Chefs are the Doctors of the Future
Published September 25th, 2008
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was right-on when in 400 BC he declared: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
After my loyal 15-year-old yellow lab died, I deeply grieved and became emotionally intoxicated on an unfamiliar level. We spent nearly every day of her life together; even vacations centered on the beloved family member. Just recently, however, I discovered that I was being overly medicated by my family physician. Psycho therapeutic drugs, like antidepressants and sedatives, have nearly doubled from 671 deaths to 1,300. Adios to drugs that took me out of the game and hello to food as medicine.
Americans have innocently entrusted their health to the family physician. Like healing a sucking chest wound with a bandage, drugs are their first line of defense. As we’ve learned, man-made drugs are not the answer, just a temporary fix. In high school, we read Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, which predicted that the final battle Americans will fight will occur between the pharmacopeia and ourselves.
Current statistics support the fact that prescription drugs are 16,400 percent more deadly than terrorists. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report researchers found that deaths from prescription drugs rose from 4.4 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 7.1 per 100,000 in 2004. Poisoning from prescription drugs has risen to become the second-largest cause of unintentional deaths in the United States, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Will someone please call Homeland Security?
It’s quite confusing when doctors eagerly scribble your family members a prescription for a drug that is addictive or might destroy you. You’ve certainly observed the appalling TV commercials for drugs? Holy pill, Batman! My physician was numb to the long term effects of taking such medicine. Without my knowledge, I had lost my mojo; my skin was constantly in a rash, and my mind struggled to reach its potential. Ironically, upon graduation from medical school, future doctors are required to take the Hippocratic Oath; …to first, do no harm.
After working in kitchens for 35 years and playing lots of sports, my knees are shot — bone-on-bone pain. I became cozy with mild pain killers. They temporarily did the job, but experts discourage their long term use. I don’t know about you, but they made me feel creepy, cranky and jumpy. Then I read about the anti-inflammatory virtues of the spice turmeric and fresh ginger. Gradually I introduced them to my family’s diet. Shortly thereafter, I was able to dose down off the caustic anti-inflammatory chemicals by employing God’s salubrious apothecary, the produce aisle.
When we open our minds and mouths to eating more fresh spinach, for example, we discover it contains hundreds of natural medicines that help prevent eye diseases, nervous system disorders and much more. Broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable, prevents cancer, bitter beet greens cleanse the liver, cilantro removes heavy metals, fresh berries thwart heart disease and dark leafy greens help avert dozens of grim health conditions while revitalizing your immune system.
Every earthly, colorful plant food is a source of universal healing energy and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Your Holy Temple reacts to food as sensitively as a synthetic drug. Where do you suppose drugs come from? Unprocessed, whole plant foods, were created to work most effectively. Remember, the whole is equal to the sum of its parts.
Embrace Nature’s generous apothecary.