I’m changing course a bit. I realize this might not be for everyone and I fully support if this doesn’t resonate with you. But perhaps my journey to healing might inspire something in you. If so, buckle up and read on!
I’ve suffered from headaches for as long as I can remember. And I’ve had more than my share of really really bad migraines. But, I also have headaches for far too many days each week. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when my first-born was a year old and I’ve been on Synthroid ever since, now fifteen years later. I recently turned fifty (!) and something has shifted, well, many things have. But most notably, there is a deep desire to get to the core of my health. Physical and emotional. Strong. And in better alignment with living this next half with more clarity and authenticity. Seems pretty natural. Nothing new here.
I’ve joined the world of podcast listeners in the last year, I know, I’m late to the game! There are so many inspiring voices out there. I truly enjoy enriching my more mundane moments with sages and truth-seekers, voices which help me to remember the magic of our aliveness. There is a world of enrichment literally at our fingertips, what a wonderful time to be alive. I don’t scroll around too much, I have a few favorites and mostly stick with them as I mentioned in my previous post. Recently, something different popped up on my podcast feed and I was drawn to open it up. The podcast’s name was Expanded and I listened to one of the newest episodes. And then another and my walks to the laundry were soon filled with new concepts and a new language in How To Be Magnetic. More became more and then I stumbled upon one episode in particular from a few years back, “Healing Through Food with nutritionist Karen Hurd.” Ms. Hurd has healed and been witness to miraculous recoveries through food alone, with a protocol that mandates no supplements and no caffeine and no sugar. I’ve had friends who have kicked caffeine and sugar and give nothing but rave reviews (after of course getting through the withdrawal period). And one of her biggest areas of focus is eating the right foods. Mainly beans, proteins, vegetables and nuts and seeds. And healthy amounts of them.
I sat with it for a week or so and then signed up for Karen Hurd’s nutritional program for those with Thyroid Disorders (she has courses on a range of topics). I’ve never been one for fad diets, but if I’m being brutally honest, I’ve never had a truly healthful relationship with food, many times taking the easy way out and getting the bare minimum needed to get through the day. Sure I cook for my children, but we stretch meals and many mealtimes we have quick, easy to prepare foods. My parents certainly taught me better. But in my defense, so many of the foods I grew up eating have plagued me with headaches as an adult. So it has been a painstaking process of discovering what works for my body.
I enjoyed the scientific facts at the core of The Karen Hurd food protocol program. The idea of cutting certain foods out is nothing new to me. For the past ten years I have been in a process of trial and error learning which foods trigger my headaches. I’ve narrowed down my alloweds A LOT. Basically cutting out any food that contains tyramine (which is found in aged meats, cheeses and a lot of other foods in between). My list feels to have grown so much, that cutting out these latest additions really makes it easier, if that makes any sense. I am going to try and eat these three very square and healthy meals each day and hopefully heal these two health disorders once and for all, for they’ve always felt connected to me. It feels totally worth it if I could potentially eliminate my headaches and heal my thyroid so I don’t have to be on medication for the rest of my life. I’ve searched and searched for answers. It’s worth a shot!
One of my dearest friends suggested that I record the process on my blog. That felt very scary, who am I, and what if it doesn’t work? After some digging I realized that this is exactly what I need, lean into the fear and let go of the outcome. Dive in to the process and perhaps bring a few of you along the way. And if it does work, maybe I might help someone out there with similar afflictions.
So, Week 1 has been all about gathering the information at the core of the protocol and the physical products that will support my health and body. The foods and also the fragrance-free products (fragrance because it elicits an endocrine response that makes the thyroid work in overdrive). And cutting out caffeine and sugar and milk. And supplements. And I’ve told myself I’ve taken the last Excederin Migraine pill ever (fingers crossed, I’ve unfortunately taken hundreds of them in the last 10 years alone)! One week without caffeine (except for the two Excederin Migraine pills I took over the first weekend and then realized that they have caffeine!), and one week without sugar, done! Really not so bad. I had headaches over the first weekend and I was traveling. I had a migraine on Tuesday which could have been a withdrawal headache or could have been from the pinto beans which I introduced or could have been overtiredness from the weekend of travel for my daughter’s gymnastics meet. I’ve enjoyed eating three hearty square meals a day and really focusing on getting in my proteins and nutrients. My daughter thinks I’m crazy. But I find I don’t have that foggy head after my morning coffee and bread product and I understand the science behind the three meals with beans. I’ve made an overhaul to our household and my personal products to fragrance-free. Sans laundry products, I’m still working on that. I hate all of the plastic products, but I’ve tried the shampoo and soap bars and they just don’t work in our one family shower, getting moldy and mushy and the body soap bars end up cracky and in pieces. That’s another post! I have a headache that has been growing towards the later end of today, Saturday. Hmmm, is it still withdrawal, not enough sleep, part of this cough that has been increasing over the day? See how hard this is??? I know I’ve eaten enough today! But also, perhaps I didn’t get enough water in. This stuff certainly is not enriching for any one of you, but I’m mostly doing this to keep a log for my progress. We’ll see how it evolves over the weeks, thank you for joining me! Onto Week 2!All of the food elements to bring to work for the day, it’s a lot! And the finished lunch all put together, including my first oven roasted salmon fillet. I know! Where have I been?
iPhone snaps Beth Horta for Sweet Sabelle.