3 Day DIY Juice Cleanse Take 2

I first tried a juice cleanse back in May, and I think I said I wouldn’t do another. Well, this week I amΒ eating drinking my words.

Produce ready for juicing!

My motivation for doing another three day juice fast is trying to get my health under control and figure out what’s causing these really obnoxious, insanely itchy rashes that seem to have taken up permanent residence on my hands. I thought gluten (specifically, dermatitis herpetiformis, or DH) was the problem, since when I stopped eating it, the perfectly symmetrical rashes on my neck and inner arms went away, and my hands got noticeably better. I was also experiencing other symptoms (bruising, fatigue, tooth enamel issues) and knowing that my family has a history of autoimmune diseases (colitis, raynaud’s, psoriasis), removing gluten from my diet seemed like a good place to start.

I’ve had minor slip-ups with gluten over the last few months which (maybe?) has made the rashes flare, but my hands are still not great. So now I’m wondering if it’s a) not gluten or b) gluten and other foods. I don’t think it’s my dish soap, shampoo, lotion, etc, but it’s so hard to tell. The juice cleanse is really just a way for me to try to reset my system.

Carrot Juice

I was thinking about purchasing a cleanse, but I wanted to be able to control the ingredients so I can eliminate the most allergenic fruits and vegetables, like citrus (I removed this after day one, when my hands got even worse) and nightshades. I’m on day three today, loosely following the Reboot with Joe program, and I gotta say – this cleanse is going so much better than the last one. I one hundred percent attribute this to not attempting it during a busy workweek, which is no longer a problem for me becauseΒ I quit my job! Just typing that still gives me a happy rush.Β I’m able to take it easy, juice on schedule, and nap if I need to (admittedly, I am a terrible napper, but I like having the option). I feel tired, but not terrible.

Watermelon Basil Juice

After today, I will be attempting a Few Foods Elimination Diet for ten days, which basically means I will be eating very, very few foods (probably around ten total), and really trying to eliminate cross-contamination. This is far from a nutritionally complete way to eat, but unfortunately, I don’t think a more inclusive elimination diet that removes one food group will give me the insight I need. And hopefully, my rashes will subside and then I can start challenging one food at a time to figure out exactly what’s causing me so much trouble.

My recipe posts will likely be kind of sparse in the near future…unless you would like to see a meal that includes two ingredients? Who knows, maybe I will discover something magical about combining quinoa and pears. After juicing for three days, that actually sounds pretty amazing.

As always, if you have any suggestions or food allergy words of wisdom, please share! This is definitely a learning process for me and I can use all the help I can get.

xo
Amanda

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  1. I am so sorry about all that rashes – whats more frustrating is not being able to pinpoint what is causing. I did something similar which i think helped with my acne. I am not sure about it too much although keeping a food diary and elimination diet is highly recommended for allergies. Hope you find more things soon.

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Dixya. Yeah, I am also keeping a food diary and noting how my hands are doing each day. It’s very frustrating not knowing the cause. On the one hand, I am happy to give up a food (or even gluten) if it makes me feel better, but it would really suck to give up something I enjoy and be wrong about it being the problem.

  2. Sally says

    The elimination diet will help alot. I went there about 10 years ago when I could hardly walk with arthritis. Oat bran was major culprit. I can eat small amounts of whole oats – but oat bran was one of those healthy things that it was very popular to make muffins and …. anyway I was highly allergic to oat bran. I can eat Clif bars with oats in them and not get crippled – so the moral is: it took some detective work but worth the effort. I have pretty much sworn off oats in general – and it helps. I have since done triathlons and walk 4 miles every day now. No more arthritis. πŸ™‚

    1. Amanda says

      Wow, that’s awesome that you were able to pinpoint oat bran (and oats) as the culprit and get rid of your arthritis!

      1. Sally says

        I was eating those oat bran muffins for breakfast so oat bran (not whole oats) was one of the first things I added back and BINGO. So then I had to sort out which ingredient in the muffin … adding back single items and not a recipe would make that easier. They tell you that but … I liked my grab and go muffins …. Good luck. I think I lived on tapioca and rice for quite a while. Worth the effort.

      2. Amanda says

        I was reading that tapioca is usually a “safe” food. Perhaps some tapioca pudding is in my future…well, maybe if I sweeten it with pear (which I’ll be starting with) and make it with homemade rice milk? That has potential! πŸ™‚

  3. Laura S. says

    What is Aaron going to do while you’re on the 10 day elimination diet? Make him post some recipes!! πŸ™‚

    Even if you don’t post any recipes, we still want to hear how you’re doing and how the diet is working. Hope you can figure it out once and for all!

    xoxoxo

    1. Amanda says

      Aaron has been eating out a lot. haha I could ask him to post a recipe…that’s an idea. πŸ™‚

  4. Caitlin says

    oh lady! i hope you find some answers soon! i’m glad this juice fast is going a lot better than the previous one.

    as far as food posts, i’d actually love to see some “a day of eats” type of post to show the 10 foods you are eating and how you combine them πŸ˜‰

    good luck!

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Caitlin! I can definitely do “a day of eats” post to show what I’m eating.

  5. Oh dear, had no idea you were going through all this! I’m glad Round 2 of the juice cleanse is going well (and that you’re DIY’ing it!). Hopefully this and the elimination diet (which, yikes, sounds rough, but if it works, so worth it!) will help you pinpoint what your triggers are.

    And, I’m with Caitlinβ€”I’m curious to to see how you make an elimination diet work. I’m sure you’ll find some way to make it interesting! Share some day-in-the-life-of-a-girl-on-an-elimination-diet snapshots with us! πŸ™‚

    XO,
    J.

    1. Amanda says

      haha I think I will use “day-in-the-life-of-a-girl-on-an-elimination-diet” as my post title.

