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    MudLily's Avatar
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    Adaptations for high level mental work?

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    I'm curious if anyone here is employed in a cerebral-oriented job, such as research science or such, and if you have found it necessary to modify the primal blueprint's dietary guidelines to maximize brain function and thinking. Anyone?

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    notlupus's Avatar
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    The long hours of engineering grad school require that I focus on easy and quick to prepare meals. I also supplement with MCT oil. I've tried many other nootropics but I've quit them for now to make sure they don't interfere with the antibiotics I'm on.

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    Leida's Avatar
    Leida is offline Senior Member
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    I feel unable to concentrate on insufficient caloric intake, fasting or low carb. So, I find that Paleo/PHD diet, with a non-scheduled eating, having a breakfast and not worrying about macros and calories is better suited for me than Primal. Coffee is another no-no as it interferes with sleep. Fish and eggs >> pork/poultry as well for O3.
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    As an engineer, I've learned a few things about being able to function at work:
    -hydrate. I don't care how you get the water in your system, just do it. I do best if I can get at leas 60 oz in my system while I'm at work.
    -I also have noticed I do better on higher protein ( 1 g protein per lb body weight seems ideal for me.)
    -Low carb, ketogenic, all that do me no favors. I get cloudy headed.
    -Higher carb didn't do me any either. I do best between 75- 125g carbs per day.
    -I hafta be picky about my fats. Saturated animal fats or olive oil are about all I use. Coconut oil may work, but I'm not keen on the stuff.
    -I need to get up and move every hour or so, or else I have so much energy that the need to move overrides my need to think.
    -Sugar and flour cloud my mind. It's kinda like giving the hamster on the hamster wheel speed- my brain's going a million miles an hour but no going anywhere.
    -I'm fine with caffeinated tea. Coffee gives me the same reaction sugar and flour do.
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    No need to adapt the PB in any manner. Good food is good for the brain.

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    notlupus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naiadknight View Post
    As an engineer, I've learned a few things about being able to function at work:
    -hydrate. I don't care how you get the water in your system, just do it. I do best if I can get at leas 60 oz in my system while I'm at work.
    -I also have noticed I do better on higher protein ( 1 g protein per lb body weight seems ideal for me.)
    -Low carb, ketogenic, all that do me no favors. I get cloudy headed.
    -Higher carb didn't do me any either. I do best between 75- 125g carbs per day.
    -I hafta be picky about my fats. Saturated animal fats or olive oil are about all I use. Coconut oil may work, but I'm not keen on the stuff.
    -I need to get up and move every hour or so, or else I have so much energy that the need to move overrides my need to think.
    -Sugar and flour cloud my mind. It's kinda like giving the hamster on the hamster wheel speed- my brain's going a million miles an hour but no going anywhere.
    -I'm fine with caffeinated tea. Coffee gives me the same reaction sugar and flour do.
    This is almost exactly what I've found (except I'm celiac so the flour causes other more distressing issues). I can drink small amounts of green tea and be fine. I slipped and went back to diet mtn dew during prelims and that made things rough the few days after when I quit it again. By altering my diet and supplementing with magnesium I've been able to cut my ADHD meds down to almost nothing (I'm not going to try to get off them until after I graduate because I'm on a tight timeline and can't deal with withdrawals right now).

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    I'm a programmer. Adjusting to a low carb diet was difficult at first. I could concentrate on my work okay but I had trouble in meetings and talking to people. I just kept a low profile until I got through it. I don't restrict my carbs anymore but it really helped me to do it initially. I have found actually that once you get through the adjustment period the laser mental focus you have is pretty cool. You can obtain a similar laser focus with intermittent fasting.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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    Low carb doesn't bother me, but here are some things that do:
    High carb. Makes me crash.
    Dehydration. All kinds of not good.
    Junk food (many kinds). Indigestion (many kinds).
    Sitting. I need some exercise at least once an hour or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    You can obtain a similar laser focus with intermittent fasting.
    I have found this to be true, as well. When I skip breakfast (just 2C coffee with 2T heavy cream) I feel extraordinary until lunch, even if my stomach is growling. Then after lunch as I head toward dinner time, I have another stretch of really great focus. Depending on what I'm up to during the day, I will indulge the hunger pangs, or not. I actually find the weekend to be easier for fasting, as I am generally physically busy. Being mentally busy seems to be less conducive to effortless IF.

    I have never been LC for an extended period of time. Most days are 100-150g carbs. Maybe I would consider it if I felt like my performance needed improving, but I am leaps and bounds beyond where I was pre-primal. I'm a research scientist in industry, if that matters.
    50yo, 5'3"
    SW-195
    CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
    GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

  10. #10
    sbhikes's Avatar
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    Yeah, a couple weeks ago I was on an overnight backpack trip with my boyfriend. We set off after lunch to climb a long, long mountain. Evening was coming. I was getting hungry. But there was still more climbing and it was really windy and cold so we wanted to find a good campsite before we ran out of daylight. So we kept hiking. The hunger turned into fasting. It kinda felt like a change. I went from annoyed by the hunger to energized and laser focused by it. I felt like now I understand how this is works from a near-primitive perspective.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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