Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning
Deep Dive into Best-Selling Author John J. Ratey’s Books “Spark, Go Wild and Driven to Distraction.”

Deep Dive into Best-Selling Author John J. Ratey’s Books “Spark, Go Wild and Driven to Distraction.”

March 31, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #118 with a deep dive into John J. Ratey’s most recent books including the groundbreaking ADHD “Driven to Distraction” with Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, MD, "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" that established Dr. Ratey as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection and “Go Wild”, that explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our roots.

During our interview together on EPISODE #116[i], we barely scratched the surface of these three books, so I wanted to take the time to dive a bit deeper into each one of them, keeping in mind the top 5 health staples that we focused on with episode #87.[ii] Dr. Ratey’s interview was insightful and many people from around the world emailed me with feedback about how timely and inspiring they thought Dr. Ratey’s research was, especially with where we are in the world today.

Dr. Ratey said himself, “If we are going to have to learn to live with COVID, we’re going to have to learn to be well.” (Episode #116) and I thought about how our podcast took a turn from just focusing on social and emotional skills and neuroscience to a serious focus on the importance of health, around Season 3 and episode #71 (which was July 2020-right in the middle of the Pandemic) when I first started to study Dr. Shane Creado, from Dr. Daniel Amen’s offices on the importance of sleep[iii].  It seems to me that we can’t ask our students in our classrooms, or employees in our workplaces to focus on social, interpersonal, emotional or cognitive skills, without first, putting an emphasis on health. The more I Iearned in this area, the more convinced I became of the mind-brain-body connection that inspired me to take a trip to Dr. Amen’s Clinics in Costa Mesa, CA for a brain scan to see what we could learn to improve the health of my family and share these findings on the podcast.

After the 3 episodes where I covered the importance of getting your brain scanned,[iv] there was one person who was integral to me meeting new people in the area of health and wellness and that was Luke DePron, the host of the Live Great Lifestyle Podcast[v] from episode #90.[vi] Luke and I became friends through LinkedIn, and I immediately asked if he would come on the podcast as a guest.  Although health is my number one value, and something I block time off each day for, I knew there was so much more that I needed to learn in this area.  We only know what we know, and after looking at Luke’s podcast, I was blown away. I highly recommend going to his website[vii] and looking thorough his episodes. I knew there was so much more I needed to learn in this area, and you will find many different topics that go really deep into the area of health and wellness through Luke’s podcast. After an incredible interview, it was Luke DePron who referred me to Dr. Erik Won and the Wave Neuroscience Team for episode #89[viii], Momo Vuyisich, from episode #93.[ix] and Dr. Daniel Stickler, for episode #96.[x] All of these interviews stretched me to think beyond what I knew before in the area of health and wellness and Luke’s podcast helped me to do this.

Then, around September of 2020, after watching Dr. David Perlmutter’s Alzheimer’s: The Science of Prevention Series[xi], I began thinking of who I could get to fill in interviews to cover these top 5 health staples that kept appearing everywhere.

I knew I could ask Dr. Shane Creado[xii] to cover the importance of sleep, but I had no idea that he would urge me and my husband to get our brains scanned through Amen Clinics and lead us to a whole new level of understanding of our health. Jason Whittrock from episode #94[xiii] was someone I had followed for a few years on social media, and he really left the impression on me that he was there to help people to get in shape and stay in shape. He just seemed genuine, so I sent him a message through Instagram for the interview, he replied, and before I knew it, he wrote back, and our interview was set. I had the top 5 health staples covered.

Now that you see how we found the importance of health and wellness on our podcast, you will see why I dropped everything I was doing when I saw Dr. Ratey’s book “Spark” that focused on getting kids hooked on moving instead of sitting in front of the television or their computers or iPads. If exercise and nutrition could be important for adults, anti-aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention, what could it possibly do for our students?

Here’s what I learned:

Top Lesson Learned from Spark[xiv]

LESSON 1: EXERCISE: The Impact of Physical Activity on Academic Achievement: Dr. Ratey wrote the book Spark after he saw Naperville’s Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) where they scored #1 in science and #6 in math, in the world, proving that there was something unique that Naperville had discovered with the correlation of exercise and academic achievement.  Naperville provided a powerful case study that “aerobic activity can transform not only the body, but also the mind.” (Spark, Page 19)

What was being taught at Naperville that was so unique was a lifestyle. They were teaching fitness instead of sports with a program called Zero Hour PE that was “supported by emerging research showing that physical activity sparks biological changes that encourage brain cells to bind to one another. For the brain to learn, these connections must be made; they reflect the brain’s fundamental ability to adapt to challenges. The more neuroscientists discover about this process, the clearer it becomes that exercise provides an unparalleled stimulus, creating an environment in which the brain is ready, willing, and able to learn.” (Spark, Page, Page 10).

What I loved about what they discovered at Naperville with their Zero Hour PE that “prepared students to learn through vigorous exercise” (Spark, Page 11) was that they created life-long habits for choosing exercise as a stress-management tool in college and beyond.

Implementing the Zero Hour PE in Your Life

Whether you are an educator working in the classroom, or an employee working in the corporate world, this concept can be easily implemented to get you into a state of heightened awareness before learning, or before you need to sit and work for long periods of time at your desk.

I will be interviewing Paul Zientarski, who worked closely with Naperville’s study through his work in PE at the high school, next week, and he does have clear ideas on how to implement a program like Naperville’s with his Learning readiness PE Program[xv], but until then, think of ways that you could encourage students to get this aerobic activity before class, or what types of programs could you set up in the workplace to encourage high impact aerobic activity before the workday begins.

It’s clear that “aerobic activity has a dramatic effect on adaptation, regulating systems that might be out of balance and optimizing those that are not—it’s an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to reach his or her full potential.” (Spark, Page 10).

Top Lesson Learned from Go Wild[xvi]

There were many lessons in Go Wild that were important, that stemmed from the fact that we must understand that “our happiness is greatly dependent on our biological well-being” but the one I picked out was focused on sleep, since it’s one of the top 5 health staples that we’ve been talking about the past few months.

LESSON 2: THE OBESITY/SLEEP CONNECTION

“Put college students on four hours of sleep a night, and then give them a glucose tolerance test, and they look prediabetic[xvii] (meaning they have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level). Food consumption goes up.” (Go Wild, Page 127)

This explains insulin resistance, (which is when cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t use glucose from your blood as energy. To make up for it, your pancreas makes more insulin. Over time, your blood sugar levels go up)[xviii] provoked solely by lack of sleep.

Obesity and sleep loss have long been associated, but the research has finally found out why.  “Researchers based at the University of Colorado found that sleep deprivation did indeed show a marked increase in weight gain, even with no measurable decline in activity or in energy expenditure. Instead, the experience disrupted the body’s signaling pathways associated with the insulin response, particularly a set of hormones that signal satiety: ghrelin, leptin, and peptide YY. As a result, people ate more—especially women, especially in the evening.” (Go Wild, Page 127).

The connection between sleep and weight loss is something I also heard from the CEO of Fisher Wallace Laboratories Kelly Roman, on episode #108 on “Wearable Medical Devices for Anxiety, Depression and Sleep/Stress Management”[xix] and Dr. Daniel Stickler from episode #96[xx].

Implementing this Knowledge in Our Daily Life: How Can You Improve Your Sleep?

Now has never been a better time for all of us to take our sleep seriously. I have just spent the last month measuring my sleep, using the Fisher Wallace Sleep Device, and plan to release my results next week that will help all of us learn new ways to improve our sleep, but until then, I recommend going back to some of our podcasts that dive deep into the importance of sleep, like episode #71 on Self-Regulation and Sleep with a Deep Dive into Dr. Shane Creado’s “Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes”[xxi] or episode #85 with Dr. Sarah McKay on “High Performing Brain Health Strategies that We Should All Know About and Implement.”[xxii]

Top Lesson Learned from Driven to Distraction[xxiii]

LESSON 3: ADD/ADHD: How to Get the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder

Driven to Distraction was first released in 1994, and Dr. Ratey was worried that people would think the book had to do with driving, instead of understanding Attention Deficit Disorder. This first book went on to sell over a million copies and “sparked” an understanding of this “neurological disorder that causes a range of behavior problems such as having trouble focusing on school or work, following instructions, completing tasks as well as difficulties with impulse control and appropriate social interactions.”[xxiv]

I had no idea that “15 million people (in the USA) have (ADD/ADHD), both children and adults.” (Driven to Distraction, Page 432) and it made me think back to my visit to Dr. Amen’s Clinic for my brain scan and the X test that we had to do before our scan to test for ADD.

If you listened to part 3 of the brain scan series, where I gave the results of my brain scan, I mention the X test we had to take that was designed to identify whether someone has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or not. I also mention actress Laura Clery’s SPECT SCAN results that showed she clearly had ADD.[xxv]

Implementing This Knowledge in Your Daily Life? Do YOU Have ADD?

