5 Shocking Ways to Combat Depression with Real Food
“If you struggle with feeling hopeless, sad, depressed, or mentally fragile, you’re not alone. More than 100 million American (1 in 3) struggle through life with depression.” -Mark Hyman, MD
Pharmaceutical companies are preying on the epidemic of a highly depressed population. Anti-depressants are prescribed left and right as the default coping mechanism when we are feeling stressed, sad, blue, and our “light” has gone out.
While I do not fault physicians entirely as I feel many of them are doing their best to help people with acute conditions who present, and I recognize they just do not have the time nor training to get to deeper root causes, conventional medicine cannot cure the rising rates of depression through treating symptoms only.
There is a division of those who prescribe medications alone, then there are those who insist that therapy is the path to the heart of the issues. We can observe a huge disconnect in the approach toward finding solutions among industries.
Can anyone else smell. . . money and profits?
Yes medications can be wonderful–if they’re prescribed correctly at the right time, for the right reason, in the right dosage.
“Depression is the top cause of disability worldwide. It’s going to be, or is already the cause of disability in America. 40 million Americans have a diagnosable anxiety disorder. There are now 60,000 overdoses with the opioid crisis, there were 40,000 suicides last year. These numbers are growing. When I look at those numbers ,I feel like there is a wave crashing on our company. It’s a wave of disorders that are rooted in brain health.” -Drew Ramsey, MD
What many people don’t know about me is I was on anti-depressants, even bi-polar medication for the majority of my late teenage years and twenties. It was in 2012 with the creation of my Power Foods Lifestyle that I was effectively able to see that I no longer had a need for these medications. I don’t say this lightly, as if there were no process involved. Perhaps someday I’ll tell that full story.
Since that time, I have watched dozens of my clients get off anti-depressants as well. Through their nutrition choices, their bodies were eventually able to begin producing proper neurotransmitters and other chemicals. They achieved better mindset and mood management, vitality, energy, and optimism again!
PLEASE NOTE: My goal in writing this blog post is NOT to tell anyone to get off their anti-depressants; but instead, present some clearly defined goals to start working on for your health and brain chemicals.
“Our goal in medicine should be to find the right medicine for each person without prejudice, whether it’s a drug, a nutrient, diet change, detoxification, a hormone, exercise, or exorcism. We must embrace whatever works, and we must inquire into its effectiveness with all of our scientific, economic, and political resources.” -Dr. Mark Hyman
Over time, implementation of my nutrition strategies may or may not result in your not needing a medication. That is for you and your doctor to decide. Please keep in mind that going “cold turkey” off an anti-depressant is not a good idea and can result in extreme complications, if not injury or even death. Be very wise.
With the holistic view of the body I have here at Body Buddies, I’d like to look together at what could be causing the depression.
Let’s then look at five simple, yet shocking ways we can begin helping your body fight FOR your brain health.
You can reclaim control of your mental health. It’s within your capability.
While you are working to implement the following five nutritional interventions you can begin making today, I highly recommend you check out my good friend’s book, Jodi Brown, called Rise Above Depression.
I was one of 50 people who were asked to contribute to this book exploring scores of approaches, perspectives, and personal experiences in managing depression. You may find it to be a helpful tool during your work to find solutions for yourself. I love Jodi, an incredible woman (not to mention brain tumor survivor), and am very honored to call her a dear friend of mine.
1. Eat 2-3 servings of organic, hormone-free animal protein (the size of your palm) each day.
You might try 3-4 ounces of ground turkey breast on a salad for lunch, hormone-free grilled chicken or wild-caught salmon for dinner, or lean grass-fed sirloin (red meat up to 3x/week maximum).
In the Power Foods Lifestyle I like you to do your best to choose grass-fed beef, hormone-free, nitrate-free, and wild caught animal proteins.
Vegan or Vegetarian? I discuss this in detail in my book, and the physiological issues you might face if you choose this lifestyle.
In the Power Foods Lifestyle, the moderate distribution of animal protein throughout the day in this methodology allows your thyroid hormones to function optimally, proper neurotransmitters in the brain to be created (critical for brain health), and so much more.
Learn more about Protein preparation in this episode on the Body Buddies podcast.
2. Eat a serving of vegetables from each of the four Power Foods Lifestyle vegetable categories.
When you are following the PFL recommendations of a serving of veggies (1-2 cups = 1 serving) at every meal you eat, you are giving your body the cofactors (vitamins and minerals) necessary for proper neurotransmitter production.
Neurotransmitters are part of the vast network of chemical messengers in the brain like dopamine, serotonin, GABA, glutamate, Histamine, PEA, norepinephrine, etc. These chemicals each play a different role in moods, focus, memory, cognition, enjoyment, fulfillment, and more. When you are not giving your body proper amino acids (from protein in point #1) and cofactors (from point #2), your body does not have the chemicals required to form these neurotransmitters.
As you work on integrating a variety of colors and vegetable types into your eating, using the four categories of the PFL veggies will help you diversify the nutrients and minerals you provide your body.
What are the four classifications of veggies in the PFL? This is a NEW topic as of 2018 taught at Body Buddies and only fully taught in the PFL Academy (get on the waiting list here!).
a) water-based veggies
b) cruciferous veggies
c) leafy greens
d) miscellaneous veggies
>> Click here to download your FREE copy of the Power Foods basics grocery list. <<
3. Eliminate food allergies from your nutritional intake.
Did you know that eating foods you’re allergic to can be directly linked with chemical suppression in your brain (aka depression)?
