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Read this month’s articles for clues.

Across 1 Join together 5 Fruit drink 8 GIs’ entertainment grp., abbr. 10 Green citrus fruits full of vitamin C 11 Not as serious 12 Group that handle medical emergencies, abbr. 13 Include, in a recipe. e.g. 14 Harmful substance to the immune system included in many foods 16 ___-bran cereal 18 Paying attention to what someone else is saying 21 401(k) alternative 22 Panax Ginseng is one 25 Artist equipment 30 Feeling of deep admiration as described in a famous Aretha Franklin song 33 Rushed headlong 34 Signature writer 35 Famous spiritual leader, 2 words 36 Galas


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1 Work with others to forward good goals 2 Wanderer 3 Relieved pain 4 Another name for holy basil 5 Exercise lightly 6 Honesty- vital quality in relationships and work 7 Musical ability 9 Spanish for yes 14 Glitter 15 Controls 17 Peppermint or chamomile drink 18 Started a campfire 19 Mineral which is a recommended as a remedy for anemia 20 Droop 23 Day before an event 24 Imitate 26 “One Day __ Time”, 2 words 27 Spanish for sun 28 Historical period 29 Hawaiian flower wreath 30 Essential cell strand, abbr. 31 Resort to relax in 32 Complete

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Answers on page 29.


Natural Awakenings is a family of more than 50+ healthy living magazines celebrating 27 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.




Sustainable Kitchen


Tips for a Healthier Year


Circles of Healing


The Rewards of of Kindness & Generosity


Festive Treats Without the Sugar


Season of Light


Amp Up Immunity


Toyland for Pooches


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2 crossword puzzle


shamanism today

4 letter from the publisher

27 calendar of events

5 affirming naturally

28 healthy living guide


letter from publishers


Greetings! . As we wrap up our 7th year as publishers (Wow! Has it really been 7 years?), we look back on the good times and at all the changes we’ve gone through. The past year and a half have certainly been FULL of changes for us and for everybody on this planet. I’d really like for the pace of change to slow down a bit but I suspect that it won’t. So, how do we deal with change When Cindy and I deal well with change, it is by focusing on the present moment. This really is the only moment we actually have. I don’t mean that we don’t celebrate past triumphs and learn from past mistakes. We do but they are past. I don’t mean we don’t plan for the future. We do but that hasn’t happened yet and may not happen. The sun is shining and it’s a crisp late fall day here. Cindy is improving and is walking more inside and has made a loop around The Cabin outside and a trip down the drive to the mailbox and back. The new heater keeps us nice and warm. We have food to eat and the December magazine will be printed later today. Yes, likely there are big changes coming and some will be difficult but our mantra continues to be, “I can do this.” and by focusing on the “this” right now and pulling out all the stops, we do. We invite you to consider focusing on the now in your life as well and until next time, remember to be kind.



Cindy Hart


Minny Payne

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Doyle Ward Minnie Payne John Vastola Dr. Alayna E. Pagnani-Gendron Anthony Rios WEBSITE

Mike Hart


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CEO/Founder Sharon Bruckman COO/Franchise Sales Joe Dunne Layout & Design Gabrielle W-Perillo Financial Manager Yolanda Shebert Asst. Director of Ops Heather Gibbs Digital Content Director Rachael Oppy National Advertising Lisa Doyle-Mitchell Administrative Assistant Anne-Marie Ryan Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation 4851 Tamiami Trail N., Ste. 200 Naples, FL 34103 Ph: 239-434-9392 • Fax: 239-434-9513

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© 2021 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.

SHAMANISM EXPERT Shaman Spirits Anthony Rios 409-752-6027

NUTRITIONAL HEALTH EXPERT Whole Health Wellness and Nutrition Erin Thole

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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affirming naturally

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I Have Unlimited Potential. by Doyle Ward

You have more than 55,000 thoughts each day. Many are the same thoughts over and over again. Every single one is an affirmation; this also includes everything that you say. By reducing your negative thoughts and words and increasing the positive ones, you can reshape your life. Expecting a better day helps to create a better life. The only place we have to take action or make changes is the present. We live in a world of limitless possibilities. That gives each of us unlimited potential. The biggest thing that can hold us back are the stories that we and others tell ourselves that creates fear and limitations.

I have unlimited potential. The only thing that you’re guaranteed in life is this moment. Working with positive affirmations can radically change your mindset. Say them and write them repeatedly with the feeling that they are your truth. You have the power to make great changes in yourself and the world. I know this is true because I have made huge changes in my life by changing my thoughts. Doyle Ward, Blissful Quests ® Doyle Ward is a successful life coach, workshop leader and lecturer in the field of personal development. See ad on page 16.

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shamanism today

tree. Don’t try to force it. Just relax. Using your powerful intention, ask the tree some questions. In your mind, introduce yourself to the tree. Ask the tree how it’s doing, how it feels, ask about it’s lineage and see what you get. Sit quietly for a few minutes and let the power of nature surround you. Listen for the unique way the tree spirit speaks to you. It may not be verbal. You might sense something and be able to feel the tree speaking with you. Practice this and allow yourself to be surprised with what you learn. You can do this same exercise with plants, flowers, etc. Don’t overthink it. All of nature is alive and has spirit. You can communicate with these nature spirits and they will communicate with you.

Shamanism a Powerful Tool for Daily Spiritual Practice

There is no dogma that one must follow to access this ancient spiritual power. How you communicate will work if you let the power of spirit speak to you. A guiding principal of shamanism is that it allows for personal revelation and individual experience. What I experience is not what you will “see” or experience. It’s personal.

When you incorporate shamanism as a spiritual practice you have direct access to the spirit world. Setting your intention and using the power of the shamanic journey you can receive guidance and healing from the spirit world, your spirit teachers and what we call compassionate spirits.

How can Shamanic healing benefit you? The only way to find out is to try it. Shamanic healing methods are powerful and can take many forms. I use the shamanic journey to get answers for my clients. I use the shamanic healing methods of extraction and soul retrieval when guided by my helping spirits as a way to help clients with their healing. I use shamanic and energetic cleansings for people, for homes, offices, land, etc. If shamanic healing calls to you, contact me at

Why would you use shamanic healing today? The simple answer is that it works. Shamanism can be beneficial for all manner of personal healing. People use shamanism for physical, emotional and spiritual healing and they get results.

Anthony Rios is a shamanic practitioner and certified consulting hypnotist who incorporates traditional healing methods that addresses the multiple needs of people in our modern, fast paced world.

by Anthony RIos

Daily connection with spirit teachers is something you can do in quiet meditation, sitting in silence. You can also have direct connection while spending time in nature. Being outdoors is an excellent way to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit while strengthening your communication with the spirit world.

Anthony Rios is a shamanic practitioner and certified consulting hypnotist who incorporates traditional healing methods that addresses the multiple needs of people in our modern, fast paced world. See ad on page 5

Here are some simple easy ways to connect to nature spirits while you’re out on your next walk in the park or even in your home garden. Pick your spot and sit next to a tree and simply hold your intention to speak with this




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business brief

Sustainable Kitchen

eco tip

Advice for Buying and Storing Food As we awaken to the climate crisis, we are called to participate in its solutions. In addition to frequenting farmers’ markets, much can be done at the grocery store and in the kitchen. By adopting these easy practices incrementally, we’ll be living zero-waste lifestyles before we know it.

