A Systems Approach to Health, Wellness and Recovery
Back in 2008, I was asked to write an article for Baseline Magazine about 'Old Geeks' and what was their current and projected situation. As one of the tribe, I was happy to do so. I basically discussed all the talent that resided in the brains of us Old Geeks that was under utilized or totally ignored by current business enterprises. I hoped to stir up some interest in revitalizing and applying the experience of us seasoned veterans. But, alas, it did not have any notable impact at all. Certainly not on my own situation. Consulting interest for more experienced experts were bypassed as being too expensive; even though we often get the job done in half the time. No, companies continued to recruit young and inexperienced workers and re-made the same mistakes that have plagued the industry since inception in the 1960's.
Failed systems implementation continue to plague companies for the very same reasons they always have. Failure to test, failure to adequately budget TIME and Money, failure to listen to more experienced professionals. It is and has been the same old story now for decades and there does not seem to be any real hope in sight. I offer you the disaster of Obamacare and the disastrous state sites for the Affordable Care Act throughout 2014. This and other private industry sites continue to be plagued with failures. There are always a few gleaming lights in the darkness; the Amazons and other wondrous on-line stores hosted around the Planet.
Well, for the lot of us, now in our mid 60's and eligible for Social Security (never thought that would happen), maybe it is time to start to re-invent ourselves and start to 'smell the roses' so to speak?
Often, as we and our bodies/minds age, things start to happen. Just like any older system, if you don't maintain the code and infrastructure, the systems will fail. I have lost way too many old friends already do to these health systems breakdowns. Not one for sitting and waiting for the inevitable, a few years ago I began to do some research. Using the wondrous systems on the Net, information is more readily available and obtainable that ever.
As a Systems Analyst you always looked for the common threads in systems and followed the core code to ascertain failure points or in diagnosing a failed piece of code. You traced the incident back through the code, hardware and software until you found the point of failure (either in logic or hardware). Once you identified the problem, you took remedial action to correct it. Testing the changes/concepts thoroughly before placing the corrected systems into production.
That is what I did. I myself had a systems failure in that I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2010. The prognosis, with or without traditional medical treatment was only 5 years or less. After watching my own father suffer and die of this disease I had vowed to not take the same path. After all, repeating the same procedure and expecting different results is a sign of stupidity; so I researched the opportunities offered by alternative systems and approaches.
I found that, after consulting with professionals and 'experts' in the medical profession, there were few official alternatives to treatment for prostate or any other cancer. The proffered solutions revolved around surgery, radiation or chemo therapies. All proven failures, both in my personal experience with relatives and friends as well as in the research available. The treatment was often worse than the disease and I found that you just cannot poison a sick person well (or irradiate or cut them either). While there were some so called 'successes' the definition of 'cure' was a survival of just 5 years; that was NOT a system approach I was willing to accept. After that success of 5 years, the disease most often recurred in a more virulent state and the results were a gruesome ABEND (abnormal termination).
I decided that we had to bite the bullet and face a full application systems upgrade! Not just an update but full Enterprise Operation System replacement. I began to research new systems approaches, checking the literature for proven successes and long term systems viability and approaches.
I discovered that the basic hardware and firmware (the human body) was equipped with a massive regeneration facility that often went dormant over time if not executed correctly and on schedule. This discovery was enlightening and made me aware that the hardware could be regenerated instead of replaced (especially since there was no current alternative hardware platform available).
The new systems that I discovered revolved around a complete systems re-boot with alternative power sources. Elimination of the faulty and 'dirty' power sources previously utilized had damaged circuits, power systems, memory and computational abilities of my hardware/firmware. Since I could effectively reload the system bios and conduct a firmware upgrade with the proper resources, I opted to embark on this full systems life-cycle replacement methodology.
The New Methodology – Project Planning
The Project Plan began to evolve during my replacement systems research. I took many weeks to research and analyze alternative approaches to treatment and re-vitalization of my software and hardware operating systems. I learned how to re-build the systems BIOS and jump start the hardware regeneration process. I discovered that like any other major systems implementation project, it would take time and a lot of hard work to create a proper implementation plan. Since planning and testing are paramount foundation elements in any successful systems implementation, I started out with creating a plan to test the feasibility of my approach.
Program – Feasibility Testing
All the research I conducted pointed to some simple basic foundation facts:
1. Lifestyle Change was a foundation requirement before systems regeneration could begin.
2. Nutritional Foundations had to be dramatically changed to jump start the hardware regeneration process.
3. Previous systems analytics and concepts had to be almost totally scrapped; there were few salvageable components from the previous systems approach that could be salvaged.
4. New Concepts, Techniques and Methodologies would be required. Training essentials were the foundation of a successful systems re-implementation.
5. New Resources, Suppliers and Infrastructure would be required to implement and sustain the successful implementation of the Replacement System.
