Bliss Diary – July 21, 2015

I found out I have Hashimoto’s last night. I recently got the results of a thyroid panel I did two weeks ago. This was the first time we tested for antibodies. My TSH was down so I was jazzed about that but later learned the antibody numbers confirmed Hashimoto’s. I knew that was a possibility but I was pretty sure I didn’t have an autoimmune disease. I’ve never had any “serious” symptoms some people deal with. My main symptoms are fatigue, some dry patches on my scalp, slight fluctuations with weight, and acne (altho, that has changed drastically since I’ve taken out grains and limited higher glycemic foods).

I am feeling a bit shocked with moments of denial along with a sense of relief. After I put my son to bed I sat on the couch and cried. I cried because Whaaaat? I have an autoimmune disease? And, I also cried because I finally knew what has been going on for the last probably 15+ years. I have been tired for awhile.

I remember the fatigue in college. Some days I would take caffeine pills before volleyball practice just to get moving. I’ve had skin issues since then too. I’m an athlete…strong with a disciplined mind and a high pain tolerance. I played Div I college volleyball with a stress fracture in my foot for 3 years. I felt better doing certain things nutrition/health wise but there was still a level of fatigue and skin issues that persisted.

Last night the tears just kept flowing from my eyes as I was trying to go to bed. I knew (for a long time) that something was off in my body. I’ve diligently focused on healing my body for 18 years. I got certified as a massage therapist, private trainer and holistic nutrition coach to learn more about the body & health.

My lifestyle is so dialed in now because I’ve made big and small leaps moving away from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to an organic whole foods diet (no grains, no vegetable oils, no processed foods/sugar). I feel like my thyroid has been the missing piece. This has been under the radar and limiting my full healing and optimization. My body has had to work with a lot of things throughout the years.

Snap shot of my health history: born c-section, strep throat and antibiotics every year, adenoids/tonsils removed, pushing my body *really* hard in college, taking advil for pain relief from the stress fracture. etc. Most autoimmune diseases are caused by intestinal permeability (leaky gut), genetic disposition and nutrition/lifestyle triggers.

There is no doubt that I’ve had a compromised gut/immune system for a long time. It probably started the first few weeks of my life because c-section babies gut lining usually doesn’t seal properly because they didn’t get the healthy vaginal bacteria that helps with this process. This can cause all sorts of inflammation problems which is most likely one of the reasons I was hospitalized for 2 seizures when I was a toddler. My sweet little baby body.

So now what? Well, serendipitously I was already thinking (and have been for awhile) to have our whole family do the AIP diet. We will just need to make a few tweaks and we’ll be golden. I already have a lot of books on autoimmune diseases. Before I was reading them because I’m passionate about optimal nutrition and now I am reading them with a new fervor.

I’m obviously still integrating this but my goal is to have my blood tests show that  Hashimoto’s is in remission. I will do this with diet and lifestyle and continue to do tests until the numbers prove that what I am doing is working. I also know that this new data is only going to make me and my family so much healthier. There is a new fire, a new commitment that feels powerful and I feel so grateful that I have the knowledge and support to rock this! 🙂

Nutrition:
morning delight
green juice
salmon and coconut chips
strawberries and watermelon
3 scrambled eggs with steamed broccoli and olive oil

Movement:
* 20 minute walk pushing the stroller
* 45 minute family walk

Meditation: 15 minutes + 50 minute napitation

Sleep: 5.5 hours. Bed at 9:15 but couldn’t sleep so I read for a bit and fell asleep around 10:45 and then woke up at 2:45 wide awake and fell back asleep from 4-5:30.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for my commitment to learning and studying and finding ways to heal myself. My curiosity and passion for learning and growing is why I’ve gotten to the root of my health challenges. I’ve been moved to tears today with an overwhelming amount of gratitude and appreciation for so many people. I am grateful for my amazing naturopath doctor who’s made this his life’s work. I am grateful for my awesome acupuncturist and my local functional doctor. I also have a new level of compassion and gratitude for myself and my body. I have been doing an amazing job throughout the years. I am grateful for all the hard work I’ve already invested. I am grateful for all the pioneers in the autoimmunity community, especially Sarah Ballantyne, Terry Wahls, and Amy Myers. I am grateful for my husband, he has supported all my health adventures, tests, questions, and intuition. Lastly, my son…I am beyond grateful for my son. His presence in my life continuously inspires me to rise up and be the woman I am. I go to bed with a bunch of questions and an abundance of appreciation. #thankyou

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Bliss Diary – July 20, 2015

Functional medicine is about causes, not symptoms.
It is getting to the root of the problem. —
Mark Hyman, MD

Nutrition is on my mind today. As I said in yesterday’s post I am thinking about doing the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet with some GAP principles for the whole family. The more I dive into nutrition the more I learn. I wish I would have known this stuff 15 years ago. It seems like there has been a lot about gut health come out in the last 3-5 years.

