Barbecue Sauce for Chicken


I always thought tomato sauce and onions were essential in any recipe for barbecue sauce, but here is a recipe that we have worked out without these migraine triggers.  We enjoy it with this potato recipe.

Barbecue Sauce

Makes 1 cup sauce, just right for shredded chicken from 2 breasts


1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup molases
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 cup distilled white vinegar
1/6 cup honey
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  1. Blend all ingredients together and pour over shredded chicken from 2 breasts.
  2. Stir to evenly coat and serve warm.

Controlling the Vision Superpower

Those of you with migraines probably have experienced extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell, etc.  I’m not sure if these superpowers are the causes or the effects of migraines, but it seems that they can be both.  It just seems to be all wrapped up together when the “beast inside is awakened.”  The desire to avoid the triggers at all costs is as intense as the misery they cause, limiting my involvement in work, leisure, church, and social gatherings.  However, the desire to figure out how to be able to participate is also strong.  As a result, I have spent much of this summer trying to figure out how to wrestle with the Vision Superpower.

So, how do you block the light enough to be able to think past the sensory input but still allow enough sensation in to be able to see what you are doing?  Axon Optics and Theraspecs propose that blocking a certain wavelength of light is the key issue for migraine sufferers.  Eager to explore the option, I ordered an indoor pair and an outdoor pair of lenses to try over my current prescription glasses.  I found that the indoor pair did help to reduce the intense feeling of light from the sun coming in the window, computer screens, and headlight glare on the road at night.  The outdoor pair did not help AT ALL when outside.  The sun was still simply way too intense; I needed major light blockage of more wavelengths to be able to survive outside.  Both pairs were extremely heavy and uncomfortable to wear over my prescription glasses.  Axon and Theraspecs do not offer refunds for glasses with prescription versions of their lenses.  I have a complicated prescription, and my optometrist always works with me to get the lenses correct before I complete payment.  So, I turned to him next rather than end up with a non-refundable pair.

For the outdoor glasses, I tried 2 different pairs of prescription sunglasses.  The first was a wrap version that is commonly used for sports, like biking.  These felt fantastic, because the gasket material that is used to block sweat for bikers served to seal out all light from the top, bottom, and sides for me.  The glasses were also very dark, blocking a high percentage of many wavelengths.  The problem for me though was that the distortion of the bent prescription lenses was so severe that I felt like I would kick into my migraine-induced vertigo with the slightest movement of my head or eyes.

Next, I tried safety glasses with prescription sunglass lenses.  These weren’t as ugly as you can imagine; they were actually very sporty.  The great part was that it appeared as if a major portion of the light from the sides would be blocked by the side panels.  In the trial pair, the lens portion was as flat as my regular glasses giving me the impression that I had finally found something that would meet my needs.  I was surprised when I tried on the pair with my prescriptions though.  Evidently, prescription lenses are thicker than sample lenses which caused the frames to bend in a way that they wouldn’t even stay on my ears.  I gave up on prescription sunglasses at this point, went back to my old Jonathan Paul Fit Overs, and decided that I would do my gardening in the evening rather than the bright afternoon sun.  BTW – the Jonathan Paul Fit Overs, are lightweight and block a good portion of light, but they just seem to be too big for my narrow face.  It’s the best I’ve got for now.

Chemistrie ClipMy indoor option hasn’t been as difficult.  I now have new prescription glasses with tiny magnets in them that match to magnets in rose-colored clip lenses from Chemistrie.  The Theraspecs website states that all rose-colored lenses aren’t necessarily blocking the correct wavelengths for migraineurs.  However, my own logic tells me that there is probably a wider band of wavelengths that could help as demonstrated by the fact that Axon’s lenses are pink-ish and Theraspecs lenses are orange-ish.  I have found that my Chemistrie clip lenses (rose-colored) have reduced my pain when shopping in big box stores with flourescent lights, working where glare is present, looking out the windows of my house, and worshipping at church where the chandeliers can cause problems for me.  I do note that they do not work with my computer screen, because I basically just see rainbows.  I don’t think that I had this problem with the Axon Over-Rx during my trial of them.  However, the Chemistrie tinted clip is amazingly easy to put on, take off (leaving me with just un-tinted prescription lenses without the clip), and store in a slim sleeve for the next use.  It is also helpful in many situations that used to cause me problems.  They are darker than I had expected (block around 50% of the rose wavelength), but I am actually finding that I like it this way.  When I need the blockage, I’ve got it!  When I don’t, I can get rid of it quickly and easily.  An added bonus: the clips are much more attractive than the Over-Rx:)

