Thursday, April 22, 2021

Feeling No Pain from Migraines

The Migraine Brain By Carolyn Bernstein

Hopefully, you will gain some advantage from my humble two cents on how I beat migraines. Disclaimer: I fully well expect to have another one because there are floating variables involved. But man, just slowing the frequency, as you know or possibly will know, is huge. I think my friends and family are tickled, not so much because they're glad to see me without angry skull monsters, but because I was bitchy to them during the headaches. LOL.

This is posted on my writer's blog because there was a lot to share and I didn't know where else to put it. Besides, this is writing, one of my passions, and I'm stoked to help you out if it will work for you. I'm not a doctor, another disclaimer. I just tried different remedies for about 30 years. (BTW, I DID go to a doctor in my 30s and she just prescribed medication - I wanted to nix them without pharmaceuticals as you'd probably love as well.) The book above, by a doctor who suffers from the skull crushers also, greatly advanced my personal studies. In fact, my frequency went down to about every 4 to 6 weeks.

You will more than likely benefit from at least an adaptation of the remedy that worked for me if you...

1) Skip breakfast a lot

2) Feel like food somehow triggers them

3) Get loopy from low blood sugar

4) Put off or forget to eat for long periods

5) Exercise 

6) Eat light meals

7) Like your sweets

I have a LOT of friends who try to stay healthy and are plagued with migraines. Hint hint. Don't worry. You don't have to give up ice cream. In fact, let's get one thing on the table. I LOVE junky food. Cheap sandwich cookies, chili dogs, pork rinds, I'll eat them until I die. But I don't eat them a lot. I'm not telling you this to brag or bore you. It had to do with me decoding my reactions. There were times I could pig out on chips sandblasted in MSG, drink a Coca Cola (I love them, but only chug about 2 per month), and eat Chinese food all in one setting and be fine. So, maybe like you, I wondered why could I do that sometimes, and in other situations it killed me.

Throughout my life, it's been easy to regiment a very sensible menu for a work week. I prepare all meals on Sunday and eat the same thing all week, usually pretty 'healthy' high protein stuff. I'm not a health nut, but I try to watch intake and I'm a runner. It's also cheaper. For instance, one week's lunch may be burritos (beans, beef, corn, tortilla, onions, pesto, hot sauce). One of my favorites for years and no head banging from them. Costs about two bucks a day.

After Thanksgiving on many occasions though, I got migraines from turkey sandwiches, but the Thanksgiving dinner itself made me feel great. Hint hint.

I'll get more to how I solved the mystery in a bit. With these menus (or similar ones) I was able to go migraine free for three months--I felt so good I didn't even realize it was that long. Give it consideration or a try.

Week One

Breakfast: burrito made of eggs, sausage with no MSG, cheese, and flour tortilla. 2 cups of coffee.

Lunch: salad made of chicken breasts, walnuts, spinach, sugar free dressing. Also a couple of handfuls of blueberries.

Dinner: Hummus and Triscuits.

Week Two

Breakfast: Whole grain oatmeal (I like Bob's Red Mill), a little chunk of cheese, hash brown patty, 3 or 4 thin ham slices. 2 cups of coffee.

Lunch: Hamburger quarter pound- no cheese plenty of protein here, pickles (actually any vegetables you want) mustard on a whole wheat bun. Add an apple and plum.

Dinner: Chili.

*I eat lunch twice, same thing both times. Actually, you can feel free to eat as much of any of that menu as you want if you're still feeling hungry. Too much is not the problem. My portions, however, are pretty skimpy from the 1st looks of them, then I'm full and it amazes me that I can sustain 4 to 5 hours.

Some other things to take into account because migraines are about body chemistry: I drink lots of water and go to bed at the same time each night with 6 to 8 hours of slumber. Also, I manage stress through meditation and believe me, I'm VERY high strung. Lastly, I don't smoke. Those all impact migraines one way or another.

If your lifestyle is similar to mine, AND you sustain on the suggested meal plan without a migraine, you're very probably a low blood sugar migraineur like myself. I am not diabetic nor hypoglycemic. In the publication I've recommended, I was struck (and I believe the doctor alluded to this) how much migraines are like diabetes. Because I work on my feet, exercise, and have a fairly jazzed metabolism, I have to eat a lot. Like a horse as a matter of fact...which leads me to how the mystery was solved.

