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Joyful Giving

How Generosity Transforms Us

Conscious Breathwork How Breathing Deep Heals



Beyond Calcium

Full-Spectrum Bone Health

Vegan Holiday Treats

Tasty and Healthy Sweets

THE EVOLUTION OFGathering COMMUNITY to Make a Difference December 2019 | Twin Cities Edition |

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Twin Cities Edition


December 2019



letter from the publisher

TWIN CITIES EDITION PUBLISHER Candi Broeffle EDITORS Cheryl Hynes Randy Kambic WRITER Jackie Flaherty AD SALES Candi Broeffle SchaOn Blodgett DESIGN & PRODUCTION Sara Shrode

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Twin Cities Edition


his holiday season, as there seems to be so much that can divide us, I encourage all of us to extend our love and understanding to those who may not fully share our beliefs, and take some time to better understand one another’s point of view. This time of the year is traditionally the time to come together, and more importantly, this time in our history is urging us to do just that. It is up to each of us to build the community we so long for, not wait for our leaders and politicians to do it for us. In this month’s uplifting feature by Linda Sechrist, “The Emerging Power of ‘We’: Awakening to the Evolution of CommuCandi Broeffle nity”, you’ll find a compelling argument that collective wisdom, collaborative change and the need to evolve from a culture of “me” to a culture of “we” may be the key to addressing the major challenges that confront humankind. One way in which I personally practice this is with a group of powerful women who meet several times a month to hold intentions and positive thoughts for one another as we move through the celebrations and difficulties in life. We have met through virtual meeting spaces and over the phone for two years, and the changes we have created have been incredible, including strengthening our relationships with our families, easily maneuvering through what would otherwise be difficult transitions, building our businesses and improving our health. Imagine what could be accomplished if all of us came together in our collective wisdom to make the change we hope to see in our communities? I hold the intention that 2020 will be the year we do so. Having read 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life, I am excited to share the interview with the author, Mary Neal, in this month’s Wise Words. Dr. Neal is an orthopedic surgeon who shares her account of a near-death experience in which she believes she penetrated the veil dividing the physical and spiritual worlds. Her life-altering experience prompted her to pay more attention to those things that are truly important: faith, family and relationships with others. I am confident that her message will resonate in some way with you this holiday season. As you prepare for the holidays and seek to find the perfect gifts to share with your loved ones, I encourage you to share the gifts of good health. The advertisers who support this magazine provide services and goods that will make your gift giving both easy and welcomed by your loved ones. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated by all and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you supported a local small business owner— one of your community members.

Candi Broeffle, Publisher

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


Contents 14 THE GENEROUS HEART How Giving Transforms Us



Awakening to the Evolution of Community

18 WASTE-FREE FEASTING How to Reduce Holiday Food Waste


People-Pleasing Holiday Sweets




24 BEYOND CALCIUM Full-Spectrum Bone Health


Safe and Eco-Smart Toys

28 INHALING THE ADVERTISING & SUBMISSIONS HOW TO ADVERTISE To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 763-270-8604 or email Deadline for ads: the 15th of the month. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: the 5th of the month. CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS Email Calendar Events to: Deadline for calendar: the 10th of the month. REGIONAL MARKETS Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-449-8309. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit



Conscious Breathwork


Making the Old New and Green

DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 7 business

spotlights 8 health briefs 10 global briefs 13 eco tip 14 inspiration 15 wise words 18 green living

20 conscious

eating 24 healing ways 26 natural pet 28 fit body 30 healthy kids 33 calendar 35 resource guide December 2019


news briefs

Three Weeks of Profound Workshops at Cabo Breath Fest


n celebration of Natural Awakenings’ commitment to promoting higher consciousness during the last 25 years, the Cabo Breath Fest will offer many lifechanging workshops plus other activities from February 1 to 21, in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Some of the 20-plus international experts offering workshops include event founder Dan Brule, author, breathwork pioneer and the creator of Breath Therapy; Stig Avall Severinsen, champion free diver and author of the bestselling book, Breatheology: The Art of Conscious Breathing; Dr. Jim Morningstar, author and founder of the School of Integrative Psychology; and Lena Kristina Tuulse, breathwork pioneer who introduced conscious breathing to much of Europe and author of Passion for Life. As this historic event is a co-creation of the trainers and guests, attendees are also invited to make presentations during some of the 100 available sessions. There will also be yoga on the beach, drumming circles, concerts, social gatherings, great food, dances, art and other enriching activities. Tickets: $100 for any or all workshops. For more information, tickets and cheap accommodations, call 800-568-7957 or visit or cabobreathfest.

Seeking Women for Support Group Analysis


alerie Marsh, LMFT, of Positive Power Psychology, is seeking women who have experienced emotional, verbal and/or physical abuse in a love relationship, for an informational/support group to help heal and become empowered again. Marsh has many years of experience facilitating groups for women recovering from these issues. Valerie Marsh She is currently wanting to speak to interested women to find a convenient time for potential members to convene. This would be a four-week-long, once-a-week, 90-minute, closed group, and can take place afternoons or evenings. Location: 600 Twelve Oaks Center Dr., Ste. 206, Wayzata (conveniently located off highways 494 and 394). For more information and to connect, call 612-772-2808 or visit See ad, page 12.

NA Fun Fact: Natural Awakenings’ free app has been downloaded by more than 40,000 iPhone users and is available on the Android platform. To advertise with us, call 763-270-8604 6

Twin Cities Edition

Gifts from the Ocean: A Holiday Seafood Box


ith the fishing season wrapped up in Alaska and the snow already falling on the ground here in Minnesota, there is only one thing to do: hibernate and dream of turkey, lefse, caramels, ham, squash, king salmon and halibut. In the greatest season of giving and receiving, Sitka Salmon Shares, your local community-supported fishery, has prepared two Holiday Boxes for members and nonmembers alike. Seafood can be an ideal gift this holiday season. “The idea of supporting a sustainable community of hard working, traditional fishing families whilst also giving, hands-down, the most incredibly delicious food from the ocean, is a win-win,” says Minnesota’s community manager, Richie Mann. “Mother Ocean produced a bounty for our fishermen this season and sharing it with our Midwestern family is only neighborly.” Sitka Salmon Shares has brought Alaska’s most sustainable, wild, linecaught seafood to the doorsteps of Midwesterners for 10 years. Putting fishermen and the environment first and taking the artisanal approach to the process of their seafood not only create a trust between ocean and fisherman, but also between fisherman and customer. The 2019 Holiday Box program, with species like king salmon, Dungeness crab, halibut, coho, spot prawns and more, can be ordered through the Sitka Salmon Shares website at SitkaSalmon Holiday Boxes are available to order until December 15 and will ship before Christmas. See ad, page 3.

business spotlights

Not All CBD is Created Equal


he people of Minnesota have long waited for a reputable CBD company to open its doors. Luckily, Nothing But Hemp now operates in multiple locations, including Uptown; Grand Avenue (St. Paul) Downtown; White Bear Lake, Maplewood Mall and Forest Lake. Nothing But Hemp carries labtested and award-winning products most commonly available in medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries throughout California, Oregon and Colorado. They also partner with local Minnesota hemp farmers and carry locally grown Minnesota hemp CBD products. The Best Quality. These highly sought after CBD products from out west have been featured in Forbes, Woman’s Health, High Times, Health and Herb. The CBD products have also won prestigious awards, including The Dope Industry Awards, The Cannabis Cup, