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Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness

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Dr. David Perlmutter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain, and Dr. Austin Perlmutter, his son, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing. Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can Dr. David Perlmutter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain, and Dr. Austin Perlmutter, his son, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing. Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can immerse ourselves in the vast, enticing world of digital media. We can buy goods and services for rapid delivery with our fingertips or voice commands. But living in this 24/7 hyper-reality poses serious risks to our physical and mental states, our connections to others, and even to the world at large. Brain Wash builds from a simple premise: Our brains are being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before. Based on the latest science, the book identifies the mental hijacking that undermines each and every one of us, and presents the tools necessary to think more clearly, make better decisions, strengthen bonds with others, and develop healthier habits. Featuring a 10-day bootcamp program, including a meal plan and 40 delicious original recipes, Brain Wash is the key to cultivating a more purposeful and fulfilling life.


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Dr. David Perlmutter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain, and Dr. Austin Perlmutter, his son, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing. Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can Dr. David Perlmutter, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grain Brain, and Dr. Austin Perlmutter, his son, explore how modern culture threatens to rewire our brains and damage our health, offering a practical plan for healing. Contemporary life provides us with infinite opportunities, along with endless temptations. We can eat whatever we want, whenever we want. We can immerse ourselves in the vast, enticing world of digital media. We can buy goods and services for rapid delivery with our fingertips or voice commands. But living in this 24/7 hyper-reality poses serious risks to our physical and mental states, our connections to others, and even to the world at large. Brain Wash builds from a simple premise: Our brains are being gravely manipulated, resulting in behaviors that leave us more lonely, anxious, depressed, distrustful, illness-prone, and overweight than ever before. Based on the latest science, the book identifies the mental hijacking that undermines each and every one of us, and presents the tools necessary to think more clearly, make better decisions, strengthen bonds with others, and develop healthier habits. Featuring a 10-day bootcamp program, including a meal plan and 40 delicious original recipes, Brain Wash is the key to cultivating a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

30 review for Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alix

    While the book puts forward an interesting hypothesis, and is well laid out (and hypnotically read in the audiobook version), it should be taken with a big ol' handful of salt. David Perlmutter is an author whose work has been heavily criticised by those in the medical field. A good summary of his credentials (or lack thereof) can be found here: https://www.thecut.com/2015/06/proble... (As someone who has studied Archaeology/Ancient History, I take particular umbradge with claim that agriculture While the book puts forward an interesting hypothesis, and is well laid out (and hypnotically read in the audiobook version), it should be taken with a big ol' handful of salt. David Perlmutter is an author whose work has been heavily criticised by those in the medical field. A good summary of his credentials (or lack thereof) can be found here: https://www.thecut.com/2015/06/proble... (As someone who has studied Archaeology/Ancient History, I take particular umbradge with claim that agriculture is the worst thing to happen to humans!) It is always worthwhile assessing the scientific validity of anything like this that claims to "heal" you in some way. I did find parts of the book interesting, and I do think it has overall got some good points to make about healthy diet and exercise, meditation and avoiding screens as a route to a happier life, but this isn't a particularly ground breaking statement. I appreciated the 10 programme at the end, and felt it was well laid out.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Benny Sperling

    Less new information than I expected. Feels like they forced a book out just to stay notable Less “new” information than I expected. Feels like they forced a book out just to stay notable

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Jacobs

    Incredibly informative look at how modern living has impacted our brain, relationships, happiness, and so much more. Few books on this subject matter have tackled this subject from this position of expertise before, and this book has been a long time coming. An important read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kimmie

    This book kind of felt that it was written as a guide for an alien coming to earth and figuring out how to blend in. The chapters devoted to neurology were interesting, however the tips were so incredibly generic it was almost comical. Go outside, eat a healthy meal with a friend, be mindful, get enough sleep, limit screen time... it was almost insulting. Anyone picking this book up to read would certainly already know these tips, they're intuitive. Overall, would only recommend the first half This book kind of felt that it was written as a guide for an alien coming to earth and figuring out how to blend in. The chapters devoted to neurology were interesting, however the tips were so incredibly generic it was almost comical. Go outside, eat a healthy meal with a friend, be mindful, get enough sleep, limit screen time... it was almost insulting. Anyone picking this book up to read would certainly already know these tips, they're intuitive. Overall, would only recommend the first half of the book, the second part of the book is silly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Luis

    My wife and I laid eyes on this book while walking through a bookstore and I knew we had to read it. We had been discussing changing mindsets and cleaner living and Brain Wash lays out a plan for accomplishing that and reasons why it is important. It is a pretty fast read as a good deal of the book are recipes for accomplishing the health eating aspect of this book. The book itself is pretty good and lays out many of the mistakes we as humans are making in our daily habits and ways we can fix My wife and I laid eyes on this book while walking through a bookstore and I knew we had to read it. We had been discussing changing mindsets and cleaner living and Brain Wash lays out a plan for accomplishing that and reasons why it is important. It is a pretty fast read as a good deal of the book are recipes for accomplishing the health eating aspect of this book. The book itself is pretty good and lays out many of the mistakes we as humans are making in our daily habits and ways we can fix it. I particularly liked the various examples and scientific studies that are in the book, but I did find certain parts of the book repetitive. Overall, I think this is an interesting read for science nerds or as a self-help guide for improving your life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lorena

    Doctors David and Austin Perlmutter claim to have found a powerful way to reframe and reclaim our potential for exceptional physical and mental health. The introduction opens with some very inspirational descriptions of the optimal state of wellness that they believe is possible for each of us. The first part of the book provides some simple explanation of how the brain works and describes the problems that are keeping us from this optimal state of health, what the authors refer to as Doctors David and Austin Perlmutter claim to have “found a powerful way to reframe and reclaim our potential for exceptional physical and mental health.” The introduction opens with some very inspirational descriptions of the optimal state of wellness that they believe is possible for each of us. The first part of the book provides some simple explanation of how the brain works and describes the problems that are keeping us from this optimal state of health, what the authors refer to as “disconnection syndrome.” The authors discuss relevant scientific literature and provide some deeply disturbing statistics while maintaining an encouraging, optimistic tone. I also appreciated their acknowledgment that much of the literature indicates correlation but not necessarily causation, and that studies of lab animals may not be fully applicable in humans. I felt like they had a very balanced approach. Part 2 describes the authors’ proposed solution. They discuss conducting a digital detox, practicing empathy and gratitude, spending time in nature, following the low-carb Brain Wash food protocol, getting good sleep, exercising, meditating, and strengthening social bonds. They present a 10-day boot camp to implement these changes, including 40 recipes that follow the Brain Wash protocol. I found this book interesting, inspiring, and easy to understand. I like the authors’ suggested plan, but I think trying to implement these changes in 10 days will be very challenging for most people. It’s about an hour a day of activities, plus a time-consuming diet and a commitment to get at least 7 hours a night of quality sleep. I prefer slow, incremental change to these boot camp challenges. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet. They seem interesting and healthy and generally use commonly available ingredients, but many look difficult for a beginning cook or someone dealing with significant fatigue or concentration issues. Some also require equipment that not everyone will have access to (food processor, high-power blender, double boiler). I’m deeply suspicious of the estimates of time required. Considering that the food plan states to treat meat as a condiment (if you eat it at all) and to eat more plants, I was surprised that all but two of the main dishes focused on meat or fish. Also, they don’t provide nutrition information if that’s important to you. The book includes extensive notes by chapter listing many scientific papers and other references. Additional information and resources are available at https://brainwashbook.com/, most of which are accessible without any signup. While the implementation may be a challenge, overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve their physical and mental health. Some of it will likely be review if you read much about lifestyle medicine, but I enjoyed the presentation and learned some new information that I found helpful. I was provided an unproofed ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Muene Ngo

    Its a great book, but I found as a weak upgrade of his previous book - The Brain Maker. Hence, I recommend readers to read The Brain Maker instead. It’s a great book, but I found as a weak upgrade of his previous book - The Brain Maker. Hence, I recommend readers to read The Brain Maker instead.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny GB

