Eureka! methylation and high thiol sulfur: CBS/COMT/NOS/DAO

by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

I have been reading Dr. Ben Lynch’s new book called DIRTY GENES. It  helped me finally put the missing pieces into the puzzle for some of my most plaguing health issues. The study of Methylation, genetic snps and epi-genetics  has finally started to progress to where it  can help many people struggling with underlying health problems. By  figuring out what genetic snps  one has, it becomes easier to learn how to avoid possible pitfalls.

"At the Diner," pen and ink by Bea Garth, copyright 2018
“At the Diner,” pen and ink by Bea Garth, copyright 2018

It appears that in my case, my CBS snp (along with my COMT/ plus NOS/DAO/MTHFR etc. snps) has been causing me no end of trouble by creating too much toxic ammonia in my system. The high thiol sulfur set off severe urinary tract system difficulties when I was a young adult. Plus more recently it has been creating problems with such things as sleep, skin, collagen issues and nerve degeneration.

I have a friend whom I have been helping who is also being similarly helped by this new diet even though  his epi-genetics and symptoms are slightly different. For him his most disturbing symptom has been the development of intestinal microbes he just has not been able to get rid of, which then have caused him great pain in his gut as well as chronic insomnia, brain fog and frequent intense joint pain.

Although he does not cover the CBS genetic snp in his book,  Dr. Lynch’s clear explanation of the methylation process and how the snps inter-relate with each other (and epi-genetics) has enabled me to make much better sense of it all.  As a result, I  have finally put my finger on what has been causing me (and my friend) so much trouble with so many foods.

As it turns out, if the CBS snp becomes stressed, it can make one sensitive to  high thiol sulfur which then turns into toxic ammonia given the body’s inability to methylate it properly. That in combination with a couple of my stressed COMT genes makes a very difficult stew, so to speak.

And yes my epi-genetics have been stressed, I’ll say. Both due to getting severely sick as a small infant (my older brother says from six months to a year) due to  the secret Hanford Radiation experiment in December 1949 called The Green Run (they release between 8000 and 12,000 curies of radioactive iodine as well as other toxic radioactive materials into the atmosphere along the Columbia River). Plus exposure to umpteen toxic materials repairing old houses for my family business for over twenty years. My friend too has suffered from working on old houses, both those of my family as well as others when he was working as a carpenter and painter.

The last few years both my health and that of my friend’s has gradually been going down hill despite my (and our doctors’) best efforts to help both of us. But now finally with this new knowledge about the CBS snp and others such as COMT, DAO, NOS and MTHFR, both he and I are starting to feel so much better it amazes me–simply by going on a low thiol diet! Over time I am hopeful that many of our symptoms will finally resolve by following what we are learning from our snps and supporting our epi-genetics through diet, exercise, meditation and whatever methods we can use to help keep detoxified.

It makes sense that high thiols creating toxic ammonia have been a scourge for me.  I lost the use of half my right kidney when I was 23 years old after all. Despite my doctors (who wanted me to be on antibiotics the rest of my what would have been a very short life), I went  off the antibiotics anyway. I was getting rashes, large welts and ringing ears along with brain fog from almost all of the antibiotics, including sulfa drugs.

My grandmother suggested I might be sensitive to various foods, the worst possibly being citrus fruit. I soon discovered she was right. Eventually, through extensive trial and error, I figured out I am very sensitive to the wheat family and most milk products, although I kept eating yogurt for years. It was suggested I was sensitive to fructose but, as it turns out, that was not correct. Instead I eventually discovered I am very sensitive to high histamine foods, which includes a lot of fruit, and  to any fruit that is over-ripe. In addition I found I am very reactive to any foods that are red or purple. One nice thing that I have discovered almost immediately after going on a low thiol diet is t hat it is now OK for me to eat yellow and green apples. Previously if I ate an apple it helped contribute to  keeping me awake at night.

According to Dr. Andy Cutler (see link at bottom of list below), there is a big connection to needing a low thiol-sulfur diet if one suffers from a  mercury overload from dental amalgams. Certainly in my case I did not do well at all with silver mercury amalgams — they gave me gum-boils as a child and continued to cause ringing in my ears and gave me a metallic taste in my mouth as an adult. No doubt this mercury toxicity underlay  my developing kidney disease when I was 23. Even by age 13, I had developed severe bladder problems when I was on the basketball team. I finally had the amalgams slowly removed when I was almost 40–which helped quite a lot, but did not resolve all of my health issues.  As usual, I continued detoxing using herbs such as dandelion root and much later added in bentonite clay. I eventually got rid of the mercury, however I still continued to have problems particularly as I aged although its true  my work renovating old houses did not help me with my need for detoxification.

Again, for my friend, his health plummeted after he got a mouth full of silver amalgam fillings topped with metal caps. After that, his job continuing to work on old houses (sometimes involving removing toxic materials plus painting) did not help. Although he had his amalgams removed over 10 years ago, he continued to have problems. In his case he has two homozygous CBS genes, so he has been even more easily affected than I have been to  toxins. It is no wonder he started having problems with his prostate and at times found it difficult to walk or even think due to all the excess ammonia. He was able to heal in part through the use of acupuncture, Chinese herbs and diet, but he continued to be very weak. It is only now he is starting to feel  less pain in his gut by changing his diet to low thiol foods. Already he is starting to sleep a little better. Hopefully in time his debilitating brain fog will also lift.

My feeling is that once the CBS gene mutation has been turned on by something like toxic mercury, one has to continue to support it through diet and some method of detoxing, even after the mercury or other toxins  have been removed due to the fact that the ammonia is creating its own havoc, often supported by toxic biofilms.

The truth is, I had skirted around this thiol sensitivity without really knowing what it was. I figured my health issues must be both environmental and genetic (as you will note if you see some of my older posts), but honestly I did not know what exactly was causing it or what to do about it. My reactions to many of the high sulfur foods was not clearly obvious since the symptoms from them were more insidious, in part covered up by my taking various detox herbs since my early twenties (to keep my kidneys and liver detoxed), as well my severe reaction to foods that did not seem to relate to each other like gluten, nuts, citrus and milk not to speak of red and purple foods. Although  I knew I shouldn’t eat a lot of chard for instance in order to avoid the scourge of developing kidney stones, I continued to eat fairly high thiol dark green vegetables. (Ironically, chard is one of the less high thiol sulfur greens.)

Despite all the healing I had already done, I was gradually going under.  Since my mother’s death and my move with my husband up north to Washington, my insomnia and itching got way worse. I went around feeling partly like a zombie. It was hard to figure out, but I finally did just this last year. I realized eventually that eggs and other high sulfur foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli and cabbage were making it nearly impossible for me to sleep. However I was still eating kale and occasionally bok choi. And a host of other high thiol foods I shouldn’t have been eating like buckwheat. I was getting weaker and weaker, not to speak of the embarrassment of having weird hours due to my inability to sleep on any kind of regular schedule.  I also  have had to resort to wearing dresses and skirts rather than wearing pants  due to the severe itching.

What a roller coaster this has been!!

Now on low thiol foods plus of course continuing to eat fairly low histamine foods with no gluten or milk products etc., both my friend and I are starting to sleep better at night plus we are starting to feel more energetic and clear. And yes that was a big discovery for my friend. It was his snps that gave us the clue since he  has a homozygous DAO snp.  It turns out he needs to avoid high histamine foods, the very opposite of what he thought!

We both still  have more ways to go, however it seems clear that our various symptoms  are starting to  lessen as we continue on this healing path. If not, I need to look at some of the other snps that might also be bothering both my friend and me. But all in all, I am very happy my friend and I are finally beginning to get our lives back at last!

Dr. Ben Lynch offers this key advice in his book: it is important for most of us to eat a bit of carbohydrate, protein and fat with each meal in order to support and not stress things out like serotonin and dopamine–especially important for someone like me and my friend who have COMT snps too. Fruit and vegetables also continue to be very important, though my friend and I have to make sure they are low histamine overall, and low thiol sulfur — and for me, not red or purple. Eventually as we heal more, from what I read, we should be able to add in some  medium thiol foods as long as we continue to detox.

And yes I am discovering too we need to be careful regarding supplements since  a lot of them are high thiol, or are thiol inducing such as MSM, epsom salt baths, NAC, milk thistle and turmeric.

In case you want to learn more about CBS and low thiol foods plus COMT, here are  some good links below that you can check out. The last one of which lists foods that are both high and low thiol. It has a discussion by Andy Cutler on how mercury often initiates a reaction to high thiol foods.

OK so here’s the list of links:



Sorghum Zucchini/Apple/Coconut Scone

by Bea Garth

In the process of researching how to make some gluten free yeasted bread for my husband, I came across a new trick for creating a binder for gluten free flours–namely by using a little psyllium husk powder in the recipe. So I did that in the following yummy scone recipe. Rather than just rely on the psyllium however, I am also using an egg with a small amount of flax and chia. The trick is to not add too much binder or the bread dough will never dry out no matter how long its baked (I found out the hard way)! Without the proper binders however, gluten free quick breads will usually be too dry and won’t hold together properly.

And no, I don’t use xanthum gum or guar gum. I am sensitive to both. I just found out that xanthum gum is made from the same black bacillus that one often sees on old broccoli. Commercially its often grown on either wheat, corn or soy–all no no’s for me. Guar gum I learned too is related to latex, another one of my allergens…

I think you will like this zucchini apple scone recipe! Its low histamine, no gluten or lactose, easy to make in one bowl, and great tasting! This makes enough dough for 2 pie or biscuit pans or one deep square pan.

1/3 coconut oil or butter (slow melt in small pan on stove)
1 scant tbsp. flax seed (grind)
1/2 scant tbsp. chia seed (grind)
3 1/2 cups water
2 eggs (or  one can use 1/2 tbsp more flax seed–fresh ground plus 1/4 cup more water to replace  moisture lost from not using eggs)
2 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 level tbsp. powdered psyllium husks
1 1/2 cup more sorghum flour
2 small zucchini’s, shredded (1 cup packed)
1 largish apple, peeled and chopped
1  1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened and sorbitol free)

Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
Melt coconut oil (or butter) on low in small pan on the stove. Then, while it is melting, grind the flax and chia seeds. Don’t heap the seeds unless you want the recipe to be more like a pudding! Put the ground seeds into a largish bowl and add the water and one raw egg. Mix using a wire whisk.
Then whisk in two cups of sorghum flour plus the salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Then quickly sprinkle and whisk in the 2 level tsp. powdered psyllium (or if you don’t have the powder, you can use the whole husks–again, just don’t heap the psyllium! or the batter will become a pudding-like) and quickly whisk in til the batter is smooth.
Then quickly whisk in the remaining sorghum flour, pour the hot melted oil onto the batter and whisk again.
Now shred the zucchini’s and add to the batter with a large spoon or wooden spatula. Again peel a largish apple, and chop it and add to the batter.
To complete this recipe, add in the shredded unsweetened coconut, using the large spoon or spatula.

