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Profile for David M. Gordon > Reviews


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Viva Labs - The BEST Organic Ground Flax Seed, 15 oz - Proprietary Cold-milled Technology
Viva Labs - The BEST Organic Ground Flax Seed, 15 oz - Proprietary Cold-milled Technology
Offered by Viva Naturals
Price: $19.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Helps make healthful food even better..., February 21, 2016
For various reasons - some good, some not so good (excuses) - I became fat. Not chubby, not stocky - fat. I had to regain my good health, which meant I had to lose weight. The weight loss should be sustainable, which means, among other items, losing all processed foods but especially the starches and sugars I consumed in favor of plant-centric meals. The problem with most diets, I believe (NB: I am no nutritionist or doctor), is that they fail to consider the unending hunger that accompanies fatitude. You know the feeling, that no matter the size of the meal you eat, you are still hungry - before, during, and after the meal. How best to ensure a feeling of fullness (satiety), when I would eat mostly proteins and plants?

And then, by pure happenstance, Viva Labs requested I try their Organic Ground Flaxseed in exchange for a truthful review. Happy to do so, as I recognized immediately that adding just 2 tablespoons/day to my diet could provide satiety but with few added calories (70 calories for those 2 tablespoons). Moreover, are the added benefits from ingesting ground flaxseeds:
* Heart Protection. They contain heart-boosting lignans, powerful phenols that have clinically been shown to boost heart health and promote healthy cholesterol levels
* Improve Digestive Health. The natural oils in flaxseeds help to lubricate the digestive tract to improve regularity and support everyday intestinal health

What makes Viva Labs Ground Flaxseeds Unique? From their package (back panel): "Our flax seeds crops flourish in high mineral soil under full sunlight and cool winds for optimal nutritional value and the best-tasting flax seeds. Using a proprietary milling process, we ensure that our flax seeds are never heated, preserving the essential omega-3s and powerful phytonutrients. They are also certified organic and non-GMO...."

Weeks, and many, MANY lost pounds later, and my continuing diet proves successful. Many reasons account for my positive change - better meal choices, more active, discipline and patience, etc. But the addition of Viva Labs Organic Ground Flaxseed proved a true aid, in that I never, not one time, suffered physical hunger pangs as I had feared. Now, as my weight continues to decline, I ingest more of the flaxseeds, and in more creative ways; I am healthier for the effort.

Consider Viva Labs Organic Ground Flaxseed, if you want to eat more healthfully, or differently (add the flax seeds to your protein shakes, oatmeal, salads, even baked goodies), or like me want to lose weight. You will be glad you did.

Island Fresh Superior Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce
Island Fresh Superior Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce
Offered by Island Fresh
Price: $36.95
3 used & new from $16.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product and great value!, December 20, 2015
My wife and I have used several different brands of organic coconut oil the past 5 years. We use it for everything: cooking/sautéing, baking, eating raw, and skin care. (Who knew, for example, that coconut oil works perfectly fine as lip balm, body moisturizer, a body scrub, hair conditioner, mouthwash, shaving cream, even makeup remover...? Okay, my wife told me about that last item!)

USDA organic, virgin coconut oil can be quite expensive. ISLAND FRESH arrives in a 54 oz BPA-free plastic container. We feel confident and comfortable we can enjoy more of this product for our health at a fair price. We recently started to add this product to our dog's diet and to help moisturize his paws - to better results than any of the paw treatments we tried previously.

We are pleased with the freshness and quality of this product. Already half-way through this jar (received as a sample in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion), we will definitely come back to this brand again and again.

Yoga Full Toe Socks (Black with White Stripes), 2 Pairs Value Pack Set, Full Toe Yoga Socks, Non Slip and All Grip Socks, Size S/M
Yoga Full Toe Socks (Black with White Stripes), 2 Pairs Value Pack Set, Full Toe Yoga Socks, Non Slip and All Grip Socks, Size S/M

5.0 out of 5 stars 110% effort = Total satisfaction, March 13, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
YogaAddict, it turns out, is a family-owned small business, which fact should not have surprised me. Repeatedly throughout my purchase process, the company's co-founder, Richee Wong, took the extra steps to assure 100% satisfaction. That philosophy - Make the customer happy! - means I will be back to buy more of YogaAddict's creations. You should as well.

Now if only my yoga poses were done as effortlessly as YogaAddict made this purchase!

Viva Labs #1 High Potency Vitamin D3 5000 IU in Non-GMO Olive Oil for Enhanced Absorption, 360 Softgels
Viva Labs #1 High Potency Vitamin D3 5000 IU in Non-GMO Olive Oil for Enhanced Absorption, 360 Softgels
Offered by Viva Naturals
Price: $24.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva Labs. A relatively new but reliable manufacturer of supplements, June 16, 2014
Dietary supplements become necessary, vital even, as we acknowledge that our foods are stripped of most of their healthful aspects and we eat more processed foods. Unfortunately, supplements have a... spotty history. There is little oversight; the FDA regulates supplements but treats them like foods rather than medications. Moreover, claims are positively wild for this or that 'wonder' cure. Still. Vitamin D is one exception to all that bluster; the human body not only requires Vitamin D to perform optimally, it demands it.

Vitamin D has been in the news a lot the past several years, and for obvious reasons: the benefits it bestows for everybody. Despite its heightened public profile, confusion still exists...
* Vitamin D actually is no vitamin but a steroidal hormone that controls more than 2000 discrete functions in the human body.
* The human body absorbs and assimilates sunlight best in its core (trunk); farmer's tans (arms, legs below thighs) offer no benefits.
* The best hours for maximum sunlight absorption are between 1000am and 2pm... The precise time we are counseled to stay indoors to protect our skin from skin cancers.
* Sadly for most of us our body loses its ability to assimilate sunlight into D3 about the time we hit 40 (Each body is different, of course.)
* Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) vs vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). You want D3, D's more active form.
* Use the soft-gels only. (Avoid the powdered tablet form because, unless you ingest it with a spoonful of oil, its efficacy is near nil.)

When you’re ready to purchase supplements, do your research and exercise caution. Choose the supplement that actually contains the ingredients stated on the label; that the product doesn’t contain any contaminants or potentially harmful ingredients. (Many unregulated supplements might contain toxic ingredients.) And of course, steer clear of hype; the more exaggerated the claims, the less likely their benefit. Find a source you trust (for me, Consumer Lab: [...]) and consult it regularly for updates, etc.

After researching many supplement providers, I have identified Viva Labs as a quality purveyor of supplements that I, and perhaps you, can trust. No wild and wooly-eyed claims, quality control throughout their manufacturing process, and fair prices. Viva Labs is an upstart; in business not as long as other, better-known supplement manufacturers, but a match in every other measure.

I have been testing Viva Labs' Vitamin D3, and it seems to work very well; my hydroxy D tests (25(OH)D) have maintained the same high level target range for many months now.

Viva Labs. A relatively new but reliable manufacturer of supplements. I look forward to testing future supplements from Viva Labs as they introduce them.

Jarrow Formulas MK-7, Promotes Bone Health, 90 mcg, 60 Softgels
Jarrow Formulas MK-7, Promotes Bone Health, 90 mcg, 60 Softgels
Price: Click here to see our price
29 used & new from $10.78

70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feeding your body at the cellular level, November 19, 2011
Taking vitamins and nutritional supplements are a fascinating exercise in negative feedback; that is, they prevent your body from breaking down from the ravages of age and oxidative stress. This means you will note their deficiency, but not their sufficiency. Compound this reality with the fact that, as of this writing, research labs cannot accurately measure levels of several crucial nutrients; Vitamin K is one of those unmeasurable but crucial bio-markers. Now add to the foregoing the fact that many supplements MUST be ingested in the proper form and dosage for maximum efficacy, and the consumer ends up as much confused as helped.

Which all explains why I appreciate Jarrow Formulas' products. Consider Jarrow's MK-7, the correct form of Vitamin K2... Ahh, you see, it is not so simple as just buying Vitamin K! You must know the differences between K1 and K2, and also the constituent parts of K2 (the form of K you want to supplement) to know that you (your body) seeks to replenish its store of MK-7. Jarrow does this work for you, and more.

So I will not make a claim I cannot support ("I feel better than I have in decades, thanks to this product") but I can say that taking MK-7 helps feed my body at the cellular level, and that, after much research, Jarrow's products rank among the best of breed.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2013 8:07 PM PST

The Vigilant Investor: A Former SEC Enforcer Reveals How to Fraud-Proof Your Investments
The Vigilant Investor: A Former SEC Enforcer Reveals How to Fraud-Proof Your Investments
by Pat Huddleston
Edition: Hardcover
46 used & new from $0.01

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belongs in the libraries of all investors everywhere, October 1, 2011
Back in 1999 and 2000, I participated in an online chat room dedicated to technology and technology stocks. It was a boom time for these companies, and the ease with which their investment recommendations and suggestions rose in price made participants feel empowered. "Who needs Wall Street?," they argued. Analysts were disparaged as "analists" and Wall St excoriated for its clueless and bumbling nature.

"Empowered," they claimed; I argued otherwise. Investing done with no due diligence raises Damocles' sword over their (and your) untested, unseasoned portfolios. My efforts were futile; the party in full swing. We all know what happened next.

"Due diligence" is a term used often; unfortunately, it means different things to different people. I argue that due diligence performed by and for investors is not bounded by what and when to buy, but should you buy. And under what conditions should you sell? You must know, in advance, why you bought what you own, else run the risk of a market's wrath (aka, a bear market) - wondering suddenly whether you should buy (more), hold, or sell. (And flee as fast as possible.)

Pat Huddleston is an attorney, former Enforcement Branch Chief for the SEC, and founder/CEO of Investor's Watchdog, a company that conducts fraud investigations for pension funds, endowments, family offices, and individual investors. And now author of the new book, The Vigilant Investor. Pat adds a deeper layer of meaning and intent to the term, due diligence: to protect your portfolio, your life's savings, and you from investment scams and scammers, and even yourself. In story after story, Pat discusses the cons and tricks of which you should be wary, the typical profile of the con artists (they share similar lifestyles and types), and how your own sensibilities and personality helps make you susceptible; prey to their predatory nature. Pat states unequivocally,

"I know how scams and unethical advisers begin, how they operate, what contributes to their longevity, and what tactics they use to ensnare individual and institutional investors alike."

In one story after another another, Pat tells - often with colorful prose rich in its clever use of analogies, metaphors, and similes - of how investors have been bilked of their savings, how they continue to be bilked, and likely will be bilked into perpetuity. I am reminded of an aphorism from the 1970s re limited partnerships, "At inception, the general partner has the vision, the limited partners the money; at the end, the general partner has the money, the limited partners the vision."

Not on Pat's watch, though. After each chapter, he provides checklists that help the reader and investor avoid the emotional weaknesses or scams Pat discusses in the prior pages. And, at book's closing, Pat even suggests creating and fostering associations (or networks) of vigilant investors (AVIs, in Pat's abbreviation) that could communicate and inform each other; an InterPol of sorts but of/for/by investors.

Until then, Pat shares many lessons applicable for all investors:
* Trust, sure, but always verify, verify, verify. And verify the verifiers!
* Steer well clear of charlatanry.
* Watch out for conflicts of interest.
* Do not chase return or yield.
* Create a paper trail of all communication, complaints included.
* Learn that high pressure sales tactics are near synonymous with guaranteed loss of principal. (And principles.)
* And many, many more such facts and hints to avoid scamsters.

Your increasing portfolio value has you feeling empowered? Never forget the process of due diligence: why you buy what you buy, when you buy it, who sells it to you, and why they sell it. (If the investment's destiny is for an increased value, then why sell it now, to you...?)

Pat Huddleston's, The Vigilant Investor, belongs in the libraries of all investors everywhere. Not just filed away as a reference and resource, but read and read again; pages bookmarked, sections highlighted, the book readily available. Pages 12-16 alone, in which Pat recounts the tale of the "Geritol Gang," are worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2011 11:01 AM PDT

Fast Track Networking: Turning Conversations Into Contacts
Fast Track Networking: Turning Conversations Into Contacts
by Lucy Rosen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.94
43 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guide to build a business that relies on a network of clients and prospects, July 25, 2010
FAST TRACK NETWORKING by Lucy Rosen with Claudia Gryvatz Copquin, is a worthwhile read. This "how-to" guide takes the work out of networking and optimizes a networker's comfort and success.

Rosen's suggestions come from years of trial and error. She impressively built her first women's networking group in New York in the mid-80's. Rosen notes that rewards abound for a person who connects professionals unconditionally.

Her analogy of networking with dating could not be truer. Every reader can recognize the correlation of attending an event where you know few people, if any, to first date jitters. Rosen provides the readers with easy ways to overcome these fears, and also reminds us how patience has its rewards.

