Natural Awakenings Houston April 2024

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Natural Awakenings Houston - April
Issue 11 Heal-Our-World Checklist
Sustainable Travel Wanderlust With the Earth in Mind
From Organic to Grass-Fed to Regenerative Finding the Best Farming Practices 21 Functional Medicine Approach to Colon Health Simplified Steps to Repair and Restore the Gut 23 Transformative Benefits of Feng Shui
18 21 23
16 11


Cindy, Bubbles our new doodle-dog, and I have enjoyed watching the early spring wildflowers take over the field in front of our cabin this month. I have determined not to mow until they have all gone to seed so that next year we will have even more flowers. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs or out in the country as we do, take some time to notice the change of the seasons and appreciate the beauty of nature that is all around us.

This month’s theme of eco-travel really is something that we can all do since whether we travel across the globe or just to a neighborhood park, we can do our traveling and enjoying nature in an environmentally conscious manner. This is Earth Month so be sure to plan to attend one or more of the local events mentioned in this month’s magazine and learn more about things you can do to help regenerate the earth we live on. As you go about your life this month look for ways you can help to make things a little better. Remember, many hands make light work and every little bit helps.

I am reminded now of the words of a hymn we often sang on an early spring Sunday morning, “Teach us how to trust each other, how to use for good our power, how to touch the earth with reverence. Then once more will Eden flower.”

Cindy & Mike Hart



Cindy & Mike Hart

EDITOR Jane Aylward

CREATIVES Vivian Herriman

PODCAST Karesha Brown


11428 Debbie Lane Iola, TX 77861



CEO Kimberly Whittle

National Editor Sandra Yeyati

Editor Brooke Goode

Copy Editor/Proofing Melanie Rankin

Layout Flip 180 Media


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Spring 2024 Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event

Calling people of all faiths or no faith at all in Houston to care for our shared environment during Earth Month! We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship at the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve, including weeding, cleaning up the park and more. This event will offer activities for all ages and skill levels.

Meet at 11350 Ricecrest by the Oak tree in the park to sign in Sunday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. Metro bus line 68 stops nearby, and line 49 is not far. Tools/supplies will be provided.

This event is organized by Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston, in partnership with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy. The conservancy requires signing of a waiver to participate.

Please register for planning purposes on at: https://www. Contact Lisa Brenskelle at for more information.

Earth Day 2024-Planet vs. Plastics

The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life to birth the modern environmental movement. Since then, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic event on Earth, activating billions across 192 countries to safeguard our planet and fight for a brighter future. is unwavering in our commitment to end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040. Our theme, Planet vs. Plastics, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single use plastics, urgently push for a strong UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion. Join us as we build a plastic-free planet for generations to come!

As Houston’s premier sustainability publication, Natural Awakenings invites you to attend the following local Earth Day events.


Earth Day Fest. 10 am-6 pm. Celebrate Earth Day with vendors, drumming, yoga, readings, live music, sound bowl experience and children’s activities. 1st Spiritualist Church 2115 Turner Drive, Houston 77093. FREE. For information email

Green Mountain Energy Earth Day at Discovery Green. 12 n-5 pm. Discovery Green Conservancy, in partnership with Citizens’ Environmental Coalition which is proud to announce this year’s Earth Day featuring Houston Public Works’ Water Works Festival is all about art! Discovery Green 1500 McKinney Houston 77010. discoverygreen. com/signature-experiences/earth-day


Earth Day HTX 3:30 pm. The City of Houston thanks Apache Corporation for its $100K donation toward tree-planting efforts in celebration of Earth Day HTX 2024. Houstonians are invited to help plant 2,500 trees at Watonga Park. 4100 Watonga Blvd, Houston 77092.


Earth Day at The Arboretum. 10 am-2 pm. This Earth Day we’re celebrating biodiversity! Get outside and learn about the amazing variety of animals, plants, and people that share our planet. Challenge yourself with a scavenger hunt, explore interactive activities and crafts, and meet some awesome community partners who will share different ways of enjoying and supporting nature. Program will be held rain or shine – please dress for the weather. Crafts will be available while supplies last. The Houston Arboretum 4501 Woodway Drive Houston 77024

News Briefs

Nervous Apes: Breathe – Meditate - Communicate

Trea Drake, founder of Nervous Apes, will be leading a 6-week online course on meditation and breathing, starting Sunday, August 11th, at 6 pm CST. The class will meet once a week for one hour, and recordings of the classes will be available to participants. You will learn to conduct your own breathing assessment, proper breathing mechanics, stretching exercises for the rib cage, strengthening exercises for the breathing muscles, and a variety of meditations.

Trea Drake founded Nervous Apes after two decades of meditative practice and several years teaching breathing and meditation to kids, ages 5-18, in a special program he oversees at Krav Maga Houston for children who aspire to be leaders. His current intention is to work with adults through live online meditation and breathing classes, without the “woo woo.” His goal is to provide research-informed practices that students can immediately apply in their own lives to understand themselves at the deepest level, reduce their own suffering, reduce the suffering of others, increase fulfillment, and promote positive behavior change.

Trea is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher through Mindful Schools, a Level 2 Mindfulness Coach with Unified Mindfulness, and secured certification through the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, led by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. He is a BREATHE Certified Coach with Dr. Belisa Vranich, and has received additional breathing certifications from Jon Paul Crimi, XPT Performance Breathing, and Life Awareness Project.

For a sample of Trea’s teaching style, you can download a free pre-recorded breathing and meditation session on the Nervous Apes website,

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran meditator, and if you are a person who wants to live optimally, Nervous Apes has a place and a program for you.

Nervous Apes. 713-257-0761,,


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According to a 2023 study by Yale scientists published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, two distinct neurodevelopmental abnormalities that arise shortly after the start of brain development have been linked to the emergence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The researchers created brain organoids using stem cells from 13 boys with the disorder, including eight with macrocephaly, a condition in which the head is enlarged. The organoids were small replicas of developing brains that mimicked neuronal growth in the fetus.

The study found that children with ASD and macrocephaly showed an excessive growth of excitatory neurons, while those without macrocephaly exhibited a deficit of the same type of neurons. Measuring the prevalence of certain types of neurons, as was done in this study, could help doctors diagnose autism and also identify which autism cases might benefit from existing drugs that treat excessive excitatory neuron activity.




San Mateo County near San Francisco is the first county in the U.S. to declare loneliness a public health crisis. The resolution, which commits the county to address the issue but does not set aside funds to reduce loneliness, was inspired by the United Kingdom and Japan, which appointed ministers to tackle the problem. Future efforts by San Mateo County may include investments in infrastructure to make neighborhoods more accessible, social media posts that encourage social interaction, and the earmarking of community mental health dollars for organizations that develop or offer solutions.

Loneliness has been associated with increased risk of dementia, depression, anxiety, heart disease and stroke. A British study found that those that lived alone and had no visitors had a 39 percent increased risk of premature death compared to those visited by loved ones daily.

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According to a randomized clinical trial published in JAMA Psychiatry, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has been found to be a well-tolerated treatment option that can be as effective as commonly prescribed anxiety medications. The study involved 276 adults with diagnosed anxiety disorders that were randomly assigned to either an eight-week MBSR course or treatment with escitalopram, a first-line anxiety medication. Anxiety levels were assessed using the Clinical Global Impression of Severity scale (CGI-S).

At the end of the study, both the MBSR and escitalopram groups experienced a reduction in their mean CGI-S score, with no significant difference between the two groups. MBSR was well-tolerated, with no dropouts due to adverse events, whereas a higher percentage of participants in the escitalopram group reported adverse events. The results demonstrated that MBSR was not inferior to escitalopram in reducing anxiety symptoms.

An estimated 301 million people worldwide are affected by anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic and agoraphobia, causing significant distress, impaired functioning and elevated risk of suicide.

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Deep below the icy expanse of the Arctic lies a hidden danger that could have catastrophic consequences for our planet. Layers of methane gas are trapped beneath the permafrost, and as the landscape changes, this sea of methane has the potential to be unleashed, wreaking havoc on the world.

Studying the permafrost beneath the islands of Svalbard, researchers found an immense reservoir of methane that could reach several million cubic feet. Currently, the leakage from below the permafrost is minimal, but glacial retreat and permafrost thawing could “lift the lid” on this hidden danger, according to Thomas Birchall, a geologist at Norway’s University Center in Svalbard and lead author of a study published in Frontiers in Earth Science.

Ocean currents can thin the permafrost, creating patchy and unpredictable regions. Geographical features can also allow gas produced by underlying rocks to escape. Even in areas with continuous permafrost, methane gas can migrate beneath the cold seal of the permafrost, creating the potential for escape.

