Dr. Al’s Antidepressant Culinary Regimen


Back in the day, I was given a copy of Freud’s Own Cookbook published by Hillman in 1985. Such recipes as Fettuccine Libido, Erogenous Scones and Interpretation of Creams were designed to improve mood through levity. But they were actually serious recipes as was Luncheon Interruptus. Only Freud has had the courage to define the matzoh-ball for what it is – ”the ego in the midst of the primal broth.”

Now as far as the psychotropic effect of nutrition goes there is indeed a biochemical basis and it has to do with serotonin, the neuro amine too little of which upstairs forms the bio-substrate for depression. The precursor happens to be L-tryptophan. So it might make sense to add this to the diet to boost antidepressant response.

Now way back in the 80’s I was a big fan of an antidepressant called Parnate classed as an MAO inhibitor. Not only did it block serotonin synapse re-uptake but also acted like an amphetamine. So in a week or so after months of despair you would have an 80% chance of doing head stands and cartwheels. Add a gram of L tryptophan onto that and you might be insufferably euphoric. The problem was pizza and red wine. (Two of the four major food groups, alongside fries and maple glazed donuts).

Death from a stroke was a distinct possibility. Life without pizza (especially with bacon) and wine was one of meaningless despair. Furthermore if stroke wasn’t enough there was always serotonin syndrome with confusion, diarrhea and death. Not a good outcome.

However there is not enough tryptophan in foods to cause much trouble and here is a list of foods rich in this mood elevating amino acid: turkey, cheese, milk, shrimp, spinach, pineapple and brown rice. Oh and red wine. Now a glass or two of red wine (add antioxidant effect) won’t be much problem even if you are on antidepressants apart from sleepiness and it will raise serotonin and endorphin levels.

So Dr Al’s antidepressant prescription is Turkey Florentine served on a bed of brown rice.

Add to that a side order of a serious comfort food like shrimp fettuccine.
Serve with reservatrol rich (cholesterol busting) Cabernet (2 glasses) and pineapple upside down cake for dessert.

If all this doesn’t work ECT is the only available option:)


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