Author Archives: murphbrains

Running on Empty, instead of Ketones

I’ve heard anecdotally  that one drawback of low carb diets is low energy level in workouts. Murph has not experienced that. I suspect the difference may be running on ketones versus running out of glucose. Too much protein might be the culprit for my low energy friends.

Explanation. My simple understanding is once you run your stored glucose down, ketones (pronounced KEY tones) are your body’s alternate energy source. And you have 40 times more energy stored in ketones than glucose. Ketones = burning fat.

We’ll tackle science in simple terms, so even Murph can understand.

What’s Murph eating?

Tonight, Murph had a kale and sausage frittata with zucchini sauteed sauted  in bacon.

His new breakfast obsession is Fage (pronounced Fa yeah) whole milk yogurt with berries.





Eat What You Like…and Vice Versa

Which is more true? We eat the foods we like or we like the foods we eat?  What about coffee, wine, cheese, things we typically say are an “acquired” taste. How did we acquire a taste for these foods? Clearly by consuming them. Murph is finding that more and more, he’s craving foods he’s been eating versus fretting over the foods he isn’t eating.

Recent observations: Food cravings have still been largely under control, other than occasional noshing on nuts in the afternoon. I’m sure his co workers love that development.

Inflammation in his hips remains at bay. Murph reports feeling slightly more flexible generally. Let’s hope the new new found flexibility extends to other areas of his life.

Weight loss has slowed, the 5 week total is 6 pounds.

How are others doing? Please leave a comment.

What’s Murph Eating?

Tonight’s dinner was grilled salmon, eggplant sautéed in olive oil, and tossed salad with bacon fat, coconut oil and white wine vinegar dressing. “Self praise is no praise” was uttered somewhere during the meal.

Calling All Murph Brainers

As week 5 begins, Murph is still experiencing the “amazing positives” (see related Post). Keeping it real, there’s also a few side effects. The problem with continual thirst has subsided, coinciding with a small reduction in protein. Murph seems to be finding that as long as he meets the 75% fat goal, hydration is not an issue.

I’m starting to hear of folks who are on their own adventures. I invite others who are testing the Grain Brain guidelines to comment on which effects they are or are not experiencing. Keep in mind, if you are comparing results to Murph, he is following these 3 rules :

1. 75% of calories from fat average over the course of a day
2. Exercise 5 days per week (minimum)
3. No more than two lifestyle adjustments per week

What’s Murph Eating?

Tonight’s dinner was Sesame Chicken, which is chicken cutlets rolled in sesame seeds and fried in coconut oil and/or avocado oil, served  with chopped broccoli sautéed in olive oil and a glass of red wine.

Still no bread, pastry or pasta and doesn’t appear to miss it.


Life’s Short — Eat Bacon

To most of us, the expression would mean throw caution to the wind — we’re here for a good time, not a long time. For Murph, it’s a bit more literal.

Murph’s basic approach, based on the book, is to eat 75% of his calories from fat. Dr Perlmutter recommends no more than 10% of calories from carbs. To make it simple, Murph consumes equal parts protein and carb to make up the remaining 25%. His focus is on the balance of macro nutrients, more than total calories.

Bacon can provide  fat.

By request, here’s the first installment of “What’s Murph eating?” Dinner tonight was mozzarella salad with tomato and avocado, plain greek-style whole milk yogurt (Fage) with “ungranola” (see grain brain cookbook) and blueberries, and, of course, bacon.

“Healthy” Skepticism Part II

A number of positive developments have happened since Murph read the Grain Brain. Are the changes due to the new diet? What else could be going on with Murph?

Losing 5 pounds could be the result of simply controlling calories.  Who wouldn’t benefit from cutting out snacking? and beer?

The sudden perkiness in the afternoon — perhaps feeling happy about the way the diet is going, Murph is sleeping better.

The reduction in hip pain sounds consistent with reduced inflammation as predicted by Dr Perlmutter. Is the power of suggestion at work?

Let’s give it time before we declare victory. In the meantime, the reduction in snacking has persisted, and that does seem to be related to the diet. Murph doesn’t have the will power for any other explanation.


“Healthy” Skepticism

Murph read the Grain Brain by Dr Perlmutter pretty much in one sitting,  while his wife drove. He claims more couples would be happy if the wife drove. The positives have been hard to believe. Is it real or is something else going on?

That needs some thought.

Could a diet high in saturated fat be healthy? The attached link discusses whether there was or wasn’t evidence in the first place. You know where Murph stands.

(copy into browser if it doesn’t work as a link)

Let’s Keep It Real

Early into week 4, Murph’s been pretty diligent sticking with the program. He’s yet to eat bread, pastry, pasta or pizza, and other than the occasional square of dark chocolate he’s avoided sugar. The positives have far outweighed the negatives, but here’s a few observations:

Murph’s been thirsty,  in spite of keeping water available. I’m going to start watching his protein intake more carefully as he might be eating too much. Fat will fill the gap if that’s the case.

Murph’s had a couple of moments of lightheadedness. Yeah, I know, I mean more than usual.

Murph’s spending less time in the bathroom. Seems to be mostly okay, but occasionally not. I mean he doesn’t just miss the solitude.

Murph’s biggest lifestyle adjustments involve beer. Each time (5 total), two things have happened.  He was a bigger lightweight than usual. We’re talking two beers and dancing on the ceiling.

And, he felt terrible the next day. Makes me wonder if the urban legend about Guinness preventing hangovers is related to carb content — a Guinness has about 10g of carb per serving which is half or less than most of the craft beers on the market today.

Murph lost 5 pounds in the first 3 weeks.


First the Amazing Positives

Murph is in search of a healthy diet. As week 4 on the Murph Brain Diet begins, he could still never have imagined the difference.

Unexpected outcome 1: The trip to the cabinet at every commercial break all but stopped on the first full day. Cravings between meals have virtually disappeared. Murph had what I’ll call a fear of hunger, and he made sure it never got to that, except it didn’t always work.

Unexpected outcome 2: Murph has not fallen asleep in an afternoon meeting in 3 weeks. He’s reduced his caffeine intake by about one third, by cutting out afternoon tea. I can only surmise that he is not experiencing an afternoon lull and doesn’t feel like he needs a boost.

Unexpected outcome 3: Murph is kind of a pansy and he whines about his hips hurting all the time. Some time at the beginning of week 2, he rather suddenly said his hips have not felt this good for as long as he could remember, but roughly 3 years. He also whines about his piriformis, and he still does on long car rides. Baby…

Last Unexpected outcome: Fasting doesn’t look that difficult. Murph did two 20 hour fasts, one each at the end of weeks 1 and 2.

So what’s Murph eating? Nuts, cheese, salmon, eggs, avocado, butter and olive oil. There’s other stuff but that’s the go-to foods. Low carb actually looks tasty sometimes. Like the bacon balsamic salad dressing. He warmed some bacon lard up and mixed it with balsamic vinegar, He wouldn’t shut up about it so it must have been okay.

Welcome to the Murph Brain Diet Experiment

Murph is on an adventure to see what effect a low carb diet will have on his health and lifestyle. My goal is to observe the changes and present them to the community for education and discussion.

The number of diets purporting to be the best is proof of one thing: No one actually knows what an optimal diet is. Murph is moved by the arguments put forth by Dr Perlmutter and is treating his recommendations as the closest thing to what we’ll eventually call the right approach.

The “Murph Brain” diet is not a recommendation, but the result of following Dr Perlmutter’s guidelines  including errors in interpretation and lifestyle adjustments.

Buckle in.