Healthy Brain with Chef Annie Fenn, MD

With Alzheimer’s Disease and other cognitive conditions on the rise, it’s never been more important to take care of your brain.

We talk to Chef AND Doctor Annie Fenn on the role nutrition plays in the health of your body’s most important organ – your brain!


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Healthy Brain with Chef Annie Fenn, MD

Annie Fenn Healthy Brain Oven Steamed Salmon

Brain Works Kitchen with Annie Fenn. Dinner for Dr. Martha Stearn’s cognitive health class. St John’s Medical Center. CREDIT: David J Swift

Chef Annie Fenn, MD is an OBGYN who took the leap into teaching healthy cooking for her local community and patients. Now she’s taking her very important message to the world – What you eat might be the most important decision when it comes to brain health!

We met Annie at Move for Minds – The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement event in Irvine, California, and were taken in by her spirit and drive to support such an important cause. We invited her onto our show, and had a wonderful time with her talking everything brain health.

What’s up in this episode

  • What causes Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Why do more women suffer from the disease than men?
  • What’s the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and modern lifestyle?
  • Is eating for Alzheimer’s disease similar to any other diets?
  • What kind of improvements can one expect from a change in diet?
  • What are the most important foods to add?
  • What are the most important foods to remove? Is minimizing effective
    or is it important to exclude certain foods?
  • Are there any cooking techniques that are better for Alzheimer’s support?
  • Is intermittent fasting useful and effective for treatment, delaying,
    or preventing Alzheimer’s?
  • What about exercise and lifestyle? How do things outside of diet
    compare when it comes to brain health?
  • Are there any great resources you recommend? Books? Organizations?
    Cookbooks? Websites?

Annie Fenn Links and Resources

Annie Fenn Superfood Salad brain health

Annie Fenn with Superfood Salad from Pearl St Market. CREDIT: David J Swift

To sign up for a monthly newsletter about what’s new in keeping our brains healthy (with recipes), register at BrainWorksKitchen.com

Annie Fenn on Instagram

Annie Fenn on Facebook

Annie Fenn on Twitter

Annie Fenn on LinkedIn

Photo credits David J Swift, unless otherwise noted.

Chewy Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies

Originally made for the Hands-On Brain Works Cooking Class with visiting Chef Dr. Annie Fenn

Makes 18-24 cookies

  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • ¾ cup oat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate (60-70%)
  • A few pinches of pink Himalayan salt, or other flaky salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar with the sugar and oil. Add the egg and the vanilla until combined.

Add chocolate and fold in with a rubber spatula.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out the cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between cookies.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until slightly browned. Rotate pans midway through the cooking time.

Remove and sprinkle with salt.

Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Keys to success – Make sure the dough is thoroughly chilled. Resist the urge to make bigger than 1 tablespoon-sized cookies—they will spread and not longer be chewy!

Also, underbake slightly. Keep an eye on the cookies towards the end of the cooking time and pull them from the oven before you think they are done. They will continue to set up for a few minutes on the baking sheet.


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Our podcast theme music is “Protofunk” by Kevin MacLeod  of incompetech.com. Licensed under Creative Commons 3.0.

Talk soon,

Roland & Galina