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2 Rounds Done, Trying to figure out these headaches


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I'm finishing up my second round of Whole30 on Wednesday. I feel great, but I still am getting headaches every couple of days. I never had them before this journey, so I'm determined to figure this out. I still want to stay on this eating plan.


3 things I'm experimenting with:  Sleep (wake up with headache sometimes - seems to be when I have to wake with an alarm mid sleep pattern), hunger (do these come on when I'm hungry? Is this my new hunger warning?), and Nightshades (hoping this isn't it!)


Today was a really bad eating day. Woke with a headache, went away, had one after dinner. 



8 hours sleep, 85% according to sleep app. Woke up by alarm 6:40 with slight headache. 15 min meditation

M1: Sausage, Egg, cabbage, carrot stirfry, 1/2 avocado

M2: Bison Burger Patty at restaurant, skipped veggies as they were clearly covered in butter. ate emergency cashew lara bar and banana in car

Snack: coconut flakes, raisins, prosciutto

M3: Chicken broth, green beans, red mashed potatoes


Headache came on after dinner. Low energy today. 

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It's hard to tell from just the one day's food, but if you're getting hunger headaches, and needing to snack then I'd say you're not eating enough.

How many eggs did you have with meal one alongside your sausage? How much sausage was there? How much actual chicken was there in your bone broth, if any? And if not, where was your protein?

Other thoughts to consider:

Are you drinking enough water (half an ounce per pound of body weight daily being the recommendation)
Are you salting your food?
Are you consistently resorting to emergency foods like lara bars and/or fruit?
Could these emergency foods be propping up your sugar dragon & contributing to your headaches due to their fructose content?
Have you kept a track of what you've eaten on the days you've  had headaches to see if there is a definite pattern?

What, and how much we eat has a cumulative effect on our bodies. If you are consistently eating too little your body is going to start trying to tell you in some way - and a headache could certainly be one of those ways.


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Any time someone reports eating a single egg as part of a meal, I flag them as likely undereating. The composition of your M1 sounds good, but I would bet you did not eat enough.


You passed on veggies at M2 because they were clearly covered in butter, but you ate a bison patty. The butter on veggies makes the cooking fat of the bison suspect. A bison patty and a larabar is not nearly enough food.


Your snack was not substantial food. After undereating for two meals, you grazed a bit.


M3 reports no protein beyond the trace amounts in chicken broth. You basically had a light soup and some veggies.


You are not eating real meals. You are grazing. I am surprised that all you are complaining of is headaches. 


You call yourself TriGirlD so I assume you train to swim, bike, run. This level of eating cannot support physical training without threat of injury and adrenal fatigue, etc. Come on! Eat!

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Sorry guys, I didn't elaborate on my food because I wasn't really thinking anyone was looking at the journals. If so, I would have posted a week's worth of food. My bad - thank you so much for looking!

Yesterday was my worst day on the whole30 program. A series of errors the whole day through and I was just too tired yesterday to make a meal. First time that's happened in 2 months. My typical meals are really balanced at this point in line with the Eating Guidelines - I've really honed them after 60 days on the plan, in my opinion. I always eat at least 2, but more often 3, eggs in a sitting, and I am not a grazer/snacker.  Today's first and second meal are more typical for me of a normal day.   Even though I knew yesterday was off, I decided to start tracking this every day  to see j if I can find any patterns. I'm starting to think about reintroduction, and I don't know how I'd do that process, when I don't feel very good most of the time. 


Also, I've been taking this week off from exercise so far cause I want to try to isolate this. 



Woke up with a headache. Interestingly, my nose was stuffed up and my husband's cough was back. Maybe there's something in the air we're both allergic to?

Had water and breakfast and it was gone by 9. 

M1: 3 Eggs over easy, sweet potato, green beans, olives

Got to work and headache started up after 10am and has not stopped yet (it's 1:00pm)

M2: Soup with Red Potatoes, about a cupful of complaint ham chunks, spaghetti squash, carrots, mushrooms, and half an avocado

42 oz of water so far.


We're going out to dinner as a work team tonight. I've looked at the menu and will either be having the fish of the day (depending on how it's cooked), or the Roasted Chicken with Grilled Veggies (depending on how they answer my questions about the way it's cooked).    The menu my boss chose is slim pickins so I'm hoping they can just accomodate me. 


My eyes have also been hurting, and I'm wondering if my time spend on the computer and in front of handheld devices is affecting me. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked again.


JMCBN, let me take a stab at your questions. Good food for thought.

Are you drinking enough water (half an ounce per pound of body weight daily being the recommendation) Yes, someone recommended I pay attention to this a month ago and I've been closely tracking.  Will continue to do so, though.
Are you salting your food?  Yes. And sometimes I worry I have too much salt (olives, pickles, prosciutto), but I still salt my food.
Are you consistently resorting to emergency foods like lara bars and/or fruit?    I end up turning to a lara bar once every 2 weeks on average.  I have been very pleased to find that it doesn't mess with my sugar dragon, and I don't get cravings.  BUT,  I never thought about the fact that maybe the fructose content in fruit or dried fruits could be causing a headache. I'll add that to my "pay attention" list.
Could these emergency foods be propping up your sugar dragon & contributing to your headaches due to their fructose content?
Have you kept a track of what you've eaten on the days you've  had headaches to see if there is a definite pattern?  Thats the process I'm starting now.

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That's an interesting theory Jen! I've actually been off the caffeine for a few weeks now. I was never much of a coffee drinker, so it's not that big a deal. 


Last night - did end up eating a huge salad with a palmful of roasted chicken (they checked the ingredients for me - compliant!), chopped egg, veggies, raw cashews, and some raisins with oil and vinegar dressing around 5pm.


Headache was pretty much gone after dinner.


Got home at 9pm and was really hungry ( too hungry to fall asleep), so I had 5 olives, 2 bites of my mashed potatoes, and a few mango slices.


In Summary: First 2 days of headaches:

NIghtshades: Had potatoes, but not in large quantities. 

Hunger: Yes, on the first day I had too little food.

Fruit/Lara Bar: Yes first day, no second day

Glasses: Wore my glasses at my computer both days

Sleep: 8 hours of decent sleep but had interuptions (damn dogs)

Water: 90 oz


Today, I woke up with a very slight headache under the surface, but I had breakfast and am now feeling fine! Still a little tired.


M1: 3 compliant hotdogs, 1 c saurkraut, 1c broccoli, 1 handful coconut flakes, 1/2 banana

Before lunch-time workout: 1/2 strip compliant beef jerky and coconut flakes

PWO: Small Sweet Potato and 1/2 strip compliant beef jerky

Lunch: Soup with Red Potatoes, about a cupful of complaint ham chunks, spaghetti squash, carrots, mushrooms, and olives

Dinner: Chicken Thighs with Frank's BBQ sauce, broccoli, guacamole


I'll update later if this ends up being a headache free day!

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So yesterday I had a ton of energy and felt great most of the day. Went to the gym at lunchtime and hit faster speeds than I've had in over a year. It was awesome.  Had lunch at 2pm, and then about 5pm as I started home, the headache crept in.  I ate a small snack of prosciutto and mango slices thinking maybe it was due to not enough food. Dinner was at 7, and it got worse after that.


Summary of yesterday:

NIghtshades: Had potatoes at dinner, but not in large quantities. 

Hunger: No, full all day

Dried Fruit/Lara Bar: No

Glasses: Wore my glasses at my computer

Sleep: 8 hours of decent sleep but had interuptions

Water: 100 oz


So, I'm really stumped as to why that headache returned. Not seeing any patterns so far. 


If there are any moderators here, (Tom?), would you take a look at Tuesday and Wednesday's food and see if you can see anything?


Slept 7 hours last night, and woke up with a headache just under the surface again.  Just had acupuncture done.  I'll write later with today's food and observations.

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I'm not Tom, but I'll have to do for now...  :wacko: 

I see potatoes. Lots of them. Followed by headaches.

On your first post you list mashed potatoes as your M3, then you woke with a headache the next day.
Second day your headache kicked in after M2, with which you had potatoes.
Can you think back to what you ate three days ago? Or four? And how you felt?

What are your food plans for today?

