Two possible allergens, two reactions.

Just 4 days into my Challenge phase, I’ve already been through the ringer!
I picked citrus and gluten to start and they both gave me unpleasant, but different reactions. I decided on the strategy to pick things I thought would give me a reaction so I could get it over with, and as long as there aren’t too many more, it will get me to a place of better health sooner.

1. Citrus

Background:

The reasons I think citrus would be an issue are because of the quantity of it that I consume. I love lemon and I had been eating a lot of grapefruit the last few months. When I tried my raw diet, I was eating it multiple times each day and something I consumed during that week made me incredibly tired and uncomfortable.

The challenge:

On Friday I re-introduced citrus at all three meals of the day. I started with my usual oatmeal and ate some very cold/partially frozen grapefruit with it.
For lunch I had left over broccoli slaw, sweet potato and chicken sausage from the previous nights’ dinner and I ate a clementine. With each of these I checked my pulse before, during and after looking for some change. The start was around 68 and the lowest it went was 60 while I was eating. So not a huge change, but maybe a sign.

With dinner we had fish, broccoli, brown rice and lots of lemon. I didn’t do the pulse test but within a few hours I was in a lot of discomfort with bloating and abdominal cramping.

The aftermath:

So I’m not 100% sure, but I wondered if the tangerine and grapefruit were not as reactive as the lemon. I had a pretty quick and much stronger reaction in the evening. I’m also not sure if the broccoli had something to do with the bloating. I will have to re-test them both separately.

Wheat:

Background info:

So I’ve had my suspicions about gluten and wheat since I realized that fatigue, brainfog, bloating, stomach and bowel issues were common symptoms of this intolerance. I was never sure if they were caused by my hypothyroid situation or by gluten and wasn’t ready to go gluten-free at the time. There is also a strong connection with gluten intolerance and hashimotos , a precursors and common cause of hypothyroid as they are both auto-immune diseases. I have been tested for celiac multiple times and all tests but one came back negative. The other was inconclusive. This left me to believe it may be a sensitivity if anything.

The challenge:

I broke my own rule on this one! On Saturday night while at a party I indulged in ziti, which had cheese, tomato sauce and of course pasta. So instead of trying just one thing at a time, I had 3… I was drinking wheat beer and also ate as much bread as I wanted so the ratio was at least more gluten-heavy. I should also say I wasn’t planning on starting the wheat introduction until the following day but there was nothing for me to eat at the party and alcohol makes it so easy to skip out on the diet you’ve just spent 4 weeks preparing yourself for! I suffered from some bloating and sneezing (this is actually a big issue for me) on the way home that night but nothing severe.

On Sunday I woke up feeling really tired and it took me a while to get going. I tried to get as much wheat into my diet on this day. Breakfast was cheerios, strawberries and almond milk which about half way through I realized wasn’t wheat.. It’s oats. So I found a frozen wheat bagel in the freezer and ate that too with some blueberry jam. For lunch I was out with a friend at Chilli’s and I ordered a toasted chicken sandwhich. On my way home from the lunch I started to feel some discomfort (bloating and gas). For dinner we made some whole wheat pizza which I had with veggies and olive oil and I covered one half in non-dairy cheese that I had left over from the previous week. I also decided to indulge with about 10 Oreos because they have wheat in them and no dairy and were on sale at the grocery store. I’m all about treats after healthy dinners and who knows when I’ll ever have Oreos again!

The aftermath:

I woke up on Monday feeling just as tired as on Sunday. I felt slow, unmotivated and generally unwell. I had a slight headache before lunch so I put my reading glasses on because they normally subdue my headaches and left the house for a regular appointment with my endocrinologist, almost an hour away. By the time I got to the doctor the headache was pretty bad and after I left the office it was getting even worse. I had a snack in the car as I knew my blood sugar was getting low even though I wasn’t hungry. By late afternoon I was really miserable. I took 3 Advil and laid down for an hour to rest. Thank goodness because when I woke up I felt 1000X better than I had the whole weekend. I was even able to go to the gym and have a great workout!

