If you tuned in to my interview with Dr. David Pelmutter on the Anxiety Summit 5: Gut-Brain Axis you may recall us talking about his new book Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness (written with his son Dr. Austin Perlmutter).
He shared this in our summit interview: “I think technology can be either our most wonderful servant or a really disastrous master. It’s all in how we mindfully use technology.”
I have the pleasure of sharing another interview where we take a deeper dive into this topic and he shares additional information about this new book, which was just published.
This book builds from a simple premise: “Our brain’s performance is being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before. At the same time, we feel disconnected from ourselves, from others, and from the world at large.
Dr Perlmutter shares wonderful insights from the book:
- Disconnection syndrome (and loneliness) and how our decision-making abilities have been compromised
- Hi-tech hijack and some alarming stats on internet addiction: it’s around 6 percent and translates to more than a quarter of a billion people. Keep in mind internet addiction is “any online-related compulsive behavior that interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and the ability to be productive at work”
- Structural changes that are seen in the brain when we are addicted
- How we can set boundaries and his tool called T.I.M.E. “When approaching your use of technology, especially when it comes to digital media and communication, you need make sure your activities are making good use of T.I.M.E. (Time restricted, Intentional, Mindful and Enriching)
One of my favorite parts of the book is the chapter on nature:“Spending time in nature is one of the easiest things you can do to stay healthy and happy —you just need to step outside.”
He shares how: “Americans spend a remarkable 87 percent of their days indoors and another 6 percent in their cars” and we go into the health benefits of forest bathing and indoor plants. As he mentions, we know we feel good when we’re in nature, but they wanted to gather all the research supporting just what the health benefits are. I loved geeking over all the studies!
I can’t be anywhere indoors unless I can see outside and I just love this study: “View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery.”
We didn’t have time to go into other equally valuable chapters in the book on food, sleep, exercise, and quiet time but they are foundational especially if you are just starting your healing journey. If you’ve been following my work for awhile these chapters are a great reminder for us.
There is also a 10-day brain wash plan, together with a meal plan and recipes to guide you through the process.
Dr. Perlmutter shared his personal favorite recipe – the Jicama Slaw (with all those prebiotics for a good microbiome and reducing inflammation). He gave me permission to share the Cauliflower Pancakes recipe with you. Enjoy!
Serves 4, Time required: About 25 minutes
Although these pancakes make a terrific breakfast or brunch dish, they are also a wonderful side dish for grilled meats, poultry, and/or fish. The turmeric adds great color as well as a slightly tannic yet sweet flavor.
1 pound organic cauliflower florets, including stems
1 small organic white onion, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon grated organic garlic
1/2 teaspoon organic ground turmeric
3 large eggs from pasture-raised chickens, at room temperature, lightly beaten
Fine sea salt and freshly ground organic black pepper to taste
1/3 cup organic ghee from grass-fed animals
1/2 cup chopped organic scallion greens
1 cup full-fat organic sour cream from grass-fed cows (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven.
Using a handheld box grater, grate the cauliflower through the medium holes. Transfer the grated cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
Add the onion, garlic, and turmeric and toss to blend.
Add the eggs and season with sea salt and pepper, stirring to combine completely. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blossom.
Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat. Spoon in enough of the cauliflower mixture to make a flat cake about 3 inches in diameter. Continue making cakes without crowding the pan.
Using the back of a metal spatula, flatten the cakes slightly, but allow them to get no larger than 4 inches in diameter.
Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and the pancakes have firmed enough to turn easily. Lower the heat if they are browning too quickly.
Using the spatula – a fish spatula is a great tool for this – carefully turn the pancakes and fry for an additional 4 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. If you flip them too quickly, they will fall apart.
As each one is cooked, place it on the cookie sheet in the oven and continue making cakes until all the batter has been used.
When ready to serve, place the pancakes on a platter, sprinkle with sea salt and scallion greens, and serve with sour cream on the side if desired.
Here is the official blurb for the book:
Dr. David Perlmutter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain, and Dr. Austin Perlmutter, his son, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing.
Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can immerse ourselves in the vast, enticing world of digital media. We can buy goods and services for rapid delivery with our fingertips or voice commands. But living in this 24/7 hyper-reality poses serious risks to our physical and mental states, our connections to others, and even to the world at large.
Brain Wash builds from a simple premise: Our brains are being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before.
Based on the latest science, the book identifies the mental hijacking that undermines each and every one of us, and presents the tools necessary to think more clearly, make better decisions, strengthen bonds with others, and develop healthier habits. Featuring a 10-day bootcamp program, including a meal plan and 40 delicious original recipes, Brain Wash is the key to cultivating a more purposeful and fulfilling life.
Do share what insights you’ve gained from this interview and review (and other gems once you’ve read the book).
I’d also love to hear your favorite way to enjoy nature. For me, some of my many favorites are a hike or mountain bike ride, a day at the beach catching waves and wriggling my toes in the sand, and visiting new places with lovely natural scenery.