When Alicia Wolf found out that she had chronic vestibular migraine, she turned her diagnosis into determination and began to create a diet that worked for her. Then she began to share her recipes with others in the vestibular community because there were not many options available at that time.
I had an opportunity to chat with Alicia and ask her for some of her tips and tricks to get through the holiday season. Though full of cheer, for many it tends to be rife with triggers. Alicia provided some great advice for enjoying holiday gatherings whether at home or away. (My stomach may or may not be growling already).
Tip 1: Host holiday gatherings at your own house or apartment.
In doing so, you can control your own environment, make and request lots of yummy non-triggering foods and control the sounds (music, chatter, dogs barking, etc.), number of people invited, seating and lighting. Again, this may not be possible for a number of reasons, and you do have to factor in recovery time, but being in your own environment may be the way to go.
Tip 2: Bring a dish and talk to the host about what will be available.
Since the host generally assigns or keeps track of who is bringing what, they will likely know what’s coming. This should give you a good idea of what you can eat and drink without activating your triggers. In fact, Alicia recommends bringing something you can eat and something you can drink so you will have both available to you if none of the other food works for you. See below for some yummy dips you can make and munch on during the party if nothing else works out.
Tip 3: Eat a snack before the gathering.
If all else fails, having a light bite before the gathering means that you will not be starving when you get there. If none of the food or drinks work for you, fill up on what you brought with you to avoid triggers.
Tip 4: Limit your sugars.
It may seem like an easy out to grab some sugary treats to fill the void, but this may lead to an attack. It’s important to eat protein and fat to balance everything out, so look toward tip #2 and make sure you bring something you are able to eat, too.
Tip 5: Aaaaaand….try to still have fun!!!!
The holidays can be stressful, and that goes for holiday gatherings too. Whether you’re planning a party or attending a mandatory family get together, it’s important to pick your battles and try to throw in some cheer in the process.
Bonus Tips: Holiday Favorites
I asked Alicia to highlight one or two recipes that are good for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas/winter. There are really so many, but these are the ones that we settled on:
Wintertime or Christmas
Written by: Jenn Heater