HEALTHY LIVING HEALTHY PLANET feel good live simply laugh more
UPLIFTING HUMANITY Simple Ways to Give and Do Good
NEW YEARâ€™S INTENTIONS Wayne Dyer Shares Five Favorites
GIVING Tips to Simplify the Season
HEALTHY DINING Fresh & Wholesome Local Eateries
December 2011 | Greater Las Vegas | NaturalAwakeningsLV.com
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Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.
13 THE UPSIDE OF DOWNHILL SKIING
Make the Most of Peak Experiences
by Randy Kambic
14 HEALTHY HOLIDAY HABITS
by Tara Rayburn
15 CONSCIOUS GIVING GIFT GUIDE
16 DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD The Helping â€“ Health â€“ Happiness Connection by Lisa Marshall
20 HEALTHY DINING IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
by Nancy Somera
22 THE PARENT PATH How Children Enrich Our Spiritual Life by Steve Taylor
24 INTERSPECIES FRIENDSHIPS
Crossing Boundaries for Good by April Thompson
26 EXPLORING THE
LAST FRONTIER with Astronaut Edgar Mitchell by Linda Sechrist
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Greater Las Vegas
I have always loved to learn. As a young child I often begged siblings and friends to join me in playing school. Later in life, after I became an elementary school mathematics educator, I discovered the teaching principle that my own understanding of math inevitably grew and deepened in sharing my knowledge Publisher, Mary Ruetten (left) with others. and Managing Editor, Nancy Somera Along the way, I also became a student of natural wellness, prompted by my struggles with infertility. As part of deepening my understanding of this arena, I shared information with anyone that would listen. For the past 20 years, I have used that as a springboard to expand my overall understanding of holistic health and wellness, and now Natural Awakenings is our community’s natural classroom for sharing all kinds of information. The journey of a well-rounded life reminds me of a four-part wellness wheel. To attain and maintain harmony in our lives, we need to pay attention to all the dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. If any section of the wheel is over- or under-inflated, the drive will be bumpy. This lesson was brought home to me recently when my car’s dashboard gauges signaled a problem with tire pressure in time to avoid a potential blowout. How grateful I am that I paused to consider my situation; now a newly balanced wheel is helping me to cruise more smoothly down the road. I subsequently realized that my hectic work and family schedule had led me to neglect physical exercise and valued volunteer work in the community, throwing my personal wellness out of balance. The simple acts of going for a brisk morning walk in the neighborhood and cleaning out bookshelves to donate good reads with underprivileged school children got me back on track and rolling again. We have all heard the idiom, “It is better to give than to receive.” This month’s theme of Uplifting Humanity and feature article, “Do Good, Feel Good: The Helping – Health – Happiness Connection,” reports that how we help, give and respond to others’ needs can affect the health and happiness of ourselves, our families, workplaces and communities (page 16). In “Some People are Born to Volunteer,” on page 12, Stacey Wedding refers to the gift of giving as “the helper’s high”; she regularly witnesses the benefits to those who give from the heart. This time of year brings special opportunities to generously give and bless others. Many churches, workplaces, schools and community organizations have programs working to uplift our neighbors that welcome our participation; our Conscious Gift Guide on page 15 presents a stocking-full of ideas that support mutual health, wellness and sustainability. All of it nourishes the soul. Be generous, be well and shine,
Mary Ruetten, Publisher NA-LV.com
newsbriefs Brain Balance Achievement Center Opens
rain Balance Achievement Centers of Henderson is now enrolling students with learning difficulties in its after-school learning center. The Brain Balance Program is a comprehensive, individualized approach to helping children with neurobehavioral and learning difficulties overcome their unique challenges. The non-medical program consists of a comprehensive assessment of all areas of the child’s brain and body functions, followed by integrating physical and cognitive exercises with dietary changes to correct the child’s underlying brain imbalance, improve function and reduce or eliminate negative behaviors. Centers work with children that suffer from ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. “Our mission is to help as many children reach their greatest physical, mental, social and academic potential as possible,” says Dr. Susan DeVito, director of the Henderson center. “Functional disconnection, an imbalance in the connections between the hemispheres of the brain, is often the cause of undesirable social, academic and behavior difficulties.” Location: 11 S. Stephanie St., Ste. 120, Henderson. For more info, call 702-778-9500, email Henderson@BrainBalanceCenters. com or visit BrainBalanceCenters.com.
Effective Energy Home Remodel Underway
evada ENERGY STAR Partners (NESP)-Green Alliance is working with the Building America Retrofit Alliance and Time Inc., publishers of This Old House magazine, to develop a community-scale demonstration program in Las Vegas, implementing energy-efficient retrofit packages in two case study homes. The results will be tracked and covered in the pages of This Old House and other national and local media outlets. Construction is on schedule for completion in January, featuring new technologies and design strategies that demonstrate whole-house efficient energy performance. The homes will be retained by the NESP-Green Alliance after completion for ongoing community outreach and education until May 2012. Energy retrofits will be documented through a series of video presentations. Workshops, community outreach channels and the collaborative efforts of local partners will bring local awareness to the value in home performance improvements. Partners include Better Building Performance, the High Performance general contractor on the project; the city of Las Vegas; HomeFree NV; and GREEN Chips. For inquiries and sponsorship and education opportunities, call Beth Gillette at 702-300-8727 or email Beth@ ThinkEnergyStar.com.
fresh&easy Launches Loyalty Program
hoppers can now earn cash rewards by joining the new Friends of fresh&easy program. Shoppers earn a point for every dollar spent, and 500 points earn a $5 cash reward. fresh&easy Neighborhood Markets sell fresh, wholesome and affordable groceries in energy-efficient stores. They never use high-fructose corn syrup, added trans fat, artificial colors or flavors in any of their fresh&easy brand products or ready-to-cook meals. They carry a wide range of organic foods, hormone-free meats and dairy products, and low-sugar and gluten-free products to meet various dietary needs. The all-digital card makes it easy for busy shoppers to sign up for the program online, manage their accounts and convert rewards at home. To find a store near you and to sign up for the Friends of fresh&easy program, visit FreshAndEasy.com. natural awakenings
newsbriefs Recycled Percussion Headlines Benefit Concert
fundraising concert event to benefit the Josh Stevens Foundation, BE KIND—Rock Your Heart Out, is scheduled for 6 p.m., December 11, at the Hard Rock Café on Las Vegas Boulevard. Opening acts will include local middle school and high school garage bands, followed by headliner, Recycled Percussion, at 8 p.m. The Josh Stevens Foundation is a Southern Nevada-based organization dedicated to inspiring more kids to BE KIND more often. When Josh’s life was cut short by a tragic accident shortly before his 13th birthday, the celebration of his life and his extraordinarily kind heart inspired the Josh Stevens Foundation. To spread Josh’s unique brand of kindness, the foundation created a You’ve Been Caught Being Kind card, which can be given to a child when they are “caught” being kind by a member of the Kindness Patrol, comprised of adults throughout the community. The card includes a silicon bracelet to remind the wearer that simple acts of kindness can make a difference in our world. BE KIND apparel is worn regularly by members of the Las Vegas community to help spread the kindness message. “We’re incredibly grateful to the members of Recycled Percussion for lending their time and talents to this event,” said Drew Stevens, the boy’s father and the foundation’s founder. “Their show is an absolute phenomenon, and we appreciate their genuine enthusiasm for the cause of encouraging more kids to be more kind more often.” Tickets are $15 at TicketWeb.com. For more info, visit JoshStevensFoundation.org. See ad, page 17.
Matrix Energetics Offers Life-Transforming Seminars
eginning in January and continuing throughout 2012, Matrix Energetics will offer its transformative seminars in cities across the United States and in Canada. Upcoming programs are scheduled for San Francisco; Asheville, North Carolina; Albuquerque; Scottsdale, Arizona; Fort Lauderdale; San Diego; and Toronto. Matrix Energetics, a consciousness technology for insight, healing and spiritual growth, was born from a set of energetic treatments discovered by Dr. Richard Bartlett in his chiropracDr. Richard Bartlett tic and naturopathic practice. Using principles of quantum and energy physics, Bartlett says this teachable, transferable system helps individuals to shift into a more balanced state and create new, infinite possibilities in their lives. “Matrix Energetics offers easy-to-learn techniques and strategies for enhancing all areas of life, such as health, family, career, relationships and finances,” he explains. ”Once you learn to catch the wave of Matrix Energetics, it can become whatever you let it. Some of my students have developed abilities I’ve never dreamed of having.” Bartlett is the author of several books, including the award-winning Matrix Energetics: The Science and Art of Transformation and The Physics of Miracles and The Matrix Energetics Experience. For seminar dates, locations and registration information, call 1-800-269-9513, email Info@MatrixEnergetics.com or visit MatrixEnergetics.com. Friday night demonstrations are free and open to the public, space permitting. See ad, page 21. 6
Greater Las Vegas
Henderson Hosts WinterFest Celebration
he city of Henderson will host the annual WinterFest celebration, December 9 and 10, at the Henderson Events Plaza, in the Water Street District. This year’s celebration takes inspiration from the Victorian era and the novelist Charles Dickens, featuring holiday festivities true to the time period. The celebration begins with the official Henderson Christmas tree lighting ceremony and arrival of Santa Claus at 6 p.m., Friday, December 9. Families will enjoy old-fashioned Christmas traditions, such as horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling carolers, pony rides, storytelling and a charming display of gingerbread houses. The Henderson Symphony Orchestra will perform Sounds of the Season, a time-honored holiday tradition for a number of years. The spirit of the season continues from 12 to 8 p.m., Saturday, December 10, with appearances by popular Charles Dickens characters, including Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Festivalgoers can delight in the sights and sounds along the streets, enjoying musical recitals by local children, the Festival of Trees, an elaborate Christmas village and shopping at the craft bazaar. WinterFest culminates with a spectacular evening light parade at 5 p.m., which includes marching groups and floats trimmed and decorated to the event’s theme, An Old-Fashioned Christmas Delight. Admission is free. For a full schedule of events and additional info, call 702-2672171 or visit HendersonLive.com.
Natural Awakenings Las Vegas Partners with 1% for the Planet
atural Awakenings Las Vegas has joined 1% for the Planet, pledging a portion of its sales to support nonprofit organizations focused on sustainability. Their 2011 pledge commitment is designated for Friends of Nevada Wilderness and The Nevada Wilderness Project. “Natural Awakenings magazine of Las Vegas is dedicated to educating and inspiring our community toward healthy living and a healthy planet,” says Publisher Mary Ruetten. “One of our guiding principles is to be a service to the natural community which includes annual philanthropic giving and volunteer work.” Members of 1% contribute one percent of revenues directly to any of the approved nonprofit environmental organizations in the group’s network. Of more than 2,500 nonprofits worldwide, recipients are chosen based on referrals, track record and environmental focus. “We chose our 2011 pledge recipients for their diligent efforts in preserving the beauty of our state and developing renewable and clean energy sources,” says Ruetten. “We encourage more Southern Nevada nonprofits to become approved recipients within the 1% network.” For more information, visit OnePercentForThePlanet.org. Learn more about pledge recipients at WildNevada.org and NevadaWilderness.org.
