Three cloud forests to visit Comments Off on Three cloud forests to visit 138,755

Cloud forests are unique ecosystems that are located in mostly tropical areas at high altitudes. These forests have high levels of cloud cover, precipitation, and very temperate climates. The cloud-cover leads to high levels of precipitation which is taken directly from the clouds. Cloud forests have especially high levels of biodiversity which are home to an incredible number of unique plants and animals. Cloud forests are extremely rare ecosystems that cover around 0.14% of the planet’s land surface. These mystical forests are extremely important to maintaining biodiversity, but sadly many species are in danger of disappearing due to climate change. These fragile forests are worth a visit and worth advocating for change to help save these natural plant and animal havens.

Mindo-Cloud-Forest
Credit: The Globetrotting Teacher

Mindo, Ecuador

Mindo is a preserved paradise in the clouds found just a couple of hours from the capital city of Quito. It is situated where two of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world meet, in the western foothills of the Andes. The convergence of bio-diversity provides for a wealth of possible activities to enjoy the surrounding nature. Topping the list is the journey to the waterfall sanctuary which includes a cable car journey with epic views over the top of the forest and hikes to seven impressive waterfalls. Enjoy bird watching as the cloud forest is home to about 350 unique species. Check out the organic coffee farm or for a bit more adrenaline, raft down the river that runs through the village, or even enjoy a ziplining journey through the forest for more breathtaking views. Wake up amongst the nature in charming tree-house style accommodations that are situated around the center of this quiet village.

Cerro Huitepec, Mexico
Cerro Huitepec, Mexico

Cerro Huitepec, Mexico

Located within the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Cerro Huitepec is an extinct volcano which has a cloud forest located in the upper part of the reserve. This cloud forest is quite untouched with no resorts or accommodations inside the reserve. A trip to the cloud forest here consists of a simple hike but truly allows you to experience the importance of a rainforest. As you descend on the cloud forest, the temperature drops, the moisture increases, and the light diminishes as the trees are reaching high into the sky to compete for light. Clouds suspend over the forest and the more than 100 different species of birds are profoundly heard throughout the forest. The cloud forest is just 5km from San Cristobal de las Casas which has plenty of accommodation and has many other activities in the surrounding area.

Monteverde Reserve, Costa Rica
Credit: Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Monteverde Reserve, Costa Rica

Situated on the continental divide where the Pacific and Atlantic slopes collide, Monteverde is the probably the world’s most visited and well-known cloud forest. It is a cloud forest reserve that encompasses an astonishing 10,500 hectares (25,945 acres) of land. There is an impressive amount of wildlife to be spotted amongst this clouded forest due to the diversity of ecosystems found on the reserve. There are over 100 different mammals like white-faced monkeys, 120 amphibians and reptiles, and over 500 different species of birds. Scientists say there are still many undiscovered species living on the reserve. There are trails that lead to views of the continental divide, waterfalls, and the famous hanging bridge overlooking the canopy of trees.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,286

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,496

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

Girl hiking outside
Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
Girl hiking outside jumping
No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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