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November 2015


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contents 6 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 12 globalbriefs 14 ecotip 14 actionalert 15 inspiration 12 18 wisewords 20 healthykids 22 naturalpet 24 healingways 29 community


spotlights 14 32 consciouseating 40 greenliving 43 calendar 45 naturaldirectory 47 classifieds

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



Eco-Activist Actress Takes Steps that Make a Difference by Gerry Strauss


Six Ways to Raise Emotional Intelligence by Teal Swan

22 CHOOSING THE Not Just Any Dog or Cat Will Do by Sandra Murphy


Few Skincare Product Labels Tell the Whole Story by Linda Sechrist

Food Drives Need Healthy Donations by Avery Mack


Living a Life We Love is Real Affluence by Judith Fertig


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yle and I love the bright lights and excitement of the holiday season and its stimulating spirit of making, planning, doing, buying, giving and visiting. It can exhaust us if we let it, so we also make time to focus on inner peace, finding a quiet space to periodically relax for a few moments and recharge. Simply expressing gratitude for large and little blessings can work wonders in restoring balance. Today’s blessings might arrive in the kindness of a stranger, a glorious sunrise, birdsong, children’s laughter or a great cup of coffee... we always have goodness to be thankful for. Yes, sometimes it may be tough to find a silver lining, but it’s always there to the discerning. Many find that in freely and regularly showing gratitude, we invite in even more to be thankful, so gratitude is always a good place to start—looking for the blessing. Although neither one of us keeps an actual gratitude journal, we like to pause and write blessings in our hearts. Each year our celebration of Thanksgiving calls forth an extended observance in our family. Every evening at the dinner table throughout the month of November we speak aloud something we are thankful for before beginning our meal. We’ve agreed to come up with something new each day and can’t duplicate one another. It reminds us that no matter what kind of day we’ve had, there is always a reason for gratitude and daily reinforces how blessed we feel to be living the life that we were meant to live. Because gratitude grows when it is shared, the holiday season presents a perfect occasion to show thoughtful appreciation for others’ generosity, as well. A smile or note of thanks for even a small kindness can make someone’s day a joy. Our special Local Guide to Conscious Giving on page 37 suggests other meaningful ideas and practical gifts to help us express our appreciation for loved ones while supporting community-friendly businesses. We are grateful for what publishing Natural Awakenings has meant in our lives and for all our loyal readers that pick it up each month. So, from our hearts to yours, we wish you a glorious winter holiday season.

Photo: Allyson Regan

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Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. Even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up. ~ Steve Maraboli

In gratitude,

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

Amy and Kyle Hass, Publishers Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan


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NaturallyWestMI Natural Awakenings Magazine of West Michigan

November 2015


newsbriefs Town Hall Meeting on PTSD The Body Mind Being Project presents the first of four “Town Hall Meetings on PTSD” November 10 at the Wellness Collective, 1324 Lake Dr SE #4 in Grand Rapids. Titled “Streetview”, the meeting will investigate a variety of evidence based practices, how they impact people/families living with PTSD and how the practices contribute to a trauma informed community. The meeting will be moderated by Dr. Rachelle Busman. Dr. Busman has her doctorate in school psychology from Michigan State University. She has worked at the Post Traumatic Stress Center (CT) and Clifford Beers Child Guidance Clinic (CT). Panelists include Carol Hendershot, Director of the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness, Monica Micheal, (LPC) a participant in the Homecoming for Veterans Program (a national network of neurofeedback providers), Raechel Morrow, a certified trauma sensitive yoga teacher and Ken O’Rourke, an advocate for people with PTSD. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is open to the public, with a $10 suggested donation. 100% of donations go directly to wellness programs for those living with PTSD and their families. The event is organized by the Body Mind Being Project – a volunteer–run nonprofit with the mission of improving the lives of people and families living with PTSD. For more information, email Info@MakingPeopleWhole. org or visit


West Michigan Edition

16th Anniversary Celebration


ichael T. Burcon, B.Ph., D.C. will summarize what he learned at the Seventh International Symposium on Meniere’s Disease in Rome, Italy, including his peer reviewed paper “Cervical Specific Protocol and Results for 300 Meniere’s Patients Followed for a Minimum of Five Years,” at 10:00 am on November 14th in the East Lake Office Center and answer your questions about his research. Dr. Burcon will then offer complimentary spinal examinations in his newly expanded office. Free massages will be offered from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Call Jane at 616-5759990 to schedule your free massage. Food and entertainment will also be provided so feel free to bring your friends. Optional donations will go to the Upper Cervical Advocates nonprofit organization and are eligible for tax deductions. For more information, call 616-575-9990 or visit See ads, pages 30 & 48.

Pumpkin Facials


is the season for everything pumpkin - so why not include it in skin care, too? “Pumpkin provides something for all skin types. It’s loaded with nutrients, so it makes sense to include it in your skin care,” states Daphne Myers, Owner Lakeshore Natural Skin Care in Zeeland. Due to the small molecular structure of pumpkin, it easily penetrates the skin. It contains fruit enzymes and AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) that promote cell turnover. It helps to brighten a dull complexion, lighten pigmentation and even

LED or light emitting diode therapy uses wavelengths of natural light energy to restore the skin’s normal, healthy activity. The treatments are noninvasive and gentle with little to no pain or discomfort. LED sends energy-producing packets of light into deep layers of the skin, providing various therapeutic benefits based on the color used. Red is used to improve and promote blood circulation, stimulate production of collagen and repair damaged cells. The blue light kills acne-causing bacteria and promotes the synthesis of protein. Amber encourages cellular hydration, soothing and healing, rejuvenates skin and slows aging. Green treats hyperpigmentation, fades capillaries and reduces sebum secretion.

out skin tone, as well as smooth the skin. It also contains Vitamins A and C which are anti-oxidants that boost collagen production and help prevent premature aging. Pumpkin seeds contain Zinc which does wonders for those with acne. Zinc helps control hormone levels and oil production while soothing and healing the skin. The seeds are also high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E which help regulate sebum production and maintain a healthy skin-barrier balance. “We created a seasonal Pumpkin Facial years ago and our clients can’t wait for October and November when we bring it back. It’s truly a “client favorite back by popular demand,” claims Myers. “Our service includes steaming, exfoliating, extractions if necessary, a peel, warm herbal compresses, Pumpkin Mask, moisturizers & serums (among other “goodies”) and any equipment appropriate for your skin type.”

To schedule your LED light therapy treatment or for a full list of services offered at The Skincare Center & Spa at Tamarac, visit or call 231924-7800. See ad, page 27.

New Healing Center Now Open

For more information or to schedule your Pumpkin Facial, contact Lakeshore Natural Skin Care at 231-557-3619 or visit See ads, pages 24 & 47.

New Name


hhh, The Spa at Tamarac changed its name to The Skincare Center & Spa at Tamarac. A medical


aesthetic and day spa, The Skincare Center & Spa will continue to offer the same full menu of services including microdermabrasion, massage, acupuncture and more, including a new LED light therapy treatment.

rand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga provides safe and peaceful individual yoga therapy, group yoga therapy classes, meditation, treatment of abuse, addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, trauma, mood disorders, chronic pain and stress. All our classes are Trauma Sensitive. A trained yoga therapist understands the mind/ body connection with the tools of yoga and meditation. Yoga Therapy is a client-centered, personalized approach for creating mental and physical wellness. But first, we have to calm and strengthen the body and mind. The first step will be to link the mind and body with the breath and bring awareness to what is happening in the moment. Intense feelings and thoughts can be experienced safely, through the body. These feelings will reduce in

Subtle Energies & D-Rose Institute of Urevia® Healing Usui Reiki Classes ~ Karuna® Reiki Classes ~ Urevia® Practitioner Level One November 7 & 8

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November 2015



Denise Baker

intensity as they move out through the body. The mind then can become more still and calm. With repeated practice and guidance, a yoga practice can bring long term relief and change for those suffering from trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, addiction and loss. Grand Rapids Center for Healing Yoga’s next session includes classes in restorative yoga, therapeutic yoga, meditation, yoga for depression, anxiety, history of depression and yoga for body image. For more information or to register, call 616-202-4077 or visit See ad, page 9.

Charity Calendars


ersonal trainer, Cari Draft, of EcoTrek Fitness has designed a glossy 12-month 2016 BikeTime Calendar with health and wellness tips each month. The calendar is available for purchase from now until December 1st, which makes it a great holiday gift! The cost is $24.95, the calendars can be shipped anywhere in the United States and all proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. The calendar can be purchased online at



he Yoga Studio congratulates teacher Denise Baker for passing the rigorous assessment process to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT). Teachers with the CIYT designation are held to an unusually high standard of knowledge and training that requires many years of dedicated practice and study assuring students of an instructor who is exceptionally well trained. Using physical alignment as a starting point, Iyengar Yoga instructors encourage the spread of intelligence throughout the body, the growth of self-awareness and an experience of the asanas (poses) as a form of “meditation in action”. Owner and CIYT Kat McKinney says she is “proud to have Denise as part of our teaching community at The Yoga Studio.” For more information on The Yoga Studio and for the current class schedule, visit See ad, page 16.

For more information, visit the link above.

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

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


West Michigan Edition

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


Having Gratitude Yields More Happiness than Having Things


wo studies from Baylor University have confirmed that materialism can lead to feeling less satisfied with life, while a sense of gratitude reverses some of the negative effects of the pursuit of things. The research, led by Professor James Roberts, Ph.D., included questionnaires sent to 246 marketing students from another university, focusing on happiness and satisfaction with a 15-minute survey that included a 15-point materialism scale. The study found that individuals that focused on achieving material goals were less satisfied with their lives, less happy and had lower self-esteem. Meanwhile, the study found that grateful students found more meaning in their lives and felt a greater sense of satisfaction. “Individuals high in gratitude showed less of a relationship between materialism and its negative affect. Additionally, individuals high in materialism showed decreased life satisfaction when either gratitude or positive affect was low,” note the researchers.

Animal Friends Soothe Autistic Children


ccording to the Centers for Disease Control, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now affects about 1 in every 68 children in the U.S., up from 1 in 150 in 2000. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls. Contact with animals may help ameliorate this troubling trend. A recent study of 114 children between 5 and 12 years old has found that autistic children having greater contact with animals have less anxiety related to social situations. The research was led by Marguerite O’Haire, Ph.D., from the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at the College of Veterinary Medicine of Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. Colleagues from the School of Psychology at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia, also participated in the study. The researchers divided the 114 children into 38 groups of three. Each group had one ASD child and two children without ASD. Skin conductance, which provides an objective way for researchers to gauge social anxiety, was measured among the children as they read silently and aloud. As expected, skin conductance was significantly higher among the ASD children as they read aloud in front of their peers. In successive sessions, when researchers introduced pet guinea pigs for the children to pet prior to their readings, the ASD children’s skin conductance levels dropped significantly. “Previous studies suggest that in the presence of companion animals, children with autism spectrum disorders function better socially,” says James Griffin, Ph.D., of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “This study provides physiological evidence that the proximity of animals eases the stress that children with autism may experience in social situations.”

Peaceful Practice for Health and Healing

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natural awakenings

November 2015


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Get adjusted – Get healthier – A better life!

Ingrown Nails Linked to Over-Trimming


study from the UK’s University of Nottingham published in the journal Physical Biology has found that over-trimming nails can lead to structural changes to the shape of the nail that increase the risk of ingrown nails and other nail conditions. The risk was more prevalent in larger nails, such as large toenails and thumbnails. The researchers furthered a hypothesis called the theory of nail plate adhesion that links the nail’s healthy growth to the side-to-side curvatures of the nail plate. The researchers identified that when this nail plate adhesion becomes weakened through trimming, it can result in one of three potential nail conditions: spoonshaped or pincer-shaped nails, or ingrown nails. The paper noted deficiencies among many nail salons regarding these potential conditions. While they may be reversed over time with careful maintenance, prevention is the best medicine, according to the researchers.

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Cloves Inhibit Cancer Growth

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esearch from China has determined that cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) inhibit the growth of several cancers. Researchers tested an extract of whole cloves against several types of human cancer cells, including those of ovarian, cervical, liver, colon, breast and pancreatic cancers. Published in the journal Oncology Research, the test used an incubation system that simulated the ability of these cancer cells to grow within the body. The researchers found that the clove extract stopped such development. The active constituents they identified within the clove extracts include oleanolic acid and eugenol. “Clove extract may represent a novel therapeutic herb for cancer treatment, and oleanolic acid is one of the components responsible for part of its antitumor activity,” the researchers commented. Cloves, one of the oldest medicinal spices, have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many centuries.

