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Body Positive Nutritional Therapy, Thyroid Health

Hashimoto’s- Part 1 Your body hears everything your mind says.

Hashimoto's

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was 23.

Looking back on my life (poor diet, gluten intolerance, early childhood stress, lots of sugar, being overweight) I can see that all these stressors were setting the stage for autoimmunity. My body just happened to attack my thyroid.

Growing up, I also really struggled with liking myself. I hated the way I looked, and I felt like I was never enough. The memory of that internal pain can still bring me to tears- my heart just breaks for that little girl!  And I was not a sullen, mopey teenager.  I was a great student, class president, popular, outgoing, funny. All of this was happening on the inside, and I was good at hiding it.

I’m pretty sure that self-loathing is NOT good for the body and greatly contributed to my body physically attacking itself just as intensely as I had energetically attacked it with my thoughts. I also find it interesting that the thyroid is in the part of our body that corresponds to the throat chakra.

“The throat chakra is the center of energy in the body that is about speaking and hearing your inner truth and the truths of others. It is the center of communication, listening, and creativity. The thyroid will mirror an imbalance in this chakra and vice versa. Throat chakra imbalances are evidenced through lying, gossip, criticism, and verbal abuse. Subtler energetic imbalances are apparent through misalignment of thought and action, not opening to the communications from others, and inability to speak from your true inner self” Thyroid Chakra

To this, I would add that it is even more caustic to the body when the gossip, lying, and criticism is directed inward. I don’t have any research to back this up-although I am sure that there probably is some- but what I DO know is that our body hears everything our mind says. And most allopathic practitioners tend to forget this basic tenet of our biology/psychology. We can not separate ourselves from ourselves- mind, body, spirit- we are one and when we forget this, we disrupt our innate intelligence, our feminine wisdom, our intuition.- and that my friends is always a recipe for disaster.

So, at 23, when diagnosed with the most common autoimmune disorder there is, what advice was given to me???? Here is a prescription for Levothyroxine. That’s it, because this is the standard of care for this disease! Have problem = treat with x medication. No one asked my why my immune system was attacking itself. Why even with medication I didn’t feel better? Why I continued to suffer from depression (mild) fatigue and weight gain despite religiously taking thyroid hormones.  It was never suggested to me that I remove common triggers like gluten, that we should investigate the possibility I might have some gut issues, no one asked about diet or stress or ANYTHING really. So, I continued to suffer for years with low thyroid and Hashimoto’s.

Turns out, Hashimoto’s is not a thyroid disease, it’s an immune disorder. And we must address the root of the problem to have any lasting results.

Join me for this 5 part series addressing the root cause of Hashimoto’s and how we can support the body foundationally to drastically improve our symptoms and put Hashi’s in remission.

Body Positive Nutritional Therapy

I’m having an affair and I think you should too!

I’m having an affair. I know this may surprise a lot of you but honestly, I’ve felt it coming on for a while now. I’ve known this person my whole life- although at times they’ve felt like a complete stranger. And yet here I am, writing a blog post about the greatest love story I’ve ever experienced. And the biggest bombshell of all- it’s not my husband.

To give some context to this relationship, it’s not always been a healthy one. Some might even call this relationship toxic. And I hate to say that I have hurt this person more than any other person I know- I’ve said things that I wish I could take back- things that I would never even think about another person let alone say out loud to their face! I’ve called them ugly, stupid, worthless, I’ve told them that they don’t deserve to be loved. I’ve held this person as they cried and instead of whispering works of love and encouragement I used their vulnerability against them, an opportunity to remind them that they are not enough. I was both the abuser and the abused.

Right now, you all are probably thinking “What kind of person says things like that?” I was young and broken- I didn’t know that there could be another way. None of this makes me proud, in fact, it is a source of deepest regret and shame.

This relationship has been so broken that I wasn’t sure I how I was ever going to make it whole again, or honestly, if I ever could. And yet here we sit, with open arms ready to repair the damage done and to try again because that’s what you do when you love someone.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been amazing times of contentment and partnership where I can clearly see all their gifts and beauty and it was magical- maybe that’s what keeps pulling us back together! Because when it’s good, it’s so good. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

These last few years we’ve been closer than we have been in years! And our relationship has changed so much- there have been lots of difficult conversations and tears. I’ve had to take a deep look at myself and examine the kind of person I want to be and the kind of relationship I wanted with this person. And it was hard and at times ugly, but I also knew it was worth fighting for, worth risking it all for.

So here I am, ready to publicly declare that I am ready to spend the rest of my life letting this person know all the things I love and cherish most about them. They are my soulmate- the love of my life! I want our love story to be one for the ages- one others look at and say “THAT! That is the kind of love I want!” It’s the kind of love I want for every person on the planet, the kind of love I want and work for with my children, and with my clients because the truth is until you experience this kind of love, your love for all others will be diminished.

