Natural Awakenings New Haven & Middlesex CT JULY 2020

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‘Big Meat’ Comes at High Cost


Creative Ways to Cook and Grill

GUT HEALTH Support Your Immunity Keep Your Gut Healthy


Why Organic Lawns Make Eco-Sense July 2020 | New Haven-Middlesex |

July 2020


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Happy summer my wonderful readers! I hope you are all staying safe and healthy as we enter the second half of this historic year 2020 and the world begins its gradual PUBLISHER Gail Heard reopening after a 3-month pause. EDITOR Ariana Rawls This is an interesting time of transition following an DESIGN & PRODUCTION Gail Heard extended period of quiet and solitude (very quiet for those CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ariana Rawls of us who live alone). Our actions are still limited in terms Nicole Miale Patricia Staino of where we can go, but we can certainly control how we SALES & MARKETING Melissa Pytlak care for our body and mind. Before the pace of our DISTRIBUTOR Man In Motion, LLC daily lives pick up again (and it will before we know it), this slower time provides an WEBSITE Chik Shank opportunity to be more mindful about our health habits such as our habitual thoughts, physical activity and food choices. For me, getting regular exercise outdoors and being surrounded by nature’s soothing and healing energy has been a savior during these turbulent times. Meditating daily has also been extremely beneficial. For 20 minutes, I CONTACT US simply focus on my breathing (inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply). I am eating a PO Box 525 North Branford, CT 06471 Mediterranean diet, which is satisfying for my palate, keeps my weight down and has Ph: 203-988-1808 • Fax: 203-488-8523 lowered my blood cholesterol level. I’m feeling so much better overall (most important). Our July editorial focus is on food and gut health, with special attention on the growing concerns about food safety and transparency. While you’re picking out your groceries, do you think about where your food items came from? This month’s feature article is an eye-opening read about factory farming and how it compromises human and planetary health. Included in the article is a list of online resources to keep you informed, eat smarter and take action to support the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA). NATIONAL TEAM The take home message here is: buy local and support farmers markets that use CEO/FOUNDER Sharon Bruckman sustainable practices. COO/ FRANCHISE SALES Joe Dunne Local Certified Dietician and Nutritionist, Drew Mulvey (founder of Redeeming Life MANAGING EDITOR Linda Sechrist NATIONAL ART DIRECTOR Stephen Blancett Nutrition, LLC and author of The No-Title Cookbook) offers education and nutritional ART DIRECTOR Josh Pope guidance on how to boost our defense against pathogenic organisms (including viral FINANCIAL MANAGER Yolanda Shebert infections) by keeping our guts healthy. This is another must read! FRANCHISE SUPPORT MGR. Heather Gibbs Also included in this issue are 3 pages of mouth-watering plant-based recipes that are WEBSITE COORDINATOR Rachael Oppy ideal choices for your summer outdoor feasts. Enjoy! NATIONAL ADVERTISING Kara Cave We are delighted to share big news about the opening of a second location of Elm City Wellness in New Haven! (doors open on July 13) I have taken a few virtual tours of their new space during the construction phase—You are going to love it! Revive Salt Therapy & Natural Awakenings Publishing Corporation 4933 Tamiami Trail N., Ste. 203 Wellness in Milford has reopened their space for salt therapy sessions, infrared Naples, FL 34103 Ph: 239-434-9392 • Fax: 239-434-9513 sessions and Salty Yoga, while practicing safe social distancing. The Sound Retreat in Chester has opened an outdoor gong garden, so you can enjoy a deeply relaxing sound healing session safely outdoors at this magical paradise. Physical Therapy of Guilford has © 2020 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. also reopened their doors. For details about these newsy happenings and more, check out Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior our news briefs. We look forward to announcing more holistic business reopenings and permission be obtained in writing. expanding our community calendar of events in our August issue. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. Please We will also keep you informed on our social media pages as the number of our call to find a location near you or if you would like magazine distribution sites continue to reopen and we establish new sites. FYI, we copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in now deliver at 12 Stop & Shop supermarkets in the following towns: Ansonia; the articles and advertisements, nor are we Cheshire; Cromwell; Hamden; Meriden; Middletown; Milford (2 locations); responsible for the products and services advertised. Check with a healthcare professional regarding the New Haven; North Haven; Wallingford, and West Haven. You can also read our appropriate use of any treatment. magazine online at Brenda Tate Photography


Natural Awakenings Magazine is ranked 5th Nationally in CISION’S® 2016 Top 10 Health & Fitness Magazines

Wishing you a happy and safe July 4th holiday and summer ahead! Please be kind to yourself and to others.

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Natural Awakenings is a family of nearly 70 healthy living magazines celebrating 26 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.


Contents 14 BEYOND



‘Big Meat’ Comes at High Cost


The Spiritual Discipline of Evoking Joy




Inspired Picnics and Healthy Grills

24 GREENER GREEN GRASS Why Organic Lawns Make Eco-Sense

DEPARTMENTS ADVERTISING & SUBMISSIONS HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact Melissa Pytlak at 203-305-5531 or email Deadline for ads: the 12th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: the 5th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Submit Calendar Events online at: Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets, call 239-434-9392. For franchising opportunities, call 239-530-1377 or visit


6 news briefs 10 health briefs 12 global briefs 17 inspiration 18 healing ways 20 conscious eating


24 green living 26 calendar 27 classifieds 28 resource guide July 2020


news briefs

Elm City Wellness to Open Second New Haven Location


n addition to reopening its doors at 774 Orange Street in New Haven, Connecticut, on July 13, Elm City Wellness will also flip on the lights at their new second location. It is located inside East Rock Health & Wellness at 493 Whitney Avenue in New Haven. “The larger space is an opportunity to bring our community closer together with healing services that accommodate the greater wellness needs of New Haven,” says Marissa Gandelman, founder of Elm City Wellness. The new space will not only offer many of the same services as their flagship location on Orange Street, but it will also have more high-quality premium CBD products, self-care tools and items to bring a little “om” into your own home. Elm City Wellness has been a part of the East Rock community for more than eight years, offering skilled massage, private and community acupuncture, organic skin care, and educational lectures and workshops. Their community of healers has a passion for bodywork and knowledge and their focus is on wellness, not beauty. Everyone is beautiful. For more information, email or visit Locations: Elm City Wellness, 493 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT, and 774 Orange St., New Haven, CT. See back cover ad.

Doors Reopen at Revive Salt Therapy & Wellness


ilford’s Revive Salt Therapy & Wellness, LLC has reopened the center and is now offering private salt room sessions (for up to four people) and value membership (four salt room sessions/month). The center has lowered the number of seats in the salt room to four instead of six to allow proper social spacing. In addition to salt therapy sessions, they will be adding infrared sauna sessions by July, along with Salty Yoga with Traci beginning July 7 (Tuesdays 6-7 p.m.) with a four-person maximum. The benefits of halotherapy (salt room) are respiratory hygiene, immune boosting and stress management. The benefits of infrared sauna are immune system support, weight loss, detoxification, anti-aging and relaxation. For more information and to make an appointment, call 203-283-5968 or visit ReviveSaltTherapy,com. Location: Revive Salt Therapy & Wellness, LLC, 374 New Haven Ave., Milford, CT. See ad on page 29.

Statewide Benefit Holistic Expo


he Holistic Community Professionals will host the All State Expo on August 23. Applications to be an exhibitor and/or speaker are being accepted now. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in Bristol, Connecticut. There be 75 vendors

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news briefs and readers, free raffles, and a grand prize of a Hilton overnight stay with breakfast for two. There is no admission fee although donations will be accepted for two nonprofit organizations. Door proceeds will be donated to the CT Children’s Medical Center ( and Hartford Hospitals Integrative Medicine – Angie’s Spa fund ( All funds will be used directly for patient care and will be matched to the maximum allowed by the grants for each organization. All CDC-recommended protocols will be followed for attendees and exhibitors. For more information, call Rev. Shirley R. Bloethe at 860-989-0033, email or visit Find the event on Facebook at Passport to Health and Wellness EXPO. Exhibitors and vendors can find more information at Location: DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton, 42 Century Dr., Bristol CT. See ad below.

