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HEALTHY LIVING HEALTHY PLANET feel good live simply laugh more

Special Edition


Boost Your Brain Power Ways to Keep Your Mind Young


Strategies for Resolving Conflict

Improve Your Snooze

Natural Sleep Aids that Work

February 2012 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings February 2012


Naturopathy (Each year 600 hours)

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contents 9 9 healthbriefs 11 globalbriefs 17 ecotip 18 fitbody 20 healthykids 22 wisewords 27 inspiration 11 28 healingways 30 naturalpet 34 greenliving

27 36 consciouseating advertising & submissions How to Advertise 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.

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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.


Staying Active Lifts Our Spirits by Priscilla Goudreau-Santos


Five Ways to Aid Development by Lisa Marshall



An Oxymoron? Not According to Psychologist Joan Borysenko by Linda Sechrist


How to Keep the Mind Young and Memory Sharp by Lisa Marshall


Embracing Imperfections in Relationships


by Arielle Ford



Resolving Conflict Benefits Mind and Body by Lisa Shumate


Smaller Pets Have Big Potential by Randy Kambic


34 EAT PLASTIC-FREE Healthy, Practical Tips for People and the Planet by Brita Belli

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Sleep Aids versus Sleep Sappers natural awakenings


February 2012




contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Editors S. Alison Chabonais Scott Gillis 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. © 2012 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.

ight in the middle of winter, we have a little extra romance to look forward to. Valentine’s Day inevitably recalls memories of past twinkles of romance, from waiting for that special note to land on our desk in elementary school to the first time we fell in love and realized it is nothing like an adolescent crush. Most of us remember that sensation; the one that makes you feel like no one else matters and there is no possible way you could ever feel this way about any other person ever. Until, of course, the next time you fall in love with someone else. The fabulous endorphins that accompany the feeling of falling in love (or lust) give us an unparalleled high that is hard to reproduce. Love is indeed a splendid thing, especially when it’s the real thing. Yet love comes with a price. At its best, we learn the arts of selflessness and unconditional love. At worst, we experience the tragedy of heartbreak when we lose a loved one. Twenty years ago I lost my longtime boyfriend in a car crash. The heartbreak was unbearable and for years I refused to love again because I never again wanted to be so vulnerable. I lived cautiously, keeping my heart closed to just about everyone. I would let people into my life just enough to get along, but not enough to feel too much. I even found myself shutting out my friends and family members. Years went by as I went about my life seemingly content with the path my life was taking... Until one day an angel arrived in the form of my future husband, Kyle. We had known each other since middle school and ran with the same crowd in high school. Never in a million years would I have guessed that we would one day wind up married. Yet God had other plans and shot us both with Cupid’s arrow. I am so glad that God opened up my heart for me, showing me there are many kinds of love. I also have learned that true love is worth the risk. When thinking about what to do this Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that every loved one counts—including our beloved Planet Earth. Rather than contribute to the waste stream of 1 billion printed Valentine’s Day cards, consider making a card out of recycled or reused materials or send an e-card instead. Give organic or fair trade chocolate with minimal packaging. Instead of paying to ship in 110 million roses from around the world, pick flowers that are locally raised, perhaps loving cut and dried during the local growing season. Homemade goodies and healthy sweets made with love and other organic ingredients are always welcomed by a sweetheart. Choose to green-up your Valentine’s Day this year and feel good all over. Happy days,

Natural Awakenings is printed on 100% recycled newsprint with soy based ink.


West Michigan Edition

Amy Hass, Co-publisher

newbriefs 2012 Annual Natural Living Directory


e invite you to be a part of Natural Awakenings 3rd Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan, coming March 2012. This special annual directory of Natural Awakenings magazine will serve as a handy reference guide for consumers to keep at their fingertips all year long when searching for the products and services they want to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. This A to Z directory will feature a glossary to educate our health conscious readers about the benefits of various natural health modalities, sustainable practices and more. Consumers trust Natural Awakenings information and its featured advertisers because we offer refreshing and educational editorial on natural health and green living. Natural Awakenings also provides the resources that support Health, Fitness, Sustainable Living, Personal Growth, and Creative Expression. This Directory is a must for businesses that offer healthy products and sustainable services. Don’t miss out on this important issue! Natural Living Directory prices: $119.00 per category listing includes 5 header lines, a 35-word description and a photo or logo. A second category is 50% off and a third category is FREE. Early Registration Rates: $99 for the first listing. Special pricing ends February 3rd, 2012. ½ page and Full Page Ads are also available. Call Natural Awakenings at 616-656-9232 for details, examples and to reserve your space in our Natural Living Directory. Deadline to register is February 17th. See ad page 33.

The Full Circle: The Art of Letting Go


n Saturday and Sunday, March 31st - April 1st, The Well Being LLC, presents a two-day seminar facilitated by artists Royce Deans from Traverse City and Tali Farchi of the Netherlands, along with local therapists Timothy Pieri, LMSW, and Brendan Kelly, LMSW, of The Well Being LLC. At this seminar, attendees will participate in different forms of creativity such as art, music, and writing, while practicing the Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness skills that will be taught over the course of this 2-day event. This unique approach will provide attendees with different tools to use in their daily lives to increase their overall sense of happiness and satisfaction. The practice of Mindfulness, coupled with the skills from Cognitive Therapy, will ultimately help attendees better recognize and respond to thoughts, feelings, or sensations that lead to anxiety, depression, stress, etc, which act as barriers to our own happiness. Attendees will also gain a greater understanding of how they can benefit by engaging in some form of creative process in their own lives, while learning these effective methods of recognizing and responding to their own internal process. Come see how both aspects from this seminar can improve your overall sense of happiness and well-being! Lunches, dinners, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Cost is $185 per day (Saturday only) or $250 for both days. Attendance is limited to 30, so register early. More information and registration is on our web site www. The Well Being LLC, 1118 Front Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. 616-458-6870. See ad page 27.

Yogic Deities & Tantric Philosophy with Dr. Manoj Chalam


n Sunday February 5th, From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center will host a workshop with Dr. Manoj Chalam. This workshop will include tantric philosophy, meditation and

Circle Pines Center Soap & Cheese Making Workshop

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natural awakenings

February 2012


mantra chanting. In this unique workshop, Manoj will bring his statues and relate the symbolism’s of the yogic deities to the archetypes within us. He Dr. Manoj Chalam will introduce the 4 ways to work with these yogic deities through nondualistic Tantric practice. Discover how knowing and working with your archetype profoundly shifts your personal and professional lives, and yogic practice. These ancient teachings not only help during moments of life transitions, but also bring peace of mind as well as uncovering our underlying common spirit. The workshop will be held from 10:00 am-12:30 pm for $45 and from 2:00-4:00 pm for $40. All are welcome and no previous experience is required. From The Heart Yoga 714 Wealthy Street SE in Grand Rapids. 616-336-9642. See ad page 16.

Win a Week for Two at Farm of Life in Costa Rica


wo lucky winners will enjoy a weeklong stay at a muchloved boutique health retreat in Costa Rica, sponsored by Natural Awakenings and Farm of Life (Finca de Vida). Secluded high in the cooling mountains above Dominical with views of the Pacific Ocean, Farm of Life offers yoga classes, health counseling, educational retreats, a wide variety of area activities, and a delicious raw food menu featuring fresh produce from their permaculture garden.

The property features spring-fed pools, an organic farm, mountainside yoga deck with sunset views of the Pacific Ocean, an inviting common house, and delightful hilltop cottages and cabins. The sweepstakes prize includes shared accommodations for two, airport transportation from and back to San José, nightly dinners, and use of the communal kitchen and the farm’s fruits and vegetables to prepare your own breakfast and lunches. Winners will also enjoy health coaching, yoga sessions, two waterfall hikes, a beach excursion, permaculture farm tour, and tour of Manuel Antonio National Park. The best part is simply relaxing in this very special mountain retreat with like-minded international guests while learning how to create a healthier lifestyle. Owners Jody and Brian Calvi have a well-deserved reputation for attentive, loving service and skillful health counseling devoted to helping guests explore the inner world of personal health while enjoying the peaceful, healing and inspirational natural surroundings. To enter the sweepstakes, visit NaturalAwakeningsMag/ contests/farmoflife. To learn more about Farm of Life, visit and by googling tripadvisor farm of life. See ad page 22.

West Michigan Women’s Expo


est Michigan Wo m e n ’s E x p o will be held on March 9-11th at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Shop, Live & Learn. Over 400 exhibits and seminars tailored to women and their families. Everybody’s talkin’ health, beauty, fitness, fashion, friends and fun! The Women’s Expo features exhibits and seminars on healthcare, health remedies and prevention, finance, education, vacation/travel, food, fashion, jewelry, beauty, weight loss, fitness, cooking stage, on-site spa services, on-site haircuts, gardening, home decorating, home improvements and remodeling. A Shopping Extravaganza! Special appearances from Ali Vincent- NBC’s First Female Winner -”Biggest Loser” Champion. “Believe It -Be It!” Meet and Greet. Ali has an incredible story to share. Also, don’t

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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West Michigan Edition

miss Best Selling Author, speaker and columnist Jeffrey Zaslow. Meet & Greet plus Book Signing... The Magic Room: A story about the love we wish for our daughters, featuring a generation of businesswomen located in Michigan! Jeff’s other publications include: The Girls From Ames, a story of women and friendship and coauthor of The Last Lecture and Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, a memoir of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Spring Break for Women! Spend the day or spend the weekend. Open to the public. Tickets available at the door. Hours: 10-8 (Fri); 10-8 (Sat); 11-5 (Sun). For additional information or to exhibit, please visit Visit to receive a $1 off coupon. See ad page 26.

2012 Boasts the Year of the Cooperative


he United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative. Circle Pines Center is exercising leadership in this movement by providing a forum for which co-op success stories can be shared. Join them at the second revival meeting of the Latter Day Society of Equitable Pioneers, February 17-19th in Delton, MI. This group is an informal think-tank dedicated to exploring cooperative ideas, history and experiences. Whatever your sector, banking, housing, food, energy, agriculture, or recreation, your co-op is important to this movement. Take advantage of this opportunity to network with and learn from other co-op activists in the region. Together we can raise public awareness of the invaluable contributions of cooperative enterprises to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Whether you’re interested in joining us just for an afternoon or for the whole weekend, call 269-623-5555 or email: rachelz@ to register today. See ad page 5.

Dalai Lama Speaks on NonViolence at Loyola University


t the invitation of TIBETcenter, a notfor-profit Tibetan art and culture organization, His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama will appear in Chicago to speak on the topic of nonviolence, April 26, at the Gentile Arena of Loyola University, at the Dalai Lama university’s Lake Shore campus. Beginning at 8 a.m., attendees will enjoy sacred chants and musical performances, and the talk begins at 9:30 a.m. Loyola is donating space for the event, and approximately 4,000 tickets will be available for purchase by the general public, with an additional 452 tickets provided free to students in grades 11 and 12 throughout Illinois. Winners of an essay contest will be featured onstage. The Tibetan community will welcome His Holiness with a traditional, Tibetan-style reception that showcases Tibetan costumes and jewelry, including the participation of 76 Tibetans of all ages. As numbers hold special significance in Tibetan culture, the number 76 was selected to match the age of His Holiness. This group will perform a customary song in slow motion, and a boy and a girl will perform a Droso Chemar offering; an offering made in connection with Losar, the Tibetan New Year, and in accordance with the reception of high lamas. For tickets, visit See ad page 35.

