100% Paleo Restaurants

100% Paleo Restaurants | Phoenix Helix

“But none of that really mattered. I had found my tribe. It felt like a family reunion for the family I’d never really known, a homecoming at the place where I was always meant to be but hadn’t known how to find.” ~ David Levithan

Remember How It Felt to Relax in a Restaurant?

Do you remember that feeling? Deciding on the way home from work that you were too tired to cook, calling a loved one to join you, and sighing with contentment as you settle into the restaurant chair. You open the menu and have more options than you can possibly eat, with no fear of retribution. It’s just about enjoying the food, the conversation, and the service. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that again? That’s the goal of this guide.

When you’re on a healing diet, restaurants are no longer safe havens. They are a minefield of potential food triggers, menus filled with food you can’t eat, and staff who often don’t understand your needs even when you try to make them clear. One wonderful benefit to the growing paleo movement is that there are culinary entrepreneurs among us! However, they are rare. I’m honoring them in this post. Continue reading

Episode 64: Epigenetics 101 with Bailey Kirkpatrick

Episode 64: Epigenetics 101 with Bailey Kirkpatrick

Are Our Genes Our Destiny?

We are each born with a unique DNA footprint that does indeed influence our life. It’s why we often look like our parents (or a forgotten great aunt). It contains both our health strengths and vulnerabilities. It can even influence behavior (the worrier vs. warrior gene, for example). But here’s something very important: our genes are interactive. The choices we make every day influence which genes get turned on and which genes get turned off. This is the science of epigenetics, and it’s why the paleo diet and lifestyle can have such a powerful influence on our health. For example, when exposed to an inflammation trigger (like food intolerance, lack of sleep, stress, etc.) several hundred genes get activated that increase inflammation bodywide. Similarly, when we eat a diet that supports our health, get plenty of sleep, and take time to address the stress in our lives, we are turning those same genes off again. How cool is that? It’s incredibly empowering. Today’s podcast dives into the science of epigenetics in detail with science writer Bailey Kirkpatrick from the website: What Is Epigenetics?

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Is a Healing Crisis Really Healing?

Is a Healing Crisis Really Healing? | Phoenix Helix

“Although the world is full of suffering,
it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
~ Helen Keller

The Theory

In theory, a “healing crisis” is when your symptoms get worse before they get better, and this is a sign that you are healing. It’s also called a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction or “die-off” (indicating the die-off of pathogenic organisms in the body.) Continue reading

Episode 63: Exercise and Autoimmune Disease

Episode 63 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Exercise and Autoimmune DiseaseNo One-Size-Fits-All Approach

With  autoimmune disease, the right exercise has the potential to improve our health, but the wrong exercise can cause an autoimmune flare. Our needs will often change from month to month, maybe even from day to day. So, today, I’m going to share my own experience of how my exercise needs have changed since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I’m also going to interview 3 other people about their exercise experiences as well. One guest has multiple sclerosis, one has Crohn’s disease, and the other has Hashimoto’s. My hope with this podcast is that we can all learn from and inspire each other. There is no “one size fits all” approach. The wisdom exists in tuning into our bodies and choosing to move in a way that makes us feel better instead of worse.

Episode 63 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Exercise and Autoimmune Disease Continue reading

The Great Paleo AIP Book & Cookbook Roundup

The Great Paleo AIP Book & Cookbook Roundup | Phoenix Helix

“Your library is your paradise.” ~ Desiderius Erasmus


When I first started the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) on 1/1/13, there were no books for me to reference. A few people like myself had found some basic information on the internet and were figuring it out as we went along. Many of us became online friends and that’s actually how I met Mickey & Angie from Autoimmune Wellness  and Sarah from The Paleo Mom. It’s amazing how much has changed since then. There are now 30+ resources created specifically to help people succeed on the AIP. I’m jealous, my friends! There are now simple guides to answer your questions, flavorful cookbooks to keep your taste buds tantalized, and support groups with thousands of people doing the protocol right alongside you! This is the sign of a powerful grassroots movement. People with autoimmune disease aren’t content to suffer. We are phoenixes rising from the ashes, lifting each other up and showing each other the way. I am so honored to be part of this community with each and every one of you.

I thought it was time to celebrate how far we’ve come, and to collect all of these fabulous AIP resources in one blog post. Tell me: Which ones are your personal favorites, and which ones are you adding to your wish list? Continue reading

Episode 62: Preventing Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Tom O’Bryan

Episode 62 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Preventing Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Tom O'Bryan

Identifying Yourself on the Autoimmune Spectrum

I have rheumatoid arthritis – a diagnosed autoimmune disease, and most of my readers have autoimmune diagnoses as well. But what if you have symptoms with no known cause? You’ve gone from doctor to doctor, and they simply tell you: “Your lab tests are normal.” While in some ways this is good news, it can also be incredibly disheartening. You have no answers and no direction about what to do next.  Dr. Tom O’Bryan is an expert on the development of autoimmune disease, and he writes about the autoimmune spectrum. The autoimmune process begins in our bodies long before enough damage has occurred to warrant a diagnosis. His goal is to help people intervene at this point (or even before they have symptoms) and prevent autoimmune disease before it takes hold. That’s what today’s podcast is all about.

Episode 62 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Preventing Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Tom O'Bryan Continue reading

The Paleo AIP Cold & Flu Survival Guide

The Paleo AIP Cold & Flu Survival Guide | Phoenix Helix

“A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash

Nipping It In The Bud

There’s a very brief window when a cold or flu virus first attempts to settle into your body when you have a chance to evict it completely. It’s all about paying attention and acting quickly: Continue reading

Episode 61: Healing Stories 4

Episode 61 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 4Real-Life Stories of Reclaiming Autoimmune Health

If you’re a regular listener of my podcast, you know that I always start my shows with personal stories, where my guests share their health journeys from rock bottom to reclaiming a vital life. But at a least once a year, I dedicate an episode to back-to-back healing stories, and I make an effort to speak to people with different autoimmune diagnoses each time. Today, I have 4 guests who are sharing their experience of reclaiming a vital life with autoimmune disease. Let’s inspire each other!

And If you’d like to hear the prior Healing Stories podcasts, check out: Episode 1, Episode 14 and Episode 30.

Episode 61 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healing Stories 4 Continue reading

Episode 60: Transitioning from Vegetarian to Paleo

Episode 60 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Transitioning from Vegetarian to Paleo

Ethics, Nutrition and Navigating Change

Many people come to the paleo community after years of veganism or vegetarianism. The reason is usually a health crisis, which can be shocking after eating a diet you thought was healthy for years. Some people embrace meat again without difficulty, but others struggle with ethical concerns, taste and texture issues, and even a loss of identity. In today’s podcast, I interview Registered Dietitian Diana Rodgers on the nutritional difference between these diets, and how to be an Ethical Omnivore. I also interview nutritionist Kinsey Jackson on her personal journey transitioning from vegetarian to paleo. It was a difficult change for her, but led to dramatic improvements in her autoimmune health.

Episode 60 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Transitioning from Vegetarian to Paleo Continue reading

50 Paleo AIP Holiday Gift Ideas

50 Paleo AIP Holiday Gift Ideas | Phoenix Helix

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart.” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Pleasure of Giving

I’ve always been someone who loved finding the perfect gift, whether small or large, homemade or purchased. This blog post covers all of those categories, with a focus on autoimmune health. I had a blast putting it together, and found some great items for my friends and a few wish list items for myself as well. P.S. – The photo above is a little snow fairy I made last winter. Happy Holidays, everyone! Continue reading