Caregiver’s Corner–Drink to Your Health

April 5, 2008 by  
Filed under ALZHEIMER'S

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According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 70% of the 5.2 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease live at home where family and friends take care of them.  So, you are in good company, there are literally millions of caregivers across the United States of America taking care of loved ones in various stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

As you know, caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is demanding, both physically and emotionally.  I say it almost every Friday, you are no good to your loved one if you are sick, burned out and exhausted.  So do yourself and your loved one a favor- take care of YOU. 

Today, I’ll tell you about three categories of drinks that will nourish your body and your spirit.

Water-I know, its sounds kind of boring, but your body is 75% water.  All of your body’s systems need water in order to work properly.  There are many schools of thought regarding proper water intake, but I’ll go with the Institute of Medicine which says that men should drink about 13 glasses and women about 9 glasses each day.  I’ll list just a few reasons you should drink at least 8-9 glasses of water each day. 

  • Water helps to regulate body temperature.
  • Water moistens mouth, eye and nose tissue.
  • Water lubricates joints.
  • Water lessens the burden on kidneys and liver by flushing out impurities.
  • Water carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
  • Water helps to prevent constipation.

Juice-I am talking about the real thing, not the ones laden with artificial sweeteners and colors. I mean, the kind you buy or preferably make fresh.  Yes, its a little time consuming, but YOU are worth it.  Check out the benefits of fresh juice.  Fresh juice is the liquid from a fruit or vegetable devoid of all of the fiber.  The liquid gets into your blood stream quickly, takes little energy for your body to digest and provides you with the benefits of the food you have juiced.  You’ll need a juicer to make your own and you can get an electric one for as little as $59 or as much as $400.  It just depends on how often you plan to use it, how easily you want to be able to clean it and how much you are willing to lose in waste.

Smoothies-My personal favorite, are excellent sources of whole food nutrition.  Just remember that the finished product is only as healthy as the individual ingredients you add to it.  So, if you add ice cream, butter finger pieces and sugar laden chocolate milk, it might be pleasing to your taste buds, but it won’t do much for your tummy (except to help it expand).

The advantage of healthy smoothies made with fruits and veggies over juice is that you get the fiber, which is important to colon health. 

Two of my favorite recipes:

Morning Glory Juice (I use a cheapie manual citrus juicer for this one)

1 large grapefruit

2-3 medium oranges OR 5-6 small tangerines

Manually juice the fruit, pour into glass, mix and try to drink slowly and ENJOY. (the drink slowly part never works for me)

NOTE:  If your fruit isn’t that sweet, add a bit of honey or agave nectar to sweeten to your liking. 

Almond Banana Smoothie (adapted from The Smoothies Bible by Pat Crocker)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth

1 Cup plain soy milk or almond milk (both can be purchased in the healthy section of your grocery store.)

¼ cup raw chopped almonds

2 ripe bananas peeled and cut into about 4-5 pieces each (you can peel, cut and freeze bananas for a thicker, frostier smoothie)

1 tsp vanilla or you can use vanilla flavored milk

Pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to your taste (optional)

Your action assignment today is to increase your water intake and try either the fresh squeezed juice or a smoothie.

I can’t wait to hear how you feel.  I always feel more energized and less stressed when I get in my water and start my day with fresh juice or a smoothie.

So, drink your water, have some fresh juice or make a smoothie and drink to your health!

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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