This workshop is for you if you’ve been diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis or if you have healthy bones and want to keep them that way! In this 90 minute session you will discover how to move safely with bone loss.   You’ll learn to find your ideal posture, how to lift safely, what exercises help with hip and spine bone strength, and how to avoid fractures.

I’ll share my easy to remember BoneSmart ABC’s for bone health, which will be the foundation for you to live a  bone healthy life.

Bonus:

Along with the workshop, you’ll get free access to my Private Forum on the BoneSmart Pilates website.  You can ask any exercise-related questions that you have on the forum. Your password will be emailed to you when you register.

This workshop is presented by Teresa Maldonado Marchok, licensed PT, nationally certified Pilates teacher, former professional dancer, ambassador for the national organization American Bone Health and creator of the award winning DVD series BoneSmart Pilates®

This workshop is a great balance of research and information, along with exercise and practice. I highly recommend this workshop if you are 50+ whether you have osteoporosis or not. Brilliant!

– Linda A.

Purchase the workshop here!

I want to thank you, my clients, for bearing with me as I’ve transitioned to a new online appointment scheduling system. After 2 decades of pen and paper documentation, I’ve finally taken the leap. There are the inevitable road bumps and you’ve been so patient during my learning curve. I anticipate more hiccups and ask for your patience as we charter this new territory together.

Below are 3 separate video tutorials I’ve created to help you navigate the new system. Each video is dedicated to the type of class you’re interested in whether it be New Client Welcome packages, Group Classes, or Private Sessions.  I hope you find them helpful but as always, I’m only a quick email away to lend a helping hand!

Step by Step Tutorial for booking online virtual classes

This tutorial above targets orienting New Clients to the new online scheduling system, those of you who have never taken a class from me but are curious.  Perhaps you have one of my DVDs, like my teaching style, and want to try out a Zoom class.  There are some amazing Welcome Packages for newcomers and a Free Consultation to answer your questions and discuss your goals.

Need a gift idea? Welcome Packages can be purchased as Gift Certificates to print or share electronically ranging from $25-$50, They make an exceptional gift of health for a friend or loved one. Details in this video. Single group class certificates are also available for $20 and a 3 pack of Express Private Sessions are available for $175

 

 

 

Follow along as I guide you in the steps to purchase/register for Virtual Group classes on my new online scheduling platform at  bonesmartpilates.as.me

This is for those who are taking group classes with me and need a little extra guidance to navigate this appointment software. This is also appropriate for those of you new to my group classes and who are ready to commit to an active aging class.

 

Online Scheduling for Private Clients of BoneSmart Pilates

Need a little help booking your Private Appointment? Follow me above in this step by step tutorial on how to purchase and book private appts with my new online scheduling system located at BoneSmartPilates.as.me

 

For those who have been following my blog posts/newsletters, you know that I just completed a ReCode (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) 10-month clinical trial. In this, my final blog post on this topic, I’ll summarize key points, answer most commonly asked questions and hopefully, there will be a nugget or two here that might help you.  The main purpose of the trial was to try and halt quantifiable cognitive decline and improve cognition.

 

This newest book by Dr. Dale Bredesen, The End of Alzheimer’s Program-The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline is updated, has clearer guidelines on the diet, and is easier to understand than his first book. I would recommend it. I just got it on kindle. His protocol is the one followed in the ReCode clinical trial that I was a part of.

 

 

Clinical Study Results:

I’ve experienced improvements in cognition, weight loss, sleep, gum health, and overall energy.

 

My Cognition Improved which was my main reason for joining this trial
The Recode protocol which includes a combination of a Ketogenic diet, Intermittent Fasting, exercise, nutritional and hormonal supplementation, brain training, getting adequate sleep, and mindfulness training has helped me to crawl out of cognitive decline.

  • Cognitive function tests have all markedly improved since baseline testing in December of 2019 to the point of testing “out of the range” of cognitive decline to normal levels.  I was in the range of “cognitive decline” for my initial testing.

 

“What do I think has made the most difference?” 

