Saturday, October 30, 2010

Migraine Makers

There are a few things that keep coming back to me about the elimination diet. I forgot that I used to call the time when I could add back new foods the Migraine maker period and about some of the weird food combinations I would end up eating. I would still enjoy these weird concoctions even though I will probably never have them again when I am done.

I can understand how people that don't have food triggers may view the elimination diet as a complete waste of time, but I believe it is well worth the efforts and that you are lucky if you don't have food triggers. I know I've heard some people, who do not have food triggers, say they wish they had them. I think they are looking for some type of an answer as to what triggered their Migraine, but I wish I didn't have any or at least not as many. To me, food triggers aren't just a matter of something else we have to avoid, but another way Migraines make us alter our life styles and sometimes in a huge way.

I started putting new foods back into my diet about two weeks ago. The first week, I added back exactly as I wanted to conduct this portion of the elimination diet. I believe in the beginning it is especially important to introduce as basic of foods as we can with as little extra ingredients as possible. I am usually a very methodical person.

My basic lunch for the first six weeks consisted of the same fresh meat sandwich that did not have any preservatives, condiments or anything funny like that. I am aware that meat may be a little funny for some people as well as the bread it is put onto, but I also needed to eat something that could sustain me and I could adjust if needed.

The first food I included was a simple tomato. It does not have any extra ingredients to worry about and is the base of many other foods. It was fairly easy to add tomato into my diet. I could eat it plain or add it to my sandwich. My sandwich is usually a great place to use the new food addition and a very welcome addition as even this little change made a big difference to the same sandwich of the prior six weeks.

The second week was a little tougher. Due to a special occasion and against my better judgment, I was talked into trying shrimp cocktail with sauce. I wasn't really concerned about the shrimp, but the cocktail sauce has way too many ingredients to make me feel comfortable. In the end, it was my choice to bring back into my diet. I typically have a hard time letting people do nice things for me and because of the occasion, I agreed. I wasn't going to have the typical dessert for the special occasion which is part of the reason I compromised on the cocktail sauce. It made them happy and I knew what I was getting myself into.

I wasn't involved with any of the planning for this dinner and they knew all of my other food restrictions which they kept to nicely. Of course the shrimp did not last past that dinner, so I was faced with either wasting a week of introductions or doing something with the cocktail sauce as I wasn't going to go out and buy more shrimp.

Don't laugh. I ended up making more cocktail sauce and spreading it on my sandwich for lunch. It wasn't until the next morning that I looked at the ingredients in horseradish and I realized what the problem had been. Horseradish contains vinegar. There are certain types of vinegar that passed my first ediet, but I don't think it was the type that was in the horseradish. I also believe I have more food sensitivities than I did when I went through the ediet the first time. No matter how silly this sandwich sounded, it is nice to start getting some variety into my diet.

I have to start concentrating on Thanksgiving now. I can't think of any other special occasions that might get in the way before then and tomatoes was something I had to add back early because they are in so many different things. Since I only have a couple of weeks before the holiday, I am not going to be able to add too much back in before then.

It should still be a great Thanksgiving and possibly the end of a long running tradition as I believe another branch of the family will break off after this year. It's hard to keep everyone together as the family grows and our Thanksgivings are up to about forty people now. Between losing people over the year and gaining people, it is inevitable to have this dynamic change again.

Thanksgiving is four weeks away which means I can add in four more foods before then. I know I'm not going to be able to have any desserts, appetizers or drinks which I am prepared for and will enjoy the company instead. I'm hoping not to run into any more Migraine makers during this time.

Given the choice, what four foods would you add back in time for Thanksgiving dinner?



WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Boy for me it would be turkey, celery, yams, and carrots....

I can see it really pays to add back sloooowly!!

MigrainePuppet said...

I does help to know exactly what you are adding back. I like your list. It is a tough choice.

Jessica said...

Bummer...what's Thanksgiving without drinks and dessert!?!? Although, I admire your dedication. I have yet to try an ediet, other than red wine, I don't know my food triggers. It's so hard to even start when you have a headache that has lasted almost constantly for 2 years. I honestly think a part of my problem is...not enough food and fluid intake! I generally eat once, maybe twice a day...then I end up with more nausea and vomiting when I do eat!

MigrainePuppet said...

Thank you, it's not easy, but I look forward to the results. Last time, I started right after all of these holidays - in the beginning of January. It was much easier. Sometimes it's easier said than done to eat and drink enough everyday.

Jamie Valendy said...

I'd add back... potatoes, ham or turkey (we normally have both at Thanksgiving), carrots, and I'm not sure for the forth food.

It sounds like you're doing a good job keeping to your diet, especially during a tempting time of year. Keep up the great work!

MigrainePuppet said...

Thanks for the encouragement. It really is tough to choose just four. I started on turkey today. I haven't decided on the other three yet.

This is a rough time of the year to do this, but I think it was that I didn't wait.

Anonymous said...

I've had issues eating cocktail sauce, too. I had some at Red Lobster with my breaded shrimp... no issues. Then a few hours later I reheated the leftover shrimp and opened a new bottle of cocktail sauce for it... then I developed a migraine. I am not sure if restaurants use already-prepared sauce or make their own.

Secondly, I had a migraine after eating my homebaked turkey breasts (from raw Jeannie-O's brand) that I prepared with marinating in fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper for my husband and I for our Thanksgiving meal alone. It was weird because I normally get the Applegate brand of turkey deli meat that has less to no preservatives and I do not get a migraine from those.

I do drink red wine, but only do when I do not feel a niggling seed of a migraine ready to bloom at any point and also after I have had a good meal to ensure the sulfites will be blended with the food in my stomach to avoid being absorbed into my bloodstream.