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feel good • live simply • laugh more


Special Issue

Food Democracy & Inspired Living Veggie Nation Rising Adventures In Nature Combatting GMOs Manifesting Miracles Savvy Cycling

image is courtesy of PlantPure Nation

July 2015 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

July 2015


contents 7 4 newsbriefs 7 healthbriefs 10 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 18 wisewords 10 20 healthykids 3 1 inspiration 34 consciouseating 38 healingways 40 fitbody 14 41 greenliving 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.


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.


WARNS AGAINST GMOS by Linda Sechrist


Families Create Memories at Nearby Parks by Harriet Shugarman


Paddleboarding for Family Fun by Lauressa Nelson


By the People, for the People and Toward a Stronger Nation



by Judith Fertig

38 MANIFEST MIRACLES Tap Into the Field of Infinite Possibility by Deborah Shouse

40 SAVVY CYCLING Keep the Hard Knocks Out of Biking


by Randy Kambic

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 Melinda Hemmelgarn

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Harvesting Leftovers Feeds the Hungry


by Avery Mack

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

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

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his month’s theme of Food Democracy has me thinking about the success of educating our population about food-related issues. For instance, gluten intolerance is better understood now than just a few years ago, and researchers continue to learn more about the basis and generation of autoimmune diseases. Lactose intolerance is well understood today, where before all we had to go on was visible symptoms. Organic food was once considered too expensive for most of us to buy; now it’s too expensive not to buy if we want to avoid ingesting genetically modified (GM/GMO) crops, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic hormones and antibiotics, and their associated health issues. Over time, we will learn more about the premium nutrients we each need and the foods that give us trouble. But starting today we can all make better choices by knowing the ingredients and origin of our food. After 20 years of eating GMOs, we now suspect that their consequences can be devastating to the health of the living creatures that consume them. It’s a hot controversy with grassroots common sense and independent science arrayed against big corporations with lobbying clout. There’s enough research to call GMOs into question and at least require labeling so that consumers can make informed choices. If we are what we eat, most of us have a big problem. Understanding the nutrients generally required to maintain optimal wellness and how to avoid toxins in our food are helpful steps. Knowing how to read food labels is another. When it comes to the development of our children, few things are more essential than ensuring the quality of the foods they eat. Beyond the basic need for energy, what we eat as children and adults affects our general wellbeing and happiness. Because it profoundly affects our biochemistry, it dictates in large part how we feel, think and perform. Family by family, community by community, we are finding that our greatest healthcare protection and savings come with the choices we make in supporting a healthful lifestyle. This month’s articles address the importance of knowing what’s in our food, the dangers of GMOs, feeding the hungry with excess harvests and loads of recipes to help us feast on summer’s bounty. We also encourage you to get out in nature, manifest some miracles and start pedaling around town. It all gets us thinking about healthier, more natural and joyful ways of living. Happy Independence Day!

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.

Amy Hass, Publisher

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings

natural awakenings

Magazine of West Michigan

July 2015


newsbriefs Celebration Open House


he Yoga Studio, Grand Rapids’ home for classical hatha yoga since 1979, is celebrating their move to a newly renovated studio on Friday, July 24th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All are welcome to tour the space; light refreshments will be served. The new address is 959 Lake Dr. SE, Suite 206 in Grand Rapids. Classes in the new studio begin after Independence Day. New and returning students are invited to take a free class the week of July 6, and a summer series of classes will begin the following week. For more information, visit The Yoga Studio’s website at or follow them on Facebook at Facebook. com/TheYogaStudioGR. See ad, page 16.

The Magic of Michigan


ome experience the magic of Michigan and find your Michigan summer moment at an affordable weekend retreat, August 21-23, at historic Camp Miniwanca, a private Lake Michigan gem just north of Muskegon. Located among 360 wooded acres, beautiful Camp Miniwanca offers everything from tent camping to rooms near the lake or among the pines. This special Sierra Club weekend is open to the public, and for 26 years now, the magic of this beautiful, pure Michigan setting has been bringing people together. Invite your friends and family to this easy introduction to the community of people from all over the state, young and old. Take part in activities and attractions such as kayaking, sailing, river tubing, swimming, high ropes course, guided hikes, scavenger hunts, campfires, yoga, kite flying and more. The modest retreat fee covers all activities and workshops, five meals, two nights’ lodging and memories and connections to last beyond the weekend. For more information, including camp location and registration, contact Cecilia Garcia at or at 517-484-2372, x10.

Build Your Immunity


ecome an expert on your immune system. On Monday, July 27 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Mark Wolfman, D.C. will host a free Maximized Living Advanced Workshop titled, “Building Immunity from the Inside Out: Body Armor!” At this workshop, Dr. Mark Wolfman, will help you understand what your immune system is, what types of things weaken and destroy your immune system and how we can support immune system health through The 5 Essentials. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and strengthened by healthy-living choices. Team up with Maximized Living as we show you exactly how to protect yourself from the ongoing battle against immune health attacks. Workshop takes place at Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlane Ave. SW, Grandville. For more information call 616-214-3111 or visit

July Classes at NITE


he Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education (NITE) invites you to dive deep into the art of healing. Combining practical skills, comprehensive knowledge and a profound understanding of the interconnectedness between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellness makes the Naturopathic Institute education truly unique. Learn from highly qualified instructors who bring a wealth of experience and expertise with them into the classroom to rock your world. In July, classes include Flower Remedies and Essential oils, July 10-13 as well as an Herb Walk, July 10-13. For more information, call 989-773-1714, email or visit See ad, page 48.


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West Michigan Edition

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PFilates™ Training


oin Lakeshore Pilates on September 12 and 13 for a PFilates™ training and become a Certified PFilates™ instructor. PFilates™, Pelvic Floor Pilates, is a unique strength and conditioning program created by Dr. Bruce Crawford, Urogynecologist. PFilates™ uses 10 exercises that were scientifically tested to engage the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles. PFilates™ is the only method of conditioning to target all of the different functions of the pelvic floor thereby providing the most effective training. Different from traditional Kegel exercises, PFilates™ training incorporates the different functions of the pelvic floor in movements that ensure clients are engaging these often poorly trained muscles. Clinical research from our program reveals a 74% improvement in lower urinary tract symptoms over the course of four weeks with very low attrition.

in deep tissue, therapeutic massage and uses Keeki Pure and Simple’s KPS massage oil and infuses therapeutic grade essential oils into her treatments. For more information, call 616-264-6556 or visit Mention this brief to receive Summer Wellness Specials. See ad, page 18.

Poison Ivy


n the height of summer, it’s important to be able to identify plants that we and our children should avoid like poison ivy. Poison ivy can grow as ground cover. Forget waxy or shiny leaves, forget red stems, poison ivy may or may not have these characteristics and many other plants may have them. The best way to identify poison ivy is to know that there is an inconsistency in the notches on the three leaves. They are usually not mirror images of each other—there are subtle differences that vary from leaf to leaf, cluster to cluster, on the same plant. Poison ivy can be very dangerous and hundreds of people are hospitalized every year from trying to remove it from their property. Poison Ivy Control of Michigan offers the identification of the noxious plants (poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and various other noxious plants as well) on people’s property, removal of the plants and an ongoing treatment plan if elected. For more information, call 1-844-489-4663, email or visit See ad, page 13.

Are you interested in PREVENTION?

For more information, call 616-3434303 or email Info@LakeshorePilates. com. See ad, page 17.

Summer Wellness Specials


rand Rapids Natural Health is excited to offer two great deals as a part of their Summer Wellness Special. First, receive 40% off the introductory rate on counseling with Kerry Hart Counseling, PLC. Hart’s expertise include couples counseling, premarital and marital counseling, sex therapy, separation and divorce counseling, parenting support, behavior modification, depression and anxiety treatment and much more. Also, receive 20% off your first massage to all new clients with Janelle Goltz, LMT. Goltz has a passion about natural healing and skincare and is excited to offer her clients at Grand Rapids Natural Health her services, using clean, safe products. Goltz has seven years of experience. She specializes

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July 2015


newsbriefs Alternative Holistic Practitioner Education


ubtle Energies and D’ Rose Institute are happy to announce that the newly expanded Urevia Integrated Health and Healing Science programs have been offered full board professional accreditation and certification. The school’s curriculum fully meets accreditation board’s educational requirements and graduates are eligible to apply to be board certified holistic health practitioners. Subtle Energies and D’ Rose Institute provide quality education for alternative holistic practitioners, healers and any student seeking self-improvement to enhance health, well-being and spirituality. Classes are designed for practitioners interested in expanding their skill-set and for individuals interested in personal growth and healing. For more information, call 269-671-4455 or visit See ad, page 42.

Young Masters at Spirit Space


pirit Space is an inter-spiritual, nondenominational church in Saugatuck that offers children an opportunity for spiritual growth through the process of learning how to reach in


West Michigan Edition

to reach out. Each week our children engage in a meditation exercise to promote relaxation, creativity and inner peace. Values addressed in our children’s program are friendship, imagination, gratitude, courage, creativity and love. These values are explored through Universal Spiritual Principles, meditation exercises, stories, hands-on activities and arts and crafts. The Dali Lama states: “If every 8 year old in the world is taught mediation, we will eradicate violence within one generation.” Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Nursery care is provided for children 0-3 years old. For more information, call 616-402-7850, email or visit See ad, page 35.

We Moved


n June, VizCom Media officially moved to their new permanent location, 3223 Kraft Avenue southeast in Grand Rapids. Here they’ll continue to remain committed to producing high-quality color graphics for vivid, eye-catching banners, signs, vehicle wraps, media backdrops and trade show display graphics. VizCom Media’s state-of-the-art printing equipment allows them to create large, photographic-quality images on any material, including fabric, mesh, metal, carpet, vinyl, acrylic or film. As the industry leader in large format printing, they deliver professional-grade products that won’t break your budget. Ask them about their environmentally friendly options. For more information, call 866-932-2001 or visit See ad, page 22.



Social Isolation Linked to Earlier Death


PlantPure Nation Lady Liberty has a new tagline: a plantbased diet for all. A return to a simple diet based on whole grains, fruits and vegetables is the revolution the founding fathers of PlantPure Nation hope Americans will embrace this Independence Day. Founded by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., the grassroots organization PlantPure Nation seeks to promote the powerful health benefits for people and the planet offered by a whole foods, plant-based diet. This July 4, the documentary film PlantPure Nation, directed by Nelson Campbell, Colin’s son, will debut nationwide and start screening in more than 100 cities. It covers a broad landscape of issues, from the politics of food to the science of nutrition, and follows the lives of 16 people in Campbell’s small hometown of Mebane, North Carolina, as they take on PlantPure Nation’s 10-day food challenge. “No issue is bigger than the one of plant-based nutrition,” says filmmaker Nelson. “It’s at the root of our healthcare crisis, affecting the lives of millions of Americans, the vitality of our economy and the solvency of our government.” Learn more in this issue’s article “Veggie Nation Revolution,” and visit for dates and times of screenings.

ew research from Brigham Young University indicates that social interaction decreases the risk of premature death. Scientists conducted an analysis of actuarial health research from 1980 to 2014 that included more than 3 million people. The study found living alone increased the risk of death by 32 percent, while perceptions of greater social isolation and elevated loneliness showed 29 percent and 26 percent increased risks of early mortality, respectively. The results were consistent among both men and women, but the impact of feelings of isolation or loneliness caused a higher degree of mortality risk for individuals under the age of 65. The mortality rates among the lonely and isolated were comparable to those of individuals that smoked 15 cigarettes a day or were alcoholics. Lead researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., further noted, “The effect of this is comparable to that of obesity, something that public health takes very seriously.”

