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feel good • live simply • laugh more


It’s All Tune In To Gift-Giving Your Breath About We! Makeover Tips for Better Workouts

Co-Creating a Brighter Future

Sustainable Stocking Stuffers

December 2012 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

December 2012



West Michigan Edition

contents 9



5 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 12 globalbriefs 15 ecotip 17 fitbody 18 naturalpet 21 wisewords 24 greenliving 30 healthykids 33 inspiration 34 consciouseating 40 healingways 43 calendar 45 naturaldirectory 47 classifieds

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

News Briefs & article submissions 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.

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


Keeping Them Safe During the Festivities by Brita Belli



Marci Shimoff Explores its Transformative Power by Judith Fertig



Do-It-Yourself Stocking Stuffers by Meredith Montgomery

26 IT’S ALL ABOUT WE Conscious Evolution: Why We’re Better Together


by Linda Sechrist


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

Simple Ways to Add Meaning and Family-Centered Fun


by Barbara Amrhein

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December 2012




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

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2012 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

Committed to Sustainability Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

often read about random acts of kindness and wish to share a spectacular one I witnessed last month. One day I was sitting quietly waiting for mechanics to rotate my car tires when the service technician popped his head into the waiting room and called a customer to the counter. It was hard not to overhear in the small space while he informed the woman of the poor condition of all four of her car’s tires. Nodding her head in agreement, she acknowledged the importance of the problem and said she could afford to replace only two of them; then she headed back to her seat. At the same time, another customer was at the counter paying for services he’d received. Next, it was my turn and as the service tech returned my car keys he said, “You don’t see that every day,” then explained that the gentlemen that had just left paid for the other two tires the lady needed for a complete set. Now on alert, I soon heard about a similar act of kindness that occurred in Indiana. How wondrous it is that such random acts of kindness happen. I admit it’s more inspiring to experience them firsthand than to only read about them when they manage to make the news. With all this in mind, I ran up against a practice that’s a pet peeve of mine, especially when I’m in a hurry. When I prepay at the gas pump, why does the receipt I want for my records often end up inside with the cashier? Last week when my receipt refused to print, I thought, “Here we go again; how hard is it to fill the paper supply for these machines?” I entered the store with an unhappy look on my face, but when I reached the counter, the clerk immediately handed me my receipt, apologized for the inconvenience and offered me a free coffee or fountain drink for my trouble. I walked away with a smile, having been gently reminded of that earlier lesson. Such hiccups reach out and touch us throughout life, but so does kindness. It’s our choice whether we surrender to upset or take a different path. These days I am making a concerted effort to generate reasons to smile. J Take care this holiday season and throughout the year because committing random acts of kindness can be contagious! Blessings of peace, joy and kindness to you and yours,

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


West Michigan Edition

Kyle Hass, Publisher

newsbriefs New Location for Affordable Nutrition


ffordable Nutrition, a local, family owned and operated health food store is excited to announce their NEW LOCATION at 4693 Wilson Ave. Suite I in Grandville, behind the IHOP restaurant in the Design one Joel Manning plaza. Affordable Nutrition re-located to a larger, more convenient facility to better serve their clients. Affordable Nutrition offers select, high quality supplements, nutritional counseling, body fat assessments, unique products and much more. Owner, Joel D. Manning C.N.C., is a certified nutritional consultant with over 22 years of experience and the knowledge to help you with your health concerns. Call or stop in today and see how he can help you. This month, Affordable Nutrition has proudly partnered with the Salvation Army to be an official Angel Tree toy drop off location to help west Michigan kids have a memorable Christmas. Please help them make a West Michigan child’s Christmas special. NAN Members receive 15% off Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price, excluding bars, drinks and bulk items and not valid with any other offers or on services or senior discounts. Call 616-667-1399 for more information, or stop into the new location today. See ad page 46.

This Month at PeaceLab Yoga


n Saturday, December 8 from 10:30am-12:30pm, PeaceLab Yoga will feature its Open Your Heart: Backbend Workshop. This workshop will promote the unlocking of tension and tightness in order to develop and deepen the back-bending practice. This workshop is suitable for all levels

and costs $29. Also, on Saturday, December 15 from 10:30am12:30pm, PeaceLab Yoga will feature its Yoga 101 class

with a start at the beginning. Yoga and its benefits will be discussed and essential poses will be broken down and explored. This workshop is intended to welcome you to the space, to offer tips and guidelines so you will feel comfortable in ongoing classes and to get your yoga practice started. Cost is $39, which includes two weeks of unlimited yoga after the workshop. Please register by going to or by calling 616-745-0310. See ad page 16.

Holiday Special


reat yourself, your friends or your family this winter with a special deal. During the month of December, receive a one hour therapeutic or relaxation full body Hot Stone Massage with therapeutic essential oils for just Pattie Kooy $50.00 at Hands on Healing Professional Massage Therapy LLC. This is 50% off the regular price. Gift certificates are available. Stop in today to take advantage of this incredible offer! For more information, call 616-648-7217. See ad page 32.

Food Drive & Toys for Tots Drop-Off


ttawa Village Chiropractic, in Holland, is continuing its annual food drive through mid-December. OVC invites patients and community members to drop off non-perishable food items to donate to local families in need, and it will donate 3 food items for every patient visit. While you are in the area, please drop off a toy or two for children in need. OVC is a convenient Toys-for-Tots drop-off location for Holland residents. Please call OVC at 616-399-9420 or stop by 451 Columbia Avenue in Holland for more information. See ad page 15.

Heal your Life Weekend Workshop


Powerful Workshop based on the work of Louise Hay. So many of us go through life carrying negative

natural awakenings

December 2012


messages that influence every aspect of our lives and we don’t even know they are there. We often become who we think we should be rather than who we really are. This workshop allows you, through various exercises, to identify those limiting beliefs and you are Louise Hay given the tools to release them and begin building the life you truly want and deserve. All aspects of the self are looked at. The most important process is that of learning to love yourself, the most beautiful gift you can give to yourself. You are lovingly and gently guided through this workshop, always supported and always loved. Come for a wonderful and life changing weekend. Course lead by licensed Heal Your Life Facilitator Katrina Ryan. Workshop will be in Grand Rapids at Holistic Care Approach on January 18 and 19, 2013 and in Traverse City at The Higher Self Bookstore on February 9 and 10, 2013. To register call Katrina at 269-214-4432 or Email at

Life’s Layers: Create the Life You Envision


n January 5, 2013 spend the day finding clarity through your own creativity. This day will be a time for you to connect with your heart and explore your inner thoughts and dreams. Dive into your creativity and come up with a life map. In the morning, you will be gently led to access your intuition through intuitive painting. Using color and shape on paper will give you insights into your deeper self. After a catered lunch, you will be led in creating a vision board using words and images that speak to you; a life map to move forward into the coming year. Work with creativity facilitator Susan Loughrin of Inner Creative Voice to delve into your intuition and map out your 2013. Create your best year yet. All supplies and lunch will be provided. Event costs $100, and will be held 9:30 am-3:00 pm at Connor Bayou in Robinson Township, Grand Haven. Limit 20 participants. Registration Required. Email Susan Loughrin with questions and to register at


West Michigan Edition

Help Haiti with Health Products


mericans’ seasonal generosity is extensive, reaching overseas with a helping hand to neighboring countries, including those in desperate need in Haiti. Steven Frank, owner of Nature’s Rite, maker of natural organic herbalbased products, has launched his own Haiti Relief Project as a way for people to help send the company’s health products to a nutritionally impoverished population. Haiti is still struggling to recover from the 7.0 earthquake that killed nearly 300,000 people on January 12, 2010, and many residents have been living in makeshift shelters ever since. Last August, Hurricane Isaac brought severe flooding to much of the country, causing mudslides and additional destruction to already vulnerable areas. After a recent trip to Haiti, Frank reports that the main hospital in Port-au-Prince is still a pile of rubble surrounding a rough shell. He found that most people must rely on the generosity of roadside clinics, often set up in tents, when their health problems become unbearable. “There is no health insurance for most of them, and the minimum expense is well beyond what they have or can earn. When I asked a local whether he would visit the hospital for his typhoid, he said, ‘No. We try drinking tea or anything else. We don’t have the $200 it would take just to get in.’ I gave him a bottle of Typhoid Relief and hoped for the best,” says Frank. A section on allows website visitors to select company products totaling up to $20, $50 or more that cover joint, respiratory, digestive, skin and other health issues for shipment to Haiti. Products are designed to help alleviate rash, eczema, foot fungus, sinusitis, shingles, osteoporosis, food poisoning and many other conditions. For more information or to contribute (not tax deductible), visit or call 888-465-4404. See ad, page 10.

Bamboo at Lakeshore Natural Skin Care


aphne Keplinger-Myers, Owner Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, Holland/Zeeland, recently became nationally certified in Bamboo Visage (face) and Bamboo

Fusion (on the table). Bamboo Visage & Bamboo Fusion utilize bamboo tools that are warmed and then massaged on the face and body. The benefits for client and practitioner are numerous. The experience for the client includes an extreme sense of relaxation, tension reduction, softer skin, relief of tightness in muscles and tendons, stimulates blood and lymph flow and Daphne Keplinger-Myers can also relieve headaches and stress. For the therapist, it allows pressure to be more easily applied, thus enabling a longer massage. It also saves the therapist’s hands and wrists from fatigue and repetitive motion. Bamboo Visage and Bamboo Fusion are techniques created by Nathalie Cecelia of Nimes, France. For more information contact Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, 10500 Chicago Drive, Holland Township/Zeeland. 231-5573619.

Manage Your Pain Today


est Michigan Pain Management Therapy Center P.L.L.C. has recently opened its doors at 6745 E. Fulton, Suite A in Ada, focusing on Orthopedic, Occupational, Physical and Sports Wellness as well as Individual and Injury Prevention Performance Training. The Center seeks to return its patients to their daily activities or sports with a decreased chance of re-injury and an increased performance level. With an on-site training facility, a multi-disciplinary approach is used to attend to patient wellbeing. The Center uses innovative and advanced therapy techniques to relieve acute and chronic pain. Each patient receives a personalized treatment to guide them back to wellness. For more information, contact West Michigan Pain Management Therapy Center P.L.L.C. at 616-706-6132 or See ad page 46.

After the Storm

Spirits Lift Despite Hurricane Sandy


fter one of the largest storms on record hit the Northeast, devastating the shorelines of New York and New Jersey and uprooting the status quo in surrounding states, locals saw a new kind of energy emerge among the populace. Kelly Martinsen, publisher of the Long Island edition of Natural Awakenings and a resident of Long Beach, New York, joined the corps of volunteers that are helping families and businesses dig out of the ruins of their once beautiful beach town. In turn, her magazine’s advertisers and neighboring publishers reached out to share their office space, homes and other heartfelt help to keep her own business afloat. “While I have lost much, I feel blessed to have lived through this event,” says Martinsen. “I was able to experience the wonderful nature of people helping people in the days after the storm.” Tina Woods, publisher of Natural Awakenings’ New York City edition, changed the role of her delivery truck from distributing magazines to carrying food to residents and volunteers assisting Gerritsen Beach neighborhoods, in Brooklyn. She also participated in recovery work along the Jersey Shore and collaborated with her advertisers to raise $1,000 for relief efforts. Woods observes, “In times like this, you know what it means to truly be local and look to the people immediately next to you to get by.” To join or support coordinated Hurricane Sandy relief efforts vetted by Charity Navigator, visit JoinHurricaneSandyRelief


Congratulations to Sheri Beth Schafer of Schafer Chiropractic & The Healing Spa who received her Chopra Center Teacher Certification in Primordial Sound Meditation in October of this year. Schafer has been studying under Deepak Chopra this year to achieve this designation. She has 30 years of meditation experience and is also a certified Transformation Meditation Teacher. Schafer teaches classes at Schafer Chiropractic & The Healing Spa for all levels. On Mondays, she has a free information class and a “Meditation for the Non-Meditator” class. Please check for dates and class information. See ad page 32, 39 & 47.

Harmony ‘n Health Colon Hydrotherapy

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

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

Therapeutic Massage also available natural awakenings December 2012




Presenting Sponsor

Inspiration & education for a healthier you! health • fitness nutrition • wellness • balance For exhibit information, please call 616-447-2860


West Michigan Edition


One-Size Meditation Does Not Fit All


n intriguing study recently posted online by Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, suggests that new meditators are most likely to stick with the practice and reap its healthful benefits if they select methods with which they are most comfortable, rather than those that are most popular. In one of the first studies to compare meditation techniques head-to-head, author Adam Burke, a professor of health education at San Francisco State University and the director of its Institute for Holistic Health Studies, taught 247 participants four popular methods— mantra, mindfulness, Zen and qigong visualization. He asked them to choose which they preferred to practice at home for six weeks before techniques were evaluated. The simpler methods, mantra and mindfulness, each were preferred by 31 percent of study participants. Zen and qigong were selected by about 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Burke says the results showed the value of providing people new to meditation simpler and more accessible methods, and also emphasized that no one technique is best for everyone. He hopes to see more comparative meditation studies, especially to determine if particular methods are better at addressing specific health issues such as addiction. “If that’s the case,” he advises, “healthcare professionals would be able to guide patients toward techniques that will be most effective for them. Additional studies are also needed to determine if there is a way to predict which method will be best suited for any particular individual.”

A Wise Man’s Gift for Arthritis Sufferers


rankincense, an aromatic resin obtained from Boswellia trees native to Africa, is an age-old herbal remedy that may help alleviate the pain of arthritis, according to scientists at Cardiff University, in Wales. “The search for new ways of relieving the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis is a long and difficult one,” says Dr. Emma Blain, who led the research with coinvestigators Professor Vic Duance, from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences, and Dr. Ahmed Ali, of the Compton Group. The team believes they have been able to demonstrate that treatment with an extract of Boswellia frereana—a rare frankincense species—inhibits the production of key inflammatory molecules and helps prevent the breakdown of cartilage tissue that causes the condition. The African Somali people have long used extracts of frankincense as a traditional remedy for arthritis. “Our research achieved the use of innovative chemical extraction techniques to determine the active ingredient in frankincense,” says Ali. “We will now be able to further characterize the chemical entity and compare its success against other anti-inflammatory drugs used for treating the condition.”

Nutty Way to Help Preserve Cognition


alnut consumption is associated with better memory scores and cognitive function, according to recent findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. In the Prevención con Dieta Mediterrnáea study, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Health, results show that a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with olive oil or one ounce of mixed nuts, half of which are walnuts, is more beneficial than a low-fat diet when it comes to body weight, blood pressure, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation. The nutrient-dense walnuts provide antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. Both are key nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties that help protect brain cells from the oxidative damage associated with cognitive decline.

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December 2012





Maybe you have Sleep Apnea, Restless Legs or Leg Cramps? What about the person you sleep with?

Hi, I’m Steve Frank and I suffered from Sleep Apnea for years. I couldn’t sleep with a CPAP machine strapped to my face. It was a serious problem. A scientist and engineer by training, I studied the problem for years and finally found that both obstructive and central sleep apnea are caused by a diminution of the signal from the brain to the diaphragm. This problem results in a breathing stoppage. When the brain senses this, it initiates a rapid deep inhalation which sucks the airway closed and ruins the entry to sleep. As an herbalist, I diligently pursued a group of herbs that would correct this problem. Well thank goodness, it works! My patent-pending formulation has helped thousands and I use it every night. Why haven’t you tried it? My Mom asked me what to do about persistent leg cramps. She had tried all the suggested supplements but still had problems. I put together a group of herbs to relax nerves, reduce tension and increase circulation. It worked great for her! Later, I found that it works for Restless Legs as well. Now you can use it too.

You owe it to yourself & your spouse to try these great products!

SLEEP TIGHT TONIGHT, with Nature’s Rite! 50% OFF Leg Relaxer with coupon code LR50 30% OFF Sleep Apnea Relief with coupon code SAR30 “I’ve been using Sleep Apnea Relief for the past three months and now my pulminologist wants to pass it on to his patients who wear CPAP.” - Florence, NY, NY “For 42 years we searched for something to take care of Restless Leg Syndrome. Not only does this product work but it works instantly! It’s Terrific. I recommend it to anyone who has this problem.” - Robert- Nebraska “My son made this Leg Relaxer especially for me and I love it! It gets rid of my cramps when nothing else will!” - Dionne – Greenvalley AZ. 1-800-991-7088 10

West Michigan Edition

Citrus Fruits Lower Risk of Stroke


opular winter citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit come with an unexpected health benefit: eating them may lower the risk of ischemic strokes (clots), especially in women, per a study reported in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association. The researchers analyzed 14 years of follow-up data from the National Institutes of Health Nurses’ Health Study, which included 69,622 women that reported their food intake every four years, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption. The study discovered that a high intake of flavanones, a subclass of flavonoids found in the greatest concentrations in oranges and grapefruit, was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke. In the study, the presence of flavanones came primarily from oranges and orange juice (82 percent) and grapefruit and grapefruit juice (14 percent). However, the researchers recommended that consumers increase their citrus fruit intake, rather than juice consumption, to avoid the sugar in many commercial juices.

Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down. ~ Wilson Mizner

Raisins Yield Pressure Relief


or individuals seeking a natural way to keep slightly elevated blood pressure in check, eating a handful of raisins each day might do the trick. New data presented at the American College of Cardiology 61st Annual Scientific Session suggest that among adults with hypertension or mild increases in blood pressure, routine consumption of raisins may lower readings, especially compared with eating other common snacks. The researchers noted that raisins are packed with potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure, and are also a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber, which may favorably alter the biochemistry of blood vessels, enabling them to be less stiff. The study helps validate some current nutrient recommendations, such as 60 raisins—about a handful, containing one gram of fiber and 212 milligrams of potassium—as being helpful in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three (28 percent) of American adults have prehypertension, defined as a systolic pressure from 120 to 139 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or a diastolic pressure from 80 to 89 mm Hg. Researchers cautioned that their study was small; larger trials are needed.

Giving Begets Happiness at Every Age


o give is better than to receive,” is a maxim that appears to hold true even for the very young. A new study co-authored by three psychologists at Canada’s University of British Columbia observes that giving makes toddlers happier. The study, published in PLOS One, an online journal of the Public Library of Science, found that toddlers younger than 2 were happier when giving treats to others than when receiving them. They were also happier when they gave their own treats away, rather than an identical treat that didn’t belong to them.

Stop Wasting Food


t’s time to step up to the plate—but not waste what’s on it. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that about 40 percent of all food in the United States goes uneaten. Each year, we are throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion in discarded food, making it the single largest component of solid waste in America’s landfills and costing the average family of four between $1,350 and $2,275 annually. About two-thirds of household waste consists of spoiled food that’s not used in time; the rest is caused by people cooking or serving too much food. Learn easy steps to reduce food waste via the NRDC free online fact sheet at StopFoodWaste.

Pitfalls of No-Fat Salad Dressings


or those thinking about balancing a rich holiday meal by choosing a low- or no-fat salad dressing, consider this: To get the most nutrients from leafy greens and vegetables, we need to pair them with a healthy fat. A recent Purdue University study showed that the more “good” fat there was in a salad, the more carotenoids diners absorbed. The researchers found that vegetable oils rich in monounsaturated fats like olive oil, or polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil, help the body absorb essential carotenoids and other nutrients and increase their bioavailability in the intestines. The study also found that eating bread with butter with a salad was also beneficial, although to a lesser extent.

natural awakenings

December 2012


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

Smog Begone

Dramatic Decline in Los Angeles Air Pollution Legendary late-night TV host Johnny Carson made the thick, automobile-generated smog that covered Los Angeles the butt of jokes for decades, but times have changed. In the past 50 years, California’s Los Angeles Basin has shown a 98 percent decrease in levels of some vehicle-related air pollutants even as area denizens now burn three times as much gasoline and diesel fuel. Between 2002 and 2010 alone, the concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOC) dropped by half, according to a new study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. “The reason is simple. Cars are getting cleaner,” says Carsten Warneke, a NOAA-funded scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Primarily emitted from the vehicle tailpipes, VOCs are a key ingredient in formation of ground-level ozone, which at high levels can harm people’s lungs and damage crops and other plants. The magnitude of the drop in VOC levels was surprising, although it doesn’t mean that ozone levels have dropped as steeply, because the air chemistry is complex. Levels of ozone pollution in the basin are down, but don’t yet meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. Warneke expects the decrease in VOC emissions by cars to continue, given that engine efficiency continues to improve and older, higher polluting vehicles will be taken off the roads. Source: American Geophysical Union (

Coming Clean

Environmental Hall of Shame From shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste to laundry detergent and window cleaners, hundreds of chemicals of unknown origin and effect can be found everywhere in our daily lives. Some are regulated by government agencies, but many are not; some cleaning products, for example, are not even required to list their ingredients on labels. The research team at the nonprofit consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group has released a new Cleaners Hall of Shame database ( that ranks more than 2,000 household cleaners by how hazardous their ingredients are and how much information is on their labels. Many products contain ingredients known to cause asthma or are contaminated with carcinogens. Even so-called “green” products aren’t necessarily any better. Many of them boast of ingredients made from plants, rather than petroleum, but there is little or no safety data for some plant-based ingredients. A truly green product poses few risks to health or the environment and transparently informs users of its content. 12

West Michigan Edition

Bird Brains

When the Warm Get Going Global climate change is a real, measurable phenomenon, according to a new study, based on the National Audubon Society’s North American Christmas Bird Count. It found that avian species have taken decades to adjust their ranges northward in response to warming winters. Frank La Sorte, a researcher at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York, and lead author of a study supported by the National Science Foundation, says in the Journal of Animal Ecology that because birds are highly mobile and migrate north and south with the changing seasons, they are better able to shift their ranges than less mobile, non-migrating species, such as amphibians. “It makes sense that species move slower than the rate at which climate is changing,” says La Sorte. “Many of them need to follow a prey base and a type of vegetation, or they need certain kinds of habitat that will create corridors for movement. Species are responding under their own time frame.” The challenge for humans is daunting. “We have to give species the opportunity to respond by providing corridors for movement and longterm maintenance of those corridors,” says La Sorte. “That requires cooperation across political boundaries.” Source: ABC News


Leaf Relief

Urban Trees Act as Crime-Stoppers The city of Baltimore’s high crime rate inspired a gritty TV drama. But a new study ( by the University of Vermont’s Transportation Research Center, in Burlington, found that a 10 percent increase in trees in a given area led to a 12 percent decrease in crime. “It’s really pretty striking how strong this relationship is,” says Austin Troy, lead author of the study, published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. Researchers examined the correlation in and around Baltimore using aggregated crime data and combining it with high-resolution satellite images to conduct the analysis. The working hypothesis is that because people enjoy spending time in pleasant outdoor spaces, there are more observers present to hinder criminal activity. Also, a well-maintained landscape seems to send a message that someone may be watching. To avoid culture bias, the study considered many socioeconomic factors, including housing, age, income and race of residents, as well as variables such as rural versus city setting and population density. The findings should prove helpful to urban planners.

In the Spirit of the Season – May We Walk as One Jody Bergsma

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is spearheading a new wave of renewable energy research by recruiting top scientists from the nation’s best research laboratories to staff a new agency called ARPAE, modeled after DARPA, the research and development wing of the Pentagon that invented the Internet. With a surge in funding for renewable energy, courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, plus grants from the Department of Energy, ARPA-E has made more than 180 investments in basic research projects in renewable energy. One company, Ocean Power Technologies, is installing a 260-ton generator in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast to capture renewable energy from waves. If the generator operates as planned, it will link to the grid and generate enough electricity for 1,000 homes. Other ARPA-E-funded projects are making cheaper batteries, more efficient air conditioners and appliances, experimental algae-based biofuels, carbon sequestration (trapping) technologies and even plants that secrete crude oil.

Jody Bergsma began creating art at age 3, when her mother suggested that she draw her nightmares to vanquish her fears. Monsters illustrated with pink and green crayons were not so scary, and the budding young artist became hooked. By her mid-teens, Bergsma was selling her fanciful works and she went on to become an award-winning illustrator. In her whimsical, elfin watercolors and detailed, dramatic images of wildlife, the artist often uses aboriginal, native and geometric designs and symbols derived from the beautiful patterns of ancient cultures. By respectfully working with these images, she reintegrates them into our modern ethos. “I propose that all humankind shares a common reality just beyond the range of normal sight,” remarks Bergsma, whose watercolor technique is self-taught. “Each person’s physical adventure is unique, but the abstract language of feelings and realization of existence is our shared experience. “Art is a tradition that helps define who we are and brings us a vision of who we can become,” Bergsma continues. “My painting is my expression and request for a more beautiful, peaceful and harmonious world.”

Source: The Atlantic magazine (

View the artist’s portfolio at

Tech Revolution Fresh Funds for Innovative Renewable Projects

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December 2012


globalbriefs Good News

Kwanzaa Celebration Spreads The 46th annual Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1, may be observed by as many as 18 million people this year. Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of black studies, as a celebration to honor the values of ancient African cultures and inspire African Americans working for social progress. The name comes from the Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means, “first fruits of the harvest.” Its seven principles are believed to have been key in building strong, productive families and communities in Africa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, a sense of purpose, creativity and faith. Source:

Happiness lies first of all in health.

Many Tongues

Human Rights Day is December 10 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Now, the office of the high commissioner for human rights has been awarded the Guinness World Record for having collected, translated and disseminated the declaration into more than 380 languages and dialects, from Abkhaz to Zulu, making it the world’s most universal communication. The work sets out a broad range of fundamental human rights and freedoms to which all men and women everywhere are entitled, without distinction. It was drafted by representatives from all regions and legal traditions, and has over time been accepted as a contract between governments and their peoples.

~George William Curtis


Your surroundings subtly affect your emotional, physical and mental state.

Let your interior nurture you Complete interior design services that align your physical space with your personal expression.

