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How to Conquer Fear and Reach Your Goals

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

No fear.

Does fear hold you back? If you want to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your speed, or improve some areas of your life, then you must conquer fear. And you need a plan.

Whatever your goal may be, if you want to be successful you have to first believe in yourself and then follow a plan. Today I want to talk about letting go of fear.

Snow and ice athletes are a perfect example of people who overcome and channel their fear every day. My sister Jackie has won bobsled medals for her country. I have utmost respect for her love of the sport, and her ability to conquer fear. I’ve always supported her events, but standing in the crowd I could tangibly feel my fear coursing through my veins.

How to conquer fear in sports

Jackie believes that the fear of failure is the main thing that stops people from performing at their best. In her sport, there is a very real possibility of crashing at 80 mph, and the consequences could be dire. What makes my sister a champion is that she’s able to separate her fears into a concern for her safety and anxiety about failure. Jackie knows that she’s undertaken every safety precaution and has practiced, practiced, practiced.

Fear can promote a release of adrenaline into our bloodstream. To protect ourselves, the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism comes into play and our bodies prepare for action. In sports and other competitive environments, it’s not typically the fear of danger that creates this rush of adrenaline, but more a mix of anticipation and excitement.

Being prepared and having a plan of action will allow you to train your mind to overcome any negative emotions that are standing in your way. And you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from mental training techniques.

Jackie put aside her safety fears because she had a plan and she was committed. She was determined to use her fear to make her train and compete, rather than giving in to fear and saying goodbye to the triumph she felt each time she clocked a personal best.

How to use fear to get closer to your goals

We don’t all have to hurtle down hills to face our fears. In everyday life, there are things we might want to do but don’t because the fear of failure is too great.

Making lifestyle changes, especially those that involve weight loss and health goals, often make people feel anxious and fearful. The fear of failure or a fear of the unknown can often stop people from trying something new. Try using my three simple tips to help you conquer fear and overcome any negative emotions to turn them into success.

1: Fear assessment:
Write down a list of the worst things that could happen if you fail. This will often put things into perspective and make you realize that you should just get started on your journey. We can all be guilty of having an over-active imagination, so writing down your fears will help you assess if they are in fact valid.

2: Define your goal:
Ensure that your goals are written down and use a S.M.A R.T.1 goal-setting framework. Having a clear destination and time frame in mind will help you on days you want to quit. Clear goal setting will put you in full control of your success.

3:  Positivity training:
Write a positive affirmation and say it every day. The more you tell yourself that you can be successful, the more you will start to believe it’s true. An example from my old training diary from my athletic days is ‘I am strong, I am powerful I was born to compete at a world level.’ And from my days of trying to lose extra baby weight I wrote, ‘I will regain my pre-baby body, I am strong and focused.’

Many athletes will tell you that the mental side of sports is more important than the physical aspect. That constructed belief is one of the keys to making your dreams come true.

If you have found yourself starting and stopping over the years with your body composition goals, you may benefit from trying a new positive mental approach. Try not to let your fear of failure get in the way of your success. It’s better to try and fail than not try at all.

To end, here’s an inspirational quote from my sister in her new quest of getting back her pre-baby, athletic physique:

I’m going to think myself thin. I thought my way to two Olympic games, so I’m just going to believe I have a perfect body. Of course, I’m going to stop eating unhealthy snacks and get my butt to the gym, too.”

[1] Specific. Measured. Agreed upon. Realistic. Time-based.

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How to Make Air Travel More Interesting and Land Feeling Great

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Keeping active during a flight can enhance the adventure.

Right now I’m on a plane. I’m a long way up over the Atlantic Ocean and I’m feeling a little conflicted: I love to travel but I’m not a fan of sitting still.

I’ve been doing a lot of flying recently, and although I’ve been to some great places and met wonderful people, it still means I’ve been sitting down for long periods of time during air travel. That’s just not something my body is used to doing. In fact, I’m such a believer in keeping my body moving that I find it hard to sit still at home, too.

