Is your brain holding you back?

Do you feel like your brain is holding you back from being all that you can be?

  • Is your memory not as sharp as it used to be?
  • Perhaps you are a little foggy headed at times?
  • Do you feel like your brain is not as quick as it was?
  • Do you find it harder to make decisions?
  • Maybe your feeling a little anxious or depressed?
  • Tired or disengaged?

     

There are lots of things that can slow your Brain down.

These changes might be due to stress, lack of sleep, a poor diet, inflammation in your Brain due to a virus or toxic exposure, hormonal changes, a head injury, or lack of exercise or unhealthy lifestyle.

Whatever the reasons these changes are not normal and they signify that your Brain needs some help.

When your Brain works well you work well and when it doesn’t, you don’t.

The good news is you are not stuck with the Brain you have.

There are lots of things you can do to improve the health of your Brain and two of the most important are the right nutrition and the right exercise.

Did you know most cells in your body make themselves new every 5 months and you actually grow new skin cells every month?

So every few months you get a chance to improve the health of your body, your skin and your Brain.

How many of us however just keep doing the same old same old and wander why nothing ever changes?

The challenge is we have established habits over time and changing habits takes commitment and focus.

It is not easy.

The best way is to start small and build up. As a Brain Health Coach I work with my clients to make incremental changes. Once they start to see and feel the results it gets easier. Old habits are gone and new habits formed.

So lets start by looking at some simple changes you can start making today.

What many people do not realise is food is a drug and what you eat will affect your mood and your energy levels. It will affect how well you think, how well you remember and how you turn up each and every day.

This is particularly true for your Brain as it is the hungriest organ in your body and uses 20 – 30% of the calories you consume on a daily basis.

Quality of food really does matter when it comes to the Brain. If you are trying to run your Brain on a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet don’t expect it to work well.

Your Brain needs a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, good protein and healthy fats and carbohydrates.

This is even more true as we start to get older. As we age our Brains and our bodies need more help to perform well.

The Brain you have in your forties or fifties is not the Brain you had in your twenties. Just like your body is not the same.

The good news is you can change your Brain and keep it sharp and engaged into old age by feeding it what it needs to thrive and the earlier you start looking after your Brain the better.

In the case of your Brain the old saying “You are what you eat” couldn’t be more true so don’t waste those 20-30% of calories on food or drink that is high in bad fats and sugars and empty of goodness.

So what foods will nourish and feed your Brain what it needs to thrive?

Lets start with fruits and vegetables.

We all know how important eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables is to our health but how many of us really do it?

Well it turns out that studies now show that eating more fruits and vegetables not only makes us healthier it actually makes us happier.

Why?

Because fruits and vegetables give your Brain the essential vitamins, polyphenols, antioxidants, fibre, protein and smart carbohydrates it needs to function well.

People that have diets low in nutrition and high in bad fats and sugar have more mental health issues and struggles in life because their Brains are struggling.

Studies have also shown that people that eat lots of fruits and vegetables live healthier, longer lives. You just have to look at the Blue Zones to see this.

The key point here is that not only do they live longer, they stay healthy and retain a quality of life as they age, many of them into their 100’s.

They have what is known as a long health span, not just a long life span.

So be honest with yourself and take a good look at how many fruits and vegetables you are consuming every day.

Are you hitting the sweet spot of five or more?

If you are congratulations!

If not set yourself a goal to start adding one fruit and one vegetable each day. Be mindful about it and plan for it and very soon it will just become part of what you do.

Even small changes can make a difference.

An easy way to do it is to start the day with a smoothie. Make it a green one by adding spinach or kale. Sweeten it up with some blueberries and another fruit of your choice.

Have some salad with your lunch, vegetables with dinner and a piece of fruit during the day.

Your Brain will love you for it.

Food is not enough however when it comes to nourishing your Brain.

Your Brain also needs water and needs to stay hydrated.

Have you noticed sometimes you get a headache when you are dehydrated or you can’t quite think clearly when you are thirsty?

It’s because your Brain needs to be hydrated to work.

Make sure you have water on hand during your day.

Get yourself a good water bottle, not plastic and fill it with water, preferably filtered water.

Take it with you when you go out, have it on your desk at work and drink regularly. The more water you drink the more water you will want to drink and the better your Brain will feel.

Lets now talk about fat.

What many people don’t know is your Brain loves fat and needs high quality healthy fats to work well.

Very low fat diets are not good for your Brain, after all 60% of the solid weight of your Brain is fat!

Add good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your meals, cook with coconut oil, drink coconut milk, eat salmon once a week, avocado whenever you can, nuts, seeds and take Omega 3’s on a daily basis.

I add almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds to my smoothie every morning.

Not only does it give my Brain and body the healthy fats it needs it also gives me protein, fibre and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals my Brain loves. And don’t forget the avocado!

