Issue: # 19

December 2011


Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo with HealthCare Insights, LLC


Happy Holidays All from Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo and her colleagues at HealthCare Insights!


We hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the winter holidays to the fullest! Here are a few more recipes to inspire you to enjoy healthy holiday nibbles and to create nutritious recipes of your own. Remember that every little step counts, and small changes add up. Even some of your favorite recipes can be re-vamped to make them healthier and more scrumptious than the original. Keep in mind all the tips mentioned in the November 2011 holiday newsletter, or if you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check it out on the website. Be a role model for your family and give the gift of good health this holiday season!

Speaking of gifts, in addition to these tips and great recipes, you could give a gift of a consultation from Dr. Nancy, or one of her recommended brain healthy supplements or books, or a special “puzzle to remember” (see this article below).  Go to our shop for a 20% holiday discount through Dec. 31, 2011, or email Dr. Nancy directly



Brain Healthy Recipes for Happy Holidays    © 2011 HealthCare Insights
Here are some brain-healthily recipes for appetizers, drinks, and desserts that are especially festive:



Gala Vegetable Pate

Kristina’s Spinach-Avocado Dip

Chef Derrick’s Endive Surprise Appetizer

Guacamole with Pomegranate seeds – use our, or your, favorite guacamole recipe, reduce the salt content if not using our recipe, and simply add festive pomegranate arils/seeds.   Also you can add fresh mango slices if making in a blender, for an extra “fruity” flavor.


Drinks: Check out articles below

Eggnog (healthier, diary-free version)

Spiced Cranberry Cider

Pomegranate-Apricot Sparkler

Honey Cardamom Fizzy Water

Orange Rosemary Crush



Ginger Date Nut Truffles (vegan & raw)

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Outrageous Macaroons

Chocolate Cherry Chews

Holiday-shaped Fruit Cut-outs. Simply use your favorite Christmas cookie cutters to cut out holiday shapes from ½-3/4 inch slices of watermelon, cantaloupe,honeydew melon, pineapple and other fruits large enough to do this with. Decorate your collection of Christmas fruit “cookies” with pomegranate arils or raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, as well as star fruit sliced into stars. Check out this website to see what they look like!


MPN™ Gala Vegetable-Nut Paté 

   © 2011 HealthCare Insights


 A Brain Healthy Recipe[1]

YIELD:50 -100 servings


 INGREDIENTS:                                                                                    AMOUNT:

Pecans, raw 1 cup
Walnuts, raw 1 cup
Sunflower seeds, raw 1 cup
Onions, chopped ¾ cup
Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute or other  no salt mixed herbs. 2 tsp
Green kelp powder or Red Dulse Flakes ½ tsp
Water 2 1/3 cup
Cilantro, fresh, chopped ½ cup
Parsley, fresh, chopped ½ cup
Carrots, grated ½ cup
Red bell pepper, diced small ½ cup
Zucchini, grated ½ cup
INGREDIENTS FOR SERVING: (Or spread on whole grain crackers)  
Bell pepper “cups” (1/2 de-seeded whole colored peppers)* 6 cups
Celery sticks 2 dozen
Zucchini slices 2 dozen
Cucumber sticks 2 dozen
Sugar snap peas and/or jicama sticks 2 dozen
Other assorted preferred crudités**  
Lettuce leaves  

  *Use red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers. Cut horizontally.

  **Crudités are traditional French appetizers comprising sliced or whole raw  

   vegetables which are dipped in a dipping sauce (in this recipe, into nut pate).

   Crudités often include celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cucumber & 

   zucchini slices or sticks, Jicama sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, whole sugar snap peas and asparagus spears. 



1.    Place nuts, sunflower seeds, onions, mixed seasoning, kelp powder and water in food processor, and process 25 to 30 seconds.

2.    Pour mixture into medium-sized bowl and stir in next 4 ingredients.

3.    Chill 1 to 2 hours. (actually can be served immediately as it is instantly delicious).

4.        Serve in bell pepper cups on bed of lettuce surrounded by cucumber and zucchini slices, celery and jicama sticks, and any other preferred crudités.


Dr. Nancy & SLR Corp Chef Kim Smith at Nov.29 Holiday Appetizer Cook Off

Check out the recipe on our HCI website


1.       Adapted from multiple versions of this recipe on the internet by Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D., following the Memory Preservation Nutrition® program.  One source attributes a Mrs. Gooch as the originator.


