It’s taking me a little bit to adjust to my new normal.

I’ve made some mistakes and I’ve slipped up a couple of times but for the most part I’m on track. One slip up led to a raging headache with in 10 minutes and I vowed to REALLY take to heart that I can’t eat certain foods.

Surprisingly the one that I thought would be the hardest to overcome – coffee – has actually been the easiest. I feel great minus the highs and lows that coffee brought me. I’m learning how to beat any slumps by consuming foods that give me energy rather than sap it from me.

The only significant time when I felt like I wanted to cave and have coffee was before a 5K I ran this weekend. I had no intention of racing {and didn’t} because I’m not in shape to run a 5K right now, but part of my pre-race routine is to drink a sugar free red bull. Technically I think I could have had it but I wasn’t willing to deal with having barely any caffeine for a couple of weeks and then loading myself up right before only running a 5K.

5K Feb 2014

When I look at a cup of coffee now – it looks like tasty or as enticing as it once did. My teeth are whiter already from not having it – so instead of focusing on the negative of no coffee – I am dwelling on the positive of whiter teeth and no slumps. When I see people joke around on twitter about dying for coffee – I realize I was that person – it’s actually not so funny to want something so bad that you feel like you can’t make it through an entire day without it. I know this feeling all too well – before this point I couldn’t make it one day with out caffeine.

As of now here is my list of foods I am allergic too. Foods that I only had a mild +1 reaction to I can test in small amounts. Honestly I’m scared to test them because a reaction is a reaction and I already feel like I’m constantly fighting with my body – it doesn’t feel worth it right now.

Right now it’s hard for me to remember all the foods and also remember those that cross react because of Oral Allergy Syndrome. Last night I ate hummus not even thinking that hummus was made with anything other than chickpeas – it’s made with tahini which is sesame. I reacted badly – my stomach blew up, I felt lethargic, and sat there analyzing every single thing I had eaten. It may seem like a no brainer to know what is going to make you sick and what isn’t, but it’s not that easy. I’m sick of thinking about food all the time. I tired of worrying about every single thing that I eat and wondering if I made a mistake and if it’s going to cause me to feel awful.

My worst reactions were to:

  • Wheat
  • Egg
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame Seed
  • Carrots
  • Green Beans
  • Cocoa {Chocolate}
  • Mustard
  • Coffee
  • Shrimp
  • Potato
  • Barley
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Green Peas

I’ve been told to avoid all tree nuts period. This has been hard. I was eating various different nuts every single day. I was getting the healthy fat in my diet from avocados, nuts and coconut oil.

My other reactions were to:

  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Oyster
  • Scallops
  • Coconut
  • Banana
  • Tomato
  • Pork
  • Apples
  • Peach
  • Yeast, Brewers


My personal non-professional advice to you is that if you suspect you have food allergies – get tested! A food elimination diet can help but it’s really hard to figure out what is causing reactions on your own. Awhile back I swore off eating rice because every time I ate this rice bar it made me sick. It was a PEANUT rice bar – the rice wasn’t doing a darn thing to me – it was the peanuts and the peanut butter that I would slather on top of the bar. I thought I was helping myself by having healthy fats from the peanut butter. Rice and peanut butter – seemed like a healthy snack to me…..

Other allergies I feel like I’ve know my whole life. Lamb makes me ill – physically ill – I feel sick even looking at people eat lamb and I’m not a vegetarian {though at some point soon I may just give up meat in general – I wasn’t tested for chicken or a beef allergy and it makes me nervous now because of my lamb, turkey, pork allergy}. It was no surprise to me then when she said I was allergic to lamb. Same with peas and green beans – I hated both as a child and not because they taste bad – I felt bad after eating them. I steered clear of both as an adult but kept questioning what it was in my Vega Protein drinks that was bothering me – I now know it was the peas.

Carrots have made me ill for forever but I reasoned my way out of it. Who could be allergic to a carrot? That’s ridiculous. Yet every time I ate them I felt like throwing up after.

