Dr. Ramsey is on a mission to reestablish the natural nutrients that make our entire beings happy and functioning at their absolute best. A psychiatrist, assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, author and farmer, he advocates for real mental wellness with real foods, not diets, prescriptions or pills. Through his TEDx talks, writing for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and his three books: The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood and Lean, Energized Body, his recent bestseller 50 Shades of Kale and his newest release Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients that Fuel Brain Power, Boost Weight Loss and Transform Your Health, he is making big waves in the world of holistic and nutritional psychiatry that are truly bringing us back to our roots.
Dr. Ramsey’s work resonated with me, not only because he voices the same things I believe in (and feel that I alone have been screaming for years without being truly heard!) but also because we are fellow Hoosiers who both grew up with parents that were of the organic mindset. My Mom never allowed pop or bags of cool ranch Doritos in our home. She baked our own bread and had our chickens running super free. It now seems obvious why he and I both feel allergic to the denatured world we are living in and know the importance of physical activity and getting our nourishment back in touch with nature to save our collective brains and bodies. I stand wholly with Dr. Ramsey in the fight for the right to organic ingredients and natural foods.
Dr. Ramsey explains that as a psychologist, the staggering numbers of young women suffering from depression alone is reason enough for us to understand that our brain has to be treated with natural nourishment not processed foods. Dr. Ramsey’s realization that the cure to his patient’s psychological battles is not through unearthing troubles of their past or writing a prescription, but instead, examining and altering the nutrients they are feeding themselves, is a brilliant one. He tells a story on one of his inspiring TED talks about a woman (the type that I see often in my own practice) juice cleansing, afraid of fat, meat, eggs, etc. all for “health” reasons who doesn’t realize that she is missing essential nutrients for her healthiest self! There isn’t enough truth out there to counteract the gimmicky quick-fixes that aren’t healthful or helpful to our bodies and minds. We have to take a critical stance and be educated by the remarkable minds like Dr. Ramsey who aren’t out to sell you a juice cleanse or a diet pill because they are the ones who are actually FOR you and FOR your health.
Loving all of you,
Dr. Ramsey is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using dietary change to help balance moods, sharpen brain function and improve mental health. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and in active clinical practice in New York City where his work focuses on the clinical treatment of depression and anxiety. Using the latest brain science and nutritional research, modern treatments, and an array of delicious food he aims to help people live their happiest, healthiest lives.
What is quicker than an organic apple or more satisfying that a handful of raw cashews and dark chocolate? Nobody wants to describe themselves as cheap and easy, so why would we want that for our food? I hate how “healthy” becomes synonymous with “difficult” or “expensive” because this is not true.
I advise people to keep the junk out of the house so that unhealthy foods that they are having a hard time with are not within reach. Then my first line of defense is to make a list of “Brain Food Swaps”, meaning finding the better alternative for the stuff you crave. For example, I love mashed potatoes. To get more nutrients, I mash small potatoes and keep the skins on because that is where many of the nutrients are, or I swap for a cauli mash and load it up with turmeric, scallions, and a little cheese. Or bake purple yams and mash them. They are incredible, and much more satiating than a big white spud.
I also try to stay out of the center aisles of the grocery store and do most of my shopping at the local Farmer’s Market. It is fun for me as a farm boy to live in New York City and have the bounty of so many farmers just a block from my house.
I am no longer a fan of this phrase. It is misleading. I don’t want people drinking “moderate amounts” of soda or juice. I don’t think moderate amounts of bologna or fried chicken or white chocolate is a good idea. And I think moderate amounts of greens and other rainbow vegetables are not enough. America’s health is a five alarm fire right now, so I am not a big fan of moderate interventions.
But to your question, you can’t get too many nutrients eating a diet of whole foods. However, there are few exceptions, for example Brazil nuts have very high concentrations of selenium and eating lots of them can cause selenium toxicity. There are also some foods that interact with medications, such as leafy greens and the blood thinner Warfarin. (People should check with their physician if they have specific concerns.) One of the main reasons I advocate getting all your nutrients from food is that it is simply safer than supplements.
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