It is day two of my anti-inflammatory/ anti-yeast plan. I don't feel much different yet, but I really didn't expect to. I wish it was possible to flip a switch and feel better, but the negative effects of inflammation that have been compiled for years cannot be erased overnight. Because I lack patience I have to keep reminding myself that this will not be a quick fix. I decided to start day one by fasting to give myself a jump start and a clean slate. Surprisingly, I wasn't as hungry or fatigued as I thought I would be from the fast. I actually thought I felt a bit more clear-headed because of it. You don't have to start an anti-inflammatory plan with fasting, but there has been evidence linked with fasting and a reduction in inflammation as well so I decided to go all in. If you recall prior to day one of my detox I did imbibe on a quart of ice cream and peanut butter whiskey so I knew I had some reserves in the tank for a fasting period.
Blogging, journaling, and sharing my journey are helping me stay committed and accountable, but it's also making me more aware that there are many people suffering and struggling like I am. The more I talk to people and share my struggles with anxiety, stress, fatigue (mental and physical), and the overwhelming feeling of being burned out, the more I am finding I am not alone. While I'm not glad to hear that so many other people are experiencing the same or similar feelings, I am glad that it's not just me. At least I can take solace in the fact that I'm not the only one that is bat shit crazy. In fact, it seems that the majority of people I hear from are going through the same things and like me, they are frustrated and feel defeated in the constant fight to try to feel better. The cognitive issues especially have so many of us feeling downright, fucking crazy.
I'm not crazy and neither are you. So if we're not fucking crazy then what is going on with everyone and what does inflammation have to do with it??? The effect of inflammation on the body, including pain, can cause a detrimental change to mood. What you are experiencing is not in your head. Inflammation causes a physiological response in your brain that can contribute to and exacerbate what you are dealing with. “Inflammation increases in cytokines and proteins associated with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.“
When I read that it was like a light bulb went off! Some days my anxiety, OCD, and ADHD are so bad I want to crawl out of my skin, but I couldn't pinpoint why these symptoms are so heightened on some days and others it seems manageable. The fluctuations in my mood and these feelings could certainly be linked back to changes in my diet. While I haven't been actively paying attention enough yet to link all the culprits in my diet that mess with my head the most, I can say with much confidence that alcohol and sugar are two of my biggest inflammation enemies. They are the food version of frenemies to me. They make me believe we are going to have a good time. They act like they are going to make me feel good, and then boom they turn around and stab me in the back and make me feel like garbage. But frenemies are smart. They know how to lure you and me back into their web by making is remember the good times and apologizing for the way they made us feel the day before.
The cycle will continue until you finally cut those toxic frenemies out of your life for good. The same can be said for inflammatory foods. I know you love them and don't want to believe they could be causing you all of this pain and suffering, but sometimes the things we love the most can hurt us the most and you have to remove them in order to feel and be better.
Reducing inflammation naturally, and using healthy food choices, inevitably affects all symptoms of inflammation, including changes in mood. Eat healthier, and your mood could just improve. Instead of focusing on what you are giving up, try to change your mindset and focus on what you want to gain. I wish I could eat ice cream and drink wine and feel like a million bucks, but that's not realistic for me. For me, making these lifestyle changes gives me a chance to improve my quality of life and that makes me want to stay committed to this journey. It's time to find food (and friends) that improve your overall health and well-being! It’s time to say bye-bye to your food frenemies and hello to feeling good!
Note to self: “Remove toxic people and toxic food from my life when I’m finished with this blog.”
Check out some of the top foods to help reduce brain inflammation: