Episode 43: Your Brain on Plants

Today’s episode is about exactly what the title says… our brains… on plants. And what happens in our brains, when we become Plant People. When I was starting to move from plant killer to crazy plant lady, I noticed, there were a few months in the beginning of my plant collection where I feel like the love for plants kind of took over my life. I’ve always thought about that particular phase in my life when I felt like I almost couldn’t stop buying more plants. Enter Dr Caitlin Vander Weele, the answer to my plant-iest and expert-iest of dreams. Caitlin is not only an awesome listener of BAGR but a neuroscientist and author with over 10 years of expertise in understanding how emotions and brain chemistry influence decision making. She is also the founder of Interstellate, a movement that blends science and art with visual imagery to promote science education. Plant friends… Caitlin is like…. really really really smart. And she is also a crazy plant lady, and this conversation blew my mind. Two quick notes on today’s conversation: 1) Caitlin and I talk about some grown up topics in this episode- I know lots of you listen with your children (which makes me so happy) but I might give this a listen on your own before you enjoy it with your kids. Let’s say while all my other episodes are pretty much G rated, we will call this one PG-13. 2) We are not licensed psychologists, just two plant friends talking neuroscience. If you think you have a compulsive spending problem, please consult a professional. And now before we dive into that conversation I can’t wait to tell you about today’s sponsor, Modern Sprout.   In this episode we learn: - How Caitlin became a crazy plant lady - Maria gets real with Caitlin and explains the addictive behaviors she experienced when she began her journey into plant parenthood. Caitlin breaks down what exactly was happening in Maria’s brain in those first few months of buying as many plants as possible - What causes our brain to release dopamine  - What a compulsive behavior is - What our brain on dopamine does - What neurotransmitters, synapses and receptors are - The difference between endorphins and dopamine - Why we feel bonded to our plants - How these things are measured in our brains - 4 phases of compulsive behaviors to look out for - How to cope with compulsive urges when growing your urban jungle Thank you Modern Sprout for sponsoring today's episode! Visit https://www.modsprout.com/ to learn more about their lines of hydroponic planters and AMAZING grow lights and use code BLOOM at checkout for 15% off.  Follow Dr Caitlin Vander Weele on Twitter and Instagram and Interstellate @interstellate and www.insterstellate.com Follow Bloom and Grow Radio on Instagram Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Club: www.bloomandgrowradio.com/garden-club Donate to Bloom and Grow Radio to support the show in Year 2! http://bit.ly/2TnMwiy

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