How To Improve Your Memory

March 19, 2022

Do you find yourself having trouble recalling words? Have you walked into a room and forgotten why you’re there? Do you juggle a lot of tasks at work that you need to remember or have students in your household who are studying for tests? Unfortunately, researchers have not found the magic pill to restore memory, so we have to rely on food and lifestyle habits to support our precious brain. Today we talk about foods that will help you and your family with memory and foods to avoid to maintain long term memory. We’ll share what nutrients are essential for brain health and supportive habits to focus on for better memory.

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KARA: Hello, everyone. And welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. If you're tuning in for the first time to our radio show, or maybe you're listening as a podcast, we would like to thank you for listening. Now you might ask: what do some of those long-term listeners say about the live radio shows in the podcast? Well, we do get a lot of great reviews. I'm just going to read one comment that a listener recently left.

And she wrote, “I love the way that the hosts connect with us, the way the hosts connect with us listeners.” For example, the host of Dishing Up Nutrition might say, “For your dry skin, we suggest drinking eight glasses of water.” But it doesn't stop there. The host will continue on to say, “We know it's important to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. And because the habit of drinking water hydrates the tissues in your brain and in your eyes, even in your sinuses, your lungs, and even in those personal tissues where women often complain about having dryness.” And the host might also say, “Personally, I get busy and forget to drink water. So I have developed a habit of filling up a two quart jar. And when that is gone, I know that I've gotten quite a bit of water in already.

So, you know, as, and this listener went on to say, “The radio hosts: they're nutritionists, and they're not just telling us what to do, but they are sharing solutions that have worked for them personally.” So I don't know, it was kind of, kind of good feedback. Wasn't it, Jolene?

JOLENE: Yeah. It's always great to hear from listeners and, and I love that they recognize that's our passion too. It's not to just tell them what's kind going on or the why, but really the how is the most important, you know, what can you do about it?

KARA: Yeah. And coming, and everybody is going to have a different solution that works best for their individual needs. So we want to share a lot of different tips and tricks. So I should introduce myself before we go much further. I'm Kara Carper. I'm a Certified Nutrition Specialist, a Licensed Nutritionist. And I have a master's degree in holistic health. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a daughter. I have a 10-year-old at home, a fifth grader. And I believe I've been with Nutritional Weight and Wellness for 15 years, just about 15 years.

So my current role is that I am working with our wonderful dietitians and nutritionists who are also training to be nutrition educators. So I'm, I'm part of that training process. And it's really important for teachers to learn how to make some of the suggestions that we do as well on our radio shows on our podcasts; suggestions for solutions and not just do the standing up in front of a class and telling people what to do.

So that's a big part of the training is, you know, behavior change, motivating to change those old habits. I'm super excited to be here this morning. You heard another voice and that's Jolene Carlson, who is also a licensed nutritionist. And our topic today is how to improve your memory. So Jolene, I'm going to hand it over too. But if I remember correctly, when we were chatting, when I first met you in the training, you haven't, you have quite a like a background. I mean, you were a high school teacher, science teacher for 20 years, and then fortunately for us and your clients, you decided to switch careers and become a licensed nutritionist. You want to tell us a little bit more about that?

JOLENE: Yeah. Thanks Kara. Well, good morning to you and good morning listeners. So Kara and I, we have had the opportunity to be together the last two weekends in the studio which is a treat for us. I hope it was a treat for you listeners too, to hear us a couple weeks in a row. But yeah, that's true. I taught high school science for 20 years and that was such a blessing. I learned so, so much. And I think one of the most important things I learned is how to form relationships. So you can truly make that connection like we do here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness with our clients, to be able to explain things and teach things in a way that are really applicable to people and that they could use. So it was a very natural transition to be an educator and then come in as a nutritionist and work with clients and approach that from that those same lens of educating. And Kara, it's been great working with you as a trainer, because you are a great educator and we just know how important that is to get this message across for our listeners.

