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What All the Food Labels Really Mean

Real News Matters to Independent Media

Mom’s Healthy Cooking School

July 2016 | West Michgan Edition | natural awakenings

July 2016


contents 4 newsbriefs 6 healthbriefs 8 globalbriefs 1 1 ecotip 6 17 community

spotlight 14 healingways 16 fitbody 20 consciouseating 24 wisewords 8 26 inspiration 27 community spotlight 28 healthykids 30 greenliving 32 naturalpet 11 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory

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


THAT MATTERS Independent Media Tell Us the Truth by Linda Sechrist


FOR DOWNTIME Chilling Out Revives Body and Soul by April Thompson

Master the Mind to Master the Game by Aimee Hughes


What All the Food Labels Really Mean by Judith Fertig



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COUNTER COOKING SCHOOL Kids That Learn to Cook Grow Up Eating Healthier by Jen Haugen


Female Farmers Come of Age by Lisa Kivirist

32 COOL CHOW Icy Treats for Hot Summer Days by Sandra Murphy




love this time of year because I get to shop each week at local farm stands and farmers’ markets and discover new ways to use whatever produce is in season. Good friends in Colorado have only a six-week summer window compared to Michigan’s access to local farm fresh goodies from mid May to the end of September. Did you know that Michigan’s agricultural diversity and output is second only to California’s? I had no idea how vital it is to us all. We should be blowing

contact us Publisher Pamela Gallina Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings P.O. Box 330 Spring Lake, MI 49456 Phone: 616-604-0480

Subscriptions are available by sending $30 (12 issues) to the above address. © 2016 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.


our horn about it. I recall an ad several years ago encouraging people to relocate to West Michigan using a scratch and sniff card that smelled like cow manure. Hah! I totally loved it. Anyone that lives in the country needs to enjoy trees and animals and accept the aromas that occasionally waft by. Our local farmers were here first and we want to keep them here, including some of the largest blueberry farms in the country, growers of diverse varieties of legumes, fruits and vegetables, huge producers of perennial flowers and substantial dairy farms, some powered exclusively by burning repurposed cow manure. In a former life, I hosted an annual two-day bus tour around our area for the West Michigan Chamber Coalition and was intrigued to hear local leaders talking about agriculture, education, sustainability, government and natural resources. My intrepid curiosity led me to listen well and has since led me to some fascinating discoveries in our own backyard. Don’t wait for the mainstream media to fill you in because they may never discover what treasures await next door. That’s what friends and family, neighbors and colleagues and independent media like Natural Awakenings are for. To naturally joyful living,

Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Pamela Gallina, Publisher

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan



natural awakenings

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

July 2016


newsbriefs Summer Workshop for Women: Awaken the Sacred Self


r. Natalia Rose Schotte is your host for Awaken the Sacred Self: Discover and Recover your True Essence. This two-day weekend retreat will take place July 30-31 in Grand Rapids as part of a new Summer Workshop Series for Women. During this workshop, participants will be guided through a series of Dr. Natalia Rose Schotte activations and activities designed to expand awareness and quicken personal spiritual development. Themes include: accessing highest personal healing potential, awakening and aligning passion and purpose; deepening appreciation of beauty, love, and the Sacred Feminine; discovering and releasing of aspects of the past holding us back; and learning to live more fully from the heart and spirit. The weekend culminates in a Sacred Ceremony to celebrate anchoring the expanded experience of authentic connection, growth, and transformation. Dr. Natalia is the founder and president of the Grand Rapids based La Vie de la Rose Flower Essences. She is the creator of the Accelerated Spiritual Growth™ Curriculum, which offers the opportunity to achieve the evolution of consciousness in one lifetime ordinarily experienced over many. Combining her Ph.D. in Spiritual/Therapeutic Counseling with over 25 years as a counselor, intuitive, speaker, and teacher, Dr. Natalia has supported people everywhere to more quickly raise their level of consciousness above their long-term challenges to the level of peace, purpose and transcendence. La Vie de la Rose Flower Essences. For more information: or visit

YogaFest: A Festival on Selfless Service


he most experienced, gifted and talented yoga teachers and healers from across Michigan will gather to celebrate and share yoga, meditation, music, art, nature and community at Song of the Morning Yoga Retreat Center in the heart of the pristine Pigeon River State Forest for the sixth annual YogaFest, Thursday, August 4 through Sunday, August 7. 4

West Michigan Edition

Teachers and facilitators from across the state will offer their time to YogaFest in the heart of seva, or selfless service, the living practice of yoga. These offerings include everything from vinyasa yoga and guided meditation classes to live kirtan music and personal-growth workshops. More than a festival, YogaFest is a community gathering. The morning begins working side-by-side to help serve the needs of the whole through selfless service opportunities. Whether it’s sorting recycling or teaching a yoga class— YogaFest provides a place for everyone to serve and get more deeply connected with this wonderful community. Participants will find themselves meeting like-minded seekers from across all Michigan and beyond. From dining together at community meal times, chanting together in the evening during kirtan, sharing meaningful conversation and uplifting words, or sitting in silence during group meditation, every participant has an opportunity to walk away feeling transformed and renewed. Additionally, participants can receive body work in the healing arts tent, shop in the vendor alley, eat from local food trucks, swim in the Pigeon River and hike the endless trails! For information about the event and to buy tickets, visit, the Festival’s Facebook page, YogaFest at Song of the Morning or Justine Markey 989-983-4107. See ad page 44.

Darren Rhodes returns to PeaceLab Yoga


arren Rhodes returns this July 15-17 to West Michigan to offer 2 workshops at PeaceLab Yoga. The first is a yoga teacher’s Intensive Inform Your Flow and the second is for all students Shape Darren Rhodes Shift to State Shift. There are several sections to choose from, and early bird pricing does apply. Darren Rhodes has been the director of YogaOasis in Tucson, Arizona since 1999. He is the founder of YogaHour—an accessible, inexpensive, expertly-taught flow yoga class that offers clear and specific alignment instructions for each pose. He is the author and model of the Yoga Resource Practice Manual eBook featuring photographs of Darren in 400 yoga poses with instructions. Yoga Journal named him one of the “21 Talented Young Teachers Shaping the Future of Yoga.” Darren, while known for his ability to perform all yoga postures, is dedicated to making yoga accessible. Darren’s classes are innovative and authentic, focusing on making the doable difficult and the difficult doable. For more information or to register, go to www.peacelabyoga. com or call 616/745.031 See ad page 19.

Meniere’s Disease Breakthrough


ichael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. of Grand Rapids recently presented his latest McCoy Press peer reviewed paper Protocol and Results for 300 Meniere’s Patients followed for a Minimum of Six Years to 700 brain surgeons from thirty countries at Barany 2016, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The next day he did Michael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. a live demonstration of the technique to medical doctors, Korean doctors and upper cervical chiropractors at the Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas Hotel. Dr. Burcon also spoke last fall to the International Symposium on Meniere’s Disease in Rome, Italy to 700 Otolaryngologists. In 2020 as a guest of the Chinese government, he will make a presentation in Shanghai, China and will be required to adjust Meniere’s patients at a Chinese hospital with pre and post MRI’s to note the improvements. That data will be used for his next research paper. Based on his previous research, the Merck Manual added head injuries as a possible cause of Meniere’s disease. The symptoms are vertigo with vomiting, intermittent hearing loss, fullness in the ear and tinnitus. Burcon has experienced a ninety percent success rate controlling symptoms with 667 consecutive patients, all of which present with a history of whiplash on average of 15 years prior. Burcon Chiropractic Research Institute offers Blair specific adjustments, CranioSacral therapy and medical massage. Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and every other Saturday. There is a link to his GRTV Health Talk on YouTube videos on Location: 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Grand Rapids. For more information call Jane 616-575-9990 or visit See ad page 34.

Brave Boundaries Retreat


one-day Retreat for Holistic Professionals, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners, in Grand Rapids. Yes or No is the question. Regardless of professional industry, personal or professional dynamic, boundary setting is a significant part of life. We often compromise our boundaries by people pleasing, passive aggressive behavior or agreeing to situations that fail to honor inner integrity. Speaking our truth, especially when it comes to our business goals and desires can be challenging. Our inner dialogue can add confusion and complicate the path of least resistance. In order to stay on track we must learn to practice consistent courage with clarity of purpose.

Say Yes, to fortifying your inner strength and follow your purpose without getting off course. Gain insights to create symbiotic relationships with clients based on truth and trust. And lastly, develop a personal style of self- respect that others notice and mirror. Defining the line makes way for opportunities that are in alignment with our highest good. Saying No allows for unseen opportunities to manifest as ideal potential clients, collaborative connections and more. As professionals in business, we have a choice not to compromise. We can choose to make a difference and create a lasting impact by aligning with our divine truth. In remaining dedicated to our mission, attentive to our inner guidance, our capacity to influence others manifests into reality. Retreat is Monday, July 11, 9am to 4pm. You will intentionally revisit the way you practice boundaries and decide if your current path is serving you. All interpersonal relationships require mindful and grace-filled discernment. Join us for a day of reflection to design respectful lifestyle boundaries that best serve your circles and inner voice. Developed by Nicole Zaagman & Mindy Hills as a place of sanctuary for individuals or groups seeking insight for their life vision. Whether you’re a busy parent, working professional or passionate entrepreneur, the retreats and material presented by each speaker provide sage wisdom, expert advice and spiritual truths to help you achieve peace, passion and prosperity in your life. They look forward to connecting with you and holding a sacred space for your personal and professional development. Location: Thousand Oaks Country Club. Tickets are limited. Information & register:, call 616.430.4366 or See ad page 23.

Children’s Book Receives 2016 Book of the Year Award


uthor Elizabeth Cosmos and Illustrator K. HenriottJauw collaborated on this newly awarded children’s book The Adventures of Energy Annie. The story follows Energy Annie as she discovers how the invisible world of energy assists in life lessons. Austrian educator Elisabetta Reiston said “I really love this book and I think children will love it too. Its content is written in an easy to read style and the pretty illustrations help children to easily understand Energy Annie’s story. I gave it to a teacher for her class of children who are studying English as a second language and they raved about the book. I highly recommend it to children, their parents and to teachers.” For more information visit Adventures-of-Energy-Annie or local booksellers Schuler Books and Spirit Dreams and online at Amazon. See ad page 35. natural awakenings

July 2016



Calcium Pills Don’t Build Bone Health


esearchers reporting in the British medical journal The Lancet, analyzed 44 studies on calcium supplementation or dietary calcium and bone fractures and concluded, “Dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture and there is no current evidence that increasing dietary calcium intake prevents fractures.” Qualifying studies included more than 44,000 people. A different meta-study from New Zealand’s University of Auckland, also published in The Lancet, reviewed 59 clinical and observational studies of calcium and bone density. The meta-analysis compared the effect of calcium doses of 500, 800 and 1,000 milligrams per day and found that bone density improvements ranged between 0.6 and 1.8 percent throughout the body during the first year of supplementation, but did not increase over time. They concluded that the improvements in bone mineral density from calcium supplements were small and that results mirrored the increases seen from dietary sources, suggesting that neither method significantly improves bone health.

Energy Drinks Harm the Heart


n addition to alertness, energy drinks may also trigger abnormal heart rhythms and increased blood pressure. Researchers from the School of Pharmacy at the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, tested 27 healthy adults. The volunteers were split into three groups—one drank two cans of an energy drink per day, another consumed the same amount of a drink with Panax ginseng and the third a similar-tasting placebo beverage. The subjects were given cardiovascular testing before and after the trial. After three weeks, the group imbibing the energy drinks had a significant increase in abnormal heart rhythms and higher blood pressure. The ginseng and placebo groups saw no change in their heart conditions. Sachin A. Shah, a doctor of pharmacy and professor at Pacific’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, says, “Our findings suggest that certain energy drinks may increase the risk of having an abnormal heart rhythm when consumed in high volumes. While we wait for more data, some consumers should exercise caution and not blindly follow the buzz.” The Center for Science in Public Interest, a consumer health advocacy group, has reported that as of June 2014, 34 deaths have been associated with energy drinks.

