The Ketoflex 12/3 Diet (Recipes and Supplements)

How To Do The Ketoflex 12/3 Diet

The Ketoflex 12/3 diet is an integral part of the Bredesen Protocol to reverse Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.

In this post, we will be discussing the overall goals of the Ketoflex 12/3 Diet, the recommended foods to eat, recipes to try, how to start the diet and get into ketosis, solve cravings, how to fix dysbiosis, and what supplements are needed that are not in the diet.

 
ketoflex diet
 

Goals Of The KetoFlex 12/3 Diet

The ReCODE diet, called "Ketoflex 12/3", consists of being in ketosis, eating high amounts of fiber, eating within a 12 hour window, and stop eating at least 3 hours before bed.

The goals of Ketoflex 12/3 diet are:

  • Restore proper brain growth and reduce neuroinflammation (inflammation of the brain) by:
    • Increasing ketone bodies
    • Increasing neurotrophic factors (read more - BDNFNGFMANFCNTFGDNFCDNF)
    • Decreasing lectin intake
  • We also want to increase insulin sensitivity by:
    • Fasting for 12 hours throughout the night
    • Stop eating food 3 hours before bed
  • As a "flexitarian" diet, a majority of the should have a lot of:
    • Fiber from uncooked veggies (to restore nitric oxide signaling and blood flow to the brain and body)
    • Healthy fats
  • Excrete toxins:
  • It's important to know your genetic phenotype:
    • ApoE2 - good
    • ApoE3 - worse
    • ApoE4 - worst (I fall in this category)
    • If you are ApoE3 or 4, then a larger portion of your dietary fats will be from medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil, caprylic acid, and palm oil as you transition into the ketoflex diet, then will be a majority of MUFAs and PUFAs.

My Experience With KetoFlex 12/3

As a biohacker, I've tried to this diet myself to see how it made me feel.

I've had my own health problems and with biohacking I've been able to resolve a significant portion of them.

So for someone who is already relatively healthy, this diet was able to increase my cognitive performance and overall physical stamina.

I don't believe this diet is just for those with neurocognitive disorders, but could also help those looking to improve their daily lifestyle.

I have helped my clients develop individual diet based on the KetoFlex diet and action plans based on their sensitivities

Recommended Foods To Eat

 
keto flex recode
 

Eating organically is recommended, but not required.

We want to avoid most lectins, including gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley), casein (found in dairy), and nightshades.

Being in "ketoflex" (more discussed below) will already have low amounts of grains and bad types of dairy. 

Fats:

Your diet should be a majority of healthy fats (mostly MUFAs, some PUFAs and some SFAs) such as avocados, olive oilcoconut oil, and ghee. This will increase ketone bodies and short chain fatty acids making the body crave fat instead of sugar.

These fats include (not an exclusive list):

Veggies:

Veggies allowed on the diet (not an exclusive list):

  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Cilantro
  • Cruciferous Vegetables - this includes (not exclusive list)
    • Arugula
    • Bok Choy
    • Broccoli
    • Broccoli Sprouts - A MUST* - significantly improves insulin resistance and toxin exposure
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Cabbages
    • Cauliflower
    • Daikon
    • Horseradish
    • Kale
    • Kohlrabi
    • Makkah
    • Radishes
    • Rapini
    • Rutabaga
    • Turnips
    • Wasabi
    • Watercress
  • Ginger
  • Jicama
  • Leafy greens (such as kale spinach, and lettuce, etc)
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Resistant Starches (such as sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, and green bananas, which is a fruit)

*My favorite thing is to eat on this diet is Broccoli Sprouts, which activates a transcription factor called NRF2. If you have the third type of Environmental Alzheimer's, then you may need to take the product DIM or else cruciferous vegetables may make you feel worse. Read why this happens here

Fruits:

Full fruits are better than juice, as they have fiber. Low glycemic fruits are better than higher glycemic ones.

