It’s almost noon and I’m still in bed. I just Sat up actually when my sis brought me a nice big mug of decaf with coconut oil and quercetin in. Part of my morning routine now, though I’m starting to wonder whether coffee is one of my histamine triggers, despite being decaf. I might stick to golden tumeric milk instead.
I had been doing so well for so long that I had almost forgotten how bad these flares can get. It can be discouraging when you are reminded so unexpectedly of the horrible passenger you carry with you always.
This ME/CFS might be managed or worked around for a time, but it does come back to show itself from time to time, makes sure you remember it’s still there and just how strong it is.
Have you been experiencing itching, rashes or hives since changing your diet? Have you had no luck in identifying an allergen or trigger despite elimination diets and eating clean? If you have recently switched to a low carb diet, it is very possible that you are experiencing an allergic reaction, though you might not be allergic to individual items, it might be a little more complicated than that.
Something I recently discovered, which surprised me, is that people can be histamine intolerant. Many people aren’t aware that histamine is present on all our food, even the fresh, natural produce and meat you buy from your local supermarket. Not only can ingredients contain histamine, but some liberate histamine already present in the body.
Histamine is a compound that is produced by our bodies as well as by the bacteria that grows on our food as it ages. It is released when there is inflammation or an allergen introduced to the body. It has healing properties, but some people are sensitive to it. Anybody who has ever suffered from seasonal allergies will know what that feels like.
I have spent so much time on the sofa and in my bed again this week. One would think I’d no longer be surprised by this, but I continue to shake my head every time it happens.
It’s the carbohydrate effect.
This current flare is most likely due to the fact that I’m out of ketosis again since trying to deal with my allergies/histamine disorder. I assume I’m no longer fat adapted because, amongst other things, my munchies have returned with a vengeance!
You see, I’ve increased certain carbs (mainly apples and sweet potatoes) which help reduce histamine building up in the body, but by trying to solve one problem (itching, hives) I’m causing another (ME/CFS flare).
It’s a vicious circle, but one has to decide what the priority is and work with that. For me it was the itching. I just couldn’t take it anymore!
I often get asked about the recipe for these delicious treats. When you switch to a paleo or ketogenic way of eating, it is often difficult to come to terms with losing many of your favourite snacks. Finding clean alternatives to snack on is usually very difficult because they either taste nothing like the original or just downright awful! Bounty bars were one of my favourite chocolates, so I was very happy when I first found a recipe for them.
I have no idea where the original recipe came from, but I have made these so many times and changed the recipe a few times, so I will share the one I am using now. One thing I have noticed is that keto recipes often use a huge amount of sweetener which I just cannot tolerate. I don’t have such a sweet tooth! So my recipe only calls for a small amount of sweetener, please taste your mixture and adjust as necessary before putting these delicious chocolate treats together.
These paleo-ketogenic bounty bar substitutes are one of my favourite keto staples and are sugar, nut and egg free. They can also be dairy free, so they are also paleo friendly and are unlikely to cause allergic reactions. With my current histamine overload, I have been able to continue enjoying one or two of these a day without reactions.
I enjoy them on their own as a treat or as a dessert with blueberries, double cream or coconut cream. I don’t make single bars covered in chocolate, but rather large slabs with a layer of chocolate on top and once set, will be cut into squares. This way they only have chocolate on top. One extra addition I sometimes make is to add a big scoopful of raw cacao nibs to the coconut mixture. This adds extra nutrients and some crunch. Just beware that cacao is high histamine, so people with histamine intolerance might want to avoid this addition.
I make mine with 90% Lindt chocolate, so they’re not completely dairy free, but if you use dairy free chocolate, or mix cocoa, sweetener and coconut oil, then that should work out quite well too.
I get about 36 little squares, each one worth about 56 calories of which 1g is carb, 5.5g is fat and 0.5g is protein. Please check these macros using your app and scanning the products you use for a more precise macro breakdown. The macros per bar will vary based on the size of your tray and how many bars you make out of this mixture.
- 200g unsweetened dessicated coconut
- 50g melted coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk/cream (I use Sainsbury’s own brand coconut milk in a tin, it’s super thick and creamy)
- I have also doubled this ingredient and it still worked well, made thicker bars which defrosted faster.
- Do not use the milk substitute like Alpro/Koko coconut milk, these are watered down and won’t set.
- 3 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp Erythritol
Mix these ingredients together well, taste and adjust sweetener as needed. You can also add any extra ingredients at this point (cacao nibs, dried berries, etc) and mix well. Line a baking tray with ovenproof paper and press the mixture onto the tray in an even layer. Place tray in the fridge to set while you prepare the topping. Let it set for at least 30min.
- 100g (10 squares) melted 90% Lindt chocolate
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
You can melt both in the microwave in a ceramic bowl. Short 30 second bursts and stir between.
Mix these ingredients together and pour over the cooled coconut base. Return the tray to the fridge or freezer for about an hour before cutting into squares and storing in airtight containers. I store mine in the freezer and take them out as needed, they defrost quite quickly and can also be eaten directly from freezer. They will last for a few weeks… theoretically. I make a new batch of these keto bounty bars just about every other week.
Please let me know in the comments below what you think if you try this recipe!
Dr Myhill’s latest book arrived in the mail today! It’s a Paleo-ketogenic cookbook called “The PK Cookbook – Go Paleo-Keto and get the best of both worlds“. It’s not yet been released publicly, the release date is set for 10 October 2017, but I managed to get a copy on early release and love what I’ve seen so far. Click the link above to pre-order your copy.
I’ve been so excited to get this book and have already skimmed through it today, highlighting and sticking post-it notes all over the place!
So far I like all the information I’ve seen, explanations about both the Paleo and the Keto ways of eating and why they would benefit us.
There are lots of charts, lists and scientific explanations sprinkled throughout the book as well as some jokes and quotes. Dr Myhill’s personality comes through in her writing and makes her books fun to read. There are no coloured photographs or glossy pages, just the good stuff, the stuff that matters.