How to Mastermind World Domination, Fight Acne with Fruits and Veggies, and GMO-Full Whole Foods : The 7 Things I Learned This Week

Sunday Jul 31 | BY |
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world domination gmo labeling
Jonny 5 is incubating his world domination plans secretively. This list: non-GMO cat nip, non-toxic scratching posts, and peace in the Middle East.

This week, I’m a mini-activist.

We’ve set up a few things to make change in our new state, so this week I want to talk about them.

In this 7 Things I Learned This Week, I cover how to create a strong community, how one of our own got rid of her acne, my reasoning for giving up on Whole Foods, how to help us push for GMO labeling and more.

Let’s get started…

1. How to mastermind world domination.

Well, maybe not world domination, but…

When we moved to the Bay Area, I was excited.

I was excited for the weather, the access to nature and city, the great food and markets and hundreds of other things. Every day when I walk outside I tell Annmarie how much I love it here. (Ask her, it’s true. Some days she’s counted up to 10 times.)

Another thing I was excited about was being a part of a community.

As you may know the Bay Area is quite progressive in many ways and grassroots community activism is what gets a lot of things done around here. It’s been my dream to not only talk about change, but actually personally help make it happen (there’s more about this in a later item in this column!)

One way to help make change is to unite community leaders.

Last Thursday night, Annmarie and I hosted a dinner for small group of community leaders from around the Bay that have been doing some amazing things long before we got here. We thought it would be fun to get together with them to let them know we support what they’re doing and see what we could do together to collaborate.

We’ve been around the country now more than a few times and we’ve seen cities where communities are divided and others that are together. Of course, as always, the groups that come together get more accomplished (plus, there’s definitely a lot less time-sucking gossip!)

So this was our goal with our dinner. To bring people together. (Luckily, here everyone is pretty much together anyway, LOL! We’re the outcasts…)

The reason why doing this important, is because anything that’s ever happened – that’s made national or global change – has been a collaboration.

Do you think that Martin Luther King did his work alone? Do you think one person fought hard enough to get gay marriage passed in New York? Of course not. These were huge movements with many leaders working together. (So, there is a link to taking over the world after all!)

So my question to you – if you really want to make change – is how can you bring people together? How can you unite leaders and members of your community?

It’s something to think about.

Can you host a dinner with some leaders – authors, meet-up group organizers, political figures? Can you have a meeting based around a common theme or mission? Can you connect leaders who may not know each other?

You’d be surprised at what doing just one of these things can do to help create relationships and friendships that last a lifetime.

Keep in mind, when doing this, you can’t have any ulterior motives here like selling your product or getting people to subscribe to your beliefs as a host or as a leader. The idea is to let ideas organically surface and create bonds and friendships that last. You can have an agenda, but let it take a backseat until someone asks you about it.

So my challenge to you is this, now that you know how to do it, are you going to do something about it? Or are you going to sit on the sidelines?

(Just a little fire under the seat for ya… LOL!)

2. Raw Food Challenge success.

This week we took hundreds of people through the Raw Food Challenge.

This is a 7 day raw food cleansing program that we started last year. Since then we’ve taken over 3500 people through it and had some amazing results.

One of the best results have come from our own team member Ashley who started working with us about a month and a half ago.

When we started promoting our 2011 Raw Food Challenge back in June, she came up with the idea to do it along with everyone else and blog about her process. I thought it was a great idea and a great way to introduce her to you, so we ran with it.

Each day this week, she’s written a fun and insightful blog about her journey.

What’s even better is that she’s got some great results along the way.

As a long term vegetarian, she still had some issues with allergies and acne that wouldn’t go away. She had seen doctors, specialists, you name it – with little results.

Within four days of the Raw Food Challenge, her acne started to disappear.

I know how frustrating (and psychologically trying) acne can be, so I’m thrilled this program worked for her.

She’s now eliminating dairy from her diet for a while to see if she will continue to get the same results.

On a larger scale, others doing the Challenge have shared their success stories as well. They’ve experienced everything from weight loss, increased energy, allergies gone, and more.

It’s amazing what eating some fruits and vegetables can do, isn’t it?

(If you’re interested, here’s where you can read more about the Challenge: Raw Food Challenge 2011)

3. Are these really great things about America?

About a month ago, I found an article on CNN Money (Fortune) that listed the 100 great things about America. Here are a few “American” things that have made the top 25:

– Sears Tower (Willis Tower) #3.
– Whole Foods is #9.
– The Rockefeller Family #12.
– Geico Commercials #24.

Of course everyone’s list will be different, but I have to think as a whole population (or at least the editors over at Fortune Magazine), we have our priorities mixed up when a building, a cartoon lizard, a dubious family and a fake health food store make the first 25 of this list.

Lists like these rarely mean anything, but at the same time they do. This one expresses the common stereotype of the American. It highlights our pop culture. What’s important and what grabs our attention.

Do you want to be perceived this way? Take a look at the list and let me know (here)… (if you’re American or not.)

Good news, is that the list isn’t all duds.

Here are some that I agree on in that top 25 (maybe not their ranking number, but their inclusion.):

– Opportunity #1: Yes, regardless of what you think, we do have opportunity.
– The Interstate Highway System #2: It is one of the reasons we have opportunity.
– Steve Jobs #8: It’s Steve Jobs.
– The Kindle #15: Amazing tool. Save up and get one. (Though this may be made in China…)

BTW: Blogging came in at #82.

(Here’s the full article:

4. Branding has a lot to do with it…

Under the listing for Whole Foods in the Fortune Top 100 things American, the description starts: “It’s a locavore market…”

I laughed a little when I read that.

In defense of Whole Foods, they do make it easier for local businesses to be included on their store shelves, but it’s hardly a locavore market. In fact, the store is what many locavores want to see disappear.

If you were to item by item identify the origin of each product in the store, I guarantee, you’d find at least 80-90% of the items either originated in another place (non-local), or were shipped off somewhere else (non-local) to be boxed, labeled, packaged or processed. Not exactly a locavore’s dream.

It’s their branding that has made you believe they are a big, local market (maybe not you, but at least the editors of Fortune!)

My biggest gripe about the store (no, not their high prices) is that they’ve chosen to take a relatively hands off approach to selling genetically modified foods. Their stance is that GMOs are ubiquitous, so there’s nothing they can do about it.

From Whole Foods…

“The reality is that no grocery store in the United States, no matter what size or type of business, can claim they are GMO-free. While we have been and will continue to be staunch supporters of non-GMO foods, we are not going to mislead our customers with an inaccurate claim (and you should question anyone who does). Here’s why: the pervasive planting of GMO crops in the U.S. and their subsequent use in our national food supply. 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 93% of cotton, and 93% of canola seed planted in the U.S. in 2010 were genetically engineered. Since these crops are commonly present in a wide variety of foods, a GMO-free store is currently not possible in the U.S. (Unless the store sells only organic foods.)”

In a time when we need corporate support, they’ve let the consumer down by acting like any old grocery store – caring about what sells, not what’s right.

They’ve also done some corporate speak as well. They say they care, but their actions show otherwise.

So, what’s wrong with selling all organic food? Why can’t they make the switch?

They can’t because they’ve gotten too big. Their overhead is too great. They have too many stores, employees and shareholders. Big bulky businesses are tough to budge.

But for the long term, it might be a better approach.

Here’s why…

It distinguishes them from everyone else. Eventually, Whole Foods will find itself just like every other store and wonder what happened – they may even go out of business (See Borders, Circuit City). They’ll have lost the distinction that got them going in the first place.

From a marketing perspective, if they were to sell only organic food (even at the prices they have now) they would create a seriously passionate fan base and a very strong market distinction. That market distinction, may be smaller than their existing customer base, but it would be more recession and trend proof than their existing model. Passionate people pledge allegiance to a business with a cause.

The reason they can’t do this now, like I said before, is because they are too big. A move like this would close stores, lose customers and put the business under. But if done, it would create a brand that is worth talking about – and most importantly “partnering with” by shopping there.

Sometimes bigger isn’t better.

(NOTE: How can I shop at other stores that aren’t all GMO? It’s a good question, and the answer is that Whole Foods is the most capable of doing something that will actually make change. So I’m disappointed in them like I disappointed in the star athlete that doesn’t show up and make a difference in the championship game. My expectation was higher and I’ve been let down.)

5. The push for GMO labeling…

You and I both want GMO labeling, but how is it going to happen?

Here in California, we’ve met a few people who I think can help push a law through legislation and we’re joining forces with them.

It’s been one thing to complain about things over the last few years on the blog. Now, since we’re settled, it’s time to take action.

I’ve always wanted to play a larger role in policy change. I think action like that really stands up with our philosophy of changing the world. Policy like GMO labeling in California or elsewhere can send waves through other states and cause them to adopt similar laws – eventually squashing all GMO technology and products – or at least giving the consumer a choice.

If you want to help, and you’re in the Bay Area, please come to this small meeting on August 7th with us. We’ll have activist Pamm Larry here to show us how to organize local representatives so we can make a serious push in Sacramento.

Here’s where to check this out…

6. Annmarie Skin Care samples were a BIG hit.

So big, we’re out of them.

Over the last year or so, we’ve heard your feedback that you wanted to try a few before you bought the products and we listened. (Yes, it took a while, but we came though!)

I think the sample model works well. You get a sample pack of 3 products for $10.00 (including shipping in the US) and we give you a coupon for $10.00 off a full sized product.

So if you like the samples and you buy a product, you get the samples for free.

If you don’t like the samples (which is rare!), then you’ve only invested $10.00 – which is the cost of a movie ticket. Not so bad and definitely low risk.

If you missed the deal, it will be back again soon. This first go-around was a test run to make sure everything went as planned. It’s always good to test before you do something too large.

Stay tuned…

7. Goodbye Sunday.

The NFL lockout has been lifted. Football season starts in September. My Sundays are now booked for as far as the Steelers get this season.

I was secretly wishing for the season to be cancelled because I know how much of a roller coaster it can be for a die-hard fan like me. But at the same time, everyone needs an outlet – something that they can put their attention toward that isn’t as serious as the other things they do.

Mine is football – and, yes, it’s violent, it’s barbaric, and it’s definitely “American,” but I love it just like I love green smoothies.

(Or maybe a little less.)

I want to know your thoughts: What is out outlet? What do you do that gives let’s you escape from everyday life?

Never Be Sick Again?

Find out if it’s true here…

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

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