I downloaded David Perlmutter’s new book, Brain Makerˆfrom the e-collection at my library. Then I read it. All of it. Every word.Then I went to bed. All that happened between 3pm and 11pm last Sunday. You might say I was motivated to read this book.
Looking at the blurb on the promo image above tells you the essential message of the book: protect your gut’s microbes: protect and heal your brain.
I got up extra early the next day to go to the leeches. I mean the blood lab. I looked at all the people waiting (at 7:04 am!) to get their bloods taken. Two people could hardly walk; one looked emaciated. Another was grey and drawn. There was a healthy looking young mother with four small kids who were visibly subdued by all the rampant illness in the room. I kept thinking about what I had read in Brain Maker, and how utterly simple and logical that book was. I kept wondering what state I’d be in today if I hadn’t started to take my health into my own hands.
As for me at the lab, I was wired like a loony because my thyroid levels were going nuts — but that’s another story. Otherwise, I couldn’t wait for the work week to be over so I could get into the kitchen. Couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen and START FERMENTING some yummy stuff. Burn off some of that thyroid buzz –yeah!
I know how to do this — and grew up with it. The dried probiotics I take are high-quality refrigerated ones, with all the ingredients mentioned in the “how-to” part of Brain Maker. But I used to also regularly eat them by way of real food.
I grew up in a Pennsylvania Dutch household (which is not the same as Amish, by the way), where my grandmother wouldn’t dream of sitting down to dinner without at least one homemade lacto-fermented food on the table (she called them pickles, krauts, and relishes). In fact, I think the Pennsylvania Dutch are about as crazy about fermentation as some Asian cuisines; they just think if it more as a way of “putting up” summer’s bounty to last through winter than a health thing.
Although I’m half-Pennsylvania Dutch, my cooking genes are pretty much 100% Pennsylvania Dutch, thanks to my mother, grandmother, and a childhood spent in 4-H club in PA Dutch-land (where many Amish people also live–and cook, in much the same way). And to me, pasteurized sauerkraut, even the “fresh” refrigerated kind, just tastes WRONG. Don’t even get me started on the stuff that comes in cans.
I think Dr. Perlmutter is one of the most hopeful, positive and practical neurologists working in the US. His books have changed my thinking about my disease. (I compare him to my not-so-hopeful or -helpful ex-neurologist who “fired” me when I refused to take Tysabri. This was after she informed me that she had “never heard” of any relationship with vitamin D deficiency and MS–not exactly a revolutionary concept at the time– and that there was no such thing as a USDA recommended value for turmeric, so how ‘dare’ I take that while in her care– really?– “dare?” The writing was on the wall after that visit; time to dump THAT practitioner, as she and I were never going to see eye-to-eye. Neurologist or not, she was, and probably still is, an idiot.)
Neurologist-less, I now read David Perlmutter’s books and follow him on twitter, and generally try to keep up with what he is thinking about brain disorders.
One of my functional-med doctors follows Dr. Perlmutter in a more knowledgeable way, and grew up (in a doctors’ household) in the same part of Florida in which Dr. Perlmutter has his practice. I get treated with his ideas by proxy through her, as she goes to as many of his talks as she can manage. (Thanks to received knowledge from Dr. Perlmutter, my glutathione levels are through the roof.) The information contained in the Brain Maker book is a practice I was doing without knowing it. I’m going to try to reboot my gut now in a more purposeful way.
I always knew fermented foods were good for you. Until I read this book I didn’t know that your brain health might depend upon them.
Curious about Dr. Perlmutter’s previous book, Grain Brain? Here is a great review of it by floejoeasydetox.
Hungry for more? Check out flojoeasydetox’s list of must read books for heart, blood, brain, body health. (To which I would only add Mark Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution.)