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


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.


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!


Hatred is the true enemy.

I think most find times when they hate their bodies. But I moved past that, to complete separation. In my mind, I referred to it as my shell, because I felt I was a hollow shell of the person I used to be. It contained me, it held me back, the biological functions were amiss, and my body had become my own albatross.

I like to think I went through the stages of grief with my thyroid and body in general. In the beginning there was fear, fear of the unknown mass in my mouth, fear of what the future might hold. Cancer crossed our minds and the possibilities could really run away with you. The official tests however were swift enough to reveal my lingual thyroid soon after discovery and after a total thyroidectomy a year and a half later, all proved to be cancer and node free as well. Before the removal I reached sadness, total rock bottom due to the lack of energy. After beginning Synthroid, I started my phase of self-pitty. Why me.. Why could I no longer run and think and be as I was just a few years before. I honestly felt smarted by life, and worse, my own body. I had previously said and thought things to the tune of how much I trusted myself and my body, to always do as I asked, always to perform as I wished. So you can imagine my feeling of betrayal.

After a full year of sadness, I hit another low of total lethargy and zero motivation. Things picked back up after this and I started digging into other options. I spent 9 months looking, researching, for things that could help: diet changes, exercising, meditation, relaxation, sleeping, etc. I never fully committed, still thinking I was helpless in my cause. I never lost hope, I will say that, but it was always hinged on something or someone doing it all for me. Why don’t the meds make me feel better? Why aren’t my doctors figuring this out? What other specialists should I go see? It’s true I am no doctor, and there true value in medical professionals, but there is always something you can do, and that was my mistake. I started to feel less hatred towards my body after I started to restrict my calorie intake and slowly lose some weight over the summer and fall, finally feeling more normal. I forgave myself in a sense, this was probably the beginning of my path to move on, truly accepting all that has happened.

On January 19th, I took back control. I took a leap that could to do me no harm, based on a change I had noticed in myself. That first step didn’t workout so well, but the second part of the journey has already started paying dividends. I don’t feel the same way I have for the last 3 years anymore. The cloud that hung around my head has dissipated and I am free to think, see, and feel more clearly again. I am not sure i can explain to the full extent quite how liberating this is. I can only explain it as being locked in a dark shadow for all this time, and then having the light start to pour in again. My senses are keen, my heart is fluttering. I feel the special “I can do anything, right now…” feeling returning. Oh, how I’ve missed it. I mourned it all these years. I can’t believe I wasted so much time. I am taking back control, I am taking back my life.

It is only a question of what I will do next.

Week 1 Elim. Diet in review

I had read in the write-ups before this diet that there were certain people that would feel life hanging benefits from trying the process and I had seriously hoped to be one of them. I am starting to think I might be one of them…

I had my doubts of course and tried to remain realistic about the way things might turn out. After a negative ending to the raw diet, I was already feeling disappointed with my journey. I figured I would finish the diet and would have at least lost some weight.

It all started to change around Wednesday when I woke up at 6 AM, and although I still did not want to get out of my nice warm bed on these cold and dark winter mornings, I could tell I felt more alert than usual. The day passed with sustained energy and less green tea than previously, and by 9PM I was ready to crawl into bed. I held out to the planned 10:15 time slot, giving myself 15 minutes to fall asleep and then leaving the “now recommended” 7.5 hours to get my beauty rest. Thursday came along and I again felt the alertness, maybe even a little more than the previous morning. Two days in a row might be a fluke, but it hasn’t happened in a while. Thursday night I again felt tired by the late evening, but kept on schedule, ending up with a great nights sleep. Friday morning, clearest day yet, and I have enough energy to stay up hours later than I normally ever could to write about these great experiences!

From passing out at 9:30pm on a regular basis, and then struggling to wake up at 6 AM, I feel like I making all the right moves here. Let’s hope it all just keeps up!

I feel at peace and yet so alive at the same time…