Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wrapping up 30 days hard core low histamine

[Note: This original post is from November 2011, early in my exploration of histamine intolerance. Looking back, there are a few foods in this food diary that probably weren't as low histamine as I thought, foods that could be a bother to others. Nonetheless, I was able to achieve relief and some good healing from this stretch. I encourage readers to catch up with my eczema situation in more recent posts. - Sarah, March 2014]

Today is day 30 of my 30 day commitment to an extreme low histamine paleo diet. Overall, there were more ups than downs. A small to medium flare up here and there, but I've learned/confirmed a few things...

1. Homemade chips fried in coconut oil don't seem to agree with the skin. I've had enough morning-after mild flare ups to admit there's likely a connection. I hope this isn't a sign of a larger coconut issue, but I think keeping the coconut oil-drenched chips to a minimum will be wise. Note: These chips taste fantastic. I have them down to a science to a point where my celiac-partially-paleo-but-still-eats-sweets husband asked where (i.e. what bag) they came from. Taste like the "real" thing but better. An infrequent, possibly baked next time, treat they shall be.

2. Boiled eggs left in the fridge - being leftover protein - is a histamine mistake. Duh. Noted.

3. Stress and sleep are important factors. Early in my quest, I had a particularly stress-filled span of 20-30 minutes at work under a deadline. I ripped at my hand/arm for the duration of this time. I suspect food was still a factor (boiled egg perhaps), but stress seemed to throw me over the bend. Note: try to chill out.

4. Although I don't usually overeat on protein, it probably makes up a larger proportion of my diet than the histamine gods would recommend. Fair game from a paleo perspective, but not recommended in terms of histamine intolerance. I don't plan on fundamentally altering my macronutrient intake, but something to be aware of. Will balance my meat out with plenty of veggies.

5. Nobody beats Mom. My mom was over for the Remembrance Day long weekend and we had a great time. As I've mentioned before, she discovered the histamine intolerance in herself before I'd even started having symptoms (post-paleo). She's a dietitian, and all 'round fun gal and I love her. The observation on the leftover boiled eggs is just one example or her valuable insight on all things good health. She's my number one health-related confidante.

Anyhow, I suggested in an earlier post I'd share my 30 day food log. For what it's worth, here it is. You'll note a few references to skin condition here and there, though I haven't recorded it in any great scientific manner. I welcome thoughts, observations.

 FOOD LOG (Oct 22 to Nov 20, 2011)

Sat Oct 22 / day 1
Breakfast: Burger, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, apple
Snack: Coconut milk w ground flax seed, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin
Lunch: Chicken breast, sweet potato, parsnips, couple small apples
Dinner: Pork chop, broccoli, turnip fries (olive oil, salt and pepper), apple

Sun Oct 23 / day 2
8:30 Coconut milk w ground flax seed, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin, two egg yolks (cooked)
11:30 burger, turnips fries, broccoli
17:30 carrots, celery
18:00 burger, parsnips, buttercup squash, apple
20:50 apple

Mon Oct 24 / day 3
8:00 Coconut milk w ground flax seed, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin, hemp protein
14:00 Lunch couple bites liver, two small apples, green salad (spring mix, red pepper, cukes, carrot)
19:30 raw carrots (while prepping dinner), burger, roasted broccoli (coconut oil, salt and pepper), apple
Skin: major flare up that lasted a good part of the day on and off (stress plus boiled eggs)

Tues Oct 25 / day 4
8:30 Hash (sweet potato, two eggs, full fat coconut milk, S&P, cooked in coconut oil - shared with Molly)
12:20 Burger, squash, parsnips, butter, S&P, two small apples
19:00 most of a boiled egg, pork chop, Brussels sprouts, carrots (w butter), sweet potato chips (homemade - sweet potato, coconut oil, salt and pepper)
18:00 two small apples

Wed Oct 26 / day 5
8:50 Burger, squash, parsnips, butter, S&P, apple
14:50 Burger, broccoli, apple
20:30-21:30 boiled egg, raw carrots, burger, spaghetti squash, salt and pepper, butter, apple

Thurs Oct 27 / day 6
8:00 two eggs, shredded sweet potato cooked in butter, salt and pepper
12:30 chicken breast, roasted parsnips, sweet potato cooked in coconut oil, salt and pepper, two apples
18:15 raw carrots and celery while prepping dinner of two burgers, asparagus roasted in coconut oil, salt and pepper
Skin: minor bouts of itching here and there, not much, one bit stress-induced I think. A bit patchy red but healing I think.

