Autoimmune Protocol – The Paleo Way | Podcast #312

The AIP diet is an elimination and reintroduction protocol which aims to reduce inflammation in the gut, heal the gastrointestinal tract and in turn, reduce overall systemic inflammation. It is a diet targeted specifically at autoimmune diseases. We have Dr. J and Evan chatting about the benefits of this diet and how it can bring our body to a healthier state.

One of the biggest benefits of the AIP diet is its ability to alleviate inflammation, which is key to reducing symptoms of autoimmune conditions and promoting better health. Eliminating a few specific foods from the diet and filling up on nutrient-dense whole foods instead can have a powerful effect when it comes to inflammation.

Check out the podcast below for more info!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:42       What is Autoimmune Paleo

8:14       How is it Beneficial

21:18     How to’s in Food Sensitivity Issues

26:22     How Paleo Helps in AIP

31:03     Goal of Decreasing Immune Stress

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J in the house. Evan, how you doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing well, let’s dive in. Let’s have some fun. We’re going to talk all about autoimmune paleo, which is the template that we push a lot of people towards, not because we’re some dogmatic attached to our cards kind of people, but because we like results. We like clinical success. We like people to get better. We like people to reverse their health issues. We like people to take back their health, we like people to get off their medications when their doctor allows them to. And autoimmune paleo is by far the best template you and I’ve ever implemented clinically, which has given us those various types of success. So where should we start? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so off the bat, what is autoimmune paleo, so it’s a good starting point. It may not be good for everyone out of the gates, it just for me, it depends, right? I see a lot of patients that are sick and then have done a lot of things. And this is like the next logical step. If people were coming in to see me and they already have, let’s just say have a really kind of crappy kind of standard American diet. I may just start out with a Paleo Diet out of the gate. So we have paleo right that’s like no grains, legumes, dairy and then like kind of butter maybe like acceptable within that range that and then obviously no legumes, grains, so no grains, legumes or dairy, butter, acceptable meat, acceptable vegetables, non starchy veggies, and then of course, good healthy fats, right, not seeds, dairy based fats, animal fats are all acceptable. Okay, and then we have paleo I call it paleo 2.0, which is the equivalent to an autoimmune paleo template. And you notice how we use the word diets not. We use the word template, not diet. I don’t like the word diet, because diet is it’s very inflexible. This is what you eat, where a template gives you the ability to adjust things. So I like the flexibility within the description template. So an autoimmune template versus the Paleo template. paleo is no grains and legumes, no dairy. autoimmune is no nuts, seeds, nightshades nightshades, being tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and eggs. And so within that, that template, we’re still going to be having healthy proteins, healthy fats from animal products, fats that are not seated dairy free, but healthy animal products, other fats like olive avocado, and palm and coconut are all great. And then carbohydrates, from fruits from vegetables, minus the tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and we can adjust the macros accordingly, proteins, fats, and carbs. So that’s kind of a good first step out of the gate. So paleo, and then paleo 2.0, which is going to be on one and paleo and these are all paleo template, autoimmune template out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people don’t necessarily need to get stuck on the 2.0 the AIP forever. Okay, so this is not a podcast to say, look, everybody needs to do this. As Justin mentioned earlier, you know, we’re working with a lot of people clinically who’ve been to 510 20 practitioners before us, they’ve been on every diet under the sun, they’ve done every treatment under the sun, whether it’s natural pathi, homeopathy, functional medicine, doctors, conventional doctors, they’ve already been through the wringer. So in our patient population, it’s a bit more skewed towards the autoimmune because of the type of people we’re seeing. Now occasionally, we’ll get people in that are just Healthy People that want to feel better, or athletes and those people are not as compromised. And so for those, maybe we’re just standard paleo, and there’s a lot more flexibility. So just want to make that distinction because I don’t want your average person who doesn’t really have any major concerns thinking they need to go, you know, stick with AIP for life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, what if you don’t have an autoimmune diet? What if you don’t have an autoimmune disease? Should you do an autoimmune template? Well, here’s the deal, autoimmune template, really, the goal is you’re cutting out any food that has a higher chance of being hyper allergenic, right, there’s a lot of data on these different studies with nuts or seeds, that they can they have one anti nutrients in them, right oxalates phytase, either they affect protein digestion, mineral absorption, and they can be irritating on the gut lining. So there’s a lot of hyper allergenicity increased immune activity. So the and then they also have maybe potentially more omega six fatty acids that can drive down more of the pro inflammatory pathway. So the goal is that we’re trying to reduce some of these anti nutrients that have a negative impact on the gut lining. And the number two, we’re trying to increase nutrient density. Alright, so we’re choosing foods that are higher and better fats, right? fats that are polyunsaturated fats that are more polyunsaturated, they can be damaged and they can be oxidized, right so animal fats, coconut oil, saturated fats, not so much. And and then just the just the gut permeability aspect. So we see nuts and seeds fit that criteria. Eggs potentially even though eggs are awesome and so nutrient dense with a good vitamin A and fat soluble vitamins and cholesterol in the yolk, especially, they’re amazing. So sometimes those compounds can be a little bit more allergenic. So can the nightshades with the alpha solonian compound and they’re in the saponins. They can be a little bit More irritating on the guts get into the joints create inflammation. So it depends. The goal is really that it’s just a nutrient dense, anti inflammatory and then low in toxins, but more importantly, plant toxins, anti nutrients. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and the reason you’re bringing up the lectins. And some of these other compounds of these foods are because they’re going to contribute to increased intestinal permeability. So when you’re talking with anyone, whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or some other autoimmune disease, there’s always a domino that has to fall which is that the gut is leaky, this increased intestinal permeability has to take place. Now we’ve gone into the details of why that can happen from the infection perspective, low stomach acid, food fermenting in the gut, bacterial overgrowth, parasites, emotional stress, overtraining, we’ve tried to hit a lot of these different variables that can go into the leaky gut. But you can also have all the lifestyle infection piece dialed in, but if you’re eating, let’s just say, you’re doing salsa on your, you know, cassava flour, tortillas and your grass fed ground beef, but you’re just doing, I don’t know corn chips and salsa all the time with it, it’s possible that a lot of those lectins like you may get from your nightshades like your tomatoes and peppers. Those can irritate the gut lining contribute to that leaky gut and then that’s going to increase your autoimmune risk. Or if you’re already autoimmune, it may potentially flare you up depending on what’s going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, there’s one study that came out looking at people that have potential autoimmune genetics, they have the likelihood to make 10 times more IGA antibodies against certain foods than healthier foods. And in this one study, it’s called food intolerance and patients with a manifest autoimmunity with manifest autoimmunity observational study, in the Journal of autoimmune review, they talk about that the IGG level for specific foods were higher in the patient control group and the control group. So if these people that had autoimmunity they had more antibodies, and what they found was they saw a significant increase level and IGG. That’s a type of antibody that’s produced. And most doctors only look at IGE, which is anaphylaxis type of allergy response, immune response. And that’s like you need the epi pen for that right and so this is kind of IGG there are other types of responses that aren’t even in that IGG IGA, IGM IGE category, and so IGG isn’t the be all end all by the way. But they found that casein cow’s milk weekly and wider the eggs, rice, even some nuts and what and walnuts and almonds tend to have more of a allergenic idg response. They found no antibody reaction with vegetables and fish and meat products. They seem to be very immunoglobulin neutral. Guess what we do with an autoimmune template or a paleo template, we’re cutting most of those foods out. Obviously, with autoimmune, we’re focusing cutting the eggs out and the nuts and the seeds out to that’s it’s about decreasing the immune response. People that have a lot of autoimmunity, their immune system is sucking up lots of energy and lots of resources, because it’s responding to all this food in a negative way. And so the goal is we’re just trying to calm down the immune system. And then those foods aren’t there. We don’t have the gut permeability. Therefore the the body can use those resources better versus having the immune system hyper responding.