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feel good • live simply • laugh more

The Eyes Tell Our Story How Integrative Doctors See Into Whole-Body Health

Where’s the Sustainable


Conscious Practices Make it Safer for Us and the Planet

Taste the Rainbow

Expand Your Palate with Colorful Veggies


BABY Helping a Restless Child Sleep Well

March 2016 | West Michigan Edition | natural awakenings

March 2016


contents 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.




How Cows Can Help Reverse Climate Change by Linda Sechrist

20 TASTE THE RAINBOW Expand Your Palate with New Colorful Veggies by Judith Fertig



Fostering Healthful Sleep

by Stephanie Dodd

24 ROLLING FOR FITNESS DIY Rollers Ease Pain and Aid Flexibility by Randy Kambic

26 MEATY TRUTHS Choosing Meat that’s Sustainable and Safe by Melinda Hemmelgarn

31 WELL-MANNERED CATS Simple Ways to Get Kitty to Behave


by Sandra Murphy


Agrihoods Use On-Site Farms to Draw Residents by April Thompson


TELL OUR STORY How Integrative Doctors See Into Whole-Body Health by Linda Sechrist


West Michigan Edition


10 5 newsbriefs 9 community

spotlight 10 healthbriefs 13 globalbriefs 15 ecotip 13 18 wisewords 20 consciouseating 22 healthykids 24 fitbody 25 organicways 3 1 naturalpet 15 32 greenliving 34 inspiration 36 healingways 42 calendar 45 naturaldirectory

advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 616-604-0480 or email: Publisher@ Deadline for space reservation is the 12th of each month prior to publication.

NEWS BRIEFS & ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Email articles to: Deadline for articles is the 5th of the month prior to publication. Submit News Briefs online at Deadline for News Briefs is the 12th of the month prior to publication.

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

WHERE TO PICK UP NATURAL AWAKENINGS If you enjoyed this magazine and would like to know where you can pick up a free copy in your area, please contact us at 616604-0480 or email us at:


Healing Body and Spirit Expo Holistic Fair 2016 Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites 100 W Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007

(Located 1/2 between Detroit & Chicago on I-94)

Saturday April 2nd 10am – 8pm Sunday April 3rd 10am – 5pm Daily Passes $10.00 Children 12 & younger free Experienced mediums, tarot, astrology, aura photos, pet communicator, body workers, healers, palmistry, spirit artists, stones, jewelry, crystals, numerology, angle readings, essential oils, nutrition, dream catchers, clothing, stone healers, and more!!!

Free Seminars and Lectures daily Keynote Speakers:

~ Get Harmony Now ~

“Cindy and Michael Fess are twin-flame mediums and healers from Louisville, Ky. Cindy an Ambassador for the Angelic Realms & Michael a composer of music that Lifts, Inspires & Heals.” DO NOT MISS THIS DYNAMIC DUO!

~ Spirit Dancer Crystals ~

“A scholar in the studies of shamanic traditions, certified in mesa traditions of Peru with crystal and sound healing. Jean will share the power of stones & crystal healing techniques you can use now in life! ”

Presented By: Beverly & John Stephan “Mystical Art Readings” More Info call 269-329-7476 Ms Margo “The Bone Reader” 887-296-2746

Check us out and connect with us on Facebook. Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest!

Facebook — Find us at Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan Twitter — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Instagram — Find us at NaturallyWestMI Pinterest — Find us at Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan natural awakenings

March 2016




ore and more of us are learning to read food labels, shop the perimeter aisles at the market, buy organic when possible and be ever mindful of what is locally grown. We know that what we eat contributes to how we look and feel and our quality of life in general. We know that additives we can’t pronounce can be potentially harmful to us and that anything that’s not organic and processed typically means it contains stuff that’s not good for our health.

contact us Publisher Pamela Gallina

I missed my goal to quit smoking by the time I was 30 years old, but claimed victory in this aspect of self-care by age 35. I then joined a nutritional counseling group, fearful of gaining weight. What an eye opener that was! I learned tons about good nutrition, astounded at how little I knew before.

Assistant Publisher Amanda Grasmeyer Editors S. Alison Chabonais Linda Sechrist Design & Production Interactive Media Design Scott Carvey

At about the same time, I realized that beef and pork didn’t agree with me; it was hard to digest and left me feeling lethargic, so I gave up beef entirely and most pork too. Because I miss eating quality cuts of bacon and fresh Polish kielbasa, I still, occasionally treat myself to small amounts of those, but that’s it. Fortunately, I’ve always liked fish.

Printer Stafford Media Solutions Natural Awakenings PO 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.

COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY Natural Awakenings is locally owned and operated.

Also at about the same time, a good friend shared educational materials detailing how chickens were commercially raised, which prompted me to forego poultry for a while, too. As a distance runner, I felt that I was running low on protein and eventually reintegrated organic chicken and eggs back into my diet. One of my best friends owns an 8,000-acre, working organic cattle ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where I spend time each year saddling up and driving stock from range to range. I personally haven’t eaten beef in some 30 years and never hear the end of my companions’ ribbing from the time I touch down until I’m wheels up again! They have more vegetarian jokes than I care to remember. As explained, I’m not a vegetarian, but in their view, a life without beef amounts to the same thing. Everything my friend’s family eats is either organic or whole food. Extremely healthy, balanced meals at the ranch is not what I imagined when we first met these third-generation cattle ranchers. This summer, I hope to visit there again and am gearing up to endure another round of jokes and jibes, but at the end of the day, it’s important to keep in mind that people like these are every bit as interested in and devoted to living a naturally healthy lifestyle as the rest of us. My best,

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.


West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


good company, friendly venting and healthy coping. Vent your frustrations in a supportive, safe environment while learning some positive, healthy coping techniques from a therapeutic professional while surrounded by friendly, fantastic, supportive women.

Homeopathy 101 Seminar


oin Maggie Conklin, ND, of LadyHawk Nutrition LLC, in Douglas, for Homeopathy 101, a seminar at Nature’s Market, in Holland on March 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. While there are many homeopathic remedies available, sometimes choosing the correct one can be daunting. It’s important to question how they are made, what strength they are, which form is best (tablets, pellets or liquids) and whether a single remedy will do or multiple are necessary. Conklin will answer these questions and more, as well as give examples of her favorite homeopathic approaches and their uses. Space is limited. For more information or to sign up, call Nature’s Market at 616-394-5250. See ad, page 22.

Women’s Wellness Nights


rand Rapids Natural Health is hosting a Women’s Wellness Night on March 8. Women supporting other women can be one of the most powerful tools we have to uplift one another as we attempt to navigate our hectic lifestyles. When life stressors start to get you down, take control of your happiness. Come on down to Grand Rapids Natural Health, where their very own in-house Couple and Family Therapist, Kerry Hart, LLMFT, offers a monthly support group for women interested in


For more information or to RSVP, call 616-264-6556. Cost to attend is $5. See ad, page 18.

Spirit Space Movie Night


oin Spirit Space in Saugatuck for a movie night! I Am will be shown on March 25 at 7 p.m. It is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical questions: what is wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? Filmmaker Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor, and Bruce Almighty) steps in front of the camera to recount what happened to him after a cycling accident left him incapacitated, possibly for the rest of his life. Though he ultimately recovered, he emerged with a new sense of purpose, determined to share his own awakening to his prior life of excess and greed, and to investigate how he, as an individual, and we, as a race, could improve the way we live and walk in the world. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a small crew to film his adventures, Shadyac set out on a 21st-century quest for enlightenment. He met with a variety of thinkers and doers—remarkable men and women from the worlds of science, philosophy, academia and faith— including such luminaries as David Suzuki, Noam Chomsky,




SPARK | February 11 | 9am - 4pm Tune into inner guidance, let go of beliefs that no longer serve you and gain awareness of God’s vision for your prosperous future.

OASIS Retreats & Workshops was developed by MINDY HILLS & NICOLE ZAAGMAN to offer sanctuary for those seeking insight for their life vision.

Essence + Valor | April 11 | 9am - 4pm Balance feminine and masculine roles in leadership and provide a road-map to developing purpose driven initiatives.

Whether you’re a busy parent, working professional or passionate entrepreneur, the retreats will provide sage wisdom, expert advice and spiritual truths to help you achieve peace, passion and prosperity in your life.

Brave Boundaries | July 11 | 9am - 4pm Implement and define mindful, respectful, lifestyle boundaries to best serve your circles and inner voice.

MINDY & NICOLE look forward to holding a sacred space for your personal and professional development.

INTUITION | October 11 | 9am - 4pm Understand the importance of trusting your God guidance, tap into soul tools and walk with open hands towards divine destiny.

Detox YOUR SPIRIT IN 2016 Register natural awakenings

March 2016


newsbriefs Howard Zinn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lynne McTaggart, Ray Anderson, John Francis, Coleman Barks and Marc Ian Barasch. The film is fresh, energetic and life-affirming and challenges our preconceptions about human behavior while simultaneously celebrating the indomitable human spirit. For more information, call 616-886-2716, email or visit See ad, page 13.

Kalamazoo’s Largest Healing Body & Spirit Expo


n April 2 and 3, many professional intuitives/mediums and spirit communicators from across the U.S. and Canada will gather under one roof in downtown Kalamazoo, offering healing, aromatherapy, aura photos, stones, crystals, dream catchers, jewelry, spirit/ angel artists, holistic products, clothing, numerology, astrology and more. Beverly and John Stephan, have been participating in Body Mind & Spirit expos for many years and are excited to bring a piece of Spirit to Kalamazoo. Join in and spread the word about this exciting upcoming event for many professional mediums & healers to share their talents to the local community. Keynote speakers include Cindy and Michael Fess on “Get Harmony Now” and Jean Tindle with “Crystal Spirit Dancer”. Included in the price of admission are speakers, demonstrations and door prizes that will take place both days of the expo. The expo will be held April 2, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and April 3, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at The Radisson Hotel & Suites, 100 W Michigan Avenue in Kalamazoo, and the expo will be sponsoring “The Kalamazoo Humane Society”. Cost is $10 daily, 12 and under are free. For more information, call 269-329-7476 or visit See ad, page 3.

Free 6K Fun Run & Health Fair


oin Harvest Health Foods at their annual Green Day Healthy Expo and 6K fun run on April 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. Each year, thousands of people celebrate Earth Day to acknowledge and appreciate the amazing resources available in our world. Harvest Health Foods recognizes the lifestyle choices that we make have a significant impact on our health and the environment. The Green Day 6K fun run is their way to say thank you for your support and to encourage those lifestyle choices that move us all toward a healthier, greener community. The health fair runs from 5 to 8 p.m. with lots of local vendors on hand with giveaways, samples and raffle items. The 6K run starts at 6:30 p.m. Strollers and bikes are welcome; however, the roads are not closed so please pay attention to the course. Events take place at Harvest Health Foods, located at 6807 Cascade Rd., SE in Grand Rapids. For more information, visit

Yoga and Sacred Music Retreat in Bali


n the Vedic tradition, the phenomenon of sound lies at the heart of daily spiritual practice. Sound is the audible breath, the manifestation of life energy and our effortless gateway to creativity, inspiration, healing and inner truth. Three Grand Rapids based globetrotters, Jessica Roodvoets, Nancy Grzeszak and Jeremy Arndt invite you on a yoga and sacred music journey to the cherished, joyful and deeply spiritual Island of the Gods—Bali, Indonesia. Through daily immersion into asana and meditation (led by Roodvoets and Grzeszak), accompanied by sacred sound from instruments all over the world (performed by Arndt), you will restore your body’s natural immunity and gain access to the vibrations of the universe—vibrations that can

Wood & Saw

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here

REMODELING AND HOME BUILDING Toxic-Free | Energy Efficient | Sustainable 616.834.2480 Holland, MI 6

West Michigan Edition

(269) 366-4146

QSM3 Upper Cervical Nutrition Response Testing Kinesio Taping Massage Therapy Laboratory Diagnostics

natural awakenings

March 2016


newsbriefs heal the mind, body, and spirit. During this retreat, through the tools of yoga, mantra, chanting, silence and sacred sound, you will learn the tools to refine your voice and harmonize your life according to your own unique rhythm. This yoga retreat will take place at the scenic Soulshine Bali, a boutique hotel and yoga retreat oasis located five minutes outside the village of Ubud, Bali. Indulge breathtaking views of rice terraces, traditional temples and coconut trees, as well as excursions to crystalline beaches, coffee plantations, temples and volcanic hot springs. For more information, visit BaliRetreat/ or email at See ad, page 19.

Now Open


oice & Vessel, a writing studio, is now open in Grand Rapids. It will offer weekly writing workshops, monthly writing circles, creative retreats and oneon-one guidance. The studio was founded by Emily Stoddard, a writer and Certified Leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Method. The AWA Method guides Voice & Vessel’s workshops and has been used around the world for more than 30 years. It is designed to break down blocks to creativity and help people strengthen their voice through writing. Workshops include writing prompts, creative practices and optional response to each other’s writing. The studio is set up for a supportive writing experience. “I want people to feel like they’re stepping out of their busy day and into their creative life,” Stoddard says. “When you walk through the door, you’re in a safe, cozy space where you can write freely.” New workshops begin in March and April. 332 S. Lincoln, Lakeview, MI 989-352-6500

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


West Michigan Edition

Stoddard invites people of all experience levels and writing styles to join. In the weekly workshops, groups typically include six to eight participants. “The group is big enough to have a mix of voices, but small enough to give each person thoughtful support,” she says. “The diversity of the workshop is part of the magic. We learn a lot by hearing different voices, stories and writing styles. It creates good energy that motivates people to keep writing.” For more information and to register, visit VoiceAndVessel. com. See ad, page 15.

Children’s Book Release


eleasing on March 19, The Adventures of Energy Annie follows a young girl who lives with her family in a small town in the Midwest and learns how the invisible world of energy assists in life lessons. This beautifully illustrated book, from author Elizabeth Cosmos and with original artwork by K. Henriott – Jauw, is the first in a series and is also available in Spanish. When she’s not busy writing, Cosmos travels internationally teaching Ama-Deus, an energy healing method that taps into Love, to all ages. Dr. Mark MIncolla, bestselling author of Whole Health said, “The Adventures of Energy Annie is poised to guide a future generation into an Einsteinian world of infinite possibility. This pioneering work clearly and creatively demystifies the concept of energy, by inviting both the child and adult readers on an amazing journey. What a brilliant way to change the world! I’d recommend this book to everyone.!” To order The Energy of Annie or for more information, visit or See ad, page 39.

Holistic Health

Healing Body, Mind & Spirit

Healing Techniques


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

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


Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center

by Amanda Grasmeyer


aymond Wan, P.Ac., A.D.S., L.M.T., H.H.C., owner of Alternative Care Solutions Wellness Center, certainly has no shortage of post-nominal letters. The acupuncture practitioner, massage therapist and holistic health counselor that he is thrives on helping people. At a very young age, Wan was interested in alternative health. His studying began as a hobby, and expanded immensely when he first obtained a certification for massage therapy from a scientific-based alternative health school in West Michigan. Just one year later, he added Certified Acupuncture Practitioner and Certified Master Herbalist to his repertoire. With Wan’s alternative approach to better health, he sees numerous clients who come to him suffering ailments such as pain, stress, premenstrual syndrome, infertility, low sex drive and more, and who then leave his office feeling rejuvenated and alive again. On top of correcting a discomfort or illness, Wan works with his clients to trace the cause of their problem and find tools, such as stretches or a proper diet, to help prevent the problem from happening again. He puts a high value on the education bit, knowing full well that simply a better education of how to take care of one’s self can ignite the difference between an ailment, such as chronic pain, and a happy, healthy, pain-free and pill-free life. Adamant about living a pill-free life, Wan just published his first book, How to Live a Pill Free Life: 5 Step System to Discover Meaning Through Alternative Health, which can be purchased on Wan shares, “In this book I discuss the major causes of illness and disease today. I explain what happens in our bodies during

periods of high stress and how we can best manage this, so as not to cause irreparable harm to ourselves. I go in-depth and explain ancient Chinese traditions and how I have modernized them to fit our daily lifestyles. These days, we are too quick to self-diagnose and then to self-medicate with over the counter medications. It is in our best interest to become informed and find alternative solutions and begin taking better care of our body, mind and soul.” He also just published a second book, Qigong Self Discovery & Healing Techniques: Unlocking the Mysteries of Qi, which can also be found on Of this book, Wan shares, “In this book, I help you explore healing techniques and will teach you methods of self-discovery. This ancient Chinese secret is unlocked using your Qi (Chi). I will walk through each step and teach you how to begin using this in your life and help you to find balance and tranquility. You will discover many benefits including self-healing aspects that will help you beyond what you would have ever imagined.” He adds, “Welcome to a whole new world!” Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. “Qi” is typically translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. “Gong” means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Therefore, together, “Qigong” means cultivating energy, a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality. Wan offers weekly classes in qigong on Fridays from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. where students meet and practice qigong and share their experience.

The class is open to the public and for all ages, but space is limited and new participants are encouraged to call or email to register. He is also offering a Qigong for Healer class on May 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that is designed for healers who are interested in learning a new healing technique. In this class, Wan will share his qigong healing techniques, teaching students about the ancient Chinese healing philosophy, concept and theory. The class will have a space for discussion on different types of qigong and practicing guiding qigong, vibration techniques and different pressure points for specific conditions. Again, space is limited, so new participants are encouraged to call or email to register. In addition to his qigong classes mentioned above, Wan will offer a Stress Management with Self-Acupressure class on March 19 and June 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. and an Infant Massage for New Parents class on April 9 and October 8 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. among other classes as well. All available classes can be found on Alternative Care Solution Wellness Center’s website where participants can also register. For more information, call 616-4196924, email AltCareSolution@gmail. com or visit See ad, page 30.

natural awakenings

March 2016


“Sick and Tired” of Feeling “Sick and Tired” Explore the benefits of


Magnolia Bark Knocks Out Head and Neck Cancer Cells

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ead and neck cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat (pharynx and larynx), sinuses and salivary glands. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, more than 55,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancer, and almost 13,000 die from these diseases annually. A study from the University of Alabama and the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center found that a magnolia herb extract called honokiol may treat these cancers. It tested human cancer cell lines in the laboratory from different parts of the body, including the mouth, larynx, tongue and pharynx. The researchers found that the honokiol extract halted the growth of each of these cancer cells and induced cell death. Lead researcher Dr. Santosh K. Katiyar and his colleagues wrote, “Conclusively, honokiol appears to be an attractive, bioactive, small-molecule phytochemical for the management of head and neck cancer, which can be used either alone or in combination with other available therapeutic drugs.”

Probiotics Reduce Aggressively Negative Thoughts

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ecent research from the Netherlands’ Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition has discovered that negative and aggressive thinking can be changed by supplementing with probiotic bacteria. The triple-blind study followed and tested 40 healthy people over a period of four weeks that were split into two groups; one was given a daily probiotic supplement containing seven species of probiotics and the other, a placebo. The subjects filled out a questionnaire that measured cognitive reactivity and depressed moods using the Leiden Index of Depression Sensitivity, which measures negative and depressed thinking. After four weeks, the probiotic group showed significantly lower scores in aggression, control issues, hopelessness, risk aversion and rumination, compared to the placebo group. “The study demonstrated for the first time that a four-week, multispecies, probiotic intervention has a positive effect on cognitive reactivity to naturally occurring changes in sad mood in healthy individuals not currently diagnosed with a depressive disorder,” the researchers concluded.

It is health that is real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver. ~Mahatma Gandhi


West Michigan Edition

Apple Munching Makes for Healthier Shopping


ating an apple before buying groceries may help consumers make healthier shopping decisions. This was the finding of three studies on healthy food purchasing conducted by Aner Tal, Ph.D., and Brian Wansink, Ph.D. In the research, published in the scientific journal Psychology and Marketing, 120 shoppers were given an apple sample, a cookie sample or nothing before they began shopping. The researchers found those that ate the apple purchased 28 percent more fruits and vegetables than those given the cookie, and 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than those given nothing. A related study by Tal and Wansink investigated virtual shopping decisions. After being given a cookie or an apple, 56 subjects were asked to imagine they were grocery shopping. They were shown 20 pairs of products—one healthy and the other unhealthy—and asked to select the one they would buy. Consistent with the results of the first study, those that ate the apple most often chose the healthy option.

Metal and Mineral Imbalances May Produce Migraines


esearch from Turkey’s Yüzüncü Yil University has concluded that migraines may be linked with higher levels of heavy metals in the blood and deficiencies in important minerals. The research tested 50 people, including 25 diagnosed with migraines and 25 healthy control subjects. None of those tested were taking supplements, smoked, abused alcohol or drugs or had liver or kidney disease or cardiovascular conditions. Blood tests of both groups found that those with frequent migraines had four times the cadmium, more than twice of both the iron and the lead and nearly three times the levels of manganese in their bloodstreams compared to the healthy subjects. In addition, the migraine group had about a third of the magnesium, about 20 times less zinc and almost half the copper levels compared to the healthy group. “In light of our results, it can be said that trace element level disturbances might predispose people to migraine attacks,” the researchers stated.

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Usui Reiki Classes ~ Urevia® Practitioner Level One ~ Karuna® Reiki Classes February 20 & 21

March 5 & 6

May 21 & 22

We offer certified and professionally accredited education for healing practitioners, holistic practitioners and health-care professionals. The classes provide everything a person needs to become a successful healer. Serving SW Michigan: Centrally located between Battle Creek, Kalamazoo & Grand Rapids.

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March 2016



Losing Pancreatic Fat Reverses Diabetes


study from Newcastle University, in England, has found that losing fat content in the pancreas can alleviate Type 2 diabetes. The researchers tested 18 obese people between the ages of 25 and 65 that were diagnosed with diabetes alongside a control group that were not. Subjects received gastric band surgery before eating an appropriately healthful diet for eight weeks. During this time, subjects in both groups lost an average of nearly 13 percent of their body weight and around 1.2 percent of their body fat. More importantly, the diabetes group lost about 6.6 percent of triglyceride pancreatic fat, or about 0.6 grams. The weight loss and loss of triglyceride fat from the pancreas allowed the patients to produce normal amounts of insulin. Professor Roy Taylor, the head researcher of the study, says, “For people with Type 2 diabetes, losing weight allows them to lose excess triglyceride fat out of the pancreas and allows function to return to normal.�

Surging Organics

Costco Shoots Past Whole Foods Market Whole Foods Market, founded in 1978, grew to be the number one seller in the nationwide movement toward organic and natural eating, with more than 400 stores. But mainstream grocers such as Wal-Mart and Kroger have since jumped on the bandwagon, and smaller players like Trader Joe’s and The Fresh Market have proliferated. Now Costco has moved into the current number one position, illustrating the market potential of budget-conscious consumers that desire to eat better. Source: The Motley Fool


West Michigan Edition

ChannelSurfing Couch Potatoes May Lose Cognitive Skills


esearchers from the University of California at San Francisco, working with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and other research agencies, have found that watching television may affect cognition, specifically as it relates to executive function and processing speeds. The study followed 3,247 people over a 25-year period, beginning in their early adult years. Those that frequently watched television during their early adult years had a 64 percent higher incidence of poor cognitive performance compared to less frequent television watchers. This was after adjusting results for the effects of many other known lifestyle factors that affect cognition such as smoking, alcohol use and body mass index. The effects of television watching worsened when combined with reduced physical activity during young adult years. Those with low physical activity and a high frequency of watching television were twice as likely to have poor cognition compared to those that had low television viewing combined with high physical activity during that period.