KARA: Thank you. Yeah. It's been really fun working with you as well.

JOLENE: And I would have to say, going back to college as an older student, it was just not too far in the past, it was it was a challenge. It was, you know, going back and getting another master’s and being under that pressure of school and studying and trying to fit it in around my family and four kids wasn't easy. And for me, the one thing that I always wanted to focus on and the first thing we're going to talk about today around memory is how important sleep was. That was the one thing that I wouldn’t compromise. I needed to make sure that I was getting enough sleep so I could just be my best self as a mom, a college student, a teacher.

Sleep is critical for our memory and overall health


I love the quote and it's not surprising to me that the CDC reported that one out of three adults don't get enough sleep; one out of three, and it's not surprising for us. Because we see so many clients and this is probably one of the main things that clients struggle with is enough sleep and enough quality sleep. Not, you know, being in bed for eight or nine hours is not the same as sleeping for eight or nine hours, which we'll talk about. And here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we like to say “No sleepy, no thinky”. Right? Because sleep is so, so important around our memory and our health.

KARA: Yeah, it really is. And I, that is kind of a cute ad that I know it comes on once in a while on FM 107.1. But Jolene, we both know that many of our clients make appointments with us because they're struggling with their sleep. Like that might be the main reason they call up and make an appointment to see a nutrition counselor. And usually it's one or two, it's one of two things. Or sometimes people struggle with both. They either can't get to sleep or they are able to fall asleep, but then they wake up during the night and can't fall back to sleep, which is one of the most frustrating problems.

JOLENE: When you say that, Kara, I just think of, I mean, I have so many clients in my head where it's like, I go to bed, but I always wake up at two in the morning or three in the morning or whatever hour is.

KARA: And that's fine. Like, I mean, I actually do that usually once to go to the bathroom. Fortunately with all of all that I do for my sleep to support my sleep, I'm able to go back to sleep and that's okay. But it's that lying awake, not being able to get back to sleep that's a real concern.

But you know, some clients maybe just have poor sleep hygiene or poor sleep habits. They might stay up super late and they end up only sleeping a few hours a night because of that. I want to share a client that I, I remember meeting with and she used to stay up on a regular basis until three, four o'clock in the morning watching a show, you know, whatever it might be; wrapping presents, making lists of things she had to do the next day. But with, with such little sleep, she never really got to that list, you know, which is kind of interesting.

Now I worked with her on a regular basis for over a year before any progress was made because sometimes these longstanding habits can be difficult for clients to change, but she finally did develop a sleep schedule and she started getting six and a half to seven hours most nights. And with better sleep, everything changed. Everything improved for her: her health, you know, her memory. And that's what our today's topic is about. We're going to, we're trying to make the relationship between how important sleep is when it comes to memory.

So there was actually a time, a period of time where she wasn't able to work and she was able to go back to work because her health improved and her memory improved. So and I think you actually have more on that story because a few years ago I stepped out of my nutrition counseling role for this company. And I know you ended up seeing this client. Is that correct?

JOLENE: Yeah. Yeah. A great client and you made so much progress with her Kara. But in addition to all the things you did initially to help her with her sleep hygiene, which is again, so, so important, you know, we, we know here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we like to talk about food and nutrition and that is important. But we also know that if you don't address sleep at the same time or even first, that we really can't make those nutritional changes because sleep has such a huge influence on how we feel, how we think, what we eat and so on and so forth.

So this client not only was struggling with sleep, but she also would, you know, talk about how she would make a grocery list, but then not be able to actually remember what her grocery list was or would forget to even bring it. And she started to notice that her memory was better when she started sleeping better. But she also has some addictions to sugar and sugar is another thing that will interfere with your sleep or not having good balanced sugars. So we worked on that.

And then when we focused on kind of that holistic approach of the sleep hygiene that you did with her Kara, the sleep habits, getting more sleep, we were then able to work better on her sugar addiction, because she had less cravings. That led to losing the weight. And now she had up plan to basically be at her optimal function every day. We're going to go to break and when we come back, we'll talk more about sleep habits.

