Mono Lake + My Hashimoto’s Health Update


Even though it’s been hot in Palm Springs for months, and July Fourth has come and gone, I never felt like summer had officially begun. Which was really causing anxiety because according to the calendar and all of the incessant back-to-school commercials, summer’s practically over! That was until this weekend. Here’s the latest + a long-awaited health update.


Our California roadtrip from LA to San Francisco was a test-run of sorts for our upcoming trip to London and Paris.


With my health issues and the subsequent lifestyle changes we’ve both undergone (Fred Baby is a saint to be doing AIP with me — a saint), this trip was a test to see if we’d be okay traveling away from home. From a kitchen where we can prepare our food. From a haven if energy levels and spirits should plummet.

Cute + Comfy Summer Travel Style | KELLY GOLIGHTLY

Since the end of April and starting AIP (Auto Immune Protocol), there have been so many adjustments, ups and downs, and we’ve essentially been in a holding pattern. There was no eating out, no cocktails at cocktail parties, no traveling, no anything which had been our normal life. It was a complete 180.

Stiped Umbrellas x Mono Lake | KELLY GOLIGHTLY

So how did it go?


While there was one bad day on this trip which can squarely be blamed on coconut ice cream, I’m thrilled to report that the test run was a success. Not only that, but coconut incident aside (I’m clearly allergic or sensitive to coconut), on AIP, I finally have ZERO digestive issues.



Cute Comfy Summer Sandals | KELLY GOLIGHTLY #monolake

I can’t even believe I’m writing that. It seems so hard to believe. Considering for the past 20 years, I’ve had terrible stomach problems pretty much every day of my life. Looking back to three months ago when I first started AIP, to even just a month ago when I wondered if I was ever going to notice a difference or feel better, the answer is a resounding YES!


I almost hate to put this in writing as I don’t want to jinx it, but neither Fred Baby nor I have even had a cold since starting AIP! Prior, one of us was sick what seemed like every other week. Whether it was a cold, the flu, bronchitis, it was constant.


I have learned SO much over the past few months and apologize that I haven’t shared more along the way since my initial post. Your reactions and comments were so overwhelming, in a good way. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone. But also in a way that made me so sad to see so many suffering. I am baffled and dumbfounded by how many — mostly women — are struggling with these same issues.

I’m also someone who tends to retreat when I’m not feeling well. And as an optimist who prefers to look at the sunny side of life, I really wanted to keep this as a place of positivity. And I desperately wanted to share good results or things that might be working, in hopes that it might help you, but the truth is I didn’t know if things were working and I didn’t want to lead you down the wrong path. I was also in tears half the time. Something about not getting enough calories will do that to a girl. (Another lightbulb moment: On AIP you have to eat SO much more. Use Cronometer or a similar site to see how many calories and nutrients you are getting + to keep track of how you feel each day).

With that said, if you haven’t tried AIP, please DON’T…YET!


Before you start AIP, it’s really important to get food sensitivity testing done. Because once you cut everything out of your diet, you can no longer get accurate food sensitivity test results. The only way to get accurate results is if you are actively eating said foods (gluten, dairy, sugar, etc.). I know. I did it all wrong.

Which is why in Europe next week I’m going to eat everything, which is both exciting and terrifying. Why Europe? Because the food isn’t as mucked with there as it is in the U.S., and in the past I’ve had no digestive problems when we travel there. I can eat anything without negative consequences. Scary what we’ve done to our food supply in America. I digress…

So before you start on AIP, find a great doctor first. That took me much longer than it should have. But from my personal experience you are wasting your time to go to a Western medical doctor/endocrinologist if you have a chronic illness like Hashimoto’s. They are not equipped to deal with chronic illnesses/auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s beyond changing your dose of thyroid medication.

Should you have a Western medical doctor as part of your team? Yes. If you need surgery, they’re your (wo)man. Should they be the one you rely on to get better? No. Who looks at you holistically? From your diet to your lifestyle? Who connects all the dots of your entire health history? No. For that, you need, in my experience, a functional medicine doctor. Will your insurance cover it? No. At least mine doesn’t. Is it worth every penny? YES.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? YES! I’m so excited to share that. And I’ll share more as I go, going forward because it’s not just AIP — there is more to it. We’re all in this together, after all. And I’ll be sure to share what to eat on AIP because that struggle was REAL.

