My very informed son suggested I read this, and as I always do what my adult children tell me (because they are usually right!), I bought the book, listened to the podcast, got the T-shirt!
The book is written by an integrative psychiatrist (holistic approach to mental health issues) especially written for women who have depression and anxiety issues. I was so blown away by it to the extent that I have been buying extra copies and giving them away.
The premise of the book is the best way to heal the mind is to heal the body. With some serious changes to diet and lifestyle, depression and other mental health diagnoses cannot just be helped but cured. That’s a bold statement but she has anecdotal evidence from years and years of patients successfully implementing her guidelines and resolving all their issues
Kelly states that it all begins in the gut, if the gut flora is off then there is an imbalance in the body, especially the brain affecting mood. She recommends that you eliminate gluten and dairy (oh boy no more pizza!), drink filtered water, because the water table is full of drugs and bugs and the EPA know and are doing nothing about it (this I think is outrageous), stop taking synthetic hormones like the contraceptive pill and incorporate meditation and yoga into your schedule and stop wearing perfume - now that is going a little too far, I am really not willing to give up my Estee Lauder habit! And absolutely no alcohol. She also recommends adding an Omega 3, Vitamin B6 and B12 and a multi vitamin.
So as a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety and a spring where I unexpectedly was struggling with this I decided to give it a go.
Week 1: I was miserable, no cheese or wine what is the point of going on! I was not too hungry but was craving dairy and bread all week, but I valiantly soldiered on.
Week 2: Much much better, getting in my stride, beginning to feel lighter and glowing (skin clear and bright).
Week 3: Becoming a lifestyle. I think adding the vitamins has been key, Omega 3 and the B6 vitamins are closely linked to mood disorders and most of us are deficient in these so no wonder we are sad.
One of the points that Kelly is quite insistent on is getting rid of all psych meds as soon as possible. I knew this was a no-go for me as soon as I read it. She may be right but I will never, never give up my meds, I think it could be potentially disaster for me and my family may well leave me on a top of a mountain with no supplies and no chance of escape if I did that. It would not be a gift to me or my family.
Kelly sees patients in New York and will not even see you if you do not eat meat (meat is rich in B vitamins) so I am not going to see her anytime soon because I am quite happy being a vegetarian/vegan thank you.
She also recommends you get rid of all the chemicals in your house. Now steady on, as a self-proclaimed OCD cleaner I would have a hard time giving up my Lysol and my Bleach, but I am willing to do in baby steps so the dishwasher cleaner just went organic as did hand soap and shampoo!
All in all, a very very interesting read. Most of all it gave me a plan to make some healthy lifestyle changes on my own which gives me some sense of destiny of a lifelong issue with depression that I can control with certain interventions.
STOP PRESS: Just had the results of some routine blood tests. After a month on this regime my A1C (indicator of blood sugar) dropped over a point which I have been battling for a couple of years and the doc also recommended a cut to my thyroid medicine (which has never happened) because my thyroid is beginning to function better – yeah for healthy living!
Still doing the raw diet as much as I can and pretty much vegan 90% of the time. Does not suit everyone but my body does seem to like it so we will carry on.
Until the next time,