My favorite gifts for migraine sufferers is getting an update for 2020 and it's a combination of things that will either bring a little bit of joy, make life easier, or help ease dizzy or painful days.
Whether you're gifting to yourself or to someone you know who is struggling with a migraine or vestibular disorder, it's important to take into account our limitations. Doing so can prevent the dreaded candle gift that is just too overwhelming for someone with a scent sensitivity. And I cannot express the gratitude we feel when we get gifts of food that actually fits our diet plan, versus a box of chocolates or roasted nuts! Here are a few of the things I own that make life with vestibular migraine a little bit easier.
Gifts for the Foodie
- The Wand by PureWine - I have a popular post about these, but I’ve been using these ever since I saw them at the Migraine World Summit and they actually work. What makes these different from the drops you might fine elsewhere is they’re the only product that removes both sulfites and histamines from the wine without adding anything to it or changing the flavor. In fact, even if you don’t have migraine, these work by restoring your wine to the original flavor even if it’s been open a few days. If you are like me and have trouble drinking certain wines, especially reds, you may want to give this a try. 15% off with code thedizzycook direct or available on Amazon without the discount.
- The Dizzy Cook Cookbook - Nothing like a little self promotion, right? My cookbook launched this year and is not only filled with recipes, but also has a lot of tips for natural treatments in general. Endorsed by leading neurologists, like Dr. David Buchholz of Heal Your Headache and Dr. Shin Beh of Victory Over Vestibular Migraine, it's well-rounded with lots of tips to get you cooking meals the whole family will love. And even if you're vegetarian, over 70 recipes of the 90+ can be made veggie-friendly. If you order directly from me at The Dizzy Cook Shop, which supports this website vs. Amazon, I'll sign it directly to you or a friend. You can also sign up for private consultations and cooking classes there as well.
- A Good Dutch Oven - This is an investment piece, but there are some really reasonable brands like Lodge, which is a great way to start. If you're looking for something that you can keep for years (and pass down to other family), consider investing in a classic Le Creuset. I've had mine for 6-10 years and it's still beautiful. A dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot that has a tight fitting lid that can move easily from the stove top to the oven, so it's ideal for pot roast, pulled pork, and other items that require braising. I even love it for soups and oven-baked rice pilaf.
- Non-stick Green Pan - From quick cooking of eggs to an easy dinner like my Creamy Rosemary Chicken, this pan is amazing for easy clean up which is essential to cooking with a chronic illness.
- A ButcherBox Subscription - If you have trouble finding quality meat without additives or injections at the grocery store, or just want something deliverable so you don't have to think about shopping, this meat subscription box sends you great, frozen organic meat. Even some of their sausage is migraine-friendly. They typically give you something free to sign up. And all grocery delivery can be helpful - from Thrive to Instacart.
- An Air Fryer Lid or Air Fryer - If you already own a 6qt instant pot, this air fryer lid is a natural add on that doesn't require a ton of extra space for a full air fryer. Air fryers are great at cooking weeknight meals quickly and easily, as well as crisping up potatoes or vegetables without a ton of extra oil. My two favorite recipes I've used it for are this pork tenderloin, which cuts the cooking time down from 45 minutes to about 20, and these crispy chicken tenders. Also if you're highly sensitive to strong smelling food, this tends to be less noticeable than a slow cooker.
- Onion Glasses - Or for those on a migraine diet - shallot glasses. These nerdy specs shield your eyes from chopping anything that might make you tear up and potentially trigger an attack.
- Good Decaf Coffee - A small business I love is Farm House Coffee Roasters, which makes Swiss Water Decaf that many Dizzy Cook readers including myself tolerate really well. If you miss really good coffee while eliminating caffeine, definitely look into ordering a bag from Andrew, who is a fellow vestibular migraine friend. He understands good coffee and the importance of avoiding migraine attacks to bring the perfect pairing to us! Get 15% off with the code #dizzycook.
- An Instant Pot - This usually goes on sale around the holidays and is one of my top suggestions for anyone cooking with a chronic illness. It easily makes homemade stocks and broths in about 30-40 minutes, versus the 4-12 hours it normally can take. It can help you whip up a healthy soup in just one cooking pan in under 20 minutes. And it can make great shredded meat like this Chicken Tinga filling or Pulled Pork in less than an hour. Although I do think the flavor is better when slow cooked, it is also great for anyone who struggles with a quick build up of tyramine.
