November 12, 2022
Do you or someone you love experience regular migraines? We know how debilitating they can be! We’ve helped many clients become detectives to figure out what is triggering these migraines and, in today’s show, we’ll offer you some potential food triggers that might be causing yours.
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MELANIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today we're going to be discussing the food connection to migraine headaches. Here are some interesting statistics. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the third most prevalent illness globally. They affect 12% of the population. Out of that 12%, women make up 85% of the migraine sufferers.
MELANIE: I know. If you are working in an office with 18 other women, at least two of you will struggle frequently with migraines. So you've got company. Misery does love some company, but have you ever tried to work with a migraine? I have. I know Britni, you have.
MELANIE: Or take care of your family with a migraine. I have. So I definitely know how difficult it can be. My children are grown, but those migraines are no fun. During my 30 years as a dietitian, I have helped many women get free of migraine headaches. Britni, I know you have too.
BRITNI: I have.
MELANIE: There are so many reasons clients have migraines. Today, we want to focus on the foods that can be migraine triggers. Big surprise: we're going to talk about that food. Other causes beyond food triggers can be certain medications, dehydration from drinking too much coffee or alcohol and not getting enough water, or sleeping less than seven and a half hours most nights, and having generalized fatigue.
BRITNI: I mean, I think the list can go on and on with all the different triggers.
Identifying individual migraine triggers for each person
MELANIE: Yes. And when you've had that migraine, you're desperate to figure them out. I know personally how migraines can interfere with life. So as dietitians and nutritionists, we work to help clients find that root cause. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian, and I have to eat a very careful diet to avoid migraines and I'm not perfect. And man, it kicks me; when I make a mistake, my body tells me. Not always… the pain in my head will always remind me to be careful, but I'm not always perfect. Joining me as our cohost is Britni Vincent, who is also a registered and licensed dietitian. Britni, I know from working with you that you are one of our resident experts on migraine solutions.
BRITNI: Yeah. I see a lot of clients with migraines. I used to get them semi-frequently in the past. And I'll share as we talk today some of my triggers that I have figured out. But today I want to start by sharing some research from the NIH about foods that can be migraine triggers. You know, as dietitians, we always want to share some of our clinical experience. I mean, what we see actually helps people.
BRITNI: So if you struggle with migraines, we understand each client is very unique and has their own unique food and environmental and lifestyle triggers. And our job is just to help do the digging to figure out what those triggers actually are. And sometimes it takes a little bit of time, but you know, we do help so many people get relief from migraines.
MELANIE: You know, being pain free, being comfortable, sometimes that's the biggest goal.
MELANIE: And we know clients in pain want that relief above all else. So peace is wonderful. Joy is great, but if you are in pain, relief is everything.
MELANIE: When we work individually with clients, we ask a lot of questions to identify those food triggers for each client. There's research published that only 10% of people with migraines, food is the cause of, of that. So there's a lot of triggers out there. That is what the research tells us. But clinically we find that for at least half of the people with migraines, food is a migraine trigger. Britni, let's give the listeners an overview of some of the known migraine causes today.
BRITNI: Well, and I also want to add, I find for most people that have migraines, there's more than one trigger. And so, and sometimes there's a major trigger, but there might be other little things that that can exacerbate and, and accumulate and, and cause a migraine too. So keeping that in mind as we talk today, but the first and most researched food to remove from your diet if you suffer from migraines would be gluten.
MELANIE: Now, listeners don't turn off your radio. We're going to help you.
BRITNI: Yes, we will. So gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and it provides the elasticity in those grains is, is the function. And in 2018 study found that 25% of people with a gluten sensitivity reported having migraine headaches. It's a lot. And Dr. Alessio Fasano, author of Gluten Freedom, he writes that, “Other grains contain peptides from proteins that can trigger a gluten reaction in susceptible individuals.”
MELANIE: So let me ask you; there's a lot of clients that come to me and they say, What about a sprouted grain? If it has s sprouted wheat, that's still gluten. Right?
BRITNI: Yes, it is.
