One of the hardest things about food sensitivities and allergies is the added challenges in creating and finding food that tastes good and is satisfying. Even if you get into a bit of a rhythm for a while, if there isn't enough variety you get bored with what you're eating.
In an effort to make life a little easier, you likely do something that I used to do all the time. Make something that you love and make enough so you can have a few meals of it. Right?! Leftovers!
Welp...forgive me because I need to throw a little truth into that scenario. Leftovers can actually contain a good amount of histamine. And the longer they stay in the fridge, the more histamine accumulates.
You and I do. And anyone else who is living with food sensitivities and allergies. Histamine is one of the big things we react to in the foods we eat. Yes, our body releases histamine in response to a stimulus (a trigger food) but the histamine in our food can also cause reactions.
And that becomes a bit of a challenge. That means that our new goal is a freshly prepared meal each time we sit down to eat.
OK. So. I just dropped a bomb right there. A freshly prepared meal each time we sit to eat. Sounds super unreasonable, right?! Over the top. Extreme and seriously unlikely.
Remember this - You are the one in control of your life with food sensitivities. My goal is give you all the golden nuggets I can find that will help you in your journey. These aren't rules. At least not exactly.
I look at it as a Rule of the Game. Every game has rules to the extent that you know what will happen if and when you break a particular rule. I believe knowing the rules and the consequences allows me to better play the game - a life with food allergies and sensitivities.
When we're talking about leftovers, you and I both know we are never going to be in a position where we never eat leftovers. (At least I won't!!) But I know the rules of leftovers:
Any food left over after a meal has the potential to accumulate histamine, whether it's sitting on the counter or in the refrigerator.
Reheating leftovers will not remove accumulated histamine...it'll just warm 'em up for you!
While freezing doesn't remove histamine from leftovers, it can keep them from accumulating. So freeze as soon as possible after you have prepared your meal.
To minimize the amount of histamine, cook your meal with foods that are already low in histamine. That way you're not adding insult to injury if you'll be having those leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Consider adding a cup of Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea or Lemon Balm tea to your meal as they both have antihistamine properties and can help with tummy upset or burning. (Note - these are not to be used as treatment for an allergic reaction. Please discuss with and follow the guidance from your personal healthcare professional.)
It may seem like a nit-picky change or something so over-the-top that the likelihood of making a difference is super small. This one change can make a huge difference, especially for those of us who have histamine intolerance as a contributing factor to our food sensitivities and allergies.
Ultimately, this is all about you learning about your body. You're learning your Rules of the Game so you can live your best and most delicious life yet!
Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip...
If you're not doing this already, consider keeping a journal of what you eat, significant changes you make in your diet and how you feel, both generally and specific reactions.
For example, you could put an entry for today with a note stating something like "gonna try to avoid leftovers".
How do things change over the next week or so? If you've been avoiding leftovers and then decide to enjoy some, again no one is judging you for "breaking a rule", but make sure to observe any kind of reaction to that meal.
Be a Foodie Scientist! Collect as much data as possible about your body and the foods you eat.
And before you leave - have you snagged a copy of my FREE resource, Quick Guide to Reading Labels for Food Allergies and Sensitivities? Not only do I go into reading labels...but there are some great tidbits on how to find your trigger foods in seemingly unlikely places. Another game of Hide and Seek!!!