What You Feed Your Brain Matters

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Well my opening statement is a simple one: What you feed your Brain1brain matters!

I am and will always remain intrigued by the intricacies of our make up, the way the body pieces together to move fluidly; the wiring of the brain to send specific messages to create a movement, a thought, a wish. We are incredibly built, more powerful than most of us will realise in our lifetime and yet we often choose to take this for granted and misuse it.

Like a finely tuned car we require a regular MOT, a long run and some TLC to operate optimally and one of the things we can do to make sure we stay finely tuned is watch what we eat. Mmmm, yes, a tricky subject! But let’s look at some facts…

Does Brain Food Exist?

Oh yes! Just like the rest of the body there are foods we can eat to enhance our brain power.

The brain requires some very specific things to work well and you might want to take note. It requires:

  1. Energy – glucose in your blood to the brain – Wholegrains
  2. Essential Fatty Acids – only obtained from your diet as the body is unable to make it – Oily Fish (Omega 3 fats)
  3. Blueberries – who knew? See why below
  4. Protection against free radical damage to cells – the magic ingredient lycopene in Tomatoes
  5. Zinc – Pumpkin seeds

Some other key sources include certain B vitamins, blackcurrant, broccoli, sage and nuts.

What Happens If You Eat These Foods?

  1. Increases the ability to concentrate and focus (from the steady supply of energy)
  2. Aids healthy brain function, the heart function, joints and general wellbeing (EFA)
  3. Improves short-term memory loss or delays it (blueberries – got to get me some of those!)
  4. Protects against the cell damage that can lead to the development of dementia (Alzheimer’s in particular) (Tomatoes)
  5. Enhances memory & thinking skills (Pumpkin Seeds)

The additional benefits of eating the food types listed above include reduced brain shrinkage, mental agility, enhanced cognitive function, improved brain power and improved memory. Not a list to be sniffed at!

So if you’ve been struggling to stay focused, to retain information or engage with a level of mental agility that you feel you have, you might want to check your diet. Are you doing everything you can to remain mentally healthy or are you resigned to letting it all slip away blaming the ageing process? The choices we have, the decisions we make!

What Are Some Easy Steps To Improve Your Brain Power?

Apart from eating good quality food here are 3 other ways to Brain2improve your brain power:

  1. Exercise your brainneuroplasticity (the brain can change!) – by doing something new
  2. Exercise your body – regular exercise not only increases brain function it enhances neurogenesis (every time you exercise you are creating new brain cells!)
  3. Train your memory – practice remembering things (you know, where you put your keys, wallet, even the children!!) Practice provides improvements.

Get your thinking heads on and post some other cool, fun or wacky ways to improve brain power; I’m open to ideas and new ways. And remember, what you feed your brain matters!

One Life, Live It Well

YvonneB

Sources of information:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/

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C.R.A.P Food Versus Good Food

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Okay, C.R.A.P is not a word I would normally choose to open a Artificialblog post with but it serves a purpose here..

Getting right with food is easy if you have always been around good healthy food and it has become your norm. Or, if you are the type of person who decides on making a change and goes all out to attain it.

Unfortunately that is not the case for most people.

There is an awful lot of C.R.A.P food out there, easy to get, day or night and so it becomes the norm. It destroys peoples health whilst ‘tasting so good’ the demand goes up instead of down; even when the visible signs of its harm are clear to see.

This little poster & short blog post serves as a reminder that what we put into our bodies matters.

Eat less crap

Choose to live on the FOOD side; it’s what your body needs to function optimally! And remember:

illness

expensive

ingredientsBe healthy, live happy,

YvonneB

Be Fabulously Fit & Healthy

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I live by a philosophy. It’s not complicated (I like simple) and it F&Hworks… for me.

At the centre of it is the word HEALTH. Health matters, every single day in every single thing we do. Good health affects our mental state positively, our ability to focus at work, our ability to be creative, our social skills and provides the energy we need to have more fun.

And my 7F philosophy weaves together key areas of life that all come back to HEALTH:

  • Be Fabulously Fit & Healthy (at the heart of me, taking care of self) Healthy Body – keep the vessel in top condition
  • Be Fearless (attitude, motivated, inspired, positive thinking) = Healthy Mind; reprogramme the computer
  • Create Freedom (knowing me, working for me) = Healthy Business, healthy work life; seeing & making the most of opportunities
  • Have Fun (doing more of what I love) Healthy Happiness; enjoying life
  • Enjoy Friends & Family (make time to spend time with the people who matter) Healthy Network; building support
  • Pay it Forward / Philanthropy (giving back) Healthy Community; caring for others
  • And the foundation ‘F’ on which all the above are firmly planted is Have Faith… With this, anything is possible! Healthy Belief in God, universe, self.

If faith is the foundation, being fabulously fit & healthy is the seed. I strongly believe:

In putting YOU first because it means you’re better positioned to help others and it builds self worth & confidence

If you want to do more for others you need to maximize your own well-being. How can you help, serve & support others if you’re sick, tired, unfocused?

