One Super Simple Recipe for a Superior Brain

We’ve all had it happen.  We eat something we didn’t know we shouldn’t have (or maybe we did know …), and brain fog sets it.  Suddenly, it’s more difficult to follow along with or think through ideas.  Basic tasks seem daunting; all we want to do is crash on the couch.

How do you bounce back from these bad food choices?  In general, what should you eat when you want to be sharp and on your toes?

When thinking brain foods, think antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, healthy fats, and probiotics.  Why?

  • Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals that can harm the brain.
  • Healthy fats feed the brain with long-term, consistent energy, which helps when our brains are under metabolic stress and don’t have the same energy to reach high-processing states.
  • Probiotics create a healthy gut environment, which greatly reduces inflammation itself, and provides more nutrients to the body.  

One of my favorite recipes to fill all of these needs  is beet hummus. I encourage you to try this even if you are usually turned off by beets’ earthy flavor. The slight sweetness and tang of apple cider vinegar works to neutralize that in this combination.

To make beet hummus, boil beets until they are soft, then peel off the skin.  Cut into smaller chunks and allow to cool slightly.  Combine in a food processor or blender with olive oil, single garlic clove, apple cider vinegar, walnuts, and lemon juice.  If you want a little extra boost, throw in some fresh rosemary as well.  Blend ingredients until smooth.  Add salt or more apple cider vinegar to preference.  

Why is this recipe so fantastic for the brain?  Beets are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant rich, and full of nutrients.  Walnuts provide a source of protein, healthy fat, and antioxidants.  Olive oil, when extra virgin, is also wonderful healthy fat to feed the brain.  Apple cider vinegar adds a great dose of probiotics for a happy gut.  Lemon juice, rosemary, and garlic are also chock full of antioxidants to protect the brain, plus lemon helps to give the mind and body a little energy boost. If these benefits aren’t enough, the bright, beautiful color is hard to turn away from.  

So go ahead and grab some celery, broccoli or cucumbers, and dip them in this beet hummus for a quick and awesome snack before or after a workout, or just when you are on-the-go. This also works as a tasty salad dressing on some fresh leafy greens or can be paired with salmon for a main course.

What’s even more awesome? All of the things you’ll dip in beet hummus are also brain foods in and of themselves. So welcome to a food that tastes good and feels even better!

In fascia and politics, everything is connected

As fascia reminds us, everything is connected.

I was reminded of how important this concept is to healing movement when I attended a conference last year Gil Hedley, Ph.D., a doctor known for promoting a sacred appreciation for what’s inside of our bodies.

Gil provided us one of his close looks at the human body’s interior. We focused on fascia, the connective tissue woven throughout our bodies. Then he brought this into the political space: first, he showed our country’s 50 states as blue and red to represent concentrations of Democrats and Republicans. Then, he showed the same map with the two colors blended by percentage.

We were left with an image built out of many shades of purple. Gone were the stark reds and blues.

As we viewed images and videos of the different layers of fascia, I was so humbled. I was reminded that all of these layers are one — and yet, nature enables our body’s parts to also move separately, in different directions and ways.

And as Gil reminded us, this is happening all around us — not just in our bodies, but in politics, in our families, among our peers, and so on.

As you go through your day, take a little time with healing movement to remind yourself of this connectedness. Do it with a stretch: raise your arm over your head, for example, and feel the gentle pull that creates in other areas of your body.

Relax into the motion. Mind your movement. Feel the connections. And be humbled.

Lea Burke is Iowa’s first Essentrics instructor and offers healing movement classes and guidance through EPIC and in her hometown of Burlington. She is also EPIC’s enrollment coordinator. You can reach Lea at leab@epicfmc.com.