It’s always amazing when you get to talk to one of your favourite people who also happen to be one of your personal inspirations.
I have been lucky enough to be a guest on Eileen’s podcast twice before and I was so delighted when she agreed to be a guest on mine.
In this interview, we look back to how life was both before and directly after Rheumatoid Arthritis hit her life and what happened next. From her first experiences of changing her diet, then to AIP, transitioning over from her previous work as a massage therapist and the beginnings of Phoenix Helix, seeking help to do “the work” on the fears around starting medication and if they meant “failure” and finding the freedom emotionally to deal with flares and give them a new perspective and meaning in her life.
This interview is a little longer than usual because I could literally talk to Eileen ALL day if I had the chance and there is so much wisdom, experience and inspiration in what she has to say, about living real life with chronic illness and all of the physical and emotional challenges that brings, flares and all.
Have a listen to the podcast using the podcast player here or find us on iTunes, Spotify, Google or ask Alexa to play the Emotional Autoimmunity podcast. If you enjoy this episode, I would love it if you could leave a review to help iTunes show us to more people. Please feel free to share this episode with your friends and family as well.
Eileen Laird is the woman behind the Phoenix Helix blog and podcast, and she chose that name for a reason. Rheumatoid arthritis hit her life like a wrecking ball when she was 43 years old. She went from being a healthy woman who worked as a massage therapist during the day and hiked on the weekends for fun, to being someone who could no longer walk across her living room without limping, and lacked the strength in her hands and wrists to wash dishes.
It was a terrifying and excruciatingly painful time, and she felt like her life was destroyed. She desperately needed a symbol of hope, and she chose the Phoenix – the mythical bird that rises from the ashes, stronger and more beautiful than ever before.
Eileen found the paleo autoimmune protocol 7 years ago and slowly started the process of reclaiming her health. Now, she lives a vibrant and pain-free life through a combination of diet, lifestyle, mindset and medication. She’s been married for 22 years to a very supportive man, who you may have heard playing the intro and outro music on her podcast.
Eileen lives in the mountains and is back to walking every day and hiking whenever she can. Her other hobbies include reading fiction, nature photography, travel, and spending time in deep conversation with good friends.