Rhonda’s Cooking

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Archive for July, 2011

Weight gain and hair loss due to thyroid disorder

Posted by rhondascooking on July 20, 2011

I was one of the 8 million people who suffered with many problems, and didn’t know what was going on. What was this problem that allowed me and others to walk around not noticing any differences in our health thus remaining undiagnosed–the culprit was Thyroid Disease! There are more than 20 million people suffer from a thyroid disorder, and of that number more than 10 million women have low-grade thyroid imbalance. So, how did I find out I had a problem? A family friend saw me during holiday break and told my mom that I needed to have my thyroid checked because my eyes looked bigger than normal. Though I was really offended at the time, her guess was correct! I had hyperthyroidism for months and never knew it!

What is thyroid?
The thyroid is a gland that sits in the neck and is shaped like a butterfly.

Is the thyroid gland important?
The main function of the thyroid gland is to produce thyroid hormone, which regulate the functioning of the body including regulating mood, emotions, and many other brain functions. In fact, this gland controls the body’s metabolism; specifically it controls the amount of energy the body burns.

What happens if there is a problem with my thyroid gland?

If the thyroid gland is not performing correctly, there are two most common problems, which are as follows:
1. Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis)–this occurs when there is not enough thyroid hormones thus causing the thyroid to become underactive; according to many studies this affects about 10 percent of the population and is the most common cause of an underactive thyroid.

2. Hyperthyroidism (Graves’ disease)–this occurs when there is an excess of thyroid hormones thus causing the thyroid to be overactive.

What are some of the obvious signs of a thyroid problem?
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism have different signs or symptoms. The following are a few signs to make note of:

Hypothyroidism: weight gain, tiredness, increased sleepiness, hair loss including loss of eyebrows, joint pain, constipation, forgetfulness, decreased ability to pay attention and focus, cold intolerant, depression, dry skin, etc.

Hyperthyroidism: weight loss, Fatigue, shakiness, increased bowel movement, restlessness, warm intolerant, rapid heartbeat, anemia, increased sweating, irregular menstrual periods, decreased fertility

Is thyroid disease hereditary?
Thyroid disease is an autoimmune disorder, and there is a high percentage that it could be hereditary, but it is not always the case. There could be other factors that trigger this disease and it differs for everyone.

Is there a way to find out if my thyroid gland is okay?
If you are uncertain about whether your thyroid is not properly functioning, please make an appointment with your general physician and ask to have your thyroid levels checked. This is not traditional tested in the yearly physical exams, it is only ordered if necessary or upon patient request. If your thyroid levels indicate that you are hypo or hyperthyroid active, then please make an appointment with an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system which includes the thyroid gland, or a naturopathic doctor who specializes in thyroid disorders.

I am writing this post not to scare you, but instead to give you information with the intent of you being proactive about your health. If you have more questions, please post a comment!  You can also send me comments via Twitter and Facebook.

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Posted in Diet, Health, Thyroid | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Miracle Drink: Increases metabolism and reduces colds and joint inflammation naturally!

Posted by rhondascooking on July 4, 2011

I’m always looking for natural foods that can help heal my body so that it can stay healthy without all of the artificial ingredients.  After spending several years researching foods that could help reduce inflammation, I knew that there were certain herbs and spices that were powerhouses, and could help heal and sometimes cure anything because of its natural properties.  Some of these powerhouse foods included garlic, ginger root, lemon, and cayenne pepper.   One day after catching a cold, I decided to mix up a natural concoction merging these powerhouse ingredients.  Here’s my recipe that I call “Rhonda’s Miracle Drink”:

Rhonda’s Miracle Drink:

1 cup warm (medium hot) water

½ medium lemon, juiced

1/8 teaspoon – ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup or local raw honey (optional)*

Why is the drink awesome?

Lemons:  Excellent antioxidant and source of Vitamin C that boosts the immune system and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells that could cause inflammation.

Cayenne pepper:  Excellent source of Vitamin A and C and other important ingredients.  This powerhouse has many natural functions such as aiding in digestion, reducing muscle pain and joint inflammation, clearing mucus, increasing metabolism of dietary fats, and much more!

Ginger root:  Great for reducing joint inflammation and aiding with stomach problems including irritable bowel syndrome, digestion, and gas.  Also, ginger has been known to help treat colds, flu and sinus issues.

Maple syrup:  Natural sweetener that provides lots of vitamins and minerals that varies according to the location and soil where the tree is grown.  Some vitamins include potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin A, B1, B6, and C, etc.

When can you drink this?

You can drink this anytime, but especially if you want to do an internal body cleanse or if you’ve developed a cold or flu.  Drink once every three hours until the cold or flu has ended.  This is especially great for those with sore throats because as the liquid travels down the esophagus, you will start to feel the pepper tingling in the throat—it’s very soothing and with this drink there’s no need for cough drops!  You can also drink first thing in the morning or in between meals after eating a high fat or high sugar meal.  It could help to break down the meat and assist with stabilizing blood sugar levels.

How often should you drink this?

I recommend that people drink at least one glass daily.  Because of the wonderful healthy, natural properties, you would definitely benefit.

Do you have a special natural drink that you use to help with a specific health issue?
Lemons

Posted in Arthritis, Diet, Food, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Still not sure about gluten free

Posted by rhondascooking on July 4, 2011

Are you still trying to decide if you should consider a gluten free lifestyle?  Here are answers to the 4 most asked questions that I get from people when they are considering a gluten free diet.

Gluten free pasta

What is gluten?
Gluten is made of two protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley and is an important component in baking. Simply put it is the glue-like or sticky texture in baked goods and it is responsible for causing the baked goods to rise.

What does gluten do to the body?
Gluten doesn’t impact everyone. However, gluten does impact people diagnosed with Celiac (pronounced as See-lee-ak) Disease (CD), an autoimmune condition that damages the small intestines whenever a person eats anything with gluten. In fact, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, when people with this disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Visit the Celiac Disease Foundation website to find out more about the symptoms of CD.

Should you consider a gluten-free diet?
Yes, you should definitely eat gluten-free if you have Celiac Disease! Also, you should consider a gluten-free diet if you have challenges with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Autism, or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

What foods are gluten-free?
Some examples of gluten-free foods are as follows: brown rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, tapioca, brown rice flour, cornmeal, sorghum, beans, soy (use caution), poultry, beef, fish, mushrooms, vegetables, etc. There are a lot of foods that are gluten free, but the key thing to remember is that sometimes foods have hidden gluten ingredients, so make sure that you verify before you purchase. Read the labels or ask questions.

I have been eating gluten-free since 2005, and I have seen major improvements in my arthritis and I have not looked back! Do you need to consider transitioning to a gluten-free diet?  If you have more questions, please post a comment!

Posted in Diet, Food, Gluten-free, Health | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »