I am generally a happy person. But after I had my daughter I had some of the worst Postpartum depression my doctor has ever seen. Depression is not just about feeling sad. It affects every aspect of your physical and mental well-being. I tried everything including medicines that made me very sick. Nothing helped and many things made it a lot worse. But I did finally find a way out.
Once I stopped taking medicine, I really focused on trying to make myself physically feel better in the hopes that emotional improvement would follow. When it came to eating my way out of depression I followed my own home-made list of rules:
- Don’t force myself to eat things I don’t like (such as lettuce, bleck)
- Do eat lots and lots of fresh yummy fruits (berries were my favorite)
- Get lots of hydration
- Cook my food myself (avoiding take-out, frozen meals or drive-through)
- Eat little meals all day
- Start everyday with SOMETHING in my tummy
- Share what I make with others (whether by talking about it or physically sharing)
- Try a new food and/or recipe often
Making sure I ate little meals throughout the day helped keep my energy up without any weird crashes. And fruit helped all the physical side effects feel better. I am not a big fan of water so i just started doing things like blending up berries with water and crushed ice instead of ice-cream. Decaffeinated flavored teas helped too. Cooking my food and customizing it to what makes me feel good and taste good was almost as exciting as sharing it with the people around me (aka my guinea pig for all recipes, Kyle).
You may think that it is a lot of work, or can’t possibly help a lot; but how I ate and how I interacted with food made such a big difference that I didn’t believe it myself. When I don’t eat right, or when I don’t cook too many nights in a row I feel tired and rundown. I have never weighed enough to be considered obese and hopefully never will. But that doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from taking good care of my insides. You don’t have to swear off your favorite foods to feel good. Just be smart about it and spice it up sometimes! Sick of chicken? Switch it out for turkey or even pork in your favorite chicken recipe. Love ice-cream? Have a tiny bowl every other night instead of a giant gallon once a week.
If you give your body good food you aren’t going to have nearly as many of those horribly unbearable cravings so many of us give into. Happy insides really do make happy outsides, cross my heart. (and starting a blog doesn’t hurt ~_^ )
*In case you want hardcore numbers, I lost 15 lbs of my baby weight once I started following my homemade rules and feeling better. Before that I only lost at most 2 pounds over a 4 month period.