Your Guide to Adopting the MIND Diet

Striving for better health through diet can feel like an uphill battle.  But what if there was a scientifically proven way to nourish your mind effectively?  Well, there is, and it’s called the MIND diet.  This diet is a nutritional approach developed by the late Dr. Martha Clare Morris, and championed by her daughter Laura Morris, and her colleague Jennifer Ventrelle. As its name suggests, the MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, which have both been extensively researched for their numerous health benefits.  The MIND diet adds another dimension by focusing on certain food groups particularly well-researched for their brain health benefits.  In a world where brain diseases are on the rise, this dietary intervention stands out for its potential to slash the risk of neurodegenerative conditions by over 50%.1 

Today, we’ll be walking through how to adopt the MIND diet.  This is one of the many tools in your toolbox to help improve your healthy habits, and it is the focus of our March Special Offer.  In fact, we have some very special advice from the authors of the new book, 'The Official MIND Diet: A Scientifically Based Program to Lose Weight and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease', on how to adopt this brain healthy diet and make it stick as a foundational change in our behavior. 

The MIND Diet for Brain Health and Weight Loss 

The MIND diet, or Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a dietary pattern specifically designed to support brain health during the aging process.  Although the MIND diet is primarily recommended to curb aging-related cognitive decline, it has a very nice additional benefit of being recommended to people for weight loss as well.  In fact, a recent clinical study showed that the MIND diet can help people lose on average 11 pounds!2  

The MIND diet was originally developed by Dr. Martha Clare Morris and her team at Rush University Medical Center to combine the most important dietary elements to support brain health.  You can read more about Dr. Morris’ story in the beginning of ‘The Official MIND Diet’ and learn how, due to her sudden passing, her daughter Laura took over and continued her mother’s legacy to continue spreading awareness of the diet.  ‘The Official MIND Diet’ is written by Dr. Martha Clare Morris, who was a world-renowned nutritional epidemiologist and director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, her daughter Laura Morris, a professional chef, certified nutrition consultant, and personal trainer, and Jennifer Ventrelle, a registered dietitian and Assistant Professor at Rush University.  Recently Laura and Jennifer compiled the latest of Dr. Morris’ work and published the highly anticipated ‘The Official MIND Diet – as a comprehensive “instruction manual” on how to make the MIND diet a part of our everyday lives. 

The Tools in Your Brain Health Toolbox 

Diet is an important tool to help reduce your risk of brain decline, among other health factors.  Other critical pillars of brain health include having a vibrant and meaningful social life, exercising, getting good quality sleep, using your brain in different ways, and maintaining overall good physical health (and you can read more about them in Chapter 17, “Your MINDful Life").  So, although diet is indeed a powerful tool, it’s important to adopt habits that move the needle in other areas as well. 

Find Out What Dietary Changes You Need to Make 

The first step in making dietary changes is to determine what changes you need to make.  In chapter 7 of the book, there’s a MIND diet quiz to see how brain protective your diet is.  Using it, you can score yourself to see how your current diet compares to the MIND diet.  This allows us to interpret our own eating behaviors and set ourselves realistic goals for getting closer to it.  For example, you may aim to hit one category of the MIND diet target per week or move one notch closer to hitting the target in all areas.  The MIND diet is a flexible eating pattern, and you can determine what will work best for you. 

Here's a snapshot of categories and targets from the MIND to give you an idea. 

Included in a magnet version in the March Special Offer.

What The Official MIND Diet Book Says about Adopting the MIND Diet for Good 

Now let’s dive into four steps that the book’s authors highlight to begin working the MIND diet into your daily life: 

1. Brain Health Starts in the Kitchen

Getting rid of temptations first can be helpful.  Evaluate your kitchen and remove foods that you aim to avoid.  Be practical.  It’s okay to keep one or two of your favorites around as you transition to a brain healthy kitchen, and surrounding yourself with MIND diet foods will make it easier to achieve your goals.  One tool that can help ensure you know which foods you do and don’t want around is a quick kitchen pantry reference sheet to remind you of some key Mediterranean and MIND diet foods. 

