Sorta Update & Things I’m Loving

screwit

It’s been about three weeks since we all got “Here I Go Again” stuck in our heads. I don’t have definitive news on what’s happening with my body yet. But I’ve been getting questions about how I’m doing, so I thought I’d give you a sorta update. I have follow-up appointments on October 10 and October 23 where the results of all of my blood, urine, and stool tests will be revealed. Until then, I am clinging to those dates like a spy dangling out the window of swanky hotel.

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The Elimination Diet

We’re on Day 24 of our nutritional adventures. We’re doing a sort of Whole30 with additional stuff removed, based on the advice of Dr. Amy Myers at Austin UltraHealth. She took out anything that can be inflammatory and anything that feeds Candida because she suspects we might have Candida overgrowth (ew). Right now, we’re not eating the following:

  • grains
  • dairy
  • sugar
  • legumes
  • alchohol
  • nightshades: bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, potatoes
  • eggs
  • vinegar (except cider vinegar)
  • citrus (except lemon)

In addition, our fruit is limited to one cup per day and sweet potatoes are limited to one cup per day.

What this means is that we haven’t eaten in a restaurant in 24 days. Dave usually makes his own breakfast, but I’ve made every other meal and snack. It almost doesn’t even feel like a burden any more; it just is.

Tomorrow, we’re being bold and eating eggs and sweet potato fries at a Kerbey Lane. We re-introduced eggs last week – ate them three times per day for three days in a row and had no reaction… yay! I confirmed that Kerbey Lane’s sweet potato fries are gluten free. (Many restaurants serve sweet potato fries rolled in flour, so they’re gluten bombs). If we get our eggs fried or poached, they won’t include any forbidden ingredients. I might even go crazy and get a side of fruit. Look out!

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Supplements

It’s not just about the food; I’m also taking a boatload of supplements. They’re mostly targeted at supporting adrenal function, managing stress, and improving digestion. I’m always hesitant to share what I’m taking because it’s so personal. If you’re curious about supplements, please don’t buy everything on this list and start taking them. I think it’s really important to talk to a pro so they can help you determine which ones are right for you and how much to take. Here’s what I’m taking, in case you want ammo to talk to your doctor:

  • iron-free multi-vitamin
  • digestive enzymes
  • probiotic
  • fish oil
  • DHEA
  • Adreset (adrenal support)
  • Corti-B Plex (adrenal support)
  • Caprylic acid (Candida killer)
  • CoQ10
  • Natural Calm (to sleep)
  • Melatonin (to sleep)

Most need to be taken multiple times per day. Some need to be taken with food. Some need to be taken specifically without food. And I still need to take my thyroid hormones – twice a day, on an empty stomach, and I can’t eat for at least an hour after taking them. My day is scheduled like a member of the British royal family, without the glamour and photo opps.

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That Pesky Thyroid

So, back in February, my thyroid numbers were looking pretty good. I was feeling better, if not totally great. We wrapped up the photography for Well Fed 2 and headed to Europe for six weeks… during which I ate cake and drank beer and indulged in all kinds of things I don’t usually do. I came home happy, but puffy. And then started the slow slide to not feeling so great and high blood pressure and headaches and continued puffiness that sent me to Dr. Myers. I’m trying desperately to avoid blaming myself and my behavior in Europe for my current predicament. Is it my fault? Is it black magic? Is it just what it is? Who can say? For reference, here are my previous and current thyroid numbers, for those of you playing along with the Thyroids ‘R’ Fun™ game.

February 2013 (last blood work)
TSH – 0.71 mIU/L
Free T3 – 3.5 pg/mL
Reverse T3 – 25 ng/dL
Ratio of Free T3 to Reverse T3 – 14 (which isn’t awesome. 20 would be good.)

September 2013
TSH – 1.2 mIU/L
Free T3 – 2.4 pg/mL
Reverse T3 – 24.1 ng/dL
Ratio of Free T3 to Reverse T3 – 10 (boo.)

If you’re not familiar with all these measurements, this post explains them and what “good” values would look like. In response to this not-so-great showing, Dr. Myers increased my thyroid hormones. I’m now taking 90mg of Armour thyroid in the morning and 15mg in the afternoon.

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How I’m Feeling

I’d love to be able to tell you that I have an awesome attitude and that looking at this as a science experiment is making it a really interesting and rewarding experience.

