Food for Thought: 10 Foods to Boost Brainpower A Six Day Challenge

If your body is a temple—what is your brain? Your brain is what makes the temple beautiful in both appearance and purpose. And just because people can’t see your brain, doesn’t mean you should forget to provide it with the nutrition it needs. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart and muscles.

I love mornings. I like to wake up and spend the first part of my day with the Word of God. But in order to process it well and apply it to my life I need the right food to concentrate and focus. So to get you through the week I’m going to focus on the superfoods that will make you a superwoman.

So to begin…

BLUEBERRIES

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Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may have worked to reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. A Harvard study published in 2013 in the journal Annals of Neurology found that women who reported eating more blueberries were likely to have slower cognitive decline than those who ate fewer.

So what are some great ways to include blueberries into your diet?

My favorite is simply:
• Greek yogurt, blueberries, and chia seeds ~200 calories
• Smoothie – handful of spinach + frozen berries (or fruit of choice) + 1/4 avocado (makes for a creamy texture while giving you good fat) + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + ½ cup water or almond or coconut milk. Mix protein powder last so it doesn’t get over mixed. ~300 calories

• Protein shake and raspberries ~270 calories

• 1 or 2 squares dark chocolate melted on berries ~95-155 calories

• Chia pudding (make with cocoa, almond or coconut milk and berries for a sweet treat) ~250-300

• Frozen and raw!

Blueberries are everywhere and are delicious so there is no excuse! Try including blueberries into your diet this week.

See you tomorrow for brainfood #2.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

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Day 2

I love mornings. I like to wake up and spend the first part of my day with the Word of God. But in order to process it well and apply it to my life I need the right food to concentrate and focus. Fortunately there is a superfood that is perfect for mornings:

So the brain superfood for today is…

WHOLE GRAINS

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Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the steady supply of energy – in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing whole grains with a low-GI—this will keep you mentally alert throughout the day!

How do I like my whole grains?
Whole grain or Ezekial toast, with almond butter and apple slices ~260 calories
• Ezekiel pocket bread, 2 scrambled eggs (or 4 egg whites and one yolk) with mushrooms and peppers. ~285 calories

• Whole-grain toast with Greek yogurt, pistachios and drizzle of honey ~310 calories

• Healthy pizza – use a serving of whole-grain pita or flat bread, add sauce, lean protein, veggies and a light amount of fresh mozzarella ~300 calories

• Small whole-grain pita with 1 slice of cheese and 1 Tbsp. low-sodium tomato sauce, fresh garlic and basil ~185 calories

• Ezekial bread with nut butter(for those days when you’re really hungry)~180 calories

Carbs are amazing in moderation. A balanced eating plan you can live on is the one you’ll find long-term success with because protein, fat, and carbs work together to make you feel more satisfied. Try having whole grains everyday this week.

See you tomorrow for brainfood #3.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

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Day 3

Our bodies can do a lot of things—climb mountains, build cities, give birth to another human being! But one thing our bodies cannot do is produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) and therefore must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish, pumpkin seeds, and linseed (flaxseed oil). In fact, just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc which is vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. These are absolutely essential for brain function and are recommended at least 3 times a week.

So today let’s talk…

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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• Salmon (protein and good fat) with quinoa and a kale salad. ~350 calories
• No-Bake Energy Bites: 1 cup (dry) oatmeal, ½ cup chocolate chips, ½ cup peanut butter, ½ cup ground flaxseed, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tsp. vanilla. Roll into balls. Refrigerate and enjoy!

• Build your own salad: Big bowl of greens + lean protein + veggies + olive oil and garlic dressing + handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds ~270 calories

So will you makeover your plate with God-made foods? Will you put together colorful, balanced, and portioned meals with lean protein, unprocessed carbs, and good fats? Try making each one of these meals this week!

See you tomorrow for brainfood #4.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

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Day 4

We all now times get hectic. You start feeling a little crazy. A little frazzled.
And so you begin to snack on things and you start to pick up a handful of something to nibble. Fortunately, there is a brainfood that is easy to eat and even looks a little bit like a brain! Walnuts. Walnuts are incredibly rich in Vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and wholegrains.

