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Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.



 

24. October 2013 21:06
by jennifer
16 Comments

Grain Brain Challenge #GBChallenge

24. October 2013 21:06 by jennifer | 16 Comments

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?

 

Comments (16) -

Tif

Most challenging for me would be the sleep thing. I just cannot stay asleep longer than 6ish hours unless I'm drastically sleep deprived (like last night-we drove straight through home from California on Wednesday night so last night I slept 9 hours to "catch up").

Supplements are, in my opinion, an oft missed key to health. Three legged stool: Diet (what food you're eating...not dieting), exercise, and nutrition which is quite separate from your diet and often means you need to supplement. I have definitely seen the differerence in my kids and felt it in myself when DHA and Omegas are involved!

Michelle Cantu

The diet sounds great, I'd actually love to try the challenge.  My kids could use it and we have a bad processed food habit.

Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy.com

What an interesting challenge. I couldn't do anything like this because grains are part of my diet. I don't think I could ever completely give them up.

Jenny

I totally agree, Tif! Sometimes I think to myself "you shouldn't need supplements b/c you eat so healthy" but in reality, I can't tell exactly how much I am getting, so supplements need to fill the gap!

valmg @ Mom Knows It All

For me 1 doesn't apply much and 2 isn't possible.
I can say that getting enough sleep is something I could definitely benefit from.

Nicole B

Week 1 would be the most challenging. Even though I like to try to eat healthy, we still have a lot of extra carbs that I'm sure we don't really need. changing our diets is always hard because my kids are such picky eaters.
My husband loves fish oil supplements. I tried that with my kids once but they did not like the taste.

Jenny

All 3 of my kids actually SWALLOWED the pills today!! Success!! WooHoo!

Lena

Love it. I have been shifting away from grains and I think it makes a huge difference with how I feel

Jennifer M.

Week 3 would definitely be hardest for me! Routine sleep seems impossible sometimes.

Lisa

The gluten free would be my issue.

Lisa

Gluten free would be my downfall.

Mel @Outnumbered 3 to 1

I have major sleep issues too. I try to eat better, but it's so hard!

Lisa

Ohh and I love my fat free salad dressing.

Tosh

Week 3 would be hardest for me!

Jenny

It seems like a lot of us have issues with sleeping more!!

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