Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Change Is Coming...

What kind of change you might ask?  A Life Change (No I am not pregnant).  A change in the way I eat and live my life.  Why you might ask?  For the last 9 months I have seen over a dozen specialists and been to more doctors appointments then I care to remember.  There were days I couldn't get out of bed the pain in my face was so painful it hurt to think about it.  Numerous drugs later, a scheduled brain surgery and finally an answer came.  After seeing my neurologist at Hopkins it was discovered that my migraines took a turn for the worse and were becoming debilitating.  All of the pain I was exhibiting was a new way of my migraines presenting. 

So what does that mean for me.  No more drugs and back on Dr. David Buchholz's diet.  It also means no brain surgery!!!! :)  It was also discovered in the process that I have a high intolerance for any form of MSG....urgh, I cringe at even saying that word MSG.  Don't get me started on how our government has allowed MSG to be in our foods and half of the times it isn't even labeled.  By the can a food be considered organic if it has MSG in it? 

Did you know that MSG has over 30 different names?  Try these names on for a try: calcium caseinate, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed protein, yeast extract, whey protein, natural flavors, malted barley, malt extract, malted barley flour, maltodextrin, carrageenan, ultra-pasteurized items, enzyme-modified items, broth, stocks, textured protein, sodium casinate, soy protein and many more.  The list goes on and on and these are just a few of the hidden names for MSG.  Are you looking at the labels of what you are putting in your mouth?

So how do you go MSG free while also following Dr. Buchholz's diet for migraine prevention?  The first step for me was to clean out my fridge and cabinets and stock pile of foods that I had in my house.  This was no easy task for me because I stock pile chocolate chips, flour, butter and much more for all of the baking projects that I do.  Well no more.  The next step for me was rereading Dr. Buchholz's book "Heal Your Headache The 1-2-3 Program for taking charge of your pain and also reading a new book by Debby Anglesey called "Battling the MSG Myth, a Survival Guide and Cookbook".  Both of these books have been instrumental in my changing process. 

Then I started the research from home of looking at food items online from local grocery stores so that I could have my books in front of me as a reference.  I made the list of staple items I needed: an organic butter, organic vitamin D milk, flour without malted barley, vegetables (preferably organic and not sprayed with pesticides which also have MSG), organic fruits (same thing), and of course my staple snack items so that I wasn't tempted to cheat.

Numerous trips to Wegmans, Giant and Trader Joes and I'm on the right track.  Mind you I've been living in my kitchen or the grocery store lately (my poor son!).  But I can proudly say that on a good day I feel 90 percent better and on a rough day I'm about 75% better.  So overall I feel great.  I even feel great about all of my "crunchy" measures that I've taken.  Yes I just called myself crunchy.  That's because shampoo and conditioner have MSG ("No shampoo is better!).  Sorry just had to add that line from a favorite movie.  Yes it is true our shampoo and conditioners and even toothpaste have MSG in them and MSG can be absorbed through the skin.  So for me that meant finding an alternative.  There are shampoo's out there that are safe, however I also get migraines from nuts and their oils so coconut oil is out for me.  As a substitute I wash my hair with baking soda mixed with warm water.  I rinse with vinegar and when I want a good conditioner I use aloe gel that I've processed so it's not chunky.  It stinks but man my hair has never been so straight and shinny! 

Overall this process has been a huge change for me, but very rewarding.  If you suffer from migraines like me I would suggest the two books I listed above.  If you have an illness that can't be diagnosed I suggest reading the Battling the MSG Myth book or checking out their website at  Debby believes MSG can cause migraines, ADD, ADHD, myopia, type I diabetes, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, obesity, depression, autism, asthma, and ALS.

So back to the cooking world and the reason I started this blog.  I've discovered and adapted a few recipes recently to fit my new "diet".  Look for a fabulous salsa, taco shell and taco meat recipe, stuffed green pepper recipe, and homemade macaroni recipe to be posted soon.

I hope that if you suffer from migraines or an MSG intolerance like I do that my new recipes will be of huge help to you.  And if not I promise as much of a food junky as I am that these recipes are all delicious. 


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