making in the kitchen (homemade no cook play dough)

I’ve decided to get a bit serious about my diet in hopes that I can naturally treat a tiny touch of hypothyroidism.  For me, that boils down to making two changes:  no caffeine and no toast with butter.  Today dawns day four of no caffeine.  Each day is a bit easier.  All I ever had was a couple cups of tea or maybe one cup of coffee per day, but evidently that little bit gave me a boost because afternoons have been difficult this week!  I am exhausted!  As far as the toast goes, it’s just the bread that is a problem.  I’ll find another avenue to get my daily dose of butter.  Yesterday we made flourless pumpkin pancakes from my new favorite cookbook:  Practical Paleo.  I soaked mine in butter.  I also ate my first sweet potato from our garden, drenched in butter.  I still miss my toast though.

I’m trying to come up with new lunch ideas, or lunch ideas period.  In a search to find a simple but yummy way to prepare chicken thighs, I came across a recipe for honey spiced chicken thighs and made them for lunch the other day.  While I made the chicken, my kids made no cook play dough (thanks to my readers who suggested going the no cook route a few months ago.)  Both the chicken and the play dough turned out really well.  Silas was the only one to actually taste the play dough.

As a family we aren’t following the paleo diet because (among other reasons) we flat out can’t afford to.  Beans and rice night still happens at least once each week.  My bigger concern for myself is the elimination of gluten (read:  toast.  at bedtime.  nearly every single night.)  My oldest son Seth has a sensitivity to gluten, so we have been eating primarily gluten free for years.  Because the paleo diet is naturally gluten free, I am finding that I turn to paleo recipes quite frequently lately.  Practical Paleo is my favorite cookbook on the topic so far.  Of course, it’s really only the second one I’ve looked at.  The author specifically addresses treating illness by making dietary changes and the recipes are super accessible.

Have any of you succesfully treated thyroid issues with diet?

p.s.  In case you are wondering about the girls’ matching aprons (which they love so much) they are from Gypsy Forest.




  1. The aprons look right at home there 🙂
    We eat similar. Mostly gluten free & less grains than we used to. Although, you’re right on the cost. We can’t afford to eat completely grain free. I do soak all my beans for 24 hours & I try to remember to soak my oats and rice as well. It’s always a balance between nutrition and affordability!

  2. I love paleo! I’m not fully either, but I’ve been doing it for over a year and I’ve felt a lot more energy. I don’t do bread or beans, but a bit of dairy (milk with my coffee/feta on my salad) and corn chips every once in a while. I really like Elana’s Pantry. You’ve probably been there since you are gluten free. She has some great paleo bread recipes. I’m going to have to check out practical paleo.

  3. Diet sounds great but if you truly have a low thyroid you will need replacement. It is relatively easy! MUCH easier than battling over-active thyroid.

  4. I’ve only recently started reading your blog so I don’t know what you’ve already tried for lunch, but I always find making huge batches of soup and freezing/canning right-sized portions (either individual or family) is a bonus on days when I just either can’t be bothered or can’t think. In fact, I’m a big fan of freezing ready meals. My other suggestion would be that old ’80s favourite – quiche, but you can make it crustless. Eggs, like potatoes, are “refrigerator velcro” (as I heard Alton Brown once refer to them) so you can use whatever you already have on hand (or needs to be used soon).

    I’m a big believer in holistic medicine, of which diet is a large part. In fact, my partner recently visited an osteopath and has discovered that her chronic neck pain is actually linked to her digestive system, so we’re treating that with diet.

    Good luck!

  5. Sorry to hear you have thyroid problem. I too have underactive thyroid. Read that I should avoid eating any brassica family veggies, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. I’m always tired even on .75g pills. I’ve never thought of trying a gluten free diet so will try it for a while. I gained a lot of weight too.
    Always love your pics.

  6. cassandraelaine says:

    I have attempted to address minor thyroid issues with diet but haven’t been able to make a dent. In other news, the following recipe for Chicken with Caramelized Shallots is very, very simple and tastes wonderful. Sometimes we have it at least once a week and I always use thighs.

  7. We’ve also been off gluten for a while for health issues with my kids but are just discovering that it’s yeast that is the real problem. And yeast can be found in GF breads and products. There is a lot of research out about how yeast foods contribute to many major health problems. Thanks for the recipes!

  8. hope you feel better soon! not sure how much sleep you get with all the little ones, but perhaps your body is telling you it needs more sleep? 8-9 hours a night? i was diagnosed with mild hypothyroidism in my late twenties and started taking a low dose of medicine after being told that there weren’t many options with dietary changes. i’d love to hear if you start to feel better naturally. in my own experience, i swung toward hyperthyroidism this year out of nowhere and felt way worse than i ever felt with hypothyroidism symptoms. every body is different, just hope you find a good balance for you 🙂

  9. Ginny,

    I have no experience with paleo or HT, but lots with dietary changes. I feel you with the difficult afternoons – I didn’t realize how much my chocolate intake was lifting my mood until I cut it out. So, as a replacement I instituted the 3 o’clock smoothie in our home, and that really seems to help everyone feel more patient in the afternoon. Lunch is also a difficult meal for me to brainstorm, so I’ll look forward to hearing what you come up with.