It always blew my mind that I could consume the prescribed diet the day before a colonoscopy (chicken broth, clear juices, Jello) and not get a headache although I knew damn well that I have to eat a lot. So, I tried that diet again one day--without the subsequent colonoscopy, LOL--and I outwitted the migraines again. Protein. Sugar. Hint hint. 

Turkey sandwiches had no sugar. The Thanksgiving dinner had natural sugars though in cranberry sauce, corn, and sweet potatoes. (Not to mention desserts, but I'll get to that in a bit).

I tried the Keto or Paleo (can't remember which, but they were both high protein) and the first day I got a headache. When I modified the diet with some whole grain breads, adding almonds, avocados, and green olives as snacks, I felt great. 

The Jello had low levels of sugar. The juices had natural sugar. The bread had a little sugar.

Protein, natural sugars and or good fats, and complex carbs. If you try the shared 2 week menu and feel good, then you REALLY have a solid foundation to work off of to dodge the H bombs for months like I did. Consistency is the key. 

I used to skip breakfast. The brain got better when I started eating in the morning. 

I always ate fruit...kind of. My selection of fare depended on costs a lot and sometimes I'd skimp on the sweet produce. Never again. I'll always have a banana, plum, grapes, cherries with my meals. In fact, early in the no-migraine stretch one day, I felt one developing. My fellow migraineurs, you KNOW that feeling. Well, I drank apple juice and squashed it. Don't just eat fruit though. You got to have the other helpers. 

Be careful of starches like pasta and potatoes. I love them, but your blood sugar should be calm if you eat a lot in one sitting.

As for sweets, MSG, wine and other terrible delicious triggers, there's hope as well. For me, if my blood sugar is stable, I can enjoy all those things...just not all of them at once or all the time. NEVER drink wine on an empty stomach. If you're like me and you go a while without eating or you feel the low blood sugar jitters, you'll more than likely manifest a migraine several hours later. They don't usually happen quickly unless your sugar is low AND you experience a trigger.

Diet sodas are not your friend. Aspartame is a major migraine trigger. You should avoid them with the meal plan. The book goes into other notorious triggers and a lot of fascinating peculiarities. But if you want to get started, keep in mind the blood sugar. Never let it get low.

If you have any questions, hit me up on the FB posting. Godspeed to you. I REALLY hope this helps.

Gusto Dave

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Your Book Isn't Selling? It's Not Your Fault.

Are you agonizing over your labor on Wordpress and Goodreads that yields next to zero sales of your book? Allow me to share some vital data from when I gambled tens of thousands of buckeroos on a comedy convention.

I used to say without any first-hand experience, "Marketing is spending lots of money and who you know." After Comedy Con, though, I'm not just shooting my mouth off anymore. it's a proven theory.

A little disclaimer before I bring you up to speed: I have no regrets. Hopefully, this article doesn't sound bitter. Rather, I enjoyed the ride. Living up to my mantle 'Gusto', instead of just talking big about something, I actually did it and I'm proud. But the truth is my spreadsheets reflect a devastating loss that would make any wouldbe stockholder bash me on Twitter. Don't shed tears for me, though. Uncle Sam will pity me enough and I'll recoup my investments. The lesson was very worth it and you can benefit from the lashing I took.

A while back, I mentioned my hiatus for pursuing book deals. I would continue to write simply because I enjoy it--which I have. I cannot stress to you enough how you better be penning manuscripts out of sheer pleasure because if you're not dumping every bit of your 'disposable income' into promotion, odds for becoming a day-job novelist are astronomically slim. Seriously, you're more likely to be struck by lightning. This, I learned from Comedy Con.

Do you have an author page on Facebook where you post announcements about your upcoming releases? No one sees them. I hope this gets your attention. Keep reading.

In the closed-office, introverted world of an author, it's easy for us to embrace the concept of marketing, but very few of us really do that job and it's next to impossible for us to grasp what a gargantuan task it is to sell stuff. After all, we should be focusing on story telling, right?

My idea for Comedy Con came about partly because of all the conferences/conventions I visited as a writer. As some of you know, I dabble in stand-up. Because I'm too stubborn to go on the road or wait in line for stage time to chase comedic success, I suppose it just clicked in my mind one day that there are no conventions for comedy, so starting one could be my innovative approach to staying involved with my humorous passion. I mean...we have superhero, horror, steampunk, and every other genre of convention, but not one for comedy. How could this lose?

