Tag Archive for autoimmune

Tastiest Kale Chips Ever?

Wow…

I’ve made kale chips before, but this new recipe is the tastiest so far! I had to stop myself from eating the entire tray.

They are made without any items that might cause any kind of allergic reaction (so they are dairy free, gluten free, flour/grain free, sesame free, nut and seed-free) so they are great for thyroid, autoimmune and Hashimoto’s people.

I just had to share this with you:

kale chips I made

These are savory, spicy and kind of sweet.  Here’s my recipe:

Mix in a large bowl (I used a large glass salad bowl):

2/3 cup nutritional yeast (I used Kal nutritional yeast flakes)

1 1/2 teaspoon organic garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon organic chili powder

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

2 Tablespoons virgin olive oil

Several rotational grinds from the pepper mill

Mix all ingredients well in the large salad bowl.

Add in 1 package of tender organic kale leaves. I used a package of Earthbound Organic Tender Baby Kale Leaves.

Mix the kale and spice blend well with your hands.

Spread evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

DELICIOUS!!

Let me know how yours turn out!

Now I better walk the dog before I go into the kitchen and eat the entire tray of the kale chips! 😉

 

Yours in health,

 

Dr. Elena 😉

 

It May Not Be Easy…But It Will (Probably) Be Worth It!

You have entered into a new chapter of your life.

It might be scary because it’s new and unfamiliar. It will probably be worth the effort you are putting into creating this new version of yourself.

Why? Because investing in yourself is the best investment you can make, and it has the greatest returns!

Maybe you are changing the way you eat due to a health issue. You may have been diagnosed with thyroid, autoimmune or other issues. You might need to lose some weight.

Your body may go through an adjustment period and you might even go through withdrawals…and these withdrawals may be very strong!

Did you know that breads, flours, grains, sugar and dairy products all have addictive substances in them that create a feeling in you of “I have to have this”, “I need this food to function”, etc.

Yellow Gluten Free image

Gluteomorphins and caseomorphins are in breads, flours, grains and dairy. We’ve all heard how addicting morphine is…look at the last part of those words…yep, “morphin/morphine”. That’s why they are so addictive!

The other issue here is that dairy often crossreacts with gluten, so even if you have given up gluten but are still eating dairy, your body reacts as if you are still eating gluten.

Now you know a small part of why there is a reason why you may feel worse after giving up these foods. Not everyone has these reactions…some people are able to adjust their diet and lifestyle and begin to feel better immediately.

The upside, is that IF you even experience any of the withdrawal symptoms, they will only last for a short time.

Drink lots of pure water, if you are feeling fatigue then sleep more, take it easy on yourself, be patient and KNOW you are doing something good for yourself.

woman sleeping:free

Yours in health,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist, family therapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people create happiness, enhanced health and well being and more joy for over 30 years. Having overcome many health challenges herself, her passion is helping others regain their power physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to become a master of their lives.  

10 Easy Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo Healthy Snacks

So you have eliminated grains and dairy, you are new at this “paleo thing” and frustrated with trying to find things to eat. You may be needing to eat 6 times a day on your new program and wanting some tasty options. This doesn’t have to be boring…it’s a new chapter in your life and your health!

Some of these suggestions need refrigeration or heating up and some are just fine at room temp.

turkey roll ups1. Turkey slices rolled up (I like mine with lots of freshly ground pepper), and a dill pickle, raw sauerkraut or kim chi (I like the Rejuvenate Brand Spicy Kim Chi available at Whole Foods). Anything with “chi” in the name has to be good for our chi, right?  😉    Rejuvenate spicy kim chi and sauerkraut

 

 

 

2. Half of the protein shake you had a breakfast, which you have chilled to have later.

3. Smoked Alaskan, wild salmon (often called “lox”) with a sliced persian cucumber.

4. Shredded white meat chicken with half an avocado.

avocado half

5. Leftovers from last night’s stir fry.

6. Skinless, boneless sardines in olive oil (don’t turn your nose up…these are delicious and jam-packed with protein and omega 3’s)!  😉

I always have some of these in the office in case I need them and I when I travel I take several tins in my suitcase. They are very convenient!

sardines in olive oil

 7. Canned tuna in olive oil, with half of a lemon squeezed on it (I bring this with me when I am out all day long as it keeps well and doesn’t need refrigeration).

