The ReCODE Protocol™ way of eating is known as Ketoflex 12/3™
Here’s my outline of the Ketoflex 12/3™ diet. (See photos below for what my personal Ketoflex™ diet looks like.)
- lots of non-starchy colorful vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, herbs, pasture-raised eggs, wild-caught fish/seafood, mushrooms, non-polluted water, and olive oil
- some non-tropical fruits, grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry, legumes, coconut, ghee/butter, starchy vegetables, and coffee/tea
- minimal processed foods (i.e. flour), added sugar, high-glycemic fruit, gluten-free whole grains, dairy (small amounts if well tolerated), gluten (none if intolerant), pesticides/additives, and high-mercury fish
- food is consumed within a 12-hour window of your day and eating is finished 3 hours before bedtime
- supplemental energy from MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) after switching to a relatively low carbohydrate diet, if aiming for nutritional ketosis
- over the long-term, ApoE4+ individuals are advised to limit their intake of saturated fat, including the aforementioned coconut products, ghee/butter, pasture-raised fatty meats, and MCTs
Please read the “The End of Alzheimer’s” for the finer details about Ketoflex 12/3™ eating. Ketoflex™ is plant-rich and low in processed plant food such that carbohydrates come with ample fiber and phytonutrients. The average person’s personalized Ketoflex™ diet will be low carb, but not necessarily ketogenic. The therapeutically ultra low carb version of the Ketoflex™ diet is not your typical ketogenic diet.
Ketoflex™ is a template of an eating pattern for nurturing brain health and a diet that most people thrive on. In my coaching, I help individuals personalize and optimize their diet to best suit them.
Since the book doesn’t provide Ketoflex™ recipes or meal plans, you can explore some recipes here. If you subscribe to ReCODE Reports™, you’ll receive access to online “Nutritional Guidelines” for Ketoflex™. I provide my own extensive Ketoflex 12/3™ diet resources and recipes to everyone I coach (whether or not subscribed to ReCODE Reports™) as well as meal plans upon request.
This way of eating alleviates many of the drivers of cognitive decline
- by reversing insulin resistance,
- fueling the brain differently via nutritional ketosis,
- lowering inflammation,
- enhancing detoxification,
- shifting the gut and oral microbiome to foster better brain health,
- promoting autophagy,
- nourishing the brain with a broad diversity of micronutrients,
- providing ample dietary building blocks for creating new nerve connections,
- and eliminating common food sensitivities.
Though there are healthy dietary frameworks, Ketoflex 12/3™ is singularly therapeutic for the most common biochemical and metabolic issues in adults with risk factors for cognitive decline.
Eating more brain food and less processed food
If you’re not used to eating this way, just take it step-by-step. If you’re feeling gung-ho, that’s terrific, but I encourage a slow transition for long-term success. Gradually allow your metabolism to adapt to running on more fat and less sugar without dips in blood sugar. As first steps, you may want to:
- gradually reduce added sugar and flour while increasing your intake of foods rich in healthy fats, like nuts, eggs, olives, olive oil, and fatty cold-water small-mouthed fish.
- gradually become accustomed to not eating any significant calories (i.e. breakfast or a “bulletproof” coffee) until twelve hours have elapsed overnight since your last food intake.
Everyone’s version of Ketoflex™ will be unique.
That’s why Ketoflex™ has “flex” for flexible in its name. You can take a look at some brain foods I eat and share with others, then continue reading more below. (Although the food photos are not clickable here, I provide recipes to all my coachees.)
Don’t worry if these dishes shown are not your “cup of tea”! You can develop entirely different wholesome Ketoflex™ meals to satisfy you. If your sweet tooth currently dominates your food choices, you may be pleasantly surprised by how your taste buds adapt over time to savor nuanced food flavors otherwise overwhelmed by added sugar.
It’s not all-or-none. Every step you make toward more brain healthy food choices is good for you. It helps if you enlist the support of a partner or friend eager to eat à la Ketoflex. Strive for better eating without the diet perfectionism that creates stress. (Dr. Bredesen’s patients who reversed cognitive impairment still fudged a bit on their Ketoflex™ diets.)
