FBPixel Jessica L. - David Perlmutter M.D.
Jessica L.

Jessica’s story is truly inspiring. Her battle back to better health is the kind of empowerment I hope to facilitate with Grain Brain. Adopting a Grain Brain-friendly lifestyle not only gave Jessica back control of her health, but her entire life. – Dr. Perlmutter

As a travel writer with a somewhat unusual story of having sold everything my husband and I valued and owned, with no storage, on Halloween, one year ago, we left our lifetime home, family, and friends to travel the world and write about our daily adventures and share photos.

Just one year prior to that, I wasn’t able to go to any of our grandchildren’s ballgames, unable to sit on bleachers, due to excruciating pain that encompassed my entire body due to severe spinal degeneration.

Having been told the only solution was a total spinal fusion from C1 to L5, I spent an entire year researching medical studies online in search of an answer for my unbearable pain, horrible lipid profile, pre-diabetic state and recurring abnormal lymphocytes and neutrophils, requiring 2 bone marrow biopsies revealing abnormal bone marrow regeneration but, luckily, no cancer. Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are rampant in my family history.  My own memory was fading fast (I am now 65 years old).

In August 2011, after reading Gary Taubes, Dr. William Davis, Dr. Michael Eades and dozens more, along with suggested links to studies, I was determined that a change in diet was my only hope. Immediately, I embarked on a low-carb, gluten-free, grain-free, starch-free and sugar-free diet.

It took 3 months to see a change. One morning I awoke and could actually stand up when I put my feet on the floor, a first in years.  The pain was gone, never to return in 27 months.  I never consume a morsel of food that doesn’t fit my criteria, basically everything you describe in your book.  Of course, I tested negative for celiac disease, as you mentioned many do.

Several months later, I had a new lipid profile completed.  The year’s long abnormal lymphocytes and neutrolphils were normal.  All other tests were normal, something I hadn’t experienced in over 20 years. My HDL went from 38 to 72.  My triglycerides went from 256 to 52.

As a result of this phenomenal change, in January 2012, my husband (who also follows this manner of eating, lost weight and no longer has IBS, acid reflux, gas, etc), and I decided that on October 31, 2012, his retirement date, we would liquidate everything we owned; house, cars, household goods, clothing, jewelry to travel the world for years to come.  In a few days, it will be our one year anniversary of “living in the world” with no home to return to and we couldn’t be happier.

Finally, I fulfilled my lifelong dream of writing, of seeing the world. I could now travel, sit in an airplane, walk the streets of Venice, visit the towers of Dubai and make the long difficult trek to see Petra in Jordan.

As part of my blog/website, starting in March 2012, I’ve often discussed how to live in places such as Tuscany, Italy where we recently spent this entire last summer, without a taste of bread or pasta, never feeling deprived. For example, today, I posted last night’s dinner of Crusted Coconut (flour) Parmesan Chicken, a favorite recipe I created (I’ve always been a foodie). We’ve also been following “Oil Pulling” by Dr. Bruce Fife, using coconut oil as a daily mouth rinsing and yesterday, we began your suggestion of swallowing a teaspoon a day.

Yesterday, at the end of my post, I suggested your book, Grain Brain, which I downloaded a few days ago and couldn’t put down. You, Dr. Perlmutter, have put on “paper” the epitome of the gift of life I’ve been given by changing my diet.  Dr. William Davis, Dr. Robert Lustig and Jonathan Bailor have been a few of many who’ve been instrumental in my following this path.

Now, with your book, here is another amazing fact…my memory is better today than when I was in my 20’s.  About 10 years ago, I had a brain MRI showing a large portion of my frontal lobe missing. I know little about brain loss but I imagine that I’d have continued on the path of brain shrinkage had I continued eating “whole grain” products and high carb foods, (although I haven’t consumed sugar for many years). Instead, I consumed high carb fruits and vegetables and grains such as winter squash and corn, equally filled with sugar, all foods of my past.

As I sit here in the humid heat in Diani Beach Kenya, batting off the bugs and flies, I need only remind myself of the amazing safari we took in the Masai Mara only a few weeks ago, bouncing around on bumpy roads for 8 hours a day in the heat.  I couldn’t ride in the car for a 45 minutes drive to visit family or friends in my “old life.”

At 65, this way of eating is has given me back my life.  I’ll never go back.

-Jessica L.

Follow Jessica on her many adventures here.

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