Michael Ellsberg: Changing His Diet and Changing His Life

Michael Ellsberg, renowned journalist and author of The Education of Millionaires, was struggling with bipolar II from 2000-2007. When scores of medication didn’t stop his depression and suicidal tendencies, Ellsberg took his life back by quitting coffee, refined sugar, and alcohol for a year. It was this simple dietary change, not countless medications, that allowed Ellsberg Here is an except from his yearlong challenge:

The first two weeks of the quest were hell. The alcohol wasn’t that hard—I had been a mostly well-behaved social drinker throughout my twenties—but the coffee and sugar got to me. All I could think about was coffee and sugar. Coffee sugar coffee sugar coffee sugar. It was like being extremely horny, except for coffee and sugar instead of sex. Coffee sugar coffee sugar coffee sugar—thoughts on instant replay in my mind 24/7, even in my dreams. Headaches, fatigue, depression, haze. I almost gave up the challenge on several occasions during that first two weeks.

But I knew this was something I had to do, if I wanted to stay alive.

One morning, two weeks into the challenge, I woke up. The haze in my mind had lifted. It was a clear, crisp, brilliant sunny day in my mind—the first such day of sunny internal weather for years.

Read the full article.

While this story isn’t a success story about someone going primal and changing their life, it certainly has similar elements and gets us thinking about the power things as simple as coffee, sugar, and alcohol have over our brains. It is certainly worth a read!

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About Chuck Grimmett

Web consultant, photographer, and problem solver. I also cook a lot and am learning to make data visualizations.
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3 Responses to Michael Ellsberg: Changing His Diet and Changing His Life

  1. Jim Purdy says:

    Cut out coffee? Check. I almost never drink coffee. Maybe once a year.
    Cut out sugar? Check. I never add sugar to anything, and I try to avoid sugary foods.
    Cut out alcohol? Check. I haven’t had any alcohol in decades.

    But … what about my beloved Lipton diet green tea sweetened with aspartame? I’m not bipolar or depressed, but the thought of giving up my diet green tea is awfully depressing.

    • caila says:

      Aspartame is made by monsanto and it’s poison and it definitely causes a reaction. Stop consuming it. When your body has ‘reset’ when it comes to consuming sugar, then start using coconut sugar or agave.

  2. Scott Ewing says:

    “The haze in my mind had lifted. It was a clear, crisp, brilliant sunny day in my mind—the first such day of sunny internal weather for years.” Love it…

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