Spring Clean: In with the New

The jacarandas are coming into full swing in Sydney. Before I had to live with them around my house I loved them. I was completely smitten by the intensity of these purple trees and the puddles of flowers beneath them. As an added bonus they always bloom around my birthday. It was nature’s present to me.

It was new and I loved them. When Stuart and I moved into our family home we were surrounded by jacarandas. But unlike our love, my love of jacarandas quickly wore thin. You see they shed stuff 24/7; 365 days a year. Flowers. Sap. Leaves. Sticks, yep sticks. Seed pods. Tiny little leaves that stick to everything. Sticks. OK, you get it. It wore thin very quickly.

Our collective hate of these trees unites our neighbourhood as we can’t get rid of them because they are on council land.

I tried something new and it didn’t work. Now I sweep every day. Every damn day whilst I curse those trees. Plural, trees. Especially around my birthday.

Trying something new you think you are going to love forever is even harder for migraineurs. I only have to sweep, they have to deal with a migraine cycle. So migraineurs like to stick to the tried and true. Especially when it comes to food.

I don’t blame them, but that makes for a boring life, or at least a boring palette. Trying new tastes and enjoying new foods is one of the great joys in life. It creates a memory for that time and place. Massimo Bottura says it best:

“…cooking is about emotion, it’s about culture, it’s about love, it’s about memory.”

So how do we add foods to our lives when it can so easily go horribly wrong?

Take a class. If you want to try a new style of cuisine, a one day workshop is perfect for learning what goes into the food. You’ll explore the ingredients so that you can modify the dishes to suit your dietary needs while talking to experts. I learned to modify Indian cuisine through workshops offered at our favourite Indian restaurant. Be sure and call ahead and speak to the instructor about the ingredients. I did this with a chocolate making class for Stuart and they substituted in a chocolate that was free from soy lecithin.

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When trying new foods at home I like to break the recipe down so that I can examine the ingredients and techniques step by step. Replace triggering ingredients with migraine-friendly ones. Use cooking techniques that you know will not cross contaminate an otherwise trigger-free dish.

Dr Who recipe searcher

It’s a big world out there with so many amazing people contributing tantalizing, healthy, easy to make dishes. Sometimes you just need someone to cull them down to a reasonable list for you to pick from. In light of that, I’m adding some new features to my blog to make it even easier for you to try new recipes at home.

You may have noticed that there’s now a list of Migraine Friendly Finds for You over on the right hand side of the blog (scroll to the bottom if you are on your phone or tablet). The recipes are from my favourite bloggers that I have passed my scientific eye over and can not see a reason why they should trigger a migraine. Think of it as peer review. I may not have made the dish, but I have made other dishes by the blogger and I would be willing to give it a try as it is written up.

To further help you find those migraine-friendly recipes every month, I’m going to feature a migraine-friendly food blogger. This will be more of a personal piece about the blogger peppered with links to some of their favourite recipes.

Stay tuned, you never know when I might contact you so we can all try something new.

Enjoy my friends.

As always, whenever making lifestyle changes be sure and consult your healthcare team. Under no circumstances should you stop or start taking medication or supplements without their consent.

Informed by science, cooked by you.

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