Four weeks ago I embarked on the Grain Brain challenge: 30 days of a gluten-free, low-grain, high-fat diet to optimize brain health.

grain brain book review

I will freely admit I followed it like crap for the first two weeks. At home my meals were veggie, protein, and fat-centered, but I had two weekends away and no interest or desire to plan ahead and eat something different than everyone else. I’d just spent the better part of a year with a restricted diet and had no intention of going back to that.

grain free pancakes recipe

The second two weeks were different. I can’t honestly say it was with any intention of protecting my brain function {although I could probably use that}. It was about this time that my doctor hypothesized that I too, like my son, am allergic or intolerant to dairy, wheat, and soy. Yaay fun. More on that convoluted story another time. The gist is, I started doing better following the Grain Brain diet guidelines.

The idea behind the Grain Brain eating style is:

    • Fat is and always has been a fundamental pillar of our nutrition. In fact, the
      human brain consists of more than 70 percent fat.
    • Good fats, like DHA omega-3 found in fatty fish and algae, help to reduce
      inflammation and certain vitamins, notably A, D, E and K, require fat to get
      absorbed properly in the body.
    • In Grain Brain, Dr. Perlmutter explains what happens when the brain encounters
      common ingredients in your daily bread, why your brain thrives on fat and
      cholesterol and how you can spur the growth of new brain cells at any age.

The nutrients Dr. Perlmutter recommends adding to your diet in supplement form
are alpha-lipoic acid, coconut oil, DHA derived from fish, fish oil or algae,
probiotics, resveratrol, turmeric and vitamin D.

grain brain recommended supplements

grain brain supplements (500x375)

{Plus turmeric and vitamin D.}

Here’s a little of what I ate that meets the guidelines {as well as being dairy and soy free}:

rice (375x500)chicken salad (375x500)butternut squash soup (375x500)

{Rice with veggies, cajun chicken sausage, & kimchee; chicken salad-salad with apples, celery, & walnuts; butternut squash soup –that’s the kiddo’s portionWinking smile.}

Breakfast was the hardest part for me, as I wake up wanting carbs, carbs, and carbs. I like oatmeal, pancakes, and cereal, not eggs, bacon, and veggies. I finally, finally found a solution: grain-free pancakes –that I actually like. {Personally I think the popular Paleo banana-egg pancake is nasty.} The protein of an egg without the taste of an egg, the fat of coconut oil, the natural sweetness of apples {and the not-so-natural sweetness of chocolate, cough, cough.}

paleo pancakes (500x500)

Here’s my go-to recipe for the moment. Let me know if you have another favorite!

– 1/4 cup coconut flour

– 1/4 cup almond meal

– 1/4 cup applesauce

– 1 scant tsp baking powder

– 3 eggs

– cinnamon & any other spices (allspice, nutmeg, etc.)

 

Do you have any favorite grain-free meals?