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.
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!