Fasting responsibly to improve mood in longer term

I’m not recommending the Master Fast System – just that this article and the 12 minute embedded video is making me think how, it seems, we have all been programmed to believe we cannot go for more than a few hours without eating.

Recently, I’ve been eating later in evening again and earlier in morning again and gut-pain, poor-sleep and troublesome-moods have returned. So, I’m going back to no food after 6pm and no food before 10am = 16 hours not eating and 8 hours eating. In recent times that is when I felt and functioned best.

Article and embedded video: http://www.corespirit.com/happened-body-didnt-eat-21-days/

If little time and prepared to hear the most gruesome bit then listen from 5m 30s… on to where Alanna Ketler says, “a foot and half long”.

This does highlight many of the benefits for those who have the willpower to fast for longer periods.

Best wishes

Roger

Nutrition – Healthy Dietary Fat

I thought I’d share the mind-map-planning I did for my ‘good, bad and ugly’ dietary fats training. If you have a training venue and people who want to know more about nutrition for wellness, recovery, health, happiness and longevity, then  do contact me. Best wishes Roger.

Fats for Cafe 2017-07-17 Folks and Fables - Roger Smith - SHARE Wellness

Sharing Wellness – Nutrition Presentations, Bingham, Notts, UK

This Mind Map is from my preparations for Monday’s presentation and discussions at Folks and Fables cafe. If you’d like a copy of the other slides that go with this in pdf format just ask.

Sharing-Wellness-Roger-Smith-Sugar-Mind-Map-Updated-2017-June-26-Slide-01

If you are local and would like to attend or in UK and would like me to share similar at another venue: www.stoppaddling.com/bingham

Does eating butter make you happier? #LCHF #16:8

It is known that eating butter helps with weight loss and with reversing many chronic illnesses. I do not know if butter makes us all healthier overall. Personally, I feel good having slices of butter almost every day.

If you do not have much time just watch from from 10m 30s, then maybe skip to the less scientific video below this one. (Maybe also weight loss example from 16m 30s.)

Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off

Why am I not blogging about bipolar? 

I am keen to share how I stay well rather than how ill I was.

So, I have been on a LCHF diet or as some people say “High Fat / Low Carb” for a few years. Okay, so I am a bit thin, but it feels better being thin than how fat I was while on prescription drugs and on low fat. So, no prescription drugs for about 5 years now. Latest dietary change for me is to 16:8 = 16 hours fasting and 8 hour eating window each day. I am still working on this – getting it right most days.

I am finding that with LCHF and 16:8, together with mainly plant-based (non-factory foods) is giving me the energy for lots of 3D Dynamic Movement.

Fat for Fuel – Dr Mercola – #Mercola

Fat for Fuel is a New Book by Dr Mercola

I’ve not read it. I am not selling it. It is however, the way I have gradually been moving for sometime now. It is not only good for physical health but in the longer term is great for steadying moods. If you want to eliminate bipolar disorder then using fat for fuel is almost certainly going to help.

Mammals, and therefore all of us, work well while using fat as our main energy source. This is known as ketosis which is a word that to many people can sound bad. It is not bad, it is just what our bodies do automatically whenever we go without eating for 6 hours or so. (The exact number of hours varies from person to person.)

Question 1 of 2: In a typical 24 hours what is the longest you go without consuming any food or drink that contains carbohydrates or man-made chemicals?

I have found the easiest way to maximizing my time in fat-burning mode is not to eat or drink any carbohydrates in the morning. For me, this includes avoiding drinks with any kind of added milk, because milk contains sugar.

Whether I say I am skipping breakfast on days I do not eat before noon, or I say that I am having a very late ‘break-fast-meal’, it is the days I do this when I feel best and think most clearly.

Question 2 of 2: After reading about Fat for Fuel could you share, using the comments option, how going longer between meals and minimizing snacking helps you to be in the mood you want to be in?

A new website set up by Dr Mercola: www.fatforfuel.org

Just to make it clear… I am not being paid to advertise this… I simply believe most people would be healthier and less prone to mood disorders if eating less often and this requires us to burn fat for fuel.

Brain Health – Maximizing Memory – Roger Smith

Maximizing Memory (Part 1 – Focus on Food and Drink)

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Folks and Fables, Bingham

2:30pm to 3:30pm    and    6:30pm to 7:30pm

This is my next talk, followed by discussion, sharing much of the new research into:

  • Improving our memory
  • Growing new brain cells

Find out more from Folks and Fables

Fasting to improve mood

I wrote about fasting to improve mood a month ago. I have made progress and am keen to share this.

Due to my blood sugar being a bit high (not diabetic but often higher than I want it to be) I have created a more ambitious plan for eating better quality food while overall eating less.

