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Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Your current Outpost Board of...
Your Board

Food for Thought: Eating and Living for Brain Health

Board Beet
By Your Board on August 18, 2015

My goal is to live a longer and healthier life – and I’ve learned that real food is needed not only for body health but also to build and maintain my aging brain.

I’ve read a variety of books that touch on the topic (and which you might enjoy too), including:

  • Grain Brain by David Perlmutter M.D.
  • The Nun Study by Dr David Snowdon (a study of aging and Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • Make Your Brain Smarter by Sandra Bond Chapman of Center for BrainHealth (TX)
  • Facilitating Brain-Aware Adult Learning by Kathleen Taylor, an expert in adult brain development and learning.

I was also reminded of some great tips while I was listening to On Point, a live, two-hour morning news-analysis program on NPR.

During the show, a guest offered a strategy for maintaining brain health.

It was encapsulated in the anagram DESSERT. Now that grabbed my attention!

  • D-Diet: Focus on healthful foods. Examples might be: switching over to the Mediterranean approach to cooking, adding lots of omega 3, red pepper and turmeric.
  • E –Exercise: Engage in physical activity on a regular basis. I love dancing, since it is not only physical, but also mental and social in its benefits and Milwaukee has so many opportunities to meet up and move to the music.
  • S-Socialize: Enjoy a variety of activities during which you have exposure to other people.
  • S-Surround: Surround yourself with positive people and friends (avoid negativity as much as possible).
  • E-Engage: Don’t live in isolation; maintain relationships with others, volunteer in meaningful projects.
  • R-Relax: Lower your stress levels by taking time for stillness, meditation and other activities that slow things down.
  • T-Think:  Problem-solve, wonder and reduce the temptation to multi-task. Think critically. You might even take the time to research which fads, diets and brain games have been proven scientifically effective; after all, some popular trends aren’ profit from concerns about the aging brain.

During the show, the host Tom Ashcroft encouraged listeners to seek out novelty in their lives, to pursue new environments and invite challenges and change. Each of these things promotes brain function, keeping its

At Outpost, we promote brain health through the idea of real food for real people. Our cooperative also demonstrates the notion of novelty and newness by encouraging members to cook with vegetables and edibles they may never have tried before!

How can you put this concept into action for yourself?  For one, think about what’s on your grocery list.

  • Does it include low and moderate-carbohydrate foods like leafy greens, cucumbers, spinach, squash, turnips and zucchini?
  • Could you add additional items including fermented foods like kimchi, fermented pickles or sauerkraut?
  • How about probiotics? Did you know foods like raw asparagus, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and onions contain them?
  • Do you grow or experiment with herbs and spices like bay, cilantro, parsley, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, coriander, juniper berries or black pepper?
  • How about trying other items like eggs, wild fish, and live cultured yogurt – all of which are great for your brain!

What activities do you engage in that help promote active, healthy brain function?


Patricia McFarland

Board Director




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