June 18, 2024
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Norene’s Final Book: One Last Legacy of Brain-Boosting Recipes

 Highlighting: “The Brain Boosting Diet—Feed Your Memory,” By Norene Gilletz and Edward Wein, PhD. Whitecap Books (hardcover), 606 pages. ISBN-10: 1770503218. 2020

With every one of her exceedingly difficult breaths, Norene Gilletz was anxious to complete “The Brain Boosting Diet—Feed Your Memory,” in which she collaborated with Dr. Edward Wein prior to her passing in late February.

This book was written in a different context from Gilletz’s many other works. Each one of the more than 150 recipes has accompanying nutritional information by Dr. Wein that is geared towards people with memory loss, possible dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. His belief is that through proper diet one can slow down memory loss and cognitive decline.

While visiting with Norene in her last few weeks in the palliative care unit of the hospital, I admired her even more than I had in the past. Few of us can imagine what it is like to be transferred to a wing of the hospital where it is well known that leaving the hospital will never be an option. Gilletz’s positivity and charisma shone through and fortunately the timing of the publication of this, her last work, gave her the will and the energy to keep on going despite her pain. Each day was a battle for more air. As she said to me, “If only I could breathe.” I hope Norene realized that after she passed, her energy and zest would live on in the kitchens of so many who use her cookbooks and have followed her Facebook group, Norene’s Kitchen.

There are 606 pages in this exceedingly heavy and large offering. After reading through 106 pages of Dr. Wein’s suggestions and explanations, the fun begins with Gilletz showering her readers with energetic and attractive new recipes with nutritional content. Many have already commented on the authenticity and delicious flavors that shine through in each recipe. I usually stay far away from kale, as it is impossible to clean for kashrut purposes. I recently purchased a package of pre-cleaned kale with hashgacha and twice have served Norene’s “Colorful Kale Salad” on page 397. Each time I served this salad, there was not a drop left. Dr. Wein wrote that kale is very rich in antioxidants.

Another excellent recipe is the maple-glazed salmon on page 253, using ingredients that are frequently in the house, which makes preparation easier. Dr. Wein explained that salmon is a primary source of Omega 3 fats and vitamins D and B12. Both are important nutrients that are difficult to get through plants.

Don’t be put off by the commentary on the healthy effects of various food categories in this book. Once you begin reading the actual “cookbook” section, you will be enchanted with the many options and choices ala Gilletz’s style.


Nina Glick has been using Norene Gilletz’s cookbooks since her arrival in Montreal, and ever since. Norene’s books are a staple in every Canadian Jewish home.

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