Wellness

Business of the Month – Jumelles Wellness Midwifery

Are you sprouting a new family? We invite you to check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month for March Jumelles Wellness Midwifery! Jumelles (pronounced ju-mell) is a woman-centered practice, offering central Vermont families homebirth midwifery care, doula services, lactation counseling, and childbirth education. Thanks to the Co-op Connection, Co-op member-owners can enjoy 2% off their initial prenatal appointment and 2% off a birth tub rental! Read on to learn more:

 

 

About the Practitioner:

Chenoa is a Traditional Midwife, a Certified Professional Midwife through North American Registry of Midwives (NARM),  Licensed Midwife in the state of Vermont, a certi

fied doula, Certified Lactation Consultant and Emergency Medical Technician.  Chenoa has been attending births since 1997. While pursuing her Bachelors of Art at the University of Oregon, she completed training as a birth doula through DONA (Doulas of North America.) Chenoa immediately began a three-year, traditional midwifery program.

Following the midwifery program/apprenticeship, she continued her training through another apprenticeship in a high-volume birth center in Portland, Oregon, specializing in water births.  During that time, Chenoa also volunteered with Doula Circle, a program that provided doula services for teen mothers, a commitment that she currently maintains by offering childbirth education and support to families.  In 2006, Chenoa moved with her family to Vermont, where she began working as the primary midwife at a group midwifery practice in Addison county. In 2010 Chenoa volunteered as the primary midwife for a busy birth center in Jacmel, Haiti with twin sister Nieve Shere leading to the eventual collaboration between Jumelles Wellness Midwifery and Riverside Natural Health Center in 2013.

Chenoa is certified by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP & BLS) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults, infants, and newborns. She is a member of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), Vermont Midwives Association (VMA), and National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM)

Chenoa lives on a small farm in Cornwall, Vermont with her husband and three children.

Services Provided:

  • Home birth midwifery care including prenatal, birth & postpartum
  • Water birth & birth tub rental
  • Laboratory work
  • 24/7 on call service for labor & urgent matters
  • Complete newborn exams & screenings
  • Lactation consulting & breastfeeding support
  • VBAC (Vaginal Births after Cesarean)
  • Childbirth education classes
  • Doula services
  • Acupuncture for fertility, pregnancy, birth & postpartum through collaborative care

Visit their webpage to learn more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wellness Wonders: Elderberry!

Our Wellness Wonders Spotlight for March shines brightly on a tiny but potent little berry with an extensive history of use and folklore in traditional western practices – the elderberry! For centuries, elderberries have been used to make culinary and medicinal preparations, including preserves, wines, cordials, teas, herbal infusions, and syrups. Ancient texts from Hippocrates (460 – 370BC), Dioscorides (40 – 90 AD), and Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD) include information about elder, indicating its longstanding value in herbal medicine, and elder has often been referred to as the “medicine chest of the common people.”

Elderberries are fruits of a hardy perennial shrub that can withstand less than ideal growing conditions. It grows in full or partial sun, tolerates the cold, and can withstand wet, clay soils. Here in Vermont, you may even see the native Sambucus canadensis growing in roadside drainage ditches, along rivers, or in wet fields. Its cousin, Sambucus nigra (black elderberry), is native to Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. The berries of both S. canadensis and S. nigra can be used for culinary and medicinal purposes, however, the seeds within the raw fruit contain a component called sambunigrin which can cause intestinal distress if ingested in large quantities, so it’s ideal to cook, tincture, ferment, or otherwise prepare the berries prior to consumption. It’s also important to note that the stems and leaves of the elder plant are toxic and should be removed prior to making an elderberry or elderflower preparation.

 

A bottle of homemade elderberry syrup on a wooden table, with fresh elderberries in the background

The berries, flowers, and bark of the elder (Sambucus) plant have long been prized by herbalists across the globe, and modern studies have also substantiated the berries’ ability to help maintain normal, healthy functioning of our immune system. This makes elderberry an excellent plant ally to promote resilience during times when our body’s systems are particularly stressed. While elderberry is most famous for being a cold and flu herb, its gifts extend well beyond sniffle season, promoting strong bones and healthy hair, protecting the heart and eyes, and supporting digestion, according to herbalist Emily Han of Learning Herbs.

