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 59: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

Episode 59 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

Do We Have the Power to Stop Our Own Suffering?

Autoimmune disease and suffering often go hand-in-hand, physically, mentally and emotionally. What we don’t realize is how much pain comes from our minds – the stories we tell ourselves about our experience. This isn’t to say physical suffering isn’t real. But as Byron Katie says in this podcast, it often accounts for a small percentage compared to the anguish created by our minds. Byron Katie says she has one job: to teach people how to end their own suffering. As she guides people through the powerful process of inquiry she calls The Work, people find that their stressful beliefs—about life, other people, and themselves—radically shift and their lives are changed forever. She has taught this technique to millions of people around the world, and is the author of six books, including the bestselling Loving What is – 4 Questions That Can Change Your Life.

Episode 59 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Self-Inquiry and Freedom from Suffering with Byron Katie

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What Is Gluten Cross-Reactivity?

What Is Gluten Cross-Reactivity? | Phoenix Helix

“I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.” ~ Johnny Depp

The Theory

Since many people with celiac disease continue to feel sick, even when they eliminate gluten from their diet, scientists have been looking for the reason why. One theory is cross-reactivity. What does that mean? When your body develops an allergy to gluten, it creates antibodies that remember gluten’s protein structure. If you eat gluten, those antibodies set off an inflammatory response. Some other foods have similar protein structures to gluten, and you may react to those as if they were gluten. It’s basically a case of mistaken identify. It’s important to note, however, that cross-reactivity isn’t something that happens to everyone. And very few people cross-react to all of the potential foods. It’s simply something to explore when giving up gluten isn’t enough. Continue reading

Episode 50: Can Hypnotherapy Treat Autoimmune Symptoms? With Kerry Jeffery

Episode 50 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Can Hypnotherapy Treat Autoimmune Symptoms? With Kerry Jeffery

What is Hypnotherapy?

Many of us have misconceptions based on television or stage performances of hypnosis. Real-life hypnotherapy is very different. It isn’t mind control. You are always aware and in control of your behavior. Rather, it’s a therapeutic technique that uses the power of positive suggestion to bring about subconscious change to our thoughts, feelings and behavior. It has potential to help both psychological and physiological problems: everything from anxiety to addiction, from irritable bowel syndrome to chronic pain.

Today, we talk about its application to life with autoimmune disease, and how it might be an effective tool to help us manage our stress and even alleviate chronic symptoms. My guest is clinical hypnotherapist, Kerry Jeffery. She has autoimmune disease herself and uses hypnotherapy in her own healing journey. She also works with people professionally worldwide.

Episode 50 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Can Hypnotherapy Treat Autoimmune Symptoms? With Kerry Jeffery

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Episode 44: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand

Episode 44 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand

When You Can’t Avoid Stress, How Well Do You Manage It?

Stress is intimately connected to autoimmune expression. Many of you have experienced this yourself, when a high-stress situation kicked off an autoimmune flare – or even an autoimmune diagnosis. While we can take steps to strive for a lower-stress life, the truth is that part of life is experiencing tough times. Whether it’s aging parents, troubled teens, the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the death of someone we love, or our own autoimmune struggles, we can’t avoid stress altogether. So, that means we need to have tools to manage that stress so that it doesn’t negatively impact our health. That’s what today’s show is all about.

Evan Brand is a functional medicine practitioner and the author of the book, Stress Solutions. He’s here to teach us how to take care of ourselves through the ups and downs of living.

Episode 44 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Art of Stress Management with Evan Brand Continue reading

Episode 40: The Primal Connection with Mark Sisson

Episode 40 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Primal Connection with Mark Sisson

What Is The Primal Connection?

We have a special guest on the show today – Mark Sisson, the paleo leader and voice behind Mark’s Daily Apple, and the author of many books including The Primal Connection. One of the things I’ve always loved about Mark’s message is that health is about more than just food. It’s about every aspect of life. The Primal Connection explores the disconnect between modern life and the life of our ancestors – how we live completely differently now. We can’t go back in time, but we can learn from our past. Today, we talk about what aspects of ancestral living we can incorporate into our modern lives, and what we can gain from doing so, in terms of health and happiness.

