There is more to trends than forecasting them to find business and investment opportunities. For me, I do my best to live them.
One of the biggest, most important lifestyle trends I learned in my early days of forecasting is Whole Health Healing.
My ex-wife had long been suffering from ulcerative colitis and was hospitalized several times. Unable to control the flare ups, the only option recommended by her doctors was to undergo a life-altering operation called a proctocolectomy. Her entire colon, rectum and anus would be removed and a pouch would be attached to contain the waste.
From the University of Chicago to Sloan-Kettering, we did our best to find the leading-edge gastroenterologists in the nation. In each case the recommendations was the same: Remove her colon, rectum and anus and attach a bag that she would have to empty.
None of it made sense to me. I knew there must be a better way. This was the late 1970s and early 1980s, mind you. The medical profession, as reactionary and prescription-drug-dependent as it is today, was in the Dark Ages when it came to alternative and complementary medicine back then.
Such terms as Whole Health Healing were not even part of the lexicon. And in the medical profession, nutrition, vitamin therapy, acupuncture, food combining, juicing, organic food consumption, farm-fresh-to-the-table eating habits would not even earn honorable mention.
I’ll never forget that day when I asked a renowned GBNY at Northwestern University if vitamins could be of help in healing my wife’s colitis, or did it make a difference what foods she ate. He blew his top. He threw down his pencil and said: “Leave my office. I have never been grilled like this in my life.”
Unfortunately, we didn’t leave. He talked us into having her undergo an exploratory laparoscopy that he assured us was a routine procedure and we had nothing to worry about. The surgeon screwed up the operation and she nearly died.
Fortunately, as young and inexperienced as we were, we knew there was a better alternative than what the mad medical doctors kept recommending. Following the butchered operation, we both decided that the personal and professional directions our lives were heading were wrong. We both quit our very lucrative jobs, packed up and headed back east.
Our choices were to live near the ocean or in the country. We couldn’t afford what we wanted on the shore, so we headed north from New York City and found Rhinebeck N.Y., which was still two decades away from being discovered by the Clintons and the Hamptons set.
In 1980, I was just learning my trend-tracking trade. The disturbing future I was seeing unfolding in the America I loved, as well as my wife’s sickness, had turned me into a virtual recluse. I needed to be out of the loop and away from the maddening crowds to gather my thoughts and find my way. We found a small place on the top of a hill and began to learn how to grow vegetables and raise chickens. We canned over 100 quarts of tomatoes, and had enough other canned foods and frozen vegetables to get us to the next growing season.
We were so into cooking with fine locally-grown ingredients, that our day would begin with: “What are we going to have for dinner?” And although this was back in the day when only Julia Child and James Beard had cooking shows, I kept forecasting and writing about the coming renaissance in food and the proliferation of TV cooking shows.
Fine cooking was so far out of the mainstream consciousness, and the demand for high quality was so low, that the only kind of lettuce you could buy at supermarkets was iceberg.
Thus, we were, either by coincidence or by setting our inner compass, already on the path to natural healing when a new friend recommended we see a chiropractor in Woodstock.
Remember, this was 30 years ago. Chiropractors were on the leading edge of whole health healing, teaching patients how to heal themselves with herbs, diet, meditation, etc., while also recommending other alternative practitioners besides themselves, such as homeopaths, naturopaths and acupuncturists, when appropriate.
In fact, their success in helping cure patients with low-cost natural modalities was such a threat to the pharmaceutical drug-pushing-surgery-centric medical establishment, that the esteemed AMA (a.k.a., The American Medical-Mafia Association) put out a “hit” on chiropractors to destroy their profession.
Through diet and a variety of other modalities — and most importantly, her personal dedication to heal herself — my wife was cured of colitis. As I saw her change, I changed with her. Living a healthy lifestyle became our way to live.
A springtime allergy that had given me swollen, itchy eyes since I was a teenager was cured when I omitted wheat and dairy from my diet. Naturally healed, I kicked the Sudafed habit with its common side effects (nervousness, restlessness, excitability, dizziness, headache, fear, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions). Me, an Italian who eats pasta five times a week! I learned that once I broke the cycle and purged myself of what was causing the allergies, I could return to my enjoying my spaghetti and macaroni. So inspired were we of how eating properly changed our lives, the first book we helped write was “Natural Healing,” by Dr. Jack Soltanoff, Warner Books.
And, as a result of my work over the years in the fields of alternative and complementary medicine, in 2008 I was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the National University of Health Sciences.