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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just my personal experience, and there are certainly some confounding variables thrown in, but I think it's important to share this:

I've been feeling more emotionally healthy in the last several months than I can ever remember feeling. Even as a kid, I had a lot of emotional ups and downs, and I was later diagnosed repeatedly as having depression. No diagnosis on this, but in retrospect I'm pretty sure that when I wasn't depressed, I was still dysthymic, because I can tell you I never felt very happy for very long. I've generally been pretty fit since I was a kid, but even in 2009-2010 when I started training harder than ever before I still alternated between mild unhappiness and severe depression.

In March of this year, I began seeing a nutritionist, and began to change my diet. More proteins, less carbs and especially less simple carbs, more nutrient-rich foods, and a multivitamin as well as a vitamin D supplement. Changes were almost immediate. My energy levels increased and my mood stabilized. I had been working on some CBT-like challenges to my negative thoughts since the fall, but suddenly I saw a real breakthrough in my emotional health. I truly believe that the mood stabilization caused by reducing blood sugar spikes and getting adequate nutrition is what allowed me to progress emotionally. It is tremendously hard to challenge habitual negative thoughts while also battling mood spikes and low energy due to diet.

I haven't experienced any suicidal ideation since the end of January, and no significant depressive episodes - this was unthinkable for me before this year. Looking back through my journals, I have evidence that I haven't gone more than two-four months without a depressive episode and suicidal thoughts since at least 2007. I don't have my journals from before then, but I can pretty much guarantee that it wasn't better when I was younger. It's not like life's perfect now; I still face challenges, still have the odd time where I feel a little down, but I am on the whole a much happier and more stable person, and I can deal with stress and anxiety much better.

As I said, this is just my experience, but I truly think nutrition will help anyone. If you're considering improving your diet, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do so. You'll still have to work on your thought processes - diet won't change years of habitual thoughts - but improved nutrition might be what allows you to finally see some progress.

Yet another personal experience, but might be of interest to some:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_LaLanne

Best of luck! :)

ETA: I should clarify that by "less carbs" I don't mean low carb; I was eating an excessive amount of carbs, especially in proportion to my protein intake, so it was necessary to reduce it based on my own particular circumstances. I in no way support the low carb diet.
 

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Hi, this is very interesting and I hope you will continue in this good way.

Recently, I have tried to change my diet too, but it appears very difficult, due to the flood of information about nutrition. So, can you tell us more about what you eat throughout the day and if some specifics food make a difference. Thx.
 

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I have to agree that diet is so-o-o-o-o importance. I suffered from rather severe hypoglycemia throughout my life. I have collapsed a few times because of it and it has caused me to have very bad moodswings and depression.

Since starting to look after myself, taking supplements, etc. I feel so much better. Still got ADHD and SA though, but my mood is usually awesome...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi, this is very interesting and I hope you will continue in this good way.

Recently, I have tried to change my diet too, but it appears very difficult, due to the flood of information about nutrition. So, can you tell us more about what you eat throughout the day and if some specifics food make a difference. Thx.
Here's my personal meal plan:

AM: Protein=2 Grains=2 Milk=2 Fruit/veg=1 Fat=0 Other=0 Calories=370
Breakfast: Protein=1 Grains=1 Milk=2 Fruit/veg=1 Fat=0 Other=0 Cal=250
Lunch: Protein=3 Grains=2 Milk=0 Fruit/veg=1 Fat=2 Other=0 Cal=435
PM Snack: Protein=1 Grains=1 Milk=0 Fruit/veg=1 Fat=1 Other=0 Cal=215
Dinner: Protein=3 Grains=2 Milk=0 Fruit/veg=1 Fat=2 Other=0 Cal=435
Snack: Protein=0 Grains=1 Milk=1 Fruit/veg=0 Fat=0 Other=0 Cal=115
Other: Fruit/veg=1.5
Total calories=1873

The quantities given are in servings.
1 serving for:
Protein=7 grams/55 cal eg. 1 egg
Carbs=15 grams/75 cal eg. 1/2 whole wheat pita
Veggies/Fruit=10 grams carbs/50 cal eg. 1/2 medium fresh fruit
Milk/Alternatives=6 grams carbs, 4 grams protein/40 cal eg. 1/2 cup skim milk
Fat=5 grams/45 cal eg. 1 tsp butter

This plan is specifically tailored to my athletic aims. Different individuals have different requirements based on age, gender, activity levels, etc. If you're working out more, you need more protein than a sedentary person to rebuild muscles. But lots of workout nuts nowadays have gone way overboard with the protein, taking it in amounts that at best get flushed out in their urine, at worst damage the kidneys because they're having to work so hard to flush out all the excess protein. That being said, a lot of people have the opposite problem wherein we stuff our faces with carbs - breads, sugars, pastas, potatoes - but don't get enough protein, so, on top of other issues, you don't feel full for long and you eat more than you should.

If you can afford it, a good way to go is to have a consultation with a licensed nutritionist and find out your specific needs. If you can't afford a nutritionist, be careful about what websites and books you heed for nutritional advice, cuz a lot of those are subject to fad diet crap and it can be hard to tell the difference between pseudo-science fad diet nonsense and legitimate nutritional advice that has a solid backing in the epistemic community.

The two biggest things for me were getting more lean protein in my diet - especially in the mornings - and largely substituting complex carbs in place of simple carbs. Whole wheat everything (don't be fooled by 'multigrain' labels - they're not whole wheat), and yogurt with fruit and a bit of splenda instead of really sugary desserts. Sugar substitutes aren't exactly nutritious, but they're the next best thing to cutting out extra sweeteners entirely, and keeping the blood sugar steady is huge.
 
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