What Am I Eating?

I thought I would take a minute to show you guys some things that I’ve been eating!  These are all recipes from a book by Dr. Amy Myers called The Thyroid Connection.  While I’m not following her 28 day meal plan (I don’t have time to cook that much!), I am using her recipes for all of my dinners and most of my lunches.  Each meal I make serves four, and some serve six.  So Matt (my husband) and I will eat it for dinner and then we each will eat it for lunch a couple of days later.  So I’ve only been cooking for dinner, which has been nice.  And when I have time, I will prep some of the items on the weekend so they don’t take as much time during the week.  So far, everything I’ve made hasn’t taken long to cook, it’s just the cutting of veggies and such that seems to take the bulk of the time.  Oh, and I should also say, I’ve actually really liked the majority of the recipes, which I’ve kind of been surprised by, I must admit! Below are a few that we’ve had!

Citrus Shrimp over Red Leaf Lettuce Salad – We really liked this!

Pineapple Taco Salad with Grass-Fed Beef – This was one of my least favorites, only because I felt like it needed dressing or more oil.  I think if I made it again, I would actually crush some of the pineapple and throw it in a blender with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to make a dressing.

Pear and Parsley Smoothie – I was VERY surprised by this because it tasted so good!

Apricot Chicken Salad – this did not call for a tortilla or wrap but it was really good on one!  I used a coconut wrap from Thrive Market.  The ingredients for the wrap are coconut meat, coconut water and coconut oil so it’s Stacy approved!

Turkey Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash with Tuscan Kale Pesto – another really good one but I also added a little extra olive oil to my “spaghetti”.

Seabass and Cucumber Seaweed Salad –  so I found out with this that what kind of seaweed you get actually matters… definitely make sure you use wakame seaweed!!

Blueberries and Cream Smoothie

Sweet Potato and Green Breakfast Hash – hands down my favorite!!

Mint Chocolate Brownies – these are actually not from Dr. Myers book, I got this from one of her social media outlets, just can’t remember which!  These have become a staple!  I get one each day as a dessert.  😊

Also, not pictured but a few other things that I’ve loved:

Grass-fed Beef and Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Coconut Chicken Curry (I had never had Curry and this was  SO GOOD)

Salmon with Zucchini Noodle Pesto and Garlic Butternut Squash

Wild-Caught Cod with Sage Parsnip Mash and Asparagus

Greek Lamb Burger with Coconut Tzatziki and Zucchini Half-Moons (I was so surprised at how much I liked this!! I’ve never had lamb before and this was really good!  The coconut tzatziki sauce was so delicious!)

I will post some more recipes as I go through the 10 weeks.  I’m also going to use some recipes from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, NTP.  There are several in there that look really good! I look forward to trying new things throughout the 10 weeks!  And I can’t wait to share them with you!

Do you have AIP recipes that you love and are willing to share?  Or do you need help navigating your nutrition for your autoimmune disorder?  Shoot me an e-mail!

Week Two Recap

Week two of my 10 week journey has come and gone!  I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks honestly!!  So I thought I would share some of my “new and goods” and some of my struggles so far.

I always ask my clients, “what’s new and good”, so I only think it’s fitting that I start with my mine! 😊 First, I’ve officially done more yoga classes than I have in seven years 🧘🏼‍♀️…which wasn’t hard to do since I haven’t done any since my seven year old was born! 🙃😂 I’ve really enjoyed the classes and it’s been even more fun than expected because I have several friends who have been doing the classes with me. I forgot how challenging yoga can be and I always love a good challenge! 💪🏼

