When I hear about friends trying out Whole30 or Keto, an evil smile comes to my lips. It might even be called a self-righteous grin. I delight in the fact that they will deprive themselves as I do every day. This is not a very generous sentiment. It’s a “Welcome to my World” face. I’m not being fair, because in the beginning, it is really hard to give up a lot of the foods we love: no donuts, cinnamon rolls, freshly baked baguettes or bagels for on paleo diets. The cravings go away, but the temptation is all around us. There are substitutes, but they are always just ways to fake our brains into feeling like we are having rich, buttery carbs. It is never quite the same.
You see, I have been eating primarily without sugar, dairy, no nightshades and most grains for a few years now. The idea of doing it for a month now seems easy. From the way other people lose weight, you would think I would be a stick. I’m not. I’m heavier than I have ever been. There are some really good reasons, starting with the fact that I’ve let quite a few glasses of wine find its way into my evening routine.
Sometimes I want to curl up in a ball and have a pity party. This won’t change things around, though, will it? Little Ms. Excuses has shown up in my life, and I am eliminating each lame justification as it pops into my brain. It’s time to reboot, rethink and tackle my disease.
I have given up sugar in processed foods for the most part, but I had let some creep back into foods that I don’t even really need day to day: in the Daiya vegan Ranch sauce I love to use on the side with sweet potato fries, in the Lara bars I was taking to work for snack breaks, in the super delicious truffle liver pate they sell at Trader Joes. Small amounts add up when you have autoimmune disease and inflammation.
This summer I finally broke down and spent the extra cash to see my functional medicine doctor, who I have not seen for a while as my insurance does not cover those visits. We realized my thyroid levels hadn’t been tested in two years. My natural thyroid medicine became unavailable because it had been manufactured in Puerto Rico, and we needed to make a new plan. It is amazingly hard to find thyroid medication that does not contain either gluten or lactose! It turned out that my thyroid levels were dismal, so we doubled my dose. After two months on that dose, I retested and my TSH and antibodies for Hashimoto’s are the highest they have ever been. Basically, my body is really struggling to produce the hormones that regulate my metabolism, my body temperature and my energy, and I’m not doing too well.
This summer I am dedicating my free time to healing. I’m allowing myself to sleep in until 9 a.m. I am trying to go to the gym or walk the dog more, do yoga and weights, and play with my new one year old Lab puppy, Lucky, who makes me laugh and smile a lot.
To avoid depression in depravity, I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon of many autoimmune bloggers and celebrate what I can eat instead of whining about what I have eliminated. The Brewmaster and I are trying lots of creative and yummy recipes. We used cherries from our own tree to make Mickey Trescott’s cherry BBQ sauce (recipe link here: https://autoimmunewellness.com/nightshade-free-cherry-bbq-sauce/). First we grilled a whole chicken by splitting it down the back, placing it on the grill and basting it with the sauce. Then I used some of the leftover breast on a pizza made with a sweet potato crust (recipe link here, we added 1/2 cup arrowroot flour and 1/2 cup Cassava flour to 1 large white sweetpotato and pushed into a circular pizza pan: https://autoimmunewellness.com/aip-italian-calzone/). We added carmelized onions and used some of the cherry BBQ sauce to top the pizza. A few days later we made BBQ chicken wings and legs using the sauce.
We’ve also discovered a great way to disguise zucchini, which is not my favorite unless in zoodles: prosciutto wrapped zucchini. Delicious and crisp! (recipe here: http://www.alittlegathering.com/blog/2015/11/21/prosciutto-wrapped-zucchini) If Lucky hasn’t completely trampled my whole garden (he took down the fence when he was running around the yard with what can only be described as the Zoomies), I will be able repeat the recipe with homemade zucchini and make lots of zoodles like this dish with shrimp and butternut squash.
The Brewmaster has been craving Key Lime pie, so I made key lime bars.(I used this link but used 6 limes: http://whollydelicious.cooking/desserts-1/2016/9/6/key-lime-pie-bars-aip) I discovered Coconut Butter, which is truly heaven in a jar. The bars taste a bit like key lime cheesecake, and tonight I am making coconut whipped cream to put on them to celebrate July 4 when the Brewmaster gets home from playing a band concert. I’m hanging with Lucky to see how he reacts to fireworks. Mostly I’m too lazy and hot to get off the couch!
My next recipe I want to experiment with is pork patties with figs for breakfast….coming soon!
In addition to avoiding all grains, sugar and nightshades, my doctor recommended a special multi vitamin, from Amy Meyers, MD, especially for Hashimoto’s patients. (https://store.amymyersmd.com/products/the-myers-way-multivitamin) She also suspects I have SIBO (Small intestine bacterial infection) and prescribed Atrantil, which I am also taking at each meal. (https://atrantil.com/) I feel pretty energetic, but the verdict is still out on bloating and discomfort.
All said and done, I’m optimistic that I can turn my old body around. I know menopause is right around the corner, but I feel young in my mind and I know from past experience how I can mold my body through exercise and yoga. I’m where I am today, and that is already better than yesterday. Doing yoga and mat exercises with a lab is always a challenge! Lucky likes to get right in on the action. He keeps things real. And crowded.
Happy July 4th from Lucky and all of us! Stay safe, keep your pets indoors, and let’s not forget that kindness, acceptance and inclusiveness are what make America great.