About

Welcome! I’m Alaena Haber, the creator of Grazed & Enthused. Here you’ll find creative & allergy-friendly recipes for real food lovers!

If you’re an 80’s child, you may get the cult movie reference. If not, then you are going to have to add Dazed & Confused to your Netflix queue stat. Do people even still use Netflix? Why am I questioning a decision that involves Matthew McConaughey?

Anyways, on G&E you will find a constant slew of whole foods recipes, insightful articles & more than a pinch of daily sarcasm. Because I think no matter how serious you are about eating good food, you still need to keep it fun! That’s why you will only find creative & seasonally inspired recipes on this blog that are designed with your mental and physical wellbeing in mind. Go ahead & peruse them all if this is your first time here and don’t forget to Pin or Bookmark your favorites because we all know how busy life gets these days. Which brings me to my next point… eating real food doesn’t have to be time consuming & difficult! No way! The best meals are those simply prepared with the right balance of flavors and of course always using the freshest organic meats and produce.

I stumbled upon this way of eating after searching endlessly for an answer to my health questions. You see, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at age 19 and suffered with some pretty crummy symptoms for years before I realized the key to disease management was diet and stress reduction. I’ve used the autoimmune protocol, meditation, and plain old giggle attacks to heal myself from a number of diseases and hormonal imbalances in the past 8 years, and now I want to help you do the same. If you need a lending ear, virtual hug, or just someone to vent to, then EMAIL ME.

If you want to work with me then you can find me at the same email. Please allow 48 hours for response, and please excuse any unprofessional exclamation marks that I may reply with… periods are just so boring.

A little bit more about me

I reversed an infertility diagnosis with diet & lifestyle shifts and am the mother to one cute little girl.

I created the recipes in the popular Paleo & Autoimmune Protocol cookbook The Healing Kitchen.

I manage my primary autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis by eating an anti-inflammatory diet called the Autoimmune Protocol.

I have a bachelor’s degree in advertising and a master’s degree in occupational therapy. I practice as a pediatric therapist.

I currently live in Florida with my husband, daughter and cockapoo Rafael. The beach is my happy place.

 

 

23 comments on “About

  • Hi, Just wondering how much you’ve been able to heal? Do you still take thyroid meds? If so, what type? I’am on Westhroid but along with Hashi’s I have psoriasis, which left when I did levo/lio combo, but that did nothing for my Hash’s. So I feel good but have psoriasis despite my hard efforts on diet/nutrition. Im probably allergic to pork but only pork derived thyroid meds work for my Hashi symptoms. Very frustrating.

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      I have reversed infertility, histamine intolerance, leaky gut, gastritis, gastroparesis, an “early stages of Crohn’s” diagnosis, scalp psoriasis, eczema and anxiety using AIP and lifestyle changes. I would say I have clearly healed significantly despite remaining on thyroid medicine. Hashimoto’s patients need to understand that our diseases generally go undiagnosed for many years which means continual damage to our thyroid cells occur. Thyroid cells do not regenerate so when we get to the point that what’s left is incapable of producing enough thyroid hormone for a properly functioning metabolism, thyroid medicine is warranted. That is not a sign of failure – it means modern medicine is saving lives every single day. I actually have a SEVERE autoimmune reaction to pork thyroid hormone but do not have a pork allergy. Psoriasis and other skin conditions tend to heal slower than other system conditions because the skin is not as highly prioritized compared to organs like the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, heart, lungs etc. Keep going, Michele! You will find your healing but keep in mind there’s no “perfect” amount of healing – the goal is to be able to do the things you want to do in your life and sustain happiness!

      Reply
        • Alaena Haber says:

          Mostly with stress management actually. I had vagus nerve dysfunction from living a high-stress lifestyle. I basically had to change my personality from Type A and live each day in the moment. Of course, general gut healing helped significantly but being stressed was really the root cause.

