Nutrition a Paradigm Shift For Adults and The Elderly

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“We love NV as part of a nutritional strategy and hope they never stop making it.” ~Bonnie

Lisa Geng with her Aunt Leona

Since it’s introduction Fall of 2009, thousands of children, teens and adults have added to their diet as part of a nutritional strategy“NV” as it’s been nicknamed through the Cherab Foundation, a grassroots nonprofit advocacy group to support those with communication impairments.

There is a wealth of research linking nutrition to cognition.  Through the food ingredients in NV Original per serving one receives just about all the essential nutrients needed daily, including a rich supply of all of the essential amino acids.

Some of the families from the Cherab Foundation have since shared NV as part of a nutritional strategy with elderly relatives and friends who due to  various diagnosis such as Alzheimer’s and Diabetes could benefit from healthy nutrition.

The following individuals or the family members who share their experiences below are willing to speak with professionals.

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Alzheimer’s

  • 89 year old who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 9 years ago.  Under the care of multiple doctors and still living with his wife, family was looking to put him into assisted living as he had gotten to the point that he wasn’t able to care for himself, and was getting increasingly difficult to care for.
  • For nutritional reasons was fed one scoop of NV Original 4 times a day starting October 16, 2010 as a simple nutritional strategy

October 16th 2010

Lisa, Thank you so much for taking time to answer my question. In the morning, I will start adding NV to my Dad’s diet as part of a nutritional strategy to get some healthy nutrients into him.  The way you have described your Aunt losing weight, sounds so much like my Dad. He is not interested in eating very much and he’s frail. I  will let you know how he does. What a blessing you have been to so many people. God has certainly given you a heart for others and our family is very thankful. Teri

October 18th 2010

Lisa, I just had to let you know that this morning Daddy could walk with his cane without me holding him up.  He had been so weak, he couldn’t even stand without help.

He is also talking more. Before, he wouldn’t initiate any words at all. He would just kind of nod or stare and try to answer with one word what he wanted to say. He doesn’t know the names of any objects. I think I told you he has Alzheimer’s.

I asked him if he had to go to the bathroom, and he said in a complete sentence, “I can do it. I know where the bathroom is”. Just to hear these words brought tears to my eyes. Is this possible?

My sister was ready to put him in a nursing home yesterday. I told her to just give him a chance to get better. I stayed last night with him to make sure he wouldn’t fall. He goes back to the doctor today. I know that his times are in God’s hands and when the time comes, God will take him home. My desire is to just help him feel the best he can while here. Thank you for your prayers, Teri

October 20th 2010

Lisa, I can’t wait to tell everyone the good news about my dad. First, I will give some background. He will be 89 in December and has had alzheimer’s almost 9 years. For several years, he has had no memory of past or present events. He can only remember in the moment. He has only been able to speak in a few words with no interest in the actions around him. He doesn’t know us by name but knows that we are important to him.

He has been declining quite a bit lately. He forgot how to dress, shave, brush his teeth, and shower within the last month.

About 1-1/2 weeks ago, he got the flu. We took him to the doctor and he was given Amantadine and Tami-flu. Neither seemed to help him because he became even weaker, was not responsive, would not eat, and every time he would attempt to get up would fall. We needed to watch him 24 hours round the clock. I  stopped giving him the Amantadine because it made him shake so bad and he finished his Tami-flu.

My family felt that it was time for him to go to a nursing home. I told them to just give him a chance to get better. I remembered what Lisa said about her dear Aunt and how she was losing weight even when she did eat, but how she lost her appetite. It was at this point, I e-mailed Lisa to ask for help and we talked about the nutritional strategies that helped her Aunt Leona.

Now for the GOOD NEWS, within just a few days of getting nutrition in, he stopped shaking, got his appetite back, became stronger, could walk with his cane, and started talking. I know this sounds unbelievable, but since they live next door to me I am over there most of the time and this morning he is still talking, talking, and talking. My sister took him to the doctor yesterday and told the doctor that on the way, he was talking telling her about the traffic and which way to turn. The doctor couldn’t explain this improvement.  Well, I told my sister that Daddy didn’t improve until October 16th,  and he is improving still.

Yesterday, he even said his last name. He has not known the name of any objects or people in quite a few years. Now he is talking in sentences. Mother said that when he woke up this morning he asked where everyone went. In the past he would not have known we had even been there.

Also, when I gave him his NV as part of a nutritional strategy, he got up and washed his glass and put it up in the cabinet after he finished.

