First things first! I guess I need to highlight that these things are what worked for me – I can’t promise they will work for you, but I think they might be worth trying. I also hope you tell me about things that work for you that I haven’t tried yet. I like to think of all this as a rather exciting journey – and there is a lot to learn!
So, after my diagnosis I got home and googled ‘Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis’ with trepidation. What came up was a lot of science-y or government websites….not very pretty, not very positive, and not at all helpful when it came to suggestions about what – other than a lifetime of medication – might help my situation. And, I’ll be honest, I was pretty bloody scared. I was (am!) a young woman, I liked having fun more than anything else, and this didn’t seem like stuff that should be happening to me. It certainly didn’t sound like fun. Why had I never heard of this disease before? None of the information I was finding “spoke” to me. I felt totally alone in this experience and I wasn’t finding any chinks of light in the darkness at all.
Then I found Sarah Wilson – phew! And it was through her website (which you can find here) that I realised that we can take our health into our own hands and make huge, positive, changes. Yes, I’ll take the pills, but I needed to know what else I could do – and Sarah’s website is where I started to learn. For those that don’t know, Sarah Wilson also has Hashi’s and she has carved out a lifestyle and a living around finding out what things help her manage Hashi’s. To this day I regularly check in with Sarah’s website because I find her hugely inspiring. She’s cool, she has a great attitude – and she happens to have Hashi’s – now, THAT speaks to me!
So, let’s start on food now. I had always considered myself pretty healthy, I didn’t eat fried foods at home, I ate brown rice, I didn’t add salt to my foods, I ate salads, and er, other healthy stuff! But I also ate (and drank!) out about 4 times a week. That often meant chips or other fried foods that I would never have cooked at home (if you’re eating out it doesn’t count, right?!). It also meant non-organic or non-chemical free produce. It meant bigger portions and, because I hate waste, I cleaned my plate! It also meant alcohol – and quite a lot of it.
So I had to start taking back the control. The very first change I made was to start buying enough fresh food each week from our local market (you can find out more about that here). I chose to buy chemical and pesticide free produce rather than certified organic as I had a tight budget to work with. I spoke to the stall holders about where their produce came from and I felt confident that I was making good choices based on what was important to me.
Getting personal with food producers also meant that I started taking an interest in how and where our food is produced. I realised that if I don’t support our local farmers who produce all this beautiful food, sans chemicals, then they are going to stop doing it. Everyone needs to earn a living at the end of the day! So now, you can find me pretty much every Sunday at our local market. And it’s a habit I’ve really come to love.
My reasons for choosing chemical free over conventional? Even though I was taking thyroxine, which theoretically that should have “fixed” me, it wasn’t enough. I felt I needed to support my body – my immune system and my digestive system in particular – and you can’t do that with chemicals, right? Personally, I feel everyone would have better health if they chose chemical free foods, but with seriously disadvantaged health like mine I feel that trying to minimise the chemicals I consume is the least I can do.
Another huge upside – I was saving money compared to shopping at the supermarket buying conventional produce – so it was a win win – less chemicals, more money! And I can’t tell you how much better food taste since I started doing this!
So, with this first change, I had cut out the majority of pesticides and chemicals from my food. The food I was eating was all fresh, and predominantly vegetables (you can also check out my post on phytochemicals here for reasons why this is a good thing). I was having no trans fats from eating fried foods. I wasn’t buying food from the supermarket so there were no processed foods either, with all their hidden trans fats, sugar, salt and chemicals. And did I mentioned I was saving money?!
So this was all good, and I was feeling pretty awesome about the changes I was making….but there was another thing…I was still eating wholemeal pasta and wholemeal bread and I knew that if I really wanted to see improvements then I needed to cut out gluten. So I dipped my toe in to this…
And I’ll tell you all about it next week! Thanks for reading xx