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Diet: One of the absolute best upgrades for performance and mood.

ChrisV

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So I don't know how to start this post but something on here reminded me of one of the most powerful books I ever read. There was a thread on here called "What Book (Besides TMF And Unscripted) Was Your Game Change?" that I replied to, and the response reminded me of how powerful this one book is.

The reply I got was:

I am more than half way through Mood Cure, and thanks so much. I knew it resonated for some reason. It's changed me in so many ways. I already ate well so I probably exceed what they talk about in Mood foods, but the other supplements especially the Aminos, DLPA, Tyrosine are magical and I have fixed things that I had been reading books to see what was wrong with me. I am so full of energy and my mind is racing and motivated each day. I can't thank you enough for recommending this Gem.
My original post was:


The Mood Cure - Julia Ross

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking - Richard Nisbett

If you haven't read those.. you're in the dark
I read this book in around 2012, so I really don't think of it that often anymore, but for like 12 months, I recommended this book to almost all of my friends who even had minor issues or wanted to improve performance and they always come back saying the same thing. "Holy shit, that book flipped my whole world upside down" Even if you don't have Mood issues, this book is still a must-read. If you do it's definitely a must-read. His reply reminded me of all the responses I used to get in recommending that book and helping people through mood issues:

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These were some of the replies on the blog posts people wrote:

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This post will only let me attach 10 images, so I'll continue the post below.
 

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ChrisV

ChrisV

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I post all this to convince you to read the book. It's seriously pure gold. Actually gold doesn't even describe it. It's like finding a box of diamonds:

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My story was somewhat different. I was severely depressed for like 10 years despite everything in my life going pretty well. Desperate for an answer I dug into all types of Self Help books I could get my hands on. I worked with a meditation teacher for like 6 months which helped a little, but the depression was still pretty severe. At some point I got got really pissed off and started digging into the research myself. Stuff about mood chemicals like Serotonin, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Endorphin, GABA, and it was clear I had issues with some of these. Problem was, the only solution seemed to be prescription medication. Well... I didn’t want to be on prescription meds. So after 3 months of piecing everything together I came to the conclusion that I could alter my neurochemicals with different supplements. For example L-Tryptophan (that @Walter Hay mentioned in a nether thread) is the precursor to serotonin.


This suggests that you are probably aware that turkey meat contains high levels of the amino acid L-Tryptophan, which is a good anti-depressant for circumstantial depression -- the type that is predominately the kind of depression suffered by entrepreneurs. The problem is that you would have to eat almost a whole turkey to get a therapeutic dose. I will write more on antidepressants later in this post.
It becomes a vicious circle, which is why depression should not be ignored.

As a counselor within my church, I have helped a lot of people suffering from either circumstantial depression or clinical depression, with a large number of cases sufferering from Bipolar Disorder.

For circumstantial depression, L-Tryptophan can be very effective with adequate doses, which would generally be 500mg just before bed. Taking more at bedtime can lead to having hallucinations. If depression continues, another 500mg in the morning won't cause hallucinations.

I prefer to recommend 5Hydroxytryptophan, which bypasses the digestive processes and is directly taken up in the brain. Dose is usually 100mg.

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A number of studies showed that Tryptophan (or 5-HTP) supplementation could boost neural Serotonin levels. Tyrosine boosts Dopamine, and some other things. Probably 3 days after taking the Tryptophan (along with some Omega 3 Oils) the depression lifted completely. And permanently. Could it have been a freaking nutrition problem all along?! Well that’s exactly what it was. I was neglecting certain macronutrient categories, simple as that.

Somewhere in my journey, I came across this book The Mood Cure, and it’s the book I wish I had before I spent 3 months experimenting and piecing this all crap together. The book is the most concise and comprehensive volume I’ve ever read about how nutrition relates to mood and what you can do to improve performance.

The problem is also that modern agriculture depletes nutrients from soil and leads to your food having less that adequate amounts of certain nutrients. Tryptophan is especially a problem because most animals are fed a diet meant to cheaply fatten them up without proper regard for their nutrition. For instance most beef found in your typical supermarket is grain-fed, rather than grass-fed, which is obviously the proper diet for a cow. All these things add up to a perfect storm of malnutrition, so you have to be very careful about what you eat. Anyway, the book gets into detail about all this stuff, so read it. It’s totally worth it, even if you don’t have mood issues.

I literally used to buy stacks of this book and just give them out to people who were having issues.





 

GPM

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Sounds good to me. Just added this one to my wish list!
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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And if anyone has any questions about working through the materials, I'd be more than happy to do free consultations.

