Another Discovery…

Untitled-1So this is interesting…Recently my mom has been having severe rashes/infections mainly on her face. After going from one dermatologist to the next and finding no solution for this, she finally went to a integrative medicine doctor who diagnosed her with Candida Overgrowth. Apparently this is an autoimmune issue that is VERY difficult to treat. My mom was already sticking to a very healthy diet but she had to switch to the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet which is incredibly restrictive due to the nature of her autoimmunity. Every time she tries to reintroduce something back into her diet, such as tomatoes, her face flares up again. This rash is very painful and ugly. I feel so bad for her. Unfortunately it can take months and months of sticking to the diet that YOU FINALLY FIGURE OUT WORKS for this to subside.

While researching this candida issue, I came across some information that suggests that candida overgrowth may be linked to Hashimoto, Lupus, MS, etc. (all autoimmune issues). My mom also has Hashimoto as do I. I think I may request that I am tested for this Candida overgrowth myself!! Perhaps this is something contributing to my Hashimoto thyroiditis. I definitely think, for me, that it’s worth looking into with my Integrative Medicine Dr.

To read more on Candida, click HERE and to learn about the Autoimmune Protocol diet click HERE.

Click HERE for another great site with information on Candida along with diet tips.


26 Genius Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV_Feat_V2I haven’t been feeling under the weather, per say, but allergies are kicking my butt! I found this great post about Apple Cider Vinegar and thought I’d share. I’m going to try a couple of these remedies for sinus issues , more energy AND for the next time I break out!

Click here to check out the 26 GENIUS WAYS TO USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.

Great Article on Autoimmunity…

I came across this great article today on Autoimmunity… I’ll post a part of it here and then a link beneath so you can go read the rest and check out the author.

What I Learned From Interviewing 39 Experts in Autoimmunity

Autoimmune disease has become a modern day epidemic. If you aren’t one of the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from at least one autoimmune disease, you likely know someone who is. Conventional medicine views diseases like rheumatoid arthritis,lupusmultiple sclerosis, and other debilitating conditions as chronic, and only manageable with strong, immunosuppressive medications that have their own long list of side effects. When I myself was diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease called Graves’ disease while in medical school, I started down the conventional path–which was, in my case, harsh medications and the eventual ablation of my thyroid.

I knew there had to be a safer, more natural way to heal my malfunctioning immune system, and I made it my mission to not let conventional medicine fail anyone the way it had failed me.

WANT TO READ MORE? CLICK HERE! This website has TONS of great information on autoimmunity.

Quick Dinner…

FullSizeRenderI have been hit with the WORST allergies! Apparently if you move to Austin, TX  you will be hit with the cedar fever at some point in time, and I guess this is my time. That said, I wasn’t feeling so great when I got home last night but didn’t want to cave in to that and eat takeout or something like that. So I tossed up a meal that was really fast and easy…and it tasted delicious.

I dug through the fridge and found Brussels Sprouts, an Onion, Garlic, Bell Pepper, a Sweet Potato and some Sausage…

I chopped up the sweet potato and seasoned it with olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper and threw that into the oven to bake. While that was baking I chopped up the onion, more garlic, bell pepper and sausage. I then sauteed the sausage in olive oil to get it nice and brown.. I added the veggies to the pan, sauteed them up as well. The sweet potatoes were done around the same time and I just sort of mixed it all together. Came out GREAT and I had enough for my lunch today!!

I’m still learning to cook and I think I did a pretty good job of throwing something together!

STOP the Thyroid Madness!

When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroid Disease I went to my endocrinologist, like anyone else would, and was prescribed Synthroid. After a few weeks I started feeling a little better, but I still had chronic pain and some degree of fatigue. After months and months of complaining to my Dr. and him saying that my thyroid levels were within the normal rage and that this was all in my head, it dawned on me that as much as I appreciate modern medicine and doctors, I needed to be a full participant in my health and wellness. This meant RESEARCH. In my experience, doctors seem to treat you like one size fits all – and that just wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life feeling the way I did! I was only 30 years old and I felt like I was a senior citizen. Awful. And no thank you.

