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Hippocrates’ famous phrase “First do no harm” is one of the earliest mantras for doctors when it comes to their method treating patients. Yet so many modern psychiatrists’ approach throws this rule out the window and instead jumps straight to prescribing medications which are often unhelpful, addictive, and even potentially dangerous. Why is this meds-first approach so common? In this episode, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss the importance of always starting with the least toxic, most effective treatments when it comes to treating brain and mental health issues.
For more info on The End of Mental Illness live class and challenge, visit https://endofmentalillness.com/brainhealthchallenge/
Daniel Amen, MD:
Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel. Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Dr Daniel Amen: hi, this is Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I’m Tana Amen.
Dr Daniel Amen: We’re so excited you’re with us. For this week’s series, what we’re doing is we’re playing the live class from the end of mental illness.
Tana Amen: We wanted you to join us on this journey because we had such a good time in our class, and the people who joined us had just saw such incredible transformation that we wanted to share the challenge with our tribe. So we wanted to share this with you, and we hope that you will join us in the challenge.
Dr Daniel Amen: Hey everybody. I’m so excited you are with me. People from Australia and Montana and South Carolina and Canada, Texas. Wow. Unfortunately, you just have me tonight because Tana is off with our daughter Chloe. Chloe’s working. We have a lot to go through, and I am just thrilled you’re here. We’re already getting stories of how this has changed people’s lives.
Dr Daniel Amen: I got an email from Ruth Ellen who has listened to a couple of our books, joined Brain Fit Life, and I just loved reading her email. She said, “This email is to shout from the top of the world that I found my reason that will go on my one page miracle. I love my 30 something daughter, son-in-law, and my three grandkids. They eat terrible in the evil rulers world,” love that, “but they are adults and I cannot tell them what to do.”
Dr Daniel Amen: “I’m telling you I have that same problem, but I can lead by example. This is my reason. This is my hope that I will get better, and that will inspire good health in my kids. I believe that if I live the brain healthy life, then this has a chance to inspire my kids and maybe even my siblings, much like Dr. Amen and his father. Thank you from the bottom, top and middle,” love that, “of my heart. Just being able to discuss the brain healthy life with my daughter, granddaughter, who’s almost 11, and my sister has brought us closer together. This is an added bonus. So I am grateful.” Make sure to leave testimonials. So now we’ve been at this three weeks. You’ve had 21 days of the End of Mental Illness Brain Health Revolution Challenge. Some of you I know are feeling better. We’ve had over 18,000 people watch session one, almost 9,000 people with session two, 7,000 people with last week. This week we want more, so I want you to invite your friends.
Dr Daniel Amen: Today we’re going to talk about food because there’s a chapter, I actually got just two days ago, the hard copy of The Dnd of Mental Illness. So excited, so excited. The book’s doing really well on Amazon. Oh, it’s number one new release in posttraumatic stress disorder, also in emotional self-help, so please, if you haven’t pre-ordered the book, go to endofmentalillness.com, download all the gifts we have for you, the 10 day brain boost. You can watch six of my public television shows. You’ll get that download. There’s also a 50% off coupon to BrainMD, our supplement company. You might go, “Why does Dr. Amen have a supplement company?” Because we want to provide the products, supplements, food like brain healthy chocolate, the products and services, Amen Clinics, to have a better brain and a better life.
Dr Daniel Amen: All right, they’re telling me I need to get to the slides. Step number four, so this is week number four. First, do no harm. Use the least toxic, most effective treatments. I don’t want you to ever start something that will be hard to stop. This is why if you need pain medication for a procedure, you want to stop that as soon as you possibly can. You want to switch over to Tylenol or Advil and get off the opiates as soon as you can. But most people don’t know with psychiatric meds that when you start them, they’re often hard to stop. Medications for whatever health challenge you have should never be the first and only thing you do. I always want my patients thinking skills, not just pills. So tonight we’re going to talk about nutrition and nutraceuticals, which are basically supplements that actually have a pharmaceutical effect on the brain.
Dr Daniel Amen: It’s just one of our great stories. Angie, who was actually doing Jenny Craig when she was eight years old, so struggled with her weight from a very young age. She lacked focus and follow through, migraines, rosacea with this redness on her face, dizziness, ovarian cysts, digestive issues, brain fog. She said she was ruled by anxiety and depression. She also had problems with infertility.
Dr Daniel Amen: A year later, Tana coached her. She said, “Thank you for changing my life. Your story inspired my journey. Your support throughout this kept me going.” So she lost 103 pounds in 14 months. No digestive issues, no cysts. So who would have known? Better confidence, a clear mind, no migraines, control over her mood. She’s strong, not sick, and able to forgive her mother. Just such a powerful story. We want your stories, and stories are going to be what drives who wins the Brain Health Revolution Challenge.
Dr Daniel Amen: So I always like to start the section on food is if you had a million dollar racehorse, so my uncle used to breed race horses and race them. Then when he died, my dad did this. He said one of the most expensive ventures he’d ever been involved in, but if you had a million dollar racehorse, would you ever feed it junk food? Only if you were an idiot. Think about that. You have this incredible animal that you want to really, it’s an athlete. The animal is an athlete. Would you ever feed it junk food that increases inflammation, that increases brain fog? Only if you were an idiot. But aren’t you worth so much more?
Dr Daniel Amen: Before electric cars, I’d always asked my kiddo patients, I’d like, “Hey, what’s your favorite car?” And they’d go, “A Maserati or a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.” I’m like, “Would you ever put salt in the gas tank?” And they go, “No.” And I’m like, “Why?” “Well, that would hurt it. That would hurt something special I love.” “Well, then why would you ever put bad food in your body because you’re worth way more, fact it’s your brain that gets you to buy the Lamborghini or the Maserati or the Ferrari.”
Dr Daniel Amen: So this is not about deprivation. It’s about putting the fuel in your body to make it work right. Tana and I went to Northern California to plant BrainHealth in one of the oldest drug treatment programs in California. It is in Monterey, and so we decided to take a little vacation and go on 17 mile drive. It’s near there. It was just stunningly beautiful, and I came along this sign that said, “Please don’t feed the animals. Bread and snacks are unhealthy for squirrels, deer, and birds.” I wanted to write in “and people”. “Handouts can lead to malnutrition and starvation. These animals need their natural diets, let them find their own food.” I was just like, it just struck me as odd that we feed our children, like Happy Meals are not happy. They make you sad and overweight and inflamed, and we just need to be more thoughtful.
Dr Daniel Amen: So let’s create some simple food roles. This is Chloe who’s working today. High quality calories. Calories matter, but it also matters the quality of those calories. So 400 calories from Twinkies or Oreos are not the same thing as the salmon salad. So you want to watch your calories because if you eat too much you will become overweight. But more importantly than the amount, amount matters, more importantly is the quality of your calories. If you’re overweight, you struggle with your weight, and I come from people that are fat, I just do. I really, I keep my calories at about 1800 a day, and when I start to gain a few pounds, cause I’m traveling or I’m not quite as conscious, I actually have an app on my phone. I just do it in the notes section. I write down everything I eat, and I write the calories. I weigh and measure things if I don’t know what they are.
Tana Amen: If you’re enjoying the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll always know when there’s a new episode. While you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating as that helps others find the podcast.
Daniel Amen, MD: If you’re considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code podcast 10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com or a 10% discount on all supplements at brainmdhealth.com. For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.