Monday, November 13, 2017

The Importance of Warm Up Sets

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I am sure you know that prior to exercise you need to warm up.
But what is the correct way to warm up?
Is it stretching, jogging, should you just jump into the workout?
I can tell you for starters it isn't foam rolling.
In fact, just forget that all together unless you just truly like the pain it brings.
Warming up isn't just about "stretching out" to get read for your sets.
A warm up should have the goal of activating the muscles you are about to use and ensure that they are firing properly within a correct motor pattern.
If you are about to bench, you should warm up by practicing the bench.
Start with the bar.
Use very slow negatives and focus on your form the whole time.
Then press up slowly and SQUEEZE as hard as you can through the rep.
Start to add weight as a progress you feel comfortable and only warm up with 2-3 slow reps making sure you are contracting hard every time.
Keep the reps low so you don't tire out prior to working sets but make sure you are still feeling the muscles working.
You can watch some great YouTube workouts for shoulders where individuals explain their warm up prior to their working set.
Stretching before hand isn't going to benefit you to the same degree that activation exercises will.
It may feel good for the seconds you stretch, but when it comes to performance purposes just wait to stretch after a workout. 

How to Eat Around The Holidays

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The holidays are special days to spend with family and friends. Everyone seems to be for the most part in a better mood. The year is talked about in review and the next year and the plans for something better are usually discussed. One of the most important topics discussed is getting in good shape for the new year. A not so uncommon New Year’s resolution, right?
Also, not so uncommon is the setting for which these conversations take place: over a lot of food! Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all provide their own damage when it comes to unhealthy food. This time of year is usually where good eating habits fail and the plan to lose 20 pounds next year turns into 30 or 40 because we packed on a little more weight before we closed the year out.
Do not worry, there is hope.
This is not an article of scientific strategy or proven truths to avoid eating unhealthy food with family and friends. At the end of it all, through all the fitness hype and culture, our bodies someday will begin to fade. In that reality we still have to set time aside to enjoy life and focus on the things that truly matter, not making sure we hit our macros every day and keep our gym attendance up. You need to enjoy the holidays and the foods too!
This is where your discipline comes in.
Discipline is not just required to stay on a certain eating plan, but it is also required to venture off of one and not completely destroy what has been achieved (which is actually very hard to do). In reality, a piece of cake or pie is not going to cause your abs to vanish. The chocolate that seems to be never ending will not destroy your “gains”. Everything can be consumed in moderation.
This takes true discipline.
It is when a person goes overboard and works themselves into new bad habits or in some cases, old bad habits they have worked so hard to get out of. Know your weaknesses and stay away from them! If you black out when you eat chocolate and wake up and kids are crying, and you have melted chocolate all over your face, stay away from it! Discipline is vital. Focus on protein based foods like meats and nuts to keep your appetite in check. The protein will help in tricking your brain that you are not that hungry, therefore not wanting to over indulge in foods that are not the greatest. Also, drink a lot of water as well. Foods around the holidays are packed with sodium which will get your thirst going so do not rely on sodas or alcohol to quench it. Make water your foundation drink and then enjoy a drink or two with family and friends.
As mentioned before, you cannot sleep on portion control. Many times, there are appetizer plates and main dish plates. Eat your food on the smaller appetizer plates so you keep your portions in check. The smaller plate will help once again in tricking the brain that it has plenty of food to eat (from a visual standpoint).
The holidays are a time to be enjoyed and spent with friends, family, and especially the less fortunate. Focusing on the splendors of this time of year should hold precedent over our fitness lives and goals, but in that mindset, it does not mean you still cannot be smart about what kind of food and how much of it you put in your body.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Eggs Are Good For Your Health


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The number one typical American breakfast item you're about to read about is about to blow your mind with information. Eggs!! That's right. My everyday breakfast includes at least 2-3 eggs 7x's a week 365 days a year (LOL) no joke! As a personal trainer and bodybuilding competitor, eggs are packed with the necessary protein and it doesn't stop there. Keep on reading to find out what else eggs are good for! 

1. Eggs are packed with protein.  A three egg omelet provides about 20 grams of protein just from the eggs, and when you add my favorite two omelet ingredients -- ham & cheese -- you're now over 30 grams!  As you may know, protein is essential for maintaining lean muscle as you age as well as keeping trim around your waistline due to it's calorie-burning power.