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney 6

West Michigan Edition

Colorful Produce Slows Cell Aging


new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition finds that an increased intake of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants found in plantbased foods, is associated with slower aging. The research tested 3,660 U.S. adults and measured blood levels of five common carotenoids: alphacarotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, combined lutein/zeaxanthin and trans-lycopene. The researchers found that those with levels that were in the highest quarter had 5 percent to 8 percent longer telomeres compared to those with the lowest quartile of carotenoid levels. Telomeres are located at the ends of DNA chromosomes and get shorter as we age. Longer telomeres indicate greater longevity. Carotenoids are found in the yellow-to-red pigments in many yellow, red and orange foods. They are also contained in green foods where chlorophyll shields the yellow-red color. Alpha-carotenes are present in carrots, cantaloupes, mangoes, kale, spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Beta-carotene is found in some of the same foods, and also tomatoes, apricots and watermelons. Beta-cryptoxanthin is found in papayas, apples and orange peels. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in some of the same foods, along with kiwifruit, grapes, oranges, zucchini and squash. Some of the highest levels are in corn. Lycopene is in tomatoes, watermelons, papayas, apricots and other redto-yellow foods.

ADHD Meds Weaken Kids’ Bones


new study announced at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons shows that drugs prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can weaken bones in children during a time of critical growth. This study tested 5,315 kids between 8 and 17 years old and compared the results to a subgroup of 1,967. Each child was given a bone mineral density scan on the femur, femoral neck and lumbar spine. The children taking ADHD medications of Ritalin, Focalin, Dexedrine, Strattera and Vyvanese had lower bone mineral density in the femur, femoral neck and lumbar spine. At least 25 percent of the youngsters taking these medications were categorized as having osteopenia. According to a 2014 Express Scripts study, prescriptions of ADHD medications to children in the U.S. grew by 36 percent between 2008 and 2012.

Neurotoxins Identified in Everyday Items Osteopathy Alleviates R Low Back Pain esearch published in the British medical journal The Lancet has newly identified six neurotoxins: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene or PERC) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Manganese exposure is found in welding and high-octane gas fumes, among other sources; fluoride is used in many municipal water supplies, glass etching and chrome cleaners. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate contained in many pesticides, including Dursban and Lorsban. While DDT has been banned from insecticides within the U.S., it is still contained in other agents, including petroleum distillates. DDT is also still used in some areas to spray for mosquitoes. PERC has often been used in dry cleaning and for degreasing metals. PBDEs appear as flame retardants and to make electronics, household goods, building materials, polyurethane foams, plastics and more. The same researchers previously identified lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene as neurotoxins. The neurotoxin label means they affect the nervous system and can cause neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, attention deficit disorders, dyslexia and others.


ore than 600,000 people undergo surgery for back pain every year, yet back surgery is often unsuccessful. Safer manual therapies provide a viable alternative, according to recent research. A study of 455 people with low back pain found that osteopathic manipulation therapy (OMT) helped with their symptoms. The research, published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, gave each patient six osteopathic manual therapy sessions or a placebo treatment over a two-month period. Patients were tested before and a month afterward to assess the success of the treatments, using pain severity and mobility as the main criteria. The research showed that those that started with higher disability scores of 17 or more prior to therapy had significantly less pain and more mobility. Patients with scores of seven or greater also improved, but not to the same degree. Lead researcher and Osteopath Dr. John Licciardone says, “Subgrouping patients according to chronic low back pain intensity and function appears to be a simple strategy for identifying patients that can attain substantial improvement with OMT. From a cost and safety perspective, it should be considered before progressing to more costly or invasive interventions.”

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

Moth Misery

Bright Lights Drive Them to Extinction National Moth Week, held from July 23 to 31 (visit for podcast), has prompted the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) to encourage cities to install motion-sensitive dimming streetlights and is working to designate dark-sky parks that could provide a refuge for nocturnal species. The giant silk moth and other insects pollinate 80 percent of our food crops. In turn, their bodies sustain innumerable birds, rodents and bats. Entire ecosystems rest on their delicate, powdery wings. Only two species of moths are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and three others have gone extinct in the past decade. Many populations are seeing declines of up to 99 percent. Between monoculture crops, pesticides, changing climate, urbanization and decreasing darkness due to artificial lighting, the future of night-flying moths is uncertain. Their only goal is to reproduce, guided to suitable nesting grounds by the shadow of the moon; many moth species do not even have mouths. However, cities now glow brighter than a full moon, and ambient light pollution radiating from urban areas draws moths to their deaths. IDA Program Manager John Barentine says, “Every time a person turns off and shields a porch light on their house, they’re helping.” Source: Sierra Club

GMO-Free Pioneer

New Grain Transport to be Contaminant-Free Large food companies that are switching to non-GMO (genetically modified) soy and corn products must still worry about their ingredients picking up GMO contamination through conventional supply chains. Now, Captain Drake LLC, a North Dakota grain plant, has acquired its own million-bushel terminal with dedicated rail cars used exclusively for GMOfree grains. President Mark Anderson maintains, “We’ll be able to obtain the best non-GMO commodities from three regions: North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada.” In a 2015 Nielsen study of 30,000 consumers, 43 percent rank non-GMO as very important and 80 percent said they would pay more for foods that indicate a degree of healthfulness. Sales of non-GMO products exceeded $10 billion last year and are growing. Anderson explains, “The supply chain needs to be tightened up and moved domestically. We consider this to be another strategic asset for food and beverage clients seeking suppliers committed to guaranteeing the integrity and purity of non-GMO commodities.” Source: 8

West Michigan Edition


Fresh Veggies Come Direct to Offices Pioneering employers are now offering fresh vegetables to help employees improve their diet—and their health. Tech companies are even hiring professional chefs to prepare healthful lunches and snacks. In Texas, the Farm to Work program is making it easy and affordable for workers to pick up baskets of local produce at the office. Participants aren’t required to pay an initial lump sum or commit to buying every week. Instead, they can sign up to receive produce in any given week. Other groups around the country are also looking into workplace produce delivery programs, and while many use the traditional community supported agriculture (CSA) model, others are experimenting with different procedures. The Farm Fresh Program, in Bellingham, Washington, connects local farmers to employers interested in receiving weekly deliveries. Meanwhile, Farm2Work, in Arkansas, links local purveyors of produce, meat, eggs, dairy, pies, jams and jellies to area employers. New York’s Adirondack Harvest, a branch of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, started by helping a single farmer link to area employers. The next step, says Teresa Whalen, the group’s southern chapter representative, is working to persuade insurance companies to subsidize workplace CSAs in the same way they’re starting to subsidize gym memberships. Source:

Fish Fried

Ready to Feel Like Yourself Again?

New Numbers Confirm Global Overfishing The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has been collecting reports for decades on how many fish are caught in the oceans annually. However, those numbers don’t take into account smallscale, recreational and illegal fishing or the bycatch that’s discarded before boats return to harbors. A study published in Nature Communications increases the actual total world catch from 1950 to 2010 by 50 percent. Daniel Pauly, author of the University of British Columbia study, states, “The world is withdrawing from a joint bank account of fish without knowing what has been withdrawn or the remaining balance. Better estimates for the amount we’re taking out can help ensure there’s enough fish to sustain us in the future.” Based on official counts, global catches peaked in 1996 and have declined modestly each year. The decline isn’t due to less fishing or restrictions on certain fish, though. “It’s due to the countries fishing too much and having exhausted one fish after the other,” says Pauly. The findings also emphasize the value of fisheries to low-income people in developing countries. The next steps will require well-informed action to preserve this critical resource for people and for the planet.

Raymond Wan M-Ac, LMT, ADS, HHC

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Toxic Teflon

Scientists Increasingly Find It Dangerous According to a new meta-analysis of previous studies, Philippe Grandjean, of Harvard, and Richard Clapp, of the University of Massachusetts, concluded that DuPont Teflon, used for 50 years to make frictionless cookware, is much more dangerous than previously thought, causing cancer, birth defects and heart disease, and weakening the immune system. Teflon production was phased out in 2006, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found it in the blood of more than 99 percent of Americans studied, because it can be passed from mother to unborn child in the womb. The researchers say that the federal government’s recommended “safe” level, set in 2009, is as much as 1,000 times too high to fully protect people’s health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has yet to set a legal allowable limit for its presence in drinking water.

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Animal Droppings Help Forests Absorb CO2 A paper published in Forest Ecosystems concludes that frugivores, large, fruit-eating animals like toucans, tapirs, curassows and spider monkeys, help to keep the woods healthy by eating fruits and spreading seeds. As traps for carbon and an effective defense against global warming, forests collectively absorb up to 30 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions and store more than 1,600 gigatons of carbon in the soil. “You have a lot of large birds that play a fundamental role for large trees,” says study author Mauro Galetti. “They increase the likelihood that seeds will turn into actual photosynthesizing plants.” However, big, tropical birds are constantly under threat of hunting, poaching and habitat loss; the International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ Red List notes that 14 of the world’s 16 toucan species, for instance, are decreasing in population. The study found that without the help of high-capacity frugivores, there would be no way for larger seeds to grow into the towering trees that store carbon best. Scientists now want to research individual species to calculate how much each animal’s services are worth in terms of battling climate change. Putting a dollar amount on a species, say Galetti, could be the only way to persuade governments to protect it. Find the study at

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The biggest challenge to healthy eating in poor neighborhoods isn’t always access to healthy food; it’s whether people can afford to buy it. A year ago, Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, opened Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery in Boston, to take action. It gathers nutritious food that would otherwise be wasted and then sells it at low prices. After learning about food insecurity in the U.S. and that approximately 40 percent of the food we grow is thrown out, Rauch decided to address both problems by offering this new option for people that don’t want handouts. The store now has 5,000 members and hundreds of daily customers, with plans to expand to new locations. “The challenge we have in America is that the food system is designed from the farm on up to create calories that are cheap and nutrients that are expensive,” he says. “People on the lowest economic rung get squeezed the hardest.” Rauch partners with vendors to get excess food, such as fruit just slightly too ripe to make it through the standard supermarket system, that chefs turn into readyto-eat meals like prepared salads and soups, or entrées that can cost less than $2. For more information, visit


West Michigan Edition


Peaceful Practice for Health and Healing

Eco-Beach Blast

Sustainable Ways to Enjoy Sand and Surf When eco-conscious families hit the beach this summer, there’s more to be aware of than just picking up trash like drink containers, wrappers and found litter. Here are some other ways we can enhance our beach and water experiences while upping fitness benefits. Rising water levels and severe weather events have damaged coastlines, so extra care is needed. When setting up a beach spot, stay away from sand dunes and pockets of beach grass that serve as natural defenses against beach erosion. Also watch out for marked-off turtle hatching spots; prime nesting season is May through October, according to the nonprofit Turtle Conservancy. Teach kids not to chase birds. Walk around shorebirds to cause minimal disturbance; it’s stressful dodging danger during meals and wastes precious energy stores. Walking on soft sand is like a weight-training workout, as detailed in Michael Sandler and Jessica Lee’s Barefoot Walking book. Polluting chemicals enter waterways via fertilizer and industry runoff and accidents like the BP Gulf oil spill; don’t contribute more by using sunscreen that contains oxybenzine, which reportedly alters hormone function. The Environmental Working Group ( maintains an online guide of safe sunscreens. The Huffington Post also suggests that we can make our own by mixing zinc oxide (a sunblocking agent), coconut oil (soothes and conditions skin), beeswax (for waterproofing) and tea tree oil (soothes and repairs skin and smells good). The same care applies to chemical hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners and straighteners. Patronize clean, green salons that use natural hair treatments free of synthetic chemicals, ammonia or para-phenylenediamine (PPD). Or search “nontoxic hair care” online. Plan a visit to coincide with a public volunteer beach cleanup event. Check with national organizations like Keep America Beautiful ( and local or countywide groups, as well as social media sites for group activities.

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July 2016


REAL NEWS THAT MATTERS Independent Media Tell Us the Truth by Linda Sechrist


n virtually all aspects of life, we are influenced consciously or subconsciously by mainstream media messages. Today, six media giants—Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, Twenty-First Century Fox, Time Warner, Viacom and DirecTV—control the vast majority of what we watch on TV and in movies, listen to on the radio and read in books, newspapers and magazines. According to Ben Bagdikian, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The New Media Monopoly, this handful of conglomerates form a cartel that wields enough influence to affect U.S. politics and define social values. Thirty years ago, before many mergers and acquisitions, 50 corporations owned nearly all of American media. Today’s infotainment and rhetoric, misrepresented as news, is leading millions to conclude that these colossal powers do not exist to objectively report the truth.

