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feel good • live simply • laugh more





Survival Guide


SLUMBER Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed


HOLIDAYS Fresh Ideas for Planet-Friendly Celebrations


TOLLE On Everyday Practical Spirituality

December 2013 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

December 2013



(each year 600 hours)

Natural Health Educator............. 1st Year Natural Health Therapist............ 2nd Year Natural Health Practitioner........ 3rd Year CertiďŹ ed Naturopath.................. 4th Year 4th Year Graduates are Eligible for Doctor of Naturopathy National Test & Title

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

Holistic DoulaDoula Practitioner Program Holistic Practitioner Doula....... 6 Months

All Classes Meet on Weekends Fri: 5-9pm and Sat & Sun: 9am-6pm Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

Herbology - Aromatherapy - Nutrition Live Food Preparaton - Light Healing Touch Reexology - Homeopathy and More!


West Michigan Edition

natural awakenings

December 2013




contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Editors S. Alison Chabonais Amanda Merritt Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings 484 Sunmeadow Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Phone: 616-656-9232

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2013 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. 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. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

here has the year gone? This morning I paused to reflect on 2013 and the word that came to mind was “fun.” At the start of the year our family made the life changing decision to have Kyle quit his corporate job and devote 100% of his energy to Natural Awakenings. We’ve shared this dream since buying the West Michigan magazine in late 2008. I still remember how taking such a leap of faith scared us both. Now I look back and ponder, “Why didn’t we do this earlier?” This adventure, already satisfying, just keeps getting better. People ask us all the time, “How can you work with your spouse?” In our case, it has brought Kyle and me even closer. We love spending time together, and running a business together gives us that much more time to hang out. We enjoy sharing an office with adjoining desks. Most of all, we feel blessed to both be able to do what we love every day; we get to join forces in resolving issues and share good news of progress. I couldn’t have wished for a better 2013. As we journey into 2014, we wondered, “How can life get any better than this?” So we made a list of what all we want to do to make our natural health community’s magazine even better this year. This is where all of you, our readers, come into play: We want to know what you would like to see more of, less of, changes, additions, new ideas, etc. We invite you to voice your thoughts via our Facebook or Twitter accounts or simply shoot an email to us at Publisher@ You are the reason this magazine exists and we are eager to hear from you. For those that have already emailed or mailed us your comments and suggestions, please know that we continue to truly appreciate what you have to say. Together we plan to make 2014 great. Now that the holiday season is in full swing, please remember to take time to refresh and renew. Maybe even reflect on your 2013 as you look ahead to fond desires for the coming year. May you enjoy every day in gratitude for the peace, love and joyful blessings you hold dear. Happy Holidays,

Amy and Kyle Hass Publishers

Never Glossy. Always Green. Natural Awakenings practices environmental sustainability by printing on post-consumer recycled paper with soy-based ink. This choice avoids the toxic chemicals and high energy costs of producing shiny, coated paper that is hard to recycle.


West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings of West Michigan


contents 11 6 newsbriefs 1 1 healthbriefs 13 globalbriefs 17 ecotip 17 18 fitbody 20 healthykids 22 naturalpet 24 healingways 32 wisewords

Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

34 greenliving 41 38 consciouseating 4 1 inspiration 42 calendar 44 classifieds 45 naturaldirectory



Exercise Helps Keep Family Holidays Merry by Sarah Todd


Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed by Mark Sisson

All-Natural Home Health Care by Sandra Murphy


A Prime Time to Rejuvenate and Birth Creativity by Lane Vail



Eckhart Tolle on the Kingdom of Heaven Within

NEWS BRIEFS & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Email articles to: Deadline for articles is the 5th of the month prior to publication. Submit News Briefs online at Deadline for news briefs is the 12th of the month prior to publication.

CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Submit Calendar Events online at: Calendar deadline is the 15th of the month prior to publication.

WHERE TO PICK UP NATURAL AWAKENINGS If you enjoyed this magazine and would like to know where you can pick up a free copy in your area, please contact us at 616656-9232 or email us at:

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advertising & submissions To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-656-9232 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.



ETERNAL QUEST by Eric Nelson



Retro-Fresh Family Traditions by Claire O’Neil


(CONTAINER) HOME! Consider Living in a Shipping Container by Julie Reynolds


The Top Five Regrets of the Dying


by Bronnie Ware

BEYOND OUR FULL “CARBON NEUTRAL” DIGITAL ISSUE EACH MONTH... Check us out and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook! Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings of West Michigan natural awakenings

December 2013


newsbriefs Hosting a Holiday Event?


elish, A Personal Chef Service is just the right creative, personal serviceoriented chef to serve up fantastic food for your gathering. Local or organic? Vegetarian? Ethnic? Exotic? Relish is flexible and at your service. Offering small event catering services for groups from 2-40 people, providing amazing food in your home, office or other venue. Chef Rachel Johnson will create a customized menu just for you starting with a free, comprehensive interview to determine food preferences and any dietary requirements. Johnson recently moved to Holland from Denver, CO after graduating from the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts. She is a member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA), ServSafe certified in food handling and safety procedures, and is dedicated to excellence in the industry. Call today to schedule Relish for your next event!! For more information contact Rachel Johnson at Relish, A Personal Chef Service at 616-610-2596 or visit www. See ad page 24 & 47.

The Supplement Shuffle


ave you ever wanted to take the guessing game out of which supplement brand would be most beneficial to your body? Are you taking supplements but not seeing results? On Tuesdays, during the month of December, Veronica Strouse, Hallelujah Acres Health Minister, in conjunction with Thornapple Health & Nutrition, will be offering Quantum Biofeedback services for testing supplements & their compatibility to your body. Normally, $25, the cost

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

Mary A. DeLange C.C.T. C.M.T. 616-456-5033

Some Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy: ~ Remove Toxic Waste from ones body ~ Eradicate Constipation ~ Removes Stomach Bloat ~ Increase ones Energy

Therapeutic Massage also available


West Michigan Edition

will be reduced to $10 when two or more supplements are purchased. At the age of 35, Veronica was experiencing digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and weight gain. Through her research and education, she began her journey toward holistic health using supplements and Young Living essential oils. For the past 4 years Veronica Strouse has been educating and assisting those who are looking to improve their health. For additional information please contact Thornapple Health & Nutrition, 9175 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia at 616-891-0898. See ad page 21.

A Weekend with Sonam Targee


rom the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center presents Sonam Targee for an evening of Kirtan and a day of Ayurvedic Medicine the weekend of December 7-8th. Sonam will lead in the devotional practice of Kirtan Saturday December 7th at 7:00pm. On Sunday, December 8th, he will be offering two workshops. An Sonam Targee Introduction to Ayurveda from 10:30am-12:30pm and he will share his knowledge on Preparing for Winter from an Ayurvedic Medicine perspective from 2:00-4:00pm. Sonam has had a successful clinic in Ayurveda and herbal medicine for 27 years. He has taught in yoga centers and hospitals around the country and he currently practices and lives in Rochester, NY. Born in Tamil Nader, South India, he extensively studied Indian music, Indian medicine, and Indian spirituality. Targee has studied Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert, Svoboda, and Dr. Mahadevan. He holds a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine, a practitioner’s certification

in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Bachelor’s degree in Ethno-musicology. For more information contact From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center, 714 Wealthy St in Grand Rapids at 616-336-9642. See ad page 16.

Angel Tree Drop Off Site


his month, Affordable Nutrition has proudly partnered with the Salvation Army to be an official Angel Tree toy drop off location to help west Michigan kids have a memorable Christmas. Please help them make a West Michigan child’s Christmas special. Stop in to pick a card for either a boy or a girl’s gender and there are different ages to pick from as well. Make sure the presents are unwrapped and the angel card is taped to the gift when you drop it off. Gifts can only be accepted during our store hours. Collection has already started and the last day gifts will be accepted is December 18th. Affordable Nutrition offers select, high quality supplements, nutritional counseling, body fat assessments, unique products and much more. Owner, Joel D. Manning C.N.C., is a certified nutritional consultant with over 24 years of experience and the knowledge to help you with your health concerns. Call or stop in today and see how he can help you. For more information contact Joel at Affordable Nutrition, 4693 Wilson Ave SW, Suite I in Grandville. 616-667-1346. See ad page 46.

Feel Better Now


o you have body aches and pains? Are you looking for simple self-care for your body? Adding MELT Method® to your life can enhance daily life by improving digestion and sleep, and reducing inflammation, accumulated stress, and chronic pain symptoms. Join MELT Instructors Dr. Nancy Jonker, Founder of The Integrative Healing Centre, LLC and Jennephyr Meier, Owner at The Studio Yoga for a 60-minute introduction to the MELT Method® Hand and Foot Treatments and experience how easy it is to create change in your body regarding misalignment, chronic pain, and the negative effects associated with aging. MELT empowers people with simple self-care tools for long-term wellness. Explore how to reacquire whole-body balance by directly affecting the cellular hydration of the connective tissue matrix using Hands-Off Bodywork™. This simple self-treatment can make your whole body feel better and provide relief from neck and low back pain, arthritis, bunions, plantar fasciitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. The MELT Hand and Foot Treatment Techniques are easy to learn, and will help you remain active, healthy and pain-free for life! Introduction class will be offered on December 14th from 1:00-2:00pm and December 15th from 4:30-5:30pm at The Studio Yoga located at 933 52nd Street SE in Kentwood. Cost for the class is only $25. Space is limited, so sign up today. Visit or call 616-209-8395 to reserve your spot. See ads pages 3 & 16.

(616) 301-3000 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids (across the street from the Breton Village Mall)

Treatment of

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chiropractic massage therapy spinal rehab traction

Spa Services

massage therapy steam therapy ayurvedic bodywork reiki, meditation

natural awakenings

December 2013


Unique & Healthy Retreats


Martha & Jeff Gottlieb

an you think of a better gift to a loved one, be it family or friend, than a personalized healthy retreat on the beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron? Expressions of Health, in serene Oscoda, MI is offering special holiday gift certificates

for these unique retreats. Owned and operated year-round by Martha and Jeff Gottlieb, guests are welcomed with open arms. “We don’t charge for lodging,” explains Martha, “only for the wellness services we provide. Guests have full access to the entire house, including the kitchen and all outdoor amenities, such as kayaks, moonlit bonfires, swimming and miles of beautiful beach to walk, jog, or simply relax.“ The array of wellness services provided is vast, as the Gottliebs maintain certifications as yoga instructors, reflexology and reiki practitioners, nutrition coaches, and personal trainers. Massage is offered through a certified

massage therapist, and gourmet retreats feature local chefs and local seasonal foods. Holiday gift certificates are available through December 20th for 20% off the regular retreat price. A healthy retreat for up to 6 people (up to three nights) that includes two yoga classes, Reiki, reflexology, massage, two continental breakfasts, and full use of the home that normally runs for $250 per person is now available for just $200. The Gottliebs donate 10% of all proceeds to support local health and wellness initiatives. More information about the healthy, healing retreats is available at, the monthly Natural Awakenings calendar, or by contacting Martha and Jeff directly at or 989-739-5498. See ad page 47.

Nine Years of Natural Choices


ongratulations to Clara VanderZouwen, owner of Natural Health 4 Today, on 9 years of providing natural health choices for those who are searching for answers. She offers one-on-one consultations, Bio-feedback sessions and listen to your concerns about how you are feeling or what to do about health issues that mainstream medicine can’t find the answers to. After 9 years of training and being certified in the use of essential oils, Clara can provide you with simple solutions for your improved physical and emotional being. Natural Health 4 Today also offers Ionic Detoxing Foot Baths, Whole Food Products including totally organic protein shakes and body products and coming

You no longer have to struggle through allergy season. The Basic Sinus Care Kit includes everything you need to: manage sinus infection, relieve your allergies, and discover natural sinus care. Contains: Sinus Relief, Sinus Support, Congestion Relief, Herbal Neti Soother, Super Neti Juice, Plastic Travelers Neti Pot & the Managing Sinus Health book.

Buy the Sinus Care Kit for big savings!

