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feel good • live simply • laugh more


Touching Spirit Prayer and Meditation Unleash Our Aliveness

Recipe for a Happy New Year Fail-Proof Ingredients for a Glorious 2016

No-Bake Festive Vegan Desserts

December 2015 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

December 2015


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contents 9 6 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 12 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 18 wisewords 12 22 fitbody 28 healthykids 3 1 inspiration 32 healingways 36 naturalpet 14 40 consciouseating 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory 47 classifieds advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-656-9232 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

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.

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

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.

18 SHARON SALZBERG ON MINDFULNESS Simple Ways to Be in the Present Moment by April Thompson

22 AIRPLANE YOGA Six Easy Stretches Ease the Journey by Cynthia Bowman

24 AWAKENING TO SPIRIT 31 Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us by Richard Davenport


PINT-SIZED GIVERS Teaching Kids How to Care and Share


HAPPY NEW YEAR Fail-Proof Ingredients for a Glorious 2016


by Kathleen Barnes


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

by Sandra Murphy

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HEAVENLY SCENTS How to Make Your Own Natural Oil Fragrances


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Healthy Holiday Treats for Our Pets

40 SWEETLY VEGAN No-Bake Holiday Treats Worth Celebrating by Judith Fertig


letterfrompublisher Dear Santa,

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

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2015 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

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

You probably don’t hear from magazine publishers very often, as we are usually juggling a zillion things while trying to be five places at the same time. But we wanted to give you our wish list and share some holiday tips as well. We must admit, an electric car would be a really cool “thing” gift this year, but that can wait. Instead, we share with you our heartfelt wishes and dreams for true and real gifts. They may be grandiose, but we believe they are part of the spirit that can be carried within us all as we move into 2016. • That as human beings, we may begin to truly value all people on this Earth and honor everyone daily with simple dignity, respect and hope for the future–and teach our children these ways by example. • That as citizens of this country and of the world, we can put our political and ideological differences aside and work toward lasting economic, spiritual and social healing. • That as keepers of the Earth, we may awaken to the realization that every action or inaction has an effect on seven generations ahead, and consciously work toward a healthier and sustainable environment for all creatures. • And that as part of the grand web of life, we may more fully honor and respect the beauty in all things and give thanks daily for this wonderful planet Earth that we call our home.

Photo: Allyson Regan

It gives us chills to think of the possibilities if these wishes start to manifest, even in a tiny way. Imagine the snowball effect if everyone were to make a small daily effort in these areas! Santa, we’ve also left you a few copies of December’s issue of Natural Awakenings to enjoy with your almond milk and gluten-free cookies. Please give a copy to Mrs. Claus, as we know she’ll enjoy our Conscious Eating section, which includes lots of yummy, no bake, vegan recipes for healthy holiday parties. Pass your copy along to the elves in your North Pole workshop. We think they’ll want to read our Wise Words article on mindfulness meditation and how they can simply be present in the moment. And Rudolf and the boys should enjoy the Natural Pet article about healthy holiday treats for pets. Oh, and Santa, just a thought with all the deliveries you have to make—please check out the article in our Fit Body section. It will give you some simple stretches you can do to ease your journey on that sleigh. One final thought for you, Santa. If while making your rounds this year, you find you’re missing a few gifts for all the good girls and boys, please be sure to visit our Natural Awakenings advertisers and distributors. They’ll help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We wish you a peaceful and magical holiday season, and a world of happiness in 2016!

Amy and Kyle Hass Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


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newsbriefs 2016 Annual Natural Living Directory


e invite you to be a part of Natural Awakenings Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan, coming March 2016. This special annual directory of Natural Awakenings magazine will serve as a handy reference guide for consumers to keep at their fingertips all year long when searching for the products and services they want to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. This A to Z directory will feature a glossary to educate our health conscious readers about the benefits of various natural health modalities, sustainable practices and more. Consumers trust Natural Awakenings information and its featured advertisers because we offer refreshing and educational editorial on natural health and green living. Natural Awakenings also provides the resources that support Health, Fitness, Sustainable Living, Personal Growth and Creative Expression. This Directory is a must for businesses that offer healthy products and/or sustainable services. Don’t miss out on this important issue!


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Natural Living Directory prices: $119.00 for your first category listing includes 5 contact lines, a 35-word description and a photo or logo. A second category is 50% off and a third category is FREE. Early Registration Rates – $99 for the first listing. Special pricing ends January 29th, 2015. ½ Page and Full Page Ads are also available. Call 616-656-9232 for details, examples and to reserve your space in the Natural Living Directory. Deadline to register is February 12th. See ad, page 43.

Meditation in December


oment of Peace is offering opportunities this December to experience emotional wellbeing through the practice of meditation on Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The classes, Hand Meditation (December 1), Past & Future Thinking (December 8), Forgiveness (December 15) and Candle Light Meditation and Guided Relaxation (December 22) gently guide students through specific meditation techniques meant to keep the mind alert while resting its attention on guided material. The contemplative practice encourages watching the mind and accepting what is, in order to free the mind of the distractions which cause emotional and physical suffering. These workshops are a blend of restorative meditation, relaxation techniques and mindfulness training and each

class will also feature small group discussion and Q&A time. The cost is $75.00 for all four classes or $20 per class as a drop-in rate. Participants are encouraged to bring journaling material. For more information or to RSVP, email ClairCrowley123@ Classes take place at the office of Dana Boyer and Barbara Williams, Psychotherapy & Assessment Services, 1324 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 7. Visit for upcoming workshops in 2016. See ad, page 24.

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Anniversary Celebration


he Remedy House is celebrating a one-year anniversary in December. Join in on the celebration on Saturday, December 12 and enjoy chair massages, angel card readings, healthy treats and more. Stop by at any point this holiday season for healthy gift ideas including essential stocking stuffers, gift certificates and affordable gift packages. Jodi and John Jenks, the owners of The Remedy House, have become healthy lifestyle weight loss coaches. Jodi Jenks has just completed her third year of naturopathic training at NITE certifying her as a Natural Health Practitioner. Alongside the sensational Chelsea Fish, massage therapist, The Remedy House has added a very talented woman to their team, Norine Mulvihill, a massage therapist and acupuncturist. The Remedy House is excited to be able to serve their community in a healthy and natural way. Look for a new series of community classes after the first of the year to guide participants into healthier habits. For more information, call 616-443-4225 or visit See ad, pages 23 & 46.


ll are welcome to Spirit Space for a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Join us from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. for a time to express gratitude while we celebrate the holiday season. Our traditional candlelight service is a time for song and readings. It is a time when we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us by lighting a candle in their memory. We also celebrate communion by communing with God and with each other. We look forward to being with you and your family. For more information, call 269-455-5329, email Info@ or visit See ad, page 25.

Yoga Studio Now Open


our Inner Space Yoga & Healing Arts Studio (YIS) is passionate about sharing our love of yoga and the healing arts with the community. Joi Dupre, owner of YIS, moved to Holland from Florida in May of this year and brought her studio along for the ride. With a background in dance, therapeutic massage, exercise science and yoga, her heart gravitates towards movement and connection. Your Inner Space is an alignment based yoga studio that offers a variety of classes that cater to all levels and needs. You’ll find classes that range from flow to restorative,

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Karuna® Reiki Classes ~ Usui Reiki Classes ~ Urevia® Practitioner Level One December 13

February 20 & 21

March 5 & 6

We offer certified and professionally accredited education for healing practitioners, holistic practitioners and health-care professionals. The classes offer education that adds to a practitioner’s skill set, which creates service diversity and improves one’s market value. Serving SW Michigan: Centrally located between Battle Creek, Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids.

269-838-4079 natural awakenings

December 2015


newsbriefs alignment based labs to yin and gentle to groovy. Along with the physical practice, the instructors may infuse yoga philosophy, meditation, breathwork, love and laughter. We believe that yoga is for everybody and every body, and we stress that it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect. At YIS we also offer therapeutic massage. We blend various styles including Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Orthopedic Massage, Sports Massage, Table Top Thai Massage, Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques, and Swedish to meet the specific needs of our clients. For more information and to check out new student and new massage client specials, call 616-994-8087 or visit See ad, page 17.

Veterans Care Packages

ASEA and RENU 28 Holiday Special


ith every Associate membership through Jacque Jennings Carter (which includes a nominal membership fee, an enrollment order of at least one case of ASEA or RENU 28 and an autoship order of at least one case of ASEA or RENU 28) during the month of December, receive a free tube of RENU 28, a retail value of $50. Depending on the autoship order placed, you may also be eligible for up to two FREE cases of ASEA, a retail value of up to $320. Certain restrictions apply. For more information, call 269-779-2900. See ad, page 23.


ntil December 19, Schafer Chiropractic and Healing Spa will be collecting and donating care package items for veterans this holiday season. These honorable men and women are in need of daily necessities. Please pick up a “wish list” at the front desk and bring in any of the listed items before December 19. All items will be donated just before Christmas day. For more information, call 616-301-3000 or stop in at 1801 Breton Rd. SE in Grand Rapids. See ad, pages 6, 30, 45 & 47.

Pick-Up and Delivery Service Available


ommercial food producing customers of Facility Kitchens can now get pick-up and delivery service for their products in a commercial truck. Therefore, Facility Kitchens is accepting new commercial food producers in the West Michigan area. The kitchen, located just off Fulton M-21 in Lowell, may also be rented to fit your commercial food production needs in addition to the various classes offered, like a fall canning session, coming up Tuesday, December 8th. In this personal canning session, participants will can a beef recipe in their choice of pints or quarts in Facility Kitchens’ commercial grade kitchens. For more information, call 616-421-4540 or visit See ad, page 31.

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

Rev. Barbara & Bob Huttinga PA-C Certified National Health Practitioners & Naturopathic Educators


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Holistic Health

Healing Body, Mind & Spirit

Healing Techniques


Healing & Nutrition Consultation Muscle Testing Reflexology Therapeutic Massage Light Touch Healing Natural Hormone Therapy Iridology Reiki Virtual Gastric Band Acupuncture

Homeopathic Remedies Essential Oils Bach Flowers Personal Care Eco-Friendly Household Items Herbs Gifts, Music, DVD’s Food Many Books Including: Put Your Health in Your Own Hands by Bob Huttinga


Peaceful Practice for Health and Healing

People Double Up on Calories After the Holidays


espite the popularity of New Year’s resolutions, scientists have found that post-holiday food shopping decisions don’t necessarily reflect intentions to eat healthier or lose weight. Scientists from Cornell University tracked resolutions and after-holiday food shopping habits of 207 families. They classified about 20,000 food products as either “healthy” or “less-healthy”. Calories and dollars spent were also tracked. Analysis of 37 weeks of activity that included the extended winter holiday period and into the new year found that additional food expenditures and calories began about a week prior to Thanksgiving and peaked during Christmas celebrations. Compared to the rest of the year, this increased shopping averaged just over $16 more a week, about $4 of which was spent on healthy foods. Food expenditures then continued to increase after the holidays to about $25 more a week compared to the average—showing a 24 percent increase. However, $13 of this was spent on healthier foods. Calorie levels also increased. “Total weekly per-serving calories increased by 440 during the holiday period relative to the baseline period, and nearly 91 percent of this increase was due to additional purchases of the more calorie-dense foods,” the researchers reported. “Even more intriguing is that contrary to well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, additional weekly per-serving calories purchased increased to 890 in the post-holiday period relative to the baseline, more than doubling the 440 calorie increase evident in the holiday season,” the researchers observed. Of this, 63 percent of the additional calories were from high-calorie foods.

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Asbestos Found in Crayons and Children’s Toys


esearch from the Environmental Working Group’s Action Fund has determined that some popular children’s toys contain a chemical that previous research has linked to lung disease and lung cancers. The researchers tested 28 boxes of crayons and 21 crimethemed toys at the Scientific Analytical Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina. They found that four of the crayon brands and two of the crime-scene toys contained asbestos. All of the asbestos-containing toys were manufactured in China. The products included the Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle brands of crayons, the EduScience Deluxe Forensics Lab Kit and the Inside Intelligence Secret Spy Kit. The latter two brands contained asbestos within the fingerprint powders. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asbestos from all sources is responsible for up to 15,000 U.S. deaths each year. natural awakenings

December 2015



Superfruit Antioxidants Found in Chilean Maqui Berry


esearch from the University of Arizona’s Health Sciences Center has confirmed that the South American superfruit maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) can aid the cardiovascular system and reduce blood sugar. Clinical trials found a group of antioxidants, called delphinidins, significantly reduced levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, which is linked to atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. The clinical research found that the delphinidins contained in the maqui berry, known as the richest natural source of the antioxidant, aid the health of blood vessels by increasing nitric oxide and decreasing platelets linked with thrombosis, the clogging of arteries that can cause strokes. The researchers also found that the superfruit may help counteract skin aging from ultraviolet radiation-B (UVB) exposure.

Meditation Linked to Telomere Integrity in Cancer Patients

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We all want what’s best for our family. Sports and activities can effect early developmental stages. We check for: • asymmetry • body alignment • balance issues • spinal nerve stress


aintaining telomere length has been directly linked to longer lifespan in a number of studies. A telomere is the structure at the end of a chromosome that protects it from deteriorating or fusing with other chromosomes. Its length is being used to measure the potential success of integrative therapy for recovering cancer patients; now University of Calgary research has found that mindfulness meditation helps. The researchers tested 88 breast cancer survivors with a previous diagnosis of stage-one to stage-three breast cancer. The patients’ telomere lengths were tested after either group-support therapy or mindfulness meditation training that included gentle hatha yoga exercises. Results showed that while the control group’s telomere lengths decreased over time, both the mindfulness group and the support therapy group were on average able to maintain their telomere length throughout the testing period.

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Digital ‘Blue Light’ Reading Disrupts Sleep Rhythms


ecent findings from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, has determined that reading from a light-emitting tablet or computer before bedtime will disturb sleep and may change the circadian rhythms that govern the body’s clock. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested 12 people for two weeks. On five nights during one week, the subjects read ebooks on an iPad for four hours before bedtime. Another week, they read from printed books for the same duration. During the five days of iPad reading, the participants fell asleep later and spent less time in rapid eye movement (REM)-stage sleep. The light-emitting tablet altered the circadian rhythm, changing the body’s natural sleeping pattern. The researchers also tested other blue-light emitting devices, including laptops, tablets, other eReaders, cell phones and LED monitors. “We found the body’s natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the shortwavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from these electronic devices,” says neuroscientist Anne-Marie Chang, Ph.D., one of the study authors. Dr. Charles Czeisler, Ph.D., a leading sleep researcher, remarks, “In the past 50 years, there has been a decline in average sleep duration and quality. Since more people are choosing electronic devices for reading, communication and entertainment, particularly children and adolescents who already experience significant sleep loss, epidemiological research evaluating the long-term consequences of these devices on health and safety is urgently needed.”

Potatoes Don’t Pack on Pounds


esearch from scientists at the University of California, Davis has mashed the notion that potatoes cause weight gain. The researchers tested 90 overweight people divided into three groups, with all of them eating five to seven servings of potatoes each week over a three-month period. Two groups reduced their calorie intake by 500 calories per day, with one group eating low-glycemic index (GI) foods and the other group eating high-GI foods. The third group had no calorie restrictions. Despite the increased potato consumption during the study period, all three groups showed slight weight loss and reduced body mass index. The researchers concluded, “Potato intake did not cause weight gain.”

Meditation Minimizes Migraines

Spirituality is Beneficial for Cancer Patients


ccording to a new review of research published in the journal Cancer, a strong religious or spiritual belief system may improve a cancer patient’s prognosis physically, emotionally and mentally. Researchers from Florida’s H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and North Carolina’s Wake Forest School of Medicine reviewed clinical studies that included more than 44,000 cancer patients. The first review focused on physical symptoms and found that patients with stronger religious and spiritual beliefs reported fewer cancer symptoms and better physical health. They also showed enhanced capabilities in managing their daily lives. “These relationships were particularly strong in patients that experienced greater emotional aspects of religion and spirituality, including a sense of meaning and purpose in life, as well as a connection to a source larger than oneself,” states Heather Jim, lead author of the first review. The second review focused on mental health and found reductions in anxiety, depression and distress among those with greater spirituality. Lead author Dr. John Salsman comments, “Also, greater levels of spiritual distress and a sense of disconnectedness from God or a religious community were associated with greater psychological distress or poorer emotional well-being.” In the third review, the researchers found that patients with a stronger spiritual well-being reported better social health, as well.


esearchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine found that mindfulness meditation significantly reduced the number and duration of migraines among 19 episodic migraine patients. Ten were given eight weeks of mindfulness classes with instructions for adding personal meditation in-between sessions. The other nine received typical migraine care. Those in the meditation group experienced an average of 1.4 fewer migraines per month, which averaged nearly three hours less than the ones experienced by those in the control group. Pain levels of the headaches reported by those in the meditation group averaged 1.3 points lower on a scale of one to 10.

natural awakenings

December 2015


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

Fungus Among Us

Mushrooms Offer Pesticide-Free Insect Control Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading mycologists, invented a fungus (mushroom)-based pesticide in 2006. An industry executive states, “This patent represents the most disruptive technology we have ever witnessed.” This “smart” pesticide provides a safe and nearly permanent solution for controlling more than 200,000 species of insects. Entomopathogenic (insect-destroying) fungi are altered so they don’t produce spores. This actually attracts the insects, which then eat them and turn into fungi from the inside-out. The invention has the potential to revolutionize the way humans grow crops. Source: Earth. We Are One. View the patent at

Sentient Beings

New Zealand Enacts Bill Recognizing Animal Intelligence The New Zealand Animal Welfare Amendment Bill that passed into law this year states that animals, like humans, are sentient beings. Dr. Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, says this acknowledges, “Animals can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress.” The bill thus bans the use of animals for testing cosmetics. Williams says the legal recognition of animal sentience provides a stronger underpinning of the requirements of the existing Animal Welfare Act. The bill also provides for penalties to enable low-to-medium-level offenders to be punished more effectively and gives animal welfare inspectors the power to issue compliance notices, among other measures. Find a link to the legislation at

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Uncommon Devotion Religion in America Shows Resilience On any given Sabbath, four of 10 Americans travel to a place of worship, a number that hasn’t fluctuated dramatically in the past half-century. Gallup polls report that more than 81 percent say they identify with a specific religion or denomination; 78 percent say it’s an important part of their lives; and 57 percent believe that religion is able to solve today’s problems. While recent attendance may be off, Americans are no less likely to attend services today than they were in the 1940s and early ’50s, just prior to the ultra-religious following decade. The reason, says Gallup’s Frank Newport, is that U.S. religious worship is cyclical. Today’s practicing religious communities “tend to consist of the seriously committed, not just those swept along by obligation,” reports Christian Smith, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame and coprincipal investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion. Those that worship regularly are more likely to be older, female and Southern; they also are better educated and stronger financially than those that don’t, according to Newport. At the same time, Mitchell Marcus, a University of Pennsylvania professor, characterizes his Ph.D. students as religiously curious, often devout and eager to talk about their beliefs. Source: The Christian Science Monitor


West Michigan Edition

Greener Globe

World Powers Vow Cuts in Emissions This year’s G7 Summit of the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, plus the European Union, has agreed in principle that the global economy must be completely fossil fuel-free by the end of this century to curb destructive climate change. To that end, the nations agreed to work toward cutting emissions between 40 and 70 percent by 2050. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also announced that the G7 countries would raise $100 billion from public and private sources by 2020 to help poorer nations adapt. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace praised the action. In a statement, the Sierra Club called it “the first time that the leaders of the world have made clear with one voice that we must get off fossil fuels completely.” Two hundred countries are expected to commit in writing to specific plans for greening their economies at the United Nations Climate Change Conference this month in Paris. Source:

Good Tithings

Lend a Hand to Causes While You Shop This holiday season, every gift purchased through GoodSearch. com can earn a donation of up to 30 percent of its value for a favorite charity, along with money-saving coupons for the customer. More than 2,500 national retailers are participating in the program, including Apple, Target, Toys “R” Us, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, 1-800-Flowers, PetSmart and Expedia. Instead of limiting qualifying purchases to a particular product and charity, the campaign includes nearly every product in the store. The donation goes to the charity or school of the shopper’s choice with the cooperation of the organization’s GoodShop, which has raised more than $9 million for charities ranging from The American Red Cross and ASPCA to local homeless shelters and schools. Each Internet search through the website also earns the charity about a penny. With GoodDining, meals at more than 10,000 restaurants earn donations, with more than 100,000 charities and schools benefitting. UNICEF has used money from GoodSearch and GoodShop to provide clean drinking water to more than 200,000 children.



Post-It Progress

3M Requires Paper Sources to Meet Sustainable Standards A new sustainability policy by the 3M Corporation, maker of Post-it notes, has drawn support for its goal of making a minimal impact on forests, wildlife and human rights. 3M paper-based products and packaging require pulp and paper from sources around the world. Working in collaboration with ForestEthics and Greenpeace, the company launched a comprehensive review of all of its pulp and paper procurement expectations to ensure the materials are produced from sustainably logged timber. 3M will now hold paper and pulp suppliers accountable to one of the highest standards in the industry for environmental protection and respect of human rights, including tracing origins and obtaining consent of indigenous peoples and local communities before logging operations occur. The company intends to publish semiannual updates of its progress online. Source: natural awakenings

December 2015


ecotip Shipping News

Early Bird Gift Shipping Saves Stress, Money and Resources Last-minute online shopping can be costly in both dollars and pollution. Choosing next-day delivery puts purchased products on a plane that burns far more carbon-producing fossil fuel than ground transportation. But there’s a better way, and how we package gifts for shipping counts. Order and ship early. Building in more lead time affords less costly shipping options. Eco-wise, if the shipper has some freedom in scheduling deliveries, it can choose to hold up a delivery truck until it’s full, rather than sending one out half-empty. Also, if a package doesn’t have to reach its destination by a particular day or time, the company can choose the most efficient local delivery routing. A recent University of Washington study found that a community using grocery delivery services slashed carbon

emissions when compared to individuals driving to the supermarket. Plus, they achieved their biggest gains—80 to 90 percent lower emissions—when they could plan deliveries around customer locations, rather than precise delivery windows, thus minimizing driving distance and time on the road. Seek out available boxes. Many grocery and beverage stores don’t immediately break down incoming cardboard shipping boxes. Ask a store attendant if they have any available. Reusing saved paper bags from checkout (for those that don’t bring reusable bags) can serve to cushion gift-wrapped boxes. suggests repurposing gently-used wrapping paper or old fabrics, newspapers, magazines or calendars for a creative look. Return

any foam peanuts in received packages to a pack-n-ship shop for reuse. Know the options. While U.S. Postal Service ( Priority Mail offers flat rates to any state regardless of weight (up to 70 pounds), package tracking and other year-round features, the cost of using other carriers varies by destination zip code, package size and weight. Verify price and timing options, making sure packages arrive in good time to be under the Christmas tree before December 25.