If you are listening to this episode, and wonder if your short attention span, distractibility, or procrastination could be ADD, there is a test that you can do right now that can help guide you towards some answers. This online test is through Amen Clinics and wasn’t far off from some of the pre-brain scan testing we had to do. If you would like to learn more about yourself, take this test and see what you learn.[xxvi] You can take this 4 minute test, and learn if you have it or not, and you will receive tips on what you can do about it.

This, coupled with Dr. Ratey’s book, Driven to Distraction, will provide you with the understanding and strategies you will need to learn how to gain some control back in your life.

Just to review:

LESSON 1: EXERCISE: The Impact of Physical Activity on Academic Achievement:

LESSON 2: THE OBESITY/SLEEP CONNECTION: Improving Health by Improving Sleep

LESSON 3: ADD/ADHD: How to Get the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder

These 3 lessons all tie back into the TOP 5 health staples (sleep and exercise) and we’ve added a new one with the understanding of ADD/ADHD that is one of the most misunderstood illnesses today. The more we can learn about our health and well-being, the better prepared we can be to become proactive with our life, health and future.

Some wise words from John J Ratey to end this episode:

“Getting older is unavoidable, but falling apart is not.” John J Ratey

I hope this episode will Spark an interest in you to read Dr. Ratey’s books, so that you can take his wisdom and apply it to your life for improved results.

See you on Friday for our next Brain Fact Friday episode.

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast Episode #116 with John J Ratey, MD on “The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/best-selling-author-john-j-ratey-md-on-the-revolutionary-new-science-of-exercise-and-the-brain/

[ii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #87 with Andrea Samadi on “The Top 5 Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies”  https://www.achieveit360.com/the-top-5-brain-health-and-alzheimers-prevention-strategies-with-andrea-samadi/  

[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast Episode #72 with Andrea Samadi “Deep Dive into Shane Creado’s Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/self-regulation-and-sleep-with-a-deep-dive-into-dr-shane-creados-peak-sleep-performance-for-athletes/

[iv] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast Episodes #82, #83 #84 https://www.achieveit360.com/how-a-brain-scan-changed-my-brain-and-life-with-doug-sutton/

https://www.achieveit360.com/what-is-a-spect-imaging-brain-scan-and-how-exactly-can-it-change-your-life-with-andrea-samadi-part-2/

https://www.achieveit360.com/how-a-spect-scan-can-change-your-life-part-3-with-andrea-samadi/

[v] Luke DePron, Live Great Lifestyle Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-great-lifestyle/id1375402072

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #90 with Luke DePron on “Neuroscience, Health, Fitness and Growth.” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/host-of-the-live-great-lifestyle-podcast-luke-depron-on-neuroscience-health-fitness-and-growth/

[vii] https://www.livegreatlifestyle.com/podcast/

[viii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #89 with the President of Wave Neuroscience Dr. Erik Won on “Ground-Breaking Technology That is Changing the Future of Mental Health” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/president-of-wave-neuroscience-dr-erik-won-on-ground-breaking-technology-that-is-changing-the-future-of-mental-health/

[ix] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast #93 with Dr. Momo Vuyisich on “Improving the Health of Your Microbiome, Preventing and Reversing Chronic Disease.”  https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-momo-vuyisich-on-improving-the-health-of-your-microbiome-preventing-and-reversing-chronic-disease/

[x] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast #96 with Dr. Daniel Stickler on “Expanding Awareness for Limitless Peak Performance, Health, Longevity and Intelligence.” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-daniel-stickler-on-expanding-awareness-for-limitless-peak-performance-health-longevity-and-intelligence/

[xi] Dr. David Perlmutter’s Science of Prevention Series https://www.drperlmutter.com/alzheimers-the-science-of-prevention-2020-air-dates/

[xii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #72 with Dr. Shane Creado on “Sleep Strategies That Will Guarantee a Competitive Advantage.”   https://www.achieveit360.com/dr-shane-creado-on-sleep-strategies-that-will-guarantee-a-competitive-advantage/

[xiii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #94 with Jason Whittrock on “Nutrition, Intermittent Fasting and the Ketogenic Diet” https://www.achieveit360.com/personal-trainer-and-fitness-model-jason-wittrock-on-nutrition-intermittent-fasting-and-the-ketogenic-diet/

[xiv] Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD (January 10, 2008) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D7GQ887/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

[xv] Paul Zientarski (Naperville) and his Learning Readiness PE Program https://learningreadinesspe.com/

[xvi] Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J. Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C

[xvii] https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html

[xviii] https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/insulin-resistance-syndrome

[xix] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #108 with Kelly Roman on “Wearable Medical Devices for Anxiety, Depression and Sleep/Stress Management.” https://www.achieveit360.com/ceo-of-fisher-wallace-laboratories-kelly-roman-on-wearable-medical-devices-for-anxiety-depression-and-sleep-stress-management/

[xx] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast #96 with Dr. Daniel Stickler on “Expanding Awareness for Limitless Peak Performance, Health, Longevity and Intelligence.” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/dr-daniel-stickler-on-expanding-awareness-for-limitless-peak-performance-health-longevity-and-intelligence/

[xxi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #71 on a Deep Dive into Dr. Shane Creado’s “Peak Sleep Performance for Athletes” https://www.achieveit360.com/self-regulation-and-sleep-with-a-deep-dive-into-dr-shane-creados-peak-sleep-performance-for-athletes/

[xxii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #85 with Dr. Sarah McKay on “High Performing Brain Health Strategies that We Should All Know About and Implement.” https://www.achieveit360.com/neuroscientist-dr-sarah-mckay-on-high-performing-brain-health-strategies-that-we-should-all-know-about-and-implement/

[xxiii] Driven to Distraction Revised: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder From Childhood through Adulthood by Edward M Hallowell, MD and John J. Ratey MD. September 13, 2011. https://www.amazon.com/Driven-Distraction-Revised-Recognizing-Attention/dp/0307743152

[xxiv] What is Attention Deficit Disorder by Dr. Daniel Amen https://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/adhd-add/

[xxv] Actress Laura Clery SPECT Scan Results with Dr. Amen https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3472842882747938 (start video at 4 minutes where she arrives at Dr. Amen’s Clinic).

[xxvi] ADD Test by Amen Clinics https://addtypetest.com/

Brain Fact Friday on “The Damaging Impact of Sugar on the Brain and Body.”

Brain Fact Friday on “The Damaging Impact of Sugar on the Brain and Body.”

March 26, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, for Brain Fact Friday and episode #117.  Since we just released the ground-breaking interview with Dr. Ratey on the impact of exercise and nutrition on the brain, I wanted to focus today’s episode on something that he said, that caught my attention.

Since last week’s Brain Fact Friday was about “Building a Faster, Stronger, Resilient Brain, by Understanding Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)” or the compound that Dr. Ratey says is crucial for preventing cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease, I wanted to focus this episode on something Dr. Ratey said that really made me think.

This week's Brain Fact Friday, you will learn:

✔︎ What sugar does to the brain, cognition and well-being.
✔︎ How sugar contributes to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's Disease.
✔︎ What sugar is so addictive.
✔︎ What surprising things spike blood sugar.
✔︎ Healthy ways to naturally lower blood sugar.

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

High Glucose Levels are Toxic to the Brain and Limits the Production of BDNF

He said, did you know that “High glucose levels are toxic to the brain, and limits the production of this glorious compound BDNF that has such a profound effect on cognition and well-being?”

I remember a powerful quote from a BONUS episode I did for Podbean’s Wellness week[i]  that goes right along with what Dr. Ratey said, coming from Dr. David Perlmutter, who wrote the foreword to Dr. Ratey’s book Go Wild![ii]

DID YOU KNOW THAT: Sugar in the brain looks like Alzheimer’s in the Brain?

I wrote in this bonus episode, after watching Dr. Perlmutter’s Alzheimer’s The Science of Prevention Series, Did you know that sugar in the brain “looks like Alzheimer’s” in the brain, and that “60% of cognitive decline is related to how you handle blood sugar?”[iii] 

There was a study that followed “over 5,000 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.”[iv]

So when Dr. Ratey said that “high glucose levels are toxic to the brain” I thought back to this study, and wellness episode, and thought we could take a closer look at how our glucose levels increase, with tips for healthy ways to keep our blood levels stable.

I’m sure we all know that sugar is bad news for our brain, our body, and that sugar (a class of molecules called carbohydrates) will give us a rush of energy at first but will make us hungry a few hours later). Now to think that it limits the production of this key protein we all know is important for anti-aging, and Alzheimer’s prevention.  Imagine that you have half the equation right. You are exercising, watching what you eat, and allowing some treats in moderation. This would be the perfect way to live your life, according to Dr. Ratey, but I started to wonder, what are some ways that we could unknowingly be raising our glucose levels and preventing the production of this powerful BDNF protein? Other than eating a bunch of sugar, are there other things I could be doing that could possibly be raising my glucose levels without me even knowing it? Until I heard Dr. Ratey talking about how damaging sugar was to our brain, I hadn’t spent much time thinking about this lately.

