After too many years in a mental mess, I finally took charge and it began with what I eat.
This article is meant as an inspiration and a supplement to whatever else you do to fight depression.
Different foods have different effects on different people, but some things seem to be universal. Did you know fx. that the brain is nearly 60% fat? I start with water, a brain booster shot, a full tablespoon of fish oil and a super smoothie. These omega fats have been a major game changer for my cognitive functions.
I try and avoid white sugar and white wheat all together and eat meat on my Sinful Saturdays or when I’m at the peril of other people’s offerings. I’ve done a lot of reading about foods and brain chemicals, and one thing I learned is that around 80% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. Serotonin is our natural anti-depressive.
So what is it that I eat that has helped me relief depression?
Breakfast, in this particular order:
- 1 pint water.
- Brain boost shot: 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 tbsp honey, turmeric, black pepper and boiling hot water.
- 1 tbsp fish oil.
- 1 pint super smoothie: low-fat milk, skyr / low-fat yogurt, frozen blueberries (serotonin,) 1 banana and a tbsp. of raw cocoa powder.
- 1 soft boiled egg.
- 1-2 Oranges, or a 1/2 mango.
The egg and fruit are optional, depending on how hungry I am. The difference in mental function since I began eating this breakfast, has been tremendous. Gone is the brain fog, the depression, the stress problems, the memory issues and so forth.
My snacks vary greatly. It can be anything from dark chocolate, to fruit and over to veggies, nuts, seeds and berries. I usually carry water and snacks in my bag in case life postpones me getting home. Without snacks, a cognitive setback is bound to happen. Coffee doesn’t help me one bit. I read that some people benefit from coffee and that others don’t. I get more tired and weird mentally after drinking coffee.
For lunch, I prefer a mixture of some beans, seeds, lentils and leafy greens. Kidney beans, red lentils and sunflower seeds, which I boil in a pot, add to that red onions, spinach, garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, ginger, what ever I have really, carrots and beet root maybe, with some very important spices, namely sage and turmeric, which are meant to be the brain’s best friends. Hummus seems to have a great effect on my head, it feels like my mind is bathed in butter, I can’t explain it better. Himalaya salt is the only salt I use, regular salt bloats my stomach too much. And of course some carbs, like brown rice.
Dinner is not that unlike lunch, but might include fish and chicken. Otherwise, it’s just near vegan.
For proper sleep, one must release enough melatonin. That I do with Chamomille tea with honey, bananas and pine apple.
Where to start and what to expect.
I recommend that you don’t change everything on day one, unless you are a disciplined person, as this change in lifestyle can render you VERY tired to begin with, and then cravings kick in and it’s back to Melancholics Anonymous. Find something healthy you really like and add that to your diet. To kick-start some weight loss, the juice from a whole lemon, into water, before going to bed did wonders for me.
Other people will offer you unhealthy things as if they are being paid for it, it’s a human trait you should expect and prepare for. Remember those snacks when you’re about to meet up with someone and be the one that makes the decisions about which fast food joints to visit. That way you can at least get some sushi.
Finding out what works for you personally can take a lot of time, so here are the sites I researched most:
- Be Brain Fit | Your Guide to Better Cognitive and Mental Health
- Kelly Brogan MD – Holistic Women’s Health Psychiatry
On top of healthy eating, I’ve had great benefits from yoga, meditation, mindfulness, the gym, swimming, walking outside, by limiting my access to negative input, mostly people and the news and by training my attitude away from complaining and blaming, towards taking responsiblity for everything that goes on in my head. Not to forget power posing and some months of sobriety.
There is no reason for you to suffer anymore, the future has to brighter.
Thank you for reading and happy eating,