And who is responsible for your fitness & well-being? YOU! Whatever your age your body is the vehicle you have to get you from A to B; abuse it and lose it! It’s not the Governments responsibility or your GP’s; their interests are limited to their job roles not your quality of life.

Whatever your philosophy please put you first; because you matter. People are counting on your greatness to lead them, support them, love them and inspire them…

Live Blissfully

YvonneB

3 Ways To Increase Your Energy!

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You’re tired… In fact you’re sick and tired of feeling tired. You barely Energyhave enough energy to get through your day and people are making additional demands.

It’s not an unusual story but the good news is you can do something about it 🙂

Here are 3 ways to increase your energy…

1. Get stuck into some physical activity!

I know you’re probably thinking ‘she’s nuts’, you’re tired and I’m recommending you get physical. Contrary to any madness it is a fact that physical activity increases your energy; this can be as simple as a 10-15 minute brisk walk.

In experiments carried out by Robert Thayer, PhD at California State University, a 10 minute brisk walk not only increased energy levels it kept the level raised for up to 2 hours; not a bad little energy booster!

2. Eat good quality foods regularly throughout the day

Food and water are the fuel your body requires much like a car needs petrol & oil. There is no point in complaining about how tired you are when you are either missing meals or eating rubbish.

Think about it this way;
Low grade input = low grade output

Have you ever put the wrong type of petrol in your car? It has to be drained and can cause damage. Poor quality foods (and here I am focusing on fast food hell) have the same affect; you may feel full, you might even think it tastes good but inevitably it will harm your health and leave you feeling sluggish.

Grab some good energy foods including:

1. Low glycemic index foods (for longer lasting energy)
2. Whole grains‎ (wheat, oats, brown rice)
3. Healthy fat sources (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed)
4. Energy boosting superfoods (broccoli, lentils, apricots, spinach)
5. Vi shakes (ingredients)

3. Drink Water to replenish, clean & revitalize!

Water is an underestimated requirement for bodily function; every cell in the body needs it and your body composition is 60-70% water. The quantity consumed has a massive impact on your well-being‎ and yet it is often forgotten, ignored or just consumed in insufficient measures (something I am constantly working on to improve).

Dehydration leads to tiredness and leaves your skin looking tired.
“Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic,” says nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, an associate professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York and author of The Uncle Sam Die‎t.

This is particularly true following physical activity when you’re body is craving fluids.

A few of the benefits attributed to drinking 2 litres of water per day include:

1. Natural weight loss aid/detox
2. Glowing skin
3. Better digestion
4. Better concentration
5. Less painful menstruation
6. Good regular bowel movement

No rocket science here (sorry!), just 3 ways to increase your energy… easily!

One Life, Live It Well…
YvonneB

My Scales Are Killing Me! 3 Reasons to weigh yourself less often…

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The weighing scales; friend or foe? Are your scales killing you?Weigh In

For many, I imagine, there is a love/hate relationship when it comes to weighing themselves. When they tell you something great (you’ve lost weight) they are wonderful but when they tell you nothing has changed (even after all your hard work) or worse still, your weight has increased, all you want to do is scream ‘My scales are killing me!’

Here are a 3 simple points to consider when it comes to weighing in…

1. Your weigh in day makes a difference
If jumping on the scales is important to you (and I would argue that daily or even weekly frequency is not necessary) select a day that is more likely to deliver positive news. For example Monday morning is not usually the best day. Why? It is the first day after the weekend and chances are if you have derailed from whatever health plan you are following, it will have occurred over the weekend. So Monday isn’t likely to be on your side!

In a study published in January 2014 at Cornell University (in collaboration with researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology) it showed;

“A person’s weight is typically at the highest point after weekends, on Sunday and Monday”

If you are going to weigh yourself each week consider Friday as the ideal day. You’ll have had more time to stick to your health plan and it will be pre weekend. Now this isn’t about kidding yourself but you do need to feel encouraged to take care of your health; good results will motivate you to keep on track.

2. Understand your weight can fluctuate by 4 pounds (2 kilos) in a single day
It makes no sense at all to weigh yourself on a daily basis. Your weight is changing constantly through the day so depending on whether you hit lucky hour or not, will pretty much determine how good or bad you’ll feel after the weigh in.

Consider weighing in bi-weekly and do it at the same time with the same level of hydration (and clothes!)

3. Know that weight loss cycles exist
Just as we have sleep cycles, we have weight loss cycles. Most people lose weight during the week and put weight on over the weekend. Just as what happens to you during the course of your day can affect your sleep pattern it can also affect your weight.

Become more aware of the habits you have on certain days (do certain environments, people, time of day affect what you eat?) What triggers your moods positively or negatively and how does that affect your eating?

Don’t let the scales take over your life. They are just one way to check what is happening with your body. Body measurements (when done correctly) give you a much clearer picture of the changes being made (reduced waist line, firmer legs, etc). And remember that muscle outweighs fat! So even if you are sticking to your health plan, doing exercise and being consistently on track, you may well experience weight gain as you get into shape… And that is not a bad thing!

Are my scales killing me? Not anymore…! How are yours fairing?

To Your Health!
YvonneB