- 88 Acres Seed Butters and Seed Bars - A great company that makes great quality seed butters like pumpkin seed, watermelon seed, and sunflower seed. They also have really delicious cinnamon seed bars. If you are sensitive to nuts like myself, you'll really love this alternative. They're also offering $8 off your order of $35.
- An Immersion Blender - Instead of transferring heavy, hot soups from a pot to a blender to get them smooth, this handy tool can help you whip up homemade mayo or blend a soup right in it's cooking pot. I also find it to be less loud and noisy for those who are sound sensitive.
- Pretty Thai Sweet Chili Sauce - Another favorite small business, this Texas company makes the best sweet chili sauce that all my Dizzy Cook friends rave about. Made with minimal ingredients, it's best to order directly from their site for a good price.
- Cheeky Gear for Some Humor while Cooking - Yes following a migraine diet is hard, but you might as well make it fun while you're doing it. With funny towels and cheeky aprons that remind the family to kiss the dizzy cook, you're guaranteed to get more love while you make great changes in your life! Currently 15-20% off for Christmas deals.
If you're looking for some fun t-shirts for migraine awareness, you can also check out Achy Smile Shop - owned by another fellow migraine advocate!
Gifts for Migraine Relief
- Branch Basics Cleaner and Laundry - This plant and mineral based cleaner uses one master concentrate that's mixed with water for a non-toxic everyday cleaner. I use a little bit in the sink with lots of water to wash my fruits and vegetables before putting away in the grocery bin. It's also really great for laundry. What makes this perfect for migraine, beyond it being all-natural, is there is no strong scent. Especially when it comes to laundry, it's a great way to clean your clothes without having any lingering smell. Get 15% off with code DIZZY.
- Allay Lamp - The Allay Lamp was featured at this years Migraine World Summit and emits a narrow band of light that helps with light sensitivity and can reduce the severity of migraine symptoms. I'm currently still trialing, but they do give a 40 day trial period just to be sure you love it. Overall it's helped me with light sensitivity and anxiety as I find it incredibly calming, especially before bed. If you're trying to cook through an attack, take it in the kitchen with you to cut down on additional light sensitivity. Get 10% off with my coupon which is already applied when you click the link.
- Migraine Shields - What makes them a little bit different is they are glasses intended for migraine, but without the pink FL-41 tint. Their lenses come in two styles, the Everyday Lens, which is full protection that blocks 45% of blue light at 455nm which is what digital devices are. This is actually 17x more protective than other blue light lenses and is good for everyday use. This lens is a little less protective than the Episodic Lens, which is a little bit darker. This blocks 59% of blue light and is 20x more effective than other blue light lenses. I love MigraineShields for everyday computer work and can notice a difference with less eye fatigue or visual disturbances. Since I'm clearly on my computer a ton, this is helpful. I can still see colors well since there's no pink tint, which is helping with editing photos. My favorite frames are the Melora and Venesia in the everyday lens. You can also get prescription reader lenses and they have a good trial period as well. Get 20% off all the time with my discount and 30% for Cyber Monday code: THEDIZZYCOOK
- Blisslets - Nausea relief...but make it fashion. These are the cutest new product I've come across for migraine symptom relief, and especially those that deal with vestibular-induced motion sickness. Blisslets come in all kinds of fun patterns and colors, and can blend in with your outfit seamlessly. What I also love about these motion sickness bands is you can pick the sizing! I have exceptionally small wrists (mine measure about 5 ½ inches) and I can already tell a difference with how snug these fit. Blisslets work by applying consistent pressure to the P6 (Nei-Kuan) pressure point which has been used for thousands of years to relieve nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy and motion sickness. Some find it also promotes relaxation by having a soothing effect, as well as a more restful sleep. This is an especially great gift for my vestibular migraine buddies who need to be out and about, but don't want to be too obvious that they're wearing sea sickness bands. Get 15% off with code dizzycook
- Axon Glasses - When my Vestibular Migraine first started, I had severe light sensitivity, Working in an open floor plan at my old office was pure torture. My neurologist recommended FL-41 lenses to me to help with the environment. I’ve been using Axon for a while now and find their lighter colored lenses perfect for working in office environments, on planes, or on the computer.Axon Optics have been shown to reduce the amount of headache days by 24%, and 90% of people who tried them saw a reduction in migraine days. They’re really light on the face and the major perk of Axon is their variety of styles that are really fashionable. They carry both indoor and outdoor, and can add tint to lenses you already own or prescription lenses. I find migraine glasses to be an incredibly personal thing, so I love that they give you a 30 day trial period to see how they work for you. If you don't find relief, just send them back! Get 20% off for Cyber Monday with code CYBER30.
