Personal Blog

  • How to NOT Gain Weight During Coronavirus Quarantine.

    The Top 10 Tips For Losing Weight While Working From Home.

    The Coronavirus situation has changed all of our lives, without question. Whether you are in official quarantine or not, you soon will be. The #1 comment or question I see online lately is men and women worried about gaining a ton of weight while working from home or during this whole quarantine/stay in place situation. 

    This post will share how NOT to gain weight during this transition time where we’re all quarantined at home– and truthfully, these are all practices that can and should stay with you for the long-term. 

    Top Tips For Losing Weight During Coronavirus Quarantine.

    Here are my top tips for NOT gaining weight during your quarantine time at home. 
    4. PLAN MEALS. 

    Stop Snacking.

    I have had SOME MAJOR epiphanies recently about SNACKING. In fact, go read THIS POST about why I feel cutting out snacking could be one of the best moves you can make to lose weight. 

    If you are suddenly working from home and not used to it, you’ll find yourself during down times  heading to the fridge or the pantry– boredom eating, mindless eating, stress eating– you name it. It’s easy to do. Not that this isn’t a temptation at the office, but for many people – they may have to go offsite to get snacks – like to a Starbucks or 7-11 – and so the readily available food isn’t there like it is at home. 

    I really URGE you to check out that post on snacking and listen to my advice– because if you become aware of how easy it is for this one practice to DESTROY your caloric ceiling and effortlessly slide you into weight-gainsville– you’ll avoid it. 

    Snacking is a long easy road to nothing– you aren’t ever satisfied, it’s 99% of the time going to be empty calories– and it’s a tease. 

    Ain’t nobody got time for a tease. Find a way to NOT SNACK. Make a mantra and use the #nosnacknopack mantra I shared in the podcast episode. 

    Schedule Your Days.

    This might sound funny or too simple but– for many of you- suddenly working from home- and also maybe having less daily activity to tackle- might mean you could easily slip into just meandering through your days. The more you can treat your days– especially during the week, as work days- and SCHEDULE OUT what you need to get done— by chunking your time (if you’ve never done this, leave me a comment- I’ll do a post on how time chunking has really changed my productivity. I’m still a work in progress but it’s making a tremendously positive impact) the more you’ll feel less like you are “home sick”. If you feel mentally like every day is a “I’m home sick” day, you’ll find yourself less productive and with a lot less energy. The body and mind respond to structure. Schedule your days. 

    Bonus Tip: If I can tell you something else that makes a huge difference, it’s this: get up every day and make your bed, get dressed in an outfit of some sort– ladies, do your makeup, wear perfume- the point being, do NOT let yourself slip into “I’m home sick” appearance– it’s very easy to do and you will feel differently when you are working in a robe and no makeup than if you are dressed like you could meet a friend for lunch. It doesn’t mean every day you get all dolled up in a suit or dress- but– I make sure in my world- each morning I put on my makeup, I put on perfume- and at MINIMUM, I put on a full matchy matchy workout outfit. It’s ok to be in workout clothes– but don’t be a slob. Trust me, you’ll find that you behave differently when you are dressed the part. 

    Focus on WALKING. A LOT.

    Too many people underestimate the power of walking. Even if you didn’t get in a daily workout, if you focused on getting 10K steps a day– or ideally, if you are not working out, you’d try to focus on 15K steps a day– you will feel so much better and fight that battle of the bulge. You stick to a caloric deficit and do 10-15K steps– you might be wonderfully surprised. If you don’t have a fitness tracker- I heartily recommend the Apple Watch. 

    How to get your steps in? I make sure I pace while I’m on any phone call. That can get a lot of steps in. Sometimes when I’m doing instagram stories, I’ll walk the apartment halls, maintaining social distance of course if other community members are out. My man and I go on a long power walk almost every night and it’s also a great thing to do for a break during the day: get outside and go for a walk- the fresh air and vitamin d are so good for our health and immunity!

    Plan Your Meals. And...EAT MEALS.

    This is an area I’ve been really bad in in the past. If you are like me and you love your work– it’s easy to get so wrapped up in it that you don’t want to stop– you don’t want to take the time to MAKE SOMETHING. So quite often I’d go to the fridge and not like what I saw and I’d end up having a protein bar or some trail mix. That’s not a meal. That’s a snack and you know how I feel about snacking. 

    Focus on MEALS. Actual meals. Ideally- if you can, maybe have some food delivery service meals plus some meals you’ve made homemade and have leftovers from- and then get some salads in there with protein on top. Make sure you commit to – when it’s meal time- sitting down and eating your meal- and ONLY EATING vs. eating at your desk. Let yourself ENJOY the food. And hey- order takeout some days from your local restaurants– this way we support them and give ourselves some diversity. 

    Focus On Caloric Deficit More Than EVER.

    If there is one point I cannot drive home to you strongly enough it is this. Nothing is should be your #1 focus- if you want to lose weight- other than CALORIC DEFICIT. 

    Rather than repeat myself a hundred times, do yourself a favor: listen to my podcast with Jordan Syatt. CLICK HERE to do so. Then go read THIS POST I wrote about everything I’ve learned about losing weight– what not to do and what works, even when you have hypothyroidism and low or high cortisol, hormonal imbalance, are over 30/40/50 etc.– CLICK HERE to do that. 

    Take Breaks More Often.

    It’s very easy when working from home to forget time. If you are new to working at home you may suddenly feel like superman or wonder woman because- you don’t have all the co-workers around distracting you. That’s when it becomes very easy to NEVER STOP WORKING. You need breaks- for your mind — and hey, to get those steps in! TAKE BREAKS– practice the Pomodoro Method and work for 20 minutes, break for 10, work for 45 minutes break for 15 whatever– just take BREAKS. Stop and read a book or use your SCHEDULED/TIMED BREAKS for social media. Call your mom or best friend. 

    If you don’t take breaks you will get very run down very quickly. No bueno. You need to be strong and healthy now. 


    Make Sleep a Priority.

    Our sleep affects EVERYTHING. Use this time at home to develop better sleep habits. Start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier– you’ll set yourself up for better practices when we get back to normal life. Start a wind-down routine at night- take a hot bath before bed– stop working on tablets and phones before bed and shut down wi-fi (listen to THIS PODCAST about EMF exposure!) Bottom line- the better you sleep, the better you’ll perform during the day. GET REST. 

    Try New Things.

    You are “stuck” at home. Why not use this time to do things you’ve not previously had the time to do because of your other commitments? Gone are dropping the kids off at soccer practice hours- gone are happy hours or long commutes. You’ve got time. Why not learn how to cook new cuisines? We are. We are looking up all kinds of new recipes that let us use pantry staples so we aren’t going to the grocery store as often and wasting food.

    Same goes for workouts- why not try something new?? Even if you are used to working out at home– branch out. (You may want to read this post I published about the best home workouts and equipment). 

    What about learning new things– watch some documentaries vs. just movies. Sign up for online courses….learn how to build a website or figure out that camera you got for Christmas. 


    Get Creative With Exercise. Also Sex.

    Like I said above- now more than ever, you can get creative with burning calories. Do you live in an apartment complex like us with stairs? Practice stair workouts- make up new moves. Figure out new walking areas outside. Never done yoga? Why not try it now? There are so many new workouts you can try– and you might end up discovering something you’ll be obsessed with.

    And do we have to mention that not only is sex- great activity- it does burn calories– but orgasms are good for HEALTH and stress relief…..if you have a lot more quality time at home with your significant other—- make the most of it. RECONNECT, and OFTEN. 

    Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days.

    You gotta have fun. And in my opinion, when we are on a weight loss journey, while I believe we need to DIET, we also need to mix it up and have — (and I’m ok using these words — sorry, not sorry) CHEAT MEALS. 

    Yea. Cheeseburgers or Pizza or Pasta- you name it- plus Adult Beverages. We need to LIVE while on our way to a leaner version of ourselves. If you PLAN YOUR DIET RIGHT, you can have at least one cheat meal or even a cheat day-ish a week. (P.S. If you want help designing a caloric deficit based weight loss plan, I’m happy to help and will provide nutritional product recommendations as well as workout recommendations— email me kelly at kellyolexa dot com)

    I believe if you plan the right way– and you know during the week that hey, come Friday or Saturday or whenever you plan your cheat meals, you can let loose and enjoy– it makes it easier to stick with the dieting during the week. Give yourself the gift of not being wound so tight on your diet that you can’t enjoy life along the way. Diet hard, cheat well. 😉 That is my mantra. 

    You've so got this.

    I firmly believe you can adjust to working from home during this crazy coronavirus quarantine time and actually come out BETTER on the other side vs worse. It’s all up to you– are you willing to focus on the right practices each day so you can capitalize on this time– that’s what I’m doing….I figure it’s like a gift– it’s like being sent off to a weight loss spa hotel– and I’m going to use this time away to transform for the better vs. giving in to stress eating and worrying and freaking out and being a sloth. Nope. 