I woke up this morning feeling alert, awake and overall well. So it seems I was having the reaction for 48 hours in the moderate form of fatigue and in a more severe form for about 12 hours after the last wheat ingestion. It hard to say what a small amount of gluten would do but I think the fatigue would become present. It’s also in my best interest to not cause unnecessary inflammation to my body so it can heal. So I think in 6 months, on or around 21st of August, I will try some more wheat. Until then I will avoid it as best I can.

I hope I don’t have to be gluten free forever, but I’ve made it a priority in my life now. Plus the gluten free options are really going mainstream now.

Moving forward:

I plan to try dairy for three meals on Thursday with yogurt, cheese, and milk! After that it might be on to some of the curious vegetables I’ve been avoiding.

Do you have any experience with diet sensitivities or true allergies? I’d low to hear about how you became aware of them and what you do to avoid triggers!

Week 2 Elim. Diet in review

I think meals are getting too monotonous because after 3 weeks I’m starting to crave things I see and smell, which I previously had some kind of inner strength to get past. Maybe it’s the fact that I had to stretch this out another week beyond what I had mentally planed …

About one more week to go! I’m craving sparkling and sweet alcohol, in a can none the less, and things like kielbasa and eggs and bacon. Bread also..

I stopped drinking the green smoothies in the morning and I have definitely felt better the last few days. More energy and more positivity.
I am also slowly getting used to my new eye glasses so I have been having Less headaches at night and feeling better in general. I cut out the raw greens after I read an article about their effect on the thyroid. I had heard it before but wasn’t sure if it applied to me, being sans-thyroid and all. Sure enough, cutting them out is providing more sustained energy. Although they were filling and probably nutritious, they may have been doing more harm than good with my T4 conversion!

The meal plan this week included things like black bean burgers wrapped in a large lettuce leaf, modified recipe from the Pioneer Woman with a flax egg, although I kept the hot sauce in – they really need it! Lots of sides of baked sweet potato fries. Lots of roasted cauliflower, broccoli and kale. Spaghetti squash made a fabulous appearance. Brown rice was a supplementary grain and either turkey meatballs, white fish, or salmon were in most dishes . Lunches have been leftovers from dinner and I have cut down on the nuts and dried fruit this week. I have been consuming twice as much green tea however! Celebrating with a burrito bowl tonight – yes it’s from chipotle 😉

Weight is being maintained from the 5lbs I lost during the raw portion although I haven’t made an effort to exercise yet.

Next week I plan to try and do a white pizza with gluten free dough and dairy free cheese, probably with broccoli. Stirfy with chicken or turkey sausage. A butternut squash, steamed kale and quinoa salad sounds like a good idea as does some vegetable soup!

Valentine’s Day calls for a giant meal of all the seafood we can consume 🙂

Trying to stay motivated and creative here in the home stretch.

How do those of you who do this diet permanently keep things fresh? – and I mean both the recipes and the vegetables!

Week One of my Elimination Diet

One and done. Just kidding, 3 more weeks of this winter.

This week is moving pretty quickly, as most weeks do, so the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!

We have been eating the left overs of a roast chicken that I made on Sunday with roast vegetables and brown rice. I turned this into a nice home made chicken soup with the addition of brown rice and kale tonight on our “Snow Day” and I plan to eat the left overs for lunch the next few days!

Fish will definitely be on the menu in the coming days, as will be roast cauliflower steaks, and some gluten free pasta with pesto!

Dark chocolate and gluten free cookies have become a nice and well deserved treat for after meals thanks to my boyfriends sweet tooth (I’m not complaining after the drought of anything cookie related)!

Sunday I am planning some hot chicken wing and fun appetizers and dips to much on during the Super Bowl.

Just digging in and getting ready for the long haul on this portion, need to find more recipes and exciting meal ideas to make this as seamless and easy as possible. There don’t seem to be any instant results, so the waiting game it will be.

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