How to Build a Herbal Medicine Cabinet [Slideshow]

February 26 2014 | Digestive Health | Family Health | Immune Health | Nervous System | Respiratory Health

Last week, Laurence Smith presented a webinar on how to build a herbal medicine cabinet. These are his personal essential tips and life-saving methods to being naturally prepared and equipped for any urgent health situation. Check out the slides below, or see the all the webinars from Education Week here.


If you can't see the slides, below is the text:

Why Would You Need a Herbal First Aid Kit?

There are many health concerns that could and should be handled at home.  The sooner there is intervention, the sooner the healing process begins.  It is important to have natural products on hand that can immediately be used when a person feels "out of sorts".  

Developing a Natural Medicine Cabinet and First Aid Kit

Provides peace of mind knowing that you have basic remedies on hand. Gives you the opportunity to practice using herbs in a non-emergency situation, and build your confidence in both yourself and these natural products – and caring for common complaints at home.


These should be separated into Primary Products, Secondary Products, Specialty Products and Programs:


Primary Products

  • Silver Shield 
  • Silver Shield Gel 
  • Elderberry D3fence 
  • VS-C 
  • Golden Seal 
  • Echinacea  
  • Mullein 
  • LBS II 
  • Oregon Grape 
  • Distress Remedy


Secondary Products

  • Echinacea 
  • Cascara Sagrada 
  • Capsicum 
  • Black Ointment 
  • Charcoal 
  • Tei Fu Oil 
  • Tei Fu Lotion 
  • Golden Salve


Specialty Products

ALJ capsules & liquid APS II Aloe Vera Gel Catnip/Fennel Cranberry-Buchu HistaBlock Lobelia Papaya Mint Peppermint Oil Stomach Comfort Tea Tree Oil Zinc Lozenges

Primary Products

The Silver Solution -- Silver Shield -- "Second Immune System." The very minute ionized particles of silver, suspended in pure water aid in immune system defense for maximum bioavailability. It works quickly when ingested. The very minute ionized particles of silver, suspended in pure water aid in immune system defense for maximum bioavailability. It works quickly when ingested. Silver Shield is cell-structure specific—any single cell organism is subject to silver.

Elderberry D3fense -- Supports the immune system and contains naturally derived Vitamin D3.

VS-C -- Vital Shield for the immune system, it's an immune-system Stimulant – Chinese (was HRP-C). It's Effective with l-lysine and nourishes the liver. It promotes a healthy respiratory tract.

Goldenseal -- Maintains a strong immune system, supports mucus membranes throughout the body. 

Mullein -- supports healthy ears and lungs and may help soothe the respiratory system. 

LBS II --  A lower bowel stimulant formula and Support that strengthens the colon and increases peristalsis. It improves digestion, reduces gas and cramping, and helps the growth of friendly bacteria.

Oregon Grape -- Supports the immune system and is easily assimilated in the body. 

Distress Remedy -- Flower essence version of Bach's Rescue Remedy and is for a variety of emotionally stressful situations. 


Secondary Products

Ultimate Echinacea -- Potent immune system stimulant and lymphatic cleanser. Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea angustifolia. Directly stimulates the immune system.

Cascara Sagrada -- A stimulant laxative for a moving experience. "Sacred Bark" root is a popular treatment for occasional constipation because it is not habit-forming. It is used to increase the secretion of digestive fluids, create large soft bowel movements, and stimulate the peristaltic action of the colon.

Capsicum -- The hot pepper that cools pain after exercise or muscle overuse. Capsicum can be applied directly to the skin or swallowed. It is one of the most versatile stimulant herbs known. It is a digestive aid, relieves pain after exercise or muscle overuse, and itching palms and feet. Provides digestive and circulatory support.

Activated Charcoal -- Used to support the body's cleansing and detoxification mechanisms. Ability to "attract" and absorb. Removes toxins from the body. Absorbs intestinal gas.

Tei Fu -- Tei Fu Essential Oils and Tei Fu Massage Lotion. These stimulating aromatic oils are cleansing and mood enhancing.

