Behind The Butter

follow up appointment

About a month ago, I wrote a post about my journey to find a cure for my chronic migraines through Eastern medicine. The feedback I’ve received from you all has been awesome! I’m so glad that many of you are looking to more holistic approaches to your ailments, whatever they may be.

So now, I’d like to give you an update! In the month since I’ve written the original post, I have had ZERO migraines. In fact, I honestly feel better now than I ever have in my life. If someone would have told me a year ago, or even six months ago, I would be migraine-free now I never would have believed them. I know what works for me may not work for you since every body is so different, but coming from someone that struggled with super painful migraines twice a week at times, to be migraine-free now seems almost like a gift. Actually, I feel like I’ve got my life back!

So what changes have I made other than initial regular acupuncture appointments?

  • In the past two months, I have really worked hard to eat more veggies! Specifically dark leafy greens. I think when Lorelle, my acupuncurist, asked me “when was the last time I ate vegetables?” and I couldn’t remember (yikes) spawned a whole new veggie quest. And you know what? It totally helped my body get back in balance.
  • I dusted off the ol’ juicer! I try to make fresh veggie/fruit juice every morning instead of coffee now (coffee is fine but I was being extra migraine careful at first and it just stuck. I still drink coffee on the weekends at the farmer’s market!) and it really has increased my energy levels throughout the day. My favorite juice combination is two stalks celery, 1 pear, 1 green apple, 1 head romaine lettuce and 1 lemon.
  • Since starting acupuncture, I’ve slowly progressed to more of a plant based whole foods diet to alleviate my migraines. I’m not saying I’m a vegetarian or even ever plan to become one, but is what is working for me now. I’ll tell you what—I have a LOT less headaches now than I did when I was eating chicken five nights a week. Fact. That’s not to say I still don’t enjoy meat from time to time, but not every day anymore and in limited portions. I also think now I eat more avocados and raw nuts than I did before.
  • I reduced my dairy intake. I’ve always hated milk (by itself) but for the past month, haven’t had any yogurt either, which used to be a daily part of my diet. I really don’t know enough to say whether dairy plays a significant role in migraines, and while I still love cheese, the doing away with any “extra” dairy in my diet (daily yogurt) hopefully has been one of the factors in my new headache-free life.
  • I started to “jog” again. I think it was a reader who told me that running helped her headaches so one morning when I felt like I was about to get one, instead of laying down on the couch I tied on my old running shoes and hit the road. The verdict? Ultra sore quads and no headaches. Since then, I’ve tried to get out twice a week and jog 1-2 miles. I still don’t belong to a gym and don’t plan to join one. I’m perfectly content with my little “jogs” and my yoga classes.

….I think that’s it! I guess you could sum it all up to say that I done got healthy, but to me it was more of a mandatory lifestyle change because I couldn’t keep living with migraines every week. At the end, I was willing to do anything to make them go away and was tired of being on prescription meds 24/7. And I did!  My yoga practice has stayed the same and I still drink a glass of wine or two whenever I feel the urge. The four things above, combined with acupuncture and initial Chinese herbs have really been the big things that brought upon the changes in my headaches.

I still eat dessert every night, still listen to the Grey’s soundrack every day and still wear my hair extensions to Whole Foods.

I guess the moral of the story is that you have to find what works for you! There’s no one prescription to cure all but hopefully sharing my experience will help you make small changes in your life that can ultimately help you feel your best.





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  • Monika
    June 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I’m glad to hear you’ve found a resolution to your problem!!

    & glad to hear that you’re still eating dessert… ’cause every girl needs her dessert..

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    June 25, 2011 at 9:40 am

    So good to hear how much better you’re doing while still enjoying dessert 😉

  • Caroline @ The G-Spot
    June 25, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Great post, Jenna. I, too, am extremely prone to migraines and so many of these changes (in addition to others) have helped me immensely. When I set out to free myself of the sometimes daily (yes, daily) migraines I was having, coffee was something I also eliminated and I ended up just sticking with it. Dairy has helped me, too. I also run on a daily basis and I’ve noticed that if I go without it for more than two days, the migraines come a-creepin’. My Celiac disease diagnosis a year ago was also a game changer. Eliminating something (gluten) that was making me so(ooo) sick significantly reduced the frequency I was having migraines. ANYWAY (I’m a talker!), acupuncture is something I’ve been wanting to try, so I’m glad to hear you’ve had success. I will have to give it a try! 🙂

  • Khushboo
    June 25, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Glad to hear that you’ve found a solution to your migraines! Although off-topic, how come you stopped running? I ask because you used to be quite the runner in the early days of your blog!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness
    June 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

    This is a lovely response and follow up post to the original one – I’m so happy for you that your migraines are dissipating…that’s a wonderful thing! You are right, its about experimenting and finding what works for you, and also hearing others experiences can be a wonderful guide, so thank you for sharing 🙂 I have struggled with eczema and found cutting out dairy and eating loads of fresh unprocessed whole foods to be a hugely effective means of controlling it – like you I didn’t enjoy relying on meds 24/7. I think it is SO amazing and empowering to know that what we choose to eat can have such a huge effect on our health and wellbeing <3 Life is a learning curve, and so is our understanding of how to cultivate health and balance – it's always evolving. Loved hearing your new perspective and insight 🙂 xyx

  • Ingunn
    June 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

    This is great news! I’ve changed my eating habits over the last month to try to feel more energetic, and as a side effect I haven’t had a single migraine either (I still get exertion headaches when I work out though, but I’m hoping they’ll go away as I get in better shape). It’s helping me sleep better, too.

    I drink this smoothie every day, it’s pretty much your juice in smoothie form: and I’ve cut the cheese (wait, that didn’t come out right).

    • Kim
      June 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      I love her glowing green smoothies and juice also!

  • Lauren @ What Lauren Likes
    June 25, 2011 at 9:52 am

    That is really great it figured everything out naturally 🙂 congrats!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
    June 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I’m so glad you’ve found a solution to your migraines. I used to be a migraine sufferer too – going gluten free alieviated them ten fold!

  • katherine
    June 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I love Lorelle! I have been seeing her regularly since I moved to SR last summer. I am 36 weeks pregnant now and she has been a huge part of my healthy pregnancy. Chinese medicine has been the only thing that has truly helped with my allergies and eczema. Glad you are feeling so much better!

    • Susan
      June 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

      What did she do for your allergies? I’d love to be rid of mine!

  • polly
    June 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

    so happy for you, honey!
    For me, no dairy has been huuuuuge. But goat cheese is just part of happiness and will remain. : ) No gluten for me either. Unless it’s my moms pie or cookies, of course. 😉

    You are such a delight. Big hugs, we are off to Florida tomorrow! I’ll post sunny pics very soon! Tell Adam hello and love ya!!!


  • Natalia - a side of simple
    June 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Congratulations! That’s so great. Small changes here and there can make HUGE differences. Plus, I’m sure the desserts, wine, and Grey’s are all helping alleviate those migraines 😉

  • sirenjess
    June 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your story with us. I just love your blog.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    June 25, 2011 at 10:00 am

    When I hear the phrase “lifestyle change,” I see the clouds part and hear angels sing! Thanks for sharing this!

    • lauri (
      June 25, 2011 at 10:20 am

      Ha ha, I totally agree! The words ‘diet’ and ‘calorie counting’ make my skin crawl!

  • Mrs. Fish
    June 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Great news! So happy you have found something that works for you and that you are pain free! 🙂

  • lauri (
    June 25, 2011 at 10:18 am

    “Still where my hair esxtensions to WF”!! Ha ha, you crack me up!! I’m glad u have made so many positives changes and found something that works for you! Do u know if acupuncture could help w/ back pain?? I don’t know anything about acupuncture, but my low back has been bothering me for months, so maybe I should look into it!

  • meagan
    June 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I love this post! Our approaches are different–I eat a low-carb/Paleo-ish diet for several reasons–but the diet based on whole-foods and quality ingredients is a must.

    I can totally relate to the freedom that the right diet for oneself provides. After a month on the above diet, I felt a freedom and like life had been given back to me. It’s a gift, and it’s just…amazing to me. I feel so blessed, and I’m glad that you are feeling that way as well.

  • Maria
    June 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I wish acupuncture were a free service, but until that day, I’m afraid I won’t be able to try. It does sound very interesting.

    No yogurt? Idon’t have the nerve to lessen that. I eat at least a cup in one sitting (and go through 500-750 g containers in 1 -1.5 days!). A great combo? One cup of yogurt with half of an avocado and 2/3 cup of sticky brown rice. I am absolutely loving rice lately!

