Things that make you go hmmm…
Things that make you go hmmmmm...
Do you finding yourself scratching your head trying to figure out what you were about to do? Do you end up feeling a little lost at some point in the day?
Our brain is a powerful and amazing organ, processing all sensory stimuli and sparking a reaction. It connects EVERYTHING, which is a big part of why our wellness plans always include a few exercises that stimulate healthy brain patterns and communication (deep breathing techniques, gratitude practices, etc..)
Many things impact our brain's ability to function optimally. Anyone else want to optimize their brain function?!
When I was pregnant I called it "preggo brain", then I called it "baby brain", and then? Well, I quit making excuses and decided to figure out what this brain fog was all about.
What I learned was that the same things causing my brain fog also increased my long term risks for neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, Alzheimers, and Parkinsons.
Last week we discovered how to support our GI system and what benefits we can expect from those habits. Did you know that recent studies have shown a tremendous connection between gut health and brain health? Why? It has to do with the good ole immune system and inflammation of course! In fact, inflammation in general is to blame for most of the neurodegenerative disorders. Follow along for ways to improve your brain function today and decrease your risks in the future!
Negative influencers on our brain and nervous system:
- Electronics and blue light (click to read my previous posts on the science behind this). This was a big factor in enrolling our kids a classical education program @our new Jacksonville Classical Academy.
- SUGAR. From my "sugar monster video, to my articles on gut health there is plenty of education in our hub on how sugar increases inflammation and makes it hard for the "good cels" to communicate. Breaking it down, processed sugars feed the bad cells, interrupt the "healthy" cells, and disturb our hormonal releases in the endocrine system (pituitary, pancreatic) - think blood sugar dysfunction with lots of highs and lows and perceived cravings. These "cravings" interfere with our ability to focus, but it is actually the endocrine imbalances and inflammation creating the problem.
- Dehydration: Yep, all cells need water. It's a fact. To have good cellular communication and function DRINK UP!
- Distractions: Do you feel like you have too much on your brain or are overwhelmed with events and to do lists?
- Toxins: Toxins lurking in our every day products have a huge impact on brain health. Whether the corn syrup in our foods or the fragrances and chemicals in our aerosols and dryer sheets, our home is often the most toxic place for our nervous system. When our body can't eliminate non-nutritive substances, they get stored in our FAT! Fat encases the cells of our nervous system (neuronal sheaths) and many central organs. So think about what happens as those toxins sit in that fat? It starts to break down and cause damage, impeding good cellular communication! (also known as inflammation).
- Poor posture reduces good blood flow and nervous system communication.
Ways to support your brain and nervous system:
*Hint: You may notice some of these overlap. This is great news. It means that many habits support multiple or all systems!! Focus on those first!
- Start your gratitude practice today. MRI studies of positive thought are fascinating! We can train our brain to think positively, and thereby reduce anxiety and improve confidence and success. See our outline and suggestions in our library!
- BREATHE!: Just breathe! The 4x4x4x4 technique is my favorite to stimulate the limbic system, improve oxygen delivery, and reset the stress response!
- Practice brain dumping: Keep a notebook or whiteboard handy and write or draw out whatever is on your mind. This allows you to focus better on what is in front of you and revisit those ideas, tasks, or concerns later!
- Drink a lot of water: MINIMUM 1/2 ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Add water for any alcohol, caffeine, or work outs. THIS IS VITAL for proper cellular function and therefore metabolism. Recently I had a client that was afraid to drink that much water and end up bloated. When I explained how the water helps you eliminate metabolic waste she GOT IT! DRINK DRINK DRINK! I like to add a good vitality Citrus or spearmint essential oil to mine. For added endocrine support I add a scoop of Aminowise by Young Living. See our social media stories for more on this. Lemon or Orange vitality essential oils have been shown to have incredible effects on pH of the gut, metabolism, and risk reduction of incidences of diseases such as GI cancer.
- Supplements:Goal: Help immune system reduce inflammation. Provide protection via balanced fats, ALCAR andCOQ10.
- Eat Whole Foods and eliminate processed foods. As much as possible remove inflammatory foods such as GMO grains and most processed dairy. Try switching to ancient grains or Italians grains and see our printable pdf in the library for great dairy swaps. The more you work to eliminate these, the greater your reward will be. DO eat good fats such as avocado and nuts, and incorporate clean oils such as coconut oils and high quality olive oils daily. See our Spoiled coffee recipe for a healthy coffee start.
- Reduce SUGAR to less than 50g/day for adults and 25g/ for kiddos and eliminate ALL white sugar from your home. We use honey or Agave almost exclusively. Raw sugar when needed. Sugar is pro inflammatory !!!! Start reading your labels. This is the best step towards healthier decisions. (<50g/day for adults and <25g/day kids). Stay tuned for our annual sugar monster video next month and ways we can help our families and our teachers do better.
- Botannical support:
- Blends with Frankincense such as Magnify Your Purpose and GenYus are amazing tools to diffuse or inhale before starting your day.
- Frankincense dropped on the top of your head daily supports healthy brain and cellular function.
- Copaiaba under your tongue daily also supports the immune system and may just help with that brain fog feeling.
- DUMP THE DISRUPTORS: mentioned above. See The Dwelling in our hub for some quick tips on improving air quality and environmental safety at home.
- Get ALIGNED! Incorporating pilates 2 times a week, seeing a Rolfer, having regular myofascial work done by specialized LMT, and getting adjusted are just a few ways you can keep your spine and your brain functioning at its best. Each of these will improve how the spinal bones rest and allow the blood flow and nerves to pass through. Proper alignment can decrease pain, improve blood flow, increase immune function, and improve focus and rest. I maintain at home with my foam roller. See our "Exercise stories" on Instagram for a 5 minute routine you can do at home. Reach out if you are local and need some referrals.
- Finally, high quality sleep is important. See our "Sleep Protocol" in the library for some ways you can improve your quality and wake up feeling refreshed and focused! See my wellness box page for gut and gut protocol also in the library!
What to expect when you support your brain and nervous system:
- Better quality sleep
- Less mood swings, anxiety, depression, irritability
- More energy
- Greater productivity and sense of fullfillment
- Better outlook and increased spirits
- Better focus (less brain fog)
AS ALWAYS: If you plan to start new supplements discuss it with your physician first!
Resources & References:
Inflammation and Alzheimers disease!
This is the purpose of our wellness hub, to arm you with the information and tools you need to make healthier decisions on the day to day, and reduce your risks factors for all things that pose threats. Grab your passporttoday and search for the one habit you are going to swap out TODAY.
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