brain-less.

Almost a year ago, I stopped eating dairy, sugar and gluten for awhile. I found that after a month or so, my brain started working better. I emerged from a sort of brain fog that I feel like I have been in since I was a teenager. All of a sudden, I had my whole vocabulary at my (mind’s) fingertips again. I noticed that I could remember more details and I was inspired to go back to school. I remembered that at some point as a teenager I had basically decided it was useless to go to school anymore because I usually didn’t retain much of what I had learned. This was frustrating, but also sort of a good excuse to go become a sailor. As a sailor I was really only supposed to learn and remember information that was relevant and useful in the day to day operation of the ship. This worked very well for me. The only issue with it was that I love to learn in a group environment, especially among other learners who are interested in the same stuff as me. Last winter when I started to feel my brain power returning, I wanted to jump for joy at the thought that I might finally enjoy spending some more time in a house of learning. It might finally feel not only fun and interesting, but also useful and worth my time.

I enrolled in a year-long program to become a holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in Manhattan, NY.  It has been a fantastic program so far.  I have learned so much about health and wellness, about different ways of eating, and about the best ways to take care of myself.  Their philosophy is based on bio-individuality, the idea that there is no universal diet and lifestyle that will be healthy for everyone.  Another element of bio-individuality is that there is also not a specific diet that will work for a specific person all of the time.  This is the realm that I have been exploring for myself.  When I first changed my diet, I found that in order to feel good and keep my blood sugar steady I needed to eat at least five times a day;  each meal had to include some sort of animal based protein.  Around the same time I noticed that I was craving fat and found myself inhaling nuts, and making snacks that consisted of chunks of butter dipped in tahini.  After some experimentation, I figured out a way to include enough fat in each meal so that I don’t find myself in the kitchen with my fingers covered in sesame seed paste.

Now, ten months down the road, I am still playing around with my diet, and for the last few days I have been eating some refined sugar, caffeine (which affects my blood sugar) and more non-vegetable carbohydrates than I usually do. Yesterday I found myself feeling spacey, lethargic, bloated and (literally) at a loss for words. I know there are other folks out there who find themselves groping about in their brains for a specific word they know is in there, but just can’t seem to locate it. I find that experience to be extremely confounding, and when it happened to me yesterday, I realized that I would much rather be sugar-free and fog-less, than bogged down with sugar and lost in a fog.  Primal Blueprint diet, here I come.

Primal Blueprint Pyramid

Primal Blueprint Pyramid

This is the way I have found works best for me to eat.

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