For people with disabilities, we are what we eat

This was the message from Robin Roberts, whose mother said these words to her several years ago. Roberts was on […]

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This was the message from Robin Roberts, whose mother said these words to her several years ago.

Roberts was on the Dr. Oz show, talking about how she got through her crises with cancer and later a bone marrow transplant. She was saying that the power to discuss what we deal with, from a place of honesty and hope and gratitude and connection with other people, is the opposite of what some of us avoid: a pity-party.


Truth and Courage.

As many of you know, national newscaster Robin Roberts has gone through some challenging illnesses the last several years. And has survived. And flourished!

Therefore, I want to share some information about my experiences with brain problems, related to prior brain damage and inflammation diseases. And how what I eat … out of fear or addiction … sometimes affects my ability to think well.

First, I have prior brain damage from my childhood. I don’t talk about it much. But I discuss with people more the inflammation diseases I have, which affect my brain and the rest of my body. Fast thinking. Lots of fear. Excessive paranoia. Emotional issues? Yes. However, after doing work for years, on the violence behind my brain damage and other disabilities, it’s becoming clearer that nutrition is still very involved with this.


What I eat or drink affects my brain.

The last time I went to my brain damage support group, I was really scared about attending. I had gone food shopping and came home with lovely, healthy food. But, I didn’t have time to cook any of it. So I ate a piece of baked tofu (which sometimes is just fine), and then a chocolate energy bar. Moreover, I came to the group a bit high, and then purchased a hot chocolate from the machine down the hallway. Oops. I spent most of the group feeling frustrated, scared and wanting to fight with people and criticize them and myself. Nothing was right.

I went home and knew I was in trouble and felt isolated and alone and bad.

But last night I also cooked some of the food I had purchased, the beets and parsnips. My PCA had cut up all the root veggies earlier, including beets, rutabagas, and parsnips. Good winter food. I’ve known for years that, especially in cold weather, eating acidic food – chocolate, for instance, tomatoes peppers or potatoes – can hurt my brain. Literally, I can feel the burning in my brain.


Root veggies are more alkaline.

This morning when I woke up, I still felt dizzy, argumentative and scared. I immediately ate some of the beets and parsnips I had cooked and some walnuts. I canceled my Metro Mobility ride to the rec center to work out (a mistake?).

Then I cooked some of the rutabagas. When they were done (5-10 minutes) I put some water in the pan and threw in some organic frozen green beans (greens are always good), and added some dried lentil soup from the coop, that had no ingredients I was allergic to (i.e. hydrolyzed protein).

When I was eating the rutabagas, I suddenly realized, I should not have canceled the rec center trip. Uh oh. Too late. But what I learned is that, once more, the food I eat or don’t eat, the nutrition in my body and brain, and the lack of healthy nutrition, can actually affect my emotions and my ability to think. Clearly.

Have fun!




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