Brain By Bouley: Chef meets 15,000 Psychiatrists. This is what happened. - Drew Ramsey MD
“Would you like anything to drink Chef Bouley?” I asked trying to sound calm and cool.

It was 7:50am at the San Diego Convention center and the world class chef and innovator David Bouley was about to speak to a packed room of psychiatrists at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Recently, Chef Bouley launched a “Chef and Doctors” series in his New York kitchen and garden space, Bouley Botanical. Bouley’s brain is a burst of color and science steeped in food tradition, the nouvelle cuisine that combines Japanese and French foods. Known for his flavors and creativity, it’s the power of his food to impact mental health that had psychiatrists intrigued.

Bouley looked at me (Paul Newman level blues) and ordered nicely. “Coffee with a little milk.”

Sprint walking past my colleagues, (“Hi Kelly!”)  I see Starbucks is like the front of a beehive in the summer, a swarm of shrinks in search of dopamine. I consider cutting the line as I head for the 7-story tall escalators. I see coffee and I explain the situation.

“One of best chefs in the world is going to drink this, please help me, Maria.” She uncorked a fresh pump thermos of house blend. On the escalator back up, the psychiatrist in front of me swapped her running shoes for pumps as I imagined being a waiter in BouleyNYC delivering something other than the sad cardboard cup with plastic lid.

During his presentation, the chef shared stories from his family traditions and restaurants. As a film of him preparing dishes played, he wove in a rich history of traditional uses of foods along with a deep understanding of the science. The screen danced with the best foods to nourish the brain.

Leafy greens and a rainbow of vegetables. Small plates of fish and vegetables. Fermented vegetables to stimulate the gut. He implored his crew to make citrus powders and fresh vanilla bean oils, as he spun dozens of dishes into what he calls a “a living pantry”, an investment of a little time to best nourish the human frame.

As I spent the day with him, he spoke of his patrons much as physicians speak of our patients, a mix of concern and responsibility. Yet he regularly would note, he was “not a doctor, not a scientist.”

I don’t know, Chef. It’s a brave new world of health care. If everyone ate your food, we’d be a healthier, happier group. Doctors of the future will be well-versed in the microbiome (the chef headed out for two weeks with traditional fermenters in rural Japan) and lead their patients to health, not simply meet them in illness, by motivating people to eat and live with joy and appreciation, much as you do in your restaurants.

As we sat down for lunch, Chef pulled a small teapot from his backpack and made us a pot of organic Gyukuru green tea. It was surprisingly viscous, and smelled of the sea and healing. It seemed the chicken soup of green teas, and I was thankful for the elixir.

Charged up by his potion, I asked Chef Bouley to share more of his thoughts in the healing power of food and it’s importance in brain health and mental health for my BrainFood vlog on Medscape.

I’m also thrilled to let you know that I’ll be a guest at Chef Bouley’s The Chef and the Doctor Series on November 1st.  I hope you can join us.

In health,




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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