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Fast Food Market Forecast – The Subway Example of Strategic Product Positioning

The United States fast food market has seen a healthy rise in growth within the last three years which forecasts can be sustained. The fast food market is forecast to maintain its current growth expectations, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.3% for the five-year period 2005-2010. This is expected to drive the market to a value of $57.6 billion by the end of 2010. Drivers of growth include increasing numbers of Americans in the workplace, which reduces the amount of time spent on preparing meals at home. In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a value of $57.6 billion, an increase of 12.1% since 2005.

Forecast Volume

In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a volume of 37 billion transactions (Figure 1). This represents an increase of 5.3% since 2005. The CAGR of the market volume in the period 2005-2010 is predicted to be 1%.

Success Factors

Success factors for fast food franchisees will include products and marketing targeted to healthier menu selections, brand consistency, low start-up costs, franchisee support, and consumer convenience. Subway ® represents a poignant example of a fast food franchisee ready for success in the future fast food market. Their strategies transcend the fast food market and apply to many other markets and products.

SWOT Analysis

Subway sandwich shops are well positioned to leverage their strengths and address reasonable threats, weaknesses, and opportunities. The table below highlights these Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Strengths

  • Size and number stores and channels
  • Menu reflects demand for fresh, healthy and fast.
  • Use of non-traditional channels.
  • Partnering with the American Heart Association.
  • Worldwide brand recognition.
  • Customizable menu offerings.
  • Low franchisee start up costs.
  • Franchisee training is structured, brief and designed to assure rapid start-up and success.

Weaknesses

  • Décor is outdated.
  • Some franchisees are unhappy.
  • Service delivery is inconsistent from store to store.
  • Employee turnover is high.
  • No control over franchise saturation in given market areas.

Opportunities

  • Continue to Grow Global Business.
  • Update décor to encourage more dine-in business.
  • Improve Customer Service Model.
  • Continue to expand channel opportunities to include event wagons.
  • Improve franchisee relations.
  • Experiment with drive-through business.
  • Expand packaged dessert offerings.
  • Continue to revise and refresh menu offerings.
  • Develop more partnerships with movie producers and toy manufacturers to promote new movie releases through children’s menu packaging and co-branding opportunities.

Threats

  • Franchisee unrest or litigation.
  • Food contamination (spinach).
  • Competition.
  • Interest Costs.
  • Economic downturn.
  • Sabotage.
  • Law Suits.

Competitive Analysis

Subway is not without competitive pressures. Chief competitors include Yum! Brands, McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Yum! Brands are the world’s largest, with 33,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. Four of the company’s highly recognizable brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and Taco Bell, are global leaders of the Mexican, chicken, pizza, quick-service seafood categories. Yum! has a workforce of 272,000 employees and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

McDonald’s Corporation (McDonald’s) is the world’s largest foodservice retailing chain with 31,000 fast-food restaurants in 119 countries. The company also operates restaurants under the brand names ‘The Boston Market’ and ‘Chipotle Mexican Grill’. McDonalds operates largely in the US and the UK and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois employing 447,000 people.

Wendy’s International (Wendy’s) operates three chains of fast food restaurants: Wendy’s (the third largest burger chain in the world), Tim Horton’s, and Baja Fresh. Wendy’s operates over 9700 restaurants in 20 countries, has been included in Fortune magazine’s list of top 500 US companies, is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, and employs about 57,000 people.

Jack in the Box owns, operates, and franchises Jack in the Box quick-service hamburger restaurants and Qdoba Mexican Grill fast-casual restaurants and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Target Markets

The increase in sales of the sandwiches has been a result of decreases in consumer interest in hamburgers and fries and increases in demand for healthier options. Sales of sandwiches are growing 15 percent annually, outpacing the 3 percent sales growth rate for burgers and steaks.

Current Marketing Program

A new breed of restaurant is making big gains against the market-saturated hamburger establishments. Termed “fast-casual,” these restaurants are dominated by Mexican chains, and sandwich restaurants offering fresh-baked breads and specialty sandwiches.

Responding to evolving consumer expectations for health, fresh, custom-made sandwiches; Subway’s marketing program addresses these expectations through a number of approaches. The most notable were the television commercials featuring Jared. These commercials emphasize the healthy aspects of a Subway sandwich by highlighting the 245 pounds Jared lost by eating a Subway sandwich diet. Subway also markets through a national sponsorship in events such as American Heart Association Heart Walks and local events such as triathlons, and children’s sports teams.

The Subway example represents marketing and product strategies that are classic examples of focusing on market demand, consumer trends, product leveraging, and innovation. The marketing strategies of creating clear brand recognition, brand and product association, and market demands, have strategically positioned Subway to advance market share into the near future. These marketing strategies are also repeatable fundamental marketing strategies transcending the fast food market. Does your marketing strategy bind brand recognition to products that support your market’s future direction?

Food Allergy – The Body’s Cry For Help

If you often feel bloated, tired, or not so good after a meal; if you gave frequent have stomach pains, cramps, or bowel problems; if you have strong food cravings or food dislikes; if you experience a collection of symptoms that you just cannot explain, or sometimes become more anxious, irritable, or depressed f you may be suffering from food allergy.

Allergy has reached epidemic, proportions, and it has been estimated that at this rate, half of Europe will have allergies in a few years. Food allergies are of particular concern, as they are now being recognized as a factor in many health problems and diseases, especially in children.

Many scientists and health practitioners believe that a poor diet and the sheer quantity of toxins that are now present in our food are major factors in this unprecedented rise in the number and severity of allergies over the last decades.

When Food Harms Instead of Helping

Much of our food is over-processes and treated with toxins all the way from production to sale. Instead of being a major source of true health and resilience, therefore, the food we eat can actually undermine our body’s ability to deal effectively with daily stresses, and to clear out the toxins that assault us from all sides. No wonder that more and more of our bodies are reacting with food allergies.

Food allergies not only harm our bodies (and our minds), they also prevent us from deriving the full nutritional benefits from the healthful foods we do eat. By causing damage to our digestive systems, they can prevent complete breakdown of foods into essential nutrients, and interfere with the body’s ability to properly absorb what nutrients are available. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, even though you might be eating lots of good food.

Another problem is that food allergies can restrict your ability to eat the foods you need. A diverse diet offers maximum assurance that you are getting the nutrients you need, but if you live in fear of a reaction, you might find yourself limiting your diet more than you need to. For instance, a person with an allergy to swiss chard or silverbeet might eliminate all greens from their diet, when really, they might only be reacting to a particular chemical found in plants of the ‘beet’ genus. By eliminating all greens, this person is losing many health-giving properties of greens, which are outstanding sources of chlorophyll, calcium and magnesium.

Allergenic foods

An allergenic or reactive food is one that causes an allergic reaction, such as hives, wheezing, stomach cramps or stuffy nose. The foods that tend to be most highly allergenic (especially to children) are: milk wheat corn sugar soy nuts eggs.

Other highly reactive foods are: oats, yeasts, chocolate, seafood, beef and citrus.

However, you can develop an intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to any food. The degree of sensitivity to a food depends on your tolerance ‘threshold’ for that food. You might be able to eat small amounts of a food, but react to larger amounts. Or some foods may be eaten without reaction once in a while, but not more frequently.

In fact, you may not be reacting to the specific food, but to one of more of the components of that food. It might surprise you to learn that the most common problematic substances are the vitamins and minerals in foods. They can cause us to have allergic reactions to many foods we eat on a daily basis. Other major causes of food allergy are food additives, sulphur, pesticides, biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Symptoms of Food Allergy

There are many warning signs that indicate that you might have a food allergy: dark circles under the eyes, frequent sniffing or throat-clearing, irritability, moodiness, hyperactivity, or frequent fatigue. Other signs may include headaches, stomach aches, bowel problems, muscle pain, coughing or wheezing, and frequent digestive or respiratory problems. Symptoms vary from person to person. Common signs of food allergy include the following:

Digestive problems – Reactions to food allergens can damage to walls lining the digestive tract, and also disrupt the balance of hormones and chemicals needed for proper digestion and elimination. This can lead to problems such as Leaky Gut syndrome, where the walls of the small intestine leak partially-digested food into the blood stream. This can lead to bloating, stomach cramps and inflammation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, autoimmune and immune deficiency diseases, and many other problems.

Blocked airways – Food allergens are responsible for excess mucus in many allergic people, leading to chronic blocked noses, and mucuosy throats – as well as ear infections. Babies have very small upper airways and it takes very little to block them. When the allergens are removed from the diet, the mucus dries up.

Middle Ear infections – Over 70% of children suffer from middle ear infection at some time or other, and it believed by many researchers to arise from food allergies, particularly to milk and wheat. One study reported that 78% of the children with otitis showed allergies milk, wheat, egg white, peanuts, and soy, and when these foods were eliminated from their diet, 86% experienced significant improvement.

Psychological or emotional problems – Food allergies have been clearly linked to a range of psychological and behavior disorders such as autism and hyperactivity in children, anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, mood swings, and ‘fogginess’.

Food addictions – If you are addicted to a food, you are probably allergic to it. This is because allergic reactions in the body trigger the release of certain chemicals, among them, opioids, which make you feel good. If you feel happier when you eat that food, you can develop a craving for it.

Types of Food Allergies

If you are allergic to a food, you can experience either an immediate or a delayed reaction to food. The immediate reaction pattern is referred to as Type l food allergy. Immediately or within a short time after eating the food, you show clear and often dramatic symptoms. If you are allergic to fungus, you might develop abdominal cramps within an hour of eating a ragout containing mushrooms. A child with a type 1 reaction to kiwi fruit might experience severe itching in the mouth or vomiting within 15 minutes of eating a kiwi fruit.

The most dangerous Type l reaction is called anaphylaxis – a severe reaction that can be fatal within minutes. If you or your child experiences light-headedness), swollen tongue or throat, difficulty breathing, fainting or facial swelling immediately after eating food, seek immediate emergency care.

Type l food allergies are easy to diagnose. They respond to allergy skin tests, and show up on blood tests because they result in an excess of IgE antibodies. For many doctors, this is the only kind of real food allergy. Recent estimates show that that Type l food allergies occur in between 3-5 % (sometimes to 8%) of children, and in 1-2 % of adults.

Type ll food allergy does not involve IgE antibodies. Instead, IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies may be produced. This reaction pattern is associated with the release of inflammatory substances by the immune system. Many food allergies are of this type, therefore, they are not detected by standard allergy tests, which usually only test for the IgE antibodies.

Some reactive patterns are ‘hidden’. Delayed patterns of food allergy (referred to as Type lll food allergy) often go unrecognized because the symptoms are not usually obvious, and may occur days after the food is eaten. Also, since they do not involve the production of excess IgE antibodies, delayed allergy reactions to not show up on skin tests or IgE antibody tests. Rather, they tend to show up as clusters of physical, behavioral and learning problems affecting several body systems at once.

You may experience Type lll allergy as a combination of recurring or persistent symptoms such as breathlessness, frequent clearing of throat, episodes of hyperactivity and emotional hypersensitivity, chronic stuffy nose, and frequent flu-like symptoms. Another person may experience recurring headaches, frequent itching of the eyes, abdominal pains, fatigue, bouts of depression, sleep problems, and swelling of the lymph nodes. These delayed reaction patterns of food allergy are difficult to diagnose. Yet according to many health practitioners, they account for the majority of food allergies, especially in children.

In fact, food allergies are so common – and still so frequently undiagnosed – that you should take any undefined pattern of illness that involves different symptoms and different body symptoms as a sign of food allergy until proven otherwise.

Treatment

It used to be accepted that children outgrew food allergies, and adults sometime report the same, but we now that allergies just evolve and change over time. For instance, allergies to milk or eggs can evolve into respiratory or other allergies, or as various health problems. For true healing to occur, the underlying allergies must be addressed.

The most common treatment for food allergies is avoidance. This will relieved the symptoms and prevent further damage; however, it can mean a lifetime of restrictive diets.

There is some evidence that eating organic foods can decrease the incidence or severity of allergic reactions to food, and may even help protect against allergic reactions. Organic foods provide more of the quality nutrients needed to build up the immune system, which is always weak in those with allergies. Certainly, a diet high in organic foods decreases the chances of developing allergies to food additives and pesticides, and can reduce the incidence of allergies.

However, if you already have food allergies, the damage they have already caused still needs to be corrected.

The best solution to food allergies is desensitization. There are different treatment options available, some of them immunizing the body to allergens with extracts taken under the tongue or injections. Acupuncture has also been shown effective in treating some allergies. The problem is that these therapies may not address the underlying health issues, such as nutrient deficiencies, toxin overload or stress, that caused food allergies in the first place.

For a real solution to food allergies, choose a program that involves detoxification to clear the body of toxins that contribute to allergies, corrects other underlying health problems, and desensitizes you to the allergens that are affecting you.

Once the food allergies are under control or eliminated, it is important that you obtain solid nutritional advice to help you maintain and build the health of your immune system. If you don’t eat enough of the right foods, or eat too much of the wrong foods, you are at risk of developing new allergies or other problems. A good diet is still your best protection.

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

Allowing Students to Choose Physical Education Activities: The New And Advantageous Way To Teach

Imagine, it’s 11 AM and you are in high school. You just finished your second class of the day and you are heading towards the gymnasium. During this three minute walk towards the gymnasium you stop and talk to your friends, say hi to an old teacher, and try and come up with a good excuse to get out of playing softball today. You hate softball and are even more upset because you are forced to play this game by your teacher. You arrive to class with a poor excuse and are forced to change for class. You go into the locker room, change for class, and walk into the gym dismayed at the fact that yet another day in physical education is spent doing something you don’t enjoy.

This is a thought running through many average teenager’s minds on an every day basis. Many students do not like what they are learning in physical education and refuse to participate in something they have no interest in. Many teachers are content with allowing students to sit out or just stand around during class and let it affect their grade. Is this doing any good? Is the job of a teacher really getting done? Absolutely not, the job of a teacher, specifically a Physical education teacher, is to teach students different healthy and active things they can do as a part of their lifetime fitness. Of course they are their to get their “required fitness time” in, but are they really doing anything about their fitness as they sit and watch half the class play a game they do not like? Are teachers helping fight the growing obesity rates by allowing students to not participate and let their grade suffer?

The solution to fighting the plague of students sitting out of physical education is adopting the style of Elective Physical Education. Elective Physical Education is exactly what it sounds like it is, Elective. The students get to choose which activity they want to participate in for that specific unit. The teachers get together and lay out a certain amount of different activities that the students can choose from to participate in during that time period. Then on the first day of each unit, the activities are all explained and the students choose which activity they will participate in. Now instead of students feeling forced into participating in something they do not enjoy, they have a choice of what they want to do, and what they will actively participate in.

There is a concern about how to make sure a broad variety of activities are covered by each student and to make sure they get proper exposure to different skills, athletic events, and fitness techniques. Each unit should have a specific theme such as team sports, individual sports, lifetime fitness, cardiovascular fitness, leisure activities and much more. By laying out multiple choices within each unit allows for teachers to maximize time on task. Students will be more involved in the lesson, and teachers will spend less time trying to get everyone involved.

A major emphasis should be put on allowing the student to find something he or she likes and getting them involved. This is especially important when talking about lifetime fitness activities because this is where our teaching is going to affect the student the most. If every student can attend a class that they enjoy participating in and gain a new found love for a lifetime fitness activity, then as Physical Education teachers we have done our job in helping to keep our population healthy and active.

Social figure heads, such as First Lady Michelle Obama, have taken it into their own hands to help fight obesity in the United States. The first lady conducted a fitness day in which hundreds of students joined her in participating in a physical activity to help fight obesity. It is in using Elective Physical education that this can really make an impact on fighting obesity. We want every student to learn about how to stay healthy and how activity can help burn calories and keep them in a healthy physical shape. For one specific unit each activity can focus on checking one’s heart rate, calculating calories burned per class, and measuring other health factors that are important to our physical fitness. Many students think that the only way to burn calories is to walk or run around the block. They need to be shown that while playing tennis they burn so many calories, or while they participate in expressive dance their heart rate reaches eighty percent of their maximum heart rate. Showing students that while participating in a variety of activities can be beneficial to their health is very important. Allowing the students to choose the activity is even more important because they will then have an interest in this subject area and will hopefully continue to participate int his activity outside of the gymnasium at their high school.

Now imagine its 3 PM, you are getting into your moms car on the way home from school and she asks you how your day was. You tell her about the A you got back on your math test, and the project you have due in history, then you tell her about how much fun you had in physical education. You tell her it is because you got to choose the activity you are going to do for the whole week and in doing that you learned how beneficial this activity is to your health. You tell her how you can’t wait to walk to class tomorrow at 11 AM and go right back to were you left off today.