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AT THE GROCERY STORE Food waste is environmentally problematic, producing a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Before entering the grocery store, plan meals for the week and build a shopping list to prevent overbuying. Buy staples like nuts, beans, flours, grains, dried fruit and chocolate chips in bulk, carrying them home in reusable cotton sacks that can be purchased from artisans on Some grocery stores offer paper bags in the bulk aisle; choose these over plastic and save them for subsequent uses. Many of us have stopped drinking bottled water to ditch single-use plastics. Consider expanding that effort by forgoing packaged products that can be made easily from scratch, including salad dressings, breads, hummus, nut milks, nut butters, jams, tortilla chips and granola. Some food companies employ eco-friendly packaging, setting an example for the rest of the industry. Read labels not just for ingredients, but for packaging practices, too. For example, look for shelf-stable dried goods packaged in recycled cardboard boxes printed with vegetable-based inks. While loose tea is the most sustainable choice, we can also opt for compostable tea bag brands that don’t use strings, staples or individual wrappers.

IN THE KITCHEN One of the most elegant and traditional storage solutions is the Mason jar. It’s an inexpensive, reusable, versatile option, not just for canning and preserving foods, but also for storing bulk pantry items or refrigerated leftovers. While paper towels and napkins may be biodegradable, an Earth-friendlier choice is reusable washcloths and fabric napkins that are easily washed in the laundry. Avoid ones that come in plastic wrapping. Darker colors will hide stains better, but if they help save the planet, embrace the stains. Several options exist to avoid plastic wrap and disposable plastic containers, including reusable silicone freezer bags, beeswax wraps, glass spray bottles and stainless steel canisters. Keep and reuse grocery store jars. Soaking them to remove the labels is easy. A bristled, wooden dish brush is preferable to petroleum-based disposable sponges that come wrapped in plastic. They last longer, don’t produce as much bacteria and are capable scrubbers. Use bar soap to avoid plastic dishwashing liquid containers.


Tips for a Healthy Year by Dr. Alayna E. Pagnani-Gendron If this past year has put anything into perspective, it should be about health and ways to maintain it. Here are so top tips to be your healthiest self.


Rather than going on a crash diet that is unrealistic for you or starting one and 5 days in feeling guilty about eating that brownie you just could not resist, try to come up with a plan that works for you. The best way to maintain a good diet is to not be on a diet, make it a lifestyle change. Start out with a cleanse can help you get you through that hump or staring new eating habits. Whole 30 is also a great option. But if that doesn’t suit you, try and make minor changes you can stick with year-round. Here are a few suggestions: Add a veggie at each meal. Try putting some sautéed spinach in your eggs in the morning, drink a green smoothie, eat a salad, have some carrots with your lunch or make a hearty side veggie with your dinner. Starting off with a vegetable gives your body the nutrients it needs to power through your day. Switch up what your put in your morning coffee. Are you someone who needs a lot of cream and sugar? Try adding in almond milk creamer (there are flavored ones) or if that is too drastic of a change, do half cream half almond or coconut milk until your palette gets used to it and you can make the full switch. Give this time and stick with it. Limit sweets and “white foods.” If you are a person who lives for desert after dinner try eating something more healthy such as fruit or a yogurt. Limit or avoid all of those “white carbs” that have no nutritional value such as white breads, pastas and French fries. Switch to sweet potato fries, wholegrain bread and lentil pasta. Add in good fats such as avocados, avocado oils, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oils. Our bodies need good fats and these oils have much healthier properties than vegetable oils. Go organic and Non GMO. Why put unnecessary toxins in our body. If you can’t swing going fully organic at least buy organic meats and look up the “dirty dozen” of fruits and veggies and stick to organic for these produce items.

Exercise and Stretching

Sitting is the new smoking and most of society has a desk job where they are on the computer most of the day then go home to be on the tablet or phone. Now a lot of us are working from home and not moving as much because of it. It is important that we move more! Doing a couch to 5k sounds awesome but if you are not ready for that try these simple maintainable goals: Exercise at least 3x a week for 30 minutes. This does not mean you walked around your house or the office. Set aside a designated time to exercise. If you do not have 30 minutes then do 10 minute spurts 3x a day. Try a new exercise. Have you been wanting to try that spin or bar class? Do it. And try it more than once. It takes time to get into the swing of things when starting a new work out.



Add in a yoga class. I am a huge advocate for yoga and we should all be doing it weekly at a minimum. It helps to center your body and your mind. Make sure you find a yoga class you like and a trained teacher to prevent any injuries. Take stretching breaks at work. Get up and move every 30-minutes from your desk. There are easy neck and hip stretches you can do right from your chair. Commit to using your sit-stand desk. Start out by standing for 45 mins then take a break and sit for 45 minutes. Continue this pattern until you can stand for longer periods of time. Can’t stand? Invest in a ball chair. The ball chair helps to stabilize your core and forces you to sit up straight and have better posture. Get the whole family involved. Come up with an activity you can all do together, whether that is taking a walk to the playground, riding bikes or playing ball.

Vitamins and Supplements

We should be getting our nutrients from foods, but since the quality of our food is not the same as it was twenty years ago, supplements may be needed. There are specific blood tests that can show micronutrient deficiencies. Get tested for them so you know what your body needs. Take a high quality vitamin, and not one you get from the drug store. It is easy to feel good about your $20 year long supply of multi vitamin, but guess what, that supplement is synthetic garbage you are putting in your body which defeats the purpose of taking a vitamin. Daily recommendation is to take a high-quality nutrient dense multi vitamin, Vitamin D, Probiotics and Omegas. With COVID I also recommend adding in Vitamin C and zinc as part of your regular vitamin regimen.

Get Outside

Nature is a great way to gain natural immunity. Play in the dirt, don’t wear shoes and soak in that sunlight. Be safe about choosing a quality sunscreen that uses zinc oxide.

Limit Toxins

We now live in a germ fear world. Let’s not forget we need bacteria and germs for homeostasis. We can not live in a sterile environment, our immune system needs practice and exposure to learn how to fight off viruses. By constantly using hand sanitizer cleaning our space with Clorox wipes or toxic body products such as shampoos, soaps, and makeup we are stripping away our normal body flora. Washing your hands is best vs using toxic hand sanitizer. If you do not have access to soap and water use a more natural hand sanitizer with less toxic chemicals in it. I recommend Thieves © Switch to less toxic body care products that do not contain parabens, known hormone disrupters. Switch to glass or tin tubber wear vs plastic Use a reusable metal water bottle vs plastic bottles.

Keep up with your adjustments year round

It is easy to fall out of your maintenance/ wellness treatment plan after you are feeling better but it is important to maintain your adjustments. Regular chiropractic care helps to decrease nerve interference which ultimately helps you stay healthy and feel your best. Dr. Alayna E. Pagnani-Gendron practices chiropractic at HealthPro Chiropractic, 4101 Greenbrier #135, Houston, TX. 281-506-0105.


Eat Walnuts to Reduce Bad Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Healthy older adults that ate about a half cup of walnuts every day for two years gained a modest reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad cholesterol”, reports a study of 636 people from San Diego’s Loma Linda University. Other risk factors for heart health—small LDL particles and intermediate-density lipoprotein— also decreased, signaling a lower chance of cardiovascular events. “Many people are worried about unwanted weight gain when they include nuts in their diet,” says study co-author Emilio Ros, M.D., Ph.D. “Our study found that the healthy fats in walnuts did not cause participants to gain weight.”