The thing is that food has a cumulative effect on our bodies - so eating poattoes day in, day out, even in small quantities, will create some kind of a reaction if you are sensitive to them. I struggle with FODMAPs and if I eat them daily I do not feel well at all - but I can eat a half an avocado every few days and be fine.

I'd go a few days without the potatoes and see how you go from there.... (I'd also ditch the mango, which probably isn't doing you any favours, but that's just me)

* Disclaimer - Tom might have a different opinion  :ph34r:

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Thank you JMCBN and Jess!!  That is really good feedback. I think I'm in denial because the idea of cutting the potatoes out makes me so sad. Which is why I should probably cut them. 


Ok, I'm going to start one week without potatoes or fruit and see how that makes me feel.  They certainly aren't worth this brain fog and headaches! It would be so nice to figure this out.



Breakfast: 3 compliant hot dogs, cup saurkraut, broccoli, olives

Lunch was 3 chicken drumsticks and a big helping of broccoli, with a handful of olives.

Dinner I have planned is Greek Meatballs with Tahini Avocado and green beans


No potatoes in any of that stuff.   I'm doing pretty well today. Just a hint of an underlying headache under the surface that pops up every now and then. Oh, and strangly, I'm having trouble with the donuts and candy in the office kitchen. Haven't had cravings in a while, but they are back today.  I think this is mental - I told myself the second round was ending on Dec 9th, and then I could start reintroducing other foods.  Now I'm extending that by at least another week.  Wierdest thing I'm craving? All I can think about is a big latte with full fat milk!


Thanks guys!

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Up the fat in your meals for the time being until you get over the cravings - you may actually find this will help with your headaches too.

You mention the latte.... when I first started eating this way I'd have sold my soul to the devil for a glass of milk. I got through it at the time and whilst I don't eat dairy on a regular basis I do indulge very occasionally. I haven't had any for quite some time though, and I haven't actually had a glass of milk since February. On Monday though nothing would do but I HAD TO HAVE a glass of milk. I bought a litre, put it in the fridge and there it has remained - now I have it I've no desire to actually drink it....

Dairy seems to have a strange pull for a lot of people!!  :wacko:

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Today my headache was gone for half the day, and the other half it was barely there. Going away! 


M1: 3 Eggs, 3 cut up cucumbers, coconut flakes, almonds

M2: 4 Meatballs, Avocado Tahini Sauce, Salad with oil and vinegar (peppers, cucumbers, lettuce)

M3: Chicken with Franks Red Hot Sauce, broccoli, dump ranch sauce, and coconut flakes


Shopping tomorrow, and also planning on meal prepping like crazy. I was not well prepared enough this week with veggies. 

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Weekend was good. Slight headache at times on Saturday.  No potatoes or sweets. 


Sunday - clear head completely. I was on a dive boat and kept getting seasick so my meals were a bit off, but I had:

M1> 2 hardboiled eggs and a bit of sausage

Snack> nuts and jerky

M2> Salad, chicken drumstick


I had a few bites of the ice cream they served as dessert. My first sweet thing in over 2 months.  I threw up most of my earlier food, and was starting to feel like I could eat, so I went for it. It was delicious and I was satisfied with what I had. 


M3> panang curry with vegetables



Monday - had headache in afternoon.  This one may have to do with the previous day's diving, as that often leaves me dehydrated and headachy.  


M1> Eggs, spinach, sausage, avocado

M2> (at a work function) 2 cups asparagus, 1 1/2 palmfuls of baked chicken (all made special for me without butter)

M3> 1 cup shredded beef in tomato sauce, guacamole, 1 cup green beans, 3 cups of power greens sautéed down. 

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Tuesday - clear head for 80% of the day. 


M1) 2 hardboiled eggs, sugar snap peas, nuts

M2) Green Beans, Sauteed Greens, shredded beef, guacamole


mid day - decided to start the reintro process, and ordered a soy milk latte.  But then I did some research on soy and estrogen and decided that this week (when I am completely focused on making a baby) is not a good week to add estrogen into my life.  Threw it away after a few sips.  


