What did You Feed Your Brain this Season?

What did You Feed Your Brain this Season?

In this season of self-absorption’ we find many people are using this time as an excuse to feed their addictions. ‘Sugar’ is found everywhere this time of year and most of us feel as if it is expected to partake in this device.

Sugar leads to a release of dopamine in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens – a section associated with motivation, novelty, and reward. Researchers have found this is the same brain region associated in response to cocaine and or heroin use.

“So, what?”

“Research studies have linked excess sugar consumption to dangerous levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad type!), increased plaque deposits in the arteries, and breast and colon cancers. High fructose corn syrup – that insidious ingredient found in many salad dressings, ketchup, coffee creamers etc., has been linked to increased heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that some cancer tumors have insulin receptors that feed on glucose” says, Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D. in The Mindful Self-Express.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201302/why-our-brains-love-sugar-and-why-our-bodies-dont

It isn’t just a weight gain! Another not so sweet effect is that it has been shown that an over-consumption of sugar is linked to the aging process!!!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305204328.htm

More than that…sugar has also been linked to depression, learning disorders and memory concerns, says David DiSalvo, of Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/04/01/what-eating-too-much-sugar-does-to-your-brain/

It is said the average person consumes up to 156 pounds of sugar PER YEAR! (reports the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture) It isn’t just that we eat or drink 31.2 – 5 pound bags of sugar…but that sugar is ‘hidden’ in everything that we eat! When we purchase food in a restaurant chances are even the chicken that has water added to it also has sugar and salt added to it. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have found 27.5 teaspoons per day are ‘added’ to our food intake, which equates to 1/4 of our daily (2000 calorie) food intake! It is no wonder we can’t understand how or why we are gaining weight. But it isn’t just weight gain that sugar creates…

A diet high in sugar also limits our brains’ ability to form new memories, and learn new information, aiding in the age related diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. But that’s not all…oh no that’s not all! The brain can get ‘over-wrought’ and literally ‘burned-out’ by over-dosing on sugar. As this occurs the brain’s ability to use the chemical ‘oxytocin’ (which should signal a persons ‘feeling’ of being satisfied) is reduced and the person continues to eat more and more because they do not feel ‘finished’ or satisfied. Hence, eating more sugar, and perpetuating a cycle of increased glucose, resulting in other health issues such as Diabetes.

So, as we ‘choose’ what gifts we want our children to have as adults, it is imperative we LOVE them, by not ‘gifting’ them with a sugar addiction, or a brain chemistry that supports addictions but instead by educating them on how and what to feed themselves to maintain a healthy mental control of their bodies and brains!

With this thought in mind, I wish all of you a VERY happy and HEALTHY New Year!

Dr Lise’

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Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention…

Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention...

Hi Friends,

This season we see all sorts of problems from sleeping to remembering where we left our keys!

Do you ever get an idea stuck in your head without being able to drop it? Or do you find it is uncomfortable switching or changing plans at the last minute?
I bet I can help with this!

If it is difficult to shift approaches or you find it hard to pay attention to two things at once or maybe you feel focusing and paying attention is more difficult than it should be then maybe your brain is having difficulties with Flexible and Focused Attention skills!

Some people need prompting to get things completed, they may have an issue with getting lost in the middle of a thought or they may even leave out very important details of a story or process.

I know this can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing when your brain isn’t working as fast and efficient as you would like it to work! But, do not fear…I know how to help you with theses kinds of PreFrontal Cortex (PFC) concerns!

Attention Deficits can show in brain imaging as a neurological dysfunction and in an EEG as reversed cortical activity. The low slow activity is prevalent while eyes are open and the fast cortical activity increases when closing eyes and trying to relax. This keeps the person feeling brain drained as if they are working overtime.

At Cognitive Connections, I have developed a program that helps people learn about these important skills our brain does (even without us knowing it is doing it)! But it isn’t enough to know what it is supposed to do…it is necessary to know how to help yourself or your child learn these skills when they are not working as they should be!

The PFC’s Function: Focusing Attention, Organizing thoughts, Problem Solving, Foreseeing and weighing the possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

Do you or someone you love need help with…

Flexible & Focused Attention
 Mental Flexibility,
 Shifting Approaches
 Switching Gears
 Staying Focused
 Holding onto several thoughts at one time
 Losing track in the middle of a thought
 Miss important details
 Get an idea stuck in your head

A few iPad games you might want to try if you think you might have some issues with this area of the brain are:
* The Stroop Effect
* The Tower of Hanoi
* Observation
* 4 Attention

I have 100’s of games want to learn more?

Look for our Volume 1 in the Series of 7 eBooks entitled “Thinking With Your Brain in Mind; A Look Into the Prefrontal Cortex…from Function to Remediation”

Just Another Thought from Dr. Lise’…