Hi fellow grokers I have been following primal for three weeks now as a brand newbie. I am at least 80/20 if not closer to 90/20. I have not given up dairy as that is too much for me all at once. My energy really hasn't improved much. At the same time that I started primal, I switched from night shift to day shift at work, so the small amount of added energy that I have is probably related to that. I experience what I consider to be brain fog---to the point that it affects my performance at work and even my ability to get out and have fun in my free time. Does/has anyone else experience this? If so, what have you done to try to fix it? I am really desperate!!!
You might just need to ride it out while your body adjusts. How are you sleeping? I would imagine changing your shifts is a bigger reason for the brain fog than changing your diet.
I would keep eating at regular intervals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and emphasizing fat and protein. I wouldn't go too crazy on caffeine, especially closer to night time. Also, don't try to do too many things at once and give yourself a break if you feel to run down - don't force workouts. If you feel the need to cheat for your psyche's sake, go ahead, don't make it too crazy, but maybe giving yourself a small psychological break from this new way of life could be beneficial. Good luck.
I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.
Thank you for your responses.
In answer to iniQuity:
I sleep quite well, with the help of melatonin. I had the brain fog before I started primal; I was really hoping that primal would rememdy it. I DO need to eat at more regular intervals. In particular I have not been eating until way hungry and so that is something that I can remedy. Not exercising much yet as I don't have any energy. I try to walk a few flights of stairs at work and to do 10 body weigh squats or 10 inclined push ups here and there. Nothing more. I think that the most difficult part of this process for me is not the food/way of life. It is the fact that I no longer use food as a crutch, which leaves me a lot of time and energy to spend thinking about the things that made me eat emotionally before I started primal. I used to eat to numb out emotionally. Now my cravings to do that are gone, so I am left with my anxiety to deal with. Anxiety is uncomfortable and self destructive.
And brain fog. I welcome any additional thoughts. I am also planning to visit a paleo doctor to get a work up for food intolerance, candida, heavy metal toxicity and adrenal fatigue. And anything else that she thinks may be contributing.
I really appreciate your thorough response iniQuity!
As for caffeine, I use it sparingly. Maybe once or twice a week.
“Many health food stores are now selling melatonin, to induce sleep and “prevent cancer.” They have taken some information out of context, and don’t realize how dangerous melatonin is. It makes the brain sluggish, causes the sex organs to shrink, and damages immunity by shrinking the thymus gland. It is the hormone of darkness and winter, and is produced in the pineal gland by any stress which increases adrenalin. Adequate sun light suppresses the formation of melatonin.” -Ray Peat, PhD
I used to get brain fog a lot! It's horrible so I really feel for you. I gave up dairy and the fog lifted after a few days. If you think you can't give up dairy yet try reducing the amount you have everyday until you stop. Believe me it'll make a huge difference to how you'll feel once you stop.
What are you eating as your cheats? Still grains or refined sugars?
I didn't lose the fog till I was 100%, lots of things were much better at 100% for me. The cheats were not worth it. But as the PP said, dairy could be your thing that could be affecting you but id go 100% first, then drop the dairy if not improved.
Wow, thanks for the great responses y'all!
Never knew that about melatonin. I can fall asleep, no problem in my free time, but before work days my anxiety keeps me awake. Always took it because I know the body produces it naturally as part of the circadian rhythm. Will further research!!
LondonGirl, I do know that I should give up dairy as I am lactose intolerant. I have to take lactaid to drink milk, even if only a small amount in my tea. It is a goal to give it up. Maybe I will have to expidite that goal!!!
Ayla, I am not cheating. I guess to be totally honest, I am drinking too much red wine, but certainly not everyday. Just a couple of times a week. No refined sugars. I am drinking kombucha (Synergy brand) 2-4 times per week. Otherwise, I have only cheated twice (if I remember correctly) in 23 days. But there is the wine. Though the brain fog is with or without the wine, so I don't think that is it!
Try glycine, gelatin is rich in it, it promotes a natural sleep. And get some carbs in before you sleep, because this could be attributing to your restless sleeping state.
Valerian root had the same effect as melatonin on me as well, and is not hormonal, right down to the excessive fluid in my eyes and the god damn hangover.