Mainstream Media’s True Colors

Although a recent Gallup Poll reflects Americans’ lack of trust in mainstream media’s reporting of news fully, fairly and accurately, fair reporting was what HarperCollins, a prominent publisher, expected upon the 2016 release of 12

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New York City holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan’s A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. They were shocked when the book was boycotted. “The New York Times, Dr. Oz and Good Morning America refused to schedule author interviews or write book reviews. There wasn’t a whisper anywhere on mainstream media about my evidenced-based book on how women can holistically recover from depression without a single prescription. HarperCollins was baffled. I was their first credentialed author who spoke out against pharmaceuticals,” says Brogan. So Brogan turned to independent outlets, including print, online and social media, her own website, newsletter lists and word-of-mouth. Her work soon broke through into three of the top bestselling book lists: USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times. That example serves as clear proof of the importance and power of independent media to furnish the public helpful and in-depth information on wide-ranging topics that mainstream broadcast media typically only cover in 30- to 60-second blurbs or not at all.

Dr. Mark Hyman, chair of the Institute of Functional Medicine and director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, learned Brogan’s lesson early on. “Independent media have been crucial in disseminating my life’s work. Given the misinformation being spread by regular news and government channels about weight and health, we deserve to hear the truth about what’s in our food, toxins in our environment and how we can truly heal our bodies,” says Hyman, a nine-time bestselling author.

Independent Voices

Today’s independent media landscape shifts at warp speed. With 24/7 Internet access to websites, both groundbreaking journalism and grassroots perspectives appear in original articles and blogs. Outlets include independent online radio, TV shows, newspapers, filmmakers and “citizen journalists” armed with smart phones instantly transmitting images and updates via YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. From a growing recognition that such media play a vital role in shaping a more informed and engaged citizenry, more attention is again being paid to the need for real news that matters. Breaking the reign of junk food news generators is the mission of, a media research program at California’s Sonoma State University. Billions of dollars are spent annually on webinars, podcasts and e-books exploring health and healing, self-help, spiritual enlightenment and creativity, indicating a reading audience with a hunger for deeper wisdom. Since 1973, New Dimensions Radio, co-founded and hosted by Justine Willis Toms, has featured many of the world’s most respected wisdom keepers. “Guests exclaim how refreshing it is to speak in-depth and at length. Mainstream, commercially based media consistently present sound bites on how things are breaking down and not working, without opening thought to constructive visions for a future that benefits all life and the planet,” says Toms. “Independent media have broken away from dependence on the moneyed interests holding tight reins on the news and information they publish. Because we’re listener-supported, public radio is

free to explore a wide range of timely and timeless topics,” he says. Leaning away from one-sided views gives independent media space to expand people’s perspectives and positive expectations for the future. The seven-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Christian Science Monitor international news organization was established in Boston over a century ago to till human thought and thereby improve human lives via an uplifted journalistic standard. “Its quiet insistence for human rights and against tyranny; for generosity and against selfishness; for intelligence, charity, courage, integrity and most of all, for progress and hope—surely that has helped,” remarks John Yemma, current columnist and former editor. “We work to uncover where progress is occurring, even though headlines proclaim the contrary. There are always two sides to a story,” says Susan Hackney, a senior director with the Monitor, which consistently resists the sensational in favor of the meaningful. Magazines such as Natural Awakenings, Mother Jones, The Optimist and Yes! are likewise stirring up conversations on meaningful issues via larger perspectives with a focus on tangible solutions. They address such areas as the damaging health and environmental effects of genetically engineered food, championed by Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology. “Europe could kick genetically modified ingredients (GMO) out of their food supply because their mainstream media covered the health dangers, while U.S. mainstream media ignored them and kept Americans in the dark. Independent media in the U.S. enable democracy and consumer-inspired transformations of all kinds. Knowledge has organizing power,” advises Smith.

Success Stories

With Fran Korten at its helm, the adfree, subscription-supported, nonprofit Yes! is helping to reframe our biggest issues. “Mainstream media, dependent upon advertisers that would have us believe that we can buy happiness, celebrate stories of the rich and powerful, leaving everyone else feeling small and powerless. Independents can help resist such ways of seeing the world, help people see a different path to suc-

We in America are the best entertained and least informed society in the world. ~Neil Postman, media theorist and educator cess and happiness and perceive themselves as change agents. Together, we share engaging stories of how people are carving out new ways of living that hold the hope of a world more in balance with the living Earth and where everyone’s inherent worth and dignity are recognized,” says Korten. Allan Savory, founder of the Savory Institute and originator of a holistic land management systems approach to recover and preserve sustainable resources, underscores the need for change leaders and independent thinkers. “As we ponder who they might be, we realize it’s not those that discover new, counterintuitive insights, but those that spread the knowledge. The groundbreakers are pioneers like writers, poets, artists, speakers and social networkers. After 50 years of trying to understand the intense institutional resistance to and ridiculing of my work of managing complexity in a simple manner, holistic management is now quickly spreading globally. This is only due to social networking, independent writers and my TED talk that went viral,” observes Savory. Laurie McCammon, change leader and author of Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, contracted with independent publisher Red Wheel Weiser to get her message out. “It’s been building awareness of forbidden knowledge—that we each have unrealized potential to affect reality by changing our thoughts. We can nurture a shift in global culture away from an existing way of life that has bred fear, lack and a belief in scarcity,” explains McCammon. She suggests that to preview a new vision of, “I am enough and have enough,” and, “We are enough and have enough,” we should look to the fertile fringes; small communities of intentional and conscious people actively reinvent-

ing society. “Look at what independent media are reporting on; as well as their unprecedented use of new terms such as organic, wellness, sustainability, permaculture, transition town, sharing economy, social responsibility, biomimicry and the butterfly effect,” says McCammon. The existing worldview, with all of its core assumptions and rules, aims to restrain awakening individual and collective consciousness. McCammon observes, “As long as the ‘old story’ was told repeatedly by mainstream media with conviction, it could command our attention and make us doubt our inner story. Trusting that the outer world had our own best interests in mind meant that there was no need to turn within. This is changing. Thanks to farseeing, courageous and strong enough independent media, there’s been an overturning to a more wholesome story of mind-body-spirit, abundance, innovation, collaboration and cooperation.” Mainstream and independent media coexist like two sides of a coin. Mainstream media’s talking heads tell us how to act and think while independent media invite us to engage, educate and think for ourselves, dig deeper and take action. Without independent media, we would know little about the benefits of the ever-evolving grassroots movement of holistic, alternative, complementary, integrative and functional medicine. Nor would we know the truth about climate change; the health advantages of plant-based diets and community gardens; food deserts and nutrition-related illnesses; the prevalence of environmental toxins; signs of spiritual progress; alternative education; and the benefits of eco-villages to people and the planet. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

natural awakenings

July 2016



Make Time for Downtime

Chilling Out Revives Body and Soul by April Thompson


ere’s something to add to our to-do list: nothing. Americans today work more hours than ever before, foregoing hardearned vacation days and spending more time with electronic devices than with friends and family. The temptation and pressure to do more at the expense of needed rest are great, but failing to

take time out to recharge our minds and bodies can have serious consequences, according to experts. Downtime is most acutely needed in the workplace. In a survey of nearly 20,000 workers, The Energy Project and Harvard Business Review found that 59 percent of them were physically exhausted, emotionally drained,

distracted and lacking purpose. Headquartered in Yonkers, New York, with offices in Europe and Australia, The Energy Project has helped hundreds of businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, create healthier, happier and higher-performing workplaces. The company takes its cues from elite athletes that carefully build rest and recovery periods into their training schedules. “Just as your body needs sleep and food to function optimally, so does your mind and spirit,” says Annie Perrin, an executive vice president with the project. There’s a mounting body of neurological research to buttress the analogy. Important assimilation of learning and “meaning making” occurs in the resting brain, according to Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., associate professor of education, psychology and neuroscience at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and author of Emotions, Learning, and the Brain. When our minds are allowed to wander, they engage a network of interacting brain regions that together are thought to play a key role in building our ability for inward reflection and recollection, known as the default mode network. Immordino-Yang’s research suggests that such activation during restful moments is positively associated with the recalling of memories, envisioning the future and even developing a moral foundation. “This network seems to be more engaged when we aren’t actively gathering information or working on an external goal,” remarks Immordino-Yang. Zoning

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out on TV or video games doesn’t produce the same brain benefit because, “It’s about looking inward rather than outward,” she says. The default network does engage when introspection occurs during nurturing social interaction, such as while enjoying a reflective conversation with friends or family. She recommends banning technology and other distractions during periods spent in activities that bring joy and meaning so that we are present in a mindful way. The Energy Project ushers clients through a comprehensive energy audit, using exercises to expose specific personal habits that lead to diminishing returns in both work and play time. In one exercise, workers are asked to rank current incoming emails from one to five, with the highest number equating to, “I need to respond immediately.” Most rate nearly no fives, says Perrin, a realization that has helped many people change their email habits.

While change can be hard, Perrin suggests creating new, healthy rituals through repetition, which taps into the brain’s desire for automaticity. For example, she advises workers to schedule “renewal breaks” every 90 minutes after completing a block of high-priority tasks. “If you’ve been sitting, move; if the mind has been active, do something to quiet it, like meditating or simply closing your eyes.” She also suggests finding workers to buddy up with and schedule mutual breaks to help support and hold each other accountable. Immordino-Yang suggests that another practice to maximize the value of downtime is to combine it with exercise. “A walk can be rejuvenating,” she says. “While the body is engaged, the mind is free to wander.” The Energy Project calls on managers to model these downtime activities for their employees. Some companies have instituted policies

that limit sending email from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., as well as during weekends and vacations, so staffers don’t feel compelled to read and respond to keep up with work. Setting limits is even more crucial for young people with minds and habits that are especially malleable. “I see teenagers taking their phones into the bathroom or bed to text in the middle of the night. Parents need to put a stop to this,” counsels Immordino-Yang. “The brain needs uninterrupted rest to work at its best.” Learning that being a productive employee or an emotionally available parent requires giving ourselves a break and gives us permission to rest. We find that downtime is not just good for ourselves, but also for our families and workplaces. Connect with freelance writer April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

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July 2016



ZEN GOLF Master the Mind to Master the Game by Aimee Hughes


remember the moment I had what I call my ‘golf game epiphany,’” recalls Steve Hughes, a passionate golfer from Richmond, Missouri. “I realized that my main obstacles were in my head, and from that day on, my golf game changed.” In any athletic or fitness endeavor, the pursuit of excellence unfolds an array of challenges. While golf presents some of the toughest hurdles to improvement, any links enthusiast can better their game by acquiring a champion’s mindset. Applying a few Zen techniques and disciplines adapted from the Buddhist tradition of mindful awareness—which teaches that the mind is everything—can work wonders. Zen Golf master and performance psychologist Joe Parent, Ph.D., of Ojai, California, advises: “The key is finding a way to let the ‘thinking’ mind do all the preliminaries to physical performance—selecting a target, judging the lie, gauging weather influences, etc.—and then letting our ‘intuitive’ mind take over, enabling our body to make a swing that’s free from second-guessing ourselves.” He calls the optimal playing mentality, “Not too tight, not too loose.” It’s the sweet spot that allows us to perform via our best self. Some key techniques 16

