wellness

Dinner with the Doctor: Taking Nutrition
 from Information Overload to a Plan for You

Monday, 01 September 2014 15:48

By Ammitai Worob, D.C.

can-of-confusedIf you're like me, you've found yourself at GreenStar wandering into the Wellness section and standing in a state of semi-awe before a myriad of nutritional supplements ranging from A to Zinc. All those different brands, labels, combinations! If you didn't go in for something specific, you probably left in a swirl of confused thoughts like, "I wonder what makes one probiotic better than another" or "Isn't garlic supposed to be good for heart health? Should I be taking that?" Maybe you also subscribe to Dr. Mercola's e-newsletter or pick up the occasional health magazine and find yourself wondering, "Could 85 percent of Americans really be magnesium deficient?" or "Am I getting enough protein? And if so is it the right kind?"

In this information age, it's hard to sort out fact from fiction, and it's easy to go down a rabbit hole of information and get lost in the noise. Many food co-op shoppers have chosen to embark on a journey of healthful eating for a full and happy life. This journey can be difficult to navigate, in part because there are so many experts and so few areas of agreement on what is "best" or what is "true." Worse yet, even within one paradigm, the experts often change their minds or find new research that contradicts earlier thought. Just look at two peer-reviewed research articles from last year: British Medical Journal, Feb. 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements doubled their chances of a heart attack and had a higher mortality rate." Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 2013: "Women who took calcium supplements lowered their mortality rates."

One fact beyond debate is that the top killers in this country are largely preventable lifestyle-driven diseases. America's top killer, heart disease, is both preventable and reversible. Certain cancers and associated diseases, such as lung cancer and respiratory diseases, can also be prevented in the majority of cases. And do you know that the fourth leading cause of death in the US is iatrogenic (caused by medical intervention)? Yes, it's true — just behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the next most potent killer is medical care itself. Old Ben Franklin clearly had it right: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (At some point, the focus of our health-care system will be forced, kicking and screaming, to face this reality. Our current system is wholly unsustainable. But that's a topic for another discussion.)

Read more: Dinner with the Doctor: Taking Nutrition
 from Information Overload to a Plan for You

 

Kreyòl Essence: Natural Beauty with a Purpose

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:30

By Kristie Snyder,
GreenLeaf Editor

kreyol essenceYve-Car Momperousse and Stéphane Jean-Baptiste are all too familiar with the predominant image of Haiti in the US media: poverty, destruction, and desperation. But that's not how the owners of beauty-product company Kreyòl Essence see it. Their Haiti is a land of beautiful mountains and beaches, a culturally vibrant Caribbean nation with vast untapped potential. Their company aims to connect eco-conscious consumers in the US with traditional Haitian products that have fabulous health and beauty benefits, to create jobs and markets, and to empower Haitian communities along the way.

Kreyòl Essence was born following a "hair catastrophe." While straightening Yve-Car's hair, a stylist applied too much heat, causing permanent damage. Yve-Car and Stéphane, both Haitian-American, remembered that their families used to turn to Haitian black castor oil as an all-purpose, traditional remedy for hair and skin troubles and a host of other ailments. Living in Philadelphia at the time, Yve-Car sought out the product to strengthen her hair as it grew back, and came up lacking, even in the Haitian neighborhoods. She expanded her search to New York and Boston, but still found nothing like what they both remembered — high quality, hand-pressed, additive-free, and unrefined castor oil. She called on her mom in Haiti to ship her an emergency bottle, and the ensuing conversation led to a decision to bring the product to America. From that beginning, Kreyòl Essence now manufactures hair pomades and milks, body soufflés, soaps, and candles using the black castor oil along with other high-quality and responsibly sourced ingredients.

The couple relocated to Ithaca around two years ago when Yve-Car was offered a job as Cornell's Director of Diversity Alumni Programs. They brought the fledgling business with them, and have since left their jobs (Stéphane worked in Ithaca College's School of Business) to run the business full-time. With combined backgrounds in marketing, communications, activism, business consulting, development, and non-profit management, they have sought to create a new kind of business — commercially viable, but with core social tenets. Rather than donate profits back to Haiti, Yve-Car and Stéphane followed a different path. They sought out Haitian farmers to grow the castor beans and hired local people to process them into oil and manufacture beauty products.

Read more: Kreyòl Essence: Natural Beauty with a Purpose

Natural Approaches to Clearing Chronic Pain

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 16:03

By Deanna Hope Berman, ND, CM

pain-in-finger-jointsI don't have a high number of clients who come to me solely because of pain. However, pain is often a secondary symptom of the many chronic conditions my clients present with. Therefore, out of necessity, I find myself helping people overcome chronic pain. That's no surprise. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined.

The most common types of chronic pain are back pain, migraine or headache pain, and joint pain. Although some pain stems directly from current or past injuries, this is not where I want to focus this article. Here, I'm discussing the chronic pain due to fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Lyme disease, and other chronic conditions. Because pain can affect the simplest of daily tasks (walking the dog, doing the dishes, getting dressed), it can make living a fulfilling life nearly impossible. For this reason, I am dedicated to helping my clients find lasting relief, and better overall health in the process.

As you may have experienced, the cycle of pain itself exacerbates the problem. Chronic pain makes it harder to exercise or to get a good night's sleep. A lack of exercise can lead to both depression and weight gain. Weight gain can often exacerbate chronic pain especially in the back and joints. The lack of sleep leads to an increase of stress hormones. Stress hormones and the related anxiety and depression can exacerbate inflammation, thus further increasing the pain. My goal is to help people break these negative cycles by getting at the underlying causes.

Read more: Natural Approaches to Clearing Chronic Pain

 

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New in Wellness

Changing Season Means Changing Skin

Anna Stratton,
Wellness Manager

We've brought in more Andalou products in response to your requests, and we've also added DeVita Natural Skin Care.

solar body moisturizerAnnouncing new arrivals in skin care! Since you've been enjoying our offerings from Andalou Naturals thus far, we're bringing in even more of their products, giving full justice to this awesome company. Did you know Andalou was the first full-line beauty brand to be non-GMO verified? All their formulations meet a minimum of 70 percent certified organic content as well! Current Co-op customer favorites: Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk, Ultra Sheer Daily Defense Facial Lotion with SPF 15, and Probiotic + C Renewal Cream. New exciting offerings: 1000 Roses Cleansing Foam and Purple Carrot + C Luminous Night Cream. Also look for products from DeVita Natural Skin Care, a certified woman-owned company in Phoenix. DeVita offers only the cleanest ingredients and is PETA certified (100 percent cruelty-free and vegan!). Try their Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser and the Moroccan Rose Facial Toner for a bit of luxury with heart.

  • GreenStar recently installed 18 solar panels on the roof of the receiving area on the southern side of the store, and as of mid-September, they’re providing clean, renewable power to the store. The 4.05 kW grid-tied system, installed by Ithaca’s Renovus Energy, is made up of 18 SunPower 225 Watt panels. The system is designed to generate an average of 11.1 kWh per day, or 4,038 kWh per year. Of course, energy production is both weather- and seasonally-dependent. General Manager Bini Reilly estimates that the system should provi...

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