    I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you! Brain Wash details the author's theory of disconnection syndrome and their plan to combat it. First, the authors detail all the ways in which we're distracted, overtired, and generally unhealthy. This is followed by some general ways to combat these problems by enjoying nature, eating better, sleeping better, exercising, and meditating. Finally, there is a ten-day plan where each day you implement one of the ways listed I received a free copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you! Brain Wash details the author's theory of disconnection syndrome and their plan to combat it. First, the authors detail all the ways in which we're distracted, overtired, and generally unhealthy. This is followed by some general ways to combat these problems by enjoying nature, eating better, sleeping better, exercising, and meditating. Finally, there is a ten-day plan where each day you implement one of the ways listed above along with a few other strategies thrown in and some self-evaluation to end the ten days. Finally, a large section of recipes ends the book. I found the general parts of the book interesting, but not surprising. There are many in-depth articles and books about each of these topics alone so this is a quick overview of these topics and the science behind it. I think the book went off the rails with the ten-day plan, though, and since this is the entire culmination of what the book was leading to I can't rate this book highly. The problem is the authors are talking about some gigantic life changes that are hard to make new habits: changing how you use technology, completely changing your eating habits, changing your sleeping habits, etc. They expect you to be able to implement one new thing a day. Not a week or a month, but a day. Then move onto something completely new the next day and also keep doing everything you were doing the days before. The pace of the change was unrealistic and laughable. It takes time to make a habit. The best way to make changes is incremental changes to build toward your goal. This book does not seem to take that science into account and expect an unbelievable amount of change immediately. I think that trying to implement what the authors suggest can only end in failure, and I can't recommend this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Griffith

    Really fantastic book. Mostly basic information if you already started to look for a different lifestyle, but backed up by numerous medical journals and trials and comes with an easy 10 day " brain wash" program and lots and lots of awesome recipes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    There is no new information to be found in this book that hasn't already been stated elsewhere.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    A lot of really good information laid out in a logical step-by-step plan.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Hardee

    Enlightening and Informative book with loads of current and relevant research about the effects of technology and other vices on our brain. Best of all, the MD authors provide a practical 10 day brain detox with recommendations for exercise, being in nature, social interaction and limited exposure to screens for brain health and longevity. It won't be easy to do everything on the detox plan all the time but it makes me more aware of this global crisis and how to make small changes for big and Enlightening and Informative book with loads of current and relevant research about the effects of technology and other vices on our brain. Best of all, the MD authors provide a practical 10 day brain detox with recommendations for exercise, being in nature, social interaction and limited exposure to screens for brain health and longevity. It won't be easy to do everything on the detox plan all the time but it makes me more aware of this global crisis and how to make small changes for big and positive results. Very important information in this digital age! Read it for your health.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Todd Taylor

    Having really liked "Grain Brain" and "Brain Maker", I was excited to be able to read this book. While the book is full of good advice for someone just starting the journey towards improving their health, I personally would skip this book if you've been on a wellness journey for any length of time. I personally preferred David Asprey's book, "Head Strong", which largely covers the same topics. If I could give this book a new title, I'd call it, "The Atheists Guide to Healthy Living". The author Having really liked "Grain Brain" and "Brain Maker", I was excited to be able to read this book. While the book is full of good advice for someone just starting the journey towards improving their health, I personally would skip this book if you've been on a wellness journey for any length of time. I personally preferred David Asprey's book, "Head Strong", which largely covers the same topics. If I could give this book a new title, I'd call it, "The Atheists Guide to Healthy Living". The author cites "evolution" about 300 times (well, not that many, but often) and attributes this magical, theoretical force as being the reason why we are the amazing creatures that we are. I don't subscribe to the "billions of years of evolution" model. I believe we were intelligently designed to be as wonderful as we are. As such, a vast majority of this book contains topics that are frequently discussed in my Christian community and were not new to me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Savannah Hendricks

    I previously read Brain Maker by this same author and found many things helpful and informative. This book was the same as far as what I took away from it. Just because a doctor writes a book doesnt mean everything should be followed or seen as the right way. I skipped the sections on relationships, eating, and sleep because those didnt pertain to me. I was most interested in the effects of nature and social media/technology. I find these types of self help books work best if I take whats I previously read Brain Maker by this same author and found many things helpful and informative. This book was the same as far as what I took away from it. Just because a doctor writes a book doesn’t mean everything should be followed or seen as the “right way.” I skipped the sections on relationships, eating, and sleep because those didn’t pertain to me. I was most interested in the effects of nature and social media/technology. I find these types of “self help” books work best if I take what’s applicable to me and use it as I see fit. Not to say the advice is not correct, but it’s advice and as a criminal justice major I know wayyyy to much about how statics and studies are gathered. So I take everything with a grain of salt. And maybe some pepper too. If you’re looking for an informative read and to make yourself better, or to be healthier on all levels this book is awesome. But be warned, it also tells you that the world, us as humans, how we are killing the world around us, and I don’t see a change happening, so it’s a bit of a downer there.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Good insight Nice blend of the science behind how your brain works and doesnt work, the impact of marketing and ads, and actionable steps for improvement. Little scattered, but interesting. Good insight Nice blend of the science behind how your brain works and doesn’t work, the impact of marketing and ads, and actionable steps for improvement. Little scattered, but interesting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    timothy sprague