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prepare us to find and reside in this just-right Goldilocks place of being not too hot and not too cold. Developing mental fortitude takes us even further than we can imagine. Mastery is born from discipline, focused attention and a deep core desire to adopt habits and behaviors that will upgrade our mindset. Author of Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game, Parent teaches his students to enter a state that he calls “trusting versus trying.” He teaches a “one stroke at a time” approach, which emphasizes awareness of being in the present moment, as many contemplative spiritual traditions do. When the golfer is deeply engaged in the present moment with just the right level of emotional intensity, free of distractions and worries about future swings, they become integrated with what’s taking place on the course in the here and now to the point of total absorption. In yoga, pranayama, or breathing techniques, are employed to promote relaxation in the mind and body. The Zen approach to golf uses breath work to allow body and mind to make the most fluid and powerful golf swing possible for the player. “The single factor that sets apart the top performers

in any athletic discipline from the rest of us is their state of mind,” says Craig Perkins, a yoga master and founder of the Yandara Yoga Institute, in Baja California, Mexico. “From all my years of yogic study, there’s one teaching that always sticks with me: If we want to master our game, whether it’s golf, yoga or chess, we must first and foremost master our mind.” Practitioners maintain that, meditation can take our mental game to its optimal level and Perkins believes, “Meditation is the number one practice for cultivating self-trust.” Positive visualization, which can be supported by meditation, is another method champion golfers leverage to improve their performance levels. Parent teaches his students, “Establish a clear image in your mind’s eye, and the body will follow.” Repeating this technique with every shot helps the golfer cultivate the habit of positive visualization by seeing the results. Physical prowess is of little consequence if our mental game is off. Under the intense pressure of a golf match, execution suffers when performance anxiety isn’t kept under control. While many golfers have what it takes to succeed—the requisite native ability, experience, technique and talent—mental hang-ups can cause them to call it a day. Detrimental habits can undermine our self-confidence, as well as our score. The solution lies in pinpointing what’s behind them and applying pertinent Zen techniques to either gradually alleviate or winningly work with them. Hughes, who makes his home overlooking the greens of Shirkey Golf Course, says, “It’s about getting out of your own way. When you’re at one with the game as it presents itself, you know your game will be much better than when your mind is racing off to work issues, family dramas and all the other usual life stuff. When I learned how to establish myself in this present moment awareness, not only did my golf game change for the better, so did the rest of my life.” Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy on the faculty of the Yandara Yoga Institute. Connect at ChezAimee@


a sense of flow

Barbara Zvirzdinis By Julie Hurley


arbara Zvirzdinis has been an alternative medicine practitioner for over 30 years, specializing in wholistic kinesiology, massage therapy, reflexology, and something called Matrix Energetics. Matrix Energetics was “discovered” 20 years ago by Dr. Richard Bartlett while he was working at his chiropractic practice after a particularly exhausting day. During the course of treatment, he was startled to discover that “by gently touching his clients while at the same time applying focused intent, he could restore them to a physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced state, instantly shifting misalignments that had plagued them for years.” Even more significant was that he could teach anyone how to do this. To best understand Matrix Energetics (ME), one must think in terms of vibrations, light and information, as opposed to matter. According to the ME website, “biological information fields form an active, constantly resonating matrix. This matrix and its interconnections provide for a continuum for rapid, coherent intercommunication throughout the body. The vibrations and waveforms in this matrix can be changed, meaning that anyone can collapse the current reality such as an injury pattern or some stuck situation within the body or emotions and introduce one of many other new possibilities that are more useful. Disease may be defined as a disruption, cessation or distortion arising in the matrix of these information fields. Physical and emotional injuries impair communication at the cellular level. The application of the Matrix Energetics field re-establishes the flow of biological information so that the body can better respond to stimuli in its internal and external environments.”

Zvirzdinis states that by dropping into heart-centered awareness, we have access to these informational fields. “The heart field is the gateway to all that is,” she says. “We can’t grasp it - it’s infinite,” she says. “There are no set rules and it’s not necessarily a technique. My clients love it.” As a holistic practitioner, her passion is to address the entire person, which includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of themselves. “For a first time client, I usually ask if they have had any experience with energy work, to get a base for where they are at. Sometimes I need to explain quantum physics and subtle energy and how they are combined. We have to remember that everything is happening now - in this moment. During a session with Matrix Energetics, Zvirzdinis says that she can play with whatever patterns appear to her. Matrix Energetics works with all of levels of reality. Sometimes they will appear in wave patterns, or images will come to mind. Her job is to bring about transformation at that level of heartcentered awareness. “If you were to come in and tell me ‘I’ve had this pain in my next for five years and it won’t go away,’ I know that a neck is never just a neck,” she says. “That tells me to look for it in other areas than just the physical neck. I might utilize time travel, or a reality of you, or a reality of you that doesn’t have a neck problem. Or maybe it’s an unconscious belief that necks are difficult to heal.” Dr Bartlett does not believe that “our physical bodies are the only reality. We basically are light and information – we’re patterns of energy. And that’s what the topnotch physicists have been saying for the past 50 years. Even if you believe

that, it doesn’t have much significance in your daily life. But when you learn that you can actually heal someone’s conditions, transform their emotional state, or change their mental processes using Matrix Energetics new possibilities emerge. It is possible to change years-old injury patterns with a light touch and a specific process. Matrix Energetics utilizes the power of focused intent. Matrix Energetics can be learned, and in fact mastered by anyone.” Zvirzdinis says that she can add Matrix to massage and other modalities, and many experience notable change, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. “There is more to you than you know. There are all of these other parts of you that no one has told you about before.” Many clients have experienced significant relief from chronic and serious health conditions after working with Zvirzdinis and Matrix Energetics. “I had one client who had been repeatedly encouraged by a friend to visit me. He decided to take his advice and finally came to see me. He is a total Type A personality. He was having esophageal issues, and had an appointment to seek medical treatment. When he asked me what I was going to do for him, I responded ‘Nothing.’ He was baffled, but I told him that I was going to get as close to nothing as possible. When he went to the doctor, his esophageal symptoms had disappeared.” Matrix Energetics goes beyond the time and space domain. Zvirzdinis says that distance doesn’t matter. “Last night I worked on a client from the west coast I can work on clients thousands of miles away, and they get just as powerful results,” she says. She offers appointments via Skype, phone and in-office. “Matrix Energetics gives the miraculous a chance to show up and for clients to experience their own inner power.” Zvirzdinis says. Zvirzdinis owns A Sense of Flow, located at 147 Diamond St. in Grand Rapids. To learn more about her practice, visit Julie Hurley is a freelance writer and co-founder of Principia Media and Kili Summit Club, two local businesses. Married with two children, Hurley summited Mt Kilimanjaro in 2014.

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July 2016


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Locavore Lingo What All the Food Labels Really Mean by Judith Fertig


ocally grown foods are more likely to have been bred for flavor and nutrition than durability and a long shelf life, says Emily Akins, outreach director for the Kansas City Food Circle, a cooperative that links residents with farmers that grow and raise organic and free-range food. An added benefit is getting to know the farmer and being able to ask the questions—and receive the answers—that are important to us. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that local food sales totaled $12 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion in 2008. They continue to grow.

Organic or Certified Organic Consumers want to know the difference between organics and certified organics. Today’s number of U.S. certified organic operations has jumped nearly 300 percent since 2002 to more than 21,700. Although a certified organic designation might be the preferred index of 20

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how foods are grown and raised, it is not always possible for certain foods in some climates. Sometimes there’s a tradeoff in buying organic foods in the carbon footprint of its transport to market. According to the Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, in Tampa, Florida, “Organic refers to a specific method of growing and processing foods, and is defined as produce grown, packaged and stored without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or irradiation.” To be considered certified organic under the Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR Part 205, products must meet these standards: n No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least three years. n Farmers and processors are inspected annually by a certifying agency. n Farmers and processors must keep detailed records of practices. n Farmers are required to maintain a written organic management plan.

Certified Humane When we buy local cheese, poultry or meat at the farmers’ market, we sometimes see a certified humane notice. One such producer is Baetje Farms, outside St. Louis, Missouri. Their highly regarded goat cheeses offer traceability via a lot number, so buyers can know exactly which milking the cheese came from. In factory farming, which often involves penning or caging animals that never go outdoors, “certified humane” means that this producer meets Humane Farm Animal Care standards: n Fed a nutritious diet without antibiotics or hormones. n Provided proper shelter with resting areas and sufficient space. n Animals have to ability to behave naturally. Veronica Baetje says her farm’s goats receive organic mineral supplements and locally grown alfalfa hay in addition to pasture grass every day. She adds, “They are free to choose what they prefer to do, whether skip and run up a hill, lie under the shade of a tree, soak up some sunshine or play with their herd mates.”

Wild Food At times, farmers’ markets will offer foraged foods from the wild or wild game. Sources are listed online at EatWild. com. “Few of us will go back to foraging in the wild, but we can learn to

forage in our supermarkets, farmers’ markets and from local farmers to select the most nutritious and delicious foods available,” says founder Jo Robinson, in Vashon, Washington, For example, Dave and Sue Whittlesey, at High Wire Ranch, in Hotchkiss, Colorado, raise bison (buffalo) and elk that they sell both through local stores and at the Aspen Saturday Market. The wild game is 100 percent pasture-fed, non-GMO (no genetically modified feed), gluten-free and not given hormones or any antibiotics unless the animal is sick.

Trusted Sources The land, climate and growing season dictate the best natural farming practices for each area, often described along with their products on farm and farmers’ market websites. Wisconsin’s Dane County Farmers’ Market, in Madison, provides detailed descriptions of farm products and agricultural practices so customers can make informed choices. Sometimes, the type of farm

makes a difference. “We are intentionally human scale,” says Virginia Goeke, of Sylvan Meadows Farm, in Viroqua, Wisconsin. “We choose to husband our land to promote harmony and synergy. We are creating a sustainable farm ecosystem where herbal meadows, prairies, heirloom gardens, orchards, woodlands, and rare breeds of livestock and wildlife flourish.” Sometimes, we’d just like someone else to do the food curating for us. The Kansas City Food Circle requires member farmers to take a pledge to follow certain agricultural practices. “When you buy food from our members, you can rely on the co-op’s pledge that it’s been certified naturally grown or that the farmer has USDA Organic certification,” says Akins. Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative, the joint effort of 100 small-scale family farms providing fresh, organic, seasonal produce, in Leola, Pennsylvania, gives similar assurances. The USDA reports that 160,000 farmers nationwide are currently selling to their local markets via farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture organizations, restaurants, groceries and institutions, generating health, social, economic and environmental benefits for local communities. It keeps growing because we keep asking questions. Judith Fertig blogs at AlfrescoFood

Healthy Foods Lexicon Foraged—Native foods gathered from the wild, rather than cultivated. Examples: wild mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, mulberries, native pecans, black walnuts and native persimmons. Free range—Poultry raised outdoors where they are free to range over natural vegetation. Grass-fed—Beef or milk cows fed on grass. The benefit is leaner, betterflavored meat and more omega-3s, plus fuller flavors in milk, butter and other dairy products.

Heirloom—Older, non-hybrid varieties of produce, including fruit trees, herbs and vegetables. Heritage breeds—Ancestral breeds of poultry and livestock that often take longer to reach market weight, but have more flavor. Local—Grown or raised within a threehour driving radius of the consumer’s purchase site. Pastured—Livestock raised on pastures instead of factory farms.

Traceability—Precise tracking by a farmer that informs the consumer of which chicken hatched a specific clutch of eggs, which farm grew a cantaloupe and which mill boiled down and bottled the sorghum syrup. Wild-caught—Fish that live and are caught in open lakes, streams or oceans. For more current agricultural, market and trade terms, visit

natural awakenings

July 2016


Animal Welfare Lexicon by Tracey Narayani Glover


eciphering the significance of food labels can be daunting, particularly when seeking to understand what they mean for animal welfare. U.S. food labeling laws are notoriously weak, resulting in vague and sometimes misleading marketing claims. Legally, there is no definition of humane, which means that industry organizations are left to define this and other terms themselves. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) simply verifies that these companies comply with their own self-defined standards. Certified organic animals and free-range birds must be allowed outdoor access, yet these standards do not define the amount, duration or quality of access required. For example, the Certified Organic label doesn’t set any space requirements for animals housed indoors, nor prohibit the use of farrowing crates or gestation stalls which can be so small that the confined animals can’t turn around or roll over. The Cage-Free label indicates that eggs came from hens that were never confined to a cage and have had unlimited access to food, water and the freedom to roam. The reality is that most cage-free hens spend their entire lives in a shed where, due to overcrowding, they have barely more space than caged birds. Also, under all labels, it’s standard industry practice to kill the male chicks born to the egg industry. The Cage-Free label is particularly misleading when placed on anything other than egg cartons, because chickens raised for meat are never caged. Under most of the common labels, including Certified Organic, Cage-Free and Free-Range, physical mutilations such as horn removal, tail docking, debeaking and castration are permitted, and in most cases, provid-


