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THE PSYCHOBIOTIC REVOLUTION: Mood, Food and the New Science of the Gut-Brain Connection ~Scott C. Anderson with John F. Cryan, PH.D & Ted Dinan, M.D. PH.D

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

I found THE PSYCHOBIOTIC REVOLUTION to be compelling reading.  The authors have combined all the most significant information and then gleaned out the important issues that the reader needs to know in an extremely easy to read book, which becomes a real page-turner.  This short book certainly relates to “You are what you Eat!”

Not much of this material was new to me, as I have spent 40 years cooking and caring for Celiac Disease and Severe Allergies.  I already know leaky gut, and digestion issues well.  I was pleased to discover all the important information and integration of knowledge about gut microbes and how these facts can assist in anxiety and depression relief.  Add into the mix oxygen from exercise and most of us do not need Prozac or Opioids in our lives – just good healthy, organic foods.  Sugar was confirmed as feeding many of the problem organisms in our gut and our life.

“Offering microbial-based solutions for the most pressing mental and physical issues, this book is a must-read.  Brilliant, insightful, and highly readable.” (Rodney Dietert, Cornell University, author of THE HUMAN SUPERORGANISM.)

Probiotics are not all the same, and it is important to take some form everyday.  If you ever experienced C-Diff after being hospitalized, had surgery, or taken antibiotics, one soon discovers how important those good microbes are within our digestive system.

The book takes us though the gut and the journey of our food from mouth to – Oh you know where it is headed!   Then the mental health issues are discussed including the daily psychology/ microbes we need to know to feel a sense of well-being and to maintain our physical health.  Anxiety and Depression are major health problems in our busy and chaotic world.  Nearly every student I know understands the importance of microbes, smart nutrition, and gut health after periods of stress such as midterm exam week and playing in a competitive sporting event.  There are lots and lots of commercials on TV touting products to relieve gut symptoms.  This book has better descriptors, more science and more proof of how important our “gut brain” is to our health.   The book is extremely readable and of course, informative.

“Lactobacteria can act like an opioid and cannabinoid receptors of the brain-like a shot of morphine.” (p56)

This book made me consider the question: Is the American Diet truly keeping us dull, dumb, anxious, diseased, and depressed as a form of control?

Rob Knight author of FOLLOW YOUR GUT says, “Up-to-the-minute research and practical advice on the gut-brain axis – perhaps the most exciting area of science today”

About the authors
Scott C Anderson is a veteran science journalist with a specialization in medical topic and computer programming.

John F. Cryan, a neuroscientist, and Ted Dinan a psychiatrist, are professors at University College Cork, Ireland, and principal investigators with the APC Microbiome Institute, world renowned for research on the micro-biome in health and disease.

Sugar Crush
The Mind Gut Connection
Healing and Prevention Through Nutrition

CUCKOO’S CALLING: A Cormoran Strike Mystery (book I) ~Robert Galbraith

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

“It’s a psychological term.  The Johari window.  It’s all to do with how well we know ourselves, and how well other people know us.”  (Kindle page 360 of 550)

CUCKOO’S CALLING is a book group book that is from my personal library and it was just great fun to read.  A second Cormoran Strike Mystery will be released in June of this year and I think I will put it on my list, just because the writing is so good and this book was full of intelligent words and ideas and it did not feel like a 50-minute television drama at race speed.

Cormoran Strike is a great character who has been released from the military after losing his one leg in the war in Afghanistan.  He is working his own Private Investigation firm but is down to one client and struggling to procure clients.  He is overwhelmed and in walks a new temporary office manager, Robin, who proves her worth within the first hour persuading a new client to use the service.  Robin snags this new client who can pre-pay for his assignment and Strike is off and figuring out if a fashion model committed suicide or was pushed off the balcony of her apartment.  The reader is right in the middle of fashion shoots, the contemporary music scene, temperamental movie directors, and the very distinctive world of the wealthy in London.

