My Top 10 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain

Over a quarter of Canadians are obese – and with that comes many weight-related health issues. Here are the top 10 reasons why Canada has become a country of overweight people – avoid them and you can free yourself from our nation’s “fat trap”:

  1. Too many processed foods – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full out sodium, sugar, chemicals and empty calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will crave more food. So the answer to this one is simple just Eat More Real Food!
  2. Low intake of fresh, whole foods.  Real food is nutrient dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings so again Eat More Real Food!
  3. Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more than they burn so start moving. Doesn’t have to be high intensity crazy workouts, just walking regular will help.
  4. Supersized portions – the larger the portion in front of us, the more we eat so make sure that half your plate is vegetables, a quarter lean protein and the other quarter carbs such as whole grains, starchy veggies or beans/lentils.
  5. Supersized dishware – our plates has become larger and larger. We need more food to fill the plate. Our perception of portion size apparently is affected by the size of the plate. A simple solution is using a smaller plate.
  6. Advertising and marketing – big corporations throw a lot of marketing money on processed foods and making them seem like they are healthy. Don’t be fooled, read the ingredients and nutrition facts to inform yourself as to what you really are consuming.
  7. Misinformation and disinformation – people are confused what to eat. Unfortunately the labels on process and packaged foods are not always telling the whole story. Can you pronounce the ingredients, are they real food? How much sugar and sodium is in the product? Where are the calories coming from? These are the questions you should be asking yourself.
  8. Cost of food – processed, massed produced food, and foods made with subsidized crops are cheaper than fresh produce and other sustainably grown whole foods. High fructose corn syrup is a great example – it is found in a lot of food items we get in the store. Unfortunately spending money of food like products such as these are going to lead you to spend more money on your health when you get sick later on. Set a weekly/monthly budget, plan your meals, leave nights for leftovers and make sure you clean out your fridge before shopping. These are simple ways you can save money by purchasing real food.
  9. Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are doing other things, and this mindless eating often makes people overeat. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – most of the time such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories. Track your time over a day or two and see where you are really spending your time. How much is on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest, how much time is spent watching TV? Could you reduce these and put that time into the kitchen?
  10. Stress – when we are stressed, our body produce the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increase fat storage, and promote cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods. Make sure that self care and stress management is at the top of the list. How much time do you spend on you each day or week? Could you go to bed a little earlier? Hit a yoga class? Read a book? Lock the door and take a bath in peace and quiet? What can you do for yourself today?

 

For this weeks recipe, I wanted to share a super simple option that you can use for breakfast or afternoon snack (just reduce the quantity to half if using for a snack.) Click here for my Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Parfait. Enjoy!

Advertisements

Haven’t Changed Anything in Your Diet But Getting Fatter?

Weight Scale

You are positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight.

Is this possible?

Yes!  You are NOT crazy!

And here’s why.

We both know that the whole “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic view of weight.

There’s definitely more to the story than just what you’re eating, right?

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and even what you eat.

But, let’s go beyond the “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same.

Things like:

  • Aging;
  • Hormones;
  • Sleep;

Aging

Funny things happen the older we get.  People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, weight gain, as well as aches and pains.

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women.  And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies.

The good thing is that, this is very common and not your fault one bit.

Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and can be a massive contributor to your weight gain.  There are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.

When your thyroid gets off course and produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  And when your metabolism slows down you can gain weight.  Even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Pro Tip: Talk with your friendly Naturopath about having your hormones tested.

Sleep

There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help avoid weight gain.

It’s true!  Lack of sleep is linked with weight gain.

Who ever thought you can sleep off your weight?

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.  The first place to start is by implementing a calming before bedtime routine such as switching off all technology at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.

Stress

It seems to be everywhere!  So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.

And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?

While you can’t necessarily change your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Pro Tip:  Try meditation or yoga.  Or even mindful eating.  What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now?

Conclusion:

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.  Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.

Recipe: Sushi Bowl

Serves 2

1 cup cooked rice

1 avocado (thinly sliced)

½ cucumber (diced)

½ red pepper (thinly sliced)

1 green onion (chopped)

2 tablespoons dried seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon sesame oil

½ garlic clove

dash salt and pepper

  • Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the sushi bowl.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Today is December 1st and to celebrate the start of the holiday season, I am sharing my gluten & dairy free recipe for gingerbread cookies, enjoy!