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. Now, one other point to why would this be beneficial to do or to go down this rabbit hole and as I mentioned, maybe not forever, right? Maybe temporarily, we pull out eggs for me, I pulled out eggs for a long time when I had gut bugs. I had an Louise on the podcast and we talked all about gallbladder and eggs and how there’s a big factor there where eggs can irritate the gut, you know, just based on the gallbladder issues. And so I pulled them out and now I can tolerate eggs, no problem duck eggs, I tried experimenting with those for a while some argue duck eggs are a little easier. quail eggs I played with those a little bit. You know, I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge difference among the different types of eggs. But I think it’s a cool experiment when you try to get into the reintroduction phase where you’re going back to paleo 1.0 and adding eggs and things back in nuts. For me, same thing, I used to get really, really bad headaches from walnuts, so I cut those out for a while. If I do a little bit of those, I’m okay. So the good news is your body can calm down. And that’s one thing that this diet will help you do is it’ll help you to identify your trigger foods. Because if you’re just eating a bunch of different stuff, and your diet is too varied, and if you’re not tracking it, you don’t have a clue. If you go and you have a salad, where you’ve got walnuts and pecans and cranberries, and tomatoes and whatever on your salad, you’re not going to have a clue what’s irritating you but if you go AIP for a bit, now you’re going to know hey, you know what, as soon as I add it back in those tomatoes, boom, my joints hurt. And then you’ll have a much, much more clear path. So if anything else, it’s more helpful to use the journal plus reintroduce foods and it can be amazing. That’s how you really figure out what you tolerate what you don’t. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I tell patients you don’t really know how dirty you get until you get really clean. Right, once you’re really clean, and then you get dirty, you’re like, Okay, I get it. I’m dirty right now, right? What does that mean? We want a clean baseline. So what’s the clean baseline? In my analogy, the clean showers the baseline. And in regards to the food, that’s the autoimmune diet, the autoimmune diet is the clean shower, it’s getting really clean. So then when we start to one, maximize the diet, usually people are going to see benefit within a within a couple of weeks, and or a month, and I always like patients to kind of plateau, some or plateau within three, four weeks, where they may see a lot of improvement and joint pain or energy or brain fog. And then it’s like, Okay, good. Now they’re kind of like running out of steam in regards to their initial jump and improvement. So I want patients to typically be on the diet for four weeks and the plateau for at least one week before they do any reintroduction, some autoimmune patients, they continue to see significant improvement week after week, and it may last a couple of months. So patients that are like that, I’m a little bit more strict on what they’re under reintroduction. Now, it’s usually not that big of a deal. Because if you get those kind of results, those results speak for themselves, and they really motivate you a ton. So it’s not like twisting an arm to get someone to follow that diet longer, because the results are guiding us that we’re on the right track. So I tell my patients, if you’re gambling and you’re on a streak playing poker, or blackjack, I’m not going to pull you off the table. Right? I’m going to let that streak roll a little bit. Same thing with the diet. So if you have a lot of success coming out of the gates, I’m gonna let it roll. I’m gonna let you plateau. And then we have a specific reintroduction protocol, and how we add foods back and I’ll go into that in a minute. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and, you know, there’s not a lot of money involved with this, meaning you can’t really make money just by getting people to eat meats and veggies. So the problem is, there’s not too many studies. Now I don’t know if you want to pull it up, but I just sent you one in the chat. For those watching on video, they may be able to see this. It’s a PubMed study here. It was in the inflammatory bowel disease journal 2017. As I mentioned, there’s not much money in this right. So it’s probably going to be few and far between clinical trials on autoimmune diets because there’s no drug involved and Big Pharma isn’t going to pay some random guy to do a diet trial. Right. But anyway, this was a study on patients with Irritable Bowel Disease. And they did it for six weeks, followed by five week maintenance. And it just goes into the results here it talks about significantly improving people with ulcerative colitis, and significantly improving Crohn’s disease. C reactive protein, they said didn’t change much. But the calprotectin, which is a marker we measure on the stool panel, it improved from 471, which is high was to 112 at week 11. And also Wow, those that did drop. I mean, that’s a lot. I mean, you’re talking hundreds of points, just put died alone. And then it says here among those with follow up endoscopy at week 11. improvements were also noted in a simple endoscopic score for Crohn’s disease and a Mayo endoscopy sub score. So we’re not obviously running that we’re not doing scopes on people, we’re running stool panels. But I’ve seen the same thing. I had a guy who had calprotectin above 1000, it was insane. He had pan colitis where it was the whole colon and you know, pretty much the whole intestinal tract was involved. It was pretty sad. But just with now, technically, in his case, we didn’t do just diet, we did a lot of really, really potent aloe extract. But I mean, we were able to get calprotectin down hundreds and hundreds of points within a few weeks. So there’s the proof.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% those are all excellent points. So a couple people in the chat here Andrew Hill wrote in that we got to be careful with tapioca because it’s a similar cassava similar to latex and yeah, if you’re a sensitive person, we may want to even cut that out for a few weeks before we add that in. Technically that may be allowed, right cassava yuca, tapioca. And that same kind of family. I think it’s the same thing. There’s different names, but that may be something we want to work on excluding others may just be some of the spices, you know, like pepper, some of the nuts or seeds or spices that are something that you don’t eat, but it’s more of a topical kind of thing on the food. Got to be careful over that if you’re really sensitive, usually foods going to have a dose dependency. So the more of that food you eat, the more the immune reaction will be exacerbated due to its we keep an eye on those things for sure. Riley wrote in that we know basically one of the no take on the food sensitivity test, when does a food sensitivity test become beneficial? So my issue with food sensitivity tests, is most of them come back with some level of autoimmune foods on there for people. Okay, that’s number one. So I always look at test, does it change the treatment? So most are going to have some of these foods on there, number one, number two, if it doesn’t have those foods on there, would a patient still benefit from cutting those foods out? That’s the important question, because your immune system may be responding in a way outside of a typical IGA G or IGA test. There are other tests out there that look at like the MRT or the Alliance akt look at other type of T cell intermediary responses, which could be it. But I still know people that run these tests and they have patients that test perfect for gluten. And then now you’re in this conundrum is do you allow your patient to eat gluten now because the test says gluten is fine, because we know there may be an immune response happening in the body outside of what’s being tested. So that’s why I don’t like it because you can give a lot of false sense of security that you can eat gluten or other grains. Number two, I’ve seen benefits cutting those foods out, even when it says it’s fine. So for me, it doesn’t change what I’m doing enough for the value for the cost. And I’d rather use that money on another lab or a stool test or supplementation that’s going to be more root cause supportive. 

