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Protein Muesli

Here’s a breakfast that is low gluten, low glycemic, low sugar, high protein, and easy to make. It’s a minimalist “oats and whey” muesli.

Ingredients

1 small apple (or 1/2 large apple) cut into chunks
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)
1 hand-full of organic rolled oats (grab a bunch with your hand)
1 serving of nuts (approx. 12 almonds or equivalent amount in walnuts or pumpkin seeds)
2 tbsp half-n-half or 1tbsp coconut oil (optional)
cold water

Mix all the dry ingredients in bowl and add desired amount of water.

Discussion

Why make it yourself? Because you can control the ingredients and assure their quality. Now, the above ingredients were chosen strategically.

Fresh apple has less sugar than dried fruit, especially raisins that you commonly find in commercial mueslis. Mainly it’s fructose you have to keep to a minimum. Raisins are high in fructose; fresh apples not so much.

Protein powder acts as a substitute for milk; I prefer whey, which is derived from milk and has calcium, but delivers far more protein than milk and without the lactose.

Oats are low glycemic calories. They are less inflammatory than wheat, unless you have an avenin sensitivity (avenin is a protein found in oats). Be sure to get organic rolled oats because non-organic oats are typically contaminated with glyphosate, also known as Roundup herbicide. Note that oats are high in phytic acid, but the calcium in whey protein powder offsets it.

Nuts provide some fat and minerals.

Half-n-half or coconut oil is optional, but helps make the protein powder more milk-like.

If you use dried apples and forego the half-n-half, you have yourself a pre-mixed breakfast that is awesome for camping or road trips. Put into individual zip lock bags and add water as needed.

Ghetto Potato Pancakes

Easiest potato pancake recipe ever.

1) Get a carton of hash browns from the freezer section of the grocery store.

2) Get a container of onion powder.

3) Put hash browns in toaster, toast until crispy, then sprinkle with onion powder.

Eat with applesauce (traditional) or strawberry jam (my style).

That is all.

Migraines / Headaches - Potential Causes and Remedies

There are different types and causes of migraine headaches. Below I will discuss several causes.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency brought on by too much calcium and not enough magnesium can produce migraines. This is based on personal experience, anecdotal evidence, and internet research of medical journals. In particular, they can cause aural migraines, which are intense headaches preceded by a flashing pattern in one’s field of vision, which are due to localized seizures in the occipetal lobe. If eating a high-calcium food such as cheese, yogurt, broccoli, or similar produces such migraines, then that would suggest an imbalance in magnesium and calcium ratios.

Magnesium supplements, some are better than others. Avoid aspartate and oxide forms, as the first is an excitotoxin that can trigger headaches and the latter is poorly absorbed. Glycinate, citrate, orotate, and taurate are good. Source Naturals Ultra-Mag (Amazon link) is a decent combination of good forms of magnesium.

Caffeine or Alcohol Hangover

Caffeine blocks the cell receptors that signal your body that it’s tired. As a consequence, you feel energized at the cost of cellular waste products (from being awake) and certain substances building up that normally get reduced or recycled via sleep. One of those is adenosine, and since the body feels like there is little or no adenosine due to receptors of adenosine being blocked, it produces more. Eventually the caffeine wears off and all that adenosine rushes forth, leading to fatigue. Further, adenosine has effects on blood vessels, including those in the brain, and also affects nerve sensitivity. The result is a migraine preceded by fatigue, preceded by a period of being amped up by caffeine.

Alcohol, meanwhile, converts into acetaldehyde in the body, a potent mycotoxin that is normally broken down further by enzymes your body produces for the task. But this detoxification doesn’t happen perfectly or instantly, and in some people with a genetic defect including most Asians, the gene is lacking to neutralize acetaldehyde. Whatever the case, that substance builds up and does damage and that, together with dehydration, is what supposedly causes hangover headaches. It’s a form of chemical trauma.

Food Sensitivities

Certain foods can trigger allergic responses, inflammatory/immune responses, or can act as surrogate caffeine-like substances that block adenosine receptors. The end result is that they too, will cause a migraine after a period of time. What makes them allergy-like is that it doesn’t take much in terms of quantity to trigger a reaction.

In cases where people lack the genes or liver function to detoxify certain hepatoxic (liver-damaging) substances, these can build up and like acetaldehyde lead to headaches. If that process were supported or sped up, then the migraine wouldn’t be as severe.

The only way to know what the food triggers are, is to log what you eat and correlate it with the timing and intensity of a migraine. For example, let’s say you are sensitive to the herb basil. After consuming it, it may induce a caffeine-like reaction within a couple hours, leading to problems sleeping for a period of time as the reaction progresses. Eventually it wears off, and the built-up adenosine floods the receptor sites and an extended migraine follows.

What Literature Recommends

So in addition to magnesium, other mentioned remedies include Sodium-R-Alpha-Lipoic-Acid (Na-R-ALA) and CoQ10, and if you are a woman, then also Milk Thistle extract (female, because it has estrogenic effects which is not good for men).

The latter three act as potent detoxifiers, antioxidants, and protectants according to research, which is easy to find if you investigate each of these supplements. Ubiquinol helps in the production of ATP (adenosine-triphosphate) and thus may help convert existing adenosine back into ATP, clearing what would otherwise be a tsunami effect on the adenosine receptors. This would be especially important on the fatigue stage preceding a migraine.

Na-R-ALA, meanwhile, is a detoxifier that would do its job best during or shortly after eating/consuming something that might have a toxic or sensitivity triggering effect. Avoid the regular alpha lipoic form, and stick to the stabilized Na-R-ALA form because alpha lipoic by itself is extremely unstable and polymerizes (turns into plastic goo) at body temperatures. In fact, what might leave a warehouse in pure alpha lipoic form can become mostly polymer by the time it reaches your mailbox due to temperature degradation. The sodium stabilized version doesn’t have this problem, and studies show it’s way more absorbable (more than 40x).

Milk Thistle Extract, or rather the sylimarin in there, acts as a sacrificial neutralizer of toxins that the liver would otherwise have to make enzymes to break down. So it eases the burden on the liver. But again, in males it will have estrogenic effects so isn’t recommended.

During the Onset of a Migraine

One common trick is to induce a brain-freeze by eating/drinking something ice cold, or sucking on an ice cube, or eating a slushee. The intense cold triggers a change in blood pressure and dilation that often relieves a headache or migraine and can even stop it in its tracks.

It may also help to do deeper breathing, to increase oxygen levels and boost mitochondrial activity. Sometimes migraines are caused by mitochondrial energy deficits.

Conclusion

Many people claim they take the above for general health and vitality reasons too, not just for migraines, and the product reviews speak highly of their efficacy. For instance, there are studies on how lipoic acid (in whatever absorbable form, including sodium stabilized) was effective in diabetics and those with kidney disease. So it’s not just headaches, but other issues that are reportedly attenuated.

There are other less common causes of migraines such as brain injury, growth spurts when the skull is changing shape, nonphysical causes, sodium deficiency, and hormonal issues. Here I just covered some of the more prevalent ones I am familiar with.

Gormeh Sabzi Recipe - Persian Herb Stew with Beef or Chicken

Here’s a really healthy dish, considered a favorite by many Persians. It has an exotic flavor, is packed with green leafy veggies, and leaves me feeling great instead of heavy or tired. It’s a green colored thick stew eaten with rice. I’ve made several batches, refining the recipe each time. Here is my best:

Ingredients

2 lbs of meat (beef stew cubes, or chicken, or both)
1 chopped onion
1 can of broth, or 1 rounded teaspoon “Better Than Bouillon” paste
4 dried Persian limes (or half a lime unpeeled thrown into the stew)
1-2 cans of kidney beans
2-4 bunches of fresh curly parsley — important, can’t skip this, and the more the better.
3 TBSP oil
water
salt

Instructions

1) Soak meat in salty water for 15 minutes. Then drain but don’t rinse.

2) Meanwhile, coarsley chop the greens and puree them with broth/water in a blender or food processor (or chop them fine). Use enough water/broth to puree to the consistency of creamed spinach.

3) On medium-high heat, get a pot nice and hot. Add the oil and half the onions and brown them well. Should only take 2 minutes to brown, or else heat wasn’t high enough.

4) Add meat, vegetable puree, kidney beans, and limes. Bring to a boil and then turn to a simmer. Simmer for an hour.

5) Add the rest of the onions and simmer for another 30-60 minutes. Lid on if stew is thick, lid off if too liquidy in order to boil off some of the water.

6) Add salt to taste. Eat with steamed rice.

Tip: Can be simmered up to 4 hours. Can be cooked in a crockpot instead. Do not use dried parsley, only frozen or fresh. The limes are essential, partly for the slight tang, but mostly for the flavor of the citrus oils found in dried Persian limes.

Tip: This dish is amazing ladled atop some crusty bread and with melted cheese atop, a neutral cheese such as muenster or provolone. Sort of a Persian-Etruscan Acquacotta.

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