BE KIND TO YOURSELF
When writing her book, Dr Gates found many people thought they were healthy because they weren’t physically ill. However, when certain entrenched behaviours – such as excessive alcohol consumption or a nutritionally poor diet – were pointed out to them, they realised they needed to change to a healthier regimen. Often, though, they found this reality daunting and difficult.
“Often people just don’t know where to start. All it takes is one change to encourage other
changes,” says Dr Gates.
She says if she had to distill one message from the book in relation to brain health, it would be this: be kind.
“When we are judgemental and critical of ourselves we are less likely to engage in health-enhancing behaviours,” she says. “What happens is people feel guilty. When we feel ‘yucky’ for whatever reason, we want to feel nice – and we can make bad choices at that point. Research shows if you make one healthy choice, you will make more. If we are kind and not
critical we are likely to be healthier and less likely to drink too much, smoke, eat poorly or not exercise.”
A Brain For Life (ABC Books, $29.95, or eBook at abc. books.com.au).
Good food Nurture brain and body with fresh produce.