Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the tag “powdered green superfood”

After a Bit of Tweaking…

…I’m pretty excited about what I’ve come up with for this diet.

Clearly I’m not going to be able to do the 400-600 carbs very often…if ever. But in playing around with the carb cycling, I’m finding that really low carbs one day, followed by a sort of medium carb day the next (in an every other day pattern) is working.

And contrary to popular belief, I have to limit my meals to twice a day, no matter which day I’m on. I also keep them fairly small. The past two days look like this for me….

Thursday: 1 cup beef, rice and gravy (for each meal), 3 total tablespoons of coconut oil, supplements. I didn’t get in as much water as I’d have liked, but am working on increasing that.

Friday: 3-4 oz pork, with cauliflower/cheddar/cream cheese (2/3 cup with the first meal, and 1/2 cup with the second), 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 serving of swamp sludge/powdered greens, supplements (still adding extra vitamin C…2,000 mg, and planning to work up to 5,000-it also helps with alertness). I’ll probably finish the day out at 50 oz of water, but it’s just been one of those days.

What I find the most exciting, other than the fact that I’ve lost 3 pounds so far since Monday (15 total in the past twenty-one days), is that I’ve been doing a lot more walking. Either hoofing it through local stores, or on my treadmill.

Why is this exciting? Because…I feel good! I mean I’m feeling so much better I can hardly believe it. And given that as of this minute…12:16 a.m…., I’ve had 4 1/2 hours sleep since noon on Thursday. Far too little sleep in the past 36 hours…and I’m still feeling good! And I plan to start back at the pool on Monday to start doing resistance exercises. Hopefully I’ll work back up to six days a week, but at least three.

What I find so amazing about all of this is that my doctor told me in December…ten months ago…that I’d just have to suck it up and live like this. To just focus on being as healthy as I could be this way because with hypothyroidism and metabolic syndrome (which has yet to be proven to me), this was the best I could expect.

Well you know what? I’ve spent countless hours researching everything I could possibly find to research about this, and have finally come up with a combination of supplementation, diet and exercise that’s working. (having said that, I hope I don’t jinx myself).

But for anyone with thyroid related weight gain, as impossible as it seems to get rid of it…don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. It’s taken me 18 months to see some great results in the weight area, though the energy has been improving as I find supplements that work for me.

You just have to find what works for you. I’ll share what I’m taking…but keep in mind that I’m NOT recommending that anyone else take them. This is what I’ve found that works for ME, not for YOU. If you decide to try any of these supplement without getting an okay from your doctor, it will be at your own risk. Sorry, I have to say that to minimize my risks.

Every day when I get up, I take my Synthroid. Thirty to sixty minutes later, I take my first tablespoon of coconut oil (Spectrum Organics, expeller pressed).

With supper (or before if I’m eating too late), I take 2 women’s petite multi vitamins (2 is one serving), 1000 mg vitamin C with rose hips, 1 B-complex, 1 timed release B12, 1 serving powdered greens, and 2 Standard Process Adrenal (desiccated) that I order from The rest I just get in my grocery store. As I said, I’m adding more vitamin C at different times of the day and, because it’s water soluble, an occasional extra B12. I am taking a tablespoon of coconut oil before I eat, as well.

I’m trying to do the digestive enzymes only a couple of days a week now. Every day just doesn’t seem to help. Maybe your body adjusts to them so they don’t work as good, so I’ve cut back. Some days I also take acidophilus, and may start using that daily, since it’s so good for digestive health (helps keep good bacteria in your intestines…especially after a course of antibiotics).

Something else I’ve been doing is using coconut oil in place of facial and body lotions. If you were considering trying this, all I can say is wait until you don’t have to go anywhere. You will be pretty greasy…and believe me…a little goes a LONG way. I’m not joking. But you’ll want to clip your hair up, and away from your face, and wear grubby clothes that you don’t care about.

I’m not sure how accurate the functional age test is, but the skin on the back of my hand flattened back out in under 2 seconds…which apparently means the skin on my hands is the same as someone under 30 years old. Of course I’ve always avoided the sun, so that may have something to do with it. But my eye doctor tells me I could pass for ten years younger than my actual age (at least when I’ve had some sleep!).

One thing I forgot to mention is that I know part of the 15 pounds is due to an end to the edema…which I can control by remaining gluten-free. Although I can actually have a little bit of gluten once every week or so and it’s not affecting me in negative ways anymore. It is so nice to see my feet and ankles looking good again because, if I do say so myself, I’ve always thought I had pretty feet.

So I’ll stop now. I just wanted to share what’s been going on this week. And I hope to keep the good news coming.

One Little Speed Bump…

So I have been doing fairly well with getting off the gluten again. I did eat gluten-containing foods at the pig roast…and one other time this week (the speed bump). I wound up having a fun day away from home, and what can I say? I didn’t stick with being GF at the restaurant. Other than that, though, I’m being good.