These five key components would provide the foundation of my New System. I realized that I would need an appropriate project team to support this effort so began the recruitment process. I had to resort to more non-traditional resources to find the expertise required for this New Systems Approach. I sought out the most experienced professionals I could find and recruited them, full time or part time to support this major project-
Rebuilding Skip Stein.
I was extremely fortunate in that I had already had an associate who was adaptable, intelligent and above all patient to head up this project. She also had some hardware issues that needed to be resolved so this new Systems Approach would benefit her as well as myself. She is my wife, best friend and life partner Nancy Stein.
Assisting and often guiding our systems development planning phases, we continued to research the best systems integration approaches. We contacted others who had employed this approach successfully over a long period of time. A long term strategic plan began to be formulated. Once implemented, there would be no 'fall back' plan available as this would lead to a potential total systems failure.
Long Term Strategic Planning
We identified a basic Strategic Goal and Function that was to be met by the new system once fully deployed and in production. Since the previous hardware and software system has persisted for well over 60 years, we defined the new life cycle to be an additional 60 years. This clearly was a dramatic and challenging goal in that other industry experts in the healthcare/systems field clearly thought this was impossible.
We quickly discovered that the traditional resources for repair and maintenance of the human system were totally inadequate for our Long Term Strategic Plan. Traditional resources began with expecting total failure (death) and had no long term strategic plan (life) supported by any reliable approach.
We found that there were numerous alternative approaches, proven successful over long durations, that offered the optimum solution to meeting our long term strategic goals. These approaches were well documented and supported by recent scientific and clinical studies; not found in mainstream media publications.
Project Resources – Foundation Approach
Suffice it to say for the purpose of this paper that resources were plentiful, if often difficult to identify. Current literature often ignored or suppressed viable system resources and project approaches. Once we identified that they existed, research continued and as we discovered more and more facts, we built upon the new found sources to continue to identify additional resources to aid in the finalization of our Project Implementation Plan.
All our research and study culminated in a single but profound finding. Most of the alternative approaches to the human system life cycle maintenance pointed to a simple but often difficult to implement life-cycle approach:
1. Plant-Based Nutrition was THE Key Component
All of the operational systems variations revolved around this simple key component. As an important but critical adjunct support system, a more traditional component was:
2. Moderate Physical Exercise and Outdoor Activities
The third component, and one that most of us Old Geeks already prescribe to was:
3. Constant Exercise of the Mind
I will focus primarily on the first and Key component of our approach as the other two are natural and compatible secondary components.
Plant Based Nutrition
We found that the human body, like any system relies on fuel to generate the power to maintain optimum operational readiness. The source of and the make-up of that fuel is critical to the proper daily operation of the human body system. Inadequate or contaminated fuel supplies are detrimental to the long term viability and operational readiness of this system. Hardware and software failures will result when improper fuel is utilized over the long term. Constant maintenance of the hardware and software components is vital to long term viability.
As with any engine, once damaged by poor maintenance and improper fuel, the system is subject to failure; often catastrophic failure. Luckily, in my case it was a partial systems failure that could be repaired but it would require significant rebuilding and overhaul of the hardware and software systems.
We found through our research, that study after study indicated that Plant-Based Nutrition was a key component in providing the proper fuel for the human body. While we could function with alternative fuel resources, like animal protein/fats, the long term impact was clogged fuel lines, failure of critical components and ultimately catastrophic system failure: DEATH.
This was to be avoided at all costs as it was in direct opposition to our strategic systems operational goal of 60 additional years of reliable, functional operating hardware and software.
Here are a few of the supporting resources you will find critical in analyzing our approach and evaluating the success of our Project Plan and Implementation:
The Gerson Institute - Headed by Charlotte Gerson, daughter of Dr. Max Gerson. Her famous quote was inspirational: “You can't keep one disease and heal two to others – When the body heals, it heals everything.”
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – headed by Dr. Neil Barnard M.D.
Nutrition Facts – Dr. Michael Greger M.D. Nutrition research.
Natural News – Natural Health News & Scientific Discoveries
The Rave Diet & Lifestyle - Video and Documentary and Links to Project Success Stories
A Delicate Balance - A film that predominantly explores the effects of animal protein on the human body and the environment.
Dr. McDougall's Heath & Medical Center - John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years.
Center for Nutrition Studies – T. Collin Campbell, Our mission is to promote optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research. By empowering individuals and health professionals, we aim to improve personal, public, and environmental health.
The Hallelujah Diet - The design of the human body is not like that of carnivorous mammals; our digestive tract was not designed to properly digest and dispose of meat. Carnivorous mammals have a relatively short and straight digestive tract that eliminates meat waste efficiently.
