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Turning Lawns into Native Landscapes

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April 2017


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contents 8 5 newsbriefs balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal 8 healthbriefs growth, green living, creative expression and the products 1 1 earthday and services that support a healthy lifestyle. 12 globalbriefs 18 healingways 14 ECO YARDS 20 fitbody Turning Lawns into Native Landscapes 22 consciouseating 12 24 wisewords 26 inspiration 18 MEDICAL MASSAGE Targeted Therapy 27 ecotip for Specific Ills 28 healthykids 14 30 greenliving 32 naturalpet 20 RUN FUN 27 33 earthdaymarch Races Beckon Beginners 20 35 actionalert 41 calendar 22 EGGS-PERT ADVICE 45 naturaldirectory How to Buy Good Eggs from Happy Hens Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more

by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko

by Linda Sechrist

by Aimee Hughes

by Judith Fertig

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letterfrompublisher live on a lake and my yard is a mess by conventional standards. Dandelions galore take center stage in spring and wild violets then take over for the rest of the summer. It’s as if mine wasn’t meant to be a yard at all and I’m beginning to think that might be a promising state of affairs. My latest plans call for planting natural groundcover in the backyard as soon as the weather breaks; my next door neighbor is now seconding the notion, saying he’s going to let his place go wild. Living in a watershed area means we aren’t supposed to use phosphate fertilizers or toxic weed control, and my household wholeheartedly agrees. We purchase all the supplies we need from the local feed and grain elevator in a nearby small town that doesn’t have bad manmade chemicals in it. It also hasn’t yet made the yard fit for a photo shoot in a home and garden magazine. I’ve always been skeptical of anyone touting a perfect yard. I routinely see professional fertilizer and weed control trucks pull up to wage war on neighbors’ weeds and know the companies claim to be “green”, but also know that few are; if they are applying anything close to what we are using, why do their yards look so artificially manicured? Growing up, our family enjoyed a large yard never treated in any special way. I remember lying face down in clumps of clover happily looking for one with four leaves. One of my jobs was mowing the lawn and I put off the task whenever the dandelions were in bloom, not wanting to spoil their loveliness. I would proudly bring in bouquets of them to Mom, thinking how delighted she’d be to receive such a thoughtful gift. Today my bottom line is that I’m glad that having a beautiful lawn defined in conventional terms is no longer an issue for me. I hope you are as intrigued as I am by this month’s feature article, “Eco-Yards: Turning Lawns into Native Landscapes” by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko, offering the prospect of beautiful natural alternatives that are not only kind to the environment but easier to care for. What perfect timing! Such fresh perspective is one more sign of how we all are set to grow into changes for the better as we claim the benefits of shifting from some stale old parameters to healthier and happier priorities. Dusty Brown Photography /

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Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2017 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.

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West Michigan Edition

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Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

newsbriefs Muskegon Earth Fair Expo


he Muskegon Earth Fair Expo is just one of a series of events to take place during Muskegon Area Earth Week, April 15-23. The purpose of the annual celebration is to inform and educate attendees on ways to make changes beneficial to the Earth, its ecosystems and life forms, while promoting Muskegon area groups and individuals working toward the sustainability and resilience of our planet. As we prepare for year six of Earth Fair Expo, it is delightful to look back and remember some of the numerous projects, accomplishments and partnerships that have developed as a result of the event. For example, one youth learned about the environmental and health concerns of Styrofoam from an exhibitor and immediately went back to her school to address the use of Styrofoam in lunch trays. A Green Team made up of teachers, parents & students was formed, which convinced the school district to not only end the use of these trays, but also increase recycling & take other positive actions. This year’s Earth Fair Expo is on International Earth Day, April 22, 11am -3pm, Montague High School, 4900 Stanton Blvd, Montague. What better way to celebrate than share the day with the kids, grandkids, parents and 50 local businesses & organizations who love West Michigan? Info: MuskegonAreaEarthWeek See ad page 23.

Blandford Nature Center on Earth Day


landford Nature Center has two coinciding events happening on Earth Day Saturday April 22nd, 2017 from 1-3pm. Grand

Opening of the new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center: Blandford Nature Center Staff are ready to unveil the brand new Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center to the West Michigan Community. Come out with your friends and family to enjoy music, tours, wildlife, and much more as we celebrate the growth of Blandford Nature Center! 2nd Annual Conservation Collective: The 2nd annual showcase of this partnership of regional, conservation focused organizations provides the many environmental supporters of West Michigan with a free opportunity to meet and mingle with like-minded folks. Join in to learn about new programs, regional volunteer opportunities, and conservation trends throughout West Michigan! Participating organizations include: Kent County Parks Department, West Michigan Environmental Action Council, John Ball Zoo, Kent County Parks Foundation, West Michigan Conservation Network, Land Conservancy of West Michigan, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, and more. Information: Katelyn Nettler, Volunteer & Outreach Manager, Blandford Nature Center is located at 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, call 616-735-6240 ext. 19 or online at

Climate Change 2017

Peter Sinclair


eter Sinclair, an award winning independent videographer, who spent the last four summers filming and researching climate issues in Antarctica, will be the guest speaker at the 12th Annual Earth Day Lakeshore Celebration. Sinclair was recently named the ‘2017 Friend of the Planet’ by the National Center for Science Education. He will be presenting on Saturday, April 22nd from 2:15-3:15 at the Grand Haven Community Center, as part of the 12th Annual Earth Day Lakeshore Celebration. The event is free & open to the public. The Grand Haven Community Center is located at 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven. For more details contact Jan at 616-956-6646 or contact the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter online at

natural awakenings

April 2017


newsbriefs Burcon Chiropractic Welcomes New LMT


urcon Chiropractic welcomes Ash, Licensed Massage Therapist, to their practice. Ash grew up in England and moved to the United States nine years ago where she studied at Everest Institute. She mainly works with clients who have Ash spinal conditions, but also people with all types of problems like headaches, soft tissue aches and pains, sports injuries, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, lupus, COPD, rotator cuff injuries and hip and knee issues. Experts estimate that 90 percent of disease are stress related and age us faster, both internally and externally. They also say that the benefits of touch can help treat chronic diseases, neurological disorders and can alleviate daily tension and stress. Burcon offers a spacious handicap accessible massage room with a view of beautiful Lake Eastbrook. Stop in and meet Ash and the other members of the Burcon health care team. Dr. Burcon treats and lectures internationally on one-sided neurological conditions, such as Meniere’s disease. Burcon Chiropractic hours are 9:30am to 7pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and some Saturdays from 10am until 3pm. Located at 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE #252, Grand Rapids. For more information about the practice call Jane at 616-5759990 or visit See ad page 19.

GRNH Continues to Grow


rand Rapids Natural Health continues to expand its integrative team and services. They have recently began a collaboration with Acupuncture of West Michigan’s, Stephen Durell, MTOM, R.AC. Stephen’s extensive training in acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine offers a safe and gentle approach to conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety, allergies and much more. Acupuncture services will be available at GRNH on Tuesday mornings. Their Counseling services have expanded as well with the addition of Jenny Tanis, LMSW, RYT 200 and Devi Fongers, LMSW, MAAT, C-SSWS. Both of these amazing women offering Counseling with youth, couples, and families as well as Art Therapy and Trauma Sensitive Yoga with Devi. The addition 6

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Laurie DeDecker, RN, MHIA brings Energy Therapy to the practice, offering services Mondays and the second Wednesday of each month. Laurie’s energy therapy seamlessly complements other services at GRNH, speeding the process of recovering from illness and creating health. And last, but certainly not least, the practice welcomes Mary Wisniewski, CLT, Physician Assistant with LED Light Therapy services. LED light therapy has been shown to aid those suffering from musculoskeletal, dermatological, as well as mental/emotional conditions. Schedule your 15-minute complimentary consult today. For more information: visit online at or call 616-264-6556. Grand Rapids Natural Health is located at: 638 Fulton St W Suite B, Grand Rapids. See ad page 44.

Wege Speaker Series Welcomes Dr Dorceta Taylor


he Wege Foundation announced that Dorceta E. Taylor, Ph.D., Director of diversity, equity & inclusion at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment and a leading author, educator and activist against the social inequalities of conservation will deliver the 21st annual Wege Speaker Series lecture at Aquinas College’s Performing Arts Center on April 13 at 4pm in Grand Rapids.

The performing arts center at Aquinas is located at 1703 Robinson Road Southeast, Grand Rapids. For more information on the event contact: Jill Armstrong 616-5830281, 616-862-5624, See ad page 36.

The Adventures of Energy Annie –Learning Respect


n this exciting new series, our very own local artist, Kate Henriott-Jauw has done it again with beautiful illustrations. In Annie’s next adventure, book two, she learns more about energy healing from her family and shares with her friends the important lesson of respect. This second book carries forward illustrations capturing guardian angels and energy anatomy, opening the awareness that we are more than our physical bodies. Dave Markowitz, medical intuitive and bestselling Author had this to say, The Adventures of Energy Annie— Learning Respect, “teaches a child about the metaphysical connection of all things in a way that anyone can understand. Another important read from Elizabeth Cosmos, beautifully illustrated by K. Henriott, for you and your youngsters to share!” Learning Respect is the second in the series from The Adventures of Energy Annie. And Dr. Caron Goode, Author, Founder of Academy for Coaching Parents International, said, “Both parents and children alike will enjoy this down-to-earth tale of how a group of children, who are friends, learn about respect.” Available soon on Amazon and in local bookstores as well as Ama Deus Energy Press. For more information: visit online at See ad pages 21 & 45.

New Natural Awakenings App


he Natural Awakenings healthy living, healthy planet lifestyle app has been upgraded with a brand-new look and updated features. The changes to the free app, which has already been downloaded by 40,000-plus users, will make keeping up with the best choices for a green and healthy lifestyle easier than ever. New features include being able to sign up for promotions, updates and newsletters plus linking to the Natural Awakenings website. Visitors can find local magazines nationwide; a national directory of healthy and green businesses and resources with products, practitioners and services, complete with directions; updated national monthly magazine content; archives of hundreds of previously published articles on practical, natural approaches to nutrition, fitness, creative expression, personal growth and sustainable living by national experts that are searchable by key words; and an archive of articles in Spanish. “These upgrades and expanded accessibility will empower people to enjoy healthier, happier and longer lives more easily than ever before,” notes Natural Awakenings founder Sharon Bruckman. “Offering free access to Natural Awakenings’ powerful network of healthy living resources through this exclusive app is another way we can serve our users.” To download the free app, search for Natural Awakenings on Google Play or the Apple app store or visit


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April 2017



Barefoot Running Improves Technique



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arefoot running has become a popular activity for athletes, and with the right training, can be a helpful tool for many runners. A recent study from the University of Jaén, in Spain, confirms the benefits of barefoot running. Researchers set out to determine what types of changes a 12-week program of barefoot running would produce in foot strike patterns, inversion, eversion and foot rotation. Thirty-nine recreational athletes with no experience in barefoot running participated. Twenty formed the experimental group, with 19 serving as a control group. Researchers determined each runner’s low, high and comfortable running speed and conducted pre- and post-running tests using cameras to document foot strike patterns. The experimental group’s training consisted of a progressive increase in the duration and frequency of barefoot running, while those in the control group performed the same progressive running program with their shoes on. The experimental group showed significant changes in foot strike pattern, with a tendency toward a mid-foot strike at all speeds. They also displayed changes in foot rotation and inversion toward a more centered strike at the lower speed, supporting the notion that progressive barefoot training can help athletes trying to change their foot pattern to a mid- or front-foot strike.

