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feel good • live simply • laugh more


Go Green Eco-Solutions for Everyday Living

Waste Not Want Not

10 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

ECO-HOME CHECKLIST Doable Changes for Every Room

Mobilize for Earth

Pledge a Green Act for Earth Day

April 2012 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

April 2012


Naturopathy (Each year 600 hours)

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Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner ..1 Year

Holistic Labor Program Doula.......6 Months

All Classes Meet On Weekends Fri. 5 - 9 p.m., and Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Naturopaths - 1 per month • Massage - 2 per month

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• Herbology • Aromatherapy • Nutrition • Live Food Preparation • Light Healing Touch • Reflexology • Homeopathy • And More!

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West Michigan Edition Accredited by the American Naturopathic Medical Association

contents 9 9 healthbriefs 1 1 globalbriefs 17 inspiration 18 healthykids


20 naturalpet 22 fitbody

28 greenliving 30 wisewords 34 healingways

18 38 consciouseating

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.



Lessons to Help Lighten Future Footprints by Hilary Ferrand


LEED-Certified Facilities Care for Animals and the Earth by Sandra Murphy

24 GREEN HOME CHECKLIST Room-by-Room Steps We Can Take, Starting Right Now by Crissy Trask


advertising & submissions

Reusing Rainwater Saves Money and is Better for Plants

How to Advertise

by Brita Belli

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.


News Briefs & article submissions

Music without Borders by April Thompson

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


calendar submissions

by Dr. Lauri Grossman

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

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

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38 WASTE NOT, WANT NOT 10 Ways to Reduce Costly Food Waste by Amber Lanier Nagle


Pledge a Green Act for Earth Day 2012

Check us out and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook! Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings of West Michigan

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April 2012




pring brings Earth Day and loads of reasons to get out and enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. I’m psyched! I wish I’d been part of the first annual Earth Day on April 22, 1970 to experience this landmark event so filled with promise. Earth Day Network makes the history come alive with a video posted at Watching it, I found myself tearing up at the thought that so many concerned citizens were eager to rally behind solutions to environmental issues and are still rallying today, despite great odds. What an awe inspiring opportunity.

contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Assistant Publisher Amanda Merritt 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.

Earth Week is a highlight of West Michigan’s current expo season, now in full swing. Kyle and I are taking advantage of the wealth of educational fun and opportunities to meet you. Please stop by and visit us at the Harvest Health and Gazelle Sports 6K Run (April 19) West Michigan Environmental Action Committee (WMEAC) Earth Day Celebration (April 20), John Ball Zoo (April 21) and Muskegon Earth Fair (April 28). You’ll find us passing out copies of our new Annual Directory along with our latest magazine plus some past issues in case you missed any of interest. To celebrate the availability of Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) cards at a special event discount price, we also will be giving away one free NAN Membership Card at each event; stop by our booth to sign up. See our news brief and calendar sections for event details. I also look forward to realizing my dream of listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak in person during his Public Talk on Non-Violence on April 26, in Chicago. I sense that this will be a life changing event for me. Like me, I bet you’re ready to visit local farmers’ markets again. Life doesn’t get much better than eating just-picked homegrown food and grilling outside on sunshiny evenings that feather into star-studded nights. Isn’t spring grand? Whether you are happily participating in Earth-friendly events, renewing an outdoor exercise regimen or prepping the garden to yield glorious seasonal treats, let’s all acknowledge what Mother Nature does for us and vow to do better by her. Celebrating Planet Earth,

Amy & Kyle Hass, Publishers Natural Awakenings is printed on 100% recycled newsprint with soy based ink.


West Michigan Edition

newbriefs Journey Home Yoga and Health Opening in Downtown Ada


wner, instructor, and wellness provider, Chitradevi/Charlotte Caradedios, is pleased to announce the opening of Journey Home Yoga and Health’s new location at 583 Ada Dr, Ada, MI 49301. Although providing services to the community at offsite locations and residences since 2006, on April 16, JHYH will open a dedicated space allowing students and clients to take advantage of all JHYH has to offer at one local location. JHYH offers yoga, healing services, workshops, and trainings. All offerings are based in yogic and holistic health philosophies that offer solutions to health and wellness issues using a “whole being” approach. When discussing the philosophy behind JHYH, Chitradevi/Charlotte shared: “The “Yoga” in JHYH is not solely about the physical practice of yoga. While Kripalu yoga classes are one of our offerings, the purpose behind all of our services is ultimately to empower/enable individuals to recognize, explore, and understand their own multi-dimensional and True nature. Increased awareness provides more balance and integration of all aspects of this nature (mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual) allowing in-depth healing on multiple levels. Although each of JHYH’s services are certainly effective and provide healing on a standalone basis, JHYH’s intention with this unique approach is to provide opportunities for individuals to develop an integrated, “whole being” healing plan tailored specifically for them.” Besides Kripalu yoga, JHYH offers WholeLife Yoga Therapy, WholeLife Awareness Counseling & Classes, Positional Release Therapy, Reiki and more. For more information visit our website at www.urhomeyoga. com, or contact Chitradevi/Charlotte at charlotte@ or 616-780-3604. See ad page 17.

Party for The Planet


celebration of conservation, recycling and our natural world! This is a national event, taking place at Zoos around the country in an initiative spear-headed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Assoc. (AZA). Party for The Planet takes place on April 21st at John Ball Zoo from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. Festivities will include booths, stations, and demonstrations from the area’s top conservation-minded organizations as well as a convenient drive-up recycling center for just about any item. Animals that are threatened or endangered will be showcased with ideas on what you can do to help save these valuable species right here in Grand Rapids. Admission to the event is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for children 3-13 and children 2 and under are always free. The Zoo is open daily 10:00 am-4:00 pm, but the Party for The Planet activities will take place until 3:00pm. For more information and detail, call Krys at 616-336-4374 or email

Feng Shui ~ The Art of Placement


riday evening, April 27th, join Minnie Kansman at Expressions of Grace Yoga Studio, where she will be teaching the introductory class, Feng Shui: A Beginners Mind. Come to learn the basic principles of feng shui to create spaces that look and feel good to be in. Minnie, a Feng Shui Master, has been helping others create sacred space in Minnie Kansman their homes, offices and gardens for over 15 years. She is also the author of the feng shui book, Spirit Gardens: Rekindling our Nature Connection. For a more in-depth look at your home room-by-room, join Minnie again on Saturday, May 12th, for Feng Shui Interiors. Then on Saturday, June 16th, Feng Shui in the Garden will teach you how to apply these same

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April 2012


principles to your outdoor landscape to create environments that feed your Soul. Event details include: April 27th 6:307:30 pm Feng Shui Beginners $18, May 12th 1:30-3:30 pm Feng Shui Interiors $39 and June 16th 1:30-3:30 pm Garden Feng Shui $39. Register for these classes at www. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580. See ad page 16.

Muskegon Area Earth Week


fter a few seasons on hiatus, Muskegon Sustainability Coalition has brought back a week’s worth of family fun, festivities and facts to celebrate our planet. Muskegon Area Earth Week begins April 22nd with Creation Care Day, includes the Chris Bedford Arts Festival midweek and concludes on April 28th with Earth Fair. The entire week of events can be found at or on the Muskegon Area Earth Week Facebook page. All events are free and open to the public. The Chris Bedford Arts Festival and Earth Fair are the feature events during Muskegon Area Earth Week. During the Chris Bedford Arts Festival the community will be able to view the collaborative projects which combined poets with children’s artwork. People will also see the late Chris Bedford’s final film, take a guided tour of the Kasey Hartz Nature Area and meet residents who have paved the way of sustainability. “There is a lot going on here and it’s time people are recognized for what they have been doing,” said Doug Wood, festival planner. Joel Darling agrees. “This area has so much in terms of green jobs, eco products, natural resources, and environmental initiatives within schools, organizations and businesses. Unfortunately, our own community is unaware of most of it.” That is why Darling is helping to organize Earth Fair, an event where citizens can play games, win prizes, hear demonstrations and see cool technology. “You can even drop off all those old electronics that are stored in your basement, like tape decks and VCRs.” For Muskegon Area Earth Week event locations and details, view the Calendar of Events section on page 41 and see ad page 39.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available


West Michigan Edition

Intensive Physical & Emotional Cleanse


et aside May 6-11th for Panchakarma Spring Cleanse. Ayurveda, Yoga’s Sister Science, is an ancient healing modality based upon knowledge and awareness of the qualities of nature. Winter is the Kapha season, also known as the “season of the Sleepy Bear.” Kapha out of balance can manifest as allergies, colds, excess weight, congestion, sluggishness & depression. Cleansing and rejuvenation help us to enter the upcoming summer season from a place of lightness & ease. Experience an intensive physical and emotional cleanse that includes: Three Lectures, Individual Ayurvedic Assessment, Ayurvedic treatment (massage), unlimited yoga classes, individual counseling sessions, sauna, and more. The facilitators of this event include: Maria Kali Ma, RN, MS, E-RYT 500, an International speaker, Ayurvedic practitioner, and Structural and Integrative Yoga therapist. Kali Ma has an extensive background as a registered nurse in rehabilitation and women’s health in Tucson Arizona, and has taught yoga for over 20 years. She maintains a private yoga therapy and Ayurvedic consultation practice, and holds faculty positions with several national and international training sites. Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT-500, LFYP-2, IYT is a Clinical Psychologist emphasizing holistic health. She is a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Level II, and a certified International Yoga Therapist utilizing the Ayurvedic principles in therapy sessions and yoga classes. Pre-register through April 15th for only $378 ($635 value). After April 15th it is $528. Space will be limited to 20 people. For additional information


w w w.

Free 6k Run & Health Fair


oin Harvest Health Foods and Gazelle Sports on April 19th for the 3rd annual Green Day 6k fun run! Each year thousands of people celebrate Earth Day to acknowledge and appreciate the amazing resources we have in our world. Gazelle Sports and Harvest Health Foods recognize the lifestyle choices we make have a significant impact on our health and the environment. The Green Day 6k Fun Run is our way to say thank you for your support and to encourage those lifestyle choices that move us toward a healthier, greener community. This event is FREE to the public. Strollers and bikes are welcome, however roads are not closed. Come on out from 5:30-8:00pm for the health fair that includes plenty of raffle items and giveaways from our vendors. Sign up at

NAPC publishes Natural Awakenings magazine in more than 80 markets across the country, serving more than 3 million readers. Each month, these print and online publications take a practical look at the latest natural approaches to nutrition, fitness, creative expression, personal growth and sustainable living. NAPC founder Sharon Bruckman says the new web store continues the tradition of empowering healthy living and a healthy planet. “Since 1994, Natural Awakenings magazine has provided our readers with inspirational guidance on health, fitness, personal growth and green living. Our new store offers the very best products we can find that support living and growing in balance with our community, the natural world and ourselves. We intend for this web store to be a shopping guide to ‘conscious consumption’ that supports the ideals of sustainability, natural health and the interconnectedness of all things.” The online store will regularly feature new additions and specials, and visitors can subscribe to a free digital newsletter for exclusive email offers. For more information, visit See ad on page 34.

Laughter Yoga Leader Training

Natural Awakenings Opens New Online Store


atural Awakenings Publishing Corp. (NAPC), a national leader in green and healthy living, has opened a new web store that features items supporting sustainability and natural health for men, women, children and pets. Visitors can shop by product categories that include beauty and skin care, home and office, books and music, fitness, clothing and jewelry, kids and pets.


ecome certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader during a one-weekend training at Expressions of Grace Yoga in Grand Rapids. Learn the simplest technique that will transform your life. Experience the stress releasing and happiness boosting power of laughter. Come for a fun-filled retreat and expand your professional skills by earning a certificate as a Laughter Yoga Leader.

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April 2012


Expressions of Grace Yoga presents Gita (Jill Fendelman), Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and Kripalu Yoga Teacher with 30 years of experience. The opening session takes place Friday, April 20 from 7:00-8:00 pm. Anyone can come on Friday night, it is $10 for the general public and free to anyone taking the training. The training itself is Saturday and Sunday, April 21st and 22nd, from 10:00 am-5:30 pm. For more information contact Expressions of Grace Yoga in Grand Rapids at 616-361-8580. See ad page 16.

WMEAC Earth Day Celebration


u p p o r t t h e West Michigan Environmental Action Council at the 2012 Earth Day Celebration at Fountain Street Church on Friday, April 20. Presented by Founders Brewing Co., the fourth annual event will help further WMEAC’s mission of building sustainable communities and protecting West Michigan’s water resources. Presented in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Library and WYCE-FM, the 2012 Earth Day Celebration will feature a cash bar with beer provided by Founders, food from What The Truck and live entertainment by Jim Shaneberger, the Karisa Wilson String Ensemble and Lansing-based quartet Steppin’ In It. Doors open at 6:00 pm with performances from 7:0011:00 pm. Educational programming will be delivered during intermissions. Tickets are $15, or $10 to anyone that shows a GRPL library card. Visit for more information. See ad page 14.


West Michigan Edition

Habitat Deconstruction Services


id you know Habitat for Humanity Kent County has a team of deconstruction professionals in their ReStore who are ready to come to your site and deconstruct your kitchen, bath, strip mall, etc. at no charge? They will remove all those salable materials at no charge. Habitat for Humanity will also provide your clients with a receipt so they can claim a tax deduction for their contribution. Those materials will be sold at one of their two ReStore locations at 5701 S. Division and 5920 Alpine NW. The proceeds help build and sell more Habitat homes to qualified, hard-working families. Since opening in 2007 Habitat Kent’s ReStores have diverted 7.5 million pounds of materials from landfills. If you’d like to take advantage of this service, all you have to do is call 616-531-4591 or email

Kudos Congratulations to Cathy Caldwell-ryt-200, Lisa Ham ryt-200 and Judy Kuiper, PhD who recently completed the LifeForce Yoga® Practitioner-Level 1 training with Amy Weintraub in Tucson, Arizona. Amy is the author of Yoga for Depression and recently released Yoga Skills for Therapists. LifeForce Yoga is an evidence-based yoga protocol intentionally designed to work with and manage the various moods we encounter on a daily basis. For more information regarding Amy Weintraub and the LifeForce Practices visit


National Start! Walking Day


mproving overall health can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other—and April 6, National Start! Walking Day, is the ideal opportunity to begin a regular walking routine. American Heart Association (AHA) research shows that individuals can gain about two hours of life for every hour engaged in regular, vigorous exercise—a two-forone deal that’s hard to beat. Walking just 30 minutes per day, five days a week, can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, promote better sleep and assist in maintaining healthy body weight. Visit for resources to kick-start a heart-friendly regimen. The site offers links to local walking paths, heart-healthy recipes, an online progress tracker and an app that helps walkers find and create paths while traveling. To find walking buddies or start a walking club, visit AHA’s

Unplug During Screen-Free Week


he American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for children under 2 and less than two hours per day for older children. Yet, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 40 percent of 3-month-old infants are regular viewers of television and DVDs, and school-age kids spend nearly twice as many hours with screen media such as television, video games, computers and handheld devices as they spend attending school. To help kids, families, schools and communities turn off screens and turn on healthier activities, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) urges everyone to participate in Screen-Free Week, April 30 through May 6. CCFC is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents and individuals, with a mission to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. “The commercialization of childhood is the link between many of the most serious problems facing children and society today,” advises CCFC Director Susan Linn. “Childhood obesity, eating disorders, youth violence, sexualization, family stress, underage alcohol and tobacco use, rampant materialism and the erosion of children’s creative play are all exacerbated by advertising and marketing.” Learn more about the weeklong event, efforts to restrict marketers’ access to children and how to help, at

Diabetes Linked to Dirty Air


ealth wise, the air we breathe is just as important as the foods we eat, according to a recent report published in the journal Diabetes Care. The report is based on one of the first largescale, population-based studies linking diabetes prevalence with air pollution. According to researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston, a strong, consistent correlation exists between adult diabetes and particulate air pollution, an association that persists after adjustment for other risk factors such as obesity and ethnicity. The relationship was seen even at exposure levels below the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safety limit.

Green Veggies Boost Immunity


esearchers reporting in the journal Cell have found another good reason to fill our plates with plenty of green vegetables like bok choy and broccoli: Tiny chemical compounds found in these healthful greens interact with the immune cells of the gut, known as intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL), by effectively protecting them and boosting their numbers. IELs, white blood cells that inhabit the lining of many body cavities and structures, are concentrated in the gastrointestinal tract, where their primary purpose is to destroy target cells that are infected by pathogens. Because pathogens frequently enter the body via the gastrointestinal tract, a high IEL count benefits overall health. Source: Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK

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Are Cell Phones Safe?


uestions about how cell phones might impact our health have sparked significant controversy. The World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use. Caution was also urged in an article about cell phone safety published this past October in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. It reported that cell phones that are switched on and carried in shirt or pants pockets can exceed U.S. Federal Communications Commission exposure guidelines, and also that adults and children absorb high levels of microwave radiation from the phones. According to the paper, children are at greater risk than adults, absorbing up to triple the amount of microwave radiation in their brain’s hypothalamus (which links the nervous and endocrine systems) and hippocampus (vital for memory and spatial navigation) compared to adults. Absorption into their eyes was also greater, and as much as 10 times higher in their bone marrow than adults’. The IARC concludes that these findings call for cell phone certification consistent with the “as low as reasonably achievable” approach taken in setting standards for using radiological devices. “It is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones,” says IARC Director Christopher Wild. “Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure [directly to the head], such as handsfree devices or texting.” Additional resource: Epidemiologist Devra Davis, Ph.D., reports on this topic in Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation.

Sweet Stuff Combats Infections


oney’s use as a medicine was described on Sumerian clay tablets dating back 4,000 years, and ancient Egyptians made ointments of the sticky substance to treat wounds. Now, contemporary scientists have shown that manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand, could be an efficient way to clear chronically infected wounds and help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Professor Rose Cooper, of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, in the UK, has investigated how manuka honey interacts with bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Group A Streptococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). She discovered that the honey interfered with their growth, blocking the formation of biofilms that can wall off such bacteria from antibiotic remedies.


West Michigan Edition

Qigong: a Boon for Cancer Patients


ancer patients that regularly practiced qigong, a 5,000-yearold combination of gentle exercise and meditation, for almost three months experienced significantly higher levels of well-being, improved cognitive functioning and less inflammation, compared to a control group. Dr. Byeongsang Oh, a clinical senior lecturer at the University of Sydney Medical School, in Australia, who led the study, says the reduced inflammation in patients that practiced medical qigong, a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine, was particularly significant. The project involved 162 patients, aged 31 to 86; those assigned to the medical qigong group undertook a 10-week program of two supervised, 90-minute sessions per week. They were also asked to practice an additional 30 minutes at home each day. When the study began, there were no significant differences in measurements of quality of life, fatigue, mood status and inflammation between the intervention and control groups. However, “Patients that practiced medical qigong experienced significant improvements in quality of life, including greater physical, functional, social and emotional well-being, while the control group deteriorated in all of these areas,” reports Oh. He remarks that the study is the first such trial to measure the impact of medical qigong in patients with cancer. “Several studies have indicated that chronic inflammation is associated with cancer incidence, progression and even survival,” Oh explains. He presented the findings at a recent American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

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

Egg-ceptional Fun

Natural Easter Colors to Dye For From toddlers to tweens, many children eagerly anticipate one of spring’s most pleasurable rituals: coloring Easter eggs. This shared family activity allows kids to be handson artists, as they choose from a palette of cheerful hues to fashion little edible treasures. But youngsters that dip their hands into synthetic dyes can absorb chemicals through the skin that have been linked with allergic reactions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with ADHD and hyperactivity, per a 2011 report by Science News. Keep their creations healthy and chemical-free by avoiding commercial food coloring and using easy-to-make, fruit- and veggie-based dyes instead. The simplest way to use Earth-friendly shades is to add natural materials when boiling the eggs. Some suggestions: purple grape juice or crushed blueberries, for blue; liquid chlorophyll or spinach, for green; organic orange peels or ground turmeric, for yellow; cranberries, pickled beets, cherries or pomegranate juice, for pink and red; and yellow onion skins, cooked carrots, chili powder or paprika, for orange. Then, follow these directions: Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan and add water to cover. Add one teaspoon of white vinegar (this helps the eggshells absorb color) and the natural dye material; use more material for more eggs or a more intense color. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer the eggs for 15 minutes. Remove the eggs and refrigerate them. These naturally colored treats, more beautiful than their artificially enhanced cousins, will mimic Mother Nature’s softer, gentler tints. For a shiny appearance, rub some cooking oil onto the eggs when they are dry. Also remember that hardcooked eggs are more perishable than raw ones, and should remain outside the refrigerator no more than two hours (so the one possibly found the day after Easter needs to hit the compost pile) and be consumed within one week.

Whale Watching

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Whales Greenpeace Executive Director Philip Radford reports that the discredited practice of vote buying at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has been ended. “Countries like Japan can no longer bribe poorer countries to support their pro-whaling stance. This means that whale conservation finally has a fighting chance.” The U.S. delegation supported a measure intended to increase transparency in membership fees after hearing from millions of whale lovers. Initiated by the United Kingdom and backed by a number of countries, the proposal passed via a rare consensus among the 89 participating countries. It is believed that payment of membership dues in cash allowed wealthy countries to purchase the votes of other nations. Dues for the commission must now be paid via bank transfer from government accounts. natural awakenings

April 2012


globalbriefs Global Gardens

New Global Warming Planting Map The color-coded map of planting zones on the back of seed packets is being updated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reflect climate changes brought on by global warming. The new guide, last updated in 1990, reflects, for instance, that the coldest day of the year isn’t as frigid as it used to be, so some plants and trees can now survive farther north. Nearly entire states, such as Ohio, Nebraska and Texas, are now classified in warmer zones. The new guide uses better weather data and offers more interactive technology. Gardeners using the online version can enter their Zip code and get the exact average coldest temperature. For the first time, calculations include more detailed factors, such as prevailing winds, the presence of nearby bodies of water and other local topography. Boston University Biology Professor Richard Primack observes, “There are a lot of things you can grow now that you couldn’t grow before. People don’t think of figs as a crop you can grow in the Boston area. You can do it now.” The changes come too late to make this year’s seed packets, but they will be on next year’s, says George Ball, chairman and CEO of the W. Atlee Burpee seed company.

Within 10 years it will be impossible to travel to the North Pole by dog team. There will be too much open water. ~Will Steger

View the planting zones map at

Better Threads

Rug Industry Tackles Child Labor Injustice The nonprofit GoodWeave organization works to end child labor in the rug industry and provides educational opportunities for kids in weaving communities worldwide. The GoodWeave label is given solely to rug companies that only hire employees of legal working age. GoodWeave, offering the world’s only independent child labor-free certification for rugs, makes unannounced inspections of looms overseas to ensure that standards are upheld. Programs funded by GoodWeavecertified rug sales have helped nearly 10,000 children in Nepal and India to attend school instead of working on looms. An estimated 250,000 children are still weaving today. “It’s widely documented that children are exploited to make all sorts of products in our global economy,” says Nina Smith, GoodWeave USA executive director. “But in the case of carpets, consumers can do something to put a stop to these inhumane practices. By buying a certified rug, you can change a child’s life.” Find participating local retailers by Zip code at


West Michigan Edition

Boxing Day

Greening-Up a Move Can Be Easy ZippGo has launched a California concept poised to be picked up elsewhere as an alternative to traditional-style moving boxes. No one enjoys scrounging or purchasing and then assembling and taping cardboard boxes, only to discard them in a landfill afterward. A better solution is to rent task-designed plastic boxes made from recycled plastic that do the job more conveniently, efficiently and sustainably. Their service even delivers and picks them up. It’s a valuable green business opportunity in any economy. Watch the movie at

Pocket Calculator

New Gadget Measures a Family’s Eco-Footprints A brand-new online environmental tool from Low Impact Living, the Impact Calculator, measures the many footprints of a household’s lifestyle. With it, families can assess their specific carbon, energy, water, trash, wastewater and stormwater-runoff amounts. Then, by entering the Zip code and home size, it encapsulates in one number the overall environmental footprint compared with a typical home in the region, suggests green home and lifestyle projects and saves a profile, along with project notes, for future reference. To use the calculator, visit

Find Out

Hallmarks of a Smart Green Development Anyone that has ever wondered whether a new community development is environmentally friendly and should be supported will appreciate the hands-on introduction in A Citizen’s Guide to LEED for Neighborhood Development, published by the National Resources Defense Council. NRDC experts developed the guide to help promote more widespread adoption of sustainable practices and create more inclusive, healthy and environmentally sound places. Download the guide at

Book Battle

Reading Going Digital The number of Americans that prefer to read a book via an electronic reading device tripled in less than 12 months last year, but most still prefer to read a traditional, physical book. A survey of 1,000 American adults nationwide shows that 27 percent have now used a Kindle or similar product.

National Library Week is April 8-14 natural awakenings

April 2012


Honk Honk

Driving Less and Enjoying it More Only 31 percent of American 16-year-olds had a driver’s license in 2008, down from 46 percent in 1983, according to a University of Michigan study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. Eighteen-year-old legal drivers decreased from 80 to 65 percent over the same period, as did adults in their 20s and 30s, although by not as much. A new survey by the car-sharing company Zipcar confirmed that those with licenses are trying to drive less, as well. Altogether, more than half of drivers under the age of 44 are making efforts to reduce the time they spend in traffic. Factors supporting this trend include the high cost of gas and insurance, tighter restrictions on teen drivers in many states and congested roads. In addition, Michael Sivak, a research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, cites the importance of the Internet. “It is possible that the availability of virtual contact through electronic means reduces the need for actual contact among young people.” He also points out that, “Some young people feel that driving interferes with texting and other electronic communication.” Public transit is filling part of the vacuum. The United States, which has long trailed other countries in mass transit usage, is catching on among younger generations.



Bug Muscle

Biomimicry Presents a Solution for Drought

Friday, April 20 Fountain Street Church Doors open at 6pm Music 7–11pm Tickets $15 $10 with GRPL library card Featuring: Steppin’ In It Karisa Wilson String Band Jim Shaneberger

More Info:

With global temperatures continuing to rise and droughts expected to become more severe, Australian Edward Linacre has designed a beetleinspired device called Airdrop that is capable of extracting water from even the driest desert air. His invention recently won the prestigious global James Dyson award. “Biomimicry is a powerful weapon in an engineer’s armory,” comments Dyson. Linacre, a graduate of Swinburne University of Technology, in Melbourne, wanted to solve the drought problem afflicting parts of his country. The lack of rain has brought dry, damaged soil, dead crops and mounting debt for farmers. Rather than using complex, energy-intensive methods such as desalination or tapping into underground water sources, Airdrop’s source of water, the air, can be used anywhere in the world. The device delivers water to the roots of crops in dry areas by pushing air through a network of underground pipes and cooling it to the degree at which moisture condenses; then the water is pumped to the roots. Linacre was inspired by the Namib beetle, which survives in areas that receive just half an inch of rain per year by consuming the dew it collects on the hydrophilic skin of its back. Find more info at


West Michigan Edition

Oliver’s Story by Kim Racette


liver Thurston was born with a few spots on his face, and when his mother Alyssa questioned his doctor, she was told it was newborn rash and it would go away on its own. It wasn’t until he was three months old, and his entire body was covered with spots, that he was diagnosed by a pediatric dermatologist with a rare condition called Mastocytosis. It was with shock and dismay that Alyssa and her husband Dan, who live in Hamilton, Michigan, heard the prognosis. “When we heard that it would probably last until he was 5-7, in my mind I immediately thought months and thought we could deal with this for a while longer,” remembered Alyssa. “But then the doctor explained he would be 5-7 years old before he outgrew this condition.” According to the American Family Physicians, a peer reviewed journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Mastocytosis is a rare disease of the skin (most commonly but it can also affect other parts of the body like the stomach, the intestines, and the bone marrow) caused by having too many mast cells, a kind of blood cell. It can occur at any age and is usually more serious in adults than children, but there is no known cause for the illness. It is confirmed with a skin biopsy, but it’s patterning of pigmentation on the skin is also usually a visible confirmation. As the Thurstons were told, children usually outgrow it, but that didn’t help with the symptoms Oliver was dealing with each day. “He didn’t seem very happy, and he also seemed to be uncomfortable,” said Alyssa. “As time went on his spots became red and he became very itchy. We couldn’t even give him a bath with out him scratching until he bled.” He also developed a severe, persistent cough. “We were referred to all different kinds of doctors to try to get him relief,” she explained. “There were many different prescriptions, and none of them worked for him.” There were also side affects, including drowsiness, with Oliver often sleeping 17 out of 24 hours. Over the course of seeing 11 doctors, 3 suggested taking Oliver to the Mayo Clinic, because blood tests had indicated Oliver’s levels were pointing to a more serious form that might become more internal. “Tryptase is an enzyme that is released, along with histamine and other chemicals, from mast cells when they are activated, often as part of an allergic immune response,” said Alyssa. “His blood level for tryptase at that time was 26, with 11 being the normal level.” Histamines cause swelling, itching and redness when they are released in response to an allergy, like the venom in a bee sting. “His cells would release all at once in overwhelming amounts, it seemed that he was allergic to everything,” she explained. “The day after Oliver’s first birthday we packed up the car and drove 8 hours to the Mayo Clinic, hoping for help.” A twenty minute visit with a doctor at the Mayo Clinic was disappointing, and after another cream was prescribed the

Thurstons spent another 8 hours returning home. “The Doctor told us there was nothing else that could be done, that there weren’t any other tests he would suggest,” said Alyssa. “We returned home with heavy hearts, a cream that seemed to make Oliver even itchier, and we didn’t know where else to turn with our sick boy.” With the medical community unable to help, and insurance companies that were balking at the relentless expenses, Alyssa realized that if Oliver were to be helped, she would have to manage his health care. She admits that she has always been a take charge kind of gal, but that not until she realized they had exhausted their options did she decide to take it on herself. “I left my job, so I could be home with him and monitor him like only a Mama could,” she said. “I sat down at my computer, put my head down, and prayed for guidance and direction.” She knew that Oliver was sensitive to histamines, so she began researching a low histamine diet. The very first site she found suggested that diet was crucial in managing his illness. “We had always made an effort to really eat good foods, but I learned that even foods I thought were healthy for Oliver were not appropriate,” she explained. “Many foods are naturally high in histamines.” She also connected with owner of Healthy for Life Naturopath Dale Tamminga N.D., at a seminar held in a health food store, who was an important partner in Oliver’s recovery. According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Naturopathic Doctors combine traditional healing methods with modern science practices, focusing on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. “He helped boost up Oliver’s liver function, which was so bogged down trying to fight the bad guys,” she explained. “For three months Oliver took supplements, while at the same time we totally revamped our diet as an entire family, eating mainly vegetables, meat, apples, blueberries, and a few grains.” After six months Oliver’s tryptase level was down to 18, and Alyssa knew that they were on the right track. “We were so excited,” she exclaimed. “His diet stopped the disease from progressing, turned it around and his tryptase levels came down.” Now three years old, she said Oliver is completely healthy and symptom free. “I could not believe it. I took him in just to see how his blood levels looked, and we got a card in the mail that said his levels were normal. Everything we had worked so hard on had paid off, it was definitely answered prayer.” Oliver’s story is one child’s struggle with a serious illness, and his family’s fight to return him to health. This story speaks to their quest to become educated about their options when faced with a specific illness. It is not meant to suggest any course of treatment for another child or person who may be struggling with Mastocytosis, and extreme caution is suggested when contemplating discontinuing traditional medical care or medications without supervision. For more information about Mastocytosis visit www.aafp. org (American Academy of Family Physicians). For more information about Naturopathic Medicine visit www. (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians). To Connect with Dale Tamminga, N.D. at Healthy For Life call 616-301-1833 or visit natural awakenings

April 2012



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DEEP BLUE CONNECTIONS Extraordinary Encounters with Dolphins by Bill Van Arsdale


or the past dozen years, Amlas McLeod has been leading wild dolphin encounters in Bimini, Bahamas, enabling swimmers to experience transformative changes through encounters with this extraordinary marine mammal. “Wild dolphins often enjoy interacting with boats, but most are not interested in being close to humans. As soon as you get into the water, they disappear,” McLeod explains. “The Atlantic spotted dolphin species near Bimini is unusual in that they are comfortable connecting with people, and seem to enjoy it as much as we do. Amazingly, they actually include us in their pod activities during these encounters.” These spotted dolphins often swim very close to the boat, jumping up or turning to get a better view of folks on McLeod’s catamaran. Once overboard, swimmers revel in how the animals playfully move and twirl amongst them and often come within inches as they glide by slowly enough to make prolonged eye contact. “You cannot help but get the sense that you are interacting with a highly sentient being; the feeling of direct connection is remarkable,” says McLeod. “I am most affected by my quiet connec-

tions with the elders that will just hang in the water with me. Sometimes, they will close their eyes and simply rest at my side. Their presence is one of total, unqualified acceptance.” People who swim so intimately with these dolphins depart feeling they have “met the master,” as McLeod puts it. Comments from guests returned via ( report how the experience puts them back in touch with who they really are and empowers them to make changes in their lives. “Connecting with these special dolphins somehow brings us into the ‘here and now’ in a profound way,” says McLeod. “We drop out of the mind and into the heart. There is this feeling of expansion, connection and being one with everything. When people return home, they often report that they have started to let go of things in their lives that no longer serve them, allowing them to become more true to themselves.” For more information, visit WildQuest. com. Bill Van Arsdale is a contributing writer who recently swam with the dolphins near Bimini.

natural awakenings

April 2012




GREEN Lessons to Help Lighten Future Footprints by Hilary Ferrand

to buy less by buying less themselves. Discuss various considerations and ask for their opinions. According to a recent study by Empower MediaMarketing, kids see 12 to 14 minutes of commercials for every hour of television screen time. Talk about ads that target kids and how some retailers manipulate young audiences. Compare the advertised benefits of a new toy with their own experiences with it; does it measure up? Give kids attractive options and practice in making choices. “I tell them what a product contains and if it’s proven to cause health problems,” says Mary Marsh, a mother of three in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “I also will tell them about a natural alternative. I really want them to make these important decisions themselves. I can’t decide for them later on.”

Taming Trash


arents schooled in environmental principles strive to guide their children in like-minded directions. How can we inspire them to join in addressing larger challenges without coming across as a lecturer about yet


West Michigan Edition

another obligation? Thankfully, there are many ways to make green living a feel-good, even easy and fun habit.

Cutting Consumerism

The most important factor is to live as an example. Parents best teach children

Challenge children to find reusable alternatives to disposable household items. Turn it into a game; conduct experiments to see how well the alternatives work and try their ideas. Put a spin on recycling. Instead of rinsing milk jugs and putting them out for recycling, save some to create an igloo indoors. Unwind that old sweater and use it in artwork. Cut apart old jeans and turn them into skirts. Decorate glass jars and repurpose them as storage for pantry foods and miscellany. Take children to the local dump to identify items that could be recycled or reused. University of Utah research attests that half of all U.S. garbage could be recycled. In practice, we settle for about 2 percent.

Encourage youngsters to make their opinions known. When a toy’s package is much larger than it needs to be, help them write the maker a letter asking the manufacturer to green their business.

Creating Concern

Help children become experts. “Kids can inspire their friends and parents to be more environmentally conscious,” advises Dr. Moshe Lewis, chief of physical medicine and rehab at the California Pacific Medical Center, in San Francisco. Surround the family with nature. “Kids are naturally curious. As they learn about the natural habitat of animals, their importance in the ecosystem and how beautiful they are, they develop an appreciation for the diverse flora and fauna species on Earth,” says Lewis. Barbara Smith started the Bow Wow Meow Kids Club at the Almost Home humane shelter, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, so that more children could visit the animals. “Volunteering at the shelter has more benefits for kids than just playing with cats and dogs,” says Smith. “It teaches how to be kind, how to earn trust and try to heal. It teaches them to be humane.” Involve kids in choosing good food. “I like to produce some food at home so we can lessen our footprints a bit more,” says Marsh. Two of her children help care for the family’s quails and collect eggs. The third creates cartoons about the downside of factory farms.

Tough Talking

Environmental challenges can appear daunting, and may make children feel fearful or even guilty that they can’t help. A parent can help calm their nerves, offer constructive perspective and help them feel like part of the solution. “Keep the tone of conversation on possibilities, rather than impending doom,” counsels Licensed Mental Health Counselor Brooke Randolph, of Indianapolis, Indiana. “Focus on what could happen, instead of what will.” Look for the positives. “A single choice is not causing global warming or the extinction of a species; rather, it is a

build-up of several choices, made by many people, over and over again.” Talk about current incremental changes that are helping. Make doable, Earth-friendly goals and act together to make a difference. “No matter how small it is,” says Randolph, “if children feel they are doing something positive, they can feel more in control.” Finally, encourage self-expression. “For kids, being able to verbalize or express their feelings is critical,” says Lewis. “Sometimes, this requires more than just talk therapy. I have found that art and other creative expressions are a way to work through various emotions.” Hilary Ferrand is a freelance writer in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

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materials.” At least 10 percent of the building materials were sourced within 500 miles of the site and the project contains more than 10 percent pre- and post-consumer recycled content.


Good for the Animals

SHELTERS GO GREEN LEED-Certified Facilities Care for Animals and the Earth by Sandra Murphy

“Use of natural light reduces the cost of electricity,” explains Dr. Amber Andersen, a Los Angeles-based veterinarian. “Lights can be programmed to dim gradually and provide the animals with a regular sleep cycle. It’s stressful for them to be in bright light all the time.” In addition, strategic placement of the dog runs and decorative potted plants to block their view of one another tends to reduce canine stress and barking. “Calmer dogs are more likely to be adopted,” Andersen notes. The facility operates a similar homey setup for cats with room to run around, climb carpeted furnishings and play. In Denver, Colorado, a new LEED Platinum-certified, 36,000-square-foot shelter is twice the size of the former facility. Particular attention was paid to air circulation to help prevent the spread of canine flu, kennel cough and staph infections, and to maintain a healthy operating room while regulating temperatures throughout the facility. “The city of Denver consistently chose the best options for the animals and the environment, while being mindful of the budget,” remarks Scott Jones, of Denver’s Air Purification Company. “This is the benchmark for future designs; on a larger scale, this model can be used for hospitals.”