The book focuses on tips for better networking with some great takeaways:
'- Do your homework in advance of the networking event
'- Get your elevator speech down to 30 seconds, but don't sell your business
'- Listen attentively
'- Genuinely try to get to know others
'- Don't mingle for more than 10 minutes with any one person
'- How to dress for success
'- How to better position yourself in the room, and better ways to work a room
'- Easy examples of how to break the ice in introductions (page 51)
'- Best networking questions to get the other person talking (page 52)

Rosen discusses the importance of first impressions, and follow-up. She highlights other professionals' stories of how their work translated to improved sales and stronger branding and reputation.

You can never know too many people and Rosen guides you on managing your contacts in "circles of ten." The formation make sense and provides a professional with a semblance of organization to their contacts, with tips on proper maintenance of relationships through regimented contact and the use of social networking.

While her successes in networking stem from the 80's, this book and guiding principles are up-to-date and relevant to today's networking world. I recommend this book to any person who seeks to strategically and successfully build his or her business.

The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional
The Essential Performance Review Handbook: A Quick and Handy Resource For Any Manager or HR Professional
by Sharon Armstrong
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.51
51 used & new from $4.49

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer for all employees, June 6, 2010
Sharon Armstrong, in her book, THE ESSENTIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW HANDBOOK, bottom-lines the goal of the performance appraisal process:

"... these formal interactions between employees and their direct supervisors point out employee's strenghts and weeknesses, and include assessing the achievemnt of previous goals and setting new ones for the employee to work toward... Ideally the performance review is constructive, separate from discussion of compensation, and contains no surprises. It should reflect a series of discussions or mini-reviews that have been conducted throughout the year." (p 14)

Unfortunately, that ideal perspective is more goal than reality; realistically, most employees would argue their experience with the review process differs. Most employees do not get regular and explicit feedback from their managers and, consequentially, feel blind-sided by their manager's assessments.

The fact is that most large firms hold dear the appraisal process -- for fear of litigation by its employees from suits of unfair treatment, termination, discrimination, or harassment. By preparing and confirming delivery of a performance review in writing, companies hide behind the process as their ability to document status of work and goals, areas of problems, areas of strengths. Whether the employee agrees or not, the company has its documented file... just in case.

Despite my cavil, Sharon Armstrong shares crucial guidance and pointers throughout the book:

'- Fine overview of the employee's and manager's feelings towards this process. (p 15)
'- Guides both a supervisor and employee as to why a good performance appraisal process can be important. (p 17)
'- Exceptionally useful self-assessment tests, as most people who answer truthfully will find they are not where they expect themselves. (pp 18-19)

'- Clever, relevant quotes begin each chapter.
'- Forms section at book's end offers many appraisal samples.

Room for improvement:
-' Armstrong relies on three idealized character types to illustrate issues and potential solutions. The characters are not typical. Most employees in the workplace are average; they have strengths and weaknesses that do not fit into these idealized situations. The author took the easy way to zoom in quickly and easily on crucial matters.
'- Most of the information Armstrong provides or shares can be found on-line, and free.

'- While the author provides insights as to legal issues of employment and touches on importance of performance reviews to protect a business against legal action by an employee, legal problems drive performance review process at most companies. (Chapter 8 - "Keep It Legal!")

The Essential Performance Review Handbook offers a balanced overview of the Human Resources performance appraisal and review process; as such, it is a good book for beginners to the performance process, for small business owners looking to develop a process, and for new managers. And an excellent primer for all employees, whether you are the supervisor who performs the reviews, or the employee subject to review. Recommended.

Who Can you Trust with Your Money?
Who Can you Trust with Your Money?
by Bonnie S. Kirchner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.99
41 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that belongs in every investor's library, April 11, 2010
Talk about betrayal. Not to diminish the impact of a man philandering on his wife, but to lie and steal from your mother, from your family, from your friends, from your colleagues, from your clients -- and, yes, from your wife -- is betrayal of the highest order of magnitude. Really, who can you trust?

Bonnie Kirchner tells us who when it regards our money in Who Can You Trust With Your Money?; an important, necessary, and timely book. Just as only Nixon could open relations with China, only Bonnie Kirchner could write this book. Kirchner is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, was one of New England's leading TV personal finance reporters... and was a casualty of her ex-husband's (Brad Bleidt) notorious Ponzi scheme.

