Back to nature: Herbal store helps improve health
Juanny Ortiz stands proudly inside her new Elmwood Park business, Family Nutritional Wellness Center.| David Pollard~Sun-Times Media
What herbal supplements do you take?
Updated: May 27, 2012 8:03AM
Juanny Ortiz, a nurse, once thought herbal supplements were a waste of time.
Ortiz, 48, of Elmwood Park, suffered from depression and was having trouble in her job working with special needs children.
“It was hard to get up in the morning,” she said. “I would go back and forth to the doctor.”
“I had high blood pressure,” she said. “I was always in pain. I had no energy.”
She started using the herbal supplements two years ago, with the help of her husband who made sure she would use them after she bought them.
“I was still skeptical,” she said.
But over time she saw the results.
“I started noticing the difference and the pain started going away,” she said. “I was losing weight and started feeling better.”
She lost 40 pounds, and Ortiz says she has more energy, her digestion has improved and she’s living healthier.
The results convinced her to open her own business selling herbal supplements.
She now operates the Family Nutritional Wellness Center, 7444 W. Grand Ave. in Elmwood Park.
As part of the weight loss program she promotes, people can buy the products or have them prepared on the spot for $4. She is open in the morning and afternoon for those who want the products prepared for them as part of the weight loss program, which includes a meal replacement or protein shake, herbal tea and other products.
Those who take advantage of the program eat a well-balanced meal on their own each day, she said.
Her husband and co-business owner, Gabe Ortiz, 62, started on the program in September and has seen positive results as well.
“I was 200 pounds and a size 38 (waist) but now I’m a 34 or 35,” he said. “I had problems with my joints, but now I feel much, much better.”
One evening last month, Juanny Ortiz was preparing meals for a few of her regular customers who have started coming in.
Mayra Garcia, who lives in Mont Clare, was sipping tea at Ortiz’s store. She said before she started the program she bad acne, suffered from constipation and had a few pounds she wanted to get rid of.
“I lost 14 pounds in one month,” she said. “I want to lose 10 more.”
“It’s really good,” she said about the program. “I have more energy from the herbal tea. I drink the tea and shake every morning and come here everyday. I feel very good.”
Juanny Ortiz said her business is open seven days a week 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. for breakfast and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner. She said people can come in and buy the products and use them on there own as well.
She said along with helping others feel better and lose weight she wants to improve her life financially through the business.
“I’ve been working for the past 35,” she said. “My 401K is (currently) $13,000. That’s nothing. You think I can retire on that much?”
Gabe Ortiz said the transformation he has seen in his wife is reward enough.
“To see her happy, I’m happy,” he said.
For more information on Family Nutritional Wellness Center, call (773) 556-9926