Om Yoga Adds Thursday Group Class
m Yoga Therapy Institute now offers a second hatha yoga group class, from 9 to 10 a.m., Thursdays, at The World Wellness Group. The 60-minute introductory session uses hatha yoga, a combination of postures, breathing and relaxation, to help achieve a general sense of wellOmita Kumar being. Another group class is held from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesdays. Omita Kumar, owner of Om Yoga, completed a master of science in yoga therapy degree from Kasturba Medical College, in Manipal, India. During her training, she maintained a patient base for which hatha yoga was used to treat patients with a variety of medical conditions. In her current practice, she uses hatha yoga to treat ailments and to promote healing through a mind/body connection. With the exception of her biweekly group classes, all private sessions are one-on-one and personalized to meet the client’s needs. Omita Kumar is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Location: 3110 S. Valley View Blvd., Ste. 103, Las Vegas. For more information, call 702-338-3309 or email OmitaCooper@gmail.com. See ad, page 19.
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The Arts Relieve Holiday Stress
he hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave us stressed, fatigued and even anxious or depressed. But according to studies sponsored by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, there are many artful ways to relieve these conditions: Painting, dancing, playing a musical instrument or even attending a theater performance or concert may help us
feel better, healthier and more upbeat. The researchers worked with more than 50,000 participants, using questionnaires, interviews, clinical examinations, and blood and urine samples to assemble detailed health profiles. The data was controlled for chronic illness, social relations, smoking and alcohol. What most surprised the researchers was that the study findings held true regardless of socioeconomic status; whether a truck driver or bank president, participating in the arts had a positive effect on the individual’s sense of health and well-being.
Acupuncture Eases Unexplained Symptoms
atients that experience medically unexplained symptoms might benefit from acupuncture, according to new research by the Institute of Health Services Research, Peninsula Medical School, at the University of Exeter. The study involved 80 adults that had consulted their general practitioner eight or more times in the previous year for problems such as headaches, muscle pain, extreme fatigue or joint and back pain. Half received up to 12 sessions of five-element acupuncture during a period of six months; the remainder received no extra treatment. The patients receiving acupuncture reported improved well-being and scored higher on an individualized health status questionnaire than the control group. They reported that their acupuncture consultations became increasingly valuable and that the interactive and holistic nature of the sessions gave them a sense that something positive was being done about their condition. Professor Andrew Gould, who led the study, says it is important to offer patients other options when conventional medicine isn’t working. “It’s soul-destroying for both the patient and doctor when there’s no clear reason for the symptoms patients are suffering from,” he explains. “We don’t know how acupuncture is making a difference, but it seems to be something to do with the treatment, rather than just a placebo or the one-to-one care the patients are getting.” The study was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The research results were published in The British Journal of General Practice. 8
Greater Las Vegas
Zinc Fights colds
new study confirms that zinc can, indeed, help reduce the severity and duration of the common cold, and high doses—at least 75 milligrams per day—work best. Depending upon the total dosage and composition of the lozenges, zinc may shorten the duration of a common cold episode by up to 40 percent, according to University of Helsinki research. Source: Open Respiratory Medicine Journal
Nutty Help for Diabetes
ew research from St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto reports that consuming two ounces of nuts daily as a replacement for carbohydrates (muffins were used in the study) is effective in glycemic and serum lipid control for people with Type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that all nuts—whether mixed, unsalted, raw or dry-roasted—offer benefits for control of both blood glucose and blood lipids and could be consumed as part of a strategy to improve diabetes control without weight gain. Source: Diabetes Care
Massage Beats Meds for Back Pain
Occupy Your Life...NOW! A Chi-To-Be! Excellent Adventure Event
new study conducted by the Group Health Research Institute of Seattle suggests that massage therapy may be better than conventional medicine alone for easing lower back pain. Researchers recruited 401 patients with chronic back pain and found that those receiving a series of either relaxation or structural massage spent fewer days in bed and were more active than those receiving “usual medical care,” ranging from painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants to physical therapy. Lead study author Daniel Cherkin, director of the institute, concluded: “If you’re having continuing problems with back pain, even after trying usual medical care, massage may be a good thing to do. I think the results are pretty strong.” Funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Phosphates Not Heart-Healthy
hosphates are commonly found in microwavable meals, soft drinks and other processed and prepackaged foods. Now, researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK, have demonstrated a connection between the high intake of phosphates and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, a leading cause of heart disease. The research shows that cholesterol deposits in the walls of arteries increase following a higher phosphate diet. This leads to narrowing of the arteries, the cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
Source: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
The Science Behind an Apple a Day
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Thursday, December 8 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
ccording to Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph.D., a registered dietician and chair of the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University, there is scientific truth in the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The nationally recognized nutrition researcher, a Margaret A. Sitton professor, maintains that apples are a “miracle fruit,” providing health benefits beyond fiber. Earlier animal studies have shown that the pectin and polyphenols in apples improve lipid metabolism and lower the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. Arjmandi’s new study is the first to evaluate the long-term cardio-protective effects of eating apples daily. He randomly assigned 160 women, ages 45 to 65, to one of two dietary intervention groups: one received 75 grams of dried apples each day (the equivalent of four or five fresh apples); the other ate dried prunes. Arjmandi reports surprising results: “Incredible changes in the apple-eating women happened by six months—they experienced a 23 percent decrease in LDL [bad] cholesterol.” Daily apple consumption also led to lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is known to trigger inflammation in the body. In another unexpected benefit, the apple-eaters lost an average of 3.3 pounds.
For location information, please visit and join us on our Facebook page
facebook.com/GreenDrinksLV Tara.Pierce@gmail.com 702-566-8619
What is Green Drinks? Green Drinks is an informal social networking group built around a common interest in sustainability and the environment . It occurs on the second Thursday of every month, starting around 6pm.
Participate. Educate. Connect. MEDIA SPONSOR
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globalbriefs News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.
Global Religion Remains Strong Despite Repression
In a recent, nondenominational global survey of 18,000 people across 24 countries by UK research firm Ipsos Mori, 70 percent identified themselves with a chosen religion. Thirty percent said that their religion motivates them to give time or money to people in need and 73 percent of those under age 35 said their religion or faith was important in their life. At the same time, Rising Restrictions on Religion, a recent report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that more than 2.2 billion of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion people live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between 2006 and 2009. Most of the countries that experienced substantial increases already had high levels of restrictions or hostilities. “This survey shows how much religion matters and that no analysis of the contemporary world, political or social, is complete without understanding the relationship between faith and globalization,” says former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, a patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. “There is much to encourage the view that people can learn to respect those of another faith and live with them peacefully. Interfaith dialogue and action today is not just an interesting but peripheral minor subject; it is the essence, central to creating greater social cohesion and harmony.” Sources: Christian Today (UK); PewForum.org
Bully Beaters Cooperation is Key to Social Harmony
Bullies seem to be made, not born. A study from the University of California, Berkeley, concludes that a cooperative school experience, versus a competitive one, can play a major positive role in the socialization of students. Researchers canvassed 217 students in grades three through five, measuring how much they liked to cooperate or compete with their peers, and how often they acted with aggression or kindness toward them. The youngsters also estimated how often their teachers put them in small groups to complete assignments together, a classroom strategy known as “cooperative learning,” because the students have to collaborate with one another to get their work done. Students that engaged in more frequent cooperative learning were more likely to say they enjoyed cooperating with others and reported exhibiting kind, helpful, pro-social behaviors. In contrast, students that said they preferred to compete were significantly more likely to act aggressively toward their peers and try to do them harm. The results suggest that cooperation begets cooperation. The researchers further concluded that cooperative experiences promote the development of the personality trait of cooperation. Based on their results, the researchers advocate more cooperative learning in classrooms as a way to promote positive behaviors and combat bullying, or harm-intentioned aggression. Source: Greater Good Science Center 10
Greater Las Vegas
Universal Truths Chinese Seek Happiness and Justice
When the Chinese Internet portal NetEase recently offered Open Universitystyle lectures in English with seminars like Web 2.0 Marketing Communications and Introduction to Robotics, managers were surprised that the most popular choices turned out to be two more contemplative courses; one on happiness and the other on justice. “We never imagined that the most successful topics would be those to do with people’s hearts and minds,” says NetEase spokesman Yang Jing. More than 3 million people have already watched the course on the concept of justice, led by Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel, author of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Sandel believes that the demand reflects an awakening of ethical reflection and debate in China. “The generation that came of age during China’s economic miracle now wants to engage with big questions about moral responsibility, justice and injustice; about the meaning of the good life,” he observes. Although China is proud of its economic advances, “There is also recognition that rising affluence has brought growing inequality, that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) alone does not bring happiness, and that markets can’t by themselves create a just society.” Psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Being Happy, states that his positive psychology course acknowledges that, “The need for happiness, for meaning and pleasure, is universal, common to all people. However, what people find meaningful or pleasurable often differs across different cultures.” Source: Time magazine
Toyland Tips Choose Greener, Safer Playthings
Millions of children’s toys have been recalled in recent years to head off hazards from lead content, possible choking and other personal safety issues, thanks to supervision by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But none are monitored for their environmental impact, which opens another can of worms. Action figures and dolls are often made from PVC, the worst polluting plastic, and their packaging often quadruples the size of a toy’s environmental footprint, typically ending up in a landfill. Teddy bears are often stuffed with synthetic, petroleum-based fillers and pesticide-heavy cotton. Other toys, including stuffed animals, are sprayed with brominated fire retardants; the kind that turn up in breast milk. Even some wooden toys may be coated with varnishes and paints that are high in air-polluting volatile organic compounds (VOC). To combat this troubling trend, look for all-natural stuffed animals made with organic fibers, wool batting, recycled sweaters or even tofu; search out toys that have shifted to PVC- and phthalate-free plastics; and use beeswax instead of synthetic clay and colored play dough for craft projects. It’s best to purchase toys from local manufacturers that can certify they follow U.S. environmental, health and safety regulations and use minimal packaging. Favor wooden toys that are finished with nontoxic, natural oil or beeswax or not finished at all. Sources include local guild shops, craft stores and galleries that carry handcrafted toys made by artisans in the community, using proper safety criteria.