As a child growing up my mother would often ask me to peel the potatoes for dinner. My hands would break out in an allergic reaction – get very dry very fast and itch like crazy. Eventually she passed on that little job to one of my siblings because the reaction was that severe. I can only imagine what happens inside if that is how my body reacted to touching them.

During the elimination diet I felt great because so many of the allergens I was putting in to my body on a daily basis were gone, but that didn’t mean I felt 100%. I was eating peaches every day and I now see that I have mild peach allergy. This is why I say that even if you are doing an elimination diet, you need to get tested. You can only figure out so much of this on your own before you need professional help. If you are like me you can even reason your way out of what is happening to your body – like I did with the carrots.

Running has been going MUCH better since I have started to eliminate problem foods. I know I am not in any shape to race right now and I’m not beating myself up about it. I’m putting in the miles but not killing myself in workouts. This spring is about getting healthy and laying down a base for when I feel good in the fall and can actually train to see what I am made of. I’m 100% happy if my marathon time never gets faster, but I do believe I have more in me, and I think with proper training and a body and mind that feel good and can work together I can do much better. The fall seems far off but I’m already feeling giddy thinking about a fall marathon. Boston this year will be great – for many reasons – but a time focus is something I can’t do right now. I’ll put in the miles to make me happy and hopefully get me across that finish line feeling strong – remembering my ultimate goal is to be a HEALTHY runner for life.


I’m nominated in the Best of Run Washington Awards for my twitter account. I would SO appreciate it if you had a moment today and voted for me or forwarded it along to your friends. I’m not a fan of asking for votes anymore – I know it can be annoying and we all are short on time – but this would be a HUGE honor to win. Thank you for considering!!


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  1. i feel for ya on the no tree nuts — i go into anaphylactic shock when i eat em. have never even tried nutella :-( anyway, hope it gets easier for you lady!!!

  2. It soundalike you’re doing everything right, and change takes time! Good luck :)

  3. It sounds like you have got this under control! I know it has been quite a process but at least you are starting to figure out what is best for YOUR body!

  4. Wow… that is insane. But it sounds like you have taken control and now you have identified what causes you allergies. And definitely voting for you! Heading there now!

  5. It is funny you mention hummus – my wife and I were out and had some, and she had the same thing, plus hives. We went through the whole meal, and because we always make ours ‘clean’, we didn’t even think about the Tahini! Ugh! It is a real struggle … good job confronting it.

  6. Wow, that’s a heck of a list and life change for you (& your family)! Glad you are already feeling better, keeping perspective and getting some of your natural positivity back!

    I apologize, did you give the specific name and type of testing you had done? I am starting to think perhaps I should consider it though I already have so many dietary restrictions I’m afraid to add more.

    Thanks for sharing this new journey, I’m sure you’re helping people!

  7. Even though it totally stinks to give up foods (and drink!) you love, I’m glad that you are feeling much better! That is really what counts. And the fact that your running is much better is icing on the cake!

    Love your blog, twitter, voted for you of course!!

  8. Oh, allergies suck, especially to tasty and healthy foods such as nuts, potatoes and fruits.
    I’ve never been had any notably bad reactions to food, it must be really bad for you, especially since you’re physically active and try to eat healthily as well.
    Keep training, you have a very inspiring blog and I’m sure that you’re a wonderful mom, setting a great example for your children and being an equally awesome motivation for the readers of your blog.
    I wish you lots of strength in readapting to your new eating and training habits.

  9. Can you say what you eat on a typical day? It’s been suggested to me to try an elimination diet and I’m leaning toward doing it– just to see if I feel better.

  10. Hey Dorothy! That is some list of foods. It’s such a wide variety of foods and food categories. Is there something they have in common?

    Also, I voted for ya’! Good luck!!

  11. My big 6 are gluten, dairy (all animals), soy, potato (including KABOCHA which has some compound or something in it that is potato-y or some such crap), and fish (including all seafood and anything that was ever living in the sea/water like seaweed…fish oil). I’ve been dealing with the first three for a few years now but that last two (potato and fish) are new discoveries. I was actually pissed and cried when the test results came back on them. We should compare notes!

  12. changes take time !

