Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not just vitamins...

Over the past few months, my coworkers have witnessed improvements in my health. I've lost weight, and kept it off. I've got more energy than I used to - which gave me the stamina to work through some intense times, and earn a promotion.

I've also avoided the numerous plagues around the office - all but one. Every time someone I work with would get sick, I'd give them a few days' supply of the HealthPak I take.
"Here, this will help your immune system fight off whatever you've got."
Some would answer, "But it's just a cold/flu/the-crud and I'll be better in a week or two." Ok, don't take my help. Suffer for a week or two. No, no, I'm trying to help here.
"Just try it." Some do, some don't.
Within two days the response of those who take the HealthPak is unanimous: "I can't believe I feel so much better - it usually knocks me out for a week or two." Sometimes it's:
I have more energy.
I can think straighter.
I can handle stress better.

So last week, about 50% of the office staff was sick at once - the local weather had temperatures swinging from 70 to 30 and back three times in a week, so getting sick was almost guaranteed. It didn't help that our office's HVAC blew cold air for half of Monday. Plus, I'd kept forgetting to take my HealthPak for a couple weeks. As soon as I felt that familiar this-is-gonna-be-a-horrible-week headache Monday night, I ramped up to the full dose. A few hours of agony Tuesday morning and I was able to function normally in the afternoon. A minor cough continued for a couple of days but I'm positive my immune system won the battle by then. The people that have joined me with taking the HealthPak - similar results. Symptoms that have typically turned into bronchitis, went away in days. What would have sent someone home for a week, didn't.

So, more energy, less sick, weight managed, got promoted. As Montgomery Scott said in Star Trek IV: "Would that be worth somethin' to ya, eh?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hindsight is 20/20

It's been almost a month since my last blog, so I'm going to pretend it's not from me being lazy but rather that I wanted to get a distant perspective to make sure it was unbiased. You buy that, right? OK, good. Swamp land, Florida, check.

So let's discuss the convention. Remember I had this fear that I'd be in amongst 5,000 health nuts worshipping a few select people? It was nothing like that at all. The convention experience was amazing. 7,000 people attended. It was held in the Salt Palace, which in itself is an L-shape two blocks by two blocks - Salt Lake City blocks, mind you - so going from one end to another is about 2/3 mile. The general sessions were in the Energy Solutions Arena, another 1/3 mile of a walk beyond that. In all, I walked about 15 miles - and get this - didn't get a single leg or foot cramp.

The lack of pain tells me that I was in better shape and health than a year prior, where I'd get a cramp just walking 200 feet in a parking lot. During the convention, I even lost another 5 pounds or so, and had plenty of energy through the end of the 14-hour days. I'm sure it was partly psychological, because I was having a blast.

Everyone at the convention had such high energy, especially the speakers. The company had a huge store set up, with attention-grabbing contests and games for prizes. Convention-only specials on Rev3, sampler packs of Nutrimeal and energy/protein bars, and skin care products made sure the store was constantly packed. But when the company announced they had reformulated the Essentials and HealthPak, and improved the MyHealthPak, the "new products" section of the store had hundreds of people in line until it closed noon Saturday.

There is so much to tell about the convention that I'll have to split it over a few posts. I learned a lot about the science behind the products, as well as how to promote them and the business effectively; that part isn't as hard as I thought. I'll share some of the highlights with you next time. As always, if you have questions, email me at or visit my website at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Off to Convention

Ladies and gentlemen, I've gone off the deep end.

I'll be attending the USANA International Convention from Aug 26-29. Four whole days of immersion into the world of USANA - new products, sales training, meeting other distributors and leaders. A dinner here and there, an awards ceremony. I'm sure I'll be able to see the man who told me about USANA first, get a very high ranking award. From what I can see, he's been promoting the company nonstop and has developed a duplicatable system of training new associates everything they need to know about finding people interested in the products, the business, or both. The only variable, then, is desire: how badly do we want success? I want success, and I'm hoping the convention stirs that desire to a point that I go after it with the passion that the leaders have.