    I also eat chicken and other meats at nearly every meal. Haha. I was reading your post and had to chuckle at how opposite we are. To each their own 🙂

  • Running Betty
    June 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Sounds to me like you just said, “I took a year to make my life more like it was 2.5 yrs ago.” But I could be wrong…
    I eat a lot of yogurt and wasn’t able to during my last vacation. I think it made my ears open up more, which makes sense with the dairy-mucus connection.

    • C
      June 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Disagree! Our LIFESTYLE is not synonymous to our diet or exercise habits. It’s all about exploration (and the consequent growth) in not only WHAT we do but HOW we approach what we do… body, mind, and spirit. Jenna — as we all should be — is growing up and finding ways to live her best life!

      • Baking 'n' Books
        June 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

        Nice. 🙂 Yes, how we look and feel has a lot to do with ourselves and our minds/emotions. I.e: eating chocolate and enjoying it is good; binging on it for emotional reasons is not so good if it interferes with your life.

        It’s not about the “chocolate” – but people think that’s the problem and then start diets which further perpetuates the cycle.

        As an aside – Jenna I was wondering if you changed the types of flour/grains you ate? More of your recipes were involving Quinoa lately. Just wondering as a lot of gluten in-tolerances can cause these problems (and also make people believe it’s dairy or something else when it’s not so much).

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION
    June 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

    So glad to hear you’ve found a solution for your headaches! Migraines are the absolute WORST. Thankfully, I’ve only experienced one really bad one in my life, which is when I couldn’t even walk. Not fun!

  • Laura Ann
    June 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

    So happy for you that you’ve found relief! Also, I’m so stoked about all the veg recipes that you’ve been posting lately. When planning meals for the week, my bf and I often go to your recipe page because we know whatever recipe we choose, it’ll turn out awesome.

  • Jessica
    June 25, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Glad to hear your headaches are gone!
    I have been going to weekly acupuncture visits as well, and they have really destressed me and provoked me to be more mindful and relaxed! Those little needles are mighty powerful!!

  • Khushboo @ Two Megapixel Food
    June 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Hi Jenna,

    I suffer from chronic migraines too but I guess the important thing is to identify triggers – in my case, its lack of sleep, irregular diet, sickness and stress. I definitely agree that diet and exercise has a major role to play in it. The body needs natural nutrition 🙂

    PS: Sore quads suck. That’s what jogging has been doing to me.


  • Sarah Elizabeth
    June 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Good for you, Jenna! And thank you for sharing what has worked for you. I hope it continues to work!

  • Moni'sMeals
    June 25, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I am so very Happy to hear this update Jenna. It must of been awful and NOW you have yourself back. 🙂

    I will pass this post along to some of my clients who still suffer from migranes. I have always been one for discussing how diet has such an impact and water too. This might motivate them more though so thank you!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    June 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    So glad this has worked out for you!

  • Maris(In Good Taste)
    June 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I am so happy for you. My mom gets migraines so I know how painful they are from seeing her suffer

  • Liz
    June 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    It’s actually really comforting to me to know that you are having success with your new approach to health. I just made my first appointment with a holistic doctor for two weeks from now and honestly I was a little nervous and intimidated by the 15-page health history form I had to fill out. This post definitely makes me feel better about my decision and I’m now really looking forward to my appointment 🙂

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath
    June 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so glad your migranes are gone! I get them really often too, & I really think cutting back on meat has helped me, as well as yoga.

  • Kristen @ Change of Pace
    June 25, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Your approach could help so many people and I don’t think they even realize it. Or maybe they do but just don’t believe how simple it could be to alleviate aches and pains. It is amazing how much diet and exercise impacts our lives… Love this post Jenna.

  • Baking 'n' Books
    June 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Happy you are “head-ache” free (on a larger scale!).

    Honestly, the great thing is that all of your points are really just good ‘ole common sense though aren’t they?! Everyone can benefit from eating more greens, drinking less coffee, getting fresh air, less processed foods, etc.

    I can’t get rid of my yogurt though (or my grilled chicken!). I tried before and it was fine – but I just never felt satisfied, more obsessed or whatever. Since having it back in, I just feel more “whole” – that makes no sense I know. I buy the plain, full-fat kind now too and add my own berries, granola.

    • JC
      June 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

      It’s not necessarily “Eastern medicine” as it is common sense. However, wait for everyone to give up mean and dairy now because Jenna said so. When she quit running and ate more “real” food, everyone loved that she didn’t care about veggies or extreme fitness. Now that she’s turning “healthy” again, everyone loves that she’s back to exercising more and eating “cleaner.” Whatever she does, they will applaud. It’s kind of ridiculous. To each their own, but I’m pretty sure she could publish anything and people would read it as the bible.

