Grain Brain- Fate of Your Brain and Fueling With Fat

 

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Grain Brain.

 

Oh, why hello.

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Since we’re all about resting and recovering this week, I finally had time to sit down with the book Grain Brain that I received as part of a campaign with FitFluential LLC.

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Last night I sipped on some homemade warm turmeric almond milk also since turmeric is one of the nutrients he recommends adding to your diet. Not too shabby. (I’ll share the recipe later just in case you want to jump on board the whole better your brain train.)

I’d heard about this book by quite a few people and really wanted to read it because of the strong focus it has on brain disorders and inflammation. Ever since the whole hip dysplasia thing, I’m a firm believer that the type of food we put in our body is key to controlling and treating inflammation. This book takes it one step further and focuses on the correlation between inflammation and brain diseases.

Although I received this book a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t get a chance to really start reading it until the other day on the plane home from the marathon.

So far I’ve been doing quite a bit of skimming through the book. (That’s what I do, when I first get books- skim, underline and put Post-Its on a lot of pages. Ha ha.)

I can’t wait to read the entire book page by page, but for now I want to share some information and thoughts I’ve learned thus far.

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The author of Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, is the president of the Perlmutter Health Center in
Naples, Florida, the cofounder and president of the Perlmutter Brain
Foundation and a medical advisor to Dr. Oz.

The book is very well written and has a whole slew of information. Even as it’s written by a doctor, it’s easy to read and eye-opening ot say to say the least.

Dr. Perlmutter focuses on his findings that the fate of your brain is not soley in your genes, but in the food you eat. He shares that the conrnerstone of many brain conditions is inflammation, which can be triggered by carbs, especially those containing gluten and that are high in sugar.

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Along with his research he also presents a 4 week plan to keep your brain healthy, vibrant and sharp.

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So let’s see, he argues that along with processed foods, sugar and refined grains that cause inflammation (we all already know that), the grains that most of us view as healthy (gluten containing whole grains, etc.) are also destructive to the brain. He claims that they can cause dementia, chronic headaches, depression, ADHD, anxiety and many other things. Yikes. He states that the massive amounts of carbs we eat (both “good” and “bad”) are fueling a “firestorm” in our bodies.

HIs findings and research on sugar and the brain are pretty astounding also. He not only refers to processed sugars as causing damage, but natural sugars as well (found in fruit, etc.). Honestly, I can’t wait to read more on this topic as I’ve been through the whole STUFT Detox, sugar elimination before and have realized what an impact sugar can have on so many things.

 

His main focus is that our brain needs fat as fuel. He prescribes a diet that is high in “good fats” as ideal and explains how we can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age. Say what? Goodness knows I could use a few more. Ha ha.

Along with dietary changes (including no gluten) and eating a diet high in healthy fat and low in carbs and sugar, he also recommends adding specific supplements to your diet- ALA, coconut oil, DHA, probiotics, resveratrol, tumeric and vitamin D.

Along with the book, I was sent these supplements to go along with the 4 week challenge.

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GNC resVida (resveratrol), Brain Strong (DHA) and fish oil.

I also received this coupon for Gold Circle Farms DHA Omega-3 Eggs.

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Oh man, between these, our chickens who have been laying a good three to four eggs a day and my huge jugs, we’re set over here in the egg department. Ha ha.

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His 4 week plan consists of a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

It’s very similar to the paleo way of eating except that it allows dairy and certain forms of fermented soy. It is designed to shift your body away from relying on carbs for fuel and using fat instead.

He eliminates the following foods:

- all sources of gluten

- all forms of processed carbs, sugar and starch

- packaged foods labeled “low-fat” or “fat free”

- margarine, shortening and commercial brand cooking oil

- non-fermented soy

 

Foods that can be consumed liberally on his plan:

- healthy fats

- herbs, seasonings and non sugar condiments

- low sugar fruit

- protein

- vegetables

 

He does allow for dairy, legumes, non-gluten grains, natural stevia and dark chocolate, whole fruit and wine to be consumed sparingly. Sweet potatoes are not allowed because of the high sugar content, but most forms of squash are. Yes, kabocha squash. Thank goodness. I wonder if roasted purple sweet potatoes makes the cut?

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The plan also entails the addition of brain health supplements (as the ones I was sent pictured above), incorporating a fitness routine, getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week and establishing a rhythm or habit to be able to maintain these healthy habits.

 

I did agree to take the 4 week challenge as part of this campaign, yet I am aware I may have to make some modifications based on my activity level and training. I really like the whole idea of shifting your energy source from high carbs to fat, but as a marathon runner it’s pretty much the opposite we’ve been told. I was once told I should be “oozing carbs” at the beginning of a marathon. It’s kind of hard to shift that focus.

I don’t have any major races coming up in the next couple of weeks, so I will follow his plan as best as  I can.

I will up my fat intake (hello more avocados and coconut oil) and consume less sugar. I’m not going to do anything too rigid, as I pretty much eat according to his guidelines anyway, but adding more fat sounds like a great approach to start.

These are the supplements I’ll be taking for the next four weeks.

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The three that were sent to me as part of the campaign/challenge and a daily multi-vitamin and glucosamine (recommended by my prolotherapy treatment doctor).

 

So, with that, I’m off to tackle the day.

I’ll be writing a follow up post at the end of the challenge and once I read the entire book.

 

Has anyone read this book or taken his 4 week challenge? I want to hear about your experience.

Any thoughts on brain health and/or fueling with fat rather than carbs? I still can’t figure out how exactly I feel about it.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Laura says:

    Be careful of what supplements you are taking though as many of them may contain gluten (defeating the purpose). Check out naturalhealthyconcepts.com for great supplements…free shipping throughout the US too. I get all of mine from them.

