This blog is by Debra, we made a commitment to each other to improve our diets.
Mike and I are working to reform our diets. We think there is a lot more we can do to help lower inflammation in our bodies and in Mike’s case his brain. There are reasons that the Mediterranean diet is looking more and more appealing. Here’s why.
Some of the foods we are eliminating will be most of our red meat. Most of us have read articles written about why we should eat red meat. What I’m finding for people with Alzheimer’s is that red meat can cause iron to build up in the brain and might cause a good thing like myelin (fatty tissue that coasts nerve fibers) to be destroyed. I’m pretty sure that Mike needs his brain to communicate as efficiently as possible. We’ll be eating red meat once a week.
The Mediterranean diet uses more whole grains and beans to help fill in the protein slot. I think we will be seeing more nuts in our diet as well. Soy products, like tofu, which I love and Mike is so-so about, will be used a lot more. Cook books have been ordered to help with flavor and texture. I’ll let you know how it’s going as we incorporate this more into our every day eating!
Mike will be also adding pure DHA into his power beverages every day. There are a lot of reasons to add DHA to our diets and now with the addition of Alzheimer’s to the list of reasons we have a growing reason to add DHA into both of our diets. We’ve all read about Omega-3 fatty acids. The DHA we ordered is vegetarian DHA, straight from the algae that the fish eat which gives us our Omega oil. Think of salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, these are the fish that are rich in Omega-3. We are going to be adding more fish to our diet but we will also be adding DHA in its pure form.
Other foods we will be eating more of include fish of all kinds, whole grains, dark leafy vegetable, low fat dairy, peppers, tomatoes, beets, ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, olive oil, berries of all kinds and tart cherries. Once I started looking at the Mediterranean way of cooking I could see that it incorporates most of this list. I’m going to love it and Mike is going to learn to love it!!!
We invested some money into a Vita Mix blender. We plan to start our day with a power drink. Today we started with pomegranate juice, a whole peeled orange, lime and a mango. Once we get the DHA we ordered I will be adding that to the drink. We can add protein power as well once we fully understand what we’ve got with this Vita Mix! Dark veggies will be added to this mix as well. I don’t think we can eat too much of the dark leafy vegetables.
Mike might struggle with the veggie part in the beginning so if I can disguise the flavor a bit he will eat it without too much of a fuss. I found a great recipe for garlicky white beans and kale. It looks good to me but Mike may have a different opinion! I think we will be making a dietary change over in baby steps!
We’ll see how he does but I’m thinking it might take a while to fully make a change over in our diet. I can see the benefits so clearly. Mike is very energetic about the change. Every day we will be adding something new into our diet. We’ll see how it goes! I am very optimistic! I will try to blog every so often on how we’re doing. Giving up hamburgers may be more difficult than we know. But we won’t know until we give it a try!
The cookbooks I’m using are authored by Paula Wolfert. She has written nine cookbooks on Mediterranean cooking. Paula was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s herself in 2013. She was on the National Early-Stage Advisor Group in 2014. I picked her books after watching a video in which she is featured. She is an inspiration to both Mike and me for her enthusiasm to learn as much as she can about Alzheimer’s so that she could better help herself and others who have the disease. I’m eager to get started!
Here is the link to the Paula Wolfert video that aired on PBS if you are interested.