If you are allergic to coconut, you could just add in 1/2 to 3/4 cup more sorghum flour or some other flour (like amaranth or rice flour perhaps?) instead of using the coconut (the flours will absorb more water than the shredded coconut).

Then oil (I use coconut oil) either two pie or biscuit pans, or one deep square pan, and then put the batter in the pan(s). Pat the dough down so its even, and put into the pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 75 minutes (I am still trying to figure out how to reduce the baking time for this recipe!  So bear with me on this. As is it is delicious nevertheless–especially after it is frozen and reheated).

Let sit for a few minutes to cool before releasing the edge with a rounded knife (if needed) and turning it out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool more. When it seems ready, cut and serve. I like the round pans for this since it looks more like a true Scottish Scone quick bread.

I often use blueberries and a bit of stevia or maple syrup to taste to make the scones even more delicious. Lately I have been making home made yogurt (yay!~) to put on top. I make it by using my special anti histamine probiotics since regular yogurt kills me. This truly is the only way I can enjoy having milk. I avoid canned or packaged coconut milk due to their gums and preservatives usually included–which really do not agree with me. Ditto with almond milk etc. I could make it myself, but just have not wanted to spend the time. I will write another entry on this very soon…

NOTE: I usually freeze the scones (or any other of my quick breads) by cutting them up into serving slices after they have cooled, wrapping the slices first with wax paper. I then put them in a plastic bag, put an identifying piece of paper showing the title of what I made plus the date, and use a twisty to tie the top of the bag to protect the slices from freezer burn. Then when I want something nice like some scone, I just put one or two pieces in the microwave (or oven) to heat so it becomes a quick food I can enjoy any time.

FURTHER NOTE: If you are allergic to (or don’t have) sorghum flour, you can use rice or millet flour instead (or some combination thereof). I have made this using amaranth as part of my flour. It is much denser however than the sorghum, so I wouldn’t choose it as the main flour.

ALSO NOTE: If you can’t tolerate the egg, consider using another scant 1/2 tablespoon of flax seed instead and add a small bit of water equivalent to what is lost without the eggs (say 1/4 cup?) — just remember to grind the flax and don’t heap it to avoid making a bread pudding of your scones!

2-Well Yam Pie: gluten and lactose free, low histamine, low sugar and fructose

by Bea Garth

Here it is Thanksgiving and my honey had to go out and work. Rather than huff about it, I decided to make a yam pie anyway.

I shouldn’t  have that much pumpkin (too high histamine and fructose).  Many find that sweet potatoes are better for them, but I seem to be sensitive to them, whereas yams suit me well.  I often use them in place of carrots for instance, since I seem to have a true carrot allergy (rash, welts, confusion). Yams are a great way to get some good vitamin A.

Anyway, I am also sensitive to sugar of most any kind. The only thing that way that I seem to tolerate is a bit of maple syrup, as long as I don’t use much.

So what to do when making a pie for me and my sweetheart, when he does not tolerate stevia at all? Fortunately he is just fine with plain sugar. I came up with what I think is an ingenious idea: why not make the whole recipe for us both in the same container, and then just split it at the end–so he can have sugar added to his pie and I can have stevia added to mine instead.

The other wrinkle however was how to separate the two pies when really I am making only enough for one?? And want to use just one tin or pie plate to bake them in? I hit upon this idea which has turned out great: make a bit of extra dough and then make a well (using the dough) in the middle of the pie plate (or in this case since I didn’t have one, the rectangular tin).

I split the raw pie mixture in half and then mixed sugar into his half and stevia to taste into mine.  I then put some extra bits of almond flour on his side after I poured the pie mixture with the added sugar in, and left my side plain  so I wouldn’t get mixed up as to whose pie is whose…

So here’s the recipe:

2-Well Yam Pie: gluten, lactose and histamine free

Pie Ingredients and Recipe:

. peel and chop one medium largish yam (or sweet potato) to make roughly 3 1/2 cups chopped yam–put in blender
. melt 1/2 cup coconut oil on low slowly
. put one cup water into blender

Grind 2 tbsp. flax and 1 tbsp. chia, and then add to the blender

. add 1/4 cup maple syrup to blender
. add one egg (optional–you don’t have to use it if its a problem)
. add 1/2 tsp. salt
. add 1/2 tsp. baking soda
. add 2/3 cup sorghum, rice or millet flour

Blend the above ingredients at least a minute. Then add in 1/4 cup melted coconut oil to the blended ingredients, and blend well again for another minute or so.

Let pie ingredients sit a bit while you make the crust. This will allow the flax and chia seeds to gel.

Crust Ingredients and Recipe
Use a small mixing bowl and add the following ingredients (please note, I am making extra crust so a separation well can be made and a nonstandard pie plate can be used):

. 1 1/2 cup almond flour
. 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
. 2/3 cup millet, sorghum or rice flour (etc.)
. 1/4 tsp. to 1/3 tsp salt (to taste)
Mix above ingredients in the bowl so they are evenly distributed. I used my hands actually.
Then add in 1/4 cup melted coconut oil. I use a sprinkling method, and toss flours with a fork
. then add roughly 1/3 to 1/2 cup water, tossing and mixing similarly.

