Self Help

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan - David Perlmutter

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Matheus Puppe

· 5 min read
  • Leptin and ghrelin are the two main appetite hormones. Leptin suppresses appetite while ghrelin stimulates it. Balancing these hormones is essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Insulin resistance and leptin resistance lead to weight gain and obesity. Reducing insulin spikes and improving leptin sensitivity should be priorities.

  • Epigenetics refers to how diet, exercise, sleep and other lifestyle factors influence how your genes are expressed. Activating the Nrf2 pathway turns on the body’s natural antioxidant systems.

  • Telomeres are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten with oxidative stress. Lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and omega-3 fats help preserve telomeres for longevity.

  • Homeostasis refers to the body’s ability to maintain internal balance and stability. Overriding the body’s homeostasis promotes weight gain and other issues.

  • Sleep, sunlight exposure, and stress reduction help synchronize circadian rhythms and hormonal cycles for optimal health.

  • Fasting and time-restricted feeding improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat burning, and support cellular cleanup processes like autophagy.

  • Probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods help populate the gut with beneficial bacteria. These support the gut-brain axis, immunity, hormones, and metabolism.

  • Anti-inflammatory foods, spices and supplements help reduce systemic inflammation that underlies chronic disease.

In summary, lifestyle factors that support homeostasis, balance hormones, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and optimize circadian rhythms are critical to the protocol’s approach.

Here is a summary of the key supplement and lab test recommendations before starting the diet:

  • Take B vitamin supplements (B6, folic acid, B12) to optimize homocysteine levels. Retest after three months.

  • Take vitamin D supplements (initially 5,000 IU/day) and retest after two months to reach the target 80 ng/mL level. Adjust dosage as needed.

  • Repeat lab tests for fasting insulin, glucose, HbA1c, fructosamine, CRP, and homocysteine after starting supplements and diet changes to monitor improvements.

  • Check thyroid markers TSH, free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies to assess thyroid function. Optimize TSH to around 1, and free T3 and T4 in upper half of range.

  • Test testosterone, estradiol, DHEA-S in men over 40. Optimize testosterone to 500-800 ng/dL.

  • Test estradiol, progesterone, DHEA-S and testosterone in women. Optimize estradiol 60-200 pg/mL premenopause, over 100 pg/mL postmenopause.

  • Check vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium, hsCRP, Lp(a), ApoE genotype. Optimize levels through diet and supplements.

The critical focus is optimizing lab markers through supplements before starting the diet protocol.

  • Make lifestyle changes to break unhealthy habits and routines. Consider fasting before starting the program to help prepare mentally and physically.

  • Edit your diet to focus on organic, non-GMO, whole foods like vegetables, healthy fats, fermented foods, grass-fed meat, eggs, and wild fish. Avoid processed carbs, sugars, unhealthy oils, and non-fermented soy.

  • Take supplements like omega-3s, turmeric, prebiotics, probiotics, vitamin D, and others that support brain and gut health. Avoid unnecessary medications when possible.

  • Exercise regularly with cardio and strength training for at least 20 minutes daily. Start slowly and find activities you enjoy. Vary the intensity. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

  • Stay motivated by focusing on how the changes improve your symptoms and lab markers. Commit to the lifestyle long-term and believe in yourself even if others don’t support you. Nourish your body and mind through diet, movement, sleep, social connection, and nature.

Here are some critical tips for spending time outside and connecting with nature:

  • Make it a daily habit to get outside, even for a short walk or sitting on your porch/balcony. Start small and build up.

  • On weekends or days off, plan longer nature excursions like hikes, trips to the beach, camping, etc. Immerse yourself in nature.

  • Try outdoor exercise like running, biking, or yoga in parks. Workout while enjoying fresh air.

  • Sit or walk mindfully when outside. Notice sounds, smells, sights, and sensations.

  • Try grounding techniques like walking barefoot or sitting on the ground. Connect with the earth.

  • Get your hands dirty! Do gardening, plant herbs or vegetables, and grow houseplants.

  • Explore local nature areas like botanical gardens, nature preserves, lakes, etc. Discover new natural spots.

  • Let nature inspire creativity - paint, write, and play music outside. Capture your experiences.

  • Volunteer for ecology/conservation organizations and give back to nature.

  • Unplug and minimize screen time when outside. Avoid distractions.

  • Share experiences with others - plan nature outings with family/friends.

  • Wake up early to see sunrises, or stay late for sunsets and star gazing.

  • Spend time outside in all seasons and weather. Each offers something unique.

Make connecting with nature a regular habit. It provides immense benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Appreciate and care for the natural world around you.

Here are a few key points to summarize the advice:

  • Stick closely to the prescribed diet plan as much as possible. Avoid deviating or “cheating.”

  • Meal plan and grocery shop in advance to have compliant foods on hand. Make non-starchy vegetables the foundation of meals.

  • Find an accountability partner to follow the diet with you. Support each other in planning, prepping, cooking, and exercising.

  • Read labels carefully and avoid packaged foods if possible. Be vigilant about ingredients when dining out.

  • Make sustainable lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and well-being long-term. Don’t view this as a temporary diet.

  • If you slip up, get back on track without guilt or judgment. Learn from mistakes and refocus on your health goals.

  • Consult your doctor before making any medication or supplement changes. Only quit prescribed treatment with medical advice.

  • Drink plenty of water and focus on nutritious whole foods. Stock up on compliant snacks like nuts, nut butter, and dark chocolate to manage cravings.

The key is a long-term commitment to improving your health through strategic meal planning, an accountability partner, label reading, lifestyle changes, and a non-judgmental mindset if setbacks occur. Sustainable habits and overall well-being are the goals.

Here are some key points summarizing the meal plan guidelines:

  • Focus on whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocados.

  • Moderate amounts of low-sugar fruits, cheese, and plain Greek yogurt.

  • Avoid grains, legumes, processed foods, and sugar.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Plan ahead - review recipes, shop, and prep ingredients.

  • 14-day meal plan provides recipe examples to follow.

  • Adjust the plan based on your tastes and needs.

  • Simper meals of protein, veggies, and salad also work great.

  • Moderate non-gluten grains, coconut oil, and nut cakes if needed.

  • Listen to your body and eat what makes you feel good.

  • Enjoy the process of cooking and savoring nutritious meals.

The key is focusing on whole foods high in nutrients but low in sugars and excess carbs. Planning, preparing recipes, and customizing the plan to your needs will help ensure success. Remember to stay hydrated and listen to your body’s signals.

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About Matheus Puppe