Aerobic training might be an answer to alzheimer’s disease(AD)

Hopefully, this inspires those in this life stage (baby boomers and beyond) to do aerobic and strength training. Regular exercise (150 minutes/week) also helps offset the lean muscle mass that we naturally lose each year with age.


Exercise-Benefits-for-Sedentary-Elderly Picture taken from

Alzheimer’s disease(AD) is a neurodegenerative disease responsible for most cases of dementia in elderly population. A lot of trials with drugs are ongoing in order to find the prevention and cure of AD. But recent research have shown life style modification and behavioral changes to be as effective as drugs in the prevention of AD.

A study published in the journal of gerontology has shown 6 months of aerobic exercise effective in reducing the symptoms of AD in the elderly population.

This study used 6-month cycling intervention to older adults of a selected community with mild-to-moderate AD. The exercise was a standardized, supervised, and individualized, moderate intensity cycling for 15 to 45 min a session (excluding 10-min warm-up and 10-min cool-down activities), 3 times a week for 6 months.

The outcomes of this training regimen were evaluated by measuring the cognition, ADL(Activities of daily living), BPSD(Behavioral and psychological symptoms of…

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What Are Eight Health Benefits of Cherries? – Infographic

Cherries are in season for Michigan. In addition to the benefits listed below, I have learned of a new helpful use for drinking cherry juice….It turns out that cherry juice is a great sleep aid. A friend told me about it and I recently tried it (the organic kind) and it really does work! So, if you want a more natural remedy for helping you get some zzz’s, try some organic cherry juice.

Health Secrets of a SuperAger

Warm weather is here if not the official first day of summer. So, it’s time to think about some of the seasonal fresh fruits and veggies we will be enjoying. Here is a fun and informative infographic on cherries.


Please keep in mind that you can have too much of a good thing. I posted about eating too many cherries.


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April 25 is National Zucchini Bread Day

Interesting tid bit is that zucchini has more potassium than a banana. I recently tried someone’s homemade chocolate zucchini bread, what a treat.

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays


Interesting Food Facts about Zucchini Bread

  1. A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.
  2. The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
  3. Biggest is NOT best. The most flavorful zucchinis are small- to medium-sized.
  4. According to World’s Healthiest Foods Nutrition info, nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
  5. The flower of the zucchini plant is also edible.

Fun Fact:

The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs. Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK, grew the humongous veggie.

Mild bitterness in zucchini, like that in related species like cucumbers, may be result from environmental factors such as high temperature, low moisture, low soil nutrients, etc. The bitterness is caused by compounds called cucurbitacins.

A zucchini has more potassium than a banana.


Today’s Food History

  • 1856 Charles Luttwedge Dodgson met a little girl named Alice Liddell. Alice had…

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The Super Seeds: Which is Healthier

These “super seeds” are showing up everywhere these days. And they offer many nutritional benefits. I added flax seed powder in my smoothie this morning.


Cooking with Kathy Man

Leslie Beck wrote in The Globe and Mail …..

What’s the difference between them? Hemp seeds outshine chia and flax when it comes to protein: Two tablespoons serve up almost 7 grams, the amount found in two egg whites. Plus, the protein in hemp seeds contains all essential amino acids, something that’s unusual for plant foods. (Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; essential amino acids must come from your diet because your body can’t make them on its own.)

Hemp seeds are also an outstanding source of magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. Blend two tablespoons into your smoothie and you’ll get one-quarter of a day’s worth of magnesium (116 mg).

Chia seeds are high in magnesium too and, unlike hemp seeds and flaxseeds, they’re also a good source of calcium. When it comes to fibre, chia seeds have the edge, providing 5…

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Barre Fitness – What’s all the Hype?


It seems that more and more studios and gyms are offering the barre fitness classes. This is a ballet-inspired type of a workout. While all barre workouts differ slightly in structure, most methods incorporate exercises done at a ballet barre (you can use the back of a chair at home) combined with elements of ballet, Pilates, and yoga.

I recently have taken some “booty barre” class with a friend. This form of the barre fitness incorporates a mix of pilates, yoga, and strength-training moves (utilizing resistance bands and fitness balls). Many of the exercises rely on using one’s own body strength for resistance. The moves challenge your core stability and balance. This workout helps improve your posture, and give you a stronger physique. “You should feel more stronger, flexible, and coordinated with each class.”  Though it seems to be more geared toward women, men can benefit from this challenging workout too.  Huffington Post featured an article on this a few months ago, to prove the point.

The Chicago Tribune recently featured an article on the barre workout, including a bungee ballet version.

Not ready to brave the barre class? Self has some at-home techniques to try.

Be Well.

April 14 is National Pecan Day

Pecans are a good heart-healthy fat option, as they have both mono and polyunsaturated fats. They provide a source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They also contain trace minerals which help with brain function, energy, and the nervous system. According to research from Harvard School of Public Health, consumption of nuts (including pecans) helped with long term weight loss than those who followed a low-fat restricted diet. Nuts provide satisfaction and satiety.

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays


Interesting Food Facts about Pecan

  1. Pecans come in a variety of sizes – mammoth, extra large, large, medium, small and midget.
  2. Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
  3. There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans.  Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
  4. Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919.
  5. 2 Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc.

Fun Fact:

Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S. Albany hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, the crowning of the National Pecan Queen and many other activities.
The U.S. produces about 80 percent of the world’s pecan crop.
Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans in the…

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Tomato and Asparagus “Carbonara”

This recipe by Cooking Light caught my attention, so I decided to make that today. According to the Almanac, asparagus is in prime season right now.  Asparagus is a heart-healthy veggie that is packed with folate (B vitamins) as well as vitamins A, C, and E. I followed this recipe pretty closely, except that I added a bit more olive oil to the cooked noodles and also added about 3 Tbs of basil pesto sauce.


