Crunchy’s Story

I started this site and a new health lifestyle about a year and a half ago.  In that time I have realized a few things…

I had been told that it is normal to gain weight, lose energy, get sick, develop high blood pressure and Type II diabetes.  IT IS NOT.  There are some truths, that if applied with passion, can change your life.  For example:

  • Sugar really is the worst food ever (with gluten being a close runner up!)  This is why I am giving a try at a sugar-free 2012.  Need inspiration?  Check it out here.
  • Autoimmune conditions will never be fully corrected with drugs.  The immune system must receive the care.  Since I have the genetic tendency for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I believe that LIFESTYLE and DIET should be pursued FIRST.  See my thyroid 101 or Hashimoto’s posts for more information.
  • Heart disease is not as strongly linked to high cholesterol as we have been told.  If you have familial hypercholesterolemia as I do, you need to develop a lifestyle that supports your heart.  Hint:  it is NOT “heart-healthy” whole grains, eating low-fat or statins!  (See more here).

And, most importantly – God is the one who changes us.  We can find out solid information, but ultimately He controls our health.  I want Him to get the glory.  So, I hope that this site brings you closer to Him.  I hope I can serve you with some practical support for your health needs.  I am still totally in the thick of crying out for Him to free my from some of my mental and emotional views on body weight/image.  He is answering.   I hope to share the process with you.

P.S.  I eat paleo-style.  It’s great!  I think it is the solution to many, many modern American health woes…







56 thoughts on “Crunchy’s Story”

  1. hey there,
    i am answering your question about the coconut flour banana muffins you saw on my blog the recipe yields 12 small-medium muffins or 6 large muffins. so excited this will be your baby’s 1st “cupcake.” please send me a photo!
    chef emily duff

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks for the reply! Yes, I will be sure to send you a photo – we should definitely have some since it is a special day!

  2. Praise Jesus, Amen!!

    I can relate to you. God is good.

    Peace and blessings in Christ,

  3. Hi Crunchy!

    I suppose you already know these sites, but just in case:,,,
    Dr. Davis’ one you have already mentioned on your blog.

    So, it seems that you area already on the right path: cutting grains, sugar and seeds oils (I would eliminate canola too, just in case), and taking (you should measure it) vitamin D3. Just don’t let any doctor scare you with useless information, that is, standard computed LDL number and the like. Nevertheless, you could ask for a calcium score in order to follow the track-your-plaque methodology when you get older; perhaps your brother or your mother should do it earlier.

    By the way, I am not a medicine doctor, just a victim of the lipid-hypothesis until recently too (now I enjoy hard cheeses again –I know, but I am not convinced that we are not adapted to cow milk–).

    Take care!

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks so much for these links. I will go check them out now. I am familiar with the track-your-plaque methodology and have just started supplementing D3 over this winter. Thanks for the advice and encouragement!

  4. Stumbled on to your site from Real Food Wed. I am new to blogging and looking for info on designing websites and wonder if you can say how you like your template/designer etc? I like your blog’s look and I admire you for knowing your health vulnerabilities and trying to bolster yourself to protect against them. Would appreciate advice on my blog if you get a chance to look…

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks for the compliment. 🙂 I will take a look at yours and see if there are any tips I can pass your way.

  5. Megan Van Kampen said:

    I just happen to find your site after searching about my recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. I am a mother of three boys. After giving birth to my last son 18 months ago I noticed my memory wasn’t the same, I had weird ‘sinus issues’ and allergies I’d never had before. My hair was falling out and coarse and I also had constant swollen glands. I just assumed the majority of my symptoms were from my hypothyroidism.

    After many months of sinus issues and swollen glands I went to and ENT Dr. who prescribed flonase to help with my ‘sinus inflammation’. I took it twice a day for 4 days and every time I sprayed it my tongue would tingle. By the fourth day my tongue was going numb and I lost most of my taste and smell. I suffered for two weeks from what I thought was burning mouth syndrome. Then my salivary glands stopped working, I had very painful glands in my neck and no tears and the doctors thought I had sjogren’s syndrome. After two weeks of those symptoms my tissues and nerves all over my body were ‘attacked’ especially at night. I had heart palpitations, couldn’t stay warm, tremors and the worst pains I’d ever felt in my entire life! After a week I felt this tingling sensation go up my neck and into my head and I have had brain fog ever since. One night I had horrible inner ear pain and called my doctor terrified I’d lose my hearing and he said it wasn’t possible, but I lost some of my hearing. I had 20/20 vision before and now all the nerves in my eyes have been attacked so it’s slowly coming back but something’s not right still with my brain.