My second new and good is that I’ve made it two weeks with being about 90% compliant with AIP. 🙌🏼  There are a few things that I have had here and there but there’s one that I have had on a daily basis and that’s coffee. Not only should I be skipping the coffee, but I’m also using coconut milk creamer and almond milk and both aren’t allowed.  I’ve tried just using canned coconut milk but it’s too high in fat.  All of my recipes that I’ve been following are really high in fat and I can’t do it all!  So I switched back to my almond milk from a carton.  I also haven’t been compliant with sweeteners.  I add 1/2 tsp of honey to my homemade coconut yogurt and I add a few drops of stevia to my mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon and lime.  I used to have a Zevia every day before I started AIP, so this replaces my Zevia.  One other thing that I’ve not been compliant with is chocolate. I’ve been eating 70% cacao, or above, but it’s still something I’m supposed to omit.  😞 I definitely don’t have it every day but I have had it a couple of times.  I know carob is a good substitute so I’m going to look into that.  Normally, chocolate is not a big deal but there is definitely one time of the month that chocolate is a must! 😬 So, my coffee, stevia, honey and chocolate are my non-compliances.  (I see a trend here…. do you?? Can someone say I clearly have a sugar issue?!?! 🍯 🍫) However, I don’t like having to tell you that I’m being non-compliant so I will probably make some adjustments!! 🙂  Look at this blog keeping me accountable!!

Another new and good is that I got to spend the whole weekend at home WITHOUT ANY OTHER PLANS, other than to watch my daughter play soccer.  It’s been awhile since I’ve had some weekend time at home so it was much needed!

My last new and good, and this is new as of this morning, I took my final exam for The Institute for Integrative Nutrition Gut Health Course and I got a 100%!!!  💃🏼 I’m so excited that I passed, that I got a 100%, but most importantly, I’m looking forward to some MUCH NEEDED relaxation time on the couch with my husband in the evenings!! ❤️ I’ve truly loved the courses I’ve taken at IIN but I’m ready for a break!!

Moving on from my new and good, I want to share some struggles from the last week because this is where I learn the most, not only for myself, but for future clients who try AIP.  First and foremost, I’m finding that I have cravings.  I have found that when I restrict myself, for whatever the reason, I want to eat the world and I want to eat whatever I know I shouldn’t have.  Luckily, with this, the cravings for things that I shouldn’t eat hasn’t been that bad.  However, I do find that I bounce back and forth from craving salty foods to wanting chocolate…now this may be TMI, but Auntie Flow is coming in hot, so that may be where the chocolate craving is coming from! 😉 But mainly, I really am wanting the crunchy, salty stuff.  I’ve ended up with several bags of Bare Chips (Beet, Sweet Potato, Apple) and salted plantain chips.  I don’t usually go for a bag of chips so I’m thinking this is because I used to have peanut butter powder, almond butter, mixed nuts, or a combination of the three, every afternoon.  I’m wondering if I’m not subconsciously trying to replace the nuts.  Anyway, the cravings have been pretty high and I’m hoping these will subside as I go.

Another struggle that is kind of along the same line as the cravings is that I’m trying to follow my macros while doing AIP.  I find myself not caring about going over or under on my macros as long as I’m making AIP choices.  Which would be fine but I’m going fairly over on my calorie intake and eating more than is necessary.  Being a macro coach, I find that this brings a fair amount of guilt with it.  So, I’m struggling with that.

The other struggle is that I’ve felt pretty tired and rather easily frustrated and angered.  I don’ t know if week one was due to being overwhelmed with the process and everything that was going on?  And maybe this past week was due to PMS?  I did have a client mention something about possibly detoxing while going through this, so maybe that’s what’s going on?  I also think I’m not getting enough sleep and I know that sleep greatly impacts my overall mood and energy.  😴 My kids have also started school during all of this and I’ve been getting up a little earlier, so that could be contributing as well.  And the other thing that could be contributing is that my fat intake has increased and my carbohydrate intake has decreased.  Being that I typically am more energetic when I have higher carbs, this could be another factor.  Regardless what the cause, this fatigue is another thing that I’m hoping I see some changes with! 🙏🏼

So enough of the struggles…they are such a downer!!  And no one needs a Debbie hanging out!! 😉 😂 I look forward to the challenge of “fixing” my struggles… as I’m a “fixer”.  So here’s to a new week with NEW CHALLENGES, less struggles, and more to learn. 👊🏼

Spring is in Bloom and Summer is Just Around the Corner!