The first thing I did this morning was go over and see if he could still talk. Yes, he is! I don’t know, since he does have Alzheimer’s and is 89, how long this will last but we have our dad back for at least right now. We are so thankful that God gave this blessing. Lisa is a wonderful person to share with all of us her care and knowledge. Thank you Lisa.

Teri from Texas who is also using NV as part of a nutritional strategy for her daughter with apraxia and as a nutritional strategy

November 21, 2010  Update from Teri about her Dad

Since he has aphasia, he cannot identify objects but is able to express feelings. Alzheimer’s is so complicated and each day is different.

He is definitely stronger and my husband, after spending time with him yesterday, said that he believes he is better.

Before last month, he had problems with bed wetting and now that has stopped (This is a big PLUS!)

I feel that the Alzheimer’s will continue, but he is once again able to walk with his cane and feed himself. At this point, we are grateful for the strength he has gained.

I have started the same nutritional strategies with my mother because her doctor feels that she is showing signs of Alzheimer as well. She has not been feeling very well. She is 86.

After seeing the fast recovery my dad had from the flu, I feel that getting good nutrition into him was a good thing to do. In contrast, my sister got the flu right after my dad, and is still having problems. He got well before she did and she is much younger. Nutrition is definitely making a  difference in his well-being.

Thank you so much for your help and concern. Teri

Stroke

  • February, 2010 35 year old man diagnosed with a severe stroke in the left hemisphere from a severed carotid artery.  Hospitalized about a year while he was put into an induced coma and part of his skull due to swelling.
  • Once home, under the care of multiple doctors, therapists, and moved to a world renowned hospital for rehab, and put on multiple medications, including seizure medication to help reduce seizures.
  • March 15, 2011 started on one scoop a day of NV original, and then increased to 4 scoops a day as part of a nutritional strategy.  Only stopped once after a year and almost immediately restarted.

A thirty five year old male was diagnosed with severe stroke in the left hemisphere right in the speech center of the brain from a severed carotid artery. Under induced coma part of his skull was removed for brain swelling and then he developed pneumonia and kidney failure. He was put on dialysis in ICU.   While in ICU he was on a ventilator had a bolt in his head to monitor his brain pressure. He got Ventilator pneumonia.He then got ARDS and then he went into kidney failure, which they had to do dialysis for. He also received around 18 units of blood. Several times they had to prone him (roll him over) to get him to breath. Then he got MRSA and put on “big gun” antibiotics.  

After 27 days they tried to take away the paralytic to try and wake him up. They first 2 times they tried he went into what they call rigors and had breathing problems. MRI showed a severe stroke and it hit right in the speech center. Pronosis was that he would probably walk but they didn’t think he would ever speak again.  Moved to one hospital for 30 days to get him strong enough to start rehab. They moved him to Craig hospital(world renowned)to start his rehab. In this hospital he had to have his gall bladder removed which slowed his rehab. He also had to have the flap put back on his head on the 15th of Nov. This was delayed because they infected the piece of skull they had removed in Aug

Once home his mother used simple nutritional strategies which removed his severe headaches.  After speaking learning more about nutrition, the mother increased the serving size of nutritional strategies.  At this point his speech was  23% intelligible and his prognosis was that he would never be able to speak clearly again due to the area the stroke affected.  With nutritional strategies he had rapid improvements however and in four months went to 82% intelligibility.  Paralysis to his right arm and leg are also improving.

March, 2012

After one year seizure free and remarkable progress in all areas he stopped nutritional strategies and one week later started having seizures again.  He started nutritional strategies again and is once again seizure free.

September, 2014 Update

If he doesn’t get nutritional strategies he gets confused and doesn’t speak as well. They told us he might never walk or speak but he does both along with driving, and is now taking his master courses in HTML5 and 3 other classes to go back to work, close to the same position in computers as before the stroke.  There is a definite change when he doesn’t get nutritional strategies. 
We love NV and hope they never stop making it.

Senior Nutrition

  • 63 year old, with uncontrolled diabetes.  Was overweight and then suddenly lost a dramatic amount of weight and was lethargic,
  • Started NV Original May of 2011 as part of a nutritional strategy as a way to easily get the essential nutrients he needed

Hi

My dad 63 years old got sick early last year because of uncontrolled diabetes.  He was fat with a belly and drastically became thin and lethargic in one month.

He started drinking NV as part of a nutritional strategy on and off since may this year. I had to keep bugging him to drink it because he doesn’t like the taste. However just last week my helper told me that my dad is now drinking one heaping scoop everyday. He don’t like the taste more than that.

