Shakeology Ingredient Spotlight….Ashwaghanda

My first stop with my virtual shopping of Shakeology ingredients is ASHWAGANDHA.  For anyone who has thyroid or adrenal issues Ashwagandha is an herb that you really want to know more about.  🙂

Ashwagandha is the first super food that I wanted to explore from my list of Shakeology ingredients and is an adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants which help balance, restore and protect the body.

 In India Ashwagandha is called the “strength of the stallion” because it is used to strengthen the immune system after someone has been ill.  It has also been known as Indian ginseng because it helps enhance stamina and has some incredible stress relieving properties.

Take a close look at some of the health benefits listed below.  You will be absolutely amazed at what this little herb can do.  There have been over 200 studies done on this herb’s ability to:

~Improve thyroid function (something extremely important to me)

~Treat adrenal fatigue

~Combat the effects of stress

~Increase endurance and stamina

~Prevent and treat cancer

~Reduce brain cell degeneration

~Stabilize blood sugar

~Lower cholesterol

~Boost immunity

Little is known on why adaptogens work so well with balancing hormones.  Ashwagandha is a rock start with improving thyroid function.  For those of you who don’t know I have hypothyroidism so learning about Ashwagandha had me all kinds of excited 🙂  The reason why I say it is a rock star is because it doesn’t matter if you have hypo or hyper, this herb has been proven to help with both.

I actually found a 20 day study on mice, where the T3 and T4 levels were analyzed and the results showed a significant increase in T4 which shows this herb has a stimulatory effect on a sluggish thyroid.  This is exciting news and just shows me one more great reason why I am going to continue to drink my shakeology.

It also greatly reduces lipid peroxidation, the electrons from the lipids in cell membranes is stolen resulting in cell damage. Which is more proof that is helps to treat hypothyroidism.

There are millions of people who are struggling with thyroid problems, the sad fact is some don’t even know it.  The think that the symptoms they are experiencing are from something else. Check out this list and you will see what I mean.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism:

~Changes in menstruation – I admit my cycle was NEVER normal, so I honestly didn’t think anything of this one.

~Constipation – Another one I would never have thought of.  I mean I never ate very healthy and I never drank water, so I figured that was why I was always constipated.

~Depression – With the life I had as a child and putting my biological father in jail when I was 16,  seriously depression from my underactive thyroid never even crossed my mind

~ Dry hair and hair loss – I posted last week about clumps of hair coming out during my shower, nuff said.  and gross!

~Dry skin- always have

~Fatigue – I know some of this is blamed on my poor sleeping habits so another one that was a hidden symptom for me

~Greater sensitivity to cold – Ok so I thought I was just weird with this one.  I mean I am ALWAYS COLD!  Even in the summer time I would turn my seat heater on and drive with a lap blanket.

~Slow heart rate – yep my heart rate is about 60 beats per minute

~Swelling of the thyroid gland (goiter)  This may be just about the only symptom that I don’t have

~Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight – Losing weight for me is the ultimate struggle.  There is NOTHING more frustrating then eating exactly what you should AND working out 6 days a week and actually GAINING weight.  Very hard to wrap my head around.

~Carpal Tunnel Syndrom – Ok, I admit until tonight I had NEVER heard about this symptom.  Did I mention that I had Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel surgery on December 20th?  Yep on my right arm.  And guess what?  My left wrist and elbow are patiently waiting for their turn.

Wow!  I have EVERY symptom BUT one!  AND this was SO NOT supposed to be a hypothyroidism post. lol

Ashwagandha is a super star in my book.  Thank you to the creators of Shakeology for making sure this little beauty was added into my daily dose of dense nutrition, AKA my chocolate shake.  ❤

So now that I have shown you the benefits of ashwagandha lets check out the price of this little beaut!

A month’s supply on Amazon costs….about $10.00 per month.  Not too bad right?  But just remember that Shakeology has 70 super foods in it. 🙂  Make sure to visit again to see what ingredient I add next to my virtual shopping trip.

Sending strength, hope and love.

Living With Hypothyroidism

Have you ever looked at some of my photos and wondered about my obsession with butterflies?  I put them on my photos as a reminder to myself that I can fly into my new life of health and fitness EVEN with hypothyroidism.  Several things including high levels of stress can factor into the development and worsening of hypothyroidism and once you have it, it is very difficult to control. It is a battle every day but it is a battle that I am willing to fight.

Millions of people in the US have thyroid diseases.  Most of them are women, and I am one of them. You see, your thyroid plays a vital part in your metabolism and when it isn’t working right then you don’t feel well.  The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that weighs a little over 16 grams in an adult. The thyroid secretes several hormones through out the body which influence your metabolism, growth and development and your body temperature.

At first it is easy to not recognize the symptoms of hypothyroidism…fatigue and weight gain. Here are the top 16 symptoms…

  1. Fatigue  (Yes)
  2. Increased sensitivity to cold  (Yes)
  3. Constipation  (Yes)
  4. Dry skin  (Yes)
  5. Unexplained weight gain  (Yes)
  6. Puffy face  (Yes)
  7. Hoarseness  (Yes)
  8. Muscle weakness  (Yes)
  9. Elevated blood cholesterol level
  10. Muscle aches and pain  (Yes)
  11. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints  (Yes)
  12. Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods  (Yes)
  13. Thinning hair  (Yes)
  14. Slower heart rate  (Yes)
  15. Depressed mood  (Yes)
  16. Impaired memory  (Yes)

I have every symptom except for the elevated cholesterol, but then again I have no idea what my cholesterol level is so I can’t really say for sure about this one.