Golden Salve -- Soothing salve that helps moisturize tissues. Use on any external tissue. Supports healthy skin and soothes and moisturizes dry skin.

Black Ointment -- Drawing salve that helps tighten, tone and firm the skin.


Specialty Products

APS II (w/White Willow Bark) -- Chemically similar to salicylic acid. Salicin appears to help prevent the production of prostaglandins. Includes valerian root to provide additional nervous system support, including promoting feelings of relaxation.

Relief Formula -- Pain relief formula after exercise or muscle overuse, also for sore muscles or sore back.

Products that encourage a healthy inflammatory response after exercise or muscle overuse: CurcuminBP, IF-C, Triple Relief, Licorice, Omega-3, Thai-Go.

Individual Products

ALJ -- Lung support. Helps soothe irritated tissues. Provides effective respiratory system support.

Aloe Vera Gel -- Soothes the skin. It spreads on and penetrates quickly. Use generously and keep the skin moist.

Catnip and Fennel -- Although the flavor is mild enough for an infant, you can also rub the liquid on baby's back and abdomen. Also try some on the back of the tongue to expel occasional painful gas or control hiccups.

Cranberry and Buchu -- Cranberry juice does contain substances that support a healthy urinary tract.

Histablock -- Supports the respiratory system in its battle against pollutants and toxins, especially during the changing seasons. Stabilizes immune cells.  

Lobelia -- Muscle-relaxing respiratory and lymphatic stimulant. Relaxing, antispasmodic, supports the respiratory system. Larger doses can bring on nausea. This is cleansing; not a reaction to "poison."  

Papaya Mint Chewable Tablets -- Tasty digestive stimulant. Papaya fruit contains proteolytic enzymes that function in the digestion of protein, while peppermint leaves contain aromatic compounds capable of triggering the production of digestive fluids.  

Pau d'Arco Capsules -- Strengthens and supports the immune system. Fortifies against foreign invaders.

Peppermint Oil -- Digestive aid and Freshens breath.

Stomach Comfort -- Helps neutralize acid and soothes the stomach and is a pH-balancing formula that provides natural ingredients to help nutritionally support digestion in times of occasional stomach upset. Contains calcium carbonate, which is alkaline in nature and helps buffer acid. Helps neutralize acid.

Tea Tree Oil -- The wonder from down under.

Zinc Lozenges -- Help Take the Bite out of Winter. Lozenges dissolve slowly in the mouth, releasing beneficial nutrients to the body. Zinc supports the respiratory, immune and glandular systems.


Colon Health --Artemesia Combination, Black Walnut concentrate,Herbal Pumpkin and Fossil Shell Flour.  

Digestive Health -- GastroHealth aids the digestive system, soothes the stomach, ,inimizes occasional gastric heartburn, acid indigestion, and discomfort.

Acting Quickly in an Emergency

Food Poisoning -- Activated Charcoal (Always call Poison Control Center first. If they recommend inducing vomiting, use Lobelia. Lobelia – emetic, Distress Remedy and Capsicum.

For Skin Issues

Use Black Ointment for a drawing salve, Aloe Vera Gel to moisten the skin, Silver Shield gel, Tei Fu Oil, Lavendar Oil and Tea Tree Oil.

For Pain

Use Relief Formula for minor muscular aches and pains following exercise, APS II and Tei-Fu Massage Lotion may promote muscle relaxation for aching and tense muscles. Also use Peppermint Oil, Lavender Oil, and Curcumin.

For Digestive Issues

Catnip and Fennel for occasional gas, occasional mild acid indigestion, occasional bloating. Activated Charcoal for bloating, absorbs gas.

For Occasional constipation and diarrhea use activated Charcoal, LBS II or Cascara Segrada. Peppermint Oil promotes digestion.

For the Nervous System

For occasional sleeplessness, nervousness, and situational anxiety, use Distress Remedy and Lobelia, which calms nerves and muscle tension. Topically, use Lavender Oil to promote restful sleep, Peppermint Oil for muscle tension and Tei Fu Oil/Lotion for muscle tension due to stress.

Want to Keep Living? Use This Chart: 'A Lifetime of Medical Checkups'

January 30 2013 | Family Health | General | Heart Healthy/Cholesterol | Infographic

Prevention is the key to longevity. No matter what age you are, there are risks, and early detection is vital in preventing, diagnosing and surviving many cancers and other serious diseases. Most on this list include heart disease and cancer.

This handy chart goes through risks at all ages and the corresponding tests you should take in each decade of your life.

Infographic by Greatist.

6 Simple New Year's Health Goals Anyone Can Do

December 28 2012 | Body System Health | Exercise | Family Health | General | Nutrition | Weight Management

In the memoir, "What the River Knows," Wayne Fields writes this nursery rhyme:

“The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.”

             -- Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990”

Fields' book was a beautiful and poignant memoir; a meditation on families and aging, and a whimsical response to what time, and streams, and those we care about bring into our lives.

In the nursery rhyme, he struck a simple chord for anyone searching for health and well-being. He mentions 6 simple doctors: sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet. Improving on even just one of them would be a noble, and reachable, resolution for the New Year. We examine each one below:

Get More Sunshine

Now, we're not talking about tanning. With the Sun, there can definitely be too much of a good thing. However, that fiery ball of radiation that climbs into the sky every morning can be just as good for your health as it is damaging.

"Being out in the sun boosts our mood, improves sleep, and promotes vitamin D production," says James Spencer, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. "There's no controversy about that."

An article in U.S. News says the Sun can help you get better sleep; can make you happier by increasing serotonin (psychiatrists often recommend that depressed people spend 30 minutes of the day in the sun); may give you protection from autoimmune diseases and asthma; and can lesson the symptoms of Alzheimer's. 

Drink More Water and Eat More Water-Based Foods

There might be too many benefits of drinking water to list here. But some of the benefits as cited by MindBodyGreen include: increased energy, promote wieght loss, flushes out toxins, improves skin, aids digestion, supports the immune system, a natural headache remedy, prevents cramps, much cheaper than flavored drinks. A six-year study also suggests that people who drink more than 5 glasses of water per day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack than people who drank less than 2 glasses per day.   

But aside from drinking more water, don't forget putting more water-based foods into your diet. The more fruits and vegetables you consume, the more nutrition you'll get and the better you'll feel.  

Get More Rest

A recent survey found that more people are sleeping less than six hours a night, and sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week. A short-lived bout of insomnia is generally nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss, which can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power, reports the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch also says a good night sleep supports learning and memory; metabolism and healthy weight; safety and better performance in daily tasks; a better mood; cardiovascular health; and a strong immune system. Go here for more information on herbs and natural supplements that support rest and relaxation

Breathe Better and Get More Oxygen

Diaphragmatic breathing

Oxygen is arguably the most important substance for our health. If we run out of it, we'll die in minutes. It's important we get enough oxygen to keep our body and organs functioning correctly.

We breathe more than 20,000 times a day. It is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do when we die, so it makes sense to become good at breathing. Soldiers master different types of breathing to perform in life or death situations -- whether it's to calm down, to increase endurance or to wake up and have more energy. In Yoga, correct breathing is not just crucial to supply the various organs enough oxygen, but to also to help rid the body of waste and toxins. 

Oxygen is critical to our well-being, and any effort to increase the supply of oxygen to our body -- and especially to the brain -- will pay rich dividends.

Get More Exercise

The benefits of exercise are obvious: stronger muscles and bones, a healthier immune system, better weight, higher metabolism, stress relief, warding off depression, etc. But it also might make you smarter. A recent article in the New York Times claims that the size of the human mind increased over time because of the necessity of exercise for early humans.

