I’m not talking about hands on a wheel or working hours.
I’m talking about migraines! Before my migraine intervention, I easily had 10 migraines a month.
The pain would start in my right shoulder, radiate up and sit behind my right eye. I would take my meds, drink a cup of coffee and wait for the medication to kick in, which it eventually did. I might have had to take a second round of meds the next day, but this response generally worked.
I don’t exactly remember what made me decide to take control over my migraines. But 20+ years of suffering was enough!
Step one of David Buchholz program is to eliminate all dietary triggers. The list is long and slightly daunting, but I was committed.
The dietary triggers are monosodium glutamate (MSG), citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, cheese, fresh baked goods with yeast, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, nuts and nut butters, processed meats, onions, and dried fruits. Aged foods, like sour cream and yogurt, and fermented foods are also triggers. This list by the National Headache Foundation is handy to keep around. The book includes a few more foods, such as lentils, to avoid as well.
There are some exceptions to the list. For instance, cheese is a trigger. But cream cheese, ricotta and high quality American cheeses are not. Just make sure to read your labels to make sure there isn’t any MSG in the product.
Tomatoes and mushrooms can be a trigger for some people. I kept them in my diet and never had an issue. Buchholz recommends keeping them in, and if you’re still having migraines, then take them out and see if it makes a difference.
Growing up my doctor had always told me to avoid MSG. I knew it was common in Chinese food, but that was it. Turns out there are over 40 names for MSG, and it is in tons of processed foods.
When I started this diet, I would take my list of foods to avoid and my list of names for MSG to the grocery store with me. Those first trips took a long time. Reading every label, cross checking both lists. After a few trips I started to get it down. Mostly, if I couldn’t pronounce something on the label, I figured I shouldn’t be eating it.
After reading this list, you may feel like “What am I supposed to eat?!?”
Most fruits are fine – the fresher they are, the better they are. Vegetables are great, with the only exception being the pod on peas. Peas are fine though! Meats are great too – burgers, steak, chicken, turkey, pork. Just avoid the processed meats like bacon and most deli meats.
I was able to find deli meat at my local grocery store that was free of MSG, gluten, fillers and artificial colors. The brand is DiLusso, I found it at HyVee, and I never had issues from eating it.
Basically, you’re just eating clean with a few more exceptions.
I bought this Migraine Free Cookbook to get me started in the kitchen (affiliate link):
For four months I was very strict with the diet. I never wavered. And it worked!!
I went from 10 migraines a month to only two! Truly life changing. Soon I will start posting some of my favorite migraine-free recipes to help you on your journey to a migraine-free life.
If this is your first time learning about the migraine diet, I strongly recommend buying Buchholz book. I can’t say enough good things about his program.
Have you changed your diet to help with migraines? Have you found any dietary triggers? Let me know in the comments below!