In this section we will provide the most up to date resources to assist you on your quest for brain vitality. Including everything from the best brain supplements to meditation guides and new smartphone apps that are sure enhance cerebral health.
I’m excited to be able to answers your questions whenever I can through this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets. That said, I’m always looking for new ways to be able to shed light on some of the most pressing concerns of the Empowering Neurologist community. That’s why I’m excited to present our latest Q&A opportunity.
It’s clear that our video content has reached a wide audience with very positive feedback, so moving forward, I’ll be answering your questions with video responses. So on this post, I’d like to invite you to post your questions, comments, or ideas you’d like me to explore moving forward. Questions should be general, and not relate to a specific person’s medical condition. If someone has already asked the same or similar question, or you see a question you like, please upvote it, rather than posting the question again. Each week I’ll recored a response to the most popular question(s) based on your votes!
Look forward to seeing your questions!
There’s always a tendency in each of us to question ourselves when we consider our supposed foibles, but the following folk tale from Sacinandana Swami shines a different light on how we may choose to embrace our sense of worth.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on one end of the pole he carried across the back of his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream, the cracked pot arrived only half full. This went on every day for two years, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment and saw itself as perfectly suited for the purpose for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived as bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“For the past two years, I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws you have to work without getting the full value of your efforts,” the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and out of compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the wildflowers on the side of the path. The pot felt cheered.
But at the end of the trail, the pot still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and again it apologized for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I knew about your flaw and took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them for me. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. If you were not just the way you are, he would not have such beauty to grace his house.”
These days we all seem to be pushing as hard as we can to meet our ever-increasing demands. I found the following verse by Eknath Easwaran to be instructional:
Today’s mania for speed strikes right at the root of our capacity for an even mind. How often we find ourselves locked into behavior and situations that force us to hurry, hurry, hurry! By now, most of us are aware that compulsive speed – “hurry sickness” – can be a direct threat to our physical health. But hurry has another alarming repercussion: it cripples patience.
When we lack patience, even a few moments’ delay, a trivial disappointment, an unexpected obstacle, makes us explode in anger. We are not hostile people; we are just in such a hurry that keeping the mind calm is impossible. Without peace of mind, how can we enjoy anything, from a movie to good health?
When we go slower, we are more patient, and when we are more patient, we are capable of enjoying life more. All these benefits can come from just learning to slow down.
I found this poem (“For a New Beginning” by John O’Donohue) to be greatly inspirational in dealing with making life changes. – Dr. Perlmutter
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
Today’s post is from a close friend of Grain Brain, Max Lugavere. – Dr. Perlmutter
My name is Max Lugavere and I’m a filmmaker, currently in production on a feature-length, millennial-focused documentary exploring the impact of diet and lifestyle on brain health. I also write when so inspired, and was happy to have interviewed Dr. Perlmutter for Psychology Today last year just after Grain Brain came out. As of today our interview has almost 400,000 views.
I became very interested in the topic of diet and lifestyle as it pertains to brain health when, three years ago, my mom, at age 59, began showing signs of cognitive decline. Because her symptoms were somewhat atypical, at the time, it sent us around the country to top hospitals in order to find out “what she had”. It was at that time that I put Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia which currently affects 45 million people worldwide, in my crosshairs.
Over the course of my journey, I stumbled upon an unsettling adage commonly used to describe the treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases: diagnose and adios. This off-color remark is commonly used within the walls of medical schools to convey the lack of effective treatment options (short of surgery) for patients who present to neurologists.
To all of our readers,
As you know, the fundamental premise of my work over the years has been to raise awareness of the relationship between nutrition and digestion, and how they support brain health and function. In my presentations to professionals, as well as my publications, I have endeavored to incorporate the most up-to-date research from around the world showing relevance to this thesis. And while there are journals dealing with brain science that may feature research dealing with nutrition, as well as nutritional and digestive publications that, on occasion, describe the role of nutrition in brain health, there is not, as yet, a journal fully dedicated to fully exploring this arena.
Necessity is the mother of invention. And clearly the timing is right for such a journal.
One of the most important nutrients/vitamins we have in our body? Vitamin D. In my practice, I always make a point to check Vitamin D levels in my patients, as Vitamin D plays a role in activating over 900 genes that play a role in fighting/preventing cancer, inflammation, and cognitive issues (like dementia and Alzheimer’s).
I am a big advocate of Vitamin D3 supplementation. However, before adjusting your supplementation, keep in mind that the amount of Vitamin D that you may need may be difficult to determine, unless you ask your physician to follow your blood test.
One of the main premises of Grain Brain, and much of my work, is preventing Alzheimer’s disease. You actually have the ability to make changes in your lifestyle choices to prevent Alzheimer’s. In a recent article for The Huffington Post, I address exactly why and how to make this your reality.
Have you ordered your copy of Grain Brain yet? We’re just a week away from launch now and it seems like the next seven days can’t happen fast enough. This book is going to provide you with a wealth of insights and will be the key to better brain, and overall, health.
Need another reason to order? Well, pre-order today and forward your receipt to contest@DrPerlmutter.com, and you’ll receive a FREE Grain Brain tote bag. That’s right, a FREE gift to all of you just for ordering Grain Brain. Just think of the statement you’ll be making when you bring the bag to your local farmer’s market to grab some avocados.
Like one of the most common sources of this protein in the human diet (eggs), the science on cholesterol changes by the week. Think about it, how many times have you heard doctors, nutritionists, scientists, journalists, or just about anyone, say that cholesterol is bad (or good) for you, and then change their mind? In putting together Grain Brain, the science that I found painted a very clear picture of the true nature of cholesterol. Continue reading