Health Image

image of healthPeople can read the articles published on this website and learn a lot about their health and how they can maintain a good health image or improve their health if necessary. Physical health is something that many of us take for granted and it is only when things start to go wrong that we sit up and take notice. Some people are more proactive and take steps to ensure their health stays in the best possible state.

If you are concerned enough about the state of your health to want to take action and do something positive about maintaining it in a good state of happy health or improve it if is is a little under par, then you have come to the right place. There is a wealth of useful information on all aspects of personal health body image and here.

There is much that you can do to achieve your creative potential and make the most of the assets that you have in your ability to learn, understand and apply knowledge. The more that you know, the better equipped you are to make the most of your physical health.

There are many ways in which you can improve your physical health while also working with your mental abilities to literally create a new you. All it takes is some inner motivating force to get you to take action by acting on the information you can learn here.

Of course, merely reading about how you can improve your personal levels of health and fitness is one thing. You have to do something to bring it about! That means you have to take action to improve your diet and to get more exercise into your lifestyle.

While you may learn much from media such as television, there is no substitute for informative reading material. Your health is more important to you than anything else, so make sure you look after it. Having a good health image will help you live a long and happy life.

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Does Nutrisystem Need Fixing?

Posted by on 03 Jul 2012 | Tagged as: diet

The popular American diet program Nutrisystem is not broken, but it may need some fixing in areas that are causing it to under-achieve, especially in areas such as the stock market and the returns it is giving investors. While that may be of little or no interest to dieters who are relying on this program to help them lose weight, or to those who are seriously considering signing up for a diet plan that they hope will turn their problems of increasing weight around, it probably should be. For there are cracks in the woodwork and they need to be repaired sooner rather than later.

First of all, let’s make one very important thing clear. The diet program itself is still one of the best in its class and there is no denying it gets results. Thousands of successful Nutrisystem dieters cannot be wrong!

The problems that are associated with a lack of confidence in the company as far as investors and the stock markets are concerned are related to decreasing performance figures and a drop in the value of their stock from a high of over $72 in 2006-2007 to the current figure (as at July 2 2012) of just $11.61 (*see below). Clearly things are not as good today as they were just five years ago, so what happened to cause such a huge drop in the value of the company?

We can’t really speculate on what is happening behind close boardroom doors, so there is not much point in bandying theories around as they could be false. But what we can see is customer reaction to certain aspects of the diet program from the many customer complaints and concerns that are registered in a variety of online forums and blogs that provide Nutrisystem reviews. While many complaints are made by people that are complainers by nature, there are a whole load more that are articulately written by people with a genuine grievance or a story of an unsatisfactory experience that simply cannot be discounted or ignored.

Canceling Nutrisystem Diet Plan

One of the more common complaints is not with the diet itself, but with the customer service department especially when people call to cancel their diet plan. While there are many good reports of customer service experience, there are many bad ones and it is these that potential customers read and find difficult to ignore. The result is a drop off in the number of new customers who choose other diet plans (which may or may not be better or more suitable for them), on the strength of a negative report they read on the difficulty in canceling and the penalties that are incurred.

What is the answer?

A big part of the problem is that customers who sign up for diet plans and take advantage of whatever current discount or special deal promotion the company is running, do not realize that if they cancel before accepting and paying for their second month’s supply of meals, they will incur a penalty for early cancellation and be charged the cost of shipping the food. While this information is published on the official Nutrisystem website, it is not as clearly marked as it could be since many people sign up and do not bother to read the FAQ or look at the terms and conditions they are signing for.

Let’s face it, who wants to read through several long paragraphs of boring, legal sounding text? Not many people, that’s for sure.

So in general, when a customer sees a great deal on their first month of food, they immediately think that they can order it and cancel the subsequent month’s delivery and save themselves a load of money by not having to pay full price for that second shipment of meals. But when they phone up to cancel, they are met with the harsh reality that they are going to have their credit card charged a cancellation penalty as well as be billed for the “free shipping” they thought they were getting for the initial shipment.

What do you think the reaction of most people to this news is?

NutrisystemThey get angry, for sure! And in the heat of the moment, it quite often happens that the customer gets loud and abusive and the customer support person has to endure a lot of verbal abuse which they do not deserve to put up with. Most are well trained and will try to calm the customer down, but that’s a very difficult thing to do over the phone.

Let me ask you something: How do you think you would react to an angry person on the other end of the phone shouting and probably swearing at you because they think they are hard done by and you are to blame? Maybe you don’t know because it has never happened to you. Maybe you think you stay calm and be a heroic rock or something. Let me tell you, I’ve been there and you do NOT stay calm for very long, especially when you’re being abused verbally. All the training in the world will not help you when you’re being threatened with physical violence by a customer who says they are going find out where you live and do bad things to you and your family.

OK, point taken? Good.

