General update - mostly about food

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gmpicket
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General update - mostly about food

Postby gmpicket » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:11 am

Stats: 4/4 and 48 yrs old, but no cognitive trouble other than unable to remember a word every now & then. 104 lbs, with BMI of 18.4

I have converted my diet from sugar to fat – it took about 3 months for my body to adjust. But now, to eat even a couple bites of a banana is too much sugar! I've added nuts, olives, & seeds to my diet. Adding hummus and tahini now. I've been eating some fish – shrimp, sardines, and a little salmon & tuna. I eat some chicken and pork. And I've been eating some fruit – sticking with cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. And I've been eating eggs. Lots of eggs. And eating way too much dark chocolate. (Nearly no dairy/milk as I'm lactose intolerant. But some cheese here and there.) And leafy greens – mostly Boston lettuce and kale. I still eat bread/grains, but I try to eat stuff that has no added sugar – sourdough, tortillas, & pita bread.

The dietary changes have resulted in feeling better and energetic. My sinus congestion has substantially reduced! I had almost no spring allergy trouble this year! And my eyesight has improved – reduced my glasses Rx by a quarter diopter.

I've tried adding the vitamin supplements. The B vitamins seemed to make me jangly and I stopped sleeping well. So I have discontinued them (except the B12 which I had already been taking for years) and resumed sleeping. I've been taking D3 & K2 (blood tests indicated low on D). And I've been taking a little Resveratrol – which seems ok. I'm planning to try some of the herbal supplements but haven't done so yet.

For brain exercise , I have been studying Hebrew – and enjoying it. Took a class for 6 months. The experience of learning to read a new alphabet has been fascinating and educational.

I feel strongly that meditation – at least in the form of controlling one's mind – is really important. I had already studied various types of meditation as a Buddhist. And am exploring Jewish meditation now, which overlaps in concepts/forms. I find that formally sitting doesn't happen for me. But I try to be present as I do tasks, and take a walk, etc. When my Mom went cognitively downhill, it seemed like her mind was taken over by the un-restrained chatter in her head. I think that what you think, is what you become. So if you look at a stranger and think “this is a nice person”, then you will become a nicer person yourself. So, if you train your mind to not pursue endless dialogues and fantasies and negative emotions, etc, and practice being present where you are and what you are actually doing, then maybe this will help. If nothing else, if I lose my mind, I'd rather be thinking nice things and repeating mantras, instead of thinking negative things like my Mom.

NF52
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Re: General update - mostly about food

Postby NF52 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:26 am

gmpicket wrote:Stats: 4/4 and 48 yrs old, but no cognitive trouble other than unable to remember a word every now & then...For brain exercise , I have been studying Hebrew – and enjoying it. Took a class for 6 months. The experience of learning to read a new alphabet has been fascinating and educational.
I feel strongly that meditation – at least in the form of controlling one's mind – is really important. I had already studied various types of meditation as a Buddhist. And am exploring Jewish meditation now, which overlaps in concepts/forms...So, if you train your mind to not pursue endless dialogues and fantasies and negative emotions, etc, and practice being present where you are and what you are actually doing, then maybe this will help. If nothing else, if I lose my mind, I'd rather be thinking nice things and repeating mantras, instead of thinking negative things like my Mom.

What a wonderful post, gmpicket! Your summary of all the benefits you've seen from your dietary changes, and the detail of what you eat for others to consider, is impressive. (Although it's hard to believe that you eat "way too much dark chocolate" at your current BMI! Maybe be "just right" for you ;)

Stavia, our Primer author, is someone who agrees that cognitive challenge in mid-life, like learning a new language, especially one in a new alphabet, is a great way to keep neural networks nimble. And the exploration of both Buddhist and Jewish traditions with modern mindfulness training sounds like a terrific way to see yourself as part of a large whole, and think well of yourself and others. It's possible that your mother was stuck in the agitation and anxiety phase of Alzheimer's, especially if she had an intrinsic tendency to worry. I think that for some people raised during the Depression or WWII years, worry was a survival strategy that never left once danger was over--a sort of chronic PTSD. I certainly saw it in my own mother, who calmed herself by imagining the worst that could happen. (Did result in some strange phone calls, like when she saw an empty trash bag that had blown onto her driveway and called because she thought it might be a dead body!) Maybe you can reframe the sadness you feel about your mother's "mind being taken over" by chatter and negative emotions to view her as still having the same strengths she always had, but working very, very hard to keep the confusing changes in her thinking at bay. You will have far more tools to do that than she had, but she too might have been a brave heart and strong soul.

Be well, and shalom.
4/4 and still an optimist!

gmpicket
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Location: NYC

Re: General update - mostly about food

Postby gmpicket » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:00 pm

Thank you.

(PS: Had my first teeth cleaning since dumping the sugar - and that was the easiest, nicest teeth cleaning ever!)


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