One-on-one Nutrition Telehealth Sessions Offered


rew Mulvey, a certified dietitiannutritionist, is currently offering one-on-one sessions via telehealth to address clients’ health concerns, goals, lab tests and lifestyle. From there, she devises Drew Mulvey simple, easy-to-follow plans that include menus, meal plan templates, foods catering to the individual’s needs and goals, lifestyle modifications, and supplement recommendations if needed. Mulvey graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Bridgeport with a master’s in human nutrition. She is a certified dietitian-nutritionist in the state of Connecticut. She takes a system-based approach to address the root cause of a client’s symptoms. Mulvey is a general practice nutritionist with specialties in gut health, food sensitivities and autoimmunity. She is expanding and incorporating to hormones and sports nutrition. Her goal is to help

repair clients’ relationships with food by taking unique dietary approaches to enhance individual holistic health. Mulvey believes in using the power of food as medicine. From her experience and expertise with nutrition, she has written a cookbook catered to those with food sensitivities and those looking to transition to a nutrient-dense diet that acclimates the body for a lifestyle of health without sacrificing taste. The No-Title Cookbook is set to be released in July 2020. For more information, connect at or

Complimentary Physical Therapy Screenings


hysical Therapy Services of Guilford is now open. Are you experiencing pain in any of these areas: neck, shoulder, hip, knee, low back or foot? Physical Therapy Services of Guilford can help you heal so you can enjoy your summer activities. The facility has reopened on a limited basis. Take advantage of their complimentary telephone screenings to discuss your options for therapy and get you back on track. All treatment rooms are large and private. Physical Therapy Services of Guilford disinfects and airs each room after every patient. Call 203-315-7727 to schedule your telephone screening and let them help you feel comfortable again. Location: Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, 500 East Main St., Ste. 310, Branford, CT. See ad on page 8.

6th Bi-Annual

Passport to Health & Wellness presented by the Holistic Community Professionals

Statewide Benefit * HoliStic expo

Sunday | August 23 | 10 am - 5pm

75+ Exhibitors and Speakers! iant!



DoubleTree by Hilton 42 Century Drive, Bristol, CT 06010

FREE DRUM HEaling 4-5pm Speakers all day Free Raffles • Drumming gRanD PRiZE: A Hilton Overnight Stay for Two!

FREE aDMiSSiOn Donations Accepted * All door donations to benefit:

Hartford Hospital's Integrative Medicine Angie’s Spa and CT Children’s Medical Center.

For more information please contact: Vendors apply at: Shirley R. Bloethe at 860-989-0033 FB - Passport to Health and Wellness Expo Email:

Holistic Community Professionals July 2020


Outdoor Gong Garden Unveiled at The Sound Retreat


he Sound Retreat, located in Chester, Connecticut, has opened a new, outdoor gong garden that has been a labor of love over the past two months. Tracey Kroll, the founder and operator of The Sound Retreat, says this idea was conceived in a dream and manifested into action during the pandemic lockdown. The garden features a 12-foot diameter bed made of moss propagated The Sound Retreat’s property. It feels like nature’s memory foam and puts you in direct contact with the Earth. Also new is a 48-inch gong that has incredible range and frequencies. It is a deeply relaxing, meditative and consciousnessThe Sound Retreat expanding experience coupled with the sounds of nature. Kroll is offering private, one-hour gong bath sessions for singles or couples. Clients can safely park and walk directly into the forest for the session. Call 860-322-4492 to reserve a spot. Evening sessions begin at approximately 6:30 p.m. The soothing and healing experience is enhanced during night-time sessions, particularly on clear, starry nights. The Sound Retreat is a peaceful nature and wellness sanctuary nestled at the edge of the state forest in the Connecticut River Valley For more information and to reserve a session, call 860-322-4492, or visit Location: The Sound Retreat, 93 Cedar Lake Road, Chester, CT.

Holistic Strategies forAnxiety, Depression and ADHD


n July 21 at 8 p.m., the New Haven County chapter of Holistic Moms Network will virtually host an interactive presentation on Holistic Strategies for Anxiety, Depression and ADHD with Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC, NCC, as


TO ASK WHEN SEEKING A PHYSICAL THERAPIST 1. Will my PT work ONLY with me during my treatment? ABSOLUTELY! At Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, we are one of the few remaining practices that spend 40 minutes, one-on-one, with YOU and ONLY YOU.

2. Will I ONLY be doing exercises during my treatment? No. Your physical therapist will be using hands-on techniques to relieve your pain and will provide you with exercises to do at home.

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203-315 7727


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part of the chapter’s monthly meeting. The virtual event will take place on a Zoom video conference call (see below for registration contact information). Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC, NCC is a mother, wife and board-certified psychotherapist in addition to being an internationally recognized blogger, advocate and national speaker. She has seen the anxiety and the autism epidemic unfold in her private practice and has watched the harmful impact of medication on many young clients. The ADHD epidemic turned personal when Jennifer’s young son was diagnosed. She plunged into the world of safe and natural healing modalities outside of the pharmaceutical model. She is the author of a five-time award winning book, Healing Without Hurting: Treating ADHD, Apraxia, and Autism Spectrum Disorders Naturally and Effectively without Harmful Medication. Giustra-Kozek has also released a children’s book, A Healthy New Me & ADHD Free. Giustra-Kozek has been featured in the HEAL documentary, many podcasts and news stories; her articles appear in many publications. She consults and blogs with thousands of moms through social media to teach them about alternative and natural solutions. To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication, visit HealingwithoutHurting. com and The mission of Holistic Moms Network, a nonprofit support and discussion network, is to connect parents who are interested in holistic health and green living. It welcomes people wherever they are on their own holistic path in an environment that does not judge. The monthly meetings, open to the public, are the third Tuesday of each month. Children are welcome (quiet area set up in back of the meeting room with a babysitter); the YMCA also has a free child watch room for those attending our meeting. For more information, visit HolisticMoms. org or To RSVP for the event, email TDavisca@ or visit the Events page on

Photo by Tracey Kroll

news briefs

Holistic Community Professionals HCP

Our professional team of holistic and natural businesses provides community outreach and education. We are committed to improving the health and wellness of body, mind, and spirit in the communities we serve. Visit our Site:

Coaching & Workshops

DNA Designed Nutrition

Torin Lee TL Coaching /Zen Events 860-861-9038

Earleen Wright NEW way to use DNA for health! DNA Designed Nutrition Take charge of your health through your own DNA! 203-215-3222

Grief / Loss / Counseling /Workshops Debbie Pausig, LMFT, CT Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Certified Thanatologist (CT) Death, Dying, Bereavement, Grief, Loss: Counseling, Workshops, Facilitator Training 203-985-8246

EFT Tapping /Hypnosis Therese Baumgart Emotion Code Emotional Freedom Technique Hypnosis & Past Lives Clear Stress, Lose weight, Release pain, Stop smoking Free 15 minute strategy session In-person, Skype, Phone 203-710-7438

Intuitive Counselor & Healer Gayle Franceschetti, MEd, CHt Hypnotherapy, Meditations Reiki/Energy sessions, Essential Oils Group Past Life Regression Individual Past Life Regression Workshops, Spiritual Power Journeys, Private mentoring & counseling 203-265-2927

Reiki Master / Teacher Stephanie Rosally-Kaplan Reiki Master / Teacher Universal White Time Gemstone Practitioner Level 2 Wedding Officiant / Workshops Professional Photographer 914-330-1474 The Red Barn in Durham 352 Main St, Durham

Wellness Center

Salt Therapy (Halotherapy) Soulshine Salt Cavern 352 Main Street, Durham 860-478-0510 Open Wednesday-Sunday Email:

The Red Barn in Durham Janice Juliano, MSW, LCSW Holistic Psychotherapist Coordinator MassageTherapy Nutrition / Yoga / Reiki / Sound Healing Professional Photography / Art Classes 860-559-6151 352 Main St, Durham

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To Join the Holistic Community Professionals CONTACT: Shirley Bloethe: 860-989-0033 July 2020


Eat More Citrus for a Thinner Waistline Research published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal analyzed 13 studies from around the world involving 921 people. The studies showed that eating citrus fruits or their extract can significantly reduce body weight. The research data found that citrus and its extracts reduced body weight by an average of 2.8 pounds per person and almost an inch of waist and hip circumference. It also reduced body mass index among those studied. 10

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OSTILL is Franck Camhi/

In good news for the 10 to 20 percent of people over age 65 that suffer with mild cognitive impairment, research from China’s Central South University, in Hunan, shows that practicing the gentle ancient martial art of tai chi can significantly improve memory, learning, mental speed and attention, the ability to formulate abstract ideas, mental flexibility and visuospatial perception. The research analyzed data from 10 studies that included 1,061 people with symptoms such as forgetting conversations and names, and having difficulty with complex tasks. “As it emphasizes mental concentration, physical balance, full-body stretching and relaxation, and relaxed breathing, tai chi has a great potential for becoming widely integrated into rehabilitation interventions for various medical and psychological conditions,” write the study’s authors.

Berberine, an alkaloid compound found in goldenseal, Oregon grape, barberry and other herbs, can potentially reduce artery plaque, concludes a new study from the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine. Researchers studied the metabolic pathways for atherosclerosis using protein interactions developed from drug research. The databasedriven research confirmed that berberine reduces artery inflammation and the thickening of blood vessel walls that can lead to atherosclerosis—the hardening of the arteries. Previous studies have found that berberine reduces blood sugar levels, accelerates weight loss and lowers bad cholesterol levels.

