I have been doing a lot of reflection over the past year and wanted to share some of that here. It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update on my health journey, so I decided this was an appropriate time to sit down and take a look back on the year. Whenever I get nostalgic I always think back to a very special time in my life — 2001 and my trip to Scotland. I have told many people this, but when I was in Scotland, it felt like home. I yearn to go back. My heart flutters at the thought. I really feel like that is where my soul longs to be. I can’t explain it. It’s just how I feel. The picture above was taken at the edge of Loch Ness. Here are a few more pictures from that amazing trip.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, now, fast forward 11 years to the present. Can you believe that 2012 is almost over? I can’t. This year has just flown by.
2012 was definitely the year of change for me. In the Spring, I left my office job as a Marketing Coordinator to start working from home full-time as an Independent Marketing Consultant. I love working from home and am so grateful for the opportunity to do so. It definitely took some getting used to, but once I found my groove, it just felt right. I do admit that I miss some of my old co-workers, but thankfully, I have maintained contact with them and we do get to see each other every once in awhile. Plus, I have made new friends during that time, so that has been lovely.
Getting the opportunity to work from home was a game changer for me. Had I not gotten this opportunity, I don’t think I would have embarked on my healing journey this year. I honestly don’t think I would be able to take it on if I were still working in an office. So, for that, I am also thankful.
If you are just tuning in, let’s recap my past “Let’s Get Personal” posts. You can take a look at where I started and where my journey has taken me thus far:
- Simplifying Life, Facing Adrenal Fatigue, and Taking a Stand for my Thyroid. This was my very first post, where I laid everything out for the world to see. I am a very private person when it comes to things like this, but I am happy that I got the courage to share, because I have gotten such wonderful feedback, suggestions, comments, and support!
- Why Start Now? In this post, you’ll find out why I decided to tackle all of this right now. What is the underlying motivation for getting my body in tip-top shape?
- Getting My Ducks in A Row. I started working with my nutritional therapist, Lydia from Divine Health, as well as found an MD and an ND that I knew could help me get started on my healing journey as well. I got my bloodwork done and just had to wait for the results!
- Blood Sugar Control is Vital and How Lowering Your Carbs Can Boost Fertility. I did a lot of research on the importance of blood sugar management and discussed the blood sugar issues I was facing. I shared my research in this post.
- Hashimoto’s Disease and Dealing With a Broken Immune System. As expected, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, which is an autoimmune thyroid disease. Now, came the task of figuring out how to fix my immune system and help my body regain control.
- An Update on My Healing Journey So Far. I did spend some time reflecting on where I was at and where we had started. The road to health is a long one, at least for some of us, so it helped me to take a look at everything and get re-focused on moving forward.
- How Coconut Oil Has Been Helping Me. I have really upped my fat intake a lot since starting on my healing journey. The coconut oil is helping me in many ways, so I wanted to take some time to talk about my experience with coconut oil.
The Day it All Began
I will always remember August 1st, 2012. That was the date that I started on this healing journey. It is the date that I turned my life upside down and completely changed many, many things in my life! We are now 4 months into the journey and it’s hard to believe so much time has passed! I am thankful that I have been recording my journey, because it’s nice to look back on where I’ve been. That’s the only way to truly see how far I’ve come.
Things that I’m really proud of:
- I am proud that I was strong enough to make such radical changes to my diet. In one fail swoop, I eliminated grains, legumes, dairy, and sugar. And, it was not as hard as I expected it to be. Did I have cravings and moments of weakness? Sure, but for the most part, it has not been too difficult. I had some moments where I felt discouraged and lost motivation for cooking and baking, but that has since passed and I am now able to create new recipes tailored to my new style of eating (I’ll share some of those below).
- I am proud to say that I have lost weight. 37 pounds to be exact. Well, since August 1st, I have lost 21 pounds, but I am down a total of 37 pound from my heaviest point.
- I am proud that for the most part, I have been able to stick to my 10pm bed time for the last 4 months. This has been hard, because I always have work to do and could easily stay up until the wee hours of the morning slaving away. Not anymore. I do my best to disconnect from work at 8:30pm and spend the next hour and a half relaxing, meditating, writing, reading, or practicing yoga.
- I am proud of the fact that I have maintained, for the most part, my daily walks with the pooches, and that when I miss a day, I can honestly say that I can feel the impact of it. Mostly the mental impact, as the daily walks really have become a stress releiver for me and gives me time to be outside and re-focus.
