The Benefits of Holistic Choices for Mental Health

I come from a long lineage of depressed people. I picked up the depressive torch at a very young age and in my teenage years, my depression became so severe that I sought help. I soon found out I only had two choices available to me: 1. Talk therapy or 2. medication.

I began with talk therapy, but those sessions left me exhausted from sobbing and with more terrible feelings. I knew I had to do something else if I was going to survive, so I agreed to take medication, even though every fiber of my being told me this was not a good idea. This was in the 1990’s and Prozac was gaining acclaim as a miracle drug. I was given a prescription and within a month of taking it, I attempted to take my own life. As I was “recovering” in a forced two-week stay in a psychiatric ward, I refused any other medication.

This was the start of my 20-year journey to search out alternative and natural solutions for my mood disorder. I scoured old bookstores and obscure websites and I started to find that there were effective non-medical solutions to the symptoms that plagued me. I wondered why no one was talking about this.

As a result of my research, I have found many effective alternatives to medication that have worked for me and others. I have listed a few of my favorites here as a starting point for you to research. My main message is this: there are many effective things we can do to heal from mood disorders that do not involve taking pharmaceutical medications. In fact, there are so many different modalities available, I started a website to compile them at

  1. Amino Acids- This is by far my first choice for effective, natural mental wellness. Amino acids are affordable, safe, and fast-acting. I have personally experienced relief within 5 minutes by taking certain amino acids. It took me quite a while to try them out because the information was overwhelming. I didn’t know which ones to take, how much, and which brand. Then I stumbled upon the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, and this book explained in detail about how to use amino acids. The author includes a quiz at the beginning of the book that helps people identify which aminos might be effective, based on symptoms. There’s also wonderful information about thyroid and adrenal health, two other root causes of depression-like experiences.
  2. Food- The old adage is true: you are what you eat. Even if you try to eat well, there are ingredients in modern food that can be problematic for people prone to depression and anxiety. For instance, the government requires food manufacturers to add synthetic folic acid to processed foods. The problem with that is more than half the population has a genetic mutation known as MTHFR that doesn’t allow them to process this food additive well. You may want to look into getting tested for this, or you can simply avoid foods with synthetic folic acid. Other ingredients in food may also contribute to mental health symptoms like: casein (dairy) or gluten (wheat). The pesticides that are sprayed on fruits and vegetables may also be problematic for your body. Some diets that have been successful for people with mood disorders include: the paleo diet, The GAPS diet, clean eating, and Gerson therapy. It may also be helpful to get tested for food allergies so you can avoid foods that cause inflammation. Everyone is different, so getting to know what works for your body is crucial.
  3. Toxins William Walsh of the Walsh Institute has a wonderful pie chart that explains the 5 biotypes of depression. In it, he attributes one of the root cause to toxins. In modern society, we are inundated with a variety of toxins everyday, even if we’re practicing a healthy lifestyle. For instance, most of our drinking water had added fluoride, which is a known neurotoxin. Some tap water has high levels of copper, which can also contribute to mental illness symptoms. In addition, the air we breathe, and the chemicals that are in beauty products and deodorants can cause our bodies to become toxic. If you’ve received a vaccine, those contain very high levels of toxins and can cause symptoms. Many people are finding that their bodies have dangerous levels of heavy metals, including mercury and aluminum. Focusing on detoxification methods is an excellent way to start improving overall health and wellness, in addition to mental health.

These three areas are great places to start your research and begin to take your mental health into your own hands, but there are many more as well! Part of healing is the beautiful journey of really getting to know who you are and to truly love and care for yourself.

Judy Meyer, HHP, NHC is a holistic mental health coach practicing in San Diego, CA. She is the founder of Follow her on Twitter @altmentalhealth or Instagram: Holistic_Depression_Coach.

Story Time: When I Learned What Was REALLY In My Food.

Wild Imagination.

Some kids, when you show them a cardboard box with squares cut into it and miniature cardboard furniture inside, will look at you while they rip the box apart and call you a moron.

Some kids love homemade toys.

Some kids skin animals in the forest because they’re “curious”.

