Did Keto or Carnivore Heal My Thyroid?

Could it heal yours?

I mentioned a while back that I was experimenting with easing off of my thyroid medication. I had high hopes that my carnivore/keto ways of eating had finally made it possible for my thyroid to make its own hormones. I’m at the end of that experiment now, and ready to report my results. I’m going to have to back up a ways to explain my thinking and results, though, so that readers can understand why my results are probably not going to be typical. Someone else may have a better or worse chance of success, depending on their unique circumstances.

In my late teens, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. What I really had was a drug problem, intense sadness, and a Jesus-shaped hole in my heart. But I didn’t turn to Jesus until much later. The worldly way of dealing with my failures was to see a psychiatrist, so that’s what I did. The psychiatrist put me on lithium, never warning me that the drug could affect my thyroid function. I was on myriad other drugs, also, and nothing helped at all. I’m not going to go into the story of the next few years, because, to tell the truth, I have no memory of a great deal of it. It was bad, OK? Suffice it to say that Jesus found me, made me whole, and I’ve been clothed and (mostly) in my right mind for about twenty years now.

Praise God!

But my thyroid did not recover. When I cold-turkey quit all the psych meds, I also threw out the thyroid medicine. In my ignorance, I didn’t realize that it was different than the rest of the meds, and I actually needed that one. For about five years, I didn’t understand that I was running on a damaged thyroid. I had plenty of symptoms that I didn’t know were symptoms, but I had fired all the doctors, so there was nobody to tell me.

This is the part where we sit in silence, in awe and wonder at how God brought me through these still-difficult years and gave me two beautiful, healthy children when I should probably have been infertile.

Then, like many post-partum women, after my second child, I found that my thyroid just flat-out couldn’t do it any more. A doctor finally tested my hormone levels, and put me on levothyroxine. That was more than fifteen years ago, and I have been taking that medication every day since then.

Once I started doing a ketogenic, then carnivore diet, I felt better than I could remember feeling since I was a child. My thyroid antibodies, a marker of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, simply disappeared after I cut out plants. I started hearing stories of women with Hashimoto’s being able to regain some thyroid function. But I didn’t just have Hashimoto’s. I also had decreased function from the psychiatric attack on my thyroid. My chances of success were slim, but I had to try.

As I mentioned here, I did everything I could think of, including quitting coffee and taking thyroid boosting supplements, to optimize my thyroid function, and then I (without my doctor’s supervision, and don’t you EVER think of trying this at home) eased myself off my thyroid medicine over a period of some weeks. For about the amount of time it takes for the last of the thyroid medicine to leave your body, I felt normal.

Then for a few more weeks, I thought I felt normal. Maybe a little slow. And then I started slipping more noticeably. I started to gain some weight, even though I wasn’t eating any differently. I was forgetting things, not getting my housework done, feeling cranky and sluggish all the time. My hair dried out, nails became brittle. Exercise became hard, instead of a joy to me like it usually is.

I kept on trucking for a few more weeks, hoping that my brain and thyroid tissue would finally figure it out.

In the end, I finally had to admit that I was not going to make it. These were my numbers about 3 months from beginning to taper off:

Woah!

So, no, carnivore and keto did not heal my thyroid. I’m not able to make it without hormone replacement. Back on the same medication I went.

But here’s the interesting part. There were things that got better, even as my thyroid symptoms got worse. My period (avert your eyes, men) had always been ridiculously heavy and with giant clots, and that actually got better with no meds. I didn’t experience any cycle disruption at all. Perhaps I would have if I hadn’t tapped out of the experiment when I did. My sleep tracker started telling me that I was sleeping better, less restlessly.

The biggest change was that my acne disappeared. For a few years, I’d constantly had embarrassing, ugly, deep red cysts on my face. After stopping the meds, I didn’t even need makeup to go out anymore. I confess, I always felt especially delicate about the acne because I knew many people would blame my carnivore diet for it. I want to be an ambassador for this optimal way of eating, and I knew nobody would want to imitate me with my face looking like that. I had questioned whether it was the diet myself, but I’ve never seen a carnivore besides me have this problem, and I felt wonderful otherwise. I knew it had to be something else. I had never considered that it could be the formulation of the medication itself.