The most common food allergies that go unnoticed to the untrained eye include dairy products, gluten, and eggs. Other culprits may include wheat and corn.
Identification of food allergies can be complex as you may think an allergy shows up acutely (quickly–within 24 hours). However, this is not always the case. Due to the fact that some allergies may show up 24-72 hours after eating the offending food, you may never link your symptoms to the food.
One of the easiest ways I have discovered for my Body Buddies to quickly identify their food allergies, and if any one or more of these potential culprits should be worked out of their nutritional intake, is to put them through my 10-day Power Foods Detox.
I created this program in August 2017. This simple approach to focused elimiation dieting,detoxing, and habit creating, has helped hundreds of Body Buddies to get to know their bodies. They have learned many of our PFL principles in an accelerated manner.
You can either do this program, or apply this simple principle to your Power Foods Lifestyle that is already in force:
Take your Power Foods List and simply cross off any foods with gluten, corn, or dairy.
For 2-4 weeks, stay away from these foods. Just test it. Become a detective.
Note your moods, your digestion, your overall moods, and then after 2-4 weeks. make a conclusion or decide to test more variables.
4. Incorporate 2 Gut-Building Regimens to your Daily Routine.
Leaky Gut is a symptom of intestinal permeability (thin protective walls) that allow bacteria, pathogens, yeast, and even parasites (yikes!) to enter the blood stream and the blood-brain barrier. As we work to help you incorporate gut-strengthening habits into your routine, we can start to repair the gut wall. We can stop the connective highway from your gut to your brain from being dirtied.
All organs in your body connect in complex highways. Your brain is not an isolated organ that is not impacted by everything else going on. You must look very critically at the connection of foods you put in your body breaking down, and the chemical connection they have with all parts of the body. The gut/brain connection is the strongest organ connection.
Here are some ways to start building your gut wall:
Please note I am not including a probiotic in this list as many naturopathic doctors do not feel this wise to do when you are actively compromised in the microbiome. Rather, let’s cleanse the gut first, then we can add in a probiotic:
- Take 5 grams of L-Glutamine powder in your Morning Detox Drink.>> Click here for my FREE downloadable guide.
You can additionally take another 5 grams of L-glutamine in water later in the day–perhaps mid-afternoon or before bed. L-glutamine is the top muscle and tissue regenerating amino acid. It has additional benefits like preventing muscle wasting, helping with muscle soreness after workouts, and repairing tissue faster after surgery or injury.
L-Glutamine is one of the Body Buddies core recommendations for every adult to be supplementing with daily.
- Add in a fermented food at least 3x/week. Try Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Pickles, or Goat Milk.
My snapchat family sees me cooking my kimchi every morning in my grass-fed butter with spinach, kale, cage-free egss, cauliflower bits, and avocado. I add plenty of sea salt on top and my, oh my, my tummy, gut, and brain LOVE breakfast!
- Get the processed, refined flours and sugars out of your nutrition! I totally totally totally get that it’s a process, so I need you to learn about your psychological tendencies and use strategy, not perfection and ultimatums, to begin shifting your lifestyle choices.
I have two ways for you to start learning how I help my Body Buddies abandon all-or-nothing thinking and gain confidence in making progress little by little!>> Learn about Abstainer vs. Moderator Mentality here
5. Get a serving of all three of the Power Foods Lifestyle Top 3 Fats in each day.
Fats are so very critical for optimal brain health and cognition.
You see, your brain is the fattest organ in your body, and leading scientists find it consists of 60% or so of fat. Dietary fat is not only needed to help regulate hormones, aid with the absorption of Vitamins A, E, D, and K, but it has also been found through new research to offer a substantial reduction for becoming demented. This is in comparison to those whose diets favor carbohydrates for energy nutrients rather than the baseline model of PVF meals (protein-veggie-fat) that I teach here at the Power Foods Lifestyle.
What are the top 3 power fats in the Power Foods Lifestyle?
c) Healthy Oils (avocado oil, 100% extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc).
While there are plenty of other absolutely wonderful fats found on my Power Foods list, I encourage all Body Buddies to incorporate these 3 fats every. single. day. no. matter. what.
MY HYPOTHESIS: I am of the absolute confidence that my Body Buddies who follow this counsel will stand resilient against the illness and disease that so many around them are experiencing in no greater than 5-10 years. Let the proof be in the longevity and time. We will see. Just fall in love with these foods. K, thanks 🙂
I hope you have found this blog post to be helpful. While this is only a very brief and simple training on all I can do to help you begin helping your body heal, I hope it’s an effective starting point for you.
If you’re ready to dive in and find some real sustainable solutions for your long-term health, short-term happiness, and hey–some more confidence in your health as well, I would love to share some time with you in a video coaching call. I offer an introductory coaching call at a discount here.
Some people like working with me so sign up for a 4, 8, 12, or 24-week program, while others get what they need from a one-time call!
Whatever it is you need, I’m here to bridge that gap for you.
NEVER give up. There is hope! And YOU hold the keys to your solutions.
Let’s do it together. #PowerYourBody one meal, one workout, one day at a time!
Love your bud,
P.S. here are some other resources you may find helpful on this topic:
- The Subconscious Mind with Dana Pycher
- Female Hormones and Health: The Drugless Approach with Dr. Bob DeMaria
- Love Me Some Fats
- 4 Key Areas That Are Causing Your Depression