October 9, 2017

It's that time of the week again! Time to start thinking about what we will eat in the week ahead. As most people who attempt a change in diet are aware, planning is essential if you want to minimise the chances of falling off the wagon.

In these posts, though, I do not plan ahead, but show you what I've eaten this week in the hope that thy will help you in your planning. These are my favourite meals from the past week, meals I can look back over in the future when I'm short on ideas. I hope they will inspire you too.

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I usually plan my meals once the groceries have been done by my parents and I know which foods have been prepared by my mum and frozen for me. I do not cook for myself anymore as I am chronically ill. I create the recipes according to my macro requirements and my sister cooks for me. Mum makes things like meatballs and desserts which can be made in bulk and frozen. 

As the title suggests, these are meal ideas for people who are following the ketogenic way of eating. I eat only once a day most days, so each meal is quite large and usually has vegetables in it, but will always have below 20g of carbs. 

Celebrating My Birthday!

This week was my birthday week, so I had a few naughty treats like a little bit of hummus and some apple. I even had a slice of pizza with some crisps! (a small 1/8 slice of pizza) Oh! I also had a tiny brownie for breakfast. All of that still came to below 55g of carbs, so not bad at all.

It did trigger a slight histamine response, nothing serious, just a bit of light itching, but it did exaggerate my ME/CFS flare, I was flat on my back the whole following day! Ingredients matter, friends! Click here to find out how I'm using the ketogenic diet to reduce my ME/CFS symptoms.

I have had some delicious meals this past week, definitely look forward to trying some of them again.

My Favourite Meals, Week 1, October 2017

This week I have tried to add more detail to the meal ideas: ingredients and macro calculations. Let me know if this is useful or not. I feel like some people might find it useless if they are confident enough in their keto ways, but others might find it helpful to use as a starting point from which they can then adjust and grow as they get used to the keto way of eating and cooking. I appreciate any feedback.

Meatballs n salad

Meatballs and green salad
Approx. cal 754 | 7.6g c | 63g f | 40g p
4 meatballs on top of a salad made with:
half a baby gem lettuce, 1 stalk of celery, fresh chives, parsley and thyme and 1 ball of mozzarella. Seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil and pink Himalayan salt. You can add a drop of vinegar if you can tolerate it.

This meals is quite easy to make, it doesn't take too long to put together since we use previously prepared meatballs which we store in the freezer for those low energy days when you don't have the inclination to cook.

lamb chops roast veg

Lamb chops with roasted vegetables
Approx. cal 672 | 12.6g c | 43g f | 61.6g p
20g each of courgette, carrot and bell peppers & 10g each of celery & onion (roasted in the oven)
100g pumpkin (boiled & topped with butter)
200g lamb loin chops (fried in coconut oil)
Salad made with romaine lettuce and watercress, seasoned with olive oil and pink Himalayan salt.

One of my all time favourites!

zoodles with minced beef

Creamy zoodles with minced beef
Approx. cal 923 | 13g c | 80.6g f | 36.5g p
124g courgette, spiralised (zoodles).
190g minced beef fried in coconut oil with:
2 heaped tbsp of soffritto (onion, celery, carrot)
20g bell pepper.
Once meat and veg are ready, add zoodles, 25g cream cheese and 1 tbsp olive oil, mix and serve.
Tastes great with garlic and any herb you love, like sage, thyme, oregano or parsley.

Such a simple dish, quick to put together and tastes so good. Comfort food!

chicken mayo

Chicken mayo lettuce boats
Approx. cal 717 | 4g c | 59g f | 43.7g p
200g boiled chicken breast, shredded & mixed with 45ml mayonnaise (I used store bought), chopped chives and pink salt.
3 large romaine leaves, fill with watercress and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and pink salt. 
Fill lettuce boats with chicken mixture.

This was my birthday meal, so it actually has a few naughty treats like mayonnaise, hummus and apple, but I made sure to keep the carb content low and only have small amounts of some things I really like. I'm glad I didn't get much of a reaction from this little cheat.

dessert

Keto bounty bar with coconut cream and blueberries
Approx. cal 277 | 5.5g c | 13.4g f | 1g p
63ml coconut cream (I love Sainsbury's own)
40g blueberries
1 homemade keto bounty bar (recipe here)

These are some of my staples. I eat this dessert, or a variation of it, daily. You can find my recipe for the keto bounty bars here. I often enjoy my bounty bars with a cup of decaf and coconut oil.

I'm no longer aiming for weight loss as I'm now happy with my weight, so I need to meet my fat goals (117g a day) if I want to maintain my current weight. You do not need to use as much fat in your meals if you have body fat you want to lose.

salmon and veg

Salmon with stir-fried vegetables
Approx. cal 495 | 12g c | 35.7g f | 29.6g p
120g salmon fillet friend in coconut oil.
In a separate pan, fry 124g courgette, 50g onion, 60g bell pepper, 1 clove of garlic in coconut oil.

