MK0306

Whole30 causing anxiety/depression?

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I'm on day 15, doing this program hoping to help my thyroid and skin issues, energy, sleep, mood, etc. I have noticed the last week my anxiety And depression getting worse-like haven't experienced this in years. I also had my first ever panic attack a few nights ago. I'm eating 2 sweet potatoes a day, 1-2 avocados a day, following the meal template to the t. I'm nursing so I'm having 4-5 meals a day. I'm not afraid to eat here.

Sample meals:

3 eggs, whole sweet potato, half banana, half avocado, some nightshades.

Turkey lettuce wraps with guac and hot sauce, handfuls of carrots

2 pieces white fish, zucchini noodles (a whole zucchini), whole avocado, whole sweet potato.

Snacks would be hard boiled eggs, veggies, fruit, olives.

What is going on?

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Your eating two sweet potatoes per day eliminates the likelihood that you are feeling increased anxiety/depression as a result of your diet. People who go low carb and avoid eating starchy veggies are at risk, but two sweet potatoes per day should be enough to keep that aspect of things well supplied. Your meals sound good. I don't know what is going on. 

 

Are you eating plenty of food so that you are not hungry for more than a short-time before meals? Are you drinking plenty of water? We recommend 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. I don't know why being low in these regards might make you anxious or depressed, but people do often fail to eat and drink enough. 

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Is it possible that you are used to comforting yourself with food when you feel anxious or upset? It's possible that by teaching your body to accept food just as fuel that you are having to experience these emotions far more strongly than you were pre-Whole30?

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Hey Tom, thanks for the feedback. I need to keep track of my water intake better and sleep more.

Ladyshanny, I didn't realize that could be a thing! But yeah, I could eat a whole box of cookies probably when I'm stressed, and although I knew "hey this isn't normal", I didn't worry too much because I'm not overweight (thanks to thyroid and nursing). Any tips to make it through this? Self care obviously, but this will pass right? I'm not fun to be around currently. Thanks!

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Hey Tom, thanks for the feedback. I need to keep track of my water intake better and sleep more.

Ladyshanny, I didn't realize that could be a thing! But yeah, I could eat a whole box of cookies probably when I'm stressed, and although I knew "hey this isn't normal", I didn't worry too much because I'm not overweight (thanks to thyroid and nursing). Any tips to make it through this? Self care obviously, but this will pass right? I'm not fun to be around currently. Thanks!

Ya, unfortunately that's just one that has to be worked through.  It can be a bit startling to really feel the full draw of emotions but you get used to it.  Plus you won't always be going through the "withdrawal" stage of being used to eating sugars etc.  That part just makes it all worse.

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 I miss rewarding myself for getting through the day 

You can still reward yourself!  Lots and LOTS of us do. Take a bubble bath, go buy the new David's Tea, a trashy magazine (if that's your thing), listen to music SUPER loud... There are things in your life that you dont get to do often that bring you joy (I know there are... we all have them), so try using them to reward yourself... you totally deserve it!

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I'm on R1D16 and this is something I'm really struggling with and I created this account just to post this. Honestly, the not eating the sugar/gluten/dairy, etc isn't the hard part, it's that the meal planning is so overwhelming.  I'm so overwhelmed with meal planning and constantly thinking about food and what I am going to eat next. I'm 28 but still live with my parents who aren't doing a Whole30 but are being supportive by eating compliant meals that I cook. I have anxiety about spending money, even though I know it is cheaper than eating out it is hard to buy expensive meats and then I sometimes end up not cooking them very well and I feel like I am wasting my money. I live in a tiny town that just has a Wal-Mart and I absolutely hate going there and get so overwhelmed (even with a list)  half the time I can't find an ingredient that I am looking for so then it throws my whole meal plan and I end up buying random compliant ingredients and hoping something comes together. I can't afford online prices or a super expensive spice I am going to use just a few times.

 

I'm a quite picky eater, although I am getting braver, I ate parsnips for the first time last week. The thought of some foods makes me nauseated, but I try to force myself to eat them anyway. I'm doing Whole30 to try and reduce inflammation in my knees because I have metal implants in my leg which cause chronic pain so weight loss isn't my goal but the diet doesn't seem to be having any effect on my pain levels. I actually had to weigh myself to make sure I still weighed enough to go donate blood and then when I got to the blood bank my iron levels were too low to donate even though I have been eating red meat, eggs, kale, etc.