Pathological Eating Disorders and Poly-Behavioral Addiction

When considering that pathological eating disorders and their related diseases now afflict more people globally than malnutrition, some experts in the medical field are presently purporting that the world’s number one health problem is no longer heart disease or cancer, but obesity. According to the World Health Organization (June, 2005), “obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June, 2005), reports that “during the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6-19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight.”

Morbid obesity is a condition that is described as being 100lbs. or more above ideal weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. Being obese alone puts one at a much greater risk of suffering from a combination of several other metabolic factors such as having high blood pressure, being insulin resistant, and/ or having abnormal cholesterol levels that are all related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The sum is greater than the parts. Each metabolic problem is a risk for other diseases separately, but together they multiply the chances of life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, etc. Up to 30.5% of our Nations’ adults suffer from morbid obesity, and two thirds or 66% of adults are overweight measured by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. Considering that the U.S. population is now over 290,000,000, some estimate that up to 73,000,000 Americans could benefit from some type of education awareness and/ or treatment for a pathological eating disorder or food addiction. Typically, eating patterns are considered pathological problems when issues concerning weight and/ or eating habits, (e.g., overeating, under eating, binging, purging, and/ or obsessing over diets and calories, etc.) become the focus of a persons’ life, causing them to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment with related symptoms of depression and anxiety that cause significant maladaptive social and/ or occupational impairment in functioning.

We must consider that some people develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities such as eating that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction. Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality disorders that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one cannot stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Lienard and Vamecq (2004) have proposed an “auto-addictive” hypothesis for pathological eating disorders. They report that, “eating disorders are associated with abnormal levels of endorphins and share clinical similarities with psychoactive drug abuse. The key role of endorphins has recently been demonstrated in animals with regard to certain aspects of normal, pathological and experimental eating habits (food restriction combined with stress, loco-motor hyperactivity).” They report that the “pathological management of eating disorders may lead to two extreme situations: the absence of ingestion (anorexia) and excessive ingestion (bulimia).”

Co-morbidity & Mortality

Addictions and other mental disorders as a rule do not develop in isolation. The National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) that sampled the entire U.S. population in 1994, found that among non-institutionalized American male and female adolescents and adults (ages 15-54), roughly 50% had a diagnosable Axis I mental disorder at some time in their lives. This survey’s results indicated that 35% of males will at some time in their lives have abused substances to the point of qualifying for a mental disorder diagnosis, and nearly 25% of women will have qualified for a serious mood disorder (mostly major depression). A significant finding of note from the NCS study was the widespread occurrence of co-morbidity among diagnosed disorders. It specifically found that 56% of the respondents with a history of at least one disorder also had two or more additional disorders. These persons with a history of three or more co-morbid disorders were estimated to be one-sixth of the U.S. population, or some 43 million people (Kessler, 1994).

McGinnis and Foege, (1994) report that, “the most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400,000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300,000), alcohol (100,000), microbial agents (90,000), toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicles (25,000), and illicit use of drugs (20,000). Acknowledging that the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality was risky behavior lifestyles, the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force set out to research behavioral counseling interventions in health care settings (Williams & Wilkins, 1996).

Poor Prognosis

We have come to realize today more than any other time in history that the treatment of lifestyle diseases and addictions are often a difficult and frustrating task for all concerned. Repeated failures abound with all of the addictions, even with utilizing the most effective treatment strategies. But why do 47% of patients treated in private treatment programs (for example) relapse within the first year following treatment (Gorski,T., 2001)? Have addiction specialists become conditioned to accept failure as the norm? There are many reasons for this poor prognosis. Some would proclaim that addictions are psychosomatically- induced and maintained in a semi-balanced force field of driving and restraining multidimensional forces. Others would say that failures are due simply to a lack of self-motivation or will power. Most would agree that lifestyle behavioral addictions are serious health risks that deserve our attention, but could it possibly be that patients with multiple addictions are being under diagnosed (with a single dependence) simply due to a lack of diagnostic tools and resources that are incapable of resolving the complexity of assessing and treating a patient with multiple addictions?

Diagnostic Delineation

Thus far, the DSM-IV-TR has not delineated a diagnosis for the complexity of multiple behavioral and substance addictions. It has reserved the Poly-substance Dependence diagnosis for a person who is repeatedly using at least three groups of substances during the same 12-month period, but the criteria for this diagnosis do not involve any behavioral addiction symptoms. In the Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition’s section (DSM-IV-TR, 2000); maladaptive health behaviors (e.g., overeating, unsafe sexual practices, excessive alcohol and drug use, etc.) may be listed on Axis I only if they are significantly affecting the course of treatment of a medical or mental condition.

Since successful treatment outcomes are dependent on thorough assessments, accurate diagnoses, and comprehensive individualized treatment planning, it is no wonder that repeated rehabilitation failures and low success rates are the norm instead of the exception in the addictions field, when the latest DSM-IV-TR does not even include a diagnosis for multiple addictive behavioral disorders. Treatment clinics need to have a treatment planning system and referral network that is equipped to thoroughly assess multiple addictive and mental health disorders and related treatment needs and comprehensively provide education/ awareness, prevention strategy groups, and/ or specific addictions treatment services for individuals diagnosed with multiple addictions. Written treatment goals and objectives should be specified for each separate addiction and dimension of an individuals’ life, and the desired performance outcome or completion criteria should be specifically stated, behaviorally based (a visible activity), and measurable.