Visor and clipI saved the best for last.  The least expensive and most helpful tool for conquering the Vision Superpower is this visor from Scala.  Wow – this thing blocks light in EXACTLY the way that I need it to.  It is much much more effective than any hat or visor I have tried yet.  The band is very soft so that I don’t initiate any head-squeezing-migraine-coming-on kind of feeling. I find myself wearing this……..all……………long……..sometimes, because it blocks the direct light from bulbs overhead without preventing me from having enough light on my tasks.  My recommendations are to purchase the navy blue so that you don’t have reflection from a lighter color and to remove the “lovely” bow that is attached to the back by a few simple stitches:)


Protein Bars

Protein Bars

I’m having a great reduction in the frequency of my migraines since my diet changes, and I’m starting to add some of the foods back in.  The first I’m trying is almonds (but no other nuts).  I actually have seen conflicting information regarding almonds.  Nuts are considered migraine triggers, but almonds are sometimes recommended to migraine sufferers because of the magnesium in them.  I’m not having trouble eating them in moderate amounts, so I’m exploring recipes.  Here is one of my favorites.

I am overjoyed to be able to make protein bars like these.  Our other migraineur is still not able to eat any nuts, but she is able to eat Sunbutter.  So, we still make these for her, but just do the replacement.  Adding small amounts of almond butter into my diet has opened up many recipe options.  For me, it is totally worth giving up so many other foods so that I am able to reintroduce this migraine trigger without pain:)

The original inspiration for this recipe didn’t include any other migraine triggers, but we did make some changes that suit our family better.  As noted earlier, too much chia just doesn’t work well with my “insides”.  The addition of hemp hearts boosts the nutritional value as outlined here.  So, we worked with hemp hearts, chia, and flax to get a better combination for us.  Finally, we included the option of using Sunbutter in the same amount as almond butter to suit individual needs.

Now, we have a great travel option that can be stored at room temperature for short time periods, frozen, or refrigerated:)

Protein Bars

Protein Bars1/2 cup dry quinoa
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup milled flax seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped (about 50 almonds)
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup almond butter (or Sunbutter)

  1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  2. In a small, microwave-safe dish, combine honey, brown rice syrup, and almond butter (or Sunbutter).  Microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly mix.
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined 8 x 8 baking dish.  Press into an even layer with fingers.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool.
  7. Cut into 8 or 16 bars as desired.
  8. Cut parchment used for baking into pieces to wrap around each bar and refrigerate or freeze.




Spicy Chicken with Mango Salad and Coconut Rice

Spicy Chicken with Mango and Rice

I have a new favorite dish!  I found this one here and modified it to remove migraine triggers.  I also turned down the heat so that each family member would be satisfied.  Anyone wanting more spice can simply add more cayenne pepper to the chicken.  My favorite part of the recipe is how all three parts work together like it is all one dish.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:)

Spicy Chicken with Mango Salad and Coconut Rice

Spicy Chicken with Mango and Rice

2 chicken breasts|
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more as desired)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garam masala
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 cup brown or wild rice
2 cups coconut milk
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 large mango, peeled and chopped
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup corn|
¼ tsp. cilantro
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

  1. Combine salad ingredients and cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over thawed chicken breasts in a glass baking dish.  Cover and allow to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.
  3. Bake chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (about 1 hour).
  4. Cook rice and coconut in the coconut milk until liquid has been absorbed (30 to 45 minutes).

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Quinoa Patties

It’s that time of year when zucchini is plentiful, and I have several recipes to share which will use it all.  This first one is a twist on a traditional recipe.  The twist is that quinoa is included to add a protein boost.  This recipe is best with fresh zucchini, but the others are great with fresh or frozen zucchini.  I will explain how I freeze it with the next zucchini post.

The original inspiration for these patties included several migraine triggers which I have removed/replaced.  We like these patties best when served as a side dish.

UPDATE:  When I posted this on Friday, I included the wrong amounts for the quinoa and water.  It is now correct.  I hope this didn’t create a problem for anyone trying the recipe!

