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.
Nurturance has always been something I’ve looked for. I think I have traveled along a path that many would be familiar with. I looked for nurturance in other people to give me the love and kindness I craved. I looked for nurturance in fad diets to get the results physically that I wanted, as an athlete to be fit and strong, and also as a woman, to be healthy and attractive. I spent a long time looking for this outside of myself and thought there were people and times when things appeared to line up, but nothing was ultimately sustainable for me.
My health continued to decline, even though I felt I was doing everything right, based on the information I was getting at the time. This led me to investigate deeper, both nutritional science, and my own psychology. I kept stumbling across an interface between the two, that I wasn’t seeing talked about, but from my perspective was significant. That is when I first started to draw the line between food and mood, which is really another way of describing brain health.
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.