Owning Your Health

After realizing I had some symptoms of hypothyroidism I did a lot of research.¬† Aha, that explains the disappearing eyebrows and my growing coffee habit.¬† Because I did a fair amount of research I also learned that most people go undiagnosed because many doctors still only test their T4 hormone- which is more indicative of pituitary gland function than thyroid health.¬† This¬†video¬†by Dr. Ken Berry is particularly helpful.¬† It’s a bit long but really worth it.

So when I went in to get my numbers checked I politely¬†insisted¬†on getting my T3 levels checked as well.¬† It’s so important to remember that your doctor is working for you.¬† If you spend a couple hours researching a concern before you go in, you may (unfortunately) be better educated on that topic than your doctor.¬† There’s no need to be arrogant but be clear on what you want.¬† If I had just my T4 checked, like she suggested- my results would have come back normal.¬† But I told her I wanted to check T3 and that is where the problem was revealed.

I learned that T4 results can be normal for years while a patient is still suffering from hypothyroidism and that testing T3 is far more accurate.¬† I was able to look over some old results.¬† I had went in a couple times a few years ago to get checked out, because I was feeling tired.¬† They only checked my T4 at that time, which was “normal”.¬† We are really privileged to live in this day and age when there is so much information available at our fingertips.¬† It just takes a bit of time and being proactive to educate yourself.

I also learned that the typically prescribed medication; synthroid, only addresses boosting T4 levels.¬† Many people go on it and don’t feel any better.¬† The natural (and superior!) option is taking dessiccated animal thyroid.¬† With animal thryoid, you get all four thyroid hormones in a natural form.¬†¬†The article¬†goes more indepth on the benefits of natural thyroid over synthetic.¬† Doctors have been treating patients with dessiccated thyroid for over a century.¬† So guess which option I’m embracing? ūüėõ

Did my keto diet cause my hypothyroidism?¬† I don’t think so.¬† I’ve had symptoms for a long time.¬† I used to boost my energy with a lot of sugar and caffeine.¬† Maybe since cutting out the sugar I’m just feeling the effects more.¬† I had¬†hyperthyroidism as a young adult and a doctor told me then my thyroid would eventually burn itself out and I’d become hypothryoid as I got older.

Treating and medicating yourself may be a bit too much for some.¬† And it has it’s risks, for sure.¬† You don’t have to “prescribe” yourself anything but you can still take steps to be proactive in achieving your best health.¬† Don’t look to the doctor for a pill for everything.¬† If you can lower your cholesterol with oats and bergamot, why not do that over taking a pill with a laundry list of side effects?¬†¬†dreadzen2

Anyways, much love guys and thank you for reading and hanging out with me on my journey! ūüėė

 

 

Fasting and Reeses

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post!¬† Juggling kids, work, life can suck up all my time or at least whatever creative energy I might have had ūüėČ

In my last post I mentioned feeling tired.¬† I was worried that my diet could possibly affecting my thyroid function.¬† I started researching it right away and doing little things to help my thyroid out.¬† I bought some brazil nuts and I’ve been eating a few a day.¬† Brazil nuts are SUPER high in selenium (one nut has 100% of your daily needs!) which helps you body convert your T4 hormone to the active T3 version.¬† I’ve also been taking a supplement which naturally supports thyroid function.

But since I’ve had a lot of issues with my thyroid in the past, I went in to get it checked out- just to cover all my bases.¬† Like just went in, I still have the bandaid on my arm!¬† While I am¬†all¬†for googling symptoms I also really believe in working with a doctor when you’re treading into the deep end.¬† Because otherwise you could just be shooting into the dark and completely missing your target.¬† I’m also checking my vitamin D and iron levels, because in the past I’ve been anemic and deficient in vit. D.¬† I supplement but it’ll be nice to know if my levels are optimal.

I did throw in some high carb days to see how that would affect my energy.¬† Yes, I had copious amounts of butter chicken and may have binged on some Reeses easter eggs!¬† It was super fun eating those foods but it really didn’t do much to boost my energy levels.¬† I know, I know, I shouldn’t be carb-cycling with reese’s.

homer
This is me, people

You’re so right.¬† I guess when I go off the wagon I do it with a gusto.¬† There¬†is¬†a wrong way to eat a reese’s and it involves eating an excess on an otherwise very low-carb diet!

