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HEALTHY LIVING HEALTHY PLANET Green Living/Building Integrative Medicine Organic Food Buy Local Be Fit Love

April 2010


Building Green

Renovations Repairs Tax Incentives


April projects Attracting wildlife

Gainesville/Ocala/The Villages

~ April 2010


presents ...

Organic Food & Film Festival Saturday, May 15, 10-5 Ocala Civic Theatre

4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala


e still have room for selected exhibitors including organic farms, local growers’ markets, nutritionists, health food stores, and holistic/integrative physicians. For information about reserving a display space, call 352-629-4000 or email



njoy scrumptious organic food samples, expand your health-care choices by talking with holistic practitioners, and watch up to THREE life-changing and encouraging films. Reserve tickets at or call 352-629-4000.

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April 2010


Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find top-quality news and information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green building and living, organic food, the “buy local” and “slow food” movements, creative expression, and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

14 Healthy Kids Guarding Against Autism by Brita Belli

Publisher Carolyn Rose Blakeslee Regional Editors Diane Childs Kim Marques, Calendar National Editors Sharon Bruckman S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design + Production Stephen Gray-Blancett Carolyn Rose Blakeslee Advertising Carolyn Rose Blakeslee Corporate + Development Larry Levine John Voell II

16 Green Living Gardening for Wildlife by Betsy S. Franz

18 Dare to Repair by Crissy Trask

Contact Us Natural Awakenings P.O. Box 1140 Anthony, FL 32617 352-629-4000 Fax 352-351-5474 Subscriptions Mailed subscriptions are available for $36/year. Natural Awakenings Gainesville/Ocala is published every month. 20,000 copies are distributed to health food stores, medical offices, fitness facilities, public libraries, restaurants and cafes, and other locations throughout North Central Florida. If you would like copies delivered to your location, please email or call us.

20 Spring Green

Natural Awakenings does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in its articles or advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products or services contained herein. In the case of health-related articles and ads, to determine whether a particular product or service is appropriate for you, consult your family physician.


Give Your Home the Green Light Today by Crissy Trask

23 Energy Payback

Copyright ©2010 Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted if that permission has been obtained in writing.

Incentives to Upgrade and Save Money by Brita Belli


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LocalHeroes People Who Fix Stuff











Staying Lighthearted





Stair Climbing

I’m pleased and excited to announce that our Organic Food & Film Festival is coming up. We’re going to have a relaxed, all-day event from 10-5 on May 15th at the Ocala Civic Theatre. Some of the vendors will be setting up outside so we can have more exhibits and food samples available for you. And, we’re going to show THREE movies during the day (at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00). Mark your calendar—come and join us for a fun, informative, and tasty event! xoxo







Hi, friends,

Advertising & Submissions how to advertise n To advertise with us or request a media kit, please call us at 352-629-4000, visit, or email n Deadline for ads: the 12th (i.e. April 12 for May issue). n For your convenience, our media kit is online at www. n Design services available. n Advertisers are included online at no additional charge and receive other significant benefits. For details, visit Editorial submissions n For submission guidelines, please visit n Email articles, news items and ideas to: n Deadline for editorial: the 10th of the month. calendar submissions n Visit /news.htm. n Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. regional markets Advertise your products or services in multiple markets. Now serving 70+ communities and printing 1,500,000 copies. To advertise in other markets call 239-449-8309.


Local Heroes: People Who Fix Stuff by Our Readers

Senior Sleuths recover $67,000 for residents In a report published March 9th, the local volunteer Seniors vs. Crime office has been busy since opening in April 2008: they have recovered more than $67,000 for residents who had disputes with businesses or service providers. The program is offered through the Ocala Police Department and Florida’s Attorney General. The volunteers are trained to find a win-win solution for many different types of disputes for citizens of all ages. The office is at Paddock Mall next to J.C. Penney, and volunteers are available from 11 to 3 Tuesdays. Call 352873-6377. Laser Printer Systems This company specializes in recycling laser and other toner cartridges and printers. Located on S.E. 58th Avenue (S.R. 35) in Ocala, owners Don and Phyllis Holzderber and their crew are top-notch technicians who work fast, honestly, and with precision. —Carolyn Blakeslee J.L.’s Auto Repair This is an honest mechanic in Gainesville. When my daughters started driving I found him. He always says if something is still working, no need to fix it right then. He has kept our cars running for six years now. I have sent several of my friends there and he has always come back way cheaper than other estimates they received elsewhere and he stands by his work 100%. He and his sons are wonderful! —Kathryn Tillman

April 2010


NewsBriefs Traditional Thai Massage Course

Sandra Wilson: Two New Certifications



course in Traditional Thai massage begins the weekend of May 8th at The Florida School of massage. This is part one of a five-part series leading to certification in this ancient tradition. All are welcome. CEUs for Licensed Massage Therapists and yoga alliance is available. Each weekend costs $300 with a discount if taking all five levels. To register, contact or

andra Wilson has completed two new certifications for 2010. This year, she has completed training and is now a Certified Professional Coach. She most recently has coached clients in Washington, Idaho and Michigan. Additionally, she passed Gary Craig’s exam and now holds the EFT-Cert1 designation. Gary Craig is the developer of Emotional Freedom Techniques. She currently holds the EFT-CC and EFT-ADV certificates through EFT Master Dr. Pat Carrington’s examinations. Sandra Wilson offers office and phone sessions. 352-454-8959 and

Organic and Green Events in April


the Seed t n Pla Grow your business naturally with Natural Awakenings

Call 352-629-4000 or email to discuss an advertising package to suit every budget.


n Saturday, April 3, from 9 to 3, Crones Cradle will host a Green and Sustainability Festival. Featured vendors will include a solar exhibit, rain barrels, Gainesville Farm Fresh, local growers, edible landscapes, livestock exhibits, bokashi composting, Florida School for Holistic Living, Crones Cradle’s own Heritage Experience, and farm and garden tours. Organically grown vegetable and herb seedlings, workshops on organic gardening, cooking from the garden with recipe cards and more will be offered. $1/ person. On April 24, Crones Cradle Conserve is hosting a Natural and Organic Foods Gala from 10 to 3. Sample fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, grass-fed beef, natural pork, freerange chickens, alligator meat, and take home complimentary recipes. Sample portions will cost a modest $1.00 for each food available. Guest chefs will be cooking throughout the day with farm fresh vegetables, locally home grown the old-fashioned way. Gate fee $1.00 per person. For additional information, visit or call 352-595-3377.

OakBrook News


akBrook Life Enrichment Center, which has been a presence in Marion County for 25 years, is changing its name to OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living. Rev. Peggy Hostetler, Senior Minister of OakBrook, stated, “We found that many people who were attracted to our empowering and positive spiritual message were staying away because our name was confusing. Despite the name change, we continue to teach spiritual principles that empower people to live lives with a personal relationship to God.” OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, located at 1009 N.E. 28th Avenue in Ocala, promotes a spiritual way of life that honors all paths to God. The philosophy, known as the Science of Mind, was developed in the U.S. in the early 20th century by Dr. Ernest Holmes, and has grown into an

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NewsBriefs international presence since that time. For more information, call 352-629-3897 or visit On Sunday, April 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. Ocala IONS and OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living co-sponsor a powerful workshop called “Embracing Your Shadow Using Psychological Fitness” with certified Polarity Wellness Educator, Paula Krause. Deep within every human live the qualities we find unacceptable about ourselves. Carl Jung labeled it “The Shadow”—guilt, fear, jealousy, grief, anger, etc. When we own and accept our Shadow, we can integrate it with Divine Love. Learn to use Psychological Fitness and Impulse Management for empowerment, unification and love. $15. For details and reservations call 352-629-3897.

UF Seeks Older Adults for Study


he University of Florida is seeking older adults between the ages of 70 and 89 to take part in a lifestyle interventions trial to determine whether exercise or health education can prevent or delay major movement disability in older adults. Sites will be in Gainesville and Jacksonville. Little is known about whether specific interventions can help prevent major mobility disability, defined as the inability to walk a quarter of a mile, or four blocks. For older

adults, staving off disability could help them maintain their physical independence and enhance the quality of their later years. The study will compare the long-term effectiveness and practicality of two interventions: a physical activity program and a successful aging health education program. UF is one of eight institutions around the country at which the trial will be conducted. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to take part in either a structured physical activity program that includes moderate-intensity physical activity such as walking and exercises to improve strength, balance and flexibility, or in a successful aging program that includes health education workshops and supervised stretching. Individuals will be followed for up to approximately four years. The overall trial will run for six years.   In addition to disability prevention, investigators will examine whether physical activity and health education affect cognitive function, cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary events, serious fall injuries and disability in basic activities of life. They will also look at quality-of-life measures such as depression symptoms, sleep quality, stress and satisfaction with life, and assess the cost-effectiveness of these programs for older people.   To enroll or for more information, call 352-273-5919.

