Wow, this post comes after a very long lapse in blogging. I caught myself shifting from blog posts to Facebook posts in the last few months – but I’m realizing that it’s just not the same thing. The distinction between posting short ponderings on Facebook and more well-developed posts on my blog is an important one for me. I see that now.
Part of my infrequent posting on here is due to the fact that I’m not exactly sure what this blog IS yet… And that’s okay.
What I do know is that it is my desire to share with you little tidbits of information or experiences of mine that might have the potential to inspire you as you travel your unique path. That said, I feel a little scattered on this blog because my interests are so broad – sometimes it’s life ponderings, dietary explorations, entrepreneurship and productivity, recaps from my teaching and performance adventures… But, I suppose that’s why I call it “Life Uplifted,” because I don’t feel the separateness of any of these components in my life. They all influence one another – through how they change me and help me to unfurl – in a most beautiful way. Maybe someday I’ll create separate blogs: one that’s entrepreneurial, one that’s inspirational, one that focuses on health and healing, etc. But, alas, not today.
That said, I have some VERY exciting news in the realm of personal health and healing that I just knew I needed to share with you on here.
I AM HEALING MYSELF OF THYROID ISSUES EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH DIET AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES!
So, here’s the scoop. I’ll give it to you in timeline format, because it’s more fun that way:
Slowly started assimilating green smoothies into my diet
(*slowly, meaning not adding very many greens in the blender. Too strong. Bleh!)
Why: Curious about raw foods & their potential to simultaneously nourish & heal. Because… I was just coming out of a 4-mo bout of walking pneumonia + eye infection + kidney infection.
End of 2010
Found a Naturopath, Got Bloodwork Done
Why: I wanted to see where my body was at. I felt tired and unbalanced. My digestion was not feeling great (discomfort, bloating), but I was already off gluten and dairy, so…
LAB RESULTS: I was given a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s (basically, auto-immune induced hypothyroidism). My TSH was almost double the normal level, and my body was producing a really high amount of antibodies that were, essentially, trying to attack my thyroid (by blocking the receptor sites for TSH).
Treatment: The Naturopathic Doctor’s treatment plan was to put me on “natural” thyroid medication which, she said, I would need to take for the rest of my life. WHOA, problem. Red flags came up for me immediately. Two things: relying on medication “for the rest of my life” for any ailment is not an option in my mind (or, let’s call it last resort) and secondly, the fact that my thyroid deficiencies were auto-immune induced told me that there was something more behind it all, and something else that I must be able to do to heal and, quite frankly, rebalance this simple immune deficiency. All that said, I did NOT take the thyroid medication. Thanks, but no thanks.
My Thoughts: We are programmed to get scared when doctors (MDs and NDs) “diagnose” us with some disease or ailment. We almost become that disease, and we can actually exacerbate symptoms by our fearful thoughts about it, about what it means for us, about what’s going to happen to us, and so forth …I HATE the word “diagnosis”. I HATE the word “disease”. These are absolutely crippling labels that instill fear and disconnect people from the incredible ability that their own body has to heal and self-regulate. (I’ve had 23 surgeries in my lifetime. I’m very attuned to what my body responds to and what it doesn’t. And, as far as coping an healing go, I’m tough as nails!)
I much prefer addressing ailments as “imbalances” or “deficiencies.” From there, the healing becomes more about re-balancing and replenishing… Sometimes from a soul level of putting yourself first and reconnecting with your inherent worth and your own re-generative/creative/healing powers. But, here’s the deal: Healing in this manner requires that you believe you are worthy, because it is that level of self-love that will enable you to cultivate the awareness and self-discipline needed to create significant shifts in your body. You have to believe that it is in your power to live a vibrant, healthy life. You have to believe that you are capable of making AND sticking to the necessary changes. You have to believe in yourself. There is and will only ever be one you. You are so important! So, take good care.
What I Did Post-Lab Results: I declined the thyroid medication and decided to dig further into raw foods as my source of healing the immune imbalance that was causing my thyroid issues. Went about 70% raw for the first 6mos of the year.
