I Sell Health

said a woman being interviews about her success working for Herbalife one of the most successful (reported net sales of US$4.072 billion in 2012) multi-level marketing company that sells nutrition, weight management and skin-care products.

The piece was featured yesterday on NPR and focused on the The Federal Trade Commission’s preliminary investigation of Herbalife. If the commission finds that the company did anything deceptive it could lead to civil charges.

Set this aside for a second; what struck me most profoundly was what the sales rep said: “I sell health”.  She went on to say she herself was an example as she was a slim, active sixty something year old who keeps fit through hiking and yoga, leading by example to show that age is just a number and by using Herbalife products, one can stay healthy, young and vibrant (or something along those lines).

Granted, I only heard a snippet of the interview but that was enough.

The mere fact that we’re spending billions on powders, pills and shakes is horrifying.


Because we can get every single last nutrient we need elsewhere… in real, fresh food!

This drives me crazy to no end.

Is there a time and place for a supplement?  Sure!  But it stops there…it’s a supplement.  As in, to ‘supplement’ a healthy lifestyle.

Even then, it’s of  utmost importance to make sure said supplement is as natural as possible and hopefully still comes in the form of food, such as adding some fresh turmeric to your soup to fight inflammation or some oil of oregano to help ward off a cold.

Not by swallowing an unidentifiable white pill or powder.

As a once in a while/ in a pinch thing, I’ll use an egg powder.  Or, I’ll take some ascorbic acid (as in, vitamin C powder)… but that’s the big caveat: once in a while.

To rely so heavily on supplements at such a huge cost is absolutely the wrong approach.

We’re a society looking for a quick fix and the idea of supplements allowing us to look younger, thinner or have more energy overnight is clearly too tempting for many to avoid hopping on the bandwagon.

But just imagine, for a second, all the funds that we collectively spend on this and what we could do if we reallocated the money.

Better food for our families, more money to fund community gardens for those less fortunate, and campaigns to educate the public as a whole on the value of eating real, fresh food are just a few things we might entertain spending billions on, rather than pills, powders and potions.

Skeptical?   Try it out for yourself.   See how you feel if you nix the ‘extras’ for a month or two and load up on the veg, fruit, natural proteins and plenty of water and rest.

I’d be more than willing to wager a bet that you’ll feel far better than eating poorly, not sleeping well and hoping for a miracle in a bottle.