KARA: You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. We have some great news. Now this is news we've been waiting to tell you for a couple of years. We're finally able to have of in person Nutrition for Weight Loss classes again at all six of our office locations. Our nutrition educators are really looking forward to interacting in person and to help motivate and to be part of your health and your weight loss journey. So when we come back from break, Jolene will tell you little bit more about that.


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We are so excited to be offering those in person classes again. I would encourage you to hurry and sign up so you can save a seat. We are for safety reasons, limiting the number of people in our classes, but we are ready to be in person and be social again. Did you know that almost 40% of adults gained weight during the pandemic? Sometimes I feel like it's more. It feels like almost everybody gained weight during the pandemic. It'd be great for us to get together and share our stories and motivation in the classes. When you think about the factor, the risk factor in memory loss is also linked to obesity, classes like Nutrition for Weight Loss would be a great option for you. Classes start the week of March 28th. Call us at (651) 699-3438 to sign up. Dates and times are on our Weight and Wellness website.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program

KARA: That is really exciting to be able to announce that that we are back in person. I know it's, I mean it's virtual is obviously a great solution.

JOLENE: And it's still an option for people that need that need that option. But gosh, people really just want to be in person.

KARA: Some people really do want to get back in person. So, okay. So before break we were talking about, oh, a lot with the connection between not sleeping enough or not sleeping soundly and poor memory, cause that's what our topic is today is how to improve memory. And often Jolene, you know, at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we would have clients who struggle with not only sleep habits; maybe they come in and they say, you know, I'm having a hard time sleeping. They may also be overweight or obese. We see a lot with sugar addictions, sugar and, or kind of the high carb food addictions.

JOLENE: Absolutely.

KARA: You know, maybe this client, this hypothetical client, but we do see clients like this, would even have prediabetes or diabetes. So there's usually just a lot going on. There's a lot, a lot to tackle. And that's not uncommon in our fast-food society today; kind of processed food, fast food.

JOLENE: Yeah. We always say or I like to say that it's a battlefield out there when it comes to making good food choices.

KARA: It really is. We're up against a lot. So it's often necessary to look at scientific research for the nutrition connection to some of these things. Now for that particular example of a client, I like to refer to information from Dr. David Perlmutter's book. It's, he's got a lot of great books.

JOLENE: He just, yeah. I just thought he released another one too.

KARA: Oh he did?

JOLENE: Yeah. It's called Drop Acid.

KARA: Oh wow. I’m going to check that out. Okay. So Dr. David Perlmutter, this book Brain Maker, you know, he makes the connections between food and certain chronic illnesses and behavior. So Dr. Perlmutter showed the research that connected eating gluten containing grains, which is like wheat is the main one, wheat, wheat, barley, rye. He connected gluten to type one and type diabetes. And we know that both of those types of diabetes can affect the health and the functioning of the brain. And he made a very bold statement saying, “The time has come to recognize that many of the most common ailments that are affecting our society today are a direct result of the consumption of popular foods that contain wheat.” Now think about when you go to the grocery store, how many of those foods on the shelves contain wheat?

JOLENE: It's a lot of them.

KARA: I couldn’t tell you the percentage, but it's very high.

Gluten can be inflammatory for the brain


JOLENE: Right, right. And that's such a great insight and connection and he, he does such a wonderful job explaining it in the book to really make it make sense. I think it's important right now to just maybe do a little bit of that education that you, and you know, Kara and I really love to talk about why gluten might be causing memory problems. So it’s not so much, you know, gluten is one of the reasons, but we kind of go even deeper than that. It really comes back to inflammation. And what happens when we're inflamed is inflammation can show up in so many places in your body and or all over your body. And one of those places of course is going to be your brain. And that's where it really starts to affect things like memory, as well as where this inflammation can throw off your hormones, like your insulin, your blood sugar. That too can affect your brain.

