Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Great Grain Brain Challenge! 4 Weeks to a stronger brain

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

A few weeks back, I wrote a post, dedicating it to my father who passed away 10 years ago. Dad passed from a Cerebral Hemorrhage. My Dad's Mom passed away at 72 years old from Alzheimer's. Needless to say, brain health has always been something of high importance to me.

I was introduced to a book called Grain Brain written by Dr. David Perlmutter, MD thanks to my affiliation with Fitfluential. Dr. Perlmutter happens to be a medical advisor to Dr. Oz. Grain Brain is about lifestyle changes you can make today to keep your brain healthy, vibrant and sharp. 

Grain Brain shows you that the fate of your brain is not solely based on genetics, but in the food you eat. According to Dr. Perlmutter, the cornerstone of many brain conditions is inflammation, which can be triggered by carbohydrates (especially gluten and high sugar). 

Did you know the human body needs 200 to 300 milligrams of DHA daily for a healthy brain? Most of us consume less than 25 percent of this target!! Although I try to eat good fats daily, I know I am no where near hitting that milligram mark. With the help of  ResVida,  Omega-3 Fish Oil and DHA, you can hit that daily intake mark. 

Your brain consists of more than 70% fat and needs good fats to stay healthy. I am always looking for ways to incorporate good fats into our diet. DHA omega-3 found in fatty fish helps reduce inflammation and certain vitamins, notably A, D, E and K, require fat to get absorbed properly in the body. 

Four Weeks to a Stronger Brain - The Grain Brain Challenge
Dr. Perlmutter’s has a four week plan plan is broken down into four week plan: 
  • Week 1 – Food: Shifting your body way from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements. ResVida will enhances blood vessel dilation and supports healthy blood flow, Omega-3 Fish Oil helps maintain heart, vascular health, and brain health, and DHA  a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid the body needs and important for brain health. 
  • Week 2 – Incorporating a fitness routine
  • Week 3 – Getting restful, routine sleep seven days a week
  • Week 4 – Establishing a new rhythm to maintain these healthy habits
Now, for what is allowed and not allowed on this diet: 
Foods Allowed:
  • Healthy Fats – extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, organic butter, almond milk, avocados, nuts and nut butters, cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds
  • Herbs, seasonings, and condiments
  • Low Sugar Fruits and Vegetables – avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, lemons, limes, leafy greens and lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, green beans, celery, garlic, asparagus
  • Protein – whole eggs, wild fish, grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, pork
Foods Allowed in Moderation:
  • carrots
  • cottage cheese and yogurt
  • cow’s milk and cream
  • beans, lentils, and peas (no hummus)
  • non-gluten grains – buckwheat, rice, mille, quinoa, oats
  • sweetners – natural stevia and dark chocolate
  • whole sweet fruits – berries, melons, pineapple, etc.
  • wine in moderation (YAY!)
Foods Not Allowed:
  • Gluten including whole-grain and whole-wheat
  • Processed carbs, sugars, and starch
  • Packaged food labeled “fat free” or “low fat”
  • Margarine, vegetable shortening, cooking oil
  • Soy
Here is a recipe from the Grain Brain book. This sounds delicious! 

Huevos Rancheros Recipe from Grain Brain
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO or butter
  • 4 Gold Circle Farms DHA Omega-3 Cage Free Eggs
  • 4 cups coarsely torn frisee
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add butter or olive oil to skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Crack eggs into skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, more for firmer yolks
  3. Serve eggs over a bed of frisee and top with cheese, salsa, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
What do you think about the Grain Brain Challenge? 

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