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natural awakenings

February 2012


In Search of An Answer


re you in search of an answer to the mystery, disconnection or pain in your life? You are not alone! Every Human Being carries inner confusion or wounds that haunt, capture and keep us from being fully in touch with our inner wisdom and peace. As we go through Lydia Meyer life we incur wounds and trauma of all kinds. If we are not assisted at an early age to process these wounds and deal with the damage that results from them, we carry these “issues” around like baggage. Limping along dragging our unresolved issues, we accumulate dis-ease and get sick. This may manifest as depression, guilt, emotional distance, addiction, ulcers or spiritual homelessness. So, what’s the answer? I believe it is found in an inner healing journey of the soul. There are tools that help us with this journey. Four basic tools are: Journaling, Counseling, Support and Spiritual Community. If you are somewhere on this journey or wish to start, come to the “In Search of An Answer” Women’s Retreat at the Center of Unlimited Possibilities (CUP) in Spring Lake, Michigan on March 10, from 9am-5pm. Along with the practitioners at CUP, Lydia Waring Meyer will guide the experiential journey of this daylong retreat. Come, find some answers and engage in the inner journey of your soul with other women through discussion, personal reflection, workshops with CUP practitioners and group sharing. Experience the care, learn the tools and develop support, friendship and community at this serene and beautiful Center of Unlimited Possibilities! For more information and registration contact Kari@ or call 616-842-0264. Lydia Waring Meyer, author of Lillie’s Redemption and director and counselor of La Loba, a spiritual counseling practice in Grand Haven, Michigan.


West Michigan Edition

Year Long Photo Contest Winner Announced


ongratulations to Julia Knoll of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her photo, captured while standing on a rooftop in Rome, was selected as the overall winner in our year long amateur photo contest. Julia will be receiving a Free NAN~Natural Awakenings Network Card. For information on how you can sign up for a NAN~Natural Awakenings Network Card, visit www.NaturalWestMichigan. com or email us at See a list of NAN Providers on page 14 & 15.

KUDOS Gary Cools, ND, (a naturopathic practitioner with a PhD in Naturopathy), Director of the Health eFX Wellness Center, has now been certified by the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide acupuncture treatment to members of the Armed Services, with a VA physician’s prescription. “My heart is really in this one,” said Dr. Cools, who is also an acupuncture detox specialist, homeopath, master herbalist, and digital thermographic technician. “Service men and women, and Veterans have put their lives on the line to defend our freedom and civilian way of life. I cannot repay that debt, but I can help.” Dr. Cools has recently learned a method of acupuncture for pain reduction called “Battlefield Acupuncture” (you can Google this phrase), and it has been successfully used to lower the use of morphine in Iraq and Afghanistan troops recently. Doctors in the US Air Force have been doing research in ear acupuncture as a means of blocking the intensity of pain and have found a large measure of success. “Those in and from the military interested in treating their complaints with acupuncture should contact their VA office, see a VA physician, and get a prescription for my services to see if I may help them”, Dr. Cools said with enthusiasm.

For more information contact Dr. Gary Cools, Health eFX Wellness Center, 5782 U.S. 10 Ludington, MI. 231-845-1250.

Seaweed Loves the Heart


Meditation Boosts Brain Power S


niversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers first discovered that specific regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger and contained more gray matter than those of a non-meditating control group; that was in 2009. Now, a follow-up study by the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging suggests people that meditate regularly also display stronger neuronal connections between brain regions and less age-related atrophy (shrinkage) in all areas of the brain. The study comprised 27 active meditation practitioners (average age 52) and 27 control subjects, matched by age and sex. The number of years of meditation ranged from five to 46 and included various styles. Using a type of brain imaging known as diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI—a new imaging mode that provides insights into the structural connectivity of the brain—the researchers found that long-term meditators have white matter fibers that are either more numerous, more dense or more insulated, throughout the brain. Although such tissue tends to decline with age, the study suggests that it can be preserved through active meditation practices. Researcher Eileen Luders remarks, “If practiced regularly and over years, meditation may slow down aging-related brain atrophy, perhaps by positively affecting the immune system. Meditation appears to be a powerful mental exercise with the potential to change the physical structure of the brain.”

Does Yawning Cool the Brain?


hen we feel the urge to yawn in cooler weather, we should succumb—it might do us good. New research suggests that beyond signaling fatigue or boredom, yawning might be a physical reaction to cool an “overheated” brain. A study at Princeton University is the first to show that the frequency of yawning varies with the season and that people are less likely to yawn when the heat outdoors exceeds body temperature. The research monitored 160 people, 80 per season, during winter and summer in Tucson, Arizona. According to the researchers’ theory, it is possible that yawning in cooler temperatures works to cool the brain, while yawning in warmer conditions appears to provide no similar relief. Research associate Andrew Gallup remarks, “The applications of this research are intriguing… for better understanding diseases and conditions such as multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, which are accompanied by frequent yawning and thermoregulatory dysfunction.” Excessive yawning may prove a helpful diagnostic tool.

ome relish seaweed, while others eye it with culinary suspicion. Now an article in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that many scientists have identified seaweed as a rich, potential source of heart-healthy food ingredients. A review of nearly 100 studies shows that seaweed and other microalgae could rival milk products as sources of important bioactive peptides. Maria Hayes, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the Teagasc Food Research Centre, in Dublin, Ireland, concluded that certain seaweed proteins work just like the bioactive peptides in milk products to reduce blood pressure, almost like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drugs. Thus, they could be used as ingredients in functional foods like soups and health beverages to provide nutrition, while offering medicinal effects in treating or preventing heart disease. Seaweeds are a neglected alternative source of these bioactive peptides in this country, the researchers state, noting its popularity in other cultures. Varieties of seaweed are known as nori in Japan, dulse in coastal parts of Europe and limu palahalaha in native Hawaiian cuisine. In addition, notes Hayes, “Seaweeds are a known source of essential fatty acids, which are thought to reduce thrombosis and atherosclerosis—factors important in the reduction of the risk of heart disease.”

February is American Heart Month natural awakenings

February 2012


Potassium Protects the Heart


ccording to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death and a major contributor to disability in this country. A recent study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that in addition to cutting dietary sodium to improve heart health, Americans should increase consumption of a key mineral found in many fruits and vegetables: potassium. The study of more than 12,000 adults reported that people eating a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any disease than average and about twice the risk of death from heart attacks. Sodium, a key component of salt, raises blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of heart disease. Potassium has been found to offset sodium’s impact on blood pressure. Current U.S. dietary guidelines recommend an adult daily potassium intake of 4,700 milligrams and a maximum sodium intake of 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon of salt); or less than 1,500 milligrams for people age 51 and older, African-Americans or those that suffer from hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The CDC reveals that the average American adult consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day, about 80 percent from processed or restaurant foods. To achieve a healthier sodium-potassium ratio, the CDC recommends a diet that emphasizes fresh, unprocessed foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods high in potassium include sweet and white potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and bananas, as well as orange and prune juice, dates, plain yogurt and fish.

Regular Bedtimes Make Kids Smarter


ccording to research presented at the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, children that get adequate sleep score higher on a range of developmental assessments. The researchers emphasized that having a regular bedtime was the most consistent predictor of positive developmental outcomes at 4 years of age. Scores for receptive and expressive language skills, awareness of soundword structure, literacy and early math abilities were higher in children whose parents maintained rules about going to bed at a prescribed time. Having an earlier bedtime further supported higher scores for most developmental measures. The study involved a nationally representative sample of approximately 8,000 children that completed a direct assessment at 4 years of age. They were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort. Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine


West Michigan Edition

Alcohol Impairs Recovery from Illness


esearchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School that collected blood from volunteers to study how drinking alcohol affects monocytes, the white blood cells that are part of the immune system, made an unwelcome discovery. Alcohol can worsen the effects of disease and lengthen the recovery period following trauma, injury or burns. It both impairs the body’s antiviral immune response, especially in the liver, and increases inflammation, so think twice before downing another hot toddy. Source: BioMed Central

Vitamin C Helps Us See


cientists at Oregon Health & Science University recently identified yet another benefit provided by vitamin C. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, co-author and senior scientist Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., says nerve cells in the eye require C to stay healthy—the vitamin bathes the cells of the retina and contributes to their proper functioning.

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

Big Book

Encyclopedia of Life Update The second edition of the Smithsonian Institution’s free, online collaborative Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is now easier to use. It also has been vastly expanded, offering information on more than one-third of all known species on Earth, including hundreds of thousands of images and videos. With the updated format, users can easily find species of interest; create personal collections of photos and information; find or upload pictures, videos and sounds; and share comments, questions and expertise with users worldwide that share similar interests. seeks to become a microscope in reverse, helping users to discern large-scale patterns. By aggregating for analysis information on Earth’s estimated 1.9 million known species, scientists say EOL could, for example, help map vectors of human disease; reveal mysteries behind longevity; suggest substitute plant pollinators for a swelling list of places where honeybees no longer provide the function; and foster strategies to slow the spread of invasive species. All EOL information is available for reuse and is licensed under Creative Commons and other Open Access free licenses.

Blogging News

Teens See More Kindness than Cruelty Online As American teens navigate the new world of digital citizenship, a new study has found that 69 percent say their peers are mostly being kind to one another on social networking sites. Still, 12 percent say they witness meanness frequently, 29 percent sometimes and 47 percent only once in a while; 15 percent report that they have personally been the targets of mean or cruel behavior online. The findings are based on focus groups and a national survey of youths ages 12 to 17 and their parents, conducted by the Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project. Find the full report at

natural awakenings

February 2012


globalbriefs Low Tech

Silicon Valley School Eschews Computers

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The Waldorf School of the Peninsula, in Los Altos, California, is one of 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. The New York Times reports that the chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to this nineclassroom institution, as do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard. Yet, the school’s main teaching tools are anything but high-tech, comprising pen and paper, knitting needles and occasionally, mud. No computers or screens of any kind are allowed in the classroom, and the school frowns on their use at home. Educators that endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans. Alan Eagle, a communications executive at Google, whose daughter attends the school, says, “The idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.” Source: The New York Times

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Crucial Shareware Open Hardware Addresses Environmental Problems

The concept of open hardware, like open software, aims to freely share all the necessary knowledge for building usable electronic devices, and participants range from innovative students to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Protei, a worldwide collective of technology students, has designed an autonomous, mini-sailboat drone to ply the ocean and mop up oil spills, gather information on marine life in crisis, and clean up floating plastic trash. The Protei boats were originally designed to respond to the BP 2010 Gulf oil spill crisis. Trailing oil-absorbing booms, the drones can sail even in a storm to help with cleanup, unlike conventional ships concerned with crew safety. Similarly, collaborating volunteers in Japan responded to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant 2011 meltdown by building stationary and mobile radiation monitors. Source: Scientific American


West Michigan Edition

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February 2012


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Use Cold Water and Eco-Wise Detergents Mom may have said that hot water washes best, but don’t give cold-water detergents the cold shoulder—today’s new products deliver clean laundry that’s easy on the pocketbook and the planet. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average American family annually washes nearly 400 loads of laundry. Because heating the water accounts for 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine, using only hot or warm water in a top-loading electric washer annually produces an average 2,407 pounds of CO2 pollution—equivalent to two cross-country flights. Many conventional cold-water detergents still contain toxic chemicals that when drained, end up in waterways, creating a host of environmental woes and exposing wildlife to endocrine disruptors. For both clean and green clothes, buy biodegradable laundry detergents made with plant oils and other natural ingredients that are free of phosphates, bleach and surfactants such as petroleum-based nonylphenol ethoxylates, or NPE. Kinder to the planet, greener choices are also gentler on the skin. Consumers concerned about killing bacteria, dust mites and other allergens may be tempted to turn on the hot water tap for sheets, linens and underwear, but Philip Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., a professor of microbiology and pathology at the New York University School of Medicine, says that most of the hot water people use is not hot enough anyway. “You need water that’s between 140 and 150 degrees to kill germs,” he advises. Tierno, author of The Secret Life of Germs, notes that the sun is one of nature’s most efficient germ killers, so letting clothes dry outdoors is a good eco-option. “The ultraviolet radiation kills germs,” he advises, “and it’s just as effective as bleach.” Natural disinfectants that can be added during rinsing include white vinegar (one-half cup per load); grapefruit seed extract (one teaspoon); tea tree oil (two teaspoons); and lavender or peppermint essential oil (a few drops), which also imparts a fresh fragrance.


