how to get on top of your pain with headache journaling

Headaches are right up there with taxes regarding things that happen in life that people can’t avoid.  For some people, if they had to pay taxes as frequently as they suffer from headache pain, they would be bankrupt many times over.

There are many reasons people suffer from headache pain, including chronic headaches and migraines.  One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with headache pain is not knowing their direct (or indirect) cause.  In fact, many people suffer from headaches as a result of unknown food allergies and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

So, here is a proactive tip for how you can better investigate the source of the pain you may be experiencing.

Keep a ‘headache journal’ – I know, that sounds so fun, doesn’t it?

But hear me out.

One of the best ways to communicate your symptoms to a health care practitioner is to keep track of any patterns or changes you encounter.  Keeping track not only gives you the power to make changes on your own but gives your doctor or therapist the best chance of taking control of your symptoms.

To maintain an efficient symptom diary, you’ll need to track the following:

  1. Time of day.  Do you get your headaches first thing in the morning?  At 3 pm?  Jot them down, whenever they happen.
  2. What you’re eating.  Keep track of the foods you are eating.  You might start to notice that after that scoop of peanut butter at breakfast, you start to experience your pain.  If you see a dietary connection, take a few days off from the foods you ate and see if you can start to narrow down any foods that might be triggering your headaches.
  3. Activities you performed up to three hours before a headache began.  Were you writing up a work assignment?  Working out?  Again, this will help you narrow down what activities might be triggering your headache pain.
  4. The time once your headache goes away.  Once your pain has subsided, write down the time to better assess the duration (and intensity) of your pain.

Also, some of the most common food allergies linked to headaches are:

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Peanuts

 

If you suffer from two or more headaches per week, the first step to getting to the source of your pain is to catch its pattern.

Have you ever started a journal to take control of your chronic pain?

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carrot and ginger soup recipe

I love carrots.  I love carrots with tzatziki.  I love spiralized carrot noodles.  I love carrot cake.  I love carrot juice.  I love the color orange.

You get it.

Carrots are good for you and are one of the easiest foods to prepare for a quick snack or to add to your favorite dishes.

In addition to loving carrots, I also happen to love soup.  The more colorful the soup, the better I find.

Oddly enough, despite my obsession with carrots, I had never made a carrot based soup.  I would add chopped carrots to many of my soup bases, but I never thought to make the carrot one of the stars of my soup show.

Until the other day, that is.  I had an abundance of carrots and wanted to make soup.  My go-to soup is usually butternut squash or broccoli, but I didn’t have either of those items on hand.  Just lots.  Of.  Carrots.

And a bit of fresh ginger for digestion.

As a result, creamy carrot and ginger soup happened.

 

Flour and dairy free, this soup can be with chicken or vegetable stock (for vegetarians).

Carrots get a bad rap sometimes from low-carb and keto communities, but they are, in fact, excellent for you.

 

Carrot and ginger as a combination is both high in vitamins A (Beta-Carotene), C, and K but also high in fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium and loaded with potent anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.

With just over 100 calories per cup, this soup is perfect for a light lunch or starter before the main course.

I only added a bit of salt and pepper to season my carrot and ginger soup, but you could get inspired and experiment with different spices to create your version of this very basic recipe!

carrot and ginger soup recipe

What’s your go-to soup recipe?  Do you love carrots as much as I do?

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how to cook pasta like butternut squash noodles

Happy Monday!  What did you do this weekend?  I had a good one for several reasons, but the three most important ones were definitely because it was SUNNY BOTH DAYS!

I ran 7 miles on Sunday (with ZERO knee pain), AND I got to meet Neil from none other than, Neil’s Healthy Meals and his lovely wife, Lynne on Saturday!  Neil, Lynne, Luke, and I all got together for lunch and had great laughs, food, and general conversation.  I love meeting bloggers I follow in real life!

So, back to the topic at hand today:  BUTTERNUT SQUASH NOODLES!

I’ve had a BUNCH of emails, comments, and in-person questions about my veggie noodle “porn” as one of my pals called it.  We’ve gone too far as humans, right?

Actually, who am I kidding?  LOOK at this zoodle …errr voodle errr …boodle…

how to cook pasta like butternut squash noodles

 

Whatever you call it, it’s magnificent!  I am a former pastaholic.  I put my hands up and admit it.  So when I tell you the following fact, it’s the absolute truth:  I have eaten actual pasta twice in the last eight months.  

Some people are super skeptical about purchasing a spiralizer.  I get it.  My first purchase was the Veggetti.   

I started out making zoodles (zucchini noodles), and at first, I was like, “Ugh, whatever, they suck.”

SO open-minded of me, right?

I stuck by my Veggetti, and I kept using it to make things like cucumber-based salads, carrot-based salads, and regular and sweet potato fries/pancakes.

Then I got an actual sprializer and started playing with the big kids:  Turnip, celeriac, cabbage, and most importantly BUTTERNUT SQUASH.

