1 Feed Your Head | Traveling Light Blog by Travel Writer Colleen Friesen

Feed Your Head

“The human brain uses about 20 to 30% of a person’s energy intake. Relative to it’s size and weight, it is very demanding. That’s why people who don’t consume enough calories in their diet are more likely to experience changes in their brain functioning. Even the mere decision to skip breakfast has its consequences: it is associated with lower verbal fluency, lower ability to solve problems and the lack of motivation.”  - excerpted from Brain Guide.org

I am a good eater.

I didn’t start out that way. To describe me as fussy or picky child would have been a ridiculous understatement.

I hated eating. I hated most food and did my best to avoid meals. If it wasn’t a hunk of chicken or mashed potatoes? Get it off my plate! (This didn’t actually work in my house. Instead, I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at a congealing mess of – in my view – inedible food on my dish).

Clearly, something changed.

I LOVE eating. I LOVE food, and part of what I love knowing is that I’m filling myself with great and tasty things that actually help me function better. Thinking and learning about cooking and eating and planning meals is a fun way to see how many good things I can pack in my body.

Knowledge is power and food is our friend. Slurping back a delicious smoothie or tucking into a huge salad with Glory Bowl Dressing isn’t just about eating the right food. I have no interest in eating anything that doesn’t taste great. Things like smoothies and salads and stir-fries don’t just taste good. They are good.

Salad - Colleen Friesen


Chewy, tangy dried sour cherries are a huge anti-inflammatory. Combo those little intense pleasures in a 70% dark chocolate bar (chocolate is a high anti-oxidant) and I get to enjoy something fabulous AND feed my cells.

I love curries (and bonus!) turmeric is another fabulous anti-inflammatory. Learning about the nutritional properties of my food adds another layer of enjoyment for me. I know we’re blessed to have access to British Columbia’s wild salmon and can’t get enough of the fatty belly chunks. Knowing it’s also stuffed full of Omega-3s is just another reward to an already great feast.

I love drinking water, feeling it flood through me and knowing it’s making it easier for my neural pathways to operate at their best capacity…and trust me, I need those pathways as operational as possible!

The trick to living well is eating well…not richly and indulgently, but eating a wide range of different and healthy foods that are as close to their origins as possible  (if it’s wrapped in indestructible plastic packaging and has a Best Before date for some time in the next ten years, odds are it’s not fresh off the farm…)

I’d love to hear about your favourite foods and the nutritional bonus that comes with it…always looking for my next tasty treat!

Meanwhile,  here’s a fun little menu from The Economist in an article suggesting we eat our way to intelligence.


Feed Your Head





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8 Responses
  1. Sharry Miller says:

    I want that meal! I too, love good food, unfortunately to excess, but that’s my problem.

    Your quote at the top certainly confirms my own experiences. If I don’t get breakfast, I’m a wreck, and if lunch is a little too late, I get a headache and very cranky. I don’t do blood sugar drops well (or at least that’s what I assume is happening). It does make me wonder how the mental functioning is affected of people who have gastric bypass surgery or who are using HCG and 500-calorie diets to lose weight.

  2. barb pearson says:

    i suddenly feel very hungry………..think i am going to make brain food for dinner.

  3. Colleen Friesen says:

    Sharry, that’s my problem too. I need to eat almost constantly. Sometimes I feel like a hummingbird in my constant need to eat :) Kevin can forget to eat. I can honestly say that has NEVER happened to me. I’m always looking for my next meal!

  4. Colleen Friesen says:

    Barb, that’s too funny. As I was reading over that menu I had to get up, grab an apple and a handful of nuts just to finish writing the post!

  5. Laurie Beeman says:

    Colleen, I love all your blogs, this is awesome!
    You are what you eat, and so important to nurture your body and
    Your head! Great to hear that song again! Keep up the great writing
    and sharing of stories! Even though I don’t respond to them all,
    I really enjoy the diversity and content!

  6. Colleen Friesen says:

    Thank you so much Laurie. I really appreciate your comments. I’m glad you appreciate my rather random approach to life and writing. I don’t think I could ever stick to a consistent theme like some bloggers who can stay focused on one topic. I quite admire that ability but I don’t think it’s in my genes :)

  7. Catherine Clarke says:

    I always start the day by drinking a mug of green tea for its health benefits. As you mention salad here is a recipe for a French “Salade Niçoise” – new potatoes cut in slices, raw tomatoes, French beans, mild pepper cut in thin slices, a little onion and a few pitted black olives (you can add a few pieces of tuna if you wish). Mix in a salad bowl with a French dressing – healthy and delicious!

  8. Colleen Friesen says:

    Salad Nicoise is one of my faves, but I haven’t had it in ages. I think that will be on the lunch menu some time this week. It is such a yummy meal with so many great tastes and textures. Thanks for the reminder Catherine :)

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