MPN™ Kristina’s Vegan Avocado Spinach Dip © 2011 HealthCare Insights

A Brain Healthy Recipe following Memory Preservation Nutrition®


YIELD: 2 cups   Preparation time: 5 minutes



INGREDIENTS                                                    AMOUNT

Avocado 1 large or 2 small
Spinach, fresh 3+ cups
Cilantro, fresh 1 cup
Garlic, fresh 3 cloves
Onion, sweet or yellow 1 medium
Navy beans, canned, unsalted* 1/3 cup
Lemon juice, fresh ½ lemon
Lime juice, fresh 1 TBsp
Kelp powder ½ tsp, or to taste
Black pepper, freshly ground ½ to 1 tsp, to taste

   * if unsalted canned beans unavailable, either cook your own from scratch the day before or if using regular canned beans, rinse and drain in fresh water three times before using, to remove 1/3 of the salt.



  1. Puree garlic and onion in food processor until thick paste consistency.
  2. Add in avocado, spinach, cilantro, navy beans, lemon juice, and lime juice; blend to combine.
  3. Season with kelp powder and black pepper and mix to incorporate.
  4. Serve immediately.

Check out the recipe on our website.


[1]Original recipe by Kristina Scangas, following the Memory

Kristina  Celebrating

Preservation Nutrition® program.  Kristina works with Dr. Emerson Lombardo at HealthCare Insights and is a graduate in nutrition from Simmons College. In the photo, Kristina Scangas is celebrating another delicious appetizer at the recent MPN SLR Chef’s cook-off!




™™MPN™ Derrick’s Endive Holiday Appetizer Surprise  © 2011 HealthCare Insights and Senior Living Residences

 – a Brain Healthy Recipe[1]  delicious, crunchy, with a delightful, surprising blend of flavors. Holiday pretty too.

 YIELD: 25 Servings

Preparation time: 1 hour including cooking time



  INGREDIENTS                                                     AMOUNT

Cod or other dense white fish, Steamed or baked Squeeze out excess water. 1 pound
Belgian Endive heads 6 medium heads
Celery diced fine 3 sticks
Carrots diced Fine   2 medium  
Red Onion diced fine 2 TBsps
Greek yogurt   ½ cup
Kelp powder ¼ tsp
White Pepper, ground to taste


Lemon juice, fresh ½ tea spoon or to taste
Slivered almonds, toasted est. 1-2 TBsps
Cranberries, dried   est. 1-2 TBsps



  1. Prepare cod in advance: bake or Steamed in 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes; when finished, cool and squeeze out excess water, flake with fork
  2. Dice fine the onions and celery, carrots
  3. Sauté vegetables until translucent
  4. Mix together diced vegetables, flaked cod, yogurt /fresh lemon juice, kelp, white  pepper in a large bowl mix gently
  5. Chop off root ends of endive heads, gently ease off “flakes” or leaves one at a time to prevent breakage.
  6. Stuff the endive “boats” with the finished fish salad
  7. Decorate the stuffed endive leaves with 3 slivered almonds along one side.
  8. Finish off with 2-3 cranberries along the other side of stuffed endive leaves.


[1]Original recipe by Chef Derrick Peterson, following the Memory Preservation Nutrition® program.  Derrick Peterson is Executive Chef at The Cambridge Homes (TCH) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Dr. Emerson Lombardo’s  Memory Preservation Nutrition® program (MPN)  is being implemented at TCH and 5 other Assisted Living residences by HCI, LLC under contract with Senior Living Residences, LLC, an innovative management company.  The 5 other communities with the MPNare Compass on the Bay and Standish Village in Boston, Concord Park in Concord, Methuen Village in Methuen, and Neville Place in Cambridge.  Leadership for MPN implementation is provided by Dr. Emerson Lombardo and SLR Corporate Chef, Kim Smith.


The Three Chefs!

Chef Derrick developed his recipe for our MPN SLR Holiday Appetizer “Cook-Off.”   Derrick is the chef in the middle…(Ted on left and Victor on the right) We’ll introduce the other terrific SLR chefs (Chefs Orlando and Nick)implementing the MPN next time!


Check out Derrick’s recipe on our website.


Puzzles Worth Remembering By Linda Pack Butler
We know from current brain research that, in addition to physical exercise and a good diet, cognitive exercise is important for keeping the brain fit (Alzheimer’s Association 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Fact and Figures). Jigsaw puzzles, as it turns out, are a frequently referenced example of a good cognitive exercise, not least because jigsaw puzzles can stimulate different parts of the brain at once.


Think about it: When you work a jigsaw puzzle, you have to remember shapes, colors, and patterns so when a piece fits, it truly is rewarding. There also is the “it” factor about jigsaw puzzles, that indefinable quality that is packed into them naturally: They are fun. They make you feel creative. They make you feel productive. Plus! You can do them alone or with friends.


So wouldn’t it be great if there were jigsaw puzzles designed especially for the Alzheimer’s patient? Puzzles whose pieces aren’t tiny or frustrating to manipulate? Puzzles that do not have an overwhelming number of pieces? Puzzles with large pieces that are not designed for young children? Now there is.


