I need help in helping my husband.
My Husband is struggling with ADHD, depression, anxiety, possible bipolar etc. It's taking a toll on him physically, mentally, relationally and professionally (no surprise, I'm sure). He eats the SAD, maybe a little better, as he will eat what I make him most times and I am pretty conscious of giving him health food. He's pretty aware of some aspects of a good diet (say, the importance of veggies, etc), but lacks self discipline to make big changes, any drive to "learn" in this area and also the motivation to do anything ( which, I'm sure is the result of his mental and emotional state at this point) He doesn't believe diet will impact his mental state at all. While I can agree with him that it might not magically change things (and it might), it will very likely help.
He is very familiar with Paleo, as I'm pretty strict at this point. He has zero interest in making that kind of change. In fact, he has been completely closed to any dietary changes, but recently when I was telling him I thought some changes would help, he said something like, "Like what kind of changes? What should I be doing". I know better than to give him the Paleo 10 commandments and tell him to keep the law, but I do think there's an emerging openness to making some changes. I'm just a little stumped about what changes are most likely to benefit him and his specific issues. I know him well enough to know that he'll likely give it a go, but if he doesn't see and changes, or sees bad ones, he won't keep with it for long. I want to be sure that the recommendations I make are ones that have the best chance of giving him positive change. I would love some help in coming up with a beginner plan for him. Maybe I can ease him in by "baiting the hook" with great initial results.... If only that were predictable :-)
Here are a few details that might be helpful in the Hacking process:
- 32 years old
- By my best guess he is about 40+ lbs over weight
- Takes Lexapro currently, but has a history with ADHD drugs, etc.
- History of mental issues and possible bipolar
- Consumes large quantities of coffee (half & half and sugar) :-(
- Recently gotten into the Red Bull habit
- Consumes Alcohol daily- 1 or 2 beers/ or a large glass of wine
- Works an office job and has only recently started any kind of exercise. He will bike 5-10 miles on the weekends now.
- At home he eats minimal processed food, as I cook from scratch and am using healthy fats, meats, low/no dairy, etc. I do make him pasta or rice once a week or so. He does like commercial cereal, so he buys that for himself. When he eats out, I would say he eats OK most of the time, but not great. He makes many of the common nutritional mistakes-- For example, he told me that he bought a whole bunch of Naked juices to load up on because they would be healthy for him. He has no thought toward the sugar overload of consuming juice like that.
I have repeatedly told him that I thought he would benefit from kicking the caffeine habit, but I know this is one thing he's really holding on to. The caffeine helps him to wake up and focus and he can't imagine doing either without medication or caffeine. Am I right in thinking it would have a good impact on him to get rid of it (not to mention the dairy and sugar that goes a long with it)? Any thoughts to possible downsides of drinking even Decaf (I'm sensitive even to that amount of caffeine) in it's place?
Any input you can give would be really helpful! Thanks!