What’s happening at the Susi Q in March: A focus on the brain and information processing

Contrary to what Sherlock Holmes told Dr. Watson in The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone – “I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix” – Kristen Maahs-Kohlberg, associate director of the Community Outreach team at Alzheimer’s Orange County, is adamant that the food we put into our corporeal selves makes a major difference to our mental health.

“Nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel mentally, how clear our thinking is, and how sharp our focus,” she said.

And there’s a lot more to learn at Maahs-Kohlberg’s upcoming free presentation, “Brain Food: Nutrition for a Healthier Mind,” which will take place at the Susi Q on Wednesday, March 20 from 2-3 p.m.

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Courtesy of Susi Q

Kristen Maahs-Kohlberg, associate director of the Community Outreach team at Alzheimer’s Orange County

“Brain Food” will feature an interactive discussion of age-related changes in memory and just how much nutrition and diet can impact your cognitive health.

“You’ll learn what foods to eat, and those to avoid for a healthier brain and body,” Maahs-Kolberg said. “Some of the best food for the brain includes walnuts and fish, because they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in cellular functioning.”

She emphasizes that lifestyle changes such as changes in diet and increased movement can make a difference at any age.

“The key is consistency. I love to empower people with information, especially when it comes to brain health. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there is so much we can do to optimize our health as we age. Small changes can make a big difference,” Maahs-Kohlberg added.

And with the advent of AI, not to mention the morass of social media these days, the brain needs to be in good shape to process information – and recognize disinformation.

So…certainly eat those blueberries and nuts – especially as Susi Q will be providing healthy snacks at the event, so dig in – but also consider attending a special presentation, “Fight ‘Truth’ Decay: Combatting Misinformation,” which will be held on Monday, March 18 from 4-5 p.m. at the Susi Q.

Presented by Trudy Josephson, League of Women Voters, Orange Coast, the free session will offer suggestions about ways to find accurate and ethical information, no easy task in a biased and misleading news landscape.

Remember too that keeping one’s mind active doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. Consider joining one or more of Susi Q’s discussion groups or mahjong and bridge classes. The book club is another way to socialize and at the same time fine-tune your brain.

Finally, since a healthy body contributes to the health of the mind, remember that the Susi Q offers yoga as well as stretch-and-strengthen classes. Maybe it’s time to get physical.

Visit www.thesusiq.org to learn about all the classes and clubs that are available to you, and to sign up for “Brain Food and Fight ‘Truth’ Decay.”

To RSVP by phone, call 949.715.8105, or email christineb@thesusiq.org.

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed and independent. For more information on The Susi Q, the portal to access the best of Laguna’s community resources, visit www.thesusiq.org.


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