BookAuthor: Simontacchi, Carol

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Description: We already worry that our food makes us fat, dull, disease-prone, and sleepy. Now we have to worry that it also makes us crazy. According to certified clinical nutritionist Carol Simontacchi, the food industries that give us packaged, processed, artificially flavored, chemical-ridden, artificially colored, nutrient-stripped pseudo foods such as sodas, processed soups, sugared cereals, and fiberless bread “wantonly destroy our bodies and our brains, all in the name of profit.” We Americans (adults and children) eat 200 pounds of sugar and artificial sweeteners each year. Our children’s test scores and grades drop. We become violent, illogical, moody, depressed, drug-addicted, and crazy. The reason, according to the author, who is pursuing a doctorate in brain nutrition, is that we’re starving our brains with lack of nutrition.

This isn’t a process that begins when teenagers start snacking on sodas, chips, and ice cream. Rather, this nutrition deprivation starts in the womb: mom doesn’t get the right nutrition (essential fatty acids, high-quality protein, unrefined carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water), so baby is born already brain-nutrient deficient, says the author. Infant formulas, processed baby food, and sugared cereals exacerbate the problem through the stages of childhood, with kids not getting the nutrition their growing brains need. Simontacchi also skewers prepared foods, additives, over-processed grains, school vending machines, and fast-food chains.

This book isn’t only about children. Starbucks and its ilk get a “Crazy Maker Award” for “encouraging us to self-medicate with stimulating beverages that mask the symptoms of nervous system and adrenal exhaustion.” We adults are genuinely fatigued, but instead of getting the sleep and rest we need, we succumb to the “marketing hype of sophisticated companies that convinces us that self-medicating with an addictive substance is the answer to our energy crisis.” You may not accept all Simontacchi’s views, but once you’ve read this book, you won’t reach for a cafĂ© latte or feed your kids sugar-frosted cereal with the same complacency.