more than just the part associated with the diagnosis (i.e. joints in RA, thyroid in Hashimoto’s, skin in Psoriasis). It also attacks the intestinal lining, creating a vicious cycle.

Today, we’ll learn more about this complex condition and how it affects our autoimmune health.
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Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #98

Welcome to the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable - A Weekly Recipe Sharing Event!

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” ~ Ruth Reichl

Welcome to the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable!

If you’re not familiar with the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP), check out my series of articles. In a nutshell, it’s an elimination diet, designed to help people with autoimmune disease identify food intolerances. When you’re on the protocol, it can be hard to find recipes, because so many food groups are excluded. This recipe roundtable is here to help! Continue reading

To Ghee or Not to Ghee

To Ghee or Not To Ghee | Phoenix Helix

“Things are not always what they seem.”
~ Phaedrus

Is Ghee a Healthy Fat for People with Autoimmune Disease?

I used to think the answer was a simple, “Yes.” After all, it’s promoted as being allergen-free and allowed on a number of healing protocols including The Whole 30, The Wahls Protocol and The GAPS Diet. When it’s made from organic and grass-fed butter, it’s nutrient-dense, containing many fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial fatty acids. In fact, when I did the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) back in 2012, I never removed ghee from my diet, even though it is supposed to be excluded on the AIP. I’m a questioner, and I don’t follow rules that don’t make sense to me. I figured it’s allergen-free and nutrient-dense, so why skip it? However, over the years, more and more people reached out to me to share their negative experiences with ghee. Many had autoimmune reactions, even though the allergens were purportedly removed. They wanted to know what was happening. So did I. I did my own test, removing ghee from my diet for 60 days, fully expecting to be able to reintroduce it successfully. Instead, after eating just 1 tablespoon with dinner, my wrist flared for the first time in years. So, clearly my body identified ghee as dairy as well. What’s going on? Continue reading

Episode 31: Healthy Habits – Gretchen Rubin Book Club

Episode 31 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healthy Habits - Gretchen Rubin Book ClubThe Secret to Making Healthy Changes

Why do some people seem to develop good habits with ease, while others only make it a day or two before reverting to their old ways? Why can we make some changes easily, while others seem impossible? When it comes to our goal of reversing autoimmunity through diet and lifestyle, the stakes are high. Our choices have a huge impact on how our disease expresses itself. For many of us, it’s the difference between disability and a full and functional life.

So, what’s the secret? Gretchen Rubin is an expert on habit change, and she says it all comes down to knowing ourselves. She developed a a theory called, “The Four Tendencies.” She says that each of us falls into one of four “habit personalities” and by knowing which we are, we can choose strategies that support (rather than thwart) our efforts to change. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Knowing ourselves is the key. She writes about this in detail in her book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives.

Today, I invite 4 guests onto the show (including myself). We each have a different one of the Four Tendencies, and we talk about how that has effected our ability to make healthy changes in our lives, specifically when it comes to autoimmune healing.

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How Do I Get the Support of Family and Friends?

How Do I Get the Support of Family and Friends? | Phoenix Helix

“I didn’t want to upset my loved ones, but I couldn’t carry this alone.” ~ Julie Flygare

Gathering Your Tribe

Reversing autoimmune disease through diet and lifestyle is something no one can do for us. We’re the ones who decide the food we eat, what time we go to bed, how hard we push ourselves, whether we take time to de-stress. Yet, we don’t walk this world alone. We’re surrounded by friends, family and co-workers who are powerful influences on our lives. It’s a lot easier to stay on the healing path if we’re supported by those people, rather than thwarted by them. So, how do we get that support?
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Episode 30: Healing Stories 3

Episode 30 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 3
Real-Life Stories of Reversing Autoimmune Disease

In every podcast episode, I ask my guests to share their personal healing story before we dive into the podcast topic, but there’s something especially inspiring about the episodes that are dedicated 100% to healing stories. This is the third such episode, and they remain some of the most popular podcasts to date.

In the introduction to every podcast, I say this: “While there is no cure for autoimmune disease, the choices we make every day can have a powerful impact on how we feel.” That’s what reversing autoimmune disease is all about: taking our health into our own hands, reducing our symptoms and reclaiming abilities we thought we had lost forever.

