Once upon a time on SNL, Fernando proclaimed that it is better to look good than to feel good, and he does have a point, but the thing about fashion is, you can be decked out in the most glorious outfit and if you don’t feel good you simply won’t look good. Without boring you with my medical history, I have suffered from migraines for most of my life, and the stresses of the past few years, combined with those pesky peri-menopausal hormone shifts left me, with what we call in the headache biz, “headache days”, oftentimes 15 or more headache days every month. In a nutshell, I felt like shit most of the time. And no designer dress or sensual scarf could shake the feeling.
I developed a tolerance to the medicines I used, and my prescriptions would get increased or changed, making my body feel like a toxic wasted dump. Not a good look. Even when encased in butt lifting, $250 jeans. I didn’t have the energy to exercise. My eyes were back and glassy a lot of the time, leading to my short lived experiment with false eyelashes to brighten my face. You can read about that debacle here.
I tried alternative therapies like acupuncture, craino-sacral massage, Reiki. I turned to my diet and test drove gluten free diets, lactose free diets, alcohol free diets (that was the worst one!), and systematically eliminated traditional food triggers, but I continued to curl up in a cool dark room 50% of the time praying for a pain free head.
A chance encounter with a chocolate chip cookie and a magazine article lead me to research that the excessive amounts of processed sugar in contemporary diets creates an environment of Candida (yeah, yeast infections) in our entire bodies, and for many people these infections are expressed in the form of migraines. The solution: eliminate processed and refined sugars from our diets. Easier said than done, but it did allow me a few wonderful hours trolling on Amazon.com sourcing out the best books to learn about raw diets. I decided to try a 6 month experiment of radically changing my diet to reduce the number of headache days on my calendar.
Essentially a Raw Food Diet is consuming food that has not been heated above 118 degrees, or food that has been denatured (processed) by chemicals, pasteurization or irradiation. It is eating food as close to its natural state as possible. Yes, it’s a lot of salads and fresh vegetables. It’s a lot of seeds and roots and powders that come from the Andes. But what has fascinated me is reading food labels at the grocery store, looking for the grams of sugar in the product. What I have learned: if the product looks familiar and is packaged in a can or plastic wrap, it’s probably not good for you!
2+ weeks into my 6 month experiment I am thrilled to notice changes in not only how I feel, but how I look. I’m starting with baby steps and 3 wonderful resource books by Judita Wignall. Chia seeds are my new best friends, and they are so much more satisfying (and way less expensive) than Imitrex. I have more steady energy all day. My eyes are blue again, not black. My skin is clearer and I swear there is more collagen in there than there was last month. Yesterday I took 4 dresses to the tailor to have them taken in (yeah, baby!), a byproduct perhaps of the steady energy which is allowing me to workout a little longer and stronger than before. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’ve only had one headache in two weeks…and in the spirit of full confession, it was the day after a dinner party with too much red wine.
We’ll see where this all leads, but for now I’m sticking with my (mostly) raw diet. And who knows, maybe with all this energy and a strong, healthy body I’ll have more time for my favorite pastime, shopping for new clothes!