I currently eat a very restricted diet-this isn’t new. I have thankfully moved out of the most restrictive phase and have now entered what will be my way of life. In the past year I’ve gone from being someone who ate a plant-based diet and avoided gluten for the most part to reintroducing animal protein and eating a fully Paleo diet. It’s been a JOURNEY, friends. And while I’ve prioritized clean eating and exclusively eating organic, as someone with an auto-immune disease I really needed to take the next step to eliminate things I never realized were just as bad as the obvious no-no’s I cut out years ago.
Gluten: The first and most important thing I removed from my diet when I found out I had Hashimotos was gluten. Gluten wrecks havoc on the gut and causes intestinal permeability (leaky gut) which is the last thing you want while working to get your autoimmune disease in remission. You don’t have to have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity to cut out gluten-it’s tough on our gut even if it doesn’t show up on a test. Gluten is a very sneaky thing and removing it 100% from my life has been a challenge since it was in my hair care, skincare and nearly every package food. The best way to start is to remove all grains in general (which is how I eat now) rather than switching to “gluten-free” products.
Certain Oils: I stopped eating vegetable, soybean and especially canola oil this year. They’re extremely highly processed and refined and in the case of soybean oil, can lead to a major crash after eating it in the case of an autoimmune disease. That on top of originating from modified sources, throwing off the correct Omega-3/Omega-6 balance and filled with GMOs and BHA’s makes them a no for me.
Soy: Soy is a xenoestrogen. Big word-simple meaning-soy mimics the same effects as estrogen in our bodies. Soy can cause an excess of estrogen whether you have an autoimmune disease or not which is which is why I limit soy in our house as much as possible, especially for the boys. Even though O and the kids are plant-based, we’ve never added soy products or tofu as a replacement. Another reason to avoid soy is that it’s a goitrogen which means our thyroids enlarge to counteract the suppression of our thyroid gland and hormone reduction due to soy. You can read more about goitrogens here.
Grains: I won’t be grain-free for life. Once I heal some of the issues in my gut, I plan on introducing grains like quinoa and brown rice every now and then. For now, they can lead to blood sugar imbalances and as someone with leaky gut, the risk isn’t worth the reward.
Dairy: Dairy is an inflammatory and we are exposed to the hormones given to conventional cows when we ingest their products. Yes, cheese was hard to say goodbye to-especially since I stopped eating dairy in 2015 when the ‘vegan cheese’ selection was less than stellar. Actually, it was awful. But we’ve come such a long way in the plant-based dairy department.
If you’re planning on giving up any of these items, be sure to do your research and tackle one item at a time. It can be really overwhelming but the difference I’ve felt in my body is night and day compared to one year ago…and every single year before that to be honest.