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Part humorist, part raconteur, and a major proponent of turning around unhealthy lifestyles, Dr. Linell King captivated about 50 people at a recent Marco Island YMCA presentation.

King’s philosophy – which includes sensible nutrition as well as exercise and positive mental attitudes – stems from disillusionment about aspects of his formal training as an internal medical physician at the University of Wisconsin in 1997 and his subsequent residency at the Johns Hopkins University Sinai Hospital Program of Internal Medicine.

“I studied about three hours of nutrition in medical school, but did pharmacology every semester,” said King.

Often not mincing words about his attitude to “Big Pharma” and its contribution to reactive healthcare as opposed to proactive care in the first place, King also paraphrased a favorite Dalai Lama quote to fortify his approach.

The full quote is (in a reaction to the Dalai Lama being asked what surprised him most about humanity): “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

King said his turnaround approach occurred with the death of his father from pancreatic cancer and the rapid deterioration of his mother thereafter.

“She gained 40 pounds (through comfort food), had high blood pressure and emphysema, and also had a heart attack needing two stents,” said King. “She also had breast cancer (which surgery solved), and arthritis.”

King decided on using some of the approaches that are central to his philosophy today, and said his mom lost the 40 pounds she’d gained; was weaned off 10 of her 13 medications; regained normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and became – in a word – vibrant.

That indeed led in part to titling a book he would later publish, “Mastering Vitality: 7 Simple & Sustainable Steps to Lose Weight, Live Pain Free, Energize Your Life & Gain Power Now.”

From King’s talk

  • On nutrition: “It’s not a diet. It’s a new lifestyle of eating.”
  • On the pharmaceutical industry: “The sicker we are, the more money they make.”
  • On healthcare insurance: “If you get to use your insurance, you’re already in trouble.”
  • Also on insurance: “You’re pre-paying for surgery and medications that you’re not even on yet.”
  • On the medical profession in general: “Doctors have good intentions, but they are stuck. They are caught in the system.”
  • On his philosophy: “Focus on the root cause of illness rather than just treating the symptoms.”
  • On advertising by fast food joints and Big Pharma: “There’s an agenda out there with the way we’re being programmed.”

Naples-based King told the group they would be welcome to consult him professionally – initially at a nominal fee. Non-attendees interested in connecting with him should call 239-465-0098.

Following the talk, guests enjoyed an appropriate meal prepared by Michael Passero, himself an avowed patient of Dr. King who lost 42 pounds in four months and describes himself as “stronger, healthier and more vibrant” these days.

The meal was a chilled organic gazpacho, followed by shrimp ceviche with lime, fresh avocado, cucumber and tomato on a corn tortilla with fresh vegetables, and for dessert a mango banana pudding with dates, currants, cinnamon and organic vanilla from Costa Rica.

For more information on the Greater Marco Island Family YMCA’s wide variety of programs and activities for youth and adults, visit marcoymca.org or call 394-3144. There is also a handy app available for quick access to the website.

 

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