Evan Brand: Well said, I’m going to take that as my soundbite. So anytime somebody says, Evan, why won’t you run a food sensitivity test dummy? I’m going to say, Well, my good friend, Dr. Justin said it better than me, and then I’m going to play them your little soundbite you just did because it was it was so good. But I agree. And that’s exactly what what I do is I just tell them, Look, save your money. Let’s go AIP. And then let’s do reintroductions plus you journal. And we find that that’s going to be far better. I mean, when you look at gluten, for example, I have seen people where it does show up as that it’s going to be okay. However, they know when they eat it, they don’t feel as good. They feel a little brain fog, they feel bloated. And that didn’t show up on paper. So then they’re confused. And then the husband goes, See, I told you you’re crazy, eat a pizza, and then you just get yourself in trouble again. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yes, now where food allergy tests may be helpful. It doesn’t quite fit into the patients that I see is if a parent is trying to help a child and or a family member who is totally on is totally uncompliant and resistant to doing anything. And if we can get some lab data saying to avoid these foods, that may help with leverage, but most people are coming to see us they’re they’re investing a lot to work with us. So they’re pretty darn compliant. If we say don’t do that, let’s save you some money. They just typically listen to us. Yeah, well, number two is if you’re already at a great, great super high level of health, and you want to see if there’s any maybe weird foods there, then that may be helpful to look and see if any other foods that are there. The problem is if it says don’t eat raspberries, and then you eat blueberries, what’s the chance that blueberries and now on the list next month? Right? That’s where it becomes this like whack a mole where you’re like, wow, like one and the other one pops up over here. And you’re like, crap. 