Eat an Avocado Daily to Redistribute Belly Fat

The deep visceral fat that surrounds internal organs is a major indicator of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but it can be decreased in women by eating an avocado each day, report researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. For 12 weeks, 105 overweight or obese men and women were fed a meal that for only half of the participants included an avocado. The women that ate avocados experienced a reduction in visceral abdominal fat, as well as a reduced ratio of visceral fat to subcutaneous fat closer to the skin, indicating a redistribution of fat away from the organs. Fat distribution in males did not change.


Chiropractic Guide Innate Chiropractic Healing Arts Center Dr. Jackie St.Cyr, DC 8100 Washington Ave, #210 Houston, TX 77007 713-521-2104 HealthPro Chiropractic & Acupuncture Dr. Alayna E. Pagnani-Gendron, DC 4101 Green Briar Dr. #135 Houston, TX 77098 281-506-0105 Franson Chiropractic Dr. Brett V. Franson, DC 1652 South Dairy Ashford Rd. Houston, TX 77077 281-701-1596 Nominate your chiropractor. Email their contact info to:


Breezy Solution

Wind Energy Can Be a Climate Change Hero

Cornell University research published in the journal Climate indicates that advanced wind energy strategies could reduce atmospheric average temperatures of about 32 to 33 degrees Fahrenheit by 2199. Rebecca Barthelmie, a professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, says, “Early action will reap dividends. In terms of averting the worst of climate change, our work confirms that accelerating wind energy technology deployment is a logical and cost-effective part of the required strategy.” Waiting longer to avert environmental disaster will mean more greenhouse gas reduction scenarios will be needed. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I Sixth Assessment Report has determined that climate change is rapid and intensifying, and that Earth’s atmosphere could add 35 degrees Fahrenheit of average warming by 2040. Sara C. Pryor, a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and co-author of the research, says global wind resources exceed current electricity demand and the cost of energy from wind turbines has declined sharply. “It makes perfect sense to rapidly deploy wind energy as a key part of decarbonizing the electricity supply.” Wind turbines are now deployed in 90 countries, generating about 7 percent of global electricity.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Shine On

Large-Scale Solar Power Cost Plummets

A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) describes a significant decrease in the cost of renewable energy sources compared to 2020, with solar leading the pack by a wide margin. The 10-year average adjusted costs of generation for a plant over its lifetime are 85 percent for utility-scale solar; 56 percent for onshore wind; 48 percent for offshore wind; and 68 percent for concentrated solar power. IRENA continues to see drops of between 7 percent and 16 percent in these categories this year. According to the same report, the 62 percent of new renewables added last year had lower costs than the cheapest fossil fuels. New renewables are increasingly competitive against existing fossil fuels. In the U.S., 61 percent of current coal capacity already has higher operating costs. Phasing out these coal plants would start saving money almost immediately. IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera states that because renewables cost more upfront than keeping old coal rolling, action is needed to make sure emerging economies are not left behind. “We are far beyond the tipping point of coal.”






Circles of Healing

The Power of Gathering in Community by Linda Sechrist


ad the intellectual achievements of human culture evolved during a revolution based on living systems in the natural world rather than one of rapid industrial growth and resource consumption, we might be experiencing interconnectedness instead of divisiveness during this time of social and ecological crisis. A nature-focused revolution embracing humans as an integral part of the Earth’s natural systems would have instilled a deeper understanding of the wonders of the human body as a living system imbued with inner intelligence, as well as the intelligence of the non-human living world. This perspective, held by Native Americans, would have helped to create sustainable human communities that flourish by connecting, collaborating, cooperating and communicating. With such approaches as wisdom circles, story circles, power of eight intention circles, support groups, prayer circles and dialogue circles exploring conflict solutions, Western minds are just beginning to comprehend how small-community experiences of fellowship and communion can assuage feelings of separation and isolation, and create inner experiences of wholeness and belonging.

Although not always sharing a common geographical location, small communities formed around common interests and shared values enable emotional healing. The ManKind Project (MKP), which describes itself as a “men’s community for the 21st century,” has more than 1,000 peer-facilitated groups in 22 countries in which men mentor each other through their life passages. “In our MKP communities, there’s a sense of shared commitment and the shared values of accountability, authenticity, compassion, generosity, integrity, respect, leadership and multicultural awareness, along with a shared vision pointing us in the direction we want to go together,” says Boysen Hodgson, MKP-USA communications director. “While MKP’s mission statement informs our work, in New Warrior

Adventure training, each man creates a personal mission statement. Mine is, ‘I transform culture by designing change, building bridges and co-creating space for connection.’” According to Hodgson, when a man shares how he hears his inner voice for the first time along with his story in another man’s story, he becomes aware of his interior capacities and cultivates internal and external listening skills. By sharing personal stories, men experience epiphanies that can result in connections and bonding. Douglas Bonar, a 35-year veteran of mental health counseling and owner of A Center for Wellness, in Pinellas Park, Florida, has been facilitating men’s groups for 22 years. Men and occasionally women that have been court-ordered to undergo counseling with Bonar for 29 weeks after their incarceration learn the value of growing together in community. “I initiate the uninitiated who’ve never heard about the powerful impacts of respectful, attentive listening without judgement, giving/receiving feedback and support, and learning about successes and failures in the company of community,” says Bonar. “Actively engaging the minds, hearts and energy of people participating in community makes experiencing emotional healing possible. Feeling truly heard and deeply listened to and comprehending life from a multisensory human perception and a sense of oneness can lead to understanding that we are never alone, the universe is alive—conscious, intelligent and compassionate.” More about progress than perfection, Bonar’s unique Roots and Wings Way of Wholeness approach to healing in community tills the soil of an inner world and plants seeds via the introduction of guidelines for creating authentic power, spiritual growth, levels of consciousness, coherence, the realization of one’s true self as more than an enculturated personality, the Noetic experience of oneness, humans as energetic beings, emotions as energy in motion and a coherent energetic field that the HeartMath Institute notes creates synchronization, or entrainment, between the heart and mind, as well as a sense of unity.


Mentoring Each Other

Sharing Sacred Space

Jean Shinoda Bolen, a Jungian psychiatrist, activist and author of Moving Toward the Millionth Circle: Energizing the Global Women’s Movement, encourages everyone to follow a path with soul and take on a personal assignment that contributes to change, while relying on the support of circle communities of like-minded individuals. “Fundamental principles applicable to any group include creating sacred space, listening with compassion and for wisdom, speaking from the heart and personal experience, inviting silence and reflection when needed, taking responsibility for your experience and your impact on the circle, keeping the confidence of the circle and making decisions when needed by consensus,” says Bolen, whose active events include a prayer circle and another with women she has been together with since the 1980s. “The more frequently a circle meets to fully witness one another’s life stories, including all the changes and crises, a growing trust and heart connection occurs and a coherent energy field is created,” says Bolen. At the beginning of her circle gatherings, upon hearing the tone of a Tibetan bowl, she says, everyone immediately drops into coherence; a state of connectedness in which the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Cultivating Deep Listening

As the host of New Dimensions, a nationally syndicated radio program that addresses cultural shifts, Justine Willis Toms has deeply explored interconnectedness with some of the greatest minds on the planet, including the Dalai Lama and physicist David Bohm. Referring to her circle communities as “friends of the heart,” she enthuses, “When I am deeply listening to another or speaking authentically aloud in a circle of trust, I get to hear myself in a way that I don’t if I’m only listening to what is in my head.” Recalling a tumultuous time in her life, Toms relates a profound healing experience that occurred in a circle community in which she and her husband had been participating since the 1980s. “This particular circle usually gathers for an entire weekend. On one, I arrived in deep distress—so much so that on Friday I began pouring out my fears, anxiety, blame and judgements. I raged through the night and didn’t stop until after breakfast on Saturday, when I felt complete, totally heard, emotionally healed and revived.” From a sense of peace and clarity, Toms knew that healing occurred because of the circle’s capacity for deep listening. “We know

and trust the true genius that each of us is, and we know how to not be afraid for each other when life is in a rollercoaster cycle and we’re at the bottom, but don’t want to pull the brake because we’ll never have the momentum to go back up. This is the power of a circle of friends of the heart who love you,” says Toms, who shares a favorite African saying, “‘A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you’ve made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly, your wholeness when you are broken, your innocence when you’re feeling guilty and your purpose when you are confused.’”