Went 100% raw for almost 3 months on a high fruit, low fat version of the raw food lifestyle. Lots of greens. Lots of juicing. This type of raw food diet felt pretty good during these warm months.
As the weather got colder, my body was less energized by the amount of fruit I was eating, so I went off 100% raw and started incorporating soups and a few cooked meals into my diet.
Started taking hot yoga. Worked up to about 5 days a week. Stopped just recently, about to travel abroad all summer, but plan to reinstate yoga in the Fall.
I stopped ingesting fluoride by only drinking/using filtered water. Because… For about 2 years, I have been researching the potential negative effects of fluoride when ingested into the body (it’s added to most city water systems). I have had an incomprehensible amount of dental work over the course of my young life, including an intense dental implant surgery that came to a close about 3 years ago now. I have been exposed to lots of fluoride. I have ingested lots of fluoride. One noteworthy finding In my research: I learned that up until the ’70s, doctors used to prescribe fluoride to patients who had an *overactive* thyroid to suppress it back to normal function…. Well guess what? Most people nowadays have issue with underactive thyroid (weight problems, fatigue). Interesting. Since my auto-immune induced Hahimoto’s lowered my thyroid function, I felt that it could only help to cut of my exposure to any unnecessary fluoride ingestion. So I did, and have only been using filtered water (I buy it from Whole Foods or PCC) for everything from drinking to washing produce, bathing, and cooking. I don’t drink water/eats soups in restaurants and such either because it is almost certainly fluoridated water. (I carry lots of water with me wherever I go!) Is this a hassle or a sacrifice? NOPE! Because it makes me feel great! I’m feeling more “me” and more alive day by day. It’s magnificent, really, and I can’t wait to see how I feel 2 months from now, or 5 years from now.
My 70% raw diet balance slipped way down during the winter. I decided to bring it back up to that percentage, if not higher, now. But, this time I’m going with the lower sugar content version of raw food eating – still lots and lots of greens, but light on the fruits. Adding in lots of seeds, nuts, oils, and avocados.
Today, June 13, 2012
WOOHOO! I found out that my TSH levels dropped by half an now they’re at perfect levels. And, the antibodies that were roaming around my system also dropped tremendously! It’s working! My dietary and lifestyles are working. The replenishment is happening. I feel it! My naturopathic doctor (a different one, by the way. I decided the former ND and I were not a good ft as soon as she wanted me to take thyroid meds as my only option.), is very pleased and surprised. She didn’t feel it necessary to do anything else to support my thyroid, so long as I can sustain the lifestyle changes that I have made. And, we’ll retest at least once a year to make sure I’m still on track. SWEET! (Oh, and ps – I eat lots of non-animal fats: nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil – but I also found out that my cholesterol & triglycerides are super low. Excellent! Moral of this story: Don’t be afraid of fats! …though, there is also not one cure-all, or one diet that’s best for everyone. We all need to rebalance in different ways. Figure out where your body is out of balance, then dump stuff on the other end of the teeter-totter to even yourself out!)
I, too, am very pleased with the changes. This is really nice confirmation to what I have felt all along about out bodies’ abilities to heal, and how we can and need to be active participants in this process. And, that if fear is felt as a result of some medical diagnosis, we can feel it but then let it pass through so that we may stay focused on the task at hand:
There’s no need to FIGHT disease in your body. Instead, embrace the imbalance fully.
Think about it: when you’re not feeling well and a loved one offers you a big hug, a warm embrace, doesn’t everything tend to melt away? That’s powerful stuff. That’s healing. So, go ahead. Give your internal imbalances a big ol’ metaphorical hug, too.
Ooh, one more thing: I can’t emphasis enough that there is no single formula for everyone. What you need to rebalance is different than what I need. And, what I need this year is very likely different than what I’ll need next year (heck, or even today vs. tomorrow). AND… All of these external things that I’ve changed in my life are really just outward manifestations of my internal focus on Self, of being kinder and more gentle with myself and my unfolding, and of my daily practice in SLOWING DOWN. In life. What’s our hurry? To where are we trying to get so quickly? —-> Enjoy the present, the most vast source of healing to which we have access. ‘Tis within from which outward change unfolds.
Sending good health vibes your way. Much Love.