ecotips The Greenest Tree Go Natural for Christmas
The star of many families’ seasonal décor, the annual Christmas tree does not need to become an environmental burden if selected with care. While some individuals have strong opinions about the virtues of a natural tree versus an artificial one, each can have pros and cons. The National Christmas Tree Association points out that 85 percent of the plastic trees sold in the United States are imported from China and may contain toxic chemicals, while evergreen trees can be grown in all 50 states. Even with a real tree, however, there are factors to consider. How far did the tree travel? The distance traveled from its source impacts the carbon footprint, due to the fuel expended to transport it. Most vendors can tell you the state of origin, but how about pesticides? Conventional Christmas tree farms are reputed to use abundant pesticides to keep their product looking picture-perfect. Ask if the seller is the grower and/or knows the answer. Typically, a temporary sidewalk or street corner seller may not; a better bet can be a u-pick-it tree farm. Put a cut tree in water within a few hours after trimming the base a flat onehalf to one inch; some people add an aspirin to the water to enhance absorption. According to the 2009 National Geographic Green Guide, Americans annually discard 30 million cut trees after the holidays, with the wood wasted in landfills. Recycle your Christmas tree at more than 20 convenient Las Vegas drop sites, where it will be chipped into valuable mulch for use in organic landscaping projects. Find locations at SpringsPreserve.org. Locate tree growers by state and learn how to dispose of trees responsibly at PickYourOwnChristmasTree.org. GreenPromise.com publishes a list of organic Christmas tree farmers at Tinyurl.com/65oqh9. When choosing a live tree, keep it properly hydrated and just repot it in the yard after the celebrations conclude. Find detailed steps for care and planting from WikiHow.com at Tinyurl.com/6dyauj and Tinyurl.com/3rj582n.
Idea sources: ChasingGreen.org (Tinyurl.com/3hxd2ea);TofuBear.com
communityspotlight Some People Are Born to Volunteer Stacey Wedding Helps Foster a Giving Spirit by Nancy Somera any of us come into this world and casually stumble through adolescence and early adulthood, searching for our purpose in life. For Stacey Wedding, founder and CEO of Professionals in Philanthropy, LLC, her destiny was molded at the age of 2, when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. “My diagnosis really shaped our family life,” Wedding shares. “Both my parents began to volunteer, devoting a huge part of their lives to fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).” Her mother, Debbie Devald, became the first JDRF local chapter executive director. “By the time I was 5, I was the poster child for JDRF,” Wedding recalls. She actively participated in Walk-A-Thons and other fundraising events, and was publicly open about her disease. “At the time, it was all very self-centered. Back then, statistics on the future health of children with juvenile diabetes were grim. I just wanted a cure to be found,” says Wedding. She began mentoring newly diagnosed diabetic children when she was 10, meeting with families and sharing her experience of living with the disease. “These families were scared about so many things,” she recalls, “from what the future held to how to administer an insulin shot to their child.” For many families, seeing a healthy, growing adolescent provided hope for the future and the strength to accept a lifetime of constant monitoring. Today, Wedding continues to mentor juvenile diabetes patients at St. Rose HospitalSiena Campus and through JDRF. Wedding was accepted into the Honors College at University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), where she became involved in student government. She immediately recognized a change was needed. “The Honors College was filled with brilliant students, but collectively,
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we weren’t involved in any community service projects,” she advises. With Wedding’s guidance and assistance, the college became involved in several community causes. The UNLV Board of Regents noticed these efforts and she was honored with their prestigious Undergraduate Scholar of the Year award. “The community service piece was a huge part of why I was given the scholarship,” Wedding states. “But I wasn’t trying to attract the recognition. It was role-modeled to me at an early age that giving is something you do and that when you do, it feels good.” She continues, “Sometimes, when you become involved in volunteer and philanthropic work, you don’t realize how it builds your resume and sets you up for success in the future.” For Wedding, the future was bright. She graduated summa cum laude from UNLV and immediately launched a career in public relations, helping businesses brand and enhance their corporate image through community service. “I loved my first jobs, but I was only able to spend about 20 percent of my time on community service,” Wedding says. “It didn’t fulfill my needs.” She moved on to Nevada Community Foundation, where for seven years she matched high net worth individuals and corporate businesses with nonprofit organizations. Eventually, her entrepreneurial spirit drove her to start her own philanthropic consulting firm, Professionals in Philanthropy. Her firm offers advisement and strategic planning to nonprofits looking for funding, as well as individuals, private families and corporations that want to adopt a cause with meaning for them. “Right now, I’m advising an individual who has strong convictions and particular requirements about how he
Stacey Wedding wants his wealth distributed after his impending death,” Wedding explains. “I encouraged him to begin giving now, so he could enjoy the benefits of giving. He listened, and it has been wonderful to see his happiness and peace in knowing that his desires will be met, now and in the future.” Wedding refers to the gift of giving as “the helper’s high,” and witnessed its effects on her own father, Ernie Devald, who has been battling and surviving cancer for many years. He surpassed all his doctors’ predictions, and Wedding attributes that to the numerous hours he volunteered at St. Rose Hospital. “He has logged nearly 3,500 hours since September 2007,” Wedding boasts. “The staff knows him by his first name and considers him one of them.” The poems he left on children’s beds were such a hit that St. Rose asked to publish them in a gift book, and he has since published a second book. True to her heart, Wedding continues to volunteer a minimum of 500 hours each year and donates 10 percent of her net revenue to charities. “Southern Nevada’s volunteer statistics don’t really show the giving spirit that I know is present in our community,” she explains. “People are eager to volunteer and give to charities, but sometimes they just don’t know where to start. My job is to help make it easier for them.” For volunteer opportunities, visit NevadaVolunteers.org, Volunteer CentersN.org, and VolunteerMatch.org. Visit NevadaGives.org for local charitable news and events. Nancy Somera is the managing editor of Natural Awakenings Las Vegas.
norm as the season progresses. Warmer temperatures later in the season also tend to make conditions more comfortable and soften ice and hard-packed snow, slowing speeds a bit and making turns easier. “More snow makes skis easier to control,” explains Winter. “It allows you to glide and carve your turns and maintain a turning rhythm. So, you don’t have to work as hard, which also saves energy.” Many resorts offer special late-season discounts.
The Upside of Downhill Skiing
Make the Most of Peak Experiences
by Randy Kambic
now brings fresh fun with winter sports and recreation. Cross-country skiing and snowboarding are healthy options, but neither offers the scope and variety in terrain, movement and exercise afforded by the perennial favorite of alpine downhill skiing. Jen Butson, public affairs director of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, representing 48 facilities, believes that downhill particularly appeals to women, due to its, “ …accessibility to all ages, abilities and body types, its gracefulness, and being a way for a family to experience nature together.” Yet, some skiers may experience diminished interest due to memories of cold limbs, residual aches and pains or crowded slopes. Or, they might be concerned about resorts’ perceived high energy usage. Cost is another factor. Here are some tips to get folks back on the slopes and max out mountain moments. Warm-up exercises. Skiing demands slightly bent knees and a firm back to absorb bumps, so do some deep squats and short hops from that position beforehand, advises Dr. Joe Ethen, owner of Lakefront Chiropractic Center, in Glencoe, Illinois. “This exercise targets the upper quadriceps and provides full-range motion of joints.” Using ski poles to initiate turns and propel through chairlift lines works the arms and shoulders, so he also recommends upper body stretching. Foot care. Boots need to be tight fit-
ting in order to transmit the pressure to make turns from the foot through the boot and binding to the ski itself. The necessary snugness can hinder circulation and chill toes. A solution: Loosen boot buckles while waiting for and taking the chairlift, and wear thin, synthetic-blend socks that wick away moisture and accelerate evaporation. Avoid the crowds. When skiing on a weekend, locate one or two trails serviced by a mid-mountain chairlift, which is usually far less crowded than the main lift closest to the lodge. “Many resorts have high-speed, four-seat chairlifts, which reduce wait time,” says Karl Winter, vice president of Ski the Rockies, which represents 30-plus resorts in California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Canada. Eat early or late to get in more skiing while others lunch in the lodge. Take a workweek vacation day or two to totally beat weekend crowds. Safety. Call out, “On your right,” for example, if you pass a skier that’s to your left, to make sure he or she doesn’t ski into your path. Stay aware of faster moving skiers and boarders. “Don’t stop for too long in the middle of a steep trail to rest or take in the splendid views,” counsels Butson. “A speedy skier might not see you there beneath a mogul.” Late-season benefits. More natural and manmade snow on the slopes is the
Ski green. Joining a ski club can deliver savings on lift tickets, as well as lodging booked by the group. Plus, traveling by bus or carpooling saves gas. Remember to properly recycle or dispose of refuse and pick up any trash you spot in the snow. When choosing a destination, check to see if the resort goes for electric vehicles, composting, local purchasing programs, efforts to reduce carbon footprints, water conservation and employee and guest sustainability education. All are elements of the National Ski Areas Association’s Environmental Charter, endorsed by190 resorts that together, host about 75 percent of all U.S. skier and snowboarder visits. Many resorts are adopting the association’s new sustainable slopes and climate challenge programs. If you need skis, but are on a tight budget, consider renting or checking out early season ski swaps, which also can offer more traditional eco-friendly, gently worn clothing. If you feel you must wax ski bases, select a product that is free of PFCs and other petrochemicals, which can rub off into snow and eventually find their way into waterways. With the ultra-smooth, resilient bases of modern skis, waxing has become unnecessary for most recreational skiers. Enjoy winter’s wonderland. For consumer tips and destination directories, visit nsaa.org, SkiTheRockies.com, SnowSports.org and SkiVermont.com. Avid skier Randy Kambic is a freelance editor and writer in Estero, FL, and a copyeditor for Natural Awakenings.
Healthy Holiday Habits by tara rayburn appy holidays begin with healthy families. Many colds, flu and stress-related illnesses occur between October and January, when we tend to eat horribly, stress about everything, overbook our schedules and sleep less—then wonder why we get sick. However, we can tip the health scales in our favor this season by adding healthy habits. We all have habits that promote well-being, and others that are not so healthy. The challenge is to understand the difference and choose the healthier ones most of the time. The best habits are those that will actually be practiced within our families’ unique lifestyle and challenges. A powerful healthy habit to acquire is the daily consumption of digestive enzymes and probiotics, the beneficial flora that help strengthen the immune and digestive systems. Although acidophilus, commonly found in yogurts, is the most widely referred to probiotic, there are many other beneficial types of flora we can ingest through supplements and naturally fermented, cultured foods and beverages. Some examples of these are kombucha, an effervescent fermented tea-based beverage, and coconut water kefir. Cultured foods and beverages also add essential digestive enzymes to our bodies, many of which are lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). Without them, it is difficult to absorb and utilize the nutrients from the foods we digest. Here are nine healthy habits to start adding right now.
