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Brain Food Challenge
By Paulette
3/26/2013 9:01:00 AM
When you work in an office with a group of people for a while, you get to know their habits; for instance, eating habits. Our CEO orders Jimmy Johns almost every day. Our media director is on the P90X diet, our accounting team usually opts for fast food or sushi delivery, and I usually have a spinach salad with chicken for lunch. Our inventory director, Elisabeth, always gets teased for her "earthy-crunchy" lunches lots of lettuce, fruit and seeds. A little over a month ago she decided to embark on a "brain food challenge", based on foods recommended in Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Dr. Amen and his wife Tana. She wanted to see if she would notice a difference in her health and cognitive function after doing the challenge for a couple of months. I asked her how it was going and she said: "I would say that my body feels healthier and my brain feels clearer. I have more energy and wake up feeling well rested." The book comes with a list of top brain-healthy foods and has recipes for meals, appetizers, soups, salads and desserts that incorporate the top 50 brain foods. The recipes incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables (berries, avocados, kale and asparagus), as well as chicken and fish (herring, salmon and tuna). And some of the recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free. The book also contains helpful information on how to create meals that use these brain healthy foods. The recipes are delicious and creative, and have inspired me to come up with my own recipes. If I don't have some variety in what I can eat, I get bored and don't feel satisfied after a meal. So having lots of options is important to me. You are also given alternative choices for cooking oils, dairy products and sweeteners, as well as practical instructions on how to use them. I have not fully stepped into the"brain food challenge" as fully as Elisabeth has, but I am trying to make changes like eating more fruits and vegetables and trying to reduce my intake of junk food. It requires some planning and a lot more cooking than I normally do, but I feel like it is a good choice for me. So if huge changes seem unrealistic to you, start small and see where that leads you.

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