Trying the Elimination Diet for Depression

Due to the pandemic, many of us haven’t been feeling 100%. Michelle Obama, in her podcast, even spoke about having “low-grade depression.” I am glad that a highly-visible person spoke up. It makes it easier for us to not feel ashamed that our mental health is not at the level it usually is.  

For me, my mental health has taken a hit. From this pandemic and all the events that have happened this year. 2019 was a tough year, and I was hoping that 2020 would be a better one. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been in the case, and I expect that is the same for many of us. Work has gotten 100 times busier, and as well as I am doing my MBA and taking care of the kids. There is also my grandson. You can say that my plant is full, even overflowing. It sucks because I was really trying to work on getting my online business going, but I have been so tired. My motivation to do anything has plummeted. I also think that not being able to take any time off since taking one day off in July has made my mental health worse. When my grandson was born, I planned to take two weeks off, but work made that impossible. 

My therapist encouraged me to talk to a psychiatrist. I was reluctant because I dislike medication. For some reason, I always have adverse effects of medication. However, seeing how my depression was getting worse, I scheduled the appointment. Instantly, the psychiatrist said she was not one to push medicines on people. Instead, she likes to take a holistic approach. I loved it. She gave me vitamins to take regularly and to do an elimination diet for 30 days.  

She said that usually, the older we get, our food tolerance can change. However, because our bodies have adapted, we won’t know what food is negatively impacting us until we do an elimination diet. She said six food groups are usually to blame:

  1. Soy
  2. Caffeine
  3. Nuts
  4. Dairy
  5. Eggs
  6. Gluten

It was going to be hard after I read more about the elimination diet. No coffee, honey, peanut butter, cheese, and milk was going to be hard. However, I want to feel better, so I knew that in the long run, 30 days is nothing. 

The weekend before, I ate everything that I was not going to have for August. On Monday, I started.

The first three days were hard because I had the worst headache. I knew this was going to happen because caffeine headaches are tough. Today is the 4th day, and I have a mild headache, but it’s manageable. I realize that I didn’t start drinking copy until I was in my mid-twenties, so I think I am done drinking coffee. Maybe the occasional macchiato, but that’s about it. I have always been an avid tea drinker, so I am going to stuck with that. 

There are many gluten-free products out there, so that is much easier. I got gluten-free bread and waffles. Gluten-free products have gotten much tastier. When I was younger, the food tasted like cardboard. I was pleasantly surprised, so I think I am going to start switching to more gluten-free products. After doing research, I realized that we were eating some already. For example, chickpea or lentil pasta and Cheerios. I had no idea until I was trying to look for food products for this elimination diet. 

The tough part is the peanut butter and honey. I always eat oatmeal with peanut butter, and that is not going to happen for 30 days. I love honey in my tea. I tried a little bit of Stevia, and it tasted weird, so I have just been drinking my tea plain. It hasn’t been bad, but I miss my honey!

I forgot. Wine. I drink wine on the weekends, but that is no more. Goodbye wine! See you in 30 days. I also can’t forget the eggs. I love eggs on everything, and that is gone as well. 

Even with missing some food items, I must say I am pleasantly surprised how easy the elimination diet is. It has barely disrupted my life, so I know I can make these adjustments.

I will say that my mind is clearer now. Even when I received bad news during a doctor’s appointment this week, I was able to handle it. I don’t know if it’s the elimination diet or the vitamins I am taking, but my mind is calmer and clearer. 

I’ll be providing updates on how things go during the month. Let me know if you have ever tried the elimination diet. What was the reason for doing it? 

Elimination Diet for depression
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