Category Archives: Health Tips

Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

Sick & Tired: Hypothyroidism

I decided to do this post giving some very basic information about hypothyroidism, with a little info at the end about its link to fibromyalgia, out of my heart to see people that are Sick & Tired of being Sick & Tired possibly narrow down what may be going on in their bodies.”

“It (hypothyroidism) is often seen in people who suffer from multiple allergies, immune disorders and chronic fatigue,” says Dr. Mercola. Source:

(Me and my very supportive through all this hubby, Matt)

My Experience with Hypothyroidism:
I’m being really transparent here in hope that this may point someone to what may be causing their own Sick & Tired experience. I have a type of hypothyroidism called Hasimoto’s Thyroiditis. Its the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the U.S.

When I was 20 years old my family doctor discovered that I had hypothyroidism. I had gained weight unexplainably, so she decided to run the standard blood test to determine if my thyroid was underactive (hypothyroidism). The results came back positive, so she put me on Cynthroid (Levothyroxine), the standard medication for those with underactive thyroids.

My weight seemed to normalize and I felt better for a while, but within 2 years I was more sick than ever.

My Symptoms Included:
-Extreme Fatigue
-Muscle and joint pain
-Mind Fog (felt like I was walking around in a daze)
-Weight Gain
-Dry Skin (it almost had a more gray under tone look and just looked unhealthy)
-Thinning Hair (that changed texture, one of the reason I hacked it into a short bob)
-Cold fingers and toes (even when it was warm out)
-Intestinal Issues
-Low body temperature
-Unexplained Muscle tension (even if I wasn’t stressed)

Proper Testing:
I went to my family doctor and she ran the standard thyroid blood test and she said that my levels were normal and there was nothing wrong. With my list of symptoms above, needless to say, I begged to differ. Thankfully God has given me a persistant spirit (in a good way) and I generally don’t just accept answer from people because of letters at the beginning or end of their name. I’ve learned that I know my body better than anyone and I knew something wasn’t right.

I started seeing a holistic doctor who upon hearing my symptoms said that it didn’t sound like my thyroid was working properly. He told me the standard test most doctors run for thyroids only tests 2 to 3 of the 7 items they need to test to see what is fully going on with the thyroid. The 7 panel test he ran found that the thyroid was still not functioning properly and showed the specific type of hypothyroidism I have, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

He prescribed a natural thyroid replacement compound that is a natural hormone to the body. Its actually derived from pig thyroid (sounds gross, but this is natural to the body, pig is close to human makeup, verses a foreign agent to the body like Cynthroid). There is a similar drug makeup on the market called Armour.

He also suggested I go on a gluten free diet, which I did right away…no last meal loaded with bread, pasta, and pastries for me…I just wanted to get better asap!

Within a few months almost all of these symptoms disappeared! Most importantly I had my energy back, my muscle and joint pain disappeared, I’m generally not as cold as I used to be, my hair and skin textured went back to normal, my intestinal issues improved, my weight regulated, and I was able to think clearly (no more glazed over feeling).

Hypothyroidism and Other Health Issues Linked:
Many holistic and natural doctors are now discovering that Hypothyroidism is linked to other health issues, maybe even the root of them. The newest one I was really interested to hear about was its link to fibromyalgia. If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia please read this linked article

-My personal experience

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

The Sweet Stuff and Your Weight

I’m wordy again today, but I’m hitting a topic that you’ve got to know the facts about! Did you ever wonder why people who continually drink diet sodas often seem to be overweight?…then read on. I noticed this through pure observation when I was really young, which is why I’m fascinated by this research.
Let’s get the facts and stop letting advertising campaigns educate us about what’s good for us.

Sugar has become the villain in today’s diets and artificial sweeteners have become a hero to dieters everywhere.
More and more research and studies are exposing the truth about artificial sweeteners, showing they not only contribute to weight gain, but can cause a whole world of health issues.

The Problem We’re Trying to Solve:
We as a society (I’m definitely included) love sweet foods, juices, sodas, yogurts, desserts, cereals, etc. But, we don’t like the negative side effects that consuming excess sugar has on our bodies. Side effects such as weight gain, diabetes, elevated triglycerides (leading to heart disease), suppressed immune system, etc. So, we look for ways to still indulge in the sweet taste, without these terrible side effects…thinking that we can have our cake and eat it too.

Real Sugar:
According to a series of experiments done at Purdue University and published in Behavioral Neuroscience, when you consume real sugar (from foods such as fruit, table sugar, honey, real maple syrup, etc.) your body connects and anticipates the caloric load that comes from eating these real sugars and it revvs up your metabolism.

According to various research studies and written about by Andreas Moritz ( ),

“The body has a self-regulating mechanism, a kind of thermostat that measures the amount of energy (or calories) it can obtain from a particular meal. When your body has received enough energy from the food you have eaten, then your mouth, stomach, intestines, and liver send messages to the brain that all energy requirements have been met. Subsequently, your nervous system secretes hormones that stop your desire for more food. This point of saturation is essential for your wellbeing, for without it you would continuously want to eat and never feel satisfied.”

The problem is we eat too much sugar and require our foods to be sweeter than our ancestors ever did. According to Dr. Hubber,, if you look back to 1910 the sweet foods that people consumed were mostly from natural sources like fruits. Even table sugar was not highly used. Our problem today is that we eat far too much sugar. Our tolerance for sugar has risen; we need/expect our food to be sweeter.

Artificial Sweeteners:
To solve this dilemma (wanting the sweet taste without the negative side effects) many people have turned to artificial sweeteners. This includes anything that’s labeled diet, sugar free, or products that contain sucrolose, aspartame, saccahrine, NutraSweet, Sweet ‘N Low, Neotame, Splenda, Equal, etc.

The Truth About Artificial Sweeteners
Why Artificial Sweeteners Make you Fat:
Dr. Huber ( summarizes all the research and science stating,

“Translation: fooling the body with excessive sweeteners resulted in increased calorie intake at subsequent meals as their appetite was stimulated, increased weight gain and fat deposits, lowering of metabolism so fat burned less efficiently.”

Basically, artificial sweeteners never satisfy your body’s craving for calories and cause you to just crave more. That’s not so good for those trying to loose weight by eating these substitutes, but is really good for the companies making these “diet” foods and drinks because you’ll eat more and more of them.
other sources:,8599,1711763,00.html

The Other Side Effects of Artificial Sweeteners:
You can look through all these sources to see the details including how these items scooted their way past the FDA, but here are the basic facts.
Aspartame (and the sweeteners made from it, phenylalanine) are especially dangerous as they damage the central nervous system. Some of the health issues they cause include migraines, fuzzy thinking, changes in behavior, depression, seizures, visual disturbances, gastrointestinal reactions, joint pain, fatigue, etc. Aspartame is the cause of over 75% of adverse food reactions reported to the FDA.

Other artificial sweeteners can cause cancers, testicular damage, negative effects on baby of a pregnant woman, and much more.


What to do?
So, you feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place? You don’t want to eat sugar because you’re watching your weight, are prone to diabetes or candida overgrowth, but obviously these artificial substitutes are not a better option.

I’ve personally noticed that when you eat sugar, your body craves more. One thing to do is to fight the cravings and just not give in. I crave sweets, but for me its especially chocolate. With my restricted diet, unless I make sweets from scratch I often cannot eat them. I satisfy my craving, by keeping a bar of high quality dark chocolate on hand. When I crave sweets, I’m shocked that a small piece of this high cocoa content (less sugar than lower cocoa content chocolate bars) bar often satisfies my craving.

Find a way to satisfy those intense cravings, that works for you. Such as:
-Fruit, its sweet and natural
-Indulge in what you crave in smaller amounts
-Real soda but a small amount

Another option is the natural sweetener that’s been used for centuries called Stevia. You can find it in the health food section of your grocery. Its made from a leaf and contains no sugar and its natural (not man made, but found in nature).

Another option is Agave Nectar. Made from the agave plant, its also a natural product. It contains sugar but has a lower glycemic index (good for those watching weight or those with diabetes).

I hope this will encourage you to know what you’re eating before you eat it. The sources I’m linking to in this article are just some of many that are out there supporting these facts.
Still confused about what to eat and not eat? My general rule of thumb is, eat real stuff…ingredients made by God, not a scientist. Eat what you love but in moderation.

Have a good weekend!

Other sources:

Sick & Tired

Sick & Tired

I’m a little long winded today, but I think it’ll be worth the read. I seem to keep meeting people that have very similar health stories to mine. So, I thought I’d start a segment as a resource specifically for people who are having difficult health journeys. You can see my full story in the “Who is Madindy?” page.

