Now if you’re anything like me during a migraine, my willpower goes completely out the window! I go from being this super health conscious kale eating semi vegan, to a crazy sugar possessed woman who just needs a sweet fix NOW! So after learning that processed sugary treats would only in fact make my migraine worse, I set out to find a healthy alternative that would still leave me satisfied.
Since I’ve started my holistic nutrition course at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I have been alarmed at the effects that refined sugars, flours and processed foods are having on our bodies. I had no idea that these foods can cause widespread inflammation which is the last thing that someone who suffers with migraines needs. Us migraineurs must work to reduce these foods and increase anti-inflammatory foods instead to our diets.
During a migraine I always feel pretty low and I’m sure so many others can relate to this. I become angry at life and feel like the world is against me so I used to seek food as comfort to make myself feel better, or so I thought! My old routine during a migraine would be to make a huge bowl of pasta in some sort of creamy dairy filled sauce with very little vegetables, followed by anything sweet I could get my hands on whether it be cake, ice cream or my favourite of all, pancakes! For a short period after eating these foods it would almost numb the pain. The rush in sugars almost acted for me as a temporary high but within half an hour the pain was back, and most of the time it was even worse than before. I would say this has been my routine for the majority of the years I have suffered with chronic migraines, simply unaware that what I really needed mid migraine would be a meal that would fight inflammation and help my body recover, not make it worse. Ideally something like a homemade leafy green soup or maybe a fruit smoothie packed full of antioxidents from strawberries and blueberries to fight the migraine. That slab of left over cheesecake in the fridge was actually doing me more harm than good. Oh if I only knew then what I do now, things may have been very different.
So much is emphasised to migraineurs about food triggers and to avoid them at all costs (which naturally we all do of course), but I don’t see anywhere in migraine related self-help books or advice, that reducing inflammatory foods from your diet may actually prevent you from having the migraines in the first place! Did you know that sugar, white bread, milk and gluten, increase inflammation in the body? Another big inflammatory cause is trans fats which are literally hidden in everything. Found in commercially produced muffins, cakes, biscuits, doughnuts, cookies, crisps, chips and so much more. Pretty much anything you buy in a supermarket that hasn’t come out of the fresh fruit section has either had the nutrients taken out after endless processing, or trans fats added to it to increase its shelf life and to save companies money. Seriously, the more I learn about what is put in our food the more I want to just buy some land, become a farm and grow my own fruit and vegetables and never eat anything else. Nice idea but pretty difficult considering I live in the desert! I think this is why I love cooking at home so much as I can prepare the food myself, I know where it comes from and I can cook it exactly the way I want to without it being processed to death!
Anyway, back to my original point. Instead of turning to those pancakes or the left over apple pie in the fridge nanny Sue made, why don’t you try making some of these delicious energy balls? They are so easy to make and you can turn to in your time of need. Just pop them in the freezer and when you fancy one take it out and allow it 5 minutes to defrost (if you can wait that long!). Most of the time I can’t! Now you might be sceptical but hear me out, these little balls along with a nice cup of tea (herbal of course!) will give you that sugar fix you crave but with no highs or lows that will make your migraine worse.
Now who’s a fan of Haagen Dazs salted caramel ice cream? Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Well, these little treasures are the next best thing! Check out the simple steps below to make these mini comfort balls with just 3 ingredients!
180 grams of pitted dates – Ideally Khidri or Medjool
14o grams of salted cashews
2 tablespoons of water
- Remove the pit from the dates and cut them in half to make it easier for your food processor to do its job! (Unless you have a super dooper one and then don’t worry)
- Add the cashews and dates to the food processor along with a tablespoon of water
- Press blend!!!
- Give the mixture a stir maybe adding the second tablespoon of water if needed
- Press blend again and ta dahhhh, they are done!! Now just roll them into balls
- Lastly use some desiccated coconut or grated coconut and let them roll around to give them a lovely coating!
- EAT and enjoy!!!!!!
#Migraine #Foodie #Dates #Nuts #Nutrition #SweetTreat #Healthy