Ketotarian: The (Mostly) Plant- Based plat to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation 

Author: Dr. Will Cole

Book summary

“Ketotarian” is a dietary guide book written by Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner, and chef Colleen Christensen. The book introduces the concept of a ketotarian diet, which combines the principles of a ketogenic diet and a plant-based diet.

The book outlines the benefits of a ketogenic diet, which includes increased energy, improved mental clarity, and weight loss. However, it also highlights the drawbacks of a traditional ketogenic diet, which typically includes large amounts of animal products and processed foods. To address these issues, the authors introduce a ketotarian diet, which is based on a foundation of nutrient-dense, whole plant foods combined with healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, and seeds, and moderate amounts of clean protein sources, such as eggs, dairy, and fermented soy products.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the ketotarian diet, including a discussion of macronutrient ratios, food choices, and meal planning. It also includes more than 60 recipes designed to help readers implement the ketotarian diet into their daily lives.

The authors emphasize the importance of listening to your body, being mindful of your food choices, and incorporating regular physical activity into your routine to achieve optimal health. They also provide practical tips and advice for overcoming common challenges, such as overcoming sugar cravings and navigating social situations while following the diet.

In conclusion, “Ketotarian” is a comprehensive guidebook for anyone interested in incorporating the benefits of a ketogenic diet into a plant-based lifestyle. The book provides a unique and innovative approach to healthy eating and lifestyle that is easy to follow and sustain.

The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview

Authors: Zahraa Al Bander,1,* Marloes Dekker Nitert,2 Aya Mousa,1,† and  Negar Naderpoor1,*†

Full Research Paper:

Research Paper Summary: 

“The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview” is a research article written by Zahraa Al Bander and published in the Journal of Inflammation Research which provides an overview of the current understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiome and inflammation.

The article begins by highlighting the importance of the gut microbiome in maintaining overall health and well-being. The gut microbiome is composed of trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms, and it has been shown to play a crucial role in regulating inflammation, digestion, and the immune system.

This material goes on to describe the mechanisms by which the gut microbiome can affect inflammation. One of the key ways in which the gut microbiome can impact inflammation is through its effects on the gut barrier. The gut barrier is a layer of cells that separates the gut microbiome from the rest of the body which, when it becomes compromised, can lead to increased inflammation.

The article also discusses the role of diet in shaping the gut microbiome and impacting inflammation. It has been shown that diets high in fiber, fermented foods, and probiotics can help to promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation, while diets high in processed foods and sugar can have the opposite effect.

Finally, the article summarizes some of the current research on the use of probiotics and other interventions to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. Probiotics have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on the gut microbiome, including reducing inflammation and improving gut barrier function.

In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive overview of the current understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiome and inflammation. The authors highlight the importance of the gut microbiome in maintaining overall health, and the role that diet and other interventions can play in shaping the gut microbiome and reducing inflammation.

Reference: Al Bander, Z. (2018). The Gut Microbiota and Inflammation: An Overview. Journal of Inflammation Research, 11, 1-11. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S145912.

Your Health Transformation with AliRx: Introduction (Part 1 of 3)

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food” – Hippocrates

Introduction to AliRx

AliRx (previously the Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute) was created with one goal in mind – to transform your health by reducing your body’s inflammation thus allowing your body to work for itself, not against itself. We believe that food is medicine, and our approach is here to arm you with the right foods to ignite a transformative health process within you.  

The foundation of our program for you is based on scientific evidence that your gut health can lead to the prevention and possible reversal of symptoms related to nearly every autoimmune disease and neurodegenerative disease. Although it’s important to catch it earlier, or better yet, stop it from ever happening, it is never too late. 

It is important that as we start, we provide a simple explanation of what gut health means. Simply put, gut health is measured by the types of bacteria that live within your digestive system. A healthy gut, just like a healthy body, works like a well oiled machine. But if your gut health is not well, it can lead to a lot of issues, far beyond what most have ever known. The great thing about focusing on gut health is, it can be the answer to many of your unknown health issues, or areas of discomfort and concern that you may have had. 

With that in mind, did you know that gut health is linked to nearly every single autoimmune disease diagnosed, and is also linked to a large majority of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons? 

Now that we have discussed the premise for our transformative program, we will now go into the process for you. Our premise is,  healing your gut will heal your body, and even your brain. 

Even if you don’t have a formal diagnosis, the AliRx plan is intended to help you prevent down-the-road issues or health concerns from ever happening. However, equally as important, this program will help you function at a higher level, by transforming your health. 

To describe our program, it is important to first describe the system that is at work when it comes to pain and discomfort that is often caused by inflammation. Inflammation starts in your gut. The simplest way to describe inflammation is, it is your body’s natural response to attack unnatural responses in your body.

For example, when you skin your knee, that pain that you feel throbbing is your body’s inflammatory response to that skinned knee. It is calling healing agents to the injury, thus speeding up the healing process. This process is painful but natural. However, chronic systemic inflammation is not healthy, and can lead to your body’s inability to fight off other diseases, such as this listed above. 

How does inflammation happen, and what effect does it have on our body and our brain?

The inflammatory process explained

  1. Your gut microbiome consists of millions of types of bacteria, some good and some bad.
  2. When your gut microbiome bacteria is off balance, it causes bad bacteria to permeate your gut lining, often called leaky gut syndrome.
  3. As this bacteria enters your body, your body signals healing agents to fight off the bad bacteria. These healing agents are the inflammation in your body. Acute inflammation is your body’s way of fighting off things in your body that could cause harm. However, a perpetual leaky gut will cause your body to be chronically or continuously inflamed, which eventually causes your body to work against itself. 
  4. When your body is working against itself, things happen systemically that will lead to a higher likelihood of the onset of certain diseases. Some of these diseases are behind the protective mechanism of your brain (the blood brain barrier)  and some of them are before it. Those that are before it are likely the cause of autoimmune diseases and those that are behind it, and in the brain are likely the cause of neurodegenerative disease such as mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. 
  5. When your body’s chronic inflammatory properties slowly beat against your blood brain barrier, over time, the barrier is permeated, causing inflammation in your brain.
  6. Over time, this inflammation in your brain can cause protein build up, or even plaque. This plaque serves as the beginning stages of mild cognitive impairment, which is the precursor to Alzheimers’ disease. 
  7. Even if the permeation of the brain barrier does not take place, this inflammation will wreak havoc on your body, leading to the cause of chronic pain, as well as almost every autoimmune disease.

Now that we have explained how this inflammatory process can cause a number of issues in your body, we will now focus on the AliRx philosophy, and then the solution. 

Check out our next blog this week for a detailed explanation about how we will help you transform your health.

The Real Deal on Keto Diet

If you’re thinking about getting into a new eating plan to lose weight and optimize your health, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the keto diet and the wonders it may do for your body.

The continuous advancement in the medical world did not stop the increasing cases of obesity/ Most chronic illnesses common to men like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease are connected to an excessive amount of body fats, and that’s when eating plans like Keto comes in.

But, what’s the real deal with Keto? This diet is well-known for its low-carb strategy focused on protein instead. When your body goes into ketosis, that’s when you burn fats and shift your primary source of energy. This is the process of this eating scheme. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality life through a healthy gut, diet, and lifestyle. In this article, we’ll discuss the real deal about Keto and the implications it may have on your body.

What is a keto diet

In the early 1920s, medical practitioners developed the ketogenic diet for epilepsy therapy. At the time, this was considered as an alternative to fasting to help manage and control epileptic episodes. Later on, Greek and ancient Indian physicians continued studying the role of fasting to cure epilepsy. 

