Category Archives: Healthy Body Support

Motivate Yourself to Better Health and Fitness with a Fitness Tracker

Stay motivated

Stay motivated

This simple device will motivate you to exercise more, get fit faster, and make you feel better than you have in years. What is this device? A fitness tracker that you wear like a watch. It both tracks your activity and gives you encouragement to do better.

Are You Getting Enough Exercise?

Many people today find getting adequate exercise difficult. There are so many conveniences that do not require effort on our part. From automobiles to elevators, we don’t need to expend a lot of energy to go where we want to be.

So, people need a little motivation. Like a friend to remind them to get a little exercise throughout the day. ora friend that tracks your heart rate when you do exercise.

Fitness Trackers Are Your Friend

Fitness trackers can help motivate you to get healthful exercise.

Authors Chelsea G. Bender, Jason C. Hoffstot, and Brian T. Combs, all from The George Washington University, in their article Measuring the fitness of fitness trackers wrote, “Data collected by fitness trackers could play an important role in improving the health and well-being of the individuals who wear them. Many insurance companies even offer monetary rewards to participants who meet certain steps or calorie goals.”

Fitness trackers have several advantages for healthy living:

  • You have more control over your health and life because you can process and evaluate your own body’s data.
  • You will have more fun and be more motivated to attain fitness or weight loss goals because you can see daily or hourly results.
  • You will better be able to prevent chronic illnesses.
  • You will be better able to support ongoing illnesses.
  • You get continuous readouts of your heart rate so you don’t exceed your capability.
  • Fitness trackers remember your activity accurately and don’t rely on subjective judgments.
  • You get access to data normally available only from a personal trainer or in a medical office.

The data your fitness tracker gathers can motivate you to beat your old performance and increase your strength and stamina. You can also upload your data to share with others to compare your progress with the progress of your friends.

In addition, many fitness trackers provide positive feedback, congratulating you when you achieve or exceed your fitness goals. Most provide virtual merit “badges” for your accomplishments. They can also provide encouragement to complete your goals.

Most fitness trackers can be used at night to monitor your sleep. They can tell you how much deep sleep you get each night. With that information you can modify your sleep times to ensure you are getting enough recuperative sleep.

Fitness Trackers Are Convenient

fitbit photo

Photo by JeepersMedia

Fitness trackers are usually worn on your wrist like a watch. They provide a normal watch function and can replace your watch. Most have interchangeable wrist bands that can be switched for different occasions.

In addition, there is normally an app you can use on your smartphone, tablet, or PC that can access the data in your fitness tracker and display it in very readable formats. This makes it easy to see your progress over time.

The Dark Side of Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are always on and often in communication with your cell phone for GPS information and monitoring for incoming calls and messages. This means the fitness trackers emit a signal that can interact with other devices.

Authors Becker, Matt, Kolbeck and Hess in their article Understanding the Continuous Use of Fitness Trackers: A Thematic Analysis wrote that “privacy is threatened by the seamless integration of trackers with social networks and GPS tracked runs, which allow hackers to notice when a person leaves his home.” They indicated that 80% of the people they interviewed were concerned about their privacy.

While most people carry cell phones which can also be tracked, fitness trackers maintain personal health data. And since any electronic device open to the outside world can be hacked, there is a security risk.

Most fitness trackers are not waterproof. So they should not be used while swimming or in the shower.

Set Up the Fitbit App on a Mobile Device

Watch how easy it is to set up your fitness tracker.

Check Out the Popular Fitbit Charge 2 Fitness Tracker

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Small (US Version)

  • PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
  • Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones (Fat Burn, Cardio and Peak)
  • See call, text & calendar notifications on the OLED display; Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
  • Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score; Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
  • Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes;Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
  • US Version
Make every beat count with Fitbit Charge 2—the all-new heart rate and fitness wristband built for all-day, workouts and beyond. PurePulse continuous heart rate makes it easy to maximize workouts, better track calorie burn and get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level, while all-day activity and auto sleep tracking, lets you see how your whole routine adds up. Record your workouts with multi-sport modes to see real-time workout stats on screen, or rely on SmartTrack to automatically record se

List Price: $ 149.95 Price: $ 139.98

To see more fitness trackers click here.