Drinking More Water Improves Food Intake


uopeng An, Ph.D., a kinesiology and community health professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studied the hydration and dietary habits of more than 18,300 American adults and found that drinking more water each day can impact the overall calories and nutritional value of food consumed. Reviewing data from four parts of the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in which participants were asked to recall their food and drink intake during two non-consecutive days, An determined the percentage of plain water drunk by each person. He found an association between a 1 percent increase in the subjects’ daily intake of plain water and an 8.6-calorie reduction in food intake. An also discovered a slight reduction in foods high in fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol with the change. Participants that increased their plain water consumption by one to three cups reduced their calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories per day. The same increase in water correlated with a daily reduction in sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, five to 18 grams less sugar and seven to 21 milligrams less cholesterol.


West Michigan Edition





esearchers from the Mount Sinai Medical Center, in Miami Beach, concluded in a 2016 review of research that chelation therapy using agents such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) can significantly reduce risk of cardiovascular events. The review highlighted research showing that heavy metals such as cadmium have been linked with increased cardiovascular disease risk, and chelation therapy has been shown to effectively remove heavy metals from the body. Of particular interest was a study that specifically tested the effectiveness of chelation therapy on reducing cardiovascular events. The randomized, double-blind study involved 1,708 patients ages 50 and up that had experienced a heart attack at least six weeks prior. Half were given 40 infusions of a 500 milliliter chelation solution with EDTA. The other half received a placebo. Researchers measured deaths, heart attacks and strokes, along with other heart conditions and subsequent hospitalization for an average period of 55 months. They found that the chelation therapy reduced heart attacks and strokes by 23 percent and reduced hospitalization for heart attacks by 28 percent.


2016 review from Australia’s Murdoch University, in Perth, confirms the cognitive benefits of consuming plants in the Salvia genus, particularly sage. Cognition includes processes associated with attention, memory, judgment, evaluation, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. Researchers discussed the theory that an accumulation of amyloid-ß peptide (Aß) in the body is responsible for some cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s patients. Studies have shown that sage can protect mice against Aß-induced neurotoxicity, thus helping to preserve cognition. The researchers also highlighted acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter believed to play an important role in attention, learning, memory and motivation. ACh enzyme inhibitors help prevent alterations in ACh, preserving these functions. In vitro and animal studies show that some species of salvia are effective ACh enzyme inhibitors. In addition, animal studies have shown that sage extracts can reduce depression and anxiety. Both of these conditions can contribute to a decrease in cognitive function. Further research is needed to determine the extent of the effect and safe dosage.


Chelation Cuts Risk of Sage Linked to Cardiovascular Disease Cognitive Health

The sweetest of all sounds is praise. ~Xenophon

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April 2017


Sedentary Kids Lag in Reading Skills

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study from the University of Eastern Finland, in Kuopio, has found that less active boys perform worse in reading and arithmetic classes than their more active counterparts. Researchers studied 89 boys and 69 girls ages 6 to 8 and measured their sedentary time and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time using a heart rate monitor, movement sensors and body fat percentages. The subjects’ arithmetic and reading skills were calculated using standardized test scores. Comparing the data, the researchers found that higher levels of MVPA were associated with higher reading fluency in grade one and that lower reading levels were associated with more sedentary time in grades one through three. A significantly stronger correlation was discovered when male subjects were the focus. Sedentary boys that spent less time engaged in MVPA displayed consistently poorer scores in both reading fluency and comprehension than their peers. For girls, more sedentary time was associated with better arithmetic scores.

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Tai Chi Eases Chronic Neck Pain


study from Harvard Medical School, in Boston, has found that tai chi, a low-impact exercise and movement meditation, can help relieve chronic neck pain. Researchers divided 14 participants, 18 years or older, with ongoing neck pain into three randomized groups. One received 12 weeks of tai chi instruction, one performed group neck exercises and one received no treatment. “The study results showed that 12 weeks of tai chi was more effective than no treatment for benefiting pain levels, disability, quality of life and postural control in persons with chronic neck pain,” explains Peter M. Wayne, Ph.D., co-author of the study; he’s also the founder of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The group neck exercise subjects experienced results that were similar to those in the tai chi group, suggesting that the two paths are equally effective.


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earthday offers lesson plan ideas for students. For example, students from third grade through high school might collect their household junk mail and explore ways to reduce it. Those in kindergarten through eighth grade may create a binder of information on endangered species that includes maps, animal facts and threats to their survival, exploring causal interconnections throughout the planet. Students can also build a cafeteria compost pile or find ways to improve their school’s recycling program. Kathleen Rogers, president of the nonprofit Earth Day Network, on, says, “We need to promote environmental consciousness into our children’s curricula so they are able to analyze problems, think critically, balance needs and take informed action.”

In keeping with Earth Day Ottawa County Parks to host Spring into fitness and take a hike!

Think Earth Day Every Day by Sandra Murphy


he federal Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in December 2015 to take effect in the 2017-2018 school year, is the first law in U.S. history to include language that supports environmental education. Plans call for it to be integrated with current state standards, graduation requirements, teacher development and assessment, funding sources and policy action steps.

Registration open March 6 through April 10: This spring, we will “virtually walk” 240 miles along regional trails in Michigan. The challenge begins on Monday, April 3. This free, 6-week program is designed to help you spring into fitness and get moving after a cold winter. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to join. Simply track and report your steps each week to be eligible for weekly prize (a FitBit fitness tracker will be awarded each week). Join in for one or all of the optional group walks as we explore different county parks. Each walk will be led by a naturalist guide, and different pace groups will be available. April 8: Pine Bend Park, 10-11am April 13: Rosy Mound Natural Area, 5:30-6:30 pm April 22: Riley Trails, 10-11am April 27: Grand Ravines (North), 5:30-6:30 pm May 2: Hemlock Crossing, 5:30-6:30 pm May 6: Kirk Park, 3-4pm May 11: Connor Bayou, 5:30-6:30 pm- walk & wrap up party!

natural awakenings

April 2017


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

Saving Sharks

Cabeca de Marmore/

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati has established the world’s second-largest (1.3 million-square-mile) shark sanctuary, which bans commercial fishing throughout, and has also expanded the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary. The possession, trade and sale of sharks and shark products are also prohibited in these areas as is the use of fishing gear such as wire leaders for targeting sharks. Worldwide, about 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries. Nearly 30 percent of all known shark species assessed by scientists are now threatened with extinction. Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing because they mature and reproduce slowly. Many Pacific island nations have established shark sanctuaries, recognizing the valuable ecosystem and economic roles that healthy populations provide. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora recently added 13 shark and mobula ray species to its list, a step toward ensuring sustainable and legal trade of these species.


Phasing Out Plastic Film Food Wrappers

Dirty Driving

Traffic Pollution Chokes Big Cities Worldwide When air pollution blanketed Paris for three days, authorities called it the worst bout in 10 years and made public transit free. For the fourth time in 20 years, the city instituted a system based on alternating odd and even license plate numbers to keep certain vehicles off city streets, effectively cutting daily traffic in half; it’s the first time the ban’s been maintained for consecutive days. “Cars are poisoning the air,” says Paris city hall transport official Herve Levife. “We need to take preventive measures.” Three other cities—Athens, Madrid and Mexico City—will ban diesel engines by 2025 as part of a similar effort. Beijing, China’s capital city, has such dirty skies from cars and coal that protective masks are commonplace despite emissions restrictions and power plant closures, partly due to pollutants from neighboring regions. Paris leads the world in monthly car-free days, but several large metro cities participate in an international car-free day each September 22, including Washington, D.C., Seattle and Long Island, New York. Source: 12

West Michigan Edition


Nagy-Bagoly Arpad/

Ocean Sanctuaries Expand in Pacific

Many grocery store foods are wrapped in plastic packaging that creates non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste, even though thin, plastic films are not efficient at preventing spoilage. Some plastics are also suspected of leaching harmful compounds into food. Researcher Peggy Tomasula, D.Sc., is leading a U.S. Department of Agriculture team developing an environmentally friendly film made of the milk protein casein that addresses these issues. She states, “The protein-based films are powerful oxygen blockers that help prevent food spoilage. When used in packaging, they could prevent food waste during distribution along the food chain.” Plastic six-pack rings are renowned for their negative impact on wildlife and the environment. Now the Saltwater Brewery, in Delray Beach, Florida, is making edible six-pack rings for beer cans that are 100 percent biodegradable. Constructed of barley and wheat ribbons from the brewing process, they can be safely eaten by animals that come into contact with the refuse. Company President Chris Gove notes, “We hope to influence the big guys and inspire them to get on board.” Source: American Chemical Society

Tree Terminators


In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, the tiny hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life sucking sap and eventually killing the tree. The bug is one example of an expanding horde of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened terrain, this invasion represents one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the U.S. Scientists say they are already driving some tree species toward extinction and causing billions of dollars a year in damage, with the situation expected to worsen. Today’s connected world enables foreign invaders to cross oceans in packing materials or on garden plants, and then reach American forests to rapidly expand their ranges. According to a new study in Ecological Applications, scientists say several species of hemlock and 20 species of ash could become nearly extinct in coming decades. Such destruction would eliminate a critical sponge to capture greenhouse gas emissions, a natural shelter for birds and native insects and a reliable food supply for bears and other animals. Dead forests also increase the danger of wildfires.

Growing Organics

Toxin-Free Farmlands Rise to 4.1 Million Acres

Water Saver

Teen Finds Drought Solution in South Africa Kiara Nirghin, a South African teenage girl and recent winner of the Google Science Fair’s Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa, is pioneering a new technology to fight drought. The Holy Web, her super-absorbent polymer, can store reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight. Drought remains one of South Africa’s main challenges, with at least eight provinces requiring regular food relief. The project is designed to help farmers in dry areas build large water reservoirs for an adequate and regular supply of water for irrigation. “I wanted to minimize the effect that drought has on the community, and the main thing it affects is the crops. That was the springboard for the idea,” says Nirghin. Her invention uses recycled and biodegradable waste products such as avocado skins and orange peels to make the polymer sustainable, affordable and environmentally friendly. Source: CNN



Insects Assault America’s Forests

According to data service Mercaris, the U.S. had a record 4.1 million acres of organic farmland in 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2014. As of June 2016, the number of certified organic farms reached 14,979, including 1,000 startups. The top states in organic cropland after California, with 688,000 acres, are Montana, Wisconsin, New York and North Dakota. Montana hosted a 30 percent increase to 417,000 acres in 2016, adding 100,000 acres since 2014 and 50 new organic farms. In assessing the positive trend, Scott Shander, a Mercaris economist, says, “With today’s lower commodity grain prices, farmers are looking to add value and meet consumer demands. The global market is dictating U.S. prices. Demand for organic corn and soybeans is still growing strongly, but production is not growing as fast, so more of the production will be international.” Source:

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April 2017


Four-Season Climates

ECO YARDS Turning Lawns into Native Landscapes by Lisa Kivirist and John D. Ivanko


raditional turf lawns are an ecological nightmare,” says John Greenlee, author of The American Meadow Garden, who notes that most monoculture turf lawns never even get used. His company, Greenlee and Associates, in Brisbane, California, designs residential and other meadows throughout the U.S. as an engaging alternative. Many other appealing options likewise use native plants appropriate to the local climate. For instance, replacing Kentucky bluegrass, Bermuda grass or another non-native species with natives can deliver drought resistance and lower irrigation needs; eliminate any need for fertilizers or toxic pesticides; reduce or eliminate labor-intensive and often polluting mowing and edging; enhance the beauty of a home; and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. 14

West Michigan Edition

Before replacing a lawn, determine the desired result. It may simply be achieving a low-maintenance, lawn-free yard; growing food like vegetables, herbs, fruit or nuts; or supplying ample flowers for a fresh weekly bouquet. Other benefits might include increasing privacy, dining al fresco, escaping into nature or even sequestering carbon dioxide to reduce climate change. To be successful, choices must be appropriate to the climate, plant hardiness zone, local zoning ordinances and homeowner association rules. Also consider the soil quality and acidity, moisture content and whether plantings will be in full sun or shade, or both.

From the Midwest to New England, “Wild ginger makes a nice, low groundcover with heart-shaped leaves in shade or part shade, where lawn grass often struggles,” suggests Pam Penick, of Austin, Texas, author of Lawn Gone: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard. “Pennsylvania sedge, a low, grassy, meadow-like groundcover, can also work. For areas with full sun, bearberry, an evergreen creeping shrub with red berry-like fruit in fall, or prairie dropseed, a beautiful prairie grass with sparkling seed heads in fall, might be worth trying.” “Stick with the Carex family of plants, the sedges, for a native meadow,” echoes Greenlee. “They vary in color, texture and height. Follow nature’s lead and create a tapestry of commingled plants. Start slow and add flowering plants like Queen Anne’s lace, daisies, asters and poppies.”

Hot and Humid Subtropics

In sunny and well-drained areas of the South, Penick suggests Gulf muhly, an ornamental grass. “Its fall blooms resemble pink cotton candy floating above its green leaves.” In Florida, flowering sunshine mimosa with fernlike leaves and other natural groundcovers are low maintenance. “Basket grass is a low, evergreen grass-like plant with long, spaghetti-type

photos by Pam Penick

The right regional native plants often include grasses and ferns, herbaceous plants like flowering perennials and woody ones like shrubs, vines and trees. Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife and help preserve a sense of place. “Work with a professional landscaper in your area, ideally a member of the Association for Professional Landscape Designers,” advises Greenlee. Tap a local university extension service, master gardener and garden club for local expertise, often available at no or low cost via classes or club membership.

leaves that puddle around it, suitable for shade or partially shaded areas,” advises Penick. “It’s slow to grow, but highly drought-tolerant and nicely covers a dry slope or spills over a retaining wall. Texas sedge makes a lowgrowing, meadowy alternative that’s evergreen and needs mowing only once every year or two.” Moss is a fine option for shady and moist areas. “If moss is naturally colonizing a patch of yard, allow it to fill in where the lawn doesn’t want to grow,” Penick counsels. “It makes a springy, evergreen groundcover needing only brief misting to keep it looking good during dry periods.”

Mediterranean and California Coast

Plentiful sunshine, rare frosts and modest rainfalls make many California coastal areas perfect for growing lots of plants, rather than plots of water-thirsty turf. “For full sun, work with California yarrow, purple sage, Indian mallow, white sage, lupines and California sagebrush,” recommends Charlie Nardozzi, of Ferrisburgh, Vermont, author of Foodscaping. “In shade, try mountain yarrow, mimulus monkey flower, California honeysuckle, California flannel bush and coyote mint.” “Blue grama grass is native to many states, and buffalo grass is native to states west of the Mississippi River in the right places,” adds Greenlee. They’re especially suited for meadows established in drought-prone regions.

Rainy Marine Areas

“For sunny areas, try goat’s beard, penstemon, beach strawberry, mock orange and huckleberry,” says Nardozzi, who

covers gardening nationally at “For part shade, experiment with gooseberry, red flowering currants, western amelanchier, deer fern, trillium and wild ginger.” Adding some clover to a traditional lawn may eliminate the need for fertilizers while retaining some turf, says Erica Strauss, of Gamonds, Washington, in her Northwest Edible Life blog. “When the clover loses leaf mass from mowing, its roots die off to compensate and nitrogen enters the soil for neighboring plant roots to use.” White clover works well for those on a budget; microclover costs more and is even better. For shady, north-facing or boggywet areas, Strauss recommends sweet woodruff. Moss is another option.

Semi-Arid, Steppe and Desert Climes

“If you crave a lawn but want to go native, Habiturf is perfect for the hot, dry Southwest,” says Penick. Developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in Austin, Texas, it’s a mix of several native turf grasses, looks like a shaggy traditional lawn and can be occasionally mowed on a high setting to keep it neat. Once established, it needs far less water than traditional turf. “Silver ponyfoot grows well in many regions as an annual; as a perennial, it needs mild winters,” Penick continues. “Native to western Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, it likes good drainage, gravelly soil and full-to-part sun.” Xeriscaping—landscaping that requires little to no water—is especially prevalent in hot, dry regions. Plant picks typically include cactus, succulents, agave and herbs like rosemary or sage. John D. Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist, co-authors of ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef, operate the Inn Serendipity, in Browntown, WI.

More EcoYard Ideas Edible Landscaping

A kitchen garden represented by any kind of edible landscaping replaces some turf grass with produce. Carefully designed and maintained, it can be as attractive as any other garden space. “According to GardenResearch. com, 30 million U.S. households, about 25 percent, participated in vegetable gardening in 2015,” reports Dave Whitinger, executive director of the National Gardening Association, owned by Dash Works, in Jacksonville, Texas. “To integrate edibles into a landscape, first assess the locations of sunny and shady spots,” says garden consultant Charlie Nardozzi. “Then, identify plants suited to the growing conditions that will fit in those areas. Mix in edibles with flowers, shrubs and groundcovers to keep the yard beautiful.” For urban areas, he recommends raised beds and containers as a good way to integrate edibles, bringing in clean soil and moving containers to the sunniest spots in the yard. “We have 3,000 raised beds in Milwaukee,” says Gretchen Mead, executive director of the Victory Garden Initiative, which helps install edible landscapes. “We went from about 35 new kitchen gardens eight years ago to more than 500 each year now.” The easy-to-build raised beds go on top of or in place of turf lawns. For Midwestern residents, Mead recommends beginning with six crops that can be started as transplants, like tomatoes or broccoli, and then growing a couple of plants from seed, like zucchini or green beans.

Water-Saving Gardens

“Water-saving gardens use less of this precious resource through appropriate plant choices, rain-conserving features, berming and terracing to slow runoff, water-permeable hardscaping and smart irrigation practices,” says Pam Penick, author of The Water-Saving Garden. “Regardless of where you live,

natural awakenings

April 2017


saving water is a priority for everyone. Drought is a growing problem in the Southwest and West, but also affects the Midwest, Southeast and even New England.” “Rain gardens help absorb, retain and use rainfall, preventing it from draining into the sewer,” agrees Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd, with Colorado’s Denver Botanic Gardens. “Rain barrels collect water from gutters and downspouts so there’s more control in time and method of distribution, including perhaps drip irrigation.” According to the Groundwater Foundation, in Lincoln, Nebraska, rain gardens can remove up to 90 percent of problematic nutrients and chemicals and up to 80 percent of sediments from rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, they allow 30 percent more water to soak into the ground.


Hardscaped areas are used far more frequently than the turf lawn they replace as we move through spaces like walkways, patios, fountains, decks and grilling areas to enjoy the outdoors. “Plant people can get excited about planting but forget to leave ample space for patios and paths,


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often resulting in an overgrown, pinched look for seating areas and other places meant to be inviting,” cautions Penick. “It can also be easy to underestimate how large plants can grow in a few years. Plan ahead for these ‘people spaces’ and install them before establishing garden beds.”

Landscapers recommend being generous with this technique without paving over paradise. “Plants will spill and lean over hardscaping, so it won’t feel too large once your garden is filling in,” says Penick. “To address runoff and allow rainwater to soak into the soil, use water-permeable paving wherever possible: gravel, dry-laid flagstone or pavers; even mulch for casual paths.”


Dr. Dorceta Taylor By Julie Reynolds


he environment combined with issues of diversity and inclusion may not seem like a common grouping of topics, but in fact they are very much intertwined and have an important relationship. Society has much more ground to gain in understanding this relationship and complex history. Dr. Dorceta Taylor, Ph.D., is a leading force to make that happen. Her life’s work has been dedicated to her extensive research and teachings on a collection of related topics. Taylor has a long list of accomplishments and accolades to her name, including current Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at The University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Currently, she teaches several classes at the University of Michigan, travels to speaking engagements spreading information from her wide range of experience and expertise and continues to write and publish books. In 2015, Taylor was the recipient of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2015 and the Fred Buttel Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Environmental Sociology Award. In 2014, she was bestowed the James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Chair by the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment and awarded the Carol Hollenshead Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change. She has also been recognized as one of 29 black environmentalists on a list published by SF Environment. Taylor has won awards, been recognized around the country for her outstanding work and dedication and has been influential and contributed remarkable efforts and achievements to her causes.

She has published several books and articles on the many topics of her research and passions. Some of her research includes topics on urban agriculture, food access and insecurity, institutional diversity, leisure and natural resource use, poverty and race, gender and ethnic relations and environmental justice. Those interested in the topics listed above and similar have much to read from Taylor’s collection of books she has written over the years. Her most recent book from 2016 is The Rise of the American Conservation Movement: Power Privilege and Environmental Protection, which explores through almost 500 pages how race, class and gender have influenced the movement from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Another of her published works, this one in 2014, is called Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility. This book examines why minorities live in areas polluted with hazardous toxins, the obstacles they face in relocating to better areas, while at the same time acknowledging public assumptions and skeptics’ claims regarding environmental justice. Coming up in April, Taylor will be a speaker at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids sponsored by The Wege Foundation. This foundation is a family foundation located in Grand Rapids that is focused on helping leaders in health, education, economicology

and the arts to enhance the lives of those living in West Michigan. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 13, from 4 to 5pm. Following will be a book signing and public reception at Aquinas’ Performing Art Center. The lecture is free, open to the public and will offer limited seating. The center is located at 1703 Robinson Road SE in Grand Rapids. More information can be found about Taylor’s many achievements on her University of Michigan faculty page and various other professional websites. More information on her upcoming speaking engagement can be found at under annual events. See ad page 36. 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 2017



MEDICAL MASSAGE Targeted Therapy for Specific Ills


by Linda Sechrist


haron Puszko, Ph.D., founder of the Daybreak Geriatric Massage Institute, in Indianapolis, teaches and certifies massage therapists working in assisted living, long-term care and memory care facilities. She relates, “These individuals appreciate not only the physiological benefits of massage but also having a therapist touch and address them by their names. A 105-yearold woman jokes, ‘Now that they’ve figured out how to keep us alive for so

long, they don’t know what to do with us. Thank God for massage therapy.’” Specialty certificate programs such as Puszko’s, representing advanced education and training within a modality qualified as therapeutic massage and bodywork, are benefitting both massage therapists and clients. Some outcomebased specialty modalities considered as requirements for specific populations such as seniors, athletes, infants and cancer patients and survivors, are

referred to as “medical massage”. The nonprofit National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork provides an accredited, voluntary certification beyond entry-level state licensure. To maintain their status, therapists must complete 24 hours of continuing education and 100 hours of work experience, and pass a criminal background check every two years. The certifying board also approves continuing education providers that teach specialty techniques, including integrative health care, sports massage and military veteran massage. The result is therapies administered according to a national standard of excellence requisite for therapists working in collaboration with doctors, chiropractors, wellness centers, retirement care communities and other medical settings. Puszko, an approved provider who founded her service in 2000, offers beginning and advanced weekend workshops for therapists on the complexities of physiological changes and technical skills required to work with geriatric or senior clients. She works from three offices in upscale retirement communities and teaches approved continuing education curricula throughout the U.S. and internationally. “Although the skills I teach are not taught in massage school, they are in demand at independent and assisted living facilities where massage is considered a vital aspect of health care,”

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says Puszko. “Older Americans represent the greatest challenge to massage therapists. For elderly residents, stretching and pulling on delicate skin and joints, as well as pushing one’s elbow into gluteus maximus muscles, are unacceptable approaches.” She explains that they might be called upon for a range of needs from helping prepare a 70-year-old marathoner for a race to reducing the stress of an exhausted hospice patient. Geri Ruane is one of four founding directors of Oncology Massage Alliance, in Austin, Texas. She manages the operations for this nonprofit created in 2011 to help therapists that volunteer to administer complimentary hand and foot massage therapy to cancer patients and caregivers in chemotherapy infusion rooms and prior to radiation treatment. The alliance offers financial assistance to licensed massage therapists for advanced training through approved third-party oncology massage classes and provides hands-on experience with cancer patients. Ruane defines the essential aspects of an oncology massage therapist’s (OMT) skill set. “A properly trained therapist has an informed understanding of the disease itself and the many ways it can affect the human body; the side effects of cancer treatments, such as medications, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation; and the ability to modify massage techniques in order to adapt accordingly. Our main purpose is to reduce stress and provide emotional support for cancer patients and caregivers in radiation and infusion rooms.”

For example, an OMT will ask a patient about their cancer treatment history, including particulars of related individual health issues, prior to the massage. Hospitals in 35 states and Washington, D.C., now offer massage therapy to individuals during cancer treatment. MK Brennan, president of the Society for Oncology Massage, created in 2007, in Toledo, Ohio, is a registered nurse with a longtime practice in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brennan observes, “In nursing school, I was taught how to give a back rub, an aspect of patient care once provided by all nurses, but no longer part of a nurse’s education. It now appears that there could be a resurgence of interest in offering massage therapy in hospitals that would encompass more medical aspects and require modified techniques for different patient populations.” In addition to oncology and geriatric massage, other select massage therapy modalities such as orthopedic, bodywork, Asian techniques and those related to pregnancy, infant and child health care as well as other special needs require advanced education and training. Before making an appointment with a massage therapist/bodyworker for a specific type of help, inquire about their knowledge, experience, training and continuing education. Ask about additional credentials above entry-level core education that are specific to special needs. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

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RUN FUN Races Beckon Beginners by Aimee Hughes


’ve run in cities, rural areas and suburbs. I’ve run while deployed to military bases in the Middle East, in cities on four continents, in blazing heat and winter snowstorms,” says Maria Cicio, a licensed professional counselor candidate and marathoner in Grove, Oklahoma. “I’ve been running regularly for 25 years, mostly injury-free, and have found what works best for me.” For beginners, Cicio recommends starting with a 5K race. “There are a hundred reasons why a full marathon would not be fun for a beginner, but trail running, charity races and 5K road races are perfect,” she says. Cicio attests the physical health benefits come from the training and preparation more than from the race itself. “You can run for many years before deciding to run an official race, in which case you’ll probably have already experienced increased cardiovascular health, improved muscle tone and strength. “Running your first race can focus your running and turn it into training. You might increase your daily or weekly mileage, depending on the planned length of the race, or add some speed work to your regular running routine. When I’m training for a race, I’m more in tune with what my body needs; I also sleep better,” she says. The mental benefits are what keep many people running, even after the physical ones seem to plateau, advises Cicio. “Running means regular exercise, so it can improve our general mood. While numerous studies show this to be true, the best evidence comes from runners themselves.” Almost everyone has heard of a runner’s high, even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves. It’s long been accepted that endorphins released during exercise create a feeling of euphoria after a satisfying workout. Recent research on mice 20

West Michigan Edition

by the Central Institute of Mental Health at the University of Heidelberg Medical School, in Germany, suggests that it might be natural endocannabinoids that lighten our mood and contribute to the high. Meditation master Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, in Halifax, Canada, teaches an online course, The Art of Mindful Running. He points out that running, or doing any physical activity, in a meditative state can deepen, train and enhance the mind. “Within 20 to 30 minutes, you have an opportunity to work with your mind. Instead of just spacing out or trying to get exercise, you can actually say, ‘I am going to be present, I am going to relate to my breathing and my movement a little bit,’” says Mipham. “This is healthy both for the mind and the body.” Those looking for an alternative to running on concrete and asphalt find that trail running ups the fun factor while nature nurtures us. “While I’d always loved running races, the roads rarely changed. Even the same trail tends to change daily, with a new puddle or a log to jump or crawl over, or a new offshoot. The natural running landscape is full of surprises,” says Nikki Partridge, an avid trail runner, American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates instructor in Auburn, California. “Trail running healed me,” says Partridge. “I always had some injury from running: tendonitis, sprained ankles, runner’s knee, pulled hamstrings, illiotibial band syndrome, shin splints or plantar fasciitis. I became a walking encyclopedia on injury and recovery. But the trails saved me. I no longer pronated when I ran, I had no more tendonitis from running on canting sidewalks—even my knee pain disappeared—my balance improved and my body was happy.” When winding down after a race, carve out ample time for recovery and reflection. “I always ask myself what I liked about how it was organized, course conditions, support staff and the after-party, and then look for another race that fits my preferences,” says Cicio. “Consider taking a vacation around a particular race that interests you or find a local road race the next time you travel. For a modest fee, you get to run a race and typically luck into a T-shirt, food and party camaraderie.” The running world can open our eyes to new places, good people and greater self-awareness, along with physical fitness. Spring is a good time to lace up our shoes and begin the expansive journey. Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy and senior staff writer for LongevityTimes online. Connect at


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OUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS — established over 20 years ago—laid the foundation for the company’s total commitment to using the purist seed, sustainable cultivation, optimum distillation, extensive testing of each batch of oils, and quality control inspection of each bottle to assure the purest, most potent essential oils available in the world. ( Today, YOUNG LIVING’S Vision has grown into a world wide, essentialoil trend, and the trend is fueled by the consumer’s strong desire to bypass toxin-laden, synthetic scents used in many products. Unfortunately, as with any trend, many competitive companies have been spawned that attempt to convince the consumer that their products are “pure essential oils” too, but instead may utilize synthetic oil imitations, or oils made from genetically modified seeds, or oils diluted with carrier oils, or oils distilled from plants grown with pesticides and/or herbicides—all of which distorts, weakens and chemically changes the innate power of essential oils.

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Eggs-pert Advice How to Buy Good Eggs from Happy Hens by Judith Fertig


anice Cole, the author of Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes, knows how delicious a really fresh egg tastes. She keeps three chickens she calls “the girls” in the backyard of her suburban Minneapolis home. “Jasmine, a white Silkie, lays small, beige-colored eggs; Keiko a black and white Ameraucana and Silver Wyandotte cross, green

eggs; and Peanut, a brown, feathery Cochin mix, brown eggs,” relates Cole. Cole has learned a lot about the natural lives of chickens. They need 14 hours of sunlight to produce eggs and lay about one per day. Chickens must be protected from predators, locked up at night in their coop for optimal well-being and let out in the morning to roam. Here are some tips for buying the freshest, most delicious and humanely raised chicken eggs.

How to Read an Egg Carton Deciphering the language on an egg carton is a first step. Diet affects flavor. “Eggs from pasture-raised chickens allowed to roam—eating grass, worms and bugs in the backyard or a pasture—will look and taste better than eggs from chickens limited to an inside space eating chicken feed,” says Cole. “Pasture-raised eggs will have a fresh herbaceous, or grassy, flavor with an ‘egg-ier’ essence.” “Look for the terms organic, free range or ideally, pastured or pasture-raised,” advises Adele Douglass, in Herndon, Virginia, executive director of Humane Farm Animal Care ( “USDA Organic” is a U.S. Depart-


West Michigan Edition

More than 90 percent of eggs sold today come from giant egg factories. ~ Pete and Gerry’s, America’s first Certified Humane egg producer ment of Agriculture label confirming that the food the chicken ate was certified organic. “Non-GMO” indicates a diet free of genetically modified ingredients. “Free-range”, another USDA label, means the chicken had continuing access to the outdoors. “Pasture-raised” assures that the chicken roamed outdoors daily, eating what they wanted; the ideal scenario. “Cage-free” is a USDA-regulated designation ensuring that the chickens were allowed to roam freely about within their building to get food and water. “Natural” has no real meaning says Douglass; the term invokes no USDA regulation and nothing about actual farming practices. “Certified Humane” or “Animal Welfare Approved” means that each free-range hen has at least two square feet of outdoor space; it’s the most desirable designation, says Douglass. When farmers want to raise egglaying chickens, they need to provide physical conditions similar to those Cole affords, but on a larger and more efficient scale, usually without the love. In regions where 14 hours of daylight are not a given, farmers use artificial lighting. When snow is too deep for the birds to venture out and it’s too cold for bug life, farmers supply indoor coops and feed. How well and humanely they do this is up to consumers to find out.

Egg Nutrition

Eating one egg a day, or moderate consumption, will not raise cholesterol levels in healthy adults, concludes a 2012 review in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. While egg yolks contain cholesterol, they also possess nutrients that help lower the risk for heart disease, including

protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and folate, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston. A study by Kansas State University researchers published in the 2001 Journal of Nutrition also found that phosphatidylcholine, another substance in eggs, can decrease the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs from them. Plus, eggs are great sources of micronutrients and antioxidants, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered and licensed dietitian and wellness manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, in Ohio. “I’ve always been a huge proponent for eggs. As lean sources of protein, they help us stay full, are easy to prepare and can be part of a healthy eating regime because they’re packed with free-radical- and inflammation-fighting antioxidants.” Kirkpatrick adds, “Eggs also help protect eyes. Their nutrient-rich yolks, like leafy green vegetables, are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that studies have repeatedly shown help protect against macular degeneration.”   Ideally, all chickens would be treated like Cole’s “girls.” For now, the best most of us can do is choose “Pasture-Raised,” “Organic” and “Certified Humane”. Getting to know more about the farmers that produce our eggs is even better.    Judith Fertig writes food health articles and cookbooks from Overland Park, KS (

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Eggs to Trust Here’s Humane Farm Animal Care’s Adele Douglass’ short list of sources for wellraised eggs. Kirkland Signature Organic Eggs, at Costco, are Certified Humane. While not pasture-raised, they’re cage-free. Costco has partnered with several small family farms throughout the country, which guarantees peace of mind for Costco and gives these smaller purveyors a steady stream of business. Vital Farms, of Austin, Texas, supplies eggs to stores throughout many of the southern and western states. They specialize in Pasture-Raised and Certified Humane eggs, produced by about 90 family farms. Recently, they pioneered a process to make “culling”

(killing non-egg-bearing male chicks) more humane. Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs, headquartered in Monroe, New Hampshire, works with more than 30 family farms in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Their eggs are Organic and Certified Humane, as the chickens live in spacious barns with outdoor access. “Most of the year, they roam outside our barns as they please on organically grown grass amid clover and wildflowers,” says owner Jesse Laflamme. “At the same time, we also have to ensure our hens are safe from predators and communicable diseases from wild birds.”

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April 2017


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Tony Juniper on How Thriving Ecosystems Sustain Prosperity by Randy Kambic



eading environment advocate and author Tony Juniper has been an Earth champion for three decades, imploring humanity to urgently understand that we need nature to thrive. His recently reissued book What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? How Money Really Does Grow on Trees, first published in 2013, won the Independent Publishers Living Now gold medal. It warns about the severe environmental cost of poor land planning; informs how birds, coral reefs, rain forests and other flora and fauna help preserve and sustain our quality of life; pushes for new recycling laws; and seeks to make children early enthusiasts. Formerly executive editor of Friends of the Earth, he serves as president of the Wildlife Trust, in Great Britain, teaching faculty of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and is sustainability advisor to Prince Charles, a noted conservationist.

Why do you believe that economic growth and conservation can coexist? We are measuring economic growth crudely with no sense of quality. One country can have 2 percent gross domestic product growth and at low environmental cost, whereas another measuring similar growth might be both causing massive environmental destruction and concentrating the generated wealth among small numbers of people. 24

West Michigan Edition

We need to grow economies in ways that protect the environmental services that create opportunities for growth in the first place. It’s a major challenge for a world hell-bent on simplistic, crude measures of economic performance. In the Ivory Coast, where I recently visited, many poor rural people grow cocoa. One way to expand its economy is to produce more cocoa at the expense of tropical rain forests, which ultimately destroys the economy because forests are a major source of rainfall. Extended droughts caused by deforestation reveal that kind of growth is self-defeating. We need a more sophisticated approach, with the economy becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of ecology, not the other way around.

Are true eco-cities and eco-suburbs feasible? We can design much more livable areas for the protection and health of wildlife, nature and residents. Nature also has a major bearing on the costs of a country’s healthcare system. A number of population level studies, including from the Netherlands, reveal how people with access to green space feel better and experience higher levels of well-being, especially in mental and psychological health. Many Western countries are seeing increased incidences of depression, anxiety and other psychological

problems that can be reduced through greater access to open areas, green spaces and wildlife. We can expect massive increases in urban areas worldwide in the next 40 years. There’s an opportunity now to plan in integral ways to make these places better for everyone. Failing to integrate nature into them will ramp up the public health costs later on.

What can citizens do to strengthen U.S. environmental policies? First, every election has candidates we can vote for that are more or less knowledgeable and clued into environmental issues. Second, we can exercise power in our purchasing choices. Some companies take leadership positions on environmental and sustainability issues; others don’t. With some research, shoppers can find the best companies to patronize, like those that prioritize low-carbon emissions, resource efficiencies and environmental protection policies. Many of them are advocating for more sensible, long-term environmental policies. In the U.S., one of the biggest pushbacks to the new administration will be from progressive companies that know the future has to be green; buying from these businesses strengthens their role and influence.

Third, we can add to the people’s collective voice by joining campaigns and backing Earth-conscious organizations like the National Audubon Society, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and Sierra Club.

Why do you believe it’s important to instill basic ecological principles in youngsters? In the future, if fewer people understand the implications of climate change, ecosystem degradation, loss of wild animals and rampant toxic pollution, it’ll be even harder to embed adequate responses. The next generation should know how this planet works. Our world doesn’t succeed just on the basis of technology. It’s being run on microorganisms, the actions of forests, seas, soils and everything in the natural world. People that don’t know this can do a lot of damage. When more young people know the basics, it’s more likely they’ll behave in ways that reflect them. Progressive urbanization, with ever fewer people having direct experience of how nature works, is already an issue, so investing in our youth now will pay dividends in their future. Randy Kambic is a freelance writer and editor in Estero, FL, and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings.

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April 2017


The Heart of the Wild Reveals Our Spiritual Life

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Excerpts from “America’s National Parks” from The Hour of Land



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by Terry Tempest Williams

t was standing inside I learned early Nothing. I was held in a Timpanogos Cave (a darkness so deep that my on we live by eyes seemed shut even national monument) as an 8-year-old child that marked wild mercy. though they were open. All me. Hiking to the entrance I could hear was the sound of the cave with our church group, we of water dripping and the beating heart were ushered in by a park ranger. Imof the mountain. mediately, the cool air locked inside the I don’t know how long I stood inside mountain enveloped us and we wore Timpanogos Cave before our church it as loose clothing. Immense stalacleader realized I was missing, but it was tites and stalagmites hung down from long enough to have experienced how the ceiling and rose up from the floor, fear moves out of panic toward wonder. declaring themselves teeth. We were Inside the cave, I knew I would be found. inside the gaping mouth of an animal What I didn’t know was what would find and we were careful not to disturb the me—the spirit of Timpanogos. beast, traversing the cave on a narrow To this day, my spiritual life is found constructed walkway above the floor so inside the heart of the wild. I do not fear as not to disturb its fragility. But it was it, I court it. When I am away, I anticipate the Great Heart of Timpanogos Cave my return, needing to touch stone, rock, that captured my attention. water, the trunks of trees, the sway of When everyone else left the chargrasses, the barbs of a feather, the fur left ismatic form, I stayed. I needed more behind by a shedding bison. time to be closer to it, to watch its red Wallace Stegner, a mentor of mine, orange aura pulsating in the cavernous wrote: “If we preserved as parks only space of shadows. I wanted to touch those places that have no economic the heart, run the palms of my hands on possibilities, we would have no parks. its side, believing that if I did, I could And in the decades to come, it will not better understand my own heart, which be only the buffalo and the trumpeter was invisible to me. I was only inches swan that need sanctuaries. Our own away, wondering whether it would be species is going to need them, too. It cold or hot to the touch. It looked like needs them now.” ice, but it registered as fire. Suddenly, I heard the heavy door Excerpts from The Hour of Land: A slam and darkness clamp down. The Personal Topography of America’s group left without me. I was forgotNational Parks by Terry Tempest Williams, ten—alone—locked inside the cave. reprinted with permission. Learn more at I waved my hand in front of my face.

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ecotip Butterfly Rescue

We watch the graceful flight of colorful butterflies and appreciate their crucial role as pollinators. Establishing butterfly gardens or accommodating them in yard plantings increases food sources radically threatened by reductions in blossom-rich landscapes due to development, intensive agriculture, insecticides and climate change. The National Wildlife Federation ( reports that butterflies are particularly attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered for landing or hovering, with short flower tubes that present easy access to nectar. Regional planting. In the Southeast, goldenrod, with its arching, yellow flowers, appeals to Buckeye species. Tiger Wing, Dainty Sulphur and Malachite lead the way in Florida. Some other suitable plants and trees for attracting butterflies, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center ( are yarrows, red and white baneberries, and red, scarlet and soft maples in the Northeast; Butterfly and Honey daisies, Indian Mallow, American Century and Husiache, in the Midwest; and Giant, Ground, Subalpine and Noble firs, Vine Maple and Columbian Monkshoods in the Northwest. Inspiring individual efforts. reports that California Academy of Sciences aquatic biologist Tim Wong cultivated California Pipevine plants in his backyard butterfly home four years ago upon learning that it is the primary food for California Pipevine Swallowtails in the San Francisco area. Starting with just 20 caterpillars, he was able to donate thousands of the swallowtails to the San Francisco Botanical Gardens last year and has grown more than 200 plants. Milkweed. Populations of iconic Monarch butterflies have plummeted 90 percent in the past 20 years, reports the National Wildlife Federation, primarily due to decline of 12 native milkweed species. They need support for their annual 2,000-plus-mile migration from the U.S. Northeast and Canada to central Mexico and back. Joyce Samsel, curator of the Florida Native Butterfly Society (, notes that the Florida Monarch stays south of Tampa year-round. Learn about milkweed host plant growing conditions at LocalMilkweedByState. Find milkweed seeds via Donate to help. Adopt milkweed habitat land through an Environmental Defense Fund ( program by donating $35 for one acre up to $350 for 10 acres. Their goal is to retain and protect 2 million acres. Vikki Nestico R.Ac., Dipl. OM

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April 2017



NEW WAVE Kids Organize to Save Our Oceans Prasert Wongchindawest/

by April Thompson


arth’s oceans shelter more than a million species, employ millions of people and feed billions more. Their complex ecosystems increasingly face critical challenges, including acidification, overfishing and pollution. Inspiring us all, youths nationwide are stepping up with bold, creative actions benefiting present and future generations to show us how we too, can do our part. Sean Russell, 24, of Englewood, Florida, was exposed to ocean wonders in junior marine conservation summer camps and 4-H programs. Volunteering with Mote Marine Laboratory’s dolphin research program, in Sarasota, Russell was struck by how improperly discarded fishing line entangled and killed dolphins and other wildlife. At 16, he

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launched the Stow It—Don’t Throw It Project to promote portable receptacles made from repurposed tennis ball containers for anglers to stash used fishing line for later safe disposal on shore. More than 21,000 containers have been distributed nationwide to date. While earning a bachelor’s degree in biology, Russell launched the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit to harness youth enthusiasm for related issues. Six summits have convened hundreds of concerned young changemakers and adult professionals. “Young people learn about current threats to marine life and become inspired by peers sharing ideas and successes,” says Russell. Planning and skill-building sessions fuel action,

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often assisted by microgrants to help kick-start community projects. Russell is also involved with the nonprofit EarthEcho International, which activates young leaders through peer-to-peer networks. One recent campaign, 3T4E, encouraged youth worldwide to pick up three pieces of trash on November 1 and document their efforts. Nearly 2 million social media impressions later, they’ve reached youth in 24 states, in 19 countries and on six continents, according to Executive Director Mia DeMezza. Founded by siblings Philippe and Alexandra Cousteau, the Washington, D.C., EarthEcho shares service learning stories that record steps young people are taking to mitigate local waterway issues. In a virtual classroom field trip series, they can explore issues such as oceanic dead zones and acidification through dynamic multimedia presentations. “These young people are going to inherit the problems we’ve created, and deserve a seat at the table,” says DeMezza. Given the opportunity, youth can play a key role in conservation, research and policy making for Earth’s oceans. “I look at youth not as leaders of the future, but leaders of today,” says Russell. Daniela Fernandez, 23, is one of the youth leaders working to bridge the generational divide on ocean conservation issues. An undergraduate at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., she was invited to a 2013 United Nations (UN) meeting to address the state of the world’s oceans. When she inquired if they had social media outlets to share their discussions, she discovered they did not. The 2016 Christopher Benchley Ocean Award winner relates,

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“I returned to campus with a sense of urgency about the issues I learned about, which led me to start a nonprofit to connect Millennials with the oceans.” The resulting Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA) has since hosted three global ocean summits with participants from more than 30 colleges and universities, learning directly from leaders in government, science, business and policy. Summit-watch parties at embassies around the world enabled Millennials to submit questions and comments online. Consequently, Secretary of State John Kerry’s office partnered with SOA to incorporate a youth component in the state department’s 2016 Our Ocean Conference. The SOA, recognized by the United Nations as a game-changing initiative, has catalyzed 30 chapters on U.S. campuses, with plans to expand to Britain, Chile and Spain. Actionable steps include advocating for college curricula on ocean health. Already, the alliance has helped

sway global policy, gathering 30,000 signatures petitioning that ocean conservation be included in UN sustainable development goals. It also mobilized youth advocating for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, America’s first marine monument (measuring a bit larger than Yellowstone National Park), off of Cape Cod, created by former President Obama in 2016. Russell and Fernandez agree that rallying around solutions is key to engaging youths and adults alike. “You can talk about the problems all day long, but it’s solutions that inspire people to take action,” says Russell. Fernandez adds, “Often, people feel helpless in the face of big issues, but if you give them a simple way to help, they will get behind it.” Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, in Washington, D.C., at

What We Can Do Now Everyone has a part to play in keeping oceans clean and healthy. Here are some ways concerned individuals of all ages can help. Do away with disposable plastics. Use reusable alternatives to singleuse plastics such as plastic bags, water bottles, to-go containers, takeaway cups and straws, all of which clog the oceans and endanger 600 aquatic species due to ingestion or entanglement. Green what drains. Anything that washes down the drain can end up in waterways. Avoid dumping chemicals like paint, oil and solvents and opt for non-toxic cleaning products like DIY cleaners made from vinegar and baking soda, which are safe for people and the seas. Eat smart. Per a 2016 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report, nearly a third of commercial fish stocks are now fished at dangerously unsustainable levels. Find best choices on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s downloadable sustainable seafood guide and app at when dining or shopping, and ask seafood eateries and fish counters to carry oceanfriendly selections. Reduce fertilizers. Fertilizer runoff from gardens and commercial agriculture eventually end up in oceans, leading to “dead zones” with low levels of oxygen that kill aquatic life. Cut energy use. Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel consumption is turning oceans acidic, which is particularly harmful to coral reefs. Use energyefficient appliances and vehicles, opt for renewable energy plans from local utilities and bike, walk and take public transit.

