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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for this post! I am currently a nursing mother eating the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (no dairy) and it seems that I need more calcium than I am gettin for this stage in life. Do you recommend any real food supplement for calcium?

  2. I loved this article and shared it with others. It pays to be a label reader! I am so glad I discovered whole food nutrtion from Juice Plus capsules a few years ago. My family and I get 25 fruits, veggies and grains daily. My sons get their healthy gummies free with our orders. Juice Plus has a nutrition label and helps to boost our immune systems naturally.

    • Juice Plus is hardly ideal…. the first ingredients are tapioca syrup and –even worse– maltodextrin, a sugar usually derived from corn and very likely genetically modified. Not to mention the “natural flavors” and the fact that all the fruits and vegetables advertised are NOT organic, meaning there are plenty of pesticides along for the ride as well. This is the type of supplement that does more harm than good.

      • All Juice Plus+ products are non-GMO. It is currently being certified as such. Additionally, each batch is followed from farm to encapsulation, tested for herbicides, pesticides, mold, heavy metals…everything…and documented to be ‘clean’…most likely cleaner than most organic produce. The benefits to a person’s health because Juice Plus+ is food will be unique to that individual, but there’s no doubt that our health will benefit. Over 30 gold-standard, peer-reviewed studies prove that it does. Of course it’s always best to eat real food, but let’s get real…the way our food is grown today does not provide us optimal nutrition.

      • The capsules naturally are more pure than the chewables, and contain the naturally occurring live enzymes. We choose to put the powders in our smoothies, or just swallow them as capsules. My 3-year old swallows the capsules. It has greatly improved our immunity. You cannot argue with blood test results.

  3. Hi Kristi~

    Thanks for reading. Yes, as a nursing momma you want to be particularly careful about your calcium sources. I love Calcium Lactate by Standard Process for a couple of reasons.

    1. The lactate form of calcium is the easiest for the body to utilize. The only form of calcium you can utilize in your blood is calcium bicarbonate. Calcium lactate changes to bicarbonate in just one step. Other forms of calcium (ie. calcium carbonate) can take up to a dozen biochemical steps.

    2. Calcium Lactate is slightly acidic. Your stomach needs to be pretty darn acidic to be able to digest calcium. (Stomach acidity is also important in the metabolism of protein and iron.)

    3. Is calcium lactate a food? Rest assured Standard Process’ Calcium Lactate is made from beets. You’re in good hands with Standard Process. Their founder Royal Lee, DDS was a nutritional whiz who collaborated with other well-known pioneers; Weston A. Price, Pottenger, and Dr. Melvin Page.

    If you can’t find a Standard Process practitioner in your area, then you can contact me directly through my website at

  4. Hi Kristi,
    I had thyroid cancer about 14 years ago and had a complete thyroidectomy. Any good recommendations for hormone balancing (of course along with monitoring thyroid medication) that may be different than for someone who has their thyroid?
    Thank you,

    • Yes Terri~ great question. Considering that your question is more medical in nature it would be better if I have a more information regarding your specific case. Go ahead and contact me through I’ve got some ideas for you.

      In the meantime, here is one general piece for you to consider:

      With a thyroidectomy, it’s common to have a more sensitive digestive system. Digestion and absorption of nutrients tends to be a bit more challenging once the thyroid is removed. So, you’ll want to keep track of intake and elimination. And in the long run, you’ll want to look for more specific support so that you can get the most out of your foods.

      This is important because we can still use foods to get better endocrine function for you…..but your digestion needs to be optimal for it all to come together. Send me a note-

  5. Someone above mentioned JuicePlus+ Curious what your thoughts are on this product. It states it is “whole food based nutrition from wide variety of fruits + vegetables”. Most of the ingredients on their Orchard Blend fruit juice powder and pulp from 7 different fruits while the Garden Blend is powder and pulp from 10 different vegetables (they also have a Vineyard Blend). The vitamin levels for A, C, E and foliate are under 100% as listed on their label, however I see other ingredients listed. For instance: citric acid, ascorbic acid, lactic acid, glucomannan, D – alpha tocopherol, folic acid, tapioca syrup, maltodextrin. So I’m not sure where these would fall according to your article above.

    • Hi Lynne~

      First, I want to pat you on the back. Look at what you’ve already taken in about label reading. It’s a bummer that we can’t 100% trust the front of a package. The front of any package (food, supplement or otherwise) is all about marketing. It really has very little to do with quality or what is going on with a product. Kudos to you for noticing that difference.

      Second, yes- Juice Plus does start out as a whole food brand, but because of the incessant marketing and touting of synthetic pure-crystalline vitamins they add in synthetics to boost their products. Just think about how much education they’d have to do as a multi-level marketing company to teach their sellers that low dosages are highly potent? It’s a hard sell.