When I went back on Levoxyl, that acne came roaring back. The good news in this for me was that coffee was not the reason I had acne. It was obviously the medication, so I at least got to reacquaint myself with that old friend. Temporarily. We can talk more about coffee some other time.

Once I started thinking through what had happened during my sabbatical from medication, I realized that it was probably some inactive ingredient in the thyroid pill I was taking, and not anything wrong with my hormones, that was causing the acne. So, without fully disclosing to my doctor what a crazy thing I had done to figure this out, I asked her to put me on Tirosint, instead of Levoxyl. It’s pricey, but absolutely worth it to get a medication that doesn’t have any unnecessary ingredients.

I have not had any acne since I switched meds. My periods also got even lighter and my cycle is shorter: 28 days now instead of 34. This is marvelous!

Even though I didn’t succeed at resurrecting my thyroid with the carnivore diet, as many Hashimoto’s sufferers have done, I am very glad I tried. It is not a good idea to just accept long-term medication without trying to find other solutions. There was a better approach for me, and it is possible that I never would have realized it if I hadn’t gone this route.

Carnivore and keto might still work for your thyroid, Dear Reader. Several readers have asked for updates, I presume because they’d like to try this themselves. My friendly, not-at-all-medical advice is to get your diet nailed down for at least six months. Do either grain- and dairy-free keto or, ideally, carnivore. See if your antibodies improve. Then, under your doctor’s supervision–please do not do follow my example and go it alone–ease off the drugs and see what happens for you. I had a history of high lithium intake to contend with, so you very easily could have better luck than I did.

I would encourage anybody with Hashimotos to give it a very studied, deliberate, careful attempt. I’d love to hear from any of you about your own situation!

I’m not opening comments on the blog anymore. Spam and trolls are just too much trouble. You can find me for conversation on Gab, MeWe, and SG.

Carnbread Dressing

This diet just gets weirder and weirder.

I showed you earlier how to make a cornbread simulation I like to call Carnbread. Now let’s turn that oddly bread-like loaf into a stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey! Or maybe your Thursday night chicken dinner, since this is January.

Carnbread stuffing is made in a similar manner to cornbread stuffing.

Carnbread Dressing

A meaty alternative to cornbread stuffing
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Carnivore
Keyword: carnivore, dairy free, keto
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 loaves carnbread
  • 2 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onions a teaspoon of onion powder could also be used
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare one recipe of Carnivore Cornbread.
  • Optional, but helpful for a better texture: Freeze the bread overnight or longer, wrapped in plastic wrap or zipper bags, then allow to thaw before continuing.
  • Heat oven to 300 °F
  • Cut Carnbread into 1-inch cubes, and toss in a large bowl with all other ingredients.
  • Spread the cubes in a single layer onto two (or more) baking sheets
  • Bake in the oven until they are crunchy and turn golden brown.
  • Stir occasionally, and taste-test to see if they're as done as you like.
  • Now you have croutons! Stop here if you just want to snack on some croutons, or eat them with egg drop soup or something.
  • To make the dressing, mix the now-crispy croutons with two cups of warm poultry stock.

Stuffing (or dressing, I guess, since I never put it inside the bird) is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. It was, anyway, before I figured out what all that delicious food was doing to my body. Good news, carnivores: we don’t have to miss out on the stuffing experience! This stuff is so close to bread stuffing that I think I could have served it without explanation on Thanksgiving and nobody would have figured out that it’s not made of bread. They wouldn’t have thought it was normal bread, to be sure. The texture isn’t exactly right, so maybe they’d have guessed it was one of those Ezekiel breads or gluten-free breads.

As with any carnivore recipe, you can and should leave out any and all spices that you don’t eat. On special occasions, I go ahead and use the spices I normally skip. I served this dish right alongside my bread stuffing. Guess which one people preferred? This dressing is really good! I don’t know if I would actually put it inside a turkey and bake it. That would probably be soggy and eggy-tasting. Let me know if you decide to try it. I’m not that brave.

Carnivore Cornbread

AKA Carnbread

Recipe first. We’ll talk later.

Carnivore Cornbread

A fairly bready substitute for cornbread
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Servings: 10

Equipment

  • 2 loaf pans
  • 1 blender

Ingredients

  • butter, bacon grease, or lard for greasing pans
  • 3 12.5 oz cans canned, cooked chicken, well-drained Sub your own pre-cooked chicken if you like.
  • 14 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp salt I use Redmond's Real salt. If you use regular table salt, you may want to halve the amount.
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary (Optional, helps with the eggy flavor)
  • or 2 Tbsp Lakanto monkfruit or other keto-friendly sweetener (Optional, for a sweet version. Omit rosemary if choosing this option.)

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease the two loaf pans. If the pans are cast iron, put them into the pre-heating oven to warm up.
  • Blend the drained chicken and eggs in a blender until thoroughly mixed.
  • Divide the batter into the loaf pans.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the "bread" has completely set.
  • Turn out immediately onto a cooling rack to cool.

I don’t do a lot of food substitutes. If I can’t eat a thing, I don’t often try to make something similar to fill that niche in my diet. However, there are occasions–Thanksgiving, Christmas, days-ending-in-y-when-I’m-tired-of-the-same-old-same-old–when a little bready substance seems like it would hit the spot. This recipe evolved from several carnivore recipes I’ve found online that weren’t big enough–or tasty enough, frankly–to feed my large family. I used this recipe recently to make croutons which then became a carnivore “stuffing” to go with our Thanksgiving turkey. The recipe for that is coming soon. Everybody said that my version was just as good as the gluten-free bread version I made for the normal people, and it disappeared just as fast, so I guess they were telling the truth!

A word of warning for the unwary: a slice of real bread has nothing like the nutrient profile of a slice of this fake bread bread simulation. So when you’re eating carnbread (as I just decided to rename it), it is not going to serve the same function as cornbread. You’ll fill up very quickly on this loaf. I ate a few slices last night as my main course, simply buttered and dipped in a delicious meat stock. It was a very satisfying meal.

I’ve poured the batter into individual-size casserole dishes that made loaves just the right size for a hamburger bun, and that works beautifully for a cookout where you’d like to be able to eat a sandwich just like everybody else. Goes great with my homemade clean mayo. You might not be able to eat the whole sandwich, though. It is a lot of food.

You could also use a couple of well-greased muffin tins to make cornbread muffins. Just watch the cooking times as you change the shape and size.

I haven’t actually tried sweetening the bread for a dessert-like treat yet, but I have it in my head to do a maple and vanilla flavored one sometime. Since it doesn’t taste very chickeny, but is a little eggy, I think it will be pretty tasty. I’ll report back on that if I ever do it. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Let me know via Gab, MeWe, or SG if you try it. Or if you refuse to try it. Whatever, just come talk to me!

 

 

 

Friday Random Mess

Let’s kick off the weekend with some links, shall we?

Have you joined the Global Walkout yet? Don’t let the big banks, big ag, big pharma, and big government run and ruin your life. All you have to do is walk out. Start at Step 1 if you’re new to the idea. Step 9 is for business people to encourage their customers to prefer cash payment:

Step 9

Eric Peters has coined a useful word to describe the Cult of the White Coat: allopathia

So, yes, this government is completely lawless now. What are you going to do about it, plebe?: Facebook and Twitter created special portals for the government to rapidly request takedowns of content. 

What you were not taught about Christopher Columbus and Islam. When I was in school, Columbus was still a celebrated figure, but I don’t think one word was said about Islam. If I had no interest in history as an adult, I would have been surprised by all of this. History class is a joke, and has been for a long, long time. Homeschool, people.

33 Things Christian Men Should Know About Women. I’ll probably have my sons read this. I’d quibble with this a bit:

25. It’s common for a woman to conform to a man’s interests and hobbies to receive his affection

A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. —Deuteronomy 22:5

I don’t know when it began that men started to desire women who shared the same masculine hobbies as them. “She loves watching sports, drinking beer, and shooting guns… I’m in love!” It must be a sign of the times when narcissism is so high that men look to women to be just like them instead of understanding that God created two sexes with a distinct division of gifts for maintaining a family home.

