Research shows that the types of foods we eat, and how often we eat, have a direct connection to migraine. However, it can be confusing to figure out the right diet for migraine prevention. For example, no doubt people have suggested you try a Paleo diet for migraine; or perhaps a migraine elimination diet; or that you should avoid all supposed food “triggers.” With so much contradictory information out there, how can you find the migraine diet modifications that are right for you?
We’ve done the hard work for you. The Ctrl M Health app offers four different nutrition strategies, all of which build on one another. Importantly, the focus is not on avoiding foods, but on adding foods and behaviors that research has shown helps reduce migraine. To help kick things off, we’ve put together a four-week challenge that will introduce you to the full range of nutritional possibilities that are helpful for migraine.
You’ll note that we’ve packed a lot of things for you to sample this month: Each day features activities that will generally take you between five minutes and a half hour to complete. No pressure to do them all! The idea is to give you an overview of how the four different strategies might work for you. Also, while you’ll get the most out of this challenge with our iPhone migraine app, we’ve tried to provide enough information and resources so that everyone can gain a stronger understanding of nutrition for migraine.
No matter where you are in your life with migraine – or how much you know about nutrition – this challenge lays out options for sustainable changes you can make to help you manage migraine. You’ll emerge with a new level of nutritional expertise, as well with as a solid plan for your next steps toward migraine improvement.
Week 1: Food Journal & Self-Discovery Mini Challenge
In this week’s mini challenge, you’ll evaluate your current eating patterns and see how they affect your migraine symptoms.
- SUNDAY In the app, read the Nutrition module overview. Then start Food Journal & Self-Discovery – 29 minutes
- MONDAY Continue your food journal and try Mindful Eating Meditation in the app’s nutrition module – 30 minutes
- TUESDAY Read the Self-Discovery article and continue your Food Journal & Self-Discovery activity – 23 minutes
- WEDNESDAY Get your free migraine diet pdf. Start reading it with your food journal in mind – 7 minutes
- THURSDAY Read this article about migraine inflammation (which also appears in your migraine diet pdf!) – 6 minutes
- FRIDAY From your app, download & print Guiding Principles for Nutrition. Put it somewhere you’ll see often – 5 minutes
- SATURDAY Complete your app’s Nutrition Reflection activity. Then celebrate finishing week one! – 5 minutes
Week 2: Anti-Inflammatory Diet Mini Challenge
In this week’s mini challenge, you’ll begin to calm your body’s inflammation level to help reduce your migraine symptoms.
- SUNDAY Start The Anti-Inflammatory Diet activity by adding one anti-inflammatory food to your diet – 20 minutes
- MONDAY Read Building Quality. Then try the Mindful Eating Meditation – 13 minutes
- TUESDAY Start the Eat the Rainbow Challenge. Then read about magnesium – 13 minutes
- WEDNESDAY Turn your rainbow of knowledge into action with our Shopping Trip challenge activity – 1 hour
- THURSDAY Continue the Eat the Rainbow Challenge. Then read about vitamin B2 – 13 minutes
- FRIDAY Continue to Eat the Rainbow and add one more anti-inflammatory food to your diet– 10 minutes
- SATURDAY Complete your Nutrition Reflection. Then celebrate week 2 with the Extended Exhale activity – 10 minutes
Week 3: Balance Sugar Mini Challenge
In this week’s mini challenge, you’ll learn how to build balance into your diet in order to reduce your migraine symptoms.
- SUNDAY Start the 3-day Food Journal & Building Balance activity. (Bonus: Try the Balance Sugar activity) – 20 (35) minutes
- MONDAY Read Building Balance. Then try Mindful Eating Meditation – 13 minutes
- TUESDAY Try the Balanced Approach activity. Then read about CoQ10 and migraine – 24 minutes
- WEDNESDAY Start the Gut Microbiome activity and its Gut Health Challenge – 20 minutes
- THURSDAY Turn your gut microbiome knowledge into action with this week’s Shopping Trip challenge activity – 1 hour
- FRIDAY Get breath awareness with our Breathing Tool. Then read about the migraine supplement feverfew – 8 minutes
- SATURDAY Complete your Nutrition Reflection activity. Then honor week 3 with the Extended Exhale activity – 10 minutes
Week 4: Caffeine Modulation Mini Challenge
In this week’s mini challenge, you’ll learn to build consistency into your diet in order to reduce your migraine symptoms.
