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Why New Years Resolutions Fail. How to Stick to Your New Years Resolutions in 2020

December 30th, 2019

With the new year almost upon us, you probably have started to reflect back on this past year. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? Were you able to follow through with any of your New Year’s resolutions? Chances are that the answer is no. Studies have shown that while nearly half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, a whopping eighty percent abandons them during the first 30 days of the year. A mere eight percent of the population will actually continue to follow through with their end of the year promises.

People have been making – and breaking – New Year’s resolutions for thousands of years. Archeological findings have shown that ancient Babylonians, who inhabited Mesopotamia nearly 4.000 years ago, celebrated the new year and made promises to the gods for the upcoming year. Ancient Romans made promises to Janus, the god of beginnings, and ancient Egyptians made sacrifices to Hapi, the god of the Nile river, at the beginning of their new year in July.

There is a reason why setting goals for the year ahead is so attractive to humans. There is something both emotional and hopeful about the promise of a clean slate, an opportunity to try again. For most of us, the start of a new calendar year brings, if only temporarily, a new and improved mindset. We tend to be more optimistic during the first few months of the year. Armed with the knowledge of the mistakes we made the year before, we finally have the motivation to improve the aspects of our lives we’ve always wanted to change.

But then, almost like clockwork, our resolutions and goals end up in the back burner as we settle back into our daily routines and day to day struggles. So why do we insist on making promises to ourselves that, deep down, we know we are not going to keep? Psychologists believe that failing to stick to our New Year’s resolutions boils down to two factors: not being specific enough and not being clear.

Generally speaking, the vast majority of New Year’s resolutions are too vague for us to follow through, psychologists say. Take, for example, some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions: eating healthier, losing weight, saving money, exercising more, and quitting smoking. On the surface, these are all plausible and attainable goals. But when we don’t have strategies in place to go after our goal, we end up losing interest, feeling overwhelmed, and making up excuses.

The next time you make a New Year’s resolution ask yourself: “How am I going to accomplish this?” and “what resources – material or otherwise – do I need to stick to this resolution?” Then, make a plan and gather the resources you will need to go after your goal. For example, if you want to eat healthier, find healthy recipes that look appealing to you, research ingredients, and look for healthy alternatives to foods you already like. If you want to quit smoking, decide ahead of time what approach you are going to take. Don’t wait until the first week of the year to start thinking how you are going to tackle these new aspirations.

On the other hand, if you are one of those people who maps out their entire year, creates flow charts, strategic plans, and everything in between to make their goals happen but you still fall short each year, you may not be ready to change – or at least not in the way you think. The path to self-growth is not a straight line, so if you are making, and failing at the same goals each year, it’s time to rethink what and why you want to change.

The fact that we sit down to write or think about the things we want to accomplish next year is proof alone that we are a species eager to improve. But if you wish to have the satisfaction to have met your goals by the end of next year, it is important to understand that resolutions have to be both feasible and personally meaningful. To begin with, strive to make one to three resolutions per year. It may be easy to forget during the holidays, but we are all busy people with countless daily responsibilities. Dumping a laundry list of self-improvement projects on top of those responsibilities is setting yourself up for failure.

Also, take a few minutes to think about why you want to accomplish these goals. For instance, trying to lose weight so other people will think you look better will almost always get you nowhere. Making a resolution just because everybody else is doing it won’t do much for you either. When you really sit down to think about it, you may find that your resolution might not be meaningful to anybody else but you. In fact, it might not even be that big of a change, but it surely will be something that will make you feel proud of yourself once you accomplish it.

The New Year’s resolutions that we usually meet are the ones that bring us immediate and continuous feelings of happiness and accomplishment. When we take too long to see the fruits of our efforts, we become impatient and unmotivated (unless we are doing something extremely meaningful or exciting for us). Goals that are too difficult, time-consuming, or that we ultimately feel aren’t worth our time and effort are the ones we tend to abandon first.

So, if you are planning on making resolutions this year, remember that self-improvement is a personal process. No goal is too small or too specific. In fact, when you start from a detailed and realistic standpoint, you will be more successful than if you made huge, overambitious resolutions.

Good Habits Matter

6 Resolutions for a Happy and Healthy New Year.
What you do today, matters tomorrow.  With a little consistency, there are big benefits to small changes and creating healthy habits.

1. PRACTICE CONSCIOUS BREATHING – Many of us do not breathe correctly. For the mind and body to function well, they need oxygen. If you find yourself holding your breath at times, have a very short breath, feel the need to take a deep breath or run out of breath, you may not be breathing correctly throughout the day. Here is a simple breathing exercise to help you learn to breathe properly: 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

a. Empty the lungs of air
b. Inhale quietly and deeply through your nose for 4 seconds, letting the air fill your abdomen not just your chest.
c. Hold your breath for a seven seconds
d. Exhale forcefully through the mouth pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound for 8 seconds.
e. Repeat the 4 -7- 8 cycle 4 times

There are many health benefits to deep breathing as it allow your body to fully exchange incoming oxygen with outgoing carbon dioxide. This is also a great relaxation and rejuvenation technique that can be used when you are feeling tired, stressed, or anxious.

2. GET MORE SLEEP – Many people never reach the restorative stage of DEEP SLEEP or if they do, they don’t remain there very long. Deep sleep is important for restoring the body and brain and for the consolidation of memories Sleep is an essential part of your overall health and lack of it can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Proper sleep supports brain function and protects against inflammation and cellular damage. Reestablishing healthy sleep patterns is the most powerful tool you can rely on for health, happiness and longevity.
a. Fix a bedtime and awakening time. Don’t let those times drift. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time but only if it is relatively fixed.
b. Avoid alcohol 4-6, hours before bedtime. While alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect.
c. Avoid fatty, sugary or spicy foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. Instead, try eating slow release carbohydrate foods such as pinto beans or crackers just before bedtime. Many people wake up in the middle of the night due to a drop in blood sugar which this will help to prevent. Take steps in 2020 to improve your sleep.
d. Optimize your bedroom environment. Minimize external noise and lights and make sure it is a quiet, clean, comfortable and relaxing place.
e. Exercise regularly but not before bed. Move more throughout the day. Exercise can enhance all aspects of sleep and has been used to reduce symptoms of insomnia.
f. Don’t drink a lot of liquid 1-2 hours before going to bed.
g. For many people, irregular sleep patterns developed over time and may take a couple of weeks to break. Consider taking a dietary supplement like Sleep All Night for reestablishing healthy patterns.

3. PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING RATHER THAN DIETING. Make a conscious effort to make healthier food choices such as cutting back on sugary beverages and eating healthier, nutrient dense foods, such as whole foods (foods that are as close to their natural form as possible, not processed).
a. Add more vegetables to your diet by preparing them in advance, slice them into to smaller pieces and put them into small bags that you can easily grab for a snack on the go or throw them into a casserole, stir fry, or dip in hummus.
b. Consider fruit infused water, tea, sparkling water or veggie juice before reaching for a sugary soda.
c. Consider a sugar substitute such as stevia or erythritol to provide sweetness without the high glycemic load. A high sugar diet has been linked to several adverse health effects including the risk of diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer.

4. INTERMITTENT FASTING – Eating your meals in a 6 to 8 hour window and abstaining from food for 16 to 18 hours can not only help with weight loss, but studies also suggest it may decrease the risk of disease and depression while increasing longevity.1  Intermittent fasting is more of a lifestyle than a diet. For example eating between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., or 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., allows the body to have a prolonged period of rest without calorie intake. During the fasting state, the body burns more stored fat for energy.

5. SIT LESS – Many people sit for a good portion of the day, either at work, in front of a computer or while relaxing at home. A recent study estimated that American adults spend an average of 11 to 12 hours a day sitting. Studies also show that sitting for long periods of time increases risk of heart disease and death.
a. Get up and move even if it is in small 1-5 minute intervals to reduce this risk.
b. Use a reminder. Consider downloading one of many applications that remind you when you’ve been sitting too long and prompt you to get up and move. “Randomly RemindMe” is a great app to help you create healthy habits. You can customize it for any random reminder throughout the day such as; drink more water, step away from the computer, do 10 sit-ups. Other applications include; “Stand Up! The Work Break Timer,” “Move – Daily Activity to Stay Healthy” and “StandApp”.

6. 20 MINUTES OF MODERATE EXERCISE – If you already have an exercise routine, keep up the good work. If not, adding 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day, like light brisk walking, can extend your life and reduce the risk of heart disease. Get rid of the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym or walk for miles. Adding modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your physical, emotional and mental health.

DON’T OBSESS OVER RESULTS, FOCUS ON CONSISTENCY – Be good to yourself. Don’t feel negative or beat yourself up about your current situation. Put your past mistakes and unhealthy choices behind you. Start fresh with healthier decisions which will lead to healthy habits, a healthier lifestyle and a healthier and happier you.

Happy New Year!

From all of us at Akeso Health Sciences, best wishes for a wonderful, and healthy new decade.

 

Migraines and Hormones – Is there a connection?

December 12th, 2019

If you are reading this, you or someone you know probably struggles with migraines. In fact, migraines are so prevalent that they affect nearly 40 million people in the United States and 1 billion worldwide – that’s an astonishing 14% of the entire world’s population! But even though migraines don’t discriminate when it comes to age, race, or social status, there is a clear gender divide among migraineurs. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 85 percent of all chronic migraine sufferers are women, and females also report having longer and more severe attacks than their male counterparts.

But why are women three times more likely to experience these debilitating headaches – and most types of headaches for that matter – than men? In an interview with the Washington Post, Janine Clayton, director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), explains that “we don’t have the answer for why migraines are more common in women than men, but women are more susceptible to every pain condition than men.”

Many factors could explain why migraines are disproportionally more prevalent among women than men, but the most likely answer points towards hormones. Women go through a multitude of hormonal changes throughout their lives, which not only impact their sexual development and reproductive capacities but also play an essential role in how their brain develops and responds to pain.

Migraines can start as early as 18 months of age, and before puberty, boys are more likely to get them than girls. As adolescence approaches, however, this trend shifts drastically; by the age of 17, only 8 percent of boys report experiencing at least one migraine in contrast to 23 percent of girls who had suffered at least one as well. Symptoms, triggers, and severity continue to evolve with age, but migraine incidence usually starts dwindling down after the age of 40 or near the onset of menopause.

In a 2018 study published by the journal Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences, researchers were able to identify changes in estrogen levels as a determining factor for making certain nerves in the brain more sensitive to migraine triggers. However, the authors also pointed out that the relationship between hormones and migraines is very complex, and more research is needed to establish a definite connection.

Hormonal changes are a common occurrence among women. Hormone levels fluctuate before, during, and after a woman’s menstrual cycle as well as during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. But medications, environmental factors, stress, and even certain types of foods can also impact estrogen levels.

Estrogen is one of the two main sex hormones in the female body. Together with progesterone, estrogen is responsible for giving women their characteristic female features, controlling sexual and reproductive development, and running the menstrual cycle. Yet hormone levels rarely stay the same; during the average woman’s menstrual cycle, estrogen levels rise and fall, with peak levels occurring during ovulation and then falling again before and over the course of her period.

Menstrual migraines occur only to women, and they happen exclusively during their period. According to the American Migraine Foundation, for a woman to be diagnosed with these types of migraines, she must experience at least one attack during menstruation and have them in at least two out of every three menstrual cycles. Menstrual migraines don’t occur at other times during the month. However, women can get both menstrual and non-menstrual migraines.

Doctors believe that the drastic decrease in estrogen levels after ovulation makes some women more prone to getting migraines. In a research study published in the scientific journal Neurology in 2006, MacGregor and colleagues observed that among most women with menstrual migraines, attacks occurred during the first day of their period – which is when estrogen levels are at their lowest. However, migraine incidence was significantly lower during times of higher estrogen levels, supporting the theory of estrogen “withdrawal” as a common migraine trigger among women.

Does Birth Control Prevent Menstrual Migraines?

Menstrual migraines affect about 60 percent of women with migraines, but they seem to stop or significantly decrease throughout pregnancy and after menopause. In fact, one research study found that 80 percent of participants suffering from migraines reported zero migraine attacks during their third trimester of pregnancy.

The use of oral contraception as a menstrual migraine treatment has always yielded a mixed bag of results; some women have been successful treating their menstrual migraines with prescription birth control, while others report increased or worsening symptoms. It is important to note, however, that oral contraceptives may elevate some women’s risk of suffering from a stroke or a cardiovascular event. Additionally, women who suffer from migraines with aura also seem to be more at risk of developing blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) while taking hormonal contraceptives.

Fortunately, studies have shown that women who suffer from menstrual migraines can benefit from nutritional supplements like:

Magnesium  360 mg/day
Riboflavin (Vit B-2) 400 mg/day
Feverfew 100 mg/day

PLUS Hormone and Blood Sugar Modulators

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride   (vitamin B-6) 100 mg/day
Chromium Picolinate
Vitamin B6     1,000 mcg/day
L-Theanine 100 mg/day
Chasteberry extract  275 mg/day
D-Biotin  15 mg/day

All  of the ingredients above can be found in one product and help to balance hormone and blood sugar fluctuations (well known migraine triggers), while addressing PMS and PCOS symptoms as well.

What Are Essential Oils and Why is Everybody Using Them?

November 24th, 2019

What Are Essential Oils and Why is Everybody Using Them?

 

Over the past few years, essential oils have taken the alternative medicine market by storm. Available at pharmacies, grocery stores, yoga studios, and everything in between – these little vials of concentrated aromas have hundreds of thousands of people sniffing their way into wellness and relaxation.

But contrary to popular belief, essential oils are not a recent discovery. Humans have used distilled botanicals for a variety of purposes for thousands of years. In fact, the history of essential oils dates as far back as 5,000 years to Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians used essential oils for a variety of purposes that ranged from embalming mummies to cosmetic and healing practices. The modern term “aromatherapy” was used for the first time in the early 1900s by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a French cosmetic chemist known for his essential oil research. Nowadays, we know that botanical oils can help treat skin conditions, inflammation, stress, and much more.

What Are Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated botanical extracts. To make them, the most aromatic part – which varies depending on the type of plant – is extracted through pressing or steaming mechanisms. Often, it takes several pounds of a single plant to make one essential oil bottle, which means that these liquids are incredibly potent.

People often use essential oils in one of two ways: inhaled or applied to the skin topically. Because oils release scent molecules, they travel through the nose to the brain, triggering emotional responses from the amygdala. Depending on the plant, diluted essential oils may help reduce inflammation, promote overall comfort, and help with relaxation.

What Are the Benefits of Essential Oils

Because these concentrated plant extracts are rich in chemical compounds, many essential oils can serve different purposes. Here are three proven benefits of essential oils:

Improved Mood

When you inhale an essential oil, thousands of microscopic scent molecules dispersed around the air enter your nose and travel directly to your brain. Once in the brain, they reach the amygdala – an almond-shaped collection of neurons tucked deep inside the temporal lobe.

The amygdala is known as the emotional processing center of the body. It plays a vital role in our emotional perception, stimuli reaction, and more. Because we tie pleasant smells with positive emotions, when essential oils stimulate the amygdala, our mood tends to improve, and we experience more positive emotions.

Oils that have been observed to be particularly useful at improving mood and boosting energy include:

 

  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger root
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Thyme
  • Wild orange

 

Sleep and Relaxation

Because smell is so closely related to the way that we feel, inhaling soothing scents can facilitate restful sleep. Though there are numerous sleep-inducing oils, several studies point at lavender oil as the most beneficial essential oil for sleep. For example, one study found that lavender oil lengthened REM sleep while another one showed that lavender oil could also help manage anxiety.

Other essential oils that help fall asleep and reduce stress:

 

  • Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Geranium
  • Sandalwood
  • Frankincense
  • Clary sage
  • Valerian
  • Bergamot

Boosting Immunity

As cold and flu season approaches, essential oils can be a helpful immunity booster and protect against viruses. Most essential oils are antiseptic, which means that they can help protect against disease-causing microorganisms to some degree, and others are even antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. For example, garlic essential oil can fight off viruses and bacteria, and eucalyptus oil is a natural alternative for colds and congestion.

Best Essential Oils for Migraine Sufferers

Many people who have migraines or frequent headaches look for alternative, drug-free treatments to manage their symptoms to avoid side effects such as rebound headaches or stomach problems. Fortunately, nutritional supplements, yoga, mindfulness, and essential oils are fantastic drug-free alternatives.

The best way to use essential oils for migraines and headaches is by applying them to the skin, particularly around the temples, forehead or neck. When you apply essential oils to the skin, you get the benefits from both inhalation and topical relief.

A word of caution when applying essential oils to the skin: these extracts are extremely concentrated and potent, so a little goes a long way. On average, essential oils are up to 70 times stronger than dried herbs – for example, a single drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea (which is a physician-recommended natural remedy for migraines)! Applied on their own, essential oils can trigger allergic reactions or irritate the skin.

The safest options to address migraines and headaches with essential oils are either diluting oils in a base (a plant or vegetable-based oil that helps carry the substance) or purchasing a pre-made migraine stick or roll-on. Essential oil migraine roll-ons are convenient and effective because they come with a mixture of the most effective essential oils for headaches, and are already diluted in a safe, non-irritating base  oil.

