The Happiness Diet

December 10, 2016

Find out what to eat, and what not eat to keep your mood up.

We’re sharing what we loved about the book The Happiness Diet that asks “What if you discovered that the best place to begin your personal pursuit of happiness is at the end of your fork”.

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KARA:  Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Kara Carper, licensed nutritionist and certified nutrition specialist, and today's host of Dishing Up Nutrition. Today's show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness a company bringing you life changing nutrition education and life changing nutrition counseling. Recently I found a book that I would like to share with you. It's called The Happiness Diet. It's very easy to read. It has a profound message of hope for people struggling with depression, anxiety, or anyone that's having a failing memory or having a lot of senior moments. And I have asked two co-hosts to join me in this book review discussion today. So Kate Crosby is a nutritionist who can comment firsthand on how food connects to moods. She's also a nutrition educator. She's a counselor at our North Oaks office. So Kate, great to be here with you today. And can you just tell me what did you think of the book?

KATE:   While I loved it, Kara. I loved a whole bunch of different things about it. I liked the format, I like the tone of the book and I liked that message. You know, the format, the thing that I found really fun is that every few pages there's a shaded box either at the top or the bottom of a page, and in this box it gives you another reason to avoid processed foods. We'll give our audience a taste of those later on in the show. I also liked the tone of the book. It was light, humorous, while talking about nutrition. Now we all know that's a tough task. And I also liked the message, Kara. I mean, it's our message it is really our message.

KARA:  It's like we wrote the book.

KATE: It is the importance of eating real foods to improve your brain function.  But before we get into that, I first want to tell the listeners about who wrote this book, The Happiness Diet, it was written by Tyler Graham, who's a writer and also Dr. Drew Ramsay, who is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. And Dr. Ramsey specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, so he knows firsthand how to treat these things. But more than anything I really liked the very first sentence of the book and let me quote it. "What if you discovered that the best place to begin your personal pursuit of happiness is at the end of your fork?"

KARA: I love that. So listeners, stop and think about what Kate just read. Your personal pursuit of happiness is at the end of your fork. I would say that's a very profound concept that's put into simple language that anybody can understand. And as nutritionists, and then just a little disclaimer, just because we're nutritionists doesn't mean that we're always perfect with our eating.

KATE: Oh, not at all.

KARA: But anyone can understand this concept and I mean we know with many people that struggle with doing the plan. I mean, it's one thing to have the information, it's another thing to actually follow through on the eating plan.

KATE: Changing behavior is difficult and sometimes you need a little help doing that. Let's dig into the core concepts of The Happiness Diet a little bit more, but before we start to do that, let's welcome Shelby. Shelby Hummel, another nutritionist who has a master's degree in nutrition and was recently licensed by the state of Minnesota. Congratulations.

SHELBY:  Thank you. Good morning to both Kate and Kara. I'm so happy to be here with you this morning and of course I liked The Happiness Diet too. I know that the author's approach is exactly what we teach at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. They believed that before you can improve your psychological wellbeing and outlook on life, you know you have to make those eating behavior changes to support your brain. We know that your brain is your master mood regulator and it's your master memory finder.

KATE:  Absolutely. But you know, isn't it sad to say that the American diet undermines our emotional and mental wellbeing? I share this message a lot with my clients in classes and individually, family and friends. So exactly what do I mean when I say that the American diet is undermining the emotional and mental wellbeing of all of those who eat that standard American diet. Well, of course we all want to be happy, but every day most people consume what amounts to a series of unhappy meals. So think about this unhappy meals, starving or shrinking your brains. It's kind of sad to realize we eat these unhappy meals. For instance, kids will go to school eating unhappy meals like cereal, toast, juice. And frankly we know about a third of the kids are suffering today, suffering with diabetes or depression or obesity, obviously from those unhappy meals.

SHELBY:   Absolutely. Yeah, and I love the authors actually call the modern American diet, the MAD diet. And we know that the MAD diet is characterized by large amounts of simple sugars. Those things found in cereal and pasta, bagels and juice, pop tarts, and even cereal bars, which a lot of people think is healthy.

KARA:   They do have a lot of sugar though.