One of my favourite protein sources is fresh salmon. My sister cooks for me as I'm unable to cook due to my chronic illness and she has become so good at cooking the salmon - crispy outside and melt-in-your-mouth inside. Love it!

I believe her secret is using a timer and turning the salmon every 2 minutes so it cooks evenly from both sides until she can see the colour changing towards the centre. Yum!

That's it for this week. I hope these meals ides have given you some inspiration for your meal planning. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are. What would you like to see on these meal idea posts?

Four plates of low histamine keto meals

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So, How's My Diet Going Now?

I frequently get messages asking me for updates on my diet, whether it's my Keto journey or my Low Histamine journey. So this is where I will periodically share a short update and you can see how this way of eating is affecting me over time.

For context: I fell ill with ME/CFS in 2015 and became housebound. I started Keto in early 2017 as a way to reduce my symptoms, by the end of the year I had developed severe Histamine Intolerance issues, so I adjusted my diet to Low Histamine Keto. Here are my updates since then:

Update - December 2017

Histamine Intolerance: My itching and hives are under control now. I got rid of the hives by fasting for 24hours a day for three days straight. This means that every 24 hours I'd have a 1hour window in which I would eat my meals according to this plan of action. Within 3 days the hives were gone. I continued for almost 2 weeks eating once a day only. Please keep in mind that I am on the ketogenic diet, which keeps me satiated, drinking a lot of water and electrolytes helps too.

After the initial 2 weeks, I started reintroducing a second meal, more of a high fat and protein snack in the evenings, so my fasting window reduced from 24 hours to 16. I did this for most of October, after which my itching had completely gone away and I could start reintroducing some foods again. In small quantities.

My itch has only returned, very mildly, since we switched our winter heating on in the house about a week ago. Heat is a trigger for my histamine response, but cold is bad for my chronic pain and muscle shakes caused by ME/CFS, so I'll put up with the slight itch and adjust my meals accordingly to keep it under control.

Update - August 2019

Low Histamine Keto: There were only a few itchy episodes in the winter of 2017. The whole of 2018 was incident free, except when I ate spinach which seems to give me an instant reaction almost every time I eat it.

2019 has been almost completely incident free too, except two reactions which I later realised were caused by a peanut flavoured protein shake I was having for lunch. I rotate through a variety of flavours and only had reactions on the peanut flavour days. Since stopping that shake, I have not had any more reactions.

I continue to eat a low histamine diet most of the time, but am able to enjoy a couple of high histamine foods daily in small doses. I also continue to use quercitin powder sprinkled on one meal a day and at least one serving of olive oil a day. I also still take the salt drinks as supplementing electrolytes is important for Keto too. 

Update - 2020 to Present Day

Keto And Histamine Intolerance: I'm still on the ketogenic diet, but have been able to reintroduce many high histamine foods on a regular basis, including spinach and even the occasional treat including peanuts - all without any reactions. I still take antihistamines, salty cocktails and olive oil daily.

During pollen season I do have to be more careful with the amount of high histamine foods I eat as my levels are already higher at that time of the year and reactions are easily triggered if not careful. The rest of the year I can be relatively carefree about histamine levels.

My ME/CFS has not continued to improve with the keto diet, I'd say it's probably reached a plateau, but it absolutely gets worse when I go out of ketosis on my rare cheat days. So I maintain this way of eating to have a better quality of life. 

More About Diet And Nutrition

A plate of fried eggs, salami and red pepper. Title reads: Transitioning to a paleo-ketogenic diet. Managing chronic fatigue and pain with diet
Char scratching her arm. Title reads: Keto rash, relieve the itch.
Title reads Keto for ME/cfs, How the ketogenic diet reduced my symptoms. Photo of asparagus, avocado, chia seeds, eggs and tomato on a while table top.
A collage of 4 meals, title reads: How carbs make my MEcfs symptoms worse. Personal update
A close up of granola, title reads: Keto granola recipe, a low carb, sugar and grain free breakfast or snack
Char's legs covered in itchy bumps. Title reads: allergic reaction, itching and hives. Personal Update.
Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Char xx

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  • Thank you for sharing! I am curious to see how your journey with this has progressed and if you have any new favorite recipes to share?

    I am one of many post Covid sufferers of long term weirdness (spots on my brain, exhaustion, itching. Confusion, word loss, etc) and am exploring a low histamine way of eating to try and help. Reading the lists seem so restrictive since I am already keto so finding your page is a definite bright spot!! I’ll be obtaining the ingredients to make several of these quite soon. All the best!

    • Hi Rachel, I’m sorry you had to experience covid and all the weirdness it has left you with. Has keto helped at all or were you already keto before? I have only just restarted blogging again since my old laptop had died and it’s only just been replaced, so I hope to be adding more to the website soon, including more food lists and recipes we love. Low histamine keto can be restrictive initially, but once your general histamine load has been lowered sufficiently for a time, I have found that it becomes easier to reintroduce higher histamine foods again, without much consequence, if any. I hope you will find a good selection of low histamine safe foods to enjoy. Do come back occasionally, or subscribe to updates so you will know when I’ve shared my recipes.

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