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ing pain relief is not required during these procedures. Animals form strong bonds with their young. In sanctuaries, pigs spend their lives with their piglets, mother cows form immediate and lifelong bonds with their calves, and chickens protect and communicate with their chicks. The routine practice of separating mothers from their young is standard under all labels. Whether an animal is raised for meat or for other products such as dairy or eggs, most agricultural animals will eventually be slaughtered at a fraction of their natural lifespan. Animals such as dairy cows and egg-laying hens are killed when their production declines. Veal (the meat of a baby cow) is considered to be a byproduct of the dairy industry, and the USDA estimates that 2,000 calves are slaughtered each day in the U.S. Be wary of the unregulated Humanely Raised label and the American Humane Certified label, which offer little improvement over the standard factory farming practices that many consumers abhor. The Certified Humane label, a program of Humane Farm Animal Care, is more stringent about living conditions, requiring that all animals have space that allows for exercise and freedom of movement, prohibiting crates, cages

and tethers. It also has some limitations on physical mutilations, prohibiting debeaking and requiring pain relief for some other procedures at older ages. Under the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) label, products are ranked by a five-tiered rating system, with 1 being the least rigorous and 5 the most. GAP prohibits intensive confinement at all levels and only allows debeaking and tail docking up to its level 3 standard. Both the Certified Humane and the GAP labels go beyond the protections of the Humane Slaughter Act, requiring the butchery of cattle, pigs and sheep to comply with certain standards developed in partnership with Temple Grandin and the North American Meat Institute. The Animal Welfare Approved label likely offers the greatest independent protection of any label. It’s the only label to require pasture access for all animals, prohibit beak trimming of birds and tail docking of pigs, and mandate audited slaughter practices of most farmed animals. Concerned consumers might ask if there is any humane way to kill a sentient being that doesn’t want to die. Despite the perplexing state of food labeling, it’s still possible to eat compassionately. Visit local farms and ask questions or do what many conscientious consumers around the world are doing to ensure that their food choices reflect their values— stick to a plant-based diet, thus leaving animals and their byproducts off our plates entirely. Tracey Narayani Glover, J.D., is an animal advocate, writer, owner and chef of The Pure Vegan, and yoga and meditation teacher in Mobile, AL. Connect at and

natural awakenings

July 2016



Liza Huber and her four children

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Liza Huber on Healthy Meals and Happy Kids Start with Homemade, Organic Baby Food by Gerry Strauss


or many actresses, landing a role on the hit show Passions would be a career highlight. For Liza Huber, daughter of soap opera icon Susan Lucci, a successful acting career was one step en route to her calling as a mother, public speaker and entrepreneur. Her inspiration was to launch Sage Spoonfuls ( to make it easier for parents to make homemade, organic food for their little ones. It’s all about enabling parents to provide a legacy of health, all wrapped up in love.

How did becoming a parent boost your relationship with organic foods and health? I was raised on a diet of mostly fresh, homemade, food and knew it was something I wanted for my own children. At that point, I knew the basics; that it was healthier and tasted better than store-bought baby food. The more I learned, the more I became fascinated by how switching to an organic diet positively affects our health. 24

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Why is it vital to introduce organic food during a youngster’s early development? America’s food supply is loaded with more chemicals and GMOs [genetically modified organisms] than ever before. I believe, as many others do, that the rapid rise of food allergies in children is a direct result. Many chemical pesticides and artificial flavors and colors are known to contain carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors and neurotoxins. It is widely believed that even small doses of these common pesticides can have lasting negative effects on a child’s health. I believe that teaching our kids about the importance of fresh, organic food and the potential dangers of a conventionally processed diet helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy choices.

How do homemade organics and packaged organics differ? Store-bought baby food, organic or not, is processed to have a long shelf life of up to two years. So much of the nutrient

content is lost during processing that most manufacturers artificially add it back in, but aren’t obligated to inform consumers. The added nutrients are synthetic and aren’t absorbed by the body the same way as naturally occurring nutrients. The taste, color and aroma of commercial baby food isn’t as appealing. By feeding your baby a steady tasty diet of fresh, homemade, organic baby food, you greatly reduce the risk they’ll grow into a picky eater. Plus, making your own baby food is three to five times less expensive than what is store-bought. Homemade food has a far smaller impact on the environment compared with commercial manufacturing, transportation and packaging. By the time a baby turns 1, they will have eaten from nearly 700 jars or pouches of storebought baby food that generally end up in landfills, because little is recycled.

Which favorite foods do you love to make for your babies and why? I focus on whole foods. Great first foods include bananas, apples, butternut squash, pears, avocados, peas and sweet potatoes. Once a baby has successfully tried a couple of these, start mixing them together. Banana and avocado, apple and butternut squash, and peas and sweet potato are good combos. They’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, easy to make and yummy. Avocados’ healthy fat is also essential to brain development.

What key lessons learned from your mother have you carried forward with your young family? Two lessons really stick with me: “Stay open and leave room for life to surprise you,” and “You can have it all… just not all at the same time.” In my teens and 20s, I was a meticulous planner, disappointed if things didn’t go exactly as I wanted. Amazing things happened after taking Mom’s advice to leave myself open to wonder. Growing up, I saw my mom have an amazing career, yet also be a fantastic wife and mother. Her secret, and now mine, is to prioritize and focus on one thing at a time, whether it’s work, kids or my husband. This way, everything in your life gets 100 percent of your attention some of the time, rather than trying to do everything at the same time, which rarely works.

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What’s the best gift a mother can give her child? There’s nothing more important to a child’s overall health and well-being than being raised in a loving, warm environment where they feel safe, loved and important. My deep love for my children guides every decision I make for them. A mother’s intuition is a superpower. Gerry Strauss is a freelance writer in Hamilton, NJ. Connect at

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July 2016



Signs That You’ve Found Your Calling

Relieve Stress and Anxiety

by Lissa Rankin

Call Today to Schedule Your Massage Appointment 5260 Kalamazoo Ave SE Kentwood, MI. 49508 616.827.2350

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou


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ou may think you’ve identified your calling, questioned it, become disillusioned, left it and then come back to it in a different form. The following clues let you know you’re on the right track. You realize you’ve been training for this since birth. Even the gritty things, the disappointments, regrets and screwups have all been preparation. Major life disruptions and failures were all just teaching essential lessons so that you can become who you’re called to be. You sense ease. In the face of obstacles—such as doors of suspected opportunity that are shut tight or relentless struggles impeding a course you thought was right—it can be hard to tell if your commitment is just being tested or you’ve veered off course. Such hurdles can be part of the growth process cultivating your “inner hero” necessary for the journey. Trust the sense of movement towards ease, which likely will include supportive synchronicities. Your health may improve. Cravings for unhealthy foods will lessen and you’ll feel more energetic. Old aches and pains might disappear; even chronic illness can fade when you’re focused on your life purpose. You feel strangely peaceful, despite reasons to be anxious. Your soul longs to express what you’re on Earth to express, and when you finally rise into alignment with your calling, your soul does a happy dance. Even if everything else seems to be falling apart and others consider you crazy, you’ll be centered in peace, relieved that you finally know what you’re called to do.

The universe rolls out the red carpet. When called to do what is needed for the highest good of all beings, the universe bends over backwards to hand you whatever you need. No request is too small. Unexpected money flows in and other resources appear just as you’re ready to give up. You’ll know you’re on track, even if it is not quite clear what you’re on track to do. People find you. Few can fulfill a calling alone. Most of us need a tribe to lift us up as we do brave, scary, world-changing things. When you’re aligned with your life purpose, the right people, including magicwielding mentors, will find you at the right time, if only you’re courageous enough to be vulnerable about what you’re being called to do. Dr. Lissa Rankin, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, is the author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure and The Anatomy of a Calling (


In The Heart Counseling By Julie Reynolds


hen people think of counselors, social workers and psychologists, the image of a person lying face up on a couch sharing their stories to a nodding therapist, may come to mind. Talk therapy works for some people and some problems, but there are many forms of therapy. Just as all problems are not the same, all counselors are not the same either. What works for one person might not work for another. In The Heart Counseling uses unique methods that work for a variety of clients, and are tailored to the individual needs of each client. Laurie Schmit, LMSW, is the founder of In The Heart Counseling, PLLC, which is located on Monroe Avenue just north of downtown. Schmit began creating this special place of healing about two years ago. With more than 20 years of experience working in the human service field, she has what it takes and understands how to help others. To Schmit this was a daydream twenty years ago and two years ago took a leap of faith to make it a reality. Schmit says, “The fact that I quit my steady paying, secure job and am now doing this, amazes me and continues to inspire me.” Prior to starting out on her own, Laurie worked for Catholic Charities in a home-based family counseling program. She also worked at Hope Network as an individual and group counselor as well as supervisor and then went on to Health Net of West Michigan. Schmit works with adults and along with providing talk therapy also practices experiential counseling, which includes activities beyond sitting and talking. Some of her clients are other mental health workers and professionals in the community. She begins utilizes physical forms of expression and experiential methods in therapy at a point when her clients have begun to feel comfortable and safe through talking. They may do creative work with artistic expression, such as painting and collage, or may even pound on pillows

to release their emotions. Her office gives her adequate space for the privacy required for this type of therapy. It is large, sunny and bright, creating a comfortable, quiet space which accommodates several people at one time for group sessions. Her intention is to help people move through a difficult past, as well as to help them learn the skills and build confidence to better manage life and emotions independently. Schmit finds it rewarding because the work makes such a difference in the lives of her clients. She realized early on, as an accounting major, that she needed something else, something more meaningful to her. She soon discovered a passion for psychology. Reflecting on her career choice, “I can’t imagine doing anything else now.” Through personal trials of her own years ago, she experienced different forms of counseling including body-oriented healing. With personal success, she strongly believed it could also work for others. While years ago it may have been considered somewhat “new age,” experiential counseling now has years of scientific research backing it, which gives it more respect in the field. “I’ve walked the walk and I’ve studied the research” she said. Many of Schmits clients have experienced trauma, abuse, anxiety and depression. Her philosophy is that it‘s important for people to take ownership of their past and their stories, but believes the feelings are more important than the specific stories. The focus is on authenticity and building a sense of one’s own worth by moving past believing there are requirements to be worthy. She notes that it is important to heal the past instead of dwelling on it or denying it so that it does not dominate the future. She enjoys small group healing experiences and is working on several dates for late summer and early fall weekend groups, workshops and retreats.

In addition to working with her counseling clients, Schmit also provides clinical supervision for social workers who are not yet licensed, which is one way she likes to continue to support her profession. She has been awarded Field Instructor of the Year from Grand Valley State University School of Social Work, which is an acknowledgement for providing supervision to social work interns. Schmit is very content with her location, physical space and the business she has created. Her goal at some point in the future is to open a healing retreat center for those who have experienced trauma and abuse. Her vision is that a healing team of counselors and other professionals would provide intensive counseling and skills training, bodywork, yoga and other holistic services to provide a well-rounded healing experience. This big goal takes time, resources and the right contacts. In the meantime, she continues to work with her current clients and is accepting new clients who are searching for healing. In The Heart Counseling accepts most insurance. Daytime and evening appointments are available, and new clients usually get an appointment within a week or two. For more information on In The Heart Counseling, contact Laurie Schmit at 616426-9226, InTheHeartCounseling@gmail. com or visit the In The Heart Counseling Facebook page. See ad, page 47. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

natural awakenings

July 2016



Mom’s Kitchen Counter Cooking School Kids That Learn to Cook Grow Up Eating Healthier by Jen Haugen


Empowering Youth and Creativity Issue 616-604-0480 28

West Michigan Edition

nvision walking the supermarket aisles and picking up a favorite pasta sauce and breakfast cereal, then adding favorite fruits and vegetables to the cart. When we think about the grocery brands we buy or our go-to recipes, they tend to begin with one common thread— the influence of our mothers—our first teachers about food and cooking. In their Project EAT study, University of Minnesota researchers found that Mom has the biggest impact on the family’s eating habits and continues to play a significant role in our food choices, brands and how we cook, even influencing our ideas about health itself by their example.

Cooking Together

Most of us learn about cooking from our mothers, and one way moms have a tremendous impact on their children is by collaborating on recipes and cooking meals together. The idea of an at-home “kitchen counter cooking school” doesn’t focus on a hard and

fast course on cooking; instead, it’s a place where family members gather around the counter and cook together. This almost guarantees that meals will be healthier and more fun, affording a sense of ongoing adventure where kids can explore ingredients from around the U.S. and even the world. Consider creating a “United States of My Plate” project by preparing a recipe from each state during the summer, and then rating the recipes based on taste and flavor (startup tools are at Our senses are engaged during food preparation activities. While chopping red peppers for a recipe, we are noting their appearance, feeling their texture, smelling their fragrance, hearing the sounds of preparation and likely tasting some on the spot. Involving more of our senses as we explore our food makes the whole activity more enticing. It helps to adopt Julia Child’s motto: “Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all, have fun.”

Moms can change the world by teaching their kids healthy cooking lessons at home and planting an organic garden together. Gardening Together

The freshest ingredients come from our own gardens and produce the most delicious meals. Gardening as a family can change the way everyone looks at food through the simple act of planting, growing and harvesting. Knowing where everything on the plate comes from makes us more mindful of the energy it takes to grow food, and kids will naturally eat what they help grow. Moms can change the world—right in their own yard or patio—with the power of a traditional or urban garden. Just one square foot of organic gardening space can yield half a pound of fresh fruits and vegetables. A 300-square-foot garden can produce 150 pounds each summer; plus it provides a good workout. In 2011, I started a teaching garden at our local supermarket as a means of showing kids how to grow their own food, with the hope that it would also inspire their families. The goal was to plant the seeds for healthier habits that would last a lifetime. During its first four years, 52 percent of the students’ parents noted a more positive attitude about fruits and vegetables exhibited by their own children. After participating in the program, one mother shared her young daughter’s noteworthy query, “Mom, could you go to the store and get me some Swiss chard?” By planting gardens and creating kitchen counter cooking schools at home throughout America, our country could become victorious in ensuring that families are healthier. They will be eating healthier foods, working out in the garden and learning about food in a whole new way, all while connecting in a family activity.

Voices of Experience Tips from Registered Dietitian Moms “It’s not going to be a Norman Rockwell-like experience. It’s going to be messy, and everything associated with it might take 10 times longer than anticipated. It’s not about the outcome, it’s about the journey. “Allow your children to participate in the cooking process by giving them age-appropriate duties in the kitchen. We’re talking about rinsing produce in the colander, ‘looking’ at cookbooks, stirring, scooping, squeezing and setting the table. As they grow older, give them more to do.” ~Robin Plotkin, Dallas “Every other Wednesday, each child had to cook dinner. I gave them a piece of paper with fill-in-the-blanks. Every Sunday, they had to turn in their menu so I could go grocery shopping. Now, both my kids cook really healthy meals.” ~Chere Bork, near Minneapolis-St. Paul “Have kids look through kid-friendly cookbooks and scroll through their favorite recipe app. My girls regularly pick out recipes they would like to try for our next meal.” ~Suzanne Farrell, Denver

“Teaching someone else solidifies your own knowledge; I knew if her brothers taught my 8-year-old daughter, it would boost their own confidence, too. I always start by teaching about some food they are excited to make on their own. Then I start asking them to help with meal prep. Pretty soon, they have an arsenal of skills and can prepare a meal by themselves.” ~Niki Strealy, Portland, Oregon “Let your kids experiment in the kitchen. My first couple dozen creations didn’t taste good, but I eventually developed a sense of what did and didn’t work. Giving this freedom nurtures a sense of creativity in the kitchen. It’s much easier when spatulas and rolling pins are childsize, like those at” ~Amy Gorin, near New York City Primary Source: Adapted from

Jen Haugen, a registered and licensed dietitian and certified master gardener, is the author of The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden. She blogs at natural awakenings

July 2016



SOIL SISTERS Female Farmers Come of Age by Lisa Kivirist


ore women are becoming farmers, bringing with them a passion for producing organic and sustainably raised fare and transforming America’s food system. The U.S. Census of Agriculture reports that their numbers rose by more than 20 percent between 2002 and 2012, to 288,264.

Historic Roots

“Women have played an integral role in farming for centuries, but in the last 100 years they’ve started to self-organize and be recognized for


West Michigan Edition

their important work,” says University of California garden historian Rose Hayden-Smith, Ph.D., author of Sowing the Seeds of Victory: American Gardening Programs of World War I and editor of the UC Food Observer. “During that war, the Women’s Land Army of America, a female-led initiative, recruited nearly 20,000 mostly middle-class urban and suburban women to enter the agricultural sector as wage laborers at farms, dairies and canneries, often in rural areas, where farmers

urgently needed help while the male labor force was off fighting.”  Women also helped feed Americans during the Victory Garden era of World War II. “It’s also estimated that more than 40 percent of fruits and vegetables consumed on the American home front then were grown in school, home, community and workplace gardens,” says Hayden-Smith, possibly resulting in America’s highest period of produce consumption ever. When the commercial organic industry launched in the 1990s, women organized to provide overlooked and undervalued perspectives. The wakeup call for Denise O’Brien, an organic vegetable farmer and owner of Rolling Hills Acres, near Atlantic, Iowa, came during the farm economic crisis of the preceding decade. Although still considered “just” farm wives, “It was the women on the farms that had foreseen where things were heading, because they often kept the accounting books, though nobody took their voices seriously,” O’Brien recalls.  This launched O’Brien’s agriculture activism: balancing farming, raising children and serving as a national advocate and spokeswoman for women in agriculture in an ecological and just food system. In 1997, she launched the Women, Food and Ag Network to collectively advocate for a stronger voice. “Throughout history, women in agriculture have been relegated to providing assistance, rather than making decisions,” O’Brien explains. “It’s up to us as women to collaboratively support each other while challenging the system.”

Cultivating Change

For her 50th birthday, Paula Foreman gave her life a new chapter. She launched her midlife “second act” in 2007 with Encore Farm, a name that serves as a rallying mantra for her peers. “The name is a tribute declaring that fresh starts and new beginnings can happen at any age,” explains Foreman, now an urban farmer in St. Paul, Minnesota. Embodying this business moxie, she chose to specialize, producing one thing very well: organic dried beans. Relinda Walker, of Walker Organic Farms, outside Savannah, Georgia,  represents a cadre of “boomerang” farmers; women that return to the land to continue a family farm with a commitment to organics. Like many farm kids, after college, Walker left to pursue a corporate career in the city. Then the 9/11 terror attack shifted her priorities. “All roads led me to coming back home and growing food,” she says. Launched in 2005, Walker’s farm was one of southern Georgia’s first organic operations, yielding specialty varieties like rainbow carrots in vivid shades of purple, orange and red.

Future Femme Power

Young women in their 20s and 30s are adding energy, diversity, vibrancy and fresh outlooks to the female farming movement. Lindsey Morris Carpenter runs Grassroots Farm, in Monroe, Wisconsin, a diversified operation of certified organic vegetables and pastured livestock, in partnership with her mother, Gail Carpenter.    “A crucial key to farming happiness is being a good neighbor,” she shares. “I call around when I see livestock and pets outside of fences; maintain my fences; share my garlic and potato seed; and always invite neighbors to parties and events, even though they may not attend. Even if others’ personal lifestyle and farming philosophies are radical opposites, we still have our physical location and appreciation of nature in common, and that’s big.” “The women farmer movement is just a toddler,” sums up O’Brien. “We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet, especially with representation on the national leadership platform.” It’s easy to support female growers at local farmers’ markets. Cultivating change can be rewarding— and tasty. Lisa Kivirist is the author of the new book Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers and a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. Her family runs the energyindependent Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B, in southwestern Wisconsin.

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day. ~Vincent Van Gogh

natural awakenings

July 2016



COOL CHOW Icy Treats for Hot Summer Days by Sandra Murphy


tasty ways. After removing strings, n 2015, manufacturers of commerfill celery logs with plain yogurt and cial dog and cat foods and treats freeze. To serve, cut into one-bite issued 28 recalls, some for multiple pieces appropriate for a dog’s size. products, due to the potential presAnother easy favorite is fillence of listeria or salmonella bacteria, ing an ice cube tray two-thirds full mold, dangerous levels of cumuwith Greek-style or traditional plain latively harmful propylene glycol, yogurt mixed with diced strawberries inadequate thiamine, elevated levels or whole blueberries of vitamin D, off odors Use the freshest and freeze overnight. or labeling problems For cats, omit the fruit ( ingredients, organic and instead add bits ManufacturerRecalls). of mercury-free waterIn response, homemade and non-GMO (no treats have grown in genetic modification) packed tuna or salmon as a special treat. Add popularity to ensure that pets enjoy safe and where possible; tuna fresh or dried catnip to healthy snacks. or salmon in a pouch catch Kitty’s attention. “Once when fixing “Most summer dinner, I dropped a fruits work naturally to is safer than BPApiece of frozen yellow cool the body,” advises canned fish. squash and the dogs Cathy Alinovi, co-author dove for it,” says writer Livia J. Washof Dinner PAWsible: A Cookbook of burn, in Azle, Texas, of her ChihuaNutritious Homemade Meals for Cats huas. “Nicki waits for things to hit the and Dogs, in Pine Village, Indiana. floor; Nora showed her game face and “Healthful treats, made from the best won the Squash War.” ingredients, are a good way to take a “Obesity is the number one nubreak from summer heat.” tritional disease affecting our pets, so She suggests taking a refreshing summertime activities that avoid overlook at low-calorie fruits and veggies heating are vital for overall health,” says such as stuffed celery used in creative,


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Veterinarian Jeff Werber, a veterinary medical journalist with a Los Angeles practice. “Proper nutrition is critical— not only to the foods we feed, but to the treats we give.” Twelve years ago, Rick Woodford’s Belgian Malinois/Labrador mix, Jackson, was diagnosed with lymphoma. In order to keep him eating, Woodford shared his own food. Jackson lived an additional four years, in part due to improved nutrition. “Portion control is important,” he says. “What’s right for an 80-pound dog is way too much for a 30-pounder.” Woodford, the author of Feed Your Best Friend Better and Chow, lives near Portland, Oregon. Frosty Paws is a lower lactose version of ice cream for dogs and discriminating cats. Recipes for homemade versions can be found online. The basics are one ripe, mashed banana, 32 ounces of plain or vanilla yogurt and two tablespoons of honey, all mixed in a blender and frozen in small ice cube trays. Variations may substitute goat’s milk yogurt or add a quarter-cup of strawberries, cranberries or blueberries for antioxidants in lieu of the honey. Frozen vegetable broth, primed with added bits of cooked chopped spinach, broccoli, carrots or a small cheese cube, is a hit with dogs. Cats like theirs with tidbits of chicken, turkey or a few shreds of cheese. Using a bone-shaped ice cube tray lets humans know it’s the pet’s treat. “When I was developing frozen treat recipes, my husband came in from the yard one hot afternoon and went straight to the freezer,” says Paris Permenter about John Bigley, co-authors of The Healthy Hound Cookbook, in Cedar Park, Texas, who live with mixed breeds Irie and Tiki. “I watched him eat two helpings of the dog ice cream and then told him what it was. We often share our food with our dogs. It was nice for them to share their goodies with us!” The bottom line for the best summertime treats is to go healthy, be creative, use fresh ingredients, don’t overindulge and stay cool. Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@

Plum and Apple Coolers

photo courtesy of The Healthy Hound Cookbook

One batch makes enough cubes to treat both a large- and medium-size dog.

Frosty Treats for Furry Friends Cooling Recipes Fido’s Frozen Fruit Pupsicles 4 cups water 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional) 1 cup fresh fruit (no grapes or raisins), chopped Wash and core all fruit. Blueberries and strawberries are popular with most dogs, while others enjoy melons, peaches and apples. Chop fruit into bite-sized pieces. Mix fruit with water and molasses.

Source: The Healthy Hound Cookbook, by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

Watermelon Slush

Mango Sorbet

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix.

2 ripe mangos, peeled Juice of 1 orange Juice of 1 lime ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Purée the plums and water in a blender or food processor. Add another 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if needed.

Freeze for 4 hours. Serve the cubes one by one (outdoors may be best) or in a big bowl. Source: Chow, by Rick Woodford

Low-calorie watermelon is high in potassium and magnesium plus vitamins A and C; filled with fluid, it helps prevent dehydration. Blackstrap molasses has less sugar and more minerals than other sweeteners.

Source: The Healthy Hound Cookbook, by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

6 plums, washed and pitted 1 Tbsp filtered water, to begin 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch cubes (no seeds)

Spread the apples in the ice cube tray and spoon the plum purée on top. Don’t pack, or it will become a denser cube.

Transfer frozen cubes to a zip-top plastic bag; stores up to 2 months in the freezer.

