I’m here with a hearty shout-out to Dr. Drew Ramsey’s new book, Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss and Transform Your Health. In my opinion, this is a MUST have: a whole foods prescription, written by a leading brain expert, farmer, cook, and founder of National Kale Day! And the book is beautiful.
How I met Drew
Drew attended Food As Medicine (the nutrition training program for which I was Executive Chef for many years) in 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. How many doctors do you think came up to me during the FIRST day of the program to tell me they REALLY LOVED the food? It didn’t take long to discover that he’s a foodie himself, and that food is a big part of his robust psychiatry practice in New York City.
He’s an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and one of medicine’s leading proponents of a nutrition-based approach to clinical treatment. He writes food prescriptions. He teaches other doctors to cook. He’s my kind of guy! At the time, he was the author of The Happiness Diet, a primer for food and mood. His big hit 50 Shades of Kale (don’t you love it?) was about to launch. Now he’s got a new one.
Enter Eat Complete
Hearing a brain doctor talk about food is music to my ears! In this book, Drew focuses on the 21 nutrients of transformation: the vitamins, the minerals, the fats, the proteins, the plant-based phytonutrients. He believes that having those 21 nutrients is the CORE to living a healthy life.
You might think, OMG! 21 nutrients! This sounds like sooo much! But actually, MANY foods contain multiple nutrients. Consciously using them is what’s called building a nutrient-dense plate. Nutrient-density is about every calorie being chocked-full of components that are going to benefit your brain and body. NOTHING is wasted. I think he’s brilliant at explaining and building a food plan around good, sound eating that is focused on fueling your brain.
As Drew says, “The building blocks of your brain—all the vitamins, minerals, fats, sugars, and proteins—start at the end of your fork. Your eating pattern dictates the health and function of your brain, as well as the rate of your brain’s growth. That is what inspired me to write this cookbook.”
Important point! Eat Complete is not only informative, with some great case studies about patients shifting their diets to improve their brains. It’s a fabulous cookbook, with a host of amazing recipes and strategies to eat complete throughout the day.
Eat Complete Breakfast Smoothies
How about one of these smoothies to start your day? This trio has the wherewithal to enchant AND empower. With Drew’s comments:
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.”
Minty Blueberry Shake: “This is a breakfast that hits the mark for protein and taste, and it also happens to come with its own aromatherapy treatment. Mint calms and refreshes, so start your day by tearing up the mint leaves and taking a deep mindful breath. Pairing blueberries with greens gives you a powerful dose of plant-based medicine...and covers your bases for your vitamin needs.”
Cashew-Chocolate Smoothie: “This is another phytonutrient fest! Start the day with two great sources of healthy monounsaturated fats: avocados and cashews. Nutrient-dense avocado thickens this smoothie beautifully while providing beneficial fats that boost brain health and enhance the beauty of your skin.”