Category Archives: The Role of Retail

Looking for a Green Christmas? Who Needs Snow when there is Frozen Algae!

Need some extra pep to get you though this busy time of the year, with the side effects of good health?

Just a quick note to let you know that on of my favorite products, E3Live is having a Holiday Special!

You can get 20% Off Your Order!
Valid from Dec. 12th to Jan 2nd (midnight to midnight EST)

This will give you a chance to stock up on your favorites, buy extra for friends, or just treat yourself!  They even have a section for gifts under $10 this year.  So if you want something unusual for the person who has everything or who doesn't go for the regular candy-type gifting, this is an option.

*Special Tip: Use coupon code: HOLIDAY2011 during checkout

Click Here to See their Superfoods and Gifts

Cheers and Happy Season even if you don't get many holidays…!

Vancouver & Vitamin D should be a Mandatory Combination

They already make us pay premiums on healthcare here in BC, unlike any other province in the country, they may as well do something useful like give you a discount on your fees if you are taking vitamin D.. especially if you live in Vancouver.  November is the time you start to realize that if you work in an office, you can easily go all week without seeing the sun which rises at 8am and sets at 4:30.

Here, more than anywhere I've ever lived, have I noticed the complete scarcity of sunshine.  When there is a glimmer, people flock to the streets and the coffee shops, hoping to get a little warmth on their faces before the inevitable return of cloud cover and drizzle.

I've recommended Vitamin D a lot in my life for people who work inside or have depressive tendancies, or even wear too much sunscreen, this is the first time I've prescribed it for myself.  I found this great raw form from Garden of Life that has been working well so far.  (On the test subjects of myself and fiance – not exactly a controlled experiment, but we can get very cranky!!)

It's been a short time, but I have found myself with a slightly brighter take on my life, even as my sleep stays deprived.  One thing at a time.

Spring is in the Air, but Allergies need not be

Courtesy of The Vital Planet Health Shop

As winter thaws into spring, most of us look forward to leaving behind the ice and snow to welcome the warmth and blossoming flowers.  For those of us who suffer from springtime seasonal allergies, however, the changing of the seasons can be bittersweet as we face the prospect of days spent with constant sneezing and an unrelenting runny nose.

This need not be the case, though.  There are natural remedies available at your local health shop to help prevent and eliminate the annoyance and discomfort of seasonal allergy symptoms.

Natural Anti-histamines

Many allergy symptoms are caused by the inflammatory compound, histamine.  When there is an abundance of certain substances in the atmosphere, such as tree pollen in spring and grass pollen in summer, the immune systems of allergy sufferers will treat these harmless substances as toxins and unnecessarily produce histamine to combat them.  Fortunately there are natural supplements that can inhibit the release of histamine which, unlike pharmaceutical anti-histamines, have no adverse side effects.  Quercetin, a bioflavanoid found in many common foods, is the most recommended by health practitioners but there are other natural supplements with known anti-histamine properties such as Vitamin C and the herb Nettle.


As well as being natural anti-histamines, Quercetin and Vitamin C are also antioxidants which can assist in combating allergies.  Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals, an atom or group of atoms that cause damage to cells.  This cellular damage can lead to many health problems including a weakened immune system and susceptibility to inflammation, both of which make us more vulnerable to seasonal allergies.  Coenzyme Q 10 and Grape Seed are other antioxidant supplements which have been shown to help in the allergy fight.

Immune boosters

A strong immune system can help prevent allergies.  Astragalus, Echinacea, and Garlic are among the most highly regarded natural supplements to improve the immune system.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, visit a health food shop near you and they will be happy to assist you in finding the right natural remedy to help you enjoy the beautiful spring and summer allergy free.   

Why I buy food locally for health and politics

 Sometimes when I try to explain to people why I do what i do in the kitchen, I get all caught up over myself trying to describe too many ideas at once.  I realized today that partially it is because I tend to wrap my love of food, politics and nutrition into one pretty little savory pastry package and then try to sugar coat it.

I want to be more eloquent when I describe the direct connection between what we put into our bodies, our health, and the health of the world around us.

Buying locally reduces:

  • the worlds pollution from transporting goods
  • unequal food distribution because of food fads and our exotic preferences
  • chemicals from trying to keep food fresh for long periods
  • irradiation out of fear of our exotic preferences
  • the disassociation of our body with our surroundings

Eating simply lets you explore basic nutrition and the subtleties and possibilities of flavour within certain food groups. 

Trying not to store my food in plastic is a way to conserve petroleum and minimize exposure to estrogen-mimicking compounds. 

Trying to avoid dairy, but also soy milk (and meat replacement soy products) which has sprung up as a replacement industry and still has the damaging effects of mass production/processed food.

Every single thing I do has been thought though at some time or another to the point where I may have indeed strayed from my original thoughts and simply adopted a lifestyle that I see fit.  But then, isn't that the point? 
My lifestyle, and what I choose to spend my time and money on in a daily basis… well what greater control do I have over the world than that? 
It is both political and integral to my health as a cellular and spiritual being.  (and I mean Made of cells! not living in the microwave era!!  –true as that may be)

I guess what I'm pointing out is live conscious, eat conscious, shop conscious, and feed your loves ones with care…and let's take it from there.

P.S. but please don't take away my coffee and cinnamon… or chocolate…and nuts, do nuts grow in Canada? Did I mention we should all try not to judge each other too?….
and bananas, avocados…. cheese from Europe, sushi…

come on Truth! Ensue already!