New Proposed Diagnosis

To assist in resolving the limited DSM-IV-TRs’ diagnostic capability, a multidimensional diagnosis of “Poly-behavioral Addiction,” is proposed for more accurate diagnosis leading to more effective treatment planning. This diagnosis encompasses the broadest category of addictive disorders that would include an individual manifesting a combination of substance abuse addictions, and other obsessively-compulsive behavioral addictive behavioral patterns to pathological gambling, religion, and/ or sex / pornography, etc.). Behavioral addictions are just as damaging – psychologically and socially as alcohol and drug abuse. They are comparative to other life-style diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in their behavioral manifestations, their etiologies, and their resistance to treatments. They are progressive disorders that involve obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. They are also characterized by a preoccupation with a continuous or periodic loss of control, and continuous irrational behavior in spite of adverse consequences.

Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and/ or spiritual/ religious intoxication. These various types of intoxication are produced by repeated obsessive thoughts and compulsive practices involved in pathological relationships to any mood-altering substance, person, organization, belief system, and/ or activity. The individual has an overpowering desire, need or compulsion with the presence of a tendency to intensify their adherence to these practices, and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, abstinence and withdrawal, in which there is always physical and/ or psychic dependence on the effects of this pathological relationship. In addition, there is a 12 – month period in which an individual is pathologically involved with three or more behavioral and/ or substance use addictions simultaneously, but the criteria are not met for dependence for any one addiction in particular (Slobodzien, J., 2005). In essence, Poly-behavioral addiction is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (e.g., using/ abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and/or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging, sex, and/ or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

New Proposed Theory

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System’s (ARMS) theory is a nonlinear, dynamical, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional functioning of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (e.g., family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co-morbid psychopathology), physiological states (e.g., physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (e.g., self-efficacy, cravings, motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectancies), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual’s behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions.

The ARMS hypothesis purports that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual’s develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual’s addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate for the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions, (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual’s primary addiction. The ARMS’ theory proclaims that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each one of an individual’s life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.

The ARMS acknowledges the complexity and unpredictable nature of lifestyle addictions following the commitment of an individual to accept assistance with changing their lifestyles. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984) is supported as a model of motivation, incorporating five stages of readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The ARMS theory supports the constructs of self-efficacy and social networking as outcome predictors of future behavior across a wide variety of lifestyle risk factors (Bandura, 1977). The Relapse Prevention cognitive-behavioral approach (Marlatt, 1985) with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations for relapse is also supported within the ARMS theory.

The ARMS continues to promote Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Food Addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain outcome effectiveness. The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant’s social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S, 1999) and (Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M., 1997). In addition, AA’s approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (NIAAA, June 2005).

Treatment Progress Dimensions

The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition”, has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing the totality of the individual in his or her life situation. This includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual, as well as external relationships of the individual to the family and larger social groups. Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual’s functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Real progress however, requires appropriate interventions and motivating strategies for every dimension of an individual’s life.

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) has identified the following seven treatment progress areas (dimensions) in an effort to: (1) assist clinicians with identifying additional motivational techniques that can increase an individual’s awareness to make progress: (2) measure within treatment progress, and (3) measure after treatment outcome effectiveness:

PD- 1. Abstinence/ Relapse: Progress Dimension

PD- 2. Bio-medical/ Physical: Progress Dimension

PD- 3. Mental/ Emotional: Progress Dimension

PD- 4. Social/ Cultural: Progress Dimension

PD- 5. Educational/ Occupational: Progress Dimension

PD- 6. Attitude/ Behavioral: Progress Dimension

PD- 7. Spirituality/ Religious: Progress Dimension

Considering that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the ARMS philosophy promotes that positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with “The Higher Power,” that spiritually elevates and connects an individuals’ multiple life functioning dimensions by reducing chaos and increasing resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity.

Addictions Recovery Measurement – Subsystems

Since chronic lifestyle diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, drug and behavioral addictions cannot be cured, but only managed – how should we effectively manage poly-behavioral addiction?

The Addiction Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) is proposed utilizing a multidimensional integrative assessment, treatment planning, treatment progress, and treatment outcome measurement tracking system that facilitates rapid and accurate recognition and evaluation of an individual’s comprehensive life-functioning progress dimensions. The “ARMS”- systematically, methodically, interactively, & spiritually combines the following five versatile subsystems that may be utilized individually or incorporated together:

1) The Prognostication System – composed of twelve screening instruments developed to evaluate an individual’s total life-functioning dimensions for a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment for an objective 5-Axis diagnosis with a point-based Global Assessment of Functioning score;

2) The Target Intervention System – that includes the Target Intervention Measure (TIM) and Target Progress Reports (A) & (B), for individualized goal-specific treatment planning;

3) The Progress Point System – a standardized performance-based motivational recovery point system utilized to produce in-treatment progress reports on six life-functioning individual dimensions;

4) The Multidimensional Tracking System – with its Tracking Team Surveys (A) & (B), along with the ARMS Discharge criteria guidelines utilizes a multidisciplinary tracking team to assist with discharge planning; and

5) The Treatment Outcome Measurement System – that utilizes the following two measurement instruments: (a) The Treatment Outcome Measure (TOM); and (b) the Global Assessment of Progress (GAP), to assist with aftercare treatment planning.

National Movement

With the end of the Cold War, the threat of a world nuclear war has diminished considerably. It may be hard to imagine that in the end, comedians may be exploiting the humor in the fact that it wasn’t nuclear warheads, but “French fries” that annihilated the human race. On a more serious note, lifestyle diseases and addictions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, yet brief preventive behavioral assessments and counseling interventions are under-utilized in health care settings (Whitlock, 2002).

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that effective behavioral counseling interventions that address personal health practices hold greater promise for improving overall health than many secondary preventive measures, such as routine screening for early disease (USPSTF, 1996). Common health-promoting behaviors include healthy diet, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, appropriate alcohol/ medication use, and responsible sexual practices to include use of condoms and contraceptives.

350 national organizations and 250 State public health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2010” program. This national initiative recommends that primary care clinicians utilize clinical preventive assessments and brief behavioral counseling for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lifestyle disease and addiction indicators for all patients’ upon every healthcare visit.

Partnerships and coordination among service providers, government departments, and community organizations in providing treatment programs are a necessity in addressing the multi-task solution to poly-behavioral addiction. I encourage you to support the mental health and addiction programs in America, and hope that the (ARMS) resources can assist you to personally fight the War on pathological eating disorders within poly-behavioral addiction.

For more info see:

Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System,

By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC at:

[http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral-Addictions.html]

Food Addicts Anonymous: http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/

References

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,

Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 787 & p. 731.

American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the

Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition,. Retrieved, June 18, 2005, from:

http://www.asam.org/

Bandura, A. (1977), Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review,

84, 191-215.

Brownell, K. D., Marlatt, G. A., Lichtenstein, E., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). Understanding and preventing relapse. American Psychologist, 41, 765-782.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/

Gorski, T. (2001), Relapse Prevention In The Managed Care Environment. GORSKI-CENAPS Web

Healthy People 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/

Publications. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.tgorski.com

Lienard, J. & Vamecq, J. (2004), Presse Med, Oct 23;33(18 Suppl):33-40.

Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Relapse prevention: Theoretical rationale and overview of the model. In G. A.

Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention (pp. 250-280). New York: Guilford Press.

McGinnis JM, Foege WH (1994). Actual causes of death in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201

Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S.; Moos, R.H.; and Finney, J.W (1999). Do enhanced friendship networks and active coping mediate the effect of self-help groups on substance abuse? Ann Behav Med 21(1):54-60.

Kessler, R.C., McGonagle, K.A., Zhao, S., Nelson, C.B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., Wittchen, H. H,-U, & Kendler, K.S. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United

States: Results from the national co morbidity survey. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 51, 8-19.

Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M (1997). Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. J Consult Clin Psychol 65(5):768-777.

Orford, J. (1985). Excessive appetites: A psychological view of addiction. New York: Wiley.

Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1984). The transtheoretical approach: Crossing the boundaries of therapy. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Slobodzien, J. (2005). Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), Booklocker.com, Inc., p. 5.

Whitlock, E.P. (1996). Evaluating Primary Care Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach. Am J Prev Med 2002;22(4): 267-84.Williams & Wilkins. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.

World Health Organization, (WHO). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/

Healthy Eating Tips Which You Must Follow

“Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy” – this is a common saying and it is very unlikely if you have not heard it in your lifetime. Every one of us wants to stay healthy. To maintain a healthy life, we need healthy diet too. Without having a healthy diet, we may not even survive too long. But healthy eating style does not necessarily mean a boring diet. On the contrary, you can add a great variety in your healthy diet and enjoy its delicious flavor.

Practically, there is no secret about healthy eating. This should be a perfect blend of variety, balance and regulation. Additionally, you need to promote healthy lifestyle in terms of maintaining few useful strategies such as not smoking, minimum level of alcohol consumption, and stress management. In this article, we will explore few great healthy eating tips that can keep you healthy without compromising your taste-buds.

Add fish meals at least twice a week

Typically fish is a ‘must-have’ inclusion in healthy eating tips. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. If you take at least 2 fish meals in a week, it offers you a great health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, cardiac problems, and lowering cholesterol level.

Omega-3 fatty acids can not be produced by our body. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in decreasing cardiac problems, reducing high blood pressure, reducing the risk of arthritis, regulating abnormal heart rhythms, and promoting healthy brain function.

Add varied lean red meat meals several times a week

While considering healthy eating tips, a special emphasis must be given on lean red meat meals. You may have this meal several times a week. If you are a vegetarian, you must have legume or nuts daily in your diet. If you do not have it or its alternatives in your daily diet, it means you are lacking the required supply of iron and zinc. These are the essential minerals that can keep your brain healthy and active.

Add vegetables and fruits in daily diet

Vegetables and fruits are great source of dietary fiber. We need dietary fiber in our daily diet. It helps us not getting constipated. Additionally, it has other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol level, regulating glucose level and reducing the risk of cardiac problems. Remember it as an important ingredient of healthy eating tips.

Avoid eating in heavy volume

This is one of the important healthy eating tips that you probably should not avoid. Different scientific studies confirm that if you take your food in frequent segments rather than having it in bulk at a given time, it promotes healthy metabolism. That means, if you supply low amount of foods in different periods of time in a day, you actually help you metabolic system to function more efficiently. Hence, it lowers the risk of accumulated fat in the body and allows you to stay fat-free and healthy.

Drink plenty amount of water

‘Water is life’ and possibly there is no one on the face of earth who can deny the fact. Every one knows the health benefits of water. This is an essential part of healthy eating tips.

Almost 2/3rds part of our body is made up of water. Our blood contains 83% water, our muscles contain 75% water, our brain consists of 74% water and bone contains 22% water. Literally, the benefits we receive from drinking water are countless. Water is essential to absorb vitamins and nutrients in the blood stream. It also promotes the detoxification process by carrying out the bodily wastages from the body. Apart from that, it helps keep skin glowing and healthy. You should drink 5-6 liters of water daily to keep your system clean and healthy.

Exercise, Exercise and More Exercise

Although not directly belongs to the area of healthy eating tips, but if you wish to maintain a life in a healthy fashion, doing regular exercise has no other alternatives. You need to follow a daily schedule for exercise along with healthy diets to keep yourself fit and steady.

