Trust us, we’re the experts…

This is the message that all companies are putting out there when they are creating a public image.  They want you to trust them and their products and believe that they only have your best interest in mind.

It would be nice if all that were really true.  But the cold hard reality of it all is big business is out to make a buck and if they can skimp a little on some of the ingredients to pad their profit margin, they will do it in a heartbeat.

It might not be their intention to produce dangerous, toxic supplements, but the fact that they cut a few corners  and buy the cheapest ingredients available can do just that – create inferior, toxic supplements that may (on the good end) not be effective or (on the bad end) may actually be making your health worse, not better.

Hopefully you have committed yourself and have come to the understanding that sometimes the old saying is true – “you get what you pay for”.  You have found a company that does the testing, the rigorous quality control, and the research and produces quality supplements you can trust.

You know their products maintain the highest purity, potency and deliver the best performance…

BUT…

You find yourself at your favorite local convenience store and you see the supplement bottle with the same supplement you always get.  Maybe you are almost out and its sooo convenient and it is cheaper – Maybe you find yourself thinking, “Here are the same supplements for less money.  Why shouldn’t I save myself a little hassle and some cash by just buying these supplements?  I am sure they must be safe and effective.  I mean if they store sells them they can’t be bad.  The government wouldn’t let unsafe, toxic supplements or products on the shelves.”

How bad could they be? – I mean really!

Well, I am here to tell you that the answer to the question is PRETTY DARN BAD.

Here is a perfect example that illustrates my point.

On March 2nd of 2010, the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation sued the makers and sellers of fish oil supplements in California.  The reason? – The companies were not telling consumers that their products contained toxic levels of PCB’s.

It was not the FDA or the Federal Government or even the State Government of California that started this action against the fish oil companies.  There was no recall to protect the health and wellness of consumers.

It took an environmental group, people like you and me, to try and stop this spread of toxins.  They basically found a loop hole that allowed them to sue the companies for not including PCB’s on the supplements labels.  A California law requires a warning label to be put on a product whenever it contains toxic ingredients.

At the time of the lawsuit, the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation had only tested 10 Omega-3 supplements and found PCB’s in all of them.  They are continuing their testing a plan on adding more companies to the lawsuit if their products are found to be contaminated.

The defendant currently listed in the lawsuit is Omega Protein, a company based out of Houston that is the world’s largest producer of Omega-3 fish oil.  They provide fish oil to many other companies such as: Rite Aid, CVS, GNC, Now Health Group, Pharmavite, Solgar and Twinlab.

What might be the scariest part of this incident is the fact that many of the labels on the fish oil supplements stated that the supplement had been treated to reduce or remove PCB’s from the Omega-3.  So not only did they not list PCB’s as being in the product, they said they had removed them.  As a consumer you would expected to believe that these products were safe.

So did the company set out to hurt consumers?  I would hope not.  But did they set out to really help consumers?  Again the answer is probably not.  They were just supplying a product that has become more and more in demand and doing it as cheaply as possible.

The manufacturing company and the companies selling the supplements probably never even tested or checked for PCB’s in the fish oil.  At least I hope that would be the case.  It would really be disturbing if they did test, found PCB’s, and then sold the supplement anyway knowing about the toxicity.

Another perfect example of not testing the basic ingredients showed up when the FDA had to issue a massive recall of all products containing textured vegetable protein because of Salmonella contamination.  The company who produced this product, Basic Food Flavors, could have saved a lot of headache if they had merely tested their product before shipping it out.  The companies who use this product to produce things like potato chips, dips, soups and snacks also could have done this testing.  But many companies are not doing these basic quality control tests because of the extra expense involved.  They are more worried about their bottom line then your health.

So now that you are standing there looking at the less expensive supplements at your local drug or grocery store maybe you are thinking, “I am glad I found a company that does tests on all its ingredients even if their suppliers say the products are safe.  I am glad I found a company that truly cares.  I think my health and my family’s health is important enough that I will spend a little extra time and a little more money to get safe and effective supplements.”

If you haven’t found that company yet, here are some things to think about when looking:

Look for an established company that has a good track record for producing products of the highest quality.

Find a company that has been around for years and has earned a reputation of integrity.

Do a little research and be sure the company does rigorous quality controls on their ingredients and their products.

Look for a company that uses pharmaceutical grade quality controls.

Check to see if they do clinical trials to prove the safety and effectiveness of the products they manufacture.

This may seem like a lot, but it’s your health you are playing with.  I always think of that commercial for women’s products that says “And I’m worth it.”

It’s something to think about!

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Acai Berry (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) is a fruit that comes from the açaí palm tree. The fruit is small, round, black-purple in color and about 1-inch in diameter.  It is similar to a grape but with less pulp

Recently, the acai berry has been marketed as a dietary supplement and super supplement.

There have been many health claims associated with this new ‘super food’,

but is it all marketing hype or true scientific fact?

Companies produce and sell acai berry products in many forms including tablets, juice, smoothies, instant drink powders, and whole fruit.

Some of the claims and remedies that have been attributed to acai include:

  • increased energy levels
  • improved sexual performance
  • improved skin appearance
  • better heart health
  • improved digestion
  • and weight loss

There have even been more blatant claims that include:

  • reversal of diabetes and other chronic illnesses
  • expanding size of the penis
  • increasing men’s sexual virility
  • increasing sexual attractiveness to women.

So the million dollar question – “Is it really a Super Juice or Is it Junk?”

According to Susan Donaldson of ABC News, these products have not been evaluated by the FDA and they have questionable efficacy.  And as of March 2009 no scientifically controlled studies have been done to back up any of the claims being made about the acai berry.

Quackwatch, a non-profit group fighting health related fraud, stated that “acai juice has only middling levels of antioxidants—less than that of Concord grape, blueberry, and black cherry juices, but more than cranberry, orange, and apple juices.”

During my own research, I discovered a couple of articles that provided some interesting information about both the acai berry and the mangosteen fruit.  Both of these articles came from recent issue of Environmental Nutrition. (Oct and Dec ’09)

The scientific journal researched some of the claims and the scientific research that has been done related to the acai berry and mangosteen fruit.

Here is what they found:

For both cases, there has been very little scientific backing for any of the claims being made.  There was one clinical study done on the acai berry that showed when people consumed a single serving of the juice that they did show an increase in the antioxidant capacity of their blood for the 12 hours following the dose.

This might sound impressive, but the same thing happens when you consume a serving of blackberries, blueberries of raspberries.

There was a separate study done that showed extracts from acai berries destroyed cancer cells in a culture dish.  Again very impressive except for the fact that other fruits such as mangos, guavas and grapes have been shown to do the same thing in cell studies.  There is no evidence that shows any of the fruits, including the acai, having these effects inside the human body.

Mangosteen studies show many of the same results.  Cell culture studies show mangosteen extracts stopping bacterial growth and improved insulin resistance in cultured cells.  Many foods with high antioxidant properties also show these properties, but again none of these studies have shown any benefit within the human body.

So apparently acai berry and mangosteen fruit do have benefits for us as humans but these benefits don’t seem to be any better than those that can be found in most fruit of similar quality.  But there doesn’t seem to be any clinical evidence that backs up the claims being made throughout the internet and on store shelves around the country.

But what about all those amazing and fantastic testimonials that can be found alongside the products?

Beware of testimonials.  You never know their validity and there is this thing called the placebo effect.  Many times the belief that a “pill” will cure you actually helps you get better.  The power of the human mind is amazing.  If you have little kids you will understand because you have seen the power of ‘Mommy’s kiss’ and a well placed bandaid to instantly stop the pain.

Be sure there is scientific evidence backing up the testimonials.

In conclusion, there has been no clinical scientific evidence supporting the many claims being touted by acai berry producers, but there has also not been anything that shows any risk or danger consuming the products.

You can probably get the same benefits from consuming a variety of fruits from your local store and do it at a lot less cost.

The choice is yours.  But it pays to do a little research before jumping on the miracle bandwagon of the week.

It’s something to think about!

Shaklee is very active in protecting the environment, supporting good causes and creating a healthy planet and a healthy home.  Here are a couple of lists that show just a few of the things Shaklee does.

Sometimes, you do things because they’re good for business. And sometimes, you do things just because you should.

  • Just completed the campaign to plant a million trees.
  • Sponsored three North Pole expeditions to measure the impact of global warming.
  • Donated environmentally friendly cleaning supplies for Jacques Cousteau’s research vessels.
  • Donates vitamins and nutrition drinks to undernourished children and earthquake victims.
  • Supports United Nations Millennium Development Goals to promote human rights and end poverty.
  • Official sponsor of Earth Day
  • Annual giving that has topped $3 million.

The list goes on.  And so does the commitment to doing what’s right simply because it is.