Then mix the ingredients with the water together with a fork a bit more, followed by mashing them together and kneading them into a dough with your hands.

This makes your crust. You can then coat your chosen pie pan with coconut oil, put your ball of dough inside the pan while choosing a bit of it to put aside to make the separation well in a minute.

Using your hands, flatten the dough so it covers the pan’s bottom and up to the top edges. Use bits of dough to complete the edges as needed. Then make the well in the center so the ingredients in the two separately sweetened pies don’t mix. It looks kind of like a separate section in your garden edged with wood if you get my drift…

Back to the pie mixture:
take one half of the blended pie mixture (roughly 2 cups) and put in 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste), and mix well with a spoon or fork.
Then pour that sugar flavored pie mixture into one of the wells in the pie pan. Put something on top of it that can survive baking. I sprinkled some of the almond flour on top and then added 5 almonds to mark the area.

Then with the rest of the blended pie mixture (also roughly 2 cups), add in 2/3 tsp. of plain powdered stevia, again mixing it well with a fork and/or spoon. Pour this stevia flavored mixture into the unused pie well.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for roughly 50 minutes. It you have a hot oven, turn it down a bit.

When the pie is done, take it out of the oven and let cool on a wire rack. I ate a piece after 15 minutes, but its better to wait at least half an hour or longer for the pie to cool.

Added Notes: The taste of the pie is excellent! The maple syrup and yam gives it a good flavor without histamine high spices like cinnamon and cloves. And the crust is to die for! Actually flaky. It tastes better to me than a gluten crust, if my recollection is correct. Very nice! I can’t wait to see what my fiancee thinks of the pie sweetened with sugar.

This separation of recipe only at the end gives me other ideas to do the same say with cookies and cakes etc. I am inspired!! And yes I do have a sweet tooth. It is so nice to be able to eat something like this without ruining my health, and actually instead aiding it since the above ingredients are actually good for me, and I hope good for you too!



Insomnia From Red Rooibos Tea

Everyone is different. Am I the only one that seems to react to red rooibos tea?   It is supposed to have anti histamine properties–but it seems to have reignited my insomniac/histamine issues.

All I know is now I can’t get to sleep tonight despite rooibos being touted as a great sleep aid. Ha! Well maybe it is for most people.

Certainly it tastes great and maybe I had “too much”??

I think I reacted due to the fact  red rooibos is fermented to create the red color. I seem to react to fermented anything these days.

Rooibos also has quercitin, which has  wonderful anti-histamine properties for most people. However perhaps I should have known rooibos could be a problem given that I  react to quercitin even in its pure form and related substances like rutin.

They say we can be allergic to anything. Perhaps that goes for food sensitivities too.

Fructose Malabsorption and Grain Free??

I am finally over being ill with bronchitis I had for over a month. I had a virus that settled in my lungs and just wouldn’t let go. I had the same thing happen last winter. So I started thinking — what is going on? I spoke to someone the other day who has a lot of sensitivities and allergies, and apparently as a result she gets asthma.

So I started wondering if that is what is going on with me? i.e., with all this lung congestion I have had complicating yet another virus–this time in the summer and not the dead of winter. And if so, what might be bothering me so much despite my already extensive food restrictions. After all for several years I have had a chronic nasal congestion and what I call the “itchy bitchies” in my left ear plus on my bottom despite being off all gluten and milk plus eating a relatively low histamine diet.

Long ago a naturopath suggested I might have fructose malabsorption. He determined this through muscle testing. I chose to ignore this information however since I loved my bananas, papayas and apples etc. and thought what he said was nonsense. Since then I found I have severe gluten intolerance plus histamine sensitivity. So I no longer eat papayas or bananas for instance nor other fruits like pineapple or even tomatoes. However I have loved my apples and recently cantaloupe. But my continuing health issues have pointed to yet more underlying problems. So the thought finally occurred to me, maybe that doctor from long ago was right?

So finally I tried going off the apples and cantaloupe the other day just to see if it would help. I had become really inflamed down under and thought I need to do something! I already have been eating a pretty restricted diet due to being ill after all–so it was a perfect time to test out my theory. My only excess was the fruit, which I noticed was giving me a special zing–which for me is a big clue that I could be sensitive to it.

Amazingly I almost immediately found going off high fructose foods is really helping my skin in my ear and bottom to heal! Plus finally I can breathe through both nostrils at once too, something I have not been able to do for forever due to chronic nasal congestion. And yes my lungs suddenly healed!!

In so doing, however, last night and then this morning I tried out eating organic white jasmine rice, which is very low fructose and recommended for those on a low fructose or even a low Fodmap diet. Unfortunately as a result my belly now looks like I am pregnant! Plus the scale says I gained 6 pounds just like that! And to tell the truth today I have been very sleepy and groggy. So clearly white rice is out for me. I kind of suspected rice as a culprit anyway, but now I know for certain. I may have that somewhat rare condition of having an actual rice allergy. In the past I chalked it up to candida overgrowth, however tests say I never had it.

So back to rutabagas and zucchini with some butternut squash on occasion for my starch!

As far as grains go, I don’t have much hope. Though to be certain, I want to investigate and see if sorghum flour is OK for me or not. I cross my fingers. I already know I have a problem with buckwheat. Whether or not my past reactions to millet and teff flour are true or not I don’t know. Maybe the fructose was really the problem?? I have yet to experiment with any of them again as yet. I would hate to not be able to use any of my many yummy alternative grain recipes. However if I have to go completely grain free in order to feel a lot better, I will.

