Three posts about health, part one: food and anxiety


This space is where I talk about my weird bullshit, but for whatever reason, I’ve avoided talking about health issues here. Today I’ll talk about the most negligible of them: my fucked-up anxieties and the foods that made them worse.

For some people, their anxieties and compulsions reach the point where they can’t function. They can’t hold down jobs or manage daily tasks. Me, I’m lucky that I’ve never had issues that severe. Ladders and bridges give me goosebumps, but I can climb the former if they’re not too high, and I can drive across the latter if I stay focused on what’s ahead. Similarly, if I step on a crack on the sidewalk with the ball of my left foot, I’ll try to step on the next one at the same spot on my right foot (so they’ll be “balanced.”)

And so on. Weird little quirks like this aren’t terribly interesting, and there’s no need for an exhaustive list. Frankly, they’ve never truly interfered with my life, mainly because my life doesn’t require me to walk across rope bridges, wash windows on a skyscraper, or base jump.

However, a few years ago, a nutritionist my wife works with gave her a list of foods that are high in amines, and according to her, amines increase anxiety. We received a list of foods to avoid, and let me tell you, this was not a list I wanted to think about.

Foods high in amines: bananas, lemons, bacon, parmesan cheese, cheddar, chocolate, walnuts, spinach, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, beer, and many more.

I love bananas, and I cook with lemons and bacon all the time. What’s more, I love beer. Still, we made a decision to be strict about this stuff, and after a few weeks I found myself walking over bridges with only mild twinges (in the past, I’d have to keep my gaze focused on the concrete in front of me) and sometimes forgetting entirely to “balance” my steps when I’m going somewhere.

Recently, I’ve fallen back a bit. I’ve had beer a few times, and a few slices of pizza, too. My writing productivity has fallen off, and I’m not sleeping really well. It’s just about time to tighten things up again. And that’s it.