During my first therapy appointment one of the main recommendations my therapist suggested was a change of diet. She told me about a diet called, “The no white food diet.” This diet is simple. You do not eat white food. Examples of this are white bread, white pasta, potatoes, candy, soda, etc. I would take these foods and I would either live without the food or find an alternative. She told me that there was many benefits to this diet such as less depression, anxiety, more energy, and better weight management.
I decided to try the diet. I didn’t know how bad the diet would make me feel and how difficult it would be for me to follow.
To help me get started my therapist suggested a list of foods that I could have: oatmeal, eggs, chicken, hamburgers, sweet potato fries, fresh vegetables, fruits, unsweet tea, water, etc.
I remember the first night I tried the new diet. My grandpa was naming things off the menu that he was going to be fixing for dinner and a lot of it I couldn’t have. I ended up having some chicken and some vegetables. I had such a craving for dessert. The next day a friend and I went shopping, I got hamburgers, bananas, Yogurt, whole grain bread, and some canned vegetables. The first day went fine. The second day I started to get cravings for things I wasn’t supposed to have. The bananas I had helped me with the cravings. By the third day, I started to have problems. I started having stomach cramps and the side effects were not pleasant at all.
I continued to stick to my diet. I even told my co-workers at my temporary job about it because they would buy and eat foods that I couldn’t have. It was really hard to fight cravings and seeing people eat things that I wanted. I also felt tired and shaky a lot of the time. I felt hungry too. My body just felt sick. I really wanted to give up on the diet.
To be honest, I was really dumb because I didn’t educate myself enough on the diet. After a friend suggested that I google ideas for my diet I did. I found out there was a lot of foods that I could have.
I finally found a menu that I loved and found staples such as vegetables, fresh fruit, meat, and tea.
At my next therapy appointment, I asked my therapist about how I was feeling and come to find out the side effects I felt were completely normal. She gave me more ideas for what I could eat. She told me the more I stayed on the diet the better I would feel. What my therapist didn’t understand at the time was that I was a part time caregiver for my grandmother, and my grandpa grandma and I ate as a family. To help my grandma with her eating grandpa would get things such as chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, etc. It used to distract my grandma if I was eating something different than her, so to keep her eating we would eat all the same meals.
This made my therapist very upset. She didn’t even like the fact that I was eating white sweet potatoes. I did the best I could to stay on the diet, but every time I would eat something that was not on the diet plan my body would feel sick again.
I wanted to keep my therapist happy about me staying on my treatment plan. I did the best I could. I found that if I did follow the diet, I felt somewhat better. I decided to stop the diet because I kept having problems with the side effects. I am now back on my regular diet. I have gained some weight and I am working on losing the weight.
Have you ever been on a diet to help your mental health? Let me know down in the comments below.
Author’s note: I am not a medical professional or therapist. I am sharing this blog post from my own experience. If you are having problems with your own medical or mental health please seek proper medical care.