Is Your Food Affecting Your Mood?
Throughout my childhood I ate many foods that affected my mood adversely, however since I was only a child I really didn't realize what was going on. My mother insisted that I drink milk everyday to get my much needed calcium. But I didn't like milk. So my mother had me drink chocolate milk instead. She used Hershey's chocolate powder and white refined sugar! To get me to eat a bowl of oatmeal I needed it to be smothered in brown sugar. For about a year, while my mother was studying at night school, I ate cherrios every night for dinner. Everyday at school I ate a bunch of cookies at lunch time. I ate pizza and fast food all the time. In high school I began a coffee and soda habit. Every morning I needed a large cup of coffee to get through the day...and even worse I added a ton of white refined sugar to my coffee. Eventually, in college, after eating all of these terrible foods and drinks for so long...plus smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, etc... I ended up in the hospital with a stomach problem. I was diagnosed with gastritis!
But before it even got to this terrible point, I recall always feeling pretty miserable. Throughout my entire childhood I was depressed, angry, irritable, exhausted and wrought with headaches and joint pain! At one point, I was complaining so much about back pain that my father took me to see a chiropractor. I was only in elementary school! Pretty young for experiencing back pain! But the chiropractor didn't help much...He actually made things worse. You see the real problem was not a back problem! The real problem was what I was eating! And it took me many many years to really figure this out! The foods I was consuming were causing me major inflammation and this in turn was affecting my mood! Ofcourse, feeling terrible seemed very normal to me... That is until I realized it was possible to actually feel good! And although I am supposedly genetically predisposed to having a mood disorder, I've found that the foods I ingest can either support this predisposition or change it!
Now, many years later, after suffering through depression, anger, irritability, anxiety, panic and pain, I seem to have mastered the art of self control with my diet. In an effort to end my suffering, I have eliminated a vast amount of foods, drinks and unhealthy habits. But if that is not enough, I like to test myself every so often! Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, but I find that the study of how foods make me feel is quite fascinating... and can be mind opening for others who are trying to eliminate their mood disorders.
One time, after being on a dairy free diet for quite a while I decided to try my luck with raw organic milk. I always hated milk, but I figured perhaps raw and organic would be better than processed and full of toxic hormones, right? I had met a guy who said he felt so good on this milk. So I had to give it a try. Want to know what happened? I actually started feeling depressed and crying a lot on the very first day. And I believe by the 2nd day of depression and crying, I was just about done drinking raw organic milk! Yeah...pretty crazy! And when I stopped the milk, the depression and crying stopped too! I was trying to figure out if I was empathic with the mother cow or what was going on? You know, even with organic milk there's a lot of suffering going on with the mother cows being torn from their young. I never drank milk again after doing this test!
More recently, throughout this current Mercury Retrograde, I decided to try eating more risky foods than usual. I have been doing a turpentine parasite cleanse for a little over a month now and also just started taking some new stomach/ digestion supplements. I wanted to see if my food tolerance has improved at all. During the first few days of my parasite cleanse I ate spicy indian food and actual cookies made with sugar and dairy! According to my acupuncturist I should not be eating any spicy foods... I especially cannot eat ginger, as I've discovered that ginger causes me to have anxiety...too much heat! Anyway, after eating the indian food and cookies, I started getting very shaky and took activated charcoal to detox. The charcoal stopped the shakiness... and perhaps stopped the mood disorder that could have resulted from eating such a terrible meal!
On my birthday, just last Sunday, I decided to get a little crazy! I ate a pizza, a chocolate cup cake and some of my friend's apple pie/ ice cream. It was all organic, vegan and gluten free! So not that bad right? I even took some undecylenic acid to combat candida and molybdenum glycinate to detox out the sugar! Well, the sugar and chocolate didn't get me all pepped up at all! Thank goodness! However, I did get bloated, had some nightmares and could barely function the next day! I wouldn't say it caused me anxiety or depression per se. I just couldn't leave my apartment, answer the phone or do anything for an entire day! I was really messed up!
After the pizza incident I had an intuitive thought that my stomach acid might be too low. So I tested myself for low stomach acid and found that my levels were actually quite low. So I started drinking apple cider vinegar with every meal which seemed to really help. So it was time for another test! I wanted to know if the bread from the pizza was the problem or if the chocolate/ sugar was the problem? So I went to another favorite organic restaurant and decided to finish off my meal with 3 raw organic chocolates made with almonds and maple syrup, etc. Perhaps this was a bad test as I had not eaten any nuts or maple syrup in a very long time. Want to know what happened? Even with the molybdenum glycinate pill to detox out the sugar, I immediately became high from the caffeine in the chocolate. I really can't tolerate caffeine, even in small amounts. I had trouble sleeping and, even worse, I had anxiety and exhaustion for the entire next day. Not only was I not able to leave my apartment or answer my phone, but I had to sleep and meditate most of the day. I felt absolutely terrible.
Final test.... As if all that was not enough...I wanted to see if I could eat bison after being on a completely vegan diet for over a month. I probably hadn't eaten bison in over a year though. But I was having weird cravings ok? And it's Mercury Retrograde... a good time to test yourself and totally mess up! I also wanted to test out sourdough bread which supposedly digests easier than other breads. So I had an organic bison sandwich with gluten free sourdough bread. Want to know what happened? Not as bad as the chocolate, but still pretty bad. After a couple hours I broke down and cried. Well, I was also very sad about a family issue...but still... This is an issue that's been going on for a while now. Nothing new! Then I woke up around 5am to cry some more. Not very typical behavior for me. Finally, the next day I could barely function again. I felt real crappy. I took a nap in the afternoon and had a weird nightmare! Not optimal!
Now, under full disclosure, I would like to add that I also recently started experimenting with taking an herbal hormone balancing tincture. It has awesome reviews on amazon so why not right? I am still dealing with monthly headaches and joint pain that I am attempting to eliminate. Anyhow, I believe one or more of the herbs in this tincture actually created the chocolate, bread and meat cravings. In fact, it may have also heightened the mood disorder I was experiencing. So I decided to return the bottle for a full refund! But you see, it's not just foods you must look out for... You must also consider herbs, spices, etc... Sometimes it's the tiniest of substances that cause the worse problems! Or a bunch of substances that collectively cause problems!
Anyway, I think I may have tortured myself enough for now... So it's back to vegan again...no bread, no chocolate, no caffeine and no sugar! Well... only sugar with my turpentine cleanse! That's ok! It was fun and horrible while it lasted! But the good news is... this article came out of my torturous experience! I took one for the team! And it's my hope that whoever reads this article understands just how important it is to put the right foods in your body that make you feel good. Just one bad food can create so much destruction... especially if you have health problems, food sensitivities or are prone to mood disorders! It's seriously insane! But if you really want to resolve your mood disorder/ health issues, it is vital that you gain some will power... challenge yourself... test yourself and eliminate all the foods that cause you to suffer! Food elimination may not resolve your problems entirely... You may need to supplement with the correct herbs and vitamins as well... which I do! However, you should feel a significant difference once you determine which foods (spices, herbs, etc) work for you and which foods (spices, herbs, etc) don't work for you! At the very least, you should make an effort to try to figure this out! FYI Now that I stopped eating all of my questionable foods and stopped taking the herbal hormone tincture... Well, I feel absolutely terrific. It's like night and day! I can function again! Amazing!
Jennie H is a Reiki Master Energy Healer, Co-Founder of Self Saviorz Society California Non-Profit 501(c)(3), Poet, Author and Entertainer with goals to help raise the vibration and consciousness of humanity!