Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Alzheimers study now recruiting for cutting edge treatment.

In the past year or so it was discovered that there might be a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Apparently Alzheimer’s is affected by insulin and there is a significant correlation between high blood sugar levels and Alzheimer’s. Just one more thing you need to know if you are pre-diabetic, right? But all knowledge is a good thing, and it is good to know that ANY attempt you make to lower your blood sugar can help protect your brain as well. A good diet and exercise may ultimately help prevent cognitive delays, including Alzheimer’s.

In fact, the correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer’s is so high, that doctors are now referring to Alzheimer’s as a Type 3 diabetes. In an article published in November 2008 by the National Institute of Health, authors Suzanne M. de la Monte, M.D., M.P.H. and Jack R. Wands, M.D. conclude that "Altogether, the results from these studies provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that AD represents a form of diabetes mellitus that selectively afflicts the brain." (
Another article, by Edward R. Rosick, DO, MPH, DABHM, published in the November 2006 issue of Life Extension Magazine states that "The emerging connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's is yet another compelling reason for those who value their health to address issues of impaired insulin sensitivity before it is too late. Although diabetes is an emerging epidemic, it is also wholly preventable and reversible through strategies that incorporate dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and nutritional supplementation."  (

Alzheimer’s is a topic very close to my heart as my Grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s for many years. In the later stages of the disease, it became very difficult to care for her. She didn't recognize the friends and family who were taking care of her and was terrified of what they were doing to her and why they were there. She forgot how to execute basic functions like eating, going to the bathroom and other self-care skills. Sometimes she would get frustrated, violent or forceful in her attempt to understand what was going on around her.

Research has already determined that there may be a link between blood sugars and Alzheimer’s and currently there is a cutting edge study researching treatment for Alzheimer’s patients ( The website states that "Currently three studies are underway to investigate whether a research drug called idalopirdine, given in addition to the Alzheimer’s medicine, donepezil, rivastigmine or galantamine, improves brain functioning in areas such as memory, thinking and reasoning." If you have someone currently taking Alzheimer’s medication, please forward information on this important research and treatment to his or her caretakers. There is even an online prescreener available to see if you might qualify. ( )

If you have trouble with high blood sugar, you now know how important this study might be to you. Please forward this post to anyone you know with friends or loved ones that suffer from Alzheimer’s. This may provide benefits to help the patient and patient costs are covered (even if you don't have insurance). Participation in the study will help progress this research through FDA approval and ultimately allow for the findings to be released for the benefit of the general public in managing this disastrous disease.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

It is so much harder to lose weight when you are older or overweight

When I was a teen I could skip a meal and lose a pound or two. Now in my middle age it is almost impossible to lose weight purposely and for long term weight loss. Lots of things are against you in middle age. I tell my kids that they should work on weight loss before they get very overweight.

Apparently a thrifty metabolism is against me. I read a news article that determined that some people have a thrifty metabolism that works against weight loss. Great, just what I needed, right? Thousands of years of evolution have worked so that I can retain weight, so I don't perish. Just what we need these days, right? These days where we almost never miss a meal and eat like we are celebrating every day.

Another recent news article says that exercise isn't to blame, of course I kind of guessed that. I've had bouts of major activity and develop muscle but don't necessarily lose weight long term. Or perhaps I am not keeping up the activity long term. The article suggests that simple carbohydrates are more of a problem. I am beginning to believe that they are right, that glucose and insulin are the problem for the metabolic conditions and the inability to lose weight when you are overweight long term. I've discovered that blood sugar is a major factor in the inability to lose weight.

I've heard of people who have weight loss surgeries but unless they keep working on weight loss you could get the weight back on. Even surgery isn't a guarantee for permanent weight loss.

Right now I am focusing on balancing my blood sugar, some days are better than others. And watching my refined carbs.

What do you think?


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How did I get the Greek diet so wrong?

I think I covered most of the main points of the Greek diet in my previous post here. Well how did I do it so wrong to get to a pre-diabetic stage? Well I grew up in Australia leaning toward a western diet, just like everyone else.
  • I ate cereal for breakfast
  • By 11 am I was usually starving
  • I ate a regular packed lunch (since eating away from home or a cold meal isn't really a Greek thing)
  • I snacked on western snacks after school
  • We ate our Greek dinners but often had dessert afterwards
  • We didn't walk after meals, in some towns there is nowhere to walk to
  • We gravitated towards the western diet of more meat for meals, it was more affordable after all
  • Since we ate like it was a special occasion every day, for special occasions we would go overboard
  • We didn't fast as much
  • Sweets were for everyone not just children
  • Fatty meats were used not just lean goat and lamb, ie beef and pork
  • Legumes gave you gas and hence were unpopular
  • No rest after lunch made you hungry again by 3
  • Pastas and noodles were popular fusion cuisine when I was growing up
  • Fruit was popular and healthy and not limited
  • Snacking was chips and cookies instead of nuts/seeds
  • Yogurt had sweeteners and additives
  • We gravitated towards processed prepared foods often
  • Snacks can be eaten alone, or sometimes meals too
  • Snacks can be eaten on the run, in the car, didn't sit for meals
  • Chocolate was ONE whole bar and often not as delicious as that one/first piece
  • If you weren't full you keep eating till you were
So it is unsurprising that I developed complications, in fact a lot of immigrants that move to a Western country will eventually develop problems similar to the locals.

So now my goal is to try to go back to the original Greek diet and avoid processed foods as much as possible. I also have to give up on my sweet tooth and just let sweets go from my diet. Hopefully pre diabetes is reversible or manageable and I haven't done permanent damage.

What are you eating in your home?


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Monday, May 4, 2015

Back to Basics, again!

One thing I have noted these past few months is that setbacks will happen. I've been trying to follow a healthy diet (for pre diabetes) and need to prep mostly every meal. Once in a while I don't feel like cooking or prepping anything and inevitably end up eating junk (cookies, crackers etc). Once this happens it is too easy to give in and go back to eating junk. Then I need to remember the basics of healthy eating and for me this is:
  1. Eating unprocessed foods, foods from the ground and from animals.
  2. Whole grain products, ie no white flour or white rice or other processed grains.
  3. Eating only until I am 80% full 
  4. Eating a raw food for every meal (salad or fruit etc)
  5. Having cooked vegetables for every meal (prepping and cooking get tiresome but necessary and delicious)
  6. Thinking ahead about meals and not leaving it till last minute, tiring and boring but necessary
  7. Avoiding even home made baked goods as they are very likely to be processed or baking infrequently
  8. Making use of a slow cooker or foods that are not quick fried
  9. Choosing organic and natural foods where possible, reduces your toxicity levels
  10. Choosing different colors of foods for my meals (looks nice and diversifies the nutrients)

Those are my main general rules which are sometimes difficult to follow if you are in a bad mood and want to gorge on cookies. It is almost impossible to gorge on vegetables in the same way and perhaps we shouldn't be using food in that way. But yes oh so tempting. My snacks need to be fruit, veg and nuts/seeds.

For special occasions we can and should have a treat but as a society we have too many of those celebrations every week. Kids go to a lot of birthday parties, communities have town days and fairs and you could conceivably have lots of these special occasions. So perhaps stray only on the most important days or the days that mean the most to you. It won't feel like a celebration if you have too many of them or too often.

Ugh, so hard sometimes and almost goes against the grain, remember 2/3 rds of us are overweight or obese so everyone else is eating like this too. Lets inspire each other with how to deal with setbacks and refocus. Suggestions welcome!


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