Let’s Talk Migraines and Granola

18 May

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I had a migraine yesterday.  For YEARS I suffered with migraines, mostly in college and after. Why did they just randomly start in college?

At first I thought it may be stress.  I was a busy girl in college, 15-18 hours a semester, 20-32 hours a week at work, hours of observation for teaching program, and then there were school clubs and friends. My schedule was packed from 8am-9pm every day.  Then I would get home and spend a couple hours with friends before starting my homework (around 12). It was very normal for me to go to bed around 3 and get up at 7:30. You can see why I assumed it was stress.

I was drinking coffee like I was a fish in a tank of coffee. I started getting headaches at least 2-3 days a week.  It was so bad that I started keeping track of it on a calendar, in case I needed to go to the doctor.

After college, the coffee drinking also continued.  I worked long hours (about 60-70 hours a week), and continued to rely on coffee for energy. The headaches also continued.

It never occurred to me that caffeine could be causing my headaches because I, like most people, had heard that caffeine is an anti-inflamatory and would help alleviate headaches.

I was getting desperate though, and was ready to schedule a doctor’s appointment, knowing that it would likely lead to some sort of pain medication. I did not want to rely on pain medication for the rest of my life a couple days a week. So, in my desperation, I looked online one last time.

At the very bottom of a website it said, “For some rare individuals, caffeine may cause or worsen migraine headaches.”

That was something I had never heard, and it was definitely worth a try.

That was a couple years ago, and I have been living mostly caffeine free. I have also been living mostly headache free.

Every once in a while I forget how bad migraines really are. I forget that they cause me to be sensitive to sound and light and smells. I forget that I get dizzy and nauseous.  I forget that I have almost passed out. I forget that I throw up. I forget that I can not eat or sleep.

So, all that coffee I have been drinking over the last 3 weeks finally caught up to me. I honestly thought that I was going to get away with it, but I didn’t.

Yesterday, I woke up with a headache.  By noon it was terrible.  By 2 it was excruciating. By 5:30 I was utterly debilitated.

So, what do I do  when I have a migraine?

– Drink lots of water.

– Apply heat to my forehead and neck.

– Sit or lay however feels comfortable.

– Keep a bowl close.

– Eat what sounds good, if anything sounds good. (Yesterday I had a couple Ritz crackers, because I could not find the saltines that were sitting right on the shelf.)

– Wait for my Dad to get home to massage my head and neck.  (which usually makes me feel worse in the moment but eventually all better.)

– Take Advil. (Most “migraine” specific medications have caffeine in them.) We were out of Advil, but I eventually took a Tylenol PM.

After 20 minutes of very intense massaging of my neck, I was finally feeling better. By then it was 9pm.

The day was over 😦

Before things got too rough I did make some granola that turned out wonder!

Easy Peezy Granola

Based on a recipe from Bon Appetit June 2010

Makes 5 cups

3 c rolled oats

1 c nuts (I used 3/4 pecans, and then 1/4 raw sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds for 1 c total)

1/2 c unsweetened shredded coconut

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t ginger

1/4 t salt

1/4 c maple syrup

2 T unrefined coconut oil

2/3 c dried fruit (I used raisins and currants)

Preheat oven to 350

1. Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl

2. Heat the maple syrup and coconut oil in a small saucepan until liquified.

3. Pour syrup/oil mixture over the dry ingredients and then stir until all the dry is moistened.

4. Pour onto a medium cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until golden brown.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack before adding the dried fruit.

It can be stored in an airtight container up to a week.

I have seen A LOT of granola recipes and often they are high in fat and sugar. I have tried to lower both as low as possible.  It is a work in progress though.

This is an easy recipe that is a great alternative to sugary cereals!

And, if anyone sees me with a cup of regular coffee in my hand, do me favor and smack me!

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3 Responses to “Let’s Talk Migraines and Granola”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Stretching with the Cat « weightsandmeasures - May 20, 2011

    […] sprinkled on a bit of my homemade Easy Peezy Granola as well for some crunchy […]

  2. Carrot Trials « weightsandmeasures - May 20, 2011

    […] In the morning I blended that with another 1/4 c almond milk and some extra unsweetened cocoa powder.  Topped with a bit of Easy Peezy Granola. […]

  3. Barefoot in the Rain « weightsandmeasures - May 24, 2011

    […] topped that with a few spoonfuls of Easy Peezy Granola and unsweetened shredded […]

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