    I dare you to join me. I’m doing a 60-day Kelly O Challenge and I am determined to get as close to my 20lb weight loss goal as possible– If you’d like me to design with you a customized caloric deficit plan using intermittent fasting/cleanse days/cheat days plus killer fun workouts– let’s talk. You’ve so got this!!!


  • What are the best home workout programs?

    How to Lose Weight Working Out at Home.

    So, you are suddenly quarantined for Coronavirus and wondering how to get your killer workouts in AT HOME? Or maybe you’ve never worked out at a gym before but you are just getting started on your weight loss journey, and you figure, why not work out at home? For many, the idea of going to a gym is intimidating anyway, quarantine status notwithstanding. 

    This post will share with you– a list of the best workout programs for working out at home, as well as a list of some of my favorite home-gym equipment– from least expensive to most expensive. Get ready to sweat– because I can share, as someone who has been working out from home for 20+ years, you can get in outstanding shape from your own home or apartment– and with equipment you can easily store in a closet or under a bed! 

    Do you need equipment to work out at home?

    You don’t NEED to have equipment in order to get a good workout in at home. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say- in my opinion and my experience– you’ll have more options and the ability to get better results over the long run if you buy some equipment- especially some weights. 

    Below is an example of many no-equipment moves that can be combined to make a great number of circuit workouts– that can deliver a solid sweatfest and get your muscles working:

    1. Pushups
    2. Sit-Ups + Crunches + Planks
    3. Tricep Dips off a chair or bench or steps.
    4. Step ups on any chair or bench or stair. 
    5. Stationary lunges or walking lunges.
    6. Squats- body weight only. 
    7. Plie Squats and pulses.
    8. Sissy Squats and Pulses.
    9. Shoulder focused “push-ups” inspired by Tony Horton.
    10. Yoga Poses
    11. Barre Moves
    12. Walking
    13. Running
    14. Jumping Jacks
    15. Plyometrics
    16. Jump Rope
    17. Bear Crawl
    18. Calf Raises
    19. Hip Thrusts: Body Weight Only
    20. Pullups

    What You Should Buy For a Basic Home Gym Situation.

    Let’s be real. The photo above is NOT what most people who are working out from home have: a lot of space. So – everything I mention here will take into consideration that you might very well be working out at home or working out in an apartment with limited space and not a lot of storage space either. That’s been my experience– I’ve always had a combination of storing my weights under my bed and other stuff in my closet. You do what you gotta do. 

    Below is a list of what I’d recommend you consider to have a BASIC but solid home gym equipment situation.

    The 20 Best Home Gym Equipment Buys.

    1. A Step Bench: I definitely recommend investing in a step- with extra risers. Why? This can be a WEIGHT BENCH too! And you can take risers OFF one side and add to the other so you can do incline weight moves as well. Further– using the step for STEP-UPS and REVERSE LUNGES and CURTSY STEPS is awesome for building the glutes! Plus you can do one-armed rows with heavy weights leaning on the bench and pullovers which are great for upper back. This is a STAPLE piece of equipment and so flexible. I’d recommend getting this step (buy on Amazon using this link: CLICK HERE.) and then getting this high step version so you have a lot of extra risers. 
    2. An Exercise Ball: Great for all kinds of core-focused moves. Another staple for a home gym. CLICK HERE to buy. 
    3. Valslides: My friend Valerie Waters— celebrity fitness trainer– was the first to come out with these sliding discs and they are so flexible- you can do all kinds of LEG moves with them and they can create deathly serious ab/core work for you too- just go to YouTube and type in Valslide moves to see a ton of free ideas. And head to Valerie’s website to check out her home workouts. 
    4. A set of Resistance Bands is another key thing- and what’s also great– you can pack these in your suitcase when you travel. I always pack these plus my Valslides (above) and my TRX (below) when I go on a personal or business trip. P.S. If you see this post and hit for resistance bands and discover they are out of stock, another option for you is to order from ME via Beachbody– we have bands with a ton of our workouts and you can score x 2– get a brand new workout and some home gym equipment! Just email me
    5. TRX Training System: I have been in love with TRX since I first found out about them like 10 years ago. This system is so portable and what I love to do most on the TRX is upper body work, but it’s really got dozens of moves you can do if you take the time to watch their videos. 
    6. Resistance Loop Bands— there are a LOT of options now for bands-and I’ll record some videos on the different moves to do for the different bands but with these LOOP bands, I use them for what Cathe Friedrich calls “firewalkers” where you put them around your ankles and move side to side in a semi-squat position. OMG THE BURN! 
    7. Bootie Bands: I call these thicker bands “bootie bands” because most often you’d use these ABOVE THE KNEE– and to focus hard core on GLUTES– these can often be used when doing hip thrusts and weighted hip thrusts. 
    8. Workout Gloves: the more you lift weight, you will understand the need for weight gloves. The more you sweat, the more you need a good grip. Invest in some solid weight gloves. 
    9. Weight Lifting Belt- For Back Support. This is a really good idea if you plan to continually increase your strength training (and you should)– especially for doing things like deadlifts and squats — get yourself a solid belt. 
    10. Yoga Mat: Even if you don’t do a ton of yoga it’s a great idea to have a yoga/exercise mat of some kind. You’ll use it. 
    11. Ab Wheel: I used to see things like this and think they were cheesy but after 3 of my best trainers told me to use this at home, I realized that this one was legit. And it will humble you trust me. 
    12. Foam Roller: Everyone should have a foam roller and learn how and why to use it. You’ll learn to love to hate it or hate to love it. 
    13. Stretching Band: You will find that a stretching band like this can help with sore/tight muscles more than you think. 
    14. Bosu Ball: This weird looking contraption is a lot more flexible than you think: my first trainer Jay had me do deadlifts on it and balance challenging moves all the time. It’s fantastic.
    15. Bowflex Adjustable Weights: One of the best investments I made was getting the Bowflex Adjustable Weights. And now that my man has to work out at home with me, he is loving having up to 52LBS each dumbbell. Totally worth it.
    16. Spin Bike: I don’t have one at this moment but when I bought this model of spin bike for my place, I LOVED IT- so intense. You could also look into Peloton of course for a lot more money.
    17. Dumbbells: Start investing in some dumbbells now and you will love yourself later. I’d suggest starting – if you are new to working out and want to get the most bang for your buck, get a pair of 5lb dumbbells and 10lb dumbbells. Go up to 15LB next and then add 20lbs when you are ready. 
    18. Barbell: I got this brand and am very happy with it. CAP BARBELL. FYI they’ve been sold out for a while but I found this set from another brand: CLICK HERE.
    19. Barbell Plates: Duh. Get you some weight on that barbell. 
    20. Kettlebells: Adding Kettlebell swings in to your routine can do wonderful things. It can really get your heart rate up and does wonderful things for working the whole body at once. CLICK HERE to get a nice adjustable set at a great price.

    My Top 10 Best Home Workout Programs.

    After YEARS of working out at home in addition to the gym I have TONS of recommendations to make. Below are some of my FAVORITE workout programs and people. Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions- I’m happy to help. 

    1. Way back in the day, I started out with mostly cardio workouts. I’m going to share some of the oldies but goodies — and if you can get past some of the really bad fitness fashion there are some great sweat-fests in here. First of all- I LOVED doing TaeBo- now Billy Blanks has DVDs all over the place online but it doesn’t appear that he was as savvy with his business back in the day because now- I am hard pressed to find a Taebo website or streaming service. Very odd. That said, Taebo is a fun kickboxing workout and you can find a LOT of his workouts FREE on his YouTube Channel
    2. When I started doing weights, it was because I was inspired by The FIRM workouts. Now– apparently you can find the next generation of FIRM trainers doing FIRM workouts at GAIA. I’m bringing up The FIRM workouts because honestly- the original workouts– high cut spandex and leg warmer outfits aside– were GREAT workouts and some of the earliest to have WEIGHTS for women. Yup. They were in my experience the front-runners. Most of the stuff out in the early days was all cardio. If you want to check out previews of the workouts they have a ton on Anna Benson, the founder- on her YouTube Channel. If you dig  what you see you can buy many of The FIRM workouts on Amazon. 
    3. After I was doing The FIRM for a while I discovered Cathe Friedrich (photo of her above). Let me just tell you- Cathe is amazing. She has been producing workout videos for decades and just keeps getting better. You can buy her DVDs or subscribe to her online streaming program at I love Cathe because 85%+ of her workouts are focused on INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED. So if you are a gym rat working out from home all of a sudden and want to train hard like you mean it– Cathe is your girl. Further– what I also love is that on her YouTube Channel she shares like 10 minute+ previews of her workouts!! I interviewed Cathe on the podcast- CLICK HERE to listen.
    4. I mentioned Valerie Waters previously and she has KILLER WORKOUTS FOR THE HOME GYM FANATIC. Click here to shop. I interviewed her on the podcast also– you can listen here.
    5. Chris Freytag has another fantastic online fitness platform- GET HEALTHY U. I also interviewed Chris on the podcast: click here to listen.
    6. I have also been a fan of and customer of Beachbody for YEARS. In fact, I just signed up as a coach (!) with my BFF Jenelle Summers because I think Beachbody has some of the most legit home workouts on the planet– they’ve added a ton more since I last was buying the DVDS– and now they have an insane streaming program that is way too reasonable to turn down. I also interviewed Jenelle on the podcast and you can listen to that 2-part interview by clicking here.  What are my favorite go-to Beachbody workouts? I did P90X and bought all of Tony Horton’s additional workouts (P90X One on One)- and that program is amazing. Body Beast is a personal favorite and I loved Insanity back in the day– now I love that Shaun T has a ton more shorter HIIT workouts as well. Brazil Butt Lift is surprisingly intense and I’ve always been obsessed with TurboFire. SO fun. What do I plan to dive into with Beachbody workouts next?? Hammer & Chisel, Core de Force, Shift Shop, LIFT 4, 80-Day Obsession, 6-Weeks of The Work and 10 Rounds. And the Barre program. Holy crap. No excuse to complain when quarantined with this variety. You can shop all these fitness programs and Beachbody on Demand and the nutrition and equipment products by CLICKING HERE to my site. 
    7. Udaya: has incredible Yoga programming. I’ve bought their DVDs and have used their online streaming program. 
    8. The Ultimate Yogi is by Travis Eliot- he’s an amazing guy and awesome human. I interviewed him on the podcast as well. LISTEN HERE.
    9. Suzanne Bowen has some killer BARRE workouts on DVD. CLICK HERE to check out Barre Amped. 
    10. Jari Love is based in Canada and she honestly has some killer workouts. Most of them you can buy on Amazon. Here’s one– and then you can check out the rest on Amazon as well. I’ve done her workouts for years and they are a great burn. Her YouTube channel has some previews. Don’t let the bad set design fool you- she knows her stuff. 

