Happy Belated New Year! 2017 has certainly started off with a bang; that’s for sure. I haven’t written in a while as I’ve been super busy getting myself happy and healthy to ensure I have a wonderful 2017.
So what is my cleanse that I am doing all about? As you may have read in the About Me section I was diagnosed with a severely underachieve thyroid about 8 months after my son was born. In the lead up to Christmas my body started to really ache; I would wake up and feel stiff for the rest of the day; particularly in my hands, wrists and hips. At one point I was finding it difficult to pick my son up because of the searing pain. Christmas followed and I overindulged in all the good stuff – come on – it’s Christmas after all 🙂 I do LOVE a mince pie and there were some phenomenal chocolate brownies for dessert on Christmas day which I inhaled! Anyway, a couple of days after Christmas I started to feel absolute awful; my head was foggy, my body was sore and I was feeling very emotional.
A friend of mine recommended a book by Dr Amy Myers called The Thyroid Connection plan which I started reading and found it really interesting. The Thyroid Connection is all about how the thyroid works in the body and how issues in your gut. leaky gut syndrome, can cause vital aspects of your body to disfunction. I was FASCINATED!
So, what is leaky gut syndrome? I hear you ask. I hadn’t actually heard of it either before I read Dr Myer’s book. Your intestine is similar to an incredibly fine mesh. The tiny holes allow for the movement of nutrients and the good things that your body needs to pass from the gut through to the bloodstream. Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, the holes in your intestine can become bigger and allow bad things to float through into the blood. These include things like toxins, microbes and undigested food particles. Not good. The problem with this happening is that it can cause the body to attack itself to try and deal with the negative stuff which has found its way into your blood stream.
Leaky gut syndrome – aka “intestinal hyperpermeability” causes inflammation throughout your body which leads to a variety of diseases; allergies, asthma, autoimmune disease, arthritis, thyroid problems and diabetes to name but a few. YIKES!
SO, back to my cleanse and why I’m doing it. Whilst reading Dr Myer’s book I simultaneously received a new set of SCIO results from my naturopath highlighting that arthritis had been picked up. The pain I’d been experiencing made sense and I also figured that I must have a problem with my gut. I decided that in the New Year I would do a cleanse to help reset my body to reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism as well as the pain from the arthritis.
I can’t recommend Dr Myer’s book enough. It is called The Thyroid Connection. Her approach is one that is very holistic; working both on the mind and body to heal yourself. Unfortunately for me, as a vegetarian, I found that her plan also heavily based itself on bone broths, meats and collagen. She is a strong advocate of the benefits of animal proteins in healing your body. For me, as a vegetarian and not having eaten meat in years I just didn’t feel comfortable about changing my diet back to eating meat and fish for the purpose of the cleanse. So, I started doing some further research on an autoimmune cleanse that was vegetarian.
I came across this excellent book; “Eating Clean” by Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple. After struggling with toxicity and many of the health-robbing ramifications, Amie developed a way to help deal with issues such as leaky gut, brain fog, depression etc to name but a few. Amie’s approach is completely vegetarian and her book recommends a 21 day detox designed to reverse symptoms and remove toxic triggers. She follows an approach that is free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts and refined sugar as well as meat free.
I immediately fell in love with the book. It is full of vegetarian and vegan recipes which are easy to follow, delicious and filling. She also provides a two week meal plan to get you started. I really could not recommend it more.
So where am I currently in the plan?
I am now on day 17 and I genuinely feel better than I have done for the past two years. For the first twelve days I removed all of the items that Amie advocates from my diet and followed her recipes. I can’t wait to share some of my creations with you – coming soon. I also removed caffeine from my diet to allow my body to properly cleanse. However, after 12 days I decided to allow myself one cup of coffee in the morning as I think you should find balance in life and you can’t restrict yourself from everything. I don’t smoke and I’m not a huge drinker (although – I’ll never say no to a glass of champagne if it is floating around) so I figured I’d be kind to myself and allow myself an almond Cap in the mornings. I’m also a mother of a one year old boy and that can be pretty tiring.
But as I write this I’m on day 17 and other than coffee I haven’t touched any of the above items I’ve mentioned. I feel brighter, lighter and less foggy in my head. A couple of my friends have commented that my skin is glowing and for the first time in over a year I feel capable and confident. My consciousness about whether or not I am a good mother or if I am doing the best for my son has gone. I feel great and I am enjoying being a full time mother now without the anxiety I was suffering before in the background.
My aim is to get to 28 days without any diary, gluten or refined sugar and then go from there. I have also realised even more how much I love cooking and how I find nutrition and it’s ability to help heal absolutely fascinating.
I’m excited to post some of the recipes I’ve been making and even ones I’ve put together myself. If you suffer from an autoimmune disease or struggle with brain fog, depression, bloating, achy joints & muscles, low energy etc I would really recommend reading up on leaky gut syndrome and taking a look at a plan like Amie’s or Dr Myers. Feel free to get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions about any of my post – I’d be more than happy to share my experience and thoughts / help if I can.