For many of us, summer is the perfect time to start focusing on new health habits. If you start with simple steps that help you feel better fast, and quickly increase your energy, focus and motivation, you’ll be more likely to gain positive momentum toward your goals.
Since your brain is the control center for decision making and mood, let’s start by clearing the cobwebs first thing in the morning. You can’t take care of your family, or live up to your career potential if your brain isn’t working right.
Here are 7 of the simplest, yet most powerful tips to jump start your brain and your day:
1. Water your brain first thing
Your brain is about 80% water. Even slight dehydration can raise stress hormones, decrease physical power and impair focus. Being hydrated increases physical power by 19%, and increases focus. I start the day with a glass of warm lemon water and ginger for a great detoxifying tonic.
Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water and reap the benefits. For example if you weigh 130lbs you should be drinking 65oz of water each day, or just over eight 8oz glasses of water. Remember, your skin is an outside reflection of the health of your brain. If your skin is dehydrated, so is your brain. Drinking water is the quickest way to improve brain function.
2. Move your body
Immediately after hydration, I start doing gentle movement to increase blood flow to my brain. Yoga, walking and stretching are great ways to get your brain going. This is so important for my focus that I even put a treadmill desk in my room so I can read the news or email while I drink my warm water. Within 20 minutes I’m ready to take on my day.
3. Take Targeted Supplements
Supplements can help fill the gap of an imperfect lifestyle. Supplements should be targeted to your brain type. That’s why we, at Amen Clinics, have a free Brain Health Assessment you can take right now that will help determine which supplements will be best for your brain type.
Some basics that we recommend for most people are multiple vitamins, fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D and magnesium. Additionally, there are supplements that may help with individual needs. *Remember to claim your 21% OFF coupon if you purchase through these links. Just use coupon code TANA21 at checkout.
4. Start the day with brain food
Did you know that your brain is an energy hog? It 20% of the calories you consume. Starting the day with sugar and simple carbs creates brain fog and sets you up for cravings for the rest of the day.
Starting the day with high quality protein, such as eggs, chicken or plant-based protein powder* and some healthy fat like coconut, avocados or nuts, along with some smart carbs (greens, berries or sweet potatoes) is the recipe for success. Here’s why:
- Smart carbs are loaded with nutrients and fiber and raise blood sugar more slowly
- Healthy fats are necessary for brain health and hormonal balance
- Protein increases focus and tells your brain you’re full
5. Snack Smart
People who eat small, healthy snacks make better decisions and maintain healthier weight than those who don’t. For snacks, focus on proteins, fats and smart carbs like veggies, similar to what you start your day with.
Find a healthy option you actually enjoy. For me it’s nuts, avocados, hard-boiled eggs, coconut wraps with chicken and avocado, seaweed snacks, etc… The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook* has an entire section dedicated to healthy snacking.
6. Kill The ANTS quickly
Develop a quick strategy to kill the Automatic Negative Thoughts that ruin your day. Focusing on negative thoughts has been shown to alter brain function, and it happens almost instantly But focusing on gratitude and appreciation also works quickly- to improve brain function. .
Here is a simple exercise: write down 3 things you are grateful for every morning, or ANY time you start to feel negative and keep it where you can see it. Then send a kind message to someone you care about. Notice what happens when they return the happy words. You may be surprised how quickly this helps you overcome your ANT infestation.
7. Give Your Gut A Break
Fasting for twelve hours every night helps your brain clean itself, removing toxic proteins that damage the brain. It’s a process called “autophagy”. Think of it like little trash men coming out to clean up the junk. But they only come out when you take a food break. If you finish your last meal at 7pm, don’t eat again until 7am. After just a couple days, you will likely feel more clarity. We also hear reports of people saying they sleep better and make better decisions.
To get started, try one of these tips at a time until you master it; then add another. Before you know it, you’ll be a Brain Warrior*. To learn more tips like these, and discover a much more personalized and in-depth strategy to help you and your loved ones have healthier, better brains, sign up for our 26 week Brain Warriors Way Course*, especially if you’ve already read the book.