Theranos & Elizabeth Holmes: This is the Future of Health Care



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Click pic for article

Click pic for article

Let us start quickly by catching up.  I decided a month ago to move to Palo Alto, California.  Good bye  Florida.  As the clock ticks on my timeline, the West kept calling.  Every cause, idea, and essentially anything exciting in my life seems to occur in the epicenter of the world; the Bay Area.

My first week here did not disappoint.  Day one, I attended a lecture with the CEO of LinkedIN; Jeff Weiner.  The topic: compassion.  In a few words; we can advance mankind with a few minor adjustments in the way we interact with others.  In fact, the science is supporting the health benefits of living in a compassionate way.  In California, the golden rule is in effect from the top down, as a younger generation of leaders shapes the landscape.

Yesterday, Elizabeth Holmes, CEO Theranos made my day, speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  

I have been preaching for the better part of 4 years about prevention.  After my bypass surgery at the age of 40, so many questions needed answering.  The rush to surgery after lab results confirmed my near death situation begged the question; how did I not know my arteries were 90% blocked?

Health care as we know it today is doomed.  Until we add one iota of prevention into the model, we will continue to react versus command.  Imagine a sport where the only plays you run are defensive and there is no chance to score.


Theranos is a privately held company founded by Ms. Holmes 11 years ago.  At the age of 19 she had a singular focus; providing data to the health care model.  The average person exists in complete blindness from the millimeter below the skin.  We have zero access to technology that was developed to help mankind thrive.  Our current system has done a remarkable job insulating even the most basic information from our fingertips.  Ms. Holmes is knocking down the walls. 

A simple finger prick

A simple finger prick

Her technology replaces the incumbents age-old means with a far simpler, cheaper way of blood testing.  With a finger prick, she can perform 30 blood tests, replacing the “torture” of drawing multiple vials of blood.  Alone, this improvement would be extraordinary.  However, she moves the bar higher, allowing us to stroll into a neighborhood Walgreens to perform the deed.

The magnitude of her contribution to health care will not be realized immediately.  At the present time, we still have to fork over money to our MD to write the script.  And in most States, if you don’t want to break the law, shell out some more dough to have the results read to you.   I do imagine, Ms. Holmes has a plan to change this structure as well.  Why stop at one disruption?  Ideally; let me walk into a Theranos location, take a drop of blood, send me the results on my phone.  Then provide me with a subscription membership to graph and record all my tests.

After my bypass surgery, I went completely vegan.  A low oil diet, filled with high quality, organic, nutrients.  I dropped the cholesterol medicine recommended and choose to take an active part in my health.  I assumed complete accountability and resigned myself to be my own doctor.  (Stanford Medicine article I wrote: A Moose no Longer)  I have yet to find a doctor comfortable with this approach.  I can read a blood test, and have become quite adept at lowering markers such as C Reactive Protein through diet.  My dream is the ability to test my numbers often and to have the ability to test outcomes.

I see my dream becoming reality; thank you Ms. Holmes.



Six Reasons to Give Up Meat & Adopt a Plant-Based Diet



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No matter how the food industry spins it, you can’t get away from the deluge of news regarding the horrendous quality of meat in the United States.  Everyday, the public is subjected to massive recalls as we are served contiminated food, all stemming from the meat industry.

You Can’t Polish a Turd

The sources are not bloggers and hippies. The studies are peer-reviewed with massive study groups. Our own government, the last place you go for unbiased opinions, has recently made overt moves towards a diet less reliant on animals. No amount of lobbying can hold back the stream of research confirming the obvious. Meat is a “killing industry” for everyone involved.

Right off the bat let me identify my agenda. I had quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 40, in 2011. Prior to that day, I ate meat once a day. I have done my research and I directly attribute my heart disease to the Standard American Diet. In the recovery ward, I was fed sausages, eggs, milk and turkey and slowly began to understand the bubble I was living in. By a miracle, I was presented with a very simple solution to my immediate problem.

My brush with death.  March 2011

My brush with death. March 2011

Animals are a source of protein. They are not the only source of protein.

The animals being eaten today by Americans are in terrible shape, and represent a very poor quality of nutrition. Organic, free range, lean… blah, blah, blah. Six states have made it a crime to film animal suffering because they absolutely don’t want you to see beyond the pretty cellophane package in your freezer. The meat is inedible. If you saw the cow or chicken you are about to eat, you wouldn’t touch it, much less eat it.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian.” – Sir Paul McCartney

Do you honestly feel that an animal raised in a pen/crate, with no exercise, no sunlight, surrounded by feces, eating byproduct feed, injected with growth hormones, antidepressants and massive amounts of antibiotics, then slaughtered, sprayed with chlorine, full of death stress hormones is a good food decision? If so, don’t read any further.

