What’s the one thing that will make you change your eating habits?

When I was at my worst with my histamine intolerance, I would have done anything to heal myself. Well. almost anything. I would not take antihistamines because I felt they would only mask the symptoms, and I would not take the DAO supplement because it is made from animal products.

So then what was left? Anything that went into or onto my body basically.

Back in those early days I was rife with symptoms. I had pruritus (invisible itching), hives, ten hot flashes a night, insomnia, intestinal issues, and a constant need to urinate. I was up half the night with all of it and scratching myself bloody during the day. Yes, I know, it paints a pretty picture doesn’t it?

But then things turned around when I started to heal. I used a combination of strategies. I started a food diary and eliminated foods I knew were causing reactions. I took supplements and introduced olive oil into my diet as a supplement and a skin product. I stopped taking hot showers and stopped using a razor on my legs. Within three months the itching stopped, and within six months I was confident enough in my healing process to travel to Europe. At the end of the first year, I was back to eating almost completely what I could eat before the worst of it, and I reduced my supplements to just olive leaf and ginger.

But here’s the thing. Many of you yearn to be “normal” again, but what I have to finally come to grips with, that I haven’t embraced fully until last night, is that it is a new normal. And lacking that thought, I’ve hurt myself over and over again with my careless eating and my disregard with what my body’s been telling me recently. But now I’ve hit a point where I need to address it and there’s no getting around it. I am still histamine intolerant. It did not go away, it’s just under control. And when I eat badly, it rears it’s ugly head and makes me miserable in new and different ways.

A “slowed system” and bloated belly are telltale signs that I’m doing something wrong. Add in a string of headaches and a bout with anger issues and well, it’s just not a pretty picture.

Last night was it though. I knew I should not eat what I was about to and I did it anyway. And I think I’ve finally reached the point where I am ready to eat clean again and not abuse my body any longer.

Mondays are my longer, tougher teaching days. I did two critiques in a row which means I spoke for roughly four hours to a room full of art weary children about their work. Then I came home and had a cup of white tea, watched a bit of the news and ran two miles. I came home and showered, and by then didn’t really want to cook dinner. So I decided to make a small side salad and microwave a Pad Thai frozen meal from Trader Joes. I’d read the label and thought it sounded safe enough, but once I nuked it, something I rarely do, it looked less than appetizing.

Side by side, I had a good look at what healthful looked like against unhealthful. The salad looked bright and crisp with veggies and olive oil, and the Pad Thai looked brown and flat. I thought, ya know you should take a picture and post this but then I was too embarrassed to admit I was going to eat this goopy looking thing. And for a moment I wasn’t going to. But I didn’t want to waste food. So I ate it anyway, knowing this was not a good decision. My leg broke out into a hive within minutes of finishing it.

Suffice to say I went to bed bloated and uncomfortable and did not have a good night’s sleep. And I only have myself to blame. Next time I even think about being lazy with food I’m going to look at that picture in my head of that brown disgusting mess.

But the good news is I think I’ve finally admitted to myself that I don’t need to be up all night with hot flashes and itching to know I need to maintain a clean diet. I’ve reached a threshold of new symptoms that I need to address.

I know a lot of you want me to tell you that one day you will not be histamine intolerant. I think the truer reflection on that is that you do not have to feel histamine intolerant. You can control it until it’s not even there. But if you don’t pay attention and you don’t eat clean, it will make its presence known.

I want to feel good again. Not bloated and yucky. So today is it. Butternut squash and apple soup tonight. Back to the old days of no crappy cheap restaurant food, no junk food, no excess sugar, no nothin’ that’s going to make me feel crumby.

I’m going strict and taking control of my body again! I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, tell me, what’s your threshold of discomfort? Many people write in and say that they just won’t deny themselves a certain food. What will it take to finally give something up you know is causing an issue? Share your story in the comments section.

Happy butternut squash day!


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Posted in Women's health
7 comments on “What’s the one thing that will make you change your eating habits?
  1. Ann says:

    Hi Dale.

    As your email downloaded into my INBOX, so did this site….

    both of you together, so I read it, thinking perhaps there was something new!

    About bloating, I have found over the last 25 years it has something to do with what one of the surgeons told me. Breakfast cereals should have a balance with a good drink of water.
    That doesn’t include tea or coffee. People go over board with eating roughage and it then goes into a dehydrated bowel, then the hives start internally. I personally think, [my body] reacts to the cereal if I have too much and it starts to bloat due to internal hives. [and me forgetting to take that extra glass of water.] I am convinced this is what IBS is in my case at least. The body doesn’t like the high amount of roughage and tries to eliminate it by causing contractions. At its worse IBS feels like labour pains.

