5 simple suggestions to help you create a more complete diet

Spinach has amazing benefits — it can boost your immune system, reduce your risk of cancer, and support your heart.

Yet, eating mounds of spinach alone won’t do you very much good. In order to get the full nutritional value out of food, you have to be sure and eat a wide variety.

A balanced diet is the center of a healthy lifestyle plan. Each food group is important and adds a necessary element to your health.

All balanced diets should contain micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals your body needs, and macronutrients, the protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates you need to support your muscles, bones, immune system, weight loss, and more.

It may seem complicated, but here are a few simple suggestions to help you create a more complete diet:

  • Strive to eat lean proteins and at least one to two servings of fruits and vegetables with each meal.
  • Try to eat a colorful diet to ensure you are getting a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Generally, more color means more nutrients.
  • Be sure to pack in plenty of fiber — it adds bulk to your food and helps you feel fuller longer. Fibergy® Plus is a great way to add fiber to your diet.
  • Focus on foods that won’t spike your blood sugar. USANA® Foods, such as Nutrimeal™ or Nutrition Bars™, are a great option as they have been clinically proven to be low glycemic.
  • Add in a high-quality multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement, such as the USANA Essentials™, to ensure your daily nutritional needs are met.

For more tips on balancing your diet, check out this video from USANA’s own Dr. Brian Dixon, director of new product innovations, and John Bosse, senior scientist of product innovation:

Adjust your meal planning to make vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins the staples of your healthy diet and remember to mix it up, keep it colorful, and make low-glycemic choices.

Magnesium, The Super-Mineral

Have you had your magnesium today? If you care about your health you will. Magnesium is one of the best kept secrets in the world of essential vitamins and minerals, it is vital to our body and how it works.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body and yet, its health benefits are often under-appreciated. This important mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body: Starting with maintaining normal muscle and nerve function to regulating the heart rhythm, from supporting a healthy immune system to keeping bones strong, magnesium plays an essential role. Magnesium also helps control blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and plays an important role in energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Check out this amazing infographic to learn more:

Best Foods to Eat Before & After Running a Marathon

Eat this to fuel your body and guarantee you’ll cross the finish line injury-free

The Night Before a Marathon: Quinoa Salad with Fresh Parsley, Walnuts, and Raisins with Grilled Chicken
This nutty quinoa salad has enough carbohydrates to top off your body’s energy stores, so you’ll be fully fueled to run 26.2 miles in the morning. The quinoa, walnuts, and grilled chicken also provide fiber, fat, and protein, all of which keep you feeling satisfied but not stuffed so that you can get a good night’s sleep in preparation for race day.

Breakfast Before Running a Marathon: Immune-Boosting Shake
Running a marathon puts a huge amount of stress on your immune system. The morning of your race, mix up a healthy smoothie containing whey protein, strawberries, orange juice, walnuts, and 10 grams of the amino acid glutamine. The glutamine combined with vitamin C from strawberries and orange juice will help keep your immune system strong from start to finish—and long after.

Immediately After Running a Marathon: Carbohydrate + Protein Recovery Drink
Recovery drinks that include protein (often whey protein) and carbohydrates (including glucose, sucrose, fructose, and maltodextrin) help mend your muscles faster than sports drinks with carbohydrates alone (think Gatorade, All Sport, and Powerade). An easy way to tell the difference: Sports drinks for hydration have about 50 to 70 calories per 8-ounce serving, whereas a nutrition drink for recovery will provide closer to 200 or 300 calories per serving. The higher calorie count is a result of more nutrients. To put the brakes on muscle damage and jump-start your recovery, reach for a recovery drink right after you cross the finish line.

60 to 90 minutes After a Marathon: Greek Yogurt with Granola, Blueberries, and Raspberries
Running 26.2 miles depletes your body’s antioxidant reserves, which is why choosing the right post-marathon foods is so important. The blueberries and raspberries in this snack deliver the necessary antioxidants to fight damage to your DNA due to stress from the big race. The granola contains carbohydrates to help replenish your muscles’ energy stores. Finally, Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt, providing your muscles with much-needed building for repair and recovery.

What are probiotics and what do they do?

WE ALL HAVE bacteria that occur naturally in our gut. Certain factors (such as taking antibiotics) can cause an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria overtaking “good” bacteria in the gut, resulting in flatulence and/or severe diarrhea.

Probiotics are concentrated supplements of beneficial bacteria similar to those that occur naturally in the digestive tract. They can be purchased in liquid, powder or pill form. They are sold in almost any pharmacy and can even be found in some yogurt.

Although more research is needed, there is encouraging evidence that probiotics may:

  • Help treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections
  • Help treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prevent and treat eczema in children

Side effects from probiotics are rare, and it would be difficult to overdose on them as long as you follow the directions on the bottle.

Although probiotics sound like a wonder drug, more studies need to be done. My feeling is they couldn’t hurt and may be quite beneficial. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new drug or supplement.

USANA® Probiotic – Probiotic food supplement for digestive and immune health

USANA Heart Health Supplements

Healthy hearts and are happy hearts

We’ve all been inundated with information about the cardiovascular risks of eating too much saturated fat. That’s not new. It may be shocking to many Americans to realize that the French – whose diets are comprised largely of rich, fatty foods such as cream and cheese and butter – actually enjoy some of the world’s best cardiovascular health. How can this be? The superior heart health enjoyed by the French despite the amount of saturated fats in the typical French diet is known as the “French Paradox.”

Some researchers theorize that the French Paradox can be attributed to the fact that, along with their cheese, the French also enjoy good wine. The average French person consumes about 9 ounces of wine daily. Wine contains antioxidant polyphenols, which promote good heart health. These substances work to protect LD from oxidization, even more so than other popular antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. Antioxidants promote the healthy flow of blood through the blood vessels, even those that may be partially constricted by plaque.

The flavinoids that are present in red grapes (the grapes used to make wine) reside in the grape seeds. These flavinoids are called proanthocyanidins and now scientists have been able to extract the proanthocyanidins from the grape seeds so that we can enjoy the benefits of the flavinoids without having to consume alcohol, which can post its own health risks.

In a healthy adult, arteries and other blood vessels expand and contract to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. In a person who suffers from coronary artery disease (or, CAD) the proper expansion and contraction may not occur. This can be an early indicator that the person may be at risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack in the future. Researchers in the Boston University School of Medicine conducted research in which they studied the microvascular functioning of the blood vessels in participants’ fingertips, both before and after they began to take supplements. The study showed that within just a few hours after ingesting the supplement, microvascular function had improved. The blood vessels had begun expanding and contracting like healthy blood vessels should. The researchers noticed that the improvement only occurred when epicatechin, a bioflavinoid found in grape seed extract, was also present in the subjects’ blood stream.

USANA scientists and Boston University worked together and discovered that the continuous and regular intake of a supplement that contained both grape seed extract and vitamin C together could improve vascular health. This was achieved by providing antioxidant protection and by promoting healthy microvascular blood flow through the arteries.

USANA Health Sciences, was instrumental in developing the process now used by the company’s suppliers use to create grape-seed extract that is readily available for use by the body. These extracts are contained in USANA’s Proflavanol C100 or Proflavanol C200 tablets.

Proflavanol C is one of USANA’s most popular supplements. It is part of a heart-healthy regime and it also has been shown to promote a healthy immune system and healthy, glowing skin.

Other heart-healthy habits

Taking supplements isn’t the only key to a healthy body. You also have to follow a heart-healthy diet as well.

The adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t just an old wive’s tale. It’s true. A recent study found that eating one apple every day can help to reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol in our blood that puts us at risk for dangerous heart attacks and strokes. So grab a Granny Smith, a Fuji or a Gala and get chomping your way to good health!

Another heart-healthy food that you should be incorporating into your daily diet are nuts. Nuts are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and contain high levels of protein and fiber, among other heart-healthy things. Beware, however, that nuts are a snack that should be eaten mindfully and with an eye toward portion control. Nuts contain high levels and fat and, although it is “good fat,” nuts should be consumed in small amounts. Add some to a salad, combine a handful with some dried fruit, or mix a few into some yogurt. Steer clear of heavily smoked, salted or “flavoured” nuts which can derail your healthy-eating intentions. Raw almonds are one of the best choices, weighing in at just 7 calories per nut. Pistachios are another good choice. Because they take some work to get into (never buy them pre-shelled!) you won’t be as tempted to overeat.

Your mother was right

It may be a difficult pill to swallow, but your mother was right when she told you to eat your vegetables. Eating a wide variety of vegetables every day helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. It’s important to know that cooking vegetables reduces the amount of bio-available nutrients in them. Boiling, in particular, leeches the nutrients out of the food and exposure to air sucks away certain vitamins including vitamins A, C, E, K and B. Instead of boiling, cook your vegetables by lightly steaming them over a double boiler. In addition, avoid exposing your vegetables to air by cutting them only right before you plan to cook and/or eat them. Finally, serve raw or lightly cooked vegetables as often as possible, supplementing with fully cooked vegetables less often.

Getting raw vegetables into your diet isn’t as challenging as it may seem. At breakfast, if you put spinach into your omelet, do so at the last moment so the nutrients don’t cook out and add some sprinkles of tomato on top of the finished product. At lunchtime, make a big salad with lots of dark leafy greens, shredded carrot, diced peppers and sliced mushrooms. On your sandwich, add a slice of tomato and some romaine lettuce. At dinner time, always have a big salad on the side of your entree and load your plate with lightly steamed vegetables. Vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and eggplant all taste great when they are just barely tender-crisp.

A quick note about tomatoes: A 2002 study found that cooking tomatoes actually helps to bolster the amount of lycopene in tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect our cells from the free-radical damage that can occur when our bodies burn oxygen for energy. Easy ways to incorporate cooked tomatoes into your diet are, as already mentioned, in an omelet at breakfast, in a sandwich or soup (homemade, please!) at lunch, and in a simple tomato sauce over whole-grain pasta at dinner time.

USANA’S MyHealthPak

Every aspect of USANA‘s MyHealthPak is geared toward optimizing your health. Their website and packaging system allows customers to custom-design their nutritional supplement backs for both the morning and evening supplements for a system that is truly one-of-a-kind and tailored to each customer’s specific needs.

USANA’s Health Assessment and Advisor was designed by the company’s top-notch scientific team. The program is designed to help customers identify their particular nutritional needs using biometric, lifestyle and health priority information. Based on the answers you provide, the system will provide you with Core, Advanced and Optimal recommendations. You can also select one of the systems pre-determined profiles that is the closest to your health and lifestyle habits. Whichever option you choose – either providing your own information or choosing a pre-determined profile – you have the choice to further customize by dragging and dropping various USANA products into your am or pm packs.

Worried about taking too much of one thing, or the wrong combination of things? Don’t fret! The MyHealthPak Builder keeps careful track of what you are adding to your packs. This will prevent you from adding any unsafe levels of supplements so you don’t have to do the figuring yourself. Once you’ve made the final selections for your packs, you can complete your pack with your name and a message of your choosing. From there, your USANA MyHealthPak is assembled individually by a proprietary packaging machine. The server on the machine receives your order from the website and communicates the order to a high-speed packer. The packer then dispenses the appropriate tablets. Each of the 56 packs and the b ox they come in are labeled with your name and unique bar code so that you can be sure you receive what you order – nothing more, nothing less. You’ll receive a full four-week supply of tablets along with a full information packet about all of your selected tablets. USANA endeavors to make the process not only customizable and quick, but also as user-friendly as possible. Because if it’s too confusing, time consuming or expensive to take supplements, most of us simply won’t do it.

The only unfortunate thing is that MyHealthPak is not (yet) available everywhere. Fortunately, however, USANA is committed to meeting the needs of their worldwide family. In some markets, USANA is required to register every combination of tablets customers could potentially get from their company and because there are so many great products being offered that could amount to hundreds of thousands of possible combinations. That presents a significant challenge in bringing the MyHealthPak idea to certain parts of the world, but USANA continues to strive to find ways to get personalized packs into various world markets.

USANA Health Sciences Business Review

Usana Health Sciences, Inc. (“Usana“) is a multi-level marketing company based out of Utah. The company produces various products in the nutritional, supplements, skincare and vitamins business industries, some of which have been provided to several athletic organizations that the company sponsors. Most of the company’s products are manufactured at their facility in West Valley City, Utah and are sold in markets around the world through their network of independent distributors that the company calls their “associates.” The company, which was founded by immunologist and microbiologist Myron Wentz, is the 24th largest direct-sale company on the planet.

The company distributes and sells its products in much the same way as other multi-level marketing companies. Distributors recruit and profit from other distributors’ sales. The products are only available through the direct-sale channel and are not available in a retail environment. The company has approximately 222,000 associates in its global network, which includes countries such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, The Philippines, Mainland China and Singapore. The company earned a place on Forbes’ “200 Best Small Companies” list from 2004 to 2006.

USANA‘s Products

The line of Usana products is comprised of three product categories: Usana Nutritionals (including products like Essentials, Optimizers, and various nutritional supplements), Usana Diet & Energy (including protein bars, RESET meal replacement shakes and Rev3 energy drinks) and Sense personal care (skin care products, hair and body care products and skin treatment products) which contain a combination of botanicals, antioxidants and other ingredients. The company does not use parabens in its products.

Several of Usana‘s products have been certified by NSF International in the Dietary Supplements category. This designation means that the products have the identity and quantity of their dietary ingredients depicted accurately on the label and that the products do not contain any ingredients that are not identified on the label. In addition, several Usana products are also certified under NSF’s “Certified for Sport” certification program, meaning that they contain no prohibited substances.

Usana’s Business model

USANA is a multilevel marketing company. That means it sells its products via sales associates and over the Internet. It is important to note that in this business model, the associates are not employees of the company; they are independent distributors. These associates receive commission based on the products they directly sell as well as earning commission on the products sold by the distributors they recruit, known as their “downlines”.

Usana uses what is known as a binary infinite compensation plan. Under this type of plan, sales associates are awarded points for each sale they make. Associates are required to reach a certain level of points before they will start to earn income. USANA requires each associate to purchase a minimum of 100 volume of products (equal to about $120) every four weeks in order to stay eligible to receive compensation. Failure to maintain this level of product will cause the distributor to lose any points he had accumulated that had not yet been paid on.

USANA‘s sales associates are bound by distributor agreements. These agreements preclude distributors from making any misleading income claims to potential associates and from making health claims for their products.

USANA Company Claims

These are the claims that have earned USANA the honor of being voted Distributor Choice’s “Best Company” in Network Marketing Today and in The MLM Insider Magazine for a whopping 10 years!

Low Start Up

The Company claims to have low start-up costs. Associates are only required to purchase USANA‘s Business Development System, which can be purchased for as little as $30 US.

Simple Compensation Structure

No previous sales experience is required to join the USANA team. The only requirements are a willingness to learn and a desire to help others improve their lives. The company recommends that each associate has two downline associates to start building their profitable business.

Earning Potential

The Company focuses on the earning potential of its associates, comparing the earning potential of their MLM business model to the earning potential of a traditional salaried-plus-commission job. The company prides itself on its award-winning compensation plan, which offers associates six different ways to earn income. Under the USANA structure, unpaid volume carries over week to week and there are no sales quotas. The company views these as a way to make it possible for their associates to succeed.

Potential for schedule flexibility

Under the USANA business model, each associate is essentially the master of his own business. Associates set their own hours, can work from everywhere, and can set their own pace. In this model, the most motivated workers will earn the most income, but with the flexibility the model allows, the company’s hope is that all of the associates will be able to work the model to set themselves up for maximum success. People who can work independently with no supervision and no set schedule can flourish in this system.

Independence, not isolation

USANA wants its associates to know that they are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. To help associates achieve, the company provides its associates with thorough training and offers them access to a wide variety of helpful tools designed to promote success. Those tools include such things as a fully integrated Associate-only website, a website on which associates can stay up to date with the latest company news, receiving additional training, download free tools and take advantage of business management services offered by the company. Other tools offered to USANA associates are frequent web conferences, company events, sales aids, helpful publications and professional multimedia productions and many other things. The company also offers a helpful and experienced customer service team. That team can offer support to the company’s associate network in six languages.

Convenience

The company’s Autoship program means that the associate will never have to actual handle (or store) inventory. Inventory will be shipped directly to the associate or the customer on a schedule determined by the associate in conjunction with his customer.

Part of a growing industry

Companies involved in manufacturing and promoting wellness products are part of one of the fastest-growing segments of the market. When it comes to direct selling, wellness-related products enjoy an even bigger piece of the pie. According to well-known economist Paul Zane Pilzer, wellness products and services are predicted to be the next trillion-dollar industry in the American economy. The global population is aging, and they are increasingly looking for products that will help them to look and feel their best. In addition, younger generations are seeking products that will help them to stay looking and feeling youthful as long as possible. Our lives are busier than ever, and more and more people are seeking products to help keep them in optimal health so that they can keep pace with the speed of modern life.

Finally, USANA hangs its hat on the worldwide reputation it has earned. The company is a member of the Direct Selling Association and is a solid, publicly traded company whose products appeal to a wide segment of the population. USANA customers are from a variety of age ranges, both genders and from all education levels. They reside around the world and include world-class athletes, best-selling authors, top-tier scientific institutions, leaders in the health and wellness industries and well-respected members of the business community.

USANA offers its associates the opportunity to take their financial futures into their own hands. They offer a thorough support network, flexibility in terms of schedule and earning potential and a lineup of products they truly believe in, products designed to meet the needs of a large segment of the global population. USANA has received, and continues to receive, many accolades from the business community for its business model, its products and for its widespread success.

More on USANA:

USANA Heart Health Supplements

USANA Digestive Enzymes

USANA Vitamins Procosa

USANA Energy Drink

USANA Products Q&A

Healthy Life with USANA

USANA Vitamins for Teens

USANA Vitamins for Kids

USANA Cappuccino Nutrimeal

Is it safe to use USANA’s Vitamin D Product and USANA Essentials or USANA HealthPak?

USANA Proflavanol C 100

USANA Booster C

Do USANA contain artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavorings?

How does USANA ensure product safety

What make USANA Probiotic different from other probiotic supplements?

USANA Foods

USANA Diet Products

USANA BiOmega Fish Oil

USANA Pure Rest – Sleeping Better

USANA Skin Care Products

USANA HealthPak

USANA and WTA

Prenatal Vitamins USANA MultiVitamin

USANA Reset Weight Loss

USANA Essentials

USANA Fibergy

USANA Specials

USANA Chocolate Nutrimeal

USANA Nutrition Bars

USANA Fibergy Plus

USANA Vitamin D