Brain Function. I’m A slave to feeling good.

I’m constantly trying to find ways to keep my brain functioning at the optimum level. Whether it’s by sleep, hydrating, eating or listening to some music, I find that I am a slave to feeling good. I mean who wants to feel bad anyways? This is where we find food to be highly addictive. A trick in thinking you feel good. SUGAR & BREAD.

Sugar and bread make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin and throws me out of wack for hours at a time. However, knowing this I usually pick up another snack.

Got to kick the habit

Eventually, I will hit a wall and say, no ‘I can’t do this tomorrow.’ Then, FAST the following day. Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast or dry fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period.  That will stop me in my tracks. Usually I will be hungry day dreaming about what I can’t have, but If I make it through the day, that’s a win. The following days will get easier and then BOOM my mind is up and running at full capacity. The body feels lean and mean. It’s hard though. Personally for me, this is a cycle that usually happens mid summer and right now…. THE WINTER! Darker earlier, a chill in the air. I see myself eating a bit too much and the holidays don’t help one bit. Does this happen to you? It should. Just like squirrels gather nuts or bears hibernating, us humans pack on weight so that we have sufficient calories to make it through the winter.

The problem lies with our bodies being naturally programmed for calorie storage due to many days if not weeks of food sparsity.

Today, there is a fast food store, deli or hot dog stand on every corner. That is where we run into a problem. FOOD IS EVERYWHERE when our bodies are still programmed to think we won’t be getting food for awhile.

See, even though I run a gym, give advice and guide people to their goals… I have the same temptations. I have found a trick that has steered me away from these foods. So go on… read more.

  1. Sugar activates the brain the same way cocaine does. Addiction…That can’t be good.
  2. Flour (bread pasta etc) leads to heart disease! Once tribal communities came into contact with flour, heart disease sky rocketed! Anyone interested in those readings contact me and I will forward some stuff to you!
  3. Reduction of fish in the diet. Fishing communities have a far less percentage of heart disease than inland communities.
  4. Anything packaged. Here are Critical Mass, FRESH IS BESHT (best). Packaged foods are loaded with preservatives, dyes, sugar, sodium etc.
  5. Chemical sugar replacements. I have trouble with this one. I go through phases. Here is an early post on aspartame that may help keep you in the clear. ASPARTAMEhttps://criticalmassnj.com/2017/09/12/diet-sodas/

You see what I did here?

I SCARED MYSELF INTO EATING BETTER!

Who wants to live their life in a hospital?

Why would anyone NOT want to be at their highest healthiest functioning level?!?!

This brings me to a list of goodies to help keep your body and brain functioning in tip top shape.

Live Cultures or Fermented food/drinks

Yogurt or anything else that has probiotics. Gut bacteria has been shown to have effects on the mind. Yes, our stomach controls our thoughts! In a study published in the scientific journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers found that participants who took a probiotics over four weeks had fewer negative thoughts than those who took a placebo. This could be a preventative strategy against depression. I prefer natural, fresh alive foods that contain probiotics rather than a pill. So, try pickles, coleslaw, kefir, raw milk, etc

Here is a great video on gut bacteria on Ted Talks:

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates, they are high in copper, phosphorus, vitamins D, B2 and B3, and contain high amounts of selenium, an antioxidant that helps protect cells against damage. Scientists are looking into mushrooms for their anti-dementia properties and the potential to speed up recovery of nerve cells by stimulating growth and repair of the cell; specifically with the “Lion’s Mane” mushroom and mushrooms containing psilocybin. You  can get pills or powders of the mushroom at local nutrition stores or online,  but it’s always best to consume it fresh! As for psilocybin…. you will have to do your own research. Here is a link to grow and cook your own! Buy Lion’s Mane

Chocolate

The New England Journal of Medicine says “eat your chocolate”. There are several studies demonstrated evidence of improved brain blood flow, oxygen levels, or nerve function by consuming dark chocolate/cocoa. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of flavanols which are considered to have an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. You know you smile when you see that chocolate bar. Don’t get carried away. a small square of chocolate should be enough to put a bit more pep in your step.

Nuts 

Nuts have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid and is especially prevalent in walnuts.  DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent age-related cognitive decline.

Of course this is not the only way to keep your brain healthy. Seeds, broccoli, berries and oily fish are some other things that have been shown to benefit the mind. Don’t take my word for it. Do a little research and start incorporating these small changes into your daily food intake! Oh and don’t forget to exercise!

Contact us at Critical Mass for more ways on how you can feel better!

Stopping Exercise is BAD for your Brain!

So summer is coming to an end.  Be honest, have you been on top of your workouts or did they fall off.  Listen it happens.  Summer brings about more free time, but it also brings an inconsistent schedule which can throw off eating healthy and getting your fitness on.
After just a few weeks off you can lose a significant amount of cardiovascular endurance; but there is something more important that you could lose, YOUR MIND!

The Frontiers in Aging Neurosciense published a study on cerebral blood flow during exercise and after taking 10 days off.  The results were stunning, where researchers found that after subjects stopped exercising, blood flow decreased 20% – 30% in eight regions of the brain.  Most notably effected was the left and right hippocampus.  This area of the brain is responsible for learning and memory and is one of the first regions to diminish in size in people with Alzheimer’s disease.  That’s why other studies have recommended that Alzheimer’s patients perform an exercise program to improve their quality of life.

Researches noted that cognitive decline went unnoticed and longer studies would have to be performed.  I think we all know people who had stopped exercising or discontinued their daily activities and went downhill.  So do we really need a long term study to point out the obvious that MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE?!  Other research has shown increased blood flow, due to exercise, increases growth of new brain blood vessels and brain cells. WE MUST KEEP MOVING!

Taking a break from intense workouts is essential for recovery but you should not cease all exercise!  Speak to one of the trainers if you are feeling burnt out.  We will get you into a routine that will keep you moving but allow your body to rest and recover! IMG_3188