I’m in the middle of an elimination diet. Even though it’s thoroughly irritating to execute properly, I’m learning great things.

About a month ago I was waking up in the middle of the night with horrible stomach cramps. During the day, I would be massively bloated and uncomfortable in my clothes. I decided, in my normal fashion, to do something drastic. Instead of piddling through food diaries, I wanted to go big and get this over with instead of waiting months to sleuth what could be wrong.

I’ve cut out gluten, dairy, corn, caffeine, alcohol, soy, peanuts, eggs, and citrus. I’m pretty dang limited with what I can eat, but if I keep it simple (lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and rice and nuts) it’s easier.  I’m following a combination of this document from the University of Wisconsin, and this from Thomas Jefferson University. It was hard to pick a protocol since there are tons of them on the internet. I finally I let my perfectionism go and decided to go with a “good enough” approach.

I made it through the first elimination phase unscathed, and now I’m on to adding foods. Some have gone flawlessly (eggs), others were disastrous (corn). It’s a process and I’m excited to see what I learn and hopeful that I can really lower my stomach issues going forward.

I also think the end result of this experiment will help me on the bike.  Stomach issues have plagued me on long rides at times too. However, in the meantime I think it’s made rides harder as I struggle without my go-to junk food and gels to keep the sugar in my system.

Have you tried an elimination diet? What did you learn, and how did it affect your cycling?

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