Ep 52. Food, glorious (thyroid-friendly) food! | Ginny Mahar

Nov 11, 2021 | Podcast Episode



A major component of living a thyroid-friendly lifestyle is diet. When you consider making changes to your diet for your health it can feel completely overwhelming. What on earth will I eat? How do I cook? What about the rest of my family?

In this week’s podcast, I’m talking with Ginny Mahar, also known as The Hypothyroid Chef about all things thyroid-friendly food.

Ginny and I both share a love of eating, cooking and sharing our experiences with others in a hope that it will encourage you in your own journey.

Given food is so central to our day to day lives, and the fact that we could both talk on these topics for hours, it is a slightly longer episode (there are even a few extras in the YouTube video) – you won’t be disappointed though as it’s jam packed full of positive practical information.

We start with Ginny sharing her thyroid story. Like many of us, she had to hit rock bottom, do her own research and learn not just about food, but about every aspect of her lifestyle.

Ginny talks about 4 core principles/goals for thyroid-friendly eating:

  1. Gut Healing
  2. Anti-inflammatory
  3. Nutrient dense
  4. Personalised

One of the most empowering things to do, is to discover what is the right diet for you. Gluten free, dairy free, paleo and AIP are all good starting point tools.

If the terms paleo and AIP are new to you – in general terms they are a dietary approach that seeks to be 3 o 4 things above – gut healing, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense.

When focussing on what TO eat, Ginny talks about the 3 pillars of thyroid-healing eating as:

  1. Clean animal protein.
  2. Organic produce – especially vegetables
  3. Healthy fats

These should be making up the core of what you eat. This usually takes a mindset shift to deciding how you want to eat because of how you want to feel.

Dive all in or take a baby step approach?

We talk a fair bit about the pros and cons of each approach. In the end the way you make changes will depend on:

  • How sick you are – if you need intensive healing, the deeper dive into a program like AIP might be a good place to start.
  • Your personality – are you an all or nothing person or more ‘everything in moderation’?
  • What you decide in consultation with your health practitioner.

Ginny and I have used both approaches over time. Shorter periods of more intense focus with an emphasis on small steps at other times.

Even if you take a more intense approach, be mindful of sustainability as the more the dietary changes that work for you become part of your everyday lifestyle, the better you’ll be in the long term.

Small steps are more sustainable.

Practical food tips

  • Follow Ginny on Instagram @hypothyroidchef for recipes and food inspiration.
  • Rethink breakfast. Don’t get stuck on breakfast = cereal and toast. Breakfast could be soup (check her Instagram for lemony, zucchini and basil soup), leftovers, savourt waffles, breakfast sausage (in Australia we’d call this hamburger patties). Eggs, paleo toast, grain free muesli.
  • Have 1 day a week where you do some batch cooking so you have easy to access food during the week.
  • You can easily make a few adaptations to your family meals if they don’t eat the way you do – eg hamburger night – you could have a burger salad (or make the bun from savoury sweet potato waffles, or lettuce leaves).
  • Sweet treats – handy to have a ‘healthier’ option on hand as what Ginny calls a ‘temptation mitigation’. Here is her Pecan Date Dream recipe – I can’t wait to try it. Dates are one of my go-to sweet treats – I love them frozen as they taste like chewy caramel. Fruit is a good option to curb a sweet craving too.
  • You can use collagan as a protein to add to your cooking, smoothies etc but remember it’s not a complete protein.

Enjoy this episode!

Meet Ginny Mahar

Ginny Mahar is a thyroid health coach, cooking instructor, and patient advocate who teaches thyroid patients how to cook, eat, and live for optimal health. She has a 20+ year background as a Cordon Bleu-trained chef, food writer, and cooking instructor, but her life and career took a turn after her Hashimoto’s diagnosis. Through her own health transformation, she became a passionate advocate of supporting others on their own healing journeys. Ginny has been blogging thyroid-friendly recipes since 2015, at hypothyroidchef.com.

Ginny specializes in gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, and AIP recipes for people who want to eat thyroid-healthy, without spending all day in the kitchen. Ginny’s background as a chef helps her elevate simple recipes with flavor-boosting hacks, time-saving techniques, and chef’s secrets that make delicious recipes accessible for any home cook. Ginny lives in beautiful Western Montana with her husband, son, and two scruffy dogs.

Connect with Ginny:



Her podcast: Thyroid-Healthy Bites


related podcast episodes

If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for similar discussions, check out these episodes:

#10. going Gluten Free Part 1

#13. Going  Gluten Free Part 2

#15. Going Dairy Free

#51. Unfunc your gut


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