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Eat These Spices to Reap Health Benefits


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As you prepare for Thanksgiving, be sure to include healthy food choices. Don’t forget about  the spices with your feast-cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, oregano, red peppers, thyme, and turmeric.  Guess what, they all have health benefits for mind and body.

Cinnamon-This is so simple to add into your foods or beverages. Add it to your sweet potatoes, coffee, cranberries, or pumpkin pie. Cinnamon is believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and possibly help lower cholesterol levels.

Rosemary-Add rosemary to your potatoes, rub on the turkey, add to vegetables. This spice is good for your memory and is believed to aid in reducing inflammation. Rosemary is full of minerals and vitamins.

Ginger-Flavor your pumpkin pie with ginger, bake ginger cookies, add ginger to your sweet potatoes. Ginger has been shown to help you feel better if you’re feeling queasy! Try taking a piece of fresh ginger in hot water and wow you have freshly brewed ginger tea. It’s delicious!

Oregano-Add oregano to your stuffing or to your vegetables. Oregano contains high amounts of antioxidants and is packed with flavor!

Red peppers-Red peppers have been shown to increase metabolism. Need I say more? Put it in your salad, add to your vegetables or stuffing. Use your imagination-the sky is the limit!

Thyme-Try adding fresh thyme to your stuffing or as part of a rub for turkey or other poultry. Thyme is another spice with antioxidant properties. It’s also delicious in a salad.

Turmeric-Turmeric is believed to have anti-cancer properties, promote healthy hearts, and have anti-aging properties as well. Studies are ongoing to determine  if there is a  link between turmeric  and a decreased risk of developing  Alzheimer’s Disease. Turmeric is found in curry powder,  so try some curry chicken. Turmeric can be added to vegetables, rice or potatoes.

So, as you prepare your Thanksgiving feast, take a close look at your recipes and determine where you can add these spices. After Thanksgiving, try to add these spices to your everyday cooking. Why not make a concerted effort to eat healthy and promote healthy aging while enjoying healthy living?

Happy Thanksgiving! To your health!

Do You Know Your Family Health History?


Do you know your family health history?  If not, I suggest you research and record your family health historyduring Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Background

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Since we gather together with our families during the holiday season, it’s an excellent time to get your family health history. Do you have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, thyroid disease,  or any other chronic disease? Did you  know that with any of these diseases you have an increased risk for developing memory problems and other cognitive deficits?

By doing a little research into your genes, you have the ability to map out a more healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late to make positive lifestyle choices whether you’re a senior, a baby boomer, in your 40’s or 30’s, or in college. Find out the age of  your oldest living blood relative. By the way, mine was 114, 115, or 116. I find that truly amazing!  Try to brainstorm as a family what this relative did to achieve such healthy aging and longevity.  Don’t be surprised to discover that these people probably have some things in common. They were active and kept moving, stayed engaged and connected with people, and consumed a healthy diet. No junk food or fast food on a regular basis.  Strive for that  kind of lifestyle to achieve optimal  health.  Don’t forget to include  regular exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle!  Why not take advantage of every possibility to lessen your chances of developing memory loss or suffering a cognitive decline? Remember, memory loss does not have to be a part of the normal aging process! Be in command of your health and your life!

So, take charge of your health! Engage your brain with challenging and fun brain fitness activities. Let’s build your cognitive reserve through some mentally stimulating activities. Learn a new game,  learn a new language, participate in a social group, and EXERCISE!  Try our Brain Boosters! One of the secrets to longevity is to achieve a healthy balance between a healthy mind, body, and spirit!

Let us know the age of your oldest relative, too! Happy Thanksgiving!  Now is the time for YOU commit to your health!

Have You Had Your Brain Food Today?


As you prepare your  meals, be sure to include healthy food choices. Don’t forget about  the spices-cinnamon, rosemary, ginger, oregano, red peppers, thyme, and turmeric.  Guess what, they all have health benefits for mind and body.

Cinnamon-This is so simple to add into your foods or beverages. Add it to your sweet potatoes, coffee, cranberries, or pumpkin pie. Cinnamon is believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and possibly help lower cholesterol levels.

Rosemary-Add rosemary to your potatoes, rub it on meats, add to vegetables. This spice is good for your memory and is believed to aid in reducing inflammation. Rosemary is full of minerals and vitamins.

Ginger-Flavor pumpkin pie with ginger, bake ginger cookies, add ginger to your sweet potatoes. Ginger has been shown to help you feel better if you’re feeling queasy! Try taking a piece of fresh ginger in hot water and wow you have freshly brewed ginger tea. It’s delicious!

Oregano-Add oregano to pizza, Italian foods or vegetables. Oregano contains high amounts of antioxidants and is packed with flavor!

Red peppers-Red peppers have been shown to increase metabolism. Need I say more? Put it in your salad, add to your vegetables or rice. Use your imagination-the sky is the limit!

Thyme-Try adding fresh thyme to vegetables or as part of a rub for turkey or chicken. Thyme is another spice with antioxidant properties. It’s also delicious in a salad.

Turmeric-Turmeric is believed to have anti-cancer properties, promote healthy hearts, and have anti-aging properties as well. Studies are ongoing to determine  if there is a  link between turmeric  and a decreased risk of developing  Alzheimer’s Disease. Turmeric is found in curry powder, so try some curry chicken. Turmeric can be added to vegetables, rice or potatoes.

So, as you prepare your daily meals, take a close look at your recipes and determine where you can add these spices.  Try to add these spices to your everyday cooking. Why not make a concerted effort to eat healthy and promote healthy aging while enjoying healthy living?

