How I Ended My Depression by Avoiding Processed Sugar, Caffeine and Alcohol

I can't begin to describe the feeling of relief and--dare I say--freedom after my first week of deciding to avoid processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

Sugar and caffeine were the most difficult for me. I have these ingredients in my face every day, at every meal, during every snack, at every restaurant. When shopping I actually have to read the labels to see if these ingredients are included.

I've been so surprised that the foods or beverages I've loved for years, and thought were healthy, contained plenty of sugar or caffeine.

I am not usually a label reader, but I consider myself quite healthy physically, thanks to my love for working out and eating right. However, due to my susceptibility to depression, for years I could never pinpoint what was wrong.

Alcohol was easier to let go for me. I used to enjoy alcohol when I was younger. As I got older, my body just did not enjoy the feeling of alcohol anymore. Although I continued to have an occasional beer or wine.

Alcohol is a depressant and if you suffer from depression, your body is screaming to be clean. Even from the occasional indulging. So at your next party, try some ice water. Or better yet, choose parties where alcohol is not the primary source of entertainment.

I personally could've used the intervention from a Coffee Drinkers Anonymous club. I've tried to quit off and on for years, but the final straw was challenging myself to regain my life.

Coffee for me was a blatant use of a narcotic to stimulate my mood. I did not need that, and I knew that I was messing with my body and brain's natural ability to engage life.

I now choose to drink caffeine-free tea--when I need to warm up--or a nice glass of cool water.

Sugar is another toughie, especially if you have kids like I do. Kids seems to exist for the mere joy of eating sweets and candy. I've been known to eat a whole bag of their Halloween "trick or treat" stash to save them from over indulging. Who is saving who?

I've remained strong though. I can honestly say that avoiding sugar and caffeine becomes significantly easier after the first week. Withdrawals wear off. 

Caffeine withdrawals are the strongest for me.

I looked at coworkers with a cup of Java and my body nearly trembled with the desire of the sweetness and caffeine high. But after a week, it became routine, and no big deal. And I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

After a week, my body and mind felt noticeably better as well. Feeling good motivated me into my continued celibacy of coffee, sugar and alcohol.

The avoidance may not be perfect. I know that there are probably some foods that I've eaten that have sugar as ingredients.

I've accepted an occasional cup of tea, that later I realized might have had caffeine. However, I exclude the obvious and constant intake of these ingredients, and I can feel my body thanking me for it.

Live well, live life, live depression free.