Don’t Get Your Brains Scanned Kids, You Might Be A PsYchOPaTH

Some kids are robbed by (or gifted with) an imagination that sucks them away from Earth and into a different consciousness, like Jani Schofield.  But that’s a whole other opinion waiting to happen, so let’s move on.

Then there are kids who were like me, a lot probably, who teeter somewhere between what you would expect in an imagination and what you wouldn’t expect. Or maybe you should expect everything, and that fact that people don’t is why some kids are “normal” and others aren’t.

This thought came to me today, a few minutes ago, a memory that had been long hidden that for some reason was brought out by watching eleven minute YouTube videos of people scarfing down Carolina Reaper peppers.

When I was still in elementary school, we only had one car and it was a truck my mother used to get to work in. My father would walk with me to school and from school. On the corner about two blocks away from my school, there was a little orange market that sold cold drinks, ice cream, and these weird little pastry balls filled with meat. I don’t remember what they were, and I haven’t seen anything like them sense. The market was owned by a family with some kind of Asian descent, so I believe it was a home recipe of theirs. This market is now Front Street Offices. Kind of weird to think about.

I was sad when that little market went away. I was in there almost every day, and across the street from them I found a really heavy, large, expensive-looking watch hanging in a tree. I still have it.

I didn’t like the pastry things. I didn’t know what kind of meat it was, and it smelled like someone boiled the dough, stuffed it with meat, and sprayed some more tap water on it to keep it moist. I don’t know.

I used to get Push Pops. I think those still exist. These things:

Push Ups, Pop ups, Push Pop, Pop Push, Pop Ups Push down. Whatever.

I liked them until one day I got a red one. I got a red one and ate it happily until there was some weird, slimy mass in my mouth. In fact, there were two of them. I stopped eating and spit it out. I looked at the chunky globs: the Push Pop had frozen off my tonsils. That’s what they were, they were my tonsils and I was standing there terrified, trying to halfway swallow my tongue so I could see if my tonsils were there or not (I couldn’t feel them), and almost crying because was I bleeding? I was!!! Was I going to die? I was going to die. Why was the Push Pop Company trying to murder me? Can I not even trust ice cream in this godforsaken world? 

I didn’t tell my father why I had spit out the chunks. There were no more in the ice cream, so I licked it, paralyzed mentally, until the rest of the murdersicle was gone.

When I didn’t die, I started getting scientific. I knew I couldn’t come to a conclusion about my tonsils because a true theory needs to be tested with multiple experiments. My finishing hypothesis was that the Push Pop hadn’t taken out my tonsils, but that they were putting meat or organs in the ice cream. In order to test that, I would need some more red Push Pops.

You Fucking See It?? OHEC

I was about seven or eight.

So I got another Push Pop. I got another. And another. They ALL had chunks.

I never ate another Push Pop after that, not the orange ones, not the multi-colored ones. I stopped eating Popsicles in general for many years. Because Push Pop was lying to the masses and putting OTHER people’s tonsils, their organs, KIDS ORGANS into their ice cream, the sadistic bastards.

It wasn’t until I started high school did that fear subside and did I realize, after finally eating a Push Pop styled ice cream, that the red chunks were strawberries.

That was a lot of years of fearing popsicles. Six years to be exact.

Things have never really been what they’ve seemed to me, and I’ve been open to all possibilities, bizarre or not. Why did I revert to this non-common-common-sense tactic of mine as a child, I don’t really know. I think at that point I was so used to weird shit happening—all the nightmares, the demons in the woods, time travel, learning about the weird world of quantum physics (although I didn’t understand much of it until Junior High)—that corporations shoving children’s tonsils and organs into ice cream didn’t seem that far off. 

I guess these memories are popping up more frequently because 1) my birthday is coming up and everything in my childhood seems so separate at this point, so separate from me and my life and 2) because of drones and the puppet Trump and whichever world organization is his puppet master, and police and that boiling Culture Of Fear that’s brewing on the stove top of this world.

Maybe the red chunks in our ice cream ARE tonsils. Maybe every single thought I’ve ever had is true and real and if so then I guess I don’t have any reason to fear them.

Tonsil ice cream tastes great.


