How to Grow A Brain (All About Kid's Brain Health)

What's at the core of everything you're trying to do as a parent? Yup, that's right - that little noggin'.

Without a healthy, dense, tightly-wired brain - all that effort, all those lessons and all that love add up to - well, not as much as we'd like.

Parents MUST protect that baby/kid/teen brain at all costs! From helmets to DHA and sleep to nutrition putting your kid's brain health first and foremost is a smart move.

Defending Your Brain - Weapons from the Master

What is modern life doing to your brain?

Well, it ain't pretty. You need weapons and you need them now. Modern life is a mismatch for what the human brain evolved to be and do. Let's fix that!

Listen up and learn how to make those small hacks that change everything. SLEEP. EAT. Stop using 85 apps!

Humans are silly, kind of lame, but really smart.

This podcast is all about how to be a better human. And keep your brain sharp for a long, long time.

[You Can't] Duct Tape Everything!

In this episode (#11 of Season 1) Rio and Jenni talk to Jon Aguilar, Master Stonesmith and Artist (also Jenni's husband). The core of the conversation is about how men handle the various aspects of brain injury - whether it's their own or a friend/child/spouse. 

We take on critical issues around dismissiveness, the invisibility of brain injury, how men handle being vulnerable (hint, they don't like it) and how terrifying it is to face your own mortality. 

Jon references these things you may want to explore: 

You can find Jon and his amazing work at: OR OR

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Catastrophe in Cali: Danger & the Brain

The Thomas Fire swept through California a few months ago. Jenni and Rio happen to live right, smack where that happened. Then it rained and a huge mud/debris-slide killed 23 people and destroyed a large swath of the small town, Montecito (also just a few miles from our home). In the midst of all this threat, terror and tragedy were repeated evacuations, intensely unhealthy air-quality, closed freeways, no phone services, no internet services, no way to commute, get to school or work and lots of economic fallout.

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The Blunting of Both Sexes

In this episode, Jenni and Rio talk about the differences between women's and men's brains. But that's not all folks! We then connect the cultural 'blunting' that is happening to each sex via, 1) The over-diagnoses of ADHD and over-drugging of boys and young men and 2) The mislabelling of women's emotions and how their feelings are also being medicated away.

Men's brains are oriented towards the intelligence of action, and women really do have the better brain when it comes to reading faces, understanding feelings and caring for others. Why, oh why, does our culture want to flatline these evolutionary attributes? Listen up, find out and defend yourself against bad ideas like medicating every-damn-thing

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A Collage of Bandaids

In this episode, Rio and Jenni talk about Western medicine's failed episodic approach to 'health'. Rio coined it a 'collage of bandaids' and that is spot on. Regaining or maintaining health requires a comprehensive view of what a Homo sapien really IS. What do we truly need to feel great and vibrant? We also cover the lack of evidence-based medical care, why people are all hopped up on 'fast thinking' and what happens when people self-report about their diet (spoiler: They lie). Also, Jenni talks about her process with clients and why slow and broad thinking is helpful in her work.

Q & A with Mixed Mental Artists

In this episode, we answer questions about the brain and brain health from smart people in the Mixed Mental Arts Facebook Group. Mixed Mental Arts is led by Hunter Maats, author of The Straight-A Conspiracy, and Bryan Callen, comedian and podcaster (The Fighter and the Kid). The Mixed Mental Arts podcast is perhaps the best podcast out there!! Jenni has been on the MMA podcast once or twice and writes for their online magazine every so often. The group posed some great questions about Alzheimer's (is it really Diabetes 3?), alcohol (good for your brain?) and pregnancy (does pregnancy make you dumb?). 

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From Hell to Healing - The Battle Against Brain Injury

People often ask me how I (Jenni) got involved in brain health.

Like many things, it was unexpected and unplanned. My son suffered from three (3!) brain injuries during just 2 years (from ages 12 - 14). And I was scared. Terrified. Reeling. Determined. Bold. Insistent. Angry. 

Brain injury is terrifying. Not just the initial bleeding, or visible injury but the invisible injury. The change in personality, the loss of function, the strange nature of brain injury itself. It sucks. 

Our situation was bad, so naturally I just decided (against all advice) that my son could and would heal. 100% and nothing less. This stance led me through scores of books, hundreds of websites and thousands of pieces of research (most of which I only barely understood). And it led me to solutions. 

This is our story. 

The Electrical Brain (or How Your Brain Actually Works)

In this episode we announce the NEW website - - where all things Primal Brain live. This includes up and coming announcements about the book, sneak peaks at the cover art for the book (which is bad-ass!) and more. We talk about how the brain actually works - via cumulative electrical wave patterns. It's a weird concept that takes us out of thinking about our brain structure/organ and into thinking about the how the brain functions - coherent electrical signals. It sounds all complicated, but it's fairly simple. And you're still in charge of your own neuroplasticity (sorry, no passes!). 

Calming the Racing Mind

In this episode, Jenni and Rio start off with a product review of Lion's Mane mushroom. Lion's Mane is an edible mushroom with amazing benefits for the brain! We then answer our first (yay!) listener's question. Laurie writes in to ask how to calm a racing mind (in the middle of the night) and asks what this problem is caused by: Hormones, stress, being a woman? We talk about toxic stress, hormones, the female brain, recalibrating the brain, sleep hygiene, counseling and more. 

Rio's Story - Insanity or TBI?

Rio's story begins with her head making violent contact with ice. It's a story that a lot of people can probably relate to as they insert name here, type of accident here, and shitstorm to follow here. Why are we sharing it with you? Because most of this story and years of Rio's life could have been different if her family only had the right information. Rio had none, and there she was lying in the snow. She was sixteen when she had the snowboarding accident and helmets weren't really a "thing" yet. Listen in to find out what happened. 

Let the Gods Arrive

In this episode, Jenni and Rio talk about this quote:

"Heartily know, when half-gods go, the gods arrive." - William James

This quote really struck a nerve! While we are not well-read on William James (and he was writing about God in the religious sense - we are not), but we see it this way: In any situation when you let go of low expectations, half-assed attempts, the fear of failing - you get the 'Gods'. To us this is not a literal god or gods, but we get the miraculous results, we get the breakthrough or the assistance we need. 

This mindset is directly related to what you can enact with neuroplasticity. If you accept low results, if think you can manage daily headaches, or low performance, you're not asking your brain to do anything new. And YOU have to ask. Virtuous cycles of neuroplasticity only come 'online' when you demand them to. 

So kick the half-gods out. Make room for the greatest, you're alive!

Mind Over Brain - The Primal Brain Podcast

In the first episode of the Primal Brain Podcast, you will meet Rio Richards (master's candidate, amazing artist and co-host of the podcast) and Jenni Aguilar, MHEd, CBFC & Brain Health & Performance Coach. Jenni talks about why viewing the brain through an evolutionary lens is critical to brain health and why brain health is critical in the first place. 

The main topic is mind-over-brain - neuroplasticity - and how YOU are the person who is in charge of your brain-organ and what it can and cannot do. Most people have no idea how much influence they can exert to create a brain that is optimized, clear, flexible and healthy. 

Learn about how our modern lifestyle is affecting brain health and what small steps you can do today to start supporting your brain so your dreams and goals can be a reality.