Grain Brain Challenge, ADHD, and Autism

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

Last month I received life changing book: Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter. As part of the #GBChallenge, we had 4 weeks to implement 4 healthy habits.

  • Week 1 – Food: Shifting your body way from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements. These supplements include resVida – 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

We were only supposed to read and follow chapter 10, but I was familiar with Dr. Perlmutter so I read the entire book. Chapter 6, Brain Drain How Gluten Robs You and Your Children's Peace of Mind.  He states "As I've already hinted at throughout the previous chapters, a diet heavy in inflammatory carbs and low in healthy fats messes with the mind in more ways than one-affecting risk not just for dementia but for common neurological ailments such as ADHD, anxiety disorder, Tourette's syndrome, mental illness, migraines, and even autism."

I have an autistic son. He also has severe ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and a Generalized Mood Disorder. We've known something was special about him since he was 15 months old. He's 7 now. Because of the Grain Brain Challenge 4 weeks ago we began a new therapy of super high doses of fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids DHA/EPA) in combination with his RX meds. The entire family started taking the high doses. I noticed a difference immediately, not only in myself, but in my kids and husband. We were all happier. Less moody.

But what's more important is that someone else noticed. My son's child psychiatrist noticed a remarkable improvement in Ronin's mood and behavior and asked what was different, what had changed in the last month (we see him monthly.) I told him we majorly increased the fish oil. This is in addition to our normal intake of Salmon at least 3X per week. Some people just need more DHA/EPA than others.

He explained how he was just at a national conference and there is a ton of empirical data that shows that fish oil is not only beneficial for ADHD but also for children with autism with explosive anger issues, mood disorders, etc...

We "graduated" from monthly visits to a 3 month visit. This is a big step for us.

 

This photo was taken just after Ronin got the news that he wouldn't have to see the doctor for 3 months!! He was pretty proud of himself.

During this past month I have watched my son transform in to a more patient, less aggressive little dude. He swallows his 4 large soft tabs without any issues and I'm most proud that I haven't forgotten to give them to the kids, and I've even re-stocked!

I have done good by my son. A huge thanks to FitFluential and Dr. David Perlmutter for the #GBChallenge. This has been a huge breakthrough for us.

Do you take a daily fish oil supplement???

Grain Brain Challenge #GBChallenge

Disclaimer: I am participating in the #GBChallenge as part of a campaign sponsored by Fit Fluential. The challenge includes eating gluten and sugar free, exercising, sleeping more and taking certain supplements. All opinions are my own.

 

The Grain Brain Challenge

Dr. Perlmutter’s plan is broken down into four weeks.

  • Week 1 – Food: Shifting your body way from relying on carbs for fuel and adding brain health supplements. These supplements include resVida – 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

I was super excited to read the book and try the challenge, not only for me, but for my kids. Two of my three kids have severe ADHD and one of those two also has autism. I had read Dr. Perlmutter’s book Raise a Smarter Child by Kindergarten when my oldest child was in preschool. I started giving all three of my kids fish oil, and they would line up like baby birds and I would squirt it in to their mouth and they would just lap it up. But something happened. I don't know what, but I stopped giving them the fish oil, and for the most part I stopped taking it too. Same with Resveratrol. I used to take it daily, but I stopped. And I don't know why.

Of all the weeks of the challenge, Weeks, 1, 3, and 4 will be the most challenging. The challenge with week 1 (which I started 4 days ago) will be KEEPING UP WITH THE SUPPLEMENTS!! We started on Monday and haven't missed a day yet. I'm taking all 3 supplements and the kids are only taking the fish oil. I am seeing a MARKED IMPROVEMENT in all our behavior and energy levels. Morning time I am usually a cranky mess. But I've been so much calmer. Ronin and Ella are taking their fish oil with no issues. The pill is too big for them to swallow, so I've been putting it directly in their mouth. Ronin loves it, Ella chases it with a shot of OJ. Haley also takes hers as a liquid, but in baby tastes.

I'm already gluten free so that part is not a big deal and I don't eat soy, processed carbs, etc.. For the 4 week challenge here are the foods you should and shouldn't eat:

Foods Not Allowed:

  • Gluten including whole-grain and whole-wheat forms of bread, noodles, pasta, pastries, baked goods, and cereals
  • Processed carbs, sugars, and starch – corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chips, crackers, pastries, muffins, pizza dough, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream, jelly, processes cheese spreads, juices, honey, sugar, corn syrup
  • Packaged food labeled “fat free” or “low fat” except for things like water, mustard, balsamic vinegar
  • Margarine, vegetable shortening, cooking oil
  • Soy – soy burgers, soy nuggets, soy hot dogs, etc.

Foods Allowed:

  • Healthy Fats – extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, organic butter, almond milk, avocados, nuts and nut butters, cheese (except blue 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

Eggs play a big part in this challenge especially because you can buy DHA Omega-3 cage free eggs and in our house we eat a TON of eggs!

Tonight I made a Caramelized Onion, Red Pepper, Mushroom, Black Olive, Tomato and Zucchini Frittata made with Gold Circle Farms Eggs and my produce was from Carlita's Veggie Co-op!

 

Sleep will be a challenge for me. My mind just keeps going so I get like 6 hours of sleep per night if I'm lucky. But I'll work on it. I really will.

No issues at all with Week 2 and exercise. That's a no-brainer (no pun intended.)

But what excites me the most is the supplements. In fact, I noticed such a difference with these supplements that I went ahead and ordered enough fish oil to last a YEAR. I'm not going to let it slip away from me again!

What do you think about this challenge?? Which week would be the most challenging for you?