diet

Mediterranean Diet

Recently I talked about wanting to try the Mediterranean Diet.

I’ve been doing keto on and off since February. It worked really well in the beginning. I lost about 10-12 pounds or so in the first few months and I honestly felt really good! I cleared up my psoriasis, I had energy and felt pretty good. I definitely felt better and more satisfied than when I tried low-carb diets in the past.

What I didn’t like about keto? It takes a LOT of tracking. It’s hard to stay under 25 grams of carbs for the day. It takes a lot of mental energy and planning to stay on track with your macros and meal planning. It was also a little triggering. I found that I started to look at certain foods as being “Bad Foods” and then feeling anxiety or guilt if I ate them. I don’t think that’s a healthy way to look at any food. I can see that someone with a history of anxiety or eating disorders could get very obsessive on a diet like keto.

I started reading about the Mediterranean Diet and it sounded really good. It wasn’t new to me. There are a lot of benefits to this diet. It’s helpful for heart health, controlling blood sugar, it might protect against cancer and depression. Supposedly it’s good for your brain, too.

It’s fairly simple to follow, which is also a plus. It looks to me like you can basically eat MOST things in moderation, unlike keto that is very restrictive.

Avoid these Foods

  • Sugar (soda, candy, etc)
  • Refined grains (white breads and pasta)
  • Trans Fats and Refined Oils (margarine, soybean oil, canola oil, etc)
  • Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, etc)
  • Highly processed foods (anything that is “low fat” or “diet)

Foods to Eat

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tubers (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) and eggs
  • Whole grains (brown rice, rye, barley, whole wheat, corn, buckwheat)
  • Dairy
  • Herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats (EEVO, olives, avocado, avocado oil)

Looking at these food pyramids, I don’t know that I am 100% on board with it. One of my takeaways from doing keto is that I DO agree, that limiting carbs is a good thing. It just is. Maybe you don’t need to do extreme low carb, but maybe just cutting out bread and pasta and getting your carbs from vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit and beans. (So basically a variation of Slow Carb).

The good news is that this diet is basically ME. I love all of those things. I love Greek food. I love hummus and plain Greek yogurt. I eat a lot of seafood. So basically I need to limit red meat, cut out sugar and it’s not a huge change from what I used to do before keto!

So I recently spent a few hours perusing websites for recipes and meal plans and created my own meal plan for three weeks. I found some REALLY delicious-sounding recipes I was excited to try.

I am still going to try and limit my carbs (bread and pasta). Maybe the pasta dishes are just once a week. I definitely won’t be eating pasta daily!

Diet Changes

It’s been awhile since I talked about medication and anxiety, etc. Here are a few posts to give some background:

Medications and Weight – the brief history of starting prozac because of my postpartum anxiety.

Positive Thinking, Positive Change – The post where I talk about gaining 10 pounds when I increased the dosage of prozac and trying a different medication.

Keto Background – The post where I decided to try the keto diet in order to lose the weight.

What was so frustrating about gaining 10 pounds on prozac last year was that I was still working out. I was still counting my calories. I did some research and it seems like prozac in particular, changes the metabolism in your brain. There are some theories that it might cause insulin resistance, as well. I read through a bunch of online medical journals and reports and articles. Some of which I understood–a lot was over my head. But there was definitely evidence of prozac causing weird shifts in your metabolism and WHAT you crave.

I know that when I increased the dosage from the minimal I was craving sugar and carbs like mad. I went back down to 10mg and the cravings decreased. I went on the keto diet and lost some weight in the beginning and then the weight loss stopped.

“It has been observed that Prozac and weight gain go hand in hand, especially in women.  (source)”

Ugh!

I mean, none of this is news to me, really. I’ve had a history of depression my whole life and I’ve tried a bunch of different medications over 20+ years. I had bad experiences with Paxil, Effexor (40 pound weight gain), Celexa (15 pound gain), Zoloft, Lexapro, Wellbutrin (the best one,that never caused weight gain). I know that antidepressants can cause weight gain. Which is why I try and be more diligent–keep counting my calories and keep working out.

I’ve been doing okay lately with my anxiety and at my last therapy session my doctor “cleared” me of having a “clinical mental health issue.” They don’t say cured. 😉 I’m not cured, I will always struggle with anxiety, but I am using the tools I learned to try and manage it. Which is why I thought maybe it’s time to stop the prozac, see how I manage without it and HOPEFULLY finally lose the weight.

It’s been pretty frustrating this year that I didn’t lose a lot of weight doing the keto diet. Especially following a bunch of keto people on Instagram and seeing drastic weight changes for people doing the diet. It felt like my body adapted really quickly to doing keto and then just STOPPED losing weight. No matter what I did. It wasn’t even a slow weight loss…it just stopped.

It takes about a month for prozac to be completely out of my system. But I’m ready to try and see if it helps me with weight loss. It’s been a struggle the last few months to stay committed to keto when I’m not seeing results.

Finally, you might want to check out this podcast about metabolism. It was really interesting and informative!