Tag Archives: migraine

A day of rest

I love Sundays. It’s a day of rest, relaxation, and some errands as well. :)

The morning started with a breakfast date with my husband. We went to J. Christopher’s to eat. We had a coupon they had mailed us a while back.

I absolutely love this place! They have the best pancakes ever. Of course, I did not get pancakes today because I was in the mood for something a bit lighter.

I ordered a San Bernadino omelet made of egg whites. It had chicken, avocado. cheese, and pico de gallo. It was a very tasty omelet. Next time, I might order it with less chicken and more avocado, but otherwise it was good. The omelet came with some breakfast potatoes and an English muffin.

Believe it or not, I managed to stop myself from eating the whole meal. I actually stopped eating when I was full. Yay!

 

The remnants of my meal

 

Normally when we eat out, I stuff myself silly until I am so full that I feel like I am going to be sick. This is the second meal that I have eaten out and left the restaurant feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.

After breakfast, we had to go to Whole Foods and the Farmer’s Market for some healthy items that I had run out of. I stocked up on plenty of great items. The Farmer’s Market was insanely packed. They were predicting snow, so of course the entire state was in panic mode.

At the Farmer’s Market, I stoked up on lots of healthy goodies.

I bought a few pears, some fresh pineapple, an avocado, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, cashews, peanuts, a yellow bell pepper, some potatoes, freshly ground sirloin, and some hamburger buns that are out of this world. Quite the haul!

After our trip to the grocery store, we came home and bundled up for a run (with Callie of course). It was 30 degrees outside, but I wanted to get in a day of 10K training since I hadn’t run in a few days.

I think the cold was a bit much though. Instead of a full 46 minute walk/run, we ended up doing about 30 minutes. I started feeling like a migraine was coming on. I think it was all the cold air hitting my face and my head. I tried not to beat myself up for cutting my walk short. Something was better than nothing, right?

Corey loaned me his sunglasses and hat to help warm my face a bit. It did help a little. My eyes were hurting from the sun and the wind, so the sunglasses helped.

When we got home, I wanted a warm and comforting lunch. So I turned to my favorite comfort food: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The tomato soup was a brand that I bought at Whole Foods. I forget the name, but it’s one of the few that I have found without MSG. And it is good! The grilled cheese was made out of standard organic multigrain bread and some American cheese. It was an excellent lunch in this weather.

After lunch, I still wasn’t feeling well so I slept for a large part of the day while Corey took care of some things around the house. I guess Callie was tired from our walk because she napped right along with me.

My appetite wasn’t much to speak of throughout the afternoon (because of my headache), so I didn’t snack that much. In the afternoon, I was catching up on some blogs and my husband brought me a mug of Gingerbread Spice tea. Mmm . . .I love this tea and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for Christmas. It was very comforting.

When I did start feeling better (and hungry), I wanted to use my brand new food processor to whip up a snack. A couple of days ago, I noticed a recipe for Raw Honey Cookie Bites on Kat’s blog. They seemed like an easy and healthy snack.

And I was right. They were. I think I may just add a little more honey next time because the mixture seemed a little dry. But they were so good and just the right amount of sweetness. Next time, I may play around with the spices a bit. Maybe I could add some pumpkin pie spice? I can’t wait to whip up another batch for me to take to work. They will be perfect for a portable afternoon snack.

For dinner, Corey cooked a rotierrsie chicken. It was cooking in the oven for a few hours and the smell was rejuvenating my appetite.

With the chicken, we had a baked potato and some roasted green beans.

Well . . . I had the green beans. Corey doesn’t like the unfamiliar and the new, so he still won’t eat them. Poor boy, he is missing out. :)

After dinner, I decided to do a workout. I was feeling better and the mood struck me. So I did the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack DVD that I bought yesterday.

