Sunday, September 4, 2011

Featured Book: It's Not Your Fault by Emanuel Barling Jr. Esq. and Ashley F. Brooks R.N.

It's Not Your Fault: Weight Gain, Obesity and Food AddictionThe plight of the overweight and obese has become a national debate that has poured over into television talk shows such as Oprah and the evening news. Oprah devoted an entire show to the book, Women, Food and God asking viewers to email their comments to her web page. Our reactions to the limited theories advanced on that show are contained in this book.

American obesity rates are the highest in the world. Sixty-eight percent of adults are categorized as overweight, one-third of them are diagnosed as clinically obese. There are nearly 7 million overweight and obese children in the U.S. today. Childhood obesity statistics show that obese children have a 70% chance of becoming obese adults. The percentage increases to 80% if either one or both parents is obese as well.

Americans did not get fat overnight nor did some mosquito spread a deadly virus that causes obesity. Eating until becoming obese is now the leader in American addictions surpassing cigarettes and alcohol. There are tangible reasons why Americans are gaining weight, becoming obese or cannot lose it. The so-called “healthy foods” you’re eating are making you fat and ill.

We ask and answer the questions: Are you eating a lot of salads but still gaining weight? Juicing and still gaining weight? Drinking so-called health food shakes to lose weight without success? Changing your diet so often you feel like a yo-yo? Can’t stop eating? Finding working out impossible because you are getting too overweight to walk, jog or exercise for very long? Are you considering a drastic means to lose weight such as liposuction, gastric bypass or lap-band surgeries?

PLEASE STOP NOW. It’s Not Your Fault! The information in this book led to one author losing more than 80 pounds and the other losing 20. And still losing weight. It is easier than you think.

We describe the causes of food cravings, overeating, addiction and discuss food allergies, delayed food intolerance and the dangerous addictive chemicals used by food manufacturers that cause the compulsive/obsessive eating that leads to obesity. We offer a 90-day challenge and easy 12-step dieting rules that can start readers on their way to losing weight.

We also discuss how certain chemical food addictions in children originate with the eating habits of pregnant mothers that start in vitro. We offer important information to help expectant mothers stop the cycle of addiction.

“I'm having great fun already with the book. Fascinating read. And extremely informative. I'm appalled at the extent of my ignorance!” Barbara Paskin, BBC

Preface by Ashley F. Brooks:

As a former overweight person and frequent “yo-yo” dieter, I had to realize that I was an addict. I was addicted to the fast easy packages with calories and fats listed by serving that provided me with an instant breakfast, lunch or dinner. Coming home late with no dinner on the table meant I would have to make a quick trip to one of the local fast food chains or a “run” to the market to buy ready-made food.

If one of us was running late or bored with what was in our refrigerator, one more trip to the fast food place or my favorite quick frozen pizza was easier than cooking. Who doesn’t have a favorite frozen pizza they can’t resist and a fast food place they love when bored or when all else in the kitchen fails. We kept a special drawer filled with menus from what we thought were healthy local restaurants and fast food stores that delivered. We used them frequently.

Early in our marriage we were so busy eating at home was almost a luxury. There was so much to do and so little time. Between friends, social events and business meetings, we were fortunate to eat lunch and dinner in some of Los Angeles’ finest restaurants. We were so busy feeling lucky to be there that we never considered what was in our food beyond the attractive menu and the server bragging about the flowery sounding specials.

Most packaged meals would be on my husband’s reject list but were a “must have” quick fix for me. If all else failed, I would grab a bag of healthy looking mixed lettuce and precooked chicken from the market and toss on some bottled dressing. “EasyPeasy” – I was done. I always thought I was eating healthy food. We all think we are “eating healthy” when we eat fruits and vegetables from the market. In between all that I would grab a bite of cereal, a diet bar or drink a protein shake or juice.

Over the years, to stay at my “fighting weight” I routinely tried Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems, the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Bally’s diet, Slim Fast diet, the blood type diet and every other fad diet out there. Some worked briefly, on others I gained weight. Some made me overeat when I stopped. Others caused me to gain twice as much weight afterward. I read a bunch of diet books and followed their programs. I even went to the diet specialists’ offices for counseling and the humiliation of weighing in. After one day on the Subway diet, I was ready to puke from overeating. I couldn’t stop eating the “foot-longs.”