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Depression affects about one in 10 adults each year and nearly twice as many women as men, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Although exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do when you are feeling blue, it’s a sure way to climb out of the morass and achieve a brighter outlook, higher energy levels and good heart health.


n winter months, people get sluggish in many ways, and the resulting buildup of toxins can make them feel achy. They often interpret their fatigue and tension as depression, but that’s not necessarily so,” says Carolyn Dean, a pioneering physician, naturopath, nutritionist and author, with 25 years of experience treating diet and health issues. “The best, most natural way to pull toxins out of the body is through movement,” she advises. Becoming active is a good way to both lift depression and promote overall health, including a healthy heart, one of the largest and most vital muscles in the body. Getting off the couch often begins by identifying what you enjoy and will be most likely to continue doing. Set-

ting reasonable goals is important. If you haven’t exercised in awhile or feel guilty for taking time out of an already busy day, try starting with a five-minute workout, and then increase the duration as you get stronger and feel better. Dean suggests that one good way to start is by walking and using a pedometer, or climbing stairs with a step-counter (10,000 steps a day is a reachable goal). You can make a game of competing against yourself. Invite friends to walk with you or create your own walking club to help stay on track with a cardio-exercise routine. Walking your dog or borrowing a neighbor’s pooch for a stroll around the neighborhood is fun. Inject additional movement into daily routines via gardening, washing the car or playing with children.

Multiple Benefits

Although the scientific links between exercise and reduced anxiety and depression aren’t entirely known, it is clear that working out can help anyone relax and feel better. The Mayo Clinic reports that exercise helps ease depression by releasing feel good brain chemicals in the body; reducing immune system chemicals; increasing body temperature; boosting self-confidence; taking thoughts off of worries; and promoting social interaction, thus equipping individuals to better cope with life’s ups and downs. “Exercise is sometimes stigmatized as an activity that’s hot, sticky and not fun,” notes Jess Martin, a wellness coordinator with the nationwide network of Healthstat, Inc. clinics, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We encourage our participants to instead think of exercise as fun. Running, lifting weights and other fitness activities certainly get your

heart pumping, but so can less intense forms of exercise. While we encourage everyone to have 30-minute workouts, you can also benefit from shorter intervals, such as two 15-minute or even three 10-minute sessions a day.” As Martin notes, people that work out with a buddy are more likely to be accountable to an exercise routine. Strengthening healthy social bonds reduces stresses at the same time. “When you don’t exercise, the muscles of the body and the heart atrophy, he says. The more you exercise, the lower the heart rate tends to become, and the more efficient the heart function.”

Daily Do

“Daily exercise should be as much a part of your routine as meals,” counsels Dr. Gabriela Cora, vice-chair of the Council on Communications for the American Psychiatric Association, author, wellness and well-being

coach and former researcher in mood and anxiety disorders at the National Institutes of Health. “This is even truer for busy people, because so many these days are sedentary; everyone needs to find a balance for any lack of energy flow.” She points out that while many tend to think of exercise as a hobby, it is really one of the four pillars of biological health—sleep, relaxation, nutrition and exercise. Note: Consult with a physician for advice about what exercise and level of intensity is best for you. If you exercise regularly, but anxiety or depression symptoms still interfere with daily life, follow up with a doctor or other qualified mental health provider. Priscilla Goudreau-Santos is a freelance writer and owner of Priscilla Goudreau Public Relations and Marketing, in Jacksonville, FL. Connect at 904-371-7751.

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February 2012



HOW A BRAIN GROWS Five Ways to Aid Development by Lisa Marshall

Parents that believe playing Beethoven for their infant, investing in educational videos for their toddler or forcing schoolage youngsters to sit still and study for hours will help them to build a better brain have another “think” coming.


eople are anxious to do everything they can to improve their child’s intelligence, yet many are focusing their energy in places where they are not getting the best payoff for it,” says neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., co-author of Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College. In their new book, Aamodt and Princeton University Neuroscience Professor Sam Wang try to dispel what they believe are many myths that have 20

West Michigan Edition

led parents to worry too much about the influence they can have on a child’s cognitive development and in some cases, have led to doing more harm than good. Aamodt says that genetics and thousands of years of human evolution have already exerted a heavy influence on a child’s developmental future before he or she is born. In the absence of abuse and neglect, and with good nutrition and a stimulating environment, a child’s brain “raises itself” in many ways, the authors maintain. Meanwhile,

they argue that there is little scientific evidence showing that factors like birth order and exposure to classical music and educational videos have an impact on cognitive development. “Children come ‘out of the box’ with individual temperaments that strongly influence the possible paths they can take through life,” Aamodt observes. “Most parents believe that they can have a bigger influence on their child’s personalities than they actually do. They should relax and enjoy their kids more.” The authors offer these scientifically backed tips for parents and caregivers to influence a child’s developing brain: Don’t stress during pregnancy. “The hormones produced in the mother’s body during stressful times can cross over into the placenta, exposing the child. If it’s a chronic condition, it can lead to problems with brain development,” counsels Aamodt. One 2008 review paper from Harvard Medical School led researchers to conclude that babies born to stressed mothers are more likely to suffer from autism spectrum disorders. Others, from researchers in Canada and the UK, found that women that endure natural disasters while pregnant are more likely to have babies that suffer from schizophrenia, decreased IQ and depression. Animal research has repeatedly demonstrated that babies of stressed mothers often grow up with touchy stressresponse systems. Switch off the baby videos. University of Washington researchers have found that baby educational videos, like Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby fail to boost language skills and may actually slow acquisition of vocabulary. “For every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants that did not watch them,” the report said. Other research by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that exposure to action-packed videos may increase the risk of development of attention disorders. “Babies are wired to learn from other people, and every period of time they are not interacting with people because they are watch-

ing TV interferes with that face-to-face interaction,” says Aamodt. Teach a second language. Bilingual children consistently outperform single-language speakers in tests of executive brain function (a measure of organizational and planning skills) and tend to be better at making choices and understanding other people’s perspectives, Aamodt says. “The very first act of speech for a bilingual person is picking which language to use, and you do that based on your understanding of the other person’s perspective.” Aamodt recommends exposing youngsters to a second language in infancy—if possible, just by speaking to them in a different language—and exploring more formal instruction before the age of 8. Foster self-control. “Ultimately, parents can make the biggest difference in their child’s adult quality of life by promoting self-control,” Aamodt says. Recent research published in the journal Science and elsewhere suggests that children with greater self-control (meaning they can resist temptation, stay on task and control their own behavior) achieve greater success in school, the workplace and their personal lives. “Preschool children’s ability to resist temptation is a much better predictor of academic success than their IQ scores,” Aamodt notes. She recommends engaging and progressively more challenging tasks. “You want to stretch the child just a little; get them to do something a little bit hard, but that they can succeed at if they concentrate.” Encourage study breaks. “Some very old science tells us that to learn effectively, you need to take breaks and allow your brain to consolidate what you have already learned before you go back and try to learn some more,” says Aamodt. “If you study a total of an hour, you will learn twice as much if you break it up into two 30-minute spans.” Hooray for recess. Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer headquartered near Boulder, CO. Connect at natural awakenings

February 2012



The Benefits of Burnout An oxymoron? Not according to psychologist Joan Borysenko. by Linda Sechrist


photo by Charles Bush

oan Borysenko, Ph.D., a pioneer in integrative medicine, is a renowned expert on the mind-body connection. Her work has been foundational in an international health care revolution that recognizes the role of meaning and the spiritual dimension of life as integral aspects of health and healing. Most recently, the Harvard-trained biologist and psychologist explored the anatomy of burnout with Facebook friends in her latest book, Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive.

What does it mean to physically, emotionally and spiritually burn out? When you’re stressed out, you keep chasing the same old carrot, whatever that may be for you. But when you’re burned out, you eventually give up the chase. The hope that you can create a meaningful life fizzles and you find yourself sitting in the ashes of your dreams. In a culture wedded to positive thinking, burnout and its first cousin, depression, are thought of as disorders in need of a fix. What if instead, we see them as losses of naïveté, false identities and faulty assumptions that are making way for a more authentic life? What if we viewed burnout as an invitation to come into alignment with a more elegant expression of our gifts, relationships and overall life energy? The late psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, Ph.D., who first popularized the concept in his 1980 book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement, believed the condition is a painful affliction of good people trying to give their very best. He defined it as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devo22

West Michigan Edition

tion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

Why do we burn out even when we regularly use selfcare practices? Many people are shocked to learn that even though I’m a positive person, with a regular yoga and meditation practice, as well as healthy eating habits, I have burned out more than once. Ironically, but predictably, I was trying to do and be my best. For me, burnout means that my most loving, creative self goes missing; I contract into the smallest, most negative version of myself, which is not a pretty picture. I find that for many people that intellectualize a great portion of their lives, burnout doesn’t become real until they are not only physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but are also in pain. Knowing ourselves and our limitations is essential, because our tendency is to become complacent and think we’re too busy to tend to our well-being,

or else believe we can do even more because we practice self-care. Keep in mind that we can’t solve burnout with the same level of consciousness that created it. We have to catch ourselves in the act of overlooking our true needs, stop, do a selfinquiry that looks at things as they are, and pinpoint what drains our energy, as well as what brings us to life.

How did writing Fried affect you? In order to follow my own advice, I completely changed the way I live. I realized that at age 66, I needed to pay more attention to my physical body. Physical therapy and Pilates floor exercises are now a priority five days a week, as well as yoga, both of which have helped to correct my hip joint problems. For aerobic exercise, I walk fast for 45 minutes at least five days a week. In inclement weather, I ride an indoor bike. Altogether, it averages out to 90 minutes of daily exercise, five days a week. My husband and I switched to a plant-based diet of organic whole foods, so we now set aside more time to plan, shop and cook. We also make more time for family and friends. We still both work, but fewer hours than before. In other words, I do what I can within a framework of love. I choose to do what is important to me—activities that give me life and energy.

What is it about living “in the now” that feels so enlivening? When we live in our heads and intellectualize, we tend to spin negative thoughts that hurt our physical health and sap our energy. By actively focusing on what we are doing in the moment, we can engage our senses, more thoroughly enjoy ourselves and have an awareness of being that is not possible when we are ruminating over past memories or projecting ourselves into daydreams about a far-off future. In such present moments, because we are relaxed and open to our inner wisdom, as well as our interconnection with the exquisite wholeness of life, we feel the most vital and alive. Connect at and 211406562428.

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The good news: Such fates are far from inevitable.

“People seem to expect that as soon as we start to need reading glasses, we should also expect some of these cognitive issues to arise, but it does not need to be that way,” says Naples, Florida-based Neurology Doctor David Perlmutter, co-author of Power up Your Brain. “You can absolutely do things early on in life and throughout your lifetime that work to maintain the bulk and function of the brain.”

Here’s how:

Stay lean. It may seem counterintuitive, but mounting evidence suggests that in order to grow a bigger brain, many of us should be eating less. “The key to the brain maintaining and even regenerating itself is the activation of a set of genes that code for a protein called brain

A Brain-Building Blueprint

How to Keep the Mind Young and Memory Sharp by Lisa Marshall

“Have you seen my keys?” “Now, why did I come in here?” “Her name is on the tip of my tongue.” If you catch yourself uttering such phrases, listen up:


emory generally starts to decline in our 30s, as the brain shrinks with age. One of the first and most prominent signs is that ‘tip of the tongue’ phenomenon,” advises neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., co-author of Welcome to Your Brain. Studies show that the adult brain can shrink as much as one-half to 1 percent annually in midlife, as neurons in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus wither and the branches between them thin. Add hormonal changes, which can starve gray matter of nour24

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ishing estrogen and progesterone; less-than-stellar cardiovascular health, which tends to limit blood flow to the brain; and a gummy protein called amyloid plaque, which can hamper neuronal function; and cognitive decline may be exacerbated. Already, one in five people older than 65 suffer from “mild cognitive impairment” (persistent memory problems severe enough to be noticeable by others). According to the Alzheimer’s Association, if we live to age 90, as many as half of us could ultimately be diagnosed with that disease.

derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF),” explains Perlmutter. “BDNF is significantly enhanced in people that simply cut down their calorie consumption.” Several animal and human studies support this conclusion. One 2009 study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, divided 50 men and women age 50 and older into three groups that slashed calorie intake by 20 percent, 30 percent and not at all. After three months, the groups that restricted their calories saw their verbal memory scores jump by more than 20 percent. Perlmutter notes that just being overweight in the prime of life can promote excess inflammation and free radical production—two enemies of a healthy brain. A 2005 study of 10,000 men and women conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that people that were obese in their early 40s had a 74 percent increased risk of developing dementia later in life.

