February 2012 Publishers Letter
If we listen to the natural cycle of things we know that winter demands a slower pace, a time to conserve one`s energy, a time to rest and hibernate. Even though the days are shorter and the temperatures colder, I still have a list of necessary tasks and duties to perform. Unlike other species, humans seem convinced that we can dominate nature in infinite ways, so we tend to plow through these days without regard for winter`s reminders as if the change of seasons is directed to the “lesser” animals. This adaptable brain which allows us to apparently dominate the natural world, can also contemplate love and hate, happiness and sorrow, and good and evil, all the paradoxes that define yin and yang.
However, as we grow older, and modern medicine is certainly stretching those limits, that brain sometime betrays us. My grandfather was a victim of Alzheimer`s disease, and although his body lasted well into his nineties, his mental acuity had diminished long before that. So it is my personal concern that I ensure I am actively involved in my surroundings throughout my entire life. Lisa Marshall explores ways to help ward off this insidious disease in our feature article, “A Brain-Building Blueprint: How to Keep the Mind Young and Memory Sharp”. In the article you will find useful tips that explain what to eat and some supplements to take which will stem the onslaught of memory loss and fogginess. I am getting some fish oil today! I also joined the gym, part of my New Year resolution, because I know exercise is a huge part of keeping the brain cells clear and to restore the ones we lose as we age.
New studies from the Alzheimer's Organization show that five million people are now struggling with Alzheimer`s and dementia related problems. Is something causing this rise? I believe our disconnect with our food source is one reason. DDT bans have done little to prevent the constant use of pesticides which still cover our produce. I buy organic whenever possible and strive to reduce the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in my diet. However, this is difficult because labeling is not required in this country! You can help remedy this problem by researching these two websites; Right2KnowMarch.org and JustLabeltIt.org. Become a healthy food advocate and sign the petition.
Along with dementia, there is also the possibility of the mind becoming unbalanced through trauma or other hard life experiences. I am glad to spotlight Your Center in Cherry Hill. Their vision of offering integrated counseling services, incorporating the whole body-mind-spirit connection, empowers patients to open blocked emotional, physical and mental pathways leading them back to healthier, happier lives.
Wouldn`t it be nice if we could all experience Groundhog Day like Bill Murray did? I know I would.
Fight for wholesome food!