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feel good • live simply • laugh more

Greener LOVING Healthy LARGE Libations Holidays Scientists Say We’re Fresh Thinking About Décor

All Connected

Restorative Drinks Revive Good Cheer

December 2016 | Greater Mercer County, NJ | natural awakenings

December 2016


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contents 12

6 newsbriefs

12 healthbriefs

14 ecotip

15 globalbriefs 20 consciouseating

16 22 healingways 24 fitbody 26 wisewords 27 healthykids 30 greenliving

36 naturalpet 38 calendar 34 inspiration


advertising & submissions HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 609-249-9044 or email Deadline for ads: the 10th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: the 10th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Email Calendar Events to: or fax to 609-249-9044. Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-449-8309. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit 4 4

Greater Mercer Mercer County, County, NJ NJ Greater

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.

18 LOVING LARGE Scientists Say We’re All Connected by Linda Sechrist



Restorative Drinks Revive Good Cheer by Judith Fertig



Practical Ways to Regain Vitality by Linda Sechrist

24 FITNESS 2017

New Year’s Resolutions that Stick by Aimee Hughes




Sugar-Free Treats Kids Love by Judith Fertig




Fresh Thinking About Décor by Avery Mack


by Lyric Benson Fergusson

36 FETCH, STRETCH, DANCE Make Your Dog an Exercise Buddy by Sandra Murphy




nd here we are, in December. As Dr. Suess said, “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?” At Natural Awakenings, we welcome December with arms and hearts open. A month of good cheer, hope, gift-giving, and love, the latter being the greatest gift we can give. Which is a lovely segue for me to share this month’s feature, ‘Loving Large, Scientists Say We’re All Connected’ by Linda Sechrist. Among the scientific studies that reveal clearly that love connects us, author Anita Moorjani shares the lesson she learned after a near-death experience which confirmed for her that love in action is our “only work”. Also in this issue are festive holiday ideas from eco-friendly toys for kids in Eco-Tips, to ‘Merry Munching’ about holiday treats kids love to eat and help prepare! In Green Living, we share greener holiday décor ideas from the front door to your tree, and some sweet recipes for festive, restorative and refreshing holiday libations; a Meyer lemon hot toddy, blood orange champagne cocktail and pomegranate Sangria, for example. (You had us at libations!) And in preparation for the new year, Aimee Hughes’ ‘Fitness 2017, New Year’s Resolutions That Stick,’ offers compelling advice on just how to ensure you persevere in your commitment to living a fit, active and healthy lifestyle. The December issue also features important kids’ health news in Health Briefs from the worries about fracking exacerbating asthma to hearing concerns from ear buds. In Global Briefs, there’s good and not-so-good news. We’re optimists here so we’ll start with the good: Norway has banned deforestation products and scientific studies show an increase in planetary greening, which may help combat climate change. The not-so-good is that some North American bird species may be in peril and sea mammal numbers are mixed. We have work to do! This month, when so many of us celebrate beautiful holiday traditions, we are more focused than ever are working to uplift humanity and with all of us together, it’s a goal we can realize. Spread love and joy and good cheer. We’re all in this together. As Oscar Wilde said so perfectly: “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” With much love and best wishes for a glorious holiday season,

contact us Owner/Publisher Lori Beveridge

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Phone: 609-249-9044 Fax: 609-249-9044 © 2016 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are available by sending $25 (for 12 issues) to the publisher. Call for details.

Lori Beveridge, Owner/Publisher Natural Awakenings is printed on recycled newsprint with soy-based ink.

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December 2016


newsbriefs D&R Greenway Presents Farms, Barns and Bridges Do you have a special event in the community? Open a new office? Move? Recently become certified in a new modality?


arms, Barns and Bridges, a juried art exhibit, is on view at D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through December 16. “A century ago, our landscape was dominated by farmland, with its rolling hills, patchwork grids of planted rows, silos, barns and covered bridges,” says Curator Diana Moore, who served as juror for the exhibition. “As cities began their sprawl, much of this farmland became extinct. Today, the few barns and covered bridges that remain are prized, and repurposed barn wood is coveted by architects and designers. Often, our memories of the rural landscape are preserved by artists who convey these scenes.” “Many times, it seems easy to replace historic bridges in need of repair with modern concrete structures, but the loss to the character of our communities can be devastating,” says D&R Greenway Land Trust President & CEO Linda Mead. “This exhibit illustrates exactly why.” Since 1989, D&R Greenway Land Trust has been preserving New Jersey farmland to ensure bountiful local crops and healthy water. Artists who attend D&R Greenway events and plein air painting sessions on preserved properties show their appreciation to D&R Greenway. “Thanks to the work we do, remarkable landscapes remain to inspire artists,” continues Mead. “In turn, artwork such as what is on view in Farms, Barns and Bridges helps to inspire a conservation ethic.” Location: 1 Preservation Pl., Princeton. For more information, call 609-924-4646 or visit

Patriots Week in Trenton Celebrate America’s History

I News Briefs We welcome news items relevant to the subject matter of our magazine. We also welcome any suggestions you may have for a news item. Contact us for guidelines so we can assist you throughout the process. We’re here to help!

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Greater Mercer County, NJ

n Trenton, the American Revolution isn’t some abstract concept from the dusty past—it’s a living, breathing part of the city, which has shaped its streets and buildings, and impacts how people live even today. Recognizing this, the Trenton Downtown Association commemorates Trenton’s unique and pivotal role in the American Revolution with Patriots Week, its comprehensive celebration of the life and times of Revolutionary War-era Trenton. Patriots Week is held annually during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and attracts thousands of visitors to the city to enjoy art music, literature, battlefield re-enactments, and living history events. For more information, schedule of events and updates, visit and

Festival of Trees in Princeton


onsider visiting where the treetops glisten now through January 3. The Morven Museum & Garden’s annual Festival of Trees has become a must-see Princeton holiday tradition. Visitors enjoy the museum’s elegant galleries, hallways and porches artfully decorated for the holidays by local businesses, garden clubs and nonprofit organizations. This year’s Festival of Trees museum decorators include Arts Council of Princeton, Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton, Dogwood Garden Club of Princeton, Garden Club of Princeton, Jim Davidge, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Labyrinth Books, McCarter Theatre Center, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Princeton Public Library, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook Garden Club, Vicki Trainer, and the West Trenton Garden Club. Cost $10/$8 adults/seniors or students and $35 per family (maximum number of family members is five). Location: Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton St., Princeton. Open to the public during regular museum hours. No reservations required. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Cranbury Christmas Lights Display for Charity


onsider viewing 120,000 lights and dancing to 20 songs at one of New Jersey’s top Christmas displays for charity in Cranbury. The event is held free, but for those able, the display is put up for charity donations. Last year’s donations exceeded $20,000. This year’s display dates are December 2 to 4, 9 to 11, 15 to 18, 21 to 23, 25 and 28 to 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. Shows run for a one-hour duration starting at the top of the hour and are repeated. There’s plenty of parking but you must park in the designated areas only. Cones are provided to designate drop off and pick-up areas. It’s recommend to review the website for specific instructions as the display is located on private property in a residential area. Location: 128 N. Main St., Cranbury. For more information, visit

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December 2016


newsbriefs Celebrate Christmas on the Farm


609-235-9030 Solutions for Healthy Living

t. Nick, his elves and a jingling sleigh loaded with cookies, coal and holiday cheer will arrive at Howell Living History Farm, in Lambertville, highlighting an all-day program, Christmas on the Farm. St. Nick’s sleigh will descend from the farm’s northern slopes at noon on December 3. The celebration begins when children can climb aboard a horse-drawn work wagon for a ride to the woods to cut down a Christmas tree. All children will be given a chance to take a turn helping farmers cut the tree with a two-man saw. Afterwards, all visitors can help decorate the tree with ear corn, pinecones and other natural ornaments. Helpers will be treated to hot apple cider and cookies. Gift baskets, sleigh bells, wreaths and other items will be on sale in the visitor center gift shop. Featured will be handmade gifts and ornaments crafted by the Pleasant Valley Stitchers. Howell Farm is also an official drop-off site for Toys for Tots. Share the gift of giving by bringing an unwrapped toy to the farm. Location: 70 Wooden’s Ln, Lambertville. Free admission and parking. Hours – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 609-737-3299 or visit

Music was my refuge.

I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou


Coming Next Month Health & Wellness Plus: Affordable Complementary Care

Annual State Organic Farm Association Winter Conference


he Northeast Organic Farm Association of New Jersey’s 27th annual Winter Conference, New Jersey’s largest organic food and agricultural event of its kind, will be held January 28 and 29 at the Rutgers Douglass Student Center, in New Brunswick. Early bird registration is now open. This year’s conference features many classes and workshops with nationally and locally recognized speakers on all aspects of sustainable, local agriculture and food. The event has something for everyone—farmers, gardeners, foodies and fans of an organic lifestyle. This year’s featured keynote speaker is Jean-Martin Fortier, farmer and author of The Market Gardener. He’s is the founder of an internationally recognized 10acre micro-farm in Quebec. With only 1.5 acres cultivated in permanent beds, the farm grosses more than $100,000 per acre with operating margins of about 60 percent. The focus has been to grow better, not bigger, in order to optimize the cropping system, making it more lucrative and viable in the process. Location: 100 George St. For more information and early bird registration, visit


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natural awakenings

December 2016



newsbriefs Celebrate Holidays with 12 Days of Cheese


hole Foods Market Princeton announces their 12 Days of Cheese program for the month. From December 13 to 24, a different cheese will be selected each day, from Bonne Bouche to Chevre Truffle Tremor to Mons camembert, each discounted by 50 percent. Location: 3495 U.S. Rte. 1 S. For more information, call 906-799-2919 or visit Stores/Princeton. See ad on page 25.



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aba Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari, the founder of Lokenath Divine Life Fellowship USA, recently shared his positive and uplifting vision with students at Mercer County Community College in a special presentation on November 1. His 501(c) (3) organization serves women, children and families of the rural villages in West Bengal, India, and the urban areas of Kolkata, through sustainable development programs utilizing education, self-help, micro-credit, and providing health care to thousands. Brahmachari doesn’t believe in traditional charity, explaining, “Working with the poor and downtrodden, I never believed that charity can bring a lasting change in their lives. Only when they are educated to understand the power of their spirit and its dignity can they stand up on their own feet and proclaim to the world that they too can live their life with all its dignity and happiness. The goal is to try to give the poor back their dignity while creating waves of consciousness in the individual and collective levels.” Dr. Diane Campbell, executive dean for student affairs, says, “His lectures are very inspiring and provide a life-changing moment.” Campbell has requested that he deliver such motivational talks on an annual basis at the college. For more information, visit or

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December 2016






Contact us today for special ad rates.

A Cup of Peppermint Tea Boosts Alertness


esearchers from Northumbria University, in England, have discovered that drinking peppermint tea can improve working and long-term memory. After 180 healthy adults filled out questionnaires about their mood, they were selected at random to consume one of three drinks—peppermint tea, chamomile tea or water—and then rested for 20 minutes. The subjects were then tested for memory and other cognitive factors and given a second mood questionnaire. Those that drank peppermint tea exhibited improvements in both types of memory and were more alert than the other two groups. The participants that drank chamomile tea displayed reductions in both memory and attention functions compared to the others. Researcher Mark Moss, Ph.D., notes, “The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming, sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use.”

Fracking Linked to Asthma Attacks


esearchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have found that individuals living close to a natural gas hydraulic fracking site have a significantly higher occurrence of asthma attacks. The study examined health records from the Geisinger Health System, a healthcare provider in Pennsylvania, where the fracking industry has experienced incredible growth of more than 9.000 natural gas wells in the past decade. The records of more than 35,000 Geisinger asthma patients between the ages of 5 and 90 were studied between 2005 and 2012. Patients that reported attacks were mapped and studied in relation to the fracking well locations, and the results compared with other patients not reporting attacks in the same year. The researchers discovered that those that lived in close proximity to multiple or larger active natural gas wells were 1.5 to four times more likely to experience asthma attacks. Brian S. Schwartz, a medical doctor and a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Services at the Bloomberg School, in Baltimore, Maryland, was the senior author of the study. He states, “We are concerned with the growing number of studies that have observed health effects associated with this industry. We believe it’s time to take a more cautious approach to [fracking] well development with an eye on environmental and public health impacts.”

Don’t let the past steal your present. ~Taylor Caldwell

609-249-9044 12

Greater Mercer County, NJ






Cranberries Reduce Urinary Tract Infections

Reading & Crossinology

Linda Gross , Ed.M.



ranberries, a staple on most holiday tables, can help women reduce their risk of urinary tract infections (UTI). A recent study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research tested the impact of consuming whole-cranberry fruit powder on women that had experienced two or more UTIs in the previous 12 months. Of the 182 study participants, 89 were given 500 milligrams of the cranberry powder daily for six months. The remaining 93 women ingested a placebo. The cranberry group reported significantly fewer infections than the placebo group. In addition, it took the women in the cranberry group more time to develop a first UTI than the women in the control group.

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Teens Hooked on Ear Buds Prone to Tinnitus



Claudia Paulussen/

esearchers from the University of São Paulo Medical School, in Brazil, have found high levels of tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ear, and hearing loss in adolescents that use ear bud speakers. They examined the hearing of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 and asked them about their experiences with tinnitus in the previous year. More than half of the respondents had experienced the condition. The principal investigator for the study, Tanit Ganz Sanchez, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the medical school, notes that the prevalence of tinnitus among adolescents should be viewed as an early warning of a serious hearing loss risk. She says, “If this teenage generation continues to expose themselves to very high noise levels, they’ll probably suffer from hearing loss by the time they’re 30 or 40.”

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December 2016




Why Some Kids Grow Up with Fewer Allergies

Eco-Toy Story

Safe, Fun Gifts for Kids


study in the journal Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has found that the common childhood habits of thumb sucking and nail biting can reduce the risk of adolescent and adult allergies. Researchers followed more than 1,000 individuals from 5 through 32 years old, monitoring these two habits at ages 5, 7, 9 and 11. The subjects were tested for allergies at 13 using a skin-prick test and again at 32. Of all participants, 31 percent were frequent thumb suckers and nail biters, and those children had a lower incidence of allergic reactions than the others. These results support a hygiene hypothesis suggesting that early exposure to microbial organisms reduces the risk of developing allergies.

Bright Lights Encourage Healthy Eating



esearch published in the Journal of Marketing Research links bright light to healthier food choices. The study observed 160 diners at four separate metropolitan locations of a chain dinner restaurant between 6 and 8 p.m. Two of the restaurants used bright lighting (250 lux luminance) and the other two locations had dim lighting (25 lux luminance). The researchers found that diners at the well-lit locations were more likely to choose healthy options such as baked or grilled fish and chicken than the patrons at the dimly lit restaurants. These results were replicated in a laboratory test of 700 college students where scientists attributed students’ healthier choices to the alert feelings that being in a bright room elicits.


Greater Mercer County, NJ



During the holiday gift buying season, it’s good to recall the days of oldfashioned toys. Simple, wooden toys made with non-toxic paints are far safer than those sprayed with varnishes and paints containing lead and volatile organic compounds. Plastics can emit unhealthy chemicals used during manufacturing, which also produces environmental pollution. Pieces can break off, possibly injuring soft skin, or be consumed by toddlers with dangerous results. A recent report by Environment California, a research and policy center, found that products designed for babies and young children, such as soft plastic teethers, bath accessories and others, contain phthalates. Many toys require batteries containing heavy metals like mercury and cadmium. recommends eco-conscious makers of toys available at, including organic cotton stuffed animals;, featuring sustainably harvested cherry wood rattles and organic Egyptian cotton animals; and, with play meal cookware and serving pieces made from bioplastic, consisting of a corn and starch resin. Here are other factors to consider. Educational toys can “enhance language, conceptual understanding and numerical and spatial cognition,” according to a study in the journal Mind, Brain and Education. Six-to-8-year-olds can gain an appreciation for archaeology playing with Smithsonian toys available at Barnes & Noble and PristinePlanet. com sells wood puzzles, solar-powered robots and board games from the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy. The Discovery Channel Store has safe toys and books for kids. Follow age guidelines in choosing gifts, advises Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Toy Industry Association. “Age-grading has nothing to do with how smart a child is—it’s based on the developmental skills and abilities at a given age and the specific features of a toy.” Practice conservation while saving money by canvassing thrift and consignment shops for classic card and board games.

globalbriefs Vladimir Zhoga/

Good Move

Officials Urge Chinese to Cut Meat Consumption


Chinese officials have announced dietary guidelines designed to reduce the country’s meat consumption by 50 percent. The campaign includes a series of billboards and advertisements featuring American celebrities Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron. “China’s move to cut meat consumption in half would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is also a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions and reaching the goals set out in the Paris agreement,” says Cameron.

Extinction Scenario


Humans an Endangered Species

Solar Sidewalk

Missouri Debuts Energy-Generating Pavers

courtesy of Solar Roadways

Missouri is rolling out a set of energy-generating photovoltaic pavers along a section of the iconic Route 66 highway in a sidewalk pilot project—the first on a public right of way—in the U.S. The street pavers were developed by Solar Roadways, a company created by inventors Scott and Julie Brusaw, which raised more than $2.2 million in crowdfunding in 2014 to bring their technology to market. The Brusaws claim that replacing all of America’s roads and parking lots with their solar pavers would generate more than three times what the country consumed in electricity in 2009. The Missouri Department of Transportation considered their own crowdfunding campaign to support their energy experiment; plans called for the hexagonal solar panels to be fully installed and operational by the end of this year.

Greening Planet

Satellites Reveal Unexpected Plant Growth The study Greening of the Earth and its Drivers, published by an international team in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows significant greening of a quarter to one-half of the Earth’s vegetated lands based on satellite data from the past 33 years. This represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees that produce sugars using sunlight energy to mix atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) with water and nutrients from the soil. These sugars are the source of food, fiber and fuel for life on Earth. More sugars are produced when there is more of this greenhouse gas in the air in a process called CO2 fertilization. About 85 percent of the Earth’s land is free of ice and covered by vegetation, currently encompassing 32 percent of the planet’s total surface area. Lead author Dr. Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from Peking University, in China, states, “The greening over the past 33 years reported in this study is equivalent to adding a green continent about two times the size of mainland USA, and has the ability to fundamentally change the cycling of water and carbon in the climate system.” The effect may serve as a carbon sink to help counter climate change. Source: Boston University

Somchai Som/

Source: NBC

The UK-based nonprofit Global Challenges Foundation’s annual report on global catastrophic risk ( GlobalExtinctionReport) has found that the risk of human extinction is higher than we might expect. The Stern Review (, the British premier government report on the economics of climate change, estimates a 0.1 percent risk of human extinction every year. “We don’t expect any of the events that we describe to happen in any specific 10-year period. They might—but on balance, they probably won’t,” says Sebastian Farquhar, director of the Global Priorities Project. United Nations-approved climate models estimate that temperatures might rise six to 10 degrees Celsius, which pushes the probability of extinction beyond 3 percent, even with a considerable decrease in carbon emissions. Nuclear war, natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, genetic engineering gone awry and pandemic plagues figure in too, but the biggest threat might be the ever-increasing human population. According to a paper published in the journal Nature by Elizabeth Hadly, a professor of environmental biology at Stanford University, such growth has followed the trajectory of a typical invasive species and suggests there may be a looming global population downturn. Still, humans are capable of exponentially growing their population several times over through the invention of new technologies and cultural shifts, regardless of Earth’s natural carrying capacity.

natural awakenings

December 2016


Coming Next Month Affordable Complementary Care Featuring: Health & Wellness Our Readers Are Seeking Providers & Services for Affordable Care & Integrative & Natural Healthcare Providers/Weight Loss

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

Ocean Watch

Sea Mammals Update 2016 was a mixed year for whales and dolphins and by extension, humans. Marine Biologist Sylvia Earle states the importance of ocean health this way: “With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. The ocean is the blue heart of the planet. There’s still time, but not a lot, to turn things around.” Scientists have discovered a new, black-colored species of whale that’s onethird the size of a Baird’s beaked whale. Yet to be named, it’s rarely seen, feeding in deep canyons in the Bering Sea. The oldest-known orca whale, Granny, at 105, swims Washington’s coastline. Wild orcas usually live 60 to 80 years; captives, 40 years at most. Iceberg, the only known adult white orca, age 22, was spotted in Russian coastal waters earlier this year. In 2013, a Korean marine park retrained five dolphins to feed naturally and released them into the sea, where they rejoined their original pod. Recent sightings found them thriving, affording hope for the 2,900 dolphins in marine parks, aquariums and zoos worldwide. Pink dolphins in Hong Kong’s bustling harbor remain endangered. In 2003, there were 158; by 2014, only 61. The Baiji River dolphin, only found in China, has been declared extinct. Vaquitas, small porpoises in the Gulf of California, declined from 97 in 2014 to 60 this year, most drowned in commercial fishing nets; it may be extinct by 2018.

