Category Archives: Today’s World

The Future is Here

We’re nearing the end of 2022 and I’m inspired. It’s been a year to remember, one with obstacles and change, but also opportunity. For me, it’s an exciting time because I believe that despite the challenges we’re facing in the world, we’ve begun to understand why we need to act in order to secure a healthy future. 

Sunrise on the Nutrilite El Petacal farm in Ubajara, Mexico. 

We’re learning that problems can’t be passed on to the next generation anymore. There is an immediate need to work toward solutions, and I believe we are beginning to make tangible progress.  

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that my dad was deeply connected to the wonders of the universe. He understood how biological systems are intertwined with humanity, and that we shouldn’t take natural resources for granted. He saw the finite nature of our existence. And he realized how the components found in plants were instrumental to our health as a species.  

He clearly articulated the idea in this quote:  

“We are made of nothing but what plants provide and other substances available in the air and water of the earth, and so we are inescapably in and of the earth, and in and of the universe. If we cannot get what the plants provide, we cannot live.” 

Carl Rehnborg inspecting botanicals in 1953.

When I reflect on these words from my father, I think about the continued progress we need to make as a species to help prevent unhealthy outcomes and damage to the planet.  

Living in the future 

We need to continue to gain momentum and help people see that the best way to avoid problems occurring in the future is to act in the present and prevent them from happening in the first place.  

We shouldn’t be just reacting — for instance, many of our health problems can be avoided if we do simple things every day that keep our body and mind active and engaged. Waking up each day with a positive, healthy mindset positions us to learn, grow and find solutions to community issues that can affect the health of the entire world on a much broader level. 

In other words, you can act locally to make a difference globally. That’s how it starts. The impact we make each day compounds into future success.  

Here’s some of the progress I’m seeing: 

  • More power from renewable energy systems is coming online, helping us reduce pollution and power a cleaner future. 
  • Regenerative farming practices are helping remediate the land and bring soil back to its original nutrient-rich state. And many people are embracing circular economies and they are beginning to understand the importance of concepts like biomimicry. 
  • Diets are changing and reframing the idea of food security into nutrition security is helping people eat healthier and improve their quality of life. 
  • People are becoming more active and seeing that regular exercise increases our health span so that we might live beyond 100 years. 

Through this, Amway and Nutrilite continue to grow and build community. People are understanding how to be a product of the product and lead healthy lifestyles that others can follow. 

What could be better than that? 

2022 has been a good year. Here’s to a successful and healthy 2023! 

Cheers! 

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed and have blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

Food Insecurity and Healthy Nutrition

Food insecurity is when a person lacks regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life, according to the FAO.  

Approximately 800 million people in the world faced hunger in 2021. That’s a lot. Food security, and the elimination of food insecurity, should continue to be a top priority. Our world population continues to grow, and the environment is becoming increasingly volatile, which means even more people may struggle to find healthy food in the future. 

Morning light welcomes the day on the Nutrilite Trout Lake West Farm in 2016.

That’s why when I hear insights from Dr. Christopher Gardner about things like stealth nutrition and other ways that our food systems can be made more sustainable, I pay attention to what he says. In a Medium article written by Ashley Abramson a few years ago, he pointed out the simple idea that nutritious food can also be the most flavorful. And in a more recent interview, he spoke about ways we can adapt our food systems to supply healthier food while also helping the planet. 

Dr. Gardner is the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, and his approach to nutrition and food is what we need more of. Because if we are going to have a resilient future, we need to be thinking not just about food security, but more specifically, about nutrition security. There is a difference. Shifting from food security to nutrition security means shifting our thinking from quantity to quality.

Of course, people need enough food to be food secure, but addressing hunger also includes giving our bodies the nutritious food we need to live long healthy lives.  

Where does our food come from? 

Where our food comes from is something we often take for granted. For many of us, it’s easy to go to the market or the grocery store, find food that appeals to us and simply buy it. We don’t always think about how and why it made it to the shelf for us to choose and consume. Because how it is grown or raised, and how it gets to the market, can directly affect the environment. Which means our food choices can help support the planet. That’s why we should choose wisely. 

The Standard American Diet or Western Diet, which is low nutrition, low-cost, and convenience-focused, is becoming more prominent in low-income countries and in large countries like China and India. This might seem like a way to address food insecurity but relying only on this type of diet also means more people are becoming subject to obesity and disease.  

The reality is that good nutrition from quality food would help prevent many diseases from occurring in the first place. Imagine a world where our global health systems could focus on helping people achieve their best health instead of treating their illnesses. What a difference that would make!   

Healthy colorful food is also incredibly tasty!

That’s the idea behind nutrition security. If we can make nutritious food flavorful, desirable and available to people who want it, we will have a much healthier world. And eating the proper mix of delicious plant-based foods combined with the right type of protein will help make the world more sustainable.  