Honestly, I believe it’s a combination of many factors including:

  • Improved quality and quantity of sleep (this was huge for me)
  • The addition of targeted supplementation and balancing my hormones
  • Intermittent fasting to boost ones’ metabolism, for healing, and for weight loss.  We had to make sure we didn’t eat for 3 hrs. before going to bed. Our goal in the study is 12-16 hours of fasting each day. That may sound draconian at first but it’s not that bad. If you have your last meal at 7 pm, you can eat 12 hrs. later at 7 am the following morning. It also helps with sleep as your overactive digestive system won’t wake you up.
  • Getting the junk out of my diet!
  • Consistent and varied exercise has been key including my Pilates, HIIT workouts 2x/week, dancing, and walking my pandemic puppy regularly.  I learned through my research that aerobic exercise is critical for brain health but there’s more.  Our ability to dual-task deteriorates with age. Dual-Task Training– combining cognitive activity with physical activity helps promote neuroplasticity!  This is something I incorporate regularly into the virtual standing/mat Quarantine classes that I teach. An example of this is the new warm-up series I created which links various movements together into a brain-building, memory reinforcing challenge.

“We assume, that physical exercise increases the potential for neurogenesis while cognitive exercise guides it to induce positive plastic change”
~ Bamidis et al, 2014

  • Online brain training because I’ve seen objective improvement particularly in my focus and processing speed.  Online Brain Training was one of my daily requirements as a study participant. The program we were using, HQ.com is the most scientifically validated program on the market. This is way beyond crossword puzzles in sophistication and the exercises get harder as you become more successful so it’s continually challenging your brain.  Check it out!  You can do it on your phone, iPad, or laptop.

 

Insider’s tip-my nutritionist told me BrainHQ.com tends to run a subscription discount around Thanksgiving weekend.

 

So can I point to one thing that helped the most?  No. That’s why the Recode Protocol is a multi-modal approach and why a single pill will not plug up all the problems that contribute to cognitive decline.

 

In addition to improved cognition, I lost considerable weight.

I lost 15 pounds on this protocol, with a noticeable improvement around my waistline. I’ve lost fat but not muscle as evidenced by the physical testing that I underwent at the beginning and end of the study and by Body Mass Index (BMI) testing on special equipment.  For me, I believe the aspects that contributed to weight loss were intermittent fasting (no nighttime snacking), no sugar, and the high fat/low carb ketogenic diet which includes no bread.  Exercise is also very important but I was doing that already. It was the food and fasting that were the new variables.

 

What else improved?  I’m Sleeping Better

Since I’ve been in this study my sleep has markedly improved.  I used to get up repeatedly to go to the bathroom and at times would have difficulty getting back to sleep. I now sleep through the night and when I do get up, I can fall right back asleep easily.  A light-blocking eye mask ($10 for three on Amazon) at night helped tremendously with my sleep.  I had to get beyond the fact that they look like training bras for the eyes but the comfort and effectiveness won out!

 

From my understanding, the following that I’m taking positively affects my sleep. Remember the recommendations may look very different for you and your body.

Over the counter supplements:

  • NeuroMag by Designs for Health 3 capsules at bedtime  (=144 mg magnesium)
  • Melatonin SRT by Designs for Health 1 tablet bedtime (6mg)

Prescription meds

  • Progesterone 200mg cap (Costco has it the cheapest)

 

What else got better?  Improved Gum Health

Dentalcidin toothpaste with Biocidin by Bio-Botanical Research 

This is the natural toothpaste that was provided for me to use for the entire clinical study. My dental hygienist asked me what I was doing differently as my gum health improved significantly. I told her about the study and apparently, the change in diet and toothpaste resulted in this improvement. Warning, this stuff is not cheap-about $30 for a month supply.

 

How will I proceed now that the study is over?

Though it’s technically over,  my doctor is continuing to refine certain aspects of my protocol including potencies of hormones, etc so I’m doing more blood testing in Nov. and Dec. so she can dial in the correct dosing.

I will continue with many of the supplements I’ve been taking, though thankfully we did discontinue or minimize some. I’m remaining on all 3 bioidentical hormones.