I have come to recognize that the foods I took for granted as being healthy were not the foods my body could accept without gaining weight. The reality was that the so-called “healthy” foods pushed us dangerously close to death. Almost losing my husband wasn’t enough to make us realize that we were both addicted to the ingredients in food sold in America. It took an epiphany. It made me ask myself, “What is in the food that makes you crave eating so much? What is in the food that makes you want to constantly overeat? What is happening inside your senses that connects to your mind and cause the chemical dependency that makes you rush to the plate of food as if one were starving in the wilderness?” This is not just about whether you have emotional problems arising from your past eating habits which many believe requires therapy. It is about the practices of the food industries who use chemical addiction and other stimuli to create a psychological and biological need for their food. We are talking about chemical dependency. It is also about the big corporations and all the billions in profits they are making off of you, me and folks that are part of audiences like Oprah’s every day. The more you eat, the happier you make the food manufacturers and retailers. Their scientific studies on how to infect your mind through addiction obviously work. As living proof of their success, we have become a shockingly overweight and obese society. In the past, addiction was associated with a troubled person who needed drugs or alcohol to soothe his or her “messed up”, pathetic or depressed life. Ads for such places as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous tell us that the only solution for drug, alcohol or food addicts is on a therapist’s couch or in a twelve-step program. AA, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and others will lay out a good-looking food plan to help you with your so-called “behavioral addiction” to food. Many of the plans offered are a match to the same Food Pyramid chart that we all saw on the wall of the doctor’s office growing up. But the Food Pyramid chart doesn’t say anything about avoiding those addictive food ingredients found in most non-organic food stuffs – ingredients that turn the key to addiction inside a person’s mind in the same way as it does with heroin. How can treating weight gain and obesity as a “behavioral problem” make the addiction go away when you fail to inform a person that their “brand-new” miracle diet contains the exact same addictive food ingredients that made them fat in the first place?

If you choose a new diet plan, you need to understand the full impact of what caused you to be overweight in the first place. The biggest fear of those who lose weight – including myself – is that once you have lost the weight you gain it right back as soon as you return to eating regular food. Frequently, the result of the post-diet weight gain is to put on twice the weight you lost while dieting.

I lost a brother to obesity. I almost lost my husband to secondary obesity. I was having physical problems myself because of a weight gain of nearly 30 pounds after grappling with an illness. I understand obesity and the pressure others put on us after we gain weight. People whisper and make unkind remarks behind the backs of those affected and our society makes unspoken rules about how a person should look.

We have all known overweight people who torture themselves with guilt. We see many of these people on television shows baring their souls to a transfixed audience.

It doesn’t matter that you became heavy because of an illness, society still labels you as a glutton. There is a negative ring around the bathtub that generates stares, glares and blame. While the struggling person is tortured with guilt, his or her family struggles and suffers right along with them. It is now the elephant in the room across America haunts our collective consciousness.

The pressure to lose weight can easily be fixed once you understand what is causing your weight gain. As you read on you will see it really isn’t your fault. The fault is in the food you choose to eat. Specific chemical substances are intentionally added to stop you from putting the fork down which causes you to become overweight. The food manufacturer doesn’t care if you get fat. They only care that you buy their product. Become addicted to it and you'll keep buying it.

Withdrawal from these addictive chemical food ingredients will make you feel tired because your body has become dependent on one or more of the toxic ingredients to keep you going – much like craving a cigarette or alcohol that your body doesn’t need.

Then, like other addicts, you may go through various stages of withdrawal, which include moodiness, depression and exhaustion. Only eating more addictive food ingredients will make it go away. So it is back to the refrigerator or out to a fast food store to stop the burning desire for more of these chemicals. Only you aren’t saying to yourself, “I want more addicting chemicals”. You are saying to yourself, “I am really, really hungry”, when the truth is you are not.

It is the ups and downs of food addiction. I know. I was there. But I found a way out. And you can too by considering our experiences and the research in this book and our companion books and adapting the information to your lifestyle. We wish you success in your search for answers.

About the authors:

Mannie Barling is a lawyer, author and businessman who spent more than thirty years practicing law in the Greater Los Angeles Area. In the 1970s, Mr. Barling served as in-house counsel to two of the first HMOs in Los Angeles including one that treated more than 13,000 patients a month. Mr. Barling actively participated in the management of these clinics as well as convalescent hospitals, including reviewing all medical matters from PSRO (Professional Standards Review Organizations), physician utilization, interviewing doctors,specialists and evaluating malpractice claims.

Mr. Barling helped pioneer Medical Outreach programs and health fairs throughout South Central Los Angeles and Inglewood. He also lobbied on behalf of the clinics and hospitals in the state capital on issues involving changes in health law, patient reimbursements, and hospital and clinic claims for payment from Medicaid and Medicare with such luminaries as health expert Carl Weissburg and Edward L. Masry of Erin Brokovich fame.

Throughout the 1980s, Mr. Barling continued to form and participate in the day-to-day management of medical practices, clinics and ancillary service companies such as x-rays, laboratories and physical therapy units. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. Barling represented the largest factor of medical accounts receivables across the United States negotiating agreements involving the purchase, operation, and management of hospitals, clinics and private practices throughout Southern California.

At the same time, Mr. Barling was involved in every phase of restoring an acute care hospital in East Los Angeles and seven clinics serving the Latino community from insolvency at the time of purchase to becoming a $100 million a year medical practice serving the eastside of Los Angeles and parts of Orange County. Along the way, Mr. Barling represented Fortune 400 businessmen, actors and motion picture production companies, as well as serving as a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has also served as a judge pro tem and arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, arbitrating important cases such as the construction of the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus.

