Recently, I found out that the reason I’m always tired, have a growing list of food intolerances, frequent migraines, and rough periods (TMI?) is that I have leaky gut, adrenal fatigue, anemia, hypoglycemia, a vitamin d deficiency…the list goes on.

The main culprit behind all of this is that I was born with hypothyroidism, and the leaky gut and non-thyroid were feeding off of each other, not allowing my body to absorb the medication properly and making me feel like a walking zombie! It also meant my body was in a constant state of catch-up and stress, intensifying the zombie effect. I knew something was wrong but since I’ve lived my whole life as a tired little thing having known nothing different, it was harder for me to catch.

The great news is that I can feel better and that each of those problems can be fixed, leaving me feeling better than I have ever felt! And I can eat dairy within a year if everything goes well (cue the confetti!!)! I’ve already had a few days where I had way more energy than I’m used to and it was a crazy feeling (is this how normal people feel??).

To heal, I am now on a very restricted diet (read: no dairy, no gluten, no grains, no sugar, no soy, no peanuts, no alcohol, no nightshades, no legumes) of essentially fruits, limited vegetables, and meat to make sure that nothing inflammatory is entering my system. I’m taking a few handfuls of supplements per day designed to solve the nutritional deficiencies.

Definitely counting down the days until the diet restrictions are over, but I am so grateful that there is an end in sight!

Anyway, to the helpful information. 🙂

Restaurants:

*Note, depending on how sensitive you are to cross contamination, you will likely want to eat out as little as possible. I have most often found that my headaches post meals have been after restaurants so I’m limiting my visits as much as possible! Whole Foods has been the best so far.

Mad Greens: Their citrus chicken is the only meet I’m able to have due to soy, but I have found that if I use just Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, I’m able to eat a tasty (if altered) Edgar Allen Poe Salad. They’re pretty flexible with substitutions…or remaking the salad if you mess up on your dressing choice and discover you can’t eat it.

Whole Foods: They have a very full salad bar and even have the option to make your own little olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing so that you’re able to stay in your guidelines! As a bonus, they also list EVERY ingredient in their items, so when you choose grilled asparagus you know all of the seasonings you have. Additionally, they have organic pressed juices with no added sugar, so if you find yourself craving a sweet drink this is a great option!

Larkburger: This has been a decent option for protein, as you can get your burger in a lettuce wrap and leave out the tomato, pickle and house sauce if you need to. They were helpful in letting me know exactly what was in the house sauce and I was luckily able to eat it. Win!

Snacks

TERRA chips: I was sorely missing chips and these are made with root vegetables and sweet potatoes. More expensive than your average chips but so worth it to have a normal snack! Find them at your local Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Kroger-brand store (ours is King Soopers).

RX bars: While admittedly these bars are not my favorite as dates aren’t really my thing, this little guy packs a punch with 12 grams of protein in each bar! Even though it takes me a while to eat it I feel like I’ve eaten something substantial after. I found these at Sprouts, though it seems like one could find this at any natural foods store.

Pressed by KIND: These bars are literally just fruit and chia, perfect for breakfast and much more up my alley! I find these at King Soopers.

Unsweetened banana chips: Read the label to make sure there is no added sugar! Find at Sprouts.

Salted nuts- Stay away from trail mixes as those usually have dried fruit with added sugar, milk chocolate, or peanuts

Fruit

Hardboiled eggs – filling yet smelly…

Dinners aka ‘The Grill Is Your Friend’:

-hamburger patties (grilled) + riced broccoli + fruit

-grilled chicken + sautéed kale + fruit

-mixed greens + avocado + strawberries + balsamic vinegar/ olive oil (+optional grilled chicken)

-grilled steak + sautéed asparagus + fruit

-chicken vegetable soup

-grilled chicken + baked sweet potato

(Basically it’s a simple combination of a meat, a vegetable side, and fruit for dessert. Definitely not as filling as rice or potatoes, but it works. 🙂 )

*Please note that all of this should be tailored to your own restrictions/tastes, and that ingredient lists are your friend. A general rule is that if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it. For recipe resources, I recommend the AIP Paleo Cookbook. Pinterest can also be a good resource for ideas (though most of those recipes that I’ve tried only turned out so/so, be careful!).

Hopefully I’ll be able to share some great “normal” recipes within the next few months! Hope this was helpful for any of you who might be going through the same thing.

Now that I’ve shared a few of my favorite “leaky gut” safe foods, what are some of yours?

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