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The Autoimmune Diet

February 6, 2014

Weight LossFat HealthEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeDiet Talk

Serious trigger warning: Eating disorder discussion with calorie counting and diet talk.

raw-food-diet-center-1I have a new doctor. I sort of got him by accident. My general practitioner recommended him but at first I ended up seeing his nurse practitioner for my thyroid needs. Still, the head office peeps recommend I see him to “establish care.” When I told him I wasn’t there for any particular reason other than that he seemed a bit confused, but whatevs. We went over my health issues one by one. A bad ankle from an injury, bad knees from a genetic lack of cartilage, chronic bicep tendinitis from a fall several years ago, hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), bipolar disorder, migraines, and chronic nausea.

Yeah, it was kind of a long list (not as long as some, I’m sure). What was next was a discussion about autoimmune diseases and inflammation in the body. I’ve already seen my migraines lessen and my fatigue lift somewhat by eliminating gluten. But what was he talking about? Well, I don’t know how I’m going to manage to be honest and it’s triggering a lot of my old eating disordered thoughts.

You see, what I’ll basically be doing is a raw food vegan diet. I can’t eat anything in the nightshade family (including tomatoes… What? No!),  No corn, no potatoes, no peppers, no eggplant. No soy, no gluten or grains and, of course, no animal products. That doesn’t leave me with a lot, does it? Technically, I’m supposed to be eliminating nuts and seeds as well, but my doctor let me hang onto those. I see a lot of salads in my future. (I kid — I’ve actually found a lot of awesome raw food recipes). 

The annoying part, though, is that my doctor says he expects weight to just “drop off” of me. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “That ain’t happening.” When he asked why, I explained that I had an eating disorder for ten years and if that didn’t make me thin, certainly some stupid diet wasn’t going to. Still, he can’t seem to accept that I’m just naturally fat. No, it’s the fault of my meds not being high enough and my diet not being anti-inflammatory enough. It’s my leaky gut that’s causing me to be fat! So what if all of the women in my family are fat? They obviously must have leaky guts too, even if they don’t have an autoimmune disease like I have. The big thing I’m skeptical of was him linking my diet to my mood disorder. Well, my mom said he was a witch doctor, but I’m willing to try anything to avoid surgery and pain meds.

So what I’ll be struggling with is getting enough calories (last time I tracked calories, I ate between 1,400-1,800, so I need at least that many), getting enough protein, and finding meals that are filling and satisfying, as well as not triggering the “good fatty” inside me who wants to be proud for all the restricting I’ll be doing. At my ED worst, I was eating a veggie burger with ketchup (no bread) for lunch (100 calories) and tofu noodles (40 calories) with pasta sauce (150 calories) for dinner.

Oh god, it skeeves me out that I can still remember exactly how many calories I was consuming. You’re reading right though… I was eating about 300 calories a day at the time right before I found Fat Acceptance. It sort of makes me want to cry now. On one hand, I can’t believe I let myself get that low and on the other I’m so worried that I’ll do it again. It’s easy to under-eat when you’re literally eating nothing but fruits and veggies.

But I’m determined. I’ll stay body positive, I’ll keep loving myself AND I’ll keep to this diet to (hopefully) improve my health.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Feminist Cupcake permalink
    February 6, 2014 1:30 pm

    I feel ya. I also have hashi and often eat this way. (BTW soy shouldn’t ever be consumed with thyroid hormone replacement drugs; it interferes with their absorption). Overtime I’ve come to this conclusion: I eat tons of veggies, sweet potatoes and lean proteins – like chicken and buffalo but also pea protein powders (olympic labs) and flax milk and some fruit, because fructose can be also be inflammatory. I don’t count calories. I don’t think about calories. I don’t always follow the rules. Sometimes I eat what I desire because it’s my body and I can make my own choices. Leaky gut isn’t a great thing to have but I take a great pro-biotic and I do fine.Healing my leaky gut didn’t change my body type. I also take something called methyl protect that helps with hashi brain fog – it’s basically vitamin Bs and Folic Acid. When I eat anti inflammatory my hasi is absolutely better. I have more energy and my skin and hair are less dry. I never lose weight. I don’t gain either.