Resonate within your space and elevate your wellbeing! Feng Shui Green design Holistic design approach Repurposing your existing treasures

Align Design LLC Shawn Merkel - ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071 14

West Michigan Edition

Smiley Face

Personalized Social Media Giving Gets Results Charles Best, founder of, has enabled his organization to provide a record $40 million in funding for 300,000 U.S. classroom projects, simply by personalizing public appeals for charitable giving. When potential donors enter their personal interests, an online database supplies a list of corresponding classroom projects. For example, artists might consider funding a silkscreen press for an art class. Hikers can purchase trees for a classroom to plant. When the funded project is completed, the donors receive a note from the teacher, along with photos. maximizes the personalization potential by asking the participants if they want to post their donation on their Facebook wall, where friends may read the post and feel compelled to make their own donation. Teacher-generated Facebook project updates garner even greater success; these two types of Facebook status updates have so far raised a combined $1.9 million. Source:

ecotip Green Christmas Holiday Planet Savers

Here are some fresh ways to tweak family traditions for a greener holiday this and every year. Incorporate local, sustainable cuisine into the family feast. Ingredients for a traditional holiday dinner can travel up to 30,000 miles. Instead, show support for local community farmers and reduce food transportation miles by choosing a heritage turkey or meatless entrée. Stellar complements may include organic cranberry jelly, mulled apple cider or wine from an area farm, orchard or vineyard. Adopt or recycle the Christmas tree. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as many as 33 million live-cut Christmas trees are purchased each year in North America, and most end up in landfills. Fortunately, Christmas tree adoption services like Central California’s Rent a Living Christmas Tree are popping up across the country, allowing them to go on living. The potted trees can be rented and delivered. If tree adoption services are not yet available locally, make sure to recycle a live holiday tree so it’s turned into landscape mulch for reuse as ground cover to hinder weeds and nourish plantings. Reduce energy costs through efficient cooking. Wait to fire up the oven until the heritage turkey or organic ham is ready to go in; preheating is unnecessary for these slow-roasting items. For baked goods, opt for glass or ceramic pans, which allow cooking time to remain the same while lowering the heat by about 25 degrees. Another energy-saving trick is to place stovetop cookware on the smallest burner possible; more heat will embrace the pan, while less is lost to the surrounding air. A six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner typically wastes more than 40 percent of the energy generated. Crockpots work well for serving other small family dinners during the busy holiday season or anytime; an entire meal requires about 17 cents worth of electricity. At cleanup time, load up the dishwasher fully. One load of dishes scrubbed in a dishwashing machine uses 37 percent less water than washing the same dishes by hand. Send plant-able holiday cards. According to CalRecycle, an estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. This year, instead of the usual snail mail, send a bouquet of flowers for the price of a stamp. Recipients can plant a grow-a-note holiday card in the ground and see wildflowers bloom. For plant-able holiday cards that can be personalized with a corporate logo, offers card sets and party favors.


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BREATHE EASIER Try These Tips for Better Workouts


t’s easy to take breathing for granted. But tune in to your breath—when, say, halfway through a sun salutation or headed for a finish line—and you’ll find that it not only feeds muscles fresh oxygen, but also indicates whether it’s time to increase the intensity of the activity. To get the most out of every breath, follow these exercise tips from acknowledged experts.


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With closed lips, breathe in sharply and deeply through the nose. Then purse the lips as if trying to blow out a candle and exhale through the mouth. While running, breathe in for one step and out for two. “The rapid inhale and slower exhale in this technique fills lungs from the bottom,” explains Danny Dreyer, author of ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running. “Breathing exercises help take in more air when inhaling and empty lungs completely when exhaling. Muscles receive more glycogen, which lowers the chances of their cramping up.”


Use the Hindu breathing method called ujjayi, in which the lungs are fully expanded. First, inhale once with the mouth open, and then exhale the same way, making a “Ha,” sound. Then close your mouth and continue making the same sound while inhaling and exhaling through the nose (it will resemble the rushing sound that Darth Vader makes in Star Wars movies). “Your breathing is the barometer of all your poses,” says Elena Brower, founder and co-owner of Virayoga, in

New York City. If you’re gasping for air, back out of the pose. “Always give preference to deeper breathing over deeper postures,” advises Brower. This controlled breathing technique is largely responsible for the yoga buzz that helps keep students coming back for more.

Strength Training

Exhale through the mouth when lifting weights and inhale through the nose when lowering them. As a rule of thumb, take two seconds to raise weights and three to four seconds to lower them. “Focusing on your breath keeps your brain in the game, so you’re more likely to pay attention to overall form,” says Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist, personal trainer and fitness consultant in Darien, Connecticut.


“The key to breathing on a bike is to go in through the nose and out through the mouth, and to be as relaxed as possible,” Holland counsels. As intensity increases on climbs or long rides, breathe more forcefully—deeper, quicker inhalations through the nose and rapid exhalations through the mouth. “The more relaxed your breathing is, the more relaxed your entire body will be,” says Holland. “Relaxed breathing conserves energy, prevents fatigue and improves endurance.” Using forceful breaths when you’re tired also sends more energizing oxygen to muscles to help counter fatigue. Source: Women’s Health online © 2012 Rodale Inc. All rights reserved; used with permission.

natural awakenings

December 2012





es, dog booties look adorable. But there are beaucoup practical reasons to suit up a pup in such paw-wear, as well. Weather extremes, for example, can hurt a dog’s tender paws, especially when it comes to ice and snow. Icy chunks can attach to the hair between paw pads (although regular trims help) and sidewalk de-icers can dry out a dog’s feet, cause irritation and even an upset stomach if the pooch licks the roadside salt off of his or her paws. Then there’s the summer, which can bring other potential paw problems, including sun-scorched cement, burrs and thorns. The more adventurous a human guardian is—the more you like to brave extreme weather and rough terrain with your dog in tow—the more you’ll want to consider protecting your companion’s feet. Plenty of designer booties exist to please fashion hounds, but practical dog boots can provide even more comfort and protection, while letting best friends challenge the elements together. Here’s a sampling of what’s available. Ruffwear makes all-terrain Bark’n Boots ($69.95, RuffWear. com) with Grip Trex that they claim will unleash your dog’s “canine athlete.” With their extra cushioning and grip, these boots give a dog an advantage when climbing rocky terrain or maintaining balance on slippery surfaces.


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The Canadian company Muttluks offers fleecelined booties ($45.90/small, in a rainbow of colors. All feature reflective tape for nighttime visibility, and water- and salt-resistant bottoms. Neo-Paws—maker of some serious pet gear—has produced a video compilation of bootie-wearing dogs in action, set to music. Visit their website to see performing pooches of all sizes doing everything from competing in events to trekking and swimming in pools—and looking perfectly comfortable in the process. The company’s Neoprene Orthopaedic High Performance Outdoor shoes (from $26, are particularly useful for older or ailing dogs—those with paw wounds that may be dragging a foot, or those with hip injuries or arthritis. They are water resistant with a reinforced heel and because of their bulk, not recommended for dogs weighing less than 15 pounds. Crafters who want to make their own dog booties can find easy-to-follow instructions online. Helpful materials include polar fleece, a patch of vinyl for a non-slip pad and Velcro to attach booties around ankles. Visit tinyurl. com/35v76av for complete directions. Happy adventuring in tandem. Brita Belli is an environmental journalist.

Happy Holidays for

alcohol, macadamia nuts and walnuts, nutmeg, raisins and grapes. Cats must be kept away from apple seeds, avocado pits, onions, potatoes, cherries and mushrooms.

PETS Keep Furry Friends Safe During Festivities by Brita Belli


any of us want to include our pets in the holiday traditions, from posing them just so in the yearly family photo card to stuffing their own special stocking full of favorite treats. While there’s no reason not to indulge companion dogs and cats with little extras around the holidays, it’s also important to remember that many indoor houseplants, decorations and foods that come with the season can pose a hazard to our furry friends. Natural Awakenings spoke with Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk program for the Humane Society of the United States, about how we can help ensure that pets stay safe. Secure the Tree. Whether the cat likes to bat at the ornaments or attempt an ascent, or the family has a large tailwagging dog, a tree that’s not properly anchored can be easily knocked over. Consider using twine to secure the tree at mid-level to a wall to prevent tipping. Also make sure to keep the water well covered to prevent a pet from drinking from the tree’s water, particularly if it’s become stagnant or contains preservatives. Decorate with Care. Tinsel and ornaments decking the tree and colorful winter houseplants brightening our rooms are holiday fixtures. They are also irresistible to many cats and dogs. It’s best to avoid the loose-hanging, plastic tinsel “icicles”

in homes with animals, because these can be easily ingested, cause discomfort and even become caught in their intestines, requiring surgery to remove. For other tree decorations, Goldfarb advises, “Stick to larger ornaments. Use big, round colored balls that won’t fit in the animal’s mouth.” Likewise, keep any decorations with small pieces out of reach of animals. This includes positioning the Christmas tree away from bookshelves that can give climbing cats easy access. The American Humane Association provides a list of plants that may be toxic and/or cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets if nibbled. Culprits include: lilies, mistletoe, holly, certain ivies, amaryllis and hibiscus. Poinsettias are not as dangerous, but can still upset a pet’s digestive system. Potpourri and sachets likewise are best kept out of reach. Keep Holiday Meals for Humans. “Pets are better off avoiding human holiday foods,” counsels Goldfarb. “There are concerns about feeding additional calories to any overweight pets. Bones can be a choking hazard. In addition, some foods could be hazardous.” Toxic foods to avoid for dogs include chocolate (which can be fatal), turkey skin, onions, garlic,

Provide a Quiet Place. Many dogs find extra holiday company exciting, but for shy dogs and many cats, all the added noise and presence of unknown people can be stressful. For those animals, Goldfarb advises, “Pick a room in your house and make it a sanctuary for them. Make sure there’s a water bowl, pet bed and for cats, their litter box. Then, keep that room off-limits to guests. That way, the pet has a quiet, comforting place to relax until the party winds down.” Be sure to inform guests to keep the room’s door shut, as well as doors to the outside, to prevent escapes. Watch Gifts and Candles. Cats and dogs are both drawn to playing with and perhaps eating crinkly wrapping paper and shiny ribbons, so keep these temptations out of reach. Provide pets with animal-appropriate, eco-friendly toys, instead. Also, be sure to keep lit candles in sturdy spots where they can’t be easily knocked over. “For the most part, you won’t have dogs counter surfing or climbing up shelves,” Goldfarb notes, “but cats do love exploring vertical spaces.” Think Twice about Giving Animals as Gifts. Giving a pet as a surprise gift to someone else, with the all the responsibility and life-changing commitment it entails, is seldom a good idea. If you are considering adopting a new dog or cat for your own family around the holidays, the American Humane Association suggests wrapping an “adoption kit” instead, complete with leash, pet bed, food, treats and a gift certificate for a local shelter. That way, the whole family can take their time choosing the exact right pet as a special post-holiday activity. Brita Belli is the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine and loves caring for her rescue dog, Tito.

natural awakenings

December 2012


Midwest Massage & Salon

Community Spotlight by Amanda Merritt


hen stepping into Midwest Massage & Salon, one thing is clear: it is an absolutely stress free environment. For 14 years, Yolanda Cordele has enjoyed keeping this atmosphere for her clients. From the aromatherapy scents drifting through the salon to the comfortable couches in the front room, the salon is beautiful and a delight to the senses before, during and after any of the relaxing services they offer. Cordele sought out cosmetology and massage therapy because of the stress-relieving qualities it promotes. “I come from a background that was stress-filled,” said Cordele, and she has continuously found herself drawn to stress-reducing hobbies/skills to fill her life with, such as building pond ecosystems in her free time. Beginning at Excel Academy of Cosmetology, Cordele first got her cosmetology license in 1989. After working in cosmetology with hair, facials and pedicures, Cordele decided she wanted to add massage therapy to her repertoire of skills and services offered to further aid in the stress reduction process. She attended the Health Enrichment Center for Massage Therapy in 1998, where she was certified as a massage therapist. “It all wraps around stress reduction. I wanted to do everything my client needed,” said Cordele. Cordele noted that she can take one person and go head to toe for pure relaxation based on her services provided. Midwest Massage and Salon is an Aveda Concept full-service salon with five specialists, two of which are certified massage therapists and four of which are stylists. The salon offers Bodywork, Massage, Skin Services, Hair Removal, Ear Candling, Nail Services, Ear Piercing and more. The importance of feeling good and healthy was stressed by Cordele, and she said that she wants to be known for wellness. She believes that the services she offers will soon become complimentary to the medical field. “[Massage therapy] deals


West Michigan Edition

with soft tissue. It affects all areas,” said Cordele. For her elders, the touch alone, in some cases can help keep depression at bay. The elderly are Cordele’s favorite clients because they so often do not receive the touch that they need. As Cordele said, “Touch can change, from a full on hug to a pat on the hand. That’s huge and important. A firm, good touch to the elderly is important, and it can help keep an eye on the things they cannot see such as skin conditions and bumps and bruises that could become medical issues eventually.” A benefit to massage therapy is that you can see a lot of things that clients might not otherwise see and get them referred immediately when need be. Aside from the human services offered, canine and equine massage services are also available and leashed pets are always welcomed at Midwest Massage and Salon. Overall, Cordele’s drive is to offer stress reduction to the best of her abilities. Her shop is low key and calming. It lends itself to relaxation. Cordele said that stress reduction starts when you walk in the door at Midwest Massage and Salon. When asked what advice Cordele would offer to her clients, she responded, “This is the only body you get. Take care of it.” Stop in at Midwest Massage and Salon today and treat yourself by starting your total relaxation and stress reducing experience. Midwest Massage and Salon is located at 6883 Cascade Rd. SE in Grand Rapids. For more information, call 616-949-4000. See ad page 32. NAN members receive 15% off. Amanda Merritt is the Assistant Publisher of Natural Awakenings of West Michigan. She will graduate in December from Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at


How Unconditional Love Harmonizes Our World

Marci Shimoff Explores its Transformative Power by Judith Fertig


self-described “seeker from the get-go,” Marci Shimoff, is an expert at helping others effect greater personal fulfillment and professional success. The noted transformational leader, speaker and author has written two bestselling books on happiness and unconditional love— Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out and Love for No Reason: 7 Steps for Creating a Life of Unconditional Love, and co-authored six bestselling titles in the Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul series.