​2. Nutrients galore!  Vitamin A, K, D, B12, selenium, riboflavin, folate, potassium, and calcium just to name a few!  Eggs, particularly the yolks, are full of metabolism-supporting, brain-boosting vitamins and minerals.

​But aren't eggs "bad" for you because they are high in cholesterol? Well, believe it or not numerous studies have shown that dietary cholesterol intake has very little impact on your blood cholesterol, unless you are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol levels.  For everyone else, your body self regulates cholesterol levels and balances the cholesterol it makes on its own with the cholesterol you consume in your diet.

​So next time you're in the mood for an omelet, eat one!  They're great for your body, belly, brain, and taste buds...delicious, fat-burning, and nutritious...can't go wrong there!

Monday, November 6, 2017

The American Women's College Bay Path University


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It was back in 2009 (age 20) when I decided to set college to the side knowing I had 2 more years left for my BA in Criminal Justice. I was 20 years old at the time and I just really felt like money was more important at the moment since I was living away in the big city of Los Angeles alone. I knew no one barely had any friends took the Metro bus to school rain or shine and walked to work. Sometimes even walked alone late at 10:30 pm at night. I couldn't help but let go of school and so I did. It's been 8 years today (age 28) and school has been on my mind every single day. I am more stable in life to where school costs won't be an issue. I had been doing my own research online to find the perfect schooling for me to go back and finish what I started. I came across The American Women's College Bay Path University . Perfect for online schooling and no need to make any trips which is very convenient. The list of courses to graduate in is endless. They even have Criminal Justice which is perfect for me. 

As I sit here I think to myself, it's time to put myself first and finish my degree in Criminal Justice. I know and feel confident that TAWC will help me make it happen. I am here to inspire you and all women to go back to college and finish your degree with TAWC. They have revolutionized the way education is being delivered to students all over the world by allowing them to do it on their time. 

I am challenging myself by going back to school with TAWC and being a full time law enforcement officer who works nights. I also train as a bodybuilding bikini competitor which will definitely make my schedule very hectic, but very possible knowing TAWC will allow me to take my courses when I have time. I am very excited for this opportunity. I believe every hard working woman should make their life change with TAWC.   

Courses available at TAWC:
Business Programs: o Accounting o Business Administration o Business Analytics o Digital Marketing Management o Entrepreneurship o Human Resource Management o Operations Management · Communications · Criminal Justice o Offender Rehabilitation and Victim Advocacy · Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics · Early Childhood & Elementary Education · Food Science & Safety · Health Services Administration · Leadership & Organizational Studies · Legal Studies · Liberal Studies · Nursing RN to BSN · Paralegal Studies 
· Psychology Programs: o Child Psychology o Counseling Foundations o Foundations in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling o Human Services & Rehabilitation o Psychology


Healthy Choices at Starbucks

It's Monday, traffic is on your mind the kids are taking forever to get ready & you're the only one getting everything ready to head out. Breakfast for you is out of the picture. What do you do? Grab a fatty doughnut that you'll regret eating later or grab a healthy snack at Starbucks? Here are some healthy hearty choices you can grab when you're on the go.

Tall Cafe Misto 
80 Calories
3 grams of Fat
5 grams of protein
8 grams of sugar
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Tall-One Pump-No-Whip Mocha with Almond Milk
105 Calories
5 grams of fat
3 grams of protein
8 grams of sugar

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Iced Passion Tango Tea (unsweetened) 
0 Calories
0 grams of fat
0 grams of protein
0 grams of sugar
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Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal (without Agave) 
200 Calories
2.5 grams of fat
5 grams of protein
37 grams of carbs
5 grams of fiber
7 grams of sugar
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Egg White, Spinach & Feta Wrap
290 Calories
10 grams of fat
19 grams of protein
6 grams of fiber
4 grams of sugar
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 Enjoy these fun and better choices at Starbucks. Guilt free and you'll feel great knowing you started your week the RIGHT way!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

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What more could we ask for during the winter season? Anything Pumpkin Spice sounds good to me. Here I have a delicious hearty recipe for you to try, Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Grab your cup of coffee or egg nog because these muffins are about to blow you away!