It’s so not.

I’m resentful and scared and so f*cking tired of thinking so hard about what I eat and meditating to stop thinking about all of it. Also, I need to take a nap every afternoon because my energy just tanks around 4:00 p.m. (And yes, I’m f*cking grateful my work life allows me to take a nap in the afternoon, but honestly, I’m kinda sick of being grateful for that, too. Not very yoga-like of me, is it?!)

But there is some good news!

1. The bloating is gone. I was getting some serious beachball-in-the-belly action toward the end of the day, and that is gone. My eyes are not quite so puffy when I wake up in the morning, and my wedding ring is back to fitting appropriately on my finger. This is all a huge relief.

2. My skin is looking really good. I hope this doesn’t seem like bragging, but (1) my skin is remarkably clear, smooth, and soft; (2) I am grasping for any little spot of sunshine right now, and clear skin is what I’ve got. Celebrate with me, friends! This is not the greatest photo of me ever, but it’s completely without makeup, in natural light, with no filter and no editing.skin

3. My workouts mostly feel great. I’m loving the programming that my trainer Mark sends me, and most of the time, I feel strong and energetic at the gym. Morning is my high energy time, so it’s a pretty excellent way to start the day. My arms can most definitely not be described as “ripped,” but I’m starting to see muscle definition in my shoulders that’s encouraging. My legs look solid — although they are still quite short; if only strength training made them longer, too!

4. The Artist’s Way is annoying. And now I’m remembering this from the last time I worked my way through the book. I think there are  lot of good ideas in that book, but I really don’t enjoy the author’s tone. In fact, I want to punch her in the face most of the time. And sometimes, when I’m doing the writing and thinking exercises, I feel quite silly and self-conscious. But there’s no denying that it does bring about mental shifts that can be helpful. I’m just so weary at this point of doing things that I don’t quite enjoy but I think will be good for me. At the same time, I don’t want to abandon the project: Even though I’m not completely enjoying it, I think it’s valuable. Damn it. (The meditations we’re doing to supplement the work in the book are awesome, and Robin continues to be a delight as an instructor.

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Things I’m Loving

That right there is about 1200 words of complaining, so I thought I’d share some stuff that I’m totally loving right now. Maybe you’ll like some of these things, too.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes
I’ve been eating about 1/2 a sweet potato every day to get some dense carbs because going too low-carb is no good for me. One day, I got curious about the Japanese sweet potatoes at the store, and I will never go back. The texture is more like white potatoes – starchy, dense, comforting – and the flavor is intense. Not so much sweeter as richer than jewel sweet potatoes. I roast them in the oven at 400F for about 30-40 minutes, until they’re tender, then I usually dice them and sauté in coconut oil with salt, pepper, and minced scallions.sweetspuds

 

These Heels
I had a pair of shoes very similar to these in high school. I remember the shopping trip to acquire them very well: My dad hates shopping like no one else in the world hates shopping. I think the mall can literally give him hives. Anyway, I don’t know why, but he took me shopping to buy clothes for my senior class trip to Paris, and he bought me a pair of pointy pumps with an ankle strap. I wore them every night in Paris and felt quite sophisticated. I’m sure 17-year-old me was not at all sophisticated, but I loved the hell out of those shoes. And now I have these Calvin Klein Nasia Pumps:

shoes

Escapist Fiction
In addition to slogging working through The Artist’s Way and the reading for my world history course, I’ve been losing myself in fun mystery thrillers. Steven King’s Joyland was like an amusement park ride, Lee Child’s lastest Never Go Back was quintessential Jack Reacher (loved it!), and right now, I’m reading a new-to-me series about a detective called Chief Inspector Gamache. Written by Louise Penny, the books are set in Montreal, Quebec, and remind me a lot of Elizabeth George’s British mystery novels. There’s lots of psychological stuff going on and deep secrets and quirky characters who turn out to have unexpected depths. Gamache is a really interesting, likeable, complex detective. I’m reading the first in the series: Still Life.

The Patriots, The Ravens & the ESPN ScoreCenter app
A few years ago, I kinda fell for pro football, and this year, I’m firmly in the Patriots’ and Ravens’ camps. I didn’t think I had favorite teams, and then suddenly, I did. I also am a big fan of RGIII, the Manning brothers, and Victor Cruz. My affection for them is matched only by my utter disdain for Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers. If you’ve also got football fever, I recommend the ESPN ScoreCenterapp for staying on top of headlines. You can also watch a “gamecast” of games through the app that you can’t get on TV. Not that I would ever do that. While a passenger in the car. On a Sunday afternoon.