Eating Peanuts Early On Reduces Allergy Risk


eanut allergies in Western countries have doubled during the past decade. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine may help reverse this trend. Researchers found that introducing peanuts during early childhood can actually decrease the risk of developing a peanut allergy later in life. The researchers followed 640 children with a high risk of food allergies, beginning when they were between 4 and 11 months old. Half the children were fed peanuts, while the other half were not given any. All were tested for sensitivities to peanuts prior to and at the end of the study period, which averaged five years. The research found that nearly 14 percent of those that avoided peanuts had a peanut allergy at the end of five years; seven times more than the 2 percent of those that were fed peanuts and displayed subsequent sensitivity.



esearch from the University of Virginia and Emory University has found that just a few minutes of mindfulness meditation a day can significantly reduce high blood pressure among AfricanAmericans. The research included 15 men with high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease in a crossover study that tested each with 14 minutes of mindfulness meditation and compared that with 14 minutes of blood pressure education during two different treatment periods. Results showed that practicing mindfulness meditation reduced systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and heart rate among the patients. natural awakenings

July 2015


Flaxseed Oil Soothes Carpal Tunnel


arpal tunnel syndrome is typically accompanied by pain, numbness and reduced mobility in the hands and wrists. Research published by the Tehran (Iran) University of Medical Sciences in the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences has determined that the application of external linseed oil—also referred to as flaxseed oil—can reduce pain and increase mobility for syndrome sufferers. The research tested 100 patients with the condition in two groups—one rubbed placebo oil onto their wrists, while the other applied linseed oil daily over a four-week period. Both groups wore wrist splints at night. After the treatment period, those that applied linseed oil experienced a significant drop in pain scores using the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire and Function Assessment. The same patients also reported an improvement in mobility and function.

No Worries: Cats Naturally Eat Less in Summer


study from the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science has found that cats naturally eat less during the summer, indicating that owners can take such appetite swings in stride. The researchers studied 38 cats for four years. Their collars were implanted with a microchip that recorded the amount as they ate as much as they wanted from a dispenser. The team found that cats ate an average of 15 percent less in hot weather. Their eating decreased from June through August and increased from October to February. Eating levels were intermediate in the spring and fall. Study author Dr. Alex German observed, “Cats are more inclined to comfort eat when it’s cold outside, likely to be due to the extra energy they need to keep warm when out and about.”

Stress Ramps Up Inflammation


esearch led by Peggy Zoccola, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University, has found that dwelling upon events that are stressful can significantly increase inflammatory chemicals in the body. The researchers tested 34 healthy young women giving public presentations for job interviews. Afterward, half were asked to contemplate their performances while the others were asked to think about neutral events and images. While all of the women initially experienced significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), the levels continued to rise for at least one hour afterward for the performance-ruminating group, but returned to normal during the same time period for those that pondered neutral thoughts. CRP is produced in the liver and is known to rise following an injury or in a chronic inflammatory condition. “The immune system plays an important role in various cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, as well as cancer, dementia and autoimmune diseases,” states Zoccola. 8

West Michigan Edition

Chemicals Harm Pets, Too


he nationwide health epidemic of chronic diseases afflicting the human population is also showing up among companion animals. According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, pets, like a canary in a coal mine, may be the environmental sentinels that are now signaling a clear connection between disease and manmade chemicals. In a study that analyzed blood samples of dogs and cats, 48 of 70 industrial chemicals and pollutants were traced, many recording levels that were substantially higher than previously reported in national studies of humans. Dogs displayed double the concentration of perfluorochemicals (used in stain-proof and grease-proof coatings); cats evidenced 23 times the concentration of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) fire retardants and 5.4 times the amount of mercury. PBDE levels in hyperthyroid cats have been linked to eating canned cat food and to the increased use of PBDEs in consumer products during the past 30 years. In humans, high levels of flameretardant chemicals are implicated in endocrine disruption, Type 2 diabetes and thyroid disease. Suggestions for minimizing exposure include avoiding chemicalladen household cleaners, furnishings and carpet; drinking carbon-filtered water; steering clear of food and beverage containers made from or lined with plastic (including cans); and eating organic produce and free-range meat.

Herbs for Performance, Superfoods Defend Enhancement and Recovery Against Radiation


utdoor summer activities can sometimes leave the body a bit bruised and battered. While the tendency is to take extra care of ourselves only after the damage has been done, taking a proactive approach by using herbs to prepare for exertion can cut down on postworkout pain, improve athletic performance and help recovery. Before heading outside to work out, Nature’s Rite Founder Steven Frank recommends using sweet marjoram for muscle cramp relief, peppermint leaf to improve circulation and witch hazel to lubricate muscle fibers. Penelope Ody’s The Holistic Herbal Directory suggests that using these herbs can also cut down on discomfort during strenuous physical activity. Devil’s claw can be applied to provide joint relief. According to Andrew Chevallier’s Natural Health Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, applying juniper berry to flush lactic acid from muscles and white willow bark for pain relief can help to offset effects of pushing the body harder than usual during exercise. After the workout is complete, Ody’s Natural Health Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs recommends the application of comfrey to increase fibroblast activity for building new muscle fibers and repairing micro-tears in tendons, as well as Arnica montana to break up micro-clots to clear the way for recovery while easing pain. Frank says, “Each of these herbs, roots and bark can be combined in a water decoction to provide the right preparation for outdoor activities. The mixture should be sprayed on or wiped on large muscle groups and joints for maximum effectiveness.” For more information, email or visit See ad, page 9.


wo superfoods show promise for protecting people from radiation damage—cruciferous vegetables and miso, a food paste made from fermented soybeans. Scientists have identified a specific chemical byproduct, 3,3’diindolylmethane (DIM), derived from the digestion of cruciferous vegetables and especially concentrated in broccoli, that is responsible for the defensive effect. The source of miso’s beneficial properties needs further investigation, but appears to stem from the fermentation process. Research led by Gary Firestone, Ph.D., of the University of California-Berkley, and physician Eliot Rosen, Ph.D., of Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., concluded that administering supplemental DIM before or immediately following lethal levels of radiation exposure protected rats from immediate death. If clinical trials with humans are successful, the compound could be used to minimize acute radiation sickness. A comprehensive research review published in the Journal of Toxicologic Pathology lends credence to miso’s shielding power. Mice that ate miso a week before irradiation appeared to be protected from radiation injury.

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natural awakenings

July 2015


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

Vermont’s Victory Court Rules GMO Labeling Constitutional In April, a federal court denied a request by powerful food industry groups to block Vermont’s landmark law requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods (GMO).The plaintiffs, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, had sought a preliminary injunction to stop implementation of Act 120, which passed in May 2014 and will take effect a year from now. U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss’ ruling said that the plaintiffs failed to show that they would suffer “irreparable harm” to warrant an injunction, and that the state had established that the act’s GMO disclosure requirement is constitutional. “This important ruling affirms the constitutionality of genetically engineered food labeling, as well as the rights of Vermonters and U.S. citizens across the country,” states George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case. The ruling came shortly after an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that industry groups spent $63.6 million last year—triple the amount spent in 2013—to defeat GMO-labeling measures. The general consensus is the Vermont case is likely to go to trial.

Fresh Catch

Community Supported Fisheries Share Bounty of the Sea Community supported agriculture is a growing movement in which subscribers pay farmers for weekly shares of their crops before the growing season starts, benefiting both. The farmers receive an infusion of cash up front and are paid a fair price for the food they produce. Consumers receive fresh food from sustainable, local farms and are often introduced to vegetables and fruits they might not try otherwise. The same concept applies to new community supported fisheries (CSF), which reconnect coastal communities to their local food systems. According to Paul Greenberg, author of American Catch: The Fight for our Local Seafood, 91 percent of the seafood that Americans eat comes from other countries, while one-third of the seafood caught by American fishermen is sold outside our borders. He believes this situation exists because most Americans aren’t willing to pay premium prices for better seafood and domestic fishermen realize better prices overseas. By using the website to find nearby CSF programs, pioneering coastal communities can benefit from both supporting sustainable fishing practices and their local environment while still sufficiently feeding their residents. Source: Mother Nature Network 10

West Michigan Edition

Fracking Fallout

Waterways, Soils and Animals Poisoned with EPA Approval Surface disposal of water produced by oil and gas drilling is forbidden in the Eastern U.S., but allowed in arid Western states for purposes of agricultural or wildlife propagation. The result: Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA is issuing permits at nearly a dozen oil fields on or abutting the Native American Wind River Reservation, in Wyoming, for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them. Also, monitoring requirements allow water to be tested long after fracking outflow, or maintenance flushing, is completed. The EPA maintains Clean Water Act jurisdiction on tribal lands. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) Executive Director Jeff Ruch states, “Gushers of putrid, grayish water encrusted with chemical crystals flood through Wind River into nearby streams.” PEER is asking the EPA to rewrite the permits to regulate all the chemicals being discharged and to determine whether the produced water is potable for wildlife and livestock. Source: FrackingUse

Protests Needed Food Industry Fudges GMO Facts The U.S. Right to Know nonprofit has issued a report, Seedy Business: What Big Food Is Hiding with Its Slick PR Campaign on GMOs ( It outlines the food industry’s campaign to manipulate the media, public opinion and politics with disreputable tactics, company-sponsored science and public relations spin. Since 2012, the agrichemical and food industries have mounted a complex, multifaceted public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaign in the U.S. spending more than $100 million per year to defend genetically engineered food and crops and the pesticides that accompany them, the authors report. The purpose is to deceive the public, deflect efforts to win the right to know what’s in our food via labeling that’s now required in 64 countries and ultimately, to extend their profit stream at any cost to the public for as long as possible. Highlights include a history of the industry’s tactics to conceal information, ensure lack of government policy and testing for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), attack credible scientists and journalists and support untrustworthy advocates and political machinations.

GMO Gains

Food Supplies Increasingly Under Siege Three hundred farmers recently took over the building and interrupted a meeting where the Brazil National Biosafety Technical Commission was deciding whether or not to introduce genetically engineered (GE/ GM/GMO) transgenic eucalyptus trees into their biosphere. These activists and thousands more around the country have halted plans temporarily, but the assault continues by international corporations bent on patenting and controlling the environment itself. At home, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already approved the first corporate-sponsored, patented, genetically modified tree, ArborGen’s loblolly pine. Despite outspoken public opposition, the USDA approved it with no public oversight nor assessment of the environmental risks it poses. Grass-fed beef farmers, supplying an alternative that many seek to avoid GMO feed grain, now have to cope with the advent of genetically modified grass. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Monsanto’s exclusive consumer sales agent for RoundUp glyphosate weed killer, intends to conduct field trials at the homes of company employees absent government oversight, because no laws currently prohibit or limit the planting of GMO grass. In February, the government approved the first genetically modified apple for commercial planting. The Arctic apple is part of a growing list of sanctioned GMO fresh produce, including papaya and sweet corn. A gene within the apple is altered so it resists browning and bruising. Many people die or go blind from vitamin A deficiency, so the Gates Foundation has funded research by Australia’s Queensland University of Technology to create a vitamin-enhanced, GMO “super banana”. Testing on humans will take place in the U.S. over a six-week period and researchers aim to start growing the fruit in Uganda by 2020. Sign concerned-citizen petitions at and

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natural awakenings

July 2015


globalbriefs Bee Aware Lowe’s to Stop Selling Toxic Pesticides Lowe’s Home Improvement says it will begin to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides, a leading contributor to global bee declines, from its stores. This public commitment is the most significant announcement so far for a retailer of its size. Lisa Archer, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, says, “We are pleased Lowe’s is listening to consumer concerns and to the growing body of science telling us we need to move away from bee-toxic pesticides by taking steps to be part of the solution to the bee crisis.” The retailer has pledged to phase out neonicotinoids as suitable alternatives become available, redouble existing integrated pest management practices for suppliers and provide additional materials for educating customers about pollinator health.

Sun-Fueled Energy Booms in Pioneer States


Mushroom Magic

Fungi Clean Up Toxic Wastes For waterways, soil or even radioactively contaminated areas, the powerful use of mycelium to sequester contaminants is receiving significant attention. Leading American mycologist Paul Stamets, the pioneering founder of Fungi Perfecti, has been working for years with mycore mediation, using mycelium to clean up waste sites. He holds nine patents on the antiviral, pesticidal and remediative properties of mushroom mycelia. Stamets even has an eight-step plan for cleaning up radioactive poisoning and thinks fungi could remediate radiation at the melted reactor sites in Fukushima, Japan. The Ocean Blue Project (, based in Corvallis, Texas, uses locally grown oyster mushroom spores lodged in a coffee grounds mixture. Then they create a “bunker spawn” that’s put into a river to restore polluted aquatic habitat. As the mushrooms grow, they break down toxins and remove pollutants from the river. Mycore mediation also helps with weed control. Source:

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West Michigan Edition

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Two years in the making, the Topaz Solar Project, the world’s largest, has begun operating in California, powerful enough to supply 160,000 homes using 9 million photovoltaic solar panels installed across 9.5 square miles. Compared to fossil fuel technology, the facility is projected to remove 377,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year; equivalent to taking 73,000 cars off the road. Unlike some solar plants, Topaz requires no water to generate electricity and makes minimal sound because there are no moving parts, so its total environmental impact is minimal. In Hawaii, where 12 percent of homes have solar panels, handling surplus power is putting pressure on the state’s biggest utility, which now wants to reduce what it pays for the energy. Electricity there is pricey, with monthly bills of $600 to $700 not uncommon. The growing popularity of making electricity at home puts new pressures on old infrastructure like circuits and power lines and cuts into electric company revenue. As a result, many utilities are reducing incentives and adding steep fees. “Hawaii is a postcard from the future,” says Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar, a policy and advocacy group based in California.