I've been eating a sweet potato nearly every day so it should be enough for it to be just the low carb effect.  I've had several crying fits/borderline panic attacks on and off today because 2 more weeks of this seems overwhelming, of course it doesn't help that I wake up in the middle of the night most nights because I am so hungry that I can't sleep. I signed up for the W30 version of Real Plans today which just made it more overwhelming, to try and think of all that cooking every day. Please someone tell me it gets better? I thought the first 2 weeks were the hardest but today has been the hardest for me. 

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For breakfast - 3 free range eggs with a little coconut milk and some of this sweet potato breakfast casserole: http://www.paleorunningmomma.com/sweet-potato-apple-breakfast-bake-paleo-whole30/

I usually force myself to eat eggs and chicken sausages - I know they are good for me and a good source of protein. 

For lunch: Today I made some of this soup http://www.asaucykitchen.com/thai-meatball-and-egg-drop-soup/ It was good the first time I made it and then awful the second time I made it. My meatballs kept falling apart and I had to use chicken stock instead of chicken broth so that may have had something to do with it. The other day I had .5 a pound of shrimp and some cooked sweet potato and kale for lunch.

Dinner is usually steaks/red meat of some sort and a half a plate of green vegetable such a brussel sprouts, or a veggie stir fry. I can handle steak all right but then sometimes the thought of more meat seems revolting and I get nauseated by the thought of it which doesn't help when I am already nauseated because in the I am so hungry I am nauseated but nothing sounds appealing or cookable because I am nauseated loop of doom. 

I work kind of weird hours so sometimes a mini meal is a gala apple and almond butter. I also made this once but it wasn't very good.

 

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And then things like me spending all morning cooking a massive batch of soup that I could have for several meals, eating one meal out of it and spilling the rest getting it out of the fridge to eat for dinner. That was a good $8-10 down the drain. 

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moosegirl, you sound pretty stressed.   I'm all for keeping it simple.  Maybe don't do recipes if it takes too much time and energy?   Even using mental energy still uses energy.  Lots of it. :)

This is only 30 days and does not have to be consuming all of your thoughts every day. If you have access to meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and raw nuts & seeds -- really, just throw stuff together that sounds good and eat until you are satiated.  Do you have some good-quality fats like coconut oil & avocado oil?  Salt & pepper, garlic & onion?   You can do a lot with the basics and really, that is O.K. I don't know if you are surfing social media and comparing yourself to others or feeling the need to do all of these recipes, but if so, cut yourself a break and just make this your whole 30. There is no one perfect way to do it.   You have to do what works for you.

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6 hours ago, Brewer5 said:

moosegirl, you sound pretty stressed.   I'm all for keeping it simple.  Maybe don't do recipes if it takes too much time and energy?   Even using mental energy still uses energy.  Lots of it. :)

This is only 30 days and does not have to be consuming all of your thoughts every day. If you have access to meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and raw nuts & seeds -- really, just throw stuff together that sounds good and eat until you are satiated.  Do you have some good-quality fats like coconut oil & avocado oil?  Salt & pepper, garlic & onion?   You can do a lot with the basics and really, that is O.K. I don't know if you are surfing social media and comparing yourself to others or feeling the need to do all of these recipes, but if so, cut yourself a break and just make this your whole 30. There is no one perfect way to do it.   You have to do what works for you.

AMEN sister!  I hardly ever make recipes... just cook proteins you like, veggies you like and dump some mayo on top of that and voila!  When I make soup (which is an amazing way to get a good meal), I stew a whole roasting hen all day, cut up the entire quantity of meat, chuck in a few blocks of frozen spinach, some frozen mixed veggies, mushrooms, whatever veggies you like and then pour a can of coconut milk in... mix a scrambled egg into a portion that you warm for yourself for whatever meal and you have it made in the shade!  It does suck to dump it on the floor tho... can't say i"ve done that exact thing but I"ve dump a LOT of stuff on the floor - usually the really hard to clean up stuff ;)

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I’m on day 14 of my first Whole 30 and I’ve noticed over the past few days my anxiety getting worse! Especially during meal time. I love to cook and although it’s a tad overwhelming cooking for two with the whole 30 guidelines I really don’t think it’s making me that stressed. In the past (teenage years over 12 years ago) I’ve struggled with an eating discover so maybe that’s rearing some ugly emotions now that I’m thinking so much about food? I’m really struggling here, I go for a while without anxiety and now it seems to be worse. I am eating plenty of food and both white and sweet potatoes (suggested from above posts) so I don’t think that’s the issue. 

Anyone else feel their anxiety get a bit worse with their whole 30? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 

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39 minutes ago, adaadahl said:

I’m on day 14 of my first Whole 30 and I’ve noticed over the past few days my anxiety getting worse! Especially during meal time. I love to cook and although it’s a tad overwhelming cooking for two with the whole 30 guidelines I really don’t think it’s making me that stressed. In the past (teenage years over 12 years ago) I’ve struggled with an eating discover so maybe that’s rearing some ugly emotions now that I’m thinking so much about food? I’m really struggling here, I go for a while without anxiety and now it seems to be worse. I am eating plenty of food and both white and sweet potatoes (suggested from above posts) so I don’t think that’s the issue. 

Anyone else feel their anxiety get a bit worse with their whole 30? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. 

It's definitely possible given your past history with an eating disorder and a history of anxiety (I assume this because you refer to it as 'my anxiety' which is usually an indicator that you've got a history with it).  Do you have a trusted person or therapist that you can talk through this with? I don't think you're at this point based on your post but google 'whole30 gone bad' for an article by Melissa about when it's time to stop doing the program because it's making anxiety or ED's worse. 

What's the anxiety about may I ask?  Is it generalized anxiety - like you just feel anxious all the time, or is it anxiety strictly around cooking and mealtimes?  

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12 minutes ago, SugarcubeOD said:

 

What's the anxiety about may I ask?  Is it generalized anxiety - like you just feel anxious all the time, or is it anxiety strictly around cooking and mealtimes?  

I don’t cutrently have a therapist but I know that I would likely benefit from one. My anxiety is usually generalized, no obvious reason for it to come about. This time it is mostly around mealtimes. Cooking not so much but while I’m eating, even if what I’m eating is Oh-so-delicious I feel like I get nauseous and anxiety tends to make me feel like I need to stop eating. A similar experience happened while on my honeymoon and the food there were somewhat more fatty. Maybe there’s a connection? I’ve mostly been cooking with olive oil or ghee because it’s what I’ve had but maybe I should incorporate other Heathly fats?

I really don’t want to give up because overall I’m feeling pretty great. I can tell it’s working on my gut and sleep so well. 

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2 hours ago, adaadahl said:

I don’t cutrently have a therapist but I know that I would likely benefit from one. My anxiety is usually generalized, no obvious reason for it to come about. This time it is mostly around mealtimes. Cooking not so much but while I’m eating, even if what I’m eating is Oh-so-delicious I feel like I get nauseous and anxiety tends to make me feel like I need to stop eating. A similar experience happened while on my honeymoon and the food there were somewhat more fatty. Maybe there’s a connection? I’ve mostly been cooking with olive oil or ghee because it’s what I’ve had but maybe I should incorporate other Heathly fats?

I really don’t want to give up because overall I’m feeling pretty great. I can tell it’s working on my gut and sleep so well. 

This sounds related to disordered thinking around mealtimes so it might be a good idea to see if there's someone in your area or even a group you can go to. You could try doing more steaming and baking/roasting of food and then add mayo or avocado or olives to your plate as that's more 'food' than oil which might help you not feel like it's 'fatty' food

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Help!  I'm also on day 16 and my anxiety/depression is heightened.  I am also experiencing waves of nausea.  I never thought I had an eating disorder but I'm so scared that I'm gaining weight on whole30 because I'm not counting calories and watching the scale-two things I've been doing regularly for the past several years.  I'm also just plain sad and sometimes very anxious.  This developed on day 14 ( felt pretty good before that) and had increased.  Right now it's pretty bad.  

 

It was nice to hear that other someone else experienced this and felt better on day 18.  I'm trying to keep focused on that.  Did anyone else have this experience?  I would love to hear if it resolved and when?

 

Trying to stick it out but need a pep talk!

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6 hours ago, Clotheshorse10028 said:

Help!  I'm also on day 16 and my anxiety/depression is heightened.  I am also experiencing waves of nausea.  I never thought I had an eating disorder but I'm so scared that I'm gaining weight on whole30 because I'm not counting calories and watching the scale-two things I've been doing regularly for the past several years.  I'm also just plain sad and sometimes very anxious.  This developed on day 14 ( felt pretty good before that) and had increased.  Right now it's pretty bad.  

 

It was nice to hear that other someone else experienced this and felt better on day 18.  I'm trying to keep focused on that.  Did anyone else have this experience?  I would love to hear if it resolved and when?

 

Trying to stick it out but need a pep talk!

Hi there. I'm sorry you're feeling more anxious and depressed than usual. No one here is a doctor, so if you feel concerned about this, definitely speak to your doctor or a therapist if you have access to one. 

Be sure you're eating enough. I understand the fear of gaining weight, but undereating -- especially if you try to go too low carb or low fat -- can leave you not feeling great. Eat at least one fist-sized serving of starchy vegetable each day (like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root veggetables like parsnips, turnips, beets, carrots; winter squashes like butternut or acorn squash; or plantains). 

When you worry about if you're going to gain weight, try to think about it this way -- you're unlikely to gain much weight in 30 days, especially if you're eating healthy foods and no sugar. You might have some weight gain, especially if you were really restricting calories before, just because your body is suddenly getting all this good stuff, and it's not sure if you're going to keep giving it good stuff, so in case you go back to restricting things, it's holding on to what it's getting for now. But even if that's something that happens, how much do you actually think you'll gain in 30 days? And if at the end, you have gained some, and you feel like any benefits you ultimately do feel from Whole30 are not worth that, you can go back to what you were doing before, and probably lose that in 30 days. So you might spend 60 days slightly heavier than you were before you started Whole30. However, if you embrace the rules and the recommendations for Whole30, there is a possibility that you'll feel really good, that you'll have more energy than normal, that aches and pains you've had before won't bother you any more -- or there's a whole bunch of other testimonials of what other people have experienced, so pick whatever seems relevant, you can read some of these here: https://whole30.com/2011/06/the-whole30-a-z-real-life-testimonials/.  And it is possible you could experience these good things, without gaining weight.  You won't really know what your results will be unless you try. 

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I created an account just because of this thread. I came on the forum to find an answer to what MK0306 is describing . . . I'm day 18 and I am GRUMPY! I eat almost identical to what MK0306 describes (I don't eat meat so really relying on eggs/seafood) and I think I eat enough . . . my stomach says so at least.) I felt really good the first couple of weeks so I came on the forum to figure out why (because I must not be doing something right, right? I'm supposed to feel like crap in the beginning I think.) I had been eating a small portion of blueberry-strawberry-raspberry fruit salad with meal 1 and 2, plus my normal apple with almond butter for a snack, but thought maybe I was eating too much fruit based on some posts I read so I quit that about a week ago. I have since been eating an apple a day (when not with a meal, with almond butter) and sometimes a peach or banana as well. But ever since I quit the fruit salad, my mood has steadily deteriorated. I don't miss any off-plan foods except for alcohol and half & half, and I didn't miss those things to this extent in the first two weeks. I exercise for an hour a day. I am about to add more fruit back because I am grumpy and irritable, feeling more and more restricted, and it sucks. Based on everything I've read, adding back fruit seems like a good place to start. (I definitely am drinking enough water.)

I feel great otherwise. Sleeping great, no more mid-afternoon energy dips, clothes fit better. I am spending quite a lot of time in the kitchen but the sense of accomplishment I am getting making the Whole 30 recipes (and they taste so GOOD) is fantastic! And not complicated! Even though I have to really work up the energy to step into the kitchen to cook and clean, it's worth it (it doesn't come naturally to me, I have always been a keep-it-simple kind of cook--steamed veggies and baked salmon for example.)

Thoughts? I've already gotten a lot out of the replies to MK0306's post, much appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi, orginal poster here. I figured it out a few years ago- Electrolyte imbalance. Low electrolytes affect the adrenals-hello stress. I need to consume 1 tsp of Redmond’s real salt in water a day, salt my water, and have 7-10 cups of leafy veggies or cruciferous a day (potassium). I also use a ton of nutritional yeast (b vitamins).

Since this post from 2015, I’ve done handfuls of whole 30 plus Paleo Keto and feeling great! Hope this helps!! 

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1 hour ago, kirstine said:

But ever since I quit the fruit salad, my mood has steadily deteriorated.

 

1 hour ago, kirstine said:

Based on everything I've read, adding back fruit seems like a good place to start. (I definitely am drinking enough water.)

You'd be better off to try adding more starchy carbs to your meals instead of fruit - most people feel their best with at least one fist sized serving a day but if you are eating that much and still feeling like this, try bumping it up... 

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1 hour ago, SugarcubeOD said:

 

You'd be better off to try adding more starchy carbs to your meals instead of fruit - most people feel their best with at least one fist sized serving a day but if you are eating that much and still feeling like this, try bumping it up... 

Good idea. I looked back on my notes and noticed right around the time I backed off on fruit I also ceased making roasted veggies, which I was doing a lot of in the beginning (brussels, kale, etc.) and eating a lot of. Since then I have been averaging one sweet potato/potato or less a day. I'll up it right away. Thanks!

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