    6 weeks of pain and inflammation and many doctors later I found myself at an endocrinologist, one who’d helped my husband with his graves disease. He diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s but no doctor yet will confirm that the flonase triggered this ‘attack’ from my antibodies. My dr. upped my thryoid meds a bit but that’s all they’ve done for me. I’ve read online that gluten free diet helps, no walnuts and no soy. I’ve also started taking vitamins D,E,C and B-Complex. It’s very scary to have suffered peripheral neuropathy from Hashimoto’s disease and not knowing how to ‘get back to normal.’ I do not feel like myself and I’m just praying God allows my body to heal from this. I feel half dead or like I’m dreaming and it’s very frustrating. Thank you for starting this site!

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      I am so sorry! That sounds like a lot to go through! I understand how busy you are as a mom of three too! Please give an update and let us know if you are finding any success with your diet and supplements. Hopefully better! 🙂

      • Megan Van Kampen said:

        Thanks, I’m starting to see some improvement over the past week or so. Eating gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and hoping I continue to heal. I’m learning how to trust God more through this process. There’s a reason for everything. 🙂

      • Megan,
        It will get better as you heal. Having gone through similar health diagnosis and ill effects myself I’m happy to tell you that six months of grain-free eating has cured most of the neuropothy issues. My palpitations are gone, clearly a result of the diet because on meds only I still had a-fib daily. At the DR apt yesterday, we were telling him of this way of eating and he said, “I’ve heard of that.” and no further comment, even regarding the weight loss. Last time I saw him I was so very sick he thought I might have stomach cancer and ordered a battery of tests. (Sad, he’s the best doc I’ve ever had, too.)
        @ Crunchy, I believe that God has blessed me with a second chance to feel great and work for Him. I’m happy to find another Paleo Christian, and happy to share your website.

      • Crunchy Pickle said:

        Glad to meet you! That is a wonderful success story – I hope you continue to heal! My best doc doesn’t say much about paleo either. At least she is not opposed!

  6. George W Creswick said:

    Very interesting stuff here regarding nutrition and meds, but the religious guff is pure fantasy. There is no God, Santa Claus, or Easter Bunny, but I guess some people need these things even in their in their adult years.

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      I can certainly see why some who come to my blog would feel the way that you do since I think it is uncommon to have strong religious sentiments and embrace the paleo/primal lifestyle. All I can say is that I will be praying for you to have an encounter with Jesus very soon. It will bring you so much joy that you won’t care if people think you are leaning on a religious crutch. That’s what happened to me. 🙂

      • When it’s real, it’s not really something you can or want to separate from your life anyway. I appreciate reading about your faith.

  7. missysoupy said:

    Wow! I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot! I, too, come from a family with high cholesterol and a history of Hashimotos. I, too, have struggled with chubbiness and overwhelming tiredness (to which everyone replies, “Well, you have 3 kids, what do you expect?!”). And I, too, have decided within the last year to take control of my health through diet and lifestyle (and much prayer!). I get my blood work results on Friday, and am curious to see if it will indicate Hashimotos, too. I will definitely be checking your blog frequently for insight and encouragement!

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      That is just the encouragement I LOVE to hear as I write! I hope that there is something here that will be of help to you. Please share your wisdom with me as you continue to find answers – I need it! And, yes, share those test results too!

  8. I went a whole week without sugar! Then I caved and had some soft-serve yesterday. HATED the high feeling I got. I’m back to no sugar today! (Oh, and by the way, I’m Primal/Paleo AND Christian as well!)

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Yes, I am back in the saddle as well after a week of a few indulgences here and there. Thanks for sharing – it is always nice to know that we can just start again, isn’t it?

  9. It’s always a pleasent suprise to run into a Christian on these kind of sites. Prayer plus action is powerful. Keep it up, thanks for the motivation. Later.

  10. Your story is my story! I have been struggling with balancing my hashimoto’s with synthroid for the last year and after symptoms continuing to do the up and down dance, I am in search of a better way. I just read Dr. Kharrazian’s book cover to cover and am will begin this gluten-free way tomorrow.

    My question to you – did you ever balance your thyroid with synthroid before you began the diet changes, or did you just start witht he diet changes?

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      I did not go on synthroid first. Basically, I have had a TSH that is in an “ok” range for all of my tests. (Not according to Dr. K though!) Anyways, while I was waiting to get in to see a good endo I started being gluten free. Now that time has passed, I wonder if there is much that a traditional doctor (unfamiliar with supplements and lifestyle protocols to manage hashimotos) would be able to do for me. Also, I know that thyroid medication can increase symptoms in certain people so I have hesitated…

  11. Hello Sister…

    I knew you were Believer!…..just knew it.

    I love the site….

    I am 46 Australian male…i gave up all grains and oats and rice and lost 12kgs after a terrible parachuting injury with the army.

    My moods changed dramatically….i do body weight exercises i did as a kid..gymanstics with a mix of soft sand running……i feel amazing.

    Im trying to get friends to STOP EATING GRAINS … my friends whinge daily about being overweight but continue to eat breads and sugars…..the ‘fruit drink’ craze is a killer….but continues to suck people in……

    I eat like a barbarian horde…..but continue to feel amazing and stay very lean and dare i say…sexy at 46.

    Keep the faith….


  12. Gyday Crunchy Girl;

    Mate im sorry to hear that your Dad is no longer with you physically.

    Not sure what to say….I hope that you keep going…it must be hard though. Dont give up champion!


    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks, Zeph! It was actually my grandfather – if my dad were to die now, it would be at a fairly young age and quite a surprise. Glad that I am not facing that right now! Thanks so much for the condolences, though. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      • Im a silly billy…was very tired when i read your statement…how insensitive am I!

        Still; i like your site…i guess im one of the few blokes on it though….

        Any ideas on that?


      • Crunchy Pickle said:

        It has been growing steadily. In the beginning, I must have only had one or two readers – it sometimes felt a bit pitiful. Now is a different story, though. 🙂
        Feel free to pass on tips, if you’ve got them. I am always open to new ideas.

        Thanks for being a faithful reader!

      • paleo and prostrate?

        paleo and testosterone?

        Hey Crunchy Girl, most blokes my age in Australia are getting anxious about these two …whats it like in the States?

        I reckon all high grain diets over the last 50 years have ruined many a blokes prostate….anecdotal ofcourse…but a high fat no grain diet with plenty of fresh veggies should keep a bloke healthy downstairs?

        Any thing to say?


      • Crunchy Pickle said:

        Let me do a little reading and thinking and I will get back with you…

  13. Thats ok….i just put it up hoping others may have some ideas also….its a big isssue down here…conventional wisdom is saying its the protein ( meat) thats causing the prostate issues…..but some people in the paleo community are saying its actually the high complex and simple carbohydrates that are eaten to extremes down here that actually cause it…

    Interesting that its almost non existant in high fat eating cultures…..also anecdotal that high sugar intake cultures have the most health issues.

    Is there something we need to learn from this?

    Great site mate.


  14. Hi there! As a fellow sister in Christ, I’ve really enjoyed reading about your journey and I’m considering embarking on a similar path. There are SO many different plans for determining calories and using mark’s daily apple I can figure out # of grams of protein and carbs but I was unclear about # of fats to “round out the balanced diet” – I need help figuring out how many total calories I should be consuming. Thanks 🙂

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      I will try to find out more for you soon. Stay tuned. 🙂

    • Gyday Aimee;

      Dont get too far down that rabbit hole….counting calories i mean…dont do it mate…

      Best thing you can do is ‘take out’ grains as much as possible..

      Fats are your friend…ultra lean meats are ok but dont be afraid of fatty bacon or lamb either. Infact, i wouldnt be eating ANYTHING low fat. And ive lost 12kg eating like a barbarian horde….just not grains/rice/sugars. Thats with zero cardio and a bung knee from parachuting mate.

      No calories counted ever…..dont go down that road…it leads to a dead end and fatigue.

