Russ Marchewka is a health advocate and has devoted the last 7 years of his life to studying health and nutrition. He’s a huge nerd when it comes to reading, watching and listening about health, but most people don’t have the time. So he does the work and translates into easily digestible information that is (hopefully) fun to read.
You can read more at his blog or download his book
Russ used his passion for health and nutrition to launch the World Health Club! This is a new online shopping experience designed to change the way you think about your health and your environmental impact. Videos walk you through your entire shopping experience. They work with the best companies in each industry who provide the highest quality products, and do so with the environment in mind.
MO: How did starting a health centered blog lead you to launching an environmentally friendly nutrition supplement company?
Russ: I play professional beach volleyball. It’s an outdoor sport so there is a natural affinity to the beach, ocean and surrounding environment. While most of the players and fans proclaim to be healthy and live a healthy lifestyle, I noticed some gaping holes in nutrition philosophies based on the research I’d been doing.
I started writing a nutrition column for DiG magazine. An amazing response and engagement led me to start the online version, The Body Blog. Again, with all the great feedback, I thought it would be a good idea to approach the companies whose products I was recommending.
After recommending these companies long enough, I realized that stores and websites were profiting from my health educating efforts instead of me. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and start selling them myself. I didn’t just want to be another website peddling product though. I wanted to make a difference by promoting a healthy lifestyle and environmentalism.
The World Health Club was born. It features engaging product descriptions and videos about how and why I use each product. Just as important, I promote the companies too. I think it’s important that people know who they are buying from, and what the companies stand for. All the companies are involved in charity, health education and saving the planet
MO: Where does your passion for health and nutrition come from? What are some easy way that our readers could start taking better care of themselves today?
Russ: Simply put, I was tired of being sick all the time. As a kid and through my college years I was constantly sick and I had acne well into my twenties.
My health journey started with an internet search on how to cure my acne that none of the dermatologists could. I came across a book that told me that there wasn’t anything wrong with me other than the food I was putting in my mouth. This challenged my views, but after trying out just a few things from the book like cutting out milk and adding some omega 3s to my diet, I saw some drastic improvements.
The advice I can give is very simple to implement. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Cut your animal product intake in half (meat, eggs, dairy) and replace it with more raw fruits and vegetables. I have three top supplements to start taking right away: super greens, fish oil and a high quality multi-vitamin, multi-mineral. The 3 supplements cost you about $2.50/day and yet would make an amazing difference. In fact, cutting out the animal foods which are more expensive than fruit and veggies would pretty much pay for the supplements.
MO: Can you share some surprising or little known health related facts?
Russ: Omega 3 deficiency is actually the 5th leading cause of death in the US! The science is clear, less trans fat, less omega 6 fat and more omega 3 fats will lower your risk for disease, heart attacks and even mental disorders associated with aging.
Protein does not equal meat. There are 22 amino acids used in the human body with regularity, 10 (or 8 depending on definition) of which are deemed “essential” because we can’t make them. These 22 amino acids form over 50,000 different combinations for use around the body. There are many different plants that contain all the essential amino acids, meaning that we can be fully nourished without needing meat and dairy.
MO: Can you tell our readers a bit about the new membership program you’re launching that will be the first of its kind in the health/nutrition/supplement industry?
Russ: With pleasure! I am so excited because for the first time in the health world, people will be able to buy the best supplements and health products without checking their wallet first. Many people feel they can’t afford the best supplements so they settle for the cheaper brands which honestly, will not get them the results for which they hope. I know that’s what I used to do and what my customers constantly tell me.
Our membership program allows an individual the ability to leverage the World Health Club’s buying power. Along with our member community now you can buy the best health products for the same cost as a Whole Foods or Mother’s Market does. The typical markup on all these supplements is 100%. So if Mother’s buys it for $20, they sell it for $39.99 (Whole Foods probably sells it for more). Imagine buying it for $20…
Naturally, if you save that much money, then you’ll buy more supplements to be even healthier, right? I take a good amount of supplements now, but I don’t spend my entire budget on them anymore because I buy at wholesale. Try walking into Whole Foods and ask for a 50% discount and see what they say…
MO: Can you give us some highlights of your book, “The Winter Wellness Diet?” Is it really possible to use the cold weather to help boost metabolism?
Russ: The Inuit Eskimos in the arctic eat a diet that consists of at least 6000 calories a day in the winter. Why? It’s the only way they can live. They metabolize fat calories which are converted to heat energy. That’s how the Inuits keep their body temperatures high enough to stay alive. They eat diets extremely high in fat in order to get enough calories to convert to heat.
There are foods that you can eat and combinations of nutrients that will inspire your body to dump fat stores and produce body heat to keep you warm. Done with the right mindset, you can actually detoxify and melt the fat away all winter long while working towards that perfect summer body.
The Winter Wellness Diet is a lifestyle which you can actually eat more total food and yet lose weight and/or get healthy like never before.
MO: The Body Blog decided to “Go Green” in 2010 and only work with companies who are just as concerned about the environment and fair trade as producing a quality product. How challenging was it to create a network of like-minded suppliers and distributors?
Russ: It was really hard to turn away from companies who had been supporting me and yet weren’t in line with my new views. It was the best decision I could make though. If you want to make a difference, you have to be the difference you wish to see.
Working with companies who make it their mission to produce environmentally and socially responsible products has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.
*Guayaki’s mission is to “steward and restore 200,000 acres of the Brazilian rain forest and provide 1,000 living wage jobs” by producing organic, fair trade yerba mate tea.
*Navitas Naturals is a company that supports organic farmers all around the world by importing fair-trade super foods like cacao, maca, goji berries and acai.
*Oxylent donates to the Red Cross and intimately supports Vitamin Angels, an organization that helps get essential vitamin and mineral nutrition to millions of children throughout the world to give them a better chance at life.
*The owner of Vibrant Health isn’t at their New England office half the time because he is traveling around giving talks and presentations about healthy eating and better nutrition. They source organic and wild super foods for their super greens called Green Vibrance.
*Ascenta’s fish oils (and vegan omega 3 oils) are sustainably sourced. They have full control over their vertical supply chain of production ensuring that catch limits are adhered to and the environment is left in better shape for future generations. They are a 1% for the planet member and are powering their facility with as much renewable energy as is on the market.
How cool is it that I get to work with these companies every day?
The World Health Club has had a green mindset since inception. I coordinate our shipments to reduce our carbon footprint and ship green too. I reuse all the boxes we get and even recycle junk mail by turning it into packing material.
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