481: How to Improve Brain Function with Food with Delia McCabe, PhD

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Delia McCabe

In today’s fast-paced world, chronic overwhelm has become the norm. When we’re stressed, our tendency is to reach for food that instantly makes us feel better. The worst part is, we know that eating those comfort foods and salty snacks have consequences. So, why do we do it?

Joining me for this conversation is Delia McCabe, PhD, whose expertise is in neurobiology and a nutritional sciences. Delia offers a unique and holistic approach to enhancing our cognitive function. I’m so excited to share her knowledge and experience and to shed light on the profound connection between our mental well-being and the food we consume. 

In this episode, she shares her wisdom on how to nourish our brains for optimal health. You’ll learn her innovative strategies for combining the best aspects of different diets to get all the essential nutrients our bodies and minds need to thrive. Plus, you’ll learn how to enjoy delicious, satisfying meals without feeling deprived.



  • The insidious tactics companies use to hijack our taste buds.
  • The reasons behind our stress-induced junk food cravings.
  • Why the Mediterranean diet is the ultimate choice for your brain health.
  • How to eat carbohydrates for optimal brain function.
  • The problems with following a Paleo or Keto diet.
  • The role fats play in optimizing brain health – and which fats give you the best bang for your buck.
  • The essential supplements for your physical and mental well-being.



“I took the road less traveled and discovered that what we eat has a huge impact on brain development, brain function, mood, focus, concentration, all the things that are really important to living your best life.”

“If you can find a supplement, in liquid form is best, obviously, knowing what else is in the liquid. The second form is powder form. That’s best because then you don’t have anything else. There shouldn’t be any fillers.”



Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)


Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)







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Hal Elrod: Delia McCabe, welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast.


Delia McCabe: Thank you, Hal. I’m delighted to be here.


Hal Elrod: I’m excited to talk to you because I was telling you this before we started our recording, and that two of my favorite subjects are food, like optimizing my diet and then optimizing my cognitive functioning, whatever that means, and then blending the two whenever I can, and the fact that you have your Ph.D., you’re an expert in neuroscience, neurobiology, and your specialty is on how to use food to optimize your brain. So, I’ve been really looking forward to this conversation because I’m sure it applies to all of my audience, but selfishly, this is right up my alley.


Delia McCabe: Fabulous. I love talking about this because the more people understand this, the more control they take, which is fabulous.


Hal Elrod: Totally. And I always say that most people eat for taste and texture, right? That’s how we choose the foods that we eat. We look at the menu and you go, hmmm, that looks good. Hmmm, that, right? And you’re making an emotional decision based on how the food is going to make you feel when you eat it. And most people, it’s an afterthought, what are the consequences of this food that I’m eating? What are the short-term consequences in terms of my energy and my cognitive function? And what are the long-term consequences in terms of my health and longevity or disease and that kind of thing?


So, a little bit of your background for anyone that isn’t familiar with your work. Before you got your Ph.D., you shifted your focus from conventional talk therapy, which my understanding that was your original– where you started. But after completing your master’s, you shifted away from conventional talk therapy. Can you talk about your background a little bit and how you got into the work that you do now?


Delia McCabe: With pleasure, Hal. I think it is important for people to understand where I came from, because otherwise, it seems like a weird choice because I was busy doing my master’s in clinical psychology and I was working with a group of really smart school kids. And some of these kids really should have been doing very well at school. They’re the kind of kids that parents just throw their hands up about and teachers get beside themselves about.


And I looked at all the psychological variables that were underpinning their underperformance because that was the only angle I understood to use. But I had a bit of extra space on my questionnaire and I said to them, “What’s your favorite food?” And every single one of the children in my experimental group, that’s the kids who should have been doing well but were doing poorly, all of them loved junk food, the food you just mentioned that tastes great. And all the kids in my experimental group, this was a problem, but my control group, the kids who were doing well, they didn’t. They liked Sunday roast and roasted veggies and so on. And I was very interested in this because I thought, well, there’s got to be a connection, but I don’t know about this connection.


And I was pregnant with my first child, my daughter, at that time, and this is like 25 years ago. So, I’m aging myself. And I thought, look, I’ll step aside a little bit, get my master’s, head my thesis in, and just investigate this more. And as they say, I took the road less traveled and discovered that what we eat has a huge impact on brain development, brain function, mood, focus, concentration, all the things that are really important to living your best life.


Hal Elrod: So, other than the obvious reasons, why do we love junk food so much, like why would you say that we as individuals love junk food? Is it a societal thing with television commercials and so on and so forth? But why do we love junk food?


Delia McCabe: It’s a great question, and there are few factors related to this. One of the things is actually related to stress. So, when we are stressed, we naturally gravitate to foods that have a quick energy release. And it’s not just the quick energy release and the feel-good mouthfeel we get, it’s also what the body produces, which are called endogenous opioids. So, these are opioids that the body makes itself endogenous and they get released into our bloodstream so we have this sense of calm and peace and relaxation from that food. So, it’s not just the mouthfeel, it’s actually this feeling that we get.


The other challenge with food is that it’s one of the things that we really associate with our childhood and our memory. So, if we remember eating a specific food in our childhood or when we were in a certain environment, that is a big cue to go back to that food because memory has a huge role to play in our desire for food. But then there’s something else, and this is really quite insidious and quite sobering because the food manufacturers have spent billions of dollars, and I’m not exaggerating, billions of dollars to find out from neuroscientists how to hijack our tastes.


And they know that if they give us something that’s, for example, a little bit salty, it’s also sweet, it’s also creamy, it’s also crunchy, if they can combine all of those mouthfeel sensations at the same time, it sends a huge input of information to the brain which stimulates dopamine release. And so, we are much more keen to go after that food. And then, there’s the last one, which is the whammy, which is basically that the faster we can get to a food, the greater the chances are that we will become addicted to that food. So, they make sure that the packages that they design around this junk food are as easy to open as possible. So, those are some of the reasons, Hal.


Hal Elrod: Yeah. I mean, let’s just dive right into where we’re going to go anyway, which is what diet is best for the brain. I mean, I think that’s the entire– for me, that’s what I’m curious about to hear from you because of your expertise. And I have my ideas, but I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on what diet is best for our brain.


Delia McCabe: Great question, and something that a lot of people are curious about and a lot of people believe very strongly in certain diets. So, I can say from the get-go that the diet that has been the most robustly researched with the best evidence is the Mediterranean diet. And I’ve got some caveats to that because of the modern food supply and the toxicity of the environment.


So, just to cover the bases, the reason that diet is so good for the human brain is because it ticks a number of very important boxes. So, one of those boxes is good fats, and that’s a huge discussion. My lecture on fats and oils takes three hours. So, let’s just tick the box of good fats in the Mediterranean diet and we can dive a little bit into that.


The second thing is that it has got a lot of colorful food, lots of color. And those antioxidants are very important to keep the brain healthy from an antioxidant perspective and also from an anti-inflammatory perspective. The third box to tick is lots of good high-density fiber, that’s the one thing, and also, great fiber food, carbohydrates. So, the brain’s preferred fuel is carbohydrates. Getting them in an unrefined form also satisfies the gut’s requirements for a lot of fiber. So, those are the basic factors related to why the Mediterranean diet is the best diet for the brain.


Hal Elrod: So, when you say carbohydrates, obviously, that’s a good evil word today. Used to be fat was the evil word when I was growing up. Everything was low fat, reduced fat, no fat, right? And then now, it’s like no carbs, keto, Atkins, all of that. Did I hear you correctly that you said carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for the brain?


Delia McCabe: They’re the preferred source of fuel for the brain. And when I say carbohydrates, I’m not talking about crisps or bread. I’m talking about carbohydrates in the form of things like broccoli, things like cauliflower. Of course, we can have starch forms of carbs, which we can eat if we move a lot. And those are things like potatoes in their full form, sweet potatoes, and rice. Quinoa is a carb, but it’s actually not a carb. It’s actually a seed, but it’s got carbs in it and good protein. So, we can get into more detail there.