    • 1.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Gotcha. Thanks. These were sent to me as part of the program though, so I’m pretty sure they are gluten free. I will definitely check out that website though. :)

  2. 2

    I am in the camp of eating a balanced plate. Of course, I got into major trouble when I started cutting out food groups (I had an eating disorder) so it’s better for me to just eat without “restrictions”. But I do agree that higher fat, lower carb diets seem to be the best. If you don’t eat enough fat, you won’t ever feel “full”. Your brain will send a signal that you’re full once it registers fat and protein in the digestive organs. Hence, you can eat carbs all day and not feel “full”. As for marathon training, you need the carbs. Because the purpose of carb loading is to eat so many carbs that it turns into fat and will be burned during the race. It’s not my impression that our bodies are able to store high amounts of fat in the same way. I’m curious to see what the book says, though…I’m no RD and could be totally wrong on all accounts!

    • 2.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      I can’t agree more. I like learning about different theories and studies, but once we figure out what works for us, it’s all good. Thanks for the reminder Annie . I just wrote a follow up post since there was so much discussion on the topic. I’m no RD either, just a runner who loves to eat. LOL.

  3. 3

    I have never heard of this book but I would love to read it! I have really been looking to revamp my diet and this looks like a great source of information!

  4. 4
    elizabeth says:

    I agree with limiting sugar and refined carbs, but I don’t agree with a high fat diet and I think whole grains and beans are very healthy.
    I put tumeric in my miso, lemon, tahini dressing yesterday.

    • 4.1
      Ren says:

      I agree. I think that any book that advocates removing perfectly healthy foods – like whole grains and fruit – should be sending up red flags. Unless you are celiac or have an actual gluten intolerance, it’s ridiculous and expensive to eliminate gluten. And honestly, I just cannot support any so-called doctor who says that we shouldn’t eat fruit. FRUIT! Healthy fats are super important, sure. But so are carbs! Good carbs! Especially for people who train a lot. They are vital. This books sounds dangerous to me and like it’s just trying to play off people’s fears and desperation to lose weight.

      • Amy H says:

        I agree! Plus, I feel like even with just trying to stick to a “moderation” and “mostly unprocessed” diet, I spend a lot of brain power focusing on what I eat – and I don’t want to move any further down any “extreme” pathways. That can’t be good for our brains either!

    • 4.2
      STUFT Mama says:

      I agree too Elizabeth, but I like reading what kind of research is out there. Ooooo… you may have to give me your dressing recipe. :)

      • elizabeth says:

        I like reading about nutrition too.
        The dressing is just a mix of tahini, miso, lemon, water and whatever else you want, garlic, ginger, spices, maple. I had it tonight on a chopped cabbage salad with quinoa and lentils, wish I still had some parsley from the garden to add.

      • elizabeth says:

        I use tumeric in a red lentil dal with lemon, ginger and garlic that is also good.

  5. 5

    I haven’t read the book but it sounds interesting. Alzheimer’s run in my moms side of the family so I would be interested to see what it says about that. I try to limit refined sugars but I love fruit, and sweet potatoes! I’ll be interested to read about hat you think of the challenge, the rest I the book and if you see any differences in your workouts.

  6. 6

    I haven’t read the book but I’m definitely intrigued by it….I have to say that i have mixed feelings about his philosophy though. I absolutely agree that we need fewer (or close to eliminated) refined carbs and sugars, and I agree that healthy fats are very important to a well-balance healthy diet. However, I certainly think that it is possible to overdo it on fat consumption. I also think that whole grains have their place, too – quinoa, amaranth, millet, brown rice, etc. There are many benefits to these WHOLE grains and it’s unfortunate that they get lump-summed into the same group as refined, poorly sourced breads and “carbs.”
    Okay, end rant. I’m excited to hear what you think of it all once you’re finished :)

  7. 7
    Amy says:

    I’ve been so curious about the wheat/gluten debate as I’m not educated enough on the subject to know what is factual and what is hype. Thanks for sharing and I’m anxious to hear what you think. Oh, and please do share the almond milk/turmeric recipe!

  8. 8

    I haven’t heard of the book. but sounds like very interesting concepts. Anxious to hear about your results – Good Luck!!

  9. 9
    Kathy says:

    Besides the dairy it sounds a lot like Atkins….

    I have a Personal Trainer friend and she would never eliminate fruit…natural sugars…as always it will be fun to hear how you do and if you notice any changes. ;-) Better you than me. haha!

  10. 10

    I am not a fan of eliminating whole food groups but that is just me… I am not sure about the fuel on fat though as I have heard the opposite. Eager to see what you think.

    Me, I could never be happy on this plan – even 4 weeks & especially this time of year! ;)

    Good luck! :)

  11. 11
    purelytwins says:

    look forward in your 4 week challenge. we eat a lot of healthy fats :) so we probably would love that challenge ;) hugs

  12. 12
    Anita says:

    After reading Wheat Belly and Why We Get Fat last year my husband and I started making major changes to what we ate. The wheat we eat today isn’t the wheat I grew up eating (it changed in the early 80′s) and is so far from the genetic make up of what our ancestors ate that we as humans have not evolved to process it. The change wasn’t easy and I missed some things (pasta, bread and some cheeses) but I did sleep better, PMS disappeared (Mister liked that) and there was no afternoon crashes. As an added bonus Mister lost almost 50 lbs in the year and has had no issues keeping it off. In Wheat Belly they talk about the affect of wheat on kids with ADHD, autism and adult schizophrenic patients when it was eliminated and then re-introduced to their diets. Scary stuff! This book sounds very similar to the two I mentioned above and I have ordered it from Amazon. Looking forward to your challenge and hearing the good, the bad and the ugly. :)

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