Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nutritional intervention for Alzheimer's Disease

I told my new doctor that my two long-term health goals were 1) to not have a stroke like my father, his brother and both parents had; and 2) avoid Alzheimer's disease which, tragically, struck my maternal grandmother around the age of 65.  Now, comes a new book, "The Alzheimer's Diet"(which I will review later) that offers a brain-healthy diet that will benefit anyone who's over 40, has a family history of AD, or is experiencing problems with memory. Here are 11 tips from the book by Harvard-trained neurologist Richard Isaacson MD and Christopher Ochner PhD:

1. Proportion your macronutrients. Every day, make sure that you aim for 25% of your total calories from fat (but less than 7% saturated, or "bad" fat); 30-45% from complex carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables and whole foods that are low on the glycemic index); and 25-35% from high-quality lean protein.

2. Wean yourself off high-glycemic carbs. These include sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, processed cereals and grains, anything baked, ice cream and sorbet, crackers, salty snacks such as chips and pretzels, and anything made with white flour.

3. Eat Mediterranean style. A brain-healthy Mediterranean-style diet includes fruits and vegetables, lean protein (fish, chicken, and turkey); low-fat yogurt and cheeses; and nuts and seeds. Stay away from red meat and processed foods.

4. Have more good fat and less bad. Brain foods high in good fats include: olive oil, avocados, certain nuts, natural peanut butter, certain seeds, and certain fish. Foods high in bad, or saturated, fat include: most fast foods, anything hydrogenated, dried coconut, butter, animal fats, milk chocolate and white chocolate, and cheese.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pillow balk

I spent all afternoon sewing covers for two old pillows (it was slow going; there was piping involved) in order to introduce a little black and white buffalo plaid into a room I thought was too red, even for Christmas. Now, all I can see are those damn black and white pillows. They're screaming at me, as if to say, "you couldn't leave well enough alone!" I think they need to be joined - and partially hidden - by other, non-screaming pillows. (It's true. I really can't leave well enough alone. Story of my life.)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Table for 18

My mother keeps saying she'll do Thanksgiving "one more year." I hope she continues forever. Nobody sets a table like my mommy....and, more importantly, nobody else has that kind of room.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Best bird ever?

Here it is: The alleged best tasting turkey on earth from Trader Joe's, dressed and ready to go into the oven.  I'm using the old Reynold's cooking bag technique because it's never failed me to date and I filled the cavity with a halved fresh lemon plus big wads of rosemary and sage from the garden.  My hopes are high, people. My hopes are high.

Stuff me

I'm determined NOT to get stuffed after tonight's Thanksgiving meal, but it's difficult to do, especially when there will be not one, but two giant pans of stuffing to choose from. (My 'wheat free' mantra may have to be modified today.) Every year, I do a slight variation on the same cornbread stuffing theme. Here's the 2012 version:
Sweet onions and celery sauteed in olive oil and lots of seasonings.

Trail mix sans coconut, chopped coarsely.
Cornbread cubes (from a Trader Joe's mix because....why not?)
Butter, water, and herbs from the box (because, again, why not?)
My secret ingredient.
Toss together and warm in the oven before serving. (The little dish is the "bites" bowl.)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cheddar + carmelized onions = Combo to die for

One of the many reasons I love Trader Joe's is their low, low prices on cheese.  This variety is my absolute fave, priced at exactly half the price you'll find at your fancy neighborhood cheese store. Try it with sliced tart apples and a jumbo glass of good Merlot while you're cooking dinner. That's what I'm doing right now, as a matter of fact. Cheers!

Big Brother sometimes makes us smile

This one's making the Facebook rounds today. It gave me a lift and reminded me how much I loved the anthem-like tune by Supertramp (Really? Supertramp?) Seems like a good one to share during Thanksgiving week.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

SNL

Not a bit political, but it made me laugh into my oatmeal this morning.

Time-saving oatmeal

I was skeptical of this product, purchased last weekend at Costco but not opened until this morning.  Instant steel cut oatmeal? How good could it be? But, I'm happy to report that this little microwavable stroke of genius is as delicious as the real, slow-cooking thing. The secret is, the product is freeze-packed with the perfect amount of water that renders the oats at the ideal texture - not too chewy, not too mushy.  A great solution for hectic mornings, not that this morning has been too crazy, what with the extra hour and all.  (Remember, everybody: Fall back!)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Party down at Walgreens!

Yee-haw! It's November 2 - Senior Discount Day at Walgreens. Everybody over 55 gets 15-20% off! Not that long ago, I used to poo-poo senior discounts of any kind. But, since I have to stop by anyway to pick up a prescription, and since I've been meaning to give Eternal Blu (an anti-aging supplement recommended by a friend's M.D.) a try, why not stop in and reap the rewards of getting old?