Here’s to your brain health!

New Year’s Resolutions or Perhaps Goals?


Neuroplasticity challenges the idea that brain...

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Greetings again! I’ve been on a staycation while planning a couple of upcoming vacations. Although a staycation is only a vacation in your mind, you can still reap some health benefits. A staycation can alter your focus and your thought patterns. I personally find that staycations help me relax,  let go of any negative thoughts or energy, and decrease my levels of stress.  I usually begin by picturing myself sitting on a very comfortable lounge chair under a big umbrella enjoying the ocean breeze while sipping  ice water and reading a book with relaxing background music.  As I picture this, I gently close my eyes and automatically  begin to utilize my deep, relaxing, diaphragmatic  breathing techniques. Ah, that’s wonderful! I need to do more of this throughout the year.

Speaking of years, I just can’t believe that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Wow, 2010 has really become a blur, but a great one. As I evaluate my accomplishments of this year, I am planning for next year. That leads me to the question, “Should we make a New Year’s  resolution or develop goals for the new year?”  When I searched  the definitions of these words as a comparison, the results were interesting. The definition of resolution is- a formal expression of  opinion or intention made, usually after voting,  by a formal organization, a legislature, or other group. The definition of goal is- the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. Opinion verses result or achievement with effort? I vote that we all develop  New Year’s goals! We tend to write our goals down which then holds us accountable. Goals are measurable and objective. Keep in mind that goals can and need to be updated and amended regularly to help us attain our goals and achieve success.  So why not begin now by starting a goal sheet for 2011? You have nothing to lose-only goals to achieve!

If you need some suggestions for some 2011 goals, let me help. Try to make 2011 the  year to take charge of your health. There are so many things we can do to promote healthy living, longevity, anti-aging, healthy aging, and the list continues.  Begin by setting a goal of 30 minutes of exercise a day-even just walking has health benefits. It’s all about getting up and moving-get off the couch! If 30 minutes a day is overwhelming, begin with 3 times a week and increase it to 5 days per week, until you hit 7 days per week.  By committing to physical exercise, your brain reaps benefits too! You will gain increased blood flow throughout your body and brain which helps maintain brain health and cognition.

Speaking of  brain health, we all need to include a goal addressing our brain fitness and maintenance. Make a goal to stimulate  and improve your brain power  by learning something new and challenging your brain. Build and make new brain connections through neuroplasticity or brain plasticity. Researchers continue to uncover more amazing  discoveries about the brain and its ability to form new neural or learning pathways.  Remember, memory loss with decreased brain function does not have to be a part of the normal aging process!  We are never too young to begin building our cognitive reserve or too old for new learning! It’s all about introducing  and learning new things.  If you have never tried anagrams, scrambled words, crossword puzzles,  or other word games than these are great starters to try as you commit to  exercise your brain.

Of course, how can I not discuss the benefits of a healthy diet?  There are numerous health benefits by just avoiding processed foods. Processed foods contain preservatives and hidden salt, neither provide health benefits but rather can increase blood pressure and increase your risk for certain cancers and other diseases. Instead, take advantage of other spices that have health benefits. Try using garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, turmeric, paprika, black  pepper, cinnamon, thyme, ginger, red peppers,  cloves, coriander, and white pepper. Did you know that some of the most delicious foods have health benefits? Add these to your diet-dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt, Alaskan or Pacific salmon, cashews, oats, apples, bananas, cranberries, broccoli, avocados, olive oil-preferably first cold pressed, artichokes, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, leafy green vegetables. I’m sure most of us should increase our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts. By consuming fresh fruits, vegetables,  fish, lean meats, healthy fats,  and dairy we also increase our intake of vitamins and minerals essential for health.

Why not schedule a well check up with your physician? Discuss your diet-honestly, and review your vitamins and supplements as well. Have some labs run-how is your vitamin D, what about your B vitamins? Lots to do as you become your own health advocate and take control of your health!

Let’s discuss beverages. Do you drink enough water? Water is essential to keep our bodies and brains functioning properly. After you’ve consumed your water, try some green, white, or black tea and/or coffee. All  of these have documented health benefits, and decaf is fine if you need to limit your caffeine intake.  An excellent goal for 2011 could be to decrease and then eliminate your consumption of soda! There are no nutritional benefits and research is now indicating that diet soda may be more harmful than regular. That brings us back to water, tea, coffee, juice that’s 100% juice without any added sugar, and milk.

I believe I’ve outlined several good goals to get you started for 2011. Now it’s up to you to adapt these goals to make them yours. Make 2011- Your Year of  Health and Wellness! I wish you a year of good health, wealth, and happiness!

Alzheimer’s Disease


Histopathogic image of senile plaques seen in ...

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I want to share something  very interesting  with all of you. Earlier today Wendy and I attended a marketing meeting which unbeknown to us also featured a guest speaker. This speaker turned out to be so dynamic and impressive that I felt obligated to share her information. The speaker was P.K. Beville, founder of the Virtual Dementia Tour and Second Wind.  To be perfectly honest, neither of us had ever heard of her or of the Virtual Dementia Tour.  Imagine  with all our  years of  experience as Speech-Language Pathologists working with adults, primarily seniors and geriatrics in long term care, sub acute  facilities, and hospitals, having never heard of P.K. Beville’s Virtual Dementia Tour. I am confident we are not alone, and that is why I am compelled to share this information!

Her training program simulates what an individual experiences everyday when battling Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. It is truly fascinating!  I strongly encourage all of you to visit her site and watch some of her videos. I know you will have a completely different outlook and be even more thankful for good brain health!

http://www.secondwind.org

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