      Do some research on “FAT’ ..via many free websites…

      Sorry to stick my 2 cents worth of advice in…you can tell me go away and i wont be offended.

      But i hope you get the right advice and prosper.


      • Wow, I’ve been away for awhile – thank you for the words of wisdom Zeph, so do you just eat whatever you want except those things? To be honest, it scares me but also sounds somewhat freeing 🙂

      • Crunchy Pickle said:

        For what it is worth, I eat the way he has described. I haven’t dropped tons of weight recently but I haven’t gained either…

  15. I have been researching the Paleo lifestyle for my hashimotos. I am a bit confused by all the books there are on the diet. Which one do you recommend to purchase as a guide for the diet?


    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      I would stick with The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf or the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. They are both in my amazon store (scrolling on the right side of the screen) – you can check out reviews/prices there. Also, my library has both, so you might want to check your library first if you don’t feel like paying for a book right now. 🙂

  16. Just found your site through Primal Toad, as I’ve been looking for info on being Paleo and having Hashimoto’s. I joined a Paleo group/gym several months ago and I see others having much better results, so I look forward to seeing how the extra hurdle of Hashimoto’s is tackled through this lifestyle. I also appreciate finding someone who is both Paleo and and share their religious beliefs… seems to be rare thing in my community and online.

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks! It is great to “meet” you – I hope that you find more relief from the Hashimoto’s with paleo. Keep me posted!

  17. It’s so sweet and encouraging to come across another Christian who follows a primal/paleo diet. I feel very much in the minority most of the time! May you know even more of God’s grace today. 🙂

  18. Hi there, I too am a Christian as well as a Hashi’s girl. I just found out 3 months ago after a 3 year journey to know why I was in so much pain. After removing grains all pain is gone praise our Savior. Although I will never touch gluten again I do struggle with avoiding other grains…although it is very limited.
    The thing I failed to realize for two months is that gf is more than food…I’ve had to change my hair care, and skin products as well as my make up.
    I have really enjoyed your site thank you and may the great Healer continue to heal us and give us wisdom.

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks for sharing your story! Would you mind passing on the gf hair and beauty products that you have been using? I would love to know!

      • Desert Essence has a ton of stuff for hair, skin, kids, etc. for make up I just found afterglow! It is organic and gf 🙂

  19. Hello, I want to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog and it has been a help to me. Our family has been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for 8 months. It is for my 16 yr. old son who has ulcerative colitis. He is also taking an Armour thyroid pill every morning. I’m wondering if the low-thyroid was caused by taking steroids- prednisone for 6 months. That was before the diet and during the start of the diet. I’m just curious if you ever took Armour and what your thoughts are about taking it? Our whole family has adapted well to the diet although the rest of us still eat oatmeal and make goodies with regular healthy flour. We use almond flour for him. It’s a big change from the way we used to eat, and I wish I had known about this kind of eating when my kids were small. They are teenagers now, but like I said, adapting well, and we hope and pray to see healthier days ahead. We are also Christians. We home school and that has made the diet easier. Social activities are still hard for my son. The SCD diet is very restrictive. Well, thanks for your time. Your no sugar holiday is something else – quite an achievement!! Blessings and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Keep up the good work!

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Congrats on doing the SC diet for so long already! We have done GAPS – I know how hard it is! And, how anti-social you feel!

      I haven’t personally taken Armour although my mother has for many years. My understanding is that there are specific instances when thyroid medication is essential to restore the hormone balance within the body and get things back on track (or in the case of someone whose thyroid is so destroyed by autoimmune attack or radiation treatments that they require medications). It sounds to me that this is probably the right step for your son – especially if you have the right kind of doctor working with you for treatment.

      The no sugar holiday is actually turning out to not be that hard. I couldn’t have done it a year ago though, changes take a long time!

