Podcast with Phoenix Helix

Phoenix Helix, the blog and podcast of Eileen Laird, is one of the very best blogs in the “autoimmune Paleo” community. Eileen has rheumatoid arthritis and she straddles the autoimmune and ancestral worlds.

Especially since I’ve just done a few autoimmune-related posts, it was an opportune time and a great pleasure to converse with Eileen on Episode 12 of her podcast. Here it is.

  1. I learn so much every time I hear you speak, Paul. Thank you so much for spreading your knowlege. I moved from PHD to the autoimmune protocol with limited success in helping my ulcerative colitis. (my goal with AIP is to see if any foods are bothering me but I do hope to one day get back to PHD) Both diets make a lot of sense but I’m always concerned with nutrient restrictions and the AIP.

    Do you have any thoughts on how I can get more vit.C in my body? I suffer from anemia, dry eyes and mouth. My UC has never been in remission for the 3 years that I’ve had it. I’m hesitant to supplement orally because I have high motility 😳

  2. Thanks so much for the compliment, Paul! It was such a pleasure to talk with (and learn from) you.

  3. Wonderful interview. I’m glad you were able to cover background stuff in the first half. it was very informative as was the second half.

  4. I have to differ with you on one point in your interview and I have a question. At about time stamp 19:04, I believe you stated that herbivores have rumens in order to digest seeds and remove the toxins from them. I don’t believe that is correct. Herbivores have rumens in order to digest the cellulose of grasses — the stems rather than the seeds. I would imagine that the reason grass grains have anti-nutrients in them is so they might pass through herbivore digestive tracts intact (or possibly undergo scarification). One would have to look at seed eating animals to understand what it takes — in digestive terms — to be protected from the toxic effects of those anti-nutrients. In fact if cows are fed a diet of grains and legumes — corn and soy — they have to be medicated otherwise they become sick and can die as a result.

    And at time stamp 15:00, you mention that there are various disease processes that result from VLC. I was wondering on what you base this conclusion: if you identified particular scientific studies that looked at the conditions caused by VLC or if you are relying on anecdotal evidence. It’s an important question because it does seem that VLC does not work for everyone. I would like to understand better how VLC can interfere with hormone production and hormonal processes. But I’m not sure the research is out there….

    • Hi Nonna,

      Of course you are right about why the animals have rumens. What I was trying to say is that the ruminants are protected from plant toxins in a way that humans aren’t, so we have to be more cautious about eating cereal grains.

      I did a series on “zero carb dangers” which you can peruse for references. Most of the medical literature is in the context of ketogenic diets for epilepsy. Then we have many, many anecdotes from the VLC community.

      • Thanks Paul! And to comment on the main topic of your interview — circadian rhythms:

        Perhaps you have already discovered the works by Russell G. Foster and Leon Kreitzman: “Rhythms of Life” and “Seasons of Life” about the circadian and circannual processes? I am fascinated to learn how life emerged in four dimensions, not just three, and to understand the evolution of life as shaped by planetary and astronomical forces.

        I love your advice to work on as many pieces of circadian entrainment as possible — to help one’s body reach a tipping point and be able to heal. (Essentially saying don’t stress out about disrupted sleep due to pain etc. but do as much of the entrainment activities as you can.)

        I also love the way you talk about people’s need for a rhythmic lifestyle, and how to add rhythm back into our lives.

        • I guess I’m an HRV nut. But my attitude with sleep is, as long as my HRV is higher in the morning than at night, it’s an ok sleep. Even though part of it might just be awake relaxing as much as possible.

  5. I’ve been wondering about combining fat and carbs. It seems that, while glycemic load of starch is almost halved by the addition of a significant dose of fat, the amount of insulin it takes to clear the glucose increases many-fold. Is there a potential problem with such prolonged hyperinsulinemia? Are there specific limits of fat and carbs in a single meal that should perhaps be adhered to? Thanks for all you do!

    • Generally speaking, elevated insulin is more healthful than elevated blood glucose. It promotes a number of beneficial actions like muscle growth, appetite regulation, and vitamin C recycling.

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