 

What’s something you’re loving right now? Tell us in comments!

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Comments

  • Laura Rockow says:

    Oh dear – poor you! I have your books and in my mind I imagine you an author and blogger and funny person having a positively perfect life – and then I see “F*CK this Sh*t” post and I laugh…oh, poor you! You’ll get it – I know you will! Work with the Paleo mom – she totally figured out what was going on with my SIL – and he then worked with Dr. Daniel Kalish – but I think Amy Myers is probably doing the same thing – so I know you’ll get it! (but watch out for the fries – even if gluten free, those damn restaurants use the shittiest oils – soy or worse. Cuidado, amiga! The shoes are awesome – but I couldn’t wear them unless sitting or horizontal ! Keep at it, you’ll sort out your gut/hormones!

    • Mel says:

      My life is perfect… perfectly awesome and perfectly annoying and perfectly full of love and perfectly imperfect 😉

      Glad I could make you laugh a little. I make myself laugh, too, which is saving my ass right now.

      Those shoes. LOVE them. Need to find an occasion worthy of busting them out.

  • Sending you big love from Montreal! Some of my best memories of Paleo FX are the times I got to spend with you in Austin. You’re a really wonderful person, so fucking honest and real, and I love and admire you for that.

    In other news, I have a girlfriend and I’m in love!!!! Ha ha, go figure.

    Hugs! Health! xoxo Danielle

  • Amy says:

    You’re going to love the Gamache series! I’m envious that you’re reading the series for the first time. You’ll fall in love with the town and the people.

    I’m loving some historical Tudor fiction: “The White Princess” – and am a confirmed Green Bay Packers fan and University of Wisconsin Badger football fan.

    On Wisconsin!

  • Stephanie KL says:

    Melissa, Thanks for the update. Your skin looks ravishing and you have beautiful eyes! Don’t despair. Your system is adjusting and just when you feel that you’re at the lowest point, you’ll begin your steady climb to good health. Then you’ll be saying: “Watch My Dust.” Hang in there.

  • Maria says:

    Oh, god, those shoes are beautiful.

    I am loving the effect of the morning pages, (I don’t love writing them) but that’s about all I took from the Artist’s way. I think I’m good at only listening when there’s something useful to hear.

    • Mel says:

      How freakin’ annoying is Julia Cameron?! Grrrrr.

      I have a mixed relationship with Morning Pages. On one hand, it helps to clear the gunk out of my brain. On the other, I don’t enjoy the process of doing it, but I guess that’s kind of the point.

  • Discovering Japanese Sweet Potatoes is a huge check in the WIN column!!

    Our favorite way to eat them: cut em up into kind of skinny fries, toss with oil of your choice — I use olive or coconut, sprinkle with kosher or sea salt, bake at 450. The edges get so crispy and brown, they are almost food with no brakes but it’s all good nutrition!

    Love the shoes, and sending you all good wishes on getting through this!

  • Tom R. says:

    Keep fighting, kid. You are only beat em when you say so.

  • Jill says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for writing these updates. I’m also in a similar boat… going paleo has not increased my energy. I’m struggling to get through every day without an answer. It has frustrated me to read story after story about people who instantly got more energy and felt good, when that has not been my experience. I cross my fingers for you, because doing so, I’m crossing my fingers for myself.

    • Mel says:

      With all of our fingers crossed together, something good has GOT TO HAPPEN. Thanks for reading — more news when I get it. What’s more fun than discussing blood work?!

  • Terri says:

    I feel the same way about Artists Way! When I did my elimination I stopped supplements too and found that I needed WAY less once I had finished all the challenges and found my own normal.

  • Terri says:

    i love japanese sweet potatoes!

  • Amy Miller says:

    Oh Melissa!
    Hang in there. All this hard work will be worth it. You encourage soooo many of us with your writing. I want to encourage you to get some massages and specifically CranioSacral Therapy. I’m a Licensed. Massage Therapist and have seen CranioSacral Therapy do wonderful things for my clients. It will help with relaxation. And you definitely deserve it.

