Grains are not the enemy! Or are they? If you’ve been following along this month, then you have been keeping up with the several food groups I’ve been asked to eliminate or severely minimize intake for at least 90+ days. You see after a health checkup, I learned I was bordering on hypothyroidism or under active thyroid. Not enough to be diagnosed, but enough to be concerned with my health. I knew there was something wrong, because someone who eats the way I do and works out as much as I do should look like She-Ra. Then a rough pregnancy derailed a lifetime of work. It wreaked havoc on my body, left me hospitalized for weeks on end, unable to eat, digest, I was a hot mess.
I thought it would take me 6-9 months to rock back into shape, but 5 years later my body started doing more and more weird things. I felt like a blow fish. If someone did not know me, they thought, “oh she is slender.” However, to people who really knew me, they thought, “jeesh, did you mean to gain all that weight.” Yes, someone actually said that to me. Can we say, ‘side eye’. I am just a size 6. I was previously a lot smaller, let’s just say. Nevertheless, I had had it. I could not take it anymore. So I went to a couple different functional health doctors who actually look at baseline issues rather than regular doctors who look to see if you already have a problem in need of medicinal care.
I did not want to wait til I was past preventive care, so I had some serious blood panel work done. The result was get rid of the following food groups… for now:
- my beloved cruciferous vegetables
- my delicious honey roasted peanuts… well, any peanut
- and today, we are going to discuss the last food group – grains.
What I learned from my panel results is the fact I was “in range”, meaning considered ‘healthy’, yet I was outside of the “desireable range” in several areas. Hence, the reason I felt like a blow fish. Stress for the prolonged period of time, excessive sickness, inability to eat nutritiously for the duration of that last pregnancy had sent my body into a tail spin. And because I did not know the true effect the HG had on my body, I did not do anything other than resume my normal exercise and eating routine once the pregnancy was over. Little did I know, I needed to do something drastic to restore my body back to normal. sigh.
Sidebar, you want to know what is HG? Learn more at HelpHer.org. It’s no joke. And I am no wimp.
Nevertheless, it is not too late. I imagine I am only borderline and was not diagnosed with full blown hypothyroidism because of my relatively good eating and exercise habits. I mean don’t get me wrong, I do love a good dessert every once in a while, but it is rare.
So the last food group I need to be leary of is grains. Well, actually it is more ridding myself of refined grains and eating only 100% whole grains. Okay, even further, avoiding gluten containing grains:
Given this new, temporary way of eating is going to rip me of some excellent fiber sources, I need a good source of fiber and B vitamins. No one wants a B12 deficiency, right? So I will continue to eat whole grains and sea vegetables for those nutrients. Why? According to the American Heart Association:
Eating whole grains provides important health benefits:
- Many whole grains are good or excellent sources of dietary fiber. Most refined grains contain little fiber.
- Dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, may help improve blood cholesterol levels, and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Dietary fiber can make you feel full, so you may eat fewer calories. Including whole grains in your diet plan may help you reach or manage a healthy weight.
While I understand grains have been put down, shamed and tossed out by many, it should be carefully delineated which grains need the boot. Grains, after all, are not the enemy. Our new world way of growing food is the culprit.
So what does that mean for me? It means I will continue to eat my brown rice, wild rice and oats. However, I will eliminate for now orzo and pitas. And I will minimize my use of stock: chicken or beef.
The key factor between all of these food groups is essentially avoiding foods that are hard to digest until I can restore my body back to a healthy, desirable state. Only then will I re-introduce, slowly the food groups I’ve had to eliminate or severely decrease intake. Anything I can do to get rid of this internal inflammation, speed up my thyroid and restore my metabolism, I will do. I admit I can do more, but after a few decades of eating a certain way, it is difficult to break certain habits. Another reason why I am writing these posts. It gives me accountability.
Enough of the negative talk. Next week, we will start discussing things I can eat. It should be a little more uplifting and positive.
Whole Grains Council
American Heart Association
Anyone else have food groups they’ve eliminated to avoid an under active thyroid?