Gingerbread Ninjas

Gingerbread Ninja Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp Gingerbread spice 
  • 2 Tbsp Fancy Molasses
  • 1TbspMaple Syrup
  • Egg
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Flour (or any type of flour, for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine almond flour, protein powder, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the molasses, syrup and egg.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.
  4. Generously dust a flat surface, a rolling pin and cookie cutter with tapioca flour. Roll out the dough and cut out shapes.
  5. Bake for 8-10 min. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

How to Read the New Nutrition Facts Tables

Grocery Store #1

The Nutrition Facts table is on the side of most packaged foods. It’s often found close to the ingredient listing.

The purpose of it is to help consumers make better nutrition decisions. When people can see the number of calories, carbs, sodium, etc. in food, they should be able to eat better, right?

Whether you like the Nutrition Facts table or not, let’s make sure you get the most out of it, since it’s here to stay! Here’s my four-step crash course on reading the Nutrition Facts table.

Step 1: Serving Size

The absolute most important part of the Nutrition Facts table is to note the serving size. Manufacturers often strategically choose the serving size to make the rest of the table look good. Small serving = small calories/fat/carbs. So, it’s tricky.

All the information in the table rests on the amount chosen as the serving size. And, since every manufacturer chooses their own, it’s often difficult to compare two products.

In Canada, in the next few years (between 2017-2022), serving sizes will be more consistent between similar foods. This will make it easier to compare foods. The new labels will also have more realistic serving sizes to reflect the amount that people eat in one sitting, and not be artificially small.

Let’s use an example – plain, unsalted walnuts from Costco.

Blog Pic

As you can see, right under the Nutrition Facts header is the serving size. That is a ¼ cup or 30 g. This means that all the numbers underneath it are based on this amount.

FUN EXPERIMENT: Try using a measuring cup to see exactly how much of a certain food equals one serving. You may be surprised at how small it is (imagine a ¼ cup of walnuts).

Step 2: % Daily Value

The % Daily Value (%DV) is based on the recommended daily amount of each nutrient the average adult needs. Ideally, you will get 100% DV for each nutrient every day. This is added up based on all of the foods and drinks you have throughout the day.

The % DV is based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet yet many of us should not be consuming that amount of calories and therefore the daily value is not specific.

NOTE: Since children are smaller and have different nutritional needs if a type of food is intended solely for children under the age of 4, then those foods use a child’s average nutrition needs for the %DV.

The %DV is a guideline, not a rigid rule.You don’t need to add all of your %DV up for everything you eat all day. Instead, think of anything 5% or less to be a little; and, anything 15% or more to be a lot.

NOTE: Not every nutrient has a %DV. You can see it’s missing for things like cholesterol, sugar, and protein. This is because there isn’t an agreed “official” %DV for that nutrient. The good news is that the new Nutrition Facts tables will include a %DV for sugar. Keep your eyes out for that.

Step 3: Middle of the table (e.g. Calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, carbohydrates, and protein)

Calories are pretty straight forward. Here, a ¼ cup (30 g) of walnuts has 200 calories.

Fat is bolded for a reason. That 19 g of fat (29% DV) is total fat. That includes the non-bolded items underneath it. Here, 19 g of total fat includes 1.5 g saturated fat, (19 g – 1.5 g = 17.5 g) unsaturated fat, and 0 g trans fat. (Yes, unsaturated fats including mono- and poly-unsaturated are not on the label, so you need to do a quick subtraction).

Cholesterol, sodium, and potassium are all measured in mg. Ideally, aim for around 100% of potassium and sodium each day. It’s easy to overdo sodium, especially if you grab pre-made, restaurant foods, or snacks. Keep an eye on this number if sodium can be a problem for you (e.g. if your doctor mentioned it, if you have high blood pressure or kidney problems, etc.).

Carbohydrate, like fat, is bolded because it is total carbohydrates. It includes the non-bolded items underneath it like fiber, sugar, and starch (not shown). Here, 30 g of walnuts contain 3 g of carbohydrates; that 3 g are all fiber. There is no sugar or starch. And as you can see, 3 g of fiber is 12% of your daily value for fiber.

NOTE: One important equation i want you to remember on a food label is 4g of sugar = 1 teaspoon. This one can be a game changer in calculating how much added/refined sugars really is in your diet!

Proteins, like calories, are pretty straight forward as well. Here, a ¼ cup (30 g) of walnuts contains 5 g of protein.

