Let’s be real, lasting impact does not come from any singular event, other than perhaps a large meteorite landing in the gulf of Mexico. Seriously, lasting impact comes from making small adjustments to our daily routines over a period of time. It’s one thing to get hyped up, but my real nudge is, how do we sustain that hype?
How do we create a sustainable brain, mind, and body?
Hype is very difficult to sustain, which can fade upon facing adversity. What is sustainable is a fit mind and a fit brain.
Over the years I have encountered humble and innovative mentors who have sustained their efforts over decades. I was inspired by their consistency, their passion, and their ability to find the gift and ally in adversity. I realized I shared something with many of them… I was also a performing artist, and as such had my brain and mind exposed to high frequencies, rhythmic consonance, repetition, novelty, and more. Today I realize that the intense study of multiple musical instruments impacted my neurological health. I also noticed that not all performing artists shared this mental and brain advantage. Some were not grounded enough and/or not able to face and overcome adversity consistently enough. I began to study the brain, our mind, and ways to empower others.
I found that nutrition was a key aspect to staying young of brain and mind.
Things that are hype and don’t have a lasting impact on your life can include:
- A one time event with no follow up
- A series of workshops with little to no action taken by the participants after the workshops
- Any event that takes place inside a vacuum, with no substantial connection to any given context
Things that may not have hype, yet impact your life and longevity (assuming they are part of your daily routine)
- Specific foods which end up impacting health at the DNA level
- Specific foods which connect with your ancestry
- Specific foods which connect with your blood type
- Brain Fitness exercises which build the muscle of your brain
- Mental Fitness exercise which build the muscle of the mind
I’m going to focus on the first bullet point in this blog. Make sure to check out the links below if you are interested in exploring.
Specific foods which end up impacting health at the DNA level
- Raw Broccoli; as in dipped in almond butter, and a broccoli, green apple, cilantro, red onion salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Raw Avocado; such as in guacamole.
- Raw Cabbage; as in a tart and sweet cabbage salad.
- Mushrooms; there are so many, try them all raw and/or lightly sauteed with good quality olive oil, fresh garlic, and a pinch of celtic sea salt.
- Blueberries; raw, in a smoothie, in some steel-cut oatmeal, or with some grain-free granola.
- Pistachios; raw, in an acai bowl, or in a pesto sauce.
- Grapes; in smaller quantities because of the high sugar content, raw, or cut in half and slightly sauteed in butter with a pinch of salt with some baked chicken breast!
- Cranberries; in smaller quantities because of the high sugar content, raw in salads or in that broccoli salad I mentioned above.
- Cacao Powder; bitter on it’s on, but in a smoothie with some monk fruit extract, it’s amazing!
- Dark Chocolate; in moderation, and all by itself it’s a great snack, and/or dipped in some natural peanut butter or raw almond butter.
- Pinot Noir; the wine with the most resveratrol, which is a good thing.
For stabilizing and/or lowering blood pressure, along with many other health benefits
- Flaxseed Meal; best in smoothies because it doesn’t lose its enzymatic properties during cooking.
- Steel-Cut Oatmeal; try this by toasting the oats first in unsalted grassfed butter, and once you’ve added water and it begins to barely thicken, add bananas, vanilla, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, celtic sea salt, and monk fruit extract… yum!
- Dates; just one a day…. Healthy but lots of sugar. For a treat, you can also make a date-based caramel… lots of recipes out there.
- Pineapple; great raw of course, and also great frozen in a blender with some unfrozen bananas and a little almond milk and you’ve just made a dairy free ice cream!
- Whole Grains; go with sprouted sourdough breads.
- Fatty Fish; enjoy some fresh caught salmon or white fish.
- Eggs; go organic in general, and especially with eggs. Make sure they don’t have antibiotics or hormones. My favorite ways include soft-boiled and cut in half in a bowl of Pho or Tom Yum (two incredible Asian soups), over easy on a slice of toast, and believe it or not, over easy on top of my steel cut oatmeal!
- Olive Oil; keep this raw and make your own salad dressings with the basic recipe being 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar, some mustard, monk fruit extract, celtic sea salt, and something spicy if you want.
- Coconut Oil; use this for cooking on high heat with any protein, including eggs. You don’t need much at all, and it’s affordable. You can also put a heaping tablespoon of it in a blender with fresh brewed coffee, and a tablespoon of unsalted and grass fed butter for your own bulletproof coffee!
- Avocado Oil; this can also take the high heat. Use much like coconut oil.
- Garlic; sauteed this can be the base of any sofrito (the base for many culture’s comfort food). It can be the base of many Cuban/Puerto Rican dishes (garlic, green bell pepper, onion), it can be added to the traditional base of Cajun dishes (celery, carrot, onion), and you can simply cut an entire garlic bulb in half (exposing all the garlic cloves), and roast it in the oven. Serve that with some brie cheese, roasted peppers, olives, and some toasted sourdough. Squeeze the garlic onto some bread and spread it like butter. Add the rest and enjoy!
- Smoked Oysters; open the can and eat it, unless you want to try it on your oatmeal… just kidding.
- Acai; buy unsweetened frozen packets and add to your smoothies.
- Celery Juice; buy a juicer and juice the celery, or go old school and dip your celery in peanut butter or raw almond butter.
- Green tea; hot or iced. My favorite way is to make sun green tea, add a little monk fruit extract, and ice it!
- Ginger; saute some as part of a stir-fry and also put some raw in your blender for your smoothies (also great for inflammation).
- Turmeric; raw right into your blender for smoothies (also great for inflammation).
- Butter; grass fed & unsalted… my favorite brand is Kerrigold, and it’s the kind of fat your brain really needs, along with the oils I mentioned above.
- Parsley; great way to balance a salad that has a dressing that is a little sweet.
- Balsamic Vinegar; see my notes on olive oil above!
- Apple Cider Vinegar; I love this in my salad dressings in addition to the balsamic vinegar. I also like to take a tablespoon in the morning, and you can also add a little to salsas, pico de gallo, and cuban black beans.
The benefits of eating these foods include improved health at the cellular level and DNA level. It’s cumulative and the only way you’d know in the short term would be by taking your blood work every 6 months. In the long term, you’ll feel a rise in energy, improved mental clarity, among other things, including a better chance at a higher quality of life and a longer one.