    Don't Wait. Just start working out at home today.

    As I said above- I have been working out from home for years! I love it– and yes, I absolutely love working out with a trainer at the gym and I plan when we are out of this coronavirus madness to go try a lot of new local classes– but — working out at home is convenient and can get you shredded!! I’m planning to share my next 60-days of working out from home + sticking with my diet plan (will publish that later this week- make sure you are subscribed!) results– and what I eat every day and what I do for workouts every day- on my social media – particularly instagram

    Let me know if you have any questions about equipment or any of the workouts I mentioned above. Let’s SWEAT! 

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  • How to deal with chronic headaches and migraines.

    How to address chronic headaches and get your life back.

    My story: Dealing with chronic headaches and migraines for over 7 months.

    If you are reading this because you’ve been dealing with headaches and/or migraines on an ongoing basis – and you think you might go crazy– you are in the right place. I can’t say that I can 100% solve all your headache problems, but I’ve been through hell and back and the past 7 months and I am currently- as of writing this blog post, on week #7 of feeling NORMAL again. In fact, I have not had a visit by The Dirty Bastard (what I call migraines now) in these past 7 weeks. That’s HUGE.
    Be encouraged. Get hopeful, because I’m certain that some of the learnings I will share with you here will help you find relief from the chronic pain that headaches and migraines deliver. You’ll be able to proceed down a path that hopefully for you as well, will give you back a normal life, free of never ending headaches and migraines. 
    If you haven’t done so yet- please listen to my 2-part podcast on my experience with chronic headaches and migraines. I go into great detail on when I had my first migraine, when they became more common, when the headaches became a daily thing, and the steps I took to start ruling out causes. CLICK HERE to listen. 


