What Hashimoto’s means to me

Pre-diagnosis was a scary time for me. I had become very exhausted, bitter, and just couldn’t think. I was a full time senior in college working full time as an assistant manager at a shoe store. I didn’t have insurance. I visited a clinic and sat there explaining my symptoms only to be brushed off. With a plethora of hypothyroidism in my family-both grandmothers, my great and great great Granny, mother AND father-I explained to the doctor I felt like it could be the cause only to be told I was far too young and just probably eating improperly. After being wrote off, I visited two more clinics before someone would listen. $800 in bloodwork and an all to expensive ultrasound and biopsy my current doctor helped me reach diagnosis. 

There’s this strange feeling of fear and relief that can’t be explained that comes over you. After the big C word had been thrown around my mom and I both cried of relief. There’s this grief that I don’t think left me for a few months-my life was never going to be the same and accepting that took time. 

Now, with research and reading, I’m taking charge of my own health. Diet for me has been the biggest factor. And of course, supplementing. 

I’ve visited at least four doctors and have my next visit tomorrow with a new endocrinologist. I am excited. It’s rare to find a doctor that understands your health is all related. He wants to test for candida and other gut related issues. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO ASK!

Here’s a few things I’ve learned during the process of diagnosis and the short 5 months after:

1. PATIENCE IS KEY. I know this is a feat especially if you are experiencing hormonal imbalances. But just breathe… Someone will eventually listen. Eventually you will reach optimal levels. Try and stay positive. Include your family in the process, sometimes hearing a second voice tell you it’s gonna be okay is necessary. 

2. The greatest factor-Find someone who will listen. You as the patient can fire a doctor. Try and try again. Especially with an autoimmune condition, visit several doctors and find the one who works for you. 

3. Take charge of your own health. Research, read, join support groups (so easy in this tech-friendly world), listen to your doctor and do what they say! Embrace the process. 

4. Your gut could be causing it all. Change your diet and you will see wonderful things happen. I went full autoimmune Paleo and have begun reintroductions. At least limit sugar and gluten and symptoms and flare-ups will limit. 

5. Keep a journal or a planner. For me, this was very important. I monitored what I ate, my symptoms and flare ups. Brain fog is still going strong, so I HAVE to or I would forget everything. I even bring my spiral to my doctors appointments. I’m sure they think I’m crazy, but I don’t always understand the medical terminology. 

6. Listen to your body and its every ache, swelling, restroom habits, yawn. Make note. Your body is always trying to tell you something. Learn your triggers and avoid them. 

7. AGAIN, just breathe. It will get better. Do something for yourself and your well-being at least 15 minutes a day. 

What Hashimoto’s means to me

The world’s easiest brunch

One of the hardest parts of going Paleo was missing breakfast and Italian food. Standing above my stove, I was furious. I didn’t know how to cook anymore. So in my fury, I cooked Breakfast Bomb Pasta. Literally combing all of the things I missed and what I knew was safe to cook. 😂

Consequently, it’s delicious. 

Here’s my recipe:

Step 1: Gather Needed materials. (Tumeric, S&P, garlic, whatever pasta sauce you enjoy -I make a no-mato sauce on Pinterest and add in bacon- your favorite Paleo pasta-I choose Aldi’s for price and being soy free, 1-2 eggs, Avocado oil for frying egg)

Step 2: Cook your Paleo-friendly pasta according to its directions. I like to add Bone Broth to my water. 

Step 3: Coat pan in avocado oil, fry eggs. I use a full tablespoon of tumeric, a pinch of S&P and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic. 

Step 4: Plate. Don’t forget to sauce your pasta and enjoy the world’s easiest brunch. 😍😂

Follow me on INSTA for more quick recipe ideas: laureltay

The world’s easiest brunch

Pantry Essentials

For me, a southern gal, letting go of my childhood favorites – which all are slathered in soy, gluten and every other “hashi-no-no” – was the hardest part. Food for me symbolized family and holidays and the best parts of life. I know this seems exaggerated but think about it – no pizza, no BLT, no breakfast pancakes or waffles, no chicken fried steak, no pb & j sandwiches. It’s sad letting go. But you have to make a choice, do I feed my disease every time I eat or give my body needed nutrition?

To cushion that blow, I lost all modern conveniences. No quick TV dinners, no more eating out, no fast food. If you go into your kitchen, turn any box of prepackaged ingredients over and become astounded at the amount of added I-can’t-even-say-that ingredients. Although now looking back I realize how jam packed with junk all of that was, I still had to relearn my way around the kitchen (which I’ll admit was all learned from my southern mess pot grandmothers who put a stick of butter and half a block of cheese in everything). Knowledge was essential during this process. And I’ll admit, after 5 months and getting past the essential grief and acceptance periods in diagnosis, I’m still BEYOND a newbie and know so little. 

To still achieve the rich flavor of my southern favorites, I learned to aggressively spice. I learned new spices and retrained my tastebuds.  These are some of my favorite spices that are used weekly in my meal prep madness.   

      Himalayan Pink Salt – an essential, I use as a replacement to table salt for its rich nutrient value.

Smoked Sea Salt – amazing with pepper as a rub on steak or in my blueberry brisket recipe. Also great with sweet potatoes when I’m missing Texas barbecue.http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00DRA9EX4/ref=pd_aw_sim_sbs_325_3/175-8013559-3770037?ie=UTF8&dpID=41NgkMYqRFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL390_SR390%2C390_&refRID=114WR95J5XYDYSHT9W26

http://www.especiasdelsol.com – offers amazing blends I’m wanting to try, including the BBQ spice pictured. I caught this jar on sale at home goods and use it in my bone broth for dimension.

GARLIC, GARLIC and more garlic.
Delicious fresh ground garlic, garlic salt, garlic pepper… Garlic is my favorite. It also helps brain function and candida or yeast overgrowth. 

http://www.insatiablespice.com – lemon zest and dill. ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES. I hated seafood before this spice.

http://lesleyelizabeth.com – the most amazing rosemary sea salt is the perfect addition to homemade paleo bread and ‘cloud’ bread. They also carry DELICIOUS blends of balsalmic vinegar.

Spice Hunter’s citrus pepper pairs perfect with lemon juice marinated chicken. 
For me, stress and disorganization is a trigger to my condition so I always try and keep my cabinets in shape.

Note: mrs. Dash is not AIP friendly because of cumin which is a seed. 
I’ve never been a big meat eater. Pre-diagnosis I was an ethical vegetarian for five years. Hah. Now I’m a full blown cave woman

These are my essentials for making th perfect protein bite snacks and ice cream. (I also have strong swelling and adrenal fatigue and have been using Vega accelerator and magnesium mixed in water an hour or so before bed and warm  lemon water and collagen supplement in the AM). Most of these can be found at your local health food store or on Amazon. Raw Fusion is not advertised as soy free so I use in extreme moderation. 

I’m not sure if I could make it without my tea collection. DeTox starts a great cleansing morning and on a stressful day lavender lemonade is essential to ward off those terrible anxious feelings. 

What are your favorite spices and teas? What can’t your paleo kitchen live without?

Pantry Essentials