Fruits (not exclusive list):

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons

Other Plants and Fungi:

  • All Herbs (including dandelion and ginger)
  • Mushrooms - best to include Lion's ManeReishi, and Cordyceps (other mushrooms are also fine) 
  • Seaweed

Protein:

As a flexitarian diet, this diet is not too high on protein (~30g/meal).

  • Pasture raised eggs
  • Pasture raised (and grass fed) meats - use as a condiment, not as the main course
  • Wild-caught fish (SMASH fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring)

Drinks:

Alcohol is not recommended on the diet, although red wine (1x/wk) is okay later in the protocol.

Desserts:

  • Cacao (70% or higher, I use 90% and higher)
  • Shredded coconut (unsweetened)

Getting Into "KetoFlex"

We want to put ourselves into ketosis.

The fastest way to technically do that is to fast for 2 or 3 days. This is depending on the rate of your metabolism (for me it only takes about 2 days since I have a relatively fast metabolism, but for others it may take longer).

An easy way to fast is simply by drinking water, taking electrolytes (such as salt), and drinking black coffee/unsweetened in the morning/day.

You can also get into ketosis by eating a very low on carbohydrates and a relative amount of protein.

Generally in this diet to get into and stay into ketosis - you want than 30-50 grams of net carbs/day or less (see below on how to calculate this) and no more than 30 grams of protein/meal.

To calculate net carbs per day, take a look at the nutrition facts of what you are eating.

  • "Total Carbs" - "Fiber" = net carbs
  • Sugar alcohols do count towards net carbs and not as fiber.

Protein should be listed on most food packaging.

It's paramount to use a ketone meter (blood, not urine) to measure whether you're in ketosis or not. The goal is to be around 0.5-4 mmol/L, which indicates mild ketosis. After you know what the "feeling" of ketosis feels like, then the ketone meter may not be necessary.  

Now, if you're afraid fat will make you fat, that has been proven scientifically incorrect. One of the major causes of fat accumulation is inflammation. Fat is an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and talks with other parts of the body including the brain. If the fat on your body is causing too much inflammation, it can cause inflammation of your brain. That's why the saying goes "A larger waistline is inversely correlated with a smaller brain", but that's just an idiom. Being in ketosis will help you lose extra fat weight.

The 12/3 Method

 
12/3 method
 

This is simply eating within a 12 hour window and stopping eating 3 hours before bed.

For example, if you wake up at 6am and eat breakfast at 7am, then you must stop eating by 7pm (or earlier) and go to bed after 10pm. It is recommend to go to not stay up late, as this interferes with circadian clocks (worse for those who are ApoE3/4.

Eating within this 12 hour window is a type of intermittent fasting and you must be consistent with scheduled eating, meaning if your window is 7am/7pm, then it should be 7am/7pm the next day and the next, etc.

Cooking Caveats

A few notes about cooking:

  • Eating uncooked veggies is better
  • Overcooking fats (oils and meats especially) increases Advanced Glycation End-products (aka AGEs), which are bad for Inflammatory Alzheimer's Type 1

Solving Cravings And Fallouts

Most cravings will go away once you have adapted to ketosis (may take weeks to months). 

To fix some cravings instantly:

Fixing Dysbiosis With Food

If your gut microbiome is bad and in dysbiosis (such as having Candida), it is important to load up on Probiotics combined with Prebiotic Foods.

Probiotics:

Prebiotics include eating a lot of:

If you have a bad reaction to the prebiotics you may have SIBO or histamine intolerance, so stay away from lactic acid bacteria (fermented foods) and treat the underlying histamine intolerance, along with biofilm formation.

Information about the nasal microbiome can be found here

Simple Recipes To Try

I put together some very simple recipes I've been using during this diet. I will post more advanced recipes in the future. 

