Yesterday morning, I woke up to a gray sky and an even grayer mood. I grabbed a cup of coffee, started a fire in the fireplace and sat down to write.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It’s not like this is anything new. All writers occasionally come up empty. But this was annoyingly familiar…

As I sat there, toasty warm by the fire, it occurred to me that I’d been mopey and sluggish and generally all around blah for quite some time now. I could feel the ideas in my head. They hovered in the dark, waiting, watching, seeking an escape route from the unchartered territory of my brain. But they were trapped…locked behind a month long diet of ice cream bars and Twizzlers.

I’ve been blaming my lack of ideas and glum mood on the fact that I don’t get out much or see a lot of people. But as I considered the lethargic state of my brain, I knew there could only be one explanation.

There’s no lock on the pantry or freezer doors.

Sugar is my weakness. It overloads my brain and puts every idea on permanent hold. Coupled with the fact that I’d stopped exercising in the spring because I was so busy in the yard, the over indulgence of the past couple of months had finally caught up with me.

I’m in good shape, healthy, usually mindful of what I eat and do. But every once in a while, I falter, then fall down. If I’m not careful, I end up flat on my stomach, one hand clutching an ice cream bar, the other hand filled with red Twizzlers, my nose pushed into a bowl of richly buttered popcorn.

This junk food isn’t just clogging my arteries and promising to cover my body with an extra layer of warm fat for the winter. It’s frying my brain, killing my darlings…oh, those wonderful ideas that come from the mysterious depths of our sub-conscious.

After I finished whining into my cup of java, I made a few healthful decisions. Resume those daily walks. Cut out the daily sugar and save those junk food extravaganzas for a Saturday night movie fest. Focus on those delicious brain foods – fresh vegetables, fruits, and salmon. Half a day without sugar and already, my mind is humming along and the Idea Fairy is chasing her children out into my world.

I know I’ll fall down again. It’s in my genes. My dad always knew exactly where my mom hid his favorite go-to treat, the supersized bag of chocolate chips.

So what foods make you falter, then fall? And what snacks or foods do you reply on to keep you and your brain in premium condition? Busy minds need help to stay sharp. 🙂

Originally published at Women Unplugged.

 

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