But when I speak about carbohydrates, I’m speaking about unrefined fresh produce. That’s the first and the best form. When we speak about how the brain wants to work and how it operates, it can use fat, but there’s a lot of complex research underneath that. And I know that the keto gods and the paleo gods, they all follow that. The brain uses fat as a fuel, it can, but it’s not as preferred source of fuel for a number of reasons, primarily because it’s much easier to find unrefined carbs versus good forms of fat. So, the brain can use fat, but the carbs tick a number of boxes if they’re unrefined and full of fiber, and they’ve also got all those antioxidants in them, which is great.


Hal Elrod: Okay. So, talk about fats then. What is the correlation? And should you be blending with that, the diet that’s best for the brain, the Mediterranean diet? Talk about how good fats correlate with eating unrefined carbohydrates. So, if unrefined carbohydrates are the preferred source of fuel for the brain, I’ve always been– not always, but my understanding, and maybe it’s these keto guys that you talk about, Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, my friend, that fats are the best fuel for the brain.


Talk about, like in any given day, would you start your day with some unrefined carbohydrates to get the brain into gear? Would you start it with fats, which is what I do based on my understanding? I’d love to learn about that.


Delia McCabe: The first thing to know about fat in the brain is that 60% of the dry weight of the brain is made up of fat, 60%. So, if we took out all the water, 60% of what is left is fat. Now, the reason that’s so important is because of the neuronal membrane and the way the brain forms connections between neurons. So, that’s important.


Of that 60%, Hal, between 20% and 25% needs to be made up of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are fats that we cannot make ourselves. We have to get them from our diet. And about 95% of people are deficient in these fats because of the food supply that we now get. So, we need both omega-3 and omega-6 for optimal brain function. So, that’s that section.


When people eat an enormous amount of fat, a lot of them are focused on saturated fat, things like coconut fat, even people– cocoa butter, coconut butter as well, that’s plant saturated fat. Animal forms of saturated fat are different. They’ve got a different biochemical makeup or structure. And so, they behave differently in the brain and the body versus the plant forms of saturated fat.


And just to go back a little bit in time, to give you an idea of how deeply I had to dive into fat, because when I discovered the 60% of fat in the brain, I thought, it will take me a couple of weeks to figure this out and then I’ll move on. And I ended up creating a chart for myself because the fat and oil story is the most complex story in nutrition, which is why it’s so easy to fool people around this conversation.


So, I created this chart, and so, the first section of the chart is saturated fat. The second one is monounsaturated fat, and the memory mnemonically is simply Mediterranean because the most famous monounsaturated fat is olive oil. And most people associate olive oil with good health and so on, and it is. Avocados fall into that as well as peanuts that aren’t actually a nut, they are a legume, and things like pecan nuts, cashew nuts, and so on.


We can make both saturated fat and monounsaturated fat in our body. We, in fact, missed that. Researchers missed that. You were speaking about the low-fat, no-fat craze. They missed the fact that if we have too many refined carbs, those carbs get turned into saturated fat and monounsaturated fat that we carry around with us. However, the polyunsaturated fats, the omega-3 and the omega-6 are fats we cannot make. We have to get them from our diet.


And traditionally, when people lived along the coastline of certain countries, they got enough of those fats through fish. Some people still eat fish today and think they’re getting the same amount of those fats, they’re not, especially if they’re farmed fish. And even in the wild, they’re getting a whole lot of toxicity with those fats in the fish. And then those are SMASH fish. We’re talking about salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. And other fish doesn’t contain the same percentages of the DHA and the EPA that people are consuming those fish for.


Another myth is that we don’t need any omega-6 essential fats, which is not true. Without essential fats, omega-6 variety, we battle with memory consolidation. So, long-term memory is impacted with that. We battle with not dealing with inflammation optimally. Our hormones battle. Our heart battles. So, we need omega-6s and we need omega-3s in the right ratio.


The problem with the paleo and keto diets is that most of them are getting their fats from the mono and the saturated. They’re not getting enough of the essential fats. And if they’re eating animal products to get the essential fats, it’s not going– taking a detour to get those fats. So, personally, I don’t eat fish anymore because I understand about the toxicity in the ocean, and I understand that many of those toxins are neurodegenerative-causing toxins. So, I don’t eat fish anymore, but I do eat a lot of other good fats.


Hal Elrod: Me too. I stopped eating fish for the same reasons.


Delia McCabe: Fantastic, Hal. Great decision. It was a hard decision because I know that fish is really tasty and I know that it has a lot of other benefits, but from a health perspective, we have to be realistic. And that’s what I meant when I spoke about the Mediterranean diet. They all have caveats with it. There’s no longer an option if you know enough.


The challenge is, of course, to get enough of the other good fats. And so, we have to focus on getting unrefined organic, very low processed flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and all of those products because those contain the omega-3s and the omega-6s which we need. However, this is where there’s a lot of a sticking point and where the fish oil manufacturers have really won the day because they’ve told people, “Oh, you can only do a conversion from the plant forms of omega-3 and 6 to the more complex forms like GLA and EPA and DHA.” Minimally, you can’t do that conversion enough.


And that’s actually not the truth because the research shows that we can do that conversion optimally if we have enough of the cofactors. And the cofactors are B3, B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc. Those are the cofactors. But remind me about these cofactors because when we speak about stress in the brain, those cofactors also come into the discussion again.


So, if we’ve got enough of those nutrients and we have enough of the plant forms, we can happily convert, and then we convert at the rate that the body prefers. And any of the listeners or people that are watching this will know that if they’ve gone to see a doctor and they need surgery, one of the questions that is always asked, what supplements are you on? And if you’re on fish oil, you’ve got to stop that.


And the reason for that is because it makes your blood very, very thin. And it does that in a way because the body isn’t performing that conversion itself at the rate it needs those compounds in. It’s converting it, it doesn’t have to convert it, it’s getting it straight. So, that’s part of the problem as well.


So, we’re touching the surface here, but the bottom line with fats and oils is that it’s the molecular structure that counts. One of the things that is really important to keep in mind is the complexity of the subject, essential fats and normal fats, and one of the reasons that it’s so easy for people to get food. So, the bottom line is it’s the actual biochemistry of these fats that’s important to understand because the length of the molecular structure actually impacts how it functions in the body and the brain, which is why the EPA and DHA, which are the most complex fats that we’ve ever come into contact with, are so important in the brain because the brain needs that malleability and that flexibility.


And in the same breath, we want to make sure that these fats are pristine, which is why consuming fish is a challenge because many of the toxic compounds that come with seafood today impact this delicate, very sensitive neural tissue. And unfortunately, many of those toxins are taken up into fatty tissues, which is a problem. So, they used to be really good for us and they no longer can suit us because they come with toxicity so we have to have a workaround.


So, I think a lot of people are confused about fats and oils. And as I said, my normal lecture takes three hours. So, we’re just skimming the surface with this one. But I think the complexity is important for people to appreciate and respect.


Hal Elrod: So, I just want to make sure that I’m tracking here and that we can get to summarize which fats or which foods to eat to get those fats. I heard you say chia seeds, flax seeds. Is that correct that you’re recommending those?


Delia McCabe: I am, yes. There is a supplement that I also use and I have been using it for many, many years, actually for over 20 years when I found out the importance of these fats. And I’ll share that with you if you want me to, and you can share it with your readers in…


Hal Elrod: Give it to me. I’m going to order it while you’re talking.


Delia McCabe: However, I also say to people. It’s a product called Udo’s Oil, Udo’s 369.


Hal Elrod: Yeah, I’m familiar with that.


Delia McCabe: And it is a product that was developed by a person. He actually was really, really sick from pesticide poisoning. And he became a mentor of mine because of the depth of his knowledge and expertise and his obsessiveness in creating the best product. And so, I’ve been using this for many years. And he lives in Canada, actually, and he’s in a world authority on essential fats. So, I’ve learned an enormous amount from him and I’ve taken from what he’s taught me and then extrapolated that specifically for brain development and brain function.


But I also say to people, consume nuts and seeds as well. And one of the things that I say about chia seeds is soak your chia seeds in coconut milk. And then when they’re fully plumped up, put them in your smoothie because you’re getting great fiber and you’re also getting the omega-3s from the chia seeds when they plumped up and they ground up. And then you’re also getting some good fat from the coconut milk. So, that’s one of the things that I suggest people do.


And if they use flax seed oil, it also needs to be pristine. I don’t use that separately. I use it in this product because it comes ready-made. And something else, just to mention, Hal, the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 is also important, and the product takes this into account because we need and use omega-3 essential fats in all the most metabolically active organs in the body, and that is the brain, the heart, the adrenal glands, and the reproductive organs. And they are used in those organs because of their capacity to use oxygen better than the omega-6s, although we still need the omega-6s. So, that ratio is very important, two-to-one in favor of omega-3. But as I was saying…


Hal Elrod: And Udo’s Oil, you said, how is that ratio already figured out?


Delia McCabe: If you get flax seeds, grind them up. Absolutely. And it’s an organic product. It’s cold-pressed. The bottle is nitrogen flushed before the oil is added. Then, of course, the bottle is finished off with nitrogen gas before it’s sealed. So, it’s completely oxygen-free.


Hal Elrod: Oh, wow.


Delia McCabe: It’s also put into a cardboard box and it’s date stamped. And it’s the only product I’ve ever found in the world that actually tells you how much you must use per body weight, which is really fantastic because most supplements, people just swallow and there’s no body weight allowance. So, that is important. Flax seeds, to use them, grind them up, though, put them over a salad and so on, but don’t grind them before you use them because they’re also very sensitive to light heat and oxygen. So, this conversation…


Hal Elrod: Interesting. So, flax seed, so you should not buy ground flax seed then?


Delia McCabe: No, because the moment it is ground, those precious fats in the seed are then exposed to light heat and oxygen so they start oxidation. And that’s a challenge. So, these seeds should also be bought cold and refrigerated. And that’s something else that a lot of people don’t consider.


So, you become a lot fuzzier when you look at fats from this perspective because you also never, ever eat any fat product that comes in plastic because the plastic, the chemicals, which you do well know with your research, leach into fat much more quickly than they leach into water. So, never, ever allow any fat to touch plastic. So, it’s a big conversation, fats and oils, Hal, but it’s critical in terms of brain function and brain development. Without these essential fats, we actually can’t be agile and flexible.


And you know what the great thing is? When we are consuming these fats for brain function, they also work with the whole body. So, when we’re on our yoga mat, we don’t have aches and pains. We become more flexible because now, our synovial fluid has more of the right fats in it. So, there are all these beautiful spin-on effects. So, when people say, well, they’re getting old and they’re getting aches and pains, I go, no, just because you don’t have enough of the right fats in all your tissues.


Hal Elrod: So, what’s your recommendation? I love to get granular here and specific for people and for me. In terms of fats, how often are you eating them? Like, for example, the Udo’s Oil, which I’ve taken in the past, I didn’t realize the quality control was as excellent as it is as you just described. So, I’m really going to get back to taking that. When do you take it? Are you taking Udo’s Oil first thing in the morning? Are you taking it once a day? Are you taking it multiple times a day? I’d love to get specific. And then, by the way, after that, I’d love to know what other dietary supplements have evidence to support their use.


Delia McCabe: Okay. So, first question about these essential fats, I have Udo’s Oil and other fats from my chia seeds and from crushed flax seeds and from walnuts and pecans and cashews with my breakfast, with my morning meal, which is at about 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. And I’ll have fresh berries with that. I make my own granola, a grain-free one. I use buckwheat and I use quinoa flakes and so on. So, I use that as well. So, that’s when I had my first dose of the oil.