And so what we're really trying to show you today is that there's certain foods and behaviors that just kind of feed this inflammatory response. And that inflammatory response changes into all these signs and symptoms that we're talking about, you know, the memory loss, the poor sleep, the cravings. And then the more that we'll talk about with like aches and pains and so on and so forth. So one, one thing that really we're finding out more and more is that Alzheimer's is a disease of that in inflammation. And to understand that helps us realize that there are things that we can do to be proactive or as proactive as we can to protect our brains if we address inflammation.

KARA: So how do you help clients realize that some of the things that they're putting in their mouth might be affecting their memory? And I, I mean, a couple of examples that, that we were talking about before the show would be toast, sandwiches.

JOLENE: Cereal.

KARA: Cereal, crackers, pancakes, things like that. Right? How do we kind of help clients to realize that? I think it's difficult to make those connections like, wait, what I'm eating for breakfast could be creating poor memory?

JOLENE: It is, it's really hard because we don't know until we know, you know, so I always, we always say we just, we want, we want people to get to the point where they know what it's like to feel good and realize that their memory has improved, but to do that, we have to start to make those changes. And you know, like we know this, Kara, everybody has their why and their why just has to be strong enough for them and powerful enough to be why they're going to make the changes.

Personally, I grew up in a family that had chronic disease. Most of my life, my parents had diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, which unfortunately led to both of them passing away in their sixties. But both of them had chronic inflammation. In hindsight, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's as a 62-year-old.

And I look back now and I realize that it was type three diabetes or metabolic disorder from all this inflammation. And that's kind of type three diabetes is kind of new termed or giving to diabetes of the brain. And then my dad, same thing. He had type two diabetes, aches and pain and so on and so forth. And you know, what we realized in hindsight is always, you know, a better perspective. But what we realized over time is that if we could have addressed their illness and disease from a perspective or lens of chronic inflammation, then that would've been a whole different plan for their care besides the numerous medications they were on and all the treatments that they got.

And the other part about that is that I did notice with both my parents, their sleep was getting worse and worse as they were getting sicker and sicker. So it's kind of like that vicious cycle that continues right? When you don't feed yourself, well, you don't sleep well. When you don't sleep well, you don't eat well. And then we kind of keep going around and around and around. And so yeah, talking to people about how we can break that cycle and give them the opportunity to feel good and have a good quality of life is really what our goal here is.

KARA: Yeah. Thank you for sharing your personal story with that. And I'm, I'm sorry that you lost both of your parents at young ages. Let's go to break and then we can, I want to keep talking a little bit more well about sleep and gluten and kind of the relationship to memory. If you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, and if you're new to Nutritional Weight and Wellness, you will be pleasantly surprised to hear we don't promote counting calories, but our clients are still able to lose weight. So what we, what we do focus on is real food; things like meat, fish, chicken, eggs, lots of vegetables and quality healing fats, and oils. We will be right back after break.


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have mentioned in the past that I have lost a lot of weight and have maintained that weight lost for over 20 years. It's not easy, but it's worth it. And now I eat to feel good, have enough energy to get through my day, have good cholesterol and blood-pressure numbers. And most importantly, have a good memory and energy. I have two kids in college and two kids in elementary school. So yes, I need a lot of energy and eating the Nutritional Weight and Wellness way gives me the energy and wellbeing I need for my family. I don't do a starvation, low-calorie, low-fat plan. I eat to live a good life.

KARA: That is such a great, you have so many great stories today. Thank you for sharing that.

JOLENE: Story time with Jolene Carlson.

KARA: Exactly. Exactly. People can really relate to those personal stories or stories about our families, I think. All right. So again, our topic today is memory. How do we, how do we avoid memory loss that's happening to so many people, especially as they age? Well, so we've, we said this, that lack of sleep interferes with a good memory. We've also started talking about the connection with gluten and how that can create inflammation in the brain specifically. And that can actually lead to poor memory. It's thought that 30% of the population has a gluten sensitivity with testing. And I wanted to share that recently, we a blood test for my daughter and I said, just, I've always suspected that she had a gluten sensitivity. I do. And, but I never, she's like 90% gluten free, but I thought, why haven't I gotten her tested? You know, there's no reason for that. So the pediatrician did some testing and she did come back negative for celiac, but positive for a gluten sensitivity.

