In my book, Eat to Beat Alzheimer’s, I write about the final months of my stepfather’s life and our conversation about my passion for healing with foods. He is actually the one that suggested to me to focus on Alzheimer’s disease. At that time in my life I had a strong intention to write my own cookbook, but was still unclear about the focus. For my stepfather to suggest this to me was a blessing in two ways. One, it was a practical step for me to ground my research and intention in an area that was desperately needed in the world. And second, more personally, it was a moment of being seen and heard by a man that had truly been my father, and with his encouragement and acknowledgment I felt something fall into place within me; perhaps the last bit of courage and confidence I needed in order to follow through with my dream of becoming an author.
Baby boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. This puts them in an age range of 52 – 70 years old in 2016. While standards of aging are changing for the better and in general, people are able to live longer, healthier lives, baby boomers do have a unique set of health challenges.
We are in the midst of a great paradigm shift. Our understanding of health and the root cause of disease is expanding. While health concerns, issues and illnesses are extremely difficult for the individual and the community, they also offer us a particular leverage point for looking more closely at the human body.
Our diets have a significant effect on the health of our brains, which will potentially affect all areas of functioning. Alzheimer’s and dementia are only two examples of how compromised brain health can manifest. Depression and anxiety are other manifestations that are even more common and can be just as debilitating.
"There is a myth that eating healthy is too hard. Unfortunately the result of this myth is that many people who want to try, don’t even begin. Myths that perpetuate overwhelm, or lack (“I just can’t do it”) are not serving us.
Consider a simple formula for your meals. That each time you eat you are providing your body with energy to sustain you until the next meal. Each meal, even snacks, should contain high quality protein, fat, and fiber.
As we discuss brain health, mood, and nutrition, we would be remiss to ignore how these issues can play out in childhood. The impacts from the standard American diet and lifestyle are showing up earlier and earlier in life. Children suffer from a number of health related issues, such as Early-Onset Diabetes, Autoimmune Disorders, Autism, ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder), depression and anxiety. While these are all multifaceted issues, meaning there are likely to be multiple causes and factors involved, nutrition and diet have been shown to play a significant role in reducing symptoms and in some cases, bringing children into full remission from a diagnosis.
Francie Healey is the author of "Eat To Beat Alzheimer's and has a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is both a Certified Health Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.practitioner.
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