I’m living proof that diet and lifestyle do matter when it comes to living well with hypothyroidism.
After 4 years of feeling sick and tired every day, I had forgotten what it felt like to have energy or feel like myself. I was sick all the time, had debilitating symptoms, and my life was slowly falling apart. It was impossible to live the life I wanted to live or be the person I wanted to be, even on thyroid medication and with "normal" labs.
It was time for a change.
By shifting to a whole-health approach to my Hashimoto's management, including not only medication but also diet and lifestyle changes, I got my life back. Within months I had lowered my thyroid antibodies by half. My energy was back, and with it, my zest for life!
My transformation was also my awakening to the power we have over how we feel, based on the choices we make.
My Hypothyroid Chef Metamorphosis
Since my hypothyroidism diagnosis in 2011 (which eventually and more accurately became a Hashimoto's diagnosis) my entire relationship with food has changed.
I've always loved to cook and eat, and cooked professionally for many years. As I became a trained chef and bona fide foodie, food was all about hedonism: What do I WANT to eat, and how can I create it? Crispy, salty, sweet, crunchy, juicy, meaty, creamy, yummy? What's it gonna be today?
Those words were the goals. But eating with only those hedonistic goals in mind, once I had Hashimoto's, left me feeling like a brain-fogged, bloated, exhausted, and unhappy zombie!
When I began this healing journey I started with a decent skillset and felt like I was eating "healthy" with home-cooked meals, little processed food, and a commitment to buying organic. It was a good foundation, but I still had a lot to learn and unlearn about food.
Food is more than just pleasure, comfort, or fuel to me now. Food is:
- Fertilizer for a healthy gut
- A powerful beauty product
- A reliable brain fog preventer
- Longevity insurance
- An effective detoxifier
- A quality of life determinant
- A powerful energy source
- A form of self-respect
As Thyroid Thrivers, food is one of the most powerful tools in our toolbox. Don't get me wrong-- food should always be about pleasure, enjoyment, and community! But if we want to feel well, our choices about food must get passed through an upgraded filter: Will this food serve and support my wellbeing, or diminish it?
I am a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and cooking instructor, thyroid health advocate, recipe developer, writer, and Functional Medicine Health Coach (Candidate, Class of Sept 2022). I've been creating thyroid-friendly recipes and lifestyle content since 2015.
Please, don't be intimidated by the "chef" part. I'm also a busy mom and business owner who needs meal times to be quick and simple. These days I use my professional background and skills to develop real-world recipes using time-saving kitchen techniques, easy flavor-boosting hacks, and thyroid-supportive ingredients.
We all want to eat well and feel well, without spending all day in the kitchen. That's why I specialize in recipes that are:
- Quick & Easy
I also love to deep-dive on specific ingredients that can be beneficial to incorporate into our cooking; things like ginger, turmeric, cilantro, or fermented foods, just to name a few.
Most importantly, I don't share a recipe unless it's 100% delicious.
What does "thyroid-healthy" eating mean?
Because we all have unique dietary triggers and needs, there is no one-size-fits-all thyroid-healthy diet. But after years of reading, researching, and interviewing the leading doctors and experts on thyroid health, I've identified some common threads that run through this concept.
According to the experts, thyroid-healthy eating is anti-inflammatory, gut health-supportive, nutrient-dense, and ultimately, personalized.
Learn More: What is Thyroid-healthy Eating?
A thyroid-healthy diet can take a lot of different forms, so I do my best to offer options that fit YOUR needs, and that follow the common-core recommendations echoed by several experts including Dr. Izabella Wentz, Mary Shomon, Aviva Romm MD, Amy Myers MD, Mickey Trescott, Dr. Alan Christianson, and Dr. Terry Wahls (just to name a few of my favorites).
I cook with lots of organic produce, clean animal protein, and healthy fats. I also focus on dietary templates like gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and AIP, because while the long-term ideal is a personalized, bio-individual diet, these templates make good starting points. They also make recipe searching easier, and give us a vocabulary we can use to communicate as Thyroid Thrivers on various dietary paths.
What I hope you'll find here are ways to honor your unique dietary needs, incorporate more thyroid-supportive ingredients, and try new things!
It's not just a diet, it's a lifestyle.
Food may be an essential piece of the healing puzzle, but it isn't the only piece. When it comes to feeling well with hypothyroidism, it takes more than just the right food. It's your bedtime, your stress levels, your support system, your supplements, your physical activity, the right medical care... In other words, it's not one thing, it's all the things!
Thyroid-healthy living is a huge passion of mine-- not just WHAT we need to do to feel better, but HOW we can successfully and sustainably do it. Without the right tools, support, and resources, it can be overwhelming.
Over the years, I've developed a fun and simple approach to thyroid-healthy living that works for real people, living busy lives. From 2018 to 2021 I coached hundreds of fellow Thyroid Thrivers through Thyroid Refresh® and our THYROID30® wellness adventures. You will find some amazing lifestyle courses available here, thanks to Thyroid Refresh. (And for those of you who participated in and loved THYROID30, please know that I do hope to rekindle that here, in some form. Stay tuned!)
We thrive best when we journey together.
Most of us are going to be dealing with our thyroid issues for life, so it's important to enjoy the ride-- even with its inevitable ups and downs.
I used to call myself a #thyroidwarrior, but I got tired of being at war with my body and decided to accept and embrace this perfectly imperfect body, with all its quirks, gifts, and needs. These days, I prefer to call myself a #thyroidthriver. If you're a Thyroid Thriver (or want to be one), I invite you to journey along with me. Years of working with, creating recipes for, and coaching other Thyroid Thrivers have cemented my belief that we thrive best when we journey together.
My mission: To help you go from "Hopeless with Hypothyroidism," to certified, "Thyroid Thriver," and have fun doing it! If you're already a Thyroid Thriver, I'm here to keep you inspired, empowered, and on the healing path.
Welcome to Hypothyroid Chef, where there's always a seat at the table for you. I LOVE what I do, and I am so honored that you're here.
Wishing you the Best of Health,
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