Evan Brand: That’s a very good point. Yeah, the compliance and the leverage. I mean, that’s the reason that we do some of the testing in regards to the infections too, because somebody will say, Hey, I feel like I’ve got this, I want you to just give me a parasite protocol. I think I’ve got parasites with you know, you and I’ve covered this before people come in, and they have this idea of what they think’s wrong with them. And we, they just want us to pursue that rabbit hole with them. So we’ll come in and we’ll use the data first look on the paper. You know what, actually, no, we think this is a bigger priority over here. And then we circle back. So yeah, that’s that’s a great point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I think it’s, uh, you know, we want to always look at you know, the root cause why you’re sensitive to these foods, of course, you want to be fixing the gut that’s gonna be ideal. Whether it’s SIBO or H. pylori of bacterial issues, you want to work to the six hours because patients have a chance of having increased risk of food allergens when the food’s not broken down properly. So adequate levels of enzymes and acids chewing your food masticating your food Well, not overly hydrating when you eat adequate enzymes, adequate acids are all very helpful at being able to break down the food again, if you love it, rotate it. If you’re eating beef every single day over and over again, your chances of a beef allergy goes up right but you saw the study I just mentioned earlier, that study showed much less chance of animal products and vegetables causing an allergen right so that we cut out the big foods that are going to be the highest risk. Now. Outside of that there’s a reintroduction plan that I infuse with my patients when it’s time. So we add each food back in over a two to three day period. So we’ll start with egg yolks before eggs ghee before butter, one not one seed one Nightshade at a time. And typically a very small amount of food on day one, a little bit more on day two. And if we have no negative symptoms, then usually we’re good we can go to the next food if we’re on the fence, we can have a day three where we eat a larger amount of food because the response tends to be dose dependent small amount of bad food for you. Small amount of symptoms, larger amount of food, larger amount of symptoms and then if you stair step the dose up usually the symptoms go up as well. So if you’re on the fence, it gives you that ability to be confident that you’re sensitive or not. And we go right down the list. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, so give me a little bit of concrete like view how would that look? So today’s Monday when we’re recording so let’s say you want to add back in almonds for me you’re gonna have me do what have you? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so let’s just start in the right order. So egg yolks before eggs, so I may go and I may poach one egg, poach it, it comes up. I’m keeping the yolk a little bit soft. Why I don’t want to oxidize it. I trim away the egg white egg white tends to be more allergenic, feed it to my dog, have the yolk How do I feel? That’s a good if I do. Okay, let’s do two yolks tomorrow. Trimming away. Good. Excellent, great. Awesome. Very good. Next day we’re going to add in the full egg. Now we’re going to do a little omelet, right, but we’re not going to overly, we’re not going to overly cook up the egg yolk, the egg white, I’m sorry, we’ll keep it so it’s, you know, the whole eggs blended but it’s going to be a little bit more wet because we don’t want to overly oxidize the cholesterol on the proteins that are in there. Right? oxidized cholesterol and protein tend to be more hyper allergenic higher immune response. And then if we’re good there, then we go to gi waggy. Keys, clarified butter, less lactose, less casein, right? The casein and lactose have the biggest problem. If you can tolerate ghee Great, now we go to butter The next day, same kind of stairstep so my sensitive patients can handle ghee can’t handle butter. So we always want to start with the least allergenic to the most. So if we can handle one egg yolk but not the egg, guess what we at least have an egg yolk in our diet. If we handle the egg, the GI but not the butter we at least have some of that good butterfat clarified gi back in our diet. So we always go least to most, where if we did it the other way around. You wouldn’t have been able to add the food back in. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. Okay, and then when do you bring in some of the nuts, the seeds? How do you do those any particular order you found better or worse. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I would just start with like, if you’re gonna do almonds, you could just do one or two almonds, right? And IDN sprouted is a little bit better, right where it’s soaked, and that can deactivate some of the anti nutrients, the lectins, the phytates, right, the oxalates. So you can do a couple of almonds, maybe one teaspoon or tablespoon almond butter. And the next day you can double or triple that dose. See how you feel if you’re okay, that’s a good sign. But of course, deactivating some of the anti nutrients can be helpful too. And then the next day, let’s say pecans are in your routine. Try pecans, try pistachios or walnuts. And again, if if you’re not eating those foods on the reg, it’s not that big of a deal, right? Just try to choose the nuts or seeds that are more on the regular things that you’re doing more on a daily routine. 

