As a person with lived experience of psychosis, I take the connection between my state of mind and nutrition seriously.
I know that taking anti-psychotics, even in low-dosage but in the long-term, might stabilize my moods and keep hallucinations at bay but there can be debilitating side effects. These neuroleptics might start diabetes and high blood pressure or coronary disease, or worsen these conditions, if one is already suffering from any of these.
My blood tests taken a month after I have recovered from a psychotic episode in 2014 showed elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Besides, I gained around 20 pounds in three months. So to cope with these negative impacts, I curbed my intake of rice, the staple of Filipino meals. Instead, I eat corn, which has a lower glycemic index, making the body absorb less sugar at a lower rate.
The shift from rice to corn paid off as tests in June this year showed that my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are now within the normal range.
In the morning, I have a serving of fruit in season like bananas or mangoes. But today I tried other fruits in season like mangosteen, lanzones, rambutan and marang -- I bought a few pieces of each at a roadside fruit stand yesterday.
For lunch, I had the traditional broiled milkfish and soup of moringa with young coconut with lemongrass. The side dishes included pickled papaya and fried bolinao (anchovy). I also had boiled green bananas and camote (sweet yam), with olive oil and yogurt as dips. Traditionally, we Pinoys would have fermented fish sauce as dip. Olive oil and yogurt are not part of the traditional Filipino cuisine. These became part of my own diet after a sojourn in Palestine where they are staples. Both are considered brain food. Yogurt contains good bacteria that helps maintain a good mood while olive oil contains omega 3 fatty acids that temper psychotic symptoms.
This evening, I had the traditional law-uy, boiled leaves of moringa, squash leafbuds, and other wild greens like saluyot and alogbati that I foraged from the backyard. I added these dark greens to a simmering broth of ginger, left-over fish from the lunch, chayote and carrots. Right before serving, I add a drizzle of olive oil. Soon after eating, I’d have a cup of chamomile tea and honey.
(Note: This post has a 3-minute photo slideshow @https://youtu.be/5nNrOdJJATw