April 2010


GlobalBriefs Service Chits

Banking Hours Takes on New Meaning


t its most basic, time banking is about spending an hour doing something for someone in our community and banking it. Each hour banked represents a time dollar to spend having someone doing something for us. Time banks are built upon the premise that everyone has something to contribute and everyone needs a helping hand now and then. When we ask, “How can we help each other?” we can all get our needs met, whether it’s a ride to school, a trip to the market, yard work or household chores. Sharing resources builds trust and makes life more convenient. It’s like having an extended family that benefits the larger community. For a directory of existing community time banks and a startup kit to create a time bank to serve a neighborhood, school, church or agency, visit

Micro-Volunteering Devoting Idle Moments to Good Deeds


nline “crowdsourcing,” so useful to in gathering information for its free encyclopedia, is set to benefit other types of nonprofits as well, thanks to an iPhone app piloted by The Extraordinaries, out of San Francisco. The idea is to get people to volunteer whenever it is convenient. Currently, on-demand volunteers simply tap in to participate in a nonprofit project such as tagging photos for museums or photographing neighborhood play areas to help create a nationwide map of playgrounds. As the program expands, people who want to do more can find out when and where to show up to support a local community program. The Extraordinaries envision smart-phone volunteers nationwide eventually translating documents, tutoring students, collecting citizenscientist data and even reporting potholes and other municipal problems. Down the road, volunteers might even read through congressional bills to uncover hidden “pork,” or help fact-check news reports. “If you can imagine the possibilities of what 100,000 people with a few minutes can do,” says CEO Jacob Colker, “it’s really incredible.”

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


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Teen Activists

Cozy Digs

Online Social Network of Students



eens ages 13 to 18 learn about current environmental issues, teen action groups, funding opportunities, green college curricula and eco-careers at, where students also share their success stories. It all makes for an exciting exchange of ideas that can shape a lifetime of experience. One of several current scholarship and award programs, the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative engages youth in environmental conservation and cleanup projects. Sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation, applications for this year’s initiative are due by the end of the year.

Living Large in Small Spaces he desire to live simply, a cornerstone of the Small House Movement, has led to interest from architects and builders who are now providing smaller housing alternatives, according to www.ResourcesForLife. com. Florida designer Ed Binkley, who used to design mansions, now offers a Shelter Series that includes homes ranging from 600 to 900 square feet, reports Orlando Sentinel writer Jean Patteson. Binkley describes them as “comfortable, affordable and green.” Jewel box houses are another design being marketed to young professionals, empty-nesters, retirees and newlyweds, writes Patteson. They feature “top-quality materials, upscale detailing and custom built-ins.” With a modest size of less than 2,000 square feet, beauty and function are valued over accumulating stuff and the space to store it (tips at The trend is reflected in an annual Mayflower Van Lines study, which reports that the average household moving weight has decreased by 10 percent since 1997, including a 2 percent drop from 2007 to 2008. Jennifer Bonham, director of Mayflower’s marketing communications, says it’s due to homeowners “transitioning away from McMansions to smaller, more sustainable living environments.”

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Children Playing Outside Laugh More


hild of Our Time, a televised research project co-produced by the BBC and The Open University in the UK, is halfway through its ambitious 20-year mission of tracking the development of 25 children since birth. One of Executive Producer Tessa Livingstone’s studies has found that the more children played, the more they laughed, especially when outside. In fact, children who played the most laughed up to 20 times more than others. As a child psychologist, Livingstone maintains that it is important to get the balance right between unstructured play and the high level of structured activity, such as music, drama and language classes, which take up so much of the modern child’s time. Children who are allowed to play and explore outside are likely to be more adventurous, self-motivated and better able to understand risk when they grow up, according to Livingstone. Her research team found the amount of time children are allowed to roam out of their parents’ sight has dropped by 90 percent over the past 20 years. “This is an extraordinary change and it says a lot about our fear of modern life, pedophilia, etc. Children learn two things from this: Strangers are fearsome and dangerous, and it’s dangerous to go outside,” she explains. She also notes other research indicating that children are probably safer from stranger danger when playing outside with other children than when playing online alone.

A Crush on Garlic


hen it comes to protecting heart health, freshly crushed garlic works better than garlic supplements or dried garlic. New research published by the American Chemical Society explains that the heart-healthy effects of raw, crushed garlic result from hydrogen sulfide, a chemical that forms when fresh garlic is cut or smashed; when eaten, the hydrogen sulfide relaxes blood vessels, allowing for better flowing of blood to the heart.


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Vinegar Slims and Trims


ood old-fashioned vinegar, an indispensible ingredient in zesty salad dressings and tangy pickles, is living up to its age-old reputation in folk medicine as a health promoter. According to researchers with the Central Research Institute of the Mizkan Group Corporation, in Japan, this kitchen staple is a natural fat fighter that might help us control our weight. The researchers showed that mice fed a high-fat diet and given acetic acid developed up to 10 percent less body fat than the control group; acetic acid is the main component found in all vinegars. The study results also suggested that vinegar slenderizes by turning on genes which produce specific proteins that break down fatty acids in the body, thereby preventing fat accumulation and weight gain. Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009

Natural Pressure Relief


lutamic acid, the most common amino acid in vegetables, and which accounts for almost a quarter of the protein in vegetables, also helps reduce blood pressure. Eating a vegetable-based diet, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, could help counter the current massive public health problem of high blood pressure, for which diagnosis and drug treatment is often inadequate.

Folic Acid Update


olic acid, or folate, a B vitamin found in many vegetables and whole grains, is known to reduce neural tube defects in infants when taken during pregnancy. But now, a study at the University of Southern California has discovered that men taking a daily folic acid supplement of 1 milligram ran twice the risk of prostate cancer than those who took a placebo. Many foods are already fortified with folic acid, say experts in a BMC Public Health article, and taking the vitamin in supplements may result in “overdosing.� Source: BioMed Central, 2009

April 2010



Surfing the Web Boosts Brain Power


rossword puzzles, move over, because a new study from the University of California attests that “Googling� or otherwise browsing the Internet lights up the brain like a Roman candle. When study participants performed Web searches while undergoing MRI scans, they showed an improved efficiency in cognitive processing and in the way their brain encodes information. This held true even for elderly individuals who had minimal computer experience and who performed Internet searches for only a short period of time. Internet searching, it appears, engages a complicated brain activity that exercises and improves the brain when it comes to language, reading, memory, visual abilities, and reasoning and decision-making processes.

Coming in May

Organic and Local Food

Source: National Library of Medicine (


The 2nd Organic Food & Film Festival

3 MOVIES! Saturday, May 15, 2010 10 am - 5 pm Ocala, FL

For more information about advertising and how you can participate, call

352-629-4000 12

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Seven Life Tools How to Stay Lighthearted in Challenging Times

6 7

Practice showing love to every person you come in contact with. Remember that when you give love, it also comes back to you.

by Kari Joys


n today’s tough economic times, many people are facing very difficult life situations. Mounting uncertainties seem to permeate the atmosphere of thought because so many have already lost their jobs and their homes. It isn’t easy to stay cool, calm and collected when you don’t know what to expect tomorrow. You may feel that staying lighthearted is impossible in today’s world. But in working as a psychotherapist for 30 years, I have found that, again and again, employing these seven simple tools enables individuals to come through the darkness to a more lighthearted way of living.


Brainstorm possible solutions until you find one that feels good to you. Take some positive action today towards changing your life for the better.

Look at the funny side of life and find things to laugh about. Share your sense of humor with everyone around you, so that they can laugh and have fun, too. Repeat this process every day until things get better. Once you get started, you may want to continue doing it for the rest of your life.


Imagine in living color what it would be like if a total miracle happened in your life. What you would see, hear, feel, smell and taste if, by some miracle, your life took a definite turn for the better?

Spokane psychotherapist Kari Joys is director of the Center for Creative Change and the author of Choosing Light-Heartedness. A lighthearted seminar leader, she is a member of the American Counseling Association and a certified Yuen Wellness practitioner.


Cry the tears that need to be cried— tears clean the windows of your soul. If there’s no one to talk to, write your feelings in a journal until your body relaxes and you feel a sense of relief.


See every challenge as an opportunity to grow. Ask for divine help to face challenges in the best way possible and to find a positive solution that feels good to you.


Choose a new reality. Affirm to yourself “I’m choosing a new reality.” Then change your negative thoughts and beliefs about your challenges to positive thoughts and beliefs.

April 2010




How Environmental Toxins May Contribute to Autism Spectrum Disorder by Brita Belli


hen the results of an autism study were published in the journal Pediatrics in October 2009, the figures were shocking—one in every 91 U.S. children was reported to have autism. That was up from one in 500 a decade ago, with boys four times as likely to acquire the disorder. Behaviors of autism include: failure to respond to stimuli or make eye contact; speech delays; compulsive behavior like head-shaking; stacking objects or intense repetition of daily activities; and extreme noise sensitivity. For years, research into the causes of autism has revolved around genetics. Even as the rate of autism among the nation’s children continues to rise at an astonishing 10 to 17 percent each year, research has been slow to shift its focus to other factors—namely, environmental toxins.

The Chemical Connection New autism research suggests that environmental toxins such as mercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), flame retardants and pharmaceutical drugs—including antidepressants in utero or antibiotics in infancy—may be aggravating pre-existing genetic conditions. Yet James Adams, head of the Autism/Asperger’s Research Program at Arizona State University, remarks that, “There is still extremely little money out there for looking into environmental issues.” Adams’ own research has discovered a correlation between heavy metal exposure and autism severity. In one study, Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), a medication used to treat lead poisoning, was administered to children with autism. The researchers found that children with autism “dumped three times as much mercury as typical children,” reports Adams, suggesting that their bodies could not properly excrete the toxin. In another study, the baby teeth of children with autism were found to contain twice the mercury as those of typical children.


Adams’ findings have also uncovered one common thread in the medical history of children with autism: heavy use of oral antibiotics in infancy. He explains that antibiotics disrupt the gut’s good flora, further diminishing the child’s ability to excrete toxins. Such treatments are primarily used for recurring ear infections, but as Dr. Jerry Kartzinel reports in his book, Healing and Preventing Autism (co-written with autism treatment advocate Jenny McCarthy), those frequent ear infections are “the most common marker for immune system dysfunction ... in babies and very young children.”

A New Approach A growing number of doctors and researchers are subscribing to the protocols of Defeat Autism Now! (DAN), a project of the nonprofit Autism Research Institute, which supports a biomedical basis for autism and its treatment. DAN practitioners “do not regard psychotropic drugs as the best or only means of treating autistic patients.” Instead, they look for triggers that may aggravate a pre-existing genetic condition. These include everything from vaccines to environmental toxins, like mercury in fish, arsenic in drinking water, and lead in air pollution; overuse of antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines in early infancy; and a diet heavy in wheat and dairy that contributes to gut inflammation.

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This holistic view of autism’s causes also extends to the potential range of treatments. These may include chelation therapy (removing heavy metals), gluten- and casein-free diets (removing wheat and dairy), administering supplements with omega-3 fatty acids and/or hyperbaric oxygen therapy (in which oxygen is administered in a pressurized chamber). “The presumption,” advises Richard Lathe, a molecular biologist and author of Autism, Brain, and Environment, “is that environmental toxicity has increased enough that, combined with childhood vaccines, [industrial] production and fish consumption, it has led to an increase in total exposure to heavy metals.” These concerned researchers list steps that parents can take to minimize their own and their children’s toxic exposures, starting by taking precautions during pregnancy, and minimizing exposure to mercury by avoiding fish. Pregnant women, counsels Lathe, should also be sure to take the proper prenatal vitamins, such as calcium, so that the fetus is not drawing minerals from the mother’s bones, where heavy metals are stored. “The body locks heavy metals away in bone and fat,” explains Lathe. “During pregnancy, that stuff is recycled [in supplying nourishment] to the child.” It’s also important to avoid exposures to toxic chemicals via cleaning products during pregnancy and after birth. Homemade substitutes, using ingredients like distilled white vinegar and baking soda, are safe alternatives.

Other chemical culprits? Plastic containers and bath toys can leech chemicals when heated, cleaned or used for teething. Car seats and crib mattresses made with flame retardants, as well as toys with lead paint, carry toxins. A 2005 study from the nonprofit watchdog Environmental Working Group found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood samples from 10 babies born in U.S. hospitals around the country. Of these, the report said, “180 cause cancer in humans and animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects ... in animal tests..” Consuming organic fruits and vegetables, and freerange poultry/grass-fed beef, will also prevent the ingestion of many hormones and other industrial farm chemicals. For children who may have an underlying genetic predisposition to autism, the chemical overload starts early. Increasing it through allergy-triggering diets, an overload of antibiotics and/or mercury-containing vaccines could have dangerous, long-lasting consequences. Informed parents know to take precautions early and often. Resources: Autism Research Institute at DefeatAutismNow. com; Environmental Working Group at; Pediatrics published study at content/abstract/peds.2009-1522v1. Brita Belli is the editor of E – The Environmental Magazine.

April 2010




Fostering Nature’s Magic by Betsy S. Franz


or me, it was my first glimpse of a hummingbird that did it. For others, it may be the beauty of butterflies or the joyful music of songbirds or a frog chorus. Some people love to sit and watch the playful antics of squirrels scampering through the trees. Whatever the reason or season, America’s gardeners and backyard enthusiasts are learning that one of the most enjoyable ways to take care of their share of the planet is to create a wildlife-friendly landscape surrounding their home. It is hard to deny the magic that wildlife adds to a domestic landscape. Providing hardy habitat for garden creatures allows us to help the environment while granting close-up views of nature that can restore a childlike sense of wonder in anyone fortunate enough to visit the private, peaceable kingdom of which we are the caretakers.


Most experts list the three most basic elements necessary for any wildlife-friendly landscape as food, water and shelter. Note that shelter is not synonymous with abode, such as a birdhouse or bunny hut. When it comes to wildlife, we need to think of the complete picture and ensure “safety first.” For example, luring wildlife to a garden that contains pesticides or wandering house pets can do more harm than good. The goal is to provide refuge, a place that provides nourishing, restful and safe shelter for visiting wildlife.

Shelter: Adding natural elements to

the landscape provides the best shelter. Dense trees and shrubs make excellent nesting sites and cover for birds and small mammals. Prune with caution. Rock piles, brush piles and dense ground cover also provide protection for reptiles, amphibians and ground

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birds. Of course, wildlife areas are no place for man-made chemicals or wandering pets.

Food Sources: Vegetation plays multiple roles. Plants can be both host to eggs and larval foods for butterflies; produce food sources such as acorns, nuts, berries and seeds for various wildlife; or attract insects that are food for birds, reptiles or frogs. Native plants are the best choice for local wildlife. They require less fertilizer, water and pest control, which helps prevent the contamination of soil and water runoff. Feeders: Supplemental food sources can be supplied by using feeders for birds or squirrels. Keeping feeders clean is another key facet of safe shelter.

Water: All wildlife needs a clean water supply for drinking. Many also use water to bathe, clean their food or breed. A lake, pond or wetland can be

the most exciting element in a wildlife garden, because of the wildlife it attracts. Water supplies can be supplemented with birdbaths or mini-ponds. Even shallow saucers of water placed on the ground or low-lying puddle areas will serve as welcome water sources for some wildlife.

Places to Raise Young: Many of

the same elements that provide shelter also provide places for wildlife to raise their young. Mature trees, dense shrubs, fallen logs, hollow trees and dens in the ground are good nesting locations for many animals. Larval host plants may be provided as places for nourishing young in a butterfly garden. Nesting boxes and platforms, bat boxes and toad abodes also make intriguing additions to a yard habitat. Whatever the size, any backyard or garden space can contain some of each of the three essential habitat elements for wildlife. Whether we plant a tree for local bird nesting, create a modest butterfly garden, eliminate

chemicals or choose to leave a small corner of native plants for wildlife, each small decision is a step in the right direction for preserving the natural beauty of the world around us. It’s also a lovely thing to do for ourselves and our families. When we catch a quick glimpse of a fluttering hummingbird or watch the transformation of a caterpillar from chrysalis to butterfly, and realize that we played a part in their journey, we discover that providing habitat for wildlife adds as much to our lives as it does to theirs. To play a role in the preservation of butterflies, songbirds or even a regional endangered species is a miraculous feeling, and one we’ll want to nurture. Betsy S. Franz is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in the environment and may be reached at She developed Project Backyard Brevard in Florida to help residents maintain natural habitat based on National Wildlife Federation principles (see

April 2010


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DARE TO REPAIR by Crissy Trask


hat would you do if the garbage disposal stopped working, your headphones broke or one of the prongs of an extension cord snapped off? Although each of these problems can be fixed easily and economically, most people have become accustomed to replacing the defective item with a brand-new one instead of repairing it. When we fix things, we extend their useful life and save money. We also stop frittering away valuable resources on superfluous replacements. All it takes is a little expert help and the right information. Casting off injured possessions to buy something new is a relatively new behavior in our society. Before we became rabid consumers, repairing stuff was the norm in the U.S., as it still is in much of the world. A half-century ago, any American homeowner wouldn’t have thought twice about dragging out the toolbox or sewing machine to put something back together. It all hints at a silver lining in today’s era of waste, stressed resources

and economic struggle: The wisdom of our grandparents’ natural fix-it mentality is being resurrected. People are waking up to the logic of shifting from a throw-away society to one that values permanence. Whether we’re game for a do-it-yourself project, or prefer to avoid anything to do with tools, thread and glue, resources abound to help us transform what’s in need of a fix-it.

