Are You Eating Enough Food to Heal Your Body?

Are You Eating Enough Food to Heal Your Body? | Phoenix Helix

“If you’re nutritionally deficient, you will create disease, there’s no escaping it.” ~ Dr. Terry Wahls

Fear of Food

Look at the joy in that little girl’s face. She is loving that peach! When you have autoimmune disease and choose food as medicine, sometimes that joy gets replaced with fear. When I first discovered the connection between food intolerance and rheumatoid arthritis pain, I went through a period of being afraid every time I sat down to eat. Finding the paleo diet was a gift, because it gave me a template of safe foods to enjoy. When I hit a healing plateau, I turned to the autoimmune protocol and learned that dairy and nightshades were inflammation triggers for me. I stopped eating them, and my flares disappeared altogether. Some people find they need to restrict further to feel their best, reducing their intake of FODMAPs or oxalates, for example. Are you seeing the pattern? In our journeys to heal, the first thing we do is eliminate foods that are the problem. The question is, are we also focusing on the foods that are the solution? Continue reading

Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #47

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

Episode 03: The Autoimmune Protocol with Sarah Ballantyne

Episode 3 of Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Autoimmune Protocol with Sarah Ballantyne

The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

Episode 3 of Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Autoimmune Protocol with Sarah BallantyneIn the first episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast, we shared real-life examples of what reversing autoimmune disease looks like. The second episode delved into all things paleo – what we eat and why – and busted some common nutrition myths.

Today, we discuss the paleo autoimmune protocol. I’m joined be THE expert, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. She shares her personal healing story, gives an overview of the AIP, and takes a big picture look at the scientific basis for how and why it works. The AIP can be hard, so it’s really helpful to understand the reasoning behind it. Get ready to geek out on some science! Continue reading

Angela’s Story

Angela's Story: Reversing Sjogren's Syndrome through the Paleo Diet.

“It may take a little time to get where you want to be, but if you pause and think for a moment, you will notice that you are no longer where you were. Do not stop—keep going.”
~ Rodolfo Costa.

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s moisture-producing glands. The most common symptoms are dry eyes and mouth, which may not sound like a big deal if you haven’t experienced them. The dryness is extreme, and it can also affect moisture throughout the body: the skin, joints, organs, blood vessels, and nervous system. Because the symptoms are so varied, it takes an average of 5 years to get an accurate diagnosis. By the time Angela Gross was diagnosed, she was so disabled, she could no longer care for her children. Now, after 3 years on a ketogenic paleo diet, her symptoms are 85% gone, and she’s been able to reclaim her life. Continue reading

Episode 02: Paleo 101 with Liz Wolfe

Episode 2 of Phoenix Helix Podcast: Paleo 101 with Liz Wolfe

Paleo 101

Episode 2 of Phoenix Helix Podcast: Paleo 101 with Liz WolfeIn the first episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast, we shared real-life examples of what reversing autoimmune disease looks like. Today’s episode breaks down what paleo is all about. We talk about the foods we eat, the foods we avoid, and why. We also bust some myths, like, “Aren’t meat and saturated fat bad for you?” and “I thought vegetarianism was the healthiest diet.” If you’re new to this lifestyle, you probably have these questions yourself. If you’ve been eating this way for a while, you have undoubtedly heard these questions from family and friends. I’m joined by paleo expert, Liz Wolfe, to bust the myths and help everyone understand why paleo is a healthy way to live and eat. As always, I’ll be filtering all of this information through the lens of autoimmunity. Continue reading

Easy Crispy Duck Breast

Easy Crispy Duck Breast | Phoenix Helix

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


This might be the simplest recipe I’ve ever prepared, and the most delicious. My friend Karen was raving about the duck breast from US Wellness, and I’ve been testing out different ways to prepare it ever since. My first efforts in the oven weren’t very successful, so I decided to switch to a skillet. I scoured food magazines and cooking forums, gleaning various tips, and tried lots of different methods before settling on this combination. To me, it’s perfection, yielding a crispy skin, tender meat, and plenty of duck fat leftover for future cooking projects. Added bonus? It’s easy and fast to prepare. Continue reading

My New Podcast Dedicated to Autoimmune Healing

My New Podcast Dedicated to Autoimmune Healing | Phoenix Helix

“Education is the movement from darkness to light.” ~ Allan Bloom

A New Adventure

I’ve been a podcast listener for years, long before I found paleo. I live in the mountains where radio reception is poor, so when I discovered I can listen to all my favorite programs (and more), without static, at my convenience, I was thrilled! My commute to work filled with favorite shows like On Being, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, the Diane Rehm Show and more. Then I found paleo, and I added shows like Revolution Health Radio, Balanced Bites and The Paleo View. I’ve learned so much from those shows, and I still enjoy listening to them. But I noticed something – autoimmune healing comes up only occasionally, because none of those shows are 100% dedicated to this topic. So, I decided to start my own. It’s called Phoenix Helix: Dedicated to reversing autoimmune disease through the paleo diet and lifestyle. My goal is to expand on what I share here. I hope you’ll tune in and spread the word. Podcast lovers unite! Continue reading

AIP Meal Plan Review and Giveaway

AIP Meal Plan Review and Giveaway | Phoenix Helix

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” ~ A.A. Milne aka Winnie the Pooh

Update ~ the Giveaway has Ended

The winner was chosen with a random number generator on 9/12/2014. Congratulations to Carolyn! If you didn’t win, don’t despair. The meal plan is just $6.99 and worth every penny. You can purchase a copy here.

Taking What’s Hard and Making it Easy

Let’s face it – the paleo autoimmune protocol is hard to do. It’s a huge change to the way you’re used to eating, and many favorite foods are off the table. When first considering this diet, most of us ask, “What on earth can I eat?” It’s important to find an answer to that question, because otherwise, we wind up hungry, unprepared, and reaching for foods we shouldn’t.

The key to succeeding on the AIP (and with almost anything really) is to have a clear plan. The challenge is that many autoimmune diseases come with brain fog, which makes planning very difficult.

This is where this meal plan is a lifesaver. Christina Feindel, author of the blog A Clean Plate, has done all of the planning for you with her e-book 28 Days of AIP. As someone who followed the AIP herself for over a year, she’s very familiar with the protocol. She’s also Sarah Ballantyne’s assistant, making her an AIP expert professionally, as well. Continue reading

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage | Phoenix Helix

“Frugality includes all the other virtues.” ~ Cicero


One of the complaints you often hear about paleo is that it can be an expensive. There are no coupons for organic broccoli, and the “buy 1 get 1 free” sales at the grocery store feature junk food, not wildcaught salmon. Still, there are some foods that are incredibly good for you, while also being easy on the wallet. Cabbage is one of those foods. It goes a looooooooong way, and it’s even one of the Clean 15 which means you can pay conventional prices. I’ll be honest though – I never used to like cabbage. This recipe changed all of that. It’s one of my favorites, and when I cook this recipe, it feeds me and my husband (happily) for days. Continue reading

Sweet Coconut Shrimp Curry

Sweet Coconut Shrimp Curry | Phoenix Helix

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Quick and Delicious – My Favorite Combination

Being on a healing diet, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s a requirement when you need to make all of your meals from scratch. Some meals are worth a lot of effort, but my favorite recipes are the ones that are absolutely delicious, yet fast to prepare. This is one of those recipes. From start to finish, you can have this on the table in under 30 minutes. Continue reading