Helpful hints for living with the symptoms of mast cell disorders shared by patients living with these disorders – Eating at home and outside of the home

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Eating at home and outside of the home:

Plan ahead for food when going out – bring something along in case you’re out longer than planned or suddenly can’t eat the food you were expecting to be safe.

I keep meals simple: dinner, for example, is baked potato and baked chicken breast. It all goes into the oven. I cook frozen veggies in the microwave so later in the day when my energy is low I can still eat. Sometimes I sit in a chair when prepping and cooking. I also use my crockpot a lot. We just purchased an air fryer. We love it –it takes very little time to cook and is so easy to clean.

If you wake up in the morning and are already symptomatic, plan for a very plain menu for the rest of the day to avoid triggering a major reaction.

I have eliminated high histamine foods and it helps a lot.

I learned which foods trigger me and I avoid them at all costs. My food choices are limited now – but it’s so worth it. I feel almost normal and have not had any bad episodes for three years. Also follow a regimen of H1 and H2 blockers, along with a few others. Huge difference.

I always take my own lunch to work. I always check ahead at restaurants. I call ahead to parties and family dinners to review my food allergies.

I keep masks, food and freshly made juice with me and always keep bottles of water and meds near the door so I don’t forget on my way out.

I also drink homemade chicken broth with Himalayan salt only every other day (6-7 hours in the crock pot as too much time cooked equals high histamines-I find this usually happens from frozen free range chickens).

I did an elimination food diet. It helped by eating foods first thing in the morning to see what my reactions were. It was a huge revelation.

I make large batches of safe food and freeze for when I’m going to family functions or invited to friends.

I call ahead before any wedding or function and ask to speak to the chef, giving all of my food allergies, and explaining how serious they are.

Some foods, like fresh tomatoes, are ok for me if I am having a relatively low symptom day. But if I get up and am already flushing, or having diarrhea, then I know to avoid any food that might trigger me. Keep your own list of foods you can never eat, foods you can eat sometimes on good days, and safe foods. Don’t be surprised if foods move from column to column. I could eat shrimp for years until two years ago. Now, one bite causes hours of diarrhea. Same thing with mushrooms. New food triggers can emerge at any time.

Freeze food right after it’s made, for later use. Pack food when I go places – now I have a mini, plug-in three tier steamer and a plug in stovetop burner for cooking food at hotels.

Eat healthy small snacks instead of big meals or fast food.

When I can cook, I still cook a large amount like I did when all 7 kids were home. This provides a meal right away, and 3 for the freezer for my husband’s lunches. I put the leftovers in cheap 3/$1 aluminum pans with lids from the dollar store. Then I don’t feel guilty for not cooking every day! I also sit on a stool to fold clothes, and prioritize what I need vs. want to do. I try to do at least one thing, no matter how small, so I can still have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

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