An Interspiritual Church

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

An Alternative to Traditional Religion Radically Inclusive

Nixing Monsanto Guatemala Just Says No

The government of Guatemala has repealed legislation dubbed the “Monsanto law”, which was approved last year to grant the biotech giant special expansion rights into ecologically sensitive territory, after widespread public protest. The demonstrations included groups of indigenous Mayan people, joined by social movements, trade unions and farmers’ and women’s organizations. Following political party battles, the Guatemalan Congress decided not to just review the legislation, but instead cancel it outright. The Monsanto law would have given exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies. Mayan people and social organizations claim that the new law would have violated their constitution and the Mayan people’s right to traditional cultivation of the land in their ancestral territories. Lolita Chávez, of the Mayan People’s Council, states, “Corn taught us Mayan people about community life and its diversity, because when one cultivates corn, one realizes that a variety of crops such as herbs and medicinal plants depend on the corn plant, as well.”

Sunday Worship: 10:30am Wednesday Discussion & Meditation: 6:00pm Pastor Sherry Petro-Surdel 3493 Blue Star Highway Saugatuck, MI. 49453 616-836-1555


Food Fight

College Cafeterias Lead the Way in Sustainable Eating Colleges and universities are changing how they purchase and prepare food in their dining halls to provide students healthy, sustainable meal options, with many of them working to source food locally. American University, in Washington, D.C., purchases more than a third of the food served in its cafeterias within 250 miles of its campus. McGill University, in Montreal, spends 47 percent of its food budget on produce from its own campus farm and growers within 300 miles. Middlebury College, in Vermont, partners with seasonal local vendors, including those operating its own organic farm. Taking it a step further, Boston University cafeterias serve meal options that include organic, fair trade, free-range, vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibioticfree, sustainably harvested food items to students. Cornell University composts about 850 tons of food waste from its dining halls each year. At Duke University, surplus food is donated to food banks, and both pre- and post-consumer scraps are composted. Other steps include the University of California, Berkeley’s new Global Food Initiative to address food security in a way that’s both nutritious and sustainable, and efforts at the University of Illinois to recycle cooking oil for biodiesel production. Source:


NaturallyWestMI natural awakenings

March 2016


globalbriefs High Harvest

Indoor Gardening is Looking Up The world’s largest indoor farm, in Japan, covers 25,000 square feet, with 15 tiers of stacked growing trays that produce 10,000 heads of lettuce per day, or about 100 times more per square foot than traditional methods. It uses 99 percent less water and 40 percent less power than outdoor fields, while producing 80 percent less food waste. Customized LED lighting helps plants grow up to two-and-a-half times faster than normal, one of the many innovations co-developed by Shigeharu Shimamura. He says the overall process is only half automated so far. “Machines do some work, but the picking is done manually. In the future, though, I expect an emergence of harvesting robots.” These may help transplant seedlings, harvest produce or transport product to packaging areas. Meanwhile, Singapore’s Sky Farms, the world’s first low-carbon, hydraulically driven, urban vertical farm, runs on a Sky Urban Vertical Farming System, making the most of rainwater and gravity. Using a water pulley system, 38 growing troughs rotate around a 30-foot-tall aluminum tower. A much bigger project, a 69,000-square-foot vertical indoor garden under construction at AeroFarms headquarters, in Newark, New Jersey, will be capable of producing up to 2 million pounds of vegetables and herbs annually. Source:

Never wear anything that panics the cat. ~P. J. O’Rourkepy.

Critter Cuisine

Edible Insects Can Help Feed the Planet Insect expert and bug farmer Sarah Beynon, Ph.D., a research associate for England’s University of Oxford, reports, “Two billion people eat insects every day, and not just in the West. In fact, insects are extremely good for you and eating them is good for the planet, too.” Western governments are enthusiastic about the potential of entomophagy—the human practice of eating insects—for feeding growing numbers of people sustainably. By 2050, humans will require 70 percent more food, 120 percent more water and 42 percent more cropland. Meat production is predicted to double, and conventional production consumes extraordinary volumes of land and water resources. A recent British Food and Agriculture Organisation report suggests that there are more than 1,000 known species of edible insects. Insects are extremely nutritious, containing lots of calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids, and are low in cholesterol. They’re also packed with protein; by weight, crickets can contain more protein than beef. Source:

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Kitchen Recipes for Daily Energy Savings The kitchen is a hotbed of energy consumption when family meals are being prepared and even when dormant. Appliances make a big difference, and the tools and methods we cook with can reduce utility bills. According to Mother Earth News, cooking in a convection oven is 25 percent more efficient than a conventional oven. Switching to an Energy Star-approved refrigerator that consumes 40 percent less energy than conventional models can save up to $70 in energy bills annually, according to They suggest performing defrosts routinely and keeping the door tightly sealed, especially on an older model. Position the fridge so that it isn’t next to heat sources such as sunlight, the oven or dishwasher. While cooking, refrain from opening and closing a hot oven door too frequently, put lids on pots while heating and select the right size pans. Cooking with a six-inch-diameter pan on an eight-inch burner wastes more than 40 percent of the heat produced. For cleanup, a full load of dishes in a water-efficient dishwasher uses four gallons of water versus 24 gallons for hand washing, according to flow meter manufacturer Seametrics. A slow cooker uses less energy and needs less water to wash afterward (, plus it doesn’t strain household air conditioning as a stove does. It’s good for cooking hearty stews and soups made from local seasonal vegetables, steaming rice, making yogurt and baking wholegrain breads. Consider taking a break from the kitchen by ordering a week’s worth of organic, natural meals and ingredients delivered to the door by an eco-friendly meal distribution service, which cuts down on individual trips to the grocery. Search online for local service options.

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March 2016


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What Trees Teach Us About Life by Dennis Merritt Jones


great experiment in the desert called the biodome created a living environment for human, plant and animal life. A huge glass dome was constructed to house an artificial, controlled environment with purified air and water, healthy soil and filtered light. The intent was to afford perfect growing conditions for trees, fruits and vegetables, as well as humans. People lived in the biodome, for many months at a time, and everything seemed to do well with one exception. When the trees grew to a certain height, they would topple over. It baffled scientists until they realized they forgot to include the natural element of wind. Trees need wind to blow against them because it causes their root systems to grow deeper, which supports the tree as it grows taller. Who among us doesn’t long for a perfect growing environment for ourselves, with no disruptions from outside influences? We strive to avoid the times of contrast and tension, when life’s daily challenges push against us. When they do, the normal tendency is to curse them. If trees could talk, would we hear them curse the wind each time they encountered a storm? We can learn a great deal from nature’s wisdom at work if we are open to the lesson. Watch how a tree bends and sways gracefully when the wind blows against it. It does not stand rigid, resisting the flow of energy. It does not push back. The tree accepts the strong wind as a blessing that helps it grow. Such experiences develop our character and deepen our spiritual roots. When we grow deep, we too, stand tall.

Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D., is the author of Your Re-Defining Moments, The Art of Uncertainty and The Art of Being, the source of this essay. He has contributed to the human potential movement and field of spirituality as a minister, teacher, coach and lecturer for 30 years. Learn more at natural awakenings

March 2016



Land Manager Allan Savory on Holistic Pasturing

How Cows Can Help Reverse Climate Change by Linda Sechrist

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hen concurrent dangers arising from overpopulation, desertification (fertile land turning to desert) and climate change were just beginning to attract technological solutions, pioneers like Allan Savory, a young wildlife biologist in Zimbabwe, Africa, were researching how healthy soil captures carbon dioxide and stores it as carbon. It’s the way nature renders the most pervasive greenhouse gas more helpful than harmful and a major reason why this is not happening globally is because of desertification. This innovative game-changer has since received Australia’s 2003 Banksia International Award for “doing the most for the environment on a global scale” and the 2010 Buckminster Fuller Challenge, recognizing solutions that address humanity’s most pressing problems. The Savory Institute, founded in 2009, and its Africa Center for Holistic Management, demonstrate how using livestock to improve soil and decrease dependence on water— plus increase its ability to hold moisture and carbon—grows more grass and improves profits for ranchers, landowners and investors.

What prompted your examination of soil biology? In the 1960s, I first became alarmed at the rate of land degradation in Africa’s vast grasslands, which were turning to desert. Looking for a solution, I hit upon a profound relationship—that the

grasslands, their soils, soil life, plants and animals had evolved symbiotically with large, grazing herbivores of many species and pack-hunting predators. As my inquiry led beyond Africa, I noticed that the same was true of similar ecosystems worldwide, including those of the U.S. Great Plains. Long ago, the Great Plains supported herbivores that traveled in immense herds for safety from predators. Where there are now approximately 11 large mammal species, there were once more than 50. The trampling of dung and urine, as well as grazing of such vast numbers constantly on the move, developed deep carbon-storing and rain-holding soils that also break down methane. Only in the presence of large roaming herds of herbivores periodically working the surface soil does this happen; it works much like a gardener does, breaking bare surfaces and covering them with litter and dung. Only in this way do grasslands thrive.

How did this revolutionize your thinking about land and livestock management? Being trained at a university to believe that grazing livestock causes land degradation blinded me to the deeper understanding that humans’ management of the animals, not the animals themselves, has been the problem. Historically, the healthiest soils in the world’s vast grain-growing regions were those that had supported the largest

populations of natural wildlife and intact pack-hunting predators. We now have in hand a natural solution able to reverse U.S. and global desertification, which is contributing to increasing severity and frequency of floods and droughts, poverty, social breakdown, violence, pastoral genocide and mass movement into cities and across national borders. Restoring brilliant natural functions through holistic management of even half of the world’s grasslands has the potential to pull all of the legacy carbon out of the atmosphere, put it back into the ground where it belongs and keep it there for thousands of years. Livestock aided by holistic, planned grazing that mimics nature can return Earth’s atmosphere to preindustrial carbon levels while feeding people with cleaner meat. I can think of almost nothing that offers more hope for our planet for generations to come. In fact, it has so many benefits—including an eventual net cost of zero or less—that even if climate change wasn’t an issue, we should be doing it anyway.

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March 2016



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by Judith Fertig


mericans’ vegetable habits are in a rut. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 50 percent of the vegetables and legumes available in this country in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes. Lettuce came in third, according to new data released in 2015, advises Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating. Further, 87 percent of U.S. adults did not meet basic vegetable serving recommendations from 2007 through 2010, a fact cited in the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey. Yet, urban supermarkets overflow with a wealth of common and exotic vegetables, often displayed sideby-side: broccoli and broccolini, green bell and Japanese shishito peppers, and iceberg lettuce and leafy mâche, or lamb’s lettuce. Trying one new vegetable dish a week is a great way to increase our vegetable literacy, says functional medicine expert Terri Evans, a doctor of Oriental medicine in Naples, Florida. “Our diet should be 60 per-

cent produce—40 percent vegetables and 20 percent fruit,” she says. “To keep this sustainable for the long term, we should eat what tastes good, not what we think is good for us. Some days, we crave the sweetness of carrots; other days, the bitterness of artichokes or the heat of hot peppers. Our bodies can tell us what we need.”

Keep Expanding Choices

Going Green. Dark green and slightly peppery arugula is good with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Finely shredded Brussels sprouts bulk up a mixed salad, while adding the benefits of a cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable. Instead of mineral-rich baby spinach, try baby Swiss chard, suggests Matthew Kadey, a registered dietician in Waterloo, Ontario. He also suggests microgreens, the tiny shoots of radishes, cabbage, broccoli and kale, all rich in vitamins C and E. Squash It. Varieties of summer and winter squash add color, body and flavor to one-dish meals, with the added benefits of B vitamins, magnesium and fiber. LeAnne Campbell, Ph.D., author of The China Study Cookbook, simmers a mix of fresh chopped vegetables including yellow summer squash or

Eating a rich variety of plant-based foods is fast, easy and satisfying. ~LeAnne Campbell zucchini, and flavors with coconut and curry powder. Vegan Chef Douglas McNish, of Toronto, makes an okra and squash gumbo in the slow cooker. Sneak in a Smoothie. Change up a smoothie routine by swapping out the usual baby spinach for a blend of cucumber, apple and fresh mint, or else sweet potato and carrot, suggests Sidney Fry, a registered dietitian and Cooking Light editor, in Birmingham, Alabama.   Snack Attack. An array of colorful vegetables served with dips and spreads can be an easy way to experiment with veggies. Carrots in deep red, vibrant yellow, purple and orange are delicious raw and supply beta-carotene, promoting eye health. Leaves from pale green Belgian endive spears are tender and crunchy. Orange or “cheddar” cauliflower has a more creamy and sweet flavor than its pale cousin.    “Colors equal health, and the more colors we eat, the better our overall health,” says Susan Bowerman, a registered dietitian, lecturer in food science and nutrition at California State Polytechnic Institute, San Luis Obispo, and co-author of What Color Is Your Diet? “We also have to be willing to try new foods or new varieties of foods, or maybe to prepare unfamiliar foods in a way that will make them taste good, so that we will be willing to add more plant foods to our diet.”

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March 2016



Nighttime Parenting

Fostering Healthful Sleep by Stephanie Dodd

According to the American Psychological Association, up to 70 percent of children experience sleep disturbances that affect their emotional and physical well-being.


arents frequently awakened by a child’s interrupted slumber typically are torn between the need to care for their own health and that of their child. The goal is to meet everyone’s needs, so that adequate adult sleep doesn’t feel like child neglect. Solutions are feasible if the parent is emotionally equipped to feel continuing empathy for their little one and secure in their choices for resolution, regardless of setbacks or delays. Uncovering the real reasons that a child stays alert at bedtime or wakes during the night—such as inconsistent timing of sleep cycles, excessive fatigue, insufficient physical activity, hunger, pain, anxieties, inadequate downtime or a desire for continued interaction with a parent—is the first step. With so many variables, frustration can impede the workings of parental intuition, which is key to the process, as is testing individual possible solutions long enough to assess the result and then confidently move forward.

Internal Calm Expecting a child to feel so empowered that they can fall asleep on their own is a good beginning. Lindsay Melda, of Atlanta, relates, “Our daughter used to wake us up by coming into our bed each night. Once I realized I was anxious 22

West Michigan Edition

Parents that model self-care help their children learn to care for themselves.

about her sleeping cortisol, contributing alone in her room and to decreased sleep was able to instead disturbances. trust she was okay, she Marissa Wolf, easily slept through of The Woodlands, the night, waking more Texas, relates, “We rested. My own anxiety moved here from San was causing her Diego when my son sleep disturbances.” was 34 months old. Christine Gipple, He was acting out in of Oaklyn, New ways I’d never seen ~ Sheila Pai, author, Jersey, a practitioner before, mourning the Nurturing You of non-violent comloss of his routine. munication, shares, Within weeks after “When my daughter is chatty at we started tapping before school and bedtime and I’m past ready for her at night, he was back to his happy self. to be in bed, I have to consciously Last night, he simply went to bed and pause, or I can snap at her, thus defell asleep. Now when I see his builtlaying bedtime. Granting myself just up emotions, I know we need to tap.” five minutes to reset myself and be (To learn more about EFT methods, present in the moment before I gently visit re-engage is critical to the outcome.” Such checking in with ourNourished Rest selves helps keep a parent thinking Good nutrition is also important to positively. Law of Attraction specialist healthy sleep. According to Health Cassie Parks, of Denver, Colorado, Coach Sarah Outlaw, owner of the advises, “When you focus on the feelNatural Health Improvement Center of ing you desire once a child is peaceSouth Jersey and an advanced Nutrition fully asleep, rather than the feeling Response Testing practitioner, “Children you want to move away from, your may be devoid of minerals because chances for success greatly increase.” of the filtered water we drink. SuppleNoting how we envision nighttime menting with minerals like magnesium unfolding or creating a nighttime vior enriching the diet with trace minsion board can help focus and mainerals, sea salt and mineral-rich bone tain these feelings. broth will promote a healthy immune system, along with a nervous system Releasing Stress programmed for sleep.” One method parents have successfully Outlaw also advises, “A whole used is the Emotional Freedom Techfoods diet is paramount to children’s health and sleep ability. Parents should nique (EFT). It involves light tapping limit or eliminate artificial flavors, sweeton specific points along the body’s eners and sugar; preferably at all times, energy meridians, like the collarbone or between the eyebrows, often accom- but at least an hour before bedtime.” When a parent takes the time to panied by attention to current thoughts plan each step toward their goal of and feelings, in order to restore a optimum sleep and feels secure in balanced feeling. following through, they can create a Karin Davidson, of Media, Pennpersonalized and consistent bedtime sylvania, co-founder of the Meridian routine that fosters a sense of safety for Tapping Techniques Association, says, children that feel heard and tended to “Including tapping with a supportive and know what to expect. Children that nighttime routine can be a godsend. gain the ability to naturally develop It can relieve distress, whatever its source, increase feelings of security sleep skills reap lifelong health benefits. and promote a peaceful transition to sleep.” In clinical studies from the NaStephanie Dodd is the author of the tional Institute for Integrative Healthinternational bestseller, Good Baby, Bad care, EFT has been shown to counter Sleeper. She blogs at HeartCentered the stress hormones adrenaline and

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March 2016



ROLLING FOR FITNESS DIY Rollers Ease Pain and Aid Flexibility by Randy Kambic


ore amateur and serious athletes, people wanting to ease stiffness due to sedentary work and seniors are enjoying a new DIY way to massage out the kinks at home that’s becoming recognized for its benefits by experts worldwide. For the first time, flexibility and mobility rolling ranks in the top 20 of the American College of Sports Medicine’s annual Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends. Made predominantly of foam and hard rubber, the rollers can “massage, relieve muscle tightness and muscle spasms, increase circulation, ease muscular discomfort and assist in the return to normal activity,” according to the organization’s Health & Fitness Journal, which notes a growing market for the devices. Dr. Walter Thompson, professor of kinesiology and health with Georgia State University, in Atlanta, was the lead author of the survey. He says, “Personal trainers have found that it works for their


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clients. We’ve also seen an increase in popularity in gyms and fitness clubs.” The trend is partly spawned by their use in Pilates. Thompson adds, “Tech devices, now central to our daily lives, have changed the way we plan and manage our workouts.” Yet, as with other such equipment, users must be educated on how to employ the rollers on their own. Most rollers are available in smooth or ribbed textures in different sizes and densities. Sets include one for deep tissue rolling, self-myofascial release and trigger point relief, designed to aid muscles related to the back, hips, arms, glutes and hamstrings. Dr. Spencer H. Baron, president of NeuroSport Elite, in Davie, Florida, was the 2010 National Sports Chiropractor of the Year and served as a chiropractic physician for the Miami Dolphins football team for 19 years. He starts patients out with rollers during office appointments, especially those with sports injuries.

“It empowers them to take charge of their fitness,” he says. “Those standing or sitting all day at work may need it even more than athletes do to improve circulation and stimulate the nervous system.” While rollers can be administered to hamstrings and quadriceps by hand, he attests that the back is the most commonly targeted region, and suggests two corresponding maneuvers: Lie down with a foam roller under the neck at home. Gently roll it across to each shoulder blade, and then center it and roll it down to the buttocks; even to the hamstrings. Next, assume a squatting position against a wall and place a roller between the center of the back and the wall, gently rise up, and then sink down. It’s also possible do this at work in private. Baron and his colleagues believe that rollers are beneficial to use on the shoulders and arms of tennis players and baseball pitchers. “I like the metaphor of a chef rolling dough in the kitchen. With a similar motion, you’re kneading muscles and tendons, improving blood flow and circulation to sore areas,” he says. Jason Karp, Ph.D., the 2011 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Personal Trainer of the Year and creator of his company’s Run-Fit certification program, has seen the popularity of the devices on the rise with runners. “People like gadgets” that can help them, he notes. “Runners get tight from running, and rollers can help alleviate that tightness. I know a lot of runners that swear by them.” Karp, a California author of six books, including Running for Women and his upcoming The Inner Runner, feels that rollers are especially wellsuited for post-workout use. “The rollers are basically a form of self-myofascial release, which helps relax muscles by putting pressure on tight areas to cause the muscle to relax via its reflex to tension,” he explains. It looks like this universally applicable and simple fitness tool will keep on rolling through this year and beyond. Randy Kambic, in Estero, Florida, is a freelance editor and writer for Natural Awakenings and other publications.

MARCH GARDEN DAY A Celebration of Gardening! Saturday, March 12, 2016


ave you had enough of winter? Are you eager for the longer, warmer days of spring when the soil warms up and flowers emerge from the earth? You don’t have to wait for inspiration! Join likeminded West Michigan gardeners for the annual March Garden Day, hosted in Grand Haven by the West Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. This annual gardening celebration is the perfect antidote for the winter blues. Educational presentations from regional gardening experts cover subjects from shade gardening to succulents, from spring wildflowers to a fantastic fall gardening finale, from orchids to conifers. Add to the educational and inspirational speakers a gourmet lunch, silent auction and displays from local garden businesses, and you have a gardener’s paradise for a day.

Register today, as seating is limited to 250. For more information and registration visit the WMNLA website or the March Garden Day Facebook page.


Saturday March 12, 2016


Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus St., Grand Haven, MI 49417


8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch included in registration fee)


Advance registration is recommended as this event fills up quickly! $45 in advance / $50 at door.

natural awakenings

March 2016


Meaty Truths Choosing Meat that’s Sustainable and Safe by Melinda Hemmelgarn


n his essay The Pleasures of Eating, Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer and poet, writes: “If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.” He, like a growing number of conscious eaters, wants no part of the industrial meat system in which animals are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations. Media coverage has helped educate consumers previously unaware of how their food is produced and why it matters. The documentary film Food Inc., as well as books like Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser and The Chain, by Ted Genoways, describe common livestock industry practices that mistreat animals, pollute water and air, endanger workers and threaten public health. With increased understanding of the connections between diet and health, climate, environment and social justice, even many Americans that still like the taste of hamburger and steak have sided with Berry; they want sustainably raised, humane and healthful red meat.

