Monday, May 13, 2013

Isagenix Receives 5 New Stevie Award Nominations

Exciting news! Isagenix® has been honored as a five-time finalist in the 2013 American Business Awards™, also coined the “Oscars of the business world” by the New York Post.

Nominated for the third consecutive year, Isagenix won seven of these awards in 2012, a Gold Stevie® Award and six Bronze Stevie Awards, which are proudly displayed at Isagenix World Headquarters in Chandler, Ariz.
This year, at the organization’s 11th annual event, Isagenix will be recognized as a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winner in each of the following categories:
  • Company of the Year—Health Products & Services
  • Best Internal Recognition/Motivational Event—IsaDerby
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year—Isagenix and Make-A-Wish®
  • Best Brand Experience Event—2012 “Your Future Starts Today” Celebration event
  • Best Video P.R./CompanyExperience Isagenix 
Known as the premier business awards program in the U.S., the “Stevies,” as they are also known, was created to honor and generate public recognition for the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and business people worldwide. Past winners include Apple Inc., Whole Foods Market and AT&T.
The winners of the Gold, Silver or Bronze Stevie Awards will be recognized at the 2013 American Business Awards banquet on Monday, June 17 in Chicago, Ill.
For more information on the American Business Awards, visit
Take a look at our previous Stevie awards in this article.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Introducing Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean Shake

Isagenix launches new, dairy-free shake featuring protein from hemp and pea.
Isagenix launches new, dairy-free shake featuring protein from hemp and pea.

When John Anderson chose to design a dairy-free, plant-based version of a meal-replacement shake, the Isagenix Founder and Master Formulator would only settle for components that were worthy enough to bear the “IsaLean” name.
The Natural Berry Harvest Shake is a marvel—by any shake’s standards, plant-based or not—for the careful attention paid to its excellent nutritional profile:
  • Your body’s needs for protein are met with a total of 22 grams of protein from hemp and pea, which together boast a complete amino acid profile similar to that of the other IsaLean Shakes.
  • Your heart and blood vessels will thank you for the 8 grams of healthy fats from sources including extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil (monounsaturated fats), flax and chia seed (omega-3s, -6s, and -9s), and coconut-derived medium-chain triglycerides.
  • Your gut will benefit from 8 grams of dietary fiber that includes a mix of chia seed and gut-healthy prebiotics like inulin and oligosaccharides.
  • Lastly, your senses will be rewarded by the natural flavor of berries within a low-glycemic profile comprising of only 7 grams of sugar from natural, mineral-rich molasses.
That’s not all. John made sure the completely vegetarian meal alternative also possessed its own “whole foods” base of micronutrients contained within a blend of pulps, low-temp spray-dried powders (to retain vitamins and phytochemicals), and juice powders from natural foods. These include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts such as pumpkin, kale, quinoa, broccoli, almonds, carrots, and beets.
“Sprouts, vegetables, and the fruits are the source for naturally occurring vitamins,” John says. “We wanted to create an all-natural, whole food shake as nutritious as possible. Our methods of low temperature spray drying ensure we have unprocessed foods containing all their natural vitamins and phytochemicals.”
No artificial ingredients, no GMOs, no soy
It is hard to appreciate the wonder that is the quality of this plant-based shake without understanding what’s not in it: John did not include any artificial colors or flavors, did not include ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and absolutely did not include any soy ingredients of any kind.
“These sources of protein are non-GMO, natural plant sources and have a great amino acid profile when combined. There are so many companies using soy protein and that’s just not acceptable for Isagenix,” John says. In his 33 years as a formulator, John explains he has never used soy protein in any product even prior to its bad publicity.
“We want our products to be 100 percent safe, all natural, and deliver the best nutrition,” he says.
Not just for dairy sensitive individuals and vegetarians
Given the record numbers of people who have sensitivities to different foods such as dairy, soy, or egg, the shake offers a fantastic alternative. The dairy-free alternative is ideal for those with sensitivity to dairy because of lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Being plant-based, it also suits the lifestyles of those who avoid animal products altogether.
But is the Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean Shake only for those avoiding dairy or animal products? John makes the point that the shake shouldn’t be limited to any subset of the population.
John says, “I believe in full-spectrum nutrition.”
He explains further adding that our ancestral past as hunters and gatherers suggests that as humans we should be incorporating a wide variety of foods including nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. “It’s because there are vital micronutrients contained in these whole foods we need to maintain a healthy body and support all the building blocks we need,” he says.
“Natural Berry Harvest is not just for vegetarians and vegans, but also designed for those who consume whey as an added source of protein and alternative meal,” he says. “Everyone (not just vegetarians) should incorporate this shake in their nutritional arsenal of food supplementation.”
A “full-spectrum” of healthy fats, fiber, and natural sweetness
The Natural Berry Harvest has John’s principle for “full-spectrum nutrition” at its core. The evidence is found not just within the protein and the fruit-vegetable-sprout blends, but also in the sources for healthy fats, carbohydrate, and dietary fiber.
Consider its healthy fats—a mix of sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax, coconut—offering monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (omega-3s, omega-6s, omega-9), as well as medium-chain triglycerides. Most other shakes on the market only supply soy oil comprising of mainly omega-6s.
The dietary fiber includes prebiotic soluble oligosaccharides and inulin to promote growth of good bacteria in the intestine. John says his choice for including prebiotics are because they are the “preferred fuel source for the primary good bacteria in the gut” and this, in turn, can help reduce the growth of bad bacteria. In addition, it includes insoluble fiber from flax and chia seed for bulk and regularity.
The natural sweetness of the shakes is created through a complex mix of mineral-rich molasses, fruit powders, and stevia. The flavor is rounded out with tapioca maltodextrin giving the shake the smoothness of taste not often found in plant-based shakes.
One of the questions that Isagenix customers’ may have is about Natural Berry Harvest’s apparent lack of additional digestive enzymes, which are prominent features of the dairy-based IsaLean Shake flavors. John says there is a reason for this and it has to do with pudding and ice cream for kids.
“Parents have asked if their children can have their shakes like ice cream and the answer has always been ‘no’ until now. The other shakes should not be frozen because of the enzymes. The new Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean Shake can be frozen as a berry ice cream or as popsicles, or it can be mixed with less water to enjoy as a berry pudding.”
In just listening to John discuss each of the shake’s many attributes, you can recognize the sense of pride a master has for a truly unique accomplishment. The Master Formulator sums it up this way, “The Natural Berry Harvest IsaLean Shake is a great-tasting new flavor and a nutritious, balanced dairy-free alternative to our cornerstone whey protein-based meal replacement IsaLean Shake.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

