My autoimmune/thyroid elimination diet
News & Notes
Thanks for all the comments on our awesome new apartment! Matt and I are still working on getting the place set up, and we’ve got furniture deliveries scheduled through the next couple weeks, but hopefully come May, I’ll be able to show you what it looks like all finished and purty.
As promised, today I’m going to tell you the details of the autoimmune/thyroid elimination diet that my doctor put me on recently after diagnosing my Hashimoto’s disease. Please remember that this is not intended as medical advice to anyone out there; it’s merely a look into the current regimen I’m doing as we’re working to get my inflammation under control.
Just since my post last Tuesday, I have received hundreds of comments, emails, Facebook messages, etc. Though most of them were simply words of encouragement and support, I was truly shocked by how many are from people who have an autoimmune disease, or have a child who has one, or know someone who has one, or suspects they have one. Clearly, the demand for allergy- and autoimmune-friendly food is far greater than I ever realized. The good news is that I’ll now be able to provide some much-needed information, recipes, and coaching to this oft-neglected sector of eaters. I’m actually really excited about that aspect!
So here’s my big announcement. I’ve spent dozens of hours in just the last week replying to the aforementioned comments and emails, and considering my schedule and responsibilities (including caring for my own health), I can’t afford to dedicate as much free time to that from here on out. However, I now recognize how many people out there need a friendly ear to listen to their story, someone committed to helping them investigate symptoms and root out slippery health problems, someone eager to point them toward cooperative doctors, reliable advice and information, and helpful books and websites. I am ready to be that person for you. I want to help you find answers, connect dots, and become an advocate for your own health. As such, I’m pleased to announce I’ve updated my Coaching page to reflect my new interest in helping others solve and overcome their health woes related (but not limited) to autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, adrenal dysfunction, food allergies and intolerances, and other mysterious symptoms and unresolved health problems. If you want to start finding answers to why you don’t feel your best, please don’t hesitate to contact me and enlist me as your health coach and advocate.
Now, on to the diet!
The following are lists of what I can and cannot currently eat. I must eat immediately upon waking and every 1-2 hours after that, all the way up until bedtime, to keep my blood sugar stable. I also have to include a good amount of protein or fat at every meal (i.e. no purely-carbohydrate meals or snacks).
WHAT I CAN EAT
- Most non-starchy vegetables (excluding nightshades; see section below): asparagus, spinach, romaine, Swiss chard, kale, watercress, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, artichokes, garlic, onions, zucchini, squash, rhubarb, etc. My doctor has also given me the ok to eat limited amounts of sweet potatoes, as long as they’re accompanied by plenty of protein and/or fat (like coconut butter). Cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, etc.) are best eaten cooked, not raw, as the goitrogens they contain can inhibit thyroid function in susceptible people like myself.
- Fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, coconut yogurt, kefir, kombucha, etc.
- Low-glycemic fruits: berries, cherries, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, avocados
- Coconut: coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut meat, coconut milk
- Seeds: chia seeds, hempseeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Olives: olives and olive oil
- Non-nutritive sweeteners: stevia, xylitol, erythritol
- Seasonings: sea salt, dried herbs and spices
- Raw, vegan, gluten-free protein powders: Apex Energetics, Sunwarrior, PlantFusion
- Limited amounts of superfoods: maca, mesquite, bee pollen, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, cacao powder, cacao butter
- Animal products: organic meats and non-polluted fish are allowed in this program, but I am not eating any animal foods.
WHAT I CANNOT EAT
- Sugars: table sugar, honey, agave or coconut nectar, molasses, corn syrup, rice syrup, coconut palm sugar, etc.
- High-glycemic fruits: watermelon (::sniffle::), mango, pineapple, banana, raisins, dates, other dried fruits, etc.
- Grains and pseudograins: wheat, oats, rice, barley, buckwheat, corn, spelt, amaranth, kamut, millet, quinoa, etc.
- Any other gluten-containing foods: seitan, salad dressings, ketchup, soy sauce, other condiments, etc.
- Dairy: milk, whey, cheese, cream, butter, etc.
- Soy: soymilk, tofu, tempeh, soy protein, vegetable oils, etc.
- Alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, sake, liqueurs, etc.
- Coffee or tea
- Nuts: cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts
- Legumes: beans, lentils, peanuts
- Nightshade plants: white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers
I’m wary of going into detail about my supplementation regimen, simply because it’s VERY specific to my body’s issues, but I’ll tell you the basics.
- Protein powders as listed above, 2-4 scoops per day. Since I am not including animal products in my plan, and my body absorbs protein poorly right now, it’s especially important that I get plenty of hypoallergenic plant protein on a daily basis. The Apex Energetics ClearVite protein powder my doctor gave me also contains vitamins, minerals, and herbs for enhanced nutrition and digestion.
- A supplement formulated to help soothe, heal, and repair my intestinal lining and encourage beneficial bacteria to take up residence in my GI tract
- A supplement to kill the H. pylori bacteria in my stomach and strengthen my flagging immune system
- A very powerful probiotic
My supplementation regimen will change as time goes on; in a couple months, I may even be on a completely different set of supplements.
And there you have it! Things are going to change pretty rapidly as the weeks and months go by, but I promise to keep you updated.
Best of all, soon I’m going to start creating and posting autoimmune- and thyroid-friendly recipes as I play around with this diet. Any requests?
Thank you all, again, for your love and support as I dedicate myself to healing!