Since going grain free I have noticed a few major changes.
- My skin is consistently clear. I am used to getting at least a couple doozies every month mainly around my period, but recently I have gone through 3 grain free cycles with flawless skin.
- My energy levels are higher. Quitting gluten helped tremendously at first, but then I reached a point where I felt like my progress had stalled. Ditching grains and dairy has been the final push I needed to get me feeling like a woman in her early 30s rather than a rickety 90 year old.
- My breath is always fresh. This is a weird one but a very welcome change. In the past I have definitely had moments where I’ve had to fish through my purse for an emergency breath mint. I’m not sure if its quitting the dairy, the grains, the uptick in chlorophyll from all those leafy greens, or a combo of the three, but I’ll take it.
- I can handle stress better and feel more positive about life. Like most humans on earth, my life can occasionally get a bit nutty, and in my SAD diet days I Just. Could. Not. Deal. Now I feel like there is no challenge I can not face. Even in the most hectic moments I feel a steady sense of calm, like my inner voice is able to speak more clearly than before, and give me constant reassurance that I’m on the right track.
I loved my new grain free life so much that I decided to push it all the way into Keto, I was already half way there and more of a good thing is even better right? Big mistake.
Within weeks all of my hashi symptoms had accelerated. My hair was coming out in handfuls (this is always the first alert my body gives me that something is amiss) and I was super cold. I did have a slight uptick of energy but my breath was gross and I just really wanted a banana.
Finally, I did eat that banana and I haven’t looked back.
I’m sure a low carb lifestyle is great for some people as we are all so unique. There truly isn’t a one size fits all diet plan. However, individuals with Hashimotos actually need a decent amount of carbs to convert T4 to T3 (the active thyroid hormone). Dramatically reducing your intake can slow down your thyroid function and speed up its dysfunction causing a myriad of related hormonal issues.
Low carb diets are also extremely stressful on the adrenals. Most people with any autoimmune disease experience some level of adrenal fatigue and our bodies needs healthy carbs like a car needs fuel.
Carbohydrates have gotten a super bad rep in recent years but like with many things in life I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity.
I generally consume somewhere between 100 and 150 grams of carbohydrates per day and they all mainly come from fruits, and veggies. I eat sweet potatoes on the regular and when I go to the movies with my kids I sneak in plantain chips to distract me from the glorious smell of popcorn.
Potatoes are still on the menu in moderation because they seem to agree with me, but I always choose organic and leave the skins on. Potatoes are one of the dirty dozen so I eat them organic whenever I can.
For some hard science to further back up the benefits of grain free living I highly suggest the Wheat Belly books. They are written by an MD and filled with mouth-watering recipes.
My mom keeps trying “grain free” but still eats croissants and has the occasional slice of pizza, she is adamant that grain free just doesn’t help improve her autoimmune symptoms. “How would you know?” I want to scream. Grain free (and gluten free) are things you have to commit to, you are either all in or all out if you want tangible results.
If you are suffering from autoimmune, adrenal or hormonal issues I challenge you to try one month completely grain free. Really get inside of your body and notice any changes that come, both good and bad. Journal it. Enjoy it. But don’t cheat! Even a little slip up puts you back at square one. Take before and after pictures, the changes externally can be almost as dramatic as the internal ones. And if you make it through alive (you will) and want to document your success feel free to tag me on Instagram @wildsagewellness.
Happy healthy carb-ing!