Meniere’s Disease and migraine update | Back from my blogging break

Spring Flowers by Recipe Renovator
Hello everyone and happy spring! I am excited to be back to my blog, which you can see has a brand-new look. I have spent the last three months researching dietary approaches to Meniere’s Disease and migraine, after my diagnosis of both in January. I have also rebuilt this website, my speaker coaching website, and my author/speaking website. While that might not sound like a “break,” it’s felt like a great luxury to have time to think more broadly about what I’m trying to accomplish here, how I can serve others, and what this next stage of my life will bring. I’m a writer, but I’m also committed to being a wellness advocate, and I plan on speaking to groups about how to successfully make dietary changes to improve one’s health.

You’ll now find all the recipes on this site have been coded to work with many apps, including Paprika. The Recipe Index on the navigation bar allows you to SEE all the recipes at once, and search by ingredient, type of food, or diet. I’ve also added a page that explains what I mean by the different special diet tags, so you’ll know what I mean when I say “low-sodium” or “paleo.” For example, the standard definition of low-sodium is 140 mg/sodium per serving or less.

I have done recipe analysis on ALL the recipes (using MyFitnessPal.com), and you’ll find that information, along with the Weight Watchers Points Plus points, at the bottom of each recipe post. Near the top of each post you’ll find general recommendations for which diets the recipe is suitable for, to make it easier at a quick glance. I’ll still cook and showcase many plant-based dishes, but will also provide some paleo recipes as well. From here on out, they will all be formulated as low-sodium, but you can feel free to add salt if you wish.

I’m happy to say that my dietary changes have greatly improved my symptoms, along with acupuncture and cranio-sacral therapy, regular gentle exercise, lots of water, and a very regular sleep schedule. I continue taking my diuretic and potassium supplement prescribed by my neurologist, and am following a very low-sodium diet, averaging between 600 and 800 mg / day.

More about sodium and migraines

When the migraine diet was given to me, it cut out about 75% of what I have been eating for the last 4 years: no nuts or seeds, no avocado or citrus, no fermented foods, no tofu or soy, and only home-cooked beans because of the sodium. It was very, very difficult to continue eating plant-based with all these restrictions, so I had to adjust. Besides low-sodium, I’m now following a modified paleo migraine-friendly diet: most vegetables and fruits (except trigger foods), NO sugar at all, wild-caught fish, pastured meat and poultry, local eggs, whole organic dairy products (limited to cream, ricotta, mascarpone, ghee, and unsalted butter), limited gluten-free whole grains (no more than 3 servings a day), and only freshly cooked or frozen foods.

It was a very hard adjustment, I won’t lie. There were some days where I felt pretty sorry for myself, and then I gave myself a kick in the butt and got moving. It became crystal clear to me that other patients need help.

When you get one of these diagnoses, it comes with a xeroxed sheet of “the diet”… 2-3 pages long, a grid of “eat this column, nothing from that column.” It does not include ANY information on how to transition to such a diet, how to accomplish it, how long it will take to get used to it, nor even any books that might be helpful. This made me angry after a while, and I vowed to create something better.

I’m currently testing an 8-Week Migraine Diet program that’s also low-sodium, and my small group of initial testers seems to be seeing some improvement. More on this later.

You’ll continue to see recipes on Mondays, cookbook reviews on Tuesdays (without recipe testing because of my new eating habits), and monthly giveaways on Fridays. Wednesdays I’ll still write essays from time to time, and Thursdays will be how-to from time to time. Sign up for my e-news and you’ll never miss a post.

Thanks for your support! It has meant the world to me knowing you are rooting for me.

Comments

  1. says

    Welcome back, Stephanie! I was so happy to see your posts in my Feedly. It sounds like you’ve had a transformative few months and I can’t wait to hear what you have in store for us.

  2. Ann says

    I received the same diagnosis 5 years ago. Within less than a month I was off the diuretics by eating low sodium (I try to stay around 650-750/day) and drinking water regularly throughout the day. My whole family made the sodium change. We eat low sodium, gluten free, dairy free, very low sugar and non gmo. We are all much healthier. Annoying symptoms are gone for all of us (teenage acne, joint pain, digestive issues, migraines for three of us, nerve pain from gluten, vertigo and low energy). Food is the best medicine! So glad to hear you are better and benefiting from your diet change. You’ve made big adjustments…thanks in advance for new recipes. I use so many more spices now that I don’t rely on salt! I have only had two mild vertigo attacks in five years…all because of changing how I ate.

  3. says

    Welcome back, Stephanie! Glad to hear you are feeling better! And you’ve managed to accomplish an incredible amount while on “break” – Congrats! xo

  4. Karen D says

    Welcome back! Missed it/you. Glad to hear of your progress. The site looks great!

  5. Robin says

    Wow- That’s JUST like you- isn’t it? To receive a diagnosis of a life changing disease and turn the diagnosis on its head to conquer it with foods and help others in the process. You make me so proud big sister!!

  6. says

    Stephanie, you’re amazing. You’ve accomplished SO MUCH during your “break!” So happy to see you back and to hear how you’ve been able to face your new dietary challenges head on. Your site looks awesome, too! xo

  7. says

    Hooray, Stephanie! You not only worked hard to take care of yourself, but also to provide help and hope to so many others facing similar situations. Thank you for making healthy living so attractive and inviting! Wishing you good health and happiness.

  8. Katie says

    The recipe index, special tags, and recipe analysis are great, Stephanie. You’re positive attitude and determination to make your new dietary parameters work for you are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Katie says

    The various recipe index, special tags, and recipe analysis are great, Stephanie. You’re positive attitude and determination to make your new dietary parameters work for you are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Bonnie K. says

    That would be a very hard adjustment for me. I don’t have migraines but do have arthritis. I’m glad you found a way to relieve the condition. Your website looks great. Purple is a great color on you.

  11. Peg says

    We’ve all missed your inspiration and education! Welcome back, and… Your new look is groovy.

  12. says

    Great job, Stephanie! My husband went through the same thing over a year ago. We’d already been gluten free (well, he was when I was cooking/watching …but…) and our son and I are largely dairy free. We wondered how others with much less awareness, or who aren’t cooks, ever managed with such a dietary diagnosis. One can understand why most people would rather pop a pill, even when those pills come with many unpleasant and some potentially deadly side-effects, and often don’t work forever. I’m of the belief that if we suppress symptoms unnaturally, the body will simply seek another path to try and tell us something is wrong. It’s so great that you’re sharing your success with others in this level of detail. Keep up the good work and the wellness advocacy! I’m with ya, sister!

  13. says

    so nice that you’re back, stephanie!
    you are a courageous, inspiring, generous woman — thank you for sharing your journey with us.\
    – denise lee yohn
    p.s. your new sites look fantastic!