Friday, December 08, 2006

We've all known stress in our lives, and over the years we develop certain coping mechanisms to carry us through it when stressful situations arise.

At a recent Functional Foods Conference in Richardson, Texas, I had the pleasure of meeting a group of scientists, university professors and various medical practitioners passionately involved in the study of - and cutting edge research with - so-called functional foods.

I met one of my heros (from the early 70s), Dr. Earl Mindell, author of The Vitamin Bible, who signed one of his books for me. And I met over a dozen other fascinating people - all interested in food as medicine.

Since that time in October, I've begun a correspondence with Dr. Moris Silber, M.D., Ph.D, a research professor of the Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

At 66, Dr. Silber was still far-and-away the most active participant in Q & A discussions with the various speakers there - in a small conference group of less than 40 people from all over the world - and he appeared to be quite well-known and respected by his peers.


My own interest in food as medicine - and the overarching reason for my attendance - was developed before my 15-year career as a serious chef actually began - because, for me at least, the study of food was always interwoven with all my other interests - but especially of health and nutrition. Throughout much of the 80s I was mad about spa cuisine, aka cuisine sante, and I was particularly fond of American, French, Japanese and Italian dishes - often because the high-end food service businesses which were most popular paid the most to experienced chefs.

And I wanted to devour all of it - a glutton for punishment if there ever was one - because, as any chef will tell you, the skills required of a successful chef are hard-won, and the hours are tortuous, to say the least.

For many years, in Japan, where statistics can be gathered and studied more comprehensively - as the Japanese are a more homogeneous society than is our melting-pot society - chefs and restaurateurs have long been known to have the highest mortality rate among all professions, trades and employment groups consistently analyzed.

Such is our dismissal of, shall we say, the less-privileged socio-economic groups in the U.S. - what with so many illegal aliens and young people employed in this massive sector - and our disparate racial elements, we often are told that surgeons and air traffic controllers have the highest mortality rates. But I dare say that if accurate statistical records were kept we might learn that our experience here is not too dissimilar.

The people thus charged with keeping us fed - in a time-starved, media-saturated culture - live the shortest lives and die the soonest.

One of these days I'd like to expound on this time period, as I've much to share of my own experiences; but, even though I have not held a professional position since 1994, I still try to keep up, and still subscribe to a few of the trades.

Ultimately, I became disillusioned with the scarcity of quality foodstuffs, the shortage of dedicated European-trained workers, and the brutality of the typical business model. All this propounded by, you guessed it, stress.


Dr. Silber is in discussions with Mark and me about writing a new book.

This man spent 23 years of his life as the lead scientist for the old Soviet Olympics teams - and he, too, has much to share - about a lot of things...but mostly related to the scientific aspects of what he's learned in sports medicine...and its potential ramifications for a stressed-out world...often too dependent on quick-fixes and prescription drugs for relief.

You see, while Western allopathic - or conventional - medicine has heavily focused on protocols for disease treatment centered on surgical (cutting), radiation (burning), and/or drug (poisoning) interventions, much of what we call the science of medicine - and its worldwide body of students and practitioners over many, many years, and from many traditions - has not necessarily bought into their arguments.

For example, even the exalted Royal Family in England has, as their primary care-givers - (oh, the horror!) homeopaths - at their beck and call. And who would argue they don't have insurance coverage or can't afford to see any doctor they choose? Given their fair share of a fair amount of uncommon sense?

Many treatments available to us outside the conventional medical community are to be preferred if they are less-invasive, have fewer side effects, and are holistic - more systemic in their approach - and their respect for the sanctity and complexity of our human organism is better appreciated and more highly evolved.

Personally, I consider that less is often more - treatment with a sledge hammer is less-preferred, when, with an alternate opinion, a feather will often do.

Don't you?

Modern American doctors function in a sellers' market, as do their brethren at Big Pharma and in the FDA. Years from now, history will teach us that - along with Big Media and the military-industrial complex (warned about by Eisenhower) - the American Medical Association membership will have done us more societal harm overall than all the wars of the 20th century combined.