What is a Holistic Health Practitioner? (HHP)

“Holistic” is derived from the Greek word holos which means “whole”. And so the aim of a holistic health practitioner is to focus not on disease, but rather mind, body, emotional and spiritual wellness. The difference between what an Allopathic, conventional professional does and what a holistic practitioner does is simple to explain. Orthodox, allopathic medicine has its focus on treating the symptoms of disease whereas holistic therapies focus on preventing or getting to the cause of illness. The one treats sections or parts of the body whereas the latter treats the person as a whole; proper nutrition, healthy mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of self.

A holistic practitioner uses non-invasive, drugless healing methods to help facilitate in bringing a state of homeostasis to the client. The great benefit about being a holistic health practitioner is that you can never get bored of your practice because there are numerous methods in holistic medicine that aim at focusing on the whole person. It is an enjoyable process to keep adding to your knowledge base. Some of the methods used depending upon credentials; acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition, self care, energy medicine, spiritual counseling, Reiki, meditation, sauna therapy, catalytic herbs, Chinese herbal medicine, hair analysis, using ancient wisdom principles, power of intention, quantum physics, brain reprogramming to name a few.

A holistic practitioner understands that the body has an innate capacity and intelligence to heal when given the proper tools – exercise, inner reflection, nutrition, rest and social interaction. When holistic medicine is used in conjunction with conventional, allopathic medicine, we normally call that Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

The key is to be able to balance the body – mind – spirit connection by integrating practices from all of these standpoints. Holistic health emphasizes prevention, health maintenance, longevity and wellness. A practitioner in a sense, also becomes an intuitive life coach, addressing the clients entire world including family, job, health and spiritual needs. A holistic practitioner knows that the client is fully responsible for their own healing and views them as an active participant in the healing process.

Allopathic medicine is reactive whereas holistic is proactive. Holistic medicine works best for prevention of disease as well as relieving and getting to the cause of chronic disease. A practitioner can check for toxicity levels and set a plan in place to help the body help itself by gently removing the toxins and then employing an entire program to help build the immune system.

What do holistic health practitioners find themselves doing once they complete a holistic health practitioner program? The ideas and opportunities are endless; from manufacturing or formulating nutritional supplements to holding health seminars, tele-classes, writing articles, books or workbooks, or educating others, owning their own business or consulting practice – you can see the list is endless depending upon how creative you want to get. The great thing about HHP’s is that they can successfully work from home and create their own hours, as well as cost per client session.

If you are interested in enrolling in a home study, correspondence HHP program and would like to apply for board certification as an HHP through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, consider taking a look at our HHP preset programs or choose five courses to create and build your own HHP program. Visit here to browse our Natural Health, Energy Healing and Spiritual Counseling programs http://www.holistichealersacademy.com.

5 Advantages of a Home Made Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream is one of the worlds’ favorite comfort foods. It just seems to make everything better, don’t you agree? You can mix it with fruits, custard, wafers, chocolates, nuts, brownies, cheeses and other stuff that people like, to give it different wonderful flavors. There are even eccentric flavors such as squid, wasabi, chicken, and bacon! Ice cream has been enjoyed by the elite from as early as second century B.C., and as its goodness became known, more and more people hungered after it which gave birth to its massive production in the 1800s.

Surprisingly, not a lot of people know that you don’t have to look for a gelateria or sherbet shop every time you want some dessert. Through developments in technology, you can now make your own frozen dessert according to your tastes. Ice cream makers are available in the market and can be purchased in almost any appliance shops or online store. Some think that these machines are expensive but the truth is they have many advantages that can outweigh their prices.

  1. One of the main advantages of having a homemade ice cream maker is the ability to create healthy desserts anytime. Unexpected guests may always visit one’s home and it can be a real treat to serve them delicious homemade desserts such as sorbets, sherbert and yogurt. You can always lug one of these over to a friend’s house to have an impromptu party, as most of them can be easily cleaned and stored after without hassle.
  2. Another good thing about these machines is that they can be used to make different ice cream flavors effortlessly. Right after you create one mix, you can go ahead and pour it into a freezer bowl and make another one. Even a cheaper model can make tons of flavors since most of these machines can create desserts in as little as 20 minutes.
  3. Aside from portability and ease of use, the homemade stuff is healthier than most frozen desserts bought in the store. You may not be so sure whether the ice cream that you are about to buy from the grocery has been defrosted and frozen back several times which can lose its flavor and health benefits. Having a homemade ice cream maker gives you the option to create your own flavor and to put ingredients which you think are beneficial to you.
  4. If you are looking for a quality machine for a fraction of the price, you may also look into buying a durable ice cream maker online. A durable one can last a long time and it can be very good investment if you are planning to use it very often. Some of the trusted brands in the market are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Lello and KitchenAid. They can be easily purchased online where you can also read feedback from users so you can assess if their features are apt for your needs.
  5. Last but not the least, having a homemade ice cream maker saves you time than going out and looking for the flavor that you want. You do not need to be a professional to create new flavors. All you need to do is to look for a recipe and gather all the ingredients and you can make as much ice cream as you want.

Making healthy desserts should not be too hard if you have all the things that you need. Whether you have a pricey ice cream maker or a cheaper model, enjoying healthy desserts is always possible at the comfort of your own home.

Trivita Products – Real Value or Overpriced Hoopla?

Trivita Products…you mean to tell me that there’s more to Trivita health and wellness products than Nopalea? Actually, Nopalea is the spanking new star product from the already more than 10-year-old company TriVita, founded in 1999 CEO Michael Ellison, a company which has an additional 24 products listed on the company website.

Before we examine what kind of quality and value Trivita is offering in the health and wellness industry, let’s take a look at precisely WHAT kinds of products they are offering. The company website allows you to sort through the Trivita products in two ways – by category and by health concern. I found this to be very beneficial since they have 25 products that all address different health issues. The categories are:

  • foundational nutrition
  • targeted nutrition
  • weight loss and
  • children’s.

