missing: one weekend

Sadly, I wasn’t partying it up with anyone or doing any thing illict or “fun”. And suddenly it’s Monday and I’m not done any assignments or finished any knitting project (although I have been thinking about the latter!).

So instead, I will share my new challenge for the next two weeks: an Elimination Diet (for my eczema). The List?

– tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, eggplant, potatoes
– bananas, citrus, strawberries
– gluten-containing grains (barley, rye, oats, wheat, spelt)
– soy and soy products
– dairy
– eggs
– peanuts, pistachios, cashews
– table salt
– refined oils, margarine
– all sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, glucose, corn syrup, etc)
– caffeinated beverages
– alcohol

Duuuuuude. I tried brown rice pasta today, and it was ok – not my favourite thing ever, but I think it’ll do. Had it with broccoli, peas, and garlic+chili olive oil. And I bought a whoooole lotta stuff that I can eat from the grocery store, so I have it on hand to snack on, etc.

Wish me luck! And seriously, pictures of stuff soon. Tomorrow.






35 responses to “missing: one weekend”

  1. Cristina Avatar

    i totally feel you on the “lost weekend”! and wow, your eczema diet is INTENSE. i’d been interested to see what kind of creative snacks you come up with.

  2. Jessica Avatar

    One of my sisters does a version of this for her psoriasis. It seems to work for her, she had spots over about 70% of her body and they’re almost completely gone now. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.

  3. Anne Avatar

    I really hope the diet works for you, but please, don’t just self-diagnose – go and talk to your doctor about it too – there are conditions (like Coeliac, which it doesn’t sound like you have, but I do, so it’s the one I know about) that need more follow-up than just dietary control.

    Good luck with it all – I too would love to know what you’re snacking on!

  4. Wendy Avatar

    Isn’t the point of an elimination diet to eliminate one item at a time so you know if it is that item that is causing the problem? You are eliminating so much stuff I wonder if you would be able to tell what is causing your exczema. You might want to research the main culprits and then do them for 2 week intervals, like dairy or eggs, but not both. Good Luck!

  5. maryse Avatar

    good luck with the diet!

  6. Angie Avatar

    Eczema is caused by diet? Huh? That would be so great, I never thought of that. I just assumed I would always have eczema because it tends to be seasonal for me. But let us know if eliminating anything works! This makes me want to do some reasearch. I’m tired of itchy knees, elbows, and face.

  7. Rita Avatar

    Make sure you don’t have a POPLAR Tree in your back yard. That was the culprit in my case. I had a bad skin condition on my body, absolutely nothing worked, until that tree came down including the roots. Actually we had three of those tress, but they are gone now, and I am free of any rashes and itches. Threw away all the creams and lotions and potions I had for years. Thanks be to God.

  8. Megann Avatar

    How does that work if you eliminate all of those things over a two week period? Isn’t the point to eliminate one at a time so that you can see if they have any effect? As an aside, a good friend of mine removed all sugars and processed grains from her diet and that helped her eczema enormously. Good luck!

  9. Jayme Avatar

    I was put on a similar diet for allergies when I was about 6. Try telling a 6 year old why there is no cheese on her Birthday pizza (cheese is still one of my favorite foods). My family still talk about it.

    Good luck, I hope you cind the culprit(s). Mine are tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberrys, and melons.

    (For everyone questioning taking out all of these foods… they are usually added back in one at a time to find the culprits, it seems backward but this is the only way to do it because it is likely many things, not just one.)

  10. carrie Avatar

    Re: Brown rice – If you can eat brown rice pasta can you eat brown rice? Because brown rice is awesome with thai curry, if you can eat that!

  11. ivete Avatar

    I have mild eczema only on my legs and you know what I eventually realized? It’s aggravated by knitting! If I knit with wool that directly touches my calves, I get more rashes than if I wear long pants or cover my legs with a blanket while knitting. The wool doesn’t bother me anywhere else, I have a theory that b/c that’s the area I shave the most the skin is the thinnest and therefore the most sensitive there. . . do you have it on your hands? That’s the worst. Good luck!