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communityspotlight by Mandi Merritt

Jacque Jennings Carter

ASEA Cellular Health Independent Associate


aking a difference in the lives of others has always been important to Jacque Jennings Carter, an ASEA Cellular Health Independent Associate, Anti-Aging Specialist and International Business Developer. “I believe we are put on this earth to make a difference,” she says, “And I’ve come to believe that being of service is the rent we pay for the privilege of being here.” Looking back, Jennings Carter says her ‘difference making’ started in Brownies and was nurtured in Girl Scouts. “I earned virtually every badge there was; I think I still have them,” she chuckles. Jennings Carter has a successful business track record and has been involved in both business and volunteerism in Southwest Michigan for more than 40 years. A lifelong resident of the area, she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Western Michigan University, has a lengthy list of community and donor involvements, has served as president of the Battle Creek Rotary Club, is a Kalamazoo Chamber Ambassador and a member of both the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Chambers. She is a member of Inforum Michigan, BNI Leading Edge, Women’s Business Bureau, Women Who Care of Kalamazoo County and is a Life Member of both the WMU Alumni Association and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra League, to name a few. On top of her community involvements, Jennings Carter is very passionate about the natural health field. “I’ve always been health conscious. My intense interest in the body and health, as well as my husband’s, came as a result of Amy, his daughter, being diagnosed with a serious illness when we were dating. She was 11 at the time. We lost her one year later. That changed both of us and it changed how I look at everything, especially health,” she shares. After navigating through this life change, Jennings Carter left her job in the corporate

world of 25 years and jumped into the natural health field and shares, “I don’t consider it work; it’s a passion.” The excitement Jennings Carter has for natural health stems from her realization that it often gives people the hope they didn’t have as well as results they weren’t getting. It is well known that the body can perform how it is supposed to when it is properly taken care of. However, as we age, the body becomes less able to heal itself as efficiently as it once did. Stress and environmental toxins inundate our lives and weaken our defenses; normal cellular function declines and with it, the body’s ability to perform at optimal levels declines as well. There are many things we can do naturally that can help the body replenish what it needs, but has lost over the years, to help the body function at optimal levels. Natural health can take time but it often works wonders for those who are open to it, and for this reason, Jennings Carter is adamant about educating people on how to stay healthy and live younger longer. She says, “When I talk with someone, I have recommendations for them to consider. In the end, it is up to them what they do. Personally, I put my health before anything else. Being healthy is an investment in yourself. It costs money to be healthy, but we’re all worth it and we all deserve to live long, healthy lives and I help people do that.” With a smile she admits, “I don’t live in a bubble. I do eat desserts, cake and ‘stuff’ sometimes, but for the most part, I am pretty careful about what I eat and what I put in my body.” Acknowledging that many people prioritize their health behind other aspects of their lives, Jennings Carter says she wants to help people to instead be proactive about their health

so that we can create a healthier society as a whole. More and more people are recognizing that their health is their responsibility and that they need to take ownership of it. As this continues to happen, Jennings Carter believes we’ll see people gravitating toward integrative approaches and natural health. She adds, “There’s a place for both traditional medicine and alternative modalities. They work very well together. We’ve come a long way, but we need to move more quickly in order to save lives and help people be healthy and stay healthy. “The reality is this—we are going to spend money on our health in one of two ways. There is no escaping it because we are all going to age. We can either spend it being proactive or we can spend it being reactive. The latter is much more expensive, not to mention the many ramifications that go along with it. I choose to be proactive and live a long, healthy life.” In her passion for natural health, Jennings Carter encourages others to start today by putting their health first. She admits that there are never guarantees that one method will work for every person, but there are several simple steps people can take toward being healthier. Among other things, she encourages people to be aware of their environment, be less sedentary, get good quality sleep, stop drinking diet soda and energy drinks, improve the food they consume, drink good quality water and take good quality supplements. When reflecting on her passions, Jennings Carter shares, “Everything I have done—business and volunteer wise—has led me to what I do today. Next to my family, my passion is ASEA and RENU 28 because they clearly make a difference in the lives of others, both physically and financially.” For more information, call 269353-4000 or 269-779-2900, email or visit See ad, page 23. Mandi Merritt is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at Mandi.Merritt@

natural awakenings

December 2015


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December 2015



Sharon Salzberg on Mindfulness Simple Ways to Be in the Present Moment by April Thompson


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How do you define mindfulness?

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Mindfulness is the quality of awareness. When we are mindful, our perception of the present moment isn’t so distorted by bias, adding our own storyline to

reality and pushing away what’s happening.

photo by Fabio Fiippi

ew York City-born Sharon Salzberg experienced a childhood full of loss and upheaval, losing her parents and living in five different household configurations. In college, she discovered the power of meditation to transform suffering and cope with life’s neverending changes. Born into a Jewish family, Salzberg first encountered Buddhism in 1969 in an Asian philosophy class, inspiring her to undertake an independent study program in India, where she was initiated into the practice via an intense 10-day retreat. “It was very difficult and painful. I sometimes doubted that I’d succeed, yet I never doubted that there was truth there,” she says. Upon her return home, Salzberg dedicated herself to the path of vipassana- (insight) meditation, becoming a renowned teacher and co-founding the Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts. Today she teaches and speaks to diverse audiences worldwide about the power of mindfulness. Salzberg has authored nine books, including the New York Times bestseller Real Happiness, Real Happiness at Work and Lovingkindness.

Is it possible to be mindful without having an established meditation practice?

Yes, theoretically, but I suspect it’s hard. I honor my own meditation practice for making mindfulness highly accessible for me. It doesn’t take many hours of prep work and is open to everyone. It’s really a practice, like strength training—you have to exercise the mindfulness muscle to reap the benefits.

What’s the best way to arrange time for meditation, and what can motivate us to practice regularly? Having a sense of structure has helped me the most. I believe strongly in the value of a daily practice, however simple or short. We can ritualize certain practices to help remember to pause and be mindful. For example, every time the phone rings, let it ring three times and use that as a trigger to breathe. When you’ve finished writing an email, take a few conscious moments before sending it. There are lots of ways to cut through the momentum of the busyness and craziness of our lives to return to mindfulness. Make a commitment to practice for a certain period of daily time for a month or two, and then reassess. Look

for changes during the active course of daily life and query: How am I speaking to myself or to others? Am I more present? Am I more at ease in letting go? It’s important to look for these subtle changes rather than to set unrealistic expectations for ourselves such as being mindful all day.

Do you have other enabling practices for people new to the state of living mindfully? Movement meditation is a good place to start; if you’re walking somewhere, try to be more present and feel your feet against the ground. Also, just focus on one thing at a time; instead of multitasking, just drink the cup of tea. We can also use breath to focus concentration. The breath is a tremendous tool, it’s always with us. If you’re in a contentious meeting and tempers flare, you don’t have to pull out a meditation cushion and sit in a funny position; you can work with your breath right where you are.

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How can meditation help to ease suffering? Sometimes, we think we can ease suffering by only having pleasant feelings and beautiful thoughts. Rather, we can ease suffering by changing the way we relate to our thoughts and feelings. If something unpleasant is happening, most of us flip into an internal monologue about how, “Bad things always happen to me,” or “This is my fault,” or “I shouldn’t feel this.” We compound our suffering by adding judgment and by pushing away discomfort. Instead, we can learn to observe our reactions and release them. We also tend not to feel pleasure fully or think that something else or more should be happening instead of simply enjoying the moment. We wait for some sense of intensity in order to feel alive, rather than experiencing the ordinary to the utmost. Meditation trains us to be present with pleasant, unpleasant and neutral experiences and stay connected, no matter what’s going on. Reach freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

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natural awakenings

December 2015


Unleashing Unlimited Potential with Panache Desai by April Thompson

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orn into an East Indian family in London, England, Panache Desai grew up steeped in spiritual practices like meditation. Though recognized by spiritual teachers as possessing a special gift, Desai rejected his spiritual foundation as a teenager, trading it for the excitement of London’s rave music scene of the 1990s before moving to America. It wasn’t until he was 22 and living in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice Beach that the pain of the way he had rejected his true inner nature reached a crescendo. In opening himself up to the possibility of the divine, Desai underwent a spiritual awakening that has led him to dedicate his life to helping others make their own journey from self-rejection to contentment. Unaffiliated with any one religious or spiritual tradition, Desai works with simple, yet powerful principles of energy to help free people from selfimposed limitations and unlock their potential. His first book, Discovering Your Soul Signature: A 33-Day Path to Purpose, Passion & Joy, released last year, is a departure from his earlier focus on creating meditation CDs and other audio recordings.

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What was the key turning point in embracing your life’s calling? Every time I would visit a spiritual teacher as a kid, they would say, “We’ve been waiting for you.” But I just wanted to be normal and was also skeptical; not every well-intentioned person is necessarily leading you home. I reached a turning point when I knew something had to change. I told myself that if this thing called God really exists and if I’m here to be a messenger, I have to experience it personally. In that moment, I began to undergo a transformation that culminated in a direct experience of the divine; an infinite ocean of energy vibrating with unconditional love. I felt part of what every spiritual teacher has been telling the world for thousands of years: that the true nature of reality is love, a love that expresses itself through all life forms. That experience allowed me to accept my role of helping others see and achieve their potential.

How does the universal energy you speak of affect us and how can we shift our dance with it?

We are vibrational beings inhabiting a vibrational universe. Yogis and mystics from traditions throughout time have known this. The subtlest form of vibration is the soul, which is overlaid by the emotional, with the physical as the outermost layer of energy. Because the emotional layer can accumulate a density that enshrouds our soul’s light and potential, it’s important to address it. Energy is like water—it wants to flow and can shift states at any moment. Judging or rejecting any aspect of our genuine identity disrupts that flow of energy. For example, if instead of being available to feel your anger when it arises you repress or deny it, that accumulating emotion acquires density and over time, becomes rage. But if you can learn to slow down and lean into the emotion, the anger can wash through and out of you and energy again flows freely. By allowing ourselves to acknowledge, experience and release these emotions without judgment, we are clearing the obstacles to our authentic self, what I term one’s “soul signature”.

How is discovering our soul signature related to finding our calling?

The soul signature is our purest potential expressed. You can have a calling to be a writer, but unless you are connected to who you are at the deepest level, your writing won’t have the same impact. Accessing our soul signature is a process. We didn’t end up where we are overnight, and it can take time to get back to that place where we can express our truest selves by working with the techniques of energy transformation described in my book.

What are good first steps for someone newly initiating a spiritual practice? The most powerful tool is our breath. Witnessing and honoring our breath in every moment allows us to transform every day into living meditation. Find author blogs on how individuals live their soul signature at Panache Connect with freelance writer April Thompson at natural awakenings

December 2015



Airplane Yoga Six Easy Stretches Ease the Journey by Cynthia Bowman

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he majority of the symptoms we can experience during flying—stiffness, poor circulation and swollen feet—are due to lack of movement rather than the altitude or pressurized cabin air. Knowing this can make healthy flying easier. Drinking lots of water and moving about and stretching every two to three hours on long flights is key; trips to the bathroom naturally help fulfill this. We also can keep blood from collecting in our lower extremities by finding a way to elevate our legs and feet periodically. Wiggle all 10 toes, shift positions and go for these six discreet airplane yoga stretches. Etiquette tip: Do the first two stretches at the back of the plane with adequate space and a wall to lean on. Don’t do these in the aisle; hanging on to someone’s seat back rocks it and can be annoying. A quad stretch involves the shoulders, upper legs, calves and ankles, while elevating each foot and getting the blood moving. Hang on to a wall, grab an ankle and bring the heel as close to the butt as possible. Then rotate the ankle in a circular motion. Do this as long as it feels worth doing, and then switch arms and legs. A calf stretch is a simple way to target calf and hamstring muscles, as well as ankles. Stand facing a wall, placing both hands Quad Stretch at shoulder height on the wall for

Calf Stretch

Upper Body Stretch

Neck Stretch

Twisting the Torso

Bending Forward

balance, elbows bent. Take one foot forward and rest it on its heel, with toes pointing up and resting on the wall. Lean forward to the point of feeling a good stretch in the calf. Stretch 30 seconds per foot, gradually going deeper into the pose after a few breaths. Etiquette tip: The next four stretches can be done in an airplane seat or in the back of the plane. The upper body stretch targets wrists, hands, arms, shoulders, back and the upper body in general. Sit upright with feet firmly planted on the floor. Lift arms up and interlace fingers before turning palms to face the ceiling. Relax the shoulders and neck. The arms shouldn’t be covering the ears and can be adjusted by moving them a few inches forward or back. Tall individuals may need to bend their elbows, which still allows for stretching of the upper body. Neck stretches release tension and stiffness by tilting the head from side-to-side. Don’t make circular motions, as they can cause neck and spine compression. If holding the head to assist a deeper stretch, be considerate of neighbors by pointing the raised elbow forward to cradle the neck instead of resting it on a seatmate. Twisting the torso benefits both the spine and back muscles. Yogis believe that twisting motions also massage internal organs. While twisting, hang on to the armrest with both hands and sit as upright as possible, with legs together and feet firmly planted. Don’t bounce into the pose or shift or lift buttocks off the seat, but make slow, fluid movements. Bending forward while seated gives the back, neck and legs a good, deep stretch. All of these movements work well while we’re in the air and are equally useful on road trips, in the office or whenever we need a break. Cynthia Bowman is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, CA, who specializes in travel, culture and lifestyle topics. Visit natural awakenings

December 2015


AWAKENING TO SPIRIT Prayer and Meditation Heal and Free Us by Richard Davenport

Experiential, non-verbal and lifechanging encounters with the unbounded power and presence of Spirit in prayer and meditation are difficult to analyze in the same way as mind-body science. However, Dyer points to the works and outcomes of Spirit as visible evidence of how it lifts us up. We see individuals with rapturous hearts sending out signals that they love the world and everyone in it. Those that live in Spirit tend to see the world as a friendly place, are at peace with themselves, appear to be open and accepting rather than judgmental and harsh, and often report being healed of all sorts of diseases, relationship challenges, career fluctuations and questions of purpose and direction. They attest to how Spirit shines a triumphant light in the midst of dark nights of the soul, redefining the essence of life itself and declaring us worthy in our innermost reaches.

Personal Healing

By its intimate connection with divine love, Spirit infuses human experience with qualities of amazing grace—unexpected clarity, vision, wisdom, peace, compassion, emotional release, inspirational epiphanies, deep understanding and comprehensive healing of mind, body and soul.


“Just as a candle spreads light in a darkened room, people who are living in-Spirit give off a higher energy that can bring light to our hearts and minds. In other words, we can be inspired just by being in their presence,” according to renowned bestselling author Wayne Dyer, Ph.D.

hile society abounds with scientific research, products and practices that promise to enhance our mind or body and the mind-body connection, without Spirit in the mix, neither rises to its full potential. A heart open to a higher power exponentially multiplies the effects of this crucial connection.

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Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi 24

West Michigan Edition

When a 19-year-old woman entered basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, and was undergoing initial medical and psychological screening, she was identified as having body and mind issues that would require her to be separated from the service. These problems included organ failures and spinal misalignment, as well as severe consequences of an emotionally abusive upbringing. It was determined that she could not handle the physical and mental demands of military life. Because the policy was to not treat such problems if identified upon entering the service, authorities allowed her to remain in training until her separation from the Air Force could be processed.

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The woman was impressed and also distressed by the finality of the verdict and assessment tools used by mind and body experts among the medical staff. In talking with a chaplain on the base, she came to understand that she could choose to appeal her case to another jurisdiction, a “higher” court of Spirit. Focusing on the voice of divine love, she grew to see Spirit as more than a higher power. She saw Spirit as a higher authority. She surrendered to divine love’s authority as ultimate law, supremely qualified to reorder her whole being. She trusted that aligning with spiritual power could change her view of her identity and the seemingly inescapable consequences of genetics, environment and human history denying her desire to serve her country in this way. Listening to a higher witness testifying on her behalf and identifying her authentic being as the magnificent expression of the magnificent Creator, she felt encouraged to the point that her mind and body stopped arresting her progress and became more effective servants, responding with greater freedom and joy. One limitation after another fell away, and the military and medical authorities seemed pleased with her progress as she neared completion of training. Finally, performing a mile-and-a-half run within a required time remained the only obstacle to graduation, and she was still 45 seconds too slow. This helpful passage from the Hebrew prophet Isaiah became central to her prayer and meditation as she approached her last running attempt: Young people will get tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall. But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint. ~Isaiah 40: 30-31 (The Voice) She passed her final attempt with 18 seconds to spare, running on eagles’ wings. So, how can we all discern such

An Interspiritual Church

An Alternative to Traditional Religion Radically Inclusive a divine witness to our original authentic being amidst loud testimony of all the voices and labels shouting in our head and body, including those imposed by others?

Prayer and Meditation

There are two approaches to listening to the voice within, whether we name it God, higher power, Spirit, grace, Eternal One, or divine love or Love. Complementary, rather than mutually exclusive, both approaches require a capacity, gained through patient practice, of quieting the inner and outer chatter and learning to hear that which calls us to be more than what human experience suggests is possible. It’s who we are in the eyes of grace. Sanford C. Wilder, of Grafton, Illinois, author of Listening to Grace, offers personal growth and development programs through that encourage prayer and meditation that emphasize listening. He practices both approaches and makes distinctions between them. “When I pray, I am directing my thoughts toward God, listening and often affirming what I know to be divinely true. I am yearning to surrender my will and affections in conscious connection with the divine such that I or another receives a blessing,” shares Wilder. In such prayerful listening, he hopes to gain something, often a new insight and corresponding manifestation. “When I meditate, my intention is to sacrifice every thought, concept, image and feeling to God, the only consciousness. I trust that listening and observing with nonattachment helps me release conscious and unconscious conditioned thought patterns permeated by a human sense of self.” Through meditative listening, he hopes to release everything rather than receive anything, accepting that everyone is equipped and able to be open to, witness and experience nonstop blessings.

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Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

natural awakenings

December 2015


Helen Mathis has been an educator in the Philippines and Swaziland as well as the U.S., including an instructor of religion at Principia College, near St. Louis; she is now part of a Centering Prayer Circle in Stockton, California. She explains that centering prayer may be seen as a hybrid that embraces both prayer and meditation, nourishing what’s beneath the preoccupied self to awaken a deeper and vastly more authentic self. Mathis appreciates what Cynthia Bourgeault explores in her book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, that, “This confusion between small self and the larger Self… [the] ‘True Self,’ ‘Essential Self’ or ‘Real I’—is the core illusion of the human condition, and penetrating this illusion is what awakening is all about.” Like Bourgeault, Mathis believes that it’s not about the absence of thoughts so much as detaching from our thoughts, trusting that we can let go and be safe, consent to surrender human will and forgo personal agendas. Only then can spiritual sense come into play. “The goal is to awaken to, open to and get in touch with our innermost being and Spirit,” Mathis affirms. “Clearly, centering prayer assumes we each have a spiritual awareness of the divine within us that acts, as Bourgeault puts it, as ‘a kind of interior compass whose magnetic north is always fixed on God.’”

Core Shift

We often approach a Spirit dimension with the attitude of “what it can do for me.” The higher practice that mystics and other deep thinkers of various faith traditions ultimately arrive at instead centers on transforming our whole self to align with Spirit’s purpose for us, which changes everything. Reverend Dr. Michael Beckwith, founder of the New Thought Agape Spiritual Center, in Los Angeles, and a spiritual mentor to Oprah Winfrey, believes, “The relationship we have with the infinite is more about how we are to serve it than it is to serve us.” Beckwith describes three primary stages of realizing the power and purpose of divine Spirit expressed as our spirit. The first is that of a victim (feeling powerless, unable to effect 26

West Michigan Edition

change). The second is when an individual learns the existence of universal law that responds to our thinking, emotions and attitude; we learn how to use it to stabilize life structures and demonstrate health and well-being. “Ultimately, in stage three, we become a vehicle of life in service to life. Instead of using the law, the law uses us. Life fulfills its own nature through us,” he says. “All of life is conspiring for our freedom, liberation, wholeness and health.” He urges us not to stop and stagnate at stage two, using divine laws only to manifest personal conveniences, stuff and even people for our use; this can hijack views of abundance into materialism and consumerism. He quips, “We are not here to go shopping.”

Dwelling in Spirit

and between us, yet we can’t simply summon them up or outline their outcomes. To feel Spirit’s presence, we must surrender our own sense of how it will work, its timeline and the impact on our ego or status quo. As with anything worthwhile, conscientious practice is essential. Life, defined by Spirit, gives fresh strength and impetus to mind and body. All three are vital elements of the dance of life. Richard Davenport is a spiritual life educator ( and the founding executive director of an inclusive nationwide Bible and spiritual life community (BibleAndSpiritualLife. org). Now based in St. Louis, MO, he is a retired Air Force chaplain, having served at Lackland and other U.S. Air Force bases on three continents.

Grace and Spirit work in us, through us



rayer from a heart willing to surrender, change, learn, grow and bless others works to keep us centered on pure motives like wellness, wholeheartedness and compassion. Such prayer can help us progress spiritually. These five forms of prayer, found in the Bible, have a universal application to any spiritual practice. Although differing in their approach, all share the purpose of creating a fuller mindfulness of our true identity and relationship to the divine, while enhancing our capacity to bless all creation. If we are not feeling the desired breakthroughs using one form, perhaps the one most familiar or comfortable to us, we might do well to explore others. Praise – a posture of adoration, honoring and surrender to a power, vision, and authority greater than our own. Thanksgiving – or better yet, for its consistency and permeating of our whole self, thanks-living. The garden of our spirit is enriched by embracing a gratitude attitude in all we do. Petition – a relational posture that opens our heart as we learn to ask for help, to seek perspective beyond a

limited self, beyond a smaller, egodriven orientation. Intercession – praying for others; blessing, honoring and cherishing them as God sees them. When we feel burdened and blocked by our own trials, expressing empathy and compassion for others can unlock our heart and mind. We can lovingly witness the true nature of those that are seemingly tangled in forces blocking or opposing their higher good. Affirmation – release and rest in divine authority, acknowledging the uni-verse as literally one song reflecting the singular harmony that Spirit knows and is unfolding in every moment to meet our need in forms we can see and feel right now.

communityspotlight Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing


he term Reiki isn’t new, yet many people have yet to discover what it is and what it has the power to do. A healing technique based on the principle that a practitioner can channel energy into a patient, by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being, Reiki is certainly not new to Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing. Centrally located in southwest Michigan between Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Grand Rapids, Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing is nestled deep in the woods on the banks of a hidden gem of a private lake. Ken Gray and Dana GloreGray, the husband and wife duo of the business, are certified, spiritual teachers with over 40 years of combined experience offering a variety of classes as well as spiritual counseling, wellnessconsulting and energy healing sessions. As Dana says, “At our core, we help people grow spiritually and increase their health and wellbeing in all areas— in all the elements that contribute to a person’s health.” She further speaks of her practice and says, “It’s about growth, health, wisdom and love.” Ken chimes in and says, “Reiki has literally changed my life – totally – it’s just a beautiful opportunity, and I’d strongly recommend it for everyone.” At Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing, the classes offered fall under three main categories: Urevia®, Usui Reiki and Karuna Reiki®. Urevia® is the study of health and well-being, biology, energy medicine, healing energy, spiritual concepts, relationship issues with self and others, the reality each individual creates, philosophy, metaphysics and science. The Integrated Health degree focuses on the different elements that contribute to healing, health and living a balanced life that includes selfactualization, emotional intelligence and improving relationships. Its main intention is to enhance the healing skills of practitio-

by Amanda Grasmeyer ners along with providing personal growth for each student. The program includes Urevia® Levels One, Two and Three practitioner classes and the Integrated Health classes. Upon completion of these courses, a student is eligible for board certification and accreditation with D’ Rose Institute and American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Usui Reiki is a form of alternative medicine developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Dr. Mikao Usui. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing or hands-on-healing. Through the use of this technique, practitioners transfer “universal energy” through the palms of the practitioner, which encourages healing. Ken and Dana offer Usui Reiki Levels One and Two, Advanced, Master and Master Teacher practitioner classes. Karuna Reiki® is translated from Sanskrit, meaning “to take compassionate action to diminish the suffering of others”. The spirit of Karuna implies that we use wisdom to guide us in imparting the energy to heal ourselves as well as others. Classes in Karuna Reiki® at Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute include Level One, Level Two and Master Teacher. When asked what it is that excites them about what they do, Dana says, “I love empowering people. I love blending the worlds of spirituality, science, practical living and emotional intelligence. I love having a positive influence on someone’s life so they can make a positive influence on others.” Ken responds with, “I love watching people grow and expand their conscience and heal,” and further explains, “We get to work with people for several years and see the growth.” Specific to Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing, Dana says, “You can educate anyone to do a healing, but in the middle of all that, we’re helping them grow and evolve. The healing energy provides the space for them to grow as individuals and they learn a skillset. If they’re going to serve

other people, they should have something to offer and they should have the wisdom to give high quality service. She adds, “If you’re going to teach the work and offer it, you have to be able to do it yourself. We’re very direct teachers. We’re very practical teachers. We want to help people make real change – be the best version of themselves in a practical way.” Dana further shares that she takes esoteric ideas and uses them in practice, executing how to be an emotionally healthy, spiritual human being and how to handle things in a real way. She explains that this is not just about obtaining wellbeing while meditating, but obtaining it in life and how to live a life that gradually builds on wellbeing, where positive energy accumulates and one can influence and create his/her reality. Having lived and breathed this lifestyle for many years, Ken and Dana put their practice against the forces of life when Ken was diagnosed with pancreatitis. He refused surgery, yet he’s one of the few people who’ve ever survived pancreatitis with infected cysts and gallbladder in Kalamazoo. Dana shares of her husband’s story, “We let the body tell us what it needed. We gave it time to do that, time to heal itself and we provided the tools it needed to do it and it did it.” With a confident smile toward Ken, Dana adds, “I’ve always believed in our work, but that erased any doubt that I might have still had lingering. I saw it work and it was really cool.” During that time, Ken and Dana lived in the integration of the health and metaphysical/spiritual fields. They’re quick to admit that one is strong in some areas and the other is strong in other areas, but they aren’t all encompassing on their own. The couple believes that the two fields will continue to form a stronger bond as more and more people realize this. In their situation, Ken needed the best parts of each field in order to achieve the wellbeing he now lives today. In reflection, Dana says, “Reiki and Urevia® are very real and very personal with us. It’s our lifestyle.” For more information on Subtle Energies & D’Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing, call 269-838-4079, email or Dana@ or visit or See ad, page 7. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

natural awakenings

December 2015



Generous Pint-Sized Givers Teaching Kids How to Care and Share by Jennifer Jacobson


mong a parent’s greatest rewards is seeing their children grow up to be productive, contributing members of society, including knowing how to give back and enrich the communities in which they live. Children can start participating in the giving process as toddlers. Having them observe regular charitable acts can make a strong impression and catalyze later independent initiatives. Learning how to give and developing the associated skill set is a lifelong journey. Giving becomes a way of life—of looking at the world and determining how to help the causes they feel passionate about. Here’s how to take those crucial first steps. Ask kids how they’d like to help. If giving to a cause is new to the household, explain that the family has many opportunities. Then engage children in a conversation about the general areas

they may feel strongly about supporting—perhaps individuals or families in need, animals or wildlife habitat—and start a list of those that the family is interested in. Next, start researching related local organizations, facilities and institutions, and matching them to the topics on the list. Ideas may include food kitchens, pet shelters and animal rescues, nature parks, senior citizens’ residences, camps for low-income or physically or mentally challenged children, zoos, museums, aquariums and local libraries. Make a game plan. Get creative about how to actually help the selected causes. Talk it through together, map out activities—like visiting, donating funds or materials or participating in fundraising efforts—and post the results somewhere at home that is highly visible. “Gamify” it to some degree with

tasks that turn into goals that turn into accomplishments that result in chits. Quick tasks can make a big difference. Clear the clutter. Every six to 12 months, launch an all-family household closet cleaning day that includes the toy chest and maybe the garage. Add nonperishable healthy food items they’ve picked out while grocery shopping. Make a “donate box” positioned where kids can add to it and deliver the donations often, even if it’s small. Find ways to raise money for donations. Organize a family or neighborhood yard sale or organic bake sale that involves kids at all stages of the project, and give all or a portion of the proceeds to a selected charity. Associate getting with giving. For birthdays and holidays, include a handwritten “certificate of giving” that specifies the amount of money available for them to gift to their favorite charity. Take the child to the charity site to make the monetary donation in person, if possible. For non-local organizations, write a check and have the child include a letter with their thoughts and mail it. Volunteer to do community service. Public gardens need weeding, historic buildings need painting and food banks need hands. Find goodwill tasks that are age-appropriate and engaging. Grow the mindset. Tell real-life stories about kids or groups of kids that have found creative ways to give back. Encourage empathy by sharing appro-

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priate stories of struggle. Ask kids, “How would you want people to help you in this situation?” Explain the action the family is taking and the resulting benefit to the recipient. The conversation might be, “We don’t need to store all this stuff when someone else could really use it.” Or, “I bet there is a kid out there who would really like playing with this toy. I know you used to love it, but how about if you pass it along to someone else so they can enjoy it as much as you have?” Keep the focus on the people in need and your child’s ability to share an experience through an item. Establishing an impermanent connection to material things can

help kids understand the importance of nurturing relationships over acquiring goods. Develop a language of giving in the household by creating opportunities to incorporate it into regular conversation. Appropriate comments could share concepts such as seeing ourselves as stewards of the planet and the things we think we own; it’s our duty to help those in need when we have abundance; and if there is ever a time when we are without, we hope that others will think of us and help us. Teaching children how their thoughts, words and actions impact those around them is a lesson that bears repeating. Jennifer Jacobson lives in Seattle and has served on the boards of several influential nonprofits and other organizations focused on conservation, education and community.

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“When you see ‘fragrance’ on a personal care product label, read it as ‘hidden chemicals,’” warns the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit watchdog Environmental Working Group (EWG). “A major loophole in the [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration’s federal law lets manufacturers of products like shampoo, lotion and body wash include nearly any ingredient under the term fragrance without actually listing the chemical.” Companies that manufacture personal care products are required by law to list the ingredients they use, but fragrances and trade-secret formulas are exempt. What’s known as a dirty little secret in the fragrance industry is the unlabeled presence of toxic chemicals not only in perfumes, but in any personal care product that includes a scent. Lab tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and analyzed by the EWG confirm the presence of parabens

that interfere with hormone production, cancer-causing phthalates, and synthetic musks that have been linked to hormone disruption, among many other ills.

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“Opting for natural scents from organic essential oils not only offers a toxinfree alternative, the oils’ aromatherapy benefits have time-proven therapeutic value,” suggests Dorene Petersen, president and founder of the American College of Healthcare Sciences, in Portland, Oregon. Recent research from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica, in Brazil, confirms that lavender oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain-relieving properties similar to those of a mild-dose narcotic. Plus, it smells heavenly, says botanical perfumer Roxana Villa, of Woodland Hills, a California-based spokesperson for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. “Considering the part of the plant used will give you an idea of its therapeutic value,” says Villa. “A root base will be good for grounding. Since bark is like skin, oils such as birch will benefit skin and muscles. Oils from flowers are excellent for anything related to the head and mind.”

Oregano and cinnamon oils have powerful antifungal properties, even against Candida-type fungi resistant to prescription drugs, according to Brazilian research from Universidade Federal. A groundbreaking study from the Slovak University of Technology, in Slovakia, even suggests that rosemary oil can kill cancer cells. These are all scents that can be the foundations of do-it-yourself perfumes.

Customized Blends

“It’s fun to experiment with organic essential oils and create that unique blend that becomes a personal signature,” says Charlynn Avery, an aromatherapist with Aura Cacia, in Norway, Iowa. She explains that essential oils have three basic “notes” and blending them correctly will result in a fragrance suited to last throughout the day. “The base note is heavier and lasts the longest. Patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cedarwood and jasmine hang around longer in the atmosphere and on the wearer,” she explains. Blending the base with a slightly lighter middle note like lavender, rosemary or clary sage and a light and short-lasting top note like orange, lime or peppermint will create a complex and pleasing blend. “That’s the beauty of the art of it,” says Avery. “You can create synergistic blends that harmonize and complement the attributes of each to such an extent that you may not be able to detect the scents of the individual oils.” There are no hard and fast rules, but our experts offer a few guidelines

for creating our own unique blends that will be well-received as holiday gifts. Use a base of oil like jojoba or sweet almond to create a perfumed oil. Note that oils undiluted by a carrier can burn the skin. For oil-based blends, use a ratio of 50 drops of bottom note oil, 30 drops of a middle note and 20 drops of a top note in two ounces of carrier oil. Another option is to use an alcohol base of either isopropyl rubbing alcohol or 85-proof vodka to make a spray perfume; the alcohol will evaporate quickly. Alcohol-based blends generally last longer, especially with fragile citrus oils. A usual ratio is 10 to 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of alcoholbased carrier. Oil-based blends are ready to use almost immediately. Alcohol-based blends should age a week or two at least and will become more strongly scented in time. Store fragrances in bottles in a dark, cool place. Bottles with tiny rollon caps are commercially available. “It’s very much trial and error to arrive at a preferred scent, so be creative and keep careful notes of experiments and improve on them as you gain experience,” counsels Avery. “If you crinkle your nose at patchouli, you probably won’t like an oil blend with it, either. Choose scents you like.”

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natural awakenings

December 2015


Integrative Breathwork A Musical Meditation for Insight, Emotional Healing, Creativity & Renewal.


Singing the World Awake by Tom Kenyon Article adapted from the film, Song of the New Earth


hen I was a Music and sound Brain research shows that when we experiyoungster, I clearly remember are the language ence pure sound without reading a book, The Boy and architecture language, the right side of the brain lights up like a Who Sang to the World, of the cosmos. Christmas tree. I’d worked although I later learned it in brain research for about doesn’t exist. I read it in 13 years when, while meditating, I some other realm of consciousness and received new information about brain that’s what I became. geometry that I recognized as the ge I sang to the world, sun, moon, ometry of consciousness in its relationstars and all life. I sang in church and ship to sound and emotion. choirs and later took up guitar and I understood that if I taught this to piano. One day, a visitor to our house said, “You’re going to heal many people others, I would observe rapid change and improvement in brain function in this world with that voice.” and creativity, which took place when When I attended the University of North Carolina, I discovered that neuro- I conducted beta testing at three sites. physiology could be used as a language One day, I was in California doing a workshop when these sounds just came to explain mystical experiences. The through me. That’s what spawned my whole time I was engaged in scientific current sound work. training, I was also going deeper into I become like a tuning fork to the the mysticism of the East, the yoga information that is coming to me. In of India, Taoism of China, Egyptian shamanism, this is called being the alchemy and Tibetan Buddhism. I was hollow reed. I step out of the way. In practicing every meditation from every terms of brain frequencies, I go into an tradition, sometimes for five hours a alpha state, in which I can attend to day. Without realizing it, I was changwhat I need to do vocally, but for that ing my neurophysiology.


West Michigan Edition

Photo by Adrienne Koteen

Linda Adamcz, MSW Music & Art Therapist Certified Breathwork Facilitator

Sound opens consciousness. If consciousness is higher, life on Earth will change. moment surrender my voice to the energy. When I work shamanically with drums, animal spirits come through my voice, as do beings from other traditions. I feel like a doorway, or a chauffeur looking in the back seat to see who I’m driving. I live in two diametrically opposed worlds. I’m logical in how I look at things and am fascinated by brain neurology. Then there’s this other side that’s off the charts. I never know when the whales are going to appear. As I operate in an altered state, I can see humpbacks psychically approaching until one of them enters my energy field. Subjectively, I become as large as a whale, at the same time I’m aware of my physical body. I have dual realities, and then the whale sounds emanate through me. In a visionary experience on my 40th birthday, the question arose, “Will you sing the song of the new Earth?” I believe that we’re not going to survive much longer as a species if we don’t change how we are living, and that’s what my work is about. Many people are having spiritual emergences, yet we don’t, as a culture, have a place to harness its potential. What I do with groups is a type of sound healing, working collectively with the energy of a large gathering. Each person responds in ways unique to them, breathing into some inner emotion and making a sound that matches how it feels inside. Something happens with people that attend these events. It’s about the transformation and beauty of being able to step into the unknown to commune with a knowledge and intelligence that’ll sing through my voice. Together, we’ll see what will come forward. A major message I’ve received is that if we are to survive, we must raise the feminine out of the ashes created by millennia of cultural traditions and have the male and female meet together, not one above the other, but in equality, and with that union, create a new world. The boy who sang to the world has grown up to sing a space that allows people to create their hopes and dreams into existence. Psychologist and musician Tom Kenyon is trained in Ericksonian medical hypnosis and whole brain learning. His 25 years of practicing psychotherapy led to the formation of Acoustic Brain Research to scientifically study neuropsychology and psychoacoustics. He teaches Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Egyptian high alchemy and esoteric Christianity. He has authored Brain States, many CDs and the new documentary about his journey, Song of the New Earth (

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December 2015



Eat, Bark and Be Merry Healthy Holiday Treats for Our Pets by Sandra Murphy


s with families everywhere, special taste treats are on the menu for many dogs, cats and wild birds during the holiday season. Owners are cautioned not to share rich, unfamiliar foods from the table that can be detrimental to an animal’s health. Better fare are homemade treats of organic, safe and tasty ingredients—true gifts from the heart. Homemade assures the quality of ingredients, avoids unhealthy additives and allows the giver to adjust for

individual taste or food sensitivities. Most healthy recipes can be made from readily available ingredients.

Wild Birds

Offer them a variety of seeds and fresh water. Always use unsalted, unseasoned seeds. Mix harder-to-crack striped sunflower seeds with the smaller black oil version to attract the largest number of birds. Organically grown peanuts in the shell, dried fruit, oranges, pomegranates or rehydrated raisins offer a burst of

energy. Impale round fruits, halved, on a small dowel rod attached to the feeding table to hold them in place. Note that oats go to waste, shelled sunflower seeds spoil and cracked corn attracts raccoons. Pass on any kind of popcorn.

DIY Suet

Mix one part organic peanut butter with five parts organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) corn meal. Smear into a pinecone to hang from a branch or directly on tree bark for woodpeckers and wrens to enjoy. Don’t use low-fat peanut butter because birds need to pack in the calories in order to stay warm.


Organic catnip, fresh or dried and baked into a crunchy treat, will bring kitty running. In recipes, avoid canned tuna because of bisphenol A (BPA) concerns; also minimize the frequency and portion of tuna and salmon treats due to mercury accumulation in the fish. Unseasoned tuna or salmon packed in water in a pouch is a better choice. Many recipes labeled for dogs can be converted for cats by making them into smaller bites.

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“When possible, I put organic and local foods, non-GMO, hormone-and antibiotic-free, grass-fed and humanely raised properties at the top of my list. A healthier dog means fewer vet visits and more years together,” says Tonya Wilhelm, a dog trainer in Toledo, Ohio. “Buy in bulk from a co-op or farmer and maybe share with friends to get the best price.”

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrating removes moisture from food while retaining nutrients, and comprises a distinct cooking method. Stephanie Raya, resident chef at Excalibur Dehydrator, in Sacramento, California, recommends, “For safe chicken and pork, pre-cook before dehydrating. Beef can be dehydrated from a raw state. My Boston terriers also love dehydrated, sweet potato chips.” A number of commercial dehydrated meat and fish jerkies have been recalled (search DogFoodAdvisor. com/?s=treats). Homemade treats offer superior control of ingredients. “When I make my pets’ treats, I know what’s in their food, including the herbs used for flavor,” says Raya. After she’s ensured that the food is thoroughly dried, she packs it in vacuum bags and stores them away from light. She notes that dehydrating takes longer than baking, but is cost-effective at 25 to 50 cents an hour. Veggie options include dehydrated zucchini chips, butternut squash chips, cherry tomato bites, matchstick carrots or peach or other fruit slices.

Make it Festive

A cat’s sense of smell is 10 to 15 times better than ours, but is still modest compared to dogs that out-sniff us by a factor of 30 to 60 times; that’s why putting wrapped treats under a holiday tree or in a stocking is a bad idea. Store them securely and then bring them out when it’s time to open gifts. Use blue tissue paper for easy-to-open Hanukkah gifts, red or green for Christmas (bows, yes; ribbons, no). For dogs that love puzzles, placing treats inside a wrapped box adds to the fun. Remember that rich or unfamiliar foods can make pets sick. Instead, gift them with their own healthy, safe treats from known ingredients so that everyone has a happy holiday. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@

Special Holiday Pet Recipes Chicken Bites Yields: Approximately 24 cookies 1 cup filtered water 10 oz chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 2-in cubes ½ cup brown rice, dry 1 cup coconut flour 1 Tbsp ground flax seed Place water, chicken and rice in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer covered, for one hour. Strain and let cool.

Coconut Bites Yields: Approximately 20 cookies 1 orange, peeled, seeded, chopped into bite-size pieces 1 banana, peeled, chopped into bite-size pieces ½ cup coconut flour Lemon zest Preheat oven to 275° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put the orange and banana into a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. Combine blended fruit and coconut flour. Mix well. Form into 3-inch flat discs and place on a lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Lightly sprinkle lemon zest on the uncooked treats. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Remove cookies and place them on a rack to cool. Tip: Keep a few treats in an air-tight container and freeze the remainder for later. Recipe courtesy of Tonya Wilhelm

Preheat oven to 275° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place cooled chicken and rice mixture in a food processor or blender. Purée until smooth. Place the purée in a large bowl. Add the coconut flour and flax seed; mix well. Form into 3-inch flat discs and place on a lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Remove cookies and place them on a rack to cool. Recipe courtesy of Tonya Wilhelm

Meatball Bites Yields: Approximately 24 cookies 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil 10 oz grass-fed hamburger, 85 percent lean 4 oz green pepper, washed, seeded, cut in bite-size pieces 2½ oz kale, washed 3 figs, stems removed 1 cup quinoa flour

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

December 2015


Add hamburger and stir fry until almost fully cooked. Add peppers, kale and figs to the meat. Continue to stir fry until the kale is reduced. Allow mixture to cool. Then, place mixture into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Combine the blended mixture and quinoa flour. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 275° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat a frying pan on medium heat for three minutes. Add coconut oil. Coat the pan evenly.

Form into 3-inch flat discs. Place on a lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Remove cookies and place on rack to cool. Recipe courtesy of Tonya Wilhelm

Cheesy Crunchies 2 cups whole wheat flour ¼ cup cornmeal ½ cup cheese (any grated cheese) 1 egg 1¾ cup filtered water ½ cup fine-grated Parmesan cheese Mix all ingredients except Parmesan. Knead dough until thoroughly mixed.

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Roll dough into shapes (like sticks or squares) or use cookie cutter. Roll shapes in the Parmesan. Dehydrate in a dehydrator at 155° F approximately 4 to 6 hours or until dry. For cats, make much smaller shapes. Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephanie Raya, Excalibur Dehydrator

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3 cups ground lean grass-fed beef 1 cup flour 2 tsp brewer’s yeast 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, drained Combine ingredients in medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread on a nonstick 1/8-inch-thick drying sheet. Dry at 155° F until thoroughly dry and then cut into strips. Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephanie Raya, Excalibur Dehydrator


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has healed those areas in just 3 days of use. The Manuka Honey that is in this product, I was told repairs damaged skin - now I am a believer!!! I continue to use this skin cream to keep my skin soft. I have to mention the product has a wonderful aroma, like peppermint, and when applying the cream one can feel a slight warming sensation and I know it is working into the pores to do it’s work! Glad I tried this product! ~ Jim

The holidays are occasions for celebrations and good will toward all. Don’t let chapped or dry, flaky skin get in the way of your enjoyment. Natural Awakenings Advanced Healing Skin Cream, a soothing therapeutic balm made with exclusive Manuka Honey from New Zealand, makes a great stocking stuffer for a special someone.

Restore Your Skin to Natural Youthful Beauty You’ll love Natural Awakenings’ therapeutic cream’s clean, fresh botanical fragrance. Discover what our amazing skin cream can do: • Provides Ultra-Hydration of Skin • Enhances Anti-Aging and Skin Renewal • Soothes Dry, Itchy, Cracked Skin • Relieves Most Burns Including Sunburn • Comforts Wounds and Sores MANUKA HONEY is produced by bees that pollinate New Zealand’s Manuka bush. Advocates tout its antibacterial properties.

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka Honey is gathered in the wild back country of New Zealand from the native Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium). The bees don’t use the pollen from a variety of other flowers or plants, so the content of the honey is very consistent. A 2013 study in the European Journal of Medical Research used Active Manuka Honey under dressings on postoperative wounds for an 85 percent success rate in clearing up infections, compared with 50 percent for normal antibiotic creams.