And don’t forget to consult your doctor before changing your diet.
The above blueprint for Ketoflex 12/3™ is flexible and requires personalization.
Before I elaborate a bit on how to personalize the Ketoflex diet, you may choose to stop reading here to avoid getting overwhelmed. There’s enough above to get going. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to make Ketoflex™ dietary changes on your own, you can receive an abundance of personal support and meal/grocery/restaurant planning from a health coach.
To customize the Ketoflex™ diet to each individual’s needs, we pay attention to macronutrient ratios. Some guidance on macronutrients can be found via the link below or here.
People already experiencing cognitive decline are advised to try a fully ketogenic version of Ketoflex™ that is very low carb overall. Read more about the ketogenic version of the Ketoflex™ via the link below or here.
Ketoflex™ eating further manifests in a diversity of ways as suited to each person’s culture and other health conditions. Some choose a vegetarian version for ethical reasons. Those with certain gut conditions may limit (otherwise healthy) non-starchy colorful vegetables until gut health is restored. The amount of saturated fats needs to be lower for those with genetic risks (ApoE4/4 status) or elevated LDLp. People with failing kidneys or fighting cancer may be advised to eat less protein. Eggs and nuts are terrific brain foods, except for those with sensitivities. Other individuals may have FODMAP intolerances or lectin sensitivities…the list goes on and on.
This webpage is meant to be a useful starting framework; it is by no means comprehensive. I recommend working with a health coach specializing in both ReCODE™ and the Ketoflex™ diet or related IFM Mito food plan. A qualified health coach (like me) works with your doctor to optimize the Ketoflex™ diet for your health conditions, tailors it to your tastes and preferences, and brings awareness to any blind spots in your view of how well your eating aligns with your brain health and overall goals. For instance, with someone who doesn’t eat/tolerate a lot of vegetables and has ReCODE Report™ prioritizing underlying issues related to type 4 (vasculature), we would have a conversation about why they’d probably do better on a non-ketogenic version of Ketoflex™ under the current circumstances.
A trial period on the Ketoflex™ diet can be very illuminating and worthwhile.
Food can be exceptionally powerful brain medicine. Consider experimenting with this way of eating to experience the benefits for yourself.
It often takes a little while to get comfortable with new Ketoflex™ eating habits and tweak the diet to fit your bioindividuality. It also may take some coaching support to find your groove and not fall off the wagon.
Check in with your body after clocking a full month honestly sticking to the Ketoflex™ principles above at least 80% of the time. The gradual, initial ramp up will take adjustment and additional time. Most people clearly feel better after four weeks of following a Ketoflex food plan. If not, you may need help from a functional/naturopathic/integrative medicine practitioner playing detective to figure out why—i.e. poor digestion, gut dysbiosis, other bowel conditions, anxiety, or less common idiopathic conditions. Ketoflex™ is a biologically-appropriate diet for most humans, but there may be exceptions who ultimately need a different dietary approach.
After two to six months or longer on a personalized Ketoflex™ diet
In my clinical experience, I most commonly observe
- substantial fat loss in people who were overweight
- reports of feeling more cognitively clear
- key biomarkers, especially fasting insulin and Hba1c, come within or closer to optimal ranges
- people who were pre-diabetic normalize their blood sugar
- diabetics (under doctor’s supervision) reduce or eliminate medications
- improvements or resolution of constipation and/or diarrhea
- improvements in other issues, like skin conditions and autoimmune symptoms
After six months, some people desire to methodically experiment with liberalizing their diet, observing whether they can maintain energy, mood, cognition, and biomarker gains when adding in moderate amounts of foods not within strict Ketoflex™ guidelines. Each unique individual develops their own maintenance diet that serves up optimal well-being. With Ketoflex™, you eat delicious real foods, without calorie counting, that make you feel and perform your best.
For most folks, Ketoflex 12/3™ eating is life-changing.