Oil pulling

Today, after having another difficult and messy moment with my tooth floss, I have decided to start oil pulling. There is lots of information out there about oil pulling, some say to use coconut oil, some say sunflower or sesame seed oil..Honestly I don’t know why or which oil maybe better? I am choosing to use coconut oil and to spit it in the trash after 15 minutes at least once a day for two weeks. If and when I see any results I hope to be able to share them with you. It is said to support sinuses, repair damaged gums, whiten teeth, and even cure some ailments. I am not making as of these claims, but they are all wonderful sounding possibilities and all both cheaper than a dentist and cheaper than it would be to buy an herbal tincture or water pic.  This link takes you to a simple video that explains how to and why oil pulling works. It may not be well written, but it seems like a good place to start:  http://oilpulling.com/oilpullingvideos.htm

Bone Broth Beef Stew Bliss! And How to overcome the most common obstacles for living Paleo Strong!

Sorry it’s been awhile since I have updated you all about how things have been going. The Lamb broth I made last week was soo perfect and it was all gelatin! I used this pure congealed substance to replace the two cups of broth in a paleo beef stew recipe I found on PaleoHacks. I also did not have to use the arrowroot hey used a thickened and replaced one of the two pounds of beef with a cheaper and sweet option… SWEET POTATOES! The stew is the most delicious and wholly satisfying thing I have EVER made! I cooked the stew on high in my crockpot for four hours and I also added mushrooms in the last hour of cooking. Other than that I used everything else in the same amount as prescribed in the paleo hack recipe.

On a slightly different topic, I feel that it is important to talk about the self limiting kind of thoughts that people have towards making the transition to paleo life. In every circumstance where I have been the first person to discuss being paleo with someone who has never heard of this lifestyle, there are immediately many walls that go up in defense of maintaining what they are doing, even when it is NOT WORKING to make them, healthier, happier, or clearer thinking! There are two of these ‘limiters’ that I would like to publicly address 1) “Isn’t it Expensive!?!” 2) “How do we know it’s really good for us… what about all those opposing studies about eggs being good and then bad for you??”

The first obstacle is what I believe has been the biggest obstacle for the majority of people I have met, and he most easy to dispel. I am not the best at budgeting, but I generally never spend more than $80 a week on my food needs. I know that if I really wanted to I could still spend even less, but I do occasionally like to go out to eat and to buy some things that are pre-made. I intended on becoming even better at reducing my costs going forward. To put this amount in perspective, I only buy organic EVERYTHING, but I only spend about twenty dollars more than my live in boyfriend spends on his cheap non-organic processed foods. I believe very avidly in not trying to change the ones you love, that being said my boyfriend has said that he does want to try paleo in the future and is intrigued by how many people in our sports world and on the red carpet are raving about the affects of paleo living! Just a few of my fav’s following the paleo diet and making it look extra good are Jessica Biel and Megan Fox according to LA weekly. To make this lifestyle ( I say lifestyle and not diet because this is more than a diet and works better) achievable for everyone I want to give you all some great resources that will help you to obtain the highest cost items needed to go paleo: HIGH QUALITY GRASS-FED MEAT! One of the simplest ways to find great meat is to join those people in your area who are already experts at finding nutrient dense foods like those members of the Weston A. Price Foundation. This link will bring you to a page that lists these groups of knowledgeable people by state: Where to find people who can help you find high quality meat near you! Grass fed meat is important because just like we humans are what we eat, tje animals that we eat are what they have eaten. So if they eat grains, we too will yoi through eating their meat. It can be hard to see the big picture, but well anaged grass fed beef can, for instance, be the key to positive co2 sequestration.

Another resource that I love (and for whom I work) is Natural Grocers. Not only do they ONLY SELL ORGANIC PRODUCE, but they also offer FREE Nutritional Counseling from REAL Nutritionists. This link will help you locate a Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage store near you where you can call and schedule your nutritional counseling session.

To address the second obstacle I will refer these people to ‘the source of paleo” Dr. Loren Cardain PhD“. Eggs are good for you, and just like the myth about tropical fruit oils (coconut) oils being bad for you the myth about eggs being bad for you was fabricated. Coconut oil was shunned as a dangerous oil, when in reality it is one of the healthiest fats in the world! It provides medium chain triglycerides which are vital in brain function, prolonging energy levels, and maintaining soft tissues like skin. Eggs provide much needed omega-3’s which are also vital for brain and soft tissue health.  To learn more Pretty please read the page this link takes you to: Dr. Oz on food 5 food Myths. I hope that I have given you new hope if you had any doubts before, I hope that if there are other concerns that you have about going Paleo that you share them. I want to help this world to be a happy, balanced, and healthier place.

Cooking day! Making bone broth and no bake chocolate treats!


Paleo friendly mounds bars made with honey!
Paleo friendly mounds bars made with honey!

