NA Indy August 2019

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How to Safely Forage




Parenting in the 21st Century



Local Plant-Based Celebrity Chef

August 2019 August 2019 | Indianapolis Metro Edition |


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Indianapolis Edition

Natural Awakenings is a family of more than 70 healthy living magazines celebrating 25 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.





Preparing Kids for the Future




Regenerative Agriculture Takes Aim at Climate Change



Practice Intentional Self-Love



Our Symphony With Animals


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Music As Medicine



Foraging for Foodies


Treating the Whole Pet Natural Approaches

DEPARTMENTS 5 news briefs 9 health briefs 10 global briefs 12 eco tip 13 community spotlight 18 green living 19 inspiration

20 wise words 22 healing ways 23 conscious

eating 26 natural pet 29 calendar 31 resource guide August 2019


letter from publisher


ear NA Indy Readers, The kids are heading back to school and it’s an ideal time for parents to hit the reset button, taking stock of myriad challenges today’s children face. Meredith Montgomery confronts these headon in “21st Century Parenting: Preparing Kids for the Future.” She offers insights into raising kind, resilient and resourceful kids in a world vastly different from the one we grew up in. Adults and kids will find plenty of healthy activities and options in this month’s issue. Take a walk on the wild side with April Thompson’s “Wild and Wonderful: Foraging for Foodies” as your guide. And locally, the Cumberland Arts Festival returns to delight families with arts, music, and entertainment on Saturday, August 17. I am thrilled to make some announcements about Natural Awakenings Indy! This month I have the pleasure of introducing local celebrity Chef Wendell Fowler in our August Community Spotlight by Jenn Willhite. Chef Wendell is Indy’s own champion of plant-based eating, and will be contributing regularly to our new… drumroll please… “Plant Medicine” section coming soon. I can personally attest to the healing powers of plants as medicine, and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for it. Another tidbit I can’t wait to share is that Natural Awakenings Indy will soon have a new website. It’s a work in progress, but will be dramatically different and will offer incredible new community engagement and advertising opportunities. Stay tuned... As always, thank you for your continued readership, and please remember to support our advertisers. Without them, there would be no Natural Awakenings Indy!



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Indianapolis Edition

news briefs

Relax your brain.

Ezra’s Enlightened Café Launches New Membership Program


zra’s Enlightened Café, Indy’s 100% gluten-free and plant-based non-GMO café, has a new membership program “for those who want to elevate their quality of life by using food to heal.” The membership includes discounts on smoothies, juices, herbal tonic lattes, retail herbs including CBD oil, tinctures, herbal powders, tea and more in the café, along with special pricing on wellness groceries such as organic, plant-based, NonGMO milks, cheese, breads, soups and falafels. Members also receive access to monthly recipes, kitchen tips and live videos from Chef Audrey, the owner of Ezra’s, in which she’ll share valuable information on how food can help individuals create the life they desire. The videos will help members learn and grow their skills in the kitchen, hone their inner healer instincts and gain their health freedom. There’s also an online private group community for support in the individual healing process. Chef Audrey says, “This membership is for anyone who wants to heal and thrive using plants. We’re offering a holistically created, plant-based support system. To truly live our most vibrant lives, we need to connect back to our food and that means getting back into the kitchen and even the garden. We’re helping people do both.” Location: Ezra’s Enlightened Café, 6516 N. Ferguson, Indianapolis. For more information or to sign up, visit

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August 2019


Annual TURN Festival: Transforming Urban Neighborhoods


he TURN Festival, presented by the Paramount School of Excellence and Community Health Network, will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on September 28 at the Paramount School Farm on the Near East Side. TURN is an annual celebration for transforming urban neighborhoods. The festival highlights Paramount School of Excellence’s educational progress in urban farming, ecology, green initiatives and community outreach. The event focuses on urban sustainability and healthier lifestyle practices with 50-plus hands-on demonstrations, exhibits, information booths, interactive activities for children plus music and food. Topics for the festival include food, farming, health and the environment. Sessions will be available on urban homesteading, food preservation and healthy cooking. Tickets are now available for this year’s TURN Feast Dinner, which will be held at 6 p.m. on September 27. The casual evening of cuisine, conversation and camaraderie is presented by Paramount School Farm and Community Health Network. All proceeds from this event will benefit Paramount’s urban farm, environmental education and summer S.T.E.A.M. (Success Through Education Agriculture and Mentoring) programs. Admission for TURN Fest is free. Admission for TURN Feast starts at $100 and seating is limited. Location for both events: 3020 Nowland Ave., Indianapolis. For more information or TURN Feast reservations, visit 6

Indianapolis Edition

Red Tent Gathering for Teens and Tweens


ed Tent Indy will host Honoring the Maiden: A Welcoming Ceremony, a women’s circle specifically for teens and tweens, from 1 to 3 p.m. on September 30 at the White Pine Wilderness Academy, in Indianapolis. Women of all ages are welcome to come and mothers are encouraged to bring their daughters for a sharing circle and discussion about healing the hurts of peer pressure, competition and jealousy that occur in society at such a young age. So often these experiences shape the psyche and even carry into adult life, in work relationships and community groups. At this event, women will join together and discuss these topics, supporting each other and the youth towards compassion, sisterhood and empowerment. Women learn from listening to each other’s stories that are full of wisdom and emotion, and this provides understanding for their own journey. Admission: $5 suggested minimum donation. Location: 841 W. 53rd St., Indianapolis. For more information, visit

Annual Spirit Fest Returns to Camp Chesterfield


he 17th annual Spirit Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on September 21 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 22 at the Historic Camp Chesterfield, in Chesterfield, Indiana. The event is a celebration of creativity, spirituality and like-minded people joining together to create an atmosphere of fun and fellowship. In addition to artisans from across the country exhibiting their creations, activities include free lectures, the Current Way Crystal Light Beds, a walking labyrinth and meditation gardens, and food vendors. There will also be private sessions available with medium healers and body workers. A Kidsville will be set up for the youngsters which has been offered for the past several years and will include exciting activities such as pony rides for entertainment while adults explore. Camp Chesterfield’s 44-acre campus is one of the largest communities of spiritualists in the U.S. and is the largest in Indiana. Admission: $10 for single day and $15 for weekend pass at the gate, free for children under 10. Location: 50 Lincoln Dr., Chesterfield. For more information, call 765-3780235 or visit

Morter HealthCenter Offers Free Wellness Classes


hroughout the year, Morter HealthCenter, in Carmel, offers a series of classes on how to take a different approach to your overall health and well-being. These free classes review varying aspects of health, including how and what to eat, drink, breathe, think, exercise and rest. The next class will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on August 15 with Dr. Vicki Knapke leading a discussion on how enzyme nutrition is vital to living your best life. During this free workshop, discover why eating unprocessed and unrefined food is essential to good health, explore what is lacking in our modern diet that makes us susceptible to digestive challenges, find out where you can get appropriate enzymes tailored for your specific needs, and learn how to make healthy food choices that work for and not against your body. Also, Morter HealthCenter hosts a free weekly Evening with the Doctor foundational class at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays that introduces the clinic and the techniques used there. Attendees will learn about the Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.), a neuro-emotional clearing technique that addresses the source of interference with health rather than treating the symptoms; review the Six Essentials of Health; and discuss support techniques and steps you can take at home to live your optimal life. Location: 10439 Commerce Dr., Ste. 140, Carmel. For information or to RSVP for these and other free classes at Morter HealthCenter, call 317-872-9300 or visit See ad on page 20.

Cumberland Arts Festival Returns


he 11th annual Cumberland Arts Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on August 17, in the historic town of Cumberland. More than 100 art, craft and farmers’ market vendors will transform Saturn Street, usually a quiet side street between Cumberland Town Hall and Cumberland First Baptist Church, into a hub of art, music, food and many fun activities. The free festival will showcase a wide variety of art in many forms, including fiber, jewelry, silver, acrylics, glass, furniture and more plus many types of events, including demonstrations, performances and live music. The Cumberland Arts Festival began in 2009 as a collaboration between the town and Cumberland Arts of Cumberland First Baptist Church. The third Saturday in August marks the day that arts and market are blended together into an annual celebration of great food, entertainment and the beauty of art. The event has grown in size and attendance each year, offering a variety of experiences for the entire family to enjoy. Location: Corner of Saturn and Muessing streets in Cumberland on the grounds of Cumberland First Baptist Church, 116 S. Muessing St., Cumberland. For more information, call 317-894-2645 or email or visit See ad on page 14.