I know I said previously that I’d be adding A2 milk back into my diet, probably in the form of latte’s.  I’ve since changed my mind. Amazingly I now find I prefer the flavor of the oat milk in my coffee to regular milk so I’m sticking with that. BTW, oat milk has 240 mg of Calcium per 8 oz serving.

I’ve found that this Califia brand Oat Barista Blend is the best for foaming milk for lattes.

I will be adding in cheese here and there which is technically within a keto diet but was not part of the clinical study guidelines.

I’ll be continuing with Infra-Red sauna but on an intermittent basis.  It was hard on my family for me to disappear so frequently in the evening to detox during the study. I have to juggle the needs of many.

I’m sticking with the Biocidin toothpaste for my gum health. I don’t mess with good results and people I’ve recommended it to have had similar positive gum effects.

Intermittent fasting will continue to factor into my wellness plan.

My go-to snacks are now Macadamia nuts, Trader Joe’s Mixed nut butter with Jicama sticks, or cauliflower florets.  Avocados with olive oil are my healthy fat of choice along with fish.  I regularly cook with avocado oil now as it doesn’t degrade at high heat.

I will continue to prioritize quantity and quality of sleep over late-night TV or getting more “work” done.  The positive effects have been far-reaching including more energy, focus, and clearer thinking.

Re: the Keto diet, there are no studies about the effects of being on a keto diet long term.  I don’t particularly want to stay on keto long term.  I’m interested in carb cycling and one option that was presented by my study nutritionist is keto for morning and afternoon and higher carb allowance for dinner. That’s what I’m doing presently.   I’ve added back in my Puerto Rican rice and beans-very happy about that I must say.  Have also reintroduced higher carb foods like bananas and sweet potatoes.

On the last day of my clinical study, my son surprised me after dinner with a slice of my favorite chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese icing. Hadn’t touched that for 10 months. Decadent, delicious and you know what, I don’t crave it anymore which I’m grateful for.  It used to be a weekly indulgence!

In full transparency-I still eat high cacao count chocolate (over 80%) not a lot, just enough to satisfy my chocolate craving.  I particularly like the brand Blanxart at 82% cacao. I purchase it at my local Zanatto’s market.  I also sneak in occasional spoonfuls of ice cream.  I’m not a saint!

 

Protocol for the Study for those interested in the details

As a ReCode (Reversal of Cognitive Decline) clinical study participant these were my requirements:

  • Adhere to a Ketogenic diet
  • Be gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, alcohol-free
  • Agree to undergo various genetic tests, as well as blood, poo, pee, MRI and everything in between.
  • Prick myself daily to check my ketone levels to ensure adherence to the diet.
  • Take bioidentical hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone)
  • Daily online brain training through BrainHQ.com
  • Daily mindfulness training-I’d wear a biofeedback gadget that tracked heart wave variability and coherence to teach you how to reduce stress and bring your brain, body, and emotions into balanced alignment.
  • Take a heck of a lot of supplements
  • Do intermittent fasting (fast for 12-16 hrs each day-starting from your last meal of the day till your first meal the following day)
  • Exercise daily
  • Monitor quality and quantity of healing sleep (I did this with a FitBit)
  • Sauna or hot yoga regularly (3-5x wk) for detoxification
  • Document everything I eat and my lifestyle activities in the clinical study binder
  • Consult with the clinical study nutritionist and the exercise coach along with the medical doctor

 

Some people have asked-Why a ketogenic diet?

Here are some of the benefits of Ketosis as quoted by Dr. Jockers from DrJockers.com

  1. Reduced inflammation
  2. Enhanced mitochondrial health
  3. Reduced oxidative stress
  4. Increased mental clarity
  5. Abundant energy levels
  6. Reduced cravings
  7. Accelerated fat burning and Weight Loss
  8. Improved insulin sensitivity
  9. Reduced risk of chronic disease
  10. Anti-aging effects

 

If you are interested in trying this protocol, I would start with Dr. Bredesen’s newest book mentioned above and I would do a google search for Bredesen trained practitioners in your area.  Given the complexity of the program and the multitude of tests that need to be done and interpreted, it is not something you want to embark on without guidance.

