There are days when I HATE cooking. I hate planning meals. I hate trying to come up with creative recipes. I hate sitting at the dinner table. I hate the idea of being in the kitchen. All I can think about is going home, flopping down on the couch, and falling asleep or watching TV. I want a bag of Ruffles potato chips, a big bowl…no, a MASSIVE bowl of onion dip, a bottle of wine, and the remote control. I don’t want to make decision. I don’t want to be asked questions. I don’t want to think. I don’t want to chat. I don’t want to cuddle or snuggle or even be touched. All I is to be left alone…with my chips and Days of Our Lives.
I know what you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with her? She must be sick.” No, I’m not sick. I’m not lazy. I’m not in a bad mood. I haven’t had a bad day at work. I haven’t had a fight with my husband.
No, there’s not one thing wrong with me. There are more things wrong with me than you will ever imagine…more things than I will ever be able to conquer. You see…I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease in 2013. After my heart when bananas and after numerous tests and trips to the cardiologist, my doctor revealed that my thyroid (T3 & T4) and antibody levels were off, and an ultrasound revealed a small, benign mass, probably a cyst. The combination of my heart acting up, weight-gain, the ultrasound, and the blood work lead my doctor to start me on thyroid medication to get me back on track.
Fast-forward 3 years, and my one thyroid issue has progressed and has wreaked havoc on most of my endocrine systems. I begin every morning choking down 14 pills…medications & supplements–2 thyroid meds, high doses of vitamin C, coconut oil, diabetic meds, vitamin D, iron, and hormones. I eat better than I ever have. I have one cup of coffee every morning and drink water throughout the day. I go to the gym. I get shots of B-12 weekly. However, I’m no longer a size 6. I can no longer eat what I want. I can’t lose weight. I can’t run. I hurt everywhere. I have periods of extreme exhaustion. I’m edgy and anxious. And, I’m frustrated as hell.
Yet somehow, I refuse to quit. I still cook breakfast for my kids every morning and dinner every night. I still test recipes every day. I still have my glass of wine or beer with dinner. I am determined to figure it out.
I’ve always believed in the power of food. Upset stomach? Eat ginger. UTI? Drink cranberry juice. Cramping legs? Eat bananas. Getting a cold? Drink orange juice. Constipated? Prunes. The same is true for the reverse. Removing certain foods can help alleviate issues. When my oldest son was born, he suffered from painful gas after eating. He was lactose intolerant. My youngest son suffered from painful constipation. Bananas and rice were aggravating the issue.
I’m convinced that many of our health issues are the result of bad diets. As a society, we are exposed to more and more chemicals and processing than ever before. As a child, we never ate frozen chicken nuggets, never opened a can of green beans, never had soda in our house. My dad grew our vegetables and my mom actually cooked. I may not be able to grow anything, but I can certainly cook, and I do.
I may feel like crap and I may not feel like stepping into the kitchen, but I refuse to stoop to the level of frozen lasagna and the sad reality of “fend for yourself.” The truth is my kids would probably love it, but it’s not what they need. They need a balanced meal, and that’s my responsibility, my job, with or without a disease that robs me of the desire.