I will be tweeting (Twitter posting) from the convention at I've heard only great things about the convention, but I'm starting from a clear slate and will judge it on its own. I plan to be honest, straightforward, yet professional. I won't go bashing anything I don't agree with, but if it looks like 5,000 health nuts are turning the convention into a revival or Fellowship of the Sun meeting, I may just quietly duck out early. This is it: the inside view. I'll see the heart of USANA, far more detail than anyone can see on the internet. Anyone that knows me will tell you I have no capacity to lie, and no tolerance for deceit by others. If you want to know if USANA is the "real deal" then follow my Twitter account Aug 26-29.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm a Believer

These lyrics started running through my head Friday:

And then I saw her face
Now I'm a believer
Not a trace
Of doubt in my mind
("I'm a Believer" by Smash Mouth)

Why? Because Friday I qualified for my first USANA commission check! In fact, I passed the first level, "Sharer" and qualified straight to the second level, "Believer." To top that, I was at a tech conference when I got a call to place a last-minute order that put me over the top. I didn't even need an office. Incidentally, because I've had three solid days of technical instruction on 20 different topics, plus two 8-hour drives, the tone of this post will be less humorous - only because I'm tired. Thankfully, I had a Rev3 energy drink to keep me awake on my way home.

You may recall that in my first attempt back in '97, I didn't do so well. Since then, I've learned to start treating this as a true business. A true business needs more than one person, and this time I have support from my USANA upline, in particular Lebby Salinas who you can find on Twitter here.

Here's your first lesson in sales - timing is everything. A million things happen in someone's day, and me approaching them about health issues will get the same priority as their choice for lunch: do they go out of their way to have a healthy salad, or are they in a hurry and just get a burger? Lots of people go 50 years eating burgers and running around in a hurry, never giving their health a second thought. I'm looking for the people who have stopped to think and realize there's a gap in their preventive healthcare plan. Which brings me to the next question:

Why am I doing this?

Why, if I have a great, well-paying job, am I selling vitamins? It goes far beyond that. First, I've said before that I see a tangible benefit from the USANA products. I believe almost everyone around me can benefit from them, because I see things in a new way: There's no reason for people (adults and kids) to get sick every week by whatever's "going around." The immune system is under constant assault like an under-supplied army. Give the troops more of the tools they need, and they'll win the war faster. With a more powerful immune system, a cold may either not start or will last half as long as it would otherwise. If I had unlimited money, I'd give these away to anyone that wanted them. TINSTAAFL.

Second, stuff happens. While I'm still doing the tech stuff that I love doing, the business will make a profit, and be another stream of income should the unthinkable happen. Through no fault of any one person or company, people simply lose their jobs. The recent economy troubles reminded me how fragile my position is. I've worked far too hard to resort to being a greeter at Wal-Mart because all the tech positions have dried up and I've got to have income immediately. Think about it, do you know anyone who's in a job they hate because they had to take it urgently rather than spend time to find the one they would love? Send them my way.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nutrimeal Saved My Life

Ok, so the title sounds a bit extreme. Maybe it's an exaggeration, maybe not. My time machine's in the shop, so I'm just extrapolating.

Several months ago I went to the doctor with specific complaints of a general feeling of not-well-being. She listened, we discussed for over an hour, and we concluded that the doctors I'd seen for the past decade about this same thing had not taken enough time to listen to the full story. Thus, they were never prompted to run some tests that were more comprehensive than usual.

I won't divulge the details, but at our next meeting she showed me the full results, which were remarkably normal in the usual areas, but had the word "alert" in key places - while I was not in immediate danger today, there was evidence of a specific long term problem. She wanted to prescribe lots of medication and tests, but we discussed the fact that I'd been taking the USANA HealthPak for a few weeks and already feel a distinct improvement - which she also observed. We agreed that I would keep taking two prescriptions with the HealthPak and check in now and then. So far I'm doing much better than before, and the prognosis is a full recovery without drastic measures - although it may take a while for my body to heal itself. I need a way to take my prescriptions every day without swallowing pills.

So, this is how Nutrimeal Saved My Life:

  • On its own, it has more nutrition in one serving than I was getting all day six months ago. I'm confident what's on the label is really there, as bioavailable as modern science will allow.
  • I can practically inhale the Nutrimeal in 30 seconds, which is good because no matter how early I wake up, I arrive at work just 3 minutes before a meeting.
  • Because I often have trouble swallowing, I need to crush my medication including vitamins. Chocolate Nutrimeal has some sort of magical ingredient that neutralizes the taste of anything put into it. Granted, the heavenly Ovaltine-like flavor is also neutralized, but like a matter-antimatter reaction, the chocolate "takes one for the team."
  • All of this means I get my full dose of whatever's prescribed without fear of choking on a pill, thus I'm ten times more likely to take anything at all.

P.S. The HealthPak 100, when crushed into a very fine powder, can be inadvertently inhaled like Pixie Stix powder. Unlike Pixie Stix powder, the vitamins are completely safe and will not cause a burning sensation of nasal passages. Ask me how I know.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weight loss: The Moebius Frontier

I haven't been keeping my blog up as well as intended, so it'll take several posts to catch up. Today we'll be discussing weight loss. At length. Bear with me.