This was a fantastic day! Truly an inspirational day filled with the simple joy of spending time with a deal new friend delving into our selves and making paleo nom noms together.  Jane and I made a sweet treat using the simple Mounds bar recipe we found on the wonderful interwebs! We exchanged the maple syrup in the recipe for local honey to get a lil extra immune boosting goodness and then we also doubled the recipe! It turned out soooo well! While we gabbed and shared battle stories of thyroid ups and downs, Jane whipped up a scrumptious lunch for us that consisted of a lightly sauteed red cabbage, with caraway seeds with coconut oil, we also had two slices each of grass fed bacon that was from a local farm, two Japanese sweet potatoes lightly cooked first in the microwave whole and then cubed with the skins and browned on the stove in coconut oil. Last but not least she also had a beautiful side of lacinato kale lightly pan fried in bacon grease. I swear it was the most simple and delicious lunch I have had in a looong time, but then again, everything is better when shared!

I know I promised yesterday that I would update you on how my Lamb bone broth was going and it is going well! I pulled the bones from the broth today and placed the remaining liquid (which about half of the gallon of distilled water had evaporated out of my slow cooker in the past 24 hours) into a Tupperware container. I am putting this in the fridge now and am hoping it will cool and form a wonderful fatty layer on the top which will both be great for cooking and will help me to determine if I have done a good job at extracting the desired nutrients from the bones. Little much has developed since then I am still trying to find my path and still working on the intentions to have more consistency and more confidence in my life and in myself. I hope this blog is on consolation to anyone reading who has suffered with this disease, because it truly does affect all of who you are and how you feel about your self and your world. I know because I have struggled with it on and off again for over 20 years now. I would say though that with perseverance, friendship, and a touch of optimism that you can and will be well again. Well enough to love, to live, to laugh, and most importantly to be HAPPY.

Making Lamb Bone broth!!

Lamb bone broth attempt number one
Lamb bone broth attempt number one

Today I began reading the book lent to me by Jane. Titled Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my lab results are normal. It has already delved deeper into the connections and why soo many physicians ignore or miss the signs of thyroiditis than anything else I have Ever read. I experienced the last few days a thyroid “up” which caused me to feel over the top energetic and made it terribly hard to sleep. There are of course emotional triggers too which could either have contributed to or been the cause of this surge.  I am endeavoring to make lamb bone broth in an attempt to nurture myself and my gut and in hopes of leveling myself out. I have put one gallon of distilled water in a crock pot with enough bones to fill to the top of the water.The bones were not pre cooked as I felt there was not much meat on them. I put in approximately 2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar and a dash or rosemary and salt. Now im cooking on low after I got it to boil, until the bones become softer.. im thinking at least 12 hours. I’ll fill you in on my progress as I go along woth the rest of this process! Continue reading

Sleep! And Autoimmune

After last nights’ magical slumber, I feel that it is appropriate to address this topic thoroughly! Since I was first diagnosed with Hashimotos I have LOVED to sleep! When I was a child and my hormone balance was still all over the place while my body was growing and I was eating incorrectly for my body. I could sleep upwards of 14 hours straight! My record was something like 20 without any medication for insomnia. I suppose insomnia seems like an odd irony, but in fact insomnia was also a side effect of my thyroid. My thyroid, when being attacked by my body, often after certain stress-ors like allergies or emotional upheavals would then ‘dump’ excessive amount of hormones into my blood stream as it was getting attacked by my body. These hormones not only could make you feel manically good or bad, but they would also keep you up at night or put you into a comatose sleep state. Needless to say I have always struggled with a schedule to which I could stick indefinitely, or even enough to make it to school without a lot of tardy-ness or absent-ness. I have found that while I love to sleep, getting really good sleep can be quiet a challenge. What I have tried to help me to sleep ranges from prescription medications, to diffusing essential oils in my room while I sleep. What I have found works best is a combination of exercise (early in the day) and a certain blend of essential oils that I often spray directly onto my pillow at night. The oils combination that I love best is made by a company called Aura Cacia. Pillow Potion is the name of the blend I use and it smells fantastic! What I love about the Aura Cacia Products most is that while they are not as expensive per ounce as some similar product lines, you still get a therapeutic grade essential oil for which they always give you the latin names of the plants that they got the oils from. Their latin names are an important element since some oils like lavender may have many different plants all that can be called lavender, but only one plant Lavendula Augustofolia has actually been measured for the right constituents to help with tension release and sleep. Ok well I slept soo well I have to skeedattle off to work now! Hope this post helps some of you to understand whats going with your sleep, I know its been a process for me!

Quick and simple lunch!

I made an avocado and tuna mixture today with sea salt and black pepper. I mixed in sum melted bacon fat and a tiny splash of lemon juice for my post workout meal in a jiff!  The whole thing cost five bucks, used one can of tongol tuna with spring water, 3small avocados, and about a teasoon and a half of melted bacon fat.  Yummy and filling all by itself, in a wrap, or on a salad!

Reading books Jane gave to me yesterday and beginning meditation on the daily. 🙂

Im on the go today and my food has to be easy!
Im on the go today and my food has to be easy!

Today was my first day spending time with someone who also has Hashimoto’s

Her name is Jane, and shes a wealth of information about how to eat for having this autoimmune disease. You see Jane I met a few weeks ago while she was shopping at my Natural Grocers Store in Boulder Colorado. We began talking while she was shopping and selecting her produce all the way through her check out process. Finally today when we spent time together I realized what a relief it is to share this experience. Both for the support of what we are going through on the day to day basis, and also because in some ways it is nice to see what we have over come or are struggling with reflected back to us. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid which causes Hypo-activity) when I was about seven years old. It was a text book case, but at least six practitioners missed the signs. They just could not put all the puzzle pieces together. I was improperly diagnosed, put on Ritalin and Concerta for the brain fog and anxiety, and Prozac and Trazadone to help with depression, mood swings, and insomnia which were all my thyroid based symptoms. Someone mentioned even the possibility of cancer! A few years before my body began to attack my thyroid I went to an allergist who discovered that I am allergic to Wheat, to Rice, to Soy, Peanuts, Cinnamon, along with these I also had allergic reactions to mold (like penicillin), hay-fever (seasonal allergies), tree pollen, and animal dander. With such an overwhelming list of allergies its no wonder I could not make the changes needed to actually improve my health at that young age! I believe, based on nothing more than my own observations, that these allergies were an early manifestation of the base of whatever it is that caused my ‘crossing over’ into an autoimmune disorder. Prior to these allergies yeast and ear infections plagued me from birth.  I excluded peanuts from my diet completely but my allergies became progressively worse. The symptoms prior to my proper diagnosis were extreme lethargy, poor circulation (which turned out to be Raynauds), my hair was falling out soo quickly that it covered my pillow all the way down to my toes while I slept, and I seemed to get every ailment worse than all of my peers at school. For instance my bout with chicken pox was like three weeks long! Even though both of my parents family had a recorded history of hypothyroidism it took my doctors years to finally figure out what was really wrong with me. Almost as soon as I started to take Synthroid I began to feel more energetic, but even on the Synthroid my hair did not ever come back as thick, my quality of sleep was still poor, and I still seemed to get sick more often than a healthy person my age. I lived this way for years until I got to high school and I changed my prescription (because other people in my family were also being medicated for their hypothyroidism) to Armor thyroid, which my extended family recommended to me because it was more natural and had worked well for them. My sleep improved and the cost of my prescription for thyroid medicine was drastically reduced. I am still on Armor now and have been on the same 30mg dose for ten years, which is practically unheard of! Two years into college after barely being in class enough to pass my prerequisite courses I finally went gluten free, which while I was avoiding wheat I was eating a lot of rice. Still this change made my graduation possible and my grades soared as my health finally improved just a little more. Then after graduating I moved from metro Detroit area to Colorado and about a year after moving to this amazing state, when I made the move to Steamboat springs Colorado, I began working at the Natural Grocers where I finally discovered PALEO!

Since becoming Paleo I have had moments where I became weak and moments where I felt deprived by my food needs, but it is not the exceptions in life that define us. I have not been perfect at this, but thank goodness its the rule (what we do consistently) that defines who we are. I kept going back to Paleo and its been easier each time. Every time I strayed from the paleo path pain and misery have found me. I get tummy aches that feel like lead weights in my stomach or gut, bloating that feels like my guts are trying to break through my skin, and or eczema that feels like my skin has been dipped in acid. What I want everyone to know about this disease is that while it is life changing, your health is still in your control and you can still live well. You can still have fun, go out to eat, adventure in the wild, and eat on a post grad-paying back student debt- kind of a budget! I want to show you how to be successful at this change not that I know everything about this, but since I have been through most all of the low aspects of this condition I think that the only direction to go is up from here and I want to take you all along with me on my way to learning about how to manage my Hashimoto’s successfully.

Food mission:I just learned that for only a few dollars I can get LBS of Bones from the local farmers market to make wonderful BONE BROTH!

Two books I have been lent by Jane to read are:

“Why do I still have Thyroid Symptoms? When my lab tests are Normal


Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web

The Primal Dana Monster (Intro)

On this blog I am going to share my journey,  my pointers, and best of all the simple joys of everyday primal livin!  I have been predominantly paleo now since September 2013 as part of a challenge given to me by my employer Natural Grocers. They gave small incentives for going grain free for one meal a day or slightly larger incentives for going grain free for the month. I chose the bigger challenge thinking that because I had already been gluten free for six years by that time that it would be an easy adjustment to make. I mean how much grain could I really be eating!?! Turns out that not only was I eating ALOT of alternative grains like rice and quinoa,   but all those grains were loaded with sugar!  With just making this one change, eliminating grains, I changed my life. I lost 23 lbs that month, went through grain/ sugar withdrawals that felt like a minor flu for two weeks, and ultimately began on the road to whole body and gut wellness. Thus began the journey that has become my lifestyle.  The way I eat has changed the way I think, the places I can and want to go to eat and otherwise adventure, and has helped me to positively influence the health and wellbeing of the people who are closest to me.  I am healthier and more energetic now than I have ever been before. “We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.”- Aristotle