Protest Songs

Rocker Neil Young Celebrates Food Democracy with New Album Tour photo by DFree/

Legendary musician Neil Young and his new band, Promise of the Real, featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson, are calling out agribusiness giant Monsanto’s practices with a new album and summer concert tour. The band’s Rebel Content tour to support their new album The Monsanto Years will kick off on July 5 in Milwaukee and includes Young’s firstever concert in Vermont, in Essex Junction, on July 19, a state that passed a law requiring food companies to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. Young, a longtime critic of big agribusiness, has sharply criticized efforts by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to block the Vermont GMO labeling law. “Whatever you think of GMOs,” he maintains, “corporations should not be using massive lawsuits to overturn legitimate, democratic decisions that have strong public backing.” The tour also encompasses Denver, July 8 and 9; Lincoln, Nebraska, July 11; Cincinnati, July 13; Clarkston, Michigan, July 14; Camden, New Jersey, July 16; Bethel, New York, July 17; Wantagh, New York, July 21; Great Woods, Massachusetts, July 22; and OroMedonte, Ontario, July 24. Other dates may be added. For more information, visit

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Protein-Rich Insects May Be Food of the Future As the world’s population grows, it makes sense to decrease consumption of animal protein. Approximately 70 percent of agricultural land and 30 percent of the total land on Earth is currently used to raise livestock, the world’s main source of protein. “Insects require less feed, water, land and energy to produce and their production generates substantially lower environmental pollutants, such as pesticides and greenhouse gases,” says Aaron Dossey, Ph.D., owner of All Things Bugs, in Gainesville, Florida, a company that provides protein-rich insect powder for commercial use. “Some insects are as much as 80 percent protein by weight and provide more essential amino acids than most other animal proteins,” reports Dossey. “They are also rich in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids.” For example, on a dry-weight basis, crickets contain as much omega-3 fatty acids as salmon. Florence Dunkel, Ph.D., an associate professor of entomology at Montana State University and editor of The Food Insects Newsletter, states, “Eighty-five insect species in the U.S. are documented as potential food sources; worldwide, there are 1,900 species.” She cites locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, silk moth pupae and beetle and moth larvae among the top insects consumed as food worldwide. Watch a video at

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The Need to Protect Precious Native Topsoils American states salute their native identities and characteristics in many ways, including official birds and flowers. Home farmers, growers and gardeners can relish that soils also bear official state designations, including New York’s Honeoye, South Carolina’s Lynchburg, Alabama’s Bama, Iowa’s Tama and California’s San Joaquin. All these different types of earth are threatened by widespread use of pesticides, topsoil degradation and other factors that severely hamper their integrity. The U.N. General Assembly declared 2015 as the International Year of Soils, saluting its many roles, including storing and filtering water, providing resilience to drought, participating in the carbon cycle and being the foundation for agriculture. According to The Land Institute, the loss of topsoil is the greatest threat to our food supply. Planting perennial crops, agroforestry, intercropping and other agro-ecological practices can help conserve soils, preventing erosion and protecting water. According to, these sustainable practices can help prevent soil erosion: Reduce impervious surfaces. Driveways, patios and lanais allow precipitation to flow freely over them, gaining momentum in the process, to erode topsoil. Use paving stones rather than a concrete slab to allow water to percolate down into the soil. Plant a rain garden. As a shallow depression in the yard, a rain garden collects precipitation washing over impervious surfaces, preventing soil erosion and facilitating growth of wetland plants. Use a rain barrel. Placing a barrel underneath a downspout will collect and store water that runs off roofs, making it available for watering plants even when rain is sporadic. It supports both water and soil conservation efforts. Consider innovative products. Fiber mulch mats—small, biodegradable particles of wood, straw, coconut and other natural plant materials interlocked with mulch—blend with soil to keep moisture in the topsoil by acting as a top coating. (Review representative manufacturers’ products at and Find the official soil for each state at

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ikki Nestico, Registered Acupuncturist (R.Ac.) and founder/owner of Grand Wellness in Grand Rapids, says that most people come to acupuncture for acute or chronic pain relief, and are often surprised to find out the many conditions acupuncture can treat. “Chinese Medicine is a sophisticated medical system that has been treating disease for thousands of years,” says Nestico. “It focuses on balancing the energy of the body which leaves very few conditions for which it is not beneficial. There is a lot of medical research that proves the efficacy of acupuncture for so many different medical conditions.” The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems, including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Pain Stress Insomnia Headaches High blood pressure Depression Anxiety Nausea IBS Colitis Constipation/Diarrhea Irregular/Painful periods PMS Fertility support Menopause related symptoms Tobacco and substance dependence Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy

Nestico was drawn to acupuncture as a career choice due to some health issues she experienced while growing up. “I developed some health issues starting around age 11,” says Nestico. “I was taking a bunch of medication and had multiple hospital visits.” After three years of living in

New York, she discovered acupuncture when she was 24 years old. “Western doctors told me I’d be chronically ill, but after I started acupuncture, I was never sick again in that manner, and had stopped all medication.” Nestico specializes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which includes acupuncture, and places significant importance on lifestyle changes and eliminating stress. “TCM has a different way of looking at the body,” says Nestico. “My goal is for people to be free from the root of the problem.” Nestico helps people find balance in their lives and to achieve optimal health. “I spend a lot of time with my patients; for me, the answer is in their story. Sometimes the problem can be obvious, but other times it has to be talked out. For example, a patient could be holding onto the emotions from a past tragedy. In TCM, we understand emotion plays a large role in our health and well-being, and we have ways to treat that,” says Nestico. Though technically defined as a client/patient relationship, Nestico sees herself as a partner in her patient’s journey toward wellness. “Though I provide medical care and treatment, I work with people; they are active participants in their wellness. My office is a safe and comfortable environment to heal. Society has taken the onus of our health away from us - ‘here take this prescription’. If that doesn’t work ‘try another’. This system is not working for everyone, as evidenced by the many chronic conditions that many of us experience,” says Nestico. Nestico compared today’s health care with the concept of medicine in ancient China, which focused on disease prevention: Every village had

a Chinese medical doctor. He was paid by the village’s inhabitants to keep them healthy. When you got sick, you stopped paying the doctor until you made a full recovery. It’s so easy in today’s society to go for the quick fix of a pill or even surgery. However, in many cases, those methods don’t get to the root cause of the problem, and come with another set of problems in the form of side effects. Nestico says that while pharmaceuticals can come with unwanted side effects, the side effects of acupuncture are better sleep, more energy and improved digestion, all of which are necessary for the body to heal. Nestico lived in Troy, Michigan until she was 21, when she moved to Brooklyn where she met her husband and had two children. There, they quickly outgrew their 700 square foot apartment. After a couple of visits back to Grand Rapids to visit with her family, she and her husband (who is from England) decided to relocate to East Grand Rapids. “It’s beautiful here, and a great place to raise a family; there are so many things to do with children in West Michigan.” Nestico says that the greatest reward from her profession is to hear back from someone who feels so much better. “That’s why we’re in it,” she says. “We help people get well, and then have them back in for maintenance treatments for prevention. I suggest seasonally, as many changes occur on a seasonal cycle. I want people to find balance and help them on their journey to good health.” Grand Wellness is located at Renewal Skin Spa on 28th St. in Grand Rapids. For more information, visit or email Vikki@GrandWellness. net. See ads, page 27 & 45.

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July 2015



Jeffrey Smith Warns Against GMOs by Linda Sechrist


effrey Smith is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, author of Seeds of Deception and director of the documentary Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives. Smith and his organization’s Campaign for Healthier Eating in America are spearheading consumer rejection of genetically modified foods (GM/GMO) in order to force them off the market.

What basics should everyone know about GMOs? Genetic engineering is different from traditional crossbreeding. In engineering six major GMO crops—soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa—a gene from a virus or bacteria was forced into the DNA of the plants. Derivatives such as soy lecithin, soy protein, highfructose corn syrup and sugar (unless labeled as cane sugar) are in the vast majority of processed foods.

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Many U.S. consumers mistakenly believe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves GMO crops only after careful study. Instead, the agency claimed it wasn’t aware of any significant difference from other food crops and declared safety testing unnecessary. In reality, according to FDA documents later made public in a lawsuit, the consensus among FDA

scientists was that GMOs were different and dangerous and needed rigorous, longterm testing to prevent allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. When the George W. Bush administration ordered the agency to promote biotechnology as a way to increase U.S. food exports, the FDA responded by creating a new position of Deputy Commissioner of Policy for Michael R. Taylor, a former Monsanto attorney. He later became a Monsanto vice president and is now back at the FDA as the U.S. food safety czar.

Why is Roundup, Monsanto’s weed killer for GMO crops, so toxic? Monsanto portrays Roundup as a benevolent herbicide. This is a lie. Glyphosate, its active patented ingredient, alters biochemical pathways in the body. Scientists such as Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have linked glyphosate to numerous diseases and disorders, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gluten sensitivity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, autism and reproductive disorders. In March, the World Health Organization declared it a probable carcinogen.

How can we avoid unlabeled GMO foods? Eat organic foods, which are not allowed to contain GM ingredients, or products that are labeled non-GMO,

or those that don’t contain derivatives of the current nine GMO food crops, which now include some zucchini, yellow squash and papaya grown in Hawaii or China. Any packaged grocery product not labeled “Non-GMO” or “Organic” is likely to contain at least one GMO; this includes meat and dairy products, from animals that have eaten GM feed. is a reliable resource that lists about 30,000 non-GMO products. A non-GMO diet is recommended by thousands of doctors, as well as the American Academy of Environmental Medicine.

What more can “we the people” do to eradicate GMOs? We are in control, not government agencies. I believe that promoting a stronger message—that GMOs are dangerous and should be avoided—would better serve consumers and the food-labeling movement. High-profile campaigns will continue educating consumers about the dangers of GMOs and the necessity of rejecting them in favor of healthier nonGMO choices, especially for children that are most at risk. The desired result is that food companies will feel the loss of profits and remove GMOs as a liability. The tipping point in the U.S. is almost here. In 2013, the president of Whole Foods announced that when a product becomes verified as non-GMO, sales leap by 15 to 30 percent. Thousands of natural product brands were immediately enrolled for verification. Now conventional brands such as Post Foods’ Grape Nuts, Target’s Simply Balanced brand, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Chipotle’s restaurant menu are GMO-free. General Mills stopped using GMO beet sugar in Cheerios. When the rest of the food industry sees these non-GMO-labeled products increase in sales in conventional supermarkets, they will be forced to eliminate GMOs as well, to protect their market share. Visit and to educate everyone about the dangers of GMOs. Connect with writer Linda Sechrist at

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ADVENTURES IN NATURE Families Create Memories at Nearby Parks


by Harriet Shugarman

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


ere’s how to entertain the kids, keep them healthy and get them outdoors this summer.

Where to Go

Traveling to iconic natural wonders like the Blue Ridge Mountains, Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon isn’t the only awe-inspiring way to captivate children’s attention and help them contemplate nature’s beauties. As Brian Ettling, a seasonal ranger at Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon, likes to remind park visitors, “Find your own sacred place and keep going there; it could be a wooded area by your house or a county, state or local park.” Visits to in-state parks are easy to fit into a family’s summer plans and can generate lifelong treasured family traditions. Participating in programs or other exploratory adventures stimulate creative and critical thinking, challenge outdoor and athletic skills and can even teach life lessons. July is America’s Parks and Recreation Month, first designated by the 20

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National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) in 1985. NRPA makes it easy to tap into what’s happening in local parks or wherever family members may be traveling. Events around the country can be found by visiting

What to Do

Biologist Rachel Carson, the mother of the modern-day environmental movement, wrote, “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” In this addictive digital age, it can sometimes be challenging to find exciting ways to help children connect with nature. Jessica Culverhouse, NRPA senior manager and a volunteer master naturalist, offers ways to channel digital habits. “Free apps like the electronic field guide Leafsnap and mobile games like Agents of Nature can be great tools to engage kids with the outdoors with their technology still in hand,” she says.

