What working at the health food store has taught me
Just under two years ago, I embarked on a journey to serve customers to the best of my ability at a nearby health food store. My prior experience and enthusiasm for health helped me land the position. The role gave me insights into the unique paths individuals take in their pursuit of well-being. In the beginning, I thought memorising the use of nearly 1000 different products would be the biggest challenge, but really it was to understand that I was an ambassador for healthy living and that for many, I was the first touch in their healthy living journey, but for others who were well read and very savvy about their health goals I was just a guide who aided in the purchase of the products they came to the store to buy.
Amidst the array of encounters and heartfelt conversations, a recurring theme gently surfaced - the understandable yearning to simplify the journey, seeking quick solutions while possibly hesitating at the prospect of navigating the educational and dedicated aspects underlying lasting lifestyle changes. In this article, I warmly invite you to join me in exploring the common questions that arise and to illuminate the compassionate guidance that gently redirects individuals from fleeting shortcuts toward the enduring embrace of holistic well-being.
"Do you have something for weight loss?" This is one of the questions I get most regularly. Weigh loss goals are complicated because they stem from very different motivations. Having guided numerous clients on their weight loss journeys, I understand the desire for quick results. However, my experience has shown that true success lies in embracing sustainable changes. When met with this question, I emphasise that a balanced daily intake of healthy whole foods in their proper proportions while staying clear of allergens and intolerances is a great first step. If the customer is curious we can also talk about sleep and stress management. Then we can get into probiotics, digestive enzymes and other supplemental support protocols. People should seek out consultants or dietitians when appropriate for personalised meal plans, guidance, troubleshooting, education and accountability because steady progress is better than all-or-nothing approaches.
"I need a quick fix for boosting my immune system." Of course, we have all been through some crazy times, and our immunity and its importance have never before been so mainstream. Healthy eating, stress management, sleep quality, regular exercise, a healthy microbiome and personal hygiene all contribute to immune function. But genetics play a role too. We have all come to this world with different starting points, and must do our best with the hand we have been dealt. There is solid research around quarcetin, zinc, and vitamins C and D regarding supporting our immune system. I recommend customers and clients get panels done by a healthcare professional and then supplement according to their needs; guesswork is inadequate when looking to support our unique bio-individuality.
"Is there a pill that can replace exercise?" My coaching philosophy revolves around comprehensive/holistic well-being, emphasising physical fitness and regular exercise's mental, physical and emotional rewards.
"Can you recommend a lotion to erase wrinkles?" As a holistic nutrition consultant and proud Bauman grad, I've come to appreciate the value of nurturing healthy skin through holistic approaches. My journey has shown me that addressing concerns around ageing skin involves more than surface-level solutions. With deep understanding, I guide individuals towards comprehensive skincare routines, stressing that lasting improvements require patience and consistent care. Our store has beauty products without additives, which are ethically produced and our customers can feel good about purchasing them. Finding the ones compatible with your skin type and deciding on the time and energy you wish to commit to your skin care routine are imperative. Health comes from within, so I believe what you put on your plate is as valuable as what you put on your skin.
"What's the easiest way to detox my body?" This is a tricky landscape because our bodies detoxify on their own. Still, of course, there are habits that support or diminish our body's ability to detoxify. When we hydrate, fuel and rest optimally, we will see that the different systems in our body work more in sync with one another. When looking to detox, I have to ask why, and many answers it is to kick start a weight loss journey. I would love to hear people express that they want to support their liver better; I mean, THE LIVER does so much for us, every day! It stores vitamins and minerals, breaks down stored fats, creates energy, synthesises proteins, and so much more. Focused on detoxing..? I will soon have a blog up all about it.
"How can I improve my sleep? Can melatonin help?" Sleep, a cornerstone of well-being, often prompts inquiries about shortcuts like melatonin. Drawing from my extensive experience, I delve into the intricacies of healthy sleep hygiene, suggesting calming rituals, screen time management, and the potential role of melatonin supplements when used judiciously. Yet, I emphasise that understanding one's sleep patterns and creating a conducive sleep environment ultimately contribute to lasting improvements.
I want people to buy and use products that are sustainably sourced, within their budget, and that support them in their quest for results. There is an allure to shortcuts versus the enduring impact of genuine effort. That being said, after you are armed with a blood panel and have spoken to your health care professional, I believe the health food store is the best place to purchase ethically sourced organic ingredients for supporting a healthy lifestyle. The products we sell are very different from those found in most grocers. I invite you to explore the angels and to see yourself holistically, as the journey to health and healing is never a straight line. Embrace the profound beauty of transformation, which includes education, action and habit change. Remember, the path to a vibrant, fulfilling life is meticulously crafted through mindful choices and purposeful steps forward.
Kristen Moss NC
Buteyko Instructor & Lifestyle Coach
Mother of two