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With Spring finally here and summer around the corner,  I wanted to talk about seasonal crops and their nutritional value.  (*Little side-note, these are mid-western crops.) Some of the ones that are going to be popping up and ready to go in June are arugula, radishes, mustard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, green onions, kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, beets, parsley, and chard.  Wheew!!  That’s a lot of veggies and greens!! 🙂  I LOVE this time of year because there are so many greens to choose from!

I know several of these, especially the greens, can be overwhelming at first.  You don’t know how to use them, they don’t sound appetizing, etc.  Because greens can be the most intimidating, we’re going to talk about those today.  There are two easy ways you can enjoy some of these greens.  First is in a smoothie.  I love throwing together some frozen berries, mix in Sun Warrior’s grain free plant-based protein powder, add in some superfoods (like cacao nibs/powder, flax/chia seeds, maca powder, etc.), throw in some sea vegetables like nori or dulse (you can’t taste them and they are good for those with thyroid conditions), and then of course, add in my favorite greens!!  However, I highly recommend you pick a piece of the green leaf first, taste it, and decide if the flavor is too strong for you.  Most of these will taste the exact same way in a smoothie.  For example, I will not put arugula or kale in my smoothie.  They both have pretty bold tastes that I don’t care for.  Spinach is PERFECT in a smoothie!  It doesn’t have much of a taste when eating it raw so you can’t taste it at all in a smoothie!

The second easy way is to saute them.  My favorite of all the greens mentioned above is spinach and chard, although I haven’t yet discovered a green that I don’t mind sauteed.  Even the ones that have pretty strong smells and pretty bitter tastes raw, have a much milder taste when sauteed.  Here is a quick and easy recipe:

EASY GREENS RECIPE
1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp Better than Bouillon, chicken flavored
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups greens, diced, stems separate from leaves IF the stems are a hard stem (like a chard).
Salt & Pepper to taste

Turn your burner to medium, add in the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add in your onions and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  If you are working with a green that has hard stems, such as a chard, you’ll want to put those in next.  Let those cook about 3-5 minutes (I prefer five because I prefer mine to be a little softer).  Then add the rest of the ingredients, cooking for another 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted.  Bam, you’re done!  You can eat these as a side dish or throw additional vegetables on top.  I like to eat spinach with my sweet potato and eggs in my pre workout but I love to eat chard by itself.  If you are making some homemade soup, you can always add ins some spinach and kale, adding a lot of nutrients without changing the taste of the soup!

As always, enjoy finding ways to add in some of these delicious crops whenever you can.  It’s always more nourishing to your body to eat crops that are in season.  Oh, and there’s the added benefit of it being cheaper on your pocket book! 🙂

For additional benefits of eating in season, check out this link!!
https://www.rebootwithjoe.com/benefits-of-eating-seasonally/

Struggling to Give up Soda Pop? Try this!

It’s been years since I had my daily Diet Coke! I could go into all of the reasons why I gave it up, but I don’t think I need to! Now-a-days, we all pretty much know that pop isn’t good for you. (Just in case 😂 causes dehydration, plaque build-up on teeth, SUGAR, ASPARTAME, phosphoric acid, caffeine, possible heavy metal toxicity, and high fructose corn syrup 😳) But, I’ve always missed the carbonated beverage. I got hooked on Zevia (a “better” pop) and I have been drinking that in the afternoons for a couple of years. But, fighting an autoimmune disease, I wanted to give up drinking out of an aluminum can because of the possible toxicity exposure. So, I did some research and found out I could basically make my own beverage! Check out this video to see how you too can give up your pop and make your own healthy version!

Are you looking for support on your autoimmune journey? E-mail me here!

This Can’t be Grain-free! It Tastes too Good!!

“Your child needs to go through an elimination diet.”

These words can be devastating for a lot of people to hear.  You get this long list of foods your child needs to avoid and if you eat all of them on the regular, you could be in freak-out mode!  Especially if you have no idea how to replace some of your child’s favorite snacks, breakfast and bakery items. Well, this blog is about to help you out when it comes to replacing some of those gluten containing items that our kids love!

