The Wellness Department has a wonderful resource that many of our shoppers have not yet discovered. For many years the Willy Street Co-op has offered this research tool to the community, but not nearly enough people have been taking advantage of it. This article will review how this resource can benefit you.

If you ever had a question about a health-related topic, such as the signs of fatigue, alternative options for treating dandruff, or herbs to use for treating stress, then A.D.A.M. (which stands for “Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine”) has information to offer. I invite everyone to learn more about the helpful and healthful computer program, A.D.A.M. Tucked away next to the books just outside the Health & Wellness Department is a computer kiosk that hosts this program. Check it out the next time you’re in the store. For Internet users, this resource can also be found on the Willy Street Co-op’s website (www.willystreet.coop). Scroll down to “Health Education” and then click on the A.D.A.M. link to get to the program.

Conditions
The main page has many links to explore. This page houses a table of contents which offers an abundance of information. The link “Conditions” lists many physical issues in alphabetical order. The list starts with “abdominal wall inflammation” and ends with “yeast infections.” I clicked on “carpal tunnel syndrome” and was led to detailed information about the signs and symptoms, what causes the disorder, who is most at risk, what to expect when going to see a provider, treatment options such as prevention, drug therapies, surgical and other procedures, complementary and alternative therapies, herbs, homeopathy, physical medicine, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. This page also touched on prognosis and possible complications as well as how much follow-up treatment to expect.

Herbs
The next link on the main page is “Herbs.” This page is designed in a similar fashion as “Conditions;” it lists herbs from A to Z. Click on any herb of interest and the program will go to a page dedicated to that herb. On that page there is an overview of the herb, a plant description, information about the plant, what part of the plant the herbal supplements are made from, available forms such as pill, tincture, tea, etc., how to take the herb, precautions, possible drug and herb interactions and supporting research is reviewed in this section of the program.

Supplements
Going down the list, the next link is “Supplements.” This section is organized in a similar way as the “Herbs” link. One section that may be helpful is the section on dietary sources. This lists different foods, herbs, and spices that have sources of the supplement in their chemical makeup.

Drugs
“Drugs” is the next link on the Table of Contents page. This page seems to be the most detailed of all the pages. It has an abundance of information such as uses, restrictions, warnings, reactions, interactions, mechanism of action, etc. There 32 sub-categories, too many to list here.

Depletions
The next link is “Depletions” which gives a list of many drugs, both over the counter and prescription. Click on a specific drug from the A to Z list provided and a new page reveals in detail what nutrients, vitamins and minerals may be depleted in the body as a result of taking the medication. Details about the symptoms of specific nutritional depletion are also listed in this section.

Treatment Options
The final link on the Table of Contents page is “Treatment Options.” This page offers an overview of alternative modalities. Acupuncture, aromatherapy, ayurveda, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, Tai chi, and yoga are just a few of the treatment options that can be explored on this link.

Cross-Reference Guide
Scrolling lower on the main page reveals a Cross-Reference Guide. This section offers information about health conditions and groups them by organ and body system. This guide also gives information about drug, vitamin and herb interactions as well as a very informative section on symptoms such as acne or cough and what herbs or supplements will best help treat those ailments.

Other links of interest
At the top of the Main page there are six different links that may be of interest. The first link is News & Features. It offers links to recent articles about health studies regarding vitamins, herbs, mental health, nutrition, food regulations and food standards. There are also links to recent feature articles, such as anti-aging foods and antioxidants. These articles offer a starting point for more advanced inquiry and research.

Delicious Living
“Delicious Living” is a link to a health magazine with recipes and articles about caring for our bodies. Health Tools offers health calculators such as body mass index, ideal body weight, target heart rate, and a calorie burner counter. Healthy Recipes lists a variety of recipes for a few different diet types. There are quick meals, macrobiotic meals, low-fat and low-calorie meals and vegetarian meals.

Ingredient Glossary
The last link to review is the “Ingredient Glossary.” From A to Z, it lists many different types of food like vegetables, grains, herbs, beans and legumes. It gives information about where the food originates, what it is used for and lists nutritional highlights.

Deciding on a product or remedy can at times be a bit overwhelming. When collecting information about a topic it can be helpful to seek information from our staff, but also please consider using A.D.A.M. as a research tool. If you need assistance, the friendly Wellness staff can help you navigate through the program. Please remember that this article touched on just the basics of this program. There is much more to learn. Please take the time to explore this wonderful resource further.


CLEANSING


New Year, New Goals
Resolutions abound on New Year’s Eve as people envision starting fresh. If you have intentions to quit smoking, lose weight, change your diet or start exercising, you may think that a cleanse is good way to begin the process.

Tips
Here are a few tips that may help you to be successful in this challenging endeavor.
Before you start any cleanse:

  • Plan it out on a calendar.
  • Gradually reduce the amount of food you eat over 2-3 days.
  • Eliminate animal protein—meat/dairy/fish.
  • Increase fresh fruit, smoothies and/or lightly cooked veggies.
  • Increase water intake.
  • Do the cleanse with a friend or garner support from friends in other ways.
  • Be prepared and reduce temptation by buying your supplies in advance to avoid going to the store.

During any cleanse:

  • Rest! Take a few days off if possible, nap often if you feel the need.
  • Increase water intake.
  • Change routines that revolve around food to avoid temptation.
  • Understand that you might have intense cravings and become irritable.
  • Understand headaches are common for those with a caffeine addiction.
  • Sweating can be beneficial to excrete toxins, try a sauna or hydrotherapy.
  • Read books, blogs, magazines about cleansing or dietary changes to stay inspired.

After any cleanse:

  • Ease your way back into solid food gradually starting with light juices, then smoothies, over a period of 2-3 days or more if your cleanse is longer than 7-10 days.
  • Take probiotics to re-establish beneficial flora in your gut.
  • Listen to your body! If you eat something that doesn’t agree with you, avoid it in the future; you may have an allergy or sensitivity to it.
  • Give your self a pat on the back—whether your cleanse lasted for 2 weeks or 2 hours—you’ve started on a path of healthy changes. Take pride in your effort!

Not only do we have a few boxed cleanse products that have specific instructions to follow; we also have many books on this topic—most of them are on sale this month. Additionally our juice bar has many wonderful combinations that are sure to instill a passion for a fresh and healthy new lifestyle. Good luck and good health to you!

A word about the Master…(Cleanse that is)
Too much controversy surrounds the Master Cleanse to go into it here. My advice is to do the research for yourself (since you know your “self” better than anyone else), and check with your health care provider if you have any concerns or health issues. Start your research with the original book The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs. We keep it in stock—it is an inexpensive and fast selling item. For further research the website that I trust is The Master Cleanse / Raw Food Site—hosted by Peter Glickman http://therawfoodsite.com/mastercleanse.htm. There is a very active and supportive forum and you might be inspired to join the “7th Annual January Group Master Cleanse.”