Happy Holidays and Cheers to 2018!
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Traveling to see family? Drink water and stay hydrated
Don’t want to eat too much? Drink water before dinner, it will help fill you up – it takes 15 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, a tall glass of water can fake out your brain
Don’t want to drink too much? Make your first drink a glass of water . Drinking is often social and we forget just how much we are drinking. For every drink, have a big glass of water, and slow down.
Want to control portion sizes? View Portion Sizes from the National Institute on Aging at the NIH https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/tip-sheets/serving-and-portion-sizes
November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Do you find you lose the word you are looking for or put your keys down and forget where you left them? Is it just that we are busy, overloaded, or are we secretly thinking the worse – Alzheimer’s?
I remember as a kid attending the funerals of grand parents, great aunts and uncles and thinking – well, we have a few generations in front of us (my friends, siblings), so I don’t have anything to worry about. Then a couple decades pass and the grand parents are gone, the parents are either gone or having health challenges: including forgetting birthdays, getting lost while driving, and more. We watch more closely our parents suffering various illnesses (chronic or acute), cognitive decline (dementia, Alzheimer’s) and admire and are inspired by those that continue to be active and engaged in life well into their 90’s. But as they began leaving us, we suddenly look in the mirror and say YIKES! we are next – this is the time when being at the head of the line is not as much fun.
Being up front we get to see our friends with their chronic/acute illness, watching them become a bit more forgetful or daft and we start thinking what’s next and who’s next and what will it be.
Below is a link to a piece from the National Institute on Aging that provides some tips about Normal Forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s. I was a bit relieved when I read it as my minor forgetfulness is considered “normal”. Even though, keys get misplaced, documents (and we have so many of them) get muddled together. One thing we have begun in our house is to
- always put our car keys in the same place, and
- put away what you take out. It has saved many of “those moments”.
- get your documents in order – I have used the PortaVault system for years (admittedly – I have not always kept it up, but I am getting better).
Even Bill Gates is in the game – recently donating $100 million of his personal funds to support Alzeheimer’s Research.
Enjoy your November and work on putting those keys in the same place – it will really help as we go into the holiday season when that forgetfulness rises – Ever lose your car in the parking lot? Take a picture on your phone of where you are, or get a find my car app for your phone. It will keep you from going crazy.
REFERENCE: National Institute on Aging: Normal Forgetfulness and Alzheimer’s http://bit.ly/2nhqeh1
Have you ever gotten a food product that says it is “enriched” or “fortified”? What does that really mean?
Enriched Foods. Sounds like that is a good thing, right? Often foods are enriched because original nutrients were removed (usually by processing) – so food manufacturers put back the nutrients. Let’s call this “replacement”. According to the FDA, foods can claim to be enriched if the contain at least 10% more of the daily value of that nutrient that foods that are not enriched.
What are some examples of enriched foods:
Fortified Foods. This is when nutrients are just added.
Examples of fortified foods:
Milk – fortified with Vit D, Calcium
Orange Juice – fortified with calcium
Salt – Iodine was/is added to salt to help prevent goiter.
Even junk food can claim enriched or fortified – but it is still JUNK FOOD.
What is enriched and fortified foods: https://www.verywell.com/what-is-enriched-food-3496104?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shareurlbuttons
Reading Food Labels: https://www.verywell.com/read-nutrition-labels-for-weight-loss-4065403
FDA Food Label Guidelines: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm
Food Education and even a free app to track healthier foods https://www.fooducate.com
Did you know that December is the only month that does not have a dedicated cancer specific awareness (from the American Cancer Society website) linked to it – is that to give us a break during the holidays? Interesting that each month has various awareness (we are leaving breast cancer and heading into lung, stomach and pancreatic cancer awareness). It is also amazing that there are so many cancers and that probably all of us have been touched by one or more is some way (personally, family, friends).
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified at least 13 types of cancer linked specifically to overweight and obesity https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/obesity-cancer/index.html.
Maybe we should think a bit more about our activity level and/or what we are eating as we move toward the holiday season? Maybe the push for getting to 10,000 steps (doing holiday shopping, running that turkey trot?) or avoiding those yummy treats that make you want more?
I was amazed to see what types of cancer are related to weight. Is it the food that we eat? The weight itself? Whatever it is, the CDC reported that 630,000 people in the US are diagnosed with cancer related to overweight and obesity. If that alone doesn’t gets you attention, not sure what will.
Get the facts and don’t wait till January 1st to start moving – just do 1 minute more activity than yesterday and keep adding another minute each day – is that too much to ask? And add more greens (they fill you up and are good for you).
Tools and Calculators
In this section of the American Cancer Society you’ll find interactive tools, quizzes, and videos to help you learn more about ways to lower your risk for cancer or find it early.
Make it a goal to just be a “little” healthier than yesterday. Each day counts and it takes a few months to have those changes hardwired – just think if you start now, chipping away slowly, you will go into the new year as an improved you.
Research has shown that happiness in older years is generally higher. In a 2014 study conducted by English and Carstensen (see reference below), older adults reported more positive emotions in low arousal positive emotions (low arousal states are defined as: happy, content, calm relaxed) during the entire day vs. younger adults. Younger participants felt more negative in the evening.
There was little age difference in those who were in high arousal negative emotions (high arousal negative states were defined as: anger, anxiety or sadness).
Figures from the Engilsh and Carstensen article referenced below.
So the research does seem to support that “we are more mellow as we age”. Think about your emotions, are you happier in the morning or evening? Are you happier than you were when you were younger? It good to be us, isn’t it?