I love this workout! There are two levels. I started with level 1 and it was very tough, but effective. It is 35 minutes and a mixture of standing and floor work. I was feeling it in my abs by the time I was halfway through it and the workout kept my heart rate up the entire time. I was huffing and puffing from the warm up alone. I don’t like the name of the workout though. I mean, how realistic is it to develop a six pack in six weeks? But the moves will definitely strengthen my core.

Now I am relaxing with my husband before bed. I am so incredibly excited because it is snowing! Here in Georgia, we don’t often get a lot of snow. So the fact that we are expecting 3 to 5 inches overnight is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to play in it tomorrow. :)

Movin’ On Up

I have been feeling a little bored with my workouts lately. Unfortunately, Comcast does not have Jackie Warner Personal Circuit Training on demand anymore. So I have been doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred.

I used to do 30 day shred on a regular basis. But alas, I stopped. In the last couple of months, I have picked it up again. Recently, I realized that if you have the workouts memorized and you are going through the motions, then it may be time to mix it up.

I have been on Level 1 for a while. All week, I have just known it was time to switch it up and go to Level 2. I was nervous though. I always am when I try a new workout . . . even though I once did Level 2 on a consistent basis. I just don’t like to fail. Today I did Level 2 for the first time in years. Seriously, it’s really been that long.

I am so glad I did. For the first time in weeks, I felt like I was getting a great workout. I did not know which exercise was next, so that kept me on my toes. Plus, I really, really felt the strain in my muscles. New workouts are awesome! Maybe that is why my weight loss has stalled. I need to start pushing myself in my workouts and switching things up every so often.

Of course, after my workout I felt light-headed and I felt like I was on the verge of a migraine from overexertion. And that’s when I remembered why I don’t like working out that hard. Overexertion migraines kind of suck. But I’m not going to let that stop me. In a few days, I will do level 2 again. I loved it! :)

Weekend of Firsts

So this weekend had its highs and its lows. I found out that my multivitamin I took (for the first time) had MSG in it. Seriously . . . that stuff is EVERYWHERE! I learned a valuable lesson: I MUST check the ingredients on everything that goes into my body. My body is very sensitive to MSG and I actually got a two day migraine because of it. I was sick all day Friday and all day Saturday. Not fun.

But I am feeling much better now and this weekend was a weekend of firsts.

Last night, I tried butternut squash for the first time.

leaving the dirty work of the cutting to my husband

Before . . .

After!

I really liked it. It wasn’t actually as hard to peel or cut that I thought it would be. Maybe that’s because I left that part for my husband. :)

I do think that I overcooked it a little because it was kind of mushy. But I still liked the taste and I would try it again. How long should I roast butternut squash anyway?

Today I tried making homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time. I made Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls and they were so tasty!

Fresh out of the oven

I can post the recipe later. It’s one that my dietician emailed to me and it was adapted from Cooking Light. There were a few times that I wasn’t sure me and Corey were doing it right, but they came out so delicious and they actually looked like cinnamon rolls.

It was a great Sunday morning activity for me and Corey to do together. The couple who cooks together, stays together . . . that is, unless the couple kill each other over which room is best to leave the dough in to rise. ;)

I also left my very first Operation Beautiful note!

I was in the fitting room at Kohl’s, trying on some new clothes for work. I was feeling really bad about myself and engaging in a lot of negative self-talk. At that point, I stopped myself and decided that I would post an encouraging note instead. I couldn’t think of a better location for positive encouragement than a fitting room! It made me feel so much better and it really put a smile on my face.

I also got my very first IPhone! Yay! My cell phone that I had was about five years old, so it was practically ancient. Our Verizon contract ended yesterday, so we switched to AT&T first chance we got. :)

Love the pic of me and Corey as my wallpaper. So cute!

This evening, I tried spaghetti squash for the first time.

