2018 Reflection

My friend Bethany had started a tradition and shared it with my family a few years back. At the beginning of each year, pick a word that you want to characterize your year. The sad thing is, as I’m sitting here reflecting I can barely remember what my word was for 2018. I am pretty sure it was “Determined”. I wanted to go into the start of 2018 determined to finish what I started in 2017, and to be determined to stick with my goals for the new year. Well, for the first season of 2018 I stuck with my word. I finished out the hardest experience of my life. I graduated culinary school, and made an A on my final project, my capstone. That was in April.

 

After April, well let’s say that June and July were a whirlwind. Graduation, my first vacation with my boyfriends family, the summer trip to Disney with my family, and my first real job out of culinary school. Unfortunately it did not turn out like I had hoped. I was just a tool, my talent was abused and not appreciated. I was under worked because the staff that were on work visas, got prioritized. It was a good experience, I always gain knowledge of the kind of business i want to run in the future, as well of the kind of community I want to promote within my staff. It is very rare to find employers, and a company community with the same values that I have. I probably could have made it through the end of their season, but it came down to a morality issue. I could not work for someone who publicly was an adulterer and wasn’t fired, but his co-part was, because she wasn’t “the boss”.

 

The third chapter of my year started when I started at the 1889 White Gate Inn, my current job. Here, I am a head chef and kitchen manager. I run the entire culinary operation for this Inn. The menu planning, budgeting, shopping, executing, and all the extras in between. This job allows a lot of freedom, which is wonderful. I took this job because of the title. Not because I needed the title, but because it would set me up for my future. Working under the title of head chef/ kitchen manager for over a year will look great on my resume. It will open up the doors to having corporate management positions that offer a better salary, benefits, and a more family friendly schedule for when I’m ready to start a family later in life.

 

Then everything kinda fell apart. Work is not as free and fulfilling as it used to be, but I’m still determined to make it a year there at least. I wish that was the worst of it, but it’s not. My mom got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. You may be wondering what that has to do with me. Well, when mom got diagnosed she realized through researching that I was exhibiting most of the Hashimoto’s symptoms as well. So then I had to play a waiting game, when I finally decided on a new doctor to be able to diagnose me, I was told that the earliest appointment I could get was three weeks away. So I waited. When I finally had my appointment, my doctor was reluctant and rude when I asked to be tested for the TPO antibodies, but I was determined. My results came back relatively okay. As of this point I do not have Hashimoto’s. However, I am at risk for having it, and I may have had possible adrenal fatigue as well. So, my marching orders were to  de-stress. To keep my cortisol levels down and to reduce my anxiety. A few weeks later I am taking a walk with my boyfriend and henry, our pup. I had been doing yoga, I had been diffusing and using essential oils to help balance my stress. I was actively working on letting things go, not worrying about things outside of my control, and not taking so many things as a personal offense. I was determined, I was happy. Then I get a call, that my best friend has died. Then I learn that he didn’t just die, but he was murdered. I love on his family, I speak at his funeral. I am afraid. I am afraid to let myself grieve, because i’m afraid that my body won’t be able to handle it. At the same time I feel like I can’t grieve because I don’t feel like he could really be gone. He was supposed to be on his way home in a couple of weeks, just in time for my birthday. I turned 21 this year. I am officially an adult. I had an amazing birthday. I got to spend it with all the people I love. My Mimi and Pap, my parents and my sister, my boyfriend and henry, and my boyfriends family. I felt so loved, so happy, yet so sad. The rest of the year seemed to go by in a blur. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but this year it seemed to slip up on my and sneak away too quickly. I don’t know if I quite lived up to my word of the year, I definitely was not determined about my health goals for the year. I am ready to leave 2018 behind. As it went on I can tell i’ve slipped further into a depression, unhealthy eating habits, and my cortisol levels are back up. I have a lot of unfinished business to work on in 2019, and I hope you all are ready for what’s in store.

 

This is what I learned in 2018.

  1. Don’t set goals you aren’t actually determined to meet.
  2. Don’t take anyone in your life for granted. They chose to love you, and chose to be apart of your life, so be grateful.
  3. Get a dog.
  4. Food won’t always make you feel better.
  5. It’s okay to not feel like listening to music, it’s not okay to stop others.
  6. You can not get through this world alone. If you don’t have a support system, find one.
  7. God is still the same, today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

So, stay tuned for my next post. I will let you know my word for next year. Any guesses?