I have lost and kept off 11 lbs - I've gone down a whole size in shirt and pants. I reached the 10 lb mark about 6 weeks ago, and was so proud of myself I decided to find a new restaurant. And another. And another. This is what happens to kill diets, folks - straying from the path. You can have the best foods, exercise, and system in the world, but if you don't stick to it, you'll rebound. Here's the kicker, though - in past attempts, I had regained the weight within weeks, but my strategy of maintenance seems to be paying off: When I know I am about to give into a craving, have 3-4 oz of chocolate Nutrimeal. This lessens the impact of the ingested carbs by lowering the average glycemic index of what I'm eating. So if I have a cup of coffee with 4 tsp of sugar, in theory the fiber+protein in the Nutrimeal (Glycemic index of 23) will lessen that through averages. That seems to be the case, because I've eaten out (the same half portions as before) and not gained a pound.

I've tried to seek out low fat, low carb (not Atkins low, but low glycemic) options wherever possible. Sushi is great but with all the rice (GI 60-80) I make sure to eat the full soup and salad (GI <>

What hasn't worked for me in the past?
Slim Fast - I chugged those and then had donuts; they had zero impact on my hunger and cravings, and the texture seemed oily and artificial. I'd have trouble finishing one because of the taste. Nutrimeal reminds me of Ovaltine.
Starvation - most days I ended up sick, with low energy, cranky and low quality of life. Then I'd binge and store all those calories for my next starvation cycle - not part of the plan. 4 out of 5 coworkers agree: I'm much better to work with, if I have calories to burn and a full stomach.

So for now, I'm going to reapply the discipline and lose another 9 lbs, to make it 20. I'll stock up on chocolate Nutrimeal, which at $2 per meal ought to save me a bit over going out for lunch. Think about it- McDonald's has well over 1000 calories in a breakfast, costs $6 or so, compared to $2 and 300 calories? For someone like me who doesn't cook breakfast or make a balanced lunch (it's hard to do in 5 minutes), USANA's Nutrimeal is a lifesaver. Literally - more on that in the next post.

Now for my shameless plug: If you'd like more information on USANA's products, visit my website at Feel free to contact me through the contact page there or anywhere else my contact information shows up.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have books!

Today I received three books recommended by my USANA team:

NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements - Lyle MacWilliam
Comparative Guide to Children's Nutritionals - Lyle MacWilliam
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

This is why I purchased them:
The first two will help me understand the USANA products when compared to others.
The third will help me grow in whatever career path I have - in this case, being a distributor for these products.

I've pored through the two nutritional books and found that yes, my teammates are telling the truth: USANA nutritionals are top-rated.  At first, I thought, "Sure, anyone can give a star rating or claim something's #1."  The science and research in nutrition is explained.  The ingredients of 1500 adult and 160 children's nutritional supplements are analyzed, piece by piece, in a way only a scientist would do.   For example, vitamin A is good, beta carotene is a better option.  Having large amounts of both is not good.  Iron is not a good thing in most supplements - unless you specifically need it, too much can be toxic over time.  

USANA's products rank #1 or so close to #1 as to be a tie with a few other excellent products - none of which are on a megamart shelf or even known by the average person.  Their balance and quantity of ingredients are impressive.  USP and pharmaceutical quality are critical.  I didn't know before researching USANA that a lot of supplements don't even have to have what they claim on the label - it's not regulated.  And most are inconsistent... the batch may average out the same, but one pill to the next could vary wildly.  USP guidelines mean that the pills actually dissolve when they're supposed to, so you're not wasting vitamoney.  I'm convinced that if you go with an off-the-shelf brand, that's exactly what you're doing - wasting vitamoney.

So much information to review, so little time.  I'll keep posting tidbits now and then.
Until then, visit if you'd like to see product or business information.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

First few days on USANA products

My products arrived Tuesday afternoon, and I dug right in.  I took my night time dose of the HealthPak and read everything that came in the three boxes.  It takes a little time to down six pills, one of which is a huge calcium+magnesium pill called Active Calcium.  Huge to me, anyway... I have trouble with pills in general.  I tasted it and yes, the calcium is tasteless so it can be crushed and mixed into oatmeal or something.  The others benefit from drinking with acidic / citrus juice or Nutrimeal to mask their vitaminy flavor.  I've got a technique, and now I think I can deal.

