I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disease) about 7 years ago. Although, I have been on medication ever since, my body does not respond to medication alone. I have to get blood work done every 8 weeks and have to eat a pretty strict diet to keep my numbers in check. I mostly follow the Thyroid Healing diet laid out in this book–no dairy, gluten, grains, eggs, pork, soy, and I really try to stay away from processed sugars and meats.
But if you are in a similar situation, don’t think I cut it all out at once! When I was first diagnosed, my doctor advised me to cut out gluten immediately. And then 6 months later, I eliminated dairy. I’ve been grain free for about 2 years and the other things I have gradually cut out in an effort to optimize how I feel and function.
So what DO I eat in a typical day? A lot actually! Here’s how a typical day looks for me:
Post Workout Protein Shake
I have to workout, or very minimally move my body, every morning to keep my joints loose and fight the exhaustion that can come with Hashimoto’s. A blend of almond milk, Clean Simple Eats vegan protein and PB2 is my favorite recovery. It’s like a cold milkshake! If I want it a little thicker, I’ll blend in a frozen banana and some spinach.
I miss eggs, a lot. Sometimes, on the weekends, Chris will make sweet potato hash, but on the daily, I just grab some celery juice (we’ve been getting it from Pressed lately after juicing my own for 3 years–it’s a nice break!), and a protein Larabar for a mid-morning snack. I noticed when I first started this diet, it was really hard for me to get protein in, so now I try to make sure almost everything I eat has some amount of protein. The Apple Cobbler Protein bar is magic!
Eating out used to feel…not fun. But, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding something on almost any menu that I can modify. Our team chose Five Guys this day and I went for the burger bowl (instead of my usual lettuce wrapped burger) and I should have gone with the lettuce wrapped. I don’t know why I thought it would still come with lettuce. haha. It was still tasty with pickles, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and onions.
Get Back to Human has become one of my favorite treats. They make a lot of different snacks that are all free of all the junk. A few squares of this cashew butter chocolate and strawberries in the afternoon get me through the 2pm slump!
Burgers for lunch and nachos for dinner? This day was a party! Chris has become a master of restricted eating to the point where I often forget I am missing out on anything. Most of the recipes we share here on Chris Cooks Sunday are compliant with my diet, and these nachos were no exception. He piled on grain free tortilla chips (the siete brand), turkey sausage, zucchini squash, yellow onions, green onions, Daiya non-dairy shreds, avocado, cilantro, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I probably miss real cheese more than anything else, and I often skip vegan cheese because it’s just doesn’t live up to the real thing, but mixed in with all the other ingredients here–it was perfect.
I’m not going to lie, I usually fall asleep before I can even think about a snack. But once the sun goes down, I’ll usually have some tea (i love this one) with a couple drops of stevia and drift off before 9:30pm.
Of course every day is a little bit different, but I hope anyone else is the same boat gets some new ideas from this post!
Thank you for sharing! I have hashimoto and graves disease. I refuse to take medication because it was not working at all. I follow these doctors on Instagram that have some great advice. Everyday is a struggle because no one around me can understand what I’m going through. The brain fog and fatigue are the worst. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to try some of your suggestions. Good luck to everyone going through an auto-immune disease!!
I love reading your Hashimoto’s updates, Julia! I too have Hashimoto’s and decided to finally make major diet changes this past fall under the supervision of my doctor. I am now dairy-, egg-, grain-, soy-, added sugar-, caffeine-, alcohol-, and mostly nightshade-free. Additionally I eat a low-glycemic (<15g fructose per day) diet and smaller meals at regular intervals (was previously doing intermittent fasting but plateaued and bloodwork markers suggested a different approach was needed) to better manage blood sugars. 80% vegetables, the rest healthy fats and animal protein. I cut it out all at once which was brutal the first few weeks but I saw results by week three- dramatic lifting of brain fog and fatigue, more even energy throughout the day, disappearance of joint pain and pleasantly, my chronic sinusitis and seasonal allergies greatly improved. After six months I may modify toward becoming more lenient but wanted to give this a good go to get a baseline for what was possible with diet mod alone. In my search for answers and reasons for answers I have found Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s books Why Isn’t My Brain Working and Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms to be great sources of insight in case anyone needs any prompts for troubleshooting their condition. As much as I like my endocrinologist, I feel she cares more about keeping my levels in check than also addressing the root cause of what set my immune system into overdrive in the first place and helping it calm the heck down so it can respond more appropriately and slow the attack on what’s left of my thyroid.
