How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Practitioner

When I first got Hashimoto’s disease, I had never even set foot in a functional medicine doctors office. Actually, I had never even heard of it. I was under the impression that doctors only existed for annual embarrassing weigh ins and seemingly useless check up’s. Little did I know that functional medicine would become a huge part of my healing journey. People ask me

First, what is functional medicine? Functional medicine looks at the person as a whole rather than just zeroing in on their condition. For example, my endocrinologist worked to just mask the symptoms of my Hashimoto’s disease, where as, my functional medicine doctor looked at my gut, my toxicity, my hormones, etc. and how to heal the root cause of my condition. Functional medicine is much different than conventional, and it’s typical much more expensive, but it’s been a huge part of my own healing journey.

I’ve seen tons of functional medicine practitioners in my day. Some that didn’t help me at all, and some that helped me for years and I just grew out of. I firmly believe working to find the right practitioner that works for you isn’t easy. It’s like finding a partner or a best friend… you just can’t pick any random ol’ person. That’s why I wanted to share my tips for finding a good one from both the perspective of a nutritional therapy practitioner, and a patient myself.

How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Holistic Practitioner

How To Find A Good Functional Doctor or Practitioner

 

1.Ask around for recommendations

 

Most of the practitioners that I’ve seen have come from recommendations from friends and co-workers. In my area, a lot of the folks I know actually see a lot of the same people. Functional medicine communities are typically pretty tight knit and you can find a lot of them fairly easily once you find one or two. 

It doesn’t have to be awkward to ask about doctors. Think about the people you know if your life who have had health struggles or daily members who have. Ask them who they see or have seen in the past, and you’ll be surprised of the gems that are right in your own backyard. 

You can also take advantage of online groups like Facebook groups, forums, etc!

 

2. Look for practitioners who specialize in your area of need 

 

Figure out what you want to target and find someone who specializes in it. Maybe that’s lyme disease, maybe it’s Hashimoto’s, etc. For me, it’s crucial to work with someone who gets autoimmunity and gut issues. Most practitioners do at this point, but I did extra research to find someone who really got me. 

For example, I advertise in my own nutritional therapy consulting business that I specialize in working with women with chronic illness and autoimmunity by supporting their bodies ability to heal with nutrition and foundational work. I don’t necessarily work with people on just losing weight or getting on a Paleo diet alone. 

Do some research on what exactly you want a practitioner to address and find the best option for who can do it. 

 

3. Find a good “anchor” doctor and layer on specialists from there 

 

This is my favorite piece of advice to give as I firmly believe that everyone needs to work with a doctor who can directly diagnose and treat your disease, and can run labs. Not every practitioner can do that. It’s important to find that anchor doctor that can really be hands on. So, what kind of doctor?

  • Functional Medicine Doctor
  • MD who practices functionally
  • A naturopath 
  • An herbalist or chiropractor 

Though it’s important to have your anchor doctor, they may not be able to give you all of the support you need. Lots of my own clients see a functional medicine doctor and then see me for more hands on nutrition support, or also see a massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc. So, who else could you potentially see? 

  • Nutritional Therapy Practitioner 
  • Acupuncturist
  • Massage therapist 
  • Colonic specialist 
  • Counselor or psychologist 

 

4. Seek out someone you trust.

 

In order to heal anything, you have to believe in what you’re doing. If you’re on a protocol that you’re iffy about from the beginning or you just don’t trust your doctor, you’re already at a disadvantage. 

Ask yourself… what makes someone trustworthy to you? Is it social proof like good reviews online? Is it a smiling face and a family oriented atmosphere at the office? Think about what really helps you trust someone and look for those qualities in a doctor. 

 

5. Seek out someone you relate to.

 

I became a nutritional therapy practitioner because I relate to what my clients are going through, and I want to help to make their journey easier than mine was. Most (if not all) of the really good practitioners out there have a story just like yours that you can relate to. Not only does this make them more trust worthy, but they take more mindful care of you.

For example, when I was seeing my first functional medicine doctor, they would sell me tons and tons of supplements that had ingredients I couldn’t have… soy, wheat, potato starch, immune stimulants etc. The doctor knew that I couldn’t have these… they were just so busy and rushed. At the time, I didn’t know to look, and found myself with so many supplements that didn’t work for me, or ones that I had bad reactions to. After having this experience so many times, I read every single label of the supplements that I recommend for my clients beforehand to ensure that they don’t waste their time or money. Sure, that bad reactions still happen even when there are no obvious things present. But I’m not going to be the guy who gives my celiac client a supplement with wheat in it. Why? Because I relate

Most doctors will have an about page on their website that shares their own speciality, and hopefully their story as well. A really good doctor will even share their own personal experience when putting you on a protocol!

 

6. Ask about how long appointments last and support between visits. 

 

This is key. I have lots of questions when I’m seeing a doctor, and don’t want to work with someone who’s rushing me out in 15 minutes. When scheduling appointments ask about how long the initial visit and the follow up lasts. In my mind, you want minimum 45 minutes with the doctor to really dig deep.

Support between visits is another important piece of the puzzle. I’ve had entirely too many bad reactions to protocols and doctors that didn’t care to know that this something that you need to ask about. Many doctors offer zero support, while others have great email support in between visits. Ask about their policy, and how you can reach them in between visits. 

 

7. Find out what testing you want done and see who offers it in your area

 

After doing my own research online, I knew that I wanted to work with a doctor who did food allergy testing, blood work, SIBO testing, etc. That piece really just comes from doing research online on websites and blogs like my own. From there, I did research for either who could run these in my area, or who I could work with online to do it.

Most practitioners list what tests they run on their website, but you may also need to call and email to confirm what they do and do not do. 

 

8. Use search engines and search hashtags.

 

The internet rocks, man. We have all of this information at our finger tips right here and now!

I like to use websites like Healthgrades or Yelp and type in keywords like “Hashimoto’s” or “Leaky Gut”. That way, I can search to find past reviews about testimonials from patients who wrote about those issues with specific doctors. I also recommend this functional medicine doctor search engine!

You’d also be surprised what you can find with a hashtag search on instagram! I’ve found tons of fellow NTP’s by searching #NTP. Try searching hashtags relating to your area of need and see what you can find.

9. Don’t be afraid to work with someone remotely.

 

You don’t have to be limited to practitioners in your area alone to find a great doctor. Traditionally, we’re used to going to a doctors office and getting an actual physical that requires vitals, and being seen in person… and that’s still necessary to see a doctor who does that. However, if you’re just layering on something like a specialist for added support, don’t be afraid of working with someone remotely.

