“The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life” by Brant Cortright.
Every day I read something, I listen to something — an article, a blog post, a book, a podcast, an audio — something that says, if we want to change anything in our life, if we want to improve the quality of our life in any area — fitness, health, weight, well-being and happiness, career and success, money situation, mood, relationships — we got to start working on our brain holistically.
Our brain is a conductor. And our holistic self — body, mind, heart and spirit is the orchestra.
To change the quality of music our orchestra plays — improve health, fitness and body composition, get smarter and more successful, have more feel-good emotions, feel fulfilled — we got to “improve” our conductor, our brain.
How do we do this?
Work on the task holistically.
Healthy Brain = Nutrition + Exercise + Enriched Environment
We got to put good things in our body, eat foods, that create a healthy brain.
We got to put good things in our mind — deposit good thoughts, say good words, have good intentions, have aspiring goals and take actions towards them, feed our mind good books, sensory pleasures — art, music, travels, beauty.
We got to put good emotions in our hearts — love, gratitude, compassion, kindness, appreciation, joy. Sad emotions are ok, too as long as we accept them, let them be and pass through us, as long as we know and this too shall pass.
We got to feed our spirit. Emotions help, especially gratitude, love and compassion. But most importantly we need to do good things, practice kindness, practice giving, smile, treat the world around u, people, nature, Earth, the way we want to be treated.
Each of these factors makes our brain build more and more healthy brain cells, neurons in hippocampus (the process of building new cells is called NEUROGENESIS). The more strategies we apply, the more chances of survival those new cells have.
And guess what? The more cells our brain builds, the better it works, up to 5 times better!
And guess what then? YOU — get to be a 5 times smarter! In the toxic unhealthy world, where the majority is barely getting by, that means a HUGE advantage! (Competition? With such a brain you don’t have a chance NOT to become totally SUCCESSFUL!)
And guess what else?
Healthy brain with fast Neurogenesis (fast cell-building process) creates a SUPER-DUPER version of you!
Your Best Self!
The fittest, the sexiest, the smartest, the most successful, extraordinary joyous and happy YOU!
And yes, healthy brain creates 6-pack abs!
And sexy legs.
And strong lean muscles.
And you get more attention from an opposite gender. Lots of it in fact.
The book is about how to get that.
About Healthy Brain Lifestyle.
Healthy Brain = Sexy Brain = Sexy You!
So what are the basics of a Healthy Brain Lifestyle?
Eat more of these:
Blueberries (fresh or supplements)
Omega-3 fatty acids (esp. DHA and EPA): fish oil, good quality fatty fish
Green tea or extract
Whole soy foods: edamame, tofu, soy milk, soy nuts, and soy bean extracts
Quercetin (supplement). Found in: Fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, and red wine. Olive oil, grapes, dark cherries, and dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and bilberries.
Piperine (found in pepper)
Tryptophan and 5-HTP (supplements)
Lithium (supplement). Found in: Dairy products, seaweed, lemons and eggs. Natural mineral water is also said to have a good source of lithium and the unusually recommended to calm nerves, uplift the spirit and help in soothing digestion.
Grape seed extract
Lotus root extract
Apigenin (supplement). Found in: Parsley, Celery, Other spices such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil and coriander, Chamomile, Cloves, Lemon Balm, Artichokes and Spinach, Peppermint
Luteolin (supplement). Found in: Dried oregano, Celery seed, Juniper berries, Fresh thyme, Radicchio and Chinese celery
Blueberries, Omega-3s, Green tea and Curcumin.
What to actually eat?
Lots of non-starchy vegetables and low-glycemic fruits, nuts, grass-fed meats, wild fish, pasture-raised eggs and dairy, herb and spices and anything you can make out of it. Try to avoid frying, grilling, burning, baking at high temperatures, cooking with oils (other than coconut) at high temperatures to prevent fat oxidation.
What to avoid?
Processed foods, fried foods, unhealthy fats (oxidized and trans fats), high glycemic foods (sugar, refined grains, starchy vegetables).
Exercise increases Newurogenesis 4–5 times!
The best is aerobic exercise, anything that makes our heart pump the blood faster and us breathe faster.
Even simple walking for 30–40 minutes daily will do. Just make sure your heart and lungs are working hard.
- Human touch
- Sexual experience
- Doing new things, spending time in a new stimulating environment
- Sensory stimulation: music, beauty, smells, new tastes, world exploration, art
- Connection with nature
It’s not all about food and exercise only, we humans are much more complex creations and need to be taken care of accordingly.
Heck, even mice need friends to be happy and healthy!
Heart (Emotional) Health.
“The brain is designed for joy, love, interest, and excitement.
The brain functions at peak capacity when you feel your best.”
How can we improve our emotional health?
The best way is to cultivate “caring, warm relationships”. My advice — don’t wait the word to become caring and warm towards you, start treating people like you want to be treated. The rest will follow.
Mind (Mental) Health.
“When we learn new things, the mind is stimulated and neurogenesis increases”
What does the mind do?
- Executive function (problem solving, planning, decision-making)
- Emotion regulation
- Attention and Focus
- Fluid Intelligence (adaptation to new situations)
- Crystallized Intelligence (ability to use experience and acquired knowledge)
Learn Learn and Learn to make your mind a super star!
Expose yourself to new environments, try stuff!
Spiritual Health (Happiness, Well-being, Peace).
All mentioned above contributes to our spiritual health.
It’s all interconnected, but there are 2 especially powerful practices, that are proven to not only make us happier, more fulfilled and peaceful, but also to stimulate neurogenesis — mindfulness and devotion/compassion practices.
“Different mindfulness practices teach the mind to stop its usual preoccupation with ordinary thinking and daydreaming and to instead wake up and fully attend to the present moment.”
To practice devotion/compassion “is to concentrate in the heart area on a feeling — love, devotion, surrender, or aspiration for the Divine — while disregarding other feelings or thoughts.”
Want to feel happier, more fulfilled, joyous and at peace?
Be present for THIS moment. NOW. Don’t think about tomorrow, or yesterday. Just here. Just now.
And say thank you. Feel thank you. For everything.
Remember the Universe, the World, is ALWAYS conspiring for YOU. Creating the best possible outcome. Always.
Sexy Happy Brain = Sexy you
Deposit good thoughts and beauty in your mind
Cultivate loving relationships
Be Here Now Grateful
It’s simple really.
No calorie counting required.