Saturday, February 4, 2017

Food as medicine: The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver

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Food as medicine: That's what my life has been about for the past year and a half, since my diabetes diagnosis. Changing the way I eat has helped me kick diabetes to the curb and start my second half-century in the best health of my adult life. Food, indeed, has been my medicine.

When I heard about Stephanie Weaver's new book The Migraine Relief Plan, I was excited to read it. Because migraines have been part of my life for nearly three decades.

I started getting migraines after I finished college, when I was living in New York City and working in magazine publishing. I'm not talking about little, annoying headaches. I'm talking about crippling, blinding pain that came on suddenly and lasted for hours, sometimes days. The headaches were always in the same place, above my right eye, near my hairline. Pounding. Pulsing. I had several migraines a week for years.

I was young and otherwise healthy, so I pushed through them. Biofeedback therapy helped; I practiced guided relaxation and learned how to raise the temperature of my fingertips five degrees in five minutes using just my brain. (That was pretty cool and, as a side benefit, helped a lot during labor and childbirth.) I experimented with folk remedies and over-the-counter painkillers and finally came up with a method that worked for me, involving ibuprofen, caffeine (which I don't normally have at all), and strategically placed ice packs. Eventually, because of age, hormonal changes, and who knows what else, the headaches came more rarely. Now I get a few a year, if that.

But I suffered for years. And other than avoiding red wine, which I didn't drink much anyway and didn't seem to trigger my headaches, no one ever suggested to me that I might be able to control or lessen the frequency of my migraines by changing what I ate.

Creamy Not-ella Carob Butter from The Migraine Relief Plan

I am truly sorry that Stephanie had to suffer with her migraines as much as she did (her full story is at the beginning of the book). But I'm grateful for the result, and I think other migraine sufferers will be as well. The Migraine Relief Plan offers a sensible eight-week transition plan to help migraine sufferers ease into a diet that is sugar-free, gluten-free and low in sodium. As it happens, I've already made most of these changes myself to tackle my diabetes. They may sound drastic, but when your health is at stake, it's worth it.

And even with these restrictions, it's possible to eat delicious food every single day. The book includes more than 75 recipes that look delicious and follow the guidelines above to help migraine sufferers avoid attacks. In addition to being a certified health and wellness coach, Stephanie is a food blogger and professional recipe developer (that's how we met). I can't wait to try Stephanie's Creamy Not-ella Carob Butter, Seedy Carrot Crackers, Firehouse Turkey Chili, Maple Sesame Glazed Chicken, Peachy Pulled Pork, and Pear Upside-Down Cake.

If you're plagued with migraines, I am so sorry. But there's hope. I strongly suggest taking a look at The Migraine Relief Plan to see if Stephanie's dietary and lifestyle suggestions can help you.

BONUS: Stephanie is hosting a pre-order giveaway if you order The Migraine Relief Plan by February 13, 2017. Click here to enter the giveaway.

*Recipe photography copyright 2016 by Laura Bashar


Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you click them and buy Stephanie's book. We both thank you in advance.

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