    In case you don’t have time to listen to the podcast, I’ll share some big picture highlights of my history with headaches and migraines.
    • My first ever migraine was after my OB/GYN put me on LoLoEstrinFe Birth Control— after I was experiencing massive bleeding on a seemingly nonstop basis. I urge you ladies, if you are on LoLoEstrinFe and experiencing horrible side effects like I did (I gained 20lbs fast and my skin worsened and I had migraines for the firs time ever. Go to some user review sites like THIS and THIS and read. I was horrified when I saw all the tales of weight gain and acne and depression and suicidal thoughts. Don’t let your OB/GYN slap a prescription for birth control on you for every single symptom. Birth control is truly one of the worst things for our hormones!)
    • I didn’t experience migraines again with any noticeable regularity until I moved from Chicago to Austin. That’s when I brought it up to my doctor — he suggested I start taking Migranol and that I cut out all artificial sweeteners (y’all know how much I love me some diet soda, I can’t help it). 
    • When I moved from Austin to San Antonio in March 2019, that’s when I recall the headache situation getting pretty intense. I was taking Excedrin — truthfully- like every day. I’d wake up with a headache and have it all day. When we went on vacation, I actually made an appointment with an opthamologist in San Jose so I could get prescription reading/computer glasses with blue blocking. I thought for sure this was the answer. It wasn’t. 
    • The glasses seemed to work for about 3 weeks then the headaches came back. 
    • I started to think it was my STRESS level and tried to focus on stress reduction techniques. I’m sure you can imagine, that didn’t do much.
    • My doctor told me he felt that if I just went strict Paleo, my headaches would go away. I strongly disagreed and still do- but I did give it a try. Didn’t work.
    • By July- I was not only having headaches all the time, I was getting migraines and somewhat regularly. We were back in Chicago for the July 4th holiday and I had to spend the day in the hotel in bed – missing a family cookout, because I had a migraine. Steve went to pick up a prescription for Sumatriptan – it didn’t do anything. 
    • When I get a migraine– it’s a 3-day ordeal. I get severely nauseated and feel like I can only eat plain bread or oatmeal or rice. I can’t begin to stomach eating protein or veggies….and yet, when I do eat carbs to ease the nausea — it doesn’t. It’s a vicious  cycle. The pain from my migraines is 90% of the time on the left side of my head and feels like someone has put a 25lb kettlebell on my head– and I can’t get it off. The pain is nonstop and it’s a dull continuous pain. NOTHING makes it go away. It’s crippling because– you can’t read, you can’t really watch TV and focus on it, you can’t work- because looking at the computer hurts your eyes so you have to literally just LAY THERE– and I mean the pain will last 12 hours at a time. Then I may be able to sleep but I wake up- feel ok for an hour or two then it comes back. 3 days of hell. 
    • By Fall of 2019– the headaches and migraines were getting more common. I never knew when the migraines would happen– and I was trying to get my new businesses off the ground — and more often that not, I could not work. I’d have to tell Steve that I was home lying on the couch again. The guilt I felt was SMOTHERING. I’ve never been a financial burden to someone- I’ve always taken care of myself and usually others– not the other way around. I am so thankful for Steve’s love and understanding and support and care– I plan to make it up to him the rest of my life for how loving he’s been with me through this horrifying time. Neither of us had any idea what the hell was going on– it was so bizarre. 
    • Of course one of the things I started to do was to see a chiropractor. I firmly believe in the power of chiropractic treatment, so this was a no brainer. When I got x-rays done, it showed that my neck was in very bad condition. I started getting an adjustment 3x a week for a couple months. The first three weeks- no migraines– I was so excited!! Then, over Thanksgiving– I got another migraine and was so upset because I was back at square zero! 
    • Somewhere around the time the holidays came around I started to do some research around histamine intolerance and allergies. I stumbled on a lot of forums about people who had moved to TX from other parts of the country and experienced major ALLERGY issues and SINUS INFECTIONS– which can PRESENT AS SIMILAR TO MIGRAINES!! HA! I thought I was on to something. Most of the people in these forums said they got relief by taking an OTC anti-histamine and a TBS of LOCAL TEXAS HONEY WITH BEE POLLEN in it daily. I ran to the store. I have been taking a TBS of this honey every day and started taking D-HIST again every day (my man also does this- the honey and the D-HIST as we he was experiencing allergy symptoms)
    • I stumbled on this book by Dr. Becky Campbell on Histamine Intolerance: I highly recommend it and she’s going to be on our podcast later this year. 
    • I found a new local primary care doctor and went to see her- as I still was having headaches and migraines even after doing the allergy prevention stuff. I knew I would need a referral to a neurologist. She referred me to Dr. Hanah Homafar.
    • Dr. Homafar is my life-saving neurologist. Oh how I love this woman!! Read on below for what she taught me and what treatment I’m now on that’s working.

    How I am treating my chronic migraine and headache situation- what's working.

    What’s funny is this photo was taken at The London House Hotel in Chicago— (review on that hotel coming up in a future post on Chicago- travel focused– be sure you are subscribed) a day before I ended up getting ANOTHER MIGRAINE. Yes- while we were home for Christmas break, I had 2 migraine incidences. Good times. We had to cancel our 2-year anniversary dinner so we could stay home and eat in. God Bless My Man. I’m telling ya.
    So- here is what I have incorporate into my life that is working– and please note– what sucks about chronic headaches and migraines- is that there are soooooo many possible causes and triggers, it’s quite often hard to identify what the sole cause is, if any. Truth be told, I have zero idea what it is that caused this storm of headaches/migraines– all I care about is that I have MY LIFE BACK. I can work. I can work out. I can make an appointment (let’s pretend we aren’t in Coronavirus-World for the sake of this blog post LOL) and not worry that I will have to cancel it the day before. I am SO GRATEFUL.
    Dr. Homafar explained to me that there are TONS of possible causes for migraines (and headaches)- we went through a printed out handout from the American Council For Headache Education.
    Hello- if you click over there you’ll see some startling statistics. 1 Billion Migraine Sufferers globally. 25% of households- and 20% of women are dealing with migraines. That’s no joke.


