COLUMNIST: How a healthy lifestyle can help mental wellbeing

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I proudly remember the time that I discovered how a healthy lifestyle and diet could help me to become both physically and mentally well.

Before that time, and for many years, I had lived with chronic health problems including anxiety, anorexia, depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and bipolar disorder.

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I am amazed that after 37 years, and working as a nurse for 14 years, I didn’t know the impact that food, and lifestyle, was having on my health. Like many people, I relied heavily on refined carbohydrates, stimulants, and processed foods, without realising that these (cakes, bread, muffins, processed cereals, biscuit, chips, tinned soup and beans, processed cheese and meats) provided ‘empty calories’ which would rob my body of the nutrients that it needed.

In addition to this, my own experience of healthcare at the time of my bipolar diagnosis was centred around blood tests and drug treatment without attention to the impact my diet and lifestyle could have been having on my mental health. In 2015, and after several episodes of hypomania and depression, I decided to take control of my health qualifying as a nutritional therapist.

With the support of my husband I began to implement the principles of optimum nutrition into my life with dramatic results to my mental health. By focusing on the right diet I no longer experienced dramatic mood swings which allowed me to become medication free. I also enjoyed clearer skin, more energy, and reduced symptoms of PMS and irritable bowel syndrome.

Out of my own experience the Rosie Rocks online health programme was born because I wanted to share the amazing effects of nutrition with others in the hope that they could feel as well and become as healthy as I am. Since October 2017 I have supported many people who, like me, were troubled with physical and mental health problems with amazing results.

The programme is simple – we eliminate refined, processed, cancer causing, and inflammatory foods, that stress our body replacing them with tasty nutritious foods and a healthy lifestyle. After every programme it is such a wonderful feeling to hear that people are experiencing the benefits of healthy living which includes more energy, less pain, balanced moods, clearer skin, improved sleep, and significant weight loss if that is their goal.

The Rosie Rocks programme is individually tailored to meet everyone’s health needs providing everything they need to reach their goal – recipes and meal plans, daily nutrition advice and support, nutritional deficiency assessment, supplement advice, exercise tips, skincare advice, and a 24/7 online support group.

My hope as more people sign up for the programme, learn about nutrition, and reap the benefits from making positive changes to their life is that we can reduce symptoms, delay the onset, and in some cases even prevent the occurrence of many serious and debilitating health conditions such as cancer, bipolar, depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. As my mother says - prevention is better than a cure and you are what you eat.