I used to look at people with multiple food allergies and wonder – what went wrong? Why is their body rejecting so many things? Maybe it was their diet? Perhaps it was stress? I did not know, but I knew something wasn’t right with them. I wasn’t judging, just observing and hoping they would find an answer so all foods could be enjoyed. Mostly though, I was grateful that food allergies didn’t affect me.
Then it happened to me. Last December, suddenly, my body started reacting to foods I had eaten my entire life. Bananas, Walnuts, Cashews, Strawberries, Avocadoes, Homemade chicken broth! I mean, for goodness sake, it was homemade, slow-cooked to perfection and from pastured chickens I got from the local farmer. I didn’t think I could do it any healthier, aside from raising my own chickens. What was going on? I was beyond frustrated and honestly, scared to eat anything at that point. Everything I ate, I awaited the rise of heat in my throat, the pounding in my head, the prickly hives on my face, arms or legs, the searing pain between my should blades, and the wave of nausea that would overcome me. My anorexia (fear of food) came back in full force and I was afraid to put anything in my mouth without somewhere nearby and my new epi-pen close at hand (thankfully I have not had to use).
I ran to the doctor for answers, but had to wait weeks for results. How was I going to get on for the next few weeks without being able to eat, I thought? I looked to my colleagues for answers (kudos to an amazing group of intelligent health coaches!), and we came up on a histamine issue. I had never heard of histamine, except in relationship to allergies, and my blood tests showed I had a few intolerances, but no real allergies, so I dismissed it. Then I found a host of information, mainly spearheaded by the Low Histamine Chef (check her out, she’s amazing!), and it all made sense. I was on histamine overload and my body could NOT handle another drop of it. And get this – those healthy foods I loved so much were high in histamine – especially that slow cooked chicken broth! So with research and diligence I cut out all high histamine foods and started adding in more low histamine and histamine inhibiting foods like basil, mango, greens (but not spinach), cilantro, etc. It wasn’t that much of a change for me since I have eaten most of these already, but finding things for breakfast (no gluten, no oats, no dairy, no soy, no avocado, no banana, no berries, etc. etc. etc.) was a challenge. I had to get creative, and in later blog posts I will share how I did!
But I digress…back to the beginning. My body was going haywire, but I didn’t know why and I certainly didn’t think it would or could ever happen to me. I was a healthy health coach after all, and I knew what was good and what was bad for the body. But this, took me to a whole other level of learning and understanding the body. I am grateful because this histamine episode led me to discover other things in my body that needed correction… I am now fixing them. And with that, I hope that someday, once the havoc clears my body will reset and enjoy food without any threat.
So, what should you do when your body goes haywire?
- Take a look at your diet. Are you eating wholesome foods to nourish your cells and support your body?
- Take a look at your lifestyle. Are you sleeping enough? Are you working in a job that drains you or challenges you? Are you in a relationship that builds you up or drags you down? Do you exercise?
- Take a look at your attitude. Do you treat your body with love? Do you love others? Are you a positive influence in this world or do you speak negativity? (Check out my latest blog post on me not being able to speak! https://appetitesforlife.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/choosing-the-words-to-speak/).
If you feel you need to make adjustments in one of these areas, please start today. Your body is giving you a signal that something needs to change. You are the only one who can facilitate that change.
Stay tuned for my next few posts to find out what recipes I came up with to manage this condition and how I have been dealing with allergy-free eating!