Last weekend was a bit rough. Too much staying up late, too much food, perhaps one drink too many.
Granted, I loved it.
But the walk home after taking my daughter to the daycare on Monday morning felt different.
A lot different.
I use that walk every day to learn Japanese. I study 10-20 flashcards per day, working on my Kanji magic. But on Monday they just wouldn’t stick. I had to stop before reaching home, for an uncomfortable amount of extra repetition compared to the normal morning.
My brains were jelly.
Hello my old friend brain fog.
Brain fog is not a medical term.
No doctor will give you a diagnosis for it. They won’t prescribe pills for a foggy brain. It’s just not in the books.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not real. It’s very real.
And it sucks, big f**king time.
When you get it, it makes you irritable, you can’t concentrate, and you just feel slow and sluggish.
No biggie, right? It happens to everyone every now and then.
But while googling about it, I found a more sinister side to brain fog, too.
I found some people have suffered from a severe lack of thinking abilities sometimes for decades just because of gluten intolerance.
As a random example, I read how one lady had been able to lift a decades-long veil of brain fog by simply changing her diet. Imagine the feeling of having walked with a dull brain for that long.
And based on those stories as well as from personal experience I know that all that can go undetected by any of the formal tests (I have arthritis, but that’s a story for another time).
So they will just tell you to keep eating the way you’ve always been eating.
Isn’t that scary?
You might not even know that you can’t tolerate some foods — or that you could be thinking far more clearly by just experimenting with diets.
Now, the main causes of brain fog are stress, poor sleep, issues with nutrition (this is the complex one), and dehydration.
Thus, here are the four easy things to try.
1) Rest well. And not just by sleeping. Try meditating, taking a solid break every now and then, and just giving your brains some time off.
2) Exercise. Anything is better than nothing. Go for a long walk, listen to a book while walking if you’re too bored to just walk!
3) Eat healthy foods. Decreasing the amount of processed food is the shortcut here.
But I find these as something you have to try for a long time and with great persistence. And you may not feel the effect right away.
So, if you have the balls, try something more radical. For just two days, eat ultra-healthily (don’t worry, you’re not going to die of starvation).
Disclaimer: You know, I’m just Simo. Ask your MD before doing anything. Certainly before taking any advice from me.
So, for two days, eat only things from the list below (shamelessly borrowed from Harvard health):
There’s a lot of literature out there suggesting brain fog is simply a result of inflammation.
And inflammation is a result of your diet.
Do this for 1-2 days, and just try to do demanding stuff. Read difficult books, work on something that demands concentration, and build something.
And if you’re anything like I was some years ago, you’re going to witness a modern-day miracle.