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To Slovenia with love

By Dr. Barry Sears

No, it's not a remake of a James Bond film but the starting point of my last European trip. Landing in Slovenia, I wasn't expecting much. What I got was a completely different impression. The capital city of Lubanjana was actually a smaller version of Vienna.

I became more impressed during my one-day visit starting with a press conference with virtually every major journalist in Slovenia, then eating a Zone luncheon prepared by the top restaurant owner (she has six establishments), who is a long-time Zoner. Our press conference included the top sports physician in the country, who also is a long-time Zone advocate and has the entire Slovenia ski-jumping team (apparently this is a major winter sport for the country) on the Zone. This was followed by a seminar with 100 physicians on a Friday night that lasted until midnight.

Then it was on to Italy with similar physician crowds in Padvoa (just outside Venice) and at two more locations in Sicily. From Sicily it was a quick trip to Rome where I went to one of the top spas (the Saturnia Spa) in the world, located in southern Tuscany, not for relaxation of course but to give more seminars since the spa now has a complete Zone rejuvenation program for its Michelin-starred restaurant. People who go there get five-course Zone meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), personal instruction in the Zone with my top Zone Coach Daniela Morandi and the opportunity to continue to dip into a thermal pool that is built over an active volcano so that it continues to emit sulfur dioxide believed to have unique health benefits since the Etruscans first discovered the location 3,000 years ago. So I used the opportunity to explain to the management that the secret of sulfur lies in its ability to help silence genes by methylation of DNA. I don't know if they really understood the science, but they did like the concept of marketing their location as the “genetic transformation spa.”It appears that I may have to be doing more consulting in the future at the Saturnia spa for potentially weeks at time (that is because of the need to sample at least a month of Zone meals for quality control purposes). Then it was back to work giving another certification course in Florence before traveling to Milano to give a Zone cooking seminar with another Michelin chef to a group of Italian food journalists.

Quickly packing my bags, it was then off to Madrid for a master Zone certification course with top Zone physicians in Spain, as well as multiple interviews with the Spanish media. I had almost gotten used to eating three-hour dinners starting at 9 (that's when the Spanish restaurants finally open) every night before going to London to speak at the 2013 London Anti-aging Conference on our recent work with restoring sight using high-dose omega-3 fatty acids. I was also able to sneak in another Zone Certification course. It was a fairly hectic but productive two weeks of expanding the Zone throughout Europe. Hard as it might be (except for the side trip to the Saturnia spa), I always come back with a better appreciation of the global appeal of the Zone and with new ways to enhance the message of altering gene expression using the Zone Diet. Now I have a few weeks to wash my clothes and get ready for the type same type of trip to Mexico and Brazil. It's a tough life, but someone has to do it. Fortunately, the 2014 Zone Cruise is on the horizon, where I can get some rest (highly unlikely).