With Skype, Zoom, and the internet in general, working remotely is more common and more convenient than ever. I work with all of my NTP clients remotely and it works out great for everyone! 

 

My recommendations for good functional medicine practitioners in Dallas Fort Worth 

Inevitability, I know everyone will ask who I see and who I recommend in DFW! So here are my recommendations…

 

Working one on one with a practitioner that you love and trust is so crucial to your healing journey! I hope these recommendations helped take you one step closer to finding your own, or building a greater team 

26 Things I Did To Transform My Health

It’s that time of year again… Cinco De Mayo has come and gone. And since I don’t actually partake in going out and drinking and eating yummy Mexican food, that means I’m excited for another reason… Cinco De May is my birthday! I’m turning 26 years old (just aged myself and totally don’t care) and in 26 years, I’m blessed to have accomplished, send, and done so much. I’ve graduated college, gotten married, bought a house, started my own business, and so much more. I have so many things to thank for what I’ve been able to do in 26 years… my family, my husband, God’s grace and provision in my life, and my journey to transform my health to make my self that much more effective at what I’m able to do. Living with Hashimoto’s and serious leaky gut has never been easy, but I’m so grateful for all of the progress I’ve made. In celebration of my birthday, I wanted to share 26 things that transformed my health!

I want to preface all of this by saying that I am by no means in perfect health. I have heavy metals I’m dealing with, hormones that still fluctuate, and my gut still can get pretty jacked up if I stray too far from a healing diet. I am not claiming perfection with this blog post… I’m celebrating progress.

But first, how has my health been changed positively from these 26 things? 

  • I reversed my Hashimoto’s
  • I stopped having random fainting spells (likely a combination of bad blood sugar control and Hashimoto’s)
  • I no longer have constant stomach aches and pains
  • I can eat a variety of foods and not get sick 
  • I’m not reliant and advil and coffee to get me through the day because of fatigue and chronic headaches 

Like I said, I still struggle, but these are massive, massive wins in my mind, and I’ll take every little win I can get! So here are just some of the things I’ve done…

26 Things That Transformed My Health

26 Things I Did To Transform My Health

Diet & Wellness

1.I cut out gluten, soy, and nightshades

Though these are loosely in no particular order, this was huge for me. I went gluten free-ish when I was 18 after learning the connection it had with Hashimoto’s. I went full on gluten, soy, and nightshade free until 3 years later, and it changed my life. I had no idea how much these foods were effecting me on a daily basis and how much better I feel without them!

2. I discovered AIP 

For me, gluten free, soy free and nightshade free wasn’t enough to really heal. I  really needed to nix grains, take a dairy break, and learn about inflammatory oils and how to be a nutrient seeker. It’s been about 2 years that I’ve followed an AIP template, and it’s really helped change the way I feel, and the way I see food as nourishment for healing rather than something to just eat or avoid.  

3. I began my bone broth obsession 

All week, every week… I’m drinking broth. Whether it’s a bone broth based soup, a drink, a meal with a bone broth sauce like this spaghetti squash alfredo, or just straight up in a mug, bone broth has been huge in transforming my health. It’s helped with my gut healing, and mineral absorption! 

4. I started eating protein & healthy fat daily

In high school, I prided myself in having a zero fat diet. Face palm. I also had a terrible meat aversion and never ate protein. Not only did I not crave these foods, but I couldn’t digest them. It took a lot of gut healing, but now I eat them daily and my energy has changed drastically. 

5. I eat vegetables at every meal 

Even breakfast, yes. Check out this breakfast bowl for reference 😉 Vegetables are the base of my diet and eating mostly vegetables rather than mostly grains like I used to has given me so much more energy, vitality, and has done so much good for my gut.

6. I let go of societies standard for “balanced eating”

We’ve all hear of the 80/20 rule. Most often the 20% is perceived as alcohol, cupcakes and taco bell. If you’re not pigging out on junk food every so often, society views you as obsessed with healthy food… I highly disagree. You need not need a balance of junk food to be healthy. I’m perfectly happy with my 20% being things like dark chocolate and matcha lattes, and eating a nutrient dense diet!

7. But, I still give myself “permission” to eat lots of chocolate… like… a lot 

Not like I need “permission” but I do indeed still treat myself. You guys… I eat a lot of chocolate. If I don’t have something chocolate-y minimum a couple of times a week, I’m a sad panda… do people still say that? 

8. I started batch cooking

The best way for me to not stress about having healthy meals prepared! 

9. I stopped trying to lose weight and learned to productively deal with my weight fluctuations with Hashimoto’s 

10. I learned that Hashimoto’s can be managed holistically 

11. I went on a journey to heal my gut & support my gut health

Gut health was a huge trigger for my Hashimoto’s, and a whole separate issue in itself for me. Going on my gut healing journey and supporting my gut health going forward is one of the main things that keep my Hashimoto’s controlled, and previous IBS type symptoms under control! 

12. I learned how digestion is actually supposed to work 

Learning how digestion works changed how I approach gut healing. Truly, take a look at how digestion actually works and think about how you can support your digestion to support your gut health. 

13. I take Betaine HCL and enzymes with every meal  

Like I said, my gut still a’int perfect. Taking digestive support supplements has been a huge factor in my gut healing journey. 

14. I discovered the importance of blood sugar control and how to balance meals 

Oh, you mean oatmeal with chocolate chips and coffee is a bad idea for breakfast? Yeah… it kind of is. I had horrible hypoglycemia my whole life, and the spikes and dips of blood sugar are so bad for your adrenals, and your liver, and your body in general! 

It’s only been about two years that I’ve started to take this seriously, and balancing my meals is always going to be a daily challenge, but it’s made a drastic difference in my headaches, fainting spells, and over all hunger. 

 

Lifestyle 

15. I strengthened (and continue to strengthen) my relationship with God

Above giving up gluten, drinking bone broth, and even getting married, I owe everything to God. I personally believe that God has lead me on and through this health journey for a purpose. God calls us to love Him will all of our hearts, to pursue Him, and to establish a relationship with Him. In doing this, it’s given me reassurance in my health, and changed my mental health so much more than even the best yoga class ever could. 

16. I married an amazing, supportive, cute, blonde man

Marrying Daniel is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, if not the best. He’s grounded, supportive, ambitious, and the perfect partner for me on this journey. I’ve had some tumultuous relationships in the past that were terrible for my health. Daniel does nothing but support and strengthen my physical and mental health <3 

17. I stopped crazy exercise 

As a former crossfitter, it just wasn’t working for me and my adrenals anymore. I walked away from something that I still technically loved in interest of support my health with more gentle exercise. 

18. I started doing yoga & weight lifting 

I still love lifting weights… my body likes lifting weights. It also really loves yoga. I may not be a star weight lifter or yogi, but these gentle exercises are just what my body needs to stay challenged, keep myself moving, and not spike my stress levels to a crazy amount. 

19. I take walks several times a week

Weather permitting 😉 I do live in Texas and it’s already super hot here. But taking walks is an amazing way to gently move your body and take some self care time to think, meditate, and pray. If I’m ever having an off day, a walk almost always sets me straight. 

20. I learned how to not feel “left out” with my lifestyle and diet 

21. I got a cat named, “Stinky”

Pets are amazing health boosters. My little kitty was a stray that ran up to my mom during a snow day here in Dallas as she was leaving work. She threw him in her car, and guess where he ended up 😉 ? The name “Stinky” was a silly nickname from my husband because he was in denial that we were actually keeping him. Oh, but we did. Stinky always cheers me up, and snuggling with him is always one of my favorite parts of the day.  

Oh, and did I mention that this little lover has a heart on his side?

Work

22. I left my 8-5 job

This is always a hard one because people want to believe it’s impossible… but it’s not. I left my 8-5 day job for pursuing my own business and freelancing, and the effect it’s had on my health is drastic. Is it easy? Of course not. Is it possible? Yes. 

23. I focus energy on helping others 

One of my favorite parts of being an NTP/ blogger is all of the people I get to help. It warms my heart like crazy when a client tells me I helped improved their digestion, or a reader says they love my healing recipes. Looking outside yourself and helping others rather than dwelling on your own situation and health all of the time can be one of the most healing things you can do. 

Health Education 

24. I got certified to be an NTP through the nutritional therapy association

Blog post to come on my experience as an NTP, but going through the program gave me so much insight and holistic understanding of my own health! Though I’ve been able to make a career out of it as well, it was worth it for the personal knowledge alone. 

25. I became a podcast junkie 

Okay, I am obsessed with podcasts. For entertainment value, for education, for self improvement…. basically all of the things. They help me relax, they make me laugh, and they teach me so. much. about. health. (and other things) Balanced Bites, Paleo Women, Stuff You Should Know… I’m so grateful for all of the value they bring and what they’ve taught me about my health! 

And Very Importantly…

26. I continue to pursue this journey 

By no means is my health perfect… like at all. I still have issues that I’m dealing with that relate to hormones, heavy metals and more. The most transformative thing that anyone can do for their health is to pursue it as a journey, and never give up on growing.

 

We’re all different… this is just my journey. I share it to inspire you in any way I can, and hope that this post did just that! 

How Hashimoto’s Changed My Life… For The Better!

From the second that I first started presenting symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease, I knew that my life was never going to be the same. Even then, I felt this pull that this was a huge turning point in my life at just 17 years old. The first time that I had a serious heart palpitation episode and fainted right behind the cash register at my high school job, lead me down a path that I could never back out of. I was officially the chronically ill girl who battled these uncomfortable symptoms, flares that shifted my weight and physical appearance, and dramatic fainting episodes and panic attacks for years.

Though I had zero choice as to whether or not this all would happen to me, I did have a choice if it would change my life for the better, or worse. Some days it’s both, but all in all, I chose to be grateful for my Hashimoto’s and leaky gut. 

When I look at it just right, I see that I’m grateful that I have Hashimoto’s disease. It has changed my life for the better. 

 

So, first… why do I have a positive outlook on having a chronic disease like Hashimoto’s? 

 

First, know that I’m not a sunshine-y person who is always incredibly positive and has thought this way from day one. Not in the least. I’ve cried many tears, and have asked my fair share of “why me’s”. Shifting my perspective to a positive one was a choice. And a necessary one…

If I continue to keep being negative and not forgive myself of my body for bringing me to a state of disease, the only person I’m hurting is myself. The more stressed and negative I am, the worse my life gets. The more positive I am, the more positive my life is as a whole. As Buddha said, “What you think, you become”.

I didn’t want to think negative and be the person who hates my situation any more. The stress was bad for my health, my healing, and my overall quality of life.

 

That’s not to say that it’s easy. Hashimoto’s has still been incredibly hard for me… 

 

Believe it or not, I’ve been called out for having a positive outlook and being grateful for my Hashimoto’s as if it was a bad thing. As if I “just haven’t suffered enough” and clearly that’s why I’m grateful. I hate playing the “who has it worse game”, so I refuse to really get into that conversation.

But in reality, we all suffer differently and no one persons journey with their disease is the same. Hashimoto’s, leaky gut, and all of the chronic disease I’ve lived with have been hard. I missed tons of high school, I lost many friends, I became a person I didn’t recognize anymore, I gave up all of my former favorite foods, and I had so many days in bed with pain, fatigue, and more. It has not been easy.

But still, if I dwell on that, I can’t live a happy life… so I choose to force myself to see the positive. Some days that’s easier than others, but I still have to make the effort.

So, how has Hashimoto’s changed my life for the better? 

 

How Hashimoto's Has Changed My Life... For The Better! 

 

1. Hashimoto’s made me more empathetic to others who are going through health struggles.

 

Some people are naturally just a good shoulder to cry on. We need those people in the world, and I love those people. Before I got sick, I was never that person. I was awkward, cold, and just couldn’t relate.

Going through my experience with my Hashimoto’s disease and gut issues has showed me what it’s like to be sick, scared, and confused, so I care deeply and relate on a personal level to those who are going through the same. 

I love being able to sit down for a cup of tea with someone who’s going through a rough time, hear their heart, and really be empathetic towards them. I needed those people when I first got sick, and I’m glad that I can be that person for others. 

 

2. It inspired me to live a healthy lifestyle and take my health seriously.

 

I make jokes on my blog about how I’m a recovered french fry and ketchup addict, and it’s literally so accurate. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. I ate a horrifically unhealthy diet, overexercised, and lived anything but a healthy lifestyle and didn’t even realize that it was negatively affecting my health.  

Being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s was the wake up call that I needed to take my health seriously. To stop eating junk, to stop unhealthy exercise habits, to get out of unhealthy relationships, and to start living a healthier lifestyle. 

Getting Hashimoto’s wasn’t my first sign of being unhealthy. I had signs of leaky gut as early as two years old with random food allergies, chronic ear infections, digestive issues, and blood sugar imbalances that finally came to a head at 17 with my Hashimoto’s diagnosis. I was unwell my entire life… Hashimoto’s was just my bodies way of telling me that I needed to change. And, I am so grateful that it did! 

The sad reality is that’s what it takes for so many people to start taking their health seriously, when really we need to take it seriously way before we get to that point. But here I am, and it’s better late than never!

