Juice Plus, Not Just for Stay-At-Home-Moms Anymore!

By on 02/05/2014
Juice Plus

The other day I was reading about the trouble Herbalife is currently in, and it reminded me of a recent…er, awkward, encounter I had with my Orthopedic doctor.

First, in case you haven’t heard, Herbalife is getting some bad press these days. Herbalife is sort of a mass provider of weight loss, energy, nutrition heart health and beauty supplements that come in the form of pills, powders, drink blends, and probably needles. I don’t know every detail, as I’ve never tried it. But you can’t go buy the products in any ol’ store. Nay, you must find an independent distributor.

A what?

A pyramid scheme, pretty much.

The reason I’ve never tried it is really due to the fact that I don’t trust “muli-level marketing” aka, pyramid schemes. You PAY to sign up to sell the product and receive a percentage of every sale, BUT if you sign up X amount of independent sellers under you, then you get a huge pay day! AND! If THOSE people sign up distributors under them, then YOU get a cut too!

Image from http://www.jagoinvestor.com.

Image from http://www.jagoinvestor.com.


You see the flaw? The real money is not in selling a product that works, but simply selling the idea of being a distributor of said product. That’s where the real money comes in.

…And the people at the bottom of that pyramid? Screwed.

But do Herbalife products work? I don’t know. The company has paid for many lab studies that all show some positive results, but then independent research and inquiries cannot replicate those results or find any positive ones of their own. Most results show no significant differences from a placebo group.

Anyway, I’m getting off track.

The reason they are even on my mind at all is because I was reading about how billionaire hedge fund manager and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, Bill Ackman, has spoken out against the company and its ethics, which is making a huge splash in the news. He is accusing them of illegally operating a “pyramid scheme” and saying that regulators will be inclined to shut it down. Not helping is the fact that Herbalife’s previous auditor resigned after ex-partner Scott London was found to be leaking insider information to Bryan Shaw, who reportedly made more than $1.2 million trading on that information.

The reasoning behind Ackman’s accusations is mostly money and business based as opposed to product quality or efficacy. It still pops onto my radar though as I wonder how effective a product must be when its main business model is based on building distributor networks and not on creating quality products that work, and marketing directly to consumers like most companies in this industry do.

Is there a moral line, and where does it fall?

…And that brings us back to my awkward encounter with my doc.

As the whole world probably knows by now since I talk about it so much, I injured my back pretty bad. As a result, I’ve had to see an orthopedist a few times. I also see his physical therapist 1-2 times a week and have for about 8 months now. The PT is amazing and is working like a charm. I’m almost back to a painfree life, but may never be able to get back to hardcore exercising.

Again.. off point, Anna!

The doctor, the orthopedist that I saw first to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan. He is, to me, the epitome of a bad doctor. No, I’m not giving his name. I have more than a few friends who have also seen him and do not agree with me. So to be fair, I will keep him anonymous.

But my gosh. He doesn’t look me in eye, doesn’t ever have more than 30 seconds for me, is always annoyed when I have any questions, and even confused my treatment plan that HE CREATED once and gave me the wrong kind of shots. When I called him out on it, he played it off saying I heard him wrong. I later asked the nurse to look in my e-file and see what treatment he ordered for me. I was right, he said I should be getting proliferation therapy shots (a series of shots of dextrose, a benign fluid, into the muscle to break it up and help it expand and regenerate). Instead he shot me full of steroids.

So I am hesitant every time I am required to see him again.

(Why don’t I switch practices? Because I love my physical therapist. I saw a few others when he was out for a bit, finishing up is doctorate, and I wasn’t impressed. I will only see this one guy now, and if it means suffering through the terrible orthopedist that writes my script for PT, then I will do it.)

My last visit took the cake though.

He asked me how I was feeling and then scrolled through his phone as I told him how I was feeling better THANKS TO HIS PT STAFF.

He then asked me how my nutrition was. Do I eat healthy? Do I understand what an anti-inflammatory diet is and how it could benefit me? (Yes, I do. I’ll make a separate blog on that though).

I told him I eat very well for the most part, but then he asked if I would be willing to have his nutritional coach come and talk to me for just a moment, to explain a new “drug” that he has been “prescribing” to many of his patients. He said it will do wonders for me. I was curious, so I agreed.

His “nutritional coach” came in a few moments later, and I immediately recognized her as his office manager. She is not a nutritionist.

She then sits down, and almost as if off a script says, “Dr. XXXX tells me you are interested in signing up for his new, favorite supplement regime to get you back on track nutritionally.”

I gave her a blank stare, as I immediately reacted to her sudden, forced elevator speech.

She then says, “So I want to tell you more about Juice Plus…”

… At this point I interrupt her with a laugh that I could not hold back.

Juice Plus

“JUICE PLUS??? That crap stay-at-home-moms always sell at farmer’s markets? NO THANKS.”

And she left.

Just like that.

A doctor. A medical F&$@ing doctor is using his practice to push Juice Plus?!?! And he is describing it to his patients as a “drug” that he is “prescribing.”

You realize, he gets a cut of the profits for every sale, and I bet anything he is trying to convert patients into becoming distributors of their own. “You really like what it’s doing for you? Why don’t you get all of your friends to try it to? You care for them, don’t you??” Something like that.

WOW! I was so pissed. This crosses such a big line for me.

Juice Plus is just like Herbalife, a “multi-level” marketing company. It’s been around since 1993, and I remember my parents briefly buying it for a bit when I was a teen (probably because they felt bad for whatever friend PAID to sign up to distribute it). Also though, I was a terrible eater in middle school when I decided to become “vegetarian,” meaning I only ate processed foods and carbs. So I bet it wasn’t too far out there to assume it may actually have done me some good.

The tests on Juice Plus are slightly more favorable than Herbalife, but my whole point is if I tell my doctor I eat well and am feeling great, why would he try to push Juice Plus on me? Or anyone?

It feels like an abuse of his authority. Is it just me?

Yes, they are just fruit and vegetable supplements. They aren’t vitamins, and to their credit, they don’t market a million different products like Herbalife. They stick to fruit and vegetable “pills.”

From their site, “Juice Plus+ contains juice powders from 17 fruits, vegetables and grains, and therefore provides a far greater variety of naturally occurring vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients – even some of the fiber – found in the fruits and vegetables themselves.”

But… a DOCTOR?? Selling these in his office? Under the guise of “prescription?”

Maybe it’s just me, but this does not sit well.

Am I alone in this??

About Anna

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna


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  2. Jenna M

    02/10/2014 at 1:11 am

    I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules of his profession. You might consider checking with your state’s medical board, especially if he’s misrepresenting his office manager as a registered dietician or nutritionist.

  3. Julie Meek

    02/06/2014 at 9:22 am

    While I LOVE the idea of doctors understanding the healing and wellness benefits of good nutrition and making it a part of their practice and treatment of their patients… this SUCKS! It would totally make me not trust him as my doctor, and on top of the problems you already had with him?? No way I’d see him again. But if you must do so to retain your relationship with you PT I can understand. The PT is doing so much more for you anyway. Happy to hear the PT is helping you so much!

    • Anna

      02/06/2014 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Julie! Yeah, he is a necessary evil for now, but once I graduate PT, good lord I hope I never see that MD again! I didn’t really talk about it, but the median age of his clientele seems to be very high based on the waiting room friends Ive made, and I really hate the idea of him taking advantage of, or being so rude to older patients. Really grinds my gears…

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