How to lose weight (with Hypothyroidism & PCOS ) and boost immunity

I have Hashimoto Hypothyroidism and PCOS (Diagnosed in 2007) along with host of other issues and when I tell people about it, there first reaction is "Ohh! You must be Hyper-Thyroid! How can you be Hypo?!?!". Hyper leads to weight loss while Hypo leads to obesity. And many of them want to know how I loose all the weight? Even if you are a healthy individual, you might benefit from some of these weight loss tips, so keep reading !

Weight loss especially with Hypothyroidism and PCOS isn't as easy and straight forward as is for healthier individuals. Our bodies metabolism shuts down completely, effecting every cell in our body. Our bodies basic functioning slows down tremendously thereby leading to more and more sickness, fatigue, depression and weight gain.

I will need to do a few posts on this because all the information cannot be contained in just one post. There is a lot that needs to be done (in terms of diet, workout, supplements, blood works etc.), and I don't mean to scare anyone but that is the truth (or at least in my case)! And no! I am not a hypochondriac (something I do get to hear often).....I am just a fighter! 

You need to know that while you would need to take your Thyroid hormone pill for the entire life it does nothing to cure the problem. Rather it just masks the symptoms. If you are someone who does okay on just the hormone medicine and has no symptoms, then you are the lucky one or perhaps your condition isn't as severe. But in my case and case of many others, the life wrecking symptoms never disappear. And so you have to resort to some alternate ways of healing. 

Hashimotos Hypothyroidism is an Auto Immune disorder where your immunity is attacking your own thyroid. You can check this by checking the thyroid antibodies and if they are elevated you have Hashimotos. Auto immunity is progressive in nature and continues to destroy the thyroid and as you age it can start targeting other parts of your body too (eg: Hair follicles  - Alopecia Areata, Skin - Psoriasis , Bones - Rheumatoid Arthritis). One way to slow down the attack is by changing your diet, so as to stop any immune flare up that some foods may be triggering. I cannot stress the importance of dietary changes in bringing your condition into remission (remission implies antibodies come back within the normal range and symptoms disappear). This helps slow down the inflammation triggers , balance your hormones, elevate the fatigue and help with weight loss. Though there are so many Auto immune dietary protocols (Auto-immune Paleo Diet, Gluten Free, GAPS, Low FODMAP) , we would not get into that detail now. 

To start with , you really need to start incorporating whole foods, healthy proteins, good fats and Fiber in your diet. You need to cut down on all processed/refined carbs. You can download the app - My Fitness Pal to keep a count of your macro and micro nutrients along with the calorie intake. Neither am I a big protein lover , nor can I eat vegetables endlessly , so these are some preparations that have helped me. In this post I am focussing on only one aspect of diet which are the liquids .

Doing changes in my diet has made a HUGE impact on my health. I only realised the power of diet when many of my symptoms began to disappear after years!!! You can incorporate these items even if you are an absolutely healthy individual. 

Bone broth : It has anti-inflammatory and gut healing properties, healthy fats and loads of minerals. It helps with bone health and joint pains. I have muscle weakness and pain (diagnosed as fibromyalgia) and joint pains along with knee swelling. It contains Gelatin which is a cooked form of Collagen which is found in abundance in bone, marrow, cartilage , tendons and ligaments A lot of people have healed there leaky gut with this . It is also good as a post workout soup with high protein content and aids with recovery time. You will usually find your bone broth gel up upon refrigeration. That is because of the Gelatin content which makes it jelly like. Don't worry if it doesn't gel. It is still healthy though the Gelatin content is less. You can add powdered Gelatin to this or your soups and herbal teas. I recommend this Great Lakes Gelatin . You can also use this Great Lakes Gelatin
Recipe : Slow cook bones in water for 24-48 hours. You can also use a pressure cooker but slow cooking works well for me. I leave it overnight and have bone broth is ready the next day. You can add onions, potatoes, carrots or celery if you wish. I usually add salt, bay leaves and cloves for some flavour. You can have it as soup, or use it for cooking gravies and other dishes. Mutton leg curry is famous in some parts of India and has many healing properties. You can try this recipe if you wish to make Mutton Leg curry Indian style (Not Auto-Immune Paleo compliant)

Milk Kefir - Though it is advised to cut down on milk , due to the inflammation that it causes in the body , I have milk kefir every now and then. It tastes just like buttermilk or Lassi but a lot healthier. The difference lies in how it is fermented. It contains far greater strains and number of bacteria than there is in yoghurt . And these bacteria can actually colonize the intestinal tract which the bacteria in yoghurt cannot do. Our gut consists of billions of good and bad bacteria . The good bacteria keeps a check on the bad bacteria and a healthy gut flora is maintained in healthy individuals. But in some cases (due to compromised immune system , antibiotic usage , high intake of sugar) , such as mine bad bacteria over takes good bacteria, leading to all sorts of health issues ( like Candida, Chronic Sinusitus, Irritable Bowel Syndrome , Fibormyalgia , CFS). I also make coconut water kefir. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut are great too.

