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Keeping the Old Grey Matter In Fighting Shape!

[ This guy's a real fat head! The brain is made up of mostly fat. ]

At every stage of our lives, we age and that includes our organs and yep, our brains! Geez, we can't get a break with the constant maintenance of our bodies can we? :D That's just the responsibility of being human LOL!! Without functioning brains, we wouldn't have the ability to whine about things we don't want to do or like, but we also wouldn't have the ability to experience joy, laughter, love, the full realm of emotions that make us human. :)

So what do we need to do now is what you're probably thinking! :D You'd be surprised that many of the activities you may already participate in are fueling that grey matter for improved function. Starting with diet, yep, that again, see how interconnected eating for health management is? In my last blog post Creativity and Foods to Improve Your Moods I discuss in detail the kinds of foods which support the nerve that support our moods.

[ Mmmm! Who want's to dive in? :{} ]

Of corse, a diet of natural foods; unprocessed, as close to their natural form as possible free of chemicals, additives high sugar content and artificial sweeteners ( See my blog post on Sweeteners to find out more about artificial sweeteners ), and other unrecognizable ingredients is the foremost necessity. (remember Real food is for Real people! :{} )

[ Danica completely forgot about her appointment, Cynthia can't remember anyone's name & Veronica relies on her cell phone to to the memory work for her!! These ladies need regular brain function workouts!! ]

[ Oh, shoot! I can't remember her name!! ]

[ My hubby and I laughed at this because we've often had this face ! LOL!!! ]

Vitamin B12 is incredibly important for brain health, because it acts to keep your mind sharp, especially as you age. People who suffer from mental fogginess and memory issues often have a deficiency in B12. Sources of this vitamin come from animal food sources like, seafood, poultry, beef, eggs and milk. People who are vegan, or if you just don't consume enough of these types of foods a B12 supplementation may be necessary ( always check with your Doc! ).

Eating fruits, veggies, whole , seeds and nuts, eggs ( yolks too also loaded with vitamin B12 ) greens, and grains ( unless you're eating grainless like Paleo or any other grainless diet ), and if you're eating meat try to make sure they are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and are grass fed, and the same goes if you consume dairy products. [ The Gut is the New Brain! The evidence is stacking, we need to eat and care for ourselves and our gut to keep our 'main brain' strong. ]

[ The Gut is the New Brain! :D ]

Getting in plenty of omega3's [ Remember our gut is our second brain and it's health effects everything ], that come from wild caught fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Herring, Flounder, Cod, Albacore Tuna, Halibut , Snapper), or a good Fish Oil supplement. [ I take Carlson brand, it's made from cold water fish and they're easy to swallow, though I have the lemon flavor and I've recently been chewing them...I know it sounds gross, but after I read how mild Calrson's flavors are and free of that 'fishy' taste, I have to agree! it also comes in liquid form and children's form too. ] Food is so very important for the health of our body, our moods/emotions and our brains!

Coconut oil is not only delicious but is great for brain health because it contains MTC medium chain triglycerides which act as a preventative against neurological and degenerative diseases. MTC also contains Ketone bodies. Ketones are what our bodies produces to convert FAT into energy, and coconut oil is a primary source of that. It's so easy to add coconut oil and coconut itself ( if you actually like it or aren't allergic ). A tablespoon or two into coffee or tea melts and only imparts a mild flavor ( delicious to me! ), it can be added into smoothies, one of the easiest ways I think! Coconut oil can be utilized as your cooking oil, added into soups, stews, dessert dishes the possibilities are endless. The recommended dosage for health benefits is 2 to 4 tablespoons, which is why I love adding it into my smoothies, because it's done and done!

[ The LivingThruGrace Crew are serious about their health management and they love the 'flexibility' that it affords them throughout their lives! ]

[ getting physical gives our bodies the freedom of joy and health! Who hasn't tried this on the beach at least once :D ]

Along with diet, physical exercise among other reasons is important for healthy brain function. Exercise has been linked to increased brain mass and improved reasoning as well as the reduced risk of dementia. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain and releases endorphins, chemicals that trigger a feel good or positive overall feeling in the brain and body. Exercise also reduces the risk of disease like diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure and a host of other diseases not to mention obesity, all which can effect brain function. so get up ( if it's possible), and get moving!!

[ Willow's doing some reading which she loves, and London's not just on her phone, she's trying to learn French with an app she downloaded. These ladies are all about their brain health! :D As for Lemon...well she's absorbed in herself as usual, in selfie mode! LOL!! ]

Strain that brain!!! Mental stimulation is all important for brain health and maintenance. Research has proven that there's a connection between new nerve cell production and brain stimulating activities. The size and shape of our neurons and their connections actually change the more that you learn.

[ Lizzie Hearts doesn't allow weigh the next queen of courts or hearts slow down her brain strengthening, she keeps abreast of things by frequent reading. Her pal Camille enjoys art projects like drawing & coloring for mental stimulation. ]

[ The Crew are having some play time with Charades! ]

Have some fun and learn something too! Any activity that you like or find to be a challenge that can fit into your week helps, such as puzzles [ I'm a big fan of Suduko, Word Search and Crosswords myself :D ], taking a class [ learning stretches that brain! ], learning a new skill, reading, traveling, playing an instrument, learning a new language ( I've always wanted to learn French and Russian :D ) creative endeavors [ crafting, painting drawing and doodling, [ In the previous blog post I mentioned above, Creativity & Foods to Help with Moods!, I've posted a video in how simple doodling can aid the brain in so many ways! ]

[ Just don't run into anyone LOL! ]

Also try shaking up your routine, like taking a different way to work ( tough to do these days with traffic being the way it is!!), try walking backward called Retro Walking, it's said to have originated in China and it was practiced for good health, and still is is some parts of the world!) in your yard or the park, I know you might look weird but who cares! :D Here's a little snippet on backward walking. Being the wacky gal I am, I'm going to try this! :D

Work to ditch the bad habits, ( please seek help if you're struggling with substance abuse, there's info down below), and smoking [ not to mention smoking's a major risk factor for heart disease, cancers, stroke lung disease Ugh! ] There's just no good reason for it. Sorry to sound preachy, but I've witnessed loved ones who've suffered unnecessarily because of the refusal to work to beat this bad ( smoking) habit. :/ Secondly, Second Hand Smoke contributes to Asthma in children who are around this environment. :/

Drugs and Alcohol are used by more and more people these days as an escape from our current society, personal problems, and physical issues that go unmanaged because of lack of health care or addictions formed to certain drugs like pain killers. It's important to have some form of support in the form of your local church; many of who have programs to help support those who struggle with drug abuse and other issues, health care professionals, friends or family, even a co worker or a help assistance line. For anyone who feels they have a problem and are afraid to reach out here's help:

National 1-800 Crisis Hotlines 24 Hour Alcohol & Drug Abuse Hotlines:

800-622-HELP (4357) National Drug Information and Referral Hotline

24/7 info support, treatment help & referrals to rehab centers for drugs or alcohol

800-COCAINE (262-2463)

24/7 Crisis intervention, info, and referrals

800 390-4056 The Alcohol & Drug Addiction Resource Center

800-352-9996 Al-Teen

800-273-TALK (8255 National Suicide Prevention Hotline

800-949-0057 SOS Teen Hotline

Instead of debating whether addictions are the work of satan or human nature, I believe both. Satan is the force who drives us into a life away from what from the the Lord desires for us; and it's physiological because the body reacts, changes the brain chemistry, and creates an environment for addiction. Help is available in both forms, through spiritual means; the most powerful because God is ALL powerful and through professionals who are equipped to provide the special care and treatments needed.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ~Philippians 4:13

In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. ~ 2 Samuel 22:7

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. ~ Philippians 4:6

**Ok, It wasn't my goal for this to turn into a whole (other) blog post, but I feel it's important to get the information out for anyone who needs mental/physical/emotional and spiritual help and support. :)

[ Amen! ]

Getting in Spiritual shape is not only what our Lord desires for us, [ he wants a relationship with his children :) ], but more evidence continues to show that worship has a huge significance in our spiritual and neurological development. Prayer, meditation, gathering at places of worship provide real value and actual 'wealth' [the most important kind!] that allow us to much more effectively handle the stress of our world and our lives. I can't believe how much my life has changed, or I should say I've changed because of the guidance, wisdom and redirection of my Lord. Hallelujia! :D

[ London means no harm she's just an introvert and prefers to spend some of her time away from the Crew members in theLivingThruGrace house.]

Keeping engaged in some form of social network through family, friends, groups, activities helps to keep us active and involved, provide us with a sense of intimacy and connectedness. However, not everyone, in fact; many people don't have anyone and are living solitary lives. In fact, many people are perfectly happy on their own without the socialization, (especially people who are more introverted or even creative types :D) it's really an individual choice and as long as there is healthy engagement in life and health including spiritual health, many people thrive in a more solitary lifestyle; and no one formula fits every being.

[ London is no stranger to napping! When she awakens, she's refreshed for the remainder of her day! ]

"To sleep, perchance to dream"! Shakespeare was right LOL! Sleep is something most of us crave these days and don't get enough of. :D Sleep is pretty important for our Cerebro (Brain in Spanish!). When we sleep our body has a chance to regenerate, both physically and mentally. Sleep enhances our memory and improves our performance of difficult and challenging skills. One good night of sleep for 4 to 6 hours can effect the ability to think clearly the day after. In adults a mid day nap is found to enhance and restore brainpower!

[ Enjoy a little musical Vitamin D3 :D !!!!! Listening to music is shown to boost brain power too! In fact, listening to music while working out boosts verbal skills, mental focus and cognitive levels. Fire up that MP3 :D ]

Vitamin D3 helps to increase nerve growth in the brain. That's why we feel so refreshed and happy and alive after a day's outing!! The Sun is ever so important to us and our environment in so many ways :D If gettin' some sunnin' isn't possible then a good vitamin D3 supplement is a good choice, but remember, not before checking with your health care provider.

It may appear that there's much to do for proper brain health but really, it's "much to do about nothing"! :D (Shakespeare again #nerdlifer!) Most all of these topics mentioned above are simply the daily living actions that so many of us may already do. The activities that you may be considering adding in can only add in enjoyment ( such as, engaging in something that you enjoy like music, puzzles or whatever You like :D) Take the time to enjoy yourself, even if it doesn't appear to be possible, you will find it worthwhile, stress reducing, and life changing to do something to bring some fun, laughter and joy into your life. I can't imagine a life without these things, they're good for the body and brain but especially for the spirit too!

Some people say video games rot your brain, but I think they work different muscles that maybe you don't normally use. ~Ezra Koenig :D

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