Some of you might not remember this, but about six years ago I wrote a book called 'Live Right For Your Type' (LRFYT). It was a fun book to write since I was not hamstrung by the extreme limitations I experienced in the writing of my first book 'Eat Right For Your Type' (ERFYT). First books are hard to write, mostly because you have to encapsulate the universe into a teacup, and like the blacksmith in the Bible who wanted to learn the whole Torah while standing on one foot,* you don't have an unlimited amount of time. Plus, you have to write something that the average man in the street can understand. Yet because it was so simple, and because it heralded a new way of looking at nutrition, 'Eat Right' has always topped the list of my bestselling books, still selling quite well despite to this day, being only available as a hardcover.
When it came time to write a followup, it was easy to see what had to be included. We had been secretor testing patients in our clinic for over ten years and knowing secretor status can be a very helpful way to get the most out of the blood type diet associations. Simple enough.
However, there were problems. One, secretor status testing is not easy to perform. It is not a common lab test, and the two most common methods (saliva and testing for Lewis blood group status) are not amenable to home testing, like ABO and Rh. So when 'Live Right' was released, a lot of people responded with something like "Oh great. It took me a year to find out my blood type and begin following the Type (A,B,O,A diet. Now I've got to find out my secretor status."
Then they took a look at the changes to the food lists. That's when things really took off.
All of a sudden, certain foods changed value, not just depending on whether you were A,B,O or AB, but also whether you were an ABO secretor or non-secretor, and not always for the worse (i.e taking new foods away.) Sometimes a food was 'given back' (restricted in for type O in 'Eat Right' but perhaps returned in 'Live Right' if you discovered that you were a non-secretor type O. One thing I noticed about the reactions was that there was a certain type of reader who was more disconcerted by having a food returned back to their diet than they were by finding out that even more foods were now restricted. This type of personality had the hardest time with changes.
Well, feathers flew, folks came and went, but if you visit the boards and leave a story about how you need the Blood Type Diet to work better in your life, ten responders will post back to you with the advice to get yourself secretor tested.
Now, you don't need to be a graduate of the Harvard Business School to understand a new version of 'classic' is is released, you risk a certain degree of backlash. I'm sure that Coca Cola is still smarting from the 'New Coke' fiasco of years past. They did not do the market research to realize that people could turn against them if they felt they were not being listened to or neglected. Coca Cola's problem was not that they were introducing a new formula. That would have been a non-event. The problem was that they were planning on eliminating the older formula.
The GenoType system is really another turn of the same wheel. I think of it like this. Say you came to my clinic and I put you on a blood type based diet. Say in 6/10 circumstances it works just fine. But you're one of the 4/10 that it didn't. So we get you secretor tested. But you are one of the 2/10 that blood type and secretor status doesn't get the results that you need.
So, what should I do? My clinic doesn't have a back door, so I can't just run out on you, and I'm too obstinate to admit defeat. So back to the blackboard I go. Five years and thousands of man hours later, out comes The GenoType Diet. Still part of the overall continuum, still the same blood (and secretor) types, but incorporating these with the physical manifestations that also serve to make us unique; measurements, fingerprints, etc. And, for the first time, with a definable end-goal in mind: the optimum control of your day-to-day genetic interactions with the environment.
But behind it all is the continuity that Coca Cola forgot about; as I posted on the BTD forums the other day, if you are a type A with sinusitis, you're a type a with sinusitis pretty much whether you are an Explorer, Warrior or Teacher. Collinsonia will still work pretty well on you. But if you've read in my earlier books that type A is more prone to cancer and heart disease, your might be interested to learn that these risks split up along GenoTypes, and so the preventive measures that you can take will be more effective.
Like ABO and Secretor Status, Blood Type and GenoType need and benefit from each other.
* To his demand that 'As a busy man, I've not the time to spend studying and reading,' he was advised that the Bible essentially taught that he should 'Not do to someone that which you would not want done to yourself. The rest in just commentary.'
Well, the cat's officially out of the bag. The GenoType Diet ships to all locations from here on in. I can't help wondering how it will be received. Like anything with beginnings an endings, you have to make see possibilities even in that which you compromise.