City managers are realizing that going green is the right thing to do. In many areas, new municipal construction is required to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified to reduce operating costs, conserve resources and provide a healthier work environment. Older municipal buildings slated for remodeling also can be transformed. Buildings may Good for Business even quality for incentives from local utilities in some states. The Plano, Texas, animal shelter, which As a result, animal shelters are now joining the move to green. was due for a comprehensive remodelGood for the Environment

“Our goal was to reduce our carbon paw print,” says Dave Dickinson, interim director of Sacramento County Animal Care, regarding the California capital’s LEED Gold-certified shelter. “The Silicon Valley architect incorporated natural light, a beneficial air circulation system and numerous energy- and resource-saving elements to create an extraordinary environment for both the animals and employees.” 20

West Michigan Edition

The LEED rating system, developed by the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), signifies levels of silver, gold or platinum status, based on eco-business practices. Swatt | Miers Architects chose polished concrete for the Sacramento shelter floors. “Tile is nice, but grout harbors bacteria,” says George Miers, a principal of the firm. “Concrete is a sustainable material and when sealed, can withstand a lot of mopping. We used a local quarry for

ing, is now LEED Silver certified. “We learned that the addition of a new wing could be done according to LEED standards, but we also had to make improvements to the existing structure, so that the entire building was improved,” says Melinda Haggerty, the city’s sustainability and communications coordinator. “This was a learning experience on all levels. We saw firsthand that you don’t need to sacrifice aesthetics for function. You can have a comfortable place to work while saving money.” The USGBC reports that build-

LEED certification criteria include site selection, pollution prevention during demolition and building, protection and restoration of habitat, water use reduction indoors and out, green power, and use of regional materials to cut transportation fuel, road wear and air pollution. ings of all types consume an average of 72 percent of the electricity generated worldwide. That can be reduced by 24 to 50 percent with green building practices. “It’s always important to emphasize the return on investment. It might cost a bit more on the front end, but the benefits far outweigh the costs,” Haggerty advises. “Reduced energy costs, better water usage and healthy air quality contribute to a comfortable work space. Employees have pride in the facility, and that makes them more productive.” In Middletown, Rhode Island, Christie Smith, executive director of the Potter League for Animals, remarks that after their old building was demolished, 75 per cent of the materials were recycled, repurposed or reused. Their new, LEED Gold-certified animal shelter was the first in the nation to be certified.

Bringing Benefits to Life

“There’s a conceptual moment when the dream comes together as a design idea. From that moment on, the question is: How much of the dream can you keep?” queries Myers. “These cities made LEED a priority, even when animal control projects may be at the bottom of the list. They recognize the synergy between caring for animals and caring about the planet; green design underscores the caring.” Sandra Murphy writes about pets and more for Natural Awakenings.

natural awakenings

April 2012



FOREST BATHING The Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods by Maggie Spilner


ature doesn’t bang any drums when she bursts forth into flowers, nor play any dirges when the trees let go of their leaves in the fall. But when we approach her in the right spirit, she has many secrets to share. If you haven’t heard nature whispering to you lately, now is a good time to give her the opportunity.” ~ Osho, in Osho Zen Tarot: the Transcendental Game of Zen As we all innately know, spending time in nature is good for our body, mind and spirit. It’s why we’re attracted to green places, flowers, lakes, fresh air and sunshine. Taking a nature walk—affording plenty of fresh air and exercise in a quiet setting—has traditionally been prescribed for good health. That raises a question: How much natural healing are we sacrificing when we spend most of our days indoors? In Japan, a group of medical researchers and government-affiliated forest organizations support the creation of


West Michigan Edition

forest therapy centers, where people enjoy the trails and guided walks and also receive free medical checkups under the trees. Since 1984, they have been studying the health benefits of walking in the woods, termed shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. There are now more than 30 such officially designated sites. In related studies, scientists from Japan’s Nippon Medical School and Chiba University tracked positive physiological changes in individuals walking in the woods compared with city walkers. Early results were published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, European Journal of Applied Physiology and Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents. Forest walkers showed: n Lower concentrations of salivary cortisol, known as the stress hormone n Lower blood pressure and heart rate n Reduction of adrenaline and noradrenalin, also stress-related hormones n Increase in immunity-boosting natural killer (NK) cell activity, and the

numbers of NK cells and anti-cancer proteins known to combat cancer

Newest Findings

The researchers theorized that organic compounds called phytoncides, produced by trees and other plants as a protection from disease, insects and fungus, were also producing beneficial natural killer cells in people in the forests. In a study that exposed participants to phytoncides via aromatic oils fed through a humidifier in a hotel room, the researchers found similar increases in NK levels. A 2011 study by Nippon Medical School’s department of hygiene and public health showed that the resulting increase in NK cells lasted for 30 days. They concluded that a monthly walk in the woods could help people maintain a higher level of protective NK activity and perhaps even have a preventive effect on cancer generation and progression. Qing Li, Ph.D., the assistant professor leading several of these studies, suggests that dense forest areas are more effective at boosting immunity than city parks and gardens. He also reports that phytoncide concentrations increase during summer growing seasons and decrease during the winter, although they are still present in tree trunks even when the trees are deciduous. Li further suggests that walks in the woods should be conducted at a leisurely pace. For stress reduction, he suggests four hours of walking, covering a generous 3 miles, or 2 hours walking about 1.5 miles. For cancer-

protecting effects, he suggests regularly spending three days and two nights in a forested area. “Carry water and drink when you’re thirsty,” says Li. “Find a place that pleases you and sit and enjoy the scenery.” He adds that relaxing in a hot tub or spa counts as a perfect end to a day of forest bathing. Li foresees a future in which patients diagnosed with high blood pressure or hypertension may receive a forest bathing prescription, but counsels that shinrin-yoku is considered preventive, rather than therapeutic, medicine.

Enhancing Nature’s Power

Ecopsychologist Michael Cohen, Ph.D., executive director of Project NatureConnect, adds, “If you want to increase the healing effect of being in nature, it helps to change the way you think and feel about connecting with it.” He has students repeat the word ‘unity’ as they encounter natural attractions—be it a tree, bird, brook or breeze—until they feel that they are part of nature, not separate… part of the healing wisdom of the planet. More, he states, “Sharing helps solidify the experience and opens you to greater personal healing.”

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Go Prepared Protect and comfort your feet when traversing forest paths and trails by switching to an off-road shoe, hiking shoe or boot, because the sole will grip uneven surfaces better. If weak ankles are a problem or if uneven trails or rocky climbing are on tap, select high-top models. Wear them around town before heading into the woods, and always take along moleskin or specialty blister band-aids and thicker or thinner socks to aid any hot spots or blisters. Note: A moisture-wicking synthetic sock prevents blisters better than an organic cotton or cotton blend sock. natural awakenings

April 2012


GREEN HOME CHECKLIST Room-by-Room Steps We Can Take, Starting Right Now

dishwasher-safe serving ware instead of single-use paper or plastic; glass or recycled food storage containers in place of throwaway plastic bags and wrap; and natural fiber dishcloths to replace paper towels and plastic sponges.

4 Clean naturally. Chemical powerhouses have become the norm in household cleaning products, but they are not essential. Non-toxic cleaners are up to the task, from cleaning a sink to an oven.

4 Shop for the Energy Star logo. Ap-

important considerations within an environmentally friendly kitchen.

pliances bearing the Energy Star logo are up to 50 percent more energy efficient than standard ones. This translates to significant savings in annual operating costs.

4 Eat up food. Each year, a typical

4 Filter water with less waste. Bottled

by Crissy Trask


reen living is being embraced by more folks than ever, in ways both large and small, giving the Earth some much-needed kindness. If you’re interested in some good ideas that fall between a total home solar installation and basic recycling—with many delivering big impacts—check out Natural Awakenings’ room-by-room green checklist. You’ll find inspired, practical changes that are doable starting right now.


The kitchen can be a hot spot for waste. Eileen Green, with EcoEvaluator. com, says that reducing waste, conserving water and increasing energy efficiency are all

household discards an estimated 474 pounds of food waste, according to University of Arizona research—at large economic and environmental cost. Buying more fresh food than we can eat before the expiration date is up and allowing leftovers to expire in the fridge are culprits. “Drawing up menus and avoiding buying on impulse can help,” advises Green. Compost food scraps at home or sign up for curbside composting, if it’s offered locally. Disposing of food in garbage disposals or landfills is not environmentally sound.

4 Dispense with disposables. Replace disposable paper and plastic products with durable, lasting alternatives: cloth napkins instead of paper;

water is expensive and wasteful. Instead, purchase a home-filtering system that uses recycled or reusable filters. On the road, carry tasty filtered water in a reusable glass bottle.

4 Conserve water. Run dishwashers only when fully loaded and fill the sink with water, rather than running it down the drain, when washing by hand. Use water only to wet and rinse; otherwise turn it off.

4 Phase out non-stick skillets. Teflon coatings can leach toxins when damaged or overheated. Play it safe and begin assembling a set of cookware that includes properly seasoned cast iron, which is naturally non-stick.

4 Avoid cheap reusable shopping bags. Flimsy reusable bags end up as trash within a few months under normal use. Buy a set of high quality reusable bags that will give years of use.


“Most people spend more time in the bedroom than in any other room of the house,” remarks Huffington Post Eco


West Michigan Edition

Etiquette columnist Jennifer Grayson. “So it’s important to focus on making bedrooms as green and healthy as possible.” She advocates paying special attention to sleepwear, bedding and furniture people sleep on.

4 Start with a good foundation. Box springs can be constructed of plywood or particleboard, which commonly contain formaldehyde, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a toxic air contaminant by the state of California. Choose those that have been certified as formaldehyde-free or with low emissions. A platform bed made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests, is a healthy alternative.

4 Don’t sleep on a cloud of chemicals. “If your face is pressed up against a conventional mattress for seven hours a night, then you’re going to be breathing in whatever chemicals are off-gassing from that mattress for seven hours a night,” warns Grayson. Mattresses are commonly treated with fire-retardant chemicals to comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. To avoid toxic chemicals like the hydrocarbon toluene, emitted from mattresses stuffed with polyurethane foam, instead look for untreated, wool-covered mattresses (wool is a natural fire retardant) filled with natural latex or containing a spring system wrapped with organic cotton batting. Non-organic cotton production relies on lots of hazardous synthetic chemicals in its production. Organic cotton, linen and wool bedding are safer bets, especially when certified to meet strict environmental standards.

4 Block the afternoon sun. During the day, shut off air-conditioning vents inside bedrooms and block the afternoon sun with interior or exterior solar shades. By day’s end, even in warm climates, bedrooms should be cool

Find more big ideas in Natural Awakenings’ article, “Spring Green Rehab,” at enough for sleeping with the addition of a slight breeze from an open window or a slow-running floor or ceiling fan.

4 Go wireless. It’s impossible to completely avoid electromagnetic radiation from today’s technologies, so lower exposure in the bedroom by removing electronic devices and placing electrical items at least five feet away from the bed. 4 Forget fabric softeners. Most fabric softeners contain highly toxic chemicals that latch onto sheets and can be inhaled or absorbed directly into the bloodstream through skin. Instead, add a quarter-cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to soften sheets and other laundry.

4 Select cold water. On average, only 10 percent of the energy used by a clothes washer runs the machine; the other 90 percent goes to heat the water. The typical American household does about 400 loads of laundry each year, resulting in much energy squandered on hot water. With the exception of laundering greasy spots or stubborn stains, routinely wash in cold water, using a cold-water eco-detergent.

4 Install a clothesline. Running a dryer for just 40 minutes can use the energy equivalent of a 15-watt, compact fluorescent bulb lit for a week. Stretch out a line and hang clothes outside to dry in the fresh air to save about $100 a year on electric bills. The sun imparts a disinfectant benefit as a bonus.

4 Replace an old machine. A washer

4 Leave the lights off. Motion-detecting nightlights save energy while allowing safe passage in the wee hours.

Laundry Room

chemical residues next to your skin all day, cautions MacEachern.

or dryer that is older than 10 years has hidden costs. notes that an older machine uses more energy and can cost from 10 to 75 percent more to operate than a new, high-efficiency appliance.

4 Choose eco-friendly laundry

In a typical U.S. home, the washing machine accounts for 21 percent of home water use and combined, the washer and dryer comprise 5 to 8 percent of home energy demands. Diane MacEachern, founder of and author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, explains that a good way to conserve key resources is to use these appliances less—reducing the number of loads and drying items on outdoor clotheslines or indoor racks. MacEachern says, “You can probably wash things like sweatshirts and blue jeans less frequently without much consequence, and a clothesline requires no energy other than the sun.” Also, make sure that whatever goes into the washer or dryer with clothes is nontoxic, or else you’ll be wearing toxic

products. Conventional laundry soaps contain chemicals that can be problematic for us and wreak havoc on marine ecosystems. Look for cold-water brands that are fragrance- and phosphate-free.

4 Switch to concentrates. Concentrated detergents translate to less energy used in shipping, less waste and more value.

4 Stop static cling without dryer sheets. Never over-dry clothes and always dry natural fibers separately from synthetics to prevent static cling.


The smallest room in the house is a disproportionately large contributor to household environmental impacts. In an average non-conservation-minded American home, 38,000 gallons of water annually go down the drains and toilet. “Along with that water,” says

natural awakenings

April 2012


MacEachern, “You’ll be washing lots of personal care and cleaning products down the drain, as well, where they could get into local natural water supplies and make life difficult for birds, frogs and fish.” Sara Snow, television host and author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home, cautions against personal skin care products with questionable chemical ingredients. “A good percentage of them are being absorbed right into our bloodstream, so focus on ingredients that do no harm; ones that help our bodies instead, such as nourishing and healing botanicals.”

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4 Slow the flow. Ultra-efficient show-

WOMEN’S WELLNESS The Latest Great Tips and Technologies for Aging Beautifully

erheads use as little as 1 gallon per minute (gpm); aerated types that mix air into the water stream to enhance pressure provide a good soak and rinse using less than half the water than some other low-flow showerheads. At the sink, aerators should flow between 0.5 and 1 gpm—plenty of pressure for brushing teeth and washing hands.

4 Flush responsibly. According to the EPA, the toilet alone can use 27 percent of household water. Replace older toilets (pre-1994) with new, higher efficiency models for savings of two to six gallons per flush.

4 Heat water wisely. A tankless water heater supplies instantaneous hot water only as needed. Or, install a timer on a traditional water heater to cut warming time to a few hours a day at most.