      Here’s what you should know about a couple of those ingredients:
      -ascorbic acid is made from corn syrup
      – D-alpha tocopherol is only one of the 10 known tocopherols. All the tocopherols need to be present to work efficiently. Good old fashioned wheat germ oil out performs 400IU units of Vit E every time.

      • I enjoyed your article a lot! I prefer to get what I need from whole foods and natural sources but I do bridge the gap with some products. As I read further down in your article though, I think we may disagree on some things with regards to whole food ‘vitamins’ I believe that there are some underlying assumptions.

        I am a certified health coach and I coach clients on food integrity and label reading is heavily influential in this. I have personally aligned myself with Juice Plus. I do a lot of research before I “represent” a company. I have emailed the head chemist on numerous occasions about specific ingredients in our products. As I come to learn more about ingredients, I start asking A LOT of questions – I often dig deep. If I don’t understand the first response, I ask again and again until I have a full understanding of the response. Needless to say, I have been pleased with the answers and five years later, I am still proud to represent Juice Plus+.

        FYI: There is no ascorbic acid in the Juice Plus+ products. Juice Plus+ carries a Nutrition Facts label and is third party verified by NSF (non-bias). Juice Plus+ is also not an MLM, it is a direct selling company. MLMs are top heavy meaning they have more reps than customers. Though the business opportunity is there with Juice Plus+ most of our volume (about 85% currently) is from customers. (You can find more direct selling companies on

        While Juice Plus+ has an interest in the independent research done with our complete products, we have no influence on the results. You may be interested in learning more about this comment here: (see question #2 for specifics).

        With regards to folic acid as mentioned above, it is the last ingredient on our labels. When you look at the percentages, you will see folate. The folic acid is through fermentation. Why the difference in words? That was my question too! Here is why:

        Because we have a nutrition label, we are regulated by the FDA which has the rule that we must declare the exact % of 4 vitamins/minerals. [Here is the code:

        In order to do that, we have to have those values consistent across the board for every batch/bottle.

        So each batch is topped off with a tiny bit of folic acid (through fermentation). The amount of the “tiny bit” will vary, depending on how much folate is already naturally occurring in each batch (because they are fruits & veggies, and thus natural, they vary depending on growing conditions, etc.).

        So the amount of folic acid is tiny, and is only there to top it off so we can be accurate with our % which we have to have listed on the bottle as per FDA regulations.

        Juice Plus+ is not meant to replace. It is to truly bridge the gap because most people do fall short in getting their vitamins from whole foods daily. Juice Plus+ is gluten free, contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and contains no added starch. The ingredients in Juice Plus+ Orchard, Garden and Vineyard are non-GMO. We also have Complete powder and bars that are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free (and no dairy obviously).

        Thank you for the opportunity to share from my perspective. Be well! =)

    • I checked out the Juice Plus website provided & can’t find the word organic anywhere, also, the ingredients: citric acid, ascorbic acid, lactic acid, folic acid, maltodextrin are usually derived from GMO corn. Check out the corn allergy list online.

  6. I have been taking Rainbow Light Prenatal One because the label says it’s a food-based multivitamin. It lists the vitamin name (Vitamin B-6) and the chemical name (as Pyridoxine) and that particular one is listed at 600% DV. Then at the bottom it says Other Ingredients (natural mineral and vegetable source): microcrystalline, cellulose, stearic acid, modified cellulose, silica. I originally thought that this was a good brand based on the fact that it’s food based, but am I wrong? If so, do you know of a brand of prenatals that is better? Thanks!

  7. I have access to Standard Process and we also currently have JuicePlus+. I have never been one to swear by supplements because I have never noticed a huge difference in how I feel when taking them. I’m sure I’m lacking in important vitamins and minerals so I’d love to hear about comparisons, pros and cons of both products. Especially if you have experience with both. Thanks!

    • Hi Stacy~

      Standard Process is the industry leader when it comes to whole food concentrates. They’ve been farming their plant ingredients from their own farm in Palmyra, Wisconsin over the last 80 years! I personally have not been to the farm, but I hear that it is absolutely gorgeous.

      Plus, Royal Lee DDS- the man who started Standard Process- worked in conjunction with Weston A. Price and Francis Pottenger. These are the folks who lived, breathed and studied whole food nutrition.

      In terms of feeling a real difference with supplements, I often find that people come to me and they’re taking an “assortment” of nutrients. They might be taking a high quality nutrient (like Standard Process), but if the program isn’t aimed for success, then it can still be muddled and lacking the type of results that you really want.

      Lastly, whole food concentrates will not give your body the “boost” that we’re so used to with synthetics. I encourage low dosage over a period of time. My clients do however notice the difference when they run out. That’s when they just don’t feel the same strength in their foundation.

