Thursday, February 03, 2011
I just read The Depression Cure by Stephen Ilardi, and I'm impressed! It basically outlines parts of a lifestyle that affects depression. He mainly blames depression on an unhealthy lifestyle and calls it a "syndrome" rather than a "disease". His lifestyle approach gives valuable tools for combating depression beyond medication and cognitive therapy. The six lifestyle areas he outlines are: diet (namely, omega 3 deficiency), thinking vs. doing, physical exercise, sunlight, social support, and adequate sleep. His writing really meshes perfectly with everything I've read about depression. Improving these areas of one's life is beneficial for everyone!
I've started his program. I'm taking cod liver oil for omega 3 and vitamin D, and have been getting outside everyday. Cod liver oil doesn't taste as bad as I feared! (There's also flavored varieties but I got the plain variety because it was cheap.) And it's not even noticeable mixed into strongly-flavored food. I made a salmon dip spiked with cod liver oil: equal parts cream cheese, sour cream, shredded smoked salmon, and cod liver oil. Yummy!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
A - If you were an ANIMAL, what would you be? Hard choice, but probably a raven. I am intelligent and solitary and always wanted to fly.
B - BOOKS: What's on your reading list? I read all kinds of things... right now the Joe Grey series and Amazing Minds.
C - COMPULSIVE about anything? Being truthful and learning the truth. I hate perpetuating misinformation or being hypocritical. This can make me seem like a know-it-all, but I don't mean to be, honest.
D - DREAMS - Do you ... dream in color? remember your dreams? keep a dream journal? I've always dreamed in color (always found it hard to believe that people didn't), but I don't remember many anymore. I'm not good with journals, so no to that.
E - EATING - what's your usual snack? I love 70% chocolate, ice cream, and bananas. Guess which one I should eat less of. :)
F - A Few of your FAVORITE Things: My baby daughter's laugh. The look and smell of the sky after it rains. Berries and tomatoes fresh from the garden. Curling up with my husband, baby, and dog on the bed.
G - GIGGLES! What (or who) makes you laugh? Do you have a good sense of humor? My husband has always made me laugh. My baby daughter is so happy and giggley, which makes me happier than I can say. We have giggle fits together. :D
H - major HOT Button: I'm not bothered by violence or sex in the media as much as I am bothered by shows making light of contemptuous, belittling behavior.
I - I am ... thoughtful.
K - Also KNOWN As... Aliases? Screen names? A non de plume perhaps? not many, and I don't divulge them on the internet.
L - I LOVE ... my family, my animals, nature
M - How do you feel about MEETING people? Do it all the time? Rarely? Parties or 1-on-1? I'm not much of a socialite, though I do like going to club meetings and potlucks.
N - What's the story of your NAME? were you named after anyone? Do you go by a nickname? Any aliases? Earthnut is another name for a tuber, or potato. I am an avid food gardener, and I love odd perennial edibles. Root vegetables are particularly productive in a small garden like mine, so "Earthnut" is an homage to the lowly tuber. Also I like the double entente of being "crazy about the Earth" which I am too.
O - OBSERVANT - What's around you right now? What do you see? I see a slightly messy house and a very messy baby girl who's eating breakfast with oatmeal in her hair. :)
P - Who are the special PEOPLE in your life? My baby daughter, my husband, my mom.
Q - Any Little QUIRKs About Yourself: I have giggle fits sometimes.
R - What do you like to do for RECREATION? hike, crochet, drum, garden
S - Do You SING in the Shower? In the car? For your friends? no, yes, yes. I consider myself a singer.
T - What's at the Top of your TO DO list?: Plant garlic and cover crops.
U - Any UNUSUAL Experiences: I had a dead fish talk to me once.
V - VEGAS, Vienna, Venice, Vladivostok... How far have you traveled? What's your favorite City? I've traveled to Europe, central America, Canada. But my favorite city is home: Seattle.
W - WINTER, Spring, Summer, Fall... What's your favorite season? What makes it special? I love them all for different reasons, but it is particularly cheering when the first flowers open.
X - EXes - Things You Don't Do Anymore (but did, once (would you, again?)) Dance. I'd do it again, but I need to find the right kind.
Y - Any secret/deep YEARNINGS? I still have a dream of living in the country. I doubt I'd take full advantage of it though. And I'm afraid I'd resent having to drive more.
Z - ZERO to ZENITH - Where are you in your life? Still growing? On an upward (or downward) curve? Just skating along? I've stopped growing, but I'm growing a lot of things.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
As a person who has struggled with depression for many years, and as a person whose diet could use some improvement, I looked up some natural mood-enhancing substances in food and which foods had them. I thought I'd share my findings here for others to use.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid - highly concentrated in the brain and appears to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. People with depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD tend to have low omega-3 levels. Foods high in omega-3 fats include flaxseed, salmon, halibut, hempseed, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, tuna, and wild or grass-fed meats.
Tyrosine and phenylalanine - causes neurons to manufacture norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that promote alertness and activity. Low blood levels of tyrosine are associated with an underactive thyroid gland, which can cause depression and weight gain. Foods that are particularly high in these amino acids include soy, poultry, eggs, fish, peanuts, dairy products, beans, sesame seeds, almonds, and avocados.
B Vitamins - needed for everything from the maintenance of brain cells to the production of neurotransmitters, which regulate mood and conduct messages through the brain. Foods high in B vitamins include whole grains, seafood, meat, eggs, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and beans.
Hmm... most of these are healthy protein sources, which neatly explains why the people I know with depression also have high-carbohydrate diets. (including myself)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Starting on the programs I mentioned in my last post, I did the initial tests for them.
I accomplished 100 curl-ups, 70 squats, and 0 pushups. I did do 4 pushups against a table, however, so I will do the program using table pushups. I thought I was more out of shape than that, so I'm kind of impressed with myself.
Here's my pushup attempt:
I recruited my mom to join me, and she did the tests too. She managed 6 curl-ups, 10 squats and 1 pushup against a chest of drawers. She decided that pushups were too hard on her elbows, though, so she may do some weight lifting with the baby instead.
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