Following the format for Denver Comic Con, I contracted celebrities from well-known funny TV programs to grace this little soiree, one of them was Steve Hytner whose face is very recognizable as the character of Bania from "Seinfeld." Steve is a great guy, BTW. There was an invitation for comedic themed cosplay. We had panels about the business just like comic cons. We even sweetened the deal and threw in tried-and-true performances. There was a gameshow with $1000 in winnings up for grabs. Well...ticket sales just sat there.

Here's the funny/aggravating thing that kept rearing its ugly head: Abeit with good intentions probably, people who observed the low turnout would tell me, "This could really turn into something if you would have advertised." Their assumption that I didn't advertise always cracked me up. I proceeded to inform them, "Good point, but we had an ad on the programs for The Greeley Stampede and Greeley Blues Jam. There was a coupon for discount tickets in the Greeley Tribune. KFKA  AM and 93.5 Pirate Radio plugged it repeatedly. The Best of Greeley magazine ran ads for it over three months. I bought marketing from The Greeley Tribune which included bus bench ads and digital marketing like retargeting, Facebook, and geo-fencing. The Downtown Development Authority posted it on the city events calendar. Greeley Unexpected promoted it with ticket giveaways. Every ad had a picture of the recognizable Steve Hytner. The Tribune wrote up a very nice article about the event. Altogether, I poured about 6 grand into marketing." That litany would always leave them pale faced, and grasping for something encouraging to say.

I hired a social media promoter and that's where I learned that your postings on a Facebook fan page go nowhere unless you take out pricey ads through their Business Manager. Incidentally, I hate Facebook now...although they have a right to free enterprise, they're very misleading.

The final evening of Comedy Con, Christine Lederman, DJ at 93.5, comedian, and dear friend said to me, "It's not your fault," and those very kind words jarred me out of my self blaming. My girlfriend pointed out how classy it was of her to say that.

Some friends offered consolation to me and said, "Maybe Greeley wasn't the best place." Well, to put things into perspective, In April, Jim Belushi was at the civic center (the same theater in which we held Comedy Con) and his program sold about 1000 tickets. Lots of comedy acts come through Greeley at said venue and profit, so, why did Comedy Con stagnate? The most logical answer is: Advertising. It needed more.

Volunteers, performers, and vendors all told me they loved the idea and wanted to do it again, but I also got the distinct impression that they didn't envision what the convention was all about until they got here even though the webpage explained everything. Again, advertising. When marketers tell you that people have to see things over and over, that is true.

Maybe Steve Hytner wasn't big enough. Possibly. This is what hurts my head with that argument, though: most comic cons bring in stars that I've never heard of in their first years. However, if I play along and agree, it just proves my theory again...who you know and money. Sure, Bill Murray, for a minimum fee of about $100,000, would have filled the civic center, but I would have needed a connection to someone who knows him just to offer the deal, and I still would have had to bankroll a lot of advertising.

Some officials with the city of Greeley pointed out to me that Blues Jam only attracted a few hundred people its first year, resulting in horrible debt. Last summer it pulled over 6000 attendees. Blues Jam has become so successful that it's now a Greeley institution. Comedy Con probably just needs time to catch on. Once more, that's advertising through slow word of mouth and investment to do it over and over.

So, fellow writers, you more than likely have some idea that the book buyer's market is tough. Just how tough is it? Well, consider my experiemental event in a state where conventions are as popular as micro breweries--an entertainment weekend that for all practical purposes should have been more marketable. The advertising (both free and paid) for Comedy Con wasn't enough to get it flying off the ground its first time. How many years and dollars do you think your novel will require?

Feel free to browse the webpage. Incidentally, although I can recoup the losses, I have no capital on hand right now to try Comedy Con again and find the answers to puzzles that plague mankind.


Friday, April 21, 2017

It'll never get old.

That kick of emotion when the first box of your new book arrives?

It'll never get old.

A sultry singer,
her hunky ex-boyfriend,
a kidnapped father,
and his priceless Aztec sword.
The chase is on!

A Serenade to Die For
Janet Fogg and David Jackson

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Nightly Met interview

"Gusto" Dave Jackson and Janet "The Kid" Fogg discuss their new Misfortune Annie series with Avery Anderson on the Nightly Met!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Serenade to Die For

To be released April 7, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press!

