Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Tomatoes get a bad rap, mainly because of what foods they accompany, or what additives are put in tomato sauce. Yes, tomatoes can be a trigger for some due to high amounts of free glutamate (not to be confused with an aversion to wheat gluten), but for most migraine sufferers tomatoes are perfectly fine, by themselves. Tomatoes are extremely healthy and may even help aid in weight loss! So, don't knock them before you give them a fair chance. Tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce usually has onion powder added to it, and possibly other additives, which may trigger a migraine. Pizza dough has fresh-risen yeast which contains tyramine, and pizza toppings contain nitrates and possibly MSG. If you make your own italian food at home (which contains tomatoes), and you haven't added any onion powder or onions to the sauce, maybe it's the salad dressing (fermentation) which has triggered your headache. And remember, it could possibly be something you ate from the day before. So, before you blame your headache on tomatoes, which many tolerate well, be sure it isn't something else causing you havoc. After you have removed every migraine trigger from your diet for quite some time, if you still suspect tomatoes, then eliminate them for two to four weeks. If you notice no difference, add them back in. Happy eating!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Migraine and Fibromyalgia

While obtaining my music education degree, I went through a period of time where my muscles became so much like cement that I was in a severe amount of pain. At one point, my left arm and hand would barely move, and I couldn't play my violin for a period of weeks. As a music major, this was not the best situation to be in. I had a senior recital coming up that I couldn't practice for! I saw six doctors, some of them specialists (a physical therapist, feldenkrais instructor, bio-feedback specialist, and others) to help my muscles relax. I was able to play again, but I never did get to full recovery stage. I also had headaches during this time. The pain was centered around my neck, back, arms, and even somewhat in my hips and legs. After finding Dr. Buchholz's book and following his diet, my pain and muscle/fascia tension dropped dramatically. I still have a little bit of muscle pain and tension, especially when a storm rolls in, but not near to the degree that I had back then. I have migraine. For a long time I was diagnosed as having allergies, which I don't have. I was diagnosed at one time with having lactose intolerance, which I don't have. I do have migraine trigger intolerance though, which produces the same symptoms. My point is, sometimes people are diagnosed with fibromyalgia who don't actually have it. It produces many of the same symptoms. If your pain is centered mainly around your neck, shoulders and back, then maybe you have migraine. Do all people diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually have migraine? That's not at all what I'm saying. I'm just saying that both conditions are fairly new to the medical world and hard to understand. Do you have headaches along with your muscle pain? Where is the pain centralized? Is it time to re-evaluate? If not and your method is working for you, that is great! If your method isn't working, and this post has helped you in some way, then I am happy. That was my only goal in posting it.

Happiness and Inspiration

Pain can sometimes be depressing. For that matter, so can life. Everyone has problems and situations in this world, no matter who the person is. I personally think speed bumps along the way make us grow and teach us lessons in life. Think about all the lessons you've learned from hard times. Have you learned as many from good times? However, it is the happy times that keep us going and give us inspiration. What do you do for inspiration? Do you often dwell on migraines and the pain they cause, or do you allow yourself to enjoy what life gives you? If chronic pain has caused you to crawl into a hole, first of all, it is time to begin to heal. Also, it's time to remember the joys in life again. I'm not talking about picking up hobbies again, although maybe that would be great! I'm talking about viewing conversations with people differently. When you enter a room with new faces, do you wonder if people are going to like you, or do you just assume they will because you are a likable person? Do you have faith that situations are going to work out for you, or do you believe that you just have the worst luck? When a negative thought enters your mind, push it out and replace it with a positive one. If a big presentation or meeting is coming up, have faith that it will go well, not the opposite. Whatever it takes for you to begin thinking this way, start it today. I personally get my inspiration by watching Joel Osteen every Sunday. His telecast puts me in a great mood that lasts all week long. I also make sure to spend plenty of quality time with friends and family. They are the people who really care.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Migraine-Friendly Fast Food?

There really isn't any migraine-free fast food. However, Chipotle is not nearly as bad as a burger and fries or chicken nuggets with dipping sauce. Even a grilled chicken sandwich at a fast food restaurant can be an MSG bomb. Chipotle makes everything from scratch with high quality meat, and everything is free of additives or preservatives. It's true! Check their website. The meat is marinated in a chipotle pepper adobo, which probably contains citrus and vinegar. Remember, though, that some of that is cooked out again when the meat is grilled, and it is still MSG-free. What you have to be careful with are the toppings. Sour cream and avocado contain tyramine by nature, and the salsas have a lot of onions and vinegar in them. The refried beans are cooked with bacon, so that is a definite NO! Even the corn has onions in it. I encourage you to check the Chipotle website to find out what is in every food they serve, then order accordingly. I wouldn't eat Chipotle very often, and especially not in the beginning stages of the diet. Remember, the diet must be strictly adhered to in the beginning for it to work, so chipotle adobo marinade isn't going to help you. However, later on as a special treat, or when you are in a real pinch and don't have any food with you, Chipotle may be a suitable fast food option. The best option is to make your own food.