Hope for Hashimoto’s – My Journey Towards A Better Me
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 tell 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 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.
While 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 and health promoting. 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 a time for meditation and a mindful act in which I get to prepare my own medicine. I have found that nothing brings people together like food does. Cooking with my sisters, preparing food with my wonderful Kristian, serving my Dad a big bowl of bone broth, spending my lunch hour dining with my friend Stephanie and eating dinner with my whole family has allowed me to share my time of meditation with those who I love and feel supported by. 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.
While my diagnosis story talks about the time leading up to finding out about Hashimoto’s and the progress I have made in the past three monthes, I only briefly discuss the healing diet I am now following. The diet is called the Autoimmune Protocol and it is a powerful diet that has helped many people put their autoimmune conditions into remission. Please read my story to hear about the tremendous transformations I have witnessed in my health since switching to this diet. 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 – the root 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 in 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. Below are pictures of the vibrant food that I get to eat every day.
[a gorgeous purple cauliflower - vibrant and delicious]
[herb infused bone broth with root vegetables and grass-fed beef]
[candy cane + golden beets - my current obsession]
[a warm veggie salad with chopped herbs and a basil vinagrette + a grilled hamburger]
[a delicious, organic green juice - a treat, these days]
[salmond salad with grilled beets and a ginger dressing]
[harvesting and drying mint leaves for chilled herbal tea]
[a delicious chopped salad with bacon - my favorite kind of breakfast these days]
[freshly caught, wild salmon from the Oregon Coast from my favorite fisherman at the farmer's market]
[a fun and easy mocktail of ginger kombucha, watermelon and mint for mocktail monday]
Posting these pictures makes my heart sing. Look at all the gorgeous and vibrant colors!! This diet has been so healing and it is only the beginning. I look forward to sharing AIP friendly recipes with you, which I think you will love, regardless of what kind of diet or non-diet you follow.
I love you all and thank you for being here.