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a bipolar diet

Many of us have found that food plays a large part in our physical and mental health. Some of us struggle with our relationship with food. What are you eating (or not eating) these days?

a bipolar diet

Postby malakoa » Apr 10, 2010 11:54 pm

I started this new diet on Monday and have had five straight days of stability. I've also recently upped my B-100. Here is what I'm eating:

I eat all the veggies and fruit I can. I skip white potatoes. I add sweet potatoes.
I eat all the meats, chicken and fish I can.
I drink all the water I can.
I eat nuts, seeds and the like.
Cream is okay. So are most cheeses.

I don't eat processed food of any kind
any sweetener of any kind, including honey
any caffeinated drink, including de-caf coffee.
No juices or any flavored drink but herbal tea.
Not even a hint of alcohol or alcoholic tasting stuff.
No fast food or fried food. (Salads are okay, I just get grilled chicken)
Milk
no breads or pastas or any refined carbs.
no chocolate

verdict is out on beans.

Not only has this helped my mood, I'm praying it will help me lose some of my Seroquel induced weight gain. (I'm not too vain, I've got tumors on the bottom of my foot that need to have less weight beating down on them. And I'm vain)

Do you have things that have worked well for you? What are they, and why do you think??
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Postby LadyK » Apr 11, 2010 11:25 am

My diet used to be carb heavy .... recently I've switched to eating very similar to you except I am a vegetarian; I get my protein through vegetables, dairy, and eggs ....

I swear, eating a balanced diet that is heavy on the protein helps TREMENDOUSLY. I can practically feel my brain functioning better after I eat an egg .... it's a relief! I also think eating often ..... at least every 4 hours, keeps me from crashing. Drinking water, and no caffeine, also seem to be big helps. I save alcohol for once a week, when I'm already feeling superb ....

On Easter, my host did not serve any vegetarian dishes with protein in it, for breakfast .... I started to feel tired, stressed, and borderline depressed .... as soon as I got home, I ate a peanut butter sandwich with whole wheat bread and boiled an egg .... I regained all of my energy and felt happy again!

We are what we eat, and being lethargic easily leads to depression .... please take care of yourselves!
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Postby liliputz » Apr 11, 2010 6:06 pm

i really ought to try something like this. i couldn't give up caffeine but i should at least reduce the amount of processed foods (mostly breads/pastas) i consume. and get some fish oil supplements.
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Postby LadyK » Apr 11, 2010 7:14 pm

Oh yeah,
A supplement that really helps, too: B12
That's what gets me going in the morning instead of caffeine!
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Postby liliputz » Apr 11, 2010 7:26 pm

i keep meaning to buy some. is there a particular brand you prefer? i know that those derived from foods are supposed to be superior.
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Postby chiaroscuro » Apr 11, 2010 9:05 pm

I like the B12 "dots" that dissolve under the tongue to absorb fast. I keep forgetting to buy more of those... but the kind I get is from TwinLab, they're vegetarian.

Malakoa, I'm confused, you don't do milk but you do cream? How are they different? Other than the dairy, your optimal diet is the same as mine... except my verdict is in on beans, they're a no-go, the lectins in them are too hard on digestion. Also, I can't ever nix dark chocolate, no matter what.
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Postby babblefish » Apr 11, 2010 9:20 pm

sounds good! i will try to do more of these things.

i didn't connect my renewed consumption of bread and potatoes to my renewed lethargy and generalized aching, but when you're brain stops functioning optimally you miss stuff.

i love the idea of more sweet potatoes. i think that'll be the first adjustment :)
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Postby After » Apr 11, 2010 11:11 pm

I do a diet similar to that... for me I can have whole grain carbs, just not with my protein; I have to have them separately. I eat tons of protein and veggies at each meal, and then whole grains for snacks; I eat butter and olive oil but no canola; I have dairy only occasionally, and only a few bites of anything else for treats. If I really need energy, I eat a low-sugar Pure Protein bar, but I keep that under twice a week because of the chemicals and because it does have some sugar. Also it tends to make me crash later.

I don't have bipolar but this diet boosts my energy and seems to be clearing up my anxiety and flashbacks.
Because we were slaves, and we are slaves no longer.
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Postby malakoa » Apr 12, 2010 12:22 am

chiaroscuro wrote:I like the B12 "dots" that dissolve under the tongue to absorb fast. I keep forgetting to buy more of those... but the kind I get is from TwinLab, they're vegetarian.

Malakoa, I'm confused, you don't do milk but you do cream? How are they different? Other than the dairy, your optimal diet is the same as mine... except my verdict is in on beans, they're a no-go, the lectins in them are too hard on digestion. Also, I can't ever nix dark chocolate, no matter what.


Fat is good! Cream helps keep my blood sugar stable. Milk does not do that. Cream, as I understand, is closer to the milk that comes out of the cow rather than something like 2%. 2% milk is milk stripped free of all fat and then the fat is added back in.