Parks maintained by a range of entities are jewels to be discovered, cherished and preserved. Another idea is a simple nature scavenger hunt using a smartphone camera. If weekend camping is of interest, in-state parks are convenient and also easy on the budget. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) makes the first step easy with tips and suggested activities through their Great American Campout ( This summer-long celebration of camping encourages everyone to take the pledge to camp, which helps fuel the conversation and initial planning, whether camping in a backyard or local, state or national park. Last year, the Carlson family took the pledge and first camped out in Big Basin State Park, only 20 miles from their home in Santa Cruz, California. “It was an incredible weekend none of us

will ever forget; a world away, but right in our backyard!” they cheer. Garden for Wildlife, another popular NWF program, connects people with their local habitats. Girl Scout butterfly heroes in Wyckoff, New Jersey, learned how. “Our troop was looking for a way to provide a community service for their bronze award project,” says Wendy Rosica, co-leader of Troop 94686. “We chose to create a Monarch Way Station garden in a new community park in our neighborhood. Specifically designed as a space for the butterflies to breed and eat during their annual migrations, it’s not only a beautiful addition to the park, but also a positive way for the Girl Scouts to help area residents learn more about the plight of Monarchs and other pollinators.” National Audubon Society nature centers are an accessible local resource ( Families learn more about native birds and Audubon hiking trails, and naturalist presentations enhance explorations of the region’s habitats. Local native plant and animal species are disappearing at alarm-

ing rates and need habitat stewardship by present and future generations (Climate. Our in-state parks are wellsprings of life from which children and adults can draw throughout our lives, enabling us to discover the splendor and uniqueness of nature right in our own community and backyard. When we see and feel directly what’s at stake, we’ll fight harder and more consciously to protect and preserve it. As Carson eloquently observed in The Sense of Wonder, nature can help us all find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Harriet Shugarman, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, chairs local and regional environmental committees and works with national, state and local organizations seeking pro-environmental legislation. Connect at

natural awakenings

July 2015


Stand Up Paddleboards Spell Family Fun by Lauressa Nelson


ost kids growing up in Chattanooga have crossed the Tennessee River via the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge; far fewer have been on the river beneath it,” remarks Mark Baldwin, owner of area paddle sports outfitter L2 Boards. Using stand up paddleboards (SUP), he loves guiding adults and children on their


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own up-close discoveries of the river’s cliffs, caves, fish, turtles and birds. Waterways are enchanting at any age, and SUP recreation naturally tends to inspire creative quests. Its physical and developmental benefits are a bonus. “The stand up paddleboard is the bicycle of the water. Because paddleboarding can be done at any age

photos courtesy of SURFit USA (


and fitness level, the whole family can enjoy it together,” says Kristin Thomas, a mother of three in Laguna Beach, California, SUP race champion and executive director of the Stand Up Paddle Industry Association. “Children are fascinated by the play of the water and the motion of the board. Parents can acclimate an infant to flat-water paddling by simply creating a well of towels onboard, with the baby snuggled between the feet, looking up at them,” advises Lili Colby, owner of MTI Adventurewear, near Boston, Massachusetts, which makes life jackets for paddle sports. She notes that U.S. Coast Guard law requires that children 30 pounds and under wear infant life jackets to provide special head and neck support that turns a baby’s face up with an open airway within three seconds of entering the water. It’s a good idea to first practice paddling short distances in shallow waters near the shore. Toddlers are more likely to lean overboard to play in the water, Colby cautions, so engaging in nature-inspired games along the way will help occupy them onboard. “Young children introduced to water sports in the context of positive family interaction typically become eager to paddle on their own,” observes Tina Fetten, owner of Southern Tier Stand Up Paddle Corp., who leads a variety of SUP experiences throughout New York and northern Pennsylvania. “If they are

strong swimmers, I bring them on a large board with me and teach them the skills for independent paddling.” Although SUP boards look like surfboards, stand up paddling is commonly taught on flat water, making it easier and more stable than surfing. Still, swimming competence and adult supervision are prerequisites to independent paddling according to paramedic Bob Pratt, co-founder of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, which leads water safety classes in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. “Parents should outfit all children with a life jacket, Coast Guard-approved for their age and weight, as well as a leash, which attaches to their ankle and the board with Velcro straps,” Pratt says. “If children fall into the water, a tug of

the leash enables them to quickly retrieve their largest floatation device, the board.” Experts agree that success is relatively easy, so children build confidence quickly. The sport can be adapted to suit individual needs and positions, including moving from standing to sitting or kneeling, says Fetten, who teaches adaptive SUP lessons in a community pool. As she sees firsthand, “All children, especially those with disabilities, benefit from the empowering feeling of attaining independent success.” “A water-based sport is the healthiest outlet children can have,” attests Wesley Stewart, founder of Urban Surf 4 Kids, a San Diego nonprofit that offers free SUP and surf clinics for foster children. “Being on the water requires kids to focus on what they’re doing and has the ability to

clear their minds and give them freedom. It’s like meditation. Plus, SUP is a lowimpact, cross-training cardio activity; it works every part of the body.” Beyond the basic benefits, SUP keeps children engaged by offering endless opportunities to explore the geographic and ecological diversity of different types of waterways. SUP activities and levels can grow along with children; teens can try yoga on water, competitive racing and the advanced challenges of surfing. Fitness is a bonus to the rewarding ability to propel one’s self through the water. SUP enthusiast Lauressa Nelson is a freelance writer in Orlando, FL, and a contributing editor for Natural Awakenings.

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their community, whether animals are treated humanely, if family farmers and other food workers are paid a living wage and can collectively bargain and whether people have access to safe, healthy food—as well as the right to know what is in their food, how it is produced and where it comes from.” Peck believes that if we want a cleaner environment, healthier people and more vibrant communities, “We need to be citizens that care about bringing democratic accountability, social justice and ecological integrity to all aspects of our food/farm system.”

Local Food Strengthens Communities

Food Democracy By the People, for the People and Toward a Stronger Nation by Melinda Hemmelgarn


o more fully understand the concept of democracy, we can look to some past U.S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln defined it as “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” Harry S Truman further recognized that “secrecy and a free, democratic government don’t mix.” By extension, “food democracy” describes a fair and transparent food system in which people have informed choices and control in determining what and how they eat. It’s what happens when we view people as citizens, rather than consumers, and treat food as a human right, reports the Oakland, California-based Pesticide Action Network (PAN). Kelly Moltzen, a registered dietitian in Bronx, New York, and member of the Franciscan Earth Corps, defines it as having the freedom to make choices about the integrity of our food from farm to plate, so that we can support the health and well-being of ourselves, 24

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the Earth and all organisms that inhabit the ecosystem.

Food Sovereignty Feeds Independence

A PAN report on food democracy describes food sovereignty as the international equivalent of the U.S. movement to re-localize control over our food and farming. It’s rooted in regenerating historically autonomous food systems with, for and by the people. John Peck, Ph.D., executive director of Family Farm Defenders, in Madison, Wisconsin, explains that the term “food sovereignty” was coined about two decades ago by the globally active La Via Campesina, comprised of family farmers, farm workers, fishing folks, hunters, gatherers and indigenous communities around the world. “At its most basic,” Peck says, “Food sovereignty is about reclaiming local democratic control over our food/ farm system from corporate agribusiness.” This way, “Everyone has the right to decide what is grown or raised in

In their report, Deepening Food Democracy, the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), in Minneapolis, describes how U.S. food and farming has increasingly become concentrated, consolidated and controlled by the few. Local food enthusiasts want to take back their food system from industrial, corporate masters that lobby for legislation which denies citizens the right to know how their food is produced or if it contains genetically modified ingredients (GMO). The growing local food movement is as much about returning power to communities, food workers, farmers and farm workers as it is about producing and distributing healthy, sustainably grown food, reports IATP. Anthony Flaccavento, an organic farmer in the Appalachian region of southwestern Virginia, has been working on national food and sustainable farming initiatives for nearly 30 years. In a recent Food Sleuth Radio interview, he described the resulting tremendous, multiple positive impacts of strong local economies, noting that a strong local food system is usually at their center. “Once you have vibrant, diverse local economies,” says Flaccavento, “you have better health, lower crime and incarceration rates—and more civic participation.” Basically, a more democratic food system could help fix many of the maladies ailing our nation today. The steady growth of farmers’ markets, farm to school programs and food policy councils prove that Americans are hungry both for clean food and an enhanced sense of community.

While Flaccavento appreciates conscious consumers that support local food providers, he emphasizes, “Just acting locally isn’t enough. We need to re-engage with bigger social and political debates, as well.”

In a food democracy, everyone is a stakeholder. Not only do people have equal access to food, but they’re informed, active, engaged and participating.

revitalized a community garden and converted a blighted lot into a Guerrilla Garden, where people of all ages gather to grow food, share stories, embrace their cultural ~Rose Hayden-Smith, author, heritage and learn Sowing the Seeds of Victory how to become responsible citizens. “We bring people together and make decisions Growing Vegetables collectively,” says Mwendo. “The garand Democracy den is for our community, by our comAfter Hurricane Katrina hit New Ormunity.” Understanding the value of leans, Jenga Mwendo knew she had involving children and teens, she adds, to leave her high-powered job in New “Kids know they will be loved here. York City and return to her hometown This is a nurturing environment.” in the devastated Lower Ninth Ward. Like Mwendo, Stephen Ritz, a top “My parents raised me to contribute,” 10 finalist in the Varkey Foundation’s Mwendo explains. “My first name Global Teacher Prize, is reaching youth means ‘to build’ and my last name through food. Based in New York City’s means ‘always progressing’.” South Bronx, one of the country’s poor In 2009, Mwendo founded the est school districts, he and his students Backyard Gardeners Network (BGN), are growing vegetables in school, therea local nonprofit organization that by improving children’s diets, health, restores and strengthens what had once school performance and future potential. been a thriving, closely knit, self-reliant “We are contributing to food democracy community, rich with backyard gardens by making sure every child we touch, and citizen engagement. Residents regardless of income, zip code and skin went to work, recognizing the potencolor, faith or nation of origin, has actial of community gardens to revitalize cess to fresh, healthy, nutritious food that their neighborhood and bring affordthey help grow,” says Ritz. able healthful food to residents, many So far, his Green Bronx Machine of them suffering from obesity, heart community has raised 30,000 pounds disease and diabetes. The BGN both of vegetables. “We’re growing justice,”

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Ritz announced in his March 2015 TED Talk. “My favorite crop is organically grown citizens—graduates, voters and students who are eating [better] and living healthier lives!”

Kitchen Gardens Nourish the World

Roger Doiron is the founder and director of Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI), an online global community of some 30,000 people in 100 countries that are growing some of their own food. He spearheaded First Lady Michelle Obama’s White House Garden. Doiron’s campaign to bring a food garden back to the White House (presidents John Adams, Jefferson and Jackson all had edible gardens) began in 2008, went viral, took root and the rest is history. Today, the first lady continues to champion garden-fresh food to improve children’s health. From his own 1,500-square-foot garden in Scarborough, Maine, Doiron and his wife harvested 900 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables worth $2,200 in a single season. “Talented gardeners with more generous soils and climates are able to produce even more food in less space,” he says, “but maximizing production is not our only goal. We’re also trying to maximize pleasure and health.” Doiron believes, “Quality food is central to well-being and is one of the best ways to unite people of different countries and cultures around a com-

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July 2015


mon, positive agenda.” He’s convinced that kitchen gardens will play a critical role in feeding a growing population faced with climate challenges. On July 4, his organization celebrates Food Independence Day as a way to recognize the role of home and community gardens in achieving self-sufficiency.

Saving Seeds, Saving Democracy

Jim Gerritsen operates Wood Prairie Farm with his family in Bridgewater, Maine. He’s dedicated to using organic farming methods to protect the environment and food quality, provide ample harvests and foster good jobs for the next generation of young farmers. As president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, Gerritsen led a lawsuit against Monsanto in 2011, challenging the validity of seed patents. In a Food Sleuth Radio interview, he explains, “Patented seeds can-


not be saved and replanted. To take that right away from farmers was a terrible mistake on the part of the Supreme Court.” Seed ownership belongs to the people; our seed resource is part of our common heritage. “Genetic engineering was an invention to take away from the commons the ownership of seeds,” he continues. “Regaining control of the seed supply is one of the most pressing battles we have in agriculture.” Gerritsen encourages everyone to plant an organic garden using organic seeds and to advocate GMO labeling. “Let’s let transparency reign, which is a hallmark of a democratic system,” he proclaims. Melinda Hemmelgarn is a registered dietitian and award-winning writer and nationally syndicated radio host at, in Columbia, MO (Food She advocates for organic farmers at Enduring-Image.