So, who is this incredible person I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with- It’s me. Yes- you read that correctly- I am having a love affair with myself! And it is magical, scary and it’s about fucking time!   Who else is ready for true love?

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Eating healthy fats can help the body’s own healing process

What if I told you that chronic use of both over the counter and prescription anti- inflammatory drugs will inhibit your body’s natural ability to heal and increase the likelihood of systemic inflammation.

Anti-inflanss2erzqwgw-freestocks-org-1mmatory drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDS and steroids block normal prostaglandin function by inhibiting the conjugation of essential fatty acids in the prostaglandin pathway that ultimately lead to prostaglandin formation. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that the body can’t do without. They occur in nearly all body tissues and fluid. Prostaglandins have a multitude of functions in the body and are responsible for controlling inflammatory function by using three groups of prostaglandins to both inflame and anti-inflame the body. Prostaglandin 1 (PG1) and Prostaglandin 3 (PG3) are anti-inflammatory and Prostaglandin 2 (PG2) is the pro-inflammatory.

All three of these prostaglandins are important in the healing process of the body and it is important that they remained balanced. The body’s anti-inflammatory prostaglandins PG1 and PG3 are important for modulating inflammation. These inflammation processes happen all over the body, even in areas that we might not be able to perceive inflammation.

The body uses Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to create anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Many of us are lacking in both the intake of quality fats as well as the ability to digest these fats making the conjugation of these prostaglandins a difficult process for the body, add to that the consumption of NSAIDS, aspirin and steroids and we’re making an already difficult process harder. We need these anti-inflammatory prostaglandins to keep our body in homeostasis. If the body is unable to fight off both acute and chronic inflammation it will lead to dysfunction and possibly disease.

The third group of prostaglandins is conjugated by consumption of saturated fats.  The body produces PG 2 in response to illness or injury, it is part of the body’s inflammation management cycle. The body must first inflame before it can anti-inflame, this acute inflammation is necessary for the healing process but can also cause discomfort and pain. NSAIDS, aspirin, and steroids block the normal PG2 function by inhibiting the conjugation of fatty acids into arachidonic acid, and then into PG2. But too much PG2 and not enough PG1 and PG3 will cause an imbalance in the body and lead to the systemic inflammation that causes disease.

There are times where these drugs are helpful and might be necessary but if they are used habitually, they might be doing more harm than good.

NSAIDS, aspirin and the like are prescribed to help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with the inflammation process. The problem with this is that by taking these drugs you are shutting down the body’s own ability to heal. These drugs affect the production of all three types of prostaglandins and it’s very important that these three groups remain balanced in order to achieve optimal health.

 

 

Body Positive Nutritional Therapy, Uncategorized

Dear Scale, we’re breaking  up…it’s not me, it’s you.

My scale broke, and I have no intention of replacing it. As someone who has spent her whole life trying to lose weight, to take up less space, to just be less and always feeling not good enough because of my weight, I developed a relationship with the scale at a young age. Don’t get me wrong, the scale can be a useful tool, but I have found that for many, myself included, the scale that’s supposed to measure our weight, more often gets used as a scale to measure our self-worth.

I know I’m not alone in those feelings or in the power I’ve given to the number the scale reveals…like shaking a magic 8 ball and waiting for it to decide your fate…. the number that appeared on the scale had the power to make me immediately dislike myself, to vow to “be better” and either way, “good” number or “bad”, it justified my negative self-talk, the need to be so hard on myself, to restrict or consume.  In a world that is constantly bombarding us with all the ways we need to “fix” ourselves, it’s hard not to feel inadequate.  And to be honest…. it’s fucking exhausting.

I am so done with the self-loathing, and the energy it takes. We consume food- food should not consume us. This journey towards self-acceptance and unconditional self-love started with an internal belief that health and healing and all the good bits of life can only come from being big.

This concept of loving ourselves into better health is what ultimately drove me to enroll in the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program through the NTA. I knew there was a better way to healing than what was being offered to me.

“Just eat nothing and work out ALL the time!” “Take this supplement, I saw it on Dr. OZ” “You should put up pictures of the body you want all around the house and look at it anytime you eat, so you’re shamed into not eating.” Seriously?? Is this the best we can do? Is this the best advice we have for women?

I refuse to buy into the notion that our only gift to this world is maintaining smallness- to be small in size, to be small in the passion and energy we bring to the world, to be small with our opinions, to not be too loud or opinionated, to not be the funniest person in the room, to not be the most successful person in the room, to always dim down our light to not make others feel bad.  To shrink down with insecurities and self-doubt instead of stepping into the full power given to me by my maker (be that God, the universe, source energy- all are welcome to the table)

Well, how’s that been working for you? Do any of those thoughts or ideas make you feel better about yourself? No! But I bet they do make you feel small.

Let’s be BIG!  I choose to spend my energy being more…more loving, more generous, more empathetic, more centered, more present, more successful, more knowledgeable.  I can be stronger, more flexible, healthier, all of these actions add to my life and are about empowerment and growth; to me, they are worth doing the work. I am ready to take up the full energetic space that I deserve…and I encourage you to join me. Let’s be more, together.

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Why eating fat doesn’t make us fat

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe common misconception that “if you eat fat, you’ll get fat” has contributed to the obesity epidemic in a multitude of ways. Healthy fats are an integral part of a healthy diet. Healthy fats are responsible for proper hormone production, cell structure and vitamin absorption. Fats are also our bodies most abundant and slow-burning source of energy.

When we are afraid to eat fats, we have to make up the calories from a different macronutrient. For most people eating a SAD diet, this means more processed and refined carbohydrates. We also have to recognize that as fat was being vilified in the American diet, manufacturers needed something to replace the fats in their products. They replaced the fats with sugar and lots of it. As consumption of low-fat, high sugar “healthy” foods such as fat-free flavored yogurts, SnackWell cookies, and pasta increases, so has the obesity epidemic.

When we don’t eat healthy fats and do eat lots of processed carbohydrates we are setting our bodies up for blood sugar dysregulation, weight issues and eventually, disease. Our bodies are not designed to handle the amount of sugar that we are feeding them. Simple sugars such as sodas, sweets, pasta and white flour products break down very quickly in the body leading to quick rises and quick falls in blood glucose levels causing a hormonal avalanche to ensue. Fats help maintain blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, helping our bodies maintain a gentle rise and gentle fall of blood glucose levels.

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We were designed to use a balance of unrefined carbohydrates along with good fats and proteins as our primary sources of fuel. Our body wants to use both dietary and stored fat as fuel. Diets high in refined carbohydrates turn our bodies into sugar burning metabolizers and this sugar burning metabolizing turns off our fat burning metabolism, meaning our body does not have access to its stored fat for energy. When we are running on sugar, the body is forced to make many hormonal and metabolic changes one of which results in the formation of new fat stores or “lipogenesis”. This means that the glucose that exists in the cell can’t be used for energy but will be converted into adipose tissue. And the cycle continues with weight gain and insulin resistance and then eventually Type 2 diabetes.

High-quality fats, such as fats from grass fed cows, pastured pigs, eggs and meat from pastured chickens, avocados, wild caught fish,butter from grass fed cows, coconut oils, nuts, and seeds are necessary to maintain a healthy weight. When we remove them from the diet, the body does not feel nourished, it does not feel satiated, it lacks in fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E, K and B12 and minerals that are necessary for optimal health. Replacing fats with highly processed carbohydrates stresses out the body, stress causes the body to down-regulate other systems in the body such as digestion and immunity, causing more dysfunction. We are more than the sum of our parts, every shift our body makes, for better or worse has a profound effect, for better or worse, on all the systems of the body.

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Educating my clients about the negative impact that sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption have on their body is a key step in empowering them to make some big shifts in their health. I will continue to educate my clients about the importance of healthy fats and how increasing consumption of healthy fats can help them manage their weight, have more energy, feel more satiated and improve blood sugar regulation.

Body Positive Nutritional Therapy

My Intention for The Nourished Body

I wanted to take a minute to lay out my intention behind The Nourished Body. I want to provide a resource for education and support for people looking to reconnect with the innate intelligence of their body and how by balancing the foundations of health we can impact all areas of our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

The Nourished Body is about more than counting calories and micromanaging macronutrients, it’s about a paradigm shift and moving toward optimal health and wellness from a place of nourishment and self-care rather than from a place of deprivation and punishment.  We are here to love our bodies, nourish our bodies and through this rebellious act of self- love, we can begin the work of healing.

No shame, No Judgment, just compassionate support and better health.

As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) I believe in the power of a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet and it’s position as the core foundation of health.

The nutrients contained in these real foods give the body the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and healthy fats the body needs to function optimally and provides it in the most bio-available and life- giving form…fruits, veggies, pasture-raised animals, wild seafood, nuts and seeds. Foods that are grown in healthy soils without the use of pesticides and animals that are raised in fresh air and sunshine are seen as healthful and nourishing to the body while foods made in  factories with chemicals and additives are seen as toxic to the body.

Along with a real foods diet, proper digestion, blood sugar balance, hydration, essential fatty acid balance and mineral balance are the foundations of health. When the foundations are balanced, the body is able to work optimally to balance out all other areas of dysfunction. Everything from auto-immune conditions to fertility to mental health has a nutritional component and require specific nutrients to be in balance.

 

I invite you to join me on this journey toward better health through nutrition and education. By learning more about how your own body works and how to balance the foundations of health, we can work to heal our bodies from the inside out.

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