- The book had to be accurate and truthful, but you can't bury people with every single fact. Metaphors and parables can often be used to animate complex principles so they can be seen as the commonplace occurrences that they are.
- The book was written from a non-defensive standpoint. By that I mean, if it was important that something be said a certain way so as to make the point more intelligible by a larger audience, it was. Early on I decided to not write a book to please skeptics or critics of my earlier works. They would never be happy no matter what I would be willing to do, and besides, they wouldn't buy the book anyway.
- The book had to be helpful and prescriptive. It is not very useful to write a tome on how epigenetics interacts with the environment and not make it relevant to the reader in some simple way: perhaps the repurposing of a food or supplement, perhaps a whole new perspective on looking at their diet and lifestyle.
- The book had to be in sync with the past, but also unafraid to change as new facts and methods of analysis developed. Most long term readers will see a direct thread from GTD back to my earlier work with BTD. Others may be somewhat shaken by the difference that result from the new ways of analysis and classification. There are differences. Blood Type Dieting is a more 'idealizing model' and the GTD is a more 'abstracting model'. They get at their information from fundamentally different avenues of approach. Hopefully everyone who has an interest in this type of work will be able to find a spot along the continuum that is just right for them.
I think this is the most profound book I have authored, and it is the work I would like to be most remembered for. To take nothing away from the "Right For Your Type' books, I'm just a more mature author at this point in my life, and many things came together for this book that are dependent on being alive long enough to have a certain number of dreams. It was certainly the most difficult book I have every written. I felt from the beginning that this book had to be as perfect as I could get it, and I was lucky to have people around me who felt the same way. Whether any degree of perfection was actually achieved will have to wait for the test of time.
Spent a pleasant morning yesterday with Mehmet Ã–z, his lovely wife Lisa and Michael Roizen. Mehmet has a radio show on XM that I was a guest on. I think it will air sometime mid January. Michael is the author of the 'Real Age' series of books, and together with Mehmet, they wrote a bestseller called YOU: On A Diet. Mehmet's wife Lisa was also part of the show. It was an interesting hour, and I was surprised by how much leeway I was given to go into some of the more technical aspects of the book. Both these guys are doctors and when their gears are turning you can see that they almost forget that they are doing a radio show.
Christmas day dinner was delicious and made more pleasant by the return of our guests from last year. Jon Humberstone is the head of NAP customer service but in reality does incredibly much more than that. He does a lot of the back-end programming for the NAP e-store, and was critical in aligning the new NAP GenoType store with the genotypediet.com site. Keith McBride is our marketing wizard who made the liaison with Random House so breezy and effortless.
The guys gave me an unexpected but entirely welcome gift: Edward Tufte's Beautiful Evidence having read in a prior blog that I was especially fond of his earlier great work The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. I am so looking forward to curling up with this baby.
This is a short film produced for Random House Books, Inc. interviewing Dr. Peter DAdamo about his new book, The GenoType Diet. Shot at the DAdamo Clinic in Wilton, it includes short descriptions of the six GenoTypes and the basis of the theory behind the diets. Video produced by TurnHere, Inc., Emeryville CA.
If any readers are in the Boston MA area this weekend, consider stopping by for the lecture I'll be giving at Newton Wellesley Hospital 12/01/2007 at 2:00 PM
I received my first hard copy of The GenoType Diet. Beautiful cover. Felt like crying a bit, as waves of feelings came over me. This was a hard, hard, book to write. Two years, two co-authors, two editors. But it had to be written. In fact, it almost wrote itself. Pre-orders have sent the book up to #74 on amazon.com, which is pretty good considering that it doesn't officially come out until December 26th. GTD is probably my most readable and lyrical book since ER4YT. I hope you like it.
Speaking of feelings, can you listen to Steve Job's address to the 2005 graduating class at Stanford University and not be touched on some very deep level?
Why not watch it and find out?
Added a new channel on YouTube for the GenoType Diet Videos. Three have been uploaded already. The link is on the right, under 'Blogroll' but for all you lazy-bones, here it is: