By KRS Edstrom
Iíve been suffering from depression for two or three years now. A friend suggested I take up yoga and nutrition counseling. Iíve started the yoga. I also sent away for information from a nutritional counselor and I have to say I found it unconvincing. It didnít sound very scientific to me. Should I keep looking for someone else? Should I take the position that if Iím eating a well-balanced diet, I donít need nutritional counseling? Iím aware of the Department of Agricultureís ďpyramidĒ and I try to follow that. Is nutritional counseling likely to be successful in treating my depression?
Iím proud of you for seeking solutions for your depression. Two-thirds of the 18 million Americans who are stricken with depression each year do not get appropriate help. Because of its very nature many people often just donít make the effort.
1) Nutrition and herbal supplementation. It sounds as it you are following a pretty healthful diet. A few things you might take a look at in this area are excess sugar intake and allergies (wheat is a common one) as both can contribute to depression. Also, have you tried herbal supplements such as St. Johnís Wort? They have been quite effective with many people, but start gradually and under the guidance of an experienced alternative health practitioner.
2) Hormones. I donít know how old you are, but if you are in your 30s 40s or 50s you might be having some adverse hormonal reactions. Your GYN can help determine this with a blood test.
3) Meditation. This is so helpful for mental states. It helps quell
uneasy (emotional) waters and restore balance.
Hang in there, maintain an optimistic outlook and keep trying. You CAN
get through this ó and the journey can be surprisingly enriching.
I understand that the main point to losing weight is to simply eat less
food. If I start eating less tomorrow, how long before results will be
Dear Eating Less,
Focus more on cutting back on food intake in a way you can live with and less on what the scale says. If you learn to enjoy cleaning up your diet, the weight problem is eventually history. The ďraceĒ may be more like the tortoise than the hare, but it will be more pleasurable and therefore lasting. Think about one thing you can modify per month, such as leaving the butter off your toast in the morning (or using half as much). Having said all that ó weight usually starts coming off the first week but may take a month or six weeks before your pants start to feel looser.
About three months ago I had a baby, I know it takes time but I havenít lost anything after the first month! I was 184 pounds at delivery and am now 168. I try watching my diet and exercising. I didnít have many cravings when I was pregnant but now that I am breastfeeding I want chocolate, sweets, and anything that I can put in my mouth. Why?
Just Had a Baby
Dear Just Had a Baby,
Cravings are a typical response of the hormonal imbalances common during pregnancy and after delivery. Unfortunately, any positive action you are taking can be easily foiled by treats. Focus on keeping a clean, healthful diet with enough protein to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Allow yourself an established limit of the treats. Consistent exercise and a balanced diet will help get your system back to normal. Be patient, the weight will drop off if you stick with it.
I was bulimic for 4 years off and on, and now when I try to go on a healthy diet it always leads to that. Will I ever get better?
Dear Bulimia Revisited,
Whenever most ANYone goes on a ďdietĒ a feeling of deprivation usually follows with rebellion and relapse close behind. What you think is a ďhealthy dietĒ may well be, but it may also be a bit too dramatic a change all at once. Start gently and slowly with one thing at a time. For example, add one healthful thing to your diet that you LIKE. Or, select one unhealthful thing that you feel you are willing to reduce. Stay very tuned in to yourself and if you start getting those old familiar negative feelings, back off a bit. Soon, you will heal the well-grooved path of old patterns and establish new, healthful ones. Itís very exciting when you realize that change is possible. Then the momentum shifts to a positive direction instead of a negative one. Trust the process.
Should I continue to workout as usual when I have a cold or flu? I usually do 30-40 minutes of cardio to 80% of my target pulse 5-7 days per week and weights 4 times per week.
Exercise When Sick?
Dear Sick Exerciser,
Interestingly, exercise actually stimulates the immune system to some degree. However, itís important that you do LESS of your usual workout and ďlisten to your bodyĒ to feel when itís time to quit. Itís a great time to learn how to tune in to whatís right for YOU and itís a technique that will serve you in all areas of your life. Weíre so busy pushing ourselves and not checking in with what feels right, we get more and more out of touch and then wonder why one day we just quit our exercise routine, job or marriage. The point is, use this as a time to pace yourself and learn more about whoís inside there.
Do you have any suggestions on how to include organic foods into your diet? My supermarket does not carry most of the ones I hear and read about.
Organic Food Lover
Dear Organic Lover,
Include organic foods in your diet as you would non-organic. While organic foods are still not abundant, even in larger cities, itís getting better. Check your local health food stores and request organic if they donít have it. I donít expect regular grocery chains to pick up on this need in the immediate future, but make your voice heard! If enough requests are heard, change will follow.
KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an auth-or, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRSí ďSerenity and Meditation CornerĒ at www.AskKRS.com For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Return to the September/October Index page