Our Top Brain Health Tips of the Year

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

In this episode, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen summarize some of the top brain health tips covered in the podcast throughout the year. Tune in and pick up on some important nuggets you may have missed!

Read Full Transcript

Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. Here, we teach you how to win the fight for your brain, to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we've transformed lives for three decades using brain SPECT imaging to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information visit brainmdhealth.com.
Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast.
Welcome back. So we are in our New Years series and we're gonna talk about how to stay passionate with your goals and your intentions this year. But I wanna read this testimonial first. This is Alicia Garcia and she said, "When Rice Broocks," she's talking about, we did a podcast with Rice Broocks who wrote "God's Not Dead", it was actually really good. She said, " When Rice Broocks compared our soul to the brain and said that if you could scan the soul then you'd see something wrong, that was a light bulb moment for me." So I just wanted to read that because we have so many great podcasts throughout the last year, since we're moving into this new year. Go back and listen to some of those. We had some amazing guests last year. So really fun. And as we're talking about this new year and our intentions right, the soul and passion are a big part of that. So let's talk about how people can stay passionate, how they can turn some of the challenges they've had into purpose and get connected.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You know, that's actually one of the ways people can take tragedy and turn it into something that really motivates them.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That when you can find passion and purpose and meaning in The Brain Warrior's Way, in our book, which I was just looking at again today.
Tana Amen: It's a really good book.
Dr. Daniel Amen: We were talking about essence.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's taking the things you've struggled with and becoming purposeful and helping others. It's a game changer for the pain that we've experienced in the past.
Tana Amen: In fact, many of the people who I know who are the most passionate, who make the biggest changes, I'm sure you could probably say the same, are people who have done that. Who have taken the worst pain, I mean, huge tragedies, and figured out a way to leverage that into something very purposeful and meaningful to help change, either do something big in the world or something to help people and to make a difference.
Dr. Daniel Amen: No question that's true. Behind everyone who does something great is often a fairly deep hurt. And so where is your pain but have you been able to turn it into purpose? So as we think about this new year, let's just quickly summarize the highlights from Brain Warrior's Way. And we developed a pneumonic that we like called MASTERY.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And the M is mindset. And there's so many directions to go with that but you don't get well because you should. You get well because you love yourself, because you love your life, your passion, your purpose, your wife, your husband, your children. That doing the right thing is never, you should this. It's you want to do it. And if you're not doing the right thing you have to go, well why don't you love yourself?
Tana Amen: Well why not? Yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Other things we tackle is, well everything in moderation. I've heard that so often. Everything in moderation. And when I'm feeling weak I believe that. But when I'm feeling strong I'm like, oh, everything in moderation is the gateway thought to cheat.
Tana Amen: Yup.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's ...
Tana Amen: Something in moderation will absolutely ...
Dr. Daniel Amen: I remember when you turned me onto Bill Philips' book "Body For Life." And they had cheat days, right? And you're like fifteen hundred calories, six days a week and then on the 7th day ...
Tana Amen: Eat whatever you want.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Eat whatever you want. And I'm like, oh, well that way I won't feel deprived. And I'm like, but in what other addiction, cause clearly we're addicted to food ...
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: With 70% of us overweight, 40% of us are obese! Clearly we're addicted to food. In what other addiction are you allowed cheat days?
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right? I mean if you're an alcoholic or a cocaine addict ...
Tana Amen: Or sex addict.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Or serious sex addict.
Tana Amen: Yeah, no we're [crosstalk 00:05:31]
Dr. Daniel Amen: I think that they'd be okay with cheat days.
Tana Amen: Because what cheat days do is they keep you hooked. You never really get out of the cycle of the food addiction.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right. And so I actually see bad food is the enemy. Brain Warrior's Way, this is gonna hurt me. And a lot of people see that as extreme. Accept I have a brother who is a hundred and fifty pounds overweight and I'm not.
Tana Amen: Well if you got labs like mine where you actually eat really good but you just give in a little bit, and all of a sudden it shows and you're like, wait. That's not fair! Well guess what, life's not fair. It means you have to be serious.
Dr. Daniel Amen: What do you say about fair?
Tana Amen: Fair is a place with bad food and farm animals. So near us it's in Pomona, the county fair. So bad food and farm animals, it has nothing to do with life.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The A in MASTERY is assessment. Is you have to know your important health numbers. You've alluded to that a couple of times.
Tana Amen: And this is really important because there's the thing, we're talking about purpose and we're talking about passion in this podcast right? So this last year I've already said, like in the last podcast, I was feeling kinda blah, just like not having my same normal drive and energy and I just didn't have the same normal drive that I have to do things. Motivation. And if you are all of a sudden feeling different ... and so when I was talking to the doctor he's like, well any reason? Are you depressed? Are things bad at home? I'm like, nope, nope, nope, nope. Well that's time to get your numbers checked, right? Because it means, for me especially with my health history, it could be your thyroid. I'm fifty, I just had a hysterectomy. Probably my hormones. So it could be any number of things but you have to get checked. My ferritin turned out to be really low. So it could be a number of things that are causing that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well and in the book we have, and on Brain Fit Light, well what are the important numbers you should know. And given this in January, or whenever you're listening to it, if you're just starting with us, this is a good time for you to know, well what's your blood pressure, what's your BMI, your body mass index, what's your complete blood count, you just mentioned ferritin, your hormone levels.