    Blessings to you and your family!

  10. I to have been thinking of diet change. But I become to lazy each day to keep up. For example, our dinner was popcorn tonight. Your pictures of everyone cooking together are adorable!
    Let us know how your diet goes.

  11. If cutting out some foods, like your toast, gets too hard for me (or on days when I slip), I like to “make up” for it by eating a lot of fresh, raw vegetables and juices as sort of an apology to my body and a way of providing support for my little slip. Turns a slip up into a positive and my body seems to really appreciate the extra fresh produce. Take care…I hate to sound selfish, but I love your blog and want you to stay healthy and energized for my own sake.

  12. Hi Ginny,
    I love the pictures of your kiddos all gathered around the table, playing with playdough. I think our son Bracken would really enjoy playdough. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.

    That paleo cookbook looks good. I added it to my list of books I want to read.

    Our family has been eating a diet pretty similar to paleo for awhile now. First we stopped eating sugar and wheat gluten. Then we stopped eating dairy after Bracken was born because we were all reacting so poorly to it. Then we stopped eating all grains and beans.
    I know hunter-gatherer style diets can do amazing things for health because my husband Jeff had painful acid reflux/gerd for about 25 years and was completely dependent on prilosec… when we changed our diet and started eating a hunter-gatherer type diet it vanished. We’ve seen a lot of other changes too.

    I don’t know very much about the thyroid, but when I need an energy boost, some nutritional yeast and dried liver powder, sprinkled on meals help me a lot.
    We get our liver powder from here:
    (It comes from Argentina where all cows are grass-fed.) We sprinkle a little on our ground beef and then disguise the taste with herbs and garlic. We can’t even tell there is liver in our meals, when we do it that way.


    P.S. I like the Primal Blueprint Cookbook and also The Primal Blueprint Code by Mark Sisson. Lots of good recipes and inspiration.

  13. I’ll keep you in my prayers, Ginny. I have had hypothyroidism since I was 19. I’m constantly battling exhaustion and headaches and can barely make it past 8:30 most nights. Take care of yourself and I hope to talk to you soon.

  14. Elana Amsterdam has some great gluten-free and paleo recipes on her blog –

    I have tried a number of her bread recipes and they have all been great –

    I highly, highly, highly recommend her Paleo Banana Bread recipe!


  15. Thanks for the play dough recipe. I made cooked play dough for the first time last week and really messed it up somehow. I’ll try this one soon.

  16. Have you tried Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a natural apple cider and it will give you the boast back you will miss from your coffee. It has a ton of healing properties too.

  17. I would second marylin shannen’s book. I had low thyroid function after my last baby and have eliminated gluten and supplemented iodine, all to positive effect! I didn’t know about the caffeine, though! May need to tackle that at some point too!

  18. We made a no cook play dough, too, but using Kool-Aid (I know, yuck, that’s the only time I ever buy it, making a pretty color and nice smell, and one doesn’t have to use cream of tartar):
    I hope all goes well with your dietary changes to treat your thyroid issues, that’s very good! Thank God there are so many wonderful herbal teas out there, I especially love rooibus teas, to help you get out of drinking caffeinated drinks. ♥ The aprons are so pretty!

  19. Love their matching dresses too–looks like fun was had!

  20. we have moved to a paleo diet the last couple of months… i feel amazing. seriously. i wish you luck with the thyroid issues. i am always surprised what a diet change can do to help people feel better… although i am not sure why. i mean in a sense we are what we eat. if you eat good stuff, almost always you feel good!
    the kids look like they are having a great time! 🙂

  21. The play dough looks fun. We’ll have to try it. We’ve only made cooked versions in the past.

  22. Changing your diet is a great way to start treating any chronic illness. You should also do some research on the Fluoride in our water and thyroid problems as well.

  23. I have no advice for you regarding your thyroid, but I wanted to commiserate with you on the caffeine fast. I’m actually on day four of a sugar fast, which is a de facto caffeine fast because I don’t like coffee without at least a little bit of sugar, and I don’t have any caffeinated tea at all in the house. I’m also exhausted in the afternoons—but are you finding you feel a bit calmer? I don’t know if it is from giving up the sugar or the caffeine, but I have been far less irritable and much more patient these last few days… xo

  24. I am considering ordering this book today after several recommendations:

    we can’t afford paleo either.
    and your pictures are just so lovely.

  25. I am wondering about their dresses. They look warm and comfortable, and nice and long…all the things I am looking for in dresses for my daughter. Where did you find them?

  26. Ha! I forgot to add the link for the bread recipe:

  27. While I haven’t had much experience in the gluten-free baking department, I have made this bread, and found it to be AMAZING. It really does taste like regular bread (with a hint of rice). It also freezes great!