Have you seen a hand full of doctors or specialist who have never told you the cause of your health issues, but just prescribe more medications to treat your symptoms? (see my story)

When you go in to see a doctor do they pull out your huge medical file and say “wow, you’ve got a lot going on here”? (like that’s comforting…and yes, I’ve had multiple doctors respond to me this way)

Do your friends, family, or maybe even your health care professionals say that you may just be a hypocondriac/ it’s all in your head? (yep, I’ve had many people suggest that as well)

Are you so sick and tired of being Sick & Tired? (that’s why I didn’t stop searching for better ways to treat my health issues)

Are you tired of taking prescription drugs that continually get pulled off the market or cause more than undesirable side effects? (been there, done that)

Do you just keep thinking, there has to be a better way to manage my health? (hence my journey toward homeopathic/ holistic/ natural healthcare)

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone! Since I started to begin talking more openly about my health struggles a few years ago and starting this blog at the beginning of this year, I’ve met more and more people that have a similar and some almost the exact same combination of seemingly random health issues that I have.

In this segment, Sick & Tired, I’ll give suggestions for different avenues to managing your health.
*Disclaimer: Please always seek a medical professional’s advice before implementing any new health care plan, diet, or supplementation plan. I don’t claim to be a medical professional, just someone who wants to share my own journey toward a healthier life.

Here is my first piece of advice for someone experiencing a variety of health issues, and despite seeing many doctors, their health seems to keep spinning out of control (new symptoms, medications don’t seem to solve the issue, just mask it’s symptoms):

Find a medical professional that you trust who you can work with.
In my own journey I saw your typical family care practitioner, who referred me to a hand full of specialists (gastrointernologist, standard allergist, pulmonologist, dermatologist, etc.). I’m sure there are good standard medicine practicing doctors out there who truly do help people. But, I have to say, that was not my experience! After years of treatment (15 years), all my health issues were managed through a meal full of prescriptions…only managed, but never solved.

It wasn’t until I began doing my own research, through the help of my husband (reading a lot online), talking with chiropractors, talking with friends with similar issues, and reading a lot that I began seeing other ways of managing my health. I began seeing a holistic M.D. (, who works with people who have allergies and other chronic health issues. This was the first time a doctor asked me to hear my full medical history, according to how I’ve experienced it and he said “your story is very similar to so many others I’ve heard.” Its been a long journey, but through proper testing techniques and one doctor looking at the whole picture, I have experienced true progress in my health. I now use not one prescription (not even a maintenance inhaler, and I have asthma). I manage my health through diet, immunotherapy allergy shots, and a supplement program. I’m not 100% yet, but am 10 times better than I was 2 years ago!

I encourage anyone with similar issues to find a holistic/ naturopathic/ natural/ homeopathic doctor who treats people with chronic health issues. A great way to find one in your area is to go into your local health food store and ask if they know of any local holistic doctors. Talk openly about your health struggles and you’ll be surprised at others who have similar issues that may have some great local resources (I found people I had known for years had some similar issues, I never knew about until I began talking more openly).

I found a doctor through friends that has a great online resource community, Dr.Mercola. He tends to be controversial within the medical community, as he exposes a lot of flaws in standard medicine, but I’ve found him to be a great resource.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t give up on your journey toward a healthier life! Its not an easy road to walk, so find others who will support you (friends, family, others who can relate) and pray with in your journey. And remember its a journey.
Hope you’ll keep following for more tips!

Kid Friendly Food: Breakfast Sausage and Pancakes

Kid Friendly Food: Breakfast Sausage and Pancakes

Maybe your typical breakfast is full of fresh fruit and light on the stomach, contributing to a healthy weight. Let’s be honest though, every now and then you know you want a hearty old fashioned breakfast. You know, breakfast sausage and pancakes!

When I was a kid visiting my family down south, my grandparents would often make biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs, pancakes and breakfast sausage…there is nothing like waking up to a house full of those tasty scents! Since my restricted diet doesn’t allow me to eat gluten, eggs, or dairy (the staples of breakfast foods) breakfast is always a challenge. And I’ll be the first to admit that I miss eating those big old fashioned southern breakfasts.

So, here is my recreation of a big, hearty breakfast that follows my restricted diet. Every now and then on Saturday mornings Matt and I spend the time making this tasty breakfast. I hope this will bring a real breakfast back into your restricted diet!
And the best part, I definitely consider this one very kid friendly!

Most of the time premade Breakfast Sausage is not gluten free, so here is how to make your own that you can be sure is free of the stuff you can’t eat. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but its mostly spices, so you probably have most in your spice rack.

1 pound ground pork, turkey, or beef
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried savory leaves (I couldn’t find this one in the store, so I skipped it)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Blend all ingredients together in large bowl with your hands or spatula. Form into 12 balls and flatten into patties (May want to put a little cooking oil on hands first)
2. Preheat nonstick skillet. Fry sausages over medium heat until cooked through. Or you can crumble sausage in pan and and simply brown. Enjoy!

