Auto-Immune: How I Eat Anti-Inflammatory (and Why it Helps!)

Auto-immune disease is on a serious rise!
Every time I turn on my newsfeed these days it seems like I’m hearing about someone young and seemingly healthy is announcing they are suffering from an auto-immune disease. Maybe it’s only because I have one and I’m more aware, but I don’t think so!

If you’ve followed for a while you would know I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis about 5 years ago now. Personally, I don’t say I’m ‘suffering from an auto-immune’ anymore because A) I think everything begins in your mind and B) I’m not suffering.

This is not to say I never suffered. Because, you can ask my husband, I was a psycho when I first got diagnosed.
I could not wrap my head around ‘incurable disease’ or ‘medication for life’ in particular.
But also the vain part of me who has recently gained over 20lbs couldn’t accept. (Hashimoto’s attacks your thyroid, which controls your metabolism. Weight gain was personally my biggest symptom).
I could not get off chat boards (which are filled with trolls) and would mostly just read and cry.
So in this case, all symptoms aside – I was the cause of my own suffering.

You can read more about my journey in Part One and Part Two of my Hashimoto’s Story, if you are interested.

Otherwise, I’m here today to talk about THRIVING with an auto-immune and let you know I truly do not think about it anymore!
I mean it’s a part of my life, and I do take a pill every morning —  but in terms of the symptoms and my obsessing daily, both have subsided. Thankfully!

However, we all can get flare ups from time to time – or simply tendencies towards certain symptoms. For me, I tend to get puffy and lethargic. My sister who has Arthritis, tends to get achey. We all have our ‘things’ in relation to our auto-immune. Some are more sever than others, but ALL can be linked back to inflammation in the body.

Inflammation for me is most potent when I’m stressed, drinking more alcohol or caffeine, and not being aware or conscious about what I’m eating. Can you relate? Probably!

When I’m feeling heavy, tired, like I’m holding extra water or just ‘off’ in general – there are a few actions I take immediately to feel better.

Before I share these though – I want to share something important:
The most important things you can do, above all food changes/medication/workout/etc is to

The mind/body connection to auto-immune in general is ‘attacking yourself’. I want you to really give this some thought before implementing any lifestyle or diet changes.
We (particularly as women, but men too) are so hard on ourselves these days. The pressure to look a certain way, make a certain amount of money, be available for our loved one and seem perfect while doing it is honestly too much for one person to take. Except we all take it.
And when we don’t get it right, we are SO hard on ourselves.
Our thoughts manifest in our bodies. So if we are spending our day using our inner thoughts to attack ourselves (too fat, too lazy, too poor etc.) — our bodies hear this message loud and clear.
Not all people agree with me, but I think dis-ease starts in the mind and us attacking ourselves, directly relates to our bodies attacking themselves.
Take this or leave this – but please, when making diet or lifestyle changes of ANY kind, please please be gentle with yourself. Go slow and don’t pressure yourself. Therapy is also a great compliment to any healthcare changes, too.


Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle & Diet Changes that really help me feel better!


lemon water all day

Lemon water is key in helping trigger digestion functions, in lowering inflammation and it even helps your liver detox. I find I feel more alkaline and my body just feels happier when I’m sipping on lemon water throughout the day.


replace caffeine with herbal tea

Confession: this one has been super hard for me as of late. I LOVE my daily cup of joe!

When something is tough to cut out, listen to your body if you mind/habit-self is screaming YES but your body is intuitively telling you NO – listen to that.
I like to have coffee when I feel like my body, anxiety levels and digestion can handle it. If not, I’ll have a spicy herbal tea like ginger, turmeric or lemon.
These herbal teas really can do wonders for lowering the inflammation that causes the auto-immune attacks!


Quit Sugar

I could write an entire blog on why this is so beneficial. But the gist of it is this: Sugar negatively effects our immune system by suppressing it, it causes serious inflammation, it ages us — and it truly causes havoc in our bodies.
This is not a candida diet, fruit is okay. Sugar sometimes is okay. Just limit the intake and be more mindful!

Try replacing your daily usage of sugar with stevia – it’s calorie free, all natural and more not inflammatory like sugar.


Removing Dairy &/or Gluten

Some people can handle and thrive on dairy and gluten, and some can’t.
From what I’ve seen, these foods are both the key contributors to inflammation in a lot of people who suffer from auto-immune flareups.
Our bodies often don’t know how to process these foods and we get bloated, retain waiter, get mucus build up and for a lot of people  – major digestive issues happen.

If you feel good on these foods, don’t worry!
If you don’t or you are unsure – remove them for a couple weeks and see how you feel. Make sure to re-introduce them at separate times in case one works well if you and one triggers you.

For me, in terms of dairy I was way less ‘puffy’ and I had less body aches. I gain a lot of weight when I consume to much dairy, so I try and keep my consumption moderate! If I have a flare up, I get off of it immediately.

In terms of gluten, I’ve been off of it since the say I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and I’ve never looked back.
Again, I think this is a case-by-case basis.


Bonus Tip: move slowly but sweat lots!

Realizing that ‘beast mode’ isn’t for me anymore was life changing for may body!
Sounds so funny, but I always thought to have a good body I needed to life super heavy weights.
Turns out, my body loves minimal weight and strength training, lots of sweating (cardio, hot yoga, pilates, bodyweight circuit, etc.)  and LOTS of stretching. Literally I’ve been stretching over half hour per day and the difference in both my body shape and how I feel is incredible.

If you have inflammation in your body or suffer from auto-immune, try and sweat or move daily – but be kind to yourself, go slow and listen to what your body is saying.


Do you have any tips for keeping your inflammation down in your body? I’d love to hear them!!