8. Three slices of turkey bacon which you made this morning. This also keeps great after cooking, doesn’t need refrigeration and the strips taste like “jerky” when you eat them later.

cooked turkey bacon

9. Chicken soup (which you previously made a couple of days ago so you’d have something to eat for a few days).

10. An organic apple and almond butter. red and green apples

 

There are tons of options. Get out of that headspace of “feeling deprived”…keep your mind open, try new tastes and explore the many foods available. Good luck, stay healthy and have fun with it!

cartoon of sun smiling

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner healing power for over 30 years. Having personally overcome many health challenges including advanced stage cancer, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease) and cardiac issues, her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality and take control of their life.    

 

90% Of Hypothyroid Patients Have Hashimoto’s – How Could This Affect You?

Most people who are dealing with low thyroid function actually have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease. Statistics show that 27 million American have low thyroid (hypothyroid) and 90% of those with hypoythyroid have Hashimoto’s.

Thyroid hormones, color:free

Hashimoto’s is an immune disease and as with all autoimmune diseases, cannot be healed without balancing the immune system. With Hashimoto’s, the person’s immune system is attacking their own thyroid gland. There are frequently other body systems being attacked as well.

One thing I often see with thyroid patients is the preoccupation to get their TSH in range. This is like trying to put out a campfire by putting water on it while the fire is actually being continually lit from below with an unlimited amount of kindling. Basically, it’s futile.

Campfire:free

A much more effective approach is to address the immune system. Here are 3 tips for doing just that:

1. Remove offending foods that are known to cause inflammation. These are grains, dairy, sugar (yes, that means honey, maple syrup and agave) and peanuts for starters. This means, “don’t eat them at all”…not “eat them sometimes”. Being vigilant is important. Think of it like weeding a garden…consistency and diligence is what keeps out those weeds and it’s the same thing with inflammation.

If you find this difficult to do, it’s because you are addicted to the caseomorphins in dairy and the gluteomorphins in grains. (Yep, the last part of those words is like “morphine” and they are highly addictive foods.) After the first week most people adjust to not eating them and start to feel better, but everyone is different.

2. Take Vitamin D. Most people who have low thyroid function are also very low in vitamin D. It doesn’t matter if you live in a sunny climate…the hypothyroid situation often makes it difficult to absorb the vitamin D from the sun. So yes, get that sunshine because it’s great for your mood and more, but don’t depend on it for your vitamin D.

sunflower against blue sky:free

Take an emulsified version of vitamin D that has cofactors (cod liver oil and other cofactors) in the product. Capsules and tablets are more difficult for your system to absorb, liquids are better. Get your vitamin D 20 OH checked and if it’s low, supplement and then check it again in about 12 weeks. You need the D for your immune system, your mood, your brain function, your hormones and your bones.

3. Reduce stress and get more rest. Yes, I know it’s easy to say and harder to do, but it’s very important for a person with Hashimoto’s. Your body needs downtime to release and relax, take a break from what’s going on outside of you and within your own system. For free short audios to relax go to www.DrElena.com/morejoy for a 3 minute and a 7 minute audio relaxation.

Your body also needs sleep to balance your immune system. Sometimes you may need more sleep than other times. With Hashimoto’s your system may fluctuate between high thyroid and low thyroid. For example, you might go back and forth between anxiety, insomnia and diarrhea…and depression, fatigue and constipation. Whether low or high thyroid, digestive symptoms and complaints are usually present and need to be addressed.

woman sleeping:free

Remember, it’s your immune system that needs to be addressed. That is where the focus needs to be for healing.

Check out the 2 free short audios (3 minutes and 7 minutes) here and your’ll also get a short special report, “10 Keys for Bringing More Joy into Your Life”.

Yin yang with rainbow color border:free

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years. Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease), her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality, taking control of their life.  

 

Thyroid, Hashimoto’s, TSH and YOU

Frustrated WomanPeople come into my office with anxiety, depression, weight concerns, hair loss, insomnia, heart palpitations, digestive issues, feeling cold frequently, brain fog, memory issues and other concerns.

 

They are often told by their doctors that they are “fine” and “normal” yet they feel feel that something is just not right with them. Sometimes their doctor may suggest antidepressants because the person has continued to “complain”.

Thyroid issues are often involved in these situations. If there is elevated TSH (according to the bell curve on the doctor’s lab results sheet) T4 medication (Synthroid, levothyroxine, etc.) is prescribed.

There may be no discernible results from taking the medication and the person still feels awful, or there may be minimal improvement.

drooping tulips:free

Looking only at the TSH values and not addressing the symptoms and concerns of the person, is like taking your car into the shop when it isn’t running well and asking the mechanic to only look at the rear left tire!

