Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Axona “Medical Food,” or Just Eat to Feed Your Brain

There is a new “medical food” out, Axona, in the form of a milkshake, which essentially is a single element of coconut oil extracted and put into a milk shake to power the brain with ketons rather than glucose, which studies show is healthy for the brain.

Just eat a ketonic diet instead, and reap the multitude of benefits of a high fat diet. Paleo is a great way to go. To learn more start here, at Mark’s Daily Apple or here, at the Perfect Health Diet.

The choice? Take an expensive supplement that addresses one component of the nutrition required by the brain (not addressing any other issues like brain toxins from grains and legumes, among many others) or eat a rich, healthful diet, achieve optimal weight without being hungry and enjoy life more fully along the way. I’ll skip the supplement, thanks.

May God startle you with joy!

Increadable All Grass Fed Colorado Beef!

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Lasater Grasslands Beef: great people to work with, and ranchers of incredible all grass fed Colorado beef without all the junk used in most beef ranching.

I was looking around for a good local producer of grass fed beef (and disappointed that one common supplier, Ranch Foods Direct, grain finishes their beef because “there is no other way.” Hogwash.) When I called Jill at Lasater beef in eastern Colorado she was truly fantastic to work with, providing a great customer experience.

This post is my way of thanking them for their generous donation of the raw supplies for making the pemmican I will carry overnight for my running of the Colorado Trail. We’ve gotten their beef off and on for a while now, and after this experience, they have our family as loyal customers.

Plus, what a great way to eat paleo, ketogenic, or simply enjoy a steak now and then that has more and better flavor than you’ve likely ever had. Amazing.

Thank you, Lasater Grassland Beef, for your generous donation and helping fuel my body and my brain through healing and along the Colorado Trail.

May God startle you with joy!

Ketogenic Diet: Food for the Brain

Ketogenic simply means getting your primary energy by burning fat, as opposed to most people in the US today who get most of their energy by burning glucose. Science is showing us that when fat is our primary fuel we function much smoother and healthier — including multiple studies showing brain benefits of burning fat os our primary fuel. In essence we access God’s engineering by shifting to burning fat rather than glucose.

Many people think our brain needs glucose as it’s primary energy. Wrong. Ketones are a by-product of burning fat and they duel our brain just fine. But if our body and brain are used to only having glucose as fuel (which likely means battling weight gain no matter how little you eat and often feeling hungry and having quick and sudden loss of brain and body energy, among other things (like high risk for diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more, which are the result of the Standard American Diet (SAD)), it can be a challenging process to switch, a process some experience as the low-carb flu.

How do we switch to burning mostly fat? Diet. Simply put, eat (at least) twice as many fat calories as you do carb calories. Here is a great review of “The Perfect Health Diet” book, an excellent resource for exploring and understanding the ketogenic diet and the science behind it.

Diet essentials (from the Perfect Health Diet):

  • By Calories, 20% carbs, 65% (healthy) fats, 15% protein. By weight, 65% plants, 35% animal foods,
  • Eliminate all veggie oils, eating only olive oil, animal fat, coconut oil, cold water fish oil (be sure it is mercury minimal or free). Eggs are fantastic.
  • Eliminate all grain and legumes, some nuts and seeds are OK, but soak them first to eliminate toxins and maximize nutrition and digestibility.

Counter to Popular Understanding…

  • You will lose weight eating a high fat diet (lots of reasons, but put simply, your body is able to burn fat in addition to storing it).
  • Animal fat is good for you, veggie oils are very unhealthy.
  • Since USDA recommendations and the standard diet pyramid of food groups, US diet has dropped from an average of 40% fat to 30% fat, but we are fatter and less healthy and at greater risk of health issues than ever because we are malnourished.
  • Grains and legumes are hard to prepare traditionally in a “pre-digested” way and such preparation does not eliminate all toxins — in effect their nutritive value is negative because of their anti-nutrients.

I have been experimenting with just how I do and feel on various levels of ketogenic diet. The results are amazing. The more ketogenic my diet, the better my brain capacity, cognitive energy, energy stability, longevity, and the better I feel.

Making the switch is not easy. There are some things I have struggled to hold onto. Despite wanting oatmeal to work for me, I have discovered there is no way with current modern food production methods to duplicate the way oats need to be handled to make them part of my diet. For me, giving up wheat and other grains was not a big deal, but the oats hurt and I needed to be sure I could not make them work. I can’t. The science is a lot to follow, but the Weston A. Price Foundation explains why, with the percent excerpt:

“Oats contain very little phytase, especially after commercial heat treatment, and require a very long preparation period to completely reduce phytic acid levels. Soaking oats at 77 degrees F for 16 hours resulted in no reduction of phytic acid, nor did germination for up to three days at this temperature.63 However, malting (sprouting) oats for five days at 52 degrees F and then soaking for 17 hours at 120 degrees F removes 98 percent of phytates. Adding malted rye further enhances oat phytate reduction.64 Without initial germination, even a five-day soaking at a warm temperature in acidic liquid may result in an insignificant reduction in phytate due to the low phytase content of oats. On the plus side, the process of rolling oats removes a at least part of the bran, where a large portion of the phytic acid resides.
How do we square what we know about oats with the fact that oats were a staple in the diet of the Scots and Gaelic islanders, a people known for their robust good health and freedom from tooth decay? For one thing, high amounts of vitamin D from cod’s liver and other sources, helps prevent calcium losses from the high oat diet. Absorbable calcium from raw dairy products, consumed in abundance on mainland Scotland, provides additional protection.

In addition, it is likely that a good part of the phytase remained in the oats of yore, which partially germinated in stacks left for a period in the field, were not heat treated and were hand rolled immediately prior to preparation. And some Scottish and Gaelic recipes do call for a long fermentation of oats before and even after they are cooked.

Unprocessed Irish or Scottish oats, which have not been heated to high temperatures, are available in some health food stores and on the internet. One study found that unheated oats had the same phytase activity as wheat.65 They should be soaked in acidulated water for as long as twenty-four hours on top of a hot plate to keep them at about 100 degrees F. This will reduce a part of the phytic acid as well as the levels of other anti-nutrients, and result in a more digestible product. Overnight fermenting of rolled oats using a rye starter—or even with the addition of a small amount of fresh rye flour—may result in a fairly decent reduction of phytate levels. It is unclear whether heat-treated oats are healthy to eat regularly.”

Feed Your Brain: Brain Nutrition and Suppliments

Our brains need food to recover — the raw material needed to both heal old pathways and build new ones.

This is a beginning list of the things I’ve found helpful. Why beginning? Because it needs you to add what you’ve found helpful. It is a living, growing list.

As with all things brain injury, these things may not work for you, though they work for me. But they may help you figure out what does work for you.

If you’re interested in learning about food nutrition, please see here.

Omega 3
Essential Fatty Acid – High ratio of EPA to DHA (2:1), high purity. Nordic naturals is a good one, as is Flax seed oil, among others.

Helps rebuild the mylar sheath. Slow and steady, so don’t expect to see rapid results. Simply supports ongoing brain recovery.

Vitamine B12
Helps with various cognitive function and healing. Slow and steady, so don’t expect to see rapid results.

Folate
Can help with stabilizing moods and energy levels.

Brain Quicken
I’ve had great results with this. I needed to start off on a half capsule 5 days a week, and am now up to one capsule 5 days a week. This works both short term and long term, so you’ll notice immediate improvement (within hours to 24 hours) and then that will simply increase slowing over time.

When I first tried it, I felt great for a few hours, then completely crashed for several days. I had more than my brain could handle. Finding the right dose is key.

Diet
So much of our Western food is processed and has various things added to it that simply bog us down. In my experience, simply changing to eating foods you process yourself makes a huge difference, gives you more nutrition, and simply tastes better.

Numerous studies show that simply eliminating gluten and dairy alone can make a huge difference. I personally follow the more personalized Blood Type Diet (actually, the more personalized Swami diet, based on specific genetic factors), and really notice if i eat “avoid” foods because it takes me several days to recover. On it I dropped from 270 pounds to 190 pounds without eating less.

A work horse blender like a VitaMix paid for itself in terms of making alternative milks within three months.

What do you find helpful?


Feed Your Brain: Diet and TBI

What we eat literally determins how well our bodies can recover from the trauma and injury they’ve experienced. Whether that is a broken arm or a bludgeoned brain, the better we meet the nutrition needs of our body, the better we will heal.

Maximizing the building blocks our brains need for recovery in our blood stream is a ket strategy to long term brain injury recovery.

There are all kinds of diets out there than help guide you toward good nutrition. I recommend you try various ones to see what works for you.

For me, the Blood Type Diet by Dr. Peter D’Adamo (the Genotype personalized via his Swami software, to be specific), an amazing gift in noticeably helping me find the foods that act as medicine for me and avoid the foods that are like poison because my body can’t process them.

Here are his books (on Amazon). For simply starting out, you may find the Blood Type easiest to both know what type you are and to test it with minimal expense to see if the diet works for you. If it does, then you may want to consider doing the more comprehensive Genotype diet via the SWAMI software on his site above.

What diet do you find helpful? Share your experience and wisdom in the comments section!


Deacon Patrick’s Round the World Progress

Deacon Patrick's Round the World Progress