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The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body Hardcover – December 6, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160529327X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605293271
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A new weight-loss plan that promises to tackle your mood as well as your waistline."— The Daily Mail

"Smart eating rules... mouthwatering meal plans."— Martha Stewart Living

"The diet trend of 2012. Designed to boost your mood — and shrink your belly."— Epicurious

"The diet that that will help you stay healthy, maintain a sharp mind, and keep those pesky blues at bay!"— Women's Health

"The big idea behind the book is simple: the same foods responsible for the epidemics of obesity and diabetes are contributing to the massive spike in mood disorders across the country." — Spark

"Turns out my fast-food diet, with all those processed chemicals and hardly any nutrients, was throwing off my body's feel-good chemistry." — Dave Zinczenko, editor-in-chief Men’s Health

"The book points out which foods lead to depression and anxiety, and it suggests antidotes such as grass-fed beef, butter, yogurt and whole milk to better your mood. By changing what you eat, say the authors, you can "stabilize your moods. You can improve your focus. You can even make your brain grow." And you thought doughnuts made you happy?!" — Time

"Thanks to the modern American diet (MAD), people are getting too many calories from sugar and refined carbohydrates (i.e., empty calories); eating the wrong kinds of fats, like too many omega 6 fats (found in cheap vegetable and seed oils like soy, corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oil); and too many trans fats, which are not only linked to heart disease but to depression." — Self magazine

"Undernourished brains, the authors say, go hand-in-hand with overweight bodies — and they back up these claims with voluminous amounts of data." — The Today Show

"The hefty cheeseburger that adorns the cover represents that book’s main theme: the all-American cheeseburger can be healthy, if all the ingredients are natural, full of nutrients, and haven’t traveled far from the farm to the plate." — Everyday Health

"The authors demonstrate, persuasively, that if you’re feeding your brain the Standard American Diet – whose eerily appropriate acronym is SAD – you’re undermining your mental health." — Vital Choice

"We know that the typical American diet — filled with processed food and added sugar — is making us fat. But it’s also making us depressed, according "The Happiness Diet," a new book that links food to feelings." — MSNBC

"The book includes food lists, shopping tips, brain-building recipes, smart slimming strategies, and other useful tools to lose weight and keep the blues at bay." — Am New York

"Full of important facts and useful information (their "Top 100 Reasons to Avoid Processed Foods" will stun even the well-informed), The Happiness Diet offers a nutritional prescription for a sharp brain, balanced mood and lean, energized body." — The Olympian

"The Happiness Diet promotes nutritionally rich organically raised meats, dairy and eggs with all the natural fats in tact."— Metro

"If you're tired of sulking in a bag of potato chips, give it a try." — The Times Union

"Everyone talks about the pursuit of happiness – who knew that what you eat has a direct effect on how you feel, how you think, and how healthy you are?"— Eat Well, Get Well

"A lively, thorough, and iron-clad case for real food. You will never eat an egg-white omelet or soy protein shake again.'"—Nina Planck, author of Real Food and Real Food for Mother and Baby

"We're used to thinking of obesity and heart disease as the consequences of our modern way of eating. The Happiness Diet reminds us of how much our brains -- and our every thought -- depend on good nutrition. Here are 100 excellent reasons for turning our backs on processed foods and a wealth of simple recipes for preparing truly happy meals."— Susan Allport, author of The Queen of Fats

"The Happiness Diet" delivers a necessary corrective to the monotonous diet of nonsense cooked up by industrialized agriculture and food fetishists alike. It distills an impressive collection of solid research into clear and readable instructions for recovering the well-being evolution intended for you."— Richard Manning, author of Against the Grain

"A great way to learn how to eat right and feel good about doing so. Happy and healthy — that's how I want to live!"— Josh Holland, celebrity trainer to Madonna

"Finally, a rock-solid, reliable, informative, and entertaining book on how to eat your way to health and happiness. Run — don’t walk — to read and adopt The Happiness Diet. This is the only diet book I’ve encountered that I can actually recommend to patients without reservation." —Bonnie Maslin, PhD, Psychologist and author of Picking your Battles

"An insightful, eye opening adventure into diet and nutrition. Concise and witty, this book kept me engaged from cover to cover. I will certainly incorporate these fundamentals into my medical practice. A must-have for anyone serious about getting happy and healthy naturally." —Andrew Morton, MD, Board-certified Family Physician; Former Medical Corps, US Navy and Army Infantry Medic, Desert Storm

"Like the weather everyone talks about diets but no one dies anything about them. This comprehensive but easily accessible book guides us to coherent and healthy eating. It will help anyone interested in how the foods we eat can keep us well. —Philip R. Muskin, MD Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University

"The authors have synthesized a compelling body of scientific literature with accessible and lucid conclusions regarding the interface of diet and vulnerability, protection and treatment of mental disorders." —Roger S. McIntyre, M.D., FRCPC, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto

About the Author

Tyler Graham reports on health and fitness for Details magazine and has held editorial positions at O, The Oprah Magazine, Prevention, and Best Life. He lives in Brooklyn.
Drew Ramsey, MD, is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, where he specializes in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are simple and delicious.
Kathryn L. Harvey
This book is amazing and will change the way you think about food.
The Happiness Diet is very informative, and easy to read.
L. Frazier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By JS on November 4, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow! What a takedown of the standard American diet, or MAD (modern American diet, as the authors put it). It makes a lot of sense that the same foods behind the obesity epidemic are responsible for so many mood disorders. I especially enjoyed the dozens of recipes -- almost as much as finding out that butter is my friend! The first half of the book is a thorough takedown of the food pyramid. It shows how government and big agri interests influenced dietary recommendations. You'll be surprised to learn about how we got sold on vegetable oil and low-fat foods. Hint: it has nothing to do with the best interests of your family's health. There's a lot fascinating stuff. For example, who knew sugar was so strongly linked to cancer? The second half of the book shows you how to eat. A lot of it isn't always surprising (duh, we're supposed to eat whole foods), but a ton of it is. Did you know that pumpkin seeds have some of the same effects as anti-depressants? And there are loads of recipes for incorporating the foods you know you should be eating more of (kale, brussels sprouts, fish) that look delicious. I highly recommend this book if you know someone who needs a dietary wake-up call. The 100 reasons not to eat processed foods will shock them straight!
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By M. Davis on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have been following the trends of wellness long enough to be a little jaded - this book not only informs in an entertaining format, it had some practical guidelines to follow. And that's where I usually get disappointed - I usually get well-informed and angry, but have nowhere to put that energy. And when I can't be perfect and count and measure everything, or I don't deny myself enough of the stuff that I'm not "supposed" to eat, I feel ashamed. And then the buffalo wings end up on my table. Here's a set of recipes I can follow, guidelines for buying ingredients, and common sense advice that isn't condescending. I'm looking forward to trying to take the lessons on these pages into my daily routines and see if I can re-program those cravings...
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Meara on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. I have to admit, I only picked it up because I had a loose connection to one of the authors and figured I would end up at a party pretending I had read it so I might as well scan some. But then, I started reading it and got hooked. It just makes sense to me. . that we spend a lot of time judging food by the basic nutritional values where we decided fats are bad, veggies are good, and well, everything else in between depends on what day of the week it is. But this notion that it matters more where the food comes from and what is IN the food than whether it is a meat, a vegetable, a fruit etc is LIBERATING! I spent two years thinking I should avoid meats and eggs and cheese and was the heaviest and most lethargic I had ever been. I find myself happier eating good food, and by good I mean fresh, preservative free, local whenever possible and this is pretty much the point of the book. It's not a license to eat whatever you want, it still talks about the importance of watching what goes into our mouths but it's a fresh look on it. Also, I like that there it's just the right blend of philosophy and science. . makes it easy to read but backs up the points with fact.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Yoder on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a medical professional and read and research A LOT about nutrition and I can find no fault in the science behind this book. There was also enough in this book that I didn't know to keep me interested and reading. I bought the kindle version, and like it enough to want the paper version so I don't ruin the kindle in the kitchen. I tried two of the recipes tonight, and they were both yummy and ridiculously simple to make. (Except, in the baked cod recipe, the ingredient list says "3 pats of butter" but the instructions only tell you when to us 1 of them...but it turned out great with just the one.) I am visiting family now, but as soon as I get home I am cleaning out my cabinets and shopping for a chest freezer. The plan is simple, easy, yet flexible. Although, I say this because I live in the Bay Area with a Whole Foods every few miles and I have a CSA. If, like many of my friends, I lived in the Midwest, it would be more difficult to find the foods recommended, but still possible to make drastic improvements in ones diet. When I lived in Indiana, it never occurred to me a cow could NOT eat corn... and I am not sure you can even buy grass-fed beef in a store there. But I am rambling. I think I want a case of these to give to all of my friends and family. Even if they never read the information, they can just pretend it is a cookbook with an exceptionally long foreword and eat better. I will revise my review after a few weeks of happily eating.

I think it makes a difference. My diet isn't 100% "Happy" but with movements in this direction for a while, and replacing my animal products to be more "happy" I feel better and my skin looks great. It was subtle, but then I went back to Indiana for a week and staying in a hotel in a rural area and ate SAD food, and I really felt it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lozie on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A diet book? Sure, I suppose it is but it's much more than that. This book is an eye opening, information packed, well written and creatively put together education on our food sources and how they effect our bodies & minds. It's more than just what to eat and why. You'll learn how well chosen 'super foods' work to nourish a sharp mind, happier outlook and a leaner body. You'll get 100 well considered reasons NOT to eat processed foods. At All. You'll begin eating less and better beef (grass fed), eggs (free range), citrus fruits (I did not know they were berries....) and you'll finally understand why organic makes a difference.
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