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Reduce Brain Fog & Mental Fatigue with Rowena Gates

Rowena Gates is a principal and the vice president of business development for Eng3 Corporation. She has worked with the company for more than a decade, addressing the health, wellness, and performance markets.

Rowena is a serial entrepreneur. Prior to joining Eng3, Rowena spent six years as founder and CEO of Aviarc Corporation, a leader in document chain management. Before Aviarc, she co-founded a document imaging company, now called ImageSource. And prior to this, in 1995, she co-founded one of the earliest companies to offer an Internet-based solution to the logistics industry.

Rowena received a Doctorate from the University of Washington for her dissertation on the use of international strategic alliances by emerging high-tech companies.

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How do you reduce brain fog and mental fatigue so you can level up your executive function to be more productive?

We talk about this topic a lot in the Kwik Brain community, especially throughout these difficult, stressful, and turbulent times. Today, I’m going to share with you one of my secret weapons in my superhero toolkit.

I’m excited to talk with Rowena Gates. She’s the co-founder of Eng3 Corporation, the creators of NanoVi technology. If you’ve ever seen videos where I’m at my desk, you’ve likely seen this device. It’s a tool I use to help boost my focus, mental clarity, and energy.

Even superheroes need a boost from time to time, and this tool can help you level up your productivity so you can win the day. If you struggle to find creativity, get into flow, or stay mentally alert, this episode is for you.

** A quick note on the episode. This was recorded live at a biohacking conference, where I grabbed one of the speakers I was talking to because I wanted to record their wisdom and share it with you. The audio isn’t the best. We were at a live event, so there is a lot of ambient noise. But the tools and tips are very practical and valuable, and I wanted to get them to you.

*** Do you want to stay up to date with every new episode and get my brand new Kwik Brain Accelerator Program? Go to www.KwikBrain.com/podcast to get instant access. ***

"You want to keep up on the oxidative stress in your body, because you don’t want that damage accumulating long-term and contributing to the aging process."

Rowena Gates

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Understanding Oxidative Stress

  • Jim has talked before about why his favorite superheroes are Batman and Iron Man.
  • They don’t have inherent powers and they weren’t given powers. But they have technology that allows them to level up.
  • This makes being a superhero accessible because you can use technology to level up your learning and your life.
  • NanoVi is one of those technologies.
  • Before using technology, it’s important to understand the importance of taking care of your body and brain.
  • First is looking at the long-term prevention of cellular damage.
  • You want to prevent doing damage wherever possible so you’re in top performance when you sit down to concentrate for long periods of time.
  • This means making sure you have an appropriate antioxidant regime.
  • You don’t want to do too much, or too little.
  • Two important ways to care for yourself are exercise and sleep.
  • They help your brain clear out the bad stuff and allow the good stuff into the brain so you’re ready to go.
  • When talking about cellular damage, Rowena is talking about oxidative stress.
  • Damage occurs when the damage from stress outweighs the ability of your body to prevent it.
  • When this happens, it allows your body to accumulate the damage.
  • Your brain burns about 20% of your oxygen even though it’s only 2% of your weight.
  • You burn a lot of oxygen, which means there’s a lot of oxidation happening.
  • This leads to oxidative stress.
  • When you have oxidative stress, you start to get brain fog, feel a lack of performance, and experience a lack of clarity.

Reducing Oxidative Damage

  • The last year has been very stressful and many of you noticed adverse effects on your performance.
  • To optimize your body against oxidative stress is really a whole lifestyle commitment.
  • It depends on your diet, how much you exercise, etc.
  • Everyone is so individual it’s difficult to make a broad statement, but it’s worth paying attention to and trying to find the right balance for you.
  • You want to make sure you’re not exposed to things that cause additional oxidative stress.
  • Things like chemicals, too much direct sunlight, environmental toxicity.
  • Minimizing exposure to things that are damaging is setting the long-term pace for getting good results.
  • Short-term, there are many techniques that brain scientists have come up with and recommend.
  • One technique is the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Set a timer for 20-25 minutes, whatever is the right amount of time for you.
  • And at the end, get up, move around, and don’t think about what you were just concentrating on.
  • When you’re working, especially with technology, it’s so easy to sit down and before you realize it, an hour or two has gone by.
  • You’ve been staring at a screen without giving your brain a chance to catch up or your eyes to rest.
  • Digital fatigue leads to visual fatigue which then leads to mental fatigue.
  • You can relieve that visual fatigue by closing your eyes or actively moving your eyes around.
  • Another technique that is really valuable is breath work.
  • Closing your eyes and resetting your breathing gives your body a chance to rest, reset, and process what you’ve been working on.
  • It clears your brain out so you can move forward.
  • Taking frequent breaks actually pushes you much farther ahead in the long run than if you just kept hammering away at your task.
  • Pushing forward also creates more oxidative stress that you don’t want.
  • Just because something is attainable doesn’t mean it’s sustainable over time.
  • Anyone can have a burst of focus or energy that helps them work past their natural thresholds.
  • But that push creates negative effects, that then create even more adverse effects.

