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Hi everyone,

I’m going to share my one pan easy black bean and tomato quinoa recipe. One of my goals on this blog is to share recipes that are simple, easy to make and that have lots of flavor. When i struggled with migraines, cooking was probably one of the hardest things to do, so coming up with easy recipes was critical. The recipe calls for fresh lime juice in the end, if it is a trigger for you, just leave it off. My daughter Hanna loves this recipe, so this one is for her :)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped1 cup quinoa
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
2 diced roma tomatoes
¼  tsp chili powder
½  tsp cumin
¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper
Fresh lime juice (only if you can tolerate it)
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

  2. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute.
    Stir in quinoa and vegetable broth

  3. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin

  4. Turn down the heat to medium. Put a lid on the pan and cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes. It should be fluffy with the broth almost drying up after this time

  5. Stir in the black beans and tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the liquid has dried up

  6. Take the pan off the heat

  7. Add the lime juice (optional) and the cilantro in the pan and serve immediately

Enjoy!

Shazia


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Hi everyone,

I thought I would write up my Chickpea Flour Crepe recipe and share it with all of you. I like mine with a drizzle of honey, or a smear of homemade strawberry jam, yum! As there are many of us who struggle to eat foods made with wheat and gluten items; this is where chickpea flour comes in handy as a great substitute. You can also make wraps with it. Some people even substitute it for eggs to make an omelette. I think it is really cool how people get creative with ingredients and use them for something totally unexpected!

Here is my recipe, super simple and easy :)

Ingredients:

1 dry cup chickpea flour (not packed)

1 and a 1/4 cups of water

Oil for coating the pan

A pinch of salt

A drizzle of honey

Instructions:

When measuring the chickpea flour, do not pack the cup, otherwise you will have very thick crepes

Add the chickpea flour, water and salt to a blender and blend away

The mixture should be smooth, creamy with a yellowish color

If you use it immediately, the crepes will be a little crispy with a slightly crunchy texture.

For a softer crepe, let the mixture stand for 30 minutes in the fridge

Place a large frying pan on medium low heat and grease the pan with a little bit of oil

Place the crepe mixture in the middle and move the pan around in a circular motion, so that the batter coats the pan

Flip the crepe over when the edges start to curl up and it is a light crispy brown on the bottom side

Cook a few minutes on each side on low heat

Drizzle the crepe with honey in the middle and roll it over! Dust it with powdered sugar if you like, but it is not necessary, the honey is usually enough

Repeat with the remaining batter

Enjoy!

Shazia

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It’s one of those kind of nights. You simply just can’t get to sleep. You toss and you turn and check the clock on your phone for the time. It’s 3.00 am and now you’re wondering how on earth you are going to get through the day. You already know that no matter what, you are probably going to have an awful migraine.

Not being able to sleep well at night is one of the reasons a migraine can kick in. It is a catch twenty two situation when it comes to migraines and sleep. Not sleeping well at night can trigger a migraine, and having to sleep them off during the day, messes up our sleep schedule for the night.

Actually, sleeping off a migraine is not a bad thing. Your body forces you to sleep so that it can rest and function at a normal level again. Many of us are do not have the luxury to take a nap or sleep due to work, school, children or other responsibilities,

So how can you get enough rest and get rid of a migraine? Here are some tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night.

Room Temperature

The temperature of the room can really affect your migraines. It differs for different people. I have seen that some people need to be in a cooler environment to get better and others need to get warm and stay warm. The general reasonable room temperature setting is somewhere between 66-72 degrees, whether that is the heat or the air conditioning. If you share a room with another person who has a desire for a different room temperature than you, there are solutions. If you feel cold, and your partner feels hot, keep a heating blanket on your side of the bed and wear some socks to stay warm. Keeping your feet and body warm is essential for good sleep hygiene. If it is the other way round, ask your partner to bundle up. If you feel warmer, use a fan on your side of the room to stay cool.

Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs

I am a huge advocate of a really good comfortable sleeping mask and noise cancelling ear plugs. I found one on Amazon which is made of a comfortable silk material, and stays cool on your face and eyes. I also love ear plugs, generally all the brands are good. Just change them out every few days as they get too soft by using them constantly. If you have a baby or little ones, keep a baby monitor on your side of the bed. You will hear through them. If you have a supportive partner, ask them to take up night duties a few times a week, so both of you can get adequate rest.

No Blue Screens

This is a pretty universal law when it comes to sleep. I have been a culprit of this very thing. Eventually I realized that nothing is more important than my sleep. Even if your phone has ambient lighting that changes the color of your screen, the glow of light affects your sleep. If you are lying in bed and simply can’t sleep, and thoughts start coming into your head, simply get out of bed and sit on the floor in the dark. Lean against something, draw a blanket and relax. Let the thoughts come and go and eventually you will feel sleepy. If nothing else, you will have relaxed your mind and body. This also is rest in another form.  

Meditation and Deep Breathing

There are many apps to help with mediation and deep breathing. One of my favorites is Insight Timer. This app has many free meditations in it, so it’s helpful to hear and find the ones appeal to your taste. They help relax your body and are good for taking a nap and even before bedtime.  The good news is that you don’t have to see your screen to listen to a guided meditation. I have fallen asleep many times before the meditation actually finished. Meditation helps us disconnect from the outside distractions and slows down thought processes by redirecting them to focus on other pleasant things.

Massaging your feet

This is one of my favorite tips to help sleep kick in. I still struggle with sleep and pain and this one knocks me out like a baby. Just before going to sleep, wash your feet and pat them dry. Then sit close to your bed on the floor and take a nice, rich lotion and start massaging the soles of your feet. I usually do this sitting in the dark. After my feet have warmed up and I have rubbed the aches and pain away, my body starts to feel relaxed and sleep starts to kick in. If you feel cold at night, wear a pair of socks afterwards. Regulating  your extremities, especially your feet is key for sleeping well. I am sure it also has something to do with reflexology, but I am no expert in this, so I am not going to speak on it. Give it a try and see how it goes.

Magnesium/Sleep Supplement

Many doctors recommend prescription tablets to help with sleep. When I could only sleep for three hours a night, I was put on Xanax by my doctor. It  really did nothing for me. In fact I felt worse as I was groggy all day long. But when my neurologist recommended Magnesium as a sleep supplement, it was the best thing ever. I stopped taking the Xanax and could finally for asleep. For the correct form and dosage of a magnesium supplement for you, ask your doctor or neurologist. If Magnesium does nothing for you, maybe you can try a non habit forming sleep supplement. I am not advocating it, but there is no harm trying different things to help you fall asleep. I have a friend that is going through quite a stressful time lately. She told me that it if wasn't for the over the counter sleep aid she was taking at night, she wouldn't have been functioning in the day.

When you feel sleepy, go to bed and fall asleep. Do not work on folding the laundry, doing the dishes or cleaning up the house. Do not write up last minute emails or complete a last minute homework assignment. We already know screens keep us awake more. Just go to bed and just knock yourself out. I am aware that many of you hate waking up to a messy house or work that is undone, but your health, especially your sleep health is more important than everything else. You will see, once you are sleeping better, you will be able to manage everything else better too. My home used to have piles of laundry and mess everywhere. With three kids and a husband, tework load simply added up. There was mountains of mess, papers, bags and shoes all over the house. But as I started sleeping better, I had more energy to tackle basic things, such as going through laundry. As for those who have work and school assignments on deadline, try to pace yourself throughout the week, so that you don’t have to send them in last minute. Prioritize what is important. Your sleep is necessary for your sanity. If you have little ones, tuck them in early and enlist the support of someone who can help you out.

Taking care of your sleep and establishing a sleep routine is critical for your self care. It is important to be aware of what you are doing to the night before to help regulate sleep. All of the above tips are simple self care ideas to help you establish better sleep. Once your sleep becomes regulated, you will be able to manage your time better as you will have slightly more energy. Pacing yourself is key, not doing too much at one time. Go slow and take it easy. You will gain energy and be able to do more and live your life again.

If you liked this post, feel free to share it with anyone who you think it could help.

Wishing you success on your journey to health and healing.

Shazia

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I’m on a mission to help people manage their migraines. By making dietary and lifestyle changes, I have finally gotten my migraines under control. I used to be a chronic migraineur and my migraines lasted two and a half months at a time. I had symptoms such as ataxia, vertigo, stroke like symptoms, tinnitus, numbing of my limbs, burning in my head and searing in my ears. I ended up with a balance and movement disorder. By being bed ridden for years, I was no longer living life. It felt as if I was half dead and half alive. Here's the good news though. By making small consistent changes, I finally reduced my symptoms. I may get a small migraine here or there, but nothing is as bad as it used to be.
Now you know a little bit about my story and here is the reality, you can reduce your migraines to a point where life can become livable again. You will be able to go out again, enjoy your time with friends and family and most of all, you CAN live life again.
After talking to many people about migraines whether chronic or episodic, some basic topics kept coming up. According to my research, the top three problems about migraines are:


