Eileen Laird – Reversing autoimmune disease through diet and lifestyle – Podcast #81

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani interviews Eileen Laird, the author of A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, where they talk about everything you need to know about AIP or Autoimmune Protocol and Paleo in today’s podcast. Eileen has been successfully reversing her rheumatoid arthritis condition or keeping it under control through diet and lifestyle changes. 

Learn more about what nutrient-dense autoimmune Paleo foods you can eat and what foods to avoid. Discover helpful supplements and what a healing diet looks like. Get information about transitioning from AIP and how to reintroduce different foods back to your diet.

In this episode, topics include:

2:01 Living with rheumatoid arthritis

6:03 nutrient-dense autoimmune Paleo foods

18:00 The mechanism of autoimmunity and leaky gut

23:24 Transitioning from AIP

26:03 Eating out on an AIP diet

32:50 Best supplements

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hey, there!  It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani.  We have a great podcast interview coming your way.  We have Eileen Laird.  She is an autoimmune expert and I’m really excited to bring her on because I see so many patients in my clinic that have autoimmune condition or autoimmune disease and her website is such a great reference.  So I’d to welcome Eileen to the show.  Eileen, how we doin’?

Eileen Laird:  I’m doing great and thank you so much for having me, and thank you for your kind words.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Thanks, you got it!  Before we start out, what did you have for breakfast?

Eileen Laird:  Homemade chicken soup.  It’s my favorite breakfast.  I make a huge batch of it.  I shouldn’t say me anymore.  My husband actually loves it, too.  So he’s taken over the making of the breakfast soup.  I’m pretty lucky that way.  But it serves us like 5 days a week during the work week.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Cool.  Awesome!  And I’m just curious.  How did you get the name of your website, phoenixhelix.com/?

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, so for my–for people who don’t know, I have rheumatoid arthritis, and that hit my right–life like a wrecking ball back in 2012 and the pain was so intense and the disabling influence in my life was so overwhelming that I really felt like I was on fire and knocked down so hard I didn’t know if I would ever get up again and I was looking for images of hope and found the phoenix and really loved that idea–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-huh, yeah.

Eileen Laird:  Of rising above those flames.  So it remains a very powerful image for me and definitely the Paleo diet and lifestyle was the key for me rising above those flames, and then the helix represents DNA and our ability to affect our genes turning on and off.  So we aren’t just defined by the genes that, for example in me add up to rheumatoid arthritis that I can control to some extent how that manifests in my body and how much it does or does not influence my life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  So you kinda already gave us a little feedback about your life.  You were an RA patient, rheumatoid arthritis, and imagine you stumbled upon the autoimmune diet because the conventional medical options out here are kinda bleak, is that kinda what happened?

Eileen Laird:  Exactly, I mean it really did hit my life like a wrecking ball.  I was very–what I thought was healthy, you know, I was hiking for fun on the weekends.  The most recent trip I took, we had–we had done 10-mile mountain hikes everyday.  I ate what I thought was healthy, you know, it was organic, but it–it was nothing like Paleo.  I had gluten and dairy every day.  Just thought if it was organic, it was okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, and then, you know, it started with just a little bit of pain in my feet, very quickly spread to my hands and then body-wide and within 6 months, I was limping crossing the living room.  I couldn’t lift a dish to wash the dishes.  I couldn’t work.  I was exhausted.  I felt like I was 90 years old all day and that was my good baseline.  And then in the evening, the flares would hit so hard I would have to immobilize whatever joint got hit.  So if it was my wrist, it would go into a brace.  If it was my shoulder, it would go into a sling.  If it was my jaw, I couldn’t open my mouth to eat.  So it was very terrifying and–and as you know and your listeners know the autoimmune conventional treatment even though it’s necessary sometimes, just because life is so desperate, it’s not really a sustainable answer.  So I was hoping to avoid that and hopped online and thank goodness for the Internet, because 10 years before that, I don’t think I’d have known there were even alternatives and that’s when I did find out about the Paleo-Autoimmune Protocol.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know, it’s like patients that go down this autoimmune type of path and like you being in the–having rheumatoid– rheumatoid arthritis, you go to a rheumatologist and they’re recommending prednisone and corticosteroid, things that are shutting down the immune system, maybe even chemotherapeutic drugs like methotrexate.  And it’s really a scary path because at some point, a lot of these medications’ side effects can even be worse than the autoimmune conditions, and I just had a patient just listening to my podcast on autoimmune lifestyle last month called me up and said, “Hey, I’m pain-free for the first time in 20 years following an autoimmune diet.”  And it’s just–I–I feel really fortunate to get that information out there but I scratched my head and say, “Why isn’t this first line in therapy in every rheumatologist or conventional medical doctor’s practice?”

Eileen Laird:  Exactly.  Because the statistics show, if you surveyed rheumatoid arthritis patients, you get very different answers than if you surveyed the doctors.  The doctors will say the drugs are so good that they’re miracles.  And if you survey the patients who are on the strongest drugs available, half of them still need steroids in addition to that, almost all of them need some level of painkiller at the NSAID level.  It’s they’re not living pain-free lives.  So the fact that the diet can be so effective either by itself or in addition, it’s just a shame that it’s not as well-known.  But I think, you know, I think that’s changing.  I think there’s a revolution going on and more and more people are trying it for sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I think so, too, and it’s fascinating that a lot of these rheumatologist as I talked to them in practice, they really don’t have an understanding on diet and how it can affect autoimmunity.  And it’s just like they have a very reductionistic approach, anti-inflammatories, immune suppressive pain-relieving medications, and that’s it.  And the diet piece is out of the equation and I’ve just seen so many hundreds of people in my practice get better.  So I think you getting the word out there, I know you have your book on the autoimmune lifestyle, which anyone that has an autoimmune condition needs to get that book.  That’s the simple guide to the Paleo-Autoimmune Protocol and I use all of these tenets with my patients and I’m in the trenches and these things work.  Like the simple action items that we talk about on the autoimmune plan, they work.  Cutting out the grains, the refined sugar, stabilizing blood sugar.  I know you talk about in your book, getting nutrient-dense autoimmune Paleo foods in.  Can you talk more about what your favorite nutrient-dense autoimmune Paleo foods are?

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, and I’m so glad that you brought that up and I know that you recommend that to your patients but I think sometimes when people first find the AIP, they’re very focused on the foods they remove–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  And they don’t focus on the foods they’re eating.  And if you’re not getting well on the AIP, that’s definitely one of the first things I’d recommend.  Like if you’re having chicken breast and broccoli and then tons of AIP desserts, that’s not really–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Totally.

Eileen Laird:   The best way to do the protocol.  So–so bone broth is a really nice one for people to start with, I think, because it’s not hard to make and it’s inexpensive and it–it’s such a good gut-healing food and if you just keep mixing up the variety of bones you get a lot of different nutrition into that and if you don’t like the flavor, you can turn it in to the soup and it’s not a very intimidating one to start with.  And then, yeah, we have to talk about organ meat, right?  So–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Totally.

Eileen Laird:   A lot of people just automatically feel like “No, don’t tell me to eat that.”  But I never had it before I went AIP and I really like it now.  So my favorites are probably hearts and the–the chicken hearts are really easy to prepare.  They’re little.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:   I marinate mine for like, I don’t know, an hour in some olive oil, coconut aminos, a little powdered ginger–trying to think of anything else goes in there–I think that might actually be it, and–and then just fry them up in a pan for like 5 minutes and you’ve got yourself a nutrient-dense meal and they’re delicious.  And the beef heart, I think taste a lot like steak but you do have to face what a heart looks like, and I think that was interesting for me the first time, because I think when we eat meat, if it’s ground beef, we don’t really think about where it comes from every time we eat it.  And if you’re preparing a heart, you know where that’s coming from and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  I think it just increases your gratitude for–for what you’re eating actually.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, it takes life to sustain life.  And plant or I should say, animal matter, animal protein, animal organs, they really are a bioaccumulator of nutrition.

Eileen Laird:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And what’s your take on people that try an AIP but just do it from a vegetarian perspective?  Is that possible?  What’s been your observation?

Eileen Laird:   I don’t–well, I will say absolutely not possible just because you’re not gonna get enough nutrition if you are really talking vegetarian.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:   Like a lot of my friends call themselves vegetarian and they eat seafood, and that’s totally a different thing.  So–but if you’re a vegetarian and you’re not eating any kind of animal products or any kind of seafood, you’re usually you’re getting all your proteins from eggs, grains, and legumes and soy.  And all of those are removed on the paleo-autoimmune protocol.  So you’re definitely gonna be protein-deficient.  But you can do it as a pescatarian, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:   Seafood is wonderful.  I’m sure you’ve talked about it a lot, but it, you know, Omega 3 rich fatty acids, the–some of the seafoods also has vitamin D, and then the shellfish is–is sometimes as nutrient-dense as organ meat.  It’s like I hear that oysters are right up there with liver in terms of their nutrient profile.  So–so if you’re eating seafood, you can do it.  But you do need to eat some type of–I don’t know what you’d–you know, seafood or animal I think to do it successfully.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, it’s difficult.  I work with some vegan-vegetarian patients.  Well, we’ll add in some at least freeform amino acids.

Eileen Laird:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I’ll talk them in to getting some liver in capsules at least because they can wrap their head around, “Oh, well, it’s in a pill, it’s like medicine, right?”

Eileen Laird:  Okay.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’ll help and then pea protein, clean pea protein.  It’s not the most ideal I guess.  I wanna get your take on that in a second.  Clean pea protein can be a good happy medium and then even beef protein as well can be a good source.  What are your take on some of those supportive proteins for people that may have a harder time with the animal proteins?

Eileen Laird:  I can see where you’re going with it because I imagine you’re doing that for people who will not consider the alternatives.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly.

Eileen Laird:  So that gives them a gateway in, and so it’s–it’s like I would say I think the pea protein wouldn’t be actually strict AIP but it’s as close AIP as you can get.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  I always prefer whole foods to supplements, and I’m sure you do, too, so that’s why I would encourage people to baby step their way into that idea but it’s a process each person has to go through on their own and there’s a lot of reasons people come to vegetarianism.  What’s interesting in the AIP community is some of the largest, like most famous names you know used to be vegetarians, so Terry Wahls was a vegetarian for I believe it was 20 years–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Wow.