Unsustainable Corporate Lobby Every five years, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are revised to reflect the 26

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latest nutritional science. In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee attempted to include the concept of sustainability. The committee, which included top nutrition scientists, defined sustainable diets as “a pattern of eating that promotes health and well-being and provides food security for the present population while sustaining human and natural resources for future generations.” It made the case that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animalbased foods both promotes health and protects the environment—resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less energy, land and water use. But political pressure from the livestock industry prevailed, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell jointly announced, “We do not believe that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.” Instead, they advised the committee to focus solely on nutritional and dietary information. In her book Food Politics, nutritionist and author Marion Nestle explains that recommendations to decrease consumption have never been popular with the food industry. Nonetheless, Roni Neff, Ph.D., who

directs the Center for a Livable Future’s Food System Sustainability and Public Health Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, recommends consuming less red meat in particular, because of its large environmental footprint. Neff points out, “Thirty percent of greenhouse gas emissions are connected to red meat.” However, not all red meat is created equal. In her book Defending Beef, environmental lawyer and cattle rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman makes a case for sustainable meat production, noting, “Well-managed grazing could be part of an effective strategy to combat climate change.” In their book The New Livestock Farmer, authors Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop praise the increase in farmers producing pasture-raised, ethical meats and the growing number of farmers selling directly to people that reject the industrial system. Neff likewise supports such sustainable livestock agriculture, which integrates pasture-raised animals on farms, rather than isolating them on feedlots, where they typically eat a grain-based diet (such as genetically engineered corn) and receive growth stimulants, including hormones and antibiotics.

Risky Hormones and Antibiotics Mike Callicrate, a St. Francis, Kansas, rancher educated in the industrial model of meat production, is considered an expert on its negative consequences. He served as an advisor for Food Inc., and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Callicrate observes, “The same chemical compounds that athletes are banned from using in baseball are used to produce our food animals, which our children eat in the hot dogs at the ballgame.” According to the USDA, about 90 percent of feedlot cattle receive hormone implants to promote growth. Yet the European Union Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health reports that the use of natural and artificial growth hormones in beef production poses a potential risk to human health, especially among children.

Because climate change is accelerating and is already causing a multitude of adverse effects, and the footprint of our current food system is massive, we urgently need to create a national food supply that is both healthy and sustainable. ~Dr. Walter Willett, Harvard School of Public Health Concerns about growth-promoting drugs led the American Academy of Pediatrics to call for studies that directly measure their impact on children through milk and meat. The President’s Cancer Panel Report on Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk also states, “Growth hormones may contribute to endocrine disruption in humans.” Their dietary recommendations include choosing meat raised without hormones and antibiotics.

Rising Resistance Antibiotic resistance is now one of the world’s most critical public health problems, and it’s related to misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Antibiotic resistance— when bacteria don’t respond to the drugs designed to kill them—threatens to return us to the time when simple infections were often fatal.” Veterinarian and food safety consultant Gail Hansen, of Washington, D.C., explains that bacteria naturally develop resistance anytime we use antibiotics. “The problem is overuse and misuse; that’s the recipe for disaster.” She explains that more than 70 percent of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are not used to treat sick animals, but to promote growth and reduce the risk of infection related to raising animals in unsanitary, overcrowded spaces. A recent report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states: Adding antibiotics to the feed of healthy

livestock “often leave the drugs ineffective when they are needed to treat infections in people.” The AAP supports buying meat from organic farms, because organic farming rules prohibit the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics. Stacia Clinton, a registered dietitian in Boston who works with the international nonprofit Health Care Without Harm, assists hospitals in both reducing meat on their menus and increasing purchases of meat from animals raised without antibiotics. The goal is to reduce the growing number of antibiotic-resistant infections that cost hospitals and patients billions of dollars each year. A Friends of the Earth report, Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply, revealed that most meat served by American’s top chain restaurants come from animals raised in industrial facilities where they are fed antibiotics. Only two out of 25 chains, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, report that the majority of their meat is raised without routine antibiotics. A recent study by Consumers Union also found antibiotic-resistant bacteria on retail meat samples nationwide. In California, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 27, making his the first state to ban the use of routine low doses of antimicrobial drugs that are medically important to humans to promote livestock weight gain or feed efficiency. The bill doesn’t go into effect until January 2018, but will contribute to making meat safer and antibiotic drugs more effective.

Red and Processed Meats Targeted Dietary advice to reduce the consumption of red and processed meats, regardless of how the animals are raised, is not new. Kelay Trentham, a registered dietitian in Tacoma, Washington, who specializes in cancer prevention and treatment, points out that joint reports from the World Cancer Research Fund International and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) since 2007 have recommended restricting consumption of red meat to less than 18 ounces a week and avoiding processed meats.

Smarter Meat Choices by Melinda Hemmelgarn Choose certified organic meat. Organic certification prohibits antibiotics, added hormones and genetically modified (GMO) feed. Select grass-fed and grass-finished meats. Look for the nonprofit American Grassfed Association (AGA) certification, which ensures animals eat only grass and forage from the time of their weaning until harvest, and are raised without antibiotics or hormones ( AGA standards apply to ruminant animals only: beef, bison, goat, lamb and sheep. Support Country of Origin Labeling. This mandates that retail cuts of meat must contain a label informing consumers of its source. The U.S. meat industry has worked to stop such labeling. Beware of misleading labels. “Natural” provides no legal assurance about how an animal was raised. “Vegetarian feed” may mean GMO corn and/or soy. (See Greener Buy directly from family livestock farmers. Check out sites like Local and MarketsDirectory. Pay attention to portions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture serving size weighs three ounces, about the same size as a deck of cards. Think of meat as a side dish and balance the rest of the plate with vegetables, leafy greens, beans and other legumes. Once a week, cut out meat. Participate in Meatless Mondays (Meatless Assume all retail meat carries bacteria that can cause food-borne illness. Practice safe food handling as directed on package labels. (Also see and KeepAntibiotics

natural awakenings

March 2016


that can increase risk,” In 2015, the World To be interested she says. Trentham and Health Organization in food, but not in Karen Collins, a regisInternational Agency tered dietitian and advifor Research on Cancer food production, sor to the AICR, concur (IARC) classified prois clearly absurd. that the form of iron cessed meat (like hot found in meat also condogs, ham, sausages, ~Wendell Berry tributes to cancer risk. corned beef and beef Still, the IARC report jerky) as “carcinogenic to humans” and red meat (beef, veal, pork, recognizes, “Eating meat has known lamb, mutton, horse and goat) as “prob- health benefits.” Meat is a rich source of protein and B vitamins, iron and ably carcinogenic to humans.” Risk zinc. Livestock feed further influences increases with amount consumed, and the evidence is strongest for the relation nutritional composition, with meat from of processed meats to colorectal cancer. cattle raised on pasture (grass) containing higher levels of beneficial omega-3 Trentham explains some factors fatty acids compared to meat from that make red and processed meats risky. “Heating or smoking meat creates animals fed grain. According to medical doctor and cancer-causing compounds. Processed meats contain salts, nitrates and nitrites; National Institutes of Health researcher Captain Joseph Hibbeln, consuming a chemical mélange of preservatives

The Redox Revolution

fewer omega-6 fatty acids and more omega-3s may be one of the most important dietary changes for cutting the risk of chronic diseases, reducing inflammation, improving mental health, enhancing children’s brain and eye development and reducing worldwide incidence of cardiovascular disease by 40 percent. When it comes to eating meat, the agricultural practices, quantity consumed, and methods of processing and cooking make a difference. It turns out that what’s good for the environment is good for animals and people, too. Melinda Hemmelgarn is an awardwinning registered dietitian, writer and Food Sleuth Radio host with, in Columbia, MO. Connect at

Character is like a tree

and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ~Abraham Lincoln


West Michigan Edition

Grilling a Grass-Fed Steak Just Right by Melinda Hemmelgarn


hannon Hayes, farmer, nutritionist and author of The Farmer and the Grill: A Guide to Grilling, Barbecuing and Spit-Roasting Grassfed Meat… and for Saving the Planet, One Bite at a Time, says cooking grass-fed steaks at too-high temperatures, especially when grilling, is a common mistake. The West Fulton, New York, food expert describes how to achieve “a gorgeous sear on the outside, and a pink and juicy inside.” When working on a grill, light only

one side. When hot, sear an inch-anda-quarter-thick steak for no more than two minutes per side, with the grill lid off. Make sure fat drippings don’t flare up flames, which will blacken and toughen the meat. After the sear, move the steaks to the unlit side of the grill and put the grill lid on. Let them finish cooking indirectly for five to seven minutes per pound. The lower temperature cooks the internal muscle fibers, but prevents them from contracting too rapidly and becoming chewy.

As an alternative to grilling, use an oven and cast-iron skillet. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Next, heat the skillet over a high flame until smoke begins to rise off its surface. Coat the skillet with butter or tallow, then sear the meat for two minutes per side. Turn off the stove; leave steaks in the pan and move them to the oven, where they can finish cooking for five to seven minutes per pound. Source:

natural awakenings

March 2016


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ardening is not about having or taking; it’s about giving,” says Connecticut psychotherapist Gunilla Norris, author of A Mystic Garden: Working with Soil, Attending to Soul. “And in giving, the garden gives back to you.” She deems the art of practicing gratitude in the garden as an intentional path for cultivating spirituality.“Every day, go out and thank the ground. Life is burgeoning all around us, all the time,” she continues. “If we can just appreciate that, it’s a big deal.” It’s hard not to be humbled and awed by the miracle of life when we see a seedling push its tiny green head above ground, lean toward the sun and unfurl its first set of leaves. Each bit of plant life is simply fulfilling its mission to grow and be. “Gardening enhances our relationship to the Earth. Through gardening, we are helping to heal the planet, which is part of the work we are all called to do,” remarks Al Fritsch, a Jesuit priest in Ravenna, Kentucky, and author of the e-book, Spiritual Growth Through Domestic Gardening (free at Over his lifetime, Fritsch has helped turn a parking lot, a section of church lawn, and overgrown bottomland all into thriving gardens. In his view, “It gives us a sense of home, roots us in place.”

We can even discover our personal calling through cultivating a garden while gleaning endless spiritual lessons: Here dwells patience and an appreciation for the natural order of things; no fertilizer can force a flower to bloom before its time. Here resides mindfulness as we learn to notice changes in the plants under our care and discern what they need to thrive. Here abides interdependence; we wouldn’t have carrots, corn or cherries without the bats, birds, and bees playing in the pollen. In a garden, we naturally accept the cycle of life, death and rebirth as we bid adieu to the joy of seasonal colors and let flowerbeds rest in peace, anticipating their budding and blooming again. Just as the fruits of growing a garden exceed the doing—the weeding and seeding and countless other tasks—so do the riches of tending a spiritual life surpass the striving. We do well to rejoice in the sacred space created, cherishing every spiritual quality nurtured within and reflected in the Divine handiwork. Breathing in the floral perfume carried by the breeze and reveling in the multi-hued textures of living artistry, we celebrate the fact that we too, are playing our part of the natural miracle of life. Connect with freelance writer April Thompson at




