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Brain Fear? What to eat! #MFRWAuthor

Brain Fear?

Yup, big time. With Alzheimer’s and dementia only one generation away up my family tree, I chase everything that comes across my newsfeeds about caring for my brain.

Here’s the latest, from AARP – six foods that support brain health, and my status:

Legumes, for B-complex vitamins, help protect against brain shrinkage – So-so .We definitely need to add in more, though the humus we enjoy daily at least contributes some

Citrus, for vitamin C antioxidents – Check! An orange a day.

Almonds, for vitamin E, healthy blood vessels – Check! This is my go-to snack. I nearly always have some handy – my only concern is eating too many!

Fish, for Omega 3s – Um, not often enough. Will work on this.

Spinach – flavenoids that slow amyloid plaque build-up — Ooops. I’ve been focusing on romaine for our salads, partly because it keeps so well. It turns up on many other lists of foods that help the brain, but doesn’t necessarily affect amyloid plaque. Will have to add spinach back in. Though in my defense I’ll add that when we eat out, a spinach salad is often my choice – especially the Panera Spinach Power salad.

coffeeCoffee, three cups daily have slowed cognitive decline compared to impaired adults not drinking siginificant coffee. – Check, and hooray! For decades health professionals have succeeded in making me feel somewhat guilty for my coffee addiction, so I’m excited to be justified. Plus, I know single cases neither prove or disprove aggregate research, but my father was a daily coffee drinker and my mother wasn’t, and her decline greatly exceeded his in onset and severity. I’ll drink to the difference!

My score? Excellent on three out of six, marginal on two, and pretty much zero on the spinach front. Got my marching orders – how about you?

 

Stay Sexy ~ We’re Not Making This Stuff Up!

…well, of course, in our erotic romance fiction, we make up lots of stuff. :)

But today I’m talking about those phrases you may have seen out there like sixty is the new forty, reverse the effects of aging, stay forever young, and the like. Pie in the sky? Nope, it’s true!

Of course we’re not going to actually stay young forever – but increasingly, there’s compelling evidence that certain healthy lifestyle habits do, in fact, reverse some of the effects of aging.

Earlier this week, NPR covered the most recent entry into this database. In a five year study authored by Dean Ornish, of heart-health fame, participants who engaged in a select group of healthy practices lengthened the telomeres on the ends of their chromosomes significantly, while the telomeres of the control group actually shortened.

It would take a lot of brain science to delve into a thorough understanding of telomeres and how they function, but here’s a short version: telomeres protect the dna within the chromosomes, and shorter telomeres are associated with shorter life span and an increase in many chronic diseases.

Prior to the present study, it’s not been known whether healthy living creates longer telomeres (and decreased susceptibility to disease), or whether people with longer telomeres simply have a healthier lifestyle, perhaps because they enjoy greater health. This exploratory study demonstrates in a small sample that the lifestyle differences can be causal.

So yes, sixty can be the new forty – or at least, in our sixties, we can still reverse some of the effects of aging through our habits. What habits? Ornish elaborated as follows:

A whole foods, low-fat, plant-based diet that’s also low in refined carbohydrate.

Walking for a half an hour a day.

Doing various stress management techniques, including yoga and meditation, for an hour a day.

Spending more time with their loved ones, including friends and family.

Apropos of all of the above, my husband and I went dancing last night. It’s part of what we love about being so close to Las Vegas, where great dance bands are easy to come by. We were fascinated by a highly energetic and broadly smiling elderly couple who hardly sat out a dance – fast or slow, western, rock and roll or hip-hop. I would have guessed their age to be early seventies, at most. A friend set us straight: both member of this couple are ninety years old. Not only that – where did they meet, after they’d each lost their spouse? They met at the gym, where they both still work out regularly.

That’s what I want to be when the time comes – ninety, vigorous, and happily dancing my feet off!

 

Mommy Porn? How about some Grandma Porn?

I blogged briefly about this Huff Po ARTICLE yesterday – Jaxine Bubis, a candidate for the Colorado State Senate, used to write erotic romance for Extasy Books, and now journalists are questioning whether that will affect her political future. The article features a lovely video clip of Jaxine talking about her inspiration for the plot of one of the novels, and it affirms that women over fifty – who were at the forefront of the sexual revolution – continue to be interested in sex and are a major market for erotica and erotic romance.

The article also features an excerpt of a video news report by Huff Po State Government Reporter John Celock. As he and the news anchor tossed the issue back and forth, they had a hard time keeping a straight face. They brought up the “mommy porn” label, joked about Fifty Shades of Gray, suggested the candidate might need to pledge to not bring up erotic content on the senate floor, and made a very tasteless pun on her last name.

I’m guessing both reporters are in their mid twenties, at most, so perhaps it’s a generational thing – or a combination of generation and gender. If so, they’d better get a grip. We Baby Boomers are doing this aging process differently than anyone’s grandma before us – and we don’t expect to be laughed at. Our demographic is a major market, with significant resources to purchase what we enjoy, so we’ll laugh all the way to the bank, the library, or the e-book website.

I don’t particularly call the fiction I’m writing “porn,” but I’m definitely a grandma, and I’m here to celebrate staying sexy, reading about sex, writing about sex, and having an active sex life, as long as I’m able.

 
© 2015 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.