Eileen Laird:  Before she started–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Eating meat again and Mickey Trescott over on Autoimmune Paleo was vegan.  So it’s a lot of people have been through that before you as what I would say to any listener, you’re not alone on that and I have an article on my blog called Can You Do The AIP As A Vegetarian? where I talk about the steps you can take to kind of baby step your way into it and a lot of that advice I got from Terry.  She just said, “You know, sometimes it’s the smell and texture you have to get used to so you start off with the broth and then you do pureed, you know, vegetable soups with just a little bit of meat and go ahead and puree it up so it just kind of seems like a thick savory soup, and then from there, add a little bit of chunks if you can, and–and kind of move your way forward,” and she said, “Wait, it’s a grill-less steak until you know further down the road.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, that makes sense and you find a lot of people are reluctant to add some of the meat back in if they are coming from a vegan-vegetarian standpoint.  Do you feel like?  I feel personally it’s more like an emotionally type of thing.  They’re wrapping or–their head around the fact that, “Oh, it’s a cute animal, this and that,” but they’re not looking at it from the perspective of scientifically there’s nutrients.  There are things that our cells and body needs in there.  What do you–what do you feel most of the reasons are for people not adding meat into their diet typically?

Eileen Laird:  I think if they’re coming at it from an ethical perspective, it’s harder.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  The health perspective is just a matter of education, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:  I think that mainstream media still promotes vegetarian as meth–as healthier and so it’s like a shock when you’d think that you realize Paleo is healthier.  But when it comes to ethical, I think that one thing that helps is there’s a book out I believe called The Vegetarian Miss.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:  And it talks about how many animals are killed in the–in the farming of–of just plant agriculture which would really be eye-opening for a lot of people to read and the truth of the matter is, like you had just said, I think you said it takes life to make life, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:   So there really is no way to be alive on this planet as a human being without some sacrifice happening on your behalf and the more gratitude you can put forth for that sacrifice and the better choices you can make to make that sacrifice worthwhile.  Like as you know a lot of vegetarians are junk food vegetarians.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:  I mean they eat the prepared and fast foods and frozen foods and some of them don’t even cook and some don’t even eat like many vegetables which is kind of crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly.  I feel like a lot of people, they are so willing to throw meat in just one basket and lump all meat as bad–

Eileen Laird:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Which we know that there’s different, you know, that’s like saying the grass-fed steak from the farmer down the street is in the same category as the McDonald’s burger on the Dollar Menu.  No one would say that, but you know, but the same time, we wouldn’t say all vegetables are the same, which maybe it’s soybean grown at–grown in pesticides and GMO versus some kale grown in your background, right?  We wouldn’t say that about the vegetables but we also have to have that same type of criteria for the meat as well.

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, exactly.  And I think the Paleo community is great about that in terms of being mindful about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Quality.

Eileen Laird:   The quality, the life of the animal–the animal lived beforehand, you know, and–and so you support the local farmers.  I–I buy from my local farmers all the time and those animals lived a beautiful life before their lives were given to become food for other people and I wouldn’t be comfortable eating any more now that I’m educated, you know, the CAFO beef and the–those chickens that are so crowded together and the–and you see some awful things on those food documentaries and I know that not everyone has access to perfect foods so we can get into some food perfectionism things here.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:   But I think just being mindful about our choices and making the best choices we can is a good idea and it’s good for our health like you said, it’s very different, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I love that.  Now what percent of people do you find–and by the way are you seeing patients?

Eileen Laird:   No,

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay.

Eileen Laird:   I’m just–I’m just kind of a–a person in trenches with everyone sharing what I’m learning along the way.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   But a lot of people come to you with questions about the autoimmune diet and transitioning, correct?

Eileen Laird:   Yes, I would say I’m–I would I’m an expert on the protocol and anytime anyone wants medical advice I refer them to people like you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay.  Got it.  So I see a lot of patients that are Paleo and they’re just like, “Yeah, but do I really have to go AIP?  I have some of these autoimmune symptoms.  Is it really worth?” Now I’ve seen a lot of patients where just cutting out nightshades or nuts has been a game changer.  What percent of people do you see that are Paleo and they just go from Paleo, good, you know, a good Paleo, not a junk food Paleo–

Eileen Laird:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   To an AIP level–what percent do you see have a really big improvement and what percent of people are just, you know, okay with it, nothing much?

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, I don’t know if that I–if I have the statistics but I think it is absolutely fine to try Paleo first and just see what it does for you.  Because I’ve known people who have gone into remission on Paleo without needing to do any AIP.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:   And they–primal which kinda blows me away because I can’t have nightshades or dairy so I’m jealous of those people, but I’m happy for them, you know.  So I–I do believe our diet should be as expansive as they can be while still being healthy for us and I’ll say that I stair stepped my way in also. I started with more of a–it was a nutrient-dense Paleo template when I first approached a healing diet, and it–I improved as much as I could at that level and then when I plateaued I was feeling a lot better.  I wasn’t in crisis anymore but I wasn’t healthy and I still had pain everyday.  It was just manageable and so that’s why I went AIP.  It was to see if I could take it to the next level and it made a big difference for me.  So yeah, if people wanna see where Paleo takes some first step makes sense, and then if you’re not getting the results you hope for like–like for me I went from let’s see, regularly Paleo took me from daily excruciating painful flares down to moderate flares a few times a month.  And I no longer limped going across my living room but I couldn’t walk more than a mile before my feet would start to hurt.  So that was where I plateaued.  Way better, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Way better.

Eileen Laird:   But not–not as good as it could be.  Now if it had put me into remission, I–I never would have done AIP.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I know.  It’s one of those things people really don’t get behind it unless they see the results, and for myself when I have patients come in, they always start the first 3 or 4 weeks on AIP and then we start following the progression of adding certain foods back in.  And I have some patients that have already–that are already Paleo for a few months and we cut out the nightshades for the first time and it’s like, “Whoa!”  Their joint paint is gone.  And I know you being an RA patient–

Eileen Laird:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Rheumatoid arthritis.  What kind of improvement did you see cutting out the nightshades?  The–

Eileen Laird:   Sure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants and peppers.