Connecting through Common Emotions

Physician Jennifer Phelps, owner of Phelps MD Integrative Medicine, in Redding, Connecticut, is a trained facilitator of small groups who has worked in communities traumatized by natural disasters and human-caused catastrophes in her role as a faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine, in Washington, D.C. “Where individuals listen to the grief and loss of others, emotional healing can be quite profound. Sharing stories in community, we learn we’re not alone and isolated, but rather related and connected in our human emotions,” says Phelps, adding that in groups of fewer than six people cohesiveness dissipates, leaving only conversation and cross-talk. The process of human and community development unfolds from within each person, relationship and community. According to Cate Montana, of Kula, Hawaii, author of The E-Word: Ego, Enlightenment & Other Essentials, awakening to the illusion of separation, which can happen in community, sparks healing. “The persona of an individual as only a body and mind is the big sleep,” advises Montana, whose life work has been about waking people up to the truth of their essential spiritual nature and giving them tools for a more fulfilling life. Having experiences of fellowship and communion with like-minded people can make it possible to observe and understand how ego and mind function, and to become aware of crippling social programming which fragments, separates and divides us. Experiencing a sense of wholeness in such an environment allows for healing naturally on many levels. Linda Sechrist is Natural Awakenings’ senior staff writer. Connect at


Cate Montana

Mankind Project

Institute of Noetic Science (IONS)

Jean Shinoda Bolen

Douglas Bonar A Center for Wellness

Circle Principles circle-principles




The Center for Mind Body Wellness HeartMath Jennifer Phelps, M.D. jennifer-phelps-md

wise words

THE REWARDS OF KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY by Minnie Payne A child brings their mother a freshly-picked bunch of wildflowers – she beams. Little is more rewarding than an unexpected act of kindness or generosity. Why? Because the recipient is made to feel special and worthwhile. And, generally, as the saying goes, “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama Unfortunately, though, according to 5 Interim, Inc. Make Kindness the Norm, “When a moment of kindness appears, it’s as if a fog has been lifted – just for a moment. It’s lovely. It makes us feel good. We smile. But, then the fog rolls back in and we go back to ‘the norm’ of our daily lives. We don’t put in the effort to truly appreciate and reflect on those moments.” Call it human nature but with today’s fast pace and high cost of living, most will agree that “the norm” is easy to revert to. How do we overcome this problem? A good way to start is by taking time to make it a daily habit to read about acts of kindness and generosity. We are what we feed our minds and great people like the late Barbara Bush have proven this. At a commencement at Wellesley College in 1990, she affirmed her lifelong belief in the importance of family. “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal,” she said. “You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.” How many people, because of busy lives or an insignificant family argument can confess to this?

Reachingself elaborates on 20 Benefits of Contribution, Kindness, and Generosity, one of which is that contribution and kindness solve problems and conflicts. A great many people can attest to this and for those who cannot attest to it, there is no time like the present to prove it – it works. A little kindness can go a long way and if nothing is solved, you didn’t make matters worse. We remember leaders of the United States who exhibited and stressed kindness. Again, we refer to the George H. W. Bush White House era. Bush brought to the White House a dedication to traditional American values and a determination to direct them toward making the United States “a kinder and gentler nation” in the face of a dramatically changing world. He was known for foreign policy and his final years of the Cold War that played a key role in the reunification of Germany. Whether we agree that all his policies and actions were good, I hope we can agree that I was basically a good person and a kind person. He was also known for his handwritten thank-you notes and the bridges that they built, one such note being to a Marine who dropped his rifle in a parade at the Marine Barracks, in front of his commander in chief and first lady Barbara Bush. He wrote: “I want to thank you and the others in the platoon for a super performance…Please thank all involved in the drill.” And let us end on this note – “Please thank all who show kindness and generosity. Let your ripples flow beyond measure.” Minnie Payne is part of the staff here at Natural Awakenings Houston both in writing and in sales.


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conscious eating

Festive Treats Without the Sugar ways to enjoy healthier holiday fare by Christy Ratliff


hocolate Santas, decorated cookies and other sweet confections are ingrained in our holiday traditions, yet sugary food does little to actually make us feel merry and bright in the long run. A high-sugar diet increases the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, inflammation, weight gain and weight-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can also contribute to tooth decay and acne. “Most high-sugar foods are ‘treats’ and are not intended to be high in nutrition or consumed instead of healthier foods,” says Shelley Maniscalco, registered dietitian and CEO of the consulting firm Nutrition on Demand, in Arlington, Virginia. “When we have too many foods that are what we call calorie-dense versus nutrient-dense, we run the risk of displacing healthier foods, and, therefore, under-consuming key nutrients.” This can impact mental health and impair the body’s ability to manage stress. “When we eat nutritious foods, and our gut is healthy, we obtain necessary nutrients to create neurotransmitters, which are

key to optimal mental health,” explains Maggie Roney, a licensed counselor and certified functional medicine provider in Wylie, Texas. “There’s mood-stabilizing serotonin, which is a precursor for melatonin, needed for sleep; dopamine, involved in pleasure, focus and motivation; and GABA, which provides a calming effect that can help with stress and anxiety. All of these require amino acids, zinc, iron, vitamin D, magnesium, copper and B vitamins.” In moderation, sugar is not necessarily detrimental to our health and well-being, but differentiating between naturally occurring sugar and added sugar is key to finding a middle ground. “New changes in the food label allow consumers to more easily identify sources of sugar in foods,” Maniscalco says. “Many healthy foods naturally contain sugars, such as fructose in fruits and lactose in dairy products. These natural sugars don’t need to be avoided. When checking the label, look for amounts of added sugars and choose the options that have less.” Foods and beverages with added sugars are now required to list the number of grams and percent daily value for added sugars on the nutrition facts label. For example, a container of yogurt with fruit on the bottom might list total sugars at 15 grams (g), including 7 g of added sugar, which means 8 g of naturally occurring sugars. In a society long obsessed with counting calories, we may assume we’re making smart choices with low-fat, non-fat, reduced calorie or light versions of grocery items. But, the amount of added sugar is actually higher in low calorie versions of a wide variety of foods because sugar is used to compensate for the loss of flavor from fat. “Sugar tastes good and balances out other flavors, so many foods that we wouldn’t consider sweet have added sugars,” says Colleen Tewksbury, Ph.D., bariatric program manager and senior research investigator at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “Common products include pasta sauce, cereal and salad dressing. Reading food labels looking specifically for added sugars is key to finding these foods.” “Hidden sugars are often found where we least expect them,” adds Ricardo Díaz, chef and registered dietitian nutritionist at the New York-based nonprofit Wellness in the Schools, which works to improve nutrition in school lunches. “Many savory or salty foods tend to have added sugars, such as tortilla chips, popcorn, jerky and frozen prepared foods. Check your labels and compare between products on the supermarket shelves to find the healthiest pick for you and your loved ones.” “Often, we think of eating in ‘all or nothing’ terms. When we cut out foods we enjoy, it often backfires and we end up overeating them in the end when our willpower runs out,” Maniscaclo says. “I would really encourage mindfulness in eating so that individuals can enjoy treats in moderation and feel satisfied by them so that there’s less need to over consume. Also, being physically active year-round is a great habit to get into and can create more space in the diet for treats.” As we implement these small but significant low-sugar strategies, we’ll be rewarded with better physical and emotional health all year long. That’s something to celebrate. Christy Ratliff is a professional health and wellness writer based in Central Florida.