  20. Hi there Crunchy (love the name) and all others that post here.
    I too am a proud member of the Hashimotos club.I have many of the signs and symptoms as well as other ailments that make healing difficult. Recently it has become so clear that I need to make a change in my lifestyle that will support my mind,body and spirit. Twelve years ago I made a commitment to embrace everything on my journey.I believe I am only given what I can handle.I have so embraced the concept of embracing everything and everyone in our path I had it tattooed on my wrist!Just as a reminder(“embracing” that short term memory seems to be a symptom of thyroid disorders).
    Crunchy your wonderful site was the first one that I chose from my internet search and I am so glad I clicked on it.I will absolutely need to ask many questions.Hope you all don’t mind.I am not a skeptic I ask “why” and “what if” so I can commit and educate others.
    I am a member of the Hashimotos club but I have shares in the Hiatal hernia club, Heel spur and Plantar Flasiitis club and I am actively involved in a Myofascial club. Of course I say “club” as my way to express the way I feel about any new ailment my physicians like to tag me with.Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the diagnosis if only to validate the moans and groans that come from within.Then I have a place in which to start my research…my personal path to education and healing.I don’t say “why me?” I embrace it and say “time to educate and make change”. I have four beautiful children and 2.5 grandchildren. I need to be an example. What better way than to say I can accept the wrongs and rights of my mind,body and spirit!
    Time to start healing from within!Woo hoo!!!

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Thanks so much for reading – I truly hope it helps!!! Please let us know if your symptoms are relieved. I would especially love to know if some of your OTHER symptoms – hiatal hernia, plantar fasciitis, etc. see any change…

      You are an encouragement!

  21. Hi Crunchy,
    I have been seeing your name pop up in different blogs (comments) and such for a while. This is my first time reading through your site (awesome stuff). I too have Hashi’s, have been GF for 2 years, Paleo for 6 months, and doing The Whole 30 for the month of January. I am shocked by how much of a difference there is b/w going Paleo/Primal and doing The Whole 30. I have been blogging about it here:
    That link is to the most recent post; but, you can go back to the beginning if you want. I have found that giving up alcohol, sugar and dairy for the past 20 days has made a big difference in the few remaining symptoms I have had over the past 6 months of Paleo/Primal (sinus congestion, chronic PND and throat clearing, asthma symptoms especially when under severe stress, sleep issues).
    Since I am also a physical therapist, I have been fascinated by the way that going Paleo has eliminated most of my musculoskeletal pain and issues. The overall level of inflammation in my body has decreased to the point where I am back to running, weight lifting, hiking, rock climbing and generally enjoying life! (Background: I went from being a D1 college swimmer, triathlete and rock climber to not being able to get out of bed, putting on 20 lb, and having horrible muscle pain for 2 days after going for a hike with my family when I was finally diagnosed with Hashi’s 5 years ago.)
    Thanks for helping to spread the word about the connection b/w Hashi’s and what we eat and drink. I feel like I have learned it all the hard way (even though I have a fantastic Endo now, who is very progressive), and I love sharing what I have learned so that others can cut to the healing part without the 5 years of struggling part!
    Be well,

    • Ann,thank you so much for posting this.While reading it I was saying…”yes!Yes!Yes!” more reasons for me to get serious.

    • Crunchy Pickle said:

      Fascinating stuff! I am amazed with how many side issues clear up for people when they try strict paleo. In fact, it is inspiring me to give it another go at total compliance! Thanks for sharing your post – I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  22. Hi – thank you so much for sharing your story and also great information about eating. The awesome thing is that Jesus went about healing all that wanted to be healed. sickness is not of God and in fact Jesus told us to speak to our mountains. We should never ever call anything, my high blood pressure, or my thyroid disease, etc. Jesus bore our sicknesses on the cross over two thousand years ago leaving us completely whole. Sickness has no authority in our bodies whatsoever and we actually have the authority to command pain and sickness to go. Jesus gave us all power and authority. It comes against us because we are still in this world but we don’t have to accept it. It’s where our faith lies that makes the difference. Thankfully there is no condemnation for taking meds or going to the doctor. However we should do our part and eat healthy so thank you so much for the wealth of information that you share. The next time you have a headache, instead of reaching for the pill bottle, command that headache to go and by faith believe it’s gone and thank God for the healing. Watch it go!

    Happy Mother’s Day you are a wonderful person!!

  23. Hi Crunchy Pickle

    Thanks for doing a fun giveaway! I am not an email subscriber but have you in my Google Reader list and have switched to your new website. I have appreciated reading about your journey for good health and always feel refreshed by your Christian perspective. Thanks for sharing your life with us 🙂

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