Mariel’s Personal Best

Click here for the full interview.

Mariel Hemingway is a natural health icon with superior literary DNA. So it should come as no surprise that she provided one of the best quotes in Natural Health Writer Celebrity Interview history:

NHW: You have a history of promoting this personal health responsibility; especially in your work to uphold Americans’ free access to vitamins and supplements.

Mariel Hemingway: There is a tremendous power in self-healing through our ability to make choices in vitamins and supplements. Yet there’s a whole load of crap out there, too. We’re Americans and we need to be able to make those choices on our own because they’re still selling us big ads. Merck wants us to buy this anti-inflammatory something and stuff for our heart and cholesterol crap medicine. I love all those side effect warnings: ‘May cause symptoms of insanity’ but other than that it’s all good. So if we’re being pushed to do those things, then we have the right to make healthful choices. Why should that be taken away? The FDA is so influenced by drug companies; it’s big business. Big business is not going to go away. But don’t take my other health food choices away.”

The Lesson: Any goofball can interview a celebrity. But to really make the story sparkle, you need creative, insightful questions that unearth powerful truths. The question guides the answer.

Angry Baldwin

When I took over editorial of Energy Times, the magazine’s founder gave me a mission: get celebrity covers. My first issue, I got Ed Begley, Jr. By my third, I landed Alec Baldwin for our annual Cancer Issue.

My most exciting and gratifying celebrity interview... all to fight cancer.

This was the biggest celebrity “get” in Energy Times’ history. Sure, Alec got ticked off at me during the interview. Yep, I got hate mail from Conservative readers for putting him on our cover. The universe then gave me the finger when Alec’s notorious voicemail rant hit headlines right after my article came out. Despite these hurdles, we successfully raised awareness and money for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research fund. When the dust settled, Alec Baldwin’s star continued to rise.

The Lesson: Landing an A-List celebrity for Energy Times involved a great deal of creativity — but this is the Natural Health Writer’s specialty. I take a lot of pride in this article, both for the writing quality and the publicity it generated for a great cause. Plus, whether you’re a fan or a hater, you will see that Alec Baldwin is intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable about health and environmental issues.

Marketing of Personality

The marketing of personalities is essential for natural health industry growth.

Nutritional supplements are just one aspect of natural health. NavelEXPO hired me to market their conference’s natural health speakers in a custom-published magazine. The goal: Educate consumers on exciting natural health advancements, promote the experts speaking on these topics, and fill their lecture rooms to maximum capacity.

The sample at right (click the mag cover) was written for a speaker on tap water hazards. As I wrote about 2,100 toxins in municipal water being absorbed through the skin’s pores during a hot shower, I sold myself on the idea… I want a full-home water purification system! Click the image at right, read it yourself and see. At worst, you will want to attend the lecture; at best, you’ll want to buy the purification system immediately.

The Lesson: Natural health can include the marketing of concepts, or even the marketing of people. When the communication behind this marketing is clear and compelling, success is sure to follow.

Tour Riders

I'll have whatever Bruce is having!

Seeking celebrity nutrition news for a sales training piece, I was struck with sudden inspiration: What about “Tour Riders”? These dressing-room demands of superstars are most publicized when they are outlandish… but would any health-conscious celebrities request pre-show nutritional supplements?

After a little digging I found out some celebrity nutrition secrets, which I passed along for store associates to use as ice-breakers with customers. Click the image at right to learn which celebrities demand nutrition in their dressing rooms!

The Lesson: Love it or loathe it, the Cult of Celebrity is a powerful motivator. If a celebrity takes a nutritional supplement, gawkers will follow suit. The tricky part is connecting celebs to supplements… you’ve got to be creative in your research.

A Portrait of Jane

Jane Seymour was a great celebrity “get” for me as Editor of Energy Times.

Jane Seymour was nice. She will forever be my favorite Bond girl.

She’s always been a natural health icon. A longtime homeopathy advocate, Seymour has also addressed Congress on complementary medicine and health freedom. On top of that she has an organic garden, is involved in art therapy and women’s heart health charities… too much to list! Read the article to learn more.

Nature’s Plus, which distributes Energy Times, was releasing a colorful whole-food supplement line when this article came out. Jane Seymour enthusiastically endorsed the virtues of colorful fruits and vegetables in the interview. Damn, I’m good.

The Lesson: Look for this type of media success where celebrity, publicity, charity and natural health intersect.

Jersey Shore Nutrition

It's so you don't end up a (total) shipwreck.

Have you seen Jersey Shore ? The characters may be muscleheads… but you gotta admit, they’ve sure got muscles. One reason why: A Jersey Shore episode doesn’t come full circle until the housemates have their morning protein shakes.

The ubiquitous Jersey Shore trend’s focus on fitness has pumped up a lucrative sports nutrition demographic: young adults, aged 17-25. The stats don’t lie: A recent study suggests that 90%+ of college-aged men would like to be more muscular.* As a result, the demand for creatine and whey protein — considered to be foundation supplements for muscle mass — has spiked higher than a blowout hairstyle. Sports nutrition fortunes can be made on the Jersey Shore boardwalk alone. All you need is spray-on tan, a blender, your protein powder… and a-whey you go.

I’ve worked on multiple sports nutrition marketing campaigns, many of which targeted the surging 17-25 “Gym Rat” demographic. One ongoing project (pictured above) involves developing training tips to help store clerks maximize sports nutrition sales.

As great as the 17-25 group may be for sports nutrition sales, another demographic might possess even greater potential…


Frederick, David. “Desiring the Muscular Ideal: Men’s Body Satisfaction in the United States, Ukraine, and Ghana.” Psychology of Men and Maculinity, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2007): 103-117

The Power of Celebrity

Celebrity covers compel people to pick up magazines.

Jane Seymour was nice. She also knew her Natural Health and is an amazing painter. Jane will forever be my favorite Bond girl.

Ergo, as publisher of Rx Complement, Executive Editor of Energy Times, and Editor-in-Chief of HealthSmart Today, I’ve chased celebs, securing interviews with the following:

Ah, so many stories. Like when Alec Baldwin got angry at me in the middle of our interview. Or when Mariel Hemingway pantomimed negative thoughts attacking her in the Mandarin New York’s tea room. And the hilarious reason why Susan Lucci backed out of our interview at the last minute. (contact me for these stories)

I avoid that scene now. But I enjoyed every celebrity interview I ever did. I will be adding these interview articles to this site gradually. The articles did an amazing job of advancing the natural products industry through the power of celebrity.