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The Grain Brain Challenge

Monday, October 28, 2013

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

My experience with the Paleo diet for the past two years has been nothing but amazingly positive, so I practically jumped at the opportunity to work with Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter's eye-opening book and diet program. I feel so much better when I stay away from gluten, sugar, and carbs in general, so I've been finding myself shaking my head with every turn of every page of this book.

Grain Brain is about lifestyle changes you can make today to keep your brain healthy, vibrant, and sharp. Gone are the days when smart, aware, and healthy people just died of old age when it was their time, Perlmutter says; now we're falling prey to all sorts of diseases. He explains that the fate of our health and brain is not solely in our genes, but in the food that we eat. According to him, the cornerstone of many brain conditions is inflammation, which can be triggered by carbs, especially those containing gluten and are high in sugar.

He goes on to illustrate how fat is and always has been a fundamental part of our nutrition. Did you know that the human brain consists of more than 70% fat? I had no idea. And it contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way! I mean, we all know that our brain is powerful and important, but that's pretty awesome. Good fats, like coconut oil or DHA omega-3 found in fatty fish and algae help reduce inflammation and cretain vitamins, mostly A, D, E, and K, require fat to get absorbed properly in the body. I always kind of naively hoped that the food I ate would just sort of cover me as far as vitamins go, but now I know that as I get older I'm going to have to take supplements. Might as well start today!

I'm really enjoying the book because Perlmutter gives me enough scientific background to really understand what's going on when I eat excess carbs, but his writing style is conversational, and his technical details are accessible to my generally science-less background. He also has a chapter of awesome recipes, so that's an added bonus. I'm excited to finish it and begin the Grain Brain Challenge.

The Grain Brain Challenge includes the following:
+ Shifting away from carbs and adding brain health supplements
(Grain Brain sent me coupons for Gold Circle Farms DHA Omega-3 Cage-Free Eggs, as well as a bottle each of GNC Preventive Nutrition® resVida®, Spring Valley Omega-3 Fish Oil Soft Gels, and BrainStrong Adult DHA Supplements)
+Incorporating/sticking to a regular fitness routine
+ Getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week
+Establishing a new rhythm to make these healthy habits really stick

Not so bad, right? I do most of these things already, and I'm sure you do, too.

Has anyone else read this book? I highly recommend it! I'll be back with another post in three or four weeks to let you know how the challenge went. I'm not the best with big vitamins, so that's my biggest concern so far. I take a little vitamin D capsule every night and I used to take some fish oil in liquid form, but some of the supplements they sent me are big! 

So wish me luck, and let me know if you're interested! I'd love to swap stories and experiences along the way. Until then, I'll be finishing up the book and getting my good fats in!


  1. I'd love to hear about a week's worth of food (even in moments where you break the "rules")! This kind of thing makes sense, but I honestly don't know what to change and substitute. I eat mostly real food (ie I cook from true scratch, not with cans and boxes and frozen stuff), organic meat, and the things I do have to buy are good quality/as unprocessed as I can find them and afford. BUT, I also love bread, don't eat as much fresh as I should, and enjoy baking (and eating my sugary concotions)....In short, I cook and I eat decent food. I just need tips on what I can eat INSTEAD of the things that aren't really helping my body! :)

    1. That makes sense! He gives a sample menu for a week in the book and it's pretty close to Paleo, but he does dairy.

      So for example, you'd have scrambled eggs with some veggies and cheese for breakfast, grilled chicken and a salad for lunch, steak or fish with salad and sauteed veggies for dinner. And dessert! He says half a cup of berries with some unsweetened cream.

      That's obviously one day, but the book (and his website!) are really helpful with ideas to get you through the transition!

  2. This interests me...I need to do a Paleo update obviously (and plan to soon), but I have kept dairy in my diet. It's just too restrictive not to, for me. But I feel SO much better having eliminated grains and sugars!

  3. This is a great book! I saw him on Dr. Oz when the book was released and he is so interesting. I was happy to learn I was already eating the way he recommends, and have for the last ten years. This is also the same type of diet that my trainer recommends to all his clients, and it does get results. And fast! Everyone should give it a try.

  4. I love learning about paleo! I have crazy stomach issues, so I've tried the Whole30 a couple times and the results were astounding. I'd love to read this book though, maybe it'll give me that extra push to keep going even after the 30 days are up. ;)


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