“Just a 25 percent reduction in calories over one month’s time can have a profound effect on boosting memory,” Perlmutter notes. Eat a brain-building diet. Aside from cutting calories, experts say it’s critical to load up on foods that boost neurogenesis (the development of new brain cells) and stall brain atrophy. Eating more fish (or omega-3 supplements), adding fruits and vegetables and cutting back on refined carbohydrates do just that, advises Dr. Christiane Northrup, obstetrician, gynecologist and author of Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom. “The brain is mostly made up of omega-3 fats, and many women, in particular, are lacking them in their diet,” she observes. Perlmutter notes that supplementing one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acid DHA, present in fatty fish and marine algae, has been shown to switch on the genes that jumpstart BDNF production. DHA is also anti-inflammatory and promotes healthy blood flow to the brain. But people shouldn’t wait too long to load up on it. One 2010 trial of 485 healthy adults with mild memory complaints found that those who took 900 milligrams per day of algae-based DHA supplements for six months made significantly fewer errors on memory tests than they had at the study’s onset. Another study by the National Institute on Aging, however, found that DHA supplementation had little impact on patients once severe dementia had set in. So, sooner is better. Healthy fats aside, dark-colored fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and plums are all rich with antioxidants, substances known to scavenge cell-damaging free radicals in the brain. Also, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain a powerful compound called sulforaphane, believed to boost the body’s own production of antioxidants.

One famous 2005 study followed 13,388 women over several decades, and found that those that ate the most cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens stayed mentally sharp for far longer than those that ate the least. New research from Rush University, in Chicago, further suggests that a deficiency of B12, found in fish, liver, milk and eggs, may hasten brain shrinkage as previously functioning cells die off. Overloading on refined carbohydrates like white flour, pasta and potatoes carries a similar result. “Elevated blood sugar can destroy the brain,” advises Perlmutter, pointing to a 2005 study in the journal Neurology, which linked accelerated brain shrinkage with elevated blood sugar. Prevent hormonal havoc. Ebbing hormones can also have a measurable impact on our ability to recall words and follow through on tasks, says Hawaii naturopathic physician Laurie Steelsmith, author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health. One 2009 University of California study of 2,362 women between the ages of 42 and 52 found that 60 percent suffered memory and mental-processing problems. “I hear about it almost every day from women in my practice,” comments Steelsmith. “They’re trying to find the word for, say, ‘garlic’ or ‘pen,’ and it just won’t come to them. It can be very frustrating.” Steelsmith notes that estrogen plays a critical role in influencing verbal and spatial memory and fine motor skills and bolstering the blood-brain barrier to keep toxins out. Meanwhile, progesterone acts on the same brain receptors that Valium does, promoting calm and aiding sleep. In the days immediately prior to menstruation, when estrogen and progesterone levels are low, or once women begin to approach menopause and they stay low, the brain feels it. In an ideal world, the adrenal glands kick in to natural awakenings

February 2012


pick up where the ovaries leave off—producing sex hormones. “But women that are stressed out or not nourishing themselves tend to experience adrenal fatigue, so their adrenals are not able to act as a secondary source of hormones,” says Steelsmith. For ovulating women, she recommends taking 100 to 175 milligrams (mg) daily of the herb Rhodiola rosea during the second half of the menstrual cycle to support fatigued adrenal glands and ward off hormone-related brain fog. If the condition occurs only for a few days before a menstrual period, and is accompanied by tender breasts, lack of sleep and heavy monthly bleeding, the problem may be low progesterone. For that, try the herb chaste tree berry during the second half of the menstrual cycle, or consider a low dose, over-the-counter progesterone cream, says Northrup. For post-menopausal women, she recommends taking up to 50 mg per day of pregnenolone, an adrenal hormone that the body naturally converts into estrogen and progesterone. (While pregnenolone is available over the counter, Steelsmith suggests that women have a naturopath first test their hormone levels in order to determine an appropriate dose.) Or, older men and women experiencing age-related memory loss can try a soy-based nutritional supplement called phosphatidylserine (PS), which is believed to bolster cell-to-cell communication and levels of the memory-boosting neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Exercise mind and body. Aamodt notes that a common cause of cognitive decline is the accumulation of clogged blood vessels in the brain that choke off blood and oxygen. Thus, “Regular exercise is the single most useful thing you can do to maintain your cognitive abilities later in life,” she says. Recent studies by researchers at the University of Illinois and elsewhere have shown that as little as 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, three times per week, may not only stall age-related brain atrophy in the elderly, but even help regenerate parts of the brain that have withered. “There is no medication on the planet that can do that,” says Perlmutter. Brain exercise is helpful, as well. Exposure to new experiences prompts the brain to literally lay down new neuronal networks, becoming stronger. A 2009 Mayo Clinic study found that of 1,300 people ages 70 to 89, those that had regularly engaged in mentally challenging activities in their 50s and 60s (such as playing games, quilting, building model airplanes, or learning a new language or instrument) were 40 percent less likely to suffer memory problems. The key, advise the experts, is not to stick with the same crossword puzzle for years. Instead, try something new. As Steelsmith puts it: “Use it or lose it.” Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer headquartered near Boulder, CO. Connect at 26

West Michigan Edition


WABI SABI LOVE Embracing Imperfections in Relationships by Arielle Ford


he ancient Japanese art form of AccepWabi Sabi honors all things old, tance weathered, worn and impermaand nent by perceiving the beauty in imits our perfections. It discovers grace inWe things shift modest, humble and unconventional. choicescounfrom ter Wabi Sabi love is the art and “what I want,” part, practice of appreciating the quirks underand imperfections in our self andto ourwhat is standpartner. Listening with our heart, we ultimately ing, are come to see with it, too. Discerning the hidden dance between partners best forcrucial the to achieving brings emotional maturity to our relationship. relationship relationships as we shift our focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. This harmony. It’s the highest new, true view deeply bonds us and form of love and, like most things worth is a key to everlasting love—and any striving for, requires patience, commitharmonious relationship. ment, personal responsibility, playful Spiritual teacher David Deida ness and practice. Imagine how great it counsels, “Practicing love often is to feel loved all the time by a friend means… surrendering all hold on the familiar act you call ‘me.’” By choosing and partner—during the good, the bad and everything in-between. to turn everyday conflict into comIt starts when we shift our perpassion, we cultivate a more loving ception and see our mate’s behavior relationship through humor, listening, intimacy and generosity, even when through a gentler and kinder lens of someone is acting out, refusing to listen mutual respect and lightheartedness. or shutting down. Research by Psychologist Sandra Murray, Ph.D., at the University of Buffalo,

We all have a hand in creating the community where we want to live.

reveals that donning “rose-colored glasses” and idealizing our partner leads to more happiness and satisfaction in a relationship, and that the happiest couples focus on what’s right. In what is known as the Pygmalion effect, the greater the expectation placed upon people, the better they perform. Keeping an open heart and mind also prepares us to receive our partner’s best expectations and highest level of caring, even if it might seem different than what we expect. When we choose to lovingly accept each other, let go of issues and apologize for any wrongdoing, it transforms the relationship. Overall, we better appreciate the bigger picture and go from being annoyed to enjoyed! Bestselling author Arielle Ford is a leader in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. Her new release is Wabi Sabi Love ( Subscribe to a free Soulmate Secret newsletter at

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February 2012



Be Direct and Follow-Up


GET ALONG? Resolving conflict benefits mind and body. by Lisa Shumate


significant amount of wearand-tear on the body comes from prolonged unresolved conflict—from not letting go, holding grudges and reliving situations over and over in your head,” says Raj Dhasi, a Toronto-based conflict management consultant who specializes in the physiological impacts of conflict. “But if conflict happens and my mindset is: ‘I can handle this. We can work through this,’ that is phenomenally beneficial for the brain and body.” Dhasi explains that when faced with any conflict—whether it’s an angry boss, disgruntled neighbor, political opponent or untidy teen in the house— our limbic system responds swiftly by igniting a cascade of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and spiking our heart rate and blood pressure. Meanwhile, our prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain responsible for thinking things through and putting the brakes on emotional, irrational behaviors—begins to slowly light up. The fundamental problem is that in the race to mount a response, the limbic system often wins, prompting us to greet conflict impulsively by raising our voice and saying things we later regret before our rational brain has time to step in. On the flip side, many of us avoid conflict altogether, harboring 28

West Michigan Edition

discontent in such a way that we feel powerless or even threatened. Making matters worse, our fight-or-flight response never quite goes away, says Gary Harper, author of The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home. “More people are stressed out by not dealing with a conflict than with dealing with it,” Harper observes. “If you deal with it in the moment, it allows you to let it go.”

Pause, Breathe, Consider

Harper advises that one way to deal with conflict on the spot is to pause and give our more rational side a chance to arrive at a solution. “Before you react, slow down, take a deep breath and listen to your inner dialogue,” he says. “In that deep breath, you might realize that you need five minutes [to consider a response].” If you still remain in attack mode, it might not be the best time to respond. He adds that while no conflict should be avoided altogether, careful consideration might lead us to conclude that some battles aren’t worth fighting. Ask yourself: How important is this person to me? How important is this issue to me? “If neither is vital to you, save your energy for a better use. If the issue is not important, but the relationship is, it’s okay to accommodate or give in sometimes,” he says.

Some conflicts are worth confronting. Then, Barbara Pachter, a business communications consultant and author of The Power of Positive Confrontation, offers what she calls the WAC approach for dealing with most cases of work and family conflict. W: Ask yourself: What is really bothering me? “A lot of times, people don’t do this. They just say, ‘This person is a jerk,’ rather than specifying the problem.” A: Ask them for a solution. “We often complain, but we don’t identify a solution,” she says. “Determine what is going to solve the problem for you and ask for it.” C: Check in. “Turn it over to the other person and ask for their response. Inquire: ‘Is this possible? What do you think?’” All the while, stay curious about the other person’s perspective, suggests Harper. “We tend to see ourselves as the innocent victim, or we go into hero mode and tend to see the other person as the villain,” he says. “Of course, the other person is doing the same thing, and that makes collaboration tough.” Instead, ask sincere questions—and really listen.

Agree to Disagree

Terrie McCants, coordinator of the conflict resolution program at Kansas State University, notes that in some cases, especially when deeply held values such as politics or faith are involved, resolving conflict isn’t necessarily about reaching an agreement. “You cannot negotiate people’s values. Sometimes, these are things that people are willing to lie down and die for,” she says. “Instead, sometimes you might need to agree to disagree.” In the end, whether the conflict is a minor disagreement at home, a workplace quarrel or a complicated political dispute, the process of properly working through it can leave both parties feeling stronger and improve their communities. “Conflict forces you to problem-solve collaboratively and come up with options and elegant solutions,” she explains. “If handled well, it can add brilliant things to your life.” Lisa Shumate is a freelance writer in Boulder, CO.


Natural Alternatives for Depression

by Julie Hurley

epression is a very serious condition affecting more than 121 million people globally and leading to more than 850,000 suicides each year (BioMed Central. “Global depression statistics.” ScienceDaily, 25 Jul. 2011). A majority of those 121 million people turn to pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms, which oftentimes leads to other serious physical ailments due to the side effects. Fortunately, there are some natural alternatives to try.

including refined sugar, sugar substitutes, artificial colors, preservatives, MSG, hydrogenated oils, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, drugs and GMOs (genetically modified foods), allergens and soy.” Edwards says that a diet full of fresh, organic whole foods is essential in obtaining all the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best; this includes getting enough vitamin D (either through supplementation, or – even better – through direct sunlight), omega3s and the full spectrum of B vitamins.

