Hello! As a foodie from way back in B.H. (the Before Hashimoto’s era), I’ve always been passionate about delicious food. Since I finally got the Hashimoto’s thyroiditis diagnosis in 2013 and the accompanying explanation for the weird array of symptoms I’d been experiencing since 2008, my attitude about food has drastically changed.
Chowing down on these fresh fried shrimp and french fries at Aunt Catfish’s on the River, Daytona Beach, FL, a few months before I got really sick. In addition to the runny nose within minutes of beginning to eat, my bloated face was further evidence of my sensitivity to the food I was eating. I was averaging about 5.5 hours of restless sleep a night, which was also part of the vicious cycle of inflammation, weight gain, and feeling “wired and tired”.
So has my health. Both for much better than I ever thought was possible. Fact is, I had no idea how unwell I was because, B.H., I never knew anything different than:
- Being so tired around 1:30 every day I felt like I needed a nap at work. (For more times than I’d care to admit to anyone but you, I closed my door and took one). “It was that loaded baked potato at lunch, right?”
- Being unable to get rid of my “mommy tummy” no matter how much I exercised or shunned “those fats”. Of course, my saber-toothed-tiger-sized-sweet tooth wasn’t going anywhere, either.
- Beleaguered by middle-of-the night-food cravings. “I’d been up for three or four hours, after all. That was equal to the time in between any of my other meals during the day, yes?”
- Thinking that, if I got five-and a-half-hours of sleep, it was a “good night”. I didn’t want to “waste my time sleeping, anyway.”
- Having such brain fog that I’d forget the reason I started talking about something before I finished what I was saying. “Isn’t forgetfulness a normal part of aging?”
The importance of this picture is not the thirty pounds I lost quickly upon going gluten, dairy, and sugar-free, but in how great I started feeling, as I loved my body by eating the foods that were right for me.
So what changed? It wasn’t a matter of my waking up one day having enough self-discipline to give up the foods my taste buds loved. I. had. no. choice. I became so sick when I ate my Baker husband’s fabulous French bread or almond croissants that I was completely nonfunctional. (As in only having enough energy to get from my bed to the bathroom and back before I instantly fell back to sleep for another three hours. Forget about going to work. The brain fog was so overwhelming I couldn’t have made a decision about how to get my car out of the driveway, even if I’d had the energy to make it from the house to the driveway!)
There’s a television commercial in which someone talks about the things she’s been able to do since she started taking a certain medication. She lists the results of this medication and the return of her abilities and energy levels as her “body of proof”. Well, the miraculous recovery of my health by eliminating those foods that, no matter how much I loved them, clearly did not even like me, is “my body of proof”. I don’t need the results of a double-blind study to tell me that I feel great when I avoid eating the big three: gluten, sugar, and dairy, and horrible when I don’t.
Here I am wearing a UV blocking shirt at an outdoor event (instead of sunscreen) in Gainesville, FL. My dietary change has restored color to my face (without the bloat), reduced fatigue, and increased sleep quality by almost two hours a night. I’ve been able to successfully rotate some foods back into my diet and to maintain a steady weight that is less than my 126 lbs. high school weight.
I’ve gone from feeling free to eat whatever (and how much) I wanted, to understanding that if I strayed I paid, to not having any interest in putting anything into my body that doesn’t help me feel amazing. It’s taken seven years of LOTS of trials and setbacks, but I am at a point in which I feel comfortable listening to my body’s signals and acting on that “bio-feedback”. I know it works because I feel great. Oh, and did I tell you that I’ve also gone down three cup sizes? How about that I weigh less now than I did in high school (when I weighed 126 lbs.? Really? I didn’t say that I can even wear rings I’d had in college that I haven’t been able to wear for the past thirty years because my hands aren’t swollen anymore….? ….hmmmm. Well, all of that and more is true.
Now I’m on a mission to help others on their food journeys as they find out what is right for their bodies. There isn’t a way of making cooking real food easy or fast. There’s a reason, after all, that convenience foods became so wildly popular in this country, you know. What I CAN do for you is to help you to organize your time and to teach you how to think about planning, cooking, and eating to optimize your time and, most importantly, your health.
Consider yourself invited to come along on an eating and cooking adventure using the Auto Immune Protocol.