Book Review: WHOLE, by T. Colin Campbell

For years, the medical establishment has seen the human body as a sum of its parts.  From this belief has come the practice of symptom management, rather than a pursuit of health. It's why we see individuals taking 10+ prescriptions but not truly feeling any healthier overall.  There is so much more to the human body than organs and systems and cells.  Enter the holistic movement.  Dr. T. Colin Campbell prefers the term, "wholistic" because holistic tends to convey a more faith-based approach to medicine.  As a born again Christian, I do acknowledge the spiritual connection, for as the Bible says in Proverbs, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:5-8)  However, the "wholistic" movement is one step closer to seeing our bodies as a whole made up of parts, not the other way around, and I can embrace this movement wholeheartedly (no pun intended).

Dr. Campbell's courage to take on the medical establishment is astounding.  He has done extensive research into the connection between animal protein and cancer, heart disease, and others.  You can read about those studies in his previous book, The China Study.  In his new book, Whole, he goes into more detail as to why you won't hear about these studies from your doctor or even your nutritionist.  It's the paradigm of reductionism that is at the source of the misinformation.  Wikipedia defines reductionism as a "philosophical position which holds that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents." So if you have a vitamin deficiency, take a vitamin pill.  No further investigation is performed to find out the cause of the deficiency, or even the best way to reverse it.  Your body needs protein?  Eat meat.  Calcium? Dairy.  This has been the status quo for so long, that I even find myself defending my lifestyle of a whole food plant based diet on the same level, using the same terminology.  It is the current paradigm that should be on the defense.  Is the plethora of data that we've acquired doing anything significant to improve our health?  Are prescriptions and vitamin pills and surgeries drastically changing the direction our nation's health is taking?  Yes, prescription drugs and surgeries have their place, don't misunderstand.  But to see them as the front line of defense against disease is misguided.  We must begin to change our philosophy if we are to make true advances in health.

My doctor told me at my physical this past week that she had never seen such beautiful bloodwork.  She also said that supplements tend to affect the liver adversely, but that my JuicePlus has been only up to good things in my body -- it's only food, so there's no surprise there!  So I have seen first-hand how simple changes to my diet and my life have improved my well-being.  It does involve personal responsibility and accountability, however, but it is well worth it, I assure you!!

If you want to better understand nutrition from a larger perspective, I can't recommend his book enough.  It might just change your life -- it will definitely change your diet.

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