Wellness Digest #3: Brain Health Equals Optimal Health

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PC: Chris Ensey

April 9, 2020

Welcome to this week’s digest. Here’s to another week of staying inside and staying healthy. I hope this newsletter manages to deliver a little diversion and delight as you navigate this moment filled with constant change. Stay safe, keep positive, and here’s this week’s list:

HEALTH

Neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Associate Director of the first Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the United States wants women to know what’s going on in their brain. She also wants to give us the tools for optimal brain health. Did you know that women are twice as likely to have anxiety and depression as men, four times as likely to suffer from migraines and headaches, and three times more likely to be diagnosed with autoimmune-disorders that attack the brain?

She’s passionate about shedding light on eating for optimal brain health, and in her upcoming book, The XX Brain, she wants to empower women with the most current breakthrough science for next level cognitive health. Here’s a free excerpt from her book.

FOOD/NUTRITION

It’s almost too overwhelming, but check out the New York Times Cooking section’s Self-Quarantine recipes. On my list? Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew!

And here’s a quick and easy recipe for a plant-based Bolognese sauce. Red lentils are the protein source. You can use the recipe’s suggestion of zucchini pasta but feel free to use any kind of pasta that you like.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

As with all other museums, the Rubin Museum of Art is closed. However, head over to Instagram where they have a “Daily Offering” featuring videos (usually 10 min.) that showcase a work of inspiring Tibetan art followed by a short meditation. Here’s one featuring a description of a sculpture of Tara, a goddess of love and compassion, followed by a short meditation on self-care from world-renowned teacher Sharon Salzberg.

I’m a longtime fan of Tibetan nun Pema Chodron. I love her wisdom, clarity, and wit. All three are on display in this two-minute video, Navigating This Lousy World.

SELF-CARE

Maybe it’s time to add dance to your workout? Try some dance cardio and sculpting with Sculpt Society. They have a four-week free trial. Or Philly’s Tuck Barre and Yoga classes streaming live (and free) on their Facebook page. Or maybe just chill with some meditations from the Calm app.

In a DIY mood? Try these skincare recipes you can make in your kitchen.

PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist, New York Times bestselling author, and weekly “Dear Therapist” columnist for The Atlantic. Her TEDtalk, How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life is a great listen.

And, whether it’s the desk in your home office or that corner of the dining room table you claimed, here are some tips from Marie Kondo on how to make your workspace a tad bit more joyful.

JOIE DE VIVRE!

Armchair Travel: Yep. No one is traveling. For those of you still coming to terms with dashed plans of visiting far off places, I offer you a little wanderlust with 13 places where you can see the bluest water in the world. And here’s an eight-minute video of the Grand Canyon — one of my favorite places. We can still dream, right?

Listen: We lost a music icon last week with Bill Wither’s death. Here’s a fun and very touching interview with him and Anna Sale from NPR’s Sex, Death, and Money Podcast. Or, have a listen to Lovely Day.

Watch: The final episode of Schitt’s Creek just aired, but I’m only on Season 3. It’s funny, quirky, and don’t get me started on the character Moira Rose’s fabulous wigs. Also great is Franca, Chaos and Sensation a documentary about the career rise of the beautiful and enigmatic editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue who died in 2016. Her authenticity is truly inspiring. Both are on Netflix.