      • Meghan
        June 26, 2011 at 6:59 am

        Gosh! 🙁 What a mean spirited comment, JC. I am not even a regular commenter here, but I wonder if you realize how jealous your comment makes you sound? To each their own is right. Why do you read if it so obviously irritates you? So odd; such a waste of your time.

        • Baking 'n' Books
          June 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

          Ditto. It doesn’t even have anything to do with mine?

      • Kelly
        June 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

        So very, very true.

      • C
        June 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

        Amen. The blogger-defense bandwagon is ridiculous.

  • Kaileen Elise
    June 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing these details! Most importantly, it’s great to hear you emphasize the importance of doing what works best for YOU!

  • giordin
    June 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    both of your posts on this subject have been great to read about. i’ve had problems with migraines (and belly aches), too, for a VERY long time and it’s only recently that i’ve linked it to diet and exercise. i can’t believe that for all the years that i struggled with head and tummy pains, doctor after doctor prescribed some random medicine, but never once asked me about my diet and exercise routine!

    i finally figure out (mostly) what works for me. i do still get the occasional migraine, and i’m kinda interested in checking out acupuncture and/or herbal remedies, but i’m still a little freaked out by the idea of pins and needles. hearing about your experiences may make it a little less frightening!!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In
    June 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I LOVE that you found a holistic way to solve your migraine problem. As a student at Integrative Nutrition, this is exactly what we preach! Learn what works best for YOU! You’re inspiring me to clean up my eats too.

  • Jin
    June 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Jenna, that’s so great that you finally found what works!

    Even one single migraine once in a blue moon has me miserable. I cannot imagine getting regular ones.

    Congratulations! I believe that when you finally recognize something that works positively towards your health, there’s nothing more rewarding than that!!

  • Jess @ Fit Chick in the City
    June 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    That’s fantastic news, Jenna! So great to hear that you’re lifestyle changes are working for you.

  • kellyo
    June 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    So glad you are feeling better!

  • Angela @ MyPinkyToes
    June 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    That is great that you are feeling better…and I love that you’ve done it all naturally! I definitely could use much more vegetables in my life, too!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble
    June 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Glad your feeling better and your headaches are going away! It’s amazing how much food affects how we feel. I feel like I’ve said this a lot recently, but I recently watched Food Matters and it really opened my eyes to how much we can change with just our diets!!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    June 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Jenna, what a GREAT post about the amazing progress you’ve made!!

    Congrats on having less migraines AND feeling better than you ever have in your life!!! WHAT a BIG statement! Major congrats to you!

    I think that everything you’re doing all works in conjunction; acupunture, leafy greens, less dairy, less meat, more plants, light/moderate exercise…I think they are all pieces to the puzzle and I know I thrive and feel optimally when I do those things, too.

    And I think there is a huge dairy/migraine correlation and trigger thing…my mother and grandmother suffer from migraines that leave them bed ridden for days and I know that if they reduce dairy, they dont suffer as much.

    There is also a connection with dairy/IBS and gut issues. And then somehow I think IBS and migraines tend to be related…many people suffer from both. I personally believe it’s ALL related…maybe not western medicine related, but somewhere, somehow, all these pieces fit and overlap and I think dairy is involved and at the center of it. The human body is a big puzzle with so many overlapping pieces and parts…glad you are figuring out what works for you!

    AWESOME! 🙂

  • Cait's Plate
    June 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve always thought about going this route because I too suffer from migraines – it’s good to know that it helped you out so much, I might have to try it now!

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    June 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Happy for you Jenna! Hope ya continue to be migrane-free 😉

  • Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner
    June 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    So happy that you are feeling better and have found what works for you! Even happier that you didn’t give up your desserts 🙂

  • French Heart
    June 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Am trying that juice drink! Glad your migraines are gone…they’re the worst!

  • Jamie
    June 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Oh I am so happy for you! I shared on your original post about my husbands migraine issues. He has cluster migraines as a result of an accident and they are terrible!!! Days or even weeks of migraine one right on top of the other with no relief between! We are so done with “here take this medication, here try this, here take this and this and that” It is completely overwhelming the amount of medications his doctors have him on. Just this week we got word that he has been accepted into a migraine clinic…for free! A huge blessing for us as we don’t have any health insurance. This will hopefully help him get off the medications, get his pain under control and at the very least keep the migraines to a minimum…although I am hopeful that we will be lucky and eliminate them all together! All of this combined with some serious diet changes and likely some more holistic supplememnts and vitamins…I think we will beat these migraines at their own game!!!
    Thank you for sharing Jenna!

  • Lola
    June 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Hey Jenna!! I’m sorry for being such a pain in the ass, but I’m really trying to find a way to become a nutrition consultant or something of the sort and I remember you used to have in your FAQ’s that you were one. Could you please, please, tell me how did you get your certification? I’d really appreciate it!!!!

    • jenna
      June 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      It was with the AFPA back in 2007 (my certification expired).

      • Lola
        June 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

        Thank you Jenna! 🙂

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    June 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I have to say, as much fun as it has been to read about your decadent desserts, I’m glad to see more of this. 🙂 I like seeing this part of the balance, and I think you do it better than ever now. 🙂

    That still isn’t to say that I won’t whip out one of your vegan brownie recipes. Just sayin’. 😉

  • Melissa
    June 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Great news! I suffer from them too chronically…and I agree that when I eat more green, it helps tons. I used to drink a lot of red wine…now I stick to mostly chards and reislings and that has helped too (even with the sweetness of the reislings). btw…I’m moving to Healdsburg in Oct. Can’t wait. Can I
    contact you privately to ask your advice?

  • Eddie
    June 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    loved reading this post as I am also looking to alternative solutions to some of my own health problems.

    quick question (and I looked at your FAQs hoping it’d be there…): what kind of juicer do you use?


  • Jessica
    June 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Awesome, Jenna! Will you do a post on plant based meals you’ve been making? Specifically, dinner? Thanks!

    • nickee
      June 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      I second this request 🙂 please please!

      • M
        June 26, 2011 at 3:47 am

        Me three please!

        (plus LOVED reading this post Jenna!Thanks for being so open
        about your health and life.Love these kind of reads.)

        Continued improved health to ya!

        And how is Adam liking the less meat-wondering if he has found any
        difference in how he feels day to day?(if he doesn’t mind sharing!)

  • kaila @ healthy helper!
    June 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    That is so great that you’ve been able to find something that works for you. I too am a big believer in acupuncture! It truly works wonders!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    June 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    jogging definitely helps me too…or anything active (hiking!!!) usually does the trick! so glad you’re feeling better 😉

  • Rebecca
    June 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Jenna, I’m a long-time reader of your blog (for 3 years) and a neurologist. I wanted to comment on your other migraine-related post, but didn’t get around to it, so I’m glad you posted this. I was a bit disheartened by your first post; of course, since I’m a doctor it touches a nerve to see people say negative things about “western medicine.” I know there are a lot of shady doctors out there, and doctors that push prescription medicines. But I just wanted to make a couple of points… first, I wish people would not emphasize the huge “division” between eastern and western medicine. It’s not as if “western” doctors just want to push medication and not lifestyle change. It’s actually widely, widely known that stress is a HUGE cause of migraine. In fact, many chronic pain syndromes (like fibromyalgia, migraines, etc.) have a HUGE psychogenic component. I ALWAYS tell patients this, always!!! I am shocked that you were not told this by a “western” physician. It is also common knowledge that foods can predict migraines. I always ask every migraine patient to keep a food diary so they can try to pinpoint what foods (chocolate, red wine, red dye, etc.) precipitate their headaches. Caffeine is also a huge culprit. This is well described in “western” medical literature, so this knowledge isn’t “eastern” per se. Also, you’re one of the few patients who WANTS to make healthy lifestyle changes. Most patients don’t!! They would rather be given a pill. I think it’s awesome that you were able to improve your headache frequency by gaining the insight into the root causes of your headaches and trying to change those things. I’ve had other patients who have done the same thing, and they have had tremendous improvement. I work in a regular hospital, by the way, and our “western” neurology group offers acupuncture and biofeedback for migraine sufferers. We also have a headache class that is offered to all migraineurs. In it, migraine sufferers learn about headache triggers and what they can do to make their headaches better. They also learn about the potential medications that can be used if conservative measures fail.

    Anyway, I just wanted to speak up as a neurologist to say that I’m so glad you’re doing better, and that the methods you’re employing are the same ones that many “western” neurologists DO in fact encourage. “

    • Tricia
      June 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

      Great response!