2 cups cubed watermelon, seeds removed ½ cup strawberries 1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses ½ cup coconut water 1 cup ice

Freeze the mix in ice cube trays, small tubs or Popsicle molds.

(10-lb dog: 1 to 2 cubes; 20-lb dog: 3 to 4 cubes; 40-lb dog: 4 to 5 cubes; 60-lb dog: 5 to 6 cubes; 80-lb dog: 6 to 7 cubes; 100-lb dog: 7 to 8 cubes)

Ingredients to Avoid Avoid peanut and other nut butters or any ingredient with xylitol, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, coffee and caffeine, onions, chives, garlic, nuts and salty snack foods. Chocolate is also on the no-go list; the darker the chocolate, the worse it is for pets; baking chocolate is the most dangerous. If a pet eats any of these, try to determine how much and contact the family veterinarian, a veterinary emergency clinic or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.

Serve in a bowl as a slushie treat or pour into ice cube trays and freeze.

Add all ingredients to a blender and purée.

Or share a slice of fun. Many dogs love plain watermelon slices. Be sure the animal doesn’t eat the seeds or rind.

Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze overnight.

Source: The Healthy Hound Cookbook, by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

For a full list of foods to avoid, visit

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July 2016


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July 2016


TRUST YOUR GUT: 5 symptoms that you wouldn’t think were connected to your gut By Dr. Christine Schoenek, ND and Dr. Kelly Hassberger, ND


s naturopathic physicians, our goal is finding the root cause of disease. Naturopathic medicine is rooted in the belief that the body has the innate ability to heal itself if given the right environment. By working with patients to discover the underlying causes of disease, ND’s help patients come closer to a balanced and disease free life. One discovery that we have made while practicing naturopathic medicine is that there is very little healing that can occur without listening to and healing the gut. The GI tract is physically and physiologically central to our health, having direct correlation to nearly all of our body’s biological processes. In our experience thus far, we have found that most patients with chronic diseases have some complaint in the GI tract. Patients often report gut concerns such as chronic constipation, diarrhea, gas, or bloating, but never connect them to their other chronic symptoms. With the inflammatory foods our nation is built on, it is not surprising that so many of us suffer from chronic GI concerns. But the story doesn’t stop in the gut. What many people don’t know is the important role the GI tract plays in the rest of

our body. For starters, the GI tract is responsible for the digestion and absorption of many important nutrients. Every process in our body is aided by vitamin and mineral cofactors and without their proper absorption it is easy for these processes to stop working optimally. Beyond vitamin and mineral absorption, the GI tract also houses 80 percent of our immune system. The healthy bacteria, or probiotics, that live in our GI tract, along with gut associated lymphatic tissue (GALT), create a first line defense against invading pathogens. At birth, our mothers provide us with this healthy bacteria as well as immunoglobulins to help prime and build up our immune systems. Csections and formula feeding have been implicated in an increased risk for allergies and asthma, mostly due to the fact that these children’s immune systems are not fully established, as they would be during a vaginal birth and breastfeeding. Allergies, asthma, a decreased immune system, eczema and autoimmunity can have a direct correlation to the GI health for this reason.

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Kelly Hassberger Another important function is the gut-brain connection. The GI tract houses the enteric nervous system or our “second brain”. This is a network of neurons and neurotransmitters that are directly wired to the brain. In fact, 95 percent of the serotonin in the body is made in the GI tract. Therefore, a healthy gut means a healthy mind and vice versa. The connection between the GI tract and the brain is undeniable and has been shown over and over again in research. The final piece of the puzzle is the removal of toxins and waste. We are exposed to many toxins on a daily basis in our environment. Many toxins are also produced through the natural processes in our bodies. A proper functioning GI tract and regular bowel movements are necessary to eliminate these toxins, keeping us happy, healthy and balanced. So what symptoms could you be suffering from that you might not know are connected to your gut? If any of the below rings true for you, you are encouraged to visit your local Naturopathic Physician. 1. Joint and muscle pain a. Inflammation can start in the GI tract, release inflammatory cytokines into the systemic body, creating joint pain or stiffness, and muscle tension. Many mineral deficiencies have also been implicated in muscle

a member of the Michigan Association 5. Recurrent of Naturopathic Physicians (MANP). Infections a. When Christine believes in the key principle of Naturopathic Medicine – the body has there is chronic the innate ability to heal itself. inflammation in the gut, the healthy bacKelly S. Hassberger, ND graduated with teria, or gut flora that a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, normally inhabit the with highest honors, from Southwest GI tract can be killed College of Naturopathic Medicine off. These bacteria in July of 2011. She then went on to create our immune complete a 1-year general medicine system. A deficiency residency in Naturopathic Medicine in gut bacteria can at the Southwest College of Naturodecrease immune pathic Medicine Medical Center. She response and cause has always had a passion for medicine recurrent illnesses. and through growing up in a household Antibiotics can that opened her up to the power of a also create a bigger healthy, loving, fulfilling life, she found problem by not only her passion in Naturopathy. killing off the intended bacteria, but our Resources: Christine Schoenek good bacteria as well. 1. Antibiotics alter microbes in GI and joint pain, such as calcium Adding a high quality, multiple tract and increase lung sensitivity to and magnesium. Mineral defi- strain probiotic, considering digestive allergens, say U-M scientists ciencies are often created from enzymes and adding nutrients, such dysfunction in the GI tract. as l-glutamine and demulcent herbs, newspage/2004/allergies.htm 2. ADHD and attention issues are just some of the tools Naturopathic 2. Healthy mix of GI tract a. We already talked about Physicians utilize to help speed GI tract microbes are key to preventing Serotonin and its production healing. Make an appointment today allergies and asthma in the gut. Any imbalance in with your local Naturopath to deter neurotransmitters could result in mine if gut healing is right for you. releases/2004-12/uomh-hmo121704.php attention or hyperactivity. Yeast, 3. Say Hello to the Trillion Bacteria or candida, overgrowth in the that make up Your Microbiome Christine Schoenek, ND graduated from GI tract has also been shown to Oakland University where she earned http://www.nytimes. correlate with inattentiveness or a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She com/2013/05/19/magazine/saybrain fog. hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteriathen attended National University of 3. Anxiety and depression that-make-up-your-microbiome.html Health Sciences (NUHS) where she a. Your gut houses over 30 neu4. Gut Bacteria earned a Doctorate in Naturopathic rotransmitters making it nearly Medicine, graduating Suma Cum Laude May Exacerbate Depression impossible to disconnect this http://www.scientificamerican. and Valedictorian of her class. Chrisfrom the brain and mental com/article/gut-bacteria-maytine currently holds her Naturopathic health. It should be mentioned license in the state of Vermont and is exacerbate-depress/ that SSRI’s, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are often used to treat depression. In other words, finding ways to increase serotonin in the body will improve depression. Healing the GI tract is one important way to accomplish this. 4. Fatigue 40 Years of Experience Helping with: a. A decrease in nutrient absorpInfertility, Acute/Chronic Pain, Digestive Disorders, tion itself can cause decreased Insomnia, Anxiety, Hormone Imbalances and Addiction. overall energy production. Also offering pediatric acupuncture for allergies and colic. Malabsorption can also deNow Accepting Priority Health/American Specialty crease the activity of the Health Insurance for Acupuncture Services. endocrine system, such as the 3368 Beltline Ct NE, Grand Rapids | 616-361-9221 adrenals and thyroid, further leading to fatigue.

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natural awakenings

July 2016


No Pain – No Gain by Sherry Petro-Surdel


e have had a few generations of young athletes that have adopted the phrase No pain, No gain as their creed. Some of the questions that enter my mind when I think of this phrase are: 1. Where did the slogan originate? 2. How balanced and accurate is this statement? 3. What are the exceptions, if any? 4. What does this concept mean to you personally, spiritually, physically, relationally? The first time the phrase No pain, No gain had any impact on my life was with my son Clint, when at the age of 13 he decided he was going to be a professional soccer player. His life became goal driven. To attain his dream, his exercise habits, eating patterns, entertainment, the people he chose to be with all revolved around his goal of becoming a professional soccer goalie. Clint was aware that he did not have the physical size most coaches looked for in a goalie. Soccer goalies most often are tall in stature for better net coverage and they typically have large hands. Clint did not meet those physical characteristics, but what he lacked in the physical, he made up with effort, commitment and focus. The walls of Clint’s bedroom had large posters of his favorite soccer stars. He had the following slogans in big letters over his bed: NO GUTS – NO GLORY, NO BRAINS – NO GAIN, NO


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PAIN NO GAIN. As his mom, I really didn’t like these slogans as I was not so sure pain was the answer and I certainly did not want to see pain inflicted on my son. Most of us associate No pain, No gain with physical exercise, athletes, competition and/or staying in shape. The true origin of the text came in the second century in a Jewish text, The Ethics of Our Fathers. It is probably more accurately translated to The pain is in the gain. In 1734 Benjamin Franklin wrote in an essay titled The Way to Wealth. “There is no gain without pain”. In his printing of Poor Richard’s Almanac, he said: “God helps those who help themselves, there is no gain without pain.” It is clear to me that the phrase No pain, No gain was created about our spiritual unfolding and the events of life. Dr. Carl Jung said: “There is no coming into consciousness without pain.” There are prices to pay to be fully invested in anything whether it be a relationship, a dream, a healthy body, a family, a job, your spiritual path. There is a price or a pain when committing to a long term relationship as relationships are not always pure bliss and ease. The path to enlightenment does not come without pain. If we replace the word

pain with effort, we are putting things in context of the physical or mental energy towards accomplishments. Without effort and commitment, no relationship can sustain itself. Without effort and commitment, no physical condition of the muscles can sustain strength. Without effort and commitment, no organization with dreams and visions, to make the world a better place, can sustain those dreams long enough to make the permanent, sustainable change needed to create a better world for all generations. It takes courage to consistently demonstrate effort, commitment and focus. It takes those who have the unstoppable, dauntless nature to accept the pain, to experience the gain. There are some who will say fear is what stops them from achieving their dreams. Trust that the fear is almost always more painful than the thing you fear. Faith is the gain that comes from facing a fear. Here is a formula I use for No pain, No gain: Pain is just fear in disguise. Gain is the faith that is always available. My son Clint played professional soccer for two years. He is an example of our ability to turn our dreams into reality. Sherry Petro-Surdel, Author | Pastor | Public Speaker | Life Coach A Voice of Reason. Enriched. Enlightened. Empowered. For more information: or See ad, page 34.

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July 2016



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


BVI School of Ayurveda Accepting Applications: June 30 – August 31. Ayurvedic Consultant Certificate Program. Webinar and On-Site Monthly Courses. State Licensed. NAMA Member. Request Catalog. The Sambodh Society, Inc. 6363 N 24th Street, Kalamazoo. Info and tuition cost: 269.381.4946. Complementary Consultation – A consultation is a conversation, not an examination and certainly not a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we aren’t the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Brain and Body Chiropractic, 833 E 16th St, Ste 175, Holland. Info & Appointments: 616-202-6368. New Client Gift – New Consultation Clients get a Welcome Gift worth over $100. Schedule a consultation with Dr. LeAnn Fritz, ND and you’re entitled to this welcome bag of products to get you started, absolutely FREE! Mention this ad to receive your gift. New Hope Health, 10373 Riverview Dr, Plainwell. Info: 269-204-6525. Find True Happiness – 9:30am-7:30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm, Sat. Need something more than sun to up your joy quotient? Stop in to talk about many healthy options that can help ease stress, anxiety and depression. Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: 616-433-9333. Be Vibrant ~ body and mind – 9:30am-7:30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm Sat. Stop in to learn about supplements that can help you enjoy vibrant health for your summer harvest. Vital Nutrition 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford. Info: avision@charter. net or 616-433-9333


Guided Meditation and Healing Circle – 7-8:00pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in AmericaTrained Practitioners. $5 donation. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids. Info: or 269-908-1016.


Eckankar –10-11 a.m. Solving Problems, ECK Worship Service, second Sunday each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids,


Brave Boundaries Retreat – 9:00am-4:00pm. A sacred sanctuary, Oasis Retreats and Workshops are for those seeking awareness for their life vision. Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no


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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.

longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future. $111 includes lunch and activities. Grand Rapids. Register/sponsor:


Essential Oil Class – 6-8:00pm. Therapeutic Grade Oils - Learn and understand essential oils, how they work and how to use them. $25. The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Contact to register 616-443-4225.