What is the old way of looking at love, versus the new paradigm shift you propose? We’ve been trained to think of love solely as energy between two people, usually experienced as conditional love—we feel love if the other person agrees with us, treats us a particular way or loves us back. But love is actually the essence of who we are, and when we live in a state of unconditional love, what I call “love for no reason,” we experience our essence that is love, which doesn’t depend on another person, situation or romantic partner. It is the core of every spiritual tradition.

Why do our ways of loving often seem inadequate? We each have a “love set-point,” the upper limit of our ability to give and receive love. We can’t feel more love by trying to change the outside—by relying on others to fill us up—because it will

never work in the long run. We need to raise our love set-point higher; then we experience everything more through the eyes of love.

Do challenging economic times help us grow spiritually? We can use any life challenges to help us grow and find fresh avenues of lasting fulfillment. Success and money don’t guarantee happiness, and I know that from my own wake-up call. In 1998, I had three of my Chicken Soup for the Soul books on The New York Times bestseller list at the same time. One day, I spoke to 8,000 people and autographed 5,432 books and felt like an author rock star. Yet when I returned to my hotel room that night, I burst into tears. All of the success was great, but it still hadn’t made me happy. That’s when I began my intensive study of happiness and love.

Does science support our capacity to daily experience and deepen a love for all things? Science is finding that there is a neurophysiology of love. Studies by researchers in major institutions worldwide show that we can do simple things like breathe more deeply, walk barefoot on earth, listen to uplifting music or practice meditation that will support us in experiencing more unconditional love. These activities create greater heart rhythm coherence and new neural pathways in the brain.

How does having a heart that’s open to unconditional love benefit us? The Institute of HeartMath has discovered that the magnetic field generated by the heart—what’s measured on a magnetometer—is 5,000 times stronger than that of the brain. HeartMath research has also demonstrated that when we’re in a positive emotional state, our hearts beat in a coherent rhythm that causes all the other systems in the body—including the brain, immune system and hormones—to work more efficiently and harmoniously. Their research shows that experiencing this regularly leads to better health, slows the aging process and brings us greater creativity, resilience and happiness.

What are the seven doorways to practicing unconditional love revealed by your own research? I’ve interviewed hundreds of people that are living examples of unconditional love. I’ve found seven access points to experiencing more love: safety, being grounded and present; vitality, energy and well-being; unconditional self-love, feeling empowered; openness, being comfortable giving and receiving love; communication, listening and speaking with love; vision, seeing through the eyes of love; and oneness, feeling connected with the greater wholeness of life.

How does one person’s loving larger bless our families, communities and world? The more we experience love, the more we spread love to others. Our feelings are contagious. This idea is beautifully expressed in an ancient Chinese proverb: “When there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. When there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” Connect with Marci Shimoff at Judith Fertig, of Overland Park, KS, is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings.

natural awakenings

December 2012


Community Spotlight by Julie Hurley Kathryn Doran-Fisher, Board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and co-owner and co-founder of Elder & Sage, says that good health begins in the gut. She has been offering natural health consultations and therapies for over five years, and most recently has become a Certified GAPS practitioner. “My practice has a primary focus on intestinal health. The GAPS diet, which stands for Gut And Psychology/Physiology Syndrome, can help heal the body by addressing the connection between gut health and our mental and physical ailments,” said Doran-Fisher. Doran-Fisher said that the author of the GAPS diet, Dr. Natasha CampbellMcBride, treated her son off of the autism spectrum by using the guidelines that she developed, which is a low-carb/grain free diet that focuses on bone broths, meats and stews and supplementation with probiotics. “Research has shown that there is a definite gut/brain connection,” said Doran-Fisher. “Neurotransmitters are produced in the gut lining and if the digestive system is not functioning properly, it can compromise brain function.” The GAPS diet is a nutritional protocol, and not a diet to follow for the rest of your life. “It’s a healing diet, meant to heal the digestive tract so that one can get back to eating pretty much anything (within reason). People with limited success with gluten-free eating have had success with GAPS,” said Doran-Fisher. The use of probiotics during the GAPS protocol is essential. “The probiotics change over the gut bacteria from pathogenic to beneficial. During this process, many clients with a severe ‘GAPS gut’ experience a detox effect, which can be unpleasant,” said Doran-Fisher. The pathogenic bacteria releases toxins into the bloodstream, where they can cause a wide-range of symptoms such as bloating, skin breakouts, irritability and food cravings. As the probiotics begin to replenish the pathogenic bacteria, the symptoms lessen and eventually resolve themselves after a month or two. Doran-Fisher said that many digestive issues resolve in the first couple of months such as constipation and diarrhea, but other issues take longer. Doran-Fisher said that the GAPS diet is beneficial to members of an entire family, and not just the individual affected. “It’s not a hard diet, just something you need to get used to. I’ve seen the GAPS diet benefit people with allergies and chronic inflammatory issues.” The increased incidence of chronic illness that has spanned the past few generations has been a main focus of Doran-Fisher’s practice. “Baby boomers were the first generation where heavy use of antibiotics and fast food came into existence. From there, the baby boomers suffered from digestive troubles, which is caused by their digestive system being out of balance. It was passed to the next generation. Because breastfeeding was out of vogue back then, natural immunity and healthy gut bacteria did not flourish in their offspring,” said Doran-Fisher. In the youngest generation, Doran-Fisher said we’re seeing more and more of anxiety, allergies, antibiotic use, Candida overgrowth, obesity and diabetes. “Most all of these issues have spanned three generations, and in addition to all of that, we’re also seeing increased incidence of autism, mental disorders, ADD/ ADHD and Type II diabetes in very young people. It is crucial for mothers, even before they have children, to work on prevention and clean up the gut system,” she said. Doran-Fisher has always been into nature, plants and animals. During a nature study class in college, her instructor pointed out some naturally growing rose hips and said that it could be prepared into a tea for a cold remedy. “This was fascinating to me,” she said. “I began looking into herbal remedies for myself, and my husband eventually encouraged me to look into that as a career. I decided upon the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education in Mt. Pleasant, and, for a number of years, I worked at their herbal store while getting my education.” Doran-Fisher and her parents Bruce and Jo Doran, run Elder & Sage together, 22

West Michigan Edition

Doran-Fisher offering the consultations and her parents maintaining inventory, books and sales. “Owning a store like this was something that we had always wanted to do. The timing seemed to be just right to move forward in 2011. We live about a mile from the store and my parents live just above it, with my grandmother over in Fulton Manor. The location is perfect for the lifestyle that we lead, with the farmer’s market right around the corner.” Doran-Fisher said she and her husband have been foodies for a very long time. “We used to run an urban farm in Mt. Pleasant and Elder & Sage is a drop off point for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). We want to help people feel better, and we’re especially looking toward this next generation, which is a huge focus of mine. I offer help with breastfeeding issues, lifestyle changes, offer herbs and homeopathic remedies and essential oils. I really focus on childhood, pregnancy and the child-bearing years,” she said. Doran-Fisher’s husband is an ordained Buddhist Dharma instructor from the Zen Buddhist Temple in Ann Arbor. They home school their two daughters, and are expecting their third child in May. Both of her girls have done the GAPS diet protocol. “Most all health issues narrow down to diet and lifestyle issues,” said Doran-Fisher. “Nine times out of 10 it boils down to that. If you want to change someone’s life, you need to get to the root cause of the symptoms. Food has to be a huge priority. Do whatever it takes to make it a priority. Real food is the most important, and moderation is the key.” For those with budget concerns, DoranFisher says to do the best that you can. If you can’t afford the pasture-raised beef, get the best cut you can from your local grocer. “As long as you are changing your diet to real foods and getting rid of processed foods, you’re going to see significant changes in your health.” Doran-Fisher and her husband have started a non-profit called The Network for Mindful Living, which will hold community classes and events. “We want to promote mindfulness for families and help build relationships within the community.” For more information visit www.ElderandSage. com or call 616-242-1355. Elder & Sage is located at 944 Fulton Street East in Grand Rapids. NAN Members receive 20% off 1-Hour Initial Consultation or 10% off Products. See ad page 5. A married mother of two young children, Julie Hurley is a freelance writer with a strong interest in natural living. She is also the Director of Public Relations at Principia Media, a publishing house in Grand Rapids,

An Average Cup of Joe by Amanda Merritt You step in the door and the scent instantly hits you. The place is filled with businessmen plugging away on their computers, women gossiping and college students frantically working on homework. As you slowly walk to the counter to place an order, you begin to scan the menu that is entirely too long for a place that specializes in one thing—coffee. When it comes to your daily pick-me-up or your work/ homework sidekick, your coffee selection matters. Among the elements necessary to be taken into consideration are: what drink to order, where that drink was originally traded from, how to pay for your drink, how to transport that drink and what to add to the drink. Aside from the teas offered at most coffee shops, brewed coffee is a wise decision. Brewed coffee typically has five calories or less in each cup opposed to the whopping 100-500 calories in other options such as lattes and other various espresso drinks. According to Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist, Donald Hensrud, M.D., “Newer studies have also shown that coffee may have benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. And it has a high content of antioxidants.” Basic brewed coffee not only poses to be the best option available, but it also poses to have some benefits for the coffee drinker as well. Because our coffee is typically imported from other locations, those of us in West Michigan have to consider where our coffee is traded from and the importance of Fair Trade. Global Infusion, an eclectic, fair trade marketplace that offers an extensive tea and coffee bar in Grand Rapids says, “Fair Trade means equitable and fair partnerships in the international trading system. It is a system that honors justice and sustainability through community, environment, producers and consumers; it puts people before profits. Fair Trade works to empower producers and helps to ensure better lives and a better future for families and communities all over the world.” Most coffee shops, both local and franchised, will at least offer a fair trade option if they do not serve only fair trade coffees. As you seek to make a difference, be sure to only consider coffees (and maybe even other products as well) that are certified as fair trade. As you purchase your coffee, think about Rebecca Leisher’s article, “Investing in Main Street”, from the August 2012 issue of Natural Awakenings Magazine. Leisher encouraged eliminating electronic transactions that siphon money out of the local economy and paying with cash only. For a small purchase like that of a cup of coffee, it may be a good place to start taking part in this process of paying with cash only. Once you decide on your drink selection and how you would like to pay for it, you have to decide how to transport your beverage., an organization that is seeking to take care of the issue of disposable cups, states, “Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year […] If you buy just one cup of coffee or tea in a

disposable cup every day, you’ll end up creating about 23 lbs. of waste in one year.” Coffee drinkers are able to contribute as little or as much to the solution of this problem as they desire. The best option is to either order in, as many coffee shops will then put your coffee in a re-useable mug, or to carry your own re-useable travel mug. Many coffee shops would prefer their consumers to take these routes as they seek to become more environmentally conscious themselves. For the coffee drinkers that must take their joe on the go, but do not have a travel mug, they also have the option of simply leaving the add-ons to the cup behind. Most coffee shops will serve your coffee in the cup alone, with the option of adding a top, a cardboard sleeve, a stirring stick, etc. If possible, skip adding a plastic top to your disposable coffee cup. Carry a re-useable sleeve to keep from burning yourself on the hot cup or re-use a sleeve that you already have. Avoid taking a stirring stick every time you order coffee. Essentially, you just have to come prepared, when ordering coffee, to take away as little as possible from the coffee shop. After you receive your coffee, you often have the option of a number of add-ons to add on top of or stirred into your steaming cup of joe. Add-ons include, but are not limited to, cream and sugar, whipped cream and chocolate or caramel drizzle. While these add-ons are sometimes what makes coffee bearable and sometimes what makes it just a little bit tastier, they certainly are not without their faults. Creamers can add anywhere from 10-50 additional calories to your drink. notes that adding just one teaspoon of raw sugar to your coffee adds approximately 188 calories. Whipped cream can vary based on whether or not it is sweetened. Sweetened whipped cream can add around 50110 calories. Last, adding a simple decorative drizzle adds a simple 5-15 calories and 1-2 grams of sugar. The best rule of thumb to follow is to avoid adding anything to your coffee. Next time you step into a coffee shop, whether it is tomorrow morning or two months from now, be sure to reflect on these suggestions as you scan that endless menu. The options are almost limitless, but the answer is easy: Select a brewed coffee certified as fair trade that you pay for with cash and can carry away to the table or the car in a re-useable mug without adding any splashes of unnecessary calories. Allow yourself the ability to walk away from your morning coffee experience knowing that you made a small difference in yourself, your community and the world. Global Infusion is located at 143 Diamond Ave in Grand Rapids. For more information visit www.GlobalInfusion. net. See ad page 25. Amanda Merritt is the Assistant Publisher of Natural Awakenings of West Michigan. She will graduate in December from Cornerstone University with a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism/Public Relations. You can contact her at natural awakenings

December 2012


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Homemade and Heartfelt Do-It-Yourself Stocking Stuffers by Meredith Montgomery

Find us @: Natural Awakenings of West Michigan Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.


ith the volume of household waste soaring 34 percent beyond normal levels in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day it’s particularly important to remain eco-conscious during the holidays,” says Anna Getty, author of I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas. “It’s easy to get so wrapped up in buying gifts and decorations that eco-friendliness goes out the window.” This year, consider giving the family’s stocking stuffers a sustainable makeover by gifting homemade items. Getty observes, “Useful, thoughtful homemade gifts can be really sweet… and green.”