          Reply
  • Very true about level of healing. I am feeling great and ever so slowly healing my skin. Thanks for your encouragement. Love your recipes!

    Reply
  • Hi there!

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos 2 years ago after having fertility issues. I went AIP be for only two months and was able to get pregnant with my son. 🙂 At that time, I did not fully understand that AIP would be so important as i only stayed gluten free during my pregnancy. Postpartum I wasn’t able to drop weight (inflammation and water retention), and continue to have horrible bouts of adrenal overload at night when stress hits. So I went back on AIP for six months. Things were coming together until I took an allergy test that revealed three allergies that I’d been eating the whole time (turkey, apples, and lemons/limes). Sorry for the book, but I am now feeling extremely discouraged and having a hard time getting back on AIP. It’s so hard to cook everything from scratch and not be able to enjoy a meal out or at a friends house without checking if they used certain oils or spices. I also have a very hard time giving up my wine once a week. I would truly love a pep talk! Thanks for listening!

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Claire! I like to look at AIP as an abundance of food rather than a restriction. These days there are so many talented recipe bloggers putting out such high quality AIP recipes that I really suggest making a meal plan on Sunday and picking a few recipes that sound interesting and tasty and eating most of your breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. When you do go out with friends, just call in advance. I have a comprehensive article on Safely Dining Out with Food Allergies. When you doubt yourself, just focus on what it feels like when things are balanced and your health is strong. If you’re craving something like cake or cookies, there are tons of AIP recipes to get you through those humps! I really think at the beginning you just need to hunker down and do it (and remember the majority of the world goes through much harder things than being on a temporary restricted diet – we are fortunate we have the economy that allows us to do this).

      Reply
  • I am prepping to start AIP and got your book (which I love by the way!). I noticed a few comments back you said you has gastritis and gastroparesis. I have those as well as Barrett’s esophagus and LPR reflux. I am not supposed to eat garlic, citrus, or vinegar, but they are integral to a lot of your dishes. Do you eat these ingredients or find they upset your stomach? I’ve heard so much conflicting information on acidic foods and gastritis!

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      I never had any issue with acidic foods with gastritis but it did help to eat a blander diet back then (ginger used to bother me but doesn’t anymore since I’ve healed). I would just treat those foods as reintroduction foods – eliminate for at least a month and then bring them back in slowly one at a time. A nice little guide to reintroductions is Eileen Laird’s Reintroducing Foods on the AIP.

      Reply
  • Hello! I have been diagnosed with PCOS for 5 years and just found out a couple weeks ago I have Hashimoto’s. I have been on the AIP diet for one week and feel much better. I am also taking synthroid. I was just wondering if you have heard anything about healing PCOS. I do not have a monthly cycle so I’m curious if you’ve heard of anyone getting their cycle back to become pregnant. Thank you:)

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Heather – I do not have experience with PCOS but there is a program called PCOS Unlocked by Stefani Ruper that you can find on her site at paleoforwomen.com I hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Okay, for real though, you are beautiful! I see a beauty tab which I’ll be checking out, but I was wondering if you had any tips on exercise? What you do or don’t do? I have hashi’s & MCAD. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Brittany – I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with exercise over the years but I consistently move in some way each day. Yesterday I went for a 2 mile jog and did a 20 minute strength workout. Today I did 1 1/2 miles of sprint intervals and 10 minutes of abs. I try not to overdo it and that seems key. I’m also my feet a lot and don’t stay seated for long periods of time. Walking, swimming, hiking & jogging are my favorite forms of activity.

      Reply
  • Hi Alaena,

    I’m curious what your thyroid health was like when you got pregnant? I have TPO antibodies that have fluctuated up and down since I have started working with a functional medicine doc. I have no other other thyroid dysfunction yet except for the elevated antibodies, and no symptoms of thyroid dysfunction except for chronic urticaria which may be related to SIBO and/or candida (I have both). I am being treated for both of those things.

