Episode 14 of my collaborative project with Rory Linehan of The Paleo PI and Petra Chambers-Sinclair of BiohackU – two of my favourite peeps in this corner of the health caper world – is up and running!
The three of us all hail from different corners of the globe and have very different life experiences, but we share both friendship and passion for seeking health through an holistic approach. The intention behind our podcast is to seek out and interview others who share the same goal – and hopefully impart what we learn and have a little fun along the way. We hope you’ll join us!
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Jo Romero started the Autoimmune Protocol four years ago, in the UK where the awareness of national healing for autoimmunity is still just emerging. She figured out how to make the protocol work, with limited access to ingredients, and she got her whole family on-board. Practising gratitude and creativity enabled her to reverse psoriasis, depression and IBS as well as publish a series of popular AIP e-books, including one that was a recent finalist for the UK Paleo Awards.
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0.00 Introduction to the Healing Protocols: the global edition
1.28 Petra: Welcome to Episode 14: Interview with Jo Romero
2.04 Jo: Let’s learn more about you and your history. When did you first start using nutrition, lifestyle and mindset to heal and what was the reason?
- 21: I had Psoriasis since I was 12 or 13. When I started the AIP I was 36. It affects you mentally. I was using steroid creams all of that time. I kept using stronger ones. It was all over my body at one time, including my eyelids. I found the AIP and the healing was really fast. My relationship with my doctor changed when I took responsibility for my own health.
4.02 Jo: How long have you been following a healing protocol?
- 10: Since 2013.
4.37 Rory: You mentioned that you relationship with your doctor changed. What was it that flipped that switch?
- 19: It was when he gave me a strong prescription for psoriasis on my eyelids and I read it and it said don’t put this anywhere near your face. So I phoned up and asked if it was a mistake. And then I realized that I needed to do something to fix myself.
5.53 Rory: Why do you think that your health issues occurred? Was it due to genetics, life choices, environment, or a combination of factors?
- 19: Definitely a combination of factors. Genetic. You need a trigger. I had a turbulent adolescence. Stress is a trigger. I react badly to sugar. Lack of sleep.
7.18 Rory: What about your nutrition when you were a kid?
- 50: If I was hungry I’d be told to go get a cake out of the cupboard. We didn’t eat many vegetables. Chips and burgers. Starch and sugar.
8.29 Petra: What is your health like now?
- 39: I’ve just turned 40 and I feel better than I did in my 20s. I still have one patch of psoriasis on the back of my scalp. That was the first patch that developed. My psoriasis healed backward. IBS: gone. I used to be depressed and anxious all the time, but that’s gone too. I feel brilliant. If I start eating bad things again I start to feel low again.
10.29 Petra: Would you say that there has been a spiritual component to healing?
- 34: When I was suffering from depression I started to do yoga and mindfulness. I started to practice gratitude.
11.13 Jo: Have you got any advice for people who have chatty or critical inner voices?
- 21: Adopting this gratitude practice puts you on the positive straight away. Lifts you out of that mindset. Mindful walking.
12.14 Jo: What is it like following a healing protocol lifestyle from the UK?
- 43: The movement is growing here. It is still quite a small community. We have a Facebook group AIP in the UK where we compare notes about what you can buy in the shops and how to keep bills down. A year ago you couldn’t buy coconut flour or plantains. Amazon can deliver the next day. When I started 4 years ago, I couldn’t find most of the ingredients in the recipes that came from the States.
14.28 Rory: I’m fascinated by that because living in the US now, I’m grateful for the access to the food. When I go back to Australia, I notice the access to food is also growing.
15.47 Rory: You’ve been nominated for an award. Can you tell us about that?
- 52: It was the first UK Paleo awards. My ebook Spice made the finals. I wrote the book because there was room to be more creative with the spices on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for people like me who are obsessed with curries and Thai food.
17.11 Petra: What would be your best advice to someone who is just starting a healing protocol?
- 26: Plan. Make shopping lists and meal plans. When you can’t have convenience food, you have to plan a bit more. That will save you money. Also, leftovers.
18.15 Petra: Does your whole family join in with eating the way you do? You’ve got kids.
- 22: The main meals, we all eat paleo. The kids will take other things to school. My husband did AIP with me and he saw huge improvements in his health, too. He didn’t expect to feel any different but he did.
19.21 Jo: Who has been the most inspirational to you in your healing protocol lifestyle?
- 32: The first blogger I found was Mickey Trescott. In the early days, there were 3 or 4 AIP recipes online. And then Mickey’s cookbook came out…
21.02 Rory: Can you give us some tips on using spices on the AIP?
- 12: Curries all have nightshades, seed spices and dairy. It’s about looking at what you can use. You can have cloves, cinnamon, garlic and ginger. You can cook the onions down until they are caramelized and that gives a great colour to the dish.
22.22 Rory: Where to find Jo online (and her news about the launch of her print book!)
To learn more about Jo, check out her website at Comfort Bites Blog where you can learn more about her story and her recipes.
(and if you’d like to pick up a copy of Jo’s award-winning eBook – Spice, click here!)