SHELBY: Absolutely. We know that all that sugar plays tricks on our brains, so guess what, you desire more and more of that sugar. So then we say, well, what's the big downside of eating all of that sugar? And we say it's shrinking your brain. You actually have shrinkage in key areas of your brain from eating all of that sugar and those areas that are shrinking or the areas that affect your mood and your memory.

KATE:  It's pretty profound. And you know, remember the American Heart Association is now recommending eating no more than six teaspoons of sugar daily to keep your heart healthy. So we also know that what's good for your heart is usually good for your brain. I think we need to just talk about how much sugar is in foods that we eat, like 12 ounces of soda, has about 12 teaspoons of sugar. So most people know that sodas got a lot of sugar in it. But how about juice?

KARA: Well, some people think juice is a healthy replacement for soda, but what are you saying Kate?

KATE:  Yeah, not exactly. In 12 ounces of juice, you could be consuming 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar.

KARA:  It's the same as soda.

KATE: Exactly. And you know, two cups of cereal that turn into 12 to 21 teaspoons of sugar. So that's just more sugar shrinking that brain again. Most people today eat more than six teaspoons of sugar daily and we all know that the rate of depression has increased, but wow, how about anxiety disorders? I feel like every client I see has got a ton of anxiety.

KARA:  Oh yeah, they're on the rise for sure.

KATE:  And Alzheimer's disease is now at epidemic proportions. So people really are experiencing shrinking brains from this sugar overload.

KARA:  In addition to eating too much sugar, many people are eating way too many foods that are full of refined oils and trans fats and those bad oils have been linked to an increased risk of depression as well. So let's just say you're eating a fast food burger and fries. You're getting, first of all, you're getting too much sugar from the bun and the fries. You're also getting too many refined oils and trans fats from probably everything - the burger and the fries. And no doubt a shrinking brain. So on the flip side, if you eat a grass-fed steak salad, maybe have some olive oil dressing, small baked potato with some butter on it.

KATE: That sounds fantastic.

KARA:  You're going to be supporting your brain. You're going to be supporting your moods and also a good memory.

KATE:  Yeah, that sounds great.

SHELBY: But we always say here at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we always ask, well, what does the research say? So what does the research say about the modern American diet of processed foods and it's connection to depression. A large study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that eating processed foods, those things like bagels and chips, pizza, muffins, cookies, and even French fries, increased the risk of depression by 60 percent. Think of that, increase the risk of depression by 60 percent eating those processed foods. So think about this, if you're sending your child off to school with that cereal bar and maybe a juice box, you may be setting up your child for low moods and even anxiety all throughout the day.

KARA: Kids have more and more of that these days. It's very sad as a parent. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Kate.

KATE: None of us really wants our kids to have low moods or anxiety, so if we feed them a real breakfast like eggs and bacon and hash browns, cooked in butter, also another salivating meal, we can actually lower that risk of low moods by 26 percent. They have almost a 30 percent better chance to have a great day. I mean just by, just by changing your breakfast, that sets you up. What a wonderful way to begin.

KARA: So it's time for our first break and you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. We have a holiday gift certificate special available right now. It's a great deal if you spend $100 for a gift certificate, and you can use the gift certificate for classes or counseling, you actually receive a $125 certificate. That might be the perfect gift for mom, maybe for your spouse, your daughter, your daughter-in-law, helping them get healthy is a really special gift that you can give. And you know, I was teaching a Nutrition 4 Weight Loss class last week and one of the gals in class shared that she bought three of the $100 certificates for herself. So she has three $125 gift certificates to use towards classes and counseling.

KATE:  Oh, brilliant.

SHELBY:  Yeah. Self-care.

KARA: So give us a call today if you have any questions of the studio line is 651-641-1071 and we'll be right back.

KATE:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We're talking about the book, The Happiness Diet. The authors of The Happiness Diet recommend adding B vitamins to support good brain function. For instance, B6, which is really important for getting those brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to work well. B6 is also crucial for memory. They also recommend B12, which is crucial to avoid that agitation or loss of focus. Both B6 and B12 will help boost your memory and reduced depression. Really, really important vitamins for moods, but also they recommend something called B9, which is just a new way of naming folate and B9 protects your brain and your heart. I just want to remind listeners that they can give us a call in the studio today if they've got any questions and our number is 651-641-1071 .

KARA: So yeah, before break you were talking about how when kids go off to school, if they have a breakfast, cereal, toast, juice, that type of a thing. Really that is just setting them up for low moods and possibly anxiety throughout the day and people may not realize that. I thought I would just share what I give my daughter, Olivia who is five. And it's pretty much what you, the meal you were talking about that break, it's similar, but she often will have one egg. She will have two or three of those little nitrate-free Applegate maple chicken sausages. She loves those. So she's getting her protein, she's getting some fat with that. We cook the egg and butter. And then she will have a piece of gluten free toast with some butter or possibly a piece of fruit as her carbohydrate. So she's actually kind of a big eater for five-year-old. But I'm confident when I send her off to school that she's not going to have low moods and anxiety from that breakfast.

KATE: Absolutely. That's awesome.

KARA:  We know that the most common treatment for depression really is medication and therapy. Somehow along the way people forgot how powerful a treatment food can be for depression and anxiety.

KATE: So true. I was mentioning before that throughout The Happiness Diet book authors list 100 different reasons to avoid processed foods. So I'd like to share a couple of reasons to avoid processed foods. So here is one. Did you know that a Dunkin donut glazed chocolate cake stick contains more than 40 ingredients?

KARA:  Wow. What are those ingredients?

KATE:  Boy, 40 ingredients it would be hard to put together. Some of those ingredients include five different types of gums.  Okay. I never put gums in anything that I'm baking, but that's okay. And something called TBHQ, it's a form of butane. What's butane?

KARA:  Lighter fluid.

KATE:  Yeah, that's used as a preservative.

KARA: That's disturbing.

KATE:  I don't know. That just cannot be good for your brain.

SHELBY:  No. And let me share one of the other top 100 reasons to avoid processed foods. This one is actually about yogurt. So if you look at the list for low fat Dannon Fruit on the Bottom strawberry yogurt, well of course it does contain some strawberry followed by sugar.

KARA: Not so good.

SHELBY: Fructose syrup, fructose, and even high fructose corn syrup, all of which are sugar.

KATE: Wow, four different kinds.

SHELBY: Yeah, absolutely. You're looking at this type of sugar, that low fat fruit on the bottom, it actually contains more sugar than some ice cream. Yet, we're told that yogurt is healthy, right? We know that plain full fat yogurt is healthy, but not those that are really sweetened with all that sugar. And we know as our sugar consumption went up, so have the rates of anxiety and depression.

KARA: Oh, definitely.

SHELBY: Think there's a connection there.

KARA: Let's talk about the rate of sugar consumption in this country. We share this information all the time in our classes, especially our Weight & Wellness Series classes. Did you know that back in the 1700s we were eating about 5 pounds of sugar per person per year. Then in the 1800s it increased to about 18 pounds per person per year. The 1900s, we had a big jump, 70 pounds per person. Seventy pounds of sugar per person. More recently we found some information in 2009, it was a hundred 180 pounds on average per person per year. So that kind of breaks down into 52 teaspoons daily. So that's what the average American is eating of sugar. So we kind of have to ask ourselves with that much sugar, what's happening to our brains. I mean, we know sugar causes inflammation in our body and in our brain. So think of this when your, when your blood vessels and your arteries are inflamed, sugar is going to kind of make that whole process worse. The blood carrying your oxygen can't get through. This is when people have what they call a senior moments. Maybe memory lapses, can't focus as well. So isn't that interesting? That can happen from sugar that's affecting our brains.

KATE:  Just all that sugar, sugar, sugar. You know, another thing that the authors, Tyler Graham and Dr. Drew Ramsay of The Happiness Diet, they use so many descriptive phrases. So in chapter 3 it was called “Bad Food, Bad Mood.” And here are three strong statements that the authors share in this chapter. First of all, studies show that countries with the highest per capita intake of sugar are the countries with the highest rate of depression. Think about that, the more sugar you eat, the more depressed you become, or at least these countries did.

SHELBY: Yeah. Wow. And another statement that the authors made, a second one, eating the modern American diet that's high in sugar increases the risk of dementia or what some health experts are now calling Alzheimer's disease, type 3 diabetes.

KARA: Yeah, I've heard that a lot. That term. Many experts believe that forms of clinical depression should be actually called metabolic syndrome type two, so that just means that the very same foods that are responsible for diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are also responsible for depression. And depression is our most common brain disorder, so eating so much sugar is actually shrinking the brain.

KATE:   They say that over and over in the book about how much sugar is shrinking our brain.

KARA: And that's easy for people to understand. I mean it's not a technical way of saying it and  it's actually kind of scary and alarming.

SHELBY: Shrinking those areas of the brain that we talked about that control mood and memory. Very important. So here's another interesting chapter title I think people will perk their ears up to, "Why French Fries Cause Wrinkles and Shrink Your Brain."

KARA:  I thought that was an interesting title when I read that.

SHELBY: Yeah, so I bet many of you are thinking, why do French fries cause wrinkles and shrink my brain? Well, let's go through this process just like we would if we were teaching our Weight & Wellness Series. First we know that French fries are made from those very large potatoes, high in starch and sugar. So two French fries actually turn into two teaspoons of sugar in the body, or we would call that glucose. So 24 French fries, 12 teaspoons of sugar.

KARA:  Guess what they use to feed or fatten up cattle?


KARA:  Corn. Yeah, exactly.

SHELBY: Absolutely. So we know if we're getting technical, when our blood becomes too high in that glucose, so that sugar, that sugar attaches to the proteins in our tissues through a process that we call glycation. So that process is actually similar to how food browns. So if you think of like the crust of your bread getting brown or your vegetables when they roast, that sort of thing, and that's actually the most visible sign of glycation are those deep wrinkles.

KARA: In the brain, this glycation process, it inflames and shrinks the hippocampus of the brain. The hippocampus is what helps us keep our memories and people that have chronically high blood sugar actually have shrunken hippocampus and they also have poor memory, which makes sense. It's time for our second break here today. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. At the last break, Kate shared some really interesting information on B vitamins and the recommendation to add B6, B,12 and folate to boost memory, focus and mood. So this month for December at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we actually have our Twice-A-Day multivitamin on special.  It's a special price. It's 15 percent off and that Twice-A-Day multivitamin, it is formulated to contain a higher level of B vitamins than many other multis. So it supports good brain function. I liked the Twice-A-Day because you're going to get all of your B vitamins. It's just two easy to swallow capsules. It's pretty simple. I take both of them with breakfast and everything in there is very absorbable easy for the body to break down and utilize all those nutrients. 

SHELBY:  Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Shelby Hummel, licensed nutritionist. And this morning I'm here with Kate Crosby, nutrition counselor who sees clients in our North Oaks office and Kara Carper licensed nutritionists who sees clients out of our Wayzata location. And today we're discussing and reviewing a book called The Happiness Diet. So we commented a little bit, but all three of us liked this book because it, it really agrees with what we've been teaching about depression and anxiety for the past 20 years. We know that for better brain function we must reduce sugar intake, eliminate those refined oils and those trans fats and eat sufficient amounts of good quality protein like meats and fish. We've been talking about that and it's really easy to say, but sometimes it's really hard to do. So if you or someone you know, struggle with depression or anxiety, we really encourage you to make a nutrition consultation with one of our Nutritional Weight & Wellness nutritionists and you know, we can help you keep your brain functioning better and we can help you get your brain functioning better if that's really what you're wanting to focus on. Call our offices today 651-699-3438 to set up an appointment.

KATE:  You know, I often find that people with anxiety or depression really need a sort of a guide, a lot of guidance because they feel so terrible, not only physically but mentally, that to make these changes it, it feels overwhelming to them. But once they start eating real food, they're often quickly surprised at how much better they feel and then they can execute the plan.

KARA: Their moods start to improve even just a little bit. Maybe they have a little bit more energy, motivation and they're connecting the dots. They're seeing what they're eating, how it's affecting and improving their brain.

SHELBY:  And we can help them do that. We know that we can help them make that connection, the food that they're eating and how they're feeling.

KARA:  We had some callers over break that are not, not everyone is on the air. We do have a couple of callers on here and we'll get to in just a second, but people want to know where can they find us, where can they get this great Twice-A-Day multivitamin with high B vitamins that we were talking about. So those are great questions. People listen worldwide, we're in Minnesota in the United States. We have seven offices throughout the Twin Cities area. And so people can pop into one of our offices to purchase the supplements. They can also, we ship supplements. So you can always call our office, you can go to our website and get information on all of our offices. It's

KATE:  Let's just list those seven locations.

KARA: All right, let's see if we can come up with those.

KATE: There's an office in St Paul. There's another one in North Oaks.

SHELBY:  Mendota Heights and Lakeville.

KARA:  Wayzata.

KATE:  And Maple Grove.

KARA: Did we say Eden Prairie?

SHELBY: No. The seventh one is Eden Prairie.

KATE:  We got them all. You know, another thing that you can do is get a hop on our website and you can listen to past radio shows, we have tons of great articles that are very informative and will dovetail with things that we're saying on the radio.

KARA: And you can like us on Facebook and get information if you choose to do that, if you're on Facebook.

KATE:  So, Kara, we've got to caller here, we've got two.

KARA:  Wonderful.

KATE:  Dan, you've got a question about cholesterol. Are you still on Dan? Hi, thanks for waiting.

CALLER:  Okay, sure. I've been doing a lot of research in the last three or four years and seemed like a while ago I read something that said only about 10 percent of the cholesterol that you eat actually adds to your, a lipid cholesterol test.

KATE:  Correct.

CALLER: And so I wanted to know if that's still something because it's been awhile since I've read that.  You know, I like to eat eggs, but I know they're kind of high in cholesterol.

KATE: But eggs are great for you for a variety of different reasons, especially the brain. Full of B6 vitamin that's really helpful for activating those neurotransmitters. Eggs have a little tryptophan that becomes serotonin and eggs will not dramatically affect your cholesterol level. It's other types of food that are increasing your cholesterol in a detrimental way. Those carbohydrates that turn to sugar. So things like your bagels and your cereals and your muffins and your pasta. Other questions?

CALLER:   I don't do any of that stuff anymore because of talking to you ladies on the show and visiting your offices. So I really do try to I keep my levels down. But the one thing I was, and I'm trying to wean myself off, is I was a great milk drinker. I could go through, even in, even like two months ago, I could easily go through two gallons of milk myself a week and so, but you know, when you're looking at it, there's so much lactose in it and like 13 grams of carbohydrates per half a cup and so it's really just is a lot. And that was reading something yesterday that suggested that homogenized milk, when they do that, they kind of break up the fat particles, you know, how the old milk where the cream used to rise to the top, but in order to make homogenized milk, they rip up the fat particles, so stay suspended and then those fat particles, it encodes something else that's not good for you in the milk. And then that kind of add some, instead of being broken down your digestive system, that kind of goes right to your bloodstream, sort of. And so that adds to a, like the stickiness of the cholesterol. So have you heard that too?

KATE:   I have, I guess another concern I would have or when I hear that someone can drink that much milk, I often become a little suspicious that the milk is slightly addictive for this person.

CALLER: I raise my hand, yep, yep.

KATE:  And that would be more of a concern and that it's not really helping you. It would be probably more beneficial for you to focus on getting some good meat or eggs or fish as your source of protein and adding some wonderful vegetables and some butter or coconut oil or have some nuts on the side.

CALLER:  Right. As a matter of fact per Dar's suggestion, I have coconut oil in my coffee every morning.

KARA: Oh, I do the same thing. I love coconut oil and coffee.

KATE:  There you go.

CALLER:   I was, I was expecting to taste something, but really there's absolutely no taste. You don't even know it's there. So people are kind of leery about trying that.

KARA: These are some great. The cholesterol piece particularly because that's so important for other listeners to hear. And what we're eating, eggs, you know, the coconut oil, those things are not affecting our cholesterol very much at all. It's the sugars and the bad oils.

CALLER:   I'm very familiar with the good fats and all that, but I was wondering about what about the fat that comes from, let's say you have a steak or hamburger or something, you know, animal fat like that?

KATE: It's a Freebie. You just get to have that. Okay. Yeah. And you know, my hunch is Dan, and this is just a hunch, that you probably need to eat more meat. You will probably not be yearning for that milk if you really eat the correct amount of protein.

KARA:  It would be very satisfying.

KATE:  I don't know your size, but I'm going to just guess probably six ounces of meat at a meal.

CALLER: Yeah. I've heard you talk about four ounces. 

KATE:  For a guy it's a little more.

CALLER: Okay. Yeah. And I've got quite a bit of muscle to, you know that helps. I have though, about a month ago I have switched to the almond milk.

KARA:  Oh, good route. Yeah. That's a good replacement for

KATE:  As long as it's unsweetened almond milk.

KARA:  Just so it doesn't have the extra sugar. We actually have to take, Kate, there's another call. Dan, we're going to have to take the other callers before break, but thank you so much for calling in. We really appreciate your support.

KATE: Yes. Good questions. Laurie, you've got a question for us. Laurie, are you there?

CALLER:  I am.

KATE:  We can take your question.

CALLER: Okay. I have an eight month old grandson who was, for the most part, being nursed by his mom and now starting to supplement with real food and formula, but he has had ongoing coughs and colds ever since he started daycare at three months. And so I've talked to my daughter, I did the Weight & Wellness Way and I said I think we need to get him on bifido, but I don't know how much that she should give him or that. So I was just calling for guidance on that.

KARA: Wonderful question. I actually gave my daughter bifido when she was an infant as well. I think that there's a couple ways to give the bifido. And I'm sorry, did you, I missed the first part, did you say nursing or formula?

CALLER:  She's nursing, but at daycare they do do some formula. And he now he's just starting with, you know, the foods like sweet potatoes, squash, avocado, that kind of stuff.

KARA: Those are wonderful first foods, good for her.

CALLER:  Do you want a really good job with all that but we just can't seem to get him so he's healthy. He is always coughing or pinkeye.

KARA: It's tough with daycare. It really is. Bifido will really improve the immune system of everyone, but especially in the little ones. So I would recommend a little bit of the bifido powder. So we carry a Bifido Powder, that's the easiest one for her to get. Um, you know, sometimes you know, you can be put right on the nipple for nursing. Also dip the pinky right in the powder and put it in the baby's mouth. That's another way. The third way is to actually put in the bottle and whether it's a bottle of formula or breast milk or really a bottle of a little bit of water, all of those options would be fine.

KATE: How many times a day?

KARA: An eighth of a teaspoon approximately three times a day.


KARA: Yeah. And you kind of have to estimate if you're dipping the pinky in, but that would be a good amount if it were measured.

CALLER:  So if mom is nursing, should mom take be taking bifido as well?

KARA:  Yes, that would be, definitely. Doesn't hurt for mom to take it and then the baby's going to get even more through mom. So we kind of cover all those bases. So thank you so much for your call. All right, well we have to go to break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and let's face it, it's the holidays. It's more difficult to stay away from the sweets this time of year. So here's just a couple of tricks that I do to avoid getting caught in the sugar trap. I make up a batch of deviled eggs, so I always have a grab and go protein and healthy fat. Another trick that I do to stay ahead of my hunger is always have several deli meat rollups made up ahead of time, so again, I have protein snacks to grab and go.

KATE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Changing your eating habits is often one of the most difficult behavior changes to make. We understand it and it takes a combination of education, you got to know what you need to do. It takes a lot of support from a qualified counselor and commitment on your part to actually make the changes. It takes ongoing encouragement to stay the course and sometimes that's in the form of a class or more consultations. As nutrition counselors and educators, this is the service we provide and boy do we love it because we get to see people change. Let us help you change your eating habits to support your brain health. You can book an appointment by calling our office at 651-699-3438.

KARA:   Looks like we have a caller.

KATE:  Yes. So Rita, you've got a question for us today? Are you still on the line Rita?

CALLER:   Hi. I am going to try and get through this. I have a daughter who's 23. She started having what they called vasovagal syncope at 16. She was in the shower one morning at 6:00 and she said she feel herself passing out but she couldn't call my name and we have a ceramic tub and she fell and she looked like she was having a seizure and I thought I was gonna lose her. She's been now to Mayo, she's been everywhere and they keep saying it's seizures and then some, it's not the vasovagal syncope. And when she had the seizure like effects, that was the brain rebooting itself. It usually happens before, just before, during, and just after her periods. And she has a lot of anxiety. And so they said, well maybe it's based on anxiety. Now she has them and she's going for her RN she is an LPN right now. And she says, I just feel like my life is over, and they've got her on Keppra and she had a worse seizure. When she had these seizures she would just pass out and then she was kind of in dreamy stage and she had a really bad headache when she came out of it. With this last one she, they say a regular seizure they can wet themselves and that's the kind she had, but she never had it until she was on that Keppra. And then they're switching over to another one.

KATE: What is Keppra? I'm not familiar with Keppra.

CALLER: It's a seizure medicine. A regular one that they use. And then she had another one in her sleep and my fear is, every mother's fear is what if she gets sick in her sleep and what she, I heard of an actress that had those kinds of seizures and she passed away because she got sick and she threw up and she choked.

KARA: Sorry to hear about that.

KATE:  So sorry.

CALLER:  So I'm listening to you and I'm thinking maybe this is a diet thing.

KATE:  Well there might be a component there. And it seems to me this situation is very specific and sort of complex that an individual consultation would be in order. It would be hard for us to answer anything over the phone here, but I'm very sorry for what has been occurring in. I can only imagine how much fear and anxiety you experience.

SHELBY: How stressful that must be.

KATE: There is a little. I was going to say something about hormones. Sometimes estrogen blocks serotonin. So, you know, there might be something going on there, but it seems to me you've received a lot of good medical help but you might need just an adjunct to that, some nutritional consultation to help her at least to help her know how to keep her blood sugars balanced and how to eat well. So that's not the cause of these seizures.

SHELBY: Absolutely. And we're going to be talking more about some foods that you know, would be helpful for anyone but especially talking about kind of controlling that blood sugar and helping with any of any of the anxiety that may or may not be contributing to the stress of that.

KATE: Thank you for your call. I hope you can give one of us a call and set up a consultation for your daughter. Thank you.  So before we went to break and took our phone call, we were talking about The Happiness Diet and this is a great book that we've been been reviewing and part of what they're stressing is very much what we stress. We know for good brain function, you need to reduce the sugar. You've got to stop eating those refined oils and trans fats that are so often found in processed foods. So what should we eat for good focus?

KARA: Well, so of course the authors of the book, I mean, they're very much in alignment with our philosophy and of course they're also going to recommend healthy fats in place of those unhealthy refined oils. Just a couple of reasons for that, every cell in our body has a fatty membrane, it is made up of fat. Specifically our brain is 60 percent fat. So a low fat diet, the authors actually say it's absurd to be had a low fat diet and we agree. We need to search out, of course the best possible fats. Not all fats are the same. So Kate and Shelby are going to talk a little bit more about that.

SHELBY: Yeah, absolutely. And before we get to the fats, we're going to talk about some of the other foods that the authors of The Happiness Diet recommend.  So things like free range eggs and grass fed beef. So why would we want to eat free range eggs and grass fed beef?

KATE: Full of those B vitamins and that tryptophan. Eggs also contains some vitamin D, which we know is so important for mood and brain.

SHELBY: What about Brussels sprouts? One of my personal favorites.

KATE: That indole-3-carbinol that ingredient in those cruciferous vegetables. It helps to activate your immune system, but it also fights cancer cells, so it's protective.

SHELBY: Detoxifying. What about grapefruit and lemons?

KATE:  Funny, but they a block an enzyme in the brain just like medications for Alzheimer's, do.

SHELBY:  Yup. We also talk about berries and those healthy fats like butter and olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and even heavy cream.

KARA: The authors of The Happiness Diet recommend the following top five good mood foods.  The first one is wild salmon and shrimp. And we know that those are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that will support our brain. How about cherry tomatoes? Number two and watermelon, you know, the red contains the lycopene. Well, it looks like we are out of time. The Happiness Diet is such a great book to pick up. We have so much more information that we didn't have time to share with you today, but thank you for listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you found this interesting, please share it with a friend or family. And our message each week is how eating real food supports your health. So be sure to tune in next week, it's going to be Brenna and Cassie talking about what we call Eating The Weight & Wellness Way. Thank you so much for tuning in and have a wonderful weekend.

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