Shaklee has always put the environment first and was green way back when it was just a color you found in your crayon box.  Here are just a few of the awards Shaklee has been given for environmental leadership:

  • 2009 – Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. EPA
  • 2009 – Clean Air Award for reducing global warming and improving air quality
  • 2009 – Business Environmental Award for Sustainability
  • 2008 – Stevie Award for Best Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program
  • 2007 – Global Green USA’s Organizational Design Award for positive environmental change
  • 2006 designated an EPA Climate Leader by the Environmental Protection Agency
  • 2003 – Gold Medal Award for Environment & Sustainability
  • 2003 – National Environmental Excellence Award
  • 2002 – Climate Protection Award
  • 2001 – 2001 Vision for Tomorrow Award
  • 2000 – Environmental Business Leadership Award on Earth Day
  • 1990 – Family Circle Green-Chip Award for the 10 most environmentally friendly companies

Sometimes You Do Things Because it’s Good for Business.  Sometimes You do Them Just Because You Should.

The Holiday Season is a wonderful time of year.  Friends and family, end of the year parties, gifts and lots of social events and delicious foods make this an exciting time but entertaining guests, decorating, clean-up, shopping and eating lots of food can also make this a very stressful time of year.  After the fun has cleared you can be left feeling stressed out, exhausted, a little overweight and many times a little under the weather.

A little stress might be just what you need to overcome that procrastination bug and get it all together in time to impress, but too much stress it hard on your body.  Stress is often the culprit that sets up your body for a meltdown.  Getting worn down opens the door for feeling poorly both mentally and physically.  Stress is often at the root of ailments such as colds and flu.

The best defense against getting sick is  maintaining a healthy body.

Here are a few ideas to help you have a happy – and healthy – holiday season.  A little change here and there can make the holiday fun before, during and even after the parties and merriment are just a memory.

Take charge – Run your schedule, don’t let it run you

Plan, plan, plan – I remember one of my coaches always saying “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.  The holiday season is completely filled up with places to go, people to see, and things to do. It’s like a sprint to the finish. Try setting up a schedule and write down what needs to get done.  This can help you avoid those last second panic attacks when you realize you forgot a gift  or the critical ingredient you need for your favorite pie.

Just say no, (at least a couple of times) – Don’t forget the reason for the season.  And its not always how much can you spend or how much can you consume.  It’s ok not to eat that third piece of pie.  Sit down, relax, enjoy friends and family and stop stressing about buying more.  It seems a little cliché, but it really is the thought that counts.  And don’t be afraid to ask for some help getting it all done.

Just say Yes – to some down time – Don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Take a nice walk, sit and have a cup of tea.  Every one needs some time to recharge those batteries.  Just 20-30 minutes is all it takes.  It really is OK to relax and enjoy yourself.

Don’t Abandon all Your Healthy Habits

Exercise – A little goes a long way – It doesn’t have to be an all out workout, but being active each day will make you feel so much better.  You’ll even feel better about indulging in that extra piece of pie or having that holiday cocktail if you commit to doing something active every day.   With all the extra hubbub it’s easy to skip your daily walk or gym routine.  So try to improvise.  Take the family on a walk; even take a lap around the inside of the mall before you head into the stores.  Of course exercise helps burn extra calories, but maybe even more importantly, it helps reduce stress and boosts your energy!

Eat healthy when you can – Don’t forget about the fruits and veggies as you fill the plate with all those holiday favorites.  Maybe make one meal of the day a nice healthy one.  Again it will help with your bodies health but it can also remove a lot of that guilt when you are indulging in all those not so healthy choices.

Avoid fast foods—period! – There are so many choices out there now days that even if you find yourself in need of a quick and easy meal you can find a nice deli or other restaurant that has better choices you’re your health.  Scan the food court or walk the extra block, your body (and your waistline) will thank you later.

Plan the Snacking – New Year’s Resolutions are just around the corner and most of us put losing weight on our list.  So why work so hard all year to lose it and keep it off just to blow it in the last month of the year. So, snack wisely! It isn’t that hard—it just takes a little bit of self awareness and maybe a tiny bit of self control.  Grab a few of the healthier snack from the veggie tray along with your desert pile.  You get just as full and get all the wonderful flavors but save yourself a little of that excess sugar.  If you get too much at home, take it to work and share or send it with the kids.  They can share with their friends and be sure to send them outside to burn it off.