Eventually, the “water diet” became a popular approach to help patients from getting seizures. Avoiding food and drink or following a strict fat-rich diet without sugars and starch helps a patient’s liver produce ketone bodies. This exists because starvation helps dissipate toxins away from the body.  

Hence, over time, experts found that a diet consisting of low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high, healthy fats can benefit human health. Essentially, this diet will force your body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates.


Whenever you eat fewer carbohydrates, your liver will convert fat into ketone bodies, as mentioned above, and fatty acids. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. However, since there are more fats instead, these are used for fuel. This natural metabolic state is called ketosis.

It may not be easy for some people to shift to a keto diet because their bodies will need to rely on fat for energy. At the same rate, it’s not easy to keep your body in ketosis because carbohydrates are usually the primary energy source.

Plus, you have to limit your protein intake in a keto diet. Why? Too much protein can cause your body to convert the excess into carbohydrates (also called gluconeogenesis).

Therefore, some nutritionists may suggest intermittent fasting to go into ketosis successfully. You don’t necessarily have to go on many days without eating anything at all. Instead, you have particular periods when you can eat, with recommended calories, and when you should fast.

However, prolonged states of ketosis may stress your liver and cause total starvation and dehydration, which could be detrimental to your health. Thus, it’s essential to seek help from doctors before jumping into this diet.

Types of ketogenic diets

  • SKD – standard 
  • CKD – cyclical 
  • TKD – targeted
  • HPKD – high protein

There are, in fact, other keto diets such as very low-carb ketogenic diet, well-formulated ketogenic diet, medium chain triglycerides ketogenic diet, etc. However, the four (4) types above are the more commonly used ones we’ll focus on in this article.

Standard ketogenic diet 

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 70 / 20 / 10 or 75 / 20 / 5

Recommended daily portions:

20-50g sugar

40-60g protein No set cutoff for fat

Cyclical ketogenic diet

(also called carb backloading, usually for athletes or those regularly working out to replenish glycogen lost from muscles)

Recommended cycles:

5 ketogenic days (20-30g of carbs or less) then 2 higher carb days (100-500g of carbs) within a week 

Targeted ketogenic diet

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet, or TKD, is not very far from the standard and regular keto diet. The only difference is that you only eat carbs during your workout time. So, whenever you exercise, you’ll consume carbs on any schedule that you prefer.

The TKD is in-between the Cyclical Ketogenic and Standard Ketogenic Diet. It would still allow you to withstand high-intensity exercises even if you’re on a low-carb eating plan. Some studies believe that carbs may give power to strength training. 

SKD keto-ers attest that this kind of keto, when consumed as pre-workout carbs, improves strength and endurance. It makes sense as the muscle needs glucose to fuel anaerobic training.

Macronutrient breakdown:

10% carbs, 60% fat, 30% protein

(a mix between standard and cyclical ketogenic diet but emphasis on carbohydrates to be consumed around times of working out)

Recommended portions:

15-50g of fast-absorbing carbs (before, during, after workout)

High protein ketogenic diet

(also known as modified Atkins diet, a variety of standard ketogenic diet)

Recommended daily portions:

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 60 / 35 / 5

Keto diet advantages

As shown in the examples and types of ketogenic diets above, choosing this diet should get more calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. When you deplete your body from sugars, it will depend more on stored fat for fuel instead.

Here are the advantages and benefits of this diet:

Weight loss

Losing weight is one of the main reasons many people go into a keto diet. Ketosis helps reduce hormones that stimulate hunger, too. Hence, it can support weight loss, reduce your appetite, and boost metabolism.

Risk of cancers

Ketogenic diets naturally reduce blood sugar. Hence, you can enjoy the benefits of not having any health risks involving insulin complications. This diet approach is sometimes used to complete other radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Skin health

Any diet with highly refined and processed carbohydrates can drastically affect your gut microbiome. That could lead to significant fluctuations in your blood sugar which often causes acne. With reduced carb intake, skin problems may also decrease.

Brain functions

Ketones have neuroprotective benefits, such as protecting the nerve cells and the brain. Hence, the keto diet can help strengthen your brain and its functions. It also aids in preventing brain damage or managing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.


As discussed earlier, the keto diet originally started as a treatment for epilepsy management. To this day, this diet approach is effectively used, especially for children, to reduce seizures and epileptic symptoms.

Heart health

Even if the keto diet is high in fat, it’s important to note that you should choose healthy fats all the time. For instance, you can get healthy fats from avocado and avoid pork rinds. You can minimize bad cholesterol from your body and introduce more “good” cholesterol to avoid cardiovascular diseases.

Is keto diet really effective? 

A study revealed that the ketogenic diet produces changes in the metabolism, most especially on a short-term basis. Besides weight loss, there are also improvements in the health parameters that are often connected with excessive weight, like high cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.



The body is designed to break down three macronutrients – fats, carbs, and protein. When you suddenly shift to keto, your body would have to transition from digesting many carbs to lots of fats. Your gut needs time getting used to this. 

Liver problems

The ketogenic diet is concentrated in fats and moderate in protein. Going low in carbohydrates would induce weight loss and control glycemic. However, this may elevate liver enzymes and the onset of fatty liver, which can be problematic.

Kidney problems

Some studies reveal that ketosis taxes the kidneys, leading to stones and low blood pressure. They also mentioned how this diet hastens kidney failure or worsens a condition because it is high in protein that could overload the kidneys, which impacts the elimination of waste from the body.  

Nutrient deficiency

The body is expected to consume a wide array of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Since you are limiting your carbs, you’re at risk of missing crucial micronutrients like magnesium, selenium, vitamins B, C, and phosphorus. 

Mood swings

The brain benefits from the sugar it gets from carbohydrates. So, when you cut carbs, you may have some mood swings like irritability and confusion as a consequence. You might feel these, especially during the beginning of the process.

Is keto diet good for weight loss

Due to its low-carb approach, a keto diet is a popular approach for those trying to lose weight. However, as we’ve seen in this article, it’s not as simple as that. There are complex mechanisms involved that may affect your metabolism while in the keto diet. Generally, though, the keto diet can help you feel less hungry while you can also keep your muscle.

However, like any diet approach, it is of utmost importance to consult your doctor before starting your keto diet. For instance, people who have hypoglycemia, heart disease, or diabetes are generally not allowed to consume too much fat. 

Moreover, just because you’re restricting your carbohydrate intake doesn’t mean they are wrong. Carbs have health benefits, too. In a ketogenic diet, you need to maintain your body in ketosis without compromising health safely. But, if you need to transition again to a less restrictive diet, especially if you’re not meeting your goal (e.g., weight loss), seek help from a nutritionist. That way, you’re not adding too much stress to your body with these drastic changes.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute has developed a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce chronic inflammation to improve quality of life and cognitive function. Message us at [email protected] to know more!

How to do intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a phenomenon worldwide, and it has become one of the trends in health and fitness. This eating plan is a regular schedule that you can follow to implement your diet and manage your weight. 

With the promise of astonishing results on your health as you change the time you eat, CEOs and celebrities champion intermittent fasting for its health and weight loss benefits. Some studies demonstrate how this plan helps in repairing the body. But, how effective is it, and how do you do intermittent fasting, right?

In this blog, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute discusses the different facets of intermittent fasting and how it could help you live a quality life. 

What is intermittent fasting?

intermittent fasting

A diet approach that has formed a significant number of followers, intermittent fasting, or IF focuses on the time you eat rather than what food you eat. 

IF is when you don’t eat for a period every day or week. The schedule depends upon the approach that you can commit to observing regularly. There are several ways to do it suitable to your preference and lifestyle. 

Mark Mattson, PhD, a neuroscientist at John Hopkins, studies intermittent fasting and believes that the body has evolved in its ability to go for several hours or even longer in a day without food. Before they learned how to farm in prehistoric times, humans were natural hunters who could last long without eating. They had no choice at that time. They had to exert energy and time to look for food; otherwise, they’d have to wait.