Bye-Bye Birdies

North American Species at High Risk Dima Oana Gabriela/

The 2016 annual Audubon Great Backyard Bird Count in February (Audubon. org/content/2014-great-backyard-birdcount-summary) and a report compiled by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative ( show that more than a third of all North American bird species are at risk of becoming extinct unless significant action is taken, especially ocean and tropical birds. The governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico created the North American Bird Conservation Initiative in 1999. More than half the species that rely on oceans and tropical forests are on a special watch list because of small and declining populations, limited ranges and severe threats to their habitats. The report pinpoints invasive predators such as rats and cats on nesting islands, as well as overfishing, pollution and climate change. Ways to address the problem include removing predators, expanding protected marine areas and reducing the amount of plastic products that end up in the ocean and can trap or choke birds. Many species such as long-distance migratory shore birds in coastal, grassland and arid habitats are declining steeply. The main causes are rising sea levels, coastal development, encroaching human activity and oil spills.

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Patient Pets

Hospital Allows Cats and Dogs

Norway Bans Deforestation Products The Norwegian Parliament Standing Committee on Energy and Environment has pledged that the government will follow a deforestation-free public procurement policy, meaning that any product that contributes to deforestation will not be used by the country as part of an Action Plan on Nature Diversity. Rainforest Foundation Norway was the main lobbying influence behind this recommendation and has worked for years to bring the

pledge into existence. “This is an important victory in the fight to protect the rainforest,” says Nils Hermann Ranum, head of policy and campaign for the committee. “Over the last few years, a number of companies have committed to cease the procurement of goods that can be linked to destruction of the rainforest. Until now, this has not been matched by similar commitments from governments. The Norwegian state is now following suit and making the same demands when it comes to public procurements.” Deforestation is estimated to comprise about 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change and disrupting natural cycles and livelihoods, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Removal of trees can disrupt a region’s water cycle, resulting in changes in precipitation and river flow that also contribute to erosion. Source:

America Outdone Africa Studio/

Venezuela Bans GMOs

Venezuela has passed a law that imposes some of the world’s toughest regulations on genetically modified organisms (GMO) and patenting of seeds in order to consolidate national food sovereignty, regulate the production of hybrid seed, reject the production, distribution and import of GMO seeds and ban transgenic seed research. Canada’s Centre for Research on Globalization describes it as one of the most progressive seed laws in the world. The country intends to establish a national seed system to implement the new law. The group will monitor and sanction any agricultural violations, with a focus on the protection of traditional seeds. CLB Ad.qxp_Layout 2 9/6/15 10:11 PM Page 1

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Pet dogs and cats are visiting with their seriously ill owners, reducing stress and improving morale, at the Juravinski Hospital, in Hamilton, Ontario. The Zachary’s Paws for Healing program, the first of its kind in Canada, was founded by Zachary Noble and his aunt, Donna Jenkins. Before each visit, the animals are thoroughly cleaned so as not to introduce harmful germs, and brought in on covered, wheeled carts away from all other patients during their one-hour weekly visits. The all-volunteer program plans to offer foster care to pet owners that enter the hospital for treatment. Learn more at ZacharysPawsFor

Don’t let the past steal your present. ~Taylor Caldwell



love . connec t . inspire The Center for Spiritual Living Princeton invites you to visit our community and to explore new possibilities for your life. Our center offers a practical spiritual teaching that draws on the wisdom of the ages and New Thought principles to promote spiritual awakening and personal growth. Join us for our Spiritual Transformation Service Sundays at 10:30 am • Princeton Masonic Lodge • 345 River Road • Princeton, NJ 08540 (1 mile from Route 27)

For more information, call 609.924.8422 or visit natural awakenings

December 2016


LOVING LARGE Scientists Say We’re All Connected by Linda Sechrist


rue love is not something reserved exclusively for soulmates, couples, children, friends or family. Observations by sages for millennia and by enlightened scientists more recently are increasingly aligned with the point of view articulated by renowned meditation teacher Jack Kornfield that true love and awareness—a sense of universal connectivity and the idea that divinity, or the sacred, is found in all things—are indistinguishable.

Scientific View

This state of being, generally denoted by strong feelings of love or acceptance toward others, brings us into contact with universal energy which connects all of humanity with the natural world. Clues to our united commonality are explored in two 21st-century books, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, by Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D., and A General Theory of Love, by medical doctors Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon. These authors explore the brain science that’s related to love and awareness. 18

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Although trying to grasp love intellectually may be like eating soup with a fork, the authors of A General Theory of Love cite feelings as a good starting point. Fredrickson describes love as “the momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; a biochemical synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care.” Fredrickson, director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, believes love is a complex physiological response; a “positivity resonance.” She describes key factors in love’s ability to biologically transform us as oxytocin, a hormone active in social bonding and attachments, and the vagus nerve deep within the brain stem that connects with numerous organs, including the lead “character” in this relationship, the heart. The neural synchrony of positivity resonance between the brains of two individuals is a connected oneness that

Cosmic View

During their 30-year friendship, Bob Staretz collaborated with astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Sc.D., the lunar module pilot on Apollo 14 and founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, to research and write “The Quantum Hologram and the Nature of Consciousness,” published in the Journal of Cosmology. Their scientific theory explains how all of creation learns, self-corrects and evolves as a selforganizing, interconnected holistic system through love. “Without exception, everything in nature exists and works together in total balance, resonance and harmony, interacting as one. From this perspective, Edgar and I reached the obvious conclusion—the organizing principle of the cosmos is agape love, an ultimate form of unconditional love that accepts all things existing in nature without regard to conditions, expectations, shortcomings, flaws or faults,” explains Staretz. The former executive director of Eternea, an organization focused on spiritually transformative experiences and the study of consciousness, Staretz says individuals that undergo such an experience attest that loving one another and all

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Fredrickson notes is far more ubiquitous than previously thought possible. Her research shows that it requires only connection, not the intimacy or shared history that comes with any special bonds. Micro-moments of the connected oneness we feel as life-giving reverberations occur via shared smiles or laughter, a common compassion or an engaging story. Humans all hunger for such moments. The prerequisites are perceived safety and authentic sensory connection with another, even if it’s fleeting. In Fredrickson’s perspective, such neural coupling is a biological manifestation of oneness in which a habitual focus on “me” expands to a life-expanding “we”.

of nature, of which we are a part, is the central reason for our existence. Anita Moorjani’s latest book, What If This Is Heaven? reiterates the life lesson she learned from her dramatic near-death experience in which she identified herself as a state of pure consciousness connected with everything in the cosmos. She clearly heard: “Your only work is to love yourself, value yourself and embody this truth of self-worth and self-love so that you can be love in action. That is true service, to yourself and to those who surround you.” This message continues with her, and she explains that by not loving ourselves, we are denying the part of God that expresses itself through us. An overarching insight from her lifechanging journey is, “Unconditional love is a state of being, not an emotion. It’s not just one side of the coin—it’s the whole coin.”

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. ~William Blake

How-to Resources Interest in this deeper perspective led The Shift Network, which offers online transformative education, to host a recent Advanced Teachings for Truly Loving Yourself with Margaret Paul, P.h.D., co-author of Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved By You? Many others are working to spread the word about a larger sense of lifegiving love, including Cleveland, Ohio, intuitive psychologist Debra L. Reble, Ph.D., author of Being Love: How Loving Yourself Creates Ripples of Transformation in Your Relationships and the World. She says, “Our soul’s purpose is to be and express love. We dream of love, yearn for love and make love, but rarely do we realize that we are love, a source of divine energy.” Reba Linker, a New York City life coach and author, hosts a Leaders in Self-Love Facebook page and the Paint Yourself into The Picture online coaching show. Linker’s philosophy on love resembles that of New Thought leader Michael Beckwith, minister, author and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, in Culver City, California—

to discern that our true nature is love is to know that we are created in the very image and likeness of love, the essence of life itself. Gary Sinclair, author of Healing Memories in Seconds, views his life from an altitude of oceanic oneness. His 35 years of study in a field that uses energy to heal spirit, mind and body led him to develop Soul Link, a memory energy therapy. His work is changing the face of therapy for those with post-traumatic stress disorder and led to the revelation, “Love pulls whatever it touches to its highest potential.” Teaching what he knows “beyond a shadow of a doubt” helps to shift his students’ worldview. “All of creation is made up of electromagnetic energy vibrating at different frequencies. We are energy beings who can learn to manage our energy to heal ourselves. We are all connected by omnipres-

ence, the energy of love, a heart connection of life. Consciously choosing this awareness allows us to be ‘love living life.’” Kamini Desai, director of education for the Amrit Yoga Institute, in Salt Springs, Florida, lends her yogic perspective to love. “We are each a wave on the ocean of existence. Even though we are separate waves, we carry the essence of the same ocean. When that essence manifests in us as spirit, its quality is a healing force of love surrounding our cells, causing our heart to beat and regenerating our organs. This intelligence guides and directs the universe in the same manner that it heals and maintains our body. In yoga, we learn to listen to its subtle voice so that we can follow its urges and energetic impulses to the source from which it springs.” The perceptions of California’s HeartMath Institute founder Doc Childre, dedicated to helping people access their intuitive insight and heart intelligence, are generally aligned with those of Fredrickson. Both approaches recognize how order and balance in the nervous system and smooth, harmonious and coherent heart rhythms enhance our ability to clearly perceive a far larger universe of experience. The ensuing connections widen the windows of perception to view ourselves as no longer separate, but part of a unified whole. Accumulated micromoments of love communicated through synchronized gazes, touches and vocalizations forge a shared subjective appreciation of connection and oneness. We feel ourselves embodying positive resonance and experience easier and more immediate rapport in familial, familiar and even new relationships. We discover abundant opportunities to feel love, loved and loving as we make ourselves available to them. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

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December 2016


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Healthy Holiday

LIBATIONS Restorative Drinks Revive Good Cheer by Judith Fertig


uring jam-packed special occasions like holidays, our drinks should multitask, too. We need festive tipples to refresh us without overdoing it, restore equilibrium if we overeat or drink or revive us when we’re feeling low from a seasonal cold or flu. In addition to traditional offerings that family and friends might expect, why not add a new and improved signature drink to everyone’s repertoire? These feel-good beverages, featuring winter fruits high in vitamin C, anthocyanins, therapeutic herbs and fresh ginger, deliver delicious boosts to help us feel our best.  


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The season of hospitality is happily also the season of pomegranates, blood oranges and Meyer lemons (a sweeter, thin-skinned, aromatic variety). These vibrant fruits give a taste of good cheer to anything we can pour, shake, muddle or simmer. Whether we offer fresh-squeezed blood orange juice in the morning, a nonalcoholic cocktail of pomegranate juice and sparkling water, or a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice in a hot toddy or tea, the tart flavor is a sure pick-me-up. The red color in antioxidant-rich blood oranges and pomegranates indicates the presence of anthocyanins, compounds that might help prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as treat eye disorders, according to an article published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. Meyer lemons are a good source of vitamin C, essential for producing collagen needed to support the formation of new bone, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.