Do It Yourself Many things around the house can be restored with low-cost replacement parts and basic tools by an interested do-it-yourselfer, and fixing things ourselves can leave us with a genuine sense of satisfaction. We may need to look no further than our local hardware store, but the Internet also serves up a slew of how-to Web sites, with step-by-step DIY instructions for repairing, refurbishing, cleaning and maintaining common household items. At, people share what they do and how they

April 2010


Instructional Websites to Fix It Yourself

Bartering Websites to Exchange Services

do it. Founder and CEO Eric Wilhelm believes that the fiscal advantage of repairing things is just the beginning. “When you repair something, you have a deeper relationship with it,” says Wilhelm. “Having a connection to things we used to take for granted makes them more valuable to us.”

Barter If our skill, interest or confidence in DIY repairs is lacking, bartering Web sites help us swap items we own or services we can provide for the services we need. The largest among them,, specializes in all types of bartering. Co-founder Barb Di Renzo reminds us that bartering isn’t anything new. “Bartering is the way our ancestors conducted their daily business and how they survived,” says Di Renzo. “By educating ourselves on the right way to barter, we open ourselves up to many resources and possibilities. It’s a way of taking care of our needs without spending money.” For example, a hairdresser used the website to trade a professional coif for needed computer repairs, without a cent exchanged.

Hire Help When hiring help to see a project through, it’s smart to do our

homework. Resources such as match project details to prescreened professionals in a local area and provide contractor profiles, including customer ratings and reviews. David Lupberger, Service Magic’s home improvement advisor, stresses the importance of customer feedback: “The bar for customer service in construction is set so low that it is invaluable to know we are hiring a contractor who will return phone calls, show up on time, and meet or exceed our expectations.” Once we have a short list of contractors we feel good about, the experts at recommend obtaining three estimates for the project. Before hiring any contractor, always verify that they are licensed (if required), bonded and insured. Spurred by necessity and conscience, new generations are waking up to the eco-sense and common sense of maintaining things to make them last. Our future looks brighter because of it.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. —Native American proverb

Primary sources: Service Magic, Inc.;;; Crissy Trask, the author of It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living, is a freelance writer and green lifestyle consultant in Washington state. She can be reached at

Contractor Resources Directory of screened and approved professionals. Local reviews of professionals written by customers. Company ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Helpful tips on selecting the right contractor.

April 2010


Spring Green Rehab

Give Your Home the Green Light Today by Crissy Trask


ith Mother Nature beautifully transforming our outdoor environment this time of year, it’s only natural to feel inspired to rejuvenate our indoor environment, too. Given this natural source of inspiration, it makes sense to do it using green products that are better both for us and for the Earth. Kelly Lerner, a principal of One World Design Architecture in Spokane, Wash., and co-author of Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House, sees a willingness among home-owners to sort through all the green options. “Yes, green materials have become stylish and chic. But homeowners are genuinely concerned about their own health and they also see the connection between their own well-being and the health of their homes and the ecosystem. We all depend on clean water and air, indoors and out, for example, and consumers


are beginning to see how their everyday actions impact the whole system.” It helps to know that making over our home doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition, says Lerner. “Taking even small steps to renew a space will give us a sense of ownership, pride and comfort every time we enter it.”

Rehab Floors

Foot (and perhaps paw) traffic, spills and abuse take a toll on floors. We could just cover them up with new carpet, but carpet harbors dirt and bacteria. A hard floor is easier to keep clean and will provide more flexibility, should we decide to redecorate down the road. Among the dizzying array of flooring options, a growing number of choices are better for the environment, so doing the right thing doesn’t mean compromising on style and quality. Certified sustainable wood Forest certification began as a way to urge logging companies to adopt environmentally sound practices. Today, several certification programs exist within the industry, but according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, independent Forest Stewardship Council certification remains

the only credible seal of approval for wood products. Look for the FSC mark on packaging and accept no substitutes. —Reputable sources include and Bamboo Bamboo, a rapidly renewable resource that grows faster than almost any other plant, has found its way into many products, most notably flooring. Dan Smith, president and founder of Smith & Fong Co., makers of Plyboo, remarks that “Bamboo easily passes the environmental test, but it’s also aesthetically and tactilely pleasing as a finish product.” To ensure quality and sustainability, select bamboo flooring that carries reputable third-party certifications of compliance with high environmental and indoor air quality standards. —Some reputable sources include and Cork Cork flooring is made from either the bark of a cork oak tree or recycled natural cork wine stoppers. The former renews every 10 years; the latter, each time we uncork a bottle of wine. As long as cork is harvested correctly, the cork tree is unharmed and regenerates bark 20 or more times during its lifespan. Cork is strong, resilient and reduces noise, making it an ideal choice

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for many home applications. Look for formaldehyde- and PVC-free products. —Intriguing sources include and Natural linoleum Natural linoleum flooring is made from renewable raw materials such as linseed oil, pine rosin, wood flour and jute. Marmoleum, produced by Forbo, comes in so many different colors that the design possibilities are limitless. But its color palette is just the beginning of the allure: “Marmoleum actually becomes stronger with age, as the linseed oil oxidizes,” explains Melanie Valerian, the company’s product line manager, “and its natural anti-static properties repel dust and dirt, making it easy to clean and maintain.” —Visit

Make Over Countertops

Got peeling laminate or stained grout? Resist the popular choice, granite, which is nonrenewable and requires significant energy to extract and ship. Instead, try a renewable countertop material that rivals or surpasses granite in beauty and performance for the kitchen, bar or bathroom. Recycled composites Countertops made from recycled paper or glass are desirable for far more than their renewable status; among their fine qualities are strength, durability and a stone-like appearance. Another advantage is the ease of workmanship involved, making the installed price often less than stone. —Good sources include and

distinctive material can be poured in place, molded into any shape and complemented with decorative accents to create custom looks. Mining aggregate is disruptive to the landscape, and producing cement for conventional concrete is energy intensive. It’s better to choose a local fabricator using recycled, locally sourced aggregate and industrial waste byproducts to replace some of the cement. —More information at

Wake Up Walls

One of the most dramatic changes we can make to a room is changing the wall covering. Something as simple as a fresh, vibrant coat of paint can liven up a room and our mood. Here are several Earth-friendly ways to introduce decorative color and texture. Safe paint Paint that is low in VOCs emits fewer volatile organic compounds that pollute indoor air, but note that low-VOC paint can still contain harmful toxins. Other toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, acetone and ammonia are found in many conventional paints. Be good to the environment and choose paints that omit troublesome ingredients without compromising quality. —Sources include and

Low-impact concrete This versatile and beautifully

As much as 90 percent of residential construction and demolition project waste is recyclable. ~ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

April 2010


Keep Waste to a Minimum Reduce n Share project details and measurements with a salesperson or contractor to obtain material estimates and avoid over-ordering. n Measure twice and cut once to avoid expensive material waste.

Reuse & Recycle n When renovating, think deconstruction, rather than demolition. n Require that a contractor’s bid include a plan for reducing, reusing or recycling construction waste and references from similar projects. n Much of what is left over after demolition and remodeling can be recycled or reused. Use Earth911. org to identify such materials and businesses willing to take them. n Save leftover paint, adhesives and scraps that can be used later for touch-ups and repairs. n Look for a materials exchange, such as Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores ( aspx), which may offer both new (surplus/overstock) and used building materials and components. Contributing Source: Union of Concerned Scientists at action


Natural clay plaster Plaster is a natural, environmentally friendly material, used in homes for thousands of years because of its strength and longevity. Its unrivaled beauty is now drawing the interest of modern home owners, notes Armin Croft Elsaesser, president of American Clay Enterprises, LLC. Plaster’s beauty is more than skin deep, however. “Plaster controls moisture, absorbs odors and doesn’t attract dirt,” he says, “which makes it the workhorse of wall coverings.” —Learn more at AmericanClay. com. Plant-based wall coverings Who knew that covering our walls with grass or coconut shells could produce such exquisite results? Papers, tiles and panels crafted from sustainable plants and reclaimed agricultural waste will beautifully cover sections or entire walls, imbuing them with pattern, texture and color. —Design-worthy sources include and

Add Architectural Detail

Architectural detail can be that special touch that really makes a room pop. Crown molding, baseboards, door and window trim, mantels, beams and wainscoting are affordable details that add interest and value to a home. Planet-friendly products of recycled and reclaimed origin ensure that we get the look we want and keep a clear conscience. Reclaimed wood Reclaimed wood comes from a variety of sources and species. Whether it’s heart pine from a 1890 Virginia warehouse or burgundy-stained oak from old California wine barrels, all reclaimed wood has a story—and the kind of character and richness not available with new wood. Choosing reclaimed goodies also keeps more trees firmly planted in the ground. —Recommended sources include, Elmwood and Habitat. org/cd/env/restore.aspx.

Wood alternatives Wood-like composites made from recycled plastics are as much or more effective as solid wood for interior decoration. Timbron International makes decorative moldings that are 90 percent recycled. “Our moldings can be cut, nailed, glued, sanded, caulked and painted, just like wood,” says Steve Lacy, the company’s president and CEO, “but, unlike wood, our product is more durable and impervious to water.” —Innovative sources include Timbron. com and

Dress Up Windows

Window treatments should complement décor, rather than dominate or dictate it. Earth-kind window fashions that come in soft, natural colors allow furnishings and decorative touches to be the star. Select natural window treatments that are easy on the planet and anything but drab. Natural shades Natural shades enhance any design aesthetic, from traditional to modern. Earthshade, a leader in natural window fashions made from rapidly renewable plants such as grass, reed and bamboo, produces shades in an array of styles and flexible options. Principal Craig Swanson promotes the

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The Great Energy-Efficiency Payback Incentives to Upgrade and Save Money  by Brita Belli


he biggest obstacle to retrofitting our home with energy-saving upgrades and technologies—from storm windows to stellar insulation and rooftop solar panels—is often the cost. Even though we’re paying higher electric, gas and water bills due to leaks, drafts and outdated systems, these incremental penalties somehow seem more manageable than the upfront investment of installing say, a new geothermal heat pump. Fortunately, Americans today have access to a range of federal and state incentives, loans, mortgages and tax breaks for those who want to improve their energy use while reducing the initial cost. It’s now possible to make everything from solar heating to efficient air conditioning or a new furnace more affordable.   Find the latest federal, state and local utility deals listed online at, a service of the U.S. Department of Energy.   1. Energy-Efficiency Tax Credit: Energy-efficient water heaters, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, air conditioners, insulation, windows, doors, roofs, circulating fans and biomass stoves are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit of up to $1,500. Expires December 31, 2010. — credits.tx_index

2.  Renewable Energy Tax Credit: Geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and solar energy systems are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit with no upper limit for existing homes and new construction. Expires December 31, 2016. — credits.tx_index

rigorous quality standards his shades must meet, as well as the fact that they are sustainably procured and fair trade crafted, all without chemicals. —Learn more at

much more than renewable, however. Hemp, for example, is naturally insulating and can improve a window’s energy performance. Loose linen weaves will allow natural light to filter through while protecting furnishings from harsh sunlight. —Reputable sources include and

Natural curtains Natural window fabrics may be luxurious silk or organically grown cotton, hemp or linen. These fabrications are

3. Fuel Cells and Microturbine Tax Credit: Residential fuel cell and microturbine systems are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit of up to $500 per .5 kW of operating capacity for existing homes and new construction. Expires December 31, 2016. — 4. Federal Housing Administration Energy-Efficient Mortgages: Through an FHA program, lenders can borrow up to 100 percent of energy efficiency improvement costs to add to an existing mortgage loan. Loan amounts cannot be greater than the projected savings the improvements will bring. —

loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow homebuyers to borrow up to 15 percent of an existing home’s appraised value for energy-saving improvements as documented by a certified Home Energy Rater (search for one by state at raters.aspx). Fannie Mae also lends up to 5 percent for Energy Star-rated new homes, including applicants who might not be income-qualified, by allowing lenders to adjust borrowers’ debt-to-income ratio by 2 percent. — freddiemac/summary.htm 6. Energy-Efficient Appliances Rebate: Consumers can receive rebates to purchase new, Energy Star-rated appliances when they replace used appliances—including boilers, air conditioners, dishwashers, refrigerators and clothes washers—using $300 million distributed through the government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Start and end dates plus amounts vary by state. — 70022.html   Brita Belli is the editor of E – The Environmental Magazine, and the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Renewable Energy for Your Home.

5. Conventional Energy-Efficient Mortgages: Private lenders sell

Improve Lighting

Lighting is an integral part of a room’s appeal, but the right lighting does more than enhance the beauty and utility of a room; it can also improve its energy efficiency and safety. CFL applications Use compact fluorescent light bulbs only in fixtures that are on

April 2010


Tips to Green an Outdoor Living Space (Hint: It takes more than plants.) Select permeable pavers for walkways and patios that permit water to filter through into the soil, instead of run off into storm drains. Build rock walls and borders using local stone. Use deck boards made from recycled plastic and industrial or agricultural byproducts. These keep waste materials out of the landfill and provide low-maintenance areas for entertaining. Opt for a gas grill if home electricity comes primarily from fossil fuels (check with the local utility company). If it comes from clean sources—like hydro, wind and solar—an electric grill is a good choice. Light walkways with solar lights and install energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights in entertainment areas. LEDs won’t attract bugs. Choose native plants, trees and shrubs that will thrive on what is naturally provided by local soil and precipitation once they are established. Opt for drip irrigation systems and rain sensors.

continuously for a half hour or more a day. For fixtures turned off and on for a few minutes at a time, stick with standard bulbs. This protects your investment in CLFs, which can deteriorate faster if subjected to frequent on/off cycles. Recycle at Home Depot or a hazardous waste receiving site because these bulbs contain a trace of mercury. — lists eco-options. LED applications Light emitting diodes are fast becoming the new light source for ultraenergy-efficient household lighting. Bulbs designed for home applications typically house a cluster of several small LED bulbs under a diffuser lens with an Edison base. Although more expensive than a comparable incandescent bulb, an LED bulb can last up to 50 times longer and use 85 percent less energy, so the cost is recouped over time. —Helpful sources include Polar-Ray. com and

Light sensors We want to turn lights off to save energy, but no one likes fumbling in the dark for a light switch. Occupancy sensors enable lights to turn on automatically when a room is entered and shut off once exited. No more forgetting to turn out the light. Look for sensors using passive infrared technology that detect the heat energy from our bodies. —Find some options at


ith a growing number of green products and materials to choose from, it’s becoming easier to remodel responsibly, safely and elegantly. Lerner concludes that “This empowers us to make healthy choices and create the life we want to lead.” Crissy Trask, the author of It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for EarthFriendly Living, is a freelance writer and green lifestyle consultant based in Washington state. She can be reached at

Five Reliable Green Rehab Certifications Certification

Product Categories

LEED Compliance

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Wood and bamboo products

Materials and resources

Smart Certified (SMaRT)

Building products, textiles and flooring

Innovation and design

Green Seal

Building products

Indoor air quality



Indoor air quality

Cradle to Cradle (C2C)

Building products

Innovation and design

Source: Green Building Alliance Note: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards as benchmarks for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. This list of compliant certifications is not intended to be comprehensive.


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Gardening in April

by Jo Leyte-Vidal, UF/IFAS Marion County Master Gardener


in large groups. Planting large sweeps of annuals, instead of one or two here and there, lends a professional look to your landscape. Water your new annuals daily for the first 10 days to make sure they develop new feeder roots so they can take care of themselves. Of course, do not water if it rains. Too much water causes fungus growth and lack of oxygen in the soil. Your new plants could die from too much love.

t last! The signs of spring are popping up everywhere. Azaleas and camellias are blooming, trees are pushing out new leaves, and the robins have cleaned out the berries. The warm air is very welcome after our very cold winter. When it comes to the grass, quick—get out there and fertilize your lawn with a zero-potassium slow-release fertilizer (15-0-15) if you didn’t do it in March. If you have an area of turf that needs to be rebuilt, you can seed with Bahia or plug with St. Augustine from April through July. Clean out all dead grass and weeds before adding the new. Now all you need to do until September is water wisely only when needed, no more than one inch of water per week. Mow at the recommended height and frequency for your grass. Remember that the causes of most turf diseases is too much water and overfeeding. While you are shopping for fertilizer, don’t forget your palms. Use a formula developed for palms which contains magnesium and manganese. The vegetable garden can now be planted with coldsensitive plants. The winter-planted broccoli and beans are finished and can be replaced with spring plantings. As soon as you pull the spent plants, lightly till in two inches of compost and an application of controlled release fertilizer. Wait a week before you plant again. Your vegetable beds can be mulched with straw, which can be bought by the bale. (Do not use hay, because it is full of weed seeds.) The straw mulch will last through two planting seasons. It then makes a good addition to the compost pile. Part of successful gardening is faithful cruising of the beds and looking at the leaves and flowers. Along with the plants’ growth come six- and eight-legged pests. The undersides of new leaves are magnets for aphids, spider mites and scale. They can be removed with a non-toxic spray of Volk Oil and insecticidal soap. The soap washes the leaf and spreads the oil, which in turn smothers the bugs. Only spray the plants that show infestation.   The box stores and nurseries are showing a huge rainbow of colorful annuals. Notice how beautiful the plants are

April 2010



Stair Climbing Fast + Efficient + Age-defying by Maggie Spilner

Stair climbing ups the ante of a workout.