MELANIE: So we're really talking about all the grains that can trigger that gluten response. I love to help clients make the connection that maybe their favorite barley soup is off the menu. That bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, candy, soy sauce, processed meats, even some salad dressing and energy bars need to be removed from their eating plan. Or really what I try to do is swap out. Instead of this, have this. Instead of this, have this. There's always great whole food, real food alternatives. So they're not just removing everything and left with a bowl of lettuce.
MELANIE: When they go gluten, gluten free. Other foods that clients take off their food list would be beer, wine, breakfast cereal, rye bread. Even the light rye Wasa cracker. Again, it's rye. So, a research study found that 25% of people with a gluten sensitivity reported having migraine headaches. And if you're someone with celiac disease, your first symptoms may be reoccurring migraines rather than that gut connection. Gluten intolerance is a common migraine trigger food. I know it was for me.
BRITNI: Yes. That, that was trigger for me too. And I think you made a great point, Melanie, is, you know, we think that if you have a food sensitivity, you're going to have digestive symptoms. And that is not true at all. You could have a sensitivity to a food and it does not affect your digestive system, but causes migraines or could create anxiety. I mean, all sorts of other symptoms. So I would keep that in mind too, as you're kind of digging and figuring out your own triggers.
MELANIE: Yeah. And as we're talking listeners, I want you to remember that, not to just disregard that gluten connection if you don't have stomach and intestinal problems.
BRITNI: Yep. For sure. And you know, I'm sure some of you listening are thinking, oh my gosh, that's a lot of food to eliminate. What, what would I be eating? But I, I encourage you, if you decide to try going gluten free, focus on all the different foods that are naturally gluten free. So meat, real meat, not processed meat; eggs, fish, vegetables, fruit, potatoes, nuts, avocado. I mean the list goes on and on.
MELANIE: Real, fresh food.
MELANIE: With removing some of the things that we're going to talk about today, just do it for a couple weeks and see if you get some relief. So you were talking about removing the gluten.
MELANIE: We're talking about swapping out. There's a lot of other triggers. Were you…?
BRITNI: Yeah, there are. And, and I think, like Melanie said, if you, if you do suffer from migraines, if you've, and you've never tried eliminating gluten, I encourage you to just, you know, experiment for a month.
MELANIE: Mm-Hmm. Good.
BRITNI: A hundred percent eliminate it. I say a hundred percent because even one slice of bread a week could be enough to trigger migraines.
MELANIE: And then you've, and then you've had this whole week being gluten free. And you don't really have a true test for your body. Sometimes I'll have clients completely remove it for two weeks: anything with wheat, barley, rye, oats. I'll have it removed. And then I'll say they're really struggling. And I'll say, well, let's do a challenge.
MELANIE: So then one day you'll have gluten at breakfast, lunch, dinner. You might have your pasta, your bread, a roll. Give your body 48 hours to tell you how it's going to respond to that. And if you're getting anything, head, shoulders, knees and toes, you want to check in. Did I get a migraine? That might be two days later after you've had it. Do my joints hurt? Am I bloated? Do I have heartburn? And that will tell you if gluten is biting you back.
BRITNI: Yeah. And then at that point, if you get a migraine, it's going to be very motivating to continue to be gluten free. Then it just becomes a much easier choice at that point.
MELANIE: I, that pain really motivate. That migraine is a really difficult one. Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian and I'm in studio with the brilliant Britni Vincent, who is also a registered and licensed dietitian. We both have many years of teaching and counseling clients about the value of real food nutrition. And today is our topic on migraines. We'll be right back.
BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Many clients ask us what vitamins are good for migraine prevention. And according to a 2020 review, vitamin D was the winning supplement. Vitamin D has such a complex interaction with metabolism, hormones and genes that helps the body process sensory information that may help you to avoid migraines. So we encourage you to have your vitamin D level tested and if supplementation is needed we can give you dosage recommendations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with all of your supplement questions and we will connect you with one of our nutritionists. And frankly, I think everybody should be on vitamin D in the wintertime in Minnesota especially, but it is very important to get that level tested to see what your appropriate dosage should be.
MELANIE: Totally agree.
