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My many qstns surrounding 123 book diet...

I have the 123 book and just finished the 4 month torture. However, I've run into many questions I can't answer, or am confused about, since either I can't find it in his book, or else info in it seems contradictory (to me) by saying this is a trigger, but later says you can eat this (which contains a trigger) I'll bet other people have some of these same maddening questions, so if Dr. Buchholz himself ran into my post, it would be nice if he could answer these for those of us that bought his book. However, I'm going to assume that won't happen, so I'm posting here.

If malted barley contains MSG (which we're to avoid), then why is store packaged bread (almost all contain it) okay? Ditto for many pretzels.

The ingredient lists on many products will often have one ingredient listed as "spices". Seems suspicious to me, but I don't see this mentioned in his book as an msg code-word product to avoid. Anyone know the legal definition (requirement per federal govt.) of what "spices" can contain? I think if it can contain only all-natural herbs, it's not a problem, but if man-made junk, then who knows.

He mentions avoiding red wine, but not red apples, which also contain phenol. Other sources of anti-migraine diets (government for example) do say to avoid it. How many of you have tried red apples (with no subsequent migraines)? I've felt stuck wth eating Golden Delicious only.

Soy lecithin: I can't find where he evens mention it in the book but it's in many things. Is it a "highly-processed" soy product? (be aware that not every by-product is)

Has anyone searched ingredient lists at fast food to know what's safe, besides say Sprite or a shake? For example, perusing their entire menu for nutrition info (ingredients) , the ONLY thing I could find at Jack that didn't have triggers was a fried egg. And not scrambled, which they add stuff to. And even then the fried egg is cooked in some "butter-flavored oil" crap, which does contain triggers. I've found that even grilled chicken at these places has crap added or marinated in.

Gelatin: he mentions can contain msg. So is the miniscule amount in gelatin capsules (taken daily) an issue? If so, I'll end up throwing out many $$ bottles of supplements I've bought.... Same for cereal (shredded wheat for one)

Mushrooms: He calls a trigger, but would a percentage of reishi, shitaake, maitake mushroom "extracts" (as part of a mix of other dried herbs) in a capsule supplement be an issue? Or is it if you only eat whole mushrooms?

Mayo: The ONLY mayo's I've found without lemon or other trigger (natural flavor) are at Big Lots (cheap), or Sprouts (expensive little jar). I've tried making my own but it ends up being too oily tasting and too runny. (also couldn't freeze it without it changing back to oil) Anyone had luck with any of the commercial ones?

Vinegar: per him only distilled. Does this mean that eating bread that lists just "vinegar", "organic vinegar" or "grain vinegar" will act as a trigger? I can't imagine there's much, especially in bread.

Onion: Has anyone found small amounts of (regular) onion in bottled spice mixtures, to trigger migraine? If so this makes it INCREDIBLY difficult to buy spice mixtures. Ditto for many bottled cooking sauces.

Cottage cheese: Although he says safe, I find almost all contain carageenan, which per him, can contain msg.

Carageenan: Is literally in tons of things. Anyone had luck consuming such products without migraine?

Raisin juice concentrate: Is in quite a few breads, and also cereals. Anyone had luck consuming such products without migraine? (per him raisins are a trigger)

Nuts: Obvious trigger, but if it's in the list of a loaf of bread ingredients, but only at the very end (therefore least %-age), is it an issue?

Citrus: Anyone found if "orange" or "lemon" for example, is listed on a bottle of store shelf cooking sauce (non-soy containing, like Indian sauces), is in a quantity enough to trigger migraine? I'm not talking where it's the first or even 2nd or 3rd ingredient. If so, I've many I'll need to throw out or donate.

Grapes: I think he says these are safe in the book, but other sites mention it as a trigger, at least red ones since they contain phenols just like red wine. This is what helps make it red. By that line of thought, even grape juice (NOT mentioned) should also be off limits (like red wine). Right?

Artificial Sweetener: Difficult to find any packets without maltodextrin (trigger) added. What about stevia? Trigger for anyone?

Coconut: I can't find anything except where he just says avoid it, no specifics on by-products. I've read people posting on other sites that coco water is okay, but how do we really know it doesn't absorb tyramine from the meat. I asume milk isn't safe since isn't it the pureed meat combined with water that makes it white? (another huge more authentic tasting Thai or curry sauce) Also, what about coconut oil?

Cheese: He says buy "quality" American cheese. This tells me nothing. I first assumed it meant don't buy generic, store-brand shelf cheese, but even looking at name-brand (Kraft) on the shelf shows me it has triggers. At the deli ($$$) I've found many american cheeses contain one or more of the following: Buttermilk, "milk protein concentrate" , "cheese cultures", "enzymes", whey or whey protein etc. So since many of these items are triggers per him, which ones are okay ?? Also anyone had luck reintroducing mozzarella or queso fresco ? Cottage cheese taste/texture to me is gross and makes me want to puke.

I'm a very scientific person, so for any answers, if possible, could you please cite your sources? Not to dissuade responses though, since on the other hand if several of you state you regularly have ingested the same item without it triggering migraine, that will give me some courage to risk trying it. I've completely cut off many things I loved and used to eat a lot of (nuts, yogurt, dried fruit, citrus), which are in many things and which we all know are VERY healthy for us, and am very sad about that. (ditto for health effects of red wine) I've been waiting for our rainy season to get over with here, so I can try adding things back without wondering if the barometric pressure is causing a headache.

  1. Hi Flib,

    Thank you for your questions and comments and being part of the discussion forum.

    Trying to identify and manage migraine triggers can be a difficult task. Making it more complicated is the fact that migraine triggers vary from person to person. Not everyone experiences food triggers or hormonal triggers and so on.

    One of the best things I can suggest for trigger identification and management is keeping a detailed migraine diary and/or an elimination diet. Kerris has wonderful information in these articles that may interest you; and

    Try to keep in mind that while red wine and other foods may trigger some people, they don't trigger everyone with migraine. I understand being a scientific person, unfortunately for some, food triggers comes down to trial and error.

    I hope I've answered some of your questions. Please let me know.

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