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West Michigan Edition

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Formaldehyde Found in GMO Soybeans

Good Bacteria

by Bob Huttinga, PA-C


esearchers from the International Center for Integrative Systems, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have determined that genetically modified (GM/GMO) soybean plants accumulate the carcinogen formaldehyde. The researchers utilized a scientific method called CytoSolve to analyze 6,497 diverse laboratory studies conducted by 184 scientific institutions in 23 countries worldwide. The study data showed that GMO soybeans significantly accumulate formaldehyde, a class-one carcinogen. The research also found that genetic modification forces a depletion of glutathione among the plants, which weakens their immune system. This contrasts with the proposals put forth by the GM industry that GMO soybean plants are stronger, allowing them to endure environmental hardships better than non-GMO soybean plants. The research was led by V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., a biologist trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and published in the peer-reviewed journal Agricultural Sciences. “The results demand immediate testing, along with rigorous scientific standards to assure such testing is objective and replicable. It’s unbelievable such standards for testing don’t already exist. The safety of our food supply demands that science delivers such modern scientific standards for approval of GMOs,” states Ayyadurai. Former Environmental Protection Agency Senior Scientist Ray Seidler, Ph.D., comments about the study, “The discovery reported by Ayyadurai reveals a new molecular paradigm associated with genetic engineering that will require research to discover why the extent of formaldehyde and glutathione concentrations are altered, and what other chemicals relevant to human and animal health are affected. We need the kinds of standards Ayyadurai demands to conduct such research.”

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Raises Risk of Hypertension in Kids


n a large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from participating universities found mothers that take antidepressant drugs during pregnancy face the risk of heart issues for their children. The researchers tested 3,789,330 pregnant women between 2000 and 2010. Of these, 128,950 took at least one prescription for antidepressants during their pregnancy. High blood pressure among children of mothers that didn’t take antidepressants was about 21 percent. Children that were exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs during pregnancy experienced high blood pressure in 31.5 percent of the cases. Those that were exposed to non-SSRI antidepressants experienced high blood pressure 29 percent of the time. This represents a 50 percent increased risk of hypertension for babies of mothers that take SSRIs during pregnancy and a 40 percent increased risk for children exposed to non-SSRIs. In their conclusion, the researchers note, “Evidence from publicly insured pregnant women studied may be consistent with a potential increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn associated with maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in late pregnancy.”


ur body is full of many types of helpful germs known as beneficial micro-organisms. Their primary purpose is to help with digestion and defense. Although they are found everywhere - in the digestive tract, nose, mouth, sinuses, vagina and on the skin, individuals today are most familiar with the native population that exists in the intestinal tract. A significant health issue today is the destruction of such beneficial microorganisms that can dramatically improve health. Antibiotics, chlorine in the water and antiseptic soaps are the major contributors to the losses of these friendly bacteria. When they are gone or reduced, problems can develop (ask any woman who has had a yeast vaginal infection after taking antibiotics). Yeasts are often found in the vagina and in the digestive tract. They are dormant and held in balance by the good micro-organisms. However, antibiotics kill the healthy normal bacteria and yeasts without any competition grow wildly, causing several problems, the most familiar being a maddening itch. More important are the toxins and waste products formed by these budding growing yeasts. These toxins cause irritable bowel (IBS) and irritable bladder (IC), chronic fatigue, allergies, fibromyalgia, headaches, memory changes and much more. To help keep the body more balanced, eat no-sugar-added organic yogurt (it is made with health promoting and immune-stimulating bacteria), supplement with probiotics (acidophilus, lacto-bacilli, bacillus subtills and bifidobacteria) and avoid chlorinated water, sugars, high carbohydrate food, antiseptic soaps and antibiotics. Bob Huttinga and his wife, Barb, are the owners of The Healing Center in Lakeview. For more information, visit See ad, page 8 & 46.

natural awakenings

November 2015


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

Sky Kings

Agricultural Drones May Boost Sustainability Beginning November 15, farmers will be able to implement flying drones to perform important tasks in their fields. That’s when changes in Federal Aviation Administration regulations will loosen many of the current restrictions on this new technology. Advocates believe the devices can improve precision agriculture management that uses GPS and data collection to boost crop yields and profits while aiding water conservation. For the first time, the drones will be operated legally during an entire growing season, allowing companies to test their business models and technologies together. This boost in crop intelligence should make farms more efficient and help smaller operations compete with well-funded big agribusiness conglomerates whose fields are typically rife with genetically modified (GMO) crops. “This is the first year we’ll actually be able to see, by the time the growing season is over, the impact on the farmer and the impact of the quality of the grapes,” says David Baeza, whose precision agriculture startup Vine Rangers uses drones and ground robots to gather data on vineyard crops. “The biggest thing to watch is what’s going to happen to giants like Monsanto. How you define this market is changing, and the incumbents are in for a battle.” Source: Fortune magazine

Recycling Revolution

Global Rise Bolsters Sustainability On November 15, thousands of events in communities nationwide will celebrate America Recycles Day (America A program run by national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful since 2006, the event is dedicated to promoting recycling in the U.S. via special material collection drives and educational activities. Materials available to groups include advice on setting up collectibles stations and customizable templates for promoting activities to increase recycling awareness, commitment and local action. There’s plenty of room to grow: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the amount of waste that the average citizen composts or recycles has increased from 17 percent in 1990 to 33 percent today. Some other countries have been conducting their own national programs longer. For the 19th year, Australia will celebrate a weeklong National Recycling Week ( in November. More than 90 percent of Aussies feel it’s the right thing to do. Recycle Now (, England’s national program, supported and funded by the government and implemented by 90 percent of municipalities, conducts its annual weeklong program in June. Organizers contend that six out of 10 citizens now describe themselves as committed recyclers, compared to fewer than half when the campaign launched in 2004. Germany also celebrates recycling for two days in June; many other countries do so in July. 12

West Michigan Edition

Monsanto Pushback More Countries Ban Toxic Roundup

Countries are gradually banning the use of Monsanto Roundup herbicide around the world as a danger to the environment and human health, and Bermuda is one of the latest to join the ranks. These moves come soon after a recently published metastudy conducted by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer published in The Lancet Oncology determined that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is probably carcinogenic to humans. Colombia stopped using Roundup to kill illegal coca plants. France banned the sale to homeowners, and Germany is poised to do the same. A group of 30,000 Argentine physicians are calling for a ban there, where it’s blamed for boosting birth defects and cancer. Others, including the Brazilian federal prosecutor, are demanding that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, be pulled off the shelves. In the U.S., the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) is assisting efforts in cities, counties and school systems to enact immediate bans of glyphosate-based sprays. IRT is also calling for schools to measure the amount of glyphosate residues in school meals and to take steps to eliminate them if found. Source: EcoWatch

Solving Hunger

France Tackles Food Waste with New Law French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed under a law set to crack down on food waste. Supermarkets will also be barred from deliberately spoiling unsold food so it cannot be eaten. Larger stores will have to sign contracts with charities by July 2016 or face penalties. The law will also introduce an education program about food waste in schools and businesses, and follows a measure enacted last February to remove best-before dates on fresh foods. The Gars’pilleurs, an action group founded in Lyon, warns that simply obliging supermarket giants to pass unsold food to charities could give a “false and dangerous idea of a magic solution” to food waste, failing to address the core issues of overproduction in the food industry and wastage in food distribution chains. Source: The Guardian

Safer Shampoo

Makers Agree Not to Use Cancer-Causing Chemical In 2014, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reached legal agreements with 26 major companies to discontinue using a cancercausing chemical in shampoo and personal care products, and potential agreements with more than 100 additional companies are still pending. Cocamide diethanolamine (DEA), a synthetic chemical created from a chemical reaction between coconut oils and diethanolamine, has been used for decades in shampoos and other products as a foaming agent. In 2012, California listed the chemical as a known carcinogen, based on assessment by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which evaluated skin exposure tests on animals. In 2013, the CEH brought lawsuits against companies selling products in California containing the substance without a health warning, as required under Prop 65, the state’s consumer protection law for toxic chemicals. Note: A Think Dirty app offers information about the potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products and what not to buy.


Pay Tied to Sustainability While sustainability is often categorized as a long-term strategy to mitigate both corporate reputational and financial risk, a small but growing number of companies are beginning to tie environmental goals to executive compensation. That means leaders of participating firms now must weigh operational variables such as greenhouse gas emissions against short-term financial outcomes. In a report published by Sustainalytics and the sustainability nonprofit Ceres, 24 percent of the 613 largest publicly traded companies have now tied sustainability to executive compensation, up from 15 percent in 2012. “At the end of the day, people are motivated by their pocketbooks,” says Veena Ramani, Ceres senior director of corporate programs. “I think investors have come to recognize that if you want companies to take this stuff seriously, you’re going to have to link it to people’s compensation.” The shift is part of a broader push to tie corporate social responsibility areas such as environmental, social and governance metrics, as well as labor and local community impacts, to core business models. Source:

Source: (

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Therapeutic Massage also available natural awakenings

November 2015



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Green Thanksgiving

A Soulful Celebration of Body, Mind and Spirit Making the most of the original spirit and intention of the season’s holiday of gratitude feeds mind, body and spirit. Consider these happy and healthy choices. Turkey: Free-range and organic gobblers are less likely to carry diseases and contain synthetic additives. Heritage turkeys are raised outdoors, freely roam pastures, are genetically diverse and eat the varied diet that nature intended ( Spare a bird: Turkey alternatives include fun, seasonal staples such as vegetable lasagna, butternut ravioli and acorn squash filled with onions, beans and dried fruits. Beverages: Serving locally made apple cider, beer or wine supports local farmers and businesses, plus avoids the carbon footprint that distant choices incur in transport. Festive preparations: Refrain from using Styrofoam, as it isn’t recyclable and can emit chemicals when meeting up with hot turkey; use washable cloth napkins instead of paper brands that go to the incinerator or landfill; and ask guests to bring a container to take leftovers home to avoid food waste. Get kids involved: suggests giving children construction paper that can be made into decorations and recycled later. Baker’s clay, a mixture of flour, salt and water, can also be molded into creative pieces. Revive the traditional atmosphere: The first Thanksgiving was a communal affair, so invite neighbors to join family members. Besides enhancing friendships, their proximity reduces auto emissions by keeping them off the road or encouraging shorter trips. Honor peace and brotherhood across all races and ethnicities by sharing with guests the essence of the first successful summer harvest by pilgrims in 1621. According to Listening to America, by Stuart Berg Flexner, members of the Native American Wampanoags were also invited to the celebration because the tribe had taught them to plant native Indian corn, a key to recovery after their first difficult winter. Perhaps read a passage from the Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer, encouraging us to “return to our mother, the Earth, which sustains us.” Visit

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West Michigan Edition


I Can Too

by Parvathy Krishna, 16 years old


t 8:30 a.m., the Hugging Saint stands up for the first time after hugging streams of people for 14 hours straight. A month before, she was in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and the UK before making her way to California, not even a week before coming to Michigan. As a first grader, I remember thinking that she could be easily passed off as a celebrity while people flocked to touch her outstretched hands when she walked out of the hall after staying up all night (a seemingly impossible feat for a six year old like myself) meeting the thousands of people who had come to see her. After 12 years, she is, in a way, still a rock star to me: achieving the impossible, spreading love and inspiration and sparking and embodying a movement. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, known as the Hugging saint and affectionately called Amma (mother), is a humanitarian and the founder of Embracing the World, a global network of charitable activities with projects in over 40 countries. She is most well-known by the 34 million people who have gone to meet her and she greets each one of them with a heartfelt hug. Since I was young, I have been involved in Amma’s charitable activities. After the 2004 tsunami, my parents had gone to south India to help build houses for the demolished villages near Amma’s center. Even in such a time of turmoil, the center was a place of joy and peace as I would play in the warm Kerala beach sand. Only later, when I started volunteering in Embracing the World’s charity projects locally, did I start seeing the simple beauty that Amma’s life of serving others conveys. AYUDH, the youth wing of Embracing the World, of which I am a member, has a Michigan Chapter at the University of Michigan. During the Christmas season last year, I had the joy of caroling with the group at the Sunrise senior home. What stuck with me most from that experience was not the volunteering itself, but rather the opportunity to interact with the residents of the center. Some of them greeted us like friends. I heard stories that dated back to World War I and formed bonds with strangers and their families that I will treasure forever. That experience helped me realize that I, as a 15 year old, can bring a little bit of joy to someone, a total stranger who I have never met before and may never meet again in the

future. It clicked at that point that this is exactly what Amma is doing – reaching out to total strangers from all over the world with no conventional barriers of color or language or status. Since then, I try not to lose an opportunity to reach out into the community more. I’ve found a rewarding experience in delivering meals through Meals on Wheels and listening to senior citizens make comments about the weather or their grandkids and, most importantly, being heard. The AYUDH members then decided we should take on an environmental program, and enrolled in Adopt A Highway®. There are very few times in my life where I felt as vulnerable as I did, standing on the side of US 23 in a fluorescent yellow vest and gloves, picking up garbage from the grass with one hand and holding an Adopt A Highway® trash bag in the other. Yet, on the way home, sipping blue Gatorade with other AYUDH members, I felt content knowing that the highway was six trash bags full cleaner than before. This is what I’ve learned from watching Amma; that I have the potential to leave the world a little nicer. With a smile, a kind word, a friendly ear, an acknowledgement or a hug, I can be a candle sharing my flame to light millions of candles. That service is not lofty and unattainable but rather simple, caring and human.