Monitor Your Diet Progress With a Body Composition Monitor

dieting photoIf you are on a diet, you need to know if you are losing fat (which is good) or if you are losing muscle (which is bad). But, how do you figure what what is causing your weight loss?

Most people want to lose weight. That’s all that matters to them. So, their weight on a scale is the only measurement most people look at when they are dieting.

If you are also losing muscle, your resting metabolism–the number of calories your body uses at rest–is decreasing. When you go off your diet, you will probably gain weight.

Your goal on a diet should be to lose fat, but not muscle.

Losing Muscle on a Diet

Diets typically have you eating fewer calories than your body needs. Often you consume 1200 calories a day, or even less.

Your body will often use both fat and muscle protein to produce the energy your body needs. And, it is muscle loss that will eventually cause you to gain weight when you go off your diet.

Muscle is the body’s fat burning furnace. A pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories a day just because it’s there. A pound of fat, on the other hand, requires only a couple of calories a day to sustain itself.

When you lose muscle on a diet, you are reducing your resting metabolism–the total number of calories your body requires when at rest. So, when you return to more normal eating after your diet, you will be consuming too many calories, and will put on weight. That’s just what you don’t want.

Measure Your Loss and Gains More Accurately

To know if your diet is really helping you, you have to know how much fat and how much muscle you are losing. A regular scale will not tell you this. It measures only weight.

Omron Body Composition Monitor

Body composition Monitor

The scale you need is the “Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale.” This, of course is a scale. And you can use it simply as a scale to measure your weight.

But, the Omron measures everything you need to know to help ensure that your diet is actually working for you. Here are some fitness indicators it measures:

  • Body Fat Percentage This will tell you if you are actually losing fat.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) This is one measure of your body fat.
  • Skeletal Muscle This is the body’s fat burning furnace that you can control. Lose muscle and your resting metabolism goes down. Gain muscle and your resting metabolism goes up so you burn more calories.
  • Visceral Fat This is the dangerous fat that surrounds your vital organs. Too much visceral fat can lead to heart disease, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Resting Metabolism Knowing your resting metabolism helps you understand what your diet is doing to your body. If your resting metabolism is going down you need to make changes.
  • Body Age This calculated value combines your height, body fat percentage, and skeletal muscle percentage to give you an indication of your body’s age that you can compare to your calendar age.

In the past, measurements like these could only be made by a physical trainer or a doctor. But, now you can monitor your body composition every day at home.

Omron Body Composition Monitor

Omron Body Composition Monitor

The Omron uses metal contacts to pass a small current through your body to help determine your body’s composition. You stand on the Omron with your bare feet. You hold the measure bar straight out with your hands. After just a few seconds the measurements are complete and you can see your body composition.

Because lean tissue like muscles conduct electricity better than fat, the Omron Body Composition Monitor can determine how much fat and muscle your body contains. By passing current through different metal contacts it can determine where your fat and muscle is located. This gives you very accurate results.

Cautions When Using the Omron Body Composition Monitor

Body composition measurements can vary from day to day, or even from one hour to the next. When you eat a meal or drink some water you will add weight to your body. When you urinate or have a bowel movement you will lose weight. Also, you may be dehydrated right after exercise. Your body may absorb moisture after a bath or shower.

You want to measure your body composition in the same way each day. Certain daily activities affect your weight and body composition. So, to avoid temporary fluctuations you should make measurements under that same conditions.

Since the Omron Body Composition Monitor passes a mild current through your body, pregnant women and people with implanted electrical devices, like a pacemaker, should not use this device.

Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale – 7 Fitness Indicators & 180-Day Memory

In this video I show you which scanner I use and how it works, how I track your progress, and what the measurements mean. Plus one of the top mistakes in using the scanner. I’ll tell you what NOT to do.

Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale - 7 Fitness Indicators & 180-Day Memory

  • Measures 7 different fitness indicators: body fat percentage, BMI, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, body age, and weight
  • Accurately measures body fat percentage using proven bioelectrical impedance method
  • Easy-to-read digital screen displays body weight up to 330 pounds in seconds
  • Stores up to 4 individual profile settings so the whole family can track their progress with 180 days of memory
  • Retractable cord makes it suitable for adult users up to 6' 6 3/4" tall
Omron’s full body composition monitors are unlike any other fitness measurement devices available. The breakthrough design is clinically proven to be just as accurate as much more expensive methods used by physicians and other health professionals. By utilizing advanced sensors, you get a precise reading quickly in the comfort of your own home.

List Price: $ 74.74 Price: $ 74.14

Reversing the Characteristics of Aging

We are all growing older. Nobody likes it except young people wanting to be adults.

For those of us who are adults, growing older is often viewed as a negative.There are some distinguishing characteristics of aging that we all recognize. Perhaps most prominent is reduced mobility.

Characteristics of Aging

elderly walker photo

Photo by r.nial.bradshaw

  • Loss of skeletal muscle. As we age we usually exercise less and do less heavy lifting. Without being stressed, our muscles begin to atrophy, or lose muscle mass. Most people will lose about 30-50% of their muscle mass as they age.
  • Reduced physical function. Due to loss of muscle mass and increasing aches and pains, most older people have increasing difficulties with normal everyday activities. Climbing stairs, walking and balancing become more difficult and painful.
  • Weight increase. Because of lack of activity fewer calories are burned each day. If food consumption is not reduced significantly, the older person will gain weight. Bad food choices in both quality and quantity will produce metabolic effects such as obesity or type 2 diabetes.
  • More vulnerable to stress. Mental, physical, and emotional stress increases as we grow older. Reduced resilience to handling these stressful challenges means reduced control over our lives, less capacity to fulfill goals, and less enjoyment of life.
  • Reduced bodily functioning. Physical activity, or the lack of activity, has an affect throughout the body. Movement enhances your cardiovascular system, helps lymph system circulation, improves sleep, and elevates your mood. Movement changes the expression of your genetic blueprint by turning on or turning off genes. Lack of movement or exercise has negative effects throughout the body.

Can You Reverse Aging?

While there are many ideas about why we age, one idea is that the cells in your body no longer communicate with other cells the way they did when you were younger. Components of your cells become damaged so they can no longer communicate as they once did.

For proper function, the mitochondria in your cells must receive direction from the cell nucleus. When communication breaks down, your body cannot function properly.

A compound in your body, NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a communication enhancer that helps the cells in your body function. Unfortunately, the concentration of NAD decreases over time. Some evidence indicates that NAD levels decrease 50% every 20 years after birth.

Another natural compound in your body, NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide, stimulates production of NAD. In fact, increasing NMN in your body has amazing effects including.

  • Lower body weight
  • Increased energy
  • Better mitochondrial function
  • Better insulin sensitivity
  • Activation of the Sir1 longevity gene
  • Improved eyesight
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced muscle loss
  • Enhanced immune system


Researchers have worked so hard to find an enzyme that can slow down some of the chronic conditions that come with age.

Up to now the tests were done on mice, but they feel confident enough to try them on people as well. It is interesting that this enzyme is found in natural foods such as broccoli and cucumbers.

This ongoing quest for the “Fountain of Youth” has included an international team of researchers that may have discovered a compound that make cells act younger than they really are, but so far tested only on mice.

Researchers led by the Washington University School of Medicine published in Cell Metabolism paper stating that they found an agent that can balance out what happens in aging cells so that they can behave as they would in a younger mouse. That compound is also found in many organic foods like cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage and edamame.