I feel like it took me longer than it should have to figure out that my doctor wasn’t necessary doing me any good, which I kick myself for because I spent a good amount of time feeling like crap, crying, wondering if I was going to have to live that way for the rest of my life. But I think that when you’re in that state and you’re not well, it’s probably not abnormal to believe what your doctor says.

So began the research…

Eventually I stumbled upon this website: Stop the Thyroid Madness. This website was a huge  help in pointing me in the right direction as to what kind of doctor I needed to seek out, the different types of thyroid medications, the many other symptoms or autoimmunity’s associated with thyroid disorders, etc.

First of all I found that taking Synthroid was NOT in  my best interest. As stated on the Stop the Thyroid Madness website:

“Technically, it’s a synthetic crystalline L-3,3′,5,5′-tetraiodothyronine sodium salt. Doctors have been prescribing Synthroid for over 50 years to treat hypothyroidism. Before that time, the only treatment for hypothyroidism was natural desiccated thyroid, which appeared to work well for a good seven decades before Synthroid entered the arena.”

Synthroid is a T4 only medication but T4 is only one of the five hormones that are made by the thyroid – the others being T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. I personally never felt “normal” on Synthroid. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. At one point I had WORSE pain and fatigue than I did BEFORE I started on the Synthroid. Let me back up for a minute, the symptoms I get when my thyroid isn’t being treated properly or is “off, are very similar to fibromyalgia (joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, etc.). I think the reason for the way my body responded to Synthroid is because a healthy thyroid doesn’t make you totally depend on a conversion alone. T4 is simply a storage hormone meant to convert to T3, the active hormone. A healthy thyroid give, along with converting your storage hormone (T4) to T3, gives you DIRECT T3 plus T2, TI and calcitonin.

They thyroid and the different disorders and/ or diseases associated with it can be very complicated to treat. The thyroid is a complicated little gland!! But it’s in charge of so much for your body!

During my research I started bouncing around from doctor to doctor. I refused to go to a doctor who didn’t treat thyroid disorders with natural desiccated thyroid (desiccated thyroid is natural and gives you exactly what your own thyroid would be giving you: T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin). But even still, all doctors treat the thyroid differently. It’s crazy. Slowly but surely I started feeling better on the natural medications, but not 100%. Eventually I ended up working with an integrative medicine doctor and that just changed my life. I was FINALLY on the right path for the medication part of my disease. I STILL work with my doctor, who is in California (I’m in Austin now), over the phone. I have my medication compounded at a compound pharmacy and I’ve been doing this for years now.

I wish the story ended here, but it doesn’t…

I still have an autoimmune problem – three of them to be exact (Hashimoto, Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia). So, although I’m medicated properly, I still run in to the same issues.. fatigue, joint pain, etc. The fibromyalgia still affects me even though I keep a good diet and workout regimen. But there are very definite triggers that will make it flair up such as high stress, lack of sleep, etc. I’m still very much affected by my autoimmune problems but I feel that now it’s much more managed and less extreme.

So, I’m definitely a work in progress. I am doing GREAT. I have found that along with the proper medication, maintaining consistency with working out and DIET that I feel so much better most of the time.

I’m still learning. I started his blog because I wanted a place to document and tell my story and maybe that might help someone else. Because the truth is, there is no ONE fix for any of this. It takes effort, research, time, energy, commitment, consistency, finding a good doctor, etc.

Really quickly… Some info I’ve learned on autoimmunity…

My doctor explained to me that autoimmunity’s, although to some degree can be treated medically, also rely on diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress levels… etc.

In autoimmune diseases the body attacks itself. It does this the same way it attacks foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses: with T-cells, B-cells, natural killer cells, and cytotoxic T cells. The immune response also involves proteins called cytokines, chemical messengers that pass messages between cells. This self-attack by the immune system increases inflammation.

That is the short explanation of what an autoimmune disease is.

I’m learning that diet is a HUGE part of battling autoimmune disease. A bad diet can cause inflammation in your system alone – so imagine that along with the inflammation happening from the autoimmune disease. For example, with thyroid disease, First, inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Inflammation disrupts the production and regulatory mechanisms of thyroid hormones.

Second, inflammation decreases both the number and sensitivity of thyroid hormone receptors. If there aren’t enough receptors, or they aren’t sensitive enough, it doesn’t matter how much thyroid medication we take. The cells won’t be able to use it.