Tana Amen: Right, if your vitamin D is low you're not gonna have energy.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Hormones like testosterone and estrogen.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Progesterone for women. Hemoglobin A1C.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Fasting blood sugar, cholesterol. You want to know because you can't change what you don't measure.
Tana Amen: And they affect how you feel.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And if you're not getting well, I just saw someone in the clinic who was struggling with anxiety and depression and he's been battling it for years and I'm like, did anybody ever look at your brain? And he's like, no. It's like, you can't change what you don't measure.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And imaging is just one way that we measure what's going on in your brain. And then the S is sustenance. It's food. It's medicine or it's poison.
Tana Amen: One of the tips I wanna give people going into the near year, this is what I've said, 'cause we were so busy and we were eating out a lot so trying to find healthy stuff and eating out but you still don't know what's in everything, right? So find five recipes. One of the things I really am proud of with Brain Warrior's Way cookbook is how simple the recipes are. So I went back to my own cookbooks and I found five recipes. Don't make this overwhelming. Just pick five to start with. Five recipes, I don't care if you have to repeat them. And then you'll start finding other ones you like, but just start with five. And like today, I did crock pot chicken shawarma, it's only got like five main ingredients and a few spices. It's super easy. Last night I made lentil soup. But pick five that are easy and what I usually do is make leftovers so that we have more than one meal. So just pick five. And just get started.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Because you are a creature of habit. Like, making us the almond milk pumpkin spice cappuccino in the morning. It's a habit. When we don't do it we miss it, right? So you already have habits. Are your habits serving you or are they hurting you?
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And if you love yourself you only want to engage in habits that help you. Right? That's love. It's not should, you should do this. It's because you care about yourself.
Tana Amen: Well and to switch that, to flip that, we all are like, oh my god, I gotta make dinner, right? If you think about it from that perspective it's a lot of work, gotta get the groceries, I actually started buying stuff on Amazon Fresh it was awesome. But anyways ... so last night when we made dinner we actually just did it as a family. It was actually really fun. So we did it as a family. We literally all went in the kitchen, Chloe made the salad, you made the chicken, I made the lentil soup, and we had fun! Like it was just this fun family thing we did. So it's all in how you look at it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: But you know your cookbooks evolved over the years to become simpler and simpler.
Tana Amen: Yeah, because I don't have time. That's just the truth.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right. And one of my favorite ones is Healing ADD Through Food.
Tana Amen: Yeah. That one and Brain Warrior's Way.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So sustenance is so important and you just have to ask yourself, does this food help me or does it hurt me? And if you listen to us for long enough you're gonna go, oh well, that's obviously not good for you. Right? It's better to eat the orange than drink the orange juice.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: People often get confused about oils. [crosstalk 00:11:20]
Tana Amen: There's a whole section. That's a whole podcast. But there's a whole section in Brain Warrior's Way, the cookbook, a whole section in Brain Warrior's Way cookbook on oils. So highly suggest it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So room temperature olive oil. Cooking [crosstalk 00:11:32]
Tana Amen: Low temperatures. You can cook with olive oil at low temperatures.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So how low is low?
Tana Amen: You don't want it ... no more than if you were making an omelet. So like medium heat. You don't wanna go over medium heat. But for higher temperatures I like macadamia nut oil a lot. Avocado oil is good. Those are probably ...
Dr. Daniel Amen: Coconut oil.
Tana Amen: Yeah, but there's ... it tends to give things an odd flavor and there's some people who shouldn't have ... the newer research shows some people should not have coconut oil. There are some people, if you have an active heart condition avoid it more or less.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So think of a plate, 70% plant based foods. I was just watching you make the lentil soup and you had carrots and celery and onions ...
Tana Amen: It was so pretty, huh?
Dr. Daniel Amen: And bell peppers.
Tana Amen: And garlic.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yeah, it was really pretty. And it was so good! It was delicious!
Tana Amen: Curry and ... yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And then 30% high quality protein mixed in with a lot of healthy fat. That's the Brain Warrior's Way diet. So there's not much in the way of bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, sugar. So we get rid of those sugars that quickly turn to sugar because they can be addictive and they mess up your blood sugar. And you fall in love with them. And you have no business having bread in the same place as your wife.
Tana Amen: Right. So "T".
Dr. Daniel Amen: So when we come back, we're gonna talk about training, essence ...
Tana Amen: We'll finish it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... responsibility, and you don't do this for two weeks. This is ...
Tana Amen: Years long.
Dr. Daniel Amen: A way of life!
Tana Amen: So we're gonna finish MASTERY.
Dr. Daniel Amen: We call it the Brain Warrior's Way. Stay with us.
Thank you for listening to The Brain Warrior's Way podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of The Brain Warrior's Way and The Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook we give away every month.