So here I am once again trying to play with my diet to see if it makes a difference. I’ve been attempting to get off caffeine, gluten, and dairy for the last couple of weeks. So far it has been going well, but I am definitely craving some comfort food. Eliminating caffeine has been fairly easy. I just tapered down for a couple of days then stopped. Wow, what a difference it has made in my energy level! It is easy to stay on track when you immediately get results. If you are struggling with fatigue, you should experiment with cutting out caffeine. Fatigue has been the one symptom I haven’t been able to shake, but this seems to be doing the trick. Gluten has been tricky because it is seemingly in everything and I’ve had long love affairs with bagels and pizza. I haven’t had much time to prep and cook my own meals so I’ve been living off veggies, hummus, and nuts during the day then cooking a meal in the evening. Dairy hasn’t been too bad so far, but again I keep fantasizing about Donato’s pizza.
So why gluten and dairy? I’ve done a lot of reading about diet and mental illness and I keep seeing gluten and casein (protein found in milk) as being the culprit in many mental illnesses. I got my health coach certificate from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition last year and I was introduced to Dr. Mark Hyman in my studies. I read his book “The UltraMind Solution” and he suggests getting rid of all processed, high-sugar foods and the two main allergens (gluten and dairy). He has seen depression and anxiety symptoms improve in his patients while on this diet. So I am working on these two then it will be my crutch, sugar. I’ve grown to love Dr. Hyman so much that I’ve made an appointment at The Cleveland Clinic Center of Functional Medicine where he is the director. I’ll be meeting with a functional medicine doctor, a nutritionist, and health coach. I’m super excited! Hoping to see if I can manage my illness through diet and lifestyle changes and get rid of meds while we try to conceive again. If you’re interested in reading about food and mental illness, you should also check out “Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health: A Complete Guide to the Food-Mood Connection” by Leslie Korn and “Grain Brain” by Dr. David Perlmutter.
These drastic changes to my diet can sometimes be a struggle since eating has been one of my coping mechanisms when dealing with depression and anxiety. I’ve turned to food often in the past to comfort myself. Giving my favorite foods up has always been difficult for me (especially when I’m not smoking). So I am slowly learning how to deal and trying to find healthy foods to love. I’m hoping to see some improvements in the next month or so. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.