If you choose to sort Trivita products via the “sort by health concern” tab, it will present the following list for you to choose from:

  • healthy blood sugar
  • children’s
  • detoxification
  • healthy bones
  • joint care
  • your daily foundation
  • energy, stamina and recovery
  • healthy heart
  • healthy immunity system
  • men’s health
  • mind, memory and mood
  • pain and inflammation relief
  • sleep
  • stress relief
  • vision
  • weight loss
  • women’s health

Considering the list above, it looks as if Trivita products cover a pretty broad range of health concerns for most individuals, and maybe even some that you might not have thought you could find a supplement for. So what are these 24 products that complete the Trivita product line along with the new Sonoran Bloom Nopalea? To simplify things, I’m going to list them by category, and they are as follows:

Foundational Nutrition:

  • HCY Guard®
  • OmegaPrime®
  • Sublingual B-12 and Super Sublingual B-12
  • VitaDaily AM/PM™
  • Vital C
  • Wellavoh®

Targeted Nutrition:

  • Adaptogen 10 Plus®
  • Balanced Woman
  • Bone Growth Factor
  • CoEnzyme Q-10
  • Energy Now!
  • GlucoManage®
  • Joint Complex
  • Nopalea™
  • Peaceful Sleep™
  • Prostate Health Formula™
  • Quick-Relief™ Gel
  • Super Antioxidant Complex™
  • VisionGuard™
  • VitaCal-Mag D

Weight Loss:

  • Leanology® Appetite Control
  • Leanology® Nutritional Shake
  • Leanology® Weight Loss Capsules

Children’s:

  • TriVita® Kids Multi-Vitamin

Alright, it appears as if there are many cool Trivita products, but the important question here is: are they quality products with real value, or are they simply the same kinds of products that you’d expect to find in Walmart or Costco, only they come with a bigger price tag attached? That is typically one of the first questions that people ask whether they’re considering the company as a customer or as a network marketer. So let’s examine the claims Trivita makes that makes their health and wellness products stand out from the competition.

As for Nopalea, the new shining star of the Trivita products, it really has no competition in regards to its’ primary ingredient to speak of…yet. But what about the rest of their products? What sets them apart?

In order for them to make good on their promises to produce cutting edge quality products, Trivita developed, and claims to “rigorously follow, a strict adherence to a code of quality, integrity and innovation…called our 10 Foundational Values.” Here they are:

  • Physician-Approved Formulas
  • Unique Delivery Systems
  • Controlled Laboratory Studies
  • Purest Natural Ingredients
  • Pharmaceutical-Grade Quality
  • Third-Party Testing and Certification
  • Quality-Controlled Packaging and Production
  • Dedicated to Product Innovation
  • Medical Advisory Board
  • Complete 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee

The length of time that Trivita has been in business – since 1999 – speaks volumes about the quality and even the value of Trivita products. If they put out junk or a lot of products with inflated prices with no real value, they would have folded up and gone the way of scads of other health and wellness companies that have risen and fallen over the years. So the evidence would suggest that Trivita does indeed manufacture products that have value and merit.

With that conclusion being established here in this review of Trivita products, the fact still remains that if you’re building a Trivita business, having great products, although very important, in no way, shape or form guarantees your success. You can literally have the most fantastic products in the world, but if you do not understand marketing, if you do not understand how to leverage the internet like the top earners in this industry are doing, then you are doomed to join the 97% of network marketers that fail in this industry.

But it is also true that it doesn’t have to be that way. While you’re researching the mlm company you’re considering joining, make sure you do you’re research on finding a generic marketing system that you can plug into so you can start making money right away with whatever mlm company you choose to team up with. That’s really the key to mlm success…you need the whole package, and not just one aspect of it. So get busy, so your research, and make things happen!

Fine Dining – Food, Service, and Atmosphere

The term “fine dining” usually associates with an upscale restaurant that features crisp table linens and waiters in sharp black suits. And it is probably not too far from the reality. Fine dining is about food, service and atmosphere. Why do people choose upscale restaurants? There are many reasons. Some prefer the food choices. Others look for a special atmosphere. Fine restaurants offer the best at prices that are usually quite higher than at any casual restaurant.

The food at upscale restaurants always impress with its creativity and uniqueness. The menu choices are often limited but change on a daily or weekly basis. This allows the chef to express himself in a variety of courses and present the best and the finest of dishes. Also, by rotating the menu items the restaurant always serves only the freshest ingredients. Wine and liquor are always the best and pricey. One will not find cheap wine or beer there. But the choices of wine will impress even an oenophile. At fine restaurants dishes are paired up with special wines to compliment it.

Another feature that differs fine restaurants is the customer service. It is always several steps above any casual restaurant. Waiters are exceptionally trained, very polite and seem to know the wishes and desires of their patrons before being asked. Clients are courteously escorted to their table and to the restroom. The chair is held for the woman. They discretely brush off the crumbs off the table between the courses without inconveniencing the patrons. Table napkins are promptly replaced if a patron leaves the table. Explaining the menu items and make recommendations when asked. Waiters are trained to pay attention to details, no matter how insignificant they may appear.

The atmosphere is another feature that makes fine dining so different. From table linens to silverware and fine china it all says “upscale”. Colors and decor are always well picked and blend in nicely. Tables have fresh flowers as centerpieces. The music softly playing in the background is relaxing. One will not hear any rock or pop music there. Usually it’s classical or light jazz, depending on the theme of the restaurant. The lighting is subtle and cozy. A fireplace adds to the relaxing and comfortable atmosphere.

Fine dining restaurants are often booked months in advance. When patrons are well taken care of they will return and don’t mind paying extra for the comfortable atmosphere, the excellent food and the exceptional service.