Evan Brand: And of course we want to make sure these are organic. We want to make sure these are fresh. I advise keeping your nuts in the freezer like I keep my pecans in the freezer. And they taste so good frozen to like I’ll take pecans out of the freezer do a little bit of maple syrup. Oh my god, you talk about delicious. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh totally. Yep. 100%. Now here’s the other deal too. So then we have let’s say you’re able to get nuts or seeds or nightshades or eggs back in right you get everything back in. Do we ever allow grains now I always just tell patient it depends on how significant a patient is. If we know someone has diagnosed autoimmune condition I always try to stay more on the grain free side I hate the word gluten free because you can be gluten free and eat lots of process rights and oats and corn and that could be a problem right? Because the problem means are are the umbrella the problem? You know umbrella gluten is one prolamin under that umbrella, right? The most common one is the wheat, barley and rye that gliadin prolamin. Then you have horizen in which is rice, you have a vignette which is oh right you have seen what you have seen which is corn. So these are still like brothers and sisters of the Glee and protein. So just like someone you may see someone, a brother or sibling, and you may be like, Oh, you must be so and so you look just like him as a family resemblance. Well, your immune system has that same kind of resemblance with other proteins that are cousins and brothers and sisters of gliadin. And so your immune response can be triggered. Also, there’s a lot of data in the non celiac gluten sensitivity research that grains, even if you’re not allergenic to them can still increased gut permeability. And the more you increase gut permeability, the greater chance you have of creating more inflammation or triggering autoimmunity. Now, what does that mean? Does that mean never eat grains? It just means my general recommendation is always try to be grain free if you can have a substitute. If you’re relatively healthy, good health and you have no autoimmunity. Could you eat some grains that have gluten here, they’re probably you could probably get away with it, you know, and it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I wouldn’t recommend it being a staple because those foods, they’re still inflammatory. They still have a lot of nutrient blockers in there. And they still aren’t nutrient dense. So I still much rather, I’d much rather see someone have some white potato over a bunch of wheat, right potato is actually pretty nutrient dense and has a lot of potassium in there and a lot of good minerals. I rather have someone do that over over gluten. Complete gluten full, if you will, grains, but it all depends where you’re at, the healthier you are, the more versatility and adaptation you have, the more unhealthy you have or the more diagnostic autoimmunity you have, you really want to be careful. A lot of times it’s just not worth it. Some people they eat some gluten, they’re inflamed for a week, it takes them days to get back on the wagon. So it depends upon how long it takes you to get back on the wagon. And if you have a known thyroid issue, there’s some data saying that autoimmune response can last for weeks and even months so it’s just not worth it depending on the damage that may occur. Dude after the fact. 

