Happy Thursday, beautiful people! It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since we last visited! I’ve had so many great things going on, and I’ve been learning and trying new things to share with you!
I’ve had a few failures in the recipe department as well, which I will share with you too, because if I’m gonna royally mess up, you may as well learn from it too, right? Today’s post is one of those, fixed up, of course. It’s a delicious and healthy way to enjoy pizza!
But first, there’s something else I want to share. For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing some research to find out the reason behind some irritating physical symptoms I’ve had for the past few years. For one thing, I’m always cold. When I’m with a group of people, I’m always the cold one while everyone else is comfortable or even too warm. I’ve heard that everyone has a cold friend, and that’s my role in all of my friendships. Most people, my husband included, are very skeptical of my claims of frozenness until I let them feel my frigidly cold hands and icy nose! Whether I go out or stay at home, I dress in lots of layers. Puffy vests are a lifesaver. Summer is no reprieve, because even though I have the air conditioning in my house set as warm as my family will allow, I still have to go out and sit in a hot metal chair for a few minutes several times a day, just to warm up. So, yeah that’s annoying. And uncomfortable. Now imagine that your favorite food is banana nice cream. Brrr.
Another thing that bothers me is that I’m tired ALL the time. I can function, and if I stay busy, I can keep my mind off of it, but it’s always there. The lethargy, the lack of motivation to work out or clean my house, or sometimes even to walk across the room to get something is overwhelming at times. This is made worse, or perhaps caused by my trouble sleeping. I usually end up getting plenty of sleep because I go to bed early, but most nights, I lie awake for 2-3 hours or more during the early morning hours.
Then there’s the unexplainable weight gain, (I only eat plants—no processed foods, no junk food, no sugar, no meat, dairy, or eggs, low fat, etc.—I should look like a toothpick!!) the loss of hair, the severe menstrual cramping, the slow thinking or brain fog, the pounding heart, the ridged fingernails, and the list goes on.
And I’ve discovered a common culprit for ALL of these problems! The thyroid. These symptoms all match up with hypothyroidism, which is a condition where your body is not getting enough thyroid hormone, either because (for several different reasons) the thyroid stops making enough hormone, or because of the inability of your body to absorb the thyroid hormone due to an unhealthy gut or inflammation or disease. It’s estimated that as many as 59 million Americans suffer from some sort of thyroid problem, but don’t know it. Like I did, they think that the symptoms are just part of life, part of getting older, etc. But it’s not true. There’s a reason we feel like we do, and the good news is that it can be fixed/made significantly better! And without having to have hormone replacement for the rest of our lives, yay! I’ve read tons of testimonies of people who have cured their hypothyroidism with diet and smart supplements. Here is one article and here is one that I found helpful.
I will be creating several posts over the next few weeks detailing what I am doing to cure (suspected) hypothyroidism, giving you recipes and tips as well as updates on how it is working for me. I hope you’ll follow along with me on this journey and please leave me comments or email me if you are going through the same thing. We can all learn from each other!
One of the things that practically everyone agrees is a good place to start, is to eliminate gluten and most grains from your diet. This is because a component of modern wheat, called gliadin, mimics the thyroid hormone in your body, leading your immune system to attack it’s own thyroid tissue. So that’s where I started. I figure, I’ve already eliminated lots of things from my diet that were unhealthy, what’s one more? So I plan to stop eating gluten for one month, and see if it makes a difference; see how I feel without it and how I feel when I go back to eating it.
I’m not a fan of gluten-free products from the store because they are still full of sugar many times, as well as various nasty chemicals added to make them taste better or more like the real thing. And honestly, a cookie is still a cookie whether it has been made with wheat flour or some other kind of flour. Being gluten free doesn’t automatically make something healthy, despite what the marketing and packaging would like you to believe!
So I just decided to stop eating it, but not try to replace it in artificial ways. So for me, that means no toast at breakfast and no sandwiches or wraps for lunch, but still, giving up gluten hasn’t been hard for me. I am perfectly happy to have salads, roasted veggies, warm and filling soups and beans, sushi, smoothies, etc. for meals. I did however, have a strangely compelling craving for pizza one day, so I set out to find a way to make a crust that is free of grain.
I have had a bag of coconut flour (one ingredient: coconut) sitting in my pantry, waiting for something to use it for. I also have some garbanzo bean flour (one ingredient: garbanzo beans) that I keep on hand to make Garbanzo Bean Crepes. So, I thought, why not mix the two and see if they make a good crust. No, they did not. The result was really pretty, and tasted great (win!) but it did not hold together, it stuck to the pan, and basically was a pizza casserole (ooo! New recipe idea!)
I have experience with the garbanzo bean flour; I know how it works. So, I decided to try again it with just the one type of flour…and GLORY, it worked!! It’s a little crumbly still, but very manageable. That could be because I used the flour that I ground myself (directions here), but you can also buy it already ground on Amazon or other stores. It’s probably a finer grind, so it might stick together better. Here is the 4-ingredient, super easy recipe for the very healthy, vegan, gluten free pizza crust:
easy gluten free pizza crust
(makes 1 pizza, aka one serving)
- 1 cup garbanzo bean flour
- ½ t. Italian seasoning
- ½ t. olive oil
- dash of salt
- ½ cup warm water
Mix well. Spread in a circular shape, about ¼ inch thick, onto a parchment-lined (or foil-sprayed-with-cooking-spray-lined) baking sheet. This is very important; if the crust sticks to the pan, you end up with a casserole. Don’t end up with a casserole.
Bake at 375 degrees, F for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges get a little crispy. Then, pick up the crust on the parchment paper and flip it over onto the pan. Carefully peel off the paper or foil.
Put your favorite sauce and toppings on the crust, and then stick it back into the oven for 10 minutes or so. I used an easy homemade tomato sauce (recipe below), some finely chopped kale, green peppers, red onions, and mushrooms. After cooking (so they don’t burn), I added some chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes. Because they are smoke flavored, I can almost imagine that I’m eating bacon! I recommend adding them; it does add something special!
extremely easy pizza sauce
- 2 ½ T. tomato paste (I buy it in a tube, so I can just use a little if I need to)
- ¼ cup water
- pinch of each: Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper
Mix, then spread onto pizza crust.
Be watching for my upcoming posts on the ways I am working on making my thyroid as well as the rest of me as healthy as it can be. I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you!
This post contains affiliate links, but I only recommend products I’ve tried and actually like!