Simple changes support thread

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
Orangeblossom
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Simple changes support thread

Postby Orangeblossom » Sat May 12, 2018 10:16 am

I wondered if there was anyone like me out there, people who are interested in the approaches but not able or willing at the moment, to access testing and take on all the stuff outlined in e.g. Bredesden or having cognitive decline, but perhaps starting say in midlife to make some simple changes for the future.

Instead of being overwhelmed, going into rabbit holes and getting bogged down in all the details I thought it might be nice to have a simple changes support thread to talk about little changes made in our lives and how this is fitting in- things we can do easily based on it being something sustainable for the next decades of life.

I also thought of focusing on things we can do on a budget, I have a family with school age children and resources and time are not high..

So please join in and share any simple changes which might help others just starting out.

I will do a couple of small things to start with:

Free range eggs and tins of sardine fillets in olive oil- nice and cheap and good things to have in with a salad or soup

Getting rid of junk food

Walking the children to school up a steep hill each morning and back.

Not eating till lunchtime (16:8 fasting)- free and really helps appetite

A monthly gym pass, they have discounts for certain times, means you pay once and can use regularly- great source of social time too.

Using the local library to read stuff and improve the mind, reduce stress.

Free Headspace mindfulness app.

Roamingseer
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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Roamingseer » Thu May 17, 2018 6:25 pm

Great little post. I’ll bite since I am convinced that most people highly underate little vs large change. In fact, if you don’t think the change is big enough, you may choose not to maintain the change until it’s habit. Also, it’s easy to see how daily deleterious habits, such as drinking coca-cola, accumulates more damage over time, but the opposite is also true- good health habits over time, pay big dividends. Now onto the list...

-In 2012, my A1C showly drifted upward, near 5.4. My doctor said not to worry about it & that I’d probably get type II diabetes in my 70’s (I was 55). I decided i would eat more raw vegetables.

-In 2013 with a lot of vegetables under my belt, my labs had improved (lower LDL, triglycerides), but my A1C hadn’t dropped, so I decided to switch to 5/2 intermittent fasting. The results came fast as my cholesterol fell like crazy (150 —> 116) & in less than two months my weight dropped from 181# to 172#.

-In early 2017, I was tired of on-going pain from rosacea from which nothing had worked over the years. In fact, it had gotten worse, including ocular rosacea. Having read many articles on how meat increases inflammation, I decided to switch to a vegan diet (w/ no processed foods & mainly raw food along with beans) while supplementing with daily B-Complex, ground flaxseeds & EPA-DHA supplements. In about a month, the rosacea disappeared, including in my once bloodshot eyes.
Last edited by Roamingseer on Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Orangeblossom
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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Orangeblossom » Fri May 18, 2018 7:54 am

Yes, that sounds a good plan, I like the way you make changes then reflect on what has worked and also changed things when the doc was a bit dismissive. Some of them can be a bit like that, can't they. I find if I try too much at once, it can be a bit overwhelming and it can be better to focus on the small things sometimes and the benefits they bring rather than focusing too much on things I'm not doing, that can bring stress. Good to hear about the intermittent fasting as well.

I'm finding a bit of a daily routine helpful, with a busy family to revolve around...Exercise mornings, fasted (busy time) later, eating time (rest and digest). Find it seems to de-stress me for the rest of the day. and I miss it which is good if I can't do it. Making things enjoyable is definitely important isn't it.

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Roamingseer » Fri May 18, 2018 2:10 pm

Orangeblossom, In my experience, American doctors dismiss an individual’s efforts to change things. I am disgusted by the primary physicians I have had who seem more interested in managing their investments, then in providing actionable information. My primary physician even warned me that I was experimenting with my life & that I had a risk of negative health outcomes from not following the SAD- eliminating sodas, eliminating deserts and 5/2 fasting. Of course, part of it is America’s broken healthcare system.

-Little changes are the way to go. But looking back, the little changes seem big to an outsider, but you know by your track record, what you can do. And who else but one’s self should be experimenting with your life?

-Also, eliminating rosacea, especially ocular rosacea, was a big thing.

-In regards to little changes, I stayed on the 5/2 IF for 4yrs straight.