Related Article: A New Aproach to Being Active

How often have you seen a kid sitting still for a long time?

My constant need for movement makes me laugh, as I remind myself that I am constantly telling my kids to stop fidgeting and sit still. I’m typing this while confined to a chair and I’ve been hit by a revelation – kids have got the right idea. With all the known facts about how movement can improve your mood, it makes sense that kids are almost always happy. And it makes me wonder: should we ever be sat in one position for hours at a time? 

It’s my opinion that the human body is designed for movement. Sitting still for prolonged periods of time isn’t a great idea, especially as it can impact your circulation while also making you feel stiff and cranky. Many airlines provide an exercise sheet to encourage you to stretch and wiggle your feet to keep your circulation moving efficiently, and I encourage you to follow their instructions. Don’t feel that completing the exercise card routine once is enough – you need to listen to your body. If you’re on a long flight, then revisit the exercise card routine every couple of hours. And I suggest also adding your own moves to make sure stiffness doesn’t get a chance to build up anywhere. For instance, if you spend a lot of time reading or staring at a screen, then loosen up your neck muscles periodically. And if you fall asleep at an odd angle, then take the time to work out all the kinks systematically when you wake up.

Channel your inner child: keep on moving

Wondering about all this made me decide to do want my what body wanted – to move around. I just stepped into the aisle and stretched. And you know what? It felt wonderful. My low-key aisle aerobics were certainly worth the looks and smiles I received from fellow passengers.

I made sure not to get in anyone’s way and made the most of the small amount of space available. I’m not tall, so reaching for the ceiling felt great, and releasing the tension that had built up in my neck and shoulders was a relief. I’d say a few people were intrigued by my actions, and unfortunately everyone was too shy to join me. We are taught from a young age to sit still and not cause a fuss, but one curious passenger on my right asked a few fitness questions and I was happy to explain. I’m on a mission to inspire people to take ownership of their bodies. And if that means I also need to help people free themselves from social awkwardness, then so be it. Let’s all rid ourselves of the social awkwardness that comes hand in hand with going outside of what is considered normal.

Since returning to my seat, I’ve been daydreaming of how fun it would be if air stewards interrupted the quiet sedentary slumber with some upbeat music, combined with a few chair exercises to revitalize and energize passengers. It could even be done using the TV system, or they could do it over the intercom. I’m convinced it would spark conversations among chair partners about their views on movement or lack of it. I’m sure you have a few thoughts on whether this is a good or bad idea but, whatever you think, you know it will make for a more ‘interesting’ flight. 

Follow these tips and you’ll feel great when you land

Travel tip – Hydrate yourself often

Drink enough to stay hydrated inside and out. You may find that your skin looks better for it even after the harsh air conditioning on board. You’re also more likely to avoid a dehydration headache if you drink frequently enough to avoid ever feeling really thirsty. Drinking often will also mean that you have no choice but to move because you’ll be going to the bathroom!

Travel tip – Sit comfortably

Sitting with your back fully supported in the chair and being mindful of your posture combined with occasional lower leg, neck and shoulder stretches will ensure you get off your flight feeling refreshed and ready for action.

Travel tip – Move your body

At regular intervals throughout the air travel adventure, make sure you move. Make time to follow the exercise card if it’s provided, and embrace your inner child by fidgeting to your heart’s content.

***

When I get off a plane, I have to hit the road full steam ahead, whether I’m headed to a fitness class or home to my excited (and fidgeting) children. It’s important that my body is feeling great and I’m ready to tackle my next challenge head on. So, next time you fly, shake your shyness and move around a little! You may be surprised by how liberated you feel.

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Senior Director of Worldwide Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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All Herbalife products and nutritional/ beauty/ success advice
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Need fitness motivation? 6 tips to get and stay on track

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

15

Always have something to look forward to.

