“Dementia is not a normal part of the aging process. It does not have to happen.” So say the Double Energy Twins, Judi and Shari Zucker, about their new book, The Memory Diet: More Than 150 Recipes for the Proper Care and Feeding of Your Brain.
The Zucker twins started cooking and writing their own cook books at a young age. “We started cooking out of survival,” said Judi. “Our mother was a horrible cook.” The twins wrote their first book, How To Survive Snack Attacks…Naturally, when they were still in high school. “It sold over eighty thousand copies, and we don’t even have that many relatives,” Shari joked.
Five books later, their inspiration to write a book about improving memory comes from their mother’s diagnosis of dementia. The twins were told that their mother’s illness was environmentally induced — not genetic. So Judi and Shari sought to find ways to help their mother through her sickness, including finding healthy foods that fed the brain and that decreased memory loss. The recipes are centered in the Mediterranean Intervention Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet, which has proven to decrease getting dementia by 53 percent, according to the Twins’ website, doubleenergytwins.com.
Here are some recipes:
Ginger Mint Spirals with Pine Nuts: One of Shari’s favorites, this recipe calls for a mint and ginger flavoring to a brown rice spiral pasta or gluten-free pasta. “Ginger is an anti-inflammatory,” Shari said. “It is so good for the brain.” Pine nuts are mixed in to serve as “a perfect sweet and delicate topping,” according to the recipe.
Hazelnut Green Beans in Basil Vinaigrette: This recipe uses raw green beans, scallions, and hazelnuts for a “crunchy flavor.” “Judi and I center our meals around salads,” Shari said. “My husband calls them jethro bowls because our salads are so huge.” The recipe also calls for cucumbers, red bell pepper, apple cider vinegar, and garlic. Shari and Judi like to make this salad around Thanksgiving.
Crispy Rice Treats: Judi was kind enough to make these treats for me while I interviewed her and her sister. The treats, according to the recipe, were made with unsalted peanut butter, crispy brown rice, raisins, raw honey, and vanilla extract. This recipe cuts out “unnecessary” ingredients that are harmful to your body such as sugar, hydrated oils, and salt. I can personally attest to the delicious taste of these squares. They practically melt in your mouth.