Third, inflammation decreases the conversion of T4 to T3. T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. The body has to convert it to the active T3 form before it can be used. Most synthetic hormone medications on the market are T4. If you give a T4 medication (like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Unithroid, etc.) to someone with inflammation, it’s not going to work because they can’t convert the T4 to T3.

That is just one small example of how inflammation can wreak havoc on your body.

That said, I’m working on my diet. I’m starting with a strict Paleo diet, eliminating a bunch of food such as dairy, grains, sugar, etc. Eventually I will reintroduce some food back into my diet and see how my body tolerates it. Right now, my antibodies are very high – which means they are attacking my thyroid gland (Hashimoto) – this is why my doctor has suggested getting very strict with  my diet and see if there are any changes.

I will keep posting as I continue on my journey with autoimmunity, diet, exercise – really converting my lifestyle to one that works well with my body. I’m learning how to cook great food and yes, some days are more challenging that others, but that’s okay. The long term benefits are going to be better for me than if I just sit on my butt and do nothing to heal my body.


Thanks for reading!


Some Days….


Some days are harder than others… Today is one of them. With my fibro I’ve found that I’ve gotta KEEP MOVING! If I give in to the pain and fatigue then it’s ten times worse, and it remains that way. Working through the pain/fatigue always seems to be the key to feeling better .. But man, some days I just want to lay down!!

I’ll keep on moving though.. Even a nice walk will help… I noticed a pattern over the last year… I would feel like crap, lay in bed resting, take it super easy, didn’t challenge myself and guess what?! I felt WORSE overall AND for longer periods of time. I finally picked myself up and pushed through it. I started off slowly – walking. I then added light weights and worked up to doing some of the Tracy Anderson workouts (which I love!) FullSizeRenderEverything I did was low impact but it was getting my body moving. I slowly started feeling better and have worked my way up to HIT circuit workouts!  I can say that I feel better over all from keeping my workouts consistent. I’ve noticed that if i take a few days off, I feel like I do today, crappy, tired, head achy. No fun!

If you’re in the same boat as me, challenge yourself to push through the pain and fatigue, even if it’s something small, like a walk. It’s worth trying out… I did when I was at my worst and on an average day I’m doing and feeling so much better than I was a year ago! Plus, my body is shaping up and of course who doesn’t love feeling strong and healthy!

Crockpot Paleo Thai Stew Recipe

CaptureI tried out this amazing recipe over the weekend from the Against All Grain cookbook. It came out really nice – wonderful flavor. IMG_8291It took me about 45 minutes to prep before it went into the crock pot. Sooo worth it! It makes 6-8 servings – I’m going to freeze some of it. I’m trying to stock my freezer with the healthy meals I cook – it’s so time consuming to be constantly cooking! I’m hoping in a few months I will have a nice stockpile in my freezer so that I’m not having to cook SO MUCH every week/day!! You can find the recipe on the Against all Grain website as well.

Raising a Real Food Generation in the Real World

CaptureI came across a great website today – RAISING GENERATION NOURISHED – which has some awesome information and recipes for feeding babies, natural health and home remedies, etc. They have a Feeding Nourished Babies Series, a great resource to help “waded through mainstream medicine’s processed baby food recommendations so you can make your own decisions on what is best to feed *your* baby to nourish their growing minds and bodies!” I don’t have kids, but if I’m every lucky enough to have a family, I would definitely focus on feeding them healthy, NOURISHING foods from the start. Check out their website:  Raising Generation Nourished


a few good reads[6]As I’ve been researching and trying to figure out how to deal with my autoimmune problems, I’ve come across some great websites and books that are so helpful with tons of information and AIP and/or Paleo recipes:

The Paleo Mom – This website includes great recipes, information, podcasts and much more. She also has an amazingly informative book – The Paleo Approach – Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. It’s A LOT of information but worth reading.

Against All Grain – Anther wonderfully informative website created by Danielle Walker – she talks about her journey, has great recipes as wells as a couple of books out.

Autoimmune Paleo – Great articles, recipes, cookbooks and resources

These websites are great for learning more on autoimmunity as well as just healthy living and healthy eating in general. You’ll find that diet is the MOST IMPORTANT part of fighting autoimmune problems.