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August 2019


CenterPoint Counseling


At Second Presbyterian Church


MBSR Classes Return This Fall


SLEEP BRACELET Wearers have experienced:

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n eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class designed to help decrease stress and improve health and well-being will once again be taught by Scott Sweet, LCSW, LCAC, this fall. Classes will begin the first of September, with options to participate from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays starting September 9 and 8:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays beginning September 11. An all-day silent retreat will be held on October 20. Attendance at one of the four orientation sessions this month is highly encouraged prior to signing up for the MBSR program. The sessions will be held at various times on August 19, 21 and 26 at CenterPoint Counseling, in Indianapolis. MBSR teaches participants ways to live in the present and fully enjoy life as it happens. Sweet utilizes the training he received at the Center for Mindfulness for attendees to gain increased awareness of their own habits and learn to use the wisdom of their own body and mind to handle stressful situations through gentle stretching and yoga, readings, mindfulness meditation practices and group dialogue. Benefits of MBSR include cultivating inner calm, maintaining perspective, bringing awareness to habits, creating a sense of spaciousness, lowering blood pressure and basal metabolic rate, noticing negative thoughts and their effects on stress, building up emotional and mental reserves for stressful times, and living in the present. Fee: $425. Location: CenterPoint Counseling, 7700 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-252-5518 or email

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Indianapolis Edition

Dionisvera/ Evgeny Karandaevl/

health briefs

Take It Easy on the Eggs Eggs should only be a now and then thing, the latest research from Northwestern Medicine, in Chicago, indicates. The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at pooled data on 29,615 U.S. racially and ethnically diverse adults with an average of more than 17 years of follow up. It found that for every 300 milligrams (mg) of dietary cholesterol eaten per day, risk of death from heart disease increases by 17 percent and mortality from any cause increases by 18 percent. One large egg has a whopping 186 mg of cholesterol in the yolk, and eating three to four eggs a week increases heart disease mortality by 6 percent and all-cause mortality by 8 percent. Frank Hu, M.D., at the Harvard School of Public Health, comments that low to moderate intake of eggs can be included as part of a healthy eating pattern, but they are not essential. Dietary cholesterol also comes from red meat, processed meat and high-fat dairy products such as butter and whipped cream.

Daxiao Productions l/

Eat Plants to Live Longer At least one-third of early deaths could be prevented if people moved to a largely plant-based diet, prominent scientists from Harvard University Medical School have calculated. An international initiative, “Food in the Anthropocene,” published in the medical journal The Lancet, linked plant-based diets not only to improved health worldwide, but also to global sustainability. The report advocates a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and low in red meat, sugar and refined grains. “Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined,” it concludes.

Savor Cherries to Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk Montmorency tart cherries, first discovered by Roman legionnaires along the Black Sea, have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, according to scientists. Now a study from the UK’s University of Hertfordshire published in the Journal of Functional Foods has found that the cherries can mitigate factors that lead to metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Just two hours after being given cherries in the form of juice or capsules, subjects showed significantly decreased systolic blood pressure, and insulin levels were significantly lower after one and three hours compared to those given a placebo.

Use Probiotics to Shed Pounds For the one-third of Americans struggling with obesity, new research on probiotics from the Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, in China, offers a promising approach. In a meta-review of 12 randomized, placebo-controlled studies that tested 821 obese and overweight people, probiotic supplementation was found to significantly reduce body weight, weight circumference and fat mass, and to improve cholesterol and glucose metabolism measures. Probiotics were administered in forms that included sachet, capsule, powder, kefir yogurt and fermented milk, in durations that ranged from eight to 24 weeks. August 2019


Coral Care

global briefs

Moon Rocks

Tectonic Activity Shakes Geologists

Long considered to be geologically inactive, our 4.6billion-year-old moon is showing signs of tectonic activity via seismometers deployed between 1969 and 1972 during the NASA Apollo program. Although some “moonquakes” have been recorded near cliff-like fault scarps on the surface, they may be caused by the irregular gravitational effects of orbiting the more massive Earth or extreme temperature differences created by sunlight in the vacuum of space. Employing more sensitive equipment has been proposed for future missions to assist in choosing potential colonization sites. 10

Indianapolis Edition


Climate change has inspired farmers to turn to regenerative agriculture, which pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and stores it in their soil. Regenerative agriculture incorporates the practices of planting trees, cover cropping, no-till farming and rotational grazing. As the groundswell of support grows, 250 soil health bills have been introduced in state and federal legislatures in the last two years. At a U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee climate change hearing, Nebraska soybean farmer Matthew Rezac said that keeping soil healthy, not just reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was a key part of what farmers could do to cool a warming planet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the bills have different justifications, but they all focus on soil health. As disastrous floods and drought sweep away farmland, the idea that regenerative agriculture could make for more productive farming is gaining traction.

Fluorescent Findings

Artificial Light Tied to Inflammation Fluorescent lighting is one of the most common sources of artificial light, but new research from Texas State University suggests there may be unexpected consequences at the genetic level. Team member Ronald B. Walter says, “Over the past 60 years, we have increasingly relied on artificial light sources that emit much narrower wavelength spectrums than does the sun. Yet, little research has been conducted to determine gene expression consequences, if any, from use of common artificial light sources.” Their findings, published in the online journal Genes, show increased inflammation in tissue and organs and increased immune response in the subject animals, regardless of whether the species is primarily active in the day or night.


Farmers Responding to Climate Change

Critical habitat is threatened for 12 coral species in Florida, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, while all corals worldwide are experiencing dramatic declines due to the impacts of climate change, pollution and overfishing. The Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based nonprofit focused on species protection, intends to file a lawsuit against the federal government for failing to protect coral habitat as required under the Endangered Species Act. Benefits of securing a critical habitat designation from the National Marine Fisheries Service include improved water quality throughout the coastal zone, limits on overfishing, protection of spawning grounds, reduced impact from development and dredging, and reduced human pressures on thousands of species that inhabit the reefs. Nearly 30 percent of all corals have already been lost to warming ocean temperatures and ocean acidification due to greenhouse gas pollution; scientists predict that the rest could be gone by the end of the century without help.


Reefs to Get Their Day in Court

Hot Topic

Bad Air PowerUp/

Pollution Harms Mental and Physical Health

Floating Solar

Catching Some Rays on the Water

Solar panels currently generate only about 1 percent of our nation’s energy needs, but new research from the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that installation of “floatovoltaics”—floating, electricity-generating photovoltaic panels—on only one-fourth of our manmade reservoirs would generate about 10 percent of U.S. energy needs without taking up valuable real estate. Floatovoltaics cost less to install than traditional, landbased solar panels because there’s no need to clear land or treat soil, and research shows that the natural cooling effect of the water below can boost the solar panels’ power production by up to 22 percent. Of the approximately 100 current floatovoltaic installations, only seven are in the U.S., mostly at wineries in California and water treatment facilities. About 80 percent are in Japan, where limited land and roof space make water-based solar panels especially suitable.

It’s well established that air pollution’s poisons and particles shorten lives, impair learning and increase risk for dementia. Now, a study published this spring in JAMA Psychiatry, which followed 2,232 children in Britain for 18 years, has found significant associations between exposure to air pollution and psychotic experiences during adolescence. Air pollution is believed to be responsible for 7 million deaths per year globally, according to the World Health Organization.