    Basically, I continue to approach eating as something that is intuitive. The way I see it is – If you are eating till you’re full – then your body will tell you when you need more calories.

    Just so you know – I’ve eaten that veggie burger tofu noodle meal and I also remember the calories. I never want to be in that place, where restriction is success, again!

    You’re awesome. You got this.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      February 6, 2014 8:40 pm

      hey- do you have any studies or anything about the soy and thyroid medication thing? i know it can interfere with the absorption of iodine which can effect the thyroid but my doc didn’t say anything about it effecting the medication. as for the iodine, you can just take an iodine supplement if you enjoy soy.

      one thing with this meal plan is that i’m always always hungry and i’m not sure how to fix that (other than to just keep eating, but I have other things to do with my day, ya know?)

      and thank you for your support 🙂 it’s been about a week now and i’m still finding it difficult to figure out what to eat, but i’m slowly getting used to it.

      • Feminist Cupcake permalink
        February 6, 2014 8:47 pm

        This is the note about my drug:

        Drug-Food Interactions

        Consumption of certain foods may affect levothyroxine sodium absorption thereby necessitating adjustments in dosing. Soybean flour, cotton seed meal, walnuts, and dietary fiber may bind and decrease the absorption of levothyroxine sodium from the GI tract.

        • hlkolaya permalink
          February 7, 2014 9:00 pm

          I don’t take levo- i take armour, but i find it interesting that it doesn’t say soy itself is a problem but soybean flour specifically. i wonder why that is!

          • Feminist Cupcake permalink
            February 8, 2014 7:01 am

            My doctor said no soy when I was on armour too.

      • Feminist Cupcake permalink
        February 6, 2014 8:48 pm

        Also are you eating animal protein?

        • hlkolaya permalink
          February 7, 2014 8:58 pm

          feminist cupcake,
          no, i’m vegan 🙂

          • Feminist Cupcake permalink
            February 7, 2014 9:03 pm

            That would make it harder.

            • hlkolaya permalink
              February 7, 2014 9:08 pm

              lol yes, but i’m managing. i’ve found a new favorite dish- sauteed mushrooms with a raw cashew based cheesy sauce

  2. February 6, 2014 1:54 pm

    Have you figured out your BMR? Maybe eating more will help with the triggery stuff by being kind of in your face not dieting.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      February 6, 2014 8:37 pm

      I do not know my BMR, but i’m actually getting it measured by my doctor- for him it’s a way of measuring the effects of thyroid disease somehow (not sure how?). I guess if the metabolism is too slow then more meds are necessary but this doesn’t say anything for people who have naturally slow metabolisms or slow metabolisms from EDs or years of dieting… so I guess we’ll see. I think he’s secretly hoping to shame me into losing weight as he tried to do talking about this autoimmune diet.

  3. February 7, 2014 7:42 pm

    Oh boy, that’s a lot to give up. I was just diagnosed with diabetes, and my semi-vegetarianism kind of went out the window because a lot of vegetarian recipes are very high in carbohydrates. I actually feel a lot better, and the cravings I have had for refined sugar during my entire life were gone overnight. But sometimes I find myself wondering what the hell I can eat!
    My endocrine system is the bane of my existence!
    Good luck to you getting yours in order as well!

