Monday, February 4, 2013

gluten for punishment or: how i learned to stop worrying & love the elimination diet.

in my humble opinion, i'm kickin' arse on the elimination / anti-inflammatory / anti-everything i love eating diet. i think my mood has been pretty good (my friends and co-workers might say otherwise), my energy levels are a smidge lower than usual, but i feel pretty great. not great enough to do this for the rest of my life though. AND a bunch of my spots are growing in. and they're even growing in with pigment! i've also noticed that my bald spots are a lot less red. i'm still drinking the 300 year old witch doctor tea that i mentioned here, but one of my wonderful co-workers (who i like to refer to as my work-naturopath, cause he's pretty well researched on this stuff) put it in capsules for me. no more horrid taste twice a day, and no more nausea. amazing. so i'm feeling super duper positive. i bought a couple new hats to get me through the days where my bald spots aren't cooperating and i can't keep them hidden. i showed them who's boss.

in my last post, i wrote a bit about the diet, but here's a more thorough breakdown:

  • gluten
  • eggs
  • dairy
  • soy
  • sugar
  • nightshades (what a dumb word for tomatos, peppers, potatos and eggplant)
  • mushrooms
  • corn (i. love. popcorn.)
  • vinegar (this means no olives. which i also love.)
  • strawberries, bananas, citrus fruit
  • caffeine

  • chicken and fish
  • a shit ton of vegetables
  • quinoa and brown rice
  • olive oil
  • raw almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds...
  • blueberries, apples, mangos
  • almond milk
  • tons of water
follow this for 3 weeks (gives your body a break from some hard to process foods). after 3 weeks, re-introduce 1 food item for 3 consecutive days. if you have no reaction - hooray! keep eating! if your body does react - return to the strict diet for 2 days and then add another type of food. i'd read a lot online about the relationship between gluten and alopecia (apparently there is one, and it's not good). i'm hoping to stay off gluten going forward. i wish i could say the same about sugar, but i love it too much. i'll definitely cut back.

and i'm still applying this cream:

homemade vitamin d anti-inflammatory cream:
- d-mulsion (genestra) 30ml
- cosmaderm (aor) 30g
- aloe vera cream (ferlow botanicals) 60ml

mix products and store in an airtight container. apply 2x / day.

the diet takes about 5 weeks in total. i think i'll make it.


  1. Hi from a Italy, proudly fighting AA since 1987 (I was 16 then. It comes and goes...
    First of all let me tell you how I appreciate your blog, filled with irony and humor. Too easy ta fall in self complaining when we see our hair leaving... I wanted to ask you about the diet. What you mean exactly when you say your body "reacts"? What kind of reaction did u notice when you re-introduced an "evil" food? Thanx a lot and hugs. Daniela

    1. hey daniela!
      yay italy! i love pasta and wine. we'd get along great. and thanks for the sweet comment! basically the "reaction" on the elimination diet is any kind of stomach upset. while on the diet, you're eating such basic, neutral foods for a few weeks, your body is able to process them really easily (ie., no gas, bloating, explosive diarrhea... stuff like that). when you start re-introducing food, if you find you suddenly feel any of the above (gas, bloating, explosive diarrhea) it means your body is likely intolerant of that food item. that's why it's important to re-introduce foods slowly, to really gauge if your body loves em or hates em. i hope this helps! keep fightin' the good alopecia fight, girl!