Don’t forget to rest – It was good enough for some Merry Gentlemen so it is good for you too.  Sleep restores the body and gives it a chance to rejuvenate.  Sleep can also revive your spirit.  Make sure you get plenty.  8 hours is the recommended amount for adults and kids need even more so make sure they are getting to bed on time even though they are on holiday break.  Not getting enough sleep will compound the holiday stress and strain you are already feeling.  So of all the things you do, sleep can really help you avoid the energy drain and the troubles that come with it.

Finally, Remember to take your supplements—My recipe for a healthier life and holiday season always includes my daily dose of supplements.  With 6 kids 10 and under, every day is filled with plenty of activity and stress in my life and the holidays can add even more.  I know my Shaklee vitamin strip really does help me get through the day without feeling drained and I can’t remember the last time I had a cold or the flu.  They provide a great foundation of antioxidants, botanicals and probiotics to support the immune system and all the vitamins and minerals I need to round out a healthy diet.

Because despite all the ease of writing tips to maintain your health, its always more difficult to put it into practice.  I do what I can but having my supplements to back me up is a real godsend.  I have been taking Shaklee vitamins for almost 20 years and they really do make a difference.

I would recommend them to anyone.  With all the money we all seem to waste on coffee, vending machines and impulse buys, what is a dollar or two a day to live a healthier happier life.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the best to you for the New Year.

The Holidays are upon us once again, and while they make for wonderful occasions filled with warm wishes and a chance to get together with family they also have become a nightmare for most of us when it comes to overeating and increasing waistlines.

I am far from fanatical when it comes to “diets”.  My personal mantra is to live in moderation.  Be willing to compromise and go with the flow.  When it comes to Holiday meals that means go ahead and indulge yourself.  I mean it’s the holidays and they only come around once a year.  How many other times do you get to come together and enjoy yourself with all these wonderful foods and drinks.

So, for me, it’s a time that its ok to overdo it a little.  But because I know I am going to eat a little too much and grab some not so healthy options I try to take some easy steps that help to moderate this over indulgence without making it seem like I am on a “diet” or restricting myself.

While “Healthy Thanksgiving” doesn’t quite have the appeal of the more familiar “Happy Thanksgiving” greeting, I used it here to make the point that Thanksgiving dinner (and many other holiday meals) doesn’t have to be an unhealthy affair.

After all, there is a lot to like about the ingredients in Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey can be a healthy, low-fat meat, if prepared correctly. Sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash and pumpkin are all loaded with vitamin A and other important nutrients. And cranberries are a nutrition powerhouse.

Here are some tips to make your Thanksgiving meal one that contributes to your health:

1) Skip the basting. Choose a plain bird and cook in a bag to seal in the moisture. Remove the skin before serving.

2) Refrigerate the turkey juices and skim off the hardened fat before making gravy and use a gravy cup that pours from the bottom to minimize fat.

3) Use ingredients like whole wheat bread, vegetables, fruits (cranberries, raisins, dates or apples), nuts and your favorite spices for the stuffing and bake it in the oven rather than in the turkey.

4) Serve your sweet potatoes or yams baked rather than candied and let your guests add butter to taste.

5) Use skim milk or buttermilk rather than whole milk and skip the butter for your mashed potatoes.

6) Give your meal gourmet appeal by cooking your green vegetables with garlic, nuts and herbs rather than creamy or fat-laden sauces.

7) Don’t serve the meal on your largest plates. By using smaller plates you ensure smaller portion size and even that second helping isn’t quite so damaging.

8) Use the Cinch meal replacement products for one or more meals the day before and/or after Thanksgiving so that your total caloric intake over the three day period is not excessive.

By now you have the idea. There are lots of little things that you can do to make your Thanksgiving dinner one that your waist and your heart will thank you for.

Bon Appetit and have a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

(I would like to thank Dr. Stephen G Chaney for many of the meal suggestions on this page.)

Protein is an essential component in the growth, repair, and maintenance of all your body tissues. But not only is it necessary for life but it might also be beneficial in helping us with weight management it might even be helpful when trying to take off a few extra pounds.

Let’s look at the Power of Protein:

Protein is absolutely necessary for us to survive.  It is required not only for growth and repair but also for making enzymes.  Enzymes are responsible to get stuff happening and happening at the right time and at the right speed.  They are essential to all life processes.

Protein also is required for hormones.  These are powerful little chemical messengers that move around through your bloodstream to specific specialized cells.  Once there, they can create a wide range of responses within your body.

Protein is also responsible for helping to maintain the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.

Protein provides a source of energy.

And Protein works with the immune system to help your body fight off disease.

