When everything around you is falling apart and you’re suddenly thrown into new situations that are making your head spin—like supervising your child’s distance learning while working from home while trying to protect your family from the pandemic—it’s a good idea to simplify other parts of your life. What you eat is one area that doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it’s no surprise that some Brain Warriors are dialing down their cooking adventures and going back to brain health basics.
To jumpstart or to maintain a brain-healthy eating program during these crazy times, you don’t have to invest in lots of expensive ingredients that are hard to find or create elaborate meals. Just stick with the basics, focus on real foods, and make some simple swaps.
Here are 5 quick-hit brain health eating strategies anyone can manage.
1. Try breakfast in a glass.
Throwing a few ingredients in the blender for a breakfast smoothie is so easy even the kids can do it. Start with a plant-based protein powder (like OMNI Protein which comes in vanilla and chocolate), add a milk alternative (like coconut or almond milk), toss in a handful of spinach or kale (or really increase your nutrient intake with a scoop of powdered veggies like NeuroGreens), and add a small amount of fruit (banana or berries). Hit the purée button, and you’re done.
2. Lunch with lettuce wraps.
Instead of your usual sandwich, burrito, or taco, swap out the bread or tortilla for a lettuce wrap. Did you know that bread and tortillas—even whole grain varieties—can spike blood sugar levels, impact your moods, and steal your focus? That’s exactly what you don’t need when you feel like you’re in a permanent crisis mode. With lettuce wraps (think kale, romaine, or any other dark leafy green) you’ll get a healthy dose of mood-boosting micronutrients that help you maintain stable blood sugar levels.
3. Keep dinners simple with salmon.
Even though I’ve written several cookbooks with a lot of amazing brain healthy recipes, I still love simple meals. Salmon is so easy to throw on the grill. With a little seasoning and lemon juice, it’s delicious. Pair it with your favorite veggies and you have a perfect meal.
4. Try snacks that increase serotonin in a healthy way.
Serotonin is feel good neurotransmitter that gives you that “don’t worry, be happy” feeling. The problem is that many people opt for snacks like candy bars or cookies that quickly raise serotonin levels. Over time, that causes problems. For a brain healthy swap, swap out the candy bars that contain bad fats and gobs of sugar and opt for a small amount of sugar-free dark chocolate instead. (Our Brain in Love chocolate bars are sugar-free, gluten-free, and good for your brain and body.)
5. The simplest brain health nutrition strategy: Drink more water.
Your brain is comprised of 80% water and being even mildly dehydrated can make you feel more anxious, stressed, irritated, or depressed. Simply swapping out sodas and juices for refreshing, hydrating water will do wonders for your mind and moods.
Make your life simpler by stocking up on brain healthy basics with OMNI Protein (in vanilla and chocolate), NeuroGreens, and Brain in Love chocolate bars. Take 21% off your order with the promo code TANA21.