Reiki Share – 6-8:00pm. Come discover what Reiki is all about, and receive a free mini session. Open to those that know Reiki and those that don’t. Donations welcome. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Contact to register 616-443-4225.


Healing Energy Circle at Spirit Space – 7:00pm. Come raise your vibrations with like-minded people. We radiate our loving, healing energy to those in need whether present or just in our minds eye. We also send energy and peace to our communities and to the world. We are one. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck. Info: Call 616-8361555 or visit for more information.

fully from your heart and spirit; and quicken your personal spiritual development. Cost $325. La Vie de la Rose Flower Essences. Location of event Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct, Grand Rapids. Info: and register: or or 616-233-2535.

savethedate Save The Date Events

Must be submitted online each month at Events priced $80 or more require a corresponding display ad. There is a $40 charge per listing, up to 50 words. Current advertisers, distribution sites or nonprofits, use this listing in place of your two free listings.

savethedate September 16

200 Hour Teacher Training Class – Hillaire Lockwood from Hilltop Yoga in Lansing will conduct the class. This course will be held September 16 - November 12 and consists of 9 consecutive weekends of training: Fridays 5pm - 10pm and Saturdays 7AM-6PM with a lunch break Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St, Holland. Info:


Reiki I & II class – 9am – 5pm. - Introduction to Reiki, become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to self and others and meet your Reiki guide. Class fee is $250. The fee includes a $50 deposit due at registration. The Remedy House 5150 Northland Dr, Grand Rapids. Call to register 616-443-4225.


Ama-Deus Among Us – 1-3pm and 6-8pm. Energy healing forum. Meditation/healing sessions for balancing and replenishing. Open to Ama-Deus participants and those interested in experiencing Ama-Deus healing method. Love offering. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Kim at


Awaken the Sacred Self Women’s Weekend Workshop – Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9am3pm. Discover and recover your true essence during this two-day retreat facilitated by spiritual growth teacher Dr. Natalia Rose Schotte. Features unique activations and activities to align your passion and purpose; deepen your appreciation of beauty, love, and the Sacred Feminine; learn to live more

savethedate September 18

Grand Rapids Veg Fest – 10:00am. Join us with over 70 exhibitors, informative speakers, cooking demonstrations and food trucks. Register for our newsletter to stay up on all the fun events We have planned throughout the summer and fall. Deltaplex Arena, 2500 Turner Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Info:

savethedate October 11

Intuition Retreat – 9:00am - 4:00pm. A sacred sanctuary, Oasis Retreats and Workshops are for those seeking awareness for their life vision. Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future. $111 includes lunch and activities. Grand Rapids. Register or sponsor:

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.

Hot Yoga – 5:30-6:45pm & 7:00-8:15pm. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. Not recommended for people with heart or lung conditions or those not engaged in regular exercise. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale.

Essential Oils – 6:30-8:00pm. Learn the benefits of using Pure Certified Essential Oils and how to use them in this weekly class. Love Offering only! Taught by Allegra Miller, Plant Wisdom/ Quantum Wellness Educator. Unity Center of Spiritual Growth. 6025 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info: Contact or

Yoga to the CORE -- 5:30-6:30pm. Focusing on the core will bring strength and freedom to your asana practice as well as your everyday activities. Get ready to feel the burn! Your Inner Space. 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: 616-9948087 or or www.

A Course in Miracles – 9:30 - 11:00 am . A complete self-study spiritual thought system. It teaches that the way to universal peace is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. The Course focuses on the healing of relationships and making them holy. It expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6026 Ada Dr SE, Ada. Info:


ongoingevents sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship – 10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasoning’s. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or Sunday Series – 6:00pm. 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 Dr., Grand Rapids. Info:

monday Hot Yoga – 5:30-6:45pm & 7:00-8:15pm. Sweat with this active, energetic, athletic style of yoga with traditional poses in a hot room. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: The Practice of A Course in Miracles – 7:008:30pm. Learn miracle-mindedness. Got joy? This is how to have it. Hint: You already do. All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

tuesday Kung Fu Fundamentals – 7:45 - 9pm. Class is for adults and offered by donation. Your Inner Space . 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: contact AJ Tyink at 616-594-6508 or Beginning Yoga – 9:30am and 7:00pm. This class will introduce you to basic postures, breathing techniques, and mindfulness with an emphasis on building body awareness. Gentle yet relaxing in nature, you will leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and having a greater sense of health and wellbeing. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: Gentle Hatha Yoga – 7:45-9:00am & 9:1510:30am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St., Montague. Info: 231-740-6662or

wednesday Yoga 101 – 9-10:15 am. New to yoga? This is a great class for you! Even if you’re not a beginner, this is a wonderful refresher practice to fine tune your alignment and form. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: 616-994-8087 or JoiDupre@ or

Restorative Yoga in Focus – 7:15-8:15pm. Explore a different topic each week to re-balance the body and mind in a calming, meditative format. No experience is necessary; all are welcome. $16 drop-in or one class from 5, 10 or 20 class package. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 206, Grand Rapids. Info and register at $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. Grand Rapids. 616-3659176. Chair Yoga – 10-11:00am. Chair yoga classes include movements and breathing exercises designed to encourage relaxation and increase mobility, balance and strength. $12. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. 616-307-1617. Info: Vinyasa Yoga – 5:30-6:45pm. Vinyasa builds on the basic tenets of yoga that you would receive in the Level I classes. This practice will go a little deeper into the postures, the breathing practices; and building strength and flexibility through sun salutations. Ideal for individuals looking for a physical challenge and mental relaxation. No yoga experience necessary but good physical condition recommended. $12 drop-in. Hearts Journey Wellness Center, 6189 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale. Info: Meditation – 6-7:00pm. Join together for meditation that begins and ends with live, native flute music. Attend the full hour or any portion of the meeting. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy, Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or

Kung Fu Fundamentals – 12:45-1:45pm. Class is for adults and offered by donation. Your Inner Space, 451 Columbia Ave, Holland. Info: contact AJ Tyink at 616-594-6508 or

saturday Outdoor Yoga – 8:00-9:00am, Saturdays, July 9-August 13. Sponsored by Holland Parks & Rec. $5 donation does to the Sal Perez Scholarship Fund. Kollen Park, Holland. Info: Gentle Hatha Yoga – 9:00-10:15am & 10:3011:45am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St., Montague. 231-740-6662. Info: Sweetwater Local Foods Market – 9:00am1:00pm. A double-up bucks and bridge card market. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey St. Located inside during inclement weather. Hesperia. 231-861-2234.

It is easier to go

down a hill than up, but the view is from the top. ~Arnold Bennett

thursday Free Community Class - 5:15-6:15pm. Join in the fun with a different class each week and a different theme each month. July is called Easy Does It. Great for all fitness levels and perfect for those in need a lower impact workout. Bring your friends and join the Girls! Girlfriends Fit Club, 2975 West Shore Drive, Holland. Info: see Facebook, call 616.399.9086 or

natural awakenings

July 2016


AUG YOUTH – THE NEXT GUARDIANS OF THE EARTH Give Them the Tools They Need Yoga, Dance & Meditation Classes • Live Uplifting Music • Workshops • Healthy Vegetarian Food • Children’s Tent • Healing Arts Center • Wooded Camping Experience summer in the undisturbed Pigeon River State Forest at Song of the Expe Morning Yoga Retreat! 800 acres of wooded camping and miles of hiking trails. Song of the Morning is open year round offering workshops, yoga, meditation, vegetarian meals and a variety of accommodations.

Advertise your products and services in Natural Awakenings’

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

616-604-0480 44

West Michigan Edition



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


Vikki Nestico, R.Ac. Located at Renewal Skin Spa 6080 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids 616-940-1177 • At Grand Wellness, we focus on a holistic approach to wellness, promoting healing through acupuncture, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. Call to set up a free consultation to discuss how Chinese medicine can help your specific health concerns. See ad, page 7.


Andrew Gielczyk Licensed Builder 616-834-2480 • Wood & Saw is focused on creating a sustainable high quality of life for our clients. Building simple, costeffective, energy-efficient, toxic-free homes and remodels that achieve the healthiest possible indoor air quality. See ad, page 37.

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

Our doctors provide a comprehensive solution to resolving problems of the spine and nervous system. Dr. Semrow is one of 400 doctors in the country certified in the functional neurology protocol for neurostructural correction. See ad, page 30.

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.


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 relieve constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 9.


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.

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 energy during a Matrix Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves.


Clara VanderZouwen Independent Sharing Partner 616-481-8587 Be Young Essential Oils are E.O.B.B.D. guaranteed 100 percent pure for the safety and benefit of your family, pets - even horses. Offering free monthly classes, Zyto Compass Bio-scans, ionic detox footbaths and aromatherapy jewelry!


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 •


Teri Kelley • 616-719-0610 Your online source for organic, non-GMO makeup and body care. Offering several lines, you’ll find everything you need to cleanse and beautify your body head-to-toe. Serendipite also carries a 100% organic dog care line.


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

Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Essential oils, bulk herbs, tea, hand-crafted bath & body products, raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. 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 10.

natural awakenings

July 2016






Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885

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.


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 44.


Educational programs for personal health improvement. Workplace wellness programs. Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health. National conferences.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic/Holistic Practitioners and retail health store. Natural health consultations, classes, oils, h e r b s , h o m e o p a t h y, hypnosis, foods, candles, crystals, books, CD’s, massage, reflexology, emotional clearing, raindrop therapy, foot detox, DOT/CDL health cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 25.


West Michigan Edition

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


Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE, Ste. 2, Caledonia 616-401-7199 • Registered nurse specializing in lifestyle change, weight management and pain reduction. Restoring balance and harmony using Healing Touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, guided imagery & visualization practices.


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 homeopathic remedy. Most insurance accepted, 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, Ste. 201, Grand Rapids 616-550-3231 Hypnotherapy services for smoking cessation, weight management, pain management, personal and professional growth, and much more. Also offering stress management services for individuals, couples, families, and the workplace with certified Stress Reduction Specialists. See ad, page 30.


Pam works with highly – motivated individuals as they focus on their complex life agendas and aim for their very best life-work balance. This provides a powerful framework for building more effective relationships while maintaining a balanced and fulfilling personal life. See ad, page 47.

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

Offering Swedish massage with integrated techniques, chosen specifically for your unique body. Relieve those tired and sore muscles and rejuvenate. Call for on-going 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 9.


Claire Crowley BS, MM, 500 hr ERYT 1324 Lake Dr, Ste 7, Grand Rapids 616-295-1861 An opportunity to experience emotional and physical wellbeing through meditation and reiki, Moment of Peace aspires to help you savor each moment, embrace all that your life offers and celebrate the joy of everyday. See ad, page 37.


Patrice Bobier CPM Hesperia: 231-861-2234 Jennifer Holshoe Grand Rapids area: 616-318-1825 In private practice since 1982 - specializing in home birth and a team approach. Over 1,550 births attended. Offering midwifery care that maintains a family-centered safe birth experience. Empowering women to stay healthy during pregnancy, give birth naturally and parent in the best ways. Free initial consultations including prenatal check-up.

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

Transformative counseling, workshops, energywork, breathwork, rebirthing and emotional clearing, all with confidential, caring support. Collaborative, active and affirming approach for adults wanting to break free and move into true authentic living. Close to downtown Grand Rapids.


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 selfhealth-care. Instructors highly qualified (B.A.M.S.).


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

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

Educational programs offered: Natural Health Program: four years (one weekend a month); Massage Therapy Program: one year (two weekends a month); Holistic Doula Practitioner Program: six months (one weekend a month). Individual classes available. See ad, page 48.



10500 Chicago Drive Holland Twp • Zeeland 231-557-3619

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care with Elina Organics. Facials, body treatments, needle-free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, Facial Hydratherapy, Oxygen Facial Therapy, LED, microdermabrasion, bamboo massage, Raindrop, reiki and more.

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


Thermography is a safe, tested, painless, and effective procedure providing information for breast cancer risk assessment, breast cancer prevention and early detection, possible hormone imbalance, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, musculoskeletal inflammation, and neurological problems. See ad, page 35.

natural awakenings

July 2016


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

Over 20 Years of Experience ~ Over 100 Programs Graduated 48

West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ July 2016  
Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ July 2016