Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Diet, Histamines and Health
I have been walking regularly this NewYear. This past week I've included lots of hills, as I am off to our eldest daughter's for a long weekend, and we are planning visiting Lincoln and there is a big hill between the train station and the Cathedral!
Anyway, this was yesterday's shorter walk - just up the hill behind the house to take a photo of the snow on Black Mountain. I bet it's chilly up there!
As you can see, it was still pretty chilly along our lane. This was 2.30 p.m. ish. The frost was lingering and hadn't left the hedgerow . . .
. . . nor from the North-facing fields and hillsides. Our house is out of sight on the left. The ivied tree on the left is on the edge of Castle Field (where there used to be an Iron age enclose - now quarried by Next Door, who has a real sense of history - NOT.) You can just make out a couple of the cairns along the top of the ridge (right hand side).
Frost lingered along every hedgerow and the long line of high ground between the Towy Valley turning at Llandeilo (where it heads for Llandovery) and Bryammon, the far side of the ridge. There is a walk along the ridge, taking in the 4 cairns which are up there, which I intend to do with a walking friend when I get back from Sheffield.
I even climbed half way up (without stopping) the next bit of steep hill (2 arrows on the map) to take this photo of Dryslwyn castle, which is in line with the gorse blossom. The frost highlights the layout of the Medieval village which once topped it alongside the Castle.
Anyway, with a month to go to my next appointment with the Respiratory Nurse, I have re-visited the notion that my peak flow readings can be choreographed (!) with fluctuations in histamine levels due to food intake. Unfortunately, it would seem to be the case. Some foods are naturally high in histamines, others are histamine liberators. Sadly, chocolate comes under the latter category, and I have had regular bars of chocolate ever since Christmas. I had persuaded myself that the lingering effects of a recent cold had made my lungs a bit congested, but I think it is linked to poor eating choices. So I have cut out the choccy bars and guess what, an instant rise in peak flow from 390 to 420, no probs!
I have cut out bacon and sausages and cured meats, I have cut out bread (I'm ok with the wheat part but probably not with the yeast), all nuts, no leftovers, of course NO dairy, because of being dairy-intolerant. I had made my own crumpets this week, but have frozen them for when I have the girls back home, as they have yeast in, so . . . Which now leads to the question, how do I eat the lactose-free cheese I have in the fridge, now there's no bread to toast it on?! I will have to do some cheesy pasta I think, probably for tea tonight, or some Cauliflower cheese. Everything has to be as fresh as possible, and I try to buy organic fruit and veg where possible. The high histamine list is limiting though - I know I can't have beer or cider without Consequences - think gut here, as much as lungs - but I am OK with red wine these days. I have tried to be sulphite-free for years, but it's in SO many things, dried fruits, even crisps, fruit squash, anything that may need preserving. Don't think that sticky bun is OK because it's NOT from a sulphite point of view and probably has 40 ingredients and so I feel guilty even when I eat one as a rare treat. When I bake a similar bun at home it might half 4 or 5 ingredients. What a difference . . . I always read ingredients on tins and wrappers, but most of the time try and make it all home-made and in the summer months, home grown too. All my soft fruit is home-grown, all the cooking apples stored and only bought when those run out.
I had several of my home made Cornish Fairings earlier on (ginger biscuits). Then I read that I should avoid cinnamon, cloves, and various other spices, and then there is curry powder. . . I LOVE curry. Well, I can't be good ALL the time can I?
Anyone else out there suffering from histamine problems? I can recommend The Low Histamine Chef, though I don't think I can toe the line as she does.