A Hashimoto’s Update + 3 Kitchen Changes to Create a Healthier (and Green!) Lifestyle
True story: last week I had to take a power nap after dropping my kids off at school. The 5-minute walk home from school expended the remaining little energy that I had and I needed to fall asleep. Never in my decade of being a parent had I taken a nap “on the job”, but I could not respond to an email, make my breakfast, or deal with the mail and incoming packages that had been sitting on my doorstep until my body had a break.
Kind of sounds pathetic, right?
That kind of exhaustion is a tiny peek into what my life with Hashimoto’s disease is like. There are good days and there are not so great ones, but regardless of my energy level there are always a couple of constants that I can rely on:
I will always feel cold
I will always have to plan my meals in advance
I will always have a cocktail of vitamins, supplements, and more to take throughout the day
I will always struggle with maintaining my weight and my immune system
This is what Hashimoto’s disease looks like in my life. If you have it or know someone who has it, their disease may look slightly different, but there are constants for them too.
When I shared my story last year after my diagnosis (more on that here), it wasn’t because I was looking for pity. I never want anyone to feel bad for me, especially understanding that everyone has their own crap to deal with. But, you all have shown me that I can be honest here and open up about the not-so-Instagram-perfect life that happens behind the scenes and behind those little squares on my Instagram feed. So, thank you. Thank you for being there for me and your support.
You are the cheerleaders that play a huge role in motivating me to keep going, to keep organizing, and to keep sharing what the career and business that I am honored to do every day.
I’ve been a relatively open book on this blog, and my purpose for sharing this bit about my life was because Hashimoto’s disease has been a life-changing diagnosis for me. It has impacted every aspect of my life and forced me to make a lot of lifestyle changes, from how I manage my stress and exercise, the products that I use on my body (i.e. shampoo, makeup, nail polish, lotions, etc.) to the food that I eat and how I cook and store those items.
There are changes that have been easier for me to adopt while others have been more difficult, and one of the major changes that I made was in the kitchen. Below are the top 3 kitchen areas that I have changed the most since my Hashimoto’s diagnosis and journey to living a healthier (and green!) lifestyle.
So, whether you are looking to introduce healthier alternatives into your lifestyle or have Hashimoto’s yourself, I hope that you can implement what’s worked for me into your life.
3 Kitchen Changes to Create a Healthier Lifestyle
Fridge & Pantry
I have never been very interested in cooking or baking, but I had my list of go-to meals that I could rely on. Plus, there were the favorite restaurants and to-go options that could supplement the meals that I didn’t feel like cooking or if I didn’t have time to prepare and could just grab while I was out.. But, once I was restricted with what I could eat, I was forced to get creative and do research on what I could eat (and how to make it!). Now, a year later, I have my go-to meals and am a seasoned pro at figuring out which meals travel better than others (since I am always on the go!).
And while the rest of my family is less restrictive with what they eat, we have all made the shift to eating more “real” foods. So, I’ve stocked the fridge and pantry with organic meats, fruits, and vegetables, and our pantry has dedicated zones for healthy snacks, nuts, jerky, and our mealtime ingredients. I grocery shop a couple of times per week (so grateful for the invention of Instacart), but I love knowing that there are always fresh, healthy options to have on hand.
Cookware & Storage
I would have never guessed that the type of pan that I use to cook with or container that I use to store my leftovers would be so important. But, I have to be sure that the material of everything used in cooking is safe for me, which meant transitioning over to cast iron dishes (instead of non-stick), wooden cooking utensils (instead of plastic), and glass and BPA-free food storage containers. Investing in the tools that are essential to keeping myself healthy came with a bit of sticker shock, of course, but I always try to keep in mind that I am investing in my family’s health which is the most important thing and I am in control of keeping those type of toxins outside of our kitchen.
Once I started doing research on the effects that cleaning supplies and their ingredients can have on your body, I immediately started looking for alternatives. Like I mentioned, I eat slightly differently from the rest of my family so I have my own dedicated brush to avoid any sort of cross-contamination, but we all use the same non-GMO hand soap, dish soap, and dish detergent. Thankfully, there are amazing companies and products that offer these type of healthy green products, and a few of my favorites are Grove Collaborative, Brandless, and Amazon.
*I am not a medical professional and this information should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you have Hashimoto’s disease, please be aware that the information that was provided to me is based on my particular case of Hashimoto’s disease. Please consult your doctor should you have any questions on the ingredients that are safe or harmful to your body.