For 7 days now I have not eaten before noon. That is, no breakfast at all and no drinks that could be considered as food. This is a big change, for me, especially as I was brought up believing breakfast was essential. I also bought into the idea of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” before I discovered this meme was invented by businesses that sell breakfast cereals!

I made this transition by initially eating until late in the evening. Gradually I am finishing all eating a little earlier each evening to create a genuine fast, with my first meal feeling like ‘breaking a fast’ rather than a meal called break-fast.

This is day 8. It is 12:45pm and so far not eaten today.

Before I say how I am feeling on this new regime, I want to make it clear that I am not starving myself at all. I am eating a little less but only because I find I am less hungry and more satisfied with the better quality, mainly organic, foods I am choosing.

Moods? Essentially, I am feeling mostly good. I have a little more energy, doing 10,000 steps per day, sleeping through the night and yesterday easily swam 100 lengths… okay, it was a small pool!

If you do not see an update from me within a month, please feel free to ask how my longer overnight fasting is going and how this is improving my health.

Here is my previous article on fasting to improve mood

Intermittent Fasting to Improve Mood – Not just bipolar

Many psychiatric drugs have a side-effect of increased appetite.

As soon as I agreed to take Olanzapine I found I was getting hungry far more frequently while having less and less interest in exercising. On a combination of lithium and Olanzapine I steadied out at around 45 pounds heavier than my usual weight. I am sure I got off lightly as I know many people who about doubled their weight while taking Olanzapine.

I have said/blogged about how my weight came down as I reduced my lithium intake. Now, I believe the bigger factor was my being able to gradually reduce my intake of Olanzapine and eventually coming off all psychiatric drugs. My weight is now about what it was before starting on these drugs.

What has been bothering me for a while is that bad eating habits that set in while I was on Olanzapine keep coming back. Perhaps those habits have never left me.

I have read and watched lots and lots about the importance of fasting, or at least having several hours between meals and not eating when we should be sleeping. My scientific background allows me to feel I understand why eating less often is so beneficial, yet knowing stuff does not necessary make changing habits any easier.

After another stressful period I recently realized that I was again eating from early morning until late evening with perhaps a total of 12 meals/snacks! Not on any psychiatric drugs I’ve not been putting on weight but am sure all this eating has been doing me harm.

Since 1st January (yes, sounds like a New Year resolution) I have started to take overnight fasting seriously. A friend has reminded me of an info-graphic from Dr Mercola. See below.

My current plans are nowhere near so ambitious at this time. I am currently seeing getting past 9am without eating and not eating after about 7pm as great achievements and I am just starting to get benefits from this in terms of having more energy through eating less. Yes, sounds a bit bizarre, but by eating less often I mostly have more energy and feel better too.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a form of starvation but a way for you to time your meals to maximize your body’s ability to burn fat. Embed this info-graphic on your site to serve as a guide for you to create a healthy eating plan, and reap the many benefits of fasting done the right way. Use the embed code to share it on your website or visit our infographic page for the high-res version… Intermittent fasting

Replacing refined carbohydrates with healthy fats to have better control of our own moods

Food and Mood: I’ve been teaching about links between excess sugar and mood troubles for years. Now with a lot of renewed interest in this subject I am going to invite readers to comment on these two big generalizations:

  1. Eating refined carbohydrates leads to higher and more variable levels of sugar in the blood, and this leads to all kinds of chronic health troubles as well as less control over our moods.
  2. Eating appropriate amounts (and a good range) of healthy fats helps to keep sugar in the blood at healthy levels making all kinds of chronic health troubles less likely while allowing us to develop better control over our moods.

Remembering that, for good health and longevity, at no time do we want more than about one teaspoon of sugar (glucose that is) circulating in our blood stream, we know that foods that spike our blood sugar cannot be good for us. We do need to eat something though, as simply cutting out carbs tends to make us miserable.

For my friend in South Wales, who is resolving to drastically cut back on sugar consumption from 1st January (influenced in part by the article below) – I recommend finding out about healthy fats… What is a healthy fat? How do we get a wide range of different healthy fats?

The long article below explains a lot about how fat was vilified while the dangers of sugar mostly ignored. How much of this false information came from the work of Ancel Keys who seems to have falsified evidence to show fat and cholesterol were problematic while being paid for this by the sugar industry?https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin?

Not just bipolar – staying healthy by avoiding ‘ultra-processed foods’ #ADHD

Ultra-processed foods – I am thinking “ultra-processed” may be a useful term, as avoiding all processed foods is too difficult for most people.

e.g. Boiling organic potatoes at home and mashing these with organic butter is food processing…. But compared with… say, making the same potatoes into crisps with about 6 ingredients and cooking such as the water content gets so low the crisps can be stored for a year is surely a lot more processing

This morning I am thinking that, “As most people want to eat processed foods, health may be improved quite a bit just by avoiding the most processed (ultra-processed) foods and going for some really simple processing… e.g. oats cooked in a saucepan with only water and natural rock salt added. This would seem to be fairly low processing.