Sea Change Youth worldwide are engaging in innovative ways to activate their communities and combat ocean pollution. Pédrisson and Emmanuelson Bernard, of Carrefour, Haiti, won the 2016 Millennium Oceans Prize for a win-win solution to urban waste, ocean pollution and unemployment. During Haiti’s rainy season, the city’s streets carry trash to the sea. The brothers developed a waste management system and mobilized community youth to help keep the streets clean, in turn protecting the waters upon which the island community depends. Students from Borrisoleigh, Ireland, won the EurOcean Foundation’s European Mário Ruivo Prize for a marine trash-fighting solution called Bags with Tags, in December. Laura Hutchinson and Antoinette Atik designed stylish totes to curb the use of plastic bags, including magnetic tags for easier retrieval from waterways; they worked with local stores to distribute them at points of sale. In another 2016 Professor Mário Ruivo Prize finalist effort, students from the island of Malta developed a way to keep waste from falling out of the usually open trash bins serving local ferries that transport 4 million passengers annually by collaborating with town officials to place three marine-friendly containers near the ferry departure point. Such student initiatives demonstrate how simple solutions, driven by passionate advocates, can improve our troubled waters.

Primary sources:;;

natural awakenings

April 2017


NewenHouse photo by Taffline Laylin


ECO-FRIENDLY HOME BUILDING Innovations Boost Energy Efficiency by John D. Ivanko and Liam Kivirist

Smart, innovative, technological breakthroughs are making buildings more energy-efficient, healthier to live in and highly attuned to our connected world.


omeowners continue to be interested in green building options because they help foster a healthier, more comfortable and affordable home—and it’s good for the environment,” says Dan Chiras, Ph.D., of Gerald, Missouri, founding director of the Evergreen Institute and author of The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy.

Panel Insulation

“Structural insulated panels in walls, roofs and floors dramatically reduce air leakage and heat loss through thermal bridging, or heat conduction through framing materials, facilitating a more energy-efficient home that can maintain comfortable temperatures with lower fuel bills than a conventionally built home,” advises Chiras. Find manufacturers via the Structural Insulated Panel Association at

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Efficient Heat Recovery

“The energy recovery ventilator, or ERV, ensures fresh air in tightly sealed homes

with little heat loss,” adds Chiras. The UltimateAir RecoupAerator, a wholehouse air filtration ERV, also flushes out harmful airborne pollutants commonly found in residences, replacing them with clean, fresh, healthy air.

Solar Monitor

“Many solar energy users want to monitor their system using their computer, tablet or smartphone through advances in energy software,” says Allison Lindquist, with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), which hosts the Annual Energy Fair and sustainable living event every June in Custer, Wisconsin. “One highlight last year was PacketFlux Technologies’ SiteMonitor.” “When a homeowner views their energy monitoring data, they quickly begin seeing the correlation between their energy consumption and production,” says Leon Dulak, the MREA site manager. “The direct correlation drives them to change how they live and use energy.”

It costs slightly more on a monthly mortgage to build a home that costs far less per month to operate. ~Dan Chiras Energy Storage

Tesla Motors does more than produce high-end electric cars and solar shingles. The company is also on the cutting edge of future energy storage. Tesla’s new, compact Powerwall 2 battery system, complete with inverter, can power an average two-bedroom home for 24 hours. Chiras says, “Utilities throughout the nation are cracking down with special fees on solar-home owners that occasionally pull electricity from the grid. I think more people are going to opt to go off-grid or install a Tesla battery to provide nighttime power to preempt this. It’s easier to maintain than a standard lead-acid battery, and should last as long. When its useful life is over, the homeowner returns it to the company.” “Saltwater-based batteries for homeowners are coming up,” observes Clay Sterling, assistant professor of electrical technology at Kankakee Community College, in Kankakee, Illinois. “The batteries from Aquion Energy are nontoxic, safe and recyclable.” Their Aspen series of aqueous hybrid ion batteries contain neither heavy metals nor toxic chemicals and are non-flammable and non-explosive, adding to their safety.

Home Plans

Building green gets easier with green home plans. The prototype, superinsulated, 970-square-foot NewenHouse sustainable home in Viroqua, Wisconsin, is about 50 percent smaller and more than 80 percent more energy efficient than the average American home. The plans-and-services package for the Passive House-certified NewenHouse home features double walls for insulation and a super-efficient heat recovery ventilator. Four different home plans are available for houses under 1,000 square feet.

HOME TECH UPDATE Nest Smart Thermostat

Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat replaces the old thermostat and immediately starts saving energy and money. Partnered with a smartphone, custom settings will lower the temperature at night, warm up the house upon waking and reduce heating or cooling swings when owners are away. On average, people save 10 to 12 percent on heating bills and 15 percent on cooling bills according to Energy Trust of Oregon reserach, with the device often paying for itself in less than two years.

Blueair Purifier

Leveraging a mix of filters, ionizers and fans, the Blueair HEPASilent air purification system captures 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.1 micron. A range of sizes are available to suit different spaces.

Haiku Light

The Haiku Light fixture from Big Ass Solutions brightens when someone enters a room and turns off when it detects the absence of movement. The light-emitting diode (LED) fixture produces 50 percent more light than a typical 15-watt compact fluorescent light (CFL).


The Natufia Kitchen Garden is a fully automated vertical garden that easily fits into a kitchen area. Natufia manages the non-GMO, certified organic seed germination, watering, nutrient needs, humidity control and light cycles, freeing the gardener to simply pick and savor year-round fresh produce. While pricey, it provides an option for urbanites that both lack outside growing space and prioritize convenient healthy eating.

Smart Robot

This handy droid vacuums up dust mites, allergens, pet hair and dirt. iRobot’s Roomba 880 detects debris, maneuvers around most furniture and curtains, features a high-efficiency particulate air filter to suck up the small stuff, works on a variety of surfaces and automatically plugs itself in to recharge.

Self-Cleaning Toilets

The bowl of Toto’s MH wall-hung, high-efficiency toilet with powerful 3-D dual flushing is coated with a nanotechnology glaze that seals the porcelain with an ionized barrier; its non-porous surface repels visible and invisible waste. The company’s smart toilet model also cleans itself.

It is never too late to be

what you might have been. ~George Eliot

John D. Ivanko is co-author of ECOpreneuring. Liam Kivirist captures the latest technology news on natural awakenings

April 2017







by Shawn Messonnier


nzymes are among the most commonly used supplements for cats and dogs because they are widely beneficial. They support digestive health and enhance nutrient absorption, as well as reduce inflammation and boost overall wellness. A nutrition school adage states, “If you have a question on your exam and don’t know the answer, put down ‘enzymes’ and you’ll likely be correct.” The point is that enzymes made by the body for specific functions are essential to life because they affect nearly every physical or biological process. Enzymes help normal, healthy pets use nutrients and support the righting of gastrointestinal disorders, whether involving simple vomiting, diarrhea,

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chronic or complete constipation, anal sac disorders or inflammatory bowel disease, regardless of cause. Because sick pets often suffer from reduced appetite and impaired digestion, enzyme supplements are often added to a dietetic regimen to improve their nutritional status. Helpful enzymes include proteases, carbohydrases (like amylase) and lipases that break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats, respectively. Digestive enzymes are highly specific both to the type of food they act upon and the conditions under which they work. They can be derived from pancreatic, plant or microbial sources (bacteria or fungi). While pancreatic enzymes activate mainly in the small intestines (being inactive in the stomach’s lower pH environment), plant and microbial enzymes begin digesting foods in the stomach immediately after ingestion and likely even on the food being prepared, if the enzymes are added several minutes before they are eaten. Enzymes from microbial and plant origins have a broader spectrum of activity because they are stable and active through a wide pH range of 3.0 to 8.0. Enzymes may be helpful for pets with inflammatory conditions, including arthritis, dermatitis, allergies, asthma

Liliya Kulianionak/



earthdaymarch Stand Up

March for Science this Earth Day Concerned citizens will unite on April 22 for a March for Science in Washington, D.C., and locations around the world to champion robustly funding and publicly communicating science for the common good as a pillar of freedom and prosperity. The group is calling on political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based standards in the public interest. The focus will showcase science as a tool to find answers and influence decisions at all levels, from astronomy to zoology, including environmental science and climate change. Jacquelyn Gill, Ph.D., was part of the original group sparking the idea of a March for Science via her initial tweet. “We know how to keep our air and water clean, and the outcomes of the research should inform the policy,” says Gill, an assistant professor of paleoecology and plant ecology at the University of Maine. Caroline Weinberg, a New York City science writer and program co-chairwoman, says, “Within hours, satellite marches were popping up around the country, then the world.” Organizers report several hundred established event locations and the number continues to grow. Michele Paccione/

and cancer. In such cases, they should not be administered with food, because otherwise they will be “used up” before the pet digests the food. It’s also possible to use enzyme supplementation to reduce excessive shedding because enzyme supplementation is widely recognized to increase the absorption of nutrients, some possibly involved in controlling hair growth. Some of these nutrients may be used in thyroid hormone synthesis, which can positively affect hair growth and reduce shedding. A novel use for enzymes is to help pets practicing coprophagia, or the eating of their own or another animal’s feces. Adding the proper enzymes to the diet is believed to curb this problem, which could result from a nutrient deficiency caused by incomplete digestion and absorption. For pets with behavioral coprophagia, enzyme supplementation is unlikely to help the problem but will still benefit the pet’s overall health. The recommended dose by breed and weight is based upon experience, the label of a specific product and directions provided by the family veterinarian. Using enzymes according to a professional’s advice is safe, with rare to nonexistent side effects. Talk to the pet’s doctor about the best enzyme products to address individual needs and keep them healthy.

To join or create an event, visit

Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit

Earth Day should encourage us to reflect on what we are doing to make our planet a more sustainable and livable place. ~Scott Peters

natural awakenings

April 2017



West Michigan Edition

Fund ($25,000) was approved by the Board of Commissioners in December. A local taskforce has been formed to search for funds to assist land owners with the cost of treatment, as well as to survey for the pest and educate the community. If you have healthy hemlocks on your property, there is action you can take to slow the spread of HWA. Eggs and young adelgids are often spread during spring bird migration. It is recommended that bird feeders near hemlocks be removed from April through July. Ottawa County Parks will be removing the bird feeders at the Nature Education Center during that time to protect the hemlocks on our property.


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA)


ast year, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid kegon counties. The time to act is now! (HWA) was first established in the Preventing the spread of HWA to other Upper Midwest, and unfortunately parts of the state and throughout the right here in Ottawa County. This invaMidwest is crucial. Forest pests impact sive pest has devastated forests along our communities both ecologically and the East Coast of the United States. financially. One example of the damWithin Michigan, there are an estimatage they can do is the ongoing issue of ed 170 million hemlock trees that are at ash tree removal due to the Emerald ash risk of dying from HWA. However, the borer infestation. By addressing HWA loss of hemlock within our forests is just before trees are lost, we will reduce the beginning. costs associated with tree removal or Long-term studies from the east treatment and also protect the natural coast have resources of documentour state. ed extensive In negative efconjuncfects caused tion with by the loss the West of hemlock Michigan within natuShoreline ral commuRegional nities. These Develchanges opment affect the Commission ecology and (WMSRDC), Courtesy: Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station economy Ottawa of the infested areas. County Parks applied for There is good news. a $600,000 Great Lakes This pest is treatable, and it is not yet Restoration Initiative Grant to help cover surveying and treatment for private widespread. land owners. Grant awards are expect Currently, there are fewer than 20 ed to be announced in May. Funding HWA-infested sites in all of Michigan, from Ottawa County’s Environmental concentrated in Ottawa and Mus-

Needles are flat, not round and they are attached individually to the branch, not in bunches like pine trees. Needles have two white “racing stripes” on the underside.