Whole elderberries are typically prepared as teas, tinctures, syrups, wine, and cordials. They can also be used much like other berries in various recipes, including scones, pies, cakes, muffins, jellies, and vinegars. Beyond their medicinal properties, the berries pack a nutritious punch, as they are rich in flavonoids, boast a high anti-oxidant count, and are quality sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, beta-carotene, iron, and potassium, according to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. You can find excellent tips and recipes for preparing elderberries here, here, and here. And a staff favorite fermented elderberry honey recipe can be found here

In addition to providing nutritious medicinal berries, the elder shrub produces beautiful white flowers that bees and butterflies love. According to Herbal Academy, the flowers have has been used since ancient Egyptian times for both medicinal purposes and as a beauty aid, as they were believed to help reduce wrinkles and age spots. A stronger infusion was often used to help heal skin rashes, eczema, measles, chapped skin, and sunburns; and flowers steeped in oil were often used to alleviate diaper rashes. The flowers have many wonderful culinary uses, as well. On a hot summer day, an elderflower cordial makes a most fragrant and refreshing treat. Click here for more elderflower recipes. 

Here at the Co-op, we offer an extensive lineup of elderberry products. There are local options from Eos Botanicals, McFarline Apiaries, New Chapter, and Maple Medicine, along with some of our favorites from trusted brands beyond Vermont’s borders. If you’re wondering which elderberry product is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Wellness team! They’d be happy to help you select a product to suit your needs.

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

In honor of this month of love, we’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From February 11th – 17th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness is the lovechild of Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for your Valentine. In fact, their Quiet Mind CBD Bath Soak might be just the thing for both of you to enjoy together… Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:

 

 

Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Wellness Wonders – Fish Oils

In honor of heart health month, our Wellness Wonder spotlight for February shines on fish oils!  While taking a fish oil supplement is no substitute for the wealth of nutrients you get from eating fish as a regular part of your diet, fish oil supplements can come in handy for those who either don’t enjoy eating fish or simply find it challenging to incorporate fish into their diet. Fish oils are lauded for their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, which are considered “essential” nutrients meaning that we must obtain them from the foods that we eat. Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important to consume in order to achieve a healthy omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Western diets tend to be deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids compared with the diet on which human beings evolved and their genetic patterns were established. Excessive amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today’s Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects. In short, a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies

In addition to providing a healthy dose of Omega-3s, fish oils also supply our bodies with vitamin A and vitamin D. These vitamins are essential for growth, healthy bones, proper brain development, and a healthy nervous system. Vitamin A is critical for helping our bodies access and utilize water-soluble vitamins and they also act as an antioxidant, protecting the body from pollutants and free radicals. Vitamin A also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices needed for protein digestion, plays a vital role in building strong bones and rich blood, contributes to the production of RNA.  The body manufactures Vitamin D3 from cholesterol in the presence of sunlight and, while those living in southern climates can obtain all of the vitamin D they need from daily sun exposure, those of us in northern climes must consume diets rich in vitamin D containing foods, including marine oils and seafood.     

Here at the Co-op, we carry a wide range of sustainably harvested fish oil products from Carlson, Nordic Naturals, Wiley’s Finest, Spectrum, New Chapter, and an in-house brand.  If you have questions about fish oils, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our Wellness team. They would love to help you select the perfect fish oil for your needs!                             

 

Spotlight on Garden of Life

We’re shining our Co-op Spotlight on Garden of Life! Their entire line of products are 20% off for member-owners from January 7th – 13th, so if your New Year’s resolution involved boosting your wellness routine, it’s a great time to give them a try! Read on to learn more about their mission to empower extraordinary health!

The Science of Whole Food

Garden of Life is fanatical about food. This may not be the first thing that typically comes to mind for a company that makes vitamins, probiotics, and protein powders, but Garden of Life is different that way. When they set out to create a line of products, they challenged themselves to consider what “good stuff” present in the highest quality foods are typically missing in our diets. Which of these foods have the greatest potential to impact and empower extraordinary health?

