Playing with My Food

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In general, I try to steer away from topics where I am basically giving you guys advice. Because, I mean honestly, I consider myself okay if I can get MYSELF through the day. I would never assume responsibility for your guys.

But, if you’ll indulge me, there’s been something on my mind lately that I’m curious to hear your perspective. And it has to do with DIETS.

Not like, Atkins. (Y’all know I hate a fad diet.) Diet as in the Webster version: food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health.

I’ve said before that I believe in all things in moderation, but lately I’ve been experimenting with removing certain elements from my diet and then analyzing their effect on my mood and emotions.

Before I get into it, I feel obligated to remind you all that I am not, in fact, a medical professional. This is not meant to serve as advice of any kind. This is purely an examination of my own experiences and a request to hear your own. Do you need me to include an asterisk disclaimer? Because I will. I am not a doctor.*

As I was saying.

For the last couple of months, I’ve removed a couple of things:

1. Diet soda
2. Alcohol
3. Caffeine
4. Dairy

I mean, I’ve had the occasional glass of wine here and there, but in general, I’ve been trying to limit the amount of excess sugar I consume, and alcohol is obviously a big source of sugar.

One of the things that prompted me to start playing around with what I eat was my gut itself. I noticed that I was getting stomach aches often, or just feeling general discomfort. (GLAMOROUS!) When I went a week without drinking and tried to avoid desserts, I noticed, almost magically, these problems seemed to go away. It was especially helpful when I was training for a race or just working out a lot in general.

Not surprisingly, an hour-long spin class is much easier without a tummy ache.

I had a similar response to dairy, and as a result I rarely consume anything that come’s from cow’s milk. (The occasional Greek yogurt or scoop of ice cream is the only real exception.)

Beyond the purely physical benefits, I’ve found it kind of fascinating to see how limiting sugar has affected my mood. When I’m limiting my sugar, I feel more even-keel in general, rarely feeling anxious or overly sensitive. When I’m not, I have more stressful days or moments when I feel like my anxiety is harder to control.

The changes I noticed when I cut out caffeine were more predictable: Sure, that first week sucked, but since then, I feel like I’m sleeping better and I don’t feel any more tired than I did when I was drinking several cups a day.

Again, I’m not sharing these observations in an attempt to guilt or pressure anyone to do the same, I’m just curious: Has anyone else tried something like this and noticed similar results? Are there certain foods you don’t eat because you notice they contribute negatively to your mental well-being?

Basically, I find the psychology of food really interesting, and I want to know your experiences. SHARE WITH ME! (If you want…)

*No, seriously. Not. A. Doctor.

2 thoughts on “Playing with My Food

  1. I can’t contribute or even offer anything worth reading, but of course I’m always curious about diets. Not that I have any serious weight or health issues (yet). So I might ask, what do you drink? I’m one who honestly, can’t see myself going without coffee and of course to have coffee it must have sugar. I found this online where you drink like a gallon of water a day and OMG it was helping me feel better and probably look better too. But I’m such a quitter. I hope that I can come back and see further progress for you, I’m curious. Not that that I’d ever have the will power to give up the things I love, but it’s fun to toy with the idea 🙂 Hang in there!!

  2. I have lots to say on this subject. But really, I think the placebo effect is incredibly strong. So whether these changes in your diet are having an effect on your physiology or are just all in your head, I think it’s totally legitimate. Juicing has no actual cleansing effects but when I’m feeling bloated and my eating has gotten off track I juice for a day and then I feel amazing. So, as a(n almost) doctor, I think you’ve found the right prescription. (No apologies for the pun.)

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