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LETTER JANUARY 2018 Meet the Men Behind Your Meals
www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd, Manchester, CT 06042
A SUPPLEMENT FOR THE MIND When we teach kids about vitamins and minerals, we focus heavily on what these nutrients do for our bodies. But I believe it’s time we start to focus on how vitamins and minerals impact our minds. In addition to negatively impacting our bodies, certain vitamin deficiencies have been found to damage our mental state. Vitamin D deficiency, resulting from a lack of sunlight, is a well-documented source of seasonal depression, especially for seniors. This is why it’s so important to make time for even a brief walk in the afternoons. Another vitamin that has been shown to affect our mood and mental health is vitamin B12. sertraline and risperidone. Additionally, blood tests were ordered, including thyroid-stimulating hormone, vitamin B12, and folate levels. The results were all within normal limits, except for vitamin B12, which proved to be extremely low at a serum level of less than 100 pg/mL. Ms. A. was quickly treated with a series of vitamin B12 injections, bringing her levels back to normal limits (500 pg/mL). At this point, Ms. A. showed significant improvement in her mood, sleep, self-care, and activity levels. As she returned to her baseline levels, the treating psychiatrist discontinued the risperidone and reduced the dosage of sertraline.
Ms. A.’s experiences mirror those of another patient from 2003 who, after suffering from severe depression, was found to have low levels of B12. Like Ms. A., this patient improved dramatically following vitamin B12 replacement therapy. The case report stated, “Evidence for neuropsychiatric symptoms related to vitamin deficiency is sparse, but when there is such a causal relationship, the treatment response is dramatic and at times lifesaving … Large-scale controlled studies and surveys of vitamin status among the elderly and mentally ill may shed more light on this topic and may help improve the care of the mentally ill.” While there is no substitute for a healthy diet, seniors often find themselves at particular risk for certain deficiencies due to absorption problems or their life situation. For this reason, when paired with a balanced and nutritious diet, multivitamins and other supplements can help older adults maintain their physical and mental well-being.
One case, reported in The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, examined the role vitamin B12 deficiency might have on an elderly patient’s depression. Megaloblastic anemia is the most common and most serious illness associated with B12 deficiencies, but even a mild decrease in a patient’s B12 level may lead to neurologic and psychiatric problems. Dr. Susan Hanna, Dr. Leonard Lachover, and Dr. R.P. Rajarethinam wrote a case report about “Ms. A.,” a 66-year-old woman who, in 2004, was hospitalized for DSM-IV major depressive disorder with psychosis. Though she had no family or past history of mental illness or substance abuse, Ms. A. spent the prior 6 months withdrawn in her bed and reported sleep disturbances, sad mood, and lack of interest, energy, and motivation. During this time, she neglected her personal hygiene and lost 30 pounds. Diagnosed with major depressive disorder with psychotic features, Ms. A. was treated with
“In addition to negatively impacting our bodies, certain vitamin deficiencies have been
found to damage our mental state.”
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Is Your Lifestyle Retirement
sure you’re not acting as a storage unit for friends or family members. If they don’t have the space for something, it shouldn’t be your job to hang on to it. Eliminating clutter will free up your space and allow you to treasure what you have. Move Into a House You Can Fill Once all of your children have left the nest, you’ll often find that you don’t need as many rooms. Selling your home and moving into one that isn’t half-empty will generate some extra cash and help you to live more efficiently. As an added bonus, you’ll often find that a cozier home increases happiness. The less time you have to spend on home maintenance, the more you can devote to the activities you love. Change Your Mindset Too often, we suffer from the urge to “keep up with the Joneses.” If our neighbor buys something, we want it too. But to really rightsize, you should resist the urge to meet other people’s standards. Retirement should help you make the most of your life, not anyone else’s. Before you make a purchase, especially a large one, ask yourself what’s motivating your decision. If it’s not going to make your life better, leave it on the shelf.
