While some of us don’t take care of our brains, don’t use our brains, or may not even have them… We need to be mindful of our minds (we all have brains, duh.)
As the New Year is *this close*, Dr. Eddie Fatakhov (aka: Dr. Fat-Off) offers up two sets of four tips to help clear our brain fog for 2019.
4 SIMPLE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER
Some of the easiest ways to enhance brain function can be found in simple lifestyle changes. Making lifestyle changes are a great way to improve overall health but the following methods are especially beneficial to the brain.
1.) Get more sleep
Sleep is an amazing tool that is too frequently neglected. If you can add more sleep into your daily routine you will find a marked improvement in your overall ability to concentrate, make decisions, and manage stress.
2.) Speaking of reducing stress…
A simple way to eliminate stress is to start by recognizing and addressing it. It’s easy to say “work, kids, and life stress me out” but if you take a second to identify these stresses individually you will find that they are easier to manage. When the stress creeps up try breathing. Breathing exercises can instantly extinguish your stress fuses.
3.) Exercise - It’s not what you think
Like lifestyle change, exercise is key to overall health but the amount of exercise needed to give you clarity is fairly small. Brain benefitting exercise can be as simple as walking for a few minutes or taking the stairs. Try setting a timer for ten minutes while working on an intense work project. If you take time to stand, stretch, and move when the timer goes off you could find that your mental clarity improves when you resume.
4.) Diet makes a difference
Help your brain with what you eat. If you eat processed, high in sugar, or fast food you are adding obstacles for brain function.
4 FOODS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER
While there is no food to make your brain function like a well-oiled machine all day, there are some that have benefits such as added energy. This increase in energy can be the kick your brain needs to stay on task, work harder, and smarter.
1.) Vegetables - the greener the better
Vegetables make great daily snacks, not only for your waistline but also for your energy. Not all vegetables are created equal so look for the ones with the most chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green. It is also a great tool for getting oxygen into your blood, providing our cells with a good source of energy, which is great for brain function. Here are some good-for-your-brain greens: kale, Swiss chard, wheatgrass, and arugula. There are also some nutrient-rich algae to consider such as spirulina and chlorella (available in supplemental powders - add them to smoothies or fruity yogurt).
2.) Carbs! The good-for-you kind
A lot of messaging says to ditch the carbs but in the process you are losing some serious brain support fuel. You can have carbs as long as they are the right ones. Think complex carbs a.k.a. - steel-cut oats, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat bread. These carbs give you glucose energy but have a low glycemic index (GI) - the rate at which food sugar enters cells. Low GI foods are better for keeping energy higher longer.
3.) Fatty Acids
DHA Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish - salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and trout) and brain function go hand in hand. DHA is not something we naturally create in our bodies but adding it through our diet can support vital brain function like memory.
In addition to fish DHA can be found in seeds such as flax, chia, and hemp. These are easily added to salads (really green salads), yogurt, smoothies, or cereal. Another great source of DHA comes from the tasty walnut.
4.) Foods high in benefits and nutrients
Here are some foods that are growing in popularity for their health (and brain) benefits due to increased energy and more.
Maca (a kale cousin) is common in Peruvian cooking for its many health benefits such as increased libido, lower blood pressure, and increased energy and endurance. As we have already discussed, increased energy can be a big brain benefit. If maca is utilized as a daily supplement positive side effects can be seen. Because it’s often offered as a nutty flavored powder maca is easily incorporated into most beverages or breakfast cereal.
Bee Pollen is very high in B vitamins and all amino acids. This is important because B vitamins and amino acids are big energy creators due to the fact that they increase red blood cell count which, in turn, increases oxygenated blood.
Before your chocolate bar becomes a sweet treat it starts as cacao (the raw bean form). This natural bean is packed with brain powering magnesium andphenylethylamine compounds (PEA) that stimulate the central nervous system. This all adds up to more focus! Cacao also contains flavonoids - brain good antioxidants. To get the best form of cacao look for organic or vegan chocolate bars. They usually have what you want without all the additives.
Why, oh why can't potato skins, rum, Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies, and ranch dressing not be on this list!?!?
Bet you can’t lose weight?
Like, for real, bet you.
Since “losing weight” is the biggest resolution every year, why not give yourself a better chance at success by putting some money where your fat is?
At HealthyWage you can get your peeps together for a team weight loss challenge, or compete in a corporate wellness program.
Crack Wise loves a little competition. And if we can win money to buy a pecan pie—er, veggie stir fry—that makes our commitment even more solid.
HealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to battle obesity.
We just want to be our own version of Biggest Loser champ.
Jingling bells, loud conversation, food guilt, your annoying relatives—this can all lead to some holiday jeers. We don’t want that to happen. So, we’ve turned to an expert (because we aren’t) to help us get through this thing without strangling someone.
Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance and human behavior expert. Oh, and he’s the founder of theAligned Performance Institute. How fancy. He obviously knows stuff. Here’s his tips to stay calm during this time of year.
