Eleven down ???? to go!!!!

Well, I made it to the end of June with my no ‘refined-sugars’ eating behaviour. I wish I could say that it was for the whole month but 11 days is a long time for me, considering the way that I was eating. (Of course with the caveat that it’s just the obvious sweet foods like cakes and slices, chocolates etc. I’m not reading the ingredients list on any purchased product, like bread etc)

And there was that one biscuit on Day One, or if you must know, by 7.00am on the first day!!!

But I must add, I’m still eating a few pieces of fruit for a bit of a sugar hit. I suppose that I am getting other nutrients at the same time, because it’s a whole food.

I still have a long way to go.

Thank goodness Glenys doesn’t have a sweet tooth or buy sweet snacks, because it would be really hard if I had these foods in the pantry and available all the time.

I know research has made a link between Diabetes and Dementia, and although I don’t understand a lot about Diabetes, I do know that too much of the sugars, salt and ‘bad’ fats is not good for general health, or heart and brain health.

People say to me, “But you don’t have a problem. You’re not overweight.” But that’s only because of all of the exercise that I do each week. Weight is only one indicator of health. Skinny people still have strokes and develop Dementia.

What’s your Achilles Heel? …….. as they say.

One thought leads to another, and to another.

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Shady verandahs help keep the sun off the interior.

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Warm tones of wooden floors and benches. Stained glass window and door panels.

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Polished floors and also breezeways above the door frames.

I’ve got carried away here. I started thinking about a post about a recipe; got sidetracked about why we bought a particular cooking appliance; and ended up commenting about the beautiful home that we used to live in. I’ll start again.

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A ”Queenslander’: the name given to this style of home built to suit our warm, humid climate – highset to allow cooling breezes underneath; wood; wide verandahs.

Glenys bought a Thermomix when we moved to our Unit in January 2012. She did this partly because we were downsizing drastically from a very roomy 3 bedroom Queenslander (see the obvious photos on the post. I love the features in this house.) and also because she has some ongoing physical issues after a car accident in 2008, and thought that a Thermomix might assist her cooking.

Then she started looking around for recipes to reflect the different method of preparation and cooking.

Today she made baked beans from scratch. She doesn’t really like them, but I do. A few days ago, Glenys found a recipe on Quirky Cooking’s Facebook page so made it and we both went back for seconds.

It was really delicious and had a creamy flavour even though there was no dairy in it.

I need to get some help again to set up another blog page: Healthy food topics and recipes and I hope to post the link to the recipe soon.

From the Inside: a doctor’s perspective.

I listened to a BBC program this afternoon. It was by Dr Jennifer Bute, who in her late 50’s eventually retired as a result of continual difficulty in her work day with many symptoms of Dementia.

It’s a candid talk about her perspective, of the gift that she now has, to be living with Dementia.

She shares many strategies and ideas that might be able to be incorporated into the daily lives, for those living with a diagnosis, so as to manage better and to help with maintaining brain function and strengthening neural connections.

I found the talk very interesting.

I personally have different symptoms, although after hearing her speak so honestly, I can associate with some of what she mentions. She has memory loss that is impacting on her ability to care for herself properly, for example…….Did she eat that particular day?, and at this stage, memory loss isn’t as prominent as the loss of some of the other cognitive functions, for me. However, I can relate to the issue of forgetting whole conversations, and about what she describes to be ‘going into meltdown’ when having to deal with complex issues, communication and noise.

In a way, this is another example of each one of us with a diagnosis being individuals still. This is probably because of the different types of Dementia; the stage of the progress of the disease; and, that we all have different backgrounds and educational/ study histories. (Norman Doidge and others talk about “Brain Reserve”)

I’ve posted a link to the BBC program on my Dementia Links page. Note: the first 2 minutes is the news headlines. The discussion goes for about 30 minutes, so if you have the time to stop and listen, I highly recommend it.

Shame on the Australian Financial Review

One of the issues important to people who have a diagnosis of Dementia, is the language used by others.

You will be shocked, by what my dear friend Kate has experienced. This experience has, ‘with the flick of a pen’, undone the few advances that people have achieved over many years. It’s intolerable.

Please go to the link to the full post on her blog, to read about the arrogance of a particular newspaper.

I think that one of the problems that they have, is that they have a preconceived paradigm about what they believe Dementia is, and therefore they don’t know how to handle the situation when confronted by someone of a high intelligence as Kate has, and who is living with Dementia. Well that’s what’s going to continue when more and more people are diagnosed with YOD.

The other problem……. their rudeness and lack of compassion with the language used. It doesn’t take much effort to admit that you’re wrong and publish an apology.

Note that there is also another post at the bottom of Kate’s post, updating the situation and abhorrent attitude. Please read both.

Please repost and share this information if you can.

Recently, an ill-informed and disrespectful journalist from the Australian Financial Review wrote an inflammatory and offensive article about people with dementia. It is also of some concern that the online site The Conversation seems complicit in such attitudes and behaviour. I have highlighted a letter to them from the President of Alzheimer’s Australia, and a couple of excellent blogs written by two colleagues, also friends of people with dementia. Both were key-note speakers at the recent ADI2015 conference in Perth.

Firstly, the offensive letter can be downloaded here AFR. As Co-chair of Dementia Alliance International, I sent the editor a letter, with no response.  I then sent in a Letter to the Editor, for publication, with no response. A number of others have also sent letters, and has zero response. This is part of what I wrote, hoping to be published as a Letter to the Editor:

Your article is factually incorrect…

View original post 329 more words

5: Update 😊

It’s 5 days that I’ve been on the no-refined sugar ‘diet’, and apart from the one transgression on Saturday, I’ve been VERY good.

I know that foods like bread etc have sugar in them, but the main purpose of what I’m doing is to try to stay away from the obvious sweet foods that I eat daily………a number of times each day to be honest.

On two other occasions when we have been out, I’ve wanted something sweet, and Glenys has found a shop that sells better choices. For example, they may call them raw foods and have a base of nuts with other natural foods eg. Cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, dates/ honey/pure maple syrup, etc, etc. They are quite tiny squares and expensive for the size, but then Glenys asked me if the price of a piece of carrot cake or chocolate muffins was about the same price, an amount that I was happy to pay. They are not that sweet and they usually have a good source of protein. I find that they seem to fill me, so take away the sense of hunger, too.

Glenys reminds me that they really should be used as a treat, as they still have sugars in them, therefore I shouldn’t try to fool myself thinking that I can eat heaps.

I’m finding that I’m not constantly craving the sweetness of the cakes and slices etc that I was eating daily, and if you also then add into the total, the pieces of fruit that I eat as well each day, it’s been too many sugars. At least the fruits also have other nutrients but in the end they have high levels of fructose which is a ‘simple sugar’.

Even counting these other raw food slices, it’s been 3 items over 5 days. I would have eaten more than that each day before. Maybe posting it here for all to see, is also keeping me on task.

We (as in Glenys) are going to start making some more of the ‘good’ treats at home. I’ll post a recipe or two after they are made. And a photo too.

Have your say.

There’s a link on Dementia Links, to a report by medicalxpress.com, about a survey to better understand the challenges of air travel and Dementia. It’s being undertaken by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology. Go to the bottom of the story to have your say.

There is also a link for airline staff.

The article states, “The surveys will help us understand what the barriers are to air travel for people with dementia. Guidelines exist for other impairments and dementia is not going to become less of an issue any time soon.”

It will take 10-20 minutes to complete.

At at this stage I have emailed to try to find out whether it is confined to only residents of Australia, but at this stage haven’t received a reply. However, Glenys has completed the survey and she couldn’t see any reference to residency exclusion. Also, she said that the questions were general feedback, not specific to an airline and does at one stage ask what length the flights are, eg short domestic or international. Glenys noted a phone number once she went to the link, so she’ll try to contact the researchers that way in the next few days.

I’ll also do the survey. She said that the wording for hers was specific to being a Carer.

I wonder if this survey has been instigated by the industry, by researchers, or consumer feedback. But it doesn’t really matter.  Isn’t it good that it’s happening and they are asking us about our experiences, and for strategies.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday.

Three days. “Just three days.”

We went to a talk today about eating and Dementia. This is something that I suggested for our monthly support meetings. And when I got home I was again motivated to TRY to eat LESS refined sugars. I got a bit of a shock when writing about my current diet in my recent post “Off track but recorrection overdue.”

