It’s coming up on that time of year where my desire to spend all day in the kitchen pretty much flies out the window. It’s especially hard to justify it here in Spain, where I’ve decided to settle for a little while. It’s been a long, long year, full of highs like being quoted in The Times newspaper in the UK, mentioned in the Huffington Post by a dear friend, but also a number of tragedies like the loss of one of my closest friend’s brother, emergency hospitalisation scares (not mine) and the end of a relationship I poured my heart into, with a soul mate I was sure I would grow old with.
Rather than lose myself in an urban kitchen (where I have been known to drown my woes), I’m back in the town where I grew up, in the south of Spain, licking my wounds and slowly picking up the pieces. A number of you have been checking in on me, for which I am grateful. I hope you understand and I apologise for replying in blog form rather than personally by email, but I’ve been taking a vacation from my old life, while exploring the deep spirituality I pushed to the side almost the day I became a journalist. It’s hard to express gratitude to or interest in a divine force when you’re drowning in death and the misery of daily bombings.
Thankfully that’s all behind me.
Now in the care of another friend, I’m free to meditate, do yoga and explore the gorgeous tree lined avenues still frequented by señoritas on their way to the feria. Not much has changed since I left here over a decade ago; not much but me.
I’m slowly remembering that life isn’t full of pain, that friends are our greatest support network, the importance of spirituality in life and the joy found in pushing my body to its (admittedly still weak) limits, under the guidance of wonderful trainer who understands my acquired fragility of recent years. (I’ll be sharing more on how I’m re-building my body next week, as well as sharing tips on getting fit with histamine intolerance/mast cell activation disorder exclusively with my mailing list – don’t forget to sign up.)
And so today, rather than slave over a hot stove, I threw a seemingly random assortment of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods into a borrowed European version of my Vitamix (it’s called the Thermomix) and realised I’d come up with a super duper high nutrient white gazpacho.
I poured myself a cup and headed out to eat and then meditate in the shade of a pine tree. It’s been a windy day, so I had to pick out some pine needles from the gazpacho, but really, there’s so much in my life to be thankful for and a little extra garnish never hurt anyone.
I’d really love it if you’d consider spending some time meditating today on what you’re grateful for. I know I’m very privileged to have you all in my life. Without you I don’t know that I’d have had the same burning desire to research and push the limits of diet and exercise on my healing journey.
I am grateful to you all. xo
I’m deeply indebted to PWS & RHS for your words of wisdom, endless patience and for being my family.
Thanks EKA for taking care of me, force feeding me when I’d given up on myself and reminding me that friendship is never ending. And for loaning me your Thermomix of course!
And to BD for inspiring me to reconnect with something (and someone) I thought I’d lost and showing me how much there is in life to be grateful for, each and every day.
Enough of the fluff, here’s the recipe and nutritional breakdown:
White Gazpacho Antihistamine and anti-inflammatory nutrients
Almonds: highly anti-inflammatory and high in beneficial nutrients like vitamin E and B vitamins like riboflavin .
Olive oil: highly anti-inflammatory, helps prevent osteoporosis .
Apple: rich in histamine lowering quercetin and inhibit the development of allergies .
Cauliflower: anti-inflammatory Vitamin K rich, lowers multiple inflammatory markers significantly .
Fennel: anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, analgesic and antioxidant .
Apple cider vinegar: is the lowest histamine of all vinegars (according to various histamine food lists on the internet). Made from apples which posses significant antihistamine and mast cell stabilising activity. I use it quite a bit.
Saffron: an H1 receptor antagonist (like claritin for example) .
Garlic: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, now being investigated as IBS treatment. Also has some mast cell stabilising properties .
Cucumber: analgesic, antioxidant, prevents prostaglandin (inflammatory molecule) synthesis .
Carrot: I try and eat purple ones which possess even greater anti-inflammatory activity than the usual orange coloured .
1/2 cup white almonds, soaked overnight
1 cups ice cold water
1/4 cup smooth white almond butter
1/2 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
4 tbsp chopped fennel (optional)
2-4 tbsp apple cider vingegar or lemon juice/tamarind paste
10 threads saffron
2 cloves garlic
handful chives, very finely chopped
pinch of himalayan salt
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
Blend together all the ingredients but the saffron, chives and white pepper.
Pour into individual bowls.
Garinsh with saffron, chives and white pepper, as well as cucumber and carrot if using.
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The Anti-cookbook, while it doesn’t treat any conditions, due to its high nutrient, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ingredients, has been instrumental in helping me feed myself on a limited diet. It features a six page list of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods. It comes in regular and Paleo.
The Low Oxalate Cookbook features antihistamine and anti-inflammatory rich recipes.
Don’t miss the Low Histamine Beauty Survival Guide for non-toxic beauty tips, the skinny on histamine releasing (mast cell degranulating) beauty ingredients, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory beauty alternatives and the top brands natural brands I’ve found.
Take a peek at my other low histamine and antihistamine cookbooks for more high nutrient recipes.
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Please don’t forget antihistamine, pain killing foods can still hurt us, so please always check with your doctor before adding new foods to your diet.
————– REFERENCES —————
[1-9] The Anti-Cookbook. Yasmina Ykelenstam, 2013.