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​​​​​​​​​​Here's last week's newsletter on brain health - sign up below for next week's.

Would you hack your Sunday in the name of productivity?

The good news for you, is that you already kick your Sunday off in excellent fashion - with your weekly dose of #brainfood ;) But, how could you up your Sunday ante even more?

Inspired by performance speaker, coach and author, Scott Mautz - this week is all about slightly unorthodox things that high achievers do on the traditional day of rest, to set them up for a successful week.

(As ever - this is all about sharing ideas. Personally, I may or may not take on these tips, as tbh, some weeks brunch, yoga, and netflix is really all this achiever can muster.)

1. Make time to reflect

The perfect activity for a long shower, or that golden half hour before anyone else has woken up - reflection. Think about what went well in your week, what might happen in the week ahead - and how you feel about how everything’s going.

Maybe you could try this while walking, to optimise your creativity?

2. Unplug, and then replug

Disconnecting is one of my favourite Sunday things to do. But, according to Scott - the most productive folks also take an hour to replug - and have a power hour to get organised.

3. Talk yourself off the ledge

We all know that “noooooooo Monday,” womp-fest that hits at around 6pm on a Sunday. Instead of trying to squash it down - successful people tackle it head on. Taking time to dig in to what’s really bothering you about your impending work week and why, can lead to resolving problems ahead of time, or realising you don’t need to put so much angst on yourself.

(If you’re anything like me, you could be giving in to perfectionist tendencies.)

4. Be aggressively grateful

Yep, the benefits of gratitude are plentiful (we got into all the dets a few weeks ago, here’s the full post on 7 reasons to be grateful in case you missed it). But, as the week goes on, it’s common to fall off the thanks wagon. Re-energise your gratitude practice by committing to an “intentional, focused burst of appreciation,” on a Sunday, to set yourself up for a purposeful and productive week ahead.

FOR THE NERDY: Get a Sunday jump on a productive week.

[Source: inc.com]

Think fast (your 10 second snippet of science to impress your next meeting/party guests/Uber driver):

My latest productivity hack is taking half an hour on a Sunday night to declutter my Monday morning. Seriously, try it.

Heights Ingredient Highlight: Folic Acid

Vital for the construction of DNA (which is why expecting mums are recommended to take a supplement), folic acid is also known as vitamin B9. It helps to keep homocysteine levels in check, which is key for staving off Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also contributes to normal psychological function and helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue.

In every Heights dose, you get 500mcg - which is equal to 2 cups of boiled spinach or a whole 3lb crab.

Nutty chickpea and roasted greens lunchbox

I've been a big fan of Hazel Wallace (aka @thefoodmedic)'s lunchbox clubs for ages. Each week, she posts a recipe that can be batch cooked all at once, for several days' worth of yummy, balanced lunches. It's a no-brainer really. Except this one is in fact a full brainer, as it's full of neuron-nourishing good stuff.

"This recipe is vegan for anyone (still) doing veganuary or that simply would like to add more plants to their diet. The dressing is made with almond butter but you can swap to tahini if you have any nut allergies and leave out the almonds!"

Why is it good for my brain?

Broccoli and kale are cruciferous - which sounds a bit Harry Potter-esque, but spells nothing but good news for the brain. Cruciferous veggies contain vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene - which may help to slow cognitive decline. (Broccoli is also on the How Not To Die Daily Dozen list.) Also in this lunch box are protein-rich chickpeas, which will not only give you an energy boost, but also provide a hefty hit of choline; which helps with mood, muscle control, learning, and memory.

See Full Recipe
Shop Ingredients
Elevation Station
I am never not going to be fascinated by octopuses. (Yes, it's octopuses - not octopi. Yes, I had to google that.) They are so smart, and hilarious, and can taste everything they touch. (zefrank youtube)
When it comes to treating antibiotic-resistant infections - this shit could be well... miraculous. How faecal transplants could soon be used to treat anorexia, dementia, and obesity. (The Guardian)
Chances are, if your phone could talk - it could spill a lot about you. Essentially an extension of our hands, most of us don’t think about how much this little piece of indispensable tech is learning about us on a daily basis. (Cambridge Lectures)
Infuse your feed with beautifully designed snippets of poetry by Morgan Harper Nichols. Anything that causes a pause in the scroll has got to be a good thing.

Final Thoughts

I've never had an instagram post go viral - until now. I was reflecting on my own virus where I shared this quote from my father - 1300+ likes and counting - that's one popular and wise statement.

Indeed - I've been operating at something like 15% capacity (if I'm being generous) and have been to both the hospital and doctors clinic all to find out that there's nothing I can do but wait it out and expect to feel crap for probably another week at least. Modern medicine eh. (No, it's not coronavirus. I’ve not joined the Wuhan Clan.)

It kind of feels 'off - brand' to be sick, which is a weird thought. Not that we've ever suggested putting your brain first can turn you into some kind of superhuman warrior, immune to everything nature has to offer. But, given that I've struggled to even write emails in the last week, I think it's fair to say that I've not been at my sharpest!

All that being said - I've continued my daily gratitude practice, and after now 16 days of being sick, (yes I'm counting), it's more worthwhile for my brain's health than ever to pick up on the little things that I'm grateful for.

On normal days it will be 'had a great meeting with x' but when you're sick it can be 'enjoyed a really tasty satsuma'. The smaller things take on more meaning, and when you reflect on how they bring you their own joy, your gratitude practice takes on a new level!

So - today I'm grateful to you for reading, and hope you are keeping healthy, putting your brain first in everything you do and thriving, while I bounce back!

❤️ Dan