-In 2017, I switched to 9h/day eating schedule & abandoned the 5/2.

Orangeblossom
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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Orangeblossom » Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 am

Oh, they (Docs) can be like that here in the UK too. I don't really discuss it with them now, they are so busy too and they seem to have these big practices all linked together, whereas you used to be able to see a regular doc and get to know them, that doesn't happen so much now. They like to think they are the expert and tell you what to do as well. Your one does sound a bit odd recommending the SAD though- maybe they didn't want to change themselves! You never know..

But then you get others, such as Stavia here in the forum who are much more enlightened and into ways of staying healthy rather than just treating disease with meds. Which is great.

I read it takes 30 days to change a habit, and habits do become easier with time, such as with the fasting and diet changes.

I am trying to work on open, positive thinking at the mo, trying not to judge things too quickly and think positive, and be a bit more kind and sociable to strangers. After reading about stress and fight or flight, also linking this into my exercise and relaxation. We are all holistic beings. and everything is linked together. Which is another problem with medicine looking at each things specifically and not joining things up...

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Sparrow » Sat May 19, 2018 10:34 am

This is a wonderful thread and I need some time to think of what steps I want to take. You're so right... I've been overwhelmed and rather stagnant because I think I have to make huge, dramatic change and I'm discouraged because I'm not ready to read Bredesden's approach... or really that much of anything about Alzheimer's. I know it's important, but it's also SO MUCH information and SO MUCH change! I tend to feel that I need to do it ALL and throw myself into something entirely or else I'm a failure. I absolutely need a breakdown with simple steps. I'm going to give things some thought. I do believe that eating avocados is something I need to get back into doing. I loved them but I tend to put them in the fridge and forget that they're there.

What sort of raw veggies do folks enjoy? I can eat red peppers raw, but not much else appeals to me in its raw form. Well, besides salad greens -- which I'm not a huge fan of, but I feel better about eating them at least. Ha! Snacking on raw veggies would be a great help for my weight, my difficulties with finding snacks with my food allergies (nuts, sesame/hummus, sunflower oil & palm oil in particular). I was quite thrilled that I was able to eat peanuts again (I test positive but it was a low enough positive that I was encouraged by the doctor to try small amounts and increase slowly). I think saturated fat is an issue with them, though - and I need to eat them in moderation (which is a trick itself -- sigh).

Please, share your progress with us and your thoughts as you continue. I'd like to see what foods and changes you choose as well as what drives your choices. I may join in as I can but I don't spend much time posting anymore because of fatigue. The doctor treating my sleep apnea believes I might have narcolepsy... and I'm delaying testing because I have to manage 2 weeks without medication prior to testing (Prozac cold turkey? Sleep medications... I don't know about Tramadol because it's SSRI-like, I believe and I take it for widespread osteoarthritis/cervical spondylosis, neuropathy that interferes with walking & fibromyalgia).

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Orangeblossom » Sat May 19, 2018 2:09 pm

Hi Sparrow, yes I know what you mean about all or nothing feeling, it is stressful. I can feel like that too, there is always more we can do. maybe best to start off with thinking of a small change and then with time, maybe other things will follow. If we set ourselves up to do things perfectly, it usually means failure and makes us feel worse, but targets like 'eat more veggies' are good as even if you just eat a bit more, you are still on track! Beating ourselves up just makes things worse. I don't avoid any particular food group, just anything processed like flour and sugar. I still have more complex carbs and fats. That's Ok for me at the moment. Just cutting these out is an achievement.

On raw veggies I quite like raw carrot sticks in humous, raw peppers also, it doesn't have to be raw though! Soups can be nice. Making things nice means we want to have more of it, rather than it being an ordeal. In terms of food choices, maybe the simplest and best change anyone can make (and think everyone here would agree) is to get rid of junk food, especially simple carbs like white flour and sugar, and have a bit of a clear out so you're not tempted by it. Just buy real, fresh food nothing with big lists of ingredients. Just doing that one things is probably the best change anyone can make. Save any fussy details for later. It may well make a big difference to your pain levels and mental health, too especially if you include some good proteins and fats as well. ;)
Simple things to have in, like eggs for example make it easier especially when you are tired. I do online food shopping and have it delivered so less tempted to pick up random things.

I have also been on prozac so I understand that, too. It has a long half life and lasts for about a week in the body, it is one of the more easy ones to come off due to this but still has side effects, maybe work with your doc to taper it first. I went from one a day to twice a week and then once a week over a while. I also have Co-codomol for post herpetic neuralgia but have kind of weaned off that also. But I don't know how long it lasts in the body, maybe you'd just have to stop it for a day or two. I find exercise helps with the pain and heat. A walk in the fresh air is great. Kind thoughts. Small steps! and be kind to ourselves.

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Epsilon? » Sun May 20, 2018 5:19 am

Orangeblossom, We (my wife may post eventually) are fans of the 16:8 fasting. The main benefit that I see is that many of the breakfast foods were high carb and any late evening eating was junk. I would be happy if there is some additional metabolic benefit but it is hard to be sure. We are doing at least one daily walk with the dog, weather permitting. It is a nice time for talking while getting in steps. We are also looking in to using the Mango online language learning system. It is free through our local library. We are also doing some of the exercises from the NYT 9 minute work out during television commercials. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/str ... lyometrics

I don't know what to say about my fellow doctors. They have pressures and needs that don't necessarily align with what many of us are looking for. In the US at least the "health care" industry is really a disease management system with prevention being a low priority. I have considered some sort of alternative practice when I leave my current medical work,

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby Orangeblossom » Sun May 20, 2018 6:01 am

That sounds nice epsilon having a dog to walk, and enjoyable. I agree about the 16:8 and the breakfast thing. I'm going that during the week, and it does help because if you eat something early it can mean you get hungrier in the day I find, but somehow skipping the breakfast can make it easier to manage appetite. I have a couple of tips on that from this book "2 meal Day" one is to drink a glass of cold water if hungry, it helps and also exercise can help stave it off as well. That's why I try and exercise first thing during the fasted time. He's a personal trainer, the author and mentioned this.

I've been looking at my budget and realised I can't afford to keep buying things like too many supplements, fish oils and EVOO, i am struggling just to afford the children's school dinners and trips. I need to prioritise that really, so thinking of just doing things for the whole family to get us generally healthy, more, for example I always make sure they have plenty of fruit and veg and hot school dinners rather than crisps and a sandwich...so, anyway going to focus less on the food / diet stuff in detail and more on general health, exercise and learning new stuff. and try not to get too down about the costs of everything! I can still do somethings, like for example a couple of small tins of sardines or tuna in olive oil is not expensive so, for now, that will do instead.

In terms of doctors we have this show in TV called Doctor in the House, it has been quite interesting as he's all about simple diet and lifestyle changes and e.g. reversing diabetes with low carb...hopefully some of this might impact on the other GPs. (he is a GP himself). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaY4m00wXpw

I like his holistic approach and considering more than diet but other things as well. I have his book too which is quite helpful. His video is worth a look, it mentions the Bredesden book too ;)

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Re: Simple changes support thread

Postby floramaria » Sun May 20, 2018 1:20 pm

My favorite small change is one I learned from Rick Hanson. It is called “Taking in the Good” and grounded in neuroplasticity, and how we can use small moments of focused attention to increase our happiness and resilience. One of his ideas is that we miss the opportunities that we have everyday to Influence our brains towards more positivity. We let the good experiences go by without much notice as we focus on problems. For our positive experiences having a lasting influence on our brain structure, we need to give them some time and really take them in.
It is very simple: When it happens, notice you are having a good experience. Pay attention to it. This can be anything from noticing you’re enjoying seeing something beautiful, tasting or smelling something delicious, or the feeling of sun or a light breeze on the skin, or hearing a child laugh, or a song you love...anything that gives you a moment of feeling good. (for example, as I type this, I notice my husband is doing our breakfast dishes, and even wiping the top of the stove! I take the time to appreciate that and to feel supported in keeping up with the housework.) Next is to stay with that good feeling and help it expand by giving it attention and then let it sink into your body, permeating your cells with that glow.
What I love about this practice is that it can be done on the fly, 30 seconds here, a minute there. and with any positive experience.
It has really improved my overall outlook over time to take in these little blips of what is good.
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