The Best of Neal 2019: Rants, Ravings & Really Good Advice
Is it that time already? It is! In the blink of an eye, 2019 comes to a close.
This year I gave the industry both barrels. You, my loyal followers, got a mountain of content and information.
We pumped out over 50 articles, wrote 3 new ebooks, performed 8 or so webinars, and broadcast internationally (no joke) via 43 podcast episodes.
I’m pretty stoked on all that high-value content we were able to create.
Let’s recap the best content, just in case you missed it…
1. My favorite blog to write: Dairy Alternatives are Mostly Unhealthy
It is so fun for me to do the monthly rant. I get to educate you all while trashing the industry, leaning heavy on jokes and sarcasm. What could be better?
This rant was great because I knew it would stir the pot-in a good way. It rocked people’s world to hear that heavily marketed, trendy, “natural” dairy alternative products are closer to Sunny Delight than they are to milk.
Hypocrisy is my favorite thing to attack, especially in the wellness world. The big reward of this particular rant was calling out the absolute disgusting misdirection and deception in the “health food” industry.
The big take-home for this blog? Look beyond the marketing and focus on what’s REALLY in your products, because the industry WILL let you down.
2. The coolest thing we made: The Podcast.
This year we launched The Big Mouth Pharmacist podcast.
Hands down, this is my favorite content we create. I get to speak with industry thought leaders about all the myths and misinformation in the wellness space. And, I don’t have to spend 4-10 hours making a show; I can quickly create awesome content with about 1-2 hours of effort.
We covered a lot, so it’s hard to pick a single favorite. Here’s a shortlist of some of my favorite episodes, in lightning format:
- Halloween Special: Medical Horror Stories – Dr. Rissman is endearing and shares lots of great, funny stories and offers advice for all of us in navigating the system.
- Mast Cells, Glitter Bombs, & Other BS – Dr. Hirdt has become quite popular, addressing misperceptions around mast cell diseases.
- All Mushrooms Aren’t Magic – Skye (and his dad Jeff) quickly have become my favorite in the industry, due to their commitment to integrity in their space.
- How To Sleep Well – Dr. Stanley’s a real guru and I was really honored to have him on. He introduced me to my new hero, Jo Arendt, a melatonin researcher, and I wrote a nice little article about it.
- Food Allergies and Intolerances – I met Dr. Daines on Reddit and he did an excellent interview addressing many of the misconceptions around food allergies, especially the BS tests for IGG.
- Dr. Melissa Hunt’s 2 episodes – Dr. Hunt, social media researcher and gut expert, talked in two funny, information-dense interviews: The Mind-Gut Connection and Don’t Twitter Away Your Sanity
- Fandom & Wellness Fanaticism with Zoe Fraad-Blanar – I met Zoe at a conference and she was my first “celeb” to agree to be on the show.
- Music, Medicine, and Michael Jackson – Hands down a favorite around Woodstock, “The Rock Doc” Dr. Neil Ratner – Michael Jackson’s doctor that DIDNT murder him – talked about his journey from music to medicine back to music.
3. My favorite subject: Your Mushrooms Supplements are Lying to You
The podcast lead to me meeting Skye Chilton and learning about his and his father’s work in providing the world with high quality, organic mushroom extracts.
People LOVE the idea of mushrooms but do not realize one mind-blowing, sad fact: 90% of the time there are no mushrooms in the products we buy. Yes, even the most popular one where the founder does TED talks…
I speak to the therapeutic potential of mushrooms, but more importantly, I addressed all of the myths around the products and help people buy REAL MUSHROOMS.
4. The blog with the biggest impact: 5 Supplements To Stop, Right Now.
This blog is the one with the biggest, longest legs from 2019.
This blog article that touched on the supplements that people SHOULDN’T take has been read by over 30,000 people! Objective proof that even though I’m a little guy, our message can have a big impact!
I believe the article concisely identifies the most problematic supplements and why. Plus, we add a laundry list beyond the 5 in quick-fire format.
5. Most meaningful: 3 Types of Dietary Supplements
I use analogies all day to educate consumers (and now practitioners) on how the supplement industry is, well, screwing us all over.
The 3 Types of Dietary Supplements provides an eye-opening framework to help people understand the supplement product problem.
We spend all this time listening to the gurus and “experts” talk about this and that supplement and all it will do for us. The problem? Most products aren’t what we think they are.
I use steak (sorry vegans) as an analogy of how I see the industry: moldy and unhealthy.
6. The trendiest of 2019: CBD
This was, without a doubt, the year of CBD. The craze started going out of control mid-2018, but it surged and peaked all this year. I was soothsayer in our 2018 year-end review if you recall.
CBD was on the tip of everyone’s tongues – either in conversation or literally because you dissolve CBD in your mouth and people are using it all the time.
There isn’t one piece of content we can point to as our best of 2019, because we made near 50 different pieces! It came up on almost every podcast episode last year. We wrote a handful of blogs covering different aspects from how to use it, to the legal concerns.
So, if you want to see the best CBD content we made, check out the whole CBD page.
7. Honorable mention: Most Puns Per Podcast
I loved having Dr. Doug Tumen in on the podcast. I must have had a full-sugar soda before we went on, because I felt like I peppered the conversation with silly puns and dad jokes.
It was really fun because he fed off of it and was able to still provide a ton of information around foot health. If you missed it, don’t hesitate to loop back and give it a listen!
Thanks for Reading
I’m going to conclude this post the exact same way I did 2018 because I really can’t think of a better way to say it:
To all you loyal blog readers, I can’t say thank you enough!
The feedback and love I get after each and every article I write is overwhelming. It truly is motivational; I happily grind away to get this blog done each week because I know how much you all enjoy reading them.
Writing this blog is one of my favorite things to do. I get to teach people important stuff and be myself, which is a sometimes professional, but mostly sarcastic guy.
I can’t wait for 2020 and all the great stuff we’ll get to share with all of you. See you on the other side!
Just trying to keep it real…
Neal Smoller, PharmD
Owner, Pharmacist, Big Mouth