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natural awakenings

November 2015


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he secret to happiness and finding the enduring joy we all seek is Thanksgiving—the simple act of continually giving thanks. To realize wonderful positive outcomes, up to and including seeming miracles, do one thing: Show gratitude all day long. Seeing everything in a new light, through a refreshing prism of love and appreciation, imparts a deep inner well of peace, calm and joy, making us feel more alive. We can feel that way every day, in every aspect of life, awaking each morning excited to create the day ahead and enthusiastic about each moment and then falling asleep at night embracing a profound feeling of gratitude for all the good we know and have. Happiness is contagious and becomes an upward spiral of joy naturally shared with others. Start today by launching a daily gratitude journal. This single action, the simplest and quickest way to get results, will foster a habit geared to change everything forever. It fills up our love tank, sparks success and benefits everyone. To embrace better relationships, health, clarity, life and tangible and intangible wealth: n Set a daily time for journal writing. n Pick a handful of things that prompt gratitude that day. Perhaps begin with people that support you in some way. Everything counts, from expressions of beauty to basic conveniences. Eventually the daily list will grow, generating the joy of gratitude at ever-higher levels. n It’s important to write with love and joy, because such feelings create your

world. Even if something’s a work in progress, like encouraging steps in a relationship, focus on what makes you feel good and want more of and you’ll start seeing more evidence of them. n Elaborate in detail about a particular thing that earns extra gratitude. This carries more benefits from intense feelings than creating a list. When we see how blessed we are with what we already have, it creates more of what we are grateful for, generating an endless cycle of gratitude. n Take notice of the surprises and little miracles that occur, and be sure to make note of them to evoke an even stronger level of awe and gratitude. Robert Emmons, Ph.D., of the University of California-Davis, a leading authority in researching the science of gratitude and its impact on wellbeing, instructs his study participants, “Be aware of your feelings and how you ‘relish’ and ‘savor’ this gift in your imagination. Take the time to be especially aware of the depth of your gratitude.” In other words, don’t hurry through this exercise like a to-do list. An all-day-long attitude of gratitude ramps up our awareness of life’s pleasures. It takes an already good life to a whole new zone of zest. Mary Lynn Ziemer is a master of Advanced Life Concepts, certified life and business coach, motivational speaker and author, with more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and corporate executive at two Fortune 100 companies. Connect at

natural awakenings

November 2015



Kristen Bell on Planet-Friendly Living Eco-Activist Actress Takes Steps that Make a Difference by Gerry Strauss


rom Veronica Mars to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, her face is unmistakable. Thanks to the worldwide popularity of Frozen, her voice is now unforgettable, as well. Kristen Bell, though, believes the greatest contribution she can make is embodying an ecofriendly lifestyle together with her husband, actor Dax Shepard, and their

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two daughters, finding ways to help the planet survive and thrive for generations to come.

Which core beliefs catalyze your passion for consciously stewarding the environment? I wholeheartedly believe: Every problem has a solution. We are all global citizens. Kindness

is always in fashion. We have to laugh at ourselves. There is strength in forgiveness. Honesty without tact is cruelty. No one can make me feel inferior without my consent. Ultimately, we are responsible for one another and for the creatures and places around us. I felt good about caring for the world around me before I had kids, but now I also derive a ton of self-esteem from being a good example for them.  

How has being a celebrity supported your role in speaking out on behalf of your favorite causes?

I have the rare gift of a public platform, which is amazing to me, since I felt so small and unheard as a child. Social media can be a megaphone, so I use it to be a conduit to support causes I believe in. People don’t have to listen… but when they do, helpful things happen. My approach is to spotlight an issue while also shedding light on a solution. I particularly like talking about childhood malnutrition and telling people about ThisBarSavesLives (, which donates a life-saving nutritional packet to a child in need every time we buy this organic, gluten-free snack bar. I love their motto, “We eat together.”  

What Earth-friendly actions do you and your family embrace in day-to-day living?

Our fun time revolves around being active outdoors. We love hiking as a family, walking a mile to dinner or biking along the river. We often go exploring and make up outdoor games such as: How far can you jump? How far can I throw this? and Let’s race! The kids like to get dirty and my husband and I like to breathe fresh air at the end of a workday. We have a garden where the girls and I are learning about growing and caring for edible plants and how to cook what we grow. Our thumbs aren’t very green just yet but we are trying.

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As PETA’s “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities” of 2013, why are you and Dax convinced that healthy vibrancy doesn’t rely on eating meat? I have been a vegetarian since I was 11.


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I have never wanted to eat meat, even before I knew the positive environmental effects of a vegetarian diet. People need to be conscious of what they are eating. Most edible supermarket items aren’t real food. I like knowing where my meal comes from and who handles it. It makes both my mind and body feel better.

How did the animated film Frozen enable you to reach a larger young audience than ever before?

My goal with the character Anna was to play an imperfect princess, giving voice to the heroine I had been searching for when I was young: Someone who was awkward, clumsy, optimistic, too talkative, caring and didn’t have perfect posture. I wanted girls that feel like they don’t always fit in to have a fearless heroine to identify with. I want to be a real-life Anna, someone who doesn’t apologize for her flaws and stands up for herself and others because she’s strong. Thanks to Frozen, I have been invited to do more projects that reach young people. I hope to extend my voice as a trustworthy source supporting projects that can benefit them.   

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You are passionate about the universal need for water conservation. What steps has your own family taken to be water-conscious?

Living in California and dealing with drought firsthand teaches about water conservation by necessity. We carefully consider how the food we eat directly impacts water use; we all understand that producing meat and dairy is water intensive. Replacing our lawn with AstroTurf cut our household water bill dramatically. We never run water from the tap when we are brushing our teeth, and always ‘let it mellow if it’s yellow’, that is, flush selectively. We even reuse the water used to sterilize baby bottles to water houseplants.   Gerry Strauss is a freelance writer in Hamilton, NJ. Connect at natural awakenings

November 2015


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Emotional intelligence, sometimes referred to as EQ, is often overlooked as a skill set in today’s world. The recent animated film Inside Out calls attention to effective ways of addressing a child’s journey by embracing and better understanding their emotions; particularly those that don’t feel positive. A recent study by the London School of Economics Centre for Economic Performance found that a child’s emotional health is far more important in determining future happiness than factors such as academic success or wealth. Parents can help ensure a healthy emotional upbringing by avoiding making three mistakes. Disapproval of a child’s emotions: This involves being critical of a child’s displays of negative emotion and reprimanding or punishing the child for expressing them. Dismissing a child’s emotions: This comes across as regarding a child’s emotions as unimportant, either through ignoring their emotions, or worse, trivializing them. Offering little relevant guidance: While parents may empathize, they don’t set limits on behavior or assist

each child in understanding and coping with their emotions.

Recipe for a High EQ

Parents can successfully form deeper connections with their kids by recognizing, respecting and acknowledging their emotional range, rather than telling kids they should feel a certain way. Telling someone how they should or shouldn’t feel only teaches them to distrust themselves and that there’s something wrong with them. As a communication aid, Inside Out may speak best to older children, because younger viewers may get the erroneous impression that emotions can control them, rather than that they can control their own emotional reactions. The recipe for healthy bonding and emotional development is for all parties to model how they value the importance of each other’s feelings and respectfully listen for the feelings behind the words. In opening ourselves to being understood, we open ourselves to understanding others. Good parenting involves emotion. Good relationships involve emotion. The bottom line is that emotions matter. We all struggle with negative emotions from time to time, and the way we address and deal with them influences our emotional health. The goal is to develop a trustworthy emotional connection with the other person that is important to us, which enhances intimacy and the effectiveness of the

relationship in accomplishing good. Using this six-part process of helpful concrete steps applies equally to the children and adults in our lives. n Become aware of the other person’s emotions. n Care about the other person by seeing their emotions as valid and important. n Listen empathetically to better understand the way they feel, allowing them to feel safe to be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, rather than to agree or redirect. n Acknowledge and validate their feelings. We don’t need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct; instead, simply let them know that it’s valid to feel the way that they do. For example, if a friend says, “I feel useless,” we could validate them by saying, “I can see how you might feel that way.” n Allow the person to experience their emotions fully before moving toward any kind of improvement. We cannot impose our idea of when they should be ready or able to feel differently. This is when we practice unconditional presence and unconditional love. We are there as support, without trying to fix them or anything else. Don’t be offended if they don’t accept support that’s offered at this time. A benevolent power is inherent in offering love that exists regardless of what someone does or does not do with it. n Help the other person to strategize ways to manage the reactions they might be having to their emotions after—and only after—their feelings have been validated, acknowledged and fully felt. This is when we can assert new ways of looking at a situation that may improve the way another person is feeling. This is when advice may be offered. When done successfully, this process can transform a conflict encountered in a relationship into solid gold. Teal Swan is the author of Shadows Before Dawn: Finding the Light of SelfLove Through Your Darkest Times, on how healing hidden wounds reveals our authentic selves ( Inside Out will be released next month on DVD. natural awakenings

November 2015


Are Clothes Making You Sick?


Fashion is the world’s 2nd most polluting industry.


Choosing the Perfect Pet Not Just Any Dog or Cat Will Do by Sandra Murphy


he old line, “He followed me home, can we keep him?” used to get a kid a dog or cat of his own. In today’s homes, it’s not that easy. Choosing a pet is a personal choice not to be taken lightly nor made on another person’s behalf. A surprise pet is a bad idea. Rather than gift a pet during the holidays or at any other time, give a coupon to be redeemed after extensive and careful consideration. Involve the whole family in listing pros and cons, deal breakers and must-haves. Lifestyle adjustments by everyone are to be expected, but pets shouldn’t make all the sacrifices. Available time and space, daily routines and costs all matter in determining the perfect pet.


Account Coordinator for z11 Communications, public speaker and author Michael Holtz, of Knoxville, Tennessee, admits he would’ve fallen in love with any dog. His wife, Sarah, searched to find the one that would work best for them. Based on past experience, Sarah knew that she didn’t want a herding, massive, shedding or miniature pet. She was drawn to Labrador types and found Marley, a golden/basset mix rescue that moved in as Michael was undergoing cancer treatment. “She’s calm, playful and wants to be near, but doesn’t smother, is stubborn, yet trainable, and mostly obedient,” Sarah says. “Plus, she’s content to nap or go on three-mile walks. Walking Marley helped Michael’s recovery after surgery. She was good with just sniffing the green off of a blade of grass until he was ready to head home.”


Small dogs and those that need extensive grooming were on 22

West Michigan Edition

Melinda Carver’s no-adopt list. “I read books, When a dog or visited websites, shelters, adopt-a-thons and cat won’t do, try Take Two rescue groups,” she says. “As a single person Herbert Palmer, of Morris Plains, New Jersey, with a full-time job, I wanted a dog that would something in a now with Green the Grid Group, worked for a fit with my work, volunteer and exercise schedtank—freshwater moving company when three kittens showed ules.” Riley, a bloodhound/Lab mix, fit the bill. up near the loading dock. A co-worker took Shelter workers can project how large a fish, lizards one. Not in the market for a cat, much less two, dog will get when fully grown, as well as their Palmer tried to find them good, safe homes. Afor hamsters. temperament and other breed traits. Carver ter five days, he realized, Lucky and Day had a was cautioned that Riley was an active animal, home—with him. “Sometimes we adopt them. needed long walks and would ultimately top 100 pounds. Many times they adopt us,” he confides. Now age 11, he’s a companionable 135 pounds. “I was sur Falling in love doesn’t depend solely on what looks prised at how easy it was to change my routine to accommogood on paper. Everyone deserves to find their “heart” pet— date playtime, mile-long walks and training. He’s laid back when that first exchanged look proclaims, “He’s mine.” and gentle for his size,” comments Carver, a blog talk radio show host in Parma, Ohio. Connect with Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@ Danielle Nay, an expat from the UK, researched for two years before choosing Freeway, her neighbor-friendly löwchen. He’s a mid-size dog, big enough to be a manly companion, but the right size for a high-rise apartment. “When his humans are busy, Freeway flings his own ball down the hall and then runs after it,” she says. n A yard isn’t a must, but dogs need regular exercise and socialization.

