Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hey I'm new around here....

Wow, can you say blogging hiatus. I'm pretty sure I don't have too many followers, but I hate it when bloggers disappear--def a blogging no no. Anyways as you can see the auto-immune paleo protocal did not stand a chance against my birthday and college graduation weekend. My parents and brother came to town and I had the best weekend of my life. Anyways, I didn't go crazy on weird food, but I def had my fair share of alcohol. I can't imagine looking back to my college graduation and having no memory of a celebration.

This was one of the best weekends of my life and I was so happy to have my family in town.
Life hasn't stopped much since last May and I have lots to update, but I'll leave you with this today. I flew to Asia, lived at a health institute in the middle of Massachusetts, moved to a new city, got a new job, and along the way my skin cleared up! I'll tell you more about that later, but it's a pretty exciting thing for me. 

Have a lovely day. I'll leave you with some words from the wise people at Hu Kitchen in NYC.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocol day 4: To goitrogen or not to goitrogen?

 To goitrogen or not to goitrogen? 

That is the question of the day. Oh how I love my broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale! Do I have to give them up to protect my thyroid? Yes and no. A goitrogen is a substance found mainly in cruciferous vegetables as well as other varieties. Goitrogens interfere with uptake of iodine in the thyroid and can result in thyroid suppression and cause goiters. Good news is I have no symptoms of a goiter, but I know I eat way too many goitrogenic foods on a daily basis. I sometimes wonder if that effects me. I'm embarking on this journey to heal my thyroid amongst other health issues--so it seems like no better time to pay attention to my intake of goitrogenic vegetables.

Here is a list of goitrogen containing foods:

bok choy
brussels sprouts
garden kress
mustard greens
soy milk
soybean oil
soy lecithin
soy anything

Also included in the goitrogen category, even if mildly, are:

bamboo shoots
pine nuts
sweet potatoes

Many of these vegetables are amongst my favorite...for the next month I plan to limit and be conscious of the amount I am consuming. This journey is an experiment and I want to figure out the optimal diet for me.

This podcast from the ladies over at Balanced Bites will provide more information on soy, goitrogens, and hypothyroid.

 Evolution Fresh is the new juice company from the Starbucks Company. I saw this Essential Greens at Whole Foods yesterday so I decided to pick one up! A cold-pressed juice for $4.99, sign my up. Not organic, but I'll pick one up in a rush.

On the menu this morning: grass-fed beef tips with sauteed onion, garlic, ginger, brussels sprouts and kale--all over cauliflower! The goitrogens, oh no! 

 I had some broccoli sprouts on the counter, so after a quick run/walk, I blended a hand full in some water with lemon. A great pick me up. 
I had lunch with a friend at a local fish market. I had a salad topped with pan seared Idaho Trout. It was a nice light lunch and so fun to catch up with my friend! We were too busy gabbing for me to remember to snap a photo;)

 I came home from a busy afternoon and decided to fry up a ripe plantain in some coconut oil and made an aioli for dipping.

 I enjoyed a local blueberry & green tea Kombucha from the farmer's market. If you can't tell, I'm obsessed with this glass at the moment.

I decided on a meatless dinner and kept it light with a green medley of romaine, red lettuce, sorrel, parsley, cilantro, sunflower sprouts topped with summer squash--all fresh from the farmers market. I used the left over aioli as my dressing.

Basil Aioli

     1 small zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 avocado
2 cloves garlic
6-7 basil leaves
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Table spoons olive oil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the ingredients in a blender and let it work its magic! This aioli/dressing is great on salads or as a dip.

A warning to the wise: I made vegetable broth in my crock pot today. When I do this I usually let it cool before I put it in the fridge--to speed up the process I like to put the jar of broth in an ice bath. I guess I didn't let it cool enough before the ice bath because the jar broke the second it hit the water!! I was soooo mad! All my hard work down the drain...maybe it's a sign I should go ahead and make bone broth again?

Oh well, that's life. I sipped on a few cups before my mishap.
I'm thinking a coconut chai before bed--sounds like a great night cap.

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love" --Hubert M. Humphrey

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocol day 3: Chris P. Bacon--Pig on wheels!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

This is one of my favorite holidays and I'm pretty bummed I couldn't go out and get tipsy this year, but I had a pretty awesome day regardless. It was an absolutely beautiful day with 70 degree weather and perfect blue skies. Matt had been asking me to go to Lake Eola all week, which was weird because we hadn't gone in a while. We arrived at the park at 2 pm as things were finishing up at the famer's market. As I started to look through some of the stands Matt grabbed my hand and took me towards the far corner of the park. He wouldn't tell me where we were going! After a few minutes of walking and me pestering him with question we arrived at our destination--an open field and a special surprise....Chris P. Bacon-Pig on wheels!!! I don't know if you guys have heard of this handicapped pig or seen his Facebook page, but I'm absolutely obsessed with him. Matt knows this so a month ago he contacted his owner on Facebook (the owner is a vet and he lives in Florida) and planned a surprise visit for me to meet him! I was so shocked I started crying. It was incredibly thoughtful for Matt to do this and I couldn't believe I finally got to meet Chris P. Bacon. 

Matt recorded a video of us playing and feeding him cheerios--so not paleo.

 You can't really tell from the picture, but Chris P. Bacon was born with a birth defect that crippled his hind legs. He has a wheel chair to get around with, but he gets around really well without it.

I'm truly ashamed of my breakfast and definitely would have picked something else if I knew I was going to see Chris P. Bacon today! I adore pigs and it's not easy for me to eat them, but for now I want to heal so I will do what I feel is right for now.

 I didn't feel like juicing this morning so I picked up an ultimate greens juice from Whole Foods while I was shopping and snapped a quick selfie;)

 I made some curried chicken salad for lunch--I got the idea from The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Cookbook, but I changed the recipe a bit. I really liked the idea of using coconut as a "mayo" base; I usually use nuts so it was a great substitute. 
I sipped on some homemade chicken broth on the way to the lake.

 After I got back from hanging with Chris P. Bacon I was very starving so I cooked up some butternut squash. My stomach felt fine, but I was a little itchy afterwards. This squash was not sweet whatsoever, it was quite tasteless to be honest--a little disappointing considering I LOVE SQUASH. I'm trying some GAPS diet friendly carbohydrates that The Paleo Mom recommends for people with SIBO.

In Cinco de Mayo fashion I made some guac for my boyfriend and I. 

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole 
por dos
1/2 chicken breast, shredded
1-2 avocados
1 small zucchini, blended
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

I blended the zucchini in a Vitamix and added the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them together with some love and Cinco De Mayo magic!

It was a fabulous Sunday funday, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day. Matt earned a million boyfriend points today, what a great guy;)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo day 2: I Believe In Miracles

I believe in miracles--this is my mantra of the day according to the amazing spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein. I'm reading her book May Cause Miracles and partaking in her 40 day spiritual transformation to let go of my fearful thinking and actions and replace them with love. I'm on day 5 and today I've been instructed to believe in miracles, which means that I'm accepting a change in perspective. Well...I'm open to anything at this point, I figure I need to replace my vices with something? Gabrielle Bernstein was able to give up her addictions to love, food, alcohol, and drugs through studying a Course in Miracles and now she is a teacher of the text herself. The reason I brought this up is because today I witnessed a small miracle in my health journey. I got my period for the first time since February (sorry TMI), but I figured I've already told you a lot so why hold back now. I started taking the Estrofactors and DIM in January to help balance my hormones and they worked great (skin clearer and menstruation). I was curious to see if my hormones would stay balanced without the supplements in early March and went off them. My period disappeared for three months and two days ago I decided to start them up again along with the AIP. So I'm not sure if it's the supplements, the omission of alcohol and coffee, or the AIP in general, but I'm happy to know my moodiness this morning wasn't for nothing;).

I started my day off with some Ashtanga yoga and came home and popped a little poussin chicken and summer squash in the oven. I topped it with a pesto sauce I whipped up and made some green juice in the mean time. This morning it was a dandelion, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon, cabbage, and 1 carrot concoction. I blended some broccoli sprouts in the juice for good measure because I read that broccoli sprouts are a great h. pylori KILLER. The serving of chicken looks huge, but there was not much meat at all. I won't be buying le poussin for awhile....it's a little to, um, little.
I took the chicken carcases and simmered them for and hour  to made some chicken broth that was delicious. I sipped on a cup.

I went to the farmers market and picked up some local chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, red lettuce, sunflower sprouts, and some sage.
 This was my brunch. I wasn't really satisfied with the chicken so I whipped up some salad with sunflower sprouts, avocado dressing, and some Brussels sprouts steamed in chicken broth, all alongside one lonely sardine.

I made a coconut chai with ginger, clove, and cinnamon with the smallest dash of stevia;) I got this idea from The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Cookbook
 I sat around in bed for a couple hours feeling very blah-my back hurt and my energy was unusually low so I decided to have a little comfort food (def because of TOM). 1/2 roasted sweet potato and 2 carrots blended with some Himalayan salt, cinnamon and cloves. Right after I ate this my throat/ears started to itch which hasn't happened since the last time I was detoxing....interesting. Just and observation. I sipped on a cup of homemade veggie broth too.

