BEST Superheroes are ready for the world! ⭐🌎 Now taking nominations for 2020 for our BEST Superhero of the Month. Share your superhero with the rest of the world today!
(Editor’s note: The Brain Energy Support Team is delighted and honored to share a blog exclusive article from our BEST friend, Dr. Jannine Krause! Dr. Krause shares her thoughts steps to healthy eating. Read on for some great tips and strategies to start in the new year. KT)
Or perhaps your family wants to help you eat better.
The thought of making your own meals is overwhelming.
Where do you start?
Whether you’ve just had a brain injury, or it was decades ago, you can use food to support and regenerate your nervous system.
Foods to Focus On
Foods rich in fat, protein, minerals and b vitamins support your nervous system.
Below is a list of foods and per meal portions to support your brain.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm or entire hand sized portion).
Tuna – canned in water – 1/2 can.
Avocado – ½ or 4 tbsp of guacamole.
Olives – 10 or 2 tbsp of olive tapenade spread.
Raw or Sprouted Nuts or Seeds – walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, ground
flaxseeds are best for the brain – 1 handful.
Seed or Nut Butters – 2 tbsp – size of your thumb = a tablespoon.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Beans – Navy, Kidney, Red, Pinto, Black, Mung, Cannellini, Aduki, Garbanzo.Chickpeas ¼- ½ cup – ½ to ¼ of your fist.
Lentils – ¼- ½ cup.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm to hand sized).
Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, chard, collards, bok choy, cabbage, arugula – 2
cups (two fists).
Broccoli – 1 cup (size of your fist).
Cacao Powder – 1 tbsp, Chocolate – 1 oz.
Tumeric – 1 tsp.
Blueberries – ½ cup.
Fermented Veggies – sauerkraut (Oly Kraut), kimchi, pickled veggies (Bubbies
brand) – ¼ cup.
Adding the Brain Boosting Foods to Meals
Think of the foods mentioned above as medicines with dosages.
When you are putting together a meal or a snack, it’s wise to add your medicine to each
Below you will find examples of how to incorporate brain food into meals.
Here are some breakfast ideas:
Oatmeal, or Cream of Rice with blueberries, walnuts and ground flaxseeds.
o Cacao – 1 tbsp, ¼ cup of one of the following: walnuts, pecans, ground
flax or a mix of the 3.
Scrambled or poached eggs with 2 cups of spinach or dark leafy greens.
o Scramble the spinach into the eggs.
o Sauté the spinach on the side.
o Make a breakfast salad with fresh spinach & poached eggs on top.
o Avocado toast.
o Avocado with salmon lox toast.
o Refried beans on toast.
o Nut butter on toast.
Check out some lunch/dinner ideas:
Veggie Bowls – 2 cups leafy greens, ½ cup beans or lentils, ¼ cup of nuts or
o High Protein Bowl: 4-6 oz of salmon/ ½ can tuna salad on top of the
o Chickpea/Garbanzo Curry Bowl: ½ cup chickpeas, 4 tbsp full fat coconut
milk (canned), Curry Powder (has turmeric), salt and pepper to taste.
o Add fermented veggies to any bowl.
Soups – lentil, black bean (Brand: Amy’s Kitchen).
Salmon, halibut, tuna 4-6 oz with 2 cups dark leafy veggies or broccoli.
Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad ¾-1 cup with 2 cups of leafy greens.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad Sandwiches.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad in ½ avocado.
Here’s a few snack ideas:
Hard boiled eggs – 2.
A handful (1 cup) of nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds.
½ avocado; 2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Blueberries ½ cup with ½ handful (1/2 cup) nuts or seeds.
10 olives – any kind.
Keep in mind that you can always have more in your meals or larger portions.
The portions listed are the minimum amounts of these foods that have found to boost
Putting It All Together
Solidifying healthy eating habits takes time.
You’ll have to train yourself to add these foods in daily.
Start by picking one meal or snack to focus on at a time.