Tips to Eat Less Sugar Chef and dietitian nutritionist Ricardo Díaz:

Nearly a quarter of added sugars consumed come from sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas and fruit drinks, even more than from desserts and sweets. A simple way of reducing added sugar is reducing intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. Three approaches are: setting a frequency goal (limit to x times per week); setting a portion goal (limit to x ounces per day); or setting a substitution goal (replace sugar-sweetened beverages with sugar-free options).

Swap out fruit juice cocktails and fruit juice concentrates for whole fruits and 100 percent fruit juice. Fruit beverages rely on added sugar to provide much of their sweetness. Choose whole grains over enriched grains. Include a variety of whole grains in your diet, such as oats, brown rice or whole-wheat pastas and breads. To maximize fiber intake, pick products labeled “100% Whole Grains” over labels stating “Whole Grains” or “Multigrain”. Make your own baked goods. Besides controlling the amount of sugar in your treats, baking at home is a great way to get your youngest family members involved in cooking.

Jennifer Martin-Biggers, Ph.D., RDN:

To reduce sugar intake, as with any other new habit or behavior change, it’s important to set manageable goals and set new ones as you go. Another way to support dietary changes is through supplementation. The mineral chromium, in particular in the form of chromium picolinate, has been shown in clinical studies to reduce food cravings.

Shelley Maniscalco, MPH, RD:

Eat fruit. Most are naturally sweet and provide healthy nutrients without a lot of calories. As an added bonus, the fiber and water content in fruit helps with feeling satiated. Add spices and fresh herbs. Studies show that adding them enhances flavor, and it also lowers the use of such unhealthy nutrients as added sugars, sodium and saturated fats.

Colleen Tewksbury, Ph.D., RD:

Choose plain yogurt, as it contains no added sugar. Top it with fresh fruit, cinnamon or nuts. Choose yogurt that contains live and active cultures, as these promote gut health and boost immunity.

Film Suggestion:

Watch That Sugar Film, a 2014 Australian documentary/drama directed by Damon Gameau at According to New York Times film critic Daniel M. Gold, “The food-doc shelf is crowded with good-for-you movies, including Fed Up, Fast Food Nation, Food Inc. and, yes, Super Size Me. That Sugar Film is a worthy addition, entertaining while informing.”

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Low- or No-Sugar Holiday Treats Baklava Cookie Cups 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour 1 tsp orange zest ½ tsp ground cardamom ¼ tsp salt 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature ¾ cup honey 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 tsp pure vanilla extract filling and syrup: ½ cup pistachios, chopped ½ cup honey 3 Tbsp water 2 tsp orange juice 4 green cardamom pods, crushed 1 cinnamon stick Heat oven to 350° F and grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, orange zest, cardamom and salt. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and honey for about 1-2 minutes. (The mix will look a little curdled at this point and that’s fine; scrape down the sides.) Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Mix in the flour in two parts. Using a cookie

Baked Apples

4 large Granny Smith baking apples Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup) 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ cup chopped pecans or another nut of choice ¼ cup raisins or another dried fruit of choice 1 tsp butter ¾ cup boiling water

scoop, scoop the dough into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven; let sit for about 3-4 minutes before using a dowel to carefully press down in the center of each cookie to make a well. Let the cookies cool for about 15 minutes in the tin before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. In a small saucepan over medium heat, prepare the syrup by combining the honey, water, orange juice, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Drizzle a small amount in the bottom of each cookie cup and then fill with the chopped pistachios. Drizzle more syrup on top of the filled cookie cups. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to one week. Courtesy of the National Honey Board. For more information, visit

Chef’s Note: Personalize the baked apples with seasonal fillings and spices, such as nutmeg, cardamom or pumpkin pie spice. For a twist, try a savory, fresh herb like rosemary or thyme. Courtesy of Wellness in the Schools. For more information, visit WellnessInThe

Preheat oven to 375° F. Wash apples. Using an apple corer, remove cores and leave ½ inch of the bottom of each apple. (If using a paring knife, just cut the center core out fully.) Make the hole ¾-inch wide, and remove the seeds using a spoon. Place the cored apples in an 8-inch-by 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples to prevent browning. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, chopped nuts and raisins or another dried fruit. Stuff each apple with the filling mixture. Top with a dot of butter (about ½ to ¾ tsp per apple). Add boiling water to baking pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Remove baked apples from the oven, and baste apples several times with the juice from the pan. (Apples can be baked in a muffin tin. Place muffin liners into the muffin tins, and place cored apples inside.)


A Dietician’s Healthy Dark Chocolate Bark This dark chocolate bark recipe is holiday-themed with red, white and green toppings. Other topping options include almonds, dried fruit, sunflower, pumpkin or hemp seeds or granola. 6 oz dark chocolate ¼ cup raw pistachios ¼ cup dried cranberries 2 Tbsp shredded coconut

pieces at room temperature in an airtight container. Courtesy of Jessica Bippen, MS, RD. For more information, visit

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Create a double boiler by placing a saucepan filled with a few inches of water and topped with a glass bowl over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil. Add two thirds of the chocolate and let melt, stirring until smooth. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate. Pour melted chocolate onto the prepared baking tray. Spread to ⅛-inch thickness. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle with dried cranberries, chopped pistachios and shredded coconut. To set, place tray in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes or in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Break the bark into pieces and serve. Store extra

Honey Lavender Cookies This recipe was developed after lavender was accidentally weeded from the garden. These cookies are made with honey and whole-wheat flour. yield: about 24 cookies ½ cup butter, softened ½ cup honey 1 egg 1 Tbsp lavender flowers 2 cups whole-wheat flour Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat honey, egg and lavender into the creamed butter until incorporated. Stir flour, ½ cup at a time, into butter mixture until blended. Drop spoonful of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Courtesy of Sue B. For more information, visit AllRecipes. com.




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Season of Light

Celebrating the Soul of Winter


by Marlaina Donato

nevitably, the wheel of the year turns with the nuances of the seasons hardly noticed in the blur of our busy days. “Next year,” we say, when we realize that we’ve run out of time to try that holiday recipe, connect with friends or revel in a winter sunset. Collecting small joys takes us out of survival mode and into wide-awake living. Pausing to sip from winter’s steaming cup of comfort can be the perfect way to begin a new chapter that prompts us to come back to the center. In the ancient world, fire festivals marked holy days celebrating the sun’s promise of return and supplied felicity in a time of hardship. Today, something inside our ancestral memories makes us crave celebration as we wrap the year’s end in shiny ribbon, ethereal lights and scented candles. Singing, chanting or caroling this time of year—“oldfashioned” pastimes—were ancient elements of winter’s revels that invited benevolent energy and chased away bad luck. While most of us no longer grace our neighbors with song, raising our voices to any capacity can be an offering, an invitation to hope and beauty. Singing multicultural songs with the kids, writing a spontaneous prayer or sharing seasonal or funny stories naturally boosts the immune system and helps to fight off the winter blues. Winter has its own jewel-toned beauty that rivals summer’s most dazzling hour if we pay attention: ruby fruits baked with brown sugar, rosy desert mornings and snowy sapphire twilights. Pointing out December constellations over a beach or lacing up our boots for a brisk walk helps us to unplug from the world’s problems. Sprinkling heart-healthy spices in our morning coffee opens a gloomy day on a lovely note. Winter can feel long, so go ahead and treat your senses; buy a few yards of red velvet to sleep on or pick up that novel you’ve been planning to read. Live and give a little more deeply. Feed the birds and feed your soul.