Greater Transparency?

So what is the answer to this real and ongoing problem? Well, its simpler than you might think. But its one that few big companies have the guts to implement because they believe it will harm sales more than it helps their reputation.

The short answer is not just greater transparency, but full disclosure right there on the main page of the official Nutrisystem website and also on the page where customers are signing up. Tell them in clear and understandable words that they can’t just have the first month and then cancel, but that if they want to take advantage of the special deal, they MUST commit to ordering a minimum of two months supply of meals. Make that crystal clear to customers and you improve the trust factor of customers while removing any ammunition from potential cancelers who are aiming to get the deal and not continue with the diet after that. That’s because they can’t claim they didn’t know about the consequences of canceling early!

Loss of Sales

Will full disclosure result in loss of sales? Possibly. But the majority of sales that would be lost would be from potential customers that were aiming to enjoy the cost saving of the discount and then cancel early anyways. Does any company really need those kind of customers? You could argue that many customers will change their minds about canceling and stay on the program, paying for their second month because it is the lesser of the two evils of being charged the cancellation fee and shipping costs. Sure, but then you have an unhappy dieter on the plan and guess what they’re going to do at some point?

They’re sure to write a scathing review on how they were manipulated by the company into paying for a second month they didn’t want. They will tell of how unhelpful the customer support were (although they are sure to leave out that part where they verbally abused the person on the other end of the phone). They will rant on about how they are disgusted by big companies using such strong arm tactics to fleece customers with bait and switch tactics. But most damaging of all is that they will warn other poeple to stay away from the program.

People are easily swayed by opinions. Opinions are the cheapest commodities on the planet and everyone has an opinion on something or other. People like nothing better than to put they opinions on anyone who cares to listen. The problem is that people do listen!

While the current setup may bring in a sizable income from customers “forced” to stay on the program, the numbers of lost potentially new customers is something not factored into the equation. Could it be that in attracting these “lost” new customers through a more trustworthy full disclosure policy might very easily balance out the loss of customers only out for the first month discount? I don’t know and I’m pretty sure the marketing people at Nutrisystem don’t know either. Because they aren’t trying it.

Success in business is all about taking measured risks. At the present rate of decline in Nutrisystem’s stock value, maybe its time to take a measured risk and try and attract a whole new demographic of customers who know what they are signing up for before they sign up.

There might be some pleasant surprises in store. Or it might not work. Either way, Nutrisystem need to do something to attract (and keep) more customers and get them writing more positive reviews to attract even more customers. Food for thought? I’d say so!

Terry Didcott

*Source Google (NASDAQ:NTRI)

How Healthy is Your Diet? Part 3: Eat More Fruit

Posted by on 21 Jun 2012 | Tagged as: diet

healthy dietDo you eat enough fresh fruit every day? Do you know how much is enough? These days, far too many people don’t eat nearly enough fruit on a week to week basis, let alone every single day. Yet at the same time, ever increasing numbers of people are becoming overweight and obese because they are happily chomping their way through mountains of junk, processed food. What happened to common sense and why do so many people eat such a poor diet?

That’s probably too many questions. But it all boils down to the fact that we seem to have lost sight of what our bodies are telling us they need, while we pay far too much attention to what the advertising media tells us we should buy at the store.

Let’s put things into some kind of perspective. The food industry (and make mo mistake, it is an industry with the primary goal to make a profit) is happy for people to eat whatever can be gotten past the official approval process. As long as there is a market for a food product, the industry will use advertising and promotion techniques to get consumers to buy it. Not that its so difficult to do that, since people need to eat!

TV Advertising and Processed Food

hamburgers bad for youThe problem is that people are influenced by advertising, especially television advertising and the food industry will advertise those products that make it the most profit. The industry is not interested in selling you a bag of apples to make a few cents in profit when it can sell you a pack of frozen junk and make considerably more.

Better still, from the industry point of view, is the fact that people prefer the taste of junk food to fresh fruit not because it really tastes better, but because it is packed full of additives designed to make it seem like it tastes better. Those additives include saturated fat and sugar, both of which are highly attractive to the human sense of taste. What’s more, recent evidence suggests that we can become addicted to these foods, craving more of them the more of them that we eat.

Little wonder that the number of obese people is continuing to rise despite there being so much nutritional information readily available via the Internet and so many really effective diet and fitness programs also readily available.

There is a nasty side effect to eating a diet almost entirely comprised of processed foods, no matter how healthy the label may say they are. The rise in cases of certain cancers seems to be following the rise in the amount of processed food being consumed, but that’s not just any processed food. It seems to be linked with those containing high levels of sugar. A lot of research into the probable causes of prostate cancer in men seems to reveal that high levels of sugar in the diet actually feeds the cancer cells, causing rapid tumor growth and all the complications that go with it.