Simple Ways to Get Kitty to Behave by Sandra Murphy


hree million cats end up in shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Owners cite landlord restrictions or allergies in the family as leading reasons. Often, the animal is blamed for an easily fixed behavior problem; the Wake County Animal Center, in Raleigh, North Carolina, interprets rationales such as, “Kitty has a sensitive stomach [throws up] or pees under the bed [likely a urinary tract infection].” “I prefer to call such things issues, not problems. They’re often evidence of natural instincts that need to be redirected,” says Anne Moss, owner of, from Tel Aviv, Israel. “A vet visit will rule out physical concerns so you can move on to behavioral issues.” Once a cat’s adapted to living with humans, life becomes more pleasant for everyone. Cats can be trained. Dallas cat owner Bettina Bennett of WhichBoxMedia. com advises, “Start early, attach rewards and be consistent. Our four cats don’t scratch the furniture, come when called and know when it’s bedtime.” Clicker training works well, adds Becky Morrow, a doctor of veterinarian medicine who teaches at Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. “I have 13 cats living in my home and a sanctuary housing 65 more. They’ve learned to walk on a leash and obey commands.” Dr. Jeff Werber, a Los Angeles veterinarian, has found that scratching furniture, biting people, nocturnal

activity, throwing up and ignoring the litter box are the five most common complaints. Scratching lets Kitty leave her scent, stretch and shed old claws. He suggests, “Get a scratching post, but don’t put it in an-out-of-the-way location. Cats like to be where we are. Start with it in the center of the room and gradually move it to the corner.” Measure how tall a cat is when standing on her hind legs with front legs fully extended. Get a post that is half again as tall so she can really stretch. Gently rub her paws on the post first, and then dab on a bit of catnip as added enticement. Cats don’t like unfamiliar textures, so avoidance training tools can include laying aluminum foil or backing-side-up carpet runners over furniture arms and cushions plus double-sided sticky tape at the corners to preserve upholstery. When humans become a target for a cat’s pounces, use toys as decoys. A short play session will satisfy their desire to hunt. Leave curtains open so she can see outside, clear shelves for climbing and have a cat tree or window shelf for optimum viewing. A nearby bird feeder will hold a feline’s attention for hours. Werber advises, “For undisturbed household sleep, get the cat toys out

about an hour before your bedtime. Fifteen minutes of play will tire a pet. Let him calm down and then feed him. A full cat is a sleepy cat.” Some cats nibble, while others gulp food and then throw up. The recommended antidote is to feed smaller amounts several times a day. Cats should eat both dry and wet food to get carbohydrates and meat, Werber advises. Throwing up can be a sign of hairballs, even if unseen. Put the cat on a natural hairball remedy once a day for four days, then two times a week, until the vomiting stops. A touch of nonpetroleum jelly on the cat’s nose or a bit of fish oil or pumpkin in her food will work. When cats ignore the litter box, note what’s changed—the type of litter, location of the box, a lurking stray cat or the pet’s health. Arthritic cats find it hard to climb into a tallsided box. Felines feel vulnerable when using the box, and like to know what’s around them—a lidless box makes them feel safer says Werber. The rule is to have one more litter box than there are cats. If the house is more than one story tall, food, water, beds and litter should be available on every level. “All cats should be kept indoors, microchipped and wearing a colorful collar and tags,” says Werber. Colors give birds fair warning if a cat ever goes outside. With time and attention, any cat can become an active, wellbehaved family member. Connect with Sandra Murphy at

natural awakenings

March 2016



Developing Gardens Instead of Golf Courses Agrihoods Use On-Site Farms to Draw Residents by April Thompson


or thousands of homeowners in “agrihoods” across the U.S., homegrown is a way of life. Planned developments incorporating neighborhood agriculture are sprouting up in record numbers, according to Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow specializing in sustainability with the Urban Land Institute. He estimates there are a few hundred agrihoods nationwide, in all regions and at all price points. “The trend is the convergence of several things, including a growing interest in local business, local food, healthy lifestyles and the foodie culture,” says McMahon. He adds, “Today’s developers have to differentiate their properties to survive, and farms have become the new golf course of real estate development.” Agriculture is a far lower-cost amenity that can even return a modest profit by


West Michigan Edition

selling its harvest to the community. Beyond food, agrihoods help grow community, a huge draw for those living in isolated suburban areas. In 2014, Abby and Michael Wheatfill moved their family to Agritopia, a planned community in Gilbert, Arizona, near Phoenix. Billed as an urban farm, the central feature of Agritopia’s 166 acres, knitting together commercial, agricultural and open space with 450 residential homes, is a working farm, with roving pigs, lambs and chickens, a citrus grove and rows of heirloom vegetables. Farm, family and community life are interwoven. The Wheatfills lease a plot in an on-site community garden. Other residents buy shares in the community supported agriculture project or purchase produce or eggs from the community farm on the honor system. “We especially love the narrow,

tree-lined streets and wide porches, and that we can walk or bike to fun, locally sourced restaurants,” says Michael, a technology consultant. Private backyards are small in favor of community space, nudging residents to meet each other, Abby says. The Cannery, in Davis, California, is one of the newest agrihoods and also one of the few that redeveloped an industrial tract. This 100-acre development, still under construction, will feature 547 new homes on the former site of a tomato processing facility, in addition to affordable rentals for low-income families. Its heart and soul is a working farm that will feed the community’s households and supply its restaurants. The Cannery is a pioneer in clean green energy, with solar-powered homes, connections for electric cars, and many other energyconserving features. Thirsty homeowner lawns are prohibited in most of The Cannery’s mini-neighborhoods, but no home is more than 300 feet from public green space. Samrina and Mylon Marshall, both physicians in their mid-50s, will be among the first residents to move in this spring. “We like that it’s a green energy community featuring multigenerational living. We’re also big on eating locally and seasonally, so the urban farm was a key draw,” says Mylon. North Atlanta family Gil and Jeny Mathis and their two daughters, 12 and 14 years old, discovered Serenbe, a planned community in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, two years ago. Now it’s literally their second home. “It provides a different life for our children on weekends they couldn’t otherwise have. The community aspect has penetrated our lives in a way that we couldn’t have predicted,” says Gil. Both girls love it, and the younger sibling is lobbying to relocate there full time. The family likes the people Serenbe draws and the opportunities to engage with them, the consistent access to natural and organic food and its artist-in-residence program. Serenbe was the inspiration for the Olivette Riverside Community and Farm, a 346-acre, back-to-the-land project near Asheville, North Carolina. Its owners are transforming a failed

high-end gated community and adjacent historic farm along the French Broad River into an agri-centered development featuring a blueberry orchard, community gardens, vegetable farm and greenhouse. “It’s vital that we re-localize our food supply,” says Olivette co-owner Tama Dickerson. “One of the first things we did was to incorporate this farm and see what areas we could preserve, because what you keep is just as important as what you develop.” Future plans include hiking trails, artist live-work spaces, tiny houses, little free libraries and a K-8 school. Agrihoods aren’t solely for agriburbs. Creative public housing developers are bringing agriculture to high-density neighborhoods. The smoke-free Healthy High-Rise Arbor House, a 124-unit, low-income apartment in the Bronx, in New York City, features a 10,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse and a living lobby wall that grows organic vegetables for the community year-round. Residents can obtain a discounted share from the farm using SNAP benefits (food stamps) and take free classes in cooking fresh. Arbor House also allocates 40 percent of its rooftop crop harvests for the larger community. Agrihoods can take many forms, including those involving gardens cropping up in schools, parks and hospitals nationwide, as well as informal, guerilla gardens in vacant lots. Many cities, including Falls Church, Virginia, and Takoma Park, Maryland, have even changed local zoning laws so residents can keep chickens and bees in their backyards for eggs and honey, according to McMahon. “The era of the 2,000-mile Caesar salad has come to an end,” says McMahon, citing high transportation costs that make locally sourced food good for businesses and consumers alike. “The trend of growing food closer to home—in some cases at home—is here to stay.” Connect with April Thompson, of Washington, D.C., at

natural awakenings

March 2016



COLOR ME CALM Grownups De-Stress with Adult Coloring Books by Avery Mack


oloring books are no longer solely the domain of children. Immersion in this fun, creative pastime by adults even for just 30 minutes can constitute a focused meditation that relieves stress. Doctor of Psychology Nikki Martinez, in Chicago, says that famed psychotherapist Carl Jung believed coloring helps patients release anxiety. “It uses both sides of the brain and improves organizational and fine motor skills,” says Martinez. “After I underwent a major surgery, I was on bed rest for eight weeks, and adult coloring books were a lifesaver. They passed the time, were pretty and kept me in a constant state of calm. I devoured them.” Publishers Weekly reported combined 2015 sales of 1.75 million copies for the 10 bestselling adult coloring books through November. This trend was years in the making, originating when parents colored with their kids and sometimes on their own. Adults around the world now join coloring book clubs, hold related parties and take coloring breaks at work. Last fall, Barnes & Noble hosted the one-day AllAmerican Art Unwind, where customers colored and uploaded their results to Instagram and Twitter. Hallmark sent a crew of artists and calligraphers to select locations to help customers color their greeting cards. “We scheduled a coloring session for a 55-plus community workshop,” relates Ninah Kessler, a licensed clinical

social worker with the Sparks of Genius Brain Optimization Center, in Boca Raton, Florida. “People had so much fun they wouldn’t leave. It’s creative, portable and inexpensive. You never face blank paper because the lines are there; you just pick the colors. There’s no stress about possibly making mistakes.” “Animals, jungle or floral themes, and Zen-inspired mandalas are popular. Customers like realistic, intricate drawings,” explains Idalia Farrajota, a Dallas executive with Michaels craft stores, which offers free, in-store coloring sessions and provides supplies. (Download a free sample book at BotanicalColoringPages.) Johanna Basford, a renowned illustrator from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is a hit with colorists, catering to their penchant for nature with Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest and her latest, Lost Ocean. “My daughter wanted to color her life, not do generic drawings,” says Dieter Marlovics, prompting him to establish, in Chicago. “ReallyColor converts photos into coloring book pages to make individually tailored pages.” Try these eco-tips: Sprout pencils, made with sustainable wood and fruitand-vegetable-based dyed clay instead of lead, are topped by non-GMO seeds that can be planted when the pencil becomes short. Inktense’s water-soluble brightly colored pencils mimic pen and ink; add water for translucency. Select recycled paper books, soy crayons, watercolor paints and non-toxic markers.

March is Color Therapy Month


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natural awakenings

March 2016



Chamomile Tea Helps Us Live Longer

The Eyes Tell Our Story


n a study of 1,677 Mexican-American men and women over the age of 65 from the Southwestern U.S., researchers have found that drinking chamomile tea decreases the risk of earlier mortality by an average of 29 percent. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch followed the study population for seven years. Among those tested, 14 percent drank chamomile tea regularly. These were primarily women, and those women that drank chamomile tea experienced a 33 percent reduced mortality during the study period. The small group of men that drank the chamomile tea regularly did not register a significant difference in mortality. Chamomile also has a long history of use in folk medicine and is primarily used to settle digestion and calm the mind. It is a leading natural herbal tea in many countries and contains no caffeine. While various species may be used, chamomile tea is traditionally made by infusing the flowers of either German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) into hot water. In Spanish-speaking regions, chamomile tea is often referred to as manzanilla tea—consumed in Mexico and other Spanish cultures for centuries.