HWA in West Michigan: Learn more about surveying, treatment, and how to get involved in the fight against HWA at a public meeting on Saturday, April 8 at the Nature Education Center at Hemlock Crossing from 12-1 pm. Presentation by Melanie Manion, Natural Resources Management Supervisor, Ottawa County Parks. IDENTIFY: You can identify HWA by looking for a white woolly substance found on the base of the needles. This woolly substance is actually a mass of eggs. HOW IT GOT HERE: Insects have entered Michigan several times in the past decade from other HWA-infested areas of the U.S. REPORT IT:

natural awakenings

April 2017


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West Michigan Edition


Naked at noon? How much sunshine do you get? By Dr. Dan Gleason


ere in West Michigan the latitude and “Lake Effect” blocks much of the sun. This puts most of us at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. We have tested hundreds of local residents and, unless they are taking D3 supplements, find that everyone is low on this very important nutrient. This is true even for those who take multivitamins and drink Vitamin D milk regularly. Normal Vitamin D function also requires optimal levels of Vitamin K. Following are some of the mechanisms that depend on optimal levels: • Normal bone growth and repair including osteoporosis and rickets • Electrolyte control related to kidney and heart function • Immune system regulation including infection and auto-immunity • Abnormal calcifications including bursitis, bone spurs, and even cataracts Vitamin D testing should be included in the regular annual blood tests that accompany your physical exam. We also recommend a test called Undercarboxilated Osteocalcin (ucOC) for determining your Vitamin K status. What are considered to be optimal levels? Conventional labs typically give a range of 30 to 60 for Vitamin D. We agree with most integrative medicine experts who recommend levels of 60 to 100. We use Genova Labs for our ucOC testing and their normal range is 0.0 - 3.8 ng/mL and values above 12.1 indicates severe deficiency. If you don’t have testing to guide you, how much Vitamin D should you take? • 1000 units per day for infants • 2000 for children • 4000 for adults

This typically is barely enough to maintain already normal D levels. If you are deficient it may take a much higher dosage to get you to the normal range. While many medical doctors warn against getting too much Vitamin D, side effects from taking too much are mild and extremely rare. In a study of 25,567 people who were tested for Vitamin D only 475 had levels over 160 (1.8%). Of those only 52 (0.2%) had hypercalcemia (elevated blood calcium levels) and of those only 15 (0.06%) could be attributed to too much vitamin D. None of the cases studied resulted in hypervitaminosis D leading to critical serum calcium levels. Overdose has been observed in people taking more than 77,000 units per day and acute symptoms at 600,000/day. In researching this issue we found a report of an 89-year-old woman who received 3 injections of 6 million units of Vitamin D over a threemonth period. Her only symptom was severe bone pain that completely resolved after she stopped treatments. These studies and example demonstrate how safe taking Vitamin D is. The U.S. Institute of Medicine has established the following daily Tolerable Upper Intake Level by age group to protect against vitamin D toxicity: • 0-6 months: 1000 IU • 7-12 months: 1500 IU • 1-3 years: 2500 IU • 4-8 years: 3000 IU • 9+ years: 4000 IU • Pregnant and lactating: 4000 IU

fish liver oils. There are small amounts in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks, but not nearly enough for optimum health. How then do we normally get Vitamin D? It is known as The Sunshine Vitamin for a very good reason. Cholesterol is secreted on to the surface of our skin by our oil and sebaceous glands. When ultraviolet B rays from the sun hit the cholesterol molecules they become Vitamin D. It then takes up to 24 hours to absorb and process. If we wash with soap much of our D goes down the drain. Another reason so many of us are deficient is that we overuse sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and UV clothing in hopes of preventing skin cancer. Naked at noon –Those who have fair skin, live in the tropics, spend a lot of time outdoors, and expose large areas of their skin to the sun during the middle of the day, have normal levels of Vitamin D. Full body exposure to sunlight is comparable to taking a daily oral dose of 10,000 to 25,000. Those with darker skin, work indoors, and live in the higher latitudes are at great risk for Vitamin D deficiency and all the disease that results.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Jan 2007) indicates that a daily intake of is 10,000 IU is safe. It is virtually impossible to get enough Vitamin D from food, even if you eat large amounts of fatty fish and

Dr. Dan Gleason is the owner of The Gleason Center located at 19084 North Fruitport Road in Spring Lake. For more info: go to or call 616-846-5410. See ad page 45.

In addition to being a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and an Applied Kinesiologist, Dr. Gleason is a 4th generation home builder and engineer— he correlates the two sensibilities in his approach, “A person’s health is similar to that of building a house- good planning, good science, good materials make for good health as well as a good home”.

natural awakenings

April 2017


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West Michigan Edition


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


BVI School of Ayurveda Accepting Applications: Ayurvedic Consultant Certificate Program. Webinar and On-Site Courses, one weekend a month. State Licensed. NAMA Member. The Sambodh Society, Inc. 6363 N. 24th St., Kalamazoo. Info and Catalog: or 269-381-4946 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. Info & Appointments: 616-202-6368 New Client Gift –New Consultation Clients get a Welcome Gift worth over $200. Schedule a consultation with Dr. LeAnn Fritz, ND and you’re entitled to this welcome bag of products to get you started, absolutely FREE! Mention this ad to receive your gift. New Hope Health, 10373 Riverview Dr, Plainwell. Info: 269-204-6525 Spring is in the Air –Mon-Fri 9:30am-7:30pm. Classes and appointments offered by Tonya Holcomb, New supplement Brands, Positive Energy is in the AIR...Stop in today! Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: chatterbocks1963@, 616-433-9333.


Prosperity Class –10-11:30am. Our monthly prosperity group meetings are held the 1st Saturday of the month from 10-11:30am. We will listen to a prosperity story, engage in discussion and create affirmations for our prosperity. This meeting will catapult your mind and provide a new way of prosperous thinking. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Bluestar Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: Call 616-886-2716, Natural Joy Learning Center –10am-12pm & 1-4pm. A new style of learning for all ages, the classes will present “Buddhist Wisdom” in the morning session, and “Volunteer Training Academy” in the afternoon session. Free. Unity Church of Muskegon, 2052 Bourdon St. Muskegon. Info: For a full description or to register, email , 616-634-8031 Runes: Meaning and Method –11am. Learn Rune history and meaning, various methods of use, and hands-on practice at reading and intuiting their messages in a light-hearted and pleasant atmosphere. Cost of the class includes a set of Runes. Preregistration is required.$25. Moondrop Herbals, 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids. Info and register: 616-735-1285, Saturday Morning Self-Care: Trauma Sensitive Yoga & Art –10-11:45am. Learn to use mindfulness check-ins, 3-minute specific Gentle Yoga exercises,

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

and Art Therapy tools to help you manage daily challenges and maintain a positive sense of wellbeing. Hosted by Devi Fongers, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Art Therapist and Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor. $25 to attend. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: or 616-264-6556.


Power of Being –1-3:30pm. What causes you to feel stuck, trapped or overwhelmed? This class offers information, exercises, and tools to answer these questions and more. Learn effective ways to shift your thinking and energy, that unlocks your potential and to live your true self. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC, $55.00. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: or 616-682-7812.


Rant, Rave and Review: Film Discussion Series –7-8pm. Want to talk more about films after watching them on our film streaming service Kanopy? Watch the pre-selected film at home and then attend an engaging and thoughtful discussion and analysis of the film at the library. Ask questions, give opinions, and talk movies! Films may contain adult situations and content. April’s selection: Rome, Open City (1945). Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library, 111 Library St., NE, Grand Rapids. Info: or 616-988-5400.


Power of Being –1-3:30pm. What causes you to feel stuck, trapped or overwhelmed? This class offers information, exercises, and tools to answer these questions and more. Learn effective ways to shift your thinking and energy, that unlocks your potential and to live your true self. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC, $55.00. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: or 616-682-7812.


Nourishing the Lakeshore –7pm. Meetings the second Tuesday of each month. Open to the Public! Formed to provide education on the health enriching benefits of traditional diets, to increase access to clean, nutrient dense foods, and to teach traditional preparation and storage methods. Nourishing the Lakeshore of West Michigan is a chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation serving Ottawa, Muskegon, and Oceana counties. The main purpose is to act as a resource for local, clean, nutrient dense food. We also provide informational meetings on health related topics, often those which are politically incorrect. Nourishing the Lakeshore respects that everyone is at a different point on the path to better eating. Our goal is to educate and enrich the

wellness of our community. Location: The Century Club on Western Ave, Muskegon. Info:Meetup. com/Nourishing-the-Lakeshore-of-West-MichiganWeston-A-Price


Realm of Post Partum Healing –6:30-7:45pm - Join Heather Dexter, N.D. and Mother of three, as she unravels the challenges of postpartum. We will discuss the delicate nature of the postpartum period from the day one to day 365. Cost is $20 per person. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info: and to register contact Heather at 616-232-2638.


Wisdom Circle with the Mahavidyas –7-8:30pm. The Tantric Wisdom Goddesses--known as the Mahavidyas--will be the subject of a 10 month women’s circle with meetings on the third Wednesday January-October of 2017. Each Goddess will be explored as she relates to the stages of a woman’s life. Pre-registration by 1/15 for the series, which will include a book. $15 drop in/$100 for 10 month series. On The Path Yoga, 701 E. Savidge #3 Spring Lake. Info: at or sandy@, 616-935-7028.


Music in the Stacks: The Extra Texture –78:30pm. Have a musical interlude in the library! As you browse the collection, enjoy a performance by The Extra Texture. The Extra Texture hails from Grand Rapids and blends modern rock with 1960’s pop sensibilities. Comparisons have been made to Lou Reed and Pavement. Their first full-length album, Palamino, launched in April 2015. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library, 111 Library St., NE, Grand Rapids. Info:, 616-988-5400.


Refresh Yourself –5pm. Join us for this FREE event and Refresh Yourself! Our practitioners, Lauren Ramey Holistic Esthetician and Andrea Hop Health Coach are joining forces with Ashley Petroskey, Owner and Makeup artist of BC Cosmetics, to bring to you a night of healthy skin, awareness, education, and pampering! Free. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St.W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info and RSVP:, or 616-264-6556.


SoulCollage® Introductory Workshop –1-5pm. SoulCollage® offers an engaging way to listen to your inner voice. Through creating collage cards from found images, you explore aspects of your soul.

natural awakenings

April 2017


This workshop features an overview of SoulCollage®; a chance to breath and reflect through images; creating up to three cards in an open atmosphere. $35 - includes all materials. Tulip City Panache, 650 Riley Street, Holland. Pre-registration required. Info: Contact Ruth Zwald RuthZwald55@gmail. com or 269-227-3933. Lakeshore Earth Day Celebration –1-4pm. Visit many booths with demonstrations, information, food, games and environmentally friendly products. A fun community event held at the Grand Haven Community Center! 421 Columbus, Grand Haven. Info:, 616-638-4541.


Spirit Faire –11am-5pm. Try out intuitive readers, Reiki, massage, palmistry, energy tuning, chakra balancing, Angel messages. Shop jewelry, crystal wands, tarot & oracle cards, metaphysical books, candles, stones, runes, soaps, lotions. $5 admission, door prizes, speakers, free parking! $5 Admission. DoubleTree ballroom, 4747 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. Info: or 269-948-1990. Inspire! Event –1pm. Advocacy for Children is the discussion topic for the April 23 Inspire! event. Extended Grace Executive Director and ExperiMentor will lead the gathering. Inspire! events are open to the public and all are welcome. Free. Extended Grace, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Ridge Ave entrance, Ferrysburg. Info: or 616-842-8703. Power of Being –1-3:30pm. What causes you to feel stuck, trapped or overwhelmed? This class offers information, exercises, and tools to answer these questions and more. Learn effective ways to shift your thinking and energy, that unlocks your potential and to live your true self. David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC, $55.00. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. or 616-682-7812.


Deeper Dive –6pm. Deeper Dive provides participants with the opportunity for in-depth discussion of Advocacy for Children, the topic introduced at the April 23 Inspire! gathering. Panelists will be child advocates. Barbara Lee Van Horssen, Extended Grace executive director and experi-mentor will facilitate the discussion. Deeper Dive is open to the public and all are welcome. Free. Extended Grace, 17290 Roosevelt Rd, Ridge Ave entrance, Ferrysburg. Info: or 616-502-2078.

unfiltered perspective as o why love is so hard to find. He provides a modern viewpoint and compelling insights to tough questions like “Why do men fall in love with ‘ratchet’ but are afraid to pursue class?” or “Why does love fade away over time?” Come out and talk about healing, forgiving, selflove, attracting real love, cultivating a relationship, and getting rid of toxic relationships. Chris provides real talk, about real life, in real time, and will be offering real advice. This program is for singles and couples. A book signing will follow the presentation. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library, 111 Library St., NE, Grand Rapids. Info: jhight@, 616-988-5400.

savethedate May 3

Make Art Not War: Collage –7-8:30pm. 90 minutes of peace, reflection, relaxation, and art making. This is Art Therapy, where the process matters more than the end product. A place where you may discover the unexpected through the process of reflection and art making. Cost $25 per 90-minute session or Purchase all 4 weeks for $80. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: info@, 616-264-6556.


World TaiChi & Qigong Day of Peace Community Practice –10am. This educational event brings people together across ethnic, racial, religious and geographical borders celebration of personal and global health and healing! Join us! Free. West Michigan Qigong & TaiChi, 99 East 8th Street, Holland. Info:, 616-215-3008. Container Gardening with Our Kitchen Table –1-2:30pm. Learn how to grow your own organic food and herbs in containers and window boxes. Our Kitchen Table garden coaches will share tips on soil, planting and caring for food plants with special emphasis on achieving success in an urban setting. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Library, 111 Library St., NE, Grand Rapids. Info: jhight@, 616-988-5400.


Reiki I & II Class –9am-5pm - Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee is $250. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration a week prior to class. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info: and to register - 616-443-4225. Mindfulness & Meditation Class –3-3:45pm. On the last Sunday of every month Sherry Petro-Surdel from Spirit Space in Saugatuck will join us for a class in enrich and deepen our Mindfulness and Meditation practice. Each month will focus on a different aspect. Please join us at 3:00 pm for a 45 minute practice for only $10.00. Bodhi Tree Yoga & wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or

savethedate May 6

Spring Celebration & Psychic Fair –11am6pm. Spring is here! Do you have any residual winter blahs hanging on? Come in and receive a free mini-cleanse to enhance your spring renewal. While you’re here, you can explore the outdoor vendors with their varied and unusual gifts. Our talented practitioners will be here to offer a Reading or Healing. We have psychics, card readers and mediums as well as healers practicing Reiki and Illuminata. We will also have Aura Photography. This is held at Choices Unlimited, 8887 Gull Rd, Richland. Info: ChoicesUnl@gmail. com, 269-629-5507.

savethedate May 10

Make Art Not War: Oil Pastels –7-8:30pm. 90 minutes of peace, reflection, relaxation, and art making. This is Art Therapy, where the process matters more than the end product. A place where you may discover the unexpected through the process of reflection and art making. Cost $25 per 90-minute session or Purchase all 4 weeks for $80. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: info@, 616-264-6556.


Reiki Share –6-8:00pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about, and have a mini session done. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Info: and to register 616-443-4225. Love and Relationships: A Talk with Author Chris Sain Jr. –7-8:30pm. Who isn’t looking for love? At a time where technology, freedom of expression, social media, and instant gratification are prioritized over love, trust and commitment, men and women alike are in and out of relationships, abandoning friendships, quitting marriages, and giving up on love. Chris Sain Jr’s book Finding Real Love in the Love & Hip Hop Era offers a unique,


West Michigan Edition

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 17

Make Art Not War: Found Objects –7-8:30pm. 90 minutes of peace, reflection, relaxation, and art making. This is Art Therapy, where the process matters more than the end product. A place where you may discover the unexpected through the process of reflection and art making. Cost $25 per 90-minute session or Purchase all 4 weeks for $80. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: info@, 616-264-6556.

savethedate May 20

A Night with Spirit...with Psychic Thomas John –7pm. “Manhattan Medium” Thomas John, internationally regarded psychic medium, will deliver messages from the other side to those in attendance. He will also take questions about life after death. $40 standard ticket; VIP tickets also available and include front row seating, meet-andgreet after the main event, additional 30 minutes of messages, and a copy of Thomas’ book. $40. Unity of Grand Rapids, 1711 Walker Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info: or 616.453.9909. Tickets:

savethedate May 24

Make Art Not War: Crayons –7-8:30pm. 90 minutes of peace, reflection, relaxation, and art making. This is Art Therapy, where the process matters more than the end product. A place where you may discover the unexpected through the process of reflection and art making. Cost $25 per 90-minute session or Purchase all 4 weeks for $80. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W, Suite B, Grand Rapids. Info: info@, 616-264-6556.

savethedate June 9-11 Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference – Honoring the Wise Women of the Past, Present and Future. Speakers: Tammi Sweet, Ubaka Hill, Lisa Ganora, Whapio, and Robin Rose Bennett and many more. Over 60 workshops and Plant walks, Kids’ camp and Teen Spiral. Includes pre-conference classes and workshops. Personal growth workshops, singing, dancing, plant walks, meals, swimming, red tent communal space and more. Enter to win a free full conference ticket, including meals & lodging, at NA/Chicago. com/CHI/Contests. Contest ends Mar 31. Camp Helen Brachman, Almond, WI. For more info:

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

Sunday Hot Yoga –5-6:15pm. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. or info@ Spirit Space Sunday Worship –10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasoning’s. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or 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: Sunday Worship and Youth Services –10:30am. A warm, inviting, New Thought, spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those seeking spiritual truth. Free. Unity, 1711 Walker Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. Info:, 616-453-9909.

Monday Chair Yoga –10:30-11:30am. Incorporate movements and breathing exercises designed to assist with relaxation and increase mobility, balance, and strength. A chair and other props will be used to safely modify this yoga class for all fitness and mobility levels. This class is a great gentle option for those who use a cane or walker, have limited mobility, or have recent injuries. Special $10.00 per class. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th Street, Holland. Info: call 616-392-7580 or go to A 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.

A Course in Miracles –6:30-8pm. A complete selfstudy spiritual thought system. It teaches that the way to universal peace is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The Course focuses on the healing of relationships and making them holy. It expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. Love offering. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Info: or 616-682-7812, $20 off BioMeridian Assessments –Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Grand Rapids. 616365-9176. 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

Saturday Beginning Yoga –8:30-9:45am. This class will introduce you to basic postures, breathing techniques, and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. Gentle yet relaxing in nature, you will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and having a greater sense of health and well-being. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: visit us at or Hot Yoga –10:15-11:30am. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. or info@ Gentle Hatha Yoga – 915-10:15am & 11-12:15am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St, Montague. 231740-6662. Info: 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. Muskegon. 231861-2234

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. Info: 231-740-6662 or

natural awakenings

April 2017


GROW YOUR BUSINESS Secure this ad spot! Contact us for special ad rates.


West Michigan Edition



Rev. Elizabeth Cosmos, PhD

...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 27.


Sally Austin 233 Fulton E, Suite 114B Grand Rapids 616-293-5768 – A practice of gentle dynamic movements that can be done lying, sitting or standing, built for you to use daily and promote your health and well-being. Promotes empowerment, wellness, spirit connection, awareness, confidence.


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 9.

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

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

Ama-Deus individual sessions for balancing and prevention, as well as group classes are being offered. Ama-Deus is a method that taps into Love to support your healing path. See ad, page 21.


Dr. Dan Gleason 19084 North Fruitport Road Spring Lake, MI 49456 616-846-5410 An alternative, holistic approach combining chiropractic and kinesiology as well as the latest in metabolic and hormone testing. Using a variety of techniques, we work with our patients to determine the scope and duration of care that’s right for each individual.


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.


MicroLife Nutritionals by Vasayo 616-481-8587 • Superior Bio-availability with Advanced Liposome delivery technology: Our proprietary Liposomal-encapsulation technology ensures vastly improved nutrient delivery and absorption within the body over traditional supplements.


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.


Clara VanderZouwen • 616-481-8587 Independent Sharing partner Keto OS (get your Ketones) Be Young Essential Oils are exclusive E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed 100% pure & safe for your entire family and pets! Wondering what to use? Just call or email me, I’m here to educate you! Now offering Keto OS. Ketones flowing through your body within 60 minutes!


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 • 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 25.

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 21.

natural awakenings

April 2017






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 33.


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 18.


Dr. Steven Osterhout 5717 Oakland Drive, Portage 269- 323-4473 - Vitality Healthcare offers a cutting-edge approach to medicine. We integrate the best medical approaches with the most advanced natural therapies to address the underlying causes of poor health. We offer: Physical and Functional Medicine / Chiropractic and Massage / Metabolic and Hormone Evaluations / Nutrition and Detoxification / Food Sensitivity and GI Issue Testing / Medical and Natural Weight Loss. Our highly-qualified team of doctors, nutritionists and therapists have extensive training to serve all your healthcare needs.


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.

PO Box 391, Hastings 269-254-9760 x 102

Naturopath On-Call combines scientific knowledge with traditional, natural and holistic medicine. Conducted completely over the phone or by video-chat, we give you the tools and information necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices and changes. See ad, page 10.


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 18.

LGBTQIA COUNSELING ADVANCED COUNSELING AND THERAPY SERVICES, PLC Sue Dilsworth, Ph.D, ERYT-500 2020 Raybrook Ave. SE, Suite 305 Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (Corner of Burton and E. Beltline) 616-307-1617

Psychological services tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Through various treatment modalities, you will have an opportunity to explore life patterns, address immediate personal challenges, and explore alternative ways of dealing with personal conflict/ turmoil, moving you on to a healthier, happier life. See ad, page 8.


Pam works with highly – motivated individuals as they focus on their complex life agendas and aim for their very best life-work balance. This provides a powerful framework for building more effective relationships while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling personal life. See ad, page 47.

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.

MOBILE MASSAGE WORKS Dania Vandermeer, LMT 3234 S. Westnedge Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49008 541-325-1429

Licensed Massage Therapist offering 5 years experience in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Chinese Cupping, Pregnancy and newly trained in Oncology Massage. Personalized Massage experience with stretching homework to provide balance and stress management.


Patrice Bobier, CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe, CPM Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 – specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,600 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.


Sally Ann Loew, Hair Artist/Educator Organic Colour Speciality 6455 28th St. SE, Suite 1, Grand Rapids 616-299-1796, London Studios Specializes in: Organic Color Systems, Color Corrections, Multidimensional Hair Color, Restorations for Vo l u m e a n d L e n g t h , Organic Keragreen Keratin Treatments, European Cutting Techniques, Natural Hair Extensions, I n t e g r a t i o n , B r i d a l S e r v i c e s , We d d i n g Consultations and other services. See ad, page 19.

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


NATURAL JOY LEARNING CENTER Community Outreach Classes Unity of Muskegon 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon 231-759-7356,

A new form of education for all ages. Ongoing sessions in four courses, presented for all ages and backgrounds. Grandparents can bring their grandchildren, if the child has a hungry mind. Call or e-mail for a complete catalog of courses.

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

Women Rising Plus: Natural Pregnancy

Educational programs offered: Natural Health Program: four years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program: one year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program: six months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad, page 2.

Preparing for Natural Pregnancy & Childbirth


and so much more!

May articles include: Women at Work Healing the World


Thermography is a safe, tested, painless, and effective procedure providing information for breast cancer risk assessment, breast cancer prevention and early detection, possible hormone imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, musculoskeletal inflammation, and neurological problems.

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.).

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April 2017




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Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2017  

April 2017

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ April 2017  

April 2017