In 2010, Springbok Puzzles introduced Puzzles to Remember, a line of puzzles whose every element is designed to help the Alzheimer’s patient succeed. The pieces are not just large, they are surprisingly large and extra thick. The puzzles come in either 12 or 36 pieces with themes chosen from Springbok’s adult puzzle line, a line of puzzles that has been enjoyed and collected by American families for nearly 50 years. The response Springbok has received from these puzzles is inspiring as this comment from The Asbury Methodist Village, Wilson Health Care Center makes clear:


“Mama greatly enjoyed working the box of chocolates puzzle, not only because of its heartwarming history but also because of its appealing subject matter, the high quality of the picture, and the large size of the puzzle pieces, which were easy to see and handle. It was just challenging enough to be stimulating as well as satisfying, and she hopes that other WHCC residents will enjoy piecing it together as much as she did.”


The inspiration for Puzzles to Remember came from a 14-year old teenager whose Great Grams had age-related dementia. This remarkable young man, Max Wallack, observed that working puzzles was an activity that calmed his great grandmother and made her smile. Being a bright young man, Max contacted Springbok Puzzles; Springbok’s Puzzles to Remember is the result of that conversation.


“Creativity is one of the last areas effected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Springbok’s Puzzles to Remember tap into these patients’ areas of strength by providing colorful, artistic images that provoke happy memories,” explains Max.

Max with puzzles & his great grandmother

“These puzzles are a tool through which patients and their caregivers can interact in a positive, beneficial setting. Many caregivers find them an effective tool to counteract sun-downing.” To learn more about this amazing young man, and see a video about Max and his inventions for people, go to his own website at


“Springbok’s Puzzles to Remember can give Alzheimer’s patients a feeling of accomplishment even if they don’t remember the puzzle afterwards,” says Dr. Jim Ellison, Clinical Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at Mclean Hospital. “The emotion and feeling of accomplishment still remain.”


For more information about Puzzles to Remember visit the Springbok website at or or email us at




Drink Recipes for the Holidays!  © 2011 HealthCare Insights

MPN™ Eggnog, Dairy-Free

-a Brain Healthy Recipe[1]


YIELD: 4 SERVINGS    Prep Time: 10 minute; Cooking time: 15 minutes


INGREDIENTS                                                                         AMOUNT

Egg yolks, preferably from omega-3 (large) eggs 4
Almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened 2 ¼ cups
Coconut milk, reduced fat**(65% less fat and 65% fewer calories than full fat; may be purchased at Trader Joe’s). Alternatively make your own lower fat coconut milk by mixing 1 part still water to one part regular coconut milk. 1 13.5-ounce can
Palm or coconut sugar (may substitute 1 tsp Truvia or 2 pinches of stevia) ¼ cup
Vanilla extract 2 tsp
Nutmeg*, ground 1 tsp
Allspice Pinch
For garnish when serving:  
   More nutmeg, ground and cinnamon, ground Sprinkle a pinch of both on each serving

* note: if you plan on drinking the eggnog right away, opt for less nutmeg (1/2 tsp is best).

If you plan on letting it sit for 1-2 days before enjoying, go with 1 teaspoon, as the longer

it sits, the more flavor will develop.



  1. Separate the egg yolks from egg whites. Place egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Slowly add approximately ¼ cup of the hot liquids to the egg yolks while whisking continuously. Continue until you’ve added about one cup of the liquid mixture to the egg yolks before transferring the yolks to the pot.
  4. Bring back up to medium heat and whisk while simmering for 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately (best sprinkled with a touch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg)
  6. Or pour in a mason jar and refrigerate.

**Using full fat coconut milk greatly increases the calories and amount of saturated fat per serving. While many nutritionists now believe that saturated fat from plant sources is much much safer for us than from animal sources (which almost always is accompanied by cholesterol, an animal-only nutrient), others dispute this idea and in any case, full fat coconut milk still contains many calories.


[1]Adapted from Leanne Vogel’s cooking blog Healthful Pursuit Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D. following Memory Preservation Nutrition® program. Selected by Kristina Scangas.



Some more brain healthy recipes you should check out are:

Eggnogg, Dairy Free

Spiced Cranberry Cider

Pomegranate-Apricot Sparkler

Honey Cardamom Fizzy Water

Orange Rosemary Crush



MPN™ Orange Rosemary Crush             © 2011 HealthCare Insights


– a Brain Healthy Recipe[1]

YIELD: 3 Servings


 INGREDIENTS:                                                   AMOUNT:

   For Rosemary Syrup (enough for 3+ cups)

Orange juice 1   2/3 cups
Rosemary leaves, fresh 2 TBsp
Truvia or Stevia* 1-2  tsp Truvia, or

pinch Stevia

*May use 1/3 cup honey if avoiding sugar is not of concern


To mix with sparkling mineral water (for each 1 cup serving):

Rosemary syrup ½-2/3 cup
Naturally sparkling mineral water* 2/3 cup

*You may substitute still tap or bottled water, or carbonated selzer water but be aware that any artificially carbonated or bubbly water or soda will contain chemicals that leach calcium from bones and teeth and should be drunk infrequently.



