Phase 3: “REFINE”
You’re so close to the promised land you can taste it.
Your brain has likely healed from the bulk of the damage from migraine drugs, and your efforts are now focused on continuing to strengthen your pillars of protection against the beast.
You’ve likely eliminated nutrient poor, toxin rich foods, tamed rebound headaches, and are becoming a fat burning machine.
If you haven’t already, you may wish to consider experimenting with ketosis, a way of increasing your protection even further, in addition to a host of other potential health benefits.
Having worked so hard to repair the damage from migraine drugs, you may be terrified by the prospect of taking them again. So you may be looking harder than ever to find more ways to end a migraine without them.
That’s not to say there won’t be a time when taking one is a necessary evil. That said, every headache you get through without doing so should be celebrated as a huge victory.
PHASE 3: High Priority Behaviors
Stay the course. You’ve likely gone through a lot just to get here, so keep the momentum going! Don’t sweat the occasional bump in the road should you encounter one. This is life, after all, where real progress is seldom a straight shot to the top.
Articles: 10 Mistakes You Might Be Making
Maintain fat adaptation / metabolic flexibility. By now, you may have a general sense of your ideal range of carbohydrate intake. What’s most important when it comes to your carb intake is that you maintain metabolic flexibility, or the ability to readily shift between carbohydrate and stored body fat for energy.
The amount of daily carbs you need to stay under to maintain this metabolic state will vary from one person to the next depending on multiple things like age, gender, muscle mass, physical activity, and so on, so it’s a good idea to cultivate an awareness for when you’re in “fat burning mode.”
Regular physical activity. Now is a good time to keep strengthening your fortress, to build on behaviors that offer additional protection against the beast, which includes regular physical activity and exercise to support both cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
If you’re relatively inactive or sedentary, then start by just going for long walks (30 min to an hour) several times per week (fitbits or some other step counter can often be a great way to get started).
If you already get your fair share of movement every day, then make sure you aren’t neglecting resistance work, which is arguably the single most beneficial exercise we can do. And the resistance here can be as simple as your own bodyweight.
Sleep Well. So so so important, yet so often neglected. Few areas of modern life are further removed from the world our ancestors than our day-night cycles. With no bulbs to light their dwellings after dark, our well rested ancestors had no choice but to rise when the sun came up, sleep when it goes down. This is our natural rhythm, the one’s our brains expect.
Reconnecting, as close as possible, with this natural sleep pattern is undoubtedly one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. The beast LOVES a sleep deprived brain, but fears a well rested one.
Article: Dr. T’s Ultimate Guide to Sleep (coming soon)
PHASE 3: Other Strategies to Consider
Nutritional Ketosis. Nutritional ketosis (stimulating the production of ketones in the liver through diet) is emerging as a powerful weapon against a host of neurological disorders, including migraine.
And we have many members in our community, myself included, who have used it to great effect for migraines. Unless you’ve already been low carb for an extended period of time (month or more), it’s not something to do right away.
But, as you eliminate processed and carb-rich foods and your body adapts to that change, it can be a powerful tool to fortify your pyramid of protection even further.
(RELATED: We’ll be launching 30-Day Keto Challenge very soon. Click here to learn more.)
Intermittent Fasting. Like nutritional ketosis, intermittent fasting is gaining increasing acceptance as another component of a healthy lifestyle.
Also like nutritional ketosis, it appears to be a potentially powerful weapon against cancer, degenerative brain disorders, and aging. I do it essentially every day (I found eliminating breakfast to be particularly helpful), as do many of our members, especially as a means of ending a migraine attack.