4-oz jar $21.99 • 8-oz bottle $39.99 • FREE SHIPPING (Dec. only) Order today, available only at or call: 888-822-0246

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December 2015


No-Bake Festive Vegan Desserts

SWEETLY VEGAN No-Bake Holiday Treats Worth Celebrating by Judith Fertig


isions of sugar plums” have been part of holiday mindsets since the advent of Clement Moore’s classic 19th-century poem commonly known as ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. We love to give and receive special treats and our tastes are evolving. Instead of yesteryear’s sugary bonbons loaded with calories that we’ve come to regret, today’s preferred confections focus more on naturally sweet dried fruits, bestquality chocolate, healthful coconut and crunchy nuts. Vegan, gluten-free delicacies from chefs and culinary experts the world over help us celebrate the season in a deliciously healthy way, including those we highlight this month.    “Christmas isn’t Christmas without a traditional pudding,” says Chef Teresa Cutter, author of Purely Delicious. Cutter is founder and director of The Healthy Chef company, in Sydney, Australia, which creates functional foods for taste and optimal health. Her no-bake desserts such as miniature Christmas puddings and carrot cake take only minutes to make.

Emily Holmes, a Queensland, Australia, wellness coach who blogs at, says her favorite is Holmes’ Chocolate Cherry Mini-Cupcakes. She serves them with a pot of peppermint tea. Houston-based Joshua Weissman is the author of The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook and blogs at SlimPalate. com. He shares his philosophy on holiday treats: “My first thought is that I don’t want to feel guilty after eating it. My second is that I still want it to taste and look good.” His Almond Butter Pumpkin Pie Truffles fit the festive bill. In New York City, noted vegan cookbook author and Pastry Chef Fran Costigan is an expert in all things chocolate, including her Chocolate Orange Sesame Truffles. “When you make something really delicious with real ingredients, your mouth knows it, your brain knows it, your body knows it. You feel satisfied,” she says. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood from Overland Park, KS.

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible. 40

West Michigan Edition

Photo by Stephen Blancett


Teresa Cutter’s Healthy Christmas Puddings Yields: 6 to 8 small puddings 8 oz fresh pitted dates—approximately 10 to 15 dates, depending on their size Zest from 1 orange 9 oz dried apricots, chopped 1½ cups almond meal/ground almonds 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract 1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground ginger 1 to 2 Tbsp orange juice 3 oz white chocolate, melted, for decoration (optional) Combine dates, orange zest, apricots, vanilla, ground almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a food processor. Process until mixture is combined and looks like fine crumbs. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl. Add the orange juice, and then mix again. Pudding mix should come together when lightly hand-squeezed. Divide into 6 small puddings. Line the base of 6 small decorative molds with plastic wrap and firmly press the puddings into them. Once firmly packed in the mold, invert the pudding and remove the plastic wrap. Melt white chocolate in a small bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Spoon a little white chocolate over the tops of the puddings if desired and

garnish with goji berries, fresh cherries or another fanciful topper.

Press cake firmly into a 6-inch round baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve puddings with chilled mango coconut custard.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, allowing at least 2 hours for the cake to rest. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

Mango Coconut Custard 1 mango, chopped ½ cup coconut milk Juice from ½ orange

Enjoy as is or garnish with macadamia nut cream, a drizzle of honey and walnuts.

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled with the puddings.

Note: Other raw nuts can substitute for walnuts—try pecans, almonds or macadamia nuts.

Teresa Cutter’s No-Bake Carrot Cake

Yields: 16 servings 2½ cups (9½ oz) shelled walnuts 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or whole chia seeds ½ cup (2 oz) rolled oats (or gluten-free almond meal) 1 tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp sea salt 1 cup (6½ oz) of 12 large fresh dates, pitted ½ cup (3 oz) dried chopped apricots or pineapple (sulfur-free) 2 large raw carrots, grated Zest from 1 orange 2 tsp vanilla bean paste Combine walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, orange zest and sea salt into a food processor and run it until mixed and finely chopped. Add dates and apricots. Process again until thoroughly mixed. Add grated raw carrot and vanilla and then process again until combined. The mix should now form a nice dough. Spoon into a bowl. Add and knead oats through the raw carrot cake mixture.

Macadamia Nut Cream Combine 1 cup of raw cashew nuts or macadamia nuts with ½ cup of orange juice or coconut water and a little vanilla. Blend in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix until smooth and creamy.

Joshua Weissman’s Almond Butter Pumpkin Pie Truffles

or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 20 drops stevia (like Sweetleaf Steviaclear drops) In a medium-sized bowl, combine everything for the filling, including pumpkin purée, almond butter, cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coconut flour and stevia. Mix thoroughly until smoothly incorporated and no cream cheese chunks are left. Chill by refrigerating the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes or freezing it for 2 to 5 minutes. Roll chilled filling mixture into mediumto-small-sized balls a little less than an inch in diameter and place them on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place balls back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes so the balls harden enough to allow dipping. Heat a double boiler or small pot that fits into a medium pot of gently boiling water over medium-to-low heat. Scrape out the vanilla bean pod, conserving vanilla beans for adding once the cacao butter is melted.

Yields: About 12 to 16 (1½-inch) truffles Warm winter spices mix with fragrant pumpkin and almond butter to make seasonal truffles hand dipped in fresh vanilla bean-infused white chocolate. Filling ¼ cup canned pumpkin purée (not pie filling) ¼ cup almond butter ¼ cup vegan cream cheese ¼ tsp cinnamon ¼-½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp fresh grated ginger 1 Tbsp coconut flour 2 packets stevia (like Sweetleaf packets) Coating (vanilla bean white chocolate) 2 oz food grade (not for skin care) cacao butter broken up into small pieces for melting ¼-½ vanilla bean pod, cut in half lengthwise to scrape out the interior,

Place cacao butter in the top of a double boiler and melt and add stevia. Then add vanilla beans and mix well. Turn the heat to low to keep warm and melted. Pull out the hardened filling shaped into balls and one at a time drop them into the white chocolate mixture and roll them around until they’re fully covered with mixture using fingers or a small spoon. Carefully spoon out each truffle using a spoon, gently tapping the spoon on the inside of the saucepan to slough off excess cacao butter that may pool on it. Take special care not to drop the truffle. Gently place each treat back onto the tray. Repeat the whole process until all the coated balls are on the tray. Let them cool at room temperature and serve immediately or place them in the refrigerator to harden and serve later. Chilled, truffles will keep for 3 to 5 days.

natural awakenings

December 2015



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


Complementary Consultation- At Brain & Body Chiropractic, a consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we are not the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Call 616-202-6368 to schedule. Holland. December Giving- Bring in an item (from the list of supplies found on our website) for Harbor Humane Shelter and receive an entry in our drawing for a FREE Bamboo Massage. Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, Zeeland. 231-557-3619. December Special- Enjoy The Ultimate Facial + RainDrop for $120, during the month of December only. Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, Zeeland. 231557-3619, Free Variety of Fitness Classes- Join Nutrition-NMore for Fit Camp, High Intensity Cardio, Cardio Drumming and Bellydance for free! Call 616-4551775 for class times. 5394 Division SE, Kentwood. Holiday Special- With every Associate membership through Jacque Jennings Carter during the month of December, receive a free tube of RENU 28, a retail value of $50 and potentially up to two free cases of ASEA, a retail value of up to $320. Certain restrictions apply. Call 269-779-2900 for details. Pray for Peace and Goodwill- Stop by Vital Nutrition for some stress free holiday ideas. Hours are Monday thru Friday 9:30am to 7:30pm, Saturday 10-5. We are closed Sundays. 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. 616-433-9333 Veterans Care Packages- From not until December 19, pick up a “wish list” from Schafer Chiropractic and Healing Spa and bring in the daily necessitytype of items on the list to be put into care packages for veterans. 616-301-3000. Grand Rapids.


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. $5 donation. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.

West Michigan Edition

Are Your Movements Helping or Hurting- 10:1511:15am. Explore how the brain and spine drive movements with Dr. Lily Semrow and learn simple ways to find out what’s causing spinal instability and what to do about it. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, Holland. For more information, or 616-392-7580.


Buy and Sell-A-Bration- 11am-4pm. Enjoy craft items, card readers, massage treatments and a gourmet lunch you may purchase, or find gently used items for re-gifting at drastic savings. A variety show follows at 4pm with hula hoop hotties. Unity Church of Muskegon, 1311 Wesley Ave., Muskegon.

Integrative Breathwork Workshop – 10am-5pm. A musical meditation for insight, emotional healing, creativity & renewal. Facilitator: Linda Adamcz, MSW. Cost: $70. Contact or 269-388-2988 to register. Octagon House, 3180 E Paris SE, Kentwood. For more information:

Christmas Open House & Book Signing- 11am5pm on Dec 5 and Noon-4pm on Dec 6. The Birthright of Mary Magdalene by Joan Riise. This book introduces a spunky, charming and thoroughly engaging heroine for younger readers at the same time it satisfies the mature reader seeking the greater balance of the Divine Feminine. Author present on Dec 6 only. 231-936-2505. Tell Me A Story Antiques, 862 W. US 10, Scottville.


Inspire- 1pm. Collaborative community event addresses social justice and human rights. Music, movement, group activity and more. Our December topic is Mental Illness. Learn what resources are available and participate in helping to fill needs. Call 616-502-2078 or visit to learn more. Barber School, 102 W Savage, Spring Lake.


Fall Canning of Beef Recipes, in Facility Kitchens- Noon. We will give you the ingredient list and you bring your ingredients, jars, lids, and rings and knives. $50 fee for a five hour session; reservations to With five hours in a commercial kitchen, you get to can as much as you can with the ingredients you bring.

Past & Future Thinking Patterns- 7-8:15pm. Join Moment of Peace for meditation and discussion on the effects of past and future oriented thinking. $20. 1324 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 7, Grand Rapids. 616-295-1861.


Community Quiet Day & Labyrinth Walk- 10am3pm. Come take a brief retreat to meditate, read and reflect and gain refreshment for the body and soul. Open to all faiths. Suggested donation of $5. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1006 Third St., Muskegon.


Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.

Essential Oil Class- 6-8pm - Emotional Clearing Oils - Learn and understand the power of essential oils and how they can facilitate emotional releases. Class fee $25. Contact to register 616-443-4225. Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids.



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

Integrative Breathwork Workshop – 7-9:00pm. A musical meditation for insight, emotional healing, creativity & renewal. Facilitator: Linda Adamcz, MSW. Cost: $30. Contact or 269-388-2988 to register. Octagon House, 3180 E Paris SE, Kentwood. For more information:

Becoming a Global Agent of Change- 10am-1pm. Cary Ellis, author of 21st Century Super Human: Quantum Lifestyle, will present compelling insights into how to support the paradigm shift of social transformation. Unity Church of Muskegon, 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon.

Sing Song Yoga for Kids- Noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6, 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Learn more and register at $6 for ages 2-6, $8 for ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 2016, Grand Rapids. Restorative Yoga- 2:30-4:30pm. Join Carolyn Heines for a quiet, supported practice to ease your body, mind and soul. All are welcome. $25. Register online at 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids.


Reiki I & II Class- 9am-5pm - Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee is $250. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Contact to register 616-443-4225. Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Eckankar-10-11am. Join the monthly ECK Worship Service, “The Year of the Shariyat.” Services are the second Sunday of each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids,


Food as Therapy Class- 6-7pm. Discussion on Live/Raw Foods, Nutrition Dense Foods, Fermented Foods and Raw Milk benefits. Free community class. Call to reserve your seat. 616-443-4225. Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids.


Survivorship-Life After Cancer- 7-8pm. Create a bodily environment that is inhospitable to cancer. Take control of your life and stay cancer free. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids. Forgiveness Meditations- 7-8:15pm. Join Moment of Peace for a meditation class and discuss the healing benefits of forgiveness through meditation. $20. 1324 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 7, Grand Rapids. 616-295-1861.


Holiday Reiki Share- 6-8pm. Come check out what Reiki is all about, and have a mini session done. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. Contact to register 616-443-4225. Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21 World Peace Day

savethedate Save The Date Events Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or above require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. If you are a current advertiser, distribution site or nonprofit you just use this listing in place of two of your free listings.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22 Winter Solstice Celebrate the Winter Solstice- 6-8:30am. Join us as we honor the light within through a graceful flow of sun salutations, mantra and meditation. Strengthen the body, mind and spirit in this practice designed to help you release what no longer serves. Donation. Visit or call 616-392-7580 for more info. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio. Holland.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24 Christmas Eve Christmas Eve Candlelight Service- 5-6pm. Celebrate the holiday season and express gratitude with Spirit Space in Saugatuck. Remember loved ones and light a candle in their memory and celebrate communion together.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day Christmas Message & Meditation- 10:15am. A joyous gathering & a time to share Song Chants and spiritual insights – bringing blessings to all. Free. Visit or 517 641-6201. 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath.


Pure Meditation Foundation Class for Adults3pm. Conquer stress, improve concentration, find inner peace, and so much more! See our website for other dates. $60 Pre-registration required. Free. Visit info@ or 517 6416201. 7187 Drumheller Rd, Bath.


savethedate January 9

Don’t miss out on the Annual Natural Living Directory for West Michigan!

Inspire- Join us each month for a collaborative, interactive event that focuses on social justice and human rights. In January we take an in depth look at Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness. Engaging your heart, your head and your hands. Barber School, Spring Lake.

January 5

New You Weight Loss Challenge & Nutrition Class- 1/5 at 6:30pm or 1/6 at 10am. Take your New Year’s Resolution and make it happen! Learn healthier lifestyle choices through nutrition to reach your goals. Lose weight, build muscle, have more energy! Cost is $35. 4462 Forest Park Dr SW, Wyoming.

January 9

Vision Board Construction- 1-3pm. Join Bodhi Tree Yoga for an Annual Vision Board construction session. $15 – all materials included. Call Nancy at 616-566-3916 to reserve your spot. Space is limited. 208 W. 18th St., Holland.

January 23

Whole U GR Expo- 10am-4pm. Join a network of like-minded people working together at Whole U GR for an intimate expo that focuses on mind, body & spirit—a day filled with exhibitors, speakers and workshops. Tickets on sale now. For more information, go to Grand Rapids.

January 23

Kids & Family Expo- 10am-5pm. Bring the family and come and play, celebrate, get active, explore, build, learn and discover at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids. Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids ages 3-15. Visit KidsAndFamilyExpo. com for more information.

January 31

Yoga Nidra Workshop- 5:15pm. Join us for this informative workshop on Yoga Nidra. We will have a ½ hour explanation and a one-hour session with refreshments following. $20. Instructor is Chandra Jennings. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, Holland. Check out or call 616-392-7580 for more information.

Don’t miss out on the opprotunity to reach over 40,000 readers and Attract New Customers! Call by Jan 29th to Advertise for the entire year for only $99 616.656.9232

natural awakenings

December 2015


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

Sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck. Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Visit for more information. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see

Monday The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095. Hot Yoga- 7pm. Incorporates traditional yoga poses into an active flowing sequence that is held in a hot room to produce greater muscle flexibility and release of toxins in the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr. Allendale.

Tuesday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman7:45-9am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Tech Tuesday Robotics- 4:30pm. Join Sylvan Learning of Muskegon at the Tri-Cities Family YMCA this winter. Classes are for 1st-6th grade students, for members and non-members alike. Call Lisa at Sylvan for more information: 231799-0613. Yinfusion Yoga- 6pm. An age-old, time-tested holistic practice which aims to purify and strengthen the body, create energy, calm the mind, refine the breath, balance the mind and body and brighten our Spirit., 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Yoga for Athletes- 6-7:30pm. Designed for athletes and those that are active at all levels. Focus on flexibility, ROM, strength, breath, and concentration for specific sport or activity. $5 first class. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland.


West Michigan Edition

A Course in Miracles- 6:30pm. Take part in a complete self-study spiritual thought system that teaches the way to universal peace by undoing guilt through forgiving others in a non-sectarian, non-denominational spiritual approach. UnityCSG. org. 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Wednesday $20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-3659176. Grand Rapids. Chair Yoga- 10am. Chair yoga classes include movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility, balance and strength. $12. Heart’s Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Living an Authentic Life- Noon. Unique, weekly healing group focused on developing selfcompassion and taking ownership of participants’ authentic selves, all with confidential, caring support. We talk, write, express, experience, laugh, cry, play, create, move, etc. Registration required. Call 616-426-9226 for cost and more details. 1345 Monroe Ave, NW, Grand Rapids. Kundalini and Meditation- 5:30pm. Join Keval Kaur Khalsa for Kundalini Yoga & Meditation, open to and appropriate for all experience and ability levels. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Meditation at Spirit Space- 6-7pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Join us for the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck. Mindfulness Drop-In Practice Group in Kalamazoo- Join us the 1st Wednesday 6-7pm at New Moon Books, 730 East Cork Street, and 3rd Wednesday 6-7pm at Unity of Kalamazoo, 1204 Whites Road. $5 donation suggested. Stress Management Solutions. Call Eric 269-459-7722.

Coding Club Thursdays- 4:30pm. Join Sylvan Learning of Muskegon at the Tri-Cities Family YMCA this winter. Classes are for 1st-6th grade students, for members and non-members alike. Call Lisa at Sylvan for more information: 231799-0613. Yoga Groove- 6-7:30pm. Step out of your comfort zone and shake your Yoga Groove Thang! Jammin’ out while we get our Yoga on! Good times to be had! $5 first class. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Hot Yoga- 7pm. Incorporates traditional yoga poses into an active flowing sequence that is held in a hot room to produce greater muscle flexibility and release of toxins in the body. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr. Allendale.

Saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman– 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234. Restorative Yoga- 10-11:00am. Center your breath and body while aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement with the use of yoga props. $5 first class. YourInnerSpace. net. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Yin Yang Fusion- 11:30-12:30pm. Movement and stillness come together in this Yin Yang Fusion class. Flow from the heart and connect within. $5 first class. 616-994-8087. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Yoga at the Dominican Center at MarywoodChair Yoga, 4-5pm, Beyond Basics, 5:30-6:45pm, Yoga Basics, 7-8:15pm. Cultivate flexibility, strength and balance in your body. Calm and quiet in your mind. Find peace and joy in your spirit. $12/session. 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids.

Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-856-4957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids.

Thursday Yinfusion Yoga- noon. An age-old, time-tested holistic practice which aims to purify and strengthen the body, create energy, calm the mind, refine the breath, balance the mind and body and brighten our Spirit., 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~Oprah Winfrey


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


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

At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 31.


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Hand crafted bath & body products, tea, bulk herbs, essential oils, other raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad, page 13.


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Massage Therapist offering Therapeutic, Hot Stone & Matrix Massage. Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner, and a Certified Reflexologist. See ad, page 19.


Kyle Hass Licensed Builder 616-299-5815 Locally owned building company. 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 free quote. See ad, page 34.

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

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


Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is 1 of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neuro-structural correction. See ad, page 35.

SERENDIPITE ORGANIQUES Teri Kelley 616-719-0610

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

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.


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

SCHAFER CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALING SPA Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 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 ec k p a in , an d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad, pages 6 & 30.

COLON HYDROTHERAPY HARMONY ’N HEALTH Mary De Lange, CCT. LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave, N.E., Grand Rapids 616-456-5033


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 19.

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 31.

natural awakenings

December 2015






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

Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad, page 33.

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

Become an Independent Distributor. Discover the high potency of therapeutically authentic Essential Oils from Young Living. Enhance your own health, as well as others who seek holistic wellness options. Free Training. See ad, page 32.

Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners and Retail Health Store. Natural Health Consultations, Classes, Oils, H e r b s , H o m e o p a t h y, Hypnosis, Foods, Candles, Crystals, Books, CD’s, Massage, Reflexology, Emotional Clearing, Raindrop Therapy, Foot Detox, DOT/CDL Health Cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 8.


Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199 Registered Nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing To u c h , R e f l e x o l o g y, Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery & visualization practices.



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

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

Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo & Portage 269-221-1961 Massage Therapy, Energy Healing, Spiritual Counsel, Healing Services for Groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing Healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual...



Jodi Jenks Natural Health Practitioner, Reiki Master 616-443-4225


Certified in bodywork, lymphatic drainage, raindrop therapy, CranioSacral, reflexology, iridology, natural health consultations including a zyto bio-communication scan. Emotional clearing with essential oils and energy work, Reiki, Energy Touch. See ad, page 23.


West Michigan Edition

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

A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both Traditional and Homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathy remedy. We accept most insurance, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 8.

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

Hypnotherapy services for Smoking Cessation, Weight Management, Pain Management, Personal and Professional Growth, and much more. Also offering Stress Management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 35.


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 19.

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad, page 31.


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

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


In private practice since 1982 specializing in homebirth. Over 1450 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including Prenatal check up.

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

Offering individual, couples and group counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing, and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. My approach is active, collaborative, affirming, and ideal for adults wanting to move forward into true Authentic Living.

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

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

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

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


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

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

Educational Programs Offered: Natural Health Program - Four Years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program - One Year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program - Six Months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad, page 2.

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

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad, page 25.

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

FOR RENT Office Space Available – In a professional health care office building in Kentwood. Approx. 125 square feet office with private entrance and all utilities included. Located on Kalamazoo Ave. near 131, M6 and the East Beltline with excellent visibility, parking and signage. Please call 616-827-2350 for further details.

HELP WANTED 360 Massage and Holistic Care is looking for massage therapists or natural health professionals to join our team. Rental rates start at only $175 per month and include room, utilities and advertising. Contact Nichole at or 616242-0034. 1514 Wealthy St SE, Suite 218 in Grand Rapids. Come Join Natural Choice Chiropractic Our massage team has over 25 years combined experience. We currently have a team of 3 and looking for a 4th! You must be licensed through the state of Michigan and also have your own liability insurance. We offer a positive healthy work environment, competitive pay and perks (such as free adjustments, discount on vitamins and supplements as well as a free gym membership). Please email your resume to NaturalChoiceChiroAndMassage@ or fax to 616-827-2351.

OPPORTUNITIES Medical, Health, Fitness, Individuals FINANCING AVAILABLE! Instead of spending years and millions of dollars to build your own store/ business, why not leverage the power and capabilities of infrastructure and logistics, it’s advertising and marketing prowess; without all the headaches and hassles of inventory management, order processing and fulfillment and customer service. Worth More than a McDonald Franchise! Customers save up to 50%, Free Shipping, Save Time & Money. Will not interfere with your current business? or call 616-745-0510. West Michigan Natural Awakenings Magazine- Start a career you can be passionate about. Publish your own Natural Awakenings Magazine. Home based business complete with comprehensive training and support system. Call 616-656-9232 or visit

natural awakenings

December 2015


Look No Further...

Here is the Business Opportunity You’ve Been Looking For West Michigan Natural Awakenings Magazine is FOR SALE • The Nation’s Leading Healthy/Green Lifestyle Magazine • 21 Years of Publishing Experience • Monthly National Readership of Over 3.8 Million • Exceptional Franchise Support & Training • Make a Difference in Your Community • Proven Business System • Home-Based Operation

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616-656-9232 or visit

West Michigan Edition 48

Natural Awakenings recently won the prestigious FBR50 Franchise Satisfaction Award. Our publishers ranked us among the highest in franchise satisfaction for our Training, Support, Core Values and Integrity!

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ December 2015  

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

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