As we age, many can identify with brain fog such as forgetting what you were about to do or forgetting names of people you should remember. In my case, I noticed this fog increase significantly over the past 10 years, and the engineer in me doesn’t believe in coincidence. I also do not believe it is just the “aging” process.
On my 3rd ketogenic cycle, I can attest to significant improvement of mental clarity in just 3 months or so. I’m not proclaiming “Limitless” or “Lucy” levels here, but anything significant, is significant!
Fortunately my wife has the same experience and we both noticed it at around the same time. This allows me to apply my newly gained cerebral powers =) because we both took our keto journeys together, allowing me to compare. What’s interesting about this is that my wife and I have different eating patterns; she is mainly plant based, whereas I am not. What’s the same is that we both scrutinize our food for quality — 100% organic non-gmo, little to no package food, and we eat at home. Since these things started before our keto journey, I will generally rule them out as “good to do”. What is the same the past 3 months are:
1. We both intermittent fast
2. We both eat many of the same quality fats (plant-based and dairy)
3. We both are well rested, and sleep well
4. We both are in ketosis (I’m at the lower end, while she is at the higher end)
5. We both walk daily together
I don’t know if it is a combination, or any one of these things, but I suspect that all are important factors. So, besides good health, and avoiding as much environmental toxins as possible, I believe that items #1-3 are critical to improving brain health, all of which is easier to achieve by #4 (in ketosis), and we all need to move our butts a little bit (#5).
More About the Intermittent Fast
ketosis allows us to intermittent fast
Sometimes my window for fuel is 30 minutes, sometimes 4 hours, sometimes 6 hours. Generally, being keto adapted, I eat 1 healthy meal a day around noon, and something snacky around 3-4. The main meal is typically good fats, moderate protein and low carbs.
I am convinced that intermittent fasting is an important part of our physical and mental health. It just so happens that it also allows us to shed the pounds of excess fat we have accumulated over extended periods of time; in my case about 60 pounds. And once I lost those 60 pounds, my health improved even more.
More About Ketosis
The body is meant to operate in both modes (fat for fuel/sugar for fuel). I have gone back and forth several times. I think it’s fairly easy once you have gone through the process once. My first time took about 4-5 days, and I ate bacon and eggs to get there. The transformation was interesting the first time, and I wish I took notes because I haven’t experienced it since.
During my keto journey, I have discovered that “hunger” as we know it is a withdrawal symptom of the carb addicted body. We are powerless against the hunger and eventually we succumb. Believe me, I was crushed when San Francisco’s Parisian went out of business (their sourdough crust was amazing), but once the body shifts into fat for fuel, instead of carbs for fuel (sugar), it no longer experiences the hunger sensation in the same way. It must be experienced to understand it.
Summertime offers such wonderful fruits and one might opt-out of keto during this period in order to enjoy more than what keto will allow, so it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. However, “eating well” is key to moving back and forth without gaining weight while off keto. For me, healthy living is they key to in and out of keto, and it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my favorite beer either.
A Food Sampling
People ask me what I eat and are usually surprise when I tell them how simple my meals are. For instance, today I ate a small serving of salmon, lightly cooked broccoli with a few slices of onions and peppers (in a slice of butter and a teaspoon full of MCT oil or coconut oil), avocado, and a few strawberries and raspberry’s. My snack might be just enough pecans or macadamias, sometimes with a little peanut butter; that’s it. No hunger the remainder of the day, no hunger when I wake in the morning. I also drink a lot of coffee that I roast myself, no sugar, or sugar substitutes, just heavy cream. Substitute Salmon with dark chicken, broccoli with mushrooms, avocado for home made chicken broth with the fat, berries for 1/2 grapefruit, and you have meal diversity. If I wake and need something, I start the day with 1 hard boiled egg.
Losing weight and getting healthy may not be easy, but it is simple. I don’t count points or calories, and I don’t buy those lame pre-packaged food that tastes like crap and costs a bundle.
To learn more in layman’s terms about my keto journey read How a Keto Lifestyle Changed My Life.