Cassava might be one of my new favorite things!!  For a family that is trying to avoid grains, Cassava flour can be a lifesaver when wanting a bakery-type item!! Cassava, or yuca root, is a starchy, tuberous root that can be eaten whole by baking, boiling, or frying.  You can also ferment them.  They have been compared to a white potato but they are known to be low on the glycemic index, making them ok for diabetics.   But, my personal favorite is cassava flour.

You can use cassava flour as a substitute in any recipe calling for regular flour, which is what I love!  We’ve made tortillas or wraps with the flour and they have turned out perfect!  We make our own “chicken nuggets” for our kids to have for lunch or dinner.  We use a combo of almond flour and cassava flour to make them.  I’ve always used almond flour but adding the cassava gives it more of the “fried chicken” breading that we like.  It also has the added benefit of being lower in fat than the almond flour.

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My FAVORITE tortilla chips! They are so light and crispy!! They also have lime, but I’m out! 🙂

And thank goodness for the companies that are amazing at creating products made from cassava flour!  Siete’ Foods makes the best tortilla chips!!!  I buy three bags a month from Thrive Market and usually get one in each flavor.  And yes, I 100% take these chips with me when we eat at a Mexican restaurant…no shame here!  While eating out isn’t the best for you, I also don’t want to be a recluse and always stay home!  So taking these chips has allowed Paisley and I to enjoy chips and salsa (we don’t eat corn), which we both love.

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Mine and Paisley’s favorite snack chips!

Plant Snacks makes some amazing Cassava Crunch chips that I LOVE to snack on!!  They come in a couple of different flavors but the plain ones are probably my favorite.  However, I have to be honest and say that I haven’t tried all of the flavors yet.  They have become my go-to Friday and Saturday night snack and I’m lucky if I don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting.  Paisley loves these chips as well, so they are PICKY-kid approved!  I also get them from Thrive Market.

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Simple Mills oh how I LOVE thee!!!!  This company saved me when my daughter first went on her elimination diet!  They use cassava, but also include some other ingredients in their mixes.  But every ingredient, which isn’t many, is something you know and is of quality.  This company has so much to offer, from crackers and bread mixes, to cupcakes and muffins… they even have frosting!!  If you follow me on insta, then you know how Simple Mills’ cupcake mix and frosting saved my butt on the day of Paisley’s school Valentine’s party!! (See pic above!)

Bottom line, if you or a family member needs to be gluten, even grain-free, try out cassava flour and companies that use it!  It’s wonderful for giving you options when you don’t always want meat, fruits, veggies, and plants and comes with the added benefit that it’s not high in fat like an almond flour.

Oh, and did I mention that cassava has nutritional benefit as well?? 🙂  It can help with inflammation and helps to balance your gut flora, among other things.  So, not only can you enjoy some treats but you can do it in a health way!  Who doesn’t want that?!?!

 

For help and support with leading a gluten and grain free life, shoot me an e-mail!  I would love to chat with you!

Relieving Pointless, Added Stress with a BUDGET

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Frustrated with your budget??

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about today.  I have several options listed on my “idea board” but none were calling to me.  Usually when I blog, I’m fired up about something and need to get it off my chest or it’s something that I’ve discovered is super helpful and I can’t wait to share it.  Then it occurred to me, every day I do things that are meant to help heal my autoimmune condition in some way or another….why not blog about one of the first things I did today that did just that?!?!  It’s something that I’ve come to enjoy and it’s super helpful in relieving stress.  So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

Budget… another little depressing word…. at least it my dictionary.  Although, soon, I might have to change my definition for this word.  I’ve always found budgeting to be pointless.  I create a budget, set it aside, and then never look at it again, until I create my budget for the next month.  A process that has set me, and my family, up for failure when it comes to staying out of debt, saving for fun things, and living stress-free.