*Recipe Source: Cooking Free: 200 Flavorful Recipes for People with Food Allergies and Multiple Food Sensitivities (Includes alternatives to gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar), by Carol Fenster, Ph. D.

For my pancakes I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix. Simply follow the instructions on the package. I use rice milk and Egg Replacer to make these pancakes in order to follow my restricted diet. I serve my pancakes with butter and real maple syrup.

I hope this will bring hearty breakfasts back into your restricted diet life and give you another opportunity to say “yes you can have that” to your child with a restricted diet! Enjoy!

Lemony Red Quinoa

Lemony Red Quinoa

So, you saw the previous post on Quinoa and why you should add it to your diet. Here’s just one tasty recipe for Quinoa to help you introduce it into your diet. I made this last night for dinner and both Matt and I loved it! We’ve been trying to add more protein to our diets, so I’m so glad this tasty recipe hit the spot.

This one can be eaten as a side dish or as a main dish for your meal.

1/4 cup pine nuts (they’re kind of expensive, so I used sunflower seeds instead)
1 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa)
2 cups water
sea salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 a red onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 ground cumin
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (I didn’t have a fresh parsley so I just added a little dried parsley)

1. Toast pine nuts (or sunflowers seeds) in a pan over medium heat, stirring continually for just a minute or two. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add quinoa, water , and salt to taste (just a little will do) and bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until water is absorbed (stir occasionally). Cool slightly.

3. Transfer to serving bowl. Stir in lemon juice, pine nuts (sunflower seeds), spices, celery, and onion. Serve and Enjoy!

*Recipe Source:

Closer Look: Quinoa

Closer Look: Quinoa

Today I’m taking a Closer Look at Quinoa. Maria commented a while back that she wanted to know what to do with quinoa. So, here I’m posting why you should try quinoa and consider adding it to your diet. I’ll follow with a recipe post, so you know a tasty easy way to prepare it.

What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is technically not a grain, but is actually a seed from a plant that’s related to beets and other leafy greens. Even though its technically not a grain, its used as a substitute for almost any grain and therefore is often called a grain. Quinoa is an ancient crop that grows heartily in even poor soil or dry climates.
The quinoa grain itself is small, oval shaped and when cooked expands, much like rice. The grain itself is soft when cooked like rice, but the outer shell part that separates when cooked has a crunchy texture. Quinoa has various color varieties including red (shown in the photo), yellow, brown, and black.

Why eat Quinoa?
Quinoa is a great source of protein and dietary fiber. Its rich in minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, maganese, selenium and calcium. So, no doubt quinoa is a great addition to your diet!

Where to buy Quinoa?
Most supermarkets carry quinoa in the rice section or with the health foods.

How to prepare Quinoa?
You can prepare quinoa much like you prepare instant rice. Follow the package directions, which most of the time say to boil 2x the amount of water as quinoa, add the quinoa and cook for 10-15 minutes. This is a pretty bland way to make it, so stay tuned for tasty quinoa recipes.

Kid Friendly Tacos

Kid Friendly Tacos

As an adult who has a fairly restricted diet, I can’t imagine being a kid or having a child that has food restriction…having to always tell your child “no” or “you can’t eat that.”
That’s why I’m launching this new segment called Kid Friendly Food, where I’ll post recipes that’ll give you more opportunities to tell your child on a restricted diet “Yes, you can have that.”

Although Matt and I eat pretty healthy, that doesn’t mean we both don’t crave junk food. In fact we passed a Taco Bell the other day and both missed those tasty tacos we once ate. So, I thought we can make those tasty tacos at home and I’ll be able to eat them. So, here are our tacos!

The taco seasoning packets you buy at the supermarket most of the time contain wheat, so Matt and I make our own seasoning in this large batch and keep it on hand, so its ready whenever we want to make tacos.
Here’s the Taco Seasoning we make:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

My Taco Ingredients:
Ground Beef
Vegetarian Re-fried beans (I like them because they add a heartiness to the tacos since I can’t eat cheese. Add them first without telling your child and see if they’ll eat them. They may not even notice.)
Chopped Tomatoes
Chopped Lettuce
Chopped Cilantro
Premade salsa
Corn Tortillas
Corn chips (to eat with tacos)

Kid Friendly Taco Directions:
1. Sautee ground beef, turkey, or chicken in a pan over medium heat, sprinkling with a little taco seasoning. Drain meat.
2. Heat corn tortillas in microwave or in a pan on stove.
3. Heat re-fried beans in pot on stove.
4. Spread a little re-fried beans on tortilla. Add meat, then tomatoes, lettuce, and chopped cilantro.
5. Serve with salsa and corn chips and enjoy!