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Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart. ~Pablo Casals

August 2019



Keeping It Earth-Friendly

August is prime time for camping out in the woods or at a music festival. Communing with nature or enjoying the beat outdoors for extended periods can stress the environment— but with proper planning, it doesn’t have to. The Association of Independent Festivals has launched its Take Your Tent Home campaign in the UK, according to The group is urging concertgoers to not discard their tents at venues and retailers to stop marketing camping gear as intended for single-use; festival organizers also have been asked

to eliminate single-use cups, bottles and straws. In America, MindBodyGreen. com reports that carbon credits are being offered to help offset trips to and from Lollapalooza, in Chicago, from August 1 to 4. Pickathon, taking place on the same days outside Portland, Oregon, will have a free bike parking lot, as well as a dedicated shuttle for cars, plus no single-use serving ware. advises campers to look for tents and related products made with recycled material and natural fibers like

hemp, cotton, coconut husks and bamboo. Marmot, Lafuma, Sierra Designs and The North Face all use recycled materials in making their tents, including coconut shells, polyester, water bottles, garment fabrics and factory yarn waste. The website also suggests carpooling with family and friends, choosing a site that’s closer to home and packing light to reduce weight in the car, thus improving mileage. Also, if we bring trash into a campsite where there are no receptacles, leave with it. Don’t burn it in the fire, as that contributes to air pollution; instead, pack it up and dispose of it properly at home. Set up a method for collecting rainwater to use to wash dishes. recommends bringing unbreakable, washable plates, cups, utensils and napkins, a small basin or bucket, sponge and biodegradable soap, and a bag to store items that are too dirty to reuse. Stock up on batteries to power lights and lanterns or use solar power with a LuminAID light lamp. Follow the “leave no trace” motto: no litter, smoldering fire pits, ripped-up grass, crushed bushes or repositioned boulders. Stay on marked trails, never pick plants, flowers or berries, and never harm or disturb wildlife.

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Indianapolis Edition

Call 844-844-3357 EXT 0 Call 317-801-5833 • Indianapolis, IN

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eco tip

community spotlight

one puts into one’s body is directly tied to one’s health. And it became his mission to share not only his experience, but to offer others the tools to make positive change in their overall mental, physical and spiritual health. “It is a marathon, not a sprint evolving into a healthy, plant-based eater” Fowler stresses. In Ayurveda, the original medical model, food is the foundation of mind, body and spirit, he says. In America, food is meh. Eating is something to do; social entertainment, and there is little thought given to the outcome. If health or obesity consequences arise, medicine will fix it. And that’s an unfortunate mindset, Fowler says. “Peace on Earth begins at the dinner table,” he says. “Health and subsequent happiness come from the dinner table.” For years Fowler had worked as a chef in the Indianapolis area and ran Fowler Catering with his wife, Sandi. But years of cooking for dollars turned to cooking for the greater good. “I started putting unprocessed, fresher local ingredients in my food, and people started noticing,” the 71-year-old Fountain Square resident says. “It was the beginning of my Hypocritarian journey to teach the power of plant-food as medicine and help heal our world.” He noticed as he made healthier changes in his life, he started feeling better than he ever. The more he learned, the more he applied to his life. As the pounds fell off, he was

Local Plant-Based Celebrity

Chef Wendell Fowler by Jenn Willhite


endell Fowler is in constant evolution. At 40 years old, Fowler was suffering the consequences of decades of indulging in unhealthy, self-destructive lifestyle habits. The then 300-pound Hoosier was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, essentially an incurable infection of the heart and doctors told him death was certain. He should call his family. “It was my wakeup call,” Fowler says. “I was rudderlessliving a debauched life. Clueless in Indianapolis.” As he laid in a hospital bed in deep contemplation, he says something took place. “One night, I remember a puff of wind on my cheek, but didn’t recognize until years later, it was divine intervention, an angel visitation, cleaning me up for my life’s mission.” What some would describe as an epiphany, or even a miracle, set Fowler on a journey of holistic health fueled by a compassionate drive to help others reach their optimal health through plant food by reconnecting with nature, and disconnecting from man’s food-like substances. Two weeks after his admission, Fowler walked out of the hospital a grateful, healed man. Fowler was recognizing the significance of how the food

amazed at how much better he felt physically, mentally and spiritually. Fowler knew the changes he was experiencing were directly tied to the fact that he was now doing what he was meant to do; following his intended path. “I knew this was the next phase of my journey and I accepted it willingly and doors started opening,” he says. Before long, Fowler was flying around the country giving talks. Then he began making appearances on local TV news stations where he would share his miraculous experience. Soon Fowler began writing for local publications and authored five books that are a compilation of his columns offering recipes, humor, and science-based research he’d gathered during his 20 years on local television. “Mostly I love writing, that is my passion today,” he says. “My cooking demo days are pretty much over. I lost my passion for that because now I am more into public education and helping people realize what an amazing vehicle this human body is and how what we put into it definitely affects us mentally, physically and spiritually.” Today, Fowler hits the gym five days each week, he says. And, though he doesn’t care for the label of vegan, he says he August 2019


Join the Fun at the 11th Annual

Cumberland Arts Festival Saturday August 17th 10am-6pm

Re-imagined event at charming new location! Shady Trees Inside Facilities Free Admission Free Parking

Unique Artists and Artisans Silly Safaris, Irish Airs & More Silent Auction Great Food Relax & Enjoy a Fun Summer Day

Cumberland First Baptist Church

116 S. Muessing St. • Cumberland

Sundays Noon - 1 pm

Richard Brendan 14

Indianapolis Edition

Engaging conversations and inspiring stories with today’s leading social change artists ™.


... ringing love to life!

All shows podcast on website.

strictly adheres to a plant-based diet. However, Fowler admits he’s faced some ire from people over the years, but the end goal certainly outweighs the bad. “Eventually people find out that what I am preaching is true and they come along,” he says. Fowler quickly learned that educating the public about the value of eating healthy food and taking care of one’s body is something not everyone is readily receptive to, he says. Someone has to go out there and poke the beast and let people know they have total control over their health destiny. “I build people up without finger waving,” Fowler says. “I had to learn that people don’t want you in their face. You must be loving, kind, empathetic and accept people where they are.” Making significant dietary lifestyle changes, is not easy, he urges. “It basically comes down to a single question, ‘Do I love myself enough to end the suffering?’” People don’t realize how much power they have and what they have to gain, he explains. “I don’t really blame people,” he says. “I blame societal programming. For a lifetime, we’ve been told what to buy, drink, wear, and think. We are obedient in our servitude to Big Food and Pharma.” In an era of instant gratification, Fowler says it is essential to slow down, take deep breaths, be mindful, and take charge of one’s life. If there is one message Fowler would like people to know, it is this: You are a unique, beautiful, sacred miracle of creation. “Wake up from sleepwalking through life and realize your power,” he says. “Seize it. But it has to come through what you choose to fuel your ‘Earth suit’: the vessel that gets you through this life. To become the highest version of yourself, during out short time on the third rock from the sun, we must steward our Earth suit because it is the only one you’ll get this time around.” Connect with Chef Wendell Fowler at or on Wendell.Fowler.16. Podcast: #LIVERIGHTNOW #TEAMWENDELL

21 CENTURY PARENTING Preparing Kids for the Future st

by Meredith Montgomery


oday’s children have more opportunities to change the world than ever before. Teenagers are organizing global activism movements, LEGO lovers are mastering robotics and young entrepreneurs are launching successful businesses before they’re old enough to drive. But for Mom and Dad, this fastpaced, technology-driven childhood looks drastically different from their own. To help kids thrive, parents must learn to mindfully embrace today’s modern advances without losing sight of timeless virtues and skills such as kindness, creativity and critical thinking.

Evgeny Atamanenko/

Finding Balance

After-school hours used to be filled with outdoor free play in which kids independently developed their natural capabilities as self-learners and creative problem-solvers. The Children & Nature Network has reported that just 6 percent of children ages 9 to 13 play outside on their own. Instead, stress and anxiety are on the rise in our competitive culture as many kids attempt to balance heavy homework loads with an overflowing schedule of extracurricular activities. With the ability to connect to the world at our fingertips, Thomas Murray, director of innovation for Future Ready Schools, in Washington, D.C., notes that devices can also disconnect us from those right next to us. “It’s a massive struggle to find balance and mindful-

ness, but it’s vitally important. How often do we see an AP [advanced placement] kid that is falling apart emotionally? As parents, we need to recognize that kids have a lot on their plate—more than ever before.” Salt Lake City-based Courtney Carver, author of Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More, worries that parents are creating résumés for a life their children probably don’t want. On her website, she focuses on living with less clutter, busyness and stress to simplify life and discover what really matters. “It’s challenging to maintain close connections when we’re overwhelmed with what’s in our inbox, or on Instagram or what the kids are looking at online,” she says. On her own journey to practical minimalism, she gained a greater sense of presence with her daughter. “When you can pay attention to a conversation and not feel distracted and antsy, especially with young kids, that is everything,” says Carver.