Since I find her website a little difficult to navigate, so here are the questionnaires you can take:

Type 1: Low in Serotonin
Type 2: Low in Norepinephrine, Dopamine or Thyroid
Type 3: Low in GABA or Cortisol
Type 4: Low in Endorphin

And here are the actual questionnaire items:

Mood Type Questionnaire

TYPE 1: LOW IN SEROTONIN
Select any symptom that applies to you and then click submit to calculate your score.

  • Are you under a dark cloud?
  • Do you have a tendency to be negative, to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full? Do you have dark, pessimistic thoughts?
  • Do you really dislike the dark weather or have a clear-cut fall/winter depression (SAD)?
  • Are you often worried and anxious?
  • Do you have feelings of low self-esteem and lack confidence? Do you easily get to feeling self-critical and guilty?
  • Does your behavior often get a bit, or a lot, obsessive? Is it hard for you to make transitions, to be flexible? Are you a perfectionist, a neatnik, or a control freak? A computer, TV, or work addict?
  • Are you apt to be irritable, impatient, edgy, or angry?
  • Do you tend to be shy or fearful? Do you get nervous or panicky about heights, flying, enclosed spaces, public performance, spiders, snakes, bridges, crowds, leaving the house, or anything else?
  • Are you hyperactive, restless, can’t slow down or turn your brain off?
  • Have you had anxiety attacks or panic attacks (your heart races, it's hard to breathe)?
  • Do you have facial or body tics, or Tourette’s?
  • Do you get PMS or menopausal moodiness (tears, anger, depression)?
  • Do you hate hot weather?
  • Are you a night owl, or do you often find it hard to get to sleep, even though you want to?
  • Do you wake up in the night, have restless or light sleep, or wake up too early in the morning?
  • Do you routinely like to have sweet or starchy snacks, wine, or marijuana in the afternoons, evenings, or in the middle of the night (but not earlier in the day)?
  • Do you find relief from any of the above symptoms through exercise?
  • Have you had fibromyalgia (unexplained muscle pain) or TMJ (pain, tension, and grinding associated with your jaw)?
  • Have you had suicidal thoughts or plans?

TYPE 2: LOW IN NOREPINEPHRIN OR THYROID

Select any symptom that applies to you and then click submit to calculate your score.
Are you suffering from the blahs?
  • Do you often feel depressed - the flat, bored, apathetic kind?
  • Are you low on physical or mental energy? Do you feel tired a lot, have to push yourself to exercise?
  • Is your drive, enthusiasm, and motivation quota on the low side?
  • Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating?
  • Are you easily chilled? Do you have cold hands or feet?
  • Do you tend to put on weight too easily?
  • Do you feel the need to get more alert and motivated by consuming a lot of coffee or other "uppers" like sugar, diet soda, smart drinks, Adderall, meth, or cocaine?

TYPE 3: LOW IN GABA OR CORTISOL

Select any symptom that applies to you and then click submit to calculate your score.
Is stress your problem?
  • Do you often feel overworked, pressured, or deadlined?
  • Do you have trouble relaxing, loosening up, or getting to sleep?
  • Does your body tend to be stiff, uptight, tense?
  • Are you easily upset, frustrated, or snappy under stress?
  • Do you often feel overwhelmed or as though you just can't get it all done?
  • Do you feel weak or shaky at times?
  • Are you sensitive to bright light, noise, or chemical fumes? Do you need to wear dark glasses a lot?
  • Do you feel significantly worse if you skip meals or go too long without eating?
  • Do you use tobacco, alcohol, food, or drugs to relax and calm down?

TYPE 4: LOW IN ENDORPHIN

Select any symptom that applies to you and then click submit to calculate your score.
Are you too sensitive for life’s pain?
  • Do you consider yourself or do others consider you to be very sensitive? Does emotional pain, or perhaps physical pain, really get to you?
  • Do you tear up or cry easily - for instance, even during TV commercials?
  • Do you tend to avoid dealing with painful issues?
  • Do you find it hard to get over losses or get through grieving?
  • Have you been through a great deal of physical or emotional pain?
  • Do you crave pleasure, comfort, reward, enjoyment, or numbing from treats like chocolate, bread or other foods, wine, lattes, romance novels, marijuana, tobacco, or oxycontin?
Link to the site:

 

drpeppehr

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The book is decent, not to make a knock on your post but when I first read it it reminded me of walking into a GNC/Vitamin Shoppe. I decided to try L-Tyrosine and remember it worked really well for a couple days then poof, it went away.

Again not to knock on this post but if you're eating healthy, getting enough omega 3's in and you've tried supplements before this book might not do much for you.

I worked as a manager at a vitamin store just like GNC for years and tried many of the different combinations of supplements to take - I followed a long with her chart and decided to optimize my supplement regime and diet. It didn't make any crazy changes. Perhaps I was already eating healthy. No doubt though that the book would help someone that doesn't watch what they eat.
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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The book is decent, not to make a knock on your post but when I first read it it reminded me of walking into a GNC/Vitamin Shoppe. I decided to try L-Tyrosine and remember it worked really well for a couple days then poof, it went away.

