The Short Term Effects of Alcohol, Protein and Spices on my Body and ADHD Mind.

I can tell when my focus is improving because I don’t get distracted from my mission, when my computer or in this case Open Office wipes out everything I have created in the past two days. Even though I am beginning to feel like Job, I also appreciate that I have regained enough of my focus to identify the cause of the problems and solve them.  While it certainly is a challenge when focus and diet have only returned for a few days, at least I am focused enough not to get frustrated and quit.

The biggest thing I learned in my first 9 days of detox is an affirmation of how evil caffeine has become to my body and the change is so dramatic and important, it deserves it’s own post because I ditched the caffeine before I started this detox and eliminated all refined sugar, and alcohol. The former has been discussed in three posts; junk science, my relationship with sugar and what I consider a valid experiment on the effect of sugar on children. Since I don’t eat sugar very often, except for a few times a year when I binge, it really has no major impact on either my weight or my mind. 

Alcohol is a separate issue and few will believe I am telling the truth. After the first three days there is no effect from quitting alcohol at all except for the calories. Now part of the reason is that I know I have a diet that hampers my ability to focus and I am working on that. I also know that if I start compulsively eating I can regain focus.  Perhaps I don’t feel any additional effect because the symptoms of food withdrawal are the same as alcohol withdrawal so I really don’t feel any difference. 

I compensate for missing happy hour by being more social during the day, being more physical during the day and watching a movie during happy hour. Since I am used to drinking my bottle of wine everyday before bedtime, it acts as a sedative and I go right to sleep.  When I quit, I have a problem with sleeping for three days and then I am back to sleeping soundly. When on detox, I intentionally don’t eat more so that when I start back drinking, I wont have problems with the extra calories. Perhaps living on 1500 calories or 600 below normal is why I worry more about food than wine.

I only hope to God when I stabilize on a diet that helps me focus and reintroduce wine that it doesn’t have a negative effect. Oh well, it wont be an issue. My mind is more important to me than socializing and drinking wine so if I find the wine to be detrimental, the wine will go.

The most important fact I am rediscovering is the critical impact of protein and the time of day that I consume it. It is beginning to appear that I need more than 100 grams a day just to hold the wild and woolly things in my mind at bay.  I am also finding that I need half right before I start mind tasks and the other half during the course of the day. Vegan and vegetarian are OK at night as long as I load up on ham and eggs before sitting down at my desk. 

It’s ironic that after a year of suffering the ill effects of lack of organization and focus I am  rediscovering something that I routinely discussed in my second Diet blog.  That is, if I wanted to do manual labor, go to work hungry and it was easy to focus on work. If I needed to spend time at the desk, go to work walk around and check everything that needed to be checked, do the little chores that needed to be done and then go have a big egg and bacon breakfast before sitting at my desk for the rest of the day.  Of course back then, 2006 to 2007, I was more concerned about work than I was about my weight and hovered in an obese range between 215 and 235 pounds.

The other thing I have learned in my first 9 days is highly speculative and has nothing to do with ADHD. I have also been loading on healthy spices which fight inflammation and have referred to this as my “Spice Right Diet.” I have been documenting my Inflammatory Factor using the data from NutritionData.Self.com and comparing it to the happy face pain scale for my next day pain level. In the past 9 days that I have been on my “Spice Rite Diet”, my pain has been dramatically lower than before I started but my pain is always lower in  summer than it is in winter. Before jumping from conjecture to conclusion I will wait until next winter to see how I do.  Besides, I never think about pain when I am totally focused on research and writing so that could be another reason for lower apparent pain.  

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