Step 4: Bottom of the table (e.g. vitamins & minerals)

The vitamins and minerals listed at the bottom of the table are also straightforward. The new labels will list potassium, calcium, and iron. Yes, potassium will drop from the middle of the table to the bottom, and both vitamins A & C will become optional.

Manufacturers can add other vitamins and minerals to the bottom of their Nutrition Facts table (this is optional). And you’ll notice that some foods contain a lot more vitamins and minerals than others do.

Conclusion

I hope this crash course in the Nutrition Facts table was helpful. While you can take it or leave it when it comes to making food decisions, it’s here to stay. And it will change slightly over the next few years.

Do you have questions about it? Have you seen the new labels with a %DV for sugar? If so, leave me a comment below or hit reply and shoot me an email, I would love to hear from you.

Recipe (walnuts): Delicious and Super-Easy Walnut Snack

Serves 1

8 walnut halves

4 dates, pitted

  • Make a “date sandwich” by squeezing each date between two walnut halves.
  • Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Try with pecans instead or ½ tablespoon of all natural nut/seed butter.

 

References:

http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/changes-modifications-eng.php

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/understanding-food-labels/percent-daily-value.html

http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/label-etiquetage/regulatory-guidance-directives-reglementaires/daily-values-valeurs-quotidiennes/guide-eng.php#p1

How to Improve Gut Health

Pregnant woman pregnancy concept heart on stomach. Hands forming

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, more and more research shows that our gut (digestive system) has a bigger role in many diseases than we used to think. And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.

So, let’s talk about the roles that our gut and our gut microbes play in our overall health. Then I’ll give you tips to improve your gut health naturally.

Our gut’s role in our overall health

Our gut’s main role is as a barrier. To let things in that should get in, and to keep things out that should stay out. Think of “absorption” of nutrients as things we want to let in; and “elimination” of waste as things we want to pass right through and out.

This seemingly simple role is super-complex! And it can break down in so many places.

For one thing, our guts can “leak.” Yes, like a long tube with holes in it, it can allow things to get into our bloodstream/bodies that can wreak havoc (bacteria, undigested food, and toxins). You name it, whatever you put into your mouth can be absorbed by your gut and get into your bloodstream, even if it’s not supposed to. And when your gut wall gets irritated, it can “leak.” When this happens, you get inflammation, which is a starting point for many diseases that don’t seem linked to the gut but have a sneaky connection there.

FUN FACT: About 70% of our immune system lives in and around our gut.

A healthy gut is not a leaky gut. It maintains its barrier and shuttles things through to be eliminated. Maintaining a healthy gut barrier is the first pillar of gut health.

The second main part of your gut are the billions of friendly health-promoting microbes. Gut microbes help us digest and absorb nutrients. They fight off disease-causing microbes, make some vitamins for us, and have all kinds of other health benefits, like mental health benefits, reducing inflammation, and stabilizing blood sugar.

So, keeping your gut microbes happy is the second pillar of gut health!

How to improve gut health

There are a lot of natural ways to improve gut health. Let’s start with what to stop. It’s always best to eliminate the cause, so let’s stop giving our guts junk to deal with. How about eliminating added sugars, processed foods, and alcohol? Try that for a few weeks, and you may be amazed at how much better your body (and gut) feels.

You may also want to eliminate other gut irritants. Dairy and grains contain common compounds known to irritate some people’s guts. Sometimes you only need to eliminate them for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference for your health.

By eating nutrient-dense foods, we allow ample macro- and micro-nutrients into our gut to maximize the chance for absorption. These nutrients help our bodies build and repair our gut, and every other body part as well. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods include dark leafy greens, colourful fruits and veggies, liver, and fish.

The second pillar of gut health is our microbes. By ingesting probiotic-rich foods and drinks, we can help to replenish our gut microbes. These are found in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Make these a part of your daily diet.

Whole foods are full of gut-friendly fiber. Not eating enough fiber increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Fiber plays lots of roles in our gut, including whisking away some of those pesky bad bacteria and toxins so they can be eliminated. Fiber also helps to feed our friendly resident microbes that help us absorb and digest our food better. What foods have a lot of fiber? Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even cacao (that’s raw chocolate people!)

And don’t forget the uber-important lifestyle factors like getting enough sleep, stressing less, and getting the right amount (and intensity) of exercise for you. It’s easy to forget some of the simple, but key links there are between what we do with our bodies and how well they function.