Can one succeed as a PI taking the public transportation system and working day by day on a limited budget?   Robin is smart and thoughtful and job hunting for a permanent position, will he be able to keep her on or have to let her go?  Strike’s fiancé makes matters worse by kicking him out of the apartment they share and breaking up.  Can a PI live on containers of Pot Noodles, sleep on a camp cot, and spend his nights in the office undetected?  Can he get the answers he needs from the world of high fashion design and the drug and alcohol imbibing young people who work in this area?

I would recommend this book to all who enjoy good writing, intelligent writing, or people who enjoy a story that is not a formula story.  I would highly recommend this book to those who love mystery, suspense reading.   Although, I figured out the answer to the main question of the story very early on, the other sub-themes were very interesting to explore and probe and just as it was getting very interesting the twists were fabulous and diverting and I doubted my conclusion.  CUCKOO’S CALLING is a very good read, top – notch story telling and inspired me to think about reading the new book out in June.

Thank you LIZ for picking this read for our group to share and enjoy.  Good winter escape read and very entertaining.

About the Author:

“Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry potter series and THE CASUAL VACANCY.” (from the Kindle cover)

In Doubt
Accidents of Marriage
The Fixer 

SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri Ramprasad

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

SHADOWS IN THE SUN is a memoir about depression and the stigmas of mental illness in a bi- cultural setting.  It is a book from the HAZELDEN Publishers, “a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction.  Through published works, Hazelden extends the reach of hope, encouragement, help and support to individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction and related issues.”

Gayathri (guy – a – three) Ramprasad is a very intelligent woman, who has chosen to be open and candid about her healing from the depths of depression and attempts at suicide journey with the writing of this book. She is currently an Advocate for Mental Health diseases in the USA, India, and internationally.  Ramprasad’s words invite the reader into the lovely family traditions and celebrations of her roots in India. She shares with us the dynamic worldviews of her father, who wants to live in the USA and the religious, spiritual depths of her mother’s traditional views.  They are a careful middle class family, who value education and success.  Ramprasad has 2 siblings who share her world; as a family they are quite open to new ideas, mini-skirts, Western concepts and lessons in English.  When her grandfather dies, her family moves out of the family compound and begins a new life venture, which will hopefully align them with a life in the United States. Ramprasad’s culture is not open to Mental Illness and it is a shame which can ruin a family and their status within the community.

The first signs of Depression begin to appear when Gayathri has failed a pre-university class and she is devastated by the doors that will close to her and the shame she brings upon her family.  She had wanted to be a doctor and find more love and approval from her parents with such an honorable choice.  That opportunity was now closed to her and her response involved a great sadness, downward spiraling thinking, and vomiting. As it turned out, that failure was not the case and a trick had been played; still the stage was set.

SHADOWS IN THE SUN describes the author’s arranged marriage and her move to Oregon, where her new, handsome husband is very successful in the computer world.  Gayathri does very well in her new life in a lovely apartment with a good kitchen for all her cooking wants and needs.  After the birth of her daughter, she experiences a severe post-partum depression which in turn introduces her to Western ideas about Mental Illness and she, with great effort, benefits from her experiences and is able to cope and move forward with her life, until a second pregnancy brings her fully downward into a place of attempting suicide.   Although she learns a great deal from this experience and her recovery from several episodes of severe problems (particularly when she returns to India to visit her family) she begins to piece together a holistic approach which combines her roots and traditions with her own independence and resolve; she arrives at a place where for three weeks of the month she can have a “normal” life.

Gayathri Ramprasad has received another degree to add to her credentials and a number of awards for her work in Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy, for her public speaking efforts. She is a recipient of the prestigious Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement.  She makes her home in Portland, Oregon and her words give hope to the millions of people who suffer from Mental Diseases.

“It is said in the Upanishads, the ancient Hindu Scriptures, ’You are what your deepest desire is.  As you desire, so is your intention.  As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed.  As your deed is, so is your destiny.’”

tlc logo I received a copy of this book from TLC online book tours for review and it was a privilege to read this memoir and have the opportunity to share it with my readers.  I am quite sure that nearly everyone I know or who reads this blog knows someone who might benefit from  – SHADOWS IN THE SUN.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you!

Mind Without a Home
The Isolation Door
My Stroke of Insight
The Myths of Happiness