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So much more than a beautiful veggie

Cooking spiralized noodles has become a sort of trial and error process, for me.  Firstly, I had to contend with the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit heats switching to a British oven.  Secondly, I am SUPER picky about food texture.  I don’t like my veggie noodles watery and, if I’m making them for a pasta dish, I want them as close in texture to pasta as possible.

There are people who are afraid of change, and the idea of making vegetables into pasta is just something they downright fear.

Side-note:  I feel like there are people who read my blog who were not even born when Wayne’s World came out.

Whatever, I’m old.  It bears repeating.

Obviously.

BUT back to butternut squash noodles.

I’ve discovered there are three rules for cooking butternut squash noodles with PASTA texture:

  1. You must use your Blade C. (I ALWAYS get A and C backward.  Apologies!)
  2. You must cook the noodles FRESHLY spiralized.  (If you store them in the fridge for a few days they will leak moisture and shrivel up into nothingness in the oven. )
  3. You must cook them at a LOW heat (about 125 Celsius/ 250 Fahrenheit) for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, tossing around the pan every 12-15 minutes.  (My oven takes about 53 minutes, to be exact.)

Your butternut squash noodles will have the most amazing texture if you follow these rules!  My husband devoured/loved my slow cooker marinara sauce best on our noodles.  When you can wrap your veggie noodles around your fork and bite down on that perfect texture, you’ll be like, “spaghetti who?”

..and it started from one amazing veggie!

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Happy butternut squash noodle making!   Get creative or keep it simple. This vegetable in noodle form will seriously make you think twice about grabbing a box of pasta next time you’re at the shop.

Did I also mention it takes almost NO effort to make butternut squash noodles?

I’ve shared this before, but Ali over at Inspiralized.com has a great tutorial for how to prep and spiralize just about anything that can be spiralized.  Check out her tutorial here.

You might also like to see more of my spiralizer recipes here.

[Tweet “3 Rules For Cooking Spiralized Butternut Squash with Perfect Pasta Texture #Spiralized #VMeatlessMonday #CleanEats #GlutenFree via @BeetsPerMinute”]

Have you jumped on the spiralized noodle bandwagon yet?

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Good morning, Fitfam!  It’s been an entire week since I’ve posted anything, and besides the fact that you probably didn’t even notice, I’ve just been super busy.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am building up my own training and coaching business, and things are off to a great start.  I love being able to be busy, help people better themselves, and also never get bored!  So, this week’s topic at #TheFitDish with Jessica and Jill is “A Day In The Life:  A Photo Collection“.

First, a confession:  I have many weaknesses as a blogger, but one of the worst is my lack of photo taking skills.  My inability to take photographs is true in real life too.   I can visit a country and take 6 pictures!  Believe me, it infuriates many people!  So, with this week’s topic being a photo-centric post, I made an effort to take some photos to document what my Mondays look like!  Mondays have become a very busy day for me, I have different clients (and deadlines) at different places throughout the city.

So, without further delay, I give you…

A day in the life

5:30 AM — I’m up!  Getting in some water, stretching, and packing up the bag to head out the door!

6:30 AM — I’m on the train, on my way into City Centre  to meet my first client!

monday

7:15-8:30 AM  — My first client of the day!  We did some suspension training and cardio — woot woot!

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8:40 AM — I head to the subway to head over to the West End to meet my next client!

monday Collage

9:15-12:00 — I headed to Loch Lomond ( about 20 minutes outside of Glasgow) for an outdoor workout and walk with a client who just wanted to get out of town and be in nature!  It wasn’t as sunny over there, but it sure was beautiful!

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12:00-12:30 PM — Caught the subway back to City Centre to start my venture home!

monday5

12:30-1:30 PM — I decided to walk back to my apartment from City Centre!  Whilst on my way home, I took a shameless Instagram #OnAQuest photo of my S’mores Quest Bar!

https://instagram.com/p/6w80LkpU8w/

1:30-2:00 PM — LUNCH TIME!!  I had a chopped salad:  Spinach, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, corn, and chicken with chili lime dressing and a couple of pickles, because pickles…

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2:00-4:30 PM — I am working with a nutritional therapy client, so I spent some time reviewing notes and getting together some food lists for our next appointment.  I also took this time to go through some emails, and to get together my assessment paperwork for a new client consultation at 6 pm!

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4:30 PM — Time to get back on the train and head into City Centre to pick up some items at Holland and Barrett and a quick stroll outside, because the sun has actually been shining in Glasgow the past few days!

monday 171Collage

 

6:00 PM — Up the giant flight of stairs, to meet with my new client and perform fitness assessments and get her started!

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7:00 PM — Met my husband for a ride back home (seriously, my legs were jelly)!

7:30-10:00 PM — Dinner (spiralized butternut squash noodles and slow cooker tomato sauce), a MUCH needed shower and some quality time with the hubby.  *Sigh*.

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10:30 PM — Goodnight moon!  I am exhausted and I have a client at 7 am tomorrow!