Managing Technology

The ubiquity of digital devices is a defining difference between today’s youth and that of their elders, making it difficult for parents to relate and know how to set boundaries. As senior parenting editor at nonprofit Common Sense Media, Caroline Knorr helps parents make sense of what’s going on in their kids’ media lives. “We can think of media as a ‘super peer’: When children are consuming it, they’re looking for cues on how to behave and

It’s a massive struggle to find balance and mindfulness, but it’s vitally important. How often do we see an AP [advanced placement] kid that is falling apart emotionally? ~Thomas Murray

August 2019



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Raising Innovators

“The world doesn’t care how much our children know; what the world cares about is what they do with what they know,” says Tony Wagner, senior 16

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what’s cool and what’s normal.” Parents need to be the intermediary so they can counterbalance the external messages with their own family’s values. Today’s devices are persuasive and addictive. “As parents, we need to set boundaries, model good digital habits and help kids to self-regulate more—which is our ultimate goal,” Knorr says. To raise good digital citizens, Richard Culatta, CEO of International Society for Technology in Education, in Arlington, Virginia, believes conversations about device use shouldn’t end with screen time limits and online safety. “Ask kids if their technology use is helping them be more engaged and find more meaning in the world or is it pulling them out of the world that they’re in,” he says. “Talk about how to use technology to improve the community around you, recognize true and false info, be involved in democratic processes and making your voice heard about issues you care about.” Parents are often uncomfortable with their kids socializing digitally, but Culatta encourages the introduction of interactive media sooner rather than later, so they understand how to engage with the world online before they are old enough to have social media accounts. Geocaching, which uses GPS-enabled devices to treasure hunt, and citizen science apps provide family-friendly opportunities to engage in both outdoor activities and online communities. “The majority of our kids will need these digital communication skills to be able to work with anyone at any time,” says Murray. He’s witnessed the impact of connecting classrooms around the world, observing, “When students learn to navigate time zones and language barriers to communicate and collaborate, they see that they can solve the world’s problems together.”

We need to create an intentional family culture where virtues like kindness and respect are talked about, modeled, upheld, celebrated and practiced in everyday life. ~Thomas Lickona research fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, an education research and policy nonprofit in Palo Alto, California. In his latest book, Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era, he emphasizes the importance of creative problem-solving and the joy of discovery, especially as more jobs become automated. “We’re born with a temperament of creative problem solvers. But then something happens. The longer kids are in school, the fewer questions they ask, the more they worry about getting the right answer and fewer and fewer think of themselves as creative in any way,” he says. “Instead of listening and regurgitating, kids need to learn how to find and be a critical consumer of information,” says Murray. Fewer employers are asking for college transcripts—including Google—as they discover the disconnect between what students are taught and what innovative skills they actually need. While most schools are slow to adapt to the modern needs of the future workforce, parents can proactively foster the entrepreneurial spirit and discourage a fear of failure at home by offering safe opportunities for risk-taking and independence. After speaking extensively with compelling young innovators

around the world, Wagner discovered that their parents explicitly encouraged three things: play, passion and purpose. Their children were provided with many opportunities to explore new interests, as well as to learn from their mistakes. “The parents intuitively understood that more important than IQ is grit, perseverance and tenacity. You don’t develop that when Mom is yelling at you to practice; you develop it because you have a real interest.” To create a culture of innovation, Murray encourages teachers and parents to get to know the interests, passions and strengths of today’s children “and prove to them every day that they matter.” When that interest blossoms into a passion, it can lead to a deeper sense of purpose and a desire to make a difference. According to Wagner, this happens when parents and teachers instill one simple, but profound moral lesson, “We are not here on this Earth primarily and only to serve ourselves; we have some deep, profound obligation to give back and to serve others.”

Teaching Kindness

In a culture that is obsessed with selfies and threatened by cyberbullies, it’s a tough task for parents to teach compassion and kindness. “We need to create an intentional family culture where virtues like kindness and respect are talked about, modeled, upheld, celebrated and practiced in everyday life. What we do over and over gradually shapes our character, until it becomes second nature—part of who we are,” says Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and education professor emeritus at the State University of New York College at Cortland, and author of How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain. Sesame Workshop’s 2016 Kindness Study found that 70 percent of parents worry that the world is an unkind place for their kids, but Scarlett Lewis believes it’s all in our mind, saying, “When you choose love, you transform how you see the world from a scary and anxiety-pro-

IT’S NIGHT & DAY AFTER BRAIN BALANCE When you choose love, you transform how you see the world from a scary and anxiety-producing place to a loving and welcoming one. ~Scarlett Lewis ducing place to a loving and welcoming one.” After losing her 6-year-old son Jesse in the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, she attributed the tragedy to an angry thought in the mind of the shooter. Her compassion fueled the founding of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement to educate and encourage individuals to choose loving thoughts over angry ones. “Although we can’t always choose what happens to us, we can always choose how to respond,” she says. The evidence-based Choose Love Enrichment Program teaches children to live a life with courage and gratitude, practice forgiveness and be compassionate individuals. While we don’t want to overwhelm kids with all the evils in the world, Lickona notes that it is valuable to make them aware of human suffering and how we can help. “Cultivate the belief that we’re all members of a single human family. Teach [them] that one of the most important ways to show gratitude for the blessings in our life is to give back.” Meredith Montgomery publishes Natural Awakenings of Gulf Coast Alabama/ Mississippi (

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Beyond Sustainability Regenerative Agriculture Takes Aim at Climate Change by Yvette C. Hammett


ost people have never heard of regenerative agriculture, but there’s plenty of talk about it in the scientific and farming communities, along with a growing consensus that regeneration is a desirable step beyond sustainability. Those that are laser-focused on clean food and a better environment believe regenerative agriculture will not only result in healthier food, but could become a significant factor in reversing the dangerous effects of manmade climate change. This centers on the idea that healthy soils anchor a healthy planet: They contain more carbon than all above-ground vegetation and regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “We have taken soils for granted 18

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for a long time. Nevertheless, soils are the foundation of food production and food security, supplying plants with nutrients, water and support for their roots,” according to the study “Status of the World’s Soil Resources,” by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Most of the world’s soil resources, which also function as the planet’s largest water filter, are in fair, poor or very poor condition, the report states. Tilling, erosion and chemicals all play significant roles in soil degradation. Regenerative agriculture seeks to reverse that trend by focusing on inexpensive organic methods that minimize soil disturbance and feed its microbial diversity with the application of compost and compost teas. Cover

crops, crop and livestock rotation and multistory agroforestry are all part of a whole-farm design that’s intended to rebuild the quantity and quality of topsoil, as well as increase biodiversity and watershed function. “True regenerative organic agriculture can improve the environment, the communities, the economy, even the human spirit,” says Diana Martin, director of communications for the Rodale Institute, in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. Rodale, a leader in the organic movement, has been carrying the global torch for regenerative agriculture since the 1970s, when Bob Rodale, son of the institute’s founder, first began talking about it. “He said sustainability isn’t good enough. In the U.S., we are depleting our topsoil 10 times faster than we are replenishing it. We only have 60 years of farmable topsoil remaining,” says Martin. The institute is working with corporate brands in conducting a pilot project on farms around the world to certify food as regenerative organic. It has three pillars that were created with the help of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program: soil health; animal welfare; and social justice, the latter because people want to know that workers are being treated fairly, Martin says. “In some ways, we felt the organic program could do more, so we introduced the regenerative organic certification. It is a new, high-bar label that is very holistic,” says Jeff Moyer, an expert in organic agriculture and the executive director at the Rodale Institute. The pilot phase involves 21 farms with connections to big brands like Patagonia, Lotus Foods and Dr. Bronner’s. “We needed relationships with brands to make this a reality,” Moyer says. Product should be rolling out by this fall. “There’s kind of a broad umbrella of things going on,” says Bruce Branham, a crop sciences professor with the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. “No-till farming certainly is a small step toward regenerative ag, because every time we till the soil, we essentially expose a lot of the carbon