JOLENE: Yeah. I believe that Kara. And I think that that's going to be more the norm, I think more and more people at very young ages, like even your 10-year-old daughter, this will be very common.

KARA: Right. So she is part of that 30%. That's a, that's a pretty big number. So, you know, I don't want her, her to be eating gluten her whole life and then have that affect her memory because you know, that wouldn't happen until she's older. So it's, it's all about prevention, right?

JOLENE: Yep, absolutely.

KARA: And there, there's some interesting research actually that is, that connects specifically people who are diagnosed with celiac disease, which is a genetic sensitivity to gluten. They also have a more difficult time getting to sleep and staying asleep. So I, I find that that's interesting and I know I can speak for myself. I have a gluten sensitivity and I've always struggled with insomnia. Although I did give up gluten when I, I first met with Darlene when I first arrived on the doorstep here about 15 years ago and she told me to stop eating gluten. So I did. My sleep, my sleep has improved, but I do need to still be very mindful of not only sleep hygiene, but having a bedtime snack with a healthy fat, taking my magnesium glycinate and really making it a priority.

JOLENE: Yeah. That's so well said. It's really making it a priority. Once you realize how important sleep is, it's a little bit easier to put it at the top of your priority list and how great it feels to a good night's sleep. You don't want to not have that once you get a taste of it. I think we all can relate to the “no sleepy, no thinky”. Good sleep is so important for your brain. And I know you do this with clients too, but when I talk about, you know, why sleep is so important and why we need to pay attention to really understand the reason why is that that's where all our repair happens.

People think, some people think when we sleep, it's just like, oh, everything shuts off. It gets rest, shuts down. But our brains are really active at night, kind of clean up all the garbage that's kind of happened throughout the day; all that inflammation that we may have caused; all of that stress. Your body wants to repair it. And if you don't give it enough time to do that, then you're not going to wake up being as restored as you possibly can or feel as good as you possibly can the next day.

Poor sleep can be a result of nutritional deficiencies


And so a lot of times, like you said, Kara, this is from nutritional deficiencies. So maybe not having a good blood sugar before you go to bed. We kind of hit on that a little bit, is one, and that you can do that by eating the right balance of foods and making sure you're not, you know, eating anything that, that spikes those blood sugars. Another one that you kind of talked about was not eating anything like gluten or something else that may cause that inflammation, cause that inflammation could keep you up at night. And yeah, just having, being able to wake up and know that you're on and you can start that day and that day doesn't feel as daunting all goes back to that adequate sleep and brain health.

KARA: Right. And with a good night's sleep, you know, the next day there's better word recall. There's better short-term memory, better long-term memory all around. So, so just, I think we've gotten that point across, right? Sleep is important for memory.

JOLENE: Have we mentioned that a few times?

KARA: Well sometimes it takes repetition to get, you know, get the message across. Before we start talking about foods that will support brain; because there are a lot of those; I just wanted to mention one a bit of information from David Perlmutter again. Dr. David Perlmutter again, the, well Grain Brain and Brain Maker. I mean, and then you said he has a new book, but I, I was reading up on him in preparation for the show. And he shared from The Lancet that it it's found that 50% of Americans with Alzheimer's could have prevented this disease with prevention, with lifestyle modifications; nutrition and lifestyle modifications.

JOLENE: To hear that as a family member, I, I can completely relate to people out there. If you have a family member with dementia or Alzheimer's of how painful that disease is on everybody that's involved. And just to hear that. If you had a 50% chance of reducing that kind of pain. I mean, that's a huge why right there. Right?

