Women – The Secret Ingredient to Living Long & Well

Stanford University:  “The lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between 
stress and disease. The speaker (head  of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among
 other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his 
health is to be married to a woman whereas for a  woman, one of the 
best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her 
girlfriends.

Meowie & Friends by Peggy

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

“Women connect with each other differently and  provide support
 systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult  life
 experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to
 create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can 
create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas
men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a
 buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal
lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf?
 Yes.  But their feelings? Rarely.”

“Women do it all of the time sharing from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and
evidently that is very good for our health.  He said that spending time with a friend is just
 as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.”

“There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we  are
 doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with 
friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively
 engaged—not true.” 

The Health Factor – Women without strong social ties risk health issues equivalent to being overweight or a smoker – it’s that serious.

Interesting Research findings:

  • Longevity – Married men live longer than single men, yet women who marry have the same life expectancy as those who don’t. However, women with strong female social ties (girlfriends) live longer than those without them.
  • Stress – For decades, stress tests focused solely on male participants, believing that all humans would respond in the same manner. When these same stress tests were finally conducted on females it was discovered that women don’t have the same, classic ‘fight or flight’ response to stress that men do. According to the research presented in The Tending Instinct, women under stress have the need to ‘tend and befriend.’ We want to tend to our young and be with our friends. Time with our friends actually reduces our stress levels.
  • More Stress – A study conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine found that when we’re with our girlfriends, our bodies emit the “feel good” hormone oxytocin, helping us reduce everyday stress. By prioritizing our female friendships and spending time with these friends, we take advantage of a very simple, natural way to reduce our stress.
  • Self-esteem – A recent study by Dove indicated that 70% of women feel prettier because of their relationships with female friends. It’s no surprise that our self-esteem is highly influenced by our girlfriends; this is important to understand for girls as well as women.

 

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3 Reasons Why We can’t disconnect from E-mail

  1. Easily addicted: Our brains are wired to constantly seek novelty, and every new email that lands in our inbox with a ping sends a dopamine-fueled shiver of excitement through our cerebrum.

(Turning off notifications and setting and communicating clear email rules in workplaces and after hours can disrupt that addictive dopamine loop.)

Behavioral science would suggest there’s more than just neurotransmitters at work.
 2. Pain avoidance: “Another factor that may be driving our inability to disconnect is the peak-end rule, whereby people tend to judge an experience based on what it felt like at its most intense point and at the end. In other words, what we remember most about our inbox is just how awful it feels to face all those unanswered emails — that endless, running to-do list of other people’s priorities — that have piled up. So we keep checking just to avoid that pain.”

3. Short term pay-off:  human predilection for making decisions based on short-term payoffs, like deciding to fall back into a warm bed in the morning rather than get up and exercise.

“We love to get things ‘done,'” explained Iris Bohnet, a behavioral economist at the Harvard Kennedy School. “Email is terrible for that. If you only respond to these 10 emails, it feels like an accomplishable task.”

 Ironically, if we did stop constantly checking email, we really wouldn’t miss that much. In a survey, Daniel Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke, found that only 11% of the emails in our inboxes require immediate attention. The other 89% can wait.

 http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/opinions/cant-stop-checking-our-emails-schulte-opinion/index.html

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Freddie’s Food Friday

Dear Freddie Followers,

Feeding Peggy and Judy brain healthy food is my mission.  They are getting old . . .er and need all the encouragement they can get from me to eat healthy.  I have a lot of recipes and let them pick which ones they want me to make for them.  

I suspect they choose chocolate so they could have it all to themselves.* They insist chocolate is not healthy for me . . . just for them . . .

I tweaked the original recipe to make it even MORE tasty.  

Espresso Brownie Cake

Brain Healthy Ingredients:

Cinnamon – contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.

Different groups of researchers have shown that cinnamon may prevent the formation of both the plaques and the tangles found in the Alzheimer’s brain.

 Dark chocolate & Cocoa – rich in flavonoids compounds that have been linked to improved cognitive performance in older adults. Studies have shown that cocoa flavanols improve performance in healthy adults during sustained mental effort and may also protect against stroke.

Coffee – contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Many controlled trials in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function 

A single cup of coffee contains:

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (I didn’t have enough butter so I added coconut butter)
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (I didn’t have espresso coffee so I made it twice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk, so I made sour milk adding a tsp of white vinegar to the milk.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I didn’t have enough dark chocolate so I added semi-sweet)
Preparation: 
  • Heat oven to 400. Spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Heat butter, espresso, and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pour cocoa mixture over flour and sugar and mix.
  • Add buttermilk, egg, baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix to combine.
  • Stir in chocolate pieces.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces decided it needed more chocolate chips.  So they poured chocolate chips over the cake.

P.P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces with the extra chocolate chips decided it needed ice cream.   I’m afraid there wasn’t enough brain healthy cinnamon or coffee in the cake because they went to the store to buy ice-cream and haven’t been seen since.

*P.P.P.S.  I found crumbs on the floor (it’s humiliating what I have to endure) and thought it delicious.  You can eat it on a plate with a fork but I recommend using just your tongue.

Here’s recipe site . . . https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-healthy-foods-nutrition/brain-healthy-recipes/espresso-brownie-cake

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Healing a broken heart, Part III – PUTTING THE LOSS BEHIND YOU

When you have discovered what there is to learn, it is time to put the loss behind you. Here are some ways to re-focus.

1. CREATE A Goodbye RITUAL
Create a way to say goodbye to your old feelings. I say set aside, not discard, because everything in your life is a resource and you may want to draw upon this resource sometime in the future. My ritual was to gather all objects, letter and notes that reminded me of the relationship, put them in a large box, and store them in the attic. Other people have written things on paper and then burned the paper.

2. TURN TO NATURE

Nature Heals by Peggy

Getting out into nature helps you gain perspective. There is wonder and beauty in nature. Look up to the stars, out to the sea and watch the sun give life to the trees, plants, flowers and you!  It’s simply  there for you to notice.  Take a walk by water and feel the release of the endorphins.  Read Falling Water Boosts Your Mood.

3. REPLACE WHAT YOU HAVE LOST
Your loved one played several roles in your life, and you can replace them.  And the “replacement” need just with just one person.  Volunteer, enlarge your circle of friends, stretch yourself and do things alone, take dancing lessons, learn to play a musical instrument, travel

4. KNOW YOU CAN ALWAYS HAVE LOVE IN YOUR LIFE . . .

Love a Hug by Peggy

. . .  because you know how to GIVE love.

Read

Part I, Healthy Grieving

Part II, Learning

(PA)

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