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Grain Brain Challenge Postscript: Eating ALL the fats!

This post is sponsored by Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Grain Brain.

More fats, less hunger. More fats, less body fat. Zero grains, zero energy lulls. Zero sugar, zero cravings.

Yes, the Grain Brain Challenge I started four weeks ago as part of a sponsored Fitfluential campaign has been an awesome journey.

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I don’t know if my brain actually grew or got smarter, but during the last four weeks I have felt VERY mentally sharp during a time of high stress and major mental demands (opening my own fitness studio while juggling a full time PR job, multiple half marathons and group fitness classes, to name a few …).

My sleep is solid and my energy levels are kinda off the charts – and on zero sweet potatoes and very little fruit or non-vegetable carbs.

Instead, as the Grain Brain Challenge from book author Dr. David Perlmutter instructs, I have been eating much more healthy fat (avocado, coconut oil, nut butters) and tons of vegetables (including squash for low sugar, low glycemic index carbs) plus protein and fish. And lots of eggs – 2 to 3 a day plus my favorite International Egg Whites to amp up the food volume!

My carbs have stayed at a max of 50 grams a day, many days more like 40, all as I kept my 12-class-a-week group fitness teaching schedule and ran 2 half marathons.

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I haven’t felt at all deprived, and don’t have sugar cravings. Some of this was already happening since becoming a Paleo eater last summer and after doing a few rounds of Whole30, but Grain Brain has amplified that.

Even if you aren’t planning to do the four-week challenge, the book is a fascinating and informative read that explains so much about how processed foods and sugars – as multiple cited research projects and case studies show – impact our brain function and are tied to increasing instances of dementia, Alzheimer’s and even ADHD in children.

A few of my strongest takeaways from the Grain Brain Challenge:

1. Eat ALL the (good) fats: We are a society too fixated on low fat eating. But our hunter gatherer ancestors consisted on diets of 70 percent fat, the rest protein and occasionally berries when in season. Our bodies — and brains — aren’t meant to subsist on diets of low fat grains. Yet most of America does, and is overweight and overly medicated on diabetes, cholesterol and other medications.

2. Eat more eggs: I already embraced eggs before this challenge, but loved reading all the science in the book as proof that eggs do NOT give us high cholesterol (adding sugars and processed foods to cholesterol-rich eggs are the problem…). Nor should we fear cholesterol as society has trained us to. Low cholesterol is a hallmark of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Our brains WANT cholesterol (which our bodies produce naturally, by the way) and they don’t respond well when we deprive them. So stop avoiding eggs – and eat the WHOLE egg! The yolk is where all the good stuff is!

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3. Sugar is the problem. Sugar is everywhere. Maybe it’s not “evil,” but it sure does screw up our bodies – from our brains to our waistlines. And not just table sugar, but high fructose corn syrup and the sugars that our body creates from the high processed carbs (Cereals, chips, fast food and even “healthy” foods like wheat breads and pastas) we tend to eat too much of.

So have you read Grain Brain yet!? Do you try to watch your sugar intake? And do you fear the fats?

Coming up: Redefining #1, a post-half marathon weekend recap…and the third annual Turkey, Tabata and Trimmings WOD!

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4 Responses

  1. Marcia says:

    Agree wholeheartedly! My Grain Brain results were very similar. The book was such a fascinating read.

  2. I have not read the book yet, but it is waiting for me in my kindle library. I’ve heard a lot about it and find it really fascinating. It’s interesting to hear how you’ve felt doing the challenge. I’d really like to try it after I read the book.

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