Anyway the reason he took it now is because he himself felt the difference when he drinks it.  Getting nutrition in gave him energy to cook us meals. He enjoys cooking. When he didn’t get nutrition in he felt too tired and weak. I’m just glad that simple nutritional strategies are helping him to enjoy cooking and we get to enjoy the food too! :-)

I don’t need to bug him anymore.

Zarifah from Singapore who is also using NV as part of a nutritional strategy for her daughter with autism

Senior Nutrition

  • Poor diet.
  • Borderline type 2 diabetic/high blood sugar.  Doctor was talking to her about medication
  • Former heart patient with high cholesterol
  • Not very active due to trouble/pain with walking.
  • Started NV Original June 4, 2012 as part of a nutritional strategy as a way to easily get healthy essential nutrients

I am 81 years old and learned about NV from a friend’s daughter who uses it for her children with apraxia and ADHD.  I read it was good for nutrition and felt that could be good for me as I don’t always eat well even when I mean to.

I have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, I was overweight,  and the worst was my doctor was talking to me about putting me on medication for type 2 diabetes as I was testing as a borderline diabetic and I was having issues with my high blood sugar.  My feet were hurting to the point I was having trouble walking, it was horrible.  I am a former heart patient as well.

June 15th, 2012

I have started to lose weight easily.  I normally weigh in the 160s and have not been in the 140s for as long as I can remember, but somehow I lost over 20 pounds and everyone is asking me what I’m doing.   I say easily because I don’t feel like I’m trying.  I found I was very satisfied and no longer craved the high sugar foods I craved before. 

Best yet is that my blood sugar and cholesterol are  testing as normal at the last doctor appointment and my doctor said he’s “tickled pink” over my test results.  My feet no longer hurt which is huge for me. I have more energy and feel great.  I don’t know if this is from the nutritional strategies but my memory is better. 

I did not tell my doctor yet about NV.

September, 14, 2012

My doctor told me he is thrilled and whatever I’m doing to keep doing it.

There is one bad thing about NV as part of a nutritional strategy.  I can’t stand the taste of it and have to force myself to take it.  I know other people like the taste but I just can’t get used to it.  My friend’s daughter tells me to hold my nose and just drink it –she’s right.  I know she’s right!

Jane Caggiano New Jersey

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Written by Lisa Geng:

Hospice Care Elderly

  • 89 year old PhD nurse with a history as a professor at LIU, started to deteriorate after breaking her hip from a fall.  In spite of eating, she continued to lose weight.
  • Home health care nurses were brought in.  In spite of the excellent care she received from some of the best doctors in NYC, her health and strength continued to deteriorate.
  • Hospice was called in March of 2010.  They explained that losing weight even when eating is one of the signs that the dying process has begun.  At this point she did not have the ability to lift her body up out of bed, and the one side of her body was now completely paralyzed.
  • March 5, 2010 her doctor and Hospice didn’t believe she’d make it through the weekend.  Family was called in to say goodbye.  On that date NV Original was started as a nutritional drink as part of a nutritional strategy‘ one scoop four to six times a day as a favor to Lisa Geng, her niece.  Up to this point she has refused to even try it.

Dr. Leona Weiner, my Aunt Leona

My Aunt Leona at 88 years old fell a few months ago and broke her hip -and as I let my nonprofit know it wasn’t at all good after that. As the old saying goes doctors make the worst patients. Sometimes old sayings are true.

My Aunt Leona has been the rock in our family. My mom and my Aunt Leona were raised in an orphanage, so my mom looks to her sister, my Aunt Leona, as more of a mother than a sister. Aunt Leona has been the one to turn to when you have a question about just about anything. She’s brilliant. I have written about her for years through my nonprofit Cherab, she her PhD in nursing, retired from teaching at LIU, a retired

Lieutenant colonel, an Army nurse, retired Hospice nurse, still a member of Mensa… and perhaps not as huge to others but huge to me, as I wrote in The Late Talker book, back in 1999 the first to approve fish oils for my son Tanner back at the Rite Aid in NYC when I showed her a bottle of it. Aunt Leona is one of my favorite people in the world to talk to –and incredible to travel with as well. Her and I once backpacked across England and spent some time in France and she amazed me with the stories and wisdom she has for so many other cultures as well.

But that was all prior to breaking her hip a few months ago. Aunt Leona has a library in her apartment in NYC. But not a normal library –just books all over, up on shelves, on the chairs and the floor too. She was trying to reach a book and was (at 88 years old) standing on a chair reaching up and the next thing she knew she woke up on the floor. We don’t know how long she was passed out because Aunt Leona lives alone. She doesn’t want help.