      Hope this helps- best wishes for you on your health journey.

      • I just looked at a Standard Process supplement yesterday to see if they had used pig ingredients in a particular supplement and found that it listed synthetic vitamins. I was shocked since I had always been told they were whole food based only. I called the company and they confirmed that they do use synthetic as well as whole food. In regards to pigs, they never used them until the mad cow disease problem. I follow what the bible says regarding what is a food to consume and pigs are not. Another problem I have with Standard process is that they don’t list that the ingredients are organic and they do not use raw ingredients. I think short term use is the only way to use these kind of supplements. Otherwise, buy a juicer and get your concentration of nutrients fresh from your own home!

        Standard Process website information:
        What is Albaplex?
        Albaplex is a kidney support supplement combining an array of whole food ingredients and targeted synthetic vitamins. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and the B vitamins niacin and pyridoxine are complemented by complex nutrition in the form of key ingredients like dried kidney bean juice, bovine liver PMG™ extract, and nutritional yeast. This combination of targeted and whole food ingredients supports the body’s detoxification and elimination functions as well as the body’s natural immune system response function.*

  8. Kristen,
    I disagree with your comments regarding Juice Plus – It is 100% whole food and the most researched product in the world with over 31 Published studies in Top peer reviewed medical journals – all 3rd party cross over clinical studies published in peer reviewed medical journals. JP+ is also the most consumed supplement in the world so not hard to sell, the research speaks for itself. The greatest part of JP+ is that it is NSF certified and very few supplements have this certification. This means that it is not only safe but what they say is in JP+ is 100% the truth. Kids get it for free and my son is 10 and has never been on an antibiotic and we are at peace since just like you did state, you can not get what you need from a vitamin. We do not have vitamin deficiencies we have whole food deficiencies and JP+ is the not to replace eating real fruits and veggies but to fill the gap. The products you listed above – not one single one of those have a single piece of research published in a peer reviewed medical journal or are NSF certified. We do love what you are saying that, whole food nutrition is key! Blessings, Karen Wiegand

  9. I can also vouch for Standard Process. I had horrific eczema all over my hands for months and nothing really helped take the problem away–not even an elimination diet or a variety of synthetic supplements. Just a few weeks into starting a Standard Process regimen, my skin rapidly cleared up. Two months later, the eczema is almost completely gone. Amazing stuff.

  10. Thank you so much for this post! For me this is very fitting as I was just reading earlier this morning on how the FBA is trying to ban natural Vitamin B folate from supplements, and using only the synthetic version, folic acid. No doubt this is yet another special interest business plan between the FDA and our synthetic pharmaceutical companies. If you would like to sign the petition to prevent this, please check it out below:

    I would also like to know if this is something we should be taking action on, as I feel it is our right to have natural vitamins and minerals that are often easier to digest and overall more beneficial to our heal than synthetics.

    Thank you for this post, extremely helpful!!

  11. Kristin,
    I have hypothyroidism and have been taking T3 and T4 for a year now. I feel a lot better once I found the appropriate dosages. When I switched to a traditional foods/ autoimmune paleo diet, my hair and eyebrows started growing back and I lost excess inflammation. However, my sex drive is simply not there. I know that I also likely have estrogen dominance and low progesterone since my mother and her whole side has that and I have a lot of symptoms. My mother, her siblings, and all of my female 1st cousins on that side have also had breast cancer, likely also related to estrogen dominance. However, I am the only one who has experienced thyroid issues before ever becoming a mother.

    What can I do to bring up my progesterone levels without resorting to creams? How can I shed excessive estrogen (Yes, Lauren, I eat my raw carrots!).

  12. i love all this advice and i have been following it for almost 2 years. unfortunately i got some vit d bloodwork done and my levels are still really low….22. it’s only a slight improvement over my last bloodwork 2 years prior. (a level of 10).

    So i’m going to supplement with D3. its frustrating because sometimes even with a good diet, help is needed.

  13. I’m definitely interested in this topic, however you lost my attention when your list of vitamin sources contained mostly animal foods, and certain excellent plant sources were not mentioned. I know not everyone sees things the same, but I’m not about to start consuming animal flesh and secretions to get my vitamins. Animals get their vitamins from plants, and that’s the same place we can get them! I’m not saying an animal’s liver doesn’t contain certain vitamins, but why would I want to contribute to violence toward innocent animals, when I can be healthy eating a plant-based diet? To consume animal foods is to add WAY more fat and cholesterol, and even protein, to your body than anyone needs. I know there are other factors to consider, like processed junk food, but too many people are overweight nowadays, and on things like high cholesterol and blood pressure medications. This is simply not necessary. I personally don’t want to have a triple bypass heart surgery, or be debilitated by a stroke when I’m older, so I choose to follow the way of eating that is associated with increased longevity and freedom from illness. People who feel the same may want to research at,,,,,,,, and many others that those websites might link you to. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

  14. I wonder about some of the ingredients used in the processing of the *Standard Process* – an appropriate name it seems – supplements, such as maltodextrin and magnesium stearate. Seems that the company has put a great deal of energy into creating solid formulas, only to have undermined their positive intentions by allowing undesirables to slip in.