The compound is called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and it is incorporated in producing another compound that is crucial for energy metabolism. So, when a normal aging mouse gets infusions of NMN, where researches produced more of that energy-fueling compound, certain biological problems related to aging were gone. The subject NMN animals did not gain as much weight, but converted food into energy more efficiently, and their blood sugar and eyesight were improved. The mice receiving NMN could prevent certain genetic changes related to aging.

Because most of the lab mice live only for several years, the researchers started the NMN treatments at five months, and lasted for a year. The study could not conclude that mice live longer; only that there are lower rates of age-related diseases.

However, even if you eat as much as possible of broccoli or cabbage you cannot achieve the sufficient amount from natural foods to extend your life says Dr. Shin-Ichiro Imai, professor of developmental biology and medicine at Washington University and senior author of the paper.

Keio University in Tokyo is launching an early study on people by using pill form of NMN. Here is what Imai says, quoting: “It’s clear that in humans and in rodents, we lose energy with age.” Furthermore, “We are losing the enzyme NMN. But if we can bypass that process by adding NMN, we can make energy again. These results provide a very important foundation for the human studies.”

These findings are correlated along with other anti-aging compounds tested on animals like the diabetes drug metformin, rapamycin and sirtuins; and all of them are as well as involved in energy-making process. Imai says, quoting: “All of these pathways cross-talk with each other.” Furthermore, “We don’t know the precise details of how, but they are communicating with each other.”

The general hope is that studies performed on humans will give more information about how to keep cells young, moreover to stop or hold off the diseases that typically occur as the cells get older and lose their function.
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NMN is a derivative of niacin, vitamin B3. So, foods with NMN or niacin will be helpful in combating aging. Some of these foods include:

    Cucumbers photo

    Photo by David Davies

  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Edamame
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Peanuts
  • Mushrooms
  • Green tea

Some studies indicate that foods do not contain enough NMN to cause a significant increase in NAD. So, supplements will probably be necessary.

A recent study of supplements has shown positive results for increasing NAD. The study showed “initial results of its second human clinical study of NIAGEN® nicotinamide riboside chloride (NR) have confirmed NR significantly and sustainably raises the co-enzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in 140 healthy human volunteers over 8-weeks.”

Here is our recommended NAD boosting supplement:

HPN Nutraceuticals Nicotinamide Riboside Metabolic Repair, Patented NAD Plus Booster with Niagen (Nr), the Original and Most Trusted Longevity Product, 60 Capsules

  • Manufactured in the USA at our NSF CGMP certified facility - state of the art quality control
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  • Niagen increases the nad+ coenzyme for enhanced mitochondrial function to promote healthy cellular metabolism
  • Proven effective in 5+ published university clinical trials
More about niagen: Nr is a naturally-occurring vitamin b3 metabolite, has been shown to boost nad+ levels higher than niacin(2), does not cause undesirable flushing associated with niacin(1), promotes mitochondrial health - nr maintains and enhances mitochondrial health by boosting nad+ levels and inducing creation of new mitochondria (2), supports beneficial effects on blood lipids by maintaining healthy cholesterol levels already within normal range(2), increases sirtuin activation, improving

List Price: $ 39.95 Price: $ 39.95

Digestive Enzymes: Why Enzymes Are Important to Health

It’s be said that we are what we eat. But, more accurately, we are what we absorb. The difference is digestion. And, a major factor in digestion are digestive enzymes.

Digestive enzymes are protein catalysts that speed up the break down (digestion) of raw material (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals) into smaller components (like amino acids, fatty acids, fiber and glucose) that can be absorbed (or not absorbed in the case of fiber) by your intestines.

While enzymes are not changed or destroyed after digestion, the enzymes speed the process of digestion. Enzymes also help build tissue from the absorbed particles. For enzymes to work effectively, they require enough vitamins and minerals.

Many enzymes are produced by the body for digestion. Enzymes also play a part in the running of your body and in the manufacturing of new tissue. There are also enzymes in raw foods that help start the digestion process. Scientists have identified over 75,000 different enzymes in humans and are still finding more.

