Beating Hypothyroidism

Archive for the tag “swamp sludge”

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 Amazon.com. 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.

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Yes, I’m Posting More Than Usual

But part of the reason I’m doing this blog is to have an easily accessible record of what I’m doing, what is working, and what is not.

Carb cycling is hard. Not because I have trouble on the low carb days, but for two important reasons. First, there’s no way in the world I can eat 400 carbs a day on the high carb days, much less 600. And second, on the low carb days, I’m just not hungry.

An example low carb day for me is 5 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup of cauliflower with cheddar and a little cream cheese,  2 scrambled eggs with a slice of American cheese, and a few bottles of water.

That results in far too few calories, which exacerbates the problem of not taking in enough calories when I’m eating a normal diet.

And this is what I find most frustrating about this whole hypothyroidism thing. I think it’s something that bugs most women with under-active thyroid issues. We tend to eat much less than most people, but we’re still stuck with extra weight.

So, as big a pain as it is, I am going to have to hit the treadmill more, and work up the enthusiasm to get back to the pool a few days a week. The only thing that’s kept me out of it is all the stuff I read about chlorine and bromine (I think that’s what’s in the exercise pool). There are no dry heat saunas nearby so I can detox those chemicals from my body but…what else am I going to do?

I feel like I’ve hit a wall here. The coconut oil and supplements are so amazing in the changes they’ve made in me. I’m 99% sure that the 12 pounds (and no, I haven’t budged at all from there in a few days) is due to the addition of the adrenal support supplements.

(I’m reasoning things out with myself here, if you’re thinking I’m nuts)

Oh… I’m back to ingesting swamp sludge once a day again. I decided the heck with the fact that it has goitrogens. I have to believe the nutrition is well worth the trade off.

So, I’ll keep plugging away. In the mean time, not being able to eat enough calories DOES allow for the occasional bit of ice cream. Not everything is frustrating.  🙂

**Note to self…making use of the Kindle on the treadmill makes the time pass MUCH faster.

***Another note to self…hoofing it on the treadmill when it’s 62 degrees, with the humidity at 95%, sucks.

Better Week

I know I always say I’ll do a quick update, but this time I really will. Still need to be more diligent with some things, like reading labels (because some brands of pecans, I’ve discovered, can be ‘produced on shared equipment with ….wheat’). Kind of like me assuming that Rice Krispies would be a safe, gluten-free food. I mean, come on…rice.

So anyway…

I’m still averaging half a gluten day once a week. Not ideal, but I’m not going to sweat it right now now. As long as I stick to it the rest of the time, and I am.

I’m glad to have the adrenal support supplements, because I believe they’re making a difference. Still loving my coconut oil and B vitamins, because both seem to help the immediate fatigue issues. I seem to average about a pint a month.

The juicing, smoothies, swamp sludge, and getting to the pool are still hit and miss…mostly missing, but I’ll continue to work on improving those areas.

And that’s about it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Hypothyroidism sucks. But then so does a gluten intolerance, adrenal fatigue, and insomnia. I will, however, get a handle on all of it.

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.’

Why?

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.

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