A large-scale seepage would initiate a dangerous feedback loop of warming—a cycle where methane release leads to further permafrost thaw, resulting in additional gas emissions. While the focus of the study was on Norway, the researchers believe that migrating deposits of methane are likely present in other parts of the Arctic region as well.


The 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland, in January. The meeting focused on the importance of trust and the fundamental principles driving it. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company reported ten key takeaways from the meeting.

1. Speed is crucial to outperformance. Compared to peers in slow-moving companies, leaders in fast-moving organizations experience higher operational resilience, financial performance, growth and innovation.

2. Cooperation can coexist with competition. Through the practice of “coopetition” leaders can advance shared interests in specific areas, even if they disagree elsewhere.

3. The generative artificial intelligence revolution is just beginning. This emerging tool has the potential to transform roles and boost performance in sales and marketing, customer care and software development, unlocking trillions of dollars in value.

4. Sustainability is a business imperative. Companies that navigate the increasingly complex net-zero economy can accelerate value creation and gain a competitive advantage.

5. Investing in better women’s health can lead to economic prosperity. Addressing the women’s health gap could boost the global economy by $1 trillion annually by 2040.

6. A comprehensive approach to transformation is most effective. By incorporating will, skill, rigor and scope, leaders can outpace the competition in times of disruption and change.

7. Matching top talent to the highest-value roles is essential. Skills-based hiring can help organizations access new talent pools.

8. The best CEOs leave companies in better shape than they found them. The key is creating distinct value and avoiding complacency.

9. Performance and diversity are not mutually exclusive. The business case for diversity remains strong, even in a rapidly changing business landscape.

10. India’s potential as one of the fastest-growing large economies deserves attention. This is especially evident in technology, talent and health care.

9 Global Brief
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Scientists at the BioRescue project have announced a breakthrough in embryo transfer that could save the northern white rhinoceros from extinction. According to the World Wildlife Federation, two genetically different subspecies exist—the northern and southern white rhino—found in two different regions of Africa. There are only two northern white rhinos left, both of which are female, living under protected housing in Kenya.

The BioRescue team achieved the world’s first rhino pregnancy through in vitro fertilization by implanting a southern white rhino embryo in a surrogate mother named Curra. Although the surrogate mother died after two months due to an unrelated infection, the successful embryo transfer offers proof of concept that this strategy could help save the northern white rhinos.

Plans are underway to implant a northern white rhino embryo into a southern white rhino surrogate mother. The scientists have used preserved sperm and eggs from the remaining females to make 30 preserved embryos. The BioRescue project has cost millions of dollars, supported by public and private donors. Eventually, the group hopes to reintroduce northern white rhinos into the wild.


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Heal-Our-World Checklist

Our current systems and practices are depleting the Earth’s resources at an increasing rate well beyond its capacity to renew itself. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it takes a year-and-a -half to generate the resources we use in one year. That’s an unsustainable path for the planet’s future.

The world needs topsoil to grow 95 percent of its food, and yet the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated in 2019 that 90 percent of the Earth’s topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050.

Such statistics seem daunting, but if each of us reduces their individual ecological footprint, together we can make a difference. Here is an action checklist. Check it often and complete one action at a time. Think of incremental change as hope.

Foods and Goods

c Plant a produce garden for homegrown sustenance.

c Build a compost bin in the yard.

c Shop at local farms and farmers markets.

c Join a community-supported agriculture group.

c Eat a meatless meal at least once a week.

c Recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metals.

c Use reusable water bottles.

c Shop with reusable bags.

c Buy organic and regenerative organic foods.

c Buy local, sustainably sourced and packaged products.

c Choose products with less packaging to reduce waste.


c Take fewer and shorter showers.

c Run the dishwasher only when it is full.

c Fix leaks throughout the house.

c Buy natural-fabric clothing; avoid synthetic garments.

c Wash clothes in larger loads, on shorter cycles and in cold water; add a filter to absorb most microfibers.

c Wash the car less often.

c Avoid watering the lawn or power washing the home and walkways.

c Set up a rain barrel to catch water for the garden.

c Plant drought-tolerant plants.


c Walk, bike and take public transportation over driving.

c Drive a small car; turn off the engine when idling more than 30 seconds.

c Regularly service the car; change air filters, fill tires and maintain emission control systems.

c Avoid short airplane trips; take a bus or train instead.

Energy Use and Toxins at Home

c Choose energy-saving light bulbs and appliances.

c Insulate walls, windows and ceilings.

c Consider double-paned windows.

c Keep thermostat low in winter and high in summer and strategically open windows.

c Unplug electronics when not in use.

c Hang-dry clothes.

c Choose sustainably produced, nontoxic furniture.

c Use biodegradable, nontoxic cleaning products.

Learn More About:

s Earth Overshoot Day, when humanity exhausts nature’s budget for the year, and how to #MoveTheDate at

s The personal footprint calculator at

s Rodale Institute’s organic-growing resources at

11 Eco Tip
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Transforming Lives in Profound and Sustainable Ways

Two sisters, Erika Perez and Lory Spier, founded Next Steps Coaches in October of 2023. They are both certified Jungian Life Coaches with a practice in both Zurich, Switzerland and Houston. Erika says, “My own self-growth journey started 15 years ago, and I am always looking for ways to enhance my practice. Seeing the benefits in my life motivated me to want to share what has helped me and this way make other people’s journey a little easier.”

The main difference between coaching and therapy is that a therapist is more concerned about the past and for life coaches the focus is on the present and the future. One of the things that separates Erika and Lory’s practice from other life coaches is that Shadow Work is an important part of their methodology, combined with spirituality, neuroscience and self-awareness practices. This is why they call it Integrated Coaching for Life. They offer a free 30-minute introductory call to see if you are a good fit for what they do. If you are a good fit, they offer a Breakthrough and a Transformative package depending on your needs.

Erika says, “I believe that the hardships and crisis we face in our lives are an opportunity to bring out our strengths and the best in us. Through coaching, I want to help people find the lessons from their challenges and come out stronger.” “I love the concept that we all have the answers to our own dilemmas and struggles but sometimes it’s difficult to access these. Coaching can help by asking the right questions so that a person can make choices from a place of strength and understanding,” relates Lory.

Visit their website to learn more or to schedule your free introductory call.

Next Step Coaches 2121 Allen Pkwy, Houston 832-917-8225

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Offering Insight into Who You Were and Who You May Become

Raymond Guzman is a 3rd generation natural born intuitive who discovered his abilities at a very early age. Throughout his life he has had many experiences with the paranormal and spiritual realm. At the age of 31, he had a near death experience that allowed him to see life from a different perspective. This near-death experience intensified his abilities. Raymond says, “I realized then that I had to leave the corporate world and utilize my gifts as this was my true calling.” Raymond is also a certified Life Coach and ordained minister and able to officiate weddings.

He offers online/phone sessions and in-person sessions when he travels. He will be returning to Houston on Saturday, April 20th for an event at Indigo Moons 1900 Blalock Rd. Suite J. Raymond says, “I feel what sets me apart is that I try to bring forth evidential information in my session. I also have a unique way of connecting with others and bringing an element of humor and laughter so that the session is not so serious or scary for those who have never had a session before. It eases the tension.”

If you are searching for answers, needing healing, and peace of mind, Raymond is compassionate, understanding, and can help.

Raymond Guzman

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Take Charge of Your Health

If you are concerned about maintaining your health and wellness or have received a diagnosis of a serious illness, your choices of treatment and outcomes are vitally important. This is where Joyce Long found herself 30 years ago. She had received a diagnosis of Stage 3 cancer and been given a year to live and get her affairs in order. Since the conventional choices that she’d been given, all had the same result, death, she decided to look into natural and alternative modalities. These included lymphatic drainage, massage therapy, and colonics, and 30 years later, Joyce is still going strong.

Having recovered her own health, Joyce attended classes and received training in lymphatic drainage massage. She learned that the lymphatic system is the body’s main system for cleansing the body of toxins. Lymphatic drainage massage involves manipulating the lymphatic points of the body with the hands and Chinese cupping. This helps the body to remove toxins and stimulates the immune system. While studying alternative therapies, Joyce became aware of the benefits of colon hydrotherapy as a complement to lymphatic drainage. She went on to earn and currently holds certificate number one from International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy certified in colon hydrotherapy, as a certified colonics therapist, and instructor, and has served in the I-ACT board for six terms.

Based on her own experiences and her studies, Joyce opened the Joyce Long Wellness Institute in 1989. While she does not diagnose or prescribe, she is happy to educate her clients about the benefits of lymphatic drainage and colon hydrotherapy. Over the years, she has also expanded her practice to include other alternative and natural modalities. Currently located in Rosenburg, Texas, she receives clients from all over the Houston area, Texas and beyond.