 2. Know How to Plan Your Plate 

The MIND diet plate, which can be found in Chapter 15 on “The Essential Tools,” shows the recommended portions of different food groups for meals.  To make it easy, the authors use a hand to depict portion sizes.  For example, it may be easier to gauge that a piece of protein the size of your palm is an adequate amount for a meal instead of trying to measure ounces.  You don't need a scale for every meal, and you may not have one, and so it is good to know your portions in a less strict way.  Having a sense of how much of each food group you want to aim for at each meal can help you plan and stick to those targets. 

 3. Planning Ahead Goes a Long Way

In order to stick to a new dietary pattern, it’s important to plan ahead.  This includes planning what meals you want to make, making a list for grocery shopping, and meal prep time.  You can learn more about the importance of planning in Chapter 15, where they discuss numerous useful tools to help guide and keep you accountable on your MIND diet journey.  Meal planning doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing every day, but it does mean you may want to choose one or two meals or snacks each day that you will either fully or partially prepare in advance.  This is especially important for those who have busy lives, juggling work and kids, or grandkids.  Setting aside some time each week to plan will allow you to be prepared to take on the week without sacrificing your nutrition.  Remember, you want the MIND diet to become part of your lifestyle, not a chore.  Planning and cooking in batches not only builds it into our lives, but also saves time!  To help you get started, visit our Brain Table for sample one-day meal plans. 

4. Be MINDful

There are many ways to incorporate mindfulness into nutrition to help integrate and ultimately change habits.  For example, try paying more attention to what you consume by looking at labels on foods and drinks, and checking in on your hunger levels more frequently.  You can also be more mindful by being aware of your eating habits and seeing where you think you can make meaningful changes.  Try keeping track of the food groups you are eating for a week by using the MIND Diet refrigerator chart in chapter 18 on the “6 Weeks to a Healthy Mind”, and if you see yourself falling behind in certain groups, there are over 60 recipes they included to help you get back on track.   

The Official MIND Diet Makes It Easy 

This book truly encompasses the MIND diet from end-to-end, taking you through the journey of the development of the diet, helpful ways to bring it into your life on many different levels, recipes, habit trackers, and more.  Diet is not just food.  It’s behavioral change, and the authors of 'The Official MIND Diet' make it easy. 

Our March Special Offer includes 3 jars of RELEVATE plus the book The Official MIND Diet: A Scientifically Based Program to Lose Weight and Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.  In addition, you’ll receive extra tools including a 3-month meal and grocery planning pad to empower you to make nutritious choices daily, with grocery list guidance on eating the right servings for the MIND diet approach.  For support with planning your meals, we’ve also included a 6-day MIND meal planning inspiration sheet so you can decide on meals or snacks to conveniently add into your schedule, plus, a colorful MIND diet food groups magnet with weekly servings, to help keep your meal planner front and forward as a constant reminder of your goals – all to kick start your personal MIND diet boot camp!  We know it can be challenging for people to make dietary overhauls in short time frames, which is where being intentional, planning, and nutritional supplementation can help.  Our product RELEVATE is not meant to replace a healthy diet, but rather when you’re on your journey, and miss a few brain healthy meals, or have busy weeks where meal planning commitment may be more difficult, your brain’s nutritional needs will be supported.  Paired with ‘The Official MIND Diet’ book, you’ll be guided to brain healthy eating as you work towards other areas of brain health.  Learn more and order by visiting here.  

Sometimes setting goals for yourself means breaking them down into smaller more achievable action items.  With guidance on where to start and how to plan, ‘The Official MIND Diet’ will help you hit your goals week-by-week, adding up to big results, especially when it comes to your brain health (and weight loss too!).  


  1. Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Sacks FM, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Dement. 2015;11(9):1007-1014. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.11.009
  2. Barnes, L. L., Dhana, K., Liu, X., Carey, V. J., Ventrelle, J., Johnson, K., Hollings, C. S., Bishop, L., Laranjo, N., Stubbs, B. J., Reilly, X., Agarwal, P., Zhang, S., Grodstein, F., Tangney, C. C., Holland, T. M., Aggarwal, N. T., Arfanakis, K., Morris, M. C., & Sacks, F. M. (2023). Trial of the MIND Diet for Prevention of Cognitive Decline in Older Persons. New England Journal of Medicine, 389(7), 602–611.


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