Mmm . . . very tasty. Corey and I made some simple sauce by combining 365 organic pasta sauce, some Jennie-O lean turkey sausage (hot), some garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper. The sauce was super tasty and the squash really didn’t have that much taste, which I didn’t mind. But I think we undercooked the squash just a little because it wasn’t as tender as I think it could have been. How tender does spaghetti squash get anyway? We bought half a squash that was already cut up and baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Did I undercook it? Again, I just need some advice. How long should I bake the spaghetti squash?

The highlight of today (for sure) was that I had my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks!

this pic was taken on my new IPhone!

Totally yummy . . . I may have to look into making my own Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have seen so many recipes on blogs lately and goodness knows, it would be cheaper than going to Starbucks all the time. I definitely see more of these in my future. :)

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. Were there any firsts for you this weekend?

Happy Halloween!

Best Burger of My Life

Sorry I have been absent all weekend, but I have been in bed ALL weekend long with an excruciating migraine. I’ll get to that part in a minute, but first . . . I want to tell you about the BEST burger I have ever had in my life.  Seriously, I’m not exaggerating.

On Saturday night, Corey and I went to this little burger joint in Decatur called Farm Burger.

This place has gotten rave reviews for their burgers and was on AJC’s top 5 list for having the best onion rings in Atlanta. I have also been dying to try it because all of their beef is grass-fed and raised locally. Also, all of the veggies and ingredients you get to put on the burger are also gotten locally.

The place has a basic menu. Burgers, fries . . . and that’s it. They did have a veggie burger and I also saw sweet potato fries on the menu, which I may try next time I go. You can choose from a wide selection of veggies, cheeses, and other toppings. I went simple and got e basic burger with pickles, Farm Burger sauce, and arugula (have to get some veggies in somehow).

massive burger

Oh.My.God. Best burger ever . . . the bun was warm and toasty and the meat had this spice to it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was a very delicious burger. Almost orgasmic. :)

And of course, I could not overlook the onion rings. When I heard they were supposedly the best, I HAD to get them.

They were even better than the burger, if that was even possible. Crispy and greasy, without being overly so. There was only one complaint I had about the onion rings. They came with some paprika mayo for dipping. Now, I will be the first to admit that I love dipping my fries into mayonnaise (maybe it’s a Southern thing), so I was excited to try that dipping sauce. However, I thought the flavor was a bit strong and it would have been too much to dip all my onion rings in all that mayonnaise. So I just stuck with good ole’ ketchup. I was still happy with that. :)

Corey was very happy with his burger as well and he actually ordered a basket of Parmesan Garlic Fries.

Talk about addicting . . . . these things were awesome! You could tell that these were made with REAL Parmesan and REAL garlic, none of that powdered crap. And I’m sure you can see it in the photo. I think that’s why they tasted so good, because of the ingredients that were used.

All in all, an awesome meal and if I am ever craving a burger I know exactly where to go. It is a little pricey for a burger place, but I think it’s totally worth it especially when you are eating food that is free of preservatives and any hormones. Hands down, this is the best restaurant that I have eaten at in a while.

Of course, that was the highlight of my weekend. Earlier that day, I had taken Mucinex to help with my congestion (I had been dealing with a cold for several days). However, this was a Mucinex formula that I had never taken before and it contained pseudoephedrine, which (unbeknownst to me) can cause migraines).

Corey and I had dinner and then we went to the nearby Farmer’s Market that we love. As we were checking out, that’s when I started feeling ill. Usually, I can go home sleep all night and the migraine will be gone the next day. However, the migraine was STILL there when I woke up on Sunday, even after sleeping for 9-10 hours. So I spent the whole day curled up on the couch. My headache kind of ruined our plans to go to an apple orchard and pick apples too. :( Oh well, I guess there’s next weekend.

Today I am feeling a little bit more human. My migraine is gone and my cold seems to have cleared up (most of it anyway). Thank goodness.

I haven’t worked out in days, mostly due to my cold. And yesterday’s 2nd round of a migraine ruined my plans for working out then. My body is craving some kind of movement, so I hope to give it what it needs this evening. And since I ate junk food on Saturday and ate practically nothing yesterday, I need to get back on track with my eating as well!