BRITNI: So before break we were talking a lot about gluten and I want to talk about the connection, the mechanism as to why gluten can even cause migraines. So what actually happens is gluten creates excess inflammation in the brain, which could result in a migraine. And for some people can cause other neurological symptoms as well. And we were talking about your reaction time too. And Mel, you made a really great point. It could be two days later.
BRITNI: So yes, you could react to a food a few hours after you ate it. It could be the next day. It could be two days later. Sometimes it's an accumulative effect. So it's not always very straightforward.
MELANIE: No. It's like a Rubik's cube and that's why you really need one of the nutritionists or dietitians to help you unpack the connection for you. Because if you're suffering in pain and you're trying to figure it out with a migraine; good grief.
MELANIE: Who can do that? That's so difficult. Everybody needs one to help them through that pain and that fog. So I know I need to ask the clients a lot of food and lifestyle questions to kind of get to the root cause and then we problem solve together. I know that most clients really do know their own body. They are their body's best doctor and I often need, they just need some help to get through the weeds and some probing questions sometimes can get us there.
Like I mentioned, there have been many research studies conducted about the cause of migraines and that tells you how problematic migraines have been. The general consensus is that migraines are triggered mainly by either food or lifestyle habits. It's not necessarily a genetic thing. And a lot of times you think, well my dad had migraines. And therefore, that's why I have migraines. I would disagree.
BRITNI: Yep. I agree. Mm-Hmm. So if gluten, if you figure out gluten isn't your trigger or maybe going gluten free does help your migraines, but you're still getting some migraines, we're going to talk about some other common food triggers to consider. So red wine is definitely on the top of that list. And that can be because of the sulfites added. Unfortunately, there can be other additives in wine that don't need to be listed on the bottle.
MELANIE: Yes. Mm-Hmm.
BRITNI: And so that, those other additives could be triggers as well. You know, one of my clients discovered that champagne was a trigger after she had a few sips at a wedding and got a migraine pretty darn quickly. So she's not going to drink champagne anymore.
BRITNI: Not worth it.
MELANIE: Toast with water.
BRITNI: Yeah. And when I take the time to ask the questions like when did you get your last migraine? What did you eat that day? What did you eat the day before? Chocolate I find can also be a common cause of migraines. And I had mentioned additives in wine, but also just food additives such as artificial sweeteners, aspartame, sucralose: those can be big triggers for people. If you are a diet pop drinker, ask yourself, do you think when I started drinking diet pop, is that when my migraines began?
MELANIE: Or maybe it's the accumulative effect of all the processed chemicals in soda that can be a trigger. So that's, it's really important to sort of dig deep.
MELANIE: And peel the onion back and figure out what is going on. When did it start? And the diet and weight loss industry created a market for protein bars. But what is in those so-called healthy protein bars? Could they be your migraine trigger? That's something that we look at. Let's talk about what is in many of those protein bars, Britni. Because if you are grabbing one for a quick pick me up, most of them have artificial sweeteners, a known migraine trigger.
Most contain soy protein, another migraine trigger and almost all have some sort of refined oil such as sunflower oil. And that's a source of inflammation. We want to bring down that inflammation because it contributes to migraines. Yikes. You thought you were just grabbing something healthy like a protein bar. Yikes.
BRITNI: Another food trigger can be nuts. So nuts are for most people a very healthy fat source to incorporate in your diet. But nuts can be a migraine trigger for some because they are high in tyramine and foods that are high in tyramine can trigger migraines. And this does include both peanuts and tree nuts.
MELANIE: Yes, I know Brazil nuts, walnuts are a huge trigger for me. So it's just figuring out what doesn't work for your body. And dairy products can be a migraine trigger for some people. The protein, casein, found in milk, yogurt, kefir and cheese, the beloved cheese can cause inflammation and migraines. Clinically I have found that dried fruit snacks such as cranberries; everybody loves those dried cranberries.
BRITNI: Yes they do.
MELANIE: Prunes and apricots can be migraine triggers, possibly from the sulfates or the tyramine. We don't know. But even certain vegetables such as corn can be a trigger. For many kidney, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus, especially if it's made with eggplant or red lentils, migraine triggers.
