Archive for the ‘Food’ Tag

Warning: Flax isn’t always good for a body   2 comments

Flax

Flax (Photo credit: bwmaddog21)

You know… I really hate health food some times!

People just assume that if it is good for one, it’s good for all.

And the FDA does a horrible job at keeping up with the need to label allergens.

As much as EVERYONE is on the flax is the perfect food bandwagon, you have to be careful what you eat.

Twice I have gotten very sick by eating/ingesting healthy things.

The first time was when I took a natural decongestant when I lived in TN.  It had bee pollen in it and I blew out an ear drum a few weeks before moving away to grad school.

Flax seed

Flax seed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other time was, at the instance of a then-boyfriend who was a health food freak, when I started taking flax-seed oil supplements and eating bread made from flax-seed.  He insisted that it was a “bad” batch of flax until I found a site from Andrew Weil that said it was possible.  I didn’t want to go to the ER so I made him stay up all night with me, to make sure that I could breathe as my throat closed.

And what did I learn?  Never date a guy who insisted on things I did not feel comfortable with … like crazy “health” remedies that felt counter intuitive.  And get to the doctor when you are not sure…

My point is, if you are intuitive at all, do your own research and go within to decide what you need to do about your own body… don’t let someone try to force you to do a treatment (of any kind) that you don’t feel is safe.  Don’t fall for gimmicks that promise the moon and will most likely not even deliver moon rocks!

Here is a blog post that disguises her experiences with flax.

Learn from our lessons.  When in doubt, research, research, research!

http://allergyfoodie.com/2010/03/16/uncommon-allergies-flax-seed/

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Here’s What Harvard Says About Healthy Eating   2 comments

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/ — the article where I found this diagram

Remember that health institutions put out guidelines for the general public.  I do believe that some people do better with some foods or should totally avoid some foods.

I think this is a great depiction of what a plate should look like.  Research shows that most women with migraines tend to eat high carb, high fat diets and I am sure there are a lot of reasons why… comfort and the ease of digestion come to mind first.

Be smart.  Don’t be extreme.  Listen to your body.  Breathe.  Drink water.  Manage Stress.  Love some one or something… or practice lovingkindness to all beings.

For Love. . .   3 comments

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

cold-cuts-photo-from-alex-belths-bronx-banter-blog

(Things to Avoid List Below)

Things are so much easier to do when you are doing them out of love… or for someone you love.

I guess I must have loved myself enough to do all this research…. but I am sharing it because someone I love has pain issues and I don’t ever want someone to feel un-empowered.

We might be able to take away pain, but we can take away suffering.

My neurologist only did so much… well, he took me off of 7 different medications that could have killed me. . . that’s a lot. He told me dead on though that if I thought foods were a trigger, I needed to solve that on my own.

There were so many things that the pain psychologist, pain specialist, biofeedback technician, primary doctor, etc didn’t do and well, all I can say is I am grateful to Google and other search engines.

We can become empowered when we learn… doctors usually don’t take the time to teach which is a shame.  When I told the pain specialist, I want to figure out what part of my pain I am causing and figure out ways to stop it, he looked at me with a blank look… then he proceeded to say… well, you’re more sophisticated than most of my clients, they just want me to fix them and they won’t take any of the blame.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, it’s not about blame, it’s about responsibility, it’s about being an agent of change!

Never will I have a doctor (or anyone else tell me)… I’m sorry… it will be like this forever, there is nothing you can do.

Why?

Because even if I was diagnosed with something that could end my life, I still have choices, I still have my attitude, I still have my breath, and I still have hope.

Now, I’m not talking blind hope or something like denial.  I’m talking hope… the kind I had when I trusted my acupuncturist, like when I trusted my physical therapist and massage therapist.  Like when I trusted myself to keep data and do my homework, including reading everything that was out there.

These foods can create difficulties for a number of reasons:  having histamine responses, being high in tyramine, tannins, nitrates, etc.  And not all of these foods will bother you.  But this can give you a guideline.

Interestingly, if you look at diets suggested for some health conditions, like rosacea, there are a lot of similarities.. well, many diseases have at their root inflammation and so similar things will trigger inflammatory responses.

Now, I make my own choices… if I am craving pizza, (can you tell that I love pizza I keep writing about it)… I make sure I don’t do something silly like eat it with a bowl of soup or with a big salad with lots of cheese.  I can still have a headache, but I minimize the possible effects.  And I know to take my migraine medicine before hand.  I don’t make a practice of it but if the craving is there, I’ve tried some mindful eating, and it persists, I don’t beat myself up any more… I take cautious action.

So, I’m going to give you another tool… A list of Foods to Avoid if you have symptoms of migraine headaches.  Here it is:  foods to avoid Sheet1

I spoke with someone I love today and promised this list… so here it is to anyone who reads this blog.

I hope it helps you to feel empowered to change your own health.

I hope it helps you to find safety, deep peace, joy, and lasting success.

What’s next?  A list of foods that are usually safe.  YES, there are safe foods.

So, may this be a labor of love for the people in my life that have pain, particularly migraines.  May the merit of my work and my words bring some comfort and ease to others.

Namaste!

Posted March 31, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

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How Whole is It?   4 comments

Here is a great post on getting back to eating whole foods… not full of chemicals and not processed.

Can we get back to basics and stop living at full throttle?  Can we stop running and start savoring?

Why do we take our health for granted?

I know too many of us who have had to do radical things to get back to health rather than learn to be health….

So what’s it going to be radical or real?

Peace, Jen

Posted March 15, 2012 by Namaste -- Seeking Peace in Uncategorized

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Migraines: Have you thought about being what you eat?   3 comments

Mercat de la Boqueria, sweets, nuts and dried ...

Image via Wikipedia

Have you thought about what triggers your migraines?  For me, food was a huge trigger. . . I have so much to say on this subject but to get us going, I wanted to leave you a list of foods that are known food triggers for many people.  There are several reasons why these foods are on the list:

  • high tannins
  • high tyramine levels
  • glutamates of some kind (natural and free or MSG)
  • things like citrus that have antihistamine properties
  • foods that are more likely to have a higher mold content. . .

My best advice is to do an elimination diet. Take each of these classes of food out of your diet for a month and then reintroduce them one at a time.

Keep in mind that one food might be your trigger, but the more triggers you pile on top of each other, the more likely you will be to experience a migraine.  For instance, once in a while, I can add a little goat cheese to food for flavor and be fine.  But if I had a salad with walnuts, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar (add greens, apples/pear and I just described my favorite salad), I am most likely going to experience a headache as everything except the greens and apple or pears are migraine triggers.  I make sure I would never temp fate when I know that the barometric pressure is going wacky, I’m under a lot of stress, I haven’t been sleeping well, etc.

Learn your triggers.  In a couple of days, I will explain how I deal with trigger foods and cravings.

Here is the list of known triggers:

  • Aged Cheeses
  • Leftovers
  • Alcohol
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Nuts
  • Tuna (canned), Dried or smoked fish
  • Sourdough, freak baked yeast goodies
  • Ripe fruit including:  bananas, citrus, papaya, red plums, raspberries, kiwis, pineapple
  • Dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates)
  • Any soup made from beef or chicken broth that you don’t make at home*
  • Cultured dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk
  • Caffeine
  • Artificial Sweetners (Stevia, etc don’t seem to count)
  • Cold Cuts
  • Pickles
  • Vinegar

So, I certainly wouldn’t want to add dried fruit to that salad I mentioned above.  What else… think about a quick dinner out… suppose you want pizza and a salad or pizza and soup…

let’s look at that.. if you go out, you don’t know what’s in the soup but you can probably bet that there is MSG in the broth… if it doesn’t have MSG (suppose it’s organic soup, a really good quality one… it might have yeast extract that breaks down in your body like MSG…).

Okay, you pass on the soup… but, maybe you’re like me and  and love pizza (I can’t help it, I’m from the East Coast)…  but the crust is a hot yeast bread, store bought sauce (most likely with MSG or a substitute), cheese, and if you eat meat or mushrooms. . . you have a little slice of heavenly triggers galore!!!!

If you have to have your pizza, don’t eat it with other trigger foods… maybe skip the have a white pizza … garlic, olive oil, spinach, ricotta cheese, and ask them to go light on the mozzarella.

I know it’s a bummer to think about having to make behavioral changes… but I think of some wise words when I want to whine about it… When I was a drug and alcohol  counselor, I listened to a recovering person who said this about going to AA meetings:  “you know if you went to talk to parents of a child with cancer and you told them to go to a meeting every day, have multiple cups of coffee, smoke cigarettes, follow some steps, and read a big book, every parent in the world would do it in a heart beat. . . so why don’t we?”

That puts things in perspective for me.  I want to whine about the past and going to a Jewish deli for a roast beef, thousand island, provolone, cole slaw sandwich on rye bread and how I can’t have that piece of “home.”… and then I think about it… is having that bit of my history worth pain for several days?  I’d rather think of my best friends and my long lost family members, St. Mary’s seafront walk way, the Autumn leaves, and driving to Vermont to get homemade jelly. . . that’s what is important.

I’m a better person when I work to minimize my pain and suffering.  It’s my choice and I chose to be healthy!!!

Please let us know which of these are real triggers for you.. because not all of them will be…  Good luck!

Come back in a few days to see what foods are safe for most people!