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CITY FARMS Homegrown in the Neighborhood

Toning the Vagus Nerve Relief for Pain, Anxiety and Inflammation


HERBS Choices That

Beat the Heat


Unstructured Fun Builds Brains


Urban Farmers Break New Ground

Choices That Beat the Heat

Mother Nature’s Rx

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MEDICAL BULLETINS Life Coach Massage Ocala 407-314-7107

Happy Garden Health Food Market Chiefland 352-493-2711

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Sunflower Health Foods Lake City 386-758-5511

National Association for Hemp Oil Synergy Research 407-332-7341

Sunflower Health Foods Gainesville 352-372-7482 Nutrition Health Center Lake City 386-752-1600 Perfect Balance Organics Weeki Wachee 352-597-8100 B-Healthy Ocala 352-854-4577

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North Central FL

NOTE: Lemire Clinic is the only office in the area providing these services at this time! Functional Genetic Testing Detailed functional genetic information to help you take control of your health. With only 3 simple steps, you can have access to a private and personalized analysis that can change the way you live your life. This amazing science allows you to know where your potential weaknesses are and how to prevent future illness. Knowing your SNPs can help you to customize your nutrient intake, fitness, function and lifestyle to your unique needs, making a big difference in how you feel each day, along with choosing how to express or silence certain genes that are in your makeup. Maintaining your memory and independence are important to you, that’s why uMETHOD Health works with your doctor to provide a personalized approach for your memory. There are nearly 50 known causes of

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letter from publisher



griculture takes center stage this month with fresh perspectives on where and how we produce our food these days—and why it matters. In “Crops in the City: Urban Agriculture

Breaks New Ground,” writer April Thompson profiles some of the noteworthy pioneers that are forging a path to organic city farming on a commercial scale—tapping into new technologies and markets and turning challenges like dealing with space constraints into innovative opportunities. Learn how these enterprising entrepreneurs have found their niche on rooftops, in vertical tower gardens and abandoned

warehouses in former food deserts, reconnecting urbanites to their food sources while bettering the environment, communities, diets and health.

Meantime, budding backyard growers can get a boost from a small army of experts planted in nearly every county in the nation, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Help for Home Gardeners: Extension Agents at Your Service” details the resources available, including low- or no-cost soil testing, the latest research, handbooks on a variety of local gardening topics and workshops on everything from making rain barrels and creating rain gardens to implementing eco-friendly pest control, cultivating native plants and employing best practices for organic gardening. July is an ideal time to add a healthy dose of fresh, organic herbs to a home garden for cool salads, luscious smoothies and other hot-weather eats and treats. Herbs are not only a flavorful addition to any meal, they’re also chock-full of health benefits, from lowering blood pressure and improving mineral balance to increasing immune support, hydration, energy and healthy skin. Discover the best ones to choose for this time of year in “Summer Eating: The Herbal Connection.” Remember when kids were once shooed out the door to play and told not to return until mealtime? In “The Pure Joy of Play: Why Kids Need Unstructured Fun,” writer Ronica A. O’Hara reminisces about those bygone days and presents compelling evidence that free play is so important to children that pediatricians are actually writing prescriptions for it. Such is the power of play, power being a recurring theme for July: There is also the power of the vagus nerve, a “superhighway” that connects the gut-brain axis; the power of forest bathing, which renews mind and body; and the transformational power of dreams. Be well in love and peace,

Shannon Knight

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul. ~Alfred Austin 4

North Central FL

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA PUBLISHER Shannon Knight CO-OWNER Dean Schmitt EDITOR Martin Miron DESIGN & PRODUCTION Martin Friedman Chelsea Rose CONSULTANT Cathy Culp

CONTACT US P.O. Box 4903, Ocala, FL 34478 Ph: 352-629-4000 SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are available for $24 (for 12 issues) email the address above. Digital subscriptions are free visit our website to sign up.

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© 2019 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. Check with a healthcare professional regarding the appropriate use of any treatment.

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Natural Awakenings of North Central Florida is a faithful steward of global resources. We are delighted to be a part of an environmentally conscious community and therefore manufacture this magazine utilizing the environmentally-friendly cold-set web printer process which emits virtually immeasurable VOC's into the environment. The product is 100% recycleable.

Natural Awakenings is a family of more than 70 healthy living magazines celebrating 25 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.



Mother Nature’s Rx for Body and Mind


14 SUMMER EATING The Herbal Connection

16 CROPS IN THE CITY Urban Agriculture Breaks New Ground




Extension Agents at Your Service

22 THE PURE JOY OF PLAY Why Kids Need Unstructured Fun

24 TONING THE ADVERTISING & SUBMISSIONS HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 352-629-4000 or email Deadline for ads: the 10th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: the 10th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Email Calendar Events to: Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-434-9392. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit



Relief for Pain, Anxiety and Inflammation

DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 7 event spotlight 8 health briefs 10 global briefs 12 fit body 13 eco tip 14 conscious eating 20 green living

22 healthy kids 24 healing ways 26 calendar 30 resource guide 31 classifieds July 2019


news briefs

Sunflower Appreciates its Customers


unflower Health Foods, in Gainesville, will host its annual customer appreciation event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 18, 19 and 20, with food and product demonstrations, free product samples and gift basket raffles. Every customer receives a thank-you gift. Locally owned and operated since 1970, Sunflower Health Foods and its knowledgeable staff take pride in providing the most up-to-date scientific research, new products, truth in labeling and product potency. Whether it is vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements, sports nutrition, health and beauty items or weight-loss products, they take the time to help customers find what is right for each body and its specific needs. Their commitment to quality and personal satisfaction is their number one goal. Admission is free. Location: 3424 W. University Ave., Gainesville. For more information, call 352-372-7482 or visit

News to share?

Submit information to Submittal deadline is the 10th of the month.


North Central FL

Learn Thai Massage Techniques on Weekends


he Bodhi Sangha School of Thai Massage will conduct an 18-hour class, Introduction to Thai Massage—Phase 1, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 27 and 28, at the Florida School of Massage. This is the first of six classes that meet once a month for six months. Students may begin at any phase or take the first class as an introduction. The objective of Thai massage is a perfected self-awareness through the joy of a mutually beneficial healing dance. Level 1 provides the necessary foundation for future techniques to be based upon, but also can serve as a standalone practice. In the first workshop, students learn an hour-and-a-half long form, practiced on the floor. It enables the therapist the use of elbows, knees, forearms and feet in a comfortable and efficient way that utilizes their body dynamic and weight to distribute the force required for the application of the techniques. Each weekend offers 18 CEU toward 108-hour Thai Massage certification for LMTs. Cost is $300 a weekend or $250 if taking all six. Location: 6421 SW 13th St., Gainesville. For more information, visit See ad, page 18.

event spotlight

Nature Ninja 5K Fundraiser in Williston


olutionary Events is the coordinator of the Nature Ninja 5K, taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 27, at Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens in Williston. Event coordinator Jenna Bardroff says, “This eco-friendly adventure race features a 5K obstacle course challenge run/walk (appropriate for all ages and skill levels), as well as Eco-Friendly Adventure Day, a festival celebrating healthy, compassionate and eco-friendly living.” Highlights include Earth-friendly vendors, vegan food, live music and entertainment, games and prizes, bumper balls and discounted botanical garden admission at Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens. Guests will enjoy breathtaking scenic views of more than 50 garden displays, cascading waterfalls and gorgeous lakes. Solutionary Events is a Florida-based grassroots nonprofit coalition that introduces people to the benefits and accessibility of healthy, compassionate and eco-friendly lifestyles through a series of educational and mindful outreaches around the Sunshine State.

Solutionary Events was founded in January 2017 by a small group of dedicated volunteers passionate about creating a better world for people, animals and the environment. The initiative launched as a result of a $1,000 seed grant provided through The Pollination Project, which enabled the team to coordinate the first Solutionary Heroes Summer Camp in Williston. “The camp was intended to educate youth about being solutionary heroes (being part of the world’s solutions with topics including animal rights, social justice, environmental protection and healthy living),” notes Bardroff. “Following the success of the summer camp, more volunteers became involved with Solutionary Events, leading to coordinating more events for all ages, including fairs and festivals, races and walks, film screenings, beach and park cleanups, workshops, school programs, and other educational outreaches.” These volunteers have been responsible for reaching over a quarter million people that have visited or participated in events to learn how to positively change the world. They use fundraising events like Nature Ninja 5K to continue their work. The initiatives at Solutionary Events thrive on community support. Their growth and success has been a direct result of support exchanged through volunteers, sponsors, educators and community participants. The organization continues to evolve with the addition of new team members, ideas and community enthusiasm. “If we don’t start caring about the impact humans make on this planet we call home, we will have nothing left to care about,” says Bardroff. “Education and advocacy are the most powerful tools to enact positive, sustainable changes. Instead of taking into account what can happen if we don’t realize the magnitude of what it means to protect the planet, we believe in considering whatw could happen if we create a regenerative world on the basis of healthier lifestyle choices.” Event location: 4990 NE 180 Ave., Williston. For more information, call 727-489-4497 or visit See ad, back cover.

(352) 559-3003 • 520 NE 1ST AVENUE, OCALA July 2019


health briefs

In further confirmation of the importance of the gut-brain axis, 18 Italian students at the University of Verona from ages 18 to 33 that took a freezedried mixture of four probiotics for six weeks experienced less depression, anger and fatigue compared to a control group of 15 that consumed a placebo. The positive effects continued, as discovered in follow-up testing three weeks later. The probiotics group also slept better. The probiotic bacteria blend of 4 billion colonyforming units included Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Bifidobacterium longum.

Munch Nuts for a Healthy Brain

Emily Li/

Seniors that ate more than 10 grams—about two teaspoons—of nuts a day were able to ward off normal cognitive decline and even improve their cognitive functions by up to 60 percent, according to University of South Australia researchers. The study was based on 22 years of records of 4,822 Chinese adults ages 55 and older; 17 percent of them ate nuts every day, most often peanuts. These seniors had as much as 60 percent improved cognitive function compared to those that didn’t eat nuts, and they showed better thinking, reasoning and memory. “Nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fiber with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health,” says study author Ming Li.

Mega Pixel/

Sleep Better and Feel Happier With Probiotics

With the aid of a new infrared camera technology called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA), early Alzheimer’s disease can be detected by checking the back of the eyes for weakened and decreased blood vessels, reports a new study. Northwestern Medicine researchers reached the conclusion by comparing the vessels in the eyes of 32 people that exhibited the forgetfulness typical of early-stage Alzheimer’s with those of another 32 people with normal cognitive


North Central FL

abilities. The vascular changes were detected non-invasively, without the need for dyes or expensive MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans. The technology quantifies capillary changes in great detail and with unparalleled resolution, making the eye an ideal mirror for what is going on in the brain. Early detection of Alzheimer’s is critical because existing therapies are more effective if they are started before extensive brain damage and cognitive decline have occurred.


Get Eyes Checked to Detect Early Alzheimer’s

Terry Putman/

Take B12 to Help With Parkinson’s New research has found the basic micronutrient vitamin B12 may be the first good tool for averting the hereditary form of Parkinson’s disease, which accounts for about 15 percent of such cases worldwide. In lab tests, an international team of scientists found that AdoCbl, one of the active forms of vitamin B12, inhibits the activity of a mutated enzyme linked to Parkinson’s. Inhibiting this enzyme appears to help stabilize dopamine release in the brain. Dopamine deficiencies manifest in the muscle rigidity and tremors that are hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s. Another recent study from the University of California San Francisco that included non-hereditary Parkinson’s patients found that symptoms worsened more quickly in earlystage patients that had low B12 levels than in those with higher levels of the vitamin.


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It's Summertime! Time to come out to High Springs. Cool water. Beautiful rivers. Birds and wildlife. And of course New rocks and crystals are waiting for you at the Emporium. • Amethyst cathedrals from Brazil • New stock of shungite • Angelite spheres and polished points • Chrome dioptase • Iridescent chalcopyrite spheres • Kingman Mine turquoise nodules • Rainbow flourite towers

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If you choose to return your Philip Stein goods, please do so within 60 days of receipt in perfect condition and in the original packaging.

July 2019


Too Blue

Cannabis is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, and one new application for hemp, the no-buzz industrial variety used in fabrics, oils and foods, is cleaning nuclear radiation from toxic soil and removing metals like cadmium, lead, mercury and other pollutants via phytoremediation. Allison Beckett, a cultivation expert at, says, “Industrial hemp has been used in areas of high radiation, such as Fukushima, [in Japan,] with promising results. Not only does hemp pull toxic, heavy metals from the soil, it actually improves soil structure, making it usable as productive farmland again. Plus, hemp is a vigorous plant that absorbs CO2 rapidly, making it an encouraging solution to climate change.” Hemp phytoremediation has been used in Italy to clean up the small town of Taranto, where a steel plant has been leaking dioxin into the air and soil. The Pennsylvania Industrial Hemp Council and Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, are running a project to test the process in an arsenic-contaminated area in Upper Saucon Township that once harbored a zinc mine.

Alarm Sounded

Ireland Declares Climate Emergency

The Republic of Ireland is the third country worldwide to declare a climate emergency, with both the government and opposition parties agreeing to an amendment to a climate action report. “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration,” says Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton. “Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly, and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.” The UK governments of Wales and Scotland have also declared climate emergencies. Suggested responses include limiting oil and gas exploration, and issuing an additional biodiversity emergency measure. 10

North Central FL

Aleksandr Kurganov/

Hemp to the Rescue at Detox Sites

The world’s oceans may be getting bluer, thanks to climate change. The effect is more likely to be detected by satellites than Earthbound people, and is caused by the depletion of marine phytoplankton as seawater warms. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology published in the journal Nature Communications predicts that more than 50 percent of the oceans’ collective 140 million square miles of surface area will likely be affected by 2100. Marine ecologist and leader of the study Stephanie Dutkiewicz says, “These microscopic organisms live in the water and are the base of the marine food chain. If there are less of them in it, the water will be slightly bluer.” Phytoplankton serves as a food source for small sea creatures that are eaten by fish, squid and shellfish. If phytoplankton populations dip too low, vital fisheries in certain areas could be decimated.

Dangerous Dozen Produce to Avoid

The 2019 Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce ( DirtyDozen-Clean15List) highlights increased pesticide use on up to 70 percent of conventionally grown U.S. produce. Several different types of pesticide, insecticide and fungicide residues are present on many fruits and vegetables. The Dirty Dozen list includes strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. The clean 15 list includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplant, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melon. The EWG advises that eating organic produce, especially for pregnant and nursing mothers and young children, should be a national priority.

Wonder Weed

Algae Loss Colors Ocean


global briefs

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July 2019


The main purpose is not exercise or getting from point A to point B, but rather having a mindful, sensory experience in nature. ~Hannah Fries

Sensory Immersion, Not Exercise

FOREST BATHING Mother Nature’s Rx for Body and Mind by Marlaina Donato


n 1982, the Japanese government coined the term Shinrin-yoku (“taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing”) to inspire people to visit and appreciate national parks. Today, that walk in the woods has become a medically recommended activity worldwide for improving immunity, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, managing chronic pain and promoting better sleep. The research supporting the physical and mental benefits of forest bathing is so compelling that it’s advocated by the National Institute of Public Health of Japan and prescribed to patients there. Researchers from the University of East Anglia, in England, examined years of studies and found significant evidence that experiencing nature has a positive impact on health. Published in the journal Environmental Research in 2018, the meta-analysis involving 290 million participants from 20 countries concluded that spending time in green spaces lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. The study also noted a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and death from heart disease. 12

North Central FL

Terpenes and Tree Therapy

Another recent review of studies, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, concluded that Shinrin-yoku can ease the symptoms of adult depression. “Forest bathing plugs us into something we all seek—a source of peace and well-being. The thing that first hooked me into being a forest bathing guide was reading the robust body of research that proves the benefits of forest bathing,” says Judy Beaudette, board secretary of Friends of North Creek Forest, in Bothell, Washington. Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified forest therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing: Reconnect With Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, attests to the therapeutic value of forest bathing. “Even occasional nature immersion can have beneficial health effects that can last for days. Many doctors are now prescribing nature to patients. There’s an organization devoted to this called Park Rx America.” She recommends just 20 minutes during a lunch break to sit on a bench or on the ground beneath trees.

