My Aims for the Summer
Improving My Stomach Illness and Mental Health Naturally
Before we get into what my aims, goals and plans are for the summer; let me introduce you to me and my story...
Hi, I'm Kat—A Psychology Student from England. If I was to sum myself up in a sentence it would be, a girl with large aspirations and too many ideas. One main factor of my life at this particular moment in time is the fact that I have a stomach issue that causes me constant nausea, evenings and days of feeling unwell, and not wanting to leave the house, and generally leaving me feeling annoyed as I slowly stop doing the things that I used to love. I have also found myself to be increasingly anxious, mainly due to this. However, this summer I aim to change this. Having suffered with this for long enough (three years) with no doctor or psychologist giving me any explanation of what is going on; I have decided to try and fix it myself through changing my lifestyle and what I put into my body.
I want to use this platform, as a sort of blog, to keep myself accountable and hopefully be able to help other people in a similar position to mine, as unfortunately I am coming to understand that my situation isn't all that unique.
My plan to do this is to experiment with foods and ingredients that have been shown to have benefits for different aspects of what I need. That being said, I am not going to turn into someone who only eats the weird and wacky, nor am I going to be a person who only eats the same five things. I'm hoping this 'journey' will help expand what I can eat and help me to understand what my body needs.
To start this I want to introduce you to my first rule when it comes to anything to do with my health.
"Listen to your body."
Now, you might read this and think "umm... that's obvious," but something that I have realised recently is that your body can tell you so much without you even realising it. For example, through the food you are craving, to waking up in the morning with no motivation to work out. Now obviously, the latter example comes to some people more naturally than others, and it isn't necessarily the right thing to do. However, if you are somebody who loves working out, hits the gym regularly and leads an active lifestyle; and you wake up some days and your body just says NO!—then there's probably a reason for that. So... listen to your body. It is always trying to tell you something.
I for one am somebody who likes working out, I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a workout, and how good it sets you up for the day. However, there will be days that my stomach just says "no" and I listen to it, because if I didn't, it would get a whole lot worse.
Having done some research into various bits and bobs I have come up with an initial list of three additions to my diet that I want to try, to aid my symptoms, this summer: (also, if you are wondering what the significance of 'this summer' is—I have two months off of doing everything, so I can concentrate on fixing myself).
Things I'm going to add to my diet for my stomach and why:
- They help balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system.
- They can help treat and prevent Diarrhea.
- Some studies have suggested that they may help improve some mental health conditions—such as Anxiety and Depression.
- They have been found to help reduce symptoms of some digestive disorders—such as Crohn's disease, IBS and Ulcerative Colitis.
- Boost immune system.
- They stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
- Better nutrient absorption.
- Help improve bowl regularity.
- Stress Support—as there has been found to be a big 'Gut-Brain' connection meaning that my having a happy Gut it can have a positive impact on your MH too.
- Contains many necessary nutrients.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
- May help against Anaemia (especially important in Women).
- May help muscle strength and endurance.
Following this introduction, I want to write in more detail about the Brain-Gut Connection and generally about Mental Wellbeing.
But that is it for now.