onderful walks are both relaxing and invigorating, but if you want to kick butt, literally—building strong glutes and thighs; strengthening your core, which helps improve posture and tighten abs; and stepping up to cardiovascular fitness quickly and efficiently—try stair climbing. Wayne Wescott, Ph.D., renowned exercise


physiologist, military fitness consultant and author of Get Stronger, Feel Younger, states that climbing stairs is one of the more vigorous cardiovascular workouts you can do. Pushing your whole body weight up vertically burns lots of calories and uses lots of energy quickly. I often advise flatlanders to find some stairs in an office building or stadium and climb them regularly to strengthen their legs and increase their endurance. Although I have a one-story house, I have found two stair workouts I like to play with. On one, I walk about two miles on a wooded path by the river to a triple flight of stairs that takes me onto a bridge where I can then double back to my car along shaded city streets. It’s my mini-Mount Everest and it really perks up the entire workout. For a more steady and challenging stair workout, I use

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a Stairmaster at the gym, the kind with an actual revolving staircase. The trick is to start out slowly and find a pace that you can maintain without gasping for breath. I start at level one and move up to level four, and in five minutes my heart rate is in my target zone of 70 percent of its maximum, a feat I rarely reach when walking on a treadmill. Plus, you don’t have to trudge away at those stairs for 30 minutes. As Wescott points out, it’s better to break up the day’s 30-minute workout into three 10-minute sessions. That’s because the body builds cardiovascular endurance during its recovery mode. Three shorter workouts deliver three recovery periods, and the workout is less daunting. Neither of my stair workouts requires me to go down stairs, which can be hard on joints, ligaments and tendons. In an office building, you can climb up the stairs and recover while taking the elevator back down. Then, why not make another ascent? While waiting for the elevator, or any time vigorous exercise has elevated heart rate, be sure to walk around to ease yourself back into recovery mode. When hiking hills, it also helps to use walking poles, which serves to take the weight off of knees when going downhill. Here are more of Wescott’s tips that prove helpful:   Wear good running or cross-training or walking shoes for good support. You can save your knee joints from damage by wearing the right shoes.

walking burns about 40 calories, while 10 minutes of running up stairs burns 179.   Be sure to warm up and cool down for five to 10 minutes before and after any workout. And always check with a physician before undertaking a vigorous activity like stair climbing. Then go out and have some good-hearted fun. Maggie Spilner has been writing about health and fitness for 25 years, including 17 as an editor at Prevention Magazine. Her books include Prevention’s Complete Book of Walking for Health and Walk Your Way Through Menopause. See for information on Spilner’s walking vacations. Source: Adapted from

Warm up first. Walk around for a few minutes before starting an ascent or jumping on a machine. Stretch after a workout—not before. Gently stretch quadriceps, calves and hamstrings. Lean slightly forward as you climb. But keep your back straight and your head in alignment. Keep your knees soft. Don’t lock them out as you push up. Try intervals. This is a perfect workout for interval training, which studies like those conducted at The University of Alabama and Southern Connecticut State University show gets one fit faster. Work hard, then back off a bit, then go for it again. This comes naturally with stair climbing, as you tend to get out of breath anyway and need to kick back.

Drink up afterwards. This is a challenging workout and you need to rehydrate. Be careful going down. If you must walk back down stairs, take your time; step down deliberately and carefully and use the handrails to take pressure off your knees. People with arthritis or other painful inflammation of the knee should avoid going down stairs. While I love walking for regular exercise, mentally, it’s easier to tackle some stairs to boost my heart, rather than focus on walking fast, which takes more concentration. Consider the comparative calorie burn: In a 150-pound person, 10 minutes of moderately brisk, 3-miles-per-hour


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April 2010


A Conversation with Qigong Practitioner Jeff Primack

year the energy grew stronger; the blend of exercises affected me on a profound energetic level. I sought to develop my own, deeper, hybrid Qigong forms. My practice centered on breathing techniques (pranayama) from India’s yoga tradition, Dao-Yin slow movement Qigong, and special alchemy meditations from Chinese Taoist masters. Most of the exercises I’ve taught remain audience favorites, like the Nine-Breath Method.

by Guy Spiro



Jeff, I like to begin an interview by asking people to tell their story. I know you teach Qigong seminars to thousands of people each year and also host the website How did you get to this place?


I began training in Energy Arts, Qigong, in 1996. I was a college student at the University of Florida getting dual degrees: one in Eastern philosophy and one in business. During my time there, I studied for two years with my first true teacher, a Siberian shaman and Zen master who had spent numerous years in a Taoist monastery. She was a professor at the University and an amazing human being. She fortified within me a deep reverence for Chinese healing practices. But like all great teachers, at some point, they send you off with, “Now use what I’ve taught you.” I craved further knowledge in this art form called Qigong. I read hundreds of books, but it wasn’t the same. I went on a quest to find masters of Qigong, flying in highly experienced teachers from China, Canada, Europe, all over the world, to Florida, arranging two-day seminars with them. I’d get 70 to 80 people together with these masters and we’d all learn Qigong together. I taught my first class after completing five years of training. After intensive study with these masters, I designed my own form of Qigong.


The first workshop I taught took place in my parents’ living room in March 2003. Only 12 people came, but the response was ecstatic and I knew I was onto something big. After two years of increasing turnouts and larger hotel venues, a major shift occurred for me. In November 2005, I charged less than $100 for a four-day “Qi Revolution” seminar and 200 people came. As of today, thousands of people have come. We show participants breathing techniques, like Nine-Breath Method, a technique that can give the user a full-body vibration within 45 seconds. We’ve received testimonials from people who had been doing energy work for 30 years before taking a seminar, telling us the Nine-Breath Method was the strongest energy of their lives. Supreme Science Qigong is an experience combining many types of Qigong distilled into a simple format that Western audiences can run with.


It’s interesting to watch what’s happening in all different areas of spirituality, metaphysics, and religion. Across the board, it’s time for all of these kinds of things to be made more accessible.


Qigong is only one small part of everything that’s happening to expand natural medicine and the global consciousness of humanity. The unique thing that Qigong brings to the table is a biological experience of spirit. For example, the pulsing, the humming, the heat vibration involved with Qigong is so tangible, it breaks through many limiting beliefs about our healing potential and even who we really are. I think energy cultivation techniques will prove vital to the emergence of a higher consciousness at this critical time period on Earth.


So, keep it theoretical and learn intellectually, but eventually you’ve got to get down and do it. Give us a working definition for Qigong.

Who were you most influenced by?

Paul Dong, definitely. He is author of the book Empty Force. He showed me how we could move our body (and others), without touching, through the use of qi. I use this concept in our Qigong push hands exercise. Another highly respected teacher is Master Weizhao Wu. I studied with him intensively and arranged many of his workshops. I practiced Qigong everyday as my job, learning how qi-energy works. Through my own daily practice, I could feel qi as magnetism in my hands, and pulsation of blood, heat and incredible vibration in the abdomen. Each


What was it like when you first began teaching Qigong? Was it well received right away?


It is a special type of exercise that makes people “pulse.” Imagine if you could circulate as much blood flow from jogging two miles as you could while standing or sitting effortlessly, practicing Qigong. You pulse effortlessly with stronger blood flow from specialized movements, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. This increased blood flow is immediately palpable and many even report it helps take away pain. Qigong is the art of harnessing qi. It directly affects

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blood flow, digestion and the body’s metabolic energy. High metabolism can also be described as high qi vibration. The practice of Qigong exercise can result in healthier bowel movements, higher energy, greater strength, increased metabolism, sex drive, etc.


When you say “metabolic,” it sounds physical.


Would you equate qi with prana?

Qi is physical in that it is what moves the blood in your body. From the biological viewpoint, Qigong exercises use energy to boost the blood, the flow of qi, and the metabolism. If, for instance, somebody has a shoulder injury, they can do Qigong exercises, bringing blood, bringing qi, into that area. You feel it the moment you begin. The energy is magnetic, palpable. Circulation is everything in Qigong. Blood flow is synonymous with qi circulation. Increasing numbers of high profile personalities are speaking out boldly about the healing power of Qigong. Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show and a regular guest on Oprah Winfrey’s show says “If you want to live to be 100, do Qigong!” Many qualified authorities are even saying Qigong is the ideal practice for people fighting diseases of the immune system, even cancer.

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Prana and qi are the same, but when we talk about prana it tends to be more related to breath—the word “pranayama” means breath discipline. Prana and qi are the same. When you take deep breaths into your body, very deep and powerful, you’re taking in oxygen and you’re taking in prana. You’re taking in a lot of qi, and that’s the power behind the practices. Guy Spiro is publisher of Chicago’s The Monthly Aspectarian magazine. He has interviewed a range of luminaries in the New Age field, from well-known to up-and-coming visionaries. “Qi Revolution” comes to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center May 22-25, 2010. Practitioner Jeff Primack and 100 instructors will be teaching four days of Qigong Training for $99. To reserve tickets and for more information, call 1-800-298-8970 or visit

April 2010


CalendarofEvents Friday, April 2 Good Friday Candlelight Meditative Service, 7:00 pm, Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville, 352-373-1030.

