Grain Brain Challenge takeaways

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

You may remember that I started a challenge 4 weeks called based on the book by Dr. David Perlmutter, MD, called Grain Brain. Refresh your memory and let’s continue…

Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBChallenge #GrainBrain #Fitfluential

Now 4 weeks later, I would like to do a quick post with some takeaways from the challenge. Did I succeed? Was it hard? What were my thoughts about the book, the challenge, and whatever else? Here’s my take…

As you know, I was not planning on being super strict with the challenge. I succeeded the first week to be mostly the way I’m supposed to do the challenge. It was almost all gluten free and mostly low carb.

Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBchallenge #Fitfluential
Crock Pot Caramelized Onions on top of shredded chicken and mixed greens

The second week got harder. I didn’t throw away all the gluten free stuff because I just can’t justify throwing money away like that (food is money in my eyes) and I don’t want to waste it if it’s good. Consequent day after day I strayed more from the challenge mostly because of this. Also I got a shipment of a TON of refrigerated pasta and while I’m not typically a pasta eater, I am also not very rich and if there’s perfectly good food sitting in the fridge, just begging to be cooked for dinner, I’m gonna eat it. And I’ll enjoy the heck out of it.

What I have taken away from the challenge?

Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBchallenge #Fitfluential

Grain Brain – Gluten:

I have made a conscious decision to minimize gluten from my diet. While I am not allergic or sensitive to gluten, I now know the terrible effects it can have on the brain and I would like to avoid the grains (bread, pasta, etc) to convert into sugar in my bloodstream. I don’t need an insulin resistance problem and with the pace I was going before the challenge, I think I was way on my way to getting there. Not necessarily because of bread and pasta since those two I don’t eat very much but in general – cereals, hidden gluten foods, etc.

Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBchallenge #Fitfluential

I learned to get creative. As I said, I don’t really eat pasta but I made more meats and poultry than usual and I needed to eat it with something. I made zucchini pasta for the first time!

Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBchallenge #Fitfluential Grain Brain Challenge - 4 weeks later #GBchallenge #Fitfluential

Topped it with my delicious Crock Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken which I have made probably 3-4 times now. This recipe is so darn easy, it is a total keeper.

Grain Brain – Carbs:

The second thing is carbs. I noticed that as soon as I started eating less carbs and more fats, my tummy got flatter and much less bloated. This also was because of the first week and a half I avoided yogurt. I think I may have a lactose sensitivity and when I have too much of it, I get bloated, etc. Having a diet with lower carbs made me feel lighter, flatter in the tummy, and overall great. The downside – it’s tough when you’re not used to it and you don’t plan ahead.

I started buying and making more salads for lunch on the weekdays. I really enjoyed that and I will try to continue doing this. I’ve always struggled with getting more veggies in but this is so good, I can definitely get used to it.

And I got creative with them…

Grain Brain – Supplements:

I continued to take the supplements throughout the whole challenge as well and I really liked them all. I will continue taking all of them.

Grain Brain Challenge

Grain Brain – Alcohol:

Oh also another great thing, I haven’t had any beer the whole challenge – just once or twice I had hard cider but no craft beer (which I love) and I’m planning on not drinking much beer anymore because of the gluten and carb factor. I DID start drinking red wine which I didn’t really like before. My friend introduced me to Cabarnet Souvignon and I tried Red Zindinfel and I LOVED them both and I am glad to say I am now converted into a wine drinker! YAY! 🙂 I feel like it’s a rite of passage of sorts, haha.

In conclusion….

I plan on continuing to use all of the gluten foods I have until I get rid of them but I will/do only try to buy gluten-free foods from now on and I’m gonna learn how to bake gluten-free goods more as well. Yay for learning!

I appreciate my newly acquired knowledge and while I doubt I’ll ever be gluten free, I’m hoping that limiting gluten will come easier to me as time goes 🙂

Enjoy your weekend friends!


Questions for you:

  • Do you avoid/limit gluten?
  • Are you more of a wine person or a beer person?

Let me know in the comments!

Last Updated on March 27, 2019

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  1. ABSOLUTELY LOVE this! I am not 100% strict anything, but I do follow a mostly paleo-ish “diet,” with the occasional grain here or there, almost always gluten free. I have tried a million type of “diets” and nutritional approaches and I feel best when I minimize or almost have no gluten & grains in what I eat. Mentally, physically, I just feel better all around. And GF baking can be super fun (check out, and things like zucchini noodles are soooo tasty! Way to rock the challenge, not be too strict, and learn while you were at it. So proud of you!

  2. I gave up gluten over a year ago, and since the beginning of 2013 gave up grains and dairy altogether. Lately I have been eating Greek yogurt again occasionally but definitely eating much fewer carbs over all and still no grains.

  3. A great review… I don’t plan on doing gluten free – I am too old & life seems shorter to me each day so I eat pretty clean but I have to enjoy my breads & other stuff I like BUT I am not a pasta fan anyway & my grains/breads are all clean grains… 🙂

    • As long as you eat clean grains I think that’s fine too. No use in being strict at any age if you feel like you’d be depriving yourself of pleasures! That’s why I believe in the “everything in moderation” premise. Well, maybe besides for the JUNK junk food.

  4. As you may or may not know by now, but I have been gluten, sugar, wheat, dairy, soy (except soy sauce – gotta have that with my sushi), nut and fruit free for about 12 years now! Yowza! It’s crazy! I don’t even remember what these things taste like, lol!

    What’s interesting (and what I have known for awhile) is that I have been reading a lot of people’s reviews on this Grain Brain book and lifestyle… And everyone seems to have the same reactions/conclusions after the 4 weeks – More energy, flatter bellies, etc! I am glad you tried out this plan and know how is affects you and hopefully you will continue on some of the trend at least. I know you say you want to still eat gluten, totally fine – I mean after all, you’re a recipe creator (!) but maybe consuming less is key for you! 😀

    • Hey Gigi, thanks for sharing! I knew you were xyz-free but I didn’t know it was THAT many things! Wowza! Are there any specific reasons for all of these things or is it different for each? I’d love to know your input further.

      I definitely would like to zap gluten from my life and minimize my dairy consumption. Yogurt is the hardest thing but I know I need to toss it, I heard that the more your body craves something the bigger the probability that you might be allergic/sensitive to it. I think that’s what’s happening to me with yogurt/dairy. I wish there was a test that could just tell me the dairy/lactose SENSITIVITY (not intolerance or allergy). Sigh.

      I’m definitely gonna make sure to use up all the gluten-containing products and making a conscious decision to not buy any more gluten-containing products in the future, including flours. Send good intentions my way 🙂

  5. I try to not eat so many carbs, but there are definitely some days where I just don’t care! I want that pizza or pasta or bagel and I thoroughly enjoy it.

  6. Wine person, through and through! although I am a huge fan of gluten. I love bread. Traditional, wheat bread. I also love whole grains though. I seem to be able to eat a substantial amount of whole wheat stuff to no bad effect. I do feel for those who have true celiac issues though! And I’m glad you got turned on to wine. I love a good red juicy Zin:)

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