More Factors to Consider

Not Quite Perfect

The perfect pet doesn’t have to be perfect in looks or health. Dorie Herman, of Jersey City, New Jersey, a graphic designer for Martha Stewart Living, in New York City, is the human behind Chloe Kardoggian, a Chihuahua and puppy mill rescue, age 11, which she describes as “three pounds, two teeth, one giant tongue and an Instagram sensation.” Due to poor nutrition, mill dogs often lose their teeth as young adults, causing their tongues to hang out. She advocates for older dogs and an adopt/don’t buy policy. “With senior animals, you know what you’re getting. They have personality,” says Herman. “With my work schedule, I wanted an older pet, small and piddlepad trained.”

n Adult children boomerang home after college or a divorce, often with pets. A new baby also alters a home’s equilibrium. Many hours away due to work, school activities, elder care and/or volunteering can lead to a bored pet that will produce its own entertainment, often to the family’s dismay. n Some pets are easily washable, while others need professional grooming. Daily brushing minimizes shedding. n Family members’ tolerance for pet drool and snoring counts. n A yearly wellness exam, required inoculations, a microchip and pet insurance add to the tab.

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natural awakenings

November 2015


Buyer Be Aware


Natural Facial Essentials Few Skincare Product Labels Tell the Whole Story by Linda Sechrist


t age 25, Paula Begoun, author of The Original Beauty Bible and other bestselling books on skincare, makeup and hair care, read her first label on a skincare product she was using. Although she’d tried many different products to control her acne and eczema since age 11, she hadn’t thought about the contents, which was

The skin, your protective organ, is meant to be “worn” for life. It is not a luxury, but a necessity to take the best possible care of it. ~Charlene

partially why she was distraught to discover that acetone (nail polish remover) was the fourth ingredient listed. That moment became the inspiration for Begoun’s lifetime devotion to skincare research and education and customer advocacy. Today, as founder of the Seattle-based Paula’s Choice Skincare, she Handel continues to help women understand when product claims are misleading or factual.

One of Begoun’s core conclusions is that the terms organic and all natural are largely responsible for fueling the misconception that all synthetic ingredients in cosmetics are automatically bad and that all organic or natural ingredients are automatically good. She further notes that many products labeled organic and natural include synthetic chemicals, meaning that the term organic doesn’t apply to the entire formula. Fragrances are common synthetic ingredients, as is the triethanolamine that’s often used to adjust the pH or as an emulsifying agent to convert acid to a salt, or stearate, as the base for a cleanser. To help consumers avoid overpaying for skincare products which may not be as natural or organic as touted, Begoun encourages skepticism regarding marketing messages. She suggests that an important key is to choose the best formulation for an individual’s skin type and specific skin concerns. “There are no U.S. Food and Drug Agency-approved standards for the organic labeling of skincare products sold in salons and spas or over-thecounter. The cosmetics industry hasn’t agreed on one set of standards either. U.S. Department of Agriculture certification is cost-prohibitive for most small cosmetic companies that use clean, certified organic ingredients, so some uncertified organic products exist and it’s wise to read labels,”

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explains Elina Fedotova, founder of the nonprofit Association of Holistic Skin Care Practitioners. She counsels that we Google any unfamiliar ingredient to learn if it’s toxic or safe. Fedotova, a cosmetic chemist and aesthetician who makes her professional skincare line, Elina Organics, by hand in a laboratory, compares the difference between salon and commercial products to fine dining versus fast food. “Salon products are made in far smaller quantities than mass-produced brands and offer higher concentrations of ingredients. They are generally shipped directly to the salon and have a higher turnover rate. Because they don’t have to be stored for indeterminate periods or endure warehouse temperatures, they are fresher and more potent,” she says. Although a facial can easily be performed at home with salon or commercial products, Fedotova, who owns spas in Chicago and Kalamazoo, Michigan, recommends having a professional facial every four to five weeks. Charlene Handel, a certified holistic esthetician, holistic skin care educator and owner of Skin Fitness Etc., in Carlsbad, California, agrees.

Sequenced Steps

Handel chooses treatments that penetrate and nourish the layer of skin below the epidermis, the outermost layer, consisting of mostly dead cells, with 100 percent holistic (edible) products and freshly brewed organic tea compresses. “Without a gentle exfoliation, the first step in any effective facial, not even skincare formulas with penetration enhancers, can nourish the lower layer of live cells. One key nourishment among others is vitamin C, an antioxidant which brightens, protects against sun damage and promotes collagen production,” advises Handel. She explains that skin cells produced in the deepest layer gradually push their way to the epidermis every 30 days and die. Dead cells can pile up unevenly and give the skin’s surface a dry, rough, dull appearance. As we age, cell turnover time increases to 45 or 60 days, which is why gentle sloughing is necessary. This can be done at home three times a week with a honey mask. Another form of exfoliation

performed in a salon uses a diamondtipped, crystal-free microdermabrasion machine to gently buff away the surface layer of skin. An additional option is a light glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acid treatment. This can be purchased over the counter or prepared at home using organic papaya (glycolic) and pineapple (beta hydroxyl) for more even skin tone. These treatments, sometimes referred to as acid peels, can be applied to the face for no more than 10 to 15 minutes, typically every two to four

weeks or every few months. Treatment serums, moisturizing lotions and eye and neck creams are all elements of a complete facial. The simplest sequence of application is layering from the lightest to heaviest—eye cream, serum and moisturizer. Give them a minute or two to absorb. No facial is complete without a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, applied last. Linda Sechrist is a Natural Awakenings senior staff writer.

DIY Facial Treats Elina DIY Facial

Follow with organic toner per skin type.

Dry complexion: Cleanse the skin with a mix of baking soda and coconut oil. Gently scrub on and rinse off. Oily complexion: Cleanse the skin using a mixture of yogurt and baking soda. Gently scrub on and rinse off. Refresh the skin after cleansing with distilled rose water or herbal tea, adding in a few drops each of lemon juice and a favorite essential oil. For dry skin, choose chamomile tea; for oily skin, go with burdock root tea and juniper berry essential oil.   Exfoliate the skin with a gentle, healthy alternative to chemical peels by massaging with organic papaya; its enzymes help dissolve dead cells. It also infuses skin with beta carotene and other beauty nutrients.   After rinsing skin, apply a mashed banana mask, which benefits all complexions by nourishing and moisturizing the skin. It’s also high in antiinflammatory vitamin B6. Remove the banana with a wet wash cloth, and then apply a favorite moisturizer. Dry skin does well with coconut oil. For very dry skin, use shea butter or sesame oil. Use a zinc oxide-based natural sunblock, especially after a facial, because the skin is more sensitive to ultraviolet rays after exfoliation. Eating foods rich in antioxidants helps prevent sun damage.

Source: Courtesy of Charlene Handel

Source: Courtesy of Elina Fedotova

Fruit Smoothie Mask Prep time: 15 minutes Increase sun protection with this antioxidant- and resveratrol-rich soothing smoothie mask. Use fresh, organic ingredients. 6 medium strawberries 12 red grapes ½ banana 1 Tbsp honey Combine first three ingredients in a standard or bullet blender until mixture becomes creamy. Remove and put in a bowl. Gently fold honey into mixture. Cleanse face. Apply mask to skin, preferably with a fan brush, and lightly massage with fingertips for two minutes. Allow to sit on skin for 20 minutes. Remove mask with warm water.

natural awakenings

November 2015


Cruelty-Free Cosmetics and Skin Care What Local Companies are Using by Sophie Charles


hile rubbing ground up bugs or sheep fat on one’s face doesn’t sound like a good idea, many people are doing just that each time they apply their cosmetics. Most mainstream cosmetic brands use superficial culprits such as ground up beetles, sheep fat, talc, polyethylene glycol, petrolatum, parabens, mineral oil and other transgressors. On top of that, many of them also practice animal testing with their products.

When reading ingredient labels on products such as mainstream eye shadow, lipstick, moisturizer or blush it is likely that some of the above ingredients will be found. Therefore, it’s important to take into consideration what the ingredients listed actually are. For example, lanolin is a fat taken from the oil glands of sheep often found in mascara, eye liner and eye shadow. Petrolatum is a moisturizer akin to mineral oil that coats the skin but also clogs pores and can trap toxins inside our skin. Petrolatum and polyethylene glycol has been deemed dangerous by the FDA and are both found in traditional lipstick and lip-gloss.


Taking a deeper look at carmine

West Michigan Edition

and its other appellations; cochineal, carminic acid, crimson lake, and natural red #4 is also a good idea. Carmine, and the other appellations listed here, is essentially ground insects. It is a red pigment derived from the crushed female cochineal (beetles) and can be found in makeup, shampoo and food and candy products that are dyed a reddish hue. To yield just one pound of this dye means 70,000 beetles are crushed. Even if individuals do not care about the beetle itself, it may be smart to consider whether using crushed beetles on the skin or in food is a good idea. Sure, the amounts used daily of these products are small, but many don cosmetic products most days for the majority of their lives. That makes for a lot of less than desirable ingredients being absorbed through the skin. Many people never think to read the ingredient label because the words are long or hard to pronounce, so we blindly trust it must be safe if applied to skin, but a little research will quickly show that it may be time for a cosmetic makeover. Making the switch to cruelty-free cosmetics is quite easy. There are many

new brands and high-end favorites available, such as those listed below:

Brittanie’s Thyme

Crafted with passion and integrity, Brittanie’s Thyme is a women-owned USDA-certified organic personal care products company based in Cedar Springs, Michigan. CEO, Nancy Metzger believes that natural and organic is a life choice, not a fashion or a trend. Therefore, their ingredients as well as their prices reflect this philosophy. Brittanie’s Thyme products use no fillers, artificial preservatives, artificial fragrances or dyes. They produce only small batches of each product at a time to ensure freshness, and they strive to produce products that have a minimal effect on the planet, yet provide maximum results for their customers. It’s also important to note that they do not test any products on animals. For more information on Brittanie’s Thyme, visit See ad, page 14.

Elina Organics

Daphne Meyers of Lakeshore Natural Skin Care in Zeeland says, “When Lakeshore Natural Skin Care first opened back in 2008, it was very important to us as holistic practitioners to find an all-natural, organic skin care line of products. We met with several companies that claimed to be ‘allnatural’ and organic, but as we read through their list of product ingredients,

it was very clear to us they were not. The integrity of our business is at stake - and we’re not going to compromise on the product line we use. Then, a friend recommended Elina Organics ( Elina Organics products are everything they claim to be: free of dyes, perfumes, chemical toxins and preservatives—and they are never tested on animals. “Working with a company that doesn’t do animal testing is very important to us—we’re animal lovers! Elina Organics products are so safe, you can actually eat them—and we have done just that to prove it! Who wouldn’t want to put something that safe on their skin?” For more information on Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, see ad, pages 24 & 47.

Èminence Organics

Both Holistic Care Approach in Grand Rapids and The Skincare Center and Spa at Tamarac carry Èminence Organics as their chosen product line because they set a new standard in skin care products. They are plant-based, farm-to-spa treatments that are certified organic, vegan and composed of

natural awakenings

November 2015


bio-dynamically farmed ingredients. They are free of any animal or chemical products such as lanolin’s, sodium lauryl sulfates, alcohol, tricolsan, parabens and coal tar colors. Biodynamic farming is one of the most ethical and sustainable forms of agriculture in existence. It excludes the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and relies on the natural interdependence between all the different components of the farm to create a selfsustaining, balanced and harmonious environment. The ingredient farms for their products are in Hungary and are powered by solar and wind energy and their laboratories are heated using geothermal heat. From Èminence Organic’s farming to their packaging to their office procedures, they whole-heartedly strive to be a green company, and they further commit to that with their Forests for the Future program, where they plant a tree in one of 19 developing countries for every product sold. For more information on Holistic Care Approach, see ad, page 19. For more information on The Skincare Center and Spa at Tamarac, see ad, page 27.

Essanté Organics Molecular Miracle ReJuvenation in Grandville carries Essanté Organics, which are 100% certified organic, Toxic Free™ and wildcrafted products, meaning the plants are harvested from their natural or “wild” habitat. Continuously researching, developing, formulating and delivering healthy, organic products that outperform products made with industrial chemicals, Essanté Organics’ mission is to eliminate toxins from everyone’s

life, one household at a time. With their products, customers enjoy a rewarding mission too: they impact their life, the planet and charities that assist people and animals in need each time they order, all while enjoying the true health benefits of the organic products.

Keeki Pure and Simple

For more information on Molecular Miracle ReJuvenation. see ad, page 26.

Face Naturals Teri Kelley, owner of Serendipite Organiques asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice to know whatever you put on your body, head-to-toe, is not only organic and non-GMO, but also cruelty-free?” Face Naturals offers all of that and more. No animals are harmed in the making or creation of ingredients, nor is any animal testing done for any of their products—many items are even vegan. Kelley adds, “Another wonderful toxin-free bonus to Face Naturals’ products is that you’ll never find any chemical fragrance. The aromas come only from organic essential oils and herbs!” Face Naturals offers a wide variety of products including everything a person needs to cleanse and beautify their bodies. Their products include shampoos, conditioners, hair serum, facial cleansers, hydrosols, moisturizers, masks, tooth cleansers, lip balms, deodorant, bar soaps, body cleansers, body butters, body lotions, deodorizing body powder and more, all of which align with their goal to manufacture wholesome, truly natural, healthy skin care made with organic ingredients that support wellness and makes people feel stunningly beautiful. To order Face Naturals products, visit see ad, page 45.

