Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, World Alzheimer's Day
Eating Challenges


World Alzheimer's Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and the need for more education, support and research. Millions of families across the United States and the world are affected by this disease.

Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures 2012

How to Cope with Eating Problems
in Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


There is no special diet required for people with Alzheimer's disease, unless they have another medical condition that needs consideration. Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is extremely important.
A person with Alzheimer's disease and their caregiver face numerous eating challenges.

1. Poor nutrition due to Alzheimer's may be related to depression, forgetting to eat, diminished sense of hunger and thirst, difficulty feeding, eating, chewing and/or swallowing or the inability to obtain or prepare foods.

2. Check for food and drug interactions; look for any medications that may decrease appetite or affect nutritional status.

3. Constipation maybe a problem. Drink enough fluids, stay active and include fiber rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

4. Dry mouth might be a side effect of some medications or a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Provide and encourage the drinking of water and other fluids. To soften foods, dip them in fluids or add broth, gravies or sauces. When eating, take a sip of a beverage between bites, this will aid in swallowing and moisten the mouth. To increase the production of saliva and moisten the mouth, use a frozen ice pop or sour candy.

5. Problems with dentures and/or oral health.

6. As Alzheimer’s progresses, an individual may not recognize foods and easily becomes distracted.

7. Weight loss or weight gain may occur.

Recommendations
1. Allow plenty of time to eat and remove any distractions.

2. A person should be calm before providing food and drink.

3. Make sure a person is positioned properly to allow for safe swallowing.

4. Communicate about the food and temperature of the foods.

5. If a person has difficulty-using utensils, try finger foods. Finger foods are prepared so a person can eat with one’s hands. The use of finger foods allows for independence.

6. If finger foods are a problem, feeding may be necessary.

7. Make meals colorful and appealing.

8. Offer small mini meals throughout the day. Use smaller plates and cups. Too much food on a plate may be overwhelming.

9. Add herbs, spices, chutney, and/or sauces to add flavor.

10. Make sure food and fluids are consumed.


From His Window (song about Alzheimer's disease)


Resource
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer research. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s, and since our founding in 1980, we have moved toward this goal by advancing research and providing support, information and education to those affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Mission: To eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. 

Vision: A world without Alzheimer’s.
 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Dietitian’s Perception of Food Styling

This photograph took 18 hours and 215 shots. Many times it takes longer; and sometimes I know after a few hours I’ve caught what I am looking for. 



Food Styling
Most food stylist have a background in the culinary arts, many are professional chefs. They have knowledge of nutrition, cooking techniques, and food science. The role of the food stylist is to make the food look attractive in the finished photograph. 

I’m a different type of food stylist. My experience comes from nutrition, dietetics, food science, recipe development, gardening, and portion control. The biggest difference is portion control and I enjoy working with only fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. 

My goal is to create and illustrate wonderful and appetizing foods using portion control. I want those who view the photographs to experience a feeling of satiety. 

The Process
I start with a sketch, which includes a grocery list. However, I do leave myself open for specials, sales, and the unusual.

I prepare 3 identical dishes. (One for Jake; the second is the one I play and create with; and the third is called the "Hero" - to be used in the final picture.

I have numerous locations I like to photograph from (inside and outside). 


The Den is my studio with extra lights, umbrellas, reflectors, etc.. I use  stone, wood or tile tables. Also the fireplace creates a nice backdrop. 

I'm a collector of cloth napkins, baskets and bottles; and I use them in my photographs. Below are some of the different areas I photograph in the den and in dining room.



Inside: Kitchen table; Kitchen window; Kitchen Chair; Food Prep Counter.


Outside: I have a collection of large logs I’ve arranged throughout my yard. Depending on the time of day, I will use them as a stand or background. I also love to use my garden as a background, the food tastes better. 

Plates/Accessories. I usually stay with basic colors, so as not to distract from the food, since I like working with foods of many colors. To decorate the image, I like using napkins, herbs, fruits, vegetables, baskets, parchment paper, etc. 


I sometimes wonder if we took the same amount of care and preparation creating a meal or dessert from fruits, vegetables or whole grains; rather than a high calorie, high sugar, and high fat pastry would we make the same choices. 

This is a book, I have found very useful, "Food Styling, the art of preparing food for the camera." The author, Delores Custer is passionate about her work and it shows.



Nutrition.gov News

Dietitian Blog List