A Reader Speaks About the Happiness of a Good Diet - Drew Ramsey MD

Every household has its own “nutritional gatekeeper.” It’s the one person who does most of food shopping and makes the critical choices that help determine the physical and mental health of everyone in the house. To get more brain food into each American’s diet, we need to reach the gatekeepers. That’s why I love the email below, sent by a mom in Ohio who used The Happiness Diet to improve her whole family’s eating habits.

And since I was raised in rural Indiana, I’m especially glad to learn of someone finding great happiness foods in the Midwest. It’s easy to get the misperception that all the healthy, organic food trends are popular only on the coasts. The truth is that, with a little effort, you can find great farm-fresh organic happy foods just about anywhere. Use the Find Food feature on this website, and you’ll see what I mean!

Also, make sure to check out Lisa’s recipe for Blue Moon Shakes!

Lisa from Ohio, writes:

I not quite sure why I decided to pick up “The Happiness Diet” while browsing the new titles section at our local library. I never read diet books. I don’t believe in dieting. However, something about the book caught my eye. The information inside caught my mind!

My family is accustomed to seeing me read books and occasionally spouting off information which I find interesting. Most of the time my ramblings and mutterings are completely ignored. This time was different. My youngest son latched on to the grossest facts from the book. “Beaver anal glands” became a catch phrase followed by a shriek whenever we we read the ingredient labels listing “natural ingredients”.

As a family we made a pact, although somewhat reluctantly on the part of the youngest members, to cut out all refined sugars and “bad” fats from our diet. We were already making our own bread using another great book called “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. & Zoë François. High fructose corn syrup had been banned years ago. We did not drink soda or keep sweets in the house. Honey, maple syrup and butter were staples of our diet. The hardest part was learning that sugar, other than honey and maple syrup, is bad for you. Harder still was learning how to shop for groceries in a less healthy region of the United States in the middle of Winter.

Armed with the list of items recommended in the book, I scoured our local grocery stores and further afield. I found that my time shopping was doubled as I looked for the USDA Organic label, sought pasture meat and dairy, located affordable bottles of olive oil and local organic honey.

My reason for going into this battle? Well I had been thinking of the people in my family who have developed health problems. I thought about my battle to regulate my thyroid and lower my weight. Even though I believed that I was feeding my children a healthier diet, I was still concerned about my teenage son and 9 year old’s mood swings. My teen mentioned that he was depressed and often yelled at me for showing concern over his grades. My 9 year old would have throw tantrums for no apparent reason. Why? I wasn’t feeding them junk food. Most of our meals were completely homemade. There had to be some reason.

Well no matter the amount of time I was taking to make wonderful, mostly homemade meals, there was still refined sugars and bad fats in our food. For over a month, we have been eating completely homemade foods with no refined sugars or bad fats. We are no longer taking multiple vitamins or eating processed foods. The difference in how we feel is incredible. We have more energy. My husband and I are losing weight slowly, but surely. The kids are not fighting as often and my oldest son’s face is clearing up.

It is a struggle to find the foods that we need and want to eat to stay healthy. Not every item has been a hit. Red wine, green tea and raw oysters are not on my happy list! I had to play around with turmeric. No one likes the smell of the turmeric when it is cooking, but it makes the brown rice a beautiful yellow color and the taste is not unpleasant to the palette. Shopping, cooking and baking is now an adventure rather than a chore to be dreaded. Fortunately I am a homemaker, so I have the time to concentrate my efforts on eating healthy. My best advice to those who can’t stay home or even those who can is to plan a day to prepare foods with your family. You can make up oatmeal, rice, beans, soup and other items ahead of time. Freeze some and put the rest in the fridge. My kids love to eat beans and rice for a snack (we recently learned about beans and rice together being a complete protein).

Our next fun family project is to make our own chocolate using virgin coconut oil, cocoa, nibs, honey and walnuts. Should be terrific with a glass of local non-homogenized, whole pasture milk!

