Okay, this subject can be very confusing. I hope this post will help you make some sense of all the diets out there. First of all, you are not looking for a “diet” that will somehow score a quick weight loss but leave you with all the same internal problems (I hope). You are looking to get healthier and as a by-product, your body will shed the weight like it did me. You will hear all kinds of advice out there (and even here) based on others’ experiences and on “expert” blogs, but what is going to matter in the long run is what type of diet works for you and your body. Here’s where I again recommend Pharmacist Izabella Wentz’ book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause or her eBook here. In this book, you will be able to piece together whether you should start with one diet or another for your particular situation. One thing almost all experts agree on is that gluten should be out. So we will focus on gluten in this post as we have this month so far. No matter what diet you decide on, you will need to continue to strictly navigate the gluten-free rules you are putting together for yourself thus far. But from there, your body will help you determine what is best. For me, it took a strict gluten-free, grain free, sugar-free, soy free and mostly legume free diet to feel better (the GAPS Diet). There are still questions in my mind if an autoimmune protocol diet as outlined by ThePaleoMom.com might help me heal a bit more to reach my goal earlier but my symptoms are so much under control, I am enjoying the freedom I currently have with my diet. I know some of you are saying to yourselves, “Freedom?, she thinks she is eating in freedom on a grain free, sugar-free, soy free, dairy free diet?” I know that’s sounds funny but I am so used to this diet, it just doesn’t seem restricted to me anymore there are so many delicious foods and healthy replacement items available! If you are currently contemplating the Autoimmune Protocol, there is a fantastic cookbook out that will help you along on your journey I highly recommend called The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott who reversed her serious symptoms from Hashimoto’s and Celiac Disease. At the moment, now that I have the cookbook, I am waiting for the right time to start.
But let’s move on to the gluten-free diet this series is focusing on. You will find out as you go why these other diet options keep popping up! So, let’s say you have not made many changes to your diet yet. Perhaps you want to go slow in this transition. This is to mean that you might go on that processed gluten-free spurt where you find the gluten-free counterparts of the foods you know you are going to miss. Foods like chocolate chip cookies, muffins, burritos, etc. Pretty much there are processed gluten-free foods mimicking almost everything you will crave and for your convenience, I am providing a link to many of them at my affiliate partner Amazon resource center. By the way, the very best chocolate chip cookie mix in my opinion that I tried is King Arthur and you can find it here. Whoops! My love for chocolate chip cookies came out right there. Okay, I admit I kind of miss chocolate chip cookies but I am enjoying the way I feel at the moment and would rather feel good without the sugar at this point but why not still share the very best I found to my readers? The reason it is not recommended to indulge on this gluten-free processed food is that in some ways, these foods are even more damaging than the gluten versions in that they are usually strictly denatured and have very little nutrition to offer. Having them as a treat during the transition is your choice (I did) and yet, you might give yourself a certain time frame to get it out of your system so you can get to some nutritious foods instead in their place eventually. That’s where traditional food preparation comes in and my favorite online classes at GNOWFLINS. If you don’t want to cut out a lot of grains at this point, at least preparing them so they are more nutritious and digestible will be a good start. Depending on your personality, you can either lay out a “plan” for transition (like I did) or you can go completely grain free, sugar-free, etc. at the same time as the gluten-free transition. Sometimes doing it all at once can make the detox a bit more intense so at that point, you might want to take it a bit slower. Of course, severe symptoms sometimes require more drastic changes. That will have to be determined between you and your doctor. And getting the right doctor is imperative who understands how diet can be essential in symptom relief with Hashimoto’s! Some ideas I have a the top of my head for those just wanting to eliminate the common forms of gluten would be to replace your common gluten ingredients with their gluten-free counterparts. That’s it! This is the easiest way to start. In other words, take regular pasta and replace with gluten-free pasta. Some of it honestly tastes terrible in my opinion but I never went wrong with Lundberg products and I’m really picky! Our favorite bagels and breads were replaced by Udi’s products which helped us tremendously make the transition so we could still have our bagels with cream cheese and toast with eggs, etc. They can sometimes be found in the freezer section of your grocery store’s natural department, if they have one. Make sure the packages of rice, pasta or any other grain also says gluten-free plainly on the label for this transition phase until you get used to the manufacturers and their practices as you go. The good news is that you can make almost anything gluten-free that you are used to eating. However, as I’ve warned in previous posts and will cover in more detail in the series as we go, is that you may find that you need to tweak your diet down the line. But for now, it’s less stress to transition slowly by starting with a simple gluten-free transition for most of you. There are many good resources for finding gluten-free recipes. Here are just some to pick from:
- 31 Weeknight Meals for Back to School from simplysugarandglutenfree.com
- Recipes By the Season by glutenfreegirl.com
- King Arthur has a bunch of gluten-free recipes on their site.
- Elana’s Pantry is very well-known for her delicious gluten-free recipes.
- And there are many more when searching for gluten-free recipes! But one word of caution – some recipes on the net are not always 100% gluten-free even if they say they are. Make sure you check each ingredient to make sure it’s truly gluten-free. Over time, you will memorize the ingredients that are and are not.
Where you might end up (like me) is that you need to heal a leaky gut. And for that there are many ways to proceed. Of course, I am doing the GAPS Diet which has been so extremely successful – I owe so much to this diet. However, there are other ways. Some described in Izabella’s book and other ideas are all over the internet like this approach by Dr. Kharrazian (who has helped so many sufferers). It is pretty close to what I am doing but a bit less intimidating and would be a great start too. This post gives you examples of what I cook on a daily basis but keep in mind, you might have sensitivities to any one of these foods. Around the holidays, when you might begin to really feel left out, you will need to have your own allowable goodies. That why I made a board on Pinterest, not only for myself, but so I can share my tried and true recipe “go-tos” which are mostly not my own, but special ones that are either staples or special desserts for those times I need to feel I can indulge a bit. This post gives you an idea of those times. Of course, due to the grain and sugar-free diet I am on, these goodies are grain and sugar-free as well as gluten-free. So, I hope this post helped you get ideas on what to cook and will help you enjoy the great variety of nourishing foods without gluten that will bring healing to our body.
The whole “Let’s Go Gluten Free” series can be found here.Disclaimer: All posts are describing my personal journey through health issues and are in no way meant to guide anyone towards any method in particular. I am not a medical practitioner or have a dietary or medical license, and this blog is not intended to be taken as authoritative advice. Please see your doctor, or health professional before making any drastic diet changes! Also, occasionally I find others to partner with whom I have had tremendous help from and therefore, there may be paid advertisements and links to support them and help me financially run this website.