Becky Runs Boston

My adventures running in Boston, searching for that runner's chai.

Another Challenge: The Elimination Diet

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We’re more than 30% of the way towards our $3,000 goal for Sweet Paws Rescue. With approximately 80 days between now and the start of my 3 half-marathon challenge, we’re doing great! Check out the Sweet Paws Rescue Facebook to read the amazing stories of the dogs they’re saving. I hope you will consider a gift to support them! Please visit my fundraising page!

Also, for the runners out there, I highly recommend checking out the United Relay of America. Starting in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, runners will be running across the country. They’ll be in almost every state, so there’s a chance they’ll be running near YOU! If you’re in the Boston area, join me for an 8-mile run from Watertown to Boston. Or, you can always make a gift to support my fundraising minimum for Boston Children’s Hospital!


As anyone who reads this blog knows, I love a good challenge. Whether it’s running the Boston Marathon, running a half marathon every month for a year, or running a mile outside every day in the middle of winter, I can’t get enough. My doctors apparently know this too, and have recommended I challenge myself to an Elimination Diet.

Except Barney has WAY better hair than me.

Here’s the back story – I’ve had thinnish hair most of my life. However, in recent years, it has gotten progressively worse. I’m not talking bald spots, per se. Just an overall thin head of hair that feels pretty unattractive, affectionately called Androgenic Alopecia by my Dermatologist. I’d been ignoring it, chalking it up to genetics, but it recently got to the point that other people were noticing — and telling me. So, I made some Doctor appointments, got some blood tests done, and started taking all the vitamins.

My primary Doctor suggested I make an appointment with the holistic Doctor at the office. After talking about my symptoms, diet, and lifestyle, and some poking/prodding, the holistic Doctor decided that either my digestive system is a little messed up and doesn’t allow me to absorb vitamins efficiently OR I have a food allergy that is messing up my digestive system, which in turn doesn’t allow me to absorb vitamins efficiently. While my vitamin levels are all within the technically normal range, they’re fairly low within the normal range, which is weird since I’ve been consistently taking assorted vitamins for months/years. He even asked if I limit my sodium intake because my levels suggested I do – and I explained that I actually enjoy putting salt on most foods because it helps me retain water/not faint. Go figure.

Yesterday I met with a Nutritionist who gave me the lowdown on what an Elimination Diet Challenge entails. The holistic Doctor had already hinted that it would involve no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no caffeine. The Nutritionist lengthened that list to the following:

  • No Gluten
  • No Dairy
  • No Yeast
  • No Soy
  • No Eggs
  • No Caffeine
  • No Alcohol
  • No Corn
  • No Tomatoes
  • No Citrus Fruits
  • No Additives/Sugars/Coloring/etc.

Are we having fun yet?

From the official @Whole30® Instagram feed. Julie Andrews is obviously not subscribed to the #Whole30 Daily, or she'd be feeling a LOT more positive about the program.

It’s a long list of NOs, but there are PLENTY of YES foods that I can eat – vegetables, most fruits, meats, beans, and nuts (and nut butters!). While the next month might not be the most fun — it’ll definitely be harder to go out to eat! — I’m not actually that worried. The hardest part will be cutting out caffeine (I’ve already started weaning myself off of it) and the most annoying part is that I already did a Dry January, and now have to cut out alcohol again!

Once I’ve cut everything out for four weeks, I’ll slowly add each thing back in, one by one, to see which – if any – cause a reaction or are accompanied by some kind of symptom. Based on that list of NOs, I’m thinking this is a multi-month process. It’s unclear how the diet will affect my running – I’ll be doing two races during the course of the challenge.

Overall, I’m feeling pretty positive about this whole situation. Let’s be completely honest – this isn’t that big of a deal and I know people who have to deal with much worse things related to their health. This is nothing compared to what they have to go through. Hopefully it helps, and if it doesn’t, I’ll just have to try something else. I plan on giving myself the upcoming weekend to prep, so the fun will start first thing on Monday. I’ll make sure to keep you all posted!

Have you completed an Elimination Diet Challenge at the suggestion of a Doctor? How did it go? Have any tips?


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