Brain Talk

Taylor on the Brain

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Your brain is your greatest resource—use it by design to help you learn how to stay healthier and younger for longer!

—Arlene R. Taylor PhD

The patio doors frame a snow-covered world, icicles dllecorate the garage eaves, and leafless branches reach toward an eggshell sky. At one bird feeder, redpolls help themselves to Niger seed; at another a chickadee enjoys sunflower seeds. I sit watching them from my dining-room table. The mercury is balancing even more heavily on the minus side than usual, and it's cold, very cold for April, even for Alberta. Seed splays as the birds continue their breakfast, but I'm more interested in my mixer base that's sitting on a deck chair just outside the patio door.

If you've ever attended one of Dr. Taylor's brain seminars, you know about those individuals who spiral through life keeping a number of projects on the go simultaneously. This morning, inspiration prompted me to mix up a triple recipe of Dr. Taylor's special brain waffles. (She'd gotten the basic recipe from her cousin, Linda Wetzel, and had tinkered with it a bit.) An added whiff of genius told me that if I set up my waffle iron on the kitchen deck and my notebook computer in the dining room, I could write Canadian Comments while, at the same time, bake waffles for the freezer. We're having friends over next week. They're on a restrictive diet and these waffles will be perfect! There's no wheat, no dairy, no salt (you can make them without any salt), and they freeze very well. Served with...

But that's beside the point. My decision to triple the recipe is where the trouble began. The waffle mix needs to be blended at high speed. Being of a rather spontaneous nature and considering myself fairly capable at recipe math, I assumed I could triple the recipe and then divide the mixture in half to fit into the large pitcher of my heavy-duty mixer. The half fit, just barely, and moments later I had the first lot of batter blended to perfection. I poured it into a large bowl and started to blend the second half. That's when the mixer stopped.

"Check for the obvious!" That's the advice from my computer guru that I pass on to my grandson when he has problems with his computer. It should apply to a mixer, too. 

I jiggled the plug. Nothing happened. I jiggled the plug again. No success. I went down to the basement to check the electrical breakers. All were fine. That figured since the light in the same plug-in was still working! I tried all the other wise things I could think of such as turning the switch on and off a few times, pounding on the machine, and talking loudly and forcefully to it. Nothing worked. And I still had half the recipe to mix. I decided to look in the book that had come with the machine. You know, the owners manual that has all the information that we of certain biochemical brain dispositions tend to ignore until it's almost too late.

To my surprise, I found that the book contains a number of amazing facts. For one, the mixer turns off automatically when it begins to heat from being overloaded. Give it a half hour to cool down, the book said, and it'll work again. It added this hint: to speed up the cool-down time set the mixer base in the refrigerator or in the Deepfreeze for a few minutes. Here in Alberta, we have the advantage of a great outdoors that serves as a fantastic cool-down facility during the winter half of the year. And so I gave the mixer base some cool-down time out in the patio on a patio chair.

Wouldn't you know it? The mixer base cooled quickly. I mixed the remainder of the batter in smaller quantities, and everything proceeded smoothly from that point. The waffles are baked now, and in the freezer, and my comments are nearly finished except for that part about everyday living.

Those of us who tend to overload with too many activities can prevent burnout by understanding and practically applying the brain information. Instead of loading on too much work at one time in our non-preferred areas, we can profit by using the suggested technique of sandwiching 15-30 minutes of non-preferred tasks between chunks of activities that our brains handle more easily. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Next time I decide to bake a triple batch of waffles, I think I'll mix them one recipe at a time. That's the optimum amount for the mixer.

Arlene's "Brain Waffles"

Soak approximately ½ cup of mixed dried beans in water for at least 12 hours. I use a combination of 6-8 different types of beans such as navy, soy, garbanzo, baby lima, small white, black, and pinto. Rinse soaked beans thoroughly.

Place in a blender:

  • 2 cups of soaked but uncooked beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 tsp salt (if desired)

Blend until very smooth. (I use my Vita Mix.) Let the batter stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken.

Spray waffle iron lightly with nonstick spray for at least the first waffle. Pour mix into waffle iron and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Remove waffles from the waffle iron and eat. They're great as a main dish. Try them with an entree topping such as creamed asparagus, scrambled tofu, mushrooms, or green peas. Enjoy them with peanut butter and applesauce, or good ol' maple syrup!

The waffles freeze well, too. If frozen, thaw and heat in the toaster or in the oven at 350° F. for a few minutes.

Note: Contact information for Cory:
Postal: Box 52714, EPO Eastgate
2020 Sherwood Drive
Sherwood Park, Alberta T8A OK8 Canada


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