Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Grainxiety

If you have been following along my periodic blog posts (sorry - blogging is taking a back seat to life) you might know that I was recently going through quite a severe bout of anxiety. I was walking around with constant fear that would get progressively worse as the day went on.

By bed time (I use that term lightly as sleep was pretty elusive) I was in a complete state of utter terror.

Not a fun way to live.

Quite frustrating as I was eating "clean", exercising, taking my supplements and most importantly my stress levels were relatively low. Yes, I'm busy. I have three young kids and a job.............and I eat clean, exercise and take my supplements.......all very time consuming ventures. But I'm busy doing things I enjoy and know when to say "no" so I'm not stressed out like I used to be.

So why the anxiety?

I don't believe I have an anxiety disorder that is "starting in my head". I continue to believe that my body gets out of balance due to digestive issues, food sensitivities, toxins, sleep disturbances and/or hormones. Where one begins and the other ends I don't know.

But I did know that I needed to look at my diet and supplements to figure out what was going on. I tried/adjusted lots of things but here are some of the biggies................

At first I thought maybe it was my B12 levels. But, although I would feel better for a couple days after a B12 injection, it wouldn't hold. So not my B12. Or not entirely.

Then I looked to my diet.

After about a year of not drinking any caffeine, or coffee at all, I had recently re-introduced decaf coffee into my morning routine. Yummy. But maybe not the best plan. It was lovely while it lasted but once my anxiety started to spiral out of control I thought it just wasn't worth it. Just in case. And my anxiety ebbed a little. But again it didn't hold. So maybe the coffee wasn't the trigger but it certainly wasn't helping.

So I had to finally REALLY look at my diet. And admit to myself that the only thing that had really changed was that I was eating way more grains than I had been since I first started this clean eating journey two years ago. Rice, rice cakes, quinoa, bites of my kids GF pancakes, GF cookies, etc, etc, etc. All very "healthy and clean".

I find it very difficult to eliminate grains from my diet. VERY DIFFICULT. They are portable. They are cheap. They are convenient. They taste good. They are everywhere. Tempting me.

Grains didn't actually come up as a food sensitivity on my IGG tests. That would have been so much easier in a way..........then I would KNOW.

Well. I do know. I have tested (through elimination and re-introduction) it in the past and I know they don't agree with my system but I somehow always end up convincing myself "they can't be that bad".

I finally got fed up with my GRAINXIETY and decided to fully and completely give up grains for 30 days to see what would happen. Three big things happened within about three days:

1) I had thought I had gained some weight - my pants had been tight and I felt uncomfortable. Guess what - I was completely and utterly bloated. As soon as I ditched the grains my belly deflated. And my system started working properly again. I hadn't realized how poorly my system had been working until it started working again. [For the record I did gain some weight but that didn't explain my Buddha belly]; and

2) My sweet cravings. My out-of-control, over-the-top, can't-get-enough sweet cravings dropped off significantly. Not gone but significantly reduced; and

2) My anxiety lifted. Poof. Gone. Just. Like. That.

Its incredible. I'm now on Day 17 and it hasn't returned. I'm anxiety free.

I chose a 30 day challenge for a reason. I am not 100% sure that the anxiety couldn't have something to do with my monthly cycle and hormones. So I still have another week and a half to go before I can for sure, without a doubt, cross my heart declare that grains caused my anxiety.

I suspect I know what the answer will be.  And then I can encourage others not to run to their doctors for anti-anxiety medications. Not to just accept/assume that this is something out of their control that they have to live with. Maybe there is something YOU CAN DO to cure your anxiety (or a gazillion other indirect symptoms of food sensitivities and/or digestive issues).

Wish me luck. I'm living again. And it feels great to be back!







6 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing how bad foods re-enter our diet a little here and a little there? You've inspired me. I don't think my diet is that bad compared to how it was before I quit sugar and grains, but there are some spots that need to be cleaned up. I've gotten too lax on some things, and as you've proven to yourself, it doesn't do us any good to "indulge" in foods that just cause more problems in the long run. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Yes - they do sneak back in if you aren't vigilant. Sounds like you are on the right path and just need some tweaking so I'm sure you will be back on the clean and narrow in no time. I'm still sticking with it other than letting a bit of dark chocolate sneak back in. A constant battle that sweet tooth! Best of luck in your own journey and thanks for the comment.

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  2. Chris Kresser 'your personal paleo code' is excellent reading and gives you a plan after your 30 day reset on how to reintroduce grains slowly to see what you react to. Also the could your B12 issue be related to some parasite infection such as h pylori? It also stops iron absorption.

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