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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

February 2012

Jan 26, 2012 08:21AM ● By Ana Rincon

As my brain is taxed by print deadlines and the last-minute details of publishing this issue, what I wouldn’t give for a sharper mind and better memory! Thankfully, A Brain-Building Blueprint, on page 17, offers help. Although cognition begins to decrease after age 30 (a very distant memory for me, indeed), there are some natural steps we can take to stop and even reverse the decline.  Most of us know that losing weight is good for your looks and your overall health.  I was surprised to learn that studies show a restricted calorie intake is also good for your brain. A reduction in calories over just a few months’ time can have a profound effect on boosting memory. Exercise and a brain-boosting diet compound the benefits.

You’ll also find some great information on brain development in babies and children (How a Brain Grows, p. 20), how unresolved conflict and stress can affect your brain and body (How Can We All Get Along? p. 22), and for Valentine’s Day, how embracing imperfection in relationships leads to more happiness and satisfaction. (Wabi Sabi Love, p.??).

I’m excited to announce that Natural Awakenings is giving away a trip for two to the Farm of Life in Costa Rica. I’ve been to Costa Rica three times, most recently last month, and can attest to its breathtaking beauty. My husband tells me that the minute I step outside the San José airport, my attitude changes. Whether it’s the sun, the warmth of the people, or my Latin heritage, I instantly feel at home and full of well-being. Costa Rica’s official slogan is “The Happiest Country in the World,” and a popular expression heard there is Pura Vida, literally “pure life,” but as used in greetings, it symbolizes the idea of simply enjoying life. The country claims six percent of the biodiversity in the world, values eco-tourism, and has not had a standing army since 1949. (Not to mention producing some of the best coffee in the world!)

While I love any kind of NA contest, this one really thrills me. To enter, visit I hope it’s one of you who wins!

Pura Vida,

Our trail buddy in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

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