Just a few days ago, Carole mentioned she will be going to see Dr. Andrew Weil speak later this month. He always has some great things to say about integrative health, and I am always interested in what those things are. I will be looking forward to hearing Carole’s take away from her experience later this month and was also interested in watching him on the Dr. Oz show this week. Thanks to Sydelle for letting me know when he was on as while I DVR his show daily, I don’t watch each episode, but when I get a head’s up I am always glad it is recording while I am at work.
This visit with the good Dr. Oz, had Dr. Weil speaking about his experience with depression. While he made it clear that his depression was not serious, it was mild or moderate enough to make him feel he needed to do something about it. He tried pharmaceutical anti-depressants and said he stopped taking them after 5 or 6 days. He felt out of it when he took them at night, and then out of it the next morning. This was no solution for a man as vibrant as Dr. Weil. He decided to try some changes with what he was drinking and eating and shared those with the audience. He believes inflammation is the cause of many things that bring us away from wellness and into illness. His first suggestion for anyone suffering with the blues was to give up caffeine because of its ability to be a real mood swinger. Sure, most everyone loves the little pick-me-up a good cup of coffee gives us, but we need to be aware that every pick-me-up is followed by an equal and opposite reaction…think about it. He claims that simply getting over one’s addiction to caffeine could make the complete difference between being down, or not. Personally, giving up caffeine (I drink about 1/4 cup of caffeinated coffee mixed in with my decaf in the morning, and then NO MORE) for me was a whole lot easier than I ever imagined and a change that improved MANY aspects of my health. I am still a big morning coffee drinker, as I always was, but have NEVER missed the caffeine at all! Remember, weaning is the way to get yourself off the stuff without experience the horrible withdrawal headaches. When I withdrew I gave up a cup a day until I was down to next to none. Easy. No side effects.
Dr. Weil’s next suggestion was to stop eating processed foods. He called these the foods we buy in the center of the grocery store. Boxed, packaged, wrapped those processed foods are really good for nothing except convenience. Remember if there are too many ingredients in an item, it’s probably processed and is probably best left on the grocery store shelf.
OF COURSE, along with the above 2 recommendations, Weil stated that exercise is the single best thing we can do to fight depression. He recommends 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week. Ahhh…diet and exercise.
If you try the above for a bit and still feel down in the dumps, he suggested several supplements that he recommends over the meds that your doctor may want to prescribe for you. B-vitamins in particular not only are mood boosters but will help boost the effectiveness of prescription meds, should one’s depression be severe enough to require them. St. John’s Wart, SAMe and fish oils are on his list of mood boosters as well, but not in place of, only in addition to, a well balanced diet.
Dr. Weil believes that a certain amount of depression is not only normal and appropriate but that is necessary to help us grow and learn. He believes much of his creativity came during his period of depression. He also believes that we need to open ourselves up to happiness and allow it to enter our lives…literally to stand up tall and breathe it in. We all deserve happiness. He has a wonderful anti-inflammatory food pyramid which clearly reveals that what is good for our moods, is also good for our entire well-being. It looks like this. Thanks, Carole, for also sharing. Let’s all get some happy, today and every day.