Fri Oct. 28 / day 7
Skin: did a bit of half-asleep itching last night.
8:00 Four small pieces of coconut bread (coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt) with butter.
Skin: Moderately itchy hand
13:00 Burger, spaghetti squash, two apples
17:30 two egg yolks, three small pieces of coconut bread, butter
19:00 burger, broccoli roasted in evoo, salt and pepper, apple
Skin: looks good tonight, like there may be progress

Sat Oct 29 / day 8
9:00 four small pieces of coconut bread French toast, scrambled eggs
12:30 burger, spaghetti squash, butter, salt and pepper, apple
16:00 raw carrots, one small piece of coconut bread with butter
17:45 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée with butter, salt and pepper
20:45 coconut butter
Skin: couple very  minor itchy spells scattered about the day

Sun Oct 30 / day 9
Skin: 1-2 spots on hand moderately itchy in the morning
8:00 most of one hard boiled egg
10:00 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée, small apple
12:45 homemade sweet potato chips
13:20 skin: minor flare up on right arm
14:30 small bowl of squash soup
18:00 burger, broccoli, carrots, evoo, salt and pepper, apple
20:20 hard boiled egg, apple
21:30 coconut flakes

Mon Oct 31 / day 10
8:00 three eggs with shredded sweet potato cooked in coconut oil, shared with Molly
10:00 skin: mild flare up, possibly stress-related
12:45 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée
17:30 raw carrots and celery
18:15 chicken breast and homemade sweet potato fries (coconut oil, salt and pepper, turmeric)
19:20 celery and coconut butter

Tue Nov 1 / day 11
Skin: some night scratching on my right arm
8:00 three eggs, coconut milk, shredded sweet potato, shared with Molly, vitamin D, omega 3 oil
12:30 burger, carrots, broccoli
17:30 celery, two burgers, spaghetti squash, butter, salt and pepper, apple
20:45 apple, coconut flakes

Wed Nov 2 / day 12
8:00 three eggs, shredded sweet potato, coconut milk, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, ground flax seeds
13:30 pork roast, broccoli, sweet potato, apple, pear
20:45 burger, carrots, broccoli, spaghetti squash, two apples

Thur Nov 3 / day 13
8:00 three eggs, shredded sweet potato, coconut milk, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, ground flax seeds
11:00 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée, apple
14:30 raw carrots
(Must've missed noting supper this day, but you're getting the idea)

Fri Nov 4 / day 14
8:45 burger, roasted parsnips, cauliflower-carrot purée
12:10 pear
13:00 steak with sautéed onions, green salad no dressing (restaurant)
13:45 apple, pear
17:45 raw carrots while preparing dinner
18:15 burger, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, evoo, butter, salt and pepper, apple
19:50 short bit of itchiness on hand
20:00 apple

Sat Nov 5 / day 15
9:30 three eggs cooked in butter, sweet potato hash browns in butter, salt and pepper, shared with Molly
12:30 two burgers, buttercup squash cubes, evoo, salt and pepper, pear
18:00 1.5 pork chops, roasted parsnips, evoo, salt and pepper
20:00 homemade sweet potato and parsnip chips, coconut oil, salt
Skin before bed: a bit of itching between knuckles

Sun Nov 6 / day 16
7:30 skin: some mild itching
8:00 a few bits of coconut bread with butter, eggs (with coconut milk, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, flaxseed, evoo), hash browns of sweet potato, parsnips and squash
9:30 skin: moderate itching
11:10 four small pieces of coconut flax bread w butter, small glass coconut beverage, apple
12:15 pork chop, cauliflower-carrot purée, butter
17:30 two burgers, roasted parsnips, cauliflower-carrot purée, half a pear
19:15 apple
Skin: a few short periods of mild to moderate itching

Mon Nov 7 / day 17
8:00 1.5 boiled eggs, three small pieces of coconut bread with butter
13:00 burger, roasted parsnips, cauliflower-carrot purée with butter, salt and pepper, apple, pear
18:30 chicken breast, sweet potato, roasted parsnips, butter, apple
20:25 two small pieces coconut flaxseed toast w butter
Skin: a few mildly itchy spells, colour not as good