Janelle Goltz of Grand Rapids Natural Health says, “At Grand Rapids Natural Health, we strive to educate people that what they put on their skin effects their overall health starting with the products we use in our spa services. After research, we found Elina Organics (based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan) and Keeki Pure and Simple (KPS) (based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan), two product lines that only offer food grade and organic products. A wonderful quality these products have in common are they are never tested on animals and are derived only from natural earth based products, resulting in a complete cruelty free product. ” Specifically, KPS Renew is a cream Grand Rapids Natural Health uses in many of their facials. It has proven to have many anti-aging properties including wrinkle and scar reduction along with tightening and firming of the skin. Elina Organics designs their products based on the theory that people should never apply to their skin a product they fear ingesting, making them natural and organic certified. This brand is unique in the fact that they tweak their formulas seasonally. Elina products undergo independent scientific testing to prove important qualities such as antiaging, anti-oxidant genes that stimulate collagen and keratin production. For more information on Grand Rapids Natural Health, see ad, page 24. Consciously investing in good, cruelty-free cosmetics and skin care lines can make a big difference in personal health and a more positive impact on the environment. It may very well be time for a worthy cosmetic makeover. Sophie Charles is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine.


West Michigan Edition

communityspotlight by Julie Reynolds


n a quiet studio office on the second floor at 959 Lake Drive in East Grand Rapids, there is a special place of healing where those who are seeking balance in their bodies and help for other life problems can go for help. Most people know stress can wreak havoc on the physical body, overload the mind with worry, spur negative thoughts and contribute to generally unhealthy lives. However, the modern world we live in today is filled with many stressors that infiltrate everyday life. In the busy way so many people live today, how can people begin to take control of their lives and problems to make healing changes and reduce those stressors? Although the thought may seem overwhelming, there is help and hope. The answer and solution to that question may look a little different for each individual depending on each life situation, but it can be life-changing for people to be aware of surrounding stress factors and learn ways to take control over them with proper use and strengthening of the body and mind. Frank Boppel is the owner and operator of Spark of Life Studios where he is trained in the balancing modalities of alphabiotics and B.E.S.T (Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique). He is the only one, as far as he is aware, who offers alphabiotics in Michigan. Originally from Germany, Boppel came to this country working as an electrical engineer. Boppel became interested in alternative health solutions and alphabiotics after he moved to the U.S. and discovered he had high cholesterol and his weight increased. He also noticed differences in the frequency of disease and sicknesses in this country compared to his native Germany, which he found intriguing. Rather than just opting for cholesterol medi-

cine, Boppel decided to first change his diet, which resulted in lowered cholesterol levels and a decrease in weight without medications. He also eliminated an on-going post-nasal drip issue that remained an issue after several surgeries and many medications. Realizing the cause of his personal medical problems and seeing the positive results led him to his current path. According to alphabioticinfo. com, “Recent research suggests that from sixty to ninety percent of illness today is stress related. Sixty-nine percent of Americans say their stress is work-related.” Boppel says, “Stress contributes to bodies becoming unbalanced.” Alphabiotics employs a method of stress release through skilled manipulations, which can improve health, happiness, disease prevention and longevity. It provides a quick technique for getting the body back in balance. “Being in balance,” notes Boppel, “makes people less reactive and less likely to be triggered by other people or events which can greatly reduce stress level. The single largest contributor to stress is your own mind.” Boppel explains that when a body is “unbalanced”, one will experience weak muscles on one side of the body, tight muscles on the opposite side of the body, brain activity focused on one side, feeling moody and jumpy and feeling critical of self and others. Understanding the problems associated with being unbalanced is important so people can address the cause of their ailments rather than the effects. When Boppel first discovered alphabiotics, he was so impressed by the quick ability to see dramatic results. He also learned much about what makes people unbalanced. “How much you

worry, how much you resist people doing something or events that happen to you probably have the largest negative impact on your balance,” Boppel states. He then decided to leave his not-so-fulfilling career in engineering and undergo the training in Texas to become a Developmental Alphabioticist. The alphabiotics techniques were founded by Dr. V. B. Chrane, Sr. of Texas. “While alphabiotics is not so well-known here, it is quite popular in the southern states and Mexico,” Boppel notes. His goal is to spread the word of this technique here in Michigan and offer help to the surrounding Grand Rapids community. The first step toward making a difference starts with an appointment and initial evaluation. Boppel states, “On every visit you can expect to get an initial assessment that shows you whether you are still maintaining a balanced state from the last visit. Before you leave you will get the same assessment demonstrating to you that you are balanced.” Individuals can schedule single appointments or opt for unlimited plans for more frequent visits. Although the studio is in Grand Rapids, Spark of Life offers services on location for workplaces and organizations that may want to offer this treatment for its employees. Workplaces that offer such services may see higher productivity, lower absenteeism and improved day-to-day performance. Morale can also be increased, and with improved health can come lower healthcare costs. Spark of Life’s Facebook page,, offers more information on its practices, health articles, testimonials and video clips on health-related topics. Postings of events and scheduled expos are also posted. Be sure to check it out and stay informed. For more information on Spark of Life Studios, treatment options and pricing, call 616-516-1479 or visit See ad, page 45. Julie Reynolds is a contributing writer and has a background in advertising, teaching, writing and real estate. She can be contacted at

natural awakenings

November 2015



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West Michigan Edition


communityspotlight by Amanda Grasmeyer

Missy Hacker Fitness


issy Hacker, of Missy Hacker Fitness, is a health and fitness coach who works with the company Beachbody and has a strong desire to be fit and to help others be fit as well. After giving birth to her two children, who are now 9 and 11 years old, Hacker wanted to get back into shape. She shares, “Fitness has always been a huge part of my life. It’s a stress-reliever—it’s the one thing that I did for me.” When Hacker saw an infomercial for one of the Beachbody programs, she ordered the program and was hooked within the first two weeks. During her time with this program, she learned of the opportunity to coach with Beachbody and saw that it was a natural fit because it would give her the chance to help people with health and fitness and share her love of it. She started coaching in April of 2011. In June of 2014, Hacker left her job at a credit union behind, abandoning her degree in finance and pursing her passion in coaching. She shares about this decision and says, “My heart and soul and passion are with coaching and helping people and working with them to make a difference in people.” In the four years that Hacker has been coaching, she has noticed a change in the healthcare field—switching from a more reactive care approach to a more preventative care approach— that has strongly encouraged people to take health and fitness seriously. In this new approach, patients are encouraged to get healthy now and stay healthy to prevent disease, instead of treating disease after it’s already there. Hacker notes, “There’s a huge need for us to be

on the front end of obesity and preventing disease.” This past September, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled staggering facts about obesity in the United States. They shared, “More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese,” and, “The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.” Sure, obesity is common and costly, but it’s also quite serious, as obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer—some of the leading causes of preventable death. So what can Americans do to combat obesity? They can take charge of their health and fitness. Hacker dreams of the day the obesity rate will be low because everybody will be adamant about taking care of themselves. She elaborates, “I think people are slowly coming around and realizing it’s a lot easier to get healthy before they have an issue.” While people are realizing the need to be healthy and fit, resolutions, goals, dreams and promises are still being broken. The idea of being adamant and consistent in health and fitness sounds great, but the discipline it requires is more than difficult for some, if not most, people. Often the lacking factor in the equation that results in fulfilled resolutions, goals, dreams and promises is simply accountability. From our childhoods to our years as working adults, it is engrained in many of us that we are to adhere to whom we are trying to please and the things they ask of us. Therefore, when coaches come beside us, we can benefit from trying to please them. For example, when Hacker checks in on a client and learns that he/she has finished their workout and is sticking to a

nutritional plan, she is pleased, and her client benefits. A great thing about the Beachbody programs and Hacker’s coaching is that the programs can be done from home, and the coaching is done virtually. Therefore, Hacker has the ability to come alongside people all over Michigan—and the U.S. and Canada as a whole—and from all walks of life. This goes to show that being healthy does not always require a gym membership or expensive work out equipment. With the right program, and a good coach helping one along the way, healthiness can be achieved right at home. After a person decides to take Hacker up on her coaching, Hacker spends a great deal of time getting to know the person, their current situation, how they view health and fitness, what types of programs they might enjoy and what their goals are. She then suggests a few of the many Beachbody programs that might work for them and allows them to choose which program to pursue. Of the choice of programs, Hacker notes, “Fitness doesn’t have to be horrible—it should be fun. They should look forward to it.” Once a program is chosen, the person will purchase the program, for a one-time fee, that is then shipped to their home where they’ll begin getting healthy and fit while Hacker encourages them and keeps them accountable in the process of reaching their goals. Hacker views her job as very important and she’s adamant about giving her clients the time and attention they deserve so they are able to achieve what they’ve set out to achieve. Health and fitness are certainly important, and often difficult to pursue. However, with Missy Hacker Fitness, and the Beachbody programs, there’s just one more reason to not give up— the coach cheering you on every step of the way. For more information on Missy Hacker Fitness, call 231-736-2040, email or visit See ad, page 46. Amanda Grasmeyer is a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. You can contact her at

natural awakenings

November 2015



Sharing Our Bounty Food Drives Need Healthy Donations by Avery Mack




West Michigan Edition

hat’s on the Meat: Tinned tuna, Please be table can help chicken and salmon store generous at lower risks easily for use in salads or of stroke, heart attack, the holidays and casseroles, on a sandcancer and diabetes, acwich and in whole wheat year-round. cording to the American pasta, brown rice or Heart Association. Not all low-fat stir fries. Avoid the families are able to afford the healthibisphenol-A (BPA) associated with cans est foods, but fatty, high-sugar options and plastic containers. Instead choose can be avoided. The most-needed BPA-free pouch packaging and cans donations are nonperishable and high with BPA-free liners (see in protein, but low in sodium, sugar BPAFreeCannedFood). and fats. Soup and Stew: Containing meat Give the best, most affordable and veggies, soups and stews provide products, according to these tips and filling, hearty comfort foods. the food drive’s guidelines. Organic and Vegetables: Yams and whole-berry non-GMO (genetically modified) foods cranberry sauce turn dinner into a are welcome. Note that not all pantries holiday feast. Add color to the plate can store fresh produce, glass containwith mixed veggies. Lentils, pinto, ers or personal hygiene items. black and kidney beans in stew, chili or “Pantries rely on informed commu- salad provide fiber, calcium, zinc and nity support,” explains Jim Byrnes, diiron. Spices add zing. Tomatoes, sauce rector of Pennsylvania’s Nazareth Area and salsa add flavor; choose glass jar Food Bank. “Area churches, schools products only in order to be BPA-free, and businesses keep us supplied. We’ll due to the acidic effect on cans. help 300 families this year, compared Pasta, Rice and Grain: In Kansas to 100 in 2006, balancing nutrition City, Missouri, Katie Thomas, owner with practical needs.” of Crazy Daisy Cleaning, regularly California’s San Diego Food Bank organizes food drives. She says, “Pasta feeds better choices to 370,000 people and sauce make a variety of dishes and each month, including military families, extend the number of meals.” Whole seniors and children. Such community grain pasta, brown or wild rice, quinoa efforts change lives. and couscous are better choices than

Search for a generic food item at to see how brand-name products rank in nutritional value. white pasta. Bulgur provides nearly 75 percent of a day’s fiber requirement when added to soup or salad. Cereal: Steel-cut or rolled oats, farina (Cream of Wheat) and grits are low-calorie and nutritious options for a warm start to the day. All can be found as organic; farina in whole wheat or white wheat that is certified kosher. Cold cereals should list whole grains as the first ingredient and be high in fiber and low in sugar, like organic Oat O’s. Snacks: Unsalted nuts, full of fiber, protein and vitamins, are highly prized at food pantries. Packed in juice, fruit cups make a healthy treat. Dried fruit and sunflower seeds are another favorite. Low-salt, low-sugar peanut or sunflower butter packs protein. Honey is a healthy sweetener. Collecting Party: “A group of us collected and donated 600 pounds of food for babies, pets and adults to

