You Are What You Eat
A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to travel to North Carolina to watch my friend Cavin Balaster deliver the keynote speech at NORA‘s annual meeting. The experience was phenomenal, and Cavin’s ability to share his experiences with Vision Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Nutrition following his brain injury was fantastic. For anyone involved in Neuro-Rehabilitation, visual or otherwise, I highly recommend you purchase the video of Cavin’s presentation.
A comment Cavin made during the question and answer period, however, has really stuck with me since Cavin has done extensive research in the area of nutrition, metabolism, and the brain. In response to a question about his experiences with brain fog and nutrition, he responded:
“Your brain makes up about 2% of your total body weight, yet close to 25% of your total calories go towards fueling that 2%. So what those calories are (or where they come from), makes a huge difference.”
Think about that for a minute. If you filled your car with 75% gasoline and 25% water, you’re going to have a bad day. How incredibly important is it that we give our cars the kind of fuel they need to run properly!?!? Why is our brain any different?
Since returning from North Carolina I have been reviewing my own dietary habits. I eat pretty clean anyway but am always open to revisions for improvement. I also have been resuscitating the diet conversation with the parents of the kids we see. I, too, experienced brain fog until giving up soda for good a few years back. When parents have concerns about their children’s cognitive abilities and behavioral challenges, it’s worth bringing the dietary conversation to the forefront to be sure they’ve given it proper consideration.
In our office, we sometimes employ the “diet dairy” which asks patients to record everything and anything they put in their mouths for a period of time; usually one week. Our doctor will then review it with the patient and/or parents to see if adjustments can be made for improved cognitive function. In some cases, we will even refer them to an Nutritionist or Dietary Coach to greater support.
Next time one of your patients has trouble sitting still, cannot think straight in class, or is being considered for medication, consider this:
“Your brain makes up about 2% of your total body weight, yet close to 25% of your total calories go towards fueling that 2%. So what those calories are (or where they come from), makes a huge difference.” ~ Cavin Balaster, TBI Survivor
Vision Therapy is teaching the eyes and brain to work in harmony. A clean diet will only help make that process successful!