Favorite Animals, Vegan Eats & A Scar Update

Good morning! Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway for an Our Hen House tote bag. I loved all of your responses to my question about your favorite animal. Some of the more unique ones mentioned included mules, stubby squid (!), red foxes, bats, bees, polar bears, sloths, hedgehogs, alpacas, and humans. I enjoyed the reminder that humans need and deserve compassion, too.

The random number generator selected comment #25 from Crissie who said:

“For the record (and the contest of course) the animal I have been most fascinated with my entire life is the penguin. I love them all, but there’s something about penguins that gets me all mushy inside.”

Congratulations, Crissie!!!

If you didn’t win, you can still get one of these awesome bags on the Our Hen House website here with a tax-deductible gift of $50 or more.

Since today is Wednesday, I’m posting pictures of everything I ate yesterday. Breakfast started with some collard greens:

Collard greens ready for smoothie.

These beauties got blended into my green smoothie with a secret ingredient: ginger.

Green smoothie with collards and ginger.

After the first blend, I still had some room so I added some spinach as well:

Green smoothie with spinach.

This baby was green, but the mango, pomegranate and frozen pineapples made it sweet:

Morning cup o' smoothie.

After that breakfast of champions, I went hiking and tired myself out (more on that later). Lunch was a salad with edamame and some unpictured add-ons like a corn tortilla and an apple:


Dinner was a fun meeting with blog reader, Karen F., who is visiting Palm Springs from the East coast for the film festival. She and her husband, Jack, met Alan and me at Native Foods for dinner:

Native Foods dinner.

I somehow managed to miss taking a photo of our group, but I did get a close-up of my kale salad which I loved. It also had tempeh, avocado and mango:

Kale salad from Native Foods.

That’s shredded coconut on top which I presume is meant to look like shredded cheese. I got a side of soup (Hot & Spicy) which was way too salty for my taste.

By the time I got home, I was soooo tired from that morning hike plus I was still hungry so I ate 4 mandarin oranges and 2 dates filled with almond butter (unpictured). I also developed a headache which I’m blaming on the unseasonably warm weather we had yesterday. Hiking + sun + heat is a bad idea, turns out.

I woke up feeling pretty much back to normal, though. As I swiftly approach the 3-month anniversary of my thyroid cancer surgery, I thought I’d give you a little update on how I’m feeling. I’ve had my ups and downs in recent weeks. My first blood test about six weeks after surgery showed that my thyroid levels were way too low. I increased my medication but my energy levels continued to go downhill really fast. I finally hit the breaking point about two weeks ago and talked to my doctor about adding on a second medication that has more immediate results.Β I’m doing better overall, but I am still in the adjustment phase and expect I will be for several more months. My strategy is to just keep doing what I’m doing as far as my eating habits and exercise.

My scar is looking better. I posted this picture on my Facebook page, but here it is again. The biggest change is that it is starting to flatten out a bit:

My scar at almost 3 months post-surgery.

My attitude is positive, but I do get frustrated, scared and upset when I don’t feel like myself. I keep reminding myself that it will get better, though.Β To wrap up this post on a positive note, I wanted to share a quote that someone on Facebook shared with me:

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~Khalil Gibran

Isn’t that just the most beautiful, hopeful statement? Just reading that makes me feel better. Until Friday, have a happy, healthy rest of your week. I have an exciting announcement about the future of Healthy Vegan Fridays that I can’t wait to share with you!


  1. says

    Sounds like they might’ve added Cytomel to your Synthroid? That’s great – SO many people don’t/can’t thrive on T4-only (I’m one of them), so I really hope adding some T3 makes the difference for you! Your “battle scar” is looking better and better, and I love that quote you shared. <3

    • says

      Hi Amber! Yes, exactly, I’ve started taking a low dosage of Cytomel. I had been taking it off and on in prior months, but the dosage was too high so it was making me jittery. Once I started it again about 10 days ago, the difference in how I was feeling was almost immediate, it was pretty amazing and a huge relief. I’ll take another blood test in about 6 weeks and see where I am, but it’s good to know that there are options like Cytomel. Thanks for the comment. xoxo. πŸ™‚

  2. vickie says

    Im hypo. And i have read we are not suppose to eat things like kale spinach broccoli & cauliflower. I forget how to spell the kind they are. So i was wondering if you dont believe that?

    • says

      Hi Vickie! I’ve heard that too (I think you are referring to cruciferous veggies, right?) but Dr. Fuhrman assures me that as long as I’m not iodine deficient, then it’s not a problem. I’m not the expert though so I would ask your doctor about it. He says the same thing about soy products and thyroid function.

  3. Danielle says

    That quote is so right on! I’m battling lots of auto-immune ilnesses at the moment (such as chronic fatigue/ME, leaky gut syndrome, etc) and I’m just in my twenties! I’m doing everything I can health-wise and just have to keep faith and stay positive. We’ll come out stronger!

    • says

      Thanks, Danielle! I do believe that our scars are on the inside and the outside but that we are indeed made stronger (and wiser) by these challenges. I’m sorry to hear about your illness, I’m sending you warm, healing thoughts.

