When you have been through so much with a chronic illness, it can be hard to feel grateful. I’ll admit that it took me a long time to come to terms with my migraine diagnosis. The fact that it is something I could potentially deal with for the rest of my life is easily depressing. But as weeks went by and I kept researching new things to try, somewhere along the line my migraine frequency started to taper. I broke the 27/7 style and felt somewhat normal for at least a small section of my day. Now I have good days and bad, but what I have been thinking about a lot lately is how grateful I am.
It hit me pretty hard today as I was driving home from my ballet and yoga class. We had a smaller group today and spent most of our time chatting while stretching. I was so thankful for the new friends I had made. Friends I would have probably never met if I never had to leave my job. I even got the chance to meet up with my old coworkers the night before (big win for me feeling well enough to drive in the rain!), and as we reminisced and laughed about the office gossip I couldn’t help but feel grateful that I have felt well enough to consider working with them again. It’s funny how life takes turns we don’t expect. I never thought I would ever leave my job, as stressful as it was, but this illness really pushed me over the edge. I remember the severe depression after I left. How would I meet people? What if my life would be like this forever? I thought I was doomed to waste away on a couch, keeping my eyes closed. I’ve come so far, but this illness has allowed me to appreciate the small victories and feel truly grateful for the things that have gone right. And there’s no reason to ever feel alone. Even if your friends or family don’t understand, some of the kindest people I’ve “met” happen to be in migraine support groups online.
At the very least, I hope you will be grateful for this tahini bowl recipe that’s inspired by this one over at Goop! I used to make this all the time before I started the Heal Your Headache diet and had to give up miso due to the fermentation. I hadn’t really thought about it till the other day when I was trying to figure out HYH recipes that could also be paleo and gluten-free safe. I tried tweaking the sauce so it didn’t contain things like soy, miso, and rice wine vinegar and it turned out pretty good! We had ours with steak that I just salt and peppered and stuck on our grill pan for 5 minutes. You could also make this with chicken breast or even all vegetarian. Some cooked quinoa would be wonderful here as a base, especially if vegetarian. It’s perfect for a family that loves to customize their own dishes. You can find tahini and sesame oil in most stores or on Amazon, but do not try to sub them with anything else.They are non-negotiables! For ginger, I always keep a bag of this powdered ginger in my pantry. It’s great for smoothies or to mix in hot water. Ginger has been shown to treat migraine headaches and can even be used as a natural way to abort one that’s coming on, but sometimes I get too lazy to grate a fresh one.
Heavily adapted from Goop
- 1/4 cup + 1tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt Add this last in case you already think it's a little salty. Some tahini can be more salty than others.
- 2-3 tbsp water to thin out Add last also
- 4 medium sweet potatoes cut into 1/2inch cubes
- 1 bunch broccolini or regular broccoli
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 green onions chopped
- red bell pepper or carrots, chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted Can do this by placing in a skillet on medium heat and watching very carefully
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss chopped sweet potatoes with 2tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven for 20 minutes. You can prepare the broccoli by also tossing with 1tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.
Make the tahini sauce by combining all the ingredients in a food processor or just by whisking together in a bowl. Add 2-3 tbsp of water until desired consistency is reached. Taste and see if it needs salt. I added 1/2 tsp to mine. Set aside at room temp.
After 20 minutes, toss the sweet potatoes and put them back in the oven for another 20 minutes (40 minutes total). You can place your broccoli in at this point as well and just keep an eye on it. It usually gets crispy within 15 minutes.
Place all the veggies in a bowl with your desired protein and top with a dollop of the tahini sauce and the sesame seeds.