After an evening of over-imbibing, our systems need to reboot. The stomach needs help in processing alcohol, plus we may be dehydrated and feeling a little queasy. Filtered water, coconut water or a sweet, caffeine-free coffee or carbonated beverage of the lemon-lime variety rehydrate, as well as help our digestive system break down and flush out the alcohol. According to Registered Dietitian Aicacia Young, in Austin, Texas, founder of, the simple act of drinking water before we go to bed can assist in the recovery process. Research published in the Food & Function journal found that lemonlime soda helps the body metabolize alcohol better by speeding up its ability to process the compound aldehyde dehydrogenase, the main cause of hangover symptoms. For nausea and motion sickness, ginger or peppermint tea can help, according to studies in the American Journal of Physiology and the French Prescrire International.  


Sometimes the stress of holiday to-dos, often combined with travel, can lower the resilience of our immune system. When we feel symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, the classic hot toddy can help us feel human again. The alcohol in whiskey is a natural decongestant; plus, it helps get us to sleep. Honey soothes and perky lemon juice gives us hope that we’ll feel better the next day.   Judith Fertig writes cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS. Connect at





Seasonal Drinks that Revitalize Brent Hofacker/


The best holiday drinks are festive and taste great. They should also be easy to fix. Here are five to get us started.

and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the ginger slices and serve in a mug. Courtesy of Judith Fertig, Alfresco

Holiday Sangria

Blood Orange French 75 Yields: 1 serving In a champagne flute, pour a jigger of gin, the juice of half a blood orange and a squeeze of Meyer lemon juice. Top up with champagne.   Courtesy of Kathryne Taylor, a whole foods and vegetarian blogger; Search

Yields: 8 servings

Fresh Hot Peppermint Tea

Combine 1 liter of cabernet sauvignon, a quart of pomegranate juice, ¼ cup agave nectar, 1 thinly sliced Meyer lemon and 1 thinly sliced pear in a pitcher. Add ice and stir. Pour into glasses to serve.

Yields: 1 serving

Fresh Hot Ginger Tea Yields: 2 servings Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and then add 1 small knob of fresh ginger, precut into thin slices. Reduce the heat

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. While it’s boiling, place 7 to 10 fresh organic mint leaves in a tea cup. Pour the hot water over the mint leaves and let them steep in the cup for 5 minutes. Strain out leaves as desired, and enjoy. Courtesy of Heather Crosby, author of YumUniverse: Infinite Possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, WholeFood Lifestyle; fresh-peppermint-tea.

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December 2016


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Heal Adrenal Fatigue

NATURALLY Practical Ways to Regain Vitality by Linda Sechrist


atigue due to physical or mental exertion is common in those beleaguered by stress, poor eating habits and insomnia, struggling to balance the needs of family and career and too often using caffeine and other stimulants to artificially rebound energy. James L. Wilson, Ph.D., a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathy, educates medical professionals about an even more serious health issue he identifies as “adrenal fatigue”; it’s characterized by below-optimal adrenal function induced by an overload of such stressors. Our two walnut-sized adrenal glands, one atop each kidney, produce vital hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and many other functions, including how the body deals with stress.

Identifying the Core Issue

In his book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, Wilson sheds light on the scope of the problem. “The fact that adrenal fatigue is unrecognized by conventional medicine has left millions of people suffering from an untreated problem that interferes with their ability to function normally and capacity to enjoy life. For those whose adrenal glands are ‘running on empty’, even something as basic as happiness seems almost out of reach,” comments Wilson, who resides in Tucson, Arizona. Individuals suffering from adrenal fatigue are most concerned about their low moods, energy, mental acuity and libido, for which conventional medicine typically prescribes antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs. These medications do nothing to revive adrenal functioning. This faulty condition also affects weight gain and a propensity toward the development of some diseases, including 22

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fibromyalgia. “Your resiliency, energy, endurance and very life depend on the proper functioning of the adrenals,” Wilson says. We’ve inherited our sympathetic nervous system and its stress response of fight-or-flight from our prehistoric ancestors. It hasn’t evolved to differentiate between an acute threat to survival and the chronic threats from looming deadlines, financial pressures and other modern-day worries. “The adrenal stress response to physical danger or any perceived psychological threat is identical—the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine responsible for cascading physiological reactions,” explains Dr. Vijay Jain, who treats fatigue from an integrative perspective at his Mind Body Wellness Center, in Palm Coast, Florida.

Suggested Treatments

Adrenal fatigue is mainly a self-induced health problem that doesn’t just appear. It results from an accumulation of ongoing choices that we can change. Jain applies ayurvedic principles to reestablish balance in the body’s three prominent mind-body types that influence personal well-being. These are known as vata, pitta and kapha. For people primarily characterized by vata and pitta typology, fatigue is the result of being overactive and burning the candle at both ends. For those with kapha constitutions, fatigue is the outcome of a sedentary lifestyle with insufficient movement and eating the wrong foods for them. He further recommends getting more sleep with regular bedtimes, practices such as yoga nidra meditation, pranayama (yogic breathing) and a slower-paced yoga practice with longerheld meditative poses, as well as massage and a diet designed to restore our biological energies, or doshas, to a balanced state. “Depending on a patient’s constitution I advise some to slow down and burn 50 percent less of their candle, while I tell others to increase their physical activity and improve their diet.” Jain also recommends a type of ayurvedic purification and detoxification treatment that involves a series of five therapies including massage and herbal treatments. Performed in sequence, these allow the body and mind to drop into a state of peacefulness. Acupuncture treatments are also helpful, along with a regimen of adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, schisandra and ashwagandha, according to Jain. In Happy Healthy Thyroid: The Essential Steps to Healing Naturally, author Andrea Beaman writes about how she recovered naturally from adrenal fatigue. To restore energy and vitality to the body, she further recommends the healing practices of hatha yoga, qigong and tai chi. “These modalities build energy, whereas power yoga, and cardiovascular exercises drain energy in fatigued individuals,” advises Beaman. She notes that it can take six months to two years to restore desired energy levels. Beaman counsels individuals with behavioral characteristics that make it more challenging to burn less of their candle. She grabs their attention with the critical nature of their situation. “‘You are in and out of life in a blink. If you’re exhausted at age 48, how are you going to live a vibrant, happy and exuberant life right up to the finish line?’ That generally works,” she says. Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

More Tips to Beat Fatigue by Linda Sechrist

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he earliest signs of adrenal fatigue are low energy and the need for several strong shots of caffeine to kick-start the morning or get through an afternoon slump. If these symptoms arise, take steps to begin nourishing, restoring and destressing the adrenal glands. Eliminate stressors. Reevaluate daily schedules to make room for a regular session of yoga, meditation, tai chi or qigong. Establish a regular sleeping schedule aligned with the body’s natural cycle. Slipping between the sheets no later than 10 p.m. can mean better and deeper rest. Make dietary changes, starting with 40 grams of protein each morning. Limit the intake of stimulants, including caffeine. Eliminate sugar and processed grains. Add adaptogenic herbs and organic coconut and olive oils to dishes and food preparation. Eat nutritious foods such as greens and brightly colored vegetables. As a result, blood sugar and insulin levels will take fewer rollercoaster rides, easing the work of the adrenals. Refrain from over-exercising. Excessive cardio or endurance training is hard on the adrenals, so substitute more relaxing forms of exercise. Practice calming mindfulness and deep, controlled, diaphragmatic breathing.

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December 2016


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FITNESS 2017 New Year’s Resolutions that Stick by Aimee Hughes


very January, we rally our hopes, vowing that this time our New Year’s resolutions will finally stick. However, “If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail,” says Kansas City, Missouri, personal trainer Jake Albracht. We can make our health and fitness goals for 2017 a reality instead of just wishful thinking. Find a good trainer. “A personal trainer provides a helpful base of knowledge because the hardest part for most people is a lack of planning and diligence in following up. Trainers can step in to help a client achieve their goals,” says Albracht. Jeanne Rankin, assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, adds, “A personal trainer can also help you set lofty goals that you wouldn’t have considered on your own due to fear of failure in achieving them.”


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Secure personal attention. Individual attention is invaluable. Albracht notes, “There’s nothing like the instant feedback with technique, information and support that one-on-one training provides.” Rankin adds, “In ongoing individual evaluation, a personal trainer can see exactly what’s going well and what isn’t, providing a better assessment than in a group.” “Group settings can also be positive and mimic a team environment, but a one-on-one relationship allows for a deeper bond of trust. Sometimes that can make all the difference in the world,” Albracht explains. Ask questions. If engaging a personal trainer isn’t in our available budget, they are often willing to answer a few burning fitness questions. Most of us have had volunteer teachers at some point in our lives that expected nothing in return because they loved sharing

what they know. It’s a slower process, but can be a viable option. Set realistic goals. “I tell clients that structuring a program of specific goals will always trump a non-structured program,” says Albracht. “They need to fill out a goals sheet and develop a personal model that is repeatable, sustainable and successful. We use the SMART acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.” Sometimes writing things down is just what’s needed to make them actually happen. “When you look at pictures of famous people in magazines, realize that the images have been Photoshopped. They also have access to the best and most expensive resources in the world, and looking good is their job,” reminds Rankin. “Set a goal, and then set a bunch of small, achievable, measurable and quantifiable steps

along the way that’ll push you towards that bigger goal.” For example, If the goal is to lose 50 pounds in a year, then maybe shoot to lose 30 pounds in the first six months and 20 in the second six months. “Breaking it up into what feels doable for you is key,” says Rankin. Establish intentions. Krysten Clark, a Los Angeles personal trainer, yoga teacher and founder of Yogva Nutrition, uses the SMART elements along with establishing an intention for each session. She states, “It’s important to recognize what ‘being healthy’ means to you. I always have my clients set an intention for their workout in the moment, which allows them to be fully present with what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Connecting with their ‘why’ proves powerful in a day-to-day practice.” She also strives to bring mindfulness into any fitness workout that evolves from a mind-body connection. The accompanying sense of self-compassion furthers progress in the neverending process of personal growth and healthy living. Acquire a fitness posse. An accountability partner can be a friend or a personal trainer—someone that’s only a phone call away. Rankin observes, “If you know that you are letting someone down by not working out, then you are more likely to stick to a plan, especially if you’re paying that person.” Hit the reset button if needed. “Set a deadline to attain a goal and work backwards from there to achieve it,” advises Albracht. “If the goal is missed, reassess and plan again.” Be patient and forgive yourself as often as necessary if slip-ups occur. The ultimate results of feeling good and healthier provide their own payoff. Aimee Hughes, a freelance writer in Kansas City, MO, is a doctor of naturopathy and consultant for the Yandara Yoga Institute. Connect at ChezAimee@

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December 2016



Krista Tippett on Our Evolving Spirituality Why it Evokes Hope by Randy Kambic


rista Tippett helps us ponder the meaning of life as host and executive producer of On Being, the award-winning weekly radio program and podcast produced in Minneapolis for more than 400 public radio stations. The bestselling author of Einstein’s God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit has been acclaimed for thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. Her latest book, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, reflects upon how spirituality intersects with science, technology, health, art and politics. This daughter of a Southern Baptist minister first launched her show, originally titled Speaking of Faith (also the title of her first book), on Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media in 2003. Today, Tippett continues to discuss faith, spirit, inner growth and what it is to be human with leading authors, thought leaders and pioneering change makers. She also hosts online classes and a blog.

