Tackle Autoimmune Naturally

This week’s Spoon Feed post is contributed by a member of the Soupure community, Kimberly Constantino.  She believes in healing through food, self care and more.  Follow her journey on Instagram.

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Eat to live or live to eat? How about both?

6 years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s — an illness that affects the thyroid gland. Right away, this diagnosis kicked me off onto a journey of exploration and self healing. Through research, lab tests and a lot of trial and error, I experimented with different ways of nourishing myself and I came to understand fully the crucial role that food plays in our overall sense of wellbeing.

When managing an autoimmune condition, the main priority is keeping inflammation low and that means monitoring the intake of inflammatory foods like sugar, caffeine, gluten and dairy.

And one more thing, I love food! I love to celebrate, I love to wine and dine with friends, I love to entertain people in my home with elaborate meals and dessert bars, and yet I also love to feel good in my body. For me, the best of both worlds means never missing out; it means finding a diet that supports me and doesn’t deplete me, and enjoying comfort foods that don’t make me feel like crap. I believe in enjoying nourishing meals surrounded by people we love; that to me is living a rich life.

One of the best strategies I use to strike this balance is the “Crowd it Out” method. This means filling my bowl to the brim with tons of healthy foods — foods like organic vegetables, bone broth, and sprouted nuts and seeds. Naturally, there’s no room for anything else so you don’t have to worry about eliminating specific foods. The truth is, no one wants to feel restricted and the idea here is to feed, not starve, the body.

Another key strategy I use is stocking my kitchen with the right foods. Everyday, we’re confronted with toxic and sugar-laced foods, so I make a concerted effort to make my kitchen a sanctuary for wellness. Cooking is a life skill and it’s one that I prioritize. That said, I’m someone who works a 9am-6pm job in advertising; I’m not a nutritionist or a chef and, sometimes, I just need to grab takeout! In those moments, I tap my trusted resources. It’s reassuring to know that I can pick up a bottle of nourishing soup, like my favorite, Spicy Asparagus Leek, top it off with some avocado, olive oil, or chopped brazil nuts and call it a weekday meal. (Bonus: brazil nuts are loaded with selenium which helps heal the thyroid.) I’m a fan of simplicity, nourishment, and deliciousness.

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Featured Recipe: Soupure Spicy Asparagus Leek topped
with avocado, olive oil and chopped brazil nuts
(Photograph by Kimberly Constantino)

Thankfully, through this journey, I’ve successfully been able to stop taking medication for Hashimoto’s. It’s a constant evolution of fine-tuning and tweaking along the way, but somehow I’m able to strike a balance and feel well. I believe that the future of medicine is doctors showing up for patients with recipes instead of prescription pads and groceries instead of pills. But we don’t have to wait for the healthcare industry to catch up to us. We can be our own biggest health advocates and live a life of vitality! It all starts in the kitchen.

– Kimberly Constantino


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