The first thing coach Dana Rayburn did was send me a list of questions. Among a group of difficult questions like, “Who are you in this world?” were questions about everyday things like medications, workout routines, and diet and nutrition.

Now, I’m not too shabby in the food department. I try hard to care for my body and am proud in my 1500-2000 calories consumed daily, but I’m not eating the most healthy and it showed. Dana then pointed me to one of her own blog posts that discusses food and nutrition for the ADD/ADHD brain. It was clear that I wasn’t eating enough protein throughout the day, so I immediately started working on that. This morning, for instance, I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole-grain oat bread (yummy!). The peanut butter protein helped me stay focused until lunch, while honey helped boost my morning energy level.

Dana’s article on ADD nutrition!

Long story short, I am now getting back on track with things like bringing my own (healthier) lunches and filling up on protein early in the day. I can honestly say that I’ve been much more focused today than usual.

Another great thing about these questions was that she, as a coach, understood my disdain for medication. Although I have never been a fan of taking medicine for ADD, I understand that it is important for many children and adults to function and it is a personal choice between the person with ADD and their doctor. There is no single answer for everyone! Recently though, The New York Times published an article that furthered my personal decision on the matter. You can find that link here: ADD Drugs Don’t Work Long Term.

Dr Hallowell’s response (thanks Dana!) can be found here, and it’s quite great in understanding common sense in taking medications and the positives and negatives of The New York Times piece. 🙂

Not taking prescriptions, however, doesn’t mean that I don’t need to care for my brain and do what I can to help myself work hard and focus. I take Fish Oil and Evening Primrose Oil along with a daily multi-vitamin to help me mentally function. One study shows the obvious benefits of fish oil on the ADHD brain.

After Dana and I got the nutrition aspect settled, we spoke about what three, short-term goals I wanted to work on in the next few months. My personal list included keeping my bathroom clean, walking my dogs daily, and creating a working organizational system for my classroom papers (I teach). Then we chose which goal I wanted to work on first. Dana suggested I start with the bathroom, partly to make my husband feel better.

I got to work right away. By telling myself to “be mature” and “just do it” I began to pick up my stuff as it dropped on the floor. I also instilled one of Dana’s ideas, “Envision Neat”. In this exercise, I stare at my bathroom, close my eyes, and envision neat. I then open my eyes and do it!

Before I organized The Stuff

This little “envision neat” exercise is beneficial in many, many ways. The first way it helped me was that I had already cleaned! But it wasn’t as clean as I needed or wanted. The Stuff wouldn’t fit anywhere! So I turned my bathroom into a little project.

The first place I started was under the bathroom sink. Now, if you’re anything like me being overwhelmed is a major issue. I avoid anything that overwhelms me and need step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task. So I provided myself with exactly what I needed.

Step one: Take everything out of the cabinet.

Step two: Throw away the trash.

Step three: Wipe down cabinet (it was pretty dirty).

Step four: Organize.  To do this I re-purposed an old kitty litter pan and a large perfume box I got for Christmas. The result was two separate sides to the cabinet, one for the pet stuff (I’ve got three dogs and a cat) and one for the human stuff (there is just two of us…our stuff is a little overpowered).

It's not perfect, but you must admit, it's better!

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