Ahh January; the month when bars and restaurants empty, exercise classes and gym memberships swell and the resolutions made on New Years Eve seem briefly achievable.
A greater intelligence, gazing down from on high would surely be amused at our hysterical efforts at self-improvement and surmise that we are nothing if not predictable. Every year without fail the excesses of the festive season lead us seamlessly into a dark month of self –flagellation. While the rest of the world is embarked on 5/2, 24/7 and Detox Juice diets, I’ve endeavoured to slightly raise the stakes with a regime that promises to make me immeasurably more healthy but more importantly sharpen up my failing memory.
My grandmother and now my mother have both fallen prey to Alzheimer’s disease and as it’s passed down the maternal line, I can’t ignore the possibility that I’m next up. With little to hope to be found on the medical front, the last breakthrough was nearly 20 years ago, I’m focusing my hopes on food. Yes, you heard it here first, I’m on the craziest mission of all, I’m going to be eating my way out of dementia.
“The first proposal to prevent and reverse cognitive decline of dementia” is the boast of my new bible, boldly titled The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr Dale Bredesen, Professor of Neurology at the University of California and an internationally recognized expert in neurodegenerative diseases. Disparaging the cynical approach of the Pharma industry where all investment is focused on a single, lucrative cure, Bredesen argues that a more holistic approach, involving a reCodeing (trademarked naturally) of the bodies metabolic make-up, can prevent and even reverse the symptoms of this incurable disease. He even has examples of patients who have had the benefit of his revolutionary approach.
Even reading it sober, in Dry January, there’s quite a lot of science to get your head around but in an act of magnanimity I’ve embarked on my own less onerous (and medically unproven) version which involves giving up gluten, alcohol and anything else that takes the edge off life, gorging on green veg and buying an insane number of supplements from Vitamin D to Omega 6 to protect mental synapses.
Truth is I’ve no idea if it will work but I’m not so far gone as not to recognise a win, win scenario. Whether the “cheese slips off the cracker” eventually, as an ex boyfriend of mine so winningly described mental decline, at least the body will be a meaner, cleaner fitter version of it’s currently over-toxinated self!