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feel good • live simply • laugh more






How to Raise Loving, Happy Kids

Green Arts

Eco-Supplies Make Creativity Safe

Pint-Sized Chefs

When Kids Cook, They Naturally Eat Healthier

Should Vaccinations Be Mandatory? Knowledge Empowers Choice

August 2015 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

August 2015


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August 2015


contents 6 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 11 globalbriefs

9 11

14 consciouseating

18 wisewords 20 greenliving

22 healingways 34 fitbody 38 naturalpet

41 inspiration 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory


47 classifieds

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

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


They Love Healthy Food They Make Themselves by Judith Fertig



by Kathleen Barnes


Tips for Finding Safe Eco-Supplies by Avery Mack



Early Protection Can Save Lives by Joel Shuler


Tips for Raising Confident and Loving Kids


by Meredith Montgomery

28 THE VACCINE PUSH Mandatory Laws vs. Personal Choice by Linda Sechrist

34 SWIMMING IN NATURE Splashing Safely in Lakes and Oceans by Lane Vail


Hop on a Bike and go Lean and Green

by Debra Melani


They Have Lots to Say If We’d Only Listen by Sandra Murphy




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

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2015 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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s I snuggle up on the couch with my dog negotiating my way through a mid-summer cold, I find myself wishing my mother was here to take care of me. While I’m past the age where that’s the social norm, there’s nothing like parents that truly parent with presence, and I’m grateful to have grown up with a mom and dad who did just that. Having four kids in five years, my parents were busy from the moment they began their family to the moment they became empty-nesters. Selflessly investing in my three brothers and me, they never missed a parent-teacher conference, basketball or soccer game, cheer competition, tennis match or choir concert. They drove all over West Michigan every week so we could reap the blessings of activities we liked and so they could be involved in our lives. My parents took us across the country, to museums, historical sites and zoos, so that we could learn and experience new cultures and see new things. They encouraged us to both try new things we weren’t sure about and get better at what we chose to do. They expected big things of us and helped us achieve them. They laughed, cried and celebrated with us, coached and taught us, disciplined and loved us. I hope that someday when I have my own children, they’ll feel as blessed as I did growing up. I hope that I’ll make daily conscious decisions to likewise parent with presence and pour goodness into our children’s lives. My husband, Kevin, and I are fortunate to still live close by both his parents and mine, who continue to parent and mentor us in the ways that we need it. We cherish their willingness to help with house projects, let us borrow their trucks and tools and dog sit when we’re away. We’re fortunate to be able to have weekends away together as well as dinners, lunch dates and visits at church with them all. Both my husband and I were raised by parents that were present at every stage, even when at times we chose a path different from what they may have hoped. We’ll be most grateful if we are able to one day parent to a similar capacity of goodness. Wishing cherished times for you and your family,

Amanda Grasmeyer, Assistant Publisher

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings

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Magazine of West Michigan

August 2015


newsbriefs Spirit Space Movie Night


n August 12 at 7:00 p.m., Spirit Space will join together in the sanctuary to view Change Your Brain, Change Your Life with Daniel G. Amen, M.D. Through his brain imaging work at the Amen Clinics with tens of thousands of patients from 62 countries over the last two decades, Dr. Daniel Amen has come to understand that you can literally change your brain and change your life. This video is packed with helpful tips and practical brain science including seven simple principles to change your brain and change your life and the one question you should ask yourself every day. The movie will be followed by a discussion. Popcorn will be served. For more information, call 269-455-5329, email or visit See ad, page 13.

Lapping the Landmarks

Gain a new perspective on Grand Rapids with Caroline Cook and incorporate your favorite EcoTrek elements with Kim Matthews with the excellent cross-training session for runners! The session costs $12 per person. For more information, visit and RSVP to

Cook Once, Eat All Week


hef Del Sroufe, co-owner and chef for Wellness Forum Foods, has written a new cookbook---The China Study Quick and Easy Cookbook. Wouldn’t it be great to cook once and eat plant based recipes all week? Well, you can now with this book. Most of the ingredients can be found at our regular grocery stores, so no extra trips to another store. Chef Del will do a cooking demonstration and book signing on August 19 at 7:00 p.m. at Schuler’s Bookstore on 28th Street. With candor and humor, Chef Del will share his health story and share great tips for a healthier lifestyle. For more information, visit See ad, page 46.


oin Grand Rapids Running Tours and EcoTrek Fitness for Lapping the Landmarks in downtown Grand Rapids on August 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.


West Michigan Edition

Ayurvedic Medicine Workshop and Kirtan with Sonam Targee

F Sonam Targee

rom the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center presents Sonam Targee for a day of Ayurvedic Medicine and an evening of Kirtan on August 29. He will be

offering two workshops during the day followed by a Kirtan in the evening. Sonam has had a successful clinic in Ayurveda and herbal medicine for 27 years. He has taught in yoga centers and hospitals around the country and he currently practices and lives in Rochester, NY. Born in Tamil Nader, South India, he extensively studied Indian music, Indian medicine, and Indian spirituality. Targee has studied Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Robert, Svoboda, and Dr. Mahadevan. He holds a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine, a practitioner’s certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Bachelor’s degree in Ethno-musicology. For more information, call 616-336-9642 or visit See ad, page 16.

30 Days of Peace


he 30 Days of Peace brings together non-political, nonprofit individuals, organizations and groups who share a common interest in cultivating peace, fairness and non-violence. Those individuals are invited to create, collaborate and coordinate the 30 Days of Peace in the month of September. The 30 Days of Peace encourages people to plant something, build something, nurture something, paint something, fly a kite, sing, dance, pray, have a parade or a nature walk, read something or simply do something to promote peace. Muskegon County offers numerous events, classes and opportunities throughout the month, all of which can be found on their event calendar. For more information specific to Muskegon County’s 30 Days of Peace, you can find them on Facebook at “30 Days of Peace Muskegon” or email peacemuskegon@

Now Open


olecular Miracle ReJuvenation is now open in a kiosk in Rivertown Crossings Mall, 3700 Rivertown Parkway in Grandville. The founders’, Roy Bodien and Julie Phillips, intention is to bring state-of-theart technology and healing sciences together to help families build a happier, healthier community through education and entrepreneurial training. Molecular Miracle ReJuvenation specializes in organic, 100% toxic-free skincare, personal care, household, health & nutritional products. When Phillips was suffering from health challenges as a young adult, she tried conventional medicine with little success. She was introduced to chiropractic and alternative modalities of healing, which resolved the health challenges she was previously experiencing. This placed a mission on her heart to bring hope and healing to others. Shortly after her husband passed away unexpectedly, she was given a book called Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. In the book,

she read about a Holy Relationship, which means God brings two people together for a greater purpose to the world. In 2010, Phillips met Bodien, and they came together for a greater purpose to the world, the vision of bringing the health and the wealth back to the world. With this vision they are attracting all kinds of world-class people. Their newest partner, Raymond Wan, came to them from Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center. He is a certified acupuncturist and massage healer. For more information, find Molecular Miracle ReJuvenation on Facebook. See ad, page 8.

Lecture Series


he Coptic Fellowship International welcomes you to their empowering Lecture Series for 2015, “Spark Your Spiritual Ascension: You Make A Difference”, on Saturday September 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Hotel Conference Center, 3333 28th Street SE in Grand Rapids. The keynote presenter is love catalyst creative visionary, rebel humanitarian and author Simran Singh as she presents, “Conversations With The Universe”. Also featured is Rev. Normandi Ellis, an Egyptologist, spiritualist medium and internationally known author and teacher presenting, “Way of the Phoenix: Ascension and Soul Progression”. Coptic presenters include Director John Davis presenting, “Our Next Step In Human Evolution” and Ministers Ortrun Franklin, “Sirius, Egypt and You”, Bob Huttinga, “Are You A Psychic Healer?” and Andy Tomko with “In The NOW....Awareness”. The Lecture Series is by a Love Offering donation. A healing service will be part of the day along with an outstanding lineup of personal service consultations. Fees apply for consultations. A marketplace of books, CD and gifts will also be available. For more information, visit Space is limited. Pre-registration for the Lecture Series and consultations is requested by calling 616-531-1339. See ad, page 3.

Grand Rapids Veg Fest


rand Rapids Veg Fest is a one day Health Expo that promotes a plant based lifestyle on September 13 at The Deltaplex in Grand Rapids, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $5 and parking is free. Get healthy living information and browse products and samples from local and national veg- friendly businesses. Learn about the benefits of plant based eating. Enjoy the vegan food court with food for purchase. Hear from nationally known, plant based speakers including Dr. Joel Khan and Dr. Mary Wendt who will be giving informative presentations. Stop by cooking demonstrations, natural awakenings

August 2015


newsbriefs kids/teens activities and more! Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date. For more information, visit, follow us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @GRvegfest. If you are interested in having a booth, contact Kim Enochs at If you like to volunteer for the event, contact Erica Wisniewski at See ad, page 37.

Becoming One with Yourself


astor and Casey Brian are called to combine their unique attributes to provide the local community and people of the world with inner and outer healing resources. Those resources will inspire those whom are seeking to take that next step towards their highest potential, allowing them to let go of what is no longer needed or serving them and bringing forth a better Pastor & Casey Brian sense of self-awareness and a deeper sense of well-being, peace, joy, freedom and love for themselves and life as a whole. Providing Therapeutic Massage, Energy Healing, Spiritual Guidance and more, Healing Ways fully supports you in experiencing healing and harmony in all aspects of life; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The Brians look forward to working with you in your journey of selfhealing and self-empowerment. Located in Kalamazoo. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 269-221-1961, email or visit See ad, page 46.


West Michigan Edition

Weight Loss/ Fertility Program


rand Rapids Natural Health is excited to announce the launch of our new fertility and weight loss programs. At Grand Rapids Natural Health, we believe that there is not a onesize-fits-all program for every woman, man or couple dealing with infertility or difficulty losing weight. We are passionate about addressing the body, mind and spirit as a whole and discovering how each is impacting your health. Our goal is to find your imbalances and then help give you the tools you need to restore balance and regain health, while addressing your goal of becoming pregnant or losing weight. Each of our programs are personalized to you and your needs and include naturopathic sessions with Christine Schoenek, ND, health coaching sessions with Audrey Byker, HC, therapy sessions with Kerry Hart, LLMFT and massages with Janelle Goltz, LMT. We offer one, three, or six month programs. For more information, call 616-264-6556 to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation or visit See ad, page 18.

Congratulations! Congratulations to Nichole Caudle of 360 Massage and Holistic Care, her husband, Ed, and daughter, Kiara, on the new addition to their family, Kamia Harley Caudle. Kamia was born on June 2 at 8:23 p.m. She weighed 6 pounds and 7 ounces and was 19 inches long.


Call for Worldwide Protection from Wi-Fi Radiation


n May, 190 scientists from 39 nations appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) to “exert strong leadership in fostering the development of more protective EMF guidelines…” The letter was developed by a committee that included professors from Columbia University, Trent University, the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley. It was then signed by a host of university professors and researchers from around the world. The directive cited several key studies that have shown that radiation from electromagnetic fields—even low-frequency radiation—is a possible cause of cancer. The WHO adopted a classification for extremely low-frequency electromagnetic radiation in 2002 and in 2011 classified radiofrequency (RF) radiation within its Group 2B—a “possible human carcinogen.” The letter points out that while WHO has accepted these classifications, there have been no guidelines or standards created by the agency or in conjunction with other agencies. It recommends a convening of the United Nations Environmental Programme and the funding of an independent committee to explore practical means of regulating the widespread and uncontrolled expansion of wireless technologies throughout our environment. The appeal also calls for the protection specifically of children and pregnant women and a strengthening of regulations placed on technology manufacturers. Berkeley, California, set a precedent on May 12 by acknowledging the health risk posed by RF radiation and adopting the Right to Know Ordinance, requiring electronics retailers to warn customers about the potential health risks associated with it. It reads, “If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is on and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation.” The ordinance requires that the notice be displayed in stores that sell mobile phones.



esearch from the University of Washington has determined that chronic constipation in children may be relieved with abdominal massage. The research involved 25 parents and their children with learning needs and physical disabilities. The parents were trained by specialists in abdominal massage. Following the training, the parents massaged the abdomens of their children for 20 minutes per day. The study found that abdominal massage relieved constipation in 87.5 percent of the children and reduced laxative use. In addition, the therapy resulted in better diets for 41 percent of the children and improved the parent-child relationship in many cases.