Let Us Begin
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: Serves 12


INGREDIENTS
1 cup pumpkin
½ cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract or non organic is fine
1 cup Gluten-Free Baking and Pancake Mix
2/3 cup sugarless sugar
2 tablespoons of any flax seed of your choice organic is fine
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Pecans, Raw chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
 
 
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and use nonstick spray to grease muffin tins
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, egg, and organic vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine Gluten-Free Baking & Pancake Mix, Sugarless Sugar, flax seed, salt, and spices.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture. Mix until uniform batter is formed.
  5. Fold in chopped pecans.
  6. Place batter into prepared tins until full.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Serve and enjoy!!!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

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We all know that one “low carb” diet and needless to say conventional wisdom in the fitness world is that carbs make you "fat". Like anything in life, knowledge goes a long way. Truth should always supplement knowledge which then in return should supplement wisdom. In the fitness world, sometimes things are thought of in absolutes which in the end does nothing but misinforms people.
Do carbs make YOU fat?
Answer: No!
This could be a very scientific and deep article, but there is really no need. The angle in which this false assumption needs to be looked is one that indirectly fuels: lack of carbs makes you lose fat. This is the birth place of the assumption in discussion. By simply finding out that taking away carbs from a diet can cause one to lose weight (fat more so if the diet is a high protein one) that should mean that by having carbs, even just a little, will make one fat. This is not the truth!
Carbs serve such a vital purpose in our everyday lives. Remember when your teacher would tell you to eat a good breakfast before a test? This was because carbs serve as your brains food as well. They up glucose levels in the body and help regulate your hormones and every day function. If you are lacking in carbs you can easily become a little foggy in mind and body. Carbs also help with the promotion of protein synthesis which leads to muscle growth. The more muscle you have the leaner you can be. Why? Muscle is a fat incinerator. Your metabolism rises when your body composition is swayed more on the muscular side. A person with 7% body fat will not feel the ill effects of a fatty meal like a person who is 20% body fat.
So, next time you are looking at something with a carb in it, do not run away in terror. Learning about when the proper time to eat a certain carb and how your body responds is vital. Carbs are more so your friend than your enemy. Remember, it begins with truth, then goes to knowledge, than hopefully the change in the conventional wisdom of the fitness world and the carbohydrate.  

Friday, November 3, 2017

Our Rust-Oleum Kitchen Transformation

It's been 6 months since we bought our first home. The excitement is very real let me tell you. All sorts of different ideas for remodeling and changing things to our liking was our main focus for the house. The first thing we noticed was the kitchen of course. The one room we knew most of our time would be spent in. The cabinets did not match the flooring or the wall many things needed to be changed. Taking down the entire wall of cabinets was not something we wanted to do for we both knew it would be a very expensive deal. At the end we decided it would be our first project. The picture below is definitely the before for this project.



Everything in the before picture was nothing I wanted to keep the same except the sink, the back splash, flooring and the counter tops. It was going to be a project I knew would take time, but was totally possible. My husband and I went to our favorite store, The Home Depot, to look for what we needed.

We had decided we were going to be using the Rust- Oleum Transformation Color Cabinet Kit in the color "Chocolate." This project only cost us $78.98. **Pricing may vary per location. **

Rust-Oleum Transformations Dark Color Cabinet Kit (9-Piece)

Here is the after picture for this project:



What a difference right? The color of the walls did change. We decided a slate color refrigerator would be perfect for this look. Our last picture is now, settled after 6 months.



Everything is now matching. We decided to use silver appliances and a little bit of white in there. We have yet to replace the dishwasher. That will have to wait until other projects are out of our way.
I am glad with the outcome from using the Rust Oleum Kitchen Transformation kit.

No Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

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Who doesn't love five-minute treats?! Not only are they super fast to make, but they're also deliciously VEGAN. In this post I will be sharing one of my favorite recipes of all time! Let's go!!