- SUNDAY Read the Building Consistency article. Then start the Caffeine Modulation activity – 33 minutes
- MONDAY Start the Meal Timing activity, continue Caffeine Modulation, then try Mindful Eating Meditation – 35 minutes
- TUESDAY Continue Meal Timing and Caffeine Modulation. Then read our butterbur research summary – 12 minutes
- WEDNESDAY Step 1: Try the Breathing Tool activity. Then step 2: Try the Emotional Eating Self-Assessment – 15 minutes
- THURSDAY Try the Emotion & Thinking Traps activity. Then read about melatonin for migraine headaches – 34 minutes
- FRIDAY Explore the Nutrition Levels of Evidence activity. Then take a migraine-supplements matchmaker quiz – 12 minutes
- SATURDAY Complete your final Nutrition Reflection. Then celebrate YOU with an Extended Exhale – 10 minutes
Migraine Diet Challenge Wrap-Up
Whew! Great work on the 4-week nutrition challenge! You’ve learned so much about the different ways your nutrition habits impact your migraine health. You’ve gained insights into the small changes that can be made to your diet for migraine prevention. Perhaps you’ve even tried a few activities and made some discoveries about yourself! Whether you did a little or a lot this month, you’ve taken important steps toward improving your migraine. Take a moment to feel good about your accomplishment.
Now think about how you might keep your momentum going. Which migraine diet modifications might you revisit and start integrating into your life? Ask yourself these questions:
- Which mini challenge week did I find most appealing?
- Which mini challenge week did I find most doable?
- Which activity spoke to me the most?
- Which activity did I find easiest to implement?
- Which mini challenge or activity did I find most impactful?
Your best next step is whichever weekly strategy or individual activity that you: 1) found most appealing, and 2) can realistically apply to your life. That last part is important, because the right nutrition strategy for you is the one you feel readiest for. Fear of failure can sometimes keep us from trying something new, so choose something that feels doable right now. It feels this way because there are good reasons that you’re ready for it! You have what you need for the next leg of your nutrition journey for migraine – and we see progress ahead.
The Ctrl M Health Guide to Migraine Relief
Untreated migraine tends to worsen over time, so if you suspect you have migraine, it’s important to get help. We’ve compiled everything you need, including what to expect, pitfalls to avoid, and what you can do right now to get relief.
For Your Reference: What You Read
- “The 4-Step Guide to Nutrition for Migraine”
- “Understanding Nutrition”
- The Ctrl M Health Guide to Migraine Nutrition
- “Nutrition for Migraine: Soothing Inflammation”
- “Building Quality”
- “Magnesium for Migraine: What We Know”
- “Vitamin B2 for Migraine: Supplementing for Better Care”
- “Building Balance”
- “CoQ10 for Migraine”
- ”Feverfew for Migraine”
- “Building Consistency”
- ”Butterbur Research”
- “Melatonin for Migraine”
For Your Reference: Activities You Tried
- Food Journal & Self-Discovery
- Mindful Eating Meditation
- Guiding Principles for Nutrition
- Nutrition Reflection
- The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
- Eat the Rainbow Challenge
- Shopping Trip
- Extended Exhale
- Balance Sugar
- Food Journal & Building Balance
- Emotion and Thinking Traps
- Balanced Approach
- Gut Microbiome & Gut Health Challenge
- Breathing Tool
- Caffeine Modulation
- Meal Timing
- Emotional Eating Self-Assessment
- Nutrition Levels of Evidence
- Migraine-supplements matchmaker quiz