Breakfast:

 
recipes ketoflex
 

Sweet Potato Avocado “Toast”

A gluten-free twist on every millenial’s favorite food!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 large sweet potato (one that is more oval or oblong will work better than one that’s round)
  2. 1 avocado
  3. 1 c Broccoli Sprouts
  4. Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Wash and slice the sweet potato lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
  2. Toast these slices in a toaster oven on high.  Check after 10 minutes to see if it is cooked all the way through and put back in for another 5 minutes if necessary.
  3. While the potatoes are toasting, cut open the avocado and mash in a bowl with salt.
  4. Spread the mashed avocado over your finished pieces of “toast”
  5. Top with broccoli sprouts

Hearty Frittata

This is a good recipe for a Sunday brunch treat!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbsp ghee
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 c mushrooms, chopped
  5. 1 c broccoli, chopped
  6. 2 c spinach
  7. 8 large eggs
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Melt 2 tbsp ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium heat
  3. Cook the onions and garlic until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes)
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes
  5. Add the broccoli and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted (about 2 more minutes)
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl
  7. Pour the eggs over the vegetables, making sure everything is covered and reduce heat to low
  8. Once the eggs at the edge of the pan are beginning to set, move the pan into the oven
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the eggs are fully set and the middle is not runny
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into slices

Lunch:

Kale Caesar Salad

Caesar salads are usually packed with unhealthy dressing, cheese, and croutons.  In my version, you use kale and a dressing from plain yogurt.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 c kale, finely chopped
  2. 1 c broccoli sprouts
  3. 1 c

Dressing:

  1. 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  2. ½ c plain unsweetened coconut yogurt
  3. 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  4. ½ tbsp horseradish
  5. Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  6. 4 anchovies, minced
  7. ½ tsp salt
  8. ½ tsp pepper
  9. ½  c olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the olive oil.  
  2. After blending, slowly mix in the olive oil.
  3. Toss the kale in the dressing
  4. Mix in the corn and broccoli sprouts

Cabbage Slaw

This Asian-inspired cabbage slaw is bright and tasty.

Ingredients:

  1. ½ red cabbage, shredded
  2. 1 carrot, shredded
  3. 1/2 green apple, cut into thin “matchstick” pieces
  4. 1 jicama, cut into thin “matchstick” pieces
  5. 1 c shredded broccoli stems
  6. ½ c cilantro, chopped

Dressing:

  1. 2 tsp sesame oil
  2. 2 ½ tbsp coconut amino
  3. ¼ c lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp ginger powder
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together
  2. Toss the slaw ingredients in the dressing

Dinner:

 
ketoflex mushrooms dinner
 

Stuffed Mushrooms

These mushrooms are packed with roasted veggies.

Ingredients:

  1. 4 large portobello mushrooms
  2. 4 tbsp ghee
  3. 1 onion, minced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 zucchini, chopped
  6. 2 c spinach chopped
  7. 1 c basil leaves, chopped
  8. 1 tsp nutritional yeast

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Remove the stems of the mushrooms and chop them up with the other chopped vegetables.  Lay the caps of the mushrooms out on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat the ghee in a skillet at medium-high heat.
  4. Add the onions and garlic and cook about 2 minutes
  5. Add the chopped mushroom stems and zucchini, cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the nutritional yeast and basil leaves.
  8. Fill each mushroom with the vegetable mixture
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until mushrooms look tender

Grilled Mackerel and Daikon

Grilled mackerel is called saba shioyaki in Japanese and it is a very common food, as is daikon, or white radish.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 mackerel fillets
  2. Salt
  3. 2 tbsp ghee
  4. 2 inches of daikon radish

Instructions:

  1. Grate the radish, and set aside.
  2. Cover a frying pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Cut each mackerel fillet in half. Salt both sides of the fish.
  4. Heat the frying pan at medium heat, and melt the ghee on the surface of the aluminum foil.
  5. Place the fish skin side down on the foil. Cook 7-8 minutes on each side, or until brown and cooked through.
  6. Enjoy the fish with the side of daikon.

Roasted Baby Bok Choy

This also makes a great side dish for your grilled mackerel.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 c baby bok choy
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Lay out the bok choy on a baking sheet and drizzle the oil on it.  Sprinkle on the garlic and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too burnt.