4 Shun a plastic shower curtain. Poly-

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vinyl chloride (PVC) has been called “the poison plastic” for its highly toxic lifecycle, which includes the release of dioxins into the air and water. These toxic chemicals persist in ecosystems and can cause cancer. PVC shower curtains are also a short-life product that cannot be recycled, so switch to a PVC-free alternative. Organic hemp is the eco-shower curtain gold standard.

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West Michigan Edition

4 Ban antibacterial products. Triclosan is a popular antibacterial agent found in many household cleaners, hand soaps, cosmetics and even toothpaste. It’s also a registered pesticide and probable human carcinogen that’s showing up in the environment and children’s urine. The Mayo Clinic suggests that triclosan may contribute to the development of antibioticresistant germs and harm the immune system, making us more susceptible to bacteria.

4 Install a shower filter that removes chlorine. Chlorine, which is increasingly being linked to some cancers, is used by many municipalities to disinfect water supplies. People absorb more chlorine through the skin and by inhaling chlorine vapors when bathing and showering than from drinking it.

4 Use recycled and unbleached paper products. Using recycled bath tissue helps close the recycling loop on all the paper we dutifully recycle at the curb. Unbleached varieties keep chlorine byproducts like dioxins out of the environment.

4 Remove bad odors instead of covering them up. In a University of California study, chemical air fresheners were found to have higher concentrations of polluting volatile organic compounds (VOC) than any other household cleaning product. Long-term exposure to some VOCs have been linked with adverse health effects. This Natural Awakenings checklist suggests steps that are possible in making any home healthier, safer and more enjoyable. Start checking off items today and begin shrinking the family’s ecological footprint right away. Crissy Trask is the founder of Green and author of the bestselling, It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living. Follow her at

GREEN UN-ROOM CHECKLIST by Crissy Trask Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms earn the most attention in greening up our homes, but what about the miscellaneous spaces? Attics, garages, closets and entry halls can get overlooked, although they also yield benefits from some green-minded attention. Here are tips for the most common “un-rooms” to get the ball rolling.


4 Empty the car of extra weight and optimally inflate tires to improve gas mileage by up to 5 percent.

4 Replace poisonous windshield wiper fluid with a make-it-yourself solution that combines seven cups of distilled water, one-half-cup isopropyl alcohol and one-half-teaspoon ecodishwashing liquid. Properly dispose of old wiper fluid in a boldly labeled container at a hazardous waste center.

4 Clean with a broom instead of a hose to save water.


4 Install a whole-house fan to pull warm air out of the attic, keeping rooms below cooler.

4 Blanket the attic with a reflective heat barrier to reflect heat before it has a chance to enter.

4 If the tops of floor joists above the insulation are visible, recommends adding more insulation

until they are no longer visible when viewed at eye level.

Entry Hall

4 Leave shoes, along with allergens and dirt, at the door for a healthier home.

4 Reduce unwanted mail by opting out of catalogs, credit card and insurance offers and Direct Marketing Association-member mailings at, OptOutPrescreen. com and, respectively.

4 Doormats made from recycled plastic soda bottles keep millions of them from entering landfills.


4 Get organized with bins and shelves made from recycled plastic, reclaimed wood, salvaged and repurposed items, formaldehyde-free plant-based boards or Forest Stewardship Councilcertified wood.

4 Shop for local, previously owned clothes and accessories from consignment boutiques, thrift stores or a local clothing swap.

4 Slip into some vegan or Earthfriendly shoes; there’s a lot more to choose from than hemp sandals. Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Sierra Club, Mayo Clinic,,,,,

GO-TO RESOURCES Urban composting solution Toxins in consumer products Eco-water filters

PVC fact sheet html Radiation exposure facts Safe cosmetics and personal care products

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April 2012



EVERY DROP COUNTS Reusing Rainwater Saves Money and is Better for Plants by Brita Belli


oug Pushard, an expert in rainwater catchment systems who shares his know-how at, believes that homeowners capture rainfall for two reasons—either to make the most of a precious water resource in states with low seasonal precipitation or to control stormwater runoff in states with high precipitation. It’s also an easy way to make a dent in household water and sewer bills. Capturing and managing rainwater provides an environmentally sound alternative to wasting precious tap water pulled from diminishing underground reservoirs, and can replace some or all of a home’s water needs, depending on the system. Rainwater is also better for nourishing lawns, plants and gardens. “People want to use rainwater instead of city water in their yards because they understand that city water carries chlorine, which is not great for plants,” Pushard explains. The amount of water used by residential irrigation is significant. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Sense Program, an American family of four uses 400 gallons of water a day, including 30 percent of it outside. More than half of that outdoor water is used for lawns and gardens, with the rest sprayed on cars, in swimming pools and on sidewalks and driveways. Collectively, nationwide landscape irrigation totals more than 7 billion gallons per day.

Water Calculations

In its simplest form, rainwater harvesting involves little more than placing rain barrels—with capacities from 55 gallons to several hundred gallons—under a home’s downspouts. 28

West Michigan Edition

Popular models can be purchased from home improvement stores, or county extension classes teach how to make one from inexpensive parts. Online research shows the various styles available; most have a spigot at the base for attaching a hose or filling a watering can. The larger capacity, more sophisticated systems use storage cisterns than can hold thousands of gallons of water below ground. These employ pumps that move the water to sprinkler systems or other points of use. For these more complicated setups, Pushard recommends engaging professional help, adding that below-ground systems will capture excess water year-round, even in climates where temperatures drop. “In northern New Mexico, where I live, we get almost one-third of our precipitation in the winter,” he says. “If you have a below-ground system, you can capture that; with an above-ground one, you can’t, because the tank or fittings would freeze and burst.” The formula for determining the maximum amount of water available to capture is related to roof size. Multiply the square footage of the roof times the local annual rainfall (found at, and then multiply the result by .623 gallons. That .623 factor is “how many gallons are in an area of one square foot by one inch deep of rainwater,” according to one of Pushard’s online tutorials. Not all roof materials are created equal. On the high end, tile, metal, concrete or asphalt roofs have a 95 percent runoff efficiency; gravel roofs, 70 percent; and grass roofs, 17 percent, so factor that in, too. Pushard recommends always going with a bigger tank, if possible, to avoid having to add more water storage later.

Think Big

Rainwater harvesting works as an effective irrigation device, but it needn’t be limited to outdoor use. One of the easiest—and most useful—places to direct captured rainwater is toilets. Citing bathrooms as a home’s biggest water user, the EPA notes that a single toilet can use 27 percent of household water. “It’s ludicrous that we use drinking water to flush toilets,” says Pushard. To use stored rainwater instead, run a new plumbing line to the rainwater storage tank and install a pump that activates when the toilet flushes. Rainwater can supply sink faucets, as well, but counting on rainwater to be the sole source of all household water requires a substantial investment and a filtration, purification and UV light system to make the water drinkable. When capturing rain for potable uses, roofing material becomes more important: Unpainted metal and tile are preferred, because these will not leach chemicals into the water that are difficult to remove. In terms of overall cost, the simplest rainwater collection systems will cost a few hundred dollars (less than $100 per barrel), while a whole-house system will cost tens of thousands. However, Pushard points out, rainwater harvesting can be a lifesaver with water shortages becoming a new norm in many states. Brita Belli is the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine and the author of The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates.

Garden Feng shui: It’s all about Chi by Minnie Kansman


eng shui is about tuning into all that surrounds us, knowing that what we are surrounded by affects us deeply. Our mood, energy level, and even our health are influenced more than we realize by the spaces we occupy. True feng shui is the study of how we, as humans, interact with everything in our environments, and how to optimize these interactions. A dark and dingy hotel room can leave us feeling sad and lonely. One filled with fresh flowers, blooming plants, and sunshine gives us a feeling of safety and comfort. In the garden, a dark shady corner can feel stagnant and cold. Planting a woodland garden there with delicate green ferns and sweet smelling wildflowers will transform that same area into something beautiful and inviting. Learning how to make these transformations becomes easy when you understand the basic principles of feng shui. The first step to understanding these principles is to get a firm grasp on the concept of how energy flows.

Chi Flow In feng shui, energy is referred to Chi, the universal life force that surrounds us all. It is in the atmosphere of our planet, and cycles down to the earth’s surface, embracing us with a blanket of energy. This is the Chi force that affects our immediate environments and enters our homes and gardens to breathe life into them. The sacred feeling of being in a pine forest at daybreak, or watching the perfect ease of a sunset as it sinks into the ocean; these are positive ways in which Chi moves within Nature. When this movement of Chi is unhurried, gentle, and welcoming, our personal Chi—the life force within each one of us - is also nourished.

Wind Water Chi Flow The Chinese translation of feng shui is literally wind and water. If we can imagine Chi as moving like wind or water over the landscape, we can begin to get a sense of what it may also look like. Wind can be felt on the skin, our highly tuned sensory organ that helps us to decipher easily between a gentle breeze and a gale force. Sand or snow carried by the wind gives us a visual aid into imagining what Chi looks like. Chi encircles us like the wind, maneuvering easily around anything in its path. Natural wind blocks, like trees or buildings, help to slow fast moving Chi down to a healthier and meandering pace. Wind is also a great teacher of where the Chi may be too Yin, or too stuck. A dark, secluded corner may feel like a protected area, yet with nothing growing there it easily becomes neglected and forgotten. It may become a catchall for discarded

items and debris, which naturally starts to gather there. Before long it can become a junk pile. The flow of water is another visual which can help us “see” Chi. Flooding a garden, in your mind’s eye or literally, is a great way to see the Chi present there. The initial flow is strongest from the main entrance to the yard, usually the driveway. This flow meanders from area to area depending on the grade and slope of the land, and also by what is planted there. A bank of shrubs or large trees can redirect Chi to other areas. A steep slope off the back of the yard could have an energetic waterfall raging downward. Likewise, a low area will collect water and stop its movement. Paths that curve and flow direct Chi to curve and slow down, as well. This gentle meandering flow of energy, is ultimately best for a garden or yard. Chi generally moves one of three ways in garden spaces: meandering, fast, or not at all. This flow can be redirected and manipulated easily by manmade placements. Roads are fantastic examples of how we manipulate Chi. Straight and fast, or curving and slow, our streets set up their own patterns of energy movement. This can be done in the garden with the paths we build and the garden shapes we design. Garden pathways become the roads that move Chi from one area to another. For dark or gloomy areas of a yard where more energy and growth are desired, create some type of path to direct Chi there and observe the difference this makes. Minnie Kansman is the author of the feng shui garden book Spirit Gardens: Rekindling our Nature Connection. A certified Interior Alignment Practitioner and Inspired Spirit Coach, she has been helping others discover the energy of place through feng shui and space clearing since 1994. As owner of the consultation and training business, Eco~Balance Humanity in Harmony with Nature, she walks lightly on the land, honoring all of Nature’s creations. Connect at natural awakenings

April 2012



Putumayo World

Dan Storper’s Music without Borders by April Thompson


ince the 1970s, Putumayo World Music founder Dan Storper has applied his entrepreneurial acumen to the business of bridging cultures. Starting with a small shop selling crafts and clothes that he discovered while traveling throughout Latin America, Storper’s business evolved into an ethnically inspired line of apparel sold in his seven U.S. Putumayo stores and 600 other boutiques around the country. The music mixes that Storper compiled and played in his stores led in 1993 to the creation of the Putumayo World Music record label, intended to introduce people to other cultures around the world through music. In 1997, he sold the clothing business to focus full time on music. Putumayo’s upbeat and wideranging compilations are distinctive— exemplified by their hallmark folk art CD covers by British illustrator Nicola Heindl and comprehensive liner notes. Putumayo’s releases, including songs for its children’s label, Putumayo Kids, are now available in 7,000 stores in more than 80 countries. A longtime member of the Social Venture Network, Putumayo has donated more than $1 million of the proceeds from its CD sales to nonprofit organizations that support communities where the music originates.

What common threads characterize the widely divergent genres that comprise international music? Thinking about my own experience growing up listening to crossover artists like Manu Dibango, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Sergio Mendes, I see a universal connection to melody-driven music with interesting rhythms and beautiful voices, even if it’s in other languages or uses unfamiliar instrumentation. 30

West Michigan Edition

Every year, I receive emails and letters from people that have been inspired by the music to travel to a place they’ve discovered through our albums. We hope that more and more people will dig deeper by traveling to these countries, buying the works of individual artists and creating real connections.

How does Putumayo give back to the cultures whose music it shares with the world? For example, do you try to preserve “endangered species” of music?

“Music really can transform and transcend hardships and boundaries.” What are you trying to achieve in your Putumayo Presents compilations? Putumayo looks for universally appealing music that everyone can relate to. I refer to it as, “the spirit of Bob Marley”—I don’t know of anyone who can listen to his songs and not enjoy them. Every album attempts to encapsulate the best elements of a culture and music of an area or region. We carefully curate each thematic album so that, rather than a collection of random tracks, it is a musical journey that will uplift listeners and interest them not only in the music, but also in the culture and the region.

