Colour Matters When It Comes to Alzheimer's Disease.

purple-or-white

 

Alzheimer's and Dementia are diseases close to me. Mum is not the Mum I knew most of my life. My wife and I spent years caring for her Mum before she passed. Her long term GP wrote "cause of death - dementia" on the last document relating to her life. It's difficult to care for those you love when they change into people who are so different from what you've always known; Alzheimer's and Dementia are terrible diseases.

Of the age related chronic diseases Alzheimer's and Dementia stand out relative to the others. More material is published offering advice for carers, than is published about Alzheimer's or how to cure it.  We can take steps to prevent Alzheimer's. I became aware of one such step when watching a documentary about the traditional Okinawan population.

THE OKINAWAN'S

Okinawa is the southern most large island of Japan.  Okinawan's following their traditional lifestyle have an exceptional life expectancy; this is well known.  It is also well known that as we age, our brain shrinks. It is also a fact that as we live longer the risk of Alzheimer's increases.  Traditional Okinawan's, (while living to very old ages) have virtually no incidence of Alzheimer's disease. According to the documentary, this was helped by the fact that their staple food was a purple sweet potato. The purple colour was a chemical called Anthocyanin, and this chemical prevented, or slowed the onset of Alzheimer's.  Never having heard the word before I went to Wikipedia to get the spelling right, there it was Anthocyanin, a flavonoid that causes the purple and blue colours in plants.

THE RESEARCH

I searched the NIH Pubmed database for "Anthocyanin & Alzheimer's" and found numerous articles on the subject, most dealing with experimentation on genetically modified mice designed to express Alzheimer like brain abnormalities. These experiments demonstrated that supplementation with Anthocyanin did indeed slow the progress of the disease, and also partially reversed established disease; WOW!

Next step was to go back to archived NIH daily Alzheimer tweets where I found articles published by the RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER  about the MIND diet, I do not suggest that this is the most healthy diet. The MIND diet excludes fruit (I agree with eating fruit sparingly) with the exception of coloured berries.  It went on to say "Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain".

FIRST DO NO HARM

Any change in what we consume via food medicine or supplements to improve our wellbeing must first pass the "do no harm test". When treating established disease with medicine, the benefits must outweigh any harmful side effects.  One of the issues with mouse model medical experiments is that measurements are taken to test effectiveness, but it is more difficult to measure any unintended consequences. Every tissue in the mice specimen would have to be tested for long term adverse effects. This is an issue with all medical research, sometimes the adverse effects are only discovered decades after the public has been exposed to a chemical concoction we call food, supplements or medicine.

In this case the food has been tested on humans who have eaten it every day for centuries; the Okinawan's.  That's good enough for me and now I make an effort to eat some purple food everyday.

WHAT PURPLE FOOD SHOULD WE EAT

In many cases the purple is only skin deep (eat the skin of most foods if you can). For the best results we want food where the purple runs through the food; not just the skin.  Purple running through the food occurs mostly in fruit (eg red plums), berries (eg Blue Berries) and vegetables (purple carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage etc). Blueberries are mentioned above as brain super food, but they also contain as much sugar as regular Coca Cola, and 50% of that sugar is the bad sugar Fructose (as is the case with regular Coke). So our recommendation is to choose purple vegetables as the best source of purple, after all that's what the Okinawan's eat.

The Okinawan's eat a really purple spud relative to the white or red we normally consume. The purple potato tastes like, and has the texture of, white potato; they just look different.  The purple spud's skin is a bit thicker and more chewy, I like it more.

How much purple potato did the Okinawan's eat?  The below shows what Okinawans  ate in 1949 (ie the traditional Okinawan diet)

okinawan-diet-1949

Reference: Calorie Restriction, The Traditional Okinawan Diet, and Healthy Ageing

The traditional Okinawan diet was 67% purple sweet potato.  As far as veggies go there are purple, white, and brown onions. There are purple or orange carrots. White or Purple Cauliflower, Purple or Green Cabbage. Remember to choose some purple every day.

WHAT DOES A MEAL LOOK LIKE

Ok, below is a slap dash meal I prepared for myself recently.  Baked veggies, carrots (orange), purple potato, red onions, and some purple cauliflower.  Boiled peas, sliced snow peas, and broccoli. Plus some stir fried Hoisin basted chicken pieces (purchased some shashliks and removed the sticks). Threw it on the plate, sprinkled sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon; Yum!

This meal was easy to cook. Bake some extra baked veggies, cover with cling rap and put them in the fridge. They keep well, and can be microwaved days later when needed.  To cook the rest of the meal up only takes a few minutes. It's healthy fast food!

WHERE CAN WE BUY PURPLE SPUDS AND CAULIFLOWER etc

Purple spuds and cauliflower are freely available, carrots are apparently a little harder to come by.  So your Green Grocer can buy them, but most don't.  The only reason the purple variety is not in store is because the public doesn't buy them. Funny that; the reason we don't buy them is not taste, it's just that it is hard to change habits.  See the Boomers Health "Rewire Your Brain" article to change habits. To make the future what we want it to be, we need to rewire our brains, before we begin to suffer the symptoms of dementia, because then it will be too late.

If you have some purple cooking ideas (or issues) you would like to share with us, email them to founders@boomersclub.com.au.

Cheers Glenn.

 

Puglia Discount (1) 

 

Off The Beaten Track in Puglia Italy.

A 4-day adventure continues, with part 2 of the series.

"An opportunity to visit this magical region only took 30 seconds to say Yes, let's do it. As I am preparing to run food & wine tours to the region, I made contact with some specialists in the Puglia region to make sure our time was well spent." - Bruce White


Day 2, and its market day in Martina Franca but first we walk the perimeter of the old city. The markets are huge, but dominated by clothing and other assorted "fashion" items, so if you are looking for the Farmers markets head right through to the far side from the central Piazza.

We picked up some delicious local cheeses, Marzicota, Galbari Gorgonzola, and Burrata of course.

There are farmer’s markets every day in at least one of the local towns, so you won’t have to travel more than 20 minutes to find at least one market. (We checked the markets on Thursday at Alberobello, and they were smaller overall, but still worth a visit). For me the markets are the best way to see firsthand what the local artisans are producing, how the cheeses differ, what’s in season, and best of all, if you haven’t got access to visitations to the farms you can usually try their produce at the market.


Figure 1 Markets in Martina Franca

After a lunch time spread of the goodies from the market, washed down with a glass of local Bambina Bianca, we head out on a trulli excellent adventure.

The trulli, the characteristic cone-roofed houses of Alberobello, make up one of the 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. A trullo is a traditional Apulian dry stone hut with a conical roof constructed with the abundant limestone from the plateau of Apu.

Their style of construction is specific to the Itria Valley, in the Murghe area of the Italian region of Apulia. Trulli were generally constructed as temporary field shelters and storehouses or as permanent dwellings by small proprietors or agricultural labourers. In the town of Alberobello, in the province of Bari, whole districts are packed with trulli. The golden age of trulli was the 19th century, especially its final decades marked by the development of wine growing.


 

Figure 2 Trulli town Alberobello

Then we move on to Noci, yet another town with a beautiful piazza inside the old walled centre, more exploring, then on to meet another local food expert in Gioia del Colle, for another lesson in local history, dairy products and where to find the best local cuisine.

Gioia del Colle is a little town in the heart of Puglia, strategically located half way between the Ionian and Adriatic seas to the east and west, and between the cities of Bari and Taranto to the north and south. 

Typical foods from the area include mozzarella cheese, for which Gioia is justly famous in producing some of the best tasting varieties you will find, red and white wines, extra virgin olive oil, orechiette (small pasta shapes resembling little ears) and, believe it or not, pan-fried olives which have a taste not unlike aubergines!

Gioia is also the birthplace of the increasingly popular Primitivo wine. Local history records a 17th century Benedictine monk finding the first vines in the gardens of his monastery Today, a host of small family owned businesses harvest, bottle and sell their own excellent private Primitivo labels, many producing no more than 15,000 bottles a year.

Gioia also shares in the Puglian tradition of producing what is acknowledged to be some of the best olive oil in Italy, its quality attributed to the unique iron-rich soil of the land, the particular climate which sees dry summers and wet winters, and the long tradition of producing a product that unites advanced technology and equipment to centuries-old traditional methods of workmanship.

We will be back to conclude our travels in the next edition.


 

Figure 3 Produce & people  in Puglia


About the author: 

Since 1999, Bruce White has been travelling Italy, returning every year to a different region with pre-planned wine and food experiences. Some have been with food and wine tour operators in small groups, some planned directly with local specialists to ensure something very local and very special. With this network of contacts and a desire to return as often as possible, Bruce launched Wine and Food Traveler to share experiences with those who share the same passion for the Italian Lifestyle.

