by Mallory Moad
I remember a time when yoga, meditation, whole grains, vitamins and herbal supplements were considered weird and hippie-trippy. Well, times have definitely changed. What once existed on the fringe of society has become mainstream and considered to be components of a healthy lifestyle. If your goal for 2017 is to improve or maintain your well-being, be it physical or mental, my friends at Tower Health and Diet Foods can answer your questions or offer guidance regarding your choices.
Located deep in the heart of Fresno’s Tower District, this delightful gem has been locally owned and operated for 64 years. Tower Health and Diet Foods (most of us just call it Tower Health) has flourished under the ownership of John Ellichman, its third owner. When asked how the small store has been successful, in spite of numerous “big box” health-related retailers in town, his answer was simple, “Customer service! The employees here care about the customers and know about what we’re selling here.” I have been one of those customers for a long time, and I agree one-hundred percent.From the aloe plants in red wagons out front to the door’s telltale squeak and the characteristic warm, spicy fragrance, this place has a unique charm. Here’s what you won’t get at Tower Health and Diet Foods: produce, cosmetics, clothing, magazines or monthly fliers. What you will get is a wide variety of vitamins, herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies from reputable brands, raw honey, small appliances like juicers and blenders, lots and lots of different teas, competitive prices and a friendly, knowledgeable staff that really knows their stuff. If they don’t have it, they’ll do their best to get it. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll find it.
Shannon Johnson has worked at Tower Health and Diet Foods for seven years. She has a strong belief in healing and staying well through diet and herbal supplements. I asked her for some advice for staying healthy in the new year. Exercise, staying hydrated, eating right, and maintaining an appropriate weight are important, but Shannon stresses a good relationship with your doctor and pharmacist and to communicate with them about your planned use of supplements. “Not everything works for everyone and just because something is natural doesn’t mean it won’t react with other medications or conditions.” Diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, can be made worse by some herbs.
Relating an incident in which a customer referred to a popular television “doctor” as her personal physician, Shannon emphasized the importance of avoiding fads. “They bank on vanity and fear. Most of them are promoted by TV personalities and celebrities…Beware!” There is no such thing as a magic pill or herbal cure. Instead, herbs and vitamins can provide symptom relief and help prevent the worsening of conditions.
Knowing what’s going into your body is important and can provide vital information about your health. “Read labels on food, supplements, everything.” Shannon suggested keeping a food journal because it can provide relevant insight into health-related habits. “People look for shortcuts to health, but you need to do research and reading before making a decision” about your choice of self-care. Sound like a lot of work? Maybe, but isn’t your healthy body worth working for?
Shannon echoed John’s sentiment about the role customer service has played in the success of Tower Health and Diet Foods, but she also commented on the importance of the customers themselves. “Customers feel comfortable opening up to staff,” she says. And I can speak from experience that laughter is free, with or without a purchase. Judy is a regular customer who shops here “all the time for vitamins and essential oils” and appreciates the quality products and knowledgeable staff. Elizabeth lives in the neighborhood and says, “This place is awesome!” adding, “Ya gotta take care of yourself.”
So if taking care of yourself is on your agenda in 2017 and you need a little assistance, that squeaky door, spicy aroma, and friendly staff of Tower Health and Diet Foods await to offer you direction on your path to wellness in this brand new year.
My name is Mallory Moad and I’m doing my best to stay well. How about you?
Tower Health and Diet Foods (near Vini Vidi Vici)
1130 N. Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93728
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.