Lockdown Life Spawns a Recipe Book

Lockdown life spawns a recipe book

What have I been doing during our latest lockdown? Nothing too exciting, as is the point of said lockdown. Advised to stay home and socially distance ourselves from loved ones and not so loved ones alike, there is not much else to do. Grocery shopping has become an event on my calendar. Although a warm vacation would have been great, I have found other things to keep me busy.

When all the local gardens are frozen solid and covered in snow, the part of my brain focusing on my landscaping/gardening business switches over to freelance writing. I have a few projects on the go in that department, specifically a cookbook from recipes originating from my maternal grandmother at the farmhouse I have mentioned a few times.

Social media, namely Facebook, has been a great tool to rekindle connections with my many cousins on that side of my family. I believe there are thirty something of us first cousins, and many more second and third cousins! This adventure is going to create quite the collaborative cookbook.

I volunteered to spearhead the project, appointing myself as chief collator, sorter, editor etc. Many of these recipes were handwritten (of course no one had any other method of transcription back in those days) by my Grandmother, back in the 50’s. Her short forms, terminology and unique cursive writing often have me guessing.

So, when my eldest granddaughter is busy with her online school classes, or during any other spare time I find (who doesn’t have spare time these days??) I am typing furiously, trying to get the recipes ready for publishing.

I have chosen Lulu, a self-publishing, online platform for this recipe book where copies are only printed as they are ordered. That way I do not have to pay anything in advance, worry about deliveries or store unsold copies. When I am done, I simply send a link to my extended family members and they can order copies as they wish. All proceeds from the sale of this recipe book will be donated to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, located just down the road from the family farmhouse, where many generations of this family are laid to rest.

The End of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's

The book I read recently, called The End of Alzheimer’s, is the inspiration for this post.  It is written by Dr. Dale Bredesen and can be purchased here.

Seven years ago I was struggling with various health issues including a terrible short-term memory.  As I worked through the process of finding out what my problem was, I discovered that many common dietary habits are linked to poor short-term memory and the general fatigue I was experiencing.

More recently I heard about this book that claims to contain the solutions to preventing and even reversing the cognitive decline of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  I was intrigued since the causes of cognitive decline outlined in this book are eerily similar to what I discovered were the causes of my earlier health issues.  That is my excuse for why there are so many internal links to my previous posts.

I will attempt to summarize these causes and their solutions but read the book for full details if you are seriously concerned about yourself or someone you care about.  What I took away from reading this book is that the main cause of cognitive decline (dementia including Alzheimer’s) is an overproduction of sticky amyloid plaque that destroys the synapses of the brain.

Alzheimer's
synapse: Wikipedia

This amyloid is produced naturally as a defense mechanism when our immune systems detect irritants or pathogens in our bodies.  The problem becomes when our immune systems face a chronic (consistent) bombardment of irritants to fight and never shut off.

According to this book, the three culprits that cause our immune systems to be overworked resulting in the overproduction of amyloid are:

  • inflammation including infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) poor hygiene (gum disease) and poor food choices (trans fats, omega 6 fats vs omega 3s, sugar, dairy, gluten)
  • the shortage and decline of nutrients, hormones and molecules that are necessary to support our brains
  • toxins (metals, chemicals, antibiotics, medication, alcohol) and biotoxins (mold)

So, how do we prevent or reverse the onset of cognitive decline and yes, even Alzheimer’s?  The author uses the analogy of terrorists on an airplane.  If you prevent the terrorists from getting on the plane, they cannot blow it up mid-air.   Likewise, we can thwart these neuro terrorists (listed irritants) that are wreaking havoc on our immune systems by not ingesting them.

Note that the first two irritants on the list are diet-related, meaning they should be easier to control.  Removing the toxins in your home and life may be more complicated, but can be done.  Note too that this neglect or abuse of your immune system has (most likely) gone on for years.  That means fixing it won’t happen overnight!

From my own personal experience, I can say that eliminating gluten, reducing sugar and trans fats, choosing omega 3s over 6s, and reducing my exposure to toxins for the past seven years has made an incredible difference in my overall health.

Please check out my gardening website at gardens4u

Allow the Wonder Wall to Captivate you!

Wonder Wall

Recently I attended a book launch to support a friend who has co-created a masterful piece of work named the Wonder Wall.  With my gardening business in full swing, I don’t usually get much reading done in the summer months, but I am so impressed with this book that I am making an exception this week.

The Wonder Wall is aimed at formal and informal educators of all kinds.  Teachers from kindergarten to university, scientists, managers, team leaders, administrators, parents, and volunteers alike can learn from this.  After all, we humans are all educators of some sort.  Whether you want to motivate and encourage children or adults within a school, start-up business,  major corporation, office, hospital, police force, daycare, or community association, the concepts within the Wonder Wall are easily applicable.

As much as I tried to put the ideas from this book into my own words to share with you, I found that my efforts could simply not do justice to the witty, inspirational way this masterpiece is written.   So, I am cheating; these (just a few of many) excerpts are literally straight from the book…

CONDITIONS THAT FOSTER CREATIVITY

three imperatives:

  • recognize there is a seed of brilliance in everyone
  • adopt a strength based approach
  • create cultures of belonging

four conditions:

  • storytelling and listening
  • moving beyond diversity to inclusivity
  • making it personal
  • celebrating

IDEAL LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS:

  • good listener, approachable, personable
  • understanding, empathetic, respectful, caring
  • motivational, inspirational, visionary
  • honest, trustworthy, dependable, consistent
  • knowledgeable, informed, displaying expertise
  • good communicator
  • positive, enthusiastic, energetic

IDEAL LEADER BEHAVIOUR:

  • leads by example
  • provides support, encouragement, motivation
  • seeks input
  • inclusive/fair
  • approachable/friendly
  • professional/responsible
  • positive/energetic
  • respectful
  • sympathetic/understanding
  • team player/builds relationships

To learn the details of these compelling points, plus many more insightful strategies and how they can apply to your life, you will have to read the book yourself!

Get inspired!  Purchase the Wonder Wall at your local bookstore or online (click on the picture below) through Amazon.  I promise you will be captivated, both amused and motivated as you read and reread through the pages.