Not eating meat is not a casual decision anymore; it’s a matter of life or death.

If you are a selfish person, as I was, you choose not to eat meat to save your own life.

If you are a kind and empathetic person you choose not to eat meat to save humanity.

If you are an intellectual, you understand the long-term ramifications of raising livestock on the environment: 2,500 gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef. “The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer would float a destroyer.” – Newsweek.

The economist will understand the benefits to the economy by eliminating 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the life cycle and supply chain of livestock products.Robert Goodland

We need to continue to evolve as a species. True change in nature occurs over very long periods of time but we can exploit that knowledge. We can speed up the discovery phase and experiment with our own well-being.

Why wait for thousands of years to conclude that the meat we are eating is killing us off one by one. The beauty of eating a plant-based diet is the change occurs very rapidly. We improve our health and thus improve our lives. We live longer and pass on our habits to the next generation. Albeit these are not genetic changes, they do give us the opportunity to change our destiny within our own lifetime. Please consider not eating meat.

“We cannot escape by forging on, resolutely and regardless, driven by the unmitigated inertia of our outworn habits, until we have forced ourselves over the brink in the ‘giant step for mankind’ nobody needsWhen you have reached the edge of an abyss, the only progressive move you can make is to step backward…” (Alwyn Rees, Author).   An unknown author then added instead of stepping backwards; “Turn around and step forward”.



1. Antibiotics

New York Times

Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration systematically monitor the meat and poultry sold in supermarkets around the country for the presence of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These food products are bellwethers that tell us how bad the crisis of antibiotic resistance is getting. And they’re telling us it’s getting worse.

We don’t know much more except that, rather than healing sick animals, these drugs are often fed to animals at low levels to make them grow faster and to suppress diseases that arise because they live in dangerously close quarters on top of one another’s waste.

In 2011, drugmakers sold nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics for livestock — the largest amount yet recorded and about 80 percent of all reported antibiotic sales that year. The rest was for human health care.


2. Fecal Matter

Consumer Reports

In our first-ever lab analysis of ground turkey bought at retail stores nationwide, more than half, 69%, of the packages of raw ground meat and patties tested positive for fecal bacteria. Some samples harbored other germs, including salmonella and staphylococcus aureus, two of the leading causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. Overall, 90 percent of the samples had one or more of the five bacteria for which we tested.

Adding to the concern, almost all of the disease-causing organisms in our 257 samples proved resistant to one or more of the antibiotics commonly used to fight them. Turkeys (and other food animals, including chickens and pigs) are given antibiotics to treat acute illness; but healthy animals may also get drugs daily in their food and water to boost weight gain and to prevent disease.


3. Mortality

Harvard School of Public Health

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health published results of a groundbreaking study that made headlines around the world.

The massive, 120,000-subject, 28-year study showed that people who consumed a serving of beef, pork or lamb per day had a 13 percent increased risk of death, compared with people who ate very little or no red meat. Those who ate a daily helping of processed meat, such as bacon and hot dogs, had a 20 percent increased risk of death from diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

In an interview on National Public Radio, Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, a co-author of the study, called the statistics “staggering.”

This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” Hu.


4. Cancer

National Cancer Institute

A 10-year National Cancer Institute study of more than half a million Americans showed that those who ate the most red meat boosted their overall risk of death 30 percent. It found that men who were big meat eaters had a 22 percent increased risk of death from cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared with men who ate the least. For women who ate the most meat, the risk of cancer death increased by 20 percent and the risk of heart disease increased by 50 percent.

Those who eat two portions a day — equivalent to a bacon sandwich and a filet steak — increase their risk of bowel cancer by 35 percent over those who eat just one portion a week, the study found.

Researchers concluded that a daily serving of unprocessed red meat (about the size of a deck of cards) carried a 13 percent increased risk of death, and one daily serving of processed red meat (one hot dog or two slices of bacon) carried a 20 percent increased risk.

Tumors are very common in our farm animal’s flesh. Ask any butcher. There is nothing unusual with purulent tumors in the animal flesh you buy. They cut the tumor off and wash the pus away with a lot of bleach, and then after it is cleaned out they sell it to you.


5. Cruelty

Philip Wollen, Kindness Trust

He is a former vice-president of Citibank and general manager at Citicorp.

Meat is the new asbestos – more murderous than tobacco. CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.

90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock. Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator. The oceans are dying in our time. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth. Billions of bouncy little chicks are ground up alive simply because they are male.

Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week. 10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species. We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history. If any other organism did this a biologist would call it a virus. It is a crime against humanity of unimaginable proportions…”

Full speech on YouTube: Animals Should Be Off the Menu

Number of Animals killed in 10 minutes.

Number of Animals killed in 10 minutes.

6. Nutrition:

One burger = 75% fat.

1/2 cup of ground beef or 4 oz burger, . 21 grams protein.


Lentils = 0.00% fat

One cup of lentils, 8 oz = 28 grams of protein.


Other sources of protein easily substituted in for meat:

Brendan Brazier’s Thrive 4 page guide:

It is time for us to be kinder stewards of our Earth’s animals and in return – we save ourselves.





I Spent $7,699 @ Whole Foods


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Whole Paycheck

In 2011, I had quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 40.  My wife and I decided to change our ways.  Six days after having my chest sawed open, we were Plant-Based.

A no-brainer decision in our eyes.  Continue eating the American buffet presented to us in the form of fat, white flour, and corn syrups or move to a diet filled with nutrients.

Initially we looked for products in our local grocery; being in South Florida we have Publix.  Our new ingredient list was confined to about 500 sq/feet of a 50,000 sq/foot store.  We outgrew Publix very quickly.  It’s absolutely a fact.  If you eliminate sugar, flour and corn; there isn’t much left to a major grocery store.

My wife became certified in Plant-Based nutrition through Cornell University and we were ready. She began offering informal walk-through to friends, touring the products WholeFoods offers.  We were particularly interested in using Organic & Non-GMO whenever possible.  (By 2018 all products sold in WholeFoods will be Non-GMO certified.)  


So our major shopping moved to Whole Foods.  We used Amazon for the non-essentials; cleaning products and toiletries.  Costco has added quite an extensive list of organic plant-based products in recent years and we use them for: frozen berries, rice milk, flax-seed, coconut oil, quinoa and veggie broth.

Now, almost 4 years later, we use Whole Foods for 90% of our food bill.  We eat a simple, yet highly diverse diet of nuts, plants, and grains.  We start the day with homemade muffins or pancakes.  Using sprouted flours when possible, flax & hemp seeds.  We use fresh coconut milk, I crack them open myself.  We eat beans, oats and quinoa daily.  Fresh breads from the freezer with whole grains and pita.  We make daily juices; I focus on ginger, turmeric & beets for my inflammation.

My Fridge is in Rehab for Attempted Murder (Click picture to see post)

My Fridge on a Whole Foods diet

My wife and son love their green juices; kale, parsley, apple, celery.   We eat every vegetable imaginable from eggplants to grape tomatoes.  We make potato pancakes and homemade veggie burgers with cashews as the fat.  Pizza night is still the best with an array of toppings on a freshly made dough.  We eat pasta and “balls” on Sundays.  I forgot fruit, we eat across the spectrum there as well.  Wine anyone?

What does all that cost?  For 2 adults and a small child… $21 a day / $7,699 for the year.

I am in no position to argue the affordability of that number with anyone else; it works for us.  However, I am pretty sure eating for three at McDonald’s will cost $20.  How much is a pound of factory raised, antibiotic laden steak?  Cutting out meat is also a no-brainer, it is a poor form of nutrition and very expensive.  Six Reasons to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet.

Yes, arguably Whole Foods is expensive in comparison to mega-stores but you have to consider the product.  The irony is you pay for less ingredients.  The goal of eating healthier is knowing how to pronounce the ingredients in your food.  Then it’s having a good idea where that food came from and how it was cared for from seed to harvest.

Whole Foods takes it on the chin from the media and the public but the fact remains they have created a semi-monopolistic empire with a big head start on their competition. Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal & Palantir, wrote in Zero to One; in order to be highly successful offer a product that is a 10X improvement to the consumer. Then find a small group of fanatics to embrace it.

What is the alternative?  We know that 80% of all chronic disease is a result of poor nutritional choices.  For $21 /day I can move the statistics drastically in my favor.

Mark Bittman wrote a piece in New York Times yesterday entitled: (Only) Two Rules for a Good Diet.  He writes “I’m especially impressed with the way Whole Foods is innovating in the arena of labeling, gradually extending its own internal labeling system from fish to meats and now to fruits and vegetables. Marketing is of course part of it, but shoppers who want to talk back to the supply chain by knowing where their food comes from don’t otherwise have a way to do that. If Whole Foods gives them what they want, then despite the “Whole Paycheck” nickname (and there’s some evidence that Whole Foods is starting to compete on price as well), those who can get there and afford it will favor it. This is progress, doing well by doing at least some good, and that can’t be said about most corporations involved in food.”

“Whole PayChecks” is a choice.  Until you determine the cost of a major disease it might be the only choice. 


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