Monthly Archives: September 2014

026-Three (3) Unintended Consequences You May WANT to Experience

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Dominos fall by David Castillo Dominici fdpSometimes when we think of unintended consequences we get a negative picture in mind.  In this case it is all positive.

Food and exercise will not by themselves fix PTSD.  Nevertheless, they can be powerful allies in the battle.

In March 2014 I set out on a campaign to defeat diabetes.  I made significant changes to how I lived my life.  These are some of the most significant changes:

What I put into my mouth:

I will mention a little about this below.  However, my new show, starting October 1, 2014, “Defeating Diabetes” will go into detail.  I added a lot of the healthy and removed all of the unhealthy.

In times of stress we often turn toward what we call comfort food.  Many of these foods actually make it more difficult for our brains to function.

 How looked at and thought about food:

Long term change will only happen if we change the way we think about things.  Education, advertising, and events help wire our brains.  Sometimes we need to rewire the circuits between the ears.  Those dealing with PTSD can understand the importance of rewiring the thinking patterns of the brain.  The same holds true for making other significant changes.

 My activity level:

I started with only being able to do about a 5 minute stroll.  I consistently increased time and pace and added additional activities.  It has been a long slow progress.  But if you do not start somewhere you will get nowhere.  About 80 days ago I started the original, much less intense, P90 by Tony Horton.  By the 90 day mark I should have conquered level 1-2.  Yes, it has taken all this time to be able to adequately do half of the program.  So for me it will be P180!

Three (3) unintended consequences:

When I set out to battle and defeat diabetes I was not thinking about what affect that might have on my personal struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress.  Here are three of the consequences that, in my opinion, have helped me better deal with PTSD:

1.  Better sleep

The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated.  People dealing with PTSD often find it difficult to sleep.  I am no exception.  Hyper vigilance, nightmares, and anxieties from other sources attempt to rob us of this life sustaining essential.

Changing what I ate and did during the day have significantly impacted what my mind and body can do at night.  All nightmares are not gone.  Other disturbances have not completely vanished.  But, the quality and quantity of sleep has significantly improved.  Perhaps this has helped with the second unintended consequence.

2.  Improved brain function

My thinking is clearer.  My ability to concentrate has improved.  I experience much less “brain fog”.

3.  Better mood

I am starting from a point of being much less on edge.  So when things, present or past, arise I am in a better position to address them in a healthy way.

Why have these improvements been helpful?

My theory:

  • My body has the building blocks it needs to function better and heal. I now have the minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that my body needs to survive, heal and thrive.
  • Physical activity has been shown to have a positive effect on brain chemistry.
  • These changes have helped improve sleep and sleep helps improved the brain and body.
  • Now better able to make affective use of other tools—including therapy

Getting started: 1 and 2

  1. A good place to start is eating more greens—especially green leafy vegetables. Joel Fuhrman, MD, recommend a pound of raw and a pound of cooked every day.  That is a lot.  You do not have to start with that much.

Start with a 1/4 pound (or more) of fresh, raw vegetables.  Here is a list to pick up at the market:

  • Any combination of the following: kale, spinach, chard, collard, arugula, romaine, baby green mix, spring mix, herb mix.
  • Herbs: cilantro, parsley and dill
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Bell Peppers: green, red, yellow
  • Purple or green cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Whatever else you may like…

Make a big salad.  Add the healthiest dressing you can.  Eat the salad before your lunch or dinner.  Add in a large portion of cooked vegetables and enjoy the rest of your meal.

  1. Start getting more active. Just a little more each day.

(Check with your health care provider before starting or significantly increasing your physical activity.)

Food and exercise will not by themselves fix PTSD.  Nevertheless, they can be powerful allies in the battle.

Have you ever experienced a positive unintended consequence?  If so, please share the good news.

(Photo by David Castillo Dominici on freedigitalphoto.net)