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.