Ginger Carob Sorghum Sweet Potato Brownies

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

Like most people here on the planet, every once in a while I get a yen for something nice and sweet. I don’t do so well with chocolate given its high histamine content, so carob is a good alternative.

This recipe also uses stevia for most of the sweetener, though I also add in maple syrup. I find if I add in too much stevia the recipe gets bitter. Maple syrup is one of the few sweetners I can tolerate. I even have a problem with boiled honey, agave, or date sugar even though many with histamine issues don’t have a problem with them. Feel free to substitute ingredients as they suit you. Even sugar will do, however I hate what it does to my body. Just kills me! Even though I might like the taste at the time.

The recipe is also egg free. I find using the ground flax seed and chia seed a much better alternative than the eggs. They make these gluten free flours hang together with a wonderful texture. I also put in half a sweet potato, which adds in some sweet while also helping the brownies stay moist and non crumbly.

My bf on the other hand cannot tolerate either carob or stevia, so it just goes to show we are all different. Even the smell of either ingredient baking bothers him!! In such a case, using a similar amount of chocolate powder and sugar (or one of the other sugars mentioned!) or just more maple syrup–will do just fine! Meanwhile I wait til he’s clearly out of the house if I plan on baking these carob stevia brownies! And then open the doors and windows, lol!

If neither the carob nor the chocolate works for you, you could make these into ginger brownies! Just double the amount of ginger, or add more to taste. And maybe put in 1/2 cup to 1 cup more shredded coconut to make up for the carob flour. The extra coconut also adds a great taste!

Recipe: Ginger Carob Brownies:

Put 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil on low on stove in small pan, cover and let it do its thing!

Grind in seed grinder (each separately so grinder does not bind up):
4 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. flax seeds
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
As said, grind the above ingredients, and put ground ingredients into a small mixing bowl
Add 1 1/2 cups water, and whisk
Let above mixture sit a bit.

Put in blender and then blend:
1/2 medium sized peeled sweet potato, chopped
4 Tbsp. maple syrup (see above alternatives)
The melted 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup water
pour blended ingredients into the sunflower/chia mixture above.

Then put another 1/2 cup water into the now empty blender and blend again to remove all the ingredients stuck to the blender’s sides etc. Then add to above wet ingredients. Whisk.

Then add in 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut–whisk

Then add in 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. powdered stevia
1 tsp. dried ginger
Whisk everything together. Taste to make sure the mixture will be sweet enough for you.

Then put dry ingredients in a largish mixing bowl and mix them together well:
2 cups sorghum flour (or rice flour etc.?)
1/2 cup dry carob flour (or chocolate–or not! see above)

Blend wet ingredients in with the dry in the largish bowl. Again taste to see if the sweetness suits you. Add a little more sweetener if you really think you will want it. IMHO best not to go too sweet!

Oil square pan with coconut oil and then pour in the above completed mixture into it.

Make sure oven is hot at 350 degrees Farenheit, and bake for 35-40 minutes. Check with fork to see if done enough, take out of oven and let cool at least 15 minutes.

Then enjoy! Delicious and moist!!

I suggest putting the extra into the freezer if you have high histamine issues (when thee carob brownies have cooled, I cut it up into bars. I then wrap the bars with cellophane or wax paper and put in a covered container in the freezer–a closed bag will also do).

Nice with plain yogurt if you can tolerate it. Some folks even make coconut yogurt which is yet another alternative. Or just plain as said is fantastic, IMHO. Do let me know what you think!

Super Detox Veggie Smoothie

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

I have started making a veggie smoothie in the morning or afternoon to give myself more energy. Being 65 years old and having gone through everything that I have, I have noticed my energy went down the drain, especially after being ill with the flu for a month in January and still dragging through most of February. I now feel better, but want to feel better yet.

Solution: nutritious veggie detox smoothies! It is early days yet, but it really seems to be helping me feel a lot better!! So I have the energy to do the things I want to during the day with a spring in my step instead of feeling like a weight is pulling me down. And then at the end of the day I am no longer tired, wired and achey, and can finally sleep–-not historically an easy task for me.

To be honest I started making this detox green smoothie in response to yet another migraine I had the other day. I felt so much better afterwards that I decided to make this part of my usual routine. I am finding this help me avoid having quite as many migraines–plus it really helps relieve the pain from migraines I get anyway!!

I looked up the health benefits and they are astounding! Using the power of fresh green vegetables augmented by chia, flax and super green foods (moringa and chlorella or spirulina) this drink has an amazing lineup of nutritional benefits–-including giving one a powerful boost of folate as well as a host of other vitamins and even some protein and omega 3’s (this last due to the flax and chia seeds).

Although this super energy veggie detox smoothie is not the only thing I am doing to improve my health, however it appears to be an important new addition!

Already I feel very satisfied. My intransigent low blood sugar seems to be far more under control and honestly I want to finish this post so I can go out and enjoy the rest of my day!! I am also looking younger by the minute.

INGREDIENTS (this is enough for two or more people, depending on your level of use. Halve or quarter the recipe as it suits you if its just for yourself–remember to improvise as need be):

Put ingredients into a blender as you proceed:
2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp fresh ground flax seed
2 + cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
Stir or blend for a moment and let sit a few minutes as you take out your vegetables and other ingredients from the cupboard and fridge.

Add in:
2 caps “Allergy C” by TwinLab (remove caps and use powder inside–sago palm variety of vitamin C–works as an antihistamine)
1 to 2 teaspoons moringa powder
1 to 2 teaspoons chlorella powder or spirulina powder (or just use more of the moringa powder if you are sensitive to the chlorella and/or spirulina)
(Note: start with less since these are powerful green detoxing energetic foods–and not that tasty til you get used to them!)
1 to 2 tsp. milk thistle seed powder (good for liver detox and regeneration–does not mix with water, but good in smoothies!)
Optional: 1/4 tsp. Rhodiola powder (good for adrenal exhaustion, energizes while relaxing you)
Optional: 1/2 tsp Brahmi powder (good for adrenals, anti stress/relaxing while boosting energy overall, powerful anti oxidant, helps body deal with NO2, helps memory etc.)
Optional: 1 to 2 tsp. Eeleuthero powder (again good for healing one’s adrenals and recovering one’s energy/dealing with stress–probably do either Brahmi or Eletheuro, can alternate the two every 6 weeks or so)

Then lightly chop veggies and place in blender as you proceed:
1 stalk celery chopped
roughly 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fennel (optional)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup fresh dandelion greens, or some other fresh green lightly chopped–fresh chard is nice
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 1/2 cup green lettuce, chopped
1 apple (optional) also chopped (makes it all taste a lot better!)
Then blend ingredients well and drink!

Note: if you can’t fit all ingredients in blender, blend some of them and then add the rest. I also add in some extra water afterwards so I can clean out the container and pour into my glass so I can get all the health benefits rather than washing some of it down the sink. I store the bulk of the smoothie in the fridge and drink this concoction throughout the day. I often take a jar full in my cold pack to work. Definitely gives me a boost and helps my body be at its best!

Apple Blueberry Chia Coconut Sweet Potato Bread

by Bea Garth, copyright 2015
This is a vegan low histamine bread I make on occasion. The fruit and the sweet potato give it the sweetness. If you want to increase that quality you can by adding in some stevia or maple syrup etc. For me I like it as is, though I often serve it with some thawed frozen blueberries. If you eat yogurt, its great with that! Alternatively, coconut milk or cream would be nice too.

I cut the bread up after it has cooled a while and freeze most of it. That way I can have it on hand when I get the munchies or need to eat something quick.

In this recipe I am using sorghum flour, however rice flour would work equally well, as would a variety of other flours. I like sorghum since I find it causes me less inflammation than other gluten free flours. If berries don’t agree with you, leave them out and just put in some other kind of fruit, or maybe put in more apple–or not??

The thing that makes this bread so wonderful to work with is the combination of flax seeds and chia seeds, both of which I grind up and let soak while I put together the rest of the ingredients. Given their springy adhesive qualities, who needs egg or gluten??

Begin by slowly melting 1 cup coconut oil on top of the stove in a small covered pot on low.

Place following ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together with a wire whisk:
3 tblsp. chia seed–fresh grind in nut and seed grinder
2 tblsp. flax seeds–fresh grind in nut and seed grinder (note: its best to grind these two types of seeds separately. Otherwise the grinder has to work too hard.)
1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut (I use dry coconut but one could use fresh–maybe chopped and blended with some of the water from below?)
4 cups water

Then add in:
1 cup melted coconut oil–mix in well with wire whisk with above ingredients.

Then stir in:
2 1/2 cups frozen (or really fresh–not moldy!) blueberries or some other berries or other fruit you tolerate.

Shred: peeled medium large sweet potato (makes 2 1/2 cups packed shredded)–if not enough shred some zucchini to make up the difference.
Then add the shredded potato/zuke to above wet mixture, stirring in.

Chop two to three apples and add to above wet mixture, stirring well.

Dry mix in another bowl:
5 cups sorghum (or rice etc.) flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. ground ginger (or finely chop roughly 3 tbsp. of fresh ginger–if so mix in to above wet ingredients instead)

Mix wet bowl with dry ingredients, or vice versa. Stir well. If necessary, you can knead the dough with your hands. Make sure everything is wet and distributed well.

Oil a large rectangular cake pan (roughly 9″ by 14″) liberally with coconut oil. Pour or place dough into the pan and smooth it into place. Put pan into preheated oven to bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. I usually take the bread out and put aluminum foil on top after its baked 30 to 35 minutes to keep the top from getting too browned–to avoid added amines. And then put it back in the oven with the foil on for the last 10 to 15 minutes.

After the bread cools roughly 15 minutes its ready to eat. I usually cut it up into squares and then wrap each piece — that I haven’t eaten already! I then place the saran wrapped pieces in a covered container in the freezer — waiting for those moments I have a yen for something nice.


By Bea Garth, copyright 2015

I just had a major realization today that not everyone who gets migraines realizes there is often a migraine histamine/amine connection. Further IMHO there is yet another connection often to gluten and sometimes corn and other grains as well as a whole variety of food additives. I should have known this particular fact since I only discovered the more full story fairly recently–i.e., just two years ago. And this was after years of investigating food sensitivities on my own due to migraines, body aches and pains, kidney issues, psoriasis and itchy skin, osteoporosis, long lasting viruses etc! Despite my best efforts to stay well.

What I figured out via diet and herbs by my early thirties kept me alive and semi functioning–but as I started getting older, my health began deteriorating again. To tell the truth, its only very recently I have been able to nut out what all is really going on for myself–although certainly I am learning more all the time. My hope is that what I present here on my blog can be of use to others in their healing journey.