Sweet Potato Coconut Soup

This blended soup is perfect for fall and cozying up with a cup of herbal tea.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. ½ sweet onion, chopped
  3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 2 in fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or 2 tbsp minced ginger)
  6. 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
  7. 3 carrots, chopped
  8. 4 c broth (or water)
  9. 1 can coconut milk
  10. 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in the bottom of a pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat
  2. Add onion, celery, garlic, and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes
  3. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and broth
  4. Bring to a boil and switch to low heat, letting it continue to bubble uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and add coconut milk and cinnamon
  6. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend until desired consistency (I prefer it a little on the chunkier side)

*If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender, doing half the batch or less at a time.

Snacks:

 
kale ketoflex
 

Kale and Jicama Chips

These chips are simple and delicious!

Ingredients:

  1. 2 c kale, with stems removed
  2. 2 c jicama, sliced very thinly
  3. 3 tbsp olive oil
  4. Salt and pepper

Instructions for the kale:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Tear the kale into evenly sized pieces and lay out on a baking sheet
  3. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, flipping the chips about halfway
  5. All them to cool before eating, they’ll “crisp up.”

Instructions for the jicama:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Lay out the slices on a baking sheet
  3. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Bake 25 minut es, taking out and flipping the chips halfway through

Desserts:

Grapefruit, Grape, Ginger Green Smoothie Bowl (4G Smoothie Bowl)

In addition to my PBJ smoothie, here’s another option you can try for a sweet treat.

Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 grapefruit
  2. 1/2 c frozen grapes
  3. 1/2 apple (sweet like a honeycrisp or fuji)
  4. 1 c spinach
  5. 1 c broccoli sprouts
  6. ½ tsp fresh minced ginger
  7. 2-3 ice cubes
  8. ½ c green tea (unsweetened)

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Other Recipes To Try:

Power Smoothie

Ingredients:

Directions: 

  • Put all ingredients in the blender (Vitamix is superior) and blend until liquid or slightly chunky
  • Serve in glass and enjoy

Notes:

  • All ingredients are optional
  • It is important to note that all these ingredients can be increased to make a larger amount of smoothie, but be wary of increasing the amount of blueberries as they are sugar.

Cauliflower Wedges

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Cut up cauliflower into wedge slices
  • Lightly simmer them in ghee in a saucepan
  • Put wedges on a glass tray in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes (flip half-way through)
  • Take them out and you can eat these wedges with a fork or by hand-dipping them in warmed up ghee or room temperature olive oil - enjoy

Cauliflower Rice Mushrooms And Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Onion (red, yellow, or white)
  • 1 cup of Bok Choy
  • 2 cups of Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 pack of Cauliflower Rice (I use the organic kind from Whole Foods)
  • 2 tablespoons of Ghee
  • 2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder or 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt (or himalayan salt)

Directions:

  • Sautee onions, bok choy, and mushrooms in ghee in a saucepan (do not overcook and burn ingredients).
  • Pour cauliflower rice in the sauce pan with a garlic and salt.
  • Stir ingredients and cover. Let ingredients simmer for about 5-10 minutes
  • Serve, cool, and enjoy

Simple Salad

Ingredients:

  • Handful of Arugula
  • Handful of Spinach
  • Handful of Kale
  • Handful of Butter Leaf Lettuce
  • 2 to 3 oz of Broccoli Sprouts.
  • 1 avocado (large)
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Wash all leafy ingredients and broccoli sprouts in a strainer
  • Add a sliced avocado and olive oil on top and enjoy

Easy Avocado

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado (large)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Pinch of black pepper

Directions:

  • Slice avocado in half and remove pit
  • Lightly sprinkle salt, cumin, and pepper to taste
  • Eat with a fork and enjoy

Important Supplements Not Found In The Diet

Digestive Enzymes:

Some supplements that help support the diet:

Other supplements found on the protocol can be found here.

Let me know your experiences with the Bredesen Recode Protocol and recipes with the Ketoflex 12/3 Diet in the comments below.