Changing Diets & Eating Habits

This website features recipes that are low-sodium, often plant-based, locally produced, gluten-free, and refined-sugar free. I help people support optimal health and by shifting their diet to whole foods.

Recipes may help you lose weight, and might be suitable for people with Meniere’s disease, hypertension, migraines, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, celiac disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

I tag each recipe on this website to help you find the meals that may be best for your situation.  You can search by ingredient, meal-type, and even special diets known to work well with migraines, diabetes, and other conditions.  Please check with your doctor if you have any questions about a particular diet or recipe is right for you.

Stephanie Weaver, author of The Migraine Relief Plan

Why I Changed My Diet

In 2003, I got really, really sick. Off-work-for-six-months sick. Can’t-walk-around-the-block sick. Thankfully, we had great insurance, so the multitude of doctor visits, tests, and two back surgeries didn’t bankrupt us. I was diagnosed (because nothing else explained it), with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. There’s no treatment. So, you’re kinda on your own, and too exhausted to research options.

It turned out I also had stress fractures in my back. Even after getting my back fixed, I still wasn’t totally well. Finally, I went to an alternative healthcare provider, who told me my body was full of inflammation, and that I should give up sugar. Give up sugar??!! I lived on sugar! Sugar was what was getting me through the day! They strongly urged me to try it for a month.

Grain-Free Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Red Pepper Sauce | Made using red lentil pasta, this hearty pasta salad pleases all palates! Migraine-friendly, vegan, dairy-free

This meant: No white or brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dried cane syrup, or anything with -ose at the end of it. NO artificial sweeteners. For a really thorough discussion on sweeteners, see this excellent post from Gluten-Free Goddess. I know there is controversy about sweeteners. My pre-2014 recipes use Madhava Organic Agave Syrup—which is produced by traditional methods and supports the local farmers who raise it—coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup and sugar, and coconut sugar. Now I mainly use stevia, and that in very small amounts.

What it really means: No processed foods. I spent a month reading labels in the grocery store… almost everything has corn syrup in it! Watch the movie Food, Inc. or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and you’ll understand why. So, it was back to cooking everything myself and eating fresh, local foods.

I started feeling better in about three weeks, and have made steady progress ever since. A year later, they also suggested I give up gluten. I did, and that really did the trick. I don’t have celiac disease, but I do find that I get inflammation symptoms the next day if I have either sugar or gluten.

In September 2010 I went vegan to see if it would lower my cholesterol… and it did. 40 points in 5 weeks. For four years I ate 99% vegan when at home and as much as I could when traveling. The Hubs was nearly vegan too, dropped his cholesterol 60 points, and was able to get off statin drugs.

Cranberry-lime granita | Recipe Renovator | Gluten-free, low-sodium, low sugar, paleo

In January 2014 I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease with migraine (mine are atypical so I didn’t know I was having migraine attacks), and put on a low-sodium and migraine diet (described in About Me). All my new recipes are formulated without added salt, and are extremely low in sodium. I truly hope these recipes, all kitchen-tested and truly delicious, will help you find your optimal health path.

Should You Change Your Diet?

Change is hard… you have to have some kind of motivation. For some people, turning 50 is the key. For me, I never want to be that sick again. For others, taking back their lives from chronic pain is the motivation. Making these changes, which are now just how I live, have given me back my life. And, we eat very, very well. So I hope my story—and recipes—will encourage you to make changes that will help you feel your best. All my recipes are Husband-tested and Approved, and he was a big meat-and-potatoes guy when we met.

How do Change Your Diet?

Diet change is a process that, when done correctly, can be smooth and relatively painless.  In my book, The Migraine Relief Plan, I guide readers through the process via an 8-week transition.

Eating patterns are part of this change.  That’s why it’s important to discover substitutes in the transition that are equally gratifying.  It’s not as hard as you might think. To get started, here are ten easy swaps:

Chicken Satay | Gluten-free, low-sodium

Download this list and find additional tips and resources on my book website at MigraineReliefPlan.com.

Ten substitutes for migraine-friendly eating

  1. Cook with green onions instead of regular onions.
  2. Spread sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
  3. Use stevia instead of sugar or other sweeteners.
  4. Trade garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for soy beans.
  5. Use no-salt-added canned tuna instead of chunk light canned tuna.
  6. Grill corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
  7. Simmer split peas or split mung beans instead of lentils.
  8. Enjoy blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries instead of raspberries.
  9. Use coconut oil, organic butter, ghee instead of corn /soy / cottonseed / peanut oil.
  10. Drink herbal tea instead of coffee, and infused water instead of diet soda.

Please note the following disclaimer: The statements on this blog are my own personal opinion, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or medical professionals, and are not intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease. Please consult your doctor if you have an illness of any kind. This site is intended to share recipes that inspire people to eat well, and not as a source of health or medical advice.