How has On Being evolved to reflect existing dimensions of spirituality that have proven surprising? I am fascinated with how spiritual life and religious identity have evolved in the last decade. This part of life is more fluid than it’s ever been in human history. We are the first generation that didn’t inherit religious identity like we 26

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do a hometown. We craft our spiritual lives and choose our faith, even if it’s the faith of our families. In many that don’t claim a religious affiliation, especially Millennials, I encounter a spiritual curiosity and ethical passion akin to religion at its best. Because seekers dwell both inside and outside of traditions, my life of conversation stretches beyond boundaries in ways I did not expect when I began. I also never imagined that I’d interview physicists, evolutionary biologists and neuroscientists exploring territory previously reserved for theologians and philosophers. Together, they are illuminating the ancient questions related to our place in the cosmos; the nature of human freedom and consciousness; even beauty and the reality of mystery.

Which guests do you feel have resonated the most with listeners and why? A show that seems to have touched more people most deeply is my interview with the Irish poet, philosopher and author John O’Donohue just before he died in his early 50s. He radiated such an unusual combination of qualities: wisdom, tenderness and playfulness; mysticism, theology and a raw Celtic earthiness. He’s someone who could speak of God with great wildness, strangeness—and authority. He inspired with his vision of beauty as a human calling and somehow embodied it for

the listener. I meet all kinds of people that keep that show on their playlist and listen again and again. In general, my favorite guest is the most recent person interviewed. At the moment, it’s Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia co-founder, who stunned me with his insistence on kindness as the virtue that’s made this nonprofit’s ethos and accomplishments possible. Another is civil rights veteran Ruby Sales, who wisely works to uplift the human drama of our political/social moment, like the way we must come to be as articulate about what we love as about what outrages us.

How do you see people’s awakening sensibilities influencing local and global issues? I am drawn to the notion that we are in the adolescence of our species. The globe right now is like a map of the teenage brain, prone to recklessness and destruction in places and simultaneously possessing vast potentials for creativity and advances. So many are relentless in telling the story of destruction that it seriously colors how we tell the story of our time. I stand among those shining a light on the abundant beauty, goodness and courage in our world so these become more visible and evident at a global level.

Are you optimistic about the future? I am hopeful about the future. My life of meaningful conversation has led me to re-imagine the meaning of hope. It has nothing to do with wishful thinking, but rests on the lives of beauty and goodness I see everywhere I turn. It’s a choice—a more exacting and courageous choice than cynicism or resignation. The pain and fear alive in the world surface as anger and violence, and some of us are called to be calmers of fear. We must create the world we want our children to inhabit and do so together. Hope isn’t an option on this path; it is one of our primary resources for getting there. Randy Kambic is a freelance writer and editor in Estero, FL, and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings.

inspired by The Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy.


MERRY MUNCHING Sugar-Free Treats Kids Love by Judith Fertig


hen sugar was a commodHealthier Holiday Snacks ity only the wealthy could Mothers Amy Roskelley and Natalie afford, “visions of sugarMonson, of Provo, Utah, agree that raisplums” danced in the heads of chiling healthy kids is a challenge. Dealing dren ensconced in Clement Moore’s with picky eaters, getting family mem’Twas the Night Before Christmas. bers to exercise and sourcing organic Now, cheap candy is everywhere and baby care products are all in a day’s not all that special. What is special work for them. It’s why they founded is making memories aligned with Subscribers contemporary traditions while enjoying naturally sweet, healthy treats that have access to meal plans, recipes and healthy parenting tips. Recent advice kids will remember helping to create. includes ditching prepackaged popcorn “It’s important to limit sugary snacks, even during the holidays,” says (listing unpronounceable ingredients) and instead making the treat at home— Claire McCarthy, a Boston Children’s Hospital pediatrician, Harvard Medical popping kernels in coconut oil and topping the result with maple snickerSchool assistant professor of pediatrics and senior editor for Harvard Health doodle flavorings. Publications. She is also a mother of   Many moms turn to online boards elementary school kids. “We need to for party ideas. Fun photos posted use the opportunity—any opportunity there guide kids in creating naturally these days—to teach children and sweet treats, such as fresh fruit skewfamilies about eating healthy.” ers shaped like elves or magic wands   Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible.

“Building a gingerbread house is a time-honored tradition for many families,” says Jacquie Fisher, a Kansas City, Missouri, mom who masterminds the educational blog and kid-friendly adventure postings at KCEdventures. com. Learning to construct the edible structure is intriguing fun. “Testing out how to balance the walls, construct a roof and put together a fun little structure is the perfect intro to some basic physics principles,” she notes. Because she’s not a fan of sugar icing and candy add-ons, Fisher’s kids connect over how to make Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s stable with whole-wheat graham crackers “glued” together with a homemade maple caramel mixed with coconut milk. They decorate using dried fruit, nuts, dry cereal and flaked coconut.  

Christmas Stocking Stuffer and Hanukkah Gelt For healthy alternatives to sugary candy, savvy parents source sweet treats made with 100 percent fruit juice and fair trade chocolate available at health food stores and markets. Registered Dietitian Abbie Gellman, in New York City, reinvents the Hanukkah gelt, or foil-wrapped chocolate coins, that Jewish children traditionally receive. She flattens dried apricots with a kitchen mallet, dips them in melted dark chocolate and then sprinkles the treats with sea salt. We can always make wonderful memories true to the spirit of holiday traditions, and do it today in a healthier way. Judith Fertig writes cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS (

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December 2016


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Gingerbread House Update

Sugarplums Update Healthy Sweets for Kids Apricot Gelt Yields: 12 servings (6 pieces per person)

Rudolph the Reindeer’s Stable

1½ lb dried apricots 1 lb dark chocolate chips 1 Tbsp coarse sea salt

Yields: 1 stable

Using a heavy skillet or mallet, flatten apricots to ¼-inch thickness and set aside.

Graham crackers Small paintbrushes Assorted fresh and dried fruits for decoration, such as blackberries, pomegranate arils and kiwi fruit Dry cereal, such as Rice Chex, and flaked coconut for decoration Pecan halves for roof shingles

Place chocolate in the top of a doubleboiler over simmering water and stir until the chocolate has melted.

Maple Snickerdoodle Popcorn Popcorn: 1 tsp coconut oil, melted ½ cup popcorn kernels

Dip each apricot in chocolate, coating ½ to ¾ of the apricot. Place on wire racks set over parchment or wax paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand until set.

Maple Snickerdoodle Topping: 1 Tbsp coconut oil 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup ½ tsp cinnamon Sea salt to taste

Transfer apricots to baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate until firm. The gelt may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan, with a lid, over medium heat. Add 3 kernels of popcorn and wait for them to pop. Once the test kernels start to pop, add the rest, cover and allow to pop, shaking occasionally until popping slows to a near stop.

Adapted from a recipe by Abbie Gellman, apricot-gelt-recipe.

Yields: About 5 cups

Vegan Maple Caramel “Glue”: 1 cup canned coconut milk (shake the can well before opening and measuring) 3 Tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp vanilla extract Pinch sea salt  For the vegan maple caramel, place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Keep cooking until the caramel thickens and darkens to a caramel color, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool until just warm to the touch, then use for glue. If you like, make the caramel mixture ahead, store in the refrigerator and then microwave until just warm.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and set aside.

Serve immediately making additional sea salt available. Courtesy of Amy Roskelley and Natalie Monson, maple-snickerdoodle-popcorn. 28

Greater Mercer County, NJ


For the topping, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon, until well combined. Pour over the popcorn and mix well. Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of sea salt, mix again and taste.

Dab the bottom of 1 double graham cracker with the maple caramel glue; then attach it to a dinner plate to make the stable floor. Glue on three walls, a fence and a roof. When the structure is solid, use more warm caramel mix to attach the desired decorations on the stable, fence and perhaps a courtyard out front. If necessary, reheat the edible glue in the microwave. Let dry for 1 hour. Courtesy of Jacquie Fisher,

photo by Stephen Blancett

Fruit Skewer Elves Yields: 12 servings

12 cocktail sticks or short bamboo skewers 12 seedless green grapes 12 strawberries, hulled 1 firm banana, peeled and cut into 12 thin rounds 1 mozzarella stick, cut into 12 rounds For each skewer, thread a green grape to the bottom of the skewer to create the elf face. Top with a round banana slice to make the pale trim around the hat, then an upside-down hulled strawberry to form the pointy hat. Add a mozzarella round to make the pompom at the point of the hat. Serve right away.


photo by Stephen Blancett


Holiday Fairy Wands Yields: 12 servings

12 long bamboo skewers 24 seedless green grapes 12 chunks of fresh pineapple 12 strawberries, hulled 2 starfruit (carambola), cut into 12 slices For each skewer, thread a green grape 3 inches from the bottom of the skewer, leaving room to hold the wand. Next, thread a chunk of pineapple, then another grape. Thread a strawberry, pointed end up. Add a slice of starfruit to make the star on the end of the wand. Serve immediately.

Congratulations Katie Prik ril Level 10 USA Tumbling Nat ional Cha


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609-730-9394 natural awakenings

December 2016


Galina Grebenyuk/


A Gorgeously Greener Holiday Fresh Thinking About Décor by Avery Mack


ature’s holiday decorations can transcend cliché pine wreaths or farmed trees to make highly personalized indoor décor that supersedes traditional greenery. Yet mistletoe, holly leaves and berries, eucalyptus, poinsettias, tree needles, acorns and a cut tree’s water reservoir can be harmful to both pets and children. Here are some better choices.

center space; add garlands and lights and set potted flowers and small gift boxes on the steps. Search “alternative Christmas trees” at for more ideas. Another option uses hedge-like plants in lieu of a tree. Consider an English or Japanese boxwood plant or evergreen lilly pilly, and then trim to the desired size and shape. Plant it outdoors as weather and climate permit.

The Tree

The Table

For smaller spaces or to make a statement, try grouping topiary trees of varying heights draped with solar twinkle lights and small ornaments or fresh flowers to create a focal point in a bay window. “A lemon-lime cypress lends another burst of unexpected color on an entry hall table,” says freelance floral designer Janet Corrao, in Nutley, New Jersey. “It smells good, too.” Plants six inches tall work well. Corrao suggests setting the pots in colorful, inexpensive metal buckets from craft stores for added glamour. Unless deemed a hazard to active kids or pets, set up a mid-sized stepstool on a table or open a six-foot ladder in a corner and hang ornaments down the 30

Greater Mercer County, NJ

“While we were working on a photo shoot, the photographer decided to include a Christmas scene. I was able to add fresh greenery from the property to the red ornaments and white orchids that I’d brought along. It made a striking centerpiece running the entire length of the table,” says florist Angie Zimmerman, of Angie Zimmerman Designs, in El Dorado Hills, California. “For the fireplace mantel I used branches with red berries to add height on either side of the central mirror and then duplicated the centerpiece design between them.” A festive table can be dressed with appealing edibles. Use a bread wreath as a base and stud it with skewered basil

leaves, cherry tomatoes and small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese for an easy, self-serve, Caprese appetizer. A colorful dish of balsamic dressing or another dip in the center, along with small plates and holiday napkins, completes the offering. For a sit-down dinner variant, place a few Caprese skewers in small, clear, glass vases along the table with individual finger bowls of dip. Flat-leafed green parsley sprigs add another special touch. Zimmerman further suggests using deep-red Roma apples, cored, as candle holders. Make living place cards with small pots of herbs. Chalkboard paint identifies the plant and guest seating. Also consider colorful painted pots sporting a small cactus. Transform oranges into aromatic pomanders by scoring the rinds with a citrus stripper in a spiral, circle or other pattern. Use a small nail to make holes and stud the fruits with whole cloves. Adding seasonal greenery and sterilized pine cones makes a beautiful and fragrant centerpiece.

photo courtesy of Angie Zimmerman Designs

Open Monday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm

The Front Door

“I love to use pine cones for centerpieces,” Corrao says. “Our weather is cold enough that I don’t have to worry about bugs when collecting cones in the neighborhood.” For warmer climates, bake the pine cones for 30 minutes in a 200-degree oven to melt excess sap, kill insects and fully open them. Sold online or in kitchenware stores, a bay leaf wreath offers cheer at the door. After the holidays, hang it in the kitchen for easy access. “Kumquats, lemons, tangerines, small oranges and crabapples add color to green wreaths,” notes Corrao.


For many, Christmas demands the smell of fresh pine boughs. Spice up the traditional greenery with carnations or other light-hued flowers colored with the juices of fresh, canned or frozen fruits and veggies—red from cranberries, beets and cherries; yellow and orange from yellow onions and carrots; purple from blackberries; green from spinach; pink from strawberries; and blue from red cabbage or blueberries. Freshly cut the flower stems and put them in the liquid from crushed produce or the can to absorb color. Hang garlands out of reach of young children and pets. Navjot Kaur, of Navjot Designs, in Chicago, says, “We all have greenery in our yard or patio gardens that can be used for the holidays. It’s fun to alter the design based upon what is available.” Imagination and inspiration can spark new, greener traditions.

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December 2016


Spreading Light and Love to Over 4 Million Readers s from Through 90+ Publication Center n Caribbea Coast to Coast and-thBeregen /Passaic, NJ Huntsville, AL Gulf Coast AL/MS Phoenix, AZ Tucson, AZ East Bay Area, CA San Diego, CA Boulder/Ft. Collins, CO Denver, CO Fairfield County , CT Har tford, CT New Haven/Middlesex, CT Washington, DC Daytona/Volusia/ Flagler, FL - NW FL Emerald Coast - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Jacksonville/ St. Augustine, FL - Melbourne/Vero, FL - Miami & theFlorida Key s - Naples/Ft. Myers, FL - Nor th Central FL - Orlando, FL - Palm Beach, FL - Peace River, FL - Sarasota, FL - Tampa/St. Pete., FL - Treasure Coast, FL - Atlanta, GA - Hawaiian Islands - Chicago, IL IL - Chicago Western Suburbs, IN - Indianapolis, - Baton Rouge, LA - Lafayette, LA - New Orleans, LA - Boston, MA - Ann Arbor, MI - East Michigan - Wayne County , MI - Western MI - Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN - Charlotte, NC - Lake Norman, NC - Raleigh/Durham/ Chapel Hill, NC



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December 2016


Live as Your Heart Lives by Lyric Benson Fergusson

Share The Knowledge, Join us on:


here your mind wavers, your heart overcomes.

Your heart can tame any monster, your heart can devour any fear. Your heart’s chivalry is incomparable. Your heart’s genius outsmarts what’s written on parchment or etched on stone tablets.

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Greater Mercer County, NJ

Your heart sees an ogre as an angel, Just waiting to be born… (with a soft kiss). Are you brave enough to pucker up? Your mind would rather run from sleeping tigers that had, several decades ago, promised to eat you, than face the unknowns of life. Your heart knows that overwhelming darkness is a miracle waiting to happen. Which lens do you choose to see this world through? Your heart or your mind? Baby, it’s all about perspective. Source: French Kissing God, a collection of poems by Lyric Benson Fergusson (


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December 2016



Fetch, Stretch, Dance Make Your Dog an Exercise Buddy


Greater Mercer County, NJ

Sean Nel/


an and woman’s best four-legged friend can activate and energize even the most reluctant couch potato or exhausted owner, making the family dog an excellent exercise buddy. Regardless of how lax we may be, everyone feels better after some kind of workout. A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology confirms that working up a sweat outdoors affords an appealing boost of energy, enjoyment and improved state of mind. Dogs love routine, so they’ll be waiting by the door for their daily walks. Make each outing mindful by letting the pet choose the route and pace. While they stop to sniff, do hamstring stretches by leaning against a wall, fence or tree. Once the warm-up portion is completed, add sprints to burn more calories. Ask for a sit, pick a goal a short distance away and then give the cue to run together fast. After arriving at the goal, ask for another sit. “Our favorite time to go is before 7 a.m. to avoid cars and when the asphalt isn’t too hot for his paws,” says Monica Weintraub, a food and travel blogger currently working from Beijing, China. “Carl loves the burst of energy, and we both build muscle.”

A backyard agility course can complement or even substitute for walks. It’s easy to make with weave poles, jumps and tunnels. Vary the order of the obstacles and run alongside the dog to call out each one. When it’s excessively wet, cold and icy or hot outside, create an indoor agility course. Use blankets and upturned chairs for tunnels, cardboard boxes to designate a weaving trot and a hula hoop for jumps. Set it up on top of rugs that foster firm footing. Balance can also be improved with exercise balls. While some dogs only see a soccer game, others try to balance on the ball, strengthening core muscles like their humans. Learning doga, or yoga for dogs, incorporates a canine’s natural trainability, flexibility, mimicry of human moves and desire to please. Kristen Corral, who’s also certified in animal massage, teaches Anima yoga fusion classes for people and pets of all ages in Las Vegas. “Anima means an expression of one’s true inner self,” she explains. “We work on balance and never force the dogs into poses. They’re excited during the first sessions, but as you move and breathe

Barna Tanko/

by Sandra Murphy

together, it becomes a calming and relaxing activity.” Floor exercises with the help of a dog also helps strengthen core muscles. Do leg lifts and teach the pet to walk under a raised leg to ensure it stays raised for the proper amount of time. Incorporate fetch games with sit-ups; throw the toy when sitting up and accept it back while reclining. Alternate arms—the dominant one has better aim, while the other one adds steps for the dog as it runs to fetch an errant toss. For chair exercises, use a toy to lure the dog under the chair, moving it from side-to-side, simultaneously working the waistline. Fetch lets the dog chase the toy before dropping it in front of the chair, giving the owner’s core muscles a workout when bending to pick it up each time. Dogs love to play hide-and-seek. It’s easy with two people; one holds the dog while the other hides. If solo, teach the pet to sit until a timer goes off before starting the hunt. “I ask Felix, my mixed-breed dog, to hold a sit-stay while I go hide,” says Chantelle Wallace, a professional writer who volunteers to exercise animals at Skyline Pet Care and Fitness, in Austin, Texas. “Hide and seek activates both mental focus and physical exercise.” Dancing to favorite tunes expends lots of energy. Dogs may perform obedience moves to the beat or, like humans, dance like nobody’s watching. Scientists at the University of Missouri are among those that have found that music improves moods, too. Teaching a dog to help around the house impresses everybody and takes advantage of bad weather to catch up on chores. They can tour a laundry basket to bedrooms, pick up trash or place items for recycling in a bin. Select individual items to be carried up or down stairs for a muscular workout. Take some tips from Jesse, a most helpful dog, at When our will to exercise is wavering, an eager dog will help keep an exercise routine interesting and on track. The dog’s goal is always to have fun with their favorite person. Connect with freelance writer Sandra Murphy at StLouisFreelanceWriter@


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December 2016



NOTE: All calendar events must be received via email by the 10th of the month and adhere to our guidelines. Email

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 Fall Tiny Tot Walk – 10-11:30am. Children 18-36 months. You are never too young to start exploring outdoors. You and your toddler will experience nature and share walks on the Reserve, art activities and story time. Registration required. Cost $8/$12, member/non-member. Watershed Center, 31 Titus Mill Rd, Pennington. 609-737-7592.

savethedate Homesteading The Face of Natural Beauty

Shopping for the Holidays – 4-7pm. Local vendors including children’s books, homemade soaps and creams, jewelry and more. Osteoporosis and blood pressure screenings available. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900.

Spend a day relaxing with Arielle Notterman, owner and craftswoman of Rae and Ruby Beauty Products. In this hands-on class, you’ll learn the healing properties of nature’s best herbs and oils, and how to use them to create your own skin products. .


Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville.

Transforming the Ordinary Artist Reception – 4-7pm. Artist reception and holiday art sale, open to public. Brodsky Gallery, Chauncey Conference Center, ETS Campus, 600 Rosedale Rd, Princeton. 646-541-9275. The Thru-Hiker’s Secret – 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Appalachian Trail thru-hike is one of the greatest gifts to yourself. It’s a true-life adventure in a modern world. Backpacking from Georgia-to-Maine by foot is far from a smooth journey, however. Discover the physical, psychological and logistical secrets that can help you earn the coveted moniker of “ThruHiker” with REI Specialist and two-time AT ThruHiker, Mark “Postcard” Hughes. REI Princeton, Mercer Mall, Lawrenceville. 609-750-1938.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 Winter Bird Walk – 8-10am. Ages 15 yo+. Free. Join Education Director Jeff Hoagland on a hike of the Watershed Reserve in search of wintering birds. Bring binoculars and dress for possibly muddy or snowy walking conditions. Watershed Center, 31 Titus Mill Rd, Pennington. 609-737-7592. Women, Power & Freedom – 10am-noon. Workshop for women to have a safe space to share their fears, their weaknesses and their hearts. Center for Spiritual Living Princeton, 812 State Rd, STE 220, Princeton. 609-924-8422.

2-4pm. Sunday, Dec. 4

Cost: $70/person 609-219-0053 Holistic Animal Healing – 10:30am-noon. Certification in Reiki and Holistic Healing Methods for Animals for completion of all three classes. Marjy Wienkop, CFTBS, Reiki Master. Pre-requisite Reiki 1. Cost $15/person. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900. Visit with Santa & Wagon Rides – Noon-5pm. Enjoy the holiday spirit with a festive wagon ride around the farm and a chance to visit with Santa. For more information call Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Rd, Princeton. 609-924-2310. Wreath Decorating & Winter Container Workshop – 1-3pm. Looking for techniques on how to decorate your home and make it more festive for the Holidays. The staff of Rutgers Gardens will take you step by step through techniques of decorating a wreath and creating a fun outdoor container. Wreaths and materials will be provided. Cost $70. 130 Log Cabin Rd, New Brunswick. 732-932-8451. Wreath Making with Farmer Q – 1-4pm. Tis the season for decorating. Learn Farmer Q’s famous craft of wreath making. After a demonstration from

Farmer Q, enjoy a wagon ride (weather permitting) to clip an assortment of pines and hollies from around the farm, which will be used to craft your very own beautiful door or mantle decorations. Cost $35/person. Fernbrook Farms, Rte 545, Chesterfield. 609-298-4028.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 Does God or Anybody Care? – 10:30am. Center for Spiritual Living Princeton is a warm, dynamic community of spiritually minded people. Sunday Transformation Service, followed by refreshments and conversation. Services are held at the Princeton Masonic Lodge, 345 River Rd (Rte. 605), Princeton. 609-924-8422. Visit with Santa & Wagon Rides – Noon-5pm. See December 4 listing. Princeton. Wreath Making with Farmer Q – 1-4pm. See December 3 listing. Chesterfield. Homesteading: The Face of Natural Beauty – 2-4pm. Spend a day relaxing with Arielle Notterman, owner and craftswoman of Rae and Ruby Beauty Products. In this hands-on class you’ll learn the healing properties of nature’s best herbs and oils, and how to use them to create your own skin products. Cost $70/person. Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville. 609-219-0053.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5 Yoga at the Library – 6:30pm. Free. Stretch your body and relax your mind with Yoga at the Library. Please bring a towel or yoga mat. Registration required. Mercer County Library, Hopewell Branch, 245 Pennington-Titusville Rd, Pennington. 609737-2610

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 Yoga at the Library – 5pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington. Make Your Own Earrings – 7pm. Free. Learn how to make your own custom pair of pierced hook, beaded, dangling earrings, using a variety of shapes, colors and styles of beads. These earrings make a great gift (or keep them for yourself). Presented by Suzanne Garfield of Beaded Bling by Suzanne. Registration required. Mercer County Library, Robbinsville Branch, 42 Robbinsville-Allentown Rd, Robbinsville. 609-259-2150.

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Greater Mercer County, NJ

Library, Ewing Branch, 61 Scotch Rd, Ewing. 609-882-3148.

Sahaja Yoga Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Free. Sahaja yoga meditation is based on “Kundalini awakening,” which is practiced in over 90 countries. Experience the peace and joy you can derive from this state of self-realization, and feel its benefits in your life. This session is part of a 7-week series. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, West Windsor Branch, 333 N Post Rd, Princeton Junction. 609799-0462.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 Yoga at the Library – 6:30pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7 Anatomy of a Cheese Board – 6-8pm. There is no bad time for a cheese board. Easy and quick to prepare, and apply to myriad of occasions. Learn how to choose your cheeses, which utensils work best and how to pair with local condiments and wine. Event is BYO. Cost $70/person. Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville. 609-219-0053. Guided Aromatic Meditation – 7-8pm. Develop relaxed awareness and clarity. Focus will be guided using breath, aroma and intention attuning by aroma therapist Gemma Bianchi. Cost $10. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 Heartfulness Meditation Workshop Series – 7-8pm. Free. Practical workshop on heartfulness meditation with yogic transmission. The facilitator will teach you simple yet effective guided relaxation and meditation techniques to reduce stress. Learn to calm your mind and improve the quality of your life. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, West Windsor Branch, 333 N Post Rd, Princeton Junction. 609-799-0462. Stuffed Up and Can’t Breathe? – 7pm. Free. If you suffer from congestion, stuffy nose, sinus or allergy issues, nasal blockage or post nasal drip, consider this informative lecture presented by Michael Lupa, MD, board certified otolaryngologist and rhinologist. Learn about common sinus problems, including nasal blockage, nasal polyps and sinus infections, as well as treatment options. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, Hickory Corner Branch, 138 Hickory Corner Rd, E Windsor. 609-448-1330.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 Ricotta Lunch – 11am-1pm. The introduction to home cheese-making, ricotta is the easiest cheese to make at home. It requires only a few simple ingredients and very little time. Cost $70/person. Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville. 609-219-0053.

Stress Management & Breathing Techniques – 11:30am-12:30pm. Free. This guided meditation workshop will explore the elegant mind–breath– body connection and methods to consciously use breath to realize your full potential, manage your emotions, and live a happier life. Sponsored by the Art of Living Foundation. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, West Windsor Branch, 333 N Post Rd, Princeton Junction. 609-799-0462. Candle Making Workshop – 1-3pm. Celebrate the approaching Winter Solstice and the return of the light by making candles with the TeacherNaturalists. Create hand-dipped candles and sand candles. Learn how to shape candles and add embellishments, then go home with your unique handmade gifts. Registration required. Cost $10/$15, member/ non-member. Watershed Center, 31 Titus Mill Rd, Pennington. 609-737-7592. Tibetan Reiki – 1:30-5:30pm. Learn the three new symbols to incorporate into reiki practice. Prerequisite: Reiki Master Certification. Cost $50. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 The Past Has No Power Over Me – 10:30am. Center for Spiritual Living Princeton is a warm, dynamic community of spiritually minded people. Sunday Transformation Service, followed by refreshments and conversation. Services are held at the Princeton Masonic Lodge, 345 River Rd (Rte. 605), Princeton. 609-924-8422. From Saint to Santa – 2pm. Free. Former museum educator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Michael Norris will explore how a Turkish bishop evolved into one of Christianity’s most beloved saints. Registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ewing Library. Mercer County

Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. ~Jean Anouilh

Holiday Concert: Winter Wonderland – 7pm. Free. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – time again to be dazzled and delighted with first rate musical merriment as Dave DeLuca performs the very best holiday favorites such as “Let It Snow”, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm”, “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” as well as novelty songs like “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”, and more. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, Lawrence Headquarters Branch, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville. 609-989-6920. Yoga – 7pm. Free. No experience necessary. Participants should bring towel/yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing. Registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ewing Library. Mercer County Library, Ewing Branch, 61 Scotch Rd, Ewing. 609-882-3148.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13 Yoga at the Library – 5pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington. Sahaja Yoga Meditation – 7-8:30pm. See December 6 listing. Princeton Junction. Winter Camping Basics – 7-8:30pm. Free. You like to camp, but have only tried it in the spring, summer & fall? Join experienced REI winter camping experts to learn what you need and what to expect when camping in a winter wonderland. Learn how to plan, how to stay warm, how to select winter appropriate gear and what to expect when setting up camp and during your overnight. Winter camping is a new experience that is a must-do that keeps you outside all year long. REI Princeton, Mercer Mall, Lawrenceville. 609-750-1938.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15 Free Vision Screenings – 4-7pm. Half of all blindness is preventable through regular vision screenings and education, so have your eyes checked today. Princeton HealthCare System and the New Jersey Commission for the Blind: Project Prevention Unit are pleased to offer these free vision screenings to uninsured or underinsured adults and children. Hamilton YMCA, 1315 Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd, Hamilton. 888-897-8979.

Ewing Structural Bodywork • Deep Tissue Rolf Method Massage for people and canines • Hot stone therapy • Detox body scrub/detox massage

Beth Verbeyst, BCSI, IASI, ABMP 609-731-9576 The most amazing hour of your week. natural awakenings

December 2016


NA Fun Facts: Natural Awakenings

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All Life is Conspiring for My Good – 10:30am. Center for Spiritual Living Princeton is a warm, dynamic community of spiritually minded people. Sunday Transformation Service, followed by refreshments and conversation. Services are held at the Princeton Masonic Lodge, 345 River Rd (Rte. 605), Princeton. 609-924-8422.

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To advertise with us call: 609-249-9044

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19 Yoga at the Library – 6:30pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington. Heartfulness Meditation Workshop Series – 7-8pm. See December 8 listing. Princeton Junction.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20 Yoga at the Library – 5pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington. Guided Mediation and Gentle Stretching – 7pm. Free. Guided meditation session to relieve daily stress and anxiety, followed by gentle stretching to help relieve your body’s tension. Bring exercise/ yoga mat. Registration required. Mercer County Library, Twin Rivers Branch, 276 Abbington Drive, E Windsor. 609-443-1880. Sahaja Yoga Meditation – 7-8:30pm. See December 6 listing. Princeton Junction.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21 Health Rhythm Drumming – 7-8pm. Group drumming is good fun and good for you. An evidencebased program, strengthens the immune system and reduces stress. Drums provided or bring your own. Cost $15/person. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900. Heartfulness Meditation Workshop Series – 7-8pm. See December 8 listing. Princeton Junction.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25 Merry Christmas


Greater Mercer County, NJ

I Am the Light – 10:30am. Center for Spiritual Living Princeton is a warm, dynamic community of spiritually minded people. Sunday Transformation Service, followed by refreshments and conversation. Services are held at the Princeton Masonic Lodge, 345 River Rd (Rte. 605), Princeton. 609-924-8422.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 26 December 26, 1776: Battle of Trenton – 7pm. Free. Presented by Mike Jesberger. Go back in time to the winter of 1776 when Washington’s army encamped in Bucks County, crossed the Delaware and defeated the unsuspecting Hessians at Trenton. Registration required. Sponsored by the Friends of the Ewing Library. Mercer County Library, Ewing Branch, 61 Scotch Rd, Ewing. 609-882-3148.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27 Yoga at the Library – 5pm. See December 5 listing. Pennington. Sahaja Yoga Meditation – 7-8:30pm. See December 6 listing. Princeton Junction.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28 Kwanzaa Celebration – 6pm. Free. Join us for a traditional Kwanzaa celebration that may include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling and poetry reading. Registration suggested. Mercer County Library, Lawrence Headquarters Branch, 2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville. 609-989-6920. Climb to the Roof of Africa: Mt. Kilimanjaro – 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Have you ever dreamed of standing on top of one of the world’s tallest mountains? Do you enjoy adventure and travel? Then make sure to join an information-packed presentation about Mount Kilimanjaro. REI Princeton, Mercer Mall, Lawrenceville. 609-750-1938. Reiki Sharing Evening – 7-9pm. For reiki practitioners only to share reiki with each other. Bring pillow, small sheet and blanket. Cost $5. RWJ Health & Wellness Center, 3100 Quakerbridge Rd, Hamilton. Register 609-584-5900.

