"I used to be a' foodie' and now I am a "foodist'"
Welcome to my health and wellbeing blog.
I’m not a raw foodist by choice. I was recently diagnosed as having a complicated autoimmune condition including severe Histamine Intolerance and a form of reactive arthritis. I have become hypersensitive to high histamine foods, pollen, dust and some everyday chemicals. My condition affects every area of my life.
I have Mast Cell Activation Disease (MCAD).
I was prescribed a low histamine diet and then a raw food diet to ease my symptoms and over the past 2 years I have overcome my reluctance to a new way of eating and living. I have been experimenting to combine the two diets and I have been learning how to eat a diet comprising mainly of low histamine raw fruit and vegetables and how to change the habits of a life time.
I am starting to feel healthier than I have ever been before. I have also lost 35 lbs in weight.
I will be sharing with you how I got here and I'll be exploring low histamine raw recipes, natural beauty products, how to cope with being "allergic to everything" and generally how to regain health and fitness and live life to the full despite my unusual condition!
Please feel free to message me with any suggestions, questions, or comments. I'd love to hear from you!
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These are some ads for where I buy my coconut water and stuff like that :
… are what greatly contributed to my ill health.
During my teens, while at school, I declared myself to be a vegetarian and I went through a stage of eating very little other than liquorice and drinking black coffee all day and then eating some vegetables at night. I was very thin. I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder but I definitely had one.
Things changed and in meeting my first husband and cooking for all the students in our house my eating habits changed and I ate more and felt better for a time.
I had taken a lot of my symptoms for granted during my teens. I thought the diarrhoea and other symptoms were normal. My depression was put down to being a teenager and I reacted very badly to the contraceptive pill which I took for horrendous period pain.
My symptoms got worse over the years. I consulted doctors and dieticians who advised me that I must eat from all the so called food groups.
Everyday I used to consume milk and cheese (favourite foods!) and most days I ate fish, meat and eggs and I regularly consumed quantities of coffee and tea. At several times in my life I returned to eating as an ovo/lacto vegetarian but when I left off meat and fish I increased the eggs and cheese. Caffe latte became my favourite drink after a workout. Sometimes I would have two - after all, I had worked out very hard!. I could not drink a lot of alcohol but I loved what I did. I loved sweet things and regularly succumbed to a chocolate bar or a piece of cake. I loved bread but I loved it more when covered in butter and cheese or peanut butter. Oh and marmite! I was a marmite baby!
Over a period of time I grew fatter and fatter and more and more miserable as all my symptoms worsened and then my hair started to fall out. My joint pain and body ache became acute and my energy levels were unstable. I became increasingly stressed out and tired. Tired to my bones. I struggled with increasing depression and the feeling that my body was out of control. I reacted adversely to common chemicals and my skin would throw out sudden rashes with no warning.
I tried a number of so called diets… When I went to Weight Watchers I tried WW sweets which contain a sugar substitute. I was so dizzy after eating a few sweeties and my already bad IBS symptoms immediately worsened!
I used to think I could exercise it all off. How wrong I was. I could not outrun my ever increasing ill health.. It was a lot faster than me ….
hmm .. This sounds very specific. let me give you some questions to consider and ask your nutritionist ( in a nice way to get answers rather than to put the nutritionist on the defensive ! :)) Ok here we go:
On what basis does your nutritionist know your body won’t absorb iron from non animal sources? What condition do you have to make your body work like this? Have you always been this way? What evidence does the nutritionist have for you? Based on what research? Or is this an opinion? How much meat do you have to eat to get enough iron? Is it that you have lately not been eating meat without adding in a lot more fruit and veg or otherwise have you been calorie restricting? If you stopped / changed what you are doing ie added in more calories / cut out junk food ( you know what is appropriate for you) etc would this inability to absorb non animal iron change? if not why not?
See, I would need a lot more info. It is important to ask and to get answers.
Bodies do not hate us. The try to function in spite of illnesses and what we put into them. What we eat/ do may well distort that purpose.
When I first went to see Dirk I was low in iron and had been previously advised by my skin surgeon to eat meat which I had reluctantly added back into my diet (it made me feel ill - I now know why). I was also low in Vitamin C although I ate quite a few fruits and although I thought my diet was in general ” healthy”.
I then made the massive shift in my diet (taking out all the junk food, processed food etc as well as meat and then dairy ) and actually eating quite a restricted diet and my iron and Vit C levels have not been down since. I do have them checked regularly.
Vit C is a natural antihistamine and maybe my body had been using mine for this purpose rather than iron production. Who knows? (well Dirk might well) but the point is my body was out of sorts and was trying to function as best it could under the circumstances of my having an underlying and undiagnosed condition.
Research suggests that Vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb iron and, of course, my diet is now very rich in vitamin C as almost everything I eat contains it. There is also some research which suggests that dairy products might actually suppress the body’s ability to absorb iron. I have no idea about this but, of course I reduced and then came off most (and lately all ) dairy too.
I think you have to / get another opinion/ try things/ do some research. I do not believe all I read / am told without understanding why and asking, where appropriate, for evidence.
The guy who told me to eat meat (for my skin rashes) helped me to become more sick - because of the histamine overload. Actually I don’t get skin rashes now!
We are all different in some respects and what works for one may not for another. But the point about just treating symptoms is that if we don’t find the cause we don’t know why we have the symptom so we suppress rather than get rid of them. Symptoms show us that the body is out of sorts.
As you know, I am not a doctor and based on my own experience I cannot tell you that if you add a few fruit and veg into your diet you will be fine. I can tell you that based on my experience things altered radically when I made big changes and now, quite a strict mostly raw vegan diet without a lot of processed foods seems to suit me. I am monitoring this.
I recommend as a starting point you watch Forks over Knives which has doctors recommending a plant based diet and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead too and then go and ask for some answers as to why a plant based approach will not be suitable for you.
Hope this helps.
Many of you reblogged the “8 things you didn’t know contained meat ” post earlier, and left messages about it in my Ask so I thought I might elaborate a little:
Carmine is an ingredient found in a lot of things. Also known as E120, crimson lake, cochineal, natural red 4 … It’s the red colouring in many pink/red products from yogurt, ice cream and sweets to lip gloss. It’s made from crushing a particular beetle. Lots on the internet about this…
Rennet is found in cheese (unless the cheese is labeled vegetarian). Rennet is extracted from the enzymes that break down a mother’s milk and is taken from animals’ (often calves’) intestines.
Gelatin or gelatine is again in a lot of things including many gummy/chewy sweets and candies, marshmallows, some yoghurts, some ice creams, some commercially produced cereals…. It is derived from the collagen in animals’ skin and bones..
Always worth reading the labels if you are concerned not to be consuming animal products..