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I've been going pretty well and I am on day 19 today, and been feeling awesome on my Whole30, but for the past five days or so I have been waking up with a really puffy face and swollen hands.  My eyelids have had intermittent hives on them throughout the program...that seems to have gotten better these past few days, but now it is replaced by swelling of my eyelids and the rest of my face.  And my hands are puffy to the point that I can't get my rings off or even make a fist because my fingers won't bend all the way.


Also, I know I have lost inches in my waist; I can see a drastic difference in my natural waist where it dips in.  BUT I feel like my muffin top has gotten bigger.  I feel like my stomach pokes out a lot and even my hubby commented that I seemed to be gaining in my belly even though my waist was a lot smaller looking.  In all honestly, I feel like I look pregnant my stomach pops out so much.


I'm wondering if this is a reaction to either coconut, eggs, fish, avocados or almonds.  


I have added in enriched almond milk in order to get more vitamin D, and two days ago switched to a coconut/almond milk mixture (Unsweetened Silk). I do on occasion have a handful of raw almonds, but I haven't in about a week (though I did have pistachios on the 23rd, which I've never really eaten before...but this all started before that).  


I have been eating a LOT of fish on my Whole30, and while fish has never bothered me before that I know of, maybe in bigger quantities it's having an effect???  


I have been using a moderate amount of coconut products - I use coconut oil in a lot of my cooking, and I also use canned coconut milk but haven't for a few days.  


I have been eating eggs pretty much every day of my Whole30, but upped my intake a few days ago to three at breakfast instead of two.  I have eaten eggs my whole life and never had a problem like this that I noticed, but maybe because I'm eating more eggs, more often it's showing up as an allergen?


And I LOVE avocado...I have at least one a day on most days, and I try to get in more with my meals. Before the Whole30 I would occasionally make guacamole and that was the extent of my avocado consumption - maybe twice a month.  Now I eat one or more daily.  Again, is that something I should be suspicious of as an allergen?


So...all that said, it may not even be a food allergen...but if it is, I would like to know.  Should I cut out all these things at once or try them one at a time, or what do you all suggest to find out?  


I will post a few days of my meals...just have to go to my food log and copy them over.

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Okay, here are my meals for the last six days.  I should also mention, though I don't know if it's related, that my left elbow has been extremely itchy for a couple days now.  It's weird, because it's ONLY my left elbow.



Day 13: 

Breakfast: Sweet Potato, Napa Cabbage drizzled with olive oil, Sausage patty with egg and homemade mayo, glass of almond milk.

Lunch: Pork Chop, homemade mayo for dipping, raw mushrooms and peppers

Supper: Roasted winter vegetables (carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and parsnips in EVOO and salt and pepper), pork chop with mayo, raw mushrooms and peppers.



Day 14:

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, raw peppers and mushrooms, leftover winter veggies

Lunch: 1 can tuna with mayo and an avocado, leftover winter vegetables, raw mushrooms and peppers

Supper: Compliant sausages, sweet potato, salad with romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, avocado, and compliant spring herb vinaigrette.

Meal 4: Salad with leftover sausage, avocado, romaine, tomato, cucumber, green pepper with vinaigrette.


DAY 15

Breakfast: Leek, pepper, mushroom omelette with avocado, with almond milk mixed with the egg.

Lunch: Salad with various veggies and chicken and avocado, almond milk

Supper: Sweet potato, chicken, and coconut milk


Day 16 (Family Christmas):

Breakfast: Three egg omelette with peppers, leeks, and mushrooms, avocado in centre

Lunch: Christmas Dinner: Beef roast, roasted winter vegetables, steamed broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix.

Snack: Pistachios and fruit

Supper: Beef roast, sweet potato with coconut oil


Day 17 (Christmas with hubby)

Breakfast: Leftover beef, sweet potato with coconut oil

Lunch/Supper: Baked Salmon cooked with olive oil and ghee with avocado salsa on top; plain baked potato; mushrooms and garlic sauteed in ghee; shrimp; scallops sauteed in garlic and ghee, with lemon squeezed on after cooking; steamed vegetables.

Late mini meal - sweet potato and coconut oil, and about 6 shrimp


Day 18

Breakfast: 3 egg omelette with leeks, green peppers, prosciutto, and asparagus, topped with an avocado and some salsa

Snack: Can of Tuna with homemade mayo and green beans 

Lunch: Cabbage Casserole that I pulled out of the freezer because I thought it was spaghetti sauce...over spaghetti squash; with a couple coconut chicken cutlets and some homemade mayo.

Supper: salmon cakes, roasted winter vegetables, and steamed broccoli/cauliflower/carrot veggies.

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I am not an expert. I know that coconut is not as likely to be an allergen but it could be. Almond, avocado and eggs are all big allergens. I would avoid all of them for the rest of your whole30 and see what happens. Yes when you eat eggs everyday they can start causing problem. Check out the thread on this forum "breakfast without eggs" for some ideas. Also check out some AIP recipes because they also won't have nuts. Good Luck!

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A couple things:

- It certainly sounds like you're reacting to one or more foods.  What foods have you been eating on your Whole30 that you weren't eating prior?


