On 20th anniversary, owners focus on educating the public and ramping up their product lines, By Nancy Kriz VERNON While the local economy is not healthy, Healthy Thymes in Vernon is. The news is filled with stories of area businesses struggling and folding and of people losing their jobs, so it’s rare to see a local business expand at a time when so many are failing. But that is just what’s happening at Healthy Thymes. Despite a sagging economy, Healthy Thymes will expand this spring. The store will more than double its space to 2,600 square feet in a new location along Route 94 in Vernon “to help guide people to feel their best,” according to co-owner Dani Segal. After some renovation, the shop will move into a former auto parts store. Segal, a holistic nutritionist who is completing a doctorate in the subject, is looking forward to this new venture. She knows these difficult economic times carry risk, but feels confidence in the undertaking she and her husband Daniel are embarking upon. Optimism carries “We said, Let’s go for it,’” said Segal. “We just needed more space. It’s our dedication to the community that’s been our inspiration. The community needs someone to be their wellness watchdog and so we’ve chosen that path. Taking the economy in the picture, it is scary for anyone to put more money into their business. But our passion hasn’t stopped.” The new store will almost double its frozen and refrigerated food capacity, quadruple its supplement and vitamin section, double its natural cleaning section, double the size of its juice bar and significantly increase its gluten-free offerings, among other areas, Segal said. Included in the plans will be an expanded gallery for area artisans to sell their organic wares, she added. Segal and her husband have been in this field of work since 1975, owning and operating businesses that focus on health and well-being, all the while “educating people on the healthy path for them,” she said. “We live an organic lifestyle,” said Segal of her family. “We live that more than anybody we know in the community. People know that and feel that and so we have wonderful customers.” Segal is a seasoned lecturer as well as a member of the Natural Products Association, the American Botanical Council, the National Association of Nutritional Professionals and the Alternative Medicine Foundation. She believes the new store will allow her even greater opportunities. “I want to continue to be an inspiration for wellness, holistic medicine and improvement,” she said. “It’s all about educating the community. My passion for educating the community has become stronger and stronger.” An architect is currently working in plans so that the spring opening remains on target. In the meantime, Segal and her husband are working on finalizing the new products they will offer. Dani Segal’s 10 essential tips to outsmart illness while saving the planet 1. Eat organic foods in their natural state or as close to their natural state as possible. Nourish every cell in your body with nutrient-dense foods that will not cause cellular free radical damage or tax your organs. Learn the art of correct food combining for essential enzyme activity and proper digestion. 2. Hydrate: Drink pure clean water from either glass bottles or stainless steel bottles, not plastic bottles. Add electrolytes if needed. 3. Maintain pH balance to prevent disease, help the body heal itself, as well as maintain proper weight. Eat greens. Limit or avoid simple sugar. Keep your blood sugar stable. 4. Support intestinal health and encourage nutrients to enter your body proper with probiotics. 5. Encourage energy with an organic, whole foods multiple vitamin and mineral supplement that is designed for your gender and age. You may also want to take an antioxidant supplement as well, like CoQ10 or pycnogenol. 6. Strengthen your immune response and keep circulation healthy with a detoxification program four times a year, with the seasonal changes. Support liver and other organ health as you age, with gentle herbs and nutraceuticals. 7. Support your adrenal health and keep stress under control. Eat well, breathe well, enjoy daily fitness and use nutraceuticals instead of pharmaceuticals whenever possible. 8. Nourish your spiritual well-being. 9. Use organic, non-toxic, eco-friendly products to clean your body and your home. Also use recycled or no-VOC products in your home, from carpets to furniture. 10. For the planet’s sake, as well as yours: Establish a relationship with your local natural food market and other local shops, especially ones that support fair-trade and eco-friendly products.