About Amanda

Real name Amanda Rose
E-mail me: ama@rebuildfromdepression.com
Paying job I have a consulting firm that does data analysis for social service agencies in California. In 2007, we began a data services company that provides publication-quality graphics for California public schools.
Dream job I love data analysis. It would be great if the data had a food tie-in.
Best meal ever A mountain of sushi with friends.
Favorite meat Raw salmon.
Favorite fruit California blueberries.
Favorite vegetable Bell pepper
Vegetables I eat only to be polite Turnips
Favorite dinner growing up Cream of mushroom soup.
Processed crap I can’t manage to live without Chocolate.
Sexiest food to me Raw oysters. There is something to the cliché.
Most embarrassing cooking incident I should not even admit this, but when I first started cooking, I wondered why my chickpeas were still hard after soaking. Rather puzzled, Mom asked, “Have you cooked them yet?”
Most traumatic food experience When I was a vegan (or attempting to be), I found myself at a family dinner eating ground beef lasagna. At a more recent family dinner, I brought my own to avoid wheat reactions.
Attitude about sell-by dates Sell dates are a good opportunity for grocery store bargains.
Has your cooking ever made anyone sick? Not yet.

Food background

After about two decades on low-fat diets, I became pregnant and suffered from fatigue and depression beginning in my fifth week of pregnancy. Fatigue turned into depression and then psychosis. I struggled for over two years trying to alleviate the depressive cycles when I discovered that my mental illness was related to the food I had eaten (or not eaten) for two decades. When I was stable, I began to read and then to research the specific nutrients that are most implicated in depression in the medical literature. How do you know if you are low? How much should you supplement? Which foods are highest in these nutrients? These questions took me into nutrition and food science. I have a book on the topic, Rebuild from Depression, forthcoming in 2008.

The depression and the allergies in our household also caused us to move from the San Joaquin Valley of California into private land in the Sequoia National Forest. We are co-owners, along with my mother, of a diamond-in-the-rough historic home designed by Irving Gill. The house has also been a home to a bordello and drug trafficking. Neither of those crimes have been practiced during my stay here, to my knowledge. The house is about 10 miles from the pastureland of the now-decertified Vander Eyk Organic Dairy. I met the Ethicureans back in June when our video eulogy to that dairy made the blog Digest.

The forest lifestyle affects our food lifestyle as well. We have five acres of very rich soil. We have begun a small orchard and have abundant room for gardening. My mom is an avid gardener and cook. I shovel where she tells me. Together, my mom and I work on the website about food and depression. She contributes regular food videos. I contribute food science and nutrition information when I am not writing about local dairies.