And of course a Saturday night Green Goddess Mocktail (in a red neck mason jar wine glass....haha) to enjoy while my boyfriend sips on a yeatsy brew. Am I jealous? Of course, but I know this journey will be worth it in the end.

        Green Goddess Mocktail

1 cup natural sparkling water

1/3 cup green juice of your choice

1 wedge of lemon

Do you see my boyfriend photo bombing my dinner?

We had buffalo burgers, roasted Brussels sprouts with left over bacon fat, and sauteed kale and red onion with chicken broth.

Good eats and lots of laziness with my boyfriend-couldn't ask for a better day. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocal Day 1

This post from Mickey over at her website explains the whole Autoimmune Pale Protocol. It's basically a version of the Paleo Diet (no grains, legumes, processed sugars and oils, and dairy), but it's modified to remove ALL gut irritants. Ommitting coffee, nighshades, alcohol, nuts, seeds, NSAIDs, and eggs helps to further heal people with autoimmune disorders who often have more damage in the lining of their gut. I will be doing this for at least 30 days, but I will not be including any fruit and very limited starchy vegetables. This is because I need to starve the bad bacteria and h. pylori in my gut. I do believe I will need some carbohydrates for brain functioning purposes, but I am making an effort to keep it to a minimum for now.

I started my morning off with a lovely green juice (cucumber, celery, cabbage, lemon, dandelion greens, parsley, one carrott, and cilantro).

Great cookbook: The Fresh Energy Kitchen by Natalia Rose and Doris Choi

 Happy pigs Bacon-organic pasture raised.
I set the oven to 400 degrees and placed the bacon in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it was crispy. It was delicious.
I could not remember the last time I ate bacon.
      I cooked a side of brussel sprouts, garlic, green beans, and kale.

I also enjoyed a cup of vegetable broth-it's comforting to sip on. Unpictured.


                                                                I had my final college exam today! Yay. I made a quick blended pudding before my exam that consisted of 1 zucchini, 1/2 avocado, coconut butter, a sprinkle of stevia (I'm slowly cutting it out), and cinnamon.

         I had plantains as an afternoon snack as I have some I need to get rid of and this salad.
I also went out to dinner with my boyfriend and I had trout with some cauliflower. I know the sauce probably had some kind of vinegar that is not allowed on the AIP, but it was my first day so I'm not stressing about it.

These are the supplements I will be taking.
  • Armour Thyroid, unpictured
  • Xifaxan (and antibiotic to kill my SIBO), unpictured
  • Garden Of LifePrimal Defense Probiotics, unpictured
  • Mutlithera Multi Vitamin
  • Magnesium Calm
  • UltraImmune IgG (help heal my gut lining)
  • Vitamin D 
  • Estrofactors (to balance my hormones)
  • DIM (to help balance my hormones by binding to excess estrogen)
  • Alginate Plus (to detox heavy metals)
  • Diatomaceous Earth (to help get rid of parasite and yeast-do not take within 2 hours of probiotics)
  • HCI with Pepsin (To help with my low stomach acid and digestion)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (helps to kill yeast-do not take within 2 hours of probiotics)
        I haven't had any alcohol in a week, coffee in 5 days, and have been eating low carbohydrates all week to ease into this transition. I can already feel that my moods have been much more stable, which is a major reason why I decided to do this in the first place. My moods have been very unstable the last couple of months and I'm excited to see how this changes. I'm hoping this diet won't be terribly hard for me because I already had a pretty strict diet before, but letting go of the emotional attachment of food will be the hardest. Bye bye vices (coffee and alcohol). I also want to address the fact that my blog is moving in a totally new direction, but so is my life! I graduate in less than a week and I want to live a happy and healthy life. So for the time being this blog will be Health, Happiness and a little bit of Booze Kombucha.

What do Oprah and I have in common? Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