We don’t set out to save dying genres of music, but one of the byproducts of our work is a greater awareness of other cultures and musical traditions. We’re particularly interested in finding musical gems that may not be known to people inside or outside of their country. In the process, we help people recognize and value the strong musical heritage they have. Sometimes we discover artists that become featured on movie soundtracks or are signed by a major label as a result of their collaboration with Putumayo. While we focus on presenting great music rather than countering stereotypes and cultural misperceptions, that often ends up being a healthy side effect. Much of the music we promote comes from parts of the world struggling with poverty, war and other issues; some are commonly associated with negative connotations in the Western media. Yet many of these places have rich traditions that are mostly accessible to outsiders through music, art and food. New Orleans, the city I now call home, is a great example of a place that is trying to rise above various challenges and misperceptions.

Cascade Yoga Studio Presents:

Weekend Intensive

wit h Tias Little October 12–14, 2012

What are some of the trends you see in world music today? For centuries, trading caravans would bring new instruments and songs to different regions, in turn, influencing the music of an area. Today, with the explosion of digital music, there is more music cross-fertilization than ever. African, Asian and Australian musicians can now hear each other’s music through tour concerts, the Internet and other media. Almost everyone can now similarly access music from around the world; at the same time, this means there is that much more for people to sift through. The music of the world is an ocean of millions of songs. Putumayo employs several people to do just that—search the world to identify little-known music that people all over will love.

Location: The Donnelly Center Aquinas College Grand Rapids, MI

Tias Little’s teaching combines the techniques of yoga that stem from the work of B.K.S Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. He specializes in yoga and anatomy, blending both Western and Eastern perspectives.

For more information: 616.464.1610

April Thompson is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Connect at April natural awakenings

April 2012


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April 2012



Now Open For Business

Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies by Dr. Lauri Grossman

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West Michigan Edition


or many, spring brings joy via outdoor activities amid blossoming flowers and blooming trees, as they visit parks, hike through meadows and jog along roads in the warming air. For millions of allergy sufferers, however, the attendant airborne pollen brings bedeviling sneezes, congestion, teary eyes and runny noses. Hay fever alone, which affects 35 million Americans, shuts many of us indoors. Before resorting to such an extreme measure, try controlling allergic reactions using some of these simple suggestions. The Mayo Clinic recommends that we begin by reducing exposure to allergy triggers: n Stay indoors on dry, windy days and early mornings, when pollen counts are high. The best time to be outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air. n Remove clothes previously worn outside. Immediately after coming inside, shower thoroughly to rinse off pollen. n Don’t hang laundry outside, because

pollen may stick to it, especially sheets and towels. n Keep indoor air as clean as possible by turning on the air conditioner in both the house and car, and use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, especially in the bedroom; most cost less than $100. Make sure the vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, too. Keep indoor air comfortably dry with a dehumidifier. For those that love being outdoors, several natural remedies can help. Dr. Roger Morrison, a holistic physician in Point Richmond, California, likes targeted, widely available, overthe-counter homeopathic medicines. Carefully read labels to match specific symptoms with those noted on individual remedies. For example, for a badly dripping nose, Allium cepa may be the most helpful remedy. It helps lessen nasal discharge, plus reduce sneezing and congestive headaches that can accompany allergies.

If allergy symptoms center around the eyes, causing itching, burning, redness and tears, then homeopathic Euphrasia is a better choice. If nighttime post-nasal drainage leads to coughing upon waking, Euphrasia can help, as well. Pulsatilla helps people whose allergies are worse when they enter a warm room or feel congested when they lie down at night. Homeopathic remedies generally are available for less than $10. If symptoms don’t improve in three days, stop and try a different homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic practitioner Dr. Greg Meyer, in Phoenix, Arizona, says that many of his patients benefit from taking herbs and other natural supplements, and one of the most effective for hay fever is Urtica dioica (stinging nettles). Studies reported in Planta Medica: Journal of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research, showed that after one week, nearly two-thirds of the participants taking two 300 milligram (mg) capsules of freeze-dried nettles experienced decreased sneezing and itching.

Dr. Andrew Weil, of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson, recommends taking 250 mg of freeze-dried nettles extract every two to four hours until symptoms subside. Quercitin is another useful herb. By preventing release of histamine, it also works to lessen the sneezing and itching that accompany allergies. Take 400 mg twice a day before meals. Diana Danna, an integrative nurse practitioner in Staten Island, New York, suggests the age-old remedy of a neti pot to relieve congested nasal passageways. It may take a bit of practice, but she’s seen how rinsing the sinuses with a warm saltwater solution can reduce congestion and make breathing easier. An over-the-counter squeeze bottle can substitute for a neti pot, as can NeilMed Sinus Rinse. Danna suggests rinsing twice a day for best results. Simple dietary modifications often yield promising results, as well. Stick to non-mucous-producing foods and eat more foods that give a boost to the body’s natural immune system. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables and raw

nuts and seeds fit both categories, as do lean proteins like fresh fish and organic meats. Drinking plenty of clean water flushes the system and thins secretions. Foods that tend to cause the most problems for allergy sufferers include dairy products, fried and processed foods and refined sugars and flours. Adding essential fatty acids to a diet has benefits beyond allergy relief. In my own practice, I’ve seen how patients that take one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil or three grams of fish oil during the spring months breathe more easily when outdoors. They also delight in healthier looking skin, shinier hair and harder nails. Trying these approaches may well turn spring into a favorite time of year for everyone. Lauri Grossman, a doctor of chiropractic and certified classical homeopath, practices in Manhattan, NY. She also chairs the American Medical College of Homeopathy’s department of humanism, in Phoenix, AZ. Learn more at and

natural awakenings

April 2012


BREATHE IN BREATHE OUT by Amber Lanier Nagle


ost of us are oblivious to our breathing habits. It’s simply something that we do thousands of times every day without thinking about it, breathing in lifegiving oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, most of us do not breathe correctly. We tend to take 10 to 12 shallow, staccato breaths per minute, instead of the slower, deeper, oxygen-rich breaths that our bodies crave. For centuries, specific breathing techniques have played an integral, healthful role in Eastern mind-body practices, including many forms of yoga and martial arts. Today, the element of disciplined breathing associated with those arts are drawing the attention of Western medical research. Studies are showing that while poor breathing has a negative effect on an individual’s health, deep, optimal breathing can measurably improve body functions. Dr. David Anderson, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging, says that slower, deeper breathing may even help some people with hypertension lower their blood pressure, although he’s not yet sure exactly how it works. “We know that slow, deep breathing relaxes and dilates blood vessels temporarily,” he states, “but we think that it also helps

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing, and can even help with stress-related health problems, ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” ~ Dr. Andrew Weil, integrative medical physician our kidneys eliminate salt more efficiently, which would explain the drop in blood pressure.” In his ongoing study, participants are asked to breathe in sync with tones generated by a special device. “The device trains them to breath slower

and pace breaths until they reach six to eight breaths per minute,” explains Anderson. Other studies are also showing that varying our breathing techniques can be an effective tool in handling and managing depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders. Medical doctors Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg have studied the effects of various breathing practices on the stress levels of tsunami victims, Australian Vietnam veterans, emergency responders and other groups that suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. “We started out by looking at specific yogic deep breathing techniques, such as Sudarshan Kriya yoga, qigong and others, but soon realized that combining elements of several of these techniques yielded optimal results,” remarks Gerbarg. She adds that professional breathing instruction is necessary to achieve their results, yet, “skillful control of breath patterns can be used to calm emotions, eliminate anxiety, stop obsessive worry, reduce stress over-reactivity and induce greater mental clarity and focus.” The road to better health may well be just a few breaths away. Amber Lanier Nagle is a freelance writer based in Adairsville, Georgia. Connect at

Behavioral Health & Fitness Center 1118 Front Avenue NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504 p: 616.458.6870 f: 616.458.6874 We can help with: Anxiety • Depression • Stress Management • Sleep Problems Motivation • Grief and Loss • Overcoming the Past • Weight Loss


West Michigan Edition



Because breathing is something we can all control and regulate, it makes a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends these three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress. Try each one to see how it affects your stress and anxiety levels.

The Stimulating Breath (or Bellows Breath)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness. n Inhale

and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed, but relaxed. Breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. n Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle. n Begin with a maximum of 15 sec onds. Increase subsequent practice sessions by five seconds or so, until reaching a full minute. Done properly, this exercise brings a feeling of invigoration comparable to the heightened awareness achieved after a good workout.

The 4-7-8 Exercise (or Relaxing Breath)

This exercise is simple, takes little time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere, in any position. Learn it first by sitting with your back straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there. You will be exhaling through your mouth; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. n Exhale

completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. n Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. n Hold your breath for a count of seven. n Exhale completely through your

mouth, making a whoosh sound, to a count of eight. n Now, inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times, for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up, but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice, you can slow it down. This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Practice it at least twice a day. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded, do not be concerned; it will pass. Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a useful tool to use when anything upsetting happens—before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. Everyone can benefit from it.

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Breath Counting

Breath counting is a simple, yet challenging, technique used in Zen meditation. Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then, let the breath come naturally, without trying to influence it. Ideally, it will be quiet and slow, while depth and rhythm may vary. n To

begin the exercise, count one to yourself as you exhale. n The next time you exhale, count two, and so on, up to five. n Begin a new cycle, counting one on the next exhalation. Never count higher than five, and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself counting up to eight or higher. Work up to 10 minutes at a time. Source:

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nAn memBers reCeive Discounts from 5% to 50% on network products and services Online Provider Directory Personalized NAN Card NA Newsletter and more!! Stop by our Booth at these April Expos for Special NAN Member Card Rates 4/20- WMEAC Earth Day Celebration at Fountain St Church 4/21- Party for The Planet at John Ball Zoo 4/28- Muskegon Earth Fair

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616-656-9232 natural awakenings

April 2012



Waste Not, Want Not 10 Ways to Reduce Costly Food Waste by Amber Lanier Nagle


ost of us regularly discard food items—week-old cooked pasta, stale cereal, half a loaf of moldy bread, suspicious leftovers and other foods we fail to eat before they perish. But consider that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that 40 percent of all edible food products in the United States— comprising 34 million tons—is wasted each year. Food waste occurs at all levels of the supply chain. Farm fresh fruits and vegetables are often left unharvested because their appearance does not meet aesthetic standards imposed by grocery stores, and pieces bruised or marred during shipping and handling are routinely discarded. Many restaurants serve supersized portions of food, even though much of it is left on plates when customers leave, and thrown into dumpsters. Plus, many shoppers buy more than they need. With a little care and a more enlightened system, we could help prevent much of the waste and better address hunger in the United States. Research-


West Michigan Edition

ers estimate that Americans could feed 25 million people if we collectively reduced our commercial and consumer food waste by just 20 percent. From an environmental standpoint, wasted food equals wasted water, energy and chemicals. Producing, packaging and transporting these food items generate pollution—all for nothing: a zero percent return on our dollars. Food waste represents the single largest component of all municipal solid waste now going into landfills. Although it is biodegradable when properly exposed to sunlight, air and moisture, decomposing food releases significant amounts of methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). Ten tips make it possible to reduce our “food print”. Shop smarter. Preplan meals for the week, including non-cooking days and leftover days. Make a shopping list and stick to it after inventorying the pantry, fridge and freezer. Buy produce in smaller quantities to use within a few days. Because we tend to overbuy

when we’re hungry, don’t walk the aisles with a growling stomach. Organize the refrigerator. Place leftovers at eye level in the fridge, so they are front-and-center anytime someone opens it. When stowing groceries, slide older items to the front. Pay attention to use-by dates and understand that food is good for several days beyond a sell-by date. Freeze foods. Many food items will last for months in the freezer in appropriate storage bags and containers. Share surplus food. For larger dishes such as casseroles and crockpot meals, invite a friend over for supper, deliver a plate to an elderly neighbor or pack leftovers to share with coworkers. Donate extra nonperishable or unspoiled food items to a local soup kitchen, food bank or pantry or homeless shelter. Store food properly. To maximize food’s edible life, set the fridge between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange containers so that air circulates around items; the coldest areas are near the back and bottom of the unit. For fruits and vegetables stored in plastic bags or designated bins or containers, squeeze out air and close tightly to reduce the damaging effects of exposure to oxygen. Buy ugly fruits and veggies. Grocery stores and markets throw out a substantial volume of vegetables and fruits because their size, shape or color is deemed less than ideal. Purchase produce with cosmetic blemishes to save perfectly good, overlooked food from being discarded as waste. Use soft fruits and wilted vegetables. Soft, overripe fruits can be converted to jellies, jams, pies, cobblers, milkshakes and smoothies. Wilted carrots, limp celery, soft tomatoes and droopy broccoli can be chopped up and blended into soups, stews, juices and vegetable stocks. Dish up smaller portions. Smaller portions are healthier and allow leftovers for another meal. Take home a doggie bag. Only about half of restaurant diners take leftovers home. Ask to have unfinished food boxed in a recyclable container, and then enjoy it for lunch or dinner within two days.

Compost routinely. If, despite daily best efforts, food waste still occurs, recycle it with meal preparation scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Create an outdoor compost heap, or compost cooked and uncooked meats, food scraps and small bones quickly and without odor in an indoor bokashi bin. “Earth Day—April 22nd—serves as a reminder that each of us must exercise personal responsibility to think globally and act locally as environmental stewards of Earth,” says Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Reducing food waste is another way of being part of the solution.” Amber Lanier Nagle is a freelance writer specializing in how-to articles pertaining to Southern culture, healthy living and the environment.

