david r md

Foreword by David Allen, M.D.

This book is devoted to educating people on how to achieve optimum health through proper food selection, a positive lifestyle, and responsible hormone replacement. Suzanne Somers triumphs in undertaking these complex topics and presenting them in a clear and understandable way without sacrificing the depth of each subject.

Based on my thirty years of medical experience, I eagerly endorse all that Suzanne presents here: cutting-edge information given in a way that can be absorbed and applied by anyone who is committed to good health, vitality, and longevity.

In the last quarter of a century our knowledge of nutrition and health has increased exponentially. I remember how as a senior at UCLA School of Medicine I engaged in a debate with one of the professors. The topic was “Does Diet Affect Your Health?” The professor’s position was that diet really didn’t matter. If you ate from the four main food groups (meat, dairy, fruit, vegetable), that was all you needed to do to enjoy optimum health. I argued that it was much more complex than that, and, for example, there was a fifth main food group he neglected to talk about. This was a group called miscellaneous, which included soft drinks, Twinkies, Snickers, and so on. And this fifth group comprised up to 40 percent of the caloric intake of the average American. Many years later I was proved right, and now you can learn much about the devastating effects sugar and refined carbohydrates can have on your health. Suzanne explains how limiting your intake of these foods is one of the keys to health and weight loss.

A few years after graduating from medical school, my nutritional consciousness was raised in an unexpected way while I was working in an emergency room in Ojai, California. I was waiting for a patient’s test results and started talking to his wife. She was a horse breeder and I casually asked her about what horses ate. She replied that it depended on the time of year, the activity level and age of the horse, and so forth. I was startled and asked, “You mean the behavior and health of a horse depends to a large degree on what the horse eats?” She said that this had been widely known for years and was surprised that I was unaware of this. She told me that people spend millions of dollars training and raising horses and diet plays an integral part in this process. I was shocked and suddenly reflected on how my medical education included nothing about how food and nutrients could affect human health, performance, and disease prevention.

Since I have been in practice I have tried and supervised many diets, ranging from macrobiotic, fruitarian, Pritikin, vegan, and The Zone to Atkins, raw foods, blood type, and grapefruit, just to name a few. With so much conflicting diet advice, the average person becomes confused about choosing the best way to eat.

If we look back 40,000 years, the human body then is identical to how it is today, and it’s instructive to look at what millions of years of evolution designed our bodies to eat. Early humans ate a variety of foods and ate them in season. This is consistent with Suzanne’s idea of proper food combining. I can imagine early humans eating some form of fruit and then walking for twenty or thirty minutes before gathering and eating something else. They ate simply and by necessity didn’t combine a lot of foods. The simple rules of proper food combining could probably eliminate up to 50 percent of all gastrointestinal problems. Imagine that!

It was only after the last Ice Age, around 8,000 years ago, that grains began to be cultivated. This means that many of us do poorly with grains, especially highly processed grain products. This does not mean that grains in their whole form should be excluded from a healthy diet. It does mean that consumption of high-glycemic carbohydrates that are derived from grains, such as white flour and sugar, should be kept to a minimum. A recent article in The Journal of the American Medical Association confirmed that low-glycemic index diets facilitated more weight loss than low-fat diets, reduced the incidence of diabetes, lowered cholesterol, decreased chronic inflammation, and lowered blood pressure. Appropriately enough, foods with a low glycemic index, which keep insulin levels low in the blood, form an important part of Suzanne’s health program.

As a practicing physician who sees patients every day, I am aware of the problems that affect us all. Most people I see have what I call vertical illness. They are remaining vertical, not sick in bed in a horizontal position. They go to work, raise children, have relationships, and otherwise conduct their lives productively—but they don’t feel good. The number one complaint of all people who come for help is fatigue. As a country we are tired. We drink coffee to charge us up in the morning and alcohol to wind us down at night. I always ask, “On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, what is your general energy level?” Of the people who answer seven to nine, I find that most of them are running on wired energy, fueled by a strong will, but underneath they are exhausted more often than not. I then inquire about when they are most tired. If they are exhausted and can’t get up in the morning I wonder about heavy eating at bedtime, poor sleep, or low thyroid. If they have mid- or late-afternoon fatigue, I wonder about burned-out adrenals. Late-night fatigue often relates to low growth hormone levels, and low blood sugar, estrogen, or testosterone levels can produce fatigue at any time of day.

The second most common complaint is either headache or some kind of stomach or intestinal problem. Every other commercial on TV is for headache pain or some form of stomach pain, bloating, or excess acid. Billions of dollars are spent on medications that offer only symptom relief and do nothing to address the cause of these conditions.

Another major concern among my patients is lack of sexual interest or poor performance. As baby boomers move into the summer or autumn of their lives, many are encountering this issue for the first time. How many people have just accepted this decline and resigned themselves to the loss of such an important aspect of human interaction, expression, and celebration?

The cure for the above conditions is not more Tums, Tylenol, or Viagra. As attractive as a magic bullet answer may be, it just doesn’t exist! We need to be honest with ourselves and begin to take responsibility for our health. It is a big mistake to rely on medical doctors for all your information about health. Certainly working with your physician is an important part of your health program, but most doctors are disease-oriented. That is, we are taught to treat disease rather than promote health. I am, however, finding more and more patients who are well informed and eager to understand how they can participate in their own health care. The information available in Suzanne Somers’ Slim and Sexy Forever can play a major role in informing anyone who wants to take charge of their own health care, realizing greater energy and fewer common ailments.

In addition to serving as a wonderful guide to proper diet, Suzanne Somers’ Slim and Sexy Forever also emphasizes the importance of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. A few decades ago, the only hormone that was associated with aging in women was estrogen. Whether or not men experience menopause was widely debated. We now know that almost all hormones decline with age, in both men and women, and as they fall we decline in health and vitality, which can invite disease. Some important hormones include cortisone, adrenaline, insulin, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, growth hormone, and thyroid. Hormones are important in brain and bone health. They help to keep our immune system strong, maintain our sex drive and virility, and help us to burn fat. In fact, you can’t live without hormones. To a great extent, hormones determine who we are and how we function in all parts of our lives. And just like a finely tuned orchestra, all of our hormones need to be in balance and harmony to empower optimum function.

I am excited for those about to embark on the adventure of this new book. It’s not just another volume on health and nutrition, but rather a clear and practical, medically sound program presented in an engaging way that any motivated person can use. It is through education that we can become participants in our own health care, proactive in our treatments, and indeed, be slim and sexy forever!

David R. Allen, M.D.

LECTURES & PRESENTATIONS

Dr. Allen gives free lectures at the Library three to four times each year, on topics of interest from the cutting edge of integrative medicine.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list for these lectures and his other speaking engagements, please email da@davidallenmd.com.

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