Try Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper for Osteoarthritis For people suffering from the crippling pain and disability of osteoarthritis, the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug naproxen, marketed as Aleve and other products, is a common prescription or over-the-counter medication, but it comes with side effects that can include gastrointestinal distress and higher blood pressure. In a study of 60 patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis, researchers at Iran’s Isfahan University of Medical Sciences compared naproxen in a double-blind trial with a turmeric extract, ginger and black pepper combination. After two doses a day of each for four weeks, the levels of prostaglandin in patients taking the herbs matched the improvements in those patients taking naproxen. Prostaglandin levels gauge joint inflammation in osteoarthritis.


Reduce Cognitive Decline with Tai Chi

Reduce Artery Plaque Risk with Berberine


health briefs



Boost Motivation with Ayurvedic Bacopa Feeling a lack of motivation and finding it difficult to find pleasure in life has a clinical name— anhedonia—and researchers from the University of Florence have found a promising treatment for it in Bacopa monnieri, also known as Brahmi, an Ayurvedic herb used for centuries to boost memory and cognitive performance. Dividing 42 patients with anhedonia into two groups, the researchers gave half of them the antidepressant medication citalopram (Calexa) plus 300 milligrams of Bacopa; the control group was given only the medication. After four weeks, the Bacopa group had significant improvements in symptoms and were able to experience pleasure more easily than the control group.

Help Recover from Stroke with Ear Acupuncture Acupuncture in the ear can help speed rehabilitation of stroke patients, researchers from the Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine have found. In a study of 42 stroke patients, those treated with auricular acupuncture for just six days showed significant improvements in range of motion for arms and legs compared to those given standard acupuncture treatments and conventional rehabilitation.


Gecko Studio/

Avoid Chlorhexidine Mouthwash to Reduce Cavity Risk Chlorhexidine gluconate, a mouthwash commonly prescribed by dentists to treat the swelling, redness and bleeding gums of gingivitis, actually increases acidic levels in the mouth, leading to an increase in cavity-causing bacteria, reports a new study from the UK University of Plymouth, published in the journal Scientific Reports. The researchers analyzed saliva and blood samples of 36 healthy people that used the chlorhexidine twice a day for seven days and compared the results to using a placebo for the same amount of time. Other recent research has found that the germicidal mouthwash disrupted the ability of oral bacteria to turn nitrate into nitrite, a key molecule for reducing blood pressure, increasing the risk of higher systolic blood pressure. Chlorhexidine has been used increasingly as a pre-rinse before dental procedures due to COVID-19 concerns.



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A new Stanford University study published in Landscape Ecology reveals viruses like COVID-19 that jump from animals to people will likely become more common as people continue to transform natural habitats into agricultural land. Researchers found the loss of tropical forests in Uganda put people at greater risk of physical interactions with wild primates and the viruses they carry, with implications for the emergence and spread of infectious animal-to-human diseases in other parts of the world. People have converted nearly half of the world’s land into agriculture. Tropical forests have suffered the most, with some of the highest rates of conversion occurring during the last few decades. Study co-author Tyler McIntosh says, “At the end of the day, land conservation and the reduction of forest fragmentation is our best bet to reduce human [to] wild animal interactions.”

Healthy Glow

Ultraviolet Radiation Suppresses Skin Inflammation

In research that could help target new treatments for skin cancer, British scientists have identified how human skin suppresses inflammation after exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). In the study at the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, healthy volunteers agreed for their skin to be safely exposed to a single, inflammation-causing dose of UVR. Skin samples were taken and researchers examined their immune profile and skin composition over time. Results showed that the T-cells CD4+GATA3+ and CD8+GATA3+, which help the skin repair itself after UVR exposure, altered skin composition for 14 days. “They could be there to prevent abnormal skin growth or potentially to act as gatekeepers against further inflammation,” says lead author Nathan Hawkshaw, Ph.D. 12

New Haven/Middlesex

More of our time is spent indoors than ever before. One of the ways by which nature may improve cognitive function (i.e., the acquisition of and goal-oriented use of knowledge) is by improving memory formation and recall, specifically that of short-term or working memory, and goal-oriented or directed attention; the kind that requires focused effort. By comparing and contrasting 13 studies, a team of researchers has shed light on this complex interaction in research published in Frontiers in Psychology. The studies used the backward digit span task, which requires participants to invert a series of numbers and repeat them back. All demonstrated significantly improved cognition in nature as compared to urban environments. The benefits of studies like this are two-fold: not only are we learning more about how the brain interacts with its environment, but also how to leverage this interaction to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives.


Forest Loss Leads to Spread of Human Disease


Tree Believers

Spending Time in Nature Increases Cognitive Performance


Natural Thinking

global briefs

Sweet Serenade


A simple strategy–listening to music for 30 minutes a day–can lower post-heart attack anxiety and significantly reduce future cardiac risks, reports a new study from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, in Serbia, presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session and World Congress of Cardiology. The researchers recruited 350 patients diagnosed with heart attacks and early post-infarction angina at a medical center. Half were randomly assigned to receive standard treatment while half were assigned to regular music sessions in addition to standard treatment. In a follow-up seven years later, the patients with music therapy on average had anxiety scores one-third lower than those on standard treatment and reported lower angina symptoms by about one-quarter. They also had an 18 percent reduction in the rate of heart failure; a 23 percent lower rate of subsequent heart attack; a 20 percent lower rate of needing coronary artery bypass graft surgery; and a 16 percent lower rate of cardiac death.

Prolonged fear and anxiety brought on by major stressors such as the COVID-19 pandemic can not only take a toll on a person’s mental health, but may also have a lasting impact on a man’s sperm composition that could affect future offspring, reports a new study in the journal Nature Communications. University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers found that the effects of paternal stress can be transferred to offspring through changes in the extracellular vesicles; small, membranebound particles that transport proteins, lipids and nucleic acids between cells and interact with maturing sperm. They are produced in large amounts in the reproductive tract and play an integral role in sperm maturation. “Connecting with our friends and loved ones by hightech means or through simple phone calls can help us maintain ties during stressful days ahead,” advises Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Africa Studio/


Music as Medicine

Stress Can Impact Sperm and Future Offspring

Happy Thoughts


Mindfulness and Meditation May Promote Longevity

In addition to reducing stress and improving general health, mindfulness and meditation techniques have been linked to longevity, as marked by longer telomere length, a biomarker of human aging. In a new research paper in Scientific Reports, Spanish researchers at the Navarra Institute for Health Research, in Pamplona, reported that aging, which typically shortens telomere length, showed no association with that marker in a group of long-term meditators. They theorized that long-term meditation could be related to epigenetic mechanisms, in particular, gene-specific DNA methylation changes at distinct sub-telomeric regions. Lead author Maite Mendioroz, M.D., Ph.D., suggests that yoga practice and meditation are related to longer telomere length in blood cells, writing, “Leukocyte telomere shortening has been associated with several age-related conditions such as cardiovascular events, including stroke, myocardial infarction and cognitive performance.”

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July 2020


BEYOND FACTORY FARMS ‘Big Meat’ Comes at High Cost


evin Walker, a Michigan State University professor and author of The Grand Food Bargain and the Mindless Drive for More, says, “Meat is the poster child of industrial food gone awry.” Independent animal farmers are disappearing while factory farms are getting bigger, causing more air, soil and water pollution in rural communities nationwide, reports the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Large industrialized farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) rely on the routine use of antibiotics to both prevent the spread of disease and promote animal growth and weight gain—a practice known to fuel antibiotic resistance and compromise human health.

High Cost of Cheap Meat

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a push toward greater efficiency created the shift to industrial livestock production. However, attempts to maximize production for higher returns at minimal cost come at a price. For example, a growing body of evidence


New Haven/Middlesex

shows that CAFO leads to the social and economic decline of rural communities. “Research has consistently found that living near a CAFO is associated with an array of negative health impacts, including respiratory disease, mental health problems and certain types of infections,” says Keeve Nachman, Ph.D., director of the CLF Food Production and Public Health Program. Everett Murphy, M.D., a retired pulmonologist from Kansas City, concurs, “Not only are the odors from factory livestock farms offensive, but individuals living within three miles of industrial animal operations are at risk for serious, life-shortening illnesses and permanent disabilities.” Concrete reservoirs designed to hold manure present a problem as well, he adds, “They always leak into the groundwater, spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria and making the source of water to neighboring communities unusable and toxic.” Joan Olive says she is living proof that exposure to air pollution from factory farms is every bit as harmful as scientists and

health experts have warned about for years. On one fateful December day 16 years ago, Olive was outdoors on her family farm near Spencer, Iowa, when she noticed a strong, sickening odor. Feeling nauseous, she went inside, but later that evening, her tongue swelled, she became disoriented and began shaking and sweating profusely. Olive’s symptoms subsided over the next few days, but since then she has experienced multiple chemical sensitivities, transient symptoms of brain fog, muscle twitching, migraines, and respiratory and circulatory problems. Health experts at the University of Iowa identified the source of the sickening odor as toxic hydrogen sulfide from liquid CAFO waste that had been sprayed on farmland one mile from Olive’s home. In addition to the region’s concentration of hog CAFO, her home sat two miles from 1.5 million chickens. Today, Olive drinks filtered water and eats organic food to protect her health, but she notices that her symptoms return when triggered by exposure to CAFO air pollution and pesticides. In March, Olive moved to Spearfish, South Dakota, where she’s breathing easier and enjoying time outdoors. But she believes she left behind “thousands of rural residents who are having their lives and health destroyed by Big Ag.”


by Melinda Hemmelgarn

There Ought to be a Law

“Government oversight and policies designed to safeguard the health of individuals and the environment from these operations have been inadequate,” says Bob Martin, director of the CLF Food System Policy Program. Citing environmental and public health hazards, the American Public Health Association issued a new policy statement last November calling for a precautionary moratorium on all new and expanding CAFO. It advises a complete halt until additional scientific data has been collected and public health concerns addressed.

