View Full Version : Preservative-free diet = Huge improvement


Schroeder
04-26-10, 11:11 PM
So I've been off Preservatives about a month now and have seen a huge improvement. I read some articles that talked about how Preservatives in foods and drinks really screw up kids with ADD, so I figured that would apply to adults with ADHD-I as well. Sure did! I've seen a pretty huge improvement in my fatigue levels over the past few weeks - I used to feel like there was an anchor on me before, always making me tired, but now I'm just regular, plain-old tired when I get tired. It is also easier for me to focus.

The jist of it is, I only ate very basic foods. Nothing but water to drink - no juices even. Very basic foods - homemade bread, meat with salt and pepper, no complex, pre-packaged spices. It was pretty difficult to start with - you have to watch EVERYTHING you put into your mouth. Absolutely anything that goes into your body, you have to read the ingredients. So I just did real basic foods - fruits, veggies, meats, water. Even the meat I was careful with - I got Boar's Head all natural meats (a little more expensive but no preservatives and additives and crap).

The end result is that it eliminated my fatigue. Like COMPLETELY eliminated my fatigue. I still get tired, but not like oh-my-gosh-dragging fatigue, like an anchor was just behind my eyes kind of fatigue. I also have a much easier time focusing. Now, don't get me wrong - I am not cured of ADHD-I. Rather, I'm just not behind the curve on the exhaustion thing now, and I have an easier time focusing - noticably easier - which I think is mainly due to not being drop-dead tired anymore. And HOLY COW is that a big deal to me!

I don't know if this would impact anyone else here, or if it's just me that's allergic somehow to preservatives, but from the studies I've read on artificial foods in ADD kids, I think it'd be worth a shot. Keep in mind that you really need to do it 100% to see the benefits - pretty much anything sold as food now has some sort of fake crap in it, so you'll need to keep it real basic for a couple of weeks. I've reintroduced preservatives 3 times in the last month and it really hit me how much of a difference it makes to me.

So here's my list so far of "things that help manage my ADHD-I":

1. Go to bed around 9:00pm (and go to sleep listening to an audiobook)
2. Eat a preservative-free diet
3. Structure my environment (clean workspaces with tools at hand)

Those three things have really made the biggest difference so far, I think. The bedtime issue is still huge for me, and this new diet thing is helping immensely, and of course having my environment be distraction-free really helps my brain de-scramble a ton. Anyway just thought I'd share. Give it a try if you can and report back!

Has anyone else tried a 100% Preservative-free diet? If so, what were your results?

Sit-n-Spin
04-27-10, 01:06 AM
It's hard to do. I'm having trouble getting my husband and mother (re: my son) on board with it. They just don't get it.

fracturedstory
04-27-10, 04:45 AM
Preservatives don't just make me tired, they make me ill too so I don't eat a lot of them. I'm not sure if I should go completely preservative free. I usually drink water and eat a balanced diet and I've noticed when I eat pre-packaged food that I do get sluggish and ill. Well the sick feeling is just stomach pain which doesn't last long. The tiredness can last a while.

If I had the money and discipline I'd go completely GFCF (gluten free/ casein free). The only time I've ever been able to sleep is on that diet. I was less irritable too.

Schroeder
04-27-10, 06:06 AM
Preservatives don't just make me tired, they make me ill too so I don't eat a lot of them. I'm not sure if I should go completely preservative free. I usually drink water and eat a balanced diet and I've noticed when I eat pre-packaged food that I do get sluggish and ill. Well the sick feeling is just stomach pain which doesn't last long. The tiredness can last a while.

If I had the money and discipline I'd go completely GFCF (gluten free/ casein free). The only time I've ever been able to sleep is on that diet. I was less irritable too.

Yup, previously on Preservatives, I could not take naps - they left me feeling disgusting. I would get nauseous and have a headache for hours and hours afterwards. Now I'm fine (although I'm not so fatigued 24/7 so naps are slowly becoming a thing of the past). So in addition to removing the fatigue and improving my focus somewhat, I don't feel gross after naps, which is super awesome.

Like yesterday, I had a super long day at work and just came home and crashed, woke up, and felt absolutely fine, which was a HUGE change for me. Previously I would have been exhausted, unable to not cave into a nap, and then would have paid for it immediately afterwards. It used to be that any nap more than about 20 minutes would do that to me - 20 minutes was pretty much my limit for a catnap before the ickyness would kick in. Now I know it's the preservatives.

Schroeder
04-27-10, 06:08 AM
It's hard to do. I'm having trouble getting my husband and mother (re: my son) on board with it. They just don't get it.

It's very difficult to do. I found out a few months ago I'm allergic to HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) - it was giving me constant headaches and it was in EVERYTHING from my bread to my fruit juice. That was somewhat difficult to remove from my diet, but that got rid of the headaches, and going off the preservatives fixed the rest. I sleep so much better now, too - I wake up refreshed instead of still exhausted. It's been a really huge change for me. Again it hasn't cured my ADD completely, but because I'm not so fatigued all the time now, it's much easier to force myself to focus on a task, which I really appreciate.

Amtram
04-27-10, 09:17 AM
I avoid most pre-packaged foods anyway, so the number of food items in my house with preservatives, artificial flavors and colors is pretty limited, but I've been doing this for so long it would be hard to say if I had ever noticed a difference. I was also eating mostly vegetarian (some fish, cruelty-free genuinely organic eggs and dairy). Still need meds.

The one thing I've done recently that does seem to help is going back to eating meat. It was a difficult leap, but I can get meat and poultry that's been humanely raised on a local farm without too much of a drive. I had read a lot here about the importance of a high protein diet for ADD, and my glucose levels are inching up, too. It doesn't help A LOT, but there's a noticeable enough difference to keep doing it.

sarek
04-27-10, 09:30 AM
I usually drink water and eat a balanced diet and I've noticed when I eat pre-packaged food that I do get sluggish and ill. Well the sick feeling is just stomach pain which doesn't last long. The tiredness can last a while.



Yes, they do that to me too, especially the stomach pain. No one ever believes me when I tell them that they make me belly-heavy.

meridian
04-27-10, 09:59 AM
I've never heard of this before. Fascinating results, Schroeder. Congrats.

Are there any studies?

Or is "Big Food" suppressing it all?

Retromancer
04-27-10, 10:12 AM
So how is a single working poor person is supposed to pull this off?

Dizfriz
04-27-10, 10:29 AM
I've never heard of this before. Fascinating results, Schroeder. Congrats.

Are there any studies?

Or is "Big Food" suppressing it all?
Most of the work has been involved with the Feingold Diet.

The results seem to indicate that it works for some and that is good but unfortunately the numbers who show success are small.

It may well be worth a try to see if you are one of those who will respond positively.

A good article on alternative treatments can be found at
http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/complementary/WWK6


Dizfriz

Schroeder
04-27-10, 03:57 PM
I've never heard of this before. Fascinating results, Schroeder. Congrats.

Are there any studies?

Or is "Big Food" suppressing it all?

Thanks! It hasn't been easy and it's still not what I'd call super easy yet - I have to literally watch EVERYTHING I put in my mouth, even spices. I originally got started on it because (1) one day I noticed I was feeling good for no apparent reason (which is a strange thing in my world, lol), so I made a list of what I had eaten and realized that I hadn't had anything boxed/canned/factory-made, and (2) my wife takes care of an austistic child during the week and we had read numerous reports about how food affects them, and figured it was worth a shot on me. I'd also read studies & reports here and there about how eating a clean diet affects people with ADHD. I don't have any bookmarks handy, but here is some interesting reading:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/food-agency-calls-for-ban-on-six-artificial-colours-807806.html

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1659835,00.html

The difficult part is that you have to do it 100%. If I eat even one food item that has preservatives and other crap in it, I can tell because I get extremely tired and do not feel too good after sleeping. It's not like world changingly bad, but my brain just kind of slips into my old coma and it's no fun. So doing it 99% doesn't really work, you really have to do it 100% to see results and give it a week or two to let your body clear out the previous stuff. It's really not easy lol. But I'm never going on them again, ever, no matter how hard it is. I LOVE not being dragged down by fatigue!

I also don't know if this is an allergy of some sort that just *I* have, or if this is something that affects people with ADHD in general. I've got a friend with a young kid with hyperactive ADHD and if you give him anything sugar-filled or processed, he just goes bananas, so to me that seems like a pretty clear indicator. Except that for us, we get uber tired lol. I think preservatives are my Kryptonite, haha. I'd be interested in hearing results from anyone who'd like to go off them 100% - I think us, here on this forum, are the only ones doing any real research on ADHD-I. I've learned so much from here, it's just been such a blessing having this forum available. I'm not cured yet, but I've found some really great steps I can take like this one to help me feel better on a daily basis, which makes a big difference in my life.

Schroeder
04-27-10, 04:04 PM
I avoid most pre-packaged foods anyway, so the number of food items in my house with preservatives, artificial flavors and colors is pretty limited, but I've been doing this for so long it would be hard to say if I had ever noticed a difference. I was also eating mostly vegetarian (some fish, cruelty-free genuinely organic eggs and dairy). Still need meds.

The one thing I've done recently that does seem to help is going back to eating meat. It was a difficult leap, but I can get meat and poultry that's been humanely raised on a local farm without too much of a drive. I had read a lot here about the importance of a high protein diet for ADD, and my glucose levels are inching up, too. It doesn't help A LOT, but there's a noticeable enough difference to keep doing it.

A high protein diet seemed to help me too. I was into triathlon training a couple years ago and was eating a high-protein diet and it really boosted my energy levels. But I was also making most of my own food, which meant fewer preservatives, so that could be it too - I dunno. I think just eating healthier overall is a good thing lol.

Schroeder
04-27-10, 04:14 PM
So how is a single working poor person is supposed to pull this off?

First, you'll need a can-do attitude. Seriously. It's not easy, but if you believe you can do it, then you won't quit when it gets hard. I was eating the same food day after day because I wasn't creative enough in the kitchen to figure out what else I could eat that was preservative-free. At first it's really depressing because you can't eat your normal foods, but I felt so much better so quickly that I stopped caring lol. And without a plan, which I'll talk about in a second, that can-do attitude goes to pot because then you're faced with hunger and nothing handy to eat.

The great thing is, preservative-free food is usually pretty cheap. Canned or frozen veggies, fresh fruits & veggies, canned chicken & tuna, bakery-made bread, etc. It costs $5 for a Subway footlong - I can get 2 or 3 days worth of sandwiches out of $5 if I make it at home. $7 worth of oatmeal lasts about a month for me. My buddies at work say "buying that much meat & fresh fruit/veggies is expensive" while they go blow $8 a day on a Big Mac, fries, and soda. That's $40/week just for lunch, not even counting breakfast, dinner, or snacks. I just use a small George Foreman grill to cook my meat (like chicken) and I also like to do my sandwiches panini-style on it.

So second, you'll need a detailed plan. Having a shopping list and knowing *exactly* what to get helps a ton, and knowing what to cook every day helps a ton. I make all my food before work. Today I had a sandwich, a pita, a sweet potato, etc. All real simple & cheap to make, with plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. So it's very doable. My current food bill, if I don't go to Sam's Club, is just under $50 a week. If I go to the bulk place, then it's $37 - $40ish ($150-$175 vs. $200 a month). I've got a buddy spending over $900 a month on food just because he eats out for lunch and dinner every day at fast food restaurants (about $15 each trip for a couple burgers, fries, big soda, etc.).

So it's doable - if you want it to be.

Schroeder
04-27-10, 04:23 PM
Most of the work has been involved with the Feingold Diet.

The results seem to indicate that it works for some and that is good but unfortunately the numbers who show success are small.

It may well be worth a try to see if you are one of those who will respond positively.

A good article on alternative treatments can be found at
http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/complementary/WWK6


Dizfriz

Wow, never heard of that. Pretty neat. And seriously, if you ask any parent of a kid who has ADHD, they'll tell you right away that sugar and stuff affects them (although I did have one friend who was in total denial that sugar affect his hyperactive ADHD son, because both he and his wife ate a lot of sugar/junk food and didn't want to give it up, so they didn't view it as a factor at all).

I don't think it affects everybody. My brother can eat a whole bag of cookies and he just grows more muscles, lol. I do that, I'm passed out shortly thereafter, then feel like crap when I wake up, and just keep feeling exhausted. But from what I've seen with hyperactive kids, sugar/preservatives definitely affect them, and from my few ADHD-I friends locally it hits us as well, just in a different way (exhaustion instead of massive energy).

Amtram
04-27-10, 06:59 PM
It takes a lot of sugar to affect me, but just a drop or two of high fructose corn syrup, and I get shaky, feel palpitations, just overall unwell. Try avoiding THAT nasty ingredient nowadays! One of the most insidious sources is store-baked bread. You would think it's nice and healthy, better than that stuff in the bread aisle, but the stores buy the dough premade from a manufacturer and just bake it in the store - and it's loaded with HFCS.

In fact, we were having an ice cream night, and since all the toppings in the store have HFCS, I made chocolate and caramel syrup from scratch. Shortly after dessert, hubby and I both start feeling that shakiness. . .he goes to the recycling bin, and pulls out the bottle of the regular corn syrup that I used. . .and there it is! THEY PUT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IN CORN SYRUP!!!

Schroeder
04-27-10, 07:16 PM
It takes a lot of sugar to affect me, but just a drop or two of high fructose corn syrup, and I get shaky, feel palpitations, just overall unwell. Try avoiding THAT nasty ingredient nowadays! One of the most insidious sources is store-baked bread. You would think it's nice and healthy, better than that stuff in the bread aisle, but the stores buy the dough premade from a manufacturer and just bake it in the store - and it's loaded with HFCS.

In fact, we were having an ice cream night, and since all the toppings in the store have HFCS, I made chocolate and caramel syrup from scratch. Shortly after dessert, hubby and I both start feeling that shakiness. . .he goes to the recycling bin, and pulls out the bottle of the regular corn syrup that I used. . .and there it is! THEY PUT HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IN CORN SYRUP!!!

Yup, insidious doesn't even BEGIN to describe it. I've found HFCS in everything from my bread to my ketchup. I am extremely fortunate to live near a Whole Foods store, so I can find alternatives pretty easily (albeit expensively). It's a real pain, but my "safe foods" list is growing, so that's nice.

Amtram
04-28-10, 08:18 AM
You know where else I also found it? Vanilla extract! I do a lot of baking (the kids in the high school's Marching Band have dubbed me "Cookie Goddess". . .) and when I picked up a store brand and looked at the ingredients. . .This wasn't even imitation vanilla, which is anathema to me.

Whole Foods is about a 40 minute drive for me. I go up there on occasion when I need something that has to stay cold. Hubby works close to one, so if we need something that can sit in the car, he'll pick some up. They're the only place I can get graham crackers without HFCS that don't taste like regular crackers, and decent canned tomato products without salt.

I wrote a letter to Wegman's a while ago, too, about this. They said that they were working on finding a manufacturer who met their standards to begin producing store brand products without it, but that was two years ago.

The list of additives, preservatives, bad fats, sweeteners, and salt is nearly endless. Even if you find a packaged product that doesn't have them, you need to keep checking the label, because they don't announce on the front, "NOW WITH ADDED SODIUM BENZOATE!!!"

I have two teens and a husband, 6 cats, a dog, a pond full of fish, and a busy schedule. I can't always avoid a convenience item or two. I don't think I could go 100% preservative free the way you did. I still believe, though, that something is better than nothing, whether it specifically addresses my ADD or not.

Krys.
04-28-10, 10:17 AM
That makes really good sense actually. Our bodies are not designed to process that stuff. I was very blessed to have married a hunter/fisherman so we eat quite a bit of venison and catfish. We also often raise our own pork so most of the meat we eat around here is free of all of that.

Garbanzo Dude
04-29-10, 03:49 AM
I too agree....it does help out when you take out all the unesscary chemicals out of your food and start to eat real whole foods

Schroeder
05-02-10, 02:03 AM
Today, I slept in until 10:00am. I sleep in a lot on weekends, but it always ruins my day - I always feel drained & exhausted and have a hard time getting going. It's like over-sleeping is worse for me than not getting enough lol.

Not anymore! Woke up and felt GREAT!! HUGE improvement! I'm usually a mess when I'm at home and I don't have to "do" anything like go to work or school, but today I took my wife down to the beach and we walked around for half the day. And I felt GREAT! All I had was normal fatigue, plain old "I've been walking outside in the sun" tiredness, no draining-anchor-death fatigue! What a huge difference it makes! I feel like I can ENJOY my life now!

I also feel like managing my ADHD is now about reprogramming my habits - I don't have to fight constantly-being-tired syndrome anymore, as long as I avoid preservatives (and go to bed at a reasonable hour, of course). Between having an early bedtime, a super clean diet, daily exercise, and managing my stress levels by staying on top of my life, I think that's the best I can do as far as managing my "ADD disease" as humanely possible, so it's up to habit changes now. I can't fix the rest of the ADD, but I can manage it. Things like clarifying my tasks, keeping short lists of to-do items for the day and having a *finite* list instead of an endless one, etc.

Boy this has really made a big difference in my life :)

eraser
05-02-10, 11:16 PM
Wow, all of this really makes a LOT of sense. I too notice a drastic difference in my life depending in what i eat.. and I've been toying with the HFCS-free idea. I think now's the time to push a little harder and make it happen.

One question, do you take meds?

Imnapl
05-02-10, 11:47 PM
Shroeder, you mention debilitating fatigue in almost every post. Fatigue is not a symptom of ADHD - inattentive or otherwise. When was the last time you had a complete blood work-up and physical? Have you mentioned your fatigue to your doctor?

FrazzleDazzle
05-03-10, 09:19 AM
Schroeder, you might do a search function (http://www.addforums.com/forums/search.php?searchid=1300938&photoplog_searchinfo=1&photoplog_searchquery=feingold)for Feingold on the forums here, there has been some posts about it, and one member, Tilly, has been quite kind in sharing her experience with the Feingold diet with her son here on the forums. Feingold is a very structured diet, also with some emphasis on preservatives. It might give you some more helpful ideas if you are sensitive to food additives and chemicals.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with your diet modifications.

Schroeder
05-03-10, 09:24 PM
Wow, all of this really makes a LOT of sense. I too notice a drastic difference in my life depending in what i eat.. and I've been toying with the HFCS-free idea. I think now's the time to push a little harder and make it happen.

One question, do you take meds?

No meds at all, not even supplements.

Schroeder
05-03-10, 09:33 PM
Shroeder, you mention debilitating fatigue in almost every post. Fatigue is not a symptom of ADHD - inattentive or otherwise. When was the last time you had a complete blood work-up and physical? Have you mentioned your fatigue to your doctor?

According to the Wikipedia entry for ADHD-I, fatigue (lethargy) is actually a symptom of ADHD-I:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD_predominantly_inattentive#DSM-IV_criteria

In addition, most people with ADHD-I seem to struggle with fatigue as well: (hyperactives, of course, do not - haha)

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68886

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=77930

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75439

Having trouble going to bed early due to high distractibility (and having ridiculous energy at night, for no reason lol) and just fatigue in general seem to contribute to the whole "no energy" issue, which seems prevalent in people struggling with ADHD-I. From what I've studied on sleep deficit, most of our problems seem to lie from exactly that - a sleep deficit. Because we are easily distracted and because our chemistry is tuned a bit differently than other people's, we are more prone to going to bed later and not getting enough sleep, which in turn leads to a sleep deficit, which offers the wonderful benefits of memory impairment, foggy brain, all-day tiredness, and much, much more :D

I've seen plenty of doctors and have tried various medication to no avail. It wasn't until going off foods with preservatives last month that I saw any relief. I'm not draggingly tired anymore. I can't tell you how GOOD it feels to say that! I waited a few weeks before sharing this because usually stuff only works for a week or two then I go back to normal, but I'm still cruising and I'm on week 5 now I believe. I still get tired easily - I have to go to bed at a reasonable hour - but I think now I'm what I would consider "normal" as far as my sleep requirement goes. I just never felt "caught up" before - always tired, always fatigued, always drained. Turns out to be an insidious food intolerance. Oye.

Schroeder
05-03-10, 09:46 PM
Schroeder, you might do a search function (http://www.addforums.com/forums/search.php?searchid=1300938&photoplog_searchinfo=1&photoplog_searchquery=feingold)for Feingold on the forums here, there has been some posts about it, and one member, Tilly, has been quite kind in sharing her experience with the Feingold diet with her son here on the forums. Feingold is a very structured diet, also with some emphasis on preservatives. It might give you some more helpful ideas if you are sensitive to food additives and chemicals.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with your diet modifications.

Yeah - I had never heard of the Feingold diet before this thread, and I'm really surprised I hadn't stumbled upon it before. I don't know why I didn't go after this more seriously before - I've got a good friend with a hyperactive ADHD kid and he just goes NUTS when he gets anything artificial or with sugar in him. Meltdowns left and right, crazy behavior - never thought it would be linked to my fatigue.

