Aging gracefully often means staying as young-looking as possible. Annual doctor visits check the blood, heart, reflexes and medications. Yet, attention is rarely given to our brains unless we experience memory problems. It should go without saying that aging gracefully does not include developing dementia.
Statistics show there is good reason to focus on brain health. The World Health Organization estimates the number of people living with dementia worldwide to be 47 million and projects that number to almost triple by 2050. By age 65, Americans have a 12 percent chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a specific type of dementia, and by age 85, that number increases to almost 50 percent.
The good news is that dementia is not a natural part of aging—it often has specific causes that can be addressed, treated and reversed, sometimes completely. The brain, like all organs, can be monitored and checked over the course of our lives. A variety of diagnostics, from eye exams to inflammation markers in the blood, can be used to identify an underlying issue years before signs of memory loss become apparent.
If summer felt as though one too many ice cream cones were enjoyed, starting the school year in a less sweet way may be what we need. Foods that are high in added sugar, like cookies, ice cream, candy, lemonade and soda, are also high in calories and low in nutrition. They do not help kids to feel and perform their best to get through the busy school day and after-school activities.
Some of the latest research conducted at University of California, Los Angeles, discovered that a diet high in added sugar hinders learning and memory by literally slowing down the brain. According to the American Heart Association, kids from 2 through 18 years old should have less than 25 grams of added sugar, or six teaspoons, daily. Not only is too much added sugar linked with heart disease, but also obesity, tooth decay and Type 2 diabetes.
Functional Origins, a Perkasie-based practice providing customized integrative and functional nutrition services by principal dietitian-nutritionist Audrey Fleck, rolls out several new programs this spring. On May 10, new and prospective clients can receive Spectracell micronutrient testing at a discounted rate. May classes include a Liver Rinse session on May 12 — an introductory regimen for those interested in learning the why and how of liver cleansing — and a month-long Function with Food Detox program for new and existing clients interested in a seasonally appropriate cleanse, which begins May 23.
Starting June 1, Fleck will present “B3 Metabolic Roadmap: A Beginner’s Small Group Nutrition” and “Exercise Program with Body by Brent”, a four-week introductory program blending functional nutrition with exercise. Two classes per week will be offered: one will focus on nutrition and will be held at Functional Origins, in Perkasie, and the other will focus on exercise and will be held at B3 Personal Training, in Doylestown.
Fleck is a registered and licensed dietitian-nutritionist who blends this training with functional medicine to create individualized nutrition plans tailored toward the whole self. “In my practice, we work beyond the ‘conventional nutrition bubble’ and think about health functionally and holistically. We address nutrition from its roots rather than a ‘Band-Aid approach’ that just manages symptoms through diet without resolving the core issues,” says Fleck.
Most people believe a very simple concept. In order to lose weight, calories taken in must be less than calories burned on a daily basis. This is not entirely wrong. The laws of physics cannot be broken. If one eats 500 calories a day and is alive, they are going to lose weight. That being said, nutrition and weight loss are much more complex than this oversimplification. Let’s delve into why. Continue reading →
As the diet industry gets larger and wealthier, people struggle more than ever with eating issues and weight problems. Why do we feel so out of control and fraught with angst around food, when eating should be instinctual and natural? Reconnect eating with physiological hunger by making these better lifetime resolutions for eating.