M3) Tilapia and Acorn Squash with ghee



Tomorrow, I'm going to start re-intro with legumes, but I'm skipping soy products for now.  Will add in peanut butter at breakfast and beans at lunch.  Then back to 2 days of on-plan. 


Let's see how this goes!

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Wednesday - didn't have enough to eat today due to some running around, and had a low headache before my meals. I think this one may be attributed to hunger.


M1) Green Beans, 1 link sausage (tasted funny, may have gone bad. Didn't finish it all), olives, 2 spoonfulls of peanut butter

An hour after the PB, I started feeling gassy and having stomach pains.  Gross. 


M2) Spinach salad with grilled chicken and a few olives.  At a restaurant - not enough food, but as safe as I could get. 

Snack: Hummus and celery/carrots.  


Again, stomach felt bloated and gassy.  There was no way I was adding in any more legumes for dinner!

M3) Tilapia, homemade ranch, broccolini, black olives. 


had a handful of raisins at night hoping I could get my stomach to move a bit. 


Yeah, I felt gross today. Definitely don't agree with the legumes.  Which is absolutely amazing, because why did I not notice that before?? 



No headache today at all, and back to whole30 eating for 2 days. 


M1) 3 fried eggs, broccolini, hot sauce, half avocado

M2) Salad with Steak, avocado, oil, vinegar


Long afternoon. Snack of coconut flakes and raisins


M3) Trying to decide. I'm home alone, so don't want to cook something big. Probably leftover BBQ Chicken or Roast Beef and green beans/toasted coconut flakes. 



Also, Since the Whole30 ended weeks ago, I'm back to weekly weigh in's.  And HOLY COW, today the scale dropped 3.5 lbs from last week!  It's been a couple of years since I've been in this range. And I'm only 2.4lbs away from the bmi my doctor wanted me to hit.  So exciting! 

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Congrats on seeing good weight progress!  :)


Legumes did not go well for me, either.  The short explanation is that as we become more and more healthy, our bodies become less and less tolerant of the junk that they used to be bombarded with all the time.  There is much more technical info... but the point is:  It's a good thing!

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Wednesday - didn't have enough to eat today due to some running around, and had a low headache before my meals. I think this one may be attributed to hunger.


So good that you're starting to be able to read your body's signals - I'd agree this one was down to hunger given what you ate.


I'm sure you are also chuffed about the continued weight-loss - well done - you're on the right path for sure!!

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Ok, I skipped a few days.



- No more headaches, and I've added back in one piece of fruit a day without a problem. yay! Still no potatoes. I think I'll keep those as a special treat. 


- Dairy reintro day 1 went really well. I ate greek yogurt, a few big chunks of cheese, and a chicken dish that included yogurt and milk. I felt great all day, and had amazing energy.  Day 2 though, I had a little coffee with cream, and then went back to normal. I was a little backed up, so that may be because of the dairy.  And then Day 3, I woke up with loose stools, so may be a delayed reaction to the dairy.  Lesson - this may be something I can add back in periodically, but cumulatively over a few days, it's not a good idea. 


- Today, I was planning on reintro'ing non-gluten grains, but... I ended up having something with gluten.  That turned into a day of bad eating.  Crikey. I gotta keep these out of my life!  It made me instantly tired, bloated, gassy, and feeling like sludge., and the sugar dragon came roaring back.   I also had sugar today.  Worst day of eating since the beginning of September, and I feel terrible. 

(cauliflower soup, prosciutto, bundt cake, cookie, brownie, sloppy joe meat with salad/guac, homemade "orange chicken" with white bread and tomatoes. Day ended with some candy corn I had hidden away and coconut flakes)




- Tomorrow I'll be back on whole30 eating, and then I'm going to attempt to stick to whole30 while traveling on Thursday too. I already asked my parents to prepare some basic meat and veggies as part of Christmas Eve dinner.  


The only thing I haven't tested out yet with reintro is non-gluten grains.  We are traveling on the road on Christmas Day and have to stop at a restaurant. I may try out some corn and a gluten free breakfast bar on that day.   Otherwise, I'm going to make an effort to stay whole30 during our 3 days on Key West.  Wish me luck!    If I could do it for Thanksgiving, I can certainly do it for Christmas. 

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