I am 45 years old, 5’4” and 156 pounds. I never struggled with my weight until after my second child I have always been active. I walk several times a day. I was diagnosed with low thyroid before conceiving my first child and have taken supplements ever since. The problem is that although I took the supplements, I was not taking them properly and was therefore prone to HUGE mood swings. I feel better now, but I still could not understand why I lacked energy. I have had times that I felt depressed, but not since I started eating better. I also had issues with anger. I don’t feel unreasonable anger anymore.

Eat Complete

Winner of a 2017 IACP Cookbook Award  •  Finalist for a Books for a Better Life Award

Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by Well + Good and MindBodyGreen


From leading psychiatrist and author of Fifty Shades of Kale comes a collection of 100 simple, delicious, and affordable recipes to help you get the core nutrients your brain and body need to stay happy and healthy.

What does food have to do with brain health? Everything.

Your brain burns more of the food you eat than any other organ. It determines if you gain or lose weight, if you’re feeling energetic or fatigued, if you’re upbeat or depressed. In this essential guide and cookbook, Drew Ramsey, MD, explores the role the human brain plays in every part of your life, including mood, health, focus, memory, and appetite, and reveals what foods you need to eat to keep your brain—and by extension your body—properly fueled.

Drawing upon cutting-edge scientific research, Dr. Ramsey identifies the twenty-one nutrients most important to brain health and overall well-being—the very nutrients that are often lacking in most people’s diets. Without these nutrients, he emphasizes, our brains and bodies don’t run the way they should.

Eat Complete includes 100 appetizing, easy, gluten-free recipes engineered for optimal nourishment. It also teaches readers how to use food to correct the nutrient deficiencies causing brain drain and poor health for millions. For example:

• Start the day with an Orange Pecan Waffle or a Turmeric Raspberry Almond Smoothie, and the Vitamin E found in the nuts will work to protect vulnerable brain fat (plus the fiber keeps you satisfied until lunch).

• Enjoy Garlic Butter Shrimp over Zucchini Noodles and Mussels with Garlicky Kale Ribbons and Artichokes, and the zinc and magnesium from the seafood will help stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

• Want to slow down your brain’s aging process? Indulge with a cup of Turmeric Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, and the flavanols found in chocolate both increase blood flow to the brain and help fight age-related memory decline.

Featuring fifty stunning, full-color photographs, Eat Complete helps you pinpoint the nutrients missing from your diet and gives you tasty recipes to transform your health—and ultimately your life.


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The Happiness Diet

For the first time in history, too much food is making us sick. It's all too apparent that the Modern American Diet (MAD) is expanding our waistlines; what's less obvious is that it's starving and shrinking our brains. Rates of obesity and depression have recently doubled, and while these epidemics are closely linked, few experts are connecting the dots for the average American.

Using the latest data from the rapidly changing fields of neuroscience and nutrition, The Happiness Dietshows that over the past several generations small, seemingly insignificant changes to our diet have stripped it of nutrients--like magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D, as well as some very special fats--that are essential for happy, well-balanced brains. These shifts also explain the overabundance of mood-destroying foods in the average American's diet and why they predispose most of us to excessive weight gain.

After a clear explanation of how we've all been led so far astray, The Happiness Diet empowers the reader with simple, straightforward solutions. Graham and Ramsey show you how to steer clear of this MAD way of life with foods to swear off, shopping tips, brain-building recipes, and other practical advice, and then remake your diet by doubling down on feel-good foods--even the all-American burger.


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Fifty Shades of Kale

Kale gets sexy in Fifty Shades of Kale by Drew Ramsey, M.D., and Jennifer Iserloh, with 50 recipes that are mouth-wateringly delicious and do a body good.
Release yourself from the bondage of guilt and start cooking meals with the ingredients you love: meat, cheese, and yes—even butter. Nutrient-rich kale provides essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, happy, and lean—so you can indulge in your most delicious desires. Whether you’re a cooking novice or a real kale submissive, you will undoubtedly succumb to Kale’s charms.

From Mushroom and Kale Risotto to Kale Kiwi Gazpacho, Fifty Shade of Kale offers simple ways to have your kale and eat it, too, as well as nutritional information, cooking tips, and a tutorial on kale in all her glorious shades.
Indulge your culinary passions with Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please.


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