How Treating Food Like Medicine Helped My Thyroid Disease
This article talks about how food, like acupressure, helped heal me.
FOOD IS MEDICINE.
I was diagnosed with a disease that meant my thyroid was ending itself. It had turned on itself and started eating through it self. Auto-Immune. I was becoming non-immune to myself. I was so stressed, from a bike accident that almost killed me, and a raging divorce, that I was beginning to lose my eyebrows, be so lethargic I resembled a slug, and gain a lot of weight.
I started to become worried that I was already pretty rough; a broke, divorcee who has some weird type of disease. Add on gaining 30 pounds and having no eyebrows?
Lordy, I needed to change.
It was around this point, I started to change my diet, and saw food in a completely different light. Food is highly personable, but like all tips in this series…
Try out the ones that speak to you, for one week, and see how you feel. If you physically and emotionally notice enough changes to feel a difference, you will probably continue to do this. Write down the changes that has happened since you either added or removed food.
1. GO GLUTEN FREE (FOR A WEEK!):
- Headaches, Migraines and Inflammation — there are signs that some people just can’t handle this stuff. Maybe you can eat 100 cookies and still feel great. But maybe your body can’t also tell you how much it is working hard to process gluten until you give it a break.
- Cutting out gluten for a week and then re-introducing it (and noticing how your stomach feels when you bring it back) was the best thing I did for my diet.
- Pick up some gluten free-bread, gluten free-flour and gluten-free desserts, and a week shouldn’t have be any different.
- It was the trigger for my autoimmune disease, and now, years later, I am able to tolerate it… But every-time I have it now, my belly gets this uncomfortable gurgle and expands so I look like I’ve just stolen something and stuffed it under my shirt. So I now, it doesn’t LOVE gluten, but I’m not intolerant.
2. CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL:
- If you don’t drink, you are already winning. But alcohol is a poison for your body, linked to so many cancers and is incredibly addictive.
- That said, most of my 20’s, every single weekend, I was lost in the stuff. It was such a part of the social fabric.
- I used to have a cupboard of the stuff, then a wine subscription, now nothing. If I don’t have it around, I’m less likely to use it.
- Replace it with the awesome alcohol free drinks, or just tell your friends you are not drinking and see how they react.
3. PICK FIVE AND LOVE THEM:
- Since the early 1990s, agencies including the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been pushing “five a day” initiatives to encourage Americans to get five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but today, only 13% of Americans eat the recommended servings of fruit, and just 9% eat enough vegetables.
- Vegetables that is — what are your favourite five? Go ahead and name them. Carrot, Mushrooms, Aubergine, Tomatoes, Peppers. I essentially just always buy these five, and use some of them in every meal.
- I’d like to be in the 9% but I’ve never counted!
4. MOVE THINGS FURTHER AWAY:
- If there’s something you want to avoid, get it away from you.
- For example, at work, have them move the snacks farther from the coffee machine. At Google, instead of of the usual 6.5 feet, the snack table was placed 17 feet away. That distance, a mere four or five extra steps, reduced the likelihood of snacking by as much as 23% for men and 17% for women.
- I literally moved my snacks further and further away and found myself going after the cookies so much less. Then I replaced it with good snacks. Now, snacking is great!
“Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.”
This sounds simplistic, but it should be.
Your food choices are going to be a slower change than anything else you do, but keep tinkering until you find what works and you will be properly fuelled for life.
My food choices were long changes that took me over two years to master. I now know that gluten doesn’t agree with me, that alcohol is absolutely my nemesis and the more vegetables I have in a day, the better I feel. This wasn’t an easy change, as changing ingrained habits after 30 years never is, but I did it gradually and every speed-bump, I was kind to myself.
These simple principles helped me recover from a thyroid condition, and made me realise that Food Actually Is Medicine. It helped heal me.