Joyce says, “Good health is more than a state of mind. It is effort and intentional. We offer you and opportunity to take charge of your life which starts with your willingness to take those steps necessary for a healthier, happier life.”

Joyce Long’s Wellness Institute 1308 James Street, Rosenberg, TX 77471. 281-232-7336.

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Sustainable Travel

Wanderlust With the Earth in Mind

Whether travel is enjoyed for much-needed relaxation, cultural immersion or the opportunity to volunteer in an eco-program spotlighting permaculture or farming, journeying to places far and near greatly enriches our human experience. During these environmentally critical times, our travels may carry a hefty price tag that the planet can no longer afford. This does not mean we need to sacrifice adventure. Every traveler can make a difference not only for the Earth but for the local communities they visit.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, 8.1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to travel and tourism. Being in the know and taking more responsibility for our environmental impact can be easier than commonly assumed, all the while inviting unexpected enjoyment.

Amanda Reiser, a global sustainable tourism specialist based in Pennsylvania, encourages her clients to consider the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environment, economy and equity. “We all can play a part in fostering sustainable tourism and creating a more sustainable world,” she explains, noting that a green-minded approach benefits not only the traveler but also the destination. “Ask yourself: Does my participation in this activity create a negative impact on the natural environment? Are there any actions to help reduce my environmental impact?”

A traveler’s footprint extends to the socio-cultural fabric of the destination, too. Reiser reminds travelers, “You may be in your destination for only a week, but the people who live

there year-round feel the impacts of visitors every day, for better or worse.” By respecting local traditions and engaging locals in a respectful and inclusive manner, tourists can contribute positively to the cultural integrity of the communities they visit.


Instead of hitting all the trendy, transportation-reliant sights, opt to slow down and stay in one place for a longer period. This not only invites a richer, deeper experience but minimizes the need to hop onto another plane or bus. To support the local economy of a desired destination, buy locally produced items and book small, private hotels and inns, rather than international chains. Dining at locally owned eateries supports small business while giving travelers higher-quality fare and a more authentic cultural experience.

When planning a trip, contemplate the many treasures of domestic travel or choose a location that is not drowning in overtourism. The influx of tourists can significantly strain fragile ecosystems, deplete resources and disrupt the lives of local communities. Consider destinations that can be crossed via boat, train or bus, such as the New York-Montreal border or clusters of countries in Europe or Southeast Asia.


Making small choices even when packing a suitcase goes a long way. Bring eco-friendly sunscreen and opt for brands that avoid chemicals harmful to coral reefs and tropical environments. Pack a cloth tote bag for daily excursions and a reusable water bottle to avoid single-use plastics. Remember that by

using plastic containers more than once, we reduce the amount of waste that is released over time. Try not to overpack—bring only the most necessary items, preferably those that can be recycled, reused and disposed of properly.


To avoid getaway glitches, become acquainted with local laws and regulations. When planning a fishing excursion, for example, identify the legally designated fishing spots and avoid harming endangered species, which are heavily protected under national and international regulations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) offers an interactive map to show where legal fishing areas are by state ( Historical resources should also be taken into consideration. For instance, the Florida Keys require special permits for cultural, maritime, heritage and archeological explorations, including snorkeling expeditions of ancient shipwrecks and other unique, underwater sites.

It is always best to ask whether a destination is a naturally protected sanctuary or requires special permits. The FSW is a good reference site for information on activities in national wildlife refuges and the endangered animals that live there. To enjoy these areas to their fullest, make sure to find a knowledgeable local tour guide that understands the laws of the land.

Traveling consciously involves personal responsibility toward the environment through individual actions. “You can make a difference,” says David Knight, a professor of tourism management at Colorado State University. “Regenerative travel is not just leaving things the way you found them. It’s a matter of giving more than you take.”


Greenwashing is a corrupt practice by companies that claim to support conscious tourism but fail to live up to their claims. Vetting businesses when planning a trip means delving into third-party research and reports to check the fine print. Before booking, make sure the ecolodge or eco-touring company


being considered has a legitimate certification on their website. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) sets global standards and provides accreditations for destination managers, hotels and tour operators. There are also certifying groups in specific locations, such as the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii, and others that are accredited by the GSTC, like Preferred by Nature.

For tourism operations that have not been certified, the onus is on the traveler. “Check with the local chambers of commerce. They should know who is working toward sustainability and can direct you to those aligned with what you are looking for,” says Claudia Gil Arroyo, an agricultural agent for the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension, in New Jersey. “If a tour operator or destination does not have a clear goal on how they’re contributing to the environment, it is unlikely that they are actually green.”

For tourism to be truly sustainable, it must also be economically viable for local communities. Economic sustainability ensures that tourism dollars benefit the local economy, creating fair wages, local sourcing and community empowerment, and allowing communities to thrive while preserving their cultural heritage. When traveling, support local, eco-friendly businesses that provide sustainable products.

A good example is agritourism—a vacation stay at a participating local farm—which can provide exciting, hands-on learning experiences. “Get out there. Look for your local growers and check out the services and activities they offer,” says Gil Arroyo. “People have this idea that agritourism is just picking your pumpkins and that’s it, and there’s so much more that can be done at a farm.”


North America is home to many national parks—63 in the United States and 48 in Canada. Here are five exceptional examples that provide a sustainable, eco-friendly vacation experience.

Yellowstone National Park is known for its geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. It also has a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves and herds of bison. This U.S. park has implemented sustainable practices such as renewable energy installations, waste management programs and educational initiatives to promote conservation.

Great Bear Rainforest is a temperate locale on the central and northern coasts of British Columbia, Canada. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including the rare Kermode bear, also known as the spirit bear. The park works closely with First Nations communities, implementing conservation measures to protect biodiversity and support eco-conscious businesses.

Everglades National Park is a unique wetland ecosystem in Florida known as the “River of Grass”. It provides habitat for numerous endangered species, such as the Florida panther and the West Indian manatee. The park employs restoration efforts to preserve the natural water flow and conserve wildlife, with plenty of opportunities for eco-friendly recreational activities like kayaking and hiking.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is located on the northern tip of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It offers breathtaking coastal views, rugged cliffs and stunning hiking trails. The park implements waste reduction, energy conservation, ecological

restoration and educational programs to promote environmental stewardship.

Redwood National and State Parks, in California, are home to the tallest trees on Earth, the majestic coast redwoods. Sustainable eco-practices include trail maintenance and restoration, wildlife protection, interpretation programs to educate visitors about the delicate ecosystem, and conservation efforts to combat climate change and preserve redwood habitat.

Sara Kaplan is an environmentally conscious freelance writer and eco-traveler from Fort Collins, CO.

Tutka Tours

Tutka Tours 907-756-3578
gateway to the breathtaking landscapes and rich history of Kachemak Bay, Alaska

From Organic to Grass-Fed to Regenerative

Finding the Best Farming Practices

Embarking on a journey toward healthier eating often begins with a quest for a better understanding of food-labeling and food-sourcing options. For those taking their first steps into the world of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture, terms like grass-fed, organic and regenerative can be both intriguing and perplexing. Understanding these distinctions empowers consumers to make choices aligned with their values and priorities when selecting food products.


“Conventional farming practices involve very heavy equipment, heavy tillage and a lot of inputs—chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides,” says Elizabeth Whitlow, the executive director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance. “Despite its high outputs, conventional farming does not necessarily guarantee nutritious, healthy crops.”

A majority of our meat originates from animal feeding operations (AFOs), where animals are commonly raised in confinement and fed genetically modified grains, as opposed to grazing or foraging in pastures or rangelands. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Manure and wastewater from [AFOs] have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, hormones and antibiotics to the environment.”


Grass-fed farming focuses on feeding livestock grass rather than grains and, in some cases, allowing them to forage for their food, which is considered more humane than AFOs. Rotational grazing, common in grass-fed farming, contributes to environmental sustainability by promoting soil fertility and biodiversity.

According to a 2019 review published in Nutrition Journal that compared the nutritional profiles of grass-fed and grain-fed beef, scientists from the California State University College of Agriculture noted that grass-fed beef tends to be lower in overall fat and higher in several heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants, including omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid, precursors for vitamins A and E, and glutathione. The authors also note, “To maximize the favorable lipid profile and to guarantee the elevated antioxidant content, animals should be finished [fed before slaughter] in 100 percent grass or pasture-based diets.”

While there is no federal standard for a grassfed label, third-party certifiers that may lend a level of reliability include the American Grassfed Association and A Greener World. Look for 100 percent grass-fed and grass-finished certification, and remember that a grassfed label doesn’t automatically mean that the product is organic or regenerative organic.