Nine Healthy Habits for the Holidays n Vow to “stress less.” Stressing won’t change anything— except your health! n Have a weekly “cook-fest,” preparing several meals for the week and freezing extra portions. n Give a “cook-fest” meal as a gift for a neighbor, friend or co-worker. n Consume probiotics (beneficial flora) daily, via drinks like coconut water kefir and foods such as Greek yogurt, that are rich in digestive-supporting enzymes that create health from within. n Rethink the real meaning of the holidays you celebrate. Build in more downtime. n Make health-promoting gift baskets for family and friends. n Take weekly Epsom salt and lavender essential oil baths. Add baking soda and sea salt to remove toxins and reduce stress. n Release toxins and stress with daily exercise, massages, deep breathing or family walks. n Sleep more and rest more. We accomplish more when rejuvenated. Tara Rayburn is the Healthy Habit Coach and a Mom-on-aMission. For more information, visit NourishingYourFamily. com. Also visit TheHealthyHabitCoach.com.
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The Helping – Health – Happiness Connection by Lisa Marshall
rowing up on Long Island, New York, young Stephen Post often received an unusual prescription from his mother when he was feeling grouchy or under the weather. “She’d say, ‘Why don’t you go out and help someone?’” he recalls. “I’d go out and help Mr. Muller rake leaves or help old Bobby Lawrence fix his boat. Then, I’d come back feeling better, and feeling better about life.” Decades later, Post—a professor of preventive medicine at New York’s Stony Brook University—is among a growing contingent of researchers exploring just how such acts of generosity and the feelings (empathy, compassion, altruism) that prompt them may actually improve our mental and physical health. Recent studies have shown that people that volunteer live longer, suffer less chronic pain, have bolstered immune systems, are more likely to recover from addiction, and experience an in-the-moment sense of calm akin
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to that which people experience during and after exercise. Scientists have yet to fully understand what the physiological underpinnings are of such health benefits, but early studies credit a cascade of neurobiological changes that occur as we reach out to help a loved one, or (in some cases) even cut a check to a stranger in need. Could generosity be the missing, often overlooked ingredient to a prescription for better health? Perhaps, says Post, author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times. “This is a young science, but what we have begun to discover is that there is something going on, physiologically, in this process of helping others that seems to make people feel happier and report greater health.”
Helping Hands Live Longer
We’ve all felt it: That blush of innerwarmth we get after we bring a plate
of healthful, steaming food to a sick relative, volunteer to read to kids at a local preschool or help sort donations for a shelter. According to a 2010 survey of 4,500 Americans by United Healthcare, 68 percent of those that volunteered in the previous year reported that doing it made them feel physically healthier; 73 percent noted that it lowered their stress levels. Meanwhile, 29 percent of volunteers that suffered from a chronic illness claimed that giving of their time helped them to better manage the illness. Other studies, by researchers at Boston College, found that when chronic pain sufferers volunteered to help others with similar conditions, they saw their own pain and depression levels decrease. At least seven studies have shown that people that regularly volunteer or give of themselves live longer—especially if they do it for genuinely altruistic reasons. Cami Walker, 38, of Denver, has experienced firsthand the physical benefits of being generous. After one sleepless night, lying awake and, “feeling sorry for myself,” due to a flare-up of her multiple sclerosis, she decided to take the advice of a spiritual teacher that suggested she, “Give something away each day for 29 days.” On day one, she called a sick friend to offer her support. On day two, she dropped $5 in a hat for some street performers. Another day, she treated a friend to a foot massage. By day 14, she recalls, “My body was stronger and I was able to stop walking with my cane. After months of being too sick to work, I was able to go back part-time.” Walker subsequently wrote the bestselling 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. It has inspired a global giving movement, with participants blogging about their experiences at 29Gifts.org. As she recently explained to The New York Times, “It’s about stepping outside of your own story long enough to make a connection with someone else.”
The Helper’s High
University of Michigan researcher Sara Konrath, Ph.D., has found that people engaging in acts that benefit others tend to have more calming hormones like
oxytocin and progesterone coursing through their bodies. If presented with a tough situation later, they are likely to react with a muted stress response, churning out fewer harmful stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, and maintaining a calmer heart rate. Konrath is studying whether altruistic thoughts and behavior might also be associated with an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. “Just thinking about giving seems to have a beneficial physiological impact,” says Post. For instance, a late 20thcentury study by then Harvard Psychologist David McClelland found that when people watched a film about Mother Teresa’s work with orphans in Calcutta, levels of immunoglobulin A (a marker of immune strength) shot up. A more recent study found that people had higher levels of oxytocin in their blood after they had watched a moving film about an ill 4-year-old boy. Some research further suggests that the act of giving may release natural opiates, such as endorphins, into our system. One landmark analysis of 1,700 people published in Psychology Today found that more than 68 percent experienced a “helper’s high” when physically helping another person, and 13 percent reported a decrease in aches and pains afterward. It’s a concept that’s been documented many times since. Meanwhile, new brain-imaging research has shown that acts of giving (including making a charitable donation) stimulate “reward centers” in the brain. This includes the mesolimbic pathway by which natural dopamine is released, leaving us feeling euphoric. On the flip side, “We found that people that are high in narcissism and low in empathy have higher cortisol levels,” advises Konrath. “They walk around with high stress reactivity, which is really hard on the body.” One other clear example of the health benefits of helping lies in the field of addiction research. Recent studies by Maria Pagano, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, found that recovering addicts that volunteer to help other addicts stay sober are twice as likely to remain so themselves. That’s because narcissism and self-absorption are often at the root of addiction, and generosity is an antidote to narcissism, Pagano says. “The founders of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) figured it out,” Pagano continues, noting that a primary focus is on serving others. “They figured out that this selfish root is there before the illness develops, and is sustained unless you treat it. This is treatment; it is a way of continually weeding out the narcissism that made you sick.” natural awakenings
How to Up Our Generosity Quotient
ocus on someone else for a change, whether it’s looking a store clerk in the eye or refraining from shouting at a referee at a sporting event. “People can become more empathetic if they just practice taking someone else’s perspective,” says University of Michigan researcher Sara Konrath. “When encountering a homeless person, for example, our inclination may be to not go there psychologically, because it is painful to imagine. Allow yourself to try.” n Do something for nothing. “This idea that everything has to be paid back hangs over our lives,” says Stephen Post, author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping. “Just be generous and expect nothing in return. Pay it forward.” n Don’t reserve your generosity for people you know. Do something nice for someone you don’t know or will never meet. n Be consistent. “Don’t think you can be kind in one domain and dastardly in another,” says Post. n Do something that you feel called upon to do, or that you are good at. n Slow down, take a deep breath and look around. Need abounds. Stop to help a stranger in some small way, even if you are in a hurry. n Don’t help just to get healthy, impress your friends or get a tax deduction. “Motivation matters,” says Konrath. “If you are volunteering just for self-interested reasons, research shows you aren’t going to live any longer than someone who doesn’t volunteer at all.” n Volunteer for a cause you really believe in, or help a person you truly care about.
Born to Give
Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., an associate professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook, is the daughter of an evolutionary psychologist and a pioneer in the study of altruism’s neurobiological roots. In sharp contrast to what she describes as the long-held “selfinterested” assumption about human nature (that we help others only to help ourselves), she suggests that humans are biologically wired to be empathetic and generous. “It makes more sense from an evolutionary perspective for us to suppress self-interest,” for the benefit of the whole sometimes, she says. New research from the University of Washington suggests that babies as young as 15 months old exhibit fairness and empathy. So, why don’t we always stop to help? Our anxious, busy, modernday lives get in the way, suggests Brown. “It could be that our natural, default state is to help when we see need, but what prevents that is our stress response.” That is, stress often gets in the way: Maybe we pass a stranded motorist on the road, but drive on by because we’re on a timetable. Perhaps our instinct is to offer a helping hand to a homeless person, but we fear that more will be asked of us than we are prepared to give. We wish to bring a meal to a dying relative, but are apprehensive about what to say when we visit. Brown’s recent federally funded studies show that at least some of the calming hormones and quietness of heart often seen in habitual givers may actually precede and enable their acts of selflessness by interrupting their potential stress response before it stalls their helping hand. “I am suggesting that when you see helping going on, something beneficial has already happened to the giver’s body,” says Brown. When givers perceive a need, instead of fretting and fleeing, they calmly stop to help. In the end, everyone walks away feeling a little more generous. Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at LisaAnnMarshall.com.
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Become conscious of all thoughts that aren’t aligned with your Source. The moment you catch yourself excluding someone or having a judgmental thought, say the words “in-Spirit” to yourself. Then make a silent effort to shift that thought to match up with Source energy.
In the morning before you’re fully awake, and again as you’re going to sleep, take one or two minutes of what I call quiet time with God. Be in a state of appreciation and say aloud, “I want to feel good.”
intentions for the New Year by wayne dyer
hese daily practices will help you move toward Spirit in your thoughts and actions.
Commit to at least one daily experience where you share something of yourself with no expectation of being acknowledged or thanked. For example, before I begin my daily routine, I go to my desk and choose my gift for that day. Sometimes it’s just a phone call to a stranger that’s written to me, or perhaps I order
flowers or send a book or a present to someone that has helped me in a local store. On one occasion, I wrote to the president of the university I graduated from to start a scholarship fund; on another day, I took a calendar to the yard man; on another, I sent a check to Habitat for Humanity; and on another, I sent three rolls of postage stamps to my son, who had just started his own business. It doesn’t matter if this activity is big or small—it’s a way to begin the day in-Spirit.
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Remind yourself of this statement: My life is bigger than I am. Print it out and post it strategically in your home, car or workplace. The “I” is your ego identification. Your life is Spirit flowing through you unhindered by ego—it’s what you showed up here to actualize—and is infinite. The “I” that identifies you is a fleeting snippet.
Dedicate your life to something that reflects an awareness of your Divinity. You are greatness personified, a resident genius and a creative master—regardless of anyone’s opinion. Make a silent dedication to encourage and express your Divine nature. Excerpted from Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, by Wayne Dyer, with permission of Hay House, Inc.