Aunt Leona lived in NYC all her life and always on her own, fiercely independent, with a large amount of friends and an active social and educational life. She never wanted to stop learning, was always taking new courses, studying what is going on in medicine and the world today. She once shared with me that today if things are not online they are lost and there is so much lost knowledge in books that still has not made it online. She was my go to person for any question that was out of the box. I run the Cherab Foundation and have parents who have children who receive ABA therapy for autism; both those that are autistic, as well as those that are misdiagnosed. Aunt Leona was the first to discuss with me the original ABA therapy as she worked at the hospital where they started it with autistic children from over 50 years ago when they used electroshock therapy. She never approved of it then. She was horrified to learn that just recently electroshock therapy is once again being used to “treat” some autistic children. She also is the one that taught me the brilliant work of Dr. Robert Rosenthal which I have used to help my own children, and teach others the same.

But again as much as I have learned from Aunt Leona, this broken hip was changing her, and not in a good way.

Aunt Leona received top medical doctors and treatment after her broken hip, but she changed after this fall. She became very agitated about needing any assistance or help. She wanted to be alone, not that she minded family with her, but she felt she was perfectly capable to live on her own still with no help. As good as she has been at helping others heal, she refused tests, medications every offer of help. She got angry and for the first time as long as I knew her, she started yelling at people and complaining about everything no matter how hard all tried to help her. And she started to waste away getting thinner and thinner. She was eating organic foods and drinks –but in spite of that clearly her body no longer was utilizing the food. In addition she developed issues with severe constipation. Her appetite faded daily and getting food into her became increasingly tougher. Others tried to tell me this is a normal part of dying.

And it wasn’t just her health, it was her behavior. After all the years of being the wise, calm, kind and knowing rock in all of lives, increasingly Aunt Leona almost nonstop complained. My Aunt’s behavior and comments were breaking my mother’s heart most. It appeared she was dying but nothing we did would make her happy. She was angry about any help we tried to give her as she didn’t want any, but she couldn’t live alone either. It was terrible and confusing for us as a family.

Lisa Geng writes about her Aunt Leona’s experience on a whole food product called Nutriiveda

Aunt Leona was going downhill fast.  I had been begging my Aunt Leona for months to try a whole food nutrition and protein product called NV as part of a nutritional strategy.

Aunt Leona refused repeatedly to even try NutriiVeda, saying she’d perhaps try it after she had time to research it. But unlike in the past where she’d jump on the computer, she no longer went on to the computer; she had become a different person.

March 5, 2010

Which leads us to when Aunt Leona was on her death bed; Hospice, clergy and family were all there. Aunt Leona said goodbye to me, to everyone. I was crying not yet willing to accept that Aunt Leona would be gone. I one last time desperately pled to my Aunt Leona with tears running down my face. “Aunt Leona for me will you PLEASE just try NV as part of a nutritional strategy?! It’s just food and you need the nutrition” and went on to tell her more not knowing what she heard or was listening to. I told her about all the essential amino acids, explained the research today about nutrition and cognition links.  I again didn’t know if she listened or heard, but clearly she did.

That day she agreed to try what she called NV –the “Lisa drink” (which is what she still calls NV to this day) as part of a nutritional strategy She was given a small Dixie cup and liking it she held out her hand for more, again and again. This was the day she said “goodbye” to me and everyone. That day all were convinced that she only agreed to drink NV as part of a nutritional strategy because she was dying and I guess because I begged her as a last wish from me.

But here’s the good news! Aunt Leona not only didn’t die, but she got stronger, asking for the “Lisa Drink” many times a day. Two days later it was Aunt Leona’s 89th birthday and she requested an Angel food cake which my sister and my niece and nephew took hours to try to bake perfect for her.

March 8, 2010

Just days after being on her death bed, and one day after her 89th birthday, strong willed Aunt Leona wanted to try to walk a bit. She had that much of a turnaround. All were shocked and thrilled. She went with her aid and a wheelchair and walker to the courtyard below her apartment outside. Aunt Leona was slowly taking steps, walking! She was happy and smiling. But something went terribly wrong. Nobody knows if it was the walker, too soon after, the wind, but Aunt Leona fell again, this time straight back! And not just my still fragile Aunt Leona, but also her aid, and the walker all went backwards! The people outside in NYC who witnessed this all gathered around to help my Aunt and the aid back up. But not much could be done, and we believe Aunt Leona this time hit her head and possibly suffered a stroke because suddenly her speech was slurred.

