Monthly Archives: September 2013

Apply Some Brain Power

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ImageCognitive science is the study of the brain mechanisms responsible for an individual’s thoughts, moods, decisions, and actions. Cognition refers to everything that takes place in an individual’s brain that helps him understand the world around him. To accomplish such an understanding involves mental processes such as concentration, memory, conceptualization, creativity, and emotions.

In his book The New Brain, Dr. Richard Restak uses the term “plasticity of the new brain” to refer to the capacity of the brain to transform itself. This is an incredibly exciting notion, and one that has endless positive ramifications.

Until recently, it was generally believed that the brain’s plasticity peaked out at young adulthood, if not earlier. However, researchers now believe that the brain is subject to transformation throughout life, which is why Restak appropriately refers to it as a “lifetime work in progress.”

Thus, whether you want to learn a foreign language, how to play tennis, or the techniques for getting healthy and maintaining a healthy weight, you first have to make changes in your brain. And the key to making such changes is repetition.

Repetition makes repeated impressions on your brain, but there’s a catch: If the repetitions are wrong (e.g., doing crunches the wrong way), you are not going to excel at the skill you have targeted. From whence comes the worn-out but true observation that only an insane person would continue to repeat the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

Which brings yet another question to the fore: If you continue to get negative results, should you invoke persistence? Or is it more sane just to give up and move on to something else? The answer is that you definitely should be persistent, but, based on what you have learned through your experiences, you should try a different methodology.

I know this first hand because I tried every known diet and “get skinny” program I could find with little to no success. It wasn’t until I coupled a healthy weight loss program WITH unlimited support (something I should have understood a lot sooner as I am a therapist and support is everything for success) that I finally saw success at getting my weight under control.

 In other words, my brain’s plasticity made it possible for me to transform my view of the world. It was a cerebral transformation that made it possible for me to recognize that there is more to weight loss and health than pills, shots, powders, exercising, or any of the other short-cuts I was trying to take. Once I redirected my energy, I found success.

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Optimizing Your Energy Management Skills

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Life is in the blood, but our health is in the pH of the blood, and the pH of the blood is in what we breathe, drink, and eat. Therefore, optimizing your nutrition (energy input and output) makes you healthier and helps you live longer.

Energy management focuses on learning how to optimize what you breathe, drink, and eat to achieve optimal amounts of the nutrients your body needs, from the optimization point of view, you can eat any kinds of food, but they must be in the right amounts, with the right combinations, in the right time (age) in order to satisfy your daily energy and nutrition requirements. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold true if you are consuming processed and filler heavy foods. There is another part of the equation.

You can optimize your indoor air quality by avoiding allergens, dust, smoke, etc.  The clearer your lungs, the more effectively your entire body will function.  You can optimize your daily water and beverage amounts. Most importantly, you can optimize the foods you eat by following a step-by-step procedure to meet your daily energy and nutrition requirements. For example, by optimizing amounts of various foods, a 40-year-old woman with a weight of 131 lbs and a height of 5’4″ at a sedentary activity level can obtain a menu to meet her daily energy and nutrition requirements. Or by altering the equation, she can add or lose weight as needed to reach an optimal body mass.

If only it was that simple.  There is still one part of the equation missing.  You have an energy source but must find a means to utilize it. True energy management focuses on the exercise (use) versus fuel (energy source) equation and how to effectively make your body work for you not against you. Your body is build for action, not to sit around on a couch 24/7.

For true energy management, you must expend more energy than you store through food consumption AND still consume sufficient food so that your body’s systems (brain, lungs, circulatory, nerve, musculature, skeletal, etc) receive their daily requirements of nutrition. You cannot overeat and expect your body to function properly just as you cannot overexercise and expect the same proper function. There must be balance to the equation to achieve complete energy management and optimal health.Image