The 1983 Study that completely eliminated migraines in 78/88 children using just diet…
What about the 1979 study of migraineurs that suffered for 20 years and after doing an elimination diet 85% became completely headache free and 100% improved?
And the 2007 food allergen study that had 44 of 47 migraineurs completely stop having migraines altogether?
There’s something here…
But there are thousands upon thousands of diets out there, how do you know which one will work for you?
And can a diet give us freedom from the migraine monster?
Atkins, paleo, south beach, low fat, high fat, elimination, high protein, high carb etc etc etc….
But how can that be?
How can there be so many different diets?
At the end of the day it comes down to you.
Just as different as we are on the outside, we are on the inside.
For example, we know fiber is good for us, but too much is bad and for some people, fiber makes everything worse and will aggravate bowels to give you those hair trigger migraines…
So why is this?
Why does one person’s ideal healthful and healing diet consist of meats and fats and why does someone elses consist largely of vegetables and fruits?
It can be a complex answer especially in cases of chronic diseases where our body is trying to deal with things like bacterial, viral and fungal infections…
But I’ll make it simple for the majority of us.
It comes down to nature + nurture.
Our nature is the genetic blueprint we received from our ancestors and how their bodies, bowels and genes adapted to the environments they lived in.
For example, if your ancestors are norwegian then they only had fruits and vegetables available in some of the summer months because as soon as the ground froze their entire source of food would have become wild game like rabbits, deer, elk, fish etc.
This means that over time their bodies would naturally adapt and the microorganisms in their guts would change to be able to break down and absorb more of the proteins and fats in animals.
But if your ancestors are Thai and fruits and vegetables grew all year long in abundance then they would have adapted to a diet of more fruit, vegetables and fish.
We can call this natural genetic inclination to certain foods to be our primal pattern diet.
We live our lives and come into contact with nurture.
Nurture becomes an extremely strong force for our bodies day to day adaptation to environment and with millions of cells dying and regenerating a second we can change in our nutritional needs VERY quickly.
For example, if I hit a heavy workout comprising some cardio, low reps with high intensity, extended eccentric motions on my lifts and a stretching and rolling out routine after (all of this basically means it was a hard workout) then my body will switch from wanting fruits and vegetables to needing muscle meats and organs and I will not recover and repair properly without them.
But the reverse is true too.
If I do nothing but lay around, don’t have much physical strain and have no need for the healing and repairing mechanisms of my body to be on full power, then I can easily get through a day on some nice and light fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrition and help me detoxify.
This is also true with the seasons. When the weather is hot and sunny, we have little appetite for heavy foods and meats. We want something light and sweet like fruit.
But when it gets cold , when the ground freezes and snow falls, we need those heavy hardy foods to sustain us and keep us warm and balanced.
So this is where we meet ourselves today.
This gives us a simple and practical way to approach nutrition.
When we can take the basics of nutrition like eating whole foods, going organic, only eating pastured and wild meats, and making sure we listen to our bodies MANY signs and symptoms of satisfaction or anger after meals…
Then we can apply nature + nurture.
Then we can look at our ancestry and see the area our forefathers lived and combine it with the stresses of the day and reactions of our body.
But then again generalities can be wrong because in reality you are still an individual.
You are still on your own journey with your own stresses and problems so the most important part is to check in with your body and learn to recognize the many MANY signs and symptoms it gives us that the meal was good or bad.
Symptoms of a bad meal include:
– Abdominal Pain
– Aggravation of any symptoms
– Loose Stools
– Brain fog
– Low energy
– Poor sleep
Symptoms of a good meal include:
– A clear hum of energy lasting at least 4-5 hours
– A solid fluffy light brown poop with a natural odor
– Lowering of inflammation
– Calm balanced mood
– Clear thoughts
– Slowly building resilience to triggers
It’s really that simple to eat well but it begins with taking a step in the right direction and finding out what should be on your plate for the individual that is you and not just what’s in the fridge.
This is part 1 of a series on diet so be sure to check in for the next article talking about how to eat to support migraines.
Holistic Health PractitionerMark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.