Evan Brand: Yep. Well said and yeah, he’s talking about like the gluten cross reactivity issue. So like, for a while, you know, I had a lot of people doing corn because they thought, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna be okay. But turns out they weren’t. Okay. So in a lot of cases, yeah, we do remove the corn if I do a much rather see 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: much rather see cassava or you could chips over anything with corn or anything else like that. So that’s much better like this yet they brands pretty darn good. Or just a really good white potato chip like the boulders make a good one with avocado or coconut oil that’s really good fat. On the potato side.

Evan Brand: I’ve noticed the same thing. Yeah, potato for some reason, even though it’s still potentially cross reactive. I’ve noticed it is better tolerated than corn for most people. So that’s good. Maybe it’s just a lower count or maybe a slightly different compound in there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And I use a lot of root vegetable chips. So I’ll do like a lot of turnips, rutabaga, or sweet potato, like a lot of root vegetable, like grain free type of stuff. And that tends to be pretty good. But the nice thing is, once you kind of work through that autoimmune template, you should get a lot of confidence in what you can or can’t handle. And then once you’re at a high level, if you’re if you’re going off the reservation too much, you’ll start to feel it. And that usually gives you a pretty good idea that you’re probably doing too much for you. So our goal is to get you feel really clean. And then once you’re really clean, it’s kind of easy to notice when you’re getting dirty. 

Evan Brand: Yep, yep, well said. And the whole point of this is what well, it’s to give you relief is to get you to feel better is to get your brain to work better your joints to feel better your sleep to be better your food reactions, your gut, your, your everything. I mean, the skin, the brain, I mean, this literally can affect every body system here. So we really want to focus on what’s the end goal. It’s not just tweaking this just to tweak it make this like an obsessive OCD type thing because it can get a little crazy. No, it’s to get you to feel better. And then while we get you to feel better, we’re working behind the scenes on these other root causes. Because it’s very unlikely that someone became sensitive to all these foods just out of nowhere, right? There’s something that triggered it. And Okay, so we’re getting you simmering, okay, we got your diet, just you Okay, we got that pillar of the house in now, while that’s sitting there, simmering. Let’s work back here. We’re going to work on this, this this over here, and then boom, now we go back to this diet. Good job, you’ve been holding steady. Okay, now let’s bring normal quote normal things back in and then people tolerate him. So that’s kind of the whole rationale. That’s kind of our mindset behind this whole thing. When we’re working clinically. It’s not just the dietician, approach. Here’s the diet have a good life? It’s okay, well, why did you have to go to this level of specificity in the first place? And that’s the real question. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And also, people want to start having more grains on the regular, I would say make sure your health is really great and stable. And I’d also say if you wanted to be more certain, run an HLA dq test for gluten sensitivity, if you have to or ate on there, you definitely want to avoid the gluten, one or three is going to be a little bit less. And then I think four is the only true genotype that is not gluten sensitive, you could still have other problems with the anti nutrients that are in there, or the higher amounts of fermentable carbohydrate, but that’d be my one test that would say just to really know that make sure there’s not a genetic issue. If you’re going to put it in there and more in the regular for me, my big cheats are going to happen. If I go out for sushi, I may have a couple of rolls. But usually I like the Alaskan roll that has like a lot of salmon, and a lot of avocado, and then there’ll be a little bit of white rice. So when I typically cheat, it’s going to be getting some white rice for sushi. And but I typically use coconut aminos and a soy free soy sauce and MCT oil and I’ll typically do extra enzymes and extra charcoal during those meals to mitigate the inflammatory response. So it’s a kind of couple of little tricks that I kind of do. If not for me, I just I just feel too good. I don’t want to have a setback. So there’s enough substitutes for me where I can engage in that substitute still feel really good and not have a problem? 