"The broad point of this new notion is that if physical activity helped to mold the structure of our brains, then it most likely remains essential to brain health today," says John D. Polk, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and co-author, with Dr. Raichlen, of the new article. "And there is scientific support for that idea. Recent studies have shown, he says, that 'regular exercise, even walking,' leads to more robust mental abilities, 'beginning in childhood and continuing into old age.'”

There seems to be a direct, and even an evolutionary, correlation between a healthy body and a healthy mind. This gives an even more powerful incentive to be active in 2013. 

Eat More Whole Foods

Diet and exercise are probably the top two resolution goals made every New Year's. But, instead of a diet plan that is doomed to fail, it might be more realistic to focus on eating better.

Eat more natural foods, more vegetables, more nuts, more fruits, more lean protein, more essential fatty acids like fish and avacados, and make sure to get the right herbal and vitamin supplements to fill in the holes.  Don't eat processed foods, refined flours, conventional frozen meals, and cured meats with byproducts. Instead, eat more whole foods that are as close to nature as possible, including high-fat foods grown the way nature intended. If you have difficulty getting enough whole foods, consider shakes like Nature's Harvest, which is full of vegetable protein. 

13 Tips For Healthy Aging

December 11 2012 | Brain Health | Exercise | Family Health | General | Nutrition | Sleep

The fountain of youth … a magical elixir that prevents aging, illness and death. 

It sounds great, but for those of us with a more realistic outlook on life, we can do simple things right now to feel good and to help give our bodies their best shot at longevity.

Here are 13 of them:


13 Ways to Age Healthy


1. Stay active. Keep moving. Walk, work in the garden, play tennis or golf. Do anything that sounds fun if you can. Not all of us will be skydiving on our 80th birthday, but regular activity keeps the circulatory and respiratory systems in better shape, burns calories, warms us up, and helps lower the risk of debilitating diseases. And it’s good stress therapy.

2. Use your brain every day. Do mental math, crossword puzzles, jumbles, etc. Keep those neurons firing and active to help preserve healthy neural pathways. Also eat brain foods and brain supplements known to support brain health and function.  

3. Antioxidants. Fight cellular damage to your skin, eyes and circulatory system by getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet. These nutrients have extra electrons that neutralize dangerous free radicals caused by sunlight, pollution, radiation and other things in our environment. Choose colorful fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens like spinach, purple and red fruits, orange and yellow veggies, tomatoes, dark chocolate and more. Or drink your antioxidants in a potent beverage like Thai-Go® or in a supplement like Super Orac.

4. Put things on your calendar. Look forward to a concert, a family gathering, lunch with friends, etc. Australian researchers found that elderly people who are more social live longer compared to those with fewer friends.

5. Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration keeps blood and waste moving and helps the kidneys flush toxins and waste out of the body.

6. Take a nap! Naps may help combat stress in the body. One study of 24,000 people found that those who take a nap regularly are 1/3 less likely to die from heart disease than those who don’t get regular naps. 

7. Go fishing. At the dinner table that is. Fish provides important essential fatty acids, including omega 3s and 6s, that are often lacking in our diets. These EFAs support circulation, heart health, brain health, blood pressure and more.

8. Eat less. Cutting back on calorie consumption by 20–25% is enough to increase your lifespan markedly. Instead of filling your stomach, fill your time with learning, moving and socializing.

9. Get a little nutty. Adding uncooked nuts and seeds to your diet adds important trace minerals like selenium and the essential amino acid tryptophan. The former helps quench free radicals and eliminate heavy metals, and the latter helps with both mood and sleep.

10. Pray. A 12-year study of adults over 65 shows that people who attend religious services more than once a week had stronger immune systems that those who did not attend services. They were also less likely to die. Worshipping together creates strong social bonds between friends, which may boost health.

11. Sprinkle on the seasonings. Shakespeare was right. Rosemary is for remembrance. Cooking with herbs like rosemary, sage and turmeric can help improve mood and memory.

12. Watch your waistline. Being overweight puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and other unwelcome conditions. Stay active and eat smart to keep your weight in check and disease at bay.

