August 17, 2023
The Power of Routine
By Julie Gregory, Chief Health Liaison for Apollo Health
Many people report feeling overwhelmed when first beginning the protocol. It’s very easy to become inundated by all of the decisions that you face each day. Do I eat before I exercise? Or should I fast? What if I get hungry while exercising? Do I check my blood glucose before or after? Yikes! The last thing we want you to do is fall into the trap of “over-analysis paralysis,” which is an enormous time and energy drain. What if I told you that there was an easier path that would allow you to accomplish all of your healing strategies while also freeing up your brain to flourish and heal?
For me, adopting a daily routine has been a lifesaver. It reduces stress by providing the structure I need to practice the protocol, which in turn offers a sense of freedom that has enabled me to thrive. Having a predictable pattern and schedule takes away many of the decisions that I’d have to face if each of my daily tasks weren’t already hard-wired into my routine. Making fewer choices not only reduces anxiety but also instills a sense of pride when I look back at my daily accomplishments.
Tips for Creating a Routine on the Bredesen Protocol®
1) Start with the Bredesen Seven. These are the seven foundational strategies that we use to heal all of Alzheimer’s subtypes. Familiarize yourself with each of the strategies by learning about them: Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Stress, Brain Stimulation, Detox, and Supplements. Start by reading the summaries of the education guides and move on to the full guides when you’re ready. (Those who aren’t Apollo Health subscribers can read The End of Alzheimer’s Program for this information.) Keep in mind that the strategies are presented in order of importance, with nutrition being primary, followed by exercise, etc.
2) Make a list. Write down everything that you’d like to accomplish in a day. Keep it realistic. We create habits that ultimately become a part of our routine with baby steps. If you’re new to the protocol, you may want to focus on the most important strategies first, then add others as you’re ready.
3) Create a schedule. Write your day out hour-by-hour. Harness the power of your circadian rhythm. If you have the most energy in the morning, plan to exercise then. If your energy tends to wane later in the day, that might be a good time to relax and socialize with friends.
4) Give it a trial run. Routines are created over time. Don’t be discouraged if you need to tweak things as you go along. It’s very common to underestimate the amount of time or energy that specific strategies may take. Be sure to have built-in recovery periods between strategies.
5) Enlist support. We understand that you’ve very likely to have questions along the way. Create a team that can be there to support you. Everyone can benefit from working with a ReCODE 2.0-trained practitioner and health coach. Don’t forget our Community Forum for peer support and guidance from the Apollo Health team. Submit your questions for Dr. Bredesen through the Town Hall. And most importantly, ask your family members for their support. The protocol is so much easier to practice if everyone is on board.
6) Start the night before. Every evening, review your day and journal about what worked and what didn’t work in your schedule. Plan ahead to make the next day even better. For instance, if you find that you didn’t have as much time as you would have liked to cook and enjoy your favorite KetoFLEX 12/3 ™ meal, do some prep work the evening before so you’re ready for your culinary adventure the next day. If cooking is too onerous at the beginning, consider ordering our new meal service delivery from Nutrition for Longevity.
7) Beware of saboteurs. This can be anything — a glass of wine, a late-night engagement, or a family emergency. Control what you can control and flow with the rest. I’m still reeling from a family medical emergency and am still able to practice the protocol quite well because of my adherence to my daily routine.
8) Be kind to yourself. It takes time before a routine can begin to feel like second nature, and it’s very normal to modify as you progress. Over time, you can slowly add more and more strategies until you’ve incorporated all of the Bredesen Seven strategies into your life, and it simply becomes your new normal.
Most importantly, keep your routine fun. Reframe what could be perceived as a hardship. Instead of feeling deprived during your fasting period, think of the freedom eating less affords you. You’re improving your health while spending much less time in the kitchen. If an exercise session feels like an obligation, reframe it as a dedicated time to challenge your body to keep it operating at peak performance. Be sure to build in free time to nurture yourself and to prioritize social opportunities with friends and family to keep your support system strong.
It’s important to remember that the Bredesen Protocol is not a cure but rather a lifelong practice of health optimization. This is an opportunity to reimagine the rest of your life. As you invest in yourself, the payoff will be tremendous. You’ll begin to notice so many benefits — increased mood, energy, optimized weight, cognitive clarity, etc.— all of which will help you sustain your daily routine and ultimately create joyful vitality as you age.