Food for the Brain
Written by Lori Nichols Davies.
Wisdom is all about making the right choices. A pole done in 2000 by the Dietitians of Canada showed that 62% of teenagers don't eat breakfast. Often, its because their Mom's don't eat breakfast. I want to talk to young people about breakfast and you taking your own destiny in your own hands and you making your own. With good food choices, you will take your life into your own hands, literally.
As CEO of the Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada, if I had my wish come true, it would be that every young man and women at age 12 would be given a special insight on how food affects their brain and their personality and their life. If there is one thing most important in life, it is learning how to make your own meals. This is the only thing you can truly control besides your own thoughts. Food is sacred to your well-being - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
If I could help you most, it would be to help you choose whole foods from nature, not from food manufacturers. Then, your mind and emotions will run much more smoothly in those ages 13 to 19 where you become a young man or a young woman. I want to take the word teenager out of our culture, as all I wanted then was to be trusted as a young woman. I didn't like being 'a teen.' That wasn't where I was going, and it wasn't where I wanted to stay. I hated people calling me a teenager.
Now good food helps you feel to less awkward, less sore, and less irritable. A good mind and a good heart want to stay well. Eating the right kind of breakfast creates the right brain chemistry to reason things out. The most important thing to get at breakfast is the right kind of fat. The brain is 60% fat. Yes, it's true; we are all a bunch of 'fat heads.' Traditional fats such as organic butter, organic whole milk, extra virgin dark green olive oil, bacon fat, virgin coconut oil, and nut butters are delicious to the taste and will support your brain, heart, skin and hair to function in full perfection, just as they have done for generations from the beginning of time. Margarine causes asthma, and should be banned.
Butter and honey support a balanced mind to discern things so you can know good from bad, and can handle all those new feelings you will experience as a teenager. A balanced breakfast, more than anything else, creates a balanced life. It means cream on your porridge, not skimmed milk.
Here is a Food Law that will help you keep a balanced mind no matter what. It's choosing four whole grains to eat alternately at breakfast. Variety prevents food allergies. Do you have four grains in your cupboards now? And I don't mean boxed cereals puffed or flaked. Do you have buckwheat flour? Wouldn't you like buckwheat pancakes with a couple of eggs in the batter and a few pieces of bacon one morning a week? Or how about cream of buckwheat porridge? Ever thought about having certain porridge one day and another porridge the next, and a third kind the next morning? There are 23 grains to try in this great big world of ours.
For your body to be svelte, your brain smart, and your heart calm as a cucumber, good fats and adequate protein need to be in your bowl or on your plate at breakfast, and again at lunch and dinner. Fat and protein improve hormonal balance, intelligence, alertness and the way you feel.
Let's talk more about your making your own breakfast. This is a very adult thing to do. Let's do this even if your Mom doesn't do this. You could be a big help to her to make her feel better too. What if you asked her, 'May I make you a breakfast tomorrow? Watch the big smile on her face light up. Your maturity will be greatly appreciated, as you are beginning to really grow up to be a very responsible adult.
By age twelve, you have your own free agency, run by your own reasoning capacity. It has been developing for 30% of your young life. Breakfast is the best time and place for you to express your free agency. First thing in the morning, you want to wake up after a good night's sleep. Your good health depends on you're getting at least eight hours sleep or more. That helps you start your day off right. The next step is breakfast. A nice warm cup of lemon green tea or hot chocolate milk, or even a bowl of miso soup will warm your belly and get your engines going in a relaxed and happy feeling.
Do you go grocery shopping with your Mom or Dad? Ask them if they will let you decide what to make for breakfast. Ask, and just see what they say. I want you to think seriously about making porridge instead of buying an expensive box of cold cereal with all those harmful food additives in it. Government allows 14,000 harmful food additives in manufactured food that is making many kids sick.
Instead of boxed cereals, holistic nutritionists and dietitians want you to eat whole grains, which are spared the high heat processing to make them puffs, flakes or circles. Man-made manufactured foods are toxic from extreme high heat. They have too many chemicals and too much refined sugar. Sugar makes alcohol in your body. Sugar makes your brain fuzzy. The truth is, when rats were fed only boxed cereals they died in two weeks. Food manufacturers hid it from public knowledge. The rats lived six weeks on the cardboard.
This truth leaked out in the 1950's, by nutrition pioneer, Adele Davis, in her book, Let's Eat Right, which many families read. But still we see flaked cereals on the shelf, even in health food stores. In 2007, the Weston A. Price Foundation, in Washington, D.C. echoed this message in a film called Beauty, Health and Strength with Nourishing Traditions. They advise porridge for breakfast. I am going to show you how to make a decent porridge. Are you game for this?