13. Invest in a healthy future. Get a physical once a year, and stay on top of your recommended health screenings.


Sources: WebMD


How to Make a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie With Nature's Sunshine Shakes

November 19 2012 | Family Health | General

Looking for a healthy alternative to getting your pumpkin fix during the holidays?

Here's a delicious option using Vanilla SmartMeal and Chai SmartMeal shakes instead of pies and cookies. Try it out and let us know on Facebook how you liked it:


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe


  • 1/3 cup of Pumpkin
  • 1 cup of Vanilla Milk
  • 1 level scoop of Vanilla SmartMeal
  • 1 level scoop of Chai SmartMeal
  • 2 packets of Stevia
  • 1.4 tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 cup of rice


About SmartMeal from Nature's Sunshine 


  • Provides 15 grams of protein plus essential amino acids.
  • May help contribute to a feeling of fullness.
  • Supports cardiovascular health.
  • Contains nutrients for energy.
  • Provides 35% of the recommended Daily Value for 18 vitamins and minerals.

How It Works:

SmartMeal Nutritional Shake Mixes give you a delicious, healthful drink that’s only 130–140 calories and chock full of nutrients to vitalize your body and give you energy. As you reduce the calories you consume daily, and especially if you increase your activity level, your weight goes down. SmartMeal contains 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving, plus cold-pressed, organic flax seed to help contribute to a feeling of fullness. Protein may also help curb appetite.


Protein matrix (soy protein isolate, pea protein isolate, golden chlorella protein), sugar cane, sunflower oil, natural flavor, vegetable fiber (chicory inulin), cold-pressed organic flax seed, medium-chain triglycerides, calcium phosphate, stevia extract, potassium citrate, xanthan gum, guar gum, sodium caseinate (from milk), magnesium oxide, magnesium amino acid chelate, ascorbic acid, d-alpha tocopherol, sodium chloride, sodium selenate, biotin, niacinamide, soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, zinc citrate, copper citrate, d-calcium pantothenate, manganese citrate, ergocalciferol, folic acid, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin hydrochloride, sodium molybdate, cyanocobalamin and chromium polynicotinate.

'The Calendar Diet' with Melina Jampolis -- Healthy Living Radio #1

October 28 2012 | Family Health | Heart Healthy/Cholesterol | Nutrition | Radio

This is the first of what will be an ongoing series of interviews with experts in health, business and other related topics. We're excited to introduce the first guest, Dr. Melina Jampolis.

She just wrote her second book, "The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life." It focuses largely on the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and eating foods while they're in season throughout the year. 

She was great at Dallas Leader's Conference, and she covers the topic of her book in more detail in this interview. Click below to listen to the interview, or download the MP3 so you can listen on your phone, in your car, at work, or however you'd like. And please share it with any of your customers that need some great advice on health. 

So, put on your headphones, turn up the volume and enjoy!

Click below to listen:

Click here to download the MP3



  • Introducing Dr. Melina Jampolis
  • How Jampolis transitioned from Traditional Medicine to Nutritional Medicine
  • "The Calendar Diet"
  • The best thing Jampolis does for her patients
  • The best way to get "Nutrient Density"
  • A seasonal approach to eating
  • How a seasonal approach is cheaper, tastes better and is more nutritious
  • What to eat in the Fall
  • Focus on Maintaining from now until Jan. 1
  • Minimize weight gain during the holidays
  • You need a lifestyle to live it all year long
  • Where the recipes in the book come from
  • The benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
  • Why we should constantly think of inflammation
  • Why you'll be healthier, even if you don't lose weight
  • Copious amounts of fruits and veggies and healthy fat
  • Why you should keep a food journal
  • Low carb, low fat diets are not liveable for long term
  • Why you should NOT count calories
  • How often should people excercise?
  • Alternative excercise ideas
  • Why you should build resistance training into your life
  • Why resistance training is even MORE important for women
  • What is circuit training?
  • How to go beyond the first moth of a diet plan
  • Proper motivation for keeping a fit
  • The single most powerful statement to know if someone turns the corner
  • What supplements to take while on The Calendar Diet
  • Why Jampolis is a believer in probiotics


