Friday, March 13, 2015

Book Club: "The Mood Cure"

     Well, here I am, finally writing an update. I haven't been sticking to my nightly schedule so well, as I'm sure you might have noticed by now. The time change isn't helping any. We decided to keep schedule with the boys' body clocks rather than the analog one, so bedtime is now 7 p.m. rather than 6 p.m., and bedtime hasn't really started before 7:30 p.m. at all since Sunday. That means we aren't done with the "Good nights" until 8 p.m. at the earliest. Oh, and supper time has been thrown off due to Code Monkey having longer days at the office due to looming deadlines. So it's pretty much been 1. eat all together and start bedtime at 7:30 or later, or 2. do bedtime earlier, and do dinner after. Either way, 8:30-9 is late for me to start things, when I'm supposed to have an ultimate bedtime of 10 p.m. *sigh*

     As promised, here is a little review of The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, accompanied by a general update on how my moods seem to be doing. The basic premise of The Mood Cure is that our brains are being deprived of the necessary building block, amino acids, required for proper functioning. This is the result of stores being depleted and insufficient diets which are not replenishing said stores due to being nutrient deficient. In addition, there are certain foods which mess with our ability to regulate hormones, which further disrupts things. 
     Julia Ross is a psychotherapist who has been counseling people with emotional and mood disorders since the 1970s. In 1980 she began to wonder if the food people were eating had any effect on their moods and began working with nutritionists to see if there really was a connection. Turns out, the people who changed their diets from highly processed fast food to a more whole food, more veggies one had significantly more success in therapy than those who didn't. In the mid-80s, Ross was researching and found the research of neuroscientist Kenneth Blum, who had success treating addicts with the use of amino acids, which were able to help them come off the drugs and alcohol they had been using to give themselves emotional boosts. 
     There is a quiz, of sorts, which one takes to determine which particular mood areas need work, and I failed with flying colors. My midwife, who recommended the book, has given me an amino protocol which I have been using for a few weeks now, and also recommended following the nutrition advice in The Mood Cure in regards to going gluten free and ramping up veggie and protein intake. I've been gluten free for almost two weeks now, and plan on continuing until Easter because Lent, before reintroducing to see if I notice any change. Overall, my moods have been greatly improved, though not perfectly. When I have had my down times, though, I've been able to break out of them much more quickly than before. But because I am trying to attack from so many angles, it is difficult to tell exactly which ones are working, and which are not. 
     I started a daily journal last week, writing mostly about how I felt and reacted to the happenings of the day, and I am becoming more aware of what my triggers are. This is particularly helpful, because once I identify situations that are going to be troublesome, I can prepare for them, and have a reason for my moods, rather than them being completely random and unpredictable. I know that is a really bad sentence, but I'm not sure how to say it. How about this:  It gives me hope, seeing that I can control them, that there are real reasons why I react the way I do, instead of being a victim of my "random" mood swings. 
     As I mentioned above, I'm not sure if it is specifically the amino regimen or not, but overall I feel better, more balanced emotionally and calmer physically. That being said, I do recommend The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. It may not be the self help book you need, but it does have a lot of interesting info, and many, many citations giving the studies the information is based on. 

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