It’s ok to be Scrooge: If you just can’t get into the spirit of the season, don’t beat yourself up. The reality is that not everybody gets all excited over the holidays. Society makes you feel bad if you’re not into it, but it’s perfectly okay if you don’t. Stop judging yourself and don’t let other people get you down.
Make time for solitude: The holidays bring more demands for our time. Its parties, outings, travel, religious services, people staying in our homes and more. Some people love this but others not so much. It’s important to carve out time to be by yourself. Even as little as 30 minutes per day can have tremendous benefits. Do something you truly enjoy or just soak in the peace and quiet.
Avoid emotional eating: This time of year, food is in abundance. Many of us tend to eat to handle the emotional chaos instead of addressing it. This only adds pounds and makes you feel even worse. If something is bothering you, don’t turn to food. Address it no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Communicate with family & friends: Although the holidays are a stressful time, it’s people’s inability to communicate and make assumptions that gets them into trouble. It’s important to be on the same page as your family and friends otherwise there’s going to be resentment and chaos. Make an extra effort to communicate better and listen to others.
Know your limits: Life is challenging enough without having to worry about the holidays. Be realistic in terms of what you can and can’t handle. It’s nice to want to make yourself available to everything and everyone, but it’s also unrealistic and going to take a toll on your mental and physical health. Keep a calendar and stick to it. Learn to prioritize things and remember, there’s nothing wrong with saying ‘no.’
Have more sex: Yes, seriously! Sex is the most natural high in the world that releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. It can help boost your mood; reduce stress, worry and anxiety; help you stay connected with your partner; and it’s good exercise.
While we like this last point—a lot. We at Crack Wise sense things could go terribly awry.
First: Playing grab-ass at the dinner table with your third cousin twice removed is probably a no-no.
Second: Trying the “Sex is good exercise” may work on dudes at the bar, but probably not on the ladies. Plus, WTH are you doing that sex = exercise? Bench pressing buns? Using the fun bags as punching bags? Face squats?
Third: We don’t think you can actually secure a doctor’s note for this. Don’t try to. The authorities may escort you out of the building.
Oh, the holidays. We love the smells, the sounds, the feelings… the FOOD! Doesn’t over-eating and the holidays go hand-in-hand? Plus, losing weight is the biggest New Year’s resolution. We don’t want to disrupt the Universe with a different one.
We feel it’s our duty to at least share this info with you. We’re not gonna tell you to eat carrots and celery and shun the cookies and pies. But if you’re looking forward to 2019 and don’t want to take an extra 10 pounds into it, then heed the advice of Kinja Dixon.
Right!?!? Da-yum! He used to weigh over 300 pounds. Now, he’s a fit-and-fab 170. Oh, and he wrote this book: “Re-Creationism: The Art of Shaping Reality".
Here’s how we can avoid emotional eating:
Get support: To stop emotional eating, get around people who can hold you accountable and provide you support so you’re not turning to food to feel better. Instead of food, call, text or have a face-to-face conversation with a friend, loved one, therapist or someone you feel comfortable with. Talk about what’s bothering you and how you can fix it without relying on food.
Find out what’s really bothering you: If you have trouble with emotional eating, that means there is an underlying reason. In other words, why are you turning to food? What is really going on? What’s on your mind? What’s bothering you? Food is simply the effect, but first you must identify the cause of the problem.
Stay busy: Never give food the chance to sneak in and be there for the taking. This means avoiding boredom and finding things to occupy your time. Get involved in a work project you have been putting off. Read a book. Clean the house. Exercise. Do something other than turning to food.
Eliminate the temptation: If food isn’t present then it’s impossible to eat emotionally. This means keeping only healthy options around the house or office. Don’t bring leftovers home and avoid stocking up on unhealthy snacks and beverages that have lots of fat, calories and high concentration of sugar. Keep Halloween candy out of reach and ask your kids not to eat it in front of you.
Relieve stress in other ways: Instead of turning to food to relieve your stress, try other proven and useful ways to do this. Go for a walk, swim or hit the gym. Try meditation, mindfulness and yoga. Listen to some calming music or relaxation programs. Engage in any activity that you really find joy and excitement in.
Delegate: This time of year is very busy for most of us between time spent with friends and family, holiday meals and get-togethers, buying presents, holiday travel, holiday parties and more. There’s no reason you should have to do everything by yourself. Make a list and delegate the responsibilities to everyone in the family.
Don’t forget about yourself: During the holiday season, we put so much time and attention on others and many of us forget about ourselves. Never neglect number-one. No matter how busy you are, always take at least 30 minutes each day to relax, refocus and recharge. You can’t be there for others until you’re taking care of yourself.
Just say ‘no:’ When your great aunt insists you try her homemade apple pie at Thanksgiving or your friend offers you a Snickers, politely say ‘no.’ Be polite and thank them for offering, but let them know that you are paying extra attention to the foods you eat and although you would love to indulge, your health is more important right now.
