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Started thinking about those new bathing suits yet?
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Started thinking about your new bathing suit yet? With the weather around the South, I am sure you have. In fact, I am betting a few of you already have one. This change in season is great for a local business industry. Of course, we don’t really have a place with a large variety of swimsuits to choose from here in The Hill – unless Nordstrom’s decides to occupy the space at the old Kroger site. Have you heard that rumor yet? Me neither, but it sounded like just as good speculation as any.

The business I am referring to today concerns health foods and dietary supplements. We talked some months ago about the fitness industry around town. Whatever your workout preference is, I can almost guarantee there is a facility around town that can accommodate your needs. Talk to any of the trainers in there and they will most likely tell you that exercise is not enough. You have to change the types of food and fuel you put into your body.

Because you are in the gym, they assume that you already know this and have products on hand. In most any gym, a person can find a variety of bars, shakes, meal replacements and other supplements. Walk into any of the area grocery stores and you will find sections dedicated to organic fruits and vegetables and health related items.

You will also find that there are not so common places to find the same type of education, services and product. The business models may be as different as the product, but the thought is still the same. Combine healthy food with a healthy lifestyle and you will feel better.

Watercress is a service industry in town that will prepare meals for you. Owned by Robyn Kretschmar, her idea is, "you can eat well and have good food without it being bad for you." Robyn is a registered nurse and has battled with weight her whole life. She now prepares meals for clients based on caloric requirements and personal preferences. The industry, she says, is a strong one due mainly to a "go green" environmental mentality and education.

Robyn says, "People are starting to think about organic foods. People are becoming more educated about trans-fats and they are becoming more conscious. Just because you grew up eating that way doesn’t mean you have to continue eating that way." She also offered some tips on implementing the strategy of living well. "Clean out the pantry. When you go to the grocery store, shop the perimeter. If you do have to go down an aisle, leave your buggy at the end. Just go get the one or two things that you need."

She also mentioned that organic fruits and vegetables are available through Heritage Farm in conjunction with Organic farm. The boxes are delivered to Energy Oasis every other week and feature what Robyn refers to as a, "colorful and nutritionally balanced selection."

Another registered nurse, Cindy Gernatt of Cindy’s Custom Framing, has also decided to add health supplement offerings in her store. While it does not relate to her artistic background, Cindy says it does appeal to her caregiver side and her personal need for better health. While in the healthcare industry, Cindy recalls that she was "always looking for something more natural to help people feel better."

Cindy discovered a line of products that promote internal cleaning and toxin release while adding the nutritional values that she feels so many of us are lacking. "Lots of things contribute to poor health," says Cindy. "Not all of that is genetic. We need to get back to the basics and that is in nutrition."

With all the media focus being placed on looking better, feeling better and living better, it is no wonder the industry is booming. However, understand that no sales brochure, service list or business article replaces the need for you physician’s medical advice. "All natural" doesn’t always mean "all good" and "FDA approved" doesn’t always mean it will be safe for you. But the fact of the matter is that healthcare and other health related industries are fast growing – both nationally and here in Richmond Hill. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

April Groves covers all things business for the Bryan County News. You can send thoughts, press releases, tips and questions you’d like answered to  

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