Episode 40 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Primal Connection with Mark Sisson 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.

Episode 31 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healthy Habits - Gretchen Rubin Book Club Continue reading

Episode 10: Overcoming Self-Sabotage with Dr. Judy Tsafrir

Episode 10 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Breaking Painful Habits

Episode 10 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Overcoming Self-SabotageI get so many emails from readers who have learned how food and lifestyle affects their body, but continue to make choices that cause autoimmune flares. When they email me, they’re in a lot of pain physically and emotionally, and they’re desperate to stop this pattern. It breaks my heart. So, this podcast is dedicated to all of you. I’m joined by two guests who have both personal and professional wisdom to share.

Dr. Judy Tsafrir is a psychiatrist who specializes in nutritional approaches to healing, using the GAPS Diet and the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol with her patients. Today, she’ll be teaching us what’s going on in our bodies and brains, when we sabotage our own health. Rory Linehan is the blogger behind The Paleo PI. He has personal experience overcoming self-sabotage and will be sharing his story with us today.

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The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure

The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure | Phoenix Helix

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.”
~ Michael J. Fox

My 2 Year Healing Diet Anniversary

On June 15, 2012, I started the GAPS diet. I was living a life of excruciating pain and disability. I didn’t know how I could survive each day, never mind a lifetime with rheumatoid arthritis. The GAPS diet was magic for me, not because it brought overnight healing (it didn’t), but because it started me on the path to healing. Within a week, my symptoms stopped getting worse, and very slowly, started to get better. That’s what reversing autoimmune disease is all about. It’s life-changing.

Here’s the truth, though: my goal wasn’t reversal; it was cure. I chose GAPS because it is advertised as a temporary diet, one that heals most people within six months to two years. Obviously I was hoping for 6 months, but I was sure I could do it within 2 years. Interestingly, the word “cure” is never used in the book, but it’s certainly implied. I held tight to that promise as I dove into the biggest challenge of my life.

When I plateaued in my healing at 6 months and transitioned to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, I stopped seeing the diet as temporary. I understood that paleo is a life change, not a short detour that would return me to my old life. I let go of my wish for a cure (or at least I thought I did), and on my one-year healing diet anniversary, I simply felt grateful for how much healing I had achieved.

This year, as my two-year healing diet anniversary approached, something surprising happened. Instead of feeling grateful, I would find myself crying for no reason, carrying a sadness I didn’t understand. It took me a while to realize it was a deep grief over not being cured. Intellectually, I had accepted that there was no cure, but my body still held onto that wish. Approaching the magic GAPS “2 year” mark brought it to the surface. In spite of my healing, in spite of my progress, I can’t shed RA like a snake sheds its skin. It’s part of me now, and that’s hard to accept. I remember that excruciating pain very well, and when you know your body can do that, I don’t think you ever get over the fear of it happening again.  I’m 95% better, which is an impressive statistic. RA used to be a scream inside my body, and now it’s only a whisper. I AM grateful for that, but it’s a scary whisper. Continue reading

Introduction to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)

Introduction to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) | Phoenix Helix

Introduction to Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) | Phoenix Helix

“Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.” ~ Louise Hay

What is EFT?

While you’ll always find great recipes on this site, I’m also a big believer in the mindbody connection. So far, I’ve written articles on meditation, heartmath, journaling, and the power of an internet-free day. The holiday season seems like an especially good time to introduce the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Have you heard of it? I have friends and colleagues who use it, and Dr. Mercola specifically recommends it to all of his patients with rheumatoid arthritis as a necessary part of their healing protocol. EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that combines the physical tapping of specific points on your body with verbal affirmations. The goal is to clear emotional blocks from your body, bringing your mind and body into balance, thereby releasing blocks to healing. Here’s a video with a quick demonstration: Continue reading