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Hollow/sunken eyes


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I started my Whole 30 in August because I’ve had problems stemming from inflammation for years and I tried other interventions with limited success. After my Whole 30 I made a list of 29 things that had improved, including all of my inflammation-related problems. I was feeling so good I decided to continue and have now finished a Whole 60.

 

While much has improved (sleep, energy, memory, focus, etc.), one issue is driving me crazy. Almost immediately after starting the Whole 30, I developed hollow/sunken eyes. At first I thought I was dehydrated and so I upped my water intake. Regardless of how much I drink, however, the hollow eyes remain. Sometimes my eyes also feel dry and irritated, but not like they did when I was inflamed. I considered the fact that I may be allergic to something but my other allergy-like symptoms have disappeared. I am eating more salt, but even when I reduce it my eyes are hollow.

 

My vanity isn’t strong enough to let this override all the good things, but it is really bugging me! I look older and more tired, which is ironic because I’m sleeping and feeling so much better. My internist has no idea why this is happening. Has anyone else had this issue?

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Day One: Meal One- 1-2 eggs scrambled with ghee and a tomato, Meal Two- can of tuna with red onion, homemade mayo and a handful of grapes, Meal Three- chicken breast cooked with coconut oil, coconut milk & curry over a handful of spinach.

Day Two: Meal One- same, Meal Two- leftover chicken breast in curry sauce with spinach, Snack before Crossfit- handful of macadamia nuts, Meal Three- pork chop cooked with apple cider, olive oil & red cabbage.

Day Three: Meal One- same, Meal Two- leftover pork chop with cabbage, Snack- a handful of cashews, Meal Three- salmon cooked with olive oil & dill, and an apple.

I've been diligent about reading labels & not eating anything that isn't approved. My fruit & vegetable portions may not be as large as recommended, though (I'm not sure what the recommendation is- 'filling up the rest of the plate' is too vague for me). My servings of meat are probably more the size of my hand than my palm. 

One clue may be that I need much more water than before. Eight glasses used to be optimal for me, though I often drank much less. Now I drink 10-11 glasses a day, and if I don't have water for a couple of hours, I get pretty thirsty.

Activity is Crossfit twice a week, though I'd like it to be more. My job is somewhat active, I'm usually walking around the building, rarely sitting at my desk. Stress is about the same as before I started. Sleep is 7-9 hours a night, more than I got before the Whole 30. I usually feel rested, but I don't look it!

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Day One: Meal One- 1-2 eggs scrambled with ghee and a tomato, Meal Two- can of tuna with red onion, homemade mayo and a handful of grapes, Meal Three- chicken breast cooked with coconut oil, coconut milk & curry over a handful of spinach.

Day Two: Meal One- same, Meal Two- leftover chicken breast in curry sauce with spinach, Snack before Crossfit- handful of macadamia nuts, Meal Three- pork chop cooked with apple cider, olive oil & red cabbage.

Day Three: Meal One- same, Meal Two- leftover pork chop with cabbage, Snack- a handful of cashews, Meal Three- salmon cooked with olive oil & dill, and an apple.

I've been diligent about reading labels & not eating anything that isn't approved. My fruit & vegetable portions may not be as large as recommended, though (I'm not sure what the recommendation is- 'filling up the rest of the plate' is too vague for me). My servings of meat are probably more the size of my hand than my palm. 

One clue may be that I need much more water than before. Eight glasses used to be optimal for me, though I often drank much less. Now I drink 10-11 glasses a day, and if I don't have water for a couple of hours, I get pretty thirsty.

Activity is Crossfit twice a week, though I'd like it to be more. My job is somewhat active, I'm usually walking around the building, rarely sitting at my desk. Stress is about the same as before I started. Sleep is 7-9 hours a night, more than I got before the Whole 30. I usually feel rested, but I don't look it!

I'm sorry to hear that you're having this issue - it may be something related to Whole30 or it may not, but no harm in trying out a few tweaks.

 

I'll try this based on the meals you listed for your first day, and you can probably get the idea from there:

Meal One: 3-4 eggs cooked in ghee, a tomato, some sweet potato or zucchini or spinach

Meal Two: can of tuna with red onion, roasted kale, tomatoes (sorry, I'm a tomato freak, insert fave veggie of choice here :ph34r:  ), mayo, handful of grapes

Meal Three: chicken breast cooked with coconut oil, coconut milk, and curry, and 2 cups of wilted spinach (this means mounds and mounds before wilting)

 

On the days you do Crossfit you eat a pre-workout mini-meal of something some other moderator who does more sports than I do will chime in with, and a post-workout meal of something else some other moderator etc. :lol:

 

Drink water amounting to half your body weight in ounces (at a minimum - on workout or hot days, I'd say go for more).

 

This means you'll be eating more food overall, since you'll be upping veggies at every meal. If you, like me, don't eat on plates (big bowls here), you can think 2-4 cups of veggies at every meal and go from there as to your choice/variety.

 

Whether these tweaks will alleviate the sunken/hollow eye problem I can't say.  I hope you do get some relief soon, either from ideas you get here or from something you discover elsewhere.  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Crossfit is very demanding, and even if you were not doing crossfit -- it does not sound like you are eating enough.  At all.

 

To add to what Amy has said:

 

Pre-workout meal should be protein+fat.  (Example:  a hard-boiled egg, or two, with homemade mayo)

 

Post-workout meal should be starchy carb+protein.  (Example:  sweet potato or pumpkin with 1/2 can of tuna)

 

As far as your sunken/hollow eyes... have you talked to a naturopathic doctor about this?  I remember from years ago that this can be a sign of parasites, but I have done NO googling tonight to find info about that.  Just throwing it out there.  I know we don't like to talk about parasites or think that we can get them, but we most definitely can and do.

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Diets that are too low carb (ie, ketosis) or too low calorie can cause people to have sunken eyes or eyes with dark circles. I'd say from what you are eating you could fall into BOTH categories. As I have said many-a-time in response to many-a-post: I'd be starving on the small amount of food you are eating without exercise!

Definitely go with Amy and Brewer's suggestions to up you food intake. Especially, take note of pre and post workout meals.

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Big thanks to all of you for your ideas. It sounds like I need to double or triple my fruit & vegetable intake! The last thing I feel like doing before/after working out is eating, but I will give it a try. I will look into the other suggestions as well.

Thank you for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

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Don't forget increasing your starchy veg, esp after a workout.

You may not have to worry about a pre workout meal as much as you do post workout. I have seen moderators say you don't have to eat a pre wo meal, esp if it hasn't been long since your last meal. IMO a pre AND post wo meal doesn't make much sense, since I will still be digesting the pre wo protein AFTER my wo. We don't digest food that quickly and I don't workout for over an hour. So, I just worry about my post wo meal. Just my 2 cents.

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  • 2 months later...

My husband is experiencing the exact same problem. Almost immediate onset when we started the whole 30. It's perplexing because we typically eat pretty cleanly. Our main changes from our regular diet are the addition of ghee and the removal of dark chocolate. He is a hearty eater and I suspect he has been snacking a lot on dried fruit and cashews at work(but that is nothing new). He is not working out hard.

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