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healthy dining is Just around the corner by nancy somera
ore and more local eateries are preparing meals using fresh and wholesome ingredients to make it easier to find healthy meals away from home. Whether you are looking for a quick meal or snack on the run, or a relaxing, sit-down restaurant experience, these new healthy dining options are ready to meet your needs.
greens & Proteins healthy kitchen This modern, family-friendly café opened last month, with a menu full of healthy choices. The concept for the restaurant was conceived by Jonathan Kinney, president of Trim Body M.D., and Greg Jarmolowich of Supernova Entertainment, owner of Republic Kitchen & Bar, in Henderson. The two collaborated in response to the caloric and nutritional needs of Kinney’s weight-loss clients, developing prepared meals from Republic Kitchen that are delivered bi-weekly to the clients’ homes. “The challenge of any diet’s effectiveness is eating the proper foods and quantities,” explains Kinney. “We wanted to create an affordable restaurant that met those dining needs.” Greens & Proteins was originally planned as a smaller place to quickly grab a healthy bite, but as the menu developed, it evolved into a larger concept. A Build Your Own Meal option allows customers to select from a variety of proteins, greens, grains and sauces to create a unique meal suited to their own tastes and nutritional needs. Soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, including gluten-free choices, round out the food menu. For a quicker meal, a full menu of nutritional smoothies and fresh juices using natural and organic ingredients easily keep hunger at bay. Location: 8975 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information and to view a menu, call 702-541-7800 or visit GreensAndProteins.com.
veggin out For 30 years, Rainbow’s End Health Food Store has been frequented by longtime Las Vegas residents for a wide variety of natural supplements, herbs, vitamins and groceries. Recently, their restaurant, VEGGin OUT, located inside the store, has converted to 20
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an all-organic menu. The vegetarian, vegan and raw organic café uses locally grown organic foods to help support the economy and the planet. “Health is wealth,” shares store co-owner, J.C. Cox. “When you eat great, you feel great.” The café also offers catering for special events and parties, and the store hosts wellness seminars, lectures, demonstrations and classes. Location: 1100 East Sahara Ave., Ste. 101, Las Vegas. Open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday. Call 702-737-1338 or visit RainbowsEndLV.info for more information and a schedule of events.
Josie’s For a healthy dessert or simply to satisfy a sweet tooth throughout the day, Josie’s Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt dishes up delicious and nutritious yogurt. John Babcock, a Las Vegas entrepreneur who helped open 150 Subway stores in Las Vegas, wanted to create a healthy dessert option for his 3-year-old daughter, Josie. This led him to develop a yogurt powder healthier than the more commonly used commercial yogurt cream base found in other products. According to Eric Weiss, director of marketing, Babcock wanted to be able to control the production process, “from the cow to the cup,” eliminating unhealthy artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers or stabilizers. The result is a yogurt that is glutenfree, has one-third fewer calories than most yogurts and does not contain any high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, Josie’s yogurt is sweetened with pure crystalline fructose or stevia, which both score low on the glycemic index chart. This makes the yogurt an excellent choice for people with sugar-related conditions and anyone seeking a dessert that isn’t loaded with extra ingredients and calories. “A cup of yogurt shouldn’t have as many calories as a meal,” Weiss explains, adding that a six-ounce cup of their yogurt without topping is around 135 calories. Josie’s also is committed to the health of our environment. All cups, spoons and napkins are recyclable, and their storefronts are created using the smallest possible footprint. There are two locations in Henderson: The District, 2235 Village Walk Dr. and 1500 N. Green Valley Pkwy. A third location is coming soon to the McCarran International Airport. For more information, visit JosiesYogurt.com.
dom demarco's Pizzeria & bar – opening soon After years of travelling throughout the country sampling pizzerias, business partners Albert Scalleat and Jeff LaPour rightly consider themselves pizza connoisseurs. The longstanding frontrunner by which all other pizzerias were judged was a neighborhood joint in Trenton, New Jersey, until LaPour visited New York City and ate a slice of Dom DeMarco’s No. 1 Zagat-rated pizza from Brooklyn’s Di Fara Pizzeria. LaPour informed Scalleat that he had found a new favorite and Scalleat says, “I didn’t believe him, so I flew across the country to taste it for myself.” He agreed with LaPour, and they partnered with DeMarco, convincing him to transplant the vintage eatery into a hip, environmentally conscious, upscale pizzeria in Las Vegas. They plan to open in early December. Las Vegas diners will enjoy locally sourced and organically grown meats and produce, Di Fara’s world-famous pizza, fresh organic salads, a full bar with craft beer, and an indoor and outdoor vibe that makes this a fun, casual and exciting neighborhood environment. “We’re excited to bring the finest ingredients and tastes from the number one New York City pizzeria for the last 10 years to Las Vegas,” shares Scalleat. DeMarco’s insisted on sustainable building materials during construction and is committed to green practices such as using biodegradable to-go containers, green cleaning products and light-motion sensors to save electricity, as well as practicing sustainable waste removal. They have applied for a green restaurant certificate and anticipate receiving it once the doors are open and sustainable practices are documented. Location: 9785 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas. For more information, visit DomDeMarcos.com.
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healthykids a householder stage, bringing up and providing for our children and living a worldly life, that we can turn our attention to the inner world. After our children have reached adulthood, we have the privilege of meditating regularly, and living more quietly and simply. Many parents, however, find that—far from hindering it—bringing up children actively advances their spiritual development. Seen in the right way, parenthood can be a spiritual path, bringing a heightened sense of love, wonder and appreciation.
The Parent Path How Children Enrich Our Spiritual Life by Steve Taylor
irty nappies, wakeup calls in the middle of the night, a house full of screams and squeals, food splattered on walls, a chaos of toys everywhere, no more late nights out, no time to read books, take classes or attend retreats—what could be spiritual about bringing up children? Isn’t spiritual development just one of the many things we sacrifice when we have kids?
Many spiritual traditions based on meditation, prayer and solitude maintain that nothing should divert us from our spiritual practices—least of all a family, which takes up so much time and energy. In India, one tradition holds that spiritual development belongs to a later stage of life, roughly after age 50. It is only once we have lived through
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After all, children are such strongly spiritual beings. They naturally have many of the qualities that adults work to cultivate through spiritual development. For example, children are naturally mindful. They constantly live fully in the present, and the world is always a fantastically real and interesting place to them. As child psychologist Professor Alison Gopnik, of the University of California, Berkeley, puts it, “Babies and young children are actually more conscious and more vividly aware of their external world and internal life than adults are.” They have what she calls an, “…infinite capacity for wonder,” that adults only experience at their highest moments. “Travel, meditation and romantic poetry can give us a first-person taste of infant experience,” as can experiencing beauty, she says.
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This illustrates one of the most positive effects of having children: They help us to become children again ourselves. In Taoism, the ideal is to be as spontaneous and curious as a child, exhibiting their openness to experience. On the physical plane, Taoist practices like Tai chi and qigong aim to help the body become as supple and flexible as a child’s.
How to Treat Parenthood as a Spiritual Path n Don’t be tempted to rush your children; try not to be impatient at their slowness. Walk at their pace and be mindful with them. n Consciously cultivate a fresh, intense, childlike vision. Imagine how the world looks through their eyes. n Let youngsters teach you the marvels of the world around you. Be as open and curious as they are, not taking anything you know for granted. n Give yourself wholly to play with kids, allowing yourself to step outside your mental world of worries and responsibilities.
How to Support Your Inner Child’s Natural Spirituality n Don’t be irritated when children ask, “Why?” Encourage their sense of wonder. n Try not to be irritated by youthful exuberance and excitement. n Try to limit the amount of time kids watch TV or play computer games. n Encourage children to use their own creativity by inventing games, drawing or painting. n Schedule periods of quiet relaxation and meditation, which enable them to feel more at home within their own being. Source: Waking From Sleep, by Steve Taylor
All the world’s spiritual traditions tell us how important it is to transcend our own selfishness; to stop seeing ourselves as the center of the universe and trying so hard to satisfy our own desires. They advise us to help and serve others, so that we can move beyond our separate ego and connect to a transcendent power. The eightfold path of Buddhism aims to cultivate this selfless state and ideally, the path of parenthood can, as well. It’s impossible to be a good parent without being prepared to put your children first. Much of parenthood is about selfsacrifice. Gopnik remarks: “Imagine a novel in which a woman took in a stranger who was unable to walk or talk or even eat by himself. She fell completely in love with him at first sight, fed and clothed and washed him, gradually helped him to become competent and independent, and spent more than half her income on him… You couldn’t bear the sappiness of it. But that is just about every mother’s story. Caring for children is a fast and efficient way to experience at least a little saintliness.” The poet William Wordsworth described how children see the world as “…appareled in celestial light [having] the glory and freshness of a dream.” Yet, as adults, this vision, “…fades into the light of common day.” Having children of our own helps us to reawaken some of the celestial light within. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant too, when he told his disciples, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This makes sense if we think of the kingdom of heaven not as a future, far-off place, but as a state of consciousness, here and now. Heaven is the state of wonder and natural well-being where children dwell and in their company, we naturally re-enter the kingdom. Steve Taylor, a UK university lecturer and researcher, is the author of Waking from Sleep, described by Eckhart Tolle as, “One of the best books on spiritual awakening I have come across.” His new book is Out of the Darkness – from Turmoil to Transformation. Visit StevenMTaylor.com.
5875 S. Rainbow Blvd., Suite 206 Las Vegas, NV 89118
Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga Prenatal Seminar January 15-19, 2012 9 am - 6 pm Special 3 hour public session:
Tuesday, January 17th 4 pm - 7 pm $40 per couple Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga with Jennifer Wolfe offers a complete, safe, and active workout for all 3 trimesters and prepares you, your body and your baby for childbirth and postpartum recovery.
Get 40 hours towards your Yoga Alliance Certification
CROSSiNG BOUNDARiES FOR GOOD by april thompson
efore Wally and Ann Collito, of North Attleborough, Massachusetts, had a chance to befriend the stray kitten that had appeared in their yard, the couple discovered that another caring being—a crow—had already done so. Over the next few months, the Collitos witnessed an incredible friendship develop between the crow and cat they respectively named Moses and Cassie. The pair romped in the grass, swatting gently at each other like they were born playmates, rather than sworn enemies. Moses often dropped nutritious worms and bugs in the kitten’s mouth, following it around like a protective parent. “If it wasn’t for the crow feeding and taking care of that cat, it would have been dead a long time ago,” relates Wally Collito in a video posted at InterspeciesFriends.blogspot.com. “When the cat would start crossing the road, the crow would holler as if to say, ‘Don’t go in the road, you’re going to get hit.’ Sometimes she would get in front of her and push her back on the sidewalk. It had to be love or friendship.” The story of Moses and Cassie is not an anomaly, but rather an indication of the potential emotional bond between animals, according to Jennifer S. Holland, author of Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom. “A number of years ago, it was really taboo to attribute empathy to other animals,” she says, “but more scientists today are crossing that line comfortably.” She explains that no one really knows what emotions animals experience or how, although people share the brain’s limbic system, considered the seat of emotions in humans, with
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other mammals. “There is no reason they wouldn’t have experiences similar to ours in terms of basic emotions,” Holland surmises. Holland’s new book is just one of a growing number of efforts to document the wild landscape of interspecies love, including blogs dedicated to the topic and countless children’s books; one of them, Cat and Crow, by Lisa Fleming, immortalizes Moses and Cassie. “Such stories give us a sense of hope at a time when there is a lot of negativity in the world,” observes Holland. “I think people are looking for a reprieve.”