On the verge of her long-sought career breakthrough, singer Isbel Vargas has just completed the performance of a lifetime when a kidnapper demands a ransom for her father. Thanks to his car theft and antiquities operation, her father will be arrested if she involves the Acapulco police. Who can she turn to?

Isbel's ex-boyfriend, Cane Mullins, is once again south of the border, purportedly tracking down his beloved Camaro, a vintage street rod stolen years before by her father. Cane gets more than he bargains for, though, when he again crosses paths with the exquisite singer. Chased at high speed through the Sierra Madres, the former lovers search for Isbel's father and a priceless sword he has hidden away, the sole surviving Aztec maquahuitl, while sparks fly and passion reignites. But can Isbel trust Cane again...with her heart?

The Wild Rose Press link
Amazon link
Barnes & Noble link

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Where's Annie?

Thank you, Bookworm for Kids!  "With edge-of-the-seat adventure, this gunslinger heroine takes on all sorts of dangerous villains and shows the world just what one girl can do."

"I strapped on some chaps and spurs and sat down with the authors. They graciously answered a few questions." ~ Greg Pattridge of Always in the Middle.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's the Gusto Way

You can be cheap yet still be romantic. C’mon, you’re probably an artist of some sort for cryin’ out loud if you’re reading this, so use some imagination. Those who really know me will tell you I’m the cheapest bastard alive—a mantle I proudly accept—but I’m also efficient and effective. And the thing is: Creativity squashes money spent every time when it comes to amore…unless your conquest is the superficial type. In that case, this posting is not for you and good luck. I’ll float you some cash if I know you, but it probably won’t be enough. And you better have a sports car.

Let’s go over these in promotional package style. (I’m putting on a Comedy Con—will be posting more about it on here soon—and as of late, I’ve been pitching to potential sponsors with deals that you just can’t refuse)!

The VIP Working Man Deals: In these scenarios, you have some free cash to splurge a little, around a 100 to 150 bucks.

The trick here is to avoid being manipulated like mindless cattle. Dinner is probably the best option, but don’t go where you always go! Find a place with character. It doesn’t even have to be ‘fancy’, but it must feel adventurous. It’s this simple, if you want it to be spicy in the bedroom, the dining experience is the way to get the flavor going. Maybe you try something completely new. When you roll the dice like this, there’s a risk of the meal falling short of your expectations. Again, that’s okay. It’s part of the thrill. You can kiss afterwards and make it all better.

Another epicurean approach, again observing this budget is to simply get a really nice bottle of wine. You can pick up a bottle of Dom Perignon in said price range. Pop the cork with your sweetie and enjoy some white grapes and cheese with this sparkling luxury while watching the sunset…or sunrise, if you know what I mean. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

The Intimacy is More Important Than Money Deal: Relaxation is paramount in romance. At about half the price, these are the best bang for the buck. Wait, that sounded a little crass…

Get comfortable and rub each other’s backs. You don’t have to be a masseuse. You just have to be caring. Music, or a movie, and maybe a stiff drink are nice pairings with ‘stop-the-world-and-take-a-breather’ technique.

Prepare a special entrée for your honey. I’m such a lousy cook, it takes me an hour to make Minute Rice, but from my single years, I perfected a few meals, one of them being steaks. The first time I grilled them, I nearly singed my eyebrows off because I didn’t know how to fire up coals, but as they say, practice makes perfect. I grill them so well now that it actually fooled my girlfriend into thinking I was some kind of chef. But I relish wining and dining her. Oh, and here’s a trick with onions, guys. Everybody knows that a tough dude never cries, yet cutting onions can test you. The trick is to make sure there’s plenty of ventilation, direct a fan toward the kitchen area to blow the onion fumes away, and breathe through your mouth. You’ll make Superman look like a squeaky voiced adolescent. Then again, some ladies dig the sensitive type. In that case, leak all over the place and tell them about your beloved cats.

The Zero Money Option: Tell her how you feel. If you’re a writer, you should have this in the bag. Take the time to really get it right on the page. And that’s why I’m telling Julie and all of the world how lucky I am. She patiently helped me to find the way to true happiness—absolute appreciation of what I have. Everyday, I become a better man with her in my life. I love you.

Gusto Dave