Again not to knock on this post but if you're eating healthy, getting enough omega 3's in and you've tried supplements before this book might not do much for you.

I worked as a manager at a vitamin store just like GNC for years and tried many of the different combinations of supplements to take - I followed a long with her chart and decided to optimize my supplement regime and diet. It didn't make any crazy changes. Perhaps I was already eating healthy. No doubt though that the book would help someone that doesn't watch what they eat.
You're right. If your diet is really good and have done heavy supplement experimentation, you may or may not benefit. I suggest seeing how you score on the questionnaire. Also some of her science is a bit sketchy. But I'd say it's useful for the majority of people who haven't don't heavy experimentation.

Re: science - her suggestion to take GABA is a little meh. Most studies find it doesn't cross the Blood Brain Barrier in sufficient quantities to have a lot of effectiveness. I used to recommend Picamilon, which is GABA + Vitamin B, which does cross the BBB, and used to be a Russian prescription drug. It used to be available as a supplement in the US, but they banned it because it technically wasn't a dietary supplement, which imo was BS because there's no evidence it's unsafe.
 

drpeppehr

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You're right. If your diet is really good and have done heavy supplement experimentation, you may or may not benefit. I suggest seeing how you score on the questionnaire. Also some of her science is a bit sketchy. But I'd say it's useful for the majority of people who haven't don't heavy experimentation.

Re: science - her suggestion to take GABA is a little meh. Most studies find it doesn't cross the Blood Brain Barrier in sufficient quantities to have a lot of effectiveness. I used to recommend Picamilon, which is GABA + Vitamin B, which does cross the BBB, and used to be a Russian prescription drug. It used to be available as a supplement in the US, but they banned it because it technically wasn't a dietary supplement, which imo was BS because there's no evidence it's unsafe.
Definitely. Since most people don't eat properly or supplement with anything, it for sure can help a ton of people. Taking a multi vitamin, fish oil, and Vitamin D everyday for a month will help anyone feel better, guaranteed.

I used to experiment with L-Tyrosine and overall felt like it didn't do anything to me. But when I gave the remainder of my Tyrosine to my old roommate, who was prescribed Ritalin for his ADHD (but hated taking it) he just loved it. I remember he was much happier and told me he felt like he was in the flow of doing things again, which I was pumped about for him. He still takes tyrosine to this day.

Sleep is also huge, so to top off her suggestions in the book to take melatonin and 5htp, I'd say doing things like using a blue light blocker on your phone, F.lux on your laptop, and keeping your room cold all are very helpful.
 

ApparentHorizon

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Interesting new study on omega 3 supplements.

Still good, but not the miracle substance it was once made out to be.


tldr:
Get your omega 3s from actual foods rather than processed substances. Like nuts.
The fish oils are questionable at best, at reducing cardio risks.
 

guaava23

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Interesting new study on omega 3 supplements.

Still good, but not the miracle substance it was once made out to be.


tldr:
Get your omega 3s from actual foods rather than processed substances. Like nuts.
The fish oils are questionable at best, at reducing cardio risks.
I am not saying this is not all true, but when I see a statement like ""This systematic review did find moderate evidence that ALA, found in plant oils (such as rapeseed or canola oil)."

It makes me doubt the whole study. They even call these plant oils? Geez!

There is no mention of a controlled diet or anything. If someone eats McDonalds and the normal crappy American diet, there might not be any benefit to taking any supplements.

It is 100K + people, but all they were studying or mentioning on the study is heart disease, stroke, or death.

Omega 3's should lower inflammation in the body which can cause the heart disease or other issues. I'm just not convinced there is no benefit of taking Omega 3's.
 

guaava23

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You're right. If your diet is really good and have done heavy supplement experimentation, you may or may not benefit. I suggest seeing how you score on the questionnaire. Also some of her science is a bit sketchy. But I'd say it's useful for the majority of people who haven't don't heavy experimentation.

Re: science - her suggestion to take GABA is a little meh. Most studies find it doesn't cross the Blood Brain Barrier in sufficient quantities to have a lot of effectiveness. I used to recommend Picamilon, which is GABA + Vitamin B, which does cross the BBB, and used to be a Russian prescription drug. It used to be available as a supplement in the US, but they banned it because it technically wasn't a dietary supplement, which imo was BS because there's no evidence it's unsafe.
There are a lot of good points here. I just have to say that I am pretty meticulous about my diet, and found mystery issues with my focus and energy throughout the day, which I first really noticed when I would be done in a tennis match this year repeatedly and have to retire. The amino's all got me back in 2 weeks to my tennis shape and better.

