I struggled for years with Major Depressive Disorder, constant mood swings, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and lack of focus (ADHD). My outlook and relationships suffered, my self-esteem was very low, and life was miserable in ALL areas. I ate fast food on a daily basis, processed sugars and carbohydrates on a “several times daily” basis, and by the time I was in my early thirties I was over 300 pounds and in both physical and emotional pain. The weight I had gained from my food choices helped to create knee and back pain, the confidence of a “scaredy cat” and a dim outlook in life. I also had failed or dropped out of college six times due to my inability to learn and focus. And none if this was caused by what happened as a child or any other exterior source of blame. It was simply what I fed my body and mind.
New Research Shows That Food Affects Brain Function and Mood
“New” research out of Denmark is showing how the food I was consuming played a central role in my mood, physical pain, and the yo-yo I could never seem to unleash myself from. Certain foods, specifically processed sugars and carbohydrates create a response in our gut microbiota and brain that ultimately affect mood and behavior. The research is showing that when we consume foods that are high in processed sugars and unhealthy fats our bodies produce lower amounts of the things we naturally need to stay happy. Our bodies begin to rely on the unhealthy food to produce the “happy stuff” within our bodies, leading to a reliance on food and other sources for comfort and elevated mood. And because it is only a temporary “happy pill” we need to consume more and will still ultimately experience the depressive states that we are trying to avoid. The Denmark research study also shows that the unhealthy food choices lead to inflammation in the body which slows down the production of healthy neurons as we age and LARGELY impacts memory and our ability to learn. ADHD, Major Depressive Disorder, Alzheimer’s and other mental diseases are all affected by the food we eat. NOW WONDER I COULDN’T LEARN, WAS DEPRESSED ALL OF THE TIME, AND COULD NOT CONTROL MY IRRITABILITY AND IMPULSIVENESS!
Time For a New Strategy For Holistic/Integrative Health
I am certainly not trying to be offensive to my friends in the medical community when I say that it is time for some changes in the way we treat mental health disorders. I understand that medication is necessary in some cases but not most. The people that I work with that suffer from depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health diseases do not seem to get better with medication. They may not get worse and now are able to “manage” the disorders with meds but I have seen few that actually become happy, calm, and fully present in daily life. It did not work for me either. What did work for me and many that I work with was changing the food that was put into our bodies, adding exercise, working on outlook and automatic negative world views, and having nonjudgmental but challenging support through the process. Supplementing with b-complex, fish oils, and vitamin d3 also helped as did meditation and daily SINCERE gratitude for life. It is not a pill and takes some work but ultimately will help with much of the suffering we deal with in our mental health because we are producing the “happy stuff” within our bodies ourselves and not relying on exterior, short term, and quick fix sources.
The beginning of each day is a chance to start over with a fresh slate. “Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift and why we call it the present.” Today is your chance to start over with the way you treat your physical and mental health. You can choose to feed yourself healthy foods, exercise, and the way you respond to the events in the day. You can choose to learn and grow, inspire, support, love, and compliment. You can choose to read materials that help you grow, to serve others who struggle, and to become the healthiest you mentally and physically. Beginning today you can choose to BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Not a gym rat but know that you need to exercise and want to do it in a safe manner? Miracles of Phoenix Fitness teaches only safe, healthy exercise in a welcoming environment. Our lifestyle modification program is extensive and helps participants achieve permanent lifestyle change. We have safe exercise programs for people with pre-diabetic and diabetic conditions, osteopenia, osteoporosis, arthritis, lower back, and other joint soreness. We offer gym, in your home, and online training programs and all have high success rates for permanent lifestyle change and improvement. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!