  4. emi11n permalink
    February 8, 2014 6:50 pm

    Wow, i totally sympathize with your struggle. I’ve been doing the paleo autoimmune protocol for a month now to deal with some skin issues that i think are due to food sensitivities. The first two weeks were really hard. I was really frustrated wanting what i couldn’t have and not wanting what i could have. It has gotten a little easier as I’ve built new habits. Yeah i can’t imagine trying to do this without animal foods, props to you! You might be surprised how much this diet affects you. It can definitely affect mood. Since i started eating paleo-ish last year, all my depression symptoms are gone. I can’t tell you how mind blowing this is for me. I’ve had issues with depression for at least 27 years. I thought it was just who I was. Its so wonderful to feel, well, normal! Even if a stressful situation gets me down, my mood pops right back up when its over. I’ve read numerous other accounts of mood improvements as well. Other benefits i have had: improvement in allergy symptoms, no more winter asthma, no more fungal infections. I did lose afew pounds, but not that much. Its really hard having to make from scratch everything i eat, but its worth it to solve my skin problems. As far as calorie intake goes, do you eat coconut oil? Virgin coconut oil is awesome stuff and happens to be easy to digest and antiinflammatory. For more recipe ideas, if you haven’t seen or you should check them out. I am addicted to paleo mom’s plantain crackers. I just tried the cream of broccoli soup from autoimmune paleo and it was delicious. Easy to do a vegan version. Good luck with your diet, i hope it really helps you.

  5. Jennifer Hansen permalink
    February 9, 2014 8:56 pm

    Can you do avocados/are avocados affordable in your area? There are more raw avocado sauces than guacamole, but all the ones I know of combine avocados with something acid and something acrid. You’ll have to avoid tomatoes and tomatillos, naturally, but both limes and mild vinegars can provide acidity; chopped raw garlic and onion and ground black pepper could provide heat. (If you really like things chili-hot, BTW, look for an exotic spice merchant online and buy some long pepper and culinary lavender. The long pepper provides a hot bite and the lavender gives the floral aftertaste, not exactly like chiles, but close. Use both sparingly. They need to be powdered but are usually sold whole; luckily they are easy to grind in a bowl with the back of a spoon.) If I want a quick meal during the, like, week when avocados are both cheap and good in my area, I tend to make an avocado sauce while I cook a pot of rice. For raw, how about slices of jicama to scoop up the avocado sauce? Or carrot sticks?

    For jumping-off points to adapt to your needs, look up guacamole, guasacaca, and mantequilla de pobre. Also, the Avocado Board suggests pairing avocados with raspberries. I’ve never tried it, but . . . huh, actually that sounds pretty tasty.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      February 10, 2014 9:11 am

      hello 🙂 i can indeed have avocados and they’re pretty affordable where I am. I’ve mad guac with them like you said, but not really anything else. I can’t have any kind of pepper though so long pepper sounds like it’d be out. I’ll try to look up more avocado recipes though since i LOVE avocado and it’s a good source of fats and protein. I know there are some raw avocado based desserts too that i need to get to lookin up!

      • Jennifer Hansen permalink
        February 10, 2014 7:30 pm

        Is that pepper or peppers that you can’t eat? Long pepper is related to black pepper, but not to chili peppers.

        • hlkolaya permalink
          February 10, 2014 8:43 pm

          i can’t have peppers but CAN have peppercorn (black pepper) so if long pepper isn’t actually a pepper then that’s fantastic!

          • Jennifer Hansen permalink
            February 11, 2014 1:39 am

            It’s an awesome seasoning if you like things hot hot HOT. It was what Westerners who wanted the burn cooked with before chili peppers crossed the Atlantic. Because you have to add other seasonings (such as culinary lavender) in order to get a pleasant afterburn, and also because chili peppers grow outside the tropics, it is hardly ever used in the West these days. Some spice merchants list their spices with the scientific name; look for Piper longum, i.e., “the pepper that is long.”

  6. February 17, 2014 7:48 am

    After reading your list of do’s and don’ts on the eating side of things it made me think about a recipe book I saw – something to do with organic eaters guide. I remember quickly looking through it and seeing a lot of raw food recipes. I didn’t browse through it for long! However, after researching a lot about vegan diets and vegetable and fruit diets, I actually came to find a lot of great recipes out there. Even now, looking through ‘normal’ recipe books there are ways to alter a lot of the meals to exclude certain food groups. My advice is to find alternatives to the things that you ate before eg, swapping out coffee for fruit tea, or milk to dairy or lactose free. Little things can help and make you feel less like you are giving up the things you love.

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