These days, I love the healthy lifestyle I live. I love eating salmon, and vegetables, and drinking bone broth and I’m happy to turn down the fast food that I once love. Yes, people think I’m crazy that I just won’t break down and eat a donut every now and then, but literally, I don’t care. I know how much my health means to me now that I’ve experienced life without it, and I choose to nourish my body with food that I love. 

Plus its not the end of the world when I’m enjoying things like these gluten free, dairy free, paleo sweet potato chicken poppers 😉 Yes, you can eat real food that tastes delicious! 

Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo, AIP)

 

3. My journey with Hashimoto’s enables me to inspire others. 

 

Like I said, it still hasn’t been easy. My journey with Hashimoto’s was/(is) tumultuous. I dealt with the insecurity of my weight fluctuating. I had serious social anxiety in college. When I was supposed to be out making friends and having fun, I was having panic attacks at the thought of going out and eating something that would make me sick. I felt weak from not being able to stay awake for more than 6 hours a day or even stand from more than 5 minutes at time. I fainted in high school parking lot and was accused of being a drug addict, I had my endocrinologist call me fat, and I had to quit a dream internship because I was so sick. 

And if you have autoimmune disease, you can probably relate to at least one of those things that I just said.

I firmly believe that we live in a fallen world and things like chronic illness just happen. No one is immune, anyone can be struck down by it, and millions have what I have. But I also believe that God but this challenge in my way so I could inspire others who are going through the same. 

 

By acknowledging that I’ve struggled, but have overcome and continue to fight regardless, I’m able to inspire others to keep fighting. 

 

By starting Unbound Wellness, I’m able to share my struggles, my triumphs, and tons of fun recipes that are still delicious even though it’s gluten free, dairy free, grain free, nightshade free, seed free.. and jeez, you get the point, right?

I’m amazed and humbled by the number of people I’ve been able to inspire with my story of fighting and healing. The people I work with one on one in my nutrition practice, the people who have joined my groups, the people who have bought and had success with my gut healing book, the friends I’ve made through blogging and social media, and even just the person who reads my blog that I never hear from. I’m beyond grateful to inspire each and everyone one of the people that I can touch.

 

At the end of the day, I know it’s hard to live with an autoimmune disease, but it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to be grateful for. 

 

Taking the high road and choosing to be grateful is hard. But it’s also just that… it’s a choice

When you make that choice, I guarantee that it will only change your life for the better. 

How I Balanced My Hormones… Naturally! (Exercise, Diet, Gut Healing & More)

I thought that I never wanted to talk “hormones” on my blog. I wanted to keep thing like “times of the month” to myself and talk more heavily about my journey with hashimoto’s and my gut. That’s really always been more of my issue, so I never saw the need to go in-depth with hormones. However, after a crazy flare and my own constant discovery that our bodies and our health are all connected, I felt like I had to share my story of how I balanced my hormones naturally. 

I’ll be honest here, I’ve struggled with this a lot recently. I may seen like I’m in remission or healed, but that is simply not the case. My health is a journey, just as yours is. Just because I gave up gluten doesn’t mean I’m suddenly immune from health flares. Our bodies and are health our always changing. 

Like I said, I was hesitant to talk “hormones”, but if I share the good with you all, I have to share the bad too. Plus, hormones are so much more than times of the month. It’s about sleep, blood sugar, acne, mood, and more… 

My Hormonal Imbalance Flare 

I used to have terrible hormonal flares with acne, pain, and mood swings when I was a teenager. Doctors always just brushed it off as me being a teenager and didn’t look beyond that. In retrospect, I know that a lot of what caused my recently hormone flare was what was causing my flares in the past. 

I had terrible acne that just wouldn’t budge. I tried creams, ointments, and even prescription acne pills (horrible idea) and nothing helped. It was eventually determined that it was hormonal acne, and I was put on a birth control pill when I was about 17 or 18 to just silence this symptom. My acne went away and I was afraid to ever get off the pill in fear of what it would do to my skin. However, when my husband and I got married, he talked me into talking to my doctor about getting off the pill. He had his head on way straighter than I did at the time and convinced me that the pill was probably doing way more harm than good. And he was right.

I got off the pill a few years ago and had already changed my diet by the time that I did, so my symptoms were much better. I had some acne and mood swing here and there, but never anything drastic… until recently. 

This all started around this past summer…

What Happened To Trigger It?

This is always just speculation, but here are the things that were going on at the time…

  • I was taking my finals at the NTA
  • We were simultaneously buying our first house and moving 
  • I was feeling pressured to quit my full-time job and make the leap to entrepreneurship right then and there
  • We moved into a new old house that was recently remodeled 
  • I was eating more starch 
  • I got out of my normal healthy routine 

My symptoms came on so hard and so fast that I actually got tested for mold toxicity. I thought that our new house was contaminated with mold and that that’s what was triggering me. 

So basically, I was crazy stressed in more ways than one.

My Symptoms…

The symptoms were hard, fast, and debilitating at times. It wasn’t bad every day, but when it was, it was really bad.

  • Trouble sleeping… I would wake up every night at 3am which is not typical for me at all.
  • Anxiety 
  • Mood swings 
  • Acne 
  • Weight gain… I can just tell hormonal weight gain on my body. I was holding onto 7-8 pounds of hormonal weight gain that wouldn’t budge
  • Migraines 
  • Leg cramps 
  • Shooting back pain 
  • Cysts 

What my lab work said…

  • My thyroid and inflammation levels are still good (thankfully some positive news!)
  • I was estrogen dominant
  • I was low in progesterone 
  • I’m very low in Vitamin D 
  • I had elevated liver enzymes
  • I had freakishly high beta-glucaronidase 
  • I was in stage 2 adrenal fatigue (which is hopefully improving)
  • I was mineral deficient 
  • I’m highly mercury toxic (more on this in another post… omg…) 

Clearly, I had a lot of work to do. I’ve come a long way and am still working on it, but I’m finally starting to feel relief. 

How I Balanced My Hormones Naturally 

(and am still working on it)

How I Balanced My Hormones Naturally

1.I Zeroed In on Blood Sugar Control and Cut Out Starches In Excess

Blood sugar is so important for your hormones! I repeat, please care about your blood sugar. Please care about how many carbs and sugars you eat (even natural, real food sources), how much fat and protein you pair it with, and how often you eat. You want your meals to be balanced. That balance is different for everyone, but generally speaking, you don’t want half of your meals to be fruit and sweet potatoes. You want fat, protein, and a balance of vegetable based carbs.