XOXO   

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Dear Readers,

This, perfect for fall, soup will leave you feeling satisfied in more ways than one. It is hearty, warm, and layered with flavors. It’s a Jamaican twist on a fall classic, and a crowd pleaser for sure!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour

Total Active Time: 30 Minutes

Servings: 8 Side Portions/ 4 Main Portions

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of butternut squash
  • 1 leek (white and light green part only)
  • 1 T of Avocado oil
  • 2 T of Jamaican Curry powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t celery salt
  • 1/2 t Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 t white pepper
  • 1 32 oz box of chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 14 oz can of coconut cream

Method:

  1. Peel and seed butternut squash, then cut into 1/4 in cubes. To save time, some stores have precut butternut squash. The reason I cut it into such small pieces, is for reducing the cooking time.
  2. Cut the dark green tops off of your leek but save them to make stock (recipe coming soon). Cut the root bulb off the other end and slice lengthwise. Make sure to rinse your leek really well. They are grown in sand, and there is nothing worse than crunching down on a piece of sand in a creamy soup. Finish by slicing them in half moons once rinsed.
  3. Heat the oil in a 8 qt soup pot. When the oil is hot, add the leeks and caramelize them. Once caramelized, add the spices and butternut squash, toast everything together until aromatic.
  4. Add the chicken stock and scrape any fond off the bottom of the pot. Let the soup come to a steady simmer. Simmer until the squash pieces break apart easily, about 20 min.
  5. Take an immersion blender and blend the soup until most of the butternut squash pieces are smooth. Now add the can of pumpkin and coconut cream. Blend again to desired consistency. Just like with potato soup some people like chunks some don’t!
  6. Check a final time for seasonings, and add any extra salt or pepper.

Crockpot method:

  1. Caramelize leeks and toast spices then add to your crock pot with the squash and chicken stock.
  2. Set and forget, on low for at least 2 hours.
  3. Finish the soup the same way as above!

I served this soup with some herb and lemon roasted chicken thighs. It’s also a great pairing for a fall quiche and salad!

I hope fall is everything you’ve been hoping for!

XOXO, Hashimoto’s Heiress

About Hashimoto’s Symptoms

Dear Reader,

When battling Hashimoto’s, most of the information you read about symptoms are dealing with strictly Hypothyroidism symptoms.  However, because it is an autoimmune disease and not just a Hypothyroidism disease, you can experience both Hyper and Hypo symptoms depending on what stage you are at. When your body is initially attacking your thyroid, a lot of thyroid hormones that are stored can be released. This causes an influx of stimulating hormones, which makes your body over work itself and exhibit Hyperthyroidism symptoms. Over time, your thyroid can become deadened from being attacked by the antibodies. It won’t be able to produce enough hormones, and the stored up supply has been depleted by the Hyperthyroidism. Even when most of these symptoms are under control by your treatment regimen, you can still have flare-ups. Flare-ups can be caused by stress, eating something that can trigger the antibodies, being sick, not listening to your body telling you to rest, not maintaining self-care, or not maintaining your supplement regimen. The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you’re feeling stressed, make more of an effort to relax. If you are starting to feel fatigued, don’t exercise and don’t over do it. Take a nap, go to bed early, take a day off from work. Maintaining your bodies peak efficiency with your disease should now be your number one priority. Hashimoto’s doesn’t have a cure, but we can enter remission if we become in tune with our bodies, trust our specialist, and think positively.

I am adding an extra column so that you can check off the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as tally up what kind of symptoms at the end. Knowing which kind of symptoms you favor can help identify what stage of the disease you’re in.

Symptom Category Are You Experiencing this Symptom?
Fatigue Both
Mental Fog/ Unable to Concentrate Both
Memory Loss/ Forgetfulness Hypo
Sensitivity to Cold Hypo
Sensitivity to Heat Hyper
Sudden Increase in Weight Hypo
Extreme Weight Loss Hyper
Resistance to Weight Loss with Diet and Exercise Hypo
Feeling More Fatigued After Working Out, Instead of Energized Both
Low Libido Both
Constipation Hypo
Diarrhea Hyper
Bloating Both
Depression Hypo
Irritability Hyper
Anxiety Hyper
Dry Brittle Hair Hypo
Hair Loss Hyper
Peeling and Brittle Nails Both
Dry Skin Both
Puffy Face/ Inflammation Both
Goiter on the Thyroid Both
Infertility Hyper
Heavy Periods/ Irregularity Hypo
Light periods/ Irregularity Hyper
Rapid Heartbeat Hyper
Slow heartbeat Hypo
Irregular heartbeat/ PVCs Both
Muscle weakness Hyper
Muscle stiffness Hypo
Moving Joint and Muscle pain Hypo
Total Symptoms Hypo:                     Hyper:             Both:

Thank you for reading, and I hope that this list, and “worksheet”, can help you identify your symptoms. If you have many of these, take them to your doctor and have them run a blood test for TPO levels! If you are already diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, let me know in the comments what symptom(s) you struggle with the most. Also, what have you identified that can trigger a flare-up, and how do you manage them? As always, if you have experienced any symptoms that I may have missed, let me know! I will add them to the list!

XOXO, Hashimoto’s Heiress