A note from Dorothy: Meet Stephanie Weaver, author of a new book aimed at helping those with migraines, vertigo and Meniere’s disease manage it through diet and lifestyle. This book is laser-focused on a problem that afflicts 1 in 4 American households. Migraine is more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. I think this is the single-subject cookbook that is probably most needed in every household.
By Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC
Did you know that June is Migraine Awareness Month? If you don’t get migraines yourself, I guarantee you know someone who does, because 1 in 4 American households includes a migraine sufferer.
Migraine attacks affect nearly 1 in 5 women and cause all kinds of loss:
- lost work and family time
- lost social engagements
- lost relationships
- and often other health conditions.
You might not even know that your friends are having migraine attacks, because often people hide what’s going on, either out of embarrassment or stigma. If it’s “just a headache” then why can’t you work, come to your kid’s soccer game, or spend the afternoon by the pool in the bright sun?
Migraines aren’t headaches, they’re a complex neuro-biological condition that can cause symptoms ranging from stroke-like blindness and weakness, to sinus pressure, light sensitivity, nausea, and visual disturbances.
I was diagnosed relatively late in life at age 53 with migraine and vertigo. I couldn’t find a book that truly helped me, so I jumped into the research and eventually wrote the book that I needed: “The Migraine Relief Plan—An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health.” In the book, I focus on migraine wellness. What can I DO to feel better as much as possible? The book provides a gentle lifestyle transition over 8 weeks, allowing people to make gradual, lasting changes. As a health coach  I don’t think it’s realistic to say, “clean out your pantry today and eat totally differently starting tomorrow!”
Dorothy asked me to talk about the 75 recipes: they all focus on whole foods, using real ingredients like fruits, vegetables, grains and beans (if desired), and healthy proteins and fats. You can follow my plan if you are vegan, paleo, or just eating regular American food. All the recipes are gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free, and nut-free… most are dairy-free or have dairy-free options. I recently served lunch to a group of food writers in Los Angeles, who couldn’t believe all the recipes were salt-free, and who all went back for seconds. I want people to love this food.
We’re showcasing Creamy Not-Ella Carob Butter today for a few reasons. It’s rich, decadent, and creamy. It’s made with only 5 ingredients. It tastes pretty close to Nutella without the sugar, palm oil, milk fat, or other less-than-healthy ingredients. You can keep it in your desk at work and eat it on gluten-free crackers or apple slices. And it’s migraine-friendly:
- Hazelnuts can be a migraine trigger, so I replace them with toasted sunflower seeds and hemp seeds.
- Chocolate can be a migraine trigger, so I replace it with carob powder.
- Sugar can be inflammatory (and migraine is an inflammatory condition), so I replace it with stevia, a natural plant-based sweetener.
- Milk powder can be a problem for people (and people with migraines seem to have more food allergies) so we skip that.
- Palm oil is not the healthiest oil for the brain or body, so I replace it with extra virgin coconut oil, which has medium-chain triglycerides and lauric acid, both excellent for the brain.
If you like this recipe and want to save it, pin it using the image below to your Pinterest board.
Coming up next on Shockingly Delicious, another migraine-friendly recipe:
Get the recipe for Spicy Kale and Swiss Chard Saute , also from “The Migraine Relief Plan,” on Shockingly Delicious next.
About the author: Stephanie Weaver is a writer and health coach  with expertise in changing diets and recipes for health reasons. Her book “The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health” debuted on Feb. 14, 2017 and has been a #1 new release and best seller in 5 Amazon categories. Find over 350 recipes coded for special diets in her Recipe Index .
Disclosure: Reprinted with permission from “The Migraine Relief Plan,” copyright 2016 Stephanie Weaver. Published by Surrey Books, an imprint of Agate Publishing, Inc. Photos by Laura Bashar.