a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey

Disease-Free Living Through Fitness and Nutrition


Letter to a young Triathlete

The other day you seemed quite interested in learning more about overall health and fitness and how it relates to ("true") nutrition.

When you were talking with Ray, someone came over to talk with me and when I was able to "tune" back into your conversation you were looking at Ray in sort of astonishment and saying something to the effect:

"Knowing what you do and you still do THAT!!!!"

I was curious, to say the least, but didn't want to interrupt, so on the way home I queried Ray and he said he'd just told you about our trip to THE FARM in Tennessee and that we'd eaten a lot of dishes (made from soy that is grown there) we don't usually eat* and were suffering the consequences. To which your reply was the above.

I asked Ray how he responded to that and he said: "I just told him it was because I was weak."

You being young, idealistic, obviously dedicated to your sport(s), and this particular subject being quite new to you, I expect it's difficult for you to understand how anyone who �knew better� could be so "weak."

My first impulse was to tell you, okay, you try our regime for three weeks and then get back to us and tell us how you fared.

But my second thought was: "Out of the mouth of babes...." Not to imply you're a 'babe,' mind you, but relatively speaking...;-)

Anyway, sometimes it takes a shock like that to get people back on the right track in more ways than one.

To my way of thinking, nutrition and exercise are the two most important things most people have within their control that enables them to take charge of their health and well being. Not that those two are the most important, but without addressing them none of the other important aspects of life: mental, emotional, spiritual, economic, environmental, etc., can be realized. So it all starts with nourishing the body through nutrition and fitness. Like the old song: �Love & Marriage: You can�t have one without the other��

RE: Fitness: I believe you were the one I saw out on the raft doing flexibility exercises?

I used to be a Fitness Instructor and in fact was one of five in the nation flown to Hollywood to compete for Fitness Guru Kathy Smith's position on USA Network's daily two-hour program "Alive and Well." The Fitness segments we taped were aired on National TV for over a year. I've also led exercise classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and at numerous World Vegetarian Congresses as well as on a regular TV series.

But that was in the past. I stopped teaching locally because we travel a lot and I didn�t wish to be tied down. Over the years I've allowed myself to grow older, slower and (almost) slovenly.

When I saw how relatively (compared to most men AND women) agile you were, I was really pleased, and wanted to challenge you to do more. However, it's been so long since I've taught, I wouldn't want to embarrass myself by suggesting we do so and then not being able to follow through very well;-(

And participating in the Triathalon last weekend and seeing all the families and wholesome atmosphere, it encouraged me more. Anyway, recalling your apparent interest in wanting to learn more, I thought I�d get in touch.

Following are URLs to several articles on our website that might introduce you to our way of thinking. And if you want to get more serious we can challenge you more;-)

Also below is information I just sent to National Radio, TV & Newspaper journalists in behalf of our friend whom we feel is the world�s foremost nutritionist. Judge for yourself;-)


*Concentrated protein, regardless of its source (although plant protein is the �lesser of evils�) is the single biggest cause of chronic disease and premature aging.

Gerry Coffey, Health Educator/Councilor/Public Relations Officer THE VEGETARIAN UNION OF NORTH AMERICA [email protected]  and THE INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION  HEALTH IS (the ONLY true) WEALTH! 

Every (hu)man is guilty of all the good s/he didn't do. � Voltaire

�Behind every successful man stands a great woman.�

The love and support of his wife, acknowledges Dr. T. Colin Campbell, arguably the foremost nutritionist in the world today,* gave him the courage to sacrifice his career to correct a grievous wrong perpetuated against a trusting society.

Writes Dr. Campbell:

"...this (book) happened because Karen, my lifelong love and wife of 43 years, made it so. I wanted to do it, but she wanted it even more. She said it had to be done for the children of the world. She cajoled, she pushed and she insisted that we keep our nose to the grindstone. She read every word, those kept and those discarded--some several times.�

In �The China Study: Startling implications for diet, weight loss, and long term health,� Cornell University Professor Emeritus, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, discloses how taxpayers have been duped to believe the very foods that cause their diseases will help make them healthy.

The rampant spread of:

  • Obesity (my home State, Alabama. has the highest rate in the Nation)
  • Cancer (now the #1 cause of death in children)
  • Heart Disease (#1 cause of death in women, starts in childhood)
  • Diabetes (Type II formerly only seen in Adults now prevalent in our children)
  • And other chronic diseases in America (and the rest of the world) makes it painfully evident few people�including the professionals�understand the concept of true nutrition, the basic foundation of health.

Moreover, reveals Dr. T. Colin Campbell (brief bio below), acting upon the cause will not only wipe out the majority of chronic diseases but can also eliminate world hunger by freeing up resources currently �feeding� the culprit that causes desperate people to seek a panacea through drugs.

As a former conventional Health Educator who once helped perpetuate those myths--and nearly died as a result--I am grateful there are people like Dr. Campbell and his wife, Karen, who had the courage to sacrifice a distinguished career to give back to the American people whose taxes made that career possible.

Many years in conception and 3 intensive years in the writing, �The China Study� is co-authored by their youngest son, Tom, who took a 2 year-hiatus from his own profession and as a result of this book is applying to medical school.

�The China Study� amasses a wealth of scientific studies and puts them in everyday language. The indisputable facts speak for themselves: simple changes in diet can dramatically reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity as well as many other scourges of health, wealth and longevity.

I hope you will take the time to interview Dr. Campbell so the public might learn about a way to eat that, in Dr. Campbell�s words, is ��more substantial, health giving and health lasting, without costing an arm and a leg.�

For more info see:, and if you have time to read this exceptional book, just let me know so I might get you a copy.


Gerry Coffey, Wife, Mother, Grandmother (of 10: so I have a vest interest), Health Educator, Concerned Citizen 256/350-2823


* Short bios of The China Study authors:

For more than 40 years, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and Project Director of the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project. The study was the culmination of a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.

Dr. Campbell received his master�s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell, and served as a Research Associate at MIT. He spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech�s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus).

His principal scientific interests, which began with his graduate training in the late 1950s, has been on the effects of nutritional status on long term health, particularly on the cause of cancer. He has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; has received more than 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding, mostly from the National Institute of Health, and has served on several grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, lectured extensively world wide, and has authored more than 300 research papers.

He is the recipient of several awards, both in research and citizenship, and has conducted original research investigation both in experimental animal and human studies, and has actively participated in the development of national and international nutrition policy.

Thomas M. Campbell II

A 1999 graduate of Cornell University, Thomas Campbell is a writer, actor and two-time marathon runner. Born and raised in Ithaca, NY, he has appeared on stage in London, Chicago, and most of the states east of the Mississippi. Mr. Campbell is also a soccer player, skier, hiker and avid reader of health labels. He is thrilled to integrate his passion for language and health as a co-author of The China Study.


Tom Campbell put his career on hold over the past few years to work side-by-side with his father to co-author The China Study. The profound experience has caused him to redirect his focus.

"Tom has decided to apply to medical school--to practice nutrition-based medicine--and is presently cramming for the MedCAT test coming up this weekend,� says Dr. Campbell.

� Inviting Tom to come home to help me co-author the book was one of the best decisions Karen and I ever made. Tom has had to learn in a few months a prodigious amount of chemistry-biology-physics information that Pre-Med students take 4 years to do and that he completely omitted during his undergraduate arts degree program, but I am sure that he will do well.�


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