I'm starting to think there's a 3-way switch in people - Hyperactive, Normal, and Lethargic. Most people have the Normal switch, but the Hyperactive ADHD kids get that switch flipped most of the time, especially with triggers like processed food, and those of us with ADHD-I get hammered with fatigue and brain fog instead of that hyperactivity.

I'm very interested to see the results of a preservative-free diet in other people with ADHD-I (any takers?? :D). This may be solely on me - just a personal food allergy - or it could be one of those hidden root causes to a major ADHD-I problem. I don't know. I do have other food allergies, so I wouldn't rule that out. I've only got a few friends with ADHD-I locally and only one wants to try it, so that's not much of a test pool, but I'll report back with the results in a month or so to see if it's helped him at all.

I'm just happy I'm not exhausted 24/7 anymore. This past Saturday I went down to the beach with my wife and just walked around the whole day. THE WHOLE DAY! And I was the instigator - I usually have no energy to even finish the laundry, and I was absolutely fine the entire day! It was ridiculous! I haven't felt like that since I was a kid - just totally, completely...normal. No anchors under my eyelids. No mind-numbing fatigue. I'm sold, haha. No preservatives for me ever, ever, ever again :p

Schroeder
05-03-10, 09:53 PM
Also to anyone looking to try this - you have to do it 100% across the board. I tried having just a little bit of processed food a couple times and the fatigue came right back. I haven't nailed down which preservative(s) causes it, and I don't really want to - it's just easier to avoid any kind of food that reads like a chemistry set, lol. Well, I do want to know exactly, but I've found quite a few that hit me that I think I might as well just stick to fresh, homemade foods instead.

I've been VERY selective about what I put in my mouth: I switched to Boar's Head meats for my sandwiches (stupidly expensive, but zero preservatives, so I know it's safe), fresh, no-preservative bread from a local bakery, and lots of fresh veggies. To save effort, I just throw all the veggies in a steamer in the morning and then put them in Smart Spin containers (like Tupperware but with all the same lid, haha). I've been drinking only water and nothing else. Keeping it pretty basic. I feel normal all day long now - no fatigue drains. It's really great. Not really easy yet but really great results.

peripatetic
05-03-10, 11:08 PM
hello, hello,

i wanted to chime in on this as it's something i've also tried to do, but with varying degrees of success. should mention that i'm not 'inattentive' type--well, i *am*, but i'm choice 'c' (all of the above;)).

anyway, the one thing i have completely omitted from my diet, which made a significant difference in how i feel at the end of the day, is artificial sweetener.

shroeder, i'm confident you're right that total elimination of preservatives is the best route. i hope to get there one day in a more step-by-step fashion... ah, i dare to dream:)

i'm not exactly lacking in energy, but i found a big difference in how 'weathered' i feel by just getting rid of the sweeteners, which i primarily consumed in the form of diet drinks. i would have one or two throughout the day and always feel a bit foggier and even grumpier than i expected. i'm not sure if they're dehydrating or if the actual chemical is to blame, but i feel clearer overall as a result.

i mention it because i always struggled to add supplements (i shudder at the thought of how much i've spent on unused fish oil caps, flax oil, deluxe multivitamins, etc, etc, etc) and find it easier to omit things. i also feared being able to execute a complete diet overhaul given my 'instant gratification' tendencies.

ridding my diet of just that one substance, though, made a big difference and feeling better because of it has encouraged me to start being more selective in other areas.

i also have a question for you, shroeder: have you eliminated all commercially raised meats and dairy, too? that's the first step i took (unrelated to adhd) and i find that eating them now, in almost any quantity, does a real number on me. so i'm curious about your experience in that area.

cheers:)

peripatetic
05-03-10, 11:48 PM
hello again:)

after a re-read i realize i may have been unclear on two points:

1. caffeinated sodas *are* dehydrating (i know that much;)), but i am unsure if the weathered feeling is the result of dehydration itself (always an uphill battle given my stimulant medications) or if the actual sweetener was to blame. i also want to note that i imbibed in the diet drinks not for the caffeine, but for the 'crispness' of the carbonation, and choose diet over regular as the latter is too thickly sweet for my taste (it's what i imagine going vertical on a squeeze bottle of maple syrup would taste like, except without the maple-y goodness).

if others are similarly attracted to the crispness of the carbonation, i found that cold sparkling water with a touch of juice (anything, really, but i like lemon, cranberry and pomegranate most) gives the same effect.