Conclusion

The function of your gut is key to your overall health. There are two pillars of gut health: maintaining a good barrier and maintaining healthy gut microbes.

The main ways to improve both of these naturally is by eating nutrient-dense whole foods. Foods filled with nutrition, probiotics, and fiber. And eliminating common gut irritants like added sugar, processed foods, and alcohol and possibly dairy and gluten.

Recipe: Kimchi

Makes 8 Servings

4 cups Green Cabbage (tightly packed)

6 stalks Green Onion (diced)

1 Carrot (large, grated)

1 cup Radishes (grated)

4 Garlic cloves (minced)

3 Tbsp Ginger (peeled and grated)

1 Tbsp Sea Salt

1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes

  • Core and finely slice your cabbage. Place in a mixing bowl with all ingredients. Using your clean hands, massage the salt into the cabbage and vegetables until it starts to soften (5 to 10 minutes). Set aside and let rest for 10 minutes then massage again for another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the kimchi into sterilized jars, leaving an inch of space at the top. Pack it down into the jar until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Seal the jars with sterilized lids.
  • Let it ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. It may bubble and that is normal. Check on your kimchi everyday and re submerge the vegetables under the brine if they rise.
  • Taste your kimchi on day 3. If it tastes ripe, transfer it to the fridge. If not, let it ferment another day or two.
  • Enjoy kimchi right away or let sit for another week or two for extra flavour. Enjoy!

 

 

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/does-all-disease-begin-in-the-gut/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-nutrition-gut-health

http://neurotrition.ca/blog/your-gut-bugs-what-they-eat-and-7-ways-feed-them

 

Common Weight Loss Myths Busted

Directional Sign

Weight loss advice is so common (and controversial) now. There are competing opinions everywhere. I say, forget about “who’s right” and let’s focus on “what’s right.” Because what gets results is what I’m focusing on in this post.

I respect you too much to make empty promises and try to sell you on something that doesn’t work.

There are too many weight loss myths out there, i’m going to tackle the top ones I come across in my practice.

Myth #1: Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss

Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a ton more than you use, then your body’s is of course going to store some for later. Calories do matter but, they are not the “be-all and end-all” of weight loss; they’re important, but they’re the symptom, not the cause.

There are many reasons as to why people eat more calories, it’s not always because they’re hungry. Sometimes it’s because they feel sad, lonely, or bored or maybe because they’re tired or stressed, or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating. All of these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake.

Myth #2: “Eat less move more” is good advice

Well, then we’re all in great shape, right? Because people have been giving and taking this advice (myth) for years.

The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?).

Even if people can happily and sustainably follow this advice (which they can’t); it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. Things like the causes of overeating we mentioned above. Not to mention our genetics, hormone issues or health conditions we may dealing with or our exposure to environmental aspects that are “obesogenic” (environments that encourage people to eat unhealthily and not do enough exercise.)

Myth #3: A calorie is a calorie

Can we please put this one to bed already? Science has confirmed several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolized. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.

For example, when you metabolize protein you burn more calories than when you metabolize carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.

Here’s another example of a calorie not being a calorie. Different fats are metabolized differently. Medium chain triglycerides (fats) (MCTs) have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they’re metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren’t utilized or stored the same way as other fats.

Myth #4: Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight

There is no magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick.

There are products that make these claims, and they may work in the short term but there is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off when they stop taking these product(s). The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product. This may mean that it takes 6 months or a year to reach your goals instead of 30 days but you will be more likely to maintain the weight loss and be healthier than ever before!

Conclusion

Weight loss is hard! There are too many people out there trying to make it sound like they have the simple solution (or the latest and greatest!).

Don’t fall for the myths that say:

  • Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss.
  • “Eat less move more” is good
  • A calorie is a calorie.
  • Buy this supplement/tea/food/magic potion to lose weight.

Now check out my recipe below. No myths, just filling and nutritious real food.

Recipe: Taco Breakfast (or anytime) Bowl

Serves 4

1 1/2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 lb Extra Lean Ground Turkey

2 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Sea Salt

½ cup Water

4 Eggs (fried or poached)

4 cups Baby Spinach (chopped)

1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)

1 Tomato (diced)

1 Avocado (mashed)

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the ground turkey and saute to cook through. Break up the meat as it is cooking.
  • Once it is cooked through add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, black pepper and sea salt. Add the water and saute for another minute as you mix well.
  • Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let simmer while you prepare the rest or until all water has been absorbed.
  • Fry or poach your eggs and set aside.
  • Divide the spinach between bowls. Top with diced green pepper, tomato, mashed avocado, taco meat and fried egg. Enjoy!