Marlaina Donato is an author and a composer of ambient holiday music. Connect at

We help your brain help you.


plant-based wellness

Amp Up Immunity Proven Boosters for Good Health by Ronica O’Hara


s we head into the holidays, a gift that many of us wish for is a strong immune system to protect us not only from serious illness, but also from wintry coughs and sniffles. Robust immunity rests on three pillars, research shows: getting at least seven hours of sleep a night to allow immune functions to reboot; daily exercise to stimulate the production of white blood cells that fight off harmful bacteria and viruses; and plant-based foods to supply the antioxidants and phytochemicals needed to reduce inflammation and keep cells humming happily. In addition, we can enhance immunity by adding specific adaptogens and mushroom powders into our daily routine. These study-proven substances perform specific functions in the immune system that boost our resistance to illness. As powders, they can be easily added into drinks or foods, and they can also be taken as tinctures or pills.

Modulating Immunity with Adaptogens

Used for millennia in China and India, adaptogens are plants that keep the body in balance by helping it adapt to stress. They interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a complex system of glands, hormones and receptors that helps manage homeostasis, stress responses and energy metabolism. “Adaptogens are a great way to boost immunity, especially if you are constantly sick and run down due to feeling stressed,” says Heather Hanks, a Plymouth, Michigan, nutritionist with USA Rx. Adaptogens typically take two or three weeks to become effective; follow package directions for proper dosage.



Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), an herb called locoweed in the U.S., boosts immune function by increasing natural killer cell activity and enhancing the function of macrophages, the “immune sentinels” that reside in tissues. A recent review suggests that longterm use of astragalus might help prevent colds, and taking it for up to six weeks may relieve seasonal allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itching and sneezing. It has also been shown to improve recovery after illness, disease or prolonged stress and to help post-chemotherapy patients regain health. Polish researchers found that rowing team athletes given 500 milligrams of astragalus root extract each day for six weeks had immune systems that recovered faster after strenuous exercise. Panax Ginseng, a perennial plant from East Asia, keeps the immune system in balance by regulating its components, including macrophages, dendritic cells and both T and B cells. It improves resistance to illness and microbial attacks, helps counter stress, controls inflammation, improves cognitive functions and has been found effective in the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, insulin resistance and hypertension. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), also known as holy basil, “enhances the immune response, protects the body against bacterial and viral infection and promotes clear and comfortable breathing,” says Ameya Duprey, a certified Ayurvedic practitioner in Nevada City, California. Studies show that it also helps prevent liver, kidney and brain injury by protecting against the genetic, immune and cellular damage caused by pesticides, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals.


The Marvel of Medicinal Mushrooms

Used medicinally since at least 3,000 BCE, certain mushrooms have been found to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular-protective, anti-diabetic, liver-protective and anticancer properties. They are usually not cooked, but rather taken as a powder that can be added to foods like smoothies, cereals and stir-fries. Reishi mushrooms increase the activity of killer cells and lower inflammation in white cells, warding off infections. “They are used by cancer patients, as they support a healthy immune system, have antioxidant properties and may prevent or treat infections,” says Linda Strause, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of human nutrition at University of California San Diego, whose husband with brain cancer was encouraged to take the mushrooms as a supplement. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensi) is harvested from the larvae of caterpillars in the high Himalayas. In a randomized, eight-week Korean study of 79 adults, supplementing with 1.7 grams of cordyceps extract daily led to a significant 38 percent increase in the activity of natural killer cells that protect against infection. It has been used traditionally to treat fatigue, sexual dysfunction, asthma, kidney problems, high blood pressure and weak hearts. Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) contains a compound called polysaccharide-K that stimulates the immune system. It also acts as a prebiotic, which promotes the health of the gut microbiome, a key player in immunity. A Harvard Medical School study of 22 healthy people found that taking 3,600 milligrams of polysaccharopeptide extracted from turkey tail mushrooms each day led to beneficial changes in gut bacteria and suppressed the growth of problematic E. coli and shigella bacteria. Health writer Ronica O’Hara can be contacted at OHaraRonica@

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natural pet

Toyland for Pooches

Choosing Safe Playthings a Dog Will Love by Karen Shaw Becker


ost healthy dogs retain their love of

play throughout their lives. Because canine family members can be loosely compared to perpetual human toddlers, it makes sense that they enjoy playtime no matter their age. Most dogs are also fascinated, at least temporarily, with toys made just for them. Some love to chase a ball or Frisbee and others like a good game of tug or stuffed toys. Most dogs seem to enjoy playthings that squeak when they bite them, possibly because the noise brings to mind the sound of captured prey, or perhaps because pet parents give their dogs extra attention when they “get their squeak on”. Most dogs in the U.S. have lots of toys, and many pet parents practice trial-and-error to determine what type their dog prefers—

and which are safest—from a mind-blowing selection of tugs, balls, discs, chews, puzzles, squeaky or stuffed toys and more. Because many pet stores welcome dogs, some pet parents even bring their four-legged family members along and allow them to sniff out their favorites. It’s important to select a dog’s toys carefully, because not every option is a good choice. For example, some dogs, especially large breeds, tend to rip soft toys apart within seconds to taste-test the stuffing. There are also dogs that can swallow small soft toys whole. A pup’s temperament, size and age all play a role in determining which toys are safe, and there are also considerations based on the toy itself, such as materials used, size, shape and more.

Potentially Toxic Toys

Pet toys are not regulated, so they can be made with virtually any material. Plastic toys, in particular, can be dangerous, because many contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA). Old or weathered toys such as those left outside leach higher concentrations of harmful chemicals. While BPA-free toys are available, the toxin may have been replaced with similar— or even more toxic—chemicals, including bisphenol-S (BPS), so “BPA-free” unfortunately isn’t a reliable indicator of toy safety. Other adulterants found in dog toys include heavy metals like lead and formaldehyde. When looking for new toys, choose those made in the U.S. out of 100 percent natural


rubber, organic cotton or other eco-friendly and contaminant-free materials. Try the sniff test. If a toy being considered smells strongly of chemicals, put it back. Testing shows that some tennis balls made for pets contain more contaminants than those made for sports. The best toys for pets are usually hand- made by individuals or very small companies and can be found at local farmers’ markets or sold regionally in small, independent pet stores. There’s no plethora of companies that produce 100 percent organic toys, but some great, all-natural toys can be found online.