  • I agree about the Japanese sweet potatoes. I got some a couple weeks ago and my boyfriend was intrigued when he cut into them and they weren’t bright orange. They were delicious fried with bacon and bok choi.

  • Brian says:

    Have you looked into iodine yet? “The Iodine Crisis”, etc. It can be tricky to get right when you already have thyroid problems but iodine deficiency is rampant. Especially in women.

  • Linda Sand says:

    Big Lake murder mystery series by Nick Russell. Characters to make you laugh out loud with stories to make you cry.

  • Clare says:

    I feel a certain kinship with you right now, as I am on day 24 of my whole 30! However – I’d by all “eff this noise” if I could have eggs or tomatoes / nightshades. Oy.

  • Doni says:

    LOVE Japanese sweet potatoes, MUST get those shoes and HUGS to you! You are an inspiration even when things get frustrating.

  • Chris says:

    Mel!! So sorry you have to go through this–but I’m glad things are starting to feel better. Keep up the positive outlook! *hug*

  • Jessica says:

    I’m amused at your disdain for the Steelers. Last time I was up in your old neck of the words there was WAY more Steelers stuff than Eagles paraphernalia. But of course Penn State had the most.

  • Lee says:

    So glad someone else thinks Julia Cameron’s writing tone is annoying!! Your blog was the first one I thought about the other day, as my 26 yr old stepdaughter has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism just this week. Know that by sharing your bad days and good things that you enrich and inform other people and give them reasonable food for thought!

    • Mel says:

      Right?! She’s kind of holier-than-thou.

      Sorry to hear about your step-daughter — hope she doesn’t have too rough a ride on the Thyroid Rollercoaster.

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad my public whining is sometimes helpful 🙂

  • Anne Allen says:

    Hang in there Melissa. I too have been through so many protocols. It is not fun but there is always something to learn. What am I loving right now? Your zucchini soup from the WF class. My boyfriend slurped up a huge bowl. And my last batch I added mushrooms. Yummy!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Anne! It’s funny, that soup was one of the outcomes of the AIP last fall, so something good did come out of it 😉

      Adding mushrooms is a great idea!

  • Casey says:

    The unedited photo of you is GREAT – you look radiant and beautiful.

    It’s tough finding the right medical professional sometimes. I have a great internal medicine doc who has experimented with Paleo and is supportive – but she doesn’t accept insurance, so she is PRICEY. But she found me some fantastic prenatal vitamins without iron in them (hard to do). I am feeling better on those, I think because they also have Betaine HCl in them to encourage nutrient absorption. I had never played around with supplemental acid before and am truly surprised at the difference.

    I just devoured “Etiquette and Espionage”, the first book in Gail Carriger’s new YA series, and giggled the whole way through. Yay for good books! Hope your weather turns cozy soon to encourage more curling up with YOUR new series!

    • Mel says:

      You are way too nice — thank you for the sweet compliment.

      Congratulations on finding the right doc for you. That is a big thing. Right on!

      I’m going to look up Etiquette and Espionage right now. Fun!

  • Sorry to hear where you are with your health right now.
    I’ve been in a similar boat the past 6 mos. and as a natural chef, and nutrition student it’s frustrating beyond frustrating to not be able to cure myself quickly.
    What’s helping me is rotating straying from the strictness of my SCD / Paleo diet and slowly and meaningfully adding non-glutenous grains.
    As a German-Pollock my body needs some grain to thrive and survive.
    If it’s Candida you can kick it easily with the diet changes you’re making. Careful on the cheating, though, it will reset everything in a not-so-good way.

    • Mel says:

      Oh! I should have been more clear… the eggs aren’t a “cheat.” We re-introduced eggs last week — 3 times per day, 3 days in a row — and didn’t have a reaction. When we reintroduce other foods, we have to eat super clean to see how we react, so we’re keeping eggs out for now — but it’s not “cheating” to eat eggs because we know we don’t have a sensitivity to them.

  • casia says:

    hey mel, i don’t know your medical history in every detail, but have you’ve been tested for a histamine intolerance? because many people in german thyroid blogs say they have a HI as well… a HI can cause all kind of problems, maybe you want to look into it!?

    http://thelowhistaminechef.com/histamine-intolerance-symptoms/

    i hope you get well soon!

  • Val says:

    I also found The Artist’s Way infuriating! And even more annoying the second time through.

