not a crumb

Daughter2’s birthday was in March, but as she lives in Perth, she had to wait for her birthday cake until she flew home last weekend. As she has suffered with chronic fatigue and its after effects she has particular dietary needs – dairy and gluten free amongst them.

So this was her birthday cake this year:

orange cake 2015

Orange and Almond cake with orange rosemary drizzle.

This is not my picture, it is the creator’s. No pictures were taken of mine. I made the mistake of using a bundt tin and as I turned the cake out, parts of the cake stuck to the tin and so I had to patch the cake. Note to self : use a round or square tin,  lined with baking paper to lift the cake out of the tin.

It may not have looked like perfection, but it tasted like perfection, believe me.

On the keep list!

In which Flamingo Dancer realises that even fast learners can be slow to learn, sometimes.

sign

In bed, due to another bout of diverticulitis, I clicked onto a blog I follow and was introduced to the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kendo.

Hello, epiphany!

Yes, indeed the little grey cell lit up like a firefly. I have always considered myself a fast learner; prided myself on being a fast learner, but it has taken me a life time to realise that a slow, quiet regard for clutter cuts the strings of guilt when disposing of “stuff”.

Have you ever stood there, that white blouse that is still in great condition but no longer a favourite, textbook published in 1984, or ugly Christmas gift in hand and wavered in your decision to cast it from your life? I have, right to this very day.

Well, that was until I read Marie Kendo’s book and realised that a mix of gratitude, for and to, the clutter; feng shui and a zen state of mind releases any indecision or guilt. Thank the item for its service, for helping to bring you to this point in time, and then send it on its way. Hallelujah!

It’s only a short book, about 235 ebook pages with a long index at the back of the book, so it only took me a couple of hours to read. At the end of the reading I had to hobble from bed and find a garbage bag to stuff some clothes into; clothes that had survived two or three recent “declutterings”. Out went a couple of things I kept because a daughter gave handed them onto me, and the I might get something to go with that brown skirt that was really not a favourite anymore. Into the bag, thanks for the service and here’s to the future.

I am a born again declutterer. A guilt free declutterer. I have my resolution for 2015!

fireworks

Dementia 101 : What I found while looking around

Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia

Paul K. Crane, M.D., M.P.H., Rod Walker, M.S., Rebecca A. Hubbard, Ph.D., Ge Li, M.D., Ph.D., David M. Nathan, M.D., Hui Zheng, Ph.D., Sebastien Haneuse, Ph.D., Suzanne Craft, Ph.D., Thomas J. Montine, M.D., Ph.D., Steven E. Kahn, M.B., Ch.B., Wayne McCormick, M.D., M.P.H., Susan M. McCurry, Ph.D., James D. Bowen, M.D., and Eric B. Larson, M.D., M.P.H.

N Engl J Med 2013; 369:540-548August 8, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1215740

 

CONCLUSIONS

Our results suggest that higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia, even among persons without diabetes. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)

 

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1215740

 

 

Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia

Sydenham, Emma, Dangour, Alan D., & Lim, Wee-Shiong. (2012). Omega 3 fatty acid for the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia. Sao Paulo Medical Journal, 130(6), 419. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-31802012000600013&lng=en&tlng=en. 10.1590/S1516-31802012000600013.

 

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Direct evidence on the effect of omega-3 PUFA on incident dementia is lacking. The available trials showed no benefit of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on cognitive function in cognitively healthy older people. Omega-3 PUFA supplementation is generally well tolerated with the most commonly reported side-effect being mild gastrointestinal problems. Further studies of longer duration are required. Longer-term studies may identify greater change in cognitive function in study participants which may enhance the ability to detect the possible effects of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in preventing cognitive decline in older people.

 

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S1516-31802012000600013&script=sci_arttext

 

 

Midlife overweight and obesity increase late-life dementia risk

A population-based twin study

W.L. Xu, MD, PhD, A.R. Atti, MD, PhD, M. Gatz, PhD, N.L. Pedersen, PhD, B. Johansson, PhD and L. Fratiglioni, MD, PhD

 

Conclusions: Both overweight and obesity at midlife independently increase the risk of dementia, AD, and VaD. (Alzheimer disease (AD), and vascular dementia (VaD) Genetic and early-life environmental factors may contribute to the midlife high adiposity–dementia association.

 

http://www.neurology.org/content/76/18/1568.short

 

Possible Role of Vascular Risk Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia.

(PMID:24641219)

 

The contribution of vascular risk factors to Alzheimer-vascular spectrum dementias is increasingly being recognized. We provide an overview of recent literature on this subject. Overweight and obesity as well as underweight during midlife predict cognitive decline and dementia later in life. Hypertension during midlife is also associated with dementia later in life and the association is stronger for untreated hypertension. Calcium channel blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin-1 receptor-blockers may be particularly beneficial in diminishing the risk of dementia associated with hypertension. Studies have fairly consistently shown that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for dementia. Episodes of hypoglycemia add to this risk. Regular physical exercise during any point in the lifespan protects against cognitive decline and dementia. Most benefit is realized with physical exercise during early and midlife. Dyslipidemia also increases the risk of dementia but the findings are less consistent. Findings on the possible benefit of lipid-lowering agents (statins) are conflicting. Earlier studies identified smoking as protective of dementia but recent better designed studies have consistently shown that smoking increases the risk of dementia. The association of vascular risk factors with dementia is more robust for vascular dementia than Alzheimer’s disease. Heterogeneity of studies and lack of trials specifically designed to assess cognition as an endpoint make firm conclusions difficult. But considering the expected global burden of dementia and projected attributable risk of vascular risk factors to it, there is sufficient evidence to promote vascular risk factor reduction strategies as dementia prevention interventions.

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/24641219/reload=0;jsessionid=1NzoYwg9BETnOVEE6GIn.22

 

Yaffe K, Laffan AM, Harrison S, et al. Sleep-Disordered Breathing, Hypoxia, and Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Older Women. JAMA. 2011;306(6):613-619. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1115.

 

Context Sleep-disordered breathing (characterized by recurrent arousals from sleep and intermittent hypoxemia) is common among older adults. Cross-sectional studies have linked sleep-disordered breathing to poor cognition; however, it remains unclear whether sleep-disordered breathing precedes cognitive impairment in older adults.

Objectives To determine the prospective relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive impairment and to investigate potential mechanisms of this association

Conclusion Among older women, those with sleep-disordered breathing compared with those without sleep-disordered breathing had an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1104205