share your experiences with other nursing mothers. UMCP Breast Health Center, East Windsor Medical Commons 2, 300B Princeton-Hightstown Rd, East Windsor.

ongoingevents daily


Car Seat Safety Check – Princeton HealthCare System Community Education & Outreach Program is pleased to offer free car seat safety checks. Car seat installation can be a challenge for many parents. Approximately 90 percent of car seats are not installed correctly or are misused. Call for location and appointment. 888-897-8979.

sunday Spiritual Awakening Service – 10:30am. If you are looking for a warm, dynamic community of spiritually-minded people, we encourage you to come to one of our Sunday Transformation Services and mingle afterwards with refreshments and conversation. The Center for Spiritual Living Princeton holds services every Sunday at the Princeton Masonic Lodge, 354 River Rd, Princeton. 609-924-8422.

tuesday Healing Meditation – 9:15-10:30am. This class includes a yoga set, pranayam (breathing exercises) meditation with mantra, and teachings on how to use the technology of mantra and sound to deepen your yoga meditation practice. Cost $10. Evans Chiropractic, 3679 Nottingham Way, Ste A, Hamilton. For more information call 609-586-9199. Breast Feeding Support Group – 11am-noon. Free support group to answer your questions and share your experiences with other nursing mothers. UMCP Breast Health Center, East Windsor Medical Commons 2, 300B Princeton-Hightstown Rd, East Windsor. Pre-Natal Yoga – 6-7pm. Expectant mothers will learn how to use gentle postures, stretching, breathing, toning, relaxation and meditation to help them keep fit and feel good during pregnancy. No previous yoga experience is necessary; however, medical clearance from a healthcare professional

is required. Please bring a yoga mat or large towel, two pillows or cushions, a yoga tie or a regular tie for stretching. Princeton HCS, 731 Alexander Rd, STE 103, Princeton. 888-897-8979. Holistic Health Talks – 6-6:30pm. Free. First Tuesday of month. Led by Dr. Eric Evans of Evans Chiropractic. Get the facts on creating and maintaining holistic health. Dinner included. 3679 Nottingham Way, Ste A, Hamilton. 609-586-9199. Kundalini Yoga & Meditation –6:30-7:45pm. As taught by Yogi Bhajan. Awaken your Kundalini energy. Evans Chiropractic, 3679 Nottingham Way, Ste A, Hamilton. For more information call 609586-9199.

3-Step Qigong – 9:30-11am. Three-step qigong consists of three exercises, which can be performed in 10 minutes, and will keep you well. The secret to qigong’s effectiveness lies in the way the exercises are performed. You will learn these techniques over the course of the class. Personal qigong training is also available for those who prefer a more individual rhythm. Cost $25/person. Registration preferred. Healing Touch Healing Movement, 178 Tamarack Circle, Montgomery. 609-742-3140. Healing Touch, Healing Movement Solutions – Noon-1:30pm. 2nd and 4th Saturday. Experience the combination of qigong and shiatsu to address existing issues such as neck and shoulder discomforts. The instruction will cover both practices that you can use for yourself and for others who would benefit. Cost, donation as Andrzej prefers to give back to the community and desires anyone wanting to attend. Come alone or bring a friend. 178 Tamarack Circle, Montgomery. 609-742-3140.

Change your

thoughts and you change your world.

thursday Kundalini Yoga & Meditation – 9:15-10:30am. As taught by Yogi Bhajan. Awaken your Kundalini energy. Evans Chiropractic, 3679 Nottingham Way, Ste A, Hamilton. For more information call 609586-9199.

~Norman Vincent Peale

Tai Chi – 7-8pm. Starting October 20. All levels welcome, 1st class free. Classes after cost $10/ person. Evans Chiropractic, 3679 Nottingham Way, Ste A, Hamilton. 609-586-9199.

friday Breast Feeding Support Group – 11am-noon.

SunnyAd.qxp_Layout 2 8/9/15 10:51 AM Page 1 Free support group to answer your questions and

Transform Your Life – Body, Mind & Heart Would you like to have the ability, knowledge and tools to create the life you desire? Call today to schedule your complimentary 15-minute phone session.

Sunny van Vlijmen


Holistic Health Consultant, Mentor, Educator

4444 Route 27 North, Kingston NJ 08528 • • natural awakenings

December 2016



communityresourceguide Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide email or call 609-249-9044 to request our media kit.

BODYWORK HOLISTIC CONSULTANT Craig Reichert Bordentown 917-280-2648

Offering a unique approach to wellness through combined modalities. Active in the Holistic Healing Field for over 20 years, working with clients on Body, Mind, and, Spirit by reducing stress and balancing Chakras through Reiki, Guided Meditation, and Self Hypnosis (Certified Hypnotherapist). Call for a free consultation to discuss your situation. “Now” is the time to make changes and work on mindfulness. Reasonable rates.


Marisa Foerter 609-351-2476

Point Your Life in a Healthy Direction Visit Our Website Browse the local news, events calendar, resource guide, coupons and contests, plus all the wonderful articles that support and inspire a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Now just a click away!

spiritual state.

Licensed massage therapist, healing touch practitioner whose calling is to provide a gentle, nurturing touch to enable client to restore to a healthy physical, mental, emotional and


1040 Pennsylvania Ave, Trenton 609-695-5800

Commercial kitchen for chefs and food entrepreneurs with modern, pleasant and ample space for hourly/daily rentals. Large 1-story with 4 cooking bays including bakery, plus cart and pallet storage. Must be friendly, clean, and cooperative. Rte.1 access, borders Lawrenceville.


Tell your story with a meaningful, customizable Living Locket. Choose the Charms that represent your passions, memories, dreams and the things you love and capture them in your Living Locket. Greater Mercer County, NJ

WALDORF SCHOOL OF PRINCETON 1062 Cherry Hill Rd, Princeton 609-466-1970 x115

Waldorf T h e Wa l d o r f c u r r i c u l u m ,

in 1,000+ schools worldwide, School used integrates arts, academics, of Princeton

movement, and music, emphasizing social and environmental responsibility. The hands-on approach is screen free.

ENERGY HEALING HOLISTIC CONSULTANT Sunny van Vlijmen 4444 Rte 27, Kingston 609-275-3881

Do you want real and lasting change? My professional background of 20+ years in alternative healing and personal development has taught me what works and what doesn’t. If you’re ready for change, schedule your free 15-minute phone consultation, today. See ad, page 41.

HOLISTIC DENTISTS PRINCETON CENTER FOR DENTAL AESTHETICS Dr. Ruxandra Balescu, DMD Dr. Kirk Huckel, DMD, FAGD 11 Chambers St, Princeton 609-924-1414

We offer a unique approach to the health care of the mouth based on a holistic understanding of the whole body. Please contact us to learn how we can serve your needs. See ad, page 23.


Serving Mercer County 609-249-9044



Barry Wolfson 48 Tamarack Circle, Princeton 28 Mine St, Flemington 2 East Northfield Rd, Livingston 3400 Valley Forge Ci, King of Prussia 908-303-7767 •

With 30 years experience, Hypnosis Counseling Center of NJ utilizes both traditional counseling methods and the art of hypnotherapy in private and group settings. Regularly hold adult education seminars, work with hospitals, fitness centers, and individuals wanting to better their lives. Specialize in weight loss, stress, smoking, confidence building, phobias, insomnia, test taking, sports improvement and public speaking.

HYPNOSIS PRISM HYPNOSIS Dr. Ira Weiner 609-235-9030

Do you smoke, feel stressed or in pain, crack under pressure, or want to break unhealthy habits? Contact us and visit our website for healthful solutions that work. See ad, page 8.



Our Mentors come from all walks of life, but they share one thing in common. By taking someone into their own home, they all make a difference—whether it’s in the life of a child in need with behavioral or emotional challenges or as a host home for a child or adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities. As a Mentor, you show them through your actions that we all matter and we all deserve to live life to the fullest. See ad on page 21.


732-835-2261 Bam Bam Broth is a paleofriendly, gluten-free bone broth company. Our bone broth is made from locally sourced grassfed, grass-finished beef bones or pasture-raised chicken. Each broth is simmered for a minimum of 36 hours to extract the amino acids, minerals and gut healing collagen. Each broth is simmered with deionized water, organic celery, carrots, onions, garlic, Himalayan pink salt, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and ginger. Beef and chicken broth are available as well as part of our subscription service to save you money. We also offer Paleo-friendly snacks and foods to supplement your health lifestyle.



editorial calendar


Trudy Ringwald Country Herbalist & Certified Reboundologist 553 Rte 130 N, East Windsor 1100 Rte 33, Hamilton 609-448-4885/609-586-6187 BlackForestAcres.Net

Two locations for the natural connection to live well and eat right. Natural and organic foods, vitamins, supplements, groceries and most important, free consultation.

health & wellness

plus: affordable complementary care FEBRUARY

conscious dying

plus: children’s dental health MARCH

food sensitivities


plus: holistic eye health APRIL


3200 Lawrenceville Rd, Lawrenceville 609-219-0053


Organic and natural products including farmstead cheeses; Buttercup Brie, seasonal Jacks, Rosedale, Herdsman, Toma, Havilah and Cheddar Curds. Additional products include wheyfed pork, grass-fed lamb and beef, pasture-raised eggs and myriad locally sourced goods. See ad on page 31.


plus: medical massage MAY

natural pregnancy & childbirth plus: women rising JUNE

chronic pain remedies

plus: hybrid vehicles update JULY

natural detox options plus: true prosperity AUGUST


2186 Rte 27, Ste 2D, North Brunswick 877-817-3273


rethinking cancer

Dr. Magaziner has dedicated his career to helping people with pain and musculoskeletal injuries using state-ofthe-art and innovative pain management treatments including platelet-rich plasma, Stem Cell therapy and Prolotherapy to alleviate these problems. See ad, page 2.

plus: reframing autism SEPTEMBER

graceful aging plus: yoga OCTOBER

transformative travel plus: chiropractic NOVEMBER

diabetes prevention & reversal plus: silent retreats DECEMBER

uplifting humanity

He who has not

plus: holidays

Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

natural awakenings

December 2016


Natural Awakenings Mercer NJ, December 2016  
Natural Awakenings Mercer NJ, December 2016  

Healthy Living, Healthy Planet