When men signal they like a woman with masculine hobbies, women will soon come to “love” masculine hobbies. There are millions of women in the United States who know more than me about pro football, craft beer, bodybuilding, shooting guns, comic book movies, and all the most appropriate times to use profanity in conversation. They may not admit it to you, but I believe they do these things to maximize their chances of receiving affection from men and to sustain that affection by being able to talk about the things that men like.

There’s nothing sinister or upside-down about a woman who’s into a man taking on his interests to a degree. I learned a lot about Linux in order to cozy up to my future husband. In fact, I became very proficient for a while and impressed him with a few unexpected skills. Can’t remember much now, but I can still converse intelligently with him about his jobby (job+hobby). I was already interested in more “masculine” stuff because I was a daddy’s girl. I never thought to compete with my husband, and I never thought to trick him into thinking I was going to be his best buddy at the shooting range, although I certainly am. I did think I needed to prove my worth as his life-long partner.

The reason it is common for women to conform to a man’s interests is that a woman needs to be familiar enough with her husband’s interests to be a good helpmeet and an understanding companion. It is natural and healthy to do that. A woman who can’t do that is probably not going to be a felicitous match. Best to find that out before the wedding, no? An unregenerate or un-selfaware woman will turn that into a competition, though, and make for a cold marriage once she catches him and either begins to compete, or becomes completely cold to his interests, and thus his needs.

Another fertilizer plant destroyed. It really is on purpose, people.

Nice one today, Stonetoss:

R-ticulate image number 0

Britain threating jailtime for praying in front of abortion clinics. Prayer is powerful. The enemy knows this. It’s time we realized it, as well, and started really doing it.

That’s all for this week. We’re about to go dip some beeswax candles. Will probably blog that! Happy weekend, friends!

 

Steak Crisps

I wouldn’t want to name them ‘beef chips’.

The thing I miss the most about eating carbs is crispy textures. I love potato chips, crackers, crisp cookies. I don’t love what those things do to my body, though, so I’ve stayed away for years. You can buy crispy carnivore snacks, but I can’t afford that stuff.

What I’ve taken to doing is as simple as can be, and not at all expensive if you can find these on sale. My favorite local grocery store frequently sells the steak-um style beef sheets for 2 for $5.

This is not even a recipe, it’s so simple.

  1. Lay your sheets out in the food dehydrator on the wire racks. I put one of the plastic fruit-leather pans on the bottom rack to catch any drips of fat. Do remove the paper that separates the meat-sheets. I left them on once, and the food stuck to it. Very disappointing.
  2. Salt or season to taste. I usually use plain Redmond’s Real Salt. The smoked salt was delicious, but sprinkle very lightly. The bigger crystals will overwhelm the flavor.
  3. Dry at around 160°F for 12 hours.

Eat them right away or bag them up for later. I keep them in the fridge. It doesn’t take us long to eat them all, so I’m not sure how shelf-stable or travelable they are.

Doggies will want some. Don’t be stingy:

What I Eat in a Day

A carnivore diet is the easiest thing in the world to plan, but some people still have trouble envisioning what their plates should look like without a side of taters and a dessert. Probably the hardest thing to get used to is thinking of meat (and eggs and dairy, if you add those) as a whole meal all by itself.

I hope you’ll see that my food is not completely boring, that I don’t have to be perfect to get great results, and above all, that it is OK to pile your plate right up to the heavens if that’s how much food you need today. It’s also OK to skip a meal you don’t feel you need it. I’m not suggesting that everyone should eat the same amount or things that I do. This is just meant to give ideas to those who maybe have none. If you’re more interested in keto than carnivore, just imagine a few asparagus on the side of my plates. Sometimes–very occasionally–I even put a few of those on my plate. It’s a way of eating, not a religion.