    • Amelia
      June 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Glad you mentioned this, Rebecca! I’m western-trained, and believe that in theory a lot of the principles are similar to those in the eastern school of thought, but for various reasons many western doctors don’t focus on lifestyle changes that they know will help their patients and instead opt for drugs. It seems that Chinese medicine Drs/other eastern specialists are more comfortable telling people to change their behavior (and btw they get paid well to do so) –which is often what we patients need. Its a “prescription” of a different sort….one ALL doctors should be comfortable giving when appropriate!

    • Mel
      June 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      I just (as in three days ago) started my prelim year for my Neurology residency. It was great to read your comment 🙂

    • Hannah (Balancing on Two Feet)
      June 27, 2011 at 5:16 am

      It is good to read that M.D. do sometimes encourage alternative methods! Sadly that hasn’t always been my experience, similar to Jenna, but think it is mostly a lack of knowledge about the “other” ways.

      Keep up the great work Rebecca I’m sure you are a fabulous doctor!!!

      • Charise
        June 28, 2011 at 10:54 am

        I think a key statement in Rebecca’s comment is that often patients of “Western” doctors don’t WANT to be told to lose weight, eat healthier, etc. They just want that magic pill, whereas many patients of “Eastern” medicine are generally seeking that pill alternative. I think it says something about the state of America that people want pills, pills, and more pills, but get offended if their doctor suggests lifestyle changes that are likely to help them. 🙁 It probably discourages docs from doing so.

        Jenna, I’m so glad you are finding what works to make you feel better!

  • Erin
    June 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    wonderful post. Thank you!!

  • Rebecca
    June 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Oops, in the comment above I meant to say foods can precipitate headaches, not predict them!!!! 🙂

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out
    June 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    That’s great to hear. Sounds like you’ve listened to your body.

    Wearing your hair extensions to Whole Foods. Ha. You crack me up.

  • April
    June 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Jenna –

    This may be very rude and totally off topic but can I ask you how often you dye your hair? Is it highlighted or totally dyed?

    Much Love!!!

  • Aja
    June 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I am glad to hear you are migraine free. My mom had something similar but she just takes pills for it all the time. I’d go your way. Lifestyle changes beat medicine in my book, unless the medicine is 100% necessary.

  • Becky
    June 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Jenna, I am loving your blog. I love how you talk about balance…as I think that is the key to every area in life. I made your famous blackberry margaritas last night and they were a-a-a-amazing…went straight to the top of my “favorites list”. Keep sharing and I’m gonna keep reading. 🙂

  • Nicole K
    June 25, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I am so happy that you are writing more about healthy living, like eating and working out again! Honestly dessert is great (in moderation) but I love the balance you now have on this blog and I LOVE healthy recipes and unhealthy dessert recipes all while reading about your healthy living too!

    • M
      June 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      I am loving this healthier recipe & living type stuff too!
      (but prob because I prefer savoury to
      sweet anyways 😉

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    June 25, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Love the follow up and I’m glad it’s working for you! I’ve definitely had a decrease in my headaches since eating more veggies. I’ve heard less dairy helps too. It’s great and does feel like a gift to not have one every week. I still get a few a month around a certain time (cough cough) but it’s so much more manageable. 🙂

  • Felicia (Natural and Balanced)
    June 26, 2011 at 6:27 am

    this made me so happy- that is so great to hear !!

  • Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen
    June 26, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I’m definitely not a vegetarian, but I agree that I feel so much better when meat is not a mainstay in my diet. Just an occasional visitor.

  • carrie
    June 26, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Unrelated to migraines…just wanted to say (as a long time reader) that you seem so happy (or at least that is what comes through in your writing) these days. Happier about your food choices, exercise, even love life. Makes for great reading.

  • briana
    June 26, 2011 at 9:52 am


    i know you used to suffer from insomnia–do you still? if not, do you credit your turn to eastern medicine as a factor here as well? i am pretty much at my wits end about my insomnia–it’s starting to really infringe on my life, so i’m desperate to do SOMETHING.

    i know jenna’s busy, so if anyone else has any feedback i’d be interested!


  • Brianna
    June 26, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Jenna- I am loooving those extensions on you!! are they clip in’s or did you get them glued in?! i’d love to know, I’ve been wanting them forever!

  • Amelia
    June 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Sooooo glad you’re feeling better. I had terrible migraines at least once a week for about two years and it was so debilitating!

