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noon September 16
Brain healthy meals

These recipes are for the whole family and our friends as well as anyone who has dementia. These foods can help prevent disease and support cognitive function.

We are on a journey to fight this disease, if you are reading this your probably a fellow pilgrim on this path. We can share a meal together.

While pharmaceuticals are shutting down their Alzheimer’s research, many people are fighting this disease with plates as well as pills... and we are winning! Meet Kris Denkert Anderson and her caretaker Terry Bastian, both are dementia survivors writing a cookbook on brain healthy eating called,  Alzheimer’s Test Kitchen. Kris was diagnosed in 2017 with early onset Alzheimer’s, luckily her neurologist first prescription was “very dark chocolate every day”. This started us on a journey to learn about the multi modal approach as well as integrative and functional medicine where the relationship between diet and disease is the first course of healing. 

Kris first tested at 13 on the Montreal Protocols for cognition, two years later she tested at 26 in a 1-30 scale, 30 being “normal”. She continues to confuse the doctors by eating fabulous food and spices from as far away as Belize and Kazakhstan and as close to home as our own families. Join us on this adventure as we finish our cookbook and test out some recipes with you.  Learn how you can eat better for your brain, lose the brain fog, perhaps prevent and even win great brain health.

 Alzheimer’s Test Kitchen is the cookbook where we share with you our recipes and tips on fighting this disease as we write it.

We are also giving cooking classes at Salem Spice, the “Alzheimer’s Test Kitchen”. Our first Test Kitchen we make a Spiced Compote that we use, both for dessert and a breakfast treat! This is one of Kris’s own recipes and it is a great way to introduce spices that heal the brain. 


What causes Alzheimer’s? Modern science is still uncertain what causes Alzheimer’s and related dementia, one thing for certain is it is epidemic at this writing 25% of women in the united states will have symptoms by the time they are 65! The disease grows unseen for decades and people are getting it earlier and earlier some in their 40s and 50s. Yet some places on this earth it is still quite rare, it has been called a disease of civilization. One theory of why, I like to call the perfect storm theory is that it is caused by a combination of toxins in our environment and food, excess sugar and the wrong kinds of oil as well as the stress of modern life.


How does this happen?  These toxins have entered blood stream mostly thru our gut (leaky gut) and many of these toxins are man made chemicals that can pass easily thru the “blood brain barrier” then our brain’s defense kicks in. One of the important defenses is the Beta Amyloid that attaches to the toxin, it normally is removed as we sleep. The problem is the same enzyme that removes the Amyloid also is responsible for removing glucose from the brain, so if you have too much glucose (caused by sugars and starch in your diet) and get too little deep sleep…your heading for trouble and the Amyloid builds up as plaques smothering  your brain cells... There is a lot more to it of course but that is the gist of it.


How do we fix it? What we have learned from functional medicine, our neurologist and other sources is that diet has a tremendous effect on this disease.


Our diet strategy is to first seriously reduce or eliminate toxins in our environment and food. Pesticides, preservatives and processed foods all influence the brain and they are poisonous, that’s how they work.


The second thing to do is change your oils… 65% of your brain is fat! The modern diet is heavy on omega 6, trans fats and we won’t mention the processed hydrogenated fats. Your ancestors had a diet rich in omega 3 oils and you should too as well as medium chain triglycerides like coconut oil that builds structure in our brain.


Next we look at what we should put on your plate, mostly green leafy vegetables as well as anti-inflammatory (remember the leaky gut?) and antioxidant food and spices. This is a low glycemic nutrient dense diet that helps our body recover from the overload of toxins in our modern life. Combined with a multi modal approach that includes physical exercise, mental exercise, social connections, medicine and attitude many of us are slowing it down and some recovering.


Is there a cure for Alzheimer’s? Not officially yet… however Kris wants to be the first survivor and with our help she will.

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Coming soon, The Alzheimer's Test Kitchen where we cook up new recipes and talk about how to help prevent and fight dementia.  At Salem Spice on Pickering Wharf... look here for details!

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