Food, Glorious Food, and My Migraine Episodes
I’m 30 days into my journey with a functional nutritionist, and it's been truly miraculous. I had tried working with nutritionists and dietitians before, but I never really understood the difference between the two. I used to think that nutritionists made you eat nothing all day, while dietitians were okay with you eating as long as it was just lettuce. Either way, it seemed like torture for someone like me who grew up enjoying Southern and Western cuisine. I was a lover of BBQ ribs and could recognize a good hoagie (sandwich) when I tasted one. My mom and aunts cooked healthy food, but also traditional Southern delicacies, so I learned to cook and even won over my now-husband with my homemade mashed potatoes.
Migraine trigger foods
As I grew older and started working full-time, I embraced the single in the city lifestyle. Part of my image was having a cup of coffee in one hand and a bagel in the other. Unfortunately, many of my food and drink choices were triggering my migraine episodes. Yet, I continued eating and drinking because everything tasted so good and my migraines didn't seem that bad. But as my migraines worsened and I did more research, I realized that there was a strong connection between food and our health. If I wanted to see improvements in my migraines and overall well-being, I would have to be more mindful of what I ate. It was frustrating because I believed that life was meant to be enjoyed, not restricted.
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That's when I decided to work with a functional nutritionist. After doing some research, I found a nutritionist who specialized in the connection between food and gut health, hormonal balance, and overall wellness. In my first session with her, I expressed my concerns about giving up certain foods, like coffee. However, she reassured me that we didn't have to completely eliminate anything right away. Instead, she guided me on how my food choices could impact my day and help me reach my health goals.
It's still early in my journey, but here are three key things that my nutritionist and the company's owner have helped me understand as a migraine sufferer. First, I discovered the importance of eating regularly and not skipping meals. I had been skipping breakfast and going long periods without eating, which was destabilizing my blood sugar levels and leading to headaches. By eating three healthy meals, no longer than 3 to 4 hours apart, I've noticed a significant difference.
Secondly, I realized that my cravings for sugary foods were often a sign of stress and overwhelm. I used to indulge in candy bars when I was busy and stressed, but now I understand that it's important to find healthier ways to manage stress. Eating consistently throughout the day has helped me reduce my sugar cravings, and as a result, my migraines have become less frequent.
Lastly, my nutritionist encouraged me to incorporate vegetables into every meal. At first, I was skeptical, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the positive effects. I started adding side salads to my omelets and sliced red peppers to my egg bites. She even suggested adding pureed veggies to my pancake mix, which I plan to try. Increasing my vegetable intake has boosted my energy levels, reduced sluggishness, and curbed my cravings for sugar and carbs. I did need to take a digestive enzyme to adjust to the increased raw and fresh food, but it has been worth it.
Moving forward, my nutritionist will help me identify any food allergies or sensitivities, as well as potential migraine triggers. We will also explore the role of supplements, such as magnesium, in helping manage my migraines. I'm on a journey towards decreased migraines and an improved quality of life, and I'm enjoying every step of the way. Food choices can truly lead us towards our desired health outcomes. Cheers to happy eating for everyone!