As you approach retirement, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is tailored to fit the end of your working life. This concept, known as “rightsizing,” can make your savings last longer, which provides you with the freedom to enjoy your later years. Kathy Gottberg, author of “Rightsizing: A Smart Living 365 Guide to Reinventing Retirement,” defines the concept as “conscious choices for a better lifestyle that more closely fits your new needs in retirement.” The earlier you can begin rightsizing, the more prepared you’ll be for the days when you no longer have an income from work. For most of us, what really matters when we retire is spending time with loved ones and having memorable experiences. Nobody’s greatest regret is not having enough stuff. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will prepare you for a fruitful and fulfilling retirement. Clear Out Unneeded Goods If you’ve been in the same home for years or decades, you probably have more stuff than you need. Start by discarding anything that’s broken, damaged, or simply not getting any use. You should also make
Ready? Why Rightsizing Makes for Better Life After Work
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Keep an Eye on Calories. Vegans and vegetarians tend to consume less calories than individuals who eat both meat and plants. If you have weight loss goals, this might sound like a good thing, but it’s
Don’t Make These “Healthy” Diet Mistakes
Going vegan or vegetarian can have great health benefits, as these diets are associated with weight loss, better blood sugar control, decreased risk of heart disease, and a lower risk of certain cancers. However, vegan and vegetarian diets are also big commitments, and in your quest to gain the nutrients you need, it’s easy to make mistakes. If you’re considering the leap to vegan or vegetarian eating, here are a few tips to remember. Vegan and Vegetarian Products Are Not Necessarily Healthier. Food companies will happily use labels to boast that their products are vegan or vegetarian, but this doesn’t mean the products are healthier than the standard option. Many meat alternatives, like soy-based veggie burgers and nuggets, are highly processed and full of artificial flavors. They also lack the fiber, protein, and nutrients of the non-vegan, non-processed meals. Pay attention to what’s on the label and try to stick with nutritious whole foods.
important to meet your caloric needs. Calories are a source of energy for your body, and denying yourself this energy can lead to a slower metabolism, fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies. Don’t Forget Vitamins and Minerals. Many vital vitamins and minerals, including B12, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, are mainly found in meats or animal products. This means vegans and vegetarians have to work harder to get needed nutrients in their own diet. Supplements can help, but you should talk to your physician about what you should eat to get the right amount of nutrients through your food. Whatever eating style you choose, the key word is “balance.” With research and thoughtful planning, you can make sure your vegan or vegetarian diet doesn’t accidentally lead to nutrient deficiencies and health problems.
At October Kitchen, our mission is to provide delicious, nourishing meals. In doing so, we hope to help our clients lead healthy and independent lives. Nothing fills our hearts more than to know we’ve succeeded in our goal when we hear such kind words from our clients.
“We have consistently purchased soups, salads, dinners, and desserts from October Kitchen. It has always been good. Lately, it has been very, very good. We are so pleased to have this service available. This business is generous to the community and to its customers. The owners and staff treat us like old friends, and we love having that connection. Thank you!”
“I love this place! It’s so delicious every time, and it’s so convenient. The staff never thinks twice about going the extra mile for their customers. I’m lucky to have them right around the corner.”
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3 Mistakes That Ruin a Healthy Diet
The Time Is Right for Nicaragua
A fter the hectic holiday season, many of us feel like we need another vacation just to unwind. Luckily, January and February are two of the best months to travel. Flight prices plummet and crowds thin out after the Christmas rush.
Escape to Nicaragua
speeds as they teeter and try not to fall. In fact, it’s almost impossible to travel anywhere in the country without seeing an “I boarded a volcano” T-shirt. If relaxing on a pearlescent beach is more your speed, take a short boat trip out to the Corn Islands. There, you can amble around the small towns bordering the shockingly blue Pacific, visit a number of laid-back seafood restaurants, get scuba certified for a fraction of the price anywhere else in the world, or just read your book as you swing in a hammock by the waves. You can also visit the gorgeous, alabaster Our Lady of Grace Cathedral in “new” Léon. The biggest church in all of Central America, this unique Baroque and neoclassicist structure was built in 1814. Visitors can climb onto its roof (as long as they don’t wear shoes) and bask in the view of surrounding volcanoes (including Cerro Negro). If you’re planning on heading to Nicaragua, it’s best to do it soon. Neighbor Costa Rica often overflows with tourists, and instead of wading through the crowds there, many travelers are catching on to what Nicaragua has to offer.
If you’re looking to escape the dreary winter weather, there’s no better place to visit this
season than Nicaragua, the “Central American country that has it all,” as Condé Nast Traveler puts it. Whether you’re looking to explore the rainforests surrounding the Río San Juan or get lost in the quirky-yet- beautiful architecture of Granada, there’s something for everyone in this tropical wonderland. One must-see destination is the Cerro Negro volcano. Just a baby at 150 years old, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the region. It only takes about an hour to scale its smoking, black gravel surface, and the verdant forests surrounding the peak are a sight to behold. Adventurous travelers can board down the side, reaching ludicrous
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