Monday, June 2, 2014

Grains and Anxiety - Is there a connection???

Hey Folks.

Thought I better check in. I have been busy enjoying our instant summer. We had a glorious weekend of sunshine so we have been busy riding our bikes, playing with water, flying kites, making dandelion bouquets - you know - PLAYING. After our looooooong winter my heart feels so happy to feel the warm sun on my face that I want to soak up every second. Which means less time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes and less time on my computer. Great but it means my blogging is taking a back seat to summer...........

I thought I should at least check in and give you an update. An update on my health. Because if you are going to use all my recipes you probably want to know if this "clean" eating even works.

Okay. So. Hard to explain.

I actually feel HAPPIER is lots of ways then I have ever in my life. The kids are fabulous. Hard work and a constant challenge but so fun and cute and awesome. My husband is great. Busy and overwhelmed at times but we are "besties" and always on the same page so it gets us through any bumps in the road usually with a giggle.  My work is awesome. Changing jobs and working half time is the best thing I ever did for our family.....for me. I love my job. I love having time with the kids during the week. I love having time for myself. 

Fitness wise things are going great. I'm still at it about 4 times a week and it seems to be working for me. A little hot yoga, a little high intensity internal training, some light weights. Things I love and things that give me energy. I've even thrown some dancing back into the mix. My heart is doing a happy dance. More on that another time.

Now for the fun stuff. My digestion? My Candida? My Adrenals? My energy? My anxiety? My sleep?

Well, I seem to have entered into a new era of my life (post being constantly pregnant and/or breastfeeding). And let me tell you it has brought me a whole new list of benefits and challenges. To say I have been all over the place would be an understatement.

So I have basically been studying my body and my symptoms to try and figure out how I can optimize my health in my new state of monthly hormonal fluctuations.And let me tell you........its a ROLLER COASTER ride. Since I'm only about 5 months in, I'm still just trying to figure things out but here's what I've come to realize so far:
  • HUNGER: Breastfeeding was making me crazy hungry and low blood-sugarish. As soon as I stopped these issues just dissappeared; 
  • ANXIETY: I have been having CRAZY anxiety. Brutal. And annoying because whenever I don't feel anxiety I am happier than ever. So I want it gone. Now. I suspect two things might be at play: 1) I significantly upped the amount of non-glutenous grains I was eating (purely a convenience thing) - correlation? Maybe. I'm on day 3 of no grains and my anxiety has dropped off significantly which could also be a result of 2) my hormones. As much as I don't relish giving up grains indefinitely at least that is something I can control. So I hope its the grains and not the hormones. I need to go through a whole month (cycle) with no grains to see if it helps. I had also been back on decaf coffee when the anxiety first came back. Another possible factor but removing that didn't fully take it away so not sure. I'll let you know how this plays out.
  • SLEEP: Yeah. I don't sleep well the week before my monthly visitor. Especially days -4 and -3. Its really bad. But at least I'm down to a few days a month and I can kind of predict when its coming so it makes me feel a little more in control about it.  And the rest of the month I'm still sleeping well if I stick to my sleep rules and I'm not having an anxiety attack; 
  • ENERGY: Like everything else this is generally fluctuating at different times of the month. Obviously, when I don't sleep I feel tired. But I have also confirmed (well in my mind anyway) that I can not go longer than 4 weeks with a B12 shot. And I have also confirmed that YOU SHOULD READ SUPPLEMENT LABELS. I bought a new B6/B12 combo and didn't notice that it had 125 mg's instead of my usual 1000 mg's. Whoops. Interestingly my energy levels are better now that I'm back to my usual 1000 mg's a day. Basically, if I have a steady flow of B12 in my system my energy levels are pretty darn good when I sleep. 
  • CANDIDA: It still seems to be gone. My moods (all month) are holding steady. I'm very rarely grumpy. 
  • DIGESTION: Yeah, a little off in this department. Which brings me back to the grains. I know grains don't work well with my system. I know this. I KNOW this. But sticking to it has been really difficult. But I'm back on the wagon for now and I hope it will improve quickly. I also know that ALIGN probiotics work really well with my system but they are $1 per day so I tried swapping it out with a much cheaper brand for a couple of weeks. Mistake. I'm back on ALIGN.
There are patterns if you watch for them. Your moods, sleep, digestion, etc are not usually just random occurrences. But it takes hard work. Diligence. Patience. Keep listening to your body. Don't accept anything less than your best. I'm not. I refuse to live in constant fear. I'm going to figure this out. Watch me.

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