What a headache!

I don’t know about for you, but spring fever can bring along with it some major headaches.  Pollen in the air leads to stuffy noses and sinus pressure.

What else can cause headaches?  And, what can you do to combat them?

1. Your Weight.  The risk of headaches can increase with the size of your waist.  Getting below a BMI of 30 can decrease your risk of headache by 35%.

2. Your Personality.  Being an anxious and inflexible person can lead you to have a greater number of headaches.  Try yoga or meditation to boost your mood.

3.  Your Weekend.  Sleeping in and lounging about sounds like fun on days Monday through Friday, but it can mean a heck of a headache come Saturday and Sunday.  Try to stick to your regular bed routine and try to get outside the house on weekends.

4.  Your Fluid Intake.  Dehydration can lead to really, really bad headaches.  Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as these are the foods that have the highest water content.  You don’t need to drown in glass after glass of H20 — just choose to eat the right foods.

5.  Your Sleep.  Sleeping an average of six hours a night can lead to more headaches than sleeping an average of 8 hours a night.  Catch your Zzzz’s!

6. Your Food Intake.  Skipping meals can make you irritable and headache prone.  Best foods to prevent headaches: Spinach, tofu, oat bran, barley, fish oil, olive oil, white beans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

7. Your Position Relative to Sea Level.  High altitudes and flying can lead to headaches due to pressure changes.  A recent study  shows that taking 600mg of Ibuprofen prior to the altitude change can help!  (On an aside, whenever I fly, I take 4 to 8 Ibuprofen prior to boarding the plane.  I used to get killer migraines when flying and haven’t *knock on wood* since I started this routine!)

Any of you out there get frequent headaches?  What have you found works?


The Many Benefits of White Bread

Just kidding 🙂

I grew up on white bread, as did many of us.  I went on my first diet in fourth grade at the urging of my pediatrician.  I immediately started to get familiar with calorie counts and total fat — though I ignored most of the other facts in the nutrition facts and didn’t go any deeper.  Based on the nutrition labels below, which bread would I have chosen?

White Bread Nutrition:                      Whole-Wheat (WW) Bread Nutrition:

from quitehealthy.com
from quitehealthy.com


For someone who didn’t want to waste precious calories on bread, 60 versus 70 would have been plenty to convince me of the wonderfulness of white bread!

When I was younger, I put an even bigger emphasis on fat than I did calories – trying always to stick to my limit of 60 grams/day.  This extra .45g would have also convinced me that the white bread was the obviously healthy choice.  The amount of calcium and iron in the WW option would have felt negligible.

But, is white bread wonderful for my body?  Is it wonderful for yours? (more…)

Interview with Fat Boy, Thin Man author Michael Prager

Michael Prager is the author of Fat Boy, Thin Man, a memoir chronicling his journey with food addiction.  Michael was kind enough to sit down me to discuss his book and strategies that might apply to you, Choose Health readers!


Elizabeth: Hello, Michael.  Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today.

Michael Prager: Hi, Elizabeth. Thanks very much for your interest.


Elizabeth: Fat Boy, Thin Man details your journey as a food addict toward wellness.  It seems to me that many people have an “ah ha” moment that catalyzes their journey — did you have such a moment?

Michael: I was very slow in this respect. I never thought I was a food addict, or even that food addiction existed. Then I wasn’t at all interested in any of the remedies/attitudes/practices that existed to fight my addiction. Then I adopted one, and then another one, and then others, over a long period of time. The process showed me that I may be “wicked smaht,” as we like to say in Boston, but I was a very slow learner when it came to my biggest health issue. So I would say my “ah ha” was far more of the slow, cumulative, educational variety, rather than a bolt of lightning.