  12. ivete Avatar

    Oh I meant to also recommend Aveeno anti-itch lotion (I forget its exact name, it has oatmeal in it) and Burt’s Bees Milk and Honey lotion, both really help heal and moisturize and cut down on the itch.

  13. gleek Avatar

    wow, and i thought that being a pregnant vegetarian was hard! ;) good luck! i know many people that have had to do what you’re doing and when they added back in certain foods they got a better idea what caused the skin problems. hopefully this works!

  14. Maddy Avatar

    Kamut pasta is my hero. It’s like brown rice pasta’s not so slimy cousin. I mean, I like the brown rice stuff too, but I find it a little trickier. Also, you can get kamut pasta in the fun three coloured variety which delights the small child in me. Whee!

  15. cookie Avatar

    Oh wow, that sounds hard, but I hope you figure out what the problem is! Good luck with it. Does that mean you’ll be eating a lot of meat, or are you vegetarian? Because being a vegetarian with those diet restrictions would be painful!

  16. ariane Avatar

    Good luck with the diet. I’ve got pretty bad eczema, but it turns out it’s triggered mainly by stress. I’ve found exercise and yoga helped a lot.

    I hope you find what works for you. :)

  17. Cassie Avatar

    Good luck with the diet. (Ouch, there are a lot of things on that list I can’t live without.)

  18. Robin Avatar

    I have had eczema my whole life (plus allergies and asthma) and have just now started to change my diet with the help of a naturopath. The changes I’ve made have really helped! One of my favourite things to eat are butters such as sunflower seed and pumpkin to replace peanut butter. Put it on a rice cake or wheat-free toaster waffle with some apple butter (no sugar in it) on top for a nice snack or breakfast. I hope things work out for you!

  19. dennymcmillan Avatar

    good luck ,looks like you can eat apples, and other fruits, as well as all those yummy veggies. MMMm roasted veggies.Rice cakes? You’ll get thru this no problem, and learn so much about food and cooking. Corn, hot air popcorn.
    See it’s going to be fine.

  20. Julie Avatar

    Love your response, Denny. So positive and constructive! Good luck Laura. So much discipline and sacrifice in your life right now. Good on you. As Denny says, you’ll learn a lot in th e process.

  21. Tipper Avatar

    Ezcema, for me, is seasonal. Once the cold, dry weather hits, patches spring up. It can also be triggered by stress, and you seem to have plenty of that going on! :)

  22. Ruslana Avatar

    my friend has eczema and she went to see a doctor. After running some tests the doctor said it was a reaction to a metal (can’t remember which..).
    This metal is used in makeup and jewlery.
    So she stopped using makeup and wearing jewlery (except pure gold) and she says it’s better now.
    conclusion: talk to a doctor :-)

  23. Jill Avatar

    My son has eczema that is made worse this time of year (dry,cool air). I exclusively use Arbonne products on him and it clears it right up! Have you heard of Arbonne? It’s amazing for eczema – he used to get those raised flaky patches, I would feel so bad for him. Now they are all gone! I’d be happy to share more info if you are interested.

  24. Sarah Avatar

    Good luck with your new diet! Sometimes it just sucks but it’s absolutely worth it if you feel better in the end.

  25. Vicki Roy Avatar
    Vicki Roy

    Good luck with the diet. My daughter was covered in eczema and we discovered she had extreme food intolerances. The only thing she didn’t react to was water. Anyway, we tried an alternative treatment that firstly diagnosed what she reacted to then treated her for those things. An elimination diet didn’t work for us. She is only four so we had to work it out. If you want more info let me know.

  26. Jess Avatar


    I have the terrible hand eczema too. Terrible that it makes strangers go “WHAT happened to your HANDS?” and I’m forced to tell them that I had to pull a person out of a burning car because I’m sick of the real reason.

    Anyways, I’m sure that chemicals are not the way you want to go with this, but if the diet doesn’t work out, try Betamethasone – medium strength corticosteroid. It got things back to sanity pretty quickly, and it keeps the eczema in check with only one of two applications a week now. Giver a try!