Recipe :
Bring milk to boil . Let it cool down and once it is around 23-25 deg celcius, add the Kefir Starter and mix well. Put it in a glass jar. Don't close the lid closely or the jar may break with the gases trying to escape during fermentation process. You can also wrap a tissue with a rubber band instead of closing the lid. Let it sit for 18-24 hours at room temperature. It will become thicker in consistency and look like buttermilk. You can use this same Kefir Starter  to make Coconut Water Kefir.

Coconut Yoghurt : I only found a few months back that coconut yoghurt does exist and it tastes heavenly! Its dairy free and I use I use it for dips , smoothies and salad dressing. Several studies have shown that coconut oil helps you loose weight and belly fat and increase metabolism. It contains medium chain fatty acids ( while other oils contains long chain fatty acids) which are metabolized differently by the body. Hypothyroid patients are recommended to have coconut oil everyday to improve thyroid health. Some people have it raw first thing in the morning or with their cup of coffee or smoothie. I recommend this coconut oil . It is organic, virgin and cold pressed coconut oil. Cold pressed oil extracts higher quality oil and the keeps the nutritional value of the oil intact. 

Recipe : Boil the Coconut milk and let it cool down. Once it reaches 23-25 deg celcius mix the Yoghurt Starter yoghurt starter which you can buy hereThen let it ferment in a warm place for 12-14 hours. I use a yoghurt maker such as this oneOnce fermented you can whip it like I am doing in this video to make it smooth.
Please note that I buy 100% coconut milk with no additives and emulsifier. Also, coconut cream will yield thicker yoghurt. Coconut milk will yield thinner yoghurt. You can add Great Lakes Gelatin to thicken it.

Cold Press Vegetable Juice : Cold press juicing is a way of extracting the juice which is different from centrifugal juicing (which is what the standard juicers do). Cold press juicing is a newer technology and extracts juice by squeezing and pressing the ingredients whereas standard juices use a fast spinning metal blade to extract juice. Because cold press juicers don't produce as much heat, they keep the nutrients intact and so the juice is fresh longer (for up to 72 hours). This works for me well since I make extra and stock it up.  
Though fruits are healthy, portion control is important since they contain too much sugar. For many individuals low sugar diet is advised. Also, a fruit juice lacks fiber and leads to sugar spike so it is best avoided.
Recipe : Throw in some celery , Bottle gourd (Lauki) , Cucumber , Lemon Grass , Ginger or whichever  vegetables you have with you.

Smoothies : I love smoothies. I usually make them with some coconut yoghurt, baby spinach and berries. They are so filling and tasty. I love adding Banana's or Apple too but I am currently on a low sugar diet. You can also add this powdered freeze dried Acai Powder which is wonderful.

 I also add Flax Seeds or Hemp Oil too for extra Omega 3 boost.

Herbal Teas : They are a good way to detox and have healing and calming properties. My absolutely favorite is Yogi Detox Tea.

Green Superfood : You can also add a super food which is a mix of organic greens, sea vegetables, Prebiotics , Probiotics, Fiber and antioxidants. Just add it to water , smoothies or soups and its ready. I like Vibrant Health Green Vibrance

Use  code VZC120 to get Discount on your first purchase on iherb.com . 

So your typical day can consists of something like this:
Morning (upon waking up)   Vegetable Juice or
                                               Green Super Food Drink
Breakfast                                Coconut Yoghurt Smoothie or
                                               Coconut yoghurt with Coconut Flakes and berries
Lunch / Dinner -                    Vegetable Soup and your meal
Evening snack -                      Bone broth
Before Sleeping -                    Herbal Tea

Some meals I had shared on Instagram :

Let me know is this post was helpful and if you would like to see more posts like this one.Also, do share all your weight loss tips.
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DIY Baby Shower Ideas - Sash , Props and Gifts

It is not a Fashion post, but I was so excited to share this with all you girls! I am in the phase of life where I have been attending so many baby showers lately . I think it's that one day when you can make your pregnant friend feel so special and create some wonderful memories together. It's all about celebrations , fun and laughter (and lots of pictures :P).  So recently, we threw a surprise baby shower for my very dear friend and I decided to make some DIY baby shower props. I mostly got these ideas from Pinterest and other baby showers. It is so easy that you can make these too and these are reusable. You just need some stationary and a bit of creativity.

Things you can make :

  • "Mom to be" Sash - A baby shower is incomplete without this. Obviously since it's a girl in my friends case , It had to be pink. 
  • "Dad to be" Badge - It is the second perfect addition if the dad is a a part of the baby shower too. 
  • Photo booth Props - These are small props which you can hold and click pictures with. I am so in love with these pink beauties.
  • "About to Pop " chart - This is such a beautiful way of sending across your messages ! You can make a chart and all friends can write in there messages to the couple.

Things you need :

  • Bright Pink and Orange Paper (The thicker the better so the props don't crease while you hold them)
  • White Chart Paper
  • Ribbons ( For Sash and Props)
  • Pink and  Green Cloth
  • Skewer Sticks ( For tholding the photobooth Props)
  • Glitter  ( For filling in the text)
  • Safety Pin ( For putting behind the Badge)
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gum
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser

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