Therapy & Exercise

Supplements for Depression

Timothy Pieri and Brendan Kelly are co-owners of The Well Being in Grand Rapids, MI. With over 30 years of combined clinical experience, the two have created a program that “directly links outpatient counseling with physical fitness in order to improve the mental health and physical health of their clientele.” “We do this by providing traditional outpatient counseling services utilizing evidence-based practices, while giving our clients free and open access to an on-site fitness center, and incorporating a plan for exercise directly into the treatment plan,” said Pieri. Kelly says that if a person who is struggling with depression were to engage in 25 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise, when finished they would very likely notice a significant improvement in their mood, and an increase in their motivation, energy and concentration. In combining therapy with access to the fitness center and trainers at The Well Being, Kelly and Pieri “provide an individual with the insight and tools that will help that person identify and overcome some of their self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. “ Though not anti-medication by any means, Kelly and Pieri believe that many individuals who are taking anti-depressant medications would be just as well off (and possibly better off, by using aerobic exercise as their medication. They cite a large and ever-growing body of research that shows exercise is a valid and effective form of mental health treatment. Both Pieri and Kelly suggest reading the book Spark by Dr. John Ratey.

Edwards says that there are some supplements that can be taken for depression. Make sure to carefully research the brand of supplement and find out how it’s sourced, and be sure to let your doctor know, especially if you’re currently on medication. Edwards says that “St. John’s Wort is widely known to improve mood and other helpful herbs include Kava Kava, Valerian root, licorice, ginseng, skullcap and ashwaganda.” Leslee Dru Browning, sixth generation Medical Herbalist and Nutritionist, says that sugar is a depressant for many, and should be avoided. She also recommends 5-HTP and ginko biloba.

Alternative Treatment Options

Major advances have been made in the area of alternative therapies for depression. Tinker Judson, LENS practitioner/C.N.A, says that while living with an unhealthy diet, brainwaves tend to slow to lower levels that are supported by minimal nutrients. Slower brainwaves can result in depression. To help correct this, LENS (Low Energy Neurofeedback System) is a treatment option that consists of the delivery of a tiny electromagnetic field, far less than a watch battery, carrying a feedback signal upon bi-directional wires attached to the patient. Judson says that it is estimated that LENS works for 80 percent of the people who try it; in addition to seeing a decline in depression, clients have also seen a decrease in fatigue, anxiety and irritability. Dr. Linda Hegstrand, of the Complete Wellness Center where Judson works, recommends several books that address depression as well, including Ultramind Solution by Mark Hyman and Molecules of Emotions by Candace Pert. Bonnie Cripe, of Northland Counseling Center in Big Rapids, recommends Reiki, hypnotherapy and acupuncture and agrees that diet and lifestyle choices play a “huge” role in depression.

Lifestyle Changes

For more information on The Well Being, see ad page 27. In addition to exercise there are a number of other ways For more information on Northland Counseling Center and Tinker to combat depression, which include a change in diet Judson, reference the 2011 Annual Natural Living Directory. This and lifestyle. Michael Edwards, editor of Organic Lifestyle can be found in digital format on Magazine, says that clean eating habits, adequate sleep and A married mother of two young children, Julie Hurley is a even taking pride in your living quarters can help with that freelance writer with a strong interest in natural living. Visit her heavy “stuck” feeling of depression. personal blog at She is also “It’s very important to get good sleep. Get up in the morning the Director of Public Relations at Principia Media, a publishing and get outside into the early morning light – it’s a great time house in Grand Rapids, MI: for a walk,” said Edwards. “Also, eliminate all processed foods, natural awakenings

February 2012



good initial combination can be darting petras, slower moving mollies and guppies, interactive oscars, and plecostomus bottom feeders.”




Smaller Pets Have Big Potential by Randy Kambic

Whether they crawl, swim, hop or fly, speak, make other sounds or stay silent, many small wonders can make ideal pets.


hile 85 percent of U.S. households with pets feature a dog or a cat, giving a home to smaller friendly creatures can mean less maintenance and less cost—including only tiny stomachs to fill and no vaccinations. Downsizing to wellconsidered domesticated companions also provides uncommon windows to animal behavior for adults and youngsters alike. Apparently, many appreciate these benefits. The same 2011 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey that reported on dogs and cats also showed that 12.6 million residences have fish; 5.7 million, birds; 5 million, small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, gerbils, hamsters, mice and rats); and 4.6 million, reptiles. “These animals pose a world of possibilities,” says Veterinary Doctor Kimberly Weiss, owner of Heartland Healing Hands, in Oklahoma City. 30

West Michigan Edition

“They all have individual needs. Having them around starts as something cool, a special cachet for a youngster, and then, if fostered by parents, into a special sense of responsibility.”


Watching colorful fish swim around an aquarium encourages a serene, soothing feeling. In addition to their traditional purview in kids’ bedrooms and seafood restaurants, more workplaces and physicians’ offices sport tanks these days. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Melinda Fernyhough, Ph.D., a manager with the Hartz Mountain Corporation, recommends that a first collection encompass a variety of species that happily coexist, behave differently, and don’t lead to overcrowding. “It is best to error on the side of fewer fish; you can always add more,” she says. “A

For first-time bird guardians, “Consider starting off with a small bird, such as a parakeet, cockatiel or canary,” says Dr. John Simon, a veterinarian and owner of Woodside Animal Clinic, in Royal Oak, Michigan. “If you are more adventurous, consider what you desire most in a bird— how much talking you expect, its appearance, level of friendliness—and how much it will grow. Some larger breeds, such as Amazon parrots, macaws and cockatoos, can live 60 or 70 years, so your selection could remain in your family for generations. If you’re away a lot, consider housing two of the same breed; they can keep each other company.” There’s no magic to producing a talker. “The more interaction, attention and mental stimulation, the happier the bird and greater inclination to talk,” advises Weiss. She suggests taking a bird out of its cage regularly and providing lead- and zinc-free mirrors, noisemakers and other toys to ward off boredom. Favorite gabbers include African greys, macaws and double-yellow-headed Amazons; cockatoos are more prone to imitate sounds.

Small Animals

While many rabbits do not like to be held and cuddled and hamsters can sometimes nip if awakened or startled, guinea pigs are typically friendly and often enjoy interaction with people. They can emit a charming chirp or “oink” sound when petted or touched. Smaller rodents like gerbils, mice and rats love scurrying around their cages and “jogging” in wheels. Hamsters and rats are sometimes active at night, so their cages might not be suitable in bedrooms. Guinea pigs are more docile and sleep much more. “These ‘pocket pets’ like fresh veggies to supplement their nutrition— green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, spinach, arugula and green peppers,” advises Seattlebased Veterinarian Darla Rewers, owner of Ancient Arts Holistic Services. “Rab-

bits should get more of the lettuce-type greens, but limit the spinach, because it is high in calcium.”


Whether it’s the dinosaur-like appearance of an iguana, flicking tongue of a chameleon, intricate scale patterns of a snake or wise-looking turtle head, the exotic appearance of reptiles fascinates children. They take up little space inside a small aquarium and their lack of fur prevents potential allergic reactions. However, some reptiles need special lighting and specific amounts of water; maintaining proper levels of heat and humidity is vital to some of them in order to replicate their natural environment. It’s best to learn as much as you can about a potential pet before bringing it home. Understanding species temperament, behavior patterns, maintenance needs, diet and average lifespan helps you know what to expect beforehand and ultimately to better enjoy your choice of the small-pet experience. Find tips on small animal ownership and care at and American Randy Kambic, in Estero, FL, is a freelance writer and a copyeditor for Natural Awakenings.

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February 2012



Coming in March

EAT PLASTICFREE Healthy, Practical Tips for People and the Planet by Brita Belli

Changing the Way America Eats Natural Awakenings’

Food & Garden issue explores fresh ways to eat well on a budget.

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



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lastic is nearly impossible to avoid these days, but we should beware of its health impacts. First, consider that the chemicals that form plastic compounds are let loose when plastic becomes worn, scratched or heated. When we use plastic containers for food and drinks and these chemicals are freed up, they can enter our food supply and contribute to a toxic buildup in our bodies. Exposure to such chemicals poses particular danger to pregnant women, babies and young children, whose hormone and brain development can be more easily affected by such toxic insults. Next, consider that Americans annually send more than 29 million tons of plastic to landfills, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Once there, it deteriorates, yet never fully breaks down. Plastic is one of the least recycled forms of packaging, due to its myriad recycling codes and disposable convenience (consider how many of us return plastic grocery bags to the store). Even worse, countless plastic bags, containers, six-pack rings, beverage straws and other plastic human detritus

have found their way into our oceans. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates there are currently 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean. Plastic garbage patches entangle, choke and kill turtles, dolphins and other sea life or, after the eroding effects of sun and saltwater, disintegrate into microscopic plastic pellets consumed by fish, which then wind up on our dinner plates. Here are some ubiquitous plastics of concern and practical ways to avoid using them. Plastic food storage containers. With plastic storage containers (particularly polycarbonate plastic, with a 7 recycling number or resin identification code), the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is of primary concern. BPA molecules are linked to form the plastic, but some molecules can escape and leach into food contents. BPA is a known hormone disruptor that has been tied to miscarriage, prostate and breast cancer, obesity and in children, behavioral and cognitive problems. If the plastic is worn, scratched, repeatedly washed or

heated, leaching is more likely. Alternative: Use stainless steel or glass containers that can be frozen and heated without worry. Plastic water and soda bottles. Flimsy plastic beverage bottles (bearing a number 1 recycling symbol) are made with polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a petroleum-based plastic that can leach antimony, a metal linked to lung disease, heart problems and stomach ulcers at high concentrations; and phthalates, a common plasticizer associated with male genital deformities, low sperm counts, early puberty, susceptibility to allergens and autism. Hot conditions (such as the inside of a car) increase the leaching potential, as can reuse. Alternative: Invest in a few stainless steel reusable water bottles. Plastic sandwich bags. Most plastic sandwich bags are made from lowdensity polyethylene (LDPE), indicated by resin code 4. Although not known to leach chemicals (it’s still wise to avoid microwaving them, however), they contribute to the massive quantity of plastic waste produced each year.

Alternatives: Many reusable cloth lunch bags plus glass, bamboo and stainless steel snack containers are available. Clear food packaging, plastic squeeze bottles and peanut butter containers. Many pre-wrapped items in the deli or produce section, as well as condiment squeeze bottles and peanut butter containers bearing a number 3 code, are made with polyvinyl chloride or PVC, one of the most dangerous plastics. During the production of PVC, harmful chemicals like lead, dioxins and vinyl chloride are released that have been tied to health outcomes ranging from learning and behavioral problems to cancer and birth defects. Fatty foods such as cheeses and meats wrapped in number 3 plastics are particularly prone to leaching phthalates. Alternatives: Opt for food that’s not wrapped in plastic, such as meat from a butcher or deli counter, rather than prepackaged in the refrigerated bin. Also consider switching to condiments and peanut butters packaged in glass.

Styrofoam takeout containers. Polystyrene foam is technically a number 6 plastic. It’s common in to-go containers and egg cartons, and the styrene that can leach out is tied to many health impacts, including neurological damage and harm to the liver and kidneys. Further, styrene is known to build up in body fat, increasing its toxic potential over time. Alternatives: Shop at natural grocery stores and places where customers can bring their own containers. With egg cartons, opt for cardboard, preferably made from recycled material. Brita Belli is the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine. Find green home kitchenware at Natural Awakenings’ online store, Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,; United Nations Environment Programme,; Healthy Child Healthy World,; Our Stolen Future,

natural awakenings

February 2012



IMPROVE YOUR SNOOZE Sleep Aids versus Sleep Sappers by Judith Fertig


an eating a whole-wheat peanut butter cracker or sipping tart cherry juice help us sleep? Either is certainly worth a try, because most of us aren’t getting enough shut-eye. According to the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation, 64 percent of America’s adults frequently experience sleep problems; nearly half wake up at least once during the night. This deficit of restorative rest can affect our health. “Lack of sleep can affect the immune system,” says Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center and an officer of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Studies show that people that don’t get a good night’s sleep or don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold.” A concept called sleep hygiene refers to good health practices that promote sleep. For example: Is the room dark or quiet enough? Is the mattress comfortable? Have we allowed sufficient time to wind down after daily activities to become relaxed? What we eat or drink also can have a profound effect on getting a good night’s rest.

