What natural stuff has worked for you?

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CactusFlower

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What natural stuff has worked for you?
« on: March 06, 2021, 04:28:19 PM »
I'm trying to make some decisions, and of course, I don't want to do anything drastic and radical. What herbs/vitamins/supplements have worked for you? What dietary changes have worked for you? (other than vegetarian/vegan. No offense, I don't want to do that.) Or, do you have any links to LEGIT sites that discuss such things? I'm searching, but it's kinda hard to find good sources that aren't either some form of either "I dropped out of society and only eat gingko leaves on Tuesdays" radical blog or the opposite of some scientific "We don't believe in that crap, just take your chemical meds" kind of thing. I know natural stuff works, but I need a starting place to figure out what to try first.

EDIT: I should clarify - I'm currently unemployed and on a budget, so $40 a month per bottle vitamins aren't doable in general. Also, I'm in the USA, but do have access to Amazon, pretty much anywhere on the net, and an International grocery store in town that focuses on Asian and Indian imports.

Thanks in advance,
Sage
« Last Edit: March 06, 2021, 04:30:57 PM by CactusFlower »

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Jazzy

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Re: What natural stuff has worked for you?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2021, 04:34:01 AM »
Here's what I've been working on these past couple of years, which I've found helpful.

- 3 meals a day, no matter how hungry (or not) I am, morning, noon, and evening
- One larger, balanced (and non-frozen food) meal
- smaller portions (and slower eating) overall
- limit of 1 coffee/day and 1 fruit juice/day (water w/ lemon or caffeine free tea otherwise)
- no sugar, besides maybe cooking with a bit (still struggling w/ this one sometimes)

It might not seem like a lot, but its been a significant change from how I used to eat, and I believe it has helped a lot. It can be tricky to find good information. It is important to get good, natural, vitamins and minerals your body needs, not just chemicals/supplements, but on the other hand, some "natural" claims are ridiculously inaccurate (and can even be dangerous) as well. Your doctor or nutritionist might be able to give you the best answer as to what your body really needs.

I hope you find something that works well for you! :)

P.S. I also cut out smoking and drinking alcohol altogether, although that took a lot longer, and is maybe a bit of a different topic.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 04:36:16 AM by Jazzy »

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Bermuda

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Re: What natural stuff has worked for you?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2021, 11:15:15 AM »
I'm not sure how to reply to this without being reduced to one of those aforementioned peoples.

Definitely reducing transfats, saturated fats and cholesterol will improve circulation and decreases blood pressure. These things absolutely 100% affect your mood and cognitive abilities. Of course though, it's not magic.

As Jazzy said, cutting caffeine is so important. At my worst I actually quit caffeine all together for a couple years, and I felt like a completely different person. That's purely anecdotal evidence, but it is something lots of people talk about.

Also, avoid self-medicating with energy drinks, tobacco, alcohol, and also over the counter medication. It may seem obvious, but taking heaps of antacids for stomach issues related to C-PTSD is a bad idea, trust me on that. There are long-term consequences.

Making sure you're getting enough vitamin D and omega 3s. I know you said you can't do expensive supplements and I don't know where you're from and the cost of nuts can be really expensive, but if you live somewhere where walnuts are affordable, eat some regularly to make sure you meet your omega 3 needs without combining it with cholesterol and heavy metals which have a paradoxical effect on the brain. You said you can access to an Asian grocery store, edamame is also a good source of omegas. Just don't salt them too much as salt increases blood pressure which increases anxiety.

This is probably the most important advice I can give. Lots of people with trauma disorders try to have absolute control over their health through their diet, exercise and other radical lifestyle changes, and it can get really unhealthy. Sometimes we try to take control because we never felt we had control, or because it's a way the inner critic tells us it's our fault and that something should be fixed, and then self-blame sets in. This makes it a very slippery slope. Of course it's important to be conscious of our habits and to exercise self-improvement and it's equally as important to really understand why it is that we're wanting to make those changes and have a grounded expectation of our results. Those with C-PTSD are especially vulnerable to eating disorders of all kinds as well as the health implications of using food as an emotional tool.

No matter what anyone says about curing their trauma disorder through lifestyle changes alone, it simply does not work like that.

All in all - Have a real conversation with yourself about your motivation, and then when you REALLY know what it is you're trying to fix research that specific thing, manage your expectations of results, make healthier choices gradually, at a pace that feels comfortable for you. This not only is healthier, but will make your changes more sustainable long-term instead of bandaging the issue.

Minimize cholesterol and table salt as much as possible, get enough sunlight, eat nuts and seeds, try to move your body but don't stress about it, you shouldn't self-medicate, be compassionate to yourself and understand that set-backs are not failures, check in with yourself, your goals, and your motivations often and with honesty.

If you're not sure where to go for accurate information I highly recommend nutitionfacts.org. There are videos on a huge range of topics from how dietary cholesterol effects cognitive function, how caffeine effects cholesterol function in the brain, how to decrease salt in your diet, etc.

Oh, and honourable mentions go to sleeping, drinking water, showering and all those things. But, in the direction of self-compassion, those with PTSD have a higher rate of executive dysfunction, and the more PTSD symptoms increase, the more executive dysfunction increases. So, tackling executive dysfunction issues, or at least understanding them, may also help you to feel better.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2021, 11:33:15 AM by Bermuda »

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CactusFlower

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Re: What natural stuff has worked for you?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2021, 06:47:15 PM »
Wonderful advice, thank you both! yeah, I don't smoke, and I have a drink maybe 2 - 3 times a year with dinner on a special occasion if that much. I do know losing weight would be healthy, I kinda let that slip a lot over 2020 and I have a terrible tendency to go for convenience and comfort over cooking sometimes. (BTW, did not know that about edamame. I like edamame, so I'll try that. Walnuts aren't terrible here.) I think Jazzy's example of reducing sugar probably is a great idea and at the same time, is the hardest because it's in so many American food items. It's hard to even find a spaghetti sauce without it. I need to get back to cooking more. I have fibromyalgia and exploring the connection between that and my trauma is something I'm actually quite interested in. (was fascinated by that connection in Van Der Kolk's book) I certainly don't expect to "cure" anything with lifestyle changes, but if it improves anything, I think I owe myself health for a change. :)

As as side note, I was caffeine free for about 5 years and didn't really notice an impact on my alertness or stress, so I went back to my favorite tea. (I don't do soda and rarely have coffee because I have to really doctor it to like the taste) I have not noticed any impact in the last few years on sleep patterns or other stuff, so Cutting that out would be super minimal for me. Unsweetened hot tea is definitely comfort for me. :)

Thank you both for basically pointing out the common sense changes. Sometimes I just need to hear it from someone other than myself.
Sage

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JakobBolu

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Re: What natural stuff has worked for you?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2021, 11:29:39 AM »
Thank you for the advice. Maybe I will try using some of them and I hope that it will change my state of mind.