I sit here writing this as my husband eats a giant sub from Jersey Mikes- bread, tomatoes, deli meat, banana peppers, soda. Am I shooting daggers at his back with my eyes? Am I planning a way to accidentally knock his sandwich to the floor so Nash can gobble it up? Nope! I'm doing OK! (But someday, I will eat sandwiches. As God as my witness, I WILL EAT SANDWICHES!)
"So, what can you eat?" Is the question I get asked a lot. Kudos to my sister Danielle and husband Zack who have pretty much memorized all the things I can and can't eat! One night Zack complained he was confused about what I could eat- so I started naming every food I could think of and asking him if it was a "Yes" or "No" food and after that he was good to go. Two things that are not a good idea with AIP: Me asking someone "well what should I eat?"- that's just asking to get unfairly irritated with them for not inherently knowing what you can and can't have. And even worse, when other people ask you what THEY should eat. Don't ask me what kind of bread to get. Don't ask me what type of fast food you should have for dinner. And whatever you do, don't stare at my pantry for 10 minutes and say there's nothing for you to snack on. I literally have one third of one shelf in that pantry of food I can eat and it's mostly ingredients! Go away!
I've still felt great the past 11 days since I posted last. No stomach aches or headaches, I'm sleeping great, and not feeling "foggy-headed" during the day (which a is a trademark of thyroid issues). I've also lost about 7 lbs which is not too shabby for 17 days.
Last week I purchased tigernut flour, arrowroot starch, and coconut flour to try my hand at baking. Tigernut flour is NOT a nut, it is actually a ground up tuber. I've been able to make some banana pancakes, a tigernut flour waffle, banana-blueberry breakfast muffins, and some kind of weird crumbly dinner rolls. Also, have you ever had 100% pure maple syrup? I bought some and I had no idea how delicious it was- and how strange normal maple syrup is in comparison. And let me tell you about coconut aminos- it is a no-soy replacement of soy sauce made from aged coconut tree sap and see salt and it is wonderful!
Then there was the night I spent a couple hours making butternut squash soup that was a total bust but I forced it down for the sake of the nutrients. The hard part of this is that even when I don't like how a recipe turns out I kind of have to eat it anyway because my options are so limited.
Fruit and I still have a love/hate relationship. I love to eat fruit and it is definitely an AIP approved snack but fruit is naturally full of sugar and too much of that in one day is not good. I've tried to find some non-fruit snack items and have had little success. Another issue is the time it takes to prepare food. The other day, for example, I was rushing to a meeting at ASU and there was no time to prepare anything for lunch-usually making lunch involves defrosting, sauteing, mixing, chopping and other kinds of work. Rather than run late I ended up just eating an avocado- which did hold me over until about 7 o'clock when I was starving. Once you get to the point where you are that hungry, it is incredibly easy to talk yourself into cheating. The major thing that keeps me from cheating, however, is knowing that suddenly introducing food would probably make me feel all kinds of sick.
The other day I went to my sister's house for family dinner and they were eating the most delicious beans and tortillas and I literally had to just go home before I broke and shoved a tortilla in my mouth. Tonight I ate at my parents' house and brought my own side dish (sauteed zucchini) and ate a steak my dad grilled while everyone else had steak, bread, potatoes and corn. It's hit or miss with eating around other people- sometimes I can but if it's truly delectable food (like Carolina's beans and tortillas!) I just have to acknowledge my lack of willpower.
Since I am getting ready to go to Indonesia sooner than later, I've started to think about my re-introduction phase. Originally I wanted to follow the first part of the protocol for 6 weeks but I think I can only do 4 weeks with my time constraints. I'm a little nervous about how I will react to some things I introduce, but there's a lot of good reading out there from people who have done it. If I have a reaction to a food I reintroduce, I need to carefully log my symptoms and make a decision of if the food is something I need to eliminate entirely or just limit. The main things I have to re-introduce are:
Cow's milk, cow's cheese, chicken eggs, bell peppers, chilies, peanuts, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, coffee.
I do not plan on having soy in my diet at all if I can help it. Processed foods and sugar-filled items will probably always be limited for me (and really should be limited for everyone!) I am prepared to feel some symptoms with trying out gluten (it's pretty common with thyroid disorders) but my sister Mindy knows all the good GF foods and restaurants and makes being gluten free seem pretty easy (and tasty) since she has a gluten intolerance. I've had eggs my entire life so I really, truly hope I am not sensitive to them! The only thing I have "cheated" with is potato products and I had a stomach ache immediately after so I do not anticipate eating lots of 'taters in my future.
Busy, busy: I have seriously slacked off when it came to working out and only ran a few miles this week. I know that working out makes me feel better and more energized and will help with weight loss, but it also makes me more hungry and there's just not a lot out there to eat! On the other hand, I have been super productive with my work. My focus right now is getting together all of the materials for my research visa to Indonesia, editing my dissertation prospectus, and submitting my project to the IRB for approval. Coming up I have to take a little road trip to LA to visit the Indonesian consulate and I am hoping to visit some friends in SoCal along the way home.
13 days left! I am hoping to see even more improvements! Thanks for supporting me!
*All the recipes I've made can be found on my Pinterest page under the "Thyroid" board!