We don’t have to be diabetic to watch or be aware of our blood sugar or glucose levels. I mention in one of my earlier episodes[v] that it was a visit to a foot doctor around 2005 for foot numbness after exercise, that got me to eliminate sugar completely from my diet back then.  I was looking for solutions to why I couldn’t feel the top of my foot during exercise, and I didn’t show any signs of diabetes, but this doctor was writing a book, that is now released called Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage and Reclaim Good Health[vi] and he was convinced that sugar intake was at the root of most health problems. He suggested that I take fish oil, and learn to avoid higher glycemic foods, and the results that occurred were so impactful, that I wished I had done this sooner. The benefits of cutting out sugar from my diet back then snowballed my health for the better down the road. But here I am 16 years later, and not suggesting an elimination diet (unless you want to fix something like I did) but knowledge is power. I think being more aware of the impact that sugar or glucose has on our brain will help us to all make better, healthier decisions for ourselves and families.

But First, What Exactly Does Sugar Do to the Brain?[vii]

When the sugary treat that you are eating (a bit of chocolate, cookie or cake) hits your tongue, your cerebral cortex registers the taste as sweet versus bitter or salty. Next, the brain’s reward system is activated and this part of the brain that loves the sugar you just ate, light up.  The neurotransmitter dopamine, part of our reward system is released, and your body begins to produce more chemicals like insulin to offset the sugar. You can either have just a little bit, and not create much damage to your brain (which is why I think it’s ok to eat a few bites of whatever sugary treat you like—chocolate is something I personally love to eat even though my old foot doctor would probably not be happy to hear this) but for some reason, if you can’t just take a few bites, and your brain is telling you to “eat more” then you will find it difficult to stop eating the treat and it will damage your brain and body, like Dr. Ratey explained.

What Else Spike Our Blood Sugar? I had no idea that there were so many other ways that we can increase glucose in our brain. Did you know about these 10 surprising things that can spike your blood sugar?[viii] According to an article on Cdc.gov, sunburn, artificial sweeteners, coffee, not enough sleep, dehydration and gum disease all spike your blood sugar levels?

What Lowers Our Blood Sugar? We all know that movement and exercise lowers blood sugar, and I am sure we could all guess that managing our carb intake also helps to reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes[ix], since carbohydrates are mostly glucose.  But did you know that “increasing your fiber intake improves the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar”[x] or that “drinking water and staying hydrated lowers blood sugar levels?”[xi]

I’ve included all the links to the research I did on this topic in the show notes if you would like to dig a bit deeper into the damaging effects of sugar on the brain, but I think we have made a clear case for thinking hard about the next sugary treat we eat, or what we buy for our families at the grocery store.

I hope this brain fact inspired by Dr. Ratey, has made you think. If you haven’t listened to his episode #116 yet, go back and listen to it, and stay tuned for next week, where I will dive deeper into his books. We only scratched the surface in our interview together, and there’s so much more to uncover.

See you next week!

 

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning BOUS EPISODE “ A Deep Dive into the Top 5 Health Staples, and a Review of Seasons 1-4” https://www.achieveit360.com/bonus-episode-a-deep-dive-into-the-top-5-health-staples-and-review-of-seasons-1-4/

[ii] Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J. Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C

[iii] Dr. David Perlmutter’s “Alzheimer’s: The Science of Prevention” EPISODE 5  https://scienceofprevention.com/

[iv] The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s by Olga Khazan Jan. 26, 2018 https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/01/the-startling-link-between-sugar-and-alzheimers/551528/

[v] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning BOUS EPISODE “ A Deep Dive into the Top 5 Health Staples, and a Review of Seasons 1-4” https://www.achieveit360.com/bonus-episode-a-deep-dive-into-the-top-5-health-staples-and-review-of-seasons-1-4/

[vi] Sugar Crush: How to Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Nerve Damage and Reclaim Good Health by Dr. Richard Jacoby (April 2014)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KPVB4OA/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

[vii] How Sugar Affects the Brain by Nicole Avena, Published on YouTube January 7, 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEXBxijQREo

[viii] 10 Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/blood-sugar.html

[ix] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26965765/

[x] 15 Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally by Arlene Semeco December 21, 2020 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

[xi] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20439785/

Best Selling Author John J. Ratey, MD on “The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”

Best Selling Author John J. Ratey, MD on “The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”

March 24, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #116, with best-selling author Dr. John Ratey[i],  who is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 11 books published in 17 languages, including the groundbreaking ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, MD. With the publication of "Spark:The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain", Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection. His most recent book, “Go Wild”, explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots, and how we can “re-wild” our lives. Dr. Ratey lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles.

Watch the interview on YouTube here. 

On this episode you will learn:

✔︎ Who inspired Dr. Ratey to connect exercise and nutrition to the brain, health and learning?
✔︎ Are some people born runners, meant for exercise and others are not?
✔︎ What happens to the brain after exercise so that it's primed for learning?
✔︎ What is the "disease of civilization" that we all face at some point in our life, before we learn the foods that we should eat and foods we should avoid?
✔︎ What is the lesson we should all understand about carbs/sugar/good fats/insulin and glucose?
✔︎ What is BDNF and why is it so important for brain health?
✔︎ How did one school in Chicago inspire Dr. Ratey to write the book Spark?

Hello and Welcome back! I’m Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with learning the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace, for the past 20 years. If you have been listening to our podcast for some time, you will know that we’ve uncovered that if we want to improve our social and emotional skills, and experience success in our work and personal lives, it all begins with putting our brain health first. We’ve mentioned that daily exercise is one of the top 5 health staples that’s a known brain-health and Alzheimer’s prevention strategy, from our episode #87[ii]  helping us to take our results, productivity and health to these higher levels.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have come across our guest today, from a referral from someone who was interviewing me a couple of weeks ago.  I always participate in Anna Alba’s “Thriving Parents, Happy Student[iii]” Summit, and this year, she asked me “have you read Dr. Ratey’s book called Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” and I had not. After I had read just the first few pages of his book, I learned about a school in Chicago, called Naperville[iv], that provides a powerful case study on how aerobic activity can transform not only the body, but also the mind.  I started making connections between the direction our podcast took last year with Dr. David Perlmutter’s Science of Prevention Series from episode #87 where exercise was listed as a top 5 health staple and Alzheimer’s prevention strategy, and now there was a book all about how this one school was using exercise to transform their student’s academic performance.  It took me back to my early days as an educator, and when I used exercise to calm down my students who were labelled behavioral. I was probably onto something back then, without even knowing it.

After I learned about the study and research from Naperville, I asked Greg Wolcott, the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning from episode #64 and one of our first episodes #7, if he had heard of this school and the research and he had.  He let me know that Naperville is about 20 minutes from him and he said “I have based interventions with several schools off the research and found MTSS interventions to have the strongest effect after PE.”

I emailed Dr. Ratey immediately (it was late in the evening) and asked if he would come on the podcast as a guest, and he responded right away and agreed to set up our interview. His book Spark was about cementing the idea that “exercise has a profound impact on cognitive abilities and mental health. It is simply one of the best treatments we have for most psychiatric problems.”[v] I couldn’t have been more excited about speaking with him.

Well, I could, and I was! When I began reading his most recent book, Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being[vi] I almost dropped my phone when I read the last page of his Foreword, when I learned that it was written by Dr. David Perlmutter[vii], whose Alzheimer’s The Science of Prevention Series[viii] inspired our podcast to take a turn towards health and wellness last summer.

Let’s hear from Dr. Ratey!

Welcome Dr. Ratey, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

Q1: Before we get to the questions I have for you on your book Spark, and the impact that exercise has on our cognitive abilities, I read in your book Go Wild, that a chance meeting changed the direction of your life. Who did you meet that had such an incredible impact on your life and direction of your work?

Q2: When I think of the title of your book, Go Wild, and began reading it, I began to think of how we have evolved like you mention in chapter 1 as humans 1.0. One of my recent podcast interviews #113 was with Troy Busot[ix], who spoke a lot about endurance running. As a new runner, just starting out, it shocks me that I can run up and down a mountain (over 5 miles) easily but tell me to run 2 miles on the street, and it almost kills me. What would you say?  Does my friend Troy find running long distances easy because he has conditioned himself for it, or are certain people “not made for running?” What does the research say?

Q3: What’s happening at the brain level to help me to think better after I exercise?

Q3B: What does your routine look like, Dr. Ratey, after all of the research you have done?

Q4: Chapter 3 of your book, “Food: Follow the Carbs” with a case study of Mary Beth Stutzman, caught my attention, because her story, although far worse than mine, reminded me of when I was at a standstill with my health (around 2016) and a trip to the ER with stomach pain, led me to a colonoscopy, to look for some answers about exactly what diet should I be eating.  I talk about some of the solutions I found with intermittent fasting and eating a higher fat diet on episode #94 with fitness model and trainer Jason Wittrock[x] but can you explain what is “the disease of civilization” that each of us suffers from in one way or another, and what are some of the solutions that you have seen to work when it comes to diet and nutrition? What should we be eating and what food should we avoid?