1. How to eat well whilst having migraines
2. The anxiety of having migraines and
3. Sleeping well with migraines


Eating well when you are having a migraine


Eating well is essential when it comes to migraines. A good place to start is to follow the anti-migraine diet. The one I followed was in the book ‘Heal your Headache’, by Dr David Buchholz. Dr David Buchholz is the former head of the Division of General Neurology at Johns Hopkins and Director of the Neurological Consultation Clinic. As I live near Baltimore, I was referred to the Hopkins Neurology Department for all kinds of conclusive testing. I was recommended to try the diet by the neurologist that I was seeing at the time. Personally speaking the diet is a good starting point, but it is pretty restrictive. I followed the diet to a tee, but I would relapse in my eating patterns as soon as I started feeling better. You have to be aware of your own triggers that may not be in the book. By eating according to the diet, you stay below the threshold of having a migraine. Unfortunately, when I was below threshold, I would end up eating many of my comfort foods. As they were not on the list, my migraines would kick in and I would be back to square one. The anti migraine diet wasn't enough for me, but through careful elimination of toxic foods, instilling better eating habits and eliminating trigger foods, I have found what works for my symptoms. It is hard to eat well when we are in ‘migraine mode’ because you are in so much pain, you just eat what is in front of you. We migraineurs struggle all the time and how to eat well because we want our comfort foods at this time.


The anxiety of having migraines


The second thing that came across in my research is how anxiety goes hand in hand with migraines. As I talked to friends, family and even strangers, I realised this is a larger problem than I thought. Some of the basic questions that go hand in hand with the anxiety of having migraines are as follows:

  • When they are going to stop
  • How long will they last
  • And when are they going to end.


The stress and anxiety of having a migraine, or when they are going to end, becomes a double whammy packed with all these worries that travel and trickle into our thought process. Everything that you have to do for that day, or the next few days or weeks, becomes a whirlwind of stress, with an onset of physiological symptoms such as chest pains, trouble breathing and non-stop worry. Fortunately, there are many techniques we can use to help ease the anxiety. CBT and psychotherapy is extremely helpful with easing anxiety with a licensed psychotherapist or counselor. Many people are firm believers of yoga, meditation and hypnosis. I have used hypnosis to help me sleep. It's pretty amazing. The app I used is Omvana from Mindvalley. It's free and has some free sessions if you want to try it out. If you are not into these things, just sitting for ten minutes and letting the anxious thoughts pass through you, writing your thoughts down or engaging in positive self talk can be helpful with dealing with the anxiousness that come with migraines.


Sleeping well through the night with migraines


Migraineurs have to sleep well through the night. We need to have super good sleep otherwise our day is going to be difficult to get through. Many people struggle to sleep with migraines. Then the anxiety kicks in of when the migraine is going to end, and how you are going to get through the day. It's as if there is non stop talk going on in your brain. Fortunately there are some supplements that have been researched that help migraine. Vitamin D has been proven effective for helping with migraines and Magnesium helps your body get into a more relaxed state for sleep. Setting a sleep schedule and a routine the night before, as well as eating well and getting the anxiety under control all go hand in hand in dealing with them.
So, these are the three basic issues that come up with migraines. When it comes to eating well you should be aware that not one-size-fits-all. You may have to go through a process of figuring out what works for you. Getting the anxiety under control is key. Self help therapies are a great place to start if you have time constraints, you can't drive and are without help. Lastly, sleeping like a baby is the trick! Hypnosis and certain supplements are great for sleep. Also enlisting the help of a loved one is critical, especially if you have small children or elders to take care of. All in all taking care of you is important because if you are not well, you can't take care of others.
Let me know what has helped you with your migraines and how can I support you in your journey to wellness. Feel free to leave a comment.

(If you liked this post share it with friends and loved ones who deal with migraines.)
 

 

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share a green smoothie recipe that is not bitter or bland, in fact it is quite tasty with a hint of sweet! 

I make this in the morning and it is a great way to start the day.

Makes two 12 oz servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 English hothouse cucumber (or 1 regular American cucumber)

3-4 medjool dates

10-12 grapes

2 handfuls of spinach

Preparation:

Soak the dates in some water, peel the skin off and take the pit out

Add the pitted dates, grapes, cucumber and spinach to the blender, vitamix, whatever you use to make smoothies

Add a splash of water and some crushed ice and blend

If you like your smoothies a little sweeter, add a few more grapes.

Enjoy!!

Shaz

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