Time for the final day, and the wrap up. But, let’s hit one last topic: my ADHD, and how it’s affected. ‘Cause that’s one of the really big things I struggle with in life.
Basically, anything I do that changes diet or exercise routines affects my ADHD. That’s just a part of being ADHD. Which means one of my big questions was: how does a vegetarian diet affect it?
The answer is pretty difficult, really. ADHD is pretty subjective – sure, there are various attempts at scales you can use, but it’s not as consistent as one would hope. Plus, ever asked someone with ADHD what their Top 10 Favorite Songs are? There’s a good chance that changes from day to day, since we have object permanence and short term memory issues 🙂 The only gauge ends up being “Well, I feel like…”
The other part is that there is a correlation between protein intake and exercise -vs- ADHD symptoms, which complicates things: are any improvements vegetarian diet, or the increase in protein and exercise? And, does it matter, since the diet improves my stamina for exercise?
Yes, there is a change to my ADHD. It’s a bit better, and miraculously I’m beginning to do some organizational tasks I’ve always wanted to get done. Doing most things I don’t wanna do is less like pulling teeth (trying to get an ADHD person to do something they don’t wanna do it is a hell of a task.) I’m a bit more in-tune with things when I fail to adult properly (eating, things like that) so that’s good. I’m finding a bit more focus for most of the day, also good.
I consider it a win, but I can’t 100% point at a vegetarian diet as the source. There are plenty of sources that say one good and bad things about the effects on ADHD, but I don’t take much stock in them because there are way too many variables involved.
Now, for the wrap up.
If this were a movie or series, there would be inspirational music, and a wrap up speech to both inform and inspire relating to the lessons learned long the way to whatever the overall goal was. But, it’s not, so if you want some inspirational music to play while I muse hit play on this bit of stock music:
For the 7th day I got on the elliptical and worked out. Instead of writing on my phone, I just turned on some music to mediate by (the original Tron soundtrack was part of it) and relaxed.
Honestly, I think that’s going to become part of the process: or Saturday of Sunday’s workout I’ll take a break from writing while cardio.
Instead, I used it as sort of system self check. How did I feel? Was my brain kept in check? What hurt on my body (hey, I’m 50, shit just randomly hurts on occasion.)? How was I breathing? What did my heart feel like? How much effort was it to keep doing the cardio?
What hurt is an interesting thing – while I joke about being 50 and things just randomly hurting, most of the time it’s my extremely damaged shoulder doing things like falling out of socket. Or, my back (no real damage there ‘cept using my muscles wrong.)
While I have ADHD, high blood pressure (kept in check with meds), had Type II Diabetes, gout, and some arthritis in my hands and shoulder, oh, and a bit of skin cancer and an allergy to the sun… well, I’m way better off than that laundry list of problems might indicate.
So after all the getting in touch with myself bullshit there, I had time to really think things over. My goal line for it to be worthwhile wasn’t that vegetarianism had to be a big win in health. The goal line was does it provide the same health levels as eating a meat eating diet?
Well, so far, yeah. As far as I can tell, my brains and body has suffered no negative effect. That means it’s a break even – if I don’t eat meat, bad things don’t happen. I’ve improved a bit of endurance already, and muscle repair is faster, both of which mean it’s definitely more than just breaking even.
That means the experiment was a success, and a strong enough success I’ll stick with it.
There’s been some little odd things over the week (well, actually, at the time of writing, a bit over two weeks) that I’ve been eating this way. Figuring out protein, figuring out how to eat out, things like that. But, here’s the biggest surprise: I don’t crave meat.
I expected I was going to go nuts over wanting a burger or a big ol’ steak. Nope. After the week was up, Kelly continued to eat meat, I stuck with vegetarian – which means I cook meat from time to time. You’d think I crave it while cooking it, but I don’t. (If you wanna know what I’m craving right now? Falafel. I realized that was a vegetarian option, and I love falafel, and there’s a box of it in the kitchen now – I’m full, but I just wanna have some of it 🙂 ) Maybe it’s because I’ve given up part of my meat anyway because of gout, but even beyond the one week experiment, this has been dead simple. I totally did not expect that.
In fact, this whole thing has been sort of anti-climatic, if you want the truth. After things I’ve heard about malnutrition, bad mental states, extreme weight loss, weakness, etc. due to vegetarianism when I was growing up, it just… works fine. Huh. Go fig. 🙂
So, the experiment diary is done. There actually is one more day beyond this, and I MIGHT update the experiment with longer term results at some point.