National Count of Farmers’ Market Directory Listings


Nationwide tracking of farmers’ markets that listed fewer than 1,800 in 1994 now numbers nearly 8,300 20 years later. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture 26

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Food Independence Resources Bioscience Research Project

Kitchen Gardeners International

Corporate Accountability International

National Family Farm Coalition

Fair Food Network

National Farm to School Network

Food Co-op Initiative

Oxfam America “Behind the Brands”

Food First

The Seed Library Social Network

Food & Water Watch Food Policy Councils

Awakenings group on facebook and we’ll directly alert you of upcoming happenings

Seed Savers Exchange

and events.

Food Sleuth Radio

Table of the Earth

Food Voices: Stories from the People Who Feed Us

Union of Concerned Scientists


Join our Natural

From Food Consumer to Food Citizen

ow is the time for all good men and women to become food citizens. Making the transition from being a mere consumer to community citizen requires addressing a set of questions geared to lead to food truth and justice for all. n Where does my food come from? n Who produced it? n Under what conditions was this food grown or produced; were workers treated fairly and animals humanely?

n What’s in or on my food; am I eating pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified ingredients or additives? n What might be the unintended consequences of my food choices for farmers competing against big agribusiness and striving to do the right thing? n How might my choices affect the environment and future generations? n What local, state and national policies stand in the way of a fair and transparent food system?

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

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July 2015


communityspotlight by Amanda Grasmeyer


hen the word “recovery” is mentioned, it’s not uncommon for people to quickly assume that doctor bills, long-standing prescriptions or surgeries are going to be involved. It’s also not uncommon for people to wonder if they’ll ever have the same good quality of life they once had before their illness or pain. At Holistic Nutrition Center in Holland, owner, Pamela Zinn MS, is working fervently to help people recover without the large bills, long-standing prescriptions or maybe unnecessary surgeries. She’s working hard to help people recover and have the quality of life they truly desire. After graduating from Hope College, Zinn then got into nursing, a field in which she worked for 30 years before she came down with an illness that had her bed-ridden for a couple of years. Zinn sought out help from numerous doctors during this time, trying to recover her life from an illness that seemed irrecoverable. At her wit’s end, Zinn was ready to give up when her husband found a doctor who did nutrition as a side hobby. Together, she and the doctor made manageable an illness that once threatened to take her life. Eventually, she recovered to the quality of life she desired, got a master’s degree in nutrition and was able to get out, ride her bike and enjoy life once again. Today, Zinn continues to help others work toward recovery through nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition, looking at health history, treatments, the diet her clients like to be on and nutritional testing. She provides a less-toxic, alternative option that focuses on the gut, brain and the immune system, how those three interact with each other and what each individual


West Michigan Edition

client needs to keep their health in balance. In doing so, Zinn is seeking out the underlying problem or the cause of the symptoms her client is experiencing. Where doctors simply try to stop the symptoms by treating them with prescriptions or surgery, Zinn attempts to help the body work according to normal physiology. When the symptoms start to go away and the body stabilizes from a better diet, targeted nutrition can be used to make more improvements to whole body function. That translates to a person feeling better and seeing improvements in energy level, sleep, mental clarity and more. Zinn’s approach opens up the door for healthier, manageable treatment. Of her approach she says, “Let’s find the underlying problem. Let’s fix it. Let’s do it quickly and get you out of here so you’re not dependent on me or any other treatment. I want people to be able to do what they want to do—to find true health and have the quality of life that they want.” She’s looking to help her clients find a better lifestyle with an abundance of energy and brain focus and a good quality of life. While recovery time varies depending on the client, Zinn expects her clients to at least start to feel better in three weeks. If she doesn’t get those results at that point, that’s when she starts testing. She works with many clients who have chronic health conditions and has often helped them find their journey to recovery one small step at a time. Zinn says, “To me, that’s so rewarding. I see a lot of improvement in people. Even with a serious diagnosis you can use nutrition to help people feel better and boost their quality of life.”

Initially being a part of the medical industry for so long, and then being the patient herself, Zinn’s specialty has become those who have tried everything, who feel like nobody’s listening to them, and don’t know where to go to get the information they truly need. She confirms, “The information is out there. I can find it quickly because of my background as a nurse and as a clinical nutritionist who uses current nutrition science such as nutragenomics and the gut-microbiome. I’ve found numerous little ‘snip-its’ that aren’t well known that can help people. If people can learn these things, they can change their future.” From her own experience with recovery from such a debilitating illness, Zinn’s hunger for information in the field has grown. She acknowledges that people can get a whole lot farther with their health if they’re catching on to managing their own health. So long as people choose to do it, and make the effort on their own, a lot of change can happen within their bodies, meaning ultimately, people do have some control over their lives and can improve the quality. While many people assume that everyone needs to be on the same diet (which is why many have tried fad eating habits) in order to improve their quality of life, this is not necessarily true. Each person really needs his/her own diet to cater to their own body to help it work in the best way that it can, which is why Zinn’s solution is always personalized nutrition. Zinn explains, “Every person is like a puzzle. It’s just a matter of finding the right puzzle pieces and putting them back in.” For example, Zinn confesses, “For me, blueberries are like poison. It’s not

going to be like that for everyone obviously. Blueberries trigger an autoimmune reaction that causes me to have headaches, heart pain and palpitations and painful arthritic red joints. Problems like these often result in appointments with specialists - neurologists, cardiologists and/or rheumatologists. My underlying problem, a food sensitivity issue, was easily identified through nutritional testing. To avoid symptoms I just eat raspberries instead. It’s that simple. It’s a matter of finding the underlying problem and fixing it.” Zinn says that finding and fixing the problem is a mix of art and science. The science is the tests–testing for food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies, nutritional genetics, etc. The art is getting it right—making sure the client knows what to eat and how to shop for his/her food, how to cook it, how to find good recipes or where to get the resources to make this happen. She acknowledges that removing inflammation from the diet and eating healthy foods is a big first step toward a healthier, better quality of life, because the nutrients in food are what affect the whole body. Food issues can affect the immune system, which would mean the brain is often affected, which can lead to mood swings, fatigue, memory problems, and even seizures, inability to read or use good judgement. Zinn thrives on helping her clients at Holistic Nutrition Center recover from issues such as these as well as many others. She says, “When people recover after being seriously ill, it changes how they see the world. Every day becomes precious. I want my patients to feel good—to not worry about their future, because they’re managing their life day to day.”

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For more information on Holistic Nutrition Center or to schedule an appointment, call 616-355-5333, visit or find Holistic Nutrition Center on Facebook. See ad, page 29. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

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July 2015



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        

inspiration “Even though we didn’t start out trying to make healing music, that is exactly what happened.”

Nature and Music: Healing People and the Planet I

n 1970, when sound-healing and video pioneers Dean and Dudley Evenson first became aware of the serious environmental issues threatening our world, they wanted to find a way to help educate people about the plight of the planet. They got that opportunity two years later, when they worked as videographers at the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. “In Stockholm we met and were exposed to the wisdom of the fifteen Native Americans who were at the conference talking about Mother Earth,” recalls Dudley Evenson. “We documented this historic event with the new, portable Sony video camera that had just become available, and looked for ways to apply these new ideas.” The next year, Dean Evenson was invited to Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to help transmit television out of the occupied town. He stayed on the reservation a month, videotaping Lakota elders, activists and medicine men, who spoke strongly about the challenges facing the earth at that time. Again the Evensons contemplated this new information and tried to figure out a way to share what they were learning. A few years later, now living in Tucson, Arizona, the Evensons decided to form a record label, Soundings of the Planet, to distribute what Dean describes as “the music that was flowing through us.” He spent the night in a desert canyon, and as the sun rose, he used

two stereo mikes to catch the sounds of the birds at dawn. The Evensons’ first album, Desert Dawn Song, included these sounds of dawn in the desert along with the couple’s calming music of flute, harp, cello and vocal tones. “This album was one of the very first to include meditative music along with field recordings of nature sounds, and it ushered in a whole new genre of music,” Dudley says. “This was our way of honoring the earth, and our vision was to get this nature-based music to people living in cities who made decisions about the fate of the planet.” The Evensons have continued to create this special type of music, and over the past 35 years they have released more than 80 albums and videos dedicated to their vision of creating “peace through music.” Dean has spent many hours next to flowing rivers or ocean beaches, and in wetlands, forests and mountain valleys, recording both audio and video. These “soundings of the planet” have found their way to a number of popular, awardwinning albums and DVDs. The added bonus, Dudley says, is that the music seems to have a healing effect on listeners. “Even though we didn’t start out trying to make healing music, that is exactly what happened,” she says.

The Evensons also added to their recordings the Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF) of 7.83 hz (cycles per second), which is the actual resonance of the planet’s atmospheric cavity, Dean explains. “This is also the same frequency that our brains emit when on the cusp of the alpha and theta brainwave states,” he says. “This tends to have a positive, healing effect on people, adding to the already peaceful state the music and nature sounds create.” For more information on Dean and Dudley Evenson and their music and videos, visit; search “soundings of the planet” on Facebook or YouTube; visit their blog,; or call 800-93-PEACE (800-937-3223).

natural awakenings

July 2015


How to Capture ‘It’ by Kenrick Smith


nderstanding the importance of goals and how essential they are to one’s success is crucial. Many people have goals (which is wonderful), but sometimes they don’t put a solid foundation down as to how these goals will eventually be attained. Listed below are some goal-setting tools designed to help build a strong foundation that will ultimately result in success. 1. Goal Identification. Figure out what it is that one wants to accomplish. Develop benchmarks to stay on track or to use along the way to gauge progress. Set a specific longterm goal and adapt benchmarks as short-term goals that can be checked off on the way to the long-term goal. 2. Motivating Factors. The definition is simple: to act as the motive for; the causative factor of; instigate, induce. This is the reason—the force—that drives one, or will drive one, to attain his/her goals. It could be in the form of a reward to prove to one’s self or to others that he/ she can do something, the inspiration one receives from others or possibly the satisfaction of completing the task. Motivating factors will help people push through the tough times. It is recommended to revisit these factors throughout the journey to remind one’s self of what his/her inspirations mean. 3. Perseverance. This means to continue striving in spite of dis-


West Michigan Edition

couragements. It is the ability to push through diversity or difficult times in order to achieve a goal. At times, perseverance will be tested to its limits, but it will be necessary to break down the roadblocks faced in order to fulfill the ultimate prize. Fear of failure, doubters and “I can’t” are the roadblocks most commonly associated with not attaining a goal. These subjects are the ones that will try to derail goalseekers more times than not on their quest to fulfilling goals. When one encounters a roadblock, it is a perfect opportunity to revisit motivating factors. This will remind one why he/she wants to achieve this goal. The ability to overcome these issues will be critical in the overall accomplishment of the goal. 4. Support System. It’s important to have someone in place to help in the attaining of the goal. A support system is the group of individuals people surround themselves with to help them achieve their goal. This group of individuals will help through the toughest of times and get the goal-seeker pointed in the right direction when things don’t seem to be going as planned. These individuals can be parents, siblings, teachers, pastors, coaches, friends and others we might never expect.

5. A motto to live by could be, “Surround yourself with great people and great things will happen.” It’s the truth. Embrace this group of people when they want to help and ensure that they feel included and a part of the process. Continually thank them for their support. Goal setting is critical when trying to attain all different levels of success throughout life. Creating the proper goal-setting outline will allow individuals to achieve their goals easier than just saying, “I want to do this or that.” Don’t get discouraged, no matter what roadblocks are thrown in the way during the journey. Pull from everything that has been put into place to get through and keep moving forward. Everyone can get there. Everyone can do it. If someone puts his/her mind to it, it’s amazing what one can accomplish. Also, lead by example. Help inspire others to reach their goals, be part of their support system (sometimes it is just as gratifying to see someone else reach their goal as it is to reach one’s own), help motivate them and help them persevere through the rough patches. Dream big and then go capture it. Kenrick Smith is on his own journey to become a professional triathlete. For more information, visit

XYLITOL —Advertorial—

More Innovative than Antibiotics The Power of Xylitol Xylitol’s effectiveness in oral health and usage as a sweetener is well-known. New research also shows its usefulness in upper respiratory health. However, people may not know the reason why it is so effective. Xylitol has a unique ability to interfere with bacterial adhesion.