Glyphosate Self-Testing Now Available


he Feed the World Project has partnered with the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to offer public testing for a chemical that is now ubiquitous in conventional food production: glyphosate. At $119, the test can check levels of this chemical in tap water, urine and soon, breast milk. “For decades now, the public has been exposed, unknowingly and against their will, to glyphosate, despite mounting evidence that this key active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is harmful to human health and the environment,” says OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins. “Monsanto has been given a free pass to expose the public to this dangerous chemical because individuals, until now, have been unable to go to their doctor’s office or local water-testing company to find out if the chemical has accumulated in their bodies or is present in their drinking water.” The testing comes on the heels of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement in March that glyphosate is a possible carcinogen and questions the validity of the industry claims from laboratory animal testing that the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate is .3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. The WHO report notes, “The socalled safe levels of glyphosate exposure have never been tested directly to determine if indeed they are really safe to consume over the long term. Instead, the ‘safe’ levels are extrapolated from higher doses tested in industry studies.” The test is available at FeedTheWorld. info/glyphosate-testing-test-yourself.

natural awakenings

August 2015


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Washday Woes: Scented Products Pollute the Air


ome scents make no sense for personal or planetary health. Using scented laundry products can release harmful—even carcinogenic—pollutants into the air, report University of Washington researchers. Their findings, published online in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, show that air vented from machines using the top-selling, scented, liquid laundry detergent and dryer sheet contains hazardous chemicals. When researchers analyzed captured gases from dryer vent fumes after participating households ran regular laundry cycles using liquid laundry detergent and a leading brand of scented dryer sheets, they found more than 25 volatile organic compounds, including seven dangerous air pollutants. Of those, two chemicals— acetaldehyde and benzene—are classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as carcinogens, with no established safe exposure level. Benzene is linked to leukemia and other blood cancers, according to the American Cancer Society, and studies have shown that acetaldehyde can cause nasal and throat cancer in animals. “This is an interesting source of pollution, because emissions from dryer vents are essentially unregulated,” says lead author Anne Steinemann, Ph.D., professor of civil and environmental engineering and of public affairs. “If they are coming out of a smokestack or tail pipe, they are regulated—but if they’re coming out of a dryer vent, they are not.”

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West Michigan Edition

roperly ventilating and frequently cleaning our homes and offices are both important to our health, concludes a new European study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Researchers analyzed bacterial and fungal counts and suspended particulate matter in indoor air samples of 40 homes and offices. They determined that 45 percent had indoor pollution levels greater than that recommended by the current European Concerted Action Report on air quality standards. An analysis of a Canadian government Health Measures Survey discovered 47 different indoor volatile organic compounds (VOC) among more than half of the 3,857 households surveyed throughout Canada. Most of the VOCs identified there have also been present in separate European and U.S. studies. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), VOCs are carbon chemical compounds that can evaporate under normal indoor atmospheric conditions. The concern with indoor VOCs is their potential to react with indoor ozone to produce harmful byproducts that may be associated with adverse health effects in sensitive populations. Benzene, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene and xylene top the list of common VOCs inside U.S. households, according to an EPA report. Typical sources comprise common household chemicals, furnishings and décor, as well as indoor activities such as unventilated cooking, heating and smoking.

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

Air Raid

Carbon Dioxide Levels Go Through the Roof The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that as of March, the global monthly average for carbon dioxide, the most prevalent heat-trapping gas, crossed a threshold of more than 400 parts per million (ppm), the highest in about 2 million years. “It’s both disturbing and daunting from the standpoint of how hard it is to slow this down,” says NOAA chief greenhouse gas scientist Pieter Tans. “Carbon dioxide isn’t just higher, it’s increasing at a record pace, 100 times faster than natural rises in the past.” In pre-human times, it took about 6,000 years for carbon dioxide to rise 80 ppm, versus 61 ppm in the last 35 years, Tans says. Global carbon dioxide is now 18 percent higher than it was in 1980, when NOAA first calculated a worldwide average.

Crayon Kicks

Not Just for Kids Any More Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, by Johanna Basford, are two of the most popular titles on sale at—and both are coloring books for adults. Featuring detailed black-and-white drawings of the flora and fauna that surround illustrator Basford’s Scottish home, Secret Garden has sold nearly 1.5 million copies. Fans include Hollywood celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel, and when National Public Radio asked listeners for feedback, many indicated, “I thought I was alone.” The consensus is that adults are seeking to get in touch with their inner child. Beyond the nostalgic charm of coloring books, it’s also a good way for grownups to unwind and reflect. “So many people have told me that they used to do secret coloring when their kids were in bed,” says Basford. “Now it is socially acceptable, it’s a category of its own.” For a sample coloring gallery, visit

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Diaper Discovery Mushrooms Grow on Disposables

Disposable diapers are mostly indestructible, but a group of researchers led by Rosa María Espinosa Valdemar, at Mexico’s Autonomous Metropolitan University, Azcapotzalco, has found a way to degrade the soiled garments by growing mushrooms on them. Disposable diapers can last for hundreds of years in landfills because they contain not only the plant-based material cellulose that mushrooms consume, but also non-biodegradable materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene and the superabsorbent gel sodium polyacrylate. The scientists grew the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, on a substance made from used diapers and were able to reduce the diaper’s weight and volume by up to 80 percent. For the experiment, the researchers only used diapers containing liquid waste. They sterilized and ground up the garments; mixed them with lignin from the remains of pressed grapes, coffee or pineapple tops; covered the mixture with commercially available fungus spores; and kept it in a plastic bag for three weeks. The resulting mushrooms had similar amounts of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals as in commercial yeast. They’re not intended for human consumption, but could be used as a supplement in cattle feed. Source:

natural awakenings

August 2015


Solar Timeshare

Buying Kilowatts from Each Other Yeloha, a new, Boston-based, peer-to-peer solar startup, allows anyone to go solar, even if they live in a rented apartment, have a roof blocked by a shady tree or don’t have the funds to buy panels. Customers can sign up for the service either as a “sun host” or “sun partner”. Potential sun host homeowners have a roof suitable for solar, but can’t afford panels. Yeloha will install the panels for free in exchange for access to the solar power the panels create. Sun hosts also get about a third of the electricity created by the panels for free, translating to lower monthly power bills. The remaining power is distributed to the sun partners—customers that want to go solar, but don’t have a proper roof or own their home. Sun partners can buy as many solar credits as they’d like from Yeloha at a price that’s less than what they’d normally pay to their utility. The service is currently operating in Massachusetts only, but has plans for expansion across the country. For more information, visit

Crab Crisis

Valuable Horseshoe Species Going Extinct

Make Summer Memories Meet Your True Love!

The horseshoe crab, which is not really a crab, but belongs to the taxonomical class Merostomata among arthropods, is about to join the long list of endangered species. Their potential extinction poses a major threat to pharmaceutical, clinical and food industries seeking the secrets to the species’ survival over more than 250 million years with minimal evolution, enduring extreme temperature conditions and salinity. Individuals are able to go without eating for a year. Commonly found living in warm, shallow coastal waters on the sea floor, horseshoe crabs play an important ecological role. A continuing decrease in their population will affect other species, especially shorebirds that feed on the eggs, destabilizing the food chain. Sea turtles also feed on adult horseshoe crabs. Scientists worldwide want to include the invertebrate in schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1974, labeling them as an endangered species. Enforcement will include monitoring for improper uses of horseshoe crabs. Source:

Fracking Halt

Earthquakes Derail Dutch Gas Production

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West Michigan Edition

Gas production by fracking in the Loppersum, Netherlands, area of the Groningen natural gas field, Europe’s largest, was suspended by a Dutch court after a home was damaged by earthquakes linked to the operation. Nette Kruzenga, co-founder of Groningen Centraal, one of two groups seeking an immediate halt in Groningen gas production, says, “It is clear the judge said that the situation around Loppersum is dangerous.” The actions of Dutch officials are different than in the U.S., where many people acknowledge the same problem while others deny its existence. States that tend to cite the danger are those that have experienced damaging earthquakes, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Ohio and Virginia. Deniers include big-fracking states such as California, Colorado and Texas. In states that have reduced new injections and scaled back current operations, earthquakes have abated.

Lawn Upload

Grass Releases Surprising Amounts of CO2 Which emits more of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide: a cornfield or a residential lawn? According to researchers at Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania, it’s the grass. David Bowne, an assistant professor of biology, published the study results in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. After measuring carbon dioxide released from each setting, the scientists found that urban areas deemed heat islands may have a smaller overall impact than previously thought, compared with suburban developments. Previously, the heat island effect has been perceived as a phenomenon that occurs only in cities, where the mass of paved roads, dark roofs and buildings absorb and concentrate heat, making cities much warmer during hot days than other areas. Both carbon dioxide releases and soil temperature were measurably higher in residential lawns than in croplands and higher temperatures are directly associated with carbon dioxide efflux. Bowne says, “As you increase temperature, you increase biological activity—be it microbial, plant, fungal or animal.” Increased activity leads to more respiration and increased carbon dioxide emissions. Source:

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Kids Turn Trash into Musical Instruments photo courtesy of Landfill Harmonic

Young musicians from the village of Cateura, Paraguay, a town of 2,500 families that make a living by mining the 1,500 tons of solid waste daily dumped in a local landfill, have started making musical instruments from the debris. Favio Chávez, an ecological technician and trained musician, was inspired to teach the local children to play music in an orchestra. He says, “The world sends us garbage, we send back music.” A documentary, Landfill Harmonic, is in production and a 30-member Recycled Orchestra has performed in Argentina, Brazil and Germany. The message is that like other natural resources, children living in poverty have redeeming value and should not be deemed worthless.


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Table Label

Chipotle’s Identifies GMO Ingredients Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GM or GMO) used as ingredients in any food, the Chipotle Mexican Grill national fast food restaurant chain has chosen to do so, on the way to eliminating them from its menu altogether. They have already switched fryers from using soybean oil, almost always made from genetically modified sources, to sunflower oil, which is not. With 1,500 locations, Chipotle reports that its labeling system reflects that it does use GMO soybean oil in some of its products and that most of the grain used to feed its animals for meat and dairy is GMO corn. The chain’s success in this effort may also prompt other fast food outlets to follow suit. natural awakenings

August 2015



Kids like simple, elemental tastes and embrace the magic of the three-ingredient approach to cooking.  ~Rozanne Gold, Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs


They Love Healthy Food They Make Themselves by Judith Fertig


n less than a generation, childhood obesity has risen substantially, most notably in the United States, according to the article “Child and Adolescent Obesity: Part of a Bigger Picture,” in a recent issue of The Lancet. The authors attest that modern culture’s promotion of junk food encourages weight gain and can exacerbate risk factors for chronic disease in our kids. When concerned parents have a picky child bent on eating only French fries, they could enroll them in healthy cooking classes that offer tastings and related hands-on experiences for youths from preschoolers through teens. Here, children are encouraged to try more foods, eat healthier and learn about meal preparation, plus sharpen some math, geography and social skills. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Leah Smith, the mother of two elementary school children, founded Kids Kitchen and Chefs Club, in Austin, Texas, in 2011. She offers classes for chefs (ages 3 to 6), junior chefs (5 to 11) and senior chefs (11 to 14). Kids learn how to make dishes such as yogurt parfait popsicles with healthy grains clusters or roasted 14

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tomato soup with homemade croutons. “I’m a firm believer that teaching kids about which foods are good for us, and why, will positively influence their lifelong eating habits,” says Smith. “Start right, stay right.” Elena Marre, also the mother of two elementary school children, faced the challenge of a picky eater in her family. In 2007, she started The Kids’ Table, in Chicago, and solved her own problem along the way. Says Marre, “It’s amazing how often I hear a child complain about not liking red peppers, dark leafy greens or onions at the beginning of a class. It’s so rewarding when that same child is devouring a dish made with those three ingredients at the end.” Healthy kids cooking classes provide a fresh way to combat poverty, according to the Children’s Aid Society, in New York City. The group started Go!Chefs in 2006 at community schools and centers throughout the city and knows how to make it fun with Iron Chef-style competitions. “When offered a choice between an apple and a candy on two consecutive occasions and with most having chosen

the candy the first time, 57 percent of students in the Go!Kids health and fitness program chose the apple the second time, compared to 33 percent in the control group,” says Stefania Patinella, director of the society’s food and nutrition programs. In Minnesota’s Twin Cities region, “We do a lot of outreach with Head Start, community schools and organizations like scout troops,” says Chef Ani Loizzo, Whole Foods Market’s culinary instructor at the Whole Kids Club Kitchen Camp, in Lake Calhoun. “We have many kids that know about organic and biodynamic farming and we talk about that in class. We might focus on a healthy ingredient like tomatoes in a one-hour class or explore the culture of Greece or Mexico through food in a longer session.” Loizzo loves the natural curiosity that kids bring to cooking classes. “Sparking an interest in exploring ingredients and flavors can also lead to learning how to grow a garden and interest in the environment,” she says. For children in areas where such cooking classes aren’t yet offered, there are still fun ways to involve them in healthy meal preparation. Maggie LaBarbera of San Mateo, California, started her Web-based company in 2005 after witnessing the harmful effects of teenage obesity when she was an intensive care nurse. It offers educational articles for parents and free downloadable activities that engage children with healthy foods. “Every positive change, no matter how small, is a step to creating a healthier child,” says LaBarbera. “Together, we can give children the knowledge, facts and skills to develop healthy habits for a lifetime.” Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood from Overland Park, KS.

Starter Recipes for Kids

Yogurt Parfait Ice Pops with Healthy Grains Clusters Yields: 4 servings

4 ice pop molds 1 cup granola (use non-GMO, gluten-free Kind bars) in small pieces 1 cup organic fresh fruit such as raspberries, kiwi, mango and strawberries cut into small pieces 2 (6-oz) cartons organic dairy or non-dairy yogurt

Put dates into a medium bowl, cover with lukewarm purified water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes. Drain dates and reserve soaking liquid. In a food processor, purée dates with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, honey, oil, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. (Discard the remaining liquid.) Add bananas and purée again until almost smooth. Transfer to a stainless steel bowl and stir in peanuts and cacao nibs. Cover and freeze, stirring occasionally, until almost solid—4 to 6 hours. Let ice cream soften a bit at room temperature before serving.

Adapted from a recipe by Leah Smith for Kids Kitchen and Chefs Club, in Austin, Texas

Raw Banana Ice Cream Yields: about 1 quart

20 pitted dates, roughly chopped 2 Tbsp raw honey 2 Tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 /8 tsp ground cinnamon 4 cups sliced very ripe organic bananas ½ cup raw peanuts, coarsely chopped, optional 2 Tbsp cacao nibs

Cheesy Lasagna Rolls Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Adapted from a recipe from Whole Foods Market, Lake Calhoun, Minnesota

photo by Stephen Blancett

Layer ingredients in each ice pop mold like a parfait. Put a sprinkle of granola in first, and then layer yogurt and fresh cut fruit. Add another spoonful of granola to top it all off and freeze the pops for at least 4 to 6 hours.

Nut Butter Granola Bars Yields: 8 bars

2¼ cups rolled oats ¼ cup shredded coconut (without added sugar) ½ cup applesauce 1 /3 cup nut butter (almond or peanut) ¼ tsp baking soda ½ cup raw honey or maple syrup 1 Tbsp milk or almond milk 3 Tbsp chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix wet ingredients into a separate bowl; it may help to heat the nut butter a little first. Combine the wet and dry contents.

Adapted from a recipe by Kensey Goebel for Kids Kitchen and Chefs Club, in Austin, Texas

photo by Stephen Blancett

Courtesy of

ere’s a sampling of healthy snack food recipes that kids love to make—and eat—in class and at home.

photo by Stephen Blancett


Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let them cool completely before cutting. Store in a plastic container separated by parchment paper. They should keep for about two weeks and may be refrigerated.

Sea salt ½ lb (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles  Organic olive or coconut oil  1 cup ricotta cheese  1½ cups prepared marinara sauce  1½ cups packed baby spinach  ½ cup shredded mozzarella  Preheat oven to 400° F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean surface.  Oil the inside of a small roasting pan or casserole dish and set it aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons each of the ricotta and marinara, then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up the noodle snugly, and then arrange it in the pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough to hold each other closed. Pour the remaining marinara over assembled rolls, sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Adapted from a recipe from Whole Foods Market

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Joe Dispenza on The Power of Thought Alone to Heal

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ost of us are familiar with the placebo effect, when actual healing occurs after the only prescription a patient ingests is a sugar pill that the individual believes is medicine. Researcher and Chiropractor Joe Dispenza, of Olympia, Washington, knows the value of the placebo effect from personal experience. When his spine shattered during a 1986 triathlon race as his bicycle was hit by an SUV, he had a good mental picture of what had happened. Consulting doctors proclaimed a bleak prognosis and offered a risky surgical procedure as his only chance of walking again. He left the hospital against the advice of his physicians and spent the next three months mentally—and physically—reconstructing his spine. His story is one of hope for healing for others, detailed in his latest book, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter.

How did your pivotal healing take place? For two hours twice a day, I went within and began creating a picture of my intended result: a totally healed spine. Nine-and-a-half weeks after the accident, I got up and walked back into my life fully recovered—without having had a body cast or surgeries. I resumed my chiropractic practice 10 weeks out and was training and lifting weights again while continuing my rehabilitation regimen at 12 weeks. Now, in the nearly 30 years since the accident, I can honestly say that 18

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I rarely experience any back pain.

How does your approach differ from mind over matter? It’s the same. So many people have been conditioned into believing that mind and body are separate things. There is never a time when the mind isn’t influencing the body and vice versa. The combination is what I call a state of being.

How does the placebo effect work? Think about the idea of giving somebody a sugar pill, saline solution or a false surgery. A certain percentage of those people will accept, believe and surrender—without analysis—to the “thought” that they are receiving the real substance or treatment. As a result, they’ll program their autonomic nervous systems to manufacture the exact same pharmacy of drugs to match the real substance or treatment. They can make their own antidepressants and painkilling medicines. Healing is not something that takes place outside of you.

Can you cite examples of disease in which self-healing has been scientifically validated? There is amazing power in the human mind. Some people’s thoughts heal them; some have made them sick and sometimes even hastened their death. In the first chapter of You Are the Placebo, I tell a story about one man who died after being told he had cancer, even though an autopsy revealed

he’d been misdiagnosed. A woman plagued by depression for decades improved dramatically and permanently during an antidepressant drug trial, despite the fact that she was in the placebo group. A handful of veterans that participated in a Baylor University study, formerly hobbled by osteoarthritis, were miraculously cured by fake knee surgeries. Plus, scientists have seen sham coronary bypass surgeries that resulted in healing for 83 percent of participants (New England Journal of Medicine). A study of Parkinson’s disease from the University of British Columbia measured better motor coordination for half of the patients after a placebo injection. They were all healed by thought alone. The list goes on. I’ve personally witnessed many people heal themselves using the same principles of the placebo response, once they understood how, from cancers, multiple sclerosis, lupus, thyroid conditions and irritable bowel syndrome.

How can an ordinary person make that quantum leap and find healing? Many of us are now recognizing that rather than live in the past, we can create our own future. It requires changing some longstanding conditioned beliefs and the willingness to step into an unfamiliar, uncomfortable, unpredictable state that is consistent with living in the unknown. This happens to be the perfect place from which to create change. I recommend a meditation that creates physiological changes in the brain and at the cellular level, from 45 to 60 minutes a day. Changing Beliefs and Perceptions meditations are available on my website or individuals can record themselves reading the texts printed in the back of my book. As we exchange self-limiting beliefs we begin to embody new possibilities. Joe Dispenza is chairman of Life University Research Council and a faculty member for the International Quantum University for Integrative Medicine, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Visit Connect with natural health books author Kathleen Barnes at natural awakenings

August 2015



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Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

reative energy is contagious,” says Kim Harris, co-owner of Yucandu, a hands-on craft studio in Webster Groves, Missouri. As one client crafter commented, “Art is cheaper than therapy and a lot more fun.” It doubles the pleasure when we trust the nature of our supplies. Arts and crafts stir the imagination, spur creativity and are relaxing. Yet, for some, allergies, chemical sensitivities and eco-consciousness can make choosing materials a challenge. Manufacturers are not required to list heavy metals, toxic preservatives or petroleum-based ingredients, even when they’re labeled “non-toxic”. User- and environment-friendly alternatives may be difficult to locate, but are worth the effort. After working with paint, glue, chalk and modeling dough, children may lick their fingers and be reluctant to wash hands thoroughly. Retirees with newfound time for hobbies may also have weakened immune systems at risk to chemical exposure. Everyone benefits from minimizing exposure to toxins.


For greeting cards, scrapbooking or mixed media, paper provides background, texture, pattern and color. 20

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Tree-free paper uses agricultural residue or fibers from bananas, coffee and tobacco, and researchers anticipate similar future use of pineapples, oranges and palm hearts. Labels can be misleading. White paper has been bleached. Processed chlorine-free (PCF) means no bleaching occurred during this incarnation of the paper. Totally chlorine-free (TCF) papers are as advertised. Paper is called recycled if it’s 100 percent postconsumer-recovered fiber—anything less is recycled content.


For most projects, purchased glues are more convenient, longer lasting and easier to use than homemade. White glue and white paste, called “library paste”, are best with porous items like wood, paper, plastic and cloth. It takes longer to dry and needs to be held in place, but there are no fumes. “Jewelry is wearable art, so for mine, I primarily use water-based, nontoxic glues and sealers that simply wash off my hands,” advises Nancy Kanter, owner and designer of Sparkling Vine Design, in Thousand Oaks, California. Examples include Elmer’s Washable and Mod Podge.

Airplane glue, rubber cement, spray adhesive and epoxy all emit toxic fumes. Instant glue (cyanoacrylate) likewise bonds fast to fingers; toxic, foul-smelling acetate (used in nail polish remover) is needed to remedy the situation.


Water-based tempera paint is easy to use; Chroma brand tempera removes some of the hazardous ingredients. “I use water-based, non-toxic acrylic paints and wine to paint recycled wine corks for my designs,” says Kanter. “This avoids harsh fumes and chemicals.” Note that acrylic paint can contain ammonia or formaldehyde. Oil paint produces fumes and requires turpentine, a petroleum-based product, to clean brushes. Aerosol spray paint is easily inhaled unless protective equipment is used.

Markers and Crayons

“Give kids great supplies and they’ll make great art,” maintains Harris. “They’ll also be respectful of how much they use.” Go for unscented, water-based markers, especially for younger chil-

If paint, glue, chalk or markers have a strong odor or the label says, “Use in a well-ventilated area,” it’s toxic. dren that are as apt to draw on themselves as on paper. Soy crayons are made from sustainable soybean oil, while retaining bright colors. Dustless chalk is preferred by some. Colored eco-pencils are another option. Beware of conventional dry erase markers, which contain the neurotoxin xylene; permanent markers emit fumes. Wax crayons are made with paraffin, a petroleum-based product.

Yarn and Other Fibers

For knit or crochet projects, choose recycled silk and cotton or bamboo, soy silk from tofu byproducts, or natural, sustainable corn silk. Sheep’s wool, organic cotton or alpaca fibers, raw or hand-dyed with natural colors, are environmentally friendly. Rayon is recycled wood pulp treated with caustic soda, ammonia,

acetone and sulfuric acid. Nylon, made from petroleum products, may have a harmful finish.

More Materials

Canvas is typically stretched on birch framing, a sustainable wood. Look for unbleached, organic cotton canvas without primer. Runoff from an organic cotton field doesn’t pollute waterways. Experiment with homemade modeling clay. Many tutorials and photos are available online. Commercial modeling clay contains wheat flour, which can cause a reaction for the gluten-sensitive. For papier-mâché projects, recycle newsprint and use white glue, thinned with water. Premade, packaged versions may contain asbestos fibers. Eco-beads with safe finishes vary from nuts and seeds to glass and stone. For grownups that like to create their own beads, realize that polymer clays contain vinyl/PVC. In making artistic expression safe, being conscious of the materials used is paramount. Connect with the freelance writer via

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August 2015


healingways Mammography Versus Thermography: An Integrative Approach Can Maximize Prevention, Early Detection by Joel Shuler


o maximize preventive care for breast health, which is best – mammography or thermography? Increasingly, the answer is both. Conventional medical care providers continue to promote annual mammograms for women over age 40 as the best way to detect breast cancer. There are, however, more providers in the conventional medical community who acknowledge that thermography can play an important role as both an early detection tool and a preventive care tool for overall breast health. “Taking effect on June 1st, Michigan law now requires a person who provides mammography services to notify patients if they have dense breasts. This is a good thing because providers will now recommend a woman with higher breast density receive thermography or ultrasound. Women will have the opportunity to play a larger role of choosing what is best for them with more information and education,” says Barb Meconis of Holistic Care Approach. Julie Bennett, founder of Advanced Thermal Imaging of West Michigan adds, “The latest mammography research used 16 million women, 52,000 of whom were diagnosed with cancer, and monitored them for ten years. The research revealed that mammography did not improve mortality rates, but

that it produced a high number of false positives, leading to over-diagnosis. With these unsettling results, women are looking for more effectiveness—and are finding it with thermography. “Breast thermography is 90% effective for breast health screening. That is great news! It is a safe, non-invasive and a painless procedure that is recognized more and more for breast health monitoring, risk assessment and cancer prevention. At Advanced Thermal Imaging of West Michigan specifically, our goal is to work with all doctors to encourage women to use thermography as part of their breast health routine. Thermography is not a stand-alone procedure; it can provide important information that other methods cannot. When studies show there is a 61% increase in survival rates of women using thermography (see Breast Thermography Review by Dr. William C. Amalu), every woman should be scheduling in a qualified clinic. We also encourage younger women (starting in their twenties) to add thermography to their breast health routine—that is true screening, prevention and early detection.” What Exactly is the Difference? Most women have a good understanding of mammography, which involves creating an image of the breast through X-ray technology and breast compres-

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sion. X-ray images can reveal early signs of breast cancer, such as dense calcium deposits. Mammography focuses on abnormalities in the physical or anatomical structures within the breast. Thermography focuses on physiological changes in temperature and vascular activity. Infrared imaging is used to detect heat and analyze vascular activity. Thermography is based on the principle that chemical and blood vessel activity is higher and produces more heat in pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue. Pre-cancerous and cancerous masses need an abundant supply of nutrients to grow, and this increased blood flow and vascular activity in breasts or other areas of the body can be detected and monitored through thermography. Mammography remains the “gold standard” for breast cancer detection among the conventional medical community. Standard preventive guidance for all women includes an annual clinical breast exam starting at age 20 and annual mammogram beginning at age 40 (earlier for women considered “high risk”). A leading source of breast health information and cancer prevention, The Susan G. Komen website (, states emphatically, “Mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer used today.” However, mammography has its critics, including those concerned about the potential harmful effects of repeated radiation exposure. Questions have been raised for decades, by researchers and members of the traditional medical community, about the need for mass annual X-ray screenings. The National Cancer Institute has noted potential harms due to radiation exposure, and a 2006 study published in the British Journal of Radiobiology stated that the type of radiation used in

X-ray-based screenings is more carcinogenic than previously believed. Thermography does not involve radiation or breast compression. It has been an FDA-approved screening procedure to detect breast cancer (in conjunction with mammography) for more than 30 years. Still, many conventional practitioners don’t know much about the practice, largely because medical schools don’t teach it. The practice also continues to be dogged by critics who consider it “pseudoscience” and point to exaggerated marketing claims sometimes made by thermography practitioners. Even the FDA issued a “Safety Communication” in 2011 that stated, “…thermography is not a replacement for screening mammography and should not be used by itself to diagnose breast cancer.” An Integrative Approach Thermography advocates say they’ve never called for thermography to replace mammography. In fact, advocates have long supported an integrative approach. The American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT) describes thermography as “an adjunct to the appropriate use of mammography”, not a competitor. The ACCT website states that thermography “has the ability to identify patients at the highest level of risk and actually increase the effective usage of mammography and ultrasound.” Adding thermography to the breast health toolkit, advocates say, is important because the procedure can detect heat and vascular abnormalities years before being discovered by any other procedure, including mammography. “Thermography can detect physiologic changes associated with a cancer while it is still at a cellular level—before it becomes visible on a mammogram,” says Dr. Thomas Hudson, a diagnostic radiologist and independent women’s imaging consultant based at the Women’s Center for Radiology in Orlando, Fla. Hudson is also the author of Journey to Hope, written to help women understand the intricacies of breast health and breast cancer. Hudson says thermography has preventive care benefits beyond early breast cancer detection. He notes on his Journey to Hope website that it can

indicate an imbalance in estrogen levels associated with higher breast cancer risk and can detect lymphatic congestion, which can be a precursor to disease. “In short, thermography is a way to monitor breast health, not just a way to detect breast disease,” he says. “Thermography offers a woman the chance to become aware of worrisome physiological changes before there is a diagnosable cancer—which is when riskreduction strategies such as diet, exercise and stress reduction are most effective.” Hudson acknowledges that the conventional medical community has been slow to embrace thermography, but he believes that will change. “As medicine becomes more integrative, many of these issues will disappear. Thermography will

become more accepted as paradigms change and perspectives broaden,” he says. “Thermography doesn’t replace mammography. It adds a much-needed piece to the puzzle, providing risk information and possible early warning that mammography cannot.” To learn more about thermography, visit the American College of Clinical Thermology at or visit For more information about Holistic Care Approach in Grand Rapids, visit For more information on Advanced Thermal Imaging of West Michigan, visit See ads, page 22 & 23. For more information about Dr. Thomas Hudson and his book Journey to Hope, visit Joel Shuler is the publisher of Natural Awakenings San Antonio.

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ENLIGHTENED PARENTING Tips for Raising Confident and Loving Kids by Meredith Montgomery


seen firsthand, “If you have a connection with your kids, you can have a lot more influence on them.” Noting that sometimes children feel like their parents love them, but don’t necessarily like them, Martin Establishing Values emphasizes finding ways Shelly Lefkoe, co-author My dad always to identify with their inof Chicken Soup for the told me it was my terests. “I love cars, and Soul: Guide to Effective Parenting, believes that school, my choice, my dad used to invite me on test drives when children learn what we my grades, my life. I was a kid. Both of my model as important values. She tells her daughIt made me want to parents took time to connect with me, which ters they should treat her take responsibility. had a huge impact on with dignity and respect our relationship.” both because she’s their ~Casey Martin Christine Carter, mother and, “That’s how you treat people and that’s how I treat Ph.D., a sociologist with the University them.” Honesty is also a high priority in of California Greater Good Science their household. Center, recognizes the importance of Minneapolis college student Casey talking explicitly about values. When we see kids doing something we value, Martin often joins his father, Kirk, in ask them how it made them feel, she presenting Calm Parenting workshops advises. “Teens don’t necessarily know for parents, teachers and students that their parents value character over around the country. In growing up, he’s ueled by unconditional love, parenting with presence embraces all potential connections between parents and their children.


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grades,” Carter says, “particularly if parents tend to monitor grades more than aspects of a child’s character. What do you talk about more—their achievements or their character? If it’s the former, consider that you unintentionally might be sending the wrong message.”

Hummingbird Parenting

Overprotection of children by what’s termed helicopter parenting, can cause a disabling sense of entitlement where kids begin to believe, possibly unconsciously, that they are entitled to a difficulty-free life, Carter observes. “There’s an epidemic of cheating because students don’t want to try hard, and they expect to be rescued,” she says. “Although it’s terrifying to let our kids fail, when we don’t let them experience difficulty, they see mistakes as being so awful they must be avoided at any cost. To gain mastery in any arena, we must challenge ourselves, even if that means making mistakes.” “We lose sight that we’re not raising children, we’re raising adults,” says Malibu, California, marriage, family and child therapist Susan Stiffelman, author of Parenting with Presence: Practices for Raising Conscious, Confident, Caring Kids. “Empower them to cope with ups and downs. Help them know and trust themselves by not legislating their opinions and by allowing them to experiment.” Children often struggle with transitions, especially when things don’t go as planned. Martin recommends, “When kids throw tantrums or argue to get out of a challenging situation that’s causing them anxiety, help them work through it. Tell them that you know they’re feeling anxious, that you’ve felt that way before, too, and then help by giving them something specific to do or focus on.” Independent outdoor play has been proven to help kids learn to exert self-control. America’s children aren’t allowed to roam freely outside to experience nature as previous generations did. In Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv cautions against being limited by modern factors such as restrictive subdivision covenants and media-induced fear. “There are risks outdoors, but there are huge psychological, physical and spiritual risks in

raising future generations under If you can’t explain something to protective house arrest,” he says. a 5-year-old, you don’t really un Louv prefers what’s called a hummingbird approach: “Humderstand it; they make you think mingbird parents don’t hover over their kids with nature flash cards; about what you know. ~Armin Brott they stand back and make space for exploration and problem solvunimportant. Instead, the mother can ing through independent play, while acknowledge the importance of what remaining nearby, ready to zoom in at the child has to say and how she looks a moment’s notice if safety becomes an forward to listening once she’s freed up issue.” before eventually giving the child her Armin Brott, host of San Francisco’s full attention. Positive Parenting radio program, re Parents can serve as a safe haven minds parents to increase opportunities for kids. Stiffelman says, “Allow them to for independence as youngsters grow. speak the truth without being corrected “Test a child’s ability to handle more or shamed. If they tell you they’d like freedom by providing the opportunity to do something you don’t approve of, to prove that they can. If they succeed, resist the urge to react with immediit’s a confidence builder. If not, it allows ate advice and talk to them about their them to see for themselves that they’re decision-making process. Be present not ready yet.” enough for them to let them hear them selves think out loud.” Disciplined Communication “Children need affection, attention, The first eight years of a child’s life are acknowledgment and unconditional the most formative, effecting personal love, not discipline. When you punish beliefs that will shape the adult that kids, they feel absolved: ‘I did somethey’ll become, including impediments thing bad, I got punished, now we’re to fruitful self-expression. A healthy even,’” says Lefkoe. When they get conversational relationship can foster caught doing something they shouldn’t connection and security while respectbe doing, she recommends (with chilfully teaching children right from wrong. dren as young as 5) asking them, “What Lefkoe suggests managing parental are the consequences of your actions? expectations while considering what Do you want to live with them? Your serves the child best in the moment. goal with this conversation should be When a child tries to tell Mom somethat your child walks away feeling like thing when she’s distracted, the child they made a mistake, but it was a great may conclude that what they say is learning opportunity.”

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As kids mature and are faced with potentially dangerous scenarios, “You don’t want them worrying about what their friends will think; you want them thinking about the consequences,” says Lefkoe.

Navigating the Teen Years

The intense journey of adolescence is about discovering oneself and how to reach full potential. Carter says, “I had to constantly remind myself that this is their journey, not mine, and that it’s going to sometimes be dark and difficult.” “The more power you give kids, the less they feel the need to test the universe,” says Lefkoe, who reminds parents that while it’s relatively easy to control young children, rebellious teenagers are harder to handle when they feel they have something to prove to an overbearing parent. Offering calculated risk-taking opportunities that don’t involve drugs and alcohol is beneficial in the teen years. “You want them to know how to handle freedom and be responsible once they are on their own,” she says. “When I got my driver’s license, I always came home before curfew,” says Martin. “I learned that if I could control myself, my parents didn’t feel the need to control me, which gave me a ton of power in my life.” Brott observes that as the parenting role changes, “We can offer to help, but it’s equally important to learn to let go and admire the young adults they’re becoming.”

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Teens desperately want to not feel like a kid, adds Stiffelman. “They may tell you to back off, but stay present and engaged—like wallpaper. The more you ask their opinion or invite them to teach you something, the more they’ll feel your support.” With sex education, the authors of The New Puberty, Pediatric Endocrinologist Dr. Louise Greenspan and Adolescent Psychologist Julianna Deardorff, Ph.D., emphasize the importance of being approachable from a young age, so kids naturally turn to their parents when sensitive questions arise. “It shouldn’t be about having ‘the talk’; it’s about maintaining an ongoing conversation,” says Greenspan. “Body odor is a good starting point in talking about body issues because it’s not intimidating and can be comfortably addressed by either parent.” Avoid rushing into subjects they’re not ready for by focusing on answering the questions that are posed, while offering a glimpse into the near future. Deardorff says, “Pubertal changes happen over time, so be patient. Parents have a lot of anxiety and anticipation about puberty. When you start to see the first signs, you don’t have to communicate everything all at once.” Consider throwing a puberty party or a health workshop for a son or daughter and their friends. Invite a parent that is comfortable with the subject matter— a nurse, physician or teacher—to get the conversation started. “Fight the urge to emotionally or physically withdraw,”

counsels Deardorff. “Sharing activities is a form of communication, too.”

Kids as Teachers

“By paying attention, we can learn a lot of skills from our kids,” says Brott. Generally, youngsters have a greater tolerance for other people’s mistakes and opinions than adults, and tend to be more laid back. They regularly teach spiritual lessons about giving and receiving love and happiness in ways we never imagined. Through all the inevitable challenges, Stiffelman notes, “When parenting with presence, we orient ourselves with whatever good, bad or difficult moment is unfolding and bring more of our self—our heart, consciousness, understanding and compassion—to hold steady as the seas get rocky. Children offer us opportunities to confront the dark and dusty corners of our minds and hearts, creating conditions to call forth the kind of learning that can liberate us from old paradigms.” It all allows us to lead more expansive and fulfilling lives as we open ourselves to more of the love, learning and joy that the adventure of parenting can bring. When we embrace the healing and transformation that is being offered through parenting with presence, the rewards can be limitless. Meredith Montgomery publishes Natural Awakenings of Mobile/Baldwin, AL (

Conscious Parenting Resources The Body Book for Boys by Rebecca Paley, Grace Norwich and Jonathan Mar The Care and Keeping of You: the Body Book for Younger Girls by Valorie Schaefer The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara Natterson Father for Life: A Journey of Joy, Challenge and Change by Armin Brott Holistic Mom’s Network 26

West Michigan Edition

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv The New Puberty by Louise Greenspan, M.D., and Julianna Deardorff, Ph.D. Parenting the Lefkoe Way Parenting with Presence by Susan Stiffelman Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter

We often forget that the work we do as parents is essential both for our children’s well-being and the greater good of the world. ~Christine Carter Form Happiness Habits. Turn these happiness skills, plus the positive skills parents already have, into habits.

10 STEPS TO FAMILY HAPPINESS by Christine Carter


appier kids are more likely to become successful, accomplished adults. Looking at the science can show what works in raising naturally healthy, happy kids. Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First. How happy parents are dramatically affects how happy and successful their kids are. Build a Village. The breadth and depth of our positive relationships with other people is the strongest predictor of human happiness. Expect Effort and Enjoyment, Not Perfection. Parents that overemphasize achievement are more likely to

have kids with higher levels of depression, anxiety and substance abuse compared to others. Praise effort, not natural ability. Choose Gratitude, Forgiveness and Optimism. Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two are practically interchangeable. Teach preteens to look on the bright side. Raise their Emotional Intelligence. It’s a skill, not an inborn trait. Parents can help by empathizing with children facing difficult emotions and helping them identify and label what they are feeling. Let them know that all feelings are okay, even though bad behavior isn’t.

Teach Self-Discipline. Self-discipline in kids is more predictive of future success than intelligence or most anything else good. Start teaching it by helping kids learn ways to distract themselves from temptation. Enjoy the Present Moment. We can be super-busy and deeply happy at the same time by deeply experiencing the present moment. Rig their Environment for Happiness. Monitor a child’s surroundings so that the family’s deliberate happiness efforts have maximum effect. Eat Dinner Together. This simple tradition helps mold better kids and makes them happier, too. Christine Carter, Ph.D., is the author of Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents and The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. She is a senior fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Learn more at

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August 2015



The Vaccine Push Mandatory Laws vs. Personal Choice by Linda Sechrist


ront-page headlines about questionable research, corporate manipulations, purchased politicians, medical cover-ups and whistleblower reports have left Americans feeling hoodwinked and skeptical. According to a new Pew Research Center study, the public doesn’t trust the information they’re fed on issues such as genetically engineered crops and now, mandatory vaccines. The current state of distrust of scientific statistics and their impact on our lives doesn’t bode well for lawmakers attempting to build consensus for uniform mandatory vaccination inter-


West Michigan Edition

vention. The current rush to pass such legislation is largely due to 169 cases of measles reported between January 4 and April 17, encompassing 20 states and the District of Columbia, all traced to a traveler infected overseas that then visited a California amusement park. Common sense and independent research counters the stance that would rob individuals of their moral right to conscientious, philosophical and personal-belief exemption from being subjected to vaccines. Hard evidence in a plethora of published studies further identifies genetic factors that could cause the devel-

opment of adverse effects to vaccines. Yet, “There is no available evidence on vaccines’ effectiveness that is placebocontrolled, plus the health effects of vaccines in combination have never been studied, certainly not the 69 total doses of 16 types of vaccines given to children starting 12 hours after birth through age 18,” says Sayer Ji, a member of the National Health Federation board of governors and founder of “Vaccine risks for anyone can range from zero to 100 percent, depending upon one’s genes, microbiome DNA, environment, age and health at the time of vaccination and the type and number of vaccines given,” advises Barbara Loe Fisher, president and co-founder of the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center, headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. “Vaccines are not safe or effective for everyone because we’re not all the same and we don’t all respond the same way to pharmaceutical products,” says Fisher. She notes that responses to infectious diseases and the risk for complications can also vary, depending upon similar factors. Among the most prominent warnings on vaccine ingredients, concerned doctors, researchers and medical whistleblowers cite dangers of the toxin thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and vaccine adjuvants such as aluminum gels or aluminum salts added to elicit a stronger immune response against the germ the vaccine introduces into our body.

Leading books citing telling research include Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Dr. Mark Hyman; Vaccines: What CDC Documents and Science Reveal, by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny; Vaccine Epidemic, by Louise Kuo Habakus; and Science for Sale, by David L. Lewis, Ph.D. Top film documentaries include Shots in the Dark; Vaccination: The Hidden Truth; Trace Amounts; The Greater Good; and Vaccine Nation. Bought: The Hidden Story Behind Vaccines, Big Pharma and Your Food

resulted from two years of investigative research in disaster medical management by Toni Bark, now an integrative physician. In interviews with practicing doctors, research scientists, former pharmaceutical sales representatives, attorneys and others, Bark exposes serious conflicts of interest. These include vaccine research funding, hiring between pharmaceutical and chemical industries and their government regulating agencies, sponsored scientific propaganda used to silence critics, and large-scale corruption within the billion-dollar

What to Ask Before Vaccinating


accines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks. The National Vaccine Information Center encourages parents to become fully informed about the potential risks and disease complications for their own children and pose these questions to one or more trusted healthcare professionals before making a decision. n Am I, or my child, sick right now? n Have I, or my child, had a bad reaction to a vaccination before? n Do I, or my child, have a personal or family history of vaccine reactions, neurological disorders, severe allergies or immune system problems? n Do I know the disease and vaccine risks for my child or myself? n Do I have full information about the vaccine’s side effects? n Do I know how to identify and report a vaccine reaction? n Will I have a written record, including the vaccine manufacturer’s name and lot number, for all vaccinations? n Am I convinced that I have the right to make an informed choice? Visit for information on recognizing vaccine-reaction symptoms.

vaccine industry. Plus, it points out problems with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 that Congress passed to give drug manufacturers, the government and physicians protection from lawsuits arising from injuries caused by childhood vaccines. “Since 1988, thousands of children and adults in America that have suffered brain inflammation and other long-recognized vaccine reactions have been collectively awarded $3 billion in vaccine injury compensation. There are thousands more that have been unable to secure federal compensation for their vaccine injuries,” reports Fisher. “At least 25,000 to 30,000 reports of vaccine reactions are filed annually with the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, operated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,” says Tenpenny. “Underreporting is a substantial problem. It’s estimated that less than 1 percent of all adverse events from drugs and vaccines are reported.” Vaccine cites 7,200 journal articles and studies that expose the harm caused by vaccines. “Knowledge is empowering and personal discernment is priceless. The facts challenge the health claims by government health agencies and pharmaceutical firms that vaccines are perfectly safe,” says Ji. “Public doubt, distrust and skepticism are rational and natural consequences.” For more information, visit the National Vaccine Information Center at and the coalition of citizen advocates at Connect with writer Linda Sechrist at

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by Amanda Grasmeyer


hen a business stands by their products/services, it can be assumed they have a certain level of passion about what they do. Jodi Jenks, Natural Health Therapist and owner of The Remedy House in Grand Rapids certainly stands by her products/services, and she’s certainly passionate about what she does. The Remedy House opened its doors last November, but it was long in the making before that. Jenks and her family have been utilizing a Naturopathic Doctor themselves for over 30 years, who introduced Jenks to essential oils, homeopathic remedies and the potential for the body to heal itself when properly taken care of. Her interest was piqued after seeing the results on her own body and Jenks began training with her Homeopathic Doctor, took classes to become a certified Reiki practitioner and is now on her way to becoming a Certified Naturopath as well. A true family-run business, Jenks and her family have The Remedy House open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays to provide natural health solutions via products, services and education. Among the services The Remedy House offers are Ionic Footbaths, Reiki, Bodywork/Massage, Lymphatic Drainage Bodywork, CranioSacral Therapy, Ear Coning, Reflexology and much more. Products include, but are not limited to Nature’s Sunshine, Young Living Essential Oils, Flower Essences and other Homeopathic Remedies. In addition to the myriad of services they already offer, just this last month The Remedy House also kicked off its new Healthy Lifestyle/Weight-loss clinic. This 13-week clinic is for those who want to maintain a healthier lifestyle and learn about how their specific body works and what it needs to be balanced.

Having grown up with this lifestyle, Jenks’ family of seven, from her 23-year-old to her 8-year-old, has already made natural health a large part of who they are. Aside from the time those who work in the store spend working, Jenks speaks of their time at home and says, “When my kids get sick, they ask for what they need. My 8-year-old might come up to me and ask for lemon oil or lavender.” Jenks went on to tell the story of her daughter who broke her finger doing gymnastics. Knowing the potential of natural remedies, Jenks was able to help her daughter heal after surgery without conventional medications or pharmaceutical drugs, but with essential oils and herbal supplements instead. When the cast came off her finger, Jenks’ daughter had much more mobility than her doctor had predicted and no need for physical therapy. Jenks and her kids believe in the power of natural remedies, because they have seen them work, time and time again, within their own family and within their clients. Jenks acknowledges that no two clients are the same and says, “Each person is different. Everyone who comes in with a headache could use something different. I like to utilize everything we have.” The exciting part of natural health for Jenks is finding just the right thing for her clients to see the results they need and then hearing their feedback about how it helped them and seeing the difference in their health and even their families. While the turn-around time on an ailment is dependent upon personal situations, there aren’t many

areas where natural health cannot help. Jenks says, “The industry is gaining a much higher demand. This is the way nature intended it to be. Our bodies need the natural medicine in order to work and survive.” While, ultimately, our bodies are being poisoned and inhibited from becoming healthy and well, natural health is an alternative approach that is non-invasive. It’s ancient medicine that’s been around since the beginning of time, which is why Jenks says, “We do have a natural fix for anything out there that’s harming our bodies. There’s just so much that we can use that nature gives us. Our bodies are amazing vessels that can heal themselves if we give them what they need.” With this thought in mind, Jenks consults with her clients and does the necessary testing to get to the root of the problem her clients are experiencing. After determining where it’s coming from, she is able to use her extensive products, services and education to help balance the body and give it what it needs to correct itself. Therefore, for those tired of the medical route or those looking for a safe, natural route to address health, The Remedy House can help discover the right pathway to wellness and help retain maintenance of that pathway as well. For more information on The Remedy House, call 616-442-4225, visit or find The Remedy House on Facebook. See ad, pages 21 & 46. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

natural awakenings

August 2015


communityspotlight by Julie Hurley

Out of the Blue N

ancy Despres, founder of Out of the Blue in Grand Rapids, started her career in nursing where she worked as a staff nurse on a busy Cardio Vascular Thoracic unit. Like many nurses, she went into the field to help people. Eventually, she was promoted into management. “It was great and I learned a lot. I got into publishing standards of care, and then worked my way up to administration,” says Despres. Though it was great for her career, Despres says that she “got pulled further and further away from patient care and away from what I loved, which was one-on-one patient teaching.” During that time, she was raising three young children and not taking care of herself. “I was getting really bad anxiety; I couldn’t leave the house.” After visiting her doctor, she was told she was depressed and prescribed Xanax. “No one realized it was anxiety at first. I had lots of stress; three children and a highstress job and I was not paying any attention to my personal needs. Nutritionally, I was in the dumpster,” says Despres. While at multiple appointments, Despres observed something very frustrating about modern health care. “I would visit my doctor and was given about three minutes. No one asked the in-depth questions needed to make a complete health assessment.”

How You Birth Matters!

In an earlier attempt to regain her health, she had gone vegetarian and was vegan for about a year. After reading the Blood Type diet she decided to eat meat again and was astounded by the transformation. “I ate meat, and it was like watering a plant - I came back to life,” says Despres. Curious as to why some people thrive on some diets and not others, Despres began even more research into diet, nutrition and alternative health practices. She wanted to know why some people got better and others didn’t. “I learned about Electrodermal Screening (EDS), which is a noninvasive method used to assess the energy meridians (channels) of the body, I fell in love with nutritional concepts and studied the stress response and I just really started understanding the nervous system. Too many of us live in the ‘fight or flight’ response and it wears us down, which leaves little time for rest or repair,” says Despres. Seeking a change, both personally and professionally, Despres made the decision to go to school to learn EDS. “I went to Utah for my training with a company called Biomeridian, and at that time, I

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could barely walk up the driveway. But once I got a taste of it in 1999, I have never stopped going to school. I’m always studying, going all over the country and even to South America,” says Despres. While gaining her education, she also gained back her health. At Out of the Blue, Despres offers many alternative therapies to her patients, including: Electrodermal Screening (EDS) using Biomeridian technology- This measures the electrical current moving through the acupuncture meridians and as such gives information about the bioenergetics of the body. Much like an EKG or EEG device. According to Despres, it gives us a way to eavesdrop within the body. EDS can be very helpful with many health concerns. The device is able to detect the energetic signature of toxins, allergies, emotional patterns, organ “weakness”, etc. in the body. EDS can also screen potential natural

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remedies to determine which will help restore the body’s balance. It measures the strength of the acupressure points and gives a functional look at the body. It can tell us where to work. It’s a magnificent screening device. Hair Mineral Analysis- Despres says that hair mineral analysis is painless and great for children. It’s just a snip of hair. She explains, “It’s amazing because the way I’ve been taught to read them tells me so much about their personality and, most importantly, their oxidation rate, which is crucial to detoxification. It allows me to create a program that enables the body to not only restore its reserves but also naturally chelate.” Despres can consult on this one over the phone, making it great for long distance clients. Adrenal Saliva Testing- This measures the circadian rhythm energy using saliva cortisol. It gives Despres a look at how the adrenal glands are functioning over the course of the day. It’s very helpful in looking at depressions, weight gain, hormonal challenges, autoimmune conditions, allergies, blood sugar issues and bone health. Food Sensitivity Testing- This includes a home blood kit, and the test itself is a finger prick. It tests 95 different foods. Knowing food sensitivities can be the key that unlocks correcting many health issues from intestinal challenges, to allergy symptoms, fatigue, headaches, joint pains, attention issues, autoimmune diseases and a myriad of other health concerns.

Microcurrent Therapy- This helps to reduce scarring. “Scar tissue cuts through meridians and can be disruptive. My Avazzia tool helps to not only break up scar tissue but reduce the appearance of scars. It cuts down on inflammation, helps frozen shoulders, increases range of motion, helps injuries heal faster and decreases pain. Sometimes it can help in one session, depending on the situation,” says Despres. Laser Body Sculpting- This procedure penetrates the skin and irritates the fat cells to release the contents. Despres insists on patients exercising for at least 20 minutes after the procedure, which burns off the newly released fat for energy. This works especially well for those stubborn areas. Despres says that she likes to talk with and understand every one of her patients. “I probably over deliver,” she says, “I want to understand their goals, their fears and learn where they want to go. I never had time to do this as a nurse. If I need to spend an hour and a half with you, I can.” Her goal is to leave her patients with a deep understanding about what’s going on with them, and to empower them to affect real change. “This is what drew me to medicine in the first place. I like fixing things, one-on-one teaching. I love people and am fascinated with the human body. My goal is to empower people to achieve the highest level of health possible by making them the experts in themselves,” says Despres.

In addition to the services provided above, Reiki Master Gail Campbell also provides her services, helps out with scheduling and takes orders and phone calls out of the Out of the Blue office. Despres says, “She nurtures my people.” Despres says that patient success is a joint effort. “I can prescribe the treatment, but they have to carry it out. When I can impart the ‘why’ and they lock into that - that’s huge success. We both benefit and it’s such a sense of satisfaction to help someone turn their health around. But they have to want to,” she says. To Despres, part of her work is strategic intervention, almost a form of counseling or coaching. “I have to understand the person—what motivates them. This is where the time factor comes in. I must establish trust and be invited in. I really work to activate the healer within the person and I never see someone as his or her health issue, but as a person wanting to regain control over his or her health. If you only treat a diagnosis, you miss a lot. I help my patient’s visualize their hopes and dreams that are untapped. Lots of people are in pain—spiritual and emotional pain—and there are definitely keys to unlock that.” For more information on Out of the Blue, call 616-453-4215, email, visit or find Out of the Blue on Facebook. Julie Hurley is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine.

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August 2015


Nature is unpredictable, and there are inherent risks associated with swimming in open water, so I always swim with a buddy for companionship and basic safeguarding.


~Kate Radville

Swimming in Nature Splashing Safely in Lakes and Oceans by Lane Vail


ostonian avid open-water swimmer Kate Radville is delighted that water constitutes 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. “The controlled environment of a swimming pool is convenient,” she says, “but splashing around outside in the beautiful summer sunshine is undeniably liberating.” Enthusiasts are both attracted by the rugged beauty of wild water and humbled by its power, but without proper skill or knowledge, swimming in natural settings can be risky. “Millions of dollars are annually spent on advertising, tourism and beach restoration projects to bring people to water,” says Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, “yet, the American Red Cross finds that 54 percent of Americans lack basic water emergency lifesaving skills.” Maximize enjoyment and safety in the open water by heeding basic guidelines. Be Weather Wise. Check the forecast before heading out and be conscious of any sudden climate changes. Leave the water or the area in the event of thunder or lightning. Tall buildings or mountains may block the view of the 34

West Michigan Edition

sky, and storms can pop up quickly, so Benjamin recommends using a batterypowered portable radio or smartphone app for weather updates. Wind and atmospheric pressure shifts can stir up waves for hours, so hesitate before returning to the water after a storm. Glean Information. “I can’t think of a time I’ve jumped into water I knew nothing about,” says Radville. “Some research prior to swimming is definitely advisable.” Renowned coach Steven Munatones, founder of the World Open Water Swimming Association, suggests walking along the beach to look for caution signs, surf conditions boards, flags, buoys, rope lines and available rescue equipment, plus emergency callboxes that pinpoint one’s location if cell phone service is weak. Even seemingly pristine waters can be contaminated by harmful bacteria, algal blooms or runoff pollutants after rain. “Chat with local beachgoers, swimmers, boaters or fishermen about current swimming conditions in designated areas,” counsels Munatones, and check social media sites like Facebook and area online swimming forums.

Steer Clear. Be mindful of hidden underwater hazards, ranging from sharp objects to submerged construction, which can create turbulent water and strong undercurrents. Swim in lifeguardprotected areas away from windsurfers, jet skiers and boaters that may not hear or see swimmers, adds Munatones. Respect Marine Life. Munatones advises giving marine life, however beautiful, a wide berth. “I’ve swum around the world with all sorts of intriguing sea life,” he says, “and these are wild animals, not the friendly ones you see in marine parks.” Stop swimming and watch the animal until it’s moved on. Be Water Wise. Water temperature, depth and movement, which fluctuate with rain, tides and wind, can also make conditions unpredictable, so research a destination beforehand. Pockets of cold water within an otherwise tepid mountain lake could induce a gasp response or hyperventilation, says Munatones, and prolonged immersion increases risk of muscle impairment and hypothermia. Likewise, an unexpected drop in the water floor may provoke panic. “Physically, someone capable of swimming in three feet of water can also swim in 300 feet,” says Munatones. “But mentally, deep water can feel spooky.” Rip currents are powerful streams that flow along the surface away from the shoreline. They may be easily spotted from the beach, but often go unnoticed by swimmers. “A potentially fatal mistake is allowing a ‘fight-or-flight’ response to kick in and trying to swim against the current, because rips are treadmills that will exhaust your energy,” cautions Benjamin. Instead, flip, float

and follow the safest path out of the water, a technique that conserves energy and alleviates stress and panic, he says. Watch for Waves. Swim facing oncoming waves and dive under the powerful white foam, coaches Munatones. “Feel the swell wash over you before coming up to the surface.” If knocked off balance by a wave, relax, hold your breath and wait for the tumbling to cease. Swim toward the light if disoriented under the water, and make sure your head is above any froth before inhaling. “Your lungs are your personal flotation device that keep the body buoyant,” says Benjamin. “Lay back and focus on your breathing.”

While Coast Guard-approved flotation devices should be worn by children at all times, they are not substitutes for supervision, says Rob Rogerson, a lifeguard and ocean rescue training officer in Palm Beach County, Florida. “Parents must watch swimming and non-swimming children vigilantly.” “The power of the open water is immense,” says Munatones. “Be respectful, always.”

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

Lane Vail is a freelance writer and blogger at

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August 2015


Bicycling is fun, safe and easier and faster than any other mode of transportation. It saves me money, makes me healthy and above all else, brings me joy every day. ~ Elly Blue

A Passion for Pedaling

Hop on a Bike and Go Lean and Green by Debra Melani

Trading in the car keys for more two-wheeled time could curb many of society’s woes, from spiraling healthcare costs to deepening carbon footprints. Yet, the main reason many bicyclists love going for a spin is that it yields a greater sense of well-being and contributes to a healthier, more rewarding life.


know it sounds crazy to say that bicycling is a silver bullet for all of these things, but I think it is,” says Elly Blue, author of Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bike for Transportation. Blue’s life was transformed when she made a bicycle part of her daily world; so much so that she now dedicates her writing career largely to the subject. “Bicycling is just so much more rewarding than driving,” remarks Tammy Strobel, who gained national attention with her husband when they simplified their lives by building a 128-squarefoot house. Cycling to work and to run errands was “a huge” piece of their transformation, even after the couple hauled their tiny abode from Portland,


West Michigan Edition

Oregon, (where Blue also resides) to a cattle ranch in California. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans that generally bike to work grew by 43 percent between 2000 and 2008, a statistic that doesn’t surprise Blue. She first tried bike commuting after growing weary of relying on the bus system. “I got hooked on just how good it felt. It’s like flying.” Blue soon found that cycling was also a faster way to commute, restoring control of her schedule, reducing stress and boosting her happiness. Strobel, who adds that enjoying nature and increasing daily exercise are also cycling benefits, says it’s bolstered her happiness and quality of life. “I

don’t have to spend time going to the gym,” explains the freelance writer and photographer. “I’m getting my exercise on my bike. I feel healthier and in better shape now.” Several studies show dramatic health benefits for bike commuters. The Archives of Internal Medicine reported that when University of Copenhagen researchers analyzed mortality from all causes in 13,445 women and 17,441 men, they found that non-bike commuters, even those otherwise physically active, had a 39 percent higher mortality rate during the 14-year study period than those that biked to work. In another study, researchers followed 67,143 women in Shanghai (of whom more than 75 percent cycled) and found those that used bikes had a 20 to 50 percent lower risk of earlier mortality than their non-regularly exercising counterparts. They also boasted reduced rates of diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (American Journal of Epidemiology). Studies published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health further found that countries with higher numbers of biking or walking commuters have lower obesity rates. Cycling boons transcend health benefits, expanding social circles for example, Blue and Strobel agree. “I was introduced to a whole new community,” Strobel recalls of her time in Portland with new cycling friends that she joined for group rides and camping trips. Blue suggests finding fellow cyclists by seeking riding groups online or participating in charity rides. She observes that cycling can instill a greater sense of community, because it’s easier to stop and interact with others.

Two-thirds of American women think their community would be a better place to live if riding a bike were safer and more comfortable.



~ Princeton Survey Research Associates poll

Across the country, women are shattering previous stereotypes and stepping up to design cutting-edge infrastructure, launch innovative advocacy campaigns and take the lead in the bike industry.

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Promoting a plant based lifestyle with specialized speakers, free samples, youth progams and much more.

~ Carolyn Szczepanski, League of American Bicyclists, Women Bike 2013 Forum

Cycling also makes people greener and leaner. It reduces gas and car maintenance costs, while keeping polluting vehicles off the road, observes Strobel, who cleared college and other debt by making her life transformation. “There are just so many benefits to bicycling, and they are all really big things that contribute to the quality of life,” advises Strobel. “It feels so good to be on my bike and just slow down. In my old life, I was moving at such a fast pace that I didn’t even notice the change of seasons. With cycling, you notice everything.” For biking and other life-simplifying tips, follow both women on their blogs: Blue at and Strobel at archives. Find equipment specifically designed for women by industry pioneer Georgena Terry at Freelance journalist Debra Melani writes about health care and fitness from Lyons, CO. Connect at Debra or natural awakenings

August 2015



Animal Talk They Have Lots to Say If We’d Only Listen by Sandra Murphy

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West Michigan Edition

In less than 10 years, we’ll see a universal translator for communicating with dogs and cats, predicts Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biological sciences at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff. Just like language apps change, for example, a French phrase into English, the device would translate barks into “Put on Animal Planet,” or meows to “Feed me tuna.” Computers will foster better understanding between humans and animals. David Roberts, a computer science assistant professor, and his team at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a collar to send wireless instructions to dogs via vibrations. Multiple sensors return information about the dog’s heart rate and more, which is especially helpful for service dogs taught not to show stress or distress. Even without such technology, we can all enjoy improved relationships with animals, domestic and wild, by learning to listen. Veterinarian Linda Bender, an animal advocate in Charleston, South Carolina, and author of Animal Wisdom, says, “We all have the ability to understand animals. It gets trained out of us around age 7. It’s not about doing, it’s about being, a connection through the heart.” Meditation quiets the mind from daily concerns, allowing us to stay open, listen and be aware.

Everyday Examples

Author Frances Hodgson Burnett captures the essence of this childlike sensibility in A Little Princess: “How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything understands it. Per-

haps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.” In Portland, Oregon, intuitive Melissa Mattern relates examples supporting Burnett’s premise from her own experiences. “My newest cat, Rocket, beat up my other cats and ran amok. Nothing helped until I took a class in animal communication.” She asked her other cats what to do. “They were clear that I should have consulted them before bringing Rocket into the house,” she says. “I asked Rocket if he would like another home and the picture of a chef’s hat popped into my mind. When we found the perfect home for Rocket, the man was a chef whose only other pet is a turtle that lets Rocket sleep with him. Everyone is happy with the results.” Charli, a 14-year-old pointer, travels the world with her family. Her owner, Cynthia Bowman, shares one of her favorite stories: “As we planned our move to Spain, Charli got ill. I explained, ‘We want you to go too, but if you can’t, tell me.’ A picture of a smoked ham popped into my head. I didn’t understand, but Charli got well and went along,” she says. “In our new Gipuzkoa neighborhood, a deli sells hams, just like I pictured. I can’t explain how Charli knew.” It becomes a matter of trust. “Thoughts or mind pictures can be easy to dismiss or mistrust as imagination,” she comments. “Every species has something they do best. With humans, it’s problem solving and advanced thinking. We’ve separated ourselves from nature. We need to remember we’re all interconnected,” Bender says. “When we learn to tune into ourselves, be heart-centric and radiate compassionate energy, it makes us irresistible to other creatures.”

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Exotic Tales

Wild animals communicate with David Llewellyn. As a writer of outdoor/nature blogs, he’s traveled full time in a 30-foot RV since 2002. “They don’t understand words, but go by what’s in your soul. I’ve picked berries with black bears and met a mountain lion and her two cubs along a trail without ever being harmed,” he says. “Often, hikers are told, ‘Make yourself look big and scream.’ I say ‘Hello,’ comment on the day and thank them for letting me share their space.” Staying calm is vital. Bender agrees. Grabbed by an orangutan at a wild animal trafficking rescue project, “She twisted my arm and could have easily broken it,” Bender recalls. “Fear is picked up as a threat so I tried to radiate calm. It was intense, but she gradually let go. With animals, you attract what you give. Better communication means better understanding leading to improved behavior on everyone’s part.” Communication and understanding among human, domestic and wild animals not only makes life more interesting, it can save lives. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@ natural awakenings

August 2015


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West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings is now expanding into new markets across the U.S. Contact us about starting a magazine in a community of your choice or acquiring an existing publication for sale highlighted in red below. Natural Awakenings publishes in over 95 markets across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. • • • • • • • • • •

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Stress Less and

Parent More by Sahra Y. Robinson, LCSW-R


arenting should come with a stress-management manual; while it is enormously rewarding and fulfilling, it can also be very stressful. Some stress can be helpful, giving us the motivation and focus to face challenges and get things done; however, too much stress can be overwhelming, making it difficult to cope with everyday life. Parents’ ability to manage their “own” stress is a powerful predictor of their children’s well-being. When parents become stressed, that stress becomes contagious. Kids know when their parents are tense and overwhelmed. In fact, according to holistic physician Dr. Amy Saltzman, “Data shows that the greatest source of childhood and adolescent stress is not schoolwork, extracurricular activities or peer pressure but parental stress.” The key to successful parenting is learning to manage our “own” stress. Parents of children diagnosed with a behavioral disorder or developmental disability are at an increased risk of parenting stress. Here are some ways to manage parenting and stress: • Mindfulness: Dr. Mark Bertin, a board certified developmental/behavioral pediatrician, says that “mindfulness minimizes stress so we can parent at our best.” Mindfulness is defined as the ability to pay attention to our experiences with openness and without reactive judgements. When parents practice mindfulness, they not only reduce their stress but are also able to make better decisions and “respond” to their children’s behavior rather than “reacting” to it. Listen first, breathe, and then respond.

• Make time for their selves: It can be easy to forget to make time for one’s self. Make a list of all that one enjoys, and try to do one thing on the list every day or every couple of days. Also, learn to say “no”. Parents must be selective about the projects they agree to help others with and re-assess if their kids really need to be involved in five different sports in less than five days. It’s also important to get enough rest. Parents should try setting a bedtime rule for themselves like they do for their kids. • Develop a support network: This is an essential step for all parents. Everyone needs help at some point, and it pays to have a system in place before it’s needed. Be proactive in arranging to have extra help. Whether one hires a reliable babysitter, barters services with other parents or seeks out help from friends or family, it is essential to take this step. Getting together with other parents that all have kids close in age is beneficial socially for the grownups as well as the children. Despite best efforts to manage parenting stress, sometimes things will inevitably be too much to deal with for one person or for his/her support systems. When one can recognize that he/she is feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to take action. At this point, consider enlisting the help of a licensed mental health professional. Above all, always remember that “everything can be done better from a relaxed state of mind.” Sahra Y. Robinson, LCSW-R, is the owner of Serenity Zone in Long Beach and a proud mom.

• Increase quality time with the family: Spending more quality time together improves the parent-child relationship. Planning is one of the more effective ways to manage stress. It’s essential to re-engineer family time so that time is best spent together. Parents should have fun with their kids. It’s important to remember that not everything parents do with their children has to be for academic enrichment. Even just 20 minutes a week can give us a well-needed respite from the stressors of everyday life. natural awakenings

August 2015


calendarofevents ALL MONTH LONG

with Daniel G. Amen, M.D. Call 269-455-5329 for more information. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck.

Life Changing Weight Management- Stop by Vital Nutrition to discuss weight loss management ideas to fit your lifestyle. 616-433-9333, 169 Marcell Dr. NE, Rockford.


New LED Facial- $10 off during the month of August. Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, 10500 Chicago Drive, Holland Twp/Zeeland. 231-557-3619.


All About Ayurveda- 11:30am-4pm. Learn more about Ayurveda with an informative film and a presentation by an Ayurvedic Doctor with a Q&A session. $35, Indian vegetarian lunch provided. The Sambodh Societ, Inc., 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

Ayurvedic Approaches to Nutrition & Food9am-7pm, August 15-16. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo. Wildflower Walkabout- 10:30am. Come enjoy a free, guided hike of the Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary and its amazing flora. This is the best and largest remaining example of dry-sand prairie in Michigan. Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary, Newaygo.



Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7-8pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation and energy healing from Healing in America-Trained Healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.

Essential Oil Workshop- 6-8pm. Learn and understand essential oils, how they work and how to use them with therapeutic grade oils at The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Workshop fee is $25. Call 616-443-4225 to register.


Vendor Days- noon-3pm. Manufacturers Representatives from all facets of the gardening industry will be here to answer questions and educate the public about their products. Barefoot Gardener, 11635 Fulton St. E Ste. 300, Lowell.

Give Yourself the Gift of Clear Beautiful Skin7-8pm. Our exterior reveals secrets to our inner health. Learn how to reverse aging with organic skin care., 616-3619221. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids.



Create Your Successful Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Conference- 8am-5pm with an After Glow Party 7-9pm on Tuesday, 8am-6pm Wednesday. Holistic & spiritual entrepreneurs can experience freedom to think, share, believe, express yourself and create success via your expertise. Connect with like-minded thought leaders, increase your brand’s visibility, grow personally/professionally and live out your heart-felt dreams. Tickets available at: LUXCHIX. com/Events. Grand Rapids.



Reiki Share- 6-8pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about and have a mini session done. Open to those who know Reiki and those who don’t. Donations welcome. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Food Demo and Book Signing- 7pm. Cook once and eat all week with plant based ingredients! Chef Del Sroufe, co-owner and chef for Wellness Forum Foods, has written a new cookbook called the China Study Quick and Easy Cookbook. Taste-test some of the new recipes for free! Schuler’s Book Store on 28th St., Grand Rapids.

GR Vegfest Benefit Dinner- 6-9pm. Come to Brick Road Pizza where a portion of sales will help support the 2015 GR Vegfest! Enjoy some great food and company! We at Vegfest will also be offering some special door prizes. Brick Road Pizza Co., 1017 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids.

Healing Circle at Spirit Space- 7-8pm. Following our group meditation from 6-7pm, join us in a Healing Energy Circle at 7pm to promote wellness for ourselves and others. Join us for all or part of the gathering. Call 616-836-1555 for more information. All healing modalities are welcome. Spirit Space, Saugatuck.

Health, Wellness & Chiropractic- 6:15pm. Learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Come with questions! We provide a light dinner and give you a thank you for anyone who joins! RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. 388 N. Third St., Fruitport.

Impressive Bicycle Repair- 7pm. Have a bicycle that could use a tune up but you don’t know a spoke wrench from a tire lever? Spoke Folks will teach you everything you need to keep your bike in top condition and impress everyone with your skills. Free. Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids.

Lapping the Landmarks- 6:30-7:45pm. Gain a new perspective on GR with Caroline cook and incorporate your favorite EcoTrek elements with Kym Matthews while lapping the landmarks. $12. Details at Email RSVP to SignUp@ Grand Rapids.


Spirit Space Movie Night- 7pm. Join Spirit Space to view Change Your Brain, Change Your Life


West Michigan Edition

The Magic of Michigan Retreat- August 21-23. Come to Camp Miniwanca, a private Lake Michigan gem just north of Muskegon and join the Sierra Club for an affordable, family-friendly retreat. All activities, workshops, five meals and lodging included in retreat fee. For more information, call 517-484-2372 or email Shelby.


Health Talk- 6:15pm. Learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Come with questions! We provide a light dinner and give you a thank you for anyone who joins! RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. MoreaChiro. com. 388 N. Third St., Fruitport.


Reiki I & II Class- 9am-5pm. Become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide in this introduction to Reiki. Costs $250, which includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Urevia Master Practitioner- 10am-5pm, August 29-30. Offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute serving S.W. Michigan. All classes are certified. $400, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit or Reiki-UreviaClasses. com. Hickory Corners. Ayurvedic Medicine Workshop- From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center presents Sonam Targee for a day of Ayurvedic Medicine and an evening of Kirtan on August 29. Call 616-336-9642 or visit for more information. Grand Rapids.


Advanced Reiki Class- 9am-5pm. Enhance energy work to a new level. Learn how to perform intuitive surgery and how to set up and utilize a crystal grid with energy work. Costs $275 which includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.

savethedate September 12

Spark Your Spiritual Ascension - 10am6pm. Join The Coptic Center for the Coptic Lecture Series, “Spark Your Spiritual Ascension: You Make a Difference”. Pre-register at 616-531-1339 or visit for more information.

September 12-13

Pelvic Floor Training- Join Lakeshore Pilates for a PFilates™ training, a unique strength and conditioning program that uses 10 exercises to engage the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles. Call 616-343-4303 or email Holland.

September 13

Grand Rapids Vegfest- 11am-5pm. The first annual Vegfest in Grand Rapids! Presentations by top experts in the health field, a vegan food court, a cruelty free market place, cooking demonstration, children’s activities, a special program for teenagers and more. Held at the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids.


savethedate September 13

September 20

October 2

Grandville Healing Arts & Intuitive Fair11am-5pm. Outdoor vendors covering a wide range of topics in the healing arts & spiritual guidance fields. Indoor presentations on topics such as baking for food allergies, the benefits of bees and acupuncture! Held at Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center in Grandville.

Greg Tamblyn in Concert- 6:30pm. Comedy Concerts feature award-winning songs and stories, both heartfelt and hilarious. Spiritual messages are most entirely about love so bring your friends and family. Contact for more information, or visit Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Wellness Nights: Be Busy and Balanced6-9pm. Discover how to find healthy balance in your busy lifestyle. Learn about stress reduction tools, receive health advice, healthy lunch options and exercise tips, all while enjoying complimentary food, drinks and chair massages. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton St. W Ste. B, Grand Rapids.

September 23

Posipalooza- 7-9pm. Enjoy singer/songwriters with inspirational messages for all and a variety of musical styles all on one stage. Featuring Daniel Nahmod, Sloan Wainwright, Sue Riley and Glen Roethel. Contact for more information, or visit Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Breast Thermography Presentation- 7-8pm. Learn about the benefits of breast thermography, why thermography works, how to find a good clinic and more. This presentation with Julie Bennett from Advanced Thermal Imaging will be helpful for understanding how thermography is important for your breast health. 616-7246369. 6835 Hanna Lake Ave. Caledonia.

Ayurvedic Science of Herbs- 9am7pm, August 15-16. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

September 17

September 19

Urevia Practironer Level One- 10am-5pm, September 19-20. Learn basic metaphysical principles, chakra assessment, how to give a healing, and how to use Urevia as a tool to improve every day experiences, health, and wellbeing. $290.00, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit or Hickory Corners.

September 26 Usui Reiki I & II- 10am-5pm, September 2627. Learn basic metaphysical principles, chakra assessment, how to give a healing, and how to use Reiki as a tool to improve every day experiences, health, and well-being. $225, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit ReikiConnect. com or

October 17-18

October 24

Urevia Advance Practitioner Level Two- 10am-5pm, October 24-25. Offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute serving S.W. Michigan. All classes are certified. $300, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit or Hickory Corners.

Restore Your Skin to its Natural, Youthful Beauty with our new Advanced Healing Skin Cream MANUKA HONEY is produced by bees that pollinate New Zealand’s Manuka bush. Advocates tout its antibacterial properties.

You’ll love Natural Awakenings’ therapeutic cream’s clean, fresh botanical fragrance. Discover what our amazing skin cream can do: • Provides Ultra-Hydration of Skin • Enhances Anti-Aging and Skin Renewal • Soothes Dry, Itchy, Cracked Skin • Relieves Most Burns Including Sunburn • Comforts Wounds and Sores 4-oz jar $21.99 + ONLY $5 for shipping Order online today Like us on Facebook at Natural Awakenings Webstore

or call: 888-822-0246 natural awakenings

August 2015


savethedate November 14-15 Urevia Master Practitioner - 10am- 5pm. Lunch provided. Cost is $400. Offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute serving S.W. Michigan. All classes are certified. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit both websites: or


pointment time. Appointments are on an offering basis., 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

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.

$20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-365-9176. Grand Rapids.

Sunday Summer Chapel Speakers- 10am. Join us in our Chapel on Sundays in the month of August. You will be enlightened, informed and inspired by a variety of speakers. Visit for more info. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck. Hot Yoga- Sundays at 4pm, Mondays at 7pm, Thursdays at 5:30pm and Saturdays at 11am. Join Hearts Journey Wellness Center for an active, energetic and athletic style of yoga that gets you sweating! 877-932-4446. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. 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 Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see Community Yoga Class- 6-7pm. We’re moving outside for the summer! Join us at Jonker’s Gardens, 897 Lincoln Ave. in Holland (weather permitting). Visit for more information. $5 donation goes to the charity of the month. Coptic Center Sunday Experience- 7pm. Visit The Center Of Personal Transformation In Consciousness for an ongoing experience of dynamic presenters of spiritual and metaphysical thought. Love Offering Donation. Call 616-531-1339 or visit for more information. Grand Rapids.

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.


West Michigan Edition

The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616458-5095.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Healthy Lifestyle/Weightloss Clinic for Men 5:30-7:00pm. Enroll Now for this new 13-week program where you’ll receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.

Wednesday Chair Yoga- 10:30-11:30am. Join Hearts Journey Wellness Center for Chair Yoga with movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility and strength. 877932-4446. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Vinyasa Yoga- 5:30-6:45pm. Join Hearts Journey Wellness Center for Vinyasa Yoga, an energizing practice using a dynamic, flowing style of yoga. 877-932-4446. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Healthy Lifestyle/Weightloss Clinic- 5:307:00pm. Enroll Now for this new 13-week program where you’ll receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Healing Clinic- 7-9pm. Seeking Healing, clarity, peace, joy and freedom in your life? Call Pastor at Healing Ways, 269-303-3523, to reserve an ap-

Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-8564957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids.

Thursday Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland.

Saturday Outdoor Yoga- 8-9am. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio and the Holland Recreation Division are offering an outdoor yoga class at Kollen Park on the shores of Lake Macatawa. Join us by the band shell for this class. $5 donation. For weather cancellations, check Holland. Restorative Yoga- 9-10:15am. Join Hearts Journey Wellness Center for Restorative Yoga with poses held for several minutes due to their relaxing and healing qualities. 877-932-4446. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Hatha Yoga- 9-10:15am. A Little more invigorating, this is a great class to learn the foundations of a yoga practice. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman– 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.



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


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177

At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad page 27.

BIO ENERGETIC SYNCHRONIZATION TECHNIQUE BRAIN & BODY BALANCING Spark of Life Studio 959 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids 616-516-1479

Living organisms strive to be in balance but everyday stress is preventing us from feeling our best. Let us restore balance to your brain and body and thus maximize your overall wellbeing as well as your body’s innate healing capacity.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 37.


Certified technician in Nexalin Technology, a medication-free t r e a t m e n t f o r a n x i e t y, depression and insomnia. The hypothalamus and mid-brain area are gently stimulated, supporting brain function resets. Treatments in your home or Holland office. Find us on Facebook and LinkedIn at Susie Daubenspeck. See ad page 27.

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

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 relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 33.


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.


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.

SCHAFER CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALING SPA Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad page 37.


Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad pages 6 & 30.

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

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad page 20.


natural awakenings

August 2015


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



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

Educational programs for personal health improvement - Wo r k p l a c e w e l l n e s s programs - Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.



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


A fitness and nutrition coach, making your health and fitness a priority. Plans for people of all ages and fitness levels. Offering many free options, as well as cost effective solutions. Contact Missy to see how to achieve your optimal level of health & fitness.


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 in page 25.



Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo & Portage 269-221-1961

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

Massage Therapy, Energy Healing, Spiritual Counsel, Healing Services for Groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing Healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual...

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

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

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 21.


West Michigan Edition

A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both Traditional and Homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathy remedy. We accept most insurance, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 25.

HYPNOTHERAPY HYPNOTHERAPY ASSOCIATES OF GRAND RAPIDS LLC Linda D Knight, CHt, Stacey PreFontaine, CClHt Certified Medical Support Hypnotherapist 1345 Monroe NW, Suite 201 Grand Rapids 616-550-3231

Hypnotherapy services for Smoking Cessation, Weight Management, Pain Management, Personal and Professional Growth, and much more. Also offering Stress Management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 33.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing P r a c t i t i o n e r, C e r t i f i e d Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 37.

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

I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts.


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 33.


Sheri Beth Schafer, LMT Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000

We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. GRChiroSpa. com. See ads, pages 6 & 30.




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

SCHOOL OF AYURVEDA. State licensed. Certificate program for healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, yoga teachers, wellness educators, massage therapists, holistic health specialists, chiropractors, dieticians and those seeking to learn Self-Health-Care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).



In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1450 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.

State licensed school for massage and bodywork. Offering high quality, affordable massage certification courses as well as NCBTMB continuing education courses for the experienced therapist. Located conveniently to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale.


503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant 989-773-1714

Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234

0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr., Grand Rapids 616-791-0472

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

FOR RENT Massage Room for Rent - Grand Rapids Natural Health, an all inclusive health and wellness center, is looking for a part time Massage Therapist to join our growing team. We pride ourselves in offering all of our client’s needs for their health goals, under one roof. We are looking for a massage therapist with a passion for the health and wellness field and a passion for working in a group environment to rent space. Please contact Kelly if interested at KHassberger@ or 616-540-0723. Office Space Available – In a professional health care office building in Kentwood. Approx. 125 square feet office with private entrance and all utilities included. Located on Kalamazoo Ave. near 131, M6 and the East Beltline with excellent visablility, parking and signage. Please call 616-827-2350 for further details.



Massage or Natural Health Practitioners wanted- 360 Massage and Holistic Care is looking for passionate individuals to join our team. Must be licensed in massage or natural health field and have own clientele or be willing to build a clientele. Contact info@360Massage. com or 616-242-0034 for more information.

A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education, and choice. The first birthing center in Grand Rapids to add to women’s birth choices. Contact us for a free consultation 559-9075341. See ad page 32.

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.

MEDICAL OR HEALTH OR FITNESS Multi-million dollar firm with toxic chemical free products line seeks 3 health care professionals in the Grand Rapids area to test market our high demand product line in their wellness facility/clinic/gym. Product line generates $150k/yr. potential. Will not interfere with your current practice. Call 1-800-7048285 or visit



Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student

CJ’S STUDIO SALON 5286 Plainfield Ave, NE Grand Rapids 616-364-9191

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

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

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad page 20.

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natural awakenings

August 2015


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Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ August 2015  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ August 2015  

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

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