Sorry, but his six-pack makes us want a six pack of tacos. We could use that area between his abs to hold our tacos. That's fine dining!
Nobody wants to forget all that Christmas fun because it feels like a sledgehammer is carving the 10 Commandments into your skull.
Drink up. But drink like a pro.
Amateurs slam a gajillion drinks in a short amount of time like the world is going to end.
Crack Wisers can draaaank, but are smart about it.
Thanks to Diana Novak, National Director of Craft Spirits Education at Palm Bay International for these tips:
Tip #1 - Stay hydrated by alternating between water and alcohol.
Tip #2 - Know what you’re drinking and ask for ingredients.
Tip #3 - Substitute tea or kombucha for sugary mixers.
Did you know the average person will attend at least 10-12 parties over the holidays? Guess we’re losers!
Finally, exercise we can get into. Because it involves sitting around in our comfy clothes in bed.
(Cue the dramatic music) It’s a wellness craze that’s sweeping the nation, and you don’t have to leave your bed (music swells)--Beditation!
Balance and restore the body, then drift off for a good night’s sleep. Wellness guru Pilin Anice has joined forces with DreamCloud for the better of mankind.
“Sleep is essential to overall health and productivity, and your mattress truly matters, invest in it!” said Pilin.
Obvs she being paid by DreamCloud—the mattress company.
Yes, a good mattress is crucial to zzzzz time. But we’re not going to buy a new mattress for Beditation, mkay?
How to Beditate:
We noticed something in the tutorial picture:
Is this pose called “Cheese Cutter?”
Anywho, we suppose this is better than our wellness craze: Boozesnoozies. Drink a glass or three, then pass out.
How to BoozeSnoozies:
We may be a few days into December, but we think this needs to be purchased anyways. We loved the chocolate Advent Calendar we’d get every year to help countdown the days until Santa’s arrival. Now, we give props to companies that remember adults love the Advent fun still. The wine and cheese ones are awesome. So, add this one to the mix, and well… ho ho ooooooohhhhhhh!
Ella Paradis Sex Toys Advent Calendar Gift Box.
"24 sexy gifts to beat bedroom boredom and fulfill holiday fantasies.”
Each box (snicker) contains 24 gifts to enjoy alone or with a partner, and a booklet describing each gem.
Oh, Santa. You’re so naughty!
We love you, Crack Wisers, so we feel the need to (occasionally) share timely and serious info with you.
While we all love a good drink, or six, we want you to be aware of your imbibing habits over the holiday season. Did you go all-in for Thanksgiving and don’t plan on coming up for air until January 1, 2019?
If so, check yo-self now:
Is defined as more than five (5) drinks for men and four (4) drinks for women within a time frame of two (2) hours. Pace yourself. Your liver needs time to break down the booze.
Holiday Heart Syndrome:
We’re not talking broken hearts here, but breaking your heart with alcohol. Back in 1978, doctors in New Jersey started noticing patients showing up to emergency rooms with arrhythmia after bouts of heaving drinking—usually during weekends or holidays. Alcohol in moderation is good. Trying to set a personal Guinness Book of World Records is bad.
Plus, over indulging can weaken your immune system.
Here’s how to drink responsibly:
Pace yourself. One drink an hour.
Avoid drinks with unknown alcohol content. Don’t mix alcohol with energy drinks. They can mask the effects of the alcohol.
Don’t forget to eat food. Starch-heavy foods soak up the alcohol.
And most of all: have a designated driver! There’s no excuse. With taxis, Ubers, Lyfts and friends… you don’t need to be behind the wheel.
Now go forth and celebrate the holidays smartly!
Stop being all caught up in the emotions and gluttony of the holidays. Think about the damned environment, would you!?!?
We all should be throwing a green Christmas party—whether it’s for your friends and family, or the office get-together.
The folks at Green Pearls Unique Places would be so happy if you chose regional, organic food and drinks for your party—or offered mostly vegetarian or even vegan dishes. Drinks should be served in reusable bottles made from glass.
The menu can be written on recycled paper, or paper with flower seeds. Serve your foods on porcelain because plastic is baaaad. If you must sin and use disposable plates and cutlery, spend a small fortune on alternate products like palm leaf or uncoated cardboard.
There are sooooo many other “tips” from Green Pearls. But we’re bored.
Crack Wise has this for the better-than-us Green Pearl-ers:
Look. We’re conscious of the environment. But we really don’t care. We’re not heartless, but we’re only going to be occupying this planet for a certain amount of time. Who cares what happens after we pass? We’ll be flying around visiting places and getting answers to questions we’ve had our whole lives.
So... go ahead and serve all the meats and cheeses. Use Chinet and plastic sporks, why? Because who needs to spend two hours cleaning everything up? Sacrifice a tree on the front lawn and use the paper for parties in the decades to come!
And we’re leaving all the lights on!
Haus of V is a creative collective that shares a similar mindset -- with a twist.