There’s a link on my Dementia Links, to some research showing the increased risk of Dementia when diet results in high blood sugar levels. They included people with and without Diabetes. “The most interesting finding was that every incrementally higher glucose level was associated with a higher risk of dementia in people who did not have diabetes.” !!! The research is based on a longitudinal cohort study over many years. They concluded that further research is needed to show what effects a low sugar diet versus a low glycemic diet may be….because our body turns food into glucose, your blood sugar levels depend not only on what you eat but also on your individual metabolism. Therefore, he suggests that it won’t hurt to go walking to increase your metabolism.

So, I told Glenys, that next month I was going to go on a refined sugar free diet, again. She said that if I wanted to, I could start it now, and just start with aiming till the end of the month. I don’t know what the look on my face was, but she then came back with the suggestion to just do it for a day or two in the beginning. Just to take one day or even the morning at a time.

So, I’m going to aim for three days. I’m hoping that the weekend might be easy because we have a few things happening on Saturday and then most shops around where we live are closed on Sunday.

I know it’ll be tough, but it’s just three days. Right. Maybe, I’ll start each day watching the link to that research.

BrainyApp

imageFitness Australia, in association with Alzheimer’s Australia, is supporting exercise professionals and their clients to take one step to better brain health.

…………”research shows that healthy and active lifestyles are associated with better brain function and lower dementia risk.” (Your Brain Matters -Exercise Professionals, June 2015)

Have a look at the link that I’ve posted on my “Dementia Links” page, for information about how you can be proactive in your approach to reducing the risk of Dementia.

Some of the ideas are small steps, so they are achievable. They’ll make a difference to the health of your brain; of your heart; and, of your whole body. It can’t get better than that!!!

Within the article, there are links to a Brain Health checklist, healthy eating principles, simple activities, practical strategies, resources and discussion papers. There is also a link to an app called BrainyApp.

Your Brain Matters is one of the initiatives of Alzheimer’s Australia and supported by funding from the Australian Government.

Collective knowledge.

People living with first-hand knowledge of either having Dementia or being a Carer for someone living with Dementia have a lot of experience to share. There are some excellent resources available. I’ll try to source some with a balanced and informative perspective. You may, or may not agree with the opinions.

Personally, I find that the more that I read about others’ thoughts, and the more that I talk to others or read a range of resources, it helps me form my own beliefs about what is important to me. Likewise, I hope that others will consider what I say and write.

  • Every now and then I’ll post other people’s ideas, perspectives, or words on my “Dementia Links” page for you to read and think about. If it’s a regular newsletter, I’ll endeavour to post the latest one from that source, and rely on you to google for previous issues.

Today there are two:

The Symptom Perspectives newsletter? One of my earlier posts (Slow is the new fast! Be kind to yourself if it’s the best that you can do.) has been included. There are also many other topics.

and, the Together in This newsletter. I like the comment…..it takes a team to empower the person with dementia and their families to live well.

So remember to check out Dementia Links 😌

Off track but recorrection overdue.

Neither of us have been eating as well as we usually do. It’s interesting though, that with all of the busyness that Glenys and I have had, we have reverted to our individual styles of diet.

So…..over the past two months or so, this is what has evolved:

Mine: fruit buns, cakes, slices, chocolate, jam on toast, pies and sausage rolls.

Glenys’: buying meals out…….mushrooms/ poached egg/ tomato/ with spinach leaves or avocado/salad on chia bread.

Mmmmm. Interesting!!!

Both of us are happy with the choices, yet neither one of us are happy that we are not preparing at home and having more control over what is actually in the meals or how they are cooked. Actually, I’m not that happy when I see on paper what I have been eating…….that this is how I choose to eat.

I’m not going to beat myself up too much about this, but it’s time for a drastic change on my part. Little steps though, that are manageable for both of us at the moment.

The last time that I thought I would do a bit of a ‘diet correction’ was the 25th February, this year. I announced quite seriously, to Glenys that I’d strayed too far off my goal and had started to eat too much refined sugars again, so I was going to go on a ‘refined sugar-free February’. Glenys replied,” Refined sugar-free for February?” And I said “Yes.” Her reply….. “Do you realise what the date is today?” and I said, “Yes.” So she smiled and said “that’s a good goal, you’ll be able to do that.”

Well, I didn’t, not even for those last 3 days in February. But seriously now, it’s time to”walk the talk” again, as they say.

So this Friday we’ll be attending the YOD ‘Remember Me’ Support Group at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) Woolloongabba to listen to a talk about Diet and Nutrition.

That should motivate me. Fingers crossed. Even a small correction will benefit me.