I credit the Internet for helping so many make the connections in areas like this that were little known or simply unknown previously. I also credit ground breaking work on food sensitivities being done in Australia by Sue Dengate and others, as well as the work of Dr. Janice Jonega and Yasmina Ykelenstam (the Low Histamine Chef) and the work of her mentor, Dr. Theorides.

The theory is we are all different. Thus the work of the Royal Prince Albert Hospital (RPAH) which did seminal research on food sensitivities was and is very important. They suggested one keep a food journal of what one eats when, and how one feels after in order to figure out what kind of food sensitivities one has. Sue Dengate’s work has expanded on this subject. There is much one can learn from her various books on food sensitivities.

At the time back in the late seventies and early eighties, however, I didn’t even know that RPAH existed and also had not heard of Sue Dengate. Instead I saw a very similar suggestion to keep a food journal in a self help book which I think was called something like Diagnosing Your Food Allergies. I didn’t go on a fast as was suggested, since I had previously gone a couple of 3 days fast with disastrous results to my poor kidneys when I was in graduate school. I lost half of my right kidney due to scar tissue from nephritis within two years. I also became allergic to most antibiotics after several bouts of nephritis that first year. Despite my rashes, welts and ringing ears, my doctors wanted me to stay on antibiotics ad infinitum. However I realized I just could not realistically do it.

Fortunately my grandmother suggested that I might have food sensitivities similar to hers. She had discovered as a young woman that she could not tolerate eating citrus and several other foods for example. Although she never developed kidney problems, she had recurring cystitis which her homeopath suggested could be food related. Fortunately for me, my grandmother was right. By going off the antibiotics plus avoiding citrus and taking herbs, I was able to start healing.

I figured I had too many built up toxins to handle having a true fast again like the self help food allergy book suggested. So instead I decided to eat food I normally didn’t eat like turnips and rutabegas instead of other carbohydrates, along with some greens I usually didn’t eat either, and then gradually add in a food once every two days after the initial simplified diet.

Although I investigated my food sensitivities by keeping an extensive journal, there was just not enough known at the time for me to get a larger picture of what was really going on. I took my pulse (a la the Coco pulse test) along with keeping the food journal and talked to my naturopaths, which helped a lot. But I had no clue about other factors like celiac and histamine/amines. Nevertheless I did get some valuable suggestions from an amazing herbal from the U.K. called the Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman–which shows different healing systems along with their attendant healing herbs. It was a good start, but it did not complete the picture.

Although there was no way for me to really know how or even why my symptoms were truly interconnected, some part of me figured they had to be. This was why I felt it was important to use herbs not only for my kidneys, but also for my liver, intestines and lymphatic system.

At that time however there were very few doctors who knew anything at all about these matters. Even my naturopaths were dumbfounded by my long list of things I reacted to, especially since I wasn’t clinically “allergic”. Whereas standard AMA doctors practically laughed at me (while trying to pump the antibiotics!). Even now its not difficult for me to have the same unfortunate experience of misunderstanding from my doctors. However with the Internet helping aid communication, I believe there is no longer as much reason to stay in the dark and continue to suffer so horrendously with migraines and other related health issues if I do not want to. I figure help is now out there if I keep looking and making the connections that work for me. And certainly the advances in knowledge in this area continue to impress me with each passing year!

Back in the early nineties, despite the fact that my extensive self testing showed I reacted to the wheat family, I sometimes indulged in a large chocolate chip oatmeal cookie as a reward. I didn’t realize my occasional treat was destroying my intestinal villi–since I thought my food sensitivity wasn’t even up to being an allergy! Just ten years ago, in fact, I still thought my sensitivity to the wheat family was not that serious. I had read about celiac in the Merck Manual, but I still did not really realize how insidious gluten really is for the likes of me. No one said anything to me about it despite my bringing the matter up several times with different doctors–AMA and naturopathic– since even at that time celiac was considered to be very rare and severe gluten intolerance was pretty much ignored.

So in the meantime I still used herbal tinctures off and on made with grain alcohol which I put in hot water–even though I subliminally realized that tinctures never worked for me as well as using the raw herb (now I know why!–both due to trace gluten in the alcohol from the wheat family, plus amines from any alcohol, whether heated or not).

On top of that, I was working as a property manager, renovating my family’s old rental houses. I discovered the hard way that many building materials have both gluten and amines (in the glue!) holding them together–and making me sick. It took me quite a while to figure what was going on! So I now often wear a mask at a work site.

All of the above was setting me up for migraines and a host of other issues like osteoporosis and a weakened nervous system — which easily led to more migraines. I even got so bad that I started shaking when I would get up to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night! I frequently had to crawl. Plus my heart would race over nothing at all — even waking me or start thumping on a non strenuous walk or trying to clean something up. Not to speak of extensive problems with my teeth and bones literally from not having enough usable calcium. My body was degenerating with osteoporosis and weak teeth even though I ate yogurt and took calcium supplements along with my other vitamins since my early twenties. My intestinal villi could not absorb the nutrients I so conscientiously gave myself. I didn’t realize I needed to avoid gluten entirely.

Starting in the fall of 2007, I finally discovered that even trace amounts of gluten in things like lipstick or shampoo or using someone’s else’s cutting board, or eating something baked in an oven previously used to bake gluten from the wheat family made me ill even though my diet overall was gluten free.