These are the many powers of protein!

But your body can only carry out the many tasks listed above when we supply it with adequate amounts of dietary protein by consuming a variety of foods.  These can include meat, fish, and poultry, as well as soy and milk.  Each one of these protein types supplies the body with amino acids.

Amino Acids are the bricks that the body uses when it is making proteins.  With a steady supply of building blocks, the body can manufacture its own essential proteins.

The Problem: Not All Protein Is Created Equal

Every time we eat protein it can provide us with 20 different amino acids.  Eleven of these amino acids are “nonessential.” This just means the body can make these amino acids for itself. But that leaves nine other amino acids.  These are the “essential” ones because your body can’t make them on its own. Not all protein has all 20 amino acids.

Another problem that can be seen when talking about protein consumption is that unlike the carbohydrates and fats that we eat, the amino acids do not get stored in the body. So we have to provide our bodies with a constant, steady supply of building materials (amino acids) from the protein-rich foods we eat.

So we need to eat protein every day and we need to make sure it has all the required amino acids our body needs so it can perform all those powerful tasks we need it to do.

So what should we eat?  What is the best source of dietary protein? Is there a difference between fish, red meat and white meat?  And what about vegetable sources like soy?

These are great questions, because the quality of protein that we eat can determine how well children grow and develop into adults.  And it also effects how well adults will maintain their health and all that goes with living a healthy life.

High-quality proteins provide enough of all the essential amino acids needed to support the body’s work, and lower-quality proteins don’t. The quality of a protein can be determined by its digestibility and its amino acid composition.

Protein digestibility just means how much of the amino acids available actually get absorbed into your body.  And amino acid composition refers to how many of the 20 and especially the 9 required amino acids are found in the protein we chose to eat.

Some high quality proteins are those from animals like meat, fish, chicken, and dairy. Plant based protein from Soy protein is also considered a high quality protein. Most other plant based sources such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are considered low quality because they don’t have all the essential amino acids our body requires.

Besides being required for so many essential daily functions in our body, protein has other health benefits.

However, research suggests that the intake of high-quality protein as part of a healthy diet may also have positive effects on other aspects of our lives.  These include weight management and muscle retention as we get older.  Studies have also shown protein may play a role in the prevention of certain diseases such as heart disease, certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis.

It has been shown that weight management and achieving a healthy weight can add years to your life and quality to those years.  Through these studies, scientists now believe that high quality dietary protein may play an important role in weight management.

It has been shown that diets high in protein can promote higher weight loss compared to lower protein diets. Part or all of this could be due to the fact that proteins satisfy your body’s needs and reduce cravings.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a study not too long ago where researchers studied the effects of increasing dietary protein while maintaining carbohydrate levels.  Participants were initially given a diet lower in protein for the first 2 weeks.  For the next 2 weeks, the carbs were kept the same but the fat was cut and the protein increased.  Calorie levels were kept the same.  And finally in the last 12 weeks, the participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted as long as they kept the same percentages of carbohydrates, proteins and fats that were used in the high protein diet.

Even though the participants were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, the average calorie intact went down by over 400 calories per day.  The group lost an average of almost 11 pounds and more than 8 of those were body fat pounds.

Ok, so you should be convinced you need protein and you need the high quality stuff, but how much do we need and what’s the best kind?

That’s a tough question because we are all different.  But most people need right around 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight.  A kilogram is 2.2 pounds so a 110 pound person is 50 kilos and would need about 50 grams of protein.  If they are a growing child or a pregnant woman the amount could go up.  People who are working out and “bulking up” can also require a little more and research shows older adults can benefits from getting a little extra protein.  An accepted range is 0.8 to 1.3 grams for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to get this and if you eat a well rounded diet you should be fine.  Be careful though, a cup of coffee for breakfast or chips and a coke for lunch do not count as a well rounded diet.

You should also be careful in what comes along with the protein you consume. An 8 ounce porterhouse steak is a great source of a high quality protein.  It can get you around 50 grams of it. The problem is you also consume around 40 grams of fat and a good chunk of that is saturated fat which can raise cholesterol and increase the risk for heart disease.  So this might not be a good source for everyday.

A cup of cooked lentils, on the other hand, has almost 20 grams of proteins (good high quality stuff) but it has less than 1 gram of fat.  For many of us it may not be quite as tasty but if we can start to make at least a few of our meals using these alternative sources we can still enjoy life and enjoy it even more because we are energetic and healthy.