    I am wanting to get pregnant, but I havent even begun to try as I am worried about the risk factors associated with hashimotos antibodies. Any advice or wisdom you can provide? Thanks and much love.

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      I got pregnant with high antibodies in the middle of a flare. Pregnancy brought my antibodies down to zero and kicked me out of my flare, so that was actually a blessing. I since have had a pretty stable thyroid (one flare post-partum around 3 months). I had my thyroid checked every 4 weeks and upped my dosage as needed throughout pregnancy (first trimester dosage increase incredibly common). I didn’t worry about the antibodies and getting pregnant – so far I have a very healthy child and no complications during pregnancy thankfully.

      Reply
      • Just curious but was Dr. Weisman’s office the one that you saw care with during your pregnancy? I am trying to find a good doctor to check my thyroid often during pregnancy in the Austin area.

        Reply
  • Missy Maiorano says:

    HI, I love your website and your cookbooks! I am new to Histimine Intolerance (suffered horrible symptoms for all of November and December with nothing from any doctors except for rounds of Prednisone and well-wishes). So, I found your site along with a few others on histimine intolerance and began my own healing. Within 5 days of a low-histimine diet, my AWFUL symptoms were about 50% reduced. By Day 10, they were almost unnoticeable. I also incorporated mindfulness meditation and positive visualization. SO, here is my question: I am ready to begin taking tiny baby steps to re-introducing new foods. I KNOW that I cannot sustain myself onmy current restrictive diet (I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas). But, I admit that I am terrified to re-introduce anything. I simply can’t bear the thought of returning to my former symptoms (outrageous hives from head to toe and minor facial swelling…nothing terrible, but weird). Any tips? Thanks so much! You are an inspiration to me. I am hopeful to get back to my very active lifestyle (running terrifies me now too because I keep reading that cardio is bad for histamines. I used to run all the time…I would love to see myself running in races again someday).
    : )

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Missy, I would very slowly reintroduce foods, one new food every 3 days, just a little at a time and track symptoms. Practice meditation before these meals to mitigate response. Start with lower histamine foods rather than high histamine foods like smoked fish or olives. Good luck! I found the most healing after balancing my thyroid levels & healing my gut which took about a year.

      Reply
  • Hi Alaena, just found your nice and friendly website!I’m restarting the AIP protocol (as in your Healing Kitchen book with Sarah B) and I’m trying to heal what I assume is my leaky gut! I’ve been on the Blood Type diet for a few months but I don’t think it’s sorting me out satisfactorily but I’m now just a bit nervous of reintroducing the foods not on the blood type diet. Do you have any knowledge of anyone going from different therapeutic diets to the AIP diet, and how well they got on in comparison? Also, I notice there are foods like dates and raisins (which I love) in some of the dessert recipes, is it important to restrict these kinds of sweet foods? Many thanks, Carolyn : )

    Reply
    • Alaena Haber says:

      Hi Carolyn, There is currently no evidence-based research supporting the blood type diet. It is more likely that the body is reacting to particular foods because of an overall heightened response via immune system dysregulation or other gut dysfunction. For example, if the blood type diet tells you not to eat cauliflower, and you truly don’t do well with it you may have low digestive enzymes or need to be on a low FODMAP diet for a short period of time. You should eat mostly leafy greens, high quality animal protein and seafood, fruits and healthy fats on AIP and limit dried fruits and treats for convenience or special occasions. It’s more important that you ADD gut-nourishing foods like bone broth, kale, root vegetables and healthy fats.

      Reply
      • Thank you very much Alaena, I’m very keen to do AIP again and it’s great to have resources like your website to help me along. Your advice is much appreciated. I’ve spent today learning about leaky gut and I do feel that is where my health problens begin – thyroid, arthritis, fatty liver, gluten ataxia, chronic fatigue and dental probs. I’ve been ill for 30 years and have tried so many different diets during that time! But now I’m ready to make a new start on this – I feel very encouraged by your enthusiasm : ) Thank you!

        Reply

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