Anti-Adhesion Xylitol’s anti-adhesive effect was discovered by accident in 1996. A British medical journal published a study, which analyzed past research done with xylitol. Researchers found that there was an additional correlation between xylitol and upper respiratory infections—a correlation researchers didn’t see when the studies were performed originally. The 1996 study found that among the children tested in the studies, those who used xylitol chewing gum had 42% fewer ear infections. Researchers performed subsequent research to answer why there was this correlation. These studies supported the discovery of xylitol’s anti-adhesion property. Xylitol’s anti-adhesive effect interferes with bacteria sticking to tissue. In order for bacteria to thrive, they must attach to the cell membrane. There they metabolize and the body senses the bacteria, it reacts with various responses like congestion, runny nose, against bacterial infections using antibiotics, attempting to kill the bacteria. However, the use of antibiotics produces resistant bacterial strains, which leads to more serious problems. Xylitol’s anti-adhesive property interferes with bacterial adhesion, resulting in bacteria not being able to colonize and thrive; eventually they are washed out. This is an innovative way to avoid antibiotic resistance. Instead of them to become stronger and more resistant, xylitol doesn’t allow the bacteria to cling to the cell and start its metabolic processes. Professionals advise people to regularly wash

their hands to prevent illness. But washing with only water isn’t enough; they must wash with soap. Similarly, just as people should wash their hands, they should also wash their nasal passages. A normal saline solution is like washing with only water. Washing with a nasal spray containing xylitol is like washing hands with soap. Bacteria and People Bacteria, like people, congregate together. This is called quorum sensing. When people start coming together, they form a town or city. Bacteria act similarly; as they sense other bacterial “city.” If a group wanted to take over a city, historically they would send in soldiers to subdue the inhabitants so they could then occupy the city. However, there is no guarantee that they would control everyone, and there may be leftover survivors who rally together. But if that particular city were to have an extreme change in environment, the inhabitants wouldn’t be able to cope and they’d have to leave the city. Changing the environment is much more effective in expelling the inhabitants than attacking with soldiers.

What are Some of Xylitol’s Applications? Studies have shown numerous uses for xylitol, many of which deal with its adverse effects on bacterial adhesion. Sinus, ear, and respiratory infections begin in the nose as we breathe in bacteria which attempt to adhere to the cell membrane. With the use of nasal sprays containing xylitol, the bacteria found in the nose cannot stick to the tissue and are to greater probability that they will not infect the body. Nurse Practitioner Sherril Sego, FNPin this aspect. She says, “Saline nasal rinses containing xylitol have been found to be more effective than traditional saline rinses to reduce the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis.” One of the best things about xylitol is that it is 100% natural and 100% safe. It’s no wonder so

Go to and look up the patented Xlear Nasal Spray.

Relating this back to bacteria, if we use antibiotics, we are sending in soldiers to between antibiotics and the microorganisms, with both attempting to get stronger. But if we alter the environment in our nasal and sinus passages so that bacteria cannot adhere to the cell surface, and thus thrive, we win the battle.

natural awakenings

July 2015



by Judith Fertig


n 1776, the stirring phrase in the U.S. Declaration of Independence—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—became a rallying cry for American colonists seeking these inalienable rights of self-government. In 2015, those seeking a new way of eating for personal wellness, a more vibrant local economy and a healthier environment are fomenting their own kind of rebellion. “You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own wellbeing, that of your family and your country,” according to former President Bill Clinton. In early 2010, suffering from heart disease, Clinton chose to radically change his meat-lover’s diet to a more plant-based focus. “I wanted to live to be a grandfather, so I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival,” he says. Clinton is part of a growing leadership group that espouses a more vegetarian approach to eating, including a federally appointed panel of nutritionists. For the first time since its formation in 1983, the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee this year elected to factor environmental sustainability into its recommendations, noting that a diet lower in animal-based foods is not only healthier, 34

West Michigan Edition

but has less of an environmental impact. The impetus toward plant-based foods is also stronger than in their last report in 2010.

Exciting Developments

A bold pioneer in the charge for plantbased eating is PlantPure Nation, a grassroots organization founded by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., the author of the bestselling The China Study, a book that helped persuade Clinton to make his own dietary change. Today, his son, Nelson Campbell, is at the forefront of this food revolution, most recently producing the independent documentary film PlantPure Nation, set to debut nationwide on July 4. Those enticed by the delicious concept of better health for themselves and the planet can also turn to The PlantPure Nation Cookbook, with more than 150 plant-based recipes by Kim Campbell, Nelson’s wife, whom he names “the chef in the family.” “No issue is bigger than the one of plant-based nutrition,” says Nelson. “It’s at the root of our healthcare crisis, affecting the lives of millions of Americans, the vitality of our economy and the solvency of our government. The food we eat has enormous effects on climate, water and soil resources. Our food choices also affect the way in

image courtesy of


which food is produced and distributed in this country, equitably or not.” Historically, political revolutions tend to be violently adversarial, but a food revolution can take a more nurturing and inclusive course. “The first step people can take is to change their own diet,” Nelson says. “The next step is to help others do the same. The third is to get involved in the movement.”

New Fourth of July Barbecue

A fun way to help ourselves and our friends and family consider making dietary changes is hosting a plantbased Fourth of July get-together. Kim’s recipes for a smoky “barbecue” sandwich, creamy potato salad and a zesty, colorful bean dish celebrate traditional picnic foods with a twist. They’re also perfect for potluck-style entertaining. “We have often branded this idea of plant-based nutrition as such and such a ‘diet’, and then built these brands around personalities. But in order to make this a more mainstream idea, we need to frame it differently. This concept of plant-based nutrition is a fact of nature; a simple idea that’s accessible to all,” says Nelson. In a 2012 Gallup poll, just 5 percent of U.S. adults identified themselves as vegetarians, plus 2 percent as vegans. It’s a start, Nelson contends, and there are other promising signs. “The local-food movement is blossoming, with farmers’ markets springing up all over the United States,” proclaims the National Geographic special publication The Future of Food (Food. The number has increased dramatically in the past five years. The editors point to the demand for fresh produce and a desire to invest in local economies as driving this growth. “I love the idea of a movement involving millions of people fixing a problem that industry and government have largely caused,” says Nelson. “Our success may show a new way forward for solving other pressing social problems.” Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFoodAnd from Overland Park, KS.

PlantPure Nation Recipes

This traditional potato salad has the perfect blend of celery, onions and seasonings.

Jackfruit will soften, begin to fall apart and take on the consistency of pulled pork. Use a fork to pull apart the fruit and stir thoroughly. Turn the slow cooker to low heat and cook for another 1 to 2 hours.

BBQ Jackfruit

Yields: 4 to 6 servings Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 to 7 hours Green jackfruit, a native plant of Asia, is often termed the vegetarian’s meat. The hardest part of this recipe is finding canned green jackfruit (available in most Asian markets). Although fresh green jackfruit is occasionally available, it’s messy, sticky and difficult to cut. Two 20-oz cans green jackfruit in water, drained 1½ cups barbecue sauce 1 onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (medium pieces) Rinse the green jackfruit thoroughly. Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker at medium heat for 4 to 5 hours.

An Interfaith Worship and Spiritual Enrichment Center

Kim’s hints: 4 Customize this recipe with a favorite barbecue sauce that has no added oils and a low sodium content. 4 This recipe gets better the longer it’s cooked. Leftovers are good. 4 Serve the barbecue on a whole-grain bun and top with coleslaw.

2½ pounds red potatoes, unpeeled 4 organic celery stalks, thinly sliced ½ red onion, cut in half again and julienned 6 green onions, sliced ½ cup tofu cashew mayonnaise 4 tsp apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp agave nectar ½ tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper Cut the potatoes into half- to oneinch chunks. Place potato pieces in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil 5 to 10 minutes; then turn down the heat to medium and cook until tender. Rinse the cooked potatoes in a colander with cold water until they are room temperature. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

Creamy Potato Salad Yields: 6 servings Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

Add the remaining ingredients to the potatoes and gently stir thoroughly.



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natural awakenings

July 2015


Southwestern Bean Salad Yields 4 to 6 servings Prep time: 20 minutes

Seasoned for a Southwestern flavor, the beans, corn and avocado make this a satisfying salad everyone will like. 1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup frozen corn, thawed 1 red bell pepper, seeded and medium diced ½ cup diced medium red onion 1 cup halved or quartered cherry tomatoes 1 avocado, pitted and diced ¼ cup red wine vinegar ¼ cup lime juice 1 Tbsp agave nectar ½ tsp sea salt ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp chili powder 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro Combine the beans and vegetables in a large bowl and feel free to add seasonal vegetables to taste. Blend the vinegar, lime juice, agave, salt, cumin, chili powder and Sriracha in a small bowl. Add more chili powder and Sriracha for a spicier dish. Drizzle over the beans and vegetables and toss to coat. Refrigerate for an hour and then sprinkle with cilantro before serving.


West Michigan Edition

natural awakenings

July 2015



MANIFEST MIRACLES Tap Into the Field of Infinite Possibility by Deborah Shouse

Check Us Out:

“Something amazingly awesome is going to happen to me today.”

T NaturallyWestMI

Post your events to our calendar section $20 for dated events $10 for ongoing events $40 for save the date events

Submit directly through our website. Deadline is the 15th of each month.

Visit for guidelines and more information. 38

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hese are the first words Pam Grout speaks when she rises every morning before dancing her way into the bathroom. She plays a favorite uplifting tune such as Pharrell William’s Happy or Abba’s Dancing Queen and creates a sassy choreography complete with fist pumps, joyous jumps and a little rhythmic strutting. Her easy positive actions take no longer than it would to worry, “How will I get everything done today?” and then trudging into the bathroom feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. Plus, Grout’s playful attitude makes a big difference in the rest of the day’s outcomes. Grout is the author of two internationally bestselling books, E-Squared and E-Cubed. Both offer readers multiple opportunities to experience a disarmingly simple outlook on life. “There is an infinite force of potentiality in the universe that has our backs and wants to interact with us and guide us,” Grout believes. “There is no absolute reality; we create the reality that serves us and places our attention on what we most want.”

Letting Go of Doubt

Grout’s journey to a life filled with joy and miracles is ongoing. As a freelance writer, she initially struggled with self-doubt, wondering, “What do I, a kid from Kansas, have to offer a New York City editor?” and came face-to-face with fears about money. Even though she was earning a decent living, she was recycling her parents’ anxieties about not having enough. “I’m not good enough” was another party crasher. When she began studying A Course in Miracles, Grout learned that consciousness creates the material world and the importance of self-compassion. She examined her staunch beliefs, questioning if they were true and letting go of the tiresome stories of inadequacy and worry. She began focusing on life’s blessings and noticed how concentrating on the good made life happier and more dynamic. Then she started to lay out simple intentions such as finding a good parking spot or uncovering a lost object. The results were immediate and intriguing.

This seeker of truth realized that to gain real spiritual growth, she needed to become more deliberate, so she designed a scientific framework, set a clear intention, imposed a deadline and noted the results. “The results were so convincing that I decided to see if my experiments would work for other people,” Grout says. Before long, friends and acquaintances were manifesting all kinds of amazing things, and she decided to write about her theories. Ten years later, after a steep learning curve in the publishing world, her work became globally acclaimed.

there, but we need to consciously “plug in” to use it. Grout details powerful spiritual principles that help us make everyday life richer, more meaningful and more fun. Part of her “new curriculum” includes:

Tapping a Joyful Reality of Miracles

n The universe is limitless, abundant and surprisingly accommodating.

“This little book will prove to you once and for all that your thoughts have power, and that a field of infinite possibilities awaits your claim,” the author writes in E-Squared. “It will help you rewrite the outdated thinking that drives your life.” Nine easy energy experiments will prove that the “field of potentiality,” as Grout calls it, is dependable, predictable and available to all. She equates our connection with the field to plugging in a toaster. We know the energy field is

n Reality is waves of possibility that we have “observed” into form. n We are an energy field, connected with everything and everyone in the universe. n Our universe connection provides accurate and unlimited guidance. n Whatever we focus on expands.

