Saturday, March 29, 2014

Supporting Thyroid and Adrenals with Whole Foods: A full days menu gluten free dairy free

By Laura Schmitt, NE 2010

As a nutrition consultant, I meet a lot of women between the age of 30-55 who are noticing the same problem…unexplained weight gain, terrible fatigue, stress, shakiness, and the depression that comes with this viscous cycle. The cause is often reported to me as a thyroid disorder, adrenal fatigue, or some suspected combination of both. They have often been to doctors and they have often received thyroid medications where needed, but still so many struggle with how to be healthy and how to function with the restriction of energy and new found weight to cope with. The question I am often asked, is, “what should I eat?” To complicate the situation, often these women have experienced food intolerances, such as gas or bloating after eating dairy. Many of them have been instructed on what NOT to each by their doctors, but they do not know what is left TO eat, or how to turn that into a healthy meal. While supplements and medications will vary from person to person based on their health status, eating for wellness is something we can all take control of with relative ease, and we can delight in feeding our ailing bodies foods that are rich in health promoting nutrients. Let’s begin with some general guidelines, but please refer to your health care team before making dietary changes as each person has unique needs that may require additional modification. In order to best support wellness through diet with thyroid concerns, it is recommended by experts to:
  • Increase vegetable intake to 4 cups or up to 6 servings a day (Shomom, 179).
  • Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
  • Eat up to 20 grams of quality protein per meal. 
  • Remove refined sugars from diet, as well as refined white flours and replace them with whole grain options that have fiber and protein in tact. Look to receive a good intake of fiber through foods each day.
  • Eat quality fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, avocado, nuts and seeds (Ross, 170)
  • Cut back on carbohydrate consumption, looking to eat complex carbohydrates with low glycemic index instead of refined carbohydrates that are high in sugars and lacking in fiber.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water (looking to avoid the fluoride and chlorine in drinking water)
  • Add healthy boosters such as seaweed - discuss sodium level concerns with your medical team(Gates, 254)
  • Remove caffeine and alcohol from diet.
  • Limit soy (Bauman recommends choosing quality fermented miso or tempeh for occasional soy use) and cruciferous vegetables in their raw form, as they can inhibit thyroid (Skugor, 153).
Even with this list of guidelines to start, the application can be daunting, so I am sharing with you a day that accomplishes these general thyroid guidelines. Of course your dietary requirements may vary from this generalization, and it is always wise to review diet changes with a Nutrition Consultant or with your Physician to verify that changes made will be right for your dietary needs.

Breakfast : Scrambled egg with wilted greens and tomatoes accompanied by small protein smoothie. Fresh water and herbal tea welcome.

Protein Smoothie - 2 small servings to accompany meal. Start by making a smoothie. You will only be drinking half of this smoothie as a boost of protein, fiber, and omegas. The other half can be saved for a future snack or to accompany tomorrow’s breakfast.
  • ½ small banana
  • ½ cup coconut water (no added sweeteners)
  • 1 tbsp Carob powder for flavor 
  • 1 cup rice milk or milk of choice– no added sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp ground flaxseed 
  • 2 tbsp rice protein powder 
Directions: Blend ingredients together in blender, or mix well with hand whisk. Serve warm to melt protein powder well, or cool if preferred. Leftover works well in a shakable container with tight fitting lid.

Eggs and Greens – 1 serving to accompany smoothie Ingredients and directions:
  • Scramble 1 medium-large egg 
  • Add 1 1.4 cups of organic kale or romaine lettuce to pan. This will wilt quickly and shrink down considerably. 
  • Top with ½ cup diced tomatoes or natural salsa Real salt (trace minerals still intact) to taste --How does it break down? With a meal like this you are looking at a start to the day with aprox 22 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and a substantial jump start of your daily mineral and vitamin requirements. 
Snack: Hummus and Carrots If you find yourself hungry between meals, a snack of this caliber is going to deliver better nutrients and satiety! Enjoy ½ cup homemade hummus with up to 10 cut carrots.

Lunch: Roasted vegetables served with quinoa cooked in chicken stock.
Ingredients for Roasted Vegetables – 1 serving (feel free to make a much larger batch to work from!):
  • ½ cup diced yams (diced into small cubes) 
  • ¼ cup diced beets (diced into small thin cubes) 
  • ¼ cup diced onion 
  • 1 Tablespoon walnut, sesame, coconut, or safflower oil 
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss diced vegetables with oil. Place in one layer on glass pan for baking. Bake for 20-30 minutes (check for doneness). Ingredients for Quinoa with Chicken Stock – 1 serving (feel free to make a much larger batch to work from!) 1 cup chicken stock ½ cup rinsed quinoa Directions: bring chicken stock to a boil. Add quinoa, bring to boil, then simmer at reduced heat for 25 minutes.

--How does it break down? With a meal like this you are looking at a filling and healthful lunch with aprox 20grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, and wonderful additions of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, and B Vitamins.

Supper: Wild Salmon, Asparagus, Summer Squash and Brown Rice A simple preparation would be to top your 3 ounces of salmon with fresh lemon juice, a sprinkle of dill, and grill aprox 6-8 minutes per side, or until done.
Steam ½ cup asparagus until bright green. Sautee 1 small summer squash, sliced, with ½ tablespoon sesame oil. Add 1 clove pressed garlic.
As a side, or base for this dish, enjoy ½ cup steamed brown rice. A bit of gluten free tamari and fresh basil would be a wonderful finishing touch for a warm and colorful meal like this one.

--How does it break down? With a meal like this you are looking at a lighter meal than lunch, which should feel better for the night of sleep ahead. With the protein packed salmon, a meal like this delivers approximately 27grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and wonderful additions of nutrients such as selenium, folate and more.

Snack: Berries and Nuts
A snack rich in antioxidants that provides the sweetness of natural fruit without the guilt of refined sugar, and the satiety of nuts or seeds is a nice way to finish a day.
Ingredients and Directions: ½ Cup blueberries ½ cup strawberries 2 tablespoons roasted almonds (or nut/seeds of choice)
Mix together. Dash with honey or stevia, if you feel the need for a bit more sweetness, or enjoy on their own.

Drinks: Don’t forget your 64 ounces of filtered water as the day begins and all the way to the close. Plenty of water, and herbal teas are important choices as well. Looking for a cup of coffee, but trying to stay clear of the caffeine and acidity? Enjoy a cup of Teacinno and leave the guilt behind.

It is my hope that this article gives you a good picture of what eating to support your thyroid condition may look like. Notice this day is also free of common allergens such as gluten and dairy? That was no coincidence! There really is something healthful to be found here, for anyone. Enjoy eating whole, natural foods for wellness, whatever your path may be, and remember that you can make a positive impact on your overall health by choosing to eat healthy foods to support your need, getting good sleep, exercise, proper medical care, and heaping spoonfuls of love and laughter in your day to day.

Bibliography: The Body Ecology Diet, Donna Gates. BED Publications, Decatur 2006 p254 The Diet Cure, Julia Ross. Penguin Books, NY 2000 p171-172 The Thyroid Diet, Mary Shomom. Harper Collins, NY 2004 p179 Thyroid Disorders By Mario Skugor, Jesse Bryant Wilder. Cleveland Clinic Press, Cleveland 2006 p 153
“Adrenal Fatigue”, Lam, Michael. 2003. Dr.
Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Friedlander, Jodi and Bauman, Edward. 2007

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