Be patient with yourself as you work to boost your brain health.
You can do this! What are you waiting for? Grab your medicine and get started.
Dr. Krause is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, an acupuncturist and podcast host dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own health. Her unique approach is simplifying natural medicine and healthy habit formation. She believes that health starts with what we eat, how we move and how well we manage stress. She wants to help prevent little health issues from becoming big ones down the road. She’s committed to slowing down the aging process and wants to help others with this too. There’s a lot of health information available out there, and she’s here to help people focus on what’s important and sustainable for them. Learn more here.
Super individuals. Dynamic duos. Superhero leagues. Our 2019 real-life superheroes supported the brain injury community in the BEST ways! Thank you, BEST Superheroes for all that you do and all that you are!
BEST is now taking nominations for 2020 for our BEST Superhero of the Month recognition and appreciation program. Click here to nominate your real-life superhero in the new year!
Spent a great morning at the Tacoma Art Museum with fellow superheroes 🦸♀️ on Saturday, December 21, 2019!
Our BEST thanks, love ❤️ and hugs to Heath and Renee (of collidedscopes.com), artist, author and instructor, Renne Emiko Brock, artist and BEST volunteer, Erin T., and Shane N. for hanging out and just being SUPER! Catch our community art installation “Superhero “ before it takes flight! Last day to view is December 26th! ❤️🦸♀️
(Editor’s note: BEST’s own Gloria Kraegel penned an article on different ways to navigate the holiday season while taking care of our ourselves. We’d love to hear the creative ways that you manage this time of year. Send your thoughts to me, Kim Thompson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! KT).
Navigating the Holidays
By Gloria Kraegel, BEST Executive Director
It’s that time of year when those of us with a brain injury are challenged, more than any other time of year, to figure out gift giving, deal with increased lights and sound, navigate social events, work on our social skills, and so much more.
It’s exhausting, and yet we want to enjoy the spirit of the season with friends and family.
How do we balance all of this with our own needs?
The first thing I would recommend is to find a way to advocate for ourselves by asking for help, saying no to some things so we can enjoy other things, and to keep things simple.
Ask for help: Everyone needs help no matter what time of year it is. We might need help with shopping, even on the internet. Perhaps we want to bring a simple dish to a family holiday dinner and can ask someone to help us prepare it. Whatever it is, identify who in our circle of support would be the best person to ask for help. Not only that, if someone offers to help, let them.
Saying no: Saying no is a healthy way to save energy this time of year. Actually, learning to politely say no is a good practice any time of year. We don’t have to accept every invitation, allow every visitor, engage with everyone at an event. If the lights are too bright, ask to turn them down. If the music is too loud, ask to turn it down. Remember that we engage with others best when the stimulus is low.
Keep things simple: All the decorations, rearranging furniture for that large tree, and everything else a lot of us think are necessary for the holidays really isn’t. A smaller tree, simple decorations, and less lights all help to reduce stimulus, thereby reducing overload and creating a quieter holiday we can fully enjoy.
Eat well: That doesn’t mean eat a lot, or to eat everything offered to us. Eat smaller portions of healthy food. We know that our food choices affect our brains and cognitive abilities. Too much caffeine and sugar are unhealthy. Nuts, fruits, and vegetables provide the nutrients our brains need to function at its best.
Sleep well: Often after a brain injury we find it hard to sleep regular hours. This can be especially true during the holidays when we may have more to do or be a part of. It’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule (and personal quiet time) to help us get the most out of our holiday activities.
Plan: Finally, and this always helps me get through the holidays; have an idea of the things you want to do in advance of doing anything. Plan which events are most important to you and that you would enjoy the most. Attend those and say no to the rest of the invitations. Have what you want to wear to these events already picked out and put together in the closet. This way you don’t have to worry about what’s clean or ironed, or which sweater goes with what pants.
These aren’t the only ways to reduce stress and navigate the holidays. If you have tips that work for you, please share them with us and have a safe, peaceful, enjoyable holiday season.