KARA: Well, and one of the issues I think is that when we talk about inflammation of the brain, people can't, you know, wrap their heads around what that is because you often can't feel that. It's not like inflammation in your knee. You know?

JOLENE: Exactly.

KARA: It's not like joint pain, but it's just as damaging. But we have to always be thinking prevention because this is unfortunately something we can't see, we can't really feel until often it might be too late or it might have progressed to a certain extent. So Jolene and I both shared personal stories. We shared a client example. Let's talk about some foods that will help you maintain long-term memory. I know that a lot of people who have a family member with Alzheimer's, they're often looking for that magic pill to restore memory. And although there are researchers working round the clock on this, unfortunately there is not a magic pill to restore memory.

JOLENE: And I can attest to that. I went searching and searching and searching for that magic pill.

Food to help maintain long-term memory


KARA: I'm sure you did. We would do anything for our family members. But we do have to rely on food and lifestyle habits and prevention again is key, and sadly, a lot of people just do wait too long to make those changes. Especially when you can't feel brain inflammation. Maybe they wait too long to change their food or their diet. Maybe they wait too long to change their alcohol consumption. Maybe they don't manage their blood pressure. They wait too long to address that. You know, people wait and wait and sometimes it, it is too late, unfortunately. They might already have dementia. It may progress to Alzheimer's.

JOLENE: Yep. And I like that, I like that it is, you know, that you say that prevention is a key, because I absolutely believe that too. But even if you, you are to the stages of dementia and Alzheimer's, good food will still not hurt anything or make yes. So it's still helpful. It's never too late, but…

KARA: Yes, I don’t want to make it seem like it's too late. Thank you for saying that. It is never too late to make these positive changes. And we do know that in some situations things have been reversed.

JOELEN: Yeah. There is great research out there.

KARA: Even Alzheimer's has been reversed in some cases, so.

JOLENE: Yep. Yep.

KARA: But again, back to this magic pill; perhaps people that are looking for that believe that that will be developed someday. And you know, again, at this time there is no magic pill. So we really need everyone to focus on food choices, focus on moving the body, focus on getting quality and quantity of sleep, limit sugar, and really avoid unhealthy oils like margarine, corn oil, soybean oil. These are all damaged fats. Our brain is made up of 60% fat. So the fats that we eat are going to either support the brain or they're going to be detrimental to the brain.

JOLENE: Yeah. And I always like to tell people too fat is what covers those neurons, that myelin sheath that covers your nerve cells, where all the communication happens in your brain. They too need to have those good, healthy fats. So your brain functions well with having adequate good fats. So one example of a great brain food; I know we always talk about eggs, but here they are again, Kara, because they are so amazing.

So eggs are a great brain food, especially good quality eggs from like pasture raised chickens. And it's because they have two major nutrients. They have the vitamin D in their egg yolk and the yolk is so important to eat. And vitamin D is critical for everything, including memory. And then there's also in the yolk the fatty acid, omega three DHA and that also supports brain function. So just two examples, when we to talk about healthy fats, those are two examples of healthy fats in eggs.

So just starting with finding those healthy fats in things like eggs or starting your day with some eggs. And hey, people, eggs can be for dinner too. There's no rules on when you got to have eggs during the day. Lately I've been really liking pickled eggs just when you have some eggs, cause I raise chickens. It's a good way to, you know, maintain them and they are delicious as well. So we're always looking for ways to use eggs that are different, but they are important to include in your diet.

KARA: Yes. And I like to prepare eggs in different ways. Otherwise, I tend, it tends to get a little monotonous. You know I'll have, I'll boil them ahead of time. Maybe I will do fried. I like to do a scramble. Sometimes I'll add cheese, mushrooms, spinach. Sometimes I just do like salsa sour cream and avocado. So I mean just mixing it up can be helpful too.

JOLENE: Yeah. Don't forget to put them in like other dishes. You can do a Nutritional Weight and Wellness, like fried rice with eggs.

KARA: Oh yeah.