Regular milk gives me serious gas. I never get digestive problems from cream like I do with milk.
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Postby achildofgaia » Nov 01, 2010 12:42 pm

this is a great thread. hasnt been used in a while it seems. I would like to add that oats help ground me, and for some reason, both of my psychotic breaks have been after eaten almonds consistenty as a protein source. there were other factors in both cases as well, but I find the ALmond concept interesting and solid. would be interested ot hear more from others. ALmonds are known to strip toxins from the body that are taken in through skin, breathing, and foods. Such a particular nut. we cannot trat them all the same. I felt good and healthy... still...anyon eelse have almond stories....oooo. just remembered, my little brother is very allergic to almonds, cant believe i didnt incorporate that into my evaluation before...
<p>neurodiversity to rule them all</p>
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby dualitree » Feb 26, 2012 3:30 pm

for those of us who have trouble eating enough fruits and veggies (guilty as charged!), SMOOTHIES SMOOTHIES SMOOTHIES have are an absolute godsend. easy to drink, easy to digest, and you can make them taste really good if you add nuts or nutmilks/soymilks/ricemilks. also a really good way to eat greens. my personal favorite has bananas, strawberries, cashews, kale, carrots, and vanilla ricemilk.
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby nature » Feb 26, 2012 6:38 pm

Yup squares with most of my experiences re food. Protein and fat important and stabilizing, processed sugars and carbs not good.

Currently trying to go without meat completely (one month so far ... probably will have to eat it at dinner at a friend's tonight) and substituting dairy and beans as protein source and seem to be doing fine ... and lost my 10 lbs of weight gained from a brief experiment with Seroquel.

I do find that wheat and processed carbs can be useful for bringing me down from hypomania (i.e. getting me to sleep without drugs), but otherwise, I do way better without processed carbs and wheat. Can't quite quit the sugar yet but yeah, I know I should ...
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby kittenforever » Aug 10, 2012 2:04 pm

Any advice on how to heat healthfully for mood stability if you're an extremely picky eater?

The only meats I'll eat are pig products and shellfish (pig products only if cooked in a flavorful sauce and mixed in with other things). Vegetables I'll only eat if cooked in a flavorful sauce and mixed in with other things. The only fruits I like are blueberries, pears, and bananas. Starches, again only if cooked in a flavorful sauce and mixed in with other things. =/
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby Asimina » Oct 30, 2012 10:30 pm

For about the last 10 days or so I've been switching up my diet. I was motivated to do this because I started feeling sick with cold like symptoms and had been feeling extra miserable. I'm actually still struggling with cold-like symptoms and I'm not really sure what the best things are to eat. I've also quit smoking--I had only been smoking between 0 and 5 a day usually, but I had been a regular smoker of hand rolled cigarettes again the last few years. There was one day in here that consumed alcohol at a party--really trying to quite that too. Mainly including the bit about alcohol and cigarettes because I'm thinking some symptoms I'm having could be related to withdrawing from those things too.

Wheat definitely seems like a problem and I've avoided that. I think I usually tolerate dairy well, but I've mostly avoided it while I'm having respiratory issues. I've eaten tons of raw vegetables--I was wondering if I had overdone them when I developed a runny nose. In Chinese medicine there's this idea of some people having to avoid an excess of raw veg consumption because it can bring too much coldness into the body. Also even with some raw foodists they talk about the need to build up your consumption of raw food more gradually to build up your digestive fire. I'm going to try to eat more steamed vegetables and lightly cooked in brothy soups.

I've always digested beans well.

While my sinus issues, coughing, and congestion keeps flaring up and then dying down, I would say that overall my mood is better. I still often don't have a very positive outlook for my life, but at least it's a relief that my day to day mood has improved.

Last night I had a pretty heavy meal---rice based pasta, tomato sauce, and (yes, it's true!) bratwurst. I felt kind of crazy afterwards.
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby kittenforever » Dec 19, 2012 2:28 pm

Malakoa, what do you do for carbs?
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Re: a bipolar diet

Postby - » May 22, 2013 11:31 pm

Im on the giant cup of coffee and donuts for breakfast junk food junkie trip although Im better at eating whats around & i try try try to have not junk food around

the diet that has worked best for me in the past is the modified elimination diet

The primary guidelines are:

Eliminate all dairy products, including milk, cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. Avoid products like soy cheese, which are made with casein (a milk protein).

Eliminate fatty meats like beef, port, or veal. Chicken, turkey, lean cuts of lamb, and cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and halibut are acceptable if you are not allergic to or intolerant of these foods. Select from free-range products whenever possible.

Eliminate gluten. Avoid any food that contains wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, rye, barley, or malt. This is the most difficult part of the diet but it is also the most important. Unfortunately, gluten is in many common foods, including bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, and products containng flours made from these grains. Products made from rice, millet, buckwheat and gluten-free flour, or potato, tapioca and arrowroot may be used as desired by most individuals.

Drink at least two quarts of water, preferably filtered, daily.

Avoid all alcohol-containing products including beer, wine, liquor and over-the-counter products that contain alcohol. Also avoid all caffeine-containing beverages, including coffee, caffeine-containing tea and soda pop. Coffee substitutes from gluten-containing grains should be avoided along with decaffeinated coffee. Be sure to read the labels of cold remedies and herbal preparations as they frequently contain caffeine and/or alcohol.

Avoid foods containing yeast or foods that promote yeast overgrowth (processed foods, refined sugars, cheese, commercially prepared condiments, peanuts, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages).
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