Monday, 01 September 2014 15:48
By Ammitai Worob, D.C.
If 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.)
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 18:30
By Kristie Snyder,
Yve-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.
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 16:03
By Deanna Hope Berman, ND, CM
I 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.
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New in Wellness
Detox your mouth with a new locally made toothpaste, or try a new organic mouth rinse to leave your teeth sparkling clean.
If you're doing some spring cleaning this month, why not put your money where your mouth is? We've got a new locally made "detox" toothpaste from Dragonfly Effect out of Oneonta. How can a toothpaste be detoxifying, you ask? A blend of bentonite clay, diotamaceous earth, and other pure ingredients, this paste is meant to be swallowed, functioning as both tooth cleanser and internal cleanser. Vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, it's available in three fresh flavors. Also for squeaky-clean teeth, we're happy to introduce Essential Oxygen's Organic Brushing Rinse. It can be used as a mouthwash, of course, but it also doubles as a liquid toothpaste. Simply squirt it into your mouth, swish, brush, and spit! The makers recommend using it first thing in the morning to rid yourself of the bad bacteria that builds up in the mouth overnight. It's good not only for your teeth but for your entire immune system.
By Becca Harber
There's enough water for human need, but not enough for human greed.
From California to New York to distant lands, people are taking the extremely destructive effects of bottled water increasingly seriously. New York City has banned bottled water sales in its government workplaces, and San Francisco, Albuqu...