  27. Julie Avatar

    Oh, Laura–forgot to tell you–it all started to come back to me just now, which shows how successfully I repressed the memory. I had a hand eczema phase about 3 years ago, right in between the time I was still living in Princeton and about to move to Canada and start my new job. It was a VERY transitional period for me. I was traveling a lot for different fellowships, and was morphing from grad. student to professor after SO many years of being a student. The water in London, England was RILLY bad for my poor hand. The skin was cracking so much I had permanent holes on my palm. Deep holes and gashes that made it look as if someone poured acid on my hand. I thought I’d never have normal looking skin again on my left hand. (I’m left-handed). As soon as I moved to Canada and started my new life, it went away. I think it was totally psycho-somatic. I tried a lot of things, included steroid cream and something called Prevax. A woman in a health food store in London saw my hand as I was getting my change from her and she recommended Zinc and evening primrose oil. Didn’t work. The Prevax did get it to calm down enough so it was no longer so painful every time I washed my hands. However, nothing really worked though, but getting over the psychological threshold and understanding I have really sensitive skin and shouldn’t use harsh soaps or lotions. Now I only use Aveeno on my body and super mild soaps and products w/a minimum of chemicals.

    It sounds like it could be ANYTHING based on the diversity of responses here on your comment board. I hope you find out what it is. It sucks having that skin on the hand problem. Hang in there, girl.

  28. Cheri Avatar

    Good luck with the eczema diet. I have to stay away from tomatoes, soda, oranges, straberries, and just about anything citrusy. I started taking flaxseed oil and evening primrose in an effort to add moisture to my skin.

  29. brenda in toronto Avatar

    Hi Laura –

    I’m a sufferer too, and I’ve found a combination of diet observation and topical meds really keeps it in check. For me, the ‘miracle cure’ was a steroid cream called Clobetasol. It’s strong, but WAY more effective than the milder formulations. In the end, you end up using less, so it’s better in the long run. Hang in there! Oh, and the Aveeno line of products is a lifesaver!

  30. lily michaud Avatar

    burdock root is supposed to be particularly good for eczema. you might try some tea. or talking to an herby person about what might be helpful. i have had good luck with such things.

  31. Jouf Avatar

    Hate to add one more to this, but I had a problem and still do occassionally get a little problem – especially after handling wet wool (dry wool doesn’t bother me. The only cure I’ve found, and it’s EASY, is to shampoo with T/Gel with 1% coal tar (not the regular one, the 1% extra strength). Then I take the suds from my hair and rub over the spots – on me, my hands, near the nose, sometimes temple area, and forearms when felting. It’s easy and worth a try for you!

  32. Sarah Avatar

    Good luck on the diet; at least your doc only made you do it for two weeks. As for the gluten thing: I have Celiac and my savior of saviors? Mrs. Leeper’s corn pasta. It comes as a radiatore and it is delicious! The only thing that tastes like the wheat pasta I so sorely miss. And if gluten turns out to be a culprit (and I sure hope it doesn’t for your sake!) the Gluten-free Gourmet books by Bette Hagman are the best I’ve ever had!

  33. Gina Avatar

    I eat gluten-free and it’s rough. You must read everything. College Inn Chicken broth? Contains gluten. At any rate, I like corn pasta more than the brown rice pasta. Good luck. I hope you figure it out soon.

  34. Juls Avatar

    I did an elimination diet when I was breastfeeding to see what was the deal with my son’s eczema. Turns out he was sensitive more to environmental issues than food–detergent and fragrance would make skin go nuts. Because his immune system was already dealing with that, every other mild allergen (food) would do him but now that we’ve eliminated the environmental triggers, the food is less of an issue. He had a tomato trigger as an infant but once we went with natural soaps, he can have a little tomato sauce, no problem. Anyway, just thought I would share that you are doing a good thing for your body to give it a break from allergens but that the main cause may not be the food–but that food can make an already hyped immunoresponse worse.

    best wishes,

  35. Kayla Hernandez Avatar

    eczema totally sucks coz they can also damage your skin when you scratch it**-

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