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My primal journey to overcome SAD & SAD!

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  • My primal journey to overcome SAD & SAD!

    Hi everyone! I've been lurking on the forum a bit and decided to start my own journal. As you might have guessed from my username and the title of this thread, I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), as well as somewhat milder depression year round, and am sure this is not entirely unrelated to the other SAD - the Standard American Diet. I've been trying to go primal for awhile and am struggling in the following areas -

    * quitting sugar - I am HORRIBLY addicted (to all forms, including simple carbs that break down to this like bread/crackers/etc - could even binge on sweet potatoes), and typically what happens is if I make it through a few days of withdrawal from it, someone convinces me in a social setting to have just a little and it starts a downward spiral of carb binging back to square 1
    * night eating - (and lately, even binging a bit) - this is a bad habit that seems to have gotten more out of control for me in the last year
    * social settings - need to work harder at sticking to my guns and not letting settings where everyone else is indulging in food I know will mess me up make me feel awkward
    * overplanning - I realized I'm addicted to this as well, and often let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
    * sleep - I've battled insomnia my whole life, and while I have a better handle on it now, I'm still not great about employing the sleep hygiene strategies I've learned. Banning my laptop from my bed/bedroom has proven to be a huge challenge as well!
    * stress management - (and this ties in with sleep too) I am a HUGE fan of mindfulness meditation and will carry on about the benefits of it to anyone all day if given the chance, but lately have been greatly struggling to maintain my own practice.

    At the end of the day, while I know what things are healthy for me and will make me feel better in the long run, I've just been having a rough time implementing them all, and all of the issues above have made it tough to me to stick to the basic healthy diet that I want. I work full time in research, live 45 minutes from my job and go to class 2 nights a week, which it takes me an hour or more to get home from. I'm also on a SUPER tight budget and with massive student loan payments and very little in the way of a financial safety net, and am hoping to get into funded graduate programs in a year or two, so it's important I do really well in the prereqs I'm taking now. Everything on my plate plus the fact that it's fall, so seasonal depression is starting to creep up is definitely making things difficult, so I figured logging my progress and pitfalls on here to get some support and advice might be a good idea!

    I've also been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency in the past, and was prescribed megadoses for a couple months then told to maintain with 1,000 IU a day. Some ideas I have for improving my current situation are:
    * start bike commuting - just got a bike (and learned to ride it for the FIRST TIME) this summer, so I'm still quite nervous to ride in the road to get to and from work, but I think this would save time and help get me more active, and really improve my attitude about living further from work than I used to
    * speak with a Dr. about the SAD - I do take Wellbutrin now, and while I'd rather not be on meds, I think it does help. My carb cravings have increased a TON once the season started to change, so for now I may talk to my doctor about even increasing the dosage for a bit through the winter.
    * be much more vigilant about using my light box and taking vitamin D (and probably I should be taking a higher daily dosage than I am right now)
    * the hardest one for me... get carbs OUT of my diet for now!! I think for awhile that needs to even include fruit and sweet potatoes until I've gotten a handle on the out of control sugar cravings, but please let me know if you have any experience/ideas on that front! (I do make green smoothies a lot in the morning that I'll toss some frozen blueberries into and that hasn't seemed to bother me.)

    Alright, phew that was a lot! :-) For more regular updates I'll probably just post a lot of dailies and see if people have any feedback for tweaking things. All the research I've read on here makes a lot of sense and I definitely trust the advice of people who've done it! Thanks!!!