Love Your Brain – Part 1: Eat Better
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a great opportunity to talk about and increase awareness about mental health and wellness in our lives.
I will share some tips throughout the month of May on how to take good care of the amazing brain.
Our brain is the center of our nervous system, and it’s responsible for every thought, action, feeling, and emotion thanks to billions of neurons that communicate between each other, and the release of neurotransmitters. Well, it is a little more complicated than simple connections but you get the idea! It’s where we store our memories, we create habits, we shape our personality. The brain is the most complex organ in our body, and I’m simply obsessed with it 🙂
Part 1 of this series is dedicated to Nutrition. What we eat impacts our brain, our body, and it also influences our gene expression.
I am not a doctor. I don’t treat sick patients. I work with clients who are healthy individuals with a very busy and stressful life. They work full time as solopreneurs, mompreneurs, and freelancers, they have a family, and they try to juggle and fit everything in their 24 hours every day. Not easy in today’s society. Also, I coach small business owners and their employees so that they can improve their results, both in their personal life and at work. I offer different programs that target several goals, whether they want to enhance mood or focus, or just to calm their mind.
My life coaching practice is based on eating better, sleeping more, and exercising regularly along with self-care for a balanced body and brain. Once you achieve balance, you can thrive in your personal life and in your business.
My approach as a life coach is holistic: I see my clients as a whole. I take a look at what they eat, how many hours they sleep every night, how often they exercise, and what they do for self-care before paying attention to their business goals. Until we don’t optimize those areas, their business performance will be greatly reduced.
Taking care of our brain (even if we’re still young) can help us age better and keep our cognitive performance at its best. Aging is usually a slow process, and we don’t notice the brain is aging until later in life. In addition to that, we don’t realize how much our daily lifestyle, environment, and stress can play a huge role in the aging process. That’s why I focus on prevention and ways to keep us in our best shape, mentally and physically, thanks to healthy habits to incorporate in our daily routine.
Also, more and more research studies are linking mental health to nutrition, sleep, and exercise, and they’re identifying connections between chronic inflammation and depression plus other disorders. This confirms that a healthy lifestyle can make a big difference and improve the quality of life.Love Your Brain – Part 1: Eat Better #LifeWorkBalance Click To Tweet
So, going back to Nutrition … Diet matters and you should pay more attention to it.
I don’t recommend specific diets – I think diets are not for everybody, and they’re not sustainable. This is one of the reasons why I never suggest my clients follow trendy diets just because everybody is talking about them or trying them. I am more for a personalized approach, and working with a nutritionist to address individual needs and allergies or sensitivities is usually the best way to go. What I do is looking at different ways to optimize the body’s energy and brain function thanks to a balanced diet with whole, nutrient-dense “brain foods” that are rich in antioxidants (fighting free radicals, unstable atoms that can damage our cells), healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Think colorful vegetables and fruits (many of these are rich in fiber that stabilizes blood sugar), proteins, and complex carbs, for instance.
And don’t forget your water! When we are dehydrated, the brain is the first organ to be affected.
You should stay away from refined sugar (which is added to almost everything nowadays), processed foods filled with many “offenders” for our gut, and sodas and juices filled with unnecessary additives and sweeteners. Part of my coaching practice is to look at the nutrition facts labels in the foods my client buy, and to help them spot the “offenders”.
The brain-gut axis is a critical player for optimal health, not only for our brain but for our entire body. Many neurotransmitters important in our everyday life (from mood regulation to brain function) are manufactured in our digestive tract, and most of our immune system resides there. If our gut is disrupted chances are, your mood and performance (and overall health) will be disrupted, too.
The goal is to reduce inflammatory foods that can cause oxidative stress and disrupt our immune system, and focus on foods that improve well-being, energy levels, and performance.
A great way to improve our brain function is to favor those healthy foods by buying fresh organic ingredients and cooking your own meals. This is not only good for our gut but it also improves our relationship with food, and with our family or friends. Cooking together is a lot of fun, especially if you have kids, and you can teach them how to eat healthy as well.
My Life-Work Mastermind (happening now until the end of June) always includes a “No More Sugar” challenge where participants are encouraged to ditch refined sugar during the course of the mastermind, and to share their experience (challenges and wins) when we meet every week. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will have our second session, and I can’t wait to hear how it’s going 🙂
Do you know how to optimize your brain with food? I’m here to help! Schedule your FREE Clarity Call with me HERE
Brain Fitness Coach & Life-Work Balance Strategist helping busy professionals improve their well-being and adopt a healthier, more productive lifestyle