So I’m back on strict keto and doing pretty good.¬† The next thing I want to try out is intermittent fasting.¬† I’ve shied away from fasting because, really; who likes being hungry?¬† I like my food!¬† I don’t like going without it, not even a little bit.¬†¬†However,¬†there are very compelling reasons to integrate fasting.¬† The main being that fasting for at least 16 hours induces a huge increase in your cellular¬†autophagy ¬†When your body isn’t working to digest food it can focus on deep cleaning on a cellular level.¬† Autophagy is the process by which your body intelligently kills off weak cells and cleans out the cellular clutter that is mucking up your system.¬† This is crucial for your health.¬† So crucial that it can not be overstated.¬† Our bodies are meant to fast and have breaks from food so that they could function optimally.¬† For everything from healthy aging, to disease prevention, to beating cancer… we need and want regular autophagy to be happening.¬† And fasting is one of the most powerful boosts you can give your body.¬† You want to shoot for 16 hour periods every other day.¬† You can have black coffee and tea but any calories will break the fast.¬† I’m going to try starting my fasts in the afternoon so that I can break them mid-morning.¬† Like from 5 pm to 9 am.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake

I love chocolate…. Like it’s a food group to me.¬† The most important one.¬†¬†11062757_10156302585070074_8547220417261379568_n

If I couldn’t have chocolate, I wouldn’t stick with keto for long!

Luckily for me, there are many great chocolicious keto recipes out there as well as recipes that are easily adaptable.

Flourless chocolate cake is one such recipe.¬† It’s high fat, low carb.¬† It’s rich, dense, sinfully delicious.¬† It’s easily made sugar free with the use of a low-carb sweetener.¬† My favorite at the moment is monk sweet– a blend of stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit extract.

I adapted a combo of recipes to make this delicious and keto-friendly!

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Everything’s Better with Butter, Ya’ll!

You’ll need~

  • a stick of butter (preferably grass fed!)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your sweetener
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (or raw cacao powder)
  • 1 tsp. pink salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs

I started with melting my butter and the broken up chocolate on medium-low in a medium saucepan.¬† I added the sweetener as well, so that the cake wouldn’t be gritty.¬† As that melted down I turned the burner to low and added the rest of the ingredients, mixing after each addition.

I removed the pan from the heat before whisking in the eggs.¬† I poured the brownie-like batter into a greased, round 8″ glass pan and baked at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

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The result was Ah-MAZ-ing.  I ate a piece with some whipped cream on top.  It hits the spot for sure.  Not only is it keto-friendly but you are also getting loads of antioxidants from all the chocolate.  Believe it or not but chocolate is pretty much the richest source of health-boosting antioxidants that you can eat.

“One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate contained more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than other fruits they tested, which included¬†blueberries¬†and Acai berries.” –¬†health benefits of chocolate¬†

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Chocolate is a superfood in every capacity; high in fiber, iron, minerals… and this is a great way to get the full benefits without the health-degrading effects of sugar.

So treat yourself to this recipe with zero guilt!

ADHD and Diet

Aye aye aye…it’s always something, right?

My young daughter has always been, ahem, “unique”.¬† She has the face of an angel and the temperament of a feral raccoon.¬† She’s sweet, silly, fun but she has zero impulse control.¬† Have you heard of the marshmallow self control test?¬† Where the researcher tells the child not to eat the marshmallow and then leaves the room?¬† Well, Shiloh would not only eat the marshmallow but then she’d toss up his file of papers into the air.¬† She’d find a pen and scribble unicorns on the wall.¬† She’d dig through his briefcase and doodle on the leather.¬† She’d do all this with great joy until she got busted at which point she’d wail with impassioned (feigned) heartbreak at her own naughtiness.

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She only looks angelic!

She’s always been kind of nuts but we’re pretty used to it.¬† From the time she could crawl she was getting into everything¬†with a destructive twinkle in her eye.¬† She’s my third so I’m chill with my parenting almost to the point of being negligent.¬† We just kind of accept and love her for who she is.¬† She routinely makes us laugh as we struggle to maintain a straight, disciplinary face.¬† Like the time she decided she needed to smear zinc diaper cream¬†all over her entire body.¬†¬†

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This is why I drink, people

 

In a leather chair, no less.  Why?  Well because the tube was there and supervision was not.  Of course she was extremely apologetic after the fact.

So this has been a running joke in our family.¬† But it got considerably less funny when her kindergarten teacher started dropping heavy-handed hints that she is severely A.D.D. and struggling big time in school.¬†¬†giphy (1)Since I’m really not keen on medicating my 5 year old I am going to try to deal with this the way I usually do.¬† Denial.

Haha just kidding…. seriously though, I’ve been doing research (everyday I’m googling!) and I’ve decided to put her on a gluten free diet, at least for a month long trial run.¬† For two reasons; I have a genetic predisposition to gluten intolerance.¬† It’s highly likely it got passed down to her as well.¬† And apparently there is a huge link between gluten and ADHD .

So it makes sense to start there.¬† And because I’m an overachiever I’ve decided to force all three of my precious little, anxiety-ridden angels on a gluten free plan for at least a month.

I know I’ve greatly reduced my anxiety and general nuttiness through diet manipulation.¬† It makes sense that I could use a special diet to improve their health and especially their mental health, as well.¬† I’m not going to push keto on them, because it is so extreme.¬† But cutting down on grains and junk food definitely can’t hurt.

