Successful Decisions Require a Healthy Mind

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FreeImagesOne of my biggest concerns about the people of Haiti is our ability to think for ourselves and to be able to be self-reliant. I am a person of faith, and as the Christ states in John 15:5 “…without Me, you can do nothing.” On the other hand, like one preacher asked, “Does that mean that with Him, we have nothing to do?!”

We have our own responsibility to take for where we are, and especially for where we are going and what we want for ourselves. The Apostle Paul reminds us in answer to the preacher’s question, “ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13).

We may not be responsible for the conditions we are in now, but we are responsible for getting ourselves out (I’m reminded of the title of the book by Dr. Richard Williams, “They Stole It, But You Must Return It.”). So, how do we return it? By taking better care of ourselves. By starting where we are with what little way may or may not have.

I have been shown more recently that the care of the body is not just the core and it’s limbs, but that the most important part is the brain. There is a lot of emphasis on the mind, which is abstract, invisible, and intangible, but the brain, which is physical, houses that mind. It is often forgotten, as it, too, is unseen, but not invisible and is very tangible. It does so much and we think about it so little.

To help you think about it more, below is a shopping list of brain healthy foods that I modified from the Daniel Plan Shopping list created by Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics for the Saddleback Church’s health initiative:

50 Percent Non-Starchy Vegetables
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers (yellow, green, red, orange)
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mesclun
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Radish
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Snap peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini
25 Percent Vegetarian Protein

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Nut butters
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach
  • Tofu (organic)

25 Percent Whole Grains or Starchy Vegetables(Vegetables with an “*” is to be eaten in moderation when reducing carbohydrates, which are the starchier and sweeter vegetables. If possible, soak seeds, legumes and grains overnight to improve digestion, absorption and assimilation)

Whole & Sprouted Grains:

  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Oats (old fashion or steel cut)
  • Organic cornmeal
  • Organic corn tortillas
  • Millet
  • Polenta
  • Quinoa
  • Sprouted grain bread
  • Sprouted grain tortillas
Pastas: (eat sparingly – except shiritaki noodles which can be eaten freely)
  • Brown rice
  • Black rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Shirataki (Look for konjac flour, not yam flour)
Starchy Vegetables:
  • Acorn squash*
  • Beets*
  • Butternut squash*
  • Carrots
  • Corn*
  • Parsnips*
  • Pumpkin*
  • Spaghetti squash*
  • Turnips*
  • Winter Squash*
  • Yams/sweet potatoes*
  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Fava beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans
  • Split peas
  • White beans
Low Glycemic Fruit
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Coconut
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Green apples
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Tangerines
  • Watermelon
Beverages (Avoid beverages with artificial sweeteners or flavorings, food dyes or added sugars. 6-8 ounces)
  • Almond milk, unsweetened
  • Coconut milk, unsweetened
  • Coffee
  • Hemp or Chia milk, unsweetened
  • Rice milk, unsweetened
  • Tea, herbal
  • Water (64 or more ounces per day)
Healthy Oils (eat sparingly-raw and organic if possible)
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil (raw, unrefined)
  • Coconut butter
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil (not to cook with)
  • Walnut oil
Healthy Snacks
  • Applesauce, unsweetened (1/2 cup)
  • Dried Fruits: currants, dates, figs, prunes, raisins (sulfite-free, 1 – 2 small pieces)
  • Guacamole (1/4 cup)
  • Hummus (ideally homemade, but if store-bought look for a hummus made with extra virgin olive oil and no preservatives. Lemon should be the only preservative) (1/4 cup)
  • Salsa (1/4 cup)
Natural Sweeteners
  • Pure Maple Syrup (1 teaspoon)
  • Raw honey (1 teaspoon) (the organic kind with the honeycomb in it)
  • Whole leaf stevia extract (use sparingly)
Nuts & Seeds (Nuts & seeds make great snacks, but eat in moderation. If possible, soak seeds and nuts overnight to improve digestion, absorption and assimilation)
  • Almond butter
  • Almonds, raw
  • Amaranth
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Buckwheat
  • Cashews
  • Chia
  • Flax
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflower
  • Sesame
  • Walnuts
Spices, Seasonings & Dressings (eat freely and rotate new spices into your diet often)
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Marinara sauce (organic, low-sugar)
  • Marjoram
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
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