Saturday, April 16, 2005

I are what I eat.

I have lost 10 pounds in the last couple of months because I have been more active and have been eating healthy foods, only for fuel- not for anxiety self medication. I ate for entertainment here and there (dessert with friends/easter dinner) but in those cases I ate sparingly. I figured that I was able to do well with my eating and activity because my mood has been so good lately...this weekend I am thinking it might be the other way around!

This theory started last trip on the day I went to Chili's with the FO. Chilis has some delicious "southwestern egg rolls" which are basically beans and cheese in an eggroll shell and fried, with a cream dipping sauce. Him and I split an "appetizer assortment" he added a cup of soup, I did not. I figure if I am eating calorie laden crap I need not add extra calories.

Well about a half hour(how long it takes to digest)later I felt sort of down and insecure. I didn't analyze this too much because soon after I met the beautiful German. Since I have started doing better I have been sad, anxious, shy, or angry plenty of times, but not depressed.

Well now it has happened again! I have felt sort of rotten since starting this trip. I really shouldn't be feeling crappy, I should be feeling great, I am seeing results in therapy and my classes are nearly done. But I have felt really blah. I have had very short work days but I have done less trash collections than usual, a signal that I am getting lost in my own head/magazines and losing touch with my enviornment. I am not connecting with people as well, and in fact I am getting some of the hyper-sensitivity that has plauged my life (like I'll get insulted just by a look or a tone of voice.)

So what is different from this trip as opposed to any of the others? Well for one we have new uniforms. I feel pretty ugly, which can affect my mood, but I dont think I acually look ugly, I think its in my head. I am really wondering if it is what I have been eating!

For lunch on friday I had a salad, but it was an iceberg lettuce (yuck) salad so I decided to put ranch dressing on it to make it palatable. I usually have a low fat vinagrette or italian, and I use it sparingly, the flavor comes from the greens. I figured it would be fine to use this ranch dressing because the meal would be about 350 calories. Then for dinner I found an awesome steak salad. I put blue cheese dressing on it. On this day I was craving chocolate (I always love chocolate, but I never crave it) So that evening I ate an ice cream sandwich. This morning I had a fatty muffin, some fruit and half a belgian waffle. For lunch I had my usual breakfast. For dinner I had a large burrito, one of those huge ones that are 2 portion sizes and ate the whole thing, plus the chips. I was alarmed by that at first, but seeing the small volume of food I had eaten today I think I was just hungry. I also ate some candy from my captian.

My calories may have been fine, but what I was eating may have caused my depressed moods! I had eaten very high-fat, high-sugar food these two days. I read in "psychology today" about "smart foods." They said that eating too much fat creates a "sludge" in your brain. This is literally how I felt.

I have already learned about an ugly relationship I have with sugar. Sugar spikes your blood sugar, so insulin pours in and your blood sugar crashes, leading you to crave more sugar. Interestingly I have found a connection between sugar and my body pain too.

I am going to go back to my healthy eating, I hope it makes a difference. I would be happy to find out that I have to eat healthy to keep from being depressed. When I discovered sugar pop gave me backaches I had to stop drinking it! How empowering that would be to know I could strongly affect the depression by my diet! There is even a book about this, called "Potatoes not Prozac." It suggests that many people with depression actually have a "sugar sensitivity" I purchased it years ago but was so tied into the sugar high/low cycle I never believed I could stick to it. I think it is time to pull it back out.

I will closely monitor my moods to see if it makes a difference! Wouldn't that be great if it's true! I feel so great after eating a salad with olive oil...I am getting excited imagining the possibilities!

You know what else improves depression...getting adequate sleep.


Jay said...

It is so weird how your mood can go up and down like that, but it's true, your body does crazy things, and certainly your blood sugar reflects that. If that's not a great reason to eat healthy then I don't know what is.

SpiderSolitaire said...

Why don't you start writing at the bottom of every entry what you ate that day. That way 1. You can see if your moods are affected by what you eat 2. For the weightloss perspective it will help seeing what you ate
Just a suggestion :)
Have missed ya, love ya, very sleepy, night, love ya again my sailor!

Diana Crabtree said...

I love that idea Spider! You are so right, it would show on the same post my mood, and the food I ate. Cool.

I have missed you too! Waaah! Sleept tight.

Fran said...

You might know this already but there is an online community,, (that also has a forum), all about sugar and how it effects your brain chemistry.

Diana Crabtree said...

Thanks a million Fran!