Article on ultra-processed foods: https://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/science-catch-up/science-catch-up-25/#topic5

((( based on this – after a quick look at where this information came from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27733404 I am thinking that any result other than the people who eat the most biscuits getting fattest would have been odd! )))

I am adding #ADHD to the title above because one of the best things to do for reducing ADHD and bipolar symptoms is to avoid foods with a lot of added chemicals.

Feelings, energy and thinking – its normal, not #bipolar

feelings and energy and thinking

Emotions can be considered to be a mix of our feelings, our energy and our thinking.

Perhaps almost everything now called ‘mental illness’ may really be ’emotional distress’.

Calling it something different does not solve our problems. It is just that when we recognize our troubles are to with emotions rather than being an illness or a specific disorder, then we can help ourselves and help those we care for by gaining a better understanding of emotions.

 

Emotions are made of… #moodmapping #bipolarrecovery

Emotions are made of…

As a stress adviser I found this diagram to be useful showing emotions to have three components:

emotional health

Emotion

The arrows are there to show how:

  • The way we feel can affect our energy and our thinking.
  • Our energy can affect the way we feel and the way we think.
  • Thoughts can affect our energy levels and our feelings.

I was told I had a mental illness. ‘Mental’ being to do with thinking, it made sense to me that if I could improve my thinking that would sort out my problems. In fact, improving the way I was thinking did help me to recover.  I wrote about this my first book, Stop Paddling/Start Sailing. Readers have told me how much it has helped them.

The reality is, thinking alone does not provide lasting recovery or build resilience. If your feelings and energy levels are kind of out of control then simply reading Stop Paddling/Start Sailing is unlikely to do much towards a full and long lasting recovery.

Eventually, I was amazed and delighted to discovered I was not mentally ill. I was not even ill. I had a mood problem and for this  I needed to understand that FEELINGS and ENERGY are the components mood. Knowing more about how to feel differently and have more control of energy levels turns out to be an excellent place to start recovering from being labelled with bipolar disorder.

Next time… Looking at Feelings and Energy to provide a balanced approach to having moods that are good for you and those you live with.

Bipolar Recovery Bite-size – Mood Mapping #moodmapping

Two years ago I was writing ‘Bipolar Recovery Bite-size’.  This was to explain how I and others had come to understand what had happened to us and so recovered from the diagnosis. The reason for ‘bite-size’ was that emotional disturbances can make it difficult to read long articles – The challenge became one of sharing this important information in small chunks/bites.

I have started updating all the bipolar recovery bites and over the next few weeks hope to share the new versions here at Rethinking Bipolar

1.What are emotions made of?

Fourteen years ago as a patient on an acute psychiatric ward I was told I had an emotional disorder that would need to be treated with medication for the rest of my life. I was given a label, “Manic depressive”. There was no explanation of emotions, what was causing the disorder or what I could do other than take tablets.

I wonder how different the next few years of my life would have been if the psychiatrist had been able to explain to me something about emotions.

Perhaps he thought I was too ill to understand or perhaps he did not know how to explain?

We all have an idea what emotions are and yet we all seem to explain emotions in different ways. Emotions mean different things to different people.

 Before reading bite 2 , “Emotions Are Made Of…”, how would you describe emotion? 

And our target is…

To avoid, overcome or eliminate a disorder we have to be a bit cleverer than just looking at what we are trying to avoid.

Mood Map Miller

Calm moods instead of diagnosis?

On workshops I have given students cards with symptoms of bipolar disorder written on the cards.

I have asked the students to place the symptoms on a mood map according to which of the four main moods the symptoms seem to show.

At the end of the exercise the symptoms are spread out across the depressive, anxious and active sectors. It seems that the bipolar diagnosis picks up people who are exceptional at being in either two or three of these states. The people who get the diagnosis will have been seen being both depressed and anxious, or depressed and active or anxious and active. The third of these may come as a surprise, as surely you have to be seen to be depressed to be diagnosed as manic-depressive? We can come back to that another time.

With a set of say 40 typical bipolar symptoms it is rare that the students will place any of the symptoms in the fourth quadrant of the mood map. The calm quadrant remains pretty well empty. It is this quirk that only seems to be revealed by mood mapping that gives us our target and our big break in combating bipolar disorder diagnosis.

Rather than looking at one symptom after another and thinking, “I must avoid that”, “I must stop doing that”, now we can start with a mood to aim for rather than moods to avoid.

I am interested to hear from readers who have achieved a better life by being calmer.

I am interested to hear from readers who know why calmer is a great target, yet not the ‘be all and end all’/’ultimate aim’ if you want to avoid a bipolar diagnosis.