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Wellness Blog

Keeping Up With Kardish: Meet Athena

Let’s introduce you to another one of our employees. Meet Athena, our talented team member at Barrhaven. She is Vietnamese and born and raised in Ottawa. She’s also one of our youngest team members! Athena is a senior in high school, who’s super excited to graduate this coming spring. Given how covid has changed our social gatherings, Athena hopes to have a normal graduation next year. Her plans after graduation include enrolling in the royal military college and studying psychology. 

Athena started working at Kardish as a co-op student in our accounting department and before completing her placement, she was offered a position at our Barrhaven store. By nature, Athena is driven and focused, so she wanted to work in an environment that encouraged her learning and expanded her knowledge in nutrition and wellbeing. 

“Kardish is a great fit for me,” says Athena. “I really enjoy coming to a workplace that has such a positive atmosphere.” 

Athena and her co-workers make a great team. They often set friendly competitions among themselves to enhance their learning.

Athena’s educational background consists of fitness related health and the health habits of youth. She speaks to many customers about the habits of their teenagers and relates and understands them quite well. From her personal experiences, she has also learnt how to recover from brain injuries and shares that knowledge and tips with customers who may be going through the same or similar injury. 

Athena is passionate about helping customers establish a health regimen that is a great fit for them. Many customers come to her to find a supplement that partners well with their daily activities. 

“I really enjoy when regular customers come back, and they tell me how I’ve improved their lifestyle or health habits,” says Athena.

Athena wanted to share some of her tips for staying healthy with you:

  1. Try to get 30-minutes of physical exercise everyday, preferably in the morning.
  2. Drink 1 Litre of water every morning. Athena, herself works out and meditates everyday. 
  3. If you are trying to develop healthy habits - stay consistent with them. The results will show! keep a routine and work out in consistent increments!


Athena also recommends a supplement for managing stress and anxiety: Health First’s Ashwagandha, a preferable dose of 3-4 capsules or 500-1000 mg a day. 


Pop by our Barrhaven location for more health tips from Athena! 

Wellness Blog

Keeping Up With Kardish: Get To Know Victoria

24-year-old Victoria Laforty Cirne has been assistant manager at Kardish’s barrhaven location for just over three months. 

The Brockville native moved to Ottawa three years ago. She has family here, and began working at Kardish in February. Right before joining the Kardish team, Victoria decided to give vegetarianism a try. 

Initially, she made the switch for environmental reasons, but says that she has also seen a big improvement in both hers, and her partners health (he too went vegetarian). 

Victoria says working at Kardish has been equally lovely as it has been educational. She now understands a lot better what supplements to incorporate into her diet to compensate for cutting out meat. 

And, she says she feels deeply valued at work, always learning new things—even from her customers. 

And then there’s the products. Her favourite additions to her daily routine are the J?SÖN sulfate-free tea tree and aloe vera shampoo and conditioner. She says both her scalp and hair have greatly benefited from the switch to the all natural hair care line. 

Victoria says she stays healthy by going for walks, and  biking! As for her meals. She loves (and recommends) soup!

Her go-to basics for almost all her soups are:

  • Garlic, ginger, and onions (staples that empower the immune system)
  • Spices such as curry (to give it lots of flavor)
  • Tumeria (a natural anti-inflammatory)
  • Veggies of all kinds - the latest soup: peas, spinach and carrots

Victoria says that she’s got a busy social life, but since facing the pandemic, she did her part to stay home, instead opting to take up art again. Her latest projects are painting kitchen counter mason jars! 

A jar that Victoria decorated. She’s been taking up art since COVID-19 took hold of everyone’s activities.

Wellness Blog

Kardish Launches The Ottawa Mask, A Mask Created In Partnership By CHEO And EcoEquitable

The masks already sold out twice before launch. All profits will be donated to CHEO.

May 20, 2021


OTTAWA — Kardish Health Food Centre, Ottawa’s largest health food retailer, today announced that they launched the exclusive Ottawa Mask. This high performing mask was developed by CHEO researchers, in partnership with EcoEquitable and Dessuis, as a means to help reduce community transmission of COVID-19.  

“The Ottawa Mask gives people an ideal alternative to un-tested cloth masks and one-time surgical masks designed for use in health care,” says Dr. Dayre McNally, a CHEO intensive care physician and researcher. “We wanted to provide a mask that was reusable, and yet had a known and validated level of protection.”

In contrast to most cloth masks widely available for public use, the Ottawa Mask well exceeds the 50% particle filtration efficiency recently specified by the American Society of Testing Materials for a level 2 consumer/community mask. In contrast to surgical masks, the Ottawa Mask was specifically developed to be re-used, and retains particle filtration efficiency above 70% after 50 launderings. Finally recognizing the importance of both fit and comfort, the mask has undergone both quantitative fit and user testing at CHEO.

The masks cost $20 to make and sell for $25. This means that $5 of each mask is donated to CHEO, supporting CHEO’s excellence in pediatric care, research, and education. 

The masks are manufactured in Canada by EcoEquitable. EcoEquitable is a small, dynamic social enterprise supporting people in need—especially women new to Canada—looking to develop connections with their community and increase their financial stability through sewing training. 