Q5: I love how we have someone to blame for what you call “fat-o-phobia” and knowing our cholesterol numbers—you mention Ancel Keys from the University of Minnesota who did some studies that focused on fat and cholesterol, bringing to light that we should avoid fats like the plague. I don’t even know where my fear of butter came from, but it was a huge paradigm shift for me when I made the mental shift away from the fat that eating fats is bad for you. Can you explain why someone can get lean, and feel a surge of energy on a higher fat diet vs one that’s high carb/or sugar that makes someone feel sluggish?  What’s the lesson we should all understand with carbs/sugar/insulin and fat?

Q6: We are getting closer now to bringing in the impacts of exercise on the brain, and its effect on cognition and mental health, but I’ve got one more question that ties what we eat, to how we feel and our mental well-being. In the book Spark, you mention brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) as “Miracle Gro for the Brain” and its importance for brain health. How does nutrition, or what we choose to eat, have such a profound effect on BDNF and become so important for brain health?

Q7: So now we move to the impact that exercise has on the brain and cognition, or the whole reason why I couldn’t put your book, Spark, down, and I have to say, that when I read you say that a school in Chicago, Naperville, ignited a “spark” in you, to write the book, my attention was caught. I wondered, what did Dr. Ratey learn from this school, and perhaps I was onto something when I used to make my behavioral students run around the building, to bring their focus back on track, in the late 90s, when I was a teacher in the classroom. How does aerobic activity transform the body, and the mind? What in a nutshell did you learn from Naperville’s Zero Hour PE Class?

Q8: Where is your focus now? What are you researching at the moment? What is your vision for change in the future?

Thank you very much Dr. Ratey for the time you have taken to speak with me about your books, and years of research. If people want to learn more about you, what’s the best way? www.JohnRatey.com?

https://www.facebook.com/JohnRateyMD

http://www.sparkinglife.org/ Power Your Brain Through Exercise 

RESOURCES

Run, Jump, Learn! How Exercise Can Transform Our Schools: John J Ratey at TEDxManhattanBeach Published on YouTube Nov. 18, 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBSVZdTQmDs&t=4s

How to Increase BDNF: 10 Ways to Rescue Your Brain (Sept. 17, 2020) https://strongcoffeecompany.com/blogs/strong-words/how-to-increase-bdnf-10-ways-to-rescue-your-brain

One Small Change Turned These 19,000 Students into the Fittest and Smartest in the US by Alan Freishtat, August 9, 2012  https://www.ou.org/life/health/one-small-change-turned-these-19000-students-into-fittest-smartest-us-alan-freishtat/

Learning Readiness PE with Paul Zientarski  https://learningreadinesspe.com/

7 Minute Workout App (J&J Official 7 Minute Workout)  https://7minuteworkout.jnj.com/  

RESOURCES:

ADHD 2.0: New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction by John J Ratey, MD and  Edward Hallowell MD (Jan. 12, 2021) https://www.amazon.com/ADHD-2-0-Essential-Strategies-Distraction/dp/0399178732

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with ADHD by Edward M Hallowell and John Ratey (December 27, 2005)  (https://www.amazon.com/Delivered-Distraction-Getting-Attention-Disorder-ebook/dp/B000FCKLWK/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ratey&qid=1616618626&sr=8-3

These 2 Habits Can Help You Live Longer, Says Bulletproof Coffee Creator (who plans to live to 180) by Jade Scipioni November 20, 2019 https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/20/bulletproof-coffee-founder-dave-asprey-how-to-live-longer.html

https://www.bulletproof.com/

Neuroplasticity—Why You Should Care About Your BDNF by Jurie Rossouw https://home.hellodriven.com/neuroplasticity-bdnf-resilience.html

Michael Pollen’s Food Rules https://www.glutenfreegal.com/michael-pollans-food-rules/

Remembering P.E. Advocate Phil Lawler by Michael Popke April 2010 https://www.athleticbusiness.com/people/remembering-p-e-advocate-phil-lawler.html

Learning Readiness PE with Dr. Paul Zientarski https://learningreadinesspe.com/

REFERENCES:

[i] http://www.johnratey.com/

[ii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #87 with Andrea Samadi on “The Top 5 Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies”  https://www.achieveit360.com/the-top-5-brain-health-and-alzheimers-prevention-strategies-with-andrea-samadi/

[iii] Anna Alba’s Thriving Parents, Happy Student Summit https://thrivingstudents-happyparents.com/

[iv] Enhancing P.E. in Illinois: Naperville Central High School, September 2013 Case Study https://iphionline.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/P.E._Case_Study_Naperville.pdf

[v] Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD (January 10, 2008) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D7GQ887/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

[vi] Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J. Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C

[vii] https://www.drperlmutter.com/about/bio/

[viii] Dr. David Perlmutter’s Science of Prevention Series https://www.drperlmutter.com/alzheimers-the-science-of-prevention-2020-air-dates/

[ix] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #113 with Troy Busot on “Launching a Successful Business, Health and Chasing 50” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/founder-of-athlinks-troy-busot-on-launching-a-successful-business-health-and-chasing-50/

[x] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning EPISODE #94 with Jason Wittrock on “Nutrition, Intermittent Fasting, Nutrition and the Ketogenic Diet” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/personal-trainer-and-fitness-model-jason-wittrock-on-health-nutrition-intermittent-fasting-and-the-ketogenic-diet/

Denise Cooper on 30 Years of Executive Level Talent Development with “Remarkable Leadership Lessons”

Denise Cooper on 30 Years of Executive Level Talent Development with “Remarkable Leadership Lessons”

March 21, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #115, with Denise Cooper[i], the author of the book, Remarkable Leadership Lessons[ii], with 30 Years of executive level Talent Development experience.

Watch the interview on YouTube here.

On this episode you will learn:

✔︎ After 30 years of teaching leadership to executives, what are the most important lessons that we should all know and practice?

✔︎ How can leaders incorporate social and emotional skills into the workplace to improve communication with their team?

✔︎ How can we ensure that all team members hold the same vision?

✔︎ How can we help diverse groups to feel included and help them to step to their next level?

✔︎ How can behavior change happen within an organization? What are the best ways to introduce new ideas for change?

✔︎ Why is collaborative thinking such an important problem-solving skill?

Hello and Welcome back! I’m Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with learning the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace, for the past 20 plus years. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to introducing you to Denise Cooper. When I first was introduced to Denise, it was through email, and I took one look at her media kit, and wrote back immediately (within seconds) to her team that I would love to speak with her. I didn’t need an intro phone call to know that Denise Cooper exuded leadership. We set up a call anyway, and I learned so much from our chat together.

Denise

  • Serves corporate clients of large, midsize, and smaller companies
  • Coaches senior level executives to continue to succeed in a new or different role
  • Assists high performers struggling with a new scope of responsibility
  • Helps companies develop new leadership strategies during times of management, performance, structural, or business change
  • Works with individuals, departments, or management teams to enable them simply to perform better

Through one-on-one coaching, structured leadership training, coursework, team or group workshops, or tailor-made curricula, Denise guides companies and individuals to elevate their game and maximize their company's performance.

A review of her book says it all- “Her book answers the hard questions we all ask ourselves in our careers. How do I influence others? How do I get my colleagues to respect me? How do I present with confidence, even if I don't feel it? No one in my life has given me these answers, which makes this book worth its weight in gold to me.”

During these times of change, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from hearing what Denise has to say. I will create some questions for her, so you can dig a bit deeper into her book, trainings and coursework to help shift your mindset to possibility thinking, and perhaps some breakthroughs of your own.

Be sure to look in the show notes for the link to her Masterclass that begins May 17th called “Change Terrifies Us” and without further ado, here’s Denise Cooper.

Welcome Denise, thank you for coming on the podcast today to share your knowledge and expertise in the field of leadership, at a time when everyone could do with a refresher course on communication, or thinking differently to hit those breakthroughs we all are looking for.

Q1:  Denise, when we first spoke, you mentioned where your work began in the area of leadership. Whether we are leading team in the corporate world, working as a school admin, or superintendent, or even leading ourselves in business, what are some of the most important leadership lessons from your book that we should all know about to become better leaders? (leadership is more about you than the other person).

Q2: In section 1 of your book, you talk about becoming a Change Leader. How can a leader incorporate some of these important social and emotional skills that I’ve built this podcast on (like self-awareness—the importance of knowing ourselves, or social awareness—getting to know our team members) to create change in their organization?

2B: How do we make sure everyone on our team holds the same vision?

Q3: As we grow older, and can look back at our path, it’s interesting to see where we all started, but also recognize that there are many marginalized groups (women, people of color, the LGBT community (others I haven’t mentioned?) that have been left out of the picture. How do you help diverse groups like this to feel included, and help them to step to their next level? (I know it took me some time to gain the confidence that I knew was missing for some time as a woman in business). I know this message would help those who might feel that stepping up another level might not be for them, (like maybe they don’t belong, or it’s for someone else whose more connected or something). I know you can show them this is not the case.