Sleep Sappers

Physicians, naturopaths and nutritionists generally agree that these key fac36

West Michigan Edition

tors delay or disrupt sleep. Food and drink. According to Jamie Corroon, a naturopathic physician with Seattle’s Bastyr University, eating or drinking too much during the day may make us less comfortable when settling down to sleep. Also, spicy foods may cause heartburn, which can lead to difficulty falling asleep and discomfort during the night. Caffeine. “Caffeine’s stimulant effect peaks in about one hour, and then declines as the liver breaks it down. So, if you go to bed by 11 p.m., you’ll have to stop your caffeine intake by 2 or 3 p.m. to avoid insomnia,” advises bestselling author Joy Bauer, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in New York City. She also cautions about energy drinks that incorporate herbal caffeine that may include guarana seeds, kola nuts and yerba mate leaves. Nightcaps. Although many people think of alcohol as a sedative, it actually disrupts sleep, according to experts at the National Sleep Foundation.

Sleep Aids

What helps us sleep may be either a food’s chemical properties or the psychological and physical comfort we associate with a certain food or drink. Options include some old reliables.

Walnuts and tart cherry juice. Studies conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center, in San Antonio, and published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that these two foods are great sources of melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. Tart cherry juice was found to be especially effective in reducing the time it took subjects to fall asleep. Herbs. According to the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, some herbs have a mild, sedative effect. Three traditional herbs used for sleep are valerian, German chamomile and passionflower. The European practice of sipping a warm tisane, or herbal tea, made from these ingredients can be warming and soothing, preparing us to sleep. These herbs are also available as supplements. Complex carbohydrates. “Enjoy a bedtime snack,” recommends Bauer, of about 200 calories or less; mainly complex carbohydrates, with a touch of protein, such as some banana with peanut butter, yogurt or a small amount of whole grain cereal with skim milk. “By combining an ample dose of carbohydrates together with a small amount of protein—such as yogurt or turkey—containing the amino acid tryptophan, your brain produces serotonin, known as a calming hormone.” A warm, milky drink. Research scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that the chemical properties of milk—mainly protein and tryptophan—were not enough to ensure a good night’s sleep (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). However, sleep and wellness expert Anna de Vena, who writes for SleepWellFeel, observes, “I love curling up with any kind of warm milky drink before bed, especially in the wintertime. There is a calming association with warm milk and sleep… from the time we were infants, when we drank milk and went to sleep.” Judith Fertig celebrates healthy food at AlfrescoFoodAndLifestyle.

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Both valerian and melatonin have good scientific evidence backing them up as natural sleep aids, advises Sharon Plank, an integrative medicine physician with the University of Pittsburgh Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine. If the problem is falling asleep, the sedative effects of a valerian supplement can help. Because it has few adverse effects, it’s safe to try as a sleep aid, Plank says. If the problem is disrupted sleep, melatonin can help, and comes in two forms—extended release and immediate release. Plank notes, “If you tend to wake up in the middle of the night, you may want to take extended release before you go to bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, try immediate release.” If the problem is waking too early or restless leg syndrome, the problem could be a mineral deficiency. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that copper, iron and magnesium deficiencies caused sleep issues with some subjects; the studies specify recommended daily supplementation of copper (2 mg), iron (10 to 15 mg) and magnesium (400 mg).

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natural awakenings

February 2012


Essential Culinary Herbs



s any good cook knows, herbs are often the essential ingredients that coax the finest flavors out of any meal. In most cases, fresher is better, and even the smallest garden can provide a selection of pot-to-pan varieties. Here is a short list of must-haves.

Basil, Sweet (Ocimum basilicum) Basil comes in several varieties, but sweet basil is the most common. The leaf tastes sweet and spicy, overlaid with a clove-like perfume, and is used most often with tomato dishes, pizzas, salads and vegetables, often in combination with garlic. Fresh is far superior to dried. The sweet basil plants vary in size, as well as leaf size and color. Many cooks like to grow green-leafed and red-leafed basil side-by-side.

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Bay (Laurus nobilis) This aromatic herb is widely used to flavor fish, stew, rice, stuffing, curry and soup. It also is a favorite among those on low-salt diets. Bay is most often used as whole, dried leaves that are removed before dishes are served. The leaves are shiny and dark green. This evergreen shrub can grow to the height of a tree in semi-tropical climates, but most northern gardeners grow bay in pots that they bring indoors in winter. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Chives can be used fresh, frozen and freeze-dried, but fresh chives have the best flavor. Use snipped, chopped chives anytime you want to add the taste of onion in a milder form. When cooking, add fresh or freeze-dried chives at the end to preserve the flavor. Bright, dark-green chives grow in clumps and have slender, grass-like leaves. They produce purple, lavender or pink globe-shaped flowers. Cilantro/Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) Cilantro is the leaf of the coriander plant. It is best used fresh, and people either love or hate its citrusy-peppery flavor. Cilantro goes well in tacos, soups, stews,

chicken dishes, rice, salads and tomato dishes and sauces. Leaves or whole plants are harvested young, because they lose their flavor when the plants grow tall and bloom. Cilantro produces small, white flower clusters. Fertilized flowers eventually mature into nutty coriander seeds. Dill (Anethum graveolens) Dill has a bright, grassy flavor with a savory bite. Young leaves offer a light version with a faint undertone of licorice, with dill seeds carrying a stronger flavor punch. Leaves taste best fresh, but seeds are fine when dried. Dill adds to soups, omelets, seafood dishes, potato salads, dips, breads and pickles. The dill plant grows light green, threadlike leaves and parasol-like clusters of small, yellow flowers. Fertilized flowers mature into dill seeds. Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) Lemon verbena’s lemony taste is not bitter, and can be cooked without losing its flavor. For low-salt diets, it serves as a welcome flavoring substitute, often used in fruit salads, candies, jams and jellies, vegetable salads and dishes, stuffing and cottage cheese; it goes well with meat and poultry. Lemon verbena also makes a delicious tea. In northern winters, the semi-tropical plant must be brought indoors to keep it alive. Marjoram (Origanum majorana) Marjoram—also known as sweet, knotted, pot or winter marjoram—is a mild, sweet-flavored herb that tastes like a lighter, sweeter version of oregano. It can be used fresh or dried, with the whole dried leaves offering much better flavor than the ground version. Fresh marjoram leaves are excellent with potato, pasta or chopped salads; they work well with pork and veal and in stuffing for poultry. Marjoram’s small, oval, slightly furry leaves are light green on top and gray-

green underneath. The tiny flowers cling to green balls the size of pearls that grow on marjoram’s wandering stems. Mint (Mentha) Mints come in endless variations, and all are spreading plants that will take over a garden. Grown in pots, they make well-behaved subjects that produce an abundance of stems that can be used fresh or dried, whole or chopped. Mint makes a great accent herb in condiments and is a perfect touch brewed into winter and summer teas or chopped into fruit or grain salads. Leftover stems from purchased bunches will root readily in water. Most strains of peppermint are heavily blushed with red; spearmint is usually bright green. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Oregano can be used fresh or dried. It has a warm aroma and robust flavor that is popular in Italian, Greek, Spanish and Mexican dishes. It is frequently added to vegetables, (especially peppers and tomatoes), soups, stews, meat pies, pasta sauces, shellfish dishes, stuffings, dumplings, herb scones and breads, as well as fish, roast beef, lamb, chicken and pork.

Parsley (Petroselinum species) There are two main varieties of parsley: curly-leaf and Italian or flat-leaf. Both are best fresh, and have a celery-like flavor. Curly parsley often looks best on the plate, although flat-leafed types typically have a deeper, more rounded flavor that stands up to cooking. Parsley is especially good in omelets and other egg dishes, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta sauces, vegetable dishes, salads and tabouli. It also enlivens sauces. Parsley grows as a circular rosette of stems and mature plants produce rounded clusters of white flowers. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) The aromatic evergreen rosemary has a pine-like, slightly lemony flavor and aroma. It blends well with other herbs and spices, especially garlic and thyme, and can be used as a seasoning for soups, stews, eggs, tomato sauces, vegetables, roasts, fish, poultry dishes and marinades. It makes a delicious tea, hot or iced. Rosemary plants grow gray-green, needle-like leaves that remain evergreen in mild winter climates. Rosemary flowers present in pale blue or pink.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) Sage lends its smoky flavor to many dishes and can be used fresh or dried, with leaves that are whole, crumbled or rubbed. Sage, along with garlic and cracked pepper, makes a good seasoning rub for meats and complements seafood, sausages and beans. It also is useful for flavoring sauces, dressings, stuffings and savory breads. The sage plant grows long, narrow, oval, gray-green leaves with a pebbly texture; showy blue sage flowers grow on upright spikes. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Fragrant thyme can be used fresh or dried and has a slight lemony-mint aroma and taste. Thyme is often used in soups, chowders, stews, sauces and stuffings. It also goes well with lima beans, potatoes, squash, tomatoes, eggs and croquettes, as well as a variety of meats, poultry and fish. Thyme is a small, stiff plant with oval, grayish-green leaves; its lilac flowers grow in small clusters. Sources: The New Food Lover’s Companion; The World of Herbs and Spices;;

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February 2012


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February 2012


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

Wednesday, February 1 Guided Meditation and Healing Circle - 7:00-8:00 pm. 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. Grand Rapids. 269-929-6796.

Thursday, February 2 The Right Baby Carrier for YOU! - 11:0012:00p.m. Whether you’re just starting out or your current carrier is just not working for you, come to this workshop to learn about your options and find the carrier that works for you and your baby. Babies welcomed! Free. Hopscotch Children’s Store. Grand Rapids. 616-233-4008.

Saturday, February 4 Free Fair -10:00 am-6:00 pm. Spiritual, psychic, palm, and angel readings. We will have many readers to help with your questions and curiosities. Many sale items as well. Come on in and join us for a day of fun. Free. Open Mind. Rockford. 616-863-8868. Dream Study - 12:00-4:00pm. Rachelle Oppenhuizen, Artist & Spiritual Director, welcomes opportunities to facilitate tending dreams as a spiritual practice. Participants will engage their own dream material using a variety of creative expression, reflection, & discussion. $35. On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Sunday, February 5 Community Yoga Class - 10:00 am. Free all levels Community Yoga Class. Begin your month with a fresh focus! On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028. Yogic Deities & Tantric Philosophy with Dr. Manoj Chalam - 10:00 am-12:30 pm for $45 and from 2:00-4:00 pm for $40.This workshop will include tantric philosophy, meditation and mantra chanting. From The Heart Yoga 714 Wealthy Street SE in Grand Rapids. 616-336-9642.

Tuesday, February 7

Weaving simple, guided movement sequences and free exploration, JourneyDance reconnects you with your innate state of joyous well-being. $15. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Thursday, February 9 Reiki Share & Essential Oil Open House - 6:00-8:00 pm. Open to all that care to share Reiki, those who would like to try receiving Reiki, and those interested in Essential Oils. Free. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. Call or email if questions: 616443-4225 or

Friday, February 10 Cheese & Soap Making Workshop - Learn how to make goat milk soaps and cheese through this hands-on, introductory workshop into the crafts. You’ll take home samples, recipes and even have an opportunity to milk a goat! $85-$175 (depending on lodging and meals). Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555. Partner Yoga: Making Contact - 6:30-8:30 pm. Doing Yoga together can be a rich and beautiful experience. This practice is for everyone, only requirements are a willingness to play and be joyful. Stay for champagne, chocolate & community after. $40 per couple. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Saturday, February 11 Cheese & Soap Making Workshop - Learn how to make goat milk soaps and cheese through this hands-on, introductory workshop into the crafts. You’ll take home samples, recipes and even have an opportunity to milk a goat! $85-$175 (depending on lodging and meals). Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555. Rest & Relax Retreat - Includes shared room lodging, delicious home-cooked vegetarian meals Saturday lunch - Sunday lunch. Optional Life Skills & Relaxation class Saturday afternoon. $75 + taxes, NAN discount available. Private room or suite available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. Bath. 517-641-6201.

are important to us! $30. Daina(DINAH)Puodziunas of Awakened Potentials for Women. Rockford. 616-754-9672. Yoga, Partners, & Pastries - 2:00-4:00 pm. Enjoy a playful afternoon of discovering yoga poses with assistance from a loved one! Partners will learn basic massage techniques to facilitate relaxation. The afternoon will end with some delicious treats from the Village Baker! $40 per couple. On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028. Valentine Partner Yoga/Massage with Michele Fife - 6:00-7:30 pm. Make a date for friends or lovers to strengthen your connection while sharing trust and support. $45. Seva Yoga. Grand Rapids. Register online at 616-458-2541.