Eileen Laird:   It’s huge for me.  So what I will say, too, and I did the regular Paleo template because I have RA and that RA-nightshade connection is even kind of known outside of the Paleo community.  I removed all of the vegetables but I kept eating the spices because I thought there were such a small amount, it wouldn’t matter.  And so that was probably why I did improve on Paleo.  I wonder if I had kept eating potatoes and tomatoes and peppers, I don’t know that I’d have improved it all.  But that might have been why I plateaued.  So when I gave up the chili powder and the paprika and the curry blend that had the peppers in it, then my flares stopped altogether.  So for me, it’s a huge trigger.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  And I wanted to shift gears into the mechanism of autoimmunity.  There’s been a lot of people talking about leaky gut, which is nothing more than the tight junctions in our–in our digestive system kind of unzipping so to speak, and those undigested food particles kinda getting into the bloodstream and creating this immune response, and it’s kind of ironic if you will that a lot of the pain-relieving medications that are out there, especially in the rheumatology world, they will actually increase leaky gut and increase digestive issues.  So can you touch upon leaky gut and just kind of your thought process around how it’s increasing autoimmune conditions?

Eileen Laird:  Well, yeah.  So I think that modern life creates leaky gut, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh–uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:   Just because of–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Stress.

Eileen Laird:   Of, you know, stress and then–then all of the, you know, fake ingredients in our foods that I’m sure have that influence and so we’re–we are all kind of set up to be vulnerable to begin with.  The AIP is a great diet for–for trying to heal and seal those junctions which is wonderful.  The tricky part with autoimmune disease is my understanding and the research is that once you have it, it will attack your gut as well as whatever part of your body is being attacked.  So for me, it’s my joints and my gut.  For some with Hashimoto’s, it’s the thyroid and the gut.  So–so it’s trickier for us to heal it as in the past tense but I think everything we do to improve our autoimmune condition also improves leaky gut.  And–and going to the root cause instead of symptom management.  That said, pain is a really serious issue and pain causes leaky gut, so I definitely believe in relieving your pain, at the same time, I don’t think avoiding all painkillers.  If nothing works, that’s an alternative.  You–you just gotta kind of find that balance if you can and I know that’s kind of tricky and gray area and it’s not as black and white as a lot of people might like to hear, but I do find the longer I’m in this community, the more varied results are in the AIP.  So like everyone seems to improve, actually pretty dramatically, but not everyone goes into remission.  And so if you’re not in remission, what’s left–I think functional medicine like working with you–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  To keep on trying to get as closer and closer and closer as you can get to remission, but in the meantime, you might need to take some of those medications just to make it through your day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.  And then what’s your take on people coming from an AIP?  Go–going into an AIP perspective, they’re eating more proteins and fats, and now for some people that have digestive issues, that may intensity because of low stomach acid and low enzyme levels.  What’s your experience with utilizing more enzymes and more HCl for people that have a compromised gut going into an autoimmune diet?

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, so I think that’s definitely something to keep in mind and I think my understanding like with HCl is it’s–you really want someone to guide you through that process, right?  Isn’t it–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Kind of tricky to do on your own?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, you don’t wanna overdo it because you don’t wanna cause more gut lining damage but that’s why having HCl and enzymes separate for me is important with these patients because we can up the enzymes which are less abrasive and we can be really ginger with the HCl and be a little more gentle with it.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, and what I often tell people to do when they’re first starting out is to go ahead and use some like food-based–what would you call them–that increase your stomach acid naturally like little apple cider vinegar and water with your meal or some Kombucha with your meal or you know, you can chew on a piece of ginger and it kinda gets the digestive enzymes flowing and see if that’s enough for you because for some people whose digestion isn’t as compromised, just the food-based solutions will be enough.  But I think you’re right.  I think for someone who–well, first of all, if they’ve been vegetarian for a long time, that’s something that they may not–they’re–they’re very likely gonna need some supplements to get through the transition just because they haven’t had to break down that type of food for a long time.  Same for someone who is maybe on like almost a non-fat diet for a long time like you said, so just help body adjust to that transition.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Exactly. And I see you’re a big fan of ginger tea as well.

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, yeah, it’s such a–well, it tastes good and it’s lovely, and it’s anti-inflammatory and promotes digestion and it’s–if you can’t have your coffee anymore, that’s a nice substitute for it because coffee’s eliminated on AIP at least temporarily.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s good and then where does fermented foods fit into the AIP?

Eileen Laird:   You know, I think it’s important to try them.  It’s a tricky area–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Because some people do have difficulty with them but I think they’re such a powerful healing food if you do well with them.  I do very well with them and I love them so I make my own sauerkraut–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s great.

Eileen Laird:   And I make my own Kombucha.  I do recommend you make your own actually if you’d eat them because, otherwise, they’re crazy expensive.  But–but I’m sure you run into this that some people who again maybe are dealing with some gut infections–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, histamine issues–

Eileen Laird:   They’re gonna have trouble.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, but that’s I guess in some ways that’s kind of diagnostic so if you start the AIP and you incorporate fermented foods and you’re not tolerating them well, that would be a good time to call Dr. Justin and have some testing done because if you don’t have gut infections, usually you tolerate those well.  Because I think even histamine sensitivity, they’re finding is often rooted in either gut infections or hormone imbalances.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes, yes.

