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K.B.Fante

A routine that's helping (for newcomers especially)

7 posts in this topic

So it seems like there've been a lot of posts here recently from first-time users, those new to HPPD, wondering if (A) they indeed have HPPD and (B) if so, how they go about treating it. It's been established that immediate and lasting abstinence from drugs is perhaps the most important factor in healing, followed by living a healthy lifestyle, exercising, eating right, meditating and so on. This formula has worked well for me and many others and I'd just like to share a bit more detail about what I've been doing over the last nine months that has really jumpstarted my recovery into a higher gear. 

Sleep

It all starts with a good night's sleep. You need at least six hours and preferably no more than nine. That seems to be the goldilocks zone for a healthy sleep cycle that won't leave you tired or drowsy the next morning. Sleep is when our brain's repair cycle occurs so it's important to allow yourself to heal at night otherwise you're not giving yourself a good chance to heal from HPPD as a whole. 

Before bed I always meditate using binaural beats. I focus on my body, where I'm tight, where I feel stress, and I always try and loosen up, ask myself why I feel that way. I also focus on my thoughts and ask why they are that way. If I'm relaxed, I ask what I did during the day to make myself relax. If I'm nervous I ask myself what I did or perhaps ate that made me feel stressed or energized. This shouldn't be a period of deep thinking, rather of deep awareness. It's a great way for me to recap the day, figure out what I did right and wrong that helps me sleep well at night and recover as a whole from HPPD. 

I also go to bed early and sleep in a very dark and cool room on a very firm bed. This is the best setting for getting good rest. If you can tune out noise that helps as well. 

On nights I feel I'll have a hard time sleeping I drink tea before bed, preferably chamomile, lemon balm, lavender and other "sleepytime" teas that have lots of good, natural healthy herbs that promote rest but also don't leave you feeling groggy the next day. I'm a very firm believer teas have helped me sleep well and recover and they're proven to be incredibly good for you too, especially chamomile. 

I've had a difficult time reading lately, but I'd recommend reading a bit before bed if you can. Maybe this is a magazine or a book, but you should try and dim the lights, avoid the computer and TV and really prepare yourself for sleep as if it's a sacred act. Also, avoid eating lots of sugar or carbs before bed as these can disrupt your sleep. 

Morning Exercise Routine

When I wake up I have a very set routine.

First I make my morning exercise drink. It's important to hydrate in the morning but rather than just drinking a couple glasses of water I'll drink my "exercise drink" followed by a glass of water. In my exercise drink I boil a cup of holy basil tea, then I squeeze a lemon wedge, add a half teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, about five to 10 drops of bacopa tincture and then occasionally I'll add very small amounts of other ingredients like cayenne, pine pollen, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice or passionflower tincture. Many of these ingredients do one of two things: They either clean your system out or promote brain growth and a positive mood. They're also some of the healthiest foods in the world. I think this tonic has done a lot in helping me maintain positive bodily health as well as a positive mood in route to healing my HPPD. Turmeric and some form of adaptogen (bacopa, holy basil and ashwagandha work best for me) are the most important elements of this drink for my overall well being. I also have rotated many other things in and out and never overdo it since adding too many herbs can be overwhelming mentally. It's always important to start small and work your way up and never add too much stuff at one time. 

After I hydrate I then go on a run every other day, preferably about three miles. After I run I stretch, do some yoga poses and lift weights. I only do this every other day, however, because you can easily work out too much and cause your body damage. It's very important to rest and allow your body to heal. If you wanted to do some very light workouts every day I think that'd be OK though. Either way, working out in the morning when cortisol is low is the best. It's also a great way to start the day off right and get blood flowing to the brain to allow it to work well the rest of the day. No matter what type of workout I do I always try and push myself to do some brief high-intensity exercises -- but never too much! -- as this is the best way to create BDNF which is the main ingredient in growing new neurons. 

After working out I eat breakfast -- the most important meal of the day. This usually entails some form of a veggie stir-fry, fruit, organic yogurt, eggs, etc. Whatever it is I always try and eat mostly vegetables with a little bit of fruit, perhaps some form of meat for protein. Then I take certain vitamins along with my meal, those being B-complex (Country Life co-enzyme are the best in my opinion), digestive enzymes (Now Foods are the best for me), selenium, sunflower lecithin (helps brain health and neurogenesis) a combination D and K vitamin (since you need K to go along with D) and fish oil. I've also added a few other really good supplements occasionally, like reishi mushroom capsules (a superfood for brain health) and spirulina (another superfood), but I've mainly stuck to the above for about nine months with good success and no side effects. Additional supplements I will likely try in the future that are good for brain health are phosphatidylcholine, ginkgo, lion's mane and vinpocetine, but again, I don't want to overload so I'm going to try them one by one in order to see if they affect my mood or cognition negatively. 

Lunch

Getting your blood glucose under control is key for brain health so I try and avoid snacking while eating three times a day, about four to six hours apart, and never eat too much or indulge in too much sugar -- which I admit is very difficult, though I try. For lunch I try and eat more cold foods, maybe some probiotics like kombucha or fermented veggies, sea veggies, nuts, bone broth, a salad (celery artichoke, olives), tuna or sardines, etc. I also eat a tablespoon of olive oil and a bit less of coconut oil. These should be in everyone's diet, especially those trying to heal from HPPD, as they are some of the healthiest fats out there. I also take zinc during lunch and sometime afterwords I might make up some mint tea or just any type of tea that doesn't contain caffeine and won't make me drowsy. 