 

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-12-biggest-myths-about-weight-loss/

https://authoritynutrition.com/metabolism-boosting-foods/

https://authoritynutrition.com/5-chemicals-that-are-making-you-fat/

 

My Journey with Hashimoto’s

Hashimoto's Butterfly Shaped Word Cloud

 

For those of you that have been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you may already know that earlier this year I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.

Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid gland. This means that my immune system views my thyroid gland as a foreign invader and is attacking it.

Yes, me, a holistic nutritionist, has an autoimmune condition. To say this came as a shock was an understatement. So many feelings went through me – shock, sadness, fear but most of all I felt like a fraud. How could I, a Nutritionist who deals with clients that have Hashimoto’s and other hormone issues, not have recognized the symptoms or prevented it.

I have an awesome diet of real food, I was exercising 5-6 times a week but what I believe for me was the greatest culprit was lack of self-care and stress management.

I went back to Nutrition school when my oldest son Ben was just 7 months old and from then on I haven’t stopped. I am a type A personality so a perfectionist, control freak and I give my everything to everyone else. Whether it was studying, working or building my business to being a Mum and wife, I put my own self-care on the back burner. Instead of listening to the signals that my body was sending me, I just pushed through it as I had another goal or deadline I had put on myself.

How did I find out?

I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue a couple of years ago and I had made a lot of changes since then. I removed all foods I was sensitive too, did work on my gut, I supported my adrenals and I improved my diet but yet I still didn’t feel as great as I knew I should. My energy and mood levels were still not balanced. I felt like I had everything I had ever wanted – a husband who loves me, 2 beautiful boys and a job I truly loved, yet I still felt a void.

My biggest concern was my estrogen levels. My sister was diagnosed with estrogen dominant breast cancer when she was in her 30’s and that has always been a concern of mine so I finally made the decision to get all my hormone levels tested through my amazing Naturopath Dr. Danielle Marchildon. I tested the following:

  • Full hormone panel – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHA and cortisol.
  • Thryoid panel – TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPO (Thyroid antibodies)
  • B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Ferritin (Iron)

The first results I got back where my thyroid panel. My TSH was 3.34 so normal within the medical range however, I knew that optimal levels should be below 2. My Free T3 and Free T4 were also within normal ranges so, if I had gone to my medical doctor and been tested I would have been told that everything was normal and there were no issues with my thyroid. However, I had one more result to come, my TPO (thyroid antibody levels) and these came back at 154 when they should be under 35. This was what confirmed my autoimmune diagnosis.

The rest of my results began filtering back in and there were others that were far from optimal. Despite the initial fear and upset, I finally felt that I wasn’t going crazy, science was telling me there was a reason behind why I was feeling the way I was.

My Next Steps

Since the diagnosis I have made a lot of changes. I began on a supplement regime to help restore my hormone and nutrient levels. I have been following an autoimmune paleo diet and eliminated all grains, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, beans and lentils and alcohol from my diet.

As for my self-care, I am asking for help, saying no a lot more, I am resting and trying to take time for me every day, even if it is just sitting on my favourite sofa with a cup of peppermint tea. I have cut back on my exercise and incorporated restorative yoga and stretching into my routine instead. I am also working with an awesome therapist to help me lose some of my control freak tendencies and deal with my anxiety and depression.

It’s a work in progress and some days are better than others but I know what I am doing is working. I recently got my thyroid antibody levels retested and they are coming down which means I am on the right track.

I consider myself lucky, if I hadn’t decided to get all my levels tested I would have got worse. Being proactive saved me and has allowed me to get back on the path to my optimal health and prevent further damage/illness.

I am normally a very private person but, I wanted to share my story because I know other women are struggling too. According to the thyroid foundation of Canada “It’s estimated that 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease. In Canada there is a staggering number of people affected. Recent studies indicate that 1 in 10 Canadians suffer from a thyroid condition of one type or another! Of those, as many as 50% are undiagnosed!”

I will keep you posted on my journey and if you need help, reach out, let me help you. You are not alone and definitely not going crazy!

Thanks for taking the time to read my story x