Taking Care of Your Body

  • When you aren’t able to sustain the cognitive demands of a given task, your focus and concentration goes down.
  • This is why it’s so important to take healthy brain breaks every 20-25 minutes.
  • You want to move, especially your body.
  • When you use technology for prolonged periods of time, you’re training your body to sit a certain way and look at devices from specific distances.
  • This means you’re not getting the flexibility you need to stay healthy.
  • You want to adjust your vision, look off into the distance.
  • But one of the most important aspects of the brain break is to stop thinking about what you were working on while you’re resting.
  • When you’re concentrating, you’re very focused and alert. But you need to give your brain time to rest.
  • This rest period is where you’re able to diverge your thinking, free flow, and integrate what you just learned.
  • It’s when your brain has a chance to shuffle things around appropriately and make them available when you need them.
  • This can be a very creative process if you give yourself the space to enjoy it.
  • When you sit at your desk, your diaphragm collapses, which means you aren’t getting oxygen.
  • Your brain is 2% of your body mass but it’s an energy hog. It uses roughly 20% of your nutrients and oxygen.
  • You also want to hydrate.
  • Being dehydrated can make you mentally slow.
  • These are powerful, simple things you can do to make a huge difference in terms of how much you get done each day as well as the long-term benefits to your brain.
  • You want to do as much as you can to keep oxidative damage from accumulating long-term.
  • Oxidative stress is the aging process. If you didn’t have it, there’s no reason most of the cells in your body would get old.
  • Your body is constantly being damaged so you want to do everything you can to keep it as healthy as possible.
  • You want to be aware that while you’re stretching and reaching to do more, that you’re also taking time to stabilize.
  • Stabilizing is when you take time to recover and is vital whether you’re doing something athletic or mental.

Using Technology For Better Brain Health

  • If you’re on social media, you may have seen this NanoVi device on Jim’s desk.
  • The NanoVi device is a box about the size of a printer with a long arm coming out of it and bubbling water on top of the device.
  • At the end of that arm is a tube you can breathe from.
  • Inside the device is where all the magic happens, in terms of the excitation of water droplets that are going through the tube and then inhaled.
  • Jim gets asked a lot: what are some of the tools he uses to have an extra edge in life.
  • He feels like if he’s not using certain tools, he’s not operating at the highest version of himself.
  • He uses NanoVi when he has to spend time reading or writing.
  • It’s very passive, all you do is breath. But it helps keep mental fatigue and brain fog away while keeping your executive functioning sharp throughout the task.
  • Jim wrote more than half of Limitless using NanoVi and Rowena has been told it’s helped other writers as well.
  • There’s a lot of science behind the NanoVi device.
  • It draws on areas such as water science, biology, and physics.
  • It’s emitting a specific wavelength inside the device that can be transferred through water.
  • When it hits water in your body through the mucus membrane in your nose and lungs, that wavelength is transferred throughout the body.
  • It’s initiating what’s called the exclusion zone or ordered water in the cells.
  • All proteins, all cells are immersed in water.
  • The water is actually a source of energy for the protein to fold.
  • They have to fold or they don’t function.
  • NanoVi simply improves the environment for protein folding to take place.
  • By reenergizing the water, it lets the protein do what they body knows to do.
  • It isn’t overriding anything; it’s just giving the cells extra support.
  • Modern lifestyles add extra oxidative stress, so this extra support is helpful to maintain healthier cells.
  • It’s a very unique technology, and there’s nothing else like it.
  • Rowena and her team have done studies on an EEG, and you can see inappropriate brain activity diminish in a stressed executive’s brain.
  • There are before and after videos on the website, along with more information about how it works.
  • You use this device while doing your Pomodoro timed focus session—15, 20, or 25 minutes.
  • You can use it more, depending on the workload you have.
  • It can help reduce your cognitive load and relieve decision fatigue.
  • Being overwhelmed or suffering from decision fatigue can lead to costly mistakes.
  • It’s important to know your limits when working.
  • Work in 25-30 minute intervals, take brain breaks, and use that time to move your body and your eyes.
  • Be sure to check out the unedited, extended episode on YouTube, here.

Share With Us

  • Take a screenshot of this episode, share it, and tag us on social media (@eng3corp & @JimKwik) and tell us your thoughts on how you overcome burnout, mental fatigue, and brain fog; and improve executive function.
  • I’ll be gifting a copy of Limitless as a thank you for participating.
  • We have a very special deal worked out for our listeners. Go to eng3corp.com/Kwik for details about this unique technology and how it works.
  • There are videos, diagrams, and more on the website, as well as different device options.


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