Tag Archives: msg

A Brief Paleo Query

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I have suffered from migraines since I was four years old. They are a family trait–my father had them growing up and then grew out of them, his sisters still get them–and I spent most of my life assuming these debilitating headaches were just another thing about life that aren’t fair.

But after years of having sometimes 5 migraines a week and my doctors being absolutely useless, my mom and I started tracking my headaches and figuring out my triggers. Over the years I’ve compiled a list of not all, but most of the things that cause my headaches:

  • Foods with Nitrates/Nitrites: hot dogs, sausage, etc.
  • Aged cheese: Parmesan, quality cheddar, etc.
  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive hunger (normally going for 6 hours or more without eating will knock me on my ass)
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Too Much Sleep
  • Vinegar (I still use it, but in small doses, and I don’t eat entire jars of pickles anymore)
  • Crying (yes, crying)
  • Splenda, aspartame, and other sugar substitutes
  • MSG

I have pretty much eliminated all of these triggers, but there’s one that no matter what I do, for the life of me, I can’t control it, and believe me, I’ve tried–rain dances, prayer, Wicca: The Weather.

I call myself the Human Barometer. Especially between the months of May and September, I can wake up in the morning, and depending on the pressure in my face I can tell you with 90% certainty if it is going to rain or storm that day. Uh-huh, I can tell the difference between storm pressure and rain pressure. I’m that good (or bad, depending on how you look at it). For some reason, my body’s response to any threat is a migraine. If I have a cold or even a nasty infection in a cut, I will get a migraine. The pressure on my sinuses is the same. I can deal with a nagging sinus headache, but when it blooms into a migraine and suddenly light is my worst enemy and my stomach is tossing and turning, I am out for the count.

I’ve gotten pretty good at noticing the signs of a looming migraine, and normally drinking some caffeinated tea or taking an Excedrin will stave it off. But every once in a while one creeps up on me and smacks me across the face.

That happened last night.

By the time I realized what was happening, I was grabbing my head moaning, “Stop hurting, stop hurting…” and I was dry heaving. The only way I managed to fall asleep last night was by pressing a pillow into my eye sockets to take off some of the pressure.

Sleep used to be the trusty cure for my headaches, but these weather induced ones like to hang on, sometimes for days. So this morning I woke up feeling like my head weighed 40 pounds, and the headache spread around my skull the moment I sat up. I’ve taken some pain killers, but what I really need to do is eat, and I am so nauseated I can’t bear the thought of eating anything, let alone something paleo-approved.

I need to be able to take care of children here (I am at work as I type; one baby is sleeping, the other is watching Sesame Street on the couch next to me) so I drank a glass of milk, and I already feel less sick and the painkillers are finally working a bit. But I really need some solid food so, what can I eat when I am nauseous that is on track with paleo?

When I’m feeling ill, my go-to foods have traditionally be ramen noodles, toast, and crackers or tortilla chips. I could just eat them on these rare occasions, I know it won’t immediately condemn me to a life of unwellness and obesity. But I’d like to have other options. Why put toxins in my body when I’m already feeling ill? There must beĀ  something comforting and tummy-friendly that paleo eaters can be happy about. Suggestions?

Someone? Anyone? HELP!!

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