Sick Day

Most of today was spent curled on the couch with a horrible migraine. :(

I woke up feeling great. I managed to do a morning workout. Note to self: do those more often because I am just about always too lazy tired to work out at night. I did a 25 minute Jillian Michaels kickboxing workout, followed by 30 minutes on the elliptical. Felt awesome to move that much and at that point, I needed a hot breakfast.

I had some leftover blueberry pancakes that my wonderful husband had made me on Sunday. It was basically my Basic Pancake recipe with a cup of frozen blueberries thrown in. They were sooo good.

topped with I can't believe it's not butter light and drizzled with honey

And where would my pancake breakfast be without some bacon??

After my breakfast, I took a shower and it was at that point that I started to feel bad. I managed to dry my hair in the hopes that it would get better. I really hate calling into work. But alas, by the time I had dried my hair, I had a full fledged migraine that was not going away anytime soon.

I pretty much spent the rest of the day curled on the couch (with my cuddle companion, Callie, of course) dozing off and on and watching daytime TV.

My (very) thoughtful husband went to Whole Foods on his lunch break so that he could buy me some tomato soup. That is my all-time favorite sick food (next to grilled cheese). Unfortunately, they were out of my favorite soup (yet again). I usually get 365 Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. We couldn’t get it at the store last week because they were out and apparently they were out again. Argh. Corey bought me another brand of soup that was Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato. It was okay, the flavors were nice. But it was no Creamy Tomato Basil. I’m sure you will understand why I did not take a picture of that bowl o soup. I was just not feeling in the mood for picture-taking at lunch time.

A cup of soup was all I needed to fill me up for most of the afternoon since I’m not usually very hungry when I have a migraine. Later afternoon, when hunger did strike I was feeling a bit better and I decided to be brave and make my first ever Green Monster Smoothie! I was a little nervous and I thought I would screw it up, but it came out really, really tasty.

nutritious and filling smoothie . . . just what the doctor ordered

In this smoothie was: several strawberries, a peach, a handful of spinach, a cup of fat-free milk, a couple of tablespoons of vanilla flavored whey protein powder, and several ice cubes

I actually made enough for two smoothies, so I froze some so I can have the rest for breakfast (or a midmorning snack tomorrow). It was definitely way more than I could drink today.

I also paired this smoothie with one of my Sweet Potato Blondies. Delish!

quality afternoon snack

For dinner, Corey and I had taco salad. Mmm . . . I love taco night. We make our own taco seasoning that is far superior to anything you can buy in the store. I stopped eating the store bought stuff, mainly because I realized how sensitive I am to MSG (it triggers bad migraines). But now you couldn’t pay me to go back to the store bought stuff. You can find the recipe Corey and I use for our taco seasoning here. It is so yummy.

looks gross, but it's good

I know it looks messy, but it is so tasty. It was a messy combo of meat, iceberg lettuce, and cheese. I also paired it with some unpictured tortilla chips. I would have included some peppers in this salad, but we were all out. :(

So that is my day. Now I must go and rest so I can heal for work tomorrow. Corey and I are catching up on some DVR shows, such as Survivor. And Grey’s Anatomy premiers tonight! Woo-hoo! So many shows, so little time.

Dog Park and the second day of my headache . . .

I just hate it when migraines last for two days. :( I woke up and was still feeling yucky from yesterday. And that’s a shame because I had every intention of going on this week’s long run of 4 miles. Oh well . . . next time, I will think long and hard before giving into the temptation of eating foods with MSG. Fresh is definitely better.

Breakfast was really nothing to write home about. I had a little Back to Nature Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed granola. It was tasty, but I didn’t have any cottage cheese or eggs or anything to have with it because we were sorely needing a trip to the grocery store. I did have an apple before we went to the store because as everyone knows, going to the store hungry is the last thing I would want to do.