    What are some dietary triggers for migraines and headaches?

    One of the first things Dr. Homafar told me was that HYDRATION is of utmost importance with headache and migraine prevention. I recognized immediately how bad I’d been at hydration. She said to focus on drinking 64oz of water every day. I bought these BPA-Free water bottles for my man and me and we drink so much more water now.

    For all of my friends who practice intermittent fasting, it’s important to listen to your body. If you are doing fasting of any kind and find yourself prone to getting headaches– it’s time to let go- and just focus on caloric deficit (trust me, that’s the MOST IMPORTANT THING ANYWAY in losing weight– watch this to learn more.) If you get to the point I was with headaches ruining your life- you’ll do it.

    So get this– possible triggers for headaches and migraines are: chocolate and cocoa, alcoholic beverages, caffeine, figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, plums, very ripe bananas, beans, most commercial breads, cultured dairy products (buttermilk, sour cream), chocolate milk, cheese (blue, brick, gouda, gruyere, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, romano, roquefort, cheddar, Swiss, Stilton, Brie), Aged/canned/cured/processed meat– anything with nitrates or nitrites, canned soup, soup or bouillon cubes, chocolate ice cream, pudding, cakes or pies, any yeast-containing doughs and pastries, nutrasweet, MSG, yeast, yeast extract, seasoned salts, processed frozen foods. 
    Basically- the entire world of food and drink COULD be a trigger. 
    NOTE: this is NOT to say that all these foods are collectively all a trigger– it could be ONE of these foods that is highly reactive for YOUR body. This is why I am so glad Dr. Sebring had me take this MRT Food Reactivity Test. (Please note: I am going to have their top dietitian on the podcast to talk about what this test is, what it tests for and how they work with people after identifying the foods that are reactive to them- to first eliminate them and then later- after they have healed their gut and autoimmune issues- to reintroduce some foods– see my results below. If you are interested in getting this test done it does have to be ordered by a doctor- feel free to fill out the Contact Me form here and I can help you.). Because if I hadn’t taken that test, the thought of doing an elimination diet for all of these things might drive me batty. 
    For the record– my LEAP results came back showing that I was HIGHLY REACTIVE to CORN and moderately reactive to: Turkey, Flax Seeds, Soy, Yeast, Brewer’s Yeast, Wheat, Bananas (and my beloved plantain chips which I was eating every day) Mangoes,  Brussel Sprouts, Pumpkin, Sesame Seeds, Zucchini, Onions, Peppers, Cauliflower and Tea.
    Friends, I was having zucchini ALL THE TIME. Brussel sprouts to some degree on a regular basis. Corn? OMG. Corn tortillas at a restaurant because “wheat tortillas” are gluten and we all avoid them right? Plus I’d always have some corn chips with salsa. Plus– people- in this country, CORN SYRUP IS IN EVERYTHING. Every candy at the movies has corn syrup as the first ingredient. Corn syrup is in ketchups and salad dressings — literally like everything. I clearly can’t have any cauliflower pizza dough stuff anymore! And peppers and onions?? Try making an omelet without that. Or eating at a Mexican restaurant without peppers, onions or corn! LOL. And turkey- hello- me and my turkey meatloaf were BFF. Interestingly enough I did NOT show reactive to DAIRY OR WHEY = go figure. 
    Here’s something fascinating: I cut out these foods and guess what disappeared? The bizarre-skin-bumps-situation that has plagued me for 7+ years and that no doctor has been able to figure out. I’ve been getting rock hard, painful, sometimes itchy bumps on my neck and sometimes chest and back and sometimes face- not acne, not a rash– no idea. And cutting out the foods– the bumps that were all over my neck — GONE. Then I accidentally had some candy with corn syrup in it and BAM: bumps back in my life. 
    Friends that’s about as real as it gets. Clearly when our bodies become reactive to foods, we need to break up. It is a wonderful thing to KNOW let me tell you.

    What Else Can Cause Headaches and Migraines?

    The other things that can cause chronic headaches and migraines– changes in sleep patterns: getting a lot MORE sleep or suddenly not getting sleep. Hormones: changes in estrogen can cause headaches. Being in perimenopause or menopause can cause migraines. Weather changes can cause migraines, as can changes in elevation. Stress is of course a major trigger– both bad stress and good stress. Physical exertion- overtraining or injury can cause headaches too. Eyestrain from being on your computer and/or exposure to blue lights from our computer and phones/tablets is a trigger. EMF exposure is a less known trigger but limiting exposure to EMF has shown to work for many. 