Is it all eggs? I only ask because I’ve heard of people substituting duck eggs in place of chicken eggs. Glad you have a diet that works for you!
How did you finally get diagnosed? Was it or did it feel like an uphill battle? Also what makes eggs so bad?! Those are my favorite!! It would be hard
To remove. Thanks so much for sharing this!!
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 12 years ago. I have been chronically fatigued my whole life and finally went in about that and other issues to find out I needed to take medication. I have been on levothyroxine all these years and still feel fatigue and always want a nap. Curious what your symptoms were and how the diet helps. I went gluten free about 5 months ago just to see and have felt no difference. I tried to diet swap because my friends with hashimoto’s all say it helped them tons and since almost 80% of people with hypothyroid are really mis-diagnosed and really have hashi’s I though I would give diet a try. Still trying to find answers after all of these years.
Have you had your vitamin D level checked? It’s often low in people who have autoimmune issues and made a HUGE difference in my fatigue (I have hashimotos and other autoimmune conditions)
I have Hashimoto’s and am wondering why you need to get blood work every 8 weeks? That seems very frequent for someone who is managing it with dietary changes and meds for the associated hypothyroidism I assume.
I also have Hashimoto’s and have been taking low-dose Naltrexone for about 18 months along with my thyroid replacement meds. It has made a big difference in how I feel and is worth checking out. It was prescribed by my naturopath and is compounded at a compounding pharmacy. Low-dose Naltrexone is being used for all kinds of auto-immune diseases with promising results. I am also gluten free and can’t drink milk, but I can eat other dairy. It can be challenging to find things to eat. Thanks for sharing your experience. ~Paula
Thank you so much for sharing about you and a daily diet Julia! I also have hashimotos. Similarly, I have changed my diet and it’s been the greatest help for my well-being. The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook by Dr. Amy Myers, has been an incredible resource of recipes, I hope can be helpful on your journey too. Thanks for all your food suggestions too!!
Also, thanks for being such an amazing inspiration in living life beautifully! ????
Do you have the Sweet Laurel Cookbook? The author Laurel has Hashimotos and started a grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free bakery in LA. Her book is a favorite in our home. It’s great for the working mom bc you can make something in minutes.
My son has Crohn’s Disease and eating basically the way you do put him in complete remission, no meds! He loves a lettuce wrapped burger from Five Guys! Chipotle is also a favorite when we eat out.
I’m curious to know why you opt for PB2 which has sugar in it as opposed to natural peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt?
Thanks for sharing your story!
PB2 blends easier than regular peanut butter if you are just using the blenderbottle verses an electric blender. She doesn’t seem to eat a lot of other sugar so a little bit isn’t going to hurt.
Thanks for sharing! I have an autoimmune eye disease and I follow the eating plan in the book “The Autoimmune Solution” by Amy Myers, MD. It has helped slow the progression of my disease. I love the way she explains why certain foods should be avoided. And how to reintroduce foods to see if you can tolerate them. I enjoyed reading about your typical day! I love to see the recipes Chris comes up with for you. ♥️
Do you have any recommendation for resources to start going gluten free? I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in November and looking to make dietary changes slowly to see what works for me. I don’t even know where to start with going gluten free.
