Exploring the “mind” diet

Getting our Mind right

You said what? Do you find yourself forgetting what you said or when you said it? The MIND diet can turn back your brain clock! The MIND (Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet was established in 2015 and studies are ongoing to determine its effectiveness in cognitive decline. It is a blend between the Mediterranean diet and the Dash Diet. This is NOT about losing weight but rather, improving brain health. (Plus for me, no red meat is included…so that is right up my alley!) My son lured me to the vegetarian lifestyle in 2015 and I have never turned back.

Brain 2.0 (who doesn’t want a better brain?)

As I was back at the Neurologist again last week for the migraines (that will be a whole other story!), my doctor started talking about the MIND diet (The whole time she was talking, I was thinking…didn’t someone tell me about this already… turns out that someone was her…at my previous appointment). Yikes, I need a brain reboot. Chemo definitely produces a brain fog that doesn’t seem to go away.

Put yourself in the driver’s seat!!

“Baby, you can drive my car!”

When reviewing this WOE (way of eating) I can see that it is easy to tailor for your lifestyle! I have decided to put myself in the driver’s seat in improving my brain health. I purchased Mind Diet Book on Amazon (The Mind Diet for Beginners) and checked another out from the library called The Mind Diet by Maggie Moon

Wait, what is it??

I am a visual leaner, so included a graph below to share the basics with you. I like Maggie Moon’s simple plan of counting up points for eating items from the approved list. So, rather than and all or nothing approach, we could focus on adding healthy items to our diet and track the points of healthy eating for the week. I love a good habit tracker, so this is perfect! The benefit of the diet is that it can improve cognitive function and lower brain age by 7 years!!

From the Mind Diet by Maggie Moon

My Focus will be adding leafy greens and nuts

My focus will be adding cashews, walnuts, almonds, Pistachios, Macadamia Nuts, and Pecans. The Plan-bag them all on Sunday for the week in neat child-sized portions. During the bagging process today, I did observe that 1/4 cup of each nut is like absolutely nothing!! I will need to visualize this as taking a nut vitamin! (You’ll also see some Goji Berries and Dates from Down to Earth in the picture below) I was in Down to Earth browsing their goodies and realized I had never tried Goji Berries…verdict: tasty!

Portion size matters! I can easily eat a whole can of Blue Diamond Wasabi Almonds, however, my waist suggests that is a bad idea.

I don’t have a fancy kitchen scale but…I found this…”A one-ounce serving of nuts greatly differs. The following equal one ounce: 24 almonds, 18 medium cashews, 12 hazelnuts or filberts, 8 medium Brazil nuts, 12 macadamia nuts, 35 peanuts, 15 pecan halves and 14 English walnut halves”-The Cleveland Clinic

The MIND Diet does not suggest peanuts though…*sigh*…Mr. Peanut is probably rolling over his grave.

Nut servings for two-for the week

Today’s purchase of Kale and Bok Choy

Kale and Bok Choy

Measuring Results?

I started looking up tests on the Internet…and it looks like they want big $$ to take them. My measure will be how many times, the kids say, you already told me that!

My Mom shared that 23andMe has a Cognitive test, but when I went there…I ended up focusing on the fact that that I really dislike chewing noises. I can confirm this…Thanks 23andMe

Join me!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress and whether this is a sustainable way of eating!! This is my April project!!!

How do I talk to the doctoR-Guidance from a survivor?

Closer to Fine

“I went to the doctor”…..how do we get “Closer to Fine”-Indigo Girls 1994

Waiting room Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience

What do you think about in the car on the way to the Doctor’s Office? Usually, it’s Insurance Cards,Identification, parking validation…but the most important thought should be, Did I bring my notebook of questions? I would argue that the partnership with your doctor is the essential aspect in your medical care. I’ve found repeating questions over-and-over in my head has proven unsuccessful (and stressful). Unless I write it down before I arrive at my appointment, it’s like a trip to Target…”What was I going to get?”

My notebook goes everywhere with me!!

Bullet Journal 2021

Establishing a partnership in your care enables you to have more control in your treatment. Each time you walk into a clinic or hospital, bring your notebook and bring your questions. I start each appointment by telling the Doctor that I have some questions…followed by…would you like to see them now or after the exam? If this is intimidating…hand your doctor the written list of your questions.

Tripler Army Medical Center Mountainside Entrance

Knowledge is Power

cientia est potentia” -knowledge is power. The more information you have regarding your specific medical condition, the more you are informed of next steps you might take to becoming healthier (closer to fine). There is a caveat to this and I won’t lie…I spent some time looking up Survival rates for Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. That was sobering. I don’t find fear to be very motivating, so I looked at the positive aspects of my treatment. Good medical care makes all the difference. Don’t sit in the back seat! (Arrested Development-Buster-“I sit in the front seat now!”)

“I sit in the front seat now!”

I chatted with my oncologist, Dr. Dietrich (who is now at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center) to ask him his advice in all things doctor related. One of the very first things he said to me in 2012 was, “You are not a statistic.” The cancer statistics are actually at least 5 years old and the treatments have improved markedly since those statistics were published. I recently asked him a few questions regarding Ovarian Cancer treatment.

One, which is particularly relevant now, “What is the role of telemedicine?

Telemedicine

Covid-19 has brought an increase of telemedicine appointments. The bonus of this is reduced exposure to germs and easy access to the doctor. When is this most beneficial-When an actual exam is not necessary and you are reviewing scan results and discussing treatment options. I have found those check- in appointments to be so much more convenient via the computer. Plus, no parking and validation worries.

What about Exercise?

I walk when we and wherever I can! For me, exercise and a healthy diet give me a sense of control over my well-being. It’s also a huge part of my Relentless Forward Motion mantra. My 87 year old dad says, you gotta keep moving to keep the old man (or woman) out!

The National Cancer Institute recently shared this information on exercise:

How would you describe the state of what we know about the role of exercise for people with cancer and for long-term survivors?

In the past, clinicians typically advised their cancer patients to rest and avoid physical activity. However, what we learned from early exercise research in the 1990s and 2000s contradicted that advice. In fact, the field of exercise oncology—exercise and cancer—has grown exponentially in the past decade. There are more than 1,000 randomized controlled trials in this field. Multiple large epidemiologic and preclinical studies have also been completed, all of which have expanded our knowledge. 

Advice-It’s okay to ask….what would you do?

Doctors want a beneficial outcome as much as you do. They want you healthy and able to tolerate treatments. Can you ask for second opinion? The answer is…yes? Being comfortable in decisions moving forward is key! This is great news for patients who want to sit in the driving seat of their treatment!

What is the best question you ask your own doctor? Share in the comments!