20% OFF with code BSK20 Keep YOUR family HEALTHY and ALLERGY-FREE with an all-natural health care system for your nose! 1-800-991-7088 8

West Michigan Edition

If you have been sufferin g with sinusi time you fina tis, It’s lly found a real solution you really ne . What ed is a prod uc t that will bacteria and kill the fungus that continually your nasal pa grow in ssages. You will be plea learn that Su sed to per Neti Juic e is the most effective an timicrobial that can be on your sens safely used itive tissue s. In clinic it has proven al trials to kill Stap h, E. coli, Strep., and Candida, many other co mmon pathogen it comes to s. When killing bact eria and fung cannot buy a us, you better colloi d. Hi, I’m Stev e Frank and I developed Juice. I ha Super Neti ve spent year s researchin sinusitis an g d developing antimicrobia the bacteria ls to kill and fungus th at cause this problem. We ’ve compared painful it to compet products and itive improved it until Super is simply th Neti Juice e best antimi crobial avai know, becaus lable. I e I personal ly ha testing it on ve spent 10 years all kinds of germs. Super Neti Ju ice is a natu ral blessing in your Neti to have Pot. Now yo u can do so than just ri much more nse. You ca n ki fungus by th ll bacteria e millions. and

soon, the first truly natural hand sanitizer. Sign up for the FREE classes offered on the third Wednesday of each month to enjoy learning more about how your body works.

Clara VanderZouwen

To learn more please contact Clara at 616481-8587 or claravz@ Natural Health 4 Today has recently moved to a new location in Caledonia. Visit www. NaturalHealth4Today. com. See ad pages 32 & 46.

Free 30 Day PSVT Study


eart Rate Variability (HRV) is technically defined as changes in the time between heartbeats. Contrary to popular belief, the human heart rate actually changes within a 60 second period, thus it is



termed variable. HRV has very little to do with the heart muscle itself. In fact HRV is actually used to determine the health of someone’s autonomic or “automatic” nervous system (ANS). So why do we use the heart to examine the nervous system? The answer is that the heart has direct nerve connections to the two parts of the ANS, the parasympathetic system, and the sympathetic system. By looking at the heart rate, we can see which branch of the ANS is having more of an impact on the heartbeat at that moment. In paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), abnormal conduction of that electricity causes the atrium, and secondarily the ventricles, to beat very rapidly. It is referred to as paroxysmal, because the rapid rate can occur sporadically and without warning and may also stop on its own. The rapid heartbeat may last a few seconds or many hours. Often the PSVT resolves before the patient reaches a health care professional. Burcon Chiropractic Research Institute is conducting a FREE 30-Day Clinical Research Trial where patients with PSVT may help others by helping themselves. State of the art testing equipment will be used. Call 616-575-9990 to see if you qualify to participate in this study, or go to for more information. See ads pages 24 & 31.





JAN 10-11, 2014 DeVos Place

Presented By

Expert Exhibitors Exercise Classes Screenings Health Seminars For exhibit information, please call 616-447-2860 natural awakenings

December 2013


Living Well Show Returns in January


pdate your 2014 calendar now, because West Michigan’s only health and wellness show is coming back to DeVos Place this January when Living Well – Grand Rapids returns for its second year. Thousands of area residents eager to learn about healthrelated products and services attended the show’s debut last January, where they found more than 130 exhibitors, in addition to fitness classes, seminars and demonstrations, health screenings, and more -- all in one spot. A broad array of exhibitors representing everything from health insurance plans and hospitals to alternative health services; from birthing centers to assisted living facilities; from child development centers to fitness clubs; plus, life coaching and much more will be at the two-day event. Attendees are urged to wear workout gear so they can get active right at the show by participating in ongoing sessions of yoga, Zumba, Pilates, RIPPED, TurboKick, boot camp and more. There will be a selection of fitness equipment and accessories available to try out, as well. For the growing number of area residents interested in improving their health, fitness and wellness, this show offers a unique chance to learn from experts the hundreds of ways to do just that. The show starts on Friday, January 10th from 12pm-8pm and Saturday, January 11th from 10am-8pm. Admission is only $8 for adults, $4 for children 6-14 and Free for children 5 & under. Grand Rapids-based ShowSpan has 68 years experience producing successful consumer lifestyle and recreation shows. See ad page 9. Visit and click on the Living Well logo for a $2 off admission coupon.

Ready to Feel Good Again? Your gateway to optimal health is at

2249 Wealthy St SE, Ste 240, East Grand Rapids, MI. 49506 616-458-2348

~ Chiropractic Care ~ Nutrition Response Testing ~ Whole Food Supplements ~ Massage


West Michigan Edition

Holiday Gift Certificates Available for Massage & Nutrition Services

In Memoriam

John R. Voell, father, author and visionary co-founder of Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation, has served as a mentor to our family of publishers for 15 years. During John’s time with us, the Universe responded to his faithful living of the principle to love God, one’s self and others by providing fertile soil for the big ideas he John R. Voell relished nurturing. His books, Cancer: How to Heal It—How to Prevent It and Cancer Report, as well as his latest development project, United We Can, were just a few of the ways that John allowed himself to be an instrument of the Divine in helping humankind. John was passionate about the success of our magazine, pleased and proud that the now 90-strong family of Natural Awakenings publishers touch the lives of millions of readers each month. He’s known around here for saying, “I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I believe that when I leave this world, I’m going to somehow measure my success by those I’ve helped along the way.” Those that knew and worked with him would say that he more than succeeded—he soared.

“I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, but I believe that when I leave this world, I’m going to somehow measure my success by those I’ve helped along the way.” CORRECTION


e apologize for an error in the previously published article, “Energy Healing Comes of Age.” Donna Eden founded the Energy Medicine Institute, not Energy Medicine University.


Sprinkle Cinnamon to Avert Alzheimer’s


innamon is known as an excellent antioxidant that improves fasting blood sugar levels and prevents heart disease. Now new research offers yet another benefit and reason to add this potent spice to our daily diet. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have confirmed that cinnamon helps protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the cinnamon compounds cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin help stop the formation of “tangles” of tau protein in the brain, hallmarks of the memory-robbing neurodegenerative disease. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, says these powerful antioxidants that give cinnamon its potent flavor and scent defend mental function in a unique way. “Take, for example, sunburn, a form of oxidative damage,” explains Roshni Graves, of the university’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. “If you wore a hat, you could protect your face and head from oxidation. In a sense, this cinnamaldehyde is like a cap,” protecting against tau proteins. The findings suggest that sufficient cinnamon consumption might stop the progression of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it.

Take Responsibility for Your Health

Nature + Science = SOLUTIONS

Cocoa Calms Inflammation


ew can say no to a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s night. “Enjoy!” say Penn State researchers. They have found that a little bit of cocoa may be a powerful diet aid in helping to control inflammation and ameliorate related diseases, including diabetes. Numerous current studies link obesity to inflammation in the body. Cocoa, although a common ingredient of chocolate, by itself has low-calorie, low-fat and high-fiber content. The researchers fed laboratory mice the human equivalent of 10 tablespoons of cocoa powder—about four or five cups of hot cocoa—along with a high-fat diet for 10 weeks. The control group ate the same diet without the cocoa. Lead researcher Joshua Lambert, Penn State associate professor of food science, says the study results surprised the team, which did not expect the “dramatic reduction of inflammation and fatty liver disease” associated with obesity. Although the animals lost no weight, the cocoa powder supplement reduced liver triglycerides by 32 percent and plasma insulin levels by 27 percent, indicating it might be a powerful obesityfighting tool. But there is a catch: Adding sugar, an inflammatory substance in itself, to healthy cocoa will likely neutralize the benefits. Try stevia as a sweetener instead; it’s been used for decades to lower blood sugar.

For A Free Wellness Consultation CalCalll Today for your Free Wellness Consultation Essential Connection, Ltd.

Karla Gleason, IPC# 224532 Bonnie Healey


Independent Product Consultant #406390 616-340-5115

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Resonate within your space and elevate your wellbeing! Feng Shui Green design Holistic design approach Repurposing your existing treasures

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natural awakenings

December 2013


Cranberries Support Healthy Circulation


egularly drinking cranberry juice may help control blood pressure, according to new findings presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. Cranberry juice, the researchers note, is rich in antioxidants—naturally occurring molecules that have been associated with the blood pressure-lowering benefit. U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers discovered a moderate systolic pressure reduction—about three points—for people that drank two eight-ounce glasses of cranberry juice every day for eight weeks. Because of the sugar calories in juice, consider the alternative of a whole-food cranberry supplement.



Tip Of The Month

Want a natural way to make your house smell good this winter. Put coffee beans in a bowl. It awakens your senses and smells amazing.


West Michigan Edition

iving away money or spending it on others increases the giver’s sense of personal wealth, according to research by Michael Norton, of Harvard Business School, and co-author Elizabeth Dunn, of the University of British Columbia. The latest in a series of studies showed that people that support others, from helping with homework to shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, feel that they had more time in general and that giving time away relieved the sense of “not having enough time,” even more than gaining unexpected free time.

Empower Your Neti Pot


sed for centuries in Asian cultures to support nasal health and eliminate toxins from the nasal mucosa, neti pots have recently become popular in the Western world and are recognized for their value in preventing and relieving sinus infections. Typically, a mild solution of unrefined sea salt and purified or distilled water is poured from one nostril through the other to flush out unwanted mucus, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms. Herbalist Steven Frank, of Nature’s Rite, points to a powerful new paradigm that helps neti pot users deal even more effectively with infection: a regimen of aqueous, colloidal silver and soothing herbal and plant extracts. Frank recommends using the neti pot with a colloidal silver wash that is retained in the nostrils for several minutes. “Bacteria and fungus stick rather well to the nasal mucosa and few are flushed out with simple saline flushes,” he explains. “Most of these nasty pathogens adhere to the mucosa with what is called a biofilm. Within this slime layer, they are well protected and thrive in the warm moist sinuses, so a small saline bath once a day doesn’t bother them much. However, colloidal silver disables certain enzymes needed by anaerobic bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungus, resulting in their destruction. And, unlike antibiotics, silver does not allow resistant ‘super bugs’ to develop.” He also suggests soothing the sinuses with restorative herbal decoctions. Calendula, plantain and aloe contain vital nutrients that soothe and heal, while Echinacea root and grapefruit seed extract offer antimicrobial benefits. Frank emphasizes the importance of using a neti pot safely and responsibly and warns against table salt, which can irritate nasal membranes, and tap water, which may contain contaminants. Steven Frank is an innovative herbalist and owner of For more information, call 888-465-4404. See ad, page 8.

globalbriefs News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

Genuinely Greenwashed Six Ploys to Avoid in Eco-Purchases

A report by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing exposes these six “greenwashing” marketing ploys to watch out for when shopping: 1. Hidden Trade Off: A refurbished plasma TV might reduce the need of buying new at first, but new or not, such TVs are energy hogs. 2. No Proof: Can a third party verify claims such as “organic” or “all-natural”? 3. Vagueness: Beware of products claiming to be “chemical-free” or “no hormones added”. 4. Irrelevance: Claims that have no relationship to the product or might be made with any other product in the same category, such as [chlorofluorocarbon] CFC-free shaving gel. 5. Fibbing: A falsehood that can’t be backed up, such as “certified organic” for products for which no such certification exists. 6. Lesser of Two Evils: An attempt to put a green twist on a product that’s inherently harmful to humans and the environment, such as organic cigarettes.

Standard Returns

New Sustainable Currency Geared to Stabilize World Economy The Terra, an Internet-based trade reference currency (TRC), has been launched as a global complementary form of money to provide an inflation-resistant international value standard, stabilize the worldwide business cycle and realign stockholders’ interests with long-term sustainability. From a legal viewpoint, the Terra is standardized “countertrade” (international barter), which is routinely used for more than $1 trillion worth of transactions each year. Countertrade legislation already exists in about 200 countries, including all the major trading nations, so introducing the Terra does not require new intergovernmental agreements. Financial and currency expert Bernard Lietaer, one of the key architects of the European Currency Unit, the convergence mechanism that led to the Euro, posits the Terra as the first time since gold standard days that such a robust, inflationresistant international base value has been available. He says, “This supranational complementary currency is uniquely designed, unlike national currencies, to provide a stable international mechanism for contractual and payment purposes worldwide. This mechanism would automatically work to reverse the boom and busts of the business cycle and stabilize the economy by providing more cash during downturns and cooling off inflationary pressures in the peak of an upturn.” Perhaps most importantly, it is positioned to resolve the current conflict between short-term financial interest and long-term sustainability. The Terra works in parallel with national currencies. Source: natural awakenings

December 2013


Arctic Rescue

Sustainable Solutions

Finland Calls for North Pole Sanctuary

Competition Launched to Measure Ocean Acidification As part of their mission of “making the impossible possible,” organizers of the XPrize, a global leader in incentivized competitions, have launched the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize contest. Schmidt is president of the Schmidt Family Foundation, which strives to advance the development of clean energy and support wiser use of natural resources. The program aims to spur innovators to transform our understanding of ocean acidification—a grave problem associated with the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide—via breakthroughs in ocean pH-sensing technologies designed to monitor and sustain ocean health. For information and to register, visit or

The Finnish government has adopted a new Arctic Strategy that calls for a global sanctuary around the North Pole as one of the key demands of the growing Save the Arctic movement, reversing its long-held position of backing corporate interests over the environment. The populace responded strongly to a series of actions taken by Greenpeace against government icebreaker ships aiding corporate oil exploration in order to heighten awareness of the issue. The new Finnish policy reflects a mounting world citizenry’s view that the Arctic deserves protection. Greenpeace points out that companies can wreck the Arctic with little penalty and the current Arctic Council oil spill agreement does nothing to protect the Arctic or impose liability in this the most vulnerable place on Earth. The hope is that the other seven Arctic Council countries will see the light, as well. Sign the petition and pitch in at

Tagging Toxins

Online Database Identifies Safe Products offers a new clearinghouse of information gathered by advocates investigating toxic chemicals in food, baby products, toys, furniture, construction materials and other consumer goods. Families, municipalities, builders and businesses can use it to identify potentially harmful products and find safer alternatives. Hosted by the Workgroup for Safe Markets (WSM), it’s a one-stop shop to provide information for consumers, retailers and manufacturers that are demanding safer products, says Beverley Thorpe, a WSM co-leader and consulting co-director for Clean Production Action. Mia Davis, vice president of health and safety at Beautycounter, who is expecting her first child, sees it as a resource for parents to find a full complement of safe products for their families. “More than ever,” she says, “people understand how important it is to shop with companies they trust and to support businesses working to create truly safe products.”

