More than 80,000 new chemicals have been released since the industrial revolution 150 years ago, and most have never been fully tested for their effects on our health. We are asking our bodies to detoxify far more than they were designed to handle. Yet that doesn’t mean we should start doing aggressive detox cleanses that leave us feeling like we have the flu. It’s easy to overwhelm our detoxification systems when we try to speed them up and push them too hard. In this article, I share simple, effective, detoxifying baths that also make you feel good at the same time. Win-win!
Autoimmune disease often causes insomnia, and then poor sleep increases autoimmune flares, creating a vicious cycle. In this article, I tackle some of the biggest sleep challenges: pain, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, snoring, hormones, blood sugar imbalances, new parenthood, and more. I also review sleep trackers, sleep supplements, and a special form of therapy that’s more effective than sleeping pills in resolving insomnia.
Most often, if you say the word “treat” people immediately think of sweets. It’s how we reward ourselves for our achievements, and it’s how we soothe ourselves when life is hard. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional sweet treat. They’re delicious! However, if sweets are the only way we treat ourselves, the excess sugar can increase inflammation and even kick off an autoimmune flare. So, I’ve come up with 101 alternate ways to treat ourselves. Thanks to the mind-body connection, these treats can actually decrease inflammation while simultaneously bringing more joy to our lives. That’s my kind of to-do list! I even included a PDF you can print and put on your fridge, for ongoing inspiration!
Do you remember how it felt to relax in a restaurant? No fear of getting “glutened”? Lots of delicious menu items to choose from, each one packed with flavor? After countless hours searching the internet and double-checking menus, I offer you this list of paleo-friendly restaurants! From Texas to Malaysia, people are operating restaurants based on the belief that food is medicine. If you’re lucky, one of these restaurants is near you. If not, get ready to plan some fun trips!
If you feel overwhelmed in the face of suffering, you aren’t weak, you’re human. If you also have autoimmune disease, you have a body that’s more sensitive to stress which means autoimmune flares might arise alongside. If you have a history of trauma (which is common for people with autoimmune disease), world traumas might feel especially intense, layered on top of your own experiences. So, overwhelm is natural, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Here’s a step-by-side guide to feeling grounded, replenished, and able to support yourself and others again.
If you’re someone who unplugs air fresheners anytime you see them, this article will resonate with you. If you’re someone who loves air fresheners and didn’t realize they might be harming your health, this article may surprise you. “Fragrance” isn’t a single ingredient. It’s a chemical formula that can contain up to 100 different chemicals. Many of them are harmful to health, and there is no regulation of this industry. In fact, since fragrance is considered a “trade secret”, the chemicals aren’t listed on the ingredient labels. In this article, I dive deeply into the science and share tips for naturally freshening indoor air instead.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! While not everyone has a sweet tooth, a lot of us do, and it’s often hard to break the sugar habit. Why is that so true? It turns out there are a lot of forces driving those cravings: emotional, psychological, and even biological. It’s no wonder they’re not easy to resist. In today’s episode, we dive into the details. My guest is holistic psychologist Dr. Vickie Bhatia. We discuss everything from the gut microbiome and brain chemistry, to the emotions surrounding food, to the psychology of habit change. Most importantly, we share practical tips for making empowered food choices, and breaking the sugar craving cycle.
It’s not surprising that the mind-body connection can reduce stress, but what about pain, fatigue, brain fog, and other symptoms of autoimmune disease? Can it reduce those too? The answer is yes! That’s because stress has a huge impact on autoimmune disease, increasing inflammation and flare activity. When we harness the mind-body connection for our health, we have the potential to soothe our inflamed bodies and calm our overactive immune system. In this blog post, I share 10 science-backed benefits across a wide variety of autoimmune diagnoses. I also feature different mind-body techniques. Meditation is wonderful, but it’s not the only way to tap the mind-body connection.
A key component of a healing diet is nutrient-density and diversity. In the paleo AIP community, the list of foods to avoid often gets the most attention. But simultaneously, we need to expand the list of nourishing foods that we eat. One great way to do that is to look at the produce in our kitchens and see which edible parts we’re throwing away. Often, they are the most nutritious!
If you’re a regular listener of my podcast, you know that I start every year with a Healing Stories episode. It features back-to-back interviews with autoimmune warriors just like you! I ask them to share their journey from rock bottom to reclaiming a vital life. In this episode, we talk about rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia, myasthenia gravis, and also autoimmunity in general. Everyone’s story is unique, but we also have so much in common. Whatever your diagnosis, I hope these stories resonate and inspire.
The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) can be life-changing, reducing inflammation and autoimmune symptoms and helping us reclaim a vital and joyful life. However, the elimination phase is intimidating! For many of us, it removes all the foods we used to eat, especially for breakfast. When eggs, grains, and dairy are off the table, what on earth can you eat? I have 50 delicious answers to that question!
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Autoimmune health depends on blood sugar balance. When our blood sugar gets too high, drops too low, or swings wildly between these extremes, it increases inflammation in our body. If this happens regularly, it leads to chronic inflammation. In today’s episode, we’ll be sharing diet, lifestyle, and functional medicine tips for achieving and maintaining blood sugar balance. My guest is Dr. Jeff Horacek, a functional medicine physician with over 20 years of experience. Blood sugar is one of his medical specialties.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! If you think you can’t meditate, this podcast is for you. Do you picture meditators sitting quietly with completely empty minds – something you could never do? Let me tell you a secret: those people don’t exist. Even the Dalai Lama has thoughts while he meditates. The mind is designed to think just like the heart is designed to beat. Meditation isn’t about stopping thoughts; it’s learning how to notice and detach from them. There are also many different ways to meditate, including moving meditations, or cultivating mindful moments in everyday life. My guest is Jeff Warren, who is known as the “MacGyver of Meditation”. He excels at fixing people’s meditation problems. In this episode, we talk about common meditation obstacles for people with autoimmune disease, and how to overcome them.
