What’s right for you may not be for me

I become a tiny bit annoyed when someone says, “You should eat nuts. They are good for you!” Nuts are a good source of protein and maybe are good for some, but not for everyone. I have learned from having chemical imbalances that there is no such thing as a one size fits all diet. 

We all have unique biochemistries. Most of us are deficient in certain nutrients and overloaded in others. This is because of our genetic differences and the way our bodies process foods. In addition, those with cognitive issues need different nutrients than those who do not have imbalances.

What is good for the body is not necessarily good for the mind.”—Dr. Albert Mensah

I use to crave a vegetarian diet and sweets, particularly chocolate. I despised the texture and taste of meat.  Supplementing my protein intake with beans, nuts, and cheeses. During that time I had extreme brain fog, lethargy, anxiety, and depression along with weight gain. I couldn’t break the cycle of my cravings. When the doctor prescribed nutrient therapy started to remove excess copper and balance other essential nutrients I regained a taste for meat. Then I was able to control my sugar intake and had the energy to exercise and lose weight. The best part of balancing my body’s nutrients has been clarity. Nothing is worse than existing in a fog. 

What I learned about my diet from my copper overload diagnosis is that I have an intolerance to chocolate. That along with other high copper foods was affecting my moods and concentration. Also being undermethylated meant a plant-based diet with high folate was not good for me either. When I started looking into what foods are high in copper I became overwhelmed with the conflicting information. Before I made myself sick over not getting proper nutrition I consulted a Nutritional Therapist who specializes in biochemical imbalances. My first questions were, “What the heck am I suppose to eat?” She provided me with a list of high copper foods to avoid. The list was one she formulated from extensive research. She also gave me suggested options.

Be gentle on yourself

Then she gave me the best advice, “Be gentle on yourself and don’t worry if you sometimes eat copper-rich foods.” I am an all or nothing personality type. I would have gone right to eliminating these foods. Instead, I gradually reduced them. Within a few months, I didn’t even miss the foods I once enjoyed. I’m not saying it was easy. Sometimes I thought about how much I would love to have peanut butter or nuts. Ultimately, I stuck with the restrictions because I liked the results. Plus once my balance was better I could occasionally indulge. It’s never good to deprive yourself completely— unless you are severely allergic—because that is set up for failure. Today I have a little chocolate or something with peanut butter. If I notice I don’t feel quite right I don’t repeat it for a while.

It’s so important to be aware of how you feel. I lived far too long with brain fog not realizing I didn’t have to feel that way. When I noticed how sluggish, non-focused and irritable I had been on my old diet it was easy to stay committed. Understanding how to feel good in my mind and body has been life-changing. If you suffer from cognitive issues, consider eating for your mental health. Consult an MD and/or Nutrionalist who specializes in biochemical imbalances. 

Depression Busting Pumpkin Beef Chili

This is my favorite crockpot chili. It’s actually called. I like to make it with butternut squash. The full recipe and others for food sensitivities can be found at www.samanthagilbert.com 

An important final note: Your diet is not only what you eat. What you watch, listen to, read and the people you hang around affect your health. I do my best to be mindful of the things I allow into my mind and body emotionally, spiritually and physically. Stay in touch to learn more about my personal practices for maintaining a healthy balance.