Workin’ Girl

I haven’t written in a few days.

Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write.¬† Plus, I started my new job and then today got hit with the stomach bug that’s been going around! ūü§Ęūüėę

I do want to expand a bit on my Valentine’s day cheat.¬† Ya’ll know it didn’t go super well.¬†12121 And in honesty, it threw me off so much that it took a good 3-4 days to feel like I was back on track.¬† I had a lot of cravings and generally feeling icky.¬† I suppose it’s just more reinforcement that my body really likes keto, and thrives on it.¬† Next time I cheat I’ll do it a lot smarter.¬† I’ll “re-feed” with complex carbs to replenish glycogen without unleashing insulin fury and setting off a week of sugar cravings!

But honestly, the stress of starting a new job has caused major cravings too.¬† Sometimes you just want some ^#*$ing carbs, right?!¬† I’ve been wanting to mow down on some popcorn or pizza.¬†2121 I’ve been really good though.¬† To get a bit of a comfort food fix I made some chocolate keto ice cream.¬† ¬†No pictures will be posted because the end result wasn’t pretty.¬† Pragmatist that I am I decided to not do all the separate mixing and (dirtying of bowls!) consolidate into less steps (and dirty bowls!).¬† The chocolate didn’t quite blend all the way in so there are bits of solid chocolate in the end result.¬† I do like it though, it makes it¬†almost¬†taste like a cookies and cream ice cream.¬† I also used regular baking chocolate for less carbs.¬† It was still pretty sweet.

I’ve also had to figure out some quick, easy and portable meals to take to work.¬† I’ve been eating ham and cheese egg muffins (I posted the recipe¬†here).¬† I’ve also been throwing together a very simple tuna salad.¬† I don’t like fish¬†except¬†for tuna.¬† I buy lower mercury, wild caught canned tuna and of course add in a generous amount of my avocado oil based mayo.¬† Plus a diced up dill pickle, because, pickles and tuna go together like p.b. and jelly!¬† I just mix it up and eat it straight.¬† You could also dress it up with celery or spinach leaves.

I’ve also been making a big travel mug of chai tea with coconut butter and ethyritol.¬† I sip on it all day for steady energy.¬† When lunch time rolls around, I am just starting to get hungry because the tea really tides me over.

When I do get hit hard with carb cravings I try to remember all the benefits I’ve gained.¬† Starting a new job and getting out of my comfort zone, I’ve had so much less anxiety than I would have otherwise.¬† I even dealt with a less than nice costumer who was giving me a hard time (for being new, and human) and it didn’t even faze me.¬† Like, at all.¬† Plus I do get to eat a lot of delicious food and my jeans have all un-shrunk! ūüėČ

Unlocking DNA

Who I am

For Christmas (after many obnoxiously heavy-handed hints), my husband got me a 23 and me genetic testing kit.  I was so super stoked about it.  Not only was I excited to learn about my ancestry, but also gain insight into my health and genetics.

I finally got my results back!!!

I was surprised to learn that I am 100% European.¬† We were told that our Maternal Grandfather was part Native American.¬† I have no idea where that belief originated because apparently it isn’t true.¬† #mindblown¬† I wasn’t shocked that a solid 50% of my DNA is from the British Isles.¬† My dad is 100% Irish American.¬† The other half was a mix of German, French, Scandinavian, general “Northwestern European” with less than 1% being from a distant Italian and Eastern European ancestor.¬† I was hoping for a little more diversity.¬† Though apparently I’m more Neanderthal than 76% of people.¬† Beat that, ya’ll.¬† I might just club you.

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All I need is a cave and a fire

The tests also rightly predicted that as a baby I was bald as a cue ball, my second toes are longer then my big toes, I have light hair, I’m a light sleeper, I have a high caffeine tolerance (hecks yeah!) I have a risk for celiacs disease (yep), and am lactose tolerant (bring on the cream and cheese!).¬† It was fun to pore over my results, until I discovered that I have both genetic variants they test for indicating a risk for developing macular degeneration with age.

This is scary because one of my biggest fears has always been losing my sight.

The great thing about getting this test done is that now I know.¬† Knowledge is power.¬† I’m going to research the heck out of this and do everything I can to prevent this condition.¬† And if it still happens, well, my husband promised he’ll take care of me.

People have always wondered about where they come from, how they fit into the fabric of human history.¬† There is something almost magical about finding out the secrets previously locked and hidden in your DNA; the things that make you who you are.¬† Now I know why I’m drawn to all things Celtic and feel an urge to draw on cave walls. ūüėČ

I really recommend getting the test.¬† If nothing else, it’s interesting.¬† I discovered a 2nd cousin who was adopted and looking for answers into her birth relatives.¬† You might discover valuable tools and insights into how to tailor your lifestyle.¬† Or, like me, be able to work to prevent a condition that may not manifest for another 30 years.