Nutrilite: Post 1 of 2

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

(Note: This is “Post 1 of 2” because the second post will be a follow-up post in a few weeks that will contain my results from my bloodwork and phone discussion with Dr. Duke. At that point, I’ll have much more insight.)

So my last post left a glaring omission from the weekend: our Saturday experience at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health...

When we got to our hotel room on Friday, both Pharmie and I had a sweet Nike bag that had some Nutrilite info, Nutrilite gear, and some Nutrilite food products inside:

Saturday morning, we hopped aboard a short bus with some Nutrilite Reps and 6 other bloggers:

Here are all of us at the Nutrilite Health Institute:

We all got to work filling out paperwork and making sure we agreed to what was about to happen to us:

What WAS about to happen to us? All of this:

- Body Fat Analysis
- Flexibility
- Height and Weight
- Blood Pressure
- Grip Strength
- Bone Density
- Blood Work, which will determine:
       - Vitamin D
       - Cholesterol
       - LDL Cholesterol
       - VLDL Cholesterol
       - HDL Cholesterol
       - Triglycerides
       - Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
       - Insulin
       - Glucose
       - Serum Iron
       - Iron Binding Capacity
       - Percent Saturation (Iron)
       - Serum Ferritin
       - Unsaturated Iron Binding Capacity
       - GGT (Gamma-glutamyl transferase)
       - Homocysteine
       - Folate
       - Vitamin B12
       - High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein
       - TSH

Pharmie getting her blood pressure checked

Pharmie getting ready to have blood drawn

WARNING: The next 2 photos below show me getting blood drawn! There is a needle sticking out of my arm!! If you are squeamish about that, scroll down quickly past the next 2 photos until you get to the photo of me trying to bend myself in half.


Ready for the needle in my arm?

OK, here it is...

You can see a tiny stream of blood squirting to the back of the tube.
Yes, I took that photo myself.

Getting ready to switch vials (they took 3)

I’m fine watching all that (even when it’s being done to me), but I DID get a little light-headed when she wrapped up. So I sat there for a bit as she ran to get me some OJ. The cool juice helped, and I was perfectly fine in 90 seconds.

Remember the good ol’ sit and reach? I really impressed this lady with my bendiness. Really. Ask Pharmie.

Grip test. Note “muscly” forearm as I squeeze.

Bone density test

Body fat testing: 11.3%

We had all been fasting for over 12 hours, so they immediately fed us a great breakfast. Here’s the other table just before we started eating:

Here was our view of some of the Nutrilite campus from our breakfast window:

Bob giving us a tour of the facilities

Pharmie walking up to the big double helix

Then we headed into their auditorium to hear from different speakers. First, Bob told us a lot about some of their ideas for complete health:

The idea behind the 5 colors shown in that slide is to get the proper amount of foods in each color:

- GREENS like soy beans, kale, and broccoli for cell health, lung health, and liver function.
- WHITES like onions, cauliflower, and garlic for bones and circulatory health.
- ORANGES like carrots, tangerines, and corn for eyes, immune function, and healthy growth and development.
- REDS like cranberries, pomegranate, and acerola cherries for prostate and DNA health.
- PURPLES like grapes, eggplant, and beets for heart health, arterial function, and antioxidant function.

(That’s not a complete listing of all the foods in each color or all the functions of each color, but it gives you the idea. And that idea of getting foods from those 5 colors each day is just one of many of their ideas for “complete health.”)

Dr. Duke Johnson spoke with us a lot about how they grow and process their supplements, and how they help the body:

One of the more interesting speakers for Pharmie and I was Micheline Vargas:

Micheline spoke on sports nutrition and the proper ways to “carbo load” before longer workouts or bigger races. She talked a lot about how the body responds to different foods before / during / after workouts. We really enjoyed her presentation and her information!

One thing we didn’t enjoy as much was the over-the-top energy of Diane Paetz. She DID have some great ideas for getting in a quick, full body 10-minute workout, but then she made us do it, and that was a little corny. Here she is during one of the moments when she wasn’t jumping all over the place:

(I don’t mean to pick on her. The info WAS good. It was just that the presentation didn’t do a whole lot for endurance athletes like Pharmie and I. Maybe she came across better to some of the other fitness / weight loss bloggers that were there.)

