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My Week of Eating Dangerously March 25, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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You may already know more than you want to know about my dietary woes.  I get migraines, and I have LOTS of food triggers.  Most people know about the big ones to avoid: red wine, chocolate, aged cheese, MSG.  What you may not know is that there are about a bazillion other foods that can cause migraines as well.  In my quest to be headache free, I’ve given up wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, legumes, vinegars, citrus, onions, raspberries, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, anything with carageenan, and anything fermented, smoked, dried, cured, aged, pickled, canned, or preserved any way other than refrigerated or frozen.  That’s the short list.

As you can imagine, travelling and eating out can be challenging.  The safest way for me to eat is to be in control of my own food, but at least in a restaurant I can make a pest of myself and ask how every little thing is prepared and request adjustments.

Last week that wasn’t possible, because I was at a conference.  They fed us breakfast, lunch and dinner out of large, hot, silver people-troughs.  I was lucky that the salads weren’t already dressed.  So for a couple of days, I subsisted mainly off of lettuce, fruit, and crudite.  Where I thought I could get away with it I snagged an ounce or two of meat.  And my savior in all of this – Starbucks.  Did you know you can order the oatmeal dry?  They’ll give it to you, spoon included, all nice and dry so you can take it with you and all you need is some hot water!  I ate a lot of oatmeal last week.  (Tip:  grab a dry oatmeal before getting on a plane, then ask them for hot water when they come around with the beverage cart.)

But alas, my willpower is not so strong that I can resist temptation when it’s right in front of my face for four endless days.  The thyme sugar cookies had to be sampled.  (At least I was smart about it, and only took one as I was leaving the room so I couldn’t go back for seconds.)  The cake pop wasn’t what we’ve come to know as a cake pop, but rather a small square of german chocolate cake on a stick, dipped in dark chocolate.  The braised beef -I had two small chunks – was goooooood.  I know that some of what I ate contained no-no food, but I did it anyway.  And I seemed to be getting away with it, headache free.

Then I woke up on Friday morning with the worst headache I’ve had in a while.  It got progressively worse all day, and continued on Saturday.  Finally, after two days it’s gone.  I actually got off lucky, since I’ve had headaches for as long as nine days in the recent past.

What lesson did I learn?  Truthfully, nothing I didn’t already know.  In fact, it re-enforced some lessons I have already learned the hard, painful way many times over.  But I have renewed my committment to eating only migraine-free from now on.  And please, don’t feel sorry for me because of all my dietary restrictions.  I actually eat really well, and I’d rather have no headache than an onion.

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