Before I continue, why am I talking about a budget when my blog is supposed to be about healing my Hashimoto’s symptoms?  Well, that’s because stress is HUGE in wrecking havoc on a person, regardless of whether you have an autoimmune condition or not.  And not having a budget and living financially careless, causes much unneeded stress… and you know you can’t disagree with me here!  Keeping your body in a constant state of stress can eventually lead to a burn out.  This could include constant migraines, stomach problems like cramping or nausea, anxiety and depression, adrenal fatigue, constant fatigue, high blood pressure, increased heart rate and potential for a heart attack, disruption of sex hormones, aches and pains of the joints, and two of the most obvious ones, increased or nonexistent hunger feelings and increased fat storage.  Stress can lower your immunity and cause you to be more susceptible to illnesses.  If you’re trying to heal any part of your body, an over abundance of stress is definitely not your friend.  So over withdrawing on your account… not having the money for taxes…. spending more money than you planned… not knowing where you money goes…. all keeping you up at night… adds stress to your already over stressed body.

When you’re trying to heal, which is what this blog is about, your body needs to be in it’s rest and digest state, turned on by your parasympathetic nervous system.  If you’re in a state of stress, you’ve triggered your “fight or flight” system, aka your sympathetic nervous system.  When you’ve triggered “fight or flight” mode, your body sends your blood supply away from your gut and, instead, to your muscles to prepare for the perceived emergency.  All of your resources are being used to expend energy for the fight at hand.  No healing can be done in this state.  When you are in “rest and digest” mode, your body is calm, sending your blood supply to the gut, which happens to be right on the other side of 80% of your immune system.  In this state, your body increases digestion (optimal for absorbing necessary nutrients), restores it’s resources and healing can take place.  The “rest and digest” mode should be our goal.  But all too often, it is not.

My goal, as someone wanting to heal symptoms from an autoimmune condition, is to find ways to relieve stress on a daily basis.  One of these ways has been to figure out how to enjoy creating and sticking to my depressing, and most frustrating, budget.

I’ve always done my budget by hand.  Which meant that I’d have to go back and manually write down how much I had spent and do the math to know what I had left.    This is WAY TOO time consuming for someone taking care of clients, in school, working out, writing a blog…. oh and trying to be a good wife and mom.  So, I googled “best budgeting apps” one day and stumbled upon a few.  I started with three possibilities and I’ve narrowed it down to two.  I’m still in the trial period with both but I know that I’m going to have a hard time deciding which to get rid of.  Here’s my personal opinion on the three I started with:

Mint

This was recommended as number one.  It was created by Intuit, the same company that created QuickBooks and TurboTax.  I almost immediately got rid of this one.  I’ve used QuickBooks for several years and Mint was about as user friendly as QuickBooks, which to me, is not much.  For people that need something relatively simple and easy to use, I don’t recommend Mint.  Apparently though, lots of people love it, so you may want to give it a try.

You Need A Budget

This one is probably my favorite if I had a gun to my head and had to choose.  It was recommended as the number one get-out-of-debt budget.  I find it very user friendly and can absolutely see how it can help one get out of debt.  I get e-mails almost daily, if not daily, from Jesse and Todd (from YNAB) giving me little tips and tricks on how to take advantage of the app and budgeting in general.  I’m not usually one to enjoy getting a ton of e-mails from companies but I’ve actually read every one of their e-mails and have found them very helpful and encouraging.  (Side note, I don’t know if these will continue after my trial period or not.)  You can hook up your bank account so transactions are easily imported.  Once you’ve matched a Payee up to a category, it automatically matches it in the future.  And if you want to change what it matches with, you can easily do that.  Another feature I love about YNAB is their goal setting section.  You can create goals and the app keeps track of how well you are doing.  For example, if I want $1,000 saved for a vacation by June of this year, once I set up my goal, YNAB keeps track of how much I need to save each month to reach my goal and adjusts accordingly should I save more or less.

Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar

This one is my second favorite, right behind YNAB.  This one may even be more user friendly.  Just like YNAB you can set up your bank account to automatically import your transactions.  The only difference is, where you have to approve the transaction with YNAB, with EveryDollar, you just drag and drop the transaction in the proper category.  While YNAB has the goal setting feature, EveryDollar has the Debt Snowball and all of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.  This is an amazing asset, especially if you are a big Dave Ramsey fan.  As you plug in your debt, EveryDollar tells you which debt you should pay off first and which debts it recommends you just pay the minimum balance.