  28. I had low thyroid symptoms after my second baby was born, and I tried taking some Lugol’s iodine, especially since I also had some bouts with mastitis and I know how much it’s helped our dairy animals with it. It didn’t seem to do much, but one day I accidentally spilled some into my hand and immediately felt strange. A depression I didn’t know I’d had lifted and I felt a little jittery for awhile (it can soak through skin). I stopped taking it after that, because I felt like I’d gotten enough, and my symptoms went away. I didn’t get mastitis again. I know there’s a lot on the web about iodine and thyroid health, and that it’s also important to eat enough saturated fats with it, as well as support the adrenals, as a lot of the side-effects of iodine supplementation are from low adrenal function. We feed our animals free-choice kelp for iodine, but they still need some extra now and then, especially after kidding or calving and producing milk.

  29. Hi Ginny…

    First let me tell you how much I love your blog…whenever I’m reading it an my husband asks which blog am I reading, I just tell him…”The one with the beautiful children” and he knows exactly which I mean.

    Now, we have both ht and gluten sensitivity at our house. My 20 year old daughter is being treated with medication for ht and is a vegetarian, so lots of soy (which her doctor said was fine). She is the only one in our family who doesn’t regularly eat gluten free…hard to maintain on a college campus. My husband has been tested for celiacs and doesn’t have it, but has dermatitis herpadeformus (i spelled that wrong) which means that when he eats gluten he gets nasty painful sores, his joints swell and his digestion is all off. A modified paleo diet works very well for us. We do eat some grains and beans, but try to keep them to a minimum. I have come up with a number of recipes for coconut flour breakfast breads (pumpkin, banana) that we bake an freeze that I would love to send you if you like. Just email me and I’ll send it over. Coconut flour is a little pricey, but amazon makes it easier and you use a very small amount, just 3/4 cup makes a 9×13 pan full.

    I hope your bread longing subsides quickly…hubby says it took him about 10 days.

  30. Love seeing the kids all around, stirring spoons, making stuff, beautiful 🙂 I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s (hypothyroid) when I was 30, and I think because of they kind of thyroid disease it is (autoimmune) it was hard to do anything naturally to treat other than to take the medicine. I have say, after about a year, as the medicine levels were adjusted, I felt way better. Hypothyroid will make you feel so incredibly tired. That being said, I developed chronic hives at the onset of the hypothyroid, and since going gluten free a little more than 3 months ago ( we went GF for my son who has Down syndrome and a multitude of GI issues ) and one of the bonuses is that my energy level has increased (I don’t get tired in the afternoons) and my hives are under better control. Also, even thou I wasn’t trying, I have lost 30 plus pounds slowly since my last little guy, and I think it was because we had been moving it that direction with our eating habits (some people have weight issues once the hypothyroid onsets). Anyway, it is so worth it to try, and see what changes with you! I also think another commented about soy, and even thou I love tofu, I probably eat it only 4 times a year now, most people with hypo avoid eating soy products.

    Have a wonderful day!

  31. Be sure to read Marilyn Shannon’s Fertility Cycles and Nutrition. Lots of good stuff about treating thyroid problems. You can try diminishing night-lighting too. My sleeping mask helps immensely!

  32. Actually, I am not wondering about your daughters’ aprons, but about their dresses. Simple, and so beautiful… and they look very comfortable! Did you make them yourself? Is there a pattern somewhere?

  33. I have had HT for 10 years, one thing that has helped me the most is Virgin Coconut Oil. I take 1 tsp in the morning with breakfast and another in the evening with dinner. I just take it straight off the spoon. I also try to cook wit it instead of using olive oil whenever I can. Also, stay away from any soy products.

    • Thanks! I will try to add some coconut oil! We don’t eat any soy, so at least I can check that off the list!

      • we’ve tried several kinds of coconut oil. when we want to tast coconut flavor we go w/yummy wholefoods 365 one, otherwise something like spectrum that tends to be milder.

  34. Ginny, I have been dealing with thyroid problems for over 26 years.
    I was diagnosised with Graves Disease right after I had my third baby
    [since then three of my childern have been diagnosised the same].
    I had radiation in 1987[ back then it was a two day affair, I lost a LOT of hair
    and was sick for weeks, now it is a lot easier and more pinpointed]
    and a year later my thyroid gland was completely
    gone, as in I now have a hole where the gland should be.
    I am on Synthroid which makes life easier, but with menopause everything
    has been thrown out of wack. I have learned to stay away from all wheat,
    sugar and now dairy. I have been a vegetarian for many years, and
    for the last 30 days have been following a vegetarian version of
    Whole30 which has really made a huge difference in my energy
    level. I exercise 6 days a week, even if it’s only for 20 minutes,
    try to get plenty of sleep [which I usually fail at, especially with
    all the hormones going nuts from menopause], and try to watch
    my stress level. There is a book out, The Thyroid Diet, you might
    want to look at, I have a copy somewhere and can send it to you if you
    would like.

  35. I love the website paleomg…while the content leaves something to be desired (language among other things)…the recipes are excellent…but my favorite are her bbq chicken patties.

I love to hear from you!