Where Are Nutrients Digested?

eating photo

Photo by Sole Treadmill

The process of breaking down cell membranes begins in the mouth where food is chewed. This is why it is important to chew your food until it becomes mushy. This releases the nutrients within the cells and allows chemical digestion to begin.

Enzymes work in the mouth, stomach and small intestines to break apart proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Stomach acid breaks down cell membranes, and further digestion occurs in the small intestine.

The gallbladder introduces bile in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) which breaks down or emulsifies fats that may be coating other food particles. Bile also helps neutralize stomach acid. This allows enzymes from the pancreas to continue digestion. Your pancreas releases enzymes throughout the digestive tract to digest the foods you eat.

  • Enzymes start working in your mouth where the breakdown of carbohydrates begins. Carbohydrates continue to be digested in the stomach and small intestine.
  • Proteins are primarily digested in your stomach.
  • Fats begin the digestion process in the small intestine.

Got Poor Digestion?

Bloating is probably the most common symptom of poor digestion. Undigested food in the digestive tract will ferment creating gas and bloating.

And, poor digestion can cause more serious conditions. Starches ferment in the small intestine to produce alcohol which can product non-alcholic fatty liver disease.

Many people have one or more of the following symptoms, but often do not identify the cause a poor digestion.

Nausea photo

Photo by Sarah G…

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence, gas, bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux

Among the common causes or risk factors of poor digestion include:

  • Drugs

  • Antibiotics
  • Poisons
  • Improper pH along the digestive tract
  • Non-ideal temperature
  • Hormones
  • Aging

If you have the symptoms of poor digestion or have any of the common risk factors for poor digestion, you may want to consider taking digestive enzymes before meals to help ensure more complete digestion.

Great Overview of Digestive Enzymes

This video outlines the role enzymes play in digestion, and how taking an enzyme supplement may improve your overall digestive health.

Produced by Pendulum Swing Media
More videos at:
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Recommended Digestive Enzyme Supplement

The following product has multiple digestive enzymes of high potency in targeted delivery capsules.

Renew Life - Digest Smart Extra Care - plant-based enzyme supplement - 45 vegetable capsules

  • DIGESTIVE ENZYME: Formula that combines plant-sourced enzymes with additional ingredients to sooth the digestive tract*
  • STOPS GAS, BLOATING and INDIGESTION: Enzymatic formula works to help increase digestion efficiency and alleviate occasional gas, bloating and indigestion *
  • DAILY SUPPORT: When taken regularly, DigestSmart can help increase digestive health and nutrient absorption*
  • PROPER DIGESTION: Includes 25 plant-based enzymes promote optimal digestion and nutrient availability*
  • DIETARY SUPPLEMENT: Guaranteed for quality, purity, and potency through expiration
Digest Smart Extra Care is a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme formulated with 25 plant-based, raw enzymes to help break down protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. This formula may help prevent occasional gas, bloating, and indigestion, and is specifically designed to support the digestion of the most problematic foods. Digest Smart high-potency formulas are made with maximum Enzyme Activity Values so you can comfortably enjoy more of your favorite foods. These statements have not been evaluate

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Health Care or Sick Care

Do we have a “health care” or a “sick care” medical system in the United States? And, does it matter?

Yes, it does matter. Because the emphasis of our attention will affect the results of our actions. And we can see the results in so many medical statistics.

Increasing Chronic DiseasesIf we continue on with our current medical industry we can look forward to increases in chronic disease and reduced lifestyle options. This chart published by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease  gives us the bad news:

The percentage of American with chronic diseases will continue to increase. This will result in increased profits and prosperity for every component of the current medical industry.

But, individuals can take action to promote and maintain their own health, in spite of the emphasis of our medical industry on disease and sickness.

Sick Care

Thomas M. Menino and Paula Johnson writing in the Boston Globe indicate that “The foundation of our current health care system is the treatment of illness and disease rather than the promotion of good health.

They further stated that “For example, type II diabetes afflicts an estimated 380,000 Massachusetts residents, an increase of 75 percent since 1994.”