A Jar for Everyone With a ribbon and label of instructions, inexpensive canning jars and glass containers filled with homemade goodies can become creative and practical gifts for everyone on the list. Sugar body scrubs offer a simple and affordable home spa experience. Combine two cups of sugar with one cup of oil (sweet almond, grapeseed or olive) and add 10 to 20 drops of essential oils to scent. Try a combination of rosemary and peppermint for an invigorating morning scrub or lavender and vanilla to unwind later. 24

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Fill jars with ingredients for some simmering home aromatherapy. Labels instruct recipients to boil the contents in a small saucepan of water, and then reduce heat to simmer, adding water as needed. Combine evergreen sprigs, cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried apple peels and citrus rinds for a festive holiday scent. Lemon, rosemary and vanilla afford a refreshing alternative. For family grill masters, obtain bulk spices for barbecue rubs at a health food store. A basic recipe from combines four tablespoons paprika, four tablespoons brown sugar, two tablespoons chili powder, one tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, two teaspoons garlic powder, two teaspoons onion powder and one teaspoon dried thyme.

Upcycled and Sewn Experienced crafters can follow online guidelines to upcycle fabric scraps and unwanted clothing and linens. An old sweatshirt or sweater becomes an iPad case and colorful T-shirts morph into tote bags and scarves. Creating therapeutic hot/cold bags can be fairly simple, even without a sewing machine. Cut a 16-by-eight-inch piece of flannel, cotton, fleece or terrycloth and fold it in half with the finished

side inside, lining up the edges. Using sturdy thread, sew a quarter-inch seam along the open edges, leaving a halfinch opening. Carefully turn the fabric right-side-out through the opening and fill the bag three-quarters full with long grain white rice. Tuck in the opening’s unfinished edges and sew closed. To treat aches and pains, the giftee can microwave the bag for 30 seconds at a time until achieving the desired temperature or place it in the freezer to use as a cooling or freezer pack. For aromatherapy, mix the rice with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil before filling. At room temperature, the scented version doubles as a soothing eye pillow.

Seeds to Throw and Grow Guerilla Gardening’s (GuerillaGardening. org) recipe for seed bombs makes fun gifts for gardeners and nature lovers. Choose flower and herb seeds that grow well in each recipient’s region. Combine five parts clay soil or potter’s powder (from art supply stores), one part compost and one part seeds, with water to bind. Form the mixture into balls approximately one inch in diameter and let dry for one to two days in an empty egg carton. Wrap seed bombs in recycled paper or cloth tied with a ribbon and instructions. Toss them in the yard or garden and watch them grow.

Creative and Kid-Friendly Enlist Santa’s elves to assemble a fortbuilding kit for children, inspired by Stock a pillowcase with two sheets, clothespins, plastic clamps, rope, suction cups and a flashlight. Tie up the pillowcase with rope and a cute label, and watch old linens come to life with a little imagination. Give broken and unwanted crayons a second life with fun-shaped recycled crayons. Fill greased muffin tins or cookie cutters on a foil-lined cookie sheet with broken crayon pieces (paper removed). Bake at 150 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crayons melt. Allow them to cool completely before removing from the molds. “I like to encourage families to focus on creating memories and rituals as a way to avoid excessive holiday consumption,” says Getty, who is renowned for her home-cooked gifts packaged in reusable tins with recycled bows. She notes, “These become a tradition that people know and love.” Such heartfelt gifts open the door to special moments and memories celebrating the true spirit of the season.

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December 2012


It’s All About We Conscious Evolution: Why We’re Better Together by Linda Sechrist


fter decades of studying issues of environmental destruction, poverty and war, Malcolm Hollick, Ph.D., author of The Science of Oneness: A New Worldview for the Twenty-First Century, concluded in 2006 that a better future for humanity requires a more holistic worldview. It must be one that reflects the evidence of both new sciences and established spiritual traditions, all of which point to a deep unity, or Oneness, the grand reality underlying and often belying the superficial testimony of the senses. Hollick concluded, “We become open to the experience of this unity only when we recognize at the deepest intuitive level that we do not exist as separate selves.” The founder of the Findhorn College Foundation, in


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Scotland, recognized that while the old worldview has disintegrated, the concrete of a new one has not yet set. He also observed how the acceleration of scientific findings—advancing knowledge and understanding of the universe, as well as the meaning and purpose of life—would continue to influence the general worldview. Within a decade, of the publication of his book, hard scientific evidence across many disciplines—particularly physics and biology—as well as pioneering ideas and anecdotal evidence presented by leading philosophers and authors, affirmed the existence of a reality in which everything is connected and linked in a coherent whole. Such thinking further revealed that evolution has equipped humans with genetic wiring for

co-creation, cooperation and collaboration. Martin A. Nowak, a professor of biology and mathematics at Harvard University and co-author of Super Cooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed, explains that most great innovations of life have resulted not from competition, but cooperation, the real “master architect” of evolution. Nowak believes that figuring out how cooperation comes about and breaks down is the key to human survival as a species. Books such as The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us, by Lynne McTaggart, a scientific researcher and award-winning journalist, and The Golden Motorcycle Gang: A Story of Transformation, co-authored by motivational speaker Jack Canfield, are helping individuals to see through the illusions of the old “survival of the fittest” and “I win, you lose” paradigms into one expressed in terms of connectedness and relationships. This new “Me-We” thinking and way of being has been spreading; it now informs everything from enlightened environmental stewardship to economics, as well as health and spiritual well-being.

How Community Works Canfield emphasizes the valuable lesson of collaboration and cooperation he learned while working for W. Clement Stone, a philanthropist and self-help author: When working together, focus on overlapping goals and interests, and not on differences. In Chicago, Illinois, where the Eat Fresh Eat Local movement sparks successful collaborations, the focus is on food, rather than issues of race, sex or economic disparity. There, hundreds of people are growing food together in communal spaces on city-owned land, privately owned empty lots and rooftops, as well as in school gardens, food forests and urban farm sites. “Self-reliant, community-operated urban farms and the food centers that retail the produce to residents in surrounding neighborhoods—some in the city’s most isolated and impoverished communities—are economic drivers that create jobs,” says Erika Allen, projects manager of Chicago’s Growing Power office. The daughter of national organization founder Will Allen notes that local workshops resemble a cross-section of the world. “Participants from different countries, cultures and economic levels come together for three meals a day, where we connect, share perspectives

“We’re one humanity and we’re all in this together.” ~ Jack Canfield

“The transformation of our society, world and universe starts and ends with the transformation of ourselves… and in this way to co-create with others and Spirit a person, a community, a civilization, a planet and a cosmos that are whole and harmonious.” ~ Malcolm Hollick and learn from one another.” Another successful initiative, Building a Healthier Chicago (BHC), brings together the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Office of the Regional Health Administrator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Chicago Medical Society and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. The BHC agribusiness project develops and maintains a system of more accessible food supply, distribution and markets where people live, work, play, pray and learn. Neighbors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, organized park cleanups with the long-range goal of replacing crime and litter with learning. Now, Riverside Park, once an area of urban blight, has

both a college-level field research station and grade school outdoor classroom, offering innovative school, adult and community programs operated by the Urban Ecology Center (UEC). Programs serve 44 schools and have spawned two branches in Washington Park and Menomonee Valley to serve residents in those areas. The UEC’s latest project, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, the River Revitalization Foundation, Milwaukee County Parks, private businesses and local landowners, is an arboretum that will protect and restore 40 acres of land for native species and wildlife habitat along the Milwaukee River. “With the creation of the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, southeastern Wisconsin has a new, biologically diverse space for growing future environmental stewards,” says UEC Executive Director Ken Leinbach. He particularly likes creating spaces and resources that give people that wouldn’t normally connect a place to bump into one another.

Expanding Worldview College settings are similarly intended to encourage stimulating and expansive dialogue among diverse populations. At Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley, Massachusetts, recent environmental study grads Dana Rubin and Hannah Blackmer met Frances Moore Lappé when she visited to share the message of her book EcoMind: Chang

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December 2012


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“What you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” ~ Desmond Tutu ing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want. As a result, the pair embraced the need to shift their view of the world away from looming negatives to focus on creating positive connections and meaningful relationships that recognize life’s interdependence and fuel constructive change. After more research, the duo built a simple website named Convenient and created a blog before commencing a coast-to-coast, 100-day, solutions-oriented journey last summer. They posted nearly 30 “webisodes” of heartfelt interactions with individuals and organizations with stories to tell, like the group at 2100 Lakeside Emergency Men’s Shelter, in Cleveland, Ohio, that is using small-scale, practical and cost-effective solutions to lessen their impact on the environment. “The personal stories we heard affirm what we learned from Frances—that it’s possible to locally solve global problems together,” advise the sojourners, who travel in a grease-powered car. “Learn to think beyond negative thought traps that engender fear,” advises Lappé. “Thinking, ‘There isn’t enough to go around, so I have to grab what I can now,’ for instance, focuses on separateness and lack, which is precisely what got us into the state we are in.”

Starting Within A big-picture, more-whole-systems perspective forms naturally when individuals come together to explore the power of building intentional coherence. The Art of Hosting (and convening conversations that matter), World Café, Vistar Method for Circles and OpenSpace collaborations leverage technology for the practice of mindfulness to foster deeper connections, authentic conversations and outside-the-box ideas, all contributing to a more enlightened collective intelligence.

One’s own new world perspective can even emerge as a result of a dark night of the soul, as Patricia Ariadne, Ph.D., author of Drinking the Dragon, has observed with clients that have undergone a personal metamorphosis as a result of the economic downturn. “Often, the entire process of transformation indicates a spiritual initiation— a renewal or rebirth—that acts as an induction into a level of expanded consciousness and new relationship with Spirit,” remarks Ariadne. “True spiritual progress inevitably leads to a desire to be of greater service to others, to go from ‘Me to We,’ which I believe is our mandate for the 21st century.” Living mindfully can literally change our brains, states Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., in the introduction to A Mindful Nation, by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, which reports on the supporting science. “Mindfulness… can improve our capacity for perspective taking and decision making, and enhance our emotional intelligence and our ability to act with clarity and wisdom, alone and in concert with others.” Kabat-Zinn is the founding director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester. “A peaceful revolution is being led by ordinary citizens across our nation,” confirms Ryan. “At the core of it is mindfulness—finding ways to slow the mind, pay attention to the present moment and see how you are connected to others and can work in a spirit of cooperation to get things done.” The inner impulse to recognize the deeper unity of all life and sense the

“My experience has convinced me that fixing the many problems that beset us requires nothing less than ripping up our rulebook and starting afresh, based on something other than every man for himself.” ~ Lynne McTaggart

reality of Oneness is bubbling up within individuals, small groups and organizations, and finding expression in writings and teachings, according to Barbara Marx Hubbard, author of Birth 2012 and Beyond: Humanity’s Great Shift to the Age of Conscious Evolution. Individuals that feel compelled to join with others in expanding their consciousness to help foster systemic change and a culture of a higher order are invited to find a compatible group. Hubbard offers webcast training for Agents of Conscious Evolution (ACE), now 3,000 members strong; Craig Hamilton, founder of Integral Enlightenment, provides an online telecourse called Awakening to an Evolutionary Relationship to Life. “Evolutionaries sense that we are facing a critical moment in the unfolding of our human story and feel called to create pathways to a better future,” says Hamilton. He notes that the 35,000 participants in his most recent introduction to his webcast were interested in where they could find a supportive community of kindred spirits committed to living life on the same level. He states, “We instinctively know that we can accomplish more together.” A partnership with The Shift Network, which empowers a global movement of those intent on creating an evolutionary shift in consciousness, has enabled Hubbard, a featured sage in the documentary Awaken Soul to Soul, and her ACEs to launch a global initiative to mark the inauguration of a sustainable planetary civilization on December 22. Thousands of individuals are now working in collective hubs across the United States to prepare for the Planetary Birth Day celebration. An initial concern for many individuals seeking to experience Oneness is, “What happens to my identity?” Christopher M. Bache, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the department of philosophy and religious studies at Youngstown State University, in Ohio, reassures us that within the matrix of connectivity, individuality is not suffocated, but paradoxically liberated into deeper forms of self-expression. “While opening to the collective fields that surround us melts the boundaries of the private ego, bringing about the ‘death of self’ noted in spiritual literature, as the ego dies, a deeper form