2. with the commercial meats, when i say they do a number on me i mean gastro-intestinally. i'm curious, schroeder, if you've done the same, though, and found any more specifically adhd-related benefits.

cheers:)

FrazzleDazzle
05-04-10, 01:03 AM
Schroeder, I'm going to start reading my labels again more carefully! Thanks for this thread. I am also going to check out the meats at our local whole foods market as well.

Do you also purchase organic produce, or know if you react to any of the chemical residues in non-organically grown produce?

stef
05-04-10, 09:21 AM
Also to anyone looking to try this - you have to do it 100% across the board. I tried having just a little bit of processed food a couple times and the fatigue came right back.

Actually - I feel better just cutting back on some processed foods. Maybe since you're really allergic to something?

either way it's worth a try and way better for you. the thing that's terrible for me, is packaged cookies.

Really good: fresh pineapple! I thought it was a coincidence but I feel great every time I have some (which is a couple of times a week when I have time to go to this sandwich/deli type place for lunch - it's a bit far from my office)

Imnapl
05-04-10, 09:21 AM
Here's another reason to kick the soda habit. (http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/04/26/phosphorous.sodas.and.processed.foods.accelerates. signs.aging.say.harvard.scientists)

Schroeder
05-04-10, 06:07 PM
i also have a question for you, shroeder: have you eliminated all commercially raised meats and dairy, too? that's the first step i took (unrelated to adhd) and i find that eating them now, in almost any quantity, does a real number on me. so i'm curious about your experience in that area.

I'm allergic to dairy, so that's been out for a long time. I mostly do Boar's Head meats because they are preservative-free, or chicken or ground bison (buffalo). I'm fortunate to live near a Whole Foods so finding crap-free stuff is pretty easy (just $$$ :().

Schroeder
05-04-10, 06:15 PM
Schroeder, I'm going to start reading my labels again more carefully! Thanks for this thread. I am also going to check out the meats at our local whole foods market as well.

Do you also purchase organic produce, or know if you react to any of the chemical residues in non-organically grown produce?

I don't shop for organic at all (it doesn't bother me either way). It's all a myth anyway - just companies capitalizing on marketing. There's plenty of stuff on google if you want to read about what the actual requirements are for something to say organic, 100% organic, etc. It's pretty ridiculous. But no, I don't seem affected by pesticides etc. Just being off preservatives seems to have done the trick (thankfully!).

Schroeder
05-04-10, 06:20 PM
Actually - I feel better just cutting back on some processed foods. Maybe since you're really allergic to something?

either way it's worth a try and way better for you. the thing that's terrible for me, is packaged cookies.

Really good: fresh pineapple! I thought it was a coincidence but I feel great every time I have some (which is a couple of times a week when I have time to go to this sandwich/deli type place for lunch - it's a bit far from my office)

Yeah, I felt better getting off some, but I felt the best - like totally non-fatigued - going totally off them. And yes, I'm pretty sure it's an allergy, I have a few already (such as dairy). That's why I'm not sure if this Preservative thing is an ADHD thing or just a "me" thing (since I already have other food allergies) - I'd love for some more people to go 100% for a few weeks and see how it goes. That's a pretty tall order but I'm really interested to see if it helps or not.

You know what's funny...sugar doesn't give me a sugar-high, it gives me a normal-high. Whenever I would eat sugar, I would feel good for a little while then get even MORE tired later on. I mean, I know sugar drops you off, but it was just nice to feel somewhat normal (albeit not hyperactive, haha). Fruit sugar included.

Schroeder
05-05-10, 12:21 AM
General question - do you feel better when you DON'T eat? That was my first major clue - I always felt better when I wouldn't eat for the majority of the day. Of course it takes a few days to clear food out of your body completely so I never really got the full effect, but it was very noticable: not eating meant I felt mostly fine. Mainly when I would skip breakfast & lunch and not eat until dinner.

Anyone feel that way? Or not.

dvdnvwls
12-22-12, 01:04 PM
So how is a single working poor person is supposed to pull this off?
It's not easy for anybody, but clearly no time and no money makes it far harder. It's a "something's got to give" situation.

