This is how the blog works. I post once a week, but each Food of the Week gets two posts. For the first post, I pick a food that supposedly has an impact on low thyroid function, depression, or anxiety (or all three). In the following post, I share my experiences with how incorporating this food into my diet impacted my own low thyroid function, depression, and anxiety.
Post One: Background on the Food of the Week. You might learn a thing or two and you’ll see what people are saying about the benefits or pitfalls of this food item. I do not have any known food allergies, so the possibilities are endless! However, in the interest of keeping things healthy and affordable, you might notice that most of my choices center around fruits and veggies. I am not vegetarian or vegan, so animal products are not off the table completely, but they’ll mostly be making cameos.
Post Two: The Findings. I incorporate the chosen food into my diet for about a week and log how the food had an impact on my symptoms. What this means is that for five out of seven days (a typical work week for the average person), I eat said food as a major component in at least one meal per day. Recommended serving size in a given day will factor in to whether the food ends up the star of just a meal, or the star of a meal and a snack.
I share any recipes I used during this process. Some foods require a little more cooking than others, so this might not always be a major component. I then share the impact of this food on the top five symptoms I experience the most of each diagnosis – no matter which diagnosis the food supposedly impacts the most.
Here’s what those symptoms are for me:
Low Thyroid Function (Hypothyroidism)
My Five Worst Symptoms:
3. Dry Skin
4. Joint and Muscle Pain
5. Sensitivity to Cold
Depression (Major Depressive Disorder)
My Five Worst Symptoms:
2. Trouble Concentrating/Making Decisions
3. Loss of Appetite
4. Sleep Disturbances (I experience lack of sleep or oversleeping)
5. Feelings of Sadness/Tearfulness
Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
My Five Worst Symptoms
1. Feeling Restless/On Edge
2. Muscle Tension
3. Difficulty Controlling Worries
4. Being Easily Startled
If you have any of these disorders, you know that some of them have similar symptoms and you might experience more or less of some of the things I listed! Just like how each body responds to food a little different, no illness looks exactly the same on everyone.
I evaluate how each food helped or didn’t help using points for each symptom, over each of the five days. I’m not going to bore you with the details (no one likes math that much), but essentially I tally the total points for each day and average them out overall. The most points a food could get is 150; the least is 0. Like golf, lower numbers are better here because that means I didn’t experience symptoms. To sum it up, here’s how I am looking at the foods:
150 – 60 Points = Symptoms worsened; I should probably skip this food in the buffet line.
59 – 41 Points = Symptoms stayed the same; not a significantly bad or good food for me.
40 Points or Less = Symptoms improved; great food to keep in my diet regularly!
I share more detailed findings than just the points each week, but I try to stick to symptoms that had noticeable differences for the most part. I also outline whether a food might have improved symptoms of one illness, but worsened symptoms of another. In short, I try to only give you the stuff that’s the most interesting and relevant. The numbers/points are really only relevant to me so that I can keep track!
Feel free to share your own experiences, any recipes, or your point-of-view. Keep us updated, and feel free to recommend a Food of the Week!
Happy reading (and eating)!