Peppermint

Peppermint has been used for thousands of years as an alternative remedy for numerous ailments, including gastrointestinal issues and headaches. Studies have shown that menthol, the main organic compound found in mint, can relieve tension and provide a temporary cooling sensation that soothes pain.

A research study that analyzed more than 140 headache attacks found that patients that applied peppermint essential oil on their foreheads and took a pain reliever reduced their pain significantly faster than those who didn’t use peppermint.

Another study showed that in comparison to a placebo, those who applied a topical solution of peppermint oil were able to stay pain-free longer, reduce their pain faster, and were more successful at relieving nausea and vomiting.

Lavender

If there is a holy grail for essential oils, it has to be lavender. This versatile essential oil is derived from the plant Lavandula angustifolia, through the distillation (steaming) process. Typically, lavender oil is used for stress and anxiety, pain relief, and for sleeping.

Studies looking at the treatment of migraines with lavender essential oils have shown promising results. In a 2012 placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers found that those who inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes reported fewer migraine attacks than those who sniffed a placebo substance.

Similarly, recent a randomized-controlled trial followed migraine sufferers for three months and divided them into two groups: one used lavender oil, and the other group was given a placebo. Their results showed that after three months, the participants who were asked to inhale lavender oil had fewer migraines than the control group.

Spearmint

Also part of the Lamiaceae (mint) family, spearmint is a perennial plant commonly used as a flavoring agent in candy, chewing gum, and toothpaste. Spearmint has many health benefits that range from soothing an upset stomach to killing some strains of oral bacteria.

Spearmint essential oil might help people with migraines because it can reduce stress and improve sleep – both known migraine triggers. Women who suffer hormonal-related headaches or migraines may also benefit from using spearmint essential oils. One research study revealed that just by taking two cups of spearmint tea per day, participants were able to improve their hormonal imbalances.

Rosemary

Rosemary is not just another herb you add to your chicken or your steak; it also is a popular natural medicine for indigestion problems like IBS and heartburn. When inhaled or applied to the skin rosemary essential oil can reduce pain, ease muscle tension, increase alertness, and support brain activity. Studies have also demonstrated that rosemary helps improve mood, reduce stress, and boost memory.

Akeso Health Sciences now offers a MIGRAINE STICK for migraine and headache sufferers containing 100% organic essential oils.

 


2 WAYS TO USE:

Keep your MigreLief Migraine Stick with you at all times, in your purse, briefcase, or backpack to roll on calming comfort.

SOOTHE & EASE: Use “as-needed” for immediate, on the spot neurological comfort and stress relief
INVIGORATE: Use throughout the day to feel refreshed and relaxed while inviting the pep back in your step.  Great before a workout or while studying.

HOW TO USE:  Shake gently.  Using the roll-on applicator, apply a small amount to the temples and forehead using a circular motion, avoiding the eyes.  May also be applied to the back of the neck or shoulders for extra cooling and relaxation of muscle tension.  For additional aromatherapy benefits, hold roller top one inch beneath nose and breathe deeply for several minutes.

BENEFITS AT A GLANCE
Promotes:

Neurological comfort and ease
Overall feelings of well-being
Calm and relaxation
Rejuvenated senses
Refreshed & invigorated mind and body
Stress relief
Eases muscle tension

OTHER KEY FEATURES

USDA 100% Organic
Easy to apply roll-on stick, (temples, forehead, back of neck)
Perfect for everyday use. Keep one in your  home, at work and in your car.
Convenient sized bottle, ideal for travel and ready to go
Dark amber bottle protects oils
GMO-free
No animal testing

 

More information or to purchase…  MigreLief Migraine Stick

 

 

Avoid Common Thanksgiving Migraine Triggers

November 24th, 2019

 

 

Common Thanksgiving Migraine Triggers and How to Avoid Them

It seems like only yesterday we were ringing in the new year, and now we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving and holiday season all over again!  Naturally, the last few months of the year should be filled with joy and happiness, with delicious food, family gatherings, and cozy weather reminding us of what’s really important in life.

But when you suffer from migraines, it’s easy to miss out on the fun. For migraineurs, many of the things that people love the most about the holidays – comfort food, scented candles, Christmas lights, etc. – can also set off a migraine attack.  The good news is that knowing what might trigger an attack can give you an upper hand against your migraines this holiday season.

There are four major migraine triggers to look out for during Thanksgiving:

Stress

Most migraine sufferers know that it’s not uncommon to get a headache at the end of a particularly tough day.  In fact, according to the American Headache Society, 4 out of 5 migraineurs recognize stress as a trigger.  Experts are still not entirely sure why stress triggers migraines. However, some hypothesize that it might have something to do with the hormones that the body secretes when it’s under stress.

If stress is a big trigger for you, it is essential to avoid taking on too many roles for Thanksgiving and make sure to ask for help. Cooking dinner for guests without help, volunteering to bring too many dishes to the party, or even traveling during the days leading up to Thanksgiving are all common stressors during the holidays.

Food & Drink Triggers

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that revolves around food – every November, people suddenly start craving turkey, gravy, and everything pumpkin spice. However, when you suffer from chronic migraines, it’s important to pay attention to what and how much you eat and drink.

Here are frequent migraine triggers that may be lurking on the Thanksgiving table this year:

Caffeine
Alcohol
Chocolate
Spicy foods
Cured meats
Aged cheese
Salt
Pickled foods

Weather Changes

Do your migraines usually occur at the same time each year? If they do, you might be sensitive to temperature and pressure changes. Weather and temperature affect everybody differently; in some people, certain barometric changes can cause chemical imbalances that affect how the brain responds to pain signals. In other cases, bright lights, extreme cold, and dryness or humidity can trigger or worsen migraines.

To avoid weather-related migraine attacks this Thanksgiving, keep an eye on the weather forecast so you’re not caught off-guard and can prepare ahead. For example, plan to stay indoors during extremely cold or windy days; drink plenty of water to keep your sinuses moisturized; and use warm clothing even if you’re going to be outside for a short time.

 

3 Tips – Getting Through Thanksgiving Migraine-Free

In addition to keeping an eye out for any potential triggers, these tips can help you stay migraine-free during Thanksgiving:

Remember Holidays Past

Did you get a pounding headache last Thanksgiving? Try to remember what you did, ate, and drank that day so you can avoid it this year. Maybe it was all that cheese you ate or the extra glass or two of wine that you had. Perhaps, you know that a family member’s perfume always triggers a migraine, in which case you can politely ask them to refrain from using it this year. Whatever the case may be, use last year’s (or the year before) pain to your advantage this year to plan ahead.

Delegate

If you are hosting this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, it is crucial to start delegating tasks early on. Asking friends and family members to bring along a food contribution will keep you from stressing out and potentially getting a migraine on the day of the dinner. Also, remember to ask for help whenever you need it. If you feel a migraine coming up, don’t be afraid to leave someone in charge and take a break before it turns into a full-blown attack.

Keep Your Medications Handy

Whether you’re traveling or spending Thanksgiving at home, stock up on your preventive and abortive migraine medications before Thanksgiving if you are running low. A daily nutritional supplement like MigreLief can be of great help during the holiday season; just choose one of the three MigreLief’s everyday formulas and take it twice per day for daily maintenance. You can also use MigreLief-NOW as an as-needed supplement when you need fast-acting support.

 

Wishing you a wonderful migraine-free Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Can Weather Changes Trigger Migraines?

November 19th, 2019

 

Maybe it’s the delicious food, the joy of sharing a dinner with close friends and family, or the beautiful foliage decorating the trees, but something about fall makes it a favorite season for many. Unfortunately, for many migraineurs, seasonal changes can also mean painful migraine attacks.

Can Weather Trigger Migraines?

You probably know that many factors can trigger a migraine. Certain types of foods, strong smells, bright lights, and stress are among the most common migraine triggers in adults. But many people with migraines report that different weather patterns like extreme heat, cold temperatures, storms and even high winds are also frequent triggers.

Several research studies have investigated the relationship between migraines and the weather, but with many of the findings contradicting one another, it has been hard for experts to determine if such connection does exist. For example, in a study published in 1980, researchers asked 75 individuals with frequent headaches to keep a daily log with their headache triggers, severity, and other factors.  After one month of data, their results suggested that neither weather or barometric changes were associated with the onset or severity of a headache.

Conversely, a study published in the Journal of Head and Face Pain in 2004 investigated the correlations between several weather-related factors, including temperature, barometric pressure changes, wind, snow, humidity, rain, clouds, and others. The authors found that there were significant correlations between several weather variables and headaches, especially to temperature and humidity changes. In regard to what type of weather might trigger a migraine, they pointed out that “…with the gamut of known possible migraine triggers, patients might be susceptible to weather in their own ways.”

Which kind of weather triggers migraines?

Pinpointing a specific weather event or temperature that triggers a migraine can be complicated. Migraine triggers have been shown to vary from person to person, so what sets off a headache in one individual might not be an issue for another one. Such variations also make it difficult for researchers to study these connections successfully.

According to the American Academy of Neurology, these are some of the weather-specific triggers migraineurs have reported:

  • High humidity
  • High winds
  • Sunlight 
  • Barometric pressure changes
  • Temperature changes (excessive heat or excessive cold)
  • Lightning (stormy weather)

For some people, weather changes may cause imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, which can prompt a migraine.  Weather-related triggers also may worsen a headache caused by other triggers.

 

Barometric Pressure Migraines and Headaches

Air pressure is closely related to the weather. Barometric changes are a key trigger for many migraine sufferers.  For some people, it’s a sudden drop in pressure and for others, it’s a rise in pressure. Barometric pressure refers to the pressure in the air or the amount of force that is being applied to your body from the air. For example, when the outside air pressure drops, it creates a pressure difference between the air in our sinuses and outside and can cause head pain. This is similar to what some people experience when flying on an airplane.

Barometric pressure does not have to change drastically to cause a migraine or headache.  If you suffer barometric pressure migraines, consider buying a barometer to help you prepare for and predict the barometric pressure changes that affect you the most. A good barometer is the Ambient Weather WX-228TBH or B10225C.

How can you control and prevent weather-related migraines?

Some triggers – like food choices and certain lifestyle factors – can be easier to avoid than others. Unfortunately, the weather is one of those factors that’s impossible to control. If you think that particular weather or temperature changes might cause you to have more migraines than usual, it’s essential to learn to recognize them.

If you already keep a trigger tracker, add information about the weather, like temperature, cloud coverage (sunny, cloudy, etc.), rain, snow, etc.  If you don’t keep one, consider starting one to understand more about your own triggers. Knowing your triggers and being prepared is the most important step to control your migraines… so they don’t control you.

More tips to keep the next storm from taking over your head:

Stay Indoors – You can’t control the temperature outside, but if extreme temps always set off an attack, stay indoors where you can keep an eye on the thermostat. If you need to go out, make sure to bundle up if it’s too cold or wear light fabrics if it’s hot.

Keep Your Medications Nearby – Weather changes can occur rapidly and without warning, so don’t be caught off-guard by a storm, or a heatwave or pressure change.  Consider leaving extra meds wherever you spend the most time (i.e., your desk at work or your car). 

Keep MigreLief-NOW on Hand at All Times – Consider this fast-acting nutritional formula for on-the-spot neurological comfort when you need it the most.  MigreLief-NOW is a combination of Magnesium, Cerevasc Ginger, and the herbs Boswellia and Puracol Feverfew.

Drink Plenty of Water – Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water per day to stay well hydrated.

Get Plenty of Sleep – 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is key to health and longevity and has great benefits for headache or migraine sufferers.  Deep sleep is where all the healing and rejuvenating occurs in our body.

