Learning How to Eat Onion-Free for Migraine Prevention

My Life Without Onions – Leaving Migraines BehindEating onion-free

I began suffering from migraines when I was in elementary school and the days-long torture associated with them has accompanied me throughout my life and travels ever since. The process of learning to cope with migraines has been rough–the medicines that one administers at the onset of a migraine often leave me feeling worse than when I just ride out the storm. Although the symptoms that arrive with my migraines have evolved over the years, moments to hours of aura continue to be the harbingers of inescapable pain to come. Through high school, every episode inevitably came with nausea, and I would relocate for at least a half-day to the bathroom floor. Nowadays, I suffer much less pain for a shorter amount of time and only have attacks about every 5-6 months or so. I can only attribute this dramatic improvement to a decisive modification of my eating habits and choices. Besides limiting my intake of preservatives and processed foods, I learned by trial-and-error what the strange-but-true culprit was and have now effectively eliminated ONIONS!

This discovery about my adverse reaction to onions led me to revisit memories of my youth in which I was labeled “picky” or “a finicky eater”, especially when eating at a friend’s house. I was fortunate that my own family respected my food oddities and helped me find alternatives, but I was not always with such understanding folks. The foods that people tried unsuccessfully to feed me were typically something like Kraft macaroni & cheese, liver and onions, or dishes with so many ingredients it was hard to identify all of them. Until I reached an age when needing to be polite was stronger than listening to my inner voice regarding foods, I blatantly refused to eat what didn’t appeal to me, preferring to cash in on the age old threat of “going straight to bed without dinner”. I’ve decided I should pat that little gal on the back for her early recognition of what is not actually real food and for that innate instinct that told her to shy away from casseroles or assembled items like tacos and burgers, where onions are inevitably found. Oh, and have I mentioned yet that there is onion powder in ketchup and store-bought mayonnaise?!? No wonder I always asked for “just a plain burger on a plain bun”…

Since this aspect of my life with food is so fundamental to my eating, cooking and traveling experiences, I will be dedicating an entire section of my blog to living onion-free and my continued struggles to do so. Check back in the future as I will add recipes I enjoy and identify many of the sneaky places onions hide in our foods…


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