Clean is Healthy

As fanatical as they are about what goes into their products, they are equally diligent about what to keep out of them.  This means no synthetic chemicals, no GMOs, just true, whole, traceable ingredients. If it’s not found in real food, they don’t want it in their supplements. Their philosophy is to slow it down, make it by hand, grow it in rich organic non-GMO soil with enough sun, air, water and time for it to be its best. Harvest it when ready. Treat it with care. Turn it into a power-packed nutritious food supplement.

The Lebaron Farm in Utah grows, harvests, juices, and dries the greens for the Perfect Food Raw products.

Traceability

Traceability is key to what makes Garden of Life’s products so special. Traceability starts with knowing where each and every ingredient in their products come from and getting to know each and every source: where it’s grown; the farming practices; how they pay and treat the farm workers—everything. Their mykind Organics line, co-founded with Alicia Silverstone, is made with Organic fruit and herbs—every single product in this line is Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified by the Non-GMO Project. 

Fourth-generation family farmers growing organic cranberries in Massachusetts for Garden of Life

Certifications

There is a great deal of noise in the marketplace today that makes it difficult to find the clean truth. Independent, unbiased, third-party certification and verification provides the best option for that assurance. However, to attain Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified status, every ingredient must be traced back to its origin, which means tracing back to organic crops and family farms and also how and where it’s manufactured. Developing a fully traceable raw material supply chain is a massive, complex undertaking—especially considering some formulas could have over 100 different ingredients!

It’s no easy task, but it’s totally worth it. Garden of Life is committed to producing Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified supplements. They also use unbiased third parties such as Vegan.org, NSF, Kosher and Informed-Choice whenever possible.

 

Sustainability

Garden of Life is also a Certified B Corps! They are deeply committed to energy-efficient and sustainable practices including LEED Gold Certified facilities, use of renewable energy, recycled bottles, recyclable packaging, and soy-based inks. Click here to read more about the sustainability initiatives at Garden of Life.

 

DIY Self Care

There’s no doubt about it — 2020 has been an incredibly stressful year. Carving out a bit of time for self-care to combat stress may sound like common sense to some, though it’s often the first thing to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list when we find ourselves in challenging situations. But by taking some time out to engage in self-care, we may relieve some of the pressure and bring out the best version of ourselves, allowing us to rise up and meet the challenges of daily life in a pandemic. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup!

Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase well-being, improve energy, and more! And it doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the spa, which is good news since we are trying to stay at home as much as possible, many spa services are currently unavailable, and/or we’re trying to stick to a very tight budget. Below are a handful of DIY self-care recipes that are simple to prepare and highly customizable to our personal preferences. These also make fantastic gifts, because we all know at least one person in our lives that could use an extra serving of self-care this holiday season!

 

Super Supplement Savings in December!

Get ready to start your new year right!  All December, stock up on essentials from our Supplements Department.  The more you buy, the more you save!  
 
– Spend $50 on supplements, get 5% off your supplements purchase
– Spend $100 on supplements, get 10% off your supplements purchase
– Spend $150 on supplements, get 15% off your supplements purchase
 
And guess what?  If you normally receive a discount at the Co-op (Senior, Food For All, etc.), these will still apply.  The promotional discount will be applied after all other discounts.
What’s more?  All other promotional prices will still be recognized before the sales discounts are applied.
This year, build a better YOU!

DIY Self Care

There’s no doubt about it — 2020 has been an incredibly stressful year. Carving out a bit of time for self-care to combat stress may sound like common sense to some, though it’s often the first thing to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list when we find ourselves in challenging situations. But by taking some time out to engage in self-care, we may relieve some of the pressure and bring out the best version of ourselves, allowing us to rise up and meet the challenges of daily life in a pandemic.

Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase well-being, improve energy, and more! And it doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the spa, which is good news since we are trying to stay at home as much as possible, many spa services are currently unavailable, and/or we’re trying to stick to a very tight budget. Below are a handful of DIY self-care recipes that are simple to prepare and highly customizable to our personal preferences. These also make fantastic gifts, because we all know at least one person in our lives that could use an extra serving of self-care this holiday season!