Both YNAB and EveryDollar have reports and graphs that you can check to see where your money is going.  You can also do both online from your computer or from an app on your phone.  YNAB is an annual fee of $83.99 and EveryDollar is an annual fee of $99 OR you can do monthly payments of $14.99.

I recommend that you try out any of the three or look for one that works best for you.  The beginning of the year is always the slowest time for both Matt’s and my businesses.  I would have been overspending and putting us in the red had I not been using YNAB and EveryDollar.  (Yes, I’m still deciding!)  And even though we aren’t in the financial position we want to be in, we are already several steps ahead of where we’ve been in the past because we actually have a plan.  I’m not stressing (I take care of our finances so I usually carry this burden) because I’m not over withdrawing and I’m not using credit cards… I’m spending the money when we have it on what I’ve planned it for.  This has taken a huge burden off of my shoulders and I’ve actually come to enjoy checking my budget each day… allowing my body for some additional “rest and digest” time.  🙂

Until next Wednesday….

 

 

A World of Contradictions

So when I started this blog, my purpose behind it was to share my story about my Hashimoto’s and the path that hopefully leads me to healing. However, I come across several things throughout each day that are health related, but aren’t always directly related to Hashimoto’s, that I feel I need to share. Although, I would probably argue the point that anything health related can be related to Hashimoto’s, or any autoimmune condition or disease for that matter. Anyway, I came across one of these things yesterday and it about blew my mind! So, I had to share.

My eight-year-old was due for her annual wellness check up back in October but it just slipped past us. So, she had an appointment yesterday and my husband took her. Probably a good thing after reading the information they sent home with us. I like to think that I can keep my mouth shut when it’s not an appropriate time to say things however, I might have had to say something yesterday.

I was reading through the information and looking at her height, weight, her percentiles, etc. because all of those things I find fascinating. I can’t believe how much kids grow in a year! Then I got to the section titled “healthy eating habits”. As I read through the information provided (cause now I’m REALLY interested in what they have to say), it became very apparent to me why we have children, more than ever, dealing with diseases, illnesses, obesity, allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc. I could not believe some of the information that they provided as healthy options. I could talk about several things mentioned throughout the nine suggestions they gave but the one that sticks out the most is their discussion of grains and sugar.

In one particular suggestion they say, “provide several servings of grains (bread, cereal, pastas). Whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread) are much better than highly processed grains (refined sugars and flour). Limit sugary drinks like soda and juices.”

The amount of contradictions in this one suggestion is insane! Let’s start with this one: bread, cereals, pastas are suggested as servings of grains. Yes, they absolutely are. But a few sentences later it says “whole grains are much better than highly processed grains” and then tells you that refined sugars and flour are highly processed grains. (This is absolutely true, by the way) What do they think bread, cereal, and pastas are made of?!?! REFINED SUGARS AND FLOUR!!! Yet they just stated them as grain options one can give their child. The worst part is that they say “whole grains are much better than highly processed grains” giving you an indication that highly processed grains are actually OK for you, just not as good as whole grains. The problem is, highly processed grains aren’t good for you What. So. Ever.!!

The second thing on here is that they say oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are whole grains. The only whole grain that is listed is brown rice. Whole wheat bread is not a whole grain nor is oatmeal! They are both processed! Anything that has flour in it or has something done to it to change it from it’s original state is processed! I guess they could possibly argue that they’re not “highly processed”, but they’re still processed!

I love that they say to limit sugary drinks like soda and juices! They absolutely should! However, the problem with grains in general is that they all break down to sugars. I’m not saying that I am anti-grain (for people who tolerate grains, real, true-whole grains can be fine), but I am saying that having several servings a day isn’t necessarily a great thing. If you’re telling someone to limit their sugar and then you’re telling them to eat several servings of grains, and then you mention later on to have calcium fortified orange juice to increase their calcium intake (after you’ve said to limit juice intake), I have to question you!

