The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Grain brain.
Have you noticed the recent trend in everything and everyone going gluten-free?
I’ll admit, I was slightly confused about why regular non-celiac people were going gluten free. Surely gluten cannot be that bad for us, it’s been around for a long time! I know tons of people who have been eating gluten all their lives and have managed just fine. They are still alive today and are as healthy as can be. But I also know a lot of people who suffer from various diseases that were not as common back in the day from what I heard, such as depression, ADHD, diabetes, and more.
Surely, this couldn’t be the all gluten’s doing… could it?
The dangers of gluten…
Well, according to Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, it is indeed. Dr. Perlmutter is the author of Grain Brain and several other books about brain health. He is well engaged in the medical community and holds leadership roles in various medical organizations as well as serving as a medical advisor to Dr. Oz.
In Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter talks about the amazing effect gluten and sugar can have on a person’s brain. Apparently, the cornerstone of many brain conditions is inflammation which can be triggered by carbs, especially those containing gluten and are high in sugar. He gives many many examples and case studies from his own doctoral experience of patients who came to him with a variety of symptoms and illnesses and most of whom were cured by simply adopting a gluten-free diet. It was astounding to read. I had no idea that even a small gluten-sensitivity, something that most of us might have, could make such a huge negative impact on our health – not just our body’s but also our brain’s.
What is the Grain Brain Challenge?
The Grain Brain 4 Week Challenge is created as a plan to create healthy lifestyle choices that will allow us to keep our brains healthy, vibrant, and sharp. The plan includes:
- shifting your body away from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements
- incorporating a fitness routine
- getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week
- establishing a new rhythm to maintain these healthy habits
The eating plan for this challenge is low carb and low sugar, but high fat and high protein. Fat is and always has been the fundamental pillar of our nutrition, in fact the human brain consists of more than 70 percent fat. Good fats, like DHA omega-3s, help reduce inflammation and certain vitamins (A, D, E, K) require fat to get absorbed by the body properly. Additionally, we get much more satiated when eating fat and we work more efficiently on fat than we do on carbs.
Big changes ahead!
Boy oh boy… I will admit, I am nervous. I know I have been ingesting a lot of sugar and carbs, not necessarily in the form of bread and pasta (not my favorite things) but mostly yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, and granola. Additionally, I didn’t even realize how many places gluten can hide in. Seriously, gluten is in everything. It’s really amazing once you start noticing all the things to look out for.
How do I plan to incorporate the Challenge into my own life? While I know it’d be great to just go right off into the deep end and go hard into the low carb/low sugar/high fat diet, this would be extremely difficult for me to do and I would likely end up binging in the end and possibly back in some weird kind of cycle. But I can’t be sure. So because I want to make this challenge something that will REALLY be a potentially life-changing challenge that will create lasting change in my life, I have to take it my own way with my own approach.
My plan for the next 4 weeks:
- Eat a whole lot less sugar: no high sugar fruit, no honey, no frozen yogurt (sad face), no baked goods and pastries or chocolate (unless it’s dark chocolate). I really need to and have been needing to learn to eat more real “adult” meals that are not just mostly sugar.
- Try to avoid gluten as much as I can. Learn to use gluten free flours for baking rather than using gluten ones.
- Try to lower my carb intake following the guidelines. This includes eating more fat and more protein (I guess more meat then too).
- Take the supplements that have been provided for me daily: Fish Oil, DHA, and ResVida, along with my regular supplements of Vitamin C, Cacao Extract, and others.
- Move every day – continue following my 4-5 day/week workout plan which consists of a combination of weight training and cardio. The other 2-3 days I will move my body in other ways, such as going for a walk, on a bike, yoga, etc.
Well, wish me luck. Please do send any food blogs or recipes my way that are lower carb but still clean! I need all the help I can get haha. This does also mean you will most likely be seeing some new recipes on the blog soon – those of the gluten free and low carb variety!
PS. This challenge starts for me on Monday!
Questions for you:
- Do you avoid gluten?
- Have you ever gone low carb? Any tips?
Let me know in the comments!