Eileen Laird:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Totally agree.  So if you’re taking someone that’s been on AIP, they’ve been there for a few weeks, and this is where your–I think your guide is so great.  How do you transition them off?  Just kind of like what are the first, you know, 5 steps or so?  You’ve been AIP.  You wanna start re-introducing foods.  What’s the order of operations in your opinion?

Eileen Laird:   Sure.  Well, the first thing I would say is to decide when you’re ready.  So you need to have some–enough improvement in your autoimmune symptoms that you have a good baseline for reintroduction and so some people do get that faster than others and so 3-4 weeks is fine.  We usually say it’s 30 days is the minimum, but some people it takes a few months before they get that improvement so you–because if you haven’t improved at all, there’s no way to know when you retest the food whether you’re having a reaction because you’re still having too many autoimmune reactions.  So I tell people that and the other thing I tell people to consider though also is the psychological component is some people do the AIP and they’re really good at restriction and it just doesn’t bother them and luckily, there are like literally thousands of recipes available now.  So you really can eat delicious varied food on the AIP.  It was more boring when I did it a few years ago.  But other people, like it’s stressful, that we are attached to our food and–and giving up our favorite foods, we get kind of cranky about it and angry about it.  And if that’s getting worse, that might be setting you back, and so that’s a good time to start reintroductions.  But in terms of what–what to start with, you can go 2 ways.  Sarah Ballantyne has like a 4-stage chart in her book and it starts with things like oh, the seed-based spices like cumin and coriander and the fruit-based spices like black pepper.  Most people get those back so that’s an easy kind of reintroduction that automatically adds some more flavor to your food.  Egg yolks are often recommended as one of the first ones because they’re so nutrient-dense and most people who are intolerant to eggs, it’s the white, not everyone but most people.  Some of the nut-based oils and like sesame seed oil or walnut oil are good ones to start with and then move your way up from there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Great and then if you’re going out to a restaurant.  I’m going out to eat tonight and I’m gonna try to eat–I try to be AIP 60-70% of the time and then Paleo in general 95-99% of the time and if cheat, it’s–I still never get gluten in my–my diet.  So when I go out to eat tonight, I’m gonna get a steak.  I’m gonna get vegetables.  I always tell the–the maître d’ or the cook or the–the waiter.  I am–I have celiac disease and I cannot do any grains.  So any flour substitutes will not work and I–I’m very crystal clear that I don’t use the word sensitivity.  I use I have this disease and I cannot do it, so I’m just curious how–what’s your take on it?  Maybe it’s not quite as drastic as mine.  How do you and navigate a restaurant and communicate with the people that re serving you about your food intolerances?

Eileen Laird:  You know, it’s similar.  I use the food allergy word because they take that seriously.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Mmm, yup.

Eileen Laird:  They don’t take food intolerance seriously–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   No, they don’t.

Eileen Laird:   At all and the other thing I do which seems to really help me is when the waiter or waitress comes to the table, I smile and I say, “I’m just gonna let you know that I’m a high maintenance customer but I’m a really good tipper and I will make it worth your while.”  And they usually laugh but then they take good care of me and I make sure that I tip them well.  And that you tell them that in advance so they’re not annoyed by all the extra–extra questions you’re asking.  Because what I’ll usually do like you, I’ll eat something often very similar, the steak and vegetables.  Usually I’ll look through the menu, see what options are available to me.  I’ll pick two that I think are the most likely to be fine and then the foods that I know that can kinda get hidden in the meal without my realizing it is if it’s gonna be cooked in butter and if there’s any nightshade in the spice mix.  So I’ll them go back and just ask the chef if I can have that food prepared without those things and which one they’d recommend for me, and then they do.  And that seems to work fine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I also–if I’m doing vegetables, I can do butter, but let–let’s say you can’t.

Eileen Laird:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I would just tell them to steam vegetables and bring a side of olive oil and I’ll put the olive oil on so then you’re the one adding that–the fat on there.  So the steaming can be helpful and then obviously salads and if you can get an olive oil or maybe an apple cider vinegar and some–some lemon juice that could be a good substitute, too.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, I’ve been brought in some of my own spice blends because sometimes you can get kind of–because I can’t have the nightshade spices and–and gluten and often between those two things, most of their mixes in the back like you can’t have or their dressings, so–so I’ll bring in an AIP-friendly little spice blend in my purse and shake that on my vegetables or on my salad or even my steak if it needs a little boost.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, that’s good.  And when I do sushi I’ll also bring out the–my coconut aminos–

Eileen Laird:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And MCT, and I’ll do that instead of, you know, soy or even the tamari gluten-free soy which is better but for someone, you know, you’re gonna do better with something that’s totally AIP-approved, right?

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Cool.  Any other tips?  Any other cool tips that you have for going out and being successful on it?

Eileen Laird:  Being successful on the AIP in general do you mean?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, yeah, just while you’re not eating at home.

