Updated: Oct 7, 2019
Let’s get vulnerable here, ladies. We’re all friends here, and my job is literally being a support system for you. So let’s do it, let’s talk mental health and food.
This is a crazy sensitive subject because yeah, you can’t necessarily see, understand, diagnose or even know the impacts of someone’s mental health. However, mental and physical health is intimately connected, and you cannot have one without the other.
What many people don’t know, is how much your health habits can impact, worsen, or even create serious mental health issues. What foods might you be eating, or not eating, that are making your emotional processing skewed? It is different for everyone, and it takes conscious effort to understand what is impacting you that might be different from your friends or family.
As an example (I’m not trying to diagnose your own mental health and what might be impacting you) here is my journey through my own mental health struggles and finding holistic ways to manage my symptoms.
Through much of my life I dealt with bouts of depression and anxiety, without knowing exactly what it was I was experiencing, or why I was feeling this way. It wasn’t until college and working intimately with a therapist that I was able even to name my experience. I heard words like depression, anxiety, panic, etc for the first time in relation to my own mental health.
For years I truly had no idea that feeling this way wasn’t normal… and I had no idea that I didn’t have to feel that way going forward.
I felt like this bubbly, positive, energetic person I was on the inside was being chained down and suppressed by a force that I could not see. I didn’t want to be that moody, stressed out, and irritable person snapping at her friends and family! I didn’t know that I even had a choice.
I went through an intensive elimination diet to figure out certain foods causing my body pain and unnecessary mood swings after my first year of college when my mental health was at a particular low.
I made major life changes including cutting out foods I never would have known could impact more than my physical health. My strange list of ‘Nope’ foods is unique to me and includes foods like soy, cashews, hazelnuts, preservatives, food coloring, grapes, high fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates. I’d say I live at a 90/10 balance because I truly do feel the impacts of these foods in my body almost immediately after eating them. But hey, a girl’s gotta stay sane and have a couple gummy bears and a croissant every now and again!
My mission is to never let another woman suffer the way I did for years without feeling empowered to pull themselves up! While medication and therapy were crucial parts of my original treatment, I now rely fully on holistic health, healthy eating, and daily exercise. And let me tell you… I feel like a fully new person because of it.