Written by Christina Montsma, MACP (2017-2018)
How many people can claim they 1) understand the brain, 2) can translate that knowledge into layman's terms, 3) can recommend possible culinary adjustments based on an understanding of how the brain works and 4) uses his research and practices to recover? I will boldly step out and say there is likely no one else like Chef Myron Norman for whom life has given such a unique gift.
Let's get straight to it: this is why this book is a must-read for those who have sustained injuries or neurodegenerative diseases, doctors and researchers, academic programs, foodies and parents alike. We need a translator. And we also need more than just a translator.
A researcher/scientist friend of mine for a well-known healthcare giant put it plainly when she said that her work was essential to our future health, but how much is the research worth if the layperson can't even understand it?
Similarly, I have known doctors who will say that thinking like a doctor is a specialty but the ability to break it down into easy to understand and actionable language-all with empathy for the patient-is a gift.
Once the average retiree or parent understands more clearly what exactly is going on inside of them, then the next question is, "So what do I do now?" Especially when it comes to something as intricate and extraordinary as the human brain, how can we tangibly help it?
We have been learning a lot the past decade about the impact that food and a healthy lifestyle have but as Chef Myron highlights, eating healthy doesn't guarantee a healthy brain.
I applaud the many recent (and popular) literature out there that encourages healthy eating because that is a needed piece to the puzzle in arguably the unhealthiest nation on earth--the United States of America. Making healthy food both exciting and delectable is also a specialty in and of itself which health-conscious foodies and chefs seek after like buried treasure.
Now it gets real. You wake up in a hospital bed remembering car headlights and the sound of screeching metal--nothing else. Perhaps you realize that something isn't quite right with the type of memory lapses your parent has been having lately. Or the doctors finally have a name for the seizures your child has been having - but no cure. In these moments of despair, confusion and trauma, we long for a way forward. Here is what Chef Myron can offer:
After researching expansive medical jargon about the brain and turning that neuro-speak into everyday language, he then processes these explanations into what our brains need to heal. But he doesn't stop there. After that, he begins breaking down these directives into tangible, practical and most importantly - doable changes and suggestions the average person can make in his or her home. At that point, Chef Myron's service to us has just begun. Not only is he a gifted translator from research to the kitchen, but he is also walking proof of what he writes.
Chef Myron is the ultimate brain enthusiast, translator, culinary expert and beacon of hope wrapped up into one. As both a mental health professional and a direct caretaker of an individual who has suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, I have benefited on a deep level from his work and support. I am confident you will very much benefit from this book for more than one of the above roles he plays.
- Christina Montsma, MACP
Christina Montsma is a well-traveled psychological professional and health educator. Her interests and focus revolve around the intersection of International Culture and Universalities, stemming from her accomplished background in international therapy and academics. Along with successfully leading one of the world’s most recognized global business campuses in the state of California, Christina has worked with business leaders and young adults from 150+ countries and 80+ languages.
Christina’s time with family in both the farmlands of Wisconsin and the reggae hills of Jamaica have attributed to her openness and being authentically grounded. Dark chocolate will always be her favorite brain food.