Welcome to the Monday Migraine Miracle Minute, where we’ll catch you up on the happenings of the past week!
Primal Provisions Recipe Pick of the Week
[RELATED: Looking for the simplest, easiest, and least time consuming way to get started with the Migraine Miracle plan without any guesswork? Click here to check out Primal Provisions, our weekly meal planning service.]
Facebook Group Discussion
This week for our Facebook excerpt, we’re actually taking a topic from our most recent KETOBLAST Facebook group:
Q: How much of an impact do carbs from non-starchy veggies really have on ketosis? Is a carb just a carb? I’ve been limiting my veggie intake in order to stay near the recommended limits, but I feel like cutting back on veggies may not be in my best health interest.
A: Yes, strictly in terms of ketosis, a carb is just a carb no matter the source (a leafy green or a starchy root veg.)
This is a very good question, and raises a few important issues, along with perhaps a misconception or two that hopefully I can clear up. So I say all this to say…be prepared for a lengthy answer!
First off, it’s entirely possible to get your “5 a day”, or even “100 a day” and stay in ketosis.
All that’s required is that you’re mindful of what veggies you eat, avoiding the higher carb ones that could knock you out of ketosis.
However, the happy coincidence is that, in general, the most nutrient dense plants also so happen to be the ones that are low carb, and there are LOTS of choices when it comes to low carb veggies. But you could spend your entire day chewing mustard greens or arugula and not knock yourself out of ketosis.
But let’s step back and ask why the “5 a day” recommendation exists to begin with, which is to help ensure that one is getting their full complement of nutrients in their diet.
So perhaps a related question is can one get their full complement of nutrients without consuming 5 servings of fruits and veg a day, or even just eating no plant matter at all? The answer is yes.
Remember, for humans, the most nutrient dense things we eat comes from animals. There’s a reason our ancestors spend their days obsessing over hunting animals and not kale (and we likely owe our disproportionately large brains and unique cognitive abilities to that obsession!).
On the scale of nutrient density, no plant comes close to things like chicken liver, or a whole sardine, or an egg yolk (which contains ALL the nutrients required to build a vertebrate animal….).
But, if you aren’t eating your “5 a day”, you must be mindful that you are eating in a way that provides the full complement of nutrients, which means eating more than just the flesh of animals (meat and fat), and also supplementing with things that are packed with nutrients like egg yolks, organ meats, whole fish.
Of course, the same is true for the “5 a day” rec. as well. You’re certainly not going to get the full complement of nutrients by eating red and delicious apples and iceberg lettuce (side note – a great book on the subject is “Eating on the Wild Side”, which reviews how through farming, we’ve bred many fruits and vegetables for sweetness, is so doing dramatically reduced their nutritional value compared to their wild ancestors.).
Lastly, I want to make sure folks don’t have the impression that I’m not in favor of eating plants. I eat a far greater amount and variety of fruits and vegetables than I did before changing my diet, and have shifted away from the nutrient poor ones.
So to summarize this first point, I’m not at all concerned about getting my full complement of nutrients while eating ketogenic range carbs.
Beast Slayer of the Week
We’d also love to share a great story by someone who has made the commitment to find the path to Migraine Freedom! This great news was posted by Beast Slayer Jan R.:
“Spreading the Miracle. Went to my GP Friday. He anticipated I was there for scripts until I told him I was off the Nexium and migraine meds and that the frequency and intensity of headaches had dropped hugely in just 6 weeks. We talked about good fats and sugar and he didn’t really seem surprised at the positive change in my health. I took the book and he had a really good look at it and took down the details so he could give them to other migraine patients. He even suggested I spread the word!”
An excerpt from The Chatter:
Q: The only headache medication I’ve taken in a month has been aspirin. When I’ve got to work or go out and I’m getting a headache I’ve been taking two aspirin, lying down for half an hour if possible and doing relaxation meditation. It seems to work, but I’ve been doing it about twice a week. Is this extending my rebound headaches? I don’t feel like I have rebound. If I wasn’t taking it would I be better off in the long run? Or can I consider that I’m lucky the headaches are so mild now that a couple of aspirin and a lie down do the trick? Thanks Dr T, it really is a migraine miracle.
A: I think, first of all, you should congratulate yourself! It sounds like you’ve made significant progress, particularly if you’ve weaned off of prescription medications for headache, which as you know are typically the worse offenders when it comes to headaches.
And let me begin by just saying: getting past rebound headaches is HARD! I’ve said before that rebound is easy to get into (VERY!) and hard to get out of. Which is precisely why it’s become such an enormous problem. On top of that are all the cultural forces that reinforce it.
There’s also the fact that rebound is a poorly defined condition. I’ll be writing more about this soon, but in my opinion what we currently label as rebound, aka “medication overuse headache (MOH),” represents the end of a large spectrum when we’re dealing with the effects of abortive meds on migraine vulnerability.
So with what you’ve described, you wouldn’t meet a strict definition for MOH. In other words, it could be worse. Is it likely that the aspirin is still rendering you somewhat more vulnerable to a future attack? Probably. But NOT to the same degree that a dose of a triptan or an opiate would.
For me personally, my ultimate goal is zero abortive medication. I like this because it gives me a target to aim for, and helps to guide the decisions I make. That’s not to say that medications can’t play a role in getting there, as there are can be many milestones along the way to medication zero. That includes things like reducing the amount of prescription medications, time between doses, finding non-drug remedies that work, and so on. There are many many things that push you closer to the goal, and each one cause for celebration.
Aim for progress over time – and be sure to recognize all the various signs of progress. Also, much of this is ultimately a personal decision, and everyone’s own goal can be different. I think for most migraineurs, the most important thing is to wrest control of their life back from the beast. The rest in some ways is [sugar-free!] icing on the cake.
[RELATED: You can get The Chatter, the complete transcripts of our weekly migraine group coaching sessions, delivered to your inbox every week. Click here to learn more about becoming a subscriber.]
Our CAN’T MISS article this week: The Power of Thought
Thought is so KEY to your migraine recovery!