I remember when I was probably about 6 months pregnant with little E. We were having dinner with Dr. Junger and the Clean team and I was talking to him about my skin breaking out. He said that gut health was the focus of his upcoming book and I should test to see if I had parasites/bacteria/viruses in my gut. He sent me home with a stool test. The results showed I did have some gut issues, mostly candida.

What about the hubby? He was super sick as a kid with ear infections and allergy shots, lymph nodes removed, migraines, etc. And, in the last 3 years his health has greatly improved since we’ve taken out grains, limited carbohydrates and added animal products back into our diet. But, with his health history there is no doubt that his gut has be compromised for a long time and would benefit from a healing protocol.

The little guy? He was born naturally and healthy at home. He had a posterior tongue tie that took me 3 months to figure out and I was so grateful for all the people sharing their stories, especially the Mommypotamus’s blog posts! He didn’t have any vaccinations and he will be 3 years old in 2 months and he has never been sick, never had to go to the pediatrician for anything. He eats better than most adults I know. He’s vibrant and creative and an absolute joy. So why would I have him do an AIP diet?

A few things. One he did have some red rashes that appeared on his face/arms/legs when he first started consuming anything with almonds (butter, raw nuts, bars). It was a process to figure out that it was the almonds that were causing the rashes. His skin completely healed within 2 weeks of taking them out. Skin issues usually represent something off in the gut. I also noticed he has waves of tiredness that could be gut related (and of course maybe just part of growing a ton). He poops a 2-4 times a day but sometimes theyBSF-with-highlight are more in the type 2 or 3 and once in awhile 1’s on the Bristol stool chart. It’s ideal for our daily bowel movements to be type 4,5,6 which he does have plenty of those!

I did a stool test for him and there wasn’t anything major off and our pediatrician said he thought it was all fine but…Momma’s intuition tells me that there might be some imbalances. I’ve learned to trust myself with this whole process. I don’t want to go looking for problems but I also know that both Brian and I had gut issues when we conceived little E and from what I’ve read we pass our microbiome on to our children. So, if that’s the case he could use a little healing support as well.

Emotional side of this: I am happy that I know what I know now and also sometimes feel flashes of irritation/frustration that I didn’t know this before I got pregnant and throughout my pregnancy. I recorded my whole pregnancy journey (just like I am doing now on this blog). I was so committed to having an extraordinary pregnancy/home birth…and I did, it was amazing. I believed I was doing the right thing with as an almost veganism diet with the addition of 3-6 eggs a week. I was still eating gluten free grains and more fruit/carbs than is ideal. I know this because I did a genetic test to see what is optimal for my body. I did the best I could. I ate a whole foods organic diet and lots of salads, cooked greens, avocados, green juices, etc. But, I would have done things differently had I known what I now know. When I think about all of this it fuels the fire of inspiration and desire to support other families to be as healthy as possible.

Affirmation/Intention: I am a powerful Goddess. Choose from an empowered place.

Nutrition:
7:00 morning delight tea
10:00 16 oz green juice
11:00 4 sweet potato/egg muffins w/ turmeric coconut butter
3:45 cucumbers, carrots, chicken dipped in garlic lentil dip
6:30 salad with some hard boiled eggs

Movement:
* 45 minute adventure with toddler
* 35 minute rebounding

Meditation: 25 minutes + 50 minute napitation (felt sooo good!)

Sleep: 7.5 hours – Bed at 9:15 and woke up at 4:45 feeling good so I meditated before the little guy woke up. A few months ago I would sleep for 8.5-10 hours every night and still wake up tired, so this feels awesome!