So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Almost every day a new report is released concerning the mental health of teens, young adults and older adults. What are you eating that is depressing their mood? Let me share a list I found in the book, This is Your Brain on Food, by psychiatrist, Uma Naidoo: sugar, artificial sweeteners, aspartame, processed food, nitrates. Interesting. Many of those foods are migraine triggers.
BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Melanie shared the foods that dull your mood and can cause low depressed moods. And I want to share foods you can eat to have good positive moods. Fish such as wild-caught salmon, those are particularly high in omega three fatty acids. Grass-fed beef, eggs from pasture raised chickens, vegetables of all kinds, natural beneficial fats like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and raw nuts and seeds. Those are extremely beneficial.
MELANIE: For mood.
BRITNI: For that brain health.
BRITNI: Because most of our brain is fat.
MELANIE: Most of our brain is fat. And you've got to have that inflammation come down for your mood as well. So these all contribute to lowering that inflammation For sure.
BRITNI: So before the break we were talking about other foods that can trigger migraines and I want to take some time to talk about blood sugar and how that can contribute to migraines. So I have found clinically and personally when a client skips meals and their blood sugar dips too low, that can trigger a migraine.
So eating on a regular basis, whether that's every three hours for you, every four hours, you know, some people need to eat more frequently. Making sure, we talked about that beneficial fat for brain health, but fat every time you eat helps to stabilize your blood sugar.
BRITNI: So for me, I know if I don't eat enough collectively in a day, I might wake up the next day with a headache or a migraine.
MELANIE: I don't think I've ever experienced that.
MELANIE: I always make sure I'm eating. What's that like?
BRITNI: Oh gosh. Yeah. And, and you know, I'll ask my clients. So is there a particular time of day that you might get a migraine? And if it's mid-morning or midafternoon, that commonly tells us, well it could very well be just a blood sugar thing because they're dipping from their breakfast or their lunch or just simply asking, are you more likely to get a migraine if you go too long without eating?
MELANIE: Yes. Like powering through at work and you skip lunch.
MELANIE: And then you grab a protein bar.
MELANIE: Yeah. Good. Because if that blood sugar dips, that's a big trigger.
BRITNI: It is. Or if eating helps your migraines when you, when you already have a migraine, if eating helps, it is probably blood sugar related then.
MELANIE: So it's becoming a detective.
MELANIE: And so when you start the feel of that headache coming on, it's a good time to say, all right, did I skip a meal?
MELANIE: Have I had enough water?
MELANIE: Have I taken a break and made sure that I'm fueling my brain?
MELANIE: And what did I eat in the past 24 hours? That's the time. And then you can kind of sometimes get on top of it; huge glass of water and a protein snack with some healthy fat and some veggies.
BRTINI: Can make a big difference.
MELANIE: Can make a big difference.
BRITNI: Yeah. One of my clients: those are her two triggers for migraines are blood sugar. If she doesn't eat enough or goes through long without eating and then being dehydrated. And if she stays on top of it, she is migraine free.
MELANIE: Oh bet She's motivated.
BRITNI: Uh huh.
MELANIE: And she loves you for making that connection. Well I've often cautioned clients to avoid aged cheese such as blue cheese, brie, aged cheddar, feta, parmesan is aged. These types of cheeses contain tyramine, which is a migraine trigger for many. For me, it's a big one. I mean cheese, it's a lovely, lovely food.
BRITNI: It is.
MELANIE: And I feel like we have to sort of rip it out of people's hands for a period of time because who doesn't love cheese?
BRITNI: That's a tough one.
MELANIE: But to be pain free sometimes it's worth it.
BRITNI: For sure.
MELANIE: It's worth it.
BRITNI: You know, we were talking about food additives earlier. Well another big food additive that can be a migraine sugar is MSG. And I think, I think people recognize that. But a lot of individuals don't realize how many food products actually contain MSG.
MELANIE: It's frustrating because I think there's over 50 different names.
BRITNI: Well there's that part too.
MELANIE: It's hard to sort through.