Vegetable sources of protein, including soy protein beverage mixes, are also an excellent choice especially for those looking for a meal replacement because of time or calorie intake. Many of these protein shakes also provide healthful amounts of other essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

If you are a real meat and potatoes kind a guy than your best animal protein choices are fish and chicken. If you just gotta have your red meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, try to stick with the leanest cuts, cut down to moderate portion sizes, and try to make it only an occasional part of your diet instead of every day.

With just a little work, protein has the power to achieve a healthier life.

It’s definitely something to think about!

I believe supplements should complement your healthy diet and never serve as a replacement.  There really is no substitute for eating healthy unprocessed foods.  However, with the diets most of us truly eat supplementation has become a necessity.

There are even a few supplements that become necessary for even the best eaters because the body just isn’t able to produce certain elements that are required to maintain optimal health.  One of these is Coenzyme Q10, more commonly known as CoQ10.

As we age our bodies can no longer produce the amount of CoQ10 that is required.  This can start to happen as early as age 25 and is seen in pretty much all adults by age 40.

Although the human body can synthesize CoQ10, in some situations the body’s capacity to produce CoQ10 isn’t sufficient to meet its needs. CoQ10 levels can reach their peak in our bodies by age 20 and fall slowly thereafter. It has been shown that 60% of the population has a deficiency of CoQ10 when they reach their 50s and 60s. Some medicines can actually reduce the body’s production of CoQ10.

Supplements can help, but since most supplemental CoQ10 is poorly absorbed by the body, a supplement must be highly bioavailable to be effective.

One of the key elements in the aging process is free radical production. Free radicals are oxygen atoms deficient in electrons that become highly reactive. These free radicals can cause damage to your tissues and your DNA.

CoQ10 is one nutrient that can help to limit these free radicals.

CoQ10 also can help to boost your body’s energy production.

So even if you do your best to eat wholesome unprocessed foods, your body’s capability to produce Co Q10 and process it declines over time.

What you need is a smart way to reverse this process and keep your energy up as well as your free radicals down…

CoQ10 can help with some of the following problems:

  • Help you produce more energy for your cells*
  • Help to Boost your heart health*
  • Act as an antioxidant to help protect you from free radicals*
  • Help you reduce the signs of normal aging*
  • Help you maintain blood pressure levels within the normal range*
  • Provide a boost to your immune system*
  • Support your nervous system*
  • Help to Prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol*

Clinical studies have shown dietary supplementation with CoQ10 increases the concentrations of Vitamin E in both blood and LDL molecules.  Vitamin E is important in providing antioxidant protection for the body’s cells.

In fact, in a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study it was found that CoQ10 taken in supplemental form significantly lowered the rate of LDL cholesterol oxidation because of these antioxidant properties.

Eight Clinical studies done with CoQ10 show other strong evidence of the importance of supplementation.  The cardiovascular benefits of CoQ10 were shown when researchers concluded the CoQ10 promotes the heart’s ability to pump blood.

If you could combine the benefits of CoQ10 supplementation with those of Resveratrol you could increase these benefits even more.

Resveratrol possesses its own potent antioxidant properties and so when combined with CoQ10 it complements and the benefits for your body.

Researchers have demonstrated the antioxidant properties of resveratrol during laboratory studies. One particular study found that resveratrol inhibited LDL cholesterol oxidation by 70–80%.

Resveratrol may also help blood vessels relax and dilate.  These are both important functions for heart health and promoting optimal blood flow.

Combined with CoQ10, which does much of the same things, the supplement becomes even more powerful.

So I think you can see how we can benefit from supplementation as we get older.  The good news is there are literally hundreds of CoQ10 supplements available on the market today.  The BAD NEWS is there are only a few great ones.

Don’t settle for inferior quality when it comes to your health.  Choose a great company that takes the time to do things the right way and produce great supplements.

Some criteria you should be pretty strict on when selecting top-notch supplements like CoQ10 and the company that produces them are that they MUST

  • Deliver high-absorption bioavailable formulas (This means they get into your body when and where they need to be and the supplements don’t just take a nice ride through the digestive tract.)
  • Be all-natural with NO synthetic ingredients
  • Come from a highly reputable company with some of the strictest quality control and safety standard practices in place

Don’t ever settle for a supplement that is not completely backed by a manufacturer that maintains the highest quality standards.  This will ensure that you get consistent top-of-the-line quality each and every time you use the products.

