Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nutrition for Migraines; Giveaway

Did you know that March is the National Nutrition Month?  This is a good time to try to identify any food triggers you have and eat healthier.  There are many foods that can potentially trigger Migraines and it’s important to identify your food triggers. 

I went on a Migraine food trigger elimination diet a few years ago and can’t speak high enough about it.  I don’t think I would have found half the triggers I did without going on it.  By knowing what our food triggers are and eliminating these food triggers, can help reduce the frequency of our Migraines.

My elimination diet cut my Migraines down by at least half while I was on it.  The elimination diet also forced me to eat healthier which is something I still need to be cognizant of doing.

Last year, I ended up using the MyMigraineTriggersTM app, developed by the makers of Excedrin® to track my Migraines and try to identify additional triggers.  I also added foods I suspected to the section ‘Did you consume any of the following?’ of the app which will gather my data into reports and charts that I can easily share with my doctor.  I actually just added another food to this app yesterday to track!

I will be having a few giveaways this year and my first giveaway is around items that can help us with getting our nutrition.  Here are the items I will be giving away this month:

The Veggie-Peel – what I found fascinating about this peeler is that it has a chamber that will hold peels as it is used.  Since my last medication change, I’ve had horrible munchies so I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables.  I can shave carrots with this peeler and all of the shavings are held in this chamber until I am done!

Avo Saver – this gadget will help reduce a cut avocado’s exposure to air which will greatly slow the oxidization process so the avocado half will last longer.

Dressing Emulsifier – One of the food triggers I found while on my elimination diet was soy.  If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients that go into salad dressings in the store, it is extremely difficult to find a dressing that does not contain soy.  Even most of the ‘olive oil’ dressings will have soy!  The Emulstir will help mix up and store delicious salad dressings.  You would fill it with oil (a non-trigger oil!), vinegar (also a non-trigger vinegar!) and whatever spices/herbs you want.  The squeeze handle makes it easy to blend.

Emson Two Tier Microwave Steamer Food Cooker – Steamed vegetables will retain more vitamins and nutrients than other means of cooking veggies.  This gadget allows you to cook/steam two dishes at once!

There will be two winners for this ‘nutritional’ giveaway!  By entering a comment on this post or emailing me directly at migrainepuppet at gmail dot com, you will be entered into a drawing to receive one of two great giveaways which include the Veggie-Peel, Avo Saver, Dressing Emulsifier and Emson Two Tier Microwave Steamer Food Cooker described above.  The winners will be announced in April.

Registered dietitian Kerri Gans offered some valuable information about potential Migraine food triggers:

• There are many foods and drinks that can trigger Migraines and it’s important for folks to determine which foods are potential Migraine triggers for them.  By tracking our triggers, we can avoid them which can minimize our Migraine attacks.

• Tyramine is a common trigger that is found naturally in some foods like aged cheese and red wine.  It’s formed from the breakdown of protein as foods age.  A good rule of thumb is that the longer a high-protein food ages, the higher the tyramine content.

• Alcohol increases blood flow to the brain which can trigger Migraines and headaches.

• There are other potential common Migraine triggers which include artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee or tea, tannins (like red-skinned apples or pears) caffeinated soda, foods that contain MSG and nuts.

• Foods rich in magnesium, such as kale and broccoli, support healthy brain function.  Try swapping kale for romaine in your salad to increase your magnesium intake.

I wish you the best of luck if you enter this giveaway – it’s easy - either add a comment to this post or email me.

Excedrin® Migraine is the #1 neurologist recommended over-the counter brand for Migraine relief. It offers convenient and effective relief for Migraines and was the first non-prescription medicine approved by the FDA to treat all the symptoms of a Migraine.

Disclosure: I am a paid Excedrin® Migraine blog ambassador. Compensation has been provided by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine; my journey for a Migraine-free experience is my own.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

One Bite

There are times when we become so overwhelmed with everything that is going on in our lives that we don't know where to turn or what to do next.  This definitely does not help us cope with our Migraines.  That was me last year.

Although I had always preached it and even used it in the past as a general question to my team at work, I needed a friend to remind me of what I had to do to get through a period in my life when too many big things were going on at the same time. 

"How do you eat an elephant?"  That question said enough for me to take that much needed step back to look at the bigger picture of everything so I could start moving forward again.

If you had to eat an elephant, it would immediately seem so overwhelming to see this big obstacle(s) in front of you where so many thoughts and stresses would be running through you and it would seem like an impossible task for you to handle which definitely does not help anyone, but especially you and your Migraines.  My elephant was too big of an object for me to see around which made it difficult to move forward.  An elephant doesn't help when trying to regain some semblance of control over your Migraines.

The best way to eat an elephant is "one bite at a time". You need to break everything down into smaller, more manageable pieces or make them more bite sized. It's much less stressful this way and although stress is not a trigger, it can help exasperate your Migraine triggers or increase an existing Migraine - neither of which any of us need. 

My friend's little reminder helped me to refocus my elephant; to put my many obstacles back into perspective and then manageable pieces where I was able to start progressing again.

One bite at a time. Don't try to swallow too much at one time; break it up.