Benefits already? Yup. My feet and ankles still want to retain fluids…but not as bad as they have been for the past six weeks-and it was pretty bad. Do I feel better? Depends on the minute. But I’ve spent part of two days this week outside…and too much ‘fresh air’ tends to make me want a nap. I’ve been around lots of people (usually very stressful for me). And I’ve done lots of running around and writing.

Definitely feeling better. It’s looking like a few weeks off is easier to get over than six months off. Not that I’m going to use it for an excuse to take gluten vacations again. Just allowing myself to eat what the crowd is eating (pig roast/restaurant) once in awhile, seems to work well for me.

I think the adrenal support supplement I’ve been taking is helping a lot, too., and I’m ordering more tomorrow (only enough for 5 days left…and I’m NOT running out).

So this week the plan is to do the juicing/smoothies/powdered greens for most of the day, then have whatever I want for supper…and maybe a snack.

Hopefully I’ll have really good news to report next Sunday.  🙂

I Need My Head Examined

It seems like every time I can see a light at the end of the tunnel…as far as starting to feel better…I do something to sabotage it. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, I think I’ve ‘fixed it’ so I can do whatever I want again.

And every time, it’s proven in a miserable way that nothing is fixed.

So it goes with my nearly month back on gluten. I hate eating gluten-free. I resent it. It makes me angry.

Is this a normal place to be?

I lived for years believing I had fibromyalgia. Now I don’t know if it was that, or if it’s because hypothyroidism and gluten-sensitivity symptoms are similar. Regardless of where the pain and fatigue originate, any way I look at it, I’ve had these problems for a long time.

Part of what’s going on is that I have a few tough ‘anniversaries’ in July and August, and I will have them again in December and January. I guess I feel the need for comfort foods…and gluten-free substitutes are so far removed comfort that it’s not even funny. Add that to my natural inclination to be angry and feel sorry for myself this time of year, and it’s not easy to handle this other stuff.

But handle it I will. Now that I know what to look for, I can see that it doesn’t take more than two or three weeks back on gluten for me to start feeling more exhausted again.

So I’m going to start acting like a grownup again and be completely back off gluten again by Tuesday morning. I first have to get through my family reunion tomorrow. And I really feel the need for some chicken stew and real dumplings, which will have to wait until Monday. I’m sorry, but for as decent as GF Bisquick dumplings are, they’re NOT real dumplings.

Hopefully with the juicing, smoothies, coconut oil, and powdered greens (along with everything else I’m taking), I’ll be back on track a little quicker than I was this spring.

I’ve learned my lesson. I can’t have a controlled break from going gluten-free. Apparently I lack the discipline to do that. So in the future, if I start craving something really bad, I’m just going to give in and have it. Most of the time I have no problem eating right, it’s just when the cravings come, and don’t go away, that I wind up where I’m at today.

No, it’s not a perfect plan, but it’s the best I have right now.

I’ve Narrowed Down What Helps The Most

And it certainly isn’t Synthroid.

At the very top of the list is….coconut oil.  Since starting this blog, I’ve used up a jar that was three-quarters of the way full…and I’m about a third of the way through a second.  I am just stunned at how much worse I feel on days when I forget to take it.

Second in line is B-complex.  I don’t know why that helps as much as it does, but I still wish I could take it two or three times a day.

Third…it’s kind of a toss up.  Fish oil, vitamin C, and my women’s multi all help to some degree, but not as much as the other things.  I won’t stop taking them, though, because I know they contribute to my functioning better.

How am I functioning?  Better.  I wish I could say good, but I can’t.  My sleep schedule is more fouled up than ever (BIG mistake to take coconut oil after ten at night!).  Most days I still so tired I wish I could have a nap.  Sometimes I even give in and take one.

The main reason for the insomnia is pain…a ‘side effect’ from the accident.  However, I’ve decided I can’t procrastinate anymore.  I know that going to the pool controls it and, no matter how tired I might be, I have to just force myself to go.  In a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to use my treadmill again, which also helps (and since I’ve given up the electronic cigarettes, I should be able to really start hoofing it).

So my updated plan is…

* Make sure I take coconut oil three times a day (no more screwing around with once or twice).

* Make sure I take my B-complex, fish oil, other supplements, one fruit smoothie, and one glass of swamp sludge (powdered green superfood for those who don’t know what I’m talking about…I do not wander down to the nearest swamp and drink out of it…honest) daily.

* Get to the pool at least three times a week.  I’m afraid going six days a week last year burned me out, but I’d still like to work up to that again.

* Make a better effort to increase my water intake.

* Start working on my sleep schedule as soon as the pain starts easing up.

* Show my doctor that the list of side effects for Armour are pretty much identical to the list for Synthroid…and switch to Armour.  Also, remember to take along the dosage information about how to switch from one to the other.

That’s about it for now.  This road is turning out to be much longer than I thought it would be.  But I’m still determined.  I intend to live a good, long, energetic and healthy life.

Powdered Green Superfood

One of the keys to my plan for feeling better includes at least one serving of powdered green superfood-or as I prefer to call it- ‘swamp sludge.’


Because it’s supposed to provide highly concentrated nutrition for a reasonable price.  Depending on the brand you choose, each serving is said to provide 4-7 servings of veggies.  Even better, the ingredients used are organic so you don’t have to worry about a concentrated dose of chemicals.

After doing some research, and reading lots of product reviews on Amazon, I decided to give it a try…ignoring the reviews that said these products are delicious.  I know enough about supplementation to know that if something is really good for you, odds are it’s not going to taste good.

And I was right.  It doesn’t.  But it wasn’t until I’d ruined a few perfectly good smoothies that I decided to try it in four ounces of plain water.  Frankly, it didn’t taste nearly as bad that way, so that’s how I was taking it.

Part of a ruined smoothie…and this stuff is a LOT lighter in the photo than it is up close and personal!

After about a month I hadn’t noticed any improvement, but was so sleep deprived at the time that I decided I needed to make a better effort to spend more quality time with my pillow.  Unfortunately a schedule change made that a little tough to accomplish so I stopped ‘wasting’ the greens.

And now it turns out it might be a good thing.

According to Stop the Thyroid Madness (and lots of other websites), it seems that powdered greens are chock-full of goitrogens, something that can inhibit thyroid production.  With an under-active thyroid, this isn’t the best thing we can do for ourselves.

Goitrogens include cruciferous veggies, spinach, peaches, peanuts, radishes, strawberries (oh no!), and the worst offender of all…soy products.  Knowing that broccoli and strawberries are on that list just about breaks my heart.  But some are worse for us than others, while some of them don’t seem to have any affect at all.  I guess it just depends on the person, the condition of the thyroid, and how effective their meds are.

Apparently, though, if you cook these foods (yeah, that will work great for the fruits, won’t it?), it weakens the goitrogens, though anyone with hypothyroidism still needs to consume them in moderation.

So I guess I’ll see how hot the water is in my water cooler, mix the greens up in that and let it cool.  It’s not recommended to use it that way, but the website for one of the products I have says it’s better to have it that way than not at all.  Of course they could just be saying that to get you to keep buying their products, but I also know that you don’t kill all  of the nutrients in ‘real’ veggies by cooking them.

The whole strawberry thing is going to pose a bit of a problem, too, given my two-smoothie-a-day plan.  But I guess I’ll just split one serving between both and hope for the best.

And what else can those of us with hypothyroidism do except hope?  The whole treatment plan feels like a crap-shoot anyway.  Nothing but trial and error, so I’m not really surprised that figuring out which foods are okay for me is going to take a little experimentation, too.

Fleshing Out My Plan

Back in December my doctor told me I should just accept that my life was what it was…and I should just get used to it.  At first I was ticked off and determined to prove her wrong.  That lasted for about a month, until a schedule change seriously impacted my already sleep-deprived life.  Being even more exhausted than I usually am, I started feeling more than a little depressed and hopeless, wondering if the doctor might be right.

I’m not sure what happened a few days ago but the rebellious part of me kicked up a heck of a fuss and I decided I was not going to accept that diagnosis.

Yes, it’s sounding like I have some sort of disease.  I don’t even know what hypothyroidism is classified as, nor do I care.  I just know it impacts my life in almost every area because of the relentless fatigue.  The Synthroid prescription that’s supposed to make everything better isn’t cutting it.

And so I’m finally ready to take the doctor’s advice and increase the nutritional density of my diet, though she suggested it for another reason.  Obviously (to me) the best way to do that is by increasing my fruit and veggie intake.  The only problem is, I’m too tired to invest any time in healthy cooking and food preparation, so I had to come up with another plan.

What is that plan?

Two fresh fruit smoothies, an apple with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 2 cartons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, and at least 1 serving of powdered green superfood every day.  In addition to that I will continue taking at least 2 grams of vitamin C, a B-complex, B-12, melatonin, and a few other supplements.  I also want to increase my water intake to help flush toxins out of my body.

I would not add a sweetener to this, but other than that, it looks really good!

No, I’m not going to stop eating real food.  I expect to have anything I want for supper.  This will ensure that I get in the six meals and snacks every day needed to get-and keep-my energy levels up.  At least I hope things will work out that way.

I experimented Wednesday night with a smoothie-and learned what I’m not going to do again.  If I’m going to add a heaping tablespoon of psyllium husk to the shake, I won’t be using a whole banana.  The texture leaves a bit to be desired.  But I think that including fiber is important.  First it will help keep me full longer.  It will also increase my fiber intake-which has been seriously lacking with the quick and simple meals I’ve been preparing for too long now.

It’s hard to keep from getting excited about all of this, even though I’ve barely begun.  When you feel as bad as I have for as long as I have, this seems like it could be the light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel.

When the energy starts picking up (soon, please!), I intend to start working out in the pool a few days a week and putting some miles on my treadmill again.  Maybe I’ll even start back with Pilates, though I have  a love/hate relationship with that program.

Anyway, at this point I plan on posting on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  Not sure if anyone else but me will be interested in my progress, but maybe some readers will chime in about what works for them.  Until next time, when I hope to have some real news to report, take care and feel better.

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