    Good Book I think it's a 5 star because it is relevant and up-to-date with the reality of our modern-day issues and concerns. Great insight.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    The author explored how our current society of instant gratification has caused us to have more mental health issues, such as anxiety and also caused physical health issues, such as being overweight. Clicking a button and having whatever you want to eat delivered to your door seems to be perfection, but the author delves into how harmful this is in the long run. This was a very interesting book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pedro Chaves

    Another great book! Another great book on how to improve yourself and correctly tune your lifestyle to live a better and more fulfilling life! Not to miss and definitely a great add to your Perlmutter's library. Very interesting a full chapter on the usage of meditation for the improvement of your health. It would be very interesting in future books to go deeper on this subject and explain with more detail its usage and the state of art on how it allows your brain to improve!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    Brain Wash explores how common it is to feel tired and distracted in today's society, the impact that can have on our lives, and how to overcome this situation. To get out of the brain fog, it's suggested to disconnect and reset, and this book outlines how to do so and gives recipes for a holistic and lasting remedy. While there was nothing especially groundbreaking, the information was readable and well laid out to be userfriendly; it's a great companion to the Perlmutters' other Brain books. Brain Wash explores how common it is to feel tired and distracted in today's society, the impact that can have on our lives, and how to overcome this situation. To get out of the brain fog, it's suggested to disconnect and reset, and this book outlines how to do so and gives recipes for a holistic and lasting remedy. While there was nothing especially groundbreaking, the information was readable and well laid out to be userfriendly; it's a great companion to the Perlmutters' other Brain books. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    well written, engaging, practical and well sourced. Ultimately I didn't learn angering new, but I like how the authors tackle not just nutrition and exercise, but all the other components that are necessary for a healthy life. An excellent primer for those wanting to improve their life and wanting a clear concise direction on how to do that.

  21. 5 out of 5

    MikeBy

    Nothing really new here, but still quite interesting ideas in the first few chapters. I just skimmed over the recipes, they didn't seem to offer anything different from any number of other similar books. If you're impatient maybe skip to the ten-point plan chapter, then go back to the more in-depth bits if you find the ideas potentially useful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly 💜☕️

    3.5 stars, rounded down I haven't read any of the previous "Brain" books, so this was new to me. It's definitely something that is best approached with the idea of "take what you like and leave the rest". I could see myself possibly coming back to this to review and possibly try some of their ideas. Thanks to San Diego County Library for the digital audio. [Audio: 7 hours, 18 minutes]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I think the authors do a comprehensive job highlighting various parts of our life that we can improve to improve our health and brain function. Better sleep, diet, mindfulness and spending more time in nature have been shown to improve overall health and well-being. Although they recommend a plant-based diet I feel that there is too much emphasis on animal protein in the diet plan.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kahlee

    Overall, a decent read but i found myself skimming through the bulk of the chapters. I listened to a podcast with the authors and loved everything they said, and naturally wanted to read their book to glean more information. Well, there wasn't much more to gain within these pages so my review is slightly tainted by listening to an hour and 20 minute podcast on the exact subject.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tu

    David Perlmutter could be onto a better way of life - a way of healing many things your body has been dealing with. This book was very informative and helpful to me in understanding a better way to eat and clear toxins. The book is a bit over the top but, if you are ill and want to change your life - here you go.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Veena Singh

    Nothing incredibly new as far as information but it was an easy to read book that shows you how to put into action the thoughts you may have about better health, relationships, screen time etc. Sort of a step by step approach to self improvement. I can't say I would do the whole program, but I do plan to take bits and pieces and apply them to my life. Concise, well informative read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amine

    Nothing new. The modern lifestyle is bad for you in a lot of ways and you need to do something about it. The book ends with suggesting a 10-day detox program that is supposed to get you on your feet again. It should be practical.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    I gave it a rating of three because it has a lot of the same information I already know: the importance of sleep, exercise, meditation, connections and a healthy diet. The focus is, as the tittle suggests, on how all of these factors impact your brain. Well presented and affirming.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Inese Avota

    Good book from one of my favourite medical doctor writers. Though mostly aimed for an audience new to the idea of optimising mental health and wellbeing. Didn't learn anything groundbreaking new per so, but was a great reminder in the importance of holistic brain-care.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Weston Gardner

    Great stuff from Dr. Perlmutter! Extends beyond food to really help you conquer bad habits and live a more fulfilling life.

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