Brain awareness week is officially March 11-17, but we should be aware of our precious brains every day.
As some of you may know, I’ve personally been touched by Alzheimer’s Disease.
My father passed away in 2018 and suffered from late onset Dementia.
My husband was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 2013.
That’s why it is so important to me to raise awareness of this unforgiving disease whenever I can.
I know we hear this advice all the time and it’s not easy to incorporate everything into our busy lives, but even changing a few things can really help.
Your brain is the most important organ in your body. It generates your thoughts, emotions and actions. Here are some ways to stay healthy and reduce your risk of certain dementias.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps to stimulate learning, mood, and thinking. It is proven to have the strongest correlation in helping reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. Even if you only walk 30 minutes a day out in the fresh air, you are doing something good for your body and your brain. Walking with a friend is even better.
Know your numbers!
Keeping your blood pressure, weight and sugar levels within healthy ranges is so important. Eating a healthy, low fat, colorful diet can help with all of these.
I struggle with this, because I love sweets, but I’ve discovered Element Dark Chocolate covered rice cakes. They are delish. That said I still cheat, but not as often.
Get plenty of sleep!
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Resting the brain and getting a good night’s sleep is so important. If sleep is hard for you, talk to your doctor or download the Calm app and listen to Matthew McConaughey read you a bedtime story!
Spend time with other people!
There is growing evidence that socializing is good for your brain’s health. Those who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills. Get together with friends more often.
Even if I’m tired at the end of the week, I make an effort to see friends. I always get a second wind and feel so happy that I made the effort.
Exercise your brain!
It’s like any other muscle. Try something new and challenging. My friend Ellen recently got me addicted to Wordscapes, an app on your phone. So much FUN!!
Uh oh, I just got someone else addicted.
I never used to eat breakfast in my 20’s, 30’s and even my early 40’s, but now I never miss it. My weight has stabilized, I feel better, have more energy and if I’m working all day and don’t have time for lunch, no problem. A light snack and I’m good till dinner. I eat the same breakfast almost every day:
-2 hard boiled eggs – sliced with my egg slicer
-I eat the yolks twice a week and the rest just the whites
-2 slices of Ezekiel Raisin Toast with (okay here’s my weakness)
-A thin spread of Whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese
-A thin layer of Four Fruit Jam!
I always have fruit too. In the summer, I love Sugar Kiss Melon and some berries - a mix of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and an apple, pear or citrus the rest of the year.
Every so often I change it up and have a spinach and mushroom omelet or some oatmeal. My egg slicer comes in handy for those too!
Using my egg slicer got me thinking. I love making things look beautiful, even if I’m the only one eating, so I started slicing my strawberries, kiwi, cheese, mushrooms, butter etc….
Here are some examples of what you can do:
Butter– this is perfect for entertaining because you can have uniform looking pats of butter all ready to go! Don’t forget to refrigerate before and after slicing to maintain squares.
Softer cheeses - like fresh mozzarella and cheddar – Once again, a great way to have cheese slices for last minute guests or yourself.
Olives– These are perfect to sprinkle over a salad!
Strawberries– I love to use this trick for company.
Mushrooms– So quick and easy to slice up mushrooms for salad, pasta or one of my faves, sautéed mushrooms, baby pearl onions and peas!
Avocado– I love avocado, but it is high in calories. It looks so pretty when thinly sliced and I eat less of it!
And banana slices look and taste great!
One more thing....This is a great way to get kids to eat fruits and veggies!
Please write and tell us if you have any great ideas to share.