June 4, 2013

Foggy gluten brain and toenail drilling

Yesterday I had three free hours. My kids went to Vacation Bible School, and I ran errands. I must have done a hundred things that had been on my to-do list for months. It felt glorious and efficient and in control. All things that I normally don't feel during any given day of regularly scheduled activities, and I was looking forward to three more hours of the same today.

Easy to identify why errands are easier without them. 

And then I ate cake.

Last night at a friend's house, I ate some cake, not a lot, but enough to make me feel like I've been hit in the head today. I am not efficient, I am not glorious, and I am not in control (at least of this cruddy brain fuzz).

Which brings me to thanking all of you for your very thoughtful responses to whether or not gluten-free diets are a fad. I didn't want to put my own opinions in the post, even though they are probably already pretty evident from previous posts.

One thing that a friend brought up that I hadn't considered before is that because of the gluten-free craze, people with celiac disease can easily get lost in the shuffle of optional gluten-free eaters. So people assume they are just being picky about what they eat instead of eating gluten-free out of medical necessity.

My feelings on it were pretty much summed up by Mary @ Fit & Fed:
To some degree it is a fad now. I have celiac relatives for whom it's absolutely necessary, and given that family history I've tried going gluten-free myself. Cutting out white flour would of course benefit anyone, so it's good for many people whether they need it or not. And I'm sure there are many degrees of gluten sensitivity other than celiac. For me, I've been doing it for a while but I don't even know for sure if it helps, I should probably run the experiment. My diet tends to be really good or else all fall apart at once, so it's been hard to tease out what the gluten-free does for me. But I can verify that when I suddenly have dairy, gluten, sugar, and alcohol, it's not good. I'm thinking now that the dairy is more of an issue for me than the gluten.
When I started avoiding gluten, I simultaneously started avoiding processed sugar and dairy, so when I have a night like last night, where I down some cake that includes all three, it's hard to know which element of the dessert made me feel worse: gluten, dairy or sugar. Either way, when I avoid all three, I feel so much better. Much less of a someone-punched-me-in-the-face feeling, and much more of a clear headed feeling. When I make a choice about food, I know that it will directly affect how I feel emotionally and physically, so before eating junky food (for me gluten fits into that category), I try and decide whether or not it's worth a couple days of fogginess. Sometimes I decide it is, more often these days I decide it isn't.

So back to yesterday's success. I was able to go into Alabama Outdoors and redeem the free socks I won at Saturday's race (more race details to come). Even though the Rockin Choccolocco 50K was one of the hardest runs of my life, I won some socks. Good trade, right. I may not have any more toenails, but I'll at least have a pair of socks to cover it up.

I have not run a single bit since Saturday, but I'll be doing a fun run tonight with my group at Life Time. Not to give you too many unnecessary and unwanted details, but my toenails are still throbbing from Saturday, and I think I might have to bust out some drill action to relieve some toenail pressure. 

What helps you be the most efficient during the day? 

Have you ever drilled into a toenail? Only once about five years ago, and it felt so much better afterwards!


  1. That was definitely the hardest race of my life, too. Although I don't think I can call it a "run." All 50ks aren't like that, right?

  2. I have always eaten way to much sugar. I feel so much better since I've backed off from consuming as much sugar, wheat and dairy, except greek yogurt. I love vanilla almond milk. It's hard for me to never have sugar and gluten though. Maybe that's why I have brain fog.....

  3. Interesting about the brain fog. I've had brain fog before...sometimes it's from cold medicine or not enough sleep. But I didn't get brain fog when I got off the Whole30 diet...and maybe because I've been gluten free for 3+ years. I've read about how horrible it is to go back to your regular diet after Whole30, but it hasn't happened to me and your blog just made me realize that it's probably gluten. I call this my normal diet even though it's not normal to others.

    One thing I have realized (and this is really weird) but I tend to overheat and sweat more than most people. A somewhat hot room is a terribly hot room for me. When I was on Whole30, I did not overheat and sweating was minimal. Since quitting the Whole30 on Day 20, I have definitely had some overheating days, but not everyday. (I still do some Whole30/paleo meals since I quit.) So now I have to figure out what is making me overheat, possibly affecting my thyroid??? At the moment, I'm thinking soy because of the estrogen. Any thoughts?

  4. A grande americano as soon as I walk through the doors at work, ha ha ha. I've never drilled into a toenail. The thought of that seriously gives me the heebie jeebies.

  5. I know I'm just not at my best when I binge on simple carbs. Not enough that I would every give them up, but everything in moderation for me.
    My husband keeps trying to get me to drill my post race scary nails ... just can't do it.

  6. If I could avoid sugar and the junky carbs I think I would be in a better place, but a few months ago I did go gluten free and that is going well, so next I'll have to work on the sugar. Luckily I have never drilled a toe nail!

  7. wowzers...50k - good for you - not sure that you could convince me to do for a pair of socks though ;)

  8. My Dad once drilled into his thumb nail after hitting it with a hammer. He had this tiny hole in his thumb nail for ages. It marked him out as a Hero in my eyes! He said it really helped, as well.

  9. Oh god the thought of drilling a toe nail just made me throw-up a little bit in my mouth. You are hard core. But if it works, it works! I am a huge list maker- obsessively so. Crossing stuff off a list is just so satisfying.

  10. If I get a run done first thing in the morning, I will most likely be more efficient during the day. That hasn't been the case the last couple weeks, with allergies and now a chest infection, but I've still been managing runs/workouts. I've just been lazier during the day, then.

  11. You drilled your toenail by yourself?! or with a doctor?!

    Efficiency... I do best when I give myself small breaks to walk around or get a little bit of exercise. It's an outlet for stress and craziness. I always focus really well after I've gotten my blood flowing a little. Eating vegan helps too because animal products feel heavy in my stomach and make me feel tired.

    Stick with the diet that makes you feel best! So proud of you for keeping strong with it. It can't be easy with all those kiddos to take care of.

  12. OMG. I seriously didn't know there was such a thing! Toenail drilling that is, not foggy (gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, etc.) brain. I get that all the time. ; )

  13. Eventually, my black toenails fall off and new ones grow back. No pain, so far, but I haven't run a 50K like you either, just marathons. Congrats on winning a free pair of good socks! That must have made you feel a little better!

  14. I just let my gross black toenails grow out and cover them with pink or red nail polish. I have considered getting them removed before. I am not that hard core though...


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