Category Archives: Health

C is for Cindy…and Vitamin C

Vitamin C – The Four Season Nutrient by Cindy Mobus, Basking Ridge Nutrition Staff

Just because winter is over does not mean the vitamin C should be put away.  Especially for those who suffer with allergies and asthma. Allergy season is here and vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in keeping them at bay.

Did you know vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and is needed for about 300 metabolic functions? Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, so, it is crucial for our health to obtain it through foods or supplements.


Clinical studies show that vitamin C intake benefits the body in many ways including: 

 Improving asthma & allergies
• Boosting immunity
• Reducing cancer rates
• Protecting against pollution and cigarette smoke
• Aiding wound healing
• Strengthening capillaries and connective tissue
• Reducing inflammation
• Protecting the heart
• Greater cognitive abilities as we age

These are just a few of the hundreds of ways vitamin C helps us stay healthy.

Taking vitamin C with bioflavonoids my help increase absorption.  For optimal effectiveness, supplemental vitamin C should be taken in divided doses, two times a day. Suggested adult dosage: 500 mg twice daily.

Please remember to check with your doctor before
starting any new dietary or supplement regimen.

For a personalized health consultation, stop in or give us a call at Deans Natural Food Market Basking Ridge.


No More GMOs.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

And that is what we are going to do. We are taking a big step, an aggressive step, one that not too many stores are willing to take. We’re not waiting anymore for GMO labeling laws.


Avoidance of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms):  While we do not claim to be GMO-free, we are taking decisive steps to move in that direction. Going forward, we will not accept any new Grocery item containing the top 5 most high-risk GMO crops (corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa) into our stores unless they are organic and/or verified by the Non-GMO Project. This includes products containing ingredients such as fructose that are produced using corn or soy.

We strongly encourage any manufacturer that is making a GMO-free claim to have that claim certified by the Non-GMO Project. This service will benefit both the consumer and the manufacturer.

Yes, it’s true. We are not bringing any more grocery products into our stores containing corn, soy, alfalfa, sugar beets or canola unless they are organic and/or Non-GMO Project Verified. Period. It’s not going to be easy, but we are 100% committed. We’re going to be scrutinizing ingredients like crazy, looking for all those hidden sources of the High-risk 5. Corn starch? Sorry, can’t bring it in. Soy lecithin in those cookies, not organic or Non-GMO Project Verified? Sorry, can’t bring it in. This is the level of commitment we are going to bring to make sure that moving forward, we will provide the safest food choices for you and your family.Revised-Seal

You may have a few questions about our non-GMO policy, so we’ve prepared a little FAQ.

You’re not taking in any new items containing GMOs, what about everything else in the store? Aren’t you knowingly selling us GMOs?

Few if any stores in the US and Canada are truly GMO free. We’re not there yet, but we are working hard to move in that direction. Going forward we will do our best to limit any products that contain GMOs and continue to find suitable organic/non-GMO replacements for items containing GMOs.

You can help us do this by choosing Non-GMO Project Verified and Organic products when you shop, and encouraging friends and family to do the same.  Look for the seal, check the Non-GMO Project’s iPhone app or product search page, or ask a staff-person for help.

What about other departments, such as Produce and Fresh Foods?

We have no GM produce, as all the produce we sell is organic. This same produce is what we use in our Fresh Foods department. We have taken great care to ensure that almost all ingredients in our kitchens are organic or Non-GMO Project Verified; we still continually seek out replacements for products which do not meet those standards.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at info AT deansnaturalfoodmarket DOT com.

We would like to give a HUGE Thank You to the Non-GMO Project for their collaboration! Please visit them at for more info.



Meet the Basking Ridge Nutrition Staff

Not to toot our own horn or anything, but there’s something about Dean’s Natural Food Market that we are very proud of and feel is very special – our Nutrition staff. Each store has their own full-time nutrition expert, there to answer any questions you might have, no appointment needed.

We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our two nutrition experts in our new Basking Ridge store, both fountains of knowledge, super-experienced and just great people to boot.


Robyn is a second-generation natural food industry champion, following her influential mother’s footsteps. A home-grown Jersey Girl, her interest in supplements and a healthy lifestyle was sparked when she saw how proper diet, nutrition and vitamin supplementation helped reverse a serious condition in an ailing relative.

Over Robyn’s nearly 30 year career, she has had the advantage of working in all departments and aspects of natural food retail, starting from the bottom stocking shelves and working her way up to store manager (area locals may know her from the Health Shoppe in Morristown, NJ). Over the years, she has had the good fortune of working with many committed professionals; these experiences have taught her the interrelated and positive effects of a well-rounded healthy, holistic life style.

Robyn’s passion for her job and quest for knowledge are the driving forces in her career thus far and continue to propel her forward. She tries to take advantage of every opportunity to attend seminars, workshops and clinical lectures so that she can better understand new products and supplements being offered in the ever-changing marketplace, and therefore be of more assistance to her customers.

As Nutrition Manager at Dean’s Natural Food Market of Basking Ridge, Robyn “is home.”


Robyn and Cindy in the Basking Ridge Nutrition department


“My name is Cindy Mobus. I was born and raised in Basking Ridge, NJ and moved to Warren in 1978, where I currently live with my husband and 4 children. 

I became interested in nutrition when my 7 year old son (who is now 17) had trouble sleeping and focusing. I was reluctant to give him prescription drugs; I wanted other options. I began learning about nutrition, supplements and natural alternatives which resulted in significant, beneficial improvements for my son. 

This experience inspired me to enroll at The Academy of Natural Health and Science, where I received my Nutrition Consultant Certification. I’m currently furthering my education at “Wellness Simplified,” where I’ll earn my CNC, allowing me to perform customized health assessments for people trying to reach optimal health. 

I love working at Dean’s Natural Food Market because it’s an environment where the employees, the customers and I all have a mutual interest in overall health and wellness. Having a venue to apply my knowledge, collaborate with others and make a positive impact on someone’s life is very rewarding!”

Make sure to say “hello” to Robyn and Cindy next time you’re in Basking Ridge and as always, feel free to pick their brains with any questions you may have about what nutrition is right for you.

D is for Dan…and Vitamin D

Meet Dan, our Ocean store’s Clinical Nutritionist. He’s been noticing a lot of people asking about Vitamin D lately as a supplement for cold & flu season, so he decided to write a little piece about it to help you further understand its uses. Thank you, Dan!
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin by Daniel Sobon
    If you’ve been paying attention to current health news you’ve noticed that vitamin D has been a hot topic. There are many questions regarding supplementation of vitamin D, so hopefully this brief article will clear up some confusion.
    The two most common forms of vitamin D are D-2 (ergocalciferol) and D-3 (cholecalciferol).  Vitamin D-2 is found in plants and fungi. Vitamin D-3 is found in animals and is the form of ‘D’ we get from adequate sunlight exposure.  Vitamin D-3 is the preferred form, not only because it’s more active and effective, it’s the form that is used in clinical health studies. (Side Note: If your bottle of vitamin D does not say “D-3” on the front label, simply check the nutrition facts for the word “cholecalciferol”; that’s D-3)
    Increasing your levels of vitamin D into optimum range [40-60 ng/ml, (nanograms per milliliter) *ask your doctor about checking your levels of vitamin D] has been shown to have tremendous benefits:
  • Prevents cold and flu through increased immune activity
  • Protects us from many forms of cancer
  • Increases bone strength by promoting calcium absorption
  • Helps prevent heart disease
  • Helps prevent diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Increases mental function and alleviates symptoms of depression.
  • Helps maintain healthy weight and proper muscle tone.
    Clinical research suggests that the average person in America is deficient in vitamin D (baseline adequate levels are 30 ng/ml. We are averaging 18 ng/ml) despite the intake of a multiple vitamin, calcium formula, and sun exposure. Being that vitamin D toxicity is highly unlikely, consuming 40,000 i.u. daily for two months before any signs of excess, I am suggesting the following range of dosages for your consideration. *Check with your doctor before embarking on any nutritional program.  Getting your vitamin D levels checked is a great way to be proactive with your health.
        Proper dosages are determined by age and weight.  A simple, safe guideline for maintaining ideal vitamin D levels are as follows:
        infants 400-800 i.u.
        Children 6yrs – 12yrs 800-1600 i.u.
        13yrs – 24yrs  1600-4000 i.u.
        25yrs – 65+yrs 4000-8000+ i.u. (*If a blood test reveals a vitamin D deficiency, the higher potency range may be required to ensure adequate levels)

It’s Partytime: Our 4th Annual Vitamin Sale

It’s heeeeere – our 4th ANNUAL DEAN’S BRAND VITAMINS SALE is back! For one week only, January 1st through 7th, all Dean’s Brand Vitamins will be a whopping 40% OFF – take advantage and stock up on your favorite vitamins, supplements, proteins and more at prices you won’t see again for a year.

And wait, there’s more – to start off the week in style, shop our big NEW YEAR’S DAY KICK-OFF and receive 20% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE STORE (does not apply to Dean’s Brand Vitamins, sale or specially-priced items). Want to try the new Lagona makeup line? 20% off. Feel like taking a break from cooking? Pick up some grab-n-go entrees for dinner at 20% off. Looking to try a detox kit to start off the New Year? Yep – 20% off. One day only, New Year’s Day from 10am-6pm and soooo worth it.

We’ll have a bunch of food tastings going on too on New Year’s Day, so come hungry – Fresh Foods starts off the day with a vegan breakfast sampling of Tofu Scramble & Vegan Sausage served with fresh juices, leading to lunchtime Vegan Pizza, salads, baked goods and more. (Just thinking about the aroma of the Tofu & Sausage Scramble is making me hungry…!)


If you can believe this, there’s even MOREprint this raffle ticket out for a chance to win a $100 Dean’s Gift Card! A hundred bucks’ worth of free groceries, holla! Ticket must be dropped off in person by January 9th and we do ask you to please be fair, one ticket per visit. One card will be raffled off  per store, sweet!

See you New Year’s Day and good luck!


Mango Mania

It’s Ataulfo mango season! Only twice a year are we privvy to this unique mango, otherwise called the Champagne Mango, known for its golden flesh and intense ripe sweetness, often described as “creamy” and “buttery.” There are little to no fibers in the fruit of the Ataulfo and the pit is the smallest of all the mangos, which means more fruit for us! Look for the most golden yellow fruit which is still firm, but a bit giving and if you’re in doubt, just ask  a Produce team member for a sample and they’ll gladly cut one open for you. (PS: This week they’re on sale, only $3 for FOUR, get ’em while you can.)

Golden ripe organic Ataulfo (Champagne) Mangos, just in

Besides being loved for its exotic, juicy sweetness, the mango is also known for its extraordinary health benefits, rating high in Vitamins C, A and B6, dietary fiber, potassium, beta carotene and antioxidants. What I find interesting is that mangos contain an enzyme similar to papain from papayas, which soothes the stomach and helps digest proteins in meat – which is why it is widely-used as a great marinade.

This classic mango-pineapple salsa can be used as a marinade or as the “exclamation point” of any grilled meat recipe. It’s also delicious with tofu or even over rice.

* 1 mango, peeled and diced

* 1cup fresh pineapple, diced

* 1 half jalapeno, seeded and chopped finely (more if desired)

* 1 half medium-sized red onion, diced

* 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

* 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves

* Salt and pepper

* OPTIONAL: you may also add red bell pepper and/or cucumber, if desired

Combine the mango, pineapple, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving so the flavors come out. Spoon over meats, un-meats or use as a marinade (discard used portion and use fresh for topping).


Yes, that’s right, ORGANIC AVOCADOS 5 FOR $5. We’re sorry to brag, but you can barely get conventional ‘cados at that price! Actually, we’re not going to be humble for a moment, our organic produce can go head-to-head price-wise with a lot of big box competitors, see for yourself on our website. ANYWAY…

Avocados, so good for you! What are some health benefits of avocados?  They provide over 20 essential nutrients and lots of them, including folate (beneficial for your heart) potassium (60% more than a banana!) and the “good fat.” What is the good fat? Well, it’s raw, plant-based fat, or monounsaturated fat, which besides being essential for body and brain function, also boosts the amount of nutrition absorbed of other fruits and veggies eaten with it. This good fat has also been proven to lower cholesterol, substantially. Plus, they’re delicious, it’s a win-win!

Now on to the good stuff: recipes. We did one for guacamole back around the Super Bowl, but here’s one which sounds even better: Ridiculously Good Guacamole in Five Minutes from Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious blog. (Love this site!) But avocados are good for so many other recipes other than guac, here are a few you may enjoy:

Linguine with Avocado and Arugula Pesto? Oh Giada, you so crazy.

Avocado & Olive Quesedillas, now there’s an interesting idea! (Personally, I’d add a little tomato too)

A spiced-up classic: Spicy Grilled Bacon, Tomato & Avocado Sandwich (switch out the bacon with Fakin’ Bacon to make it veggie)

Maybe a simple Raw Kale & Avocado Salad recipe on the side.

Sweet Avocado Ice Pops. Why didn’t we think of that?

Sweet Avocado Ice Pops, so summery!
Photo credit: Ed Anderson © 2011

Speaking of freezing, you can freeze avocados for later use. We’ve read that halves or slices don’t really do so hot, but mashed works great. Here’s the gist:

– Core out and mash your avocados.

– For each avocado, add one tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice, mix in well.

– Put into airtight container, ziplock freezer bags seem to be best. Squeeze out all the air you can.

– Zip, date and freeze. When ready to use, defrost in the fridge for 24 hours and voila – Avocadoliciousness!

[EDITED TO ADD] Have an avocado recipe you’d like to share? Post it in the comments, we’d love to see it!

HuffPo Health Tweet

from the Huffington Post Healthy Living section

A tweet of ours got picked up on the Huffington Post’s Healthy Living section, the story is titled “Healthy Supermarket Shopping: Is An In-Store Nutritionist The Secret To Healthful Choices?” Here at Dean’s, we think it’s definitely important. We have (and have always had) a full-time Nutrition expert in each store to answer any and all questions customers may have  – and that isn’t limited to the supplement aisle.

Full page story here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Many of you, like myself, depend a lot (too much, really) on the internet to find the information we need – recipes, health info, what day the township picks up the cardboard, etc. But what happens if we can’t find it or find conflicting information out there?

Exactly that happened to me last week while searching for info on what diet/cleansing fast to put my husband on, who was going in for an important check-up procedure which we all should do. I knew he had to go a few days eating light (but what does that mean?) and the day before the procedure was to be an all-liquid fast, but what exactly do I feed this meat-and-potatoes guy to keep him not going out of his mind? Continue reading