  4. says

    I don’t know how you feel about your scar. But I just wanted to say that it does nothing to detract from your looks. Nothing at all!

    I’ve been to the Native foods in Palm Springs! How exciting. They were really nice. I was staying in Idyllwild, the mountain at its perimeter and I drove down for a vegan treat! They make their own tempeh. It was v.good.


  5. bee says

    Wow….did u drink that entire blender full of smoothie? How many ounces was that?

    If I may ask, how many ounces/grams of greens do u use in ur smoothies? Id love to see ur recipes!

  6. bee says

    I have a major request: u must write a cookbook! While I love ur blog, a cookbook with all ur delish food creations and nutritional knowhow (as well as ur cute sidebars and tidbits!) Would be incredibly handy. Ur creations are too amazing to sit in cyberspace….I want to display them in my bookshelves, coffee table, kitchen and give them out to friends as gifts!

    Please make a recipe/nutrition book! Itd be a best seller for sure!!!! πŸ™‚


    • says

      I can’t tell you how much your message means to me, Bee. I really appreciate the encouragement to do a book. We’ll see…I have all sorts of wild ideas running around in my head. πŸ™‚

  7. Laura S. says

    Hi Carrie!! Happy 2013!
    Your scar is looking better and better! Sorry to hear you’re still experiencing some down days with your energy levels…it sounds like it’s going to be a trial and error process with the medicine. I have found it’s been trial and error with my eating habits to figure out what my body does and doesn’t like, so maybe getting the medicine to the perfect balance is a similar process. The important part is that we’re paying attention to the signs and taking good care of ourselves.

    • says

      Thanks, Laura and happy 2013 to you, too! Yep, I definitely agree that there is a lot of trial and error with the body, it’s such a complex and amazing thing. I like how you put it that at least we’re paying attention and taking good care of ourselves, that definitely helps! πŸ™‚

  8. says

    Is there a Native Foods near you?? Wow… that would be awesome =)
    My hubby and I are taking a little trip to LA at the end of the month and Native Foods is the first stop as we don’t have any here in NorCal.
    Your scar is healing nicely, the surgeon did a very good job.
    Your energy levels will return to normal… sometimes it’s a back an forth game. At first it can take some time to regulate your hormone levels, but once they do, you’ll feel much better (consistently). And every now and then you may notice the levels are off, but it doesn’t take as long to regulate as the first time.
    You’re doing great – keep your beautiful and positive spirit =)

    • says

      Thanks for the message, Kim, it made me feel a lot better to read what you had to say. Although I hate having my energy off, it helps to know that it’s a normal process and that it will get stabilized. It also helps to know that once I get my general medication dosage set, then there will be less dramatic shifts. These past several weeks have been rough!!!

      In regards to your question about Native Foods, yes, there is one in Palm Springs. Any chance you’ll get out this way? πŸ™‚

  9. says

    Such an incredible statement! I appreciate you sharing it. Glad to hear you are exercising, living well, and remain very hopeful. I will also be doing a green smoothie today!

  10. bitt says

    That salad looks so good. Now I have a tempeh craving. I hope the meds kick in and work better this time. Being low energy is no fun. Glad your scar is on the mend.

  11. says

    I know it’s tough having low energy and tiring easily. I have my up’s and down’s with my adrenal function. Keeping a positive attitude helps a lot. I’m always amazed by how energy boosts from positivity and how it vanishes into thin air from stress. You seem like you’re on the right track to getting to where you feel comfortable. Keep at it!

    • says

      Thanks, Marissa! I totally agree with you that attitude makes a big difference, thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!!! πŸ™‚

  12. Ginny says

    I agree, penguins are truly amazing creatures! πŸ™‚ One of the best movies EVER. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7tWNwhSocE

    How amazing it is, Carrie, that you’re able to meet quite a few of your fellow readers, followers, and other blog/organization friends! You are so, so blessed!!

    Hope you’re well and meet again soon! πŸ™‚

  13. Lisa J says

    Carrie, I just want to thank you for your updates, even though I know it isn’t the main focus of your blog. I found your blog just after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer myself, and you really helped me feel like I had an ally, as I followed your path just a few months behind (had mine removed 1 month ago today). The bonus was that you’ve provided great recipe inspiration as well. πŸ˜‰ Overall I am doing well, but it is a bit of a freaky experience, this whole getting used to a pill regulating how you feel! I’m super healthy overall, but I worry about not having that control that I’m used to! Interesting about the Cytomel – I am curious if you got that from your family doc or an endo? Thanks!

    • says

      Wow, thanks for the message Lisa and congrats on your one-month anniversary!!! It feels good to get past the surgery, right? That was the scariest part for me. Yeah, it is a freaky experience, it still feels surreal that I had cancer growing in my body. My endo has been the one working with me through the process and he was the one who prescribed Cytomel. I take a combination of both Synthroid and Cytomel and it seems to be working pretty well. It took awhile to find the right dosage, I’m now four months out.


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