It seems that there are properties to refined sugar that causes oxidation in our body’s cells and the release of free radicals which cause damage and are also known to promote the growth of cancerous tumors. The sugar itself then feeds the tumors so they can grow faster. In fact, research has shown that cancerous cells need sugar to grow and they consume a lot of it. Source: Food for Thought


But we are human beings and as such we are the highest forms of life on this planet. We have something no other animal has (as far as we yet know) and that’s free will and the mental ability to choose. We can choose what we eat!

Most people seem to have forgotten that slight detail when they sit through a string of TV commercials drumming into their brains the desire to eat hamburgers, breadcrumb covered chicken bits and pieces, hot dogs, pizza and who knows what else, while washing it all down with one or other popular brand of soda. All that junk is loaded with the sugar that is not only making us fat, it is increasing the risk of cancer! Yet people choose to eat it. Not because its their own free choice, but because that choice has been influenced by clever marketing and advertising.

Of course, no one in the food industry would be so bold as to agree with any of the research on cancer and the recently uncovered links between prostrate cancer and high levels of sugar. They will naturally deny that there is any link between sugar and cancer. They will even deny their products cause people to become obese. This is natural as they must protect their industry.

You should know that this is not idle scaremongering. For more information, please read this fascinating article in the New Your Times from 2011 on the toxicity of sugar entitled: Is Sugar Toxic?

But this is not about what the food industry believes or does not believe. It is not about what politicians say or do not say. It is about your health and your ability as a human being to choose what you eat and do not eat.

Eat More Fruit

eat more fruitThere is one very effective way to combat any dependence on refined sugars and junk, processed foods and that’s to eat more fresh fruit. Not just every once in a while, but every day. An apple, maybe a peach or a pear, some cherries or grapes, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, perhaps a slice of melon or pineapple, or an orange or tangerine. There are plenty of fruit choices you can go for. Even the much maligned (by dieters, at least) bananas are healthier than sugar laden candy bars or cookies!

But there is more to eating fruit than immediately meets the eye.

I already mentioned the risk of getting cancer from eating too much refined sugar. Well, fresh fruits don’t contain refined sugar, but they are sweet to eat because they contain fruit sugars which are less harmful. But that’s not where I’m going with this, apart from the obvious fact that if you have a sweet tooth, then eating fresh fruit is a much healthier way of satisfying it than grabbing a slice of pie or a chocolate bar. Fresh fruit also contains a variety of antioxidants that work to prevent the cell damage that free radicals can do.

So not only is plenty of fresh fruit every day a great, healthy alternative to eating foods overloaded with refined sugars, but it can also go a long way to helping you to enjoy a longer, healthier life with a lower risk of certain cancer. if you need to know what is considered the correct amount of fruit to eat each day, the general consensus is around 5-8 servings per day. You can get more details on how that works out using the Pyramid Servings method.

It’s your choice. Make it a good one!

Terry Didcott

The Effect of Blood Group on Diet

Posted by on 29 Apr 2012 | Tagged as: diet

There has been a lot of interest lately in the effect that a person’s blood group may have on their diet. In fact, a whole new diet program has evolved around the theory that certain foods are metabolized differently by people with different blood groups. This is an interesting idea and one that is based on certain historical and ancestral facts.

Blood Type O

hunter gatherersIt is known that the oldest blood group, Type O was prevalent when our oldest cave dwelling ancestors kept themselves alive but hunting and gathering their food. The bulk of their regular diet was made up of meat, berries and fruits so their metabolism was optimized to cope with large amounts of animal fats, meat protein and fruit sugars to obtain the maximum nutrition from these sources.

Come up to today’s modern human physical makeup and notice how people with blood type O tend to be able to happily eat a diet predominantly made up of meats and meat protein with high levels of fruit sugars without unduly gaining weight. As soon as you add high carbohydrate wheat or other grain based products to that diet, the person’s weight increases when they don’t do enough exercise each day.

This makes a lot of sense when you consider that the ancestral type O blooded hunter gatherers did not eat any wheat or grain based foods and got all their carbohydrates from the fruits they could gather. Their metabolism would not have been able to cope very well with this type of food because it simply was not available. Therefore the cave-dweller’s digestive system was best suited to processing a variety of animal products, fruits and berries.

Blood Type A

harvest by handLater on in the evolutionary process of humans, we emerged from our caves and learned how to grow our own food. This change didn’t happen overnight, but happened gradually over many thousands of years. As we evolved, the blood type A also appeared. Our digestive systems gradually evolved to cope with the newer form of nutrition, made up primarily of vegetable crops, some grains, seeds and dairy products. It still featured animal products, but the balance shifted to a greater reliance on what we could grow, store and make into food without the need for hunting or gathering.

Modern humans with the Type A blood group are better at metabolizing and obtaining the maximum amount of nutrition from vegetable crops, fruits and seeds while relying less on animal products.