Sunday, February 12 Cheese & Soap Making Workshop - Learn how to make goat milk soaps and cheese through this hands-on, introductory workshop into the crafts. You’ll take home samples, recipes and even have an opportunity to milk a goat! $85-$175 (depending on lodging and meals). Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555. Rest & Relax Retreat - Includes shared room lodging, delicious home-cooked vegetarian meals Saturday lunch - Sunday lunch. Optional Life Skills & Relaxation class Saturday afternoon. $75 + taxes, NAN discount available. Private room or suite available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. Bath. 517-641-6201. Open to the Holy Spirit, the ECK - 10:00-11:00 am. Join the monthly ECK Worship Service where people from all walks of life come to celebrate a life lived in harmony with Divine Spirit. Eckankar. No charge. Dominican Center. Grand Rapids. 616-245-7003. Essential Oil Training III (Raindrop) - 10:00 am12:00 pm & IV (Emotional Clearing) 1:00-3:00 pm & V (Spiritual Journey Work) 3:00-5:00 pm. Learn the benefits of these sets of oils. $15 per class includes class materials & pre-registration required. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. 616-443-4225 or Restorative Yoga w/ Kat McKinney - 2:30-4:00 pm. A nurturing and soothing sequence of poses to calm the nerves and recharge the batteries. Supported and modified poses to take us to deeper levels of relaxation. $15. Yoga Studio. Grand Rapids. 616 776-0836.

Chinese New Year Celebration - 6:00-7:00 pm. Celebrate the Year of the Dragon Chinese New Year. Experience Free Community Chair Acupuncture. Must pre-register via email or text to Irv Marcus. International Wellness Partners. Spring Lake. 616-634-2714.

Essential Oil Basic Training I - 10:00 am-12:00 pm & II 1:00-3:00 pm. Learn the basics of the benefits and uses of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. $15 per class includes class materials & preregistration required. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. 616-443-4225 or

Wednesday, February 15

Wednesday, February 8

No-Bake Sweets for Valentine’s Day - 1:00-3:00 pm. I’m going to show you how to whip up some easy creations such as Healthy Truffles, No-Bake Cookies, Sourdough Hearts and Cream Cheese Candy. $20 with half down before the date of February 9 for class materials. Nature’s Spiritual Connections. Grand Rapids. 616- 929-4204.

Dream Catcher Workshop - 6:00-8:00 pm. Great unique gift idea! Learn how to make a dream catcher and take home the one you make. All supplies included, and pre-registration required. $25. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. 616-929-4204.

Guided Meditation, Prayer and Healing Circle - 7:00-8:00 pm. Relax to guided meditation, and receive energy healing from local healers while church chaplains pray over your prayer requests. Donation. Unity Church on the Lakeshore. Douglas. 269-857-8226. JOURNEYDANCE™ for Women -7:15-8:15 pm. Holistic Dance Fitness for Mind, Body, & Sprit.


West Michigan Edition

Vision Board Workshop - 1:00-5:00 pm. Start Your New Year Focused and Excited! A Vision Board is a way of teaching our mind to focus on the things that

So You Want To Be A Birth Doula - 6:00-7:00 pm. This is an opportunity to sit down and hear from a professional and certified birth doula who will paint a realistic picture of what it is like and what it takes, answer questions and share resources. $5. Elder & Sage. Grand Rapids. 616-242-1355.

Thursday, February 16

Sunday, February 19

Trigger Point Massage w/ Dr. Michael Kwast 6:00 pm. Workshop participants will learn what a trigger point is, what causes them, how to prevent them and how to get rid of them. Foundation for Wellness Professionals. Grand Rapids. Seating is limited to the first 30 callers. Make your reservations today by calling 616-447-9888.

Co-op Retreat - Come spend a relaxing winter weekend meet other co-operators from around the region. We’ll talk co-ops, cross-country ski, sauna, snowshoe, sled and just put our feet up by the fire. COST: $130 (adults) $65 (kids); includes 2 nights lodging and 5 delicious, homemade meals. Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555.

Friday, February 17 Co-op Retreat - Come spend a relaxing winter weekend meet other co-operators from around the region. We’ll talk co-ops, cross-country ski, sauna, snowshoe, sled and just put our feet up by the fire. COST: $130 (adults) $65 (kids); includes 2 nights lodging and 5 delicious, homemade meals. Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555. Hula Hoop Yoga - 6:00-7:00 pm & 7:15-8:15 pm. Have fun while you burn up to 600 calories per hour! Quiets the mind, restores mind-body-spirit connection, and promotes happiness. Beginning and experienced hoopers welcome! $15 includes hoop rental. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Saturday, February 18 Co-op Retreat - Come spend a relaxing winter weekend meet other co-operators from around the region. We’ll talk co-ops, cross-country ski, sauna, snowshoe, sled and just put our feet up by the fire. COST: $130 (adults) $65 (kids); includes 2 nights lodging and 5 delicious, homemade meals. Circle Pines Center. Delton. 269-623-5555. Special Intense Adventure Session - 10:00-11:30 am. Join us for a joint session with the Battle Creek EcoTrek Series leader Wendy Rahn along with the Kalamazoo EcoTrek Series Leader Kylie Schultz! W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest. Augusta. Details on carpooling/caravan from Kalamazoo found at $12 drop-in per person. Call 269-919-2233 for info. Reiki I & II class - 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Become attuned and learn how to give treatment to self and others. $175 includes manual and the $50 deposit required to register. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. Call or email Jodi at 616-443-4225 or with questions or to register.

Advanced Reiki Class - 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Learn psychic surgery to remove tough energy blocks and how to set up a crystal grid for healing. $200 includes textbook, certificate and deposit. Pre-registration with a $50 deposit required a week prior to class. Heavenly Healings Holistic Health Services. Grand Rapids. 616-443-4225 or

Monday, February 20 Cardio vs. Weight Training: What’s Right For You? - 6:30 pm. FREE Workshop. O’Brien Family Chiropractic Center. Muskegon. Advanced Registration Required by calling 231-744-6400.

Wednesday, February 22 Breastfeeding Support Group - 12:00-1:00 pm. Come be a part of this group led by certified Lactation Counselor, Laurie Vance. Each meeting will have a mini-topic discussion to get things started. Your questions are encouraged and you’re welcome to bring a lunch with you. Free. Hop Scotch Children’s Store. Grand Rapids. 616-233-4008. Homeopathy Class - 6:00-7:30 pm. Kick the flu using homeopathy with Asher Thayer. $3. Elder & Sage. Grand Rapids. 616-242-1355. Introduction to Reiki: Urevia Healing Classes - 7:00 pm. This intro overviews the Reiki - Urevia Classes, provides an opportunity for questions. RSVP required. Subtle Energies. Delton. Call 800-260-4544 {Many New Classes}. More info at JOURNEYDANCE™ for Women -7:15-8:15 pm. Holistic Dance Fitness for Mind, Body, & Sprit. Weaving simple, guided movement sequences and free exploration, JourneyDance reconnects you with your innate state of joyous well-being. $15. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Thursday, February 23

Get Your Life On! - 1:00-2:00 pm. Learn 5 powerful, easy & quick steps to change how you live & eat, shift your thoughts, create optimal health & radiate beauty inside & out. It’s never too late & it’s not that hard! $20. Alive & Well/Muskegon Yoga. Register at 616-638-5625.

Breastfeeding Support Group - 6:00-7:00 pm. Come be a part of this group led by certified Lactation Counselor, Laurie Vance. Each meeting will have a mini-topic discussion to get things started. Your questions are encouraged. Free. Hop Scotch Children’s Store. Grand Rapids. 616-233-4008.

Yoga of Eating: A Divine Reconnection with Food & Body - 1:30-3:00 pm. Do you want to permanently reach a new level of health and peace with your weight, energy and metabolic power? Your body contains wisdom beyond any diet or book. $28. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Spiritual Wisdom on Conquering Fear - 6:45-7:45 pm. What if the antidote to fear—any fear—lay within easy distance? Join this informal discussion to begin your journey of spiritual healing from fear. Presented by members of Eckankar. No charge. Wyoming Library. Wyoming. 616-245-7003.

Winter Gathering - 6:00-8:00 pm. Warm up with a vegetarian potluck. Bring your family, friends and a dish to share. Beverages provided. All are welcome. Free. Yoga Studio Grand Rapids. 616 776-0836.

Friday, February 24 Fire of Transformation Practice w/ Mimi Ray 6:30-8:30 pm. This practice is an invitation for experienced students to light the inner fire of the heart; transform and refine your practice. $18. Grand Rapids. Call for prerequisites 616-361-8580.

JourneyDance - 7:30-9:00 pm. This is an inspiring, intuitive and exhilarating movement experience. JourneyDance mixes yoga flow, free-form movement and other dance forms to a variety of global music. Dance experience NOT necessary. $15. Alive & Well/Muskegon Yoga. Register at Space is limited. 616-638-5625.

Saturday, February 25 Peace & Quiet Retreat - Spend time in peace and quiet, with free time and silent Sunday morning. Includes shared room, delicious home-cooked vegetarian meals Saturday lunch - Sunday lunch. Optional Pure Meditation Foundation class Saturday afternoon. $75 + taxes, NAN discount available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. Bath. 517641-6201. Your Healing Gift - 1-5:30 p.m. This introduction to energy healing as taught by England’s renowned National Federation of Spiritual Healers will teach you tools you will be able to use immediately to invoke remarkable changes in your life. Taught by licensed trainer Nancy O’Donohue. $40. Holistic Care Approach. Grand Rapids. 269-929-6796.

Sunday, February 26 Peace & Quiet Retreat - Spend time in peace and quiet, with free time and silent Sunday morning. Includes shared room, delicious home-cooked vegetarian meals Saturday lunch - Sunday lunch. Optional Pure Meditation Foundation class Saturday afternoon. $75 + taxes, NAN discount available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. Bath. 517-641-6201. Restorative Yoga -3:00-5:00 pm. Relax and renew your body and spirit in nurturing yoga poses. Each pose is completely supported, breathing techniques are incorporated, and tension is released from the body. A perfect way to re-discover balance in your life! $15. On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Wednesday, February 29 Survival Herbalism - 6:00-7:30 pm. Understanding the basics of Herbs and how to apply them while Hiking, Camping and just hanging out in the Eastern woodlands of Michigan. Free Medicine is all around us if we know what we are looking for and how to prepare it. $3. Elder & Sage. Grand Rapids. 616-242-1355.

S AVE T H E D ATE Save The Date Events - Must be submitted online each month at NaturalWestMichigan. com. Events priced $80 or above require a corresponding display ad. There is a $45 charge per listing, up to 50 words. If you are a current advertiser, distribution site or non-profit you October use this listing in place of one of your free listings for a $25 charge.

natural awakenings

February 2012


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.

All Month Long Ashtanga Yoga - 8:30-10:30 am. Class held Monday-Friday. This class invigorates the body and calms the mind. $12 drop-in or $75 for a month unlimited. Grand Rapids. 616 808 1110. Diaper Promotion - Buy 12 pocket or All-in-one diapers or 24 prefolds & 4 diaper covers get one NAN membership card for FREE! *Limited to one membership per purchase. Hop Scotch Children’s Store, 909 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids. www.