The masks are available at all Kardish locations.

“The Ottawa Mask is manufactured to the highest standards,” says Anouk Bertner, Executive Director of EcoEquitable. “This partnership is an amazing example of how private industry, social enterprise, and scientific institutions can work together to improve Canada.”

“Kardish is always looking for ways to support our community. We are excited to offer our community these top-quality masks that give back to CHEO, support EcoEquitable, and protect against COVID-19,” says Robert Assaf, President of Kardish Food Centre. “We’re looking forward to having these masks in our stores and making a difference during a difficult time.”

About Kardish Health Food Centre 

Kardish Health Food Centre is Ottawa’s leading health food retailer. Kardish, founded in 1979,  is committed to making it easy for you to discover well-being solutions that work for you. With more than seven retail locations in Ottawa, Kardish makes it easy for you to access a wide selection of specialty health and bulk foods, gluten-free products, natural health and beauty aids, vitamins, and other natural health supplements. Kardish Health Food Centre has been recognized as an industry and community leader, winning the Ottawa Business Journal Employee’s Choice Award, the Best Ottawa Business Award, and the Canadian Health Food Association Award for Excellence in Retailing.

About EcoEquitable

EcoEquitable is a charitable organization and social enterprise that supports newcomer women in developing the skills necessary for financial autonomy through sewing while greening the environment.  EcoEquitable recycles over 10,000 lbs of textiles annually and supports the  community in embracing slow fashion and a zero-waste lifestyle. They offer a wide range of sewing courses for all levels and sewing aspirations.

Wellness Blog

How To Reduce Your Stress While Working From Home

In a time of so much upheaval, adjusting to working from home is anything but easy. It’s always challenging to juggle personal and professional responsibilities while also caring for your own well-being—and with the future so uncertain, it has become more difficult than ever. 

We want to help. Here are a few of our top tips to keep your stress levels low and your spirits high right now.

Set up a calming work environment

Take some time to create the optimal setup for your new space. Just as you would at the office, decorate your desk with things you love—whether it’s photos of your family, art, candles, books, posters, or sports memorabilia. Next, give your back a break by arranging your computer monitor, chair height and keyboard in the most ergonomic way possible (the internet can provide some guidance here). If you can, try to find a spot with natural sunlight and add some plants to purify your air and perk up the space.

Keep a regular schedule

With no commute or evening activities, it’s tempting to abandon your normal daily schedule. Resist that urge. Sticking to a timetable is a great way to manage stress. By breaking your day down into smaller, bite-sized pieces that each have a purpose, it both fills your time and provides a clear focus. Scheduling also helps you create a clear division between personal and professional responsibilities—a distinction that is crucial when working from home.

Take a break to meditate

Consider downloading a mediation app to use during a break in your workday. Meditation isn’t for everyone, but now could be a great time to see if it helps you reduce some day-to-day anxiety. You can even add in some aromatherapy to your practice! To fight stress, we recommend using frankincense, lavender, bergamot or ylang ylang. 

Eat healthy, balanced meals

To help your body combat stress, it’s important to feed it the fuel it needs. Make sure you’re at your best by eating plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. And keep it simple. With all this time at home—and influencers on social media who make it look so easy—you may feel the pressure to bake your own bread, start an extreme diet, or spend hours making elaborate dishes. But there’s no need to add that additional strain to your life. Simply do your best to maintain a balanced diet and keep your body fueled up. 

Keep in touch 

Isolation compounds stress. That’s why it’s more vital than ever to stay in touch with friends and loved ones with regular phone calls and socially distant visits. Additionally, try to maintain some non-work contact with your coworkers throughout your day. You would be surprised by how much a little office small talk over Zoom can help with your mental well-being.

However you choose to manage this new reality, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. In such a challenging time, that’s all we can do.

Wellness Blog

Healthy At Home Contest

This winter we’re all facing the challenge of finding ways to be healthy at home. We want to share our journeys to better health with our community to help support and motivate each other.


What are the best ways you’ve found to be healthy at home? We want to know! Share them with us by posting your image to Instagram, tagging us and using the hashtag #HealthyAtHome. Or share them on Facebook by commenting on this post with your photo!


Whether you’re trying a new exercise routine, making more meals with organic meats and vegetables or finding ways to incorporate more vitamins and minerals into your diet, share them with the community!

Healthy At Home Kardish Wellness Kit Prize


After February 8, 2021 a random winner from valid applicants will be selected to receive a Kardish Wellness Kit that includes the following Kardish products:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Vitamin D3 1000IU 15ml Drops
  • Vitamin C Crystals
  • Hand Sanitizing Gel 100ml
  • Oil of Oregano


To participate in the contest you have to post a public image to Instagram with the hashtag #HealthyAtHome and tag @KardishFoods before February 8, 2021. Or you can post a public image to this Facebook post and describe how you stay healthy at home. You will also have to be following Kardish on Instagram or Facebook. Only one valid entry per account will be considered for the selection of the winner. Quality of the image has no impact on submission validity.