Taking Back Control – Shopping Day

It was the brain fog talking. Had to be. If I had had clear thought, I would have started off this journey in a much different fashion. Still, I survived, and learned a lot in the process. A win in the end. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me share with you my first league of the Myers Way adventure.

It was a dark and stormy night … Just kidding, it was a clear, bright Saturday, and I took advantage of my youngests’ nap to get my shopping lists in order. Being used to shopping for a week at a time, I thought that would be the most logical way to proceed – 7 days at a time – and reviewed the meal plan accordingly. Thankfully, Dr. Myers intentionally plans for leftovers, and seems to also plan for having repeat ingredients planned closely together. Still, by the time I was done tallying quantities, writing and re-writing my lists, and verifying everything, I ended up with the longest grocery list I have ever gone to the store with. That was also when I realized that to make this all work, I would need to go shopping the next day (Sunday) with both of my children in tow (meaning in between naps, meaning during the busiest, most crowded part of the day). See how the brain fog just completely takes over? I realized this would be seriously difficult, and yet I didn’t even try and think of a different way (ya know, like leaving the kids at home for a bit *eye roll*).

I had broken all the items into three lists: Costco, Smith’s, and miscellaneous supplements that I had no idea how I was going to get. The meal plan focuses on meat and vegetables, and thankfully our Costco has some great options for organic produce. I was able to get all of my leafy greens and a few of the meats there, and got out for the mostly reasonable cost of $85.00. Most of the remaining items I found at my local Smith’s. They have a fairly decent organic section for produce and other goods, and as I this is where I regularly shop, it is where I felt the most comfortable going. The few items I was not able to find were the less common things – like coconut yogurt or the yeast needed to make it at home.

Even though I was able to get a lot of stuff in bulk, the quantity of items that I still needed to get at Smith’s got overwhelming in a hurry. Add in two children who were coming in close to lunch/nap time, and it will easily be voted the most out of control shopping trip we’ve ever made (I would like to take this moment and apologize to my good friend Aimee, whom I ran into while we were shopping and I’m sure was wondering what I was doing wandering around the store with a blank stare on my face and acting like the world was going to end. It was almost that dire, I promise. I would also like to take this moment and thank Smith’s for keeping a children produce bin stocked for hungry children so I didn’t have to tear into crackers that I didn’t want to buy. Sanity saver!). While I had grouped items into appropriate stores, I hadn’t taken the time to order items on each list into like groups, such as produce, diary, meat, etc. This isn’t something that I usually do, but it due to the size of my list, it would have benefited me greatly. My babies’ first sentence will probably be “Oh, crap!” with the amount of times I realized I had skipped over something in a different area of the store.

When I finally pushed my cart to the checkout line, my basket was overflowing and I was barely avoiding tears (myself included). When the beeping scanner finally ended, the grand total was about $200.00. I needed a few more beeps to cover up the words that wanted to come out of my mouth. That was almost double what we normally spend a week for food!! Ouch, to say the least!

Of course, the entire drive home, I was battling with myself about what had just happened. “That’s so much money!” “Yes, but if it makes me feel better…” “Feel better? I better be feeling like gold if it’s going to cost that much to do this experiment.” “It’ll be fine. It’s only for 28 days, not forever.”

Needless to say, by the time I got home, hauled everything inside and found spaces for everything (my fridge was bursting at the seams – literally, the door had to be pushed hard to shut it all the way) my brain and body were done. D – O – N – E .  Dr. Myers recommends prepping as much as you can to help save time when cooking, which I believe in whole heartedly. Except for that day. The rest of the day, I limped around, doing the very minimum needed to keep everything alive, until it was time for the girls’ to go to bed, and I could take a bath.

The number of lessons I’ve learned from this first excursion are plentiful. For example, grouping items into store departments before I go, and perhaps not shop for 7 days at a time to save on space and frustration.  My biggest concern with how well this adventure will pan out is the cost. The $285.00 didn’t even include all the supplements I am supposed to be taking. For this next week, I will be taking the supplements that I could find, and following the meal plan to the letter (except for the recipe that required coconut yogurt). After that, we’ll see about investigating a way to lower costs – if that’s possible.

Here’s to health!

Do you suffer from an auto-immune condition? What are some of your methods to keep your health in line? Let me know in the comments below!

 

To see my original plan to gain back my health, check out my last post in the series Taking Back Control – The Plan

To see what started this whole ordeal off, check out my post The Time My Thyroid Gave Me The Finger

Do you suffer from an auto-immune condition? What are some of your methods to keep your health in line?

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Taking Back Control – The Plan

In an effort to help heal my thyroid induced frustrations, my doctor recommended that I read Dr. Amy Myers. She has two books out about the thyroid and autoimmune disorders: The Autoimmune Solution, released in 2015, and The Thyroid Connection, released in 2016. I decided to start with The Thyroid Connection for two reasons: 1) it has a newer release date, and 2) it was currently available at my local library. Yes, I am that desperate to get this crap figured out.

Thyroid Connection

I’ve read through the first part of the book, and it was nice to see confirmation of a lot of information that I’ve absorbed elsewhere. Probably the biggest thing that differed from past books I’ve read on Hashimoto’s, or autoimmune disorders in general, is that it comes with a 28-day plan fully written up with recipes and supplements all organized and easy to follow.

