Dementia-Proof Your Brain 2018: Resolutions for brain health we can actually keep
Happy February everyone! Now that January has passed, the season of making New Year’s resolutions is behind us. Whew! I’ve been thinking a lot about these resolutions — why we make them, how often we are successful, and why we fail. Studies show that over half of our resolutions are forgotten by the time February rolls around. And only 8% are still going strong by the end of the year. Also, the older you are, the less likely you are to keep your health and fitness resolutions. That’s why I’m launching Dementia-Proof Your Brain 2018: A year-long program aimed at cultivating brain health.
If you’ve been reading Brain Health Kitchen this year (and, by the way, THANK YOU), then you already embrace the latest science about preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. I don’t want to just tell you about all the things you can do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I want to join with you to make these lifestyle changes become part of who we are — a community committed to keeping our brains as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Goal: Keeping our brains as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
The science of fending off Alzheimer’s disease continues to grow. Most of the data coming out of the medical literature involves our habits: what we eat, how we manage stress, move our bodies, and use our brains. But all that science does us no good if we don’t adopt these brain healthy habits, right? And change can be difficult. But we have also learned much from the field of Positive Psychology about how to tackle lifestyle changes for lasting success. That’s why our Dementia-Proof Your Brain program swapped January resolutions — certainly a recipe for failure — for making one meaningful change each month throughout the year to improve our brain health.
Just one brain healthy tweak each month.
Here’s the plan. Together, as a community, we’ll make one meaningful change each month based on the science of how to prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Working together on these brain healthy lifestyle goals increases the chance we’ll succeed. Why?
1) Community. People are more likely to succeed when engaged with other like-minded folks.
The Brain Health Kitchen community is a motivated, proactive, determined bunch. This I know for sure. I have had the pleasure of cooking, meeting and corresponding with most of you! And I know you already have hundreds of real-life tips to share with us all. We want to learn what you are doing to make your brain thrive!
2) Baby Steps. Goals are more attainable when bitten off in small, discrete bites.
When I declared on January 1 that I would write in my gratitude journal every night, I had already set myself up for failure. Doing something every day is hard! My resolutions started out strong — logging 14 consecutive entries of what I’m grateful for — then faltered during week three due to a business trip. Now I’m faced with an empty journal and a feeling of failure. Perhaps if I’d made a less lofty goal — such as 3 entries per week — I would have found success.
3) Real-Life Support.
For each monthly goal, Brain Health Kitchen has got your back. Articles about the latest science will remind you why your brain will be better off if you persist in attaining your goal. There will be recipes to inspire you to feed your brain the most delicious, nourishing foods. And daily tips: You can join other Brain Health Kitchen community members on Instagram, or join the conversation on my Facebook page, where I often share new recipes and current articles. Also, just for fun, stay tuned for give-aways of some my favorite cookbooks to help you cook better, faster and more easily at home.
If you like this idea and want to join in, leave a comment to say “I’m in!”
Just the simple act of stating your intention will increase the chance you will succeed.
And while you’re at it, tell me which brain healthy habits you’d like to acquire, and which unhealthy ones you’d like to ditch. Maybe you want to meditate for 5 minutes each day? Or add high intensity interval training to your workouts? It could be as simple (and as complicated) as getting enough sleep.
Dementia-Proof Your Brain with Ten New Brain Healthy Habits in 2018
Next year at this time we will celebrate acquiring TEN NEW BRAIN HEALTHY HABITS scientifically shown to reduce dementia risk. (Why just 10? We skipped January, and I’ll give you another month off later in the year.) And the best part? You will decide which goal we tackle each month. Weigh in with your brain health goals by leaving a comment here, on my Facebook page, over on Instagram, or email me at BrainWorksKitchen@gmail.com. I’ll tally up the results and get a collective sense of what comes next. And at the end of each month, I’ll post a recap of how we did — what worked, what didn’t, and how we can do better.
Just think of all the people in our lives we’ll inspire along the way.
Our February Brain Healthy Goal: Ditch Sugary and Artificially Sweetened Drinks
There’s a mountain of data linking the sugar in our diets to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Sugar causes an inflammatory response in our blood vessels, our guts and our brains. I’m sure this is not news to you. Yet so much of the sugar consumed by Americans comes in a bottle, can, or in the form of a coffee drink.
Just think how better off our brains will be at the end of February when we have stopped mainlining sugar in the form of sweetened drinks!
Dementia-Proof Your Brain 2018 has officially begun. Are you in?
Head over to 10 Reasons Why Sugary Drinks are Bad for the Brain for all the details. If you are trying to stop adding cream and sugar to your coffee, look for my next post: How I Gave Up Cream and Sugar in My Coffee. And coming soon: a recipe for Cashew Coffee that may help you give up sweet coffee drinks forever.
Thanks so much for participating in Dementia-Proof Your Brain 2018. By doing so, you join me in the commitment to wipe out Alzheimer’s and other dementias. You guys are just awesome. #EndAlzheimers
PS: Did your brain notice? Brain Works Kitchen is now Brain Health Kitchen. (For now, typing in www.brainhealthkitchen.com redirects to the www.brainworkskitchen.com URL. Soon it will have its own URL.) You can now find my Instagram @BrainHealthKitchen and my Facebook page @BrainHealthKitchen. I have yet to switch over the gmail account (Ugh!) so BrainWorksKitchen@gmail.com still works.