Brain Food

30 August 2018

Hello Everyone!  I have a special “guest blog”

…..written for you from Julie Morris.  Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison. Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book. If you want to more about Julie, visit her site at


Gardening is Brain Food!

Here’s Julie’s Blog:

7 Hobbies to Grow Your Brain, Meet New Friends, and Improve Your Life

Everyone needs a hobby. Whether you’re 6 or 60, a busy professional or a time-rich retiree, hobbies are important part of feeling fulfilled and enjoying life. Yet most of us spend less time on leisure as we get older, not picking back up again until late in life. If that sounds like you, it’s time to make a change. Here are seven hobbies worth learning no matter your age.

1. Hiking

Combine the stress-busting, heart-pumping power of jogging with the mind-quieting, energy-restoring comfort of nature, and you’ve got hiking. Get started with short, level hikes and graduate to longer, steeper treks as your endurance grows. Hiking is safer with friends, so join a hiking group or take a canine companion along.

2. Reading

Reading gives your brain a workout. The result? A hobby that fights memory loss, prevents depression, improves your focus, and gives you something interesting to talk about with friends. Give your eyes a break from screens and pick up a print book from the bookstore or library. You can even join a book club.

3. Gardening

Gardening is great for reducing stress, getting your daily dose of vitamin D, and staying nimble as you age. Gardening is even shown to be therapeutic for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Don’t have outdoor space for a garden? Place houseplants and kitchen herbs in front of a sunny window for an indoor garden with air-cleaning benefits.

4. Playing a Musical Instrument

Few activities compete with playing an instrument when it comes to boosting brainpower. As The Guardian reports, musical training increases connectivity and gray matter in the brain and enhances verbal memory, spatial reasoning and literacy skills. However, those aren’t the only reasons to pick up an instrument. Playing a band instrument is also a great way to socialize and it’s convenient to learn with online lessons. Buying an instrument, however, can be complicated especially when it comes to saxophones, clarinets and trumpets, which have many variants and quality levels. Research the options before you buy, because playing a quality instrument is always more fun.

5. Cooking

If eating healthy sounds boring, you haven’t honed your cooking skills enough. Learning new recipes, flavor combinations, and cooking techniques is excellent motivation for including more variety in your diet. Take a cooking class with a friend, spread the love with homemade baked goods, or host dinner parties to show off your new culinary savvy.

6. Playing Board Games

Move over, Monopoly. Recent years have seen the renaissance of the board game, with countless new games designed for adults of all skill levels. Playing a game is a great excuse to get together with friends or family and tap into your competitive spirit. If you’re ready to give board games a shot, try your hand at one of Wirecutter’s favorites.

7. Crafting

Whether you’re building furniture or cross-stitching, crafting is a mental exercise in problem solving, dexterity, and focus. And when you finish, you have a completed project you can be proud of. There’s no limit to the type of crafting you can do. If you don’t have space to craft in your own home, look for local meet-ups and makerspaces to join.


Hobbies are more than ways to fill your free time. They are stress-relief, brain food, a way to make friends and something to talk about besides work, all in one fun package. If you think you can’t find time for a hobby, ask yourself: Are those benefits you’re willing to miss out on?


  1. Posted by: Maureen Gardner

    So agree-at age 64 I still do Irish Dance and love it! I also love sew and listen to music-esp John Denver or Jim Curry!!

  2. Posted by: Brenda Alanen

    Thank you for the encouragement Julie. It’s exactly what I needed

  3. Posted by: Dorothy Fontana

    Dear Anne and Jim,

    I was so sorry to find out you are apparently NOT appearing this fall at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood. My husband and I and friends have enjoyed your show there the last three years. Please be sure to include other nearby show possibilities in the coming months as we so very much love your performances. The general Los Angeles area is our “show area,” and we so very much watching you and John Denver’s music.

  4. Posted by: Anne

    Hi Dorothy – I’m sorry that we were not asked to return to El Portal – we always had a good time there, and it’s a beautiful theatre. Maybe some day they will decide to bring us back. Be sure to watch our website calendar for any shows near you in LA.

  5. Posted by: Bianca

    That’s a lovely garden. The ideas for a new hobby is also very helpful.

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"I cannot wait for our market to hear Jim’s voice; it truly is spot-on and a beautiful tribute to John’s music."

Lori Kirby, Marketing Director
Capitol Civic Centre, Manitowoc, WI

"I have to tell you I don't know when we've enjoyed a show as much as we enjoyed yours. It just swept us away and we did not want it to end! You are all so gifted. And the music of John Denver speaks for itself. It touches the heart."

Julie Coletta,
Tiffin, OH


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