*Note* I actually fucking HATE strawberry ice cream. It might have something to do with the truama of all the aforementioned.

Hotwater Cornbread Isn’t A Muffin, Ya’ll

One of my greatest comforts in this world is food. I admit it. I’m spooning chocolate ice cream pie into my face hole as I type this. Contrary to what you would think, I’m not overweight. I have the knowledge of nutrition and exercise. I don’t stuff five thousand calories a day down my throat, I probably eat a little under than what I should. I will snack on almost anything and I will try almost anything. I have never been a fish person but I gave sushi a try at a birthday party and hacked it back up. So I learned I don’t like raw fish either.

Being where I live there’s a lot of different Mexican foods to try. For example, I learned they don’t put cheese on their tacos traditionally.

I know, overly excited cat, I was surprised too! After eating a million of them I finally realized hey . . . there’s no cheese on this. It’s not yellow corn tortilla either, it’s white tortilla with the meat and some cilantro and onions maybe, some type of salsa and you call it a day. They’re just as delicious with cheese as they are without cheese.

I like spice. And steak sauce. I put A1 on my chicken, on my fish (it makes it taste like real meat), on my steak, on my burger, whatever. A1 is the shit. Hot sauce is the shit. I want to sweat when I eat, that’s how you know it’s good to ya.

That being said, I never understood why no one in my tiny, Californian coastal town of mainly Caucasians and Mexicans had never heard of grits or hot water corn bread. I mean, I literally spent the majority of my high school years baffled. Just like they’d ask me if I’d ever tried Posole and at the time I was like I don’t even know what language you’re speaking and they’d give me a look like I’d just run over their whole family with a tour bus. I’d give them an equally confused look when they said “You mean .  .  . the muffins?” when I mentioned hotwater corn bread.

So let me fill you in. Hot Water Cornbread is not a muffin. Hence the “hot water” part. You take cornmeal and put it in a bowl. You boil water. You pour just the right amount of the boiling water into the cornmeal until it’s just enough for the cornmeal to suck up the water and clump together. Then you cup it in your hand and press it into a puffy hand shaped patty and toss it in a skillet to fry. My family usually fries with left over bacon grease or vegetable oil. When you google hotwater cornbread you get this little perfect patty all rounded and shit . . . fuck that, it’s meant to be handled with you hands with love put into it that you viciously fry away until the outside is a deep golden yellow. Then you slice it open and put some butter and munch out on it with some blackeyed peas, some mustard greens, some potato salad, and some baby back ribs.

That’s how I grew up.

Grits is also not a type of rice soup. I . . . I don’t even know where people come up with this stuff. It’s also a type of corn. It’s good with eggs and sausage and bacon and toast.

I could eat hotwater cornbread and grits with anything. It’s one of the reasons I want to visit the south where half of my family grew up. Hotwater cornbread started with Native Americans (in the southern region like Tennessee and Mississippi and such) frying these concoctions on the iron skillets from the new comers. I would love to walk into a restaurant for once and order a plate of what I grew up with, surrounded by people who also grew up around the same, with people I might actually be able to relate with.

I love Mexican food, I love burgers, I love curry, I love vegetables, I love fruit, I love grits, I love hotwater cornbread, I even have learned to love the fish Tilapia. I used to fish for crawdads and kept one as a pet. I watched my father clean fish a lot. We went fishing often when I was younger. I love gumbo, particularly the crab and sausage kind even though I don’t even like crab. Haven’t tired the one with fish head and brains in it, not willing to go that far. I’ve also never eaten pig feet or hog head cheese. I guess you could say I’ve been westernized.

I love everyone and I love them even more when I try their food and it’s good.

I don’t like when people try to push cultures on me. I know I’m all jumbled together, but that’s who I am. I’m not going to become “white” and eat hotdogs and hamburgers all day, I’m not going to become Mexican and eat tacos and fish and I refuse to drink grape soda and munch out on fried chicken just because you think I need to be more black. Just let me be who I am. Why is that such a hard thing for people to do?

Food heals the soul. What you eat is part of your identity. I eat a lot of different things because I am a lot of different things. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s your favorite childhood snack? If someone says hotwater cornbread I’ll forever love you.

No pressure.