Established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1990, the USDA Organic certification and farming practices focus on soil health, biodiversity and natural methods of pest and weed control, rather than using synthetic inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or genetically modified organisms. According to the USDA, 17,445 certified organic farms operated a total of 4.9 million acres in 2021, amounting to less than 1 percent of U.S. farmland. From 2019 to 2021, sales of organic crops increased 5 percent to $6.1 billion.

18 APRIL 2024 HOUSTON METRO EDITION Conscious Eating
AlexRaths / CanvaPro

A 2019 study published in the journal Environmental Research reported that an organic diet may reduce exposure to a range of pesticides in children and adults. A 2024 review of studies published in the journal Food noted that certain health benefits have been associated with a higher consumption of organic foods, including a reduction in obesity, improvements in blood nutrient composition and a reduction in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and colorectal cancers. Rodale Institute’s Vegetable Systems Trial, a long-term, side-by-side comparison of conventional and organic methods, is designed to analyze nutrient density and explore the links between soil health and human health.


In addition to adhering to the core principles of organic farming, regenerative agriculture sets out to actively rejuvenate and improve ecosystems, nurture soil health, foster biodiversity and promote water retention, with the added benefit of sequestering environmental carbon by returning it to the soil. According to Kegan Hilaire, a small-farms consultant for Rodale Institute, this type of farming prioritizes human health, farmworker conditions, animal welfare and animal integration into farming methods. Farms and products that bear the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) label “meet the highest standards in soil health, animal welfare and social fairness,” Whitlow explains. As of 2023, 156 farms and about 1.1 million acres have received this certification, which is overseen by the Regenerative Organic Alliance, a nonprofit group of experts in farming, ranching, soil health, animal welfare, and farmer and worker fairness.


Hilaire points out that only about 1 percent of the U.S. population are farmers, fewer are certified organic or regenerative, and many small farms employ these methods without getting the official paperwork. “The best certification is meeting your farmer and deciding if you trust where your food is coming from,” he suggests.

Grass-fed, organic and regenerative organic foods each offer unique benefits, from improved nutrition to environmental sustainability. Every purchase becomes a vote for the kind of world we want to live in. By selecting products aligned with our values, we can collectively drive positive change in the food system and shape a healthier, more sustainable future for generations to come.

Sara English is the owner of Wild Roots Farm Marketing, a digital marketing firm for regenerative farmers and ranchers. Connect at

19 4oz Jar Plus $4.90 Shipping $18

Madeleinesteinbach / CanvaPro

Vegan Broth or Stock

To make a flavorful vegan broth, the secret is to roast the vegetables before boiling them. The ingredients here are just a suggestion. Use what you like or what you have on hand. It’s a great way to use leftover vegetable odds and ends. The broth can be frozen for later use. To make a thicker “stock”, dissolve a tablespoon of corn starch in cold water and add that to the broth during the last 10 minutes of cooking.


3 medium sweet onions, peeled and diced coarse

3 medium tomatoes cut into quarters

5 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 large or 5 medium bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large turnip or 2 small turnips, pealed and cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch of celary cut into 1-inch pieces

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

3 cloves garlic, pealed

6 whole black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place onions, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and turnips in a large roasting pan; drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast in the oven about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and onions are caramelized.

Transfer roasted vegetables into a 4-quart stockpot. Add celery, parsley, garlic, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Add 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by half.

Strain broth into a large bowl. Save the vegetables for use in a soup or as a side dish.

Enjoy Medical Science Based:

- East-West Medicine

- Acupuncture

- Functional Medicine

- Regenerative Medicine

20 APRIL 2024 HOUSTON METRO EDITION $47 refundable "deposit" to secure appointment. Complimentary Consul tation and Examination Gift With a weMED Clinics Address Root Causes Naturally. Reduce or Eliminate Symptoms and Medications.

Functional Medicine Approach to Colon Health

Simplified Steps to Repair and Restore the Gut

In the United States, colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the disease is expected to precipitate approximately 53,000 deaths in 2024, and incidence rates for people under 55 have been increasing by 1 to 2 percent each year. Regular screenings and lifestyle improvements, including a healthy diet and regular exercise, can decrease the risk.

“The gut is the root and the foundation of health,” says Vincent Pedre, M.D., a board-certified internist specializing in functional medicine and the best-selling author of The GutSMART Protocol. In addition to dramatically improving overall health, his protocol incorporates science-backed lifestyle modifications that have been shown to optimize gut health and reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer.


Research has proven that chronic inflammation is highly correlated with the development of colorectal cancer. A functional medicine approach begins by easing inflammation and then taking steps to restore the population of healthy bacteria in the gut by replenishing nutrients, repairing the gut lining, rebalancing the body and managing stress.

Putting out the fire in the gut: The first step is to remove the possibly offending triggers of

inflammation, beginning with gluten; grains; dairy; sugar; soy; nutrient-depleted foods containing artificial ingredients, preservatives and additives; processed foods; genetically modified foods; and any ingredient for which there is a sensitivity. A practitioner can also test for and address chronic illnesses that may be impacting the gut such as hepatitis, Epstein-Barr and other viral and fungal infections.

Replenishing nutrients: To restore the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and other essential ingredients needed for proper digestion and absorption, it is important to incorporate more organic, whole foods in the diet, but that is not the full story. As Pedre explains, “There is not one right diet. If you eat foods that you cannot break down into little nutrients and absorb, then it doesn’t get broken down and

tends to feed bad bugs that can grow inside of you. We really need to think about whether our gut is capable of breaking down the foods we actually eat because that is really what determines whether the diet is right for you.”

In his book, Pedre offers a quiz that helps people determine their level of gut dysfunction. Alternatively, a practitioner can evaluate stomach acid and digestive enzyme levels to ensure that food is being broken down properly. “Digestive enzyme supplements can help pick up where your body might be falling short, breaking down your foods, making them more digestible,” explains Steven Wright, co-founder of the Healthy Gut Company. To help support the gut microbiome, Pedre recommends altering the diet to increase the number and quantity of vegetables and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.


Restoring the balance of good bacteria in the gut: Crucial for colon and overall health is a robust population in the gut of probiotics (the good bacteria) and prebiotics (the food for probiotics). Fermented foods are excellent probiotic sources, while green, leafy vegetables and other high-fiber foods, as well as asparagus, carrots, garlic, leeks, raw onions, radishes and tomatoes, are some of the best prebiotics. If levels are insufficient with just food, probiotic and prebiotic supplementation may be necessary.

Repairing the gut lining: Our intestines are lined with millions of cells that create a tight barrier—the gut lining—which in essence determines what is absorbed into the bloodstream and what stays in the gut to eventually be eliminated. When the gut lining is not healthy, however, the barrier is not able to perform its job properly, allowing toxins and bacteria to leak into the body and preventing the system from properly absorbing nutrients. To repair the lining naturally, it is imperative to eat plenty of organic, whole foods that include zinc; vitamins A, C, D and E; omega-3 fatty acids; and selenium.

Rebalancing our lifestyle: “Slowing down when you eat and saying some prayers between bites is a real big deal,” Wright advises. “It allows your gut to make acid in your stomach and make enzymes work in your intestines.” He also recommends playing and spending time outdoors with our hands in the dirt and breathing in the smells and molecules that “tell our body that it is a normal environment.” Activities like gardening and yard work add diversity of microbes from the soil and will help to balance our microbiome.

Managing stress: “Stress is an attack on your gut, a self-induced attack,” Pedre notes. By incorporating coping techniques, exercise routines, consistent sleep patterns and time in nature, we help optimize gut healing and maintain the body’s well-being and balance.

Madiha Saeed is a holistic, functional and integrative doctor in Naperville, Illinois, and director of education for Documenting Hope and KnoWEwell.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY Equipment & Training SanAntonio,TX. 210308-8888 Since 1994 - “The LIBBE” FDA Registered Medical Device New Health Career or Compliment your Business. WE TRAIN YOU! To Enroll - Scan QR code Caution (U.S.A.) FDA restricts this device to sale by order of physician or licensed health care pratitioner. Feel Better-Live Healthier with Colon Hydrotherapy Serving Houston for 45 years Urban Colonics 5042 Briscoe St. Houston, TX.77033 713-738-8199 Barbara J. Ellis, Retired RN, therapist & owner We use the Closed System & Disposable Setups. Visit our website for more information or to schedule an appointment Joyce Long’s Wellness Institute COLON HYDROTHERAPY & LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE SPECIALIST AND INSTRUCTOR I-ACT Member Certified in Colon Hydrotherapy since 1992. Certified Colonic Therapist and Instructor since 1991. We are proud users of the FDA-approved LIBBE open system. 281-232-7336 1308 James Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 By Appointment ONLY

The Transformative Benefits of Feng Shui

In the realm of energy healing and holistic well-being, the ancient practice of Feng Shui has proven to be a powerful tool for creating balance and harmony in one’s life. As a Reiki master, I have witnessed the profound impact that energy work can have on individuals. Today, I want to delve into the fascinating world of Feng Shui and explore the benefits that a Feng Shui consultation can illuminate.

Feng Shui is the practice of arranging our environment to enhance the flow of energy, or Qi, to create a harmonious space. The fundamental principles of Feng Shui are deeply rooted in the idea that the energy in our surroundings directly influences our well-being and overall quality of life.

Just as Reiki seeks to balance the energy within the body, Feng Shui aims to create an optimal flow of energy in our living and working spaces. There are numerous benefits of a Feng Shui Consultation.

1. Improved Energy Flow: A Feng Shui consultation involves a thorough assessment of the energy flow within your home or workplace. Some of the tools used include an assessment of Yin/Yang, the 5 elements, and a Bagua map of the space.

2. Enhanced Health and Well-being: The arrangement of furniture, colors, and decorative elements in a space can significantly impact our mental and physical well-being. Feng Shui can help optimize your environment to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall health.

3. Increased Prosperity: Feng Shui is also known for its ability to attract prosperity

and abundance. By aligning the energy in your surroundings with your intentions and goals, you can create an environment that fosters success and financial well-being.

4. Balanced Relationships: The placement of objects and symbols in our living spaces can influence our relationships. Feng Shui can offer guidance on how to create an environment that supports healthy, harmonious connections with others.

5. Personal Empowerment: Through the alignment of your living or working space, Feng Shui empowers you to take control of the energy in your life. It encourages self-discovery and mindfulness, fostering a deeper connection with your surroundings.

Other benefits include career advancement, enhanced creativity and productivity, improved sleep quality, personal growth, and positive mindset.

As a Reiki master who has experienced the transformative power of energy work,

I wholeheartedly recommend exploring the benefits of a Feng Shui consultation. By harmonizing the energies in your environment, you can unlock new levels of well-being, prosperity, and personal growth. The integration of these ancient practices offers a holistic approach to living a balanced and fulfilling life. Embrace the journey towards a harmonious existence, where the energies of Reiki and Feng Shui converge to support your highest potential.

Sandra Kochman is a Reiki Master at Healing Long Island and Holistic Realtor in New York. She offers a welcoming, loving, and peaceful environment for clients who are seeking holistic healing through a variety of modalities Several of Sandra’s services are available virtually. Release, Relax, & Heal at Healing Long Island.

Sandra Kochman, Reiki Master. Healing Long Island. 646-425-1041

23 Natural Home

Calendar of Events


Earth Month EcoChallenge. Learn to conserve every ecosystem, care for every creature by taking on a challenge in: community, freshwater & oceans, land and forests, climate and air or biodiversity and wildlife. You can learn about these topics, take action in your personal life, advocate or create a new environmental justice/stewardship habit over the course of the month of the challenge!! ONLINE. Join up at earthmonth. Have questions? Contact Lisa Brenskelle at


weMed Webinar: Diabetes. 11 am-12 n. Diabetes is the number one cause for blindness, kindey failure, neuropathy, and kidney transplant.Learn how to eliminate type II diabetes medications safely and to achieve freedom from Type II Diabetes. FREE.


weMed Webinar: Menopause. 11 am-12 n. Tired of night sweats, hot flashes, major mood swings, and weight gain? This webinar will help you solve those issues naturally and effectively. FREE. upcoming-webinars


ALICE: a dance theatre romp. 8-9:30 pm. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic, Open Dance Project’s family audiences production ALICE follows young Alice down the rabbit hole to Wonderland where strange and silly creatures teach her about the power of the imagination and the wisdom of nonsense. FREE. Miller Outdoor Theatre 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston 77030.


360 All Stars. 8-10 pm. BMX, basketball, breakdancing, acrobatics, drumming and more, the international smash hit comes to Miller! A phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, 360 ALLSTARS connects the street with the elite to deliver a supercharged urban circus. FREE. Miller Outdoor Theatre 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston 77030. milleroutdoortheatre. com

SATURDAY APRIL 6th 13th & 20th

Mantra Yoga with Ed. 9:00-10:30 am. Come on a three-week journey into mantra yoga and learn how this yoga deepens connection with the heart and expands consciousness. This workshop series includes teachings on mantra, pranayama, mantra chanting, guided meditation, and tips for beginning and building a mantra yoga practice. Learn the origins of mantra. Experience the yoga of sound and space. Incorporate mantra yoga into your practice. Energize your karmic life. Investment: $108. momence. com/Ed-Fink/Mantra-Yoga/100310007

Night Light 2024. 8-10 pm. Aurora Picture Show and Buffalo Bayou Partnership co-present this free evening of video art along the Buffalo Bayou East waterfront. Violette Bule, Ronald Llewellyn Jones, and Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin have been commissioned to create new, site-specific media works along a half-mile stretch of bayou trails. FREE night-light-3/


Hermann Park Kit Festival. 10 am-3 pm. Nothing says spring like a beautiful day of kite flying! Great for the whole family, head over to Hermann Park for a day of fun, live music, games, face painting, and more! Enjoy the weather (before the summer heat sets in) as you fly your kites over the reflection pool and Miller Hill. hermannpark. org/calendar/annual-hermann-park-conservancy-kite-festival

Composting for Faith Communities. 2 pm. Online. As faith communities, we strive to care for the earth. Composting is one way we can do so, by reducing waste sent to landfill from our facilities. Join Steve Stelzer, Program Director for Houston’s Green Building Resource Center, as he educates on a wide variety of composting options for faith communities. Please register for this talk at composting-for-faith-communities-tickets-842900045727. Contact Lisa Brenskelle at with any questions.

6-Weeks Meditation and Breathing Fundamentals. 6-7 pm. Online. Learn to appreciate the inner and outer sensory experience, transcend limitations, and promote positive behavior change through a comprehensive approach to breathing and meditation without the “woowoo.” Open to beginning and veteran meditators. Classes will be recorded and you will also receive free audio guided meditations every week. $149.


weMED Webinar: Parkinson’s Disease. 11 am-12 n. This presentation will show you our patient testimonials and we will examine how they reduced tremors, resolved balance issues, as well as improved insomnia, constipation, and internal anxiety for Parkinson’s Disease. FREE. upcoming-webinars


weMED Webinar: PCOS. 11 am-12 n. Facial hair, acne, weight gain and infertility are very frustrating with PCOS. This topic will the root causes of PCOS to eliminate most of those unwanted symptoms. FREE.


Visoning. 6:30-8:30 pm. An inspiring course that invites participants to embark on a journey of self-discovery and purposeful living. Starting on the 11th and continuing for 6 Thursdays via Zoom. For more information or to register, email


Spring 2024 Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event. 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Calling people of all faiths or no faith at all in Houston to care for our shared environment during Earth Month! We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship at the Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve, including weeding, cleaning up the park and more. This event will offer activities for all ages and skill levels. Meet at 11350 Ricecrest by the Oak tree in the park to sign in. Please register for planning purposes Contact Lisa Brenskelle at for more information.


New Moon Crystal Bowl Sound Bath + Yoga Nidra with Jessica. 6:15-7:15pm. Experience deep relaxation with the sounds and frequencies of quartz crystal singing bowls. Jessica will guide you through a full body scan/yoga nidra meditation to a state of conscious sleep. Investment: $27


PlantCon International 2024. 10 am-6 pm. Discover, learn, and grow with 150+ Plant Vendors at PlantCon 2024! Unearth the secrets of plant care from leading experts, make new plant friends, and join the ultimate plant party, all for just $25! Don’t miss this plant-tastic opportunity!Welcome to the second annual PlantCon International plant convention centralizing all things plants into one unforgettable weekend experience. NRG Center-Hall A 1 Fannin St. Houston 77054.


weMED Webinar: Kidney Failure. 11 am12 n. Kidney failure is an extremely scary situation as dialysis and kidney transplant interrupt our work-life balance as well as adding financial strain. This presentation will showcase our patients improved kidney function by following their eGFR and creatinine biometrics achieved through natural therapies.


weMED Webinar: Melting Belly Fat. 11 am-12 n. Tummy fat is stubborn, learn the signs and risks of that accumulated adipose tissue in the heart vessels, under the skin, and the rest of the body. This webinar will help you see that a reduction in tummy fat of 5-10 pounds or more is achievable. FREE.


Earth Day Fest. 10 am-6 pm. Celebrate Earth Day with vendors, drumming, yoga, readings, live music, sound bowl experience and children’s activities. 1st Spiritualist Church 2115 Turner Drive, Houston 77093. FREE. For information email fscohtx@gmail. com.

Green Mountain Energy Earth Day at Discovery Green. 12 n-5 pm. Discovery Green Conservancy, in partnership with Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is proud to announce this year’s Earth Day featuring Houston Public Works’ Water Works Festival is all about art! Discovery Green 1500 McKinney Houston 77010. signature-experiences/earth-day

Raymond Guzman Gallery Event. 7 pm. Experience an evening with Celebrity Psychic Raymond Guzman at Indigo Moons 1900 Blalock Rd. Suite J, Houston.


weMed Webinar: Hypertension. 11 am-12 n. Understand hypertension and the risk of the balloon effect internally even with medications. This webinar will teach you how to treat the root causes of hypertension to bring your blood pressure back within normal limits allowing you to reduce or eliminate medications safely. FREE.

Earth Day HTX 3:30 pm. The City of Houston thanks Apache Corporation for its $100K donation toward tree-planting efforts in celebration of Earth Day HTX 2024. Houstonians are invited to help plant 2,500 trees at Watonga Park. 4100 Watonga Blvd, Houston 77092.


weMed Webinar: Thyroid. 11 am-12 n. There is a lot of misinformation about thyroid disorders. Join us for The Truth About Thyroid and Autoimmunity. The real causes of thyroid symptoms (so we can start to fix them). The root cause of many other symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, muscle and joint pain, headaches, allergies, hair loss, and skin issues. The consequences of not identifying and correcting the real causes of autoimmune issues. FREE. wemedhealth. com/upcoming-webinars


Earth Day at The Arbretum. 10 am-2 pm. This Earth Day we’re celebrating biodiversity! Get outside and learn about the amazing variety of animals, plants, and people that share our planet. Challenge yourself with a scavenger hunt, explore interactive activities and crafts, and meet some awesome community partners who will share different ways of enjoying and supporting nature. Program will be held rain or shine – please dress for the weather. Crafts will be available while supplies last. The Houston Arboretum 4501 Woodway Drive Houston 77024


Native Plants and Prairies. 6 pm. Online. In the past 10 years, Houston has experienced a prairie renaissance, including the building of dozens of prominent pocket prairies on school and university campuses. These native plantings are used as both teaching tools and as resilience infrastructure. Register for this event at eventbrite. com/e/native-plants-and-prairies-tickets-849451742027. Contact Lisa Brenskelle at with any questions about this event.


weMed Webinar: Coronary Plaque Hearth Disease. 11 am-12 n. Coronary plaque heart disease is a serious problem. We will look at the root causes, effects and ways to reverse this serious condition. FREE.


weMed Webinar: Acid Reflux. 11 am-12 n. Acid reflux is quite common and can lead to other serious health problems. We will look into it’s root causes, symptoms and ways to control and reverse it. FREE. wemedhealth. com/upcoming-webinars



Annual Miracles of the Mission. 11:30 am. The luncheon will feature Alan Graham, the visionary Founder and CEO of Mobile Loaves & Fishes. With unwavering commitment, Graham has pioneered sustainable solutions for the chronically homeless, infusing their lives with compassion, love, and dignity.. For more information about the Miracles of the Mission and how to become a sponsor or register to attend, visit https://


6-Weeks Meditation and Breathing Fundamentals. 6-7 pm. Online. Learn to appreciate the inner and outer sensory experience, transcend limitations, and promote positive behavior change through a comprehensive approach to breathing and meditation without the “woowoo”. Open to beginning and veteran meditators. Classes will be recorded and you will also receive free audio guided meditations every week. $149.


Ongoing Events


Free Outdoor Zumba 9am. Join the party and sweat with Tiny Fitness to rhythms from around the world! This hour-long Zumba fitness class will have you grooving, shaking, and toning to salsa, hip hop, samba, and bhangra beats - and so many more. Open to all fitness levels and recommended for ages 16+ Levy Park, 3801 Eastside.

Free Weekly Buddhist Meditation 11:00 am to 12:00 noon Central time, online via Zoom or Youtube, and in person at 4803 San Felipe St. Houston TX 77056. Led by senior members of the Dawn Mountain sangha (community), this meditation offers a chance to take a mindful pause from your busy life, enjoy serenity and fellowship, and learn a bit more about Buddhist practice at Dawn Mountain. Most Free, guided meditation suitable for everyone. Free teaching on the first Sunday of every month at 10:30

Sunday Celebration 11 am. We gather to renew friendships and enjoy exciting celebrations and encouragements by minister Dr. Jesse Jennings, the music of Geoffry Oshman and guests, and the spiritual support of our practitioners. Creative Life Spiritual Center 5326 Spring Stuebner Rd. Ste. 200, Spring, Texas 77389. creativelife. org and online at


Free Outdoor Zumba 6:30 pm. Join the party and sweat with Tiny Fitness to rhythms from around the world! This hour-long Zumba fitness class will have you grooving, shaking, and toning to salsa, hip hop, samba, and bhangra beats - and so many more. Open to all fitness levels and recommended for ages 16+ Levy Park, 3801 Eastside, Houston 77098.

IGNITE! Sessions 12 noon - 6 pm. Find your purpose with igniter/artist/intuitive guide Sarah Gish in 30- or 60-minute sessions ($50 or $100). You’ll leave with a personal mantra that reinforces what the heart-centered connection uncovered. Call for appointment: 713-993-0550. Body Mind & Soul. 7951 Katy Freeway, Houston


Tai Chi in the Park - Evelyn’s 9 am. These classes are open to the public and are excellent for beginners and all levels of sincere Tai Chi Players. These classes are geared towards health and well-being and are gentle enough for Seniors and those who are recovering from illness or injury. Please join us. 4400 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire 77401.

Tai Chi in the Park – Woodchase 6 pm. These classes are open to the public and are excellent for beginners and all levels of sincere Tai Chi Players. These classes are geared towards health and well-being and are gentle enough for Seniors and those who are recovering from illness or injury. Please join us. 3951 Woodchase Dr, Houston 77042.

Illusions- book study/discussion via Zoom 7 pm. Practitioner David LeMaster leads weekly discussions of Illusions: Confessions of a Reluctant Messiah.FREE. Email david for a Zoom link.

Dawn Mountain Teaching First and third Tuesdays 7-8:30 Sept 5 thru Dec 5: The Awakened Heart: What’s Love Got to Do With It? 7-8:30 Online, in person, or recorded. Find more information and registration at


How to Change Your Life book study/discussion via Zoom 6:00pm CT: Practitioners Shirley Sandlin and Monty Wilson invite you into a conversation on Ernest Holmes’s book, in which he writes, “Every human being thrills at the thought of having dreams come true! ...Whatever your personal desires may be―as long as they do not hurt yourself or someone else―you have a right to attain them...and you can.” The book is available at CLC and from online vendors. To request the Zoom link, please email No fee; appreciative giving


Tai Chi in the Park – Levy 7 pm.

Thursdays @ 7pm. These classes are open to the public and are excellent for beginners and all levels of sincere Tai Chi Players. These classes are geared towards health and well-being and are gentle enough for Seniors and those who are recovering from illness or injury. Please join us. 3801 Eastside St, Houston 77098. bluedragontaichi. com

Midlife Orphan book study/discussion via Zoom. 7:30pm CT: Practitioner Sarah Westbrook leads this new book study/ discussion. Who are we when we are fully untethered from our parents? What happens to the rest of the family when our patriarchs and matriarchs are no longer present? Jane Brooks explores these and similar themes in her book Midlife Orphan: Facing Life’s Changes Now that Your Parents are Gone. Please email westbrook500@gmail.comto request a Zoom link


Tai Chi in the Park – Levy 9 am. These classes are open to the public and are excellent for beginners and all levels of sincere Tai Chi Players. These classes are geared towards health and well-being and are gentle enough for Seniors and those who are recovering from illness or injury. Please join us. 3801 Eastside St, Houston 77098.

Sounds of the City Music Series 5-7 pm. Grab food from your favorite neighborhood eatery and enjoy live music from a new local Houston artist every Friday in April. Market Square Park 301 Milam St, Houston. FREE


Free Yoga on the Lawn 10-11 am. Join Union Studio for a complimentary 60-minute all levels outdoor yoga class, weather permitting. FREE. Union Yoga Studio 600 N Shepherd Dr # 449, Houston, TX 77007.

Tai Chi in the Park – Discovery Green 10:15 am. These classes are open to the public and are excellent for beginners and all levels of sincere Tai Chi Players. These classes are geared towards health and well-being and are gentle enough for Seniors and those who are recovering from illness or injury. Please join us. 3801 1500 McKinney, Houston 77010.

Reiki Circle 2:00 pm. Reiki Holy Fire Experience healing circle, held on 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. A chosen issue for healing will be the focus of each circle. Everyone is welcome.Location: 9039 Katy Freeway, building 500, suite 504, Houston, TX 77024. Fee: Love offering. Contact: April 713-922-3474. Website:


Community Resource Guide

Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide email



9039 Katy Freeway, Suite 504

Houston, Texas 77024


We are a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Reiki clinic, offering alternative healing services since 2008.

• Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine

• Reiki energy healing, individual sessions and classes

• Internal medicine, pain management

• Women’s health, pre-post natal, menopause

• Emotional, trauma healing

• Chakra clearing and balancing

• Stress, anxiety, mood disorders

• Hormone, energy, sleep imbalance

• Diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid, gastrointestinal, and more…


Usui/Holy Fire® III Reiki Practitioner Training is offered monthly. Dates & details on website Reiki Healing Circle on 2nd Saturday of every month. SeeCalendar of Events.



211 Midway St, Bldg E Spring, TX 77373 281-288-9595

A quaint shop in the heart of historic Old Town Spring Texas, offering unique handmade bath and body products and lots of rubber ducks. Small Batch Handmade soaps by Connie. Wonderful lather and amazing Scents. Enjoy the aroma therapy of a bath in your shower with Shower Steamers. Put little bit of heaven for your bath with Fizzies. We also have bath salts, scrubs, shampoos, lotions, creams, shaving creams & soaps, and batch accessories of all kinds. Shop conveniently on-line or drop by our store.



540 W 19 Street Houston, TX 77008 832-930-7844

Re-designing dentistry in Houston Heights by creating a personal ized, comfortable, and fun experience to de liver excellent patient satisfaction. From preven tative dentistry to smile makeovers, our team of dental professionals have the skill-sets to provide remarkable quality and compassionate care to give you that smile you’ve always wanted. Ser vices include cosmetic, preventative, restorative, and a full range of family dentistry services. Lead by Drs. Emilyann Pham and Ann Blair our team provides compassionate human-centered patient care. Visit our website for more information or to book an appointment. Insurance accepted.


Houston Dental Health Center

800 Bering Dr. Houston, TX 77057


Natural Dentistry supports the body and the mind by finding the cause of dental problems. The dental examination includes noticing systemic and habitual influences. If you have dental issues or currently have silver amalgam fillings, call me today to schedule an appointment. See Ad on page 2.



“Breath, Meditate, Communicate”


Looking to learn a variety of meditation and breathing techniques without the “woo”? Learn skills that you can use in your everyday life to reduce suffering and increase fulfillment in yourself and others. Learn to practice with consistency. Learn the art of staying with it that will transport you to that really special place, that once you experience, you’ll know without a doubt. Visit our website to receive a FREE pre-recorded breathing and meditation session or to sign up for our upcoming 6-Weeks Meditation/Breathing Fundamentals Course.



1308 James Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 281-232-7336

Established 1989. Call to schedule any of the following services: massage therapies, lymphatic drainage massage and facials, reflexology, infra-red sauna, ion cleanse foot or hand baths, Chinese cupping or colon hydrotherapy (prescriptions only- yours or ours). By appointment only. Be well-Stay well. CALL TODAY! See ad page 22


Barbara Ellis, Retired RN 5042 Briscoe St. Houston, TX.77033 713-738-8199

Serving Houston and the surrounding area since 1979. We continue to irrigate with State Of The Art Equipment (closed colonic systems cleared by the FDA). We utilize totally disposable colonic set-ups and sterile water. A prescription is required for this procedure. Our Medical Director at a different location will make an assessment and write a prescription for OUR clients only. Visit our website to learn more details. Please call us to schedule an appointment.

See ad page 22.

Grow Your Business Advertise with us. Call 713-443-3186



Bring your body to a relaxed state to encourage your body to naturally begin healing areas you may not pay attention to due to the business of everyday life. I offer Group Sound Baths, Personalized Vibrational, Reiki Sessions, and Cleansings. I seek to assist you in your healing journey and look forward to help you connect with a likeminded community all looking to co-create and elevate our Vibrations! This journey is for all ages and genders and I create a safe, loving environment for all. Visit my website to schedule a session and for information about my upcoming workshops.



Get to the root cause of your health conditions. Erin has been working in the health and nutrition field for over 11 years specializing and working extensively with those suffering from: autoimmune, digestive, hormonal and inflammatory disorders. She works with each client’s unique biochemistry to determine what dietary, supplementation and lifestyle changes will work best for them as an individual. There is NO one-size-fits-all program. All appointments are conducted via phone! This makes it very easy and convenient to receive care from any location. If you want to reach your true health potential, Email Erin today to schedule your FREE 45 minute initial phone consultation. Hours until 5 pm Fridays.



(by appointment only)


Want to stop smoking or lose weight? Looking for ways to relax, find balance and increase the joy in your life? Hypnosis can help you. Call SOON to book your appointment. Let’s work together to create the life you want!


Suzanne Sears, RN, ACCH

9219 Katy Freeway, Ste. 113 Houston, TX 77024


Our mission is to promote wellness for the whole family. We have programs and services for adults, teenagers and children. If you or your child need help coping with anxiety/fear/stress, changing habits, pain management,sleep problems or weight management and more, we can help. Call today to schedule a conultation.


Houston, TX 77004


Positive Power Mindset Transformation uses a unique process that combines the conscious and subconscious to allow you to move forward in all areas of your life. Through hypnosis, we redesign your mind so that when negative thoughts arise, they are automatically replaced with positive ones, alleviating stress and anxiety, depression and the physical symptoms associated such as fatigue, headache, digestive related problems, body ache and many others? One of the most powerful addictions is nicotine addiction. Ralph has been very successful with his hypnosis smoking cessation program. Visit our website for more information or to book a virtual or in-person session today. Hypnotherapy is powerful, and we are achieving amazing results that will enable you to unleash your full potential and live happy, joyous, free and full of positive energy.



3100 Richmond Ave

Houston, TX 77098


We offer comprehensive and customized therapeutic plans that address chronic illness & autoimmune disease for patients seeking support both in-person and virtually. Phoenix Rising Integrative Medicine takes an integrative approach to addressing chronic illness and autoimmune by combining ancient healing tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern functional medicine, including evidence-based lab testing, clinical nutrition, lifestyle modifications, herbal medicine and acupuncture protocols that are customized for each patient. We also work with patients suffering from environmental and food allergies, reproductive and fertility issues, breast implant illness, and emotional health issues. Visit our website for more information or to book an appointment.

weMED Clinics

4126 Southwest Fwy, Suite 1130 Houston 77027


Blending ancient wisdom with modern medicine

weMed Clinics can help you heal naturally. Our staff of 16, work together to address the root causes of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, chronic pain, insomnia and more. Our emphasis continues to be preventive and longevity care. Our free weekly webinars on a variety of health issues are listed in the Natural Awakenings calendar. Call or visit our website to schedule a visit or for more information. See ad on page 20.

coming in the may issue Women's Wellness coming in the june issue Men's Health



206 Main Street Spring, 77373

If you’re tired of the traditional bar scene, the same bar regulars, and what seems to be the same experience, then we urge you to give Elixir Lounge Kava Bar a try. We offer folks from all walks of life a cool spot to enjoy a night out without being pressured to consume alcohol. We offer kava drinks and other treats for those looking to boost their mood with the best alcohol alternatives. Whether you’re coming to relax with a book, have a conversation with friends, play a board game with other patrons, or enjoying a special event, Elixir Lounge has something for everyone.



Online sales only.


Focused on helping others achieve greater balance in life, our high-quality kratom products combine the best in variety with affordability. Sourced directly from top-rated kratom vendors that share our vision of helping others, Austin Organic Village is proud to offer a diverse line of kratom products for sale online. We believe that nature holds the key to true wellness, and offer our high-quality kratom products in the hopes of improving the health of others, the natural way. We ship nationwide and check out our prices and our quality. Call or visit our website for more information or to place an order. See ad page 4.


1973 W Gray, Suite 23 Houston, TX 77019


A BBB Accredited Business

We provide the choicest healthy Botanicals garnered from some of the most exotic corners of the world. Only The BEST! We ensure quality by going to the source, checking our international vendors 1st hand, and using USDA Certified Organic vendors when applicable. We stand by our products and our services! If you are unsatisfied with your order we will return, exchange and or refund your money. We got you covered! See ads on pages 12.



Life is full of magic and tragedy, continuously keeping most of us on an emotional roller coaster. Drawing from Jungian psychology, spiritual practices, and mindset activating techniques, we help clients understand the root of their habits and behavior and make lasting shifts and transform their lives in a profound and sustainable way. Let us help you find the lessons from your challenges and come out stronger. Visit our website today to book your FREE initial consultation.



1308 James Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 281-232-7336

Health conditions can interrupt the normal flow of lymph, causing lymph fluid to build up in a particular area of the body, often in the arms or legs where it can and may cause blockages. Lymphatic therapy can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system. By appointment only. Be well – Stay well. CALL TODAY! See ad on page 22.



6600 Harwin Drive, Suite 101-b Houston, TX 77036 209-210-8009

Whether your body has been injured by overuse, trauma or just stress, therapeutic massage can promote the healing process. You will receive a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs with the goal of promoting your health in body, mind and spirit. I offer New Client Specials and will be holding a Grand Opening on March 1st. Book your appointment now by going to the website.


2990 Richmond Avenue, Suite 440 Houston, TX 77098 832-526-6520

Are you in pain? Well, you don’t have to live like this. We are here to heal your body and mind through massage and energetic practices.

We offer a wide variety of massage modalities designed to fit your needs. We offer both onsite chair and concierge table massage. Call today to book your appointment at 832-526-6520. Our mission is to heal your mind and body. We accept both PSA and HSA cards for payment.


6600 Harwin Drive Houston, TX 77036 713-974-0360

Learn massage and holistic health. Train for a career you will love. New Program: Online classes combined with on campus classes! Open your own practice. Find employment at Luxury Spas, Fitness Centers & Rehab Clinics. Finish in as little as 5 ½ months. Join one of the fastest growing Health Care Professions. Visit our website or call today for more information or to schedule a tour of our school.

See ad page 10 and 12.



4803 San Felipe St. Houston 77056 713-630-0354

The mission of Dawn Mountain is to further the spiritual growth of our diverse community as a living bridge between traditional Tibetan Buddhist teachings and curious people everywhere. Dawn Mountain offers weekly meditation from 11am to noon each Sunday, “First Sunday” teachings on the first Sunday of each month at 10:30am, followed by our regular Sunday Meditation. Donations accepted. All sessions are archived on our YouTube channel. Please visit our website for more information and consider taking advantage of our many offerings,




123 Midway St, Bldg C Spring, Texas 77373 888-492-3584

We are a retail shop and also have an online store. We can also custom-make many of our product lines. Our products include a range of metaphysical items, clothing, books, stones, jewelry, candles, soaps, teas, incenses, herbs, blades, and accessories for spiritual work. We also have some unique renaissance festival and gothic clothing and accessories. Check out our gaming and sci-fi themed products as well. We offer daily in-house Tarot reading and conduct private Old Town Spring Ghost tours. Open 7 days a week.


1900 Blalock Rd Ste P Houston, TX 77080 281-974-1043

We serve our customers with knowledge, enthusiasm, generosity, and humor. Come visit us for a wide range of crystals and gems, fossils and specimens, silver and gemstone jewelry, sage and incense, home decor, new and used books, Tarot and oracle decks, and an ever-growing supply of handcrafted products by local artisans. Or stay informed with upcoming classes and events. Start your journey, learn something new, make new friends - it’s all possible here at Indigo Moons. See ad on page 15.



Are you looking for ways to integrate mindfulness into your daily life? Place our ReMinders around your most commonly used spaces for both work and living, and in this way remain aligned with your intention and more present throughout your activities. RECENTER pause and take a breath. REMEMBER your intention. RECONNECT throughout the day. Order our ReMinders Kit for only $10 and get a 30-day downloadable Mindfulness Program free. Visit our website for details and to order your kit.



“Better Health Naturally”

Dr. Gracie G. Chukwu, ND, CTN 6401 Southwest Freeway, Suite 250 Houston, TX 77074 713-781-9991

Dr. Gracie Chukwu is a Doctor of Naturopathy and a Certified Nutrition Counselor. She has been assisting people for over five years with holistic medicine, diet, nutrition and supplement support to enhance her client’s health and overall well-being. If you are suffering and cannot find relief, give Dr. Gracie a call.See ad on page 12.



5326 Spring-Stuebner Road Spring, Texas 77389 |

We’re a spiritual discovery destination built on New Thought principles, as part of Centers for Spiritual Living, offering a fresh look at sacred traditions and the wisdom of the ages. We hold celebration services at 11am CT Sundays, plus they’re live-streamed on Facebook and appear later on our YouTube channel. Virtual classes, book studies and discussions happen online through the week. We’d love to have you check us out! See ad page 19.



Homeopathic Pain Relief Cream


Need Relief from Arthritis? Try Aunt Alberta’s Remedy to ease muscular aches and joint pain. Her Remedy is a homeopathic pain relief cream that penetrates deep into the skin and muscle tissues. Get beneficial relief from sciatica, fibromyalgia, arthritis, neuralgia, gout, and more. All-natural ingredients! Do you want to feel a real difference from the nagging aches of arthritis? Feel less pain & have more range of motion? Great buy, get a 4oz jar for $18 plus postage. Visit website for other options. See ad on page 19

Contact us today for special ad rates. 713-443-3186 If You Are Reading This, So Are Your Potential Customers.



Tiny changes Big Results


Let’s make your life feel amazing! See results fast with personal training...join the Zumba Fitness party, FREE...put yourself to the test in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Kickboxing, or Beginner Bootcamp...or just let it all go in a Recovery Workshop...but whatever you do, start today for an even better tomorrow. Visit our website to sign up for a class or make an appointment for personal training.



8191 Southwest Fwy Ste.102

Houston, Texas 77074


Let us help you release and rid yourself of negative thoughts, negative energy, pain, stress, depression, addictions, physical ailments, bad habits through Reiki and crystal therapy which aid in your healing process. Reiki is a noninvasive natural method of ancient energy healing. It has been proven to stimulate the body’s relaxation process. Reiki aids in restoring body synchronization, healing insomnia, promoting relaxation, reducing physical pain, stress, anxiety, depression, clear mental blockages and more. Call us today to schedule your appointment and experience the Reiki difference.



“Better Health Naturally”

Dr. Gracie G. Chukwu, ND, CTN

6401 Southwest Freeway, Suite 250 Houston, TX 77074



Breast thermography has the ability to warn woman up to 10 years before any other procedure that a cancer may be forming; thus, allowing for prompt and timely treatment. Thermography uses no radiation and poses absolutely NO health risks to the patient. If you are a woman, over 20 years old and have not had a breast thermograph, call Dr. Gracie TODAY. See ad on page 15.




Have you ever wanted to learn Tai Chi? Now is your chance. Join us for any of our FREE Tai Chi in the Park classes on Tues., Thurs. and Fri. See page 26 for details. Return your body and mind to its original pure and healthy state and is taught as a life nourishing, restorative and spiritual practice.



3821 Richmond Ave.

Houston, TX 77027


Trendy Vegan offers delicious dining and takeout to Houston, TX. Trendy Vegan is a cornerstone in the Houston community and has been recognized for its outstanding Vegetarian cuisine, excellent service and friendly staff. Our Vegetarian restaurant is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. See ad on page 15.



200 Westcott St.

Houston, Texas 77007


The Breathing Room was founded by Alicia Gordy, RYT-500, out of a desire to share with others the movement practices and healing modalities that brought about significant change in her own life. The unique yoga and Pilates studio and wellness center is focused on mindful, breath-based movement, as well as other modalities to support the wellness journey. All levels, from the beginning student to the advanced practitioner are welcome. We have found yoga and Pilates to be complementary, mindful, breath-based practices that when practiced consistently and with attention and care, yield profound results. We also offer sessions in meditation, breathwork and reiki, and share space with other practitioners specializing in physical therapy, massage and esthetics.


600 N Shepherd Dr., #449 Houston, TX 77007


The studio is dedicated to self-study through movement, breath and meditation, and is committed to upholding the tenets of authenticity, sincerity, inclusion, and integrity without exception. We offer a variety of classes including Vinyasa, The Rest of Yoga (™), Yin, Hatha, and Myofascial Release. Classes are in-person, streaming and on-demand. Owner and lead instructor, Kim Taurins has been practicing yoga since 2001. She is a 500 hour E-RYT level with an emphasis in yoga therapeutics, Daoism, Reiki, and bodywork. Visit our website for more informationor to sign up

coming in the june issue Keeping Cool
32 Vibe’s body’s
Answer You’ve
Waiting For! USA TODAY’s
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