HAPPY SPRING! This COVID pandemic winter has seemed incredibly long for many, for sure. The idea of getting back outside—especially for those at higher latitudes where we had some quite frigid temperatures this year—feels absolutely delightful. Even more so than usual. So, BRING THAT ON.
While that unfolds around us, I have some Body Sass® and Mind Savvy® ideas for you to consider.
Intermittent Fasting Program – Upcoming!
The third running of the 28-day group intermittent fasting program, 28toGreat™, begins on Saturday, May 1!
28toGreat® is four fabulous weeks of programming and guidance around food TIMING and CHOICES, with a deep education about WHY the timing and choices matter. This program includes an eGuidebook, eRecipebook, daily emails for 28 days, four evening Zoom meetings, and a private Facebook forum.
Participants have raved, not only about how they feel, and about their progress toward their health goals, but about how much they learn during the program.
“This program blew me away. Not only have I lost weight, am sleeping better and feel SO much more energetic, but what I learned will serve me for life. I looked at this program as the start of a committed journey for myself; and 9 months later, I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all turning out. I’m 59 and haven’t been at this weight since I was in my 20’s. I’ll be following the 28toGreat™ guidelines for life! Thank you.”
Jean said it well. Combining 16:8 intermittent fasting with an increase in nutritional food choices (Food Sass®, baby!) does wonders for our health, weight and energy, over time. Participants have lost up to 16 pounds in the 4 weeks. Other participants, who are hormonally in a different place (Male or Female. We’re largely talking about the hormone insulin here.), only lose a few pounds in the 28 days, but then experience slow, steady weight loss of 3-7 pounds a month, over time.
Health-Building Lifestyle habits
+ Sustainable Weight Loss
= Feeling Your Best
Registration will open on Friday, April 9 and closes on Wednesday, April 28. Don’t worry; I’ll send you some reminders about the upcoming 28toGreat™ registration. This advance notice gives you time to get excited and gather some friends to do the program with you!
Top 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Mind-Brain
“True enjoyment comes from
activity of the mind and exercise of the body;
the two are ever united.
~ Wilhelm von Humboldt
Keep Your Mind Savvy®! You may have heard the adage “move it or lose it,” a phrase that neatly encapsulates a good reason to keep moving our body. Movement is indeed a key component to our health and well-being, since the three main modern threats to our health are:
- The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)
- Unmanaged chronic stress
- A sedentary lifestyle
My guess is you know this. Hence, I won’t explore this idea further today, but will instead apply it to another area of our well-being: our mind-brain.
“What on earth is a ‘mind-brain?’” you might ask. In my book Wild World, Joyful Heart, I define it in this way:
Mind-brain: A term used in contexts where we’re unclear on what is associated with mind versus brain. It’s often difficult to separate mind function from brain function, as they’re deeply interconnected and interdependent.
The brain is the organ in our head; you can think of this as a metaphorical radio.
Mind, many would argue, is the seat of our human-ness. It includes the felt sense of self, thought, our ability to be aware of the world and of our experiences, memory, as well as faculties like intuition. The mind is not a physical aspect of our human existence; you can instead think of it as metaphorical radio waves that are received by the radio (brain). This is oversimplified, but a good summary for today’s topic of move-it-or-lose-it.
Most anything—from a muscle to a Ted Talk to a mind-brain—becomes stronger with continual practice. Exercising and challenging our mind-brain is imperative in keeping it nimble and healthy. How might you do that? I thought you’d never ask!
Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Mind Savvy®
Interestingly, physical movement is a powerful protector of our mind-brain health. Intentional exercise—like running, fitness classes, dance, swimming, biking and walking—are oh-so-good for our whole being. Some resources claim that physical movement is even better for our mind-brain than our body!
If you don’t regularly move your sweet bod, maybe start with some daily walking or yoga. If you already exercise, try switching it up once in a while, peppering in some different types of exercise, in addition to your movement-of-choice. All movement helps, and variety further challenges and strengthens our mind-brain.
Some simple movement adds are to walk around when talking on the phone, park at the far corner of the parking lot instead of close to the door, and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Research also clearly shows that learning something new strengthens our mind-brain. We can think of this as direct exercise for the mind-brain, as opposed to the physical movement that benefits the mind-brain as mentioned above.
Potential areas of mental exploration are endless. Some ideas include learning a new language, taking a program like 28toGreat®, reading a book (If you’re already an avid reader, read a book outside of your normal genre or professional interest.), learning and playing chess, taking a painting or cooking class or get on your gear head and start learning about car maintenance. Find something that feels fun and intriguing to you, and explore away!
Again, like our body, our mind-brain needs some downtime. An important part of keeping your mind-brain healthy is honoring chill-time with restful sleep (at least 7.5 hours per night), meditation, mindfulness and reflection. I’ve found that just sitting outside with a cup of tea does wonders to re-set and energize my mind-brain.
Food Sass®, baby! We talk about this strategy a LOT in these bi-weekly newsletters, but know this: Your brain is the second-largest organ in the body, yet uses more than 20% of all our energy…to do everything! So, feed your brain, my fine feathered friends.
New to Food Sass®? Increase your intake of whole, nutrient-dense foods; organic where it matters and as close to their original state as possible. Reduce sugar; increase veggies; drink 80-120 oz of water a day; get yo’ health-building fats (pastured butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil); and amp up your intake of omega-3 fats (fish, walnuts, flax seeds, pastured eggs).
There’s plenty of research (and good sense) that shows us that healthy relationships and intimacy contribute to our health and joy. We are social animals and thrive on connection. Even more, these relationships and connections help to improve our neuroplasticity—the ability of our brain to change, grow and adapt—as well as to preserve its cognitive abilities.
Feelings of loneliness and isolation deeply undermine the health of our mind-brain. Some approaches that can help you keep connected are to schedule regular get-togethers with friends and family, engage in volunteer work, adopt or foster-care a pet.
The fact that we’re here on this beautiful, abundant and resilient planet is magical. Honoring our physical vehicle for getting around (our body), and tending the faculty that runs our show (our mind-brain), makes darn good sense. I invite you to choose one new Mind Savvy® habit from above and get started today!
Create Vibrant Health: BodyMindSpirit®
With love and spring joy,