6 Simple Food Changes to Make Your Resolutions a Reality - Drew Ramsey MD

When it comes to keeping New Year’s Resolutions, the odds are not in your favor. Research shows about 92 percent of resolutions collapse. 

Keeping resolutions has even become something of a joke: Nobody even expects to keep them, and some people resolve to forgo resolutions altogether as the end of December encroaches to avoid that mid-January crash.

Rather than an all-or-nothing approach, I have a better idea this year. Let’s create lofty but sustainable goals that you can build on throughout the year. A great place to start is at the end of your fork.

Eating nutrient-rich food that supports a healthy body and brain impacts your mood, energy, confidence, how you think, and so much more. Creating simple, concrete steps to eat healthier this year can create the foundation for a healthier, happier 2019. 

But I get it: Making that shift from processed foods to real, whole foods can feel like a challenge. Here are some of my favorite strategies to make the transition easier. 

      1. Create simple swaps. You can do this with nearly any food on the planet. Let’s say you have a hankering for pasta with cream sauce. Easy: Swap it out for spiralized zucchini with tomato sauce. If you love potato chips with cheese dip, try some kale chips or swap out the cheese for guacamole. You’ll get all the crunch and flavor with way more nutrients. Candy cravings? Have some dark chocolate covered almonds. You can read about some of our favorite swaps here
      2. Get your nutrients from food, not supplements. Falling into the multivitamin-insurance mentality means that it’s not important whether you eat healthily or not. But supplements can’t compare to the power of food. Supplements are helpful to restore nutrient deficiencies, but for long-term health, nothing beats food.
      3. Make your meals mindful. Mindfulness means being present moment to moment. Before you eat anything, try taking a deep breath. Inhale fully through your nose and then slowly exhale with your mouth, through pursed lips. Then use all of your senses to appreciate your food. Appreciate the colors on your plate and the aroma of the meal. Appreciate your company if you have it. Be completely present.
      4. Make one meal a week family time. Teaching your kids and other loved ones how to cook gives them a skill they can use throughout life. One of the best ways to do that is with a family dinner. Make it fun and get everyone involved. Young children can wash vegetables and set the table. Adolescents can cut, dice, slice, and even get behind the stove. You’ll get plenty of ideas in Eat Complete to make the kitchen and dinner table a festive, fellowship-filled activity that brings your family closer together. By the way, family doesn’t just mean blood, significant others, friends, community and chosen family all count.
      5. Shop locally and sustainably. Buying local encourages people to connect to their food supply, eat with a smaller footprint, and eat seasonal food. Farmers markets make a great way to find local produce as well as pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed meats, and other seasonal foods. Make a Saturday morning out of it and invite your family or friends to your excursion. You’ll better understand where your food comes from and meet some of the wonderful people who grow it.
      6. Make breakfast a smoothie. Because mornings can feel so hectic, a healthy breakfast doesn’t always get the respect it deserves. Upgrade breakfast and simplify your life with a smoothie. You can slip in plenty of clean protein sources, healthy fats including nut butter, and leafy greens. (Smoothies are a great way to sneak kale, spinach, and other leafies into kids’ breakfasts. They’ll never know!) Smoothies are delicious, nutritious, filling, and fast: Exactly what you need to start the day! To get you started, I’ve provided one of my favorite smoothie recipes below from Eat Complete.

With these strategies, eating healthier shifts from being a resolution to a reality. You’ll find when you’re proactive about what you eat and take small steps to eat healthier, you feel better, lose weight and keep it off, and maintain vibrant all-day energy to do the things you love, including keeping other resolutions. Happy New Year!

Kiwi Green Smoothie


You might be skeptical about starting your day with four cups of greens, but that will quickly pass. Mixing greens into your smoothies is an easy way to boost nutrient intake. The fiber in the greens plus the protein in the kefir will keep you full longer, and the live cultures in the yogurt or kefir promote overall gut health. To avoid bitterness, be sure your kiwis are ripe, which means they should be soft to the touch. Leave hard kiwis on the countertop for two to three days to ripen.

2 cups raw fresh spinach
2 cups raw kale
2 ripe kiwis, peeled 
1 cup plain 2 percent yogurt or plain kefir
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons honey
4 ice cubes
1 cup cold water, plus more as needed

Place the spinach, kale, kiwis, yogurt or kefir, almonds, chia seeds, and honey in a blender along with the ice cubes and cold water. Blend until smooth, adding a few tablespoons more of cold water to adjust the consistency if necessary. Divide evenly between two glasses and serve immediately.


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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