The following excerpt is the foreword from Suzanne Somers’ New York Times bestseller, Fast & Easy, contributed by Dr. Michael Galitzer.
CONTRIBUTED BY DR. MICHAEL GALITZER
My medical career began in Los Angeles as a Board Certified Emergency Room Physician during the years 1974-1988. During that time I participated in many “Code Blues” (cardiac arrests). By the time the patient got to the ER, it was often too late. We continued CPR, but after 20 minutes, we ended the resuscitation.
Then in 1991, at a self-improvement seminar on the Big Island of Hawaii, my beliefs about life and death were radically changed. I had just climbed to the top of a 50 foot pole (the ropes course), and leaped to catch the trapeze and missed. I was extremely dismayed as I was slowly being brought down. I began to walk away from my group of 60 people, and as I walked away I noticed that one of the people in my group was crying because he had also missed the trapeze. Realizing by the law of contrast, that my emotional state was far better than his, I rejoined my group, and began cheering for my fellow teammates.
One of my teammates, Howard, had just missed the trapeze, and as he was lowered to the ground, he was smiling to all. As his feet gently landed on the ground, 15 feet directly in front of me, he went into cardiac arrest. I immediately began CPR, had 2 teammates, massage the inner aspect of the little fingers (the heart meridian in acupuncture), and called for the paramedics. It took 30 minutes for the Paramedics to arrive, and we started the IV, put a tube in his trachea, gave him all the cardiac drugs, and defibrillated him with the paddles, to no avail. He was flat line. I continued to work on him as we transferred him to the ambulance. As I moved to board the ambulance, the paramedics thanked me for my help, and informed me that my services were no longer needed (it was now their turf). I looked them straight in the eye and said “No way, I’m not leaving now.” We took a 30 minute ride to the hospital (it turned out to be an urgent care center), during which time the defibrillator stopped working. It had been 1 hour of CPR and I was exhausted, Howard was purple and gray, and it didn’t look good. We were 5 minutes from the hospital, when the paramedic smacked the defibrillator, like you would do to an old TV set to get it to work, and suddenly a heart rhythm magically appeared on the monitor. Five minutes later as we pulled up to the hospital, he had a blood pressure of 100, and five minutes later, Howard woke up. He went on to make a complete recovery, after being without a heart beat for 1 hour. For the next 7 years I received the most beautiful cards from Howard, thanking me for saving his life. We were taught in medical school that the brain can only go 5 minutes without oxygen, before irreversible changes occur, but Howard didn’t agree with that theory. My lesson was “Never say Never”, and don’t fall into the trap of using old beliefs to guide present actions and behaviors.
Yes, miracles do happen. Everything is possible. You can do anything and everything that you want. You can lose weight. You can regain your health. All you need to do is change your beliefs about what you want to change. A belief is nothing more than a feeling of certainty about something. We all had beliefs about the world when we were younger, or when we were kids, that no longer serve us. I remember being a kid and thinking that 30 was old! Some of our beliefs as kids are no longer true. Remember the belief that “Money is the root of all evil”.
We also keep looking back to the past to define possibilities for the future. This is what people do around diets and losing weight. They go back to a past frame of reference when they were unable to lose weight for a sustained period of time, and get frustrated when attempting to lose weight in the present. The key is to change the beliefs that no longer serve you. How do you change those beliefs? The best way is to start developing new attitudes and experiences that cause you to question your old beliefs.
Suzanne Somers, in “Fast and Easy”, gives you an incredible amount of information that is both scientifically based and medically correct. She wonderfully debunks the old thinking that fats are bad for you and carbs are good for you. Suzanne understands that people want to feel better and have more energy, but don’t want to deprive themselves. She knows that the key is to focus on what people can have. As soon as we start to think about what we can’t have and how we have to limit ourselves, we don’t feel well. When we have great choices and tastes, we become more enthusiastic. “Fast and Easy” offers great ways to both feel and look better.
I have been practicing Anti-Aging Medicine since 1986. I utilize many different modalities, including nutrition, homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture, heavy metal detoxification, sensory resonance, and BioIdentical hormone replacement therapy. In 1986 I was a burnt out ER doc. When I added all the hours of all the shifts that I worked in the ER, I had spent the equivalent of 3 full years living in a hospital! For most of my ER years, there were no trauma centers in L.A. The trauma cases went to the nearest ER. They used to call me Dr. Trauma, for I seemed to attract those cases, whenever I worked.