And if you know what you’re eating is good for the planet, your food will taste even better! 

Cheers! 

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed and have blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

Happy Earth Day, Happy Coral Reefs: Meet Ken and Denise Nedimyer

Denise and Ken Nedimyer. The Nedimyers’ lifelong love for the ocean has blossomed into purposeful work that is making a difference to coral reefs both close and far from their home.
Denise and Ken Nedimyer. The Nedimyers’ lifelong love for the ocean has blossomed into purposeful work that is making a difference to coral reefs both close to and far from their home.

Like many of you, Francesca and I have been following the public health efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including hunkering down at home. Of course, similar sanctions have been put in place in many parts of the world, rallying the global community around the singular goal of stopping this global pandemic. Since today (April 22) is Earth Day, I was thinking how, in the midst of this eerie calm, the planet seems to be catching its breath. The water is clearer in Venice’s canals thanks to the untouched sediment. Air quality is better in China, and wildlife are flocking into areas normally flooded with tourists.

Of course, this is not the way I imagined we would move toward a cleaner planet. But it does show us just how fast we can turn things around when we work together.

I think the Earth is telling us that we have no more time to waste, and we all need to step up and do our part from university researchers to business owners to governmental agencies. Of course, it all starts with passionate individuals. 

Ken and Denise Nedimyer are doing just that with their efforts to breathe life back to our dying coral reefs. It’s working, and in a big way. But what’s really impressive to me is how their global success was inspired by a simple love of the ocean.

A love for the sea from the start

Ken grew up on the shores of Florida. As soon as he could, he became certified to SCUBA dive and spent most of his time diving and learning all about the sea, eventually earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology and building a tropical fish collecting and shipping business. 

When he met a young nurse vacationing in the Florida Keys with a similar passion for the sea and diving, the rest, as they say, is history. Denise moved down to the Keys, where the two married and raised four daughters. Along the way, their mutual love of the ocean blossomed into purposeful work.

Thinking outside the box

Initially, the Nedimyers had planned to grow living corals to sell through their tropical fish collecting and shipping business in the Florida Keys. But before they ever sold their first coral, they had a change of heart. Instead, they used the coral to replant the local reefs.

Their efforts were so successful that they soon created the Coral Restoration Foundation, a non-profit company that has since grown into the largest coral reef restoration company in the world. 

Ken is truly an innovative thinker. Early on, he developed a new method to grow corals faster than they could replant them. It was a game-changer. Eager to share it with others, he published all the details in a scientific paper nearly 10 years ago. 

Today, Ken’s method is the most popular coral nursery technique in the world.

Denise Nedimyer tying coral pieces to the branches of special underwater trees. These corals will grow and eventually be replanted in their new home with the goal of creating a new and flourishing community. Curacao nursery; February 2018. Source: Ken Nedimyer.
Denise Nedimyer tying coral pieces to the branches of special underwater trees. These corals will grow and eventually be replanted in their new home with the goal of creating a new and flourishing community. Curacao nursery; February 2018. Source: Ken Nedimyer.

Soon, the Nedimyers were traveling throughout the Caribbean to set up offshore coral nurseries and train people how to grow their corals and use them to restore their local reefs. But they knew they could do even more.

A passion to do even more

In late 2017, the Nedimyers left the Coral Restoration Foundation to form Reef Renewal Foundation International where they work to develop new and innovative techniques for actively protecting, preserving, and restoring coral reefs so that others can be trained and inspired to take action for their reefs. 

Fish swim through a restored staghorn thicket. The various shapes not only make the reefs beautiful but also provide a protective home for many marine creatures. Curacao; January 2018. Source: Ken Nedimyer
Fish swim through a restored staghorn thicket. The various shapes not only make the reefs beautiful but also provide a protective home for many marine creatures. Curacao; January 2018. Source: Ken Nedimyer

Ken has become increasingly concerned about the accelerating worldwide decline of coral reefs. “We need to take more drastic steps to both preserve genetic diversity and accelerate the process of natural selection,” he explains. To do this, they are developing a carefully planned selective breeding program for some of the key reef building coral species. 

Ken and Denise have now set up coral nurseries in over 12 countries around the world. They continue to work in the Florida Keys, where they are developing nursery and restoration techniques for 15 new species of coral, as well as developing a living gene bank. 

Ken spent much of last year looking for and collecting samples from corals that have exhibited resistance to heat, cold and disease. They are now culturing those corals in their Keys nurseries for future selective breeding program.