Mother Love Knows No Bounds
A variety of recent studies by the likes of the University of Cambridge and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology indicate that empathy and altruism may be characteristics of species ranging from squirrels to sea lions. Consider the adventures of Finnegan, a squirrel that had fallen out of its nest and into the loving abode of Seattle resident Debby Cantlon. Her pregnant papillon, Mademoiselle Giselle, adopted the injured squirrel, pulling its cage close to her own dog bed. Giselle continued to care for Finnegan after she had her own litter, literally nursing the squirrel back to health. “The drive to nurture and be nurtured is strong, particularly when an animal has lost its baby or parent. This story is a perfect example of the mothering instinct coming to life,” says Holland. Like many human friendships, some unusual animal pairings develop out of the basic need for companionship. One well-known example is Tarra, an 8,700-pound former circus elephant retired to The Elephant Sanctuary, in Hohenwald, Tennessee. Elephants are known to pair up, but Tarra chose to instead bond with a rescued stray dog named Bella. The two became inseparable pals and Tarra proved to be no fair-weather friend: When Bella suffered a spinal cord injury, Tarra stood sentinel at the gate outside the sanctuary office, waiting three weeks for Bella before she could be carried outside for a happy reunion.
Seeing firsthand the positive outcomes that various interspecies pairings can yield, some animal trainers are using natural characteristics of one species to influence the behavior of another. A program at the Columbus Zoo, in Ohio, routinely taps into the Zen of dogs to boost the confidence of traveling cheetahs, which, although they are the fastest mammals on land, are also among the most skittish. Animal Programs Director Suzi Rapp has raised several baby cheetahs alongside puppies— most recently, a charismatic golden lab named Carlisle.
Photo: Melanie Stetson Freeman/2006 The Christian Science Monitor
Carlisle helps the cheetahs keep their cool when Rapp takes them on the road to make TV appearances in support of animal conservation efforts. “If there is a loud noise, the cheetahs will look to Carlisle for his reaction. The dog has a ‘whatever’ attitude that the cheetahs in turn adopt,” says Rapp, who notes that the program has been so successful she wouldn’t ever consider raising a cheetah without a canine again. “Because they were raised together, the cheetahs believe that Carlisle is one of their littermates and don’t think of him as a dog,” explains Rapp. “They cuddle, play and sleep together.” Rapp is quick to caution that an unknown adult dog thrown in with the cheetahs wouldn’t last long, however. Tales of mismatched orphans underscore the importance of introducing different species to each other while they’re young. Baloo, the bear, Leo, the lion, and Shere Khan, the tiger, were each just two months old when they were rescued during a residential drug raid. Noah’s Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center, in Locust Grove, Georgia, took in the trio, and the “BLT” (bear, lion and tiger) became so close that the sanctuary spent thousands of dollars to build a special clubhouse to house them. Eight years later, the three animals—each hailing from different continents—still live like blood brothers. If peace between traditionally antagonistic species is possible, the implications for mankind are obvious. When basic needs are met, the instinct to protect or play can trump the urge to grab, neglect or fight. We can all share and get along better when we take responsibility for creating the circumstances to support that ideal. “I joke that we should give my book to politicians to remind them that a lot of good can come from crossing boundaries,” smiles Holland. “Kindness and companionship can mean survival for all kinds of animals; that goes for humans, too.” April Thompson is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C. Connect at AprilWrites.com.
Cash and Bugsy: Forever Friends by Linda Carter work for A Cat Hospital, in Henderson, and on my days off, I save felines in distress. I frequently rescue litters of day-old kittens and bottle feed them back to health, while getting them used to human contact and interacting with other species. I have two large pit bull dogs that help. One rescue involved a domestic shorthair kitten, Bugsy, that was mothered by our 7- year-old pit bull, Cash. Bugsy was three days old and in critical condition when we brought him and his littermates home. Cash loved and protected Bugsy and became his nanny and jungle gym. When all the littermates except Bugsy died from health issues, we kept him, and he is now a joyful member of our clan of animal rescues. Bugsy and Cash are amazing friends, and Cash always plays cautiously. When we are patient and guide animals in the right direction, we teach them love and trust, ending up with a wonderful bunch of different breeds in our home that love one another as a big, happy family.
Linda Carter works at A Cat Hospital, a feline-only medical facility that offers quality health care for all cats. Location: 2758 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Henderson. To schedule visits, call 702-454-4400.
Exploring the Last Frontier with Astronaut Edgar Mitchell by Linda Sechrist
he sixth of only 12 men to walk the lunar surface, Apollo 14 Astronaut Edgar Mitchell had a life-changing experience in 1971 as his spacecraft sailed back to Earth. Long before he first published The Way of the Explorer, in 1996, he understood that the beautiful blue planet to which he was returning was part of a harmonious and whole living system and that we each participate in a universe of consciousness. This expanded worldview led him to found the nonprofit Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in 1973, to support individual and collective transformation and realization of human potential. Since its inception, IONS has conducted research in intentionality and prayer in healing; subtle fields and energy medicine; inner dimensions of the healing response; and emerging worldviews. Noetic means “intuitive mind” or “inner knowing,” and IONS looks deeply into phenomena that do not necessarily fit conventional science models, while maintaining scientific rigor.
How would you describe the life-changing experience that happened on your way home from the Moon? The experience, which began with a startling recognition that the nature of the universe was not as I’d been taught, continued to unfold as I saw how my existence was irrevocably connected with the movement and formation of planets, 26
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stars and galaxies. I saw the connectedness, felt it and experienced it emotionally. The natural response of my body to the overwhelming sense of unity was another way of knowing; it felt as trustworthy as my world of rationality and physical precision. Today, the merging of many factors—including recent discoveries in quantum physics, cosmology, biology, chaos theory and self-organizing systems— is pointing to the recognition of the fundamental interconnectedness and interdependence of all things. It is also affirming the powerful role that directed intention plays in shifting our worldview toward one that focuses on the need to serve the greater good of all nature.
Do you believe that if science and humanity focused more on the exploration of inner space and consciousness, we could discover sustainable solutions for our planet? Civilization’s understanding of the nature of reality and hence, our survival and future well-being, depends entirely upon the emergence of a completely different worldview: a new paradigm that properly addresses, in verifiable scientific terms, our collective relationship to one another, the environment, nature and the universe. Establishing this fundamental shift in common perceptions can lead to changes in thinking, values, behavior and actions based on concepts of inter-
connectedness, cooperation and interdependence in all human endeavors. It can come about if a significant portion of humankind develops this new understanding and incorporates it into our individual and societal belief systems. Science can bolster this advance by providing reliable and credible empirical data that supports it as a basis for public education. The hypothesis of interconnectedness, proposed by ancient sages from many pre-scientific cultures, has never been rigorously explored or tested by modern mainstream science. Achieving a truly sustainable civilization requires us to apply a more holistic view to the macroscopic world, one that encompasses living systems and social phenomena.
What is IONS doing to encourage the desired transformation of consciousness? Worldview Literacy (WVL) for high school students and beyond is IONS’ latest consciousness-based educational program. Its curriculum explores the pivotal role that our personal and cultural worldviews play in how we perceive and process information, act and behave. WVL works to increase people’s awareness of our own largely unconscious worldviews by opening a conversational space of exploration where diverse views are welcomed with curiosity and wonder. Such recognition and joint engagement deepens individual and collective understanding and helps students better navigate life when they encounter differing perspectives. Such education can help people of all ages discover critical connections between lived experiences and assumed habits of mind. It can help us develop greater cognitive flexibility, comfort with unfamiliarity, appreciation of diverse perspectives, ability to hold multiple points of view simultaneously, creative problem solving and a capacity for discernment that relies equally on intellect and intuition. It changes the human paradigm. For more information, visit Noetic.org. Linda Sechrist writes and edits for Natural Awakenings and is a student of noetic sciences.
a snack. Free. Gibson Library, 100 W Lake Mead Pkwy, Henderson. RSVP, Rita: 564-9287, option 4. MyPublicLibrary.com.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1
GPS Basics – 7-8:30pm. Instruction includes GPS setup, capturing waypoints, working with coordinates, and waypoint navigation. Free. REI, 2220 Village Walk Dr, Ste 150, Henderson. 896-7111. REI.com. ©Bruce MacQueen ~ Dreamstime.com
AIDS Memorial Quilt Display – Dec 1-14. 10am7pm. View several beautiful hand- sewn sections of the 47,000-panel AIDS Memorial Quilt. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 507-3964. LVCCLD.org. Preparing Your Child for Medical Events – 1:303pm. Learn common misconceptions about medical care, and tips and techniques to help your child cope well with medical events. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 5073964. LVCCLD.org. Falun Dafa (Qigong & Meditation) – 4:15-6:30pm. Advanced traditional Chinese meditation system designed to improve mind and body through slow, gentle, smooth exercises. Free. Clark County Library, 1401 E Flamingo, Las Vegas. 773-3667. FalunDafaNevada.org. Bike Maintenance Basics – 7-8:30pm. An introductory class designed to help you take care of your bike. Free. REI, 2220 Village Walk Dr, Ste 150, Henderson. 896-7111. REI.com. World AIDS Day Play – 7:30pm. Pulitzer-nominated play, Fallen Guardian Angels, filled with raw emotions and history from the early days of AIDS. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 507-3964. LVCCLD.org.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2 THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take? – 1-3pm. Screening of the soon-to-be-released movie. Free. World Wellness Group, 3120 S Valley View Blvd, Ste A, Las Vegas. 806-1745. WellnessHypnotherapy.net.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 Fall Fitness Walks – 8-11am. Join us for a fitness walk on Henderson Trails. Teens (14-17) must be accompanied by parent/guardian. Registration required. Free. Arroyo Grande Sports Complex, Henderson. CityOfHenderson.com/Parks. Gifts from the Garden Workshop – Dec 3-31. Sat & Sun. 8:30-10:30am. Make garden gifts and share simple, fun ideas for making more from your home garden. $10/members, $15/nonmembers. Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 702822-7700. SpringsPreserve.org. Solar Water Heating Customer Workshop – 10am-12pm. Southwest Gas and NVEnergy offer informative workshops about benefits of solar hot water systems. Free. Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Town Square, Bldg D, Las Vegas. SolarWaterHeatingRebate.com or NVEnergy.com/ RenewableGenerations. Chalkboard Pots – Dec 3-31. Sat & Sun. 10am5:30pm. Decorate your own pot with chalk, fill it with seeds we provide and watch it grow. Great gift idea. $2/members, $3/nonmembers. Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 702822-7700. SpringsPreserve.org. Reindeer Ornaments – Dec 3-31. Sat & Sun. 10am-5:30pm. Kids, stop by the Origen Rotunda to make a reindeer ornament for your tree. $2/ members, $3 nonmembers. Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 702-822-7700. SpringsPreserve.org.
Wood Photo Boxes – Dec 3-31. Sat & Sun. 10am5:30pm. Paint and personalize a wood-block photo holder. Add your favorite photo for a great holiday gift. $2/members, $3 nonmembers. Springs Preserve, 333 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 702-8227700. SpringsPreserve.org. Holiday Spectacular – Dec 3-23, Sat & Sun. 5-9pm. Family-friendly winter wonderland glows with thousands of colorful, eco-friendly LED lights and holiday fun. $8/adults, $5/children (5-12), free/4 & younger. Springs Preserve, US 95 & Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. SpringsPreserve.org. THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take? – 7-9pm. See Dec 2 description. Free. World Wellness Group, 3120 S Valley View Blvd, Ste A, Las Vegas. 8061745. WellnessHypnotherapy.net.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4 World AIDS Day Independent Film Screening – Dec 4 & 11. 2-4:30pm. Screening of two short films to commemorate 30th anniversary of AIDS. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 507-3964. LVCCLD.org.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6 Work Bee – 9:30am-12pm. Help Great Basin Permaculture members collect dirt samples and finalize design of trellis shade structure and pallet windbreak. Free. Tonopah Community Garden, 715 N Tonopah Dr, Las Vegas. GreatBasinPermaculture.org. Teen Book Craft – 4:30-5:30pm. Teens 12-17 slice and dice an old book to create a unique wreath that’s great for the holidays or any time of year. Free. Green Valley Library, 2797 N Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson. Jessica: 207-4260. MyPublicLibrary.com. Holiday Guitar Concert – 6:30-8pm. Enchanting holiday music performed by the Guitar Society of Las Vegas and students from the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 507-3964. LVCCLD.org. Bike Maintenance Basics – 7-8:30pm. An introductory class designed to help you take care of your bike. Free. REI Boca Park, 710 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas. 951-4488. REI.com.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8 Winter Story Program – 6-6:45pm. Children 5-12, join us to hear some fun winter holiday stories and
Ski Waxing Basics – 7-8:30pm. Join REI staff for a class on the basics of ski waxing. Sponsored by the Mogul Meister Ski & Snowboard Club. Free. REI Boca Park, 710 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas. 951-4488. REI.com.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9 Young Architects – 6-8:30pm. Kids ages 7-12 develop design skills through drawing and building while learning about a variety of architectural subjects. $29. Henderson Multi-Generational Center, 250 S Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson. 267-5800. CityOfHenderson.com. WinterFest – Dec 9-10. 6-9pm, Fri; 12-8pm, Sat. Families enjoy old-fashioned Christmas traditions, such as horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling carolers, pony rides, storytelling and a charming display of gingerbread houses. Free. Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S Water St, Henderson. 267-2171. HendersonLive.com. Films That Feed: Dirt! The Movie – 7-10pm. Screening to tie in with Great Basin Permaculture’s work at Tonopah Community Garden. Donation of 3 canned items. Theatre 7, 1406 S 3rd St, Las Vegas. GreatBasinPermaculture.org.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10 The Lakes Festival of Lights – 12-6pm. 11th year of the neighborhood Christmas lights specatular. Food and crafts. Donations to Good Will accepted. Free. The Lakes (W Sahara). Festival.Lakes Association.com.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11 Lou Ruvo Brain Center “Caregiver Lectures” – 2-3:30pm. Learn about the social services, education programs and other resources available to caregivers of loved ones with neuro-cognitive disorders. Free. West Charleston Library, 6301 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. 507-3964. LVCCLD.org. Yoga & Reiki: A Blend of Zen Workshop – 3-5pm. Classical ashtanga yoga combined with qigong and healing Reiki transmission and aromatherapy. $20/
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BE KIND: Rock Your Heart Out – 6pm. Benefit concert event for the Josh Stevens Foundation, headlined by Recycled Percussion. $15. Hard Rock Cafe, 3771 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas. JoshStevensFoundation.org.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13 Falun Dafa (Qigong & Meditation) – 4:15-6:30pm. Advanced traditional Chinese meditation system designed to improve mind and body through slow, gentle, smooth exercises Free. Clark County Library, 1401 E Flamingo, Las Vegas. 773-3667. FalunDafaNevada.org. Snowshoeing Basics – 7-8:30pm. Class on basics of snowshoeing. Focus on appropriate selection of gear & basics. Free. REI Boca Park, 710 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas. 951-4488. REI.com.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14 Ski Waxing Basics – 7-8:30pm. Join REI staff for a class on the basics of ski waxing. Sponsored by the Mogul Meister Ski & Snowboard Club. Free. REI, 710 S Rampart Blvd, Las Vegas. 951-4488. REI.com.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15
ongoingevents NOTE: All calendar events must be received by the 10th of the month prior to publication and adhere to our guidelines. Submit listings online at NaturalAwakeningsLV.com.
DAILY Bikram Yoga Classes – See website for class schedule and rates. Bikram Yoga Green Valley, 1550 N Green Valley Pkwy, Ste 310, Henderson. 463-0671. BikramGreenValley.com. Daily Meditation Classes – 4am, 9am, 2pm, 5pm. 1-hr classes. Chaiya Meditation Monastery, 7925 Virtue Ct, Las Vegas. 456-3838. ChaiyaCMM.org.
SUNDAY fresh52Market – Closed Dec 25 & Jan 1. 8:30am2pm. Lively, friendly, open-air market where neighbors and friends come together to celebrate their community. Free. Sansone Park Place, 9480 S Eastern, Henderson. fresh52.com. Botanical Garden Tours at Lake Loews – 9am. Learn interesting details and receive great information while exposing your senses to Loews’ botanical wonderland. Free. Botanical Gardens at Lake Loews, 1605 Lake Las Vegas, Las Vegas. 567-6000.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17
Meditation & Readings Service – 10-10:45am. Commune with God and share spiritual fellowship. Sunday School available for children. Las Vegas Meditation Group, 1555 E Flamingo Rd, Ste 333, Las Vegas. LVMeditationGroup@cox.net. Yogananda-SRF.org.
Work Bee – 9:30am-12pm. Volunteers help build a pallet windbreak at Great Basin Permaculture’s garden at Tonopah Community Garden. Free. Tonopah Community Garden, 715 N Tonopah Dr, Las Vegas. GreatBasinPermaculture.org.
Second Sundays – 10am-6pm. 2nd Sun. Paintings, ceramics, sculptures, meet new friends, coffee and snacks, crafts and more. Free. Dinosaurs & Roses, 6029 W Charleston, Las Vegas. 277-3752. DinosaursAndRoses.org.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20
Peace Love & Happiness Meditation – 11am12pm. First Sun. Uplifting meditation using guided imagery and hypnosis to extend loving thoughts of healing to our community and world. Free. Wellness Group Plaza, 3120 S Valley View Blvd, Ste A, Las Vegas. 806-1745. WellnessHynotherapy.net.
Snowshoeing Basics – 7-8:30pm. Class on basics of snowshoeing. Focus on appropriate selection of gear and basics. Free. REI Henderson, 2220 Village Walk Dr, Ste 150, Henderson. 896-7111. REI.com.
Work Bee – 9:30am-12pm. Help volunteers water plants and with maintenance around the garden. Free. Tonopah Community Garden, 715 N Tonopah Dr, Las Vegas. GreatBasinPermaculture.org.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26 Christmas Tree Recycling – Dec 26-Jan 15. Bring your cut Christmas tree to Springs Preserve or 22 recycling stations valley-wide. Free. 822-7700. SpringsPreserve.org.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27 Great Basin Permaculture – 6-7:30pm. Monthly membership meeting to discuss plans for Jan/Feb events. Free. Gaia Flowers, 4 E Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas. GreatBasinPermaculture.org.
save the date THURSDAY, JANUARY 26 Occupy Your Life… Now! – Jan 26-28. Fast-paced workshop that taps into success techniques that work now to increase income, learn to stress less, seek balance and harmony, achieve more joy and get more of what you want in life. $159. Register: Denise Michaels.com/Seminar. Use code: NaturalVegas.
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©Photoroller ~ Dreamstime.com
suggested. Chiropractic For Life, 7745 W Azure Dr, Ste 120, Las Vegas. 325-9923. GoldLightYoga.com.
Las Vegas Rosicrucian Order AMORC – 1:302pm. 2nd & 4th Sun. Understand how to apply the Natural Laws of the Universe to your everyday life. Free. Sand Creek Mobile Home Community Club House, 2627 S Lamb Blvd, Las Vegas. 431-5224. Rosicrucian.org. Sanha Meeting – 3:30-5:30pm. Vipassana (insight) meditation. New and experienced meditators are equally welcome. Sahara West Library, 9600 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas. 571-1820. LotusInTheDesert.org.
MONDAY Nia Technique: Joyful Movement Classes – 5-6pm Instructor Stacey Hall, licensed and Certified Nia Technique Instructor. First class $5. Northwest Yoga Studio, 7810 W Ann Rd, Las Vegas. 413-5316. NorthwestYogaStudio.com. Attracting Miracles Study Group – 6:45-8pm. Open-minded discussion of A Course in Miracles and how it relates to The Law of Attraction. Free. World Wellness Group, 3120 S Valley View Blvd, Ste A, Las Vegas. 806-1745. Wellness HypnoTherapy.net.
Yoga & Qigong – 7:45-9:15pm. Multi-level ashtanga yoga class and qigong infuses balancing chi (energy). $10 donation. 107 E Charleston, Las Vegas. 325-9923. GoldLightYoga.com.
TUESDAY Hatha Yoga Group Class – 6-7pm. A yoga class for all levels, combining postures, breathing and relaxation. $10/introductory class, $15/class, $55/5 sessions. World Wellness Group, 3120-A S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 338-3309. WorldWellnessGroup.net. Transformations Social Party – 6-6:30pm. Socialize and network with like-minded people. Stay for the Healing Circle. Snacks and beverages served. Free. Transformations, 1720 Bannie Ave, Las Vegas. 252-3502. Transformations-LasVegas.org. Inspirational Reiki Healing Circle – 6:30pm. Natural healing through guided meditation. Relax and recharge your mind and body. Suggested donation $5; free to 1st time guests & Reiki practitioners. Transformations, 1720 Bannie Ave, Las Vegas. 2523502. Transformations-LasVegas.org.
