Archives for September 2009

ADHD Nutrition

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If you have ADHD, nutrition plays a key part in functioning at your best.There is a direct link between the food we consume and the effectiveness of how the brain operates. A healthy diet with the right sort of nutritious food can help to minimize the negative effects of ADHD. In contrast, an unhealthy diet including fast food and food packed with sugars and additives can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.

There is a lot of information about what foods you should and shouldn’t eat if you have ADHD and it can get overwhelming. I like to keep ADHD nutrition as simple as possible because then change becomes easy and effortless. This week a client asked me if he were to change one thing in his diet, what would give him the biggest reward in terms of a noticed difference in his ADHD. Without a doubt I was able to answer: protein.

Eating protein from a variety of food sources each day helps ensure that your body gets all the essential amino acids it needs. Amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters, which are crucial for optimal brain functioning.
When you provide your brain with the nutrition it needs, it is able to maintain the correct chemical balance and carry out the functions you rely on it for.

Good quality protein isn’t as readily available “to go” like carbohydrates are. For example, it is much easier to grab a donut or muffin as you are dashing out the door than to scramble yourself some eggs. This is why adults with ADHD usually eat less than the recommended amount of protein each day. However, when you start to include it, particularly at breakfast, you will notice that your whole day is transformed.

Examples of good quality protein are

  • Chicken and Turkey (white meat)
  • Lean red meat
  • Fish
  • Protein powder
  • Dairy products

This week, experiment with including more protein in the diet and notice the benefits. You will be able to pay attention better, problem solve, concentrate more, improve your memory and maintain stable moods.

ADHD and Human Connections

 

If you would like to listen to this week’s article, click here.

In order to lead a healthy, well balanced life, it is important to have some special people in your life. This makes you feel connected, loved, cared for and valued. We all need human connections to thrive and also to be the best we can be in this world. There are many qualities that make up a good friend. Here are three important ones:

ADHD and human connections1. People who think you are amazing just as you are.One of my clients is very energetic and has a hard time sitting still. She tells stories with her arms as well as her voice and her friends love her extravagant gestures because it makes her who she is.When she started dating a man who was very conservative, he was embarrassed by her gestures and wanted her to change. This took a real toll on her confidence and self-esteem as she tried to conform to someone else’s ideals.The moral of this story is to surround yourself with people who love you just the way you are. Who don’t judge or try to change you.

2. People who lift you up when you are down.People with ADHD can receive lots of negative feedback from people, so it’s important to counteract that with lots of positive comments from those nearest and dearest to you. People who are in your corner 100%, who say just the right thing to put things into perspective, make you laugh and generally lift you up when you are down.

3. People who are there to share the good times.Some people love a good sob story. They love it when you are down on your luck. They can commiserate with you and tell you their woes, too. However, not everyone is able to share the good times with you, too. The people who can are worth keeping close. They don’t feel threatened by your achievements and accomplishments, and are genuinely delighted for you.Life does have its ups and downs and you want the people you’re with to be able to share both with you.

The following five steps will help you to make these important human connections:

  1. Think of who in your life is a “good person.” Having wonderful people in your life does not happen by accident. It takes a little time and awareness on your part. So think about who is in your life at the moment. Feel grateful for the wonderful people who are already in it. Also be aware of those who no longer support you, so you can spend less time with them.
  2. Remember that you deserve good people in your life. If you haven’t been used to having them, it may seem a bit strange at first. However, you are not asking them to do or be anything you aren’t to them.
  3. If you already have people in your life who are amazing, then spend a few minutes thinking about how you could spend more time with them.
  4. If there is room in your life for new people, spend a few minutes and think about how you could meet them. Joining groups where people share a common interest, such as a book group, is a great way, as is volunteering for a charity that captures your interest.
  5. If you have had great friends in the past that you have lost touch with, try to reconnect with them. Facebook is a great tool to help you with this.