My dietary adjustments with ADHD

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  1. For me as an hsp-er, it is also true that nutrition plays an important role! No lactose and gluten for years now. More and energy and definitely less spikes. Glad you paid attention.
    Kind regards,

  2. Make sure you don't put more than 2 pieces of fruit in the green smoothie, otherwise you get TOO much sugar. You can also add oat flakes, for me this is a lunch and not a snack.

  3. Hi Jochem, nice and useful article! I am only missing lunch and dinner. Now you have already mentioned that you are going to write another article about dinner separately and haven't updated it yet. But what exactly do you do about lunch? Someone asked that before here, but didn't find your answer very clear. You talked about getting something from the organic shop, but not everyone has an organic shop near their work or home. Besides, getting something ready-made every time is quite pricey. Do you have any tips for soups and salads you can make when you're home at lunchtime that don't take much time to make? And a healthy lunch (without bread) that you can make the night before to take to work? Smoothies are very tasty, but really don't fill me up completely and are really not replaceable for me as a lunch meal. I prefer to drink a green smoothie as a snack. By the way, I have found that bread, cheese and sugars make me very sluggish. Now I have stopped using sugar for a while. I no longer drink it in my tea/coffee and also don't buy sweets and soft drinks anymore. But bread and cheese is harder to slack off. That is why I am looking for alternatives. Breakfast I already do more or less the same as you, but want to continue the energetic feeling during the day.

    1. Hi Vanessa, nice of you to respond.

      For quite some time now, my diet has looked something like this.
      Mornings: Bowl of oatmeal, mixed nuts and rice or almond milk. To this I usually add some things like chia seeds, linseed, pumpkin seeds, maca powder, blueberries and/or coconut rind. I vary that a bit. I often eat a smoothie with it as well. For instance, I put a pear and a banana and some mixed vegetables in it. Usually just from a bag of mixed vegetables. That can be from the albert heijn or organic shop.

      For the smoothie, I use a very fine blender. This is the nutribullet 900. It works very easily and you don't have to clean it much. Just rinse it off.
      To make the smoothie properly filling, I sometimes add a protein such as pea protein or almond protein. Then it does fill you up.

      During the day, I usually eat raw out of hand some carrot, cucumber, fruit or I eat some fish, egg, salad, avocado or rice swabs with meat or a vegetable spread or something. Or I make another smoothie. Also all depends on what I'm doing in a day and how much time I have.

      In the evening, I sometimes eat some fish or meat with vegetables or a mixed salad with beans and avocado or pumpkin. That can also be accompanied by rice or some potatoes. Sometimes I order some food like spare ribs with chips or a mixed meal salad. That's fine. Or I'll have an organic microwave meal/casserole of vegetables and rice or something. I then get those from ekoplaza for example. Those are examples for when you're short on time.

      In between, I also eat chips like cashew chips or peanut chips or just some natural chips every now and then on a day.

      Other than that, I drink pretty much only water.

      It all doesn't have to be so difficult. Above all, keep it simple :)

      I wrote another piece on nutrition here on the website >

      Good luck adjusting your diet.

      Greetings Jochem.

  4. Do add avocado through your green smoothies and chia seeds if you can stand them and a small scoop of coconut fat. Adding this will keep your blood sugar spike from rising quickly because of the sugars in the fruit.

  5. This has really helped me too! I find it very interesting to read how you apply pretty much the same things I do for my breakfast! The medication I would have to take is Concerta 36 mg and as a student that is quite expensive to pay for...(70 euros a month) but someone told me it's best if I take all the sugar out of my diet..that that would help too. I study psychology at university so concentration is essential during the course of the course...and since I would probably have to work with people with ADHD/ADD later on, I definitely wanted to test it out! I've now done my 2nd bachelor, and applied it in 1st sitting in January, cutting out as much sugar where possible and also switching up my breakfast and that has helped tremendously! I keep taking that breakfast now too and if I want to eat something made of sugar I do it after studying. I do notice that I can't even tolerate sugar that well now.... It gives me a headache and so on... I don't think I'll ever be able to achieve the same effect as the medication, but it's already a huge difference and a lot cheaper!

  6. I breakfast in much the same way as you do (but with greek or other full-fat yoghurt), but also add a mix of spices. I made this mix myself with cinnamon (50%), curcuma, cardamom, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I also always add a sprinkle of parsley and a cube of frozen fresh lemon. Then everything in the blender except, of course, the oat flakes. I pour the mixture over my musli, which I top with the superfoods and various nuts.