Q4: Most of us has experienced a toxic work environment at some point in our career. I always offered to be on the committee for impacting change within our teams at work and was always suggesting ideas from the years of seminars and personal growth workshops I had attended prior to working the corporate space with the hopes that change would occur. I remember the look of shock on many people’s faces when I suggested some ideas that are now considered mainstream in schools and workplaces (like energy tapping or breathing techniques to reduce stress).  Where do you think self-help has gone wrong, and how do you see behavior change happening within organizations when there are clear problems?

Q5: Why is Collaborative Thinking a Leader’s best problem-solving skill?

Q6: Now that we’ve dove a bit deeper into the topic of leadership in the workplace, what would you say would be an important call to action for us all to think about?

Q7-Final Thoughts, or anything I’ve missed that you think is important?

Thank you so much Denise, for sharing 3 decades of your experience with us.

 If anyone wants to learn more about your book, leadership training and coursework, is the best place https://rllessons.com/ Denise also has a Masterclass coming up on May 17th.[iii] It is titled "Change Terrifies Us!"

https://rllessons.com/masterclass/

Attendees will learn how to overcome fear and build a thriving culture through collective ownership, focus, and measuring the cycles of change. You can access the link to this class in the show notes.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisecooper/ LinkedIn

https://www.facebook.com/CoachDJCooper/ Facebook

RESOURCES:

Tina Turner https://nypost.com/2021/03/16/tina-turner-says-goodbye-to-fans-with-doc-amid-ptsd-stroke-cancer/

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #66 with the Legendary Bob Proctor https://www.achieveit360.com/the-legendary-bob-proctor-on-social-and-emotional-learning-where-it-all-started/

REFERENCES:

[i] https://www.denisecooperinc.com/about-denise-cooper

[ii] Remarkable Leadership Lessons: Change Results One Conversation at a Time by Denise Cooper https://www.amazon.com/Remarkable-Leadership-Lessons-Results-Conversation-ebook/dp/B08QXGQT31

[iii] May 17th Masterclass https://rllessons.com/masterclass/

Brain Fact Friday on “Building a Faster, Stronger, Resilient Brain, by Understanding Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)”

Brain Fact Friday on “Building a Faster, Stronger, Resilient Brain, by Understanding Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)”

March 19, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, for our third Brain Fact Friday and episode #114.

This week's Brain Fact Friday, you will learn:

✔︎ What is BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and what are it's benefits to the brain.
✔︎ What we should all understand about BDNF with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and how our brains learn.
✔︎ Exercise, Nutrition and BDNF: What's the Connection?
✔︎ Why Putting the Body Under Stress is a Good Thing.
✔︎ Sleep, Stress and the BDNF Factor.

See past episodes here https://lnkd.in/grfaE7y

 

This week, we recorded 2 ground-breaking interviews with 3 decades of leadership expertise with Denise J Cooper on her book, Remarkable Leadership Lessons[i], and Dr. John Ratey,[ii] an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry. Stay tuned for these interviews coming next week, but for today, here’s Brain Fact Friday.

Did you know that trace brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF[iii]  that Dr. Ratey says is like “Miracle-Gro (or fertilizer) for the Brain” is “the important link that explains why simple exercise can have such a profound effect on cognition and well-being[iv] and that “eating foods with folate, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fats increases BDNF in the brain, just as exercise does?”

Dr. Ratey and I dive deep into his 2 books Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain[v], and Go Wild: Eat Fat, Run Free, Be Social and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being on our interview coming next week where he explains the importance of BDNF as it relates to diet and exercise (which are 2 of the top 5 health staples we have been focused on the podcast since last year). His book does dive deep into sleep as a health staple, but that’s another story.  We will take a closer look at sleep in a later episode.

But First, What is BDNF?

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)[vi] is a protein that’s found in the brain and other parts of the body “involved in plastic changes related to learning and memory [vii] and higher-level cognitive abilities. This signaling protein is the reason why you can sit at your desk with a heightened sense of focus and concentration, after you exercise. Dr. Ratey taught me that “movement places demands on the brain, just as it does on muscle, and so the brain releases BDNF which triggers the growth of cells to meet the increased mental demands of movement”[viii] and the whole brain benefits from this movement.

THE BENEFITS OF BDNF

  • BDNF helps with learning, memory, or other higher-level thinking.
  • It grows new neurons and synapses in the brain while also supporting the survival of existing neurons.
  • It increases neurogenesis and can help to heal our brain after a traumatic brain injury.[ix]

WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW AND UNDERSTAND ABOUT BDNF?

  • BDNF is reduced in the brain of someone who has developed Alzheimer’s Disease[x] and Parkinson’s Disease[xi] and explains why someone with Alzheimer’s has their memory weakened.
  • BDNF is involved in how long it takes us to learn something[xii]. A child’s rate of learning is higher than an adult, because of their highly plastic brain. This explains why learning a second language is much easier when you are younger, versus trying to learn a new language as an adult.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO INCREASE BDNF TO BUILD A FASTER, BETTER, STRONGER BRAIN, WHILE IMPROVING RESILIENCE AND RESISTANCE TO STRESS.

  1. Exercise and Nutrition releases BDNF:

Dr. Ratey, in his book Go Wild explains that researchers were looking at ways to prevent the aging brain and found that “seniors who exercised developed significantly larger hippocampal volumes (the part of the brain responsible for memory processing) improving their memory.”[xiii]  They found that exercise also “prevented a loss of grey matter overall (which is common in aging) and improved brain function.” (Page 107). Since we are all aging, it makes sense to me that this research is relevant to all of us, not just the aging brain, proving again, of the importance of Exercise and Nutrition as one of the health staples we should all be aware of.

  1. Hormesis or Putting the Body Under Stress releases BDNF:

Fitness expert Thomas Delauer talks about fasting and the ketogenic diet as another way to increase BDNF.[xiv] Delauer explains the importance of this protein to the development of our brain, and that BDNF doesn’t just grow new neurons and synapses, but it protects existing neurons. Whenever we put our body under stress, like during fasting, or exercising, or even think about when you go into the heat in a sauna, BDNF upregulates as a result.  This is known as hormesis- the process by which a mild or acute stressor increases resistance to other stressors and increases the health, vitality and resilience of that organism. (Ari Whitten).  The body realizes it needs to increase BDNF to protect it, proving again, that exercise, and intermittent fasting, are important health staples.

  1. Controlling Stress, Improving Sleep and Raise Your BDNF levels.

Getting enough sleep (at least 7-8 hours) should be on our list as a top 5 health staples that we’ve been talking about for so long on this podcast. When we add in the fact that research shows that obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (that Dr. Perlmutter proved to be the precursor for Alzheimer’s disease), it’s clear that this should be a priority for all of us. If you have never measured your sleep to see exactly how much you are getting, I highly suggest starting to do this. It will shock you when you start to see how much sleep you are actually getting. I have been testing the Fisher Wallace medical device from episode #108[xv] for the past 18 days to see if it can improve the amount and quality of sleep I am getting. I will be testing this device for the rest of the month, and will share the results, but I can tell you right now that I saw and felt a difference after day 1 of using this device. If you are not getting enough sleep, or are stressed, it will show up in your brain, and with your BDNF levels.[xvi]

Remember “That Which Does Not Kill Us, Makes Us Stronger” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Our bodies and brains are designed to release the chemicals needed to keep us healthy, but we must put ourselves in the right environment for this to occur. This episode goes right back to the 5 health staples[xvii] that we reviewed last December and is an excellent reminder of the importance of putting our health and well-being first. Our lives kind of depend on it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Brain Fact Friday, and some quick tips on the importance of the protein BDNF for building a better brain, while improving our resilience. Stay tuned for EPISODE #115 with Denise Cooper on Remarkable Leadership Lessons, and #116 with Dr. Ratey where we dive deep into the benefits of exercise and nutrition and the brain. See you next week.