There is so much more to addressing the underlying mechanisms creating the symptoms. People will tell me their doctor “ran tons of tests” yet when I get a copy of the labs it isn’t even close to the very basic tests I run to find out what is going with a person. How can someone be told they are “fine” and “normal” when the tests aren’t even done?

The TSH values tend to jump around, going up and down. Trying to get TSH in range is not the most effective way to address the situation. Since more than 90% of low thyroid (hypothyroid) cases are really undiagnosed Hashimoto’s (autoimmune thyroid), it becomes more of an immune system issue. The immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and often other body systems and organs as well. As the thyroid gland continues to be attacked, symptoms become more disconcerting and the person seeks help and direction. By the time they come into my office they are frustrated, exhausted and often angry that so much time has elapsed without getting the help they wanted from their doctor.

The blood tests for Hashimoto’s are TPO (thyroid peroxidase) and TGB or TGA (thyroglobulin) antibodies. Close to 10% of us test positive for these antibodies. Most commonly the tests aren’t even done but when they are done, there may not even be any symptoms. However, left unaddressed, symptoms will develop over time as the thyroid gland (and possibly other tissues) are destroyed. Another issue is that the antibodies go up and down, so just because they don’t show up on a test, doesn’t mean they aren’t present…the test may have been run when the antibodies were in their “low” cycle.

Insurance companies are now being more strict with what they cover. Because of this, doctors are often reluctant to run antibody and other tests that could provide the information needed to figure out what is really going on.

Managing the immune system is the most effective way to address Hashimoto’s. I see chat groups and facebook pages with people (mostly women) trying desperately to find a doctor that can “get the right medication and dosage to get their TSH balanced”. That isn’t the answer…addressing the immune system yields much more satisfying and healing results.

If you feel frustrated with your path toward health, have not been improving or getting the help you need, let me help you.

I’ve been there…misdiagnosed, watching my life pass by, wondering if I would ever feel like myself again, too exhausted to be motivated or excited about anything and feeling depressed and anxious about all of it.

I can help you learn how to get control and manage your health, address your immune system, regain your balance and power and move forward creating a wonderful life for yourself. With the right tools and your own commitment to healing, you can regain your vitality, enthusiasm, energy and joy.

Woman with arms up

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you on your journey toward health!

Dr. Elena

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years.  Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (autoimmune disease), her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality, taking control of their life.  

Go to DrElena.com for helpful handouts.

 

 

 

Gluten Free but Still Don’t Feel Well?

So you have decided to go gluten free.  You have avoided all gluten for several months but you still feel tired, depressed, anxious, bloated, have pain, may be carrying excess weight…and more.

Yellow Gluten Free image

 

Why?  You’ve been so “good”, brought your own food to parties, had great will power and can’t figure out what’s going on.

Here are some things that might be happening…

 

 

1.  If you are still eating dairy…even organic dairy, your body may be “reading” that as gluten.  Gluten and dairy cross-react.  So you may have been very diligent in avoiding gluten, but if you are still eating dairy, your body may still be reacting.

2.  You may have given up gluten, but if you are still eating grains and flour…even gluten free grains and flours…your body may be reacting as if you were eating gluten!  This is because there is now cross-reactivity between many grains.  Going gluten free may not be enough…you may need to go grain free…totally and completely grain free.

A patient of mine came into the office frustrated and confused.  She had been very diligent about avoiding gluten and dairy and had been doing well.  But she agreed to meet a friend at a neighborhood bagel shop to “catch up”.  My patient was very emphatic that she didn’t eat one bite of a bagel, no cream cheese, nothing…she just had herb tea while her friend ate bagels and cream cheese.

But my patient started having severe symptoms soon after that…gluten-type symptoms.  One of her particular symptoms is that her face would swell up, her brain would feel foggy and she would feel incredibly fatigued.  All of this happened and she hadn’t eaten any gluten or dairy. What gives?

As amazing as this sounds, it is true and I have seen it happen many times.  The gluten sensitive person gets the symptoms just be being in a place where gluten is very prevalent.  In a bagel, donut or cupcake shop, or even in a pizza restaurant…it’s in the air!  The particles are airborne and the person can breathe them in.

Going gluten free, being gluten sensitive, dealing with autoimmune issues…this can be complex.

Be vigilant, read labels and stay out of “risky places”!  Avoiding environments where bread is baked, can actually help you stay gluten free.

Be well, be safe.