Dining App for Special-Needs Diets


oodCare’s new EveryoneEat! Android and iPhone app allows anyone to make informed meal decisions at 180,000 restaurant locations nationwide, based on their nutrition needs and meal preferences. Users enter their basic information such as age, gender, height, weight and activity level, plus any chronic health conditions and special dietary restrictions, at Instant analysis enables them to search for dishes at restaurants by type of cuisine or restaurant name. “People need to easily answer the basic question: ‘Does this dish meet my dietary guidelines?’ and if not, “What’s off and by how much?’” says CEO Ken Marshall. According to the U.S. government’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, which monitors the use and cost of health care and insurance coverage, nearly half of Americans today are living with a nutrition-related chronic disease. The National Restaurant Association estimates that Americans order 47 percent of all of their meals from restaurants.


West Michigan Edition

Community Spotlight by Kim Racette


ven though she recently moved to a new location within the historic Blackport building on Lake Drive in East Hills, Sérendipité Organiques owner Teri Kelley isn’t new to the area by any means. “This whole area has grown so much since I moved here in 2010, I just love it,” said Kelley. In June 2012 she opened her business on Cherry Street. In March 2013, after outgrowing that location she moved into a space in the Blackport building, and then relocated to this larger spot in the same building in October. “Third time’s a charm,” said Kelley with a smile. With two walls of glass overlooking Lake Drive streaming in an abundance of natural light the shop is beautiful and serene, with soft earth colors, warm wood tones and wonderful textures that can only be found in older buildings. Kelley has developed relationships with owners and reps of companies, and offers several product lines that meet her standards in low toxicity. “I use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database as a benchmark to identify products that are low hazard,” she explained. “With so many facial care products available that contain hazardous chemicals, my goal has been to find products that are both safe and actually beneficial to the skin, in the 0-2 range on Skin Deep’s 10 point scale.” Skin Deep has the scores of over 70,000 body care and make up products. “So many people think that just because a product claims to be organic, pure, or natural it’s OK to use, but I found through my research that is not always the case.” A crisis in her own health several years ago forced Kelley to take control of her health care, and the research she did opened her eyes to the dangers in both the food we eat and body care products we use. “I started researching what we put into our mouths, which lead to research on what we put onto our bodies. Although there is so much we are eating that can cause major illnesses, I also found out the products I was putting on my body were harming me,” she remembered. “I spent hours visiting websites researching products, and eventually found Face Naturals and other lines that ranked low in toxic chemicals.” Kelley began eliminating products that contained toxic chemicals, and after seeing positive changes in her own health she became passionate about educating others so they can benefit from information that isn’t always easy to find. According to Kelley and many other experts in the field, more and more studies are implicating hazardous ingredients in contributing to health issues including cancer, autism, and autoimmune diseases. “In many cases it takes 26 seconds for things applied to the skin to reach the bloodstream,” she shared while shaking her head. “Recent studies have found 216 chemicals in umbilical cord blood, and this is in little beings who have never touched a body care product! Fully intact parabens are now being found in breast and ovarian cancer

tissue, which is very scary.” Helping both to educate and provide products that are safe has become a bustling career for Kelley, who also leads workshops at her store. “I have a passion for this, because companies are fooling people and I don’t like it,” she said. “The items in my shop are actually good for you, while at the same time providing what you’d expect in performance.” Although Kelley made changes in one fell swoop because of what she was going through back then, she knows that many people have to start at their own pace. “Just starting with one item is fine,” she pointed out. “I like to ask if a person has a particular issue with their skin and go from there.” One of her customer’s 18 month old daughter had terrible eczema spots, but after using Face Naturals Body Lotion the spots went away in a couple of days. “She ran out of the Face Naturals, applied the old cream she used in the past, and all the eczema came back,” said Kelley. Sérendipité Organiques has exclusivity with many lines sold in the shop, and Kelley has worked hard to bring them to this area. “Face Naturals, Organic Matter Hair Care, Brittanie’s Thyme, Rejuva Minerals, Sappho Organic Cosmetics, lacc beauty~la couleur courture, Bloom Naturals, and boditonic are all lines I carry. I am the only retailer of some of these lines in the entire United States,” said Kelley. “These products make wonderful gifts, with something for everyone from head to toe. My husband uses Face Naturals Bar Soap to shave, and he loves it! I also have gift certificates for the customer who isn’t quite sure what to purchase for someone.” Kelley is on the Uptown Marketing Committee, and is the secretary for both the Business Improvement District (BID), and the East Hills Business Association. She is married to a Lieutenant in the Grand Rapids Fire Department and is Mom to twenty-one year old twin girls and a bonus son and daughter. She enjoys spending her spare time cooking, doing Sudoku, and is interested in Feng Shui in home décor. She especially loves to visit other East Hills businesses when time allows. Sérendipité Organiques is located at 959 Lake Drive SE Suite 2 in Grand Rapids. Kelley can be reached at 616-419-8115, or at Visit SerendipiteOrganiques. Store hours are Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am2pm, and for the Holidays Sunday 10am-2pm. See ad page 45. Kim Racette lives in Kentwood and writes for various publications and websites, including Contact Kim at natural awakenings

December 2013


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West Michigan Edition

ecotip Family Games Generate Goodwill All Year Fun family games based on cards, trivia and charades are quintessential holiday activities. Now a new generation of games adds fresh dimensions of interest and goodwill. Online games—some are free—extend good tidings to people around the world, as well as our environment. Santa is thrilled. Eco games galore: From determining our family’s carbon footprint to making ethical decisions as a business leader or learning how to help child populations vulnerable to pneumonia, EcoGamer. org is a gateway to enriching experiences. More than 20 entertaining websites employ informative, eco-related calculations, games and quizzes. Assist African farmers: Heighten awareness and empathy by experiencing on a virtual basis the immense challenges of life on an African farm, including dealing with disease, drought, a lack of resources and war, at html. Free trials are available, plus links to international nonprofit organizations and relief groups. Become a citizen scientist: At, players travel back in time to investigate how a lake became polluted and what can be done today to protect our waterways. Developed by the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, it illustrates business, lifestyle and social factors that can harm the environment. Learn and feed: allows players to automatically help feed hungry people with rice donations through the United Nations World Food Program. Players select from specific subjects: art, chemistry, geography, English, other languages and math. Each correct answer donates 10 grains of rice as participants watch the contents of a virtual bowl gradually fill.

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December 2013


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West Michigan Edition

Too Much Togetherness?

Exercise Helps Keep Family Holidays Merry by Sarah Todd


iven family hopes and often unrealistic expectations that everything will go perfectly, holiday gatherings can sometimes be a recipe for untoward stress. One of the best ways to keep potential ’tis-the-season tensions under control is to carve out some time for exercise, a move supported by research findings at Princeton University. Other experts suggest that from practicing a favorite Eastern modality to taking a natural spin around the neighborhood, we all have instant access to foolproof tactics for staying relaxed, healthy and more even-keeled among kin this winter. To mend nerves frayed by debates at the dinner table, slip into a nearby bedroom for a calming yoga workout. Yoga’s emphasis on controlled breathing makes it ideal for treating family dynamics straight out of Silver Linings Playbook. The Mayo Clinic reports that deep breathing increases the flow of oxygen into the bloodstream, easing headaches, muscular tension and chest tightness. Yogic breathing patterns also are shown to lower resting heart rates, which helps practitioners stay composed in the face of any intra-family disagreements or other stressors.

For a quick, relaxing yoga routine, begin with a few breathing exercises before moving into a sun salutation—a sequence of full-body poses, or asanas, performed in a smooth, continuous flow. Begin standing, palms pressed together in the tadasana, or mountain, pose. Then move through a series of motions that sweep the arms over the head, expanding the chest, before dipping into downward dog and plank poses, which help increase flexibility and strength. End lying down in the shavasana, or resting, pose with eyes closed and let the quiet settle in. Resistance-training exercises are another option. Release pent up tension by pushing against a wall. Stand about three feet away, lean in and push. Position feet at an angle so that a straight body line forms the hypotenuse of a triangle with the wall and floor. This activity drains the limbs of tightness and stretches out hamstrings and calf muscles, enabling us to walk away feeling light and limber. While some people can happily greet and maintain cheerfulness throughout holiday

family times, others may feel a bit anxious. For a sure-fire endorphin boost, try a cardiovascular workout like running, which German researchers published in Cerebral Cortex confirm produces a flood of euphoria on cue. A quick jog or spirited walk outside helps elevate mood while strengthening the immune system, helping to keep feelings of melancholy at bay. Before heading for the door, those stretching their legs outside in colder climates need to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer than the thermometer reads. This helps prevent the body from overheating, especially after being sedentary for an extended period. To get the blood flowing beforehand, do some simple stretching or take a few trips up and down the stairs. Exercisers that prefer to stay sheltered from wintry weather entirely have a solid alternative; an indoor cardiovascular workout can mimic jogging’s mood-lifting effects. Try alternating 12 reps of jumping jacks, lunges, squats and crunches to get the heart pumping. Consider a second series for a higher intensity workout. All of it will give muscles that often go slack during holiday loafing a chance to flex. Because these moves don’t require any equipment, such electives are as portable as a travel hair dryer during holiday visits anywhere. After one or more of these solo workouts, many revelers may be ready to up the ante on family togetherness. For a healthy dose of quality time, round up the gang and enlist them in a high-energy outdoor activity like hiking, sledding or even Ultimate Frisbee. Participating in friendly family competition is healthy fun and gives everyone something else to talk about later. Sarah Todd is a freelance writer in Brooklyn, NY. Connect at

natural awakenings

December 2013



Sweet Slumber Co-Sleeping in the Family Bed by Mark Sisson


very young mammal on Earth sleeps in close contact with its mother and other family members. They’ve been co-sleeping for security, warmth, comfort and protection for millions of years of evolution. Although it is generally frowned upon in the United States, many human cultures, including most in East Asia, the Pacific islands, South America, Africa and much of southern Europe, have a rich tradition of co-sleeping. In At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson relates that until very recently, most domiciles centered around a central room, or hall, where everyone slept together. Even today, adults and children almost always sleep together in the same beds in non-industrialized, traditional societies worldwide. The modern practice of placing babies in separate rooms at night, often to cry themselves to sleep, appears to be a historical aberration. Co-sleeping, conversely, is the age-old norm because it offers so many benefits to both parents and children.

Co-sleeping makes breastfeeding easier. Studies published by the Acta Paediatrica, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics confirm a consistent link between co-sleeping and breastfeeding in countries as disparate as Brazil, Britain, Malaysia and Sweden. Breast milk provides immunological benefits, transfers symbiotic gut bacteria and promotes bonding between mother and child. It’s especially nutritious if the mother’s diet is healthy, and breast milk is the only food experts agree the human body is unquestionably designed to consume. 20

West Michigan Edition

Co-sleeping improves sleep. A mother that can breast-

feed without leaving the bed will get more sleep. Also, more research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a lower incidence of sudden infant death syndrome when breastfeeding is practiced. In the clinical experience of James McKenna, Ph.D., a University of Notre Dame professor and leading anthropologist in the field, “Breastfeeding mothers typically keep their babies away from pillows, positioning their infants on their backs, while placing them below the parents’ shoulders and raising their arms above them.” Plus, the adults “lay on their sides in ways that can prevent accidental overlays.”

