Eight Days into the 8Safe Elimination Diet

It’s been over an entire week now since I’ve started the 8Safe Elimination Diet. Eight days in and I’m feeling somewhat better.

I had attempted it last spring but gave up after 1-2 weeks in due to personal distress and a death. An elimination diet that eliminates the top 8 food allergens is no joke and without a clear mind, I couldn’t keep going.

Why an Elimination Diet?

I have now taken this on again to find answers to my eczema that has flared up wildly again this winter. Usually, it is well hidden under my clothing on my arms, but this season it has proven to manifest itself right where the sun shines daily: my face.

You’ve not done anything difficult until you cannot eat a thing with eggs, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, or gluten.

Even the worker at Wegmans, my new favorite every-allergen-is-labeled place to shop, said “elimination diets are so tough but so worth the information you learn, good luck!” as he put back the vegan cashew cheese he was recommending.

Soy is one I find the hardest of all ingredients to avoid, with wheat coming in a close second. Soy Lecithin appears to be in every product on the market, even things you’d never think!

“I need to quit”

On Friday, 5 days in, I was ready to call it quits. I had the biggest headache I’ve ever had in years and my body had hit the wall physically. No matter how much I ate, and I ate constantly, nothing helped. I just wanted a giant slice of pizza, please?! Chris kept me on track and I went to bed in hopes to wake better the next day, which I did.

This isn’t a diet to lose weight, though I had hoped I’d lose a few pounds in the process. I did lose some water weight to start and my body feels less inflamed. My stomach is less bloated, despite the moment I am in, in my cycle. Something toxic to my body is working it’s way out and I look forward to a few more weeks before adding back in the allergens every few days.

I’ve been avoiding dining out and most social functions because it’s difficult to avoid all eight of these ingredients. I’ve planned a bit more for the week ahead and I will slowly reembark on social gatherings by the beginning of March. More guacamole, here I come!

How did my workouts go?

My workouts this past week started strong, even with a double-workout-day, but ended flat. Let’s see where it fell apart.

  • Monday – 4.5 mi run from last week and 30 min walk right after
  • Tues – 5 am 30 min walk / 6 pm 30 min run (28:30 run with 3 :30 walks in between) made me ahead a day
  • Wed – 5 am 30 min walk
  • Thurs – took the morning off, worked the night before and was ahead a day
  • Fri – hit the wall, literally and figuratively, took the day off to rest
  • Sat – another rest day… still exhausted
  • Sun – accepting that rest is needed in this 8Safe process and giving my body time

I did have a buddy to walk with me on the treadmill most mornings. Monkey now does “treadmilling” daily. Usually, his workouts are at night before bedtime, though. And Crab has gotten into it as well!

What’s next?

While I should be pressing forward in my runs, I’ve decided it’s okay to lay off a bit for the next week or two. I’ve done well and will continue to get up and walk or run at 5 am as my body sees fit. I’ve got a race coming up in April, but it’s not for time, so I’m not really that concerned. I’ll get where I need to be in no time, thanks to Jeff Galloway.

In regards to the 8Safe Elimination Diet, I’ve got two more weeks of absolute abstaining from the food allergens, and then I’ll begin to slowly add back each one individually over the course of 5 weeks through the end of February. My eczema on my face as almost completely cleared up, too.

Luckily, I’ve found really great recipes for various foods I enjoy and have found great products at Wegmans that support this wild journey; while in the process eating principally fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins.

Black bean brownies anyone? Seriously, they are delicious.