Hypothyroidism and The Whole30 challenge

Hello friends. This post is a little different today… I hope you don’t mind.

I am declaring to the Blog world and you my wonderful readers, that…

whole30-facebook-cover-photo After doing a LOT of research and downloading the Whole30 book “It Starts with Food” onto my iPad, I have decided to give the Whole30 Challenge a shot.

A little about me:

4 months ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and was told by my PA that my test levels were one of the highest she had ever seen (which is bad, very, very bad).

For those of you who aren’t aware of what hypothyroidism is, it means that my thyroid was pretty much not functioning and I would assume that it hasn’t been for a long time.

The side effects of hypothyroidism are:

  • Coarse and thinning hair.
  • Dry skin.
  • Brittle nails.
  • A yellowish tint to the skin.
  • Facial puffiness.
  • Slow body movements.
  • Cold skin.
  • Weigh gain or the inability to lose weight.
  • Inability to tolerate cold.
  • Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak.
  • Memory problems, depression, or problems concentrating.
  • Constipation.
  • Heavy or irregular or non-existent menstrual periods

I won’t go into detail about which ones affected me, but I will say that I cried when I realized that weight gain and inability to lose weight were side effects of this disorder, because it is something I have been struggling with for a very long time.

Fast forward to April, 2013

I am still struggling with a lot of the side effects of Hypothyroidism.

Yeah, pretty sucky, huh.

So, I decided to do some research. I stumbled upon a couple posts that have led me to this up and coming 30 day challenge…

A few people have completely stopped taking their medication after eating strictly Paleo for an entire year. Paleo is a relaxed version of Whole30. After this challenge, if all goes well, I will attempt the Paleo 80/20 approach (which means that you eat strictly Paleo 80% of the time).

You can read those articles, here, here and here.

The way I look at it, what do I have to lose? If Whole30 is meant to reset my metabolism, the question is: why am I NOT doing it?

So… I am!


I will be starting on Monday. I am apprehensive and a bit nervous, but excited at the same time.

Here are the rules:

  • Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed.
  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (Sorry Julie, this means wine Thursday is taking a 4 week hiatus)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
  • One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program.

To those of you who have to put up with me for the next 30 days, I apologize…

I have started a blog specifically for this Challenge so that you guys, my running dudes, don’t have to hear about it all the time.

Because, let’s be honest, you follow me, “RatherBeRunnin”, to talk about RUNNING!

Anyway, if you are interested in joining me on this journey, or want to follow my experience, check out my new blog child “Holy30, Batman!”



46 thoughts on “Hypothyroidism and The Whole30 challenge

  1. davehuseman says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis and look forward to watching you beat it! It’s obvious you’ve done your homework, that’s sometimes the hardest part. Some people just wait for someone else to hand them the answer. Your approach enables you to be part of the solution and your drive will be the difference between giving up to it or taking charge of it. Good Luck! We’ll all be watching you succeed!


  2. sochac says:

    Stumbled upon your blog from reading Julies post. I wish you all the best with the whole30 challenge and tackling hypothyroidism, I had seen first hand a few years back with my mom and it took her while to get things back on track. I do a whole variety of cooking myself (even though some things on my blog break a few rules) there is a variety of meat and fish concepts that may be helpful if you are looking for different styles and flavors (use various spices and make own sauces) and have been getting into vegetable based dishes as well. Good luck to you. Looking forward to read more of your posts.


    • ratherberunnin says:

      Hi there! Thank you so much for checking out my blog and I surfed around yours last night! It is pretty amazing. I am definitely inspired by a lot of your recipes! Thank you again so much for your support 🙂


  3. OneMotherofaDay says:

    Hi I just found your blog. Was reading some of your past posts and found this one. I have done the whole30 and just this week finished a 21-day sugar detox, which is even a stricter paleo lifestyle(if you choose level 3). I was diagnosed with autoimmune hives late last year and was looking for some relief. I would say I follow paleo about 80/20. I love it!! Good luck to you with your journey!


  4. OneMotherofaDay says:

    hi i just found your blog!! reading through your previous posts and found this one. i have gone thru the whole30 and just this week finished the 21 day sugar detox. i was diagnosied with autoimmune hives late last year and decided to go paleo. i would say i am following it 80/20 on average. i love it.


  5. Zaneta says:

    I have hypothyroidism too… I’ve been diagnosed since I was in High School… I hate the side effects!! My biggest 2 are thinning hair and fatigue. Thanks for posting this! I think it’s interesting that some people have gotten off the synthroid (or whichever brand they take) by simply eating the paleo diet!!


  6. Dawn H. says:

    Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. One of my best friends has hypothyroidism and has been struggling with it for many years. Good luck with the Whole30! I’ll be following that blog too, since I’ve been thinking about doing a digestive reset myself.


  7. My Pajama Days says:

    I so needed to see this post today! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 14 years ago and it has been a constant battle ever since. The last couple of years have been the worst, I’d say, now that I hit 40. I am going to look at your book suggestion – and perhaps I might be starting something new on Monday with you!! Good luck!!


  8. klmv says:

    Can’t wait to read about your progress and good luck!

    (I’ve flirted with the idea myself and I’m already gluten, sugar and cow-dairy free, though I eat goat milk products, but oats and legumes are the two things I’d have serious problems giving up.)


  9. Emily says:

    Good luck! I did a successful Whole30 in January and it was awesome. This time … not so much. It’s tough to stick to at first, but once you figure it out it’s awesome!


  10. unsportywomencanrun says:

    I suffer with this too, reared its ugly head during pregnancy. Since then (a long road of years of tests, medication and lots of side effects) its now under control. I don’t take any medication and feel great. I control it through diet and exercise but under medical supervision. During all this I acquired two other autoimmune diseases. All the best with it.


    • ratherberunnin says:

      Thank you!!! It’s nice to see that I am not the only runner out there with this problem and that I can eventually get off of the meds. Having to take medication every day “for the rest of my life” is not ideal.


  11. Eribis says:

    After reading that “what you cant eat” list the only thing i could think of was, what CAN you eat? I wish you great luck though and look forward to reading your experience.


  12. Molto Vivace says:

    I’ll be interested to follow and see how you feel after doing the challenge. My husband has been eating Paleo (or Primal?) for a year and a half and likes it, but I’m not on board. 🙂


  13. Ashley says:

    Im so sorry that you’ve been going through that, but about your challenge, I’m intrigued. I definitely don’t think that’s something I could do but I can’t wait to hear about how it goes!


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