BRITNI: So it could be listed as monosodium glutamate in the ingredient list. It could be listed as hydrolyzed protein. It could be listed as natural flavorings. It could be listed as yeast extract, so you don't quite know. But it's found in a lot of packaged foods. Foods like frozen meals, a lot of chips. I mean that's what makes Cheetos so darn addicting is that MSG.
MELANIE: And that MSG: what is it? It's a neuro stimulator. And that neuro stimulator works at the brain and so we want to remove it, but fresh food: guess what?
BRITNI: MSG free.
MELANIE: MSG free.
MELANIE: You know, the other piece that we want to look at is some of our clients experience a migraine after eating cured, processed or aged meat. Meat sticks with nitrates; nitrites. But sometimes that aged meat can trigger a migraine. So just a starting place is just to eat fresh and frozen meats for a while without any additives, any smoking, right? Any dehydrating. And see, you know, just stick with the chicken, steak, pork chops and avoid these others for a season in your life. See if it gets better. I know also for me, big trigger. I love beef sticks, but can't do them.
BRITNI: And you know, if you do have migraines and you are eating a lot of processed food, you know, a great place to start is just eating more real foods. Like we've been talking about the meat, the vegetables, the fruits, the healthy fats. And then you're naturally eliminating these food additives. You're going to be eating a whole lot less gluten even though you're not necessarily trying to. But just by making that switch to eating real food can help a ton with migraines. And for some people that's the thing that they need to do and then their migraines go away.
MELANIE: It's wonderful. And you know, the positive piece is when you switch, we're, we, don't think eliminate listeners; think switching.
MELANIE: I'm switching to a real fresh food approach. It's not just about relief of migraines. It's about nourishing your body to keep it healthy in other regards. Right? Heart disease, blood sugar, balance, diabetes, cancer prevention. So it's a win-win.
BRITNI: Yep. It is. And then, you know, getting that pen and paper out and writing everything down, you know, I did that for a big chunk of time. I wrote everything down. I wrote when I was getting migraines and headaches to find those patterns because I mean, I don't know about you, I don't always remember everything I ate the day before or two days before.
MELANIE: Not with three babies, you don't.
BRITNI: So writing it all down, you can see those patterns. And then it's really helpful if you do meet with a nutritionist because then we can analyze it. And frankly, if something is written down in pen and paper, it's a lot easier to accept that connection.
MELANIE: It is.
BRITNI: You know, versus if you know that maybe gluten is a problem for you, for some people that's easy to ignore in, in your head. But if you see on that paper, every time you eat bread, you get a migraine.
MELANIE: You get a migraine. You can make that connection. So in writing that down, rate your, rate, your headaches when they happen. One to five, five being the worst.
MELANIE: Rate it next to the time and day you ate. And sometimes we don't have time to write everything down. So I tell clients, take a picture of your food.
BRITNI: Yeah, that's great.
MELANIE: At the end of the day, write down what you had instead of feeling like you've got to haul everything with you. Our phones can be great help.
BRITNI: Yep. That is great idea. And then water too. We had, you know, talked about dehydration as a major cause. So my clients that have switched to a real food diet, they're also drinking half their body weight in ounces of water. And I have found individuals that have a tendency towards migraines and headaches, sometimes they need a little extra water than other people do. Have you found that as well?
MELANIE: Yes. More is more is a good thing. And hydrating yourself. And if you talk a lot.
MELANIE: I know I have a PhD in the gift of gab. So I have to drink more water. Because you expel water.
BRITNI: That's a great point. And filtered water is ideal because tap water contains chemicals. Again, chemicals can cause migraines. And then these clients that have switched to a real food diet, really avoiding, or at least limiting alcohol, especially that wine for, for migraines and all those processed and packaged foods.
MELANIE: And that beer.
MELANIE: Beer, wine and beer. You know, it's, it's a couple weeks. You can do it. Well, often the cause of a migraine is related to food or possibly lack of sleep. We were talking prior to starting the show. That was a big piece for you.