And the corporatist takeover of our government will very nearly have finished us all.

These groups - conventional doctors too - will be seen as the single most insidious cabal of evil-doers ever visited upon us. We will look back and marvel at our own willingness to have been duped for so long, at the destruction they had caused the world's citizens.

Though many modern doctors (the same vicious circle of revolving door operatives who run Big Pharma, the AMA and the FDA) are often well-meaning, they know before they ever finish their internships that the once-noble Hippocratic Oath has long-ago been supplanted by an implicit understanding of something less to be desired - as much, to our detriment, as Big Media, the military-industrial complex and their corporatist lackeys - which drive the power-mad capitalist machine - no longer deserve the appellation, guardians of our democracy, anymore.

Enlightened citizens - many of them not activists - lead lives of quiet desperation, too concerned with themselves and their own kind to feel they have any other recourse, in the face of such a juggernaut, but to batten down the hatches and steam full speed ahead, in a desperate race toward oblivion.

With the creation of order comes the initiation of chaos, and too often, the deleterious consequences arising from stress - in all its guises and manifestations - naturally follow.

Our psycho-physical intuitive bodies are beautifully designed to deal with it though; and without it, we would not be fully attuned to the remedial actions we can take to deal with it successfully.

Stress cannot be seen as merely all bad. In fact, if it be alive - in every sense of the word it - stress is inherently a part of its everyday life.

Dr. Silber can teach us a lot about this subject. And Mark and I will be tasked with delivering his revolutionary message - largely, because it has often been misunderstood in the West, even by academicians and medical doctors.

Today, our better understanding of quantum physics has alerted many astute observers that we truly live in an electrical universe - ultimately more so than in a chemical one.

This very fact has been at the heart of theoretical discussions among scientists for a long time...and medical science will take its biggest evolutionary leap forward in this new century once this basic argument has been won.

Medicine and the treatment of disease will be changed because prevention and self-healing will displace the wastefulness and wanton greed which has kept most of us in the dark, and medicine from advancement.

Food, air and water will be seen in the special light they deserve again - since their quality goes hand-in-hand with the quality of our lives and the survival of all living species on Earth.

With quality essential fuel maybe we can begin to form higher quality relationships - first with ourselves, then with others, and, finally, with the living earth.

The corporatists must be reigned in, their control over "private property" strictly regulated - especially as their destructive tendencies affect the health of the commons and all living things.

The mining of finite natural resources, the depletion of our topsoil, and the destruction of endangered species and natural habitat deserve enlightened attention if we believe we care about anything.

Dr. Silber understands this salient knowledge better than most. Which is why he suffers, so important is it to him to get this information widely disseminated into the public domain.

And he's an avowed capitalist!

In this country now for some 16 years, following his emigration to the West, he laments that his English is not better - enough to be easily understood. And the concepts he has to share, the preventatives and treatments to outline, are really rooted in good science. But they often fly in the face of what American doctors are throwing out to their patients looking for a pill or a quick fix to instantly cure what's ailing them.

An email excerpt I sent to Mark the other day reads...

Here is an overview of what so-called adaptogenic science has to say on the subject. Adaptogens have been downplayed by the American Medical Association because they are not considered "real science" which fits their worldview of chemical (poison) treatments for the "management" of human disease. Anything which has to do with the treatment of sickness and disease with natural substances is considered "off-limits" under its guidelines for practicing physicians here in the U.S., thus its study and much of the good science supported by the scientific method under watchful peer review is still considered "underground".

Nowadays, too many respected medical researchers are finally beginning to take this stuff more seriously, and it's being brought forth more frequently in the most prestigious publications by more and more doctors petitioning for patents and certification by the they can begin the marketing of these 100% natural formulations, in earnest, to the conventional medical community at-large.

And it's no all these misunderstood subjects deal with STRESS on the human body - and how best to treat it without more damn drugs!

We don't have to be athletes to know stress is one huge problem in modern societies.

And Big Pharma and their partners-in-crime, the AMA, don't want it widely known to the general public that something natural - from Russia, no less - might just cure their ills better than what conventional American medicine would prescribe!


Valeology is the new - mostly Russian - science of human health & sports fitness; and pharmacosanation involves the usage of pharmacological agents for optimal nutrition.

These subjects have been of a more-than-passing interest of mine for many years, and I believe I can get something "marketable" out of him. You see, much of what occurred in the old Soviet Union was, for a long, long time, not generally available to the western news media, and their society was considered secretive, to say the least.

But with the launch of Sputnik into outer space, and the unqualified success of their Olympics program, the world community knew we had to take these guys seriously - especially their scientific achievements!

So, without getting too long-winded again, would you be open to testing the Hipcast audio recording system sometime this weekend, by letting me interview you (like we discussed already)?

We will want to record an interview with him to begin the process.


And here is my communication to Dr. Silber...

Hi Dr. Silber!

I’m so glad your conference went well for you; but then, somehow, I knew it would!

My activities in the world have been uneventful of late…which is a blessing. Thank you for asking!

Working titles – and the subtitles or headlines attached – are very useful when a work is in-progress. For starters, by envisioning the end result of your particular work product, it allows one to more fully embrace the information you want to include in your text – the supporting info which will reinforce and enhance the titles.

To organize your work it might be necessary to create an outline. After editing the outline, you can then attach a subtitle representing each chapter.

In each instance – whether for the outline, the chapters, or the book itself – it’s often helpful to begin with questions you propose to answer.

So to review, first we will create an introduction – which explains what you hope for the reader to “benefit” from by reading your material. Afterwards, we will pose specific questions your readers might have – and which you intend to answer.

Like this:

What exactly is stress? (Tell me the short answer first – then the long answers afterwards – in an organized, comprehensive way…that I can easily understand.)

What qualifies you to pass this knowledge onto me? What unique qualifications or new, specialized information can you share with me that I should consider important?

Why should I care? Why should I care enough to pay for this information?

Is all stress bad?

What is an adaptogen?

What is valeology?

What is pharmacosanation?

Why are these subjects of specialized study controversial?

If I read this information, how will I benefit? What’s in it for me?

What can you tell me which will inspire me to take beneficial action?

How can I learn to cope with stress better?

Do I need to adjust or change my diet? Why?

Should I take supplements? Why?

What can I do to alter my physical activities to better cope with stress?

How does emotional stress relate to physical stress?

What are some simple things I can do to control stress?

Will you be able to present this information to me in a way that I can actually use it?

How is it I can easily calm my nerves to alleviate stress?

What are the top 10 coping mechanisms I can practice so that stress becomes less harmful to me?

The more tightly-focused is the question…the shorter your answer needs to be! In fact, instead of writing in an attempt to appeal to academics like yourself, it might be more user-friendly – and much easier – to design your book to contain nothing more than “short questions” with “short answers”.

This format will be more appealing to the popular culture - and ordinary, uninformed buyers of your book! When this is assembled – and after editing all aspects – we can begin to create some short stories about some of your actual experiences over the years learning and applying this specialized knowledge in real-world circumstances.

People like to read “true stories”, “real-life adventures”, “confessions of an addict”, “my biggest mistakes”, “how does Soviet medicine differ from Western medicine”, “why I became interested in this research”, etcetera, because it makes you appear more human, more like them, because you will be presenting yourself as “just another person who cares about something beyond himself”.

And thus, you will have the ability to present yourself as “likable”, however you see fit! The perception of yourself you’d most wish others to know…can be the reality you present to them! And a “cold, too-serious” subject – like stress – will be seen by your readers (your fans) as “not so scary” or “uninteresting”.

Call or email me anytime, Dr. Silber. The task of creating your book will NOT be work – it’ll be FUN!

You will see... :)

Best regards,