I QUIT! Wanna Join Me?

Are you ever just over it? Simply tired of trying to hard to be healthy, worrying about the BPA in plastics, the heavy metals in your fish, the gluten in your salad dressing? Are there days you just want to say I QUIT!?

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to be “healthy” especially when there are so many different definitions of healthy. For those of us with thyroid problems, it seems like the list is never-ending. There is always a new food that is goitrogenic, another supplement that we need and endless opportunities to “practice reducing stress” all while we read yet another thyroid book and make appts to get our blood tests done.

Well, today it’s time to do it. Simply quit. Not forever, but for today. Choose a few things that won’t be detrimental to your body and do them (or don’t do them). Today, it’s time to stop those mental wheels. It’s time to focus on something new, something totally different. Close the tab on your computer that has thyroid-something-or-other-research information. Spend your time outside (or if it’s raining like it is at my place) do some yoga or start a new craft. Create your own personal stay-cation and get away from the thyroid/health-craze.

There is such a thing as being too obsessed with healthy things. It’s called being orthorexic (yes, it is a real thing). Basically, when you can’t enjoy life anymore because you’re too concerned with being healthy, you’ve become orthorexic. While I always encourage people to do their own research & upgrade things in their lives, there is a point when it consumes you. You have to let it go once in a while. Maybe today you eat some raw broccoli (because you just love it, even though its goitrogenic) or you have almonds that havent been skinned and blanched, all the while knowing your thyroid won’t like it. Ya know what? It’s okay. If you are stressing yourself out over how bad almonds are for your thyroid, do you think its worse to just eat some almonds or be stressed about it? Yep, you guessed it, the stress is worse. If you continually go into “freak-out-I-can’t-eat-that” mode, you’re creating a toxic internal environment in your body. Guess what? Your body has enough of that! Esp. if you have an autoimmune thyroid problem! The last thing it needs is more stress.

So take some time off. Set your brain aside and be bad today (or this weekend). Don’t go overboard; you know which things you must do and which things you can get away with. Do the little things that will make you feel good that won’t really cause harm, like skipping your supplements for a day or eating some cookies (probably best to keep those GF though since it can take 6+ months to recover from eating gluten). Sure, the sugar isn’t great for you, but sometimes you just need a break.

So go, be bad. Just for a little while. You can get right back on track tomorrow.

Today, let it go.

 

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Selenium Lowers Thyroid Antibodies

There are many different supplements that are recommended when a person is diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Selenium is one that (in my opinion) is very important, especially for those who have high levels of antibodies. There has been research done showing that selenium deficiency can potentially contribute to autoimmune thyroid diseases. They have also shown that taking a selenium supplement can assist in the reduction of antibodies (TPOab).

I personally take 200mcg/day (l-selenomethionine) and that is usually enough to assist in the reduction of antibodies. Make sure to partner with a doctor who is knowledgeable about Hashimoto’s and open to many forms of treatment (ie not someone who just pushes Synthroid at you and considers it done). They can help you determine the amount that’s right for your body.

Since antibodies and inflammation are such a high priority in the case of Hashimoto’s, it is imperative to calm the body and immune system. Any way that you can reduce antibodies should be utilized. It (probably) will take more than just throwing down a few selenium pills each day to get your antibodies down to a healthy level, but this is a great support for the body.(Hint: going GF may also help with antibody levels) It may also take a few months for the selenium to reduce antibody levels, so plan your testing accordingly.

Other supplements to consider:

  • Zinc
  • Omegas
  • Vitamin Bs
  • Adrenal gland support
  • Antioxidants (Vitamin C is one)
  • Probiotics

It’s crucial to remember that Hashimoto’s is autoimmune. It is not just a hypothyroid. I read a post the other day of a patient whose doctor told her than Hashimoto’s is just a fancy name for hypothyroid. Ignorance like that is what continues thyroid suffering. Make sure that your doctor is well-versed in the topic, but ensure that you also do your own research. You may be able to educate your doctor in the process and help many different people. Autoimmune means that you must focus on your gut health (hence, probiotics on the list above). You have to dig to the root cause and research has shown that most (if not all) autoimmune diseases stem from poor gut health. So don’t get too caught up in treating the thyroid alone. Make sure to address the body as a whole. That is how you get long lasting results and can overcome thyroid disease completely.

Just a few studies on selenium:

http://iospress.metapress.com/content/1c13r7cd9ymf5vmr/

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/87/4/1687.short

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The Season for Gifting, to Yourself!

Tis’ the season for giving, right? A time to scurry around and find gifts for everyone and hopefully, a time to donate your time or some gifts to those in need. However, I also feel that our society needs lessons in gifting to ourselves for a change. I don’t mean in the material ways. I do think we have that pretty well covered. I mean in the ways it really counts. All year long we work long hours, rushing to meet deadlines for other people, focusing on errands, cooking, cleaning, kids, pets, spouses, friends. We tend to overlook our self-care. The goal is always to get things done for other people and then if there is any time left, we take care of ourselves. Most of the time that feels like it will be sometime next century. To-do lists grow twice as fast as we check them off and we never even seem to get a moment alone.

