Reducing Inflammation for Better Health

The leading causes of death and disability worldwide are chronic degenerative conditions. These familiar diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes are increasing globally, at a dramatic rate, in every region, and in all socioeconomic classes. To be clear, chronic degenerative conditions exceed deaths caused by famine, war, and even infectious diseases. Importantly, this was not always the case.

What has changed? Certainly, it hasn’t been our genetics. Our DNA has changed very little in the past hundred thousand years. And yet, we are suddenly experiencing a virtual explosion in the prevalence of these conditions.

To understand why do these conditions are now so widespread, we have to ask if there’s any shared mechanism that underlies chronic degenerative diseases as a group. Indeed there is. In a word, it’s inflammation. All of these conditions represent a consequence of increased levels of inflammation within the body, and higher levels of inflammation can damage heart arteries, the brain, the joints, and even disrupt the function of the immune system allowing cancer to manifest.

So, if inflammation is at the root of what our now the most pervasive diseases on our planet, it really makes sense to explore how our modern world is amping up inflammation as this should clearly provide us some action points to live a healthier and longer life. Continue reading


Eating Mindfully

Dietary change can seem like an impossible intervention to sustain. High-calorie junk foods are prominently displayed everywhere from supermarkets to gas stations to checkout lines in hardware stores. In fact, so much has gone into this marketing and product placement that it’s impressive anyone can say no.

But, as we describe in detail in Brain Wash, it’s imperative that we break out of the negative spiral of poor decision-making, and food happens to be one the most important ways we can do this.

In addition to the strategies we outline in the book, here are three ways to help get your diet on track—and to keep yourself from falling victim to the ultra-processed foodstuffs that surround us.

  1. Reconsider your shopping list. As mentioned in Brain Wash, we want you to think differently about what fills your refrigerator and your pantry. This Brain Wash-approved shopping list should help.
  2. Become more mindful of your eating habits. We rarely stop to think about all the factors involved in our food choices. As we describe in Brain Wash, a variety of influences in our environment significantly influence our eventual choices about what to eat. However, by becoming mindful of even a few of the things that contribute to our eventual choice of food, we gain considerable control over what we’re putting in our mouths. Start asking yourself why you’re eating junk food over nutritious calories. Was it in response to a stressful day at work or not getting enough sleep last night? The more you can understand the reasons for your choices in meals, the better. There are two ways in which this approach will benefit you. First, you’ll be able to create space and awareness between your impulsive food desires and actually eating the foods (giving you the chance to use your prefrontal cortex to your advantage). Second, you’ll gain more insight on the steps that lead to your poor dietary decisions, hopefully giving you multiple ideas on where to make changes upstream from the actual decision.
  3. Start thinking defensively. It’s not a stretch to say that a large part of the food we eat today is poison. While modern-day concoctions induce short-lived feelings of pleasure, they’re very likely cutting years off your life when eaten too often. Considering that much of our “food” is actually toxic to the body, you’re able to reframe your choices in foods. Think about the fact that you incur damage to your organ systems (including your brain) every time you eat an unhealthy meal. Alternatively, healthy food can be seen as consuming medicine for the body. Reframing foods as either medicine or poison can help you to maneuver your diet towards something you’ll be proud of.
  4. It’s OK to say “No.” We appreciate that cultural norms and social grace are deeply tied into the way we eat. It can be seen as disrespectful to refuse a food item given to you by someone else. And yet, it’s imperative that we do not lose control over what goes into our bodies. With this in mind, you should feel empowered to say “no” when presented with foods you know are bad for you. If this offends your friends, family or coworkers, gently let them know that you’re trying to eat better for the health of your body and your brain. Anyone arguing against this does not have your best interests at heart.

For more on the relationship between, food, nutrition, and your decision-making, read about the supplements that make-up a part of a Brain Wash lifestyle.


The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD, and Prof. Tim Noakes

Prof. Tim Noakes is one of my all-time heroes. As many of you may know, Prof. Noakes, a South African physician, was brought before a professional council for his advocacy of a lower carbohydrate diet. Ultimately he was fully exonerated, defending his position with reference to recommending higher fat consumption while reducing carbohydrates, as documented in the movie The Magic Pill, which focuses not only on the importance of reducing refined carbohydrates for weight loss, but also how diets higher in these carbohydrates are threatening to our health and pave the way for disease. Continue reading

Linda P.

A year and some months ago,  I weighed in at 244 pounds.  I had started cutting out sugar, but I really needed help with a healthy diet. My son-in-law told me about Grain Brain, and I ordered it immediately!

I started changing my diet right away. The weight just flew off of me and I felt so much better. In time I began to notice the change in my memory too!

I suffer from severe osteoarthritis of the spine and just about every other bone. I really needed to lose that weight and learn how to eat the right things. I will never change my new eating habits!

-Linda P.


The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Rena Greenberg

Are your best intentions always falling by the wayside as it relates to following dietary advice? Today on The Empowering Neurologist, I interview Rena Greenberg, author of, The Craving Cure.

Rena Greenberg’s success with weight loss hypnosis and gastric bypass hypnosis has been featured in 150+ news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World Magazine, The Doctor’s Show, CNN, Good Morning America and ABC-TV Nightline.

Continue reading


The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. David Ludwig

Today on The Empowering Neurologist,  I interview Dr. David Ludwig. Dr. Ludwig is a practicing endocrinologist and researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Ludwig has published over 150 scientific articles, and presently serves as Contributing Writer for JAMA.

He is founding director of the Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program at Children’s Hospital, one of the country’s oldest and largest multidisciplinary clinics for the care of overweight children. OWL serves as a home for research into innovative approaches to treat childhood obesity.

Dr. Ludwig also directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center. His research focuses on the effects of diet on hormones, metabolism and body weight. He developed a novel “low glycemic load” diet (i.e., one that decreases the surge in blood sugar after meals) for the treatment of obesity-related diseases.

Described as an “obesity warrior” by Time magazine, Dr. Ludwig has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN, among others.

Today’s interview focuses on his new book, Always Hungry?.

From Amazon:

ALWAYS HUNGRY? turns dieting on its head with a three-phase program that ignores calories and targets fat cells directly. The recipes and meal plan include luscious high fat foods (like nuts and nut butters, full fat dairy, avocados, and dark chocolate), savory proteins, and natural carbohydrates. The result? Fat cells release their excess calories and you lose weight-and inches-without battling cravings and constant hunger. This is dieting without deprivation.

Forget calories. Forget cravings. Forget dieting. ALWAYS HUNGRY? reveals a liberating new way to tame hunger and lose weight . . . for good.

The book really does deliver in terms of both providing the science in an understandable way, as well as giving the reader a user-friendly, actionable plan. I’m really glad I was given the opportunity to read the manuscript for this important work.