Evan Brand: Yep, they are. Well said. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else you want to add Evans? Oh, one more thing. I wanted to say. What if autoimmune paleo is not enough? What does that mean? So some patients they may have to do carnivore, they may have to do a variation of an autoimmune paleo, low fodmap SCD template where we’re cutting out fermentable, carbohydrates, even some of these really good fermented foods. Or we may have to be cutting out foods that are high in salicylates and females, that may have a little bit higher amount of anti nutrients that, you know, things that could be on the vegetable side, right, or fodmaps, like broccoli, and let’s say onions and garlic, things that are have good benefits, we may have to cut out other foods. And again, we see a lot of patients that come in that have done a lot and that are very sick or have a lot of gut inflammation, we may have to go to that extreme. We may even have to do an elemental diet or a carnivore diet. So everyone’s a little bit different and they come in from different places. But if an autoimmune diet does not work for you, there’s other things that we need to work on it. You’d really want to work with that practitioner at that point, because your health issues are a lot more nuanced. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And hopefully you’re not hopefully you’re not to that level. But just know that if you’ve done this and you’re still suffering The number one, there’s probably underlying triggers you haven’t identified yet things that are really aggravating your immune system or the gut. So we need to try to find those triggers. And then number two, you can tweak this thing even more to get you stable, the whole thing, the whole goal is to get you stable. So we can work on root causes here. So it’s not just diet and done, just remember that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And also, what’s the goal of this diet, right, I always tell patients, what’s the goal is that we don’t have like a goal in mind. Most people, when they make a diet change, they kind of just go to this place in their hand, like it’s forever. And they kind of have like a little mini funeral, like how I miss my potatoes, my, or my seeds, they kind of have this really this kind of state of mourning, where it’s really sad and they’re depressed, I always tell my patients, the goal is to one first, increase your nutrient density in your diet, number two, to decrease inflammation overall, right, and then three, to decrease a lot of the toxins, whether those toxins or plant based toxins, whether those toxins are you’re not eating organic, and you’re getting pesticides, and chemical toxins, all those things are valid. And the goal of that is that now decreases the immune system stress, and that the immune system stress starts to go down. There’s less autoimmunity, there’s less inflammation in the body. And that kind of starts creating this snowball effect where your body can start to heal as we start addressing infections, supporting the adrenals addressing nutrient deficiencies, calming down the immune response by addressing infections and using probiotics and other nutrients on that side of the fence. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you made a great point, which is the emotional piece. So we could do a whole part two podcast on this if people want. We’re going into the whole rationale scientific part of that. But if you’ve got a woman who is addicted to her cookies, you’ve got to work through the emotional stuff, too, right? So we could come in with all these rational, very scientific studies and things you have gone into, right? It sounds really attractive and really scientific. But then you got the emotional bubbles popping up. And people are going Oh, no, but what about this? And what about Thanksgiving? And what about this and my family and I love to do go eat the popcorn at the movies, you know? And so then the emotional piece is hard. So you have to work through that with people. And we do we have those conversations. So on the face of it, it sounds all easy, right? It’s like, okay, just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you’re great. But then, once you actually sit down at the plate, and you’ve got that fork there, then the emotional stuff comes up. It’s the the husband or wife making fun of you for your choices. I mean, that’s a common one. It’s if there’s a divorced family, it’s the child going to the other part of the family, where the other family member doesn’t believe in this and say, This is all quackery. And then they come home after eating pizza all weekend, and then they’re in an autoimmune flare, or you go over to the parents house. And, you know, they think it’s a joke. So they still try to serve you bread and butter, you know. So there are some things you have to work through on the family emotional side, but you know, it’s definitely something that’s, that’s possible. Everybody can do it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, where I see it a lot, you know, well, meaning grandparents that feed their kids cookies, their grandkids, cookies, you know, or like, they want to spoil them a little bit. That can be really tough, too. But yeah, you got to get everyone on the same page. And in general, you got to have a plan. And if you’re having a lot of cravings, most of those cravings, a lot of the protein orphans, which are like opiate like compounds in grains and dairy hit that same opiate receptors. So those foods can have a lot of addictive qualities to it. And a lot of people they’re used to operating on a blood sugar rollercoaster, so their blood sugar goes up and down, up and down. Because not enough good protein or fat in the meal or they’re not, they’re going too long between meals. So really working out the blood sugar. A lot of times if someone switches from a standard American diet to an autoimmune diet, the two big mistakes they make is one, they’re not getting enough calories from their autoimmune diet, therefore, they’re chronically hungry, which creates cravings. So you have to make sure you’re getting enough calories or nutrients. The second thing is they may go to low carb for them. So if someone’s needs a little bit more carbs, and they’re at a relatively more healthy way, they may come in go really to low carb, and that may cause more cravings too. So you may have to just add in some good, healthy, safe starches to fill that carb void if those carbs are a good place for you. My default set is always lower carb, higher fat, and then kind of work through that over time, because most people have more insulin resistance and going lower carb out of the gates helps resolve a lot of that. 