Until then, feel free to ask any questions in the comments + I’ll do my best to cover them. Sending hugs to all of you. I’m eternally grateful for your support.

What I’m wearing at Mono Lake:

Top: Madewell (on sale!) | Jeans: Parker Smith c/o (love these too) | Sandals: Madewell (on sale!) | Sunglasses: similar | Hat: similar | Striped beach umbrella: Amazon



London Travel Tips
Persifor x That Pink Door Palm Springs

19 thoughts on “Mono Lake + My Hashimoto’s Health Update

  1. dianah gruenke

    As someone who Just recently started following you on IG, I pulled up your blog and started tearing up IMMEDIATELY. !! Finially, someone who feels my (stomache ) pain!! I also have been long suffering and we have been throwing All sorts of medicines at this stupid stomache of mine. This July we started the diet and I can say, the clean eating and preparing ones own food 100% has helped Tremendously! ! I too had become a recluse the last 2 years. No dinners out with my new husband, no drinks with the girls.. and suddenly NO, Absolutely NO cocktails! !? Wtf.. I was also on a 10 day trip during the start of the diet. This may be wayyyyyyy more than you wanted to know about me…but I send you my kindest regards, and wish you a wonderful trip! ! Don’t freak out if you fall ill, I did 2 times. ..get back on eating and feed your glorious body,
    With love, Dianah Gruenke

    1. Kelly Post author

      Thank you Dianah and I’m so happy to hear you are feeling better too! Amazing how quickly the body can heal (relative to how long its been in distress). Your words about not freaking out if I fall ill brought me a lot of comfort as I would tend to think Oh no why is this happening again?! But like you say, just get back to eating well and everything should work itself out. Cheers to feeling well!

  2. Danielle

    What a relief to hear this is working for you, Kelly! I would love to hear more about your experience with AIP, specifically what you’re eating and how to maintain willpower during cocktail hour. I’m impressed. I haven’t committed myself the way you have, but I’m trying. We traveled in the Azores recently and I ate all the bread, cheese and wine with no issues. I was able to hike every day with my husband. But… It was very hard to get back on track when we returned and I crashed. Lesson learned. At least we have awareness and a plan. I hope you and Fredbaby have a lovely trip! Enjoy all the good stuff while you can. <3

    1. Kelly Post author

      Thank you so much! And great of you to be doing your best. I know it is not easy. A huge help has been Fred Baby doing the exact same diet, as any time I would have wanted to fall off track, I would have felt way too guilty! That said, I think any steps in the right direction are better than no steps so keep it up! As for foods, in the beginning we were doing the bone broth and all that jazz. I had not realized that you could have sweet potatoes and yam noodles. Once I found that out, things helped tremendously. Breakfast is now a sweet potato, avocado and bacon. Sounds weird but now I love it! Same for lunch but we add in chicken. Dinner’s often the same, though it really can be almost any meat and vegetables. We just found that it was easier to stick with what worked well for us. I’ll post more soon but let me know if you have any specific questions + I’ll do my best to answer them. Oh, and as for cocktail hour it’s a total snooze fest, but sparkling water over ice with freshly squeezed lime juice + fresh mint makes for a lovely virgin mojito. Cheers!

  3. Monica Lee

    This was my story back in 2006-7 I felt like I lost an entire year trying to get a diagnosis! My body went into malabsorption. The GOOD news is once you get your body up, running and healed you can function like a regular person eating out again-I recommend high end spots with real chefs-or a good French cafe! I did slowly climb back to robust health without gluten (I do get a cocktail now and then!) just wanted to encourage you, you’ll get to the point were food won’t feel like a frenemy! PS I was an international flight attendant-you’ve got this!

    1. Kelly Post author

      Thanks so much, Monica! That is encouraging. I’ve recently realized that gluten was really the main problem and once I cut it out and healed the gut, I’m able to re-introduce so many more foods…and even a tequila cocktail every now and again. Cheers to that!


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