    I did want to mention though, that when you make so many changes to your lifestyle all at once, it’s hard to know what specifically is making you feel better. As a nutritionist I would hesitate to discourage people from eating dairy or encourage people to drink juice every morning as a treatment for migraines…there’s not really any science backing that up. Sounds like overall you made lots of changes, some very healthy ones by any standard, and it really could have been anything–or a combo of a couple things–that relieved your symptoms!

  • Samantha
    June 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I’m sure others have already told you but the podcast from Dave Farmar’s teaching at Three Dog Yoga is up on iTunes and he mentions you in the beginning. 🙂

  • Jamie@everydaydolce
    June 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Jenna! Love this post. I am making you pear gorgonzola flatbread for dinner guests tonight and am so excited to try out the end product 🙂

    By the way….new Bon Iver album is amazing. I’m sure you’ve heard it, if not, it exudes summer and is just…perfect. I wrote a brief little review about it on my blog:

  • kim
    June 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    You may not want to do this and I understand if you don’t but can you give us some examples of what you DO eat.

    Breakfast, snacks etc.
    I do eat yogurt and chicken and would love to have substitutes for those things. But again I know you are not posting your meals anymore so I understand if you would rather not too. Thank you

  • SheFit
    June 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Whoo! Glad to hear that you found something that works. I’ve done acupuncture in the past and it did wonders. I’m a huge fan of it.

  • Ingrid
    June 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    so glad you have cured your migraines and found a healthy balance between wine, dessert and veggies 🙂

  • jenna k
    June 26, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    as a huge science nerd and someone who is trying to go into (“western”) medicine, i really enjoyed reading rebecca’s thoughts several comments up.
    but i loved reading about your lifestyle changes, jenna. it’s good to see you talking about how your diet is making you happy now, as opposed to when you were following that type of lifestyle for other reasons and it wasn’t making you happy.

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking
    June 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better! It sounds like you’ve made some great lifestyle changes. Awesome!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    June 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Interesting to hear about! Glad you’re figuring out what works.
    Btw, eating dessert every night and not belonging to a gym = B.A.

  • pam
    June 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    i was a twice a week migraine sufferer too. after 2 years, i finally figured out it was mushrooms! since i gave them up i’ve been migraine free! hallelujah!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet
    June 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    I’ve always believed that eating less meat helps my body feel its best and most energetic. For me, sugar is the number 1 cause of headaches, and it’s great that you found your triggers and are working to be completely migraine free 🙂

  • Shannon Blogs
    June 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I’m so glad that you’ve been migraine free! Thats awesome!

  • Katrina
    June 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    So happy you are feeling better and glad you switched to a more plant based diet! Hope to see lots more veggie recipes!

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture
    June 27, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Glad to hear your feeling much better! 🙂 I also used to get killer migraines, but not as often as you. The doctor put me on so many tablets and I hated taking them so I took myself off them after just a few days. It was around this time that I altered my lifestyle for other health related reasons and I have had only one migraine since then, this was about 4 months ago! Oh, and I also still eat desert everyday! 😀

  • Aska @ Finding My Happy Ending
    June 27, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Thank you for posting this and your previous post on migraines. I get migraines pretty frequently (just had one yesterday- totally ruined my day) and I could relate to your frustrations and pain. I’ve tried acupuncture for my lower back injury and it worked for me. My brother and sister-in-law are acupuncturists so my family and I are all fans…it’s just that after the back treatments, I’m more afraid of needles. It’s so nice, regardless, to see that it worked for you (yay for Eastern medicine!). Your experience gives me the courage to try acupuncture again. Thanks again for posting, and I hope the migraines never bother you again!

  • Hannah (Balancing on Two Feet)
    June 27, 2011 at 5:17 am

    So glad to hear you are feeling better! I too have found dairy to be a big issue for me. I gave it up for two months and when I added it back in some of my own running injuries started popping up again even without any change in my routine!

  • Emily @
    June 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

    thank you so much for writing about this! my fiance gets terrible migraines – sometimes once a month, and sometimes as often as 2-3 times a week. his mom also gets migraines, and it seems like he’s given up hope for fixing this and thinks he’ll have them forever. i’m printing out this post and your first post about eastern medicine for him to read! i’m so glad to hear that you’ve found a way to get rid of yours and be healthy and balanced!

  • Kate @ NaturaStride
    June 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

    This is wonderful news. I actually am trying acupuncture for this first time this week! I was given a gift certificate and have always been curious about it – especially after reading your post last month. Definitely looking forward to it. 🙂

  • Rebecca
    June 27, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Have you lost weight since you switched to a mostly-veggie diet? Just curious….

