Clean Eating & Auto-Immune Disease
Remember the days when eating pizza, candy, and drinking soda wasn’t a second thought? There was no fear of the pain you would experience after. No regret. Just pure enjoyment. As we age, It’s inevitable for issues like digestion, bloating, and other signs of inflammation to slowly appear.
But when you have an auto-immune disease, changing your lifestyle is necessary to manage or help alleviate your daily symptoms. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto's, I knew I needed to take my clean eating to the next level by implementing more whole foods into my diet. This meant keeping ingredients simple, minimally processed, and above all beneficial to my health. And over time, I noticed my symptoms begin to fade. No more headaches. Not as intense or constant joint pain. Brain fog was no longer a thing. My energy was up, my mood was great and above all, I just felt good!
I started to fall in love with eating clean, with the way I felt, and more than anything, I was still eating my favorite foods that not only tasted good but were good for me. If you’re looking to implement more whole foods into your lifestyle, here are three tips that may help you get started:
1. Choose fresh instead of processed.
This is the easiest thing to do to ensure you are truly eating “whole foods.” Things such as raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, or meats that do not have any preservatives or sweeteners. If it will rot or “go bad,” it’s probably a whole food.
2. Be mindful of ingredients.
Look for recognizable, pronounceable, and real ingredients on nutrition labels. Usually, my rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients the better! If you’re struggling to decide if something is okay or not, ask yourself this: Can I buy all the ingredients and recreate it at home? If your answer is yes, you’re good to go.
3. Consider the nutritional value it gives you.
Some questions to ask yourself are: Will I be satiated after? Will this give me energy? Does this give me vitamins and nutrients? Elemental Superfood's Dark Chocolate + Almond Butter is a great example of a product being loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, fats, and more superfoods to power your days.
Lastly, listening to your body cues is the best sure way to help yourself to eat cleaner.
If you notice you feel sluggish after eating dairy, maybe get headaches after a meal with grains, or even persistent digestion issues, it might be time to clean up your diet and implement more whole foods.
Alex Ruiz is a Hashimoto's, HAES, and Plus-size advocate on a mission to help women build sustainable eating habits and gain self-confidence. You can find Alex supporting her community through food education, mindset empowerment, and always sharing new healthy finds! For more information, visit her website at justalexrae.com.