Common Causes of Headaches

and how to avoid them

Did you know that the foods you eat might be causing your migraines and headaches? Blood sugar spikes could cause one main reason for regular headaches, and by regulating your blood sugar levels, you can avoid blood-sugar related headaches and feel better overall.

When we eat foods that are high in sugar (especially simple sugars), our pancreas secretes an important blood sugar-regulating hormone known as insulin. However, if the body is insulin resistant and cannot respond to blood sugar levels appropriately, the pancreas secretes too much insulin. This can leave you feeling exhausted, so the body secretes adrenaline hormones to give you a bit more energy.

These hormones have many effects on the body that are responsible for that surge of energy — including constricting blood vessels. Because the blood vessels in the brain are dilating, they push against nerves, which is extremely painful and gives you a stubborn headache. Thus, by regulating your blood sugar levels, you can also work to limit headaches.

1. Eat smaller meals more frequently
You want to focus on regulating your blood sugar levels, meaning you don’t want any sudden spikes or drops. The best way to do this is to eat regularly, having smaller meals and snacks so that your caloric intake isn’t too high.

2. Have a protein-centered breakfast instead of carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are usually the main component of breakfasts, but they also lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. Try to replace your carbohydrates with a protein-rich breakfast instead. You don’t have to eliminate carbohydrates; make sure that your breakfast contains enough protein as well.

3. Keep a ‘headache’ log
Keep track of what you eat daily and when you’re getting your headaches. For example, if you notice that you get headaches shortly after eating bread, try to eliminate it and see if it improves your headaches. Not everyone has the same “trigger foods,” so it’s crucial that you find yours.

4. Eat as soon as you wake up
You don’t want to go too long without eating, especially in the morning when you’ve been fasting all night. Try to eat shortly after you wake up so that you avoid a substantial drop in blood sugar levels, and make sure that your breakfast contains lots of protein, healthy fats, and fewer carbohydrates.

5. Eliminate added sugars
Although not everyone has the same trigger foods, artificial sugars and sweets are almost guaranteed to be giving you headaches. These foods cause an immediate spike in blood sugar levels and offer absolutely no nutrients. Aside from the apparent candies, sodas, and cakes, many storebought foods contain added sugars that you wouldn’t expect. Read the ingredient labels of sauces, bread, or fruit juices— you will often see sugar as a sneaky ingredient.

Have you found that certain foods give you headaches?

Now that Summer is wrapping up, let’s take a moment to look back on your experiences and share what you’re most grateful for from the last few months.

One of my favorite Fall practices is reflecting, so share a reflection with me in the comments below. What’s something you’re grateful for from the summer months?

 

The most effective way I’ve found to make the most out of my time and to squash procrastination is to make my to-do list for the next day before I go to bed at night.

Having a plan leaves less room for time to slip away, and it’s a great nightly practice to reflect on your day and plan your next.  You can do so right after you write down 5-10 gratitudes you have for the day you just had, to add a little extra meaning to your planning session.

What’s been great so far this year?

If you can believe it, we are more than halfway through the year already.  With all the focus typically being on resolutions for the new year, I love the practice of taking a pause in the middle of the year and focusing on what is going well and what you’ve accomplished thus far.

It’s also a fabulous time to get the fire lit within you again if you’ve fallen off track with your hopes for the year.  With all that said, its time to reflect.

What’s gone well for you so far this year?

 

We live in a world inundated with social media, and I’ve noticed a habit of comparison going on — with me, too.  Playing the comparison game is stealing so much of our joy and creating unnecessary stress.  We can get caught up in a cloud of jealousy as we scroll and see what everyone else has that we don’t, where they’re traveling that we haven’t, etc.  If social media is going to be a part of our daily lives, we have to combat and squash this before it becomes a bigger problem.

One way I do this in my own life is framing my mindset differently.  One small change can make a huge difference — and this mindset hack is merely focusing on what you have RIGHT NOW that brings you joy.  Forget about what you hope to have next month, what you’re saving up for to finally purchase, that trip you’re planning for the summer — forget all of the future plans, and focus on what you have right this moment that brings you joy.  It can be big or small, the only thing it has to do is bring you joy.  Celebrate your small joys daily (a journal is a great way to make this practice ongoing) and put the spotlight on the things that make you happy in the here and now.

What’s one small joy in your life?

 

Have you ever heard of Morning Pages?  It’s more of a practice than a “thing” — and it’s a transformational practice at that.

Morning Pages is when you put pen to paper first thing in the morning and write a stream of consciousness that lasts several pages.  You jot down anything and everything crossing your mind — there’s no wrong way to do it.  Morning Pages are for your eyes only, so you don’t need to worry about proper grammar, sentence structure, or anything at all other than emptying your thoughts onto paper.

Morning Pages are meant to provoke, clarify, comfort, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.  This can help you feel less anxious by putting your fears and concerns on paper, and it can also contribute to noticing patterns of what’s on your mind.

The key is not to overthink it: just write three or more pages of anything at all, and continue the practice each morning.

Have you ever given Morning Pages a try?

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Isn’t it so interesting how we’re generally either one extreme or the other?

Some people crawl into bed at 8pm ready to call it a day, and others begin to feel their most productive hours begin around dinner time.

Sleep is essential for good health — this you know.

And it can be quite tricky to navigate that road when you’re on the night owl spectrum.

For the night owls:

– Pick up some Sleepytime Tea and drink a cup around 7pm each night this week.  See what happens.

– Eat dinner an hour earlier than usual this week, as well.

– If you need to shut your mind off, try journaling for 15 minutes before heading to your room to unwind for the evening.  You also can try planning the next day and creating a to-do list.  Waking up feeling organized and ready to tackle your day can help ease your mind as you drift off to sleep.

So – are you a night owl or an early bird?

How do you start your day?

Your morning routine is a crucial beginning to your day and can set the pace for the day to unfold. Starting off on a strong foot helps you be more productive and stay on task, reduces mental fatigue and helps you to move through your day feeling refreshed and collected.

Start your days at the same time every morning and set intentions for the day by planning out how your day should look. Then follow it up with something that makes you happy, along with something to clear your mind to prepare for the day ahead. Tweak your routine till you find something that sets you up for success. A morning routine can set your mindset for the rest of the day and can do nothing but improve your day!

How do your mornings look typically?

It’s incredible what we can learn when we take a good look at Mother Nature and her cycles.  The seasons hold so much wisdom and insight into how we operate as humans, and this parallel is one that should be embraced and acknowledged.  For example, as we’re in the autumn season, take the time to reflect and release — just as nature is.  This season the trees release their leaves until the spring when they bloom again, and we can do the same.

So today, I invite you to do a little exercise digging deeper into this.  Take out a paper or the notepad on your phone, and journal on this idea today.

What’s going on in your life that’s not working?

What do you need to release so you can grow?

Giving thought to those two questions alone will provide you with a slew of ideas on how to go through this season of release and repair.

I’m here to support you in any way you need.

When I talk to people about their top health concerns and stumbling blocks, poor sleep quality, lack of sleep, or some sort of negative sleep pattern is the top most popular response.

Most people are chronically exhausted because they aren’t getting enough sleep and aren’t getting sufficient quality sleep.  This ties into other habits we have, but the overall conclusion is we don’t place a high enough value on quality sleep.  We let that suffer before other things on our to-do list, and that’s just what it ends up doing… suffering.

So, how’s your sleep?  Do you sleep well, or do you struggle when it comes to sleep?

Luckily, even if you struggle with sleeping well, there are so many tweaks and tricks you can do to improve your sleep quality.  My favorite ways are to journal before bed and to have a routine that I try to follow most nights.