You can change your life by changing your brain.
I experienced this firsthand in 2016, after years of being physically, mentally and emotionally drained by the demands of my life and the toxic habits I'd developed for dealing with them. While I had an outwardly successful career and personal life, inside I was completely burnt out by the stresses of a New York City corporate workload and always-on culture, and struggling to break out of a deep negativity rut. Rather than taking time to rest, recover, and reexamine my perspective & lifestyle, I developed an ever narrower focus on reaching the next milestone, exceeding the next expectation, while relying on cigarettes, coffee, and other crutches to get through a cloud of malaise, anxiety and fatigue that never seemed to lift.
Then my dad was diagnosed with early-onset dementia and Parkinson’s, the most heartbreaking event of my life. Suddenly, my long list of what I thought I needed was wiped clean. All the confusion disappeared and I realized deeply that the only things that mattered were my health and state of mind.
I promised myself I would do everything I could to maintain my brain and cognitive function for the long term, and quit my job to begin training in herbal medicine and meditation. As I delved into the science of neurological health and degeneration, I learned about the damaging effects of inflammation and stress on the brain - it turns out my burnout had not only been emotionally unpleasant but had been actively undermining my brain function. I sought out clinicians and experts in neuroscience and epigenetics to find out what my erratic diet, smoking and lack of sleep and exercise were doing to my body and how to reverse the damage.
Thankfully, the brain has an amazing ability to regenerate and heal itself through the processes of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, and Nature has provided us with diverse botanicals that wake up these innate repair systems and make our consciousness operate better. I became fascinated not just with the brain’s physical and chemical pathways, but also with how Nature’s intelligence is constantly working in the body on many other levels and how we can use the incredible power of our minds to influence this.
As I applied what I was learning from brain nutritionists, integrative medicine experts, and both Eastern & Western herbalists to my own life, there was a huge shift in my energy, mental sharpness, reactions to challenges, and overall outlook. Meditation finally weaned me off the stress hormones that had kept me repeating the same dysfunctional thoughts and behavior and hoping for a different outcome. I noticed that the herbs I was combining were supercharging my clarity & creativity, and that they were improving my dad’s cognition as well. Three years later, the refined formulations have become the Antara Brain Foods.
My dad's dementia has shown me that how long you live doesn’t matter as much how highly functioning you are as you get older. I’ll be investigating the mindbody connection and how to keep the brain healthy for the rest of my life, because I find endless motivation in developing products that nourish the mind and in sharing the knowledge that the power to preserve & optimize our brain health, and thus our experience, is in our own hands.
Enjoy the gift of health in every moment🖤