Hashi Who?

Last October I went to my sleep specialist for our last insurance-obligated appointment. After two sleep studies and sleeping with a CPAP machine for six months, he had ordered blood work in preparation for our last meeting.

As he went over it, he casually mentioned that there were antibodies present that indicated that my hypothyroid condition was also an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s. I wondered if I should be devastated- terminal illness style- or slightly disappointed like someone who gained ten pounds. He went on to explain that my body would eventually destroy my thyroid and that I would have to stay on medication for the rest of my life.

Sooo…. that didn’t sound good, per se. But I still wasn’t sure exactly what it meant. I needed to have a conversation with Web MD stat.

After a lot of research, many of my questions have been answered:

Am I going to die sooner because of this? No.

What can I blame on this condition? foggy brain, anxiety, infertility, ADD, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain (I’ve had all of these).

What should I be doing to help myself? As I read more and more, I stumbled upon the Autoimmune Paleo Diet and Mickie Trescott and Angie Alt. In the middle of reading their book, I visited my OBGYN for my yearly exam. We discussed my recent Hashimoto’s diagnosis and she pointed me in the direction that I was already headed, suggesting cutting out gluten and dairy and following a Paleo diet to slow down or even stop the progression of my condition.

I started the diet right after Christmas, around six months ago. Since then, I’ve started attending an integrative medicine practice, my anxiety is almost gone, I feel much more clear headed and I’ve lost 30 lb.

During the past six months I’ve been thinking about this blog and how I let it fall by the wayside but could use it more than ever. I have learned about so much in such a short time: kombucha, bone broth, essential oils, integrative medicine, supplements, massage, CSAs, cutting chemicals from my cleaning and beauty routine. I have so much to tell you about.

And I still have so many questions: Can I ever find an exercise that I don’t dread or a bone broth that doesn’t gross me out? How am I ever going to find a use for all the cucumbers that keep coming in my CSA? What don’t I already know about gut healing? How do I get over this two month long weight loss plateau that I currently find myself in? So many questions!

Thanks for coming along for the ride. ❤

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40 Before 40

This year I’ll be 36. I don’t know what happened to the last ten years. But I do know that for the last several months I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can live a better, healthier life. This year I’ve discovered intuitive eating, started this blog, increased my exercise exponentially and addressed sleeping problems that I’ve been avoiding dealing with for years. Postive changes are addictive :).

I recently made this list of 40 goals I’d like to accomplish before I hit the big 4-0. Some are tiny. Some are huge. Most have been things I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. But time flies…

  1. Start meditating daily
  2. Have acupuncture.
  3. Wear gray hair with pride (Its been my natural color since I was in my late twenties).
  4. Be professionally fitted for a bra.
  5. Try a spinning class.
  6. Learn to make homemade biscuits well.
  7. Learn to sew.
  8. Find a hairdresser that I like.
  9. Have a pixie haircut.
  10. Visit twenty different houses of worship.
  11. Go on a camping trip.
  12. Get a professional facial.
  13. Get a chiropractic adjustment.
  14. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
  15. Make a collection of family recipes for the people in my family.
  16. Study our genealogy; and make a family history book for N.
  17. Knit a sweater.
  18. Make a craft and sell it.
  19. Go to a wine and design.
  20. Try a spinning class.
  21. Try a cross fit class
  22. Write and illustrate a children’s book
  23. Take a barre class.
  24. Become a National Board Certified teacher.
  25. Find our forever home.
  26. Have a second child.
  27. Learn an instrument.
  28. Grow a year round garden
  29. Write for something other than my own blog.
  30. Sew a quilt
  31. Buy a Vitamix.
  32. Visit Canada.
  33. Go deep sea diving.
  34. Go on a week-long trip with just M..
  35. Go on a train trip.
  36. Try one season of a community supported agriculture subscription.
  37. Save a year’s expenses in savings.
  38. Go on a cruise.
  39. Rent an antique booth for a year.
  40. Successfully make a layered cake.

There it is! I think I can do it. What about you? What do you hope to accomplish before your next big milestone?

The Power of Eating in the Now

I have a confession. I read a self help book- and I liked it.

Lost and found

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Geneen Roth has been on Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR and everything else you’ve ever watched on TV or heard on the radio. She’s been around for a while. But maybe, like me, you missed that.

This book, in a nutshell, is about being present. Being mindful and present as an answer to life’s biggest problems is certainly no new idea. What is a bit of a unique concept is the connection that Roth makes between mindfulness and the way we treat our bodies. According to the book- and I’m paraphrasing big time- when we take the time to really pay attention to our bodies and the food we put in them, we will know what we need and therefore come to a healthier place both physically and psychologically. Mindless eating, or any compulsive behavior, is considered a result of disengaging from the present. And it makes sense when you think about it. Why would a person eat when they’re not hungry or eat food that they know will make them feel bad? According to this way of thinking, we do this because we are checked out of the present moment.

Unlike the diet industry, this book makes no claim that being a certain size is the worst thing that could happen to you. The worst thing that could happen to you, in fact, is to be so disconnected from the present that your only reference for what your body needs is a number (scale, clothing size or calorie)- again this is my interpretation of the book. The answer then is listening to your body, not shaming it, not depriving it, but learning how to feel when you’re hungry and pay attention to what your body is really telling you it needs. Really paying attention to what your body needs is not easy when you’ve spent your whole life trying to overpower your body with diets.

Whether you’re into biologypsychology, or books like Women, Food and God you can find support for the same idea. Diets can be a distraction or even part of the problem when it comes to issues with food.

After reading this book, I realize that the diets that so many of us have been on for so many years, the ones I really hope my daughter never subjects herself to, are just the flip side of mindless eating. I realize that both cause you to avoid addressing what compulsion (to eat when not hungry- a really weird habit when you think about it) is all about.

This book is (figuratively) huge; and I’m really suprised I didn’t hear of it before. I know that there are tons of people out there like me who have been caught up in the diet/indulge/regret cycle for too long. I don’t believe this book has every answer. But I love that it in a sea of books and products that only muddle the issues, Geneen Roth is looking deeper.

I’m Sensing a Pattern.

When I started this blog I did it with the intent of changing one thing a week, mostly diet or exercise-wise, in an effort to become healthier every week and therefore super healthier in the longrun.

This is how its gone so far.

Week One: I cut out caffeine.

After two days of excrutiating headaches followed by three otherwise normal coffee free days I started remembering that I’ve read tons of stuff about coffee actually being good for you. Also I love coffee. Also I’m a better person in the morning when I drink coffee. And why was I even trying to give it up?

Week Two: Add 30-minute walks daily.

This was great for both me and my awesome dog, Riggs. This change is a keeper.

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Week Three: Cut out peanuts

This lasted one day before I really wanted peanut butter which is weird because I don’t even eat peanuts or peanut butter very often. I prefer almonds. Do you see the pattern I’m seeing?

Week Four: Add 45 minute walk every week day

I love these walks. 45 minutes is really not that different from 30 minutes except I feel like more of a winner and Riggs is even happier.

Week Five: Cut out dairy.

I thought this was a really a great idea for several days and then… yeah you probably can guess.

Somewhere during this period I added vitamins, added more fruit and vegetables, upped the walk to an hour, and had five different doctor sessions revolving around my sleep issues (Good news on that front, by the way).

So it turns out I’m like a bratty kid that rebels against anything they have to do and has to be treated very carefully… by myself :/. Is that crazy? That was rhetorical.

 

Change is in the Air

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About a month ago I started blogging about making small changes weekly in order to become a healthier person over time. And look who’s biting my style this week!

This article really did have a lot of great ideas for making small healthy changes, which is apparently backed by research (Who’s a genius!?).

In my own healthy news, this week I did part two of something I have been avoiding for years.

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I slept in a tiny room while being filmed and monitored by a stranger…

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and hooked up to wires. It was a blast!

When I started talking about sincerely trying to be healthy a few months ago, M made me promise to talk to my doctor about my ungodly sleeping habits. Apparently, I kick, talk, scream, go long periods without  breathing and snore like an old man with a cold. Sexy!

My doctor referred me to a sleep specialist who referred me to a sleep lab and I suffered through sleep study #1.

It. was. awful. The night started with a stranger gluing sensors to my head,legs and neck while making me engage in small talk. It then dragged on with my waking up every hour and laying uncomfortably still so as to not dislocate any of the 2,000 wires attached to me for eight hours.

A month later the sleep specialist informed me of the results.

I snore like an old man with a cold.

I am getting half of the deep sleep that I should be getting.

My limbs move more than they should while I’m asleep; and when they do it wakes me up.

I don’t have sleep apnea but might have a deviated septum.

I had to get a second study done to see if a cpap machine would help.

The second study was last night. And… the hills are alive with the sound of music! I haven’t felt this rested in… ever. I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be 98% more alert and productive than I have been for the past ten years. And all I need is air blown in my nose all night to get back to my old self! Now that I’ve found it I won’t let it go! Please, sleep specialist, please say I can have my very own CPAP!

I’ll keep you updated.

 

 

Getting out Much

I am a total hermit by nature. I love people. I love having new experiences. But my couch… its so comfortable.

These past few months in South Carolina, though, have even been too much for me. The “thousand year flood” seems to have kicked off a monsoon-style rainy season that has gone on now for three months. Mostly, we’re now the Northwest U.S., but less progressive and with (I imagine) a little less flannel.

We had to get out of the house today because I was going to start beating my head against a wall. And miracle of miracles! It wasn’t raining (cloudy and wet, yes, but no rain).

So we got lunch and headed to The State Museum.

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We watched Polar Express in the museum’s 4D theater. N was a trooper for the whole 15 minutes! It was really fun.

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We had some free time after Polar Express, so we were able to walk around and play a little.

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M is 6’5. So N gets an extra special view everywhere we go.

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Our last stop was at the museum’s planetarium for a holiday laser show. It was a little long and N started screaming about the potty half way through. So that was cool.

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Over all, today was a reminder of how much there is to do even on a cloudy, wet day and how important it is to get out there. This year I hope to make small changes to be the healthiest person I can be. I want to fight my hermit ways and remember, going places is good for you. ❤