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, I–I mean, I would say be vigilant and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  It’s–it’s not the way it–what can I say?  You need to be 100% on this.  I don’t have the relaxing experience in a restaurant that I used to have, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  Before I realized–before I contracted RA.  So it’s a different experience for me now but I take it seriously just because I know for me personally, the results can be pretty severe.  So if I get exposed to one of my bad foods, I’ll be in pain and–and sometimes it takes me a few weeks before I feel back to normal.  So it’s–that–that kinda depends, too.  I think once you’ve been doing AIP a while and what I mean by that is it becomes personalized AIP, you’ve re-introduced some foods.  You know which ones are your worst triggers.  You know where you can, like you said cheat a little bit and you know where you can’t.  You know, that’s the goal we all wanna get to, is know our bodies well enough to know what we need to do to take excellent care of ourselves and where we can be flexible, and so then when you go out you can find that line.  I’d like how you talked about it.  You know what foods you absolutely can have and then you know which ones that it’s okay.  I mean, it may not be optimal for you but it’s not gonna set you back.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and I think it’s important that everyone finds out what their kryptonite is.

Eileen Laird:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And like yourself, you know what your kryptonite is and you can kinda weight out the–the risk, reward, you know, benefit, you know, is it worth having this food that will set me back two weeks?  Probably not.  But if someone’s already been AIP for a month and they’ve added certain foods back in.  And maybe they have some butter and it’s not a problem or if they have some potatoes, maybe they just have a little gassy for the night, well, then your own risk-reward analysis on that but some people like yourself, Eileen, you’re gonna have that severe reaction, so I think it’s good that everyone figures out what their kryptonite is and I think it’s great that everyone here and you–you’re creating this self-awareness so people can figure out what is their kryptonite.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah and just to be optimistic, too, for the people who–who may be are just thinking about AIP, and so I’ve only talked about the foods I couldn’t get back but I mean, I got eggs back completely so that’s been really nice.  I can eat them–I can eat any kind of egg. I mean, at home I eat–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  Pastured, organic, fabulous eggs.  But if I’m traveling, I can eat conventional eggs.  It’s not ideal but they don’t hurt me and that’s nice to know.  I can have chocolate which is just a nice joy for my life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, that’s great.  That’s great.

Eileen Laird:   So, yeah.  I do well with those, and then nuts and seeds I can have in moderation so that means like for me, if I’m at a restaurant I can choose something that has nuts in a salad and–and seriously not worry about it.  It’s only a problem for me if I eat them every day.  So yeah, getting to know yourself, it’s really–it’s really kinda cool to know yourself that well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That is great.  And what’s your take on butter or ghee?  Are you able to personally add ghee or butter back in?

Eileen Laird:   No.  And it’s interesting I ended up writing an article about that because it’s not the way it’s advertised to be and it just made no sense to me.  I was like, “Why if there’s no really protein levels remaining in the ghee like what is the problem?  Why–is it in my head?  You know, is it just me?” And so I interviewed tons of people in the AIP community and what was interesting is it seems that people who can tolerate ghee can usually also tolerate butter, cream, and sometimes cheese.  And people who cannot tolerate butter cannot tolerate ghee.  So I think what it is is the autoimmune is more sensitive than other bodies.  That’s all.  Because I do know people who’s–who are friends of mine who do not have autoimmune disease who do poorly with other kinds of dairy but they do fine with ghee.  But they don’t have an autoimmune trigger reaction.  So I wish I could eat ghee because it’s nutrient-dense and delicious frankly.  But no, for me it’s a no go.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  Have you ever tried the Mt. Capra’s Goat Ghee?

Eileen Laird:  You know, I have not tried that but I have tried other goat dairy.  So I did try–I tried raw organic goat’s milk homemade kefir.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Eileen Laird:  When I was reintroducing dairy just to try and get the best quality of everything and I reacted to that also.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  How about–

Eileen Laird:  So it seems like dairy is dairy for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   How about MCT?  Can you do that?

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, well, that’s coconut, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah and that’s coconut.  And then can you do coffee as well?

Eileen Laird:  I don’t like coffee but I bet I could do it just fine just because I’m–I seem to be fine with chocolate and–and nuts and seeds in some quantity.  But I–I actually have never liked the taste of coffee so I can’t say.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  Got it.  And then based on your experience because you’re a living example of having an autoimmune condition and basically reversing it and keeping it under wraps and under control, what are then the best supplements for you?

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, that’s a good question.  So curcumin–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Is–is really helpful for me.  What I did find is that it’s–what’s interesting with supplements and you’ve probably found this, too, that during my experiments like in the beginning, I said, “Well, if it worked–if it worked for me at a little level, then the more I took, the more it should work.”  And that didn’t seem to happen.  Like a supplement either worked or it didn’t once I found the right dosage but it wasn’t like taking 3 or 4 times as much made a difference.  But I take curcumin everyday.  I take it actually before I get out of bed, I–before I wake up in the morning I’m usually kind of slowly becoming more alert and it seems to work better on an empty stomach for me.  I take T–I think it’s called TOA Cat’s Claw.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Eileen Laird:  It’s a special–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Eileen Laird:   It’s an immunoregulatory herb and that really helps me and so those are my two favorites.  I also take some krill oil for the Omega 3s.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:   What else do I take?  I do take a little of Boswellia.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, Boswellia. Yeah. Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Frankincense.

Eileen Laird:   That’s anti-inflammatory.  Yeah.  It’s a subtler reaction.  It’s not as strong as the curcumin but it does help me a little bit and how I feel is anything that helps me that’s healthy for me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:   I-I will keep taking, so I think that’s my whole–my whole list.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   How do you respond to collagen or glucosamine sulfate or chondroitin sulfate for the joint stuff?

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, the glucosamine chondroitin didn’t help me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  So I don’t take that all.  Collagen, I do get in my bone broth and I have tried–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Sure.