Mr. Barling’s first book on health, Taking Control of Your Life — a Journey to Wellness, is based upon his personal experiences with the treatment of colon cancer and other digestive diseases. The authors' companion book, Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula — A Change of Lifestyle Diet for Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS, coauthored with Ashley F. Brooks, provides answers and illumination for the 79 million plus Americans who suffer the debilitating effects of Crohn’s disease, IBS, IBD, ulcerative colitis and a secondary diagnosis of arthritis, gout and gouty arthritis.

Ashley F. Brooks, born in Youngstown, Ohio, is a second generation Irish-American holding Irish and American passports. She is also a third generation nurse. In 1915, her grandmother was in the first graduating class of St. Elizabeth Nursing School. Ashley followed both her grandmother and mother’s path by receiving full-time training and employment in the hospital operated by the nuns at St. Elizabeth School of Nursing before graduating to become a licensed registered nurse.

After graduation, Ashley worked at St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Emergency Department, which operated a Class A Emergency Room, accepting the worst trauma patients for all of Youngstown and its surrounding areas. Their ED was responsible for every imaginable medical emergency including rape victims, injured policemen, burn patients, women in labor, sick children, heart patients, countless code blue patients, drug overdoses, helping with casting broken bones, helping families cope with death of a loved one and an endless list of “you name it” emergencies.

The hospital was equipped for poison control and triage nursing. The hospital also treated prisoners for the county and state. The emergency room included various triage rooms to separate patients, including those patients going to intensive care, cardiovascular care and to burn units.

While enrolled at Youngstown State University working toward a graduate degree, a family tragedy put a halt to her education. Someone spiked her retarded sister’s drink with LSD at a party, which caused her sister to go into full-blown schizophrenia. Ashley or her parents frequently admitted Dorothy into various psychiatric wards. As a result, Ashley learned a lot about the disabled and psychiatric medicine firsthand. The Ohio psychiatrists wanted to commit her sister as a ward of the state. A local newspaper article about specialist Theron G. Randolph, M.D. (the father of Environmental Medicine and elimination diets) and his discoveries relating to environmental medicine and mental illness gave Ashley hope.

Ashley quit her job at St. Elizabeth Hospital, left Youngstown and moved to Zion, Illinois, to travel with her then dangerous schizophrenic sister. Ashley became the Charge/Head Nurse in a busy emergency room while watching over her sister’s treatments. Dr. Randolph advocated a new and revolutionary elimination diet. He slowly introduced various waters from all over the country in a medicine cup, testing for allergies and intolerance. The attending nurse checked the pulse and respiration as each was tested, one by one. He then added food to the test. At first, Ashley thought he was a con artist. Looking for answers, she asked one of his assistants, a physician/patient,to lunch. He looked pale, weak and starving. Ashley flipped the top down on her convertible, thinking this young doctor needed some sun. He was instantly overcome with repeated petit mal seizures when car and truck exhaust wafted their way. Ashley never questioned Dr. Randolph’s theories again.

As a result of Dr. Randolph and his teachings, her mother specialized in nutrition and started a nonprofit community service called The Council for Better Nutrition, which was directed toward mitigating the effects of diseases through vitamins, holistic and environmental medicine. She also taught the benefits of preventative medicine. She was ahead of her time and brilliant in this emerging field. Nursing and nutrition were a constant conversation in Ashley’s family up to her mother’s death.

Ashley then accepted an emergency nursing position in one of the worst areas of Chicago. There she saw and worked with some of the worst injuries resulting from some of the most violent crimes imaginable. She also saw patients infested with cockroaches, lice-ridden derelicts, junkies, hookers, knifed pimps, beaten children, policemen with gunshot wounds and sights and smells that have never left her. It was an urban war zone. Ashley has also specialized in private duty working with cancer patients, hospice, psychiatric nursing and a wide variety of other disciplines.

During her time in Chicago, she returned to her childhood interest in studying singing and acting. She took private lessons at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. She has also performed in independent feature films, television, commercials, print modeling, local and touring theater companies. She is a member of SAG, AFTRA, EQUITY, ASCAP and a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Ashley was diagnosed with a serious illness that kept her in and out of intensive care for nearly a year and required chemotherapy. It took her years of study and employing all of her family’s knowledge of nutrition to escape the death sentence given her by the treating physicians. She credits Dr. Theron Randolph, Linus Pauling’s Vitamin C theories, juicing and her mother’s vitamin and preventative nutrition theories for saving her life.

When her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, IBD, IBS, arthritis and gout, he was given two years to live. She stopped performing in order to tend to his health needs. He was a mess and, in the beginning, one of the worst patients she had ever dealt with. The treatments offered in the late 1990s were at best minimal. It took a great deal of time to nurse him back into a productive life.

Along the way, she studied every facet of his illness and kept abreast of medical advances on a continuum. Over an eighteen-month period in 2007 and 2008, Ashley spent more than three months learning about state-of-the-art medical treatments in world-famous clinics in Austria and Germany. She has also undergone their treatment programs, which includes medicines designed from her own blood specifically matched to her body’s needs.


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