Iakov Filimonov/

Bypassing Industrial Eating

Many consumers don’t realize that the majority of beef, pork and chicken sold in supermarkets, served in restaurants and distributed to institutions nationwide comes from the industrial food system. According to the Public Justice Food Project, 85 percent of the meat Americans consume is produced by four corporate giants—Tyson, Smithfield, Cargill and JBS—each accused of hiding labor, animal or environmental abuses behind folksy brand names and packaging images. To shed light on abuses and steer consumers away from industrial meat, the Center for Food Safety created a website that pulls back the curtain on CAFO. It recommends replacing half of the meat we eat with humane, sustainably raised, grass-fed and organic meat, while replacing the other half with plant-based sources of protein such as beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds—a dietary approach that benefits our gut microbes and protects us against a host of chronic diseases.

Meat Alternatives

As concerns mount about the health, ethical and environmental impact of animal products, the food industry has responded with more plant-based, lab-grown meat

practices. “Industrial agriculture is absolutely harmful,” reports A Greener World, a nonprofit certifier of the trustworthy Animal Welfare Approved label. But thinking we have to go vegan or purchase fake meat to protect our health or the planet is misguided.

Once you learn how our modern industrial food system has transformed what most Americans eat, you become highly motivated to eat something else. ~Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, Chew on This and co-producer of Food, Inc. alternatives. Yet, according to the Food and Technology 2019 report by the market research firm The Hartman Group, many meat replacements rely on highly sophisticated technologies that hardly meet consumers’ definitions of “natural”. “It’s all about what isn’t on the label,” says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., chief science advisor of the GRACE Communications Foundation. According to Rangan, many plant-based and fake meat products are actually ultra-processed foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients and rely on petroleum-based chemicals that are not required to be listed on the label. “The Impossible Burger introduces over 48 new proteins to the human diet without a thorough safety investigation,” warns Rangan. She questions whether these new meat alternatives are better than meat from animals raised on pasture without routine drugs and synthetic fertilizers. There’s a big difference between the health and environmental impact of meat from animals raised in feed lots versus those raised with regenerative agricultural

Eating Less, But Better Meat

“Our bodies are designed to be omnivores, and animal products are part of a diverse, real food diet,” says Rebecca Thistlethwaite, director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network at Oregon State University. Thistlethwaite, author of Farms with a Future and The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat, believes in ancestral eating and eating as close to nature as possible. She is mindful of portion size and eats only organic and pasture-raised animal foods to avoid synthetic chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures, in Bluffton, Georgia, declares, “It’s not the cow, it’s the how.” Harris transitioned his livestock operation from the industrial model to certified humane animal husbandry and sustainable practices that emulate nature. The switch to a pasturebased system yields healthier animals, he explains, and helps take carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the soil. In Cows Save the Planet and Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth, author Judith Schwartz describes how grazing animals play a key role in restoring soil health, and therefore human health. “Well-managed pastures and grasslands with ruminant animals can sequester more carbon than they emit, improve soil health and increase groundwater recharge,” explains Thistlethwaite. Plus, both livestock and poultry can make use of inedible feeds that humans don’t consume, such as grass and sagebrush.

Critical Questions to Find and Support Good Food Where does my food come from? Who produced it and under what conditions? Were workers treated fairly and animals humanely? What’s in or on my food? Were pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified ingredients or additives used in producing it? Is it rich or poor in nutrients? What might be the unintended consequences of my food and farming choices? How might those choices affect our environment and future generations? July 2020


Rangan and Harris emphasize that the power of consumer spending can shift the market. However, Thistlethwaite says, “We cannot just vote with our forks, as many people don’t have that luxury.” She urges change at both personal and political levels, favoring incentive-based approaches with fewer subsidies going to the industrial system. “We need more farmers raising high-quality animals in a humane, ecologically responsible manner,” says Thistlethwaite. But we also need more small-scale slaughterhouses and meat processors throughout the country to get quality meat to more of our tables. In addition to farmers’ markets, cooperatives and community supported agriculture, organizations such as the American Grassfed Association and Local Harvest connect consumers directly to farmers using sustainable practices to help rebuild regional food hubs and networks. “Start with small steps,” suggests Thistlethwaite. “Buy milk from a local creamery, eggs from a farmer in your community or one-quarter cow to fill your freezer from a local, grass-fed beef producer. Reward the farms and ranches that are doing it right by purchasing from them, promoting them, supporting them.” Melinda Hemmelgarn is an award-winning registered dietitian, writer and nationally syndicated radio host based in Columbia, MO. Reach her at Tune into Food Sleuth Radio at

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The COVID-19 health crisis highlights inequalities in how we produce and distribute food. A new bill, the Farm System Reform Act (FSRA), will help to create a more healthy, sustainable and equitable model, by placing a moratorium on new Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (commonly known as factory farms), cracking down on the monopolistic practices of multinational meat corporations and supporting farmers to transition to healthier, pasture-based models and organic farming. To support the FSRA, the Sierra Club has made it easy to contact members of Congress at BlockFactoryFarms.

Power To the People

Learn More, Eat Smarter Center for Food Safety: Consumer Reports: Food Print: Friends of the Earth: A Greener World: 10 Things You Can Do for the Planet Instead of Giving Up On Animal Agriculture: a-greener-world/10-things-you-can-do Humane Society Food Industry Scorecard: Keep Antibiotics Working: Public Justice Food Project: communityresources Right to Harm film and resources: One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts film:


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The Spiritual Discipline of Evoking Joy


by Marlaina Donato

ur four-legged friends—from pampered pooch to stray cat— have the inborn ability to seize the moment. No matter what chaotic circumstances may swirl around them, they have a knee-jerk response to spring into playful action or curl up in a patch of inviting sunlight. As humans, we tend to postpone the smallest of joys and avoid emotional self-care, opting for that extra glass of wine or spending more than usual to feel better for a brief period of time. Tending to our own happiness begins by seeing joy not as a mood dependent upon circumstances, but as a spiritual discipline like any other. Emotional well-being is a garden we must weed and water daily, and in turn, our physical health can’t help but be well-nourished by the harvest. Studies through the years have shown that certain sites and organs in the body, including the thymus, immune cells and bone marrow, have receptors for neurotransmitters like serotonin, which could explain why cultivating contentment might boost our natural defenses. Seasoned yogis and meditators often speak of an inner wellspring of joy that can be accessed through a committed practice.

Perhaps joy is less of a mood and more of a frequency that is accessible to all of us when we’re willing to align with its bandwidth. Making it a habit to step outside for 10 minutes to witness a sunset or greet the twilight while dinner cooks can be a beautiful way to advance felicity. Taking five-minute joy breaks during the workday to listen to a favorite piece of music with earbuds, read a few pages of an inspiring book or notice the clouds is another easy way to tend to happiness. Filling a “joy jar” with lovely memories written on scraps of colorful paper can prompt a spontaneous smile any time of day. Taking a half-hour drive on a pretty back road instead of scrolling through social media can reset depleted emotional reserves. Today, we can shift our thinking and see contentment as a precious, deserving loved one that needs nourishment like any other. Feeding joy in our lives can pave the daily humdrum road with jewels. In the end, perhaps fostering inner happiness by example is the greatest legacy we can leave behind. Marlaina Donato is the author of Spiritual Famine in the Age of Plenty: Baby Steps to Bliss. Connect at

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July 2020



healing ways



by Drew Mulvey

ith the raised awareness of how to take care of our bodies during this time, Drew Mulvey sheds some light on the effect of viral infections. When a pathogenic organism is introduced to our bodies, there is a sharp rise in inflammatory proteins such as Interleukin-6. This can manifest as symptoms which display as heat (fever) and an increased mucus formation, commonly seen in respiratory infections. This inflammatory protein is essential in the first line of defense against pathogenic organisms; however, an overexpression of this protein, commonly seen in comorbidities such as autoimmunity and diabetes, may increase one’s susceptibility to contracting and experiencing complications from that virus. What is one thing we can do to stay healthy? Keep our guts functioning optimally! What exactly is gut health? There are tiny microorganisms that live in the gut and are responsible for 80% of immune function. They are also responsible for proper digestion and assimilation of 18

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nutrients, and synthesis of several metabolites such as biotin—a B vitamin essential for heathy hair skin and nails—and short chain fatty acids—compounds important for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall. There are several different strains of the bacteria but most fall under two genera, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. An optimal ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes falls in the range of 0.6-0.8. An imbalance in favor of more Firmicutes can lead to weight loss resistance; increased susceptibility to infection; decreased digestive function leading to bloating, constipation and cramping; and disruption of the integrity of the lining of the intestines. The latter may contribute to the development of food sensitivities and low-grade inflammation, increasing one’s susceptibility to pathogenic infection. Some things that can disrupt the natural balance of beneficial to harmful bacteria is lack of sleep, infection, mental anguish and, more importantly, a poor diet. What can we do to keep our guts healthy and keep out immune system

functioning properly? Attack our nutrition. Here are some functional foods to include, reduce and eliminate for optimal gut and immune function. Include: Probiotics Our guts contain organisms that support immunity, help maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria, and make nutrients more bioavailable to absorb. It is important to replenish these healthy bacteria with live cultures from food—known as probiotics—to keep the gut functioning properly. Probiotics are found in high amounts in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, sourdough bread, tofu, tempeh, miso, kombucha, kefir and yogurt. These foods are particularly high in Lactobacillus sp., which are essential for immune function. Fiber There are two categories of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble is responsible for

increasing intestinal transit time, or regularity, and eliminating toxins and viruses cleared out from the liver more quickly. This is important as low amounts of insoluble fiber can lead to constipation and recycling of toxins, which can develop into low-grade inflammation. Insoluble fiber can be found in foods such as legumes, whole grains and brans such as rice. Soluble fiber is responsible for decreasing LDL levels and regulating blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber can be found in foods such as legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and dark chocolate. This particular type of fiber also acts as a direct fuel source for probiotics in our gut, particularly those known as prebiotics. These act as a direct fuel source for beneficial microorganisms. They can be found in foods such as bananas, asparagus, berries, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, organic apples, gluten-free oats and leeks. Both prebiotics and probiotics work in tandem in creating a symbiotic environment to keep the gut healthy. Reduce and/or Avoid: High Animal Protein and Saturated Fat Diets Diets high in fat, particularly saturated fat, have been linked to increased proinflammatory gene expression of proteins such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha. High-fat, high-protein diets have also been linked to a decrease in diversity of gut microbiota, particularly those of the Bacteroidetes sp. Meat is also high in omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, which has also contributed to increased gene expression. It is advised to reduce the intake of animal proteins and include more sources of plant-based proteins such as lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, and whole gluten-free grains. This increases dietary fiber intake while decreasing fat intake. Sugar Consumption of large amounts of this food places stress on the adrenals and increases production of corticosteroids, particularly cortisol. Prolonged exposure to this hormone can lead to depletion of nutrients, such as chromium and zinc, which decrease immunity and insulin sensitivity, electrolyte imbalance, and lowered stomach acid promoting the growth of harmful bacteria. Candida, an opportunistic fungus, can also proliferate, which can lead to immune dysfunction. Gluten Gluten can be found in wheat, rye, barley, oats and faro. Most wheat in the US has been genetically modified to resist Round Up, a common weed killer. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in the Round Up weed killer, has been linked to the development of several diseases such as cancer. Proteins in genetically modified foods also have the potential to escape proteolysis, the ability of digestive enzymes to break down specific components of food, such as gluten. Undigested proteins passing into the intestinal lumen have the potential to cause allergic reactions, contribute to the development of low-grade inflammation and gluten sensitivity in those “previously sensitized.”

Heavy Alcohol Consumption If it is one or two drinks with friends once a week, our bodies have the ability to rebound and detoxify without causing long term damage. Heavy alcohol consumption, on the other hand, has been shown to decrease vital nutrients such as zinc—a compound essential for the production of stomach acid and protein digestion—and decrease the abundance of beneficial strains of bacteria (particularly Lactobacilli and Bifidobacter sp.) promoting bacterial dysbiosis. Alcohol consumption can also decrease bile acid production, leading to impaired digestion of fats and fatsoluble vitamins, and contribute to inflammation of the gut. The statements made in this article are not meant to cure, treat or diagnose, and are to be used for educational purposes only. References: 1. Velazquez-Salinas L, Verdugo-Rodriguez A, Rodriguez LL, Borca MV. The Role of Interleukin 6 During Viral Infections. Front Microbiol. 2019;10:1057. Published 2019 May 10. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.01057 2. Rinninella E, Raoul P, Cintoni M, et al. What is the Healthy Gut Microbiota Composition? A Changing Ecosystem across Age, Environment, Diet, and Diseases. Microorganisms. 2019;7(1):14. Published 2019 Jan 10. doi:10.3390/microorganisms7010014 3. Gut Microbiota: From Microorganisms to Metabolic Organ Influencing Obesity. Obesity. 2018. 26(5). Article retrieved from 4. Ding YH, Qian LY, Pang J, et al. The regulation of immune cells by Lactobacilli: a potential therapeutic target for anti-atherosclerosis therapy. Oncotarget. 2017;8(35):59915‐59928. Published 2017 Jun 2. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.18346 5. Moss, J. What is the rightful place of clinical nutrition in today’s world of chronic illness: A metabolic perspective. PowerPoint presented at University of Bridgeport. June 2015. Bridgeport, CT. 6. Wypych, T., Marsland, B., Ubags, N. The impact of Diet on Immunity and Respiratory Disease. Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2017. 4(5). Article retrieved from https://www. 7. Akkerdaas, J et. al. Protease Resistance of food proteins: a mixed picture for predicting allergenicity but a useful tool for assessing exposure. Clinical and Translational Allergy. 2018. Article retrieved from articles/10.1186/s13601-018-0216-9 8. Bishehsari, F. Alcohol and Gut-Derived Inflammation. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. 2017. 38(2). Article retrieved from Drew Mulvey is a certified dietitian/nutritionist, the founder of Redeeming Life Nutrition, LLC and the author of The No-Title Cookbook due for release in July. She currently practices in Southbury, CT. For more information, connect at Drew.Mulvey@ or July 2020


Great Grilling

OUTDOOR FEASTS Inspired Picnics and Healthy Grills

by Marlaina Donato othing defines the summer season picnicking not only in woodlands and quite like firing up the grill or on beaches, but on rooftops. Being open escaping with a picnic basket to a to different times of the day welcomes a favorite hideaway. From luscious fruits to shift in mood. “I’m particularly fond of gorgeous greens, enjoying a meal outdoors breakfast picnics. They’re an excellent way inspires us to eat what is in season and to clear your head and get motivated, as invites us to sip the moment. Most of all, they’re an activity fully engaging all of the it gives us special time with loved ones or senses. Twilight picnics are another favorwith ourselves. ite. As the sun begins to set, the light is less Ashley English, of Candler, North harsh and the mood outdoors becomes Carolina, author of A Year of Picnics: Recipes decidedly quieter. I find picnics during for Dining Well in the Great Outdoors, sees this time of day to be especially relaxing,” picnics as a delicious excuse to eat healthy says English. and in sync with the seasons. “No matter Simple tasks like washing salad greens what time of year you’re picnicking, there’s or whipping up a quick hummus dip the always going to be something ripe and in night before a picnic can save considerable season to showcase. We all know that foods time. Traditional picnic baskets are not eaten at their peak time of ripeness simply required, and English recommends vintage taste better, so use your summertime picnic suitcases, wooden crates or a backpack, as an opportunity to bite into a ripe waterespecially if the picnic destination involves melon or your autumn picnic as the ideal an uphill trek. She also emphasizes simplictime to bake an apple crisp.” ity: “While a lavish spread with myriad options is quite fun, a simple picnic can be Portable Pleasures equally enjoyable. A grazing board to-go Thinking outside the box can jazz up is quite easy. Pack up a medley of fruits, the ordinary. English sings the praises of veggies, charcuterie or cheeses, crackers,



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Grilling “adds a ton of flavor to food without needing to add additional fat or calories. Cooking over fire is also the oldest method of cooking,” says Lindars. Happily, the health risks associated with barbequing meat over hot coals can be reduced by using flavorful marinades or opting to go vegan. Reducing temperature decreases carcinogenic compounds associated with grilling meats and can be best accomplished by waiting until charcoal turns to embers or turning the gas grill down a notch or two. Grilling further from the flame on an elevated rack is also a good option. Citrusy or balsamic vinegar-based marinades naturally minimize toxic potential by reducing the formation of unhealthy compounds, studies show. “You are what you eat and what you eat was eating. Opt for the highest-quality protein possible—grass-fed beef, organic, humanely raised protein,” suggests Lindars. “Make your own marinades and rubs to avoid ingredients like soybean oil and corn syrup. You can easily make your own with simple ingredients like olive oil, fresh herbs, vinegars, sea salt and spices. Fresh rosemary, lemon zest, juice, sea salt, pepper and garlic with a splash of olive oil makes for an amazing marinade, and can even be paired with grass-fed butter to put on chicken. A basic rub of smoked paprika, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and dash of garlic powder is great on just about anything.” Marlaina Donato is the author of several books and a recording artist. Connect at