Our hormones of blood sugar sugar control of part of our entire endocrine cascade. Our hormones have to balanced, right? Spikes in our blood sugar mean imbalances in our hormones. Ever get hangry after just having a smoothie for breakfast? What about running to the bathroom at 2 am? Or feeling tired at 3 pm and only feeling relief from eating. All signs that your blood sugar is imbalanced. 

I began to notice that the more starches and sugar I ate throughout the month, the worse my flares were. I was more anxious, had more acne, more pain, and I was just a wreck

So, here’s what I did…

  • I cut out/ cut down on starches like starchy flours (cassava, tapioca, sweet potato, etc.) 
  • I focused on eating more non-starchy veggies like carrots, squash, etc. and cooking them in lots of fat! 
  • I do fruit in moderation and as treats
  • I made sure I had little to no caffeine. Maybe a matcha here and there, but no daily coffee for sure. 

 

2. I Focused On Cutting Down My Stress Levels

I firmly believe that stress was the finally nail in the coffin of this flare, so it was the key to really getting rid of it. Stress in all forms (physical, emotional, etc.) spikes our cortisol which throws off our entire hormone cascade. I knew that my adrenals were seriously fatigued, and that I was incredibly stressed. Stress is the one thing that I always encourage my clients to really take an honest look at. We must reduce stress as much as possible to help rebalance our hormones and stop spikes and dips in stress hormone levels. But it’s easier said than done…

Stress is hard. It comes in so many different forms, and it’s impossible to get rid of stress altogether. 

There comes a point where we need to just accept a certain level of stress in our lives. We’ll never get rid of it altogether, so we just have to find ways to manage it and get rid of unnecessary stress. Stress reduction means something different for everyone. We can’t just drop our responsibilities, so we have to find a way to balance.

So, here’s what I did…

  • I worked really hard to transition away from my 8-5 job and do part time office work, consulting, and work on my own business (more on that here)
  • Spent more time outside
  • I take at least one evening a week to not have any obligations or appointments and just relax
  • I spend more time with God 

 

3. I Kept Working On My Gut

Because it all begins in the gut, right? Our mood, our hormones, everything! Little did I know that the biggest factor to my hormones was still in my gut. I know that working on my gut is a lifelong journey, and I’m up for the challenge. 

So, let’s talk beta-glucaronidase. I had never really heard of this before I realized mine was so high. Beta-glucaronidase is an enzyme that becomes elevated from unfriendly gut bacteria. The enzyme stops us from detoxing things like old hormones, and these old hormones keep recirculating in our system… which is why I had the same symptoms for months. This was the big hairy monster in my flare. Beta-glucarondiase can be found on a stool test, and it’s imperative to lower it as it’s associated with cancer of the prostate, colon, and breast cancer. 

Our gut health is huge, huge, huge. That’s why I literally wrote a book on healing your gut, and why I talk so often about healing foods like bone broth. I focus on it with all of my clients and believe that in todays toxic world, working on your gut health is an ongoing process.

A few years ago I couldn’t go a single day without having some sort of stomach ache, pain, bloating, or mystery reaction to food. Though still I have an off day here and there, I’m blown away with how far I’ve come and how much my quality of life has improved as a result. Regardless, there’s apparently still on going work to do.

Here’s what I did…

  • I worked with my doctor to get on some supplements (like calcium d-glucarate) to help out my elevated beta-glucaronidase and am continuing to work with her on treating the root cause.
  • I cut out excess starches and sugars to stop feeding bad gut bacteria. This was huge for me and I never thought I could do it! It’s not that my gut flora is depleted… quite the opposite. I had a huge diversity in my gut of both good and bad bacteria. My strategy for rebalancing has been to favor good bacteria with the right ferments, and starve bad bacteria which is part of cutting out starches and sugars which they feed on! 
  • I followed all of the principles for on-going gut healing as laid out in my e-book, the 30 Day Gut Healing Guide.

 

4. I Started Exercising Smarter 

Getting out of my routine during the stressful summer meant getting out of my workout routine. I went from a normal routine that was working for me to just not really moving with purpose at all. 

A lot of what I was dealing with my hormone flare was inflammation, and the right kind of exercise and restorative movement with purpose can be great for reducing inflammation. Everyone’s routine will be different, and actually getting into a routine is half the battle, but exercise makes such huge difference in hormone balance when we don’t over or under do it.

Here’s what I do now…

  • Walking is my anchor and I take walks several times a week
  • I try to go to a yoga class at least twice a week
  • I also try to practice yoga at home on off days for even just 10-20 minutes to get in some movement and stretch. I’m loving Yoga with Adrienne videos. 
  • I’ll strength train with weights (which I love) once or twice a week or go to a more challenging yoga class 
  • If I’m having an off week, I’ll only walk and do restorative yoga 

 

5. I Worked With My Doctor To Supplement Smarter  

I always stress that we need to be working with a practitioner one on one with things like supplementation, because I was way off on my own routine!

I’m not really going to share the exact supplements my doctor recommended for me in depth, because the last thing I want anyone doing is just grabbing what I’m on and taking that. More likely than not, it won’t work for you like it is me. You’ll likely need something different.

In short, my doctor helped me with mineral support, Vitamin D, progesterone, and initial mercury detox support. 

How My Symptoms Have Improved… 

  • I sleep perfectly!
  • My skin is better 
  • My mood swings are basically gone
  • No more headaches or migraines 
  • I shed most of my hormonal weight 
  • I’m way less stressed
  • I’m only anxious about stupid this and not irrational things (because I’m still quirky, y’all… driving with loud music makes anxious… I’m weird 😛 ) 

What I’m Still Working On…

  • Mercury detox! This is a huge bear and throws everything off in your body. More on this as I continue down this path, but it’s just starting for me. 
  • Mineral status. 
  • My gut flora and the beta-glucaronidaise. A constant journey as well!
  • My vitamin D which has been low for years, y’all 
  • My back pain still gets iffy at certain times… working on my inflammation and everything else above for this

 

So, phew! There you have it. Like I said, this is a constant journey. I’m still in the thick of it every day and have lots of work to keep doing. What I do know, is that I’m beyond grateful that I’m able to manage these shifts naturally with real food and lifestyle changes, and not birth control anymore. There’s a lot to know, and much still to learn, but as always, I’ll be here to share! 

The Best Foods For Healing Hashimoto’s Disease

When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease at 17, all I knew was that levothyroixine and synthroid were the only medicines that could help me. That’s what doctors told me, that’s what other people on the internet were saying at the time and that’s all I ever knew. However, I had slowly come to learn that the food I ate could be a powerful medicine for supporting my body and healing my Hashimoto’s. Healing my own Hashimoto’s disease was done with holistic practices, treating the root cause, and real food. That’s why I’m excited to share this list of the best foods for healing hashimoto’s disease!

Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease that begins the same way every other one does… in the gut. Our gut houses our immune system and the gut integrity is crucial to whether or not we develop autoimmunity. Giving our gut healing foods that both help heal the gut itself and give our body proper nutrients is crucial to achieving health with autoimmunity!

Now, it’s always important to stress that food alone is not the savior. Yes, I said it. Food a’int everythang. It seriously cannot fix everything just like it’s not the one thing that caused the problem. Food provides the nutrients and it’s one of the few things that we can actually control, but it’s just a piece of it. For me, I had to address my digestion, heal my gut, focus on my adrenals, minerals, blood sugar, and the like before I could every really make a real dent in healing. I talk a lot more about that in this post, and in my e-book the 30 Day Gut Healing guide. 

Disclaimers, aside that food won’t solve all of your problems, it will help tremendously! I always say that my number one biggest change in my health came from diet and it’s true. It gave me the most results the quickest, and really, it makes sense. Food can either be super inflammatory, or it can provide our body with nutrients needed to do it’s job correctly! Here are the top 8 foods to healing Hashimoto’s…

Best Foods For Healing Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease

1.Organic Vegetables & Herbs

Veggies first, y’all. 

I think regardless of what diet we follow, we can all agree that veggies and herbs are incredibly healing, and nutrient dense. Contrary to popular belief, the paleolithic man was not primarily meat based… they still ate mostly plants. Organic vegetables and herbs are full of phytonutrients that allow us to thrive. They give us energy, vitamins, minerals, and help the body heal. The general recommended value for a veggie packed diet is up to 9 cups a day. 

However, not all veggies are created equal. Especially when you’re dealing with Hashimoto’s there are two different veggie groups that I would be careful with… nightshades and goitrogens. 

Nightshades are…

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Goji berries 

After years with Hashimoto’s, I eventually discovered that nightshades were my worst trigger for flares. They’re often associated with joint pain, and they’re avoided on the autoimmune protocol for their tendency to cause inflammation. Not everyone reacts poorly, but it’s best to be cautious. I recommend many folks to avoid them for a period and reintroduce them to see how they react. If you’re like me, you’ll stay without

Goitrogenic vegetables include…

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts etc.

These vegetables are known to slow down your thyroid in large amounts and when eaten raw. However, the best way to combat this is to eat them cooked and in moderation raw. A kale salad here and there or some raw broccoli won’t kill you, but they really are best cooked. 

So what vegetables are “safe”?

  • Cooked gotrigentic veggies
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Lettuce 
  • Leeks
  • Radishes
  • Rutabaga
  • etc.! 

2. Vegetable Starches

We’re told that whole grains are healthy, full of fiber and that we should be eating more grains than vegetables. I highly beg to differ. Whole grains can be very inflammatory to the gut and not productive in an autoimmune state. I’m 95% grain free (I have rice on occasion) and know many others with autoimmunity who are the same are report great results.

However, we still need carbohydrates, especially with Hashimoto’s (read why here). That’s why we need to lean on vegetable starches rather than go grain heavy. What does that mean?

  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Carrots
  • Winter and summer squash
  • Plantains
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips

As a recovered pizza and french fry queen, I always thought that there as no way I’d be able to live without them. Not only is that the wrong way to think about it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Trust me, I am just as happy and much healthier munching on my parsnip fries.

Duck Fat Parsnip Fries

3. Bone Broth & Fermented Foods

Bone broth for life, y’all. Seriously, you guys know I’m obsessed with bone broth. It’s basically the green juice of animal protein. It’s made from  grass-fed bones cooked over 24-48 hours to draw out the vitamins, and minerals. The gelatin in broth helps heal damaged gut lining and the easy to digest minerals support our healing as a whole! 

Here are some great recipes for bone broth:

Fermented veggies are another big one for gut health. Basically every indigenous culture had some sort of ferment, but we’ve completely stopped doing it. They’re rich in probiotics that feed our good gut bacteria and support a healthy gut and immune system! Fermented vegetables can be enjoyed in sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, and basically anything else you can ferment. 

Here are some great fermented food recipes:

These are traditional foods that are important to consume as often as possible to heal the gut, and daily if possible.

4. Sea Vegetables

These are another long forgotten traditional food that are packed with minerals, notably selenium and iodine which are both very low in our modern diets.

Iodine is very controversial in the Hashimoto’s community, and where most of the data leans is that high dose supplementation is not productive for Hashimoto’s and can actually be harmful. So though it’s important not to overdue sea vegetables as too much iodine can be harmful to Hashimoto’s, it’s also good to be mindful about adding in some seaweed, kelp or sea vegetables here and there to get some added minerals and a basic level of iodine. 

My favorite way to add in sea veggies is to snack of seasnax a couple of times a week. They’re easy to snack on, and seriously yummy! 

5. Healthy Fats

Fats are demonized for all of the wrong reason. Healthy fats are the building blocks of our hormones which regulate processes in the body and the thyroid! 

Poor quality fats equals poor quality hormones and poor quality bile which equals poor quality digestion. It’s so important to make sure we’re eating enough fat, and the right fats to stay healthy and nourished. So what are healthy fats?

  • Avocado
  • Coconut 
  • Pasture raised animal fats (like tallow, lard, schmaltz, etc.)
  • Grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Olive oil
  • Properly prepared nuts

6. Wild Caught Fish

Wild caught fish is a super food! It’s packed with anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids which is necessary for regulating inflammation. 

I’m going to label an extreme caution with certain kinds of fish however… and that’s fish that’s high in mercury. I’m talking tuna (yes, even canned), shark, swordfish, orange roughy, and other large fish. Mercury poisoning is very real (actually, I have very high mercury that I’m working on detoxing from… more on that later) and it’s terrible for those of us with Hashimoto’s as mercury can inhibit selenium absorption which is crucial for a healthy thyroid. Be extremely cautious with these fish and only eat them on rare occasions.

So what are better fish to eat?

  • Shellfish in moderation
  • Salmon
  • Sardines 
  • Cod 
  • Scallops
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Trout

Salmon is one of my favorite foods, so I find it easy to get in lots of wild caught fish! I love enjoying salmon bowls or my AIP salmon cakes… yum!

7. Pastured Meats

Similar to fat, meat also gets an extremely bad reputation as being the antithesis of health. I hated meat for the first 23 years of my life. Except for chicken nuggets 😉 But really, I thought meat was so “bad for you” and I hated the way it tasted.

