Do you get migraines when you delay or skip a meal? Are you too busy to eat on time and eat healthy? Well, here’s the good news. With a little planning, you can still eat a healthy diet in a timely manner to reduce the frequency of migraines triggered by hunger!!

I don’t know about you, but on the days I skip meals, I am more definitely prone to get a migraine. Years ago, I had no clue that skipping meals could do that to me. Now, I do not, so I can’t allow myself to skip meals….the risk of that pain is just too great!

Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and manage your migraines with a busy schedule:

If you’re busy with family, be sure to set a timer on your phone or in the kitchen 15 minutes prior to when you plan on eating. It’s easy to get sidetracked and delay lunch, but a hunger-related migraine could negatively impact your productivity.

Does this sound familiar? “I’m just too busy to remember when to eat.”  If this is you, here’s a helpful tip – your cell phone! You can set your phone alarm to remind you to take a lunch break every day. Put a post-it-note in a visible place with a reminder to snack healthy or eat lunch on time. Develop a system that works for you and commit to it!

Let’s take a look at the ways you can plan your meals ahead to ensure you are eating healthy and have plenty of good healthy foods options to ward off your migraines.

1.    Choose simple meals.

You don’t need to create a long, involved menu. Remember that some of your most trusted and classic recipes are those that indulge in the natural flavor of the ingredients. Try to choose meals that are healthy and simple, and those will yield most flavor and delight.

2.    Allot time to meal planning.

Don’t make it complicated.  Set aside 10-15 minutes to plan for the fews day or as long as you can manage within that time limit. This will allow you to be more decisive and save time cooking and planning.

3.    Get the family involved.

If you are cooking for your family, have them pitch in. Give your family assignments when you are planning ahead. Not only does it help you out by getting everyone involved, but doing it together as a family makes it more fun. 

4.    Set health objectives for the days.

What is it that your body requires? Have you been under the weather lately – had more headaches and/or migraines? Set goals you want to meet any deficiencies you want to make up for. Have a day for eating a meal of fish so it makes your meal planning much more streamlined and time-effective. This will make your weekly plans wholesome and your recipe search so much more convenient.

5.    Make plan-ahead meals.

Build stock of staples such as tomato puree or spice mixes. You could even make sides such as mashed potatoes or beans ahead of time. This will make you plan meals according to what sides you have available and all you will have to do is pair mains with sides. Not only will this cut down your meal planning time, but it will also significantly reduce your cooking time. 

Tips for Planning Meals.
•    On the weekends, (at least a couple of times a month) plan ahead by outlining your meals from Monday to Friday. Create a shopping list based on your personal tastes.

•    Do you eat on the run? —What can be made quickly? A home-made smoothie can be eaten on your way to work, or a grab and go yogurt and banana. Maybe making a batch of steel cut oatmeal so that you can put it in containers and grab it and go….and don’t forget to add some options like raisins, nuts, etc. into a baggie to make it tastier. Sweeten with honey and add a little almond milk.

•    For lunch — do you plan to pack lunch for the week? If so, what do you need to add to the grocery list? Come up with a system that works and make it convenient —but remember to plan.
•    For sandwiches – there are plenty of BPA-free plastic containers that allow for a sandwich, side salad and fruit. This helps ensure you are eating a good balanced lunch. Make sure with your sandwiches, you are choosing freshly baked options of whole grain breads as opposed to preservative-filled bread.
•    Soup can be batch-cooked. Add a simple salad and you have a great lunch.
•    Salads are incredibly versatile. The night before, or if you have time in the morning, pack a salad; add some veggies and some chickpeas. Make a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, dry mustard, and some herbs; pour it into an airtight reusable container and you will be sure to look forward to your healthy lunch!

•    Here are some examples –  Monday throw a whole chicken in the crockpot. Place it on top of some aluminum foil so that the drippings don’t soak into the chicken. Have it along with broccoli and some quinoa (you can make a whole batch of quinoa and put it into containers to last for several meals). Tuesday make a spinach salad, topped with the leftover chicken and quinoa from Monday. Wednesday, take the quinoa you pre-cooked, add some vegetables and stir fry it in olive oil. Throw in some pieces of chicken into the mix and you have another delicious meal. You get the idea, right? Simply write all necessary ingredients down, do your shopping, and start cooking!

•    Keep fruit and nuts readily available. Pre-wash apples so they’re ready to snack on, or put some carrots and hummus in a little container. If you’re eating nuts, you can portion the nuts into 1 oz. servings ahead of time. Keep them in your car, at your desk, or anywhere else when you need to refuel. These simple tips will prevent you from going to the vending machine for a snack that provide little nutrition, and may even trigger a migraine.

Remember, planning ahead and making some small changes to your diet will really help you stay healthier and less likely to have a headache or migraine.

Keeping a food journal to see if delaying or skipping meals  was causing the migraines, not the actual foods you eat. Be aware of common migraine food triggers. 

The more you do this, the more likely it will become a habit….And let’s face it, making these changes and by pre-planning your meals to make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy options, could really make a difference with your migraines. It is so worth the effort.


Check out my newest migraine book, “Conquering Migraines.” It’s full of ideas for easing the pain of migraine, plus LOTS of great migraine-safe healthy recipes to help you plan out your meals.  >>CLICK HERE<<