To make Rosemary Syrup:

1.   Combine orange juice and rosemary in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add Truvia or Stevia, stirring until it dissolves. Let cool to room temperature and strain. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

To mix with sparkling mineral water* – for each serving:

1.   Pour syrup into a tall glass. Add sparkling mineral water and stir just until blended.

2.   Add ice and serve.




Partial Nutritional Facts per serving (1 glass): 178 Calories, 1g Protein, 46g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 8mg Sodium, 100% vitamin C, good source of Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Folate, Copper




1 Adapted by Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D. following the Memory Preservation Nutrition®  program from Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss, 2011.  Selected by Kristina Scangas.




MPN™ Ginger Date & Nut Truffles – a no-bake, dairy and gluten free recipe          © 2011 HealthCare Insights

-a Brain Healthy Recipe[1]


  INGREDIENTS                                                                        AMOUNT

Medjool dates 1 cup (about 9)
Walnuts 2/3 cup
Cocoa powder, unsweetened 2 TBsp
Molasses 1 tsp
Cinnamon, ground 1 tsp
Ginger, ground 2 tsp
Cloves, ground ½ tsp
Sea salt (for salt free, substitute green kelp powder) 1/8 tsp
Optional: Cranberries, dried or right before serving, fresh pomegranate arils For garnish
Optional: Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) For garnish



1.    Remove the pits from the dates.

2.    In the bowl of a food processor, place 2/3 cup walnuts. Process on high until the nuts are finely ground.

3.    To the food processor, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon molasses, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Pulse to combine.

4.    Turn on the food processor. As the processor is running, add the dates one at a time. Stop once all the dates have been added; the mixture should be crumbly but easily formable. At this point, you can take a taste and see if you want to add additional spices to your liking.

5.    Take small bits of the dough and form it into balls (we like to keep them bite sized). If desired, top each truffle with two pepitas  and a single dried cranberry (or if serving within an hour or two, a fresh pomegranate aril).


Check out the recipe on our website.


[1] Adapted from Sonja from a Couple Cooks cooking blog by Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D. following Memory Preservation Nutrition® program. Selected by Kristina Scangas.


 MPN™ Chocolate Chia Pudding (both Dairy-free* and Milk based recipes) © 2011 HealthCare Insights

-a Brain Healthy Recipe[1]




INGREDIENTS                                                                      AMOUNT

Dark chocolate milk made from cows or goat milk*, **  
2% or low fat milk, unsweetened** 1 cup
Cocoa powder, pure 2 TBsp to taste
Stevia powder, pure (or ½ packet or ½ tsp of Truvia® or Purevia® or other Stevia blend in packet) pinch
Chia seeds 4 TBsp ( ¼ cup)
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish Handful

*For non-dairy version, use 1 cup of almond milk and follow recipe as above.

**If you use store-bought chocolate milk it will have lots of sugar and is unlikely to have the chocolate content to qualify as “dark” chocolate which should be 73% cocoa powder to qualify.



  1. Combine first 3 ingredients to make the dark chocolate milk.
  2. In a bowl combine chia seeds and chocolate milk. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the mixture and refrigerate for one hour.
  3. Just before serving, garnish pudding with a few pomegranate seeds.
  4. Will keep several days in the fridge (of the pudding becomes too thick, simply add a little chocolate milk or regular milk to thin the consistency).

Check out our website for the recipe


[1]Adapted from Karine’s cooking blog Nancy Emerson Lombardo, Ph.D. following Memory Preservation Nutrition® program. Selected by Kristina Scangas.


Public invited to presentation by Dr.
Emerson Lombardo on Jan 13th 2012
 See Dr. Emerson Lombardo in Person 


Jan 13th, 2012: Brain Healthy Eating 

This free event will be held at Acton Coucil on Aging, 472 Main Street, Acton MA 01720.  Time: around 12 noon TBD.  Includes a Brain Healthy Lunch prepared by the event sponsor, Concord Park Assisted and Independent Living Community in Concord, MA.  Check out our website for more information




Nancy is available to answer your questions via e-mail or telephone.  

Look for her monthly column in the South Shore Senior News!


To shop now for brain healthy gifts and items for your family, go to our website, to enjoy a 20% holiday discount through Dec. 31, 2011

Lemon flavored Cod Liver Oil

For brain health consultations for yourself, your family, or your organization contact Nancy for further information or to book an appointment. 978-621-1926 or email at



Nancy Emerson Lombardo, PhD
HealthCare Insights, LLC
P.O. Box 2683 , Acton , MA 01720

© 2011 HCI



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