- I am proud of the new morning routine that I have established, which helps keep me grounded and gets me energized and focused for the day. Every morning, after I feed the dogs, get my lemon water and Vitamin C concoction (thank you Lydia), I do 20-35 minutes of yoga. With daily practice, I am starting to notice a vast improvement in my yogi-ness.
- I am proud that I am starting to learn to be less uptight and controlling. It may be happening slowly, but it is happening.
- I know I have mentioned that I have had blood pressure issues in the past. I am on a very low dose medication for that. At the time my old doctor put me on them, I had lost all faith in natural remedies of any kind, so I just went with it. Recently, I took a look at my BP log and realized that my numbers were looking really good. I decided it was time to wean off of the meds. I have been working on that for about the last month and hopefully will be completely off of them some time very, very soon. Then it’s time for a liver detox. P.S. I erased and re-wrote this bullet point about 50 times. This was by far the hardest thing for me to write, because I have always felt some embarrassment and shame about it. But, it’s gonna be over soon!
- I am happy to report that my TSH has dropped from 3.18 to 2.07. My Thyroglobulin AB has dropped from 56 to 36. My Thyroid Peroxidase AB did not change according to the lab (still shows it as over 1,000), but since the labs do not break down anything over 1,000, there could have been improvement, but we just can’t tell based on that number. We will test everything in another 3 months, including all of the T3 and T4 numbers as well, since they were not included in this most recent report.
You know, as I was writing this, I fully expected to also include a list of the things I’m not proud of. But, you know what? I don’t really have a list for that. I really am pleased with how far I’ve come and I don’t really have anything that I would put on that list. As Lydia would say, “Health is a journey, not a destination“. That has taught me that we can only go at our own pace and we can’t be expected to do everything all at once. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and we will eventually look back and see how far we have come.
Let’s Talk Food
In case you didn’t notice, I write a blog that was initially founded around food.
The hardest part of this entire journey has been having to so drastically change my eating style. The most difficult area was giving up all sweeteners, even stevia. I love cooking, but baking and creating new recipes for treats and sweets is really where my heart lies. I could care less about giving up gluten, grains, and legumes. But, dairy and sweet treats were the hardest adjustment. It’s not like I was gorging myself on sugary snacks all the time, but brain is always churning with new ideas, and my sweet tooth is often the one guiding it! I was happy to find out that after not having anything sweet for so long, that just the natural sweetness of coconut is strong to me! And, I also feel worlds better, so that’s the most important thing!
Here are a few of the new recipes that have popped up since making the dietary changes.
No more potatoes for me, so my beloved steak fries are no more. I did, however, create this crispy zucchini fry recipe which hit the spot!
I never eat chicken nuggets or chicken tenders from a fast food restaurant, so that wasn’t something I had to “give up”. I did, however, like making them at home with a mix of quinoa and brown rice flours. Since I am no longer doing grains, I needed to figure something out. These crispy coconut chicken finger nuggets were born.
I love lemon blueberry muffins. In an effort to create a lower-carb, no sugar version, I concocted this recipe for lemon coconut blueberry macadamia nut muffins, and subsequently the longest recipe name ever. They are DELICIOUS. The macadamia nuts pair perfectly with the juicy blueberries and bright lemon flavor!
Fall arrived and I was craving pumpkin spice bread. I already have a recipe for pumpkin bread, which is delicious, but I wanted to try something a little different. This bread has a moist, creamy texture, and is especially delicious with a big dollop of grass-fed ghee (or butter).
These Coconut Cream Truffles are probably one of my favorite recipes. They are small and easy to make. They satisfy my taste-buds when I want a little treat. I make a big batch and store them in the freezer.
So, that’s it. That’s how I’m feeling about my journey so far. I’ve had some ups and some downs, but all in all, I am really happy with everything so far. I know that things will just continue to improve, so I’m keeping my head up and remaining optimistic.
How about you? Has 2012 been a year of change for you? Did you embark on a healing journey? I’d love to hear your successes, so leave me a comment below!
P.S. As you have heard me mention 1,000 times before, true health begins in the gut. That has been one of the main areas that Lydia and I have been focusing on for me. All autoimmune diseases (and pretty much all other diseases) can be traced to poor gut health, leaky gut, food allergies, etc. Without Lydia’s help in the area of digestion, I don’t think I would have made as much progress as I have. If you want to learn more about digestion and how improving it can improve your total health, I strongly encourage Lydia’s eCourse, “Why Your Gut is Making You Sick & What to do About it.” It is a 6 week online course in January, and I can personally attest that without her help, I would be lost! Make sure you come back on Friday, as I’ll be giving away a seat in this course!