In 1986 I came across an opportunity in Los Angeles, where a holistic clinic was looking for a medical doctor to do general practice and nutrition. I knew general practice from being an ER doc, but didn’t have a clue about nutrition. I went about learning nutrition, reading everything I could get my hands on. I took countless seminars, listened to numerous audiotapes, and hired a nutritionist to help me. I figured the best way to start was to get blood tests that showed the foods that people were allergic to. I figured that if you identified the allergic foods and had people avoid those foods, they had to get better. Wrong. Nobody felt better, nobody lost weight, and the GI symptoms of gas, bloating and constipation persisted. In those days, I never asked the question of why people were allergic to those foods.
Could it be that they were allergic to those foods because of poor food combining choices? Were they eating those foods every day, even two to three times a day, because they were addicted to the body’s reaction to those foods? Were they tired because they ate far too many carbs? Did they gain weight because they ate too many carbs, and not enough healthy fats? What I needed in those days were Suzanne’s wonderful books about Somersizing.
I have since come to understand that health is our natural state of being. Disease and illness are but shadows on the river of health. Regaining your health is not always fast, but it can be easy. The first thing that someone who wants to get healthier must do is to improve their nutrition. How should you eat? One of the key tenets in medicine is that obesity is a risk factor for many diseases including heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and stroke. So the next question is how does one eat in order to prevent obesity? Should you avoid fats and eat lots of carbohydrates, or as Somersizing says, should you eat fats and avoid most carbohydrates, and thereby lower blood insulin levels, which prevent storage of excess calories as fat. The evidence overwhelmingly points to Somersizing as being the most effective approach. Let’s look at history for proof.
In “The Physiology of Taste,” written in 1825 and considered to be one of the most famous books ever written about food, the French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin says that he could easily identify the causes of obesity after 30 years of listening to “one stout party” after another proclaiming the joys of bread, rice, and potatoes. It was Ancel Keys, a University of Minnesota physician who introduced the low-fat-is-good health dogma in the 1950′s with his theory that dietary fat raises cholesterol levels and gives you heart disease. In January 1977 a Senate committee led by Geroge McGovern published its “Dietary Goals for the United States,” advising that Americans significantly curb their fat intake to abate an epidemic of “killer diseases” supposedly sweeping the country. In 1984 the National Institutes of Health officially recommended that all American over the age of 2 eat less fat. By now the model American breakfast of eggs and bacon had given way to becoming a bowl of Special K with low-fat milk, a glass of orange juice and toast (hold the butter please). Over the past 20 years most Americans have followed this low fat high carbohydrate approach resulting in skyrocketing levels of obesity in both adults and children!
Enter 21st century Science. Walter Willet, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, is the spokesperson of the longest-running most comprehensive diet and health study ever performed, costing upward of $100 million and including data on nearly 300,000 individuals. His conclusion is that the “DATA CLEARLY CONTRADICT THE LOW-FAT-IS GOOD-HEALTH MESSAGE.”
Now would you believe that not only do Americans eat way too many carbohydrates but they eat the wrong kind of carbohydrates? Here is a list of the top twenty sources of carbohydrate in the American Diet.
- White Bread
- Cold breakfast cereal
- Dark Bread
- Orange juice
- White Rice
- Fruit Punch
- Skim Milk
- Table Sugar
- Cranberry Juice
- French Fries
When eaten regularly, most of these foods are guaranteed to produce the following symptoms:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Poor sleep
- Gas and bloating
Suzanne is being very kind when she refers to most of these foods as funky foods. . She doesn’t feel that all carbohydrates are bad; the carbs in whole-grain form are actually beneficial for you, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread, since they contain large amounts of fiber, which causes blood sugar to rise more slowly after eating, resulting in less insulin release. She makes a further distinction in that she does not want you to combine these healthy carbs with foods in the protein/fat group, so that digestion is optimized, with no gas or bloating.
Suzanne wants all of us to be the best that we can be, to radiate health, to have passion, to have boundless energy, and to be emotionally balanced. You can’t get to these physical and emotional states by eating the funky carbohydrates. Additionally, by regularly eating most of these funky foods, you will gain a whole lot of weight, since excess insulin release causes your body to store calories as fat.
