Sugar. We all want it, crave it, reward with it….but do we really need it?
No. It contains no nutritional value- whatsoever! But, it does come with it’s share of baggage. A friend shared this article on Facebook today and as I was sitting down at lunch to my plate of grapes, cheese and salami the title caught me. You’ll Stop Eating Sugar After Reading This Post…and I clicked to learn more.
Recently, I was diagnosed with Post-Pregnancy Thyroiditis about 7 months after my little Cora was born. I actually diagnosed myself well before the doctors did. I was having major mood-swings, horrible joint pain, headaches, burning sensation over my entire body, a temper that I had never had before, extreme fatigue, insomnia, swelling in the hands and face and unable to loose weight.
After a lot of reading I came to the conclusion in March 2013 that I had a major thyroid problem and went to see my doctor. He tested my T3 and T4 levels…and they were all over the place. My levels were so bad, that I was referred to a doctor who specializes in the body’s hormone-secreting glands (endocrinologist). It was there that I started to feel hope that I would feel like a normal mommy again.
About Postpartum Thyroiditis:
Postpartum thyroiditis often lasts several weeks to several months. However, postpartum thyroiditis can be difficult to recognize because its symptoms are often mistakenly attributed to the stress of having a newborn and postpartum mood disorders.
For most women who develop postpartum thyroiditis, thyroid function returns to normal within 12 to 18 months of the start of symptoms. However, some women who experience postpartum thyroiditis develop permanent complications.
I went through two months of testing on my thyroid gland, including radioactive testing. I learned that your thyroid gland controls everything…and I mean everything in your body. Finally in June 2013, I was placed on a medication to slowly start bringing my thyroid back into check, not to mention my mental health. (In all seriousness…I felt many times like I was loosing my mind, from forgetting simple things to becoming majorly irritated over the slightest thing. It’s not a happy feeling.)
In June I met with a nutritionist that had some experience in thyroid treatment. I learned about gluten and how it effects your body, the hidden sugar that is all across our food system, the American diet is surrounded with sugar in everything, and the importance of protein in your diet. I remember being told that I needed to go sugar-free for 4 weeks! I almost fell over when she stated that. (I am a HUGE chocolate lover and all things sweet!) But, I made it through 4 weeks of being gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free…and felt like a million bucks. Difficult- yes, but I started shedding some of those pregnancy pounds and was feeling much better.
About a month ago (March 2014) a year after I first went into the doctor to figure out what was wrong with my body…I was taken off the medication. Slowly my baby pounds are coming off and I feel like myself, after almost 2 years of agony. Am I still gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free..NO. But, I do watch the amount of all three in my diet. I’ve learned to not drink sweet tea as much, we don’t make as many desserts, I don’t consume as much bread and overall we read labels…religiously.
What Have I Learned?
-Sugar is one of the worst things you can put into your body and does bring on those unwanted extra pounds. Does this mean I don’t let my children indulge and have a candy bar or cupcake? No. But I monitor how much sugar they get and I provide healthy options for them at all times.
-Read the above article, it will change your mind about how much sugar you put in that ice tea or how much processed foods you eat.
-Eat a diet rich of REAL, WHOLE FOODS. Say no to the box.
-Green smoothies are my delight! And, my family now enjoys them just as much as I do.
-I highly suggest women getting their thyroid levels checked out. It’s not a routine test that doctor’s run, but should. You will have to ask for it. After I learned about my diagnosis I suggested my mother have the same test, as she was always very run down. She thought it was her age, but I had an idea it was her thyroid- and it was! She is now on medication for her thyroid as well…and feeling much better than she has in years.
-Overall – Eat real foods, cook at home, eat less from a box and more from your garden or the farmers market.