Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No time to cook?

You may have noticed that I've been lagging a little with the posts. That's because I've been working...a lot...and researching, and spending time with my children, among life's other activities. While trying to keep up with my busy schedule, I found it difficult at times to follow the diet. I'm sure many of you are faced with the same dilemma. Many of these weeks I was able to cook all of my meals on Sunday, or Saturday, whichever worked best with my schedule, and freeze them until I could thaw them for my family and I to enjoy near dinner time. For lunch, I would simply pack a lunch for the next day before going to bed every night. This worked really well for awhile, until my job required me to work on Saturdays too, and then on Sundays I had activities with extended family, so my whole week's worth of meals was blown because I couldn't cook. What do you do when you simply can't prepare meals? I had to learn to be creative, and it took a little time to become acclimated to the foods available to me because I was so used to cooking. Here are a few tips:

1) Visit a grocery store salad bar. You are able to choose your own toppings, healthier lettuce and vegetables instead of what you typically find in salads prepared for you, and you can grab it and go! Plus, you can grab as much or as little as you want, along with some fruit if you like.

2) Subway has a great tuna sandwich on flatbread with only mayonnaise, no onions. I learned about this from a fellow migraine sufferer. You can also enjoy their veggie sandwich on flatbread.

3) Don't be afraid to make eggs for dinner. They cook very fast and provide lean protein. Serve with vegetables and whole grain bread. Serve with fruit too if you like!

4) My taco recipe cooks very fast. To make it faster, leave out the shallots and add a little more garlic powder. Don't forget the cumin!

5) Kids don't mind having cereal for dinner (healthy cereal) - in fact they'll love you for it. It has calcium, whole grains and protein if served in milk. Serve some fruit with it and you have a great meal.

6) Fruits and vegetables don't HAVE to be cooked. Kids will eat raw fruit as a treat, and we should too. They'll also eat raw vegetables if dipped in ranch, so make plenty of my ranch dressing to have on hand for healthy eating.

7) Chipotle isn't too bad as fast food restaurants go either. Their food is made without by-products and hormones. Avoid the Barbacoa and limit the onions and salsa, and your meal shouldn't be too bad for you. Oh, don't forget to avoid the sour cream too. I wouldn't do this too often, though. Save it for a once-in-awhile treat, maybe after your headaches are fairly well under control. Their meat is basically still seasoned and marinated. However, it is much better than "fast food," as it is quality food, from what I can tell.

8) Maybe you have time in the morning but not later in the day? Put a pot roast in the crock-pot, or vegetable-beef stew, or anything else you have a recipe for, so that it is ready for you when you come home.

Take food with you when you can't cook, and when you only have a little bit of time to cook, cook something fast. I found myself cheating too much a couple of times, and I wound up in bed. Don't let this happen to you.


  1. Great advice! And I LOOOOVE Chipotle. :)

  2. Thanks! Hope you are doing well. :)

  3. Hi Heidi,

    I have just finished Dr. Buchholz's book and am on Day 2 of the diet (using your cookbook!). I have done a ton of research and grocery shopping the past week or 2 to get my head around what I can and can't eat. I am still very confused about one thing. You use mayonnaise a lot in recipes in your book. However I haven't been able to find a mayo brand without lemon juice, which is a trigger... what brand do you use? Is it available at Whole Foods?

    Thank you so much for your cookbook and all you do. I suffer from chronic daily headaches and migraines to the point where I rarely have relief. I am hoping and praying this diet will help. Even a 50% reduction in pain would be amazing.

    Thank you!!!!!

  4. Hello! I hope that like myself and many others, you find relief in the 1 2 3 Program, and I have faith that you will. No one should have to live with daily headaches, and I'm sorry you have suffered. I am asked about mayonnaise often, because as far as I can tell, there isn't one available without lemon juice in it. However, there is such a tiny amount of lemon juice in each jar that I wouldn't worry about it. You can always make your own, but since you'll be making a lot of things, you might want to give yourself a break with the mayonnaise. I hope that helps. Have fun preparing yummy meals, and thank you for your cookbook purchase!

    Best wishes,

  5. Heidi, Thank you for your wonderful book and the great info in your blog. I, too, have found relief following the migraine diet. I recently cheated and had a decaf coffee drink and got a mild headache. I was trying to find out what else besides the trace amount of caffeine might have been a trigger and found a little info about phytoestrogens. Do you know anything about phytoestrogens? Dr. Buchholz doesn't mention anything in his book. Thanks for all your work and wise advice. Kari

  6. I was wondering about coconut oil and coconut milk...I was thinking since soy oil is okay....what do you think? What has been people's reactions?


  7. Hi Kari and Angela. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I have been away on a trip.

    Kari, decaf coffee (and coffee) has naturally occurring chemicals in it that can trigger migraines in some people, like theobromine and theophylline. I wouldn't worry too much about phytoestrogens, as they are found in many places other than coffee, and on the whole are considered to be naturally occurring and beneficial.

    Angela, I've been asked about coconut oil before, and the answer is that no one really knows. I wish I had a better answer. I would avoid coconut milk for sure, but for now coconut oil is deemed safe. If you happen to experience a reaction, then of course, avoid it.

    I hope that helps.

  8. Obviously with a ill health and that of migraine there may be days when you can not cook.Lovely ideas here I think the family members must co operate with these.

  9. Yes, it definitely helps to have family support.

  10. Speaking of lemon: I am wondering if "lemon flavor" is OK? For example, lemon cake mixes and lemon candies contain natural or artificial lemon flavoring. Especially if the flavoring is artificial (and thus made from chemicals), then there would not be any actual lemon in it. Does this mean that it would not contain any tyramine? Because tyramine comes from the amino acid tyrosine and I doubt they would add tyrosine or tyramine to the flavoring. Please correct me if my thinking is wrong on this. Thank you!

  11. Hi Sally. Yes, your thinking is correct on this. If it is natural lemon added, and it is only a little bit, then it is probably okay, especially in later stages of the diet, but lemon flavoring is always okay.

  12. How about lemon oil made from the rind? It is used in a fish oil supplement that I want to try.

  13. I do have a few questions. You talk about being able to get the flat bread with tuna at the (flatbread) is OK and their tuna is Ok (not preserved in hydrolyzed protein, etc)? I ask, because after a month of diving into this diet, I've still got SO MUCH to learn. Is cream of wheat Ok, and if so is the (instant) cream of what ok? Does "natural flavors" ALWAYS mean MSG on ANYTHING?? I have been making EVERYTHING homemade for a month now and I study labels o so carefully. Oh, what about gum/breathmeants? I have found so many that say they contain phenelythalamine. What about the herbal teas? Which ones are safe? Sorry, so many questions. For the most part I've been able to follow the diet to a T for a month now...but there are still some things that confuse me. Help, please.

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