    • jenna
      June 27, 2011 at 9:33 am


  • Katie
    June 27, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I’m so excited for you and happy to hear you are migraine free! I actually get acupuncture for migraines too (can’t remember if I commented last time) and I find running gets rid of them usually too. Did your acupuncturist recommend the dietary changes? Mine actually just told me a whole list of foods that I am eating that I probably shouldn’t be…dairy especially, so I’m glad to see that it helped you since we seem to have similar migraine patterns :). I never even thought to ask her about food until recently and now am so intrigued by which foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for headaches and stomachaches based on Chinese medicine!

    My one issue still is alcohol, I’m writing a post today about my decision to cut it wayyy down since it seems to be the only time I get migraines now with all my other changes. As someone who used to be on preventative medicine too, I totally agree with you that acupuncture has been such an awesome alternative!!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    June 27, 2011 at 11:58 am

    good to know jenna! i’ve passed this along to my mum who also suffers terrible migranes. i keep trying to convince her to try alternative medicine!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing
    June 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    i get migraines a LOT so this is very interesting to me! I find when I do exercise regularly and eat more clean, I get them less often.

  • Zedbob
    June 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Trying QiGong, preferably the seated healing forms. It will teach you how to reduce stress and breathe through tension.

  • Mick Styron
    June 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Being a migraine suffer and headaches of at least five diagnosed types. I can say not
    everything will work. It really on the person and what triggers the migraine/headache. Eating green veggies is good also vitamin B2 is something that people lack and will cause migraines. I also take Magnesium Oxide to help reduce migraines. I do try to exercise to help reduce stress along with seeing my Chiropractor and Accupuntuist to help align my body. It is really about knowing yourself. I averaged about 20 headaches a month and 7 migraines a month. Now it is about one every two.

  • MelanieF
    June 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    This is such an inspirational post. I, too, have reduced my dairy intake and started eating much more veggies and fruits as well as nuts and less meat as well. I’ve been feeling so much better. Exercising helps too. I’ve had fewer headaches.

  • Halle
    June 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I’m so glad you’ve found what “works for you”! im also really TRULY grateful to you for being so realistic about everything. You have a great perspective on eating and healthy living, and i hope someday i’ll be as wise as you are about it. taking healthy eating too seriously is kind of my weak spot, and your posts always make me feel better. 🙂

  • jenny eats nutella from a spoon
    June 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    i’m pretty much doing the EXACT SAME THING for my own headaches, which I’ve had since I was 14 or 15… (I’m 22 now)

  • Anna
    July 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I had to chime in because I went through the same thing! Started getting migraines about 6 years ago, and it kept escalating until I was getting them weekly (and feeling terrible in between). I felt like I lost 2 years just being miserable. Then I started juicing greens every day and they went away. After many months, migraines started slipping back in and I got lazy, so then I started taking omega oils (flax, primrose, fish…all worked). Now, a couple years later, I don’t stick to anything religiously and I just eat balanced. I only get a few migraines a year, usually when I’ve accidentally eaten a trigger food.

    Oh I also kept a detailed food diary for the first couple years. Found out my main triggers are soy, caffeine, bananas, and red wine.

    Once, a UCLA doctor told me there was nothing I could do, except for take her prescribed medication which could or could not help and would also possibly create rebound headaches. She said my migraines would get worse until I was 40, when it would peak and start becoming less frequent.

    Don’t believe ANYTHING anyone tells you. You can do it if you’re determined! Good job, girl!

  • Pam
    November 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I used to eat Greek yogurt every afternoon and I started getting headaches daily. They were not migraines, but still horrible headaches and I thought I was growing a tumor. I quite the daily yogurt and since then have cut out all dairy since cheese and milk started hurting my tummy.
    Life without dairy is so much better!
    Glad you have been migraine free with all of your lifestyle changes. What we eat (think and breath) really does change everything!

  • Em
    December 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I was really glad to happen upon your post – it’s well timed for me as I saw a neurologist last week who gave me instructions for the next 3 months: exercise, regular healthy meals, good sleep…and a prescription to take daily. I have committed to eat vegan for the nxt month, though it may need longer in terms of my migraine. I’m looking forward to seeing what an increase in fruit and vegetables can do. I haven’t decided if I will take the prescription yet or wait and see what happens. I also get several migraines a week – it’s not easy. I hope you’re still doing well. 🙂