Co-sleeping builds parent-child bonds. Research

Safe Co-Sleeping Habits by Mark Sisson


4 Don’t drink alcohol or take drugs that affect awareness and judgment, especially before bed. 4 Don’t smoke tobacco. The tars and toxins cling to an adult’s body, hair and clothes, exposing the baby to dangerous chemicals that increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 4 Don’t co-sleep if the parent is sleep-deprived, a heavy sleeper, has sleep apnea or is obese.

published by the Sleep Research Society shows that mothers that co-sleep with their babies are more attuned to their sleep/wake habits and can respond quicker to their needs. According to the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, skin-to-skin touch increases the secretion of oxytocin, a bond-building hormone.

4 Don’t allow pets or other children to sleep next to babies.

Co-sleeping fosters maturation. Studies in the Infant

4 Don’t use thick bedding, which can cause rapid overheating or lead to smothering.

and Child Development journal show that kids that share a bed or sleep in the same room with their parents grow up to be more self-reliant and socially independent, better behaved, less anxious about intimacy as adults and more likely to be happy. Parents that are nervous about sharing beds can try room sharing, where the baby sleeps in an adjoining crib or cot; family members will experience many of the same benefits. Mark Sisson is a former marathon runner and triathlete. He is the author of the bestselling health and fitness book, The Primal Blueprint, and publisher of the health blog,

4 Don’t co-sleep on a sofa, loveseat or reclining chair. The cushions create crevices for infant heads to slip into and the elevation creates a fall risk. 4 Don’t use overly soft mattresses that babies can sink into. Think firm.

4 Don’t co-sleep unless everyone is on board. If a spouse isn’t agreeable, try a room share instead.


4 Provide a big enough bed to afford ample space for all co-sleepers. 4 Keep the mattress low or place it on the floor. 4 Eliminate all crevices that a baby might be able to fall into; push the mattress snug against one or more walls. 4 Use a firm mattress, a tight-fitting sheet and light bedding. 4 Place the baby on its back to sleep.

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December 2013



Pet First-Aid Kits All-Natural Home Health Care by Sandra Murphy


irst-aid is the first thing you can do to help an injured animal if you are prepared,” says Dr. Jason Nicholas, owner of The Preventive Vet, in Portland, Oregon. Attention in cases of injury or sudden illness can help a dog or cat stay more comfortable, stop bleeding and provide temporary relief. A pet first-aid kit can resemble a pantry more than a medicine cabinet. Natural components include: Cool water. Purified water kept in a spray bottle can cool overheated pets. For the fastest results, spray near the pulse points, the “armpits” and where fur is the thinnest. Further, a vet will assess if clinical hydration is needed beyond the water bowl. Saline solution. Versatile saline is available at the vet’s office or any pharmacy, and also easy and inexpensive to make at home. Use it to flush debris from eyes, clean wounds and promote healing from incisions. Two teaspoons of non-iodized salt in four cups of boiled water mimics body fluids. The Ohio State University Medical Center website provides a recipe for normal saline solution at Vinegar. It acts as a drying agent, especially for floppyeared dogs taking a dip in a pool or natural waterway, which can leave the inner ear moist. “Don’t use vinegar if the skin is red or broken because it will be painful,” says Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services


West Michigan Edition

at Petplan Pet Insurance, in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Never use it more than twice a week. Honey. Apply this sweet unguent to gums to help counteract low blood sugar and shock, particularly when a diabetic pet’s insulin levels are off. Maple syrup is a good substitute. Sugar. Although not recommended in a regular pet diet, sugar can be a topical antibacterial for the short term. Sugar draws water from the wound and dehydrates bacteria, supporting growth of new tissue. Plain yogurt. Adding this healthy refrigerated topping to dry food will activate a sluggish appetite and supply needed cultures to help balance the digestive system. Cornstarch. This non-toxic remedy helps stop minor bleeding from cuts, scrapes and pedicure accidents. Calendula. Also known as pot marigold, calendula cream may be used as an anti-inflammatory. Bug bites, scrapes, sunburn and itching from allergies also benefit from its application. Aloe. Easily grown in a garden or pot and available in gel form, aloe sooths burns, prevents blisters and speeds healing. It also serves as canine Chapstick. “Older dogs often have cracked skin on their noses,” notes Benson. “Aloe helps to heal the skin and keeps the dog comfortable.” Rescue Remedy. Illness or injury brings stress, and one common solution is Rescue Remedy. To relieve fear or anxiety, rub it onto a paw, nose or ears or add the recommended number of drops to water, a treat

or food. It helps dogs, cats, horses, birds, fish and even iguanas. Dosage relies on the extent of stress rather than weight or species. Clean cloths. For bee stings or insect bites on the body, cool compresses can reduce swelling and itching. Wet a washcloth with cold water or for larger welts, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply for a few minutes at a time. For stings on the face or mouth, it’s best to go to the vet’s office immediately, so that airways don’t swell up and hinder breathing. Miscellaneous supplies. Keep on hand gauze, tape, small scissors, tweezers (for removing objects from the roof of the mouth or splinters), a small flashlight, clean socks to cover a bandage and disposable gloves to keep human germs out of open wounds. A dog in pain may bite without realizing it. Nicholas recommends a basket muzzle, so the dog can easily breathe and pant. When a pet eats or drinks non-food items or foods they shouldn’t, such as chocolate, grapes or onions, head to the local vet. Veterinarian Jeff Levy, in New York City, who is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist, counsels, “Always keep contact information for your vet, an emergency hospital and animal poison control center handy.” Also, find out where emergency services are located when traveling. Pets can go into shock just like humans. To prevent or reduce the impact, keep the animal warm and provide a deep massage of the ears, at the base, where ears meet the head. A couple of drops of lavender oil on a collar or bandana will help everyone relax. Do not put essential oils directly on the pet, especially cats, as it can be toxic. Just like children, pets may have accidents or get sick after office hours. Stay calm, head for the natural pet pantry and then call the family’s holistic veterinarian.



Sandra Murphy is a freelance writer in St. Louis, MO. Connect at StLSandyM@ natural awakenings

December 2013



‘Tis the Season to Be Wise A Prime Time to Rejuvenate and Birth Creativity by Lane Vail

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West Michigan Edition

or California acupuncturist Daniela Freda, counseling patients that grapple with low energy during winter is routine. “They’re often concerned something is wrong, since our society expects us to feel the same way year-round,” says Freda, who maintains a private practice in San Francisco. “But in fact,” she adds, “everything is right.” According to a study published in Psychiatry Research, only 4 to 6 percent of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), characterized by a predictable seasonal pattern of major depressive or bipolar disorder. For the vast majority of the population, a slight seasonal variance in mood and behavior is normal, confirms Kathryn Roecklein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and prominent SAD researcher at Pennsylvania’s University of Pittsburg. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), like Freda, view decreased energy in nature’s wintertime as a reflection of the season’s energy. In this philosophy, rising (yang) and falling (yin) energies cycle as the seasons turn. Winter is governed by quiet, slow, introspective and creative yin energy. As winter yields to spring, the bright, fast, expansive and extroverted yang energy gains momentum to peak in summer. “Nature expresses universal energies in a big way,” says research psychologist and mind-body medicine expert

Joseph Cardillo, Ph.D., author of The Five Seasons. Who can ignore a blossoming spring or an abundant autumn? “Those same energetic cycles,” says Cardillo, “are mirrored in the microcosmic human body and human experience.”

Chill Out

Although the December 21 winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, temperatures in most of the U.S. continue to fall through February. Cardillo advises embracing winter’s chill because it diverts our attention from daily activities so that we pause to consider what’s important. “The effect is similar to splashing cold water on our face,” he remarks. As the cold draws animals into hibernation and plants into dormancy, it also beckons us to enjoy extra sleep, notes Freda, as we follow the sun’s path: Earlier to bed; later to rise. She encourages her clients to incorporate restorative activities into daily routines. “Intentionally set aside time to connect with the breath and quiet the mind,” she counsels. Try gentle yoga or t’ai chi, listen to relaxing music, curl up with a cozy book or take nature walks, flush with fresh sensory experiences. Cardillo explains that slowing down naturally creates space for the contemplative and creative qualities of yin energy to rise. Meditating, visualizing and journaling promote access to one’s inner

Spring is a time for new Find Balance points out that within the strong beginnings, summer a time Freda yin energy of winter, “There are yang for growth, autumn for moments, celebratory moments, to us going.” An imbalance can gathering abundance and keep occur when the slowness of winter is winter for introspection. completely counteracted by too much ~Joseph Cardillo wisdom. “Winter is a perfect time to examine the myriad ideas you’ve dreamt up and assemble them into a new you,” says Cardillo. “Now you are prepared to use the robust energy of spring to scatter those ideas abroad.”

Reflect on Water

In TCM, the element of water, symbolizing focus and purity, is closely associated with winter. Highly adaptable, water can be solid, liquid or formless vapor; it can flow over, under, around or through obstacles with ease; and it can be still and contained. Contemplating the power of water in any of its forms can help synchronize one’s consciousness with the season’s gifts. “When your mind is unstuck and flowing like water, your dreams start becoming real to you, simply because you’re in the flow, the present moment,” observes Cardillo, who also authored Be Like Water. He suggests looking to water for guidance in creating solutions, sharpening focus or moving effortlessly on to the next step.

high-energy socializing, working or rushing through the day. “An excess of yang during the winter,” counsels Freda, “rather than a glimpse of it, can deplete us,” contributing to stress, fatigue and depression. Conversely, for those with an already predominantly yin personality (quiet, introverted, low energy) that overindulge in the yin energy of winter, an attempt at restoration and quietude can lead to lethargy and isolation. “I see this clinically,” says Freda. “Instead of embracing a little extra rest and relaxation, some people become exhausted and lose their motivation altogether. They become stuck in the yin.” Cardillo recommends that such individuals engage in mood-brightening outdoor activities to help restore balance. Roecklein agrees, noting that SAD sufferers undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy (which emphasizes positive thinking and beneficial behaviors) likewise are encouraged to participate in physical and social activities that bring joy and meaning. Lane Vail is a freelance writer in South Carolina. Connect at

Rituals Reverse Winter’s Blues Unpleasant winter memories can affect one’s emotional experience of the season every year like clockwork, says Dr. John Sharp, a physician, psychiatrist and author of The Emotional Calendar. Fortunately, it is possible to take a personal inventory, be aware of such behaviors, innovate on traditions and create a new experience. Holistic Psychologist Joseph Cardillo goes further, suggesting that we create a “personal prescription” to mindfully manage difficult emotions during wintertime. He encourages activating the senses and combining two or more sensory experiences to amplify the effectiveness. Appealing options include: n Light scented candles or diffuse

essential oils (citrus brightens; lavender soothes) n Invite bright colors into living

spaces (reds excite; greens, blues and whites calm) n Nourish the palate with winter

vegetable stews n Create a playlist of soothing nature

sounds or uplifting music n Warm up near a cheery fire after

spending time in the frosty outdoors

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December 2013


Find Your Flow by Shawn Merkel


ow we feel when we step over the threshold of our home and into our personal sanctuary is very important. Do we feel safe, uplifted and nurtured by our home environment or do we feel stressed and begin creating a mental checklist of things that need to be done? If our personal environments fail to comfort, and inspire a sense of serenity, perhaps there is a need for some good flowing chi in our space. Chi energy is another term for universal energy, which permeates everything around us. All living things are interrelated via cosmic or chi energy, which means that nothing happens without consequence to something else. Feng Shui (pronounced fung schway) is the ancient, Chinese art of purposefully placing or arranging objects in order to change the flow of Chi energy, gain positive results, and feel a sense of harmony. Chi energy moves around and flows better when we apply the rules of Feng Shui. In other words, when we move objects with intention, the belief and emotional dimensions also move with it.


Moving items in our home with intention can change our life for the better. While feng shui and good design go hand in hand, our home and work space do not need to look like a glossy home and design magazine spread in order to radiate comfort and harmony or to support the higher purpose of our business.

Better Chi Flow

Our environments either support us or stifle us. Feng shui works to create a strong, positive and supportive environment. If there is a need for better chi flow in life, a good place to begin is to decide on the area of our life that most needs attention. Prioritize—do you feel like you deserve a raise; is your health optimal, or do you need to change an unhealthy habit?

Feng Shui Principals and Bagua

Feng Shui principals work within the eight-sided Bagua, an energy map representing universal life situations—prosperity, fame and reputation, relationships and love, creativity and children, helpful people and travel, career, skills and knowledge and family and health. Each gua is associated with a color, shape symbol, body part and element.