Taking an underwater selfie above newly restored coral. Ken and Denise Nedimyer are making a big difference in this world. Source: Ken Nedimyer
Taking an underwater selfie above newly restored coral. Ken and Denise Nedimyer are making a big difference in this world. Source: Ken Nedimyer

The amazing things we can do together

It’s easy to see that the Nedimyers’ passion to restore the coral reefs runs deep. If this is a passion of yours, as it is mine, I encourage you to join them and contribute to their efforts.  You can learn more at their website Reef Renewal Foundation International or Facebook page

According to the African proverb, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” Just imagine the amazing things that we can do, when we do it together. 

Stay healthy and safe and be good to the planet we all call home.

Cheers,

Dr. Sam Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed and have blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

Rare Disease Day: 5 Facts to Inspire & Raise Awareness

Four people embrace in a grassy field as they look to the horizon. Rare diseases affect an estimated 1 in 20 people and most likely include people you know. Photo Credit: Dimitri Houtteman
Four people embrace in a grassy field as they look to the horizon. Rare diseases affect an estimated 1 in 20 people and most likely include people you know. Photo Credit: Dimitri Houtteman

It’s a good bet you know someone with a rare disease like phenylketonuria, Prader-Willi syndrome or one of the thousands of other documented rare diseases. Each disease plagues a number of people so small that researchers tend to pass them over to tackle more common diseases.

I’m telling you this because you have an opportunity to help. It starts with something as simple as participating in Rare Disease Day on February 29th.

So many ways to show support

Don’t worry, it’s easy to join in. Attend a local event, post encouraging words on social media (be sure to add the #RareDiseaseDay hashtag), or share your support with friends, classmates or coworkers. It all adds up to bringing more awareness to this important cause. 

Here’s why this matters.

People who struggle with a rare disease face big challenges that need big changes like more research, better treatments and effective medical care.

It all starts with one thing: More awareness.

When you join in, you’ll be part of a growing global movement that’s been around for over a decade. Rare Disease Day first started in Europe in 2008. United States and China joined in one year later.

Today, over 100 countries around the world participate, making this event a much-needed beacon for the global community to help move us one step closer to helping people who live with a rare disease.

Need inspiration to join in? Here are five facts that may help:

1. Rare diseases need our attention

Researchers, policy makers, and other healthcare stakeholders tend to focus their pursuits on diabetes, heart disease and other prevalent diseases that plaque modern life.

For this reason, meaningful efforts to diagnose, treat and care for the relatively small number of people who struggle with a given rare disease gets overlooked. Of course, we need more eyes on chronic diseases – especially efforts to prevent them – but people who struggle with rare diseases need our attention too. 

An adult gently holds the fingers of a newborn. Most rare diseases affect children.
An adult gently holds the fingers of a newborn. Most rare diseases affect children.

2. Rare diseases are anything but rare

When you combine them, rare diseases are surprisingly more common than you may think. An estimated 1 in 20 people are reported to live with a rare disease. What’s more, most rare diseases affect children and can result in death or severe disability.

3. Rare disease number into the thousands

Between 5,000 to 8,000 distinct rare diseases have been documented, and new ones are reported regularly in the medical literature. Yet, for most, there is no cure and many often go undiagnosed.

4. Rare disease research is on the move

Recent advances in science and technology, especially in the field of genetics, have opened the floodgates for the discovery of new treatments. It’s an exciting time and a great opportunity for researchers to pursue more breakthrough technologies.

For anyone with a rare disease, this is a welcome trend, but more progress is needed. Currently, fewer than 5% of rare diseases have an effective treatment, so we have a long way to go.

5. Rare diseases may benefit from healthy habits

Dietary and lifestyle habits may help control the symptoms and severity of certain rare diseases. This includes habits such as maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing stress, staying active, getting enough rest, and maintaining a strong support system, among others.

Ripples on the surface of water spread from one water droplet. In the same way, our ability to raise awareness of rare disease can ripple into big benefits like more research, better treatments and effective medical care. Photo Credit: Linus Nylund 

Ready to show your support?

As I mentioned above, it all starts with promoting awareness. 

So I hope you’ll join me and show your support for Rare Disease Day on February 29th

Visit www.rarediseaseday.org to learn more. 

Cheers,

Dr. Sam Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed and have blog posts delivered right to your inbox. 

Dr. Jack Farquhar: A Mentor with A Better Way

Healthy food, hydrating water and other tools for healthy living. These diet and lifestyle factors are part of the Nutrilite philosophy for optimal health and disease prevention. 

One of my mentors is Dr. John “Jack” Farquhar, a pioneer in disease prevention. I suppose, like many visionary men and women, his success grew out of frustration: He needed to find a better way. In fact, the Nutrilite™ brand and its leadership position in disease prevention is due, in large part, to Jack and his decision early in his career to find a better way. 

Continue reading Dr. Jack Farquhar: A Mentor with A Better Way