green living


Romolo Tavani/


LOVING OURSELVES MADLY In the U.S., we are depleting our topsoil 10 times faster than we are replenishing it. We only have 60 years of farmable topsoil remaining. ~Diana Martin dioxide, which burns off carbon.” Cover crops can be planted right after harvesting a cash crop to help regenerate the soil, adding nitrogen and organic matter, he says. “It is a long-term benefit, so a lot of farmers are hesitant. It takes a while to improve soil fertility through cover crop use.” It doesn’t cost much, but for a corn or soybean farmer making almost no money right now, every expense matters. “The real things we are working on are more toward different cropping systems,” he says, in which farmers are growing perennial tree crops that produce nuts and fruits, absorb carbon and don’t require replanting or tilling. There’s considerable interest in regenerative organic agriculture in Idaho, as many farmers there have already adopted no-till practices, says Sanford Eigenbrode, a professor at the University of Idaho, who specializes in entomology, plant pathology and nematology. Farmers want to try to improve retention of soil carbon to both stabilize soils and improve long-term productivity, he says. “There are economic and environmental advantages.” Yvette C. Hammett is an environmental writer based in Valrico, Florida. She can be contacted at YvetteHammett28@

Practice Intentional Self-Love by Scott Stabile


t’s not enough to wish for more selflove. We must be intentional about creating it and commit to loving ourselves by practicing these habits every day.

Don’t believe our thoughts. Our minds lie to us all the time, especially where our self-worth is concerned. The moment we become aware we are mentally abusing ourselves, we can refuse to believe these thoughts. The fact is, we are worthy and enough exactly as we are. Any thoughts that contradict this truth are lies. We must not go to war with our mind, but should definitely get in the habit of challenging our mind’s lies and not believing them when they run amok.

Replace self-abuse with self-love. Not believing our crueler thoughts is step one. Replacing them with kinder, more compassionate and loving thoughts is step two. When our minds call us ugly, we must sink into our hearts and remind ourselves that we are beautiful, as we are. When our minds insist we’re weak, we must declare our strength. Every single thought and word that speaks to our worth is a powerful and sustaining reflection of self-love. Substitute self-abuse with love as often as possible and then watch our lives change in powerful ways.

Set boundaries and enforce them. To love ourselves, we have to set clear boundaries with the people in our lives.

State what works and what doesn’t work. If we don’t clearly speak our boundaries, people will trample them, and we’ll only have ourselves to blame. Boundaries show respect for all involved. A lack of boundaries will almost certainly lead to resentment.

Make time for happy places. We all have places that tend to bring us peace and/or joy: a walk among the trees, curled up with a good book, coffee with a close friend. Make time for these experiences. Every second we spend giving energy to the people, places and things that bring us joy is a second of dedicated self-love. It matters. Just as important, pay attention to the people, places and things that are depleting, that feel unhealthy and toxic, and give less energy to them. Knowing what to eliminate can be as impactful as knowing what to add. How we love ourselves is our responsibility. The greater commitment we make to self-love, the greater chance we create of living a more peaceful, joyful and meaningful life. Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide-Open Heart. Learn more at August 2019


wise words

Aysha Akhtar on

Our Symphony With Animals by Julie Peterson


s a neurologist, Dr. Aysha Akhtar wanted to acknowledge that medicine has largely overlooked our relationships with animals and their impact on our health. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and bullying, she gained strength and courage to change her situation after forming a deep bond with an abused dog. She found there were more stories like hers that explain how the health and happiness of humans and animals are interlaced. After traveling to interview people whose lives have been profoundly influenced by animals, Akhtar used her experiences and those of others to demonstrate the science behind the intricate and mutually beneficial associations between humans and animals. The result is her book, Our Symphony with Animals:

On Health, Empathy, and Our Shared Destinies. After time spent with homeless people, a former mobster, a Marine veteran, a serial killer, animal sanctuary workers and farmers, she relates what happens when people forge (or break) bonds with animals, and how the love we give them comes full circle back to us.

How do you explain that an untrained animal, like Sylvester, the abused dog you bonded with, can help a person heal and recover?

It’s the fact that the animal is not a human being. Animals help diffuse the human-generated pressure in our lives. If you treat an animal with kindness, that

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is the only thing that the animal will judge you by. Animals don’t care about your past, your money, your mistakes in life— they have no preconceived notions about you. Animals have a purity that helps us be our true selves without worrying about being judged.

What is the most memorable moment of your journey to discover more stories like your own?

It was a beautiful, warm, summer evening, and I was just sitting at an animal sanctuary with a pig named Ivy. She was such a sweet girl and such an emotional being, she reminded me of Sylvester. While Ivy was sleeping, I was listening to the sounds around me—ducks, chickens, cows, horses, dogs and nature. The sun was setting. I became immersed in the moment and felt a profound sense of connectedness. All the sounds came together for me like a Mozart symphony. I had never felt that kind of peace. It was beautiful.

What is the science behind the neurological and biological phenomena you describe in this interaction between humans and animals? First, studies are emerging that suggest that the way we feel empathy toward each other is not very different from the way we feel empathy toward other animals. It

appears that we may feel stronger empathy toward other animals because, like children, we see them as vulnerable. Second, medical studies show that just being with animals provides measurable physiological changes within us, showing a boost to our well-being. For example, just being with a dog for five to 10 minutes can decrease blood pressure and stress hormones, and provide a long-term boost to cardiovascular health. It also leads to increases in positive neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin—the chemicals that make us feel happy. What’s even more interesting, studies suggest that the same positive effects are also happening in the animal.

How did you come to believe that compassion for animals is the next step in the moral evolution of humans? Animals are more on the radar of the current younger generation than they used to be. This means that empathy for animals is growing with each genera-

tion. Part of the reason is that there is a moral consciousness growing within our species. We are waking up to the fact that how we treat each other needs to be more ethical, and that includes animals. We’re witnessing that the destruction of other species is causing the unraveling of ecosystems, and that is causing increases in things like mosquito-borne diseases. In other words, our disruption of other species is coming back to hurt us. Slowly, our collective consciousness is waking up to recognize that how we treat nonhumans affects us, as well.

If readers could learn just one thing from Symphony, what would you like it to be? Go forward in life feeling a sense of empowerment and hope, recognizing that our well-being is very much tied in with the well-being of other animals.

Julie Peterson lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, dogs and chickens, and has contributed to Natural Awakenings for more than a decade. Contact her at

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Neurochemistry and Pain Reduction


HARMONIES Music As Medicine by Marlaina Donato


rom ancient Mongolian shamans that used drumming for physical and emotional healing to modern, board-certified music therapists that work with special needs kids, science now confirms what we’ve always known: Music makes us feel better. Decades after Don Campbell’s groundbreaking work about the cogni-

tive effects of listening to the music of Mozart, growing research reveals music’s ability to reduce chronic and acute pain, restore brain connections after a stroke, boost immunity and promote brain development in children. Recent studies of the benefits of music published in BJPsych International show decreased depression in patients with neuropsychiatric

Listening to music we find pleasurable can have an analgesic effect on the body, and researchers theorize that the brain releases a cascade of natural opioids, including dopamine. A pilot study on cancer patients published in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care in 2016 shows a significant reduction of pain when individuals are exposed to music for 20-minute intervals. Music also minimizes chronic pain associated with syndromes like fibromyalgia. Collective studies published in Frontiers of Psychology in 2014 suggest that relaxing, preferred choices of music not only reduce fibromyalgia-related pain, but also significantly improve mobility.

