I feel that this blog is very important, so though it is longer than most of my blogs I ask that you take the time to read it all the way through, and please forward to anyone who you think would benefit.
Today we live in a world with a food supply that is full of processed foods and chemicals, and millions of people use drugs and medications in their every day life. It is no secret that the United States is the most overweight and one of the sickest and disease-ridden countries in the world, with scarily increasing numbers of adult onset diabetes, colon cancer, prostate caner, gout and so many other diseases, that to list them all here would be incredibly alarming.
So clearly now is a time that we have to take action, look out for our own health and make our own choices. 100 years ago, things were a lot different. Processes like canned foods, using excessive preservatives, microwave dinners and pesticides like “Round Up” and DDT were not around. People went to the doctor primarily for trauma and accidents, and when they acquired serious illnesses. Taking medications on a daily basis was a tiny fraction of the epic proportions of our time.
I have a lot of respect for the Western medical profession and all that are part of that system. However, there happens to be other sources and standards for information besides that one source. The first time I really contemplated this was during my world journey a few years ago, when I was in India for 3 months. I got really sick when I was in Rishikesh, and I went to go see an Indian doctor. The first thing he gave me was a strong laxative, and told me, “In India we say 98% of sickness starts in the bowel. We work there first.” At first I thought it was a very odd concept, and I thought how different an approach it was from any doctor I probably would have gone to back home. But then I began to reflect on how backed up I was from all the traveling in harsh conditions. I was a virtual cesspool and breeding ground for bacteria and infection, there was so much waste in me.
I have spent several years outside the Western world entirely, which was a great blessing, and has profoundly changed my perspective of health. There are many countries that are far healthier than ours, and use ancient medical and medicinal practices such as Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Chinese medicine, Chinese herbology, Naturopathic medicine and many more. Surely we must recognize that it would be arrogant and narrow-minded to insist that there was only one way: The Western medical science, and totally discredit ancient sciences and other systems of healing, ESPECIALLY when taking into account the poor health of our own country. There are alternatives, and that is why there are alternative medicine and healing options. Yes, there are alternative approaches to health and nutrition!
Western medical practitioners often like to ask questions like, “Where is the evidence?” and “Where are the studies?” and “Hmm, I never read about that in one of my textbooks!” Well, unfortunately the problem with studies is that they can often be skewed to show information that the person paying for the study wants to be shown. A doctor recently showed me a study that “proved” that milk was not mucus-forming. When I read the study carefully, I noticed that the placebo against which the dairy milk was measured was soy milk, also another extremely mucus-forming food! So it is essential to evaluate carefully and not blindly accept data “proven” by every single, standalone study. It is so unbelievably confusing if we live in that world- and we will have new information to confuse us pop up daily. We have to experience what works best for us and individualize our diets. Arguing about studies all day long on paper is totally useless. What really matters are the results in our health- feeling energetic and youthful, and staying healthy and disease-free. Clearly this is widely not being attained in our country.
Of course there are some studies that can not be ignored, and one of them is the China Project. It was spearhead by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D, of Cornell University, and it is the most comprehensive study on the connection between diet and disease in medical history- lasting several decades and studying populations with a full range of dietary possibilities. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this book. In it are not only Campbell’s personal observations- but also 750 outside references, with the vast majority of them primary sources of information, including hundreds of scientific publications from other researchers published in the most reputable scientific journals. In sum, the China Project showed a strong correlation between cancer and other diseases and the amount of animal protein, not just animal fat, and dairy products that are consumed. So those findings would indicate that even low-fat grilled, skinless chicken meat and skim milk are implicated in certain cancers and diseases.
I can only imagine how unsettling it would be if you had a job where you spent years telling people to eat lean animal protein for long-burning energy and skim milk for calcium to hear about this. Especially if they had spent a lot of money and time getting a degree and studying textbooks that told them the exact opposite. And when people feel unsettled, they also feel threatened that they are invalidated and somehow discredited. When people feel like that, it is easy to get closed off to new information, and get really defensive about the validation of the particular belief system they had been trained under.
So let’s talk about something related to my blog, The Green Smoothie. People are often taught that fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants and fiber….but it is not often that people discuss their high enzyme quantity. Enzymes are chemical protein complexes and bioenergy reservoirs, which are necessary for digestion, metabolism, and many other processes of the body. Enzyme preservation is a key component of my nutritional and anti-aging theory, though no one would ever learn about it in a typical nutrition textbook.
Sure we could get into studies and research if we really wanted to! Dr. Troland from Harvard University was one of the first scientists to put forth a living theory for enzymes, and said, “Life is something which has been built up about the enzymes; it is corollary of enzyme activity.” Dr. Robert G. Denkewalter, who was one of the first to synthesize an enzyme protein, says that enzymes are “embarrassing because they can do at body temperatures and in simple solution what we organic chemists can do only with corrosive agents and at high temperatures and with laborious processes.” Etc. Etc.
But what I focus on in my blog and in my nutrition advice is supplying people with the basic information of what enzymes are…and how to just make the Green Smoothie! People feel so great from drinking it, and having so many high quantities of greens in their diet, that the results speak for themselves. They do not feel heavy and tired, the way they would if they ate an egg white omelet with whole wheat toast and then a banana after that.
My point is that there is not only one way, one perspective, and one valid system of training. To claim that only a doctor, registered dietitian, naturopathic doctor, Ayurvedic doctor, nutritionist, someone tied to a pharmaceutical company or anyone else is the ONLY person that can be a nutrition expert is close-minded and can dangerously suppress someone from furthering their learning and being open to expanding their knowledge base.
NO ONE, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE HOLDS THE MONOPOLY ON THE TRUTH IN REGARDS TO NUTRITIONAL ADVICE.
I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist and am will shortly complete my degree to become a Clinical Nutritionist. I am also a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Georgetown University. These are great to have on paper. But do I think studying this for 300 hours out of a textbook or that for 1200 hours or whatever automatically makes you an expert? Absolutely not! Every individual involved in nutrition should be constantly learning and seeking information, and base their theories and beliefs on not just what is in one system’s textbooks, but from a wide range of information. I consider the thousands of hours I spent in 3 years studying in over 50 countries around the world, and additional years working at a longevity center in Manhattan, with a natural detoxification center in Sydney, Australia, and working with dozens of other nutrition specialists, medical doctors, Ph.D’s and many others the real basis of my nutritional education.
The information I present in my blog is the result of a long process of investigation, work, and experience to seek answers on how to attain better health.
In this critical time it is so crucial that we are all open to different approaches to health and nutrition, and follow the path that makes the most sense to each one of us and works for each of us individually.
In love and health,
PS: There are many progressive sources of information that are perhaps not commonly known to the general public, but come from individuals with backgrounds as medical doctors, biochemists, physicists, and Ph.Ds. Just because their work is not as mainstream as the existing prevailing viewpoint in no way makes their work any less valid.
Here is a very limited and partial list of some people whose work would be fairly easy for you to get your hands on and explore, should you be interested: Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Ann Wigmore, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Antoine Beauchamp, Victor Klavinskas, Dr. Pritikin, and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez, to name but a few.