Area Health Food Stores Dispense Tips For A Nutritious 2013

Michelle and Warren Barbieri opened The Health Food Store on McCullough Boulevard in Tupelo one year ago today. Their first store in Pontotoc opened in May 1991. (Thomas Wells)

Michelle and Warren Barbieri opened The Health Food Store on McCullough Boulevard in Tupelo one year ago today. Their first store in Pontotoc opened in May 1991. (Thomas Wells)

slideshow[1] Health food stores are chock full of supplements, vitamins and protein drinks. But walk into one in or near Tupelo and ask the owners to help you get healthy in 2013, and theyre all going to say the same thing.

First, change your diet.

Processed foods are the worst thing you can eat, said Debi Golebiewski, owner of Healing Ways Nutrition Shoppe, which opened late last year in Saltillo. Theyre higher in chemicals, cholesterol, high-fructose corn syrup. You need to avoid all the chemicals and additives you can.

Michelle Barbieri at The Health Food Store in Tupelo agreed.

You want to eat more whole foods, whole grains and non-genetically modified foods, she said. Studies are showing that mice fed genetically modified rice and corn now have tumors. Reduce your use of processed foods and totally take high-fructose corn syrup out of your diet just like you do trans fats.

Susie Buskirk, owner of Healthy Habits in Tupelo, which opened in 1986, said this time of year, people come in her store and say they actually want to eat better. They ask her for ways to get more good things into their diets.

Most of them start by buying beans and lentils for protein, she said. They want to buy organic or less processed. They say this time, theyre going to stick with it, this time theyre ready to change for good.

Mark and Bruce Welch, co-owners of Sunshine Health Foods, the oldest health food store in Tupelo, are likely to emphasize the importance of exercise as well. The brothers owned Warehouse Gym in Tupelo for 12 years.

Getting healthy is really a combination of diet and exercise, said Mark Welch. Supplementation can certainly play a role in that. We give personal service, advice, to individuals.

Bruce Welch noted that health food stores have come a long way since theirs opened in 1982.

We started in the old mall, he said. We were in business before anybody knew anything about health food. People would come in and snicker. It was quite a challenge at that point in time.

But thats not the story anymore.

Especially around the first of the year, people flock in here, flock to the gym, trying to get healthy, he said.

Back to nature

The word organic generally describes food that has been grown or processed without the use of chemicals of any sort, including fertilizers, insecticides, additives and artificial coloring or flavoring.

A wide range of organic foods are available today, including fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, herbs, nuts and dairy. You can even buy organic gum, hair dye, lipstick, cooking oils and cleaning products.

Try to eat as much organically grown food as you can, Barbieri said. The smaller the load of toxins you put in your body, the better your body will function. Food-related disease is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the U.S.

The definition of what constitutes a processed food can vary, but it usually refers to foods that are packaged in boxes, cans or bags in other words, things not normally found in nature.

If you can grow it, eat it, Golebiewski said. If you cant, dont.

The Welch brothers sell organic meats, flours and cereals and carry seeds, nuts and dried fruits in bulk.

We also carry gluten- and wheat-free products, Mark Welch said.

In fact, all the health food stores are attuned to the needs of many of their customers who are gluten- or wheat-intolerant.

No one diet is perfect for everybody, Barbieri said. We have vegans, vegetarians, paleos, which are meat eaters, people who eat gluten-free. We dont try to sway people in here. We see a variety of diets.

Buskirk said after people begin to make positive changes in their diets and get regular exercise the next most important thing she recommends is a multi-vitamin.

Youre not getting everything from your daily intake, and this is a way to start without changing your whole life, she said.

Golebiewski goes for the immune system.

Regular doses of Vitamin B12, turmeric, and Vitamins A, C and E will keep your immune system strong, she said. And fish oil keeps your arteries clean and your heart strong.

Barbieri touts what she calls superfoods gogi berries, raw cacao, kale and super green powders you can add to meals.

You have to start phasing out the unhealthy and phasing in the healthy, she said. Practice instinctive eating. You have to listen to your body when you eat certain foods.


  1. ^ Michelle and Warren Barbieri opened The Health Food Store on McCullough Boulevard in Tupelo one year ago today. Their first store in Pontotoc opened in May 1991. (Thomas Wells) (

Original Story Here


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  1. Reply

    Health Diet Tips To Keep Myself Skinny And Healthy? I am 115lbs and I am 13. I was wondering if anyone had any health tips to keep myself healthy.

    I was looking into this diet where I would start with eating protein and gradually work my way into eating my fruits and vegetables. Does anyone know what this diet is called?

    (Please, No comments with additude. Any other comments will be appreciated. Thanks so much!)
    Also, I don’t want to be on a diet plan (Such as Weight Watchers). Thanks!

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013


  2. Reply

    Can You Give Me Some Health Tips? I need some health tips. You see I am making a health book. I want to give the world a medical health book. Therefore I need health tips.

  3. Reply

    How Can I Get Healthy? -Health Tips? This year, I made it a point to become healthy. I have lost some weight and got rid of some acne.