RESOURCES:

140+ Natural Ways to Increase Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor https://mybiohack.com/blog/how-to-increase-bdnf-brain-derived-neurotropic-factor#basics

How Exercise Reprograms the Brain Nov. 1, 2018 by Ashley Yeager https://www.the-scientist.com/features/this-is-your-brain-on-exercise-64934

Ari Whitten https://www.theenergyblueprint.com/  

REFERENCES:

[i] Denise J Cooper https://rllessons.com/

[ii] http://www.johnratey.com/

[iii] How to Increase BDNF: 10 Ways to Rescue Your Brain (Sept. 17, 2020) https://strongcoffeecompany.com/blogs/strong-words/how-to-increase-bdnf-10-ways-to-rescue-your-brain

[iv] Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J. Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C

[v] Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey, MD (January 10, 2008) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D7GQ887/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

[vi] Understanding BDNF and its Importance to Brain Health Published on YouTube April 10, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU9kviOMQy0

[vii] Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Key Molecule for Memory in the Healthy and Pathological Brain (August 07, 2019) by Magdalena Miranda, Juan Facundo Morici, Maria Belen Zanoni, and Pedro Bekinschtein https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fncel.2019.00363/full

[viii] Go Wild: Eat fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J. Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) Page 103 https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C  

[ix] Therapeutic potential of BDNF Published Jan. 2017 by Mary Wurzelmann, Jennifer Romeika, Dong Sun https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28250730/

[x] BDNF ameliorates learning deficits in a rat model of Alzheimer’s https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25849905/

[xi] Relationship of circulatory BDNF with cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson’s disease

[xii] Understanding BDNF and its Importance to Brain Health Published on YouTube April 10, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU9kviOMQy0

[xiii] Go Wild: Eat Fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-Being by John J Ratey, MD and Richard Manning (June 3, 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Go-Wild-Free-Afflictions-Civilization-ebook/dp/B00FPQA66C

[xiv] What is BDNF? It’s like fertilizer for the brain. Uploaded to YouTube May 14, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvBlHgGL8ew

[xv] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #108 with Kelly Roman from Fisher Wallace Labs on “Wearable Medical Devices for Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep/Stress Management.” https://www.achieveit360.com/ceo-of-fisher-wallace-laboratories-kelly-roman-on-wearable-medical-devices-for-anxiety-depression-and-sleep-stress-management/

[xvi] The Link Between Sleep, Stress and BDNF April 2017 by Karen Eckert, J Beck, S Brand, U Hemmeter, M Hatzinger, E Holsboer-Trachsler https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924933817324033

[xvii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast BONUS EPISODE Dec. 2020 with Andrea Samadi on “A Deep Dive into the Top 5 Health Staples and Review of Seasons 1-4) https://www.achieveit360.com/bonus-episode-a-deep-dive-into-the-top-5-health-staples-and-review-of-seasons-1-4/

Founder of Athlinks, Troy Busot on “Launching a Successful Business, Health and Chasing 50″

Founder of Athlinks, Troy Busot on “Launching a Successful Business, Health and Chasing 50″

March 14, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #113, with Troy Busot, the Founder of Athlinks[i], the world’s largest racing database with a mission of making it easier for people to race more often and have more fun in the process.

Watch this interview on YouTube here.

With this episode, you will learn:

  • How Troy Busot, the founder of Athlinks.com helped Andrea to launch her business 10 years ago.
  • How Troy took an idea, and created the world's largest racing database.
  • The Secret to launching a business, or any idea.
  • The importance of failing fast, identifying and fixing deficiencies.

Hello and Welcome back! I’m Andrea Samadi, a former educator who has been fascinated with learning the science behind high performance strategies in schools, sports and the workplace, for the past 20 plus years.  Our initial goal with this podcast was to close the gap recent surveys show exists in our workforce where 58 percent of employers say college graduates aren’t adequately prepared for today’s workforce, with a particular gap in social and emotional skills. Research shows that social-emotional skills like social awareness, self-regulation, and growth mindset (the skills that we covered early in the podcast episodes) are crucial to college and career readiness. The outcomes of developing these intelligences are vast as they impact our performance, leadership, personal excellence, time management, and decision-making.

And if you have been listening to our podcast for some time, you will know that we’ve uncovered that if we want to improve our social and emotional skills, and experience success in our work and personal lives, it all begins with putting our brain health first. We’ve mentioned that daily exercise is one of the top 5 health staples that’s a known brain-health and Alzheimer’s prevention strategy, from our episode #87[ii]  helping us to take our results, productivity and health to these higher levels. Our guest today, Troy Busot, has always impressed me by the way that he and his family took their health and fitness seriously, and his dedication to his health, spilled over into his work life, as a successful entrepreneur. He’s my old neighbor—his family used to live directly across the street from me, but they moved to another state, and now like many of us, we stay in touch via social media where we recently connected on some of his latest missions and to brainstorm ideas with our podcasts. Not only is Troy the CEO of Athlinks.com, but he also runs the Athlinks Podcast, a high-quality podcast that features interviews with athletes around the world as they prepare for events.  I will tell you more about Troy, the company he founded, his podcast, and how he gave me that push that I needed to launch my business, achieveit360.com over 10 years ago, but first, let me tell you about what he invented.

He’s the founder of Athlinks--the best way to track all of your race results in one place.

Basically it’s a Results Database for those who compete in races.

Each year, over 40 million athletes in the U.S. cross a finish line at an endurance event, but with the recent Pandemic, these numbers have been reduced to under 10 million, but you get the picture. There’s a lot of people who train long and hard, pushing themselves to these higher limits. For most people, it's not about the medals. It's about the results. It's about getting better each race - going faster, going farther, beating a rival, or lifting up a loved one. It’s about the hours, minutes, and seconds scribbled on the back of a race bib or on a row in a spreadsheet.

Athlinks (or my old neighbor Troy) set out to make capturing those rewards as simple as typing your name into a search box. This was his idea, and he’s the mastermind behind this company, who pulls in times for running races, triathlon, swimming, cycling, mountain biking ... pretty much any timed endurance sport that you can think of - if they can find the results, they will add them to the database and link them to their members' accounts.

So how did Troy help me to launch my business idea? I realized that after producing 113 episodes of the podcast now, I haven’t done one episode on exactly what we do at Achieveit360.com. If you ever make it to the end of our episode, you’ll hear the trailer telling you to go there, and you will find books, and tools for schools and the workplace. I will do another episode explaining where we began with our work, and where we are going now with our workshops to help you integrate the simple neuroscience into your school or workplace. Stay tuned for that.

But first, let’s go back to 2012/13. This was a year before I partnered with AZ Department of Education with the Character and Leadership program, Level Up, that you can see through my website, making my first huge step forward towards the vision I had for making an impact with education, character, SEL and leadership. The vision that began when I worked with Bob Proctor seminars in the late 1990s, when I watched him change the lives of 12 teens in a matter of months with topics that mirrored what we now know to be called Social and Emotional Learning.

Troy was and I’d say still is a very serious businessman. He was always working on something, not much time wasting going on when I saw him.  But he would always say in passing, “If you ever want me to come over, and brainstorm where you are with your business, and where you want to go, I’d be happy to do that” and when he offered, he said it with a serious tone, that made me realize he wanted to help, and I knew he meant it. He didn’t mean, “Hey, we are kicking back and chilling out, come and join us, and throw out your ideas.” He meant business, and had this look in his eye that he knew I needed some direction.

At the time I was taking all of the content I had created, and was putting it online, creating an online portal www.achieveit360.org where you can see our courses for students and educators. I was working with a young kid out of Chicago, whose not a young kid anymore, but back then he was teaching me how to create a website, to code, and everything I needed to know about the online world, and he was a high school student at the time. Once I had my content online, I was ready.  So one day I said to Troy, “I’d love to take you up on that brainstorming session” and it was the end of the year when many people were in the middle of their holiday celebrations, and he asked “What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?”  I almost laughed out loud, because EVERY New Year that I can remember, was always focused on planning and firming up the following year, not going to parties or fancy dinners. It’s always been a time to reflect, gather new ideas, and “Sharpen the Saw” for the New Year, so I wasn’t surprised that the founder of Athlinks was doing exactly the same thing.

Troy came over after dinner time, and we sat at my dining room table and brainstormed some ideas of the vision I saw, where I was starting from and where I wanted to go. Troy offered some ideas, but the most valuable information I remember, was some of the leaders he told me to follow. He said “You have got to follow and read Gary Vee’s book Crush It[iii]” and I did, and it really helped me to create the work ethic that I have today. It was a serious meeting, no joking around. He let me know that he has seen far too many people never start something, and he hoped that our meeting would give me a push to get moving. It did. It was shortly after this meeting that I presented my ideas to AZ Department of Education when they opened up the doors for new vendors to provide their services for a Character Education Matching Grant. We would end up being one of the preferred providers chosen for this grant that went from 2014-2020, and this is where everything began for me, working for myself, outside of the corporate world, with just an idea.

I wanted to bring Troy on the podcast because many people I know have been forced to start something new maybe because their job was eliminated, or they’ve just had some sort of shift with what they are doing, and if you were like me, I had my idea just about ready to go, and hearing from someone who had launched something successful, gave me the insight I needed get going, and learn how to quickly fail forward (which we did). I hope you find this time with Troy as helpful as I did many years ago, as he shares exactly how he launched Athlinks, and his vision for the future. Here’s Troy Busot!

Welcome Troy! Thank you so much for coming on the podcast today, and also for helping me to launch my business almost 10 years ago. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but it was before I had partnered with AZ Department of Education in 2014.  I’m just curious, what do you remember about coming over to the house that day?

Q1: Getting back to your work Troy, where did your vision for starting Athlinks begin and how did you go from an idea, to building such a successful database that’s used by so many people?