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What Dogs Seem to Prefer

Researchers have discovered that regardless of the type of toy, once a dog is completely familiar with the sight, sound, smell and feel of it, boredom can set in. In addition, we may want to avoid “indestructible” toys the dog can’t make a dent in, because they enjoy toys they can pull apart and destroy, or those that are edible. Offering a dog easily destroyed toys isn’t ideal, either, as they may accidently or intentionally ingest some of the non-edible pieces. A good alternative is recreational bones (large, raw chunks of beef and bison femur bones), which are quite enjoyable to most dogs, even though they’re not technically toys. Lick mats that hold a soft food treat are also a great environmental enrichment choice for dogs that tend to destroy toys quickly. Treat-release puzzle toys, toys meant to be chewed and those that make noise or are edible (like a nontoxic dental bone) can also be good options, while toys that are hard, unyielding and silent will probably not be a big hit. Don’t underestimate our human ability to stimulate a dog’s interests. A session of playtime—playing fetch, tug-of-war or hideand-seek—will be far more stimulating to the pup than any toy could be. Veterinarian Karen Shaw Becker has spent her career empowering animal guardians to make knowledgeable decisions to extend the life and well-being of their animals. For more information, visit

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calendar of events December 2021



Movies at Discovery Green- A Christmas Carol (G) 1938, 68 minutes 7pm Faithful version of the Charles Dickens classic about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who, after being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve, learns the meaning of the true spirit of the holiday.FREE Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.


Movies at Discovery Green- A Christmas Story (PG) 1984, 94 minutes In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift. FREE Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.


Movies at Market Square Park- Gremlins 7 pm Join us for this campy holiday classic from 1984 that truly captures the horror as no other Christmas movie can. Just don’t forget 1. Don’t get it wet 2. Keep it away from light and 3. Whatever you do, never, ever feed it after midnight. Grab your blanket or lawn chair and join us at Market Square Park under the stars! FREE Market Square Park 301 Milam Houston, Texas 77002


Movies at Discovery Green- Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG) 2000, 105 minutes He’s mean, he’s green, and he’s doesn’t like the Yuletide season one bit -- Jim Carrey stars in this live-action adaptation of the classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss. FREE Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.


Movies at Discovery Green- ELF (PG) 2003, 97 minutes After accidentally falling into Santa Claus’ gift sack, a human baby is raised at the North Pole, growing up to believe he is an elf. Due to his large size, the “elf” causes chaos in Santa’s workshop, forcing Kris Kringle to send him on a mission to find his human roots.FREE. Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.


Movies at Discovery Green- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (PG-13) 2014, 136 minutes Captain America teams with Black Widow and the Falcon to fight the villainous Winter Soldier. Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. comes under attack, and a malevolent conspiracy threatens to destabilize the entire planet. FREE. Discovery Green 1500 McKinney St, Houston, TX 77010.

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tuesday Living the Change Weekly Discussion Group Tuesdays, September 28 – December 14, 6 p.m., online As recent scientific reports have made clear, a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is needed to avoid the worst impacts of a changing climate. The multifaith statement to the U.N. Climate Conference, Walk on Earth Gently, invites people of faith into a journey of Living the Change that the world needs – a transformation to a sustainable lifestyle. Join us on this journey to Living the Change. Please register for this event on at https://www.eventbrite. com/e/living-the-change-weekly-discussion-grouptickets-167923450561. For more information, please contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail. com.

wednesday Blissful Quests® with Doyle Ward-The Pocast. 1:00pm.Are you looking for answers? Have you ever had a “hunch” or a “gut feeling” that came true? Are you wondering if you are intuitive? Maybe the real question to explore is not IF you are intuitive, but HOW you are intuitive. Doyle Ward is an experienced intuitive medium, teacher, grief recovery specialist, and life coach. Call in during the show at: 1-760-456-7277, access on-demand episodes or listen live! Healing Meditation at First Spiritualist Church of Houston. 7:30 pm Livestream on Facebook

Living the Change Weekly Online Discussion Group 6 pmThis 12-week program focuses on making personal lifestyle changes in three areas: transportation; energy; and food. The Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston invites you to join us on this journey, via a weekly online discussion group. . Please register for this event on For more information, please contact Lisa Brenskelle at gcs.lrc@gmail. com.

saturday Sound Healing Meditation in the Cistern 10 am. Find your center and practice mediation in the spacious and tranquil Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Offered in collaboration with Union is Creation and Youniversoul fest, this meditation series will feature the use of singing bowls and wind chimes to encourage mindfulness and connectivity. Cost $15. Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern 105b Sabine St, Houston, TX 77007. https://fareharbor. com/embeds/book/buffalobayou/items/246138/ calendar/2021/09/?full-items=yes&flow=404814

sunday Houston Zen Center 8”20 am Sunday Sangha. Grace Episcopal Church & School. 10 am. Sunday Worship Livestream. Unity Spiritual Center of Greater Houston 10:15 am Sunday Service. Facebook Live First Spiritualist Church of Houston 10:30 am Sunday Healing & Spirit Greetings Facebook Live First Unitarian Universalist Church 10:30 am Sunday Morning Worship Livestream. https:// Unity of Houston. 11 am Sunday Morning Service Livestreaming. Creative Life Spiritual Center 11 am Sunday Celebration. Facebook Live Unitarian Fellowship of Houston 11 am. Sunday Program. Click on Sunday Program to access the Zoom link. Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism 12 noon. Sunday Meditation & Dharma Talk. ISKCON 5 pm Sunday Feast Class Livestream


healthy living guide


ACUPUNCTURE APRIL BUI HOLISTIC ACUPUNCTURE 9039 Katy Freeway, Suite 504 Houston, Texas 77024 713-922-3474

April Bui, LAC, MAOM specializes in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and energy medicine for pain, stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure but she is also able to treat many other health conditions. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the field of alternative holistic health and has practice acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine since 2008. Visit her website for more information or to schedule a FREE Consultation.


2425 West Loop South, 3rd Floor Houston, Texas 77027 409-771-0332 Are you experiencing back or shoulder pain because you are working virtually from home? Are you suffering from post-COVID symptoms of loss of taste, smell and low energy. We can help. Donald Lefeber is a licensed acupuncturist. He specializes in pain medicine, sports medicine, fertility, stress management and more. Donald is a full member of the Texas Medical Center / Rice University Sigma Xi Research Society. Call or visit our website today to schedule an initial consultation * Se Habla Español

BIOLOGICAL DENTISTRY MARILYN K. JONES, DDS Houston Dental Health Center 800 Bering Dr. Houston, TX 77057 713-497-1355

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 20



2524 Yale Street, #2, Houston, TX 77008 832-744-9944 18123 Egret Bay Blvd, Houston, TX, 77053 CBD vape pens, gummies, tintures, flower,oils, apparel and accessories. We stock Better Days CBD and Honey Hills Delta 8 & CBD products.


1138 W 20th Street, Houston, TX 77008 Open 7 days a week 713-292-1921 Hydroshack proudly carries some of the most beautiful highCBD hemp flower and Delta 8 products in Houston! We also sell the highest quality 1.5 gram pre-rolls packed with actual bud and never trim. Our bud-tenders will be more than happy to let you experience true legal Hemp Flower from our open sample jars.While you are in check out our complete line of hydroponic growing products.


Positive change starts now! 832-628-4113 Are you looking for answers? Have you ever had a “hunch” or a “gut feeling” that came true? Are you wondering if you are intuitive? Doyle Ward is an experienced intuitive, teacher, grief recovery specialist, and life coach. Tune in to his weekly PodCast, Wednesdays at 1 pm on See ad on page 16


Let go of the thoughts that don’t make you strong. ~Karen Salmansohn

JOYCE LONG’S WELLNESS INSTITUTE 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!