Dementia, Stroke and Brain Development

Board-certified music therapists like Sheila Wall use live and recorded music to catalyze therapeutic changes in their clients. In her Eau Claire, Wisconsin, practice, Wall works with a wide range of clients ranging in age from 3 to 104. “Music bypasses the language and intellectual barriers in the brain that can prevent healing. Music helps the brain

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disorders and improvement in people with certain types of epilepsy.

healing ways


compensate for whatever damage that has occurred through illnesses, disease or trauma,” she says. “I also work with children to help them build language and motor skills through music. Research last year by the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has shown that music training strengthens areas of the brain that govern speech, reading skills and sound perception in children. The results, published in Cerebral Cortex, indicate that only two years of music study significantly changes both the white and gray matter of the brain. Kirk Moore, in Wheaton, Illinois, is a certified music practitioner who provides live therapeutic music for people that are sick or dying. He says he sees daily changes through music. “I see heart rates slow down and blood pressure reduced. Breathing becomes steadier; pain and nausea cease.” Moore has also witnessed patients with aphasia—a language impairment caused by stroke or other brain damage—spontaneously sing-along to songs and regain the ability to speak. One memorable patient could only utter a single word, but listening to Moore ignited a dramatic change. “I sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and within seconds, she was singing. After 20 minutes of music, I expressed to the patient my hopes that the music had been helpful to her. ‘Oh goodness, yes!’ she responded.”

Pick Up a Drum

Drumming has been proven to be able to balance the hemispheres of the brain, bolster immunity and offer lasting physical and emotional benefits for conditions ranging from asthma to Parkinson’s disease, autism and addiction recovery. Medical research led by neurologist Barry Bittman, M.D., shows that participation in drumming circles helps to amp up natural killer cells that fight cancer and viruses such as AIDS. Recent research published in PLOS/ONE reveals a profound reduction of inflammation in people that took part in 90-minute drum circles during the course of the 10-week study.

Music and End of Life

Music’s capacity to bring healing and solace also extends to the end of life. Classically trained musician and certified music practitioner Lloyd Goldstein knows firsthand the power of providing music for cancer patients and the terminally ill. “I feel a deep responsibility to be as present as I can possibly be, to what I’m doing, the people I’m playing for,” says Goldstein, who left a secure orchestra position to join the team at The Arts In Medicine Program at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. “It’s taught me how to be a better musician and a better person.” As much as the musician gives, music gives back. “I end up calmer than when I begin a session. That healing environment travels with me,” Moore says. Marlaina Donato is a composer and the author of several books. Connect at

conscious eating

Wild and Wonderful Foraging for Foodies by April Thompson


here is such a thing as a free lunch, and it awaits adventurous foragers in backyards, city parks, mountain meadows and even sidewalk cracks. From nutritious weeds and juicy berries to delicate, delicious flowers and refreshing tree sap, wild, edible foods abound in cities, suburbia and rural environments. Throughout most of history, humans were foragers that relied on local plant knowledge for survival, as both food and medicine. Today’s foragers are reviving that ancestral tradition to improve diets, explore new flavors, develop kinship with the environment, and simply indulge in the joy and excitement of finding and preparing wild foods.

Wild Foods As ‘Superdiet’ “There are many benefits to eating wild food,” says Deane Jordan, founder of, of Orlando, Florida. “Wild plants, because they must take care of themselves, tend to be more nutritious than cultivated plants—particularly in terms of phytochemicals and antioxidants. They also tend to be lower in sugar and other simple carbs, and higher in fiber.” Purslane, a wild succulent, has more omega-3s than any other leafy vegetable, says John Kallas, the Portland, Oregon, author of Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate. Mustard garlic, a common invasive plant, is the most nutriAugust 2019


tious leafy green ever analyzed, says Kallas, who holds a Ph.D. in nutrition. “However, the real dietary benefit of foraged plants is in their great diversity, as each has a unique profile of phytochemicals. There is no such thing as a superfood, just superdiets,” he adds.

Know Thy Plant Rule number one of foraging is to be 100 percent sure of your identification 100 percent of the time, says Leda Meredith, the New York City author of The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles. Foraging experts say the fear of wild plants is largely unfounded. “The biggest misconception is that we are experimenting with unknowns,” says Kallas. “Today’s wild edibles are traditional foods from Native American or European cultures we have lost touch with.” For example, European settlers brought with them dandelions, now considered a nuisance weed, as a source of food and medicine. All parts of it are edible, including flowers, roots and leaves, and have nutritional superpowers. To assess a plant, Kallas adds, a forager must know three things about it: the part or parts that are edible, the stage of growth to gather it and how to prepare it. “Some plants have parts that are both edible and poisonous. Others can be toxic raw, but perfectly edible cooked,” he says.

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Timing is everything, adds Meredith. “A wild ingredient can be fantastic in one week, and incredibly bitter a week later, so it’s important to know when its prime season is.” Kallas recommends staying away from highly trafficked roadsides and polluted areas. Given that many lawns and public areas are sprayed with herbicides, Sam Thayer, author of The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants, recommends not foraging in an area if it’s uncertain whether chemicals have been applied. Environmental awareness includes understanding how foraging may positively or negatively affect the ecosystem, says Meredith. “Overharvesting can endanger future populations. But there is a ‘win-win’ way to forage, where I get fantastic food and the landscape is better for my having foraged, by clearing invasive plants around natives or planting seeds while collecting a local plant gone to seed.” Thayer, of Bruce, Wisconsin, suggests collecting where species are abundant and thriving: “Fruit, for example, can be harvested limitlessly, as can wild invasives that disrupt the balance of the ecosystem and crowd out native species.”

Meal Preparation Vinegars, jams and cordials from wild fruits and flowers can be wonderful, but require some patience for the payoff, yet many wild edibles can be eaten raw or lightly sautéed, requiring very little prep work. Thayer recommends sautéing wild greens with just a little soy sauce, vinegar and garlic. Foraging builds confidence, powers of observation and connections to the natural world. The biggest benefit, says Thayer, may just be the fun of it. “You can experience food and flavors you cannot have any other way. A lot of these foods you cannot buy anywhere, and really, it’s better food than you can buy.” Connect with Washington, D.C. freelance writer April Thompson at

Beginner’s Tips From Master Foragers


on’t try to learn foraging; just try to learn about one vegetable or fruit, says Sam Thayer. “Take it one plant at a time. It takes the intimidation out of it.” Find a good local instructor that has a solid background in botany and other fundamentals of foraging, says John Kallas. “Also, get some good books, and more than one, as each will offer different dimensions,” says the author and instructor. Conquer the fear of Latin and learn the scientific names of plants, suggests Leda Meredith. As there may be several plants with the same common name, or one plant with many common names, knowing scientific names will help clear up potential confusion in identifying them. You don’t have to go far to find food, says Deane Jordan. “In reality, there is often a greater selection around your neighborhood than in state parks. In suburbia, you find native species, the edible weeds that come with agriculture, and also edible ornamentals.” Bring the kids: They make fabulous foragers, says Meredith. “They learn superfast and it’s a way to pass cultural knowledge along and instill that food doesn’t come from a garden or a farm, but from photosynthesis and the Earth and the sun.”

Simply Wild: Forage Recipes Garlic Mustard Pesto on Crisp-Creamy Polenta Yields: 4 servings Leda Meredith, author of The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles, says, “Wild food aficionados may roll their eyes when they see that I’m including this recipe because pesto is used as the go-to recipe for this plant so often that it’s become a cliché. But there’s a reason for that: it’s really, really good.

Buttered Cattail Shoots With Peas and Mint Yields: 4 servings This is a riff on the traditional English springtime dish of lettuce wilted in butter with peas and mint. The pleasingly mild flavor of the cattail shoots stands in for the lettuce. Stick with just the whitest parts of the shoots for pure tenderness or include some of the pale green bits if you want a sturdier dish. 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 3 cups cattail shoots, chopped ½ cup water 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled peas (if frozen, defrost them first) 2 Tbsp fresh mint, minced Salt and freshly ground black pepper Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the cattail shoots and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the cattail shoots are tender and most of the water has evaporated. Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve warm.