JOLENE: With cauliflower rice and that's delicious too. So…

KARA: You can add chopped up egg to a salad. Yeah. There's okay.

JOLENE: A thousand in one ways to use eggs by Kara and Jolene.

KARA: It's time for our next break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. It feels so good that we can offer these in person Nutrition for Weight Loss classes again. What are you hoping to accomplish by taking the Nutrition for Weight Loss series? It might surprise you if you're a woman in either perimenopause or menopause that the average weight loss on a health plan, it's about a half pound to one pound per week.

So in addition to focusing on weight, if that is a goal that you have for weight loss, what else might you accomplish from this series? Well, better sleep, fewer aches and pains, more energy, better moods. If you have glucose or blood sugar levels that are sneaking up a bit high, you would find that those go down. Cholesterol profiles improve. Blood pressure improves. So maybe it is time to make that commitment to your self-care. Give our office a call: 651-699-3438.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let me give you some more information on our in-person Nutrition for Weight loss classes starting on Monday, March 28th. We also have a class on Tuesday, March 29th starting and another class on March 30th and on April 1st. These will be at all different locations: North Oaks, Maple Grove, Wayzata, Eagan, Woodbury and St. Paul. Classes start at 6:30 and last one hour. All of teachers have extensive training thanks to Kara. And their goal is to help you learn how to eat real food and avoid processed food so you can lose weight and feel better. This isn't going to be a fad diet or a package plan. It's learning how to have healthy habits for the rest of your life. It's food that you and your family will love. To sign up call us 651-699-3438 or go to

KARA: Jolene, are you going to be teaching in the near future?

JOLENE: I'm going to be teaching in the summer. I'm super excited. I can't wait to be back in the classroom.

KARA: All right. Hopefully your listeners can get in on that class too. All right. So you were sharing the benefit of eggs and the wonderful DHA, that essential fatty acid that supports the brain. There are some things that do not support the brain. There's actually a lot of foods that don’t support the brain.

JOLENE: Unfortunately, that list is extensive. Yes.

Some foods that do NOT support the brain


KARA: I know. I mean one of them and I know a lot of people that do this and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Friday night pizza habit. So if you wanted a prevention plan for memory loss or Alzheimer's, would you be willing to give things like that up? I know that's kind of a hard question for people to think about. If you're wondering, why would pizza be bad for my brain? Well, again, our brain is made of 60% fat. So we have to always be thinking is what I'm eating right now, does it have good fats to support my brain or bad fats that are not supporting my brain? Well, pizza is just one that has very unhealthy oils and fats; refined oils. So bad fats over time, not like, you know, once a month, but on a regular basis can lead to poor memory.

Foods that support good brain function and memory


So what if we just kind of switched up that dinner and had a high quality protein? What about a protein that had contained omega threes to actually support the brain like salmon, maybe a baked potato with some butter, a little sour cream? You could have a green salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. So salmon is another food that supports good brain functioning and good memory. There are certain essential fatty acids. The reason they're called essential is we, we do not produce those. We must obtain essential fatty acids from the foods we eat or nutrients or sometimes supplements. So one of those is the omega three and we can get that from eggs and we can get that from salmon. There's a really great salmon patty recipe on our website, which is

And I would just give a heads up that, you know, look for wild caught canned salmon, and it also has an egg in the recipe. And if you can find organic eggs, that would be best. So that's a really great recipe. I often will have something like that for lunch, you know, maybe make them for dinner one night, but make a large batch. Then you have leftovers for lunch. So salmon really is a kind of a super memory food.

JOLENE: Yeah, it is a, is a great food. And I, I like how you said it's it is a great leftover like that salmon on greens or salad the next day is always delicious. But so much, so many nutrients in salmon. I just want to circle back to, I, I often tell people that perhaps one of the reasons; there's probably many; that you want that pizza on Friday night is because of all of that stress by the end of the week. Right? You're just done. You're ready to check out. You're so tired, but that stress again is kind of causing that inflammation, which might interfere with your sleep. And then again, cause cravings. So just, just to let people know that this isn't all just about willpower. There's a lot involved in why we want certain foods at certain times.

KARA: Right. And when it becomes a habit like that, of course, if you've done Friday night pizza night and you've done that for years, you might, it might feel strange to change that up; like you're missing out. You have to find, find good replacements. I mean, I would encourage people find something else that you really enjoy, but that is still healthy. Maybe another favorite recipe.

JOLENE: Yeah. Yeah. That's great. That's great advice. In addition to the eggs or the salmon that we talked about for brain health and those important omega threes, here's a couple other things that you can kind of include into your diet. Some other fatty acids that we love to get people to eat and include could be foods like nuts and seeds. Those are very, very high in omega threes and good for your brain. The avocados are great if you like those. And then really just going back to substituting. If you can make one change that is a little simpler is to take out those bad oils that you might use for cooking and replace them with those great oils like olive oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, butter; those types of things are going to be so powerful and improving your brain and getting from that inflammation from damaged fats. You know, so try to try to pick just one or two things that you can switch out or incorporate and start there and see how you feel. And then that hopefully will be motivation to add more things that will improve your memory, your brain health, and your sleep over time.

KARA: Right. So they may not contain omega threes like the eggs and the salmon, but again, all healthy fats are going to support the cellular function of our brain.

JOLENE: Yeah. That, like you said, that 60% of our brain that is made from fat. Yep.

KARA: Yeah. And so we're not when we were talking about fish too, I mean, I, I just don't want a listener to think, oh, well, all fish is going to support the brain. I mean, healthy, fish prepared in a healthy way. Right?

JOLENE: Exactly.

KARA: Like we don't want to go through fast food and get a fish sandwich.

JOLENE: And it is fish season now. So, so I know that's easy to do.

KARA: Exactly. And so here's another, here's another suggestion: kind of ask yourself, would it be difficult to, or would this be so hard? I don't think this would be hard; to end your day with a dish of fresh berries topped with real heavy whipping cream.

JOLENE: I’m in. I'll do that.

KARA: I know that is actually one of my favorites. It seems very decadent, but it's, it's very healthy. We're talking about the heavy whipping cream, the kind that you get in the carton. You have to make yourself maybe a little, I usually put a little vanilla extract. I might put a little splash of stevia or something like that. But this is, this is a healthy fat that your brain would love; that heavy cream, preferably organic, some berries. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants. They contain vitamins, minerals. They contain fiber. There are flavonoids in the blueberries and flavonoids reduce inflammation. So those are, those are foods that the brain loves, right. Blueberries and heavy cream. So that's just an example of how we can enjoy our food while we're supporting our brain at the same time.

JOLENE: Right. And it tastes delicious. And I think that's an interesting connection to realize that your brain will kind of tell you when you're eating the right foods, as long as you get away from that addictive side of food, once you eat real food, your body will recognize what it likes, what it loves and tell you to eat more of that great delicious food. And blueberries and heavy whipping cream are a fan favorite. Absolutely.

So it doesn't matter what age you are. If you're, if you're 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 10 years old, five years old, you're, it's never too early or too late to be on a brain healthy plan. Our brain is one of our most important assets, right? I mean, we, we love it. We need it. That's who we are. And we know that if you lose that ability to use your brain or be yourself, that is, it ends up in very difficult diseases that are hard to handle for, for people and their families. So it's okay to start somewhere. It doesn't matter where. Like I said, one little change is all you can, if that's all you can do, that's great. But take charge of your brain health and know what it's like to feel healthy.

KARA: Yeah. Such an important organ to, to support and be thinking prevention all the time; prevention. So in, in today's show: how to improve memory, we talked about the importance of getting a good night's sleep, reducing intake of gluten, high sugar and high carb foods, incorporating omega threes, salmon, and fish, and other healthy fats. And our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness: it's to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, but a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today. Have a wonderful weekend.

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