April 2-3 24-hour Prayer Vigil, 8 pm – 8 pm, Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville, 352-373-1030. Saturday, April 3 African Shell Divination with Omialadora Ajamu, 1-5 PM, $60. High Springs Emporium, 660 NW Santa Fe Blvd, High Springs, 386-454-8657. Spring’s Green Convergence, 9 to 3. $1/person. Crones Cradle Conserve, Citra, www.cronescradleconserve. com, 352-595-3377. Sunday, April 4 Easter Celebration Service, 11:00 am, Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave., Gainesville, 352-373-1030. Tuesday, April 6 Change Your Negative Beliefs, Change Your Life, Free lecture demonstration on ThetaHealing, 7-8:30 pm, Millhopper Branch Library meeting Room, Gainesville,, 352-374-7982.

Wednesday, April 7 Do Our Thoughts and Feelings Really Change Our Health? with Michael D. Thomas, RN, BS, DC, 7:15 pm. Love Offering. OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 N.E. 28 Ave, Ocala, 352-629-3897. Panel discussion, North Central Florida’s Energy Future. CEUs for LEED APs who attend. Free and followed by Green Drinks social. 6-7:30 pm. Virtually Cuban Restaurant, 2409 SW 13th St., Gainesville, April 9-11 Couples Beach Getaway & Workshop. Bring greater joy, intimacy and passion to your relationship. Discover Tantra. $595/couple. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, 1-877-282-4244. April 9-16 or April 28-May 5 Restore Health and Balance thru Panchakarma & Yoga. $2,500/all inclusive. Amrit Yoga Institute, 23859 NE CR 314, Salt Springs, 352-685-3001,

We don’t just talk about the environment— We respect it. At Natural Awakenings, we know the cost of glossy coatings on a magazine’s pages: n 33-54% increase in energy consumption, wastewater, air pollution emissions, solid waste n Coated paper is very difficult to recycle (the quantity of waste clay coating removed nearly equals that of the usable paper fiber) n The sealant coating/varnish commonly contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) n Inks that often contain heavy metals and VOCs n Higher costs to print, resulting in higher costs for advertisers —Sources: Buy Recycled Business Alliance; Turning the Page by the PAPER Project partnership; Magazine PAPER Project ( magazines/index.cfm For more information, visit Join our family of “green” readers and advertisers. Call 352-629-4000. 30

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CalendarofEvents Saturday, April 10 3rd Annual Farmland Preservation Festival, The Harvest Village, US Hwy 441 between McIntosh and Micanopy. 9-3, free admission. One Heart Tarot Readings and Energy Balancing with Nena Elantra Roberts, 1-6 PM. High Springs Emporium, 660 NW Santa Fe Blvd, High Springs, 386-454-8657. Sunday, April 11 Embracing Your Shadow Using Psychological Fitness, with Paula Krause, 1-4 pm. $15 Suggested Love Offering. OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 N.E. 28 Ave, Ocala, 352-629-3897. April 15-18 Couples Healing Intensive. Especially powerful for couples in recovery or otherwise struggling to rebuild trust and intimacy in their relationship. $1,200/couple. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, 1-877-282-4244.   April 16-18 Yoga Nidra Weekend. $295/includes meals, accommodations. Amrit Yoga Institute, 23859 NE CR 314, Salt Springs, 352-685-3001,

April 2010


CalendarofEvents Saturday, April 17 Chakra Crystal Energetics - Stones for the Root Chakra Workshop with Sharron Britton, 1-4 PM, $20. First in a series of seven workshops. High Springs Emporium, 660 NW Santa Fe Blvd, High Springs, 386-454-8657. April 23-25 ThetaHealing Basic DNA Level Practitioner Certification Class, www., 352-374-7982.

Learn British-style Mediumship New ongoing development class, One Sat./month, 2-4:30, $25. 4-day Intensive Mediumship Class, August 12-15, Oveido, FL. Private readings by appointment Held at Unity of Gainesville 8801 N.W. 39th Avenue

Saturday, April 24 Amrit Method Course in Miracles. $50 includes lunch, $75 includes overnight lodging. Amrit Yoga Institute, 23859 NE CR 314, Salt Springs, 352685-3001, Natural and Organic Foods Gala, 10-3. Crones Cradle, Citra, 352-5953377, Using Crystals and Stone Tools in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Workshop with Jeanette Westlake, Acupuncture Physician, 1-4 PM, $30 pre-registered, $35 at the door. High Springs Emporium, 660 NW Sante Fe Blvd, High Springs, 386-454-8657.

Sunday, April 25 From Recovery to Self-Discovery Series. $45 includes lunch, $75 includes lodging. Amrit Yoga Institute, 23859 NE CR 314, Salt Springs, 352685-3001, Saturday Night Live on a Sunday Afternoon: Talent Show, Silent Auction & Raffle, 1:00, Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave., 352-373-1030. Shells from Around the World Workshop and Sale with Genie O’Brien, noon-5 PM, free. High Springs Emporium, 660 NW Santa Fe Blvd, High Springs, 386-454-8657. Apr 30 and May 1 Quantum-Touch Energy Healing Workshop with Patricia Wagner, 10-5, $295 prepaid, $147.50 to repeat, $59 information only (no certificate or CEUs). Unity Church of Citrus County, Lecanto. Light lunch provided both days. 12 NCBTMB and Florida handson CEUs for LMTs. 352-369-3029, April 30-May 2 Couples Beach Getaway & Workshop. Deepen intimacy and passion. Discover Tantra. $595/couple. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, 1-877-282-4244. Saturday, May 15 Organic Food & Film Festival, Ocala Civic Theatre, 10-5. www., 352-6294000. May 15 and 16 Quantum Entrainment Workshops with Dr. Frank Kinslow, DC, 9:30-5. Registration closes May 7, 2010. QE Basic $199 (Saturday), QE Basic and Master $370 (Saturday and Sunday). Holiday Inn Airport, 8009 15th St East, Sarasota. http://quantumentrainment. com/events.html, 877-811-5287.


Sunday Celebrating Community and


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CalendarofEvents Inspiring Message – Science of Mind and Spirit. Meditation, 9:45 am. Celebration /Message, 10:30 am. Youth and Children’s Celebration, 10:30 am. Love Offering. OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 N.E. 28 Ave, Ocala, www. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday Hatha Yoga Classes with Marilyn. Chair Class and Regular Yoga, OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 N.E. 28 Ave, Ocala, 352-369-0055. Wednesday Meditation and Visioning – Wed., 6 pm, followed at 7:15 with speaker, book study, drumming, or film. Love Offering. OakBrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 N.E. 28 Ave, Ocala, 352-629-3897. Saturday Farmstead Saturdays. Free, 9 am-3 pm. Crones Cradle, 6411 NE 217 Pl, Citra. 352-595-3377, Mediumship Spiritual Development Class. One Saturday per month, 2-4:30 pm, $25. Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave., 407-673-9776.

April 2010


Classifieds Business Opportunities

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Couples Retreats

Romantic Vacation/Workshops: Florida, Mexico. Create Magic in Your Relationship. Deepen Intimacy, Discover Tantra. Brochure. 1-877-282-4244, www.

Dietary Supplement

Cherokee Colloidal Silver Water. 1-Liter, 10ppm of Silver Mineral (99.99%). $25.00/bottle + S&H. Call 1-866-994-2385. Credit cards and money orders accepted.


Inner Bonding, Breathwork and Joy Workshop-March 11, 12 and 13th in Ocala, Florida. For more information, see ad on page 9, call Shelley at 1-877-3461167, or visit

Intimacy Product

Topical ointment guaranteed to increase a woman’s sexual responsiveness and sensation. Womaninvented and woman-made. All natural, safe, and it smells wonderful, too! $29.95 + $5 shipping. Call 352-286-1779 or visit Ads: Per-issue cost is $25/up to 30 words, $1/each additional. Fax ad with credit/debit card number + exp. code to 352-351-5474, or scan/email same to


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CommunityResourceGuide ... Connecting readers to leaders in holistic health care and green living services in our community. To be included here, visit, call 352-629-4000, or email These attractive, full-color ads cost as little as $66 per issue, and include two FREE Calendar listings per month (a $30 value).