Fortunately I had previously figured out I should not eat pre-prepared food since it invariably made me feel puffy and achey, often with 5 to 10 pounds mysteriously added on in one day! I also figured out that vinegar and really anything that was fermented except for plain yogurt left my brain reeling and foggy!

I had no idea that my continued trouble with chronic migraines however was also due to the age of the food I was eating (since aging proteins form amines). I just did not realize that all those wonderful big pots of food I’d make ahead of time and keep in the fridge unfrozen were giving me a royal headache from the amines!!

Further, I finally discovered that histamine found in some fruit (bananas, citrus, pineapple and papaya being the worst), most nuts and a variety of vegetables and even egg-white and a few common kitchen herbs were also creating havoc with my head and skin (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cumin, cayenne). And that my love for tomatoes and spinach were doing me in from the heavy load of histamine. Histamine is known as the awake hormone! And apparently for me, the migraine hormone and the insomnia as well as hives, psoriasis and inflammation hormone too, more often than not.

Fortunately I am finally getting more of a handle on all this. My health has been getting a lot better. I have a lot fewer migraines, and when I do I pretty much can figure out why, as well as how to get back to feeling better sooner. My skin has improved such that I am no longer as itchy with psoriasis as I was. My teeth and bones are also improving, as is amazingly enough my short term memory. I no longer stumble as much. However I still am having trouble getting to sleep at a decent hour. I now do yoga, visualization and deep breathing several times a week, which helps create more serotonin. And yes it really does help me sleep better and have fewer reactions. But its not quite enough. I still have those hard jags now and then, though often I will discover there really is a reason why. Its either excessive stress or some food I thought was OK actually isn’t, at least not eaten as frequently as I’d like.

Its thus clear to me there is yet more to learn and do in order to heal more completely. My newest discovery this week is the healing power of super oxide dismutase (SOD), as well as my need for it due to my own particular genetics. I wonder how many people who have chronic migraines could be helped by it. I read in Wikipedia that SOD is healing for those who have IBS and even SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)–as well as for diabetes and the heart etc. I can well imagine it may also help those who have extensive damage to their villi from celiac. Plus perhaps nerve damage such as migraines and restless leg syndrome etc. could be helped by it too.

This truly is a shamanic journey I have had to come to respect. For whatever reason(s) I have been chosen to follow it. My hope is that my healing journey can help others, just as the discoveries of others continue to help me.


Note: There is more here than I can possibly contain in one essay. I plan on putting in more details in this section as I go along. Meanwhile, I am infinitely grateful to those who have made information on food sensitivities finally more known.

So for now before I develop more details in this section of my blog, I wrote up the LINKS page above. Please check out Dr. Jonega’s site on mastocytosis for the best food lists I have seen. I have also found the information on The Low Histamine Chef particularly useful. Keep in mind we are all a little different, so what applies to me or someone else, may or may not apply to you. Please consult with your doctor before you experiment with your healing diet.


by Bea Garth, copyright 2015

This tasty melon juice concoction will have you feeling better in no time! It least it has for me. If I am not pro-active, I get migraines, brain fog, and an achey body etc. at the drop of a hat!

So I was craving melons and had my bf buy me a honeydew melon last night. I found out there is a big reason why I had the craving: melons are a natural source of superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.)! High SOD has a potent anti-inflammatory action. Basically it is nature’s most powerful anti-oxidant. Its wonderful for the skin and brain. Everything I read about it says it is a powerful anti aging agent–effective against degenerative diseases like heart disease and diabetes, not to speak of fibromyalgia, migraines etc.

A little goes a long ways even though it is easily destroyed by cooking or going through the digestive tract. Nevertheless, I can attest I almost instantly felt better drinking my honeydew juice concoction, so at least part of it hung around long enough to have a noticeable effect on my poor achey head! Its very possible that some of the SOD is almost instantly absorbed from under the tongue–so I suggest you sip rather than glug the juice down. It gives you longer to enjoy its potent zingy taste too!

Apparently, according to Healthdigezt (see below): “a glass of cantaloup juice” can “provide one’s daily requirement of vitamins A & C, both of which are free-radical scavengers and collagen-promoters.” Melons “are also rich in vitamin K, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 , niacin (B3), thiamine (B1), and the antioxidant powerhouse, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)…Ginger may help lighten age spots and improve circulation.” Plus “Ginger’s powerful antioxidant, gingerol, not only fights skin-damaging free radicals, but also promotes
smoothness and evenness of skin tone and texture.”

From what I have read elsewhere, cantaloup, honeydew and other melons have (almost? if not the same) equal healing SOD content etc., although its likely the cantaloup has more vitamin A given its orange color.

The ginger in the following concoction also functions as a powerful anti histamine/ anti inflammatory, natural antiseptic and general digestive and circulatory agent. It also helps with such skin conditions as acne, eczema, hives and psoriasis.

As an addendum I’d like to note that melons and likely melon juice are just fine if frozen. My doctor says melon balls for instance are delicious. A friend of mine says melons can also be the basis of a
great sorbet. Why not?? I want to try it out too. For now here’s the Juice!

MELON JUICE RECIPE (makes one generous portion):

– ½ honeydew or cantaloup etc. (skin the melon after cutting up in long slices)
– 1 or 2 caps of vitamin C (I use the sago palm variety since I am sensitive to citrus, corn etc.) or 1 lime or an equivalent amount of sour berries to make the juice a little less sweet
– ½-inch ginger (be careful not to add too much–gives a real zing)

NOTE: I got inspired by a recipe in