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How To Embrace Winter

How To Embrace Winter


    If you live in Canada, the northern USA or any other region in the world where there are cold winters, I’m sure that you hear it all the time. Many people in these areas will constantly complain about how bitter cold it is outside during the winter months. These folks hate winter, hate the snow and get wait until the spring arrives.

    If financial budgets are there, these people will book the next flights to sunny tropical destinations for a vacation just to get away from the cold. The travel industry of course takes advantage of this as they have their newspaper, radio and TV ads with promotions to the beaches in full force.

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    I hear complaints about winter from those who were born and raised in winter regions as well as immigrants who came here from tropical countries where there was never ever any snow. These people absolutely hate where they live for three to four months each year as they still freeze while bundled up in winter clothing.

    Not An Ideal Way To Live

    In my humble opinion, hating where you live for three to four months every single year is not an ideal way to live. Why would anybody want to do that? If one hates winter, one would be stuck just dreading one-quarter to one-third (depending on where you live) of each year for as long as one lives in a winter region like Canada or the northern USA states.

    Personally, I love winter and this often puts the winter-haters in complete disbelief. What really boggles their minds is that instead of taking off to the Caribbean or to Florida during the winter months, I actually take trips to places where there is more snow!

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    Of course to really understand this is to realize that I’m an avid snow skier, which is the reason why I love winter. I along with many others, found the key to getting through the cold months without complaining. I believe that the secret is to embrace rather than hate winter.

    Find Winter Activities That You Would Enjoy

    I always tell winter-haters, especially immigrants who are still shivering, that the only way to embrace the winter is to find activities that would be enjoyable. One criteria is that these activities should be those that can only be done during the winter rather than some activity that one can done indoors all year round (like playing cards).

    The activities should be specifically winter only as this will make you look forward to the snow rather than to hate it. Here are some examples of winter specific activities that are worth trying out.

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    • Downhill (alpine) snow skiing
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Snowboarding
    • Ice skating
    • Ice hockey
    • Tobogganing
    • Snowshoeing
    • Dog sledding
    • Ice fishing
    • Snowmobiling

    If you are active in such winter activities, you will likely spend the last part of each autumn eagerly preparing for the snow to finally fall! That’s how I feel during my pre-season ski training. It is a very natural way to adapt to the changes of each upcoming season.

    Try A Winter Vacation

    Even if you live in a warm, tropical region where you don’t experience cold winters, you should consider coming to a winter destination like the Rocky Mountains in Canada or the USA and the eastern winter areas like Quebec or Vermont. I have met vacationers from warm places such as Mexico and Israel at ski resorts.

    Experiencing winter in a fun way through some of the activities I mentioned would really broaden your own horizons to what the world really has to offer. And for those who already live in winter regions, embracing these months will give you much more peace of mind throughout your entire year.

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    (Photo credit: Skiers Playing in the Snow via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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