HAPPINESS DIET: Energize Your Brain & Body


[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Brenda McKinney



While many books have examined the ways in which food impacts our physical health, The Happiness Diet, is the first one to clearly show a possible link between how we eat and how we feel. What if you discovered that the best place to find happiness was at the end of your fork? What if you discovered that as your waistline expands, your brain declines? What if you learned that mood foods in this plan include bacon, beef and eggs, foods you have been avoiding? Wouldn't you want to sign up today and explore the new research? Emerging data from the rapidly changing fields of neuroscience and nutrition show "that by changing what you eat, you can improve your mental and emotional well-being; you can even make your brain grow." 
During this course of study you will learn how the foods you eat can keep you well. You will also learn more about how small changes have stripped the American diet of nutrients. This course is appropriate for all K-12 teachers, coaches, and parents. Your transformation will start on day one with practical advice, recipes, and feel good foods. Join me for this journey. You will spread your happiness to others. Appropriate for all educators.



LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Understood why our food is making us unhealthy AND unhappy, and can lead to illnesses including depression and diabetes.
  2. Developed a plan to break old habits, conquer procrastination, manage stress, and focus healthy lifestyle goals.
  3. Learned which foods create good moods; the essential elements of happiness.
  4. Explored the myths about foods that, according to this research, have plagued the American public.
  5. Identified the top reasons to avoid supplements and the research behind this opinion.
  6. Learned the simple changes that make a big difference with food lists, shopping tips, and brain-building recipes.
  7. Learned which foods are simply good for the brain and be able to articulate why.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



The Happiness Diet. A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body, by Graham, Tyler and Drew Ramsey, MD.

  • The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body
    ISBN# 1609618971
    by Graham, Tyler G., Ramsey M.D., Drew

    Buy from Amazon


The Happiness Diet. A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean, Energized Body, by Graham, Tyler and Drew Ramsey, MD. Approximately $15 at


Brenda McKinney, CEO of Vancouver, WA based BrainVolution, is a developer and dynamic facilitator of workshops that teach practical thinking and learning tools for raising student achievement with the brain in mind. She has trained educators throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student. Her work with at-risk students and those with reading problems have made her a popular speaker at the state, regional and national level.

Brenda is able to synthesize the new research and continues to address the role of how to use the latest findings to create high achievement classroom. She brings 30+ years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level as a mentor teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, university instructor, and reading specialist. Brenda has her Master’s in Education from Washington State University and is nationally certified in Brain Based Learning through the renowned  Jensen Corporation, led by Eric Jensen, a noted international spokesperson for neuroscience and education.


Brenda will inspire and motivate you with her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. Her wisdom, techniques, and brain based approach to education will inspire you and challenge you to meet the demands of this ever changing world.



HAPPINESS DIET: Energize Your Brain & Body

Amen, Daniel G. Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. Secrets to Look, Feel, and Think Younger Every Day. Crown Books. 2012. ISBN: 978-0-307-88854-9.
Dr. Amen’s breakthrough, easy-to-follow anti-aging program shows you how to: Boost your memory, mood, and attention, how to have more energy and decrease your risk for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. He will provide ideas for diet and how to eat to live longer while reducing the outward signs of aging.
Blaylock, Richard. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Health Press. 1997. ISBN: 0- 929173-14-7. Citing over five hundred scientific studies, Excitotoxins explores the dangers of aspartame, MSG, and other substances added to our food. This is an electrifying and important book that should be available to every American consumer.
Graham, Tyler & Drew Ramsey. The Happiness Diet: A Nutritional Prescription for a Sharp Brain, Balanced Mood, and Lean Energized Body. Rodale Books. 2011. ISBN: 978-1-60529-327-1. Required Text. Using the latest research from the rapidly changing world of neuroscience and nutrition, The Happiness Diet shows that shifts in our diet have stripped the nutrients from our food; nutrients that are critical for happy, well-balanced brains. These changes also explain why many people are predisposed to excessive weight gain. The book provides foods to avoid, brain-building recipes, and practical advice. Best of all it tells us how to reclaim our waistline and improve our brains at the same time. In the world of madness with books that tell you they have the fix-all diet plan, The Happiness Diet, provides insightful, eye-opening real information about FOOD and getting healthy.
Logan, Alan. The Brain Diet. Cumberland House Publishing. 2007. ISBN: 978-1-58182-600-5. The Brain Diet explains the connection between diet and mental health, as well as its importance for realizing the full potential of our intelligence. It shows how poor nutrition hinders the development of our children's intelligence and how it adversely affects mental health and success.
Maccaro, Janet. Brain Boosting Foods: 50 ways to improve your Memory, Unclutter your Mind, and Get your Brain Working at its Highest Capacity by Eating Right. 2010. New York. Excel Books. ISBN: 978-1-59979-225-5. Davidson has discovered that personality is composed of six basic emotional "styles," including resilience, self-awareness, and attention. Our emotional fingerprint results from where on the continuum of each style we fall. He explains the brain chemistry that underlies each style in order to give us a new model of the emotional brain, one that will even go so far as to affect the way we treat conditions like autism and depression. And, finally, he provides strategies we can use to change our own brains and emotions-if that is what we want to do.
May, Michelle. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. Greenleaf Book Group. 2010. ISBN: 978-1-60832-003-5.
With uncommon sense and a powerful mind-body approach to healthy living, Dr. May helps you rediscover when, what, and how much to eat without restrictive rules. You'll learn the truth about nutrition and how to stop using exercise to earn the right to eat. You'll finally experience the pleasure of eating the foods you love--without guilt or binging.
Schmidt, Michael. Brain-Building Nutrition: How Dietary Fats and Oils Affect Mental, Physical, and Emotional Intelligence. Berkley, CA. Frog Books. 2007.  
ISBN: 978-1-58394-1818-2. In this new, updated edition of the classic book on brain performance and nutrition, Dr. Michael A. Schmidt provides a host of practical dietary information and new, ground-breaking research to support his findings.  The author helps the reader distinguish between harmful and beneficial fats and oils, and warns the "French Fry Generation" of the dangers of a poor diet. The effects of nutrition on mood, memory and behavior are explained by a number of compelling case studies. Finally, the author presents various strategies for enhancing mental, physical and emotional intelligence.
Wenk, Gary. Your Brain on Food. Oxford University Press. 2010. ISBN: 978-0-19-538854-1. In this book, Gary Wenk demonstrates how, as a result of their effects on certain neurotransmitters concerned with behavior, everything we put into our bodies has very direct consequences for how we think, feel, and act. The chapters introduce each of the main neurotransmitters involved with behavior, discuss its role in the brain, present some background on how it is generally turned on and off, and explain ways to influence it through what we consume.