Shinrin-yoku is intended to engage the trinity of body-mind-spirit. “The main purpose is not exercise or getting from point A to point B, but rather having a mindful, sensory experience in nature. It isn’t some prescribed task you need to do, like pushups,” explains Hannah Fries, a poet and author of Forest Bathing Retreat: Find Wholeness in the Company of Trees. She communes with the wild for both health and inspiration. “Even if it’s only 20 minutes a week, go outside without a phone or other electronic device. Walk slowly. Look more closely. Listen. Smell. Touch. Interact with the living, breathing world around you. It’s that simple.” Choukas-Bradley says that observance is key. Recalling her first forest bathing experience, she says, “We paid attention to our breath and tuned in to the sights, sounds and sensations all around us. I noticed a perfect spider’s web, just barely trembling in the slightest breeze, its creator clinging to the center.” She recommends finding a “wild home”—a neighborhood park, garden or backyard tree. “Make it a practice to find a ‘sit spot’ where you can quietly observe beauty and are apt to feel a sense of awe. Psychology researchers have shown that experiencing awe has many positive effects on emotional health.” It doesn’t matter if we commune with nature in a rural or urban setting, only that we remain dialed in to our surroundings. “Forest bathing is a tool for slowing down our buzzing minds and practicing a secret superpower—the skill of consciously choosing what we put our attention on,” says Beaudette. Marlaina Donato is the author of several books, including Multidimensional Aromatherapy. She is also a composer. Connect at


There are many theories of why spending time in the woods or any other natural place makes us feel good; for example, findings published in the journal Toxicological Research in 2017 attribute the immuneboosting, mood-lifting benefits of forest bathing to natural terpenes released into the air by trees, especially conifers. Terpenes contain anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen the body’s natural defenses.

fit body

eco tip

Eco-Friendly Outdoor Eating

Save Resources, Reduce Food Waste and More

To promote the Religion, Science and Philosophy of Spiritualism Psychic Medium Spiritual Development Classes

Midsummer is prime time for outdoor family meals, barbecues and picnics. Selecting the healthiest food, along with eco-friendly materials in preparing for the fun feasts, can fulfill a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle and conserve resources at the same time. n recommends using organic cloth, reusable mesh or string produce bags when grocery shopping; use bamboo utensil sets and plastic straw alternatives made of stainless steel, food-grade silicone, bamboo or glass. n To keep uninvited flying pests like mosquitoes, flies and the like away from humans and food, apply natural repellents—many made of natural, essential oil; plant-based and foodgrade ingredients can be found at n According to, charcoal grilling of meat can expose us to two potentially cancer-causing compounds—polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that form when fat from meat drips onto hot coals and are “deposited on food courtesy of flame-ups and rising smoke,” and heterocyclic amines that “are produced when red meat, poultry and fish meet high-

heat cooking.” Instead, consider using a closed-flame gas grill to reduce exposure to toxins and cook fresh and organic fruits and vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms.

The Villages/Belleview July 9th 10th 23rd Gainesville July 13th Orlando Vacation until September 29th

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n Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warn against eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish due to high levels of mercury, and to consume no more than six ounces of albacore tuna per week for the same reason. Some studies point to avoiding farmed salmon due to potentially high amounts of PCBs. Bypass larger fish of the food chain; look for those that have earned the Marine Stewardship Council or Aquaculture Stewardship Council labels. n The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of all food in the country is wasted. To improve this situation, use glass containers instead of plastic bags to store leftovers. Also consider sustainable food wraps like Bees Wrap ( Made from beeswax, organic cotton, jojoba oil and tree resin, they seal and conform to the shape of whatever food is being stored. July 2019


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A Positive Path for Spiritual Living North Central FL

by Kajsa Nickels

ummer is an ideal time to add a healthy dose of fresh, organic herbs to make cool salads, luscious smoothies and other hot-weather eats and treats. Herbs are not only a flavorful addition to any meal, they are also chock-full of health benefits, from lowering blood pressure and improving mineral balance to increasing immune support, hydration, energy and healthy skin. Most people consider using herbs in small amounts as seasonings for recipes such as spaghetti sauce, soups or desserts. However, they are edible plants, just like kale and spinach. Although they tend to have strong flavors when dried, fresh herbs are usually quite mild and can be eaten in large amounts like any other vegetable.

Cool Benefits

Practical teachings to help you lead a healthy, prosperous, and meaningful life.



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“Summertime herbs are important for dealing with the heat and humidity that the season brings,” says Nathaniel Whitmore, a Chinese medicine herbalist and shiatsu massage practitioner in Milford, Pennsylvania. An herb that he recommends for this time of year is American ginseng, which, unlike its Chinese namesake, is considered a “cooling” herb and helps keep the body moist. When combined with fresh chrysanthemum flowers, the result is a powerful elixir that both hydrates and energizes. “A piece of American ginseng root and a few chrysanthemums placed in a jar of water and set on a windowsill for a few days makes a great cold infusion,” says Whitmore. “You can store it in the fridge for a few days and drink it in small amounts at a time to benefit from its energizing and hydrating properties.”

Summertime herbs are important for dealing with the heat and humidity that the season brings. Marie C Fields/

~Nathaniel Whitmore Soft-stemmed herbs such as parsley and dill can be used in large amounts in salads and summer sandwiches. Other heat-tolerant herbs that are easy to grow include lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, mint and basil. “Lemon balm is great for headaches and insomnia that are common during summer heat waves,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., an herbalist and doctor of natural medicine, in Ontario, Canada. “Basil can help reduce summer achiness, while lavender serves as a relaxant and an excellent bug repellant.” In addition to relieving headaches and restlessness, lemon balm is also beneficial for those that suffer from high blood pressure. A study in the Journal of Herbal Medicine reports that it is helpful in reducing blood pressure in patients with chronic stable angina. Rosemary, another herb used for sleep disorders, was found to also help improve memory and decrease anxiety in a study conducted in Iran at the Kerman University of Medical Sciences. One study in 2009 by researchers in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Allahbad, in India, revealed that polyphenols found in herbs and plants harbor antioxidant properties that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative disorders.

photos by Stacey Cramp Used with permission from New World Library.

Fresh Is Best While herbs can be used in their extracted and dried forms, the most significant health benefits are often found in the raw, organic plant. “Fresh is better,” says Whitmore. “This is especially true when it comes to the more aromatic plants such as basil and lavender. A lot of the more volatile constituents are lost during the drying process.” Most herbs grow best in dry garden areas that receive at least eight hours of sun each day. Although some herbs can grow in partially shaded locations, they won’t be as flavorful. Many herbs can also be grown in containers or pots. Maria Noël Groves, a clinical herbalist in Allenstown, New Hampshire, and author of Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies: How to Create a Customized Herb Garden to Support Your Health & Well-Being, lists lemon balm, Korean mint, anise hyssop and purple basil as among her favorite summer culinary and beverage herbs that are easy to grow in pots. These make easy pickings for wraps, salads, sandwiches and more. “Lemon balm can also be used to make infused water,” says Groves. “With lemon verbena, lemon grass or holy basil, the result is refreshing and calming.” Just take a few sprigs and place them in either plain or seltzer water. The result is a delicately flavored beverage that’s also healthy and hydrating. Kajsa Nickels is a freelance writer and a music composer. She resides in northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact her at

Herbal Chill-Outs Lemon Balm Vinegar This infusion can be used in place of plain vinegar in summer salad dressings. According to the Journal of Medicine, lemon balm is helpful in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. Combining it with apple cider vinegar adds extra health benefits to the mix, including digestion enhancement, detoxing and inflammation reduction. 2-3 cups fresh lemon balm, washed 1 qt apple cider vinegar Add coarsely chopped lemon balm leaves and stems to a 32-ounce mason jar. Add vinegar until lemon balm is completely covered. Allow to sit in a cool, dark place for two to four weeks before straining. From the book Be Your Own Herbalist by Michelle Schoffro Cook. Used with permission from New World Library.

Dandelion and Violet Greens Pesto 1 bunch dandelion leaves 1-2 handfuls violet leaves 1-3 garlic cloves 1-3 oz Parmesan cheese 1 cup toasted, salted/tamari pepitas (pumpkin seeds) Juice of ½ lemon ¼ cup olive oil Coarsely chop the herbs and the garlic. Combine with a mortar and pestle, food processor or blender and blend until minced. Add the liquids and blend to a puree. Serve with organic tortilla chips, crackers or veggie sticks. Will keep for a few days in a tightly sealed container or frozen. From the book Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies by Maria Noël Groves. Used with permission from Storey Publishing. July 2019


~Wendy Coleman

Wendy Coleman, founder of LA Urban Farms, works with chefs, resorts, hotels, universities and corporate clients to set up aeroponic tower gardens, such as these kale and lettuce crops.

from elementary school gardens where kids learn to grow, cook and eat nutritious food to corporate gardens inside a new office building for lender Fannie Mae’s employee café. One of its crown jewels is a 6,500-square-foot rooftop garden on the Nationals Park baseball stadium, where edible flowers end up in cocktails and organic produce feeds fine diners and VIP ticket holders. Ray grew his business organically, fueled by passion and curiosity, rather than any horticultural background. “I grew up in NYC, where I had nothing to grow on. When I moved to Florida for grad school, I had a huge backyard to play around with,” says Ray.

CROPS IN THE CITY Urban Agriculture Breaks New Ground by April Thompson


he average American meal travels 1,500 miles to reach its plate, according to the nonprofit Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture. Yet, enterprising green thumbs across the country are bringing the farm back to plate’s reach, growing hyperlocal food in backyards, on rooftops, through indoor farms and more. City farming reconnects urbanites to their food sources while bettering the environment, communities, diets and health. Urban agriculture, harkening back to the Victory Gardens planted to ward off food shortages during World War I and II, is nothing new. While today’s home gardeners have staked out balconies, window boxes and vacant lots in this locavore resurgence, noteworthy pioneers are 16

North Central FL

forging a path to organic urban agriculture on a commercial scale—tapping into new technologies and markets, and turning challenges like dealing with space constraints into fresh opportunities.

A View From the Roofs Take Niraj Ray, whose company Cultivate the City is working to transform urban food deserts in the nation’s capital into thriving local food systems. “We want to get more people interested in growing their own food and show them how they can grow more with less square footage through vertical gardens and sustainable techniques like [soil-less] hydroponic systems,” says Ray. Cultivate the City manages numerous gardens for clients around Washington, D.C.,

Like many other urban farms, Cultivate the City offers a seasonal farm subscription known as a community supported agriculture (CSA) program that allows city dwellers to buy directly from local producers. Ray’s rooftop greenhouse, located on top of a local hardware store that sells his edible plants at retail, offers all the fixings for a healthy, diverse diet: hydroponic towers of leafy greens, trays of microgreens for corporate clients, specialty varieties of hot peppers for the company’s hot sauce and stacking cubes of an albino strawberry variety that Ray crossbred himself. “There are so many ways to contribute to urban farming, from aquaponics to vermicomposting; it’s about finding your niche,” he says.

Growing Up With Vertical Farming By 2050, it’s estimated that 9 billion people will be living on the planet—7 billion in

photo courtesy of

City planners need innovative solutions like vertical farming to feed the growing population. We can grow at scale, with minimum space and environmental impact.

Joshua Resnick/

cities. “City planners and adults throughThere are so many need innovative soluways to contribute to urban out South Florida. tions like vertical farmThrough their entity ing to feed the growing farming, from aquaponics The Urban Beekeepto vermicomposting; it’s ers, the Coldwells offer population. We can grow at scale, with about finding your niche. beekeeping classes, minimum space and consult with local gov~Niraj Ray environmental impact,” ernments, sell equipsays Wendy Coleman, ment and rescue “feral who began her California-based business hives” to integrate into managed hives. LA Urban Farms in 2013. Today, Coleman’s They’ve worked successfully with parks, team works with chefs, resorts, hotels, uniairports, golf clubs and country clubs to versities, greenhouses and corporate clients put honeybee habitats on site. like Google and Ikea to set up aeroponic Urban beekeeping works in synergy tower gardens across the U.S. and Europe. with city farms, as honeybees forage up to With aeroponics, nutrient-enriched five miles for food, and in so doing polwater is pumped through a garden tower linate a lot of crops. Seventy of the top 100 to shower the roots of plants suspended in human food crops are pollinated by bees, air. “It actually uses 90 percent less water according to the Food and Agriculture than conventional growing, which is a Organization of the United Nations. “We huge benefit in a place like California, and often hear people say their garden is doing avoids any kind of agricultural runoff,” better than it has in years, thanks to the says Coleman. In conjunction with urban apiaries nearby,” says John Coldwell. farming partners, the business churns out The challenges of growing at scale are 30,000 seedlings a month using aeroponic a recurrent theme among urban farmtechnology to grow for their diverse client ers. Ian Marvy, the U.S. Department of base and working with chefs to plan seaAgriculture (USDA) outreach specialist sonal menus around their produce. for the greater New York City area, ran his Aeroponics and other innovaown urban farm, grossing six figures for 14 tive farm technologies are transforming years. However, Marvy says most farmers spaces in cities across the U.S., reclaiming growing in the city aren’t operating at a peripheral and idle spaces like alleys and profitable scale or producing enough for warehouses to grow herbs and vegetables everyone to eat local. in abundance, using 90 percent less land Even so, locally grown produce is by growing vertically, notes Coleman. a booming market in New York City. “With our gardens, diners can see their Greenmarket, founded in 1976, operates food growing at their table; they get such a more than 50 farmers’ markets, limited personal connection with their food. It’s an to vendors that grow within a 200-mile interactive way for hotels and restaurants radius, some of whom take home five to demonstrate their commitment to local, figures on a good day, says Marvy. Interest sustainable food,” she says. in growing at the community level has also mushroomed, adds Marvy, who estimates Breaking into Hives: that 90 percent of the city’s more than 500 City Beekeepers school gardens weren’t there 15 years ago when he started this work. “The USDA “I had a backyard garden that wasn’t doing so well, and I thought it was the lack of pol- has a huge opportunity here and nationally to make cities more sustainable and feed linators, so I got bees; but then I realized I more people. I’m really excited and comwas just a bad gardener,” quips master beemitted to that,” he says. keeper John Coldwell, of Fort Lauderdale. While urban agriculture efforts are Since this humble beginning in 2012 with a few backyard hives, Coldwell and his sometimes criticized for catering to upper wife Teresa have been leading a movement income residents that can afford to pay top to repurpose public land for “microapiardollar for specialty items like microgreens, ies” and provide apiary education for youth many businesses and organizations are

Tips From the Pioneers


hose that have never nurtured more than a houseplant shouldn’t be intimidated, says Wendy Coleman, founder of LA Urban Farms. “Growing food is easy and doesn’t require any special background,” says Coleman, who was green to growing when she started her business six years ago. When growing commercially, find a niche, says Niraj Ray, of Cultivate the City. The company grows plants of ethnic or cultural significance to appeal to Asian, African and Latino populations, from the nutrition-packed moringa to okra, a staple of both Indian and African cooking, given it is a growing market for immigrant populations not served by most traditional garden centers. Seek natural allies like sustainability-minded chefs to bolster an urban ag business. The farm-to-fork chef ’s movement has been a boon for beekeepers and farmers, with chefs acting as patrons of the farms, according to beekeeping expert Teresa Coldwell. Sette Bello Ristorante, an Italian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, funds vertical gardens at a community garden where the Coldwells have hives so its chef can have pure organic food like squash blossoms pollinated by local bees. Urban farming has its pleasures and rewards, but can also bring hardships. Ray struggles with employee turnover when newbie farmers face the realities of working in the heat and rain, even from a sleek, trendy, rooftop garden. July 2019


working on multiple The USDA has a huge ing projects, senior comfronts, with lucrative opportunity here and munities and schools six days a week. specialty crops helping nationally to make cities Their latest project, to subsidize programs more sustainable and the Public Market, is a serving families lacking retail location on Wheelaccess to healthy affordfeed more people. ing’s Main Street that will able food. ~Ian Marvy serve as a year-round Grow Ohio Valley farmers’ market. The organization is also takes an integrated approach to food sovbuilding alliances between local farmers ereignty in Wheeling, West Virginia, and and healthcare providers through a project the Upper Ohio Valley. “This part of the called The Farmacy. A partnership with a Appalachian Rustbelt has lost much of its local free clinic, it targets people suffering population, jobs and economic base over from diabetes and other diseases linked to the last generation. We want to promote poor diets with a doctor’s prescription for health and wellness through fresh food, organic produce offered free through the while helping to transform the urban landscape from falling-down buildings and organization’s CSA. These urban agriculture pioneers are vacant lots into productive community ashelping to not only grow food, but comsets,” says founder Danny Swan. munity, and are nurturing renewed con The operation’s food hub aggrenections to the Earth. City growing has so gates produce from small local farmers, many benefits: decreasing packaging, costs providing a guaranteed market for their and food miles traveled, making it easier produce and the opportunity to reach a to eat organic seasonal food and a more larger market, usually only served by food diverse diet. “The connection people feel grown thousands of miles away. The prowhen they plant seed and get to harvest the duce is supplemented by four urban farm sites run by the organization, including an mature plant is transformative. Growing food is something we can all do to make a apple orchard on the site of a demolished difference, for our health and the environhousing project. ment,” says Coleman. Grow Ohio Valley also works to reach the “last-mile customers” that lack access Connect with Washington, D.C. freelance to high-quality affordable produce via a writer April Thompson at mobile farmers’ market that goes to hous-

LET’S GET GROWING or those interested in trying home growing or supporting metro area farmers, here are some resources for eating food grown in and around your zip code. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit walks prospective city farmers through all of the necessary steps to planning a successful urban agriculture operation, from soil testing to accessing financing. Tinyurl. com/UrbanAgriculturalToolkit. features a clickable map of community gardens in the U.S. and beyond where neighbors can connect and grow together. The FairShare CSA Coalition’s site ( offers an interactive Farm Search tool to find community supported agriculture (CSA) programs where city dwellers can subscribe to local farms and receive a share of the seasonal bounty. The American Community Garden Association ( provides resources for finding, starting and managing community gardens. Local Harvest ( has a searchable national directory of farmers’ markets, farms, CSAs and more. 18

North Central FL



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HELP FOR HOME GARDENERS Extension Agents at Your Service


To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

352-629-4000 20

North Central FL

by Yvette C. Hammett

any home gardeners readily list flies, wasps and beetles among the “pests” in their gardens. However, many of these are actually pollinators that help boost production of fruits and vegetables; others are beneficial insects that keep the real plant-killers at bay. A quick call to the local cooperative extension service can help sort out friend from foe— and that’s just the beginning of what this valuable, underutilized resource can offer. Each year, millions in federal taxpayer dollars help fund county agricultural extension programs administered through the 108 colleges and universities that comprise the nation’s land grant university system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which supplies the money, also helps fund science-based research meant to reach not only farmers, but home gardeners seeking advice on best practices. The USDA is trying to do a better job of raising public awareness of assistance that’s readily available, free of charge, especially now that it’s getting more funding.

Organic on the Rise

“The good news is that the 2018 Farm Bill

provided increases for many of our programs, including the organic agriculture research and extension initiative program for which we received significant funding,” says Mathieu Ngouajio, program leader for the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The USDA is eager to see the connections their constituents are making with the research. “We want to identify the needs of organic gardeners, and the best way to meet those needs to get our research into their hands,” Ngouajio says. County extension agents are on the front lines of this effort, offering low- or no-cost soil testing, handbooks on a variety of local gardening topics and workshops on everything from making rain barrels and creating rain gardens to implementing eco-friendly pest control, cultivating native plants and employing best practices for organic gardening. Master gardeners that volunteer their expertise are central to supporting extension outreach activities. “We would love more business from the public,” says Weston Miller, an associate professor with Oregon State University’s extension service. “The public service of

the master gardener program is to answer organic pest control, Miller says. “In terms The good news is that the questions,” including what and when to of gardening, there are certified organic 2018 Farm Bill provided plant and how much irrigation is required. products you can use and still be organic.” increases for many of our In Oregon, there are 3,500 master One thing to look for on a label is the seal programs, including an gardeners, with 650 volunteers in Portland of the Organic Materials Review Institute, alone. “We train master gardeners in how organic program for which we which indicates the product is suitable for to use our resources and interpret the received significant funding. organic gardening. research to the public,” Miller says. However, there aren’t many good ~Mathieu Ngouajio “There are trained volunteers in pretty options for weed management, he adds. much every county in the country ready “You have to do weeding by hand or use an and willing to answer any gardening question,” Miller says. For herbicide that isn’t organic.” example, a new organic gardener might not know the correct soil Another issue that extension programs can help with is makamendments to use or how to start a composting pile to suppleing sure organic gardeners receive only scientifically researched ment the soil in an organic garden. information, says Nicole Pinson, an urban horticulture agent with There is also a nationwide network called Ask the Expert the Hillsborough County Extension Service, in Tampa, Florida. ( and questions will automatically go to an “Gardening information is available on websites and on soextension staff person or master gardener in the area where the cial media. Some information that pops up is not research-based, inquiring gardener lives. or they are selling a product and are not unbiased,” Pinson says. “We generally stick to recommendations we have been able to vet Reducing Confusion through research. When we make a recommendation, we give Many of those getting into organic gardening might feel confused folks all of the options of what they can do.” as to what connotes organic, Miller says. “Organic gardening is using a naturally formed material for fertilizer and pesticide, from To find a nearby extension office, visit plant, animal or mineral sources.” The biggest area of confusion is that many people think Yvette C. Hammett is an environmental writer based in Valrico, organic means pesticide-free. But that is not always true. There is Florida. She can be contacted at

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July 2019



~Peter Gray stress, fatigue, injury and depression; and increases range of motion, agility, coordination, balance and flexibility. Here are some ways to up the play in children’s lives:


Give them lots of free time away from devices. Yes, they

might be bored at first—but boredom enhances creativity, partly by allowing for daydreaming, concludes a study from the UK’s University of Central Lancashire.

The Pure Joy of Play 2

Why Kids Need Unstructured Fun


by Ronica O’Hara

ot so long ago, kids would be shooed out the door to play and told to return home at meal time. But the rising use of digital devices and kids’ highly scheduled sports and school activities, as well as parental fears about safety, has made that kind of unstructured play rare— with resulting drops in children’s independence, resilience and creativity, experts say. In fact, play has been shown to be so critical to children’s development that an American Academy of Pediatrics 2018 clinical report,

“The Power of Play,” recommends that doctors write prescriptions for it. “Play is not frivolous; it is brain building,” concludes the report. It defines play as voluntary, fun and spontaneous activities that engross a child, often resulting in joyous discovery, and includes imaginative make-believe, experimenting and risk-taking. It cites 147 studies showing that play builds skills critical for adult success such as problem solving, collaboration and creativity; decreases

Encourage fun, rather than competition. By age 6, 60 percent

of American boys and 47 percent of girls are participating on organized sport teams, but three out of four kids quit sports by age 13—one major reason being, “I was not having fun.” Play, on the other hand, is based on pure enjoyment and spontaneous collaboration among kids, minus overanxious adult “sidelining”. “When children play in their own ways, they generally play cooperatively. We adults impose competition, unfortunately. Yet even in our competitive society, the really successful and happy people are the ones who are oriented toward cooperation,” says Peter Gray, Ph.D., a Boston College psychology professor and author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.


Encourage them to take the lead. Let kids decide whether they

want to play with friends, siblings or alone. They will happily make up their own games with lots of raw materials that are on hand—blocks, balls, puzzles, crayons, boxes, wooden spoons, old costumes and hats, sand, water, tarps and shovels. “Play is how children learn to create and govern their own activities and solve their own problems


North Central FL

November 2015


Monkey Business Images/

Play is how children learn to create and govern their own activities and solve their own problem independently of adults.

healthy kids

independently of adults,” says Gray. “Stated differently, it is how children learn to become adults. This value is destroyed when adults take charge of children’s activities.”


Back off from hovering supervision. It can rob them of a sense

of ownership and accomplishment. Leigh Ellen Magness, a clinical social worker and registered play therapist in Athens, Georgia, grappled with anxiety as she watched her 5-year-old son clamber up a roadside sculpture designed for climbing. “He climbed so high that my stomach flip-flopped to see him so far from me. But I knew there was no better way for him to learn the limits of his own body than to test them,” she says. Mariana Brussoni, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of pediatrics and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, Canada, concurs: “When they’re given the chance, even very young children show clear abilities to manage risks and figure out their own limits. The potential for learning is enormous.”


Don’t worry. “The data show that

children are far more likely to get injured in adult-directed sports, where they are pushed to compete, than in free play,” says Gray. “Moreover, the kinds of injuries that occur in free play are relatively easy to recover from.” As for the fear of kidnapping by strangers, the odds are very small—one in a million, according to the latest U.S. Department of Justice

data. “Weigh the effect of the limits you place on your kids to prevent that very, very, very unlikely possibility versus the fundamental importance for their own health and development of exploring freedom,” advises Brussoni. Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based freelance health writer. Connect at

Explore Free Play This online, 20-minute, self-quiz helps parents reflect upon their

own childhood adventures and figure out a plan they feel comfortable with for their children’s unstructured “risky play”. Preliminary study data show that by three months, 93 percent of parents using the quiz had accomplished their goals.

“The Power of Play”: This study by the American Academy of Pediatrics lays out the body of research on the benefits of unstructured play for children.

“Say Yes to Play”: A Psychology Today online article offers 12 strategies to encourage play, as well as additional references.

the hippodrome theatre proudly presents

I’ve always felt that having a garden is like having a good and loyal friend. ~C. Z. Guest

book by colin escott & floyd mutrux • directed by hugh hysell

opening may 31 Million Dollar Quartet is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied byTheatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. (866) 378-9758

July 2019


Toning the Vagus Nerve Relief for Pain, Anxiety and Inflammation


statement To empower individuals to live a healthier lifestyle on a healthier planet. To educate communities on the latest in natural health and sustainability. To connect readers with local wellness resources and events, inspiring them to lead more balanced lives.


North Central FL


by Marlaina Donato

esearch is helping life for individuals sufThe vagus nerve doctors connect fering from numerous stems from the brain the dots between conditions. One type to the abdomen like seemingly unrelated is a device that can be a communication conditions like irritable implanted by a neurobowel syndrome, rheusuperhighway between surgeon, which sends matoid arthritis, postelectrical impulses to your gut and brain. traumatic stress disorder the vagus nerve in chil~Hannah Aylward (PTSD), chronic fatigue dren that suffer from syndrome and fibromyseizures and adults with algia, revealing a common denominator: the depression as a supplemental treatment multitasking vagus nerve, the longest in the when surgery or medications are not posautonomic nervous system. sible or effective. The superpower of this double There is also a handheld, non-invasive branched cranial nerve lies in transporting VNS option called gammaCore, a U.S. Food major neurotransmitters along what is and Drug Administration-approved device known as the brain-gut axis. “The vagus that offers hope for sufferers of cluster and nerve stems from the brain to the abdomigraine headaches. Its effectiveness for men like a communication superhighway chronic pain management, as well as in cases between your gut and brain,” says Hanof epilepsy and depression, was published in nah Aylward, an Orlando-based certified the Neuromodulation Journal in 2015. holistic health coach and gut health expert. PTSD researcher Imanuel Lerman, “Studies show that the vagus nerve reguM.D., and his colleagues with the Veterlates inflammation throughout the body.” ans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, found that VNS affects areas of the brain Promising Research responsible for processing emotional pain. Recent studies have shown that vagus nerve The findings, published in the journal stimulation (VNS) can improve quality of PLOS ONE earlier this year, also show that


healing ways

VNS delays the brain’s response to pain signals in individuals with PTSD.

Mental Health, Trauma and the Gut When it comes to the vagus nerve, anxiety is physical. Post-traumatic stress is rooted in neurobiology and experienced in the body, not just the mind, says Arielle Schwartz, Ph.D., a Boulder, Colorado-based clinical psychologist and author of The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole. “This is why you can’t simply think or talk your way out of your trauma reactions.” According to Schwartz, “Disruptions in the gut flora, which often occur with overuse of antibiotics, can have a significant impact on mental health. An imbalance in the gut can lead to an inflammatory response in the immune system and a wide range of disruptive symptoms.” Aylward notes that 95 percent of the body’s mood-boosting chemical serotonin resides in the enteric nervous system, which governs the function of the gastrointestinal tract. “The brain-gut axis is becoming increasingly important as a therapeutic target for psychiatric and GI disorders,” she says. Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, explains the trauma loop. “Developmental trauma impairs the integrative circuits of the brain and nervous system—the prefrontal cortex. When this happens, the brain will be hyperalert, interpreting some non-threatening situations as threatening.

“Learning to be aware of our internal state and learning calming techniques helps to regulate the autonomic nervous system and can go a long way,” says Siegel. “High ventral vagal tone means having a state of calm.”

Vagus Power Everyone can benefit from increased vagal tone, which goes hand-in-hand with engaging the parasympathetic nervous system for optimum equilibrium at the cellular level. Acupuncture, chiropractic—with a focus on the cranial nerves—massage, meditation, singing, laughing loudly, chanting mantras, gentle yoga and exercise, positive social interactions, belly breathing and chanting all make the vagus nerve a happy camper. These activities promote relaxation and help to decrease inflammation. “As a certified yoga instructor, I can attest to a wide range of natural vagus nerve stimulation techniques, especially using the breath,” says Schwartz. “Diaphragmatic breathing creates a gentle massage across your digestive organs, releases the diaphragm and stimulates nerve fibers within the lungs. Heart rate is reduced.” Brief exposure to cold water or cold air improves vagal tone and is a good option when anxiety is high. Eating cold-water fish like wild salmon or other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, seaweed, hemp, flax or chia seeds provides vagal nourishment.

Do you have what it takes to be a Natural Awakenings publisher?

Marlaina Donato is the author of several books, including Multidimensional Aromatherapy. Connect at

Vagus-Nourishing Diet Tips Advice from gut health expert Hannah Aylward: 4 Eat plenty of vegetables, high-quality proteins, fiber and healthy fats. 4 A diet low in sugar and processed carbohydrates supports healthy vagus nerve function by maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. 4 Practice intermittent fasting, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (not recommended for people suffering from adrenal fatigue or high stress). 4 Take probiotics. Lactobacillus has been shown to increase GABA via stimulation of the vagus nerve. Bifidobacterium longum has demonstrated it can normalize anxietylike behavior in mice by acting through the vagus nerve.

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July 2019


calendar of events NOTE: All calendar events must be submitted via our website by the 10th of the month and must adhere to our guidelines. Visit for guidelines and to submit entries.



Mainstage Play – through July 21. Million Dollar Quartet. By Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. Four legends, one night and a whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll! Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley have one of the greatest jam sessions of all time in the Tony Award winning musical. Inspired by a true event, these four iconic musicians play their hearts out live on stage as they weave a tale filled with broken promises, deception, betrayal and passion. The Hippodrome, 25 SE 2nd Pl, Gainesville. 352-375-4477.

Class – 2-4pm. Meditation “Forgiveness for All.” With Patricia Squires. Love offering. Please call the store to register. Fairy Dust Crystals & Such, 11781 SE Hwy 441, Belleview. 352-693-4592.

Seminar & Dinner – 6:30pm. Veggie-Nar. Experience the wonderful sensation of eating freshly picked, naturally grown vegetables and learn about their nutritional and health value. Organic vegetable will be prepared then the selected vegetable will be offered for the evening meal. $5 per person, reservations required. Crones’ Cradle Conserve Foundation, 6411 NE 217th Pl, Citra. Call or email to reserve at 352-595-3377 or

TUESDAY, JULY 2 Spiritual Coaching – 11am-2pm. With Steve Priester. Coaching and guidance will include discussion of spiritual principles, meditation, communication with Spirit and more. $30/1-hour sessions. By appointment only. Please call the store for appointment. Fairy Dust Crystals & Such, 11781 SE Hwy 441, Belleview. 352-693-4592.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 3 Workshop and Potluck Dinner – 6pm. Explore your writing talents. Any level of writing skills welcome. Activities include reading discussions, editing and new ideas. Free with potluckdish. Crones’ Cradle Conserve Foundation, 6411 NE 217th Pl, Citra. Call or email to reserve at 352-595-3377 or Chakra Balancing Crystal Bowl Meditation and Playshop – 7pm. Oakbrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 NE 28th Ave, Ocala. 352-629-3897.

SATURDAY, JULY 6 Workshop – noon-2pm. Using a Pendulum. With Steve Henry. Learn how to use a pendulum for dowsing and divination. There will be time for questions and practice after the workshop. $25. Call to register. High Springs Emporium, 19765 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs. 386-454-8657.

SUNDAY, JULY 7 Certification – 10am-7pm. Thai Herbal Folk Medicine. Offered one Sunday a month for 7 months, Thai Herbal Bundle Therapy is a multi-therapy massage treatment, combining traditional Thai Massage, aromatherapy, and herbal healing. 9CEs for LMTs and $100 per class. Bodhi Sangha and Ariela’s Thai Massage, 7120 NE 19th Ave, Gainesville. Register: 813-417-6745 or Women’s Sunday Brunch – 11am. An amazing assortment of women, locally grown food, an entertaining program in an atmosphere of quiet, respect and contemplation. Sliding scale from $10 to whatever you can contribute. Crones’ Cradle Conserve Foundation, 6411 NE 217th Pl, Citra. Reserve by noon the Friday before at 352-595-3377 or

MONDAY, JULY 8 Natural Eye Program – July 8-10. See what you can do about wet/dry macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts, diabetic retinopathy without injections. Seating is limited, call to pre-register. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Ste 301, Ocala. 352-291-9459.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10 Class – 10:30am-1pm. New Series (12 monthly classes) Psychic / Medium Spiritual Development.

Includes meditation, lesson and practice. $30. Held at Boardroom at Holiday Inn Express, 1205 Avenida Central, Lady Lake. International Foundation for Spiritual Knowledge. 407-247-7823.

FRIDAY, JULY 12 Programs in the Parks – noon-1pm. Awesome Owls. Natural resource program by your city park rangers. Enjoy nature-related outdoor games and fun animal tracking activities. Fort King National Historic Landmark, 3925 E. Fort King St, Ocala. Info: 352-368-5517.

SATURDAY, JULY 13 Aura Photography & Soul Contract Readings – With Howard Minton. $55/aura photo with channeled message. $55/Soul Contract reading to learn about your soul’s purpose in this lifetime, $88 for both. Call to register. High Springs Emporium, 19765 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs. 386-4548657. Workshop – 2-4pm. Energy Healing with the Pendulum. With Sharon Dvorak. Learn how to effectively use the pendulum for energy healing. No charge for the event. Please call the store to register. Fairy Dust Crystals & Such, 11781 SE Hwy 441, Belleview. 352-693-4592. Class – 2-4:30pm. Psychic / Medium Spiritual Development. Includes meditation, lesson and practice. $30. Held at Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave. International Foundation for Spiritual Knowledge. 407-247-7823. Dance – 7:30-9:30pm. Multi-Cultural Immersion of Joy! Men and women of all faiths are welcome to participate in The Dances, an exuberant, joyful way to connect with & embody diverse spiritual teachings. No experience or partner necessary. Words and easy steps are taught in the moment by DiAnahita, a leader certifies by Dances od Universal Peace International. $10. Location: The Historic Thomas Center, 302 NE 6th Ave, Gainesville. Info: or PeacockParadise. org or

SUNDAY, JULY 14 Aura Photography & Soul Contract Readings – With Howard Minton. $55/aura photo with channeled message. $55/Soul Contract reading to learn about your soul’s purpose in this lifetime, $88 for both. Call to register. High Springs Emporium, 19765 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs. 386-4548657.

MONDAY, JULY 15 Thermography Screenings – 8am-5pm; by appointment. A healthy alternative to mammograms. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Ste 301, Ocala. 352-291-9459. Patient Education – 6pm. Learn what we do and time to ask questions. Free. Seating is limited, call to reserve your seat. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Suite 301, Ocala. 352-291-9459.

Greatness comes from fear. Fear can either shut us down and we go home, or we fight through it. ~Lionel Richie


North Central FL

TUESDAY, JULY 16 Transformation, Detox/Healing Group series – July 16-18. 5:30pm. Decrease weight, lower A1C and cholesterol, increase energy. Coaching, education, menus, meal plans, Nutraceuticals. Seating is limited, must pre-register. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Ste 301, Ocala. 352-291-9459.

Full Moon Drum Gathering – 8pm-midnight. Cohosted with Ocala Drum Circles. Drums and percussions only, extra drums will be provided first come first serve. Outdoor bonfire, dancing, fire spinning. Must be 18 or older. Muddy Lotus Tea, 520 NE 1st Ave, Ocala. 352-559-3003.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17 Workshop and Potluck Dinner – 6pm. Explore your writing talents. Any level of writing skills welcome. Activities include reading discussions, editing and new ideas. Free with potluck dish. Crones’ Cradle Conserve Foundation, 6411 NE 217th Pl, Citra. Call or email to reserve at 352-595-3377 or Lightworkers Gathering – 6-7:30pm. Join likeminded people in an open floor discussion setting discussing a variety of spiritual topics. Group meets every month. Love donation requested. Fairy Dust Crystals & Such, 11781 SE Hwy 441, Belleview. 352-693-4592.

THURSDAY, JULY 18 Event – July 18-20. 11am-5pm. Annual Customer Appreciation Event. Food and product demos, free product samples, gift basket raffles, and every customer receive a thank you gift. Free. Sunflower Health Foods, 3424 W. University Ave, Gainesville. 352-372-7482.

SATURDAY, JULY 20 Lake Retreat – 10am-6pm. MOMENTUM: Create Change Now. With Jennifer, Purposeful Living

Coach & Demetrise, Wellness Coach. Get clear what changes you want to make and leave with the momentum and action plan needed to see them come to fruition. $99.Location: Island Lake, Ft. McCoy. 940-704-2128.

rangers. Enjoy nature-related outdoor games and fun animal tracking activities. Tuscawilla Park, 800 NE Sanchez Ave, Ocala. Info: 352-368-5517.

Workshop – 2-4pm. Introduction to Crystal Energy Feng Shui. With Sharron Britton. Learn how quartz crystals can elevate the vibration of your home or workspace. Participants will receive a free traveling quartz crystal grid. $20. Call to register. High Springs Emporium, 19765 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs. 386-454-8657.

Workshop – 11am-noon. Rocks for Kids. With Travis Hetsler. Learn more about rocks and minerals and how to build your collection. $10/child, parents or guardians are welcome to come for free. Call to register. High Springs Emporium, 19765 NW US Hwy 441, High Springs. 386-454-8657.


MONDAY, JULY 22 Save Your Mind Intensive Personalized Program – July 22-24. What can you do to clear mental fog, remember, and sharpen your thinking? Seating is limited, need to pre-register. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Ste 301, Ocala. 352-291-9459.

FRIDAY, JULY 26 Workshop – July 26-27. 10am-5:30pm. QuantumTouch Energy Healing. Learn how to create high vibrational resonance fields, distance healing, creative visualization, amplified healing techniques and spiritual healing principles with certified instructor Patricia Wagner (15 years.) 14 CEUs for LMTs. Location: First Unity Spiritual Campus, St. Petersburg, FL. Info: Patricia@ Register: contact First Unity, 727-527-2222 or Programs in the Parks – noon-1pm. Fantastic Frogs. Natural resource program by your city park

nings! e k a w a atural n h t i tise w adver

Remember, PLANS CHANGE! Please call ahead to confirm dates and times.

ReaCh ouR 3 MILLIon ReadeRs eaCh Month! Natural Awakenings has been a leader in the naturally healthy, green-living marketplace for the past 25 years. Each magazine is locally and independently published, allowing for a deep connection to every community we touch.

Regional & national advertising opportunities available Contact Your Local Publisher For More Information 352-629-4000

July 2019


on going events NOTE: All calendar events must be submitted via our website by the 10th of the month and must adhere to our guidelines. Visit for guidelines and to submit entries.



A Course in Miracles – 9:30am. Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville.

Technology Help Center - 2-4pm. Free. Belleview Public Library, 13145 SE Hwy 484, Belleview. 352-438-2500.

Sunday Spiritual Service – 10am. Unity of Ocala, 101 Cedar Rd, Ocala. 352­-687-­2113. mail@

Meditation Instruction and Orientation – 6:30pm. Meditation, book discussion, refreshments to follow. Shambhala Gainesville, 1899 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville. 352-214-1334.

Sunday Service – 10:30am; Guided Meditation – 10am. Awaken and LIVE. Oakbrook Center for Spiritual Living, 1009 NE 28th Ave, Ocala. 352629-3897. Meditation and Book Discussion – 10:30am-noon. Shambhala Gainesville, 1899 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville. 352-214-1334. Brewery Yoga at First Magnitude – 1-2pm Bring your own mat for yoga in the warehouse. All experience levels. Suggested donation $5. First Magnitude Brewing Co., 1220 SE Veitch, Gainesville. 352-727-4677. Yin Yoga – 2pm. All levels. $10 donation. Muddy Lotus Tea, 520 NE 1st Ave, Ocala. 352-559-3003.

monday Hearing Screenings – afternoon. By appointment. Lemire Clinic, 9401 SW Hwy 200, Ste 301, Ocala. 352-­291-­9459. A Course in Miracles – 6:30pm. Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville. Meeting – 5:30-7pm. Adult Children of Alcoholics. Unity of Ocala, 101 Cedar Rd, Ocala. 352-6872113.

wednesday Qigong – 9-9:30am. With Dr. Neil Crenshaw and Dr. Don Mederios. Donations go to Connected Warriors. Van Ness Park Civic Center, G Ave and 7th St, McIntosh. 352-425-2975. Game Night – 7:30pm. Muddy Lotus Tea, 520 NE 1st Ave, Ocala. 352-559-3003.

thursday A Course in Miracles – 10am. Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville. Embodiment 101 – 6:30-8pm. Body awareness movement followed by meditation. Shambhala Gainesville, 1899 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville. 352214-1334. Day Camp – 10am-noon. Through July 31. Summer Shorts: Environmental Days, ages 5-15. $10 per day camp or 6 for $50. Location: Fort King, 3925 E. Fort King St, Ocala. Info: 352-368-5535 or

friday Health Happens Farmers Market – 9am-2:30pm. Shop for fresh produce, seafood, honey, baked goods, gluten-free snacks and prepared meals for lunch. McPherson Governmental Complex field, 601 SE 25th Ave. Ocala. 352-438-2360. Stories in the Park – 11am. Reading with a Ranger. Each week in a different favorite Ocala Park. Info: 352-368-5535 or Meeting – 5:30-6:30pm. Adult Children of Alcoholics. Unity of Ocala, 101 Cedar Rd, Ocala. 352687-2113. Queer & Trans Dharma – 7-9pm. Shambhala Gainesville, 1899 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville. 352214-1334.

saturday Haile Farmers Market – 8:30am-12pm. Open rain or shine, heat or cold. Haile Village Center in Haile Plantation, SW 91st Terr, Gainesville. Farmstead Saturdays – 9am­3pm. Free. Crones Cradle Conserve, 6411 NE 217 Pl, Citra. 352-­595-­ 3377. Ocala Farm Market – 9am-2pm. Locally grown farm fresh seasonal produce, homemade jellies and jams, crafts and plants. Location: Corner of SE 3rd St and SE 3rd Ave, Ocala. 352-629-8051. Class – 2-4:30pm. One Saturday each month. Psychic / Medium Spiritual Development. Includes meditation, lesson and practice. $30. Call or check website to confirm date. Held at Unity of Gainesville, 8801 NW 39th Ave. International Foundation for Spiritual Knowledge. 407-247-7823. Fire Flow – 9pm. Fire spinners and poi with music outside. Muddy Lotus Tea, 520 NE 1st Ave, Ocala. 352-559-3003.

Karaoke – 8pm-11pm. Muddy Lotus Tea, 520 NE 1st Ave, Ocala. 352-559-3003.

Coming Next Month AUGUST

Natural Pet Care plus: Children’s Health

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call 352-629-4000 28

North Central FL

The first combined Anti-Aging, Holistic, and Family Practice Clinic in Central Florida and The Villages



✦ Peptides ✦ Exosomes: The Next Generation in Regeneration Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy ✦ Amniotic ✦ Adipose ✦ Bone marrow ✦ PRP-platelet Rich Plasma ✦ Prolo Therapy ✦ Prolozone ✦ Neural Therapy ✦ Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

✦ Chelation and IV Nutrient ✦ Urinary Incontinence ✦ Femlift Vaginal Tightening ✦ Soundwave for ED ✦ Laser Therapy for pain ✦ Spectravision (Full Body Analysis Test) ✦ Nutritional Counseling ✦ Weight Loss ✦ Pulse Magnetic Wave ✦ Antioxidant Evaluation ✦ Mineral Evaluation ✦ Heavy Metal Evaluation

Nelson Kraucak, MD, FAAFP “We are committed to aid and promote the body’s innate mechanisms to heal and achieve homeostasis for optimum health by introducing and using natural approaches with innovative and cutting-edge technology.”

Individual responses may vary

Jaclynn Sola, LMT

MA56771 Over 10 years experience Specializing In: • Raindrop Therapy – • Cupping for Aromatheraphy Pain Relief and utilizing essential oils Lymphatic Drainage • Myo Fascial Release • Sports Massage/ • Deep Tissue Golf Massage • Hot Stone Massage • Cranial Sacral • Body Scrubs/Wraps SpectraVision • Reflexology/Foot • Reiki Master Massage Tuning Forks • Cellulite Reduction • Colonics Massage

On-Site Financing Available

Call to Schedule Your Appointment:


Karin Panyko

Licensed Aesthetician Over 13 years experience Specializing In: • Micro Derm Abrasion • Spa Facial/Galvanic (tightens and tones cheek muscles) • High Frequency Therapy • Light Therapy • Facial Massage – Deep Tissue My passion is to assist others in achieving their balance with inner and outer beauty.

Gretta Ellis, ARNP

Over 10 years experience Specializing In: • Chronic Disease • Gastro-Intestinal Disorders • Alternative Medicine • SIBO/Leaky Gut • Bio Identical Hormone Replacement - BHT • ER and Internal Medicine Experience

Healing Central Florida, One Stem Cell at a Time!

Healthcare Partners Family Medicine 1501 HWY 441, Suite 1704, The Villages, FL, 32159 www. Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Friday: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm July 2019


community resource guide


Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email to request our media kit.



GENTLE WATERS HEALING CENTER 352-374-0600 Gainesville

The therapists at Gentle Waters Healing Center assist each individual with detoxing using colon hydrotherapy and/or far infrared sauna. Call Dawn Brower for more information or visit G e n t l e Wa t e r s H e a l i n g . c o m . MA41024, MM15426.


MA60322/MM27671 Healthy Hands of Ocala 1302 SE 25th Loop, Suite 104, Ocala 352-239-9272 Specializing in energy balancing sessions, sound healing, crystal healing, energy activation, spiritual counseling and guided meditation. Also offering energy healing classes by appointment. Experience a balanced lifestyle for body, mind, heart & soul. Unique programs created for your individual needs.



EFT, Emotion Code, Body Code, Hypnosis 352-454-8959 You can achieve your health, wealth and relationship goals. Certified Energy Healer, Sandy will help you eliminate blocks to be successful in getting fit, having better relationships, reaching business goals. Why wait?See website or call to start your path to success.


Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist Lemire Clinic 9401 SW Hwy 200, Suite 301, Ocala 352-291-9459 • Forrest Petty has joined our practice. Forrest has 5+ years in the hearing aid industry with all manufacturers. He offers free hearing exams and hearing instrument demonstrations with the latest technology for all patients. Come experience how well you can hear again. Call to schedule your appointment. See ad, page 3.


Lemire Clinic 9401 SW Hwy 200, Suite 301 352-291-9459 •


D r. L e m i r e i s b o t h B o a r d Certified in Family Practice for 40 years and is an Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) Certified Practitioner. Some of the common protocols Dr. Lemire works with are: Thyroid conditions, Chronic Fatigue, MS, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Leaky Gut, Cancer, Hormone Unbalances, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Inflammatory and Auto Immune Conditions, Lyme Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and Weight Management. Dr. Lemire sees children and adults. See ad, page 3.

6411 NE 217th Pl, Citra 352-595-3377

The conserve is an ecological preserve, retreat center and organic farm. Local fresh produce can be bought at The Farm Store on property, through Farm to Fare weekly Baskets or delivered to your restaurant. The Farm Store is open 7 days a week. Certified kitchen honey house and event space available. See ad, page 6.

Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines. ~Satchel Paige 30

North Central FL

DEBI GOLDBEN, RM/T, LMT MA78069/MM37419 13722 SW 40th Circle, Ocala 352-209-0303

Reduce or eliminate physical and emotional discomfort, stress, anxiety and PTSD with Debi’s unique blend of life coaching, energy balancing and spiritual intuition. Techniques include Reiki, Emotion Code, Body Code, Psych-K and Metaphysical Anatomy. Yes…she works on animals!


Students can advance in their studies of Thai Massage and Tr a d i t i o n a l T h a i F o l k Medicine. Courses offered are; Thai Foot Reflexology, Double Practitioner Thai Massage, and Thai Herbal Bundle Therapeutics. The Bodhi Sangha Shala is a place to grow and learn, to build community, to cultivate mindfulness and compassion, and to deepen one’s studies of the ancient healing art of Thai Massage. See ad, page 18.


MA47715 Healthy Hands of Ocala 1302 SE 25th Loop, Suite 104, Ocala 352-817-3887 Specializing in easing muscle tension and pain while promoting wellness. With over 10 years experience, Kurt offers massage therapy based on each client’s individual needs. Call or text to schedule an appointment.


MA68087 Healthy Hands of Ocala 1302 SE 25th Loop, Suite 104, Ocala 352-207-5423 Offering Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stone, Swedish, Therapeutic and Trigger Point with an emphasis on neck, shoulder and sciatic pain therapy. Compassion and knowledge help to aid in pain management and relaxation. See ad, page 21.


Holistic veterinary medicine for small animals and horses. Arthritis, neurologic and hormonal dysfunction, skin, allergies, cancer, pain, immune and chronic disease. Certified veterinary acu-puncture, certified-AVCA animal chiropractic, herbal therapy, tui na medical massage, functional neurology, postural rehabilitation, ozone therapy, homotoxicology and nutrition. Available for workshops. See ad, page 22.


Children’s Health plus: Natural Pet Care

classifieds Fee for classifieds is a minimum charge of $20 for the first 20 words and $1 for each additional word. To place an ad, email

ADVERTISING ADVERTISE HERE – Are you: hiring, renting property/office space, selling products, offering services, or in need of volunteers? Advertise your personal/business needs in Natural Awakenings classified ads section. To place an ad, email

OPPORTUNITIES S TA RT A C A R E E R Y O U C A N B E PASSIONATE ABOUT – Publish your own Natural Awakenings magazine. Home-based business complete with comprehensive training and support system. New franchises are available or purchase a magazine that is currently publishing. This local magazine is currently for sale. Call 239-530-1377 or visit

Readers are Seeking These Providers & Services:

Children’s Natural & Integrative Health Providers Nurturing Day Care Centers • Parenting Resources Art/Dance/Alternative Education Facilities • Natural/Organic Food Stores Pet Food Vendors • Lawn Care Specialists... and this is just a partial list!


Gut health is the key to overall health. ~Kris Carr



Age-Defying Bodywork

Oral Health

plus: Yoga Therapy

plus: Chiropractic Care



Contact us to learn about marketing opportunities and become a member of the Natural Awakenings community at:

352-629-4000 July 2019



North Central FL

Profile for Natural Awakenings North Central Florida

Natural Awakenings North Central Florida July 2019  

Natural Awakenings North Central Florida July 2019