If you haven’t read my last post, please do so before you continue to read this one. My last post “My Thyroid Terror” will allow you to understand some of my frustration related to my thyroid, and why I chose to go the natural way.
I’m gonna ask this questions again: Why do we all think there’s a way we should ALL be living by, like if there are rules that shouldn’t be broken? Why not just accept who we are for what we are? Why are we supposed to be able to eat EVERYTHING, for example? Like all other animals on this planet, we are unique, and our uniqueness require different things from one another. Heck, my dog is allergic to chicken and duck and I don’t give him a pill to lessen his allergy symptoms so that I can feed him chicken and duck. I simply don’t feed him chicken and duck!!
And that’s what dis-eases are: INFLAMMATIONS… just like allergies! So I decided to eat for my thyroid instead of letting my thyroid eat me!
This is what I did:
1) Really understanding what hypothyroidism is.
You may have some idea, but you have to really master the symptoms to know if/when you are getting better and/or worse. I highly recommend the book: “The Thyroid Solution“ by Dr. Ridha Arem. This book explains each symptom throughly as well as gives us examples and the correlation between the mind-body relationship that the thyroid hormones have over us. After reading this book and also learning many things from my new idol’s newsletter and website, Mary Shomon, I realized that my symptoms were normal for someone with hypothyroidism and that no, I wasn’t going crazy, I was just sick. But that’s ok, because only when you make a discovery you can dig deeper to find treasure.
2) BELIEVING that my body can heal itself.
Our bodies have the capability of healing themselves. As a matter of fact, we are healing right now at this very moment. We heal ourselves with every breath we take and that’s no mistake. With every breath and every bite we take, we give our cells life, oxygen, and the nutrients they need to perform each of their functions. Our bodies never fail, for example: your body temperature is always at 98.7 F (37 C) and when it isn’t, it fights to be until it is. Your heart never stops beating and it beats at an average of 60-80 beats per minute, your lungs never stop breathing and they breath an average of 12-18 breaths per minute, your eyes know when to blink to keep its moisture, etc… Your body kNOWS what to do! So why do you doubt your ability to heal yourself? Have you ever given yourself the chance to see how amazing you are? Have you ever let your fever stop by just letting your body rest and do its job by sweating it out? We are so used to intervening nature with medications and over work and not letting our inner intelligence do its job that we don’t even know how unbelievable the human body is! So I repeat: BELIEVE that you can heal as you change your lifestyle and the foods that you eat to make it all possible.
3) Stop refilling my prescription.
This was a difficult task for me since my father is a doctor and medication was always a big part of my life, always around me. Growing up, my family used to have a cabinet in the kitchen filled with drug samples that the pharmaceutical companies would give my dad and he would take some home for us to use. I am not going to tell you that this was easy for me to do, because it wasn’t. I had to break this habit and really focus on my inner intelligence. I stopped believing on the meds and put the trust on myself instead.
4) Learning to listen to my body.
Eating when I am hungry. Eating what my body needs, not what I want. This is hard to distinguish at first but with time you will master it. For example, this morning, as soon as I woke up, I thought: “my body needs protein”. But what I really wanted was just a fruit smoothie. The thought of eating eggs made me somewhat disgusted. And because the picture of an egg wasn’t appealing to me, it meant that I still wasn’t hungry to eat anything at all at that time, because when you are hungry you would eat anything! So I just waited until I was actually hungry and made myself some very tasty scrambled eggs. Treat your body as you would treat your best friend — this never fails.
5) Staying away from goitrogenic foods.
Goitrogenic foods are foods that contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that can go against the thyroid function and that actually have the ability to enlarge the thyroid of an individual with thyroid dysfunctions. If you are hypothyroid you should stay away from all uncooked goitrogenic foods (and medications, because some meds also contain goitrogens). When those foods are cooked the substances lose their ability to conflict with your thyroid becoming safer for you to eat. When I started eating for my thyroid, I stopped eating these foods altogether and added them back afterwards, only cooked, when my thyroid levels were back to normal.
Here is a list of foods containing goitrogens that may be in your daily menu that may be contributing to some of your bad thyroid-related symptoms, including your inability to lose weight:
– Soybeans (and soybean products such as tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin)
– Pine nuts
– Sweet Potatoes
– Bok choy
– Brussels sprouts
– Chinese cabbage
– Choy sum
– Collard greens
– Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
– Mustard greens
– Rapeseed (yu choy)
– Turnips (if you want to know more about goitrogens, click HERE)
6) Adding sea vegetables to all my meals:
People with hypothyroidism lack iodine in their diet and iodine is crucial for thyroid health. Sea vegetables accumulate iodine in up to 30,000 times more concentrated a form than sea water! Besides that, one tablespoon of dried sea vegetable will contain between 1/2 milligram and 35 milligrams of iron, and this iron is also accompanied by a measurable amount vitamin C. Since vitamin C acts to increase the bioavailability of plant iron, this combination in sea vegetables may offer a special benefit. Also, sea vegetables may play a role in lowering risk of estrogen-related cancers, including breast cancer. Since cholesterol is required as a building block for production of estrogen, the cholesterol-lowering effects of sea vegetables may play a risk-reducing role in this regard. However, more interesting with respect to breast cancer risk is the apparent ability of sea vegetables to modify aspects of a woman’s normal menstrual cycle in such a way that over a lifetime, the total cumulative estrogen secretion that occurs during the follicular phase of the cycle gets decreased. For women who are at risk of estrogen-sensitive breast cancers, sea vegetables may bring a special benefit in this regard. Yes, that’s how amazing sea vegetables are and some of them you can find in the form of shakers, like salt shakers, so you can just pour some on your food!
Here are the sea vegetables I added to my diet:
– Irish Moss: contains electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. It’s excellent for detoxing the body, boosting metabolism, strengthening hair, skin and nails. Good for sex drive, supporting T3, and converting LDL to progesterone, not cortisol.
– Wakame: contains all fat soluble vitamins, removes radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body; blood purifier, relieves arthritis stiffness, promotes adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid health, aids in obesity and muscle fatigue seen in fibromyalgia. Helps with any type of herpes virus – acts as a demulcent and eliminates outbreaks if they have occurred.
– Hijiki: mineral rich, high-fiber seaweed, 20% protein. Has 1,400mg of calcium per 100g of dry weight (the most calcium of any sea green. Also contains vitamin A and carotenes).
– Bladderwrack: loaded with vitamin K, great adaptogen, helps sensitize us to insulin. Good for degenerative arthritis and inflammatory joint conditions.
– Arame: it is the ocean’s richest source of iodine. It helps reduce breast and uterine fibroids, excessive bleeding, fibrocystic disease of the breasts, and ovarian cysts. It is very helpful in cases of PCOS with acne and excessive facial hair. Helps with skin wrinkles, enhances hair grow and makes hair have incredible sheen. It increases T3.
7) Eating 1 beet per day.
Beets are blood cleansers; they are abundant in nitrates. Nitrates help widen your blood vessels and circulate more oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. They also relax your veins.
8) Limiting processed foods.
Processed foods go against our body’s ability to function properly. Sugar, toxins, GMO foods stimulates and feeds the bad bacteria in our system besides making our bodies acidic and the perfect environment for disease to grow and live in; which is definitely NOT what we want. It’s very difficult to stay away from all the sugar, toxins, and GMO’s nowadays since it’s everywhere we go and look! We have to be tempted by those type of “foods” even when we go buy paper at an office supply store! Why is there food at office supply stores, or electronic stores, clothing stores, hardware stores, and even pet stores anyway?? Can someone please tell me? That’s a great marketing strategy and a huge money maker since all of those “foods” have tons of sugar and toxins that are highly addictive besides being so bad for our health… not a great combination, huh? But a great combination for pharmaceutical companies.. but that’s subject for another time!
9) Only eating organic, free range, and hormone-free meats and dairy.
Besides being humane to do such thing not to encourage animal cruelty, it is also a big bonus for our health. Chickens, cows, pigs, and all the animals that are raised in big factories are not taken care of. They are just a number and many of them suffer through the process of living AND dying. Because they are just a number, it is beneficial to the factories to keep them alive as much as they can, no matter what condition they might be living in. For that reason they are given a huge amount of antibiotics, just so that their hearts can stay beating, because it doesn’t matter how badly their condition might be, if their hearts are beating, they are considered “meat” by the FDA without a problem. So when we eat animals raised in factories we are basically eating all of the hormones given those animals to grow as fast as their bodies possibly can, with meats loaded with antibiotics to keep them alive, even though those animals may have cancers and other diseases, and never the less the stress those poor animals had to go through… just for us to think we are eating quality meat at a BBQ… or for us to thaw out those pieces of meat and forget them in the fridge until they go bad… (I have actually done that many times in the past, before becoming aware of what goes on in slaughter houses). All of those hormones and antibiotics are horrific to our health, including our thyroid function. That’s why I chose to stay away from all of it. When I do eat meat now I go to a farmer’s market, ask the farmer questions, and see for myself the condition those animals are living in. Their energy becomes ours… we need to be aware of what we’re eating! No wonder why so many people suffer from stress nowadays! (if you want a little incentive to stop eating factory meats, click HERE).
10) Staying away from pesticides and GMO’s in produce.