We all stray from out fitness routines from time to time. If you’re looking for some fitness motivation, let me help you get into a fit-for-life frame of mind with my positive approach to living a healthy, active lifestyle.

I know that many people are motivated when they a have a big event or vacation coming up. I also know that many people lose that initial boost of what I call event-based motivation very quickly. Some people will admit to abandoning their healthy eating and exercise plan before they even get started.

Today I want to share with you some motivational tricks to help you get focused and start working towards your personal body goals. Regardless of what season we’re in, I believe your body deserves to be well taken care of all year round. Taking the mental approach of getting fit for a lifetime is much better than just getting fit for a few weeks or a special event.

Don’t let yourself get to your special day or summer vacation and realize that you said “I’ll start my fitness plan tomorrow” one too many times. Instead, try to change your mindset and understand that today is a perfect day to get started.

3 Fitness Motivation Tips to Get Started

No tomorrow

There is no time like today to get started. Small changes add up over time and can often lead to big changes in lifestyle. So, if you’re thinking about making some changes, make one right now—write it down and implement immediately.

Say the words ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ often

The word ‘I can’t’ will often translate directly into ‘I didn’t,’ so try to redress your vocabulary with positively charged words. Set a positive intention for each day and believe that you can do it. A positive approach often leads to positive results.

Love who you are

Try not to be negative about yourself. Stop looking in the mirror and thinking, ‘I need to change.’ Even if your goal is to lose a lot of weight, it doesn’t mean you should look at your self in a negative light. The fact that you realize you need to take care of yourself is a step in the right direction.

When we tell ourselves we’re not good enough, it can spark feelings of sadness and can negatively effect our energy levels. Let’s all try to use more positive statements.

Affirmations like, ‘I’m ready to improve,’ or ‘I’m going to evolve into the best version of myself I can be’ will make it easier to keep your spirits up and motivation high.

Once you’ve mastered getting into a positive frame of mind, you’ll need to find something to help keep you motivated long-term. Fitness and nutrition is not just a quick fix. Only a long-term lifestyle change plan will keep your body positively evolving.

The reason yo-yo diets and extreme fitness plans don’t work is because they tend to have a start point and an end point. Once you stop eating well and exercising, your body negatively reacts and goes back to square one.

3 Fitness Motivation Tips for Long-Term Motivation

Find an active hobby

If you find a hobby that’s active such as doing long walks, marathons or even committing to learning something new, you’ll always have something to strive towards. Once you get involved in a hobby, especially when it involves being part of a group, it’s much easier to stay motivated and accountable to your long-term goals.

Make it a family affair

Get your family and close friends on board with your healthy, active lifestyle plan. If you all commit to eating well and getting active, it can help create strong bonds and fun times. If you feel like you want to quit, chances are that at least one family member will convince you to keep going.

Plan rewards

Put a reward system in place so that you can continually motivate yourself and others with incentives. It could be a day trip out every few moths or a shopping trip to buy a new outfit. Try to pick a reward that gets you excited, and one that you know you can afford. Hopefully your reward will inspire you to keep going on the tough days.

***

Motivation is a personal thing, and what motivates one person may not motivate another. Try to find a few motivational tricks that work for you. I try to stay away from being motivated purely by how I look. But I do understand that most people want to look good and it can be a good fitness motivation booster. Just understand that external changes take time. If you combine your ‘how I look’ with ‘how I feel,’ it’s a great way to ensure that you stay positive. With most healthy, active lifestyle plans, you’ll start to feel better long before you see visible changes. If you feel that your healthy, active plan is making you feel more confident and awake, it may inspire you to keep going.

Find ways to be positive and stay motivated. The only way you will fail on your plan is to quit, so do whatever it takes to keep yourself on track and feeling great!

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Contact Your Independent Herbalife Distributor TODAY!
All Herbalife products and nutritional/ beauty/ success advice
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Helping you enjoy a healthy, active, successful life
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Cooking With Kids: Healthy Eating Starts in the Kitchen

by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

Cooking can instill a sense of pride in kids.

Kids love to cook—and it might help them to make better food choices, too.

I think it’s fair to say that most kids—given the chance—like to spend time playing around in the kitchen. And why not? Cooking is creative and messy and fun, and it tickles all the senses. On top of that, your efforts are rewarded with something that’s (hopefully) delicious to eat. But cooking can deliver some additional benefits, too—spending time in the kitchen can help kids to develop an appreciation for healthy foods, and foster better eating habits, too.

RELATED ARTICLE: 12 smart tips for getting your kids heart healthy

The significance of this really shouldn’t be overlooked. In the last few decades, obesity and overweight rates among American kids have risen dramatically—a reflection, in part, on a diet that includes too many calories and nutrient-poor foods, and too little in the way of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich dairy products.

And eating out is a contributing factor. Meals eaten away from home are higher in calories, fat and saturated fat—and provide less calcium and fiber—than home-prepared meals. On the other hand, eating more meals at home is associated with a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, with less fat and calories.

Cooking with Kids: The Many Benefits
    • Cooking at home and eating together helps kids develop an appreciation for healthy foods. When parents serve as good role models with their food choices, kids develop a similar appreciation for healthy foods. And, the comfortable, supportive environment of home helps to reinforce these healthy behaviors.
    • Kids enjoy eating what they’ve prepared. When kids are involved in the selection of ingredients and preparation of foods, they’re more likely to try their creations.
    • They’re more likely to try new foods. Even if kids decide that they don’t particularly like what they prepared, the cooking experience will help to cultivate an open mind when it comes to trying new foods.
    • Kids derive a sense of pride and independence when they cook. Kids love to boast that “I did it all myself!” When they are able to prepare something on their own—no matter how simple—and serve it to family, it instills a sense of pride and independence. Help your kids by guiding them toward age-appropriate recipes.
    • Cooking is creative. Once kids have some basic skills and learn to follow recipes, they should be encouraged to get creative. You can start with a very simple basic recipe—for example, a smoothie made with flavored protein powder and milk—and allow them to experiment by adding different fruits, vegetables, spices or extracts. Once they’ve come up with their own recipes, many kids enjoy creating their own recipe file.
    • Cooking together can be fun, quality time. Spending time together in the kitchen can be fun and relaxing for both kids and adults. Many kids don’t need much coaxing to join you in the kitchen, so use this time to simply enjoy each other’s company and talk about how good—and good for you—your meal is going to be.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

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Contact Your Independent Herbalife Distributor TODAY!
All Herbalife products and nutritional/ beauty/ success advice
available from
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Order online NOW at: https://www.goherbalife.com/goherb
Helping you enjoy a healthy, active, successful life
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Family Fitness: Raise Healthy, Active Kids

by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA

Get active with your kids.

Whether you want to raise superstar athletes or just emphasize the importance of physical fitness in order to raise healthy, active kids, it’s never too late to get started on a family fitness journey.

There’s never been a better time to get active with your family! If you’re looking to change your children’s current lifestyle and make healthier choices, then I have six great tips that may help you get or stay on a path to raising healthy, active kids. An active lifestyle is a great family goal that can be achieved with a few creative changes.

Related Article: Design Your Own Healthy, Active Lifestyle Plan

1) Talk to your child’s physician

I always advise that you talk to your child’s doctor about what kind of fitness is right for them —especially if it’s a drastic lifestyle change. The words ‘active’ and ‘kids’ used to go hand in hand, but in today’s modern world, many kids hardly ever run around or play sports. Going from complete inactivity to a sudden active lifestyle can be a shock to the system. All changes in physical activity should be gradual. Checking your kids’ health before making any lifestyle changes should be the first step to achieving your family’s fitness goals.

2) Create a routine

The best way to get going on your family fitness journey is to write out a schedule and pick two activity days per week. Consider planning outdoor activities such as hikes, bike rides or sports to make it feel less like a duty and more like playtime. The more you can involve your kids in the planning process, the more enthusiastic they will be about the change.