Zucchini Patties

Zucchini Quinoa Patties

1/4c. quinoa, rinsed
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. grated zucchini
1/4 c. rice flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1/8 t. garlic powder
black pepper
2 to 4 Tbsp. coconut oil

  1. Cook quinoa in the water.
  2. Squeeze the zucchini to remove excess water.
  3. Stir all ingredients (except for the coconut oil) together in a bowl.
  4. Mold a spoonful of mix into a ball and flatten into a patty.
  5. Fry in a skillet with heated coconut oil until each side is browned.  I use 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil at a time and add as necessary.
  6. Serve warm.

Migraine Control: Fragrances

Several weeks ago, I had one of my worst migraines following a visit to a doctor’s office.  A Glade Plug-in was running in the waiting room, and I smelled it the instant I entered.  I requested to be taken back to a different waiting room with the hope that I could avoid the pain that these little tormentors have caused in the past.  This fast escape wasn’t fast enough or far enough though.  Even though I spent less than 5 minutes in the waiting room, I had a migraine that lasted for the next 5 days.  Evidently, people had smoked in the waiting room since I had last been there, and the doctor didn’t want the room to smell like smoke.  This thought just blows my mind!  Isn’t smoking inside a public place prohibited?  Why not deal with the root cause of the problem rather than just cover it up with neurotoxins and carcinogens.

Seriously, air fresheners contain formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen), xylene (a neurotoxin), toluene (known to cause kidney and liver damage), etc.  In this article, manufacturers claim that the levels of chemicals that are emitted by air fresheners, laundry detergent, fabric softener are “not known to cause any problems.”  Well, let me testify – it’s a problem for me!  Other migraineurs also have this problem as reported on

Lavender growing in my garden

Lavender growing in my garden

Lavender wands

Lavender wands

There doesn’t seem to be much I can do about the world outside of my house with regard to fragrances, but here are 3 things that I do at my house.  First, I enjoy natural scents such as lavender.  I enjoy growing it in my garden and using it to make lavender wands to bring inside my house.

Secondly, I use shampoo, conditioner, and cream from National Allergy Supply.  These products have no fragrance or masking fragrance and have the double advantage of not causing allergic reactions or migraines for me.

Lastly, I make my own laundry detergent so that I’m not carrying a migraine-inducing fragrance around with me all day long.  The recipe for the laundry detergent included below does include borax which is noted to cause skin and respiratory irritation for some people, but I haven’t had these problems.  The amount used is so minimal per load, and it is washed out by the washing machine.  I also try to minimize the amount of time it is heated on the stove by making sure that the water is already simmering before I add it.  And – there’s rarely a perfect solution to a problem.  We just do the best we can.  Here’s the plus side:

In the same way that water tastes like nothing, my clothes smell like nothing:)

It Smells Like Nothing Laundry Detergent

1 cup water
1/4 bar grated Kirk’s Fragrance Free Castille soap
1/4 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/8 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

  1. Fill a 2.75 qt. (or so) container (like a pitcher) 3/4 full with hot water.
  2. Heat the water in a small saucepan until simmering.
  3. Add the castille soap and stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until completely dissolved.
  5. Remove from the heat and add to the pitcher.
  6. Fill the container the rest of the way with tap water and allow to cool.
  7. Note that the detergent will thicken over the next few days, but not completely turn to get as with other similar recipes.  This is already thinned so that I pour from my pitcher into the machine.  I use 1 to 2 Tbsp. per load depending on the load size.
  8. When your clothes are finished, smell NOTHING:)

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 1I really wanted to post this week, but I have been struggling to get through and recover from a migraine.  July 4th was definitely not the day to have a migraine in the United States.  However,  that was the day that a storm moved through.  Explosions were going off in my head as they went off throughout the city.  The storm didn’t slow down the fireworks, but it slowed me down!

This post was almost ready to go, but I had hoped to get a better picture before publishing it.  So, please forgive the picture and trust that this is a good one.  My whole family enjoys it.

I used to love making a dish similar to this with loads of Parmesan cheese.  My cravings for cheese are actually starting to diminish since I haven’t been able to eat it for several months now.  However, I wasn’t initially sure about how to modify my original recipe to replace the flavor of Parmesan.  It really didn’t end up being that hard to simply substitute some other tasty herbs and add a little salt to create a dish that is just as good as the original.  I hope you enjoy it:)

Pesto Stuffed Chicken

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 1

2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

  1. In a small bowl, stir olive oil and spices together.
  2. Add spinach and red bell pepper and stir.
  3. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create pockets.
  4. Place spice and vegetable mix in the pockets and place breasts in a baking dish.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until no pink remains.
  6. Slice and serve warm.