Monitor the Weather Frequently –The best way of being prepared for any kind of weather is by checking the forecast often. There are hundreds of free and paid apps that range from your run-of-the-mill temperature readings to interactive maps, allergy and pollen information, air quality, and more. Knowing what the day’s going to be like allows you to plan ahead, take your preventive medication, wear more appropriate clothing, or ultimately decide to stay indoors.

 

Rebound Headaches – The Merry-Go-Round of Medication Overuse Headaches & Recurring Migraines

October 20th, 2019

When a headache strikes, our first instinct is to reach for the medication cabinet. Over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen may be effective at treating headaches and generally cause fewer side effects than their prescription counterparts.

But OTC pain relievers and headache medications are not without side effects. Rebound headaches are one of the biggest concerns for regular headache sufferers. A rebound headache, also called medication overuse headache, occurs as a result of misusing or taking painkillers (or migraine medications) too frequently.

Experts are not sure why rebound headaches happen. However, the general consensus is that as medications wear off, the body goes through a withdrawal reaction – typically another headache – that causes the person to reach for another painkiller. Eventually, this cycle may shift receptors or pathways on the brain and alter how pain is perceived by the body.

Scientists have determined that rebound headaches tend to occur as a result of medication misuse or overuse. That means that those who use medicines for longer than advised by their doctor or pharmacist or take too many pills at once are at greater risk for developing these headaches.

Most of the time, those who get rebound headaches do so after they’ve used medications for 15 days of the month or more. Though no two medications are the same, most OTC painkillers should not be taken for more than two days per week unless instructed by a doctor.

Which Medications Cause Rebound Headaches

Both OTC and prescription medications can cause rebound headaches. The most common OTC medications that cause these headaches are NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.) as well as acetaminophen. Prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, and sedatives for sleep have also been shown to trigger rebound headaches.

How Are Rebound Headaches Treated

Because these unpleasant headaches are caused by medications, discontinuing their use may seem like the obvious choice. However, that’s not always safe. If a doctor has prescribed you narcotics, painkillers or migraine medications, ending the treatment abruptly can worsen headaches. That’s why it is important to talk to your physician and come up with an action plan to adjust your treatment safely.

On the other hand, if OTC pain relievers are causing your rebound headaches, it may be safe to try and eliminate them on your own. To break the medication-headache cycle, you can try to discontinue them altogether or to cut back gradually. Some people notice that rebound headaches may persist or worsen for a few days or even weeks after they’ve stopped taking medications. That happens because the body may need longer to metabolize and eliminate the medicine from the bloodstream.

Depending on the type of medication and the severity of the rebound headaches, doctors may choose to prescribe other drugs to help ease withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the person may be asked to stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor their symptoms and make sure they are responding well to the new treatment.

 

Signs of Rebound Headaches (Medication Overuse Headaches/Recurring Migraines)

If any of the following signs apply to you, you are probably experiencing Rebound/Medication Overuse Headaches and have probably realized by now, that spending the rest of  your life taking pain medications is NOT the answer.

•You suffer from headaches daily or every other day.

•Your pain intensifies about three hours after your last dose of medication.

•Your pain medications don’t work as well as they used to.

•You take more medication, but your headaches are worse.

•You rely on more pills, and you take them more often.

•You take medication even for mild headaches, and you often try to ward off a headache by using a medication.

•You take pain relievers three to four days a week, and you average more than three tablets per day. (This depends on the kind of medication you’re taking, so you’ll need your doctor’s advice.)

•Your pain runs the gamut from mild to moderate to horrible. Usually, the pain is a dull ache that you feel on both sides of your forehead and, sometimes, on the top or back of your head.

•Your headaches occur much more frequently.

How To Prevent Rebound Headaches

Because treating rebound headaches is not always easy, prevention is always the safest approach. These are the three golden rules to prevent medication overuse headaches:

Follow your doctor or pharmacist’s advice: just because OTC pain relievers don’t require a prescription, doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. In addition to rebound headaches, long term NSAID use can cause stomach problems like gastritis. To avoid rebound headaches, don’t take medications for longer than advised by your physician, pharmacist or by the manufacturer.

Only use pain relievers when you need them: pain relievers are not meant to ‘prevent’ headaches or pain. Avoid rebound headaches and other related issues like drug dependency and withdrawal by only taking medications when you need them.

Avoid caffeine when taking painkillers: rebound headaches are more likely to stem from medications that have caffeine – which many headache and migraine relievers do because caffeine has a tendency to cause dehydration. Taking additional caffeine (like coffee) can further increase the likelihood of getting a rebound headache or a migraine.

Nutritional Options for Migraine & Headache Sufferers

If you suffer from daily headaches or chronic migraines, talk to your general practitioner or neurologist to get a proper diagnosis. Also, consider nutritional supplements and natural alternative therapies.  Nutritional support, lifestyle changes, tracking your migraine triggers,  may be helpful to people who find themselves on the merry-go-round of recurring migraines.

Nutritional supplements that contain magnesium, vitamin B (riboflavin) and feverfew can help you maintain healthy cerebrovascular tone and function as well as maintain healthy mitochondrial reserves in your brain cells. Research has also shown that some migraine sufferers have low levels of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that’s secreted by the pineal gland in your brain.  Supplementing with melatonin has also been shown to be beneficial to migraine sufferers.  It also helps with sleep when taken in the evening.  It is important to note that there is also a sleep/migraine connection.  It is crucial for migraine sufferers to get proper sleep.  Consider healthy sleep habits to keep migraines at bay.  Avoiding foods that trigger migraines, practicing yoga and meditation, and alternative therapies like chiropractic or acupuncture treatments may also help with daily headaches.

 

Pumpkin Spice Bedtime Drink (Vegan)

October 8th, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Drink
Warm up before bedtime with this delicious, hot drink.

INGREDIENTS
2½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp cinnamon
optional: vegan whipped cream + walnuts for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together all the ingredients on medium-low heat in a small saucepan until the drink is perfectly hot and no lumps remain.
Serve hot!