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April 2012


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Pledge a Green Act for Earth Day 2012

arge or small, each green action we take—from workplace commitments to reduce, reuse and recycle to individual initiatives like riding a bike to work—helps to protect the integrity of our irreplaceable planet. We have come a long way from the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, that activated 20 million Americans. Today, the Earth Day Network (EDN) collaborates with 22,000 partners in 192 countries, and 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the world’s largest annual civic observance. More progress is needed, however. “This Earth Day, we are mobilizing people on the planet simply to say one thing: The Earth won’t wait,” advises EDN Director of Earth Day, Franklin Russell, noting that environmental issues are frequently put on the back burner in the face of global economic challenges. “All too often, we hear of another oil spill or pipeline break, or another mountain leveled to mine for dirty coal. It’s time that we mobilize the Earth and speak with one voice, one message,” he asserts. “It’s time that our leaders put us on the path to sustainability.” EDN invites us to help build the momentum by continuing to participate in the Billion Acts of Green campaign launched for Earth Day 2011. Its goal is to record a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, taking place this June, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To date, more than 499 million acts have been pledged—a powerful cause for hope. “I’m resolutely optimistic,” says Denis Hayes, organizer of the original Earth Day. “I think it’s really valuable for everyone in the world, even for a day, to do something for the environment and think about the Earth.”

Take Part Now

Pledge your own green act today at and help mobilize the Earth by attending and supporting one or more of these local Earth Day 2012 events.

Wednesday, April 4

Muskegon Area Earth Week: Family Movie Event- 1:00-4:15 pm. Children and their guardians get to explore their natural world through a guided tour of MCC’s Kasey Hartz Natural Area, watch a movie, create poetic nature art, and munch on popcorn. Free event. Muskegon Community College’s Stevenson Center. For more info please call 231-288-0999.

Thursday, April 19

Green Day 6K Fun Run- 5:30-8:00 pm. Run begins at 6:30 pm. In celebration of Earth Day lace up your running shoes and run a fun 6K fun run. More info on our web site or Facebook. Free. Harvest Health Foods. Grand Rapids. 616-299-6868.

Friday, April 20

2012 WMEAC Earth Day Celebration Presented by Founders Brewing- 6:00pm11:00pm. Annual Earth Day concert featuring Steppin’ In It, Karissa Wilson and Jim Shaneberger. Food from What the Truck and brews from Founders. $15 or $10 with a Grand Rapids Public Library card. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. Earth Rock Concert- 7:00-10:00 pm. Celebrate Earth Day listening to local bands, soloists, and poets. 2012 Lakeshore Earth Day Planning Taskforce. Free. Grand Haven Community Center. Grand Haven. 616-844-4497. www.

Saturday, April 21

Grand River GreenUp- 9:00am-12:00pm. Come help clean up the Grand River. Free t-shir ts, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Free. Riverside County Park in Coopersville. Party for the Planet- 10:00am-3:00pm. Party free with regular zoo admission ($45). Enjoy a family friendly atmosphere with activities, crafts and of course all your favorite animals! John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids. www.

Grand Rapids Public Library Earth Day Events- 10:00am-4:00pm. Seminars on helpful environmental tips, a green market and an organization expo. Free. GRPL downtown Grand Rapids. Green Earth March- 12:00-1:00pm. Come join with us on anything that doesn’t use fossil fuels: your feet, your bike, your roller blades, etc. Meet at Franklin Street parking lot south of the Ottawa County Courthouse. Free. Grand Haven Community Center. Grand Haven. 616-8444497. Earth Day Fair- 1:00-4:00 pm. Visit booths of environmental organizations and businesses, community and educational groups. Food, games, information, music from Prevailing Winds and others. Environmentally friendly things to buy. Some displays and games may be outside in Central Park. Free. Grand Haven Community Center. Grand Haven. 616-8444497.

Sunday, April 22

Earth Day Spirit Faire- 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Psychic Readers, Palmistry, Angel Messages, Massage, Jewelry, Aura Photos, Vendors, Door Prizes, $3 entry fee. Plainwell Comfort Inn event rooms, exit 49A off US-131, between Grand Rapids & Kalamazoo. 269-948-1990. “Up Close” Seminar- 1:00pm-6:30pm. This is the classic “Up Close” seminar where Lee Carroll presents his entertaining lecture with entirely new information about current events and the state of evolutionary affairs on planet Earth. $95. Hilton Hotel, 4747 28th Street SE., Grand Rapids. Contact The Healing Center to pre-register at 970-389-4200 or bobhuttinga@

Wednesday, April 25

Muskegon Area Earth Week: Chris Bedford Arts Festival & Awards- 6:30 pm. View the late Chris Bedford’s latest film, “Getting Real about Food and the Future” and learn more about his impact on West Michigan. Free. Muskegon Community College’s Overbrook Theater. Muskegon. For more info please call 231-288-0999.

Saturday, April 28

Earth & Sky Days- 11:00am-4:00pm. Learn about the connection between the earth and outer space with activities, planetarium shows and games. Free with general admission. Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids. Muskegon Area Earth Week: Earth Fair- 1:004:00 pm. Bring the family to play games, win prizes, hear demonstrations, and see cool technology. Organizations and businesses will be showing what our area has to offer in terms of natural resources, eco products and services, green jobs, recreation and sustainable practices. MAREC. Muskegon. 231-288-0999.

natural awakenings

April 2012



practice. $18. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. Call for prerequisites. 616-361-8580.

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

Saturday, April 14

Sunday, April 1 Free Community Yoga Class- 10:00-11:15 am. Appropriate for all levels of ability, mats and props provided--just bring yourself and a friend. On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028. Yoga Zoo Zen (for kids ages 6-9)- 2:00-3:30 pm. A kid-friendly yoga class that focuses on animal asanas! A fun April Fool’s Day snack will follow and a worksheet to take home will be provided. $10. On the Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Tuesday, April 3

the mind, restores the mind-body-spirit connection, and promotes well being. Experienced and Beginning Hoopers Welcome! Hoops provided! $15. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Sunday, April 8 Love Each Other as Soul- 10:00-11:00 am. Join the monthly Eckankar worship service where people of all faiths are warmly invited to experience the Light and Sound of God. Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood. Grand Rapids. 616-245-7003.

8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction w/ Carol Hendershot- 6:30 pm. Get more information on how you can better understand and work with stress through mindfulness practice. Expressions of Grace Yoga/GR Center for Mindfulness. Grand Rapids. 616-745-1864.

Tuesday, April 10

Wednesday, April 4

Wednesday, April 11

8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction w/ Carol Hendershot- 9:30 am. Get more information on how you can better understand and work with stress through mindfulness practice. Expressions of Grace Yoga/GR Center for Mindfulness. Grand Rapids. 616-745-1864. Breastfeeding Herbs- 6:00 pm. Breastfeeding is a normal, natural process, but problems sometimes arise. Kellie Green of OM Bellies will discuss common problems encountered during breastfeeding and herbal remedies. $3. Elder & Sage. Grand Rapids. 616-242-1355. Family Yoga- 6:00-7:00 pm. We will explore asanas, meditative practices and breathing techniques. The environment is playful with accessibility to all levels. Bring your yoga mat and any props you may need (yoga block, strap/tie/belt). Children age 6 and up please. Free. Fountain Street Church. Grand Rapids. 616-459-8386. 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 Americatrained healers. $5. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 E. Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids. 269-929-6796. Journey Dance Workshop for Women- 7:15-8:45 pm. 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, April 5 8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction w/ Carol Hendershot- 7:15 pm. Get more information on how you can better understand and work with stress through mindfulness practice. Expressions of Grace Yoga/GR Center for Mindfulness. Grand Rapids. 616-745-1864.

Friday, April 6 Hula Hoop Workshop w/ Rebecca Urick- 6:30-7:30 pm. Burn up to 600 calories and have fun doing it! Quiets


West Michigan Edition

What can I do with spring vegetables?- 6:30 pm. Guests are invited to join us tonight to taste some delicious recipes for spring veggies. Free. Wellness Forum. Grand Rapids. Reservations please call 616-942-7907.

Get Out The Knots- 1:00-2:30pm. Therapeutic Massage Techniques to Relieve Fibromyalgia & ME/CFS Pain. Presented by Larry Urban, CMT. Free-will donation accepted. For info contact CFS Solutions of West Michigan, Lori Kroger at 231360-6830 or Held in Rm #14 at Peter M. Wege Health & Learning Center, 300 Lafayette Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Community Spiritual Drum Circle- 7:00-8:00 pm. Enter into our circle of friends with meditative, centering and celebratory drumming. Bring your own drum or shaker or borrow one of ours. A love offering is accepted. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids. Ada. 616-682-7812.

Thursday, April 12 Relaxation Response Workshop- 6:00-7:30 pm. Learn simple breath and mental awareness techniques to de-stress your nerve system, improve immune system function, calm your mind & emotions; support your body’s ability to heal naturally from within. Space is ltd. FREE. Must pre-register. Dr. Ragini Pierce. Muskegon. 231-6700179. Do you smile as you exercise?- 7:00 pm. You will if you join us tonight with Kate as we do ZUMBA! Have fun--feel the beat-you don’t have to be a dancer-just move! Space is limited. $5. The Wellness Forum. Grand Rapids. Call 616-942-7907 for a spot!

Friday, April 13 Bamboo-fusion® (on the table)- 9:00 am-6:00 pm. This massage treatment is an innovative way to provide relaxation. Therapist will use “warmed” bamboo tools that are different shapes and sizes. NCBTMB approved 16CE’s. $399 includes Bamboo and DVD. Institute of Sanative Arts. 616-791-0472. Sign up at Fire of Transformation Yoga Practice w/ Mimi Ray- 6:30-8:30 pm. Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher. An invitation for experienced students to light the inner fire of the heart; transform and refine your

Bamboo-fusion® (on the table)- 9:00 am-6:00 pm. This massage treatment is an innovative way to provide relaxation. Therapist will use “warmed” bamboo tools that are different shapes and sizes. NCBTMB approved 16CE’s. $399 includes Bamboo and DVD. Institute of Sanative Arts. 616-791-0472. Sign up at ceclasses.html. DIY and Homeowner American Clay Workshop9:00-11:00 am. Participants will learn about the entire application process and have hands on troweling and compression steps. Limited to 18. Please, no small children. Attendees will receive 10% off their American Clay order the day of class. $39. HWC Homeworks Corp. Wyoming. 269-967-7773. Visit our Booth- 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Come visit our booth at the Hudsonville Showcase at Hudsonville High School and find out who we are and what God is doing through us. Free. Jehovah Jireh Ministries. Jamestown. 616-896-1570. How to Improve Soil- 12:00 pm. Dig deep into the soil amendment known as compost. Learn how to create balanced nutrition for any plant. We’ll learn about the soil food web and the types of microbes that are present in compost piles. Free event. Grand Rapids Public Library. 616-988-5400. Yoga of Eating: A Divine Reconnection with Food and Body- 1:30-3:00 pm. This session focuses on Mood, Food and the Body... exploring the influence of food, life cycles, detoxification, and environment on mood and energy. $28. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Sunday, April 15 Bamboo-Visage ® (facial massage class)- 9:00 am-1:00 pm. A wonderful treatment alone or a perfect finishing touch to complete a full body massage facial treatment. This therapeutic “French facial massage” leaves the client’s skin soft and supple. $199 includes bamboo and DVD. Sign up at

Tuesday, April 17 Dinner Talk- 6:30 pm. Please join us for a complimentary Dinner Talk sponsored by Get Healthy Michigan. Your evening of educational entertainment includes a dinner and vital information presented by Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, and CSCS that will help you live a healthier life. Free. Please register at 616-447-9888. Nourishing Ways Spring Presentation- 7:008:30 pm. Everything you wanted to know about raw milk but were afraid to ask Karen Lubbers of Nourishing Ways of West Michigan. Grand Rapids. 616 682-8339.

Wednesday, April 18 Reiki Share Group- 5:30-7:30 pm. Join other Reiki practitioners and students to share ideas, questions, experiences and Reiki. Jan Atwood, Reiki Master / Teacher. Free. Jan Atwood, LLC. Grand Rapids. 616-915-4144.

Easy Detoxification- 6:00 pm. We are pleased to be able to bring you these fascinating natural health topics from some of the best speakers around Grand Rapids! $3. Elder & Sage. 944 Fulton Street E. Grand Rapids, MI 49503. 616-242-1355. Journey Dance Workshop for Women- 7:15-8:45 pm. 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, April 19 Wege Foundation Speaker Series- 4:00-5:00 pm. Dr. Daniel H. Janzen, world-renowned conservation biologist and advisor to international political leaders will be speaking. Guests are invited to stay for a reception and book signing. Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center. To RSVP call 616-632-2805 by April 6, 2012. Limited seating is available.

