Going Primal (And Essentially MAD)

I know some people hate the idea of taking medication on principle. I’m not one of them.

I’m usually a fan of whatever will make me feel better the fastest. However, I do believe that what we put into our bodies and how we use them can have a profound impact on our health. My brief experience with Paleo and Crossfit was enough to convince me of that.

So it makes perfect sense to me that what I eat and how I exercise should impact my seizures. Hopefully for the better.

Johns Hopkins uses something called the modified Atkins Diet (“MAD”) to treat seizure disorders in adults. There’s a bunch of science involved, but essentially the goal is to get your body to burn ketones (fat) instead of glucose (sugar from carbs).

The Atkins Diet is high fat, low carb, right? So what is the modification here? Wait for it…. the MAD is even lower carb. That sounds crazy, right?

Crazy effective according to the research. A gross oversimplification of some varied and sometimes contradictory studies would be to say that in about 50% of patients, seizure frequency drops by 50-90%. Those stats are pretty amazing because if I were to make a similar statement about anti epileptic drugs (AEDs), it would be that in 50% of patients, seizure frequency drops by 50-100%.

From what I can tell, the MAD would actually overlap perfectly with the Primal Diet if you eat the right foods (e.g. good food rather than processed junk). The Primal Diet is basically the Paleo Diet plus dairy. And I loved how I felt on the Paleo Diet. So here’s hoping that I love the MAD just as much (and how could you not, with an acronym like that?).

I was about to write about the differences between Paleo, Primal, and Atkins, but as it turns out Melissa McEwen over at Hunt-Gather-Love has already done that and made this handy infographic (and you know how I love a good infographic):

Basically I’ll be eating a lot of meat, veggies, and good fats. Win, win, win.

Which I anticipate will make me feel awesome… after about two weeks. For the first two weeks, I’ll probably be anxious, irritable, and generally given to bouts of irrational anger while I go through carb and caffeine withdrawal simultaneously.

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” ― Julia Child

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