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spreads and pickles and a little something sweet, and you’ve got all you need to create a memorable meal outdoors.” Robyn Lindars, of Fort Myers, Florida, author The Healthy Electric Smoker Cookbook: 100 Recipes with All-Natural Ingredients and Fewer Carbs, says, “I love grilled veggies paired with goat cheese and fresh herbs on French or Italian bread. You can add capicola or just stick to veggies for tasty sandwiches that do well in a cooler.”

conscious eating

Recipes for Outdoor Feasts


Fire-Roasted Gazpacho 3 lb small-to medium-size tomatoes, possibly a mixture of San Marzano and Campari tomatoes (The smaller tomatoes will get more exposure to the grill) 2 large cucumbers 1 poblano pepper 1 head of garlic 8 oz mini-bell peppers 2 tsp white wine vinegar 1 cup water (or more) Dash olive oil 1 Tbsp sea salt (preferably bourbon barrel smoked sea salt) 1 Tbsp black pepper (preferably bourbon barrel smoked pepper) 1 tsp sugar 1 large bunch basil 1 ripe avocado, diced Preheat a charcoal grill for medium direct heat—about 350° F. (Gas works, but will not produce as much smokiness as charcoal.) Prepare the veggies to go on the grill: wash everything and slice the cucumbers into thin lengthwise pieces; put the garlic cloves onto skewers. Grill the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic and poblano pepper until char marks form on all sides. Remove the veggies and place in a big pot. Add water. With an immersion blender, mix everything together until uniform in consistency.

Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste; more water for a thinner consistency; and the basil at the end with one last blend with the immersion blender.

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Chill at least 3 hours before serving so the flavors have time to meld together. Garnish with diced avocado and fresh basil. Recipe and photo courtesy of Robyn Lindars,

New Twists on Old Favorites Brew up delicious and colorful herbal teas for gourmet lemonades. Try hibiscus, lemongrass, lavender or fresh ginger tea, adding fresh organic lemon juice and a sweetener of choice. In a blender, whip up unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, coconut or cashew) with a ripe banana, a small handful of dates and a splash of vanilla extract, and pour into popsicle molds. Combine peanut, almond, sunflower or soy butter with cocoa or carob powder, a tablespoon of plant-based hazelnut creamer and a pinch of salt. Roll into balls and then add sesame, chia seeds, cinnamon, coconut sugar or chopped dates.


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Natural Awakenings recommends using organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) and non-bromated ingredients whenever possible. July 2020


Grilled Romaine Hearts 1 romaine heart per person 1 Tbsp olive oil Sea salt to taste Fresh ground black pepper Parmesan cheese or another hard, aged cheese Prepare the grill for direct heat.

Fruta Picada Yields: 8 to 10 servings


A combination of fresh fruit, lime juice and chili seasoning, fruta picada is served at markets and roadsides throughout Mexico. The combination of spice and salt partnered with sweet fruit is guaranteed to take the edge off of a blistering summer’s day. Spice Blend 3 Tbsp chipotle powder 3 Tbsp smoky paprika 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp sea salt 1 Tbsp cumin seeds 1½ tsp celery seeds Fruit 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into spears ½ watermelon, peeled, cut into spears and seeded 1 large jicama, peeled and cut into spears 1 large papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into spears Juice from 2 limes

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Grind all of the spice blend ingredients together in a spice grinder or food processor or with a mortar and pestle until finely powdered. Transfer to a lidded container with a shaker screen. Place all of the fruit spears onto a serving platter. Squeeze the fresh lime juice evenly across. Let guests serve themselves as much fruit as they’d like, and then sprinkle with the spice blend. From A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Well In the Great Outdoors, by Ashley English. Photo by Jen Altman. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Rinse/dry the romaine hearts, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Grill the romaine hearts on direct heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until char marks form and the lettuce begins to wilt. Remove the hearts from the grill, grate a generous amount of the cheese on the hearts and add a little more olive oil. For a crowd, chop the hearts up and put them in a bowl to serve as a large salad on the side of the main course. Recipe and photo courtesy of Robyn Lindars,

Picnic Recipes

Picnic Safety Tips from Ashley English Use insulated coolers for perishable items. Before being stored in the refrigerator, cool any foods after preparation to room temperature to be served cold later.

Kalamata Olive Hummus-Cucumber Picnic Sandwiches

Southwestern Red Pepper-Avocado Sandwiches/Wraps

Pita pocket bread, sourdough or other bread of choice 1 can organic chickpeas/garbanzos with original water drained off just a bit ½ cup organic sesame seeds or 2 Tbsp of tahini (½ cup organic, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds can be used in a pinch) 1 tsp cold-pressed virgin olive oil (optional) 1 minced garlic clove ½ cup kalamata olives (whole or halved, drained) Conventional or English cucumber, thinly sliced Organic lemon thinly slivered with skin intact

1 jar roasted red peppers (drained and dried with a towel) or freshly made, oven-roasted peppers 2 fork-smashed avocados or 1 large Florida avocado Salsa of choice, preferably smoky chipotle or sweet varieties Chopped cilantro Bread or wraps of choice

In a blender or Vitamix, add chickpeas with original water, sesame seeds/tahini and a slice of lemon to make the hummus. Blend until smooth, but don’t over-blend until too thin. Pour into bowl, stir in olives and drizzle with olive oil. Lastly, sprinkle the minced garlic on the top of the hummus and chill for a few hours or overnight. Generously spoon hummus onto bread or into pita pockets and gently layer thinly, freshly sliced cucumbers and thin slivers of lemon. Optional additions: fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, lemon thyme or mint to add last between the slices of bread or tucked into a pita pocket. Keep in a cooler for picnics. Recipe and photo courtesy of Marlaina Donato,

To assemble sandwiches, slather bread or wrap generously with smashed avocado, then press a roasted red pepper on top. Spoon salsa of choice and sprinkle with cilantro over all before covering with other slice of bread or rolling a wrap. Keep chilled until serving. Recipe and photo courtesy of Marlaina Donato,

When ready to head out for a picnic, pack ice into the bottom of the cooler and cover it with the food containers. To make ice last even longer, first place a bag of dry ice on the bottom of the cooler, cover it over with wet ice and place the food atop of it. Keep the cooler lid closed whenever not in use and store it in a shady location upon arriving at the picnicking destination. When returning home, if there is any ice left in the cooler, leftover items are considered safe to consume; if the ice is all melted, the food isn’t safe to eat. Reusable ice packs are also nice to use because they forgo the need to purchase new bags of ice each time. of water at a time until reaching the desired consistency. Pour into bowl and serve immediately with an array of dippers, including organic healthy chips and sliced vegies, as well as outside-the-box options like bok choy, squash or peppers. Recipe and photo courtesy of Marlaina Donato,

Green Garden-Basil Dip for Chips, Bread and Veggies 1 package thawed, raw, frozen peas Handful of basil 1 or 2 handfuls unsalted roasted or raw pumpkin seeds ½ tsp sea salt ¼ cup water In a blender or Vitamix, add all ingredients and blend until smooth. If peas need a bit more water for blending, add a tablespoon July 2020


sequester carbon,” says Diana Carpinone, president of Non Toxic Communities, a pesticide reform nonprofit, and founder of Non Toxic Dover, in New Hampshire.

green living

Why Organic Lawns Make Eco-Sense


by Julie Peterson

ith its dependence on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, America’s 63,000 square miles of lawns rely on fossil fuels, put pressure on water supplies and devastate soil, watersheds, animals and people. Fortunately, green turf can be attained organically, with important benefits. “In addition to protecting public health, eliminating our use of pesticides and fertilizers will allow us to build healthy soil and sequester more carbon as we face climate chaos,” says Mackenzie Feldman, executive director of HerbicideFree Campus, a San Francisco organization working to transition colleges nationwide to organic lawns.