Makes: 3 cups
Ingredients:
- 1 cup earth balance (vegan) butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- non dairy chocolate chips
**optional ( 1 tsp of baking powder and baking soda if you actually want to bake it)
Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugars. With a fork, mash until it is smooth and creamy. Next add is vanilla extract, milk and salt.  Once combined well, add in flour and mix well until a dough forms.
Pour in desired amount of chocolate chips and it's ready to eat right from the bowl! I love using chunks of this in my banana ice cream or just eating it straight up.
** If you plan to use the dough for baking, mix in baking soda and powder into the flour before combining it with the other ingredients. Makes about 18-20 cookies depending on how you size them. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Why BCAAS? (Branch Chained Amino Acids)

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*NOTE: Use Code VALERIE10 For Free Shipping AND a Discount at PROSUPPS

Working out can be overwhelming in regards to what works and the information out there. The fitness world can be made up of two approaches: one of conformity where you do simply what everyone else is doing, or a totalitarianism one where you do simply what everyone tells you to do. In the thick of it all there is what YOU should do for YOU. When it comes to sports nutrition products and what has been proven to work for everyone, a vital product to incorporate in one’s “stack”, a knowledgeable fitness guru would agree, you should be taking amino acids.
It does not depend if you are a bodybuilder, cross fitter, cross country runner, or just an athlete training for your respected sport, amino acids have their place in your sports nutrition regiment.
Branch chained amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of 3 essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Essential” means they cannot be made by the body, so therefore have to come from an outside source. This article will talk about the 3 essential amino acids that probably have heard of when one speaks of BCAAs.
Leucine is the primary BCAA, and this is where the most notoriety and benefit is given to. Leucine is the “big daddy” BCAA that helps promote protein synthesis, which is the signaling of the body to start rebuilding muscle. Leucine is so effective it can be supplemented on its own, but studies show there are more overall benefits to supplementing it as a mixture with the other BCAAs. On a BCCA product you will always see the “ratio”, this can be a 2:1:1 ratio or higher like our BCAA . The first number in that ratio is designated for the amount of leucine compared to the other two BCAAs.
Isoleucine is second on the list. It has a different primary function than leucine in which it helps with glucose consumption and uptake which in return helps with energy production. Some studies have shown as well that it can act as a anticatabolic agent (prevent muscle breakdown). Some studies show that it can also help out with protein synthesis, but not nearly as effectively as leucine.
Valine is the last on the list of the BCAAs. Valine has been known to assist in preventing muscle breakdown, but nowhere in the realm of isoleucine, and it can assist in protein synthesis, but it is not even in the same mention as leucine and is still weaker in that aspect than isoleucine.
BCAAs are found even in protein powders, but one must beware that these are digested differently than BCAAs that are bought by themselves. BCAAs are in a compound form in protein powders, which basically means they are not digested and broken down as easily by the body which in return restricts the body form using them to their complete effectiveness. BCAAs that are bough as a mixture by themselves are known as free form aminos that they body can digest and utilize much easier and quicker, which in return benefits the athlete. So, a protein powder might advertise amino acids, but it is recommended you still buy a mixture or free form product for maximum results.
These 3 BCAAs by themselves bring their own benefits to the table to an extent, but together they do much more, and when mixed effectively, they do even better.
Sure, if you are just interested in protein synthesis than you can supplement leucine alone or just leucine, but why wouldn’t a person want something to help with glucose uptake and prevent muscle breakdown?  All 3 complement each other. Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Quick Workout for A Busy Schedule: Tabata

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Tabata is a well known workout that takes a total of 9 minutes to complete. The holidays are quickly approaching and we know everyone is scrambling to get their workouts in without taking too much time. Tabata is a great way to increase your heart rate and incorporate a very short interval workout into your routine. You can do it at home, at the gym, outside or wherever you find yourself. The best part about it is the benefits you’ll reap from this intense yet very brief workout.

How do you do it? Easy. Make sure you have a timer handy. If you don’t, an analog clock works just fine. We suggest using squat jumps for this one. They’re made to target a majority of the body and they keep your heart rate up the whole time.
Start with a simple warm-up of jogging in place or light jumping jacks for 5 minutes (you can switch it up between jogging in place and jumping jacks too). Once 5 minutes are up, start your squat jumps using all of the high intensity effort you can give for 20 seconds. As soon as 20 seconds are up, rest for only 10 seconds. Repeat these intervals of 10/20 for a total of 8 intervals. As soon as it’s done, your clothes will be ready for the laundry, but you’ll be patting yourself on the back for such a great job on the shortest workout ever!


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Let's Talk About Abs


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So you’ve been dedicated to the gym for a while now, clocking those hours weight training, hitting the mat for crunches, straining through hanging leg raises and still staring at the six packs all around you in envy. At this point it’s no longer an issue with muscle strength. You’ve been nailing the workouts with more and more ease, and yet those sexy, stomach muscles aren’t making their big debut. Why not? Let's talk about the why.