“You can toss garlic mustard pesto with pasta, of course, but a spoonful added to soup just before serving is also wonderful, as is a smear of it on focaccia or toast. My favorite way to enjoy garlic mustard pesto is on pan-fried polenta that is crispy on the outside and creamy within.” 2 cups fresh garlic mustard leaves and tender stems 3 Tbsp walnuts or pine nuts, chopped 1 tsp garlic, minced (wild or cultivated) ¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 Tbsp butter 8 slices (½-inch-thick) cooked polenta Put the garlic mustard leaves, nuts and garlic into the blender or food processor. Pulse until the leaves are chopped.

Add the cheese. With the motor running, add ½ cup of oil a little at a time until the mixture is well blended, but not completely smooth. (You want a bit of texture from the nuts and greens to remain.) Heat the butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the polenta slices. (You can use the precooked polenta that comes out of a tube, or if you cooked some from scratch, spread it out ½-inch thick on a baking sheet and refrigerate until sliceable.) Don’t try to move the polenta slices until they’ve browned on the bottom side. You’ll know that’s happened when they dislodge easily. Use a spatula to flip them over and brown the other side. Plate two slices per person, with the garlic mustard pesto spread on top. Serve hot or at room temperature. Tip: If you want to keep this pesto in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to six months, blanch the garlic mustard greens in boiling water for 20 seconds, then immediately run them under cold water or dip them in an ice bath. Squeeze out as much water as you can, then proceed with the recipe. This blanching step prevents the pesto from losing its bright green color and turning brown in cold storage.

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317-863-0365 August 2019


VET CHECK Treating the Whole Pet by Julie Peterson


bout 10 years ago, Kim Krouth’s dog, Buckeye, was suffering from severe allergy symptoms. The mixed-breed shepherd was licking and biting her paws until her toe pads were bleeding. “Our conventional vet prescribed steroids,” recalls Krouth. “It helped some, but also agitated Buckeye. When I found out that other side effects could include serious health problems, I didn’t want to put her at risk.” The Madison, Wisconsin, animal lover headed to a holistic pet supply store to ask about alternative treatments for the dog’s allergies. She learned about herbal remedies, and was advised to take Buckeye to a holistic veterinarian. “Treating her holistically seemed like a better option than the side effects of treatment with drugs,” she says. The holistic veterinarian recommended acupuncture. It helped, but the dog later became sensitive to the needles. At that point, she was given homeopathic plant-based treatments that worked well with no side effects. Buckeye, now 15, has also received laser light therapy and spinal manipulation to help with mobility in her senior years.

The Holistic Difference

Holistic veterinarians have been treating dogs, cats, chickens, livestock and exotic animals across the nation for some time, but many people aren’t entirely clear about how their approach—and their training—differs from a conventional 26

Indianapolis Edition

vet. Both enter the profession after earning a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree. Holistic practitioners can then choose to train in a variety of modalities, including acupuncture, herbs and physical rehabilitation, plus trigger point, megavitamin and stem cell therapies. “Any method that is sufficiently different from conventional medicine requires extra training ... over a period of weeks, months or years,” says Nancy Scanlan, DVM, the executive director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation, in Mount Shasta, California. Veterinarians, holistic or not, typically do the same initial examination of an animal, she says. From there, a holistic vet may look at additional areas or assess things in a slightly different way. “For example, someone trained in veterinary osteopathy or veterinary chiropractic would explore the range of motion of joints or the spine.” In treatment, holistic DVMs use an integrative approach. The goal is to look at the animal as a whole and treat the underlying condition, rather than treating the symptoms. “Integrative medicine is about broadening our medical options, blending both conventional medical and holistic ap-

proaches. It focuses on client education and participation in the healing process of their pet,” says Danielle Becton, DVM, of Aloha Pet & Bird Hospital, in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida. Holistic veterinarians may also choose to use fewer conventional drugs and limited vaccinations. “Vaccine titers can be used to determine if a patient has adequate antibodies to a disease to create immunity,” says Becton. “If a pet is already immune, they may not need another vaccine booster that year.” Becton and Scanlan agree that alternative treatments such as acupuncture, laser therapy or massage can be used in lieu of drugs for pain management. However, Scanlan does note that in an acute or emergency situation, many natural methods do not work fast enough, “and that is when holistic veterinarians are more likely to use drugs.”

Choosing a Holistic Veterinarian

Pet owners seek out holistic veterinarians for different reasons. In Krouth’s case, it was the unacceptable side effects to drugs that led her to explore other options. Becton points out that she gets clients looking for a more natural approach for their pets after they personally have had success with human integrative medicine. However, it’s important that pets are treated by professionals that are trained to treat animals. People with holistic training for humans may not understand animal anatomy or physiology. Ultimately, choosing a veterinarian is a personal decision, and seeing a beloved pet thrive is the best confirmation that it was the right one. “We are so glad that we still have Buckeye at this golden age, and believe it’s due to holistic care that she has lived a comfortable, long life,” says Krouth. Julie Peterson lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, dogs and chickens. She has contributed to Natural Awakenings for more than a decade. Contact her at JPtrsn22@

Ljupco Smokovski/

natural pet

Africa Studio/

FINDING THE BEST VET I n some areas, holistic veterinary care is so popular that appointments are hard to come by. In others, there are few veterinarians practicing alternative medicine.

Ask Around

One way to find a veterinarian that has expanded beyond the confines of Western medicine is to ask other pet owners. Employees at pet food or supply stores will often have recommendations, as well. Search online or use the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s “Find a Holistic Veterinarian” search feature at ahvma. org/find-a-holistic-veterinarian.

Get Details

If there are several doctors to choose from, read their websites to find out the nature of initial consultations, available treatments and associated fees. Read patient reviews there and look for some that aren’t on their site. Consider stopping in to see how the practice looks and feels.

First Appointment

Once an appointment is made, know what’s needed to make the most of it. Most veterinarians want historical records and intake forms filled out in advance. Be prepared to pay for services during that first visit. Because holistic care is personalized to


Coming Next Month

AgeDefying Bodywork Plus: Yoga Therapy

deal with underlying causes instead of symptoms, be ready to spend more time talking about the pet.


Going Forward

No matter which veterinarian is chosen, expect reasonable outcomes. Pets should be comfortable at the appointment and owners should feel they are heard. Care and cost of care should make sense. Follow-up calls from the office to check on treatment progress show that the interest in clients goes beyond the appointment. Reminder calls, emails or postcards about upcoming appointments or recommended services convey that the practice is organized and has a long-term interest in animal health.

Pets are humanizing.