The Harm Done

Homeowner desire for lush swaths of monoculture grass has been fueled by lawn chemical ads equating model families with flawless lawns. Unfortunately, the “green grass of home” isn’t an ideal dream, it’s a nightmare. Research shows that it exposes people to cancer-causing, reproductiveharming and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, many of which are deemed safe by


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government agencies. The Pesticide-Induced Diseases database at holds myriad studies linking chemicals to asthma, diabetes, autism, lupus, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of toxins due to their developing organs. Exposure to lawn chemicals also comes through the air, on indoor surfaces and in water. A U.S. Geological Survey report found pesticides in 99 percent of urban streams. In mixed land use areas, 100 percent of major rivers and 33 percent of major aquifers were tainted. While the culture around the aesthetics of landscapes is strong, the tipping point has arrived. “People are becoming more aware that their children are at elevated risk and that there are deficiencies in the laws that govern toxic chemical use,” says Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, in Washington, D.C. Lawn chemicals are also feeding climate change. “Not only are they fossilfuel intensive to produce, they harm the biology in the soil and destroy its ability to

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Greener Green Grass

Recent lawsuits and climate change have given activists more power to effect sweeping changes in policy. “This isn’t just a niche idea. We have a mandate, given looming environmental crises, to transform our current chemical intensive systems to organic,” says Jay Feldman. Organic turf experts have devised methods to grow monoculture grass. According to Ryan Anderson, a community outreach specialist at the Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America and leader of Midwest Grows Green, “Homeowners can keep their lawns organic by increasing cultural controls.” These include aerating, over seeding and mowing high to build the soil, turf and plant system. While pristine lawns are possible, reconsidering aesthetics is another option. “We could let native plants grow and embrace plant diversity as fundamental to ecosystem resilience,” says Mackenzie Feldman. Indeed, “weeds” are beneficial. Clover feeds nitrogen to grass, benefits soil organisms and stays green long after turf. Dandelions were once considered a source of food and medicine, and all parts of it are edible, including flowers, roots and leaves. Instead of living with weeds, some homeowners are choosing to tear out lawns and put in indigenous plants to attract pollinators and other wildlife. But it takes time for society to adopt new views and front yards can be polarizing. “You can’t go from zero to hippie in a day. People need realistic goals,” says Carpinone. Whether someone rents, owns or only has access to shared green spaces, Shaina Rico, founder of The Generation Ground, an Austin-based organization helping farmers launch regenerative businesses, feels everyone must “take ownership of our green spaces. If you are not the one managing the land, ask questions of those


Front Yard Activists

that are. What are we doing to support the soil biology? Can we achieve the goal without using chemicals? How can we increase soil organic matter?”

Greener Communities Concerned citizens are asking local governments and school districts to eliminate chemical turf management protocols at parks and schools. Nonprofit campaigns such as Beyond Pesticides, Non Toxic Communities and Herbicide-Free Campus can sometimes send a spokesperson and provide ample data to overcome common objections. “We can show that organic is viable and economical. Organic systems end up reducing costs over time,” says Jay Feldman, who helps install community pilot sites. Transitioning to organic practices requires a focus on soil health, building up microbial life and organic matter, understanding the ecosystem and creating a balanced ecology. Once in place, it’s a functioning system that doesn’t need much management. “You can have a beautiful, organic, green lawn that’s safe for all living things,” says Carpinone.

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Julie Peterson writes about wellness and environmental issues from rural Wisconsin. Reach her at

Make a Difference Offset climate change and improve health for people and the planet by reaching out to the community or finding helpful experts to assist with local efforts. Non Toxic Communities ( offers resources to create healthier schools, lawns and landscapes throughout the country. Beyond Pesticides ( has a database of pest management and lawn service companies that don’t use dangerous pesticides, lawn signs for the organic yard and a sign-up for The Action of the Week to contact elected officials about current issues. The Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America ( provides low-risk pest management solutions for farms, greenhouses, facilities and homes. Herbicide-Free Campus ( is working to transition every campus in the country to organic. The Great Healthy Yard Project ( has downloads on how to grow without gunk and encouraging others to do the same.

July 2020


calendar of events


FRIDAY, JULY 3 Full Moon Meditation with Gayle Franceschetti – 6:30pm-8:30pm. Align w/new energies of this Super Full Moon. Opportunities for letting go of the old and allowing spiritual energies to reach human hearts and minds. $25. For questions please call 203-631-7803 On Zoom.

THURSDAY, JULY 9 Young Living Essential Oils – 6:30pm-8pm. Help align your mind, body, spirit. Learn to take control of your health with therapeutic grade oils. Free class. Gayle Franceschetti, 36 Cheshire Rd Wallingford, 203-631-7803 or

MONDAY, JULY 13 Elm City Wellness Opens 2nd Location in New Haven’s East Rock Community – In addition to reopening its doors at 774 Orange St in New Haven, on July 13, Elm City Wellness will open their NEW, second location located inside East Rock Health & Wellness at 493 Whitney Ave, New Haven. More information: or

Circle of Women – 7pm-9pm. Join in sacred space to discover and strengthen your authentic self, listen and speak from the heart. Practice selfcare and global compassion in these unprecedented times. Stay connected to self, spirit and others. $25. Call Susan to reserve space/get coordinates. 203-645-1230.

SATURDAY, JULY 25 Young Living Essential Oils – 10am-11:30am. Help align your mind, body, spirit. Learn to take control of your health with therapeutic grade oils. Free class. Gayle Franceschetti, 36 Cheshire Rd, Wallingford, 203-631-7803, or

SUNDAY, JULY 26 Peace Pole Workshop – 10am-3pm. Lend your voice to Peace, Love, and Light by creating your very own Peace Pole for your yard, garden, community or school. Set your Intention and Invite your Spirit and Creativity to Shine at this outdoor, socially distant Workshop. Event limited to 5 participants. All materials provided. $75. 21 Larson Drive, North Haven. Questions, call 203-804-0024. Registration Required at

New Haven/Middlesex

Rooftop Yoga with Breathing Room – 7pm. (Weekly Tues & Thurs). Atop Crown St Garage in New Haven. Preregistration is required and regular class rates apply. Visit Events to sign up and review the ground rules for attending these in-person classes.

Passport to Health & Wellness EXPO STATEWIDE HOLISTIC EXPO

SUNDAY, AUGUST 23 10am - 5pm CDC COMPLIANT Benefit Holistic EXPO Presented by

thursday Rooftop Yoga with Breathing Room – 7pm. (Weekly Tues & Thurs). Atop Crown St Garage in New Haven. Preregistration is required and regular class rates apply. Visit Events to sign up and review the ground rules for attending these in-person classes.


The Holistic Community Professionals Held at

The DoubleTree by Hilton, Bristol, CT More than 75 Vendors & Speakers, FREE SOUND HEALING & Drumming 4pm-5pm on the Patio

$5 in advance/$7 at door Proceeds will benefit The CT Children’s Medical Center and Hartford Hospital Cancer Center Angie’s Spa fund.

To purchase Early Bird Ticket $5:





Sunset Savasana: Flowing with Mother Nature – 7:30pm. An all levels flow yoga class with the beautiful backdrop of the sun setting behind farms and vineyards. Please RSVP 2 hours prior to class. $15. Cash or Venmo accepted. Please RSVP a minimum of two hours before class time. Small and limited class sizes for ease and safety. Bring your own mat. All classes are outdoors only. Bathroom not available. Good Vibes Yoga Studio, 4 Cooke Rd, Wallingford. 203-824-1929.

saturday Sunset Savasana: Flowing with Mother Nature – 7:30pm. An all levels flow yoga class with the beautiful backdrop of the sun setting behind farms and vineyards. Please RSVP 2 hours prior to class. $15. Cash or Venmo accepted. Please RSVP a minimum of two hours before class time. Small and limited class sizes for ease and safety. Bring your own mat. All classes are outdoors only. Bathroom not available. Good Vibes Yoga Studio, 4 Cooke Rd, Wallingford. 203-824-1929.

Exhibitors & Speakers please apply online

To apply/pay online: fairs-vendorspeaker-application Payment is required to confirm a booth. Speakers must be exhibitors.



ALS SUPPORT THE ALS ASSOCIATION CONNECTICUT CHAPTER – Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through research & advocacy while empowering people w/Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives w/compassionate care & support. 4 Oxford Road, Unit D4. Milford. 203-874-5050.

COUNSELING IS A COLLABORATIVE PROCESS – where the transitions, challenges and traumas of life are viewed as a gateway into a more authentic life. With guidance to reframe their personal stories, my clients are empowered to free themselves from ineffective patterns and make significant personal growth. Call, text or email now for free consultation: 203-731-7755, or

DISTRIBUTORS WANTED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONNECTICUT WOMEN’S CONSORTIUM – Aim: ensure the behavioral health system responds to the needs of women & the people & organizations that affect them. Eliminate discrimination/promote excellence in care for women through educ., training, advocacy & policy dev. 203-909-6888,

DISTRIBUTORS WANTED – For monthly deliveries of Natural Awakenings and other local publications. Perfect for a retired person or stay at home mom looking to earn some extra income and connect with their local community. Honesty and dependability are the most important characteristics of our distributors.

MEDICAL/INTUITIVE HYPNOTIST HYPNOSIS THERAPY CENTER – There is a meaning behind every ailment and condition people have. It’s your body speaking to you. If you are tired of being sick and are ready to help yourself heal, then consider having a Discovery Session so you can learn the cause and ‘cure.’ Madison. 203-245-6927.