Layers of tissue under your skin that hold fat for the body to use as energy. If the body fat percentage around your abdominal wall is too thick, then it won’t matter how big and strong you make your abs, they will never show through the flesh. So exactly how do you fix that. In your kitchen! There is a reason all health professionals stress exercise AND diet. You will never achieve the body you want without giving both their fair share of attention.
That being said, it is much easier than you think. You don’t have to start weighing all your food and counting the calorie content of every bite. Add some common sense to your meal planning.  We all know to eat more protein for muscle growth, regeneration, stamina and fat reduction. Now make it lean protein! Where so many go wrong is adding the wrong protein. A protein shake is a good way to add in extra with little to no calorie additions. Otherwise stick with seafood, white meat poultry, beans and eggs.

Now balance that lean protein meal with loads of veggies. High fiber vegetables like spinach or Brussel sprouts and a very small portion of fruit such as berries or grapefruit and there should be the only carbs on your plate. Refined and processed carbs in short trigger your pancreas to create insulin, which throws off your sugar balance causing your body to turn that muffin into a muffin top.
If a slice of smoked turkey with a side of roasted veg doesn’t give you the stamina you need, then add in healthy fats. If you’re thinking the whole idea of eating your way to abs is getting rid of fat, you are only half right. Healthy fats like those from avocados, nuts and seeds are fantastic because it takes very little to give you the staying power you need in your day. Sliced avocado goes well on anything as it adds a nice buttery flavor, but if that’s not your thing, keep a small portion of toasted nuts and seeds available for those afternoon hunger pains.
By following these basics, you should be getting a good dose of fiber, but if you look back over your day and see more animal products than plant, you need to up your fiber. This will keep your metabolism active longer thereby keeping your fuller and burning more calories.

Friday, October 27, 2017

8 Ways to Stay Motivated When You Want to Quit

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Have you ever felt like you wanted to quit everything? Everyone in life has faced a time when they've wanted to quit. However, quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and if you feel like quitting right now, DON'T DO IT. KEEP READING. 

I had a MAJOR wanting to quit moment this week. I started a new kinesiology course and to be honest, it wasn't at all what I'd hoped for. I did it because there were certain modules I was excited to study but after the first day, I realized it could be a long time before I get to do any of the things I signed up for. I came home that evening with a very heavy head and went into 'wanting to quit' mode.

I was so convinced that I wanted to quit everything and drop out that very minute. What changed my mind? Time. I asked myself the following questions and really assessed if this was something I wanted to go through with and if it was going to better my life in the long term.

If you feel like you want to quit your job or drop out of university or college, or even quit that diet that you've started, take some time to clear your head and ask yourself these questions:


1. Why did I sign up for this in the first place?

When you reach a point where you feel like quitting, ask yourself why you wanted to do this in the first place. Were you excited about making this part of your future? Are you passionate about it? Has it been a big interest in your life so far? Go back to the very beginning of when you first started thinking about whatever it is you're doing right now. When you feel like quitting, just remember why you started.


2. Am I being too swift to make a decision?

It's normal to feel uncertain about new things. You've made a big change in your life and part of you will always want to revert back to what you're used to, your comfort zone. This is when you need to fight through those early stages of doubt and give it a chance. It's hard to make a good judgement on a new situation or environment in the first couple of days or weeks. Give it time and see how your feelings change, you might end up growing to like it.


3. Think of the end result

Imagine your life when you complete your goal. You could end up losing that weight, or completing that degree or getting that step up the job ladder or whatever it is you're working towards. Envision your future and what it'll be like if you decide not to quit. If you can see the results in your head it can spur you on to keep working for it. If it leads to a better future and greater happiness in life then don't give up.


4. Who are you doing it for?

Are you doing this to please others? Are you doing it to fulfil someone else's dreams? The main person you should be doing it for is you. There's no point following a dream if it's not your own. Remember that you're doing this for your future self. If you're not, then you need to reassess your options and follow your true meaning.