I also didn't go to Europe last year, and it was the first time in about 10 years or so I haven't. I think as ChrisV said, the foods aren't as nutrient rich anymore, especially in the US. I can tell a huge difference when I go and eat in France, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Greece. Everything tastes better, and I feel a different kind of fulfilled from eating food there.

I also agree, you don't need all of the info in the mood cure. I think it might be extra beneficial for someone with mild depression or a drug habit they are trying to kick. There is some good info there.

I did get an extra side benefit that I didn't know I was a bit 'Blah' and that was lifted and motivation came with a bang after 2 weeks of Tyrosine and DLPA. I didn't need all the information, but it gave me what I was missing.

Thanks again ChrisV for the recommendation.
 

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ApparentHorizon

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I am not saying this is not all true, but when I see a statement like ""This systematic review did find moderate evidence that ALA, found in plant oils (such as rapeseed or canola oil)."

It makes me doubt the whole study. They even call these plant oils? Geez!

There is no mention of a controlled diet or anything. If someone eats McDonalds and the normal crappy American diet, there might not be any benefit to taking any supplements.

It is 100K + people, but all they were studying or mentioning on the study is heart disease, stroke, or death.

Omega 3's should lower inflammation in the body which can cause the heart disease or other issues. I'm just not convinced there is no benefit of taking Omega 3's.
Totally agree. There was another study alluding to omega 3's having the opposite effect, and increasing heart attack risks. (can't find it)

But, too much Omega 3's can have negative effects, like blood thinning. In college, I tried taking the supplements, at the lowest available does. 1000mg. And within the hour, my heart had a numbing pain. (I also have an irregularly shaped heart valve, so that may have something to do with it.) But now I eat fish 2-3 times a week, without any issues.

I also didn't go to Europe last year, and it was the first time in about 10 years or so I haven't. I think as ChrisV said, the foods aren't as nutrient rich anymore, especially in the US. I can tell a huge difference when I go and eat in France, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Greece. Everything tastes better, and I feel a different kind of fulfilled from eating food there.
Try planting your own or finding a local farmer's market.

This is from Google images, but I bet you can guess which came from where.

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I was discussing this with someone yesterday. How the cherry tomatoes we were eating had a tart taste to them. Vs the ones we were growing in our community garden. Which were sweet and rich in juices.
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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Totally agree. There was another study alluding to omega 3's having the opposite effect, and increasing heart attack risks. (can't find it)

But, too much Omega 3's can have negative effects, like blood thinning. In college, I tried taking the supplements, at the lowest available does. 1000mg. And within the hour, my heart had a numbing pain. (I also have an irregularly shaped heart valve, so that may have something to do with it.) But now I eat fish 2-3 times a week, without any issues.
As far as I remember, it had to do with the ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s. You want the right ratio or things get screwy.

 

ApparentHorizon

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As far as I remember, it had to do with the ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s. You want the right ratio or things get screwy.

Tried varying the dosage between those as well, and same thing.

I was thinking it was the vitamin A, commonly found in fish oils, since that can cause heart problems when taking too much.

 

guaava23

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Totally agree. There was another study alluding to omega 3's having the opposite effect, and increasing heart attack risks. (can't find it)

But, too much Omega 3's can have negative effects, like blood thinning. In college, I tried taking the supplements, at the lowest available does. 1000mg. And within the hour, my heart had a numbing pain. (I also have an irregularly shaped heart valve, so that may have something to do with it.) But now I eat fish 2-3 times a week, without any issues.



Try planting your own or finding a local farmer's market.

This is from Google images, but I bet you can guess which came from where.

View attachment 26437

I was discussing this with someone yesterday. How the cherry tomatoes we were eating had a tart taste to them. Vs the ones we were growing in our community garden. Which were sweet and rich in juices.
Yep, I definitely plant as much as I can as well. These are how all the tomatoes looked in Greece and Romania.
 

Matt Sun

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But, too much Omega 3's can have negative effects, like blood thinning. In college, I tried taking the supplements, at the lowest available does. 1000mg. And within the hour, my heart had a numbing pain. (I also have an irregularly shaped heart valve, so that may have something to do with it.) But now I eat fish 2-3 times a week, without any issues.
I think the problem was the omega 3 as a suplement and not in a whole food context. Many nutients work bad consumed in sinthetic or isolated way.
 

LPPC

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I have heard of the mood cure being a good book. Also the ultramind solution is a similar book that people rave about. I should read and implement them both asap.
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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I just wanted to reiterate here. While this book is great, Julia Ross is largely scientifically illiterate. The supplements are good, and some of her claims are correct, but many aren't. The important stuff is correct, just don't go citing stuff she says in biology classes. You'll look like a retard. That said, it's a very good book and can help your life tremendously.
 

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