    For me, the Artist’s Way is a little like working out with a trainer. I get further out of my comfort zone, but it’s less fun. (That said, I like my trainer better than Julie Cameron. Much.)

    One thing that helps me with morning pages, which are the only thing I’ve kept doing: colorful gel pens. Sometimes with sparkles.

    • Mel says:

      Poor Julia Cameron! Is there anyone who likes her voice?!

      I keep thinking I don’t like doing the morning pages, then finding ways that they’ve helped me throughout the day. It’s like double annoyance 😉

  • Karen P says:

    Mel, I hope that things get better. Dealing with thyroid med adjustments just plain suck.

    Glad you are seeing Dr. Meyers. Thanks for posting about your elimination diet. I’m meant to do an AIP Whole30 sometime soon.

    The thought of giving up eggs and tomatoes is a lot, but you are right- it just IS.

    Safe travels and keep up the good work.

    • Mel says:

      You know, the IDEA of the eliminations diets is always pretty bad. And then doing it is just annoying. Not awful and usually not permanent, but just super annoying.

      I find thinking about it as an experiment helps. And when that fails, I just get super stubborn.

      Dave likes to say, “At least we’re not in prison.”

      Whatever trick works…

      • noblepower says:

        Oh my gosh, I love that comment by Dave. I’m going to have to get my husband to use it the next time I’m face-down on the floor having a hissy about something. (2013 has made traditional soap operas seem realistic and boring, so I’m sure I’ll need someone to say that to me soon!)

        Hang in there, Mel. I’m so glad you are able to add eggs back – and since your skin is the largest organ in your body, I think it’s huge that it looks so lovely and healthy, I hope it’s a sign. 🙂

  • I love your updates!

    My favorite line has got to be “I’m f*cking grateful my work life allows me to take a nap in the afternoon, but honestly, I’m kinda sick of being grateful for that, too.”

    Brilliantly said! Everyone once in while, for just a few minutes, I want to stomp my feet and not count my many blessings.

  • RoxAnn says:

    Mel,
    I love your short hair cut! You rock it girl!

  • Lydia says:

    Japanese sweet potatoes are AMAZING. They are definitely a food-without-brakes for me, though, so they’re an occasional treat.

    I hear you on everything else. *pat*pat*

  • Bonnie says:

    I just tried Japanese Sweet Potatoes a couple weeks ago!Definitely, no going back! 🙂

    Hugs to you Melissa! – “Everything is gonna be all right” 🙂

  • Nuttmegs17 says:

    Hugs to you! I’m in virtually the same thyroid boat. Have hashis and I am the “problem patient” who isn’t magically made better by just popping the pill. I was on armour for over 2 years with basically no improvement even when my numbers looked ideal (ft3 ft4 rt3 etc). This past summer I made a switch to tirosint (synthetic like synthroid but allergen free) plus cytomel and while I still have a ways to go I have noticed good signs: regular cycle SOME weightloss hair growing back etc. so hopefully I’m on the right path. The only thing I can think is that perhaps I was allergic to something in armour (maybe whatever the pigs were eating? Wheat? I never did any research to see how they were treated or what they were fed but maybe I should have!)

    It’s always rough with thyroid adjustments I too take a boatload of expensive supps and pray for the day it all gets sorted out.

    • Mel says:

      Seriously. It’s amazing how much tinkering goes on in thyroid treatment… and how some people get diagnosed, get a dose of Synthroid, and they’re done forever. Others of us are special, special snowflakes 🙂

      Best wishes to you on your thyroid adventures!

  • Merry Miss Chris says:

    Kudos to you for admitting you want to punch Cameron in the face! I did the morning pages for 3 consecutive cycles when the book first came out and vowed ‘never again.’ I just moved this past April and came across my Morning Pages notebooks and to procrastinate and more importantly, see if they were worth doing again, I sat down and read all the notebooks.

    Guess what?

    Every morning, for all 3 cycles of doing those &^#@ pages, I wrote about how much I hated Julia Cameron, how she annoyed me, how holier than thou, how falsely ‘rah rah’ she sounded and so on. Doing Morning Pages did nothing for me except make me miserable and cause me to complain every single morning-bar none. Not a great way to start your day-complaining, whining and loathing someone. I did not become happier, more creative, well adjusted or even mildly content.

    You look wonderful, you’re brave and strong and even though I never post here-you are my hero!!!

