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Zone Living

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Julie Swail Ertel
on April 01, 2014


While training for the 2012 Olympic Trials, I was in Florida on a training ride and began discussing nutrition with a former pro triathlete. She was in her late 30s (not much older than I, but more than 10 years older than most who were in the training group) and was keeping up with our fast-paced rides just fine. She told me that she was able to withstand the training and recovery because she was using Dr. Sears' Zone products.


Triathletes are notoriously tough on their bodies with the long hours spent in the sun, wind and pool every day. She told me about taking fish oils to battle inflammation and about the important antioxidants found in the SeaHealth Plus.

After making the Olympic team, I focused a lot on nutrition as there is not much that separates athletes physically at this level. Our team nutritionist talked to the six team members about the importance of antioxidants and fish oils as a daily supplement. The fish oils were necessary to reduce inflammation caused by our training regimen.


It was at this point when I remembered the conversation I had months earlier about the Zone products. As an Olympic athlete, the integrity of products and supplements was critical since I underwent routine drug testing sometimes three tests a month. I did my research and felt very comfortable with the quality of Zone products and the assurance that there would not be trace amounts of other (banned) substances in their products.


I began taking OmegaRx and EicoPro daily. I noticed that I recovered quicker and was also having fewer asthmatic problems and ultimately was able to reduce the amount of my asthma medication. CSL was pleasantly surprised by the SeaHealth Plus, which has key nutrients that I would not otherwise get in my diet. Because of what it contained, I expected to choke down something that didn't taste good. Instead, I use that as a 'treat' to have each day after my big workout or add to a shake or to some sparkling water.

When I became pregnant with twins, I continued taking the fish oils because I felt that it was the highest-quality product on the market, and DHA is recommended during pregnancy. I also added the Polyphenols to the regimen in addition to the SeaHealth Plus.


With my life getting busier, I've also added the shakes so that I can get my nutrition on the go, whether getting to preschool for a timely pick up or after a big workout on my way to swim lessons. They have been a real life-saver and have helped me put something healthy into my body at a time when I otherwise would have reached for something convenient but less healthy.

My kids have grown up with the children's chewable vitamins and fish oils and even love the strawberry and vanilla shakes. And it is comforting as a mother to know that this is a high-quality product that I'm giving my kids. Nothing is better than my daughter asking, 'Is this healthy for me? Will it help me grow big and have a strong, healthy body?' and me answering, 'Yes!'


Through regular exercise that includes running, cycling, swimming, water polo and yoga, a balanced diet and supplementing with Zone products, I have been able to maintain my racing weight from 2012, maintain my pro license for triathlon, compete at nationals for both water polo and triathlon, and keep up with my twins!


I'm a Zone fan for life!


Julie's Results

Year Award Position
Feb. 2014 USA Track and Field 8K Masters Nationals 3rd
April 2013 USA Triathlon Elite/Pro Nationals 3rd
Sept. 2008 Olympic Games China, Triathlon 19th
April 2008 Olympic Trials, Tuscaloosa, AL 1st
2004, 2005, 2007 Haul to the Great Wall National Series Champion
2007, 2008 U.S. Triathlon Nationals Champion
2007 Pan Am Games - Triathlon Champion
2003 Pan Am Games - Triathlon 8th
Sept. 2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Water Polo 2nd
1999 Pan Am Games - Water Polo 2nd

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