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Swanson® Teams Up with Jack LaLanne—My Meeting with "The Godfather of Fitness"

Lee Swanson with his childhood hero, Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne and Lee Swanson

Dear Friends and Valued Customers:

Over the past year, I had the great honor of working with one of my childhood heroes, Jack LaLanne. Sadly, Jack passed away at the age of 96 in January, 2011, shortly after we put the finishing touches on a new and truly unique health supplement, a product Jack was so excited to help develop. Although he is no longer with us, "The Godfather of Fitness," as Jack was called, left us a lasting legacy of how to live a healthy, positive life. I'm proud to have known Jack and even more proud to help carry on his legacy. The following is my recounting of our meeting and collaboration on VITA-LANNE, Jack's final masterpiece.

As always, I wish you the best of health,

Lee signature

Have you ever met your childhood hero? The person you aspired to be—the movie star, the athlete, the astronaut? I recently met the biggest hero I had in my young life, and I have to say it was truly a thrill.

Jack LaLanne's name is synonymous with exercise in America. For over 30 years he was the face of fitness on television, broadcasting daily with his unique brand of home exercises, motivational messages and inspirational good cheer. I raced to the television every day to exercise with Jack and listen to his advice. My mom and my brother watched, too. (Dad was working.)

When he was just a teenager himself, Jack's life was transformed by the teachings of Paul Bragg, the same man who had an immense influence in my father's life and introduced my family to the foundations of natural wellness. We were kindred spirits, Jack and I, and I wanted nothing more than to achieve the level of health, fitness and happiness Jack displayed every day on that old black-and-white Philco.

Many people today remember Jack for his amazing feats like swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco while handcuffed or celebrating his 70th birthday by towing 70 boats filled with 70 people through Long Beach Harbor while swimming handcuffed and shackled. Amazing feats, to be sure, but Jack's true legacy lies in those old television shows, which you can watch online at, where you can even order your own copies.

Behind Every Great Man...

Elaine LaLanne shows off a 1950's photo of herself atop a human pyramid at Muscle Beach

Elaine LaLanne

They say that behind every great man there's a great woman. Jack's wife, Elaine, is that woman. At 85 years young, she greeted me and my team with the energy and radiance of someone at least 30 years younger. Elaine is fond of telling the story of her first meeting with Jack: she had a donut in one hand and a cigarette in the other. After many rebuffs, she finally succumbed to Jack's advances (and health advice), and the couple married in 1959. As we followed her through a tour of their home and private museum of Jack's career, I couldn't help marvel at her—Elaine's beauty, energy and obvious good health prove that the principles and practices Jack developed really do work.

A Health Product Pioneer

If you don't know Jack from his famous television show or his amazing physical feats, chances are you recognize him from his infomercials, which continue to run regularly on weekend and late-night TV, advertising the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer.™ Jack will only put his name behind something he truly believes in, and juicing is at the heart of his health and fitness program. In fact, we were handed a glass of homemade juice immediately upon arriving for our visit.

The Power Juicer isn't Jack's first product. He's the pioneer behind a wide variety of consumer items from the weight machines and exercise equipment found in almost every gym to instant breakfast powders and numerous supplement formulas. Now, I'm honored to announce the introduction of Swanson Ultra® Vita-Lanne,™ Jack's latest creation named after the first multivitamin he introduced over 50 years ago. Vita-Lanne contains over 400 of the world's most healthy ingredients to deliver comprehensive total-body support for daily good health and energy.

Meeting Jack and working with him on his new supplement is the realization of a childhood dream and the highlight of my career in the natural products industry. I can't wait to share this new supplement with you, and I hope you'll take the time to visit Jack's website ( and get to know this true American hero.

Exclusive Swanson Interview—Jack LaLanne Introduces Vita-Lanne™ Liquid Multi

SWANSON: As "The Godfather of Fitness" you've done more to raise awareness of natural health than possibly anyone alive today. Do you find it discouraging that we're still facing epidemic obesity and malnutrition?

LaLanne: I feel that people today are much more aware of eating good healthy foods as evidenced by the number of alternative food markets and the availability of information about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. In today's world, unlike the 1950s and 1960s when I was the only one on television preaching against an unhealthy lifestyle, there has been an explosion of information. I want everyone to eat well and exercise. I think the biggest letdown is that people still don't like to exercise and that is why we see so much obesity today. Heck, I hate to exercise! Who wants to get up on a cold morning, leaving a warm bed and a hot woman, to go to a cold gym and work out for two hours? I do it every day, not because I like it, but I LIKE THE RESULTS!

Vita-Lanne quote

Any exercise is better than no exercise. Walk around the block; do pushups and squats while watching TV; or just sit in that chair and stand up, sit again, then stand again. Today's kids are too sedentary, playing video games and working their computers. More needs to be done about exercising in school. Gym classes need to be expanded, not eliminated, and more schools need to educate these kids on proper nutrition. Remember: Exercise is King. Nutrition is Queen. Put them together and you have a Kingdom.

SWANSON: What role have vitamins and supplements played in your life? Have you found that supplements become more important as you age?

LaLanne: I have been taking supplements since I discovered the path to healthy living at age 15. As I became more aware of the foods I was eating, I realized that I needed to supplement those foods with natural vitamins from natural sources. It wasn't long after I was on television that I developed one of the most recognizable lines of vitamins in the United States. As I aged, my vitamin intake changed along with me. I took less of some and more of others, but I have always kept a supplement regimen.

SWANSON: Your new all-in-one liquid nutrient formula seems to have everything one could possibly want in a supplement and more. How does it fit with your practice of juicing, which you are so recognized for promoting?

Shackled and cuffed, Jack pulls 65 boats & 6,500 lbs. of wood pulp through Lake Oshinoko in Japan to celebrate his 65th birthday

Jack LaLanne pulling a boat

LaLanne: I've always been a fan of juicing, and my Power Juicer has brought the practice to thousands of households, which I'm very proud of. But even as I juice daily, I still take supplements. Supplementation is not a replacement for juicing or eating a healthy diet, but it's an important part of any daily wellness program.

One thing I like about juicing is that it's a super-efficient way to get lots of nutrients into the body fast. Vita-Lanne accomplishes the same thing. And that's an important advantage for a dietary supplement. For years I would take 40 to 50 tablets and capsules per day and occasionally I'd get one or two caught in my throat. I have always dreamed of a liquid multivitamin that has all the elements necessary for good nutrition and ingredients that would cover those 40 to 50 tablets I would swallow every day. After working with you, I finally discovered it could be done. Not only do I have a liquid multi that has everything I need, but it also tastes great! I decided to name it Vita-Lanne in honor of my first multivitamin developed in the 1950s.

SWANSON: You were personally involved with this formulation. What was your focus when selecting the ingredients? It really is the most complete nutrient formula I've ever seen.

The famous Jack LaLanne Power Juicers

The famous Jack LaLanne Power Juicers

LaLanne: First, I wanted to make sure we had natural forms of all the major nutrients—the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and cofactors our bodies need every day. Then of course we had to have essential fatty acids because we now know scientifically what many of us have said for years—EFAs are incredibly important! I included proprietary blends of healthful fruits and vegetables to augment that which we might get from juicing, along with enzymes that help the body make use of all these things. And finally, I included a variety of herbs and specialty nutrients that research shows really have benefits—things like glucosamine, milk thistle and resveratrol.

SWANSON: Is your supplement designed for older individuals only or can everyone in the family, from children to grandparents, benefit from it?

LaLanne: I have always been about inclusive, not exclusive. When I developed this product, the first thing on my mind was to make it so everyone could benefit from it.

Whether a person is young or old, it doesn't matter. Vita-Lanne will give everyone what they need to round out their daily diet and propel their fitness and wellness program to new heights. Just one ounce is all you need each day. I recommend taking it in the morning either by itself or in your fresh juice. You can take it more often of course, say three times daily with your meals, but really once a day is all you need. There are 32 ounces in each bottle, so you've got a month's supply right there.

SWANSON: Thank you, Jack, for welcoming us into your home and working with us to bring the latest LaLanne innovation to America. It is a great honor.

LaLanne: You are very welcome, Lee. I know your customers will love Vita-Lanne as much as I do. Just remember, your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.