My challenge for you this holiday season is to change that. Normally, this is the most chaotic, stressful time of year. In addition to our regular deadlines, we pile on more, never stopping to think that perhaps we should reduce the load. We buzz through it, seeing flashes of ribbon and a glimpse of a tree without ever stopping to take a deep breath in and enjoy the smells of the season. Functioning from obligation rather than joy, we forget that this should be the time of year for FUN! Before you know it, it’s January and the idea of a New Year’s resolution just seems exhausting. No wonder most resolutions don’t last! We’re recovering from the holidays!

While I dont mean that you should stop gifting to others this season, it’s definitely time to start prioritizing yourself. That drained feeling after a long day isn’t necessary & it’s also not healthy. It’s time to find at least one way that you can gift to yourself. Will it be a bubble bath every Sunday? Maybe a trip to the Christmas parade or perhaps just a moment alone to lay on your back and close your eyes, letting your mind wander. It could be anything that makes your heart sing. Maybe this year you skip a tradition because you just plain don’t enjoy it. You could opt-out of the sugary drinks and add a vegetable to the meal or make GF stuffing so you don’t suffer after Thanksgiving. The point is to find something and do it, just for you.

Society is tired. We are fatigued and running into the ground. We need to change this way of living before we simply collapse. Change starts in the home, and it starts with you. Imagine if everyone took a few minutes each day, or even each week, to spoil themselves in wholesome ways. What if it was mandatory to get a weekly massage? Maybe we wouldn’t need so many material belongings, or so much food to stuff down our emotions. Maybe we could learn how to be relaxed and happy again. Then we could go out and spread that feeling in our town. It’s a ripple effect that could upgrade society. Just imagine if everyone you walked by smiled or took the time to apologize when they bump you. It’s the small things that make a big difference.

It’s not about being selfish, it’s about thriving instead of surviving. There should be no guilt when it comes to self-care or self-love. Know that when you love and care for yourself, you can then love and care for others in a more effective way. So this holiday season, try to focus on you first, and then everyone else. Notice what changes. This may be the best season yet!

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Living in the Question, Forget About Having the Answers

Normally we search for answers. We are always looking for the “right” answer in school, the answer to our fixing our health issues, the answer to our financial challenges, the answer to all of our questions. We research and debate, always looking for answers so we can come to a conclusion.

Well, how about a different point-of-view? What if we just started focusing on the questions and let the Universe (or God, Goddess, Higher Power, whatever you call it) provide the answers? What if we limited ourselves by finding answers? The Universe (that’s the term I like to use) is magical and powerful & can provide things beyond my wildest dreams. So doesn’t it make sense that if I ask a question, the Universe will provide something even better than I could ever come up with? My “answer” vs. the Universe’s “answer” would be very different. Plus, I would have to do all the work instead of simply allowing it to show up in my life. What if we started trusting in the Universe to show us more fabulousness than we can even comprehend? Ask and you shall receive, right? Well, we ask and then answer, never allowing ourselves to receive.

So try mixing it up a bit. Stop looking for conclusions and answers to your questions or problems. Instead, try staying in the question and see what shows up!

Here are a few of my favorites:

How does it get any better than this? (Great when things are going poorly, but also when things are going really well!)

What grand and glorious adventures can I go on with my body today?

Where will the money come from next?

*Remember, don’t try to answer these. Just ask them and then move on – let the Universe provide the answers! Usually it’s when/how you least expect it.

If you like the idea of staying in the question, you may enjoy more of the Access Consciousness tools. Access taught me about staying in the question. They have lots of great tools (and lots of free ones if you sign up for their newsletter) for all sorts of topics!

What is Access Consciousness?

Show me tools, books & products that Access has.

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Save Money on Groceries & Exercise at the Same Time

When you move frequently, you get to see and learn many things. One of these things is how the cost of food varies from state to state. Though not glamorous, it is one of those topics that can make or break your excitement for the new home. If you’ve ever stared at the grocery receipt in confusion, wondering if you were double charged, you know exactly what I mean.

With the low demand for healthy food in our new location, prices were higher than I liked. So research mode kicked in. Farmers Markets, Co-ops, CSAs, farms, Health Food stores, Fruit & Veggie stands, delivery food options. You name it and I considered it. This is a familiar process for me, one that happens with every move, but it was more challenging this time around. Our location was not my friend. Neither was the fact that many places here simply don’t have websites. Google was failing me (yes, it can happen). I kept searching in hopes of finding something less expensive.

My solution arrived when a fellow Marine Corps spouse told me about a farm that offers classes on sustainability & has some “pick-your-own” options. I contacted them about setting up a work/trade situation. I was in luck! They agreed to set something up and I made the trek to check it out. I was greeted by a gaggle of geese, a peacock, some chickens, turkeys, & cats. I was later introduced to the goats, pigs, horse, bunnies, and many other wonderful creatures. If you know my love for animals, you can see how this was a good fit.