  6. Lauren says

    Girl, I can TOTALLY relate to this. I had horrible eczema on my hands for a good year before I figured out what was going on. I did a series of tests (IgG, IgE, and IgA, though I don’t recommend the IgE) that helped me diagnose what I was allergic to. The funny thing was that the offending food wouldn’t give me symptoms until almost 48 hours later, but I know it was correct because I’ve cut it out and am so much better. I hope the cleanse helps you though…just be aware of the time factor. Let me know if there’s anything I can do. πŸ™‚

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you for this comment! I also feel like there’s a 2-3 day delay between when I eat something and when my eczema flares. I’ve been dealing with it on a minor level for a few years, but it’s gotten so much worse recently, and it’s always worse in the summer. I’ve been racking my brain and now I’m wondering if it might be environmental allergies. Trying Allegra today and hoping for results! I may email you about those tests though – I just don’t know what to do at this point, and doctor’s have only offered steroid creams, which is hardly a solution.

  7. Tricia says

    I had serious problems with both eczema and psoriasis on my joints, and especially my knees and hands for years. It got much worse when I was pregnant with twins (probably just due to stress on my body). After the boys were born, I went vegetarian (again!) and then about 3 years ago I went vegan – I have not had a flare up since about 3 months after going vegan. I eat honey, and occasionally there will be a little whey in something I eat I’m sure, but mostly, this is how I eat and it has helped ME at least. Good luck getting yours under control. I didn’t wear shorts for years due to my ugly, scaly knees, even in 100 degree heat, and boy does the itching get old! PS I DO eat gluten, too, and I feel the best when I am following the Eat To Live eating plan, but I fall off THAT wagon a lot. πŸ™‚

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks for sharing what works for you, Tricia! I’m happy to hear that you haven’t had a flare up since going vegan!

  8. Elka says

    Hello! I am not a vegan, but somehow found myself reading your blog πŸ™‚ I found myself emotionally attached πŸ˜€ So I just wanted to pitch in…

    There is this health researcher Matt Stone. He isn’t a vegan, although he was. So although he doesn’t approve of the vegan lifestyle as being portrayed healthy, he wrote a book that helps vegans optimize their diet to fix a lot of nasty symptoms (being cold all the time, etc. I saw you mentioning this). A raw vegan actually cowrote this book. This video discusses the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2RYGYE3PYQ

    Matt Stone has a great sense of humor, and I laugh my ass off when I read him, but I am a very flexible person. It may come offensive to some people since it puts them out of their comfort zone, especially people who are dogmatic about their food choices…Hope it’s okay with you!

    Anyway, he has a good research behind his recommendations, he looks at allergies etc. as symptoms of broken metabolism and stress. I hope this book helps!

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Elka! Thanks for taking the time to make some recommendations. I hadn’t heard of Matt Stone, but I took a quick look at the sample pages of his book on Amazon, and I’ll admit, I can see why it could be offensive, particularly to vegans who are making choices based on compassion/ethics. Still, it’s good to keep an open mind and stay informed.
      I think what I’m dealing with are allergies, although maybe not to what I had originally thought. I’ll be sharing more soon…I’m still figuring things out. πŸ™‚

      1. Elka says

        That may sound out of the blue and it’s a profound issue to explain in one comment anyway, but allergies basically happen when your immune system attacks you instead of protecting you. What I learned is you can eliminate triggers, but then you can fix where your metabolism is broken (hormonal imbalance) and not have to deal with allergies at all. Just a perspective πŸ™‚

        Helpful tips:
        – decreasing amount of goitrogenic foods in the diet (like throw out everything soy or eat very little of it, and boil your kale/cabbages/spinach and discard water instead of eating it raw/juicing it). Allergies are a typical manifestation of hypothyroidism/sick euthyroidism, for example. Just recently I read the news about a woman being admitted into a hospital with a serious thyroid problem because she overdid the raw kale thing.
        – eating more fruits (sugar improves conversion of inactive thyroid hormone into an active form, which stimulates production of other crucial hormones)
        – not overdoing the greens due to high oxalate content.
        – supplement salt and other electrolytes if you drink plain water. When I drink 2 quarts of plain water per day, I get terribly cold. This is because you are loosing electrolytes. This is the “always-pee-yellow” rule πŸ™‚

        Get better! πŸ™‚

  9. Aw, Amanda I’m so sorry! That’s awful πŸ™ Todd and I can attest to the horribleness of the food elimination diets! Keep us updated! Hopefully you’re feeling better soon. Good luck!

    1. Amanda says

      I was just reading your post about Todd and all that you two have been through. My heart goes out to you guys. Thanks for the well wishes! I will figure this out eventually!

  10. Gena says

    My strongly negative feelings for juice fasts aside (:-)), I am so glad that you’re trying to hone in on what’s causing your symptoms. With autoimmune in the family, gluten avoidance is certainly not a bad idea. Also, and I’m sure you know this, seeing an allergist can certainly help. Sometimes folks spend a lot of time focusing on foods that are actually fine, when in fact the trouble foods are totally random and unexpected. (Forgive me if you’ve already blogged about seeing an allergist).

    In the GI practice where I work, we also do a lot of asking folks to keep food journals, though it’s sort of a pain. If I can be of any help, Amanda, let me know!

    <3

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you so much, Gena. I think you’re right about seeing an allergist. I’ve brought this up with primary care doctors several times, and each time they’ve either completely brushed me off or offered steroid creams. It’s very disheartening.
      I’ve been keeping a food journal since doing the juice cleanse (which, and I mean it this time, I will not be doing again), and that’s shed some light on a couple of things I would have never expected.
      Expect an email from me soon. I would love to get your thoughts on some next steps. xo

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