Dinner 

At night I do something similar to breakfast, mostly veggies but of a different variety. I eat more potatoes, peppers, zucchinis, mushrooms, onions, garlic and usually some protein whereas in the morning I eat more green veggies. It's just about mixing up different types of veggies really. I also take magnesium, another digestive enzyme and more fish oil with this meal. Then afterwords I make up a health dessert of oats, coconut flakes, organic honey, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut milk, a few blueberries and a variety of different healthy spices, especially cinnamon. 

Additional Health Notes

There are certain foods I basically structure my entire diet around. These are some of the healthiest foods in the world and especially so for brain health. They include: Celery, Artichoke, Basil, Parsley, Red Grapes, Tea (watch out for caffeine!), Turmeric, Olives, Organ Meats, Grass-Fed Beef, Free-Range Poultry, Wild-Caught Fish, Coconut Milk, Blueberries, Avocados, Bone Broth, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Pumpkin, Cruciferous Veggies (better when cooked!), Beets, Garlic (wait 10 minutes after cutting before cooking for best benefits), Ginger, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon, Algae, Figs, Aloe Vera Juice, Onion (best eaten raw), Apples, Chicory Root, etc. 

Additional superfoods: Cacao (dark chocolate has caffeine so don't eat too much!), bee pollen, algae (spirulina and chlorella), hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, coconut, maca, acai, camu camu, kelp, aloe vera, noni, etc.

Omega 3-rich foods (your brain desperately needs these at all times for repair): Cod liver oil, mackerel (by far the most), salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, egg yokes, etc. 

 

High fat foods (ditto to the above): Nuts (macadamia especially) and seeds (chia, flax, etc.) cruciferous veggies, avocados, wild-caught fish, free-range eggs, olives, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, coconut, dark chocolate, etc. 

 

Probiotic foods: Fermented veggies (kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, etc.) kombucha, full fat plain grass-fed Greek yogurt, etc. 

 

Prebiotic foods (probiotic foods eat prebiotic foods to function): Chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onion, asparagus, etc. 

Also, I try and avoid gluten if possible. It's been linked to all sorts of different cognitive disorders and health problems so I think while I'm healing I'm gonna try and stay away from it as much as I can. The good news is there's so many different gluten-free options out there that you can still basically eat whatever you want, even pizza and sandwiches. 

Anyway, this schedule is really working for me. Recovering from HPPD has been a very slow process but I really think eating right, exercising properly and giving my brain the fuel it needs to heal has been a huge turning point in my recovery. Just thought I'd share my routine to perhaps give people an idea of a safe route to follow in case they're unsure of which direction to go in trying to heal. Some of the supplements above might not work for everyone so it's really important to take this with a grain of salt and ease into things slowly.

No matter what path you chose to heal from HPPD I think living a healthy lifestyle should without question be the centerpiece, and I think as long as you abstain from drugs as well you give yourself a great shot at healing, even if it takes a few years.

Good luck everyone!  

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I read ur other post where u said that hppd is caused by neurodegeneration . If that's the case nothing can heal or cure us except for stem cell therapy? Or do u mean mentally healing ?

Have u been cured of any hppd visual disturbances ? Is or was one of ur symptoms vs ?

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Thanks, I currently think about how I can make my diet more healthy. I have always just stuffed every food inside of me that I felt a desire for, so changing my diet feels like one of the trickier challenges. I might use your post as a basis for my future diet.

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7 hours ago, SaraSara said:

I read ur other post where u said that hppd is caused by neurodegeneration . If that's the case nothing can heal or cure us except for stem cell therapy? Or do u mean mentally healing ?

Have u been cured of any hppd visual disturbances ? Is or was one of ur symptoms vs ?

Yes, I have visual snow. It was really bad at first but it's gotten a lot better over the course of two years. I still have it at night and when I look into the sky but it's improved so much that it doesn't bother me anymore really. Same goes for many of my other visual symptoms. I still have them but they've finally decreased enough to where they don't bother me that much day to day. When I'm driving it's probably the worst as cars still blur when I pass them and my eyes can't shift fast enough to focus on everything that's passing by but again, it's a small part of my day that doesn't drive me nuts anymore. I'm very thankful to even be in this position as I had really severe HPPD and DP for a while. 

You can grow new brain cells. A lot of the foods above help, same with exercise. Perhaps try eating healthier and exercising more and see how it makes you feel, but be sure to give yourself enough time. Healing doesn't happen overnight!

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I'm really happy to hear that ur symptoms have improved. Hopefully they will go away completely and never come back . Ur improvements give me some hope:) 

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1 hour ago, SaraSara said:

I'm really happy to hear that ur symptoms have improved. Hopefully they will go away completely and never come back . Ur improvements give me some hope:) 

I really think a lot more people totally recover than what's perceived. It just often takes a really long time and it goes away so slowly that people leave these boards when they're feeling halfway decent and never return to share their success stories. Still there are plenty around and many of the members here are making headway in their recovery even if they're not totally healed yet. 

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Do you have a grocery list of recipes that we can use to follow this? I try to eat healthy but it's no where near the stuff you're describing.

 

 

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