  13. I’m so glad you’re starting to feel better and overcome the desire for coffee. I tried giving it up a few years ago, and I felt like I was in a constant fog. Needless to say, I’m drinking it again!

  14. I am glad you are getting this all figured out, I have a really bad case of anemia in fact I was born with a blood disease and I have to eat certain things and I always have to have my blood checked, running has dipped my blood levels to lowest where I even almost passed out in the street.

    I know how you feel and I am glad you are feeling like your self again.

  15. Hi Dorothy, I’m a long-time fan, first-time poster. I’ve heard about the danger of false positives in allergy testing. Please be careful, don’t want you to end up with disordered eating.

  16. The irony to reading this articles, is I’m actually drinking coffee while reading it lol…fair play to you for sticking to your diet. I know how much willpower it takes and how hard it can be…it’s not easy!

  17. Yes you are super annoying. I’ll tell everyone not to vote for you.

  18. Dorothy, if you need or want a little caffeine without going the coffee or soda route, look up Advocare Spark (in particular the mango strawberry flavor, though there are other good ones). I had a ripping bad diet coke and latte habit and have nixed them both. Love your blog!

  19. Thanks Cindy! I will check that out – if I could have coffee I SOOOO would. I really love it and miss it – I just know what drinking it will do to me. Thank you for the advice :) Dorothy

  20. Hope you are having a great day too!! If I was so annoying and you had anything of substance in your life to fill your time you would STOP visiting my blog and leaving nasty comments. I couldn’t imagine wasting time every day visiting a site I hated but I guess I am happy and have better things going on than to bring others down. You should try lifting people up for a change – feels good.

  21. Hi Dorothy, just coming across your blog. I love it! So interesting about the Vega–I really wanted to love it, but I felt weirdly “off” whenever I would drink it. I assumed it was the stevia, since I don’t do well with artificial sweeteners and thought maybe the issue was low-calorie sweeteners in general, but I’ve actually had a similar reaction with Sun Warrior, which also has pea protein but doesn’t contain stevia (natural flavor). Anyway, enough about me, but thanks for the thought-provoking post! Best of luck.

  22. Caroline Reid says:

    The allergy tests may be unreliable, but they worked for us. Before Christmas, my son was vomiting after almost every meal. He did tests, which showed he was allergic to eggs, oranges, grapefruits, coconut, leeks, green beans and (weirdly, as he’s only had it a couple of times) celeriac. I thought the dairy at breakfast was causing problems, but it turned out there was coconut or coconut oil in all the breakfast cereals he was eating (fruit & fibre, granola…). There was also coconut oil or orange flavour in the vitamin tablets I was giving him (because he was sick so often). Since we cut out the foods (and vitamins), he’s stopped being sick, he looks healthier and his nails have stopped flaking. I dreaded doing an elimination diet, so very relieved.
    What interests me, is what makes some people so susceptible to these food allergies? Leaky gut, perhaps?

  23. It’s great to hear that you’re starting to feel a lot better. But it sucks to be allergic to a lot of foods. I don’t know if I’m allergic to anything (I sure hope not) but I don’t really eat a lot of stuff, really. I just stick to simple choices and those I love, like dried foods.

  24. I read this post weeks ago and it motivated me to get myself to have allergy testing done. I went today and found out I am allergic to 14 different foods, most of which I eat on a daily basis. It’s not fun, but I’m sure it will be ultimately worth it. Thanks for the push!

  25. Way to go! Focus on those whiter teeth to de-fang your urge for coffee.

  26. orthomol vitamin c complex allow to help you?

  27. So glad I found this blog! I first got food allergy tested a year ago and my allergist and I were both shocked by how many foods I was allergic to! The elimination was extremely tough and meant no eating out and tonsss of label reading. It was the greatest thing I have ever done for myself ANSI recommend to anyone who has any medical issues! Asthma, eczema, fatigue, etc I thought excessive exhaustion and permanent sinus pressure was just my “normal” and now I know it’s bakers and brewers yeast! I just wish I’d written a blog like yours! But thank you for putting it out there!!

  28. Damn, thanks very much for posting this! It is going to help when I research Sesame Tahini online! Stupendous!

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