The Global Birth Day of a New Humanity December 22, 2012 – Join the Conscious Evolution of individuality is born—not an isolated individuality, but one that thrives in subtle give-and-take,” explains the author of The Living Classroom: Teaching and Collective Consciousness. While the idea of a future in which American and other cultures reflect oneness can seem distant and idealistic, it is already present in South Africa’s Xhosa community in the form of Ubuntu, a worldview which means, “I am what I am because of who we all are.” According to South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, Ubuntu iterates the essence of being human and speaks to the fact that it’s impossible to exist as human beings in isolation. We are people through other people. “We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected, and what you do affects the whole world,” he observes. “When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. For more information and in-depth interviews on It’s All About We, visit

natural awakenings

December 2012




Mindful Holiday Traditions Simple Ways to Add Meaning and Family-Centered Fun by Barbara Amrhein

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oo many winter holidays whiz by in a blur of presents, parties and rich foods, muting the season’s true messages of love, hope and peace. By slowing down and refocusing on what makes this time of year so special, we can help our children—and ourselves—create fresh, meaningful traditions and experience genuine joy. “If the spirit of the season at your home is more ‘Gimme, take me, buy me,’ instead of ‘Deck the halls,’ don’t despair,” advises internationally renowned educator and child expert Michele Borba, Ph.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions:101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries. “There are more subtle ways to encourage your kids to appreciate the greatest gifts of the holiday season. The simplest way is to focus on gifts of the heart and letting your kids be participants, not just recipients.” Try these tips for helping youngsters co-create traditions that celebrate family, friends, sharing with others and the holidays’ festive delights. Emphasize experiences, not things. Presents can never take the place of presence. Years from now, children will rarely recall what they unwrapped, but will remember special times spent together as a family. Take a nature walk to collect pinecones and other seasonal items for holiday décor. Designate a Family Night and let the kids choose the activity, like seeing a movie or a holiday performance such as The Nutcracker, playing a favorite board game or building a gingerbread house. At dinner, ask youngsters to relate their favorite holiday memories, and then build upon their responses to plan this year’s celebrations.

Treat cards as treasured gifts. Gather the family ‘round when opening cards from others, catching up on their news and recalling funny or enjoyable shared moments. Skype calls and videos offer pleasurable immediacy while mailed cards become an appreciated, permanent memento. Encourage children to create handmade or personalized cards for grandparents and other relatives, enclosing photos or drawings and a short note describing the reasons that person means so much to them. Hand deliver other cards to neighbors, accompanied by a plate of homemade, healthy treats. Children can also send cards to military personnel overseas via a Red Cross program at Practice creative giving. Adopt a less fortunate family or child for the holidays (local churches or social service agencies can provide information)

and ask youngsters to be “Santa’s little helpers” by picking out and thoughtfully wrapping books, toys and other gifts. Help children research good causes and earmark a small amount of money for them to gift to the cause of their choice, such as an animal shelter or other local nonprofit. Honor the gift of time, as well: Youngsters that spend a few hours helping out at a food pantry, caroling at a nursing home or wrapping gifts for Toys for Tots will experience and remember the true joy of giving. Nurture a sense of the spiritual. Worship services aren’t the only venue for sharing family values and beliefs with children. On the night of the Winter Solstice, December 21—the shortest day and longest night of the year—enjoy dinner by candlelight. Afterwards, stargaze in the backyard and make some holiday wishes. On another evening, turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree, menorah or other special candles and talk quietly about your blessings. Listening to a CD of carols from around the world reinforces a spirit of unity and invites lively discussions about how other cultures observe their holidays. Celebrate the season’s sights, sounds and fun. Ask children to help choose a tree and make or buy an ornament with special meaning for them. Then join in an informal decorating party with holiday tunes (kids get to choose some favorites), cocoa and cookies. Set aside an evening to walk or drive around the neighborhood to admire holiday lights and displays. Those in northern climes can build a family snowman, forge a “snow angel” chain in the yard or go sledding at an area park. As a fun twist on traditional caroling, grab some kazoos and go humming with the kids and their friends. To capture these great holiday moments, ask each child to take turns as the official family photographer. Borba believes these types of shared experiences help children understand the true meaning of the season and bring back the heartfelt joy it represents. “In the end,” she advises, “remember that the holidays are really meant to be about love, togetherness and wonderful memories.”

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inspiration A Positive Attitude for Positive Health by Julie Reynolds


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

oming off from the Thanksgiving holiday, practicing gratitude on a daily basis may be easier said than done. However, with the proper resources, a little skill and the simple drive and desire to be happier it can be done, and over time the results from practicing gratitude can be life changing. Imagine your absolute worst day at work. There are two ways you can handle that day. You can focus on everything that goes wrong, or you focus on positive things – anything you can think of. It doesn’t even have to be something good at the office. It can be something good at home, the weather, the weekend plans or a bill of good health from the doctor. The priorities of life’s important pieces jump to the forefront of your mind rather than remaining hidden behind negative thoughts, and your attitude slowly begins to change. Over time, thinking this way can create a pattern of positive thinking. The topic of being positive is one that is discussed by doctors, psychologists, religious leaders and natural healers in many parts of the world. Much research has been done on the subject, possibly because the simple act of recalling what has been good makes for a healthier, happier individual. Negative attitudes tend to bring people down, cause stress, ulcers, lack of enjoyment and much more. Positive attitudes, however, tend to bring people up, decrease stress and provide various health benefits. Being optimistic and positive comes naturally for some people, but unfortunately, not for everyone. Circumstances are tough these days, and it is far too easy to sit back and complain. It is much more difficult to overlook the tough parts and find that glimmer of sunshine. Getting started in this is the hardest part, but a simple change of attitude can make a big difference in the long-run. Robert Emmons, teacher and researcher at the University of California, is considered to be the world’s leading researcher on the science of gratitude and has studied this topic for over a decade. Through his studies and research, he has found there to be significant physical, psychological and social benefits for those who practice gratitude. Some of the benefits found in the studies are: stronger immune systems, higher levels of positive emotions, alertness, feelings of forgiveness and less aches and pains. You can find more information on Robert Emmons and his studies at Gretchen Rubin, a Yale University graduate, is an influential writer on the topic of happiness. Rubin suggests that people use reminders to help them with feeling thankful. When times are tough, take a moment to think about just one or two things – even small things – for which to be thankful. Keep a journal or a list in the car of reasons to be happy. Start small and build from that foundation. Maybe it starts with something such as being thankful for making it to work safely or enjoying the fact that the sun is shining outside. Over time, the list will grow and can be revisited on those low or depressing days. For more tips and advice on ways to be happier and healthier, visit Rubin’s website at The next time life gets a bit rough, pause for a moment to think of something small to be thankful for. This may take practice and it may be difficult to do all the time, but the goal is to create a pattern of positivity, which increases happy feelings. Find someone to thank every day. It will not only help you in your own life, but it will add to the happiness of others while setting a good example at the same time. Make this a family resolution and help each other through it. However you decide to do it, make it your own and make it work in your life.

- Dalai Lama

Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings. She lives in the Muskegon area with her family and works as a real estate agent for Greenridge Realty and also as substitute teacher.

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December 2012



organic and gluten-free. Also, FeverTree mixers (tonic water, bitter lemon, ginger ale and ginger beer) are all natural—again, not all sugar free—and amazing. Organic or fresh-squeezed fruit juices also make good mixers. Monin has a sugar-free pomegranate syrup that can substitute for grenadine.”

Gluten-Free Spirits, Wine and Beer

HOLIDAY CHEER Special Drinks Help Make a Party Memorable by Judith Fertig


his year, glassMusician Dave Matthews’ Spirits and the Woodinville Whises of choice Dreaming Tree wines of key Company.” holiday cheer might help everyone Sonoma County, California, feel jollier the mornOrganic tout lighter bottles for a ing after, as well as Wines and during festive getsmaller carbon footprint, Bubbly togethers. As party labels made of 100 per- “Much like spirits,” hosts or guests, we Rathbun says, “you can stock or bring cent recycled paper and may have to do gluten-free beversustainably grown corks. some research on ages and organic wines and sparspirits, wines, mixers He recently partnered with kling wines, and and cocktails that then find the finest The Wilderness Society. avoid sugary syrups organic options to help keep our “fain your area.” Some good choices for la-la” spirit going stronger and longer. organic wines include Nuova Cappel Leave it to award-winning author letta, from Italy’s Piedmont region and A.J. Rathbun, a Seattle-based wine and Snoqualmie wines from Washington spirits expert, to steer us away from State. Also, the Organic Wine Company ingredients that can turn naughty on of San Francisco imports a variety of orthose that are nice. He leads us off with ganically produced French Languedoc some of his favorite beverages. wines. For a sparkling wine, Rathbun suggests La Cantina Pizzolato’s prosecOrganic Spirits co, produced in Italy’s Vento region. In the category of organic spirits, Rathbun likes Square One organic vodka, Organic and Low-Sugar Casa Noble tequila and Juniper gin. “Also, if you can find their products,” Mixers he advises, “great organic and sustainKeeping the artificial ingredients to a ably made spirit-makers from the state of minimum in mixers is important, too. “I Washington include Bainbridge Organic strongly suggest Rachel’s Ginger Beer,” Distillery, Side Track Distillery, Sound says Rathbun. “It’s not sugar-free, but is


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Rathbun found that small-batch distillers that use local and organic ingredients assure customers that they’re getting the real thing, with no unwanted extras. Koval, in Chicago, for instance, offers a naturally gluten-free millet whiskey that’s distilled from organic grain, and then aged in oak barrels made in Minnesota, deemed free of even trace amounts of gluten. Other gluten-free alcoholic beverages can include wines, vodka, tequila, brandy, bourbon and scotch. By contacting the maker or company directly, gluten-free fans can find out more about their beverage of choice. Captain Morgan’s spiced rum, for example, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau permit to be designated as glutenfree, is not labeled as such on the bottle. Gluten-free beers are appropriately labeled and include Sapporo, a Japanese beer brewed from rice; Green’s, a British beer made from a blend of sorghum, buckwheat, millet and brown rice; and O’Brien’s, an Australian beer using a blend of sorghum, millet and rice. Gluten-free beer lovers can also check locally for micro-brewed options.

Crafting a Holiday Cocktail

Signature cocktails have become a holiday specialty of Andrea Currie, who recently appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Craft Wars. “A cocktail is kind of like a dessert,” says the San Diego, California, creativity specialist. “You don’t have one every day, and when you do have one, you want it to be really, really good.” Moreover, she adds, “When you make cocktails by hand, you get to control the ingredients.” Currie blogs and crafts at Hand, with her husband, Cliff. His becoming gluten-free three years ago prompted her to develop her

gluten-free Mistletoe Mojito, using rum distilled from sugar cane, rather than grain. Pear juice, fresh strawberries and mint combine for a fresh-tasting and festive concoction. Signature cocktails can build excitement for holiday get-togethers, notes Rathbun. “Plan on serving only two or three signature drinks, plus having wine, beer and a nice non-

alcoholic option,” he suggests. “If you start mentioning these drinks on the invitations to whet people’s appetites, you give your celebration more personality from the get-go and help ensure a memorable holiday party.” Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood


“The best, and most simple, way to have better cocktails is to use fresh juice,” says author A.J. Rathbun. This recipe is adapted from his Champagne Cocktails. Yields 4 servings 6 oz (4 jiggers) white grape juice, preferably organic Chilled prosecco, preferably organic Frozen green or red grapes, preferably organic 1. Pour 1½ oz (1 jigger) of the grape juice into each of four flute glasses. 2. Fill glasses almost to the top with prosecco. Carefully drop one or two grapes into each glass and serve. Variation: Change the white grape juice to strawberry juice or strawberry purée and garnish with a fresh (not frozen) strawberry instead of a grape, to transform this into a Rossini.

Gluten-Free Mistletoe Mojitos

Andrea Currie developed this signature holiday cocktail for gluten-free celebrants. Currie recommends using natural pear juice, found bottled at health food markets. Yields 2 servings 3 large mint leaves 2 fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

3 oz (two jiggers) spiced rum 4 oz (½ cup) pear juice or nectar Ice for cocktail glasses Splash of carbonated lemon-lime beverage Slices of fresh pear and mint sprigs for garnish


1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint and strawberries with rum, using a wooden muddler or a wooden spoon. 2. Add the pear juice and shake. 3. Pour into cocktail glasses filled with ice and add a splash of carbonated lemon-lime beverage.

Organic Royale

Chicago’s Koval distillery advises that if kobuso juice, made from a Japanese citrus, isn’t available, just squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice to taste. Yields 1 serving 4 oz chilled organic hard cider ½ oz chilled Koval Organic Chrysanthemum-Honey Liqueur ½ oz chilled Yakami Orchard Single Orchard Kobuso Juice 5 drops bitters 1. In a chilled champagne flute, combine the chilled chrysanthemum-honey liqueur and the chilled kobuso juice, then top if off with hard cider. 2. Add drops of some favorite bitters. 3. Stir and serve.