I was “hired” on to help around the farm in trade for food & I now happily drive out to the farm once per week & help out with anything that needs an extra set of hands. This week we are supposed to be pruning and replanting blueberries! My payment comes in the form of food. Happy, healthy food that I feel good about eating. It could be eggs, milk, butter, chicken, ham, turkey, fruits, veggies or anything else that is available at the time.

However, I get much more out of it than just food. My payment also comes in the form of exercise while working around the farm (much more movement than when I’m working at home on the computer), time in nature and with animals, time away from the phone/computer/technology. I learn skills about growing my own food and I get to network & brainstorm with other like-minded people. Plus, who can turn down some time with baby goats? Not to mention that we eat following the seasons which has known to be very good for your digestion and overall health.

Not a bad deal, eh? So the next time you go cross eyed over the grocery bill I encourage you to think outside of the box. Get creative. Find some small farms around you or get involved with a co-op. Overall, get to know your food & your farmer. You might make some new friends or discover an unknown hobby. You don’t need to have amazing farming skills to be useful. Just some curiosity & willingness to try something new.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you ever worked on a farm? Where do you get your healthy food? Comment below & we can all share healthy food resources.

One of my favorite websites to find healthy food options is www.localharvest.com Hopefully it will help you too!

*Just for clarification, defined by me, healthy means local, organic (or beyond organic), sustainable, humane; I think you get the idea.

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Black Friday Sale for Healthnuts!


Are you a health nut? A nutrition geek? Just someone who generally likes to live a in healthy way that is free from toxins, chemicals & unnecessary ailments?

I definitely was. I still am. Now its even my job to be a health nut. How cool is that? A little over a year ago I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach. It changed my life & it was amazing. That’s why today I wanted to share the DEAL that IIN is offering for Black Friday! Discounted tuition anyone?Yes, please!

Heres the scoop:

Enroll between Monday, November 25th, and Black Friday, November 29th and you can get:

– Up to $1000 in tuition savings

– The exclusive Winter Wellness Extravaganza package, which includes specialty items from experts like Deepak Chopra, Michael Pollan, and Andrew Weil

PLUS the very first to enroll could get an iPad Air or Mini, and VIP seating at a live conference.

 (Click the image for more information)

 

Want more details on IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition)? Check out my blog post that explains it all, just click here.

Feel free to reach out with questions about the program. I would be happy to answer them!

PS – Heres a gift that’s sure to come in handy this season!

 

 

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How Moving Can Make You Healthier

We recently moved (again) and although it wasn’t the smoothest transition we have ever done, it was still fun to see a new place and learn about new people. One of my biggest priorities when moving is to look ahead and find places where we can purchase healthy food. When you’re gluten, dairy and soy free (or just health-minded) you never want to end up between McDonalds and a hard place.
While I was doing this, it dawned on me that moving can be the perfect way to transform your home into a healthier, less toxic place than it was before.

Think about it. You have an empty frig and pantry, you have a few cleaning supplies that probably need refilling after scouring the last place you moved out of and you have to depend on your iPhone to tell you where the grocery store is. This leaves many opportunities to upgrade your options.

1. While that empty frig looks depressing to a rumbling belly, it is actually the perfect chance to fill it with healthy foods. Make a rule that anything you put into the frig will be organic or local, or chemical free (ie more whole foods). Choose foods that have a short ingredients list with words you can understand or better yet dont need an ingredients list! Broccoli has never needed a label for what’s in it as far as I know.

2. When you look for new cleaning supplies search for the healthier stuff. Opt for baking soda and vinegar, or a cleaning solution that uses essential oils instead of the usual “I-cant-breathe-while-I-clean” products.

3. Utilize google or yelp to help you find a better grocery store. Simply upgrade where you shop. Find a place that sells organic & local food with gluten-free options. It should sell things like Apple Cider Vinegar, fermented foods, quinoa, hemp hearts and humanely raised, antibiotic/hormone-free meats.
Better yet, hit up the local farmers market and the butcher. Ask them questions – is the food really pesticide free? How do they treat their chickens? Are the cattle corn or grass-fed? I want my chickens to see sunlight and peck around in the grass, getting their daily dose of bugs and vitamins. I also want them to enjoy life, not be scared & suffering the entire time. Scared animals make for scared meat. I don’t need the extra adrenaline in my body, thanks though.

Suggestions for better grocery stores: Wegmans, Whole Foods, Mothers, Sprouts, any local health food store, Fresh Market.

Moving also allows you to switch up your routine. New home, new town, new you. Start some healthier routines like an evening walk every day after dinner or a morning swim. Take advantage of where you now live – can you hike in the mountains on the weekends? Or go snorkeling in the ocean? Maybe you can learn to wakeboard. Try to learn something new and get out of your new (healthier) house. You will probably make some new friends this way too.

Moving can be stressful or it can be a way to improve your health and quality of life. Take advantage of the clean slate and fill it with fresh veggies & enjoy the ride.

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