Thyroid Recovery

by Ann Marie Michaels on March 15, 2008

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I’ve been thinking about this hypothyroid situation. Seth asked me today, “Why are you having a problem with your thyroid if you’ve been eating so healthy the past few months?”

Good question. I have an answer.

It’s due to the fact that I carried a baby for 9 months, then nursed her for 9 months. That’s 18 months of intense stress on my body.

I only started eating well (traditional foods) 5 months ago. However, I didn’t eat too bad before I got into traditional foods.

Ever since I cured myself of candida almost 15 years ago, I haven’t eaten much sugar at all. And I rarely ate fast food.

And I’ve been eating sprouted bread (Alvarado St. Bakery) most of the time since I was like 20 years old. I always liked the taste better than white bread.

I’ve also never been big on the whole low-fat diet thing. I’ve always eaten real butter and lots of cheese and meat and eggs. No margarine or low-fat cheese. And I always ate the skin on my chicken and ate full-fat meats.

This is probably why I was in relatively good health when Kate was conceived. I think the people who have a harder time are the ones who either eat lots of junk food and/or low-fat and/or are vegetarians — especially vegans.

And when I was carrying Kate, I ate a lot. I didn’t know about WAPF, so I ate stuff like donuts and burritos and cheeseburgers. But I was also eating a lot of things like eggs and steak and butter and drinking a lot of whole organic milk.

I ate this way when I was nursing, too. In fact, I think I ate even better after she was born (since I wasn’t suffering from morning sickness or heartburn). Every day, I would drink lots of milk and eat ice cream and every night I’d make a big dinner consisting of chicken or beef or fish, often with brown rice and butter and a big salad with oil and vinegar.

My health was fine until after I stopped nursing — in December. That was when I stopped eating well. I wanted to lose weight so I cut out grains and ate very low-carb. Not only that, but I really cut down on calories. I have only been eating one meal a day for the past few months.

Which may be fine under normal circumstances (before I got pregnant, I used to only eat one meal a day) but I think my body is run down now. I still need to rebuild my nutritional stores. Even though I am longer breastfeeding, I still need to eat a very nutrient dense diet — to rebuild what was depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Pregnancy and nursing take a huge toll on our bodies. It’s no wonder that we are nutritionally deficient after pregnancy and childbirth and extended breastfeeding.

So… here’s what I think… in addition to the supplements I’m taking (the ones Dr. Cowan recommends, which I started on yesterday), I need to eat more, and more nutrient dense foods. I’m going to try to go back to 2-3 meals a day.

The problem is — maybe it’s the thyroid thing — but I’m just not very hungry. I will have to eat smaller meals and eat more often during the day.

Today I actually felt a lot better. I had two meals. For breakfast, we went to Dinah’s Fried Chicken. I know, restaurant food. Not optimal. But at least I was eating!

I ordered 3 eggs over easy and hash browns and I asked them to cook them in butter, not oil. With that I had 1.5 pieces of fried chicken (I know, not ideal — but it’s Dinah’s; I could not resist) and some fresh fruit. No white flour — so that was good.

I had a glass of kefir in the afternoon. For dinner, I made seared ahi tuna on a bed of steamed spinach with rice wine vinegar, with a salad of apples and pears with “crispy walnuts” dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. And brown rice that I made with chicken broth instead of water.

I’ll drink a big glass (10-12 ounces) of raw milk or kefir before bed.

I’m going to start eating something every morning
— either toasted sprouted bread with butter and raw honey or eggs and cheese… or oatmeal with butter and raw whole milk.

I’m not a big lunch person but I’ll try to snack during the day with kefir or cheese or eggs. I’ll try to eat at least two eggs a day.

I’ll make a nice big dinner every night.
Meat lasagna or steak or fish with salad or homemade soup. And potatoes or rice.

And I’m going to drink a lot more raw milk.
I think I will make some raw milk ice cream tomorrow and try to eat that every night for dessert.

And I’m going to try to incorporate broth into as many soups and sauces as possible.

I’m going to hold off on doing the GAPS diet with Seth. Right now I need to focus on getting myself healthy. I don’t want to limit dairy or other foods for now.

And I’m going to be better about taking my cod liver oil. I’ve been lax lately. And incorporate more coconut oil.

Yeah, it may take me a while to lose the baby weight. But right now I need to focus on getting healthy. I don’t think my thyroid condition is going to improve until I build up my nutritional stores. And I need to be really healthy so before can even think about trying to conceive again.

My friend Marcia said she didn’t lose the baby weight until 4 years after she gave birth. I think sometimes your body hangs on to the weight because it needs to. And trying to diet too soon is risky.

The thing is, if your thyroid is screwed up due to nutritional deficiencies, you can’t lose weight anyway, not matter how much you try.

I didn’t realize how hard it is on your body to be pregnant and carry a child. Add nursing on top of that and it’s a huge undertaking. It’s like running a marathon — for over a year!

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