As I’ve been writing my fourth book, Paleo Principles, over the last year, I’ve sought out ways to keep my focus up and my energy stable. When I wrote The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook, I was burning the candle at both ends and dug myself deep into a hole that ended in severe adrenal burnout (see more in “Managing Stress” and “How Stress Undermines Your Health”).
This time around, I’m focusing on staying healthy AND finishing an absolutely epic book (seriously, the current estimated page count is 688 because this tome includes ALL the science behind the Paleo diet and lifestyle plus over 230 recipes and 20 meal plans! Go ahead and pre-order here). Of course, this has meant focusing on sleep, stress management, regular workouts and paying attention to my nutrition. But I’ve also experienced a huge benefit from one specific supplement; I’m so impressed with it, I felt I needed to share!
I have come to rely on Clear Mind by Restorative Blends to keep me energized and focused through parenting, writing and running an online business.
Clear Mind is an absolutely mind-blowing (pardon the pun) nootropic supplement (nootropic means something that enhances memory or other cognitive functions), containing research-backed ingredients designed to help you optimize mental performance, clarity and productivity.
I have been taking Clear Mind daily for months, and it makes a noticeable difference to my productivity, mental stamina and overall energy and focus.
In the past, this might be something I turned to caffeine for. I typically drink one cup of coffee in the morning and follow that with black tea (like a whole pot) throughout the late morning. And as book stress really heats up and caffeine is not longer enough, in the past, I would have turned to sugar to keep me going. But one of my favorite things about Clear Mind is that it isn’t reliant on caffeine for the brain-stimulating effects I love so much (see more in “Genes to Know About: Caffeine Metabolism” and “The Pros and Cons of Coffee”). Plus, it’s way more effective and long-lasting than coffee!
Instead, this blend relies on some pretty cool well-researched antioxidants and vitamins like Vitamin E, CDP-Choline, Ginseng, Ginko Biloba, Phosphatidylserine and Acetyle L-Carnitine HCL. I’ll be diving into the detailed science behind each ingredient in an upcoming post, but for now, let me just briefly summarize the nootropic effects of each of these ingredients.
- CDP-choline helps to prevent and treat memory impairments associated with aging, promotes attention and improves memory. It promotes remyelination in experimental multiple sclerosis, stimulates peripheral nerve regeneration, and improves outcomes following traumatic brain injury.
- L-Carnosine helps improve memory and cognitive function and also has a strong effect in restoring mitochondrial functioning. Studies have shown that taking it can protect the brain from subsequent injury and, because it reduces stress and increases well-being, it may also be therapeutic in depression.
- Bacopa monnieri has demonstrated the ability to improve memory in healthy individuals as well as those experiencing cognitive decline. It decreases stress through a direct action on the HPA axis and because bacopa monnieri has a direct effect on bone-derived neurotropic factor, there’s mounting evidence of cognitive and neurological benefits in a variety of situation.
- Acetyl L-carnitine HCI can help improve cognitive capacity, increase attention and alertness and provides support to neurons. Studies show that it can slow the progression of dementia and protect against oxidative stress in the brain.
- Panax Ginseng helps increase cognition due to fatigue and improve sense of wellbeing in individuals experiencing stress. Compounds isolated from panax ginseng are neuroprotective thanks to strong antioxidant properties. Panax ginseng also improves reaction time in cognition tests.
- Phosphatidylserine helps increase and improve working memory, have a positive effect on cognition, focus and concentration, and helps protect against cognitive decline. It even improves reaction time and reflexes. Another nootropic with strong antioxidant properties, phosphatidylserine is actually required for healthy nerve cell membranes and myelin.
- Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract has been shown to improve cognition, increase short term memory and improve processing speed. These benefits may be attributable to an increase of dopaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex.
(A note to my AIPers: Many of these compounds also have profound anti-inflammatory effects that could benefit autoimmune disease. For example, panax ginseng can downregulate Th17 cells, a common culprit in autoimmune disease. And ginkgo biloba decreases TNF-α, NF-κB and IL-6 expression. Bacopa monnieri has potent anti-inflammatory properties but there’s also preliminary evidence that it might increase IgA and IgG antibody production via a differential effect on Th1 versus Th2 cell subsets. There’s not a compelling reason to label this supplement as not AIP, but as always with supplements, I recommend proceeding cautiously).
So, what exactly has taking Clear Mind for five months been like? Restorative Blends, the company behind Clear Mind, suggests that the full effect is experienced after taking Clear Mind for about a month, but I noticed a substantial improvement in cognition and focus within about two weeks. I take it in the morning with my breakfast when I get home from the gym, and by the time I get to work, I find that I’m much less scatter-brained and easily-distracted. It’s hard to measure just how much more productive I am with Clear Mind, but I can unequivocally state that I feel at my cognitive best, rather than what I typically would feel like at this point of book writing (which would be worn down, stressed-to-the-gills and mentally exhausted).
As a mom, this is huge. I have a limited number of hours to work before my girls get home from school, and a lot to accomplish in that time. Like all of us, I’m prone to falling down internet rabbit holes (in my case, they can be more like research holes, but the principle is the same) and am always searching for that elusive state of deep, productive focus.
With Clear Mind, I feel like I’m finally close to achieving a productive work-life balance. I’m getting more done in less time, which frees me up to have quality time with my kids and practice self-care. That’s truly saying something!
I also have been impressed with Restorative Blends’ Armor, a green antioxidant powder, especially since they’re in the process of reformulating it to ditch the stevia as an ingredient. I sometimes add it to my daily Collagen Veggie Blend drink for an extra boost of digestive enzymes, prebiotics and fiber, and my husband has become accustomed to adding a heaping scoop to his breakfast smoothies. Armor is a potent blend of superfoods and antioxidants including nourishing greens, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, whole-food fiber, and digestive enzymes to boost energy, promote detoxification and support your immune system. It’s 100% Paleo plus wheatgrass-free, barley grass-free, oat grass-free, preservative-free, sugar-free and nightshade-free! You can blend it into a smoothie or mix with a little water for a shot of antioxidant goodness.
Right now you can get 20% off your order of these phenomenal supplements with code PALEOMOM. I really hope you’ll check out these phenomenal products and find your own mental boost!
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Filmmaker Caroleen Moise is making a documentary sharing the compelling story of how Dr. Terry Wahls’ recovered from secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis. Defying All Odds combines interviews, animations, and re-enactments with the actress Chiara Gizzi cast as young Dr. Wahls.
This documentary is an opportunity to both inspire and educate an entirely new group of people needlessly suffering from chronic disease, while giving all of us who are already in this space an poignant resource to share with our friends and family. Please consider donating in any amount to support this amazing project.
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