Lymph is essential to our body’s ability to detoxify, reduce inflammation, and fight infection. Supporting the lymphatic system can benefit anyone’s health, but it’s especially important for those of us with autoimmune disease. Chronic inflammation puts an extra burden on this system and can even damage it long-term, reducing its efficiency. In a prior career, I was a lymph drainage therapist for 15 years. Most of my clients were people with chronic illness. As someone with rheumatoid arthritis myself, it’s one of my favorite self-care techniques.
Dr. Aly Cohen is an integrative rheumatologist who blends both conventional and holistic approaches in her medical practice. She’s been a great resource for accurate coronavirus information since the pandemic began. I interviewed her in Episode 154 about COVID-19 infections among people with autoimmune disease and what factors increased vs. decreased our risk. I invited her back onto the podcast today to talk about vaccines. This is a topic many of you requested when the vaccines first became available in early 2021. At that time, there was no data on people with autoimmune disease because we weren’t included in the initial research studies. Now, enough people have been vaccinated that the data is available, and we’ll be sharing it with you today.
I have two friends who were diagnosed with autoimmune disease through a referral from their ophthalmologist. Their first symptoms appeared in their eyes. Across diagnoses, this is common. Eye pain, dryness, swelling, inflammation, vision loss, and double vision – almost every autoimmune diagnosis can include eye symptoms. This is why an ophthalmologist is an important person to have on our healthcare team. Today, we’re lucky enough to have an integrative ophthalmologist on the podcast. Dr. Rani Banik is a board-certified neuro-ophthalmologist with over 20 years of medical experience as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She also has specialized training in functional medicine and treats her patients from a holistic perspective.
The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) has the potential to make a big difference in your health, which is why so many people with autoimmune disease try this healing diet. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and one of the challenges is how other people respond. Friends, family, coworkers, even strangers are likely to notice you’re suddenly eating differently than everyone around you. You turn down the birthday cake at the office or family birthday party. You show up with your own food to a holiday dinner. You ask the waiter extra questions when eating in a restaurant. You serve food in your own home that’s delicious but doesn’t come from a box. Healthy eating stands out, because we live in a world where unhealthy eating is the norm. It’s natural for people to have questions, and it’s helpful to have some quick answers ready. Here are ten answers for a wide variety of situations.
Our bodies naturally have the ability to detoxify and do it every single day. However, problems can develop, and that’s not uncommon with autoimmune disease. The answer isn’t an aggressive “cleanse” where we try to force our bodies to do a year’s worth of detox in 30 days. Instead, we need to support our bodies year-round. There are foods that support our detox pathways, and foods that can interfere with them. That’s what today’s podcast is all about. My guest is Andrea Nakayama, a world-renowned functional nutritionist and educator, whose mission is to change the way we do healthcare by empowering patients to reclaim ownership over their own health.
With an autoimmune diagnosis, we are told that we have a disease for which there is no cure. It can be shocking and immediately change how we see ourselves. It’s not uncommon to feel betrayed by our bodies. Symptoms can also dramatically change our abilities, impacting careers, hobbies, and roles within families. Many of us go through an identity crisis – no longer feeling like the person we were before. Then there’s the impact of having a visible vs. invisible illness. Some autoimmune diseases change our physical appearance and how others interact with us. Whereas others have symptoms that are hidden, often inspiring disbelief in the pain that can’t be seen. Today, four people with autoimmune disease (including myself) share our experiences with how our body image has changed since diagnosis
Vitamin D is one of the most commonly recommended supplements for people with autoimmune disease, because it’s essential to immune system regulation. How do you know if you’re deficient? When is sunshine the best source, and when is supplementing a better option? Can you take too much vitamin D? We’ll be answering these questions and more in today’s podcast. My guest is Dr. William Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor whose expertise is autoimmune disease.
Turmeric tops the list of medicinal foods for good reason. It’s anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, immune-modulating, promotes gut health, and protects all our major organs. There are also studies that show it can reduce autoimmune disease activity and help us achieve and maintain remission. Yet nothing in life is easy, and turmeric comes with a challenge: it’s hard for our bodies to absorb. That’s why supplements use special techniques to increase the bioavailability. Can we also boost the health benefits in the recipes we cook at home? When it comes to supplements, which ones are the best? I answer these questions and more.
When you start the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, it’s largely about restrictions. Removing inflammatory foods and habits and replacing them with healthier choices. When you see the positive impact on your autoimmune symptoms, it can be incredibly empowering. But this is just the first step. The long-term goal is learning to listen to your body. Where do you need to exercise self-control, and where can you have a little freedom? Finding this freedom is finding your wiggle room, and it’s key to making a long-term healing lifestyle sustainable.
Gut health and autoimmune health are intimately connected. So, focusing on foods that promote gut health makes sense. What qualifies as a gut health superfood? How can we incorporate more of these foods into our diet? Can a healthy food for one person be unhealthy for someone else? How do we determine the best “superfoods” for us? My guest is Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, bestselling author and leader in the paleo autoimmune community. She’s spent the last six years deeply researching gut health and shares her findings with us today.