Can it be four weeks, a whole month, on the Thyroid protocol already? I guess with all authentic endeavors, there are deep shifts and tunings. I’ve known intellectually that self-care is one of the most important tenets. “You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself,” I remember hearing many times. Yeah yeah, so true, yeah, I’ll try. I’ve got to do that. Maybe tomorrow. Perhaps that self-care looks like this? Is it this? Upon reflection, those attempts at self-care were not truly in alignment with my unique body and what it needs. How can we be expected to know our own needs in a culture that feeds us so much extra? Extra sugar, extra caffeine, extra fried, extra flavor, “BUY THIS, BUY ME,” in our faces at every turn. And with nutrition guidelines that feel temporal and shift with the seasons no less.
I wrote that first paragraph yesterday and then started watching the 2015 Michael Pollan documentary, In Defense of Food, adapted from his best-selling 2008 book of the same title. I remember hearing snippets as I was rearing an infant and gearing for an infant both times the book and documentary were released. The concepts hold up just the same today, in 2023. His core takeaways being that we should: 1. Eat Food 2. Consume mostly plants, and 3. Watch our portions. In food, nature gives the perfect nutrient combinations our bodies need. The foods engineered in a plant or factory do not. None of this is new. It’s just that we tend to forget these age-old truths in this technologically-obsessed civilization. We are bombarded with trend after trend.
The self-care I have been searching for has been here all along, hiding in the corners of my childhood. I’m just tweaking it for what works for my body, for my own greatest functionality. I am returning to eating foods and growing the plant glossary in my diet. Perhaps I wasn’t getting enough nutrients and that was half of my headache struggle. And sugar and caffeine and empty processed foods were not helping my thyroid or my headaches (ooohhh I have loved my share of Coca-Colas!).
I have not had a headache all week I sing from my laptop! Slight head-dulls I felt Tuesday and Thursday but ever so slight. That feels like a seismic shift for me. A whole week without pain medication? I can’t remember one.
Can I classify my chronic headaches as having chronic pain? I listened to a fascinating podcast this week, “This Book Changed My Relationship to Pain,” on the Ezra Klein Show, found here. He talks with pain psychologist Rachel Zoffness where she outlines pain as a biopsychosocial phenomenon comprised of a complex tapestry woven by our emotional, environmental, social and contextual environments. Our pain volume will amplify she says when we are stressed, depressed, have negative emotions, and have a focused attention to that pain. The opposite path offers a remedy. Relaxation, breath work, and cultivating positive emotions play a role in our brain health. “If the brain can change, pain can change,” Rachel tells Ezra. Boom! Aha!
So in conjunction to my food attention, my self-care is also taking shape with daily journaling and a meditation routine. Regular exercise feels like the next healthy addition. All of these things are common knowledge. A true desire to feel well makes the commitment to them all the more attainable.
My new favorite thing. This water bottle from Britta, has a built in filter. I’m supposed to drink my water at room temperature so a stainless bottle that keeps in the chill isn’t necessary. And with the built in filter I can refill on the go, at work or while traveling. Love it!
iPhone snaps Beth Horta for Sweet Sabelle.
Hooray for no headaches!!!!!
Thank you, Joy, it’s working!