 

Answering your Questions About COVID-19 and the Co-op

On 3/28/21, the Co-op learned that a staff member had tested positive for COVID 19. To learn more, please click this link.

Our members are rightly concerned about the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, and have asked how the virus is affecting the Co-op. Here is a list of actions we are taking so far.  We will update this list as the situation changes:

  • In March of 2021, we installed an electronic gatekeeper at our entrance, to help maintain safe crowd levels in the store.  To access this live counter, please click here.
  • As of Monday, June 15th, our store hours have returned to normal. We are open from 8 am – 7 pm daily. We are reserving the first hour of business for our most vulnerable community members. 
  • We are asking shoppers to please shop alone and limit shopping trips whenever possible.
  • Starting Sunday, July 5th we require all shoppers to wear a mask while visiting the Co-op. We have masks available for those who need one. 
  • Starting April 19, all Co-op Staff, per Vermont order, will wear masks in the store.
  • While gloves are not mandatory for shoppers, we do have them available for shoppers at our store entry. We also have hand sanitizing stations at the store entry and throughout the store. We strongly encourage you to use the sanitizer throughout your shopping trip.
  • Since March 1st, we have been matching all “round-ups” at the register for local food shelves, CVOEO and HOPE
  • On Saturday, 3/28, we installed protective plexiglass shields at our registers.
  • Starting Monday, 3/30, we will offer Temporary Emergency Online Ordering and Curbside Pickup from a limited menu for our most vulnerable shoppers.
  • Effective Friday, June 12th shoppers are welcome and encouraged to bring their reusable grocery bags. We ask that you please continue to leave your reusable bulk containers and reusable produce bags at home for now. We’ll let you know as soon as we’re able to accept these again.
  • Starting 3/16/20, our seating area will be closed.
  • We are increasing our sanitation practices throughout the store.
  • We are suspending our member worker program for the time being.
  • We are closing the hot bar and salad bar for the time being.  
  • We are putting all non-essential projects on hold.
  • All staff who travel outside Vermont are required to follow CDC and Vermont Department of Health quarantine requirements before returning to work. 

About the Virus

For complete information, visit these excellent and frequently updated pages from our friends at UVM Medical Center and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

About the Co-op’s Response

We have many procedures already in place to help protect the safety of our employees, members, and shoppers—procedures we rely on to reduce the spread of foodborne illness and seasonal colds and flu every year. Learn more below.

The Virus and Food

According to the Harvard Health Blog, it’s not clear if the virus can spread through food. Even if so, it would be highly unlikely. Regardless, health officials cannot absolutely rule out the possibility of transmission from infected food handlers.

Food Safety at the Co-op

The Co-op’s food-safety program is the among best in the business.

Our employees must follow a strict set of standard operating procedures when handling products.

Many employees are ServSafe® certified. ServSafe® is a highly regarded food-safety training program administered by the U.S. National Restaurant Association. Many Co-op employees have the same level of certification as the managers of major restaurants.

Out of care for our community, our practice has always been for staff to remain at home when they are sick. All of our full-time and part-time staff accumulate paid time off to cover sick time. 

Supplies

You may have heard stories about grocery stores running out of food and household items as consumers horde the essentials. One of our strengths is that we source from multiple suppliers, many of which are local, and we don’t pull from a central warehouse. Therefore we have multiple avenues for securing products even when there are gaps in availability. This is one of the many moments when we feel grateful to work with so many small, local producers!

Trustworthy Resources

The internet is full of misinformation, and social media channels thrive on hyperbolic language. One of the best things you can do is stay informed with accurate information. We suggest the following, recommended by Harvard Medical School:

For regular news, trust sources with deep, award-winning health reporting. We suggest:

Work with Us

Finally, we ask all of our members, shoppers, and employees to partner with us in this. No matter how many food-safety protocols we may have in place, we can’t control shoppers who might come to the store sick or handle packages with germs on their hands. WHO has great advice here on how to be responsible in order to protect yourself—and by extension your community—from the virus.