    For lunch, I often make soup, (am not so into green smoothies). It can be made with all kinds of vegetables and herbs, just what you have on hand. For instance, use sweet potato or courgette, supplemented with paprika, tomato, carrot, onion, leek, broccoli, etc. Cook for 10 minutes and then stir smooth with a hand blender. Optionally add some coconut milk, sautéed mushrooms or boiled egg. Super nutritious and delicious.

    1. Wow Addy, super well done! Am impressed! Now I wonder. In case you have AD(H)D or are highly sensitive. Have these dietary adjustments helped you in that area and what do you notice? Greetings Jochem.

  7. When you are sitting at home on sickness benefit because of ADD, this is a very expensive way of life maybe it would be useful to think about that too instead of expensive smoothies and superfoods, supplements etc.

    1. Hi Lydia, I definitely understand what you mean. Organic food costs more but in proportion, I don't actually spend more money at all. This is because I no longer snack in between meals. I don't empty bags of chips anymore. Don't drink expensive soft drinks anymore. No more junk food snacks etc etc etc. During the day, I drink water and eat fruit, dates, cherry tomatoes, carrots, dark chocolate to name a few as healthy snacks. In addition, I then make my smoothies from fruit and vegetables. When you weigh everything against each other, you save money on all the food you are going to leave out and so you end up being equally expensive. This may not seem like it at first but it really is true! :)

  8. How I roughly do it or aim for it.

    Breakfast: Green smoothie, non-dairy, oatmeal with water, rice,- or almond milk, cinnamon, agave syrup, some fruit added.
    Lunch: Salad
    Dinner: Beans, quiona, couscous, soup, greens, salads.
    80 % fruits and vegetables, vary a lot with that, just get a lot in the house and then your creativity does strike and combinations are endless, use a lot of different colours, each colour has different good substances.
    10 % fat from coconut oil bv and 10 % protein? Drink a lot, water, water with lemon, herbal tea.
    I don't always cook myself, so I don't quite stick to this, takes some extra organisation, but when I manage it I feel energetic and bright!!! I also like to drink cappuccino and many periods leaving that, I felt better too, hmmm, well?....
    Between meals: (Raw or at least above 70 %) Chocolate is healthy, very easy to make are 'bliss bals', which are from raw ingredients, sweet but without sugar. Eg dates, walnuts, cacao/cinnamon, coconut chips, mix and twist into balls, finish by rolling ball through coconut chips.
    Stress minimising, <3

    1. Hi Marjan, wow, you are also doing well. I could learn something from that! :) I am also curious about raw food. I still have an e-book of a RAW food masterclass at home. Maybe I should pull it out and slowly implement raw food in my daily diet too. Hear so many good reports about it. Thanks for your response and the tips! Greetings Jochem.

  9. I have good experience with the pelser diet. You then start with foods known to have no reaction to your behaviour. After 3 weeks, your diet is expanded. For 3 days you may add 1 product and see if your behaviour changes. Every next 3 days you are allowed to add another product. If your behaviour changes, you know that product is not good for you.

  10. I now have a green smoothie for the first time and without sugar and with plain whole yoghurt.
    I like it fresh and not really sour mss because there are 2 bananas in it.This one doesn't taste too sour nor ant-sweet I could get used to it

  11. These tips come in handy. Thank you Jochem. Last few days I have been living very poorly in terms of lifestyle nutrition. Feel it in the body, hyperactive in my head, ...
    There is work to be done again:-).
    Greetings Garicia

  12. Hi Jochem,

    I always enjoy reading your blog and so did this one. I would like to give you the tip that you should also pay attention to the labels in organic shops. E-numbers do occur as well as other additives you may not want to ingest.

    The fact remains, with all the conflicting messages and all the additives these days, eating healthy is a difficult task. I myself am a fan of Amber Alberda. She has written several cookbooks and also explains a lot about food. Organic, sugar-free and cow's milk-free.

    Greetings Edith

  13. Dear Jochem,

    Great blog to read and especially that you do indeed feel healthier and fitter through healthy eating.
    I would like to share a tip that has helped me drop a lot of physical complaints and excess weight. Spiritually, too, it has done a fantastic amount for me. *and many others* My add and hsp is now mainly a blessing instead of a cross.
    I have stopped using the food group nightshade. This food group contains high concentrations of neurotoxic toxins and acts considerably against our brain and food processing. For some people, it will be difficult to cut out potatoes tomatoes peppers aubergine and red (cilli) chillies. But I hope you google'd , so you can see what it does to us.
    I hope to read many more tips and great blogs from you.