- Magnesium Lotion and Soaks - Is there anything better than giving mom the gift of relaxation? I’m a fan of magnesium chloride bath salts for sore muscles and to relieve any bad attack days, but I’ve been using the MSM cream with melatonin on my neck and feet for a few months now. I think it’s really helped relax some of the tense muscles I get in my neck from traveling and dealing with VM episodes, as well as promote a deeper sleep. I prefer Ancient Minerals because I don’t find their products super itchy! Get it direct from their website or get through Amazon. If you order over $49 you can get free shipping.
- Theraspecs Fit-Over Glasses and Outdoor Lenses - I have posted my full review of Theraspecs lenses previously, and it's no secret these have a special place in my migraine bag. In the FL-41 space, I find them so much different than Axon and honestly have used both in my day to day, but this is why I say to test them both and see which ones you prefer. In comparison, Theraspecs are darker with a very pink hue to them. Because I keep my home and devices so dimly lit and prefer Migraine Shields for computer work, I find them beneficial for really bright big box stores and airports or spaces with lots of crowds and bright lights. My favorite style is a Audrey, which are the ones pictured here. They also carry both indoor and outdoor, and can add tint to lenses. Another benefit over other brands is they have fit-over glasses that you can wear over existing glasses. For Cyber Monday, get up to 40% off.
- Huggaroo Eye Mask - Out of all the Huggaroo products, the fluffy, soft eye mask is my favorite. It can be heated or cooled, or you can remove the inner bag to just use it as a regular eye mask. Going through pregnancy, I've used this so often as you're really limited to mostly natural treatments. Since we did IVF, I was still using a lot of hormones to support my 1st trimester while dealing with lots of changes. Often I'd just meditate with this on and found it to be really calming. And if you're doing progesterone shots, I highly recommend their heated pads for the bum! Get $10 off now for Cyber Monday!
- Calm Subscription - It really doesn't have to be a Calm Subscription, but any meditation guide can be helpful at managing anxiety. Another subscription to keep in mind is Yoga for Migraine, by Adriane Dellorco who leads classes on Miles for Migraine as well. You can see more on her instagram @yogamigraine.
- S'well Tumbler - Literally the only way I can drink more water is by tracking how many S'well bottles I have in a day (I aim for 4-5). These insulated water bottles are really cute, keep my water ice cold, and make it easy to stay hydrated. One reason I like the tumblers versus other types of bottles is you can easily add fresh fruit to flavor your water.
- Victory Over Vestibular Migraine - I am partial to Dr. Beh's book as a loyal patient (and he gives The Dizzy Cook a cool shoutout in it for recipes!), but this book really does have everything you need to know about vestibular migraine. From supplements, to medications, to neuroplasticity, he covers many different treatments and discusses what he sees that works with patients and what doesn't. If you live in an area where the doctors are just clueless, I highly recommend reading through it and perhaps giving them a copy too.
- Foam Rolling Kit - If you read my massage for migraine and vestibular disorders post, you know I love using foam rollers to easy back and neck tension. Here's a handy little kit that keeps you from using your dogs slobbery tennis ball to roll out those knots.
Did you know that you can get a discount on popular supplement brands recommended throughout my posts? Sign in to the supplement store - there is a big sale going on for Cyber Monday that I can't advertise the details of publicly!
Gifts from the Heart
A migraine-friendly dinner (or breakfast) that everyone will enjoy is a lot easier than you might think, and makes a great gift, even if you just drop it by a friend's house. Here are some ideas, most of which freeze very well.
French Apple Cake
Creamy Boursin Pasta or Boursin Chicken
Pulled Pork (easy freezer meal)
Crustless Pot Pie (another easy to freeze meal)
Butternut Squash Soup and Sweet Potato Stew
Cream Cheese Cookies with Cherry Frosting
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