The Berkshires Blog

How About Those New Years’ Resolutions from Your Berkshire Wellness Guy (BWG)

A blog about Health & Wellness

So it’s February.  And how about those new years’ resolutions?  The most common one being to lose weight and eat healthy.  If you’re traveling from out of town or live locally, Guido’s Market in Pittsfield and Great Barrington has some excellent options.  During a recent visit to the Pittsfield store, the first thing I noticed was that their café was NOT loaded with pastries!  You could get a fresh juice smoothie or vegetable concoction to cleanse your liver and kidneys.  (Although, there was gelato available for that rare treat, but wait a minute, this is a blog about eating and living healthy!).

I met with Lisa Desrosiers, who runs Guido’s Supplements and Beauty Department.  She gave me a few tips.  Try to shop on the outside perimeter of your local market.  That’s where the fresh produce and meats live.  Thomas Barstow, Guido’s Natural Foods Manager, elaborated on that point.  As we discussed trans fats, and Guido’s move to not carry anything with trans fat beginning in two weeks, Thomas told me that preservatives and additives in general tax your body.  The same preservative, like hydrogenated oils, that allows stores to keep a product on the shelf almost indefinitely, also sits in your body into perpetuity.  That’s exactly the problem.  Foods that can spoil within a week are typically the best for you.  Why?  Because your body has to work that much harder to process all of the extras.  This can cause fatigue and your body can’t pull the essential nutrients out of the food that it needs.  Thomas explained, if you have trouble pronouncing the various ingredients on the package, or there is a long list, it’s probably not good.  He recommends their whole unpackaged food bins of whole grains, rice, beans, black quinoa, etc., which is complete with a cooking instruction book right in the aisle.

Another campaign of Thomas’ is to cut out the high fructose corn syrup; Thomas suggests xylitol or Stevia (e.g. Virgil’s soda) as good sugar substitutes; stay away from the aspartame and “zero calorie diet” sodas, he says.  One way to lose weight is to drop the soft drinks and consider coconut milk or tea (Yogi or Traditional Medicinals are respected brands) instead.  Coconut milk is all the rage now, he said, or there is coconut water or oil for cooking and salads.  It adds potassium and electrolytes to your body, which is great for muscle health and fighting dehydration.  During the flu season, the latter is critically important!  Guido’s is on rte. 20/7 in Pittsfield on the border of Lenox and they have another location in Great Barrington.  Enjoy!