Evan Brand: Good points. Good point. Yeah. And the gluteal morphin stew. I don’t know if you said I think it said the other thing that 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the protein orphans are gluteal morphemes. These are like the opiate like products like that are in gluten or the KCM orphans in the dairy. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So when people say oh my god, I’m addicted to my whatever, they’re not joking. You literally are and there can be some sort of a withdrawal from it. And then also from the neuro transmitter perspective, that’s something we’re going to look at on organic acids testing. So if we see for example, whether it’s low endorphins, low dopamine, low serotonin, we may come in with specific amino acids to try to repair and rebuild. And that can be a good let’s call it a nutritional support band aid for the brain chemistry, which is causing the underlying craving in the first place. So rather than say, hey, go from the gluten cookie to the grain free cookie, it’s okay. Yeah, maybe you do that. But we’re also going to give you a little bit of some DLP a or trip the fan or something to help the brain because the brain is involved with this too. This is not just the gut, the brains involved too. So we’re, we’re thinking about all these variables as we go. It’s kind of a moving, it’s like, I don’t know, maybe a good NASCAR analogy, you know, it’s like the, the guys are coming on and changing all the tires and we’re doing that in every category. So it’s the brain, it’s the gut, it’s the immunity it’s the adrenals we’re we’re simultaneously working on all of these pieces and then boom, you succeed you feel better. So I think we should wrap it up if you’re ready too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think we can’t man that we did a great job kind of outlining everything this will be a good reference for my patients as well that you know, just kind of want more intel on the autoimmune side. If you’re listening to this and you want to dive in deeper and you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with some of the diet changes out of the gates definitely reach out to myself for Evan, EvanBrand.comand there’s a little link there where you can click the schedule or myself Dr. J. At we’re happy to help you. We have experienced doing this for over a decade with thousands of patients. And if you’re ready to take that next step, we’re here to help you all if not just utilize all this free information and just kind of execute on it and make yourself healthier. We really appreciate it. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, if you’re a do it yourselfer, that’s fine. But for me, and you and many others, it’s better to have a guide, it’s better to have the data test don’t guess get the information, know what you’re up against. So you can figure out and when we say test, don’t guess we’re talking the root cause stuff. We may not run a food panel out of the gate, but we’re gonna run a gut panel out of the gate figure out what infections could be causing these issues in the first place. So thanks for tuning in. We appreciate you guys and we’ll be in touch. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Put your comments down below. Let me know your success on an autoimmune diet. Really want to know and thanks for sharing. You guys. Have a good one. Take care of y’all.


Audio Podcast:

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

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. 

Eileen LairdLearn 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









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,

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:  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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