I will be starting the Whole30 on Monday with my husband. A doctor recommended it for my husband who has had a recent, seemingly sudden, and debilitating back condition with unknown cause. Originally, my motivation for joining him on the diet was solely to support his effort in the hopes that it will help keep him on track. After much research, I am excited to start the diet for my own reasons.
While I have no interest in weight loss (5'1", 115 lbs), I am curious to see if the diet might positively affect my struggle with a life-long mood disorder. I am a forty some year old woman and the onset of mood instability was concurrent with becoming a vegetarian, around the age of 16. Of course, this was also concurrent with adolescence, so there's no way for me to identify any causal relationship with vegetarianism here. And current science neither supports it or rules it out, as far as I know. I have read studies that show evidence of a correlation between vegetarianism and mood disorders, but no causal relationship seems to be established.
However, I am beginning to wonder if the lack of protein, or even fat, might cause a more hypoglycemic metabolic state for me and may have exacerbated my mood instability all these years. I already have a pretty healthy diet, with very little junk food or fried food, plenty of vegetables and water, more fish and even some poultry in the past year. However, I do drink alcohol and coffee daily, I enjoy dairy, legumes, and grains, and I do not eat red meat or pork. These choices will be different with the Whole30.
So.....I can't wait to give this a try! But the diet will be significantly different for me. I will be staying on my meds, of course. Will I notice a difference? While I'm wondering if I might see improvement in mood, it will be difficult to identify which dietary factor or factors contribute to the change. I am also looking forward to the reintroduction phase which could give me more useful information. If there is anything striking, this could be at least part of the answer to decades of emotional pain and suffering.
From what I have read on the forum, it sounds like I should pay special attention to getting enough carbs (potatoes, bananas, apples, leafy greens). I certainly don't want to trigger more anxiety or hypomania. Any suggestions with this? Has anyone else with a mood disorder noticed positive mood shifts going from a vegetarian diet to eating meat? Also, how have you dealt with your ethical concerns and emotional difficulties with eating meat?