The time for action is now.  All adult men and women can benefit from adding CoQ10 to their diet plan.  Combine that with all the benefits of resveratrol and you can’t go wrong.

It is something to think about!

When I started this blog it was my intention to pass along information about various topics related to health and staying healthy.  To me and most other people things like vitamins, exercise, disease prevention jump out as good topics.  Household cleaning products don’t seem to fit the mold.

But the more I learn, the more I decided that green cleaners, toxins and your health were all very much related and too often ignored as an area of health concern.

Green cleaners really are a step in the right direction when it comes to improving our chance of living a healthy life.

I read (and from more than one source) that the toxins under our kitchen sink are extremely dangerous. Some of these chemicals would have to be stored in special cabinets and have MSDS sheets nearby if they were in your work area, but they are freely sprayed around homes and kids everyday with no special warnings.

Here are just a few facts about these toxins:

  • The most common poison exposure for kids is ingesting household products
  • Chlorine is the #1 cause of child poisonings in the US
  • 150 Chemicals in the home are associated with allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological disorders.
  • 90% of all Toxic Hazards are caused by the inhalation of vapors and absorption of hazardous particles.
  • There is a dramatic increase in the rate of asthma in women in the past 10 years due to longer exposure times to household chemicals.
  • 90% of all poison exposures occur in the home.
  • 12.2 billion dollars are spent annually on health care costs for women due to environmentally associated diseases

That’s why I was so excited to find a viable solution.  A green cleaner that not only is all natural, it biodegradable and it doesn’t contain all those dangerous toxins.  And the best part – it actually cleans up the dirt and grime just as good and I think even better than the toxic cleaners we get from the grocery store.

Green cleaners have come and gone because lots of companies just jumped on the bandwagon and slapped an eco-friendly label on a cutesy product that really wasn’t much of a real cleaner.  They also tended to slap a higher price tag on it just to take advantage of people trying to make a difference.

Get Clean green cleaners buck the trend.  They were one of the first official earth day products over 30 years ago.  They are made by a company that was the first to be completely carbon neutral.  They are truly a good cleaner and have been tested against “regular cleaners” and have cleaned just as good or better.

I even did my own test and had over 40 unpaid people give me their honest feedback about how they thought the Get Clean green cleaners stacked up against the store bought competition.  70% of my testers thought the green cleaner worked better and just over 10% thought it wasn’t as good.  That almost 90% of the people who thought this green cleaning product was just as good or better than the competition.

But what about the price, it must cost more.  Well I was pleasantly surprised to find out that when you make a 16oz bottle of cleaner from the concentrate you purchase it cost less than $0.10 a bottle.  Most cleaners from the store will cost $2-3 for 16oz of product.

Works just as good or better and costs 90% less – well you can see why I choose to Get Clean and use green cleaners.  Better performance, better cost and best of all – BETTER HEALTH!

Choose your supplements wisely

Not all supplements are created equal. Just as there are different levels of quality in the food we eat and the products we buy there are quality levels in supplements.

The nutritional health and wellness industry is growing by leaps and bounds (partly due to the aging baby boomers) and many companies are putting vitamins and supplements on the shelves and online.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to know if you are getting quality that you can trust.

A recent study shows that the likelihood of choosing a non-toxic and effective health supplement from the overwhelming array of products that are available is only 2.5%. In other words, there is a 97.5% chance that without investigating the reliability of the product yourself you could select a nutritional product that might be hazardous to your health!
(I call that a step in the wrong direction).

SO…. The question is “Who can you trust and what is actually good for you?”

It comes down to making choices.

Research your products and the companies that make them before you put your health on the line.

Many of us agonize over what clothes or car or TV we should buy but just grab the cheapest vitamin on the shelf. Its your body and your life. The choices we make now affect our future health and wellness.


So how do you choose the right supplement?

First let me educate you on some information that I wasn’t aware of until just recently.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not regulate the vitamin and supplement industry.

That means that what is written on the label of a vitamin bottle might be true but also might be just a scam trying to make the supplement look better than it is. There is no one regulating what can or cannot be said about the effectiveness of the supplement.

This also means that there are no laws regulating the serving size or amount of vitamin and/or mineral contained in each tablet or capsule you are ingesting. No one to make sure it is a dosage your body needs or can use to maintain health.

Many vitamins work together in your body and if the proper amounts of each are not ingested together they might as well not be ingested at all.

They could actually do more harm than good.

Another important thing I have learned during my supplement research is that many of the vitamins available use fillers and artificial ingredients in their products. I always thought if you bought Vitamin C then the pill was all Vitamin C. Turns out it might have things like petroleum in there too. It might even have more ‘junk’ then it does the actual vitamin.

The first step in choosing a vitamin or supplement is choosing a vitamin or supplement company.

Look at the label of any vitamin you plan on purchasing and see who the company is and check for contact information. Look them up on the Internet or even call them and find out some of their manufacturing practices.

  • Do they follow and meet with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance?
  • Are the products they make independently tested and analyzed for effectiveness?
  • Does the manufacturer test the supplements for purity and potency?
  • What types of ingredients are used? Are they natural or synthetic?
  • Is the product full of fillers and other artificial ingredients? Many companies use fillers, binders and coatings in their vitamin tablets. These are usually inactive ingredients that are unnecessary for your body and can actually do harm.

  • Fillers are just that. They fill up space and help form the tablet.
  • Binders help keep everything together. Many times these can actually be harmful and include such things as gum, carbopol and povidone.
  • Coatings help keep it all together and can contain artificial flavors to make it taste better. (if you are trying to cover up petroleum and other nasty things no wonder you need artificial flavors.)

  • Are the products bioavailable? Meaning does it actually get absorbed and used by the body and not just get passed through the system as waste.
  • Are your vitamins and supplements a food or a drug?

All of this information should be available on the company’s website or by contacting their customer service representatives. If you are unable to find it or if they are unwilling to share this kind of information then it is probably in your best interest to avoid these supplements.


The Swine Flu epidemic is here.  It might not be so much the actual flu that is spreading at an alarming rate, but the fear and panic about the flu seem to be running rampant.

For healthy adults and children the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the Swine Flu, is no more deadly than the flu virus that spreads through the country every year about this time.

The best way to avoid getting the virus is to stay healthy and follow just a few basic rules about staying that way and keeping your body from becoming a welcome host to the virus.

The flu shot is not the end all be all savior that is has been said to be.  If you would like to learn more about the vaccination and the problems it has, you can read my blog post – Facts about the Flu Virus and its Vaccine.

The flu virus only has a couple of entry points where it can get into your body.  Those are the nostrils and the mouth and throat.  The virus is floating around pretty much everywhere but it’s not dangerous coming in contact with the virus as long as you take the precautions to not let it proliferate throughout your body.
In order to keep the virus from proliferating (multiplying and setting up shop in your body), you need to follow some simple steps while you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of the flu, whether it be the H1N1 flu virus or any other flu virus.

Here are several steps you can do to keep yourself healthy:

1. Frequent hand-washing with soap and for more than just a quick rinse.  Sing Happy Birthday to yourself a couple of times to make sure you have done a thorough job.

2. Do your best to keep your hands off your face. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face because this is where the flu virus has the best chance of entering your body.  I know it seems kind of a goofy thing to think about, but many of us use our fingers to pick something out of our teeth, we pick our nose (be honest, most of us do it from time to time), and we rub our eyes.

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water.  The flu virus, including the H1N1 Swine Flu, takes 2-3 days after the initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. By simply gargling each day you can help to prevent proliferation. This again seems like a simple thing to do, but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.  And an added bonus it is an inexpensive preventative step.

4. Another step you can do with the salt water is to clean your nostrils every day.  This one is a little tougher for a lot of us.  Maybe you have seen or even used a Neti Pot.  It lets you clean you sinuses with warm water.  If you aren’t into putting water up your nose, you can just blow your nose (hard) when you get up in the morning and then swab your nostrils with cotton swabs dipped in salt water.  This method has been shown to be effective in reducing the viral population that may be trying to set up shop in your body.

5. Boost your immune system naturally.  Vitamin C, whether from foods or supplements has been shown to help with your immunity.  Researchers have also come up with an all natural supplement that can boost your body’s ability to produce interferon.  Interferon has been shown to have a significant impact on helping the body’s natural immune system.

6. And finally, drink warm liquids when you can. This does pretty much the same thing as the gargling does.  It loosens up and washes off the viruses but instead of expelling them from the body, it sends them out of the throat and down into the stomach.  The acidic environment of the stomach kills the viruses and does not allow them to proliferate through your body.

So instead of getting all worked up about the Swine Flu, relax (remember stress only helps the flu take a foot hold) and take the time to keep yourself healthy.  It only takes a few extra precautions and preventative measures to avoid catching the H1N1 or any other cold and flu that might be spreading itself around in your local environment.

It’s something to think about!