One would think that our medical industry (including universities, doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies) would be more effective in creating a healthy population. But, they have utterly failed to do so. Statistics for most chronic diseases show increases, not decreases.

Indeed, the medical industry thrives on treating sickness. It would languish with a healthy population. It would not make sense to think that such an industry would willingly choke off its cash supply by promoting health.

If health is to be a priority, it must become a priority in the hearts and minds of individuals. Neither the medical industry nor governments (under the influence of medical industry lobbyists) are likely to shift to making a healthy population a priority.

Jeffery Levi, interim President and CEO, Trust for America’s Health, wrote in the Huffington Post, “For years the United States has approached public health backwards. Indeed, the current health care system has been set up to treat people after they are sick rather than keeping them well in the first place. Our country has a sick care system rather than a health care system.

Stephen C. Schimpff, MD, writing on the KevinMD site indicated, “We have a medical (that is, sick) care system—a system that waits until we become ill before it kicks into action—instead of a health care system focused on helping us stay healthy.”

Writing the the New England Journal of Medicine, Farshad Fani Marvasti, M.D., M.P.H., and Randall S. Stafford, M.D., Ph.D. wrote, “Unsustainable costs, poor outcomes, frequent medical errors, poor patient satisfaction, and worsening health disparities all point to a need for transformative change.”

In short, we need to stop thinking about how to pay for ineffective sick care products and begin emphasizing health care which promotes long and vibrant lives.  We don’t need “health care reform” so much as we need a transformation in our thinking about health.

Sick Care Products

The sick care system promotes products that do not promote health, but rather try to reduce the painful, debilitating effects of disease.

Sick care “products” mostly comprise prescription medications and operations. Both these products provide profits for the sick care industry.

Medical operations provide profits for hospitals, skilled surgeons, nurses and other hospital staff. During and after the operation there will be a need for pharmaceutical drugs providing profits in that sector. reveals that “Hospital costs averaged $3,949 per day, and costs per stay averaged $15,734.”

You can check the range of prices and a “fair” price for medical operations at Healthcare Bluebook. They indicate that for an elbow replacement surgery the costs range from $17,736 to $55,427 with a fair price being $22,171. For a total knee replacement surgery the low cost is $22,260, the high cost is $69,562 with a fair price being $27,825.

Prescription Medication

The most familiar sick care products are prescription drugs. They primarily help reduce the symptoms of disease. These products help manage the pain of chronic diseases so sick people can function as long as possible.

The investment advisory, The Motley Fool, tells us that for 2013-2014 “the average American’s annual prescription drug tab is $1,370.”

They further tell us about baby boomers by citing statistics from a prescription fulfillment service, “Express Scripts’ research suggests that about 60% of the highest-spending members are baby boomers, with a third of the $100,000+ spenders being treated for at least 10 conditions.”

Health Care Products

Photo by MS-R / Michael S-R

On the other hand, a true health care system promotes products consisting of natural foods or supplements that provide all the nutrients required to help the body function normally. They help the immune system fight off disease, help the body stay strong and vibrant.

The basic idea is that the body is designed to function in health. And, if we feed it the right foods, avoid substances that hinder the body’s functions, get proper rest and exercise, then the body can function long in a healthy state. With a healthy lifestyle change We can avoid the chronic diseases that seem to plague most people.

Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He is the author of six books, all national bestsellers, and his TED talks have been viewed by over four million people. His work has been featured in all major media, including cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report, and he is currently Medical Editor of The Huffington Post.

Dean Ornish, MD: Creating a New Paradigm of Healthcare vs Sickcare

Please visit the Preventive Measures Research Institute, a non-profit research institute investigating the effects of diet and lifestyle choices on health and disease.

Please visit PlantPure to learn more about PlantPure and its whole food plant-based (WFPB) meals, as well as its efforts to help grow the plant-based lifestyle movement.

Living in accord with health is a choice. It’s a choice you make while you still have that option.

This is exactly what our site, Healthy Body Support, is all about. We want you to be in good health.