Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cooking With Dementia

The diagnosis of dementia is scary  to begin with but imagine how a cook would feel. The loss of memory means the loss of  recipes and techniques. However there is one cook who is conquering it with cooking and eating  helpful foods.

Kim Severson wrote about this cook,Paula Wolfert , who's also  the food writer suffering from Alzheimer's disease in today's New York Times Food section.Her name may sound familiar to some. She was the one who introduced tangines and couscous to a generation of American home chefs and foodies . The dementia will not deter or define her. After all she and her two small chldren were left in Morrocco by a cad of a husband.She only has two thousand dollars then and no where to go  Her drive ,which propels her today, enabled her to live with some of the Beat Generations' most notable personalities in 1959. She discovered cooking as a young bride, taking classes from the French teacher, Dione Lucas, known for her omelets. Ms. Wolfert then became her assistant , with occasional cooking gigs arranged by none other than famed chef, James Beard. That didn';t work and she followed  her then first husband to Morocco where she wandered the souks or bazaars, picking up exotic spices and recipes. In 1973 her first cookbook "Couscous and Other Good Food From Morrocco" celebrating what she absorbed in the North African country. Other books that followed were centered around the cooking of Southwestern France, Spain and other parts of the Mediterranean. Now her life is being explored in a new biography, "Unforgetable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert's Renegade Life."

The renegade spirit is what is also getting her through this difficult time too. Since 2013, Ms Wolfert has been  dealing with the problems that come with the disease Words on the page were not making sense to her while questions were now baffling her. The worst part was when he had to ask her novelist husband, William Bayer how to make an omelet. As always she didn;t take time to feel sorry for herself, she sprang into action. Ms. Wolfert  She culled knowledge from Internet research, her doctors,and from dementia patients . There were also lengthy FaceTime conversations with friends and experts. From all this she has created a diet that will  help stave off the debilitating effects of this disease.She makes bulletproof coffee,a  high-quality java that is bolstered with grass fed butter and "Brain Octane Oil", an eight carbon fraction of  medium chain triglyceride oil, the last is saturated in fatty acids. It boosts  cognitive powers She also munches on squares of dark chocolate which slow down the dementia's progress as well as eating more salmon, berries and greens along with the extracts of eggplant,tumeric and cinnamon. Carbohydrates are off the table.. They can bring on the risk of Alzheimer.s

Paula Wolfert is not just a brave cook, introducing the US to delicious exotic foods, but also a brave person. She will not let this disease define her,She is curing her self as only a chef can - with good , healthy food.

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