Cures and Balance

A gua can be brought into balance by applying ‘cures’, which is another name for a balancing tool. Cures are activated by specifically placing items to maximize the flow of chi, which nudges fate in a desired direction. Cures in the feng shui toolbox consist of light, sound, living things, weight, color, moving objects, symbolic objects and five earth elements. For example, problems in a personal relationship might indicate that it is time to focus on the home’s relationship gua. 26

West Michigan Edition

Orienting yourself at the entrance, the relationship area is located at the back, right hand corner. Is this area messy and neglected? Is that how you would describe your relationship? Time to give that area some love.

Relationship Gua Cures

The colors red and pink are excellent relationship colors. Flowers can be an excellent cure as well, especially mistletoe. To heat up a relationship, add some candles and move the window air conditioner to another room. Symbolic things that hold a personal meaning for you can be very effective in the relationship corner. A photograph of yourself and your loved one, or a bottle of champagne and two glasses are appropriate. Something as simple as a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses can change the energy in a relationship corner if it’s placed with the proper intention. Be sure to remove anything that may be hazardous to a relationship, symbolically or otherwise. Items that don’t bode well for a relationship corner might include single photos of yourself, or a single bed. Is your old boyfriend’s guitar still sitting there? You may want to give it back to him or donate it. It’s all about examining the specific areas of your life and aligning the guas in your space with them, in order to open up the energy that is already there.

Spatial Organization

Simple spatial organization comes naturally to the majority of humans. Although individuals intuitively move things around to make them feel more comfortable, sometimes it’s a matter of some simple tweaking with a specific intention that takes a space to the next level. While some aspects of feng shui are easy to understand and apply, the core knowledge takes years of study. Just like Traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui knowledge is deep and complex. The more you know about feng shui, the more there is to explore. A professional feng shui consultation for your home or business can increase your knowledge as well as the benefits of positive chi in your life. Shawn Merkel, owner of Align Design LLC, holds a BFA in interior design from Kendall College of Art and Design. She studied under Minnie Kansman of Humanity in Harmony with Nature and earned a certificate in BSTB Feng Shui. By incorporating feng shui and intuitive design principals, she creates healing and harmonious spaces in homes or businesses. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a design or Feng Shui consultation call 616916-1071. See ads pages 11 & 46.

After Birth Service


iving birth to a child is one of the most amazing, spiritual and sometimes exhausting things a woman will ever do in her lifetime. It is hard, diligent work to carry a baby to term and deliver him or her into the world by Julie Reynolds safely and soundly. Although a new baby brings so much excitement, there are also inevitable and sometimes unpleasant side effects of having a baby. A woman’s body physically and emotionally goes through a wide spectrum of changes in a short amount of time, which can be difficult to deal with for both first-time moms and seasoned moms alike. Moms are busier than ever and many times have other little ones at home who also need attention. Most would likely agree that the faster recovery, the better for everyone involved. The good news is that there is a way to speed the recovery after delivery that is both economical and feasible. This is where After Birth Service comes into play. This unique company with an age-old concept offers just what the mother needs after having a baby. Although this concept may seem strange and something not really ever considered before, Placentophagia, or placenta eating, is a practice worth learning more about – even for the squeamish. Before thinking it is too foreign an idea to contemplate, keep in mind that After Birth Service is a professional business and strives to make the process as neat and easy as can be for clients through their process of encapsulating the placenta, which removes the need for raw ingesting of the placenta. The placenta is actually quite an amazing organ that is filled with many natural healing chemicals that can be used by the mother for months and even years to come. It’s completely natural, because it came directly from the mother with the correct balance of hormones and nutrients. Just some of the many hormones and nutrients it contains are: gonadotrophin, a precursor to estrogen; prolactin, promotes lactation; oxytocin, for pain and bonding; a thyroid stimulating hormone, boosts energy; cortisone, combats stress and prostaglandins, an antiinflammatory. Taking advantage of the capsules after delivery can help the mother feel more energetic, enjoy a happier mood, lessen the chance of anemia, lessen the pain of breastfeeding and generally make the first few months after birth more enjoyable for the whole family. Arrangements for placenta encapsulation are usually made in advance, and the team is careful with their scheduling to ensure they are able to come to the client’s home to process the placenta as soon as possible after the birth of the baby. However, they have

Community Spotlight

also processed frozen placentas and say that the health benefits can still remain there regardless. The process of encapsulating the placenta takes about eight hours and is done right in the client’s kitchen. Because of the nature of this business, there are certain regulations that must be followed. The After Birth Service website states, “We are careful to go beyond OSHA’s rigid requirements to ensure total safety for all of us.” When finished, the client receives usually 100-200 capsules and a clean kitchen! Included with the package is a beautiful watercolor print of the placenta, a cord keepsake, 100 miles of travel and Boo Boo Butt Baby Bottom Balm, which they make as well. If a placenta tincture is desired, this can also be done and is strongly advised, because the 8 ounce bottle the client receives can last a lifetime and never expires. This is to be used when the capsules are gone. Just a drop or two is all it will take to feel better during emotional or difficult days – even during menopause. Making a tincture takes about six weeks, costs only $40 and is carefully shipped when finished. Another product that this family makes is a homeopathic-type remedy for children. This package comes with two 4 ounce bottles (12c and 24c) and is “likened to resetting the child to their factory settings.” This process also takes 6 weeks, is labor intensive and costs a bit more at $95. Not only does After Birth Service provide placenta products and natural homeopathic products, but they now offer Biofeedback services, sometimes known as the “energy medicine.” They use a Biofeedback L.I.F.E. machine and a computer to identify stress points and correct them electrically. According to the website, “The L.I.F.E. System relieves stress and brings energetic balance to your body in a painless, relaxing way.” After Birth Service is a state-licensed family business based in Stanton, Michigan. This family is dedicated to the work they do and truly believe it is a labor of love. Cathy Knight and Melissa Williams created this business about five years ago because they were inspired by Melissa’s remarkable postpartum recovery. Cathy’s son, Tom Williams, also works in the business. Cathy is a Naturopathic Doctor, a Master Herbalist, AAMA Certified MA, and a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP). Melissa is a certified Colon Hydrotherapist, Certified Natural Health Professional (CHHP) and is currently studying to be a Master Herbalist. Tom is a Certified Natural Health Professional (CNHP). Together this family provides after birth services and natural products, which are available for purchase on their website. “We’re the busiest, most recognized and most experienced placenta specialists in Michigan – and we got that way by consistently providing fast, personalized thoughtful service … one mom at a time,” Knight remarked, “We have had at least 500 clients and not one has had post birth mood disorder.” For more information, visit It will likely answer many questions, provide useful information and provide convincing evidence of the multitude of great benefits in this process. Also look at their Facebook page to see information, testimonials and more. This type of opportunity does not come along every day, so give them a call today. Contact After Birth Service at 616-821-5266 or 517-930-2196. See ad page 20. natural awakenings

December 2013



Harried Holidays?

by Pamala Oslie

Your Aura Colors - Signs of Stress & Tips to Be Happy


e all know that the holiday season can be the most stressful and that, ironically, many of us find ourselves strung out and unhappy at a time when we are expected to be our happiest. How we handle the stress of the season has a lot to do with the kind of person we are. Knowing that, we can use specific strategies to deal with holiday demands and make the season what is was meant to be- joyous. How can we know what kind of person we are? The answer is in the colors of our aura. Everyone has an aurawhat science calls the electro-magnetic field- and we’ve all felt them. We’ve been instantly drawn to some people and repelled by others, because we’ve felt their energy. That energy is expressed in different color bands that radiate from our bodies- what we call the aura. I have learned in my work as a professional intuitive who can also see auras that our aura colors reveal very important information about who we are - our personality, relationship style and compatibilities, best career paths, potential health challenges and more. Discovering our aura color personality type and unique coping skills is a valuable key to knowing how to handle stress. The quiz accompanying this article will help you discover your aura color. Take the quiz, and once you know your color, read on to discover your aura color personality, the signs that you are stressed, and some helpful tips tailored to help you deal with that stress and take the harried out of the holidays. Yellows are fun loving, humorous, creative, physical, generous, sensitive & natural healers. Signs that you’re stressed: You are not laughing and enjoying life. You’re avoiding, procrastinating or distracting yourself with addictions (food, alcohol, TV, sweets, drugs, caffeine, etc.) Your back or knees hurt. Tips to become happier: Spend time in nature, exercise, dance, eat healthy, get a massage, play, laugh, cheer up others, hang out with your dog, simplify your life, find reasons to be optimistic, smile, watch a funny movie, and laugh some more. Greens are intelligent and driven accomplishers, often business-owners, managers, sales, etc. Signs of stress: You’ve become a workaholic; you’re frustrated, critical, controlling, arguing, yelling, blaming others, or being hard on yourself. You have tight neck & shoulders, heart problems or digestive issues. Tips to become happier: Write a list of your accomplishments, appreciate everything on that list, take deep breaths, organize your space, reduce your caffeine intake, reassess & write a list of your goals, trust yourself, and develop a plan. Then once you learn how to breathe, take action. 28

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Violets are visionaries, leaders, teachers, artists & humanitarians who want to help the world. Signs of stress: Yo u ’ v e b e c o m e overwhelmed, scattered, constantly multi-tasking, stuck, bored, restless, or depressed; or you’re bossy, judgmental & impatient. Your thyroid may be unhealthy or your eyes may be bothering you. Tips to become happier: Practice your favorite form of daily meditation, travel, listen to positive music & inspirational teachers, spend quiet time alone realigning with your visions, get involved with humanitarian projects, be with people who inspire & motivate you, travel again - hopefully to foreign countries. Blues are loving, nurturing, spiritual, emotional, and perpetually counseling and helping others. Signs of stress: You’re exhausted from giving too much, you’re sad, cry a lot, feel unappreciated, feel unlovable or unworthy, feel guilty, or depressed. You may have throat, breast or reproductive issues. Tips to become happier: Pray, connect with a Greater Source, walk, breath, meditate, appreciate your home & loved ones, remember all the loving things you’ve done for others, let go of guilt, trust you are loved, learn to love yourself by doing good things for you too, learn to say no, help others without over doing it, spend time with supportive friends. Tans are practical, logical, patient, detail-oriented, reliable, and value stability & security. Signs of stress: You’re worried, anxious, impatient, frustrated, critical, bottling up anger or intense emotions, pessimistic, withdrawn or shut down. You may be experiencing headaches or eyestrain. Tips to become happier: Exercise, watch less news, take a break from the details, develop a secure financial plan, rest your eyes, breathe, read positive & optimistic information, find healthy outlets for your emotions (such as talking with a calm & rational friend who can give practical & trustworthy advice), research data until you feel more secure. Pamala Oslie is an author, consultant, radio show host and professional intuitive. Author of, Life Colors, Love Colors, and Make Your Dreams Come True. She has been a guest lecturer at the International Forum on New Science, Fortune 500 companies, the TEDx Talks 2012, and many seminars for professionals in the psychology, education, health fields and more. Pam is also Founder of

Aura Colors Quiz Yes


Color #1

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

I like to laugh, play, and cheer people up. I tend to look younger than my age. I like to be creative, artistic, athletic or a healer. Total


Color #2


___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

I am analytical and logical, not an emotional person. I enjoy working with computers, machines, or electronics. I prefer to work for others & enjoy working on details. Total


Color #3


Your Aura Color Key

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

I tend to be a workaholic, perfectionist, ambitious, and strong-willed. My top priorities are money and accomplishing goals. I am organized, efficient, and often write lists. Total


Color #4


___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

I tend to help, counsel, and nurture others. Love, spirituality, and relationships are my highest priorities I tend to be emotional and can cry easily. Total



Color #5

___ ___

___ ___

I have a strong desire to help save or improve the planet. I have always felt that I was going to be famous, be a leader or do something big and important. ___ ___ Freedom, travel, and independence are major priorities to me. ___ ___ Total

#1 = Yellow #2 = Tan #3 = Green #4 = Blue #5 = Violet Most people have two main aura colors, so the personality traits of both colors will apply to you.

Highest number of “yes” answers: Color #______ Second highest number of “yes” answers: Color #______

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December 2013



Humanity’s Eternal Quest Eckhart Tolle on the Kingdom of Heaven Within

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best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got. ~Art Buchwald


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by Eric Nelson

o listen to Eckhart Tolle is to be reminded that anything is possible—for anyone. We’re not talking about living a life of leisure, filled with expensive cars, beach homes and extravagant vacations, but an experience brimming with the kind of spiritual insights that make this life not only worth living, but decidedly more fulfilling. The problem is that when people hear the words “spiritual insight”, there’s often an assumption that it’s about something too ethereal to be practical or too elusive to be achieved in this lifetime. This is exactly the point that Tolle, one of the world’s most well-known spiritual teachers and authors, rebuffed during a talk earlier this year at California’s Stanford University. “Some people awaken spiritually without ever coming into contact with any meditation technique or any spiritual teaching,” he said. “They may awaken simply because they can’t stand the suffering anymore.” He went on to cite examples of those that have either been told they have a short time to live or have been given an exceptionally long prison sentence. In both cases, any thought of a future has been effectively dashed, forcing these individuals into what Tolle describes as an intense awareness that there is only the present moment, with no more future to escape into mentally. The result is a lot less suffering.

“That is the real spiritual awakening, when something emerges from within you that is deeper than who you thought you were,” says Tolle. “So, the person is still there, but one could almost say that something more powerful shines through the person.” The good news, according to Tolle, is that in order to experience this awakening, “You don’t have to wait for the diagnosis by the doctor or to be put in prison… nor do you have to do 30,000 hours of meditation or live in an ashram for 20 years. Once you get a glimpse of it, you can invite it into your daily life.” For a growing number of people, it’s this understanding of the always present “spiritual you” shining through that has led to significant improvements in their lives, not the least of which is better health. This would seem to indicate that these kinds of spiritual insights aren’t the least bit ethereal or elusive, but decidedly practical. “Spirituality and religion belong in the healing paradigm,” writes Airdre Grant, Ph.D., of Australia’s Southern Cross University, in a study published in the Journal of the Australian TraditionalMedicine Society. “They are determinants of health and they are factors in recovery, well-being and longevity.” So where do these insights come from? Is it simply a matter of wishful thinking? Or is it perhaps something more reliable, more effective than that? “Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is photo by David Ellingsen

An Inner-Faith Worship and Spiritual Enrichment Center

Spiritual insights aren’t the least bit ethereal or elusive, but decidedly practical. within you,’” observes Tolle, implying that this health-inducing understanding may be a lot closer than we thought. “I think if he lived nowadays, instead of ‘kingdom’, he would have said, ‘dimension’. And ‘heaven’ refers to a sense of vastness or spaciousness. So if we retranslate the words of Jesus into modern terms, [it would be] ‘the dimension of spaciousness is within you.’” “And then Jesus said—when they asked him, ‘Where is the kingdom of heaven and when is it going to come?’— he said, ‘The kingdom of heaven does not come with signs to be perceived. You cannot say, ah, it’s over there or look, it’s over there, for I tell you the kingdom of heaven is within you.’” How comforting it is to be reminded that the proverbial “kingdom of heaven” we’ve been hearing about for at least two millennia—this “dimension of spaciousness”, or what might be characterized as the understanding of our true spiritual identity—is “within you.” It’s within us all, here and now. All that remains is the willingness— and the humility—to put this insight into practice. Eric Nelson is a Christian Science healing practitioner from Los Altos, CA, whose articles on the link between spiritual consciousness and health appear regularly in national online publications. Connect at

natural awakenings

December 2013



GREEN Merry Making

Retro-Fresh Family Traditions by Claire O’Neil


hroughout the year, Santa’s good girls and boys of all ages make every effort to buy only what’s needed, plus recycle, reuse and repurpose. Then the holidays hit and discipline often gives way to indulgences. The season seems consumed by up-tempo decorating, feasting, shopping, giftgiving and merrymaking at any cost. Yet, creative green living experts show us how easy it is to tweak time-honored family traditions to align with the green way we wish to live and feel even more satisfied with festivities.

Decking the Halls

For Danny Seo, author of Upcycling Celebrations: A UseWhat-You-Have Guide to Decorating, Gift-Giving & Entertaining, “Upcycling is basically a form of recycling that elevates something to a better level than before.” Based in New York City and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Seo always has an eye out for green possibilities. “Opt for vintage pieces and re-imagine them in new and interesting ways,” he advises. For example, he likes to upcycle a vintage glass cake stand with a collection of bright ornaments for a unique holiday focal point. Michele Johansen, a lifestyle writer in Bellevue, Washington, suggests bringing in the outdoors. Instead of decorating the tree with tinsel and the home with plastic faux greenery, she suggests stringing popcorn and cranberries on the tree and decking the halls with fresh wreaths and garlands accented with boughs of holly. “Local nurseries are good sources for holiday décor that you can later mulch or put in yard waste bins,” she says. “The smells are much more authentic and festive.” Save energy by using LED lights whenever possible, suggests Sheryl Eisenberg, a writer for the National Resources De34

West Michigan Edition

fense Council. Plug lights and electronics into a power strip, and then unplug it when not in use to save “ghost” energy pulled by electronics that are plugged in, but not activated. Buy a live tree to later plant or recycle, Seo suggests. This supports regional Christmas tree farmers while retaining the integrity of local forests. Many communities offer recycling of holiday trees to provide mulch or habitat for aquatic life in local lakes.

Keeping the Feast

Organize a cookie exchange to get together and save time and energy on holiday baking, suggests Sara Novak, a food policy and health writer at, from Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. Generally, a hostess asks guests to bring several dozen of their favorite cookies. Once gathered, attendees share the treats and recipes, taking home several of each variety. To “green it up”, Novak recommends emailing the recipes rather than printing them, encouraging invitees to use fresh and local ingredients and bring favorite reusable containers from home, like a colorful, time-honored cookie tin. For the holiday table, mix and match settings of plates, glasses, linens and cutlery. “Use the real thing,” Eisenberg recommends, “and recruit guests to help wash up afterwards.” She recalls that while growing up, her mother supplemented her silverware with grandmother’s for large holiday dinners. Save your own energy—and sanity—by asking family and friends to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert. The hostess can assign a dish and corresponding recipe or use a potluck approach, says Eisenberg. Leftovers go home in nonplastic, reusable containers.

Gift Giving

Many families enjoy giving traditional gifts to children at certain ages, like dollhouses or train sets. Re-imagine these and, when possible, buy local to save energy and support area businesses, suggests Eisenberg. Cintia Gonzalez, an Australian mom, crafted a dollhouse from an old suitcase, inventively using black chalkboard paint for the exterior, wooden shelves as floors and fast food ketchup cups as lampshades ( Another mom transformed a discarded coffee table into a painted train table for her boys. Upcycle paint chip cards into colorful gift tags, suggests Seo. Plus, use gift wraps that become part of the gift itself, such as placemats swaddling a bottle of wine, fabric to encase quilting supplies or sheet music enveloping concert tickets. As a general rule, “Give experiences, not gifts,” counsels Eisenberg. “Giving loved ones experiences reduces wrapping paper, ribbon and packaging and is an easy way to be a bit more personal over the holidays. Your teenage niece may love a spa day, complete with hair styling, while your favorite aunt and uncle may be thrilled to attend a local wine tasting. If you think a young child can tolerate a few less presents in exchange for a pass to an ice show or dance class, go for it.” “It’s the holiday experience that counts,” counsels Seo. “It’s what makes memories.”

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December 2013


Home Sweet


Home? by Julie Reynolds


here are plenty of ways to “go green” and more and more people are trying out new green products in their homes, buying more fuel-efficient cars, recycling more items and downsizing the homes they build. Solar panels and wind turbines are other power-saving devices people are using more frequently. Society is slowly finding new and improved ways to live in harmony with the natural world around them by using a bit of creativity and inspiration. Even home builders are designing and constructing homes using unique and unwanted materials, which has previously been done for years by individuals wanting to use pre-existing materials for cost savings or environmental reasons. Now, consider living in a shipping container – one of those 20ft or 40ft steel rectangular storage containers used for transporting cargo on large ships and semi-trucks. Builders refer to these as Intermodal Steel Building Units or ISBU. Put a few of those next to each other or stack them vertically, and they can be made into fully-functional designer homes, offices and more. People are finding the idea of reinventing unwanted shipping containers intriguing and at the same time a way to reuse something for a practical purpose. The Intermodal Steel Building Units Association (ISBA) claims to be “the only organization to finally research, organize, promote and educate on the use and benefits of ISBU shipping container construction.” Their website states that China and Hong Kong are the cities of origin of the majority of the idle shipping containers in the U.S. In 2006 there was a surplus of nearly 700,000 idle shipping containers in the U.S. alone. However, with the current popularity and trend of using these containers for other purposes, the number that rest in ship yards has been greatly reduced mostly due to businesses buying them and selling them for secondary use. They are widely available from various ports and companies that sell them to builders. Instead of leaving containers to accumulate, people around the world are finding many creative uses for these ultra durable steel structures. The ISBA noted that the interest and growth of ISBU technology and ISBA memberships grew more than 300% between 2008 and 2009. As of 2010, they were double what they were in 2009. They believe that “ISBU technology is possibly the fastest growing Eco-Green trend.” Construction companies around the country have started expanding their businesses to include building using ISBUs and have made big profits creating expensive modern designs. Even large cities use them as office 36

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buildings or multi-level apartment buildings. They are wind resistant, waterproof and quite secure. With a spark of creativity, these container buildings can serve many purposes by painting them, decorating them and adding architectural details to make them more appealing. There are a variety of books, websites and online videos dedicated to showcasing shipping container homes and structures with colorful photos of storage container creations and stepby-step plans on how to build one. According to the book Intermodal Shipping Container Small Steel Buildings, “Two joined 40ft containers, resting on concrete footings, and topped with a lumber-built gable style roof creates an affordable useful structure that is really quite easy to build.” They can be used as offices, homes, cabins, research facility buildings, malls, sheds, business stands, and more. The military has been using them for years as temporary housing and some places use them as temporary housing for people displaced by storms. Before purchasing one, two or more shipping containers, a fair amount of research should be done to ensure you find the containers that best suit the need. Finding a storage container closest to the building site will save on shipping costs and fossil fuels in transporting it to the location. Costs of containers can range based on condition, age and size and start around $1,000. Multiple containers may also be needed, so factor in that cost. Using larger containers may be more cost-effective if more square footage is desired; however, a 40ft container may not work in some locations or may not be able to be delivered to some locations. Some containers have side rails and some do not, which can affect how they are unloaded onto the property. Some communities may or may not allow this type of building either, so checking with your local municipality on building restrictions and size requirements is important, too. Also, keep in mind that there is considerable work to be done and additional costs required in order to get them to a livable state. Handy individuals can build a storage container home or cabin relatively inexpensively compared to the cost of a stick-built home, doing much of the work after delivery themselves. On the other hand, choosing a company that specializes in building container homes may offer expertise and creative ideas on how to make the structure fit your needs, but may not necessarily save you money. In fact, some storage container homes are so embellished, that they are not inexpensive solutions at all. There are additional

Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings. She has a degree in journalism and also is a certified teacher. Julie lives in the Muskegon area with her family and works as a real estate agent for Greenridge Realty and also as a substitute teacher.

costs involved such as delivery to the site, possible sandblasting, removal of existing treated wood flooring, special cutting tools, a roof in some cases, siding if desired, windows, doors, new interior flooring and basements or substructures. The main incentive in using storage containers for homes, cabins or offices should be to help the environment by using something that otherwise would have no other purpose. It is important to plan carefully with this project to best utilize your resources and make it as environmentally friendly as possible.

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December 2013





BRIGHT How Wheat, Carbs and Sugar are Affecting Your Brain Health by Linda Sechrist


lzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia and a general term for memory loss and other intellectual disabilities serious enough to interfere with daily life, affects 5.6 million Americans. According to The Lancet Neurology, a well-respected medical journal on brain research, Alzheimer’s, which presently has no cure, is preventable. “Lifestyle choices, like aerobic exercise and eating plenty of healthy fats and reducing carbohydrates, affect overall brain health, as well as the risk of Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. David Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist and author of the new bestselling book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers. Food is a powerful epigenetic modulator—it can enable or hamper our DNA, thus regulating the expression of many genes. Experts have only begun to understand the damaging consequences of wheat consumption. “Grain Brain is a timely wake-up call about how we are increasingly challenging human physiology by consuming what we are not genetically prepared to process, like the 133 pounds of wheat the average American eats annually,” says Perlmutter. He believes that one of the main culprits for the decline in brain health in modern times has been the introduction of wheat into the human diet. Today’s modernized and hybridized wheat crops share little genetic, structural or chemical similarity to the wild einkorn variety of grain our ancestors consumed in small amounts.


