The Art of Acceptance
Sometimes, you just have to sit down and write. And that is exactly what I did last week. I wrote my whole story about my Hashimoto’s Thryoiditis diagnosis and the events leading up to the day I found out that my own body was attacking my thyroid. I put off writing it for a long time—3 months—because I was scared that putting it into words woud make it feel all too real. I wanted to hide from the diagnosis and pretend it had never happened—that my body and health was okay. Since the diagnosis in May of 2014, I couldn’t write at all. I couldn’t blog. I was worried that if I started writing about a new recipe or a life recap, that my story of my struggles with autoimmune thyroid disease would begin pouring itself out into a word document without even meaning to. But last week, their was a shift. I felt a strong feeling within that it was time to share my story and my personal experience struggling with an autoimmune disease. In the beginning of my diagnosis, I felt completely lost, uninspired and alone. I read other blogs and stories about diagnosises, recoveries and living with autoimmune conditions; for me, this was an incredibly comforting and healing experience. It gave me a sense of solidarity with all the brave souls who are living with invisible diseases and autoimmune conditions. It is a really scary thing to know you will have to live with a disease for the rest of your life. Sharing my story is my way of giving back to the community that offered so much to me when I was first diagnosed. If you are interested in reading my diagnosis story, please click here.
This disease has brought so much sadness into my life, it has also brought joy and the opportunity for a deeper relationship with myself and the food that I eat. I have always believed that food is the most powerful form of medicine, both literally and figuratively. In itself, food has the power to literally heal your body from diseases and ailments—this, I am learning first hand. Traditionally speaking, the culture around food is incredibly healing. I have always believed that the process of gathering, chopping and preparing food is a therapeutic and creative outlet; Now, I am truly living that. The process of chopping onions, gathering herbs, browning meat and eating nourishing food has become my meditation; a mindful act in which I get to prepare my own medicine. I have found that nothing brings people together like food does. Through the very acts of preparing, cooking and eating, I have been able to develop deeper relationships with those I love. Having such a deep support system has been crucial to my healing process.
The food I eat, is also extremely healing. I have only briefly discuss the healing diet I am now following. The diet is called the Autoimmune Protocol and it is a powerful healing protocol that has helped many people successfuly manage their autoimmune conditions. You can read about the tremendous shifts I have experienced in my health since switching to this diet here. The goal with the diet is to remove all dietary triggers that may be perpetuating the attack and compromising the immune system. It also promotes improving gut health, which is the root cause of all autoimmune disease. I knew this diet would be difficult. It can seem absolutely daunting in the beginning as it removes gluten, grains, dairy, soy, nightshades, sugar, legumes and corn. I know what you must be thinking…what can you eat!? I have found so much insane creative energy and inspiration from this healing diet. Maybe it’s my new found brain clarity but I am learning so much from being able to cook with “so little.” I am experimenting with delicious homemade broths, gorgeous produce, fresh herbs, fermented foods and cuts of meat I never even new existed. I make this diet enjoyable by shopping at the farmer’s market, getting to know the people who raise the meat I eat, chatting with local botanists, visiting the farms that I am buying produce from – I have never felt so connected to my food before. I believe this level of connectedness would have never come without Hashimoto’s and my personal journey towards better health. I feel truly blessed.