    1. Hi Sandra, thanks for your tip! I looked it up and was quite shocked. Now I don't eat that many potatoes and peppers but tomatoes I eat quite a lot. Especially cherry tomatoes I eat like candy in between meals. You think you are doing something healthy. I also read that goyberries are a nightshade. But I love those too and they are superfoods that contain lots of vitamins. Now I am confused for a moment.

  14. Just an addition to the reactions about adhd in combination with movement... I do a lot of movement myself, as I am studying theatre. Indeed, I find that exercise classes in particular do me a lot of good. Especially after certain physical play exercises, I can really feel a lot fitter, happier and clearer for several days.
    So an article on the influence of physical exertion/movement on ad(h)d would also be very interesting to me.

  15. And almost forgot! For those people who normally always eat rice or potatoes; try quinoa. Super tasty and very easy to use with many kinds of dishes. From breakfast to dinner, I experiment with it a lot!

  16. Super good article! Very nice to read this. As an ADDer and highly sensitive person myself, I am working on it a lot. This does really push me in the right direction to continue with it.
    What I would add myself is fish oil. That is very essential for your concentration but it contains many other things that your body knows what to do with. I take 2 capsules every morning 10 minutes before breakfast LTO3 (and some more nutritional supplements) all those things together give good results.
    And for the real sweet chewers, my tip is to use stevia instead of sugars. That comes from the sweetest plant there is.

  17. Hi Jochem,
    How did you adjust your lunch? Because that's something I still find difficult. I need to be able to take lunch with me properly (due to work) and most importantly, it shouldn't take too much time to prepare in the morning.
    I must honestly confess that I make my breakfast pretty much the same, only with plain yoghurt because I really can't get the alternatives down my throat, do you know anything that is about one in taste and as thick as yoghurt? Earlier I used to eat 2 brown sandwiches or cruesli (big culprit with lots of sugar hahaha). So in itself the yoghurt with homemade nuts/ oat flakes muesli with (self-dried) fruit is already better than my previous breakfast variety ;-)

    Greetings Lieke

    1. Hi Lieke, what I personally really like as a substitute for dairy products from cows is almond milk. But if you don't like those, you can also take the sweetened almond milk. This has agave syrup in it. Another thing I often take is rice milk. It is already very sweet and I like it even better than almond milk. You can really make a delicious breakfast with rice milk. Throw in some oat flakes, maybe some flaxseed, some goji berries and a fruit. Delicious, and it keeps you full for hours without giving you snack-attacks in between ;)

      Oh and as for your lunch, that might be a bit easier for me than for most I think. I am often at home during the day and work in the evenings. But a friend of mine always makes his lunch the night before or sometimes in the morning and takes it with him to work. You might also be able to make a smoothie and take it with you in a jug or sealed cup. Smoothies can also be very filling. If you like to eat something easy but organic, you can also buy some ready-made things from the organic shop. You have pre-packed sandwiches and basically everything else. You do eat healthy and organic and it takes no time to make. Only thing is that these can usually be quite pricey. What I also eat a lot between meals, actually as a replacement for lunch, is during the day, nuts, carrots, fruit etc. Just whenever I get a craving for a healthy snack. Hope that's how you get out :) Greetings, Jochem

  18. Hey Jochem, how good to be so conscious of your body. I'm trying to be food conscious myself in Ecuador, where I've been living for about 7 months now. This is not always easy because the food here contains more fat, generally comes in large portions and almost always contains a mountain of rice. Eating times are also different here. Breakfast is between 9am and 11am (coffee, tea or yoghurt with a sandwich), lunch is the main meal and is eaten between 12pm and 2pm, then between 6pm and 8pm it is coffee time (coffee or tea with a sandwich) and between 8pm and 10pm there is an additional meal which could be called dinner. I noticed that after eating all those meals, my stomach started expanding over time and I started feeling increasingly uncomfortable in my clothes and body. Eventually, I decided to stop having dinner, drink less soft drinks and replace the sugar in my coffee and tea with something called "panela" or in Dutch primal sugar or primal sweet. According to Wikpedia, in primal sugar or unsweetened sugar, all nutrients and minerals are still present, unlike (raw) cane sugar. Since I live with a host family, it is difficult to change all my eating habits, but at least these small changes have gone a long way in making me feel better. Thanks for your tips, very nice and informative to read about your experiences!


