So I've been Paleo for 30 days, and I'd really like to get off my antidepressant (60mg of citalopram, aka Celexa). I also want to do this because I am trying to get pregnant, and there are too many studies that have come out recently about problems taking SSRI's while pregnant.
So, a friend of mine recommended the book "Mood Cure" by Julie Ross. There seems to be really good reviews on Amazon.
Have any of you read this book? Is this something I should even be doing, meaning it is part of the Paleo lifestyle?"
The good thing is that Julie recommends a lot of healthy fat and omega 3's as "Good Mood Foods" on her website. I am getting a lot of health fat already, but maybe I should be taking some fish oil daily.
THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE. Sorry for shouting, but I'm quite passionate about it. This is the book that eventually led me to Paleo.
When I first read the book, I was a "semi" vegetarian, only eating chicken and fish, and only rarely. I ate lots of pasta and junk food. And, I suffered from regular low-grade depression. I'd say I felt blue about 2 or 3 days every month.
When I read the book, it all made sense to me, about how what I was eating was unhealthy for my brain, and WHY. Because of this book, I stopped being a pseudo vegetarian, and reintroduced meat into my diet, and cut back on the grains. And it also left me open to Paleo when I stumbled across it, and Paleo made so much sense to me.
After reading the book, my depression & blood sugar issues improved dramatically, and one of the supplements she recommended for me, 5-htp, really really helped me when the blues would come back (because I wasn't really eating great, but I at least was getting more protein). Of course, now that I'm Paleo, I don't have these "blue" periods anymore. Yay!
The book does a great job of explaining the physiology behind how bread products and sugar wreak havoc on your brain chemicals. For me, it was really useful to know the WHYs and HOWs, and not just "do it because it works". She talks about how the nutrients in your blood stream work in your brain/body, and how they cross into the blood brain barrier, and why you get that happy high from eating those bad foods.
She came across this by working with drug addicts, originally. My favorite story is the guy who had a severe crack addiction, and was in and out of rehab, a hopeless case. After doing her program, he was clean for the longest time ever, I think for over a year (when in the past he couldn't stay clean for 2 weeks). Until he went to a party, and had a soda, thinking no big deal. By the end of the night he was doing crack again. Sugar IS evil.
She also recommends a lot of supplements, which may or may not be your thing. I think they can be good as stop-gap measures, and like I said, I would regularly buy 5-htp to have on hand, but I haven't used my current bottle in a long, long time.
She is fairly paleo, though there are some exceptions. She is okay with beans, and rice, and a few other grains. But I don't think she would care if you didn't eat them.
In conclusion, YES, I think everyone with mood issues should read this book, so they can fully understand the effect that food has on our brains. Heck, I believe in it so much, I'd even offer to reimburse you the cost of the book if you didn't find it useful!
I carried that book around with me until I practically had it memorized. I quite like it, and it did help me figure out what was going on with my body. I have heard that amino acid therapy had evolved a lot since it was published, so you may want to check out the author's website for any updates. I wasn't eating "paleo" when I read it, but it seems most of her protocols involve using amino acids to some degree, which are abundant in organ meats. I spent a lot of money on bottles of things like l-tyrosine, before it finally occured to me that I might be better served both bodily and financially by just eating liver, heart, sweetbreads, kidney, etc. every so often. I recommend reading the book, but I also recommend seeking out food sources instead of supplements whenever possible.
I read the Diet Cure, which is what got me to stop eating gluten and sugar 12 years ago. In that book she touches quite a bit on mood, chemical and hormonal imbalance, cravings, and omega 3 deficiency. She recommends amino acid therapy to assist in weening ones self off of toxic foods while "feeding" the brain to correct the deficiencies caused by SAD. Her dietary approach was my starting point that eventually led me to paleo.
From what I understand, the Mood Cure is very similar, only updated and it probably doesn't go into eating disorders and the nutritional deficits caused by yo yo dieting quite as much.
I highly recommend reading her if just to educate yourself about the impact that amino acids and nutrition have on our brain chemistry. Her nutritional methods for treating addiction and depression are very successful. The whole program could easily be converted to paleo and it would probably be even more effective. Especially with, as Happy Now suggests above, the addition of offal and other nutrient dense foods that she doesn't include in her recommendations.
I also highly recommend the book. Ultimately her ideas did not work for me but I definitely think that she knows her stuff, her ideas are sound, and that she's helped many. If you want to try to get off your meds I think her protocol is worth a try.
I did a weekend training with her after reading both her books and obsessively visiting her website. She's an in incredible resource, and I highly recommend having a consultation with her clinic if you can afford that. Her training has given me the tools I need to keep my daughter, who has ADHD off of medications.
What I found essential to curing depression:
Good diet (you're already doing that)
Cut out alcohol
Make sure your fatty acids are balanced (eat fish or take fish oil; evening primrose oil is good for menstrual mood swings)
Learn to manage your negative thinking (cognitive behavioral therapy or read "Feeling Good" by David Burns)
If you experience winter depression, invest in a light box