Lets now look at the other part of the equation for a healthy Brain. Keeping active and doing the right exercise.

Everyone knows that physical activity is important for the body. It helps us maintain a healthy weight, gives us more energy and fires up our endorphins making us feel happier and less stressed.

What we now know due to increased research into Brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Dementia is how absolutely critical physical activity and exercise is to keeping our Brains healthy.

There are lots of reasons why exercise helps the Brain.

  • It increases blood flow which brings more oxygen and glucose to the Brain
  • It increases BDNF (Brain Derived Neuro Factor) which helps us to learn and is important for memory
  • It increases DNA cell repair
  • It protects the short term memory structures in our Brains
  • It builds muscle which gives our Brains protein reserve
  • It makes us feel better by releasing endorphins and can ease anxiety, depression and panic attacks
  • Studies also show people that exercise have better cognitive abilities than those that don’t

There can be no disputing that our Brains need us to get active every day.

In addition to cardio activities like walking we need to build muscle through weight training, pilates or yoga, get our heart rate up and send oxygen and nitric oxide to the Brain through HIIT or burst training and make the Brain more flexible through coordination activities like dance, table tennis, tennis, pickle ball or martial arts.

Introducing the right exercise into your day does not mean you have to join a gym. Burst training can be as simple as introducing short burst of running into your morning walk.

Weight training doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights. There are many ways you can increase your muscle at home and plenty of YouTube videos to show you how.

Find exercise programs you enjoy and aim to do at least 20 mins every day whether it is walking the stairs at work, walking the dog or doing some gardening.

Mix it up and try something new. I am having my first pickle ball class this week!

Simply introducing better foods, more water and the right exercise into your day will make a huge difference to your Brain. You will think better, feel better and can be confident you are helping to keep your Brain stronger and healthier as you age.

As a Brain Health Coach I help people to create healthier Brains through making simple changes to what they eat and how they live through my Brain Fit for Life and Memory Rescue coaching programs.

 

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Embrace Menopause & Thrive

Every woman experiences menopause differently. Together we will find out what will work best for you to help you manage your symptoms, feel well and set yourself up for good health during your 40’s and 50’s.

The right food, exercise and lifestyle changes will help you to:

  • Sleep better
  • Wake up with more energy
  • Have a clearer mind and a better memory
  • Lose some unwanted kilos
  • Have less headaches, hot flushes and mood swings
  • Feel confident in your body and who you are as a woman

Be Well – Age with Confidence

Why is this program designed for women only?

Because researchers have now discovered that not only do women’s bodies age differently to men’s bodies, so to do their Brains and it has all got to do with hormones.

This is one of the reasons why two thirds of Alzheimer’s patients are women and Dementia is the number one cause of death for women in Australia.

This program will take a woman’s perspective on health and wellness and incorporate elements of the Brain Fit, Memory Rescue and Embracing Menopause program.

Taking a bio-individual approach that looks specifically at your health and lifestyle needs you will discover how to:

  • Keep your mind and memory sharp
  • Successfully keep your weight at a healthy level
  • Nurture your body, Brain and hormones with the right foods and supplements to keep them healthy and balanced
  • Slow down ageing through the right exercise and lifestyle changes
  • Have the energy to live the life you want to live
  • Be confident in your body and who you are as a woman

Brain Fit for Life

Did you know that when your Brain works right, you work right and when your Brain is troubled, you have trouble in your life.

When your Brain is Fit you make better decisions, you are healthier, happier, have better relationships and are more purposeful and successful in life.

What we will do to make you Brain Fit!

  • Take a deep dive into how the Brain functions and how problems in different parts of the Brain can affect behaviour and your health
  • Assess your Brain and your Brain health via Dr Amen’s online Brain assessment tool
  • Look at the four circles of Brain health and how to balance your work and home life
  • Fuel up your Brain for high performance through nutrition, supplements and gut health
  • Give you tools and techniques to challenge ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts)
  • Develop a Brain optimisation plan that will protect your Brain for the future

Memory Rescue

Are you noticing that your memory is not as good as it used to be?

Has Covid affected your short term memory?

Is your Brain a little foggy or not as sharp as it used to be?

It is not until our memories start to slip that we realise how essential they are for working and living well.

The exciting news is the Hippocampus which is the memory centre of the Brain makes up to 700 new cells every day. If you put these cells in a growth environment they will thrive, keep them in a toxic environment and they will die.

This program starts with a review of your Brain health using the Dr Amen on line Brain health assessment tool which will give you a personal report of your current Brain health.

Then using the BRIGHT MINDS pneumonic as a guide we will look at each of the 11 major risk factors that steal your mind and what you can do to manage these risks, sharpen your memory, boost cognitive function, reverse brain ageing and decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.