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December 2012



A Cornucopia of Delicious Treats


here’s nothing so comforting as the scent and taste of home-baked treats. To fill a home with cheer, try these delectably healthy recipes. Some are gluten-free, others pack less butter and sweeteners (thus fewer calories) than their typical counterparts, and a few are vegan (containing no animal products, including honey). All are perfect for holiday celebrations, hostess gifts or exchanges.

Gluten-Free Apricot Scones

These scones freeze well and taste even better the next day, warmed for 30 seconds in a microwave. Serve with apricot jam or honey. Yields 8 servings (342 calories per serving)

1½ cups brown rice flour ½ cup tapioca flour 1 /3 cup potato starch 2½ tsp baking powder 2½ tsp xanthan gum ¼ cup natural cane sugar ½ tsp salt ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed 5 eggs (divided) ½ cup plus 1–2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt ¾ cups dried apricots, finely chopped ½ tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp almond extract 1 Tbsp water ¼ cup turbinado sugar 36

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Preheat oven to 350° F. Sift together first 7 ingredients (brown rice flour through salt). Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, yogurt, apricots and extracts. Add to flour-butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Dust work surface with brown rice flour. Turn out scone mixture and pat into a nine-by-nine-inch square. Cut scones into desired shape or use a biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Whisk remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water; brush mixture over scones. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Apple-Walnut Coffee Cake

Here’s a favorite yummy treat for festive brunches. Guests and family will never guess that this decadent indulgence contains much less butter and sugar than a typical coffee cake. Yields 16 servings (239 calories per serving) ¼ cup light brown sugar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2¼ cups whole-wheat pastry flour (divided)

photos by Stephen Blancett

¼ cup (½ stick) cold unsalted butter ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature 1 cup maple sugar 2 eggs ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp low-fat buttermilk (1 percent) 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 2 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced ½ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter pan sides and top of parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and ¼ cup flour. Cut in ¼ cup cold butter until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles a streusel topping. Refrigerate until ready to use. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together ½ cup room-temperature butter and maple sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until fully incorporated. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla. Sift remaining 2 cups flour, baking soda and salt into egg-butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool before releasing from pan.

Vegan Trail-Mix Cookies

These crunchy-chewy cookies are perfect for snowshoe hikes or cross-country ski trips. Yields 36 servings (135 calories per serving) ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour 1 cup carrot, shredded 1½ cups unsweetened coconut, shredded 1½ cups natural cane sugar 1½ cups rolled oats 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt ½ cup water ½ cup canola oil 1 Tbsp vanilla extract 1 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted 1 cup cherries, dried Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix together flours, carrot, coconut, sugar, oats, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together water, oil and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry. Mix to combine. Fold in chocolate chips, pecans and cherries. Scoop batter by 2 tablespoons each onto a baking sheet, pushing in any stray pieces. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool for 2 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.

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December 2012


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December 2012



Unexpected Upside Media Gadgets Can Boost Family Connections by Lisa Marshall


itness a gadget-obsessed family at the dinner table and it is easy to conclude that technology is fracturing family life: Mom’s emailing her boss; Dad’s watching a YouTube video on his tablet; sister’s texting her boyfriend; and little brother is playing Angry Birds on his smart phone.


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No one is talking with each other. But dysfunctional dinner habits aside, it appears cell and Internet technologies haven’t turned out to be as harmful as once predicted. “When we started this research, the dominant thought was that Internet technology would make us lonely, so-

cially isolated and threaten our family lives,” says Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. “We have been asking people about this now for 12 years in our surveys and the dominant answer is ‘Actually, we feel more connected with our families than we did before.’” Web-conferencing systems like Skype have enabled family members across the globe to chat for free and also see each other. Social networking sites like Facebook have enabled previously out-of-touch siblings to share photos and revive contact. According to Pew studies since 2008, cell phones have led married couples to talk more during the day and parents to maintain more open lines of communication with their kids. “There always seems to be anxiety in raising a teen, and now a lot of that can be alleviated,” says Larry Rosen, Ph.D., a research psychologist at California State University and author of Me, MySpace, and I: Parenting the Net Generation. “A scared mom or dad can text their kid, saying ‘R U OK?’ and get a one-word answer back, whereas before that kid would have had to find a pay phone, maybe wouldn’t have done it and Mom and Dad would have panicked.” Rosen’s own research suggests that social networking can actually teach teens to be more empathetic, a trait that enhances their bonds with family members. For example, a cousin will post on Facebook that her cat died, then the

teen responds warmly and their bond tightens. The teen gains empathy useful in face-to-face experiences. “Research from the Pew Center has shown that active social networkers tend to have more friends and support and be more involved with their communities and families,” Rainie maintains, while cautionary studies from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest that kids unhealthily obsessed with media tend to have lower grades and get into trouble at school. Overall, according to a 2011 study by the Barna Group, a Ventura, California, research firm, 32 percent of parents and 47 percent of teens say technology has made their family life better, while 18 percent of parents and 6 percent of teens say it has worsened, because the news is not all good. Consider how, instead of sitting down to watch a show together, family members often are in a room or vehicle watching their own show on their own tiny screen. “People miss social moments around them because they are communicating with the network inside the screen, rather than the world immediately surrounding them,” says Rainie. (On the flip side, Rainie notes, families often share those moments with each other, too, like a funny YouTube video or a picture on Facebook.) Rosen cautions that the smart phone could be a pivotal game-changer if consumers aren’t careful. “We are already finding that most people under the age of 40 check their phones every 15 minutes or less, and if they can’t, they become highly anxious. Their whole social world appears channeled through

this device, and that is worrisome.” Both Rosen and Rainie stress that the key to making any technology a positive for family dynamics is to set rules at the outset and know when to unplug. Here are some guidelines to consider. Cell phones. Everyone can check their phone messages before dinner and then power it down while the family is eating. Don’t use phones in bed, or in the hour before sleeping, which can be particularly detrimental to a teen’s rest, Rosen’s research shows. Facebook. “When your child says, ‘All of my friends are on Facebook and I feel left out,’ that is probably the time to let them join Facebook,” advises Rosen. Reserve the right to look at their page periodically with them. Each parent and child pair can decide if they should “friend” each other, but don’t assume that gives a parent a backstage pass to the child’s personal life. Pew reports that 80 percent of parents whose children use social media have friended their child. However, “Insisting that your child friend you on Facebook is often an invitation for them to set up a phantom, or fake page,” notes Rosen. Smart phones and tablets. Set specific times to ban technology. “As couples, we used to retire to bed at night and watch TV and talk. Now we watch TV, check our phone and play Words with Friends games, and that has taken the place of intimate communication.” It helps to set specific times to check the phone and leave it off for big chunks of time. Lisa Marshall is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings.

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n Kids ages 8 to 18 spend seven hours, 38 minutes per day with media, including video, TV, music and the Internet n 77 percent of teens own cell phones; 35 percent of adults own a smart phone n 38 percent of cell phone owners use it during TV commercials n 13 percent of cell phone owners say they have used their phone to avoid interacting with people Sources: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project; Kaiser Family Foundation natural awakenings

December 2012


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All Month Long

10% Off Books- 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Throughout the month of December get 10% off select book titles. Get started on your Christmas shopping early by shopping local for books on natural health at Elder and Sage, 944 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids. 50% off Hot Stone Massage- Receive a one hour therapeutic or relaxation full body hot stone massage with therapeutic essential oils for just $50.00 at Hands on Healing Professional Massage Therapy LLC during the month of December. 5286 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Heal Your Life 10 week course- Nov 20-March 5th. Teachings based on the philosophy of Louise L. Hay. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 East Beltline Court, Grand Rapids. Call Katrina for more information, 269-214-4432.

Saturday, December 1

Restorative Yoga Immersion with Carolyn Heines- 12:00 – 2:00 pm. A soothing practice of supported and modified poses and breathing awareness to take us to deeper levels of relaxation. $30. All are welcome. Advance registration advised. 616 776-0836. 955 Cherry SE, Grand Rapids.

Sunday, December 2

Yoga Partners and Pastries- 3:00-5:00 pm. Take a little time out of this busy holiday season and spend it with each other. Partner-tailored poses, capped off with a post-yoga treat from the Village Baker. Reservations required, call On the Path Yoga at 616-935-7028. 617 E. Savidge Street, Spring Lake.

Monday, December 3

Guided Meditation and Healing Circle - 7:45-8:45 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in Americatrained healers. Costs $5. Satya Yoga, 166 Butler St., Saugatuck. Student Special Week- Dec. 3-7. Are you a student that is experiencing regular back pain? Schafer Chiropractic and Healing Spa is offering a week long special for students. Receive an exam and x-rays during the week of December 3rd for FREE! Call now to schedule your appointment! 616-301-3000. Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, December 4

Learn Trigger Point Massage- 6:00pm. Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS will help workshop participants learn all about Trigger Point Massage. Seating is limited to the first 30 callers. RSVP today by calling 616-447-9888. 4150 East Beltline Suite #4, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, December 5

A Course In Miracles Study Group- 6:00pm. Study group at Unity of Muskegon. 2052 Bourdon Street, Muskegon. Call 231-759-7356 for more information.

how to free your body and your mind will follow. Come and be danced by the funky world beat music mixing genres & instruments from around the world. 1110 Wealthy, Grand Rapids. 616-754-9672.

Saturday, December 15 Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7:00-8:00 pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-trained healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.

Yoga 101- 10:30 am-12:30 pm. This workshop welcomes you to the space, offer tips and guidelines so you will feel comfortable in ongoing classes, and gets your yoga practice started. $39 cost includes two weeks of unlimited yoga after the workshop. Register at or by calling 616-745-0310. PeaceLab Yoga, Grandville.

Thursday, December 6

Wednesday, December 19

UpTown Shop Hop- 4:00-6:00 pm. Stop by Elder & Sage for free refreshments and our old-fashioned Christmas atmosphere. Kids can take a break in our playroom while parents gather bulk herbs, teas and essential oils for that personal touch to your giftgiving season. 944 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids.

Friday, December 7

Healthseekers Free Class- 6:15-7:15pm. There is a high level of vitality and healing beyond the absence of pain. Find out how homeopathy & chiropractic are a perfect fit, restoring balance & optimizing functioning of your entire system down to the cellular--and vibrational--level. 231-670-0179. Muskegon.

Saturday, December 8

Open Your Heart: Backbend Workshop- 10:30 am12:30 pm. Unlock tension and tightness in order to develop and deepen the backbending practice. Suitable for all levels. Costs $29. PeaceLab Yoga, Grandville. Call 616-745-0310 for more information. Herbal Sweets for the Holiday- 1:00-3:00 pm. Make Icebox Shortbread, Healthy Herbal Truffles, and Rosemary Fudge. Then wash it down with Spiced Hot Chocolate. A recipe sheet is included along with gift wrapping ideas. Costs $20. Birds of a Feather, 5286 Plainfield N.E. Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, December 11

Twelve Days of Christmas- Receive Daily specials at Holistic Care Approach in the 12 days before Christmas. See our website for details. 3368 Beltline Ct NE, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday, December 12

Eckhart Tolle Meditation Group- 12:00-1:00 pm. Take time out for peace in the middle of your week. Enjoy 20 min. of silent meditation then 30 min. of an Eckhart Tolle DVD. This group, facilitated by Patrick Duiven, is informal. Newcomers welcome. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE., Grand Rapids. Eat, Pray, & Learn at FSC – 6:00-9:00 pm. Bring a meatless dish to share at the potluck supper. Participate in worship where we will share poems, songs or stories. Explore spirituality and the ways we grow in spirit at all ages. Family friendly with childcare and beverages provided. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids.

Thursday, December 13

A Course In Miracles Study Group- 6:00 pm. Study group at Unity of Muskegon. 2052 Bourdon Street, Muskegon. Call 231-759-7356 for more information. Intro to GAPS- 6:00 pm. The Gut & Psychology/ Physiology Syndrome (GAPS), describes the connection between physical and mental health and the health of our digestive tract and the micro-organisms contained within it. Naturopathic Doctor and Certified GAPS Practitioner, Kathryn Doran-Fisher will speak on this topic. Cost is $3. 944 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids. Winter Solstice Celebration- 6:30-9:00 pm. Join Lisa W. Lee in celebration of the 2012 Winter Solstice. Experience a special ceremony, receive a solstice ceremony kit, and enjoy refreshments in community with like-minded individuals. See Spring Lake.

Saturday, December 22

108 Sun Salutations- 9:00 am - 12:00 pm. The longest night is over and we welcome (and encourage) the lengthening of days through a practice of completing 108 Sun Salutations. Come for all or part. FREE! Drop-ins welcome. On the Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge Street, Spring Lake.

Monday, December 24

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- 7:00 pm. An uplifting evening to remember reverence and beauty. As you light your candle, and re-hear the Christmas message, your heart will glow with love and peace. Join us to experience the birth of the Christ presence within. Unity of Grand Rapids 1711 Walker Ave, Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, December 25

Christmas Satsanga and Meditation-10:15 am. A gathering with Mata Yogananda’s Christmas Message and Blessing, all are warmly welcomed. No charge. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath, 517-641-6201 by the 24th.

