Shifting Nutrition, Exercise Benefits To Parkinson’s and Brain Health

pexels-photo-102069-mediumHappy New Year! I wish you good health and happiness for 2017.

We’re just in the first week of the New Year and already my good feelings  and positive resolve for new beginnings is diminishing. When  I stepped out of my house on New Year’s Day I saw my car was about to be towed and the tag patrol person wouldn’t tell me why. Later in the week,  I had to pay extra for getting a service man out to fix the toilets because my service contract was expired and then I realized that I booked the wrong ticket for a trip I’m taking in a few weeks. So I’ve been questioning why?

How do we keep that calm demeanor (I know I’m not alone here) that this year is going to be different.

For me (and again I know I’m not alone here), it has to do with doing too many things at once, not paying attention to details and overextending myself to please everyone. I knew I needed to focus on one thing.

When I think about the past year, I tried many things to improve my health,  make money and move my nutrition business forward.  I,

  • Developed two food products
  • Sold them at twelve trade shows, markets and events
  • Became a functional aging specialist (incorporating fitness into my nutrition practice)
  • Started working out with a personal trainer
  • Turned 60 in December 2016 (that was inevitable)
  • Redesigned my website twice
  • Changed my focus from food to aging to exercising to Parkinson’s’ disease

I thought that was it that was what I was supposed to do, build my skills and see what stuck. A friend called it “Spray and Pray”

Truthfully, the process has been a learning curve and in all honesty, my heart has pulled me in another direction.

I want to share with you that I have shifted my perspective in this blog and my practice to the topic of Parkinson’s disease which also includes brain health. Actually, it is an accumulation all those items mentioned above.

In past blogs, I have mentioned my brother has Parkinson’s disease and I’m his primary caregiver. I designated Rocksteady Boxing Toronto helping people living with Parkinson’s as my charity of choice for 2016 and the recent 3-Day Flash sale of fermented foods where proceeds went to Rocksteady. So you may have already gotten the message.

parkinsons1Nutrition, exercise and mindfulness practices can make a huge difference for reducing or managing the symptoms and side effects of Parkinson’s. The disease can be dormant for years before symptoms become acute. It is a disabling neurodegenerative illness that affects mobility and mental function. It is a result of cell damage to the nerves in the area of the brain, the substantia nigra of the basal ganglia,  located in the core of the brain that controls muscle tension and movement. When damaged nerves cannot produce the neurotransmitter dopamine responsible for suppressing uncontrolled movements, it triggers a signal that produces a “shaky” tremor and progresses to other symptoms.

Brain health is part of that same equation and follows a similar path for taking care of our brain’s cellular function, memory and cognitive abilities which is something that affect us all.

I will continue to share my stories and give great health advice, sell programs, , provide recipes and exercise tips with the latest news on nutrition topics that I’ve written about before but with the primary focus on Parkinson’s disease and brain health.

Some of the information you’ll learn can be preventative for developing Parkinson’s. I wish to ask that if you know someone who has Parkinson’s and will benefit from this information or would like  personal coaching, please direct them to this website or my contact information.

I have also started a Facebook group called Living with Parkinson’s Community and Resources, a place for an interactive dialogue for people living with Parkinson’s to share their stories, research and resources for others to benefit.  Click here to go to the Facebook group.

In February I am introducing my revised  30 Meals and Exercises Made Easy for Men and Women living with Parkinson’s online program.

I hope that you will be happy for me and continue to join em for the ride in this new direction.

The decision is your to make and I completely understand if you unsubscribe from this blog.

I welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you at any time. You can comment in the box below this blog post.

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veg pot pie openHere is a delicious winter comfort food recipe that will make you feel warm and satisfied.

Beef Pot Pie can be made with vegetables, tofu, chicken or seafood.  It can be made with a pie crust or this past week I used phyllo dough rolled into a strudel (don’t use flour) which  is also super tasty.

Eating carbohydrate foods during the winter months helps keep us warm and relaxed.  Eating complex carbohydrates is a better choice than just eating simple carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are made up of  refined sugars, grains, fructose, sucrose, lactose (milk sugar) and other fruit sugars fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose, galactose shorter chain sugars. when you eat these foods they are quickly digested leaving you hungry sooner, loaded with calories and no nutrition.

Complex carbohydrates  includes more dietary  fibre and starches foods rich in nutrients and  include vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas. They are called complex  because it’s made of longer chain sugar molecules and takes longer to digest keeping your stomach fuller longer to break down the sugars.

Dietary Fibre  is part of plant food and contains the nutrients needed in the body, it is resistant to the body’s digestive enzymes because  a small amount of fibre is metabolized in the intestines and the remainder moves through the gastrointestinal system and ends up in the stool eliminating waste.

If making a pie crust, use multi-grain flours such as spelt or millet (gluten free such as chick pea, millet, brown rice). I have found spelt flour phyllo dough you can buy in the stores . Eating more complex carbohydrates can help keep the weight off too and  drinking plenty of water to keep you hydrated. Exercising daily is also beneficial

TIP:  When eating a higher complex carbohydrate diet drink more water throughout the day . Sipping your water (use a glass straw) rather than gulping it all down at once is even better for hydrating your skin and moving fibre through the gastrointestinal system and out of the body.

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Earlier this week, I read this fun article to test our knowledge of what foods to Help You Eat Better in 2017. I did the quiz myself and there were some question, I didn’t get right!  Give it a go and learn more from Dietitian Leslie Beck.

 

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I am an avid movie watcher on internet, Netflix or at the movies theatres. During the holiday season, I saw some great flicks. My favourites were Jackie about Jackie Kennedy and the 10 days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

the other, Hidden Figures, a true story about three brilliant women working at NASA Space Centre in Virginia in the 1960’s.

Both were amazing stories and the women, change makers.

My best wishes for you in 2017!

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