Aztec Diet Day 17: Brain Food

Stats: Still holding steady at a 9 pound net loss.

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with 1 Cup blueberries, a mandarin cutie and a banana; Mid-morning: 20 oz water with 4 TBSP chia; Lunch: Hot Guac Salad, 16 oz water with 2 TBSP chia; Snack: 1 Cup cottage cheese, 40 calorie snack pack of seasoned nori; Dinner: Spinach/Papya/Mango Salad 12 oz water with 2 TBSP chia Snack: 1 oz air-popped popcorn

Yesterday the blade assembly on my blender fell apart. New blender is not due until tomorrow evening. All is not lost. I plan to eat the same things I’ve been eating, just not blended up. It will be a nice change.

I’ve mentioned before that I suffer from mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). For years the conventional wisdom has been that these injuries do not see improvement after two years. Due to the large number of head injuries resulting form the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, medical science is finally questioning this assumption.

People like me tend to fall through the cracks because, hey, we know what side of the toothbrush the paste goes on, and we can take a shower by ourselves. Those are the standards for being functional. Never mind how long it takes us to do these things, how stressful it is, or how exhausted we are afterwards. We may retain our level of intelligence, yet struggle to make decisions and complete simple tasks. We are often too fatigued to do more than get up in the morning and feed ourselves.

I’m very fortunate to have a group of fellow suffers to share experiences with. Aside from getting the validation and emotional support sadly lacking in the medical community, I have also learned much about managing my condition. We’ve had to learn to be our own doctors. I’ve had gains in both productivity and well-being, despite being years past the two year mark. The gains are very modest, but the impact they have on my life are enormous.

One area that needs more attention is the role of diet in treating TBI. It makes sense that the same foods which are beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients would also help TBI sufferers. Couple this with a diet that reduces carbohydrate induced brain-fog, and the possibilities are intriguing. This is the Aztec Diet in a nutshell. To further enhance these effects, I am researching specific foods that enhance brain function.

Some Goodies:

    Blueberries
    Walnuts especially touted as brain food. Other nuts are also helpful. It’s good to get a variety.
    Chlorella
    Wild Salmon tuna, mackerel and sardines are also good choices
    Avocado
    Dark Chocolate or Cacao
    Chia
    Coffee
    Green Tea
    Water
    Oysters
    Olive Oil
    Garlic
    Eggs
    Greens – Kale, Chard, Spinach, Romaine
    Flax Seed Also pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
    Yogurt

Hot Guac Salad

    1 avocado
    1 TBSP lemon juice
    cumin, to taste
    1/4 Cup salsa (I used peach mango)
    1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
    romaine lettuce

Mash up the avocado in a bowl. Mix in the lemon juice, then add the cumin, to taste. spoon salsa on top, then top that with the cheese. spoon this into romaine leaves. you can treat large leaves like taco shells. The small inner leaves make lovely little “boats” just big enough for one bite.

Spinach/Papaya/Mango Salad

    1 large handful baby spinach
    1 Cup diced mango
    1 Cup diced papaya
    1/8 Cup cashews

No need for dressing. The fruit moistens the spinach.

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