Let me just interrupt myself for a minute and be real with you. I’ve already admitted to not taking care of myself like I should have been. But what I failed to mention is why. Sure, I could blame it on motherhood, a busy life, or even on mom-guilt. But those reasons wouldn’t be truth. I stopped – yes, stopped as once upon a time I had this stuff down to a science – at first because of those things. But I stayed stopped due to fear, uncertainty, and plain, old laziness. It’s hard to eat right. It’s hard to eat in a way that others don’t believe in. It’s hard to eat in a way completely different from your children and husband. It’s hard to continually be your own advocate. But it’s also hard to function when you don’t feel well. And because it is so hard, it is helpful when someone else provides a straight forward plan for you to follow. Now, back to the main point!

In basic terms, Dr. Myers plan is like many others I have read, following the basic AIP principles (AutoImmune Protocol – an eliminate style diet developed to pin point immunity triggers in sufferers.  Basically, an allergy test for the food you eat and how they affect your body). Gluten free, diary free, egg free, processed free, plenty of supplements added (Yes, all of that – see how it can be so daunting?). The recipes in the book, though, are easy to follow, and the ingredient lists don’t seem too outrageous – for the pallet or the pocketbook.

After looking for my phone that was lost in my had for the third time that day, I decided the time for thinking about starting on the 28-day plan was over. I sat down, compared eating plan to recipes, read through the supplement requirements, and made my shopping list. My husband and I are both going to follow the recommended meal plan (my cute hubby does not have thyroid disease or an autoimmune disorder, but does have an interest in supporting me and getting healthier). I will also be doing my best to follow the supplement protocol.

Before I end, I would like to say that I am under a doctor’s supervision during all of this. I had a blood test for my levels during my last appointment, and standing orders for a return visit in 8 weeks. My doctor is also who directed me towards a plan such as this, so I am going to do my best to follow it. I’ve also put links to both of Dr. Myers books below, plus another book that I use frequently as a reference when it comes to understanding my disorder.

Wish me luck!

Brittnie

The Thyroid Connection: Why You Feel Tired, Brain-Fogged, and Overweight — and How to Get Your Life Back by Dr. Any Myers

The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases by Dr. Amy Myers

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Izabella Wentz

 **Please see my About Me page for disclaimer and affiliate link information**

The Time My Thyroid Gave Me The Finger

My Thyroid Gave Me The Finger

My Thyroid Gave Me The Finger

My hustle was broken last week. What started out with a masterfully ordered to-do list and a plan quickly deteriorated into scrolling through social media, anxiety, and frustration. I allowed other people’s actions to make me feel cornered, trapped, and started the domino effect of my self-imposed chaos tumbling down and turning everything that I could normally handle into Mt. Everest.

I was building up my own anxiety, ignoring housework, trying to focus on too many things and accomplishing nothing. Beating myself up for not dedicating myself to writing, reading, family, health. Telling myself that if I were truly hustling, I would be spending every moment of my day on tasks before turning my phone on to see if anything on social media has changed.

I’ve been here before, and typically I take a day to just be, to let the feelings simmer, vent and complain a bit, read, take a long bath, and go to bed early. Being an introvert, I find that sometimes I need to sequester myself in my own space for a little bit if life gets a bit too crowded. Usually, the next day I’m up and ready to take charge.

But this time, I woke up feeling worse. I expressed my frustrations to my husband. He, being so supportive, helped me talk through things to find out the root of it all. Together we keyed in on a few things within my control, and came up with a plan to deal. I also had a doctors appointment that week that made me realize that it wasn’t just an overcrowded introverts need for space that was causing my sudden anxiety flare.

In my case, not taking care of myself is not only adding to my issues, it is the root cause of all of my anxiety and inability to process thoughts on what I deem an acceptable level. I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition where my immune system is attacking my thyroid and causing it to underperform. The symptoms of this chronic disease are varied and appear in every sufferer differently. For me, the biggest and most pronounced symptoms are brain fog – basically the brain’s inability to function cognitively (a good comparison would be when you take a nap a bit too long, and wake up disoriented and groggy – all the time.) – fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, joint pain, and weight gain. I was diagnosed when I was 19 years old, and have had more symptoms appear as I get older. Most importantly, the less I take care of myself, the worse all my symptoms get.

With all the major life changes that have happened in the last year, my self-care routine, namely diet and exercise, has taken a big hit. For a while I was hoping I could slide by on the diet issues and compensate with more exercise. But it never stuck. It’s now gotten to the point that if I don’t do something to get back on track, my body could do some serious damage to itself. I need to make getting as healthy as possible my number one priority, and fit in everything else the best I can. The mom in me says this is selfish, but I am reminded that I have a family that I need to support, as well as my own soul and creative ventures. I can’t do that if I’m wrapped up in frustration and anxiety because my brain can’t think, or if my body hurts so bad I can’t even climb a flight of stairs.

Why do you care? You probably don’t. But I’m hoping to use this venture in my writing, and take all of you along for the ride. Meaning, there are probably going to be a lot more medically oriented posts on here, so I hope you don’t mind.

Having a chronic disease is a part of me, a part of who I am. Like writing and motherhood, I need to embrace it, love this part of myself so that I can function. I have ignored it for far too long, and it’s time I paid attention.