West Michigan Edition

In the West, 20 percent of calories “A hallmark of what I term to disease processes like Alzheimer’s, come from wheat-based food. Perlmutmild cognitive impairment and corograin brain is that brain nary artery disease. The researchers ter is among those that regard this as a dangerous statistic, especially since Dr. dysfunction is predicated concluded that elevated hemoglobin Alessio Fasano, a pediatric gastroenteroloA1C is directly associated with brain on the inflammation from shrinkage, says Perlmutter. gist and research scientist who leads the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at He further notes, “The function of consumption of gluten, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Bosthe brain, which is 60 to 70 percent fat as well as the long chains and maintained by the fats you consume, ton, found that the gluten in wheat leads to the production of zonulin in the gut. of sugar molecules known depends on its environment.” Grain Zonulin increases the permeability Brain recommends a diet that’s aggresas carbohydrates.” of the intestinal wall, allowing proteins to sively low in carbohydrates (60 grams leak from the gut into the bloodstream, per day) and bountiful in supportive ~ Dr. David Perlmutter explains Perlmutter. These proteins, brain fats. These include extra-virgin which would normally remain within the olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, ghee, digestive system, then challenge parts of the immune system, almond milk, avocados, olives, nuts, nut butters, cheese and the macro fascia and certain other types of white blood cells seeds such as flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and that increase production of inflammation-related chemicals. chia. It is also rich in above-ground vegetables such as kale, “Zonulin is the cornerstone of diseases characterized by broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and salad inflammation in the brain—Alzheimer’s, autism, Parkinson’s greens, while relatively low in below-ground vegetables like and attention deficit disorders—as well as autoimmune disbeets, carrots and potatoes, which are higher in carbohyeases,” advises Perlmutter. drates. It also calls for reduced fruit consumption. Fasano’s research shows that such a reaction to zonulin “Having two to four servings of fruit every day, based on is present in 100 percent of humans—not just in the 1.8 perAmerica’s present food pyramid, is not helpful. More in line cent of the population that have celiac disease or 30 percent with avoiding brain drain is an apple or a handful of berries, that are gluten sensitive. “A hallmark of what I term grain or about 100 calories worth of any fruit. In my opinion, the brain is that brain dysfunction is predicated on the inflamma- pyramid needs to be stood on its head,” advises Perlmutter. tion from consumption of gluten, as well as the long chains “We should eat a diet similar to what our ancestors survived of sugar molecules known as carbohydrates,” says Perlmuton for 2.6 million years and reprogram support of our genetic ter. “This includes fruit, which also was consumed in limited destiny for the better.” quantities by our ancestors.” He cites a published analysis by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., author of The Paleo Diet. Dr. David Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist, Fellow A diet high in carbohydrates has been directly related of the American College of Nutrition and author of Grain to atrophy, or brain shrinkage, according to a recent GerBrain. For more information on his 2013 PBS Grain Brain man study by University of Bonn researchers, published in series, visit Neurology. A blood test for hemoglobin A1C, the standard laboratory measurement to assess average blood sugar, is Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. frequently used in studies that correlate blood sugar control Visit for the recorded interview.



Health & Wellness

Rev Up Healthy Choices in the New Year Local & National Experts Show You How For more information about advertising and how you can participate, call 616-656-9232 natural awakenings

December 2013



Natural Iodine Supplementation A Must for Most Americans


e all need iodine, yet most of us don’t get enough of it through our diet. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that iodine deficiency in the developed world has increased fourfold in the past 40 years and now affects nearly three-quarters of all adults. Numerous U.S. practicing physicians quoted widely in the media estimate that the incidence of hypothyroidism in our adult population may be between 30 and 70 percent. Thus, we can’t efficiently produce the thyroid hormones that serve as chemical messengers triggering nearly every bodily function. The presence or absence of iodine affects our every cell.

Be Aware of Hypothyroidism Symptoms Low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, is the most recognized and obvious indicator of low iodine intake because the thyroid gland contains more concentrated iodine than other organs.

Symptoms can range from extreme fatigue and weight gain to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breasts and a variety of skin and hair problems. Hypothyroidism can further cause infertility, joint pain, heart disease and stroke. Low iodine levels also have been associated with breast and thyroid cancers. In children, insufficient iodine has been strongly linked with mental retardation, deafness, attention deficient and hyperactivity disorder and impaired growth, according to studies by Boston University, China’s Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and France’s National Academy of Medicine. The answer is simple: Taking the right kind of iodine in the right dosage can rebalance thyroid function and restore health to the thyroid and the whole body.

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West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Detoxifed Iodine is 100 percent natural, raw iodine in an ethyl alcohol solution. We thank all those that are benefiting from this product and enthusiastically telling us their great results.  Available only at  My wife, who suffered from extreme fatigue and other symptoms, saw a dramatic increase in energy after just a few days of taking the natural iodine drops. Now if she misses a day, she’ll end up falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon, like she used to do before taking the iodine. It works! ~ Aaron My doctor told me that I had a hypothyroid condition, prescribed medication and was happy with the follow-up test results, yet I noticed no positive effects on my overall wellbeing. Within two weeks of using the Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine, I had more energy, felt more awake and enjoyed clearer thinking and greater peace of mind. People even comment that I look younger. I am a fan! ~ Larry

Reasons Behind Iodine Deficiency Radiation: Almost everyone is routinely exposed to iodine-depleting radiation emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi, microwave ovens and other electronic devices. Iodized table salt: The human body cannot utilize the iodine added to this product. Low-sodium diets: Failure to use healthy salts to fulfill sodium requirements, plus overuse of zero-nutrient table salt in foods, leads to iodine depletion. Bromine: This toxic chemical overrides iodine’s abilities to nourish the thyroid, adrenal and other hormone-producing glands. A known carcinogen, it is used as an anticaking ingredient found in almost all baked goods, unless the ingredients specifically cite unbromated flour. Iodine-depleted soils: Due to poor farming techniques, iodine and other minerals in soil have declined, so most foods today are devoid of naturally occurring iodine. Proper iodine supplementation with a high-quality product like Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine can prevent harm by protecting the thyroid and other endocrine glands and restoring proper hormone production.


editorial calendar




health & wellness

plus: health coaches FEBRUARY

rethinking heart health

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying

plus: stress relief MARCH

food & garden

plus: gluten-free foods APRIL

green living

by Bronnie Ware

plus: healthy home MAY

women’s wellness


eople grow a lot when faced with their own mortality. As a palliative caregiver for many years, I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for personal growth. After wrestling with a variety of intense emotions, every patient I saw found their peace before they departed. When questioned about regrets or what they would have done differently, five themes emerged. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and died knowing that it was due to choices they had made or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize until they no longer have it. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. Every male patient that I nursed felt they had missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. They deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. Women also spoke of this regret, but because most were from an older generation, many had not been breadwinners. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace

plus: bodywork

with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. As a result, many developed illnesses apparently related to the bitterness and resentment they carried. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Many were disappointed they had not truly realized the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks, and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip away. Many deeply regretted not giving important friendships the time and effort that they deserved. I wish that I had let myself be happier. Many did not understand until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others and to themselves that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh with gusto and cultivate some silliness in their life.


inspired living

plus: men’s wellness JULY

food watch

plus: natural medicine cabinet AUGUST

transformative education plus: children’s health SEPTEMBER

conscious caretaking plus: yoga


sustainable communities plus: chiropractic and acupuncture NOVEMBER

personal empowerment plus: beauty


awakening humanity plus: holiday themes

Bronnie Ware is the author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, a memoir of how people she cared for changed the way she lives. She blogs at natural awakenings

December 2013


$ave Time & Energy! Please call in advance to ensure that the event you’re interested in is still available. MONDAY, DECEMBER 2

Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:458:45pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. $5. Satya Yoga, 133 Butler St., Saugatuck.


Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:008:00pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. $5 Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids. Call for info 269-908-1016. Free Shamanic Information Session- 7:158:30pm. Andy Groggel helps you learn to tap into your inner wisdom to find answers to your questions. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.


Yoga Nidra with Jessica Roodvoets- 7:00-8:15pm. $18 pre-register, $25 at the door. Join Jessica for a guided meditation and visualization and enter a state where the conscious mind is deeply relaxed. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.


Bija Prenatal Yoga- 12:00-1:15pm. Enjoy the many benefits of yoga during and after your pregnancy including better alignment, strength and breathwork. Learn to modify for other yoga classes as your baby grows and be sure to bring your newborn to class and share your joy. $10 drop-in. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake. Vision Board Workshop- 2:00-4:00pm. Create a Vision Board to help you manifest what you DO desire in life. Learn why it is a powerful tool, the science behind it and how to overcome self-limiting beliefs. No art experience required. Contact Sara at 616-801-3116 or to register. $25. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake. Kirtan with Sonam Targee- 7:00pm. Kirtan, literally translated as “to repeat,” is a form of devotional chanting whose roots go back over 500 years to India. Sonam will lead the group in a call and response chant. No experience with chanting, singing, or yoga required. $12. From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center, 714 Wealthy St, Grand Rapids.

calendarofevents Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.



Introduction to Ayurvedic Medicine with Sonam Targee- 10:00am-12:30pm. Focus on the practical aspects of using Ayurvedic knowledge in everyday life. We will intermingle herbal information with spiritual techniques, dietary guidelines, and lifestyle suggestions. Employing the use of common kitchen herbs for healing of digestive symptoms. $45. From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center, 714 Wealthy St, Grand Rapids.


Eckankar-10:00-11:00am. All are invited to the monthly ECK Worship Service to discover how to bring God into our everyday life. Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids, 616-245-7003,

Preparing for Winter with Sonam Targee- 2:004:30pm. Ayurveda has developed many strategies to work with the respiratory and digestive mucosa to keep them healthy in the cold weather. This class will focus on strengthening the immune system and remedial measures in case of an illness. $45. From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center, 714 Wealthy St, Grand Rapids.


The Vitamin D Connection to Mood and Cholesterol- 5:30pm. Vitamin D can affect more than just mood and cholesterol. This class will explore deficiency and related conditions, how bodies manufacture and utilize this vitamin, how to use diet to boost it and when to use supplements. $15 at door or $10 pre-registered. Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th Street, Holland. 616-355-5333


Wednesday Wellness- 12:15-1:15pm. Reiki and the Energy Body with Brent Doornbos, $10. Explore your energetic anatomy and learn relaxing self-care techniques for the holidays. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.


Free Workshop: Learn Trigger Point Massage6:00pm. Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS is presenting on how to do Trigger Point Massage. Learn what a trigger point is, the causes, how to prevent them, how to get rid of them, hands on training. Limited to first 30 callers. RSVP at 616-447-9888. Peak Performance, 4150 East Beltline Suite #4 Grand Rapids.


Majic Concert Series- The Hildegard Singers, an a capella women’s vocal group performing Renaissance songs and dramas; with visual art by Virginia Wierenga. Bios of the performers and artists can be viewed at our website, Free will offering. Bethlehem Church, 250 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids.

Ayurvedic Tips to Survive the Holiday Season2:00pm. Join Angel Hayden, owner of True Form, for an informative discussion, taste testing and homemade gift ideas, all centered on Ayurveda principles. Event day discounts at Sérendipité Organiques, True Form & Global Infusions. Free, but limited to 12. RSVP or 616-889-9825 by 12/9/13. Sérendipité Organiques, 959 Lake Dr SE, Ste 2 Grand Rapids.

Holiday Digestive Issues? It Could Be Food Sensitivities- 5:30pm. Digestive issues, migraines, fatigue, overweight, and aching joints can be signs of a chronically activated immune system. Learn how to identify food intolerances, reduce inflammation, and start feeling better. $15 at door or $10 pre-registered. Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th Street, Holland. 616-355-5333


FREE Essential Oils Class- 6:30-8:30pm. Will teach you simple, easy to use recipes using 100% pure Essential Oils for colds, flu, staph, etc. You have a choice of safe & natural over synthetic immunizations. 9335 Tiger Lily Dr., Caledonia. 616-481-8587.


108 Sun Salutations- 10:00am-1:00pm. Join us on the shortest day of the year to encourage the sun’s return and the lengthening of days by participating in the tradition of completing 108 Sun Salutations. Come for all or part. No pre-registration needed. Call On The Path Yoga at 616-935-7028 for info. $15 drop-in. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3, Spring Lake. Yoga Mala 108 Sun Salutations- 12:00pm. Join us for the sacred practice of 108 sun salutations in celebration of the Winter Solstice. Dedication begins at noon followed by a 20-min savasana and closing intention. Sun Salutations can be modified for all levels. $25. Space is limited. RSVP at www. or call 616-209-8395. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE Kentwood. Women’s Self Defense Practice Session- 1:003:00pm. With Brent Doornbos and Mike Hardenburgh, Goodwill Donation, Refresh your skills and practice the techniques taught in Women’s Self Defense Class. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Suite D, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.


Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- 7:00pm. Join us at Unity of Grand Rapids for a joyful, uplifting evening of carols and candlelight, as we re-tell the Christmas story and explore what it means to give birth to the Christ Child within. All are invited to

Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication.


West Michigan Edition

attend Free. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids.


New Year’s Eve Burning Bowl Service- 7:00pm. Before the New Year’s Eve parties begin, join us for an inspiring, sacred time of reflection and celebration in prayer, meditation and song. As we reconnect with our Inner Spirit, we release the old of 2013 and set intentions for new ways of living in 2014. All are invited to attend. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids.