They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life. ~James Cromwell

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

317-984-0040 August 2019


New discovery stops colds “It worked!” sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had he exclaimed. a 2-day sinus headache. When her “The cold never CopperZap arrived, she tried it. “I am got going.” It shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, worked again no more headache, no more congestion.” every time. He Some users say copper stops nighthas not had a time stuffiness if used just before bed. single cold for 7 One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had in years since. years.” New research: Copper stops colds if used early. He asked Copper can also stop flu if used early cientists recently discovered a relatives and friends to try it. They said and for several days. Lab technicians way to kill viruses and bacteria. it worked for them, too, so he patented placed 25 million live flu viruses on a Now thousands of people CopperZap™ and put it on the market. CopperZap. No viruses were found alive are using it to stop colds and flu. Soon hundreds of people had tried it soon after. Colds start when cold viruses get in and given feedback. Nearly 100% said Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams your nose. Viruses multiply fast. If you the copper stops colds if used within confirming the don’t stop them early, they spread in 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to discovery. He placed your airways and cause misery. 2 days, if they still get the cold it is millions of disease In hundreds of studies, EPA and unimilder than usual and they feel better. germs on copper. versity researchers have confirmed that Users wrote things like, “It “They started to die viruses and bacteria die almost instantly stopped my cold right away,” and “Is literally as soon as when touched by copper. it supposed to work that fast?” they touched the That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyp“What a wonderful thing,” wrote surface,” he said. tians used copper to purify water and Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more People have even Dr. Bill Keevil: Copper quickly kills used copper on cold heal wounds. They didn’t know about colds for me!” cold viruses. viruses and bacteria, but now we do. Pat McAllister, 70, received one sores and say it can Scientists say the high conductance for Christmas and called it “one of the completely prevent outbreaks. of copper disrupts the electrical balance best presents ever. This little jewel really The handle is curved and finely in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in works.” textured to improve contact. It kills seconds. Now thousands of users have simply germs picked up on fingers and hands to Tests by the stopped getting colds. protect you and your family. EPA (EnvironPeople often use Copper even kills deadly germs that mental Protection CopperZap preventivehave become resistant to antibiotics. If Agency) show ly. Frequent flier Karen you are near sick people, a moment of germs die fast Gauci used to get colds handling it may keep serious infection on copper. So after crowded flights. away. It may even save a life. some hospitals Though skeptical, she The EPA says copper still works tried copper for tried it several times a even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of touch surfaces day on travel days for 2 different disease germs so it can prevent Sinus trouble, stuffi ness, cold sores. like faucets and months. “Sixteen flights serious or even fatal illness. doorknobs. This cut the spread of MRSA and not a sniffle!” she exclaimed. CopperZap is made in the U.S. of and other illnesses by over half, and Businesswoman Rosaleen says when pure copper. It has a 90-day full money saved lives. people are sick around her she uses back guarantee when used as directed The strong scientific evidence gave CopperZap morning and night. “It saved to stop a cold. It is $69.95. Get $10 off inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When me last holidays,” she said. “The kids each CopperZap with code NATA11. Go to or call he felt a cold about to start he fashioned had colds going round and round, but toll-free 1-888-411-6114. a smooth copper probe and rubbed it not me.” Buy once, use forever. gently in his nose for 60 seconds. Some users say it also helps with



Indianapolis Edition

calendar of events NOTE: All calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Email for guidelines and to submit entries. No phone calls or faxes, please. Or visit to submit online.



of PlantPure Nation, the fourth and final movie in our Lifestyle Medicine/Food for Health film series. This 2015 documentary explores the connection between a plant-based diet and the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases. Following the film will be a panel discussion featuring local healthcare practitioners. Register at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St, Indianapolis. Free. 317-275-4100.

Knapke to discover why eating unprocessed and unrefined food is essential to good health, explore what is lacking in our modern diet that makes us susceptible to digestive challenges, find out where you can get appropriate enzymes tailored for your specific needs, and learn how to make healthy food choices that work for and not against your body. Free. Morter HealthCenter, 10439 Commerce Dr, Ste. 140, Carmel. 317-872-9300.

PlantPure Nation: Film Screening & Discussion – 2-4:30pm. Central Library presents a screening


Aging Well: Exercise – 6-8pm. Participants

will learn how exercise can improve mental and physical health. Participants will take part in a gentle workout. Aging Well workshops are geared towards adults 60 and older; however, adults of all ages are welcome to attend. Register at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St, Indianapolis. Free. 317-275-4100.


Indy Holistic Hub Business Build Up Breakfast – 9-10:30am. Indy Holistic Hub is an online

Conscious Self-Care Series: Enzyme Nutrition – 7-8pm. Join Dr. Scott Cooper and Dr. Vicki


Indy Holistic Hub Business Build Up Breakfast – 8:30-10am. Indy Holistic Hub is an online

directory, as well as a support network for holistic health and well-being professionals. RSVP at Info@ Sunrise Café, 11711 N. Meridian St, Carmel.


Cumberland Arts Festival – 10am-6pm. Art,

directory, as well as a support network for holistic health and well-being professionals. RSVP at Info@ Garden Table, 342 Massachusetts Ave. #100,

music, food and fun activities for the family, including demonstrations and performances. Cumberland First Baptist Church, 116 S. Muessing St., Cumberland. For more information, call 317-894-2645 or email or visit



directory, as well as a support network for holistic health and well-being professionals. RSVP at Info@ Golf Club, 19 Golf Club Rd, Anderson.

directory, as well as a support network for holistic health and well-being professionals. RSVP at Info@ Blind Owl Brewery, 5014 E. 62nd St., Indianapolis.

Indy Holistic Hub Business Build Up Lunch – 11:30am-1pm. Indy Holistic Hub is an online


Indy Holistic Hub Business Build Up Lunch – 11:30am-1pm. Indy Holistic Hub is an online

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August 2019


ongoing events


Coming Next Month

Yoga Therapy

Plus: Age-Defying Bodywork


NOTE: All calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Email for guidelines and to submit entries. No phone calls or faxes, please. Or visit to submit online.



First Class Free. New students are welcome to take their first class free any day. Select your class and bring your mat. Schedule available at IPYC. org. Inner Peace Yoga Center, 5038 E 56th St, Indianapolis. 317-257-9642.

Evening with the Doctor – 7pm. Learn more about your body’s ability to self-heal, and the benefits of Bio-Energetic work. Free. RSVP requested. Morter HealthCenter, 10439 Commerce Dr, Ste 140, Carmel. 317-872-9300.

sunday A Positive Path for Spiritual Living –9:30am Meditation; 10am Celebration Service. Come for music, meditation and inspirational message and stay for fellowship. Youth education and nursery care provided. Free. Unity of Indianapolis, 907 N Delaware St, Indianapolis. Sahaja Yoga Meditation –11am-Noon. Unleash your potential for good mental and physical health, balance and maximum performance to help you live fully in the present moment with Sahaja yoga meditation. Free. Southside meeting location, 4950 E County Line Rd, Indianapolis. 317-755-9630. Kundalini Yoga – the Yoga of Awareness – 11am-12:15pm. Experience a vibrant mix of physical postures, breath work, meditation, mantra, mudra and sound vibration with Gong relaxation. $10. CitYoga, 2442 N. Central Ave., Indianapolis. 317-920-9642. Community Yoga – 4-5pm. Hendricks County residents are invited to an all-levels flow class. A great opportunity to add an additional class to one’s yoga schedule. $5. Peace Through Yoga, 134 S Washington, Danville. 317-753-1266.

monday Mindful Meditation – 12:15-12:45pm. Brief discussion followed by silent practice and concluding with observation, comments, or questions. No experience, fee, or registration required. Free. CenterPoint Counseling, 7700 North Meridian, Indianapolis. 317-252-5518. Health & Wellness 101 Class – 6:30-8:30pm. Learn how to support your health naturally and reduce chemical overload in your life. Essential oils, weight-loss support and more, with holistic health practitioner Kim Woods. Free. Held in Irvington. For more info and to RSVP: 317-4094981.

To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

317-984-0040 30

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wednesday Mindfulness Meditation – 5:30-6:15pm. 1st & 3rd Wed. Meditation opportunity open to anyone wanting to practice mindfulness in a supportive community. Drop-in with Cos Raimondi, no registration necessary. $5 suggested donation. Nourish Wellness, 826 W 64th St, Indianapolis.

thursday Mindful Meditation – 12:15-12:45pm. Brief discussion followed by silent practice and concluding with observation, comments or questions. No experience, fee or registration required. Free. CenterPoint Counseling, 7700 North Meridian, Indianapolis. 317-252-5518. Vegan Buffet at Spice Nation – 5:30pm. The Indian restaurant features vegetarian and veganfriendly selection. Spice Nation, 4225 Lafayette Rd, Indianapolis. 317-299-2127. Community Drum Circle – 7-8pm. Pre-jam begins at 6:45pm. All ages and levels are welcome, no experience necessary. Drums provided by Bongo Boy Music School and REMO, Inc. Free. Bongo Boy Music School, 8481 Bash St., Ste 1100, Indianapolis. 317-595-9065.

friday PlayFULL Hours – 9-11am. Little ones can explore their world with different activities and unstructured play every week. These activities require parent participation and include a chance for parents to socialize, too. $3. Holland Park, 1 Park Dr., Fishers. 317-595-3111.

saturday 1st Saturday Bazaar at The Playful Soul – 11 am-4pm. The 1st Saturday of every month we will have live music, local artisans with jewelry, art, apothecary, massages, henna, face painting, local produce, flowers and much more! 1001 E. 86th St. Indianapolis. 317-815-8880.

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