Let’s get one thing straight… CAFO, conventional meat is terrible for you. I’m taking the stuff you just buy off the shelf or get in restaurants that came from a feedlot. That is full of hormones, and was fed GMO grain. Even “organic” meat was fed organic grain which still isn’t suitable for animal consumption. 

However, meat that was raised on pasture, and fed grass is much higher quality and better for human consumption. It ate it’s natural diet, it got sunlight, and it lived a humane life. Look for local pasture raised meat, or check out retailers like US Wellness Meats for high quality meat online.

I recommend eating whatever your body wants for pasture raised protein from beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, etc. Oh, and you can still get down with some chicken nuggets, my friend. Try my sweet potato chicken poppers made with pasture raised chicken 😉 

Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo, AIP)

8. Lower Sugar Fruits 

Like vegetables, certain fruits can be rich in vitamins and phytochemicals. However, they’re far more sugar-y than vegetables. Though sugar from fruit is much less harmful than refined cane sugar, it’s still important to not over do it on any sugar in general. It still spikes your blood sugar in excess which leads to inflammation and hormonal imbalance.

High sugar fruits like mango, bananas, grapes, or dates are fine treats in moderation.

However, in any disease state, it’s much better to steer towards lower sugar fruits like green apples, and berries!

 

I hope these tips about healing foods for Hashimoto’s have been helpful! Eat up, friends 🙂 

How I Reversed My Hashimoto’s Disease Naturally

It’s been eight long years since I first presented with Hashimoto’s disease symptoms, and likely over a decade since the war started in my body.  It’s estimated that up to 90% of women who are dealing with hypothyroidism are actually suffering from Hashimoto’s. An autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid, Hashimoto’s has an epically long list of symptoms. From fatigue, to weight gain, to hair loss, to cold intolerance… I had them all, and against all odds at the time, I stand here today having reversed Hashimoto’s naturally.

Conventional medicine tells us to treat the symptoms of diseases like Hashimoto’s with pharmaceuticals that make us forget our troubles for a while, but never really heals the root cause of why we even got Hashimoto’s in the first place. So maybe our weight gain stalls for a few months, but one life event, stressor, or even just a fluke and we’re back to square one… sound familiar? That’s exactly what happened to me… 

After just a couple of short years on high doses of thyroid medication and still riding the Hashimoto’s roller coaster, I was over it. 

I had to become my own health advocate and literally go to school to become a nutritional therapy practitioner myself, but I was determined to get better! And little by little, day by day, I did it!

And I am so excited to share with you how I reversed my Hashimoto’s naturally to help you on your healing journey!

I went from hypothyroid… fatigue, weight gain, intolerance to cold.

To very hyperthyroid… heart palpitations, panic attacks, jittery feelings.

To stable… and while not eating whatever I want and pushing myself to my breaking point, still healthy, and thriving.

While I still don’t consider myself miraculously healed for all of eternity and that I could never experience a flare again (gotta keep up with my GF humble pie, y’all), my life today isn’t occupied by constant Hashimoto’s symptoms… so how did I do it?

How I Reversed My Hashimoto’s Disease Naturally 

How I Reversed Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease Naturally

1. I focused on healing my gut and digestion.

In the words of Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut” as 70-80% of our immune system being located in our digestive system! This is true for everything, but particularly autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s.

The autoimmune gut connection comes in when our intestines become permeable, or “leaky” (hence leaky gut) and molecules of the food enters our blood where our body is confused by these forgien substances and attacks them. Molecular mimicry takes place where these foods looks like our own body, and the immune system attacks our own organs or organ systems. 

Healing the gut and digestion is vital to healing autoimmunity. 

So what’s the “secret” for healing your gut and digestion? In short…

  1. Follow a healing protocol like AIP, Paleo, GAPS, low-FODMAP, etc. while researching which is best for you. I follow an AIP (autoimmune protocol) template and find it works best for me.
  2. Work a practitioner to treat infections and imbalances.
  3. Supplement with digestive support, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid when needed.
  4. Reduce stress and inflammation from food, lifestyle, etc.
  5. Up your beneficial bacteria with probiotics, fermented foods, and more.
  6. Remove inflammatory foods and add healing foods. More on that below…

I’ve outlined these principles and more in detail in my e-book, the 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide, which is an amazing resource for taking your first step with managing chronic illness!

2. I ate for nutrient density.

Cutting out stress and inflammation in the form of foods such as junky oils, gluten, sugars, etc. is hugely beneficial… but it’s not enough. I went years thinking that as long as I wasn’t eating gluten, I could eat whatever gluten free packaged food I could find and it would be fine. I’m looking at you, Rice Chex. 

To truly heal ourselves we need to eat nutrient dense foods that are seasonal, local, and filled with the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to thrive. 

When I first went AIP, it was the first time in my life that I went from eating processed junk to trying to eat as much real, local food as I could possibly get. That meant hitting the Google search bar to find a farmers market near by, digging around even more to find a local co-op and a CSA, and leaning on grocery stores like Natural Grocers to find nutrient dense food. 

Nutrient density comes from foods like…

  • Fresh vegetables like beets, carrots, celery, kale, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato… etc! 
  • Homemade bone broth
  • Wild caught fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and shellfish.
  • Pasture raised meats like grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, pastured chicken, etc.
  • Healthy fats like avocado, pastured animal fats, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts (if tolerated). 

It simply just doesn’t come from a box!

 

 

 

 

 

3. I customized my diet to fit my own intolerances.

Food intolerances are incredibly complicated. Food allergy test like IgG tests simply aren’t 100% reliable, yet most of us still have more intolerances than only foods avoided on AIP.  

It’s important to monitor how you feel with foods, track your symptoms, and even utilize pulse testing to test your intolerance to foods. 

For me, I found that foods like spinach, and pineapple (among others) are just not my friends. It sounds weird, but when we think about all of the weird things that are done to the food supply and how sick it makes us, it’s not entirely farfetched.  

4. I actively worked to heal my adrenal dysfunction.

I’ll be honest, I never even heard of adrenal fatigue before I started studying to become a nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). However, I came to find that adrenal health is crucial for thyroid health and that I had stage 2 adrenal fatigue.

Your adrenal glands regulate your fight or flight response and cortisol from the adrenal process sits above thyroid hormone on the endocrine cascade. When the adrenal process gets worn out from it throws the entire hormone cascade. That’s the nutshell version, but check out this book for more… it’s way too good!

When I was in my most recent hyperthyroid flare, I was planning my wedding, working a full-time job, in school, writing this blog, working a consulting gig, all while still trying to keep up with AIP… and I wondered why I flared.