It's hard to jump past the instinctive defensiveness that arises when conversations include people of different philosophies.  Health care comes under that heading in my opinion (or philosophy!)..ha ha  How do you argue a platform that doesn't come within someone's sphere of belief or 'reality', and how do you listen to someone else's when you've spent your whole life seeing things work from a certain perspective?  I know I am guilty of It…I spent a lifetime in the forest before tiptoeing around the globe in wonder and curiosity, and I always find it surprising that it is not obvious to everyone how every step we take the earth can feel –and so can our neighbors. 

It makes sense to me that everything i put in my body is going to affect how i feel, and everything i believe stems from this.  So how do I have a conversation with someone who has spent their life ignoring their body to follow pursuits of the mind, or out of necessity because their particular body tends to bring them pain, or because they grew up in the city where it is simple survival to ignore most of what goes on around you.  How do i not be judgmental as i describe the pleasures of feeling good when I wake up in the morning after a day of not eating shit.  (and why oh why can i not do it more often?)

Did I just replace my Catholic upbringing (we are saved/they are not) ideology with my own brand of close-mindedness?  Eat Your Weeds or you will go to hell!! (and yes, i do mean dandelions, violets, chickweed, and the like)  And more likely that you will go in the ground and no self-respecting worms will touch you…..

I love the adage, "First, Do No Harm".  i suppose i am a "the means is as important as the end" kinda girl. 

And i think every health philosophy that i know of follows that pretty well except the current medical science model.  There is a thirst for knowledge that is provable, knowable , cuttable and put back together like lego-able, and of course "the one truth"..just like the "one true god"….I mean please!  have we not learned anything from trying to make different religions get along?  Can we not see that until EVERYone admits that, hmmm, maybe no-one knows the "ONE-Truth"…simply what's worked for them thus far.  Science simply breaks things into smaller and smaller components and figures if it only gets small enough and precise enough, Truth will Ensue.  And That Truth will cascade up through all the knowledge of the body and earth, colouring our view of the entire world.  the Best scientists are philosophers, making leaps, discovering new things, and unfortunately the most Powerful doctors are the ones who can convince people to follow their orders…or give them money. 

The Money, as usual, gives the power and the resources.  Whoever can convince the rest of their society to come along on their truth-jaunt, gains extra footholds as they rewrite the rules to include themselves as truth.  The heaIth food INDUSTRY is an alternative that is still on some level based on money, and who can convince the rest to buy their stuff.  So we are fighting the good fight using the tools of the 'enemy'.  Does that make us worse?  when our sense of validation still comes from the hierarchy that we are trying to dislodge, how do we not become them?  (However, without addressing Capitalism as another side on the philosophy-train, options are few.) 

I am grateful for the Internet these days  where info can be had and had and had again, and its up to our own brains to filter and decide what works for us.  Although my best retention still comes from a dialogue involving 1-2 authors and real paper.  (as Rupert Giles says, "books have a smell", that's why you can trust them) In the end it still comes down to the personal interaction.  Do you trust the knowledge the person speaking to you has, and especially how they wield it?  If we can just get past our egos and have some conversations…

where do i fit in?

Now i probably shouldn’t start a health food style blog expounding upon my theories of objectivity and whether it exists… so mabye i’ll start with a story:

Once upon a time there was a cute little health food store manager (hey i can tell it however i want!)… and every prince and princess in the land would come to buy vitamins from her…ok off track, sorry

She had a sick cat and was living in a strange town. 

cutesickcat She tried to find the most natural vet type place she could, but ended up with the usual “pump ‘em up, keep ‘em here, force feed and make ye feel guilty if you question them” style place.  3 days and hundreds of dollars later i was allowed to take her home and they Still had no idea.
Then she got sick in a different way, so i made the long drive to a more naturally based vet.  She spoke my language!  She did not want to immediately pump Tessie full of  drugs, wondered if the previous vets may have caused this reaction, used the test results i already had in hand, and used homeopathic and herbal/nutritional remedies.  I was super syched!
Somehow it came up that i managed a health food store, and Then it came up that i was unfamiliar with one of the amino-acid based medicines she was talking about.  THEN she said that people like me were the problem with the health food industry. (frontline people who don’t know enough —paraphrasing here)

hmmm.  well, i had no answer for that….(although you can bet i did tessiecatweblater!). i paid some more hundreds of dollars and left happy for my cat but kinda uncomfortable for myself.

was she right?
should i know more?
am i wasting my own and everyone elses time?
then i wondered how much expertise she would be willing invest in if she was making retail wages?
and would she be willing to field All the questions I got in a day, just for the love of it and in the detail she seemed to think neccessary?
would people know she existed if there weren’t communities and stores paving the way and pointing in her direction?
what Should my role as a selling person be when really all anyone wants when they walk in the store is INFORMATION PLEASE!! (and free please..)

my basic personal tenants are pretty simple:  You are what you eat, breathe, and think…. but i am definitely Not above taking an ibuprofen when i can’t move or think due to cramps because i haven’t yet fixed all my hormonal balances and i got shit to do! (can you swear in a blog?)

There are so many schools of thought, so many ways of describing the body and the world around us and i think health food stores are a gateway that people can use to glimpse possibilities.  I don’t know the right answers (and we definitely are not allowed to phrase our sentences in ways that might make people think we do!) and besides everyones path to health is a little subjective.

(so health yerself!)