Anyway, here’s what I ate Saturday, September 3 (yes, this was a month ago. I’m a little behind on everything rn):

First meal: Ground beef “salad”. Cold, leftover plain ground beef, smoked salt, cubed butter, and cubed feta goat cheese. Not pictured are the two slices of bacon I ate before I thought to write this post. This was about 1/2 a pound of meat, I reckon, and an ounce each of butter and cheese. I don’t always eat breakfast, but it’s usually something left over from a previous meal if I do.

Lunch: steak and deviled eggs (there’s a little pickle in the eggs):

Snack, cute little caterpillar. I did not eat the leaf:

I’m kidding, of course. I do not eat bugs, but I suppose that would still be carnivore.

And finally, a small snack in the afternoon after a late workout, cottage cheese with a few cherries, which are not meat. I cannot resist cherries or pears when they are perfect and in-season. That only happens for about 2 weeks every summer, so this is a self-limiting indulgence. They taste just awful the rest of the year.:

I’m sure there are carnivores who would light their hair on fire and read me out of the tribe for that last meal. It’s got fructose! But I’m metabolically quite healthy, and not addicted to sweets in a way that will make me spiral out-of-control just because I had a bite. I’d worked out pretty hard in the afternoon and wanted to close my eating window by four o’clock, and this is the food that presented itself.

You may recall from earlier posts that I do have some problems with dairy. It does cause some inflammation and anxiety, so I limit it. But I also find that including dairy helps me build muscle in a way that meat and eggs don’t seem to do. Dairy is designed to make things grow, after all. It’s a trade-off I’m sometimes willing to make for a few weeks of body-building, but not permanently. At the first sign of an auto-immune flare-up, the dairy is out again. HS is not something I like to fool around with. I’d probably be better off in some ways if I never did that, but after a lot of experimentation, I think I’ve found an acceptable amount of dairy that works for my goals.

So that was a fairly normal day last month. The cherries are an outlier, but I wouldn’t want to lie ye. I’ll try to remember to do a few more of these so the curious can see what other days look like, and hopefully be inspired to make healthier choices for themselves. Any carnivores in the house? What are you having today?

Friday Random Mess

Hey, we made it through our first couple of weeks of school! I have some stuff bookmarked that I could share. I’m not sure how much good news I can find these days, but Jesus saves, so there’s always that Good News. Leading with the low-stress:

Kelly, at Generation Cedar, is a mom I look up to. She posted this week about having her children in worship. “Big church” as the church we’ve recently left used to call it, is for everyone.

I’ll give that a hearty “amen” by reposting a snippet from something I wrote on GAH 1.0 on the topic:

The reason most often given for separating the little ones from their families during worship is that “they need to learn at their own level”.

Children emphatically do not need to be taught about Christ “at their level”. In fact, I think children need us to go over their heads. It gives them something to grow into. Understanding doesn’t grow through spoon-feeding and condescension. It grows through exposure to difficult concepts. One of the most important things I’ve learned while teaching my own children is that if you don’t teach “over their heads”, growth takes longer, and sometimes doesn’t happen at all.

I frequently read to my children from the difficult-to-understand translations of the Bible. Our read-aloud books are above their heads sometimes, but they still learn, as evidenced by their ability to retain information that I myself skip right past at times.

I spent much of my childhood listening to things that were “over my head” and that little ones shouldn’t be “allowed” to hear.

It was in those services that were supposedly so difficult for my little brain to comprehend that I learned the hymns that comfort me in my afflictions now. It was in those services that I  ”couldn’t understand” that I found out that Jesus was not just a comfortable friend, but a Redeemer and a Savior, and a Sufferer who bled and died for me. I don’t know about most people, but I can’t remember a single Sunday school class where it was really brought home to me how little I deserved such treatment from God Himself. It took grown-up preaching to do that.

I wanted to take this opportunity to recommend to you the Revero website, a carnivore community in which I’m both a lifetime member and an investor. If you want to get on the path to health, whether you suffer from metabolic disease, chronic pain, or auto-immune problems, a carnivore approach can help. Get community support for free for a month and see what happens for you.