And then, at my next meal of the day, I have my second dose, but then I also have other fats. And then I also have extra virgin cold-pressed organic olive oil, which is another conversation because so much of the olive oil is adulterated with other compounds. So, I’m very fussy about that olive oil that I use. And then, I make my own pesto. So, then I’ll put pesto on the meal and I have some extra seeds. Maybe I’ll put some hemp seeds or some sesame seeds, like a salad dressing out of tahini, very, very nutrient-dense food source. It’s got great magnesium in it and also the good fats from it, and also sunflower seeds.


And then I have that generally with a whole lot of vegetables. And most of those vegetables are raw. I’ll roast sweet potato or I’ll roast some butternut with spices in the oven, but dry roast, no oil with that. When it comes out, I add the oil. And then I have that as a meal. And then I’ll only have a smaller meal towards the end of the day. And that normally is just fruit. And I don’t have any Udo’s Oil then because it’s actually quite stimulating, it gives you energy. So, I don’t want to have that as I’ll go to sleep. So, that’s basically what my day looks like in terms of oil intake.


Hal Elrod: Now, so are you– and this is a whole ‘nother topic, but are you– from what you described, it sounds like you’re vegan. Do you not eat meat?


Delia McCabe: No, I’m not a complete vegan. I’m very fussy about eating red meat and that’s what I choose to eat. I don’t choose to eat chicken. And I’m battling actually, to find good sources of red meat because I want it to be pasture-fed and pasture-killed if that’s the right way of saying that. I’m still battling because, in America, the classification is different, Hal.


So, in Australia, it was really easy to find 100% organic grass-fed, pasture-raised meat. But yeah, they got different ways of checking that. And I had a whole conversation with a guy at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago around this issue. So, you want it to be grass-finished and you want it to be 100% pasture-fed and so on. And that’s what I look for.


I don’t eat that often, though. Maybe once a week, I’ll have that. And so, then I’m really fussy about that. So, I do eat a lot of grains. And so, quinoa is one of my staples. I will eat lentils, which are fantastically nutrient-dense. I’ll eat a lot of beans as well and I’ll combine them so that I have a full protein source.


But I think one of the things that the people that are kind of obsessed about protein, which is basically, the paleo brigade, and firstly, it’s an evolutionary oversimplification to think that paleo is best for us, and that’s another conversation. I’ve actually got a blog post about 10 reasons why paleo isn’t the answer that most people think it is, although it does have many, many benefits, primarily, a focus away from processed food, which I really honor and agree with.


But in terms of having to eat meat all the time, this is not necessarily the best thing for the human body. And we do get protein from a number of different sources, and the body is smart enough to combine the different amino acids that are strong in some and weaker in others together to give us robust health. And we know this from population studies, where people haven’t eaten vast quantities of meat. So, I think we can kind of put that to bed, although I know that that is a contentious issue. I actually wrote two blog posts on this exact topic. What is the best diet for brain? And I brought in research about paleo and keto and intermittent fasting and so on.


But to go back to what you asked me about before, about dietary supplements, before I started my Ph.D., I had a whole lot of dietary supplements that I really thought were doing me good. And when I did my Ph.D., I was quite shocked to find that there isn’t a lot of evidence to support a lot of the products that are sold. And a lot of the products are sold on a premise that we know X does Y in the body, therefore, supplementing with X will support Y in the body. And that is a marketing junk that a lot of companies take and use.


And I wrote an editorial on that about and I called it Marketing Hope and Hype because that is a bit of a problem. So, we need to get away from that. But I continue without a shadow of a doubt that we know that magnesium is a very important product, important nutrient, and in the right form, it can do us a lot of good. We also know that zinc is important. We also know that iron is critical for both brain development and function. We know that, for example, vitamin D is important. Vitamin C has a huge role to play in our body. In fact, in our brain and adrenal glands, we’ve got 17 times more vitamin C than in any other tissues in the body. So, we know it’s critically important as a nutrient, particularly when we’re stressed, and we may get to that if we have time. So, those are some of the nutrients that we know in supplement form, we definitely do need.


There are others that there’s anecdotal evidence and there are things like, people supplement with garlic. I know that you did that and I know you probably still do. And that’s fabulous because that’s a product that comes in a natural form and it’s just concentrated in a product. But a lot of the other products that people take, bodybuilders take a whole lot of products, we don’t have enough evidence yet to show that they really are doing a benefit. And they could be doing harm, overloading the kidneys and the liver because the liver is going to process all these things.


So, I think, circumspection is really important and you have to look at the evidence. And as I said, it was a huge project for me to do that. Take all the dietary supplements that the people in my groups were using, and then dissect each of it. Hal, it was an enormous task because I had to look at all the actual active ingredients, and then I had to look at what came with the product., So I began, like this private investigator, when I look at a supplement today, I use all of those skills that I learned because the form of the supplement is critically important, as important as what’s actually in it.


Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, a few things that came up for me, one is you mentioned some of your blog posts. I want to let everybody know, you can go to LighterBrighterYou.life, right? That’s your website. So, is that where your blog posts are, I’m assuming?


Delia McCabe: That’s right, Hal. That’s where they are.


Hal Elrod: Okay. And then, I also need to connect you with where I get our cow from, our meat from. So, my wife and I buy an entire cow at a time. We’ve been out to the ranch where these animals are pasture-raised. They are grass-fed and grass-finished. And so, it’s also interesting, rather than you think about if you buy meat from the store, every steak you buy is from a different cow, right? And so, it is interesting versus where you buy one cow and it feeds the family for roughly an entire year. And you know where it came from, you know how it was raised. You literally know the person that raised the animal. So, yeah, I’ll make sure– send me a message offline after we’re done and I’ll get the contact info for you for that person.


And the other piece was around supplement, I wanted to ask, when I got cancer, I was taking 70 supplements a day on average. And most supplement companies, like most food companies, are in it for a profit and not actually for the health of the user. And so, most supplement companies, they use all sorts of unhealthy fillers and binders and preservatives, and who knows what else? Not to mention the actual– and this is my question for you around this. The source of the actual vitamin or mineral that you’re getting, for example, and this is the one I usually use, vitamin C. You can either get vitamin C from ascorbic acid, which is chemically altered and made in the lab and often used with, I believe, it’s ammonia that they use to break down that ascorbic acid into a consumable form.


Or you can get vitamin C that is made from whole food, organic plants and vegetables such as acerola cherries or camu-camu, these other high vitamin C foods, and also the magnesium that you mentioned. I wanted to ask if you had any– like for magnesium and vitamin C, if you have any specific companies that you recommend. And I have the ones that I’ve vetted out and used myself, but I wondered if you had any that you recommend for magnesium, vitamin C, and any other supplements.


Delia McCabe: Great question, Hal, and great comments. Yes. Part of the problem is that these supplements get made in laboratories, and some of them, we can’t get away from. And I’ll mention that in a moment. But as far as vitamin C goes, I’ve actually got some great products, but I get them from Australia because I haven’t yet found any here. So, I would appreciate you telling me about the ones that you use because yes, acerola cherry and the camu-camu is very important and they’re full of vitamin C, and so, that also comes with the bioflavonoids. They come with the other components that allow us to absorb and actually use vitamin C optimally. So, that’s critically important.


As far as magnesium goes, it’s a little bit harder with magnesium because we can eat foods that are full of magnesium. Green leafy vegs are very high in magnesium. As I mentioned, tahini is high in magnesium, but getting it in the concentrated form that we need because of the amount of stress most people are under and because of our needing it for detoxification purposes is harder. So, I’m still finding my way through the magnesium story.


In Australia, I had my supply there and I’m still getting that and I’m trying some different products here. The magnesium that I’m really interested in, one is the glycinate because it’s got some good evidence behind it. The other one is L-threonate. But they are both made in a laboratory. And it’s not possible to acylate them, you tend to get them separately in a food. So, the form is important. And I say to people, if you can find a supplement, in liquid form is best, obviously, knowing what else is in the liquid. The second form is powder form. That’s best because then you don’t have anything else. There shouldn’t be any fillers.


Hal Elrod: So, I’ll tell you, one of my favorite companies for supplements is Pure Synergy. And you can get them on Amazon. I try to avoid Amazon if I can and go directly to the company. So, it’s TheSynergyCompany.com. But their vitamin C, made from acerola cherries and all of that, but I’ll give you where I get the magnesium, I actually use their product called Bone Renewal and I’m looking at it right now. So, it has vitamin D3, 250% of your daily value made from organic vegan algae complex. It has calcium, 65% of your daily value from organic Icelandic red algae. It has magnesium, 100% of your daily value from Dead Sea mineral concentrate; chelated with brown rice. And then, if you go down, you can read all of the ingredients and it tells you where they are all from. So that, yeah, Pure Synergy, if you want to check them out, that’s become one of my favorite go-to companies.


And then, they use vegan cellulose capsules, certified organic tapioca, certified organic acacia fiber, certified organic MCT oil for their delivery. No GMOs, no dairy, no gluten, on and on and on. So, yeah, that’s become– I don’t know that any company is perfect, but they seem to have the highest standards. And all these come from whole food sources whenever possible. So, yeah, Pure Synergy is my favorite brand for everybody listening and Delia, if that is at all helpful as a resource for you as well.


Delia McCabe: Thank you, Hal. I really appreciate that. I’ve written that down. I’ve done some continent hopping in my life. Originally, from South Africa, then moved to Australia, and now, in America. So, I’ve had to figure out on each continent where I’m going to find what I need. So, I appreciate that very much. Thank you. We haven’t even discussed the nutritional cost of stress, but I see that we’re at the top of the hour, so maybe we’ll have to leave that for another time.


Hal Elrod: We’ll have to do that for next time. I’m fascinated. You’re such a wealth of knowledge. Like you said, you could talk on fats for three hours alone. So, again, being that you’re a wealth of knowledge and your website has– I was browsing through all of your articles and blogs and extra resources on there, not to mention your two books that you’ve written. Where is the best place for people to find you and follow you?


Delia McCabe: It’s a good question. I’ve actually been more focused on knowledge acquisition than building a following, and I think I need to change that because my focus has moved from my children now. The best place, probably, I do a lot of interaction on LinkedIn, so people can find me there. I’m a little bit on Instagram. I basically use Instagram as a place to store my memories and the things that work for me so people can happily follow along with what I’m busy doing there. And I mentioned products and I mentioned foods and so on. I’m not very active on Facebook, Hal, and I haven’t been as good with my blog posting as I should be. I get a problem with my mail server.


Hal Elrod: Well, there is a lot of articles already on your website. So, for anybody listening, go to Lighter Brighter You, L-I-G-H-T-E-R B-R-I-G-H-T-E-R, LighterBrighterYou.life, so not dot-com, but dot-life, LighterBrighterYou.life. And then check out Delia’s books. Her first book, Feed Your Brain: 7 Steps to a Lighter, Brighter You! and Delia’s second book is Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook that obviously breaks down what recipes you can make to indeed feed your brain. Well, Delia, it is really a pleasure to talk to you. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your heart with the audience today.


Delia McCabe: Thank you, Hal. It’s been a pleasure. And thank you for your help. You’re helping me too.


Hal Elrod: Oh, you’re so welcome. I’m glad it’s mutual.




Hal Elrod: Well, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. And please feed your brain what it wants and what it needs to function optimally because, in my opinion, you deserve nothing less, your family deserves nothing less. And I think that for all of us, rather than just making dietary decisions on what we eat based on the food, the taste, the texture, make it based on the consequences and the benefits that are available when you follow what Delia talked about today and eat a diet that indeed feeds your brain. All right, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you all very soon.

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