    What a neurologist recommends for migraines.

    Please note– I’m planning to have my neurologist on the podcast– but for this blog post I’m sharing what she’s explained to me– and what she is doing for me — this may not reflect what a neurologist in your area would do for you but this woman has given me my LIFE back! 
    She said insurance companies need to see that you’ve tried three phases of treatment (these are my words)
    1. “Atomic” or Holy Crap Make the Pain Go Away
    2.  Preventative
    3. Top Tier
    So phase one are prescription drugs like imatrex or sumatriptan — your doc prescribes these pills that you take WHEN YOU GET A MIGRAINE. For me, the sumatriptan did literally NOTHING. 
    Phase two is preventative and there are three types- I’m going from memory here so bear with me: there are drugs used to lower blood pressure, anti-depressant drugs and beta blockers. I’m on NADOLOL 40mg. I started on NADOLOL 20mg but that didn’t do anything. Once we upped my dose to 40mg- it was magic. 
    Phase three is when the first two aren’t working- and that’s when you can get Botox injections (it’s not in the forehead like we get for our shallow needs) or there is another injection done monthly that performs well. Both these treatments are very expensive so your insurance company will expect you to try level one and level two before trying out level three– KNOW THIS BEFORE YOU WAIT AND WAIT TO SEE A NEUROLOGIST– I expected to be able to go in and demand Botox but it turned out I didn’t need it. 

    Supplements You Can Use to Dramatically Help Chronic Migraines and Headaches

    There were 3 supplements that my neurologist told me to take and a couple extras I’m sharing, because they fit in here.
    1. 500 MG of Magnesium: We had already been taking the CALM supplement from Natural Vitality- now we just upped the dose. Buy on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
    2. CoEnzymeQ10: I was already taking these in my daily vitamin packs that I order via Isagenix. If you’d like to chat with me about getting on a solid vitamin pack routine with my other nutritional recommendations, I am a rep for the company – because the products have changed my life. Fill out the contact me form and we can chat– happy to answer any questions. If you are anti-social and prefer to just order from my Isa-website you can CLICK HERE I won’t be offended. 😉
    3. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2: Just go read through the reviews on Amazon— you’ll be like how did I not know that this could help with headaches and migraines so much?
    4. Additionally:
    5. Licorice Root : I have LOW cortisol according to my bloodwork and I did not want to take Hydrocortisone as it can cause weight gain. I did some research and they said Licorice Root is a miracle worker. Again- read the hundreds of 5 star reviews from people on Amazon saying how this changed their lives. NOTE: Low Cortisol can also contribute to headaches. 
    6. I found this all natural headache balm-– thought I would share this here as well. 

    You may be sleeping on a bad pillow with no neck support, which can cause headaches.

    I had to cancel an appointment with my friend Allison one day (which was the story of my life- cancelling podcasts, meetings, appointments, phone calls, you name it) because I had yet another migraine. I knew she suffered from them too- she texted me about upgrading her PILLOW- and that it gave her neck more support. I immediately was like whattt because I’ve always in the past loved VERY SOFT MUSHY PILLOWS. I KNEW my pillow had zero support. I immediately ordered these HIGHLY RATED pillows from Co-OP and I gotta tell you- they made a HUGE difference in part of my headache nightmare. Before these pillows, I was waking up literally EVERY SINGLE NIGHT AT 3AM on the dot with a POUNDING HEADACHE. Got 2 of these pillows and no more middle of the night headaches. I strongly recommend them. Buy on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
    If you’ve ever been lying on the couch trying to hold a cold compress or ice pack on your head– you will want one of these headache ice-wrap things. BUY ON AMAZON.
    Along the same lines – -I bought this ICE ROLLER– it’s so amazing– you keep in the freezer and can roll it all over your face to decrease puffiness or on your forehead when you get a headache. BUY ON AMAZON HERE.
    Also there is a book by Suzy Cohen on headaches called Headache Free. Buy it on Amazon of course. 
    Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have my life back. These migraines and headaches were DESTROYING my world!! I lost – literally- 75-80% of my work time and working out time from September-January and it was spotty as hell before that. I hope this post  and the podcast I recorded helps you understand some things and start to move in the right direction. 
    FEEL FREE to leave comments with your questions– remember, I’m going to have the LEAP TEST experts on the podcast as well as migraine experts and my neurologist– so let me know what you are confused about so I can get you answers!! 
    Please note: This blog post contains affiliate links.

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