I really have saved my Thyroid.

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Everyone who thought I was crazy for starting this diet can suck it. Seriously. Sorry, it wasn’t my intention to start off my first post in 9 months with a statement of anger, but I just really wanted to say that. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of doctors, friends, acquaintances, strangers and loved ones who berated me for sticking to my gut and trusting myself, rather than trusting a bunch of doctors who believed they knew my body better than I did. Sure I took the long way around, and yes the method I chose was definitely extreme, but look at me now! After 1.5 years on a (mostly) vegan diet, I still have my thyroid, and most of my numbers are actually IN NORMAL RANGE. Take a look at my newest labs again if you haven’t already.

If you can’t see the photo,

TSH                                              <0.006 uIU/mL

Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum       2.9  pg/mL

T4, Free (Direct)                            1.23 ng/dL

I do apologize that it has taken me so long to write an update. This year has been tumultuous to say the least. The main reason I haven’t posted in so long is because when my relationship ended, so did my health insurance. These are the first labs I’ve had done since February, simply because I wasn’t having any symptoms, and I really didn’t want to pay to get blood work done. Last month I finally got health insurance again through Obama Care, so I can now at least continue to post my future labs.

After my last post, and many situations that evolved in my personal life thereafter, I realized that there definitely is a time and a place for the truth. And sometimes the truth isn’t always the best choice for the moment. At this moment, I choose to be limited with the truths I reveal. So here are my current truths I believe you should know:

1. I am no longer vegan. I am still vegetarian but it is difficult to label my diet. Since I moved in January, a lot has changed. I try to eat as vegan as possible, but dairy has definitely worked it’s way back into my diet. I try not to eat a lot of cream and milk because it bothers my stomach, but I do eat a lot of cheese. I still avoid eggs as much as possible, but every so often, I eat something fried or some kind of baked good that I know isn’t egg-free. I also eat fish once, maybe twice a month. And I definitely eat WAY too much bread. And pizza. Living alone, I cook a lot less. And cooking for one is very different than cooking for 2 or 3. Honestly I’ve gotten really lazy, I hardly cook anymore. I started making a lot of quesadillas, grilled cheeses, salads, reheating frozen stuff, eating take-out…. that’s the truth. I’m not advocating the current diet I’m on in any way though. It’s not how I really would like to be eating. At least my thyroid isn’t suffering. But I would like to make more of an effort to cook more, I miss it.

2. I am no longer working with Anthony William. Simply because he was too busy, and I needed more attention. Through a mutual friend I found an amazing doctor who I have been working with since February named Dr. Sierra Levy. She works out of Maui, Hawaii. I speak to her on the phone, I have never actually met her in person. I don’t know how to describe what she does exactly but she is AMAZING. She is an MD, but works mainly with homeopathy and a technique she developed called Resonance Therapy. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND her for anything and everything, she is one of the most gifted healers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

3. I have Manic Depression. I really hate labels but I feel the need to explain that the last post I wrote was written during a manic episode. I wish I hadn’t revealed everything I revealed in that post, but it’s too late now, it’s out there. And everything I wrote was definitely true. But I read that post back now and I almost feel like someone else wrote it. It’s a really strange feeling.

Anyways.

That’s enough truth telling for 2014.

I still firmly believe I saved my thyroid by going vegan, and speaking my truth. I also believe that if I continue moving forward on a path of health, healing and staying true to myself, I will have a much better chance of staying healthy. I am not cured, by any means. My body is still producing Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) at a very high rate, meaning I still do have Grave’s Disease, and for whatever reason my body is still basically attacking itself. But I am not in any danger at this point. Unless I start to show any symptoms I don’t have to get my labs done again for another 6 months. Even the nurse practitioner who went over my labs with me said, with my numbers at where they’re at now, she wouldn’t recommend any medication, just to watch my gluten intake and to come back in 6 months.

So my advice still remains, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! TRUST YOURSELF! I am saving my thyroid, and so can you!

Thanks for reading.

Shauna

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It is 2014 and I have PROOF that I AM SAVING MY THYROID!! Timeline of My Labs.

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Ok so these numbers may still look high to you but if I show you where I started (and I will!) you will be like WHOA!

When I was first diagnosed with hyperthyroidism on AUGUST 9, 2012, these were my labs:

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I don’t know exactly what all the numbers mean but I do know that they were all super high, except for my TSH (which has not budged very far from <.006 throughout this whole process).

So after 2 months on METHIMAZOLE, prescribed by my prior endocrinologist, these were my labs from 3/4/13:

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The Rx made my thyroid slow down way too much too fast, which is why I ended up gaining 25 lbs while taking the meds. I stopped taking the Rx the day after I received these results.

After only 2 months of stopping the medicine, my numbers climbed back up to basically where I had started. Here are my labs from when I FIRST started the vegan diet (labs are dated 5/14/13):

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These were taken 6 months later, on 9/24/13:

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And finally, the big kahuna, my labs after 9 months, taken 12/24/13:

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🙂

If for some reason you can’t see these photos,

My (FREE)T4 was 4.54 at the start of the diet, after 9 months it has dropped to 2.44.

My (FREE T3) started at 22.1. It is now 6.5.

I AM A WALKING, TALKING, FREAKING MIRACLE!

And I feel AMAZING!

I still have a ways to go before I am technically “normal” again, but compared to where I started, I am light years ahead of my wildest wishes.  I am balancing my thyroid through diet – and diet alone! – and that is all I ever wanted or could have wished for.

Anthony said I would be back to “normal” in 1 year. I really, truly, can say that I whole heartedly believe he is correct, and my thyroid WILL be back to normal by May of this year.

THANK YOU ANTHONY WILLIAM! You are a miracle worker. I believe 🙂

Anthony’s Site:   http://www.medicalmedium.net/

Please post comments, I would love to hear your feedback 🙂

Day 80 – Recipe: M Cafe’s Chickpea & Dandelion Salad (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

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Let me start off by saying that I really hate bitter greens. There are only a few vegetables that I don’t like – one of them is fennel, and the other is the entire bitter greens family (endive, radicchio, frisée, God I hate frisée). Dandelion greens definitely fall into that bitter green category. If you haven’t tried them, well, they are really bitter and pretty disgusting. So why in the world did I make this dandelion greens salad, you might ask?  I really don’t know. I guess it seemed like a good idea when I found the recipe.

I used to eat this salad when I worked at M Cafe in Los Angeles, and though it wasn’t my absolute favorite, I still liked it and ate it frequently. This is probably the only way you could ever get me to eat dandelion greens. The tahini dressing is really nutty and creamy, and the sweet caramelized onions are a great compliment to the bitter greens. It really is a tasty salad, and if you like bitter greens you will like this dish a lot.

Dandelion, albeit gross, is really good for you. It’s one of those cancer-fighting, antioxidant, calcium-rich superfoods. So I kind of forced myself to eat it… and truthfully I picked some of it out. I like everything in this salad but the damn dandelion. Honestly when I make it again I will probably swap it out for some Tuscan kale.

So since I made this salad sound so good, I’m sure you really want to make it now :). But it’s worth a try, it’s easy and doesn’t require a lot of chopping. I served it with the Eggplant Tabbouleh I wrote about last week and it was the perfect compliment. So if I haven’t scared you away yet, copy, paste and print (someday I will figure out how to make a print button for these recipes, I promise).

M Cafe’s Chickpea & Dandelion Salad

For Tahini-Lemon Dressing:

  • 2 T sesame tahini
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup + 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For Frizzled Onions:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into paper-thin half moons

For Salad:

  • 2 15-ounce cans organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup red Bhutanese rice (or short grain brown rice), cooked
  • 2 cups celery hearts and inside leaves, sliced thin
  • 3 cups fresh dandelion greens, washed, dried and chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For Tahini-Lemon Dressing:
Combine the tahini, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper in the mixing bowl. Adjust dressing with additional sea salt, black pepper or lemon juice, to taste.

For Frizzled Onions:
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and add the yellow onions. Fry the onions over medium heat until golden brown and “frizzled.” Transfer to absorbent toweling to drain excess oil. Season with sea salt and reserve.

For Salad:
Combine the chickpeas, cooked rice, celery hearts and dandelion greens in a mixing bowl. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of frizzled onions to bowl. Moisten salad with about 1/2 of a cup of the Tahini-Lemon Dressing and mix well to combine. Taste salad, and adjust with additional dressing, sea salt and black pepper as needed. Transfer salad to serving bowl or platter and drizzle additional dressing, if desired. Top with additional frizzled onions to garnish. Serves 8.

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Pictured with Eggplant and Fresh Herb Quinoa Tabbouleh.

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Day 44 – Recipe: Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Tagine (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free)

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Oh man. I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since my last post. I do have an excuse though, I was in Northern California over the weekend for a family reunion and was fortunate enough not to have to cook at all. My Aunt Pamela, who is from Thailand, was a wonderful hostess and made amazing Thai food for all of us every day – it was such a treat!

I managed to stay vegan everyday except one, and I cheated very badly. My Dad’s birthday was on Saturday and I failed to resist his birthday cake. I normally don’t even like chocolate cake but this one just looked so ridiculously good – and it was. Once I’d eaten the cake I figured I’d already cheated and proceeded to eat slices from 2 other cakes, and a pie… oh my. Needless to say my stomach hurt like a motherf—er afterwards and I felt guilty as hell. Ah well. At least it was only one day.

I got back late last night and had no idea what I was going to cook today. We had an extra bag of baby carrots in the fridge so I started searching for vegan carrot recipes on Google. I came across this one on about.com and thought it sounded really good, Moroccan Vegetarian Carrot and Chickpea Tagine. I’m happy to say it turned out great, and I will definitely make it again. The most predominant spice is pepper so if you have an aversion to peppery dishes you might want to avoid this one, or add (a lot) less black pepper. I only changed a couple things from the original recipe, including using chopped dried apricots instead of raisins – I’m not a big fan of raisins. I take no credit for this recipe, but here is what I did:

Vegan Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Tagine

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 50 – 60 baby carrots, cut into thin sticks (I cut each into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on size)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut in quarters

In the base of a tagine or in a large skillet with a lid, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil over low heat for several minutes, until soft.

Add the spices, cilantro, the carrots and the vegetable. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are cooked to desired tenderness. In a skillet about 25 minutes; in a tagine a bit longer.

When the carrots are cooked, stir in the honey and add the chickpeas and apricots. Continue simmering until the chickpeas are heated through and the sauce is reduced and thick, about 10 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning if desired, and serve. Serve hot with cous cous, quinoa, or bread.

Serves 4

I used a skillet and served it over quinoa. Really, really yummy! Plus this took me less than an hour from start to finish. Awesome.

 

Day 39 – Recipe: Vietnamese Lemongrass Curry (vegan, gluten-free and soy-free!)

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I have no idea why I decided to make this today. I had a million things to do and I knew this was probably going to take awhile – but I had (almost) all of the ingredients on hand and I just couldn’t think of anything else to make so I made it. And I’m glad I did because it turned out really really good.

I saw this recipe for Chicken Lemongrass Curry on seriouseats.com the other day and figured I would try and make it with vegetables. I had a sweet potato, some yukon gold potatoes, and a zucchini laying around so that’s what I ended up using, but you could use pretty much any vegetables that are good with curry and they would work (i.e. carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas). I didn’t really change much from the original recipe so I can’t really take credit for this, but this is what I did. Oh and it took a little over an hour.

Vietnamese Lemongrass Curry

  • 3 to 4 hefty lemongrass stalks, outside layer removed, trimmed and chopped (about 2/3 cup total)
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T Madras Curry Powder (I didn’t have Madras so I just used regular curry powder)
  • 1 Thai red chili, thinly sliced (or 1/2 tsp red chili flakes)
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • One 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lbs yukon gold potatoes (I used about 5 small), cut into small cubes
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • lime wedges for garnish
  • cilantro leaves or green onions for garnish

Toss the chopped lemongrass into a food processor. Process until it turns into a “fine, fluffy mass,” scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally, about three minutes. Add the ginger, and pulse until it is chopped finely. Then add the onion. Process, scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally, until it is a paste.

Pour the oil into a wok or large saucepan set over medium heat. When shimmering, add the lemongrass paste. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until very fragrant, about two minutes. Add the curry powder and red chili flakes, stir well, and cook for a minute. Add the salt, pepper, and coconut milk. Stir well with the wooden spoon, and then add chopped yam and potatoes. If the liquid does not cover the potatoes add a little bit of water to do so (I added about 1/2 cup). Once liquid starts to boil, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer covered, for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add the zucchini, stir well, and turn heat up again to bring to a strong simmer. Then reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer, and cook, covered, until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes.

Serve hot with the lime wedges, cilantro/green onions, and quinoa or brown rice. Serves 4

 

Don’t leave out the lime wedges, they add a lot of flavor!

Whatever vegetables you decide to use, you will need about 2 lbs total.

I didn’t include this in the recipe but I threw in some broccoli and cauliflower stems into mine at the end (at the same time as the zucchini) for an added crunch. Yum!