Tue Nov 8 / day 18
7:30 two eggs, coconut milk, ground flaxseeds, multi vitamin powder, omega 3 oil, cooked in evoo, two small pieces of coconut bread with butter
12:30 burger, roasted carrots and broccoli, apple, pear, apple
18:45 burger, roasted parsnips, cauliflower-carrot purée
20:15 San pellegrino
Skin: pretty good, a short stint under hot water

Wed Nov 9 / day 19
8:00 two hard boiled eggs, two pieces coconut bread
12:15 salad (greens, shredded carrot, red pepper, cucumber), grilled chicken with not sure what on it (Urban Eatery), apple, two pears
17:15 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée
21:00 raw carrots, hard boiled egg, few bites of pork chop

Thurs Nov 10 / day 20
6:15 two boiled eggs, small glass coconut beverage
13:15 pork chop, cauliflower-carrot purée, apple, pear
18:15 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée
19:20 chicken breast, homemade sweet potato fries (coconut oil), apple

Fri Nov 11 / day 21
7:40 two eggs cooked in evoo, apple
9:30 boiled egg yolk (Molly had white)
12:45 burger, zucchini and sweet potato in coconut oil, raw carrots and cucumber
18:00 burger, roasted parsnips and broccoli in coconut oil, salt and pepper, pear 19:40 apple

Sat Nov 12 / day 22
9:40 boiled egg, apple, small glass coconut beverage
11:30 celery, boiled egg, coconut butter
11:45 skin itchy (hand)
14:45 apple 15:45 two eggs fried in evoo
18:00 tenderloin steak, cauliflower-carrot purée, roasted broccoli and parsnips in coconut oil, salt and pepper

Sun Nov 13 / day 23
10:00 three fried eggs and steak (w some kind of rub), melon (Smitty's)
14:00 burger, sweet potato cooked in butter, cauliflower-carrot purée, broccoli, half an apple
17:30 couple spoonfuls of coconut butter
19:45 burger, shredded in sweet potato cooked in butter, apple, pear

Mon Nov 14 / day 24
8:00 three eggs cooked in evoo, shredded sweet potato cooked in butter, coconut beverage
13:00 two burgers, roasted parsnips and broccoli, apple, pear
18:00 raw carrots, tender loin steak, roasted parsnips and broccoli in evoo, apple, pear

Tue Nov 15 / day 25
7:45 three eggs with coconut milk, multi vitamin powder, omega 3 oil, ground flaxseed, coconut beverage
12:30 tenderloin steak, roasted parsnips and broccoli, pear, apple
18:15 burger, cauliflower-carrot purée, broccoli, pear
20:30 couple spoonfuls of coconut butter

Wed Nov 16 / day 26
7:45 four eggs, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, flaxseed, coconut milk
12:30 chicken breast, shredded sweet potato, apple
17:00 burger, roasted sweet potato and zucchini, pear
20:30 apple
21:00 celery and coconut butter, apple

Thurs Nov 17 / day 27
8:00 four eggs, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, flaxseed, coconut milk
10:30 apple, pear
12:45 burger, steamed broccoli, cauliflower-carrot purée, apple
22:00 burger, roasted zucchini and sweet potato, apple

Fri Nov 18 / day 28
8:00 four eggs cooked in butter (shared with Molly), apple
11:30 chicken breast, sweet potato, broccoli, two apples
15:30 celery, mashed sweet potato
17:00 pork chop, asparagus with butter, apple
20:00 homemade sweet potato and parsnip chips

Sat Nov 19 / day 29
8:30 four eggs, omega 3 oil, multi vitamin powder, flaxseed, coconut milk, shredded sweet potato cooked in butter
12:00 two burgers, shredded squash cooked with coconut milk, butter, salt and pepper, apple
Skin: been itchy here and there through the morning, I suspect the chips
17:00 cucumber slices, ground pork, shredded squash and sweet potato cooked in coconut milk, salt and pepper, two apples

Sun Nov 20 / day 30
10:00 coconut flour waffles (coconut flour, eggs, coconut milk, baking soda, ground flaxseed, bit of agave), butter, shredded sweet potato cooked in ghee
12:00 couple more waffles with butter
17:00 raw carrots and cucumber, two burgers, cauliflower-carrot purée, parsnips roasted in coconut oil, two apples
20:45 apple

Day 29 and hand is pretty good. Some redness remains around the knuckles.

