I know that it can be overwhelming when you think about what you have to do to heal your body. It seems like everyone is telling you that you MUST do this or that if you want to get well. I know cuz I tried this and that and that and 1,000,000 other things before I realized that getting my health back boiled down to 5 things which I now call my Pillars of Health.
These Pillars of Health are simple (hence the name of my company) but not always EASY so don’t confuse the two. They are the foundation for healing though and is what has made the most difference in my own healing.
Pillar #1: What You Put In Your Body Matters
What you eat and drink makes a HUGE difference in your healing. Shocker, right? Seriously though, providing your body with the right nutrients is key to healing your thyroid, adrenals and gut.
Protein is essential for building healthy cells and manufacturing thyroid hormones. (they’re the only hormones made from protein instead of fat). Complete proteins, like those from animal sources, contain all of the essential amino acids needed to heal your body. The quality of the protein source matters so you want to make sure the animals are grass fed, pasture raised and not factory farmed.
Fats are integrated into every cell membrane and are vital to their structure. This is so important for healing the cells and keeping them healthy. Again, the quality of the fat matters.
- Buy cold pressed oils in dark colored, glass jars.
- Buy in smaller amounts that you will use within 1-3 months. No Costco gallons unless you drink the stuff everyday.
Fiber helps to sweep out waste from your body and keeps the gut strong. Beans have the highest amount of soluble fiber you can get in food. Soluble fiber binds to bile and helps to excrete it out in your poop. Insoluble foods found in veggies is also important as it bulks up stool and strengthens your intestines by forcing them to contract to move food and waste along the GI tract.
Here are my general recommendations on foods to eat to heal. Remember we’re all individuals so if a food doesn’t work fo you don’t eat it:
- Whole foods in their natural form versus a processed boxed food
- Organic when possible. If not possible then choose non GMO
- Pasture raised, grass fed meats and poultry
- Wild caught seafood
- Organ meats like liver once a week if possible
- Bone broth
- Beans (start with small amount like 1 tablespoon and work up to eating ¼ cup 3-4 times a day
Pillar #2: What You Put On And Around Your Body Matters
Everything that you put on your body has an impact on your healing. Lotions, cosmetics and perfumes all penetrate your skin and into your body. Chemicals in these items have been found in the blood stream. Making sure that the products you use have the safest ingredients is incredibly important.
Natural doesn’t always mean safe. There are lots of unsafe things that are natural. Umm…cyanide is a good example. To help pick the safest personal care products I use the website EWG Skin Deep to look up how safe products are. They are rated based on the safety evidence of the ingredients used in them. Products rated 1 and 2 are the safest and the ones that I try my best to stick to.
I also started using (and became a consultant) for Beautycounter because of their strong commitment to use only the safest ingredients in their products. In fact, they have a list of over 1,500 ingredients they’ll never use because they are unsafe. Plus I love how the products perform. Win win.
Remember that everything you put around your body, including cleaning products, fragrances and clothing also has an impact on your healing so make sure to choose the safest products in those areas as well.
We don’t use anything with “fragrance” in it in our house. Fragrance is an unregulated term. Even though the word fragrance sounds so nice it can have the nastiest, most harmful ingredients in it. I opt for products that are unscented, are scented with only essential oils or the naturally occurring scents from the ingredients in the product.
We make our own cleaning products with vinegar, alcohol, water and essential oils. They do a good job cleaning and sanitizing.
Pillar# 3: What Comes Out Of Your Body Matters
Poop, pee, and sweat are the major ways that we get rid of waste products in our bodies. All of the systems of elimination need to be working properly to keep the negative waste products from building up in our systems and overwhelming them.
Your GI tract removes nutrients from food and leaves over anything that couldn’t be digested. The waste products along with dead cells, fiber and undigested nutrients get moved along to the large intestine where it’s excreted in your poop.
This movement depends on the muscular contraction of the intestines. If it’s not moving correctly because of improper nerve signaling, hormonal imbalance, dehydration or other physiological issue then you won’t be able to poop well. If you can’t poop well then that waste stays in your system and let’s just say that you’ll feel shitty.
Constipation is incredibly common in the US and especially in people with hypothyroidism and gut issues. Taking a laxative to get your bowels moving works momentarily but doesn’t address the underlying cause and you’ll still be constipated. Correcting the underlying issues is key to healing.
Things that can help you poop like a champ are:
- Eating enough fiber
- Balancing hormones
- Getting enough rest
- Optimizing thyroid levels
- Eliminating eating foods that you’re sensitive to
- Balancing the gut microbiome with a variety of foods
Your kidneys filter the fluid in your body by extracting essential nutrients like sodium and potassium, and getting rid of excess nutrients and toxins through the urine. Drinking enough water ensures that you’re urinating an appropriate amount to get rid of water soluble waste.
As long as you don’t have any other underlying kidney problems that prevent you from urinating appropriately, I recommend drinking 0.5-1.0 ounces of water per pound of body weight per day.
Sweating is another way that your body gets rid of excess nutrients and toxins as well as keeping you cool. Your skin is the largest detoxification organ in your body so it makes sense that sweating is gonna help you get rid of nasty stuff that your body doesn’t need.
Exercise, infrared saunas and warm to hot baths all help you to sweat. I aim to do one or more of these every day.
Pillar #4: How You Rest Your Body Matters
Rest is essential to repairing your body and you can’t heal without repair. Cells in different parts of your body take different amounts of time to turn over.
Cells in your gut take 3 days while thyroid and adrenal cells take about 3 months. You want to make sure that you are getting enough rest daily to help facilitate that repair.
Here are some things you can do:
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night
- If you can’t sleep that long make a plan to rest in bed for 8 hours
- Create a bedtime routine to help your body and brain get ready for rest
- Don’t do too much activity even if you feel like you have the energy for it
- Say to no to non essential activities and rest on the couch instead
Pillar #5: How You Move Your Body Matters
Physical movement is an important part of health but moving in a way that over exerts your body is harmful to your health. I grew up in the no pain no gain, aerobic exercise era where when it came to exercise the more the better. I felt guilty if I didn’t exercise to my max every day because I thought it would hurt my health. Boy I was wrong!
Pushing your body to the limit every day or even getting your heart rate up too much puts stress on your adrenals and thyroid when you’re in perfect health. If you’re working on healing those glands, your gut and to balance your hormones pushing too hard is gonna work against you.
Moving to keep your muscles strong and your body flexible helps you physically and mentally. Movement has been shown to decrease anxiety and increase endorphins which make you feel happier.
Exercise modalities that have helped my healing are:
- Melt Method
- Daily walking with my dogs
- Hiking in nature
I monitor my heart rate and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) (how hard I’m working on a scale of 1-10) to judge how hard I’m pushing myself. I work on keeping my heart rate under 110 bpm and RPE around a 5-6.
Following these 5 Pillars of Health has really helped me to find balance in my health and are non negotiables for me. I’ve done other things like herbs, IV’s and other medical treatments but I know they wouldn’t have healed me the way that they did if I didn’t have these Pillars of Health dialed in.
Need help or support with these Pillars? Reach out to me by email or on Instagram and let me know how I can help. Also join my private Facebook group Thyroid, Adrenal and Gut Healing for Women.