How does intermittent fasting work for the body? When you don’t eat for several hours a day, your body drains sugar stores that prompts you to burn sugar. Mattson calls this process metabolic switching. This phenomenon happens when fasting signals your system to change its energy source from glucose in the liver to ketones from fat cells. 

How to do intermittent fasting

Fasting has been a thing even in the past, without us knowing. Up to this day, it is an integral part of many religious practices, cultures, and traditions worldwide. 

You can do intermittent fasting in different ways. The method varies based on the fast days and the calorie allowance you need for your body. The idea is to abstain from eating for a set number of hours and only eat on your allotted window. 

Some studies claim that intermittent fasting may help in fat loss, better health, and longer life. Its proponents believe that this approach is more attainable than the traditional, calorie-deficit diets that are difficult to sustain in the long run.

Intermittent fasting schedule and method

These are the different ways to do intermittent fasting:

The 16/8


The 16/8 method is when you fast for 16 hours and only eat in the 8 hours window, called 16:8, or the Leangain diet.

This method may work for individuals who have begun with the 12-hour eating window but did not see any results. Females usually do the 14 hours, and men the 18. People in this fast typically begin their window at noon and end at 8 p.m. Of course, this isn’t the only way to do this. You can adjust it on your schedule. 

A study reveals how mice with a feeding window of 8 hours prevented inflammation, diabetes, liver disease, and obesity. They even ate on a calorie surplus and did not have a problem. 



The Eat-Stop-Eat diet is when you fast for one or two days a week, which means no food for 24 hours. While on this method, you can still drink tea, water or other calorie-free drinks that won’t break your fast. 

When you are not fasting, you can eat on a usual time pattern. The Eat-Stop-Eat IF only reduces your caloric intake, but it won’t limit you from eating any types of foods or even take into account your macros. 

Fasting for 24-hours may be challenging and extreme, especially for beginners. There are instances when you might experience irritability, headaches, or fatigue. When your body has adjusted, the side effects may eventually lessen. 

If you wish to transition to this eating pattern, you should’ve at least started with the 12 or 16-hour method so that you can adapt to fasting for an extended period already. 

The 5:2


The 5:2 pattern refers to the days when you eat and don’t.

This type of intermittent fasting is when you eat five days a week without thinking of your calorie intake and fast for two days by going on a deficit of a quarter of your requirement. It is 500 calories less for women, while 600 for men. 

If you’re having a hard time tightly committing to an eating pattern, you should consider the 5:2 approach as it is less extreme and will allow your body to cope with the schedule. Studies suggest that people are more likely to stick with this routine than stricter diets. 



The 12:12 method is when you restrict yourself from eating for 12 hours. This is known as the easiest approach for the fasting stage is short compared to the other IF methods. You’re also sleeping eight hours a day so you’ll only have to wait for four hours for your first meal if you choose this kind of schedule.

The idea is to stop yourself from eating just whenever you want and have a regular meal schedule that you’ll religiously observe. For example, if you had your last meal at 8 p.m, your breakfast the next day should be at 8 a.m. This is the simplest kind of IF, and it’s friendly for beginners who are just diving into fasting.

Warrior Diet


Ori Hofmekler, a health and fitness author, developed the Warrior Diet. This eating pattern extends the fasting, leading to a shorter feasting time. 

Hofmekler created the Warrior Diet in 2001 after observing his colleagues at the Israeli Special Forces. Afterwards, he explained how we could improve how we feel, eat, and perform when reducing our food intake and tapping our survival instincts. 

Anyone who follows this diet would undereat for 20 hours and feast on whatever they want at night. He encourages eating healthy, organic and unprocessed food, though. The author also devised the plan based on his own experience and not strictly on science. 

