The Calming Kitchen
Recipes and guidance for using foods to organize and improve brain performance.
A great thought – eat to think better! It really has is a win-win situation when you think about it. What we put in our bodies improves our performance. The question is what should be we be eating, feeding our children, and calming our ADD, disorganized, and aging brains.
For a moment you might want to think back to what we have learned in the series DVD – Eating to Maximize Brain Performance. You will recall that we want to balance protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. You recall that in order for protein to be absorbed into the brain and pass through the blood-brain barrier that the need the assistance of carbohydrates (glucose). You will recall that our brains are made up of 60% essential fatty acids (EFAs – healthy fats that protect our bodies and energize our brain power). You will recall that we need water to function effectively and that water conducts the messages between the cells in our brains. Next to oxygen, water is the most essential element required by the human body.
Well, that was easy. To have a healthy body we need protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water! If we eat true foods – I like to think of these as foods from the source… an apple, a pea pod, a cucumber, an artichoke, a yam…etc we will be blessed with the minerals and vitamins these unprocessed foods have to nourish us. The farther we move from the true food the more we will require supplements to maintain our functioning.
An important issue about is eating is when we eat. We need to eat breakfast, first of all. By the time we wake and prepare for our day we have usually had at least a twelve hour fast. During this time our body has not received any nutrition and it needs food to regenerate our cells for effective performance for the day ahead. A cup of coffee, a sweet roll, or a sugar cereal (caffeine and sugar – both uncontrolled energy hits) does not provide the nutrients we need to be thinking effectively. We need our balanced selection of nutrients beginning with adequate protein!
During my nutritional and therapeutic chef training, one of my assignments was to go out to a day-care program during the summer and do a demonstration for the children. Before we go any farther I want to point out food and cooking are the most incredible attention commanding activity we can do with children! I decided to go for the protein since I was to do the demo at 11:15 prior to their lunch break and we all know this is a difficult time of day. First I handed out Bauman=s Brain Builder Snack in small cups while I made a Amilk-shakeYMBOL 64 \f “WP TypographicSymbols” \s 12 (sunflower Seed Milk Shake) and then taught them how to make nut butter served on celery and apple slices.
They had a great time guessing what they were eating in the snack! I had to give them multiple clues before they figured out what the dark ingredients were in the snack. They ALL ate everything!
While I was cleaning up to leave, it was very quiet in the room and the teacher came over to me and said AWhat did you do to [email protected] I was startled by the question and scanned the room quickly to see that everyone was healthy. They were all quietly playing games in small groups and all was peaceful. I asked the teacher, AWhat do you [email protected] She explained that at this time of day they are usually fighting, arguing and generally it is a miserable time of day for them as they waited to go to have their lunches.
The strong protein snack, organized their brains and made them feel good about themselves (serotonin), and calmed them to function effectively.
Brain Builder Snack:
1C raw organic sunflower seeds
1C raw organic almonds
1C sea palm (Roasted in oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes until crispy and easily crumbled.
1 T Tamari
Dry roast (no oil) sunflower seeds in a heavy skillet (iron pan), stirring frequently until you can smell the oils. Place in bowl and add Tamari and mix quickly.
Dry roast almonds until you can smell the oils. Add to the bowl.
Crumble sea palm into bowl.
Variations: Sprinkle with Savory Spice of Life seasoning or add organic raisins or cranraisins.
Sunflower Seed Milk Shake
A great booster drink for immunity and our brains!
2C sunflower seeds, raw, rinsed
8C filtered water
Seasoning – cinnamon, nutmeg, or garam masala to taste.
2 T maple syrup, agave, chicory syrup, or brown rice syrup.
Soak the rinsed sunflower seeds in 8 cups of filtered water in the refrigerator – divide into two batches with 4 C water/1C sunflower seeds for easier transfer into a blender. (Overnight or at least one hour)
Add one banana to each batch, ice, 1 T sweetener and season with spices to taste. Blend until smooth.
Next lets look at some breakfast choices that have a good balance of protein/carb/fat for a healthy start for brain activity each morning!