    1. Hi Esmeralda, nice of you to respond and good to hear that you are also mindful of nutrition! :) Sounds like an extra challenge there in Ecuador. But from what I hear, you're doing pretty well. Have a great time there. Regards, Jochem.

  19. For good recipes and lots of snack tips, check out the book "Oergondisch genieten" by Ria Penders and Yvonne van Stigt. I have been eating without bread, dairy products and sugar for over two years now and have become a different person. My ADD symptoms have not disappeared, but they have improved a lot, not least because I have much more energy. (Not insignificant for someone who had more or less severe ME for 25 years).

  20. Hi Jochem, we are also following an article of yours to find out what foods are/are not good. We have changed bread to spelt bread. I also heard that milk wasn't good, so it's nice to read what your alternative is.

    I did wonder, though, what you do with your dinner then actually? Potatoes? meat? But yes...7 days of potatoes...?? What are good alternatives then? Love to read tips!

    1. Hi Nienke, I haven't adjusted my dinner yet. To be honest, I'm not much into cooking either. I still eat microwave meals sometimes but always the ones that are freshly prepared. These also only keep for a few days. They contain fresh vegetables. Steam meals are also tasty. But I admit, it doesn't fit in with the changes I am going through now. So I am going to change my evening meal too. I will write about this in a future blog. Who knows, I might even start feeling a lot better than I do now! :D

  21. Hello Jochem
    As a coach, naturopath and mother, I highly recommend the Hello Fresh package . Lots of fresh, healthy, innovative food. Even preparing it has ensured that I am now cooking with pleasure and zen instead of always having to think how and what I will make in the race against the clock. Also don't forget fatty fish like salmon or mackerel , preferably 2 a week.

    1. Hi Monique, thanks for your response! I looked into it but I still find that very expensive. Because I live on my own, I'd easily pay around 11 - 15 euros for a meal. I might as well go to a restaurant then ;)

      1. Yes idd, and tip 5? + unlimited beer without having to cook :D (but suggestions are always good so nix personal to Monique)
        In fact, I also have a suggestion or more question for Jochem: Have you ever written a blog/article about movement in relation to add. Movement is general (focus) for every person of course, but I've been following Elliot Hulse (a dude on youtube kind of movement trainer/body coach/builder does) for a while now, and particularly doing bioenergetics (stretching exercises) for my posture and have found that this helps and has helped me a lot. Sws for my breathing but also for moments of stress, over-stimulation, stress and when my head is full x full; it has helped me (not at the moment itself, but beforehand or at the end of the day) to relax, let go of stress and clear my head (I also have add + wss hsp? iigly very sensitive) - without meditating so to speak, so that I work on my natural balance of body and posture in combination with training.
        Anyway; if you've ever written anything about movement I'd love to read it. And if you have time to spare and t remember: type in Elliot Hulse in youtube and especially bioenergetics; he shares ideas and his perspective v/h life that really appeal to me and a lot of people.
        Btw - great article! I started using green smoothies a while ago which has already brought positive changes in my life, and now I'm going to change my diet step by step and next thing is breakfast.
        But Jochem: thx for this site and your efforts because purely because of this site I am and have been able to change things in my life positively and it is a fine support. Enjoy the sunshine and I look forward to your next blog, ltr!

        1. Hi Mattias, thank you so much for your nice response. I'm going to check out your info. Am curious about it. I haven't written very much about movement myself regarding ADD, ADHD and HSP. At least, not a whole article. Through the following link, however, you will find a page where I give 9 tips for your life with ADD, ADHD and HSP, one of which is about sport and exercise. (That's tip 6, check it out.) > Nice that you got so much out of my site and the blogs. Super to hear that green smoothies have brought you so much positivity too. That's what I do all this for! :D To help people and make them more aware. Next blogs are coming up, first I will post some guest blogs written by guest bloggers the other day. Greetings Jochem.

    2. Hi Jochem,

      Good tips. I do realise that I eat far too few fruits and vegetables. I am now also trying to make my body 'less acidic' and then one of the advices is to leave out the sandwich at lunch and eat vegetables instead. Then, of course, a smoothie like this is a great solution. The blender I already have...


      1. Thanks Alie, what you say, green smoothies are great for getting all your fruits and vegetables in. And tasty too! You already have the blender, so I say go to the supermarket and buy some nice fruit and vegetables. Good luck with it! Greetings Jochem