Healthy Family Diet Program- The right diet = sharp mind, abundance of energy, stable mood, and a feeling of wellbeing. Cut through misinformation to learn how to use food to make improvements. 4-week nutrition/cooking program. To register 616-355-5333. Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th Street, Holland. 616-355-5333


Weight Loss School- Several sessions. Explore and understand the 8 reasons for weight loss resistance so you can identify personal focus areas, and learn how to use food to take action. Give us a month and we can help you transform your family diet. Nutrition/cooking sessions. Monitoring available. Holistic Nutrition Center, 90 West 8th Street, Holland. 616-355-5333.

savethedate January 10 & 11, 2014 Living Well – Grand Rapids Show Mark your calendars for West Michigan’s only health and wellness show is coming back to DeVos Place for its second year. If your business focuses on health, fitness, or wellness, don’t miss being part of West Michigan’s only show that’s completely devoted to improving all aspects of health. Exhibitor brochures are available at

savethedate January 11 & 12, 2014 Chakra Tuning and Art, Energetics of Asana Assists- 1:00-5:00pm. Jessica Patterson is a Certified Jivamukti Teacher in Colorado Springs and a 500-hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance (2000+ hours of teaching). She has taught nationally and internationally, including Taiwan and Mexico. Heart’s Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Drive, Allendale.

savethedate March 14-16, 2014 West Michigan Women’s Expo - Over 400 Exhibits and Seminars Tailored to Women and their Families. Bring your friends and family to explore all that the Women’s Expo has to offer...Health, Beauty, Fitness, Fashion, Finance, and Fun. Open to the Public. For more info or to exhibit, call 616-532-8833 or visit www. DeVos Place, Grand Rapids.

Enjoy Natural Awakenings on the GO! Your healthy living, healthy planet lifestyle app for the iPhone & iPad. • NATIONAL DIRECTORY


find healthy/green ARCHIVES businesses with directions • ARTICLE search thousands of topics • THIS MONTH by keyword all new content • EN ESPAÑOL • HEALTHY KIDS buscar articulos en Español

Search iTunes app store for “Natural Awakenings”and download our FREE app!

Peace on Earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day. ~Helen Steiner Rice

natural awakenings

December 2013


ongoingevents Note: Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. Events must be re-submitted each month by the 15th of the month. Events subject to change, please call ahead.

Sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Spirit Space is an inner-faith spiritual enrichment center. Take a virtual tour at Free. 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Sunday Worship and Youth Services- 10:30am. Variety of classes held weekly. Warm, welcoming, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. www.

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. AA/Alanon Combined Meeting- 7:00pm. Open to anyone dealing with alcoholism and/or addiction or with loved ones experiencing a problem with alcohol or addiction. Love offering. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. A Course In Miracles Healing Circle - 7:008:30pm. Space to feel; space to heal. An ACIMbased support/study group. All are welcome. Prior experience with the course unnecessary. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Tuesday At The Wall- 10:30am. Yoga provides support and assists with balance, stability and alignment for a deeper yoga asana practice. All levels. Beginner-friendly. Drop-ins welcome $12. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Wednesday $20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-365-9176. Grand Rapids. A Course in Miracles Study Group- 10:30am. Explores the miracles that occur when we forgive, become aware of our judgments of others, and ourselves and let go of mistaken perceptions. Some study is done in groups and newcomers are always welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St, Grand Rapids. Ageless Chair Yoga (For EVERYbody)- 11:00am. For anyone challenged by movement or physical limitations, Instructor adapts traditional yoga poses


West Michigan Edition

to meet the needs of each individual. Wheelchairs welcome. $12 drop-in. Call 616-209-8395 or www. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood. Anxiety Support Group- 4:30-7:00pm. Support groups for adults that are dealing with anxiety problems, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Free. Anxiety Resource Center, 312 Grandville Ave, Grand Rapids. 616-356-1416 Hot Power Vinyasa Yoga Class- 5:00pm. Bring a mat, towel, water bottle and arrive ten min. early. Class fee is donated to National Alzheimer’s Assoc. and African Yoga Project. New students please email before first class for more info. $5. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St, Grand Rapids. Anxiety Support Group- 5:30pm. 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays. A support group open to teens, ages 1418, who have an anxiety problem, including ObsessiveCompulsive Disorder. Free. Anxiety Resource Center, 312 Grandville Ave, Grand Rapids. 616-356-1416 Discussion and Meditation- 6:00pm. Come, Let Us Reason Together at Spirit Space. The evening starts with light refreshments, followed by a discussion from 6:30-7:15pm, ending with silent meditation till 8 pm. Spirit Space is an inner-faith spiritual enrichment center. Visit Free. 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7:00pm. 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616856-4957 for more information. NE Grand Rapids. Restore- 7:30pm. A blend of restorative and yin yoga, pranayama and meditation to soothe the soul and heal the effects of stress. An excellent complement to your daily routine. $12 drop-in. All Levels. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Thursday Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:157:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit WhiteRiverYoga. com for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Holy Yoga- 7:00pm. Incorporates Christ-centered spirituality with a level 1 flow to create a yoga experience that aligns mind, body and spirit. $12 Drop-in. The Studio Yoga, 933 52nd Street SE, Kentwood.

Saturday Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00am-1:00pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are indoor if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.

classifieds To place a Classified Listing: Email listing to Must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication. $1.00 per word; must be pre-paid.

CLASSES Energy Healings and Training, Reiki & Urevia Healings/Classes - held near Hastings at Subtle Energies w/ Ken & Dana Gray. Learn a variety of techniques that can heal your life. Reiki I & Urevia Practitioner classes are eligible for NAN 20% discount. Visit for more information.

FOR SALE Northwest Grand Rapids Commercial Building - 1058 Richmond NW, Grand Rapids, MI. Current use is a full service salon on the main floor and a spacious 3 bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor. Great location on Richmond with steady traffic and across from the popular Richmond Park. Only $130,000! Call Jeff Blahnik at Five Star Real Estate 616-791-1500 or visit for more information.

HELP WANTED Yoga Instructors In Kentwood - We have 3 new positions available for teachers at our West MI studio. We love our students, we encourage those who are new to yoga, and we want to work (and grow) with good, reliable teachers who care. If that’s you, email us at with “AHIMSA” in the subject line to set up a time to interview.

OPPORTUNITIES Holistic & Green Business Owners Wanted for Health Network- NAN, the Natural Awakenings Network, is a green and healthy living network that will allow members to enjoy discounts on products & services focused on wellness, green/ sustainable living and healthy lifestyles. If you are interested in becoming a provider (a business or organization that offers discounts to members) in this innovative network or want more details, contact Natural Awakenings at 616-656-9232 or Participating as a Provider is FREE for the 1st year.



...connecting you to the leaders in natural health and green living in West Michigan. To find out how you can be included in The Natural Directory log-on to



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Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 33.

Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 16 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.



Frequency Apps Wellness Center 12505 Northland Dr. Suite A6, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 616-755-8446

Natural Health & Healing Center 723 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids 49546 616-481-9074

Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815

CHIROPRACTIC CARE DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Ronda VanderWall 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050

Family owned and operated in the heart of downtown Grandville, Dynamic Family Chiropractic focuses on lifestyle improvements through living a maximized life. A safe and natural approach to health through the combination of exercise, nutrition, detoxification and chiropractic care.


Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 616-974-4990 Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, Low-Dose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia, Dentistry for Diabetes, TMJ, Chronic Head & Neck pain and Non Surgical Perio. See ad page 48.


Elizabeth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354 AMA-DEUS energy healing method is a hand mediated technique. Love is the basis for this healing technique, which helps to enhance our spiritual growth, expand our awareness, and promotes physical & emotional healing. See ad page 23.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad page 7 & 30.


Mary De Lange, CCT. CMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 33.

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 6.

natural awakenings

December 2013






Clara VanderZouwen 616-481-8587

”What you put on your skin, goes within!” Choose safe, effective essential oils for relief from pain, hormonal issues, diabetes, digestive issues and allergies. Also offering “clean” skin care products, GMO-free Meal Replacement Shakes, Masaji, NutriSmart, Liver Detox, Bio-feedback and Ionic detoxing Foot Baths. FREE monthly classes. See ad page 32.


Independent Product Consultant #406390 616-340-5115 Our oils effectively reduce or eliminate many chemicals, pharmaceuticals and general medicines in your environment. I offer Zyto Compass biofeedback scans, AromaTouch Technique application and free educational oils classes. Call to schedule an appointment today. See ad page 11.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500

Hakomi Therapy can truly change your life. It’s a mindfulnessbased, experiential therapy for transforming the unconscious patterns that keep you from the love, joy, and fulfillment you deserve. Offered with exquisite care and attentiveness.





332 S. Lincoln Ave Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care. Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We use Clinical Homeopathy to assist traditional medications. We take most insurances. See ad page 13.

Katrina Ryan 269-214-4432 Based on the philosophy of bestselling Author Louise L. Hay’s 9 points of Philosophy. Led by Licensed Heal Your Life Facilitator Katrina Ryan. Call Katrina today to host your very own Heal Your Life workshop!


Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 4693 Wilson Ave. SW Suite I, Grandville 616-667-1346

Shawn Merkel, ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071

Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. www.


West Michigan Edition

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 33.


534 Fountain NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-262-3848


Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing. See ad in page 13.




Align your space to be a true reflection of who you are. Specializing in Wholistic design, repurposing and Feng Shui. Full service Residential and commercial Interior design. See ad page 11.


Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 616-531-6050 I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts.

HANDS ON HEALING PROFESSIONAL MASSAGE THERAPY LLC Pattie Kooy, CMMT, CMT, HTP 5286 Plainfield NE Plainfield Twp, MI 49525 616-648-7217

Professional massage therapist offering Medical Massage, Manual Therapy, Hot Stone, Healing Touch Therapy, Essential Oils, Infrared heat lamp, Bio-energetic Therapy, Hot castor oil packs, Chinese herbal liniments & Detox Massage. Mention ad for $10 off hour massage.


Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 1003 Maryland Ave NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 21 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad page 6.


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 Wellness spa for massage, bodywork and skincare therapy. Offering a wide diversity of style to encompass the mind, body and spirit of today’s lifestyle. Come in and enjoy our stress free spa environment today.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 7 & 30.


In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1200 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways.

PERSONAL CHEF RELISH, A PERSONAL CHEF SERVICE Rachel Johnson, Owner and Chef 616-610-2596

Creating healthy and delicious meals for busy families in Holland and the surrounding areas to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. From menu planning to grocery shopping and meal preparation, Relish has you covered. See ad page 24.



iTRAIN CONSULTING LLC Aaron & Heather Cobb 616.541.5438

The only personal trainers in Grand Rapids offering a 100% Money Back Guarantee, no tricks, no gimmicks, just results. See ad page 19.


Martha and Jeff Gottlieb 6170 Ridge Road Oscoda, MI 48750 989-739-5498

0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr. Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. Offering high quality, affordable massage certification courses as well as NCBTMB continuing education courses for the experienced therapist. Located conveniently to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale.


Lake Huron Retreats! Great energy, sunrises, and miles of beach. Free lodging and entire use of our lake house (maximum six guests). Pay only for services and classes. Call or visit our website for details.


503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 989-773-1714

Educational Programs Offered: Natural Health Program - Four Years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program - One Year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program - Six Months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad page 2.


5286 Plainfield Ave., NE Grand Rapids 49525 616-364-9191


An award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education, that uses and sells Organic Hair Care Products as well as uses a professional line of Organic Hair Color. Ionic Detox Foot Baths also available.

Frequency Apps Wellness Center 12505 Northland Dr. Suite A6, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 616-755-8446

LONDON STUDIOS SALON Ashley Woods: 616-443-9583 Jessica Willis: 616-460-0902 Sherry Minott: 616-633-5251 Sally Loew: 616-299-1796

A variety of natural items for your weight loss goals! Frequency Apps patches including hCG, Weight Loss/Power Workout, Appetite Suppressant. Also Supplements including Diatrix (for Diabetics), Green Coffee Bean, and African Mango, MSA Testing, Food/ Environmental Allergy Analysis.

Specializing in Organic Colour Systems. Ammoniafree, professionalo n l y, p e r m a n e n t , salon exclusive hair color with 100% certified organic ingredients, natural plant extracts, amino acids, natural anti-oxidants and nutrients that produce the healthiest, richest, colors. www. or LondonStudiosSalon.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members. natural awakenings

December 2013



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine December 2013  

Natural Awakenings is West Michigan's guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natur...

Natural Awakenings Magazine December 2013  

Natural Awakenings is West Michigan's guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natur...