I didn’t realise brain fog was a thing.
I had been experiencing it for so long, that I had completely forgotten what it was like to be ‘clear headed’.
I mistook it for lethargy, stress and an impatient personality.
I thought my inability to tolerate inquisitive conversations was based on my intellect and/or personality.
I had convinced myself that resting at 3pm in the afternoon (one of the perks of working from home) was completely normal… IT’S NOT!
And my stifled creativity and constant writers (and at times speakers) block was because I had simply lost my once bountiful talents to old age.
Then one day everything changed.
I’m talking literally overnight. But before I get to that…
Not sure what brain fog is?
Well from what I can gather it is not an official medical condition, but can best be described as a clouding of consciousness. I like to say it feels like someone has emptied the contents of a dusty vacuum cleaner bag in your head. It affects your focus and mental clarity and in severe cases can impact your mental health.
Once I cleared my brain fog, I felt like an entirely new person. I remember calling my mum and proclaiming “I haven’t felt like this since I was about 21!” (That’s ten long years people)!
How I cleared my brain fog (two ways)
What worked for me, may not work for you, but I highly recommend starting here.
I went and saw a naturopath and she sent me to get various tests, but the life changer was the food intolerance test. You need a referral from a naturopath, nutritionist or doctor and if you’re in Australia I suggest going to the Australian Biologics centre. It costs about $400 and they test for 214 foods.
Results take about 2 weeks, but it is worth every pretty penny.
I found out I was highly intolerant to wheat, brewers yeast, bakers yeast, cashews, almonds, egg yolks and various other less soul destroying foods.
I say soul destroying because I lived on those foods (wheat excluded), and I thought I was choosing the healthy options, but those foods were slowly poisoning me.
Three days of cutting out my morning eggs, almond lattes and all my favourite fermented foods (yeast) I felt like a completely new person. It turned out I wasn’t a light weight because I had a hangover after one glass of wine, it was the yeast that was making me feel like I’d been out all night.
All of those raw desserts full of almonds and cashews I was eating?! Ahhh I cringe at the damage I was doing!
So can I never eat bread, drink wine or enjoy eggs again? Not necessarily.
My body had built up an intolerance and was full of inflammation. That’s what was causing the brain fog. Once the inflammation has an opportunity to calm down, I can introduce foods back in ever so slowly….
First thing on the list? Well I tried eggs the other day, and it was not good.
But I seem to be able to handle one glass of wine. So, priorities!
To think I was putting chemicals on my skin every day makes me feel ill when I look back on it. My face is less puffy, I sleep so much better and my head is definitely clearer.
Same goes for my perfume….
Dear Stella McCartney I miss you so much. I spray you on my clothes and ends of my hair now, I hope you’re not offended.
I’m lucky to have a few friends in the know when it comes to stuff like this. I asked Kate and Cassie for their experts tips for clearing brain fog.
- Make sure you’re eating enough calories for your activity level. If you’re under eating, your brain function will definitely not be firing on all cylinders.
- Eat more veggies and eat the rainbow. The brighter the veggie, the more antioxidants you will be consuming which will help to calm any inflammation in body and brain, which means you’ll be more alert and focused.
- Drink water. Sounds obvious, but dehydration is probably the number one cause of brain fog.
- Load up on brain food – omega 3,essential fatty acids from sardines, salmon, grass-fed beef, walnuts and flaxseeds.
- Check there is no underlying health issue. Under-active thyroid and adrenal burnout (ie you’ve been under a lot of stress for a while) are the 2 biggest causes of brain fog that I see.
- Don’t eat processed junk. Fuel your brain with what it is designed to eat – real food! That means minimal sugars, artificial sweeteners, seed oils, processed soy, and additives.
Connect with Kate at www.theholisticnutritionist.com.
“To help my clients who suffer from brain fog and mental fatigue, we always look at their diet, exercise and lifestyle as a whole, but I also love to prescribe beautiful herbal medicines that help to lift the fog. Two of my favourite herbs for this include Rhodiola and Bacopa. These herbs increase mental endurance (the Rhodiola helps with physical energy too), as well as improve memory, focus and concentration, and cognition. They are wonder herbs!”
Connect with Cassie at www.elevatevitality.com.au