 

 

 

Spotlight on Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and all of their wonderful body care products are 20% off for member-owners from February 20th – 26th! This discount is in addition to the everyday low price on many Toms of Maine products offered through our Co-op Basics program, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about the philosophy of care for people and planet that the Tom’s of Maine community holds dear and learn about some new recyclable packaging options for 2020:

 

At Tom’s of Maine, they believe in living for today—and tomorrow! They recognize that decisions have a lasting impact, and they make them thoughtfully. Since 1970, their mission has been to help people live a more natural life. Here are just some of the ways they translate their mission into positive actions:

  • They’re guided by a Stewardship Model and over 45 years of expertise. Their passion is finding and combining naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients to create personal care products that really work. And their products come with a product guarantee because your satisfaction is important.
  • They’re transparent about the ingredients they use. They explain where they come from, what they do, and how they are made so that you can make the right choice for your family and yourself. Click here to explore their ingredients.
  • They share their profits and time. Tom’s of Maine donates 10% of product sales to nonprofit organizations working to support health, education, and nature. And they encourage employees to use 5% of their paid time to volunteer for their favorite causes. Click here to learn more about how Tom’s of Maine gives back.
  • They strive to implement and follow sustainable business practices. This is the only planet we call home, so they work to protect it for future generations. Click here to learn more about their sustainability initiatives. They also publish their sustainability progress and goals in their annual Goodness Report.

The Backstory

Tom and Kate Chappell moved to Maine from Philadelphia in 1968, looking for a healthier, simpler life for their growing family. They discovered the benefits of natural and unprocessed food, and started looking for the same qualities in personal care products. But all they found were labels listing artificial flavors, fragrances, sweeteners, colors and preservatives. So they decided to create their own.

In 1970, with the help of a $5000 loan from a friend, Tom’s of Maine was born. Right from the start, their company was shaped by the Chappell’s entrepreneurial spirit and values. By 1975, they’d introduced the first natural toothpaste on the U.S. market. And because Tom and Kate felt that businesses should give back, they soon found meaningful ways to care for the planet and their communities.

Tom’s of Maine became a part of the Colgate-Palmolive company in 2006. And they’re proud to say that as they’ve grown through the years, their simple, direct approach has never changed. They continue to put their hearts into providing their customers with natural personal care products that work as well as they’d expect.

Tom & Kate Chappell

 

New for 2020 – Recyclable Toothpaste Tubes!

Over 1 billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away into landfills each year in the U.S. – so Tom’s is proud to debut this first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube. In fact, this is the first toothpaste tube recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers for its breakthrough technology.

First, check to be sure that your tube has this flag on it:

Their transition to the recyclable tube is happening throughout 2019 and 2020, so not all tubes will immediately be recyclable. It’s important that if your tube does not have this flag on it that you don’t put it into your recycling bin.

Does your tube have the flag above on it? Great! Getting your tube ready for recycling is easy: simply squeeze out as much of the toothpaste from the tube as you can, replace the cap, and place the tube in your recycling bin. The Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tube can be put into your household recycling bin for curbside recycling if your community accepts #2 HDPE plastic. #2 plastic is a commonly recycled plastic and is what many laundry detergent bottles and milk jugs are made from.

Please don’t cut open the toothpaste tube to try and remove excess toothpaste! During the processing of the tube at the recycling facility, the tube is ground up and goes through a “rinsing” process, where all the residual toothpaste is washed off of the plastic. So there’s no need for you to do any rinsing at home. 

 

 

Solutions for the Non-Recyclable Items:

While they’re proud of their recyclable toothpaste tube, not all toothpaste tubes are recyclable just yet and unfortunately, many other types of personal care packaging aren’t accepted through curbside recycling. Through Tom’s partnership with TerraCycle, you can send in your hard-to-recycle personal care packaging waste so it can be made into new and useful objects. Their Natural Care Brigades accept mouthwash bottles and caps, deodorant containers and caps, toothpaste tubes and caps, soap packaging, floss containers, and toothbrushes from any brand!

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