- on Vitamin D and calcium on a Whole30, check out this article


- on the almond milk, the idea on a Whole30 isn't to drink it by the glass, but to instead use it sparingly as a fat source in coffee, tea, or cooking. If you want the nutrients from almonds, have whole almonds instead.  See the Whole30 Can I Have Guide for more details.

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Thanks for the links, GFChris.  That clears up a lot.  I am going to remove the almond milk from my diet completely, I think, along with nuts in general.  My mother has a nut allergy, and maybe the nut doesn't fall too far from the tree.  :P  


I haven't really been eating anything on the Whole30 that I haven't had before...the only thing, really, is the almond milk and ghee.  Everything else I've had before but in different concentrations.  There seem to be more of the good foods now than there used to be, but I ate them before, too...just less at a time and less often.


I think, Tina R, that I will follow your advice and remove eggs and avocado as well for the rest of my Whole30...see how that goes.  I will finish my Whole30 January 8th, then eat paleo-ish for the rest of January, so I will reintro these foods at the end of January to see whether I can tell if they affect me, before starting my second Whole30 in February.


Does anyone think I should remove fish too?  I have heard it can be an allergen, and while I've never had a problem before, I have been eating a lot more fish, too.

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I also should mention, I have always had extremely sensitive skin/skin disorders.  I have a skin condition that is called dermatographic urticaria.  With dermatographism, my skin will welt if it is touched under certain circumstances.  It gets worse in cold weather (like in December-April most years) and I also have a tendency towards allergic skin reactions to certain things around me and I never quite know what the cause is.  So, I am not entirely certain this is a food thing, because it could be an environmental thing and there's no way to really test that out because it could be just about ANYTHING.  But if it is a food thing, my diet is limited enough and controlled enough that I can remove known allergens to see if it makes a difference.  


I also have a strange tendency to have severe angioedema when I am pregnant.  I was only pregnant for two months before I lost my twins, but during that time, I would wake up with my eyes swelled shut, or my lips so swollen that I couldn't speak.  I also would get extremely large hives (like 6" across hives) when exposed to cold.  I was on prednisone for three weeks just to get the swelling under control, and intermittently for the rest of the winter, even after my pregnancy loss, because according to the allergist, the angioedema was a combination of stress hormones, pregnancy hormones, and cold.  So, that said, I haven't had any angioedema with this, but it was so horrible that I'm always afraid when my face starts to swell up that that's where it's headed.  


So, any insight into urticaria being a factor would be appreciated, too. :)

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Some people have problems with shell fish like shrimp, but fish with scales and fins are rarely an issue. I would save removing fish until you remove other things and find yourself still having a problem. The order of what might be a problem based upon my general awareness of how things work is nuts, avocado/eggs, coconut, fish.


I got a severe case of poison ivy 35 years ago that required multiple injections of prednisone to manage. For several years afterwards I would develop a dry rash reminiscent of the poison ivy rash when I got cold. The first time it happened I wondered how I had gotten poison ivy in the middle of the winter in Illinois. However, it was not poison ivy, just some kind of echo of my past that was provoked by cold. It stopped happening after about 3 years. I never consulted a doctor or used anything to treat the cold-induced hives that I got because I was an uninsured student in those years. Your story is the first I've ever heard of anyone having anything weird like I did. Hmm.

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If you bear to cut out all the suspects, I'd do that first, it should get you some faster relief. Once you're feeling human, I'd add them back in this order: fish, avocado, eggs, nuts (I'd try soaked hazelnuts before almonds and no commercial nut milks). Hazelnuts are missing some of the things in other nuts: http://detoxinista.com/2010/11/dont-wait-another-minute/


Do you ever have any reaction to bananas or plantains? Avocado is also in this latex allergy group.


If you don't want to cut all the suspects out at once, the top 3 I'd eliminate first would be avocado, coconut and almonds (all nuts if you can), they all can have symptoms like yours. I'd especially avoid commercial almond milk as it's rarely soaked, leaving it very high in phytic acid.


If it's an allergen you should see a pretty rapid drop of symptoms.


If you can bear not taking any anti-histamines, it will make it easier to monitor the results, but don't be a hero :)

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Totally random thought - any chance you've almost totally cut out salt?  A shift from processed --> "natural" diet often results in a big drop in sodium.  Puffiness (though not tearing... so this whole theory might be a bust) is a fluid shift from the vasculature to the tissues - a lot of which is controlled by electrolyte levels.  Was this diet a big change for you?  Looking at your log you seem to be eating sausage, etc which should have prevented a sodium drop so I'm probably not right.  Do you notice anything different about urination - more, less, cloudy, etc?


I wish I had something useful but I figured everyone else was telling you to cut things so I'd throw in the proverbial wrench and tell you to add something :)  And 1-2 days of salting your food a little more sure is easier than cutting out yummy things like avocados!

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  • 3 years later...

For me, personally...

I ate eggs throughout my life...but not regularly.

After starting WHOLE30, I ate them at least once a day, plus I made home made mayo and used that daily.

I noticed my eyes were puffy every morning (again, noticed this happened in the past, but never connected it because it seemed so random)...

Stopped eating eggs and next morning were no longer puffy...or the next day or the next day...

After 8 days without eggs, I decided to try them again (made sure they were pasture raised & local)...

Immediately after eating them - I got post nasal drip.

So...sigh...no more eggs for me... at least for now.

Good luck.


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