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HEALTHY LIVING HEALTHY PLANET feel good live simply laugh more


Really Good




HOLIDAYS Do It Yourself This Year


RITUALS To Enhance Your Holidays

DECEMBER 2010 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

December 2010


Naturopathy (Each year 600 hours)

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner ..1 Year

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

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

Individual Classes:

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

15 Years of Excellence

503 E. Broadway • Mt. Pleasant, Michigan • (989) 773-1714 2

Mt. Pleasant is 90 minutes North East of Grand Rapids Accredited by the American Naturopathic Medical Association West Michigan Edition

contents 10

10 globalbriefs 11 ecobriefs

13 healthbriefs


18 healingways 20 fitbody 22 consciouseating 28 naturalpet 32 inspiration 34 greenliving

40 healthykids

13 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.

News Briefs & article submissions

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.




by Lisa Marshall


by David Kessler

20 PRAYER WORKOUTS A Program that Transforms Exercise into a Platform for Spiritual Growth


by April Thompson

22 EXCEPTIONAL ENDINGS Really Good Raw Desserts by Judith Fertig


Healthy, Natural Holiday Treats

by Gail Condrick

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


calendar submissions

by Brita Belli

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

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

I’m Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas…



Shared Family Rituals Deepen Bonds and Make Memories by Charlotte Eulette

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Beyond our full “carbon neutral” digital issue each month... Check us out and connect with us on Twitter & Facebook! Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings of West Michigan natural awakenings

December 2010




his month’s theme is, appropriately, Awakening Consciousness. We are collectively coming to a crucial era on Earth when our quality of life, and yes, our very survival, demands that humanity wakes up to tackle the troubling changes happening in our world. Choosing to ignore an environmental or social justice issue because you don’t think it will affect you is no longer an option.

contact us Publishers Kyle & Amy Hass Editors S. Alison Chabonais Scott Gillis Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey

Printer Newsweb 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. © 2010 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 for a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

Committed to Sustainability Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Recently, we attended the Bioneers Conference in Traverse City (glbconference. org), which proved to be a major turning point for us. It was the best conference we have ever attended, and we recommend that you mark your calendar to also attend next year’s conference, set for October 14 to 16, 2011. We’ll see you there. What we learned that conference weekend has made us hunger to do more for our planet. It also showed us how many people here in West Michigan are making a constructive difference and how much people want to educate themselves more about key actionable issues. A big thanks goes to the Bioneers for all that they do for Mother Earth and those who live here. As soon as we get the December issue into your hands, we are planning to take a much needed two-week vacation. It will be the first time since starting our Natural Awakenings journey that we will be able to totally get away. We feel like two kids preparing to visit Disney World for the first time. We are both so excited and blessed for this opportunity to relax and rejuvenate before returning to close out 2010 in high spirits. Please note that our office will be closed from November 25 through December 13. Holidays present special opportunities to exercise conscientious discretion as to what we are purchasing, the way we wrap gifts, the foods we plan to prepare and most importantly, the kindness, love and peace we offer to all mankind. For example, instead of mailing traditional greeting cards, we have decided to call loved ones with whom visits are too few and far between. We figure if we make one or two calls a day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, catching up should be easy to do. We realized that we have not spoken with some family members and friends in years, and hope that they find our visit meaningful. More, maybe they’ll in turn be prompted to reconnect with other special people in their lives. Who knows, maybe this will start a new tradition. Have a joyous holiday season,

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


West Michigan Edition

Amy and Kyle

newsbriefs Keeping Michigan Waters Safe


ne of the easiest and most important things we can do to help keep the waters of Michigan clean and improve our environment is to keep unused/unwanted drugs from entering our water! Woodpointe Pharmacy is taking part in a drug disposal program called Yellow Jug Old Drugs. This is a free program from the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization (a non-profit organization) designed to collect and safely dispose of unused, unwanted or expired drugs. The Mission Statement of the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization is: “To promote the collection and disposal of unused/unwanted drugs in a safe and approved manner. This will keep harmful effects of drugs out of ground water, surface water and municipal water systems in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.” Thank you for helping keep Michigan Waters Safe. For more information contact Woodpointe Pharmacy 2500 East Beltline Ave SE in Grand Rapids at 616-949-4499 & visit


WATER BIRTHING Southwest Michigan’s only water birthing program.

Eva Fronk, CNM

Ask our midwives if Water Birth is for you! Contact: Shoreline Women’s Center 269.639.2720 Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Mercedes Moran, CNM

Basic Astrology


ary McGuire, a second-generation astrologer, sheds light on the world of astrology. She has brought awareness of astrology and its usefulness to many. Her work has inspired others to make outstanding life changes, which have encouraged them to their natural, spiritual path of self-healing. On day one of her class, Saturday, January 15th you will learn the basics about astrology. Mary will be teaching about the different signs of the zodiac, the planets and the houses of an astrology chart. On the second day, Saturday, February 12th, you will learn how planets aspect each other and what it means. Mary will explain the key points to interpreting astrology charts, plus much more. On the third, Saturday, March 12, you will apply all of the knowledge that you have learned and read charts in a workshop atmosphere. Mary will help you interrupt charts and test your skills as an astrologer. Join her in a three-day class, which includes your individual charts. Class size is limited. Latest sign-up date is the Tuesday before the class. You must provide your Date, Time, and City & State of birth for your birth chart. Classes will be held at The Healing Center in Lakeview from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Only $50 per day with a non refundable deposit of $10 per day required at registration. To schedule, call 989-352-6500 or email Mary at mary350@ natural awakenings

December 2010


Autoimmune Disease Support


ore Americans suffer from autoimmune disease than cancer or heart disease. One in 12 Americans suffers from multiple sclerosis, lupus, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or one of the hundred other chronic autoimmune illnesses that are part of today’s autoimmune epidemic. Amanda Geerts knows firsthand what it’s like to live with an autoimmune disease. Amanda Geerts Her own Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis inspired her to search for new ways to be healthy. “My MS diagnosis was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” says Amanda Geerts. “With the changes I’ve made in my life because of it I feel more vibrant than ever.” Amanda supports others with autoimmune diseases through her health coaching. “A health coach helps people set and meet lasting goals,” Amanda says. “As your health coach, I’m the person who always has your back and is cheering you on.” Amanda supports people to make simple and positive changes in their diet and lifestyle to have more energy, alleviate their autoimmune symptoms, and live their healthiest lives. For more information visit Contact her at See ad page 21 & 47.

You are here. So are we. Childbirth Your Way Welcome Susan Wente, CNM, Dr. PH, Certified Nurse Midwife

Certified Nurse Midwife Susan Wente, CNM, Dr.Ph. has joined Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Obstetrics and Gynecology. Susan’s approach to childbirth includes listening to each patient’s individual vision and working with her to customize an approach to childbirth that is uniquely her own. She works with each woman to create: • A relationship of trust • A birth plan that supports individual choice • A joyous, compassionate birth experience • Treatment and health care support throughout a woman’s life stages Susan also has the complete support of the three excellent OB/GYN physicians on her team, Melissa Bayne, DO, Tami Michele, DO and James Patenge, DO. Most insurance plans accepted. Call 231.924.1212 for an appointment, or visit us at


West Michigan Edition

Massage Therapy at Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic


emlow Peak Performance Chiropractic is now offering massage therapy! Tanya Daniels, a graduate of Baker College of Muskegon, offers Swedish, deep tissue, pregnancy, sports and occupational massage as well as chakra balancing, and various stretching techniques. Tanya also works throughout the community and will come to your place of business to perform onsite chair massages for customer and employee appreciation. With the holidays quickly approaching why not give the gift of massage to that special someone. Special Tanya Daniels for December: Purchase a gift certificate for a 1 hour massage for $30.00 and receive an energy balancing for free, a $25 value. Contact Tanya to schedule your massage today. Call 616-846-5000 or visit Semlow Peak Performance Chiropractic at 326 North Ferry Street, Grand Haven. See ad page 31.

The Power of Archetypes Workshop


iscover how knowing and working with your Archetypes profoundly shifts your personal or professional life and spiritual practice. These Archetypes, or Isthadevatas, reside deep into our collective unconscious. On December 5th from 2:00-5:00pm, Dr. Manoj will bring in statues and relate the symbolisms of Hindu & Buddhist deities to archetypes within us during this unique workshop. Discover how these ancient teachings have practical relevance to your life in today’s society, bringing peace of mind as well as uncovering our underlying common spirit. Philosophy Lecture with Mantras and Meditation. Dr. Manoj uses humor, stories and everyday experiences in his talks on Mythology, Vedanta and Tantra. Indian-born Manoj has given Keynote lectures at Yoga festivals and teaches at Yoga Journal conferences. He is a scientist with a doctorate in Chemical Physics from Cornell University. His calling in life is to assimilate and teach spiritual practice and philosophy through the symbolisms of Yogic Hindu art which he now imports from India. Workshop cost is $30 and everyone is welcome. Visit From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center, 714 Wealthy St in Grand Rapids or call 616-336-9642. www.fromtheheartyoga. com. See ad page 16

Dreaming of a Green Christmas


his season, Give Natural, Give Organic, Give Miessence Products. The Holiday Season is a wonder-

ful time to show your love and appreciation to family and friends through heartfelt gifts that benefit them and don’t harm the environment. How green is a Miessence product? It all starts outside, in various parts of the world, in organic soil that is lovingly and respectfully nurtured. A plant grows in the fresh air and sunshine, is harvested and gently refined through cold processing, and shipped to the Miessence warehouse. It is then formulated on site, mixed or hand-blended with other pure, vital and certified organic ingredients, in small batches to guarantee freshness and potency. No artificial, lab-generated, potentially health damaging emulsifiers, stabilizers, synthetic preservatives, or fragrances is ever used. Instead, the plants’ innate properties contain these elements. The potent, powerful, health and beauty promoting formulas are then packaged in recyclable bottles and packaging, and sent to you! In addition, we are now the world’s first certified organic skin care, personal care and nutritional products company to be carbon negative! Sending a gift e-certificate from a company that is certified organic, fair-trade and green is a gift to the environment as well. Use the security, convenience and comfort of your Miessence shopping cart; you can cross names off your giftgiving list with just the click of a mouse! No traffic, No lines, No mall madness, No paranoia over finding that perfect gift. Order online at Contact Tarra Thompson, Independent Representative at

Holiday Stress Relief


f you are feeling overwhelmed during the busy holiday season, Grand Rapids Center for the Healing Arts has the cure for you. We are offering a $110 detoxifying spa massage for just $55. Start with a detoxifying seaweed gel application as you are wrapped in warm blankets, with a scalp massage as you de-stress. Then have a relaxing aroma therapeutic

natural awakenings

December 2010


massage or cellulite-fighting oil massage and leave ready to face the world with a healthy glow. This makes a wonderful gift and you may purchase this special offer between December 1, 2010 & January 1, 2011. Call the Center at 616-649-7011 for information. Grand Rapids Center for the Healing Arts, 3160-C Breton SE in Grand Rapids. See ad page 31.

New to the 360 Team


mber Sackett is the latest addition to 360 Massage & Holistic Care. She graduated with honors from Irene’s Myomassology Institute specializing in Therapeutic Medical Massage. Amber’s favorite modalities are Sports Massage, Myofascial Massage, Aromatherapy and Lymphatic Massage. “I believe that improving circulation and joint mobilization is a large aspect of a healthy being”, says Sackett. She is very passionate about nutrition and plans of perusing a deeper education in the field. Join 360 Massage in welcoming Amber to the team! You may contact Amber at 734-748-7011. 360 Massage & Holistic Care, 1514 Wealthy St Se Ste 218 in Grand Rapids. Contact them at 616-242-0034 or See ad page 30.

Fitness Guru Invents New State of the Art App


ersonal trainer, author, speaker, and network marketer, Robert Jay Martin has invented a new state of the art app called the iLog1©. The iLog1, is now on sale in the iTunes store for $2.99. It allows users to digitally document and track their diet, workouts, sleep habits, house/school work, mood and countless other types of information. It is the first app of its kind available for use with the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The additional charting capabilities of the iLog1 help to reveal trends in user’s overall health and fitness, including their sleep patterns, and their BMI (Body Mass Index). The app also functions as a chronological log


West Michigan Edition

where users can record almost anything they desire. The adaptability of the iLog1 allows the program to be used by many different segments of the population including but not limited to, cyclists, runners, walkers, coaches, sports psychologists, weight lifters, dieticians, swimmers, therapists, counselors, doctors, and personal trainers. Large corporations can use the iLog1 to monitor employees participating in health incentive programs. It is also a valuable tool for individuals looking to monitor their weight loss and/or begin exercising. If you would like to learn more about Robert or his new app visit,

Light of Day Organics® Opens New Farm Retail Store Outlet


ight of Day Organics®, a Leelanau County-based Organic, Biodynamic, and Fair Trade Certified loose leaf tea company, is pleased to announce the opening of its new farm retail store outlet at 3502 E. Traverse Highway. The new farm retail store outlet is now open to the public for tea cuppings, farm and facility tours, and retail shopping Thursday through Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm, or by appointment. The store opening is a defining moment for Angela Macke, the founder of Light of Day Organics. “Anyone who has started a business knows how much hard work, determination, positive thinking and organization is required,” said Angela Macke, a Registered Nurse and a Horticulturalist. This family-owned certified organic farm and facility is where all the magic happens: the frequent harvests, drying of their flowers, herbs, fruit, roots, vegetables, barks and berries, and then blending and packaging. All of the products are original Artisanal recipes hand-blended by Angela in small batches in their licensed sustainably built commercial kitchen. Light of Day Organics offers a diverse online catalogue at www. Contact Angela Macke at 231-2287234 or at

Expanding Services


en Porter, Certified Somatic Therapist, has recently been certified in Hakomi Body-Centered Therapy. He is now providing Hakomi Therapy, Massage, Myofascial Release and CranioSacral Therapy in his private practice, Body and Soul Somatic Therapy located at The Fountain Hill Center, 534 Fountain St NE in Grand Rapids. Visit www.BodyandSoulGR. com or call 616-262-3848. Learn more about Hakomi at

December’s Amateur Photo Contest Winner... Avery Wedder of Cascade Township


t looks as though the little girl is trying to awaken her prince within this frog. How fitting for our Awakening Consciousness theme this month. Congratulations Avery you will be receiving a $25 gift certificate from Affordable Nutrition and thank you to Affordable Nutrition for donating this month’s prize. Affordable Nutrition’s ad can be found on page 46.

natural awakenings

December 2010


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

Call to Action

Freedoms Foster World Peace Human Rights Day on December 10 honors local and global activities working to initiate, strengthen and sustain the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights and freedoms enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. Such principles are considered the bedrock of peaceful and just societies. President Jimmy Carter sums up the need: “We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes—and we must.” The United Nations Human Rights Council, created in 2006, comprises 47 member states responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. The protection of fundamental human rights was a cornerstone in the establishment of the United States and remains a central goal of U.S. foreign policy. This country understands that the existence of human rights helps to secure peace, deter aggression, promote rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies and prevent humanitarian crises. In 2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together, author Kirk Boyd maintains that “Peace and prosperity can be attained through the realization of five basic fundamental freedoms for all people: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, freedom for the environment and freedom from fear.” These establish a framework within which other necessary rights can flourish. “That struggle,” declared Robert F. Kennedy, “…will be won by action, by those who commit their every resource of mind and body to the education and improvement and help of their fellow person.” Take action at, and

Extraterrestrial Explorers Searching for a New Earth

“By 2020, or even a little before that, we’ll know if there are other Earths out there,” states Laurance Doyle, Ph.D. The astrophysicist is part of the NASA Kepler spacecraft science team monitoring 170,000 of the brightest stars in our galactic neighborhood based on the recent discovery of numerous planets around stars other than the Sun. Launched in 2009, they’re watching for a pattern of three small, annual reductions in brightness that would indicate an Earth-sized planet orbiting another star. “If we don’t find any Earths… then we can say, ‘Wow, Earth is really rare. We need to take care of it,’” says Doyle, who is also a principal investigator at the SETI Institute and president of the nonprofit Planet Quest. If the scientists do find another Earth-like planet, the next step would be to search for signs of biological life by checking to see if free oxygen is present in the atmosphere. Sources: Principia Purpose and 10

West Michigan Edition

World Religions

Survey Shows Americans are Religio-Centric The role of religion as a social force of enduring significance in the modern world is recognized by American historians and sociologists, according to studies published by the American Historic Association and Social Science Research Council. Yet, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life indicates that Americans are generally less than knowledgeable about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions. On average, Americans correctly answered half of 32 questions in the survey. Atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons were among the highest-scoring groups, outperforming Catholics and both evangelical and mainline Protestants. At the same time, many Americans are devoted readers of scripture; 37 percent say they read the Bible or other holy scriptures at least once a week, not counting worship services. But Americans as a whole, or 70 percent, are much less inclined to read books or visit websites about other religions. Additional Pew data show that while most countries provide for religious freedom in their constitutions or laws, only a quarter actively respect this legal right. Sixty-four nations, or about one-third of the world’s countries, impose restrictions on religious practice. Take a quiz at Features.PewForum. org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge.

ecobriefs Undersea Universe

First Comprehensive Look at Marine Life Yields Surprises The results of a decade of discovery by 2,700 scientists from 80 nations in the first comprehensive Census of Marine Life detail the diversity, distribution and abundance of ocean life. New technology “binoculars” provided an unprecedented picture of the world under the waves. Some 540 expeditions estimated diversity at 250,000 species, including 6,000 potentially new species. Researchers found living creatures everywhere, even under extreme conditions. The census affirms that we know less about the small than the large, and that by weight, up to 90 percent of marine life is microbial. It documents a changing ocean—richer in diversity, more connected through distribution and movements, more impacted by humans and yet, less explored than we had known. It reveals long-term and widespread declines in marine life, but also resilience in areas where recovery is apparent. This baseline will help scientists forecast, measure and understand changes in the global marine environment and better inform the management and conservation of its resources. The census’s legacy includes a promising heightened collaboration across borders. Source:

10/10/10 Results America’s White House Goes Solar

President Obama has announced the installation of solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of his White House residence as part of a Department of Energy demonstration project. Interestingly, the move comes after Founder Bill McKibben carted solar panels to Washington, D.C., in October, as part of his grassroots movement’s 10/10/10 Global Work Party on curbing climate change. The Washington Post reports that the panels were some of the same ones that were donated to Unity College in the 1990s after President Reagan had them removed from the White House and let federal renewable energy subsidies expire. President Carter had the original solar equipment installed in 1979, saying “A generation from now, this solar heater [behind me] can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” Remarks McKibben: “If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world.”

Green Guides

United States Updates Rules for Green Marketing Following three public hearings, a period for public comment on the proposed document that ended December 10 and 35 months of development, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will publish a much anticipated update to its original Green Guides. First published in 1992, the last update appeared in 1998. The guides comprise a common sense set of rules defining required substantiation and disclaimers for the explosion of evolving green claims made by marketers. Like its predecessors, the new edition will represent a helpful, if low, bar, intended to eliminate outright misrepresentations and fabrications. “The new guidelines [still] don’t really keep up with the world of sustainable business practices,” comments Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz. com. Rather, they address a fraction of what companies are doing—the behind-the-scenes innovations that reduce use of water, energy and materials. While a step in the right direction, they have yet to provide, for example, guidance on reduced packaging or use of the words “sustainable” and “green.” Plus, they don’t yet address the potent eco-claims of cradle-to-cradle, biomimicry and green chemistry. Makower observes that, instead of “greenwashing,” [making false claims or leveraging words like “natural” to intentionally mislead consumers], most companies today are engaging in random acts of greenness—tweaks to their products, facilities, policies or practices, rather than undergoing systemic change. While some are seriously changing their ways, for most companies and consumers, “going green,” notes Makower, means making a series of incremental changes that over time reduce their worst environmental impacts, while perhaps also garnering some PR points.

natural awakenings

December 2010


SHORELINE CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE Helping you balance your mind, body and spirit.

At Shoreline Center for Integrative Medicine, alternative therapies are used in conjunction with conventional medicine to achieve optimal health and healing. Our patient centered care is personally tailored for you to achieve your maximum health and wellness. We also offer laser hair removal, laser vein reduction and skin care services with a full line of La-Roche Posay products.

Lori Dotson, M.D. • Berti Ferree-Young, R.N. Shoreline Center for Integrative Medicine 950 S. Bailey Avenue South Haven, MI


Monday through Wednesday and Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child. ~ Erma Bombeck

ecobriefs Sustainable Lifestyles Study Ranks Greenest States

The National Marketing Institute’s in-depth query of 3,000 consumers from varied demographic groups in the 25 largest U.S. states (by population), reveals where demand is greatest for everything green. Leading states, while not without flaws, are known for pioneering new environmental policies, having avid enthusiasts of outdoor activities and driving the market for green products. Research questions focused on the proportion of consumers who have purchased carbon offsets, organic foods, renewable power and hybrid vehicles and those who compost, reuse grocery bags and donate money to environmental groups. Based on the prevalence of these characteristics, the top 10 greenest states are Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Minnesota, Michigan and Missouri. They are followed by Florida, Alabama, Wisconsin, Arizona and Texas.

Toy Story

Sustainable Toys are In With Walmart, the biggest toy seller, now stocking its store shelves with more toys made from natural or recycled materials, industry analysts expect other big retailers to follow. Reyne Rice, a trend specialist for the Toy Industry Association, told Reuters that about 25 percent of retail buyers at last year’s American International Toy Fair wanted to see and consider more eco-friendly products. Thus, the Toy Fair earlier this year featured a green pavilion, exclusively showcasing such toys for the first time. It’s a step toward propelling green toy sales toward an anticipated $1 billion market in the next five years, representing some 5 percent of overall toy sales. While sustainable toys tend to cost a bit more than traditional ones, many are priced at less than $25 retail. Meanwhile, even though many major manufacturers aren’t yet on board, several are making moves to green and reduce the amount of packaging they use.


West Michigan Edition


Cranberries’ Red Power


hile the properties of cranberries for warding off urinary tract infections have been well documented, researchers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are now reporting a surprise finding that expands the red berries’ healing characteristics. They discovered that cranberry juice cocktail evidently helps block a strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus from bringing on staph infections, which can range from minor skin rashes to serious bloodstream problems. One particular strain, Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), is a growing public health concern because it doesn’t respond to most antibiotics. To cause an infection, bacteria must first adhere to host tissue, and then gather in colonies to form a biofilm. In their study, the scientists found that in participants who had recently consumed cranberry juice, the ability of bacteria such as E. coli and S. aureus to form biofilms was significantly decreased, thus reducing the chance of contracting a urinary or staph infection. “We saw essentially no biofilm in the staph samples,” reports Terri Camesano, a WPI professor of chemical engineering.

Kindness is Contagious Pass it On


he best gift of all can be as simple as an act of kindness, generosity and cooperation. Even better, we hope that our good acts may spread. Now, a study published in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides the first laboratory evidence that kind behavior is indeed contagious and that it spreads from person to person. In short, the researchers found that when just a few people benefit from kindness, they pay it forward by helping others who were not originally involved. This cascade of cooperation can influence many known and unknown participants in a broadening social network. Here’s how researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and Harvard University illustrated the principle: When one person gave money to help others in a public-goods game where people had the opportunity to cooperate, the recipients were more likely to give away their own money to other people in subsequent games. This type of behavior created a domino effect, in which one person’s generosity spread first to three people, then to nine and then to others in subsequent waves of the experiment. Better yet, the effect of being part of such a kindness circle persists, observes James Fowler, associate professor at UCSD, who co-led the study, observing, “You don’t go back to being your old selfish self.”

Holiday Binge Alert Here’s another reason to take it easy at the holiday buffet: A study published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Nutrition & Metabolism has found that just a four-week episode of excessive food consumption, accompanied by limited physical activity, can have long-term negative impacts on our body weight and fat storage, even after weight initially gained is lost. Research participants were in their 20s and early 30s.

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~ Charles Dickens

natural awakenings

December 2010


Tap Away Food Cravings


electable morsels are traditionally hard to resist, but psychologists from Griffith University’s School of Medicine, in Australia, show us how we can successfully reduce food cravings by using a technique they refer to as psychological acupuncture. It involves gently tapping on pressure points along the body’s energy meridians using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), while focusing on particular emotions and thoughts. “Participants in the trial were surprised by how quickly the technique works—that it doesn’t take a lot of time to eliminate food cravings they may have had for many years,” notes Peta Stapleton, Ph.D. Food cravings for sweets and salty snacks significantly lessened after just four, two-hour sessions, and were confirmed as being maintained at a six-month follow-up consultation. Find more information on EFT, including certified practitioner resources by state, at For a local practitioner please contact Janice De Lange at 616-451-3008, jdelange06@ or visit her website at

Cinnamon Extract A favorite holiday spice might soon be recognized as a natural medicine. An investigative study led by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) chemist suggests that a water soluble extract of natural cinnamon, which contains antioxidant compounds, could help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease. More research is needed. Source: USDA/Agricultural Research Service, 2010

Cocoa Takes the Pressure Off Fifteen scientific studies attest to the good news: For people with hypertension, eating dark chocolate or cocoa can significantly dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Researchers attribute the positive effects to the flavanol compounds in cocoa. Source: BioMed Central Limited, 2010


West Michigan Edition


Sleigh Bells by Richard De Wolfe The Thousand Islands region of Ontario, Canada, fostered a childhood filled with adventure for Richard De Wolfe, who still identifies strongly with rural life. The forests, the fields and the mighty St. Lawrence River made the wonders of nature come alive for him. A self-taught, professional freelance artist who works in both illustration and fine art, De Wolfe produced his first oneman show at 18. It sold out, and he went on to spend 25 years as an illustrator for corporations such as General Motors, Pepsi Cola, Sears, Labatt and Sony. Of Sleigh Bells, De Wolfe says, “In the early part of the 20th century, most people still travelled by horse and sleigh during the winter in the country. The roads were often not maintained well enough for the few automobiles in existence at that time, and everyone owned a horse and sleigh. What could be nicer than the jingle of sleigh bells on the harnesses of the horses as they trotted briskly over the snow-covered roadway? There were no distractions of radios, ringing cell phones or blaring CD players in those days.” View the artist’s portfolio at Richard

Seven Ways from Sunday by Lisa Marshall


xtending our individual spiritual practice into everyday activities may present a challenge, especially during the hectic holiday season. So authors Barbara Brown Taylor and J. Pittman McGehee have uncovered additional ways that some people are tapping into their definitions of a Higher Power. The Practice of Paying Attention Spend 20 minutes observing a patch of Earth outdoors. Observe what lives there. Think of how it came to be and what it takes for it to survive. The Practice of Encountering Others Start a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store. Exchange eye contact and a smile with someone on the subway. Offer help to a mother with a crying child at the airport. Says Taylor: “The hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbor as the self—to encounter them not as someone you can use, change, fix, help or save, but as someone who can spring you from the prison of yourself if you will allow it… to entertain the possibility that this is one of the faces of God.”

The Practice of Saying No Say no for one whole day: to more work, to shopping, to the Internet. Use the time you gain to pay attention. “If you slow down for just one day, alarming things can happen,” observes Taylor. The Practice of Doing Without Go without power for a day. Light candles. Dry laundry on a clothesline. Sleep by the fire. Feel your heart swell with gratitude when the sun comes up. The Practice of Creativity Create something. Paint, write, cook, dance or plant a garden. “Find the creativity, and you will find yourself experiencing the mystical presence of the transcendent, in the most simple and available way,” says McGehee. The Practice of Dreaming Write down dreams and pay attention to recurring symbols. Honor them as a divine opportunity.

The Practice of Living with Purpose Show your gratitude for being alive through contributing to some common good, whether it is via a vocation you love or volunteer work. “Give your stuff away. Share your food. Pray for those who are out to get you. Be the first to say, ‘I’m sorry,’” counsels Taylor.

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December 2010


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Lakeshore Yoga Center

ndra Devi, one of the greatest female yoga masters of the 20th century, said “Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.” Sting claimed that “Yoga is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.” The instructors and students at Lakeshore Yoga Center would no doubt agree with both the yoga master and the rock singer. Yoga is indeed the perfect discipline for those seeking tranquility, pain relief and rejuvenation. Luckily its remarkable healing properties can be experienced just a few steps away from downtown Grand Haven at Lakeshore Yoga Center. Opened in 1999 by Pam Fenton (Schap), Lakeshore Yoga Center (LYC) is an expression of her lifelong commitment to help the world discover what she describes as “the time tested benefits of yoga”. A nationally recognized yoga teacher, Pam began practicing yoga when she was just 13 years old. For over 30 years, her dedication to the discipline has only grown as she works to harmonize the mind body spirit connection via meditation, reiki energy and yoga in all its many forms. The calming effects of Lakeshore Yoga are discernible as soon as visitors climb the stairs to the center’s studio and office. A feeling of serenity surrounds one even before walking past the reception area into a long corridor marked off as a ‘Quiet Zone’. Here clients practice yoga, or undergo therapeutic massage therapy in one of the private treatment rooms. Three certified massage therapists work on site to provide such techniques as Swedish, sports and deep tissue massage, acupressure, shiatsu, reflexology and myofascial work for joint pain. Far Infrared saunas are also available to help those interested in weight loss, pain relief, or a relaxing way to sweat out all those toxins. Yoga practice however is the main focus of the center. Those who are either new to the discipline, or not in the best physical shape, are advised to start with Gentle Yoga or Gentle Vinyasa Flow classes. Students looking for a greater physical challenge should try either the more active and fluid movements of Vinyasa Yoga, or the truly athletic workout of a Power Yoga session. A Men’s Yoga class is offered as well, but anyone is welcome to participate. Many come to the center for what Pam has called the “natural, organic and effective pain relief” that yoga provides. Physicians and chiropractors have referred a number of her clients to the LYC. The center offers Restorative Yoga Therapy, which is a gentle, relaxing yoga style designed for anyone recovering from illness, injury or prolonged inactivity. Private yoga therapy classes with Pam can also be scheduled in order to work on specific healing issues. Morning, afternoon and evening classes are available. Most yoga classes last approximately 75 minutes, and are offered in 8-week sessions. If you don’t have a yoga mat, LYC can provide a mat and other yoga props for classroom use. A schedule is posted on their website for students who wish to pre-register. The November/December session is currently running from Nov. 1 thru Dec. 23, but walk-ins are always welcome. Walk-in class fee is $10.00, $5.00 for students with a valid I.D.

by Sharon Pisacreta

Anyone looking for glowing testimonials about yoga need only ask one of LYC’s students or instructors. Sandra Minuth, a registered nurse, first came to Lakeshore Yoga seven years ago, suffering from back pain so severe that she could not bend over. After she began taking class regularly at LYC, her back pain completely disappeared. Through yoga, Sandra has discovered a newfound flexibility, allowing her to resume favorite activities such as gardening. “I couldn’t do any of this without yoga,” Sandra says, adding that she has no intention of stopping her yoga practice for fear of those back problems recurring. She also has a deep respect for the work that Pam Fenton is doing, and speaks highly of her teaching gifts. “When Pam talks to 20 people,” Sandra said, “you feel like she’s directly talking to you.” People of all ages and fitness levels are encouraged to practice yoga. One of the center’s instructors is 77-year-old Charlie Meyers who explains that the will power and strength needed to practice yoga carries over into everyday life. “Yoga keeps me more flexible and calmer,” Charlie says, “and stronger than I was before. I instantly knew it was for me.” Charlie wasn’t always in excellent physical shape; in 1972 he suffered a heart attack and required a pacemaker. It was many years before he discovered the remarkable power of yoga, finally becoming a certified instructor in 2004. He recommends yoga not only for those who want to be physically fit, but also for anyone who wants to experience a sense of well-being. He regards yoga as a virtual fountain of youth and “the only form of exercise you will ever need.” Lakeshore Yoga’s commitment to health and serving the community stretches far beyond their studio on Washington Street. On October 10, 2010, the Lakeshore Yoga staff held a yoga class at the Trillium Center in Spring Lake to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the American Cancer Society. Pam, who is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, led the group class, which was titled ‘Will you come to the mat for cancer?’ Open six days a week, Lakeshore Yoga is located at 715 ½ Washington Street in Grand Haven. First time visitors should be aware that the center is actually a few steps off Washington Street, just around the corner - and up the stairs - of the building housing The Bookman. To learn more about the center or to register for the next winter session which begins January 3, please visit their website or call 616-844-1900. A Buddhist proverb claims, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” If you’re ready to become more physically fit, live with less pain, or simply achieve a greater sense of wellbeing, Lakeshore Yoga Center is ready to teach you. Namaste. See Lakeshore Yoga’s ad on page 16. Sharon Pisacreta is a long-time freelance writer who lives in the villages of Saugatuck/Douglas. She is also the editor of the online site Sharon may be contacted at natural awakenings

December 2010


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Grieving During the Holidays by David Kessler


rief at the loss of a loved one is an emotionally painful and debilitating condition at any time of the year, as the mind struggles to make sense out of what may seem like the destruction of our internal compass. Time may eventually help heal our wounds, but meanwhile, life goes on as usual for the rest of the world, and that includes holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah and New Year’s are the biggest and usually most challenging of all to endure, let alone enjoy. It is possible to get through the holidays on your own terms. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into them, because it is not the grief you want to avoid, but the pain. Grief is the pathway out of the pain of internal feelings, and mourning is its external expression.

Have a strategy Have a Plan A and Plan B – Plan A is where you go for the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner with family and friends. Then, if it doesn’t feel right, have your plan B ready: maybe a movie you and your loved one enjoyed together or a photo album to look through or a special place you went to together. Many people find that when they have Plan B in place, just knowing it is there is enough. You can even cancel the holiday altogether. If you find yourself just

going through the motions and feeling nothing, cancel them. Take a year off. The same holidays will come around again and your family and friends will understand. Most of all, do not feel guilty about “spoiling” anyone else’s merriment. Times of crisis like these can often serve to bring the true message of the holiday home to everyone.

Externalize your loss Just as there are rituals that have served mankind throughout the ages, we can create our own personal rites to see us past our grief. n Dedicate a prayer at the holiday

dinner to them. n Light a candle. n Chat or create an online tribute

to their memory. n Share a favorite shared story. n Ask others to relate a funny

anecdote. n Remember them in prayer at your

place of worship. For some, staying involved with the holidays is a symbol of continuing life. Let the holiday routine provide a framework for surviving these tough times. Try experiencing the holidays in a new way. Grief has a unique way of

giving us the permission to really evaluate what parts of the holidays we enjoy and what parts we don’t. There is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief. You have to decide what is right for you and do it. You have every right to change your mind, even more than once. Friends and family members may not have a clue how to help you through the holidays and neither may you. It is very natural to feel like you may never enjoy the holidays again. It is true that they never will be the same as they were, but in time, most people are able to find meaning again in the traditions as a new form of the holiday spirit grows inside of them. Even without grief, our friends and relatives often have strong opinions about how our holidays should look and what we should and shouldn’t do.

Grieving 101 DO be gentle with yourself and protect yourself. DON’T do more than you want to, or anything that does not serve your soul. DO allow time for feelings to express themselves. DON’T keep feelings bottled up. If you have 500 tears to cry, don’t stop at 250. DO allow others to help. We all need help at times in our lives. DON’T ask if you can help a friend in grief. Just help. DO pay extra attention to the children in grief. These holidays are clearly some of the roughest terrain we can navigate after a loss. The ways we deal with them are as individual as we are. These holidays are a normal part of the journey of life, to be felt fully and completely. Holidays can be sad, but we may catch ourselves doing alright, and even experience laughter. There are all kinds of sadness, but grief is a rite of passage. David Kessler is the author of Visions, Trips and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die and On Grief and Grieving with Elisabeth Kübler Ross. For more info visit natural awakenings

December 2010



Prayer Workouts A program that transforms exercise into a platform for spiritual growth by April Thompson


t’s a butt-kicking boot camp. It’s a doorway to God. It’s community. It’s caritas, the Christian virtue of charity. It’s ActivPrayer, a fitness program integrating mind, body and soul, pioneered by a fitness-loving believer in Las Vegas, Nevada. “People have different ways to go about it, but people all over the world are looking for ways to have a more living faith, to integrate spirituality in their daily lives,” says Luke Burgis, founder of ActivPrayer and a member of the Catholic Church. “I was also looking to get more out of fitness, so I experimented with different ways to infuse my workouts with a spiritual element.” After successfully training an entertainment executive turned priest, using his “soul fitness” concept, Burgis recruited participants from various area churches to try out his spiritual boot camps in parks and open gyms. They drew significant interest and in January 2010, ActivPrayer was officially launched.

Off and Running ActivPrayer’s group exercise classes begin with a guided prayer that varies based on the belief system that orients a particular class. The opening prayer is followed by declaring intentions—a chance for individuals to dedicate their workouts to a loved one, a person in need or a spiritual goal. Then, the class is literally off and running, with women and men of all ages doing pushups, sprints, shadowboxing or other high-intensity movements in minute-long bursts, followed by extended rests, for up to 18 cycles. The self-paced intervals, as opposed to a strictly choreographed routine, enable ActivPrayer’s diverse members to participate according to their own workout levels. The rest periods are more than a time for bodily recovery, however; instructors use them to refocus participants on the day’s intention and meditate on the topic of the day. Every class concludes in prayer, with individuals offered as much time as they want to rest in prayer or meditation before returning to the hustle of daily life. “I go to church every week, but I have a hard time focusing on prayer; I need structure,” explains Jenn DiNenna, a Las Vegas high school 20

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“We’ve been getting an amazing response and results with ActivPrayer. What I say to everyone regarding prayer is, ‘It’s like breathing. We all do it, somehow.’ We help guide students with a construct and purpose to give a greater result.” Nick Morris, owner, Pineapple Fitness, Los Angeles teacher. “I know if I go to this class, I will do my prayer and think about the things that matter.”

Enlarged Perspectives While everyone is encouraged to set specific physical fitness goals, the greater results are often intangible: people changing attitudes, taking up a prayer life or, in some cases, contributing to community services for the first time. Community service is a key component of ActivPrayer, as participants collaborate on organized projects with local nonprofits at least once a week. Members earn one free workout for every five hours of service; in one recent month, 80 percent of ActivPrayer’s members participated in its service programs. “Before coming to ActivPrayer, I wouldn’t have thought to volunteer, and some of the places we’ve gone I would have been scared to go on my own,” says DiNenna. She now regularly volunteers with the Special Olympics and says, “It’s all opened my eyes and helped me to grow as a person.” Because charity begins at home, Burgis is putting the principles he preaches into practice in his own business. ActivPrayer is helping to create free wellness programs for churches, initially working with interested faith communities to pull together a local team of nurses, doctors, nutritionists and fitness instructors to run a wellness ministry for their congregations. With backing from an angel investor, ActivPrayer is on its way to establishing its own flagship club in Las Vegas, and hopes to have clubs in a few other major cities by the end of 2011. While Burgis eventually seeks to establish a class for every major religion, make ActivPrayer as ubiquitous as yoga and get its classes on the schedule at major fitness chains, he approaches the project with humility, anticipating that its development will evolve organically. Much like his fitness goals, Burgis’ goals for ActivPrayer are not growth for growth’s sake—he promises investors he’ll never draw more than a modest salary—but to spread the good word about what adding soul to fitness can do for people. “When you learn to see fitness not as a means to an end, but as a way to grow spiritually, you are adding a dimension to your life that can never be taken away, no matter what your physical condition,” he concludes.

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December 2010





Really Good Raw Desserts Over indulging in sweets during the winter festivities can produce unwanted weight gain and a general feeling of sluggishness—a notso-wonderful gift for anyone. But adding a raw food dessert to our holiday repertoire could introduce a new, healthier tradition to holiday occasions that’s welcomed by everyone. by Judith Fertig


raw dessert no longer means only a simple piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. While a traditional holiday story conjures sleeping children with “visions of sugarplums” dancing in their heads, the dreams of raw dessert chefs more likely spring from Medjool dates, cacao nibs and exotic fruits. That’s because raw desserts are made from uncooked, minimally processed and generally plant-based foods. Raw foods aficionados say they are usually first attracted to this type of food preparation because the recipes do not contain wheat, refined sugar, eggs or dairy products, which eliminates the need to work around food sensitivities. Plus, they feel better after they’ve eaten a raw foods dessert, which might feature nuts, fresh and dried fruits, agave nectar and/or chocolate. When these raw foods are ground or puréed in a food processor or blender, they contribute mightily to dessert crusts, fillings, sauces and frostings to grace tarts, cakes, cookies, puddings and ice creams—all of which can be made without cooking. Sometimes, dessert recipes call for using a dehydrator, a simple appliance that dries foods slowly at around 112° to 118° F, to avoid the enzyme changes that occur when foods are cooked at higher temperatures. The dehydrator yields a charac22

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teristic that raw foods enthusiast Nathalie Lussier describes as “...a warm, chewy, comfort food feeling, so that you can make cookies that come out slightly warm from the dehydrator.” With raw desserts, “You really can have your cake and eat it too, because the recipes are packed with nutrients and fiber,” advises raw desserts chef Heather Pace, the author of four raw dessert e-books, including Just Desserts and Raw Party Parfait. Most raw foods desserts, like most exceptional sweets, involve several steps to make each part. “While at first glance, a raw dessert might appear to be complicated and time-consuming,” notes Pace, “it’s really very simple. Each component can be thrown together quickly and easily and can be made ahead.” The benefits of raw desserts extend beyond the simply nutritional, affirm devoted adherents. Rose Lee Calabro, author of Living in the Raw and Living in the Raw Desserts, had experienced a host of personal health issues that virtually disappeared when she began to eat a mainly raw foods diet a decade ago. But more than that, she says, “Eating raw foods has contributed to a career change and a dramatic shift in my life.” According to eco-lifestylist and raw foods author Ani Phyo, “Eating more organic, fresh, whole foods helps us maintain an ideal weight, lowers cholesterol, boosts the immune system and helps us look and feel our best.” But for her, as well, raw foods are more than a diet. She remarks, “It affects the way I live and interact with planet Earth and all other living beings.” Phyo is the author of Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, Ani’s Raw Food Desserts and Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. Lussier agrees all the way around. “I believe raw foods can heal you on a physical, emotional and spiritual level,” she comments, because like many others, “I’ve personally experienced it myself.” Judith Fertig is a freelance writer in Overland Park, KS; for more information visit

Raw Food Desserts Kitchen Although no oven is used in making raw desserts, other electronic equipment is necessary. Blender Dehydrator Food Processor Electric Juicer

Makes sauces, puddings, smoothies and fillings Removes moisture from raw foods at 112° to 118° F; “bakes” cookies Makes nut crusts and fruit purées Presses and juices fruits and vegetables

Three Raw Cookbook Authors Share their Best Holiday Recipes

Chocolate Pecan Brownie with Maple Maca Ice Cream and Spiced Apple Compote

“Picture a dense chocolate nut brownie, smooth, cold ice cream and warm fruit compote that has just the right touch of spice, with a velvety chocolate sauce to round it all out. If that weren’t enough, I garnish it with a drizzle of pure maple syrup,” says raw foods dessert chef Heather Pace. She explains that Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a Peruvian root with a strong flavor and recommends using only a little, until one is acclimated to the taste. Serves 6 to 8 For the brownie: 4 cups raw pecans ½ cup pitted, packed Medjool dates ¼ cup maple or palm sugar 2 /3 cup cacao powder 2 tsp pure vanilla extract Pinch of Himalayan or sea salt For the ice cream: 2 cups raw cashews 2 cups water Seeds from ½ vanilla bean 1 /3 cup maple syrup 1 tbsp Maca root powder or to taste For the compote: 4 medium apples, peeled and cored ½ cup maple syrup ¼ cup raisins 2 tbsp goji berries 2 pitted Medjool dates, chopped 1 tsp lemon zest ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg 2 pinches ground cardamom

For the chocolate sauce: 1 /3 cup cacao powder ¼ cup pure maple syrup 2 to 3 tbsp water 2 tsp melted coconut oil 1. For the brownie, grind the pecans into crumbs in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process into a moist, crumbly dough. Press the mixture into an 8-by-8-inch pan. Chill. 2. For the ice cream, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Chill for a few hours. Process through an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions; or fill ice cube trays and freeze. 3. For the compote, soak the raisins and goji berries in water for 2 to 4 hours. Drain. In a food processor, chop the apples into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients to the apples, including the drained fruit, and stir together. Process half the mixture until smooth. Fold into the other half. Dehydrate for a few hours at 115° F, until the apples take on a warm, “cooked” feel. 4. For the sauce, blend all ingredients together until smooth. 5. To assemble the dessert, cut the brownies into portions and place a brownie on each plate. Top with ice cream. Swirl compote around the brownie and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Pineapple Icebox Dessert The pineapple, a renowned symbol of hospitality for centuries, can make a refreshingly welcome holiday dessert. “Pineapple is full of the enzyme bromelaine, which helps decrease inflammation and swelling—and that can translate to increased circulation and clear skin,” says Ani Phyo, of Ani’s Raw Food Desserts. “I always choose fresh when available, but frozen pineapple will also work for this recipe.” Makes 6 to 8 servings For the crust: 2 cups cashews Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp alcohol-free vanilla extract 2 tbsp agave syrup natural awakenings

December 2010


The Raw Food Dessert Pantry by Judith Fertig


For the filling: 1½ cups cashews 1 /3 cup agave syrup ¼ cup liquid coconut oil ¼ cup filtered water, as needed 2½ cups chopped, cored pineapple 1. To make the crust, combine the cashews and vanilla in the food processor and chop to a crushed wafer texture (like a cookie crumb crust for cheesecake). Add the agave syrup and process to mix well. Sprinkle half of the crust onto the bottom of a loaf pan. 2. To make the filling, combine the cashews, agave syrup and coconut oil in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding water as needed to create a creamy texture. Spoon the mixture into a mixing bowl; add the pineapple and stir to mix well. Spoon the filling into the loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining crust on top. Pat lightly. Freeze for 2 hours or until chilled. Will keep for 4 to 6 days refrigerated or for several weeks in the freezer.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. ~ Mother Teresa


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basic raw food dessert pantry includes plantbased foods that are in the purest state possible. It differs from a conventional pantry in that items have undergone very little or no processing; plus, many familiar foods find new uses. Nuts become flours or milks for sauces. Natural sweeteners replace highly processed sugar. Chocolate assumes its most natural state. Fresh, ripe fruits provide flavor and smooth texture. Dried fruits amplify taste and sweetness. Psyllium powder thickens sauces and fillings in place of flour, eggs, cornstarch or tapioca. Here’s a taste of the possibilities… Nuts: Raw almonds, pecans, pine nuts, cashews Sweeteners: Medjool dates, date sugar, maple sugar, palm sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup Chocolate: Cacao nibs, cacao powder, carob Fats: Coconut oil, nut butters, cocoa butter, coldpressed oils Flavorings: Whole vanilla bean, pure vanilla extract, spices, fresh citrus zest Fresh fruits: Ripe bananas, avocado, pineapple, strawberries, apples and pears Dried fruits: Raisins, goji berries, figs, desiccated coconut Thickeners: Psyllium powder

Incredibly Decadent Chocolate Cake This recipe from Rose Lee Calabro’s Living in the Raw Desserts gets its body from almonds, its sweetness from dates and agave nectar, and its scrumptious chocolateyness from cacao nibs—all available at better grocery or health food stores. Plan ahead several days to allow time to soak and then dehydrate the almonds. Makes 8 to 10 servings For the cake: 2 cups almonds; soak for 12 to 48 hours, then dehydrate for 18 hours 2 cups pitted Medjool dates 1 /3 cup raw almond butter ¼ cup raw cacao nibs, ground super fine; or cacao powder ¼ cup agave nectar 2 tsp vanilla extract For the filling: 2 large ripe bananas, thinly sliced For the frosting: 1 ripe avocado 1 ripe banana 5 pitted Medjool dates ½ cup water 1 /3 cup pine nuts; soak in water 1 hour, then drain 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs, ground super fine; or cacao powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 1. For the cake, place the almonds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process into a fine meal. Gradually add the dates, almond butter, cacao, agave nectar and vanilla extract, then continue processing until the mixture is well blended and forms a ball. If the mixture isn’t blending, add a small amount of water, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency. Divide the mixture into two equal parts (for two layers), and form each part into a round cake layer about 8 inches in diameter. Place each layer on a plate. 2. For the filling, arrange the sliced bananas on top of the bottom layer and place the second layer on top of the bananas. 3. For the frosting, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, thick and creamy. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh strawberries or other seasonal fruit. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

natural awakenings

December 2010


A Simple Guide to the Subtle Energy System of the Body by Brian Roscoe DC


hile the average American contestant on Jeopardy might be challenged to answer the question, what is the word for a type of energy vortex that exists within and around the body, an East Indian competitor would quickly push the buzzer and answer: Chakra! Chakra is a Sanskrit word for the subtle, wheel-like energy vortexes, spinning spheres of bio-energetic activity found in seven major areas of the body. Beginning at the tailbone and continuing up the spine to the top of the head, these rotating energy centers receive, assimilate, and express life force energy. Few people see them, but whether they know it or not, almost everyone intuitively senses them within themselves and others. Each of the chakras is integrated with our body’s healthy function connecting to particular organs, systems and glands as well as our current state of emotional balance. When we become run down, emotionally stressed and unhealthy or spiritually disconnected, it is reflected in the vitality of these energy centers. Our emotional and physical life challenges show up in the chakra that is associated with a particular organ, system or emotional area. When we create or fall into unhealthy thought patterns, traumatic situations, or illness that we are not mentally or physically healthy enough to effectively heal, quite obviously we become imbalanced and our physical and/or emotional health becomes disrupted. Our chakra system reflects these imbalances in our world through the way it emanates its respective color and energetic flow. Each Chakra relates us to our inner and outer world and different states of balance. When we are depleted and imbalanced in our words, actions and emotions, and we’re not following and doing the things we innately know are healthy, or when we’re physically drained or sick (which often has emotional overlays to it) the associated chakra resonates its energy with that same imbalance. You may feel it as a lack of energy, sense of being out of step with the world around you, or simply attribute it to a bad day. However you interpret it, you and others deeply and intuitively sense the balance of this “chakra” energy, whether you consciously notice it or not. Names and some characteristics of the chakras are listed to the right. This is a basic list and there are many ways to explain their function. Just because it’s not on this list, doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just that charkas are complex and different authorities emphasize different things.

If you want to learn more about feeling and balancing your personal chakras, start with becoming familiar with where each is located and how they might feel as they flow within. To do this, be patient. Slowly, one by one try to feel the chakra that is associated with the energy center on your body. Let your mind become aware of the location and existence of each chakra inside and outside of your body. Breathe into each chakra placing your palms just over the front part of your body where that chakra emanates (refer to the chart below). Do this in whatever order seems appropriate for you, but one by one try to feel all of them. Keep in mind that your chakras exist along the spine and head. Their flow moves forward through your body and out the front. As you feel each area with your mind and palms, fill that chakra with its appropriate color listed on the chart. After you can see and feel the color, keep that color in your awareness and meditate on the associated mantra or meditation. If you can’t bring the color and the mantra together at the same time easily, that’s okay, one at a time works perfectly well. Be still and note mentally and physically what you feel emanating from within and outside your body. At first this may be slight or non-existent, but with time and practice and intention it will build into a more vivid experience. Let yourself become aware of any feelings and any “expansion” within each chakra area. Allow yourself to be imaginative in understanding and feeling the presence, peace and emotional direction of each chakra. If you feel that you need some assistance, find a good body worker or healer to help. Above all have fun learning more about your energetic self and how you can use chakras to create balance and health in your life.

Visit to purchase your Celestial-Chakra Giclee Print or for more information contact: or call Chakra Art at 616-298-6115. See ad page 27. Article presented by: Brian Roscoe DC, Roscoe Chiropractic Wellness Center. 616-847-1444.


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Chakra Location Simply

Sanskrit Governs name

Weakened Connected Mantra by to Fear or feeling unsafe

Physical strength, courage, primal instincts like survival and security

I am rooted into this earth. I am deeply connected to its essence.

Negative emotion

Independence, creativity and sexuality

I am a creative and sensual being with passion for life. My relationships with others allow continuous evolution of self. I believe in who I can be. With willpower, strength and honest, I continuously create myself. I accept my mistakes and walk forward with purpose. Love is the greatest purpose in life. I can love and be loved by myself and others. I can compassionately forgive with a strong heart infused with humble respect for all. I can speak my deepest truth to myself and others with clarity, kindness and strength.


Base of spine

Earth chakra



Below the navel

Creative chakra



Solar plexus

Personal power


Strength of will, self esteem

Feelings of grief or guilt, unhealthy power (gossip, put downs, toxic language toward self or others)

Ego identity, self definition, vitality, healthy power


Center of chest



Love, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness of oneself and others

Lack of trust in the power of love

Our ability to manifest unconditional love. Healthy relationships with ourselves and others.





