I Will Begin. That’s the mantra of Toronto’s newest one-stop health hub, Innate Health Wellness and Health Shop (163 Dupont Street), and is also the natural first step to changing your lifestyle for the healthier. You have to start somewhere, right? Apparently it isn’t so obvious. It’s not always that easy to take your health back to the beginning, to that innate state of being that the shop is committed to. Understanding exactly what’s in the things we put in and on our bodies can be confusing for some, especially those young professionals (YPs) whose idea of wellness historically consisted of swapping the pizza and poutine for a few sporadic fad diets when it mattered, barely broken-in gym memberships, and a bike ride or two per year.
At Innate Wellness there are many incentives to begin (besides the fact that it’s centrally located no matter where in the city you live), and here are four of them:
It’s run by industry experts.
Innate Wellness Health Shop is run by naturopaths Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND, and Dr. Angelina Riopel, ND. This means that, unlike a bored housewife looking for a side project and staffing it with high school students, these ladies know exactly what they are talking about and only sell products that they would use themselves. Both women run a family practice at Innate Wellness Naturopathic Medical Centre, where Riopel specializes in women’s health, fertility, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue and digestive health. In addition to her medical training and expertise, Riopel has a background in beauty and skincare, which she puts to use with the shop’s selection of beauty products for hair and skin. Regan’s focus is on chronic fatigue, pain, mental-emotional health, neurological conditions, learning disorders and stress management. That pretty much takes care of everything you (and your significant other) need, right?
Because of this, they don’t sell crap.
Think of the store’s hand-selected and passionately (and borderline obsessively) researched selection of products as the same difference between searching for a dress for a last-minute event in an eveningwear boutique versus a large, busy, run-of-the-mill department store (for guys, think the suit equivalent). If the first step is simply beginning, the shop makes it easy to do so. Where some health stores are plain overwhelming, stocked full top-to-bottom, Innate Wellness is free of the clutter; you won’t find any dusty bottles of supplements on the bottom shelves. What you will find is a carefully edited collection of Dr. Regan’s and Dr. Riopel’s favourite natural medicine, whole foods, clean beauty and lifestyle products, and even products to bring home to the bedroom (now do you have more of a desire to begin?) Some products offered at Innate Wellness even require an ND license on site to carry it. When everything comes with the doctors’ stamp of approval, you won’t feel so bad about splurging on a cupboard full of natural medicine and clean beauty and lifestyle products to replace what’s in there now.
And you can learn.
If you want, you can arrive at Innate Wellness armed with a bag full of useless drugstore products that you’ve wasted money on throughout the years and the ladies will gladly help find alternatives – and explain what those daunting labels really mean. We learned a few things during our visit to the shop. For example, mushrooms are apparently the new wonder food (we never did quite understand those on the hate side of the love/hate mushroom debate), and stimulate the immune system and elevate white blood cell levels. Also, clay is a natural anti-perspirant and many vitamin C-labeled products don’t contain pure vitamin C at all. Innate Wellness also offers either free or affordable workshops in all areas of wellness. Kicking off for the first month, you can join Dr. Nadia, Co-founder of The Teatox Company, for a cup of her Special-Tea and discussion about naturopathic detoxification (May 22); discover how you can get your glow on after the long harsh winter with holistic health coach and stylist Lisa Holowaychuk (June 11 and 16); and the facts and fictions about healthy weight loss with Dr. Nadia Kumentas (June 19). Further event info can be found on the website.
And grab lunch before you leave.
In a small fridge at the back is all you need for a light lunch. It houses an assortment of salads, juices, and snacks from the healthy favourite Live Organic Raw (which has a restaurant down the street on Dupont). Other whole food offerings include snacks and shakes from Vega One, chocolate spread from Rawtella, products by brands like Giddy Yo Yo and Tastes of Nature (plus more), and tea from brands like The Teatox Company, Sloane Fine Tea and Sahara Tea.
Stay tuned next week when we bring you a special edition naturopathic shop piece, jam-packed with products recommended by the doctors themselves and available across the country. It may just inspire you to begin yourself.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)