HOW I TOLD MY MIGRAINES TO PISS OFF AND WHY THEY DISAPPEARED
When I lived in Italy and in Scotland, my migraines were not so prevalent. I was also in my late 20’s and not yet a mother, so stress was, if you will, not really stressful. Life was not stressful. The love part maybe, (but more on that later). It was different then. But living in Europe and the daily food consumption I had, might have had something to do with my non headaches. And here’s why.
What the health? This is a documentary I’ve yet to watch through to the end. It’s upsetting. And eye opening. Additionally, The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry, is, not upsetting, more like knowledge packed reading for your health. I knew about neither 13 years ago living in Europe. But I probably didn’t need to. Food is different over there. The grains are different. The cheese is still warm when you buy it in the morning. It’s because it was just made. My body loved the foods in Europe. Obviously.
Interestingly, in the book, Dr. Gundry talks about why the Italian and French have been using tomatoes in their cooking for centuries with no downward spiral in health, mostly because they seed and peel their tomatoes (because those two elements cause digestive stress.) In America, we don’t do this process. We over process. Newsflash. America has always done this. And not just to tomatoes, but to grains, to corn, to all of it. It’s sort of just the way it is. And so not so surprisingly, the ding that went off in my brain this month as I researched my migraine debacle, was primarily food. It has very much to do with my migraines, as did stress. And I don’t live in Italy anymore, I live in America. And there are solutions. So here’s what I did in an attempt to save my throbbing head.
I love pizza. And wine. And chocolate. And well, you can’t eat those things all the time if you’re trying to re-vamp your body into healing. And so I cut back. Way back.
My menstrual cycle is the culprit here as my headaches tend to come on when my body is in overdrive (on it’s cycle). It uses more energy, more blood, therefore if I’m under any stress at that time, my body over works itself. And that pisses it off. Combine my hormones also going off the deep end at this time of the month and yep, I crave the pizza, the wine and all the chocolate.
This is when you have to train yourself and mentally prepare for the onset of the migraine debacle. This is a bitch. Not fun, but once you actually get ahead of the pain, the stress and the icky gut, your body relaxes and you may not be prone to the headache kicking your ass. So in a nutshell, yes, food is paramount here.
What I did
Last month, I became acutely aware of all of this research and reframed my mindset for the month of February. I was conscious of stress. Conscious of what I ate. Conscious of my body and what it needed. When to rest, when to breathe, when to meditate (or turn off), when to say no when I usually would say yes. This is hard, but it’s not rocket science.
I eliminated many processed foods. Not all, but many. I already have a high plant based diet and I restrict processed foods as much as I can, but I’m also a mother of 3 and a teenage stepson. They eat macaroni and cheese. (I’m working on this). But as many processed foods as I could eliminate, I did. I even switched out chocolate for fresh dates. (They actually don’t suck).
Plant based forward
I love a good baked sweet potato/brussel sprouts and red onion mix. I actually love the way it tastes. But I also love a good chick-fil-A. I’m human. But this month, I leaned in to celery juice. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. And so I leaned in, not perfectly, but I leaned in. Some days I did straight celery juice. But my kids love juice smoothies, so most days I blended my celery with kid friendly fruits and veggies.
3 celery stalks
apple and or kiwi
2 cups spinach
cup of water give or take
blend and serve
This was my morning routine post coffee. And it felt great. I began to feel lighter and clearer.
I made healthier choices every day I woke up. I went plant based mostly and added protein (eggs, chicken, fish) because I get light headed if I don’t eat protein. Because of my blood type, this works best for me. I snacked on fruit or vegetables and or nuts and seeds and if I wanted pizza I had a slice. But I didn’t eat 3. Just one. I was smarter about choices and that’s about it.
My period is the problem as I stated above. So I cut out all the toxins 100% (gluten, dairy, processed) 2-3 days before I started my cycle. I also took ibuprofen and cbd oil a few days before my period started and throughout my cycle. This gets you ahead of the menstrual pain which decreases the chances of pain radiating to my migraine triggers. I also reduced my stress. I let the stress go whether it was a dirty house, unpaid bills or yelling at the twins over who pushed who. I let go. Consciously reducing my stress was a game changer. HUGE. This was probably one of the main reasons my headaches backed off.
Exercise and self love
Sounds dumb? That’s fine. It’s truth. Self care is self love. (That’s an entirely different article to follow up on). Once you turn 40, you call bullshit. You also call truths. Exercise is self love. For me anyway. I’m a mother, and a twin mother to boot so spending 30 minutes to an hour on myself to better my self and my health is medicine. Regardless of migraines, this step toward self love is a game changer for life. Period.
And there you have it.
I’m 45 days in and zero migraines.
For someone who has suffered from debilitating migraines since I was 20, this is a preeminent discovery.
Food is medicine.
Self care is medicine.
Self love and taking care of yourself and your health is medicinal.
I’m not sure I’ll wake up tomorrow and be headache free. But I’m on my way to smarter choices, a healthier lifestyle and more time to go play with my kids and enjoy them while they’re little. And for what it’s worth, that’s a lot. K love you bye.