Today, I interview five people, each with a different autoimmune disease than those shared in the other Healing Stories podcasts:  Episode 1 and Episode 14. When it comes to reversing autoimmune disease, there is no one definition of success. Some people have achieved a medication-free remission. Others have reduced their medication substantially. Most importantly, everyone has reduced their symptoms and reclaimed vitality and joy in living. We celebrate every healing journey.

Episode 30 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 3
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The Great Paleo AIP Pumpkin Recipe Roundup (70 Recipes!)

The Great Paleo AIP Pumpkin Recipe Roundup (70 Recipes!) | Phoenix Helix

“Have you come to sing pumpkin carols?”
~ Linus in The Great Pumpkin

The Basics

Homemade Pumpkin Puree from The Healthy Foodie
Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend from Sweet Treats


Harry Potter’s ‘Butter Beer’ from Tessa the Domestic Diva
Pumpkin Cider ‘Latte’ from Paleo Parents (substitute mace for the nutmeg)
Pumpkin Spice Natte from Slightly Lost Girl
Pumpkin Spice Natte from Joy-Filled Nourishment
Spiced Pumpkin Tea Latte from Sweet Treats
Maple Pumpkin Collagen Shake from Healing Family Eats
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie from The Primordial Table
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake from It’s Me Charlotte
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Episode 29: SIBO with Dr. Melanie Keller

Episode 29 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: SIBO with Dr. Melanie Keller

What Is Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)?

Episode 29 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: SIBO with Dr. Melanie KellerSIBO stands for Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth. Having bacteria in our bodies is a normal state of being. In fact, 90% of our body is made up of microbes. So what’s the problem with finding them in the small intestine? Well, they don’t belong there, at least not in high numbers. Whereas the large intestine is the natural home for billions of microbes, a healthy small intestine only has about 100,000. So, basically, they’ve migrated. Have you ever dealt with invasive plants in your yard? They tend to take over and cause all sorts of problems. The same thing happens in the small intestine. In today’s podcast, we’ll discuss why this happens, how it relates to autoimmune disease, and the most effective tests and treatments. Our guest, Dr. Melanie Keller, has battled SIBO herself and now specializes in its treatment professionally.
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Top 5 Mistakes People Make Reintroducing Foods

Top 5 Mistakes People Make Reintroducing Foods | Phoenix Helix

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

1. Doing Them Too Soon, or Not Doing Them At All

The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) has two phases. Elimination and Reintroductions. The elimination phase lasts a minimum of 30 days, and sometimes up to a year. How long should it last for you? That depends on two things: First, you want to see clear improvement in your autoimmune symptoms before beginning the reintroduction process. That’s how you’ll be able to tell when you’re having a food reaction – it will cause symptoms to reappear temporarily. If you haven’t seen any improvement yet, you’re flying blind.

Second, you want to be emotionally ready for reintroductions. Some people feel so good on the AIP that they fear the reintroduction process. It’s OK to wait until you are looking forward to expanding your diet again. Just be sure to focus on nutrient-density in the meantime, eating as wide a variety of foods as possible within the AIP template. However, strict AIP isn’t meant to last forever. The more restricted our diet, the greater our risk for developing both nutrient deficiencies and disordered eating patterns. So, make it your goal to do reintroductions at some point. Continue reading

Episode 28: History of the AIP with Robb Wolf

Episode 28 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: History of the AIP with Robb Wolf

Honoring The Paleo Movement’s Ancestors

Many of us have had our lives transformed through the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), including Robb Wolf who has reversed ulcerative colitis. While it’s not yet a mainstream healthcare approach, it’s gaining momentum and visibility worldwide. It’s been reported in mainstream news outlets like USA Today, and Sarah Ballantyne’s book, The Paleo Approach, became a New York Times Best Seller. At the same time, though, we’ve forgotten a lot of the pioneers who did the research we’re using in our own health journeys today. I invited Robb onto this podcast to help us honor them. Robb was doing paleo in the 90’s when very few people had heard of it. He became Loren Cordain‘s graduate student and delved into the research by his side. Loren is considered “the grandfather of the AIP.” Today, we’ll learn more about Robb, Loren, and the other researchers who first discovered the power of diet and lifestyle to reverse autoimmune disease, as well as the ones proving it through clinical trials today.

Episode 28 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: History of the AIP with Robb Wolf
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