    • Mel says:

      YOu know, I’m always curious if there are people who don’t like The Artist’s Way because everyone usually raves about it. I will say that the last time we did it, our lives got more creative in small, unexpected ways. But I don’t feel any big a-ha moments or anything.

      I agree that starting the day whining and complaining is yucky. I’m actually thinking that next week, I’m going to start doing my morning pages AFTER my workout instead of before, because I like to get up and hit the gym right away. THAT starts my day on a positive note.

      Thank you for the sweet compliments; you are very thoughtful.

  • Erin says:

    As a Baltimore native, GO RAVENS! Welcome to our nation. 😀 Also as a Baltimore native, I don’t really understand your love for the Ravens AND the Patriots. Who did you cheer for in the AFC playoff game? 😉 I used to like the Patriots, but Tom Brady is soooo whiny. So I’m over that.

    Wish I could find some Japanese sweet potatoes around here! Sound delicious.

    • Mel says:

      I like the Ravens and Pats because they both play well, and I like their coaches. HARBAUGH! There is no logic nor loyalty in my picks. When two teams are playing, and I don’t have a strong preference, I cheer for them both — I just like to watch good play. In the AFC playoff, I cheered for both teams… and then I was excited and sad for both, too. It’s a lot of emotion here on football days 😉

      Sorry: I kind of love Tom Brady.

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I just wanted to echo the comments of others before me about how appreciative I am of your writing about your thyroid/adrenal issues.
    I am in the same boat and have been on this healing journey for years. I’ve been strict Paleo for four years, I do Crossfit, I’ve had several natural health doctors, and I’ve spent thousands of dollars spent on supplements… I am now working with a new naturopath and am hopeful that he will be able to give me some more energy.
    In the meantime, it is really comforting to know that others out there are dealing with similar issues.
    Thanks again for taking the time (and precious energy!) to write what you do. I am truly grateful.

    • Mel says:

      Thank YOU for reading and being part of my support crew. You guys help me so much — it’s so lovely to have found “my people.”

      Best wishes that you’ll find your answers soon, too.

  • Katherine says:

    Hi Mel,

    I’ve only just discovered paleo, and therefore the amazing musings of you and your fellow bloggers, a few months ago. I’ve just got to say that you inspire me with your insight, humor, and of course that “F this shit” attitude!! I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m sending good vibrations your way…so keep on keeping on. Thanks for sharing all your passions…also GO SEAHAWKS!!!!

  • Margaux says:

    I know you’re probably sick of people telling you to look into this disorder/that supplement when you’re working with some of the best doctors, but I feel compelled to ask you this (sorry!): have you been tested for the MTHFR gene mutation? So many of your symptoms could have been mine prior to getting diagnosed and treating it. You may want to look into this if you haven’t already… best of luck to you!

  • Shannon J says:

    In college we had senior seminar which dealt with the Artist Way (I was an art major so our seminar class was based on our major). I thought I would end up with brain damage from all the knocking my head against the wall having to deal with this book. I’m glad to know it wasn’t just me! Believe it or not, I still have that book and I run across it once in a while and I still break out in a cold sweat! Sheesh!
    And boy do I feel like an ass for asking you to think about a recipe in that email I sent you! LOL Seriously Mel, you should have sent a big “F-U buddy I’m busy dealing with my health” response.

    I hope that you begin to find some relief and find the underlying issue to your health woes!

    • Mel says:

      1. Artist’s Way. Feeling SO ambivalent about it right now. But I adore Robin, our instructor, so I’m going to hang in. At the very least, we get a fun new meditation to do every week.

      2. I’m glad for the distraction and cooking is fun.

      Thank you for your support. Really.

  • Bianca says:

    I’m also on 90mg in the morning and 15mg in the afternoon. My thyroid levels have never felt quite right since my thyroidectomy in 2009 (I was only 21). I made my switch to Armour in July of this year, and I hope things get better. Cheers to making the switch and feeling more like ourselves soon!

    • Mel says:

      Armour has made me feel a lot better than the Synthroid I used to take. I hope this new dosing scheme makes me feel more energetic. Good luck to you!

  • Sandy says:

    Hi Mel:
    I want you to know what an inspiration you are to me and many others. Thank you for doing your blog! And your cookbook, well, I use that more than all my other cookbooks combined.
    I am so glad you are going to Dr. Amy! I first saw her the week before the Paleo FX at Parmer this year. I remember that because I was so foggy-brained that I couldn’t go to any of the sessions and just wandered around downstairs for a while, not able to sample any of the foods. Dr. Amy’s program has changed my life! No more foggy brain. I cannot ever remember feeling this good as an adult.

