With the conversations I have with midlife women and the workshops we do, there are a few key concerns that always come up.
lack of sleep,
midlife liver roll
the foods that exacerbate symptoms and what foods make us feel better.
Today’s post will concentrate on depression and anxiety and what I personally found to be an amazing mood lifter.
When I say accidental, it was truly that!! It was a discovery that happened to me years before I picked up the books and texts and learned about depression and food. Of course since then one of my favourite books is ‘ Grain Brain’ by Dr Perlmutter. If there’s anything that’s a must read, that’s the book you need to get. And after it happened to me, it put me further on my mission to learn more about anxiety and how food affects it. I became a voracious reader.
Every health issue that happens to us is food related. Everything we eat shows up in our thinking, our performance, the way we interact with people and how we feel about ourselves, least of all our health!! So allow me to relate what happened to me a few years ago in a southern city of the Philippines.
We have years of poor food training to blame for the amount of anxiety that out’s there – I’m convinced of that. This ‘low fat’ dogma that has plagued us since the 70’s, thank heavens, is slowly turning around. There was a documentary on TV a little while ago about fats and it made me remember my own personal experience. This low fat craze has a lot to answer for with the degree of depression that hits the midlife woman. She lives her life agonising over her size and thinks she needs to watch her calories and fat intake. It’s all wrong!
The less fat we take in the more depression we can expect to experience.
Back to my story!
A number of years ago I found myself working in Cebu in the Philippines. I had a few trips there but this particular time I was there for about a month and found it not so easy to eat the way I wanted to. So living above a food court and a market gave me a plethora of choices, but a lot of not so healthy (or even tasty) ones. I was in a hotel room, not an apartment, so even cooking was tricky. But they do fruit very well over in that region. And there’s lots of unusual veges. So I’d find myself stocking up on fruit, some raw veges and the other choices were all ‘snacky’. No cooking facilities meant a lot of raw food consumption and the other extreme was the easy choice – the takeaway. Over a period of time I found myself getting anxious, angry, weepy for no reason and wanting to be home. I put it all down to homesickness.
Then one night, feeling my absolute worst, I went down to the food court thinking about how restricted my choices were but decided ‘ stuff it I’m going to be bad tonight’! (There you go – immediately with the guilt). I purchased a very fatty, creamy sauced pasta. My body was crying out for fat. Once I’d devoured this fatty creamy and carb loaded meal, I felt an instant relief. It was like this flood of brighter, happier mood erased away the frustration and sadness I was feeling for absolutely no reason.
The effect was astounding and instant.
It was tinged however with bittersweet as I’d already guilted myself about it’s pasta loaded (and garlic bread enhanced) fatty decadence and thought I was totally eating the wrong thing. In fact I thought I was going to blow up instantly right there after the last mouthful went down.
We women do that FAR too much.
I knew straight away my body – and more importantly my brain – was getting the fat it was craving.
Changing my diet to include so much more quality fat has kept my skin in reasonable condition, kept my waistline from exploding and I need to feel satiated. Not many of us like hunger!
I knew then I needed to lift my fish oil consumption, eat more avocadoes, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and any good quality Omega 3s I could get my hands on. I’ve also learned how Coenzyme Q10 is the energy spark plug that seemed to clear my foggy anxiety ridden thinking. But the key to finding the right supplement is to find potency guaranteed, pure and balanced manufacturing to ensure you’re getting what the label says. The vitamin world is fraught with misinformation – make sure you do your research.
So if you feel you’d like a little help with your eating program and wonder what supplements you should be taking, message me.