Now, we need to listen more to Dr. Weston A Price. He is a famous Canadian who was born in Ontario in 1870. In the 1930's he retired from dentistry to travel the world with a camera to find out what foods make perfectly white straight teeth and calm babies. You see it really bothered him that children were getting more and more dental caries. So he travelled to many places in Europe, Africa, North America and the Philippine Islands and took pictures of people living on fermented sour dough bread, fish, shellfish, fermented corn tortillas, and oats for breakfast. Today he is regarded as the Isaac Newton of Nutrition. His book, The Cause of All Degenerative Disease, was printed in 1934. The truth never changes. He discovered that traditional societies did not eat processed foods like white wheat and white sugar and hydrogenated Crisco shortening. Instead they ate butter, fish and oats.
I hope this piece of history will help you decide for yourself what goes into your mouth and stomach tomorrow morning. You could select real rolled oats, not the quick cooking kind. Do not use the microwave oven, for it discombobulates your brain cells too. A double boiler is the smartest tool you could ever have in your kitchen. Buy the real rolled oats. Learn how to make hot porridge or cold granola. For a necessary change, select buckwheat flour and spelt flour to make creamy porridges or to make pancakes or muffins.
In twenty minutes you could have some Red River Cereal with flax seeds boiled until its nice and soft and warm. You could go to the health food store and get Quinoa (Keen-wa) granules, the seed grain highest in protein. Boil them up in twenty minutes too. It is delicious with honey-stewed plums on top. Try seasoning your porridge with a tablespoon of miso paste (ask for it at the health food store) to make it salty instead of sweet, which really helps your brain cells think and communicate with the rest of the body.
If you don't see a double boiler in your cupboards at home, ask for a double boiler for your birthday or for Christmas. This pot protects your porridge from getting burned. The water in the bottom pot steams, and the water in the top softens the hard whole grains. Boil all whole grains or their flours for twenty minutes in a double volume of water to the grain or flour.
Always add a little salt that has natural iodine in it, from the sea to your porridge. Salt helps everything to be absorbed, as it increases HCl in your stomach to kill bad bacteria, and creates your electrolytes that cause nutrients to pass from your blood into every cell. Synthetic potassium iodide in cheap table salt cannot be absorbed. It doesn't support the thyroid gland as hoped. This gland supports your best weight and mood swings. It took thirty-years to get this out to public awareness through Dr. Brownstein, MD, is a specialist on the thyroid gland. Dr. Brownstein has reported in numerous places, how important good salt is, including the Weston A. Price Foundation.
This is a non-profit group of scientists, and teachers like me, and farmers who do organic farming. We all want to educate the public to stay with nourishing traditions and avoid synthetic non-foods like cheap table salt. When your brain is properly fed with natural iodine from good ocean salt and even a can of sardines with salt and lemon juice for breakfast once or twice a week, watch how your whole life with get better in about three months. Hot porridge with seeds and nuts and cream four days a week is the best way to begin your day during school from September to June. In hot summer weather, make granola.
May I suggest that you explore two other grains to make granola? Go to the health food store and ask for some rolled spelt flakes and quinoa flakes. Make a small batch at first to see how you like it. See how these grains make your body feel, see if you think more clearly. Variation in texture and flavors is so important to your body and your sense of life. Your stamina at breakfast comes from good fats. Half and-half-cream balances the carbs in grains to help your body burn fat instead of carbs. You need the vitamin A and D from animal fats to prevent colds, flu, and asthma in winter. It is found only in whole milk, cream and real butter, not skimmed milk. Margarine increases asthma.
To sweeten porridges and granola, use organic dark brown cane sugar, or, pure maple syrup, or raw honey. For protein, add a couple of handfuls of seeds or nuts, such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, or flaxseeds, or Salba, which is sprouted chia seeds. The medical doctors are raving about Salba as the very best of food because its got omega 3 to 6 perfectly balanced to help prevent 70% of all disease. These last three seeds offer omega 3 fats that support your brain and immune system. But they are not as good as fish fats. That's why sardines at breakfast are best for you and quick and easy and tasty too with lemon.
No more poor marks at school. Your brain will get smart. Chose real foods that God has made, not phony foods that man has manufactured. This way you get to have a strong body, sharp mind, and calm personality. Otherwise you get a weak body and foggy brain with no reasoning capacity, like we see with incorrigible teenagers who end up in jailhouses. Jailhouse kids don't eat breakfast. Psychologist Sam Graci and all the police force of Toronto and Ottawa and all across Canada see this fact: eating breakfast stops crime and bullies from bullying. Often they are bullied at home and get no breakfast. So share a breakfast with someone miserable, and see how happy you can make them. One meal can make a huge difference. Everyone understands they are loved when they are fed. Feeding ourselves is the best way to love ourselves even if no one else does.
Be smart. Eat breakfast.
Lori Nichols Davies, CEO
Natural Health and Food Consultant
Holistic Cooking Academy of Canada
260 Napoleon Street
Carleton Place, ON K7C 2W9
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