So don’t feel nuts…

EAT NUTS

Almonds

Waiting a handful of walnuts or almonds will do the trick, but here are some options:

• Apple with walnuts or nut butter (measured) ~180 calories
• Oatmeal, black cherry concentrate, sprinkled with walnuts ~280 calories

• 4 oz. chicken + 1-2 cup veggies (broccoli, cauliflower) + couscous+ a drizzle of walnut oil ~300 calories

See you tomorrow for brainfood #5.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

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Day 5

I know I already said it, but I want to say it again. I love mornings. This is when time moves the slowest and when I can really focus on me and my relationship with God. This is where my attitude is set for the rest of the day. Working out in the morning really sets the tone for effectiveness and spending time with devotions and journaling clears my head. So the superfood we’re going to talk about today is one that is so versatile but is a favorite for anyone finding themselves at the breakfast table day in and day out.

So what came first, the morning or…

THE EGG

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Those bright, round yolks are rich in choline, a B vitamin-like nutrient. When you eat eggs, your brain uses choline to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that may be important for maintaining memory and communication among brain cells. It has been found that choline intake correlates positively with better performance on certain types of memory tests. So remember eat those eggs!

My favorite ways to enjoy them:
• Egg bake + slice avocado + fruit (– easy to prepare in advance and refrigerate) throw a dozen eggs in a bowl, mix, add lots of veggies and a little feta cheese and bake) ~265 calories
• Breakfast omelet for dinner – 2 eggs or 4 egg whites + 1 yolk made your way + spinach + peppers + mushrooms + sprinkle of feta cheese ~265 calories

• 1-2 Hard-boiled eggs + veggie slices of choice ~125-210 calories

• Ezekiel pocket bread, 2 scrambled eggs (or 4 egg whites and one yolk) with mushrooms and peppers. ~285 calories

Try waking up just an hour earlier tomorrow and spend some time with your brain. Make some eggs and read the Bible, Journal and think about the rest of your day. I promise, making this a routine will greatly change you attitude to you spiritual, mental and physical transformation.

See you tomorrow for the final brainfood(s) #6.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

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Day 6

Christians are truly told to live joy-filled life.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!” (Ps. 100:1)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)

There are a number of places throughout the bible that talk about believers living joyful lives before the Lord. Christians should always find reasons to be joyful. But joy isn’t just a smile or a laugh. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn’t leave quickly. When we have the joy of the Lord, we’ll know it and so will others. Since joy is given by God and something that He wants us to have, we need to be joyful!

And there is a reason that the first miracle that Christ performed was turning water into wine. So, it is no wonder that God made these two foods so great for our brains, as long as we keep them in moderation.

So last but not least…

Dark Chocolate & Wine

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Let’s end with the good stuff. Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties, contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration, and stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. One-half ounce to 1 ounce a day will provide all the benefits you need. In this case, more is not better. Be moderate.
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The same goes for Wine. Too much alcohol can certainly destroy healthy brain tissue but drinking in moderation may be good for your mind. A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that the antioxidant EGCG—found in red wine and green tea—helped stop beta-amyloid proteins from harming brain cells in the lab. Additionally, research from UCLA found that wine’s antioxidants may block proteins that build brain-destroying plaques.

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Will you makeover your plate with God-made foods? Will you put together colorful, balanced, and portioned meals with lean protein, unprocessed carbs, and good fats?
Try making your plate as colorful and balanced as possible and spend sometime every day using the most important muscle you have.

Here to get you healthy, happy, and F.I.T.,
kim

Comments

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By |2016-10-14T14:06:00+00:00November 8th, 2014|FIT Body|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kimber November 24, 2014 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Congrats on the launch of your new website! I love, love, love it! You are a role model for sure and inspire me daily, I swear! Thank you for being you and being Amazing!!

    • Kim Dolan Leto November 26, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Thank you, Kimber. Your words overwhelm me. I can’t wait to find out what you think of my new book and DVD series.

      I hope this note finds you well.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

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