UK’s “Fast Diet”? Not So Fast

UK's newest diet craze is bringing intermittent
fasting into the mainstream, but it has some

The Fast Diet
 (1), a UK best-selling book that has just been published in the U.S., promises that you can eat whatever you want, but still lose weight, and even live longer as long as you employ “intermittent fasting.” Ah, now you see the connection—Isagenix has been extolling the virtues of intermittent fasting (as “Cleanse Days”) for more than a decade.
There’s something oddly familiar about the premise of Britain’s latest diet craze that is now reaching U.S. shores, wouldn’t you think?
What’s more is that the book outlines a 5:2 approach—unrestricted eating for five days of the week and two non-consecutive days spent fasting, which counts as 500 calories a day for women and 600 calories a day for men. That’s somewhat similar to the Isagenix plan, which encourages adoption of Shake Days for five to six days and one or two Cleanse Days per week.
In their book, Dr. Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer do a fine job building a case for intermittent fasting as a method for better weight-control, improved health, and even longer life. For example, they review the research produced by nutritionist Krista Varady of University of Illinois at Chicago, who was the principal investigator for UIC’s study evaluating Isagenix products. They also discuss the findings of Dr. Valter Longo and Mark Mattson in rodents that show that calorie restriction and intermittent fasting can potentially protect the brain and increase lifespan.
However, the weight-loss plan has had critics putting up their warning signals and for good reason:
  • Eating whatever you want (and as much as you want) has its consequences. One of the biggest negatives is the endorsement to eat without restraint for five days of the week. The book does propose some healthy eating guidelines, but with the main attraction being Eat anything you want!, there’s likelihood that many people will live by those words. That kind of promotion is bound to be harmful as people are given license to grossly overeat and to eat the wrong types of foods as often as possible—think greasy hamburgers, French fries, and sugary sodas as much as possible! Even two days of intermittent fasting can’t undo a lifetime of making unhealthy choices like these.
  • Another problem is potential muscle loss. When the body is taking in fewer calories, it goes into what’s called a catabolic state (meaning “breakdown”; the opposite is anabolic, which means “build-up”). Catabolism is fine for the breakdown of fat, but if calorie-deficient bouts are not followed up with the right type of muscle-building protein in the right amount, the result can be breakdown of muscle. Studies have found that during weight loss, a diet higher in quality protein preserves muscle mass more than a diet higher in carbohydrate (2). Research has also found that protein from dairy, such as whey, may be the superior protein for increased fat loss and muscle retention during weight loss (3).
  • Then, there’s the issue of complete nutrition. As we’ve mentioned many times in previous articles, most Americans already eat too much, yet do not receive adequate amounts of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from their foods for optimal health. Mainly, this is because too many people don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables or may not know how to properly choose foods for adequate amounts of micronutrients. Even those who think they know what foods to eat in combination for better health haven’t fared well in achieving weight loss and improved health. One study compared weight loss groups consuming either fresh, healthy foods for the majority of their diet or nutrient-rich meal replacement shakes and found that meal replacement shakes resulted in more weight loss, better improvement to health biomarkers, and better adherence based on the convenience of the shakes (4).
How can you take advantage of the benefits of intermittent fasting without the drawbacks of the 5:2 diet approach that include eating too much, losing muscle, and not getting enough vitamins and minerals? Look to Isagenix for the perfect program that takes the guesswork out of intermittent fasting and how to do it right.
What you get with Isagenix is intermittent fasting fully prepped for as Cleanse Days, which are part of a fully guided system that won’t leave you eating everything in sight one day followed by wanting to eat your arm off the next. An Isagenix system means moderate calorie control on Shake Days and appropriate fasting with nutritional support on Cleanse Days.
The Isagenix system, unlike The Fast Diet, is also backed by clinical data showing that it leads to healthy weight loss, fat loss (without the muscle loss, especially if exercise is included), and better cardiovascular health. The end result is curbed food cravings, successful weight loss and maintenance, preservation of muscle mass, and finally, a long-term lifestyle that will get you healthier than ever before.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

