Some Special Notes for 2020 - Drew Ramsey MD

Usually, my holiday advice is about navigating family, travel, and the large buffet of cookies (tbh my wife and kids are making cookies right now). But this year I want to shift the focus to something a little different.  I want to share with you how I’m reflecting on the year and carrying the lessons learned with me into 2021. 

For Thanksgiving, I posted some mental health conversation starters on social to help people check in. This year’s end finds us all struggling. With so much loss, uncertainty, fear, and transitions, it is safe to say everyone reading this has had their mental health challenged. 

I started the pandemic with an idea that we all were about to learn something very meaningful about ourselves this year. I posted a series of video mental health updates on IGTV encouraging people to stay oriented and tips for dealing with anxiety and insomnia. I knew that we would be staying connected via video chats and social media, really relying on these platforms like never before for both our professional and personal life. 

For the holiday season and maybe as a little Christmas present from me to you, I want to shift the conversation from checking in about mental health (always important) to focusing on the process of summing up our year and planning for the next, 

Let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions and reflections. 

You might guess, I’m not a huge fan of New Year, New You….why do we want an entirely new you?! And I don’t mean your typical “I want to exercise more!” “I want to eat better!” resolutions, though those can be positive when done for the right reasons. Really, what I want to address is the opportunity, especially right now, for growth. 

We all learned something about growth this year. Growth tends to hurt and takes a lot of energy. Because of that, we tend to avoid it…especially when we are run down and hurting. Still,  I know I don’t feel grounded at the end of a year until I have spent some time thinking through what happened. Thinking about how I have grown, or not, and what has transpired in the past year of my emotional life. 

All to say I hope you will spend some time in the next few weeks reflecting on what you’ve learned in the rollercoaster of a year that was 2020 and use that to honor yourself going forward. 

Here are some prompts to help review this with yourself, or even better to deepen your relationship with someone with whom you are sharing some time this season. 

➡️ “Something I did really well this year was … “

➡️ “I showed resilience this year when…”

➡️ “In 2021, I would like to build on that by … “

➡️ “I felt accomplished this year when … “

➡️ “This year was tough, but I learned … “

➡️ “I can carry these lessons into 2021 by … “

These conversation tips are a great way to gently check-in, celebrate the wins, honor the losses, and think about how to move forward in a healthy and constructive way. 

Prompts like this are nice to consider with multiple aspects of your life: family, work, community, self-care, exercise, food, etc. 

I thought I’d do one as a quick example…after all. I like to walk the talk: 

I hope I did a better job this year connecting with you about your mental health and nutrition and in 2021, I really am excited to build on that with a new book, new website, and much more. I felt truly honored this year when people reached out for help, asked a question, or dropped a meaningful comment in my feed. This year was tough for me, maybe the toughest yet for me, but I learned I could fall hard and still function well…and I learned, again, that I always, always get up. I’m carrying this strength with me into 2021… and I hope to continue to build on that strength by being there for my patients and my community in new and exciting ways as we all grow. 

To your 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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