5. Surround yourself with motivation

There are tons of people who have wanted to quit in life but the successful ones are those who didn't. Even if it's just reading some inspirational quotes or reading a motivational book to change your mind set, surround yourself with positivity and motivation and you'll reignite the drive to succeed within yourself. A great self help book about the law of attraction and succeeding in life is The Secret  by Rhonda Byrne. A lot of people have said this book has changed their life so it's definitely worth a read!


6. Find a solution to the reason you want to quit

Really ask yourself why you want to quit. Is it because you find it boring? Are you too tired from working at it? Do you need a break? Instead of packing it in altogether, find solutions to the problems you're facing. Take a break when you need it, find ways to make it more interesting, talk to someone about it. Once you get to the core reason for wanting to quit, focus on how to make that better.

  • If you're a blogger and you're feeling a bit overwhelmed with how to get your blog off the ground and running, check out the How To Grow Your Blog  by Balram, it'll help you get your blog to where you want to be AND it's free if you download it to your kindle. 



7. Don't let a bad start put you off from finishing the race

You might of had a crappy first day but that doesn't mean you should judge the rest of your time based on that. Things will get better, it takes time to adjust to new environments. It's common to go into fight or flight mode when you're in an unsure situation. Try to fight those feelings of wanting to give up and find the power to keep going.


8. Believe in yourself

As cheesy as it sounds, believe in yourself! Look how far you've made it and all you've achieved so far, it'd be such a shame to throw that all away due to some negative feelings. You have the strength to keep working hard and achieving your goals and you WILL reach that end result.

It's normal to feel like quitting when things get tough, it's a natural response mechanism. Keep going and fulfiLl what you started and just remember that it won't be like this forever. Once you reach your end goal you'll thank yourself so much for sticking with it. 

How To Fix Brain Fog

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How do you feel after a busy day? Energetic and ready to take on the next challenge? Or, dreading another day where you feel slow, cloudy with absolutely no motivation? Like you’re trudging through mud with the windows fogged up?

“Brain fog,” that uncomfortable lack of mental clarity, can lead to forgetfulness along with difficulty focusing, thinking, and even communicating and leave you fatigued, irritable, and even anxious. I'll admit I've felt that way before and it's not such a great feeling at all. 

Before you decide to just head back to bed, there are some simple lifestyle solutions to combat brain fog. To help you feel human again, here are 5 foods shown to support health and mental acuity:

1. Salmon: Salmon is high in essential fatty acids, protein, and vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin B12 and potassium). Studies have shown that increasing consumption of DHA can improve memory, reaction time, and cognitive function. Look for wild varieties and try to include salmon or another fatty fish into your nutrition plan at least twice a week.

2. Nuts & Seeds: Convenient, delicious, and nutritious, nuts and seeds provide healthy fats (including omega-3s), fiber (which supports healthy blood sugar), numerous vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin E, manganese, and copper), amino acids, and polyphenols (which slow down the aging process in the brain by combating free radicals)—all shown to help support cognitive function. Enjoy an ounce of your favorite nuts or seeds, like walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds every day for the potential brain benefits.

3. Blueberries: Low in calories and super high in nutrients, blueberries are convenient and provide fiber, vitamins (especially C and K), and manganese. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits and vegetables. And, in one six-year study, 16,010 participants who regularly consumed berries (specifically blueberries and strawberries), enjoyed cognitive aging delays by as much as 2.5 years. Fresh or frozen, a handful of blueberries daily is delicious and may help your brain function at its best.

4. Green Leafy Veggies: Rich in antioxidants and carotenoids (which give vegetables their wide array of colors), leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and even mustard greens are known for providing high amounts of folate (a salt or ester of folic acid) and Vitamin K, nutrients that may help improve focus, memory, and overall brain power. One study demonstrated that individuals who enjoyed one or two servings of leafy greens per day enjoyed the thinking ability from individuals who were up to 11 years younger.

5. Avocados: Commonly regarded as a fantastic source of healthy fats (e.g., oleic acid), avocados are also very high in other nutrients—they provide 7 grams of fiber, have more potassium than bananas, and also provide plenty of vitamins (such as K, C, E, and folate) and antioxidants. Avocados also provide monounsaturated fats, which support healthy blood flow to the brain. One study showed that these healthy fats help protect nerve cells which carry information throughout the nervous system.

Conclusion: Eating the above brain foods alone won’t completely eliminate brain fog. It’s also important to ensure you’re getting enough quality sleep, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and reducing simple carbs and sugars.