I’ve been fascinated and learning more about the brain, brain types, patterns, and brain function. Dr. Knott, one of my Professors would be proud that I am finally using what I learned from him.

As a left brainer, I love finding facts and research about the topics I am covering. This article is not your usual DQ tone but very interesting none the less.

So…How do you avoid the Brain Drain?


How you feed your body not only impacts how you feel, but how you think. Brain function is as susceptible to a poor diet as your waistline. If you want to stay focused, alert, and calm, you need to make sure your brain has the food it needs to function properly.

Sugar is a big factor in how your brain functions throughout the course of the day. Excessive sugar consumption can create serious brain fog, and create a “crash” effect once the high wears off. This can create or exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety. Over time, continuously elevated blood sugar levels can weaken and even kill your pericyte cells, the cells that make up your capillary walls. This leads to conditions like diabetic retinopathy, in which blood leaks onto the retina through ruptured capillaries; and to other bleeding disorders, most commonly in the feet. What you may not know is that hyperglycemia (a.k.a. elevated blood sugar) can also impact the pericyte cells in the blood-brain barrier, causing loss of cognition, confusion, and memory issues. This in turn can affect your productivity at work and your relationships with your clients.

“What does sugar have to do with your success?”

The bottom line is, too much sugar isn’t good for you, or your business. But before you go replacing your sugar with substitutes like Sweet & Low, Equal, or Splenda, do some serious research. These sugar substitutes have been linked to all kinds of nasty diseases, including Lupus, cancers, and fibromyalgia. Instead, exercise your right to choose, and lay off all the sweet stuff for two weeks. If you must have your sugar fix, try stevia, which is totally natural and side-effect free. You’ll be amazed how much clearer and happier you feel once you’re off the blood sugar roller coaster.

Our household diet has changed dramatically since my husband was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Now that we’re replacing all the white flour and wheat products we used to use, I’m noticing a huge difference in my mental clarity. After all, wheat, white flour, pasta, and other processed grain foods are nearly as high on the glycemic index as sugar or fruit juice, and have just as big an impact on the brain. Don’t believe me? Try writing your next blog article or reading a trade magazine right after you’ve eaten a croissant! Although I’m not Celiac myself, a mostly gluten-free diet has literally changed my mind about sugar!

Just like you exercise your body on the treadmill, you need to feed and care for your brain lovingly and properly. Think of it as preventive maintenance—like changing the oil on your car, or cleaning the lint out of your dryer. No matter what business you’re in, your mind is your most powerful tool, and your greatest asset. Knowing how to feed your brain can help you keep things running smoothly!

Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, notes that most people don’t eat anywhere near the 5+ recommended servings of fruit and veggies every day. He also recommends that everyone take Omega-3 fish oil supplements in order to enhance brain function. Again, do your research. Spend some time keeping a food journal, and ask yourself where you can cut back on foods that aren’t good for your brain.

K.Willeumier headshot (black & white) We recently interviewed, the Director of Research for the Amen Clinic on the subject. {Click to download and listen now} Dr. Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D., is the Director of Research for the Amen Clinics, Inc. She leads the research on all clinical studies performed at the Amen Clinics across a variety of topics including SPECT imaging in clinical practice, traumatic brain injury, suicide, obesity, gender differences in brain function and brain rehabilitation. BrainTalk Radio airs the 1st Wednesday of the month at 12pm ET, you can download and listen anytime to past shows.


As a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader, Dawn helps sales, marketing, advertising and creative entrepreneurs to accelerate their career so they’ll love their life!


  1. Nancy says:

    I think this was an excellent article. Thank you for sharing. Although I do not have celiac, I also follow a similiar diet. It works for overall well being.

    • admin says:

      Thank you Nancy! You are welcome. Good to connect with you again. I appreciate you’re kind words. I believe a lot more people are trying to eliminate processed foods, go organic, and buy from local farms too. It makes such a difference on many levels. Wishing you a Happy 4th of July! TTS.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for educating us on the problem of too much sugar. It was very interesting! We must make a conscious effort to eat well, and reminders are very helpful.

    I also second the notion of local farm stands. As a full-time working mother, it’s sometimes challenging to get to local farm stands. Walpole has a Farmer’s Market every other Wednesday 3 to 8pm through October, located in the municipal parking lot (across from Stone Field). I love Jane & Paul’s Farm in Norfolk!

  3. First off I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick
    question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my
    thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations
    or tips? Thank you!

    • Dawn Quesnel says:

      Thank you! Nice to meet you. I personally clear my working area, take a few deep breaths and allow myself to free flow write, which means I’m not judging or analyzing what I am writing, not trying to make it perfect the first time. A great book to help you with this is and one I love to recommend is called, “Bird by Bird”, Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. Let me know how you make out. I look forward to connecting with you soon. DQ

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