What to eat for breakfast, that is the question. Plus constipation, it’s making me crazy. Episode 22.

Decisions are actually a direct reflection of who you are and what your purpose is. Each one confirms the beliefs you have about yourself and the direction you are traveling.  -Bob Proctor

I have had a super stressful 5 days. I made some decisions this past week that I am strong and capable and loving which has helped me immensely to get through the stress. It’s not major in the grand scheme of things. Just life stuff but I am an empath and seem to absorb a lot of other people’s energy and so by last night I was exhausted. I took note of my exhaustion and let the kitchen be a complete disaster so when I got up this morning, there were three of us trying to find space to get some breakfast and it was a pain but my sleep and sanity are worth so much more to me than a clean kitchen. Breakfast got made and the kitchen will get clean. Probably right before dinner gets made. That is okay. I am worth taking care of at the expense of a clean kitchen and you are too! 

Let’s get to the questions. I have a couple for you today. Then I am off to study. 

What do you eat for breakfast? I'm pretty good at figuring out lunch and dinner but breakfast is a struggle. I'm allergic to eggs, dairy, soy, bananas, pineapple, berries and I try to avoid gluten. Also mornings are rushed and chaotic.

Breakfast seems to be a challenge for most people who are changing their diet. I also do not tolerate eggs which does make for a challenge because they are such a good source of protein. You still have options though. 

When I am in a hurry I do a protein shake and it differs depending on what I am in the mood for but here is a general template. 

½ banana- since you are allergic you can leave that out. If you need a little sweet maybe add a couple dates or half an apple or pear. I limit the amount of fruit I put in them usually so I don’t have blood sugar issues throughout the day. 

A few frozen slices of cucumber, a handful of greens. I buy a huge bag of organic greens from costco and freeze it. 

A few slices of zucchini- adds to creaminess. I also prechop and freeze that. 

I use full fat canned coconut milk and sometimes So Delicious unsweetened. That does have a lot of junk in it though so if you are hard core AIP or really want to heal your gut I would avoid the So Delicious for now. Full fat canned gives you creaminess and a little sweet taste and will be more filling. I have used Native Forest and Trader Joes brands for that. I prefer the Trader Joes blue can- coconut cream I believe over the coconut milk in the brown can. I was getting Native Forest or Natural Value on Amazon. I think it was Natural Value- the price got ridiculous for a case so I quite buying it. 

I also add a little bit of water to it and lately have been doing raw cacao powder and mint or sunflower seed butter. You can sub the cacao for carob if you are doing AIP. The taste is pretty similar. 

Sometimes I will do a handful of berries or cherries instead of cacao. 

When everything is frozen you don’t have to add ice but you might need to add some water. 

Add chia seeds or flax- like a tablespoon or two for some fiber or add frozen cauliflower rice for more fiber- maybe two tablespoons of that. 

I usually blend all that together really well then add in a scoop of Designs for Health Pure Paleo Protein which is just hydrolyzed beef protein and nothing else.  I blend that in with a few slices of avocado for more fat and then will eat that for breakfast a lot. It is quick when you need to get out the door quick. You can even just put all the ingredients for 5 of those a week in to their own individual bags and freeze them so all you have to do is dump it in the blender. 

This morning I had bone broth that I heated in a pan on the stove with 5 mint leaves, a slice of ginger and a slice of lemon. When it started boiling I added it to a to go mug with 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk from a can and mixed with a big pinch of salt. 

I eat leftovers for breakfast a lot.  This week I had AIP chicken and dumplings. I will link to the recipe in the show notes. I, of course, adapted it and will write about my adaptation eventually.  When I roast a chicken, I roast two so I can make broth and have meat leftover to do some kind of soup. That makes life easier.  

I do a lot of the chicken hashbrowns from the Healing Kitchen cookbook. That is a great recipe. I make a batch and will have 3 of those for breakfast with some kind of veggies. 

I make hash a lot too. Mixing in usually ground pork from a pig I bought last year with whatever spices you like- I do fennel (not AIP), garlic powder, onion powder, salt, sage, oregano, parsley and then whatever veggies I have on hand. I will mix in onion, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli- all chopped about the same size but added at different times because the potatoes will take longer to cook than the broccoli. Then at the end I add in some dark leafy greens. 

I hope that helps. Just remember to think outside the breakfast box. 

Our next question comes from Nancy. 

Can we talk #2 for a minute? I look in the toilet and it looks like a rabbit should have been there, not a human. I manage 5-6 cups of veg a day and generally eat two salads a day. Shouldn’t that be plenty of fiber? In addition, I ALWAYS consume at least 64 oz of water a day. So, what gives?! I’m not on any narcotics. Also, I’m only going twice a week and that’s it. Often, at the end of the day my lower gut is distended, but no gas, hardly ever.

You are eating a lot of fiber and drinking a lot of water for having such an issue with constipation. Constipation is when stools are too hard, too small, infrequent, hard to move or when you feel like the bowel movement is incomplete when it is over.  If you have 3-5 bowel movements per week or go more than three days without a bowel movement, that is considered constipation. 

Most people have a transit time of 50-100 hours when they are constipated where the optimal transit time should be between 16-24 hours or around there. In functional medicine you might be considered constipated if you go more than 24 hours without a bowel movement. If you are passing rabbit stool everyday you still have a problem with constipation. 

The most common cause of this is lack of fiber and dehydration. This doesn’t seem to be the issue here based on your question.  When are you drinking your 64 ounces of water? Do you drink water when you are eating the veggies? That should help a bit. If not, this can cause the problem you are having. 

Figuring out what is going on here is a process of trial and error really. Here are some things that might be going on: 

  1. If it is not lack of fiber or hydration, then the next step would be to try digestive enzymes when you eat. Try taking two high quality digestive enzymes with each meal for  a few days and see if that helps get things moving. I would also add in some raw fermented sauerkraut to your meals to help with this. That alone can be very effective. 

  2. You may need to supplement with Betaine HCl/stomach acid. It is quite possible you are not making enough stomach acid which will affect your digestion. 

  3. Are the little rabbit stools floating? This can indicate you are not digesting fats very well and you may need to do some work on your liver and gallbladder to help with that. 

  4. You could have some gut dysbiosis going on- good bacteria is taken over by bad bacteria and the bad guys are currently ruling your digestive tract. They will pilfer all they need from what is traveling through your digestive tract leaving you will nothing but those hard stools to pass. 

  5. Food allergies. Something you are eating could be causing the constipation, almost like it is stopping your digestion in its tracks. 

  6. Lastly, low functioning thyroid is the cause of slower digestion for a lot of us. This can be tricky if your doctor isn’t willing to work with you on symptoms and proper lab tests. It could just be that your medication is not optimal. It is likely a combination of many of these though. The only way to know is to test them out. 

That is it for me. Thanks so much for listening. Please go to iTunes and leave a rating and review so more people can be helped. The podcast is growing every week and that is thanks to all of you so thank you for that. Leaving a rating and review will make it easier for people to find. 

Got a question for me? Go to HelpForHashimotos.com and fill out the contact form on my website and I will do my best to answer your question. 

You can also get my free ebook, Five Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Hypothyroidism on my site. It is a quick read with lots of good information for you. 

You can find me on facebook at Out of The Woods Nutrition and you join the private Help For Hashimoto’s Facebook group too. That is a positive and supportive place to go for people who are ready to do the work to get better. 

Also find me on Instagram @stephanieewalsntp

Thanks again. Here’s to another great week!