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.
If you’re eating well but still have digestive issues, what do you do? Are there simple foods and drinks that can support digestion? When should you try a digestive enzyme supplement? And how do you choose a high-quality one? Can enzyme supplements expand food tolerance? Can they help digest gluten? I answer these questions and more in this blog post.
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 Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Susac Syndrome. 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.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Why does exercise feel so different after an autoimmune diagnosis? Activities that our bodies loved in the past can now cause an autoimmune flare. Yet, not moving at all isn’t healthy either. So, what do we do? In this podcast, we get professional insight into this topic. My guest, Andrea Wool, is a fellow autoimmune warrior, certified personal trainer, and founder of Autoimmune Strong – a fitness website designed specifically for people with autoimmune disease. She’ll be sharing her personal story, as well as scientific insight into the unique challenges and benefits of exercise for people with autoimmune disease.
This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! There’s a community of 38 trillion microorganisms living in and on our bodies, and most of them reside in our gut. That’s very close to the number of cells in the human body. By this definition, we are only 50% human. This is why gut health has such a huge impact on human health, and research in this area is exploding. What does the science say about the intersection between the gut microbiome and autoimmune health? Where can we apply that knowledge in our own lives? And what are some common myths and misconceptions that new research is starting to dispel? My guest is Dr. Lucy Mailing, a microbiome researcher and scholar of integrative gut health.
Life with chronic illness can inspire strong emotions that trigger emotional eating. If the foods chosen are inflammatory, autoimmune flares may follow, turning short-term comfort into longer-lasting pain. This often leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and self-judgment, which can drive more emotional eating, creating a vicious cycle. If you find yourself caught in this pattern, you aren’t alone. Today’s podcast is designed to help. My guest is Tomesha Campbell. She is a fellow autoimmune warrior, as well as an AIP certified coach who specializes in Intuitive Eating. She’ll be sharing her personal experience and professional advice.
We tend to notice boundaries most when they’re getting crossed – by other people, or by ourselves. We also notice when we struggle to set them at all. Today, we’re focusing on the holiday season. If you have autoimmune disease, there’s a powerful intersection between your ability to set boundaries and your ability to protect your health. So, we are here to help! In this podcast, we share tips for setting healthy boundaries around food, time, energy, and money. My guest is Dr. Ellen Vora. She is a psychiatrist who takes a functional medicine approach to mental health. I love the way she educates around boundaries, which is why I asked her to be my guest today. She is also the author of the book, Anatomy of Anxiety.
10 years is a long time! Are you curious where I started and what my diet looks like today? In this blog post, I share my whole journey, including how I ate before getting RA, the diets I tried immediately afterward, the diets that minimized my symptoms the most, and the food freedom I enjoy now. Our bodies change over time, and our diets are meant to change too.
The modern scientific approach to medicine focuses on disease rather than wellness, it focuses on parts of the body instead of the whole, and tends to look at the patient separate from their life and the world in which they live. Traditional Indigenous medicine approaches health very differently, and that’s true for Indigenous traditions worldwide. They tend to embrace a holistic perspective, knowing that we are more than the sum of our parts, and that health is impacted by so much more than physiology. That said, modern medicine still has much to offer, but so does Indigenous medicine. Today, we’re going to focus on some of the Indigenous wisdom that might be missing from your own healthcare. My guest is Dr. Nicole Redvers, a naturopathic doctor, author, and Indigenous health scholar. She is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation and has traveled the globe, studying and working with Indigenous communities around the world.
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.
When we develop autoimmune disease, our body becomes more sensitive and that often includes food sensitivity. Many of us turn to healing diets in an effort to eliminate inflammatory foods and embrace the foods that support healing instead. One risk, however, is paying too much attention to the foods we remove and not enough to the foods we add. Another risk is sticking to a dietary template without personalizing it for our body’s unique needs. There are lots of healing diets out there. We often talk about the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and Wahls Protocol on this podcast. But other diets you may be familiar with include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS Diet, the Low-FODMAP diet, a vegetarian or vegan diet, a ketogenic diet, or a carnivore diet. Today, we discuss which nutrient deficiencies are most common on which healing diets, and how we can make sure we’re getting the nutrition we need. My guest is Dr. Sarah Ballantyne. She’s a best-selling author, speaker, educator, and former research scientist, fascinated with the healing power of food.
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!
Vitamin D is essential to immune system regulation, which is why it’s a commonly recommended supplement for people with autoimmune disease. Can we get all the vitamin D we need from sunshine? What about food? If we need a supplement, how do we choose a high-quality one? What’s the optimal level of vitamin D in our bodies? I dive into the research to answer these questions and more.
Food is the foundation of autoimmune health, but there are a few nutrients that are difficult to get through food, and magnesium is one of those. For that reason, it’s a supplement many doctors recommend, and many autoimmune warriors swear by. So, I’m dedicating today’s podcast to magnesium. Why is it so essential? What roles does it play in our body? And how might magnesium (or magnesium deficiency) impact autoimmune health? My guest today is Dr. Guillermo Ruiz, a naturopathic doctor, researcher, and autoimmune expert.
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 ask people with autoimmune disease to name their biggest flare triggers, stress often tops the list. And if you ask people to name their top sources of stress, many are overwhelmed by the news. Today’s podcast is a life skill building episode – one that’s very important for emotional and physical health. How do we consume the news in a way that keeps us accurately informed without becoming overwhelmed? How do we discern fake news from real news? And how do we break through feelings of powerlessness to see where we can make a difference in the world? My guest is Sharon McMahon, an expert who shares non-partisan information about news and democracy. She’s a voice of reason in unreasonable times, and I’m grateful to have her on the podcast today.
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.
Research shows that affirmations can help people cope with life’s challenges, an important skill when living with chronic illness. They boost problem-solving in stressful situations, and they lead to better health choices as well. There is a risk with affirmations, however. Sometimes they backfire. In that circumstance, your brain disagrees so strongly with the affirmation that it strengthens your negative thoughts instead. Has that happened to you? If yes, you’re not alone. In this article, I share tips for quieting your inner critic. I also teach my favorite technique for overcoming the mind’s resistance to affirmations – Iffirmations!
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.
Today we have a very special episode. I’m celebrating the publication of my new book: Healing Mindset. It’s a guide to the mind-body connection for people with autoimmune disease. The mind-body connection isn’t just an idea. There’s an entire field of science called psychoneuroimmunology that studies this connection. How we feel in our body affects how we feel in our minds, and our thoughts and feelings impact our physical health. Today, we’ll be talking about specific mind-body techniques, science-based benefits, and how to harness this connection for autoimmune health. My partner for this episode is Donna Jackson Nakazawa. Many of you know her as one of my most popular podcast guests. She’s an award-winning science journalist, author of 7 books, a fellow autoimmune warrior, and an expert on the mind-body connection. Today, we’re trading places. She will be the host and I will be the guest!
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.
This podcast is all about autoimmune empowerment! Making choices in our daily lives that minimize symptoms and maximize our joy in living. That said, it’s not always easy. Sometimes the habits are hard to start and hard to keep. Other times, you’re doing everything right but not seeing the results you hoped to achieve. So, today, we’re doing a troubleshooting episode with an expert guest and one of my favorite people: Dr. Terry Wahls. She is a functional medicine physician, a clinical researcher, a professor of medicine, and a fellow autoimmune warrior. In this episode, she shares her best advice for thriving with autoimmune disease and troubleshooting the obstacles we encounter along the way. We talk about motivation, family dynamics, digestion, supplements, physical therapy, personalized diets, and more!
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!
Two of the most common autoimmune diagnoses are Hashimoto’s Disease and Graves’ disease, and they both involve the thyroid. Conventional doctors often run a simple thyroid test as part of an annual physical. The problem is that it doesn’t catch every thyroid problem. Functional medicine physicians run a complete thyroid panel, which gives a more expansive picture, but it’s not always a clear picture. Today, we’re going to go over what each test measures and how to interpret your results. My guest is Dr. Datis Kharrazian, an award-winning researcher, clinician, author, and educator. Many of you are familiar with his bestselling book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? He has a new online class called Hashimoto’s: Solving the Puzzle.