(Second post in my migraine journal) Sixteen days without a migraine is nowhere a record for me, but I've been having a rough go of it lately, so it's notable. My poor Jim has gotten so he's skittish about my mentioning days without migraine because he thinks it might trigger one. He has been right there with me on this pain-filled journey.
I've given up migraine trigger foods before, for a few weeks, but I've never known nor given them all up at once, and the list is staggering at first. Actually, it lists nearly all of my favorite and daily foods. There are tons of trigger lists in books and online, and they all name many of the same foods, but there are significant differences, and I decided to follow this one for now. If it doesn't do the job, I'll subtract foods on other lists from my diet. But when I began reading in the Buchholz book, I thought "Well, goody. At least he says I can drink water."
The main foods I've put aside for at least 4 months are caffeine (I adore coffee but thought I was being so good drinking decaf coffee, green tea, or Teeccino....Nope! to all of these.), cheese (Except for un-aged American cheese; I hadn't considered how many of my favorite foods have cheddar or mozzarella, or Parmesan in them.), chocolate (except for white chocolate), avocados, (What's a salad without avocado?) balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar (For years, I've cooked with, drunk, and bathed in ACV), MSG (been trying to avoid that stuff for years), processed meats (like deli turkey, canned tuna and salmon), nuts (I couldn't believe nuts. They've been my healthy go-to food forever.), alcohol (I'm not much of a drinker, but I have enjoyed my frozen Margarita once a week or so at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Instead, I can have vodka. Woohoo.), citrus fruits (Fresh squeezed lemon juice is a staple for me, and when I get a cold, I want a bag of Clementine oranges.), pineapples (Who knew? There have been times when I bought one or two fresh pineapples a week, sliced them up and kept them in a ziplock bag in the fridge. What could be a healthier snack?), sauerkraut (I've even learned to make my own.), onions (Almost everything I cook has dehydrated or fresh onions in it.), freshly baked bread (I've been baking loaves of bread and pans of crescent rolls my whole adult life. Turns out, even store bought bread is less likely to trigger than fresh bread.), and there are others, but these are the ones having the biggest impact (apparently) on my life.
Of course it's somewhat easier eating at home than it is in restaurants or other people's homes. My first Christmas party was an eye-opener. First, the spinach, almond, and strawberry salad with raspberry dressing, I put my slivered almonds on Jim's plate and didn't have any dressing. Dry, fresh spinach. Yum. The fresh dinner rolls looked and smelled amazing, but I passed the plate on around. The main course was okay, and then for dessert, we had a choice of cheesecake or chocolate cake. Usually, I would have gone for the chocolate, but the cheesecake was amazing.
As I mention foods and excerpts from my current program in David Buchholz's book, I hope you won't think you can find everything online and don't need to own the book. The program is easy to summarize, but there's so much wisdom in his book, insights I've never known in 40+ years of searching for answers. And I've done a lot of reading in these years, so if I slip up and mention a food that's not in his book, all the more reason to have his book to check the facts for yourself.
So that's where I am as of this moment. I was thrilled beyond words that giving up the caffeine didn't give me a rebound migraine as you might expect. And I've had some head-achy mornings and nights when I felt it could be the aura of a migraine creeping up on me, but I've taken one of the NSAIDs he recommends, and so far, so good. Leave me a message if anything I've said isn't clear. Have a wonderful Christmas!