    It was really hard in the beginning, and it became even harder when I got my list of food sensitivities. But hang in there – over time, most of those will clear up and you will feel so much better.

    Maybe your next cookbook can be for people on Dr Myer’s food sensitivity diet? 😉 I know a lot of people would appreciate that!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to be so nice to me 🙂

      I’m glad to know Dr. Myers helped you. I have a lot of hope pinned on her right now. It’s making me a little nutty that I have to wait another month to really get started on treatment, but I’m trying to just hang in there.

      I’m going to re-read this comment whenever I need to remember to feel optimistic.

  • Sandy says:

    Give her office a call and ask to be put on the cancellation list. It’s surprising how often people cancel but I have had really good luck getting in to see her much earlier than planned. Just be sure to ask if all your labwork has come back before you agree to an earlier appointment.

  • Jessica says:

    This is a few days late, but I wanted to send encouragement and support your way! I appreciate your sharing your thyroid struggles/journey and I hope and am confident that you will be feeling good and like your superwoman self soon! Thank you, also, for sharing your paleo lifestyle and recipes – you bring so much energy and zeal to every post and it is infectious! I recently discovered paleo and your site has been great!! Best wishes for improving health!

    • Mel says:

      Thank YOU so much for taking the time to comment. All support and encouragement is accepted and appreciated 🙂

      Congratulations on giving paleo a try. Hope you’re enjoying it and feeling great!

  • Debra says:

    Hang in there!! You are absolutely beautiful and I love your website and attitude (not to mention the fantastic recipes!). I have been dealing with Candida for a year which is one reason I have been trying to follow a more Paleo (former lowcarber here) program – minus the delicious mushrooms, fruit, vinegars (except ACV) and honey/sweeteners. Best wishes for a SUPER quick recovery!

  • Elise says:

    Just found your site after buying your WF cookbook and putting WF2 on my wish list tonight. Hopefully I’ll get to read up and really do some good cooking in the next couple of weeks.

    I am also thyroidless (total thyroidectomy Sept ’03) and in the 20% of people that have trouble finding appropriate treatment. Wonder if you and your doctor were aware of the re-formulation of Armour thyroid several years ago (~2009, or whenever the huge supply shortage was) which rendered it less effective to many people due to the change in fillers/binders (increased cellulose if I remember correctly). Many of my thyroidless friends switched to either Natur-throid (manufactured by RLC Labs), WP Thyroid which is the only hypoallergenic thyroid med available (manufactured by RLC Labs), or NP Thyroid (by Acella Laboratories). At one point, due to supply issues, patients were able to order Erfa, a Canadian variation of Armour, which does not contain fillers, but I do not know if that is still an option as I have done better on Natur-throid than I did on Erfa.

    I only hear people talking of “Armour” and never know if they mean the specific brand or if they are generically speaking of desiccated thyroid medicines, sort of like saying “Band-Aid” (R). So I thought I’d mention the other options out there … just in case.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for buying Well Fed and giving WF2 some love 🙂

      I did know that about Armour, but only started taking Armour in the last year. I’ll mention it to my new doctor. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather A. says:

    Holy cow, I need a new pair of shoes, too!

    I am (hopefully) on the upswing of a rough two months, as well.. I want to sleep for weeks, and drink ALL the wine. So, naturally I’m doing a Whole30. :/

    Good luck, I hope you are feeling better soon!

    TAW is helpful, but I agree.. soo annoying!

  • Sarah H says:

    Thanks for the frank post and for saying what so many have been feeling. I discovered whole30/paleo after getting my upteenth tendon injury and battling constant candida everywhere. It worked wonders for most things, helped with the candida, but the injuries continue no matter how slow & easy I take things, how clean I eat, and how much I stretch. There were times when I felt like I was spending more time with my physio than my husband.

    I savor the small victories: fitting into old clothes, pushing up my personal-bests-since-knee-surgery on my bike (even if I can’t keep up with the ‘real’ riders). So do enjoy – nay, flaunt! – your flawless skin :).