Thank you for sharing! I was diagnosed with several food intolerances a couple of years ago (egg and dairy included), so it’s always nice to see more ideas! I miss eggs and cheese too, but it’s not super bad once you get used to it!
Thank you so much for this post! I was recently diagnosed with Hoshimotos as well and it is so overwhelming. This post was so helpful to me knowing you took it slow with the food eliminations and started with gluten, which I was told to do as well by my doc. I’m am also grateful for the meal/snack ideas! Just having a starting point and an idea for eating out is so helpful! Maybe you would consider posting more of these daily food intake ideas of things you eat? Thyroid issues are becoming more & more common among women specifically I am noticing. Thanks for being an inspiration that it’s doable!
It’s nice to hear about another restricted diet! For me the hardest part is traveling. Yes, eating out I can generally find some meat/veggis combo that’s fine, but anything where I’m camping or otherwise cooking my own food a lot it’s a drag to be away from home and I avoid it. I want to travel more like I did in my 20s when the kiddos are older, but the food thing just makes me tired to think about. How do you guys handle travel?
I’ve been gluten free for 12ish years, and then between the births of my two daughters 7 years ago I got sicker and weaker – experimented with a lot of things and ended up dropping all grains and nightshades (potato, tomato, eggplant, bell/chili peppers) and sugar. Legumes are ok in incidental amounts but not as a main dish. I’m delighted that I am fine with eggs and a bit of dairy- it means a lot :) My gut health has much improved over the last decade, I have a good enzyme & supplement routine, and I have energy and a full life, thank goodness. I love all the grain free snacky things that have come out the last few years! I have to be careful to eat more real foods some days LOL.
Even at my most run down, I was not able to get my conventional doctors to find anything really wrong with me. Thyroid numbers were low but not quite enough for medication according to them. I saw a naturopath for a while and that was slightly helpful but mostly it’s been a matter of working things out for myself.
Thank you for posting this! My 16-year-old daughter has Hashimoto’s, and the exhaustion can get so bad! We’ve only known for a year, so we’re still learning as we go.
My tip would be to not cut out several things at the same time, but go for a few month without gluten, then a few months without dairy, to see which one your daughter might not react to well. Neither thing is a given with Hashimoto’s, even though both intolerances occur with a higher frequency in people with Hashimoto’s. I do wish that would’ve been made clearer in the post.
I for one have neither, and tried a lot of things in the 20 years I’ve known I have Hashimoto’s. I went without dairy and gluten for half a year with no benefit. So it’s worth it to make separate tests, so your daughter’s life only gets as difficult as it needs to food-wise, as, if she goes without both at once and notices a difference, the only way to find out which one it is or if it is both would be to add it back for a time, which can be a miserable experience.
Another thing worth having checked is if your daughter has PCOS and/or insulin intolerance (the latter often leads to PCOS). There is a frequent co-morbidity with Hashimoto’s. This can spare her a lot of unhappiness and pain in the long run. Insulin resistance needs to be tested for with a glucose tolerance test, just taking a sugar test in the morning isn’t enough. Insulin resistance only shows up if someone already has ingested food/sugar, the fasting sugar often looks fine. And there is such a thing as lean PCOS, so don’t let a doctor turn her away because they think she’s too slim to have it.
Thank you for sharing this. I have been diagnosed with big set of autoimmune conditions. I have been a vegetarian for close to 15 yrs and have played with veganism. I am challenged daily to figure new ways to stay consistent while fueling my body as an athlete.
I would love some more lunch and dinner ideas that are more typical for you – the post made it seem like these are unusual meals?
Thank you for this post! I am dairy free and have an egg allergy so this post definitely helped with some ideas.
Another fellow Hashi, I eat very similar. I even reward myself with the same chocolate bar once a week. Do you drink coffee? I’m wondering if this is something that I need to cut.
If I am remembering correctly, Julia is a member of the LDS church so she’s never been a coffee drinker! On a personal note, I have found cutting coffee out helps my stomach feel better overall.