My other issue with them mentioning to limit sugary drinks, indicating that they want you to watch your child’s sugar intake, is that they say to “provide other dairy servings like yogurt or cheese” if your child doesn’t drink that much milk. My problem isn’t with the cheese, as long as your child tolerates it, my problem is that the yogurt that most people will grab at the store for their kids, contains a lot of sugar.

The last thing that kind of fired me up on here was that they say to “limit “extras” like oil, butter, salad dressing, mayonnaise etc.” I would very much argue oil and possibly butter. Good oil’s like avocado, olive and coconut oil contain wonderful things for your body and should be a part of a healthy diet. You have to have fat. They do say to avoid fried foods so I will give them that.

I just wish they could be more clear on some of these things. Some of this is just bad information. I wish they would talk about the healthy fats and how they are a necessary part of a persons diet. I wish they would give examples of healthy fats versus bad fats. I wish they would have accurate information on whole grains versus processed grains and what a true whole grain is. Maybe even a food comparison chart to show the difference between things like a kids yogurt that is packaged in bright colors, making it appealing to the kid, and is full of sugars, to an organic yogurt without added sugars, just so parents can see the difference. And even better, compare that organic yogurt to a serving of greens. Just so parents can really see the difference and why vegetables are so important and where sugars can sneak in. And I wish instead of having one simple sentence that says “provide at least five servings a day of a variety of fruits and vegetables”, they would have a whole page on the importance of adding vegetables into your child’s diet. It’s really sad to me to read this. And it definitely helps me understand why, as a culture, we have such a skewed view of what healthy food really is.

Rant over.

Labs & More…Step 1.

I have to be honest, I’d rather be writing about something fun today, but I feel like it’s important to write about the first step I took on my path to healing. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote this, so there have been some updates to this already, which is why I felt it was important to get this out now. Annnddd there’s the whole thing that I started this to blog my Hashimotos journey, so it might be important to write about it every now and then. 😉

I️ made a an appointment a few weeks back to have some labs done. I basically wanted to know what I’m working with. First and foremost I wanted to know how many thyroid antibodies I have to see how active my Hashimotos is. I also wanted to know what my vitamin B, iron, T3, T4, and TSH levels look like.

The Results:

My thyroid antibodies: I wanted to know these because I plan to not be taking thyroid medicine forever. I’m a firm believer that the body can heal itself, by itself, given half the chance. Knowing what my antibody levels look like helps me to know what kind of a battle I have ahead of me. I got GREAT news in this regard! My Anti-Thyroglobulin is at a 14 and my Anti-TPO is at a 22. You want your Anti_TPO to be <9 and your Anti-Thyroglobulin to be <4. So even though my numbers are higher than that, relative to what they could be, they are actually on the lower side, which means my Hashimotos isn’t very active. This is great news!

The iron: Only reason I really wanted to have my iron levels run is because I’ve been taking iron since my last pregnancy (6 years ago) and wanted to see if it’s something that I could get off of. some more good news here! My levels look good which means that I can stop taking the iron supplement that I’ve been taking.

Vitamin B…. oh dear vitamin B… how I hate taking my liquid vitamin B supplement. It might be the nastiest liquid vitamin I’ve ever taken…worse than Agricept. And if you’ve ever taken Agricept, you know how nasty that stuff is! But, looks like I’m going to have to continue taking it because I am pretty deficient.

And this is where all the not-so-great news I got today comes into play. Apparently I’m deficient in multiple areas, not just my Vitamin B. This not only surprised me, but it surprised my doctor as well. I eat extremely well, including lots of different superfoods, and I take lots of supplements. I’m very cautious about what goes into, and on my body. I use organic/natural toiletries, laundry detergent, dish detergent, etc. So being deficient in multiple areas was a bit of a shock.

The other piece that was a big flag was my white blood cell count. It’s been low before and I kind of had dismissed it. But it was still low again today. (And when I say low before, we’re talking 6+ years ago) It’s a 2.2 where, for this particular lab, a 4 is a good number.

