Greetings and welcome to the forum!
Baidarka wrote:I have begun interacting with this site after nearly a year as a member of the Fuhrman site. During that year, I have completely revamped my diet, and begun eating as he recommends, which as far as I can see is what this site recommends, with the exception of grains, which McDougall seems to be more comfortable with than Dr. Fuhrman. The reason I switched to this plan is because I like grains, and I find them far more satisfying than just the "beans and greens" regime. The morning kale/fruit smoothie made me more hungry, rather than less.
Congratulations on all the changes you have made and your commitment to them.
In the satiety studies, which were just discussed in this forum recently, bulky starches such as the boiled potato (which was number one by far) were the single most filling food both short them and long term, both subjectively and objectively, on a per calorie basis. Hence, a starch based diet, fills you up on less calories and/or keeps you fuller on the same calories.
Baidarka wrote: I also take one Mobic daily), for several years, and I hope to wean off them, but so far have not been able to do so, because they help me to stay at least moderately active. Exercise, with my condition, is extremely difficult, but I try.
In relation to medications, these are decisions you have to make for yourself along with the input of a qualified MD who you trust. Sometimes, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Baidarka wrote:I tend to struggle with depression; this has been lifelong, and I realize that the use of these drugs does not help, but I was unable to just go "cold turkey" as Dr. Fuhrman thought I should. Yet the diet alone is not working. Can you offer any suggestions? Perhaps eating more grains, as Dr. McDougall recommends, will help; perhaps not. I would appreciate your suggestions.
The irony here is exercise is one of the best approaches to deal with depressions. If you can be active, in whatever way you can, within your limitations, for at least 30 minutes on 5-6 days a week, it can really help. There is a significant amount of evidence supporting the benefit of exercise for depression.
Also, Dr. Judith Wurtman, who is a clinical researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the director of the Womenâ€™s Health Program at the MIT Clinical Research Center, has studied the link between diet, emotions, and the brain, and have found that fiber-rich, complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are essential for good mood and optimal mental health.
Wurtman, R. J., and J. J. Wurtman. "Carbohydrates and Depression." Scientific American 1 (1989): 68-75.
Fernstrom, J.D., and Wurtman, R.J. Brain serotonin content: Increase following ingestion of carbohydrate diet. Science, 174:1023-1025, 1971
Also, in a recent survey of 200 people in Great Britain, 88% reported that changing their diet improved their mental health significantly.
The foods most likely to alleviate mood swings, anxiety, and depression included
1) fruits and vegetables,
2) essential fats,
3) whole grains,
5) Eating regularly and not skipping breakfast also boosted mental health.
Food â€śstressorsâ€ť â€“ those foods that negatively affected mood â€“ included...
5) foods rich in saturated fat, such as meat, chocolate, and full-fat dairy products.
Baidarka wrote: In the interests of full disclosure, I will tell you that I have one-two cups of coffee daily, and 1-2 glasses of wine most evenings. No more. Is it possible that I am shooting myself in the foot by not giving up these small indulgences? .
IMH(P&P)O... yes. While both can appear to be of some benefit to you because they can immediately make you feel better, the overall impact if negative and as you can see from the survey above, they were 2 of the 3 biggest factors to be avoided in helping with depression/anxiety. In addition, the 2 glasses of wine a day is above the amount recommended for women and as many studies have shown, can raise the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol also can suppress the immune system.
Also, in regard to your "auto-immune" condition, I would like you to consider one other possibility of why this program may offer you a better chance for improvement. One of the factors that has been shown to increase inflammation and auto-immune disorders is a higher fat diet, especially a diet higher in Omega 6s and with a higher Omega 6/3 ratio.
While "nuts" are a healthy food and can be included in small amounts with no problem, most all nuts are very high in Omega 6s and have a very poor omega 6/3 ratio. These threads will ge into more details on the issue.viewtopic.php?t=6067viewtopic.php?t=6678viewtopic.php?p=46319
Following this program will lower your total fat, your omega 6s and your omega 6/3 ratio.
In addition, I am assuming you are dairy free. If not, that would be very important. Also, it may be of some benefit for you to go "gluten free" in regard to the arthritis.
Again, welcome, and keep up posted.