Extended Hands Food Bank,” says Dee Power, in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For babies, include food without added sugar or salt and single-grain cereal. Alternative Giving: Especially popular during the December holidays, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank offers prepacked bags to grocery store patrons, paid for at checkout. Customers can see what’s included and the food bank picks them up. (Tip: Cash donations allow lower cost bulk purchases with no need to transport or sort items.) Non-Food: Make sure the food pantry has storage space before donating wet or dry food for cats and dogs and birdseed; baby wipes, shampoo and soap; and adult soap, deodorant, shaving supplies, toothpaste, shampoo and toilet paper. “A $5,000 grant gave us added storage space,” says Byrnes. The bottom line is what food pantries need is much the same as what’s found in any healthy home pantry—comestibles rich in flavor, vitamins and fiber and free of unhealthy additives. Please be generous year-round, sharing well beyond the holidays. Connect with the freelance writer via

Annual Food Drives Local Boy Scout troops remind us to prepare for their annual food drive. On November 7, be on the lookout for a door hanger reminder; on November 14, they’ll pick up food for delivery to local food banks. The National Association of Letter Carriers’ (U.S. Postal Service) annual nationwide food drive is May 14, 2016. Since 1992, they’ve collected more than 1.3 billion pounds of food. Feeding America’s drive benefits from a matching gift from motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins through December 3, aimed to provide a total of 100 million meals for the 49 million Americans that struggle with hunger. Each $1 given and matched helps secure and distribute 20 meals through its network of food banks. Donate at Tinyurl. com/TonyRobbinsFeedingAmerica.

natural awakenings

November 2015


The Ins and Outs of Herbal Tea by Linda Snow


isane, more commonly known as “herbal tea”, is defined as an infusion (as of dried herbs) used as a beverage or for medicinal effects. Dating back as far as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China, herbal tea has been used for hundreds of years for its health benefits and great taste. Naturally caffeine free, along with its combination of various herbs and spices, the benefits and great tastes of herbal tea are still enjoyed by many around the world today. General instructions for making herbal tea are quite simple: Use one tablespoon of a dried herb blend per cup of boiling water and steep approximately 15 minutes. The amount of herbs and steeping time can be adjusted to taste. While the general instructions are indeed simple, the recipes, methods and uses of herbal tea are seemingly limitless. The following recipes can be made using fresh or dried herbs. If fresh and dried herbs are used together in one recipe, reduce the amount of dried plants by half of the amount called for.

Calm Me Down! Herbal Tea (soothing and suitable for children and adults - calms nerves and tummy and quiets the soul) • 2 parts Lemon Balm • 2 parts Chamomile • 1 part Oatstraw • 1 part Spearmint

Faerie’s Garden Herbal Tea (great for children and adults - refreshing, light and playful, great on ice) • 2 parts Spearmint • 2 parts Red Clover • 1 part Organic Rose Petals 34

West Michigan Edition

Splendid Spirit Herbal Tea (often enjoyed by men - refreshing, reinvigorating without caffeine, great hot or on ice) • 2 parts Peppermint • 2 parts Lemon Verbena • 1 part Organic Rose Petals • 1 part Sage • 1 part Hawthorn Leaf

Yellow Moon and Purple Stars Herbal Tea (great for teenagers - soothes the stomach, calms the mind, body and spirit, great on ice) • 3 parts Peppermint • 1 part Lavender • 1 Part Chamomile • 2 parts Marjoram While it is not uncommon for teas to be infused, there are some more uncommon methods of doing so that open the doors to a different side of tea than many have previously experienced. The following are two of the many non-traditional infusing methods for certain teas:

Lavender and Stevia Cold Water Infusion • cup Dried, Organic Lavender Buds • ½ tsp. Dried, Organic Stevia Leaf • 32 oz. Fresh, Room Temperature Water Place all ingredients in a quart size jar or tea pot. Cover and steep for three hours at room temperature. Strain and chill or serve over ice if desired. Do not overstep lavender, it can turn very bitter!

Jasmine Green Tea Cold Water Infusion • 1 Tbsp. Jasmine Green Tea Leaves • 16 oz. Fresh, Room Temperature Water Place tealeaves and cool/room temperature water into a teapot or jar. Cover and steep for three to five hours at room temperature. Strain and chill. This blend is refreshing and without the bitterness of hot, steeped green tea. Herbal tea can also be infused in various alcohols for adult beverages, used to flavor Kombucha and used to create herbal tea simple syrups. Suggestions and recipes for these methods can be found at Moondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements in Grand Rapids. *For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult a reputable source for precautions and contraindications to specific health conditions and medications before using herbal preparations on self or family members. All recipes courtesy of Moondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements. Linda Snow is the owner of Moondrop Herbals Cottage of Natural Elements in Grand Rapids which carries the dried herbs listed above and many others, in-house herbal tea blends and organic green and black teas. Tea accessories and reputable books on herbal education are also available. For more information, call 616-735-1285 or visit MoondropHerbals. com. See ad, page 32.

To create a personalized herbal tea, refer to the Suggested Ingredients for Herbal Teas and their Properties below.

Your Journey Towards Wellness Begins Here

Suggested Ingredients for Herbal Teas and their Properties Echinacea root or leaf & flower


Stimulates immune system and ability to fight infection and heal wounds. Most effective when taken at the onset of symptoms. Supports the circulation of fluids in the body and has a cooling energy. Warming, probiotic, supports respiratory and digestive health, eases pain in muscles and joints, antioxidant and antiseptic.

Hawthorn Leaf & Berry

Heart tonic, may strengthen heart muscle, reduces inflammation, thought to build collagen, which is good for skin and bones.


Cooling, tart, deep red in color, anti-inflammatory, aids circulatory health.


Aids digestion, calms nerves, fights infection.

Lemon Balm

Cooling, calming, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, digestive.

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Lemon Verbena Cooling, calms nerves, fights infection. Licorice Root

Supports adrenal function, soothes irritated mucous membranes, is antiseptic, and is a sweetener that can generally be safely used by those with diabetes. Should be avoided during pregnancy, and always used in small amounts.


Very relaxing, calms digestive distress, respiratory aid.


Adrenal health, aids bodies resistance to allergens and germs, contains vitamins and minerals, supports and nourishes. Caution – unless familiar with harvesting fresh, use only dried nettles, as the fresh is highly irritant to skin – aka stinging nettle.


Relaxing, nourishing to nervous system, circulatory support.


Calms, muscle spasms in digestive tract, may relieve pain, energizing, stimulating without caffeine.

Red Clover

Respiratory health, aids circulation. Avoid during pregnancy or prior to any surgery.

Rose Petals (organic!)

Cooling, calming, moves congestion, uplifting, digestive aid.


Cooling (try it for cooling hot flashes), aids digestion of fatty foods, fights infection.

Schizandra Berry

Known as the vitality fruit or ‘Five Taste Fruit’ in Chinese herbal medicine and is taken as a tonic for ‘chi energy’ and supports all body systems.


Same properties as peppermint, but milder and sweeter.


Opens pores, cleans the blood, soothes inflammation, regulates liver function. Promotes tissue repair. Avoid over use, and do not use during pregnancy.

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November 2015



StickNotwith Natural Iodine All Supplements are the Same


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I’ve been taking this product for over a year and no single supplement, diet or approach (I have tried lots) has had as great an impact as this. I have my energy back, my metabolism is back on track and my mind is clear and the depression has lifted. I love this product and wish more people knew about it. I think many of us are deficient in iodine and it can bring balance to the body. Thank you, thank you Natural Awakenings for offering it! ~ Pamela

Proper iodine supplementation with a high-quality product like Natural Awakenings Detoxified Iodine can prevent harm by protecting the thyroid and other endocrine glands and restoring proper hormone production.

A Few Drops Can Change Your Life! You could feel better, lose weight or increase energy and mental clarity with a few drops of Natural Awakenings DETOXIFIED IODINE daily in water or topically on the skin. The supplementation of iodine, an essential component of the thyroid, has been reported to give relief from: • Depression • Weight Gain • Fibromyalgia • Low Energy • Hypothyroidism • Hyperthyroidism • Radiation • Bacteria • Viruses

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West Michigan Edition

The Hidden Deficiency 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.

Causes of Iodine Deficiency


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

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.

What to Do The easy solution is taking the right kind of iodine in the right dosage to rebalance thyroid function and restore health to the whole body.




hile opening presents is fun for all ages, giving a well-received gift can be especially gratifying. Whether gifts are handmade or store-bought, the most meaningful ones acknowledge each recipient’s specific needs and interests. Alternative gift fairs that support local or international charities are a good place to start. Homemade gifts add a personal touch and can be as simple as a framed photograph or special potpourri. Also consider the ecofriendliness of a potential gift item— what it’s made of, where it’s made and how it’s packaged. While we’re in the mood, why not spread holiday cheer beyond friends and family to everyone? Pay for the next car at a toll booth, leave a potted plant on a coworker’s desk or run an errand for an elderly neighbor. It’s possible to maintain values of simple living and conscious consumerism throughout the holiday season with a bit of thoughtfulness and inspired creativity. To help givers move through the holiday shopping season with grace and joy, Natural Awakenings has compiled a list of locally available gifts of wellness and sustainability.

Clothing/Accessories with a Conscience

If clothing/accessories are on a loved one’s wish list, look for pieces that are made of sustainable or recycled materials or that raise funds for worthy cause. Clothing Matters,, see ad, page 22. Global Infusion,, see ad, page 32.

Healthy Living Products

Instead of buying someone the same, old gifts and gadgets, this year, buy them gifts or gift certificates that are good for their health and the environment. Brittanie’s Thyme,, see ad, page 14.

Choices Unlimited,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Global Infusion,, see ad, page 32. The Healing Center,, see ads, pages 8 and 46. Herbs Etc.,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Ladyhawk Nutrition LLC,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Lakeshore Whole Health,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Molecular Miracle ReJuvenation, see ad, page 26. Moondrop Herbals, MoondropHerbals. com, see ads, pages 32 and 45. The Remedy House, TheRemedyHouse. org, see ads, pages 33 and 46. Serendipite Organiques, serendipite-organiques, see ad, page 45.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great gift for the health and/or environmentally conscious consumer. They can be helpful when cleaning the home, creating a pleasant aroma, healing an illness or injury, creating beauty products and much more. BeYoung Essential Oils, BeYoungTH. com/ClaraVZ, see ads, pages 23 and 46. doTERRA Essential Oils,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Moondrop Herbals, MoondropHerbals. com, see ads, pages 32 and 45. Young Living Essential Oils,, see ads, pages 20 and 46.

Healthy Foods

For the healthy cook or the health nut that doesn’t want to cook, consider giving gift certificates to the following health food providers. EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bars,, see ad, page 21. Good News Farmbox, GoodNewsFarm. org, see ad in the Annual Directory. Harvest Health Foods,, see ad in the Annual Directory. Nature’s Market, NaturesMarketHolland. com, see ad, page 22. Sip Organic Juice Bar,,

see ad in the Annual Directory. Van Balls Prime Beef Inc., 616-3630801, see ad in the Annual Directory.

For Furry Family Members

Before purchasing another squeaky toy or rawhide bone for the four-legged members of the family, consider donating time or money to help other furry friends find a home. Animal Rescue Project, Kalamazoo, Harbor Humane Society, West Olive, Humane Society of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, SPCA of Southwest Michigan, Kalamazoo, Wishbone Pet Rescue Alliance, Douglas,

Help at Home

For homemakers, the elderly and others swamped by other aspects of life, having help around the house can ease the stress of the holidays or any other time of the year. Freshwaters Cleaning Company,, see ad, page 10.

Charitable Gifts that Keep on Giving

Good things can come in little packages– or no packages at all. Consider donations in honor of those on our gift list. Darling Cetaceans, The Nature Conservancy, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute,, see ad in the Annual Directory. West Michigan Environmental Action Council,


Avoid the commercialism of big-box store toy aisles by instead visiting a smaller, locally owned retailer in search of ecofriendly and educational gifts for the little ones. Better yet, consider gifting a heartening experience such as a membership to the zoo or weekly music classes. Clothing Matters,, see ad, page 22. Global Infusion,, see ad, page 32. Hopscotch Children’s Store,, see ad in the Annual Directory.

natural awakenings

November 2015


Choose Lasting Wealth

“Imagine an economy in which life is valued more than money and power resides with ordinary people that care about one another, their community and their natural environment,” says David Korten, Ph.D., the co-founder of Positive Futures Network and author of Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. “When we choose real wealth,” says Korten, of Bainbridge Island, Washington, “we can have exciting hobbies and adventures; work that challenges and stimulates us; and spiritual connection with a universe that’s infinitely larger than a stock portfolio. Instead of more stuff in our alreadystuffed lives, we can have fewer things, but better things of higher quality—fewer visits to the doctor and more visits to museums and friends’ houses.”

Step One: Taking Inventory of Our Stuff

Suze Orman, owner of the Suze Orman Financial Group, in Emeryville, California, and the bestselling author of The Courage to Be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance, ponders whether having stuff is worth it and suggests we take an inventory of what we own. “Think about the value of each object—what it cost you when you bought it, what it’s worth in dollars today, and what it’s worth in an Earthly, material representation of who you are now,” she says. Orman suggests that we go through every closet and cupboard and recycle or throw away items that no longer serve us well, and then reconnect with items we cannot part with, such as family mementos. “Think of these items so precious to you and how little, in fact, they cost you,” she says. In this way we define for ourselves the true meaning of worth, and it’s never about the stuff. Once we have a handle on what we own, it’s time to turn to what we want and how we can get there.

TRUE WEALTH Living a Life We Love is Real Affluence by Judith Fertig


raditional economics has us thinking in opposites—in terms of assets and liabilities. We consider the value of the material things we’ve accumulated: We add up our assets, which may include stocks, bonds, real estate, bank accounts and retirement savings. Then we subtract what we owe: Our liabilities may include a home mortgage, credit card debt, insurance premiums and student and vehicle loans. The balance is deemed our net worth. Figured this way, our net worth changes every minute and can sometimes shift dramatically. There is a better way to assess our wealth, because we are overlooking, dismissing or squandering valuable resources and benefits such as time, personal health, spiritual well-being, social connections or community in order to buy temporal things that will only depreciate over time. Golden, Colorado, author David Wann explores this theme in his book Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle. He remarks, “The U.S. may be on top when it comes to spending, but we also lead the world in debt per capita, children in poverty, percent of people in prison, obesity and infant mortality.” In fact, the U.S. has recently been ranked 42nd among countries in longevity— right below Guam and just above Albania. “So where is all the spending really getting us?” he asks. “We need to be getting more value out of each dollar, each hour, each spoonful of food, each square foot of house and each gallon of gas. The secret of success at the local, national and global scale is not really a secret; it’s in plain sight, and it’s called moderation.”


West Michigan Edition

Step Two: Re-Evaluating Life Goals

Just as we would do a personal financial assessment before we make plans to achieve financial goals, a life audit helps us determine our priorities for living happily and productively. Ximena Vengoechea, a design researcher for Twitter, Inc., in San Francisco, recently did this using 100 sticky notes during one dedicated afternoon. She wrote a single wish, one thing she’d like to do, How we spend on each note. During this “spring our days is, of cleaning for the soul,” as course, how we she calls it, Vengoechea reaffirmed her thirst for spend our lives. learning and adventure. Taking it a step further, ~Annie Dillard she analyzed how she

spent her time and how often she saw the people most important to her, mapping the data as pie charts. She discovered that most of her time was spent in workrelated activities and not enough in adventure or seeing the people she loved. Drawing it up in the visual medium of charts helped her identify her life goals and see the changes she needed to make. Doubtless, we can all find better ways to utilize our assets.

Our Time

in Business Lab, which works with the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, to provide local communities with a researchbased model for prosperity. In socially abundant communities and nations, individuals don’t have to earn as much money to be comfortable, because their quality of life is partly provided by the strength of social bonds.

Heeding the Call to Change

Finding and doing what “lights us up” will bring us Arianna Huffington, of New York City, founder of The abundance, claims David Howitt in Heed Your Call. The Huffington Post, knows firsthand about having so many Portland, Oregon, Meriwether Group entrepreneur demands on our time that days feel rushed, which can who consults for consumer companies, mainincrease our stress and negatively impact our that finding our heroic purpose (that heartFinding and doing tains productivity. She says, “On the flip side, the centered thing we feel we were meant to do) is feeling of having enough time, or even surplus what “lights us the first step toward true wealth. Howitt says time, is called ‘time affluence’. Although it the secret is in one small word—and. Instead up” will bring may be hard to believe, it’s actually possible to of choosing either/or, our world expands with achieve.” Huffington recommends simple steps us abundance. “and”. He urges us to integrate the intuitive and like getting enough sleep and putting time limits analytic parts of ourselves: “poet and profeson work and online activities. ~David Howitt sional, prophet and profit, soul and success.” Belinda Munoz, a social change activist in It’s not just about philanthropy, but truly San Francisco who blogs at, observes, making your community and your world a better place “Time is neutral. We either use it wisely or waste it, so the through your work, he observes. “You’re doing good in the onus is on us to make it an asset.” Munoz can both let go of world, and when you live that way, money follows you.” stress and be more productive when she blocks out day parts. “When I focus, I shut out interruptions, stop feeling rushed Judith Fertig blogs about living well at AlfrescoFoodAnd and get my work done with ease,” she says. from Overland Park, KS.

Our Health

One high-impact way to support personal health is to value food more, maintains Wann. “We need to spend more of our household budget for food, not less,” he says. “By rearranging both our household and national expenditures, we should give a higher priority to fresh, healthy food and a lower priority to electronic gadgets, shopping, cars, lawns and even vacations. Our overall expenses don’t have to go up, they just need to be realigned with our changing values. By choosing higher quality food and supporting better ways of growing it, we also begin to reshape the American culture,” he says.

Our Community

The community, rather than the stock market, is the better source of real wealth—both personal and global—maintains Korten. “Your community economy is part of the glue that binds people together. It’s the key to physical and mental health and happiness.” Giving less control over our financial well-being to Wall Street and more to Main Street will help us think in terms of livelihoods, instead of mere jobs. For Korten, this equates to not only how we make money to live, but also how we live—valuing our homes, communities and natural environment. Priceless social capital comes from investing our time and money in local communities. Korten observes how, when freely and wisely spent, these efforts can lower crime rates, make schools more productive and help economies function better. Korten cites Oakland, California’s Well-Being

Conducting a Life Audit by Ximena Vengoechea


ere’s one approach to doing a life audit in order to both discern more keenly what’s important and figure out how to allocate resources better to make those things happen. Step 1: Take a few hours and 100 sticky notes. Write a wish—something you’d like to do or have happen in your life—on each one. Arrange them on a flat surface. Step 2: See what patterns evolve. Rearrange the notes by themes or categories, such as family, physical health, adventure, profession, giving back and skills. Those that contain the most notes indicate the realm of your most powerful wishes. Step 3: Evaluate your time. Take stock of a typical day, week and month to analyze how you are spending it. Step 4: Prioritize. Some wishes need to be fulfilled every day or soon, while long-term wishes aim for “someday”. Step 5: Make a plan. Just as with a smart financial strategy, which typically involves investing money over time, you can now allocate your time to make your wish list happen. For more details, visit natural awakenings

November 2015




BEAUTY SALONS Pure Pampering Feels Natural and Safe by Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist


hen clients walk into New York City’s Swing Salon, they may be surprised by what they don’t smell—the range of chemicals usually wafting around hair salons. That’s because the owners have decided to use only natural and organic products. While many people may assume that all salon hair and body treatments are regulated and safe, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test cosmetic products for safety, due to loopholes in the Toxic Substances Control Act. So, people are being exposed to dangerous toxins through salon products like nail polish, hair color processors and hair straighteners. Be aware that while labels of overthe-counter body care products are required by law to list ingredients, with the exception of the chemical soup often hidden under the term “fragrance”, the loophole for salon products is large. Jamie Silberberger, with the Women’s Voices for the Earth’s National Healthy Nail & Beauty Salon Alliance, reports, “Products sold for professional use in spas and salons are not required to be labeled with ingredients.” Fortunately, healthy alternatives are available, either by patronizing a green salon or using natural beauty treatments at home. 40

West Michigan Edition

Hair Straighteners

One salon treatment—Brazilian Blowout hair straightening—can continue to expose customers and salon workers to toxic fumes even months after application. It’s among the conventional straightening products that contain formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. “Exposure to formaldehyde doesn’t end with the treatment—the fumes are reactivated every time heat is applied to the hair,” says Jennifer Arce, a San Diego, California, salon worker who became sick after applying a single Brazilian Blowout treatment. “So, when a client who’s had a Brazilian Blowout done elsewhere comes into the salon to get a haircut or color and has her hair blowdried, flat-ironed, curled or processed under the hood dryer, the fumes that come out of her hair make me and several of my coworkers sick all over again.” Solution: Avoid chemical hairstraightening treatments. Sign on to the Women’s Voice for the Earth letter campaign petitioning the FDA to remove Brazilian Blowout from U.S. shelves by visiting BanBrazilianBlowout.

Hair Dyes and Extensions About two-thirds of conventional hair dyes in the U.S. contain paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a chemi-

cal banned for use in such products in Germany, France and Sweden. Exposure to PPD can cause allergic reactions ranging from skin irritation to death by anaphylactic shock, which happened to a teenager in 2010. When Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela researchers conducted a metastudy examining the risk of cancer among hairdressers and related workers, all reported that employees had a higher risk of cancer than the general population. Hair extensions also warrant attention. Many adhesives used on extensions may contain 1,4 dioxane, listed as a probable carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and styrene, a neurotoxin and suspected endocrine disruptor. Solution: Look for a clean, green salon that uses natural hair color treatments free from synthetic chemicals, ammonia or PPD. Individuals can also order nontoxic organic color kits direct from

Nail Polish

When getting a manicure or pedicure, beware of the toxic trio of dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. Used to help nail products hold color, they’re linked to reproductive and development problems, plus dizziness and eye and lung irritation, according to the Environmental Working Group. Facing pressure from consumer groups and salon workers, some polish companies are now producing so-called “nontoxic” nail polish, although their labels aren’t verifiable. California’s Department of Toxic Substances

Control recently tested 25 nail polishes sold to salons, 12 of which claimed to be toluene-free, including seven said to be free of the toxic trio. The researchers found toluene in 10 of those, and one or more of the three ingredients in five out of the seven. Solution: Customers should bring their own safe nail polish and only patronize well-ventilated salons.

Are you interested in PREVENTION?

Find a Green Salon

Many conventional body products like shampoos and massage oils contain a litany of ingredients that add to our chemical exposure. Ask questions to ensure all of a salon’s products are nontoxic or as low in toxicity as possible. For example, a large network of independently owned “concept salons” across America are connected with the Aveda Corporation (, a national leader in developing hair and body products that are free from the most dangerous ingredients. More than 90 percent of Aveda’s essential oils and 89 percent of its raw herbal ingredients are certified organic. Also look for members of the Green Spa Network, a nationwide coalition of spas that pledge to be energy efficient and sustainable in all of their practices ( If a green salon hasn’t yet arrived locally, bring nontoxic products for appointments and ask the stylist to use them. Visit the Skin Deep Database at to find the least-toxic products for at-home use. Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist is a freelance writer in Tucson, Arizona.

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November 2015


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West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings recently won the prestigious FBR50 Franchise Satisfaction Award from Franchise Business Review. To learn more, visit

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


Be Beautiful- 9:30am-7:30pm, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday. Be beautiful inside and out! Stop by Vital Nutrition for some fall cleansing ideas for body, mind and spirit. 616-433-9333, 169 Marcell Dr. NE, Rockford. BikeTime Calendars- Purchase a BikeTime Calendar and all proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Purchases can be made at Pumpkin Facial Special- Back by popular demand and for October and November only, enjoy our Pumpkin Facial for $75. Mention Natural Awakenings magazine and save $10! Lakeshore Natural Skin Care, Holland Township/Zeeland. 231-5573619. Free STEM Classes- Schedule free robotics and coding classes for scout troops, classrooms, church youth groups, sports clubs and more (grades 1-8) at Sylvan Learning Center in Muskegon. Join us at our center or we will come to you for a 1-1.5-hour class at no charge. Call Lisa at 231-799-0613 for more information. Complementary Consultation- A Brain & Body Chiropractic, a consultation IS a conversation, NOT an examination and certainly NOT a high-pressure sales pitch. After all, we are not the right office for everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to discover that before you begin a relationship with our practice? Call 616-202-6368 to schedule. Holland. Free Variety of Fitness Classes- Join Nutrition-NMore for Fit Camp, High Intensity Cardio, Cardio Drumming and Bellydance for free! Call 616-4551775 for class times. 5394 Division SE, Kentwood.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 All Saints’ Day Day Light Savings Begins Inspire- 1pm. The Extrended Grace multi-cultural event nurtures, educates and inspires so that together we can pursue social justice and human rights. During the November event we choose specific topics for the next six months. Call 616-502-2078 or visit to learn more. Barber School, 102 W Savage, Spring Lake.


Transformational Tuesday Wellness Meditation9-10am. Session leader integrates breath work, music and voice cues to restore, renew and re-energize body, mind and spirit. For more information, visit Guided Transformations, 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia. 616-401-7199.


Guided Meditation and Healing Circle – 7-8pm.

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

Escape from stress and discover an inner world of calm, peace & joy through guided meditation, and energy healing from Healing in America-Trained Healers. Holistic Care Approach, 3368 Beltline Ct., NE, Grand Rapids.


ChocolaTea Chicago Bus Trip- 8am-11pm. Join ChocolaTea for a fun-filled day trip to the Windy City! Come and taste new flavors of tea, a free goodie bag and much more. $75. Call Susan at 269-978-6641 for more information. ChocolaTea, 7642 Westnedge Ave., Portage. Sing Song Yoga for Kids- noon-12:30pm, ages 2-6, 12:45-1:30pm, ages 6-11. Introduce your children to the joys of yoga in an age-appropriate class full of music, movement and merriment! Learn more and register at $6 for ages 2-6, $8 for ages 6-11. The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 2016, Grand Rapids. Block Asana- 1-5pm. Use cork blocks as massage tools and learn how to apply your body weight to the cork yoga blocks, combined with simple movements, to achieve release of your body from head to toe. $140.00. (Save $20.00 by registering for the “Sneak Preview” on October 24.) Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W. 18th St., Holland. 616-392-7580. Peter Mayer in Concert- 7-9pm. Peter Mayer is an accomplished guitarist, lyricist and performer who radiates optimism. He will be appearing at Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, 6025 Ada. Dr. SE, Ada. Tickets $20.00. For information, 616-682-7812 or


Eckankar- 10-11am. Join the monthly ECK Worship Service, “The Year of the Shariyat.” Services are the second Sunday each month. Free. Dominican Center at Marywood, Room 4, 2025 E Fulton, Grand Rapids,


Lululemon Clothing Trunk Show- 3:30-5:30pm. Join Lakeshore Yoga for a lululemon clothing trunk show. 235 Fulton St., Grand Haven. Essential Oils 101- 6:30-8pm. New to using essential oils? This class will give you the basics about how to choose & use essential oils. For information, visit Guided Transformations, 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia. 616-401-7199.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11 Veteran’s Day Living an Authentic Life- NEW therapy group focused on developing self-compassion, taking

participants through deep healing to take ownership of their authentic selves. The group is experiential, in and outside of group meetings. Sliding scale fee offered and discount for early registration/prepayment. Email or call 616-426-9226. Grand Rapids.


Zero Balancing I- November 12-15. Join Jim McCormick for Zero Balancing I at Holistic Care Approach in Grand Rapids. This is the first course of the Core Zero Balancing curriculum and introduces the intellectual and practical framework of the art and science of Zero Balancing. To register, email


Urevia Master Practitioner-10am-5pm, November 14-15. Offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute serving S.W. Michigan. All classes are certified. $400, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit or Reiki-UreviaClasses. com. Hickory Corners. 16th Anniversary Celebration- 10am. Join Dr. Burcon for an information and Q&A session on Meniere’s Disease in the East Lake Office Center and receive a free spinal examination and massage. Call 616-575-9990 to schedule your massage. Food and entertainment will be provided. Grand Rapids.


Master the Other Half of Yoga – Meditation- noon3pm. Come and explore meditative mind training in this class of highly effective guided meditation techniques. $30.00. Bodhi Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Call 616-392-7580 for more information and to sign up. Raindrop Technique Class - noon-5 p.m. Come and experience this amazing technique—the MOST powerful way to strengthen your immune system for the season; relaxing, too. Pure Young Living oils used. Must RSVP by Nov. 10-th by calling Ilka at 616-259-7509. For more information, visit


Managing Pain- 6:30-8:30pm. A workshop for those who suffer or care for someone who struggles with chronic pain. Learn about the mind - body pain connection, approaches that support healing, techniques that reduce, eliminate or make traditional medications work better. Sign up at or call 616-401-7199. Guided Transformations 9964 Cherry Valley SE Ste. 2, Caledonia.


Healing Circle - 7pm. Come raise your vibrations with like-minded people. We radiate our loving,

natural awakenings

November 2015


healing energy to those in need whether present or just in our minds eye. We also send energy and peace to our communities and to the world. We are one. Call 616-836-1555 or visit for more information. Saugatuck.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19 Great American Smokeout Ladies Night- 5:30-8:30pm. Join women entrepreneurs empowering each other at Nutrition-N-More, LLC for Ladies Night with a fun evening of shopping, vendors, refreshments, drawings and more. $10. 5394 Division SE, Kentwood.


Amma - November 20-24. Meet renowned humanitarian and spritial leader Mata Amritanandamayi. Visit for more information regarding events and times. Marriott Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Drive, Detroit.


Usui Reiki Advanced and Reiki Master Practitioner Training-10am-5pm, November 21-22. Offered by Subtle Energies & D’ Rose Institute serving S.W. Michigan. All classes are certified. $200 for advanced, $300 for master practitioner, lunch provided. To register, call 269-671-4455 or visit ReikiConnect. com or Hickory Corners.


Black Friday Game Design & Robotics Camp9am-1pm. Drop the kids off at 9am for a fun filled game design/robotics ½ day STEM camp for just $50 per student! A light snack will be provided. Call 231-799-0613 to reserve your spot. Grades 2-6 are invited. Bring a friend and save $10! Muskegon.


Twists for Turkey- 9-10am. Join Lauralee Rea for an all levels class to twist your stress away and promote healthy digestion. $15. To register, visit The Yoga Studio, 959 Lake Dr. SE Ste. 206, Grand Rapids.

savethedate December 5

Buy and Sell-A-Bration- 11am-4pm. Crafts, mementos, baked goods, snacks, specialty readings, massage and energy work, concluding with a variety show at 4pm. $5 for vendors. Contact to sign up for a table or performance. Unity Church of Muskegon, 1311 Wesley Ave., Muskegon.

January 23

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


West Michigan Edition

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



Spirit Space Sunday Worship- 10:30am. Spirit Space is an interfaith, non-denominational gathering place for worship and spiritual enrichment. Join us for inspiring messages called Reasonings. Visit or call 616-836-1555 for more information. Saugatuck.

$20 off BioMeridian Assessments- Food allergies, environmental allergies, organ function and real food menus and shopping lists for families that are healthy and kid-approved. Visit or 616-3659176. Grand Rapids.

Loving What Is Workshop- noon, 2nd and 4th Sundays of month. This workshop will show you how to use Byron Katie’s revolutionary process for yourself. Facilitated by Rev. Gr. Call 616-682-7812 or visit to sign up. Ada.

A Course in Miracles- 9:30am. This self-study system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God. A love offering is accepted for the church. Call 616-682-7812 or email for more information. Ada.

Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Visit for more information. Community Yoga Class- 4-5pm. $5 donation goes towards the Charity of the Month. Bodhi Tree Yoga & Wellness Studio, 208 W 18th St., Holland. Visit for more information. Sunday Series- 6pm. Explore spirituality, universal truths, self-mastery and balanced, positive, loving and joyful living with The Coptic Center and their ongoing offering of enlightening Ministers, Teachers and guest presenters. Love offering. 0-381 Lake Michigan Drive, Grand Rapids. For more information see

Monday Intermediate Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. All levels. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662. The Practice of A Course in Miracles - 7-8:30pm. Learn “Miracle-Mindedness”. Got joy? This is how to have it. (Hint: You already do.) All are welcome. Free. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. 616-458-5095. Spiritual Expressions- A Writing Group- 7-8:30pm, 1st and 3rd Mondays of month. Awaken the writer and storyteller in you! All skill levels welcome to this atmosphere of acceptance and support. Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids. Email PoetNessa@ for more information.

Creation’s Lessons for Living- 7pm. 2nd Wed of month. Creation desires to help us grow, mature, evolve. Connect with Creation’s wisdom through the teachings and ceremonies of the shamanic Sweet Medicine SunDance Path. Donation. Call 616-8564957 for more information. Join me in learning to walk in beauty. NE Grand Rapids.

Thursday Advanced Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman – 6:15-7:30pm. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for more information. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio, 8724 Ferry St. Montague. 231-740-6662.

Saturday Gentle Hatha Yoga with Mitch Coleman– 9-10:15am & 10:30-11:45am. Drop-ins welcome. Visit for info. Classes meet at White River Yoga Studio. Montague. 231-740-6662. Sweetwater Local Foods Market- 9am-1pm. Hackley Health at the Lakes building on Harvey Street. We are inside if the weather is bad. We are a double up bucks and bridge card market. Hesperia. 231-861-2234. Yoga at the Dominican Center at MarywoodChair Yoga, 4-5pm, Beyond Basics, 5:30-6:45pm, Yoga Basics, 7-8:15pm. Cultivate flexibility, strength and balance in your body. Calm and quiet in your mind. Find peace and joy in your spirit. $12/ session. 2025 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids.

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

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls. ~Aesop



...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 35.

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

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


Cottage of Natural Elements 351 Cummings, NW Grand Rapids 616-735-1285 Your local source for all things natural and botanical. Hand crafted bath & body products, tea, bulk herbs, essential oils, other raw ingredients, containers, local artwork, unique gifts. Practitioner discounts. Space rental and artisan consignment. See ad, page 32.


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

Certified therapist since 1991 offering colon therapy in a sterile and professional environment. Using a holistic approach, colonics relieves constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloat, poor digestion, back pain, body odor and more. See ad, page 13.


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


Kelly O’Brien Pahman 616-617-3130

SCHAFER CHIROPRACTIC AND HEALING SPA Dr. Andrew Schafer 1801 Breton SE Grand Rapids 616-301-3000

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).

Tr e a t i n g m u s c u l o s k e l e t a l conditions, but specializing in b ac k p a in , n eck p ai n , a n d headaches. Also offering physical therapy, massage therapy, and postural awareness. Most insurance accepted. Breton Village area. See ad, pages 6 & 30.

natural awakenings

November 2015





Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Matrix Energetics is a system used to heal, transform and create new possibilities in your life. Using the principles of quantum physics and subtle e n e rg y d u r i n g a M a t r i x Energetics session we are able to enter into different realties and download new possibilities for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves. See ad, page 19.

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

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

Be Young Total Health essential oils have undergone the 13 step E.O.B.B.D. evaluation by third party experts who are professionally trained for evaluating essential oils for purity, quality, and therapeutic value. Learn online, through free classes, or one on one from me, how you can use these gifts of nature to benefit your family and even your pets! See ad, page 23.

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 33.


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

Become an Independent Distributor. Discover the high potency of therapeutically authentic Essential Oils from Young Living. Enhance your own health, as well as others who seek holistic wellness options. Free Training. See ad, page 20.


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


West Michigan Edition


Educational programs for personal health improvement - Wo r k p l a c e w e l l n e s s programs - Wellness Forum Foundation focused on school nutrition and children’s health - National conferences.


Bob Huttinga PA-C & Rev. Barbara Huttinga 332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 Naturopathic / Holistic Practitioners and Retail Health Store. Natural Health Consultations, Classes, Oils, H e r b s , H o m e o p a t h y, Hypnosis, Foods, Candles, Crystals, Books, CD’s, Massage, Reflexology, Emotional Clearing, Raindrop Therapy, Foot Detox, DOT/CDL Health Cards for truck drivers. See ad, page 8.


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


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


332 S. Lincoln Ave., Lakeview 989-352-6500 A Certified PA since 1976, Bob Huttinga practices both Traditional and Homeopathic care. He finds the cause and the homeopathy remedy. We accept most insurance, except Priority Health, Blue Care Network or Medicaid. See ad, page 8.

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

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


Barbara Zvirzdinis, WK, CMT 616-581-3885 Certified Wholistic Kinesiologist, Certified Matrix E n e rg e t i c s P r a c t i t i o n e r, Certified Massage Therapist, Reconnection Healing Practitioner, Certified Herbalist, Certified Acutonics Practitioner and Certified Reflexologist. Specializing in muscle testing, massage, energy medicine, nutritional counseling, lectures and classes. See ad, page 19.

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

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


Mary De Lange, CCT., LMT. 1003 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 616-456-5033 Over 24 years of professional experience and trained in a complete range of modalities. Whether you are seeking relaxation, renewal, or treatment for a specific condition, Mary will help find an approach that is helpful for you. See ad, page 13.


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

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



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


503 East Broadway St. Mt. Pleasant 989-773-1714

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

Specializing in advanced, customized skin care using all-natural, organic skin care products from Elina Organics. Facials, Back Facials, Foot Facials, Hand Facials, Tummy Facials, and “Beautiful Legs” services. Needle-Free Mesotherapy, TriPolarRF, DermaLaser, LED, Microdermabrasion, Peels, Body Wraps, Body Scrubs, Brow Shaping, Aromatherapy, Signature Scent, Hair Restoration, Bamboo Massage, RainDrop, Air Compression Lymph Drainage Massage, Acupressure, Reiki, Infrared and Ionic Cleanses, Ear Candling, and more! See ad, page 24.

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

OPPORTUNITIES Join the Opportunity - be a Fat Funeral Detox rep and market the line of products best selling-author and nutrition expert Dr. Ginger recommends. West Michigan Natural Awakenings Magazine- Start a career you can be passionate about. Publish your own Natural Awakenings Magazine. Home based business complete with comprehensive training and support system. Call 616-656-9232 or visit

natural awakenings

November 2015



West Michigan Edition

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ November 2015  

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

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ November 2015  

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