A Recipe For Life

April 17, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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Recipe for Life–  “Recipe” will focus on various aspects of nutrition and health that will be helpful to caregivers, those affected with Alzheimer’s disease and everyone in between.  A well balanced diet, high in complex carbohydrates, with several servings of fruits and vegetables each day is essential to good physical and mental health.

During my 7 years as a caregiver for my mom, who had Alzheimer’s disease, I moved twice, had two horrible pregnancies (but two great sons!), traveled domestically and internationally and worked as a freelance writer.

I was always tired.  It seemed as if I literally woke up, even on the rare occasions that I got enough rest, still feeling tired.  I eventually became ill, as many caregivers do and the road to recovery has taught me many lessons.

The first is that I don’t need to be a martyr.  Martyrs are people who believe in a cause, person, or movement so much they were willing to give their lives.  While it sounds nice, the truth is that my mother needed me rested and healthy so that I could take care of her.  As nobel as it was that I was willing to “give my life” as it were, she needed me awake, alert and ALIVE.  I was of much less use to her (and my sons) when I was worn down, irritable and stressed.

Time is always of the essence.  I found then and still find today that smoothies are a wonderful (and quick) way to get in some fruits and vegetables, get a great pick me up and have an enjoyable drink all at the same time.

If you are exceptionally tired, consider these tips from Pat Crocker in her popular book, The Smoothies Bible.

Eat lots of:

Fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Eat just a little:
  • Fat found in meat and dairy products
  • Fried foods

Remove from your diet:

  • Caffeine and processed sugar
  • Refined (translate white) flours as they depletes the body’s nutrients
  • Processed foods
  • Margarine and salad oils (except olive)
  • Alcohol

Today’s Recipe(s) for life

To make smoothies, you will need a blender.  I use a vitamix, which is a very high powered blender, but the recipes here can be made with a standard, household blender.

Apple Fresh Smoothie


¾ cup apple juice

2 apples peeled, cored and chopped

1 cup seedless grapes

Half a lemon peeled, seeded chopped


Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth

B-Vitamin Smoothie

B vitamins are important for brain function, nerve function, for converting protein, fat and carbs into energy and for healthy hair and skin.


½ cup pineapple juice

¼ cup plain soy milk

1 cup chopped peeled pineapple

¼ cup fresh chopped pitted peeled apricots (okay to use dried)

1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped

1 TBS *wheat germ

2 tsp flax seed

1 tsp cod liver or hemp oil


Place all ingredients into blender (liquid first) and blend till smooth

Note: I find that stocking up on flax seed and wheat germ makes it easy to add them to almost any smoothie.  Both are reasonably priced and keep will in the fridge or freezer.

*Wheat germ is a super food of sorts, it contains potassium, vitamin E, several B vitamins, zinc and magnesium.  You can find the raw version (my personal favorite) at health food stores and the toasted version in your local grocery store.

*Flax comes in seed and oil form.  I generally use the seeds. Sometimes I grind them first in my coffee grinder and sometimes I put them directly into the blender. Flax provides fiber (seed) and essential fatty acids.

Well, there you have it! Your Recipe for LIFE

Please try out the smoothies and let me know what you think.  Bottoms Up!

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