Finally we heard from Jenn Stuczynski, the top US female pole vaulter (and second in the world)....

(Jenn and Andy)

....and from Tom O’Rourke: Olympian, recent 4-time masters cycling World Champion, and current holder of 2 masters cycling World Records:

(Tom and Joel)

Both Jenn and Tom were VERY interesting! (You can read some about Jenn in my last post where Pharmie and I talked with her and Andy while eating ice cream.) Tom is GREAT at telling stories, and he’s led one of those lives where if at least HALF of what he’s said is true, then HOLY CATS!! What a guy!

We all had a great lunch, and that pretty much ended our day at the Nutrilite Center.

MY THOUGHTS ON ALL OF THIS: Here’s what I think so far, after hearing what they had to say and doing some of my own research.

- People who love it say: Their most popular supplement “Double X” contains all good things for your body.
- People against it say: I can get just as many vitamins and minerals (and sometimes MORE) in a cheaper multivitamin at Target or GNC.
- My 2 cents:
I believe that Nutrilite has a good combination of “things” in their supplements. Yes, you CAN get more in some pills, but Double X seems VERY well balanced. During our tour, they actually showed us how it’s a good “all-around” supplement whether you’re male, female, pregnant, a senior, etc., without going too high on some of the nutrients.

- People who love it say: It’s all organic! (and Kosher and Halal)
- People against it say: So what. It’s too expensive.
- My 2 cents:
Double X costs over $2 / day. It’s NICE that it’s organic, but really, if I was more concerned about my overall health, I should cut out the breadsticks I had for supper last night and nachos I had for dessert 2 night ago. A few organic pills each day won’t fix everything. That being said, it IS nice to know that their ingredients ARE good and pure. Especially if you’re taking them day-after-day.

- People who love it say: Nutrilite is a GREAT company that treats all it’s farmers well!
- People against it say: Dude, it’s f’ing Amway.
- My 2 cents:
Nutrilite is owned by Amway, but I don’t care. Some people have had a bad experience with Amway due to some pushy uncle trying to peddle their products. My parents dabbled in Amway for about a year when I was younger. They decided it wasn’t for them, so they dropped it. No big deal. From what I’ve seen, Nutrilite treats their people very well.


- The Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health was just that: a center for HEALTH. It’s GREAT that it was NOT a “center for supplements.” They told us how their supplements can fit into and enhance different lifestyles, but they never simply offered a miracle cure in pill form. They taught us how to be well-rounded, healthy people. Good on them.

- I feel like it was clear to everyone at the event that the people telling us about Nutrilite (from the company spokespeople to the athletes [Jenn and Tom]) were 100% convinced that it was the best products for you, hands down. There was never any sign of reservation from what they were saying. I could tell that THEY backed the company. That’s important to me.

- Jenn (the pole vaulter) told a story from a big track event (I don’t think it was the Olympics - I think it was a World Championship event, but I’m not sure). She said that Bryan Clay (American decathlete) had forgot to bring his Double X. Bryan ran up to Asafa Powell (former worlds fastest man), but Asafa had none to spare. Then he ran up to Jenn, but she had none to spare. That tells me 2 things about Double X. 1: some pros swear by it. 2: it must NOT contain any amounts of “bad things” because with all the testing these athletes have to go through, it would have picked up on it.

- One of the biggest endorsements for me was when Coach Liz commented on my last post that she’s be using Double X for 17 years. If you’ve been blogging for long, I’m sure you know of other bloggers whose advice means the WORLD to you. Coach Liz is one of those people for me. So when she said 17 YEARS, I thought “Wow, that MUST be good.” Her endorsement meant just as much to me as a whole day of information at the Nutrilite Center.

So, like I said, this is post “1 of 2.” I’ll have the second post once my blood work is in and I talk with Dr. Duke. At that point, I hope to have read his book as well, and I’ll have more questions for him.

(p.s. There’s a good “Friday Funny” coming tomorrow regarding our trip to Long Beach. And I just signed up on a whim to do an indoor triathlon on Sunday along with a CVA Tri Club student! So check back Monday to see how it went!)


