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feel good • live simply • laugh more




Horse Rescue Caring Homes

Sought for Aging and Abandoned Horses

Color Us GREEN Everyday Acts of Sustainability

Glorious Great Lakes

April 2016 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

April 2016


contents 8 4 newsbriefs 7 community

spotlight 8 healthbriefs 10 globalbriefs 1 5 actionalert 10 17 inspiration 18 earthdayevents 20 consciouseating 22 healthykids 26 greenliving 30 healingways 18 34 naturalpet 37 fitbody 40 wisewords 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory

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.


Mother Nature’s Rhythms Restore the Soul by Susan Andra Lion

20 EDIBLE HEIRLOOMS Old-Fashioned Fruits and Veggies Return to the Table by Avery Mack


SUSTAINABILITY Practical Ways We Can Help Out the Planet


How Valuable They Are




by Peggy J. Parks

On-Site Farms Grow Organics for Patients by Judith Fertig

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.



by Sandra Murphy

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


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 616604-0480 or email us at:

They Like Short, Social and Fun Workouts

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West Michigan Edition


Caring Homes Sought for Aging and Abandoned Horses


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by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko

advertising & submissions To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-604-0480 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.


by Derek Flanzraich


ON THE JOY OF TIDYING UP Simplicity Invites Happiness into Our Lives by April Thompson




contact us Publisher Pamela Gallina Assistant Publisher Amanda Grasmeyer Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings P.O. Box 330 Spring Lake, MI 49456 Phone: 616-604-0480

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2016 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.

rowing up, my sisters and I loved going to our parents’ summer place on the Big Muskegon River. Our family didn’t know we weren’t wealthy and simply reveled in the riches of the land. We learned to swim before we could walk, and spent summers dressed in our swim suits from the moment we woke up, heading out to spend all day in and around the water until forced to come inside to eat or sleep. Along the way we learned to be good stewards of all waterways and never discard anything nonorganic into such a treasure house of fun adventures. As I grew up, my affinity for the water continued to grow and for 30 years I’ve enjoyed living on the water because it keeps me centered and stabilizes my world. Of course, it’s a natural magnet for nature’s wildlife. As many of us do, I worry about what ends up in our water. Living in Michigan surrounded by freshwater rivers and lakes, we sometimes take it for granted. We use it for recreation, transportation, tourism and fishing, all of which make impacts. It also becomes a receptacle for storm drain runoff that’s polluted with road salt and lawn and farm chemicals. Ever wonder why the herbicide and pesticide companies we hire to keep our lawns green and weed-free leave a sign warning us to keep children and pets off of them for 24 hours? Most don’t think too deeply about what happens when those toxins seep into our groundwater. Any unused chemicals from our home and garage that we fail to take to a municipal hazardous chemicals collection site likewise pose hazards to soil and water. Medicines carelessly discarded down the drain add to those already flowing through our body and into the sewage system; these too end up contaminating water supplies. Our challenge now is to take the time to be more mindful of the longterm effects of our actions and to become better stewards of our waterways— even when no one is looking. To conscious living,

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings

natural awakenings

Magazine of West Michigan

April 2016


newsbriefs Go With Your Gut

workshop will take place at Armentality Movement Arts Center, located at 233 Fulton Street, #620, in Grand Rapids. For more information and to register, visit See ad, page 36.


odie Krumpe from Cultured Love will be presenting at Nature’s Market at at 6:30 p.m. on April 5 on how to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Krumpe will share how she learned the vital role digestive health plays in building and maintaining beneficial immune and brain function as she recounts her family’s story of moving from chronic disease to healthy living with ongoing “read food”-oriented diet change, a change that prompted her to start her thriving cultured-food business. Meet Krumpe, sample Cultured Love specialty krauts and learn how and why to incorporate more cultured foods into your lifestyle. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call 616-394-5250. See ad, page 28.

Trauma Informed Yoga Workshop


oin Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga on April 15 and 16 for Trauma Informed Yoga, a workshop that will explore trauma, yoga and healing. Learn how to create a safe space as you begin to trust yourself and those around you. Learn how somatics, introception and body-based emotions can help you move past the effects of trauma in your life. The workshop will be taught by Raechel Morrow, director of the Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga. Morrow holds a certification in Trauma Sensitive Yoga, and has studied extensively with David Emerson. The workshop costs $179 if registered before April 4, or $199 after. A portion of the proceeds from the workshop benefits the programs of the Body Mind Being Project. The

InspiredLife GR


elly Hassberger, ND, of Grand Rapids Natural Health, along with Mary Johnson and Chris Wheeler, of 1breath4All, invite you to join them at their InspiredLifeGR 2016 Conference. The conference takes place April 16-17 at Aquinas College in the Wege Ballroom. InspiredLife GR is a platform to inspire the people of West Michigan to live the life they have always dreamed of, by providing the resources, practitioners and community to help each individual optimize their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual lives. The InspiredLifeGR founders have put together a leading group of health and wellness practitioners in the Grand Rapids area that will inspire people to transform their lives and their health forever. The two-day conference includes eight talks from Grand Rapids leading health and wellness providers, two panel discussions, an exhibitor hall to give participants access to everything they need to begin their healing journeys, and a healthy breakfast and lunch both days. For more information or to register, visit See ad, page 39.

Muskegon Area Earth Week+


he fifth annual Muskegon Area Earth Week+ is April 16-25. Plans include shoreline cleanups, Sustainability Champion Awards, native gardening talks, guided hikes, a rain barrel workshop and more. The filled-week concludes with Earth Fair Expo on April 23 held at Montague High School, located at 4900 Stanton Boulevard in Montague. The Earth Fair Expo is a great opportunity to learn more about and purchase local products and services. There will also be giveaways, animals, free games and product demonstrations for a fun, educational experience. It will be a wonderful week filled with events that educate, inspire and encourage acts for change that benefit the Muskegon community and the Earth. Muskegon has a lot to offer in terms of natural resources, eco products and services, green jobs, recreation and sustainable practices. Muskegon Area Earth Week promises to be an event that results in positive actions in the community as it encourages people to join in on the movement. For more information, call Joel Darling at 231-288-0999 or email See ad, page 36.


West Michigan Edition

Wege Speaker Series


he Wege Foundation will host the 20th Wege Speaker Series at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, located at 1703 Robinson Road S.E. in Grand Rapids. The public is invited and the event is free. The key speaker this year is Crystal Lameman, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, whose homeland is the site of the massive tar sands oil development in Alberta, Canada. Her talk is titled, The Real Costs of Oil: The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline. “In Michigan, much attention has been paid to the safety of the oil pipeline running underneath the Straits of Mackinac and to proposals to ship tar sands-derived oil on the Great Lakes,” said Mark Van Putten who, in November, was named president and CEO of the Wege Foundation. “Less attention has been paid to the environmental and human costs of tar sands production at the locations of the mines. Lameman will seek to deepen our understanding of what is happening at the source as she speaks about her people’s fight for justice on the front lines and the climate change consequences for all of us.” For more information, visit Registration is required at See ad, page 14.

Mindfulness and Meditation Workshop


oin Spirit Space, in Saugatuck, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 23 for A Path to Peace. This workshop costs $75 and will open you up to a world of possibilities for a healthy mind, spirit, body and life. From Buddha to The Beatles, people have practiced meditation, and from


the world of medical research to the world of spiritual practices, all are saying anxiety, depression and chronic pain can be softened or even eliminated through mindfulness and meditation. A deepened sense of one’s connection with the Infinite is also possible through meditation. Mindfulness is the skill of bringing your attention to intention. Intention is the point where everything becomes clear. Mindfulness is possessing the skill of opening ourselves to reality without judgment, thereby leading us to possibilities of being that could not otherwise be accessed. Attention to intention creates infinite possibilities. In this workshop you will come to understand the physiological components of meditation and the spiritual components that make this ancient practice most relevant in today’s world. For more information, call 616-886-2716 or visit See ad, page 18.

The Journey to Freedom in Iyengar Yoga


he Yoga Studio, Grand Rapid’s home for classical hatha yoga since 1979, welcomes back Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Mary Reilly, April 29 through May 1, for a weekend of classes sure to illuminate how the power of practice can




SPARK | February 11 | 9am - 4pm Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future.

OASIS Retreats & Workshops was developed by MINDY HILLS & NICOLE ZAAGMAN to offer sanctuary for those seeking insight for their life vision.

Essence + Valor | April 11 | 9am - 4pm Balance feminine and masculine roles in leadership and provide a road-map to developing purpose driven initiatives.

Whether you’re a busy parent, working professional or passionate entrepreneur, the retreats will provide sage wisdom, expert advice and spiritual truths to help you achieve peace, passion and prosperity in your life.

Brave Boundaries | July 11 | 9am - 4pm Implement and define mindful, respectful, lifestyle boundaries to best serve your circles and inner voice.

MINDY & NICOLE look forward to holding a sacred space for your personal and professional development.

INTUITION | October 11 | 9am - 4pm Understand the importance of trusting your God guidance, tap into soul tools and walk with open hands towards divine destiny.

Detox YOUR SPIRIT IN 2016 Register natural awakenings

April 2016


newsbriefs come to a new fruition. Immerse in longer classes with focused topics and let Reilly’s passion for teaching guide your practice to a new depth of understanding. Cost: $49 per class; $185 for entire weekend. Location: 959 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 206, Grand Rapids. For more information or to register, call 616-776-0836, email or visit See ad, page 16.

Party for the Planet


njoy a celebration of conservation, recycling and our natural world! Party for The Planet takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 7 at John Ball Zoo located at 1300 W. Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Join over 20 conservation-minded, green practicing organizations for a fun day of learning how we can help save our Earth’s resources right here in your own backyard. Festivities will include zoo keeper talks, science experiments, giveaways, demonstrations and more. How do ponds keep themselves clean? How do you make your own green laundry detergent? Come on out to John Ball Zoo to find out. Cost for the event is only $7 for adults and $6 for kids. For more information and details, call Krys at 616-336-4374 or email

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat


oin Melanie McQuown from May 22 through 29 in beautiful Costa Rica, on a trip that will take you to the heart of the rainforest on the Osa Peninsula, the place that National Geographic calls “the most biologically intense place on Earth.” Journey to a stunning, off-the-beaten-track

jungle retreat, where you can unplug from the rest of the world and unwind in paradise. Nestled in tranquil primary rain forest, and just a stone’s throw away from deserted sandy shores, this is barefoot luxury at its very best. The retreat includes several activities, meals, twicedaily yoga, lodging and airport transfers. The price does not include airfare to San Jose. For more information, visit or email See ad, page 17.

Health Coach Spring Promotion


rand Rapids Natural Health’s in-house Health Coach, Audrey Byker, focuses and specializes in one-onone coaching through a six-month program (two, 50-minute sessions per month for six consecutive months). She is also enjoying reigniting an old love for speaking and teaching as well. Contact Byker before June 1 to receive 25 percent off her Love Yourself Healthy six-month program. Subscribe to her newsletter on her website and set up a free 30-minute consultation to take advantage of the deal, a total savings of $292.50 with this coupon. For more information or to subscribe, visit See ad, page 26.

Wood & Saw

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here

REMODELING AND HOME BUILDING Toxic-Free | Energy Efficient | Sustainable 616.834.2480 Holland, MI 6

West Michigan Edition

(269) 366-4146

QSM3 Upper Cervical Nutrition Response Testing Kinesio Taping Massage Therapy Laboratory Diagnostics


Gamet Family Chiropractic by Julie Reynolds


aving a doctor who knows and understands the same pain and problems that people have throughout a lifetime can make patients feel at ease and give them hope for relief. Seeing someone thrive from the very advice and treatment being offered can give patients a sense that they really can live a better life. It becomes more than just something out of a book. It becomes real. At Gamet Family Chiropractic, in Muskegon, the focus is on the family and serving the needs of all ages including children. Gene Gamet, doctor of chiropractic and owner, knows how much parents care for their children and how much they want to ease a child’s pain gently and naturally, and having a chiropractor who truly knows a patient’s pain and the frustration that goes alongside it is what makes Gamet Family Chiropractic different from others. Dr. Gamet knows and understands what it’s like to live with pain. Throughout his life, he has gone through some of the same issues as his patients. He suffered through part of his childhood and teen years with chronic headaches, asthma, heat/cold intolerance and terrible back pain without much relief after visits and treatments from various medical doctors. It was not until his college years, when he met a chiropractor, that he became aware of the benefits he could have experienced earlier with chiropractic treatment. Through his own chiropractic treatment, he now experiences a better life without the limitations he used to have. This revelation pointed his career path to where he is today. Many people are starting to understand that, by taking care of their spine and nervous system, they may not have to experience conditions such as low back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel

syndrome and other visceral problems, especially if they can start chiropractic care while the spine and spinal-related tissues are developing. Athletes thrive under chiropractic care and most often see noticeable improvements in their performance. For a mother or father who has an inconsolable, colicky baby or a child experiencing so-called, “growing pains”, chiropractic treatment could be a solution and a life saver. These are not issues that should be swept under the rug and ignored when there could be relief. The human body has many parts, just as a car has many parts. If ignored and not maintained regularly, the parts can break down just as a car without maintenance. A car will still run seemingly fine if it is overdue for an oil change, but, slowly, damage is being done to the car when ignored. Eventually, the lack of care will be quite damaging and expensive. Treating a body is much the same, except much more important. Treating the body before issues arise means having a body with fewer break downs. Gamet believes that it is his duty to help everyone learn and understand the benefits of chiropractic care. During an exam, he conducts a series of tests, Xrays and other assessments to determine the level of damage and what specific treatment a patient needs. Gamet is passionate about his profession and puts forth a strong effort to teach his patients how important early care is. “Only about five to eight percent of people across the United States sees a chiropractor,” he says. At his office, his patients include babies, children, adults, athletes and accident victims. He also conducts ergonomic assessments for businesses. In addition to the actual chiroprac-

tic treatments, he also tries to educate others about the importance of leading a healthy overall lifestyle, including aspects of nutrition to better their lives. Gamet notes, “There is an increasing amount of scientific data out there, but people are unaware of how and where to find it.” For some people who have never been to a chiropractor, it may seem a little foreign and maybe even a little scary. Meeting with Gamet for a consultation may ease some of those worries. By also visiting the Gamet Family Chiropractic website, people can digest a wealth of information carefully explaining the entire process and everything the office has to offer. This comprehensive website offers the ability to subscribe to a newsletter, describes common myths, offers information on adjustments and explains what subluxations are. Included is also a list of common ailments that can be relieved by chiropractic care. It may be surprising to see how many areas this type of care can treat. Some may think a chiropractor will just crack their back or the treatments will hurt, but according to Gamet, patients often feel a sense of relief after leaving his office and continue to come back because it makes their body feel better. Check out the testimonials from some of his patients to read the many stories of healing. Gamet Family Chiropractic offers something for everyone regardless of age with a trained and in-tune professional. This doctor understands people are busy and have jobs, working throughout the day, which is why he offers flexible hours, which are listed on the website. Gamet encourages people to stop believing there is no solution to pain and discomfort. Many options are available to those who keep an open mind to the healing outcomes and possibilities of a better life through chiropractic care. Gamet Family Chiropractic is located at 5916 Harvey St. in Muskegon. For more information, call 231-799-2020 or visit See ad, page 21. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

natural awakenings

April 2016



Kiwis Boost Heart Health


Fracking Fluids Found Toxic to Health


n analyzing 1,021 chemicals contained in fluids and wastewater used in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil or natural gas, a Yale University study found that at least 157 of the chemicals—including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and mercury—are associated with either developmental toxicity, reproductive toxicity or both. Of the total identified chemicals, 925 were used in the hydraulic fracturing process, 132 in fracking wastewater and 36 were present in both. The scientists utilized the REPROTOX database in the Chemical Abstract Service registry and then reviewed the available research, including human and animal studies. Toxicity data wasn’t available for 781 of the chemicals used in fracking. Among the other 240 chemicals, 103 were reproductive toxins. An additional 95 were developmental toxins. Another 41 have been found to be both reproductive and developmental toxins. The researchers further suggested that at least 67 of the chemicals be prioritized in drinking water testing. Senior author and Professor of Public Health Nicole Deziel, Ph.D., adds, “This evaluation is a first step to prioritize the vast array of potential environmental contaminants from hydraulic fracturing for future exposure and health studies. Quantification of the potential exposure to these chemicals, such as by monitoring drinking water in people’s homes, is vital for understanding the [associated] public health impact.”


West Michigan Edition

multi-center study from the University of Salamanca, in Spain, has found that consuming even one kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) per week will significantly boost cardiovascular health. The researchers tested 1,469 healthy people throughout Spain. The volunteers were given dietary questionnaires and underwent testing for cholesterol lipids and inflammatory markers for heart disease. The researchers determined that those that ate at least one kiwi fruit per week had significantly lower triglycerides and fibrinogen (a marker for inflammation), and higher HDL-cholesterol levels. Higher levels of HDL-cholesterol are associated with reduced incidence of atherosclerosis. The researchers concluded: “Consumption of at least one kiwi a week is associated with lower plasma concentrations of fibrinogen and improved plasma lipid profile in the context of a normal diet and regular exercise.”

Nature’s Colors Aid Focus and Accuracy


esearchers from the University of Melbourne determined that taking a quick break and looking at natural colors can significantly increase attention, focus and job performance. The researchers tested 150 university students that were randomly selected to view one of two city scenes consisting of a building with and without a flowering meadow green roof. The two views were experienced as micro-breaks, a 30-second period that can be taken every 40 minutes. Both groups were tested before and after viewing the scene for sustained attention spans, along with a performance test upon completing a task. Subjects that looked at the scene with the verdant roof had significantly longer attention spans and fewer errors in doing their tasks.

Mercury Use Linked to Dentists’ Tremors


study of thousands of dentists found that the absorption of mercury is associated with an increased risk of tremors. Published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, the study followed 13,906 dentists for a 24year period. The research tested the dentists’ urinary mercury levels to estimate their individual exposure. The incidence of tremors—the involuntary shaking of hands, arms and other parts of the body—among the dentists was then compared with their exposure to mercury. Higher exposures to mercury increased the risk of tremors among the entire population of dentists studied by 10 percent; the increased risk among the young dentists was 13 percent.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ of Cancer-Causing Chemicals


cientists at the Environmental Working Group published a list of the 12 chemicals that have been most prevalently linked to cancer in numerous research studies. The list encompasses bisphenol A, atrazine, organophosphate pesticides, dibutyl phthalate, lead, mercury, per- or polyfluorochemicals (PFC), phthalates, diethlyhexyl phthalate, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, triclosan and nonylphenol. The scientists suggest that consumers can reduce their exposure to each of these chemicals by avoiding plastics marked with “PC” (polycarbonates) or the recycling number 7 mark, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics in food packaging, PFC-treated wrappers on food and other products, lead paints, mercury-laden seafoods, phthalates-containing fragrances and plastics, foam products made before 2005, foreign antibacterial soaps, and detergents and paints with nonylphenol. Other proactive measures include drinking only filtered water when in agricultural areas and purchasing organic foods. The researchers contend, “Given that we live in a sea of chemicals, it makes sense to begin reducing exposures to ones we know are bad actors.”

Tai Chi Eases Effects of Chronic Disease


review of research from the University of British Columbia tested the effects of tai chi exercise upon people with four chronic diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, osteoarthritis and cancer. Dr. Yi-Wen Chen and his team analyzed 33 studies of more than 1,500 people that participated in tai chi. The research also tested the effects of the practice on general health, including walking speed, muscle strength, speed in standing up from a sitting position, quality of life, symptoms of depression and knee strength. The heart disease patients among the subjects showed a reduction in depression symptoms, and all shared a reduction of muscle stiffness and pain, increased speeds in both walking and standing from a sitting position and improved well-being. “Given the fact that many middle-aged and older persons have more than one chronic condition, it’s important to examine the benefits of treatment/exercise interventions across several co-existing conditions,” says Chen.

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day is April 30

Self-Care Strategies


elf-care is necessary when we feel burned out, lost or fake, when we’re going through the motions, disconnected or afraid to be alone, when we have low energy, when we’re too busy or feeling taken advantage of, when we have frequent illnesses or when we’re always helping but never asking for help. It’s challenging to give ourselves permission to make time for self-care. One big hurdle is the core belief that we do not deserve it. However, many self-care strategies can be incorporated into our lives and warrant positive feelings and progress. For example, counseling is extremely valuable to work through issues around low selfesteem, perfectionism and people pleasing. Spa days are amazing, as are workshops and support groups. Also, finding daily activities to achieve balance can help. It is a good idea for one to make lists of everything he/she enjoys, and then to give themselves permission and time to do them. Commit to an everyday practice. Schedule self-care in, including breaks to do “nothing”. Set alarm reminders to breathe deeply and cater to what the body needs, display positive thoughts, dance, say “no” more often, convert “should” into “could”, and diffuse essential oils. Even more importantly, enthusiastically and unapologetically discover and embrace one’s authentic self. Laurie Schmit, LMSW practices at In The Heart Counseling in Grand Rapids. For more information, call 616-426-9226 or visit See ad, page 47.

natural awakenings

April 2016


“Sick and Tired” of Feeling “Sick and Tired” Explore the benefits of

Young Living Essential Oils n Grown from NON-GMO seeds n Grown in organic soils n Cultivated with natural fertilizers n Watered by melting snows from

nearby mountains n Distilled by gentle, customdesigned methods to release highest potency properties n As seen on the “Today” show n Kosher certified n Classified G.R.A.S.

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

Ground Control

Down-to-Earth Climate Change Strategy The Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign report Soil & Carbon: Soil Solutions to Climate Problems maintains that it’s possible to take atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) that fuels climate change and put it back into the soil, where much of it was once a solid mineral. There’s too much carbon in the atmosphere and the oceans, but not enough stable carbon in the ground supporting healthy soils. Cultivated soils globally have lost 50 to 70 percent of their original carbon content through paving, converting grasslands to cropland and agricultural practices that rob soil of organic matter and its ability to store carbon, making it more susceptible to flooding and erosion. Healthy soils—fed through organic agriculture practices like polycultures, cover crops and compost—give soil microbes the ability to store more CO2 and withstand drought and floods better, because revitalized soil structure allows it to act like a sponge. The report concludes, “Rebuilding soil carbon is a zero-risk, low-cost proposition. It has universal application and we already know how to do it.” Download the report at

Bee Kind The Good Fight for Honeybees

For People AND Pets! Available through local, Independent Distributors

Income Opportunities Also Available! Ad sponsored by Marilyn York (Young Living Independent Member #489656)


West Michigan Edition

A U.S. federal appeals court has blocked the use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor over concerns about its effect on honeybees, which have been disappearing throughout the country in recent years. “Initial studies showed sulfoxaflor was highly toxic to honeybees, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was required to get further tests,” says Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder. “Given the precariousness of bee populations, leaving the EPA’s registration of sulfoxaflor in place risks more potential environmental harm than vacating it.” The product, sold in the U.S. as Transform or Closer, must be pulled from store shelves by October 18. Paul Towers, a spokesperson for the nonprofit advocacy group Pesticide Action Network, comments, “This is [an example of] the classic pesticide industry shell game. As more science underscores the harms of a pesticide, they shift to newer, less-studied products, and it takes regulators years to catch up.” On another front, an insect form of Alzheimer’s disease caused by aluminum contamination from pesticides is another suspected contributing cause of the welldocumented widespread bee colony collapse, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Honeybees studied had levels of aluminum in their bodies equivalent to those that could cause brain damage in humans.

Grading Grocers

Greenpeace Issues Report on Seafood As a link between the oceans and consumers, supermarkets play a pivotal role in the destruction of our oceans and have big opportunities to help protect them. Greenpeace evaluates major U.S. retailers for seafood sustainability in four key areas. Policies examine the systems in place that govern a company’s purchasing decisions and how it avoids supporting destructive practices. They encourage retailers to enforce strong standards for both the wild-caught and farm-raised seafood in their stores. They also evaluate retailers’ participation in coalitions and initiatives that promote seafood sustainability and ocean conservation such as supporting sustainable fishing, calling for protection of vital marine habitat and working to stop human rights abuses in the seafood industry. Finally, the need for labeling and transparency takes into account retailers’ levels of truthfulness about where and how they source their seafood and how clearly this is communicated to customers. The group’s Red List Inventory, a scientifically compiled list of 22 marine species that don’t belong in supermarkets, is at View the store ratings at

GMO-Free Germany

Five Dozen Countries Now Ban or Label GMO Crops New rules implemented by the European Union now allow individual member states to block farmers from using genetically modified organisms (GMO), even if the variety has been approved on an EU-wide basis. Scotland was the first to opt out and Germany is next, according to German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt. Controversy concerning the safety and/or necessity of GMOs persists, but countries like these have decided not to idly sit by while the effects posed by longterm consumption of GMO foods are revealed. This move makes Germany one of between 64 and 74 countries that have instituted some type of ban or mandatory labeling requirements.

Working Worms

They Can Safely Biodegrade Plastic Waste Mealworms can safely and effectively biodegrade certain types of plastic waste, according to groundbreaking new research from Stanford University and China’s Beihang University. In two newly released companion studies, researchers reveal that microorganisms living in the mealworm’s gut effectively break down Styrofoam and plastic into biodegraded fragments that look similar to tiny rabbit droppings. Plastic waste takes notoriously long to biodegrade; a single water bottle is estimated to take 450 years to break down in a landfill. Due to poor waste management, plastic waste often ends up in the environment, and research reveals that 90 percent of all seabirds and up to 25 percent of fish sold in markets have plastic waste in their stomachs. Worms that dined regularly on plastic appeared to be as healthy as their non-plastic-eating companions, and researchers believe that the waste they produce could be safely repurposed in agriculture. Further research is needed before the worms can be widely deployed. It’s possible that worms could also biodegrade polypropylene, used in textiles, bioplastics and microbeads. Source:


On Earth there is no heaven, but there are

Moment of Peace

Claire Crowley B.S., M.M., ERYT-500

pieces of it. ~Jules Renard

Reiki Meditation Guided Relaxation Acupressure

1324 Lake Dr. Suite 7 616-295-1861

natural awakenings

April 2016


globalbriefs Oily Oops Touted Dispersants Worsened Effects of Gulf Oil Spill A study conducted by the University of Georgia has found that the Corexit oil dispersant lauded by British Petroleum during the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill not only failed to perform as expected, but may have formed deposits on the seafloor in a chemically altered condition. The naturally occurring proliferation of a particular species of bacteria (marinobacters) that eats untreated oil was completely curtailed when the spill was replaced with dispersed oil. This could be a worst-case scenario, because marine life would continue to be exposed to it over many years, if not decades. According to the report Environmental and Health Impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Spill, “As compared with only oil, Corexit-laden oil is four times more lethal; dispersed oil is 10 times more deadly than the dispersant alone.” The Center for Biological Diversity reports, “One of the dispersants used at the BP spill, Corexit 9527A, contains the toxin 2-butoxyethanol, which may cause injury to red blood cells, kidneys or the liver with repeated or excessive exposure.” Many nations have since outlawed the use of dispersants in their territorial waters in response to these revelations. Read the report at


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Lower Austria Wholly Powered by Renewable Energy Lower Austria, the largest of the country’s nine states and home to 1.65 million people, now receives 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. The country’s total power output is about 70 percent renewable. The Danube River is so powerful that hydroelectric power is a natural choice. The mountainous geography means that vast amounts of energy can be generated from this high-capacity river rapidly flowing down through a series of steep slopes. The remainder of the state’s energy is sourced from wind, biomass and solar power. Source:

Free Park-ing National Parks Announce Fee-Free Days

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The National Park Service turns 100 years young in 2016 and is offering free admission on special days. Next up are April 16 to 24, National Park Week; August 25 to 28, its birthday celebration; September 24, National Public Lands Day; and November 11, Veterans Day. They invite everyone to come out and play.

Mindfulness to Meditation to Healing

coming on April 23 to share the journey, the knowledge and the practice of mindfulness to meditation. As a psychotherapist and Life Coach, I use the things I have learned through my practice to coach my clients not only in pain management but also to assist them in finding their answers to their life questions. For you see we each hold our answers deep within. Meditation is a way to access those answers. Mindfulness is the practice of nonjudgmental awareness. We place our attention on something by being fully present. Mindfulness is different from just “paying attention”, because it is done without judgment or comparison. That is also what biofeedback teaches.

By Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdell


y journey into the world of mindfulness led me to entering the secret place of peace. This journey began a number of years ago. It did not begin because of a spiritual desire. I entered through a back door. That back door was called debilitating pain. At the time of entry, I was suffering from severe, debilitating migraines. I went through the twists and turns of the medical maze, hoping to find an answer to my pain. Yet, there was an even deeper question in my mind, how could I, a successful psychotherapist, a mental health professional suffer from migraines? Not only did the terrible physical pain hold me hostage, but also the self-doubt and self-judgment about this condition plagued me. After many tests, many doctors and a surgery, I was sent to the prestigious Diamond Headache Clinic, in Chicago. There I was exposed to biofeedback. In paraphrasing Wikipedia, biofeedback is the process of gaining greater awareness of our body’s physiological functions using instruments that provide information on the activity of those systems within our body. The goal is to manipulate these systems within our body, with our mind. Some of the body processes that can be

controlled include brainwaves, muscle tone, skin conductance, heart rate and pain perception. Biofeedback equipment is initially used with a goal to improve health, performance, and the physiological changes that occur with changes to our thoughts, emotions and behavior. Eventually, these changes may be maintained without the use of equipment. After having one week of biofeedback training and receiving a new drug that had just been introduced on the market, I began to experience relief. Biofeedback is a medical form of mindfulness. I now call meditation, medicine for the mind. This opened another door for me. The door of finding calm in the midst of chaos through the practice of meditation. After including meditation in my daily routine for healing, it also became a path for my spiritual growth. Now, all these years later, migraines are only a vague memory. I no longer experience the headaches which had many times interrupted my childhood and early years with my children. I am a mindful, meditation teacher. I conduct classes and workshops on this subject. I have a workshop

The benefits of practicing mindfulness are that it: • Teaches us to not be so judgmental (with others and our self) • Centers and/or grounds us • Lessens anxiety • Aids us in preventing “Burn Out” during busy days Meditation is what Buddha called “A universal soul journey that begins asleep and ends awake.” The benefits of practicing meditation are that it: • Increases your connection to your intuitive nature • Opens and balances energy fields in our bodies • Calms and soothes • Promotes healing • Provide a spiritual path, connecting you more to Source If you are just entering the world of meditation, welcome. Consider learning more about the practices. Start with short one minute mindfulness moments such as, focusing on your breath for one minute and/or focusing on an object in your sight for one minute without judgment. If you are a seasoned meditator, consider setting an intention for meditation. Buddha encouraged his students to take a moral inventory each time they entered into meditation and to set an intention. No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. For more information, visit See ad, page 18.

natural awakenings

April 2016


The Real

Costs of Oil

The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline

THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016 / 4 - 5 pm This April, Crystal Lameman is coming to Grand Rapids to shed light on the devastating environmental and human impacts of tar sands mining in Alberta, Canada. Lameman, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, will speak about her Nation’s legal fight to defend their homelands against the over-development of thousands of fossil fuel extraction sites. Join us and learn about how our demand for oil is destroying the ecosystems that have sustained indigenous families for thousands of years and threatening our collective future.

Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1703 Robinson Road S.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan

Crystal Lameman

Followed by a reception Lecture is free and open to the public LIMITED SEATING RSVP to

Intergovernmental Affairs Spokeswoman for the indigenous Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Alberta, Canada

20th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series

Photography: ©Garth Lenz

Sustainability, ensuring the future of life on Earth, is an infinite game, the endless expression of generosity on behalf of all. ~Paul Hawken

Midwest Women’s Herbal Conferenceating Registration Now Open! 5th Anniversary Special Herbal Traditions Retreat with Rosemary Gladstar Oct 7, 8, & 9, 2016

nt le Eve Multip nts Discou e! bl Availa


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June 3, 4 & 5 2016

Isla Burgess

Celebr Our 5th ! ry Anniversa

Winona LaDuke

Susun Weed

Camp Helen Brachman Almond, WI

Join us for a gathering of the feminine. Internationally acclaimed herbalists and earthbased speakers, plant walks, topics including herbs for family health, wild edibles, fermentation, permaculture, herbal wisdom, the wise woman way, and much more!

actionalert Ballot Power

Community Initiatives Secure Local Eco-Rights

While America will choose its next president this November, voters in Oregon may also vote on the right to local community self-government, enabling protection of citizens’ fundamental rights and prohibiting corporate activities that violate them. The Oregonians for Community Rights group, formed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), submitted a constitutional amendment proposal to the secretary of state in January as a prelude to a larger signature-gathering effort to qualify the measure for the state ballot. Concurrently, the CELDF is supporting other community initiatives on various topics that may inspire other regions to also be active at the grassroots level. For example, Oregon’s Coos County Protection Council is currently finishing its signature gathering to place a Right to a Sustainable Energy Future ordinance on a special ballot in May. It would protect citizens’ rights to clean air and water and the production of sustainable, localized energy, instead of county approval of several potential non-green energy projects. Oregon’s Columbia County Sustainable Action for Green Energy is gathering signatures for a Right to a Sustainable Energy Future ordinance for its November ballot that would protect the county from fossil fuel projects like coal and oil trains and a proposed methanol plant, and close two natural gas power plants by 2025. Other state groups are seeking to have November ballots in Lane and Lincoln counties include bans on aerial pesticide spraying. A Lane County group has filed a local food system charter amendment that would ban GMO (genetically modified) crops locally. “Community rights are driven by the people in the community, not by any organization targeting potential activism,” says Kai Huschke, Northwest and Hawaii community organizer of the CELDF, which has supported 200-plus separate community initiatives. Particularly active states have included New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania. “Organizing typically comes about due to a localized threat. It means settling into a long-term battle to change the structure of government, having resolve and organizing beyond just a ballot vote.” Learn how to take local action at

A forest bird never wants a cage. ~Henrik Ibsen natural awakenings

April 2016


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Mother Nature’s Rhythms Restore the Soul by Susan Andra Lion


other Earth’s gentle hand is the secure cushion that warms us on long nights and sings comforting messages through endless days, protecting us even when things seem amiss. Take in her lovely presence. Embrace her consistent wisdom. Know that her dreams are ours and ours hers, connected by timely, comforting songs. It’s time to step away from the manicured lawns, concrete walks and well-planned gardens. An open door beckons us to the sparkling air out there to listen to the grasses breathe and murmur. Prairie grasses roll on and on through curvaceous hills and flat-edged fields, undeterred by human attempts to control their rippling arpeggios. We are asked to just listen. Be alone with the music of the grasses and be in harmony with the hum of the universe. Mother Earth’s apron is laden with flowers; simple, ever-present reminders that we are loved. She tempts us to take some time off, shed our shoes and settle into the lyrical realms of her strong body. The trees reach to the depths of the earth, deep into the mystery of lavender waters, and simultaneously throw their arms to the heavens, connecting all things living. The wind hears the prevailing songs that weave in and out of these lovely courtiers of the forest. In listening to their unerring stories, we let their siren songs sigh into our soul. It’s time to play in Earth’s garden and see her for who she is—today. Don’t hesitate. Go, play, linger, breathe and be one with the present moment. Adapted from Just Imagine Trees, a coloring book for all ages, by Susan Andra Lion. natural awakenings

April 2016


An Interspiritual Church

An Alternative to Traditional Religion Radically Inclusive


Sunday Worship: 10:30am Wednesday Discussion & Meditation: 6:00pm Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel 3493 Blue Star Highway Saugatuck, MI. 49453 616-836-1555

Celebrating Earth Day Locally and Globally by Meredith Montgomery


epresentatives from nearly every country on Earth gathered in Paris for the 2015 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the Paris Agreement a triumph for people, the planet and multilateralism. The signing ceremony is set for Earth Day, April 22, at UN headquarters, in New York City. For the first time, every country has pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience to related impacts and act internationally and domestically to address climate change. Other key elements aimed at achieving a state of climate neutrality—having a zero carbon footprint—before the century’s end include transparency, accountability and a plan for developed countries to support climate action in developing countries. “A big part of the Paris agreement focuses on reduced use of gas, coal and oil, but there is also a focus on preserving trees and expanding forests,” says Earth Day Network (EDN) spokesperson


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Timothy McHugh, referring to this year’s Earth Day theme of Trees for Earth. This year also kicks off a fouryear countdown to the environmental campaign’s 50th anniversary on Earth Day 2020. “By that mark, we hope to have planted 7.8 billion trees—approximately one tree for every person on the planet. Trees are vitally important because they soak up carbon and clean the air,” McHugh explains. In addition to countering climate change and pollution, EDN’s global tree planting seeks to support communities and local economies, protect biodiversity and inspire environmental stewardship. From global leaders convening at the UN to people participating in community events close to home, billions of the world’s citizens will celebrate our precious home planet this year. To join the worldwide observance, find an event online at or participate in one or more of the local events listed on next page.

5th Annual Muskegon Area Earth Week

April 16-24 2016 Muskegon County doesn’t just celebrate Earth Day. We celebrate Earth Week and then some! April 16-24 will be the 5th Annual Muskegon Area Earth Week+ festival. It will include events & activities all over the county; mostly free. Shoreline Cleanup - April 16th at 9 a.m. Location: Muskegon State Park Rain Barrel Workshop - Hosted by WMEAC, April 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Location: Weesies Bros. Garden Centers & Landscaping Location: 3365 Fruitvale Rd. Montague (East of US 31) Earth Fair Expo - April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosted by West Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative Location: 4900 Stanton Blvd. Montague (Montague High School)

DARK Act Defeated

How to Ride the Bus - April 23 from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. Location: 4900 Stanton Blvd. Montague (Montague High School)

Senate Vote Reflects Citizen Demands

Sustainable Champions Award Ceremony - Details not released yet, but event will take place. Details about these events can easily be found by searching for the Muskegon Area Earth Week on Facebook. See for additional events and information. For more information, call Joel at 231-288-0999 or Organization: Muskegon Area Sustainability Coalition

Lakeshore Earth Day Festival

Grand Haven Community Center, April 16 Location: 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417 Green Earth March (1-6 p.m.): Visit booths of environmental organizations and businesses, community and educational groups. There will be food and games. Weather permitting; some of the displays and games will be outside in Central Park. Earth Rock Concert (3-6 p.m.): Come listen and enjoy! Local bands, soloists, poets. Event is free; however, any funds that are raised will help support future Earth Day Events. Earth Day Fair (1-4 p.m.): Come join with us on anything that doesn’t use fossil fuels! Your feet, your bike, your roller blades, etc. Meet at the Franklin Street parking lot South of the Courthouse and proceed around the parade route to the Earth Day fair at the Grand Haven Community Center. For more information, please call Lexen at 616-502-5990. Organization: Lakeshore

Party for the Planet!

John Ball Zoo, May 7 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Location: 1300 W. Fulton NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 Join us and over 20 other conservation, green practicing, recycling organizations to celebrate Earth Day. You’ll learn what you can do to preserve our world’s most precious resources right here in West Michigan. The event is free with admission ($8 for adults and $6 for kids). For more information, call Krys Bylund at 616-336-4300 or email her at Organization: John Ball Zoo

The Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act, was defeated in the U.S. Senate in March, representing a major victory for consumers. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) spearheaded the largescale citizen opposition to a bill that would have outlawed all state-level labeling laws of genetically modified (GMO) food ingredients nationwide; it was intended to keep consumers in the dark about the genetically engineered content of their food. Scott Faber, EWG senior vice president for government affairs, says, “Consumers have made their voices heard to their elected representatives in the Senate and they said clearly, ‘We want the right to know more about our food.’ We remain hopeful that congressional leaders can craft a national mandatory compromise that works for consumers and the food industry.” The development is evidence that the EWG Just Label It campaign is on the right track, and the group plans to support the recently introduced Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity Act targeting a national mandatory standard for GMO labeling. Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, explains, “This bill finds a way to set a national standard and avoid a patchwork of state labeling laws, while still giving consumers the information they want and deserve about what’s in their food.” Sources: Natural News, Environmental Working Group

natural awakenings

April 2016



Edible Heirlooms Old-Fashioned Fruits and Veggies Return to the Table by Avery Mack


f the 7,500 varieties of apples in the world, 2,500 are grown in the U.S., but only 100 commercially. As of the 1990s, 70 percent were Red Delicious; more recently they’re being replaced with Gala, Granny Smith and Fuji types from taller, thinner trees that can be planted more compactly for easier harvesting, yet are more sensitive to disease and require trellis supports. Mass-produced fruits and vegetables have been modified over the years to make them look appealing and ship well, while sacrificing taste. Consumers in search of health-enhancing nutrients and robust flavor can find them by instead connecting with the past through food and flowers. “Heirloom seeds have remained intact and unexposed to commercial pesticides,” says Jere Gettle, owner of Baker Creek Seed Company, in Mansfield, Missouri. “They’re reliable—plants grown now will be the same next year; not so with hybrids.” This cleaner, tastier alternative to the status quo 20

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is typically packed with more good vitamins than good looks. Heirloom produce often also delivers a unique regional flavor, such as Vidalia onions or Hatch chile peppers.

Exemplary Fruits

Fine restaurants like to feature Yellow Wonder wild strawberries because they taste like cream. The fragrant Baron von Solemacher strawberry, an antique German Alpine variety, is small and sweet, red and full of flavor; it’s been around since the Stone Age. For pies and preserves, pair them with Victorian rhubarb, which dates back to 1856. Eat only the rhubarb stalks; the leaves contain poisonous oxalic acid. Aunt Molly’s ground cherry (husk tomato) hails from Poland. “It’s sweet, with a hint of tart, like pineapple-apricot,” says Gettle. “The Amish and Germans use them in pies. Their high pectin content makes them good for preserves. Heirlooms send people in search of old recipes and they end up creating their own variations. It’s food as history.”

Valuable Vegetables

Trending this year are purple veggies like the brilliantly colored Pusa Jamuni radish. Pair it with bright pink Pusa Gulabi radishes, high in carotenoids and anthocyanins, atop a stunning salad with Amsterdam prickly-seeded spinach’s arrow-shaped leaves, a variety once grown by Thomas Jefferson. Add a fennellike flavor with Pink Plume celery. Brighten salsas using the Buena Mulata hot pepper, a deep violet that ripens to a sweet red. Serve with pink pleated Mushroom Basket tomatoes or Lucid Gems, with their black/orange peel and striking yellow/orange flesh. Purple tomatillos are sweeter than green varieties and can be eaten right off the plant. “Purple sweet potatoes are found in Hawaii, but aren’t common on the mainland,” explains Gettle. “Molokai Purple sweet potatoes keep their deep purple color even when cooked, and are much higher in antioxidants than the orange variety.” To be novel, serve the Albino beet. Baker Creek’s customers use it raw in salads, roasted or fried and don’t let the greens go to waste. Monique Prince, a clinical social worker in Chester, New Hampshire, grows heirloom organic radishes, greens, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and pumpkins in eight raised beds. She received Ganisisikuk pole beans (seventh-generation seeds) and Abnaki cranberry runner beans from a Native American client. Rather than eat the bounty, she’s accumulating the seeds to save the varieties.


Thai basil loves summer heat. Make batches of pesto, then freeze it in ice cube trays for later. Christina Major, a nutritionist in Trevorton, Pennsylvania, grows heirloom herbs that include borage, with its edible flowers, and marshmallow, which is a decongestant when added to tea. Her 300-squarefoot garden supplies summer veggies such as scarlet runner beans, more than 50 kinds of perennial herbs for year-round use and heirloom raspberries, gooseberries and blackberries “that are eaten as fast as they’re picked,” she says. Heirloom enthusiasts like to exchange seeds to try new varieties. “From December to March, traders swap seeds and plot their gardens,” says Major. “I got 20 kinds of tomatoes by connecting with other traders on Facebook.”

Heirlooms extend to trees and bushes. The drought-resistant Fourwing Saltbush has a deep root system and provides cover for songbirds in the West.

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Of 400,000 flowering plants in the world, 20 percent are in danger of extinction. “Instead of marigolds and petunias, consider old-fashioned annuals. Trying new things is fun,” says Gettle. Four O’clocks, familiar to many Midwesterners, come in several colors and are easily cultivated from their abundant seeds. The succulent Ice plant, with its white-pink flowers, looks like it was dipped in sugar; its edible leaves taste like spinach. Black Swan’s burgundy poppies have a frill-like edge, while Mother of Pearl poppies offer subtle watercolors. “Save seeds, share with neighbors and pass them on to the kids,” advises Gettle. “They’re evidence of our culture.”

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April 2016


Homegrown Heirloom Cookery Add the stock and cooked beans, return heat to high and bring to a boil.   Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.    Serve with toasted slices of bread.   Source: Adapted from Mediterranean Vegetables by Clifford Wright.

Salsa Morada Yields: Five cups (five 8-oz jars)

Vegan Tuscan Kale Soup Yields: 4 servings   1 /3 cup extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup finely chopped celery ½ cup finely chopped onion ½ cup finely chopped carrot ¼ cup finely chopped fresh purple basil leaf 1 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaf 1 lb waxy boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces 1 lb lacinato kale, washed and cut into ¼-inch-wide strips ½ cup dry cannellini beans, cooked until tender 2 qt vegetable stock Sea salt to taste   Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat and sauté the celery, onion, carrot and basil until they’re almost soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.    Add tomatoes and continue cooking until their liquid has almost cooked out, about 20 minutes more.    Add in the thyme and boiling potatoes, sautéing them for another 5 minutes.   Add kale and reduce heat to low, cooking until wilted, about 10 minutes.  

1½ lb sweet green peppers, seeded and chopped 8 oz Violet Buena Mulata hot peppers, seeded and chopped 1 cup organic sugar 1½ Tbsp pickling salt 2 Tbsp powdered fair trade unsweetened chocolate 1½ cup vinegar (preferred variety) 2 tsp ground coriander 1 Tbsp ground hot chile pepper (optional) Place the green pepper, Buena Mulata, sugar, salt, chocolate, vinegar and coriander in a heavy preserving pan. Cover and boil gently for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 2 to 3 hours or until the peppers are completely soft. Purée to a smooth creamy consistency using a blender. Reheat in a clean preserving pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes, and then adjust the heat factor with additional pepper to taste. Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Source: Adapted from a recipe courtesy of William Woys Weaver.

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible. 22

West Michigan Edition

Vegan Eggplant, Chickpea and Spinach Curry Yields: 4 to 6 servings ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, in all; 2 Tbsp reserved 1½ lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 Tbsp fresh ginger paste 2 hot green chiles, deseeded and minced 2 tsp whole cumin seed ¼ tsp asafoetida resin 2 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped 1 Tbsp coriander seed, ground 1 tsp paprika ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ¼ tsp cayenne pepper 1 tsp turmeric ½ cup filtered water 2 cup cooked chickpeas 1 lb fresh spinach, coarsely chopped 2 tsp sea salt ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaf 1 tsp garam masala Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy pan. Add in the eggplant cubes and sauté until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the ginger, chiles and cumin, and fry until the cumin seeds have turned brown.  Add the asafoetida and stir fry for another 15 seconds.  Add in the tomatoes, coriander, paprika, black pepper, cayenne and turmeric. 

Reduce heat to medium and cook until the oil separates from the tomato sauce, about 10 minutes. Add water and bring the sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and add in the cooked eggplant cubes, chickpeas, chopped spinach and salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Before serving remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and garam masala. Serve warm with brown rice or naan flatbread. Source: Adapted from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.

natural awakenings

April 2016


EVERYDAY SUSTAINABILITY Practical Ways We Can Help Out the Planet by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko


or many Americans, living more sustainably has become a natural part of their daily routine as they consistently recycle, eat healthy and use energy more efficiently. It’s just what they normally do every day. Every one of them had to start somewhere, growing their efforts over time to the point that nearly every activity yields better results for themselves, their family, their community and the planet. It might begin with the way we eat and eventually expand to encompass the way we work.

New American Way

“The sustainability movement is large and growing in the U.S.,” says Todd Larsen, with Green America, a grassroots nonprofit organization harnessing economic forces to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. “Half a million people turned out in New York City to march for action on climate change. People also are working in their local communi24

West Michigan Edition

ties to oppose fracking and pollution, and to support green building and clean energy. Many businesses now include sustainability as a core business practice, including the 3,000 certified members of Green America’s Green Business Network.” This month, Natural Awakenings profiles the experiences of representative individuals from around the country that are helping to both make the world more sustainable and their own lives richer and more meaningful. From growing and cooking family food and line-drying laundry to powering their business with renewable energy, their approaches are as varied as the places they call home.

First Steps

“Many people start with something small at home, particularly if they’re concerned about the impacts on their family’s health,” says Larsen. “More Americans are approaching sustainability first through food. It’s relatively

easy to change spending habits to incorporate more organic, fair trade and non-GMO [genetically modified] foods, and with the growth of farmers’ markets nationwide, people are able to buy local more easily.” A focus on food quality is how Wendy Brown and her husband and five children launched their eco-journey just outside of Portland, Maine. “We started thinking about where our food came from, how it was grown and raised and what we could do to ensure that it was better,” says Brown. “What we don’t grow or forage ourselves, we try to purchase from local farmers.” Living more simply during the past decade has helped the family cut debt and become more financially stable. “Our entry point to sustainable living was to grow tomatoes on the steps of an apartment that Kelly and I once called home years ago,” echoes Erik Knutzen, who, with his wife Kelly Coyne, have transformed their 960-square-foot Los Angeles bungalow into an oasis where they grow food, keep chickens and bees, brew, bake and house their bikes. Gabriele Marewski’s journey also started with what she ate. “I became a vegetarian at 14, after reading Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé,” says Marewski, who in 1999 turned an avocado orchard in Homestead, Florida, into Paradise Farms. “Forty-seven years later, I’m still a strict vegetarian. I believe it’s the single most important statement we can make about saving the planet.” Marewski’s five-acre farm showcases certified organic micro greens, edible flowers, oyster mushrooms and a variety of tropical fruits marketed to Miami-area chefs. Her farm also offers Dinner in Paradise farm-to-table experiences to raise funds for local nonprofits providing food for underprivileged city residents, and bed-andbreakfast lodging. Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology offers a free online course, Sustainability in Everyday Life, based on five themes: energy, climate change, food, chemicals and globalization. “People can make a difference by making responsible choices in their everyday life,” says Anna Nyström Claesson, one of the three original teachers.

Consume Less

“Every step toward sustainability is important and in the right direction,” explains Gina Miresse, with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), which will again host the world’s largest energy fair in June in Custer, Wisconsin. “It’s easy to start at home by adopting one new practice and sticking with it until it becomes a habit; then add a second practice and so on. This keeps people from getting overwhelmed.” We might, for example, switch to non-toxic home cleaning products when current products are used up. “There’s no need to throw everything in the trash and replace it all immediately—that would partially defeat the purpose of sustainability,” says Miresse. Green America, which suggests green alternatives to many products in online publications at GreenAmerica. org, recommends a congruent strategy. “We see people first change the way they purchase their food, move to reduce their purchases overall and green those they make, and then make their home more energy-efficient,” remarks Larsen. “Next, they consider walking and biking more.” Pamela Dixon explains, “On a day-to-day basis, it’s really about the products we use, like transferring to eco-friendly cleaners and yard maintenance, recycling electronic devices, paying bills electronically and receiving statements via email.” She and her husband, David Anderson, own Dave’s BrewFarm, in rural Wilson, Wisconsin, where they grow herbs, hops, raspberries and apples on 35 acres. “A 20-kilowatt wind generator supplies our electricity, and we use geothermal for heating and cooling,” adds Dixon. Due to career opportunities involving teaching principles of sustainability, the Wisconsin couple is in the process of selling the BrewFarm to move to La Crosse. “At our new home, we’re replacing the windows and appliances with more energy-efficient ones. We also chose our neighborhood so we can walk or bike to local grocery co-ops. We prefer to repair things when they break rather than buying something new, recycle everything the city will accept, compost food scraps and buy clothes at secondhand stores.”

When the MREA Energy Fair began 27 years ago, the majority of attendees were interested in learning about first steps, such as recycling, relates Miresse. Today, sustainability basics ranging from fuel savings to water conservation are familiar, and they’re focused on revitalizing local economies. “Folks are now considering more ambitious practices such as sourcing food directly from local farmers, producing their own solar energy and incorporating energy storage, driving an electric vehicle or switching to more socially responsible investing.” The fair’s 250 workshops provide tools to help in taking their next steps on the journey to sustainability. Knutzen and Coyne’s passion has evolved from growing food into a larger DIY mode. “Cooking from scratch is something I prefer to do,” comments Knutzen. “I even grind my own flour.” Library books provide his primary source of inspiration. The Brown family likely echoes the thoughts of many American families. “We have many dreams, but the stark reality is that we live in a world that requires money,” says Wendy Brown. An electric car or solar electric system, for example, is a large investment. “The biggest barriers were mental blocks because we ‘gave up’ previous lifestyle norms,” she says. “Most people we know have a clothes dryer and can’t imagine living without one. Line-drying is just part of the bigger issue of time management for us, because living sustainably and doing things by hand takes longer.”

Each Day Counts

“The biggest and most positive impact I have comes from my general nonwaste philosophy,” advises Brown. “I try to reuse something rather than throwing it away. I’ve made underwear out of old camisoles and pajama pants from old flannel sheets. I reuse elastic from worn-out clothing. My travel beverage cup is a sauce jar with a reusable canning lid drilled with a hole for a reusable straw. Such examples show how we live every day.” Marewski’s love of travel doesn’t interfere with her sustainability quest. “When I travel, I like to walk or bicycle across countries,” she says. “It gives me a closer connection to the land and spontaneous contact with interesting

Next Steps to Sustainability Green America Midwest Renewable Energy Association Browsing Nature’s Aisles by Eric and Wendy Brown ECOpreneuring by Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs by Wendy Brown The Urban Homestead and Making It by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

people. I’m building a tiny home on wheels that’ll be completely self-sufficient, with solar, composting toilet and water catchment to reduce my footprint even further.” “Last August, I started a tenuretrack position in the school of business at Viterbo University,” says Dixon, who emphasizes how students can pursue sustainability in business and life. “I teach systems thinking, complex systems change and globally responsible leadership, all of which have a sustainability component.” She’s also faculty advisor to Enactus, a student organization focused on social entrepreneurship and making a positive impact on the community. “The best part of how we live is when my daughters make everyday eco-minded choices without even realizing it,” observes Brown. “I can see how remarkable it is, because I have the perspective of having lived differently. But for them, it’s just the way things are done. I think in that way, I’ve succeeded.” Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko’s ecojourney is captured in their books, ECOpreneuring, Farmstead Chef, Homemade for Sale, Rural Renaissance and Soil Sisters. Every day, they eat from their organic gardens surrounding their farm powered by the wind and sun.

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ne of the most famous photographs of all time was taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of NASA’s final lunar mission, Apollo 17. As the spacecraft sped toward the moon, the astronauts captured a breathtaking image of Earth from 28,000 miles away. Antarctica, southern Africa, and part of the Arabian Peninsula, are clearly visible in the photo. Yet the most prominent feature is not land; it is the striking cobalt-blue ocean delicately overlaid with swirling white clouds. The iconic photo, which came to be known as Blue Marble, was the first image of the whole, fully illuminated Earth. True to its name it clearly shows that water covers most of the planet; about 71 percent of its surface, according to scientists. Yet even with this abundance of “blue,” only a fraction of the water is suitable for humans and other living things. That’s because close to 98 percent of Earth’s surface water is contained in the vast oceans and seas. “This blue planet we live on is mostly salt water,” says Dr. Alan D. Steinman, who is director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University in Muskegon, Michigan. Steinman explains that even though the rest of Earth’s water is freshwater, most of that is inaccessible; it is either frozen in massive ice caps and glaciers, or in groundwater that is buried too

deep to be reached. “So that leaves a very thin slice of freshwater in readily accessible lakes, streams, and shallow groundwater,” he says. “And 20 percent of that very thin slice is in our backyard.” Those of us in West Michigan know how fortunate we are to have Lake Michigan in our “backyard”, and people who live near the other Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Ontario and Erie) undoubtedly feel the same way.

Freshwater Seas

The Great Lakes began to form about 14,000 years ago when the climate warmed enough to melt the glacial continental ice that covered much of North America. Moving at a snail’s pace of a few centimeters per day, the heavy, thick glaciers gouged and carved out the land as they retreated toward the north, and their meltwater filled the newly created basins. Over the following years the Great Lakes shorelines evolved and changed. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the lakes attained their current size and water levels somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 years ago. The vast, interconnected Great Lakes, which are often called North America’s freshwater seas, cover more than 94,000 square miles and hold an inconceivable amount of water: 6.5

quadrillion gallons. Collectively, these lakes make up the largest freshwater system on Earth, containing one-fifth of the world’s surface freshwater. With severe water shortages throughout the world, including parts of the United States, scientists stress how vital it is to understand and appreciate this invaluable source of freshwater. “The importance of this resource, both in terms of water quality and quantity, cannot be overstated,” says Steinman, “especially with increasing concerns over the status of freshwater resources in this nation and around the world.” In the United States, the largest amount of water withdrawn from the Great Lakes is used to generate thermoelectric power. Other major contributors to the withdrawal of Great Lakes water include domestic and public water supplies, industrial use (industrial processing, washing, cooling, and other purposes), agricultural irrigation, livestock, and mining. Michigan follows the national pattern for water withdrawals; for instance, thermoelectric power generation is the largest user of Great Lakes water in Michigan, followed by the public water supply, industrial use, irrigation, and livestock.

Essential Protection

Even though the Great Lakes have existed for thousands of years, that doesn’t mean they will last forever; they are threatened in a number of ways. Steinman and his colleagues recently completed a study that involved mapping threats to the Great Lakes. He says they identified invasive species, nonpoint source pollution (and associated harmful algal blooms), loss of habitat, coastal development, water withdrawal,

toxic chemicals, fishing pressure, and climate change as the biggest threats. The last threat is among the most serious, as Steinman explains: “Climate change has the ability to totally change the Great Lakes.” Amid rising water shortages in the American Southwest, many who live in Great Lakes states wonder if droughtstricken regions could pressure legislators to let them tap into Great Lakes water. Diverting this water to other states would be virtually impossible, however, because of an agreement known as the Great Lakes Compact. Government representatives from eight Great Lakes states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), and two Canadian provinces (Ontario and Quebec), signed the agreement on December 8, 2008. It specifies that these states and provinces will collectively manage the water in the Great Lakes watershed, and bans Great Lakes water from being piped out or “diverted.” The compact’s terms cannot be changed without the approval of all compact members. Steinman says that even though the Great Lakes Compact isn’t perfect, it is a “very strong piece of legislation.” He adds: “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has pumped almost $1.5 billion into restoration activities in the Great Lakes. Those are two very significant pieces of legislation that are making a difference.” Future plans for the restoration initiative, according to Steinman, call for it to begin funding projects that address forecasting future threats and attempting to prevent them from coming to fruition, rather than just

Fast Facts About the Great Lakes • The total area of the Great Lakes is larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire combined. • Eight states and two Canadian provinces touch the Great Lakes, and more than 40 million people live within their boundaries. • The deepest spot in the Great Lakes, 1,333 feet, is in Lake Superior. • Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake whose borders are wholly within the United States. • If all the Great Lakes water were spread evenly over the continent United States, it would submerge the country at a depth of more than nine feet. reversing damages done in the past. “That will be a significant change, and it shows evolution and maturity in the program.” Asked to share his overall thoughts about Great Lakes protection, Steinman says: “I believe we have a moral obligation to both ourselves and future generations to protect, preserve, and restore them.” Peggy J. Parks is a freelance writer and author from Muskegon, Michigan.

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Walk as One at 1 World Labyrinth Day by Amanda Grasmeyer


n Saturday, May 7, thousands of people around the world will “Walk as One at 1”. They’ll join together at 1 p.m. in various locations to create a wave of peaceful energy that will wash across the time zones as the eighth annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD) takes place. Labyrinths, a new word or practice for many, are anything but new. Dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, the earliest examples of labyrinths can be found in precise symbols found carved on rocks and painted or scratched on pottery. That same design was found on coins from Crete from the first few centuries B.C. symbolizing the labyrinth at Knossos in which the Minotaur was imprisoned. Popular throughout the Roman Empire as a protective and decorative symbol, they were also constructed outdoors at this time as a playground for children and as a test of skill for soldiers on horseback. Today, with a dictionary definition of, “a place that has many confusing paths or passages,” or, “something that is extremely complicated or difficult to understand,” the denotation of the word differs greatly from the connotation our world is gradually coming to understand. The Labyrinth Society, founded in 1998 to support people worldwide who create, maintain and use labyrinths, explains, “A labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation.” They add, “Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.” Veriditas, a nonprofit organization in California dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience gives further insight into utilizing labyrinths for personal and community transformation. They share, “The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.” Veriditas further explains, “Generally, there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning when you follow the return path back out of the labyrinth. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.” Spirit Space, an all-inclusive, inter-spirituality, interfaith, non-denominational spiritual community in Saugatuck, Michi-


West Michigan Edition

gan, reiterates, “A labyrinth presents a single pathway in and that becomes the only way out. The journey is one of faith. Walking a labyrinth is to dance your way into your own heart. For centuries labyrinths have provided the space for meditation, prayer and selfreflection.” With this practice, a labyrinth can be used in any way and is often described as a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit or a mirror for the soul. Labyrinth walkers are generally encouraged to sit quietly and reflect before walking a labyrinth. They are encouraged to slow down and take time out of from their busy lives to find strength and take the next step. Therefore, many people seek labyrinths in times of stress, grief or loss. World Labyrinth Day, however, is an invitation to all people, at any age and in any phase of life to cultivate peace, to join forces with people all around the world and to raise the

awareness of this meditative practice and the many benefits of it. Here are a few ways The Labyrinth Society suggests celebrating World Labyrinth Day: 1. Walk as One at 1 (or as time permits). 2. Trace or draw a finger labyrinth on paper or using a smartphone or tablet app. 3. Facilitate or join a group walk. 4. Host or join a lecture, workshop, art exhibition or tour. 5. Build a temporary or permanent labyrinth. 6. Share and view WLD stories, photos, videos on Social Media using the hashtag #LabyrinthDay 7. Read labyrinth books, watch movies or sing songs 8. Create a labyrinth art project, exhibition or drawing class. There are numerous labyrinths located around West Michigan including, but not limited to, those at the following locations: 1. Spirit Space, in Saugatuck.

2. Cherry Point Farm and Market, in Shelby 3. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Muskegon 4. Trinity United Methodist Church, in Grand Rapids 5. Orchard Hill Church in Grand Rapids 6. The People’s Church, of Kalamazoo 7. Transformations Spirituality Center, in Kalamazoo 8. White Lotus Retreat Center, in South Haven 9. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, in Wyoming As World Labyrinth Day approaches and people make their plans to join in on the creation of a peaceful wave across the globe, the old adage about labyrinths will continue to ring true; “The point of a maze is to find its center. The point of a labyrinth is to find your center.” Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at Mandi@

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Farm-to-Hospital On-Site Farms Grow Organics for Patients by Judith Fertig

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ost people would agree with the results of a 2011 study by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: Typical hospital food is full of the dietary fat, sodium, calories, cholesterol and sugar that contribute to the medical problems that land many in the hospital in the first place. The study’s dietitians further found that some hospitals house up to five fast-food outlets. Because studies from institutions such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the University of Maryland show that a poor diet contributes to a host of illnesses and longer recovery time after surgery—all of which increase healthcare costs—it befits hospitals to embrace healthier eating. Now, a dozen pioneering hospitals have their own on-site farms and others are partnering with local farms, embracing new ways to help us eat healthier, especially those that most need to heal. “In a paradigm shift, hospitals are realizing the value of producing fresh, local, organic food for their patients,” says Mark Smallwood, executive direc-

tor of the nonprofit Rodale Institute, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. It recently partnered with St. Luke’s University Hospital, in nearby Bethlehem, to help support operations of the hospital’s 10-acre organic farm that yields 30 varieties of vegetables and fruits served in hospital meals to support patient recovery. New mothers are sent home with baskets of fresh produce to help instill healthy eating habits. “Organic fruits and vegetables offer many advantages over conventionally grown foods,” says Dr. Bonnie Coyle, director of community health for St. Luke’s University Health Network. She cites the higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants as contributing to a reduced incidence of heart disease and some cancers and a lowered risk for other common conditions such as allergies, and hyperactivity in children. Hospital farms also benefit the environment and facilitate other healing ways. Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Ann Arbor’s hospital farm, created in 2010 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, is a winwin-win solution. “We can model the

connection between food and health to our patients, visitors, staff and community,” says hospital spokesperson Laura Blodgett. Their Health Care Without Harm pledge commits the hospital to providing local, nutritious and sustainable food. The farm repurposed some of the hospital’s 340-acre campus, eliminating considerable lawn mowing and chemicals. Today, its organic produce also supplies an on-site farmers’ market. Most recently, collaboration with a rehab hospital treating traumatic brain injuries resulted in a solar-heated greenhouse to continually produce organic food using raised beds and a Ferris-wheel-style planting system that enables patients to experience gardening as agritherapy. “Patients love the hands-on healing of tending the garden,” says Blodgett. Another innovative hospital is Watertown Regional Medical Center, in rural Wisconsin. Its farm, located behind

the 90-bed hospital, raises 60 pesticidefree crops a year, including vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers. “We believe that food is medicine,” says Executive Chef Justin Johnson. He also serves his healthier fare to the public via special dinners in the hospital’s café, celebrating spring and fall harvests. In Arcata, California, Mad River Community Hospital’s designated farmer, Isaiah Webb, tills six plots and two greenhouses to supply organic carrots, beets, tomatoes, basil, potatoes, sweet corn, artichokes, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, blueberries, apples and strawberries to patients and guests. An inhouse work/share program encourages hospital employees to volunteer gardening time for a share of the produce. A three-way partnership of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Fletcher Allen Health Care and Central Vermont Medical Center, all in the Burlington area, combines community supported agriculture (CSA) and physi-

cians’ prescriptions for healthier eating. Diane Imrie, director of nutrition services at Fletcher Allen, comments, “If we want to have a ‘well’ community, they have to be well fed.” Paid student farmers from 15 to 21 years old grow and harvest eight acres of fruits and vegetables for selected doctor-recommended patients in the 12-week-growing season program. Patients gain an appreciation of healthy eating that remains with them, thus decreasing their need for acute medical care. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farm-to-institution programs like these both provide healthy food to hospital patients and help develop sustainable regional food systems. We all benefit from such healing ripples in the healthcare pond. Judith Fertig is the author of awardwinning cookbooks, including The Gardener and the Grill; she blogs at from Overland Park, KS.

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Symptoms range from extreme fatigue and weight gain to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breasts and skin and hair problems. This lack of essential iodine can also cause infertility, joint pain, heart disease and stroke. Low iodine levels also have been associated with breast and thyroid cancers; and in children, intellectual disability, deafness, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impaired growth, according to studies by Boston University and the French National Academy of Medicine.

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aby boomers inspired in their youth by Earth Day are now supporting a new generation’s enthusiasm for sustainability through educational and employment opportunities. A 2015 Nature Conservancy survey of 602 teens from 13 to 18 years old revealed that roughly 76 percent strongly believe that issues like climate change can be solved if action is taken now; they also hold that safeguarding important lands and waters should be a priority, regardless of ancillary benefits or the economy. This represents an increase in awareness since a 2010 Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication survey of 517 youths 13 to 17 years old showed that just 54 percent believed global warming was even happening. Launched as Teens for Safe Cosmetics in 2005 and renamed Teens Turning Green two years later, today’s expanded Turning Green (TG) nonprofit of Marin County, California, also informs and inspires college and graduate students to live and advocate for an eco-lifestyle (

TG’s first 30-day Project Green Challenge (PGC) in 2011 involved 2,600 students nationwide and internationally; last fall’s annual edition drew 4,000 students. “We’ve seen tremendous increases in sustainability offices and curriculums at universities nationwide,” notes Judi Shils, founder and executive director. “They have set an intention.” Reilly Reynolds, a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University, hopes to take up urban farming and eventually own a farm-to-table organic restaurant. The PGC finalist and TG student advisory board member says, “I strive to lead an environmentally friendly and socially responsible life, but there is always room for improvement.” Another PGC 2015 finalist, Matt Gal, a senior at the University of Arkansas, also aspires to be an organic farmer. He wants “to grow and give away as much fresh and organic food as possible to people who need it most.” The TG site features eco-friendly products, plus green advice geared for college stu-

dents. It also operates a Conscience College Road Tour, leadership program, and organic non-GMO school lunch programs in Marin County and Sausalito schools via its Conscious Kitchen and Eco Top Chef programs. Milwaukee’s 13th annual Sustainability Summit and Exposition (, from April 13 to 15, will admit local students for free. “We’ll address trends and potential careers in energy engineering, environmental health and water quality technology, sustainability and renewable energy,” says Summit Chair George Stone, a Milwaukee Area Technical College natural sciences instructor. Bradley Blaeser, founder and coowner of The Green Team of Wisconsin, Inc., which provides eco-friendly landscaping and gardening services, helped start the Sustainable Enterprise Association of Milwaukee. As a social worker at the nonprofit Neighborhood House of Milwaukee in the late 90s, he helped young people in schools and community centers learn how to build their own aquaponics system, plus other gardening skills. “We hit the marks as far as science guidelines,” he recalls. “Kids would see the entire seed-to-harvest cycle through after-school and summer camps. Teachers also embraced nature a little more and saw how they could infuse it in curriculums.” He notes that two young men that subsequently graduated from local colleges currently work for Neighborhood House and Growing Power. More recently, he’s worked with two local organizations, Next Door Foundation and Operation Dream, to teach youngsters agricultural skills and find recruits for related job training internships and employment. Green Team landscape technician Darius Smith, 25, of Milwaukee, will become a crew leader this spring. “You get a good feeling installing plants,” he says. “We’re a team, working in sync.” For the 13th year, the Agricultural Fair Association of New Jersey (njagfairs. com) has selected a youth ambassador—Rebecca Carmeli-Peslak, 16, of Millstone Township, near Princeton—to visit 2016 fairs to promote agri-tourism and encourage youngsters to pursue agricultural careers.

“It’s important for kids to know where food comes from,” says CarmeliPeslak, who is also in her second year as a local 4-H Club health and fitness ambassador, visiting Monmouth County libraries to speak on healthy eating and exercise. She’s training selected peers to speak in other counties; the club’s latest Look to You award recognizes her mentoring prowess. She says, “I want to be a large animal vet and own a farm.” “Young people are becoming well informed about environmental issues by traditional and social media,” observes Shils. “There’s exponential growth in their taking a stand and becoming more active.” Randy Kambic is an Estero, FL, freelance editor and writer who regularly contributes to Natural Awakenings.

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Wild Horse Rescue


Horse Rescue

Caring Homes Sought for Aging and Abandoned Horses by Sandra Murphy


n estimated 9 million horses in the U.S. are used for racing, show, informal competitions, breeding, recreation, work and other activities. Many need a new home when they start to slow down physically or when an owner’s finances become tight. Horses need space to run, require hoof care and when injured or ill, may require costly procedures.

Domestic Horse Rescue

“We foster 50 horses right now,” says Jennifer Taylor Williams, Ph.D., president of the Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, in College Station, Texas, which has placed about 800 horses in the last decade. “We could have 10 times that many if we had more foster homes and space. There’s often a waiting list. We help law enforcement, animal control, and shelters with horses found through neglect or abuse cases.” Starved and too weak to stand, Tumbleweed was an emergency case when she arrived at the Humane Society of Missouri’s Longmeadow Rescue Ranch clinic on a sled. Having since regained her health, including gaining 200 34

West Michigan Edition

pounds to reach the appropriate weight for her age and size, she illustrates the benefits of the facility’s status as one of the country’s leaders in providing equine rescue and rehabilitation. The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racers (CANTER USA) serves as an online matchmaker for racing horses. Volunteers take photos at tracks, obtain the horse’s bio from the owner or trainer and post them to attract potential new owners. Along with the healthy horses, the 3,000 ill or injured horses cared for by the alliance have been retrained, rehabbed and re-homed to participate in polo, show jumping, cart pulling and rodeos. “Race horses are intelligent, used to exercise and retire as early as 2 years old, so we find them a second career,” says Nancy Koch, executive director of CANTER USA. The nonprofit’s 13 U.S. affiliates work with 20 racetracks across the country. “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of volunteers. No one here receives a salary.” Collectively, they have placed more than 23,000 horses nationally since 1997.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management calculates the appropriate management level (AML) for the number of wild horses. Excess numbers are captured and offered for adoption or sale. In December 2015, 47,000 horses were waiting in holding facilities at an annual cost of $49 million. The AML projects removal of an additional 31,000 horses from Western lands. As an example, although local wild species predate the park’s existence, horses in Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park are labeled “trespass livestock”, and subject to removal. Return to Freedom, a nonprofit wild horse rescue in Lompoc, California, recognizes the tightly bonded nature of these herd groups. Its American Wild Horse Sanctuary is the first to focus on entire family bands, providing a safe haven for about 200 horses and burros. The Wild Horse Rescue Center, in Mims, Florida, rescues, rehabilitates and finds homes for mustangs and burros, usually housing 30 horses at a time. With many needing medical care upon arrival, expenditures average $3,000 their first year and $1,700 annually once they’re healthy. Although the goal is adoption, equine fans also can sponsor a horse by donating $5 a day or purchasing a painting done by a horse. The center also provides public educational forums. Sponsored by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), April 26 is Help a Horse Day, a nationwide grant competition. Last year, some 100 U.S. equine rescue groups held events to recruit volunteers, gather donated supplies and find homes for adoptable horses ( ASPCA-HelpAHorseDay).

Call to Action

Although a U.S. law now bans slaughterhouses for domestic horses, each year 120,000 are sold at auction for as little as $1 each and transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter, their meat destined for human consumption in Europe and Japan or for carnivores at zoos. Horses can legally be confined to a trailer for up to 24 hours without food or water during shipment. Two-thirds of all horse rescue operations are either at or approaching capacity. Almost 40 percent turn

Horses Count Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 844,531 Showing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,718,954 Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,906,923 Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,752,439 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,222,847 Note: “Other” activities include farm and ranch work, rodeos, carriage tours, polo, police work and informal competitions. Source: The Equestrian Channel; U.S. stats away animals because of lack of space or money. Many horses are ill, underweight or injured, which raises the cost of care. “We need foster homes and volunteers. We need the time and skills people can donate; not everything is hands-on, so those that like horses but don’t have handling skills can still help,” says Williams. “Bluebonnet, for example, has many volunteer jobs that can be done remotely. Office work, social media to spread the word, gathering donations—everything helps.” Rescue groups ask that concerned horse lovers donate time, money and land to help and lobby for legislation to ban the export of horses for meat markets. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouis

The average lifespan of a horse is 30 years. It should have two acres of land for grazing. The minimum annual cost for basic food and veterinarian services is $2,000, not including equipment and boarding, which can be more expensive in urban areas and in or near racing meccas like Kentucky or Florida. Rescues budget $300 a month per horse. natural awakenings

April 2016


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Millennials’ Take on Fitness

They Like Short, Social and Fun Workouts by Derek Flanzraich


illennials are a big deal. Most businesses view them as trendsetters for good reason: Born between the early 1980s and early 2000s, they make up 25 percent of the population and represent $200 billion in annual buying power. Like the baby boomers before them, they also have the power to profoundly influence other generations, both young and old. Millennials have largely rejected previous fitness trends and instead paved a new path to health and wellness. In doing so, they’ve transformed both the business of fitness and the idea of what it means to be healthy. They’ve created a more personalized approach that encompasses the values of their generation.

What They Are Millennials are a fast-paced, wellinformed group. They devour news and information as soon as it’s released and then share it with others, usually via social media. This quick turnover cycle has led to an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality in many aspects of life. For a generation that strives to be trailblazers, things quickly become outdated. Millennials are always seek-

ing new ways to get fit and eat healthy, even if it means creating something unique to them. The Internet has allowed these young adults to find more like-minded people than ever before. They grew up with constant connectivity, which has allowed them to build larger communities of friends online as well as locally, and keep everyone apprised of their fitness goals and progress. Millennials’ overscheduled lives mean they value shorter, quicker and more convenient options, especially in regard to workouts and healthy meals. They are more likely than any other age group to track their own health progress and use technologies such as health and fitness apps which monitor such data as steps, heart rate and caloric intake as a complement to their fitness routines. Being healthy means more than weight loss or looking good to them. For this pivotal generation, health is increasingly about living a happier life.

What They Like Millennials’ values and unique approach to health have fostered the growth of innovative fitness movements, health-focused stores and restaurants

and alternative medicine. Here are the three biggest trends making an impact on the wellness industry. What’s hot: Shorter, full-body workouts that are also fun. What’s not: Steady-state cardio exercises as a starting point for losing weight and improving health. It’s been increasingly shown that steady-state cardio workouts may be the most effective way to lose weight, but they also lack widespread appeal. Instead of sticking to a traditional treadmill, many millennials have flocked to workout regimens that regularly switch exercises or use high-intensity interval training, such as Zumba, SoulCycle and CrossFit. What’s hot: A more holistic approach to health. What’s not: Diets that emphasize rapid weight loss.  Millennials don’t believe that weight is the major indicator of health as much as previous generations have. Instead, they increasingly think of weight as just one among many key components of a healthy lifestyle. A higher percentage define being healthy as having regular physical activity and good eating habits. What’s hot: Alternative workouts that are customizable, fun and social. What’s not: Inflexible gym memberships and daily attendance. Instead of hitting the gym, young adults tend to prefer new forms of fitness that can be personalized to their needs. They like obstacle races such as Tough Mudder, fun and distance runs like The Color Run, at-home fitness workouts like P90X, and bodyweight regimens. As a group, millennials are redefining wellness and changing how following generations will view health. Their preferences for fun, personalized workouts and holistic wellness have fueled trends with far-reaching implications for the food, tech and healthcare industries, and that’s just the start. Derek Flanzraich is an entrepreneur on a mission to help the world think about health in a healthier way. He is the founder and CEO of Greatist, a New York City-based media startup working to make healthy living cool.

natural awakenings

April 2016


Upcycled Décor Old and Oh-So-Stylish by Avery Mack


Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you. ~Walter Winchell

Search the words recycled, repurposed and upcycled on Pinterest, Etsy or any search engine to picture results ranked from simple-to-do to how-in-the-world astonishment. Light fixtures can be made from almost anything. Cookie jars and books turn into lamps, wine bottles become a chandelier—go homespun or industrial, follow a theme or incorporate a hobby. Freshen lamp shades using old sewing patterns, vintage fabrics or ribbon applied as découpage. A coat of paint transforms tacky, tarnished brass chandeliers into elegant décor. At a flea market, look for boxes of stainless forks, knives and spoons— avoid costly sterling silver that can tarnish. A drill, frame, wiring and bulb later, we can have an intriguing hanging light or lamp. Combining a chafing dish, silverware and assorted tea cups in a chandelier creates artful lighting.


Chairs are plentiful in garage and whole-house sales, flea markets and on Craigslist. Sometimes all that’s needed is a coat of paint and fun fabric. New 38

West Michigan Edition

cushions, bought or made, are easy upgrades. Recovering a padded seat only requires the right amount of fabric and a sturdy staple gun. Mismatched chairs, painted a neutral color and redone with the same fabric, turn a mishmash of styles into a coordinated set. Chevron (zig zag) or checkerboard patterns in black and white are popular—understated, yet posh. Bright colors in a pop art style or 70s florals brighten any room and give the owner style points. Benches created from a bookcase, shortened dresser or car parts can be padded or plain and incorporate storage capacity. A child’s bench may have been a skateboard in its former life. When buying reclaimed wood, ask about its origin; factory pieces might still retain unhealthy contaminants.

photo courtesy of


ld furniture used to go to college dorms and student apartments. At graduation, it was moved to the curb to be picked up by incoming students or the trash man. Now, with the influx of TV shows like Flea Market Flip and American Pickers, the DIY Network, HGTV and complementary books and magazines, vintage and mid-century recyclables barely touch the curb before being reinvented. Lighting, storage and seating provide ample opportunities for one-of-a-kind creations of imagination, vision and innovation.

photo courtesy of Lit for a Queen/Etsy

EARTH DAY April 22


Old dressers and desks are frequent throwaway finds. Often big and bulky, scratched and ugly, it’s easier to set them out for pickup than list them for sale. Paint can transform a desk that shows its age into a welcome addition to a home office. For added interest or to hide imperfections, découpage with maps, postcards, kid’s artwork, pages from beyond-repair cookbooks or old sheet music. Need a shelf above the desk? A pair of old shutters works well; cast iron brackets add flair. Matching or complementary paint colors will make the

pieces look like they belong together. Broken pieces of furniture can live on if cobbled together. A coffee table’s sturdy legs and frame, an old window and a little paint combine to furnish a unique table with built-in storage. To protect fragile glass and create an even surface, top with a sheet of Plexiglass or sturdy beveled-edge glass. Look beyond what is there and imagine what it could be. Ideas are everywhere, especially with spring cleanouts, garage sales and flea markets. Expect upcycling to become an obsession, because everything will become a possibility. Connect with freelance writer Avery Mack at

Finders Keepers by Avery Mack n Take cash to garage sales. Flea markets are more apt to take credit cards. Discounts may by possible with cash, which saves the seller the transaction fee. n Negotiate. It’s expected and half the fun. But don’t offer an offensively low price. Ask, “What is the best you can do on this?” Then, making a slightly lower counteroffer is often acceptable. n Although the general theory of, “Buy it when you see it,” is sound advice, be prepared to walk away. n Set a budget and stick to it, especially at an auction. Smartphones can help research what price to offer. n Watch for posted signs around town; search “garage sale finder” or “flea market finder” (there’s an iTunes app for that). Locate auction and estate sales the same way, as well as in a local newspaper. Churches and organizations like the Veterans Administration, Elks Lodge, Lions Club and Scouts often organize sales as fundraisers. n Shop early for the best selection. Shop late for the lowest prices.

Spiritual Energy Healing

Ama-Deus is a healing method from a whole or soul perspective that is used to access a stream of consciousness that is Love, the force that draws us back to Source.

International Association of Ama-Deus, LLC P.O. Box 93 • Lowell, MI 49331 •

TWO-DAY HEALTH AND WELLNESS CONFERENCE April 16-17th, 2016 8:00am-4:00pm Cost: $160

Transform your life and become your healthiest self. Founded by: Kelly Hassberger, ND & Hosted by: Chris Wheeler and Mary Johnson of 1Breath4All InspiredLifeGR is a two-day heath and wellness conference addressing topics of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Registration includes two-day admittance, meals, presentations from Grand Rapids top health and wellness practitioners, panel discussions and full access to these experts during presentations as well as in the exhibitor hall.

Register at

Follow us @InspiredLifeGR

natural awakenings

April 2016



Marie Kondo on the Joy of Tidying Up

Simplicity Invites Happiness into Our Lives by April Thompson

that the best way to choose what to keep is to actually hold each item. As you do, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” When you touch something, your body reacts, and its response to each item is different. The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own—identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude and bidding them farewell and good wishes for their onward journey—is a rite of passage to a new life.

Must keepsakes be included?

How can we begin to get and stay organized? It’s not about a set of rules, but acquiring the right mindset for becoming a tidy person. Think in concrete terms, 40

West Michigan Edition

so that you can picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space. Start by identifying your bigger goal. Ask yourself why you want this, repeating the question to get to the root of the answer. As you explore the reasons behind your ideal lifestyle, you’ll realize that the ultimate reason is to be happy. Then you are ready to begin. I recommend cleaning out and organizing your entire space in one go-around. When completed, the change is so profound that it inspires a strong aversion to your previously cluttered state. The key is to make the change so sudden that you experience a complete change of heart. By discarding the easy things first, you can gradually hone your decision-making skills, including knowing who else can use what you don’t need. I recommend starting with clothes, then move to books, documents, miscellaneous items and finally anything with sentimental value. photo by Ichigo Natsuno


apanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo helps us discover happiness through tidiness. Already perusing home and lifestyle magazines by age 5, she spent her childhood “tidying” up her surroundings rather than playing with toys. The organizing system Kondo went on to develop, the KonMari method, defies most long-held rules of organizing, such as installing clever storage solutions to accommodate stuff or decluttering one area at a time. Her New York Times bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has been published in 30 countries, demonstrating that her methods speak to universal desires, including a hunger for order and simplicity. She’s now released a companion book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. Kondo’s principles, including vertically stacking clothing and using special folding methods for socks, can seem quirky, yet her approach gets results. Kondo claims a nearly zero percent “clutter relapse” rate among clients because they’ve become surrounded only by things they love.

Is it important to touch every single object in the decision process? At one point in my life, I was virtually a “disposal unit”, constantly on the lookout for superfluous things. One day, I realized that I had been so focused on what to discard that I had forgotten to cherish the things I loved. Through this experience, I concluded

Mementoes are reminders of a time that gave us joy, yet truly precious memories will never vanish, even if you discard the associated objects. By handling each sentimental item, you process your past. The space we live in should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.

What do you recommend for organizing what remains after a purge? The secret to maintaining an uncluttered room is to pursue simplicity in storage, so that you can see at a glance what you have. My storage rules are simple: Store all items of the same type in one place and don’t scatter storage space.

How does this process change us and our relationship to things? Through it, you identify both what you love and need in your home and in your life. People have told me that decluttering has helped them achieve lifelong dreams, such as launching their own business; in other cases, it has helped them let go of negative attachments and unhappy relationships. Despite a drastic reduction in belongings, no one has ever regretted it, even those that ended up with a fifth of their earlier possessions. It’s a continuing strong reminder that they have been living all this time with things they didn’t need. Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

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


Complementary Consultation – A consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we aren’t the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Brain and Body Chiropractic, 833 E 16th St, Ste 175, Holland. RSVP: 616-202-6368. Spring Fling – 9:30am-7:30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am5pm, Sat. Spring cleaning with the health of people and planet in mind? Stop in and check out our natural, non-toxic home and personal care products. Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. 616-433-9333.


Body Mind and Spirit Expo – April 2-3. Largest second annual spirit expo to exhibit in Kalamazoo, professional mediums, intuitive communicators and healers gathered under one roof. Many free lectures, speakers and demonstrations. $10/per day, free/12 and under. Radisson Hotel and Suites, 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo.


Inspire – 1pm. With Extended Grace, a social justice/human rights agency. April Inspire! topic: Homeless Teenagers. Also includes brainstorming, determining plans of action, music, refreshments and social time. Ferrysburg City Hall, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Spring Lake.


STEM Camps – Apr 4-8. 9am. Check out our amazingly fun and engaging STEM camps for elementary- and middle school-age students. Daily robotics and coding programs available over Spring Break. Pick a day, multiple days or the whole week. Sylvan Learning Center, 5890 Harvey St, Ste A, Muskegon. Info: 231-799-0613. Meatless Monday Potluck – 6:30pm. Join our Meatless Monday Vegan Potluck. Explore vegan dishes and be inspired by the speaker/presenter. Bring a vegan dish to share. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids. 616-881-6988. Info: Kim:


Go With Your Gut – 6:30pm. Join Jodie Krumpe of Cultured Love at Nature’s Market to discuss incorporating fermented foods into your diet. Free. Nature’s Market, 1013 S Washington Ave, Holland. 616-394-5250. Info:


Essential Oils for Spiritual and Emotional Wellbeing – 6:30pm. Taught by Allegra Miller, Plant


West Michigan Edition

Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.

Wisdom/ Quantum Wellness Educator. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Register: 616-682-7812. Info:


Infant Massage for New Parents – 2-3:30pm. Parents will learn different massage techniques and how to prepare for your infant massage. $60/person, $100/couple. Alternative Care Solution, 3790 28th St SW, Ste B, Grandville. Info: 616-419-6924.


Eckankar – 10-11am. “Life’s Turning Points,” is the theme for the ECK Worship Service, always the second Sunday each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Rm 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids. Info: West Michigan Spirit Faire – 11am-5pm. Intuitive readers, reiki, aura photos, jewelry, palmistry, angel messages, massage, crystals, speakers, health products, energy tuning. $5 admission; door prizes. Riverfront Hotel, 270 Ann St NW, Grand Rapids, exit 88 off US-131.


Essence and Valor Retreat – 9am-4pm. A sacred sanctuary, Oasis Retreats and Workshops are for those seeking awareness for their life vision. Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future. $111 includes lunch and activities. Grand Rapids. Register/sponsor: Cutting the Cable Cord – 7pm. Join Luke Bouma, owner of and learn how to save money and still get all the television content you want, streaming your favorite shows, movies and more. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. Info:


An Evening with a Grand Rapids Author – 7pm. Join Adam Schuitema as he reads from his latest book, Haymaker, that discusses what happens when an Upper Peninsula community clashes with a determined group of outsiders. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. Info:


Trauma-Informed Yoga Workshop – Apr 15-16. Join Raechel Morrow of Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga and learn how to create a safe space as you begin to trust yourself and those around you. $199. Armentality Movement Arts Center, 233 Fulton St, Ste 620, Grand Rapids. Info:

Special Yin Qigong for Female Health – 6:308pm. Join Alternative Care Solution and open up the pathways, connecting the positive energy within and how to guide the Qi (energy). 3790 28th St, Grandville. Info: 616-419-6924 or


Auricular Acupuncture – 10:30-11:30am. Auricular (ear) Acupuncture Workshop. Learn the benefits of acupuncture in this one-hour workshop presented by Susan Littlejohn. $5. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or Inspired Life Grand Rapids – Apr 16-17. 8am-4pm. Transform your life and become your healthiest self. Join this two-day health and wellness conference addressing topics of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. $160. 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids. Register: Sing Song Yoga for Kids – Noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6; 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment. $6/ ages 2-6, $8/ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr SE, Ste 2016, Grand Rapids. Info/register:


Writing Circle – 10am-noon. Seeking a creative space that will help you pause and uncover your stories? Join us for readings, writing prompts and creative practices to connect with the stories you carry. $10. Voice & Vessel, 2922 Fuller Ave NE, Ste 112, Grand Rapids. Register: Earth Day Celebration – Noon-4pm. Join us for an afternoon of fun, music, demonstrations and exhibits by local environmental organizations, activities for children and the young-at-heart, Earth-friendly products to purchase, new friends to make and, for just a love offering, a healthy salad luncheon. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Info:


Cooking Matters for Seniors – 1-3pm. This six-week educational program fights hunger by teaching people how to make healthy food choices on a budget. Registration required, participants must attend all six classes. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. Register: Classic Raindrop Therapy – 4-6pm. Learn all about the oils within this amazing set, the benefits and how to apply them. A demonstration of the technique is given to show exactly how to give a session. $25. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.

Writing Workshop – 6-8pm. Get tools and support to discover the stories you carry. All experience levels welcomed to this four-week series, led by a Certified Leader of the Amherst Writers and Artists Method. $125. Grand Rapids Public Library, 2922 Fuller Ave NE, Ste 112, Grand Rapids. Register: Essential Oils Class – 6-8pm. Learn and understand emotional clearing oils - the power of essential oils and how they can facilitate emotional releases. $25. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.