Only Boomers Club paid up members can view all of our unbelievable deals and make bookings. Now for those who find it hard to believe how good the deals are, non members can join our Boomers Club Travel closed Facebook group for a preview of the luxury travel deals members have access to. And for a limited time, new Members receive a $50 discount off their first Boomers Club Members Only travel deal (minimum $500 spend, conditions apply). Click here to join https://www.facebook.com/groups/176640979417059/

Join your Boomer friends and make new friends on a Yarra Valley wine tour customised exclusively for Boomers Club Members! This tour includes visits to 4 wineries and a two course a la carte lunch. Plus there will be a visit to a surprise destination.

The Yarra Valley is widely regarded as one of the world’s prime grape-growing regions. This cool climate wine region, produces a wide range of classic wines.

The region features more than 50 cellar doors and the tour will include a number of award winning family-owned and boutique wineries.

Lunch will be at the highly regarded Seville Estate Restaurant and includes the Antipasto Platter followed by the Mains from their Seasonal Menu.

Our driver and guide for the day is our great friend and Boomers Club member, Denis. Denis is a professional Coach Driver and an expert on the Yarra Valley region.

The cost of the Tour is $95 (inc gst) and is all inclusive of tasting fees, transport and lunch. This will be a great fun day not to be missed. RSVP here.

Note for those who live in the eastern suburbs we can do a pickup at Ringwood Station along the way.

Cheers,

Cameron

cameron@boomersclub.com.au

A great night was had by all at the Christmas in July party held at the Freccia Azzura Club!

 

The entertainment featured 'Rockin' Rick Charles who was really quite good, he certainly got the crowd onto the dance floor. The support act was a Tom Jones impersonator, who was let's say unusual in some ways but fun nevertheless. It is always good to catch up with friends and make new ones. It was great to meet up with first timers Debbie and Maree. See the comments below from some of the attendees.

 

I had a terrific time; stimulating conversation, rock and roll lessons (thank you Denis and Stewart) and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones! Thank you for organising it, Cameron and everyone else for your company and making it such a fun night.

Irena

Tonight was my first Meetup with the Boomers and I had a fantastic time. I thoroughly enjoyed the show especially the Tom Jones impersonator and Rick Charles with his singing.

I have been to lots of different shows and have heard lots of different bands but tonight at the Freccia Azzuria Club the show was one of the best shows i have seen and The food was fantastic.

It was great to meet some new friends. What a night!!
Yahoo!

Debbie

Great night Cameron
Nice to meet some new people
Venue was lovely as you could have a chat with everyone and it was not too crowded.

Jan

When: Sunday, July 31, 2016

           9.45 AM to 12.30 PM

Where: The Argus Building

             Cnr Elizabeth and La Trobe Street, Melbourne

(Meet Cameron outside The Argus Building at 9.45 AM)

Hi Boomers,

 

Let's get out and explore Melbourne and experience part of her history.

Since 2008, Open House Melbourne has been connecting people with good design and architecture in the city.

It gives people the opportunity to explore outstanding houses, buildings, infrastructure and landscapes that illustrate our rich history, reflect how we live and work, and offer insights into our future city.

The Weekend puts a spotlight on the unique spaces and places that form the foundation of Melbourne, providing an opportunity for you to consider what makes Melbourne unique. The Weekend showcases buildings of significance in a free and accessible format so everyone can experience the value of good design and architecture, and consider what makes a liveable city.

I have lived in Melbourne all my life but have only visited a fraction of the buildings that have been opened. I have selected three that I think will be fun and informative to visit.


 

Open House 1

We start at the The Argus Building  was constructed between 1924 and 1926 as the modern new home for the Argus Newspaper. At its peak, the Argus Building was occupied by 700 staff.

Open House 2

We then move to The Myer Mural Hall. The Myer Mural Hall is decorated with ten murals paying homage to celebrated historical female figures renowned in various fields. They were created by Napier Waller (1893-1972), a leading neo-classical mural painter of the Inter-War period remastered the art of sketching and painting using his left arm after being wounded in in WWI.

Open House 3

The last building on the tour is The Old Treasury Building. It is regarded as one of the finest 19th century buildings in Australia. Its origins lie in the 1850s Victorian gold rush, which brought great wealth to Melbourne, and its construction between 1858 and 1862 was symbolic of the rapid development of the city at that time.

The last two buildings are self guided. The Argus Tours are guided and run every 15 minutes with 20 people per tour. So we need to meet at 9.45 sharp to grab a spot in the queue.

The BOM is predicting a chance of showers, so bring an umbrella. There is about 3.4 kms walking between buildings and of course some walking required in the buildings.

If you are interested please register your interest at

Open House Melbourne Walking Tour

Sunday, Jul 31, 2016, 9:45 AM

The Argus Building
Cnr Elizabeth & LaTrobe Streets Melbourne, AU

10 Boomers Went

Hi Boomers,Let's get out and explore Melbourne and experience part of her history.Since 2008, Open House Melbourne has been connecting people with good design and architecture in the city.It gives people the opportunity to explore outstanding houses, buildings, infrastructure and landscapes that illustrate our rich history, reflect how we live a...

Check out this Meetup →

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Why the Shopping Trolley?

You'll notice www.health.boomersclub.com.au headline banner depicts the story of human evolution through to modern man "hunting" with his shopping trolley. To get to where we are now we have overcome the Neanderthals, Sabre Tooth tigers, Ice Ages and ourselves. Today we face a new threat and it has a lot to do with the shopping trolley.

Introduced in 1937 by Sylvan Goldman to his small Humpty Dumpty supermarket chain in Oaklahoma, the shopping trolley signifies an important turning point in human history and evolution. About 20 years prior to this cheap sugar was available to masses, and about 20 years after most Aussie families owned a car and had a refrigerator.  

 

 

This along with current modern transport and refrigeration means that for the first time in human history virtually any food we want is available 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year, and can be as little as a few steps away.

Why is this a problem?

Just ask the monkey on the left. Like most animals humans evolved to eat plenty in times of plenty, in order to survive times of hardship; but now there are NEVER times of hardship, while at the same time we are tempted with food and drinks that taste really good resulting in over consumption by over half the population.

This monkey had free access to food, it could eat as much as it wanted whenever it wanted. Effectively it lived in our modern "shopping trolley" environment. It is 29 years old and certainly showing its age.

This Monkey is 27 years old and while being provided the same food, the daily amount was restricted to that required to maintain a healthy weight, resulting in a healthy old monkey.


 

The brain on the left is from a monkey that lived the "shopping trolley" environment and lifestyle. About 40% of the brain has disappeared!  I really hope that the most important thing in this monkeys whole life was the enjoyment of food; because it has paid an extremely high price for that pleasure.


 

The Bottom Line

A press release on the two monkeys trial had this to say.

We observed that caloric restriction reduced the risk of developing an age-related disease by a factor of three and increased survival" and

"During the 20-year course of the study, half of the animals permitted to eat freely have survived, while 80 percent of the monkeys given the same diet, but with 30 percent fewer calories, are still alive."

See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/reduced-diet-thwarts-aging-disease-in-monkeys/#sthash.FH9hzpLe.dpuf the full scientific paper on the experiment can be read HERE

Your Club's research has concluded that the items over which we have control and can extend vital life, are in order, how much we put in our mouths, what we put in our mouths, when we put it in our mouths, stress management and social engagement. Your Club is now finalising three diet programs, weight loss, healthy weight maintenance, and a 30 day cholesterol fix.  You will find them completely different to nearly all those currently promoted and we shall let you know when enrollments will begin.

 

Puglia Discount (1) 

 

Off The Beaten Track in Puglia Italy.

So begins a 4-day adventure, part 1 unfolds in this article.

"An opportunity to visit this magical region only took 30 seconds to say Yes, let's do it. As I am preparing to run food & wine tours to the region, I made contact with some specialists in the Puglia region to make sure our time was well spent." - Bruce White


We flew into Bari, collected a car with a dodgy GPS, and drove the 100 k's down the coast to Martina Franca- a gorgeous hilltop town in the Itria Valley. As with all trips we have done in Italy, you cannot rely on GPS to tell you "you have reached your destination". Most of these towns are made up of roads made, at best, for the little Fiats and the 3 wheeled Ape Piaggio's. Luckily (at 11 PM) some staff from a little Cucina just closing up led us through a labyrinth of lane-ways to our old town accommodation. Tuesday morning waking to this beautiful town and the sounds of activity we are back to try to and find the car, 

 

 

a delicious breakfast then on the road in daylight this time heading back to Bari to meet our host for the next couple of days.

GPS totally confused and heading us South rather than North, is relegated to the bench and replaced by Google Maps, and with a little help from the community police who escorted us into Bari and the waterfront, perfect!

Puglia 9


We start our day of food and wine with a visit to Decarlo Olive Oil in Bitritto, Puglia. The De Carlo family is olive oil; their passion and hard work are inspiring. They own 120 Ha in one of Puglia’s greatest and most historic zones, Terre di Bari. They live in the ancient village of Bitritto that is home to thousands of ancient olive trees planted primarily to Coratina and Ogliarola Barese. The family has produced olive oil since the 1600s but in the 1970s Saverio De Carlo blazed a path to quality that no one else was willing to take. The result of his work is evident in the family’s success as the estate has grown into, hands down, one of the world’s greatest producers of olive oil.

Then we head into Bitonto  a city and comune in the province of Bari, Italy. It is nicknamed the "City of Olives", due to the numerous olive groves surrounding the city. Interesting to note that a lot of locally produced olive oil was shipped to Tuscany and sold as Tuscan oil. A local story but maybe a true one!

Its only lunchtime, but a very important time of day where ever you are in Italy. And finding hidden gems unless you are in the know and travelling with a local will be difficult. Today we are to be introduced to one of the finest Slow Food osteria's in Puglia. Perbacco is dedicated to the Slow Food movement and has the accolades and awards to show for it. Maybe 22 seats, incredibly well priced and oh so good. Its no wonder they all take extended time out for this ritual! Lunch was a tasting selection of Octopus, Flan of scrimp & riccotto, grano arso, a local burnt wheat pasta with bacon & tomato.

 

After a wonderful lunch and discussions about the slow food movement in Italy we head south to Polignano to discover this beautiful coastal town about 30 minutes from Bari. This gem of an Italian beach town is situated on the edge of a craggy ravine, high above the electric-blue ocean. Home to humans since prehistoric times, Polignano oozes charm to this day. Its collection of stone streets, pleasant piazzas and mysterious sea caves practically begs you to come and explore.

Polignano's dark, shadowy grottoes were home to people in the Neolithic era. The town later fell to Norman conquerors, and various families feuded over the village until the 19th century.

We have time here to explore some of the tiny streets, missing of tourists at this time of day and just locals chatting in their little groups as they have done for hundreds of years. And as have many before us we visit the famous Gelateria for some scoops of a delicacy a coffee gelato from heaven, definitely worth the visit. I think the gelato was Hazelnut & Pistachio and a liqueur coffee, excellently refreshing!

Back in Martina Franca for passagienta , a walk round the old hill top town centre, looking for one of the local specialities, butcher shops that change at night time to BBQ intensely flavoured local beef, unfortunately we were too late, a pity as this is a very local experience and you need to know who is doing it on what nights. Not a vegetarian’s choice, but next time we will do it.

We will be back to continue our travels in the next edition.


About the author: 

Since 1999, Bruce White has been travelling Italy, returning every year to a different region with pre-planned wine and food experiences. Some have been with food and wine tour operators in small groups, some planned directly with local specialists to ensure something very local and very special. With this network of contacts and a desire to return as often as possible, Bruce launched Wine and Food Traveler to share experiences with those who share the same passion for the Italian Lifestyle.

 

 

Mid Life Crisis headed up by Barry Smith had everyone out of their seats!

Untitled drawing

 

MLC got the crowd on the dance floor with a great selection of Boomers Aussie rock. A good time was had by all, and the best part of the evening was sharing it with some terrific people. We really are blessed to have such a great bunch of Boomers come together at the clubs events. I'll leave it there and finish with the words of member and resident wordsmith, Denis who summed up the evening perfectly:-

"Another night of unmitigated joy.
Having this much fun for such a small entry fee is almost illegal.
Long may it continue and a big thank you to all the ladies for tolerating my rather unique (what you could only describe as a wee bit off the reservation) style of dancing.
I had a hell of a time and see you all in July,
Denis"

IMG_0252[1]

Important Notice about Next Month's Carnegie Hall - Places Limited

Keep your diaries open for June 18th when the Party Girls take the stage. They are hugely popular all girl band and the night is already a sell out but the Boomers Club has been fortunate to secure 20 places. Keep your eye out for more details on ourwebsite or  Meetup page. Fully paid up members of the Club will be given priority. See here.

The Party Girls pay a tribute to the Rock Goddesses of the 80s.  You will be blown away by their costumes and their talent as they belt out the great anthems by Cher, Pat Benatar, Joan Jet, Tina Turner, the Bangles, the Go Gos, ABBA, Suzie Quatro , Wendy Stapleton, Madonna and more.

For more information contact Cameron at cameron@boomersclub.com.au