For the same reason I mentioned above, big corporations like Monsanto, for example, induce our produce with Genetically Modified Organisms. The reason? For them to be able to live in whatever condition the soil and climate that those plants are growing in. In other words, for them not to lose money to soil and climate. Some people may think GMO’s are doing the world good, but I don’t agree with that statement at all. GMO’s are organisms that don’t belong to the foods that we eat. We don’t know which organisms are being used and we don’t even know which foods contain GMO’s as a matter of fact. (The only State in the USA that won the labeling law – this year – was Vermont.) Meanwhile many countries in South America and Europe already have the rights to know when there’s GMO’s in their foods and not. Pesticides are not as bad but also not too far behind. They are also overused in big corporations so that they don’t lose money to bugs… but then we end up eating those pesticides and becoming sick just like the bugs would. Trust me, it may not seem too bad now, but over a long period of time it accumulates in our system and it comes to surface as different diseases and even cancers. So why not eat organic? Yes, it may be a little more expensive, but so are the thyroid meds and all the other meds we take to cure diseases! Besides that, because organic produce is more expansive we actually eat them not to waste them, instead of buying them and letting them rot in our fridges!
11) Quitting sugar substitutes.
I cleansed my body for 21 days and after that did not eat any type of sugar substitutes. Those things are nothing but chemicals and not even bugs confuse them with sugar and eat them! But we do! That says enough already about that, doesn’t it? Since age 12 I’ve eaten so much sugar substitute that I become very resistant to it. Before I became aware of my health I used to need 7, 8 packets of Splenda to sweeten my cup of coffee… I didn’t only have more because it always “sounded” like too much and I was embarrassed to make coffee in front of people because they would always comment on my “fake sugar addiction”.
12) Exercising on a regular basis.
This means every day, even if it was for 20 minutes/day. This helps speed up our metabolism and improves thyroid function.
13) Start taking 5,000 iu’s of vitamin D every day.
This was the missing link for me. It took me a little while to realize this is what I was missing. It turns out that we need to have a good amount of vitamin D in our bodies for the sea vegetables and the other nutrients that support our thyroid to work properly. Before I took vitamin D my blood work for my thyroid was just alright.. I was still border line hypothyroid. As soon as I started taking vitamin D in conjunction with the things I listed above, my blood work became normal — for the first time in over 3 years!!
14) Being consistent.
When it comes to natural healing, consistency is the key. Your body didn’t develop anything in a day and it will take more than a day to get rid of those things. So be consistent, be patient… allow your body to heal because it will!
— Something you need to consider if you choose this route to take care of yourself is that you will go through a horrible time before you start feeling better. I was already expecting it. Every time we make a big shift from one routine to a different lifestyle we tend to get worse before we start getting better. In my case I got really tired… I felt like I needed to sleep 18hrs/day… I also got a little depressed. I just had to fight it and keep my goal in mind. I did gain weight – 15-20lbs -, but my main focus wasn’t my weight; it was to get my thyroid under control and functioning again, because then the weight comes off naturally.
NOW that my weight seems to have stabilized I’m starting to focus on it more.
Like I said before, this is who I am. My body doesn’t metabolize like most people, but that’s okay. It actually feels good to know that I’m not like everyone else. This gives me an amazing and different sense of uniqueness and control of my body and life, which is great!
Every time we put something in our mouths we are making a choice to heal or to harm our bodies. It’s good to have that in mind and start to consciously take care of ourselves, free of meds. — Please, don’t ever stop taking any medication without talking to your doctor first.
Here is the last phone conversation I had with my Endocrinologist:
Endo: “I’m just calling to follow up with you about your lab results for your thyroid.”
Me: “Thank you for calling. So how does it all look???”
Endo: “Everything looks great. Your labs are normal and these are the best results you’ve had in the last 3.5 years!”
Me: “OMG, that’s so great to hear!”
Endo: “So I guess the new Tirosint pill is working great for you, correct?”
Me: “I’m actually not taking anything. I stopped taking all meds 6 months ago, remember?! That’s why you prescribed me more meds, because 3 months ago during my last visit my blood work was really bad and you wanted me back on the meds, remember?”
Endo: “Yes… No way… You really aren’t taking anything?”
Endo: “Well… then keep doing what you’re doing!”
Me: “I certainly will! Do you want to know what I”m doing ???”
Endo: “No, it’s ok, I don’t have time to talk.” Me: “Oh.. ok. Well, I guess I won’t see you ever again then! So have a good life!”
Endo: “Hehehe. You too.”
(It’s just too sad that most Doctors are still not interested in natural healing… However, I really do respect their practice and appreciate their effort to help people.).
Unfortunately medicine has become sickness care, not health care as it should be…
Many blessings to all of you and good luck on your journey!
Love & Strength,
Eminent Health – Choose To Be Healthy
(November 3rd, 2013)