“Believe in your bones that the universe is bountiful and supportive,” encourages Grout, asking us to first give the “field” 48 hours to send an unexpected gift. Don’t specify the gift, but just ask to receive and recognize the blessing. Set a deadline and then watch what unfolds.

Making Dreams Come True

Making our dreams a reality for us is not only possible, it’s probable. The key is opening our hearts to the beneficent

universe. “If you want to know what will happen in your life, listen to the words coming out of your mouth,” Grout advises. If we are deluged with negative thoughts, stop and notice all that is right in our world. Ask the universe for help in shedding dark ruminations. When we replace poor images with positive affirming thoughts, our lives become more magical and enjoyable. Grout encourages her readers to invoke two words when life feels chaotic and out of control: “It’s okay,” which allows the loving flow of the universe to do the heavy lifting. Concentrating on living our joys equips us to help ourselves and others. Grout queries, “Since we are creating our reality, why not create the possibilities that bring us closer to our life’s purpose and higher self?” For more on Pam Grout’s work, follow her inspiring blog at Deborah Shouse is the author of Love in the Land of Dementia: Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey; she blogs at

natural awakenings

July 2015



Savvy Cycling Keep the Hard Knocks Out of Biking by Randy Kambic


eople are biking more than ever. Recreational bicycling ranked second to running as the favorite outdoor activity among both youths (6 to 24 years old) and adults (25-plus) in a recent Outdoor Industry Association study. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) further reports that from 2000 to 2012 the number of Americans biking to work rose from 488,000 to 786,000. This positive trend also means more crowded bike lanes and other pathways challenge the community infrastructure’s ability to keep up, raising safety concerns. Plus, we naturally want to avoid aches and pains while enjoying the myriad benefits of pedaling.

Find the Right Bike

“Having the right bike for one’s needs that’s properly fitted is crucial,” says Dan Moser, a founder and steering committee member of the BikeWalkLee community coalition and a traffic safety consultant in Fort Myers, Florida. “Use a local bike shop whose mechanics test and adjust the bikes they sell.” A bike mechanic can determine the proper seat height and ideal distance from the handlebars to the seat tube. Back, knee or hip pain may develop if a cyclist has to stretch their legs to get to 40

West Michigan Edition

the pedals, explains Tim Bustos, a bicycling consultant in Pensacola, Florida, and former bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for Davis, California, which earned platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community status, along with Boulder, Colorado, and Portland, Oregon, from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). On the other hand, “A biker doesn’t get proper leg extension if the seat is too low,” he says, possibly leading to leg muscle strains. “The legs should be almost, but not totally extended at the lowest point in the pedaling motion.”

Safety Alert

The latest NHTSA study charted 49,000 bicycle accidents in 2012, 1,000 more than the year before. Biking only in daylight and avoiding alcohol could improve those numbers because 48 percent of biker fatalities occur beginning at 4 p.m. and 37 percent involve a driver or bicyclist that has been drinking. Even well-marked bike lanes don’t guarantee safety, so caution is required. Some motorists are careless about entering bike lanes and don’t correctly stop at crosswalks or look behind before opening car doors. David Takemoto-Weerts, a bicycle program coordinator at the University of California, Davis, member of the city’s Bike Transportation Advisory Committee

and LAB-certified instructor, suggests keeping at least five feet from the sides of cars to avoid being hit. Cyclists are wise not to weave in and out of traffic, to signal turns and watch out for runners, walkers and pedestrians as they abide by normal traffic rules and flow. Takemoto-Weerts says that bikers sometimes overlook using the stop signal (left arm extended downward) to alert bikers behind them. Wearing a helmet should be a standard practice. The University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center, in Chapel Hill, reports that wearing a helmet reduces the overall risk of head injuries by 85 percent. “Cyclists are part of traffic, whether operating on a road, pathway or a combination,” says Moser. “Being acutely aware of one’s surroundings and minimizing distractions, following the rules of the road and pathway, and being prepared to deal with others’ mistakes are all vital.”

Fitness Factors

Dr. Kim Martin, a certified functional medicine practitioner and chiropractor with North Shore Health Solutions, in Northbrook, Illinois, says that recreational bikers have visited her for knee, hip and neck soreness or strains. In addition to ensuring they’re employing proper leg extension, she advises, “Pedal a little faster in a lower gear; ideally, 75 to 90 revolutions per minute, which is easier on the knees and lessens muscle fatigue than traveling slower in a higher gear.” She explains that the correct seat height facilitates proper alignment of hips and a full rotation; if not, energy is forced outward, stressing the hips. Martin adds that the neck might experience strain from tilting the head up for long periods. “This can occur by wearing a helmet that is too low or forward in the front or poor-fitting eyewear that inches forward down the nose.” Right after a long ride, Martin suggests that riders gently bend downward over their crossed legs a few times, alternately switching legs, and also slowly bending the head up and down, sideways and then in a circular motion for a couple of minutes. “Overall,” she says, “the key is to have fun.” Freelance writer and editor Randy Kambic, in Estero, FL, is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings.


FOOD GLEANING Harvesting Leftovers Feeds the Hungry by Avery Mack


mericans annually discard more food than plastic—35 million tons in 2012—an amount that’s tripled since 1960, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Most of the waste is fruits and vegetables, seafood, grains, meat and milk. Since waste starts in the fields before it compounds via restaurants, grocers and families, the easiest starting point to reverse this trend is with farmers. “Farming’s a high-risk business. Farmers can’t predict weather, sales or equipment problems, so extra is grown,” explains Laurie Caldwell, executive director of Boston Area Gleaners, in Waltham, Massachusetts. “Up to 20 percent of U.S.-grown food isn’t harvested. Gleaners save what’s left behind for hungry people in need.”

Everyone Benefits

“Income disparity, economic vulnerability and lack of knowledge leads to unhealthy choices,” adds Caldwell. “The negative consequences become a community burden.” Countering the problem, “We’ve seen a shift in priorities, with food pantries offering fresh, quality food and educating both staff and recipients,” she reports. In 2014, Boston Area Gleaners harvested 34 farms, contributing 177,000 pounds of primarily vegetables encompassing 60 varieties. California’s fruit is abundant because of the state’s year-round growing season. Until the 1960s and the advent of Silicon Valley, this was the world’s largest fruit-producing region. Some

of its current apple trees date back to the Gold Rush days. “We glean backyards and orchards here,” says Craig Diserens, executive director of Village Harvest, in San Jose. “Apples, pears, cherries, peaches, plums and apricots, plus citrus fruits—it’s ladderless picking, to protect both volunteers and trees.” Telescoping tools pluck out-ofreach fruit. The nonprofit gleans 15 to 20 times a month via volunteers ages 5 to 90. In 2013, its Harvesting for the Hungry program distributed 245,000 pounds of fruit. The Feeding America West Michigan food bank, headquartered in Comstock, provides more than produce, with donations from manufacturers, wholesalers, restaurants and stores adding meat, dairy, frozen foods and bread. Volunteers repackage donations into usable sizes; do clerical work; pick produce; and sort, pack, store and deliver food. While most of the nonprofit’s yield is distributed through 1,100 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens, many can’t store perishables. Working with churches, schools and community centers, the organization’s mobile units deliver fresh food directly to recipients, often the same day it is donated. Each unit can carry food for 100 to 200 families. This local Feeding America outreach group serves an estimated 492,000 people each year. The Society of St. Andrew often rescues the “ugly” produce—potatoes not well-shaped for chips, oversized peaches, too-long green beans,

too-ripe strawberries and apples that aren’t picture perfect. “Farmers get a tax benefit and people get fresh food,” says Bruce Oland, the Triangle Area coordinator in North Carolina. “Farmers let us know when they’ll harvest a crop and we have a few days to glean what’s left before they replant. We pick anything edible—kale, lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe and lots of sweet potatoes.” In a single harvested field, volunteers have gleaned seven tons of sweet potatoes. The society’s gleaning and feeding ministry has regional offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Additional areas are located in Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania (see Jason Brown, a former St. Louis Rams’ center with a five-year, $37 million contract, traded his cleats for a tractor. Now in Louisburg, North Carolina, he calls First Fruits Farm home and plans to donate the first fruits of every harvest to food pantries. He learned about farming from YouTube videos, computer searches and other farmers. The first crop on five acres yielded 100,000 pounds of sweet potatoes; Brown gave it all away. With 1,000 acres to farm, he’s set to tackle hunger big time. It doesn’t require a big time commitment to help feed the hungry. Backyard gardeners can start by planting an extra row ( ForHungry). Since its inception in 1995, the Plant a Row program has collectively turned 20 million pounds of produce into 80 million meals. Offer to pick a neighbor’s excess produce or herbs, and then check with others nearby. Get the kids involved. Volunteer at or make a donation to a soup kitchen. Gather a group of friends, family, members of an organization or congregation to glean or repackage produce one day a month. If a local food pantry can’t accept perishables, leverage social media to spread the word about which day free food will be available at a church or school. Everyone can help. No one should go to bed hungry. Connect with freelance writer Avery Mack at

natural awakenings

July 2015


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


Buy One Get One ½ Off- Buy one 60 or 90 minute massage, and get your second session at 1/2 price. Contact Casey at 269-221-1961 or HealingWays@ to schedule your appointment., 6363 N. 24th St. Kalamazoo. 20% Off Massages- Mention this calendar listing and receive 20% off massages with Janelle Goltz, LMT at Grand Rapids Natural Health. Call 616264-6556 or visit for more information. Grand Rapids. 40% Off Counseling- Mention this calendar listing and receive 40% off counseling with Kerry Hart Counseling, PLC at Grand Rapids Natural Health. Call 616-264-6556 or visit for more information. Grand Rapids.


Summer Hypnosis Groups Stop Smoking Now6-7:30pm. Learn to stop the internal battle and make becoming a non-smoker easy and effortless. $35. Call Linda or Stacey at 616-550-3231 to save your seat. Classes held at Hypnotherapy Associates of Grand Rapids LLC, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle- 7-8pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation and energy healing from Healing in America-Trained Healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.


Hawaiian Spirituality Program- 1-2:30pm. Join us starting July 7 on Sundays for a 6-12 week program. Register at Experience ho’oponopono, miracles, healing, inner child work and manifesting that which you desire. $10. Unity of Muskegon, 2052 Bourdon St., Muskegon.


Free Yoga Class- 9:30-11am. Curious about yoga? Try a free class just for beginners! Call 616-776-

calendarofevents Visit for guidelines and to submit entries. All Calendar events must be submitted online by the 15th of the month prior to publication. Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.

0836 or email to to reserve your place. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids. Organic Women Party- 6-7pm. Come learn more about becoming an organic woman by using organic cosmetics, feminine products and organic foods. Donations welcome. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Free Gentle Yoga Class- 7:15-8:15pm. Curious about yoga? Try a free class just for beginners! Call 616-776-0836 or email to to reserve your place. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids.


Free Yoga Class- 5:30-7pm. Curious about yoga? Try a free class just for beginners! Call 616-7760836 or email to to reserve your place. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids.


Free Yoga Class- 6:30-7:30am. Curious about yoga? Try a free class just for beginners! Call 616776-0836 or email to to reserve your place. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids. Fire of Transformation- 6:30-8:30pm. Guided Yoga Practice with Mimi Ray, eRYT500. Intermediate / Advanced asana for more experienced Yogis. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.,


Saturday Yoga at Kollen Park- 8-9am, July 11-August 15. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio and Holland Recreation have teamed up to offer an outdoor yoga class at Kollen Park. Bring a beach towel and yoga mat and join us by the band shell. $5.00 donation will go to the Sal Perez Youth Scholarship program. Holland.

Healthy Lifestyle/Weight Loss Clinic Open House2-4pm. Learn about a 13 week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weight Loss program where you receive education and coaching weekly to keep you on track with your goals. Register by calling 616-443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Urevia Practitioner Level One- July 11-12, 10am– 5pm. Certified classes offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute. Learn basic metaphysical principles, chakra assessment, how to give a healing and how to use Urevia as a tool to improve every day experiences, health and well-being. $290.00, lunch provided. 269-671-4455,, Hickory Corners.


Summer Hypnosis Groups Stress Management6-7:30pm, July 15 and 22. Learn simple and effective techniques to manage everyday stress. $70. Call Linda or Stacey at 616-550-3231 to save your seat. Classes held at Hypnotherapy Associates of Grand Rapids LLC, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids. 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. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Health & Wellness Talk-6:15pm. Learn about chiropractic as a lifestyle. Come with questions! We provide a light dinner and give you a thank you for anyone who joins! RSVP to join. This event is open to the public and families are encouraged to attend. 388 N. Third St., Fruitport.