    As for what i’m loving right now:

    – Fantasizing about these boots (plus the visit to Brussels or Amsterdam to buy ’em in person): http://www.florisvanbommel.com/en/shoe/582

    – My Saturday Yin yoga class: 5 min poses to let gravity can work on all my tight/unhappy/whatever connective tissues.

    – Coursera! My day job is all about words, which I do love but my left brain was starting to truly wither. Am loving my stats class, that I can do whenever and wherever.

    – Duolingo. Free online language courses with no ads. It’s totally addictive

    Thanks for the great recipes and posts. Hang in there!
    sarah

    p.s. TAW tone is completely annoying. Preferred Twyla Twarp’s book – that being said, have finished neither ;P. Really interested to hear how your TAW class is helping you.

    • Mel says:

      Thank you for sharing your current favorite things — and good for you for soldiering on in the face of adversity. I’m so sorry to hear about your injuries! Best wishes to you!

  • Ruthie says:

    I am so sorry you are having so many troubles! I wish I could give you a big hug! You bring so much happiness to our home with your recipes, it doesn’t seem fair that there isn’t some way that we can make your day brighter. Sending lots of love from California!

  • lilli says:

    Thank you so much for writing this, and being so honest. One line you wrote really hit home to me!!!
    I’m resentful and scared and so f*cking tired of thinking so hard about what I eat and meditating to stop thinking about all of it. Also, I need to take a nap every afternoon because my energy just tanks around 4:00 p.m. (And yes, I’m f*cking grateful my work life allows me to take a nap in the afternoon, but honestly, I’m kinda sick of being grateful for that, too. Not very yoga-like of me, is it?!)”
    That’s it! Resentful, scared, and so effing tired of thinking so hard about what I eat! I have T! diabetes (31 years), celiac disease (6 years), and lupus (3 years). EVERYTHING I do requires thinking about it before and it’s so annoying! But yes, you’re doing what you can for yourself and that is awesome!!! I’m going to look into those supplements. I’m on prednisone (ARGH) but thankfully tapering off! Need to cut my loose ends on Paleo b/c i’ve been off track! But you’re on of my inspirations! So keep inspiring us!!!! Good Luck with your results! I’ll be waiting.

    • Mel says:

      Oh, the thinking! It’s the hardest part of health issues, no?

      Sending you all good vibes to commit to eating clean and to feel as good as possible. And I’m sorry you have the burden of diabetes, celiac, and lupus. NO fun. Big hugs — keep us posted on how you’re doing!

  • Kristina says:

    I just recently started reading about Paleo and found your website and books and I love them. I am from Australia and it is interesting that you talk about being on the Elimination diet. There is a mother, Sue Dengate, who is a strong supporter of the diet in Australia, she has been for years. Many families swear by the diet to overcome behavour and physical issues with their kids. The diet is very basic and similar to the one you are on but it excludes more foods. All the best with the diet, it is hard work but well worth the effort in the end.

  • Evelyn says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Just wondering if you got an MRT test done…. I just did it and crazy to see what items cause inflammation in me! Nothing I think I would’ve ever figured out with any type of W30,GAPS,etc diet.

  • Marni says:

    I just stumbled on this post and you have no idea how much it was an encouragement for me. I have no thyroid issues but I have arthritis, scoliosis, and deep into adrenal fatigue. I feel your pain and frustration. Ty for sharing, I don’t feel quite so insane now.

  • Laura says:

    I know this is a super old post, but it was really helpful! I’m going through a strict Candida Diet right now and had a question about reactions to foods. What types of reactions are you looking to avoid when you try a new food? I’m getting ready to test some out and I’m a little scared!

    • I know it can be intimidating, but try not to get too overwhelmed. The worst that will happen, probably, is that you might have some digestive issues… the other signs you’re looking for are varied and subtle, which is why it’s so important to do the re-introduction one at a time.

      These are the kinds of things to keep an eye out for:
      bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation
      rashes, itchy skin
      nausea
      fatigue
      joint aches
      mood swings
      disrupted sleep

      My personal example: when I eat dairy, my left eye waters for 24-36 hours. Just the left. Totally weird!

      When I eat more than a few bits of gluten, I get depressed 36 hours later

      When I eat more than a few bites of corn, I get very grumpy about 24 hours later.

      I’ve found it’s really helpful to keep a diary during reintroduction so you can track things like mood, skin, sleep, and bathroom experiences. Good luck!