West Michigan Edition

How Integrative Doctors See Into Whole-Body Health by Linda Sechrist


o poets, the eyes have long been known as windows to the soul. Systemically trained ophthalmologists, optometrists and functional medicine doctors see these organs as a potential indicator of high blood pressure, diabetes, stress-related effects and nutritional deficiencies, as well as sites for potential glaucoma and macular degeneration. The connection between overall health and eye health is rarely addressed during conventional eye exams, which are based on standard protocols for prescribing eyeglasses, drugs or surgery. Conventionally trained optometrists and ophthalmologists, lacking education in nutrition and alternative approaches, treat the eyes as isolated organs. In contrast, systemically oriented, holistic eye experts treat them as integrated parts of the whole body. Eye doctors like Marc R. Grossman, doctor of optometry, a co-founder of Natural Eye Care, Inc., of New Paltz, New York, and Edward C. Kondrot, a medical doctor and founder of the Healing the Eye & Wellness Center, in Fort Myers, Florida, take such a

preventive and integrative approach. They recommend good whole foods nutrition, supplemented with antioxidants and plant-based formulations of omega-6 and omega-3 oils, together with adequate sleep and exercise. Key complementary treatments can be effective in improving sight and reversing some conditions. Grossman, also a licensed acupuncturist, explains in his book Greater Vision: A Comprehensive Program for Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Clarity how he incorporates the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of vision into his philosophy of eye care. At Somers Eye Center, in Somers, New York, he uses a full range of mind-body therapies, combined with conventional methods to address dry eye syndrome, nearsightedness, farsightedness, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Kondrot, a leading board-certified homeopathic ophthalmologist, uses a slit-lamp binocular microscope to examine the complex living tissue of the eyes. The author of 10 Essentials to Save Your Sight, he’s experienced in regeneration nutrition and maintains that our

overall health impacts our vision. His toolbox includes multimodal protocols like homeopathy, detoxification, oxygen therapy, low-level microcurrent to stimulate cellular activity, palming (using the hands over closed eyes) and other alternative methods to reverse visual loss. He regularly uses the Myers’ cocktail, an intravenous therapy with a high concentration of B-complex and C vitamins, taurine (an amino sulfonic acid), trace minerals and zinc. “Regardless of your eye condition, regular eye exercises can increase eye muscle flexibility and support circulation for better delivery of oxygen, essential nutrients and the flow of energy to the eyes,” says Grossman. He notes that “Aerobic Exercise Protects Retinal Function and Structure from Light-Induced Retinal Degeneration,” a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2014, was the first of its kind to link physical exercise with improved retinal health and prevention of common eye diseases. While Kondrot emphasizes that vitamins A, C, D and E are essential to eye health, particularly in preventing macular degeneration, he cautions that taking a supplement is no substitute for expanding the diet to include foods such as kale, spinach, parsley, collard greens, cooked broccoli, green peas, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts. All include lutein and zeaxanthin, two types of important carotenoids contained within the retina and found in the leaves of most green plants. Digestive enzymes, probiotics and the amino acid betaine are also necessary to facilitate better absorption of nutrients. Dr. Connie Casebolt, board certified in family medicine and founder of GFM Wellness, in Greenville, South Carolina, practices with a whole body-mind perspective and incorporates supplements in patient disease prevention and wellness plans. “As the eye is bathed in the same chemicals and nutrients as the rest of the body, eye conditions can be affected by problems affecting the rest of the body,” she says. “Low adrenals can contribute to macular degeneration. Additionally, disruption of the energy flowing through acupuncture meridians related to teeth affected by root canals can also affect the eyes. “ She likes the book Whole Body Dentistry, by Mark Breiner, a doctor of dental surgery, because it includes numerous case histories of systemic illnesses, including eye disorders, that improve with better oral health. “Trying to sustain good health and avoiding toxins such as tobacco and excess sugar can definitely help in maintaining good vision,” explains Casebolt. Sensitive, complex and composed of more than 2 million working parts, the eyes are their own phenomenon. Annual eye exams are important at every age to help us do what’s needed to maintain our precious gift of sight. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

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March 2016


BE TRUE TO YOURSELF It’s the Secret to Belonging by Brené Brown


ontrary to what most of us think, belonging is not fitting in. In fact, fitting in is the greatest barrier to belonging. Fitting in, I’ve discovered during more than a decade of research, is assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a

human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them. Belonging is something else entirely—it’s showing up and letting yourself be seen and known as you really are—love of gourd painting, intense fear of public speaking and all.

Many of us suffer from this split between who we are and who we present to the world in order to be accepted. (Take it from me: I’m an expert fitter-inner!) But we’re not letting ourselves be known, and this kind of incongruent living is soulsucking. In my research, I’ve interviewed a lot of people who never fit in, who are what you might call “different”: scientists, artists, thinkers. If you drop down deep into their work and who they are, there is a tremendous amount of self-acceptance. Some of them have to scrap for it, like the rest of us, but most are like a neurophysicist I met who essentially told me, “My parents didn’t care that I wasn’t on the football team, and my parents didn’t care that I was awkward and geeky. I was in a group of kids at school who translated books into the Klingon language and my parents were like, ‘Awesome!’ They took me to the Star Trek convention.” He got his sense of belonging from his parents’ sense of belonging, and even if we don’t get that from Mom and Dad, we have to create it for ourselves as adults—or we will always feel as if we’re standing outside of the big human party. The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess. Brené Brown, Ph.D., a licensed master social worker and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, has spent 13 years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. This essay is from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, used with permission.


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Cultivating Youth Farming Seeks to Recruit a New Generation


ith an aging population of farmers, it’s clear that agriculture needs to attract more young people, because half the farmers in the U.S. are 55 or older. But for much of the world’s youth, agriculture isn’t seen as being cool or attractive—only as backbreaking labor without an economic payoff and with little room for career advancement. However, with some effort, young farmers can explore contemporary career options in permaculture design, biodynamic farming, communication technologies, forecasting, marketing, logistics, quality assurance, urban agriculture projects, food preparation, environmental sciences and advanced technologies. “Increased access to education and new forms of agriculture-based enterprises means that young people can be a vital force for innovation in family farming, increasing incomes and well-being for both farmers and local communities,” says Mark Holderness, executive secretary of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research. The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (, in Massachusetts, trains young farmers in how to run a small farm operation, from business planning to specialized advanced workshops in livestock and healthy food. Likewise, the Southeastern New England Young Farmer Network ( hosts free social and educational events that bring together farmers of all ages and experience levels to network and collaborate. Source:

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Curbside Composting No Food Scraps Need Go to Waste


eople in the United States waste more than a third of all of the food they produce, but more than 180 cities and towns are beginning to realize that wasted food can be valuable; they are asking residents to separate unwanted food from the rest of their trash and put it in a curbside compost bin. The idea is to stop sending food waste to the landfill, where it generates harmful methane gas pollution, and start turning it into something useful, like compost. In 2011, Portland, Oregon, launched a curbside compost program in which residents are encouraged to put food scraps into the city’s green yard waste bin. Since then, the amount of garbage sent to the landfill has decreased by 37 percent. According to Bruce Walker, the city’s solid waste and recycling program manager, the program also reduces the environmental footprint of the trash heap. Getting people to separate their food waste, however, can be difficult. To motivate its residents to put more food waste in the compost bin, the city of Seattle, Washington, has proposed both making curbside composting mandatory and fining residents a dollar every time they put a disproportionate volume of food waste in their trash. Source:


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A Few Drops of Detoxified Iodine Can Change Your Life Give Your Body the Natural Boost it Needs Causes of Iodine Deficiency The Hidden Deficiency { The Best I Ever Felt }


Almost everyone is routinely exposed to iodine-depleting radiation

Low-Sodium Diets

Overuse of zero-nutrient salt substitutes in foods leads to iodine depletion

Iodized Table Salt Iodized salt may slowly lose its iodine content by exposure to air


A toxic chemical found in baked goods overrides iodine's ability to aid thyroid

Iodine-Depleted Soil Poor farming techniques have led to declined levels of iodine in soil

Having the proper amount of iodine in our system at all times is critical to overall health, yet the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that iodine deficiency is increasing drastically in light of an increasingly anemic national diet of unpronounceable additives and secret, unlabeled ingredients. This deficit now affects nearly three-quarters of the population.A Growing Epidemic

A Growing Epidemic

Symptoms range from extreme fatigue and weight gain to depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, fibrocystic breasts and skin and hair problems. This lack of essential iodine can also cause infertility, joint pain, heart disease and stroke. Low iodine levels also have been associated with breast and thyroid cancers; and in children, intellectual disability, deafness, attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and impaired growth, according to studies by Boston University and the French National Academy of Medicine.

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March 2016



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


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. RSVP: 616-202-6368. March Consultation and Mud Pack Special – For new clients only, schedule an initial consultation with Dr. LeAnn Fritz, ND, and receive your first mud packing session completely free. New Hope Health, 10373 N Riverview Dr., Plainwell. RSVP: 269-204-6525. Food First – 9:30am-7:30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm, Sat. Vibrant health begins with a strong nutritional foundation. Stop in for tips on how to optimize your nutrition. Vital Nutrition, 169 Marcell Dr. NE, Rockford. 616-433-9333.


Calming Your Anxious Mind Group – 6-7:30pm. Unique eight-session group helps build a toolbox of coping skills. With healing processes and calming activities, approach anxiety from a whole-person perspective. Insurance, sliding scale or prepay discount. Join by 3/16. In The Heart Counseling, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-426- 9226. InTheHeartCounseling@gmail. com. Facebook page: In The Heart Counseling. Guided Meditation and Healing Circle - 7-8pm. Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace and joy through guided meditation and energy healing from Healing in America-Trained Healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.


Reading the Great Lakes – 7pm. Read a range of titles including mystery, history, fiction and nonfiction, all taking place in the Great Lakes region – from Chicago to Cleveland. March selection: The LongShining Waters by Danielle Sosin. Free. 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids. Book list:


West Michigan Edition

Denotes an event sponsored by Natural Awakenings Magazine West Michigan.


Inspire – 1pm. With Extended Grace, a social justice/human rights agency. March Inspire! topic: Gun Violence and Anger. Also includes brainstorming, determining plans of action, music, refreshments and social time. 102 W Exchange St., Spring Lake.


Oils for Emotional Wellness – 6pm. Learn about dōTERRAs new line of oils for emotional wellness at this introductory class. Natural Choice Chiropractic and Massage Therapy, 5260 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-826-2350 or Meatless Monday Potluck – 6:30pm. Join our Meatless Monday Vegan Potluck. Guest speaker, Dr. Ginger will talk about PH balance in the body and how to detox properly. Bring a vegan dish to share. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. Info: Kim: The Secrets of Balanced Blood Sugar – 6:308:30pm. Discover how to enjoy sweets without damaging the body, how a balanced blood sugar will help weight loss, how to have sustained energy all day and how to sleep like a baby. New Hope Health, 798 East Bridge St., Plainwell. Register:


Homeopathy 101 – 6:30-8pm. With Maggie Conklin ND of LadyHawk Nutrition, LLC. Learn how to pick the right homeopathic remedy, how they are made, which form is best and more. Space is limited. Nature’s Market, 1013 Washington Ave. #4, Holland. RSVP: 616-394-5250. Women’s Wellness Night – 7-8pm. Couple and family therapist, Kerry Hart, LLMFT, offers a monthly therapeutic support group for women interested in good company, friendly venting and healthy coping. Connect with other women going through the same stressors as you. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton W, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-264-6556. Info:


Community Quiet Day and Labyrinth Walk – 10am-3pm. Explore spiritual practices and enjoy refreshment for body and spirit all day, with lunch from noon to 1pm. The labyrinth is available all day for walking meditation. $5 suggested donation. St Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1006 Third St., downtown Muskegon. RSVP: 231-744-0377 or


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

Creative Intention/Vision Board Workshop – 12:30-3:30pm. Prepare your vision of what you intend to manifest for your life, love and authentic living. Materials, snacks, refreshments, worksheets, ideas and support all provided. Limited to six participants. In The Heart Counseling, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-426-9226 or Facebook page: In The Heart Counseling.


West Michigan Women’s Expo – Mar 11-13. More than 400 exhibits and seminars tailored to women and their families, focusing on health, beauty, fitness, fashion, finance and fun. Tickets available at the door or in advance at Meijer. DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave., Grand Rapids.


Yoga Beginners Series – 10:30-11:30am. Four consecutive Saturdays. For those who’ve never practiced yoga, learn the basic poses, breath work and common terms. No special skills or flexibility needed. $50. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or Sing Song Yoga for Kids – Noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6; 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment. $6 / ages 2-6, $8/ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE, Ste. 2016, Grand Rapids. Info/register:


Eckankar – 10-11am. “How Spirit Works through Us-Creativity,” is the theme for the ECK Worship Service, always the second Sunday each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Rm. 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids.