What did your Monday look like?  Are you one to always take a photo?

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natural detox foods

Happy Tuesday, #FitFam!  I’ve joined the link party again with JessJill and all of ya’ll.

This week I have something a little unique for our topic “Natural Beauty” — my guest, Ella James!   Ella is a writer and contributor for Consumer Health Digest, where she specializes in writing articles about Health, Beauty, Pregnancy, and Skin Care Treatments.

We all know (or at least we’ve heard) that beauty is truly skin deep, am I right? As a nutritional therapist, I have learned how nutrition can affect not only our health but also our appearance.  Simply being aware of what is lacking in our diets can not only improve our overall health, but also the version of ourselves we present to the world.

When it comes to our #FitFam, it’s safe to say that we all put in the time and effort to live a healthy and active lifestyle, both of which help us to shine from the inside out.  Speaking personally, in the past, I have struggled with issues like acne, oily skin, fatigue, dark circles, IBS, and some other conditions.  However, all of these conditions improved (and some diminished entirely) as soon as I made improvements to my diet and made healthy habits a priority.

Since today’s topic is all about natural beauty, I thought it would be fitting to share one of Ella’s articles for Consumer Health Digest15 Foods that Boost Your Body’s Natural Detox Power.   

When our bodies are naturally functioning at an optimal level inside, it shows on the outside.  And optimal functioning not only makes us feel our best, but it enables us to look our best too.

So without further delay, please enjoy Ella’s informative article and video, and let’s learn to beautify ourselves from within with natural detox foods.

15 Foods that Boost Your Body’s Natural Detox Power

Overview:  Several factors including environmental pollution, food, medications, lifestyle habits and by-products from body functions result in accumulation of toxic substances in the body. Without proper elimination of these toxins, you are at an increased risk of health problems including diseases and conditions. Here are 15 foods to boost your body’s natural detox power:

  1. Cucumber: A widely cultivated plant whose vines yields cylindrical fruits commonly used as culinary vegetables. It is rich in B-vitamins, vitamins C, and K. Its antioxidant properties make it useful as a detoxifying ingredient.
  2. Whole grains: They are rich in fiber essential for cleansing the colon. Their rinds/coatings are rich in minerals that help in detoxification.
  3. Garlic:  It has been used medicinally for centuries. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and liver function. Due to its antioxidant properties, it helps flush out toxins from the blood stream. It also has healing properties and fights certain types of cancer and heart disease.
  4. Broccoli: Recent studies indicate that broccoli contain sulfur, an essential mineral that helps the body get rid of toxins from the body. Also, it lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It has been used in treating high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and bacteria-related infections.
  5. Turmeric:  It is commonly used to make a curry to give food a bright yellow color. It is obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory ingredient that has been used in Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. It promotes digestion and addresses conditions like jaundice, menstrual problems, bloody urine, chest pain and colic.
  6. Red bell pepper: It is loaded with vitamin C, which helps in the breakdown of toxic substances into digestible material. Each red pepper has more vitamin C content than from 3 oranges.
  7. Sunflower seeds: They are rich in vitamin E and selenium. They increase liver’s ability to eliminate toxins and also prevent cholesterol build up in the circulatory system. Organic forms are the best because they are rich in fat and oil that easily soak up toxic chemicals found in processed foods.
  8. Grapefruit: It reduces cholesterol levels, promote digestion and prevent kidney stones.

  9. Walnuts: They are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, essential in flushing out toxins from the body.
  10. Mung beans: Their use for medicinal purposes dates backs thousands of years by Ayurvedic doctors. They are easily digestible and help in the absorption of toxic residue from the digestive tract.
  11. Watercress: They have antioxidant properties that fight free radicals from the cells and boosts cleansing enzymes in the liver. They are also a natural diuretic
  12. Artichokes: they are rich in a compound called cynarin, which promote natural production of bile juice essential for improved digestion.

  13. Citrus Fruits: They are rich in vitamin C, which plays a significant role in the fight against free radicals in the body.
  14. Turnip Greens: They are rich in antioxidants and sulfur, which helps fight environmental toxins and heavy metals from the body. They also contain phytonutrients that activate and regulate actions of detoxifying enzymes.
  15. Lentils: They have high fiber content that helps in elimination of toxins, lowers cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

Conclusion:  Toxins from the environment, food, drugs and other sources can accumulate in the body and make you prone to illnesses. These 15 foods can naturally improve your body’s ability to eliminate toxic substances that can harm your health. Detox your body occasionally using these natural foods to stay healthy.

A very special thanks, again, to Ella for sharing her informative article with all of you!

Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest, which is a leading Health News Website. Her interests include reading and writing about Pregnancy, Parenting, Health, Fitness, Beauty and Skin Care.

Connect with Ella!

Twitter | Facebook 

References:

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/colon-health-center/

https://www.glozine.com/lifestyle/health

https://www.colonhealthmagazine.com/

Do you eat any of these detoxifying foods regularly?  Do you focus on beauty from the inside out?

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