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.

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Episode 56: Healthy Detoxification with Torea Rodriguez

Episode 56 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Healthy Detoxification with Torea Rodriguez

Supporting Our Bodies’ Natural Detox Pathways Without Overwhelming Them

Our bodies have natural detox pathways, but they are overwhelmed by modern life. More than 80,000 new chemicals have been released into the world since the industrial revolution 150 years ago, and most of them within the past 50 years. These chemicals have never been fully tested for their effects on our bodies or the environment. We are asking our bodies to detoxify far more than they were designed to handle, and this is an important element in reclaiming our health. That said, there are a lot of scams out there related to detox cleanses, powders and programs. Many people who try these end up feeling worse. So, in this podcast we’re going to learn how to detoxify in a healthy, sustainable way. My guest is Toréa Rodriguez. She is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and a Transformational Life Coach. She’s also a fellow autoimmune warrior.

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Episode 53: The Food as Medicine Documentary

Episode 53 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: The Food As Medicine Documentary

Using the Power of Film to Change the Definition of Medicine

Each and every one of us in the healing diet community is part of a grassroots movement, changing the way we treat chronic illness. When we see the connection between the choices we make and how we feel, we’re no longer victims to our illness but rather partners in our healing. This documentary is sharing this information with the masses.

Lenore and Mark Eklund both have careers in film and actually met working at FOX animation. When Lenore found that her Crohn’s disease medication made her feel worse instead of better, her husband encouraged her to try the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). The results were so dramatic that it inspired this film. However, the documentary isn’t about her personal journey. Instead, it follows the lives of three people just beginning to embark on a healing diet. One tries the paleo autoimmune protocol, one tries SCD, and another tries 80/20 paleo. We see the dramatic positive impact these dietary changes have, but also the great challenges they face as they try to eat healthily in today’s food culture. As we all know, it’s not easy.

Mark and Lenore Eklund, Producer and Director

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Episode 51: Marriage and Autoimmune Disease

Episode 51 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Marriage and Autoimmune Disease

For Better or For Worse

Autoimmune disease doesn’t exist in a bubble. Its onset changes our own lives dramatically, but it also impacts our relationships. In this episode, I interview three spouses of people with autoimmune disease, including my own husband Tom. We talk about what it’s like to be married to someone with chronic illness, how they try to support the person they love, and how they also make sure they don’t get lost in the equation.

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Episode 49: Rheumatoid Arthritis with Dr. Melissa McNamara

Episode 49 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Rheumatoid Arthritis with Dr. Melissa McNamara

Q&A with a Paleo Rheumatologist

Finding a rheumatologist who combines paleo principles with functional medicine to address root causes, and conventional medicine to control symptoms when necessary, feels very much like finding a unicorn. One of my blog readers let me know about Dr. Melissa McNamara, who practices in the Bay Area of California but also consults with people worldwide. She took time out of her busy schedule to share her treatment philosophy, when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

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Where Medication Fits on a Healing Diet

Where Medication Fits on a Healing Diet | Phoenix Helix

“Things are not quite so simple always as black and white.”
~ Doris Lessing

Frequently Asked Questions

When we embark on a healing diet, the hope is that we can reverse our autoimmune disease, heal our bodies at a deep level, regain abilities, and reduce or eliminate our need for medication. But that’s not something that happens overnight. Today, I’m answering the most common questions people ask about medications and the paleo diet. Continue reading

Where Do Natural Sugars Fit on a Healing Diet?

Where Do Natural Sugars Fit on a Healing Diet | Phoenix Helix

“There is no food neutral; there is no food Switzerland—every single thing you put in your mouth is either making you more healthy or less healthy.” ~ Melissa Hartwig

Paleo Cupcakes, Cookies and Pies, Oh My!

Treats are a point of controversy in the paleo community. Some people point out that our ancestors never baked and had limited access to sugar, natural or otherwise. Others say that if paleo is designed to be a diet for life, we need it to be sustainable in modern life, and some days we just want a cookie. So, who is right? In the autoimmune community, this is an even more important question. We aren’t following paleo to simply optimize good health; we’re trying to reverse autoimmune disease, which is infinitely harder. The truth is, our bodies behave very differently than those without autoimmune disease, and sugar can have a bigger impact on our system than the general population. So, let’s look at all aspects of this question. Continue reading

Can I Do the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol as a Vegetarian?

Can I Do the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol as a Vegetarian? | Phoenix Helix

“I think our health is always shifting and we need to be ready and willing to shift with it.” ~ Caroline Stahlschmidt

The Short Answer and a Longer Answer

Can you do the AIP as a vegetarian? The short answer is no. Protein is a necessary food group, and the autoimmune protocol (AIP) eliminates most vegetarian protein sources (grains, soy, eggs, legumes, dairy, nuts and seeds). Why? Because these foods commonly irritate digestion and/or trigger autoimmune symptoms. That can be surprising to hear, because in our culture we’ve been taught that whole grains are good for us, and meat is bad for us. Unfortunately, mainstream beliefs rarely match up with the science.

If you’re asking this question and researching paleo, I’m guessing your current diet isn’t improving your autoimmune symptoms, and you’re considering alternatives. Perhaps one of your healthcare practitioners has suggested you try the AIP. I know that if you haven’t eaten meat or seafood for years, possibly decades, it can be a hard thing to consider. So, first let me share the science with you, and then I’ll share some tips for making the transition easier. 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 20: Ketogenic Diets with Terry Wahls and Paul Jaminet

Episode 20 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Ketogenic Diets with Terry Wahls and Paul Jaminet

The Ketosis Controversy: Is It Healing or Harmful?

Ketogenic diets are an ongoing source of debate in the paleo community. Some people say they are the cure for all ills. Others say they are dangerous and should be avoided. Today, we hear from two experts, to discuss the pros and cons. Are all ketogenic diets alike? What does the science really say? Who can benefit most from ketosis? And what are the cautions? We take a balanced, educated look, so you can decide if it’s right for you.

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