The Whole30

The fuel you choose for your body has a profound impact on your physical and brain health. One of the most effective and available tools for people looking to improve their health is changing their relationship with food. The typical Western diet, and high consumption of nutrient depleted foods, has negative consequences on your health, longevity and quality of life. Enter, the Whole30.

The Whole30 is a 30-day program designed by Melissa Hartwig during which you consume only foods that are primarily unprocessed or at least contain recognizable ingredients. This includes meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits and natural fats. During the challenge, food items that are scientifically linked with food sensitivities are removed.

Removed Items

  • Grains
  • Alcohol
  • Added sugar (natural or artificial)
  • Legumes (chickpeas, peanuts, beans, soy)
  • Preservatives like MSG, sulfites, or carrageenan
  • Junk food / Baked goods
  • Dairy


Upon finishing the Whole30, you slowly start adding back each item one by one every 48 hours to see how it affects your body and brain functions. It is, in a sense, an elimination diet and a science project for you to learn how certain foods affect your overall sense of well-being. This is one of the cheapest ways you can discover food sensitivities without expensive laboratory testing.

Unlike true food allergies, which can be potentially life-threatening, food intolerances or sensitivities are immune system responses that can cause unwanted and widespread symptoms. Some examples are bloating, abdominal pain, or trouble sleeping. Undiagnosed intolerances and sensitivities commonly lead to intestinal inflammation which can affect many other aspects of health because of the strong “gut-brain connection”.

Neurological Symptoms 

  • Difficulty thinking / Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches

During the program most people notice decreased brain fog, improved mood, energy, sleep and digestion; as well as changes in blood pressure and fasting blood sugar. In addition, the majority of people also end up seeing losses on their scale and waistlines.

Low Carbohydrate Diets like Whole30 for Brain Health

Since there are no grains allowed on the Whole30, the primary source of fuel is fatty acids; which transition to a low carbohydrate. It is primarily a ketogenic type of diet. Switching fuel from glucose to ketones has been shown to be successful with managing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as migraines and traumatic brain injuries. Ketones have already been associating with decreasing free radicals, which are byproducts of food metabolism; therefore decreasing systemic inflammation in the body and brain.

Additionally, this elimination diet removes a lot of highly inflammatory foods. Many have already heard the terms “leaky gut” and “leaky brain”. Leaky gut is an increase in the permeability of the intestinal mucosa, which allows bacteria and other toxins to enter the bloodstream. It is even known to be able to pass the blood-brain barrier and reach the brain. Gluten has been showing to trigger this reaction in the gut and brain. Inflammation has linking as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s diseases and even depression.

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How can changing how you eat (I.e. Whole30 Brain Diet) lower the risk of chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is also known as Type 3 Diabetes because it has been associated with insulin resistance and obesity. AD is a huge concern in healthcare right now because if current trends continue, prevalence is likely to double every 20 years in the future.

One of the primary areas of focus of the Whole30 diet, and its impact on brain health, is learning to control your blood sugar, as well as cravings associated with it; which is paramount for optimal brain health and function.

Consider switching to what we like to call, The Healthy Brain Diet.

Dr. Diana Tyler

Dr. Michael S. Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Neurofeedback Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the practice of advanced functional neurology. He is one of the most highly sought-after brain rehabilitation specialists because of the life-changing outcomes his patients consistently experience. After over a decade in private practice and working alongside other pioneers in the field, Dr. Trayford developed his multimodal intensive brain training and rehabilitation program built around the science of Neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to learn and grow dependent upon the stimulation it receives from its environment. He later founded APEX Brain Centers to combine his ground-breaking rehabilitation approach with a unique patient and caretaker-centered care model. Under Dr. Trayford’s leadership, APEX Brain Centers has successfully treated thousands of patients and earned the reputation of a world-renowned brain training and rehabilitation practice. Since its inception, Dr. Trayford has been a leader of the Brain Training revolution treating patients worldwide. In addition, he is a published journal contributor and international lecturer. His experience with various patients of all ages and neurological conditions has given him a unique perspective on brain health and human performance. He is also well-versed in collaborating with other health care professionals, making him an invaluable asset to any care team. Dr. Trayford was awarded the Functional Neurologist of the Year distinction by the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation, where he is a proud member and conference lecturer. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Dementia Society of America and the Board of Directors for the International Society for Neuroregulation and Research. He is also a servant leader who has dedicated his adult life to serving multiple communities through Rotary International and other notable causes. When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Trayford usually reads or researches anything related to the brain, human performance, and leadership. He also loves spending time outdoors with his wife Denise, their two daughters, and dogs in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.


  1. Syed Hassan on March 10, 2022 at 1:36 pm


  2. Aranyani on May 5, 2021 at 7:26 pm

    My husband is a patient of Apex. We had the Day of Discovery and are looking for a diet that he can digest. He has had his gallbladder removed at 26 years of age. Does Apex do any food screening or food allergy test?
    He eats healthy for the most part however his weakness is organic cookies breads cakes and raw organic cacao.
    Are you referring to any kind of baked goods in general?
    What do you feel about vegan almond cheese with no soy and the effects on the brain?
    He’s also allergic to peanuts and does not do well with soy so we stay away from those but also realized some companies do package their food and places where there are also nuts.
    We are pescatarian. We’ve been thinking about adding more fresh fish to our diet.
    I’m going to try him on this diet and see how he responds.
    I’ll also keep a journal. I’ve never thought about trying this.
    Grateful to see this.

    • admin on May 5, 2021 at 11:58 pm


      Yes, we provide extensive laboratory analysis as indicated, including food sensitivities, for most patients.

      While using these results to guide nutritional strategies and nutritional supplementation, we do not provide specific dietary/meal plans as a nutritionist or dietician would given the vast spectrum of meal planning needs and preferences people have (i.e. paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian, etc…).

      One of the labs we work with has registered dieticians that can take our input and test results to help you with this.

      Please call the office at 828.708.5274 to discuss further if you like.

      Thank you.

  3. Vicki PEndley on March 5, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    My son is who I would be using this with and he has a severe TBI. How can I evaluate how this affects him if he cannot tell me?

    • admin on March 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm

      Hello Vicki. We work with TBI and these types of nutritional programs all the time. If unable to come for full intensive neuro-rehabilitation, we do provide distance consulting to implement and monitor. In cases like his, we do preliminary laboratory analysis and track numbers this way to help guide the process and track progress. Please call us at 828.708.5274 to discuss.

  4. Pamela Pittman on January 3, 2021 at 5:30 am


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