I’ve been fermenting up a storm (not to be confused with fomenting a rebellion, which hasn’t happened…yet) this summer. DTG shows you how here:

Homemade Pickles

We’ve been attending a Baptist church lately, as I may have mentioned already. I’m not knocking my brothers and sisters there, but this post from Young Gospel Minister has some truth to throw down: Baptists have made some mistakes.

The Safe and Effective Narrative is Collapsing, by Steve Kirsh, is a good read. As the political left starts to realize this, and they give Trump all the blame, let them. He wants the credit. He’s still singing the praises of Operation Warp Speed, which made all this sickness and death possible. He let us down when it came to covid, and then the shots. Fool me once, shame on you…

Preppers are insane, right? Don’t listen to what they say. Watch what they do. Barrack Obama has an industrial-sized natural gas tank installed at his vacation home. Now, what do you suppose he’d need all that for?

While they’re installing smart meters and rationing electricity, and while admitting they couldn’t possibly charge that many electric cars:

BREAKING: California to BAN Sales of Gas-Powered Vehicles

This is not about taking care of the environment. It’s about starving you out, Americans.

If making you ingest the industrial wastes of seed oils and fluoride for the last hundred years wasn’t bad enough, wait until you see what they want to feed you now: wind turbine blades. No kidding. You’re not just slaves, but living garbage disposals.

If you’re resisting the idea of quitting coffee (I explained why I did in my post earlier this week), this might encourage you to kick the habit in the very near future.

Coffee Prices Set To Skyrocket

Is chocolate any better than coffee? Well, no. And it turns out it won’t help your heart-health much, either:

Can cocoa help prevent cardiovascular death?

I’ve been trying to get my body temperature up for the last couple of years. Due to my thyroid dysfunction, it’s been a struggle, but I’m finally about 98.0 most days! Some researchers have found that the population’s average body temperature has decreased over the last hundred years. They’re baffled as to why. They hypothesize that it is because we are less inflamed and healthier as a population. You have GOT to be kidding me. Obesity afflicts nearly 3/4 of the adult population, and growing. We are not less inflamed. We’re in a state of torpor, high inflammation.

Stop eating seed oils and high carbohydrate processed foods. Get more exercise. Get more sunshine. If everybody did that, in 20 years the geniuses who study our society will be absolutely stumped as to why body temperatures are increasing again.

They’ll blame global warming and inflammation, of course, and call it a bad thing. But you’ll feel like a million bucks, so it won’t matter what they think.

 

 

Large Family Homeschooling Tip

Stagger your start.

I told somebody I was doing this, and she said “That’s some next level thinking, right there.” Well, shucks, if she sees it like that, then maybe somebody else will, too. Since I have only seven students this year, the eldest having turned down my offer of home-college, you’d think I’d be looking forward to an easier year. For some reason, I’m all nerves about this school year. Perhaps it’s the precocious nature of my youngest students, and their incessant demands to do more, or the fact that I flubbed last school year royally by trying to join a co-op against my own personality and academic judgment. Or maybe it’s just the caterpillar’s dilemma, homeschooling a family this size, it’s easy to get your feet all tangled together, not knowing which one should move next.

Whatever it is that has me feeling like an absolute rookie this time around, I just didn’t feel ready yet when the time came, but we really needed to get started. So I just started the two smallest on the first week. We dipped our adorable little toes into the kindy-and-first grade stuff, and I let the bigger kids do whatever they wanted for the week. Some of them decided to get out some independent work, and some of them played in the mud. It was a nice week.

Then I added the next three, “grades” 3, 5, and 6. Finally, this week, I added the high schoolers.

Did that help me feel any more prepared? Well, no. I still feel like there’s no way I’m ready for this. But we’re into the swing of it now whether I like it or not, and at least it helped me prepare my smaller ones to anticipate the routines, and to get familiar with the curriculum. It also gave me some sweet moments to pay extra attention to my littles. These baby days are so painfully short.

No matter how many students you have, you may find that starting them at different times is a less stressful way to get everyone moving.

Happy new school year, homeschoolers! Keep doing what you do!