Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Is Your Brain Inflammed by Your Diet?



First, by diet I mean whatever way you eat. Second, I'm not talking about a specific disease. So, what do I mean? 

I'm talking about that negative self-talk that makes you feel depressed. I'm talking about those poor decisions you make like going through the fast food drive thru window rather than making a healthy meal because you just don't feel like it. And I've been there, that's how I gained back 80 lbs after losing 70 lbs. 

If the rest of your body is filled with inflammation from eating such foods (and if you eat them, it is), then so is your brain and that makes it harder to break the cycle because it's harder to make healthy decisions, and to have the energy to follow through with eating healthier, if your brain is filled with inflammation.

This also leads to a lack of mental energy, brain fog, and depression. It's why it's so beneficial to have a support system, and best if you have a buddy of some sort, to help you get on track in the beginning. If there are two or more of you, then there's accountability and support so that if you're feeling weak someone else can give you the encouragement you need to stick to the healthy choices.

It does not help if you enable each other in unhealthy ways, as I know from experience because my husband and I were very good at doing this. If one of us didn't feel like eating healthy and wanted something like fast food or Chinese buffet, it was easy for the other to give in. We weren't being a team in being healthier and living longer. I had hit rock bottom but was staying there because he hadn't hit it yet, and he was depressed from the grief of so many losses last year, including both of us parents. It was deciding he had to stop eating his emotions that made him start researching keto, something I was resistant to at first as my preference was paleo. 

However, to support him, I finally jumped on board the keto train with him despite my reservations due to my lack of a gallbladder. We're doing what's called "healthy keto" with more veggies and a bit less fat. It's sort of a lower carb version of paleo, really, where we keep processed meats down but also have eliminated high carb foods, sticking mostly with leafy greens, meat, eggs, and nuts. I have to keep an eye on the balance for now of having cruciferous vegetables in my diet because of my thyroid, and not having too much fat because of my gallbladder removal, and add things like ox bile and sea weed into my diet, but I know that I'll get this right for me. 

We're able to support each other in finding the way this works best for each of us as individuals too. He can eat dairy, I can't, so he has things like butter and cheese in his diet. He respects my casein intolerance and that we both like it best when I can breathe easily and don't need steroids, so we cook in olive oil. I'm also allergic to latex, which has caused me to be allergic to avocados and coconut oil, so we can't use those in mutual foods, but he uses them in his own food.

Another change is that he reads labels as much as I do now, and that drives our mutual decisions now much more than price. Things like soybean oil are now completely out of the question, as is "natural flavor" and anything we can't pronounce. Basically, if we don't recognize it as a whole food then we know our bodies don't either, so we don't buy it. We drink coffee and tea black now and have thrown out or given away all grains and sugars that were in our pantry, as well as the rancid oils like "vegetable" oil (Crisco) and canola (rapeseed) oil. That was something we didn't do before because he loves to bake and so those things were still in our house. 

So, the first step to getting over the blocks created by your brain inflammation is to get over your denial and face what you're doing. If you think you're "cheating", understand that there's no gain to you, it's all a loss, and thereby all that you're doing is harming yourself. Then, find a support system, someone to buddy up with or a group on FB. If you want inspiration, watch this video by Thomas DeLauer to help you get started (and I highly recommend his channel, it's very education and inspirational). 

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