3) Embrace modern technology

If you have children that are reliant on modern technology such as computers, video games, and tablets, you might face a full-blown rebellion if you try to swap gadgets for family fitness time. Instead, you can embrace modern technology and ease into an active lifestyle with fitness games and challenges. There are many dance, fitness and activity games available that combine technology with simple tasks to help entertain kids into getting active. This tip shouldn’t take away from traditional outdoor activities, but it’s a step in the right direction.

4) Go back to basics and keep it simple

Remember how much fun it was to play a simple game of catch with your friends when you were younger? As you move towards more traditional fitness-based activities, focus on fun coordination and body awareness moves. Kids have developing nervous systems and would benefit greatly from engaging both small and large motor skills. These activities include kicking, catching and hopping, and they could feel more like a game rather than fitness.

5) Be smart about fitness

Children get so many ideas of what think they can do. Your child may see photos in the media of other kids lifting heavy weights. In reality, it’s not a good idea for children to be doing heavy lifting. There are differing opinions on the correct age that children should start lifting weights, and it’s a decision that should be discussed with your child’s physician. I believe doing exercises that use your body weight are a perfect way to build strength for kids and adults. I started my weights program at the age of 15. My husband started using weights at the age of 17, and we’ve both been successful in the fitness world. My children will be well into their teens before they touch a weight. Until then, they’re going to have fun with squats, pushups and playing on the monkey bars!

6) Lead by example

The greatest gift you can give your children is to lead by example by practicing healthy habits. Try popping in a fitness DVD or follow a fitness routine on the computer to set an active example. If your young children want to join in, you should let them! Just make sure they stay away from the equipment, especially weight machines and treadmills. A fall on a moving treadmill can cause permanent scarring and burns (I know this from personal experience – you don’t need to make the same mistake!).

We can all make healthier choices to lead our children down a healthy, active path. If you keep it fun for them, you can set them up for a lifetime of being active.

Written by Samantha Clayton, A.F.A.A., I.S.S.A. Samantha is Sr. Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife.

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Contact Your Independent Herbalife Distributor TODAY!
All Herbalife products and nutritional/ beauty/ success advice
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Helping you enjoy a healthy, active, successful life
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Sleep Tight: Get Better Rest with These Diet Tips

by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

Foods that may help you sleep better

If a good night’s sleep doesn’t come easily to you, your diet might be partly to blame.

Few things feel as good as waking up rested and energized after a good night’s sleep. But for many people, a restful night’s sleep is hard to come by – and could be related to the food choices that are made during the day. That’s because bad eating habits – not just what you eat, but also when – can have a big impact on the quality and length of your sleep. And the problem can sometimes turn into a vicious cycle, too.

Related Article: Tips to Help You Get Your Beauty Sleep

When you don’t sleep well at night, the foods you turn to the next day in order to keep you going could be the exact same foods that are sabotaging your good night’s rest.

Here’s what tends to happen. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it messes with your natural hunger hormones and you feel the urge to eat. People who don’t sleep well tend to snack more – and they often turn to sweets and caffeine to get them through the day. Problem is, caffeine can interfere with your ability to sleep at night, and although the sugary foods might boost your energy level for a little while, there’s a good chance your blood sugar will soon plummet, and you’ll just start the process all over again.

So, when it comes to a good night’s sleep, the best defense is a good nutritional offense. When you eat right during the day, there’s a good chance you’ll sleep tight at night.