    I also think it is a necessity when there is continual bloating to have a colonoscopy.
    One can never be too safe.


  2. Lorraine says:

    Hi Dale . . . I can so, SO relate to your post. As I first learned about histamine intolerance from my doctor as a possibility regarding some of my digestion issues in mid-August (I think you replied to my comment about finding your blog back then). Anyway, since then we’ve determined I also have a very congested liver which has led to many of my digestive issues over the years so am on a pretty restrictive diet right now (had been dairy free for over 25 years and gluten free for over years so already was “used to” eating a restrictive diet). For awhile in September and early October I was thinking confidently that ‘Hey, I don’t think histamine intolerance really IS my issue” and I introduced some foods back in to my weeklydaily routine. MISTAKE. Spinach, strawberries, tomatoes. So earlier in the week this past week I really got bloated and realized I just can’t do those foods (things I used to eat ALL the time). The one thing I just didn’t want to give up on was yogurt (almond, soy or coconut milk) so even just yesterday right before I read your latest post I wanted to WILL my body into accepting my favorite yogurt and I ate some, for the 3rd time this week. Well, big mistake as I got bloated and didn’t sleep well. . . . So for the time being anyway, I know I have to just stay away. I just have to.

    Thanks so much for your blog and the opportunity to have a “misery loves company” kind of connection . . . as my friends get the lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance but when I started telling them about histamine intolerance they were like, “WHAT?!” . .. so I don’t even bring it up with anyone any more.


    • I can so relate to the sideways glances and the histamine intolerance…what the hell are you talking about thing! I rarely talk about it in detail anymore unless I’m asked. I usually just tell people I have allergies.

      Thanks for writing and stay away from that yogurt! I’ve been so much better since I stopped indulging my monkey chatter food brain! No more bloat and all systems are go!


  3. Yvonne says:

    You are right, not many get it. Thank goodness we do! My 10 yr old daughter has it.(after a lifetime of rash I figured it out ) What a journey it has been. Through birthday parties and snack time. But we get through it 1 meal at a time. Now I understand that I have it too, not in the form of rash as she does but with other symptoms, as I am reaching menopause, I have prevented and gotten rid of a lot of symptoms. But you are right, you have to accept it and decide not to continue making yourself your own worst enemy with food. it’s not worth it. It’s food, fuel right? eat what you can and move on..or leave, or don’t go as in the case of social functions. it’s not worth hurting your body.

  4. Yvonne,

    I find social engagements are the hardest to navigate. And having a ten year old with a major food issue has got to be difficult. Not only do you have to restrict the diet of a child who is just learning about her body, you have to manage her diet without having her form a weird relationship with food. That’s got to be a lot to handle.

    Funny enough it’s probably a good thing you have it too. You can be your daughter’s role model. It sounds like you have a great attitude about it and I know you’ll both do well!

    Good luck and keep in touch,


  5. Joni says:

    Hello fellow Bloggers, am I ever excited to have come across this site. I am 51, and over the summer a few times I have broke out in hives..whole body including my ears. I am physically exhausted as I type. At 3 am this am, I began to scratch and ended up getting out of bed to get in a cold recliner. A week ago, I woke up and had scratched so much that my body became overheated and I passed out on the ceramic tile. I will be calling dr office in am. I was told that taking a Zyrtec with a Pepcid was helpful, so I tried it! It took a few days in my system and I was NORMAL again. I plan on starting the clean eating tomorrow also.

  6. Kelly says:

    I’m a Para educator by day, fitness instructor by night. As I ask for quick,short term relief (night time hives) while I research and work on long term, I hear my fitness voice telling my clients, ” There are no quick fixes, you have to put in the time.” @&#*! This blog resonates with me in a huge way. Funny thing, I knew this day was coming. The day where a glass (or 2) of wine in the evenings, and weekend crap food would catch up with me. Living on borrowed time… Now it’s time find my new norm as well. Truth be told, there’s a part of me that has been waiting for this moment where I wouldn’t have a choice. Sad, right. Why do we sometimes need the most extreme form of torture (in my case,extreme itching preventing sleep every night ) to stand up and act right. Oye!

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