Again, some redness remains.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why didn't I think of that?

My mom is visiting for the long weekend, which is a great treat. We talk a lot of nutrition when together, which often revolves around the whole histamine thing. It's because of her that I was able to determine what the deal with my skin was.

Coincidentally, I had a moderate skin flare up today, of which she was a witness. She asked an excellent question: "do you think it's the hard boiled eggs?" Well how about that. How could I have overlooked something so seemingly obvious? I've been boiling eggs and putting them in the fridge for Molly snacks and for simple convenient protein on the run. Hello?! Protein + cooked + leftover = histamine overload. I can't believe it didn't think of that.

Taken this morning mid flare up. Please excuse bed head. And the grimace. Instead, notice unsightly red blotches.

In comparison to recent days, this was not good.

I later looked back over my food log (which I'll post when my 30 days of hard core low histamine are over) and sure enough, I've been eating an increasing number of (leftover) boiled eggs in recent days. In fact, there seems to be a trend where days I've had boiled eggs are also days (or followed by days) when I've recorded skin issues (although on the whole, I've been decent).

This may contribute to my frustration and wishy-washiness when it comes to eggs. Some days I'm sure they're fine, but other times I have to wonder. Which has led to a lot of flip flopping from no eggs to yes eggs. It's not the eggs themselves - which when cooked are fine - simply the eating of eggs that have been leftover. Of course!

So to finish out my 30 days (today is day 22), I will not be eating any of Molly's refrigerated boiled eggs. We'll see if it makes any difference in the home stretch.

I'm still debating what food to introduce first when the time comes... Maybe almonds. I haven't had them in so long, but I do enjoy them. They came up in that allergy test a while back, but I'm convinced it was due to the fact that my diet at the time was probably 40% almonds/almond products...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mini Molly Blueberry Muffins

Soon-to-be 17-month-old Molly is already starting to notice that all the other kiddies at daycare are eating Cheerios and the like - and she wants some. I broke down the other day and picked up some Whole O's, a gluten-free organic alternative to Cheerios. She has a box at daycare now, so she doesn't try to strong arm the other kids out of their gluten-y snacks.

Although I'd prefer Molly stick to her assorted paleo-friendly snacks, I've decided to give a little here and there. I know she eats very well overall and I'm not going to let the odd handful of O's get me too down. However, this has encouraged me to start expanding my paleo food/snack repertoire with Molly in mind. And so, I discovered a good-looking muffin recipe by Paleoiscious. I simply swapped out the honey for applesauce and voila. I also meant to add some ground flaxseeds, but forgot. Next time.

Heading to the oven.

  • 3 C almond meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 C blueberries
  • 1/3 C coconut oil
  • 1 t baking soda
  • Beat the eggs in a bowl with the vanilla extract, applesauce, lemon juice and coconut oil. Mix well. 
  • Add the almond meal and baking soda and mix well. 
  • Add the blueberries and mix gently. 
  • Bake in mini muffin pans for approx. 20 mins at 350 degrees. Longer if making full size muffins (check with a toothpick).

Made 24 mini muffins.

I could've filled the tray a little less and made more muffins.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

13 days down

Today is day 13 of my 30 day strict low histamine eating regime. My skin actually looks pretty good today, but it hasn't all along. Below are a few picks along the way.

Monday, October 24 (day 3)

Wednesday, October 26 (day 5)

Wednesday, October 26 (day 5)
Thursday, October 27 (day 6)

Thursday, October 27 (day 6)

Tuesday, November 1 (day 11)

Tuesday, November 1 (day 11)
Thursday, November 3 (day 13)

Thursday, November 3 (day 13)
Aside from a significant flare up on day 3, I've only had mild to moderate itching here and there. Although it's been a frustrating journey, I daresay today things look like they might be getting under control (though usually when I think that things take a turn somehow).

One of the places my mind wanders these days is to what I will introduce first, after these 30 days. Ideas?