Q2: Can you tell me more about the programs and services that you offer through Athlinks? Other than a database, what is there?

Q3: I haven’t raced since I used to do these mini triathlons back in Toronto when I was a lifeguard, so I know there’s no information next to my name, but some of my high school friends are avid racers.  How can they use the info in Athlinks to help them?

Q4: We’ve been friends for years, but I just started to notice you posting on Instagram about something you’re doing called 50 Chasing 50. I had no idea we were both chasing 50, but now I know! What month are you turning 50?

Q4B) I also know that putting health first has been a huge mission of mine, especially as we uncovered that Exercise is one of the top 5 health staples and Alzheimer’s Prevention strategies. I don’t know anyone chasing 50 who doesn’t want to arrive there healthy. What exactly is 50 Chasing 50?

Q5: You’ve launched a successful business, sold it, and the last time we spoke, you mentioned that you had your eye on another vision. That’s the entrepreneurial bug at work, I recognize it! After 50, what’s your vision for yourself?

Q6: Anything I have missed? Final thoughts?

Thank you very much Troy first of all, for offering your time, ideas and suggestions that launched my business Achieveit360.com in the early days, and for coming on the podcast to share your vision with our listeners. I’m so grateful that we met and have remained friends. Looking forward to learning more about 50 Chasing 50, and watching your success well beyond this next milestone. Thanks Troy.

 

If anyone wants to reach you to learn more about your next phase/what’s the best place to connect to you?  https://www.instagram.com/troybusot/

RESOURCES:

https://www.leadvilleraceseries.com/

https://worldsmarathons.com/marathon/silver-rush-50-run

Athlinks Podcast https://blog.athlinks.com/2020/12/29/podcast-episode-20-jeff-tkach-rodale-institute-on-regenerative-organic-farming/

REFERENCES:

[i] https://www.athlinks.com/about

[ii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #87 with Andrea Samadi on “The Top 5 Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention Strategies”  https://www.achieveit360.com/the-top-5-brain-health-and-alzheimers-prevention-strategies-with-andrea-samadi/

[iii] Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk (Sept. 25, 2009)  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0029ZA3H4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Brain Fact Friday on “Training Your Brain to Self-Regulate Automatic Negative Thoughts and Emotions”

Brain Fact Friday on “Training Your Brain to Self-Regulate Automatic Negative Thoughts and Emotions”

March 12, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, for our second Brain Fact Friday! When we recorded episode #109[i] we announced we would be pulling out an important Brain Fact every Friday to dive deep into some of the brain-based strategies we are offering in each episode, so we can be sure to implement these important concepts in our schools, workplaces and lives.

BRAIN FACT: Here’s our Brain Fact for this week from Horacio Sanchez, who we had an insightful interview with for Episode #111[ii] on his new book “Finding Solutions to the Poverty Problem.”

“Did you know that when we engage in inner speech, all the mechanisms of outer speech and the auditory process activate in the brain. Therefore, what we say to ourselves is just like hearing it said by someone else to us. Inform students (and ourselves) that inner speech can build them up or destroy them.” (Horacio Sanchez)[iii]

I brought up the damaging effects of Automatic Negative Thinking on one of our early episodes, #14 on Self-Regulation[iv]. The skill of managing our thoughts, emotions and behavior comes under the competency of self-regulation (one of the 6 social and emotional learning competencies that we covered in the beginning episodes of this podcast).

What is Self-Regulation and Why is it So Important? 

It’s “the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, adjust to a change in expectations and (the ability) to handle frustration”[v] In other words, it’s the ability to bounce back after a setback or disappointment, and the ability to stay in congruence with your inner value system. 

Using Self-Regulation to Manage Negative Thinking in the Workplace

I’ve got to say, this topic has come up recently as stress in the workplace is at an all-time high. Things are going to happen on a day to basis that you might not like, and you might have the urge to say every negative thought in your head, out loud, in the heat of the moment, to get your point across. Then, we could spend the rest of the day brewing over the incident and playing the negative thoughts over and over again. We must have a strategy to stop them from ruminating or continuing in a loop, since we know that switching off these negative thoughts is an important step towards self-regulation, moving forward and preventing further problems. Besides, Horacio’s quote tells us that this type of negative thinking can destroy us.

An effective strategy used in cognitive behavioral therapy[vi] is to say the word “SWITCH” in your head as you focus on switching the negative emotion that you feel to something more positive. This takes some practice, that’s for sure. I’ve always used the strategy of saying “STOP” when this happens and changing the thought pattern in my head to something more productive.

Also, remembering to RESPOND to situations with questions to dig deeper, and learn more, instead of REACTING with emotion is always a better solution.

When difficult situations arise, we have three choices. We can approach (by asking questions), avoid, or attack.[vii] The best results obviously occur when we are able to respond to a situation (approaching it with understanding) rather than react (by avoidance or attack) by asking questions to uncover more and see if there might be something we are missing or some sort of miscommunication that could explain the conflict. We always have a choice on how we respond to situations. The research is clear that mindfulness and meditation can help increase the gap between a stimulus and our response to it, so those who have developed their own practice, will find making this choice to respond vs react, much easier.[viii]

How to Teach Self-Regulation to Our Children or Students?

The ability to control one's behavior, emotions, and thoughts is an integral skill to be taught to young children as well, so they can form and maintain healthy relationships and connections later in life.[ix] This skill is crucial to develop as we all know that life is full of ups and downs and we must be able to navigate through challenging situations before we can reach any level of achievement and success. We all know people who seem to bounce back after adversity. It’s not by luck or chance, it’s because they have learned how to self-regulate and intentionally get back on course. This is a learned skill and one that we must teach or model to our students/children for them to be able to master it as adults.

Why is This Such an Important Skill?

 Horacio Sanchez’s brain fact says it all. If we don’t teach children (or ourselves) a strategy to stop automatic negative thoughts, or ways to respond instead of react to distressing situations, our brain will hear these thoughts, and think they are true. We all know of the impact of negative thinking on our results. Our inner speech has the ability to build us up or destroy us.   

“Keep my words positive. Words become my behaviors. Keep my behaviors positive. Behaviors become my habits. Keep my habits positive. Habits become my values. Keep my values positive. Values become my destiny.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

I hope you have enjoyed our second episode of Brain Fact Friday! Stay tuned for episode #112 next week with Troy Busot, the founder of Athlinks.com[x] on “Health, Chasing 50, and The Secrets to Launching a Successful Business.”

RESOURCES:

Your Brain Can Be Trained to Self-Regulate Negative Thinking January 10, 2016 by Christopher Bergland-The Athlete’s Way  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201601/your-brain-can-be-trained-self-regulate-negative-thinking?amp

ANTS Workbook Grades 1-12 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Automatic-Negative-Thoughts-ANTs-Workbook-1103094

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #109 with Andrea Samadi https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/achieving-quantum-leap-results-using-price-pritchetts-you-squared-principles/

[ii] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #11 with Horacio Sanchez on “Finding Solutions to The Poverty Problem” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/resiliency-expert-and-author-horacio-sanchez-on-finding-solutions-to-the-poverty-problem/

[iii] Horacio Sanchez on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/posts/hsanchezceo_neuroscience-education-activity-6770706945264386048-BDCn

[iv] Neuroscience Meets SEL Episode #14 with Andrea Samadi on “Self-Regulation: The Foundational Learning Skill for Future Success” https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/self-regulation-the-foundational-learning-skill-for-future-success/

[v] Edutopia article “Teaching Self-Regulation by Modeling” (January, 2019) https://www.edutopia.org/video/teaching-self-regulation-modeling

[vi] What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Therapist Kati Morton YouTube uploaded Sept. 23, 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7B3n9jobus

[vii] How to Practice Self-Regulation https://www.verywellmind.com/how-you-can-practice-self-regulation-4163536

[viii] Mindfulness, Meditation and Executive Control https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/8/1/85/1694475

[ix] How to Practice Self-Regulation https://www.verywellmind.com/how-you-can-practice-self-regulation-4163536

[x] www.athlinks.com

Resiliency Expert and Author Horacio Sanchez on “Finding Solutions to The Poverty Problem”

Resiliency Expert and Author Horacio Sanchez on “Finding Solutions to The Poverty Problem”

March 7, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast episode #111 with our 3rd returning guest, whose interview episode #74[i] made an impact on many of our listeners (and me) as we were right in the first few months of the Pandemic. If you are new here, my name is Andrea Samadi, and I’m a former educator who created this podcast to bring the most current neuroscience research, along with high performing experts who have risen to the top of their field, with specific strategies or ideas that you can implement immediately, whether you are an educator, or in the corporate space, to take your results to the next level. If we want to improve our social, emotional and cognitive abilities, it all starts with an understanding of our brain. 

You can watch the interview on YouTube here. 

