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It’s funny how we try all kinds of medicines and chemicals to correct problems that are often caused by something (or things) in our daily lives that we can control.

I went to see my naturopath last week about my migraines, and I admitted to her that I had been cheating a bit on the gluten-free thing. Not outlandishly: I wasn’t eating plates of pasta. But I would have a bite of someone’s apple pie, or have a spring roll or a fortune cookie. Small amounts of gluten, but it was happening more and more. My naturopath said that it is sometimes hard to believe how much damage that tiny molecule can cause, but that I had to stop the cheating and I would probably find my migraines would go away.

It’s been 10 days since that talk, and I have been religious about staying on the gluten-free wagon since. And guess what? Not one migraine. Not one headache or flu-like symptom. Which is pretty good considering my track record for the last six weeks or so.

Oh, and we (my naturopath and I) discovered I’m probably sensitive to MSG: I had Chinese food recently and was sick for three days afterwards. I kept eating the leftovers, and kept getting sicker. Did you know that even if a restaurant declares “We don’t add MSG” that there’s probably still MSG in the food? Many of the pre-made sauces they use already contain MSG (and other preservatives). So Chinese food is out, which is a bummer because it’s an easy option for a gluten-free vegetarian.

Some colleagues and I were recently having a conversation over lunch about health problems and the various medications we have taken or are taking to control them. One of my colleagues has been having migraines for years, and has prescription medication to help alleviate them (as do I). But she recently learned that aspartame is a trigger for her migraines, and has noticed a reduced frequency/severity of her migraines since she cut it out of her diet.

I discovered some time ago that aspartame was one of my triggers. It turns out gluten and MSG are probably two more. I’m hoping no new ones crop up after this. It’s hard enough sticking to this diet.

With that, I’ll leave you with a photo of a gluten-free vegan apple pie I recently made. The crust is made with almond meal, coconut oil, a bit of rice flour and cinnamon.

Gluten-free vegan apple pie

Gluten-free vegan apple pie