 

With that said there are many aspects of the protocol that you could start right away, like diet, intermittent fasting, focus on exercise, brain training, and sleep.

 

 

Wherever you are in your cognitive journey and whatever your concerns are for your cognitive health, I wish you all the best.  Please comment, offer your suggestions, or post your questions below.  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Do you ever wonder how the hunchback of Notre Dame got his hump? And do you worry that you are heading toward the same fate?  If you spend too much of your time sitting, driving, doing computer work and/or texting, you just might be. Or, if you’re a breast cancer survivor experiencing surgical tissue tightness across the front of your shoulders, you might collapse your chest in subconscious protective posturing.

These activities all promote a forward flexed spine which can restrict our mobility, impair our balance and breathing, and cause all kinds of problems we don’t want to deal with—including the dreaded hump!

How often do you extend (bend backward)? Unless you change lightbulbs for a profession, I bet not very often. Extension is especially crucial for those with osteopenia or osteopososis-a silent disease of low bone density.  Decreased bone density can lead to a forward flexed spine due to common undiagnosed spine compression fractures.

Extension exercises will help to decrease that forward curve inclination. Those with decreased bone density are more susceptible to fractures, especially from falls. Upright posture is associated with decreased falls and studies show extension exercises build stronger bones in the spine. Added bonus, extending the spine just feels great!

In this workshop, discover the secrets of spine extension exercises to

  • Improve your posture and prevent falls
  • Build bone in your spine
  • Promote healthy aging to continue to do what you love

Learn how to do spine extension correctly, avoiding common pitfalls.  Experience simple extension exercises in multiple body positions, to unleash your optimal posture and bone health throughout the day.

You’ll receive a printable follow-along guide that you can also reference afterward to remind yourself of all the things you’ll learn in the workshop.

Extend Yourself!

PURCHASE HERE

Woo Hoo!  So here it is, almost 10 months after I started this ReCode (Reverse Cognitive Decline) Clinical Trial.

Allow me to back up for a moment and share with you what got me concerned about my brain health in the first place. Back in 2019 and before, I noticed I was forgetting people, appointments, names, why I was holding the object in my hands, and so on.  True it’s common for that to happen occasionally but it was happening more and more frequently. I have a strong family history of Alzheimer’s disease and I was worried.

Through clinical study genetic testing, I learned that I carry the ApoE4 gene, that sucky one that makes me susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. The good news from the book “End of Alzheimer’s”  written by Dr. Dale Bredesen from which this clinical trial is based, is that your genes are not your destiny.  I believe that is true really of any genetic predisposition you might have for whatever disease. The genetic gun may be loaded but you have the power and choice to avoid the triggers that will tip the balance that puts you over the edge.  Those are the secrets I learned in this trial. How not to pull the trigger.

Time to celebrate!

What are my key learnings from this clinical trial that might help you?  I’ve experienced improvements in cognition, weight loss, sleep, gum health, and overall energy.  When reading the recommendations given to me, keep in mind that many of the nutritional supplements and hormone choices were selected for my unique biochemistry so the type and dosage may not translate to you. Best to consult with your own wellness practitioner for customization.

My Cognition Improved
The Recode protocol which includes a combination of a Ketogenic diet, Intermittent Fasting, exercise, nutritional and hormonal supplementation, brain training, and mindfulness training has helped me to crawl out of the abyss of cognitive decline.

  • Cognitive function tests have all markedly improved since baseline testing in December of 2019 to the point of testing “out of the range” of cognitive decline to normal levels.  I was in the range of “cognitive decline” for my initial testing.

I lost considerable weight

  • I lost 15 pounds on this diet, with a noticeable improvement around my waistline. I’ve lost fat but not muscle as evidenced by the physical testing that I underwent at the beginning and end of the study and by Body Mass Index (BMI) testing on special equipment.  For me, I believe the aspects that contributed to weight loss were the intermittent fasting (no nighttime snacking), no sugar, high fat/low carb ketogenic diet which includes no bread. Exercise is also very important but I was doing that already. It was the food and fasting that were the new variables.

I’m Sleeping Better

  • Since I’ve been in this study my sleep has markedly improved.  I used to get up repeatedly to go to the bathroom and at times would have difficulty getting back to sleep. I now sleep through the night and when I do get up, I can fall right back asleep easily.
    From my understanding, the following that I’m taking positively affects my sleep. Remember it may look very different for you and your body.

Over the counter supplements:

    • NeuroMag by Designs for Health 3 capsules at bedtime  (=144 mg magnesium)
    • Melatonin SRT by Designs for Health 1 tablet bedtime (6mg)

Prescription meds

    • Progesterone 200mg cap (Costco has it the cheapest)
    • Naltrexone 3mg tablet

Improved Gum Health

  • Dentalcidin toothpaste with Biocidin by Bio-Botanical Research is the natural toothpaste that I’ve been provided to use for the entire clinical study. My dental hygienist asked me what I was doing differently as my gum health improved significantly. I told her about the study and apparently, the change in diet and toothpaste resulted in this improvement.  Marie, one of my Pilates students, started using this same toothpaste after my mentioning it and she shared this with me. “I went to my dentist yesterday and got a great review on how well my gums looked after using this natural toothpaste.”

Reflecting on this clinical trial I found further evidence of the efficacy of a multimodal approach to cognitive decline and the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.   Doctors often tell patients at high risk of Alzheimer’s due to having pre-dementia conditions—such as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI)—that there is really nothing that they can do other than wait and monitor. A recent study from Australia suggests that advice may be out of date. Researchers found that modest lifestyle changes (e.g., a nutrition plan, a physical exercise plan, and BrainHQ brain training which was all included in my clinical trial plus more) significantly reduced Alzheimer’s risk after only eight weeks. You can read a news article about the study here.

As I contemplate life after ReCode, I know that I’ll continue brain training, sauna, intermittent fasting, and will continue with the Dentalcidin toothpaste. I’ll maintain aspects of the ketogenic diet, and will add some carb cycling in.  I miss things like my brown rice and beans, bananas, and sweet potatoes. I don’t really miss bread and will choose to keep that at bay. I believe dropping bread and sugar contributed to my weight loss.  As I prepare to have my final clinical study doctor appt on Oct. 8, I’ll be advised then on how to smoothly transition out of clinical study mode with guidelines on what supplements to continue and what I can drop.  I’ll fill you in on the details next month in my epilogue!

The countdown is on for my Recode clinical trial. 

For those not familiar, I’m embarking on the final month of a 9-month clinical trial for preventing and reversing cognitive decline.  This clinical trial follows Dr. Dale Bredesen’s approach that includes a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, nutritional and hormonal supplementation, detoxification, online brain training, and mindfulness training.
and is being conducted by a medical doctor, a physiatrist, a nutritionist, and an exercise coach.  It has been a journey of self-discovery, determination, new insights, memory improvement, and weight loss.

I am so thankful for having the opportunity to be included in this study. Having the accountability of keeping data charts and having regular meetings with the doctor and nutritionist helped me to stay on target. I knew that if I faltered or had questions, I could reach out for support. That is invaluable.

 

Now, how has my brain been faring through all of this given that brain function was my ultimate focus in joining this clinical trial?  My different milestone cognitive tests along the 9 months have all displayed an upward trajectory, meaning my brain is clearer and the test numbers prove it!

I’ll have final cognitive testing done the first week of October to wrap things up including another MRI and a slew of other tests.  I’m hoping a lot of the junk in my system that was discovered like herpes zoster, Lyme, and mold will be cleared out with the various interventions the doctor has added to my protocol.

 

Brain Fun Fact – Learning Changes the Brain     
Every time you learn something new or create a new memory, your brain physically changes. New connections are forged between neurons to represent the new thing.

