“Huh, something seems off. Lately, I've been feeling different and a little weird.
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I'm gaining more weight than ever, and I can't seem to lose it. I haven't been sleeping well, and am exhausted all of the time. I wonder why I've been feeling angry; that's not like me.”
If you're someone who's having any of these wonderings, it may be time to think about seeing your doc to have your
My first introduction to this powerful little gland came when I attempted Lyn Genet's The Plan. Admittedly, I've become far more serious about learning its ins and outs, now that I'm working with a food coach, and have begun studying for my latest class.
My goodness, I had no idea how important the thyroid is.
If something is off, it can wreak havoc with so many of the systems in our bodies. As thyroid issues are becoming more and more common, I thought it might be fun to share some facts.
What is the thyroid, and what does it do?
The thyroid is butterfly-shaped gland, located in our neck. It belongs to the family of endocrine glands (which make hormones) and is sometimes referred to as the “Master Metabolism Gland.”
How can something so small regulate so much? I was surprised to learn it's involved in such things as mood, growth and development, tissue functions, metabolism, body temp, enhancing our cognitive abilities, sexual functions, and the reproductive processes.
In a nutshell? The thyroid has a hand in everything that isn't the nervous system, and without it, our bodies wouldn't be able to convert nutrients into energy.
What hormones are secreted by the thyroid gland?
T3 and T4 (these are the hormones your doc will often test for if something appears to be out of sorts)
T3 and T4 do many great things such as help control how fast you burn calories (your metabolism) the speed at which your heart beats, and your body's ability to generate heat. In kids, these hormones are also responsible for growth and development
Therefore, if something is amiss with the production of T3 and T4, certainly profound effects can follow.
Cool Fact: Iodine is essential when forming both T3 and T4. This is partially why a lot of the salt we eat is iodized. (To help keep our thyroids in check!)
What happens when the thyroid is out of whack? (Common Thyroid Problems and Disorders)
It's estimated that 20 million people are under some form of treatment in the U.S. (that seems like a lot) The chances of having a thyroid problem are greater if you're a woman, are white or a Mexican American and increase with age
Cool fact: Not all of our thyroids are slow!
Goiters (an enlarged thyroid gland) – These are seen more in developing nations because they're often related to deficiencies in the diet. They can happen when there is constant stimulation of the thyroid, which causes more of the hormones to be released, which can then cause the gland to become enlarged
Thyroid Nodules (lumps on the thyroid) – Common as people grow older, and they're usually benign. Most, however, should be biopsied and checked for cancer
Thyroiditis (swelling of the thyroid) – Hard to diagnose as a person will have hyperthyroid for a short period, and then hypothyroid for a longer period. It's often triggered by a viral infection, or within a year of having a baby. The good news is, nearly everyone's thyroid goes back to normal after six months or so
Thyroid Cancer – Although this kind of cancer is increasing in recent years, it's usually treatable.
Last, but certainly not least, are the two we hear the most about ..
Hyperthyroidism – When the thyroid is overactive and produces far more thyroid hormones than the body needs
Hypothyroidism – When the thyroid is underactive and produces far fewer thyroid hormones than the body needs
What happens in the body when one has hypo or hyperthyroidism?
(.. to be continued)
Over the weekend, veggie burgers were on the menu.
Veggie burgers can be made with chickpeas, black beans, white beans, potatoes, lentils, and pretty much any other vegetable that can be mashed and formed into a patty. When they're made right, they're incredibly delicious but fragile
Even with binders like breadcrumbs, oats, egg whites, veggie burger patties tend to be delicate things that are especially tricky when made on the grill. I've always found greater success cooking them on the stovetop or under the broiler then flipping them very carefully when the time comes.
The enemy of a good veggie burger is mushiness, which always comes with high moisture content. To combat, the watery ingredients (especially the beans) should be patted as dry as possible. For the veggies, squeeze the excess water from them as well.
Serve these hearty veggie burgers, along with your favorite condiments (and don't forget to toast the buns!)
ps: You can read more about the thyroid in Part II of the series
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~ Adapted from FoodNetwork
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp red onion, diced fine
- 2 Tbsp black olives, diced
- 2 Tbsp red bell peppers, diced
- 1 tsp diced jalapeño, optional
- 1 ½ Tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp artichoke, diced
- 4 oz black beans, drained
- 4 oz chickpeas, drained
- 4 oz white beans, drained
- ¾ cups rolled oats
- ½ tsp Hungarian paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
- ½ tsp red chili flakes (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp celery salt
- ¼ tsp ground sage
- 2 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs (gluten-free if you’re avoiding gluten)
- 1 egg
- In a food processor, puree ½ of the beans or mash them, depending on how chunky you'd like your burger to be.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1-ounce olive oil and all raw vegetables except beans. Saute until translucent. Remove and cool.
- Add veggies to the beans and mix thoroughly.
- Add all dry ingredients along with the egg.
- Thoroughly mix all ingredients and form into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or longer if you have time.
- (Refrigerating the mix for a while will help them hold together a little better while cooking)
- In saute pan add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and cook patties (~ 2 to 3 minutes per side)