Sunday Unity Church of Peace - 10:00 am. Celebrating God’s presence in human nature. Offering uplifting messages that are spiritual without being religious. Youth programs & Nursery. Unity Church of Peace 6025 Ada Drive SE, Ada. 616-682-7812. www. Worship Service - 10:00 am. The last Sunday of each month we host this time of self-reflection and sharing. This month’s Love Offering will be new or used winter clothing. Rev. Barb Huttinga and associate Coptic Ministers speaking. The Healing Center 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Unity of Muskegon “A Church of Light, Love & Laughter” - 10:30 am weekly. Sunday Services & Youth Education. Minister: Rev. John W. Williams. 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon. 231-759-7356. Unity of Grand Rapids -10:30 am. A spiritual community that is warm and welcoming, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those who are seeking spiritual truth. 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. 616-453-9909. Rockin Vinyasa Yoga - 4:00-5:15 pm. Energetic Flow Class builds stamina, strength and flexibility. Walk-ins welcome. $10. The Club Yoga. Sparta. 616-481-6610. The Coptic Center Sunday Series - 6:00 pm. An ongoing series of inspirational speakers, centering and music. Youth Ministry class one Sunday of each month during service, check schedule. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339. or call Smiling Lotus Yoga, 103 E. Ludington Ave, Ludington. 231-852-0849. Intro to Yoga Flow - 5:30-6:30 pm. Learn the basics of Vinyasa Yoga. No experience necessary. Walkins welcome. $8. The Club Yoga. Sparta. 616-4816610. Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman - 6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 7:30 pm. Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For more details visit our website at Seva Yoga Studio, 2237 Wealthy St, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman - 7:459:00 am & 9:15-10:30 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Yoga for All - 9:00-10:00 am. Focuses on balancing, strengthening and stretching techniques. No experience necessary. Walk-ins welcome. $8. The Club Yoga. Sparta. 616-481-6610. Yoga for Everyone - 10:00-11:00 am. With Ruth Sutherland. $3.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Education & Advocacy Meeting - 1:00-2:30 pm. 2nd Tuesday of each month. The Peter M. Wege Health & Learning Center (Wege North Building at St. Mary’s Hospital), 300 Lafayette Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Conference Room #11 (subject to change). Breath, Meditation and Yin Yoga w/ Gretchen - 6:00-7:15pm. Explore the breath, calm the mind and allow openness to occur through balancing Yin yoga poses. All levels of practice welcome. Drop ins welcome. Seva Yoga. Grand Rapids. sevayoga. net. 616-458-2541. Aromatherapy Class - 6:30-8:30pm. Every 2nd Tuesday with Linda Bayer RA. Basics and different topics each month. Bayer Essence. Jenison. 616457-7426.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division Grand Rapids. or Janice at 616-450-1843 Mystic Angel Classes - 7:00-8:30 pm. With Denise Iwanwi. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Adopt a Healthier, More Active Lifestyle - 7:30pm. Perfect nutritional support for optimal fitness. Ask for Reliv’s Personal Training. Open Presentations Spring Hill Suites, 450 Center NW, Grand Rapids. Deb Riolo 616-822-4247.

Wednesday $30 Off BioMeridian Assessments - State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit A Course In Miracles (ACIM) - 9:30-11:00 am. Self-study system unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God. Unity Church of Peace. Ada. 616-682-7812. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 10:00 am: Gentle & 7:30 pm: Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For details visit Seva Yoga Studio, 2237 Wealthy St, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541. Essential Oils Education - 1:00-3:00 pm & 6:308:30 pm. What are Essential Oils? Why and How would I use them? Enjoy FREE classes with New Subjects each month. Natural Health 4 Today. Grand Rapids. 616-698-6148. Essential Oil Trainings - 2:00-4:00 pm. A different class taught each week. Come learn more about oils. $25 per class. Nature’s Spiritual Connections. New Location: 5286 Plainfield Ave, NE. Grand Rapids. 616-443-4225. Pilates at The Well Being - 6:00-7:00 pm. Build strength, endurance, and flexibility throughout your body while learning proper breathing techniques which help to decrease stress! $10 per class. Equipment provided. Drop-ins welcome. grwellbeing. com 616-458-6870. A Course in Miracles Class - 6:00-8:00 pm. With Cindy Barry. Free will offering. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. General Anxiety support group - 7:00-8:30 pm. Open to individuals who have any kind of anxiety problem as well as their friends and family members meets every. Anxiety Resource Center, Inc. Grand Rapids. 616-356-1614.


On Being a Spirit having a Physical Experience - 6:30 pm. 2nd & 4th Tuesday. From the Shamanic Teachings of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Path w/ Marie Moon Star Seeker. $10. Owl Hawk Clan. Open Mind in Rockford. 616-447-0128.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments - State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit

A Course In Miracles (A.C.I.M.) - 7:00-8:30 p.m. This self-study system teaches forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids. Ada. 616-682-7812.

Classes for the Childbearing Year and Beyond - 6:00 pm. Every 3rd Thursday. Designed to educate & support wholistic parenting & living from pregnancy through parenting and beyond. Advance registration required. Full Circle Midwifery. Hesperia. 231-861-2535.

Foods with “Culture” - 7:00-8:30pm. Every 3rd Tuesday January to July. Bring a sample or just come and taste sourdough, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and kvass. Free (donations are accepted).

Spiritual Classes - 6:00-7:30 pm. Astrology, numerology, tarot, etc with Gail Brumeister. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500.

Yoga-Beginning - 9:00 am. This is where you start. Learn the basic poses, strengthen, breath awareness and relax. For more information visit SmilingLo-


West Michigan Edition


Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman 6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Oils Classes - 6:30-8:00 pm. Every 3rd Thursday with Barb Huttinga. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500.

Friday Yoga-Intermediate - 9:00 am. Learn the basics. Holding poses longer, moving deeper into your practice and awareness of the core. For details visit or call Smiling Lotus Yoga, 103 E. Ludington Ave, Ludington. 231-852-0849. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 7:00 pm. Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For details visit Seva Yoga Studio, 2237 Wealthy St, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541.

Saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman - 9:0010:15 am & 10:30-11:45 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market - 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Every other Saturday. Indoors at Hackley Health at the Lakes, Harvey St. 1/2 Mile South of Lakes Mall. Exit US 31 at Pontaluna Rd. Muskegon. Adopt a Healthier, More Active Lifestyle 9:30am. Perfect nutritional support for optimal fitness. Ask for Reliv’s Personal Training. Open Presentations Spring Hill Suites, 450 Center NW, Grand Rapids. Deb Riolo 616-822-4247.

thenaturaldirectory ...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

chiropractic care




Medical Acupuncturist SHMG Internal Medicine 890 S. Washington, Suite 130, Holland 616-395-9000 Medical acupuncture can be an effective treatment for many chronic conditions, including Pain, Fatigue, Depression and Anxiety. Samir Rajani, MD is certified in medical acupuncture and practices at SHMG Internal Medicine.


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

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic & LaStone Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, Certified Reflexologist, and a Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner. See ad page 21.


Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, and specializing in back pain, sciatica neck pain, and headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurances accepted. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 8.

cleaning pRoDucts NATURAL HEALTH 4 TODAY Clara VanderZouwen 616-698-6148

Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815

Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building custom livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. See ad page 31.

Imagine cleaning with only water! Improve the quality of your life with Norwex products by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. New to Michigan!

cOlon hydrotherapy HARMONY ’N HEALTH

Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 1003 Maryland Av., N.E. Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach colonics relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 6.

natural awakenings

February 2012



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

Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 15 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor. Visit www.

essential oils BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara Vander Zouwen 616-698-6148

Learn how to address issues of Pain, Stress, Hormone Imbalance, Weight Management, ADD, Allergies, Diabetes & more with Essential Oils, Ionic Foot Baths, Bio-Energy scans, Nutritional & NEW Earthing products! Free monthly classes.

dentistry / holistic DENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER


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.

energy healing

Jodi Jenks - Reiki Master 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 I am a Reiki Master that also does Essential Oil therapies including Raindrop Therapy, Emotional Clearing and Spiritual Journey work. Call or email for appointments or questions, 616443-4225 or heavenlyhealings@


Organic Hair Color Specialist Aesthetica Image Group 616-916-1190


Beth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354 Ama Deus® healing energy method is a hand mediated technique aligned with love. The energy helps to enhance one’s own and others growth and awareness or physical and emotional healing. See ad page 31.

Feel good about looking beautiful! Hair services of all kinds for all types. Providing superior results with Organic Color. 8 yrs. experience. Appointment recommended.



Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using principles of quantum physics and subtle energy Matrix Energetics helps you to shift into a more balanced state. See ad page 21.

830 Forest Hill Ave Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-942-7907

health food stores AFFORDABLE NUTRITION

Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 7493 Cottonwood Drive, Jenison 616-667-1346 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant. 20 years experience. Offering select high quality vitamins and nutritional supplements. Weight loss, cleansing, sports nutrition & more! Senior & Everyday discounts. Visit


Grand Haven 616-846-3026 Muskegon 231-739-1568 North Muskegon 231-744-0852 Natural & organic foods, vitamins & herbs, sports nutrition, gluten free food, natural body and homecare products. Open 7 days a week. See ad page 21.

holistic health centers THE HEALING CENTER

352 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners. Physician assistant, Certified Natural Health Professionals. Private consultations. Counseling & Classes. Blood typing, acupressure, emotional release, i r i d o l o g y, h o m e o p a t h y, massage therapy, reflexology, cranial sacral, foot detox & more. See ad page 11.

homeopathy BOB HUTTINGA

352 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500

Educational programs for personal health improvement Workplace wellness programs Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.

A Physician assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care and ApoE Gene Diet. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. See ad page 11.

Reach Your Target Mark Contact us for special ad rates and opportunities!



West Michigan Edition

interior design services STANDALE INTERIORS

4046 Lake Michigan Dr. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-453-8201 Offering environmentally friendly options for cabinetry, flooring, countertops and window treatments. The Homecoming Collection from Kincaid with the Eco3Home designation offers furniture manufactured in an environmentally responsible process. See ad page 7.

kinesiology WHOLISTIC KINESIOLOGY HEALTH SERVICES, LLC Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, 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 P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Reflexologist, and a Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 21.


Erin Kieffer, 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. www.

Patrice Bobier CM, CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234

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.

quantum biofeedback TRICIA E. GOSLING


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, 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 Vi l l a g e a r e a . w w w. See ad page 8 & 32.


Natural Health & Healing Center 723 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids 49546 616-481-9074 This highly complex device is a non-invasive technology that energetically scans & harmonizes the body’s stresses and imbalances, reducing those imbalances that make us uncomfortable. Visit


Yolanda Visser CM, CPM Grand Rapids: 616-458-8144

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

Homebirth services since 1982. Committed to facilitating natural birth, bonding, strengthening the family, informed active participation, and lending dignity to women through their birthing experience.

Educational Programs: Natural Health 1-4 Years (one weekend per month), Holistic Labor Companion –Doula 6 months (1 weekend per month), Massage Therapy 1 Year (2 weekends per month), Individual Classes available. 15 years of excellence. See ad page 2.

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


Log Cabin Home - 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath on Campau Kettle Lake in Caledonia. Plenty of storage in the new 4 Stall Garage. Asking $168,000. Located at 8810 66th Street SE in Caledonia. Call for details 616-292-6762.

Looking for Massage Therapists, Reflexologist, Acupuncturist, (etc.). Holland/Zeeland area. Contact Daphne at Lakeshore Natural Skin Care. (231) 557-3619.

White Cloud- 80 Acre Farm, 6 bedroom home, vinyl siding, insulated. Dairy barn, outbuildings, 4 stall garage on M-20. Rob Breen 231-652-1100.


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 Publisher@ Participating as a Provider is FREE for the 1st year. Full Time Ad Sales Rep – Natural Awakenings is now accepting resumes for Sales Reps in select Lakeshore and Grand Rapids territories. Strong organizational skills, sales and computer/ database experience are needed. We’re positive people looking for positive associates. Flexible schedule with great earning potential. Pay is set up on a generous full commission structure. Email cover letter and resume to publisher@

natural awakenings

February 2012



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine February 2012  

Natural Directory highlights area businesses relating to natural health, holistic living, conscious living and sustainable lifestyles.

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