Gluten free in Italy? No chance!

So if any of you have read my previous blogs you would know that my last holiday was a total and utter disaster! The one where I flew to LA and Vegas and spent the whole time tucked up in a hotel room taking hourly trips to visit the ice machine in an attempt to try to ease my headache. This was whilst my friends partied the night away alongside Calvin Harris drinking Veuve Clicquot until the early hours of the morning in true Vegas style. EPIC FAIL! In hindsight and being realistic, perhaps it was a little too much for me too soon. Anyhow last year we received an invite for a friend’s wedding in Ravello Italy. Now after my last venture I have to say I was apprehensive about going anywhere, but I’ve recently regained some of my confidence so I decided to give it a go, besides, it was completely different from travelling 16 hours to the other side of the world with a twelve-hour time difference! In my mind, a relaxed little trip to the quaint villages of the Amalfi Coast Italy was something I hoped I could handle.

As I woke the morning before we were due to depart, I felt that seemingly familiar feeling of a migraine wash over me. I have to admit it was only a very mild one but still panic, sadness and disappointment filled my being as I confirmed to myself that I had failed before I had even begun. After popping my usual pill combination, I wallowed in self-pity for most of the day before I mustered up an ounce of positivity before bed, deciding a good night’s sleep might be enough to put me back on track. And do you know what, it actually was! To my surprise even after arriving at the airport and not getting on the morning flight (due to standby travel), travelling back home again, attempting the afternoon flight six hours later, then a five-hour flight, followed by a three and a half hour drive, I STILL arrived migraine free! Ok, I did have a headache (that was to be expected after such a long day) but the migraine had vanished. This led to me think that perhaps the migraine had been caused by my anxiety pre-empting the trip or maybe as I believed I would get a migraine I actually did?

Anyway as we awoke with tired eyes from the previous day we threw some clothes on and found our way to breakfast on the roof terrace in which we were greeted with this stunning view! Wow, we had been told the Amalfi Coast was beautiful but this was truly something else.



As we took in our surroundings we made our way to the mini buffet the B&B had put on, at which point I realised a week eating sugar free, gluten free, wheat free and dairy free might be a bit of a challenge. Actually that’s a massive understatement, it would be near on impossible! As I nearly dribbled at the display of cakes, pastries, muffins, quiches, tarts, waffles and pancakes, I reached over to the fruit bowl and decanted nearly all if it onto my plate. Back at home I really hadn’t craved or longed for anything other than my newly reformed diet but suddenly all I could think about was sugar and pastry! “Step away from the cakes” I told myself firmly and proceeded to devour my bowl of fruit.

We had two days in Ravello before the wedding so we set out to explore the beautiful town nestled in the hills. As we walked through the old cobbled streets admiring the displays of local olive oils and Limoncello, I thought to myself just how lucky I was to be in Italy with my husband feeling well enough to enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t one hundred percent but I was migraine free. I had to make sure though that I kept up my Dr Joe meditations and my yoga, to manage any tension headaches. Recently I have found that it’s not actually the migraines causing me a problem anymore, (which I understand is huge progress as they are pretty much gone now), however I constantly seem to have tight neck and shoulder muscles which I can feel is giving me a nagging headache. Goodness knows what I do to get them tight in the first place? Anyway that’s another blog I’m sure…

So as the wedding day arrived, the sun shone at its brightest and the view out to sea glistened quite spectacularly. After having a quiet morning we went out for some lunch at a local restaurant on a beautiful terrace to make sure our tummies were full for the day ahead. At this point after eating only fruit and the occasional plain yogurt for breakfast, I felt I needed something to set me up for the long day ahead so I broke the rules and had the most delicious plate of homemade seafood pasta which I couldn’t eat quick enough. Sometimes as a migraineur you have to balance the need for being full or else you could get a migraine and the need for eating the right food. Today I felt it was more important I was full for the day ahead.

The wedding day was an absolute dream and for once I was headache free all day. I know, I couldn’t believe it myself! This was even after a ceremony in the 30 degree heat, a selection of mouth-watering canapés, some fruity pink bubbles, a five course Italian feast, a slice of lemon cake, some irresistible mini sweet canapés and finishing off with some serious dancing until midnight. As we walked home with my shoes in hand down the quiet cobbled streets, I kept repeating “thank you” over and over in my head for being able to enjoy such a special day. For once I actually felt like a normal person again.

Huge congratulations to the happy couple Paul and Helena and we are so lucky we got to share your special day with you. It was truly spectacular!

After the wedding we had four more nights to explore Italy some more. We stayed up in Sant’Agata in the hills positioned between Sorrento and Positano so we could easily reach both towns. Now if you’ve never been to this part of the world… you have to go! The coastline was breath-taking and nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Over the next four days in some way I had a headache. A mild aching type of tension headache I would call it, but it wasn’t enough to stop us from getting out and about and exploring the area. We just took it at my pace which meant we didn’t see all of the sights but I guess we can always come back can’t we? The funny thing was, on the day we left my tension headache vanished! This has led me to think that maybe some of my headaches are caused by anxiety or maybe it was that ton of mozzarella and Palma hame we ate?

At some points in our trip my headaches did start to get me down but I had to remind myself that when I look at the bigger picture I have really come so far. Three years ago I was having five to six debilitating migraines a month that could last for up to a week, be absolutely unbearable in pain and would take me three to four days to recover afterwards. Now I maybe have two migraines a month, that I can’t really even call migraines as I no longer get much pain but only the sensation and I seem to recover the very next day. Progress? I definitely think so!

#Italy #Headaches #Ravello #Wedding #Travel #Health #Recovery #Progress #Healing




1 Comment

  1. I spend a lot of holidays in France and Italy, and its certainly a challenge to get close to eating Keto. However I have gotten better at it.

    We now generally stay in AirBnB’s, so I can prepare my own breakfasts and lunches. Then on the night if we go out, I can usually get some Steak & Veg….. however when in Italy who am I to refuse Gelato!!!


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