Day 1 and I already miss chocolate

3 Jan

Well I’ve successfully survived the first day without feeling too sorry for myself.  However, it’s going to be a bit tricky to make flavorful vegan meals without being able to use lemon/lime juice, vinegar, or soy sauce.  These tend to be found in just about EVERY vegan recipe that I’ve come across.  Oh well;  I’m a food innovator.  I can handle this… I think.  Just to clarify: The vegan aspect of the diet is not necessary.  People with histamine intolerance are often able to enjoy many fresh/frozen meats.  The desire to make more vegan meals is self-imposed.

One trick I have acquired to add flavor to meals is molasses!  It provides a deep and mildly sweet flavor which compliments beans nicely.  I still have the option of using onion and garlic too.  Phew!  I am a big fan of meal planning, but I also enjoy creating strange combinations on the spot (I call it “leftover surprise”).  Today is no exception – you are going to look at my meals and think what a weirdo.  That’s a natural reaction. 😉 I did my best to stick to the rules as I understand them.  One thing I’ve learned already is that there is no definitive list of all foods appropriate for histamine intolerance.  The ripeness of a food as well as a person’s individual tolerance level makes such a list hard to come by.  I used a chart found in a book entitled Dealing with Food Allergies by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja to figure out which foods were off-limits and those that should be okay.  She is a registered dietitian who specializes in food allergies.  I have sent her an email to get some clarifications on certain aspects of the diet.  I have also reached out to a few other histamine intolerant peeps for any advice they might have.  Here is what I ate my first day as a vegan histamine-intolerant:

Breakfast: smoothy made with banana, peanut butter, kale, molasses, flax seed, and frozen mango pieces

Lunch: wild rice “salad” mixed with pinto and navy beans, dried kale, apple pieces, molasses, 1/2 raw green pepper (chopped into pieces); ate the rest of the apple with some peanut butter

Supper: mashed pinto and navy beans with molasses, tahini (sesame seed butter), and nutritional yeast flakes (sort of a cheesy vegan substitute of sorts); homemade rye & caraway seed bread stick (dipped into the faux cheesy baked bean creation); cup of lightly cooked broccoli

Sometimes my laziness supersedes my desire for meals that make sense 🙂  One of the biggest struggles I foresee with this diet (other than the inability to eat a lot of my favorite foods :/) is that leftovers must be handled very carefully.  Protein based foods in particular must be frozen rather than kept in the refrigerator.  Histamine levels in many foods tend to rise after they are cooked and can be problematic for some people.  I’m used to making a giant vat of something, piling it all into some jars to store in the fridge, and letting it feed me for at least 3 or 4 days.  Now I must make sure to plan ahead as leftovers will need to be individually thawed in my fridge on a daily basis.  I do not own a microwave, so shortcuts are not an option for moi.

**Histamine-intolerance fun fact: The reason why all alcohol is forbidden is not necessarily related to the histamine level in the alcohol itself but instead to its ability to interfere with the proper metabolism of histamine. **

The old adage that you want what you can’t have has proven to be true.  This past weekend, I ate a disgusting amount of many of the foods that I’m not allowed to have on the histamine-restricted diet: ridiculous amounts of hummus (restricted now due to the lemon juice), squash pie (with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg), chana masala (tomato based Indian dish), salsa, strawberries dipped in chocolate, cheese…what can I say?  It’s going to be a long year…BUT for some folks, these restrictions I will be following are their DAILY LIVES.  If they deviate away from such restrictions, some may end up very ill or even die.  If I accidentally screw up, I have the advantage of not realizing it in the form of terrifying symptoms.  So don’t feel bad for me, because I have self-imposed the inability to enjoy some of the foods that others can enjoy.  Think of those who do not have such options in the first place.

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5 Responses to “Day 1 and I already miss chocolate”

  1. (Dad) Randy Cadwell January 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    All I can say is wow. It’s going to be fun to get a “free” class this way. Hang in there. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

  2. Maddy January 6, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Hello!! I’m a histamine intolerant vegan too 🙂 So fab to have come across your page!

    • thehungryguineapig January 6, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      I only dabbled in the vegan way of eating for about half of the year, but I hope you are able to find useful information on my blog. 🙂

  3. orcasbetty February 14, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    I’m quasi-vegan and just realized am histamine intolerant. I get hives, headaches, stuffy nose, itching when I consume certain foods — like fermented foods or beer, esp. together. I’m considering eating more meat, as I’ve read that nuts and some beans are not okay for HITs.

    • thehungryguineapig February 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      I eliminated soy beans, red beans, miso (fermented soybean paste), & tempeh (fermented soybean curd) but not nuts. There are a lot of different food lists out there unfortunately. It’s hard to know what to do! I just used one source, but if you think that avoiding nuts will help, I say to go for it. I would definitely include some meat if you cut out nuts and beans. I hope you find a diet that allows you to be your best self! I’m still working on it…

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