I've managed to keep about 50% with my original gung-ho goal of going with USANA products whenever possible.  This is mainly due to lunch invites this week.  I managed to get two days in a row with a Nutrimeal breakfast, and noticed an immediate result: less hunger.  Here's how those two days went:

Day 1:
Shake at 8:30am.  
Coworker brought in Krispy Kreme donuts and I resisted.  Didn't even open the box.
1 cup of coffee at 10am
Lunch (chinese buffet, aim-for-lighter choices) at noon 
I wasn't hungry but ate anyway.  Normally I'm starving by 11-12.
Rev3 energy drink around 2pm
Looked in donut box.  3 of my favorites.  "If only I was hungry... wait a minute, that's the point."
Rest of the day, just water.

Day 2: 
Shake at 8:30am
1 cup of coffee at 10am
Lunch (office pizza party, ice cream) at noon 
I wasn't hungry but ate anyway
'Sugar coma' energy drain noted around 12:30pm - attributed to ice cream and pizza dough
Considered coffee, but caffeine and 100-200 cal of sugar would make it worse.
Rev3 energy drink at 1:15, energy restored to normal around 1:30-1:45.
A Red Bull would have given me jitters, this didn't.
1 cup of coffee around 3pm mostly for craving.  Energy was fine.
Energy drink and coffee mixed, a bit hyper; won't combine the two again.

  • Both days I felt better than I had earlier in the week, and I have no doubt the Nutrimeal's 15g of protein and 8g of fiber helped to fill me up and regulate my blood sugar.  

  • Friday, just the vitamin pills.  We had bagels and I couldn't resist those.

  • Today had a bagel for breakfast, and Nutrimeal for lunch.  Again, Nutrimeal lasted much longer.

I can compare Nutrimeal to a Slim-Fast shake and say Nutrimeal is far more effective at curing hunger and cravings; when properly blended or shaken, its texture smooths out considerably.  Rev3 has a nonoffensive berry-citrus taste that actually becomes appealing after a couple of ounces; compare to some energy drinks which are Liquid Death Flavor.  

I have to say I'm impressed.  It's hard to make something so healthy taste good.  USANA's done a great job, and kept their ingredients aligned with the principles of quality and health, avoiding artificial and chemical ingredients wherever they can.

The best part about the last four days has to come from the HealthPak; several times over the past few months I noticed extremely low energy and strength.  I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and it was time to do something about it.  I did, and I'm glad I did.  It's only been four days, but I can feel a difference in the areas that were screaming for help.  

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How NOT to promote a product or business: Option 1

Twitter.  It's great.  Millions of people just waiting for you to post about your new product, and come flocking to you when you solve their problems.

Join Twitter.  Five minutes later, post your website and ask your zero followers to look at it.  Wait.  Publicly send a Hi Howyadoin' to a celebrity.  Mention your website, maybe the celebrity will feature it on their TV show.  You'll make millions.


OK, if you're done laughing, here's the reality of it.

Nobody on Twitter cares about anyone else, least of all you, unless they know who you are and like you.  If you walk into a packed movie theater 20 minutes before the show, and announce that you're selling anything other than discount popcorn, the best result is that everyone ignores you.  The analogy fits because you're unknown to 300+ people who are gathered for a different purpose.  

Twist the analogy:

Oprah Winfrey walks into the theater and has a book in her hands while she waits.  She doesn't even have to say anything, and 5 people will go buy the book.  She has celebrity status, credibility.  If she were to wave the book in the air and say, "buy my new book," 20 more would go buy it.  100 would think she's blatantly marketing and 175 would never even notice her simply because they still only care about the friends they're with.


Treat Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace like they were originally intended: Friends, family, coworkers with a common interest.  This is not your public, cold-market, marketing vehicle.  This is where among your normal conversation you may discuss your product of value to an individual or small group; if others overhear, they may join in but only if they're interested.  Even if you were to mention your love of chocolate 15 times in a day, people would get irritated.  Keep product mentions to a minimum, and if more than a couple (1%) of your followers speak up against you, assume the 99% that didn't, are offended - and back off.

Friday, April 17, 2009

World domination in 10 easy steps

While I wait for my new toys to arrive, I'm impatient and want to look at all the online tools they gave me.  I have to say,  in the 12 years since I attempted this the first time, they've come a long way.  I much prefer the online approach, because I find it uncomfortable to approach people I don't already know.  That includes the supportive upline - sponsors, etc., who are directly benefitting from my own success.  

The online tools are diverse:

  • A downline manager that's pretty robust - I can track the sales activity of thousands of people sponsored by me and others below them.  

  • A website hosted on their servers, with a template - nay, a hundred templates to choose from, variables and even raw HTML capability.  This means I don't have a lot of technical limitation on creating the presentation.  The new site is at  You'll see that not only can you find information about the products and business side, but sign up and buy the products without depending on me to act quickly and get your name spelled right.