Herbs and More Class – 6-8pm. Learn the ABC’s of herbal medicine and how to activate, build and cleanse with herbs. $15/person, $20/two. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225. Outdoor Group Workout – 6:15-7:30pm. With Hanna Jones of EcoTrek Fitness. A 75-minute workout for all fitness levels. $10/drop-in (no RSVP needed). Olive Shores Park, 855 Olive Shore Ave., West Olive. Register: Humorous Speech Contest – 7pm. Join the Grand Rapids Public Library, Toastmasters International and LaughFest in a humor contest. Prizes will be awarded for top three. Contestants can choose to perform an improvised stand up performance or a prepared five-minute routine. Free. 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids. Preregister:


Writing Workshop – 6-8pm. Recharge your creative spirit and strengthen your voice through writing. All styles and experience levels invited to this four-week series. Come for a supportive, small group writing experience that will energize you to keep writing. $125. Voice & Vessel, 2922

Fuller Ave. NE #112, Grand Rapids. Register: The Energy System: How it Impacts Your Health – 6:30pm. The body’s energy system is as complex as the physical body. This workshop simplifies and explains how the energy system works. Guided Transformations, 12090 Green Lake Rd., Caledonia. RSVP: 616-401-7199.


Healing Energy Circle – 7pm. Raise your vibrations with like-minded people. Radiate loving, healing energy to those in need whether present or just in your mind’s eye. Also send energy and peace to our communities and to the world. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. 616-836-1555.


Read So Hard Book Club – 7pm. March’s selection: Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford. Share your passion for reading and great discussions. Free. 307 Division S, Grand Rapids. Books list:


Peace and Quiet Weekend Retreat – Mar 19-20. Pure Meditation Foundation class and private room available. $75 plus taxes includes shared room and meals. Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre, 7187 Brumheller Rd., Bath. Info: 517-641-6201 or Outdoor Group Workout – 8-9:15am. With Amy Miller of EcoTrek Fitness. 75-minute workout for all fitness levels. $10/drop-in (no RSVP needed). Laketown Beach, 6710 142nd Ave., Holland. Register: Meditation and Mindfulness Class – 10-11am. For those with all levels of meditation experience, this class will introduce different meditation styles to experience and practice meditation. Attendees will have an opportunity to walk the canvas labyrinth as well. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Info: 616-886-2716. Canvas Labyrinth Walk –11am-2pm. Learn more about the healing powers and the spiritual growth possibilities as your brain focuses on the path and you journey through the labyrinth. Free. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Info: 616836-1555 or Stress Management with Self-Acupressure – 2-5pm. Discuss different types of stress; physical, emotional, internal and external and learn different stress management techniques. Space is limited. Alternative Care Solution, 3790 28th St. SW Grandville. 616-419-6924.


Outdoor Group Workout – 8-9:15am. With Cari Draft of EcoTrek Fitness. A 75-minute workout for all fitness levels. $10/drop-in (no RSVP needed). Lake Harbor Park, 4635 Lake Harbor Rd., Norton Shores. Register:

Reflective Writing Circle – 10am-noon. What’s calling for your attention? Searching for a creative routine that will help you pause? Join us for a reflective writing circle; all voices and experience levels welcomed. Voice and Vessel, 2922 Fuller Ave. NE Ste. 112, Grand Rapids. Register:


Reiki Share – 6-8pm. Check out what Reiki is all about and receive a mini-session. Open to those familiar with reiki and those who are not. Donations welcome. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.


Essential Oils Class – 6-8pm. With therapeuticgrade oils, learn and understand essential oils, how they work and how to use them. $25. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.


Outdoor Group Workout – 6:15-7:30pm. With Kylie Schultz of EcoTrek Fitness. A 75-minute workout for all fitness levels. $10/drop-in (no RSVP needed). Maple Street Middle School, 922 West Maple St., Kalamazoo. Register:


Know the Mother: Stories from the Interior Lives of Women – 7pm. Explore how sexism and racism continue to uncoil in the midst of life’s more intimate moments. Author Desiree Cooper will read from her first collection, Flash Fiction. Free. 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids.


Reiki I and II Class – 9am-5pm. Join for an introduction to Reiki. Become attuned to the universal energy, learn how to give treatment to yourself and others and meet your reiki guide. $250, including a $50 deposit due at registration. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225. Spirit Space Movie Night – 7pm. Join for the movie I Am, an utterly engaging and entertaining nonfiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what is wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Info: 616-886-2716.


Lapping the Landmarks – 8:30-11am. Join Caroline Cook of GR Running Tours and Kym Matthews of EcoTrek Fitness for a unique crosstraining workout. Gain a new perspective of Grand Rapids while incorporating your favorite EcoTrek elements in an efficient workout. $12. 235 Louis St. NW, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-485-5448 or Your Healing Gift – 1-4:30pm. With licensed trainer Laurie DeDecker, RN, MHIA. This introductory class, as taught by England’s renowned Healing Trust, will teach energy healing tools to use immediately to invoke remarkable changes in your life. $45. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct. NE, Grand Rapids.


Easter Message – 10:15am. Join for an Easter message from Mata Yogananda Mahasaya Dharmaji followed by meditation. All faiths, traditions and practices welcome to join. Self Realization Healing Centre, 7187 Drumheller Rd., Bath. Info: 517-6416201 or email Info@SelfRealizationCentreMichigan. org.

savethedate April 2-3

Body Mind & Spirit Expo – Largest second annual spirit expo to exhibit in Kalamazoo, professional mediums, intuitive communicators, and healers gathered under one roof. Many free lectures, speakers and demonstrations. $10/ per day, free/12 and under. Radisson Hotel and Suites, 100 W Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo.

April 9

Infant Massage for New Parents – 2-3:30pm. Parents will learn different massage techniques and how to prepare for your infant massage. $60/ person, $100/couple. Alternative Care Solution, 3790 28th St. SW, Ste. B, Grandville. Info: 616-419-6924.

April 10

West Michigan Spirit Faire – 11am-5pm. Intuitive readers, reiki, aura photos, jewelry, palmistry, angel messages, massage, crystals, speakers, health products, energy tuning. $5 admission; door prizes. Riverfront Hotel, 270 Ann St. NW, Grand Rapids, exit 88 off US-131.

April 11

Essence and Valor Retreat – 9am-4pm. 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/sponsor:

April 16

Auricular Acupuncture – 10:30-11:30am. Auricular (ear) Acupuncture Workshop. Learn the benefits of acupuncture in this one-hour workshop presented by Susan Littlejohn. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Info: 616-392-7580 or

April 16-17

Inspired Life Grand Rapids – Apr 16-17. 8am-4pm. Transform your life and become your healthiest self. Join this two-day health and wellness conference addressing topics of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. $160. 1607 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids. Register:

natural awakenings

March 2016



savethedate April 21

Green Day 6K Fun Run and Expo – 5-8pm. Join Harvest Health Foods on Cascade for a free 6K Fun Run and Expo to celebrate Earth Day and recognize lifestyle choices that can make an impact on our health and the environment. Visit for more information. Grand Rapids.

April 23

Mindful Meditation: The Path to Peace Workshop – 10am-4pm. Open yourself up to possibilities for a healthy mind, spirit, body and life through mindfulness and meditation. Soften or eliminate anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Info: 616-886-2716 or

April 29 - May 1

A Weekend of Iyengar Yoga – An illuminating weekend of yoga study with Mary Reilly, Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. Mary’s love of yoga shines through her teaching with enthusiasm, clarity and precision. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206 Grand Rapids. Info/register:

savethedate June 3-5

Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference – June 3-5. Hear from guest speakers, herbalists and authors and enjoy swimming, evening entertainment, workshops, film screenings and more. Almond, WI.


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

sunday Spirit Space Sunday Worship – 10:30am. An interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Info: 616-836-1555 or Inspire – 1pm. 1st Sun. Featuring discussion and brainstorming of participant-suggested issues, plans of action, music, refreshments and socializing. 102 W Exchange St., Spring Lake.

July 11

Sunday Series – 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening ministers, teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Dr., Grand Rapids. Info:

Healthy Lifestyle/Weight-Loss Clinic – 5:30-7pm. Enroll now for this next 13-week Healthy Lifestyle/ Weight-loss program and receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.


Beginner Yoga Series - 5:45-6:45pm. Instruction on basic yoga postures, proper alignment and fundamental breathing techniques. $75/prepayment. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. Preregister:

The Practice of A Course in Miracles – 7-8:30pm. Learn “miracle-mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095.

Gentle Hatha Yoga – 7:45-9am & 9:15-10:30am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St., Montague. 231740-6662. Info: Women’s Wellness Nights – 7-8pm, 2nd Tue. Join a therapeutic support group for women interested in good company, friendly venting and healthy coping. Grand Rapids Natural Health, 638 Fulton W, Grand Rapids. RSVP: 616-264-6556.

West Michigan Edition

friday Prosperity Seminar – 10am-noon. Join Catherine Ponder to engage in discussion and catapult your mind and spirit into a higher consciousness – a prosperous way of thinking. Spirit Space, 3493 Blue Star Hwy., Saugatuck. Qigong Practicing Class – 6:30-7:15pm. With Raymond Wan, PAc, ADS, LMT, HHC. Alternative Care Solution, 3790 28th St. SW, Ste. B, Grandville. Register: 616-419-6924. Info:

saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga – 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. With Mitch Coleman. Drop-ins welcome. White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St., Montague. 231740-6662. Info:


Sweetwater Local Foods Market – 9am-1pm. 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.

$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. 616365-9176.

Adapt Your Yoga –11am-12:15pm. Learn modifications and alternative poses to be used in a home practice or in a group yoga class setting. PeaceLab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave., Ste. M, Grandville. Info:

Healthy Lifestyle/Weight-Loss Clinic – 5:30-7pm. Enroll now for this 13-week Healthy Lifestyle/


thursday Rising Strong – 10:30am-noon. Join Unity Center for Spiritual Growth for Rising Strong, the path to more love, belonging, creativity and joy; but living a brave life is not always easy. $60. Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada Dr. SE, Ada.

Absolute Beginners – 7:30-8:45pm. Six-week series, beginning March 15, will give absolute beginners the tools to build a yoga practice. PeaceLab Yoga, 5570 Wilson Ave., Ste. M, Grandville. Info:


Meditation – 6-7pm. 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

Community Yoga Class – 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the charity of the month. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Info:


Brave Boundaries Retreat – 9am-4pm. 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/sponsor:

Weight-loss program and receive education and coaching weekly to help achieve your goals. Space is limited. The Remedy House, 5150 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids. Register: 616-443-4225.



...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 21.


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 6.

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 37.

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 37.


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. See ad, page 12.

ESSENTIAL OILS BE YOUNG ESSENTIAL OILS 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 11.

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

March 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 15.


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

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. See ad, page 12.


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.


Pastor & Casey Brian Kalamazoo • Portage 269-221-1961 M a s s a g e t h e r a p y, e n e r g y healing, spiritual counsel, healing services for groups and more. We fully support you in experiencing healing in all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.


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 8.

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 8.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. 46

West Michigan Edition


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 15.

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 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.



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.

SKIN CARE LAKESHORE NATURAL SKIN CARE 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.

Advertise in Natural Awakenings’

Everyday Sustainability April Issue Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. ~Gerard de Nerval

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

616-604-0480 natural awakenings

March 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 ~ March 2016  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ March 2016  

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