So we talked about the mineral deficiencies and the low white blood cell count. Doc talked about several different things that could be coming into play but the two that I’m going to focus on moving forward are heavy metal toxicity and, well basically, my gut. Out of the few possible explanations for what’s going, my gut was the one that, well my gut told me was what I needed to focus on.

For the heavy metal toxicity, I’m going to have my wonderful filling removed. I, apparently, and I say “apparently” because I didn’t even know I had one until a few months ago, received a filling sometime back in middle school. From what I understand, dental work can be a big contributing factor to heavy metal toxicity. So I’m going to have that fixed and move on from there.

For the deficiencies, my doctor thought that I might not be absorbing what I take in, especially since I eat as well and take all the supplements that I do and I’m still deficient. So, I’m starting something called SpectraZyme Metagest. It’s a stomach acid support. Basically, if we’ve done something to compromise the amount of stomach acid we have, then we don’t digest our foods properly. The stomach is in charge of breaking our food down to small bits so that when it travels into our intestines, our little guys (our gut bacteria) can “be fed”, break it down, or do whatever it is that they do with it. (Again, I’m not a doctor and I’m just learning about this stuff so this is how I take it) So, I’m gonna start this SpectraZyme to get some help in that department.

I’m also going to start back up on my Complete Mineral Complex and continue my Restore (for balancing the gut, combating environmental exposures, promoting immune function, and enhancing mental clarity), and my probiotics, among the many other supplements that I already take.

So, next thing I need to do is schedule to have my filling replaced. In two weeks I will go back and have my antibodies tested again (can’t say I remember why – too much was said during the apt!). Eight weeks after I have my filling removed, I will have my labs done again. And then twelve weeks from now I will see my doctor again to see if I’ve made any progress with the changes that I’m making. Oh, I forgot, I also have to remove my beloved grains from my diet. (Insert crying emoji here) Even though I’ve been tested and I have no sensitivities or allergies to them, they’re known to wreck havoc on the gut for a lot of people who have autoimmune diseases. This is partially because they can block the absorption of nutrients, which I apparently don’t need any additional help in that department. I don’t tend to eat a lot of crappy grains anyway but I LOVE my morning oats and I enjoy quinoa and brown rice as well. So taking those things, especially my oats, out of my diet is going to be quite a change for me.

So my take away from all of this? Yes I have Hashimotos and yes that was my focus when I went into this process of trying to heal. But what I’m finding out is that there are other things going on in my body (improper digestion, low wbc count, heavy metal toxicity) that, in my personal opinion, are the actual cause for the Hashimotos. I believe that if I work on these things, I may have the chance to heal and be medication free! This is a big deal! But again, I think I’ve got a little bit of a journey ahead of me to figure it all out. But, I know this. I’m going to learn a ton in the process and I will do my absolute best to help others so they can heal themselves too.

The last thing that I want to mention is this, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE. It took a few doctors, four to be exact, before I found someone who was willing to dig further than just telling me that I needed to take a medication. Someone that was willing to find a cause instead of band-aiding a symptom. Someone who was willing to listen to all my thoughts about how I feel and understand me when I say that I want to be HEALHTY. Not someone who looks healthy but takes a daily medication for the rest of her life. Someone that gets me and wants me to be healthy too. But even so, I had to ask to have these latest labs done. I wanted to know about my thyroid antibodies. I believe that my body can be healed. If you don’t advocate for yourself, who will?? Only you know how you feel on the inside. Only you can make the changes that are required. When someone tells you that you just need to take a medication, walk away and go get a second opinion. You shouldn’t be tired all the time, you shouldn’t have a low sex drive, you shouldn’t be in the bathroom all the time, you shouldn’t have to deal with anxiety on a daily basis, you shouldn’t have to feel depressed, you shouldn’t have stomach aches or acid reflux…. YOU SHOULD BE HEALTHY. And if you’re not?? Then you should start searching for the reasons why. Life is too short to not enjoy it to it’s fullest. Be your own advocate… and find someone who believes that the body was created by the greatest Healer of all time…the body knows how to heal itself, you just have to stay out of it’s way.