Thank you! I have Hashimoto’s and know I need to make the jump to cut out more of the things that contribute to my exhaustion, this was helpful!
Once I started Keto, my weight, energy level and mood changed dramatically. I, like you, tried just going gluten free and it just wasn’t enough. I was still taking in too many carbs. I now do low carbs 5 days a week and up it a little on the weekends. I try to stay away from refined sugars altogether. You know, I tried really hard with the celery juice, I just can’t stand the taste! My savior has been the MCT8 oil ( I use the bulletproof brand that I find at CVS). I don’t use it in my coffee; I drizzle it over soups and salads. It would be easy to incorporate in your shakes as well. It gives me so much energy and clears the brain fog. Primary meals are pretty easy for me…it’s the snacking where I get hung up, so thanks for the tips!
I enjoyed this post so much! And… it seems like this year you’ve been posting more personal, non-reno related content and I’ve really loved it. Thanks for sharing parts of your life with us!
I totally agree. This is content I didn’t even know I was missing. I loved the leggings post and this one too.
Thank you for this!! I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and I’ve been wondering how I should take better care of myself. This is so interesting.
Also, is it weird that when the doctor said I should be tested, I immediately knew what Hashimoto’s was because of you? Either way, thank you so much for sharing your journey with it — it’s helped me so, so much.
A traumatic birth with my youngest child where I almost died did something to my body where I could no longer process most grains, dairy, almonds, processed foods or sugar. My friend had been suffering through long term COVID symptoms the past year, due to the way the virus attacked her brain and body. She, too, can no longer tolerate most common foods. I think posts like this are incredibly important and will only be more so in the near future. I an grateful to be from Portland, Oregon where food diversity is so common place. I never think twice about my access to forager cashew yogurts, and coffee creamers, organic meats, and locally grown vegetables. Let alone the wide variety of snack foods I can find in local stores and more recently online. I really appreciate the posts you share on cooking. They do help so much!
(Pardon my typos…????)
Thank you, Julia! I ordered the book you recommended before I even finished the blog post. I was also diagnosed with Hashimotos and would like to learn more about helping to treat it naturally (along with a small dose of Levothyroxine because sometimes sometimes that’s also necessary). Thank you for these meal ideas, I needed some inspiration.
Have you tried Kite Hill or Violife brands for mom dairy cheese? Game changer! Kite Hill started by chefs, and they have nailed consistency and taste better than any other brand I’ve tried. Violife cheese shreds and slices have the closest taste to real dairy but the flavor is slightly weaker than cow based dairy. I like the flavor and consistency of their better than Daiya so far.
I’m allergic to eggs (and also miss them so much) but have you tried Just Egg? It looks and cooks just like scrambled eggs, I highly recommend!! I even use it for vegan french toast, but not for baking.
Just egg contains soy, but is great for our son who has an IgE egg allergy!
Have you heard of the book Plant Paradox? My mom was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 20 years ago, and with Celiac about 12 years ago. She’s worked with her doctor on various medication and diet adjustments, and they had her start Plant Paradox about a year ago. She’s the healthiest and strongest I’ve EVER SEEN HER. It’s amazing.
Thank you for the valuable post!!! Wonderful information!
This was honestly SO helpful!! Would love more posts like this!! I have been G free for about 8 years and have STRUGGLED to be D free for the last 2. Also I had no idea Five Guys would do a burger bowl or lettuce wrap! Genius!! Thank you for this post!!
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
We recently painted our study a dark, moody green color. This is after we first painted it a muddy green, then repainted it a blue-gray. I guess what they say is true; third time’s a charm! The journey was worth it, though, because I’m so in love with this glossy green in contrast with the […]
We've been doing this since 2009 and we've posted a whopping 24145+ blog posts and counting. You might need a little help searching, huh?
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations
Make yourself right at home
What do you think?