    I really want to be healthy, and make sure that I look healthy.

    Can you give me some all over health tips?
    Im a teen girl by the way.

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013


      The best advice I can give you is exercise daily and eat well. Eat at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. Try to cut out as much sugar and snacks as you can manage. Drink plenty of water. Exercise for about 30 minutes a day, remember this does not have to be running a million miles and lifting 10 ton weights. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and is great because you can walk briskly around shops whilst looking at really cute outfits!

      I hope this helps!

  4. Reply

    What Are Some Basic Tips To Give To Kids About Staying Healthy? I’m trying to teach my 6 year old nephew how to stay healthy. I need tips from eating right, to being active and maintaining hygiene. Any health tips you expect a 6 yr old kid to understand.

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013

      You should tell them to eat lots of smaller meals and to eat slowly so that their bodies are more able to recognize when they are full. Also its important to drink lots of water and fruit juice rather than soda. Try and encourage him to stay away from junk food and eat fruit or something healthy when he wants a snack. Also teach him to be active, that playing sports and running around is good for you as well as fun. Also teach him the basics of hygiene like showering daily and brushing his teeth 3 times a day. Try and make it all fun for him though, as kids respond more to things that they find enjoyable.

  5. Reply

    Anyone Have Some Good Tips For A College Student Who Wants To Lose About 35 Pounds? Basically Im pretty lethargic due to the studying….I do a fair bit of walking and I dont eat fast food more than a coupla times a month, but I seem to keep gaining weight. Basically I need some health tips or some way of beginning to get rid of the buddha belly.

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013

      As a fellow student, I understand your struggle. My butt feels constantly glued to a seat and I don’t have the time or attention for planning healthy meals. It’s tough but I manage to control my weight and even lose weight every now and then with some pretty easy tactics. Since you want to lose it, you’ll have to get serious. I would highly recommend cardio workouts. Depending on your fitness level and personal tastes you could try at home workouts like Tae Bo or you can hit the gym (in which case walking or jogging on the tredmill mixed with weights would be effective). Basically, make yourself workout even when you feel tired from studying or a long day. Next thing you know, you’ll look forward to the stress relief. Remember to watch what you eat and consider counting calories…you may be surprised how much you eat daily! Get sleep. Lack of sleep stresses the bod out and you may compensate with food. And you definitely will have less energy for workouts. GOOD LUCK!

  6. Reply

    What Good Health Tips For Blood Type O? Can you help me with health tips for blood type o ?
    i need information like what the best food, best sport, and other..

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013

      Owner blood group O is worth fortunate, especially for those who like meat. They can eat as much meat, except processed meat. But this blood group also must compensate by eating more vegetables, too. It may also eat
      type of vegetable oil, olive oil and fresh fruit. What must be avoided or restricted are: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, sprouts, eggplant, mushrooms and potatoes.

      Here’s disease is often found in people blood O
      – Diabetes,
      – Intestinal and digestive disorders,
      – Poor blood circulation,
      – Back pain and spinal cord,
      – Obesity,
      – High cholesterol levels,
      – High blood pressure,
      – High uric acid levels,
      – Cancer,
      – Gout,
      – Heart attack,
      – Clogged arteries.

      Defining characteristics:
      -Very strong immune system
      -Stress can be responded premises of physical activity
      -Easy to adapt to a variety of foods in an environment that is occupied
      -Not suitable on a diet
      -It is advisable to consume foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates like: meat, fruit, fish, and vegetables.

      Type of sport:
      Doing aerobic exercise that moves a lot and fast (high impact), it could be physical exercise like running and martial arts.
      Here are tips on matters involving the O blood type diet:
      Very useful: Cows, buffaloes, goats, deer, liver / heart, cod, shark fish, yellow tail fish
      Neutral: goldfish, eels, lobster, tuna, sardines, shrimp. eggs, butter, Tempe, tofu, soy milk, wheat, rice
      Abstinence: pork meat, squid, cuttlefish, clams, frogs, octopus, quail, ice cream, cheese, cow milk, yoghurt’s

      I only get this information from:

      There is also information for other blood group,
      for blood group A:
      for blood group B:
      for blood group AB:

      hopefully can be useful ..

  7. Reply

    How To Be Prepared For Losing My Virginity? Tips On What To Wear,what To Do With My Body Etc.? I’m a girl and I’m going to be losing my virginity soon.. I just wanted some tips on what to do, what to wear and such.. Health tips, anything really that can help me!:) mostly from girls with experiences and helpfull tips ๐Ÿ™‚

      • HealthNut
      • January 18, 2013

      Like the other gal said, be comfortable. if you dont feel comfortable with losing it, then dont do it. losing your virginity may not seem like a big deal right now, but it might later on in the future, so just make sure that you are ready for that big step ๐Ÿ™‚ wear what makes you feel good.

      and most definitely do a lot of foreplay to get you in the mood.

      have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      one last thing, prepare yourself to bleed a little bit and it will hurt. once you start having sex more it wont hurt as much.

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