My Diet Is…
The biggest contributor to my sustainable wellness with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism has been changing my dietary habits. Coming from an Italian household where pasta, cheese, and cured meat is life this was a BIG change. Since I battled with an upset stomach and bloating after eating pasta and cheese pretty much for as long as I can remember, I am not really sure when my dairy and gluten intolerances started. Since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 8 year ago I have tried many different eating styles and I finally found what works for me. My diet now is a combination of gluten free, dairy free, soy free, paleo, and nightshade free.
According to many scientific studies there is a high correlation between gluten intolerance/allergy and Hashimoto’s. It is actually reported that about 1/3 of the entire US population has a gluten intolerance. When I eat gluten I experience the following effects: cramps in the intestinal region, nausea, fatigue, extreme bloating, and my Hashimoto’s symptoms flair up. Therefore, I avoid gluten at all costs. Yes, sometimes this becomes very tedious and overwhelming, but the benefit of feeling good far outweighs the cost of eating gluten free.
I love to cook and bake which makes eating gluten free quite a bit easier. In this blog you will find gluten free recipes and substitutes as inspiration for you to try a gluten free diet too!
Studies have found that about 65% of the population is lactose intolerant. Many adverse reactions to consuming dairy include nausea, vomiting, bloating, discomfort, and gas. A food intolerance as such can also contribute to leaky gut. There have been scientific findings that dairy can hinder the body’s capability of fighting infections and that there is a positive correlation between dairy consumption and acne. Aside from these effects dairy can impact the body in other negative ways which is why dairy does not make many autoimmune protocols or the autoimmune protocol (AIP) and paleo diets.
It’s been years since I have eliminated dairy from my diet and I have not missed it once. I opt for more sustainable wellness alternatives when cooking and baking such as: coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut cream, coconut milk, almond milk, and coconut yogurt. The choice to remove dairy from my diet has contributed to clearer skin, a healthier gut, and overall sustainable wellness.
Soy contains a chemical compound known as a isoflavone which has estrogenic activity. Studies have shown that isoflavones can be problematic for those with an underactive thyroid and Hashimoto’s. Additionally, since isoflavones have estrogen-like affects they can affect the balance of hormones in the body. Most dietary protocols for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s recommend eliminating soy.
The paleo diet is a lifestyle of eating habits based on the eating habits of ancient times. This diet is rich in lean meats, fish, vegetables, and fruit. It eliminates corn, legumes, soy, grains, dairy, sugar, and processed foods. I have noticed the biggest success in my health by following a paleo diet. My Hashimoto’s symptoms have subsided and my leaky gut improved. Occasionally on a pinch when I am traveling I may have some rice or gluten free oats, but that is less than 10% of my diet. After all I am a modern human!
Nightshade vegetables are a family of plants that include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes (excluding sweet potatoes). Nightshade vegetables have been known to cause inflammation, leaky gut, autoimmune flair-ups, and arthritis flair-ups. Personally, I never have felt well after eating nightshades besides potatoes. The only nightshade that I can and rarely tolerate is potatoes. Overall, I avoid this group of vegetables as there are many other food choices that can provide the same vitamins and minerals without the negative effects on my body.
A Whole Food Diet
Years of research and trial and error has helped me find the eating protocol that works best for me. In addition to the choices mentioned above I also try to focus on a whole food diet. This means that I try to only eat foods that don’t are not processed even if they are “healthy”. For example, I would choose a baked sweet potato over sweet potato noodles or a plantain that I have cooked and smashed over plantain chips. Of course this is not always easy to do so I try to stick to the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of my diet comes from whole food-focused choices and 20% may come from an altered form of food that matches my food choice criteria above such as cassava flour pasta.
Additionally, I choose organic over conventional as much as possible. My fish choices are wild-caught and meats are grass-fed.
Cooked Instead of Raw Vegetables
The state of how food is consumed can effect how it is processed in the body. Personally, I have found that my body feels best when I cook all vegetables that I eat. In Ayurveda this is known as at Vata-pacifying diet which is a common practice for those who have a dosha imbalance. If someone has Hashimoto’s or another disorder it is a given that they have a dosha imbalance.
Yup, that’s right. No alcohol for me! This may be the biggest feat for most people, but I personally was never a big drinker. Of course I had my fun back in the day, but I have been completely sober for over a year and a half. Alcohol has been known to be a trigger for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, It is likely due to the hormonal imbalances that alcohol consumption causes. This lifestyle choice may not be for everyone, but it certainly works for me and my sustainable wellness.
This may seem like a lot and honestly it is! However, the benefit of looking and feeling my best far outweighs the time it takes to abide by this way of eating. My health is my priority and it is the essence of my lifestyle.
Stay tuned for some recipes!
May you be well – Dominique