Thursday, December 27

Dancing From Within for Women- 6:00 - 6:45 pm. Free your true spirit and ignite your vitality. Learn how to free your body and your mind will follow. Come and be danced by the funky world beat music mixing genres & instruments from around the world. 1110 Wealthy, Grand Rapids. 616-754-9672.

Dancing From Within for Women- 6:00 - 6:45 pm. Free your true spirit and ignite your vitality. Learn

natural awakenings

December 2012


Healthseekers Free Class- 6:15-7:15pm. There is a high level of vitality and healing beyond the absence of pain. Find out how homeopathy & chiropractic are a perfect fit, restoring balance & optimizing functioning of your entire system down to the cellular--and vibrational--level. 231670-0179. Muskegon.

Sunday, December 30

Zoo Zen Yoga- 2:00-3:00 pm. Our children’s program is a kid-friendly yoga class that focuses on--you guessed it--Animal Asanas! Cut loose your little monkeys and let them participate in a non-competitive movement class that is also fun. On the Path Yoga, 617 E. Savidge Street, Spring Lake. End of 2012 Restorative Yoga- 3:30-5:00 pm. Say “goodbye” to the year by releasing the past with a meditative practice suitable to all levels of ability. FREE. Reservations required, call On the Path Yoga at 616-935-7028. 617 E. Savidge Street, Spring Lake.

Monday, December 31

New Year’s Eve Burning Bowl Service- 7:00 pm. Join us for this service offering the opportunity to release what no longer serves us and make way for new divine ideas. Create a fresh start of hopes and desires for the New Year. Unity of Grand Rapids 1711 Walker Ave, Grand Rapids. New Year’s Retreat- Celebrate with quiet time, meditation and introspection. $75 includes shared room lodging, delicious, home-cooked vegetarian meals 31st lunch - 1st lunch. NAN discount on retreats. Private room available. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath. 517-641-6201, www.

savethedate January 11-12, 2013 Living Well Grand Rapids- Friday 12:00-8:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am-8:00 pm. A health and fitness show where you can visit vendor booths, join in an exercise demonstration, try some locally grown healthy food, speak with a health counselor, take advantage of health screenings or attend a seminar enhancing your journey to a healthy balanced life. DeVos Place, Grand Rapids. Visit for more information.

savethedate January 27-28, 2013 Cupping as a Massage Modality- 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Learn this natural technique that compliments the therapeutic benefits of massage as well as cupping on the face, a great enhancement to any massage. All equipment needed for class except sheets are supplied during class - 16 CE’s. NCBTMB. $250, early bird $210. http:// 616-791-0472.


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Sunday Worship- 10:30 am. A warm, welcoming spiritual community, inclusive and accepting of all, honoring diversity, for those who are seeking spiritual truth. Minister: Rev. Jennifer Sacks. Nursery and youth education provided. www.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit


A Course in Miracles Class- 6:00-8:00 pm. With Cindy Barry. Free will offering. The Healing Center. Lakeview. TheHealingCenterOfLakeview. com. 989-352-6500.

$30 Off BioMeridian Assessments- State-of-theart profiling and tracking of all 58 meridians in the body with take-home computer generated results to assess progress. Grand Rapids. 616-365-9176. For more info visit

Pilates at The Well Being- 6:00-7:00 pm. Build strength, endurance and flexibility throughout your body while learning proper breathing techniques which help to decrease stress. $10 per class. Equipment provided. Drop-ins welcome. 616-458-6870.

Hatha Vinyasa- 6:00 – 7:00 am. Classes focus on alignment of asana as well as cultivating balance within your life. Costs $10-17 per class. Seva Yoga, Grand Rapids. Gentle Yoga- 12:00 pm. An easy and relaxing class, ideal for students who are rehabilitating from illness or an injury or those with chronic symptoms. Also available Wednesdays at 10:00 am. Seva Yoga, Grand Rapids.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459:00 am & 9:15-10:30 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. On Being a Spirit having a Physical Experience6:30 pm. 2nd & 4th Tuesdays. From the Shamanic Teachings of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Path w/ Marie Moon Star Seeker. $10. Owl Hawk Clan. Open Mind in Rockford. 616-447-0128. Empathy Emporium- 6:30-8:30 pm. Learn compassionate communications and how judgments can trip us up and observations can reveal the truth. Unity of Grand Rapids 1711 Walker Ave, Grand Rapids. Kripalu Yoga- 7:00 pm. Experienced or beginners welcome. Breath awareness, warm up, yoga postures, relaxation and meditation. $12 drop in or $60 for 6 classes. Sanative Tranquility, Grand Rapids. 616-791-0472. Mystic Angel Classes- 7:00-8:30 pm. With Denise Iwanwi. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500.

Thursday Spiritual Classes- 6:00-7:30 pm. Astrology, numerology, tarot, etc with Gail Brumeister. $15.00. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500. Oils Classes- 6:30-8:00 pm. Every 3rd Thursday with Barb Huttinga. The Healing Center. Lakeview. 989-352-6500.

Friday Village Farmers Market- 1:00-7:00 pm. Buy fresh & local from producers that utilize organic farming practices -eggs, meats, cheese, fruits & vegetables, organic Michigan milk and more. Please visit us on Facebook. Spring Lake. 616-935-7312.

Saturday Kripalu Yoga- 8:30 am. Experienced or beginners welcome. Breath awareness, warm up, yoga postures, relaxation and meditation. $12 drop in or $60 for 6 classes. Sanative Tranquility, Grand Rapids. 616-791-0472. Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 9:0010:15 am & 10:30-11:45 am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9:00 am-1:00 pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are indoors if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market! Hesperia. 231-861-2234.


cOlon hydrotherapy

...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

BODY CARE PRODUCTS MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings NW Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-735-1285

•Body & Comfort Care products made naturally since 1998 •Essential Oil Blending & Consulting •Bulk herbs, oils, etc. by the ounce •Candles, Spa accessories, Unique gifts •Reference Library •Practitioner discounts •Workspace Rental & Consignment. See ad page 6.

SÉRENDIPITÉ ORGANIQUES, LLC Teri Kelley- Owner 944 Cherry St SE Grand Rapids, 49506 616-419-8115

The only retail location in Michigan to exclusively carry organic, non-toxic products scoring ‘Low Hazard, 0-2’ on skindeep! Product lines are Zum Clean, Face Naturals, Rejuva Minerals Makeup, Elemental Herbs Sunscreen, and Sappho Organic Cosmetics.


Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix Energetics Practitioner, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad page 37.

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members.



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 7.


Kyle Hass Licensed Residential Home Builder 616-299-5815

Locally owned and operated. Specializing in building quality livable and affordable new homes that are Energy Efficient and utilize Green Building practices. Unmatched efficiencies and uncompromising quality. Call today for a fee quote. See ad page 31.


Natural Health & Healing Center 723 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids 49546 616-481-9074 Offering an advanced clientcentered dimension of colonics: gentle, safe and effective. Eliminate toxins and enhance well-being. 16 years of experience. Also offering Quantum Biofeedback sessions. I-ACT certified Instructor.

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

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


Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurances accepted. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad pages 32 & 39.

cOUNSELING THE WELL BEING LLC Behavioral Health and Fitness Center 616-458-6870

We provide counseling to individuals dealing with mental and emotional health issues. We utilize exercise as a research-based form of treatment, for a more holistic approach to mental health care.

dentistry / holistic DENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS CENTER

Dr. Kevin P. Flood DDS 616-974-4990


Clara VanderZouwen, NORWEX Consultant 616-698-6148 Imagine cleaning with only water! Improve the quality of your life with Norwex products by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. Save Time & Money.

natural awakenings

Comprehensive Holistic Dental Services – Amalgam Removal & Replacement. Bio-Compatible, metal-free materials, Low-Dose Digital X-Rays, Gentle Anesthesia, Dentistry for Diabetes, TMJ, Chronic Head & Neck pain and Non Surgical Perio. See ad page 48.

December 2012


energy healing




Elizabeth Cosmos Grand Rapids: 616-648-3354

Ama Deus® healing energy method is a hand mediated technique aligned with love. The energy helps to enhance one’s own and others growth and awareness or physical and emotional healing. See ad page 28.


534 Fountain NE Grand Rapids MI 49503 616-262-3848

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

health food stores

Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885


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


Joel D. Manning, CNC®, Owner 4693 Wilson Ave. SW Suite 1, Grandville 616-667-1346 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing.


Clara VanderZouwen 616-698-6148

Learn how to address issues of Pain, Stress, Hormone Imbalance, Weight Management, ADD, Allergies, Diabetes & more with Essential Oils, Ionic Foot Baths, BioEnergy scans, Nutritional & NEW Earthing products! Free monthly classes.


Grand Haven 616-846-3026 Muskegon 231-739-1568 North Muskegon 231-744-0852 Natural & organic foods, vitamins & herbs, sports nutrition, gluten free food, natural body and homecare products. Open 7 days a week. See ad page 37.

holistic health centers THE HEALING CENTER

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 See ad page 6.

Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 Affordable, natural approach to better health. Certified nutritional consultant with 22 years experience. Offering select, high quality vitamins, minerals, herbs, children’s products, essential oils, homeopathics, weight loss and more. Professional discounts and senior pricing.

WEST MICHIGAN PAIN MANAGEMENT THERAPY CENTER P.L.L.C. Herbert Schlichting M.S., CPT., OPT. 6745 E. Fulton, Suite A, Ada 616-706-6132

We offer various neuromuscular therapy treatments pertaining to acute or chronic condition. We o f f e r p h y s i c a l f i t n e s s training in our own facility. Our focus is to eliminate pain while educating patients own ways to prevent injuries.

homeopathy BOB HUTTINGA PA-C

332 S. Lincoln Ave, Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified Physician Assistant since 1976, specializing in naturopathic and homeopathic care, ApoE Gene Diet and Family care. Also, certified Silva Method instructor. We take most insurances. See ad page 18.

interior design services ALIGn DESIGN, llc

Shawn Merkel, ASID, IIDA 616-916-1071 Align your space to be a true reflection of who you are. Specializing in Wholistic design, repurposing and Feng Shui. Full service Residential and commercial Interior design. See ad page 14.

kinesiology WHOLISTIC KINESIOLOGY HEALTH SERVICES, LLC Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

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

Look for this symbol throughout Natural Awakenings for Natural Awakenings Network (NAN) providers offering savings to NAN members. 46

West Michigan Edition


Jaci Timmermans, MT 4072 Chicago Drive, Grandville, MI 49418 616-531-6050 I offer Swedish massage with Integrated Te c h n i q u e s , c h o s e n specifically to your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate! Call for ongoing monthly specials and discounts. www.


Sheri Beth Schafer, CMT, Ayurvedic Bodyworker, Reiki Master 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-301-3000 We have multiple certified massage therapists offering relaxation, prenatal, deep tissue massage, and medical massage. We also offer Reiki, chakra balancing, and Ayurvedic bodywork. Breton Village area. www.grchirospa. com. See ad page 32 & 39.


Grand Rapids, MI 801-557-2723 Experience simple, effortless techniques that allow you to move into a direct experience of inner peace, happiness and clear mental chatter with our free meditation meet up groups. Personal coaching, courses and weekend workshops available.


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.



Patrice Bobier 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.

Elizabeth Beau

Practical Peace is a catalyst for Spiritual Transformation. We offer weekend classes to help you move from ego-consciousness to Spiritual Awareness to become a more authentic “you”. For more information contact Barbra at

salon services CJ’S STUDIO SALON

5286 Plainfield Ave., NE Grand Rapids 49525 616-364-9191

I am an award winning Hair Stylist with 30 years Advanced Education. We use and sell Organic Hair Care Products, including Organic Hair Color. We also offer Ionic Detox Foot Baths.

school / education

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


0-11279 Tallmadge Woods Dr., Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-791-0472


State licensed school for massage and bodywork. High quality, affordable 6 month certification course with small class sizes. NCBTMB CE courses in Bamboo-Fusion®, cupping and more. Convenient to Grand Rapids, Standale, Walker and Allendale areas.

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

Energy Healings and Training, Reiki & Urevia Healings/Classes - held near Hastings at Subtle Energies w/ Ken & Dana Gray. Learn a variety of techniques that can heal your life. Reiki I & Urevia Practitioner classes are eligible for NAN 20% discount. Visit for more information.

FOR SALE Hardy Dam/Muskegon River near - 80 acres, 6 bedroom home, outbuildings; garage, barn. Fishing and hunting area. Robb Breen: 1-231327-1147.


Educational Programs: Natural Health 1-4 Years (one weekend per month), Holistic Labor Companion – Doula 6 months (1 weekend per month), Massage Therapy 1 Year (2 weekends per month), Individual Classes available. Over 15 years of excellence. See ad page 2.

Holistic & Green Business Owners Wanted for Health Network - NAN, the Natural Awakenings Network, is a green and healthy living network that will allow members to enjoy discounts on products & services focused on wellness, green/ sustainable living and healthy lifestyles. If you are interested in becoming a provider (a business or organization that offers discounts to members) in this innovative network or want more details, contact Natural Awakenings at 616-656-9232 or Participating as a Provider is FREE for the 1st year.

natural awakenings

December 2012



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ December 2012  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ December 2012  

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