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Luka Symons

Luka's Story

How did you become a Histamine Haven Maven? 


I was always that person that was the exception to ideas or approaches. Bone Broth? Never sat well with me. Lost a pair of pants (and my dignity!) from it. Read the evidence below. Fermented foods? Never had I ever had such gurgles and rumblings. How were these foods, purported to be so health-supportive and gut-healing, be so good for you if they only left me feeling worse?


My introduction to histamine issues was a lightbulb moment. While on a retreat to learn how to cook for the GAPS protocol, our instructor, Monica Corrado went through the difference between Meat Stock and Bone Broth. She spoke about the concern in regards to glutamates and histamine content in a longer cooked Bone Broth. Having struggled with Bone Broth before, it completely stopped me in my tracks. I was nervous to try our Meat Stock prepared in the course – and found I could tolerate it just fine! Homemade soups could actually be ok for me. This was the proverbial carrot that dangled, sending me down all the rabbit holes to figure out just what was this histamine intolerance business, and how food could be of help (and hindrance, in the Bone Broth case).

What was your most embarrassing histamine symptom?


Losing the pair of pants mentioned above. Before attending the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, I had attempted to make a long cook bone broth one weekend – the 72 hour bubbling on the stove kind. Turned it into a slurpy noodle soup for my kiddo and I, which we enjoyed for a lunch. We were due next to head to her toddler dance class for the invite-a-family-member week – thank goodness my in-laws were in town. Not 20 minutes into the class, I had a sudden pressing urge to use the loo (for a #2). It was the most pressing and urgent diarrhea I had ever experienced in my lifetime. I made it to the washroom just in time, but spent a good 10 minutes or so just trying to gather my wits about me, and going through wave #2. Once I was sure I had recouped enough to go back to my daughter's dance class, I made my way to the door, opened it, only to hear a faint voice in the background saying 'Help Me...' On my way to passing out on the floor, I realized that voice was mine.


Yeah. Wave #3. This is where I lost my favourite pants. I think the rug beneath me also suffered an indignity. I also *may* have left my dignity right along side the mess. Someone promptly called the ambulance, where I was wheeled away. My in-laws took care of my daughter, telling her I had gone out for coffee with a friend.


Six hours in the ER, they sent me home in a donated pair of extra large super un-flattering pants, telling me I must have suffered food poisoning, as the only thing they could register was that my electrolytes were way off. My guess is that I also left those next to the ruined pair of pants. Incidentally, my kiddo? She never suffered any ill effects. Scratch out the possible food poisoning question...

What was your most annoying histamine symptom? 


I think the anxiety is my most annoying histamine symptom. Although I have to say, I don't think of it as annoying anymore; I used to get so frustrated by feeling like it compromised my life, and took up valuable time that could be spent doing so much more. Now, when anxiety shows up, I see it as a little reminder from my body that my histamine 'sink' is getting full; it's an invitation to start working at reducing what's contributing to the excess histamines and supporting an improvement in moving spent ones out.

What's your favourite recipe from the cookbook?

I think the Butter Chicken is my favourite recipe. We are Butter Chicken hounds at our house; coming up with a low histamine alternative took some tweaking and playing with flavours. I'm pretty pleased with the result. This recipe holds so many of my favourite things about food: it's delicious / it's deeply nourishing / it tastes better than any take out / it's stinkin easy / it's a great dish or meal to make for a family or friend / this is love in a dish.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself!

  1. I got my motorcycle license before I got my car license. At the young age of 16, I failed my driver's test for car. I thought “I'll show them – I'll never get my license!” to which my parents were horrified. They were in the business of raising solid, dependable people! After an exchange to Switzerland a year later, where I went on and on about how teens were driving their mopeds everywhere, my Dad got the brilliant idea to find me a scooter. And I promptly got my motorcycle license on a little 50CC Honda Scooter. (I eventually got my car license while home on summer break from University.)

  2. I have a theatre degree, and worked behind the scenes and in front of the mic in the Arts for the first half of Being An Adult. I have designed sets for theatre and performance art, designed sound for theatre, worked in the roles of Stage Manager, Lighting, Set, Props Designer in theatre productions, Props Mistress and assistant to the Food Dresser in television. I worked for many years as a producer and announcer at CKUA, a province wide radio station here in Alberta.

  3. Our little family of three is pretty tight. We've just acquired a 1982 old camper van we named Archie – he's blond and orange, and runs like a dream. Archie is our escape plan.

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