Meal Skip

When you are in a meal skip plan, you don’t have to stick to an IF pattern like the time you have to eat. As the name implies, you simply skip meals when you are not hungry. 

Spontaneous meal skipping may vary from person to person. Some people quickly hit starvation mode every few hours, while few can handle themselves without eating for an extended period. You should know your body well and what it can manage. 

With meal skip, the idea is simple. Only eat when you’re hungry, and skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner when you are not starving. It’s listening to your cues and differentiating the line between hunger and craving. This method is appropriate for people who are busy cooking their food. 

Is intermittent fasting for weight loss?

intermittent fasting

Research shows that calorie restriction, which happens in intermittent fasting, can increase lifespan. Moreover, it improves the human body’s tolerance to many metabolic stresses. Hence, intermittent fasting aids in enhancing your immune response and changes in your metabolism.

With all this said, the physiological effects are often seen in people who do intermittent fasting, typically losing between 7-11 pounds after close to 3 months. There are other studies, however, that indicates there is no direct correlation between weight loss and intermittent fasting. For example, some individuals suffering from obesity don’t find intermittent fasting effective compared to other diet approaches.

The critical thing about intermittent fasting is when you eat. Weight loss happens when you restrict yourself from meals for a certain period. During this strict time window, your calorie intake naturally decreases, contributing to weight loss.

Additionally, when you restrict eating only during this window, your insulin level drops. This hormone, insulin, is responsible for managing blood sugar in your body. When your insulin level drops, your body burns fat more, which aids in weight loss. 

There are many factors to consider here. Health risk factors may come about when you deprive yourself of particular food at specific amounts of time, for instance. Worse, unhealthy habits may arise, such as overeating when you are in your time window to eat.

Does intermittent fasting work?

A study in the United Kingdom reveals that eating plans such as IF is effective in losing weight, compared to the complicated diets that most people try yet fail. 

The focus of IF is changing your body composition with weight and fat loss. 

When you restrict your eating time, you limit your caloric intake, which causes you to lose weight. IF also increases norepinephrine levels to boost your metabolism. Doing so will pump up your body to burn more calories throughout the day. 

It is typical to see people losing their fat and lean mass in the middle of a weight-loss journey, including their muscles. However, some studies reveal that you are most likely to lose only one to two pounds of lean mass in IF. There are even times when you won’t at all. 

Research suggests how IF is in preserving lean body mass compared to other diets that have nothing to do with fasting. Thus, if you are lifting weights to build muscles, you shouldn’t worry because IF won’t be counterproductive to your exercise.

How safe is intermittent fasting?

The science behind IF is still new. A ton of research is conducted to back up its claims, including its health benefits, dangers, and long-term effects on the body. 

This eating plan is safe for the right people. Health professionals note that IF is not dangerous; however, it isn’t for everyone. It isn’t for anybody pregnant or breastfeeding, under 18, or with certain health conditions like diabetes. Experts don’t recommend it for individuals who have suffered from eating disorders, as fasting may harm their situation. 

Ask your doctor

Like any dietary plan, before getting into it, make sure you check with your doctor first. As mentioned above, fasting intermittently can significantly reduce insulin resistance and lower blood pressure. If you have other health risks, this isn’t something you should immediately jump into, especially without medical advice.

Is intermittent fasting for you?

intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is good for your gut because you’re helping your gastrointestinal tract repair itself during the fasting period. When this happens, your body uses your stored fat as fuel. Hence, you’re burning fat rather than just storing it in your body cells, which is good for metabolism. 

IF is good for you if you combine it with regular exercise, and you don’t overeat during your time window. Also, it would help if you had a good variety of foods to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet all the time. If you have a weight goal, you should plan how many calories you need to cut down each day.

However, it really shouldn’t be about counting calories. When you’re eating more fruits and vegetables, for example, you’re naturally getting lower calories. If you have diabetes, on the other hand, it might not be a good idea to fast unless you have the green light and supervision from your doctor.