Going back to today’s guest and our first interview—while many of my questions for our guest,  on episode #74 were focused on Horacio Sanchez’s, book The Education Revolution [ii]published by Corwin Press, that addresses the decline in empathy, increase in obesity, and the impact of implicit bias on minority students, our conversation turned to focus on the problems we were seeing in the world at that moment (July 2020) highlighting the need for racial change through an understanding of race and culture. I knew that Horacio was deep into his next book, The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty's Impact on Brain Development but had not read it, nor made the connection between this book, the implicit biases that we all have, how to understand where they originated from in order to self-correct them and where to even begin to make these changes. If you have not yet watched our first interview, I recommend reviewing it before this one.[iii]

A Bit About Horacio

Horacio Sanchez who is recognized as one of the nation’s prominent experts on promoting student resiliency and applying brain science to improve school outcomes as they relate to diverse topics such as overcoming the impact of poverty, improving school climate, engaging in brain-based instruction, and addressing issues related to implicit bias. His new book was just released in January of this year, The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty's Impact on Brain Development and Functioning.[iv] If you follow Horacio on Twitter @ResiliencyInc, you will see the excitement this book is creating with educators around the country who are receiving their books, attending his trainings and learning how to Improve outcomes for students in poverty by understanding their developing brains.

I highly recommend following Horacio on LinkedIn, as he has a daily brain tip where he shares brain tips and how they are relevant for student learning.

Horacio’s new book covers how economic hardship is changing our students’ brain structures at a genetic level, producing psychological, behavioral, and cognitive issues that dramatically impact learning, behavior, physical health, and emotional stability. But there is hope. 

He offers solutions that will change minds, attitudes, and behaviors. You will learn about how problems develop between people of different races, how the brain develops in persistent poverty, and how it might react to solutions.

PovertyProblem_1_1_6djlm.png

In addition:

  • The lack of culturally competent instruction and its impact on students of color
  • Poverty's effect on language development and how it can be positively influenced
  • The importance of reading
  • How to counteract the effects of the widespread stress in lower SES environments

Remember: “Children make up 23% of the U.S. population and account for almost 33% of those living in poverty, making the education system our most distressed institution. In The Poverty Problem, you’ll learn how to increase students’ perseverance and confidence and positively impact outcomes by arming yourself with research-based instructional strategies that are inspiring, realistic, and proven to work.”

Welcome back Horacio, it’s wonderful to see you again, even though I feel like we have kept in touch since last July through other projects, social media, and I’m always learning something from your posts on LinkedIn. Thanks so much for coming back on the podcast to talk about your new book, The Poverty Problem.

Q1: Horacio, it seems we were just getting started as we ended our last interview, with our discussion on the change needed to take place in or educational system as it relates to the lack of culturally competent instruction and its impact on students of color. We talked about this, with some ideas of change, and wonder what do you think needs to happen for these changes to take place with clear, science-based strategies for these changes?

Q1B: Why did you call the book The Poverty Problem vs The Poverty Solution?

Q2: What about poverty’s impact on our brain. Can you explain how the outcome of poverty’s load compromises decision-making regardless of intellect?

2B) How can schools turn around poverty

Q3: How does poverty affect language development resulting in language processing difficulties? What are some recommendations for this?

Q4: What can be done to combat the fact that poverty leads to a negative self-image? How can we teach our children the important character skills necessary to build their own life path when they might not feel like they have a chance to begin with?

Q4B: What about growth mindset vs skill building?

Q5: We spoke about the protective risk factors in our first interview and how poverty and resiliency are so closely correlated, but can we talk about how we can build protective factors in all students with a resiliency plan?

Q5B: How do you get your children to stick to routines and still remain a positive, supportive parent vs yelling and being a stressor?

Q6? Is there anything important that I have missed?

Thank you Horacio for the time you have taken to share your work with us on this podcast. If anyone wants to learn more about your programs, books, or find you, they can go to https://www.resiliencyinc.com/

People can follow you on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/hsanchezceo/ or Twitter https://twitter.com/ResiliencyInc where I have mentioned you share valuable brain tips and how to apply them at home or in the classroom.

Your book, The Poverty Problem can be found https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-poverty-problem/book276652

BIO: Horacio Sanchez has been a teacher, administrator, clinician, mental health director, and consultant to the Department of Education in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and other states. His diverse education and background have helped him to merge research, science, and practice which is why he has been so successful in the field of neuro education. His best-selling book, The Education Revolution published by Corwin Press, addresses the decline in empathy, increase in obesity, and the impact of implicit bias on minority students. 

RESOURCES:

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You are Not Your Brain by Samuel McNerney Nov. 4th, 2011 https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/a-brief-guide-to-embodied-cognition-why-you-are-not-your-brain/

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #74 with Horacio Sanchez on “How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate” https://www.achieveit360.com/leading-brain-science-and-resiliency-expert-horatio-sanchez-on-how-to-apply-brain-science-to-improve-instruction-and-school-climate/

[ii] The Education Revolution by Horacio Sanchez https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-education-revolution/book249726

[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Episode #74 with Horacio Sanchez on “How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate” Published on YouTube July 27, 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R57XnrSSQqw

[iv] The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty's Impact on Brain Development and Functioning by Horacio Sanchez (January 2021) https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-poverty-problem/book276652

Brain Fact Friday on “Using the Reticular Activating System to Set Your Intent and Achieve it!”

Brain Fact Friday on “Using the Reticular Activating System to Set Your Intent and Achieve it!”

March 5, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast, for our very first Brain Fact Friday episode.

When we recorded episode #109[i] on “Achieving Quantum Level Results Using Price Pritchett’s You Squared Principles” we announced we would be pulling out an important Brain Fact every Friday to dive deep into some of the brain-based strategies we are offering in each episode.

I love how my good friend Samuel Holston and Kirin Goy pull out their brain tools on their podcast Brain Tools[ii] or how Lewis Howes has his 5 Minute Fridays on The School of Greatness Podcast.[iii] And I did mention one of the top strategies for taking your results to the next level is to find a mentor who is achieving outstanding results and do what they are doing—so we are following in their footsteps.

BRAIN FACT: Did you know that Giuseppe Moruzzi, from the University of Pisa, is responsible for discovering the Reticular Activating System?

What is the Reticular Activating System and How Can it Help You?

To achieve your goals, or things that you want in your life, learn how to understand and use your Reticular Activating System[iv] which is a filter in your brain that helps you to focus on the things that are important to you. If you have heard the idea that “energy flows where your attention goes” this explains why putting some focus on what you want to create in your life is so important. Be very careful of where you are putting your focus, because your RAS will help you to achieve whatever you are focused on, good or bad. There really is a power of making your environments work for you, not against you.

Tobias van Schneider explains how the Reticular Activating System (RAS) that’s a “bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information, so the important stuff gets through.”[v] He believes that the Reticular Activating System can be trained, and I agree.

Using the Reticular Activating System

So let’s apply this important brain discovery to our daily life. First, think of when you have noticed this system at work in your life.

I remember a time I met someone at an event, and I asked him what he did for a living. He said, “I’ll tell you, but then watch out, because you will never forget me, and you’ll see what I invested EVERYWHERE” and he went on the share he was one of the people responsible for the MAXON ® Liftgate you see on the back of trucks. He was right. I never forgot him, and think of him every time I see that yellow Maxon sign while driving. That’s my RAS at work.

So how do we use this part of our brain to achieve our goals? Just knowing that it’s there is a start. We have a part of our brain that helps us to filter out what we don’t need, and focus on what we do need. This is why saying your goals out loud is so important. Know what you want, say it out loud, expect it, and let your brain help you to achieve what you want. It’s really that simple.

Sorry if now you will also see the MAXON sign everywhere. This also happened to me when someone mentioned the country Botswana. I had never heard of this country at the time, but after hearing about it, for some reason, I couldn’t stop hearing about it. IT appeared on the news, in the articles I was reading, and reminded me again that what we focus on, we notice—everywhere.

 I hope you have found our first episode of Brain Fact Friday to be helpful. Stay tuned for EPISODE #111 next week with Horacio Sanchez on his new book, the Poverty Problem.[vi]

REFERENCES:

[i] Neuroscience Meets SEL Podcast Episode #109 with Andrea Samadi https://andreasamadi.podbean.com/e/achieving-quantum-leap-results-using-price-pritchetts-you-squared-principles/

[ii] Brain Tools Podcast with Samuel Holston and Kirun Goy https://braintools.podbean.com/

[iii] Lewis Howes School of Greatness Podcast https://lewishowes.com/sogpodcast/

[iv] What is the Reticular Activating System May 2013  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCnfAzAIhVw

[v] If You Want it, you might get it. The Reticular Activating System explained by Tobias van Schneider (June 22, 2017) https://medium.com/desk-of-van-schneider/if-you-want-it-you-might-get-it-the-reticular-activating-system-explained-761b6ac14e53

[vi] The Poverty Problem: How Education Can Promote Resilience and Counter Poverty's Impact on Brain Development and Functioning by Horacio Sanchez (January 2021) https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/the-poverty-problem/book276652

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