Why exploring your neighborhood and the spice cumin is good for your brain!

Several years ago I discovered that change of scenery is great for my creativity! Last week I was walking to a local coffee shop several blocks from my home to do a little writing when I discovered Nourish Cafe, a small space serving up plant based organic fare. Wow, fresh juices, smoothies, wraps, and salads! Yum! And lots of gluten free options too! My brain felt stimulated and excited. I asked how long they had been open and the server replied about one year. What?! How did a whole year go by without me knowing that this cafe existed? I was shocked!

New experiences actually stimulate the release of dopamine in our brain… our neurotransmitter responsible for drive, motivation, and pleasure. Actually, even setting goals or working on a new project can stimulate dopamine release. Have you ever moved to a new town or city and felt completely invigorated? Or felt all your senses come alive when vacationing in a new destination? When it comes to food, our brain also likes new taste experiences! It is common for people to get bored with what they cook and lose their appreciation for cooking healthy and tasty foods.

Ordering a new cookbook or just digging up some forgotten recipes is sometimes all it takes to get your enthusiasm back for cooking again! Or just adding one new spice to your spice rack can make a big impact on flavors. I suggest ground cumin if you have not yet tried it in your dishes. I love it on roasted cauliflower, in chicken dishes, and adding it to hearty stews!

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If you have no time to cook this week or just need a break, then be sure to take a walk around your neighborhood to see what you discover! Maybe you will find a local cafe serving up healthy and delicious fare…just what your brain needed!