Next time your child on a restricted diet sees a Taco Bell and like me and Matt says “that looks good” and wants tacos, you can tell them “Yes, you can have that!”
*Note: if corn is not in your diet, you can use large lettuce leaves for the tortilla. Try Boston Lettuce or Iceberg Lettuce. It may be weird at first, but you’ll get used to it.

Closer Look: Salmon

Closer Look: Salmon

Today I’m taking a Closer Look at one of my favorite proteins: Salmon. There’s so many ways to prepare it to enhance its natural flavor and it has great nutritional benefits.

Why eat salmon?
Salmon has an extremely high amount of protein. Its a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E, folate, and B vitamins. Salmon is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.

How to select salmon?
I buy wild caught salmon whenever possible. Even if its frozen, wild caught fish is always better than farm raised fish because the fish has been eating what it naturally eats in the wild rather than whatever the farms decide to feed the fish. Thus the nutritional value to you is much better. Look for a fillet that is dark pink or red in color. But, be careful because I’ve seen that a lot of stores carry salmon that has been dyed red to make it look better (check the label and make sure there are no dyes listed in the ingredients).

I love to experiment to find new ways to cook salmon and here’s one of the simplest, yet delicious ways to cook it.

Salmon Fillets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pike Place Fish Rub (or other prepared herb rub for fish; supermarkets carry various types)
*This Pike Place Fish Rub is simply a blend of brown sugar, paprika, cilantro, garlic, pepper, onion, salt, and other spices.

1. Rub fish fillets lightly with olive oil.
2. Sprinkle herb rub over fish fillets and pat into fillets. (Be careful if your rub contains salt not to add too much of the rub)
3. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add fillets and sautee until the outside of the fillet is slightly browned; flip fillet and sautee until the other side is slightly browned and center of fillet is just cooked. Serve!

*I served my herb rubbed salmon with half a baked sweet potato with butter and oven roasted asparagus and broccoli.

Closer Look: Asparagus

Closer Look: Asparagus

Today I’m taking a Closer Look at Asparagus. Maybe you love it, or maybe you’ve hated it in the past.
Regardless, I hope you’ll try this delicious little veggie.

Asparagus is in season in early Spring. You may be thinking that it’s far from Spring, but I’ve begun to see it pop up in the supermarkets, looking really fresh and priced really reasonably.

How do you choose the best Asparagus?
Look for thin stalks. Our American mindset generally defaults to bigger is better, but not when it comes to Asparagus. The thinner stalks have a better flavor than the thicker stalks. They should be bright green in color and should look perky and fresh, not saggy and rubbery.

What are the nutritional benefits of eating Asparagus?
Asparagus is a great source of vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Its low in carbohydrates and actually contains a significant amount of protein and fiber as well.

How do I cook Asparagus?
Regardless if you boil, sautee, or roast it, start by washing Asparagus in cold water. Hold the stalks with one hand on each end and bend the stalks until they break. Use the top half of the stalks and toss the lower half (I sometimes save these lower halves of the stalks and use them for Asparagus Soup; I’ll post that recipe at a later date). The point where these stalks naturally break separates the undesirable portion to eat from the naturally tasty potion.

My favorite way to prepare Asparagus is to roast it in the oven. I preheat my oven to 400 degrees. I place the stalks on a cookie sheet and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil, adding a little sea salt and pepper to taste; Toss to coat. I then spread the stalks so they’re a single layer on the pan and then roast them for 5 minutes in the oven. Cooking them at this high temperature for a short amount of time still leaves them bright green and crisp while making the tops a little crunchy.

What do I serve with Asparagus?
My favorite thing to eat with Asparagus is fish and sweet potatoes. The flavors just seem to work really well together.

Hope you’ll give this Spring veggie a try! Its become one of my favorite veggies!

Breakfast on a Restricted Diet

Breakfast on a Restricted Diet

One of my biggest challenges with my restricted diet has been what to eat for breakfast. Since I don’t eat gluten, dairy, or eggs (the main ingredients in breakfast foods) breakfast has been a challenge. But, I have some ideas…

I like to mix gluten free cereals.

I combine this sweet GF cereal (Sunrise Maple Crunch) with a more bland cereal like GF Chex. It helps vary the flavor as you eat it and the Chex is a lot less expensive so it makes the more expensive GF cereal go further.

I like to get some protein in the morning, so I generally add unsalted sunflower seeds. They add an extra crunch and 1 oz. of sunflowers seeds contains 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. I then top the cereal with blueberries (when available) and rice milk.

Hope this gives you a start to a great breakfast even on a restricted diet!

Have a great weekend. I’ll see you on Monday! Happy Super Bowl!