Food Sensitivities

April 17, 2012

I’m very glad the sun is starting to rise halfway through my run in the mornings. It makes running in the wee hours of the day a lot more enjoyable.

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The past two mornings I have been feeling really good—good energy levels and able to maintain a faster pace overall. I think the slightly warmer temperatures (mid-30s vs. the mid-20s) and the dry roads really help with my pace.

I covered 8 miles this morning and completed my run in 1:09, which is a 8:36 minutes/mile. This is about one minute faster than my average pace in the dead of winter, so that makes me very happy. I figure the faster I can train, the faster I can run the marathon!

I’m just hoping this week of 65 miles isn’t too hard on my body. (Rosy red cheeks from the cool air in the morning.)

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I don’t share all of the food I eat, but I do like to highlight really good recipes I’ve tried.

I know my lunch looks incredibly gross, but it was incredibly delicious! Ashley’s Not Dal Saag was definitely a winner. The recipe was basically lentils, spinach, and a lot of spices, and I think the spices really made the difference.

I almost always have half of a sweet potato with my lunch. I will baske 2-3 sweet potatoes over the weekend, refrigerate them, and pack them in my lunch each day. I actually eat them cold, which may sound gross, but I love them this way.

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Food Sensitivities

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I had some blood work done in order to get tested for food sensitivities.

Initially I went in with the hope of helping my bloated stomach that causes some discomfort in the afternoon and evening hours. (I also have bad gas that doesn’t seem normal.) Plus, I simply wanted to see if I was sensitive to any particular foods.

Well, I finally got the results back, and I was quite surprised by what the lab tests concluded.

I had the following tests done:

– white blood count (good!)

– sodium/potassium/chloride/etc. (good!)

– calcium (good!)

– iron (very bad!)

– vitamin D (good—it must have been all that Hawaiian sun!)

– vitamin B12 (good!)

– thyroid (needs some help)

– food sensitivities (not too sensitive to most foods, except one)

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One of the big problem areas was my level of iron/ferritin; I am definitely anemic! I actually suspected this back in college when I had breathing problems, but I did not know my iron levels were still too low. And to think I have probably been functioning at this level for several years!

I am supposed to be between 50-60 ng/mL, but I was at 12 ng/mL!

I will now be taking a strong dosage of iron to help get this back up to where it should be.


The one food that I was severely sensitive to was cow’s milk.

The nurse practitioner laid out the following categories:

less than 10 mcg/mL – trace of sensitivity

10-20 – mild sensitivity

20-30 – moderate sensitivity

30+ – severe sensitivity

I was at 69.2 mcg/mL for cow’s milk!

Here are some of the other foods that I have a trace of sensitivity to:

cacao (chocolate): 7.8

beef: 5.6

wheat: 4.8

egg whites: 4.8

peanuts: 4.4

rice: 3.9

garlic: 3.2

tomato: 3.0

pork: 2.8

orange: 2.5

soybean: 2.2


The following foods did not affect me:

– codfish

– corn

– peas

– potatoes

– shrimp

– tuna

– walnuts

– yeast


Since I am was severly sensitive to cow’s milk, I am going to abstain from eating any dairy for the next 6 weeks to see if I notice any difference.

In addition, I am now taking these supplements:

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– iron complex

– multi-vitamin (I’ve always taken this.)

– fish oil (highly recommended for overall health)

– probiotic (50 Billion)

– Nature-throid (for my thyroid which was a little out of whack)


I’ll be sure to give an update in a couple of weeks on how things are going. I’m excited for what these changes will do for my health; I hope they are all positive!

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    1. I’m glad you got the blood work done! I just wanted to let you know that when I got tested for all of those stomach things to figure out why I was having the bloat, my iron come back just like yours. They wanted to put me on a iron supplement and I asked what the side effects were and my doctor said it can back you up and cause bloat so….just wanted to let you know.

      I only take the supplements when I really feel the low iron is effecting me (i.e., really tired, constantly feeling cold, weak, etc). Other than that I try just to get my iron from iron rich foods…doesn’t always work but it helps!

      Good luck!

      1. Good to know! I didn’t even get a chance to ask about side-effects. (I was so overwhelmed with all the other information.) Maybe the probiotic with help combat the bloat??

    1. That is very interesting how they do the sensitivities through blood work. I have only had blood work to see if I am deficient in vitamins. I take Fish oil, vitamin B &C &D every day and I really think it helps with my energy levels. Hopefully cutting out dairy will help relieve your stomach bloating.

    1. How fascinating!! I want to get tested!! Did you go to your primary care doc to get this done? And what did you ask for? I’ve had some tummy issues too, and eliminated dairy for a while, but it didn’t change anything.
      I have to ask you- do you feel just happier in general since you resigned from your job? Like a weight has been lifted? I need to email you sometime to talk about that stuff. 🙂

      1. I went to a nurse practitioner for the blood work at a medical center that has an integrative medicine approach.

        Did I feel happier once I resigned? Short answer: kind of but not really because school still isn’t done.

    1. This makes me want to get the same tests done! How did you do your research to find a nurse practitioner with an integrative approach? I have been interested in trying out a semi GAPS diet, but honestly the bloodwork sounds easier and I can’t do crazy diet changes ’till I’m done breastfeeding because of the detoxing :).
      Also, I noticed that my regular vitamin iron supplement really disagreed with me, and after I researched it, I found that a more “natural” version was a lot better on my stomach (I have taken both Rainbow Light and New Chapter vitamins with good results). Same thing for the DHA supplement, I’m planning to try out fermented cod liver oil sometime soon instead of the “regular” supplements.
      Good luck!

      1. I got a recommendation from someone I knew. I’m not sure I would recommend this place or not–I haven’t had anything horrible happen, but I also haven’t been super impressed either.

    1. Hey Michelle,
      I’ve also cut out wheat, dairy and sugar and it has made such a difference! I haven’t used my ashtma meds since I gave it all up. I take a natural iron supplement called blood builder and it works quite well. I also got some food allergen testing, but haven’t got the results back yet. I hope you feel better!

      1. Good to hear from you, Emily! That’s so awesome that those things are helping! I’ve tried to cut back on the gluten and sugar more recently, so I’ll be interested to see if the dairy makes a difference. I got the iron supplement from the clinic I went to, so hopefully it works–otherwise, I’ll have to check out that brand. Do you remember how long it took until you started feeling different/better? I would be very interested in hearing what food(s) you are allergic to!

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