A Look at Local Health Mags

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Wed, 06/18/2008 - 8:54pm.

If you've been in a health food store, you've seen them stacked by the doors: piles of free health publications. During my most recent visit to a store here in Toronto, I decided to pick up three of said magazines. Generally speaking, I have a certain distaste for these things, but I like to keep up on what people are reading. This blog is about what I found.

First was a magazine called "Vitality". It's a hefty 143 pages, most of which are ads. It was like picking up a yellow pages for alternative services and medicine. So if I was looking for, say (and I will pick a random ad here)...hee hee...calibrated meters to measure electric or magnetic fields in my house because I am concerned they are effecting my health...this would be great. The cheesiness of some of the ads turn me off and make me less interested in the articles. From what I've seen online, they don't charge as much for ad space as some of the other magazines do and it shows. BUT if you ARE looking for alternative health services, it has a plethora to choose from.

It has a restaurant review and ads for vegetarian places, but nothing offering wheat free/gluten free/sugar free items (even though we do have those hidden gems in the city). I'm left feeling like this magazine is for healthy women in their ridiculously overpriced Lulu Lemon yoga gear (with REAL SEAWEED) who have too much time and money on their hands, so they spend it on things to make them feel better instead of actually DOING something to make themselves better. Maybe that's a little harsh (not the part about women out there like that who shop at my health food store; they exist and I can't stand them), and I should give Vitality another try...especially if I am seeking Shamanic, Reiki, or Hypnotic Healing.

"Tonic Toronto" seems to be more for the green living environmentalist than the digestive-disabled, and I already know everything they are telling me about water (consumption and conservation) so that's a pretty quick toss aside.

"Healthy Directions" magazine is a 43 paged publication and claims to be "Ontario's Natural Health & Nutrition Guide". The editor's note announces that this issue is especially for Canadian women, the issues that they face, and tips for summer care. I am both Canadian and a woman, and it is summer, so let's see what they have.

Though I won't say it's fantastic, it was my favourite out of all three. The ads are less cheesy (and they should be, since they charge more for ad space), the layout is decent, and the short author bios at the end of the articles give me a sense of who wrote the information (what might motivate them to do so, and even what education they have or specific industry they are in). I realize the handy urls and emails are there purely to provide a way for the authors to make a profit on product/service sales, BUT it makes it really easy to start my online research on who's who, and I like that. It's fairly upfront.

The articles read a bit like Chatelaine and Women's Day, in that fluffy sort of health-wise approach, but there are nuggets here and there.

The first article talks about Vitamin D deficiency (which every Tom, Dick and Oprah have talked about in the last year) and I'm amused by the fact that they are warning me in summertime that during October to April, Canadian women aren't getting enough sun exposure and therefore enough Vitamin D. Then it's on to probiotics and fighting PMS (yawn).

There's an article by Roger Baird on Oregano oil (who I've mentioned in my own blog on the subject), and one on Breast Yeast Infections that's well written.

The printed recipes are ones I can actually use, and the bits of eco-centred info are nice. They lose me on the hypnotherapy article that is blatantly an add, and I am not won over by the second-last article in the magazine that teaches you how to increase your metabolism with self-hypnosis and a mantra that is just too warm and fuzzy for my personal use.

Final thoughts on this: Remember that these publications are all meant to sell ad space. And while I am glad that I picked up Healthy Directions for the two or three little tidbits of interest, I am even happier that I didn't pay for it.


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