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a naturopathic doctor, holistic psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist who has been helping people access their inner innate healing power for over 30 years.  Having personally overcome many health challenges including cancer and autoimmune disease, her passion is helping others regain their health and vitality.  DrElena.com for helpful handouts.

 

 

 

Could You Have Low Thyroid Function?

Could You Have Low Thyroid Function?

 — by Dr. Elena Michaels

Are you experiencing:

 

• Fatigue

• Weight issues (unable to lose weight or keep it off)

• Hair loss

• High or very low cholesterol

• Cold hands and feet

• Dry skin

• Difficulty concentrating/”brain fog”

• Short term memory loss (no, it’s not “just aging”)

• Recurrent infections

• Muscle aches/joint pain

 

Many people who have sought help for a variety of health concerns and thyroid function, are told that their blood tests are “normal”.

You may have been told there is “no physical cause” for your symptoms, and  because you say “something is wrong” and you don’t “feel right” antidepressants may have even been suggested.  There is a place for antidepressants, but it really may be your thyroid gland that is not functioning well, and/or being attacked by your own body.  Most cases of low thyroid function are from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an immune system issue more than a thyroid issue.  “Chasing thyroid numbers” to get them into the lab range can be frustrating and even useless as with Hashimoto’s, the thyroid values can go up and down in cycles which are frequently felt physically and emotionally.

There are ways to enhance the immune system that are “immune neutral”…they don’t stimulate parts of the immune system and throw other parts out of balance.  Healing the digestive system is important as the autoimmunity directly affects the digestive system.  Eliminating inflammatory foods isn’t enough…damaged tissue must be healed as well and further tissue destruction must be monitored.

If you have been feeling frustrated about your health, not feeling well, missing your “get up and go”, lacking motivation and dealing with some of the symptoms above, working with a specialist trained in the newest ways of dealing with thyroid and Hashimoto’s can help you understand what is going on with your body and regain control of your health, and your life.

 

Dr. Elena Michaels is a traditional naturopathic doctor, specializing in thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s and autoimmune conditions.  She sees people in her office in Valencia, California and also does phone consultations for those who are not local.  Dr. Elena is also a holistic psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and has been helping others create greater health, happiness and balance for more than 30 years.  Contact her at 661 250-4395, Elena@DrElena.com or www.DrElena.com

 

 

My Favorite Tea For A Cold Night Or Whenever I Need Extra Balancing

Even though I grew up in Ohio and Pennsylvania on the edge of Lake Erie, I don’t like the cold weather.  I guess that’s why I moved to Southern California.  But it still gets cold here and is 48 degrees right now (that’s what my oracle, the iPhone says).  😉

So I thought I would share with you my favorite tea for a cold night.  I also make this tea when my throat feels scratchy, my stomach feels upset, I feel achey or anytime I just feel like I might not be as balanced as I want to be!

*  Grate frozen organic ginger root into a big mug.  I just put my flat grater over the top of the mug and go to it!   I do about a half tablespoon into the mug.

(I keep my organic ginger root, peel and all, in a little zip lock baggie in the freezer.  It’s easier and faster to slice and grate when it’s frozen.)

*  Pour boiling water over an organic ginger tea bag and steep until the temp is just right for drinking.

*  Add Sweetleaf Lemon Stevia to taste.

I sip this and my body just loves it…it also soothes my soul!

In the warmer weather I will do it in a tall glass and add cool purified water.  I add some boiling water and let it sit, then I add some ice cubes and sweetener.

I’ve also done this with sparkling water and I have also just used ginger juice by The Ginger People when I’ve felt lazy.  😉

When I make it cold and sweetened with the lemon stevia and I use sparkling water, it tastes like ginger ale.

This always brings back sweet memories as my grandmother used to give me a glass of ginger ale when I was a little girl and whenever I wasn’t feeling well.  This is just a healthier and no-sugar version of the Canada Dry Ginger Ale she used to give me.  This healthier version makes me feel nourished and cared for.  It’s something nice to do for myself.

Ginger is great for the immune and digestive systems and it’s a great anti-inflammatory herb.  It wonderful for autoimmune thyroid because it does not stimulate Th1 or Th2 (which can put an autoimmune thyroid person out of balance and initiate a flare up of symptoms).  So ginger (along with peppermint and rooibos) is a “go to tea” for me and I recommend it to all of my autoimmune thyroid clients.

And now, to sip…ahh–ahhh…

Yours in health, healing and happiness,

Dr. Elena 😉