Go With Your Gut Seminar- 6:30pm. Occasional bloating, poor digestion, embarrassing gas and more are all related to your gut health. Gina Moss, RD, LD/N will share what factors cause gut imbalance and what we can do to support better gut balance, lose belly fat and feel great. Harvest Health Foods, 4150 32nd Ave., Hudsonville.

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Usui Reiki Classes ~ Karuna® Reiki Classes ~ Urevia® Accredited Integrated Health Program July 25 & 26

Sept 12 & 13

Sept 30 & Oct 7

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. 42

West Michigan Edition



SoulCollage® Workshop- 9am-noon. SoulCollage® is a fun process of art, spirituality and healing. Ignite your creativity and open your heart to wisdom during this season of your life. No previous art experience needed to create your own magnificent SoulCollage® cards. $25. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. The Ayurvedic Understanding of the Mind- 9am-7pm, July 18-19. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact Ayurveda@ 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo. Urevia Practitioner Level Two- July 18-19, 10am– 5pm. Certified classes offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute. Learn basic metaphysical principles, chakra assessment, how to give a healing and how to use Urevia as a tool to improve every day experiences, health and well-being. $300.00, lunch provided. 269-671-4455,, Hickory Corners.


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


Hormone Happy Hour- 5-6pm. Women, join our pharmacist and fellow in Anti-Aging & Functional Medicine, Mary Heim and special guest Nisha McKenzie, PA-C, sexuality educator and counselor from Grand Rapids OB/GYN for hormone happy hour, specially focused on libido and female sexual function and dysfunction. RSVP to 616-558-8334. Keystone Pharmacy, Grand Rapids.


Essential Oil Workshop- 6-8pm. Therapeutic Grade Oils - Learn and understand essential oils, how they work and how to use them. $25. Call 616-443-4225 to register. The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Gong Bath: Sound Healing Performance- 7pm. Join Jeff Gregory for an evening of Sacred Healing Sound. Experience the resonating sounds of the Gong and Tibetan Singing Bowls that induce a state of spontaneous meditation, relaxation, promote vitality and healing. Suggested offering $10-15. Sambodh Center, 6363 North 24th St. Kalamazoo.


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, which includes a $50 deposit due at registration. Call to register: 616443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Usui Reiki I & II- July 25-26, 10am–5pm. Certified classes offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute. Learn basic metaphysical principles, chakra assessment, how to give a healing and how to use Reiki as a tool to improve every day experiences, health and well-being. $250.00, lunch provided. 269-671-4455,, Hickory Corners.

Ancestral Clearing/Emotional Release Class2-6pm. Learn how to identify and release limiting beliefs and patterns, including ancestral “baggage claim”, so you can live life of freedom, fulfillment and happiness! Essential oils are incorporated, too for most powerful release. RSVP by July 15 by calling Ilka, 616-259-7509. For more information, go to


Advanced Reiki class- 9am-5pm. Enhance energy work to a new level. Learn how to perform intuitive surgery and how to set up and utilize a crystal grid with energy work. $275 with $50 deposit due at registration. Call to register: 616443-4225. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids.


Building Your Immune System Workshop- 7pm. Join Maximized Living for “Building Immunity from the Inside Out: Body Armor!” to learn what your immune system is and how to best support it., 616-214-3111. Workshop held at Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlane Ave. SW, Grandville.

August 15-16

Ayurvedic Approaches to Nutrition & Food- 9am-7pm both days. This weekend Ayurveda course is offered by the BVI School of Ayurveda. Information, visit Application, contact 6363 North 24th St., Kalamazoo.

August 19

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

August 21-23


Summer Hypnosis Groups Stop Smoking Now6-7:30pm. Learn to stop the internal battle and make becoming a non-smoker easy and effortless. $35. Call Linda or Stacey at 616-550-3231 to save your seat. Classes held at Hypnotherapy Associates of Grand Rapids LLC, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids.


YogaFest 2015 – July 30-August 2. Four-day festival will includes yoga movement, kirtan, meditation and spirituality workshops. Local food vendors will offer unique vegetarian meals. Weekend pass is $140 and includes three nights of wooded camping, access to all programs and parking. For more information or tickets, visit Song of the Morning on the 800-acre property in the Pigeon River State Forest, Vanderbilt.

savethedate August 1

Usui Reiki Advanced and Reiki Master Practitioner Training- August 1-2, 10am–5pm. Certified classes offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute. $200 for advance and $300.00 for master practitioner, lunch provided. 269-6714455,, Hickory Corners.

August 15


Wildflower Walkabout- 10:30am. Come enjoy a free, guided hike of the Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary and its amazing flora. This is the best and largest remaining example of dry-sand prairie in Michigan. Newaygo Prairie Nature Sanctuary, Newaygo.

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

savethedate September 12-13

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

September 13

Grand Rapids Vegfest- 11am-5pm. The first annual Vegfest in Grand Rapids! Presentations by top experts in the health field, a vegan food court, a cruelty free market place, cooking demonstration, children’s activities, a special program for teenagers and more. Held at the Delta Plex in Grand Rapids. Grandville Healing Arts & Intuitive Fair11am-5pm. Outdoor vendors covering a wide range of topics in the healing arts & spiritual guidance fields. Indoor presentations on topics such as baking for food allergies, the benefits of bees and acupuncture! Held at Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center in Grandville.

natural awakenings

July 2015




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.



Summer Chapel Speakers- 10am. Our summer speakers may expand your mind, touch your heart or even call you to action to change the world. More info at 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids.

Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman- 7:459am & 9:15-10:30am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Sunday Service- 10am. Join us for Rev. Gy’s message and worship service. Unity is a positive, peaceful path for spiritual living. Visit UnityCSG. org or call 616-682-7812 for more information. Ada.

Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland.

Sunday Worship & Youth Services- 10:30am. Seeking Spiritual Truth? Join our warm, inviting, New thought spiritual community inclusive, accepting of all and honoring diversity for a morning of empowerment. Sunday Services enlighten all with messaged based on Unity Truths. 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see Community Yoga Class- 6-7pm. We’re moving outside for the summer! Join us at Jonker’s Gardens, 897 Lincoln Ave. in Holland (weather permitting). Visit for more information. $5 donation goes to the charity of the month.

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. 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. Yoga Basics with Mimi Ray, eRYT5007:30-8:45pm. Learn the basics and grow your practice. For strong beginners and beyond. $9-15. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.,


West Michigan Edition

A Course in Miracles Study Group- 6:30pm. This self-study system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace, and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God. Visit or call 616-682-7812 for more information. 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 616-365-9176. Grand Rapids. Chair Yoga- 10:30-11:30am. Movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility, balance and strength. This class is a great, gentle option for those who use a wheelchair or walker or those with limited mobility. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. Hearts Journey Wellness, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Vinyasa Yoga Classes- 5:30-6:45pm. Experience an energizing and athletic practice using a dynamic, flowing style of yoga that links breath and movement through a heat building sequence of postures. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-8564957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids. Healing Clinic- 7-8:30pm. Seeking healing, clarity or reconciliation in your life? Looking for peace, joy and freedom? Call Healing Ways, 269-303-3523, to schedule an appointment. Offering basis., 6363 North 24th St. Kalamazoo.

Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:157:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit WhiteRiverYoga. com for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. Advanced Beginning- 9:30-10:45am. This class is a logical next step for beginning students who have a good knowledge of basic poses and are ready for a more challenging practice. $12 or $9 for students/ seniors. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Morning Flow Yoga- 10:15-11:30am. Unwind your body and your mind. A Yoga practice intended to gradually increase flexibility, strength and a range of motion. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Chair Yoga- 4-8:15pm. Gently move your body using a chair to help you with flexibility, strength and balance. Seated movements, standing/balancing poses, deep breathing and rest will be woven throughout. $12. Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. Yoga with Mimi Ray, eRYT500- 6-7:30pm. Intermediate class for more experienced Yogis. Refine and practice your yoga chops. $9-15. Expressions of Grace Yoga, 5270 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids.,

Friday Ministerio Unity De Grand Rapids- 6pm. Estamos invitando a la comunidad hispana a la apertura de nuestro ministerio Unity Hispano. Esto es una escuela de Cristianismo Practico. 1711 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.

Saturday Outdoor Yoga- 8-9am, beginning July 11. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio and the Holland Recreation Division are offering an outdoor yoga class at Kollen Park on the shores of Lake Macatawa. Join us by the band shell for this class. $5 donation. For weather cancellations, check MiBodhiTree. com. Holland. Hatha Yoga- 9-10:15am. A Little more invigorating, this is a great class to learn the foundations of a yoga practice. Laketown Healing Arts,, Holland. Restorative Yoga- 9-10:15am. An all levels class that uses props such as a chair, the wall, blankets, bolsters, blocks and straps to support the body in various seated and supine poses. $12 or $9 for students/seniors. Hearts Journey Wellness, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale. Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman– 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.



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

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

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

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

BODY CARE PRODUCTS MOONDROP HERBALS, LLC 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 26.


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 29.


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 eck p ain , a n 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

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 13.

BETHESDA HEALTH AND WELLNESS, LLC Susie Daubenspeck 616-594-9005

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



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.


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.

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 29.


natural awakenings

July 2015





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

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

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 11.


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 21.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners and Retail Health Store. Natural Health Consultations, Classes, Oils, H e r b s , H o m e o p a t h y, Hypnosis, Foods, Candles, Crystals, Books, CD’s, Massage, Reflexology, Emotional Clearing, Raindrop Therapy, Foot Detox, DOT/CDL Health Cards for truck drivers. See ad in page 25.



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

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...



KEN PORTER CST, CHT 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.


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 25.


Linda D Knight, CHt, Stacey PreFontaine, CClHt Certified Medical Support Hypnotherapist 1345 Monroe NW, Suite 201 Grand Rapids 616-550-3231

Hypnotherapy services for Smoking Cessation, Weight Management, Pain Management, Personal and Professional Growth, and much more. Also offering Stress Management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 13.


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 29.

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 13.


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.


Sara Badger, Midwife Jodi Borsk, Junior Midwife Casi Russo, Senior Student A full service Midwifery group partnering with you to provide prenatal care, education, and choice. The first birthing center in Grand Rapids to add to women’s birth choices. Contact us for a free consultation 559-9075341. See ad page 13.

REIKI PRANA HOUSE REIKI & MASSAGE Jen Gemski, CMT Reiki Master Practitioner 1345 Monroe Ave. NE Ste. 204 616-970-3003 Find relief from anxiety, depression, grief, chronic pain, or pain/ discomfort due to cancer treatment. See how Reiki can transform your life from chaos to harmony, you can find balance again! Awaken the healing within. See ad page 30.




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.).

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 14.

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.


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.


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 48.

FOR RENT Massage Room for Rent - Grand Rapids Natural Health, an all inclusive health and wellness center, is looking for a part time Massage Therapist to join our growing team. We pride ourselves in offering all of our client’s needs for their health goals, under one roof. We are looking for a massage therapist with a passion for the health and wellness field and a passion for working in a group environment to rent space. Please contact Kelly if interested at KHassberger@ or 616-540-0723. Treatment Room for Rent -This is a room rental situation in which you schedule your own appointments as an independent contractor. We are an up-beat, organic salon with four stylists working independently with a varied clientele. Our previous therapist was able to establish an active business through salon clientele and her own marketing. If interested please call 616-364-9191 or email

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

natural awakenings

July 2015


The Path You Have Always Wanted Naturopathy

(each year 600 hours)

Inspire a world of health! Your diploma in Massage Therapy, Natural Health or Holistic Doula is here.

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

Massage Therapy

Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner...1 Year

Holistic Doula Practitioner Doula....... 6 Months

All Classes Meet on Weekends

Fri: 5-9pm and Sat & Sun: 9am-6pm

Naturopaths: 1 per month - Massage: 2 per month

Individual Classes:

Herbology - Aromatherapy - Nutrition Live Food Preparaton - Light Healing Touch Reexology - Homeopathy & Much More!

(989) 773-1714 ~ Mount Pleasant, MI 48

West Michigan Edition

Over 19 Years of Experience ~ Licensed and Accredited

Profile for Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ West Michigan

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ July 2015  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ July 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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