February marked David’s and my first month eating a new diet, focusing on nourishing the gut as a pathway to healing my depressed bipolar symptoms. We are using the SCD and Body Ecology Diet as a sort of nutritional guide to direct our new habits. We are sugar-free and gluten-free. We are healing, and I have made extraordinary strides in the past month. Here’s a recap.

Week 1: Healing meant eating mostly vegetables, with some proteins and probiotic-rich kombucha. We felt very tired and cold a lot. Since giving up sugar, my nightmares had stopped. We had one meal that week that included sugar and I had nightmares again that night. I love to cook, but I felt paralyzed in the kitchen, unsure of recipes that would satisfy our needs and fit within the new direction we were trying to go.

Week 2: I got a massage and experimented in the grocery store and the kitchen. I felt a little more relaxed about food but still stressed about budgeting for it, including the greater quantity of expensive meat throughout the week. I still had headaches during the day and was sleeping a lot at night, 10 or more hours, more than I slept before the depression hit.

Week 3: At the beginning of the week, I had lots of energy and my headaches were starting to go away. In the middle of the week, I had what we think was candida die-off: stuffy head, discolored mucus, unusual rashes, fatigue, aches and chills. One night we watched an intense TV show and I had a panic attack, stopped by taking choline. I rested, drank kombucha every day and ate as much variety of vegetables as I could.

Week 4: I gradually felt more like myself. I continued gleaning new recipes from Pinterest and cookbooks and gained confidence in the kitchen. We decided to occasionally include some nutrient-rich starches in our diet, such as sweet potatoes and brown rice. I went to the chiropractor early and felt better for it. My headaches disappeared and I had more energy. We found a gluten-free friendly market and restaurant in Hixson (Mimi’s Deli and Bakery). We went for the longest walk we had walked in months and celebrated a friend’s birthday.

Week 5: I felt amazing. I told everyone about our nutrition change and how it is helping me. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist and was finally able to show major improvement for the first time since October. We switched to organic grass-fed cheese and milk, which makes the world’s best homemade yogurt. I cleaned out my former classroom and dreamed about what might occupy my energies in the future. I slept 9 hours some nights, my pre-depression amount. I went to women’s bible study, a hike and a baby shower in one weekend.

I would be a different person right now if it weren’t for what I have learned and what we have done. God is hearing and healing us. May He be praised.