I have been doing some research to see if there is anything I can do besides taking my prescription to help my thyroid.

  1.  The first step is to eliminate gluten from your diet.  I personally am struggling with this but I am trying to cut back.  Baby steps right?
  2. Selenium is essential to a healthy thyroid.  Eating  2-3 brazil nuts daily can help you get an extra 200mcg each day.  Just one shakeology shake per day provides you with 36 mcg.
  3. Omega 3 fatty acids are also essential for a healthy thyroid.  You can add this to your diet by eating wild caught fish like salmon.
  4. Get plenty of sunlight to optimize your vitamin D levels and take 1000-2000IU daily of Vitamin D3.
  5. Herbs like ashwaganda support thryoid function.  Ashwaganda is a super food found in Shakeology.  15281820_10206351185693456_187291277_n

Lots of Beachbody customers and coaches suffer from hypothyroidism and have found that Shakeology helps them battle their condition, often beating it. But, how does  Shakeology help your thyroid?

Drinking Shakeology helps replenish your body’s supply of both iodine (in the form of kelp) and selenium. Additionally, it contains zinc and iron, which the National Institutes of Health indicate help maintain proper function of your thyroid, too. Maca root, another ingredient, is also associated with improved thyroid health. And when your thyroid is working the way it should, you feel better again.

Many people who drink Shakeology feel that it is helping with their thyroid condition and I am one of them.  It pretty much gives me the energy that I didn’t have.  I know that there are days when I need that extra boost so I drink two shakes.

I honestly didn’t think that drinking Shakeology every day would help me lose weight. After all having an underactive thyroid makes it extremely difficult to lose weight.  I have lost some  with drinking my shake every day and I noticed that I am able to maintain my weight a lot easier than before.  This is a win for me!

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Foods to Avoid If You Have Hypothyroidism

I am finding out that there is so much that I do not know about my thyroid condition.  I have hypothyroidism, I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and I am supposed to take Levothyroxine daily for it.  My problem is that with my new insurance I had to find a new doctor, so I have not had any of my medication for months.  My doctor’s appointment isn’t for another month. So I have been doing some research to find out all that I can about this, what I should eat etc.

I have found that there are certain foods that I should be avoiding or limiting. I am still researching this, so please don’t take my word for it. Verify it!

One of them is soy.   I don’t think that will be a problem unless there is hidden soy in the food that I am eating.  I guess I will need to check that out.

I eat a lot of veggies but found that people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, and bok choy.  I love broccoli and brussel sprouts so this one may be a little more of a challenge. If you cook these veggies than it can reduce the effect that they have on the thyroid gland.  So I need to make sure to limit myself to no more than 5 ounces a day.  I can do that.  I admit this kind of confuses me so I have a lot of research to do.  Broccoli and cauliflower has selenium in it, which is good for your thyroid.  So I guess in moderation it is ok.  LIke I said I am still learning about this.  🙂

I have found that people with thyroid issues should limit their intake of gluten.  Apparently gluten can irritate your small intestine which can interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medicine.  Wow, I have been taking meds for my thyroid for many years and I have never been told that.  If you are going to continue eating gluten, then make sure to take your meds a couple of hours before you eat anything with gluten in it.

Did you know that fatty foods can interfere with your thyroid’s ability to produce hormone? Some professionals recommend that you don’t eat fried food and reduce the amount of fat you eat from butter, mayo, margarine and fatty cuts of meat.

Your metabolism is slowed down because of the hypothyroidism.  That makes it easy to put on the weight, and from experience I can tell you that it is so difficult to lose it because of the slow metabolism.  So of course, that means reducing or avoiding sugary foods, they have lots of calories and no nutritional value.  I think it is time for me to cut bahypothyroidismck on my sugar intake.

Did you know that people with an underactive thyroid have an increased risk for high blood pressure? Too much sodium from processed foods can increase that risk. So you should read the nutrition label to find food that is low in sodium.

I always thought that getting a lot of fiber was good for me. Little did I know that if you get to much it can complicate my hypothyroidism treatment. You should only get 25-30 mg each day. The amounts of fiber from whole grains, veggies, fruits, beans and legumes that are above that level can affect the digestive system and interfere with medication absorption.  Wow, another one that I have to start thinking about more.

I wasn’t very happy to find that caffeine has been found to block thyroid medication absorption. I used to take my meds with my morning coffee.  Not a great idea. People who have taken their meds with their coffee have been shown to have uncontrollable thyroid levels. So you should only take your meds with water. And it is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes AFTER you take your meds before you have a cup of coffee.foods-to-avoid-hypothyroidism

I don’t know about you but I know I have some homework to work on.  I need to cut back on my sugar intake.  If it is more than 5g per serving I am going to cut it out. I need to look into cutting back or cutting out gluten from my diet.  I’m not sure where to begin with this so I really need to start researching. AND as much as I hate to think about doing this, I think it is time to cut out coffee again or at least cut back on how much I drink each day.  Oh my so many changes, but it’s going to be all about the baby steps with this one.  Trying to make too many changes at once would just be setting myself up for failure and I truly don’t want that.  Even small changes will be a help right?   A work in progress.

I have so much research to do. 🙂

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