MELANIE: That lack of sleep. But not always. Three or four years ago, I remember working with a client who ate perfectly. She was on point, she listened to the radio show. She slept eight hours a night and went away from work, she was migraine free. But as soon as she stepped into the lab she worked in, migraines appeared. After several attempts wearing a mask and taking breaks, those migraines just persisted. So for quality of life, she decided a different work environment was what she needed. And that was her solution.
BRITNI: Wow. Yeah.
MELANIE: You know, I'm not selling everyone run out there and quit your job.
BRITNI: Yeah. No.
MELANIE: But you know, there might be a connection if you feel like I'm doing all these things you guys and I'm still struggling, maybe that's a piece for you.
BRITNI: Well, and think about again, when are your migraines triggered. Are they in a specific environment? Are they when you go to work? Are they at home? Because sometimes there is that environmental connection to chemicals. I have clients that scents, perfumes will trigger migraines.
BRITNI: Yep. Mold. So there's a lot of things to, to consider.
MELANIE: I remember I love to go to estate sales. And there was and I love old books and oh, I found this amazing estate sale and I'm down in the basement, spend an hour down there going through these really old books. I was in bed for two days. I was so sick because of the mold.
BRITNI: Oh my gosh.
MELANIE: That I was experiencing.
MELANIE: So it can, this is information for you. You know, when you really tap into where I am, what am I eating? How am I hydrating? How am I sleeping? You can make those connections.
MELANIE: Some of us are so busy. It's really hard.
BRITNI: It is.
MELANIE: So I love the food diary. I love just keeping track. You deserve that time, listeners, to find comfort in your day. So it's time for break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. For migraine prevention, it's important to have adequate vitamin D like Britni said. Also important to have adequate magnesium for the prevention of migraines. Research and clinical evidence suggest there's a link between magnesium and its role in protecting the brain neurons from excessive excitability, which may be how magnesium protects against migraines. And I, I do often recommend 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium of a good well absorbed magnesium daily to assist in that migraine prevention. We’ll be back.
BRITNI: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. There is a long list of potential food triggers that can lead to a migraine. But let me share a few of these: chocolate, nuts, ice cream, tomatoes, onions, dairy products, alcohol, coffee, MSG, histamine intolerance, foods high in tyramine, nitrites, aspartame, sucralose and gluten. The list is overwhelming. And especially if you're experiencing a migraine. It's hard to make sense of things when you're in pain.
MELANIE: It is.
BRITNI: But we have helped many people with recurring migraines. So call us at (651) 699-3438 and hopefully you can be migraine free soon after working with us.
MELANIE: That's the plan. We want to get you, you get you in a really good, really good place. I know keeping a list for me, I know that I can't have citrus. I can only have a splash of lemon juice or lime juice. But if I were to sit down and eat an orange, it's a trigger. So it's kind of nice to have someone walk shoulder to shoulder with you and help you sort through the migraine mess. You just need that help for sure.
MELANIE: And Britni, I know that you have had migraines in the past. What was that connection for you?
BRITNI: Yeah, you know, I mentioned the blood sugar piece and gluten. Sleep is another huge one. When I started to get migraines more frequently, my job at the time, sometimes I would need to leave my house at five in the morning. Sometimes I didn't have to be to work till noon. So, and I was not at the time diligent enough to have a set sleep schedule. Cause I didn't want to wake up at 4:30 AM every morning. So I, I really truly think that that irregular sleep pattern. And then I traveled abroad a couple times and I think it was the time change and the wonkiness with my sleep I got migraines. So sleep is a huge one.
MELANIE: That was a big connection, yes, for you. And we think about it when we sleep is when our brain and our body is restorative.
MELANIE: So we've got to restore. We want to just rally everything we possibly can for the body to function to its best. Yeah. Right?
MELANIE: So I think those are connections we try to make in addition to the food triggers. But food is big.
BRITNI: It is huge. And, you know, our topic today is about food, specifically and migraines. But I have a lot of clients whose trigger or one of their triggers is their hormones.
MELANIE: Well, we are Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I've always thought we should be Nutritional Wellness and Weight.