Tomato and Asparagus Carbonara Recipe


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (1-inch) diagonally cut trimmed asparagus
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves


download-pasta 1

  1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; sauté 3 1/2 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 6 minutes or until tomatoes are tender.
  3. Combine cheese, salt, pepper, and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and toss pasta immediately with egg mixture. Add tomato mixture, tossing until sauce thickens. Divide pasta equally among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon basil. Serve immediately.

-pasta 2


Flat-Belly Foods -To help say Bye to Bloating

Source: A Healthier Michigan

There’s nothing more frustrating than working hard to tone up and still having a little belly that just won’t flatten. Sit-ups aren’t always the answer—that persistent pooch might be due to belly bloating, when a feeling of fullness is accompanied by a bulge in your abdomen. Bloating is common here and there, but if you’re feeling it on a more consistent basis, you may want to adjust your diet.

Here are a few foods that will help you flatten out that fullness:

Papaya – When ripe, papaya’s main enzyme, Papain, is great at breaking down fiber. And when fiber is easily digested, bloating tends to lessen.

Non-fat or low-fat yogurt – Make sure you select one with active cultures in it, which help with efficient digestion and, therefore, reduce bloating.

Banana – The potassium in bananas helps counter your sodium intake (which is a major culprit of bloating), leading to an internal balance and less water and bloat.

Peppermint – Peppermint is a strong anti-inflammatory. As inflammation can lead to bloating, a cup of peppermint tea will help settle that stomach.

Cucumber and Celery – Both are high in water and low in fiber, helping reduce fluid your body just doesn’t want to let go and leading to flatter stomach and a slimmer feel.

And a few foods to avoid:

Gum – When you chew gum, you swallow air, which can lead to bloating. In addition to that, artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free gum aren’t easy to digest and also lead to bloating.

Salt – Water and sodium like each other, which means if you have a lot of sodium, water is going to stick around. It’s important to remember that salt doesn’t just mean from the shaker. Avoid highly processed foods as well as their sodium levels are usually off the charts.

Carbonated Drinks – Those bubbles need a place to land and it’s usually in your belly.

If simple food switch-outs aren’t doing the trick, you may want to visit a nutritionist as chronic bloating can be due to a lactose intolerance.


Photo credit: Taku

10 life lessons I learned from cancer survivors

love story from the male perspective

10 Things I Learned from People Who Survived Cancer by Dr. Lissa Rankin . Thank you Dr. Rankin for this great article! If you like it, click on Dr. Rankin’s name to follow her on the social networks.

As a physician, I interviewed women who had survived breast cancer for my art project The Woman Inside. I studied patients who experienced spontaneous remissions from cancer as part of the research for my book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.

I discovered that those who had overcome cancer shared one remarkable thing in common: They had all faced death and made a conscious decision to live every day like it might be their last.

Here’s what these people who survived cancer taught me.CancerSurvivorHappyWomenArmsUp900-850x400

1. Be unapologetically YOU.

People who survive cancer tend to get feisty. They walk around bald in shopping malls and roll their eyes if people look…

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New Study Complicates the Word on Fat

Source: The Herald

Barbara Quinn, RD

My doc was pleased that my blood tests had improved.

“Cholesterol’s down,” he reassured me.

Yay. Trying to avoid excess saturated fat in my diet paid off.

Then he handed me a copy — hot off the press — of a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine that appears to question that choice. A review of the association between different types of fats and coronary (heart) disease concluded: “Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of saturated fats.”

Translation: This study found no clear proof that cutting back on my saturated fat intake and increasing my intake of polyunsaturated fats will lower my risk for heart disease.

My first reaction was, Yippee. I think I’ll go buy that yummy-tasting high saturated fat yogurt I usually avoid.

My second reaction was, Maybe I need to get more information.

This current report is actually a review of several studies, most of which are “observational” — considered a poor source of information on the effects of dietary changes. Moreover, observational studies give us clues to what we need to study further.

And to its credit, this study also looked at real experiments on real people in randomized controlled trials.

So what’s the problem? The way I understand it, we have ample evidence that replacing saturated fats in the diet with those that are more unsaturated reduces the “bad” LDL cholesterol in our blood. And lowering LDL lowers our risk factor for heart disease.

These researchers found no positive proof, however, that just eating less saturated fat (or eating more polyunsaturated fat) will cut our risk for heart disease.

Which is enough to fuel the Internet with comments like, “Don’t read anything written by food experts.”

To which I reply, I’d much rather trust a trained pilot to guide me to my destination than the guy in the back of the plane complaining about the turbulence.

So here’s what experts generally agree on:

Trans fats — more than saturated fat — are detrimental to heart health. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration recommends we phase trans fats out of our food supply.

There are several types of saturated fat — some more detrimental than others — which complicates studies of this type even more.

Eating patterns that include a wide variety of plant-based foods — from vegetables to fruit to whole grains to beans to nuts — have shown over and over again to protect against heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. This “whole diet approach” is naturally lower in saturated fat and shows benefits “not from one specific element, but from the sum of its parts,” according to Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Medical Journal who helped fund this research.

“This study does not tell us that saturated fat is good for us,” says Pearson. “It only tells us that saturated fat may not be as damaging as we thought.”

Personally, I know the benefits when I improve the overall quality of my diet. And even if there is no absolute proof that the saturated fat in that yummy-tasting yogurt will give me heart disease, I need those extra fat calories like I need another controversial diet study.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.


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