The Sharon Kleyne Hour

Radio Talk Show –

Power of Water – Global Warming

Mind – Eyes – Skin – Body


Show Summary

Date: April 16, 2007

Guest: Rob Pell, health food and supplement store owner

Topic: Purchasing Nutritional Supplements


Sharon (paraphrased):  Our guest today, Rob Pell, is an authority on food supplements and vitamins. Like many of our guests, he’s here to educate you about health choices to enable you to take personal responsibility. Tell us about yourself, Rob.


Rob (paraphrased): Well, I’m 51 and have owned Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass, Oregon for 12 years. Before that, I owned an award winning natural food restaurant in Boston for 15 years. Our objective in Boston was to please both die-hard natural foods people and first timers.


S: What have you learned about people’s buying habits as far as nutritional supplements?


R: We get referrals from Naturopaths and MD’s – much more than we did 10 years ago, but the majority of our customers are self-medicating. They have a problem, they did a little reading and they have something in mind that they want to try.

            Since a lot of our business is based on reputation and word of mouth, we try to provide a level of expertise not available elsewhere. You have to know your customers, though. Most of ours, for example, are over 40 and definitely not body builder types. We always ask how they heard about the supplement and what they’re trying to achieve. Often, we can suggest something better. For something like leg cramps, we can save them a lot of money by simply recommending that they drink more water.


S: How would you shop for something like vitamin E?


R: Vitamin E is somewhat controversial but no studies of natural vitamin E have yielded negative results. It’s an excellent antioxidant but we usually recommend a blend of antioxidants, not just vitamin E.


S: What is an “antioxidant?”


R: Oxygen is essential to the body but in some areas, too much oxygen can speed up the aging process. Antioxidants keep the negative aspects of oxygen in check. They also keep free radicals in check. Free radicals are “incomplete chemicals” looking to complete themselves, often at the expense of your body’s health.

S: How would you start your ideal day?


R: Everyone is different but I’d start with water and supplements. I’d also wait at least 15 minutes after drinking the water before eating anything. Water dilutes your stomach acid, which can cause a problem with digestion that can result in acid reflux. That’s why I’d keep water to a minimum at any meal. I also don’t understand why ice water has become the norm. For maximum absorption, water should be served at room temperature, or even at body temperature.


Caller: How do you know if you are choosing the correct supplements?


R: Sometimes you can feel the difference and sometimes you can’t. 30% of the time, customers can feel the difference when they start taking the supplement. 30% of the time they can feel it when they go off the supplement. But when they don’t feel anything, it doesn’t mean the supplement isn’t working (or that it is working).  Some supplements, you can feel within minutes. You will feel water soluble supplements more quickly and fat soluble ones much more slowly. Again, always take the supplements with plenty of water.


S: Could you tell us about your health food restaurants?


R: We served vegetarian, (organic) chicken and seafood entrees. Most important, we were very careful about the kind and quality of oils we used. It was usually olive or canola oil, with no trans-fats, hydrogenation or chemical additives, all of which could make you sick. And by the way, I suggest taking supplemental digestive enzymes when you eat out.


S: And can you tell us about your other expertise, Tai-Chi and Chi-Gung?


R: That’s a mental and exercise discipline that allows you to release the energy you were born with. You can’t eat too many vegetables and you can’t have too much healthy energy. Some exercises energize, some relieve tension and some balance the two. After water and sleep, breathing is our most important activity. We should breathe slowly and from the belly, not the chest. Unfortunately, there are a lot of marginally qualified Tai-Chi instructors around.


S: Thank you very much Rob. Our next guest is Dr. Nick Aumen, an aquatic scientist with Everglades National Park, who will tell us about the Everglades ecosystem and the global crisis of diminishing wetlands.