10 Paths to Emotional Sea Level

10 Paths to Emotional Sea Level

Editor’s Note: Andrew Weil, M.D. is a world-renowned leader, best-selling author, and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine. This March 2013 you have a special opportunity to hear Dr. Weil in person at the Chopra Center’s signature workshop Journey into Healing: Balance, Heal, and Transform Your Life, where he will be a keynote speaker and guest lecturer. Learn more here>>

In my book Spontaneous Happiness, I write about lifestyle practices that can help people achieve and maintain happy lives. Bear in mind that by “happy,” I am not referring to endless bliss. Despite what many in the media proclaim these days, such a state is neither achievable nor desirable. Instead, these practices are designed to help most people reach and maintain a state of contentment and serenity. From there, a person can still experience appropriate emotional highs and lows, but knows that he or she will soon return to a pleasant state that might be termedemotional sea level.
I’ve summarized information about ten of those practices. These will, I believe, be of particular benefit for those who struggle with mild to moderate depression, but can also potentially benefit nearly anyone who follows them:

1. Exercise

Human bodies are designed for regular physical activity. The sedentary nature of much of modern life probably plays a significant role in the epidemic incidence of depression today. Many studies show that depressed patients who stick to a regimen of aerobic exercise improve as much as those treated with medication. Exercise also appears to prevent depression and improve mood in healthy people. Many exercise forms – aerobic activity, yoga, weights, walking and more – have been shown to benefit mood.
Typical therapeutic exercise programs last for eight to fourteen weeks. You should have three to four sessions per week, of at least twenty minutes each. For treatment of depression and anxiety disorders, activities of moderate intensity, like brisk walking, are more successful than very vigorous activity.
I am a particular fan of integrative exercise – that is, exercise that occurs in the course of doing some productive activity such as gardening, bicycling to work, doing home improvement projects, and so on. Many people find it far easier to stick to activities like this than to lifting weights or running on a treadmill.

2. Follow an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Normally, inflammation occurs in response to injury and attack by germs. It is marked by local heat, redness, swelling, and pain, and is the body’s way of getting more nourishment and more immune activity to the affected area. But inflammation also has destructive potential. We see this when the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues in such autoimmune diseases as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. Excessive inflammation also plays a causative role in heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as other age-related disorders, including cancer. More recent research indicates that inappropriate inflammation may also underlie depression – so controlling it is key to both physical and mental health.
Perhaps the most powerful way to control inflammation is via diet. My anti-inflammatory diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods that are especially selected to reduce inappropriate inflammation, as well as provide abundant vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It consists of fruits and vegetables, fatty cold-water fish, healthy whole grains, olive oil, and other foods that have been shown to help keep inflammation in check. For details, see the anti-inflammatory food pyramidat my website.

3. Take Fish Oil and Vitamin D

Adequate blood levels of these nutrients has been strongly tied to emotional health. They are so necessary and deficiencies are so common in the developed world that I believe everyone, depressed or not, should take them. Take up to three grams of a quality, molecularly distilled fish oil supplement daily – look for one that provides both EPA and DHA in a ratio of about three or four to one. I also recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D each day.

4. Take Depression-Specific Herbs

Specifically for those with mild to moderate depression, I suggest trying:
  • St. John’s Wort (hypericum perforatum): This European plant appears to work well for those affected by low mood. Look for tablets or capsules standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin that also list content of hyperforin. The usual dose is 300 milligrams three times a day. You may have to wait two months to get the full benefit of this treatment.
  • SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine): A naturally-occurring molecule found throughout the body, SAMe (pronounced “sammy”) has been extensively studied as an antidepressant and treatment for the pain of osteoarthritis. Look for products that provide the butanedisulfonate form in enteric-coated tablets. The usual dosage is 400 to 1,600 milligrams a day, taken on an empty stomach. Take lower doses (under 800 milligrams) once a day, a half hour before the morning meal; split higher doses, taking the second a half hour before lunch.
  • Rhodiola (rhodiola rosea): A relative of the jade plant native to the high northern latitudes, rhodiola appears to improve mood and memory. Look for 100-milligram tablets or capsules containing extracts standardized to three percent rosavins and one percent salidroside. The dosage is one or two tablets or capsules a day (one in the morning, or one in the morning and another in early afternoon). This can be increased to 200 milligrams up to three times a day if needed.
5. Do Breathing Exercises

Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind. One of my favorite breathing exercises is the 4-7-8 (or Relaxing) Breath. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Then:
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed up the exercise but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

6. Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This relatively new form of psychotherapy helps patients overcome habitual negative views of the world and themselves, and has been shown to be among the most effective psychological interventions for anxiety and depression. A full course of treatment is fourteen to sixteen sessions, with occasional booster sessions during the following year to maintain improvement. CBT can be done individually or in groups, and people can also get started with self-help books and online programs.

7. Laugh

Smiling and, especially, laughing, are potent mood boosters. One way to quickly, intentionally inspire laughter is via laughter yoga. Begun by Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India, the first “social laughter club” convened in March of 1995 with a handful of people. Now, according to the official Laughter Yoga website, there are more than 6,000 clubs in sixty countries.

The method used in laughter yoga clubs is straightforward. After brief physical exercises and breathing exercises under the direction of a trained leader, people simulate laughter with vigorous “ha-ha’s” and “ho-ho’s.”  In the group setting, this “fake” laughter quickly becomes real and contagious and may continue for a half hour or more. And the joy lingers; regular participation in laughter yoga clubs has been shown to improve long-term emotional and physical health in a variety of ways, including a significant lowering of the stress hormone cortisol.

8. Limit Media Exposure

Today, many of us are choking on “data smog,” a dense cloud of trivial, irrelevant, or otherwise low-value information made possible by the internet’s power to disseminate vast amounts of media virtually free. The result is fractured attention spans and attenuated human relationships. Monitor the time you spend with digital media (television, the web, email, text messaging, and so on) in a given week, and cut that amount at least 25 percent in the following week. Use the time you free up for outings in nature, exercise, or face-to-face communication with friends. If you like the result, keep restricting virtual life “surfing” and expanding real-life, connected, human experiences.

9. Forgive

Forgiveness is almost universally held by philosophers and saints to be a key to happiness – and modern research confirms that those who can quickly and easily forgive when appropriate enjoy better emotional health. Conversely, resentment is the fuel that feeds depressive rumination, and can quickly spiral into a self-reinforcing low mood. Fortunately, the ability to forgive can be cultivated. The Stanford Forgiveness Project (see offers books, audio and video courses, and online programs that can help.

10. Practice Gratitude

Author G.K. Chesterton wrote, “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” I suspect Chesterton didn’t do this automatically. He knew that, like forgiveness, gratitude can and should be cultivated through diligent practice.

One powerful method is keeping a gratitude journal. Spending a specific time each day or week recording things for which one is grateful has been shown boost subjective happiness levels in as little as three weeks. A less formal practice – and one that I follow – is to devote a few moments of my morning meditation session to feel and silently give thank for all of the good things in my life. As a result of doing this for several years, I find myself often making mental notes throughout the day of blessings such as rain here in my desert home, flowers that are opening in my garden, or a glorious sunset.

Of all of the practices listed in this article, I believe learning to feel and express gratitude may be the most important in achieving and maintaining a happy life.
For a comprehensive examination of ways to achieve emotional well-being, see my bookSpontaneous Happiness and its companion website,