Lunch was pretty good. I made a grilled cheese sandwich from some pita bread I bought from the Farmer’s Market a couple weeks ago. I also had some beautiful grapes that we bought at Whole Foods today. For dessert, I had a yummy brownie from yesterday. And yes . . . I stopped at just one. :)

The highlight of the day though was definitely taking our dog (Callie) to the park. She really needed to run off some of her energy and she loves the park! It was cloudy when we left for the park, but the sun came out soon after.

excited about going to the park

playing fetch with her favorite toy

racing Callie - she is obviously winning!

Callie running towards Daddy

passed out after running around in the park

I got a lot more exercise than I thought I would while at the park. Apparently, Callie thought it was fun to try to race me at the park. Needless to say, she won.

I’ve done pretty well today on food, but not on exercise. But it’s all about balance. I am really looking forward to tonight. Corey and I are going to see Eat, Pray, Love at the Studio Movie Grill. It’s a great place that has an extensive dinner menu where you can order dinner and eat it while you watch your movie. Yay! I may even order some pizza (thin crust) in honor of the movie. Can’t wait.

Satisfying my Sweet Tooth the Jillian Michaels Way!

Today started out well. Corey and I woke up and decided to take Callie out on a 2 mile jog. I have to work on Saturdays and I wanted to get my workout out of the way. I should work out in the mornings more often. I am not a morning person, but morning workouts are a great way to start the day!

However, after I got home and took a shower I promptly developed a migraine. :( Being the trooper that I am, I went into work anyway. My husband was awesome and drove me into work so I wouldn’t have to drive. But counseling patients on a migraine is not my idea of a good time. I blame my migraine on the MSG from last night’s Chick-fil-A dinner. Hard to say that it was worth it. Yes, the chicken sandwich was sooo good. But this is why I try to stay away from MSG and preservatives. No good can come from it.

My food intake was not that great today because of the headache. I had no breakfast and when I finally did have lunch, I had an awesome salad with spinach, leftover chicken, and my homemade salad dressing. Yummy. And for dinner, my husband made me my favorite “sick” food: tomato soup. Mmmm . . . so comforting and so light on the tummy. I used to eat Campbell’s tomato soup, but I have since switched to 365 Organic Tomato Basil Soup because that doesn’t have any MSG. And . . . headaches or not, that is the.best.soup.ever! There is a reason to only eat foods with simple, nonprocessed ingredients. Awesome taste and flavor.

Anyway, the most exciting thing of the evening was that I was in the mood to bake. My headache was feeling better and I wanted to bake my husband some healthy brownies. I have been dying to try a recipe I found online that come from Jillian Michaels “Master Your Metabolism” Cookbook. Seemed like a simple recipe and the brownies are only 86 calories. And I love cooking with Corey! After all, the couple who cooks together stays together, right? ;)

These are the ingredients needed for the recipe:

Mmmm . . . . chocolate batter

Finished Product

Brownie #2 - Since I already have a headache, it's okay to indulge, right? :)

These brownies were so freaking amazing! I have never had brownies that were this moist and tasty. I had two of them . . . okay, maybe three. I had to stop myself. Yes, chocolate is bad for migraines and I totally shouldn’t be having any chocolate. But I already had a headache, so how much more damage could I do? And I hadn’t eaten that much today and they are only 86 calories each. It’s amazing the way that my mind can rationalize things. :) But seriously, we will be making these again. Best brownie recipe EVER! See the recipe below.

Fudge Brownies courtesy of Jillian Michaels (makes 16 brownies)

2/3 cup mild honey, such as clover or orange blossom

1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (I just used organic white all-purpose flour, so that will do as well)

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large egg, at room temperature  

3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Place the honey in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave on high power until the honey is runny and just bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the cocoa and stir with a fork until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended. Add the honey-cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the surfaces look dry around the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing into 16 squares. Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Migraines and my Diet

One thing to know about me is that I get migraines . . . a lot. At least I used to. I’ve actually been getting them since I was three years old. I know, insane right? I get them so severely and so often that I have to take daily medication to prevent them from coming on. And they aren’t regular headaches either. I don’t get the kind of headaches that gets better with a pain reliever. I actually don’t get the actual headache at all. No, I’m not crazy. You can have a migraine without a headache. Headache is just a symptom of a migraine. I get other symptoms. I get so dizzy I can barely walk, I have blurry vision, I get nauseous, etc. Fun stuff, huh?