Eileen Laird:  Taking it.  I’ve bought the–is it the Great Lakes green can?  That’s collagen.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:   Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:  So I tried adding that like to my tea everyday, just–I have green tea everyday.  And just to see if that would make a difference and I couldn’t really tell a difference so I thought well, maybe it’s just that I’m getting enough anyway.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  And then how do you square adding in curcumin?  Because I know turmeric off the bat is a spice and the active ingredient’s curcumin and for autoimmune patients, some people say we had to cut that out off the bat.  How did you square that adding it in?  Did you put in right away or did you go AIP first and then add it in supplementally second?

Eileen Laird:  Well, turmeric is on the list of AIP-approved spices.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay.

Eileen Laird:  So you can have that but here’s the trick.  My understanding and you probably know this way better than me, is it’s not very bioavailable.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right, 50%.

Eileen Laird:  So–yeah, so you need something to boost the bioavailability.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:  Black pepper is something that usually–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  Does boost it but that’s eliminated on the AIP and I also think when you go to supplements, almost everyone that’s bioavailable has a non-AIP food in there, and so frankly, for me, I–my supplements, I take–what is it?  It’s a Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin.  It’s one of those BCM-95–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I think it’s the one by Meriva.  I think that’s the one.  Is–is it the liposoma curcumin?

Eileen Laird:   No, but I’ve heard of that one and that one has the soy in it you’re not supposed to have.  The one I take has ricin that you’re not supposed to have.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.

Eileen Laird:  Another will one will have black pepper in it that you’re not supposed to have, but–but it was helping me so much I just couldn’t give it up.  And I trusted my body to tell me that, like if I took that supplement and it made me feel better instead of worse, you know, it’s logical to me that that’s a silly thing to remove.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Eileen Laird:   I realize that’s not AIP standard but that’s my–how I do it.  I’m all about the self-experiment.  N equals 1.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, there’s a curcumin that just came out that’s gonna be in a liposome of MCT oil versus the–

Eileen Laird:  Ooh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Soy phosphatidylcholine.  So that’s a good–a new one that could be beneficial for you.

Eileen Laird:  If you ever remember that when it comes out, send me that link.  Because people are always asking me for an AIP-friendly one and I feel badly that there’s not any really available unless you just get one that’s just curcumin and then as you know–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absorption.

Eileen Laird:  It doesn’t absorb well.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  I’ll put that in the show notes for you.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And then also with my patients, I’ve always allowed turmeric to be added in.  I’ve seen some places where they say don’t.  But some people are really, really hardcore, like the major spices I don’t allow are any peppers, paprika, seed-based spices, fenugreek–

Eileen Laird:  Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Seeds, celery seed.  Are there any other key spices that people tend to miss and add in that you wanna mention?

Eileen Laird:   I really think the nightshade ones are the biggest triggers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Right.

Eileen Laird:  And then the seed-based and the fruit-based I think are more just to be on the cautious side.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  And some people seem–I think the ones who have more trouble with those are kind of slightly hot spices and they maybe have more digestive–either leaky gut or if they have say ulcerative colitis or something like that.  Maybe their digestive tract is more sensitive?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  But I do find most people don’t have as much trouble with those.  It’s still recommend you–you eliminate them but I really think the nightshade ones are the biggest issue and what I will say for that and you–I think you named it off is people forget which ones are nightshades and paprika is in everything.  If you were trying to buy–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:   A packaged meat, like hotdogs or sausages or deli meats, almost every single one is gonna have paprika in it so when you’ve given up paprika you–you–you have to shop very carefully for anything like that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Totally.

Eileen Laird:  Until you can find out if you can reintroduce it, and some people can reintroduce that one better than the rest because it’s a milder nightshade.  I can’t but–but some people can.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Got it.  And in your book, I k now you talked about it–we touched upon earlier, infections.  What was your personal experience with infections being a part of your autoimmune condition?  Did you see a connection there or for you was it just more food-based?

Eileen Laird:   Let me see.  Well ,when I started, I started with a GAPS-Paleo hybrid, which is–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  A low starch diet designed to cut back on pathogens and then by the time I got tested, I didn’t test positive for anything.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Eileen Laird:  So I think I had kinda starved it out so I don’t know what it would have been like if I had tested at the out–outset.  One way I’m lucky is I haven’t had a lot of obstacles to healing, so like what I’ll say to people who are doing the AIP and it’s been a few months and they’re not getting any better, there’s likely an infection getting in the way, right?  Whether that be–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:  H. pylori or a parasite or something else.  For me, the challenge is more recently have been hormone issues and like we talked about–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yes.

Eileen Laird:   In my podcast, but I’m 47 now, so that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   You’re in that–

Eileen Laird:  Things really start to change and–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Mmm.  You’re in that–

Eileen Laird:  So I’ve been–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:   Doing all I can to balance that out, but I might be giving you a call myself if–if I can’t keep doing that.  With autoimmune disease, you just gotta keep your eye on the ball and you know, adjust as you–as you–the life changes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, you’re in that perimenopausal kinda time–

Eileen Laird:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Frame, 47 to 51-ish, so as you–

Eileen Laird:   Yeah, things just go a little crazy.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.  Yeah, as you start to rely more on the–the adrenals for that hormone output, things can definitely fluctuate if that autoimmunity has been stressing your adrenals which again, inflammation, your adrenals are gonna help put out the fire so it makes sense and I know on your supplement list, you mentioned you did really well on the Samento or the–the TOA Free Cat’s Claw.