 

RELATED ARTICLE:  The Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin + Tasty Recipes

 

Healthy Sleep Habits to Avoid Migraines

October 6th, 2019

How many times have you gone to bed making a mental list of everything you had to do the next day: waking up at 6:00 am to make breakfast, taking the kids to school, attending back-to-back meetings at work, running back home to make it to your kid’s baseball game, etc., only to wake up with a pounding headache?

Morning migraines are more common than people realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, almost fifty percent of all migraines occur between four and nine o’clock in the morning, ruining your day before it even starts. Time after time, researchers have found links between sleep and migraines, particularly lack of sleep as a frequent migraine trigger.

 

But improving your sleeping habits is not as easy as it sounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, and migraine sufferers are even more likely to experience sleep disturbances.

The problem with our sleeping habits, experts explain, is that we aren’t consistent with them. The vast majority of people either don’t have or don’t stick to a sleep routine. A lack of routine leaves individuals with an erratic sleep schedule that the body cannot adapt to. Fortunately, with a little planning and persistence that can change.

These are five easy steps that you can do to get a better night’s sleep and improve your morning migraines:

Limit Your Caffeine Consumption

Everybody knows that drinking coffee right before bed is a one-way ticket to a sleepless night. But did you know that drinking that 5:00 pm espresso might also be tampering with your sleeping schedule? Caffeine is a stimulant, which is a type of drug characterized by increased activity in the central nervous system and the brain.
caffeine and sleep
The short-term effects of caffeine are usually felt pretty quickly. Five to thirty minutes after drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink, you’ll feel more energized and alert. But its long-term effects last longer, as caffeine’s half-life is about five hours.

The half-life of a substance is the time your body takes to reduce it to half of its original concentration. Since a regular 8 oz cup of brewed coffee can have up to 100 mg of caffeine, when you drink a cup at 5:00 pm you will still have around 50 mg of in your system by the time you go to bed. If you have trouble sleeping at night, limit yourself to no more than two cups of coffee per day and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 4:00 pm

Create the Perfect Sleep Environment

From the moment you climb inside your bed to the moment you wake up the next morning, you spend 9 to 10 hours inside your sleeping environment. That’s over 3,000 hours over the course of a year and nearly one-third of your entire life! So, if your bedroom is uncomfortable and messy, your sleep quality will decline.
Sleep Environment

If you want to get the best night’s sleep possible and improve your morning migraines, you must see your sleeping environment as a sanctuary. The concept of a sleeping environment can vary from person to person. While for many of us our bedroom is the place where we rest each night, people who travel frequently may spend more time sleeping on hotel beds than on their own bed.  But regardless of where you rest your head each night when you optimize that place for sleep, you lower your chances of waking up with a migraine. These are three essential factors to consider for improving your sleeping environment:

Lighting

Everybody has an internal clock, called a circadian rhythm, that manages their sleep/wake cycles. In humans, the circadian rhythm is controlled by a group of neurons located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is in constant communication with the eyes. Every day as the sun sets and it gets dark outside, the hypothalamus starts getting ready for sleep.

The problem is that artificial light can alter your circadian rhythm. Research has shown that taking your electronics to bed or sleeping with the TV on can signal your hypothalamus that is not bedtime yet. Avoid disrupting your internal clock by making sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when you are trying to doze off.

Temperature

How many times have you woken up in the middle of the night because you were either too hot or too cold? Temperature plays a fundamental role in your sleep patterns, with a cooler bedroom being preferred for optimal rest. Research suggests that the ideal temperature for sleep should be around 60 to 67 degrees, but remember to wear socks as cold feet tend to be very disruptive for sleep.

Noise

Any loud or sudden noises that jar you awake have negative effects on your sleeping patterns and increase your likelihood of waking up with a migraine. If you live near a busy street or in a noisy neighborhood, consider investing in a pair of high-quality earplugs or a white noise machine. Research shows that constant white noise can induce sleep and block out background sounds.

Consider a Natural Sleeping Aid

Some nights, no matter what we do, we just can’t sleep. But before you give up on the inevitability of waking up with a migraine, consider taking a natural supplement to help you reset your internal clock and ease you back to sleep. There are many research-backed, non-habit forming natural ingredients that can facilitate sleep including; valerian extract, melatonin, magnesium, zizyphus jujube extract and glycine.

Medical providers have known for over a century that there is an association between poor sleep and the frequency and intensity of migraine and other pain syndromes.  When it comes to sleep, small adjustments can lead to big rewards.  Sleep influences all aspects of life.  Establishing or reestablishing healthy sleep patterns will help control migraines as well as support overall health and longevity.

Learn more about sleep and the risk of chronic disease as well as natural options for promoting deep sleep.  Download Sleep/Insomnia White Paper.

Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds for Healthy Eyes, Heart, Skin, Hair, Weight Loss & More!

September 30th, 2019

Commonly viewed as a vegetable, pumpkin is scientifically a fruit, as it contains seeds. Nutritionally it is more similar to vegetables than fruits. Pumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene.

Eye Health:  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant. It also gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color.  The body converts any ingested beta-carotene into vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential for eye health and helps the retina absorb and process light. One cup of pumpkin contains over 200 percent of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.  Studies show that vitamin A can also strengthen your immune system and help fight infections. (1) (2)

High Antioxidant Content:  Free radicals are molecules produced by your body’s metabolic process. Though highly unstable, they have useful roles, such as destroying harmful bacteria.  However, excessive free radicals in your body create a state called oxidative stress, which has been linked to chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer. Pumpkins contain antioxidants, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. These can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells.  Pumpkin may lower you risk of cancer. (3)  (4)

Heart Health:  Pumpkin contains a variety of nutrients that can improve your heart health.  It’s high in potassium, vitamin C and fiber, which have been linked to heart benefits.  For instance, studies have shown that people with higher potassium intakes appear to have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of strokes which are both risk factors for heart disease. (5)

Weight Loss:  Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer.  It is low in calories as it is 94% water and contains only 50 calories per cup (245 grams).

