by Christie Young

One of the TBI survivors I follow is Nathalie Kelly, the TBI Recovery Coach from Vermont.

Her efforts to record every aspect of her journey has helped me tremendously.  One of the critical components of my recovery has been proper nutrition.  Of the many talented health professionals that Nathalie Kelly interviewed on YouTube, Nora Gedgaudas, a well-known international author, nutritionist and neurofeedback specialist significantly impacted my recovery. During one of the interviews, Nora opened my eyes to why my body was responding to things so differently than it used to prior to my injury.

The information in the video was a game changer for me especially when it came to nutrition and stress management.  I will share my personal example:

Prior to my head injury, I had a dairy and wheat allergy.  I also had intermittent battles with hypoglycemia.  After my head injury, I now have a severe reaction to gluten. Even though I have not had an official celiac disease diagnosis, my body now responds to gluten in a similar way.  I am unable to eat any sugar or high carb foods without making me feel sick and causing my brain to function very poorly.  It can take up to three days to recover if I make one wrong food choice.  There are a few resistant starches that I can consume in small amounts such as sweet potatoes, green banana flour, and cassava flour.  I avoid all lectins except for garbanzo beans on a rare occasion.

Prior to my injury, I had a very busy life, I was fit, and my diet was generally healthy.  I was not always the best at managing stress.  After my brain injury, my stress tolerance became extremely low, my body didn’t endure exercise, and multiple foods were making me sick.  I developed a leaky gut and a weakened immune system that reacts easily to any stressor.  Stress affects our gut, and as I have learned, our gut is our second brain.  I now live a simpler life focused on balance and self-care, and consuming a diet based on proper brain health nutrition.  The benefits have healed my leaky gut, eliminated brain fog, stabilized my moods, and continues to strengthen my immune system.  Proper nutrition and practicing simple relaxation techniques are a major contributor to healing my brain and body.

More of my favorite resources for brain nutrition are Dr. David Perlmutter M.D, Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Dale Bredesen of the Bredesen Protocol.  Another fantastic read is “How to Feed a Brain” from brain injury survivor Cavin Balaster,

Making the necessary changes I needed were all self-taught through these fabulous resources.  I thank the Lord for their knowledge and hard work towards much needed health education for not only the general population, but for those of us who have suffered a TBI and battle with continuous health complications.

Blessings, Christie