Grow Your Own Tower Garden – 7-8pm. Learn about a healthier, easier, smarter way to grow your own vegetables and fruits right outside your door – hydroponics, vertical gardening. Free. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct NE, Grand Rapids. Info: Meditation Series – 7-8:15pm. Learn the contemplative practice of meditation by accepting what is, freeing one’s self of the distractions which cause emotional and physical suffering. $75/four-week series, $20/drop in. Moment of Peace, 1324 Lake Dr, Ste 7, Grand Rapids. Info:


Healing Energy Circle – 7pm. Join Spirit Space after group meditation from 6-7pm to promote wellness for ourselves and others. Join for all or part of the gathering. All healing modalities are welcome. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or


Wege Speaker Series – 4pm. Hear Crystal Lameman speak, a member of the Beaver Lake Cree Nation, whose homeland is the site of the massive “tar sands” oil development in Alberta, Canada. Her talk is titled, The Real Costs of Oil: The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline. Free. Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1703 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids. Info and registration: Green Day 6K Fun Run and Expo – 5-8pm. Join Harvest Health Foods on Cascade for a free 6K Fun Run and Expo to celebrate Earth Day and recognize lifestyle choices that can make an impact on our health and the environment. Grand Rapids. Info: Wage Theft in Grand Rapids – 7pm. Join panelists from the Workers Center of West Michigan to discuss the efforts to combat wage theft in the area – the illegal practice of not paying workers for all of their work. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids. Info:


Restorative Nada Yoga – 6:15-7:30pm. Jamie Marion will lead a gentle, restorative yoga class while Geoff Lamden plays the Digeridoo, singing bowls and shakers. $18. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. 616307-1617. Info:


Self-Compassion Seminar – 9am-noon. Build a self-compassion practice, let go of those “should” and start living from your authentic self. Seminar includes workbook, heart chakra meditation, empowerment exercises, stirring discussions and more. $40 earlybird, $50 at the door. In the Heart Counseling, 1345 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info/register: 616-426-9226 or Mindful Meditation: The Path to Peace Workshop – 10am-4pm. Open yourself up to possibilities for a healthy mind, spirit, body and life through mindfulness and meditation. Soften or eliminate anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-8862716 or Earth Fair – 11am-3pm. Learn more about and purchase local products and services. Enjoy giveaways, animals, free games, product demonstrations and more. Montague High School, 4900 Stanton Blvd, Montague. 231-288-0999. Info: Admin@


Jazz to Celebrate Spring – 3pm. Join Fountain Street Church as they wrap up their Jazz in the Sanctuary series with a spring concert featuring some of West Michigan’s favorite jazz musicians. $10, $5/students. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids. Info: Community Kitten Yoga – 4-5pm. Come and perform yoga poses with kittens in the studio. All kitties are adoptable little furry friends from Harbor Humane. Petting and cuddles are encouraged. Children over the age of 12 are welcome. $5. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info:


Reiki Share – 6-8pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about and have a mini-session done. Open to those who know reiki and those who don’t. Donations welcomed. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.


Ladies Night Out – 6:30pm. Enjoy complimentary massage, acupuncture, food, refreshments and more. Local area vendors will be present for shopping and fun. Bring a friend and enjoy a ladies night out. Free. Aligned Care Chiropractic, 7310 Garden Ln, Portage. Info:


A Weekend of Iyengar Yoga – Apr 29-May 1. An illuminating weekend of yoga study with Mary Reilly, Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. Mary’s love of yoga shines through her teaching with enthusiasm, clarity and precision. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr SE, Ste 206 Grand Rapids. Info/register: Reiki I & II – 9am-5pm. Become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and other and meet your Reiki guide. $250, including a $50 deposit at registration. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.

FRIDAY, APRIL 1 April Fool’s Day SATURDAY, APRIL 2 World Autism Awareness Day THURSDAY, APRIL 7 World Health Day SATURDAY, APRIL 16 National Stress Awareness Day FRIDAY, APRIL 22 Earth Day FRIDAY, APRIL 29 Arbor Day International Dance Day SATURDAY, APRIL 30 World Tai Chi & Qigong Day

savethedate Save The Date Events

Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or more require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. Current advertisers, distribution sites or nonprofits, use this listing in place of your two free listings.

savethedate May 7

Party for the Planet – 10am-3pm. Celebrate recycling and our natural world. Join over 20 conservation-minded, green-practicing organizations for a fun day of learning how we can help save our Earth’s resources. John Ball Zoo, 1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids. 616-3364374. Info:

savethedate May 7

Introduction to Crystal Healing – 1-5pm. Learn how to choose, clean and charge crystals, techniques for using crystals in healing, meditation and how to manifest goals. A crystal to take home and class materials are included. $50. Essential Connections, Saugatuck. Info: 616-644-2967 or

savethedate May 14

Vibrational Healing – 1-3pm. Be immersed in the sound of gongs, singing bowls and drums for an effortless meditation experience with Jason Kniola. Register online. $25. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr SE, Ste 206, Grand Rapids. Info:

natural awakenings

April 2016



savethedate June 3-5

Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference – June 3-5. Hear from guest speakers, herbalists and authors and enjoy swimming, evening entertainment, workshops, film screenings and more. Almond, WI.

savethedate July 11

Brave Boundaries Retreat – 9am-4pm. A sacred sanctuary, Oasis Retreats and Workshops are for those seeking awareness for their life vision. Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future. $111 includes lunch and activities. Grand Rapids. Register/sponsor:

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

sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship – 10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or Loving What Is – Noon-1:30pm. 2nd & 4th Sun. Loving What Is will guide you, step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples of how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. Free. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Inspire – 1pm. 1st Sun. Featuring discussion and brainstorming of participant-suggested issues, plans of action, music, refreshments and socializing. Ferrysburg City Hall, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Spring Lake. Community Yoga Class – 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the charity of the month. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info:


Sunday Series – 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening ministers, teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Dr, Grand Rapids. Info:

monday Align & Flow – 6:30-8pm. Class focuses on alignment with some vinyasa flow sprinkled throughout the process. $5 for first class. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: The Practice of A Course in Miracles – 7-8:30pm. Learn “miracle-mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St NE, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga – 7:45-9am & 9:15-10:30am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info: Beginning Yoga – 7pm. This class will introduce you to basic postures, breathing techniques and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. 616-307-1617. Info:


West Michigan Edition

healthy and kid-approved. Grand Rapids. 616365-9176. Chair Yoga – 10am. Chair yoga classes include movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility, balance and strength. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. 616-307-1617. Info: Living an Authentic Life – 12:30-3pm. Unique, weekly healing therapy group beginning April 13 for developing self-compassion and ownership of your authentic self. In the Heart Counseling, 1345 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info: 616-4269226 or Kundalini and Meditation – 5:30pm. Kundalini Yoga uses breath exercises, body postures, movements, sound, relaxation and meditation to energize and balance all the systems of the body, quiet and focus the mind and connect to spirit. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. 616-307-1617. Info: Healthy Lifestyle/Weight-Loss Clinic – 5:30-7pm. Enroll now for this next 13-week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weight-loss program and receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225. Meditation – 6-7pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Attend the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or

friday Restorative Yoga – 10-11am. A restorative practice frequently relies on the use of props and the prolonged holding of a few simple poses to achieve a deep level of relaxation. $5 for first class. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: LunchYin – 11:30am-12:15pm. Listen. Connect. Be. Yin yoga takes a more passive and meditative approach, holding and melting into poses for 3-5 minutes that are performed mostly on the ground. $5. Your Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: Qigong Practicing Class – 6:30-7:15pm. With Raymond Wan, PAc, ADS, LMT, HHC. Alternative Care Solution, 3790 28th St SW, Ste B, Grandville. Register: 616-419-6924. Info:



Gentle Hatha Yoga – 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info:

$20 off BioMeridian Assessments – Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are

Sweetwater Local Foods Market – 9am-1pm. A double-up bucks and bridge card market. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey St. Located inside during inclement weather. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.



...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


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177 • At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 21.


Andrew Gielczyk Licensed Builder 616-834-2480 • Wood & Saw is focused on creating a sustainable high quality of life for our clients. Building simple, costeffective, energy-efficient, toxic-free homes and remodels that achieve the healthiest possible indoor air quality. See ad, page 6.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE BRAIN & BODY CHIROPRACTIC Drs. Lily & Kody Semrow Holland • 616-202-6368

Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is one of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neurostructural correction. See ad, page 36.

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT, LMT 1003 Maryland Ave, 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, bloating, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 36.


Holistic Energy Therapies 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics since 1996: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.

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 energy during a Matrix Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves.

ESSENTIAL OILS BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587

Be Young Essential Oils are E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed 100 percent pure for the safety and benefit of your family, pets - even horses. Offering free monthly classes, Zyto Compass Bio-scans, ionic detox footbaths and aromatherapy jewelry!


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 •


Teri Kelley • 616-719-0610 Your online source for organic, non-GMO makeup and body care. Offering several lines, you’ll find everything you need to cleanse and beautify your body head-to-toe. Serendipite also carries a 100% organic dog care line.


Kelly O’Brien Pahman • 616-617-3130 A gentle, effective, healing touch for anxiety, chronic pain, fertility and pregnancy concerns, head trauma, and more. Kelly offers services to all ages as a certified holistic doula and a craniosacral therapist (Upledger).

Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Essential oils, bulk herbs, tea, hand-crafted bath & body products, raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad, page 23.

YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS Marilyn York Independent Distributor 1-877-436-2299, ext. 2

Become an Independent Distributor. Discover the high potency of therapeutically authentic essential oils from Young Living. Enhance your own health, as well as others who seek holistic wellness options. Free training. See ad, page 10.

natural awakenings

April 2016






Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

3355 Eagle Park Dr. NE Ste. 107, Grand Rapids 616-262-3848

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


Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225 Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, reiki, Energy Touch. See ad, page 15.


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


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic/Holistic Practitioners and retail health store. Natural health consultations, classes, oils, h e r b s , h o m e o p a t h y, hypnosis, foods, candles, crystals, books, CD’s, massage, reflexology, emotional clearing, raindrop therapy, foot detox, DOT/CDL health cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 29.


West Michigan Edition

Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes.


Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE, Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199 • Registered nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, guided imagery & visualization practices.


Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo • Portage 269-221-1961 M a s s a g e t h e r a p y, e n e r g y healing, spiritual counsel, healing services for groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both traditional and homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathic remedy. Most insurance accepted, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 29.


Linda D Knight, CHt, Stacey PreFontaine, CClHt Certified Medical Support Hypnotherapist 1345 Monroe NW, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids 616-550-3231 Hypnotherapy services for smoking cessation, weight management, pain management, personal and professional growth, and much more. Also offering stress management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 4.

MASSAGE THERAPY DYNAMIC FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC & MASSAGE THERAPY Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050

Offering Swedish massage with integrated techniques, chosen specifically for your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate. Call for on-going monthly specials and discounts.


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad, page 36.


New Listing... MOMENT OF PEACE

Claire Crowley BS, MM, 500 hr ERYT 1324 Lake Dr, Ste 7, Grand Rapids 616-295-1861 An opportunity to experience emotional and physical wellbeing through meditation and reiki, Moment of Peace aspires to help you savor each moment, embrace all that your life offers and celebrate the joy of everyday. See ad, page 11.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 - specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,550 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. Free initial consultations including prenatal check-up.

PERSONAL GROWTH IN THE HEART COUNSELING, PLLC Laurie Schmit, LMSW Grand Rapids, 49505 616-426-9226

Transformative counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. Collaborative, active and affirming approach for adults wanting to break free and move into true authentic living. Close to downtown Grand Rapids.


5286 Plainfield Ave, NE, Grand Rapids 616-364-9191 An award-winning hair stylist with 30 years advanced education, that uses and sells organic hair care products as well as uses a professional line of organic hair color. Ionic Detox Foot Baths also available.


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

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

Educational programs offered: Natural Health Program: four years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program: one year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program: six months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad, page 48.

SKIN CARE LAKESHORE NATURAL SKIN CARE 10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp • Zeeland 231-557-3619

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care with Elina Organics. Facials, body treatments, needle-free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, Facial Hydratherapy, Oxygen Facial Therapy, LED, microdermabrasion, bamboo massage, Raindrop, reiki and more.

Reach Your Target Market Secure your ad spot! Contact us for ad rates.


SCHOOL / EDUCATION BVI SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA Ruth Small, Ph.D., Director 269-381-4946

School of Ayurveda. State licensed. Certificate program for healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, yoga teachers, wellness educators, massage therapists, holistic health specialists, chiropractors, dieticians and those seeking to learn selfhealth-care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).


Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

natural awakenings

April 2016


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

Inspire a world of health! Your diploma in Massage Therapy, Natural Health or Holistic Doula is here.

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

Holistic Doula Practitioner Doula....... 6 Months

All Classes Meet on Weekends

Fri: 5-9pm and Sat & Sun: 9am-6pm

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

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

(989) 773-1714 ~ Mount Pleasant, MI

Over 20 Years of Experience ~ Over 100 Programs Graduated 48

West Michigan Edition

Profile for Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ West Michigan

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2016  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2016  

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

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