A little refresher:
- On Monday (4/14) I decided to test how my body reacted to consumption of a significant amount of sugar. I found that other than my blood glucose levels going through the roof for a few hours it didn’t have any noticeable effect. I didn’t experience a boost in energy, nor did I experience a sugar crash later. As far as I could tell, my mood was unaffected.
- On Tuesday (4/15) after breakfast I went on a water-only fast to see what the effect would be on me and again experienced minimal effects continuing the fast until Wednesday at 6 pm.
- On Wednesday (4/16) I broke the water fast and when I awoke Thursday (4/17) I was pretty depressed. Now, I get depressed without obvious causation so this wasn’t unusual – but I figured if it was caused by consuming food the most likely culprit was wheat. I hypothesized that if I consumed a large amount of wheat on Thursday I should awake miserable on Friday (4/18) – so I did…and when I awoke the next day I was in a normative mood.
- I decided I’d now try the opposite direction – eliminating wheat from my diet. This began on Friday (4/18) and has continued with some minor exceptions through the present (Friday, 4/25) – one week.
- I have largely eliminated dairy from my diet since Tuesday (4/22) and am continuing to abstain from it through the present.
On Tuesday (4/22) I spiraled very deeply into depression. I had begun studying through the Gospel of Luke in preparation for a new sermon series and, as often happens to me, I began to perceive Scripture in ways that confused and depressed me. Eventually I had to stop the endeavor and I was fairly useless the rest of the day.
I was unsure whether to suspect that my diet was causing this depression, it was without evident causation, or if the fact that I was undertaking a new Scriptural study which involved reading a large portion of Scripture (and the larger the Scripture section the more material to become depressed over).
I hypothesized that if it was the Scripture reading which had caused the depression if I tried again on Wednesday (4/23) I should have a similar experience. The next day I could see the same sort of passages that had caused me so much angst the day before and yet my perception of them was different. I still didn’t understand them, but neither did I feel the need to understand them entirely at that moment…nor did I begin to struggle with anger towards self or God. It was a very different experience…so, it seems likely, that the perception of Scripture in a painful light is a result of rather than the cause of my depression…but it doesn’t tell me what causes the depression – is it the food I consume or is it something else entirely?
I have been unable to make much progress in this area, but I have found it surprisingly easy to cut both wheat and dairy out of my diet. I’ve been eating more rice based products, using almond milk, and eating more salads…Yet I can’t say that I feel any significant difference inside of me. I’d say I’m in a fairly normative (for me) state…certainly not a state of fulfilled peace – which I have experienced a few rare times during my life.
I’m going to close with some objective analysis of the last number of days which may (or may not) provide some further insight:
Here is a key to understanding:
- Sleep is the length of time I slept – in hours/minutes.
- Cont is for continuity meaning did I sleep through the night. In general, I never sleep through the night – but here I am noting instances where I was awake for an extended period of time. This ranges from .75 hrs. to 4 hrs.
- Naps D is for Duration and indicates the combined total length I spent napping that day.
- Naps Q is for Quantity and indicates the number of naps I took that day.
- Exer indicates the amount of exercise I did that day. One pattern I notice here is that since I removed wheat/dairy from my diet my ability to exercise has decreased – and it has been ability. I find my muscles are too fatigued the next day, whereas I’m used to riding my bike for two hours each day.
- Ppl indicates whether I had one or more significant face-to-face interactions with people during the day. The results here surprised me, I thought there would be at least one or two more days where I didn’t interact with folks “in the flesh” so to speak (as opposed to FB, SMS, email, phone).
Maybe someone else will see a pattern I don’t…
At this juncture I’m going to continue with keeping wheat/dairy out of my diet – though I’m not being religious about it – e.g. if there is a small amount of dairy in a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, I’m still eating it…and if there is some gluten in that rice cereal due to cross-contamination, I’m still eating it too.
Besides this I should note that I have also been tracking how my scores change on Lumosity as the days go by…I hypothesize that if there is something having a marked effect on me I should see an increase in my mental performance – but I haven’t seen this.
Additionally I’ve been measuring blood glucose and heart rate on a fairly regular basis and these appear to be as stable as ever. Heart rate tends to be 80-90 BPM, glucose high seventies to low nineties – and this doesn’t fluctuate much whether I am just waking and haven’t eaten in a number of hours or have just eaten.