That explains why the brains of people who have expertise in a certain field look a little different from the brains of people without that expertise. For instance, London taxi drivers traditionally had a larger hippocampus than the typical person, because their brains were specialized to know all the complex intricacies of the London street map. Bilingual people and musicians, too, show brain growth in areas corresponding to language and playing music, respectively.

Each one of us has unique brain maps, reflecting our own life experiences!  Pretty cool right!  This underscores the fact that our brains are plastic, and are able to make new connections throughout our lifetime. Let’s keep learning new things and keep those connections going!

Pour on the olive oil and oil your brain!  Keep in mind that not all olive oil is created equally.  It should be extra virgin, relatively fresh, and used raw or cooked only to low temperatures; otherwise, you may be missing out on some of the nutritional punch.

Why olive oil?
There’s a fair amount of scientific evidence that olive oil is good for the brain. For starters, it’s rich in polyphenols and vitamin E, both of which have been shown to protect against cognitive problems. What’s more, it’s a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which multiple studies suggest is good for cognitive function. Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., includes olive oil as one of the 10 essential brain-healthy food groups in her MIND diet (designed specifically for cognitive health) which has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%.

As most of you know, I’m part of a 9-month clinical trial to prevent or reverse cognitive decline. Based on my strong family history of Alzheimer’s, this is an area of concern.

The latest addition in my protocol has been a 10-day colon cleanse.  This involves taking 2 Enzylase (enzyme) capsules along with 2 scoops of TruFiber in water for 10 nights.  According to my doc, this helps to “get the crud out”.  I kept expecting to see things like black tar or other strange things in my “specimens” but they never looked remarkably different. I definitely feel better though.

My doctor shared something else new with me to help detoxify and get the mold and toxins out of my body.

An important aspect of this protocol for certain participants including myself is taking binders. These are substances you ingest, either pills or powder that bind in your system to internal toxins and flush them out.  One of the binders that I take is GI Detox -the binding ingredients include clay and activated charcoal.

People have all kinds of illnesses related to these toxins, including dementia.

Binders help with removing chemical toxins, Mycotoxins (related to mold), as well as Metals.

Watch this powerful 5 min video by Michael Gray M.D., which highlights the positive effects of using a binder like activated charcoal/clay twice a day vs once a day.

Apparently that frequency of dosage helps keep our body’s inflammatory responses down and made the key difference with his patient.

Feel free as always, to ask your questions especially if you have any you want me to direct to my clinical trial physician.  I’m here for you.

Walking, one step at a time, one day at a time. Walking just for the sake of appreciating God reflected in nature. The miracle of a sunset, the soaring granite peaks of El Capitan, the peaceful sound of birds, and distant waterfalls. The wordless mindfulness of hikers masking faces while passing each other during these unique times.

Many of history’s great thinkers were writers who hinged the working of their minds to the steady movement of their feet. They (i.e. Virginia Woolf, Gandhi, Walt Whitman…) felt the need to get up and get the blood moving, leaving the page to go out for a stroll.  How many of us choose to close our computer to take a walk just to be present and experience the world around us without expectation?  These thinkers got their creative juices flowing through movement and so can you.

Aside from the benefits to our mind and soul, research tells us the following about optimal walking for longevity.

The study from the American Cancer Society followed 140,000 older adults and reported that those who walked six hours per week had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer than those who were not active, but that walking even as little as two hours per week could begin to reduce the risk of disease and help you live a longer, healthier life.

The world’s longest-lived people from the Blue Zones didn’t run marathons or join gyms. Their lifestyles naturally nudged them into moving.  They grow gardens, do house and yard work. They have jobs that require them to move and they walk every single day, almost everywhere.

In Amish communities, one study showed that the average woman logged 14,000 steps per day and the average man logged 18,000 steps and both men and women walked 10,000 steps on their day of rest.  These Amish communities also had the lowest rates of obesity of any community in North America. When this study hit the media, it’s what was behind the movement to reach 10,000 steps a day.

Some of the benefits of walking include:

  •    Activation of the lymphatic system
  •    Elimination of toxins
  •    Fighting infection
  •    Strengthening immunity

How do you fit 10,000 steps into your day?

  • Take several small walks like walking your dog, having walking work meetings, going for a walk with your family after dinner. Research supports doing movement throughout the day vs doing a 40 min gym workout then just sitting all day.

 

  • Walk 5 minutes every hour. Perhaps setting an alert on your computer will help remind you.

 

  • Take one long walk 40-60 min with a friend.  In this time of COVID you can still social distance, be masked, walk outside and get the benefits of social connection and fresh air.  Happy stepping!

This is just shy of the 7 month mark-2/3 of the way through my Recode clinical trial.

I continue to feel strong, alert and energized.  The lead investigator was thrilled with the improvement in my recent 6 MONTH cognitive testing.

I’m at and maintaining what I feel is an optimal body weight for my frame and I’m happy to have finally lost my belly fat with this program. I’m even comfortable wearing crop tops and athletic bras, something I would not have considered a year ago.

 

Adjustments because of osteopenia
With my recent diagnosis of osteopenia, my doctor has added Vitamin K (specifically Designs for Health Tri-K, vitamin K in three synergistic forms that help the Vitamin D keep the calcium in the bones) to my already existing Vit D supreme (also Designs for Health brand) which is important for Ca++ absorption.

Because my spine is more compromised than my hips which are just over the borderline into osteopenia, I’m adding more spine extension exercises into my repertoire to address this deficit.  Think the Bird Dog exercise on all 4’s with opposite arm and leg reach and the following 2 extension exercises.

Because this clinical trial does not allow dairy, I’m hard-pressed to get sufficient Ca++ through my diet as I’m not a big fan of sardines or tofu, two non-dairy high Ca++ options. In addition to my oat milk which has a decent amount, I’m independently adding Bone Builder Forte by Metagenics, a good bioavailable Ca++ supplement.

My blood ketone levels are finally consistently at the ideal levels of over 1.0  for the study. This is thanks in part to the addition of exogenous ketones, specifically Designs for Health Keto-Nootropic.

I belong to a local Keto lifestyle support group where we learn from each other as we share our trials and triumphs. Some of the topics we recently discussed I thought might be of interest to you.

What am I eating?
I start the day with an oat milk latte (which has a good amount of Ca++)

Lunch is typically an omelet with veggies and salmon or sometimes a slice of bacon and a whole avocado drizzled with plenty of olive oil.  Other times it’s a soup with extra olive oil for the increased healthy fat with an avocado.  A Sunday brunch favorite is almond flour waffles topped with crushed berries and nuts.

Dinner can fluctuate between chicken, fish, sometimes beef, with a side of veggies and salad.  Our zucchini crop is abundant so I’m having a lot of zoodles (zucchini noodles) with various toppings like ragu sauce or pesto.

 

Sauna
There are studies linking positive cognitive function with regular sauna use.  I’ve been without a sauna for the last 3 months as a result of the COVID lockdown. My friend recently invited me to use his own far infrared sauna so I’m adding that back in which feels wonderful.  I’m grateful for this detox opportunity.

 

“What do you think is making the most difference?” is a question I get asked a lot.

Honestly, I believe it’s a combination of many factors including:

  • Improved quality and quantity of sleep
  • The addition of targeted supplementation and balancing my hormones
  • Intermittent fasting for regulating my metabolism
  • Getting the junk out of my diet!
  • Consistent and varied exercise has been key including my Pilates, HIIT workouts 2x/week, dancing, walking, and biking.
  • Online brain training because I’m seeing objective improvement and I can see my focus and processing speed improving.

So can I point to one thing?  No. That’s why the Recode Protocol is a multi-modal approach and why a single pill will not address cognitive decline.

 

I wanted to share a question that one of you had which as requested, I posed to my doctor.

“If you have osteoporosis, can the Keto diet be followed? Everything I read is that it is acidic and you need an alkaline diet”

The doctor’s response:
“If you follow the keto diet according to our protocol, then it will be fine because ours is more of a Plant-Based diet with less emphasis on meat, especially red meat.  This keeps it less acidic.”

What I’ve learned independently is that eating too much animal protein also can leach calcium from your bones, so if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you should limit red meat to two times a week and keep portions small – 4 to 6 ounces.

A study published in Advances in Nutrition in January 2017 found that cutting down on red and processed meats as well as soft drinks, fried foods, desserts, and refined grains all had a positive impact on bone health.

According to the research, the best diet for the prevention of osteoporosis includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, fish and poultry, nuts, and legumes.

 

After this study is over
With my DXA results, I will personally be adding pasture-raised dairy and A2 milk back into my diet after the study is over, to support my bones.  I’ll also be checking in with my doctor on which supplements I should stay on for the long-term to support my cognition.

Let me know how you’re incorporating Ca++ into your diet and if you have any questions you want me to share with my doctor about the keto diet. Remember I’ve got a direct line.

If you’re on or starting the Keto lifestyle or the Mediterranean diet, share your struggles and wins here.  I’d love to learn from and celebrate with you!

What are your top concerns as you age?  For me, it’s the loss of my mind, my memories, my sense of who I am.
This clinical study I’m in (and Dr. Bredesens’ book) looks at Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) as not being caused by amyloid plaques or neurofibrillary tangles, but instead as a protective response to three different processes…
  • Inflammation (from infection, diet, or other causes)
  • Suboptimal levels of nutrients, hormones and other brain supporting molecules
  • Toxic exposures (like heavy metals and mold)

Dr. Bredesen uses the analogy of a roof with 36 holes. When you’ve patched enough of the 36 holes, it will be sufficient to protect the house from water damage.  Similarly, there are 36 factors that affect whether the brain goes down a synapse-destroying pathway that ends in AD.

We don’t know which holes will make the most difference so you want to address as many as possible to affect a change.  This analogy makes it clear that no single pill can address or patch all the holes that contribute to AD.  That’s why the ReCode approach is multimodal addressing sleep, nutrition, intermittent fasting, diet, hormone balancing, toxicity, infection, brain training, and mindfulness training.  People may have difficulties with one or more of these approaches but they’ve found that if you plug enough holes, it will make a difference.

I feel fortunate that I was accepted into this clinical study and receive excellent all-around support. When I started this 9-month trial, I fell squarely in the category of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) which is a precursor to AD. After just 3 months on this protocol, I tested out of MCI, so much so that I wouldn’t have qualified to enter the study with the new score I got.

If you’re wanting to try this approach, I’d recommend that you start with the NY Times bestselling book,  The End of Alzheimer’s: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline as a great first step.

I’d then google Bredesen protocol trained practitioners in your area.  The protocol can be overwhelming but doable with the right guidance. Everyone’s treatment is individualized for that person’s unique biochemistry so there’s no blueprint treatment plan. With specialized tests that need to be run and interpreted by a medical professional, it’s daunting to even consider doing on your own.

 

 

Our brain, our sense of who we are is priceless.  We know now that AD is a silent disease with pathology in the brain starting decades before clinical symptoms become apparent.  I think it benefits all of us to start plugging those holes as soon as we can and as best we can!

 

 

 

I recently presented a webinar for a Wellness Wednesday Series on the subject of Brain Power: Protecting against cognitive decline through a targeted research-based exercise program. Plainly speaking, it explores how to exercise and help your brain simultaneously.  The material in this webinar comes from my own research and what I’m learning through the ReCode (Reverse Cognitive Decline) clinical trial that I’m in.

Key takeaway: Aerobic exercise is critical for brain health but there’s moreOur ability to dual task-deteriorates with age. That’s our ability to perform two tasks that have separate goals-a necessary part of our complex life. With increased age, we see slower reaction time, reduced walking speed, increased run-ins with objects, and increased fall risk.

Research-based solution?  Dual Task Training– combining cognitive activity with physical activity to promote neuroplasticity!  Check out the webinar for demonstrations.

“We assume, that physical exercise increases the potential for neurogenesis while cognitive exercise guides it to induce positive plastic change”
~ Bamidis et al, 2014