What the Average American Eats in a Year [Infographic]

October 23 2012 | Family Health | Infographic | Nutrition | Weight Management

The average American eats about 2,000 pounds of food every year, and as a result, is overfed and undernourished. VisualEconomics came out with a graphic showing how that food is dispersed in the American diet. Some of the results may be surprising:

Related Graphic: 9 Ways Soda Destroys Your Health 



Dairy comes up as the most consumed food on the list. Americans average more than 800 pounds of milk, cheese, and other non-cheese dairy products.


Vegetables come second on the list at more than 400 pounds per year. But don't let that number make you feel that American's are eating enough vegetables. When you combine all the meat, fats, oils, sugar and flour, vegetables are vastly outnumbered. Also, 56 pounds of that is corn.


Americans eat 273.2 pounds of fruit every year. Anyone else surprised that we eat more vegetables than fruit?

Cofee, Cocoa & Nuts

The study says Americans eat 24 pounds of this stuff. Seems a bit low?

Fats and Oils

85.5 lbs of fats and oils are consumed every year by the average American.

Red Meat

Americans eat 110 pound of red meat, 62 pounds of beef and 46 pounds of pork.


Americans eat 73.6 pounds of poultry -- 60 pounds of that number is chicken.

Fish and Shellfish

Americans on average eat 16 pounds of fish and shellfish.


About 33 pounds of eggs are consumed each year by the average American.

Flour and Cereal Products

The average American eats 192.3 pounds of flour and cereal products -- about 134 pounds of that is wheat flour.

Caloric Sweeteners

The average American eats 141.6 pounds of caloric sweeteners. Unfortunately, 42 pounds of that is corn syrup.

Those Numbers Include:

  • 29 pounds of French Fries
  • 23 pounds of pizza
  • 24 pounds of ice cream
  • 53 gallons of soda -- about a GALLON A WEEK! 
  • 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners
  • 2.736 lbs of sodium, 47% more than what's recommended
  • 0.2 pounds of Caffeine (90,700 mg)-- there's about 50 mg in a can of Coke
  • 2,700 calories per day

Your Turn

Where do you fit in on this list? What surprises you? How can you make an individual choice to eat healthier? We're talking about this on Facebook if you want to chime in. 


13 Ways to Be Your Own Nurse First [Infographic]

October 8 2012 | Body System Health | Brain Health | Circulatory System | Digestive Health | Family Health | Heart Healthy/Cholesterol | Infographic | Intestinal System
In less than 10 years, there will be a national shortage of 800,000 nurses,about the population of South Dakota. To address this issue, came out with this graphic showing practical ways to take preventative measures -- beyond diet and exercise.

The graphic focuses on the brain, shoulders, ears, eyes, heart, lungs, intestines, back, hands, knees, legs, skin, and feet. Enjoy:

Why School Lunch is Now a Threat to National Security

September 25 2012 | Children's Health | Family Health | General | News | Nutrition

Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and now ... School Lunch.

That's the story in a new report, "Still Too Fat to Fight," from a group of about 300 retired military leaders. They say all the extra calories consumed by young people are making them "too fat to fight." And with too many fat kids, there won't be enough able bodies to protect the United States. 

"Three-quarters of those ages 17 to 24, or about 26 million young people, cannot serve in the military, a quarter of them because they are overweight or obese, says retired Air Force lieutenant general Norman Seip, a spokesman for Mission: Readiness, which advocates policies that would help young Americans get ready to serve."

"We look at childhood obesity not only as a health crisis but a national security issue," Seip said. "When 25% of young people can't join the military simply because they are overweight, that's an issue that needs to be dealt with."

In 1946, the military came out with something similar to change eating habits in schools. But back then, it wasn't that there were too many empty calories -- it was because there wasn't enough nurishment. They helped pass the original National School Lunch program to make sure kids got enough to eat. 

Main Points From "Still Too Fat to Fight"


While the debate may roll on about whether or not a fat kid can launch rockets as well as throwing down potato chips, the report does bring up some serious issues. Some of those include:

  • 40% of students who buy high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food from school vending machines and cafeteria a la carte lines consume an average of 130 calories a day from those types of foods (candy, chips, cookies, pastries). That's roughly 5% to 10% of the calories kids and teens should eat in a day.

  • Junk food adds up to 400 billion "empty" calories in a year or the calories in almost 2 billion candy bars, which would weigh almost 90,000 tons, more than the weight of the aircraft carrier Midway (70,000 tons).

  • Three-quarters of those ages 17 to 24, or about 26 million young people, cannot serve in the military, a quarter of them because they are overweight or obese.

  • About a third of children and teens are obese or overweight, putting kids at a greater risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems.

  • Obesity is still climbing among boys ages 12 to 19.

  • Male rates of being overweight or obese (73%) in the U.S. are already higher than those of any other major country.

  • Many accepted recruits are diverted to special training to address inadequate physical fitness before they can even begin basic training.

  • About 40% of elementary, middle and high school students -- 16 million school kids -- bought and consumed junk food and sugar-sweetened drinks on any given day.
This report is just part of a trend of people wanting the government to step in to control obesity. Last week, after New York passsed a bill to limit soft drinks, the New York Health Chief said governments should regulate food companies on unhealthy ingredients in products that contribute to obesity, an epidemic that now affects 1-in-3 Americans and costs the U.S. $150 billion a year. 

"This is a team effort. This is not a spectator sport," Seip said in a USAToday article. "There's a role for everyone to play -- whether it be parents, government, schools, the medical community, food and beverage industry -- to turn the childhood obesity epidemic around."

But what do you think?

While there are serious issues around our children's diet, is it school lunch that should be regulated? And do you think it's really a national security issue? What are some ways to help children -- and everyone else for that matter -- get proper nutrition? Comment on our Facebook discussion about this topic


8 Ways to Maintain a Daily Diet of Fruits and Veggies

August 29 2012 | Family Health | Nutrition

For the last 6 weeks, Nature's Sunshine employees took part in a challenge to eat fruits and vegetables every day.

It's harder than it sounds -- especially to eat the daily suggested amount of 5-to-9 servings of fruit per day.

If you're counting, that's about 1-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. Those who accomplished it maintained strict discipline, and developed some habits that help ensure the palate and stomach enjoy fresh produce.

Intermountain Live has a good list (below) on how to make that happen:

8 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies


  1. Put mini carrots, broccoli, and sugar snap peas in a small plastic bag for easy, portable snacks.

  2. Fill half of your plate with vegetables at every lunch and dinner.  Eat this half first!

  3. If you want something sweet for dessert, make it fruit.  Whole, fresh fruit is best.

  4. Include two vegetables at every dinner.

  5. Add vegetables to starches like rice, ramen, or pasta dishes.

  6. Make frozen fruit smoothies with whole fruit, ice cubes, and skim milk or low fat yogurt.

  7. At restaurants, choose beans, vegetables, or a side salad instead of French fries.

  8. Keep fruits and veggies on hand and in plain view.  Store the chips and cookies out of sight.  Better yet, buy them only for special occasions.

It's no secret that fruits and vegetables should be a large part of a diet. They're full of nutrients to help you prevent disease, learn, grow, and keep up your energy and maintain a positive mood.

Studies show that generous amounts of vegetables can help you prevent overweight and obesity and lose excess weight.  Recent research at Washington State University reveals more than 40 plant-based compounds can turn on genes that slow the spread of cancer. 

Your Turn

How important is it to eat fruit and vegetables daily? What are some other ideas to help make sure you include fruit and veggies 

*Photo: Various fruits and vegetables for sale at Pike Place Market, Seattle, Wash., on 16 February 2003. Photogorapher Eric Hunt in Wiki Commons.

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