Once again Aunt Leona refused testing and only wanted Hospice.

March 9, 2010 

For a few days the one hospice nurse who didn’t know what the “Lisa Drink” was said she didn’t want Aunt Leona to have anything but “real food” instead, not realizing NV is “real food”  and is part of a nutritional strategy, but easily digestible as it’s partially broken down.

Each time the aids tried to feed her the food she was eating prior to March 5th she threw it up, and once again she had lost her appetite, once again was constipated and once again for the second time in a short period all thought Aunt Leona was going to die.  Aunt Leona’s speech was difficult for anyone to understand anything.

And the fall appeared to cause more damage, but she refused to go to the hosptial for testing.  From her clear speech before her fall, her speech suddenly was slurred, almost sounded like babble at times, and also quite soft. She stopped trying to talk much too. It was so frustrating and sad because my once brilliant Aunt could no longer communicate. In those days she started to sleep more and more, day and night. During this time when I did speak to her at any point I strained to understand what she was trying to say to me, thinking these slurred words can be her last to me.

It was during a conversation with one of the nurses when I learned that my Aunt Leona was no longer being served any NV as part of a nutritional strategy since the day after the fall.  I spoke to the doctor about starting NV again as she was tolerating it and it was providing her the essential nutrients

she needed, and the doctor agreed.

March 13, 2010 

NV original as part of a nutritional strategy was added back to her diet.

March 15, 2010

Aunt Leona started to bounce back once she started eating more again. She got her appetite back, and her smile. I’ll never forget a few days after I spoke to Aunt Leona and asked her how she felt and instead of “not good” as she would typically say, she said “better”. Her voice was choppy, her words were said slowly, but I was able to once again understand her better than the week before.

April 8, 2010

It’s now been a few weeks since her recent fall, and in addition to getting NV in her diet, Aunt Leona has had an increased appetite! Aunt Leona is gaining weight which is incredible and is no longer constipated which is wonderful too for many reasons! Aunt Leona requests the “Lisa Drink” a few times a day, in fact her aid Jacky posted to my facebook page one night at 1:30 AM that Aunt Leona was requesting the Lisa Drink at that time! The aids complain that it’s all she wants to drink.

Aunt Leona’s speech has started to come back clearer, and quicker! She is getting stronger, and thankfully is able to talk and understood again!

Aunt Leona has once again become positive since she’s eating and has gained weight again. All the nurses from Hospice and her aids and family and friends notice it as it’s so dramatic. Aunt Leona no longer complains, no longer yells “NO!” to offers of help, she talks and you can see the Aunt Leona that was gone for so long is back again! Still getting stronger after the last fall Aunt Leona is a bit afraid to try to walk again, but that is the plan. That’s what Aunt Leona wants.

Update from just about 6 months later.  9.23.2010

Aunt Leona was doing great.  She was being planned to transition out of Hospice as it had been 6 months.  They were planning rehab for walking, and she seemed in great spirits.  Unfortunately around this time one of the aids showed up to her home with the flu and gave it to Aunt Leona who in addition to being close to 90 years old, had emphysema.  My aunt as well as various aids caught it.   Aunt Leona’s wish as it had been up to this point was to remain in her apartment in NYC to be taken care of by aids and nurses from Hospice.

I spoke to Aunt Leona just 4 days before she died and she sang the song Joy Joy Joy to me and we laughed.  She quickly went downhill and stopped eating, and then stopped drinking.  Her one aid Jacky told me that she didn’t want to go to sleep because she was afraid she wouldn’t wake up.  Also she didn’t want to lower her head because she was having trouble breathing.  For the last 2 days of her life she was spiking a fever of 104 and wasn’t given anything to break the fever, and went into a coma.  She had a rule against use of any drugs or anything to prolong her life, but doubt she meant aspirin to break a fever, but at that point she was in a coma and it was an aid not a nurse taking care of her.

The day she died Hospice said they can send a nurse to stay with her, but she was already in a coma.  A woman who spent her life as an Army nurse, a Hospice nurse, and a PhD who taught nursing could have used someone like herself around.   But again she didn’t want medication, she didn’t want tubes…and she wanted to die in her apartment.  Aunt Leona miss you greatly and thank you for all you have done for me and so many.  You made the world a more beautiful place!

Nutrition a paradigm shift for TBI and strokes

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Written by  Lisa Geng, mother to two boys that were both “late talkers” who are doing great today. President and Founder of the Cherab Foundation, and Co Author of The Late Talker book St Martin’s Press

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