Calyx Meredith 6:19 AM, November 19, 2009  

Very interesting - never heard of Nutrilite before. But cool that you got a free trip and information out of it.

Irish Cream 6:59 AM, November 19, 2009  

Very interesting stuff! Thanks for such a great recap. It makes me really happy that the whole thing was focused on overall health and not just selling the supplement. Good for Nutrilite!

Mel-2nd Chances 7:09 AM, November 19, 2009  

interesting post! Last year during a secret gift exchange with my running group, I was given 3 little plastic tubes of a Nutrilite product (can't remember the name of it right now) to mix with water for a sports drink. I remember coming home and feeling energized during the run. I started looking it up online to see where I could buy it... and soon discovered it was only Amway. After some digging, I found out who gave that gift, and ended up buying a box from a friend of her personal trainer who sells Amway, just wish it was more accessible! The endorsements that you've pointed out are very cool! Thanks for sharing :)

trifitmom 7:28 AM, November 19, 2009  

holy cow, i would kill to have all that evaluation done to me !! nutrilite you need to get a bunch of moms who are trying to get in shape and stay in shape and blog about it !!!!

Carolina John 8:56 AM, November 19, 2009  

that bone density machine looks like it's trying to break your leg to determine how much the bones can stress. ouch!

still, looks like a fun trip!

trimybest 12:43 PM, November 19, 2009  

im curious about the photo of dr duke johnson. it says "what is the underlying cause of all chronic disease?" what was his answer? because there certainly isnt one. and they are almost never have anything to do with vitamins.

Steve Stenzel 1:39 PM, November 19, 2009  

trimybest - Dr. Duke's theory was that it is "inflammation" in all it's forms. I don't remember a ton about that, but I hope it's in his book. I thought the idea made sense, but I didn't buy into it 100%. I need to read his book, do more research, and (as always) consult my Dr. wife!!

I'll have more on that in "Part 2" in a month or so...

tnl634 2:08 PM, November 19, 2009  

Wow!! You're lucky to have had this opportunity. Really interesting stuff...I'll have to check the company out!! I just started running and it's good to see what type of stuff is out there for runners. Nice blog!!

Anonymous,  2:54 PM, November 19, 2009  

Looks unhealthy. Like lining up for vitamin shots. From BIG BROTHER!

Evita 5:48 PM, November 19, 2009  

Hi Steve

Wonderful break down of the day's events! And I love the pictures you have included too.

See that is what is so fun about sharing all of our experiences, we will each offer this through our own unique lens of understanding and experience!

It was great meeting you and Sarah again. It will be interesting to get those health results indeed!

Take care,

Stef 8:22 PM, November 19, 2009  

Great opportunity and great write up Steve. Looking forward to Part 2. What was your bone density? Or do you get that info later . . . very very cool experience it sounds like.

That sushi photo made me hungry!

David Steadson 6:04 AM, November 20, 2009  

Great to read your post, sounds like the trip was a blast. Re Dr Duke's book and theories the subtitle he uses "underlying cause" etc is a bit misleading. I just recently read his book and as a Nutrilite devotee I have to say I was a little disappointed. He does connect through that inflammation is a major trigger of the symptoms and results of a disease, but he doesn't even really try to establish it as a cause per se. If you eat crap food and it causes inflammation which triggers heart diseases, I'd call the eating crap food the underlying cause, not the inflammation. Still, I get his point. There's a few other places he lets his personal beliefs get in the way of evaluating the science, but it's a recommended read anyway.

Looking forward to post two!

Judi 12:11 PM, November 20, 2009  

very cool you got to go and be a part of this steve.

Ryan 3:00 PM, November 20, 2009  

So when does the space ship come back and pick us all this kool aid...:-)

The green outfits reminded me of the nut cases who hacked off their own testicle while waiting for the comet...were they using brand X?

GoBigGreen 12:41 PM, November 25, 2009  

Interesting Steve. IMO supplements are just that. SUPPLEMENTS. Nothing can replace a good diet, REST, recovery, balanced lifestyle and sorry to say: Genetics.
I think a good fish oil supplement plus a multi vitamin are tops in my book, but thanks for presenting information so we all can decide for ourselves.

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