How to Use Nutritional Psychiatry to Boost Your Mental Health – Align with Aaron Alexander

A few weeks ago I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with my new friend Aaron Alexander for an interview for the Align podcast. It was definitely a unique experience as we recorded in his rather small backyard sauna for the entirety of the episode (no joke). 

Heat my brain up this much…and it got a little weird. We covered everything from brain parasites to the bugs in our gut, re-entering the post-pandemic landscape, and modern masculinity – among other things. Aaron and I laughed a lot while recording this and I hope you do too!. 

You can listen to it on Apple or Spotify.  


  • [03:45] How I decided upon a 6 week program 
  • [07:55] The reason healthcare workers are depressed
  • [15:22] Nature’s connection to our microbiome
  • [22:30] How I feel about all the new testing that is out there
  • [24:08] The effects of mask wearing, social distancing and re-entry into “normal” society
  • [29:00] Aaron’s take on nutritional psychiatry and what he believes its purpose is
  • [40:45] We discuss modern masculinity in 2021
  • [51:17] What I think is going to happen in the post pandemic world
  • [58:30] Teletherapy in 2021 and how it’s different from meeting in person 
  • [01:06:15]  How much control do “these bugs” have on us


  • [15:55] “Shifting bacteria in the gut lead to shifts in cognition over time”
  • [19:31] “It’s gonna be a real interesting next 10 to 20 years as we sort out this interplay between microbiome, inflammatory systems, food and dietary pattern”
  • [22:25] “I am not so convinced that testing does anything more than says to you you’re doing a good job eating plants and bacteria or you need to do a better job at eating plants and bacteria” 
  • [56:17] “The importance of not just having therapy be a downer. Not that you want to gloss over anything but the importance of celebrating people, the importance of modeling that, of really helping people create joyfulness in self, helping them connect with other people…it’s such a key part of it (treating patients]”
  • [57:32] “Growing awareness about things like exercise and nutrition, growing awareness around where people can access mental health services, growing awareness around how treatment gets people a lot better” 
  • [01:04:04] “I build meals and recipes and food recommendations from thinking about the food groups that have the most of these (brain healthy) nutrients” 

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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