A Challenge Within a Challenge

Photo: drchrispatten.com
It seems fitting that my 100th post is another personal challenge.

For the past 7 weeks I've been going to a naturopathic doctor to treat a shoulder injury (I may have mentioned it in almost every Training Log). On my most recent visit (2 weeks ago), I asked if he could do anything for my allergies and congestion. I had noticed a dramatic improvement in my seasonal allergies over the years if I stuck to a paleo diet; however, I still wake up each morning congested and mucousy. Yum. In addition to that, I have exercise-induced asthma, which is more noticeable in cold weather.

The doctor (who looks like Donald Sutherland) says to me, "No problem. Allergies are my thing." Ok, you seem pretty confident. What is this going to entail? He then asks me if I'd mind doing a cleanse. The first thing that came to mind was a colon cleanse or one of those crazy Hollywood fads where you drink nothing but cabbage juice for two weeks, so I asked for clarification.

The cleanse he prescribed, after testing me for different types of allergies using some voodoo methods, is basically the Whole30, except I'd only need to do it for 3 weeks and then get retested for my allergies. He said that 80% of his patients have no allergy problems after 3 weeks. The other 20% have to stay on the cleanse for a few more weeks until their system is cleaned out.

On this allergy cleanse I cannot eat any of the following: Sugar (in any form, this includes fruit, juice and other paleo sweets), Nightshades (tomato, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and any spice derived from a nightshade), Alcohol, Fermented foods (vinegar, even apple cider vinegar), Dairy, Grains, Legumes, and any processed foods containing any of these ingredients listed above. So it's a pretty strict paleo diet, and in addition I'll have to take a supplement he gave me three times a day.

Being on such a low carb diet I will inevitably lean out, which is fine as long as I'm not losing weight. He didn't mention anything about reintroducing these foods after the cleanse is over, so I'll have to follow up on that. I already limit nightshades in my diet because I know that when I eat too many of them my bones ache and crack. But I should probably avoid them all together even after the cleanse is over. I'm fine with keeping sugar (in any form) out of my diet as much as possible. After reading Why We Gat Fat by Gary Taubes, I'm a little scared of sugar and refined carbs. Sugar is evil incarnate, and that's why we want it so bad.

So for those keeping score: I'm coming into week 3 of the CFDV Paleo Challenge, week 4 of a self-induced No Caffeine Challenge (confession: I had one slip on Thursday and had a small cup of coffee because of a post-scuba headache), and now starting The Witch Doctor Challenge. Imma bout to get real cranky.

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