In order to bolster our action/project plan, we embarked on further research. We went on a cruise! Why not, it was educational, informative and above all enlightening and reinforcing. It was and still is called “A Taste of Health – Holistic Holiday at Sea” and departs now from Miami Florida each Spring around early March. We met so many recovered and recovering cancer and other patients and attended daily classes on a wide variety of Health & Wellness topics. Informative and entertaining and the food was fantastic and cemented our concept/plan to transition to a Plant Based Lifestyle.
In the end the plan was pretty simple.
We would not consume only four things; not bad at all. We immediately stopped consuming any food or food item containing any Meat, Fish, Dairy, or Eggs.
I would begin taking exercise and yoga classes at least once a week.
We began a daily walking regime of 2-miles (minimum) each day to be completed in under 30 minutes (moderate fast walking).
Like any implementation plan, there were issues, problems, setbacks and opportunities. Our initial timetable was aggressive. We took a 'Big Bang' approach to the new systems implementation but the execution/production phase took some effort. Our basic research was complete but ongoing. Our plan was simple in concept but took significant effort to implement.
User training was and always is a tedious and often difficult issue. I was the user and Chief Project Implementer. Almost overnight I had to cease utilizing old systems tools and components adapted to over decades of familiar use. The fuel supply was totally changed over to only Plant Based Fuel. This resulted in some engine cleansing/flushing activities that were at times difficult but after a few weeks the engine and systems began to smooth out.
Due to the heroic efforts of our Project Manager, Nancy Stein, we were able to get the basic fuel components and resources in line with initial project initiation. Procurement was at first difficult as new suppliers and resources had to be identified, contacted and scheduled. No longer were less than organic fuels to be utilized in our basic fuel supply chain. We carefully identified and selected organic fuel suppliers, many local. Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Seeds and Grains became our bunker fuel. The staging and preparation was almost totally in the hands of our Project Manager, Nancy. She became the Prime Engineer and bunker fuel manager.
As we did our 'Go Live' execution of our plan, we naturally encountered some difficulty and adjustments had to be made. While often difficult to use, the new system seemed surprisingly easy to adjust to.
The system was gradually adjusting to the new fuel supply and the long dormant error recovery systems were being activated. We quickly began to realize that excess code/weight was being shed at a dramatic rate. Pounds were being shed while the systems energy profile dramatically improved. More energy, faster computational abilities were soon manifest; in a matter of weeks throughput was being enhanced, optimized and re-vitalized.
Overall engine performance seemed to be improving at an ever escalating rate and it continues to this day. All measures of system performance have dramatically improved. Analytical performance results have amazed our old engineering team; some of them kept on as their resources continued to be valued. Previous performance and medical records were utterly shattered and improved performance continued to be manifested.
Implementation of the exercise program continued to become easier to process on a daily basis. New processing habits became part of the daily schedule.
Our New System is and has continued optimal performance and is actually improving over time. The new foundation systems, hardware and software, remain stable with no outages over the constant operational period of over 5 years (well beyond the original of the old operational support team of physicians). We plan to utilize this new platform for at least another 60 years!
After any project, a post implementation review is always a requirement. Lessons learned can be used to help educate others who may decide to embark on a similar project implementation project. We hope that this brief overview of our objectives, approach and successful implementation of a revitalized operation hardware and software system, the human body, will encourage others.
These are some of the lessons learned:
You are NOT alone. No matter what the disease or ailment, there ARE others who have improved their lives and indeed conquered major illness such as yours.
Lifestyle change is difficult but the reward is like no other. Vibrant and vital life is preferable to the alternative.
You will be criticized! Often even family members will disagree with this approach but the decision MUST be yours and yours alone. So called 'medical professionals' will disagree and even attempt to scare the heck out of you with horrendous consequences if you don't follow traditional therapeutic approaches. Be Strong.
Find other medical practitioners who will support your decision, there are many out there and more all the time.
Challenge and Question ALL medical opinions. Ask to speak to patients/clients who have undergone similar treatments/methodologies.
Research, Research and continue to learn. It will become addictive and you may, like us, decide upon a new Lifestyle focused on helping others.
Finally, NEVER be afraid to ask questions, seek advice and continue to explore the advances that alternative medical approaches offer.
I hope this article was entertaining, informative and valuable. Thank you for reading this. Always feel free to contact me, Skip Stein, if you have ANY questions or if I can ever be of help. Remember us Old Geeks have a LOT to offer and a new systems approach to Health & Wellness may just be the breakthrough needed to help you, your family and your friends.
Relevant Web Sites:
Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living - http://wholefoods4healthyliving.com/
Plant Based Healthstyle: http://plantbasedhealthstyle.com/pathwaytohealth.html
Prostate Cancer Fight - http://prostatecancerfight.com/
Plant Based Road Trip USA - http://plantbasedroadtrip.com/
Management Systems Consulting, Inc. - http://www.msc-inc.net/
Skip Stein - http://skipstein.com/
Whole Foods 4 Healthy Living