PARKINSON’S SUPPORT PARKINSON DISEASE ASSOCIATION – Mission: “To Ease the Burden, To Find A Cure” for those w/Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers in CT. Education, support and socialization. 860-248-9200,


BOOKS RECOGNIZE AND HEAL YOURSELF THROUGH THE POWER OF SPIRIT – The human being is an energy field of the Spirit— The right way of life to stay healthy and spiritually active. Toll free: 844-576-0937.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES START A CAREER YOU CAN BE PASSIONATE ABOUT – Publish your own Natural Awakenings magazine. Home based business complete with comprehensive training and support system. New franchises are available or purchase a magazine that is currently publishing. Call 239-530-1377 or apply now at:

HOUSES FOR SALE NOW! – Unique, friendly, cohousing community. New energy-efficient, green homes in a neighborhood with an organic farm. Where conservation and community come together!

LYME DISEASE CT LYME RIDERS, INC. – Founded in 2007 by motorcyclists Sandy Brule & Tony Gargano. A 501(c)(3) non profit public charity aiming to bring awareness to the public about Lyme Disease. Events & info. 860-537-0255,

Coming Next Month AUGUST

• Education Out of the Box • Prospering through Transition To advertise or participate in our next issue contact: or 203-305-5531 July 2020


community resource guide ACUPUNCTURE


ADVANCED PHYSICAL MEDICINE Dr. Julian Cano, N.D., LAc 117 Washington Avenue, Suite 19 North Haven, CT 201-273-0243


Dr. Cano can assist you in the natural healing process by using therapies that do not have negative side effects. His goal is to find the root cause of your illness rather than suppress your symptoms through acupuncture, cupping, botanical medicine, and homeopathy.

APPLIED KINESIOLOGY KC CHIROPRACTIC & WELLNESS Kevin Healy, DC 17 Woodland Road, Madison, CT 203-245-9317

Applied Kinesiology is a neurological evaluation to find and treat dysfunction. Different because it addresses causes instead of chasing pains, Dr. Healy tests if a therapy alleviates dysfunction, finding immediate answers as to which provides the most improvement. Chiropractic, craniosacral, myofascial and acupressure are among the therapies Dr. Healy uses. Generally, no single cure exists as disease and dysfunction typically involve multiple areas of the body. The goal of any therapy—physical, chemical, or emotional—is to improve function; a combination of therapies typically yields the best results. See ad on page 11.

CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School provides experientially-based education with a personalized approach to learning, designed to empower young people to thrive. Our students come from a variety of towns throughout Connecticut, from families looking for a program that engages and deepens learning, where their children can flourish during these important and impactful 5th - 8th grade years. See ad on page 13.


Accredited, Non-profit Graduate School offering holistic programs in contemporary & emerging fields 171 Amity Road, Bethany, CT 203-874-4252 The Graduate Institute offers holistic master’s degrees and certificate programs for adult learners. Programs include Integrative Health and Healing, Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability, Writing and Oral Tradition, Organizational Leadership, and more. Programs are just one weekend a month.

HAIR ANALYSIS MINERAL TESTING - DNA NUTRITIONAL BALANCING HAIR ANALYSIS TESTING Kathleen Kordas Holistic Health Practitioner Certified Nutritionist – GCNM Reiki Master – Usui Shiki Ryoho 203-984-6104 – Connecticut

Nutritional Balancing gave me back my quality of life. With a Hair Analysis Test Dr. Wilson can recommend a supplement program and alkaline diet that is specifically for you. Based on your hair chart, the program will identify: Adrenal Fatigue, if low on your minerals, proper digestion of food, and toxic metals (mercury, lead, aluminum, copper and more). It is your DNA! Get your energy back. Call for a free consultation: 203-984-6104.©


New Haven/Middlesex


501 Kings Highway East, Suite 108 Fairfield, CT 203-371-0300 Dr. Mark A. Breiner is a pioneer and recognized authority in the field of holistic dentistry. With over 30 years of experience, he is a sought after speaker and lecturer. His popular consumer book, Whole-Body Dentistry, has been sold worldwide.


Adam Breiner, ND, Director Elena Sokolova, MD, ND David Brady, ND, CCN, DACBN 501 Kings Highway East, Suite 108 Fairfield, CT 203-371-8258 Using state-of-the-art science combined with centuries-old healing modalities, our caring naturopathic doctors correct underlying imbalances and address issues which may interfere with the body’s abilityto heal itself. Treatment protocols or therapies include: Abdominal Manual Therapy, Acupuncture, Allergy Desensitization, Chinese Medicine, Colonics and other Detoxification Protocols, Electro-Dermal Screening, Energy Medicine, FDA-cleared Phototherapy, Functional Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Hormonal Balancing, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Metabolic Typing, Nutritional Assessment, Real-Time EEG Neurofeedback, and other therapies.

community resource guide PET EUTHANASIA SERVICE FINAL JOURNEY, LLC Kristen Klie, D.V.M. 203-645-5570

Final Journey, LLC is an in-home euthanasia service for your animal companion that brings comfort and peace during a sensitive and challenging time. See ad on page 13.

PHYSICAL THERAPY PHYSICAL THERAPY SERVICES OF GUILFORD 500 East Main Street, Suite 310, Branford, CT 203-315-7727 (Phone) 203-315-7757 (Fax)

At Physical Therapy Services of Guilford, we specialize in manual therapy using hands-on techniques to help the body’s natural healing process. We also incorporate traditional programs and modalities to maximize health. 40-minute sessions are conducted one-on-one in private treatment rooms. See ad on page 8.

REIKI SUSANE GRASSO, RMT Distance Reiki Available 203-500-6950

Stress is the plague of the 21st century and the cause of physical and emotional woes. Because of this, my sessions combine my ability to see auras with Reiki, Theta Healing, acupressure and Sound Vibrational Healing to provide deep relaxation and balance. “Tension out! Wellness in” is more than a phrase. For my clients it is a statement of fact. Distance Reiki sessions available. See ad on page 17.


374 New Haven Avenue Milford, CT 203-283-5968

Gail Perrella, M.S. is a Holistic Nutritionist, creator and founder of Revive Salt Therapy & Wellness. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower our clients to create the health they deserve. Services offered include halotherapy, nutrition, detox, massage, reiki, salty (halotherapy) yoga, guided meditation, mindset coaching and wellness workshops. We also have a wellness retail shop where we offer professional supplements and high quality salt products. For more information visit


787 Main St, S Woodbury, CT 203-586-1172 Combining an array of natural therapies that have been used since ancient times with today’s technology, Salt of the Earth Spa provides a sanctuary for deep transformations, healing and grounding for Mind, Body and Spirit.

ANSONIA NATURE CENTER 104 acres of wooded hills and grassy fields, miles of nature trails, streams, a two-acre pond, wet meadows, upland swamp, butterfly & hummingbird garden, woodland wildflower and fern garden, community gardening, childrens’ playscape, visitor center, animals & nature exhibits, classes and more!

(203) 736-1053


Eagle Flight Healing provides transformative energy work using shamanic methods, the guidance of a client’s higher consciousness and unseen guides. Clients experience a new perspective of self in addition to feeling more vitality, happiness and joy.

July 2020


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community resource guide


New Haven/Middlesex


113 Simsbury Road, West Granby, CT 860-764-9070

We offer a unique certification program blending the science of nutrition with the hands-on components of sustainable gardening practices. We use food and herbs to make kitchen medicine, teach basic culinary skills, and practice foraging for and using nutrient-rich wild food. Now enrolling. See ad on page 6.

TAI CHI AIPING TAI CHI CENTER 518 Boston Post Road Orange, CT 203-795-0203

ELM CITY WELLNESS 774 Orange Street New Haven, CT 203-691-7653

Elm City Wellness is an independent, womanowned wellness center with a focus on community healing. Services include a variety of skilled massage, CBD massage, community and private acupuncture, Reiki, craniosacral therapy and organic skin care, including signature, microderm and high frequency facials. Skilled therapists specifically tailor each and every session. Our wellness store features local products, candles, wellness supplies and books, smudge kits and a large range of third-party tested, pharmaceutical grade CBD products. See back cover ad.


Aiping Tai Chi Center (est. 1996), teaches authentic Tai Chi and Health Qigong. Alleviate stress, increase strength, improve balance, and harness internal power. Regain your health from the inside out. Free trial class. See ad on page 3.



Melissa Pytlak Yoga Instructor Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor 203-305-5531 Melissa invites you to come home to yourself and awaken the healer within. Offering private and group instruction in yoga and Ayurveda, Melissa guides you to connect with your True Self and to trust that you already possess all the wisdom you need to heal yourself in order to return to your innate state of harmony and health. Melissa enjoys teaching group classes but particularly loves the magic that unfolds in helping people one on one. If you need a little guidance on your path of wellness, please reach out for a free 10-minute consultation.

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. ~Dolly Parton




A Top 50 Healthcare Company 2019

Priceless health and well-being benefits for you and your family.


July 2020 The KnoWEwell Collaborative with benefits for all in the “wholistic” health and well-being ecosystem.



New Haven/Middlesex