BRITNI: Yeah. Yes. Yeah. So I, we've talked about the questions to ask yourself to kind of dig, to figure out, but one of the questions I always ask is, are you more likely to get a migraine around ovulation or on your period or before or after your period? And many, many women say yes.
BRITNI: Or if you're in menopause, even if that was what happened in the past, but you're still getting the migraines, it could still be hormone related.
MELANIE: And a lot of times you think you're “hormone done”.
MELANIE: But you're not with menopause.
BRITNI: Not true. So we can, we can help with those hormonal migraines too.
MELANIE: That is definitely your jam, Britni: the hormone piece.
BRITNI: I had a client and I think within two months she did not get any of her hormonal migraines anymore.
MELANIE: What was the piece? How did you, how did you make that connection for her?
BRITNI: Some supplementation
MELANIE: To help detox those estrogens.
BRITNI: Yep. She would get a migraine without fail at the beginning of her period. Mm-Hmm.
MELANIE: That was me. In fact, my migraines were so, my hormonal migraines were so bad I ended up with a hysterectomy to try to get relief from the migraines.
MELANIE: And guess what? It helped.
MELANIE: But there's a whole host of problems. It was a little drastic, which, you know, with that estrogen dominance, it can be a host of problems.
BRITNI: Yes. It can. You know, some other questions to think about. How long have you had migraines? When did they start? Do you know at what age? That might prompt a connection. Do you wake up with a migraine? Do you snore? You know, individuals with sleep apnea could be more prone to migraines.
MELANIE: That lack of oxygen to the brain connection again.
BRITNI: Mm-Hmm. How much water do you drink a day? Are there specific times of days? Are there specific environments? Those should be things to think about along with, as we talked about, just doing that food journal. Getting to that.
MELANIE: Yeah. Circling back to that, all of those are great questions and that's what we, again, that's what we do with clients, but keeping that food journal can really help you to understand what's the connection? What's the pattern here? If you struggle with migraines, we encourage you to make several appointments with one of us to help to do that detective work with you so you can be migraine free because your quality of life matters. And getting relief from pain, really, if you're in agony, it's everything. You know, Britni, I've often said that's the goal is to live long, strong, and comfortable.
MELANIE: Right? That's, that's really our goal as human beings. But I know that I like to talk to clients about what they can eat. And what they should eat. So what does a migraine free diet sort of look like for me personally?
MELANIE: So I start I, I've gone, I've done the work and I start my day with protein and it's typically eggs and some sort of stir fried vegetable. And I can't eat bacon. I can have the bacon fats. And my lovely husband saves the bacon fat for me. And I stir fry my veggies in there. And then about three to four hours later I do a protein shake with a type of protein that I tolerate.
And then for lunch, it is usually fresh chicken or pork or grass-fed beef. I love a big salad with lots of different vegetables. Maybe a half cup of sweet potato. I love cold cubed sweet potato in my salad. And an olive oil dressing. Balsamic vinegar’s a trigger for me. So I use apple cider vinegar in my dressing.
And then about three hours later I'm a big fan of apples and I do sunflower butter because I tolerate that well. And another hard boiled egg. And then dinner again, it's, it might be a grass-fed steak or roast. And then I'll throw in roasted vegetables of various kinds; big on asparagus and Brussels sprouts right now. Last week I was air frying cauliflower and broccoli with some avocado oil. And I do sometimes a half a cup of wild rice with that.
And it, it, it's doable. It's real food. I'm not hungry. I'm not miserable. And I can live my life long and strong and migraine free. And I drink about 90 ounces of water a day minimum. I don't do caffeine. I do decaf. That I, that took me a while because I love that bump of caffeine. But it works for me.
BRITNI: It's worth it.
MELANIE: Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's how we roll in trying to keep us comfortable and healthy.
BRITNI: Well, I think that's absolutely key to focus on the foods that you can enjoy that will provide you relief from the migraines. And using and saying to yourself, I'm choosing to avoid gluten.
MELANIE: I'm taking care of me.
BRITNI: Yeah. Because it triggers migraines.
MELANIE: Yes. It, it triggers so many things. It's really not something that works for me. So our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thanks for joining us today.
BRITNI: Thank you.