Thursday, June 26, 2014

If you are a nursing mama with Hashimoto's - don't drink this tea

I am transitioning off the Autoimmune Protocol. It was an amazing and very healing experience. I saw all of my Hashimoto's symptoms fall away and felt my energy return, my emotions stabilize and my resiliency improve. In an ideal world, maybe I would have stayed on the protocol longer, but as our summer started ramping up and we are spending more time away from the house, it became a serious stress to prep AIP-approved foods for outings.

The first time I ventured off the AIP I actually didn't mean to. I was stuck in some massive afternoon traffic and hadn't eaten for hours and was feeling my blood sugar start to crash. All I had in my bag was a container of almonds and suprisingly I felt totally fine after eating them. After that I gave myself a little leeway and have generally been feeling quite good. It's possible I've overdone it in the chocolate department, which always impacts my sleep quality and then my energy the next day.

I am not following the re-introduction of foods as recommended in The Paleo Approach because it makes me nervous to introduce egg yolks as the first food, since I know clearly that eggs are a problem for me. It's possible the yolks are fine - I just didn't want my first try to be a fail. So I've added back in limited nuts and chocolate and that alone makes the diet work for my needs at the moment. Some people are able to follow an 80/20 rule when doing the Paleo diet - meaning 80% of the food they eat is Paleo-approved and for 20% of the time they give themselves a little flexiblity to eat standard American food. Well I am taking the same approach for AIP - about 80% of the time or more I'm eating AIP-approved foods and 20% of the time I'm eating just Paleo food (like nuts). It's working for right now.

Anyway, all of that was a very long-winded lead up to what happened today.


I have been feeling really good while following this 80/20 AIP rule. Today was an unusually chilly day and so I decided to make myself some tea this morning. I grabbed the box of Mother's Milk from the back of the cupboard, which I hadn't had since going on the AIP. Within an hour I was experiencing symptoms like:
  • fatigue
  • brain fog
  • depression
  • anxiety
That was weird. I had to take Ellie to a dentist appointment and I didn't think much of it. This afternoon for some reason I felt like tea again, so I made another cup of Mother's Milk. The symptoms were much worse this time. I became convinced that Ellie's health situation was much worse than I thought it was the day before. I became really worried about August's health. I found myself staring into space and vegging out on Facebook, a bad habit I had eliminated while doing the AIP. I had to go upstairs and lay down as soon as Ian got home because I was exhausted.

It occurred to me that the tea must have caused a problem. For some reason I remembered reading something in The Paleo Approach about fennel being a problem. We don't really do spices because of Ellie's salicylate sensitivity, so I hadn't paid too much attention to the AIP spice list. I checked the Mother's Milk box and compared it to this list. The tea has fennel, fenugreek and anise - all banned on the AIP. So interesting.



I thought back to both of my postpartum times and how terribly I struggled. I drank Mother's Milk tea after both of my children's birth - daily - for at least the first six months. I think about how terrible it made me feel today, and think about how it must have been contributing to how difficult that time was for me.

I was just trying to do my best for my kids. Especially when Ellie was tiny and labeled with failure to thrive - I was just chugging Mother's Milk tea, believing that her low weight was because I wasn't making enough milk.

I feel sad for my past self - I wish I could go back in time and tell that struggling mama to go on the AIP. That everyting was going to be OK. That the Mother's Milk tea I thought was helping was actually hurting. Hopefully this post will help some other mama out there.

Hugs to you, mama. You're doing great. 

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