Eileen Laird:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And I always think–when I hear that I’m always thinking infection because I use that a lot in my clinic for lower immune function, infections, even Lyme condition.  Conditions do great with that.  Did you have any other co-infection experience you wanna mention?

Eileen Laird:   I haven’t tested positively for anything and I don’t seem to have any symptoms that indicate that.  Like am I understanding like especially with like the Epstein-Barrs and all of that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:  Is–is once they’ve been reactivated, you–don’t you usually have like fatigue, lymph node issues–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Mmm, it can, yeah.

Eileen Laird:  Some things like that, more brain fog, et cetera?  And I–I haven’t had any of that, so could just be that I started that supplement very quickly once I started the Paleo diet and so maybe it’s just kept things under control. I don’t know if there’s anything still hidden under there.  Might be worse, you know, doing the battery of tests just to see if there’s a low-grade thing that I’m not kicking completely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, one thing I see with RA is mycoplasma infections.  Have you ever gotten that looked at?

Eileen Laird:  No.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, that’s one that I see.  I know doctor–Dr. Brownstein’s talked about it, a couple of other physicians, a lot of research on it and I see mycoplasma can be present in some of those patients but–

Eileen Laird:   Hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Something to–to look at and I know Cat’s Claw is helpful with it so that’s why I’m kinda just connecting the dots and see maybe if you’re hiding some potential infection just accidentally with the Cat’s Claw.

Eileen Laird:  Yeah, is fascinating to hear you say because I remember when I interviewed you, you said when you do your patient history with people, what has worked and what hasn’t is diagnostic.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:  It’s fascinating to see how that works.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, yeah.

Eileen Laird:   Once you have the knowledge like you do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.  That totally make sense.  And now looking at your book, you have so many great things that, you know, everyone that has an autoimmune condition should be aware of.  Is there any other key topics or key points on your book that you wanted to highlight that everyone should be aware of?

Eileen Laird:   You know, the one thing I’d–I’d rather do is just kind of highlight the book overall so that–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Eileen Laird:  I think until now there–you can be overwhelmed when you do research in–into the AIP because there’s so much information on the Internet, some of it’s conflicting.  The Paleo Approach is an awesome.  It’s on my shelf, but it’s almost 500 pages long and it’s a textbook and so that overwhelms a lot of people especially if they’re not very science-oriented or if they’re experiencing brain fog.  So what I wanted to do was write a book that you could read in a few hours that was written like a conversation with friends, where by the end of that hours you understand what the protocol is and when you’re ready to do it, you can just get started.  So that was–that was the intention behind the book and that’s the feedback I’m getting from people is that that’s how it’s working for them.  And the other thing that’s cool about it is people are buying it for friends with autoimmune disease who they want to consider the AIP and it’s a non-intimidating introduction to the protocol.  And then the other thing that’s happening is people are giving it to their family members so that hopefully their family will be more supportive and understand what they’re trying to do. Because it can sound crazy sometimes when you tell your–your parents or your partner or your kids or whoever, your bestfriend, what you’re doing, it can sound extreme if they don’t understand why you’re doing it.  And so the book kind of explains it for you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, absolutely.  And we’re gonna have the link for the book.  Guys, the book’s 8 bucks, 9 bucks on Amazon. Great buy and I’m going through it right now, and it’s a great review and a great reminder even at the physician level.  So anyone out there, check it out.  We’re gonna put the link on the show notes and the transcription, so anyone going to read it will have that accessible.  Is there any other kinda key–key important things you wanna leave our listeners here, Eileen?

Eileen Laird:   What I will just say is you’re stronger than you think you are.  Like if you haven’t done this yet and you think it’s too hard for you, I really think autoimmune disease is one of the toughest experiences in life and if you are living through that and you’re making it through everyday even if it’s a tough day, you are an incredibly strong human being and you deserve better.  You deserve to feel better and so that’s what I would say to you, is that it’s worth doing this thing that seems hard to make your life a lot easier in the long run.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s great and if people wanna find more–find out more about you, where’s the best place?

Eileen Laird:   Phoenixhelix.com.  So that’s P-H-O-E-N-I-X-H-E-L-I-X dot com and I host an AIP recipe roundtable every week on my blog so that’s a great way where you can usually get about 15 new recipes a week to keep yourself from being bored in the kitchen and if you’re familiar with an AIP to kind of see how delicious this food can be.  So that’s wonderful and then I also as we’ve talked about it a bit because I interviewed Dr. Justin on it, but I have a Phoenix Helix podcast.  You can check me out on iTunes and it’s 100% focused on autoimmune healing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   And I love that name.  There’s so much hidden symbolism in it.

Eileen Laird:  Thank you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   It’s great.  And then last question, if you were stuck on a desert island and you only could bring one supplement with you.  What would it be?

Eileen Laird:  Oh–oh, my.  You’d make choose between the curcumin and the Cat’s Claw.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay.

Eileen Laird:   That would be really hard.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Okay.  Well, you know–if you want we could just say it’s a–it’s a tie for first place between both of those

Eileen Laird:   Okay, yes.  Yes, those are the two.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome.  Well, thank you so much, Eileen.  You’ve really just put so much information out there.  We’ll have to listen to it twice and look forward to having you back some time soon.

Eileen Laird:  Okay, thank you.  It’s been really fun talking with you.  I appreciate you having me on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Same there. Thanks. Have a great day.

Eileen Laird:   You, too.

 

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