WEDNESDAY The Chi-To-Be! Experience Radio Show – 9am. Learn tips for aligning your intentions to activate your intuition to aCHIeve your greatest goals. Free. TalkShoe.com. Hypno-Nutrition Class: EZ Weight Loss Series – 3-4:30pm. Learn about the importance of dietary fats and which are good for your health. $12.50 or $69 for all 8 classes. Transformations, 1720 Bannie Avenue, Las Vegas. 252-3502. TransformationsLasVegas.org.
THURSDAY Dice Tomatoes Radio Show – Weekly Radio Show broadcast from the Las Vegas FEED Farmers’ Market. Club Azul, 115 N 7th St, Las Vegas. 260-8987. DiceTomatoes.com. Green Drinks – Network with other eco-friendly business professionals the 2nd Thurs each month. Times/locations vary. Facebook.com/GreenDrinksLV. Hatha Yoga Group Class – 9-10am. A yoga class for all levels, combining postures, breathing and relaxation. $10/introductory class, $15/class, $55/5 sessions.
World Wellness Group, 3120-A S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas. 338-3309. WorldWellnessGroup.net. Country Fresh Farmers’ Market: Water Street – 9am-4pm. Free. Events Plaza, 240 Water St, Henderson. 579-9661. CountryFreshFarmersMarket.com. Downtown FEED Farmers’ Market – 10am-1pm. Azul Building, 115 N 7th St, Las Vegas. 529-0452. ProjectDinnerTable.com. Momma’s Milk Circle – 10am-1pm. Support group for nursing moms and their babies of up to one year of age hosted by lactation specialists. 6000 S Eastern Ave, Ste 9A, Las Vegas. 795-2500. WellRoundedMomma.com. Pain-Free Electrically – 6-7pm. 1st Thurs. Free seminar to learn more about Micro-Current Electrical Stimulation using the electro acusope and myopulse. Free. World Wellness Group, 3120 S Valley View, 1st Fl, Main Rm, Las Vegas. 239-1069. ThorpInstitute.com. Visualization & Guided Meditation – 7pm. 1st & 2nd Thurs. Learn how to calm the mind and relax. Get in touch with your breath and focus on the moment. $15 suggested. The TOTAL Concept, 1415 Arville, Ste 100, Las Vegas. 885-8358. TheTotalConcept.org. Meditation & Readings Service – 7-9pm. Commune with God and share spiritual fellowship. Las Vegas Meditation Group, 1555 E Flamingo Rd, Ste 333, Las Vegas. LVMeditationGroup@cox.net. Yogananda-SRF.org. Reduce Cellular Aging by 40% – 7:30pm. 1st & 3rd Thurs. Lecture on revolutionary way to slow aging at the cellular level. RSVP. Seating limited. Free. 3315 W Craig Rd, Ste 105, North Las Vegas. 285-8321.
FRIDAY Aroma Wellness in the Palm of Your Hand Radio Show – 9-10am. Learn how to give yourself the gift of wellness one drop at a time. Free. TalkShoe.com. Country Fresh Farmers’ Market – 10am. Free. Henderson Pavillion, 200 S Green Valley Pkwy, Henderson. 579-9661. CountryFreshFarmersMarket.com. Judith Pinkerton Radio Show – 12pm. Call Judith 12:06-12:58pm at 609-7626 and ask important questions about the right music for reducing stress. AllTalkRadio.net. Music4Life.us. First Friday – 6-10pm. Arts festival on 1st Fri each month. Food, drink, art and entertainers. Free. Downtown Arts District, Las Vegas. 384-0092. FirstFriday-LasVegas.org. Visualization & Guided Meditation – 7pm. 3rd Fri. Learn how to calm the mind and relax. Get in touch with your breath and focus on the moment. $15 suggested. The TOTAL Concept, 1415 Arville, Ste 100, Las Vegas. 885-8358. TheTotalConcept.org.
SATURDAY fresh52 Market – Closed Dec 24 & 31. 8am-2pm. Lively, friendly, open-air market where neighbors and friends come together to celebrate their community. Free. Tivoli Village, 302 S Rampart, Las Vegas. 900-2552. fresh52.com.
communityresourceguide Connecting you to the leaders in natural healthcare and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email Publisher@NA-LV.com to request our media kit.
FOUR SEASONS DENTAL SPA
ZURI BELLA JEWELRY
Dr. Jim Wright, DDS, AIAOMT 9360 W Flamingo, LV 89147 702-309-4600
Sheri Thompson 702-249-3903 ZuriBellaJewelry.com
Zuri Bella Jewelry offers unique, one-of-a-kind designs made from natural materials from around the world. Trendy, celebrity-style handbags also available. Shop o n l i n e o r h o s t a p a r t y. ZuriBellaJewelry@gmail.com.
Dr. Jim Wright is a holistic, cosmetic and general dentist specializing in dental veneers, Lumineers, Invisalign, dental braces, dental implants, All-on-4 Dental Implants, sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry and teeth whitening. See ad, page 7.
ACUPUNCTURE HEATHER BROOKMAN, OMD, RN
7380 S Eastern Ave, Ste 125, LV 89123 702-562-2202 Heather@HeatherBrookman.com Safe, effective and integrated health care. Free 15-minute consultations available to all new patients. See ad, page 22.
HYPNOTHERAPY WELLNESS HYPNOTHERAPY Elijah D. Love, CMS-CHt 702-806-1745 WellnessHypnotherapy.net
Would you like to be healthier, more motivated, and peaceful without drugs, cravings or side eff ects? C all no w o r v is it WellnessHypnotherapy.net for more details.
ECO-MARKETING LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPY
Kelly Bennett Kelly@VeganConsultant.com VeganConsultant.com
CHUCK WILLIAMS, LMT
Vegan Consultant specializes in vegan, eco, wellness and socially conscious marketing. If you have a vegan product or want to market to the vegan community, we’d love to talk.
3315 W Craig Rd, Ste 105, NLV 89032 702-285-8321 Therapeutic massage reduces pain, increases function, and wellbeing. I was trained in Alaska by the founder of Integrating Shiatsu in 2001. Experience a new kind of massage. $39/hour. Call now.
MEDITATION THE TOTAL CONCEPT
Las Vegas & Henderson Locations 702-339-3076 TheTotalConcept.org
6590 Boulder Hwy, LV 89122 702-798-1776 Info@SunstateCompanies.com Water Smart Contractor specializing in landscape construction, grounds maintenance, fertilizer, masonry, concrete, interlocking pavers and tree service. Call for a free consultation. See ad, page 14.
Michael Hlady teaches meditation, visualization, and energy basics, creating an atmosphere of love, patience, understanding, and perseverance. Join us on an adventure of self-discovery and awakening.
Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Club – 10am-12pm. 2nd Sat. Informative discussion about and display of electric vehicles. Free. Clark County Library, 1401 E Flamingo, Las Vegas. 277-7544. lveva.org.
NATURAL HAIR CARE
RECYCLING re-new recYcling
healthY hair chick
Penny Creedon Destination Spa Salon, Horizon Ridge 702-617-6100 x 108 Specializing in ammonia-free hair color and keratin smoothing therapy. Caters to clients with allergies and sensitivities. Free consultation to enhance and improve the health of your hair. See ad, page 22.
NUTRITION COACH the healthY habit coach Tara Rayburn, 702-539-1751 Tara@TheHealthyHabitCoach.com NourishingYourFamily.com
Author of Essential Gluten-Free Recipes, speaker, Mom-on-amission, coach, Chi-To-Be. Master & Weston Price Chapter Leader. See ad, page 15.
3050 Sirius Ave, LV 89102 702-489-3029 Re-NewRecycling.com Delivering excellent customer service. We specialize in implementing tailored recycling programs and showing our customers how to reduce waste disposal. Competitive rebates. Free pickup and delivery service for large-volume customers.
REIKI the reiki clinic
Terry Maurer, Reiki Master 3110 S Valley View Blvd, Ste 202D, LV 89102 702-497-3385 • TheReikiClinic.com Reiki delivers a naturally induced state of peace and well-being. It b a l a n c e s t h e b i o - e n e rg e t i c channels, bringing mental clarity, emotional healing and physical relaxation. Extensive experience with cancer patients.
SKINCARE Forever Young skin studio
health in motion
Shona Susca, Aesthetician 10905 S Eastern Ave, Ste 110, HD 89052 702-353-3684
Linda Perry, PT 702-239-1069 Linda@Thorpinstitute.com Licensed physical therapist and Thorp-certified electro-toxicologist. Electrically detoxify and accelerate the healing process from inside the cell out using pain-free electro acuscope and myo-pulse.
Change your skin. Offering facials, microdermabrasion, “No Down Time” Peels, Ultrasound Deep Hydration, brow sculpting and more. Monthly clients receive complimentary brow sculpting.
WELLNESS able wellness
A Better Life Experience 6000 S Eastern Ave, 9A, LV 89119 702-983-0687 • AbleWellness.com Dr. Shelley addresses the emotional, chemical and physical roadblocks to wellness with specific chiropractic care, NET, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle coaching. Las Vegas locals are welcome to come in for a free adjustment to try A Better Life Experience.
the total concePt
Las Vegas & Henderson Locations 702-339-3076 TheTotalConcept.org The one-stop shop of health practitioners and doctors. Services include: Blood Analysis, Nutritional Guidance, Stress Relief, and Energy Work. Our Mission: To educate and serve the health and wellness of body, mind and spirit.
YOGA bikram green valleY
Stacey Shea, Owner & instructor 702-463-0671 BikramGreenValley.com Reduce stress, increase strength and ﬂexibility, lose weight, and improve the quality of your life. A 90-minute series of 26 Hatha yoga postures. See ad, page 10.
om Yoga theraPY institute Omita Kumar, Yoga Therapist 702-338-3309 OmitaKumar@gmail.com
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SPACE AVAILABLE COMPLEMENTARY/ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE PRACTICE – Space available within wellness campus anchored by Integrative Medicine clinic. Extensive marketing support included. Contact Paul Andres: 333-5325. WorldWellnessGroup.net.
Greater Las Vegas
Customized, one-on-one yoga therapy to treat medical conditions or for general well-being. I use Hatha yoga, a combination of postures, breathing and relaxation to bring mind/body balance. See ad, page 19.
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