  • What appears to be hundreds of downloadable sales tools, brochures, and guides on setting up my new business for fastest success.  Not just "get out there and sell" but even including a step by step process on which to build a real business.  I can see how the company's grown so well over the past decade.

  • Training on the products, USANA's history and foundations, the business and compensation model.  A reading list to help develop the business instinct.  (Yes, Carnegie and Covey are included)

  • Motivational stuff like reward programs and evidence of others' success.  

Interesting... I'm noticing that I'm more motivated now, even so far as to blog about this, than almost anything in the recent past.  I'll probably ignore the reasons why until they smack me upside the head, but for now I'm rolling with it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The journey begins... again.

"Hi, everybody!"
"Hi, Dr. Nick!"

Ok, so you're familiar with the Simpsons' Dr. Nick, so you know all about over-hyped promises from someone with no expertise.  Thus begins my journey, with my self-described expertise.

I have no medical degree.  I'm a software engineer, working for the past 10+ years on various medical information systems.  This doesn't qualify me as an expert.  But I'm not Dr. Nick.  I won't launch blindly into recommending a solution for someone without carefully considering the impact.  I've seen that, and the results are always bad.  Besides, I can't lie to save my life; I always get caught.

What I do have inside my noggin is several years interest in improving my own health, while also losing to many, many temptations along the way.  Like McDonald's, chicken fingers and Chinese buffet.  mmmmm, crab rangoon.... sorry, did I space out again?

So, my first leg of the journey begins around 1997, when in reality I was looking to make a living at home without dealing with stupid people at an office.  The stupid people were two or three bosses that insisted I actually produce and not just sit back and collect a check.  So, I'm off to a great start here, at age 23 and not a lick of responsibility in the world.  Except for an attempt to keep my family fed, which somehow I always did.

During that first leg, I found an ad for a work at home business - and thinking there's little risk, I called and arranged a meeting with a couple of guys.  I could always walk out, right?  Well, these guys had a great system to show me from a company named USANA, a nutritional supplement manufacturer just a few years old.  I sign up, buy some stuff, find 4 friends and family and rinse, repeat, profit.  Ok, that's what I got out of it -- remember, sit back and let the world coddle me.  So I join the team and start using the products for myself, then tell some family members what a great idea it would be for them to help me out by joining the business... just humor me guys, help me get a bonus.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well.  I think I got one to sign up that way.  

I found out the hard way that you have to really believe in the products before you can convince someone to make a long term investment; this isn't Tupperware where the benefits are visible in 30 seconds.  For the average person, nutrition benefits take weeks, months, even years to fully manifest.  For me, I noticed increased energy within about two weeks.  Hair loss (yes, at 23 - due to extreme stress) eliminated within 3-4 weeks.  My cholesterol was still through the roof, but I loved those Big Macs.  So, after a few years of using the products off and on whenever I could afford them, I realize I have no sales skills and dropped my associate membership somewhere around 2000.  Over the next few years I watched the company grow (stock multiplied by 10, membership by many times that).  And then comes my most recent motivation.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I remember when I was taking the USANA Essentials alone that I had far more energy, was in a better mood, and didn't feel sick all the time.  Lately I've been under so much stress that my physical health has suffered and I'm paying more in medical copays and prescriptions than I was for the Essentials.  There HAS to be a better way!  My job performance suffers when stress peaks, because I'm so tired or otherwise affected by health issues.  

So, as of a couple days ago I am officially a new USANA "distributor associate" which means I consume the products, resell them and bring others on board to do the same.  My first order consists of a HealthPak 100, chocolate Nutrimeal (think of a Slim-Fast made by Rolls Royce), a 12-pack of Rev3 energy drink (seriously, I have got to see if they can even make a decent energy drink with the nutritional emphasis of their other products), and some kids' vitamins for my nephew.  I also got some of the Sense skin care system's Gentle Daily Cleanser because I've never found anything as effective in the last 10 years.  My order should arrive April 21.  Come to think of it, I didn't order enough and will want to try some new things in a few weeks.

As I start using the products, I'll post my opinions and experiences for the world to see.  Yes, I'm biased because I want my resale business to succeed, but if I don't believe in these products, there's no way I can convince others anyway.  I fully anticipate that I'll have some form of positive, tangible results, and you'll just have to deal with my anecdotal evidence.  If I don't bring you over to my dark side, then so be it.  Most of the reason I got into this was that I wanted the products for myself anyway.  Worst case, if I sign up as a distributor for all of 20 bucks extra, I get discounted pricing.  

There's my long intro to a long journey.  Questions and relevant comments are welcome.  I say relevant because I'm not really into the whole spam thing, so I hope you won't try and post just to promote a competing product without saying something meaningful.