How to Eat for a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Keep dinner portions moderate. Going to bed with a very full stomach can be uncomfortable and even lead to indigestion – a sleep buster, for sure. On the other hand, if your dinner meal is too skimpy, you might be wakened by hunger pangs.
  • Don’t overdo the fats and proteins at dinner. Fatty meals take a long time to digest, and protein foods stimulate the production of chemicals in your brain that help you feel more alert. Low fat meals are digested more quickly, and healthy carbohydrates help stimulate the production of different brain chemicals – the ones that help you relax and get to sleep. Rather than making protein the centerpiece of your evening meal, focus on healthy carbs – veggies, fruits, whole grains and beans – with a small serving of protein.
  • Watch your intake of caffeine and alcohol. If you’re a regular caffeine drinker, you may be able to fall asleep just fine – even if you have a cup of coffee after dinner. But caffeine – and alcohol, too – can disrupt normal sleep patterns. You may be able to fall asleep, but you don’t stay asleep. And that makes it harder to reach the deepest (and most restful) stage of sleep.
  • Don’t overdo the fluids in the evening. If a full bladder is what’s interfering with a good night’s sleep, try to curb your fluid intake after dinner. Aim to drink more of your liquids during the day, rather than trying to ‘catch up’ at night.

Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

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Tune Up Your Immune System With Healthy Nutrition

by Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND

Fruits and vegetables promote a strong immune system.

When my kids were little, I always braced myself for the ‘back-to-school cold’ that swept through the house during their first week back in the classroom. With the new school year upon us, kids are going to be bringing home more than just homework and new friends – they’re sure to bring home plenty of germs, too. Even if you don’t have kids at home, you’re still more likely to get sick as the weather turns colder – so now is a good time to look at all you can do nutritionally to help keep your immune system running in tip-top shape.

Despite what your parents or grandparents might have told you, you don’t catch cold from being out in the cold air (or, as my mother always insisted, from going outdoors with wet hair). But when the weather turns chilly, we spend more time indoors. That means we’re in closer contact with more people and there’s less air circulating, so we’ve got more exposure to the germs that can make us sick.

Related Article: Healthy Digestion, Healthy You

Your body has a built-in defense, of course – your immune system. It’s your own personal army of ‘soldiers’ that protects your body by identifying anything foreign – from a virus to a bacteria to a parasite – and then seeking it out and destroying it. Your body does rely on good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to keep your defenses up. For one thing, if you eat a healthy diet and take care of yourself, you’re more likely to maintain your good health.

Fruits and vegetables are key players because they provide an abundance of phytonutrients – natural compounds found in all plant foods that help to promote health by serving as antioxidants. You need antioxidants to balance out the processes in your body that cause oxidation. Oxidative processes are a normal part of metabolism, but oxidation can run rampant in cells if it’s not kept in check. And that can weaken the body’s ability to fight illness. So, your body relies on a steady source of antioxidants from fruits and veggies to reduce this oxidant stress and, in turn, help to support immune function.

Your immune system also has some ‘special forces’ in the form of white blood cells. These cells produce specialized proteins called antibodies that seek out and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Since antibodies are proteins, you need adequate protein in the diet to ensure you’ll be able to manufacture the antibodies your body needs. Healthy protein foods – like fish, poultry, lean meats, soy foods and low-fat dairy products – provide the building blocks that your body needs to make these specialized proteins.

Keeping your digestive system healthy is also important in supporting immune function. Your digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria that have numerous functions in promoting health. Some strains of bacteria help you digest the fiber in your foods, others consume intestinal gas, while others produce vitamins, like vitamin K and vitamin B12. When your system is populated with these ‘good’ bacteria, they also serve to ‘crowd out’ the potentially harmful bacteria that might enter your digestive tract. Some of the best sources of these friendly bacteria are cultured dairy products – like yogurt and kefir.

Eating well really does pave the road to good health. To help your body in the fight against foreign invaders, your internal ‘army’ needs the best nutrition possible. So, call in the troops – and dry your hair.

Written by Susan Bowerman. Susan is Director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a board-certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

 

Contact Your Independent Herbalife Distributor TODAY!
All Herbalife products and nutritional/ beauty/ success advice
available from
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https://www.goherbalife.com/goherb
Helping you enjoy a healthy, active, successful life
Call +12143290702

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