It wasn’t until recently that I started to realize just how my diet affects my migraines. I guess I’m a late bloomer. I’ve always known about the obvious food triggers, such as caffeine and chocolate. Caffeine and I have had a love/hate relationship for years. I have fallen off the wagon numerous times, but I am now happy to report that I have kicked the caffeine habit.

Used to drink this by the gallon . . . this is what I miss the most!

Of course, chocolate is a whole other story. My neurologist would tell me countless times to switch to white chocolate (because only the cocoa is a trigger), but seriously?? Was he mad?? White chocolate isn’t even chocolate. I adore dark chocolate. However, after getting sick of all the headaches, I haven’t had a piece of chocolate in MONTHS. Seriously, that is what is killing me right now.

my most favoritest of flavors!

Of course, the headaches kept coming. Then I came across this great book by a doctor, “Heal Your Headache” by David Buchholz. He talks about a great plan to decrease and even get rid of your migraines. It starts with getting rid of all pain relievers and not taking them at all. Some of them can cause rebound headaches. The other step was to eliminate all possible food triggers from your diet for a period of 3-4 months to eliminate the toxins from your body and hopefully see a change in the amount of headaches. After that point, the plan is to gradually reintroduce the triggers one by one for a week at a time to see which triggers are actually causing my headaches.

Starting this program was a huge undertaking. I knew it would be a huge lifestyle change and that even my husband would have to change a little bit in order to make our dinners a bit more “migraine-friendly.” Frankly, I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I wanted to try for the sake of my health. And the results have been awesome. I am eating better and my migraines have gone wayyyy down. Granted, I have had a couple of cheat days but all in all, I have stuck to it pretty tightly. I have been on the diet since May 25. If I want to go the whole 4 months, that means I will still be on it until September. We will see how I’m feeling. I’m still not sure about that.

The only thing is that the diet is very, very restrictive. There are even some healthy things on the list that I haven’t been able to eat because they may be triggers. Below is a list of stuff I am not allowed to eat/drink:

  • coffee, tea, sodas. no decaf coffees either (Goodbye Starbucks)
  • no chocolate except for white chocolate
  • no foods that have MSG in them (and MSG is EVERYWHERE. once you start reading labels, you understand how prevalent that stuff is)
  • no processed meats that have nitrates or nitrites; no hotdogs, lunchmeat, hams, sausage, or bacon with nitrates
  • aged cheese are not allowed, such as cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella. the only cheeses I can have are cottage, American, and ricotta. I also can’t have yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream
  • no nuts of any kind, including nut butters. seeds are okay
  • no red wine or champagne
  • clear vinegar is okay, but other vinegars are not
  • citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes, pineapples, clementines and their juices. also can’t have bananas, raspberries, red plums, avocados, figs, dates
  • no raisins and no dried fruits if they are preserved with sulfites
  • onions are not allowed
  • less than one day old bread, homemade bread, bagels, doughnuts (all of them have to be at least a day old)
  • aspartame
  • soy products as well, like soy protein that is in a lot of processed items and soy sauce

So that is my list of what I can’t eat. It’s been tough. I haven’t been able to eat a lot of fast food because of all the MSG and preservatives and believe it or not, I don’t really miss it. I think once you detox your body from that stuff, it’s easier. I do, however, miss things like feta cheese and peanut butter. Seriously, I would give my right arm for some peanut butter right now. And heaven help me if it turns out to be a migraine trigger.