Communication and speech. Speaking one’s truth

Lies and suppressing one’s truth


Between eyebrows

Personal truth


Our psychic sense, intuition and perception

Avoiding one’s perception of truth; refusing to explore possibilities

Truthful expression. Connecting throat chakra with heart helps us speak our truth lovingly. Intuition; our ability to perceive.


Top of head

Spiritual enlightenment


Spirituality, self-realization and enlightenment

Living without faith, without gratitude for life

Groundedness to the world. Feeling safe in our physical form and world regarding things, shelter, money. Emotions, intimacy and sexuality

Pure awareness, consciousness, the place of prayer or meditation

I am opening myself to the perception of the truth of who I am and the potential direction of my path. I accept the infinite connection between my humanness and that which is greater than me.

natural awakenings

December 2010



Presents for Pets Healthy, Natural Holiday Treats

What is a politically correct, Earthconscious shopper to do? We can choose organic and natural products for the same reasons we would go natural in buying decisions for human family members. Concerned citizens are demanding greater use of nontoxic, pesticide- and chemical-free materials that are better for the health of people, pets and the planet. As Patricia Castaneda, owner of Pet’s Life Naturally, in Palmetto, Florida, advises: “Don’t give anything to your pet that you would not put in the mouth of a small child.” That means no dyes or toys that have small parts to swallow or that are made of toxic materials. Pets can be sensitive to fabrics that come in contact with their skin, just like humans are, creating painful and costly allergic reactions. She admonishes, “Your animals count on you to protect them.”

Feline Prowess

by Gail Condrick

We have good news for anyone in search of a nifty gift for a furry or feathered family member. Whether the occasion is a holiday, birthday or animal appreciation day, there is a “green” pet gift to celebrate it. The mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle is now present in the pet industry, providing many more eco-friendly options.


t this year’s 2010 Global Pet Expo, buyers attending the annual pet industry gathering were abuzz about a new exhibit area called Natural Pets. “Natural products are expanding the industry. When you have a new trend for humans, this appeals to the pet industry, as well,” observes Steven King, president of the Pet Industry Distributors Association. Just this year, Americans will have spent an estimated $47 billion on pet products and services, according to the American Pet Products Association. Categories include food, pet supplies, 28

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over-the-counter medicines and vet care services and products, many of them incorporating natural materials. The industry reports that, on average, pet owners annually spend $40 per dog and $19 per cat on toys alone. One more fur-raising fact: American Pet Association statistics reveal that of the nation’s 140 million household cats and dogs, 31 million dogs and 39 million cats will have presents waiting for them under the tree on Christmas morning. Also, people will celebrate the birthdays of as many as 13.5 million cats and 9.8 million dogs with parties and pet gifts.

The Humane Society of America believes that wise use of toys, combined with regular playtime, contributes to the health and happiness of cats of all ages. Play satisfies their instinctual hunting drive, develops mental and physical agility and provides bonding time with their humans. The society recommends cat toys that offer variety: one to carry, one to wrestle with, one to roll and one to “baby.” What is right for your cat? Pet store professionals know which products customers purchase and enjoy. As Castaneda remarks, “Cats are so creative and independent they can have fun with ping-pong balls, cardboard toilet paper rolls and plastic shower rings. Just make sure that what they play with cannot be eaten or harm them.” Of course, the whole family can enjoy creating original cat toys using a bit of imagination, along with organic cotton, natural ingredients and a needle and thread. Just follow the same rules of thumb for homemade playthings to keep the animals safe.

Canine Wisdom Dogs need toys to fight boredom when left alone for any length of time, according to the Humane Society. They also recommend four types of toys for dogs: at least one to carry, one to shake,

one to roll and one to “baby,” for play and to release stress. Many dog toys should be interactive, to increase time with people. By focusing on a specific task—such as repeatedly returning a ball or playing hide-and-seek with treats or toys—dogs can take advantage of the opportunity to expend pent-up mental and physical energy. Healthy and organic presents for pets are now widely available in neighborhood natural pet stores, as well as

online. At such shops, people and pets can check out the choices firsthand and seek advice from the staff. If there’s a toss-up between products, ask if a portion of the product sales goes to benefit animal causes, making it a gift that gives again. That could be the tiebreaker. Gail Condrick is a freelance writer based in Sarasota, FL. Reach her at

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ooking for inspiring pet- and Earth-friendly gift ideas? Here is a list of the top six eco-friendly brands recommended by natural pet store owners in an informal survey. Other local natural pet stores will have additional appealing ideas and products. WEST PAW DESIGN ( – Look for hang tags that say “I used to be a plastic bottle,” on toys and bedding for cats and dogs. The Bumi boomerang invites pooches to bend and tug. The Hurley encourages an active canine to chew, bounce and float it, and even comes with a replacement guarantee. Cats take to their catnip toy mouse. And, if a pet tires of a West Paw Design toy, their Join the Loop program will recycle returned products into new pet toys. PLANET DOG ( – Planet Dog eco-products range from recycled balls and bones to a Zoom Flyer for throwing and an after-bath towel for canine comfort. The company operates a foundation providing products and funding to worthy causes based on the philosophy, “Think Globally and Act Doggedly.” KONG NATURALS ( – Their eco-friendly line of cat toys feature straw cones with feathers, crinkle caterpillars and entertaining fantasy animals. Kong also offers cat scratchers made of recycled products, some reversible for longer wear, with feathers attached for play. DUCKYWORLD ( – If a fish-shaped toy with the aromatic name of “Yeowww! Stinky Catnip Sardines” brings a smile, consider DuckyWorld’s 100 percent organic, leaf- and flower-top catnip toy, grown by a private farmer with no chemicals or pesticides. Company owners swear cats can tell the difference. THE GOOD DOG COMPANY ( – Innovation here includes two Labrador employees, Howard and Ruby, who “lab” test the company’s hemp toys, collars and leashes. Good Dog claims that its lab-sized hemp biscuits and bungee bone tug toy are good to fetch, catch and carry, and can even improve dental health.

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December 2010


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December 2010



The Art of Reading by David L. Ulin


n his 1967 memoir, Stop-Time, Frank Conroy describes his initiation into literature as an adolescent on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “I’d lie in bed…,” he writes, “and read one paperback after another until two or three in the morning. The real world dissolved and I was free to drift in fantasy, living a thousand lives, each one more powerful, more accessible and more real than my own.” I know that boy: Growing up in the same neighborhood, I was that boy. And I have always read like that, although these days, I find myself driven by the idea that in their intimacy,

the one-to-one attention they require, books are not tools to retreat from the world, but, rather, ways to better understand and interact with it. As an act of contemplation, reading relies on our ability to still our mind long enough to inhabit someone else’s world, and to let that someone else inhabit ours. We possess the books we read, but they possess us also, filling us with thoughts and observations, asking us to make them part of ourselves. This is what Conroy was hinting at in his account of adolescence. In order for this to work, however, we need a cer-


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tain type of silence, an ability to filter out the world’s incessant noise. Such a state is increasingly elusive in our hyper-networked culture, in which every rumor and banality is blogged and tweeted. Today, it seems it is not contemplation we seek, but an odd sort of distraction, busily masquerading as being in the know. How do we pause when we must know everything instantly? How do we ruminate when we are constantly expected to respond? How do we become immersed in something (an idea, emotion or decision) when we are no longer willing to give ourselves the space to reflect? This is where real reading comes in, because it demands that space and restores time to us in a fundamental way. Books insist that we slow down and immerse ourselves in them. We can rely on books to pull us back from the world, to reconnect us with a more elemental sense of who we are. Text has a permanence that eclipses boundaries of time and space, whether written yesterday or 1,000 years ago. After spending hours each day reading emails and fielding phone calls in the office, tracking information

A 2008 Scholastic study found that 82 percent of children ages five to eight and 55 percent of teens ages 15 to 17 like to read for pleasure. Nearly two-thirds prefer to read physical books rather than a computer screen or digital device. Highfrequency Internet users are more likely to read books for fun every day. across countless websites, I find it difficult to quiet down in the evening. I pick up a book and read, but some nights it takes 20 pages to settle down. Still, it happens if we want it to, if we consider it necessary. “My experience,” William James once observed, “is what I agree to attend to,” a line Winifred Gallagher uses to set forth the theme of her book, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. Attention, she posits, is a lens through which we consider not merely identity, but desire. Who do we want to be, she asks, and how do we go about that process of becoming, in a world of endless options, distractions and possibilities? When I was a kid, my grandmother used to get mad at me for attending family functions with a book. Back then, if I’d had the language for it, I might have argued that the world within the pages was more compelling than the world without; I was reading both to escape and to be engaged. All these years later, I find myself in a similar position, in which reading has become an act of contemplative meditation, with all of meditation’s attendant difficulty and grace. I sit down. I try to make a place for silence. It’s harder than it used to be, but still, I read. David L. Ulin is the book editor of the Los Angeles Times. natural awakenings

December 2010





HOLIDAYS I’m Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas… Natural Awakenings’



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by Brita Belli


new movement is afoot to reclaim and refocus the holidays. Part of it stems from a desire to cut back on the wastefulness that comes from accumulating mountains of store-bought gifts and wrappings. Another is the growing desire to generate more meaningful memories during the holidays. One answer is to embrace a do-ityourself, or DIY, mentality that makes everything—from decorating to tree trimming, cooking and gift giving—personal. There is no better time to join in activities as a family than Christmastime. Subtract the frenzied consumerism and there is little for a child not to love: being with loved ones in the kitchen, measuring flour, rolling dough and cutting cookies; happily sitting around a table, pasting, stamping and glittering; decorating a tree that magically transforms with each addition; and the scents of cookies, candles and cinnamon-dotted wreaths.

Evergreen Centerpieced Elevating the holiday atmosphere starts with the tree—the centerpiece of holiday celebrations, which too often re-

sembles a department store version these days. Erin Devine, of Portland, Oregon, remembers how her parents’ tradition of buying a living Christmas tree from a local nursery made a vivid impression on her as a child. “My parents would get the tree with the roots still very much alive in the burlap bag of dirt,” recalls Devine, who was raised in Connecticut. “We’d put the tree in a big galvanized tub and just wrap it with a white sheet; then, when Christmas was over, we’d plant the tree somewhere in the four-acre yard.” That appreciation for the vibrant details of the holidays lives on. Now, this mother of three takes a homemade, family-oriented approach to her young family’s annual celebration. Last year, they all wrapped recycled glass jars with colored tissue paper as tea lights and pencil holders for adults and made

homemade play dough for the kids’ friends. They also baked together and made decorations for the house and tree. “It’s one thing to teach kids about being responsible adults and good stewards of this planet, but when we spend time together learning how to do it, it’s so much more meaningful,” Devine remarks. “When the kids enjoy learning about something and it involves love, it will become important to them.”

Sparking Inspiration Those who are not naturally crafty will find lots of resources for creating beautiful and personal Christmas keepsakes online, as well as on bookstore and library shelves. Many publications offer ideas for decorating the branches of your living—or not-so-living—tree, using household objects that would otherwise be discarded. Yoga teacher and holistic lifestyle expert Anna Getty went so far as to write I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas, a book that’s all about using less, spending less and enjoying family time more. She details a whole new per-

spective: how to turn recycled chandelier gems into Christmas tree icicles; eggshells and teabags into vintage-style ornaments; and old sweaters into festive wreaths.

Waste Not, Want Not Such simple pleasures can make a major environmental impact. During the holidays, household waste generally increases by 25 percent—an extra 1 million tons of garbage across the country—according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Holiday craft projects can transform much of this “waste” by making the most of its decorative potential. Shellie Wilson, the founder of Craftbits. com, a site that provides thousands of free, do-it-yourself craft ideas, says she and her mother Rita are craft hoarders. “We never throw anything out that we think can be turned into something wonderful,” comments Wilson. Her favorites include a T-shirt pillow that maintains the shirt’s shape and a nosew baby overalls purse, using glue in place of thread. is the kind of user-submitted, DIY, bake it, fix it and tweak it website that invites hours of surfing. Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it has become a massive platform for idea sharing, including a page called “Have a DIY Christmas!” that organizes ideas by category. Options range from origami ball decorations and a homemade book clock to gift boxes and tags made from cereal boxes and junk mail. “With the state of the economy lately, people are looking for more ways to stretch their budgets and repurpose used objects,” remarks Sarah James, editor of Instructables’ Living and Food website sections. Along with the benefits of minimizing waste, spending less money and reclaiming quality time with loved ones, making our own gifts and decorations is also fun. The process of discovering, attempting and creating can help unlock our inner artist at any age. Brita Belli is the editor of E – The Environmental Magazine.

natural awakenings

December 2010


ECO-TOY JOYS Spotting Earth-Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids by Brita Belli


f we resist the urge to charge over to the nearest big-box store to load up on the latest plastic marketing ploys, we’ll likely find more satisfaction in picking toys that will create less of an environmental impact—and more of a personal one. It’s easy to look for the following five eco-friendly attributes. SOLAR POWERED. Nearly any toy with batteries and a motor can operate with simple sun power instead. Solar versions of traditional toys range from racing cars and quivering grasshoppers to bullet trains that kids build from snap-together parts (Google by type of toy). Solarpowered toys teach kids the benefits of renewable energy, which unlike those with batteries, require no additional cost and produce no battery waste. BUILT TO LAST. Many toys today are flimsy, cheaply made and even downright toxic. The organization behind tests thousands of products each year to help families steer clear of the worst toxins in many common toys— including lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury. High-quality toys don’t have to come from a toy store. Check out yard and tag sales, as well as local craft fairs, for 36

West Michigan Edition

well-constructed toys, from rocking horses and toy chests to bikes, dollhouses and kid collectibles. Or look for new toys made from sustainable materials, like the handmade hardwood sleds, toboggans and wagons made by Mountain Boy Sledworks. DO-IT-YOURSELF. Craft kits allow a child to make a toy that incorporates his or her own creative vision, all the better when the parts are made of sustainable materials. Artterro offers a collection of eco-friendly craft kits, from jewelry and dolls to garden art and bubble wands. Materials include post-consumer waste paper from India; hand-dyed fabrics, wool felt and glass and wooden beads. The San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design sells a bird cafe that encourages kids to explore nature in their backyards once the craft is complete. Any of these is easily found online, searching by name. Of course, making our own craft kits can be as easy as cutting spare fabric, adding buttons, beads and other found mementos. Assemble all the pieces in a fun container and let kids’ imaginations fly. ALTERNATIVES TO PLASTIC. Plastic toys are everywhere, and when it comes to softer plastic toys like rubber duckies, teethers and bath books,

they may actually pose a health hazard to growing kids. Such toys often contain phthalates, chemicals that studies like those from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Environmental Working Group have linked to behavioral problems, aggression and autism. Look for wooden versions of classic toys instead—from stacking blocks and puzzles to push toys. If they are painted, verify that it was with nontoxic, water-based paint. represents several designers who specialize in heirloom-quality wooden toys, like Woodmouse animal figures, Just Hatched fruits and veggies and Stump Pond Woodworks creations that spin, dance and tumble through the playroom. RECYCLED CONTENT. One of the best ways to ensure we’re choosing a “green” gift is to find out if it’s made from recycled content. For the teen set, recycled options help them make a statement, whether it’s a belt accessorized with bottle caps, a purse made of license plates or a bag made from former billboards. TerraCycle even makes miniboom boxes and speakers out of former M&M’s, Skittles and Starburst candy wrappers ( Light, portable and super-colorful, they supply a natural complement to any iPod or MP3player gift this holiday season. For more ideas, visit Education. com and search Green Toys.


The Natural Beauty of Honey

oney has been a treasured food source for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used honey as a sweetener, the Greeks baked honey cakes, and the Romans spread the practice of beekeeping throughout their empire. Less well known are the beneficial uses of honey for the hair and skin. Although many present-day beauty products include honey in their list of ingredients, it’s easy – and less expensive – to use homemade versions. Bath: Legends claim that Cleopatra often bathed in milk and honey to soften her skin. As a humectant, honey attracts and retains moisture. This makes it one of nature’s most effective moisturizers. To enjoy the benefits of a rejuvenating honey bath, simply pour ¼ to 1 cup of honey into hot bath water. If you have sensitive, sunburned or irritated skin, honey’s antioxidants and anti-irritants will help replenish and refresh the skin while bathing. When there’s no time to luxuriate in a bath, mix ½ -1 cup honey and fresh lime juice (about ½ fresh lime). Massage the mixture over your face and body, then rinse off in a relaxing warm shower. For a boost to the circulation, finish with a cool rinse. Face: Because honey absorbs impurities from the skin, it is an excellent facial cleanser. Research shows that honey slowly releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide when it comes in contact with skin. In fact, dabbing a little honey on pimples is an alternative treatment to peroxide. A cinnamon and honey mixture applied at night to pimple and blackhead breakouts will help reduce the effects as well. For those concerned about clogged pores, keep in mind that honey’s microbial enzymes help prevent the growth of bacteria. These same properties also work to protect skin from damaging UV rays. Honey both stimulates and soothes, making it an ideal ingredient for facial masks. For a quick daily mask, apply a mixture of 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp milk to your face. Rinse after ten minutes. It’s even easier to include honey in a weekly facial mask. First open the pores with a short soak in warm water. Smooth honey over the face, letting it sit for up to 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water first, then cold. Interested in a gentle exfoliating treatment? Combine 2 tbsp oatmeal, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp ground almonds and a little lemon juice. Massage the mixture onto the skin; rinse well afterwards. In winter when skin is especially prone to dryness, apply honey to your face for five minutes before bedtime. Make certain to rinse thoroughly before turning in. This moisturizing treatment will leave skin silky smooth in the morning. And for a sweet smelling, effective toner, pulse 1 cored peeled apple and I tbsp honey in a food processor or blender until the mixture is smooth. Apply to the face, then wash off after 15 minutes. Hair: To add shine to hair, mix 1 tsp honey in a quart of very warm water. (Blondes can include a squeeze or two of fresh lemon.) Pour over hair directly after shampooing. No need to rinse it out. This same mixture can also be put into a spray bottle; spritz over damp hair, then comb, dry and style as usual. For a deep conditioning treatment, The National Honey

by Sharon Pisacreta

Board recommends mixing ½ cup honey with ¼ cup olive oil (2 tbsp for normal hair). Slowly work the mixture through the hair, and cover with a shower cap. Remove the shower cap after 30 minutes. Shampoo well, then rinse. Lips: When lips are dry, mix several drops of honey with petroleum jelly. If you prefer a lip balm with added vitamins and fragrance, combine 2 tbsp petroleum jelly with 1 tsp of beeswax in a small bowl. Place in the microwave until mixture melts (1-5 minutes). After stirring, cool for several minutes. Finally, add 1 tsp honey, 1/8 tsp of vitamin E oil, and a tsp of vanilla extract or several drops of a favorite essential oil. Oral Hygiene: Since bad breath is caused by bacterial overgrowth, honey’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it a natural alternative to commercial mouthwash. For fresher breath, try mixing 1 tsp honey and a pinch of cinnamon powder in warm water, then gargle. In addition, recent studies in New Zealand indicate that certain types of honey appear to stop the growth of dental plaque. Once your beauty routine is complete, remember to put some of this golden substance into your body. (Please note that honey should not be fed to infants under a year old.) Honey is an excellent source of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and carbohydrates. In 2002, the American Chemical Society presented research showing that honey contained the same level of anti-oxidants as spinach, apples, oranges, strawberries and bananas. University of California volunteers ate 4 tablespoons of buckwheat honey daily for one month; the results were higher levels of polyphenols in their blood, which help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. If weight loss is a concern, spread a little honey on toast. Twenty minutes after eating honey, blood sugar levels rise and remain high for two hours. This not only has a calming effect, but also reduces food cravings for that two-hour time period. While honey has long been touted as a home remedy for colds, coughs, sore throats, and digestive problems, it also has the ability to prevent fatigue and maintain glucose levels. Indeed, honey’s fructose and glucose make it the perfect training food. Athletes regularly turn to honey for its natural source of carbohydrates (17 grams per tbsp.). Studies published by The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research demonstrate that honey works as well as glucose for endurance athletes who need carbs. Try just a spoonful of honey before that next gym visit. Its natural unrefined sugars and carbohydrates, which your digestive system absorbs easily, will result in a fast surge of energy that lasts a long time. For centuries, honey has been utilized as a food, beauty aid and medicine, boasting devotees as diverse as Cleopatra and Winnie the Pooh. Few natural substances serve such a wide array of purposes. So the next time you need a boost of energy, fresher breath or cleaner skin, reach for that plastic bear filled with honey. You will be amazed at how sweet – and versatile – honey can be. Sharon Pisacreta is a long-time freelance writer who recently followed her bliss to the villages of Saugatuck/Douglas. natural awakenings

December 2010


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Be a FUNdamentalist—make sure the Fun always comes before the Mental. Realize that life is a situation comedy that will never be canceled. A laugh track has been provided, and the reason we are put in the material world is to get more material. Have a good “laughsitive” twice a day to ensure regularhilarity.




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If we want world peace, we must let go of our attachments and truly live like nomads. That’s where I no mad at you and you no mad at me. That way, there’ll surely be nomadness on the planet. Peace begins with each of us. A little peace here, a little peace there, and pretty soon all the peaces will fit together to make one big peace everywhere. I know great Earth changes have been predicted for the future, so if you’re looking to avoid earthquakes, my advice is simple: When you find a fault, don’t dwell on it.

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Life is like photography—you use the negative to develop. No matter what adversity you face, be reassured: The Universe has us surrounded. Might as well surrender.




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There’s no need to change the world—all we have to do is toilet train the world and we’ll never have to change it again. If you’re looking for the key to the Universe, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news: There is no key to the Universe. The good news: It was never locked. Finally, everything I’ve told you is channeled. That way, if you don’t like it, it’s not my fault. But remember… Enlightenment is not a bureaucracy, so you don’t have to go through channels. Swami Beyondananda is the alter ego of writer and humorist Steve Bhaerman. Find him online at natural awakenings

December 2010



Keep a Family Notebook On New Year’s Eve, make it a custom for every member of the family to write down or draw pictures of their goals and dreams for the coming year. The whole family can then gather to consider, “What do we want to do this year?” It’s fun, too, for parents and siblings to recall and reflect upon individuals’ special moments and accomplishments, so that everyone can join in tooting their own horn in sharing the good news on New Year’s Eve. Here’s another idea: Show home movies of good experiences, while crossing things off last year’s list as “done,” “do over” or “do again.”

KID-CENTERED CEREMONIES Shared family rituals deepen bonds and make memories. by Charlotte Eulette


eremonies and rituals are powerful stuff, bringing people together to magically transform the ordinary into something extraordinary. Humans everywhere seem hard-wired to ceremonialize, having gathered to mark milestones essential to healthy and happy coexistence since the dawn of recorded time. First Nation Chief Sun Bear has eloquently stated the vital importance of ceremony: “When humans participate in ceremony, they enter a sacred space. Everything outside of that space shrivels in importance. Time takes on a brilliant dimension. Emotions flow more freely. The bodies of participants become filled with the energy of life, and this energy reaches out and blesses the creation around them. All is made new. Everything becomes sacred.” Making kid-centric rituals a reality in our own family not only unites and 40

West Michigan Edition

strengthens us, but also creates unforgettable memories. They remind us of how we are journeying together on this adventure called life. The following ideas, straight from family life, are contributed by Melissa Mendez, of Edina, Minnesota, and Deb Goldman, of Arlington, Massachusetts.

Redress Christmas Encourage children to make their own Christmas tree, totem or other seasonal object, decorated any way they wish, to display in their room or another special spot. Ask them to take a photo of their festive creation and add it to the family album or notebook. Benefit: Kids discover their inner creativity and enjoy expressing themselves individually.

Benefit: Make and realize plans for the new year. Letting children know that the family pays attention to and praises what they do each year empowers kids to realize what roles they play in the family. Everyone knows how they are making it possible to accomplish individual and family goals.

Engage the Senses Maybe Grandfather has a special holiday cranberry-mango-lime relish that he is now passing along to his grandson in the kitchen tonight. The holidays are all about passing down stories, songs, recipes, readings from sacred texts, and the ritual lighting of the treetop or candles, from one generation to the next. In other seasons, take the whole family for a walk in the woods to collect small mementoes of nature’s beauty that won’t disturb the environment. Return with autumn leaves, pine cones, seed pods and berries for a seasonal cornucopia, displayed either in a basket on a table or in an old unused fishbowl or tank. Mostly, kids will remember the time they spent skipping through the forest with their parents. Benefit: The child is engaged in the process of both being in the moment and experiencing connections and continuity. Introducing repeated rituals like these welcome children to be involved in a family ritual from beginning to end. From year to year, they can anticipate and prepare to participate with relish. 

Children in Charge

Charity Begins at Home

Engage children in creating ceremonial foods and decorations for any holiday in any season. Teach your children to prepare the special ceremonial foods in the traditional way, so they feel the excitement of making it happen themselves. They will feel the connection with past and present when they hand-grind the wheat, bake the bread, and then smile with pride when everyone says how great it tastes. When they hand-roll candles, they’ll discover details about the art of candle making and come to value the intricate process of creation. Also, facilitate children’s natural urge to perform plays by suggesting that they might tell about and dramatize the origins and meaning of the holiday. Have them take charge of making the sets, costumes and props, choosing roles, memorizing lines, shaking rattles or playing bongos for background sounds… and getting the adults involved.

A Jewish harvest festival called Sukkot crosses cultures to teach all kids the key virtue of charity. During the fall harvest, Waldorf School kids travel to a nearby farm to select or harvest fruits and vegetables to carry to a local homeless shelter. They also build a three-sided shelter structure with no roof, called a Sukkah, to symbolize the story of an arduous journey of an ancient people who had no food or shelter, while celebrating their spirit and strength to survive. This festival eloquently involves children and teaches them their responsibility for taking care of everyone in the community. Benefit: Children feel a part of the world and responsible for nurtur-

ing and caring for it, as they realize the importance of shelter and food to sustaining everyone through the generations. Passing the torch of tradition on to our children, in whatever forms it takes, imbues every occasion with special meaning. Why not begin a new tradition today? Charlotte Eulette is the international director of the nonprofit Celebrant Foundation & Institute, of Montclair, NJ. The institute educates individuals in the art of facilitating meaningful ceremonies to mark the milestones in people’s lives in ways that reflect and symbolize their values. Reach her at

Benefits: Assigning children to be center stage in ceremonies builds their confidence and makes them feel more an integral part of the family and community.

Highlight the Seasons Ever hear of Michaelmas? It falls on September 29, and celebrates the fall equinox each year. Its title is derived from the archangel and warrior Michael, who is said to protect us from the dark as light diminishes and winter nights become longer. For this glimmering festival, children getting to parade around, wearing golden capes and crowns with tiny electric candles on top that light up. In this pageant for their family and community, children may sing songs, dance and otherwise show their gratitude to Mother Earth as they honor this natural phase of the seasons. Benefit: Sometimes the dark is something children are afraid of, so in celebrating light and hope, this festival helps dispel their fears, makes them feel stronger and enables them to better understand and celebrate the coming of each season in turn. 

natural awakenings

December 2010


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

Wednesday, December 1 Children’s Health and Nutrition Class- 7:008:00 pm. Join Holistic Health Practitioner Susan McFarland for an hour of relaxation, learning and fun. Explore Children’s Health and Nutrition as part of the monthly Spiritual Health Series. Cost of the class is $15, cash or check. Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. ofthevineholistichealth. com 616-510-0985.

Thursday, December 2 Uptown Holiday Shop Hop- 4:00-9:00 pm. Clothing Matters is VERY pleased to host City Middle School & GRPS High School Chorale to infuse spirit & joy into your holiday season! First 20 customers receive a Clothing Matters organic cotton tote. Win one of several raffle drawings! Grand Rapids. 616-742-2818.

Friday, December 3 Yoga Techniques for Partnering- 6:30-8:30 pm. With Mimi Ray & Carol Hendershot. Partnering in yoga is a great tool to deepen and expand your practice. Learn skillful techniques to help both you and your partner to build a stronger yoga practice. $30. Expressions of Grace Yoga. Grand Rapids. 616-361-8580. Guided Healing and Reiki Share - 7:00-9:30 pm. For Reiki practitioners. Come, enjoy. Please bring a meditation cushion. Donation only. Haelen Holistic Treatments. 147 Diamond SE, Grand Rapids. 616-446-6906.

Saturday, December 4 Essential Oil Basic Training II & III– 10:00 am12:00 pm. & 1:00-3:00 pm. AM covers benefits and how to use the Everyday Oil Collection. PM class covers benefits and applying the Raindrop Therapy oils. $10 with pre-registration or $20 at the door. Minerva’s Hand. Spring Lake. or call 616-443-4225. Pure Meditation Foundation Class -11:00 am-12:30 pm. Conquer stress, improve concentration, find inner peace, and so much more. Taught by the Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. $49 includes continuing support. Pre-registration required. For adults in East Lansing,

517-641-6201. Restorative Yoga Workshop w/ Carolyn Heines- 2:00-4:00 pm. A nurturing and soothing sequence of poses to calm the nerves and recharge the batteries. A perfect way to enter the holiday season. $30. The Yoga Studio. Grand Rapids. 616-776-0836.

Sunday, December 5 Awaken to Ego/Discover Your Spirit: Level 1 w/ Dr. David Mutchler- 9:45-10:45 am. 12/12 or 12/19. Beyond the Ego, by Dr. David Mutchler, is based on the principle that we are spiritual beings by nature, which is a place of joy and peace of mind. Explore this life changing class. Fountain Street Church. Grand Rapids. Tai Chi- 12:00 pm. Try it for 2 weeks free. East West Karate. Grand Rapids. Contact jonolsen@ or 616-532-1193 for more information. Gone Native- 1:00-5:00 pm. Includes a brief discussion by John Manilla. Looking for something different for your holiday gift giving? Free admittance. Navajo Nation Jewelry Show at Nature’s Spiritual Connections. Grand Rapids. 616-929-4204. The Power of the Archetype in Hindu & Buddhist
Symbolisms with Dr. Manoj Chalam2:00-5:00pm. Discover how knowing and working with your Archetypes profoundly shifts your personal or professional life and spiritual practice. $30.
From the Heart Yoga & Tai Chi Center
714 Wealthy Grand Rapids. 616-3369642,

Monday, December 6 Holiday Open House- 6:00-8:00 pm. This free family-friendly event will feature live holiday music, gourmet coffee and tea. This year the Center is holding a silent auction to support another year of services. Anxiety Resource Center. Grand Rapids. anxietyresourcecenter. org. 616-356-1614.

Tuesday, December 7 How to do a Trigger Point Massage- 6:00 pm. With Dr. Michael Kwast. Learn what a trigger point is, what causes them, how to prevent them

and how to get rid of them. 4150 E. Beltline Suite #4 Grand Rapids. Limited to the first 30 callers. Call 616-447-9888 to RSVP. Intro to Metaphysics & Universal Energy: w/ Dana Glore-Gray- 6:00-8:00 pm. What does the term Metaphysics really mean? Learn about energy basics, elemental energy, healing energy, color and light, ect. Overview of Metaphysical Basics Level 1. $20. Country Way Health Foods, Otsego. 269-671-4455.

Thursday, December 9 C.A.R.E. Intensive Begins- 12/9-12/12. 4-day NCBTMB and IACET (25 CE hr / 2.5 CEU) authorized training provides practical applied aromatherapy skills for the healing professionals and non-professionals in Bible Oils, Vitaflex, Chemistry, Raindrop Technique, Emotional Release. Instructor: Kathy Spohn, FCCI,,, 2219 28th Street SW, Wyoming. 616-261-0015. The Feminine Rising- 1:00-2:00 & 7:008:00-pm. Meet artist Joan Game and hear the inspirational story behind the creation of her Artprize sculpture. Join us as we celebrate the strength and beauty of the feminine spirit! Curves S.E. 2035 28th Street S.E. Grand Rapids. 616252-9999 or

Friday, December 10 Holiday Classical Music Concert- 7:00 pm. MAJIC Concert Series Presents Embellish Handbell Ensemble. Suggested $10 donation at the door. Bethlehem Lutheran Church. 250 Commerce Ave SW. Grand Rapids. grmajic. org. 616-456-1741.

Saturday, December 11 Antoinette Medium & Consultant- 9:00am6:00pm. At CJ’s Studio Salon. By appointment. 5286 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. 616364-9191. Reiki Level II Class – 10:00 am-1:00 pm. With Reiki Master Connie Cunningham. This class is taught in two parts with two attunements. Followup class December 18th. $175 with practice manual. Grand Rapids haelenholistictreatments. com. 616-446-6906. Reiki I & II class-10:00 am-4:00 pm. Introduction to Reiki, become attuned, and learn the basic hand positions to give treatments to others and self. Class fee $225 includes registration deposit of $50 required a week before class. Minerva’s Hand. Spring Lake. Visit or call 616-443-4225 to register.

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West Michigan Edition

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Prosperity with a Purpose- 2:00-4:00 pm. “The Heath of Finances” will be presented by Barbara Badolati in this free seminar. Discover how you can increase your wealth while sharing with others a pathway to health and well being. Muskegon Yoga Center. Norton Shores. Call 616-638-5625 to register.

Sunday, December 12 Advance Reiki class-10:00 am-4:00 pm. Ready to advance your Reiki skills? Learn how to work with Reiki on a higher level. Class fee $275. Pre-registration is required with $50 deposit a week prior to class Minerva’s Hand. Spring Lake. Visit or call 616443-4225 to register.

Monday, December 13 Natural Approaches to Sleep Disorders- 7:008:30 pm. Join Dr. Dan Gleason for an evening discussion on the most common causes of sleep disorders and actions you can take right away to get a better night’s rest. Free. Blue Bird Cancer Retreat Center. Spring Lake. 616-846-5410.

Tuesday, December 14 Fibromyalgia Conference- Guest Speaker, Michael Kwast DC, from Peak Performance Chiropractic. Saint Mary’s Wege Center, 300 Lafayette SE. Grand Rapids. Conference Room #14.

Wednesday, December 15 Metaphysical Basics Level 1 Session# 2- A total of 6 weeks of lessons. What is Metaphysics, Energy Basics, Elemental Energy, Color and Light, Meditation Basics & Chi? This is a great way to explore metaphysics with online classes. $75. Delton. Visit or call 269671-4455 for more information. Reiki Share Group- 5:30-7:30 pm. Join other Reiki practitioners of all levels to share experiences, a guided visualization, send Reiki distantly and both give and receive Reiki. Jan Atwood, LLC. Grand Rapids. 616-915-4144.

Thursday, December 16 Stress Management for the Holidays Workshop6:00 pm. Event is FREE with advanced registration and donation of non-perishable food item. O’Brien Family Chiropractic Center, 1519 E. River Rd. Ste. B Muskegon. 231-744-6400. Handmade Holiday Trunk Show- 6:009:00pm. Join Bootyful Baby Boutique and other local artisans for a relaxed open house to see their handmade, boutique-quality products for women, babies and children. No sales pitches or pressure to buy. Refreshments will be served. Discounts and giveaways. 7275 Bittersweet Court, Allendale. www.bootyfulbabyboutique. com or 616-892-1525.

Saturday, December 18 Essential Oil Training IV & V-10:00 am -12:00 pm. & 1:00– 3:00 pm. AM discusses Emotional Clearing oils and its benefits. PM covers how to use Spiritual Journey oils. Cost $10 with preregistration or $20 at the door. Minerva’s Hand. Spring Lake. Visit or call 616-443-4225 to register. Reiki Level II Class – 10:00 am-1:00 pm. With Reiki Master Connie Cunningham. This class

is taught in two parts with two attunements. $175 with practice manual. Grand Rapids 616-446-6906.

Sunday, December 19 Celebrate Winter Solstice Yoga- 8:00-10:00 am. Join Peter Violino to welcome the Winter season with yoga! Meditative, rejuvenating and peaceful yoga poses. Suitable for all levels of fitness. Donations accepted for “Read Muskegon” program. Muskegon Yoga Center. Muskegon. Visit or call 1-231-668-4181 to register. The Coptic Center Sunday Series: Christmas Service- 6:00 pm. Enjoy the energies of the Christmas season with centering and the music of Karen Lauck. Director John Davis speaks on “Birthing the Christ Light” & Coptic Minister Ortrun Franklin presents “Chistmas Joy”. Love offering. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339.

Saturday, December 25 Christmas morning Pure Meditation Gathering- 10:15 am. We warmly welcome everyone, of all faiths and practices, to join us,sharing in Mata Yogananda’s Message and Blessing. No charge. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre. Bath. (MondaySaturday, not 24th-27th), for more info visit 517641-6201.

Friday, December 31 Special World Day of Prayer Service- 6:30 am. Join Coptic Center Director John Davis for a morning of prayer as this service begins at the same time with people around the world for planetary transformation & upliftment. Love Offering. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339. Celebrate: First Night by Harriet Ziefert4:00- 5:00 pm. Kids! Join us for stories and activities celebrating the beginning of the New Year including creating fireworks, paintings and getting your face painted by Grandma Turtle. Free and open to the public. Main Library. 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids. 616-988-5400.

Saturday January 1, 2011 Welcome The New Year- 6:00 pm. Join us New Years Day evening as Coptic Center director John Davis speaks on “The Power of Goal Setting, Personal and Planetary” and Coptic Minister Denise Iwaniw shares “Realizing your Potential”. Love Offering. The Coptic Center. Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339.

If every day is an awakening, you will never grow old.

classifieds 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.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES CURRENTLY PUBLISHING NATURAL AWA K E N I N G S M AG A Z I N E S – Be part of a dynamic franchised p u b l i s h i n g n e t w o r k t h a t i s h e l p i n g to transform the way we live and care for ourselves. As a Natural Awakenings publisher, your magazine will help thousands of readers to make positive changes in their lives, while promoting local practitioners and providers of natural, Earth-friendly lifestyles. You will be creating a healthier community while building your own financial security working from your home. For sale in Austin, TX; Lexington, KY; Manhattan, NY; Pensacola, FL; Southwest VA ; a n d Ve n t u r a / S a n t a B a r b a r a , C A . Call for details 239-530-1377.

FOR SALE House, Barn & 7 acre Farm on Lowell schools bus line. 2,500 sq. ft. Rustic cedar sided New England saltbox with cedar sided 2-story barn. 4-bedrooms, 2 ½ baths. Large country kitchen with island and walk-in brick fireplace, wide pine plank floors, wood ceilings & beams. Living/family room has large stone fireplace $289,000. Call 616-443-8446.

OPPORTUNITIES Facility Kitchens is a commercial rental kitchen located in Lowell. Now open! It is a commercial facility designed for the professional, resale chef and also available to the simply social chef. Check out the web site, www.FacilityKitchens. com, for more information. Opportunity is available for 2 stylists and 1 Massage Therapist at Midwest Massage & Salon II located at 6883 Cascade Rd in Grand Rapids. A relaxing atmosphere you would be proud to bring your clients. Offering health, well-being & beauty. Call 616-949-4000, 616-308-9562 or email at

PRODUCTS “Clearline” Herbal Formulas. 231-652-3171 or Newaygo, MI.

SPACE FOR RENT Treatment Room for Rent. Full or part-time, must have your own clientele. 5286 Plainfield Ave NE. Contact Cynthia at 616-460-7331 or

You will just keep growing. ~ Gail Sheehy natural awakenings

December 2010


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

All Month Long Fresh and Healthy Asian Grocery Destination - First-time customers receive 10% off your $20 or higher purchase. Asian Delight Marketplace, 4463 Breton Rd, Grand Rapids. 616-827-1828 Spilled Ink: The Book Club for the Rest of Us- 11/6-2/28. Sign up, read ten books, and win prizes! A great way for grown-ups to beat the winter blues. Free. All Grand Rapids Public Library locations. Find out more at spilledink or 616-988-5400.

Sunday C3Exchange, Inclusive Spiritual Community: Awakenings- 9:00 am. Chants, meditation, prayer. No experience necessary. Come as you are. C3Exchange, Inclusive Spiritual Community, 225 E. Exchange Street, Spring Lake. 616-842-1985. C3Exchange, Inclusive Spiritual Community: Main Gathering- 10:00 am. Progressive spiritual teaching with music, meditation, discussion and children’s program. C3Exchange, Inclusive Spiritual Community, 225 E. Exchange Street, Spring Lake. 616-842-1985. Unity Church of Peace - 10:00 am. Celebrating God’s presence in human nature. Offering uplifting messages that are spiritual without being religious. Youth programs & Nursery. 6025 Ada Drive SE, Ada. 616-682-7812. The Coptic Center Sunday Series – 6:00 pm. An ongoing series of inspirational speakers, centering and the piano music of Karen Lauck as we explore Universal Truths. TheCopticCenter. org. Love Offering. The Coptic Center, 0-381 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids. 616-531-1339.

Monday 50% Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-ofthe-art profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home color-coded charts to assess health progress. Call for an appointment. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. Yoga-Beginning- 9:00am. This is where you start. Learn the basic poses, strengthen, breath awareness and relax. For more information visit or call Smiling Lotus Yoga, 103 E. Ludington Ave, Ludington. 231852-0849. La Leche League of Oceana County- 10:00 am. Meetings are held at the Shelby United Methodist Church the second Monday of the month. Children are welcome. Hesperia. For meeting and/or breastfeeding info call Amanda at 231-861-2535. Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.


West Michigan Edition

Zen Meditation w/Patrick Duiven- 7:008:30 pm. 1 hr. of sitting meditation and walking meditation combo, followed by 30 min. of various group activities to be determined by the group itself. Fountain Street Church. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 7:30pm. Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For more details visit our website at Seva Yoga Studio, 2213 Wealthy Ste 220, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman7:45-9:00 am & 9:15-10:30 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Free Natural Health and Cooking Classes6:30 pm. Every Tuesday (thru December 7th to resume January 2011). free event. Naturopathic Community Center. Mt. Pleasant. 989-7733636. “A Course In Miracles”- 7:00- 8:30 pm. Study groups can be joined at any time. They are conducted on an experiential basis. A free love offering is appreciated. Unity Church of Peace. Ada.

Wednesday 50% Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-ofthe-art profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home color-coded charts to assess health progress. Call for an appointment. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. A Course In Miracles- 9:30-11:00 am. Study groups can be joined at any time. They are conducted on an experiential basis. A free love offering is appreciated. Unity Church of Peace. Ada. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 10:30am. Gentle and 7:30pm. Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For details visit Seva Yoga Studio, 2213 Wealthy Ste 220, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541 Essential Oil Trainings- 6:00-8:00 pm. Five trainings will rotate throughout the month – Therapeutic Grade, Everyday Oils, Raindrop Therapy, Emotional Clearing, & Spiritual Journey Oils. $10 w/ pre-registration. $20 at the door for each class. 4434 Knapp St NE. Grand Rapids. Call Jodi Jenks at 616-4434225 to register. Course in Miracles taught by Cindy BerryAddis- 6:00 pm. The Healing Center. 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Zen Meditation Group - 6:30-7:30 pm. E ve r y o n e w e l c o m e . I f y o u a r e n ew t o meditation please arrive 10 min. early for a brief introduction. $5 suggested donation. Naturopathic Community Center. Mt. Pleasant. 989-486-5782. Yoga- 7:00 pm. Try it for 2 weeks free. East

West Karate. Grand Rapids. Contact jonolsen@ or 616-532-1193 for more information.

Thursday Holistic Moms- 11:00 am-12:00 pm. 3rd Thursday. Free Event – Support & info for parents interested in raising happy, healthy and holistic kids. Naturopathic Community Center. Mt. Pleasant. 989-773-3636. nccmain.htm Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30 pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Friday Yoga-Intermediate- 9:00 am. Learn the basics. Holding poses longer and moving deeper into your practice and awareness of the core. For more information visit or call Smiling Lotus Yoga, 103 E. Ludington Ave, Ludington. 231-852-0849. Kripalu Yoga with Marro Spehar - 7:00pm. Gentle/Moderate. Drop-ins welcome. For details visit Seva Yoga Studio, 2213 Wealthy Ste 220, East Grand Rapids. 616-458-2541 Yoga- 7:00 pm. Try it for 2 weeks free. East West Karate. Grand Rapids. Contact jonolsen@ or 616-532-1193 for more information.

Saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 9:0010:15 am & 10:30-11:45 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00 am1:00 pm. Indoors at Hackley Health at the Lakes, Harvey St. 1/2 Mile South of Lakes Mall. Exit US 31 at Pontaluna Rd. Muskegon.

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



...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 www.


Medical Acupuncturist mmpc Internal Medicine 890 S. Washington, Ste. 130 Holland: 616-396-1907 Medical acupuncture can be an effective treatment for many chronic conditions, including pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Samir Rajani, MD is certified in medical acupuncture and practices at mmpc Internal Medicine.


Nancy Despres RN, MBE 351 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-453-4215 *UPDATED* Out of the Blue helps find alternative ways for achieving optimal health through the use of homeopathy, enzyme therapy nutritional supplements & hair mineral analysis. Now carrying homeopathic Hcg drops for weight loss.

AYURVEDA MINDFUL BODY TRANSFORMATION Chad: 616-581-8881 Order online at: Click “Join” to get preferred customer rates

How are you getting your daily supply of Haritaki, Jujube, Schizandra, Ginger, Amla, Turmeric, Tulsi, Green Tea, Guggul, and Gymnema? Experience what Ayurvedic specialists around the world already know!


Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic & LaStone Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, Certified Reflexologist, and a Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner. See ad, page 19.


Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815 Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building custom livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. See ad page 5.


Dr. Ronson Dykstra & Dr. Ronda VanderWall 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville 616-531-6050 Family owned and operated in the heart of downtown Grandville, Dynamic Family Chiropractic focuses on lifestyle improvements through living a maximized life. A safe and natural approach to health through the combination of exercise, nutrition, detoxification and chiropractic care.


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 Treating musculoskeletal conditions, and specializing in back pain, sciatica neck pain, and headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurances accepted. Breton Village area. www. See ad page 7.

HARMONY ‘N HEALTH Mary De Lange, CCT., CMT. 1003 Maryland Av., N.E. Grand Rapids 616-456-5033

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach colonics relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad page 21.


Marcella Clark, CMMT, CCHT 650 Riley Street , Ste A Holland, MI 49424 616-834-2596 Gentle, effective and professional colon cleansing designed to drop toxin levels and improve nutrient absorption. Get relief from bloating and constipation, fatigue and arthritis pain. Warm, secure environment. www.


Holistic Care Approach 3368 Beltline Ct NE 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 15 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.


1514 Wealthy St. SE Ste 260, Grand Rapids 616-451-3008 A mind-body-spirit approach for trauma and abuse recovery, PTSD, low sense of self-worth, panic & phobias, anxiety, depression, relationships. EMDR & Energy interventions.

CLOTH DIAPERS BOOTYFUL BABY BOUTIQUE, LLC Allendale, Michigan 616-892-1525

Modern cloth diapers that are proudly made in Michigan. A healthy choice for your baby, your wallet and our Earth. We love to help parents make the switch! See ad page 41.


Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 4990 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids 616-974-4990

natural awakenings

Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, LowDose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia. See ad page 48.

December 2010





Sandra McPhall Licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Provider 616-534-1385 Providing the Davis Dyslexia Correction® Program that has grown to be the most widely used program in the world correcting approximately 20,000 dyslexics per year with a 97% success rate. See ad page 41.


Beth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354 Ama Deus healing energy method is a hand mediated technique aligned with love. The energy helps to enhance one’s own and others growth and awareness or physical and emotional healing. See ad page 33.

233 Washington, Suite 208, Grand Haven 616-502-2078 Ordained Minister, NADA Certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist and Reiki Master. Cultivating healing and balance through Auricular Acupuncture for Addictions, Reiki, Integral Workshops/Coaching, Spiritual Care/Counseling, Life Passage Rituals/Ceremonies.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using principles of quantum physics and subtle energy Matrix Energetics helps you to shift into a more balanced state. See ad page 19.

Clara Vander Zouwen 616-698-6148 Offering Be Young therapeutic essential oils, MASAJI whole food drink, Organic meal replacement shakes, and Mineral make-up. Services: Ionic detoxing foot baths, Physical and Emotional balancing, biofeedback readings.

West Michigan Edition


Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 7493 Cottonwood Drive, Jenison 616-667-1346 Affordable, natural ap-proach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant. 20 years experience. Offering select high quality vitamins and nutritional supplements. Weight loss, cleansing, sports nutrition and more! Senior discounts. Grand Haven - 616-846-3026 Muskegon - 231-739-1568 North Muskegon - 231-744-0852 Natural & organic foods, vitamins & herbs, sports nutrition, gluten free foods, books, natural body care and more. Open 7 days a week. See ad, page 19.

UTOPIAN MARKETPLACE 8832 Water St., Montague 231-894-9530

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff provides a personalized shopping experience. We have a large selection of gluten-free foods, clothing, jewelry, herbs, supplements, local foods, gifts and more. Open Mic events every month. See ad, page 5.








Jodi Jenks - Reiki Master 4434 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 I am a Reiki Master that also does Essential Oil therapies including Raindrop Therapy, Emotional Clearing and Spiritual Journey work. Call or email for appointments or questions, 616-443-4225 or heavenlyhealings@ See ad page 9.

352 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners. Licensed Physician Assistant, Certified Natural Health Professionals. Private consultations. Counseling & Classes. Blood typing, acupressure, emotional release, iridology, homeopathy and more. See ad, page 15.


352 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Physician assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. See ad, page 15.

HYPNOTHERAPY Branden Wilson, BAS, CHT, CPNLP Certified Hypnotherapist, American Board of Hypnotherapy Certified Practitioner NLP, Society of NLP 616-560-1482

Your phobia gone in an hour or less or its FREE. Eliminate unwanted habits and compulsions. Resolve inner conflicts, change your limiting beliefs, and achieve your goals. Transform guilt, shame, and grief.


South Haven Community Hospital 950 S. Bailey Ave. South Haven, MI 49090 269-639-2833 Alternative therapies are used in conjunction with conventional medicine to balance your mind, body and spirit. We also offer laser hair removal, laser vein reduction and skin care services. See ad page 12.


Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, Certified Reflexologist, and a Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad page 19.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation (Swedish), deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. See ad pages 7 & 30.

MIDWIFERY BIRTH SONG MIDWIFERY SERVICES Yolanda Visser CM, CPM Grand Rapids 616-458-8144

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

FULL CIRCLE MIDWIFERY SERVICE, INC. Patrice Bobier CM, CPM Hesperia - 231-861-2234

In private practice since 1982 - specializing in homebirth. Over 1200 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways.


Susan Wente, CNM, Dr. PH 231-652-3247 This regions only Certified Nurse Midwife with 32 years experience – over 3000 births attended. Providing pre-natal, home and hospital births and postpartum care. Gynecological and Doula services available.



Connie Jean Cunningham 616-446-6906 Certified Usui Reiki Master and Karuna ® Reiki. Offering professional reiki treatments, classes, personal instruction and guidance. Specialized treatment areas include chemotherapy support, PTSD, phantom limb pain, stress, and spiritual expansion.


Denise Hopkins, AIA, LEED AP 401 Hall St. SW Suite 231 Grand Rapids 616-956-5000 Enrich your home and work environment with beautiful, healthy, sustainable design and products. Architecture, interior and landscape design, flooring, paint, cabinets, counters, furniture, accessories. Styled by nature, designed to nurture.


Katie Ray 269-804-9307 Katie Ray is a Certified Massage Therapist and Reiki Master. Offering deep tissue and medical massage, Usui Reiki treatments, and healing attunements. See ad page 39.


Paula Bojsen Holland: 616-392-1138 Offering quality Reiki classes & treatments at affordable prices. Certified Usui Reiki Master Teacher & Gendai Reiki Shihan. All levels, Reiki Master classes and Gendai Reiki Gokukaiden. Learn pure Japanese Reiki.


Lyons, Michigan 989-855-2606 A place of beauty on the banks of the Grand River where you can find rest and nourishment for your body and spirit. Offering workshops, retreats, and rental space year-round.


Eva Fronk, CNM and Mercedes Moran, CNM 950 S. Bailey Ave. South Haven, MI 49090 269-639-2720 Offering the only water birthing program in Southwest Michigan. Our Certified Nurse Midwives assist the mother during water birth delivery, in collaboration & consultation with our obstetricians. Call today to learn more. See ad page 5.


503 E. Broadway St Mt. Pleasant, MI. 48858 989-773-1714 Educational Programs: Natural Health 1-4 Years, Birth Assistant 6 Months (1 weekend per month), Massage Therapy 1 Year (2 weekends per month), Individual Classes available. 15 years of excellence. See ad page 2.


Health Coach 616-502-2707 Get support to take control of your health and your MS. Amanda Geerts received her Health Coach training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. See ad page 21.

natural awakenings

December 2010



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine December 2010  

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