Blood Type B

traditional farmerBlood type B is the the most recent evolutionary step in human makeup and stems from the ancestral period when our early farmer ancestors started farming dairy cattle and creating a wide range of dairy products. Farming settlements had become firmly established as a way of life and families grew into small communities that relied on each other to produce food, clothing and tools necessary for the day to day running of those communities.

The ancestral diet from this period therefore was made up of more dairy products and of course farmed vegetables, fruits and other products.

What does all this mean to modern dieters?

Well, the Blood Type Diet is optimized for the three main blood types according to the way in which their bodies metabolize food and the way they handle the agglutinating lectins in certain foods. Each blood type handles these lectins differently and when the wrong foods are eaten, these lectins can cause problems with their metabolizing, from increasing the risk of illnesses, allergies and health conditions to weight gain.

Dieting with Blood Type O

blood type o meat eatersThose with blood type O actually thrive on a diet of high protein meats coupled with a vigorous exercise regime. They don’t get on so well with dairy products but do very well on a diet rich in lean meats, fish and poultry. Body weight can be maintained at the correct levels by avoiding grain-based products such as breads, cakes and pasta as well as legumes and especially beans. The gluten in wheat germ and other grains lowers the metabolism by interfering with insulin efficiency, which leads to weight gain.

It is also true that thyroid function problems tend to be more prevalent in people with blood type O, so it is best to avoid foods that interfere with thyroid function, such as vegetables of the brassica family (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mustard) while increasing consumption of iodine rich foods to boost hormone production such as kelp and seafood.

From a health perspective, it has been shown that foods from the nightshade group of vegetables (tomatoes, capsicum, potatoes, peppers and chilies, eggplant etc) can cause lectin deposits in the tissue surrounding the joints. Type O’s also tend to have higher stomach acid levels and so should avoid high acid fruits such as oranges, while increasing the amount of alkali forming fruits and berries. Dairy products such as cheese, butter, full fat milk, full fat yogurts etc should also be kept to a minimum as the digestive system does not metabolize these very well.

Dieting with Blood Type A

blood type a vegetable eatersIt has been shown in the Blood Type Diet for Type A’s that they can eat a diet made up primarily of certain vegetables and lower levels of meats and animal products. Or in fact they can be completely vegetarian and maintain a healthy weight.

Introducing high levels of red meats and food products high in animal fats leads to weight gain as the metabolism is not optimized for processing meats and meat protein very well. Avoiding most meats can result in weight loss, which makes it an important factor for those with Type A. It is also important to get more natural foods in the diet with the emphasis on organically grown crops.

The lower stomach acid levels in Type A’s is another factor in reducing their ability to digest meats. Therefore animal proteins should be substituted with nuts, seeds and soy protein based foods such as tofu. Dairy products are also badly metabolized and should be avoided where possible or kept to a minimum.

Type A’s can metabolize most legumes and beans (apart from a few exceptions, such as red kidney and Lima beans) very well and these should form a staple part of the diet. A diet high in vegetables is vital to incorporate the right enzymes, nutrients and antioxidants. Most fruits can be eaten in larger proportions and aid weight maintenance and health balance. However, there is sensitivity to the lectins found in nightshade vegetables (see above) as well as some fruits such as mango, papaya and oranges.

Dieting with Blood Type B

blood type b dairy eatersThe modern diet recommended for blood type B is low in meat protein and actually prescribes avoiding eating chicken, corn, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds. Type Bs are better able to resist many of the more severe illnesses that are common to modern life, such as heart disease and cancer as long as they follow the right diet. However, they are more prone to immune-system disorders that include multiple sclerosis, lupus and chronic fatigue syndrome, so it is important to avoid any foods that might aggravate these conditions.

Type B is actually the only blood type where people can fully enjoy a wide variety of dairy foods. Their metabolism is best geared up for processing dairy products and they gain the most nutrition from them. However, the nuts and seeds that better suit Types O and A should be avoided by B’s as the lectins they contain interfere with insulin production.

Most Type B’s do not tolerate wheat products very well as they contain a lectin that reduces insulin efficiency and fails to stimulate the burning of fat. Rye should also be avoided as it contains a lectin that settles in the vascular system, causing blood disorders and can potentially lead to strokes. Major factors in Type B weight gain include corn and buckwheat. These contribute to a sluggish metabolism, insulin irregularity, fluid retention and fatigue.


While these are only guidelines of what should be eaten and what should be avoided according to a person’s blood type, there is a lot of truth in this system as it relies on known metabolic and digestive data taken from a wide spectrum of the populace. Certainly, health improvements can be had from improving your diet no matter what blood type you happen to be, by reducing your intake of processed foods, junk foods and switching to home prepared and cooked meals made from more natural and fresh ingredients.

Terry Didcott

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