  15. Do your own research on Juice Plus, folks– look at those ingredient labels and them compare them to The Synergy Company, for example. Note that on the Synergy Company’s label that asterisks indicate organic ingredients–and that the products are basically entirely organic and free of pesticides. If ever there is a time to skip ALL added sweeteners, syrups. gums, dyes, fillers, etc., it’s in your supplements!

    • just for clarification for anyone that reads this thread as I have and because this particular comment specifically addresses “organic” in regards to JuicePlus+ it is better than organic and here’s why. JuicePlus+ is NSF certified and kosher certified. These things verify that the produce contained in JuicePlus+ is #1 exactly what the label says #2 pesticide and herbicide free. Some organic produce may contain pesticide or herbicide. Non-GMO along with no presence of pesticide or herbicide is enough to say that JuicePlus+ products are better than organic. Picked at the peek of ripeness for the best quality of nutrition there is no better nutritional gap-filler. There are other good products and Standard Process from what I’ve researched so far may be one but JP+ is certainly and definitively a Best Choice. thank you for allowing my “two cents” n~

  16. But can isolated but natural nutrients in a high quality supplement, say, from Thorne Research (which I take), be so bad paired with a nourishing diet which have all the “natural counterparts”? Actually, I’ve been eating lots of the good stuff: egg yolks, seafood, lamb, liver, fclo, sauerkraut and it hasn’t done anything for my extreme fatigue, weakness, hair loss, awful skin and bad mood. But isolated and high dosage supplements makes me feel amazing.. It’s wierd isn’t it?

  17. Good morning!
    Thanks for recommending some good whole foods supplements, I’ve been waiting to get the octomega packs and the octomega protein from complete foods nutrition, they sound great and affordable, but I was doing my research online ( reviews, information about the company, etc..) and couldn’t find nothing, anything you can share…. : /

  18. Hi, I’ve been doing a lot of research on natural vs synthetic vitamins and everything I’ve read goes against one of your statements: “If there are chemical names like niacin, thiamine, or tocopherols, you’ve got a synthetic on your hand.” By that I mean that every natural vitamin has a chemical name. So, d-alpha-tocopherol is name of the natural form dl-alpha-tocopherol is the synthetic. There is a good article that compares the names of natural vs synthetic by their names, see: fyi…

  19. Hi there. I enjoyed reading your articles & comments as well. Thank you for such good infos. Currently I am taking Shaklee products. As far as I concerned, ingredient in a bottle normally comes along with other compound as well to give that synergistic effect. For instance, calcium supplement will come together with vitamin D for effective absorption, etc. Do you have experience taking shaklee products, or anybody you know? Hope to hear your feedback on this. Thank you..=)

  20. whats missing for me in the Juice Plus discussion is why their clinical research and testimonies offer evidence to the products effectiveness. I hope to shed some light on this soon.

  21. hi Kristi, I get the highest quality pharmeceutical grade supplements made in a highly respected FDA lab that is all personalized to me through a HIPAA complaint health assessment that takes in lifestyles, location, medical conditions, allergies, heredity, medications, Etc. These are all critical because certain nutrients can actually have negative results or interactions with different medications. Not only does it come up with an individual supply for me it is also packed in to am/pm strip packs to tell me when to take the supplement based on chronobiology. This HIPAA health assessment took a pharmacist/ nutritionist and a team of doctors over 17 years to develop and is all science evidence based and shows the study as to why each supplement would benefit you. I and so many have seen tremendous results! I’d love for you to check it out at you will not be disappointed you did! 🙂 have a wonderful day!!!


  22. I was going to the doctor often with all kinds of new aches and pains that could not be explained. Of course it started costing lots of money for tests and medicines that did nothing sometimes making me feel worse. At one point i was given a medication that one of the side effects said could cause sudden and fatal stomach bleeding.I called my Dr, and was told that if i worried about all the possible side effects i would never be able to take any medicine. I said (that is what i,m trying for). Everytime i asked the doctor why i felt bad all the time I was told I was just getting older. I was 45. I found a nutritionist and it changed my life. I do have to keep up on things but at 51 I feel better than I have in years.I take Standard Process suppliments and I urge anyone to try this route.I was diagnosed finally with fibromyalgia and was given anti depressants and muscle relaxers which of course i will not take. I stick to my food suppliments and couldn’t be happier or healthier.

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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