*Managing Depression and Anxiety for Life*

Street ArtWelcome to Body As Machine!

I’m Libby Johnstone, a lifelong server + bartender with a Masters of Fine Art in Writing.  My husband sails the Great Lakes feeding the crew on a freighter, and we have a wildly fantastic daughter.

Oh … and I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my life talking myself through ridiculously low self-esteem, somewhat reclusive tendencies, and a general propensity to give up.  Even back when I was 12 and got a red diary with a little lock for Christmas, my biggest concern was that my brother might pick the lock;  so I left the diary blank.  Read this as a metaphor for the approach I’ve taken toward life in general: overly guarded.

But I’m opening myself wide for this, finally putting it out there.  I’ve got my own sad story just like everybody–less sad now–and this diary is anything but locked.

If you haven’t yet checked out my post “Getting Poetic With Vegan” I should mention that this site is about a miraculous transformation in my mental health since committing to gluten-free plant-based eating (that’s right, no wheat, no meat + no dairy) in tandem with cross country running (20-30km per week).  Sound exasperating?  It’s really not.  Not if you want to  cure chronic depression and anxiety without drugs.  LONG.  TERM.   With 25 years of personal trial-and-error under my belt, and an outright and incredibly stubborn fear and refusal of anti-depressive and anti-anxiety meds, for me, this is just simply the only thing that works.

On the Body As Machine homepage, you’ll find alternating entries from the “Feast,”  “Fitness,” and “Banter” sections of the site.

“Feast” contains recipes I use in rotation (because they’re so good; the stuff I live on), as well as commentary on new recipe testing and food field trips.  Which cashew cheese wins ultimate domination?  A future “Feast” post will attempt to answer this question.

In “Fitness,” I talk about physical strength.  Connecting with the breath and my body–specifically, by trail running in the great outdoors–has been integral in managing cycles of darkness…so they just don’t get that dark.  At least not for very long.   In fact, I’ve revamped the entire site because I can’t overlook that this isn’t just about food.  My trail runs are absolutely key, and I hope to be able, along the way, to express exactly why.

The “Banter” category is a bit of a wild card–examining topics of interest in mental health, bad habits and addictions (of which I’ve had a few) and the ways I’ve tackled them, what effect this lifestyle has upon physical health, appearance, and body image (hint: it’s for the better obviously), and I will occasionally meander into some controversial stuff.  Keep in mind, I’ve worked overtime for too long to solve this mental health crap, to solve a life that at times I’ve wanted nothing more than to discard.  So, in short, you’ll find a series of posts in “Banter” which explore whatever happens to have slapped at me a bit, and what I’ve discovered therein. Ideally, I’ll be alternating through these categories as I roll along.

Please join me!!  Come in.  Dance around.  And don’t hesitate to contact me with queries or quandaries.  My hope is that this spot becomes a hub of information + helps you in your own journey toward easier days.  The most informative place to start: is HERE.

And thanks so much for visiting!



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