Why I Went Gluten Free For My Hashimoto’s And The 5 Snacks That Kept Me Going

I’ve talked about my experience with Hashi’s in a few different places on this blog, but this part is a biggie. I’m going to go ahead and say it:

I would not be in remission from my Hashimoto’s if I’d never gone gluten-free.

Here’s why…

A little over four years ago I went gluten-free, for real. I didn’t have off days, I didn’t cheat. I basically pretended I had celiac disease and that even a molecule of gluten would hurt me (because it would). I went an entire year with zero gluten and the result was nothing short of miraculous.

What the first few doctor’s I saw after my diagnosis didn’t tell me about my Hashimoto’s was that there were lifestyle changes I could make that would help. So after continuing to struggle, even though I was on my meds and taking them properly, I dug a little deeper. 

Turns out many people with autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are sensitive to gluten. Not necessarily allergic to it to the point where it would show on an allergy test, but sensitive in a way where the damage becomes cumulative over time. Gluten sensitivities can lead to what is called a “leaky gut.” 

You don’t want a “leaky gut.”

Why? Not just because it sounds awful. 

When your gut allows particles to permeate its lining they move into other areas of your body including your bloodstream where they are identified as foriegn. Your crazy immune system (who is already eating your thyroid—WTF immune system?) goes into hyperdrive, causing even more inflammation.  

You may notice seemingly unrelated things like swelling or bloating, skin conditions like eczema, and even what seems like the sniffles.

The more gluten you eat the more damaged your gut becomes and the more particles sweep into your bloodstream. 

This is another reason your sensitivity might have gone unnoticed for so long. The effects here are cumulative. There is emerging research that actually lists gluten as not just a sensitivity of many people with autoimmune disease but as an actual trigger for the diseases themselves. 

Whoa. 

Think about that for a second. Is a croissant worth a chronic disease?

Eh, not so much.

During my year of 100% gluten-free living my body changed entirely. I was able to heal my gut and start fresh. My medication levels changed, my supplementation regimen became more effective, and I just FELT BETTER.

I’m no longer 100% gluten-free. Since healing my gut I’d say I hover around 85-95%, but I am super picky about the gluten I allow. It is a special occasion scenario and always of a whole grain variety. I routinely go months at a time without gluten just to make sure I’m not compromising all my hard work. 

I won’t say it’s easy, but the results have been something I can’t ignore.

If you’re considering going gluten-free I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve…

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MY 5 FAVORITE GLUTEN-FREE SNACKS:

  1. I LOVE FlapJacked Mighty Muffins (affiliate). These are always in my pantry. As with any treat, even the GF ones, you should use in moderation. Ish.
  2. Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Wherever Bars (affiliate). Y’all. These are MAGICAL. 
  3. Siete Family Foods Grain Free Tortilla Chips Jalapeno Lime (affiliate). I use these for anything that needs crunch. I’ve used them as a breading and in all my taco salads. I never run out of these, because I buy in bulk. YUM. (FUEGO is good, too!)
  4. Joy GF Ice Cream Cones (affiliate). Sometimes you need ice cream and you can’t eat it out of your hand. Enter these babies. 
  5. Leigh’s Double Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Recipe. Y’all. Game changer. I wrote it out for you below. 

Leigh’s Double Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Recipe

This is a combo of my fav double chocolate toffee cookie recipe with @myglutenfreekitchen‘s chocolate chip cookie recipe and I couldn’t be happier. (Click that link to follow her on IG. Oh and follow me too! I mean, while you’re there, might as well.) 

  • 2 1/4 cups (282gms) good all purpose gluten free flour (I used @cup4cup brand)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt (mixed in dough)
  • 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup (12 tbsp) unsalted butter (browned, don’t skip this step)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (to garnish cookie)

𝐈𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬:

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together gf flour, baking soda and salt (1 tsp). Set aside
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, place cream cheese, then pour browned butter over it. Add brown sugar and sugar and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes 
  3. Add vanilla extract and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing on low speed until well mixed
  4. Add the flour mixture from #1, beating on low until just combined
  5. Add chocolate chips and toffee bits and mix on low or by hand
  6. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 4 hours (do NOT skip this step)
  7. Once ready, remove from fridge and let sit for 15 min to soften
  8. Pre-heat oven 375
  9. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Do NOT spray
  10. Use a cookie scoop to evenly scoop mounds of dough to cookie sheet, several inches apart
  11. Sprinkle each cookie dough mound with a little sea salt
  12. Bake 11-12 min. Remove when edges are set and just browning. Centers will continue to cook as they cool. Do NOT over cook
  13. Let the cookies cool a couple of minutes and then move to cooling rack to finish cooling (who are we kidding, I eat mine straight from the oven)
  14. ENJOY 😋

Going gluten-free is something that is easy to talk yourself out of. It is something that is easy to quit early (go at least 3 months!). But going gluten-free was the missing piece of my Hashimoto’s healing puzzle. 

I hope it works for you, too!

BETTER TOGETHER

-Leigh

 

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THRIVING THROUGH HASHIMOTO'S

THE PROGRAM

I know a girl who spent almost $10,000 trying to get a diagnosis, because she didn’t look sick. Because her numbers were “fine”. Because no one listened. Because even though she was doing everything right she DID NOT FEEL BETTER. How much is your happiness worth? Your health? Being able to spend more time with your kids? With your spouse?

 It should be better than this. And it can be. 

But you have to choose YOU.