Another area that is skillfully addressed in “Fast and Easy” is bone loss or osteoporosis. The United States has the highest level of calcium consumption in the world, yet also has one of the highest incidences of osteoporosis. How can that be? The major reason is increased cellular acidity. The major causes of cellular acidity are:
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of Exercise
Cellular acidity (or cellular toxicity) can occur at any age. As a rule, the older we are the more toxic we are, because our elimination systems become more sluggish. Toxins accumulate in and around cells. The cellular environment thus becomes more acidic. The easiest way for the body to neutralize cellular acidity, is to mobilize alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The greatest reservoir of these alkaline minerals is in the bone. Consequently, calcium and magnesium leave the bone in order to neutralize cellular acidity, resulting in osteoporosis. Just taking calcium is not enough. We need to follow Suzanne’s advice to improve our nutrition, exercise more, and find more effective ways to deal with stress. One good way to deal with stress is to see stress as a challenge, instead of a threat. By giving more desirable meaning to those circumstances or events in our lives that we might label as stressors, we elicit healthier emotional responses. There are three main causes of chronic stress:
- Long term unhealthy beliefs that cause us to perceive life events as “dangers”, and thus trigger an alarm response.
- Long term or persistent deprivation of our emotional need for “bonding” or closeness.
- Not getting enough of our psychological needs met in our daily environments that are unique to our specific personality type. Some of us need to have fun and excitement; others, need acknowledgement of our values; others need acknowledgement of our ability to think clearly and logically; other people need solitude, and some of us need our senses to be richly stimulated.
Suzanne Somers speaks to all of us in the important work that she is doing in nutrition and health. She speaks to us as a friend we can trust and believe, and also have fun with as we reshape our thoughts and beliefs along with reshaping our bodies!
I was very impressed with the fact that “Fast and Easy” addresses the role of supplements in optimizing health. It is a fact that most Americans eat a diet that contains foods that are processed and full of preservatives and colorings. Therefore, we are unable to obtain the necessary amount of nutrients – the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are needed to drive chemical reactions in the body that create energy and detoxify the body from the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Some of the major toxins in our environment are:
- The city water that we drink , bathe and shower with
- The insecticides and pesticides that contaminate our fruits and vegetables
- The hormones and antibiotics that are given to animals to fatten them up and accelerate their growth, and to prevent infection that might result from their less than optimal living conditions
- Exhaust pollution from automobiles and industry
- Substances such as cigarette smoke and alcohol
These toxins must be eliminated from the body by our liver, lymph, and kidney system. If they are not eliminated efficiently, they begin to be stored in the body. Over time they will interfere with organ function and hormone production, resulting in clinical symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and irritability.
With this in mind, there is a great need for all of us to supplement our daily food intake with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, and to also use herbs to help our elimination organs (especially the liver) excrete toxins out of the body. Suzanne is to be commended for addressing the subject in an elegant and very understandable way, and by creating products that improve our health.
One day, a patient of mine, who is an associate of Suzanne, returned for her second visit. She was feeling much better, and gave me a gift of SomerSweet chocolate truffles, which my assistant and I agree are quite delicious. She also gave me a jar of the sweetener, SomerSweet, to try. Among other things I practice German Biological Medicine, which allows me to test all sorts of products, from herbs and homeopathics, to vitamins and other supplements, to make sure that the product is both effective and tolerated. Some products are quite effective, but are very poorly tolerated by the body – an example is Cancer Chemotherapy. I want my patients to have products that both work and have no side effects. I began testing SomerSweet with all my patients and found it to be both effective and tolerated by everyone. It appears to be a far superior product than Stevia, the sweetener derived from an herb from the Amazon. To my amazement, Somersweet also appears to normalize insulin levels in patients that have varying degrees of insulin resistance. While much more definitive research needs to be done, this product is clearly a winner, and is extremely safe. My congratulations to Suzanne for developing such a wonderful product.
Health is much, much more than the absence of disease. Health is energy, vitality, passion. Healthy people have physical energy, emotional balance, and spiritual awareness, and simultaneously vibrate on all three levels. We now have the tools to slow the aging process, and accelerate the regeneration of the cells and tissues of the body. “Fast and Easy” gives all of us the information we need to take our health to the next level. It is fun reading and extremely factual. I heartily recommend this book to everyone who is interested in utilizing nutrition in order to slow the aging process. Suzanne Somers is clearly a health hero, for she is determined to improve the health of Americans, by creating a way of eating that reduces obesity, increases vitality, and thus promotes happiness.
As Suzanne says,
To Your Health
Michael Galitzer, M.D.