September 2016

 

 

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Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 16.14.50“Can’t remember: I must be getting Alzheimer’s” people say, nowadays, if they’re not as young as they were.
And I sigh. Nine out of ten times, they aren’t, and the worry is not doing them any good. In fact, noone who ever said this to me, seemed anything but just forgetful. Or: very forgetful. More or less the same as me.
Alzheimer’s [1] is different. As you’ll see from the following.

If you:
forget a name, word, or experience, and remember it later;
forget, but being reminded works;
effectively use tools to help you remember: notes, a calendar;
can retrieve something which you forgot several times before;
have memory problems due to stress, fatigue, or overdoing;
keep your usual personality and behaviour;
can still look after yourself and perform basic needs like bathing, dressing, eating;
YOU ARE FINE!!!!

However, if someone:
has trouble performing normal tasks;
forgets how to do things they’ve done lots of times;
gets lost or disoriented in familiar places;
repeats stories within the same conversation;
can’t make choices, shows poor judgment;
can’t follow directions;
behaves in socially inappropriate ways:
they may be heading in the wrong direction.

Alzheimer’s develops due to a whole complex of factors, some of which can’t be helped. But there are plenty of ways in which you can influence the outcome.
* Regular exercise: at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week; balance and coordination exercises (like yoga, tai chi).
* Healthy diet: less sugar, more fruits, veg [2], and whole grains, avoid trans fats and refined foods.
* Mental stimulation: learn something new, do puzzles or games, read.
* Quality sleep: see insomnia Thought April 2015.
* Stress management: laugh! And see Thought July 2014 (http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk > 2016).
* An active social life: volunteer, join a club, phone, get out, get to know your neighbours.
* Stop smoking; watch your weight; control your blood pressure, don’t drink too much.
* In general, what’s good for your heart also benefits the health of your brain.
See [3].

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia – even doctors sometimes use the terms interchangeably. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia. Dementia is a general symptom and can also be caused by other disorders [4].

EAT
Veg: broad/runner/french beans, marrow, squash, courgette, lettuce, turnip, peas/mangetout, aubergine, capsicum, spinach (beet), chard, sweetcorn, shallots, tomatoes, cauli, carrots, cabbage, beet, globe artichoke, cucumber, fennel, radish, kohlrabi, calabrese, chicory, endive, celery, broccoli, swede..
Fish: Mackerel, seabass, black bream, crab, mussels, scallops.
Meat: rabbit, lamb, wood pigeon, duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison.

SOW spring cabbage, spinach, turnips, oriental vegetables, landcress, rocket, corn salad, winter lettuce, winter purslane. Plant overwintering onion sets, garlic.

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FRENCH BEANS with APPLE CIDER
225g beans, olive oil, 1/2 chopped onion, 180ml apple cider, salt, pepper.
Cook beans till just done. Saute onion in oil and stir till it starts to caramellize. Add cider, lower the heat and cook until the liquid is reduced and syrupy, about 5 mins. Season beans and add to onion mix, stir.

WHITE FISH, WHITE KOHLRABI and RED TOMATOES
4 175g pollock or whiting fillets, 4 small or 1 large kohlrabi, 2 chopped onions, 3 garlic cloves minced, some tomatoes or tomato puree, thyme, basil, 4 tblsp olive oil, seasoning.
Saute onion and garlic in half the oil. Add tomatoes and thyme, cook 10 mins, stir occasionally till sauce thickens. Add chopped basil, salt, pepper. Remove thyme. Peel kohlrabi, slice thinly. Cook in salted water 10-15 mins. Fry fish in the rest of the oil till done. Put on each plate: kohlrabi, fish, top with sauce.

SPINACH-RUNNER BEAN SOUP
I always make this when we have a glut of runner beans. It’s simple:
Cook spinach (or use leftovers). Cook runner beans (or use leftovers). If you have something else leftover, like potatoes, throw it in! Keep cooking water. Add this water and/or stock, whizz with a whizzer. Season. Nutmeg, coriander, cayenne pepper are all good. Add sour cream. Serve!

FRENCH BEANS with MUSHROOM BUTTER
450g French beans, 125g chopped mushrooms, 3 tsp chopped fresh parsley, 1 tblsp softened butter, 2 chopped garlic cloves.
Mix first 4 ingredients, add pepper. Cook beans, mix in mushroom butter, just heat through.

BRAISED SCRAG END OF LAMB
Zest of 1 lemon, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 kg scrag end, 1 chopped onion, celery, 4 tsp tomato purée, can chopped tomatoes, 1l water, 400g quartered potatoes, 1 bay, 2 tbsp chopped dill, 300g sliced runner beans, 4 tbsp chopped parsley.
Rub zest and 2 tblsp oil over lamb. Let marinate for at least 1 hr, pref overnight. Heat oil in pan large enough to hold lamb and potatoes. Once hot, brown lamb in batches, set aside.
Add onion and celery, cook until soft, add tomato puree. Cook for another min., add tomatoes and water. Bring to boil and season. Return lamb to pan, add bay. Cover and simmer for 1 hr. Add potatoes and simmer for 20 mins uncovered, before adding dill, beans and half the parsley. Simmer for 15 mins until beans and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with parsley. This dish tastes even better the day after.

CRAB with ROCKET, BASIL and OLIVE OIL
350g fresh white crab meat, 2 tsp lemon juice, 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling, 8 shredded basil leaves, handful sliced rocket leaves, sea salt, pepper.
Mix crab, lemon juice, oil, basil and seasoning. Make 4 piles of this on so many plates/ Put small pile of rocket next to them. Drizzle more oil over the rocket. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

HETE BLIKSEM with WATERCRESS
1200g (floury) potatoes, 500g chopped apples ideally half sweet and half sour, 10-12 slices smoked bacon, butter or fat for frying,  2 onions, salt, large bunch of watercress, chopped without the thicker stalks.
Chop potatoes and put on with cold lightly salted water. After ab. 10 minutes add most of the apples. Meanwhile fry bacon with chopped onion and the rest of the apples. When potatoes and apples are done, mash. Cut up bacon, and add bacon/onion/apple mix to the mash along with the frying fat. At the last minute mix in the cress, or strew over it when served on the plates.

SPICY MARROW with MUSHROOMS
1 small marrow, 250g chopped mushrooms, 80ml butter, 1 chopped onion, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 80ml plain yoghurt, 2 chopped tomatoes, salt, 1tsp curry powder, 1tblsp chopped green coriander or some ground coriander seeds.
Grind into paste: 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, 2.5cm fresh ginger
Peel marrow, take out pips. Cook in some salted boiling water for 5 mins. Drain, chop in 2cm pieces. Heat butter, fry onion, mushrooms and bay until golden. Add cumin and paste and fry for 10 more mins. Add yoghurt, tomato, salt and marrow, stir well. Cover tightly and cook on low heat for 15 mins. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander.

 

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[1] http://www.dementiaguide.com/community/dementia-articles/Difference_Alzheimer’s_and_Dementia
[2] especially green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
[3] From http://www.alz.org/research/science/alzheimers_prevention_and_risk.asp and
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/alzheimers-dementia/alzheimers-and-dementia-prevention.htm.
See also http://www.helpguide.org/articles/memory/age-related-memory-loss.htm.
[4] https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/forgetfulness

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