            Would you have guessed? Oprah and I are long lost twins?! Imagine that! Of course, I don't mean this literally, but medically we both suffer from the madness. Thyroid madness that is. We both have hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's Disease to be precise. I like to refer to it as Mr. Hashi-it makes it slightly mysterious and elusive when in reality it just sucks. Hashimoto's disease is an auto-immune disorder that causes your body to produce anti-bodies that attack and slowly deteriorate your thyroid (if you don't take the necessary precautions!). Sounds fun huh? A normal anti-body level is >35 (although none is desirable) and last time mine were tested it was around 65. Fortunately, my anti-bodies aren't as high as many people I've talked to. I met women who's anti-bodies are in the thousands, but my goal is to get to zero anti-bodies attacking my thyroid. I am going to embark on the impossible! Good thing Addidas tells me "Impossible is Nothing" because I want off my medication.
           Mr. Hashi reared his ugly head a little more than two years ago during my junior year of college. I took pride in being the healthy friend and for the most part I appeared healthier than most. I ate my greens and adored vegetables (I still do), I was mostly vegan, but I also frequently took adderall to study, was always stressed and partied way too much. Eventually this caught up with me and my skin started breaking out terribly. I instantly knew something was wrong. Around the time my mom read Dr. Mark Hyman's book The UltraMind Solution-it was the first time I heard about the connection between gut health and brain health, amongst many other things. I knew he needed to be my doctor I had a feeling he would help me figure out what was wrong. 
          I made the trek to Lenox, Massachusetts to the UltraWellness Center and had several blood tests done, in addition to a stool test and mercury levels test I did beforehand at home. My test results showed that I had very high mercury levels along with other heavy metals, I had h. Pylori (a parasite), systematic yeast, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth),  several nutritional deficiencies, amenorhea (lack of menstral cycle), constipation, acne (like I didn't know), and as if that wasn't enough Mr. Hashi was diagnosed. I was put on a protocol to kill the parasites, yeast, and get my body back into balance. I was on a crab load of supplements to detoxify my body and to heal my gut. In addition to this I was put on a diet FREE of sugar, dairy, gluten, yeast, caffeine, and alcohol-for 3 MONTHS. I was pissed, it fucking sucked, but it was necessary at the time. I ended up taking the semester off to attend cooking school (yah cooking school on a diet) in NYC with my best friend-taking a break from college to do something more creative, more me. To say I didn't cheat on the diet would be a big fat lie, I cheated a bit…although I stuck to the whole no alcohol thing. At the time, I wash't as educated on gut health, gluten intolerance, probiotics, supplements, yeast issues, parasites, detox diets-amongst all the other subjects I now consider myself and expert on. My pursuit of knowledge to better myself has in returned made my life path more clear. I now know I want to help people who find themselves in the same place I was-tired, breaking out, depressed, OUT OF BALANCE.
          Wait-how did we get here? Back to Mr. Hashi…so I did this fun diet for awhile and didn't fill my prescription for ARMOUR THYROID, a natural thyroid replacement that I was told would restore my thyroid levels (but not get rid of the anti-bodies). I resisted being put on a pill that I was told would be for the rest of my life (a myth I am going to bust), but eventually I was curious to see if it worked. After about 6 months, right before I was to return to college to finish up the year and a half I had left, I decided to try it. I went on 15 mg and it worked like magic. My yeast symptoms went away because my immune system wasn't suppressed anymore. I felt great and MY SKIN WAS CLEAR. I was put on a higher dose, I don't even remember why now and slowly I started to not feel as great. Towards the end of the year I wanted off the medicine I hated the idea of having to take a pill every morning, controlled by an outside mechanism, I wanted out. So cold turkey I went on a juice fast and said bye bye to the Armour. Blah blah blah-return of the ACNE, parasites and yeast, ew (maybe they never fully went away). I decided to go back on the Armour in August, along with a super strict diet, and some antibiotics to kill the parasite- I was depressed, my skin was breaking out, and I was alone back at college where most of my friends had graduated. I was not in a good place, I was obsessed with healing myself and I'm pretty sure the stress of my diet and getting rid of the parasite was causing more harm than the parasite. Haha funny how life works? So I ditched the dogma and decided to do what works for me. Of course, the pendulum swang to the complete opposite side. Hello coffee, alcohol, and the occasional  sweet treat. Not terrible, but definitely not helping. To be honest, I needed this freedom for a few months, but now I'm ready to heal my gut once and for all.
         I want to go off my thyroid medicine, little by little, and do it completely 100% naturally. I'm almost 23 and being dependent on medicine isn't an ideal situation for me. I am confident that with a positive attitude, the elimination of my vices, reducing my stress, and tweaking my diet-I will heal my thyroid issues 100%. I hope for this to be a learning experience. How will I do this? I've been tip toeing into the paleo diet for the last couple months and I think I'm ready to dive into it with a few tweaks here and there. The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol is what I feel is going to work best for me. I'll post more on this later, but I wanted to let you know where I'm heading.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Break Smoothie.

Spring Break SMOOTHIE.
A quick recipe to keep you smiling while I'm away!

This smoothie was from One Lucky Duck in NYC, but I thought it was a pretty picture;)

Get fancy and have your smoothie in a wine glass.

Erry’ morning smoothie 

½ frozen banana
½ cup of frozen blueberries
¼ strawberries
1 cup of spinach (optional, but you can’t taste it)
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
a pinch of himalyan salt
1 spoonful of nut butter (about two teaspoons)
1 Tablespoon Mila (ground chia seed)
5 ice cubes (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix and begin to blend on low and proceed to turn up the speed as the fruit mixes together.

    Spice it up and top with some cereal!

Have a good week I'll be back soon.