Maisha Wynn Talks About Brain Aneurysm AwarenessAug 31, 2020 ● By Carrie Jackson
September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month, and Maisha Wynn is raising awareness of this potentially fatal condition by sharing her own powerful story and educating others about prevention and maintenance. Wynn, a lifestyle personality, vegan enthusiast, chef, author and founder of Live To Wynn, a lifestyle consulting firm, says that brain health is directly tied to overall wellness. Her book, The Wynning Way: A Guide to Creating Success Your Way, outlines how people can take control of their lives and promote brain health through lifestyle changes such as diet modifications, mindfulness and having an attitude of gratitude.
How has your own experience with a brain aneurysm turned you into an advocate for overall brain health?
In 2016, I was experiencing excruciating headaches that brought tears to my eyes. I was reluctant to get it checked out, but eventually went to the ER. After five hours of testing, I was told I had been living with an unruptured brain aneurysm. I was shocked. Symptoms can include dizziness, headaches, numbness, and slurred speech, but many people don’t experience any symptoms. One in 50 people in America are living with a brain aneurysm, and if it ruptures, about half of those will lead to fatality. African American women are twice as likely to be affected, and high blood pressure is another risk factor. My mother died with a multitude of health conditions, including hypertension, and was taking over 15 medications to manage them. It reignited my commitment to take control of my own health and manage my aneurysm holistically through diet and behavior modifications.
How does what we eat contribute to brain health?
Food not only fuels us, it heals us. I follow a vegan, plant-based lifestyle that includes lots of nutrient-dense foods like blueberries, kale, spinach, pineapples and Swiss chard, which contain antioxidants that promote brain health. Omega-3 is another great vitamin and I get that through flaxseed, nuts and soybeans, not supplements. Your body is a temple, and you need to treat it with love. Nourishing food gives you energy to move through your life with intention and interact with others with a positive light. This allows strengthening social relationships that are also important to brain health.
What lifestyle changes can people make to prevent a brain aneurysm?
An active heart is a healthy heart, which leads to a healthy brain. Any kind of physical activity that moves the energy around is beneficial. I regularly practice Pilates, which helps with blood flow to the brainwaves, but it’s important for people to find an activity they truly enjoy whether that’s walking, swimming, dancing or biking. Doing this outside and absorbing vitamin D can act as a natural antidepressant and help regulate sleep. Embracing self-care and respecting yourself and your body is an act of love that will directly enhance overall health and wellness. Taking time to read, journal and meditate stimulates different parts of the brain and keeps it active.
What can people do to reduce stress and heighten overall spiritual wellness?
Stress is a silent killer and prolonged, chronic stress has a direct negative impact on our emotional and physical well-being. Women, especially, need to set healthy boundaries and learn to say no to some of the demands put on them and others and say yes to putting themselves first. Disconnecting from your phone and other devices and spending time in nature will help you feel a sense of connection to something greater, whether that’s time in your garden or a walk on the beach. Expressing gratitude is perhaps one of the most important practices for overall wellness. We only have one life and waking up truly feeling grateful to be able to see a new day makes a huge impact on how we positively interact with ourselves and others. There is power in what we think and what we speak. I don’t use the words “try” or “maybe”; I set the intention that, “I will,” and, “I can.” It’s important to have goals and dreams while being open to what the universe has in store for us.
For more information, call 312-869-9662, email [email protected] or visit LiveToWynn.com. Facebook and Instagram @LiveToWynn; Twitter @LiveToWynn1
Carrie Jackson is an Evanston-based writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine. Connect at CarrieJacksonWrites.com.
“If you’re looking to boost your immune system while detoxifying your body and mind, this is the recipe for you!” says Maisha Wynn of LiveToWynn.
Yields: 1 serving
1 large organic pineapple, peeled and chopped
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled
½ lemon, peeled
2 medium organic cucumbers
Place peeled and chopped pineapple, ginger, lemon and cucumbers in your juicer.
Pour it in your favorite glass and enjoy. Cheers to nurturing you from the inside-out.
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric from Pexels