Healthy Skin:  Pumpkin is great for the skin for many reasons.  Studies show that carotenoids like beta-carotene can act as a natural sunblock. (6)
Once ingested, carotenoids are transported to various organs including your skin. Here, they help protect skin cells against damage from harmful UV rays (7).
Pumpkin is also high in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy. (8).
Moreover, pumpkins contain lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E and many more antioxidants that have been shown to boost your skin’s defenses against UV. (9) (10)

One cup of cooked pumpkin (245 grams) contains:

Calories: 49
Fat: 0.2 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin A: 245% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Vitamin C: 19% of the RDI
Potassium: 16% of the RDI
Copper: 11% of the RDI
Manganese: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin B2: 11% of the RDI
Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI
Iron: 8% of the RDI
Small amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate and several B vitamins.

When making pumpkin dishes… Don’t throw away the seeds!

PUMPKIN SEEDS ARE POWER SEEDS

Pumpkin seeds were discovered by archaeologists in caves in Mexico back in 7,000 B.C.  North American Indian tribes were the very first to observe the dietary and medicinal properties of pumpkin seeds.  The nutrition in pumpkin seeds improves with age; they are among the few foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose. Pumpkin seeds stored for more than five months increase in protein content. They can be consumed raw or toasted, plain or tossed in salads and other fresh or cooked dishes.  Containing a variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are extremely healthy and are a good source of B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates), magnesium, iron and protein.  100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains about 30 grams of protein. They are the most alkaline-forming seed.

PUMPKIN SEED BENEFITS

Heart Healthy:  Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of healthy fats, fibers and various antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart.  The high levels of essential fatty acids help maintain healthy blood vessels and lower unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.  Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.

Healthy Sleep:  Pumpkin seeds contain Serotonin, a neurochemical which promotes health sleep.  They are also high in Tryptophan, an amino acid that further converts into Serotonin in the body, to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Prostate Health:  High in zinc these seeds are useful for promoting men’s fertility and preventing prostrate problems. The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.  Pumpkin seeds also have DHEA (Di-hydro epi-androstenedione) that helps reduce the chances of prostate cancer.

Stabilize Blood Sugar – Pumpkin seeds help improve insulin regulation in diabetics and decreases oxidative stress. These seeds are a rich source of digestible protein that helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

Hair Growth:  Pumpkin seeds consist of cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for hair growth. They also contain vitamin C that also plays a crucial role in hair growth. Apply pumpkin seeds oil on scalp to see the results or just consume a handful of them daily.

Bone Protection:  High in zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis, since zinc deficiencies can lead to higher rates of osteoporosis.
Pumpkin seeds are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.

Other benefits:  According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.  These seeds reduce inflammation and counter arthritis pain without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.  They are also used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.

Take advantage of the abundance of pumpkins during the fall season and give your health a boost. Enjoy these healthy pumpkin recipes.

 

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE

Tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass and will satisfy all your pumpkin cravings.  It combines pumpkin purée with almond butter, milk, delicious spices, and honey. It’s an excellent source of filling protein and fiber, plus it provides eye-helping beta-carotene. (Can’t get enough pumpkin?

Ingredients:

1 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp almond butter
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
4 ice cubes

Directions:  Blend ingredients together, and enjoy! Serves 1.

 

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HEALTHY PUMPKIN MUFFINS (No Flour, Sugar Free, Oil Free, Dairy Free Gluten Free)

Healthy pumpkin muffins are a better-for-you alternative to traditional pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread.
Gluten free, sugar-free, oil free, and dairy free. Your taste buds will love the healthy fall flavors.

Prep Time – 20 min
Cook Time – 20 min
Total Time – 32 mins
Servings: 14 muffins
Calories: 123  calories

 

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (toasted & ground) * 9.3 ounces
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (toasted, 2 Tbsp reserved for muffin tops) * 2.8 ounces
1 1/8 cups pumpkin puree * 10.7 ounces
2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
6 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
3/4 cup canned coconut milk or dairy milk (full fat, skim or 1 %,)
2 tsp real vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
3 ½ tsp pumpkin spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 ground nutmeg)
½ cup walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 325. Place all oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes).
Let cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry you can skip this step and use plain old-fashioned oats, however the toasting adds flavor.)
Place 2.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
Combine pumpkin puree, eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.

Add both ground and unground oats to wet ingredients and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes (this allows the oats to soak and soften).
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just incorporated. (The batter will be very thick.)

Optional: Fold in approximately 1/2 c walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries.

Scoop batter into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12-14 muffins). Fill the muffin tins 7/8 full.
Bake at 350 for about 23 – 25 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean and the top of the muffin should feel firm.
Recipe Notes
Use parchment muffin liners or lightly spray liners lightly with oil to make the baked muffins easier to remove.

 

GREAT PUMPKIN SOUP

Ingredients
1 small pumpkin
1 onion
3 to 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1.5 cups of vegetable broth
1.5 cups of coconut milk
1/4 tsp turmeric
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
Olive oil (to brush on pumpkin flesh)
Pumpkin seeds and fresh rosemary (to garnish)

Instructions
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F before cutting your pumpkin in half. Spoon out the strings and seeds, saving the seeds for roasting.

2. Using olive oil, brush the flesh of the pumpkin and place the halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately one hour — a fork should be able to pierce the skin. When cooked, allow to cool.

3. On your stove top, saute garlic and onions until translucent — then add turmeric to toast slightly.

4. Add all remaining ingredients (pumpkin flesh, broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper) and bring to a simmer.

5. Once incorporated, use an emulsion blender to create a smoother consistency and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

6. When ready to serve, garnish with rosemary and pumpkin seeds. If you’d like to roast your own, simply toss seeds in olive oil and salt, baking for around 40 to 45 minutes, or until crispy and golden.

Enjoy!

For more great recipes, visit BrenDid .com