It may look fluffy and cute, but in reality, adrenals were screaming at me in this photo on my wedding day! 

I’ll never forget how completely and utterly exhausted I was when I collapsed into the limo on the end of that day.

You don’t have to just be planning a wedding to suffer adrenal fatigue. It can be stress at work, a big life event, or even a side effect of another illness. Adrenal fatigue is so widespread, and it’s symptoms are all too familiar. Low energy, salt cravings, poor sleep, etc. We’re most likely all suffering from different levels of it or have in the past. So what do you even do?

  1. Remove the stress of inflammation from inflammatory foods. For myself on an AIP template, that was ditching grains, dairy, nightshades, added sugar and taking a break from nuts and seeds.
  2. Eliminate unnecessary stressors. Look for the low hanging fruit of high stress in your life and work to resolve it. Like, did I seriously need to be working like 5 jobs during my wedding planning? No. Think, Michelle. Chill. 
  3. Focus on prayer, meditation and mindfulness. Prayer and scripture really helps me put my situation into perspective, and calms me down. I take a few minutes each day to let that perspective sink in and re-center myself. 
  4. Supplement mindfully. Most of my own NTP clients that I work with wind up on adrenal support (herbal or glandular) and I’m on an herbal supplement as well. 

5. I worked on regulating my blood sugar.

Before I even started addressing my adrenal health, I was aware that I had blood sugar issues from a blood test that I had gotten done back when I was in the middle of a flare. I was confused and scared about what it meant and wasn’t getting good answers from any of my doctors. Did I have to worry about diabetes? Was I insulin resistant? Doctors weren’t giving me the time of day, and I knew it was an issues.

Blood sugar matters for everyone (especially those with Hashimoto’s) because it’s a huge stressor on your body and endocrine system.

 Let’s just say you have hashimoto’s… and adrenal fatigue (raises hand)… your body is already working too hard to reach a homeostasis with all of this craziness, so now you’re going to throw all of this sugar at it? Bad idea. Blood sugar spikes stress out your body, your adrenals, and do absolutely no good for your thyroid.

I came to find also through my NTP work that I was eating way too much sugar. Even with avoiding processed foods, I was still eating too much fruit and carbs by themselves. Here’s what I focused on… 

  1. Cut out added sugars. Be honest with yourself… are there added sugars in your life? Say goodbye.
  2. Focus on scaling down to reasonable serving sizes. In nature, we would rarely have the opportunity to eat 5 servings of fruit a day which is why we see such a spike in our blood sugar from doing so. Try to keep your serving sizes down to help regulate your blood sugar and control cravings.
  3. Pair carbs with fat and protein. Fat is slow burning fuel, where as sugar burns incredibly quickly. That’s why when you have a bagel for breakfast, you’re hungry at 10am. Your body burns through it so quickly and needs more fast, whereas fat and protein keeps you fuller longer! Pairing my plantains with avocado, and other carbs with fats and protein helped me avoid blood sugar swings and cravings.

6. I reduced the intensity of my workouts.

When dealing with an illness like Hashimoto’s when the body is already under stress, intense exercise can be just as much of a stress on our body and adrenals as conventional stress is.

I did crossfit for years after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and though I loved the endorphin rush and the empowering feeling from weight lifting, it started to catch up with me. On top of all of the other stress in my life my body just wasn’t at the point where doing super intense workouts were serving me at the time. Though it made me incredibly sad, I turned in my wrist wraps for my yoga mat and saw such a change in my desire and ability to work out. 

When I first stepped back from Crossfit during my stressful wedding planning, I just started going to yoga 2-3 times a week. It felt like a huge decrease, but it was so empowering! It was great for my adrenals, my mindset, and my body. 

Today, I still try to get to yoga minimum once a week, and have picked up weight lifting again and enjoy regular walks and hikes. It’s not as “cool” as crossfit, but it’s been a huge piece in my healing.

7. I adopted a healing mindset.

Like I said, I’m not perfect. Just because I made progress now doesn’t mean that I won’t ever backslide. It also doesn’t mean that a flare just won’t ever happen again.

All I can do is learn from the steps that I took to make progress now, try to stay as balanced as I can, and adopt that a healing mindset that this journey is for the long haul! 30 day restarts help get you on track, but real healing goes so much further beyond food, and further beyond 30 days. 

So what is a healing mindset? Well, in my opinion… 

  1. Recognizing that this may not be a permanent state of being. I may be doing well now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever flare again. It won’t always be perfect, and the more that I remember that, the more that it grounds me.
  2. Being grateful. Even on the worst days, there’s something to be grateful for. I always acknowledge when I feel good and healthy, and it helps increase my health further!
  3. Dumping what society says about health. Society says we need 80/20 and everything in moderation to be healthy. I just can’t eat junk food in moderation and stay healthy. The more I believe that I need junk food, the more I want it. I had to let got on societies notion that we need junk and bad lifestyle practices to be healthy, and fully embrace a healing lifestyle.
  4. Acknowledging that this is for the long haul. I may be way better than I was, but I’m not eating donuts and partying until 2am either. This healing lifestyle is for the long haul if I’m going to maintain it, and that’s okay!

8. I worked with a practitioner. 

Apart from all of the natural treatment in the world, I still believe that we need to work with a practitioner to address our issues and help us on our healing path. A good functional doctor and nutritionist can be a huge role in healing naturally. 

I work with a MD that practices functional medicine, and it’s incredibly beneficial. I also work one on one as a nutritional therapy practitioner myself (both remote and in person) and see an amazing transformation in my own clients when we’re just addressing diet and lifestyle! As a nutritionist, I don’t give medical advice, so I always still recommend my own nutritional therapy clients to have a doctor that they trust that can give them medical advice. 

9. I trust in God.

Before I ever put bone broth anywhere near my body, and way before I ever got Hashimoto’s, my faith is God has already healed me so much further than any good lifestyle practices.

Throughout the course of my disease, I’ve seen God’s hand at work. Even in the darkest moments, I know that He is guiding me. It’s easy to want to get mad, and sometimes I do, but I trust that He is leading me through this.

My Hashimoto’s has lead me to share my story to help others, and to become a more conscious and grateful human being, and for that I am grateful!

 

This is my journey… and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world! Your journey may need more tweaking, but I assure you that living well with this this disease, and chronic illness in general in possible!

 What I hope you take away from this is that it’s not all about medication alone, it’s not all about food alone… it’s not about any of this alone! None of this has existed in a vacuum for me, nor do any aspects of our lives. There are so many cofactors, so many different ways to balance our lives, and a holistic approach is always best.

My hope for you is that you find what works for you, and that you too can become healthier and happier in doing so.