Living with ADHD without the meds

Medicating America’s children: Beautiful minds | The Economist →

Fascinating article by an outside observer about what’s going on in America. It reiterates the point that something is going on here, something more than just a pathology of the brain and its impact on the functioning of school children.

I went undiagnosed for ADHD throughout my educational experience. I definitely had times when I struggled with focus throughout my time in grade school. My first memories of struggling are when I had math quizzes in first grade, and the particular experience was one in which my teacher was a vivid witness to this difficulty. Yet, I was never sent to be evaluated for ADHD. Even when my parents complained in later grades with how long it took me to complete my homework, it didn’t hit anyone’s radar. I have no doubt that I would’ve been medicated if I was in the same position today.

Having experienced a life without gluten and with the impact it’s made on my effectiveness at work, it is horrifying to think what long term side effects I’d be dealing with today if I had been medicated for decades…

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently →

(Source: primalpalette)

How Working the Muscles May Boost Brainpower →


Starting Tuesday off with some delicious #glutenfree Millet Chia toast topped with #Avocado, #SeaSalt and Pepper. #Udiful!!


Starting Tuesday off with some delicious #glutenfree Millet Chia toast topped with #Avocado, #SeaSalt and Pepper. #Udiful!!

Green Sliders (Spinach, Mushroom, and Beef Mini Burgers) →



I didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with this recipe. I simply modified the one I had for Super Porktastic meatloaf, substituting grass fed ground beef for the pork and I formed the meat and veggie mixture into mini burgers. My kids love ‘em ‘cause they can eat them with their hands and…

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema)


In early 1996, Henry and I spent part of the blustery winter in London. We’d just graduated from college, and to celebrate, his parents had treated us to a trip. From our little Curzon Street apartment in Mayfair (right in Shepherd Market), we ventured around the city. Besides playing tourist, Henry wanted to catch the world premiere of Trainspotting (and drink beer in the theater) and stock up on Doc Martens in Camden. (It was the mid-90s, after all.) Me? Ever the gastro-tourist, I was there for the food. And you know what they say: when in London, eat Indian food.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam

Authentic Indian cuisine wasn’t new to me. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its large and vibrant Indian and Pakistani communities, I can’t remember a time I didn’t crave great Indian grub: spicy curries, meat and vegetable stews, and rich, fragrant daal—all served with a variety of breads like brick-oven-baked naan, deep-fried bhatura or pan-cooked chapati flatbread. 

But the Indian food in London was revelatory, and we ate copious amounts of it. When we spent a weekend in Paris, I got sick and holed up in the hotel; my only directions to Henry were to bring me back macarons and—of all things to eat in Paris—Indian samosas. I was hooked.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam

You’re a samosa fan, too, right? These fried pastry pockets can be stuffed with spicy vegetables or meat, though these days, I prefer the latter. After all, the meat filling—keema—is the perfect emergency protein: it’s simple to make with pantry and fridge staples, and it’s great with everything from cauliflower rice and sweet potato hash to hearty omelets and crisp lettuce wraps.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam

For my deconstructed samosa dish, I adapted a recipe for sookha keema (dry-cooked spicy ground meat) from one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. The jacket is torn and tattered (and held together with tape), the text-only pages are dog-eared and splattered with curry sauce, but my first-edition copy of Classic Indian Cooking is still my go-to for authentic Indian recipes.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam

If you’re on a Whole30, you can serve the spiced meat in lettuce cups. Otherwise, you should buy this recipe from Tara Grant of Primal Girl and fry up some Paleo-friendly flatbread for this recipe. (And no, I wasn’t asked or paid to mention Tara’s recipe—I didn’t even sign up to be an affiliate, because I’m not looking to make money off of it. I bought the recipe myself after reading some rave reviews online, and I think it’s well worth the $3.95 price tag. I mean, we spend more on a big cuppa coffee, right?)

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Keema! The crispy paleo flat bread might actually replace Puri

Oven-Braised Beef Stew with Carrot, Parsnip, and Lacinato Kale →


I’m not gonna lie. This recipe is long and involved and may make you not wanna cook for a few days afterwards. Thankfully, this beef stew is the bomb diggity so it’s worth the work. Beef stews that are slowly braised in the oven are tastier than those you cook in a slow cooker or pressure cooker….

One of my all-time favorites. Extremely involved, but once you’ve tasted it, you’ll be haunted by the deliciousness. Definitely follow the directions to leave overnight in the fridge before reheating the next day, it makes all the difference.

Why the gluten-free hate?

Hank Campbell has written half a dozen or so articles criticizing gluten-free diet ‘fad.’ I can’t imagine why he would resort to name-calling. In one piece, he calls those arguing for gluten-free ‘shills’ of the latest food trend. Gluten-free might be a $5-6 billion dollar industry, but that pales in comparison to the revenue of General Mills, a huge producer of wheat-containing consumer packaged foods, at $18 billion. With that, I’d be more skeptical of ‘shills’ for the processed food industry, especially wheat products, that any small gluten-free foods industry. 

Second Week on Paleo

This week I worked at my family’s business and cut back on my hours at work. It was a great week. loved the work and liked it even more when I didn’t have to split attention between day job and the family business. Being on my feet and active is far superior to sitting behind a desk in a cube for eight hours a day! I’ve totally cut out use of Adderall. I find that I don’t need it. Now, it seems I still need to work on behaviors, but I feel as good as I used to on Adderall, but all day instead of the 7-8
hours that the meds are active.

That rush that Adderall often provides is there without the medication now.
It used to be that off the meds, I’d be a Debbie downer. Not so this week.
It’s incredible.

I started listening to Dr. Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers on Audible. I’m shocked that I hadn’t learned of this sooner. It was a fortunate that I have had first hand experience of what a change in diet will do. It’s incredible.

We so often fail to realize that what we eat is fuel for our bodies, not just material to fill our tummies. As with any machine, our bodies perform best when the fuel available is fit for it. If that analogy holds true, then it’s not surprising that I’m experiencing a massive change in my ADHD
symptoms by changing my diet. I work in the healthcare industry today, and I see the stats on depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease and so on,the ailments of our industrialized society. It was always hard not to wonder if it was how we’re eating that’s slowly robbing us of our lives…

First week on Paleo

Within a day or two, I started to notice a change in vision. It seemed like colors were brighter, everything seemed sharper.

However, I struggled to find good food to eat. You don’t realize how much junk you eat until you’re forced to find alternatives. Having adequate nourishment became of huge importance. Hunger was prevalent those first few days. Sometimes I’d be in a little daze, staring into space, thinking about food.

My mood started to change too. The impulsive side of my behavior seems to subside. I started to feel more content with what I had. For years and years, it felt like I would bounce from one apparent deficiency in my life to another, racking up debt and creating stress. Now, I felt the gaps in my life vanish, and new appreciation for what I had came to light. I was DEFINITELY more appreciative of food. Food, food that was nourishing felt like a gift, something to be thankful for. It seems easy to feel contented with grains in your tummy, and that comes at a cost… other malcontents start to spring up, distractions come into view in full force.

At the end of the first week, the ADHD medicine that felt ineffective most days suddenly started to work, and work WELL.