11 years ago

The natural food industry knows things – secret things that some people are just discovering will turn their health around. For example, I’m sure you’ve heard recent claims that “sugar is a toxin.” The natural food industry has known this about sugar for decades, but if it’s breaking news for you, then you probably aren’t loading your grocery cart with natural and organic foods.

I’ve been in the natural food business for more than 30 years, listening to and being mentored by hundreds of natural health food experts. I’m not a nutritionist, but I have studied holistic nutrition and learned the basic secrets to natural foods.

I’m not making health claims – just telling you what I’ve learned over the years that works for me. And as always, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before making changes to your health regime. 

Secret #1: Organic Produce 
Fresh produce is good for you, everyone knows that, but fresh organic produce is even better. Organic produce comes from seeds that are not genetically engineered and are grown in soil that has not been treated with pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Organic plants aren’t absorbing all that synthetic stuff, so you won’t either.

Secret #2: Juicing 
The fast track to loading your body with concentrated nutrition comes from juicing. The secret to doing it so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar is to watch it on the carrots and fruit. Juicing green vegetables such as celery, kale, spinach, peppers, parsley and cucumbers with a hint of apple, orange and carrot will blast your body full of fresh, not overly sweet nutrients. 

Secret #3: Eliminate processed foods 
White flour, white sugar, white rice and all other highly refined foods don’t offer optimal nutrition. Think about it…you have a whole food, like wheat or brown rice, then you remove all the nutrients from them, then you put back synthetic vitamins that you just striped away. It’s hard to offer fresh from the ground or vine nutrition that way. We in the natural food business believe you should eat the real deal. If it doesn’t look like what it started out as, don’t eat it. Simple.

Secret #4: If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your body 
The best natural body care comes from food grade ingredients. Olive oil is great for cooking, but also great for your skin. There are also some great body soaps, such as Dr. Bronner’s, that are all natural and do the job without stripping the natural oils off your skin.

Secret #5: Healthy fat is not an oxymoron 
There are good fats that you and your brain need in moderation: avocados, olive oil, organic butter, etc. All yummy and essential for keeping your brain and body well lubricated so you can think on your feet. 

Secret #6: Consume meat, dairy and eggs in organic form and in moderation 
Animal fat holds all the nutrients, but it also holds all the toxins if an animal is given antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones or pesticides from feed. Organic livestock is never exposed to those harmful toxins. 

Secret #7: Try herbs for healing 
Herbs in the form of tea or tinctures are a powerful thing for healing and boosting the immune system. Our tea aisle is full of some wonderful lines to get you started such as Traditional Medicinal or Yogi Tea. We also have the best line of herbal concentrated tinctures in the industry called Herb Pharm. 

Secret #8: Detoxify your body 
Easily done by following #’s 1-3. 

Secret #9: Incorporate stress reduction activities in your life 
Exercise is great for body and mind, and helps reduce stress. Exercise doesn’t have to be stressful either. Yoga, Tai Chi and walking are all great ways to intentionally reduce stress and get your body moving. 

Secret #10: Play 
Fill in the blank here. What do you love to do? What makes you laugh and smile? Maybe dancing or acting silly? 

I invite you to test these secrets and enjoy yourself in our aisles as you shop for organic and natural foods at Lunds and Byerly’s! 

Bea James, senior manager of organic, natural and sustainable programs