2019 Life Logs, Day 287: Skype Calls with Family and Friends
Date: Monday, October 14, 2019
Weather: Overcast and Rainy, Again; High 69, Low 46 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage. East Falmouth, MA
The highlights of my day revolved around Skype calls. When I got home from my Monday morning pilates class at the gym, I got a call from Justin and family. And then tonight I got a call from friends Linda and Mike Stuart who are on the island of Lankawi in Malaysia. It was great to catch up with both. Ziggy and Coco are in school this fall for the first time since Hurricane Maria and they had Columbus Day off today. They attend the private school they were in before the hurricane and Coco was very excited that on Fridays she gets to go sailing or sometimes horseback riding. I want to go to that school. Justin took me out to the driveway to show off their new Toyota Tacoma 4-wheel drive truck. They had a Dodge Caravan that simply could not handle their driveway. It is challenging as you have to drive up a hill that is at 45-degrees steep or maybe steeper. When it is wet, which is often in Puerto Rico, they sometimes couldn’t get out. And now that they kids need to be taken to school each day, getting out became more important to have a reliable vehicle. That, plus the Caravan was literally falling apart. They are all very excited to have the new truck. My conversation with Linda and Mike was prompted by an email I sent to them this evening, their early morning. I read their blog and found that they were on the island of Lankawi and not particularly happy with it. I had raved about it, as had others, but it seems things have changed. I sent them parts of my logs from our explorations there, so Linda called to talk about that and their return to the US for a few months this winter. I am trying to figure out when I will visit with them. Linda and Mike are my friends that are biking around the world, but they have decided that it is time for a break. Linda’s mother is in her 90’s and not doing well, so it is important for Linda to come home to visit with her as well as to regenerate and get ready for the next world biking adventures. I am so thankful for Skype!
I have been watching a docuseries online and learned a couple of things today that I would to share. Dr. Dale Bredesen is the President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He has spent 30 years searching for a treatment for Alzheimer’s. He is not there yet, but he has found that prevention Alzheimer’s and all memory issues is where we should put our attention. Prevention requires attention to what I’ll call the Big 5– a healthy diet, an active lifestyle, avoiding stress, having good sleep habits, and avoiding toxins in the environment. His recommended diet is called KetoFlex 12/3. The ‘flex’ part means that there is flexibility in the type of diet, but whatever diet, it must include mostly vegetable. It can include organic and grassfed meat if you want, but meat should be viewed as a condiment rather than the center of what is on your plate. All processed foods and sugar should be avoided. The carbohydrates in your diet should come from whole foods, not breads and pasta. The ‘keto’ part refers to ketogenesis, a body process that can be brought about by fasting. He recommends that you eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime and that your next meal after dinner occurs at least 12 hours later. That is the 12/3 part of the diet. He also says that your brain needs good fats and he recommends S.M.A.S.H. fish. That stands for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. I love salmon, but the ‘mash’ fish are going to be a stretch for me. I’ll start by trying to learn to like sardines. The new science shows that memory issues can be turned around if the person affected is willing to make changes in their lifestyle to address the Big 5. He uses an analogy that the brain of people with Alzheimer’s a little like having 32 or some random number of holes in a roof. You can’t patch just 2 holes and eliminate water from dripping into your house. You can’t fight memory issues without addressing all of the Big 5. But if you want to prevent memory issues, you can start small and work your way slowly to addressing all aspects.
I spent part of my afternoon practicing and timing the Voyage of Windbird presentation that I will give on Thursday. In my first practice session, I was only one minute over my goal of 45 minutes. I’ve adjusted a few things and will practice again tomorrow and hope to get under the 45-minute timeline. But tomorrow is busy day. I have an 8am annual dermatology appointment, a For Your Health seminar on the topic of sugar in the diet, a luncheon with friends to celebrate Jane Woodin’s birthday, and then I will kidsit the Goldpebbles for the evening. Heather and family returned from Maine late this evening and tomorrow night Heather is moderating a session on microplastics in Woods Hole and Jed wants to attend. So, I volunteered to fix dinner and get the boys to bed. I’ve set my television to record the Democratic debate and as I will probably miss the first hour while getting the boys to bed. But I’ll get home in time to see most of it and can catch what I do miss on the recording. With such a busy day coming up, I’d better get myself to bed.