To hyper-over-simplify the instructions, don't ever have fast food and don't eat or drink anything that comes in a package with a nutrition label. Of course it's not that simple, of course there's more to it than that. But only eating things your great-grandmother would recognize as "ordinary food" goes a very long way to helping.

dvdnvwls
12-22-12, 02:30 PM
I don't shop for organic at all (it doesn't bother me either way). It's all a myth anyway - just companies capitalizing on marketing. There's plenty of stuff on google if you want to read about what the actual requirements are for something to say organic, 100% organic, etc. It's pretty ridiculous. But no, I don't seem affected by pesticides etc. Just being off preservatives seems to have done the trick (thankfully!).EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize I was resurrecting a two-year-old thread. Too late for me to erase my post.


My take on this, for what it's worth (and that means probably not much):

- I think organic farming as it was initially conceived is valid and very important (perhaps essential) as a way of managing land, plants, and animals. I believe it is primarily about safe, sane, humane, sustainable farming methods, and that any potential increase in food quality is only a side effect.

- Borrowing and industrializing a few of the practices of real organic farming without adopting the philosophy behind it, encoding that little list of practices to a set of regulations and qualifications, with regulatory loopholes, pressure to meet shareholder profit demands, and emphasis on imaginary superiority of the food in order to gain marketing traction, is a huge dangerous embarrassing mess.

- Labelling and marketing of "organic" foods is simply a bad joke.

- People have been led to believe that this imaginary superiority of the food is what organic is about. Anyone intelligent sees through that lie and discovers that the food is really no different in any measurable way, but most then conclude that "organic is irrelevant". Few get around to thinking "maybe the marketing presentation has nothing to do with what organic is actually about" - namely, a kind of farming, and a philosophy behind it - NOT a kind of food.

Schroeder
01-18-13, 02:08 AM
EDIT: Sorry, didn't realize I was resurrecting a two-year-old thread. Too late for me to erase my post.

No problem, and I was just referencing this thread in another thread:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118076

So in a nutshell, I'm basically cured. Well, "managing my condition" - it's sort of like you're never cured of breathing, but you don't have to run around gasping for air all the time ;) So I found out I'm allergic to corn (as well as dairy and gluten). And it turns out corn has a million-item end-product list:

http://www.cornallergens.com/list/corn-allergen-list.php

Vitamin C? From corn. And it's in everything. Absorbic acid? Same story. Did I mention it's in table salt? Oh yes - dextrose, for anti-clumping purposes (dextrose is derived from corn). Even stuff in alternative foods, like gluten-free cookies, are made with xanthan gum, which is made from corn and absolutely bothers me!

So 3 years ago when I started this thread, I was on the right track, and last year I finally identified what it was. It's very difficult at first to avoid corn - I had to learn how to cook a lot more stuff, and now almost entirely cook every meal myself, at home. Plus I already struggled with dairy (asthma, migraines, etc.) and gluten (I'd say gluten probably caused 80-90% of my ADHD-I; corn accounted for the rest).

So basically my brain was fried because of food. Hidden food, too - disguised under multiple sneaky names and shoved in every product on the shelf! So no more fatigue, no more brain fog, no more inability to live how I want consistently. I have to avoid sugar as well (makes my brain de-focus) and I have to get enough sleep, but I'm a fairly normal human being now, instead of a walking mess. It's an absolutely huge & phenomenal difference!

Hope that helps anyone poking their head in here. And FYI, none of my allergies show up on ANY allergy tests, and out of the zillions of doctors I saw, no one came out and said gee, I think you have food allergies. I mean, they just don't know. Even the allergists I saw didn't know! So I think this may be a large, undiscovered field of medical science, because how do you test food and correlate it for inability to focus in the body? There's no hard test for that, no blood I can give that says "gee this guy can't even fathom doing the dishes when he eats foods X or Y because he's so fatigued and incapable of motivating himself".

So the good news is, I'm not a hypochondriac. I'm not crazy. I'm not lazy. I was just struggling against an unknown problem, which took my entire life to diagnose (and self-diagnose, at that!), and caused a multitude of problems. I was a mess and now I'm not. That's all I can really say about it - life is GOOD now! Good luck everyone! :)