Clearing clutter and getting organized require executive function skills such as defining tasks, planning steps, initiating tasks, staying on track, and following through. When our executive function skills are compromised through inadequate nutrition, our brain’s ability to function is diminished. So, yes, nutrition plays a critical role in supporting brain function and therefore aiding our decluttering ability. This concept may sound far-fetched but I will describe the logic and then list which foods to avoid and include for best brain performance. I will conclude with a bit of motivation. (Click on Read More)
To avoid inflammation, we should consistently consume good foods. They are:
- Whole foods, minimal ingredients, unprocessed
- Lots of vegetables
- Lean proteins
- Healthy fats with omega-3s especially DHA
- Nuts and seeds
- Naturally fermented pickles
As the saying goes, shop the edges of the grocery store for these good foods. There should be minimal ingredients in a package – or avoid packaged foods altogether. Eat the rainbow – that is, colorful fruits and vegetables. Why? Deep vegetable colors have important phytonutrients and brain boosting molecules. Consume fiber because it makes food move faster through the system to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. Also, fiber encourages healthy gut bacteria. Yes, we need healthy gut bacteria for their powerful, positive influence over the brain - its capabilities and its mood. Omega-3 fats are especially important for the brain as they form the basis of cell membranes where cell communication takes place. In the brain, that means everything. Omega-3 fats reduce inflammation as well.
The following bad foods create inflammation and should be avoided:
- Sugar, caffeine, alcohol
- Trans and hydrogenated fats
- Fast food and fried food
- Allergenic foods like dairy and gluten
- Preservatives and artificial colors
- Genetically modified foods
- Fruits and vegetables known to have higher pesticide levels
Current research recommends avoiding these bad foods that have been proven to interfere with optimal brain function. Avoid foods that cause allergic reactions in your body and foods that interfere with the gut microbiome. Avoid unnecessary drugs or medications. This may sound like an absurdly restrictive list if your diet generally consists of the Standard American Diet but the truth is that the Standard American Diet harms the brain.
To sum up, proper nutrition can have a very positive impact on our ability to declutter and get organized. Granted, improving nutrition can sound as equally overwhelming as the decluttering and organizing tasks themselves. However, good nutrition will have far-reaching effects beyond the projects at hand. I wholeheartedly encourage you to give it a try: cut back on the bad foods and introduce the good foods. It is worth the effort when you see how well the brain responds with improved executive function skills especially those necessary for decluttering and organizing.
This concludes our self-care trio on sleep, exercise, and nutrition. When you refresh, protect and fuel your brain it will serve you well. As an added incentive, know that the brain is resilient and will recover and heal surprisingly quickly. It is up to you whether you want to invest the time and effort toward self-care for yourself and your space.