Health & Wellness Tips (from WebMD)

brain_fuel_500Tip #8: Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain
Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Those who eat breakfast tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include: high-fiber whole grains, dairy and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Tip #9: Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and ChocolateChocolate-nuts
Nuts and seeds are good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is linked to less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties, and it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus. Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to get all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

Blueberries-in-a-bowlTip #: 10 Blueberries Are Super Nutritious  Researched in animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, making them mentally equal to much younger rats.

Wellness Resources (from The New York Times)

Rolling and Flexing to Massage Away Pain and Stress
A Class in the MELT Method of Body Work

The MELT Method – a kind of body work that has been the subject of gym classes and a best-selling book – claims to address a host of middle-age complaints: chronic pain, aching joints, weight gain, stress, wrinkles, digestive problems, low energy and insomnia.

Eager to cross at least some of those off my list, I showed up at the JCC in Manhattan one morning for a class led by Sue Hitzmann, who also happens to have developed MELT. With my soft MELT roller and a small rubber ball in hand, I waited while the room filled.

Ms. Hitzmann’s story is one of disillusionment with mainstream medicine. About 10 years ago she was a star fitness instructor in her late 20s with a thriving neuromuscular therapy practice. She suddenly developed severe pain in her right heel that doctors and physical therapists could neither explain nor cure. They told her it was “all in her head,” she said, and suggested she find a psychiatrist.

Undeterred, she went into research mode and discovered the emerging science of connective tissue, or fascia. Researchers describe connective tissue as a three-dimensional, fluid-filled support network that surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. As we age, our bodies endure wear and tear that is thought to result in dehydration of this system. Even in young people, repetitive motions like running can compress and dry out the fascia, creating areas of what Ms. Hitzmann calls “stuck stress.” Sedentary behaviors can have the same effect.

Ms. Hitzmann developed a self-treatment system to manipulate and rehydrate the connective tissue. (MELT stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique.) Once you learn the method, she said, just 10 minutes three times a week is all you need. MELT now has 1,300 instructors nationwide and a following that includes the Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who used the method on her feet before winning gold in Sochi, Russia. Ms. Hitzmann’s book on the system, “The MELT Method,” was published in 2013 by HarperOne. Click here to read more.