Friday, April 20 Laughter Yoga Leader training- 7:00-8:00 pm. Opening Session. Become certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader. Experience the stress releasing and happiness boosting power of laughter. $10 or $295 for whole weekend. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Saturday, April 21 Laughter Yoga Leader training- 10:00 am-5:30 pm. Training Course. Become certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader. Experience the stress releasing and happiness boosting power of laughter. $10 or $295 for whole weekend. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580. Low Back Self Care w/ Sarah Weber- 12:00-2:00 pm. Use yoga to help protect and strengthen your lower back. Bring heightened awareness and better alignment to this region of the body, enabling you to move with greater freedom. $25 in advance $30 at door. Yoga Studio. Grand Rapids. 616-776-0836. How to Create Your Own Cleaning Products12:30 pm. Making your own cleaning products makes good economic, environmental and health sense. Learn how to make homemade cleaning agents that are much safer and healthier than harsh store-bought cleaners. Free Event. Grand Rapids Public Library. 616-988-5400. Roses: the Herb of 2012- 1:00-3:00 pm. A class about the long history and lore of the rose will be presented, along with growing & harvesting info. $20, $10 deposit due when registering (before 4/18). Nature’s Spiritual Connections. Grand Rapids. 616-929-4204.

Sunday, April 22 Laughter Yoga Leader training- 10:00 am-5:30 pm. Training Course. Become certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader. Experience the stress releasing and happiness boosting power of laughter. $10 or $295 for whole weekend. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580. Goin’ to the Y: A Pelvic Floor Workshop for Women- 1:00-3:00 pm. Many women suffer from pelvic floor disorders. Learn how to keep this vital part of your body healthy! $20. On The Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Yin Yoga- 3:00-5:00 pm. Experience total relaxation in a yoga class where poses are designed to open joints and passively stretch muscles. $20. On The Path Yoga. Spring Lake. 616-935-7028.

Monday, April 23 Sanity Saver- 6:30 pm. You can be a Sanity Saver! If you enjoy helping moms during the transition after having a baby, this volunteer opportunity is for you! Free volunteer training to become a MomsBloom volunteer. Grand Rapids. For more information contact or 616-828-1021. Self-Health Treatment Method- 6:30-8:00 pm. Utilize your hands as micro-meridian acupuncture system. You can use this to self-treat or practice on friends and family. Very helpful in pain management and well-being. Kits included. $49 if pre-registered, $59 at the door. Spring Lake. 616-634-2714.

Wednesday, April 25 Pregnancy: Keeping it Healthy and Low Risk5:30-7:30 pm. Learn important factors in having a low risk pregnancy, labor and birth. Practice exercises to strengthen & prepare your body for the marathon of birth. Come in comfortable clothes to learn the exercises hands-on. $5. Hop Scotch Children’s Store. Grand Rapids. 616-233-4008. Intro to Brain Gym- 6:00-7:00 pm. Take your brain out to play in this fun, experiential intro to Brain Gym. Easy movements synchronize body, mind and spirit, optimizing how we learn, think and act in all areas of our lives. Free. Fountain Street Church. Grand Rapids. 616-459-8386. Intro to GAPS- 6:00 pm. The Gut & Psychology/ Physiology Syndrome describes the connection between how our physical and mental health is dependent on the health of our digestive tract and the micro-organisms contained within it. $3. Elder & Sage. Grand Rapids. 616-242-1355.

Thursday, April 26 Relaxation Response Workshop- 6:00-7:30 pm. Learn simple breath and mental awareness techniques to de-stress your nerve system, improve immune system function, calm your mind & emotions; support your body’s ability to heal naturally from within. Space is ltd. FREE. Must pre-register. Dr. Ragini Pierce. Muskegon. 231-6700179. Breastfeeding Support Group- 6:00-7:00 pm. Led by certified Lactation Counselor, Laurie Vance. Each month we will have a mini-topic discussion to get things started. Your questions are welcomed and encouraged! Free. Hop Scotch Children’s Store. Grand Rapids. 616-233-4008.

Friday, April 27 Feng Shui: A Beginners Mind- 6:30-7:30 pm. Learn the basic principles of feng shui to start creating spaces that look and feel good to be in. Expressions of Grace Yoga Studio, Grand Rapids. $18. Register at 616-361-8580.

Saturday, April 28 Professional American Clay Workshop- 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Attendees will have hands on through all phases of application. Wall prep and substrate questions are addressed, mixing of product is

demonstrated. Discussion on all four clays and available colors, as well as repairing. $59. HWC Homeworks. Wyoming. 269-967-7773. Miracle of Numbers Workshop- 10:00am-5:00pm & 10am-4pm on 4/29. With director & numerologist John Davis. Learn how to do Numerology Personality Profiles & Planetary Numerology for the New Millennium. Basic Numerology I, $75 Saturday. Advanced Numerology & Mystical Numerology, $75 Sunday, Entire weekend $140. Pre-register: Visit or call 616-531-1339 for more info. The Coptic Center, 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Journey Dance Workshop for Women- 1:00-3:00 pm. Weaving simple, guided movement sequences and free exploration, JourneyDance reconnects you with your innate state of joyous well-being. $20. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580.

Sunday, April 29 Introduction to Cupping Massage- 9:00 am-6:00 pm. You will learn how to use different types of cups and how to effectively and safely work them into a treatment as a modality. Cups not included, cups will be provided to use in training. $250. Enroll at

Monday, April 30 Introduction to Cupping Massage- 9:00 am-6:00 pm. You will learn how to use different types of cups and how to effectively and safely work them into a treatment as a modality. Cups not included, cups will be provided to use in training. $250. Enroll at

Thursday, May 3 Essential Oils Class- 7:00-9:00 pm. Introduction to Essential Oils by Dr. Dana Young, owner of Be Young Essential Oils. Free. Natural Health 4 Today. Grand Rapids. 616-698-6148.

Friday, May 4 Holistic Health and your body- 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Learn how to help your 10 body systems naturally! Dr. Dana Young will provide you with the tools you need to help your body heal naturally. $15. Natural Health 4 Today. Grand Rapids. 616-698-6148.

Saturday, May 5

Emotional Aromatic Touch Program- 9:00 am-5:00 pm. You can deal with and learn how to have Emotional Release as Dr. Dana Young guides you through the Emotional Aromatic Touch Program. $15. Natural Health 4 Today. Grand Rapids. 616-698-6148.

Save the Dates: MAY 6-11 Panchakarma Spring Cleanse- Experience a physical & emotional cleanse that includes: Three Lectures, Individual Ayurvedic Assessment, Ayurvedic treatment (massage) & much more. Facilitators include: Maria KaliMa, RN, MS, E-RYT 500 & Sue Dilsworth, PhD, RYT-500, LFYP-2, IYT Pre-register through April 15th for only $378. After April 15th = $528. Space limited to 20.

natural awakenings

April 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. assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit

Sunday Center of Self-directed Teens now forming- 9:4510:45 am. A progressive alternative for teens and for existing homeschoolers who seek a progressive, democratic, challenging learning community. Meeting monthly on 3rd Sundays. Fountain Street Church. Grand Rapids. 616-550-0371. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids- 10:00 am. Celebrating God’s presence in human nature. Offering uplifting messages that are spiritual without being religious. Youth programs & Nursery. Unity of Greater Grand Rapids 6025 Ada Drive SE, Ada. 616-682-7812. 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. Miracle of Numbers Workshop- 10:00 am-4:00 pm. Advanced Numerology & Mystical Numerology. $75. Entire weekend $140. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339 for more information. 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. Sparta. 616-481-6610. Women’s Meditation Group- 4:30 pm. This group will explore different forms of meditation for approximately one hour. Free. The Infinite Feminine. Grand Rapids. Space is limited. register at 616-648-7011. 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. HOT COMMunity Yoga- 6:00 pm. Join us for this flowing vinyasa style class done in a heated room. $5 donation. Net proceeds go to a different charity each month. Core Pilates & Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-2555.

Monday $30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to


West Michigan Edition

Yoga Intro to Flow- 5:30-6:30 pm. Learn the basics of Vinyasa Yoga while developing strength, flexibility and balance. Beginner’s welcome. Walk-ins welcome. $10. Sparta. 616-481-6610. Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Posture Class- 7:30 pm. Mon & Wed. A flow of postures with emphasis on body awareness, alignment and coordination of breath & movement. $10-16 per class. Seva Yoga. East Grand Rapids. sevayoga. net. 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 Everyone- 10:00-11:00 am. With Ruth Sutherland. $3.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Self-Help Education Meeting- 1:00-2:30 pm. The Peter M. Wege Health & Learning Center (Wege North Building at St. Mary’s Hospital), 300 Lafayette Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (Room & topics subject to change). 231-360-6830. Change Your Coffee, Change Your Life!- 6:00pm. Organo Gold Coffee mixer- try a cup, feel the difference & find out why. Cedar Rock Mall. Grand Rapids. Call for details Judy 616-340-2820 or Tina 231-250-4808. Gentle Yoga- 6:00 pm. Tues & Thurs. Breath, Meditation Yin, Slower flow Vinyasa. Come enjoy ongoing classes at Seva Yoga. $10-$16 per class. East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541. On Being a Spirit having a Physical Experience6:30 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. Restorative Yoga- 6:30-7:30 pm. Enjoy a gentle and relaxing beginner yoga class. Focus on stretching, breathing and meditation. Walk-ins welcome. $10. Sparta. 616-481-6610. Aromatherapy Class- 6:30-8:30pm. Every 2nd Tuesday with Linda Bayer RA. Basics and different topics each month. Bayer Essence. Jenison. 616457-7426. 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.

Adults OCD support group- 7:00-8:30 pm. Open to any adults who have or think they may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Friends and family members welcome. Free. Anxiety Resource Center. Grand Rapids. 616-356-1614. 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 Lifestyle7:30pm. 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. debriolo.

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 of Greater Grand Rapids. Ada. 616-682-7812. 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. Gentle/Basic Yoga Classes: New Session Starting- 5:45-6:45 pm. (Every Wednesday April 4-May 23). A new 8-week yoga session to reduce stress and anxiety? Anxiety Resource Center, Inc. Grand Rapids. Learn more by calling 616-356-1614. Yoga Class- 6:30 pm. Experienced or beginner welcome. Our instructors will help guide you through your yoga journey at your own pace and comfort level. $12 Drop in or $60 6 class pass card. Sanative Yoga.\sanative_yoga. A Course in Miracles Class- 6:00-8:00 pm. With Cindy Barry. Free will offering. The Healing Center. Lakeview. TheHealingCenterOfLakeview. com. 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. Anxiety Resource Center, Inc. Grand Rapids. 616-356-1614. Center of Self-directed Teens Now Forming7:00-8:30 pm. Meeting 1st Wednesday. A progressive alternative for teens and existing homeschoolers who seek a progressive, democratic, challenging learning community. Schuler’s Book & Music. Grand Rapids. 616-550-0371.

Thursday Classes for the Childbearing Year and Beyond6:00 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.

Spiritual Classes- 6:00-7:30 pm. Astrology, numerology, tarot, etc with Gail Brumeister. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman6:15-7:30 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. Passage meditation group- 7:00-8:30pm. Helpful for solving life’s problems & spiritual growth. Passage Meditation. Unity Church of Practical Christianity, 1711 Walker NW, Grand Rapids. Easwaran. org. 616-636-4023.

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- 9:30 am. 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. debriolo.reliv@ Miracle of Numbers Workshop- 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Learn how to do Numerology Personality Profiles & Planetary Numerology. Basic Numerology I. $75. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-5311339 for more information.

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 SCHAFER CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALING SPA


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


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


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 39.


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.

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ain , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurances accepted. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 8.


Clara VanderZouwen, NORWEX Consultant 616-698-6148 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. Save Time & Money.

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 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. 16 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.

natural awakenings

April 2012


dentistry / holistic DENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER


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

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 AMA~DEUS®

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


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

Elizabeth 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.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 21.

essential oils BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara VanderZouwen 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.


West Michigan Edition

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

health food stores

holistic health centers THE HEALING CENTER

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 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, iridology, homeopathy, massage therapy, reflexology, cranial sacral, foot detox & more. See ad page 11.

homeopathy BOB HUTTINGA

332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Physician assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care and ApoE Gene Diet. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. See ad page 11.


Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 7493 Cottonwood Drive, Jenison 616-667-1346 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Everyday discounts and senior pricing. www.


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.

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


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 8 & 32.


school / education



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

FULL CIRCLE MIDWIFERY SERVICE, INC. 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

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

0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr., Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472 State licensed school for massage and bodywork. High quality, affordable 6 month certification course with small class sizes. NCBTMB CE courses in Bamboo-Fusion®, cupping and more. Convenient to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale areas.

NATUROPATHIC INSTITUTE OF THERAPIES & EDUCATION 503 E. Broadway St Mt. Pleasant, MI. 48858 989-773-1714

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. Over 15 years of excellence. See ad page 2.

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

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. OPPORTUNITIES FOR RENT Condo in Aruba located at the beautiful Playa Linda Resort. First floor studio with full kitchen, balcony and sleeps four. Available November 25 through December 9th. Cost for two weeks is only $1280.00. Call 616-299-5815 or email for further details.

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.

M-20, Beautiful 80 Acre Farm, outbuildings, barn, garage. East of White Cloud. Home insulated, vinyl siding. Six bedrooms, enclosed front porch. Rob Breen. 231-652-1100.

HELP WANTED Openings for Acupuncturist, Naturopath, Chiropractor, Holistic Physician etc. Please contact Dr. Greg Ling at Healing Harmony in Muskegon 231-755-3214 or 231-740-3904 (cell).

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.

natural awakenings

April 2012



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine April 2012  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

Natural Awakenings Magazine April 2012  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...