Colonics Aaron Perry, AP, LMT Life Family Practice Center 1501 U.S. Hwy. 441 North The Villages / 352-750-4333 Focusing on your health and well being, I integrate acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, colonics and NAET (allergy elimination) to enhance your quality of life. Medicare, Insurance accepted. Gentle Waters Healing Center 352-374-0600, Gainesville The therapists at Gentle Waters Healing Center will assist each individual with detoxing using colon hydrotherapy, Far Infrared Sauna, and/or Aqua Chi Lymphatic Drainage. We also carry probiotics, digestive enzymes, and other products for overall health. Proud sponsors of Barley Life Nutritional Products. Call Dawn Brower for more information or visit MA41024, MM15426.

EFT Sandra Wilson, CPC, EFT-Cert1 Certified Professional Coach, EFT Practitioner 352-454-8959 Prime yourself for success! Remove the blocks to your success and achieve your goals. Eliminate anger, guilt, grief, and fear quickly and easily. Office and phone sessions available.

Holistic Medicine Hanoch Talmor, M.D. Gainesville Holistic Center 352-377-0015 We support all health challenges and the unlimited healing potential of God’s miracle: your body. Chelation, Nutrition, Cleansing, Homeopathy, Natural Energy Healing, Detoxification, Wellness Education and more.


Nelson Kraucak, MD, ABCMT Life Family Practice Center 1501 U.S. Hwy. 441 North The Villages / 352-750-4333 Look into Holistic Integrative Medicine for your health. Chelation is a holistic approach for heavy metal toxicity and is believed to benefit those with heart disease. Neurotherapy, acupuncture, and many other services available. William M Stankosky, DC Ocala Chiropractic Clinic 519 S. Pine Avenue Ocala, FL 34471 / 352-629-6794 Dr. Bill Stankosky helps people not only eliminate health problems, but prevent them. We address the three causes of all health problems: trauma, stress and toxicity. Services include chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and nutritional testing and supplementation. By removing the effects of trauma, eliminating the effects of stress and removing toxic chemicals, we get results with problems no one else has helped. Let us help you and your family, too.

Life Coaches Cynthia Christianson, M.A., CCC ThetaHealing™ Advanced Practitioner 352-374-7982 or 352-284-1107 ThetaHealing™ coaching is using the Belief and Feeling Work to empower people with the ability to remove and replace negative emotions, feelings and thoughts with positive, beneficial ones. Change your negative beliefs and you will heal on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels thus really seeing this relief show up in your life. Kim Marques, CHt, Reiki Master Teacher 352-804-9006 in Ocala Change your vibe, change your life! Free Info and Spiritual Energy by appointment. Embrace the mind, body and spirit with hypnosis, energy sessions and training, spiritual guidance, Life Wise workshops and support groups, meditation, Goddess Weight Loss, attraction power kits and more.

Holistic Psychotherapy


Diane Alther, LCSW, RN, CHt Traditional and Karuna Reiki Master/Teacher Ocala and Dunnellon locations / 352-425-1992 Combining conventional counseling with body, mind, energy therapies including EMDR, EFT, hypnosis, full wave breathwork, meditation and Reiki to facilitate change and mental and emotional balance.

Angelic Hands Massage Therapy Saradna Mazur / Patricia Smythe 352-331-9612 / 1315 NW 21st Ave, Chiefland and 1033 NW 106th St, Gainesville Medical/Deep tissue massage, acupressure, vibrational energy healing. Reiki Master. 25 years experience. Worker’s Comp and PIP insurance accepted Two locations: Gainesville and Chiefland. Call for an appointment today! MA28525.

Invest in yourself! Reach an estimated 65,000 readers per month with your ad in Natural Awakenings Magazine.

Back in Balance Massage Therapy Meryl Lowell, LMT, Ocala 352-622-9339, 352-427-8525 Therapeutic massage and Reiki for pain relief and relaxation. As a massage therapist, my goal is to empower my clients in creating increased awareness, healing and balance in their lives. I have a special interest in working with cancer patients/survivors. MA55987.

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CommunityResourceGuide Tiara L. Catey, LMT Center for Balance 1705 N.W. 6th St., Gainesville 352-642-4545 / Relieve pain, manage stress and cultivate joyful relaxation by including massage as an essential part of your self-care practices. Relaxation and therapeutic massage ($60/hour), shiatsu ($60/ hour), lomilomi ($80/hour), includes aromatherapy. Holistic approach. Some insurance accepted. Visa/MC. NYC massage education. See for details. MA41831. Clark Dougherty Therapeutic Massage Clinic 850 N.E. 36th Terr., Ocala 352-694-7255 / Offering a variety of therapeutic massage techniques for pain relief, improved flexibility, and other wonderful benefits. PIP and WorkComp always accepted, also group/private insurance in some instances. All credit cards accepted. Gift certificates are available now for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day with 25% discount on a second session. MA27082, MM9718. Stuart Feinman Healing Springs Massage Therapy 352-812-3853 / Quality mobile therapeutic massage. Home, hotel suites, or office. Licensed professionals. Relaxation, pain management, stress reduction, increased range of motion, and personalized yoga therapy. MA49878. Flying Horse Healing Arts Valerie Macri, LMT MA54723 Ocala / 877-762-4535 toll-free Rejuvenate body, mind and spirit with a therapeutic massage. Deep tissue, Energy balancing, Reiki, Aromatherapy. Holistic stress and pain relief for you and your horse.

Neuromuscular Massage By Design 1920 S.W. 20th Pl., Suite 202, Ocala 352-694-4503 Offering neuromuscular massage, craniosacral release therapy, ETPS acupuncture. Most insurance accepted, as well as PIP and WorkerComp. 20% discount for prepurchase of four or more sessions. Referrals from physicians and chiropractors accepted. MA22645. Traditional Thai massage Ariela Grodner LMT 900 N.W. 8th Ave., Gainesville / 352-336-7835 Ariela offers an ancient massage modality known in the west as Thai Massage, sometimes referred to as “lazy man’s yoga.” It is a fusion of yoga and the martial arts in a massage modality. Call to reserve an appointment or to find out about classes held locally.

Personal Fitness Hip Moves Fitness Studio Rona Bennett, BS, CPT Holistic Health, Personal Fitness Coaching 708 N.W. 23rd Ave., Gainesville / 352-692-0132 An intimate fitness studio focusing on creativity and holistic health. Classes and private lessons in Belly Dance, Yoga, Pilates, and Personal Training. Rental space available.

Piano Services Hendrix Piano Service 352-895-5412 / Serving north central Florida Tuning, repairs, cleaning, fine maintenance of your acoustic piano. Playing services including accompaniment, weddings, other church services, concerts. Call today!

Publishing/Editing Diane Childs Editing, Writing, Consulting, Research 352-375-1120 / Gainesville Impress agents, publishers, customers or employers with professionally written books, articles, marketing materials or resume. Nonfiction or fiction. Specialties: query letters, book proposals, autobiography, personal growth, health, spirituality, novels.

Rolfing Carol L. Short / Certified Advanced Rolfer™, Craniosacral Therapist Gainesville and North Central FL / 352-318-0509 Rolfing® is a system of body restructuring through systematic manipulation of muscle and fascial tissues. It promotes the release and realignment of long standing patterns of tension and dysfunction, bringing the body to greater balance, mobility, vitality, and ease. A holistic approach to mobility, vitality and balance. MA16337/MM18921.

Veterinary Care Medicine Wheel Veterinary Services Shauna Cantwell DVM, MVSc, Diplomate ACVA / Ocala, FL / 352-538-3021 Holistic veterinary medicine and integrative pain management for small animals and horses. Preventative health, arthritis, neurologic dysfunction, skin and allergic disease, hormonal dysfunction, cancer, immune diseases, chronic disease, and more. Certified Veterinary Acupuncture, certified veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (cAVCA animal chiropractic), sports medicine therapy, pain management, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (herbal therapy, tui na medical massage), functional neurology, postural rehabilitation, ozone therapy, homotoxicology, nutrition. Available for lectures and workshops.

Are you good at what you do? Really good? Then tell other people what you do! Our rates are the best in the area, and you will get results by appearing in Natural Awakenings Magazine. We can help you grow. Call today: 352-629-4000. 37

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Printed on recycled paper to protect the environment

Grow Your Business Naturally with Natural Awakenings Magazine. We don’t just sell ads— We offer a huge mix of P.R., marketing, editorial, and event opportunities. For details on our New Year’s offers, visit e-mail, or call 352-629-4000.

Bad at math? Let us help! 1 display ad x 12 = 1 year = n 12 display ads + n 60 FREE Calendar listings + n 4 FREE News Briefs + n 1 FREE article + n 1 (or more) FREE “Natural Network” memberships + promotional opportunities + n 65,000+ readers + 500 locations + n Internet presence in three places (Facebook, our web site, our publish site) + n The best prices in town = ____________________________ A LOT MORE FOR YOUR MONEY!

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February 39 Printed on recycled paper to protect the 2010 environment February 2010 39


Printed on recycled paper to protect the environment

April 2010 "Natural Awakenings"  

"Natural Awakenings" of Gainesville, Ocala, The Villages, FL. April 2010 issue