Can I kick it?

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NEW RESEARCH SHOWS THAT JUST BEING ABLE TO SEE GREEN SPACES CAN DRASTICALLY REDUCE HARMFUL CRAVINGS

A Tribe called Quest were almost definitely talking about cravings. So many life lessons to be gleaned from 90s hip hop. And the University of Plymouth

Say no to cravings. It’s in (your) nature.

Building on previously published research that explored how exercising in nature led to a reduction in cravings - this study shows that nature can put the kibosh on cravings, regardless of if you’re breaking a sweat, or just looking at it out the window. Yes, really.

Using an online survey, the research explored the relationship between exposure to various forms of nature, cravings and negative effects. The subjects reported lower intensity and frequency of cravings if they had access to a garden or allotment, with similar results if the views from their homes had more than 25% green space.

Is the cure for the global health epidemic in our own backyard? 

Yeah, maybe.

Cravings for cigarettes, alcohol and unhealthy foods are all major contributors to cancer, obesity and diabetes. So, if we can create a world with more green space, and lessen cravings for these trigger substances at the same time - why would we not? If this research gets the recognition it deserves, it could majorly impact how towns and cities are planned. 

Looking to make a change? 

If you can’t stop thinking about that after work pint/your next cigarette break/the doughnut shop next door - try these tips to kick your cravings.

  1. Get outside, change your view to include some green space or, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden - use it.

  2. Make it a habit. Set a daily reminder to seek out some green space - a recurring calendar invite should do it. 

  3. Find out more ways to change your habits, or make healthy new ones (like meditating or walking to work), in this little gem we shared a couple of months ago. 

FOR THE NERDY: Outdoor craving cures [Source: neurosciencenews.com]

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BRAIN FOOD - RAW VEGAN BLUEBERRY & WALNUT CHEESECAKE

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A proper cheesecake? That’s vegan? Without a sh*t-tonne of refined sugar? Yep. Thanks, Alla’s Yummy Food for sharing this incredible triple-threat dessert with us. *NB. You’re going to need a proper blender for this one.

“Not only are raw desserts easy to make, they keep you away from refined sugar, and enrich your diet with healthy oils, minerals, and vitamins.”

Alla

Why is it good for my brain? 

Blueberries are the superfoods that your brain fantasizes about on long, lonely nights… Did you know that adding blueberries to your diet for 3 months significantly improves your memory? They’re also powerful antioxidants, brain-boosting snacks for smart kids and protect from heart disease. See? Pretty sexy, as far as superfoods go.

The gluten-free base of this cheesecake uses walnuts as the main component, which are not only delicious and a perfect complement to those tart bluebs; but also provide you with top notch omega 3 and 6, and help to improve your focus.

What you’ll need: walnuts, coconut shreds, pitted dates, vanilla extract cashews, coconut oil,  lemon, maple syrup, coconut milk, blueberries, sugar. (Click here to automatically add all these to your usual food shop.)

Cooking time: 30mins prep, 2 hours chillin’

Method

  1. Soak cashews for 8hrs

  2. In a high-speed food processor or blender, blend the walnuts, dates, coconut, vanilla and salt to form a sticky dough. 

  3. Press the dough into the base of the cake pan and smooth it out with your fingers or with the back of a spoon. 

  4. Place in the freezer while you prepare the “cheesecake” layer.

  5. Drain and rinse the cashews and place them in the blender. 

  6. Melt the coconut oil. 

  7. Add vanilla, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, coconut milk (just the creamy bit from the top of the can), blueberries, and maple syrup to the blender and blend on high until you’ve got a smooth consistency.

  8. Pour this over the base layer and add few blueberries into the cheesecake. 

  9. Place it back in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set. 

  10. Add blueberries and sugar to a saucepan and cook for 15-20 min on a low heat until you have a jammy consistency.

  11. Take the cake out to defrost slightly about 20-30 minutes before you need it and drizzle with the jam and a few extra blueberries to serve.

    FOR THE NERDY: Read more with our handy A-Z of brain food [source: trydawn.co]. Also original recipe from Alla.

WHAT WE LOVE THIS WEEK 

Watch: If you can watch this terrifying video about the damage sitting does to your body without doing spontaneous squats or bum-squeezes - you are made of sterner stuff than I. *extends standing desk* [youtube] BONUS: Here’s 9 tips on how to get off your ass more often.

Read: What if scientists could predict your memories? Nope, not the next M. Night Shyamalan movie - real thing. Real science. Which somehow manages not to come across as really creepy… [neurosciencenews]

Listen: The Modern Love podcast is a spoken version of The New York Times column on mental health and complex nature of our interpersonal relationships. It features well-known actors (hi, Kate Winslet) reading the columns heart-wrenching, funny and touching personal essays on online dating, grief and more - well worthy of your next commute binge. [apple podcasts]

Follow: @themedicinalchef - Dale Pinnock is a Sunday Times Best Selling Author and TV chef who writes nutritious recipes to help you feel your best. 

Last week a bunch of you emailed in to share how helpful the content around making decisions was, which is great! I am currently spending my time trying to decide how to make our customer content even better for when we launch. We will still do this newsletter - but I’m trying to figure out how to deliver something even more personalised and impactful for you, our tribe of brainthusiasts (that was terrible, I know). Any bright ideas? I’m all ears. 

Dan

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Just click here to share on twitter (or get creative and share any which way you like).

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