Declutter Challenge: I starting a decluttering challenge/habit of doing something every day to keep things organized and moving forward. This is what I did today:
#1 organized and decluttered all bathroom cabinets and drawers. The goal is to just have a soap dish, air spray and 1 thing of lotion on the counter!
#2 called to set up an appointment to have someone check on our dishwasher/stove top (totally been procrastinating on this one)
#3 cleaned and organized my desk. The goal is to only have these things on my desk: journal, mom’s one line memory book, 1 book, 1 pen, family picture, a baby picture of me at 1, computer and I just added a 1979 United States dollar coin with  Susan B. Anthony on it that my hubby gave me.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for my clean desk. I am grateful for my clean bathroom. I am grateful for little E’s help with organizing. I am grateful for all the fun and tender moments I have with him everyday. I had a moment today while we were sitting on the floor at his little table eating our carrots/cucumber/hummus/chicken and chatting away and laughing…I thought I am a Mom. Wow. I got tears in my eyes. It was one of those moments where it hits you that with the help of God, we created a human being. #AMAZING I am grateful for my incredible husband and all of his support and love.

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Bliss Diary – June 25, 2015

You’ve got to make a conscious choice every day to shed the old – whatever “the old” means for you.                     Sarah Ban Breathnach

Nutrition:
morning delight
3 muffins + coconut chips from yesterday (during my son’s nap time I could make lunch or grab a snack and take a nap, I chose the latter.)
ginger kombucha
handful of plantain chips + big salad (the usual) with salmon/mayo wrapped in coconut wraps

I eat a lot of fat. I used to be moderate to low fat when I was a vegan. But, for the last 3 years I’ve been playing with seeing how much I can actually eat. It’s been an interesting and tasty experiment. I think mostly because I’ve thought for years you should limit your fat intake if you wanted to be healthy and lean. But, food tastes better with fat. Plus, it stabilizes my blood sugar so I don’t feel hungry all the time and have way less cravings.

I haven’t gained a bunch of weight by eating large amounts of fat but I also haven’t gotten any leaner. I do notice the less carbohydrates I have the better my tests are in regards to blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, etc. I’m kinda nerdy about this stuff. I like to test and see what’s actually happening in my body.

My whole perspective on nutrition has changed drastically in the last 3 years. I am more open, less dogmatic and curious about what is ideal for my body and listening to it. I’ve learned that grains don’t work well for me. I also know that a lower carbohydrate diet (not ketonic) feels good (now). I rarely eat fruit, and don’t really miss it. I also know that low sugar is an important part of healing my gut. So…that’s what I am focusing in regards to my nutrition.

Body Goodness: I’ve been taking cleansing herbs for the last 10 days. The two major ones I am taking are:  RepairVite + GI-Synergy by Apex Energetics + Supplements from the Clean Gut kit which is digestive enzymes, probiotics, b-complex and a form of berberine. I am also taking fish oil, and algae dha + epa, magnesium, and vitamin c.

It feels good and comprehensive. I will do another stool test in a month or so to see where I’m at. Everything feels good and I also think a little bit more sleep might give me a bit more healing power. My total hours slept last week were 57.5 which which averages out to a little over 8 hours a night. I am wondering how I’d feel if I got 8.5 a night? 🙂

Movement:
* 19 minute tabata strength workout (6 rounds of 6 sets) – lunges, kettelbell swings, kettlebell deadlifts to row, bicyle abs, 16 lb medicine ball squats w/shoulder press, plank
* 5 minute walk

Meditation: 15 minutes + 45 minute napitation (guided meditation + nap)

Mind/Heart Goodness:
I’ve been thinking about breastfeeding this week. My son will be 3 in 3 months. He still nurses 2-3 times a day. I feel incredibly proud and grateful that I’ve been able to give this gift to him. We had a challenges with latching for 3 months but I was committed. I eventually found out that he had a posterior tongue tie (after lots of experts + research + mama’s intuition) and we had a midwife help us with that and we never had an issue again. Amazing!! There was no way I was not going to breastfeed my baby. We found a way even through my pain and tears.

I’ve always loved the sweet connection. Nursing is actually one of my greatest joys. There is something so powerful and beautiful about feeding and nourishing your child from your body and gazing into his eyes. Mama Goddess embodied. It has also been a big commitment. I’ve never pumped so I was on call a lot. It nourished me though. The oxytocin release has been awesome for our bond.

Obviously, every child weans. It’s part of these little people growing up. Yet, there is still a little sadness. When will the last time we nurse be? There’s the joy of expansion and also the tears and the lump in my throat about the completion of that phase in our relationship. I’m not sure when it will end. But, I know that it is near. Especially working with thyroid and adrenal issues. Mama needs some recovery before she jumps back into baby land again. 😉

Appreciation & Gratitude: I am grateful for my mama friends and their sweet babies. We had a great play date today. I am grateful for epic nourishing naps.  I am grateful for all of my books. I books. I am grateful for all the my body does every day. I am grateful for my adrenals and thyroid. I am grateful for my breathe. I am grateful for the journey.

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