Barbara Ellis, Retired RN 5042 Briscoe St. Houston, TX.77033 713-738-8199 Serving Houston and the surrounding area since 1979. We now offer the first and ONLY mobile colonic service in Houston. 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 5


We are honored to help you find the perfect alchemy crystal bowl or harmonic set. You will be drawn to engage with the bowl that resonates with your specific heart signature and soul song. It is our joy to support you in this connection with your exquisite crystalline companions. To schedule a Bowl Consultation, please complete the contact form on our website.



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ERIN THOLE, CNHP 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-fitsall 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. See Ad page 5


361 West 19th Street Houston, TX 77008 713-868-4725 Venus and her staff can do any age with any style, from a trim to a Mohawk. She is a wizard at color! If you are in The Heights, drop by, check out her art car, The Hairse, and say Hi! Now OPEN by appointment only. Call me!

HYPNOSIS CLAUDIA AUTRY, HYPNOTIST (by appointment only) 281-849-4610

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.

INDIVIDUAL NUTRITIONAL PROTOCOLS LINDA ISAACS, MD 2500 W. William Cannon Dr., Suite 603 Austin, TX 78745 737-208-0831 For more than 20 years, Dr. Linda Isaacs and the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez offered individualized protocols involving diet, nutritional supplementation, and detoxification for cancer and other degenerative diseases. They published multiple articles in peer-reviewed medical journals about their results. The work is based on that of the Texas orthodontist Dr. William Donald Kelley. Dr. Isaacs is currently seeing new patients.


Phoenix Rising Integrative Medicine offers 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.



1973 W Gray, Suite 23 Houston, TX 77019 713-369-0946 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 2 & 23. Our aim is to make you have a KREAT experience as well as a Kreat Day!

ELEVATION MASSAGE & BODYWORK 541 Granberry Street Houston, Tx 77007 713-550-3330

Get you back to your best self, decreasing your aches and pains, increasing your range of motion, improving your overall form and function, and enhancing your mental health. Come relax, rehab and recharge with us! Our treatments are client centered, each session bespoke, tailored around your health and body-care needs. Your body isn’t like anyone else’s so why should your massage session be? ***Natural Awakenings Customers get $10 off with code Natural Awakenings, just add the note when booking. Use our QR code to book directly.*** See ad on page 5



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

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 causing swelling. Lymphatic massage can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system. By appointment only. Be well-Stay well. CALL TODAY!

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. We carry some wonderful and unusual products some of which are artisan made. 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.



Dr. LaTronica Fisher, DNP, ANP, GNP, RN 4544 Post Oak Place Dr. STE #254 Houston, Texas 77027 713 520-8188 Services: nHormone Rejuvenation nVaginal Dryness nUrinary Incontinence nLow Libido nErectile Dysfution nLow Stamina nWeight-Loss nSexual Dysfunction(men & women) nHair Restoration nNatural Face Lift Call today to schedule a consultation

OPTICIAN FACTORY EYEGLASS OUTLET 7921 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024 713-468-5665


1308 James Street Rosenberg, TX 77471 281-232-7336 joycelongwellness. com/



Factory Eyeglass Outlet provides the ultimate services for all your eyecare needs. Whether you’re looking for premium or standard eyewear, we have something for you. As part of our superior services we offer complimentary consulting and frame styling. Next time you need you need new eyeglasses or need a repair choose Factory Eyeglass Outlet. Better sight- Better Life. See ad on page 20

Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. ~Peter Drucker



Homeopathic Pain Relief Cream 973-715-9097 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 $15! See website for other options. See Ad on page 9


Made locally. Delivered to your door. bobcatrawfood. com Our raw cat food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of obligate carnivores. We use only the highest quality Grade A, USDA certified US-sourced meats. All our meals are 100% natural and grain-free and are pre-portioned to for your convenience. Our top priority is to make feeding raw convenient and affordable. We deliver inside Houston for a flat fee of only $5. Visit our website today and let your cat experience the difference a raw food diet makes.



Life energy education and research Kun Wu, Ph. D. Integral chi healer Chi H Wu, L. Acupuncturist 832-654-2885 Do you want to learn CHING how to use your body’s own chi energy to deCHI crease your chance of becoming ill, increase your chance of recovering more quickly from INSTITUTE illness, prevent a minor illness from becoming a major one, and improve your overall health? We have live and prerecorded classes online to teach you the principles and techniques of self-healing. We will be resuming in-person classes this month. Look for our new offering on the Corona Virus. Visit our website for more information.


FIRST SPIRITUALIST CHURCH OF HOUSTON 2115 Turner Dr. Houston, Texas 77093 713-695-2550

Spiritualism is a common sense religion, one of knowing and living. We accept all truths and endeavor to prove their validity. Truths are found in nature, in other religions, in writings, in science, in philosophy, in Natural Law and are received through spirit communication. We are a growing family and would love for you to visit us LIVESTREAMING ON FACEBOOK Sunday Healing & Spirit Greetings 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Open Healing Service 7:30 p.m.

coming in the january


Galveston, TX 4 0 9-7 6 2 - 6 0 2 7 “Shamanism provides personal and spiritual healing with ancient, elegant and time tested methods. Shamanic healing opens new pathways for personal growth and spiritual awareness. If you’re looking for a way to connect with spirit without dogma, shamanism offers methods to access your healing spirits for transformation, guidance and teachings for a better way of living filled with love and compassion. Contact me at 409-762-6027 for more information.” See ad page 5

Health & Wellness Issue


954-459-1134,, Get Greens Powder, Oil Blends, Herbal Teas, Electrolytes, Colon Cleansers & More. See Special Offer for Samples. Our Greens Powder called Terra Power Greens is a great-tasting superfood drink. Our unique formula combines 46 organic grasses, leaves, vegetables, sprouts and herbs. No Fillers, Preservatives or Sugars. Two of our favorite Oil Blends are Korean Red Pine Needle Oil & Immuno Max. If you’re looking for Herbal Teas that target different areas of the body, we have them. Need an effective Colon Cleanser, try Colon Max. Visit our website TODAY!

GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH 4040 West Bellfort Street Houston, TX 77025 713-666-1408

We are a welcoming, inclusive and affirming Christian community, committed to abundant, holistic living in the way of Jesus of Nazareth. Guided in our life together by the Episcopal Church tradition, we are committed a way of love. Come walk on our Tree of Life Labyrinth by appointment anytime. Grace: you are welcome here.

Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right. ~Theodore Roosevelt


WE GROW WHAT WE SELL ... organically and sustainably! This is the only way that we can be sure of the quality that goes into the products we sell and you should insist on nothing less. Family owned and operated-fully licensed hemp farm Regenerative Farming-Completely Organic Just outside of College Station, Texas Hemp Flower -Vape Products - Isolates -Tinctures HoneyHills TX products are available at the following area locations: Houston, TX: Smoke Envy-Yale St, Smoke Envy-Nasa Rd 1, Amsterdam Coffee-W. 19th, Segundo Coffee Lab-Eado Galveston, TX: Hazy Daze-Seawall Blvd, Hazy Daze -The Strand, Hazy Daze - 3802 Cove View Blvd , Smokee’s Vape & Smoke Shop-Seawall Blvd Bryan/College Station, TX: Smoken Joe’s-South Texas Ave. Caldwell, TX: Cotten’s Care CBD - 203 Hwy. 21 W Hutto, TX: Hippo Vapo-Hwy 79 E

Honey Hills TX

Est. 2019 - Caldwell, Texas 832.868.9452

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