On November 10, 2004, I was on top of the world. My husband and I were commemorating a major milestone for the radio station we worked so hard to build. Finally we were taking programming twenty four hours, seven days a week. I couldn't have been more satisfied with my career, despite the grueling hours and the toll it was taking on my personal life. The morning after the celebration, our company's receptionist came to my office door with a package. It had my husband's writing on it, and I think we both drew the conclusion that it was an attempt by Brad to be romantic. "Too little, too late" was what I was thinking. Our marriage had been deteriorating since its inception five years prior... I opened the package and found a small recording device with a sticker pointing to the play button, which said "Press here" on it, once again in Brad's handwriting. I hit play. "Hello, Bonnie, it's me. Straight to the chase here. Tragic, tragic news..."
(From the book's Introduction.)

So this guy Bleidt is the largest Ponzi schemer in history (that is, until Bernie Madoff strides into the picture), and he lacks the courage to tell the truth in person, resorting to taped messages so he can continue to hide under his rock. Or fester in jail.

Bonnie Kirchner obviously is a quick study. She offers many tips on how to spot the red flags that could alert you to dishonest financial advisors:
* Do a "broker check"
* Check references
* Ask the right questions about any disturbing regulatory or disciplinary history on the part of the advisor or his/her firm
* Be wary of any discrepancies you discover or a lack of a desire on the potential advisor's part to provide you with requested information
* Don't accept vague explanations when it comes to investment strategies to be employed for your money
* Verify where your investments will be held and what insurance coverage exists
* Uncover potential compensation arrangements and determine whether or not they are in line with your expectations
* Assess whether the advisor is overly eager to accept your assets and if so, why?

Successful investing often confounds investors; Kirchner offers to her readers, in plain English, the answers she found to the questions posed above, and many others; her guidance helps investors of all types, shapes, and sizes.

The true beauty of Who Can You Trust With Your Money?, though, is that Kirchner does not stop with discerning fraud perpetrated by financial advisors, but delves deeply into the topics of wealth management and estate planning. Her book offers no Holy Grail of successful investing, nor how to uncover the next Google/GOOG; it ventures neither topic. Kirchner's subtle message is that successful money management requires effort, just as with successful relationships; no paved road to easy wealth exists.

Not what you want to hear, I am sure. Diligence and effort present their own rewards, though. As with all good things in life, the journey trumps the destination; Bonnie Kirchner shines a guiding light to help you on your way. In doing so, Who Can You Trust With Your Money? earns my highest recommendation; a book that belongs in every investor's library as handy resource, if not read frequently for the many insights it contains.

Business Etiquette, Third Edition: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy
Business Etiquette, Third Edition: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy
by Ann Marie Sabath
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.47
52 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of your attention, March 30, 2010
Who knew the need for Ann Marie Sabath's, Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy, still exists, leave alone a 3rd edition?

Well, I did not. I thought repeatedly while reading the book that the 101 'rules' all [to be] common sense... Right? Consider the following examples:
* How do I handle co-workers on the cell-phone or texting all day?
* What, exactly, am I supposed to wear on dress-down day?
* What's the best way to compose an e-mail to my most important prospective client?
* How do I handle people who come across too strong during meetings?

But I asked questions of other business people, and really looked at daily life around me; what I learned and witnessed mortifies me:
* Prospects for a job arrive knowing nothing about the company (Sabath covers this point);
* Prospects for a job arrive for the interview wearing inappropriate clothes (Sabath covers this point as well);
* I watched as an employee at a retail cookie store finished with one customer, and then just stared at the next customer in line, as if to say: "Hurry up!" Such... surliness is inappropriate; it discourages the customer from returning. I would have fired that employee on the spot, although his behavior is equally an example of bad management practices as it is his bad attitude.
* Unrelated, I know, but it amazes me to watch people stroll through the tourist attractions in my city dressed like pigs.
* Again unrelated, but when did it become okay to wear pajamas when flying?
(The last two items do not pertain to business relationships, but they are germane on making positive impressions on other people.)

Common sense does not equal used by all, though, and Sabath is not scanty on excellent ideas, such as
Rule #32: ... Observe e-mail courtesy. Excellent suggestions in this Rule that requires 3+ pages to limn. Absolutely necessary, as evinced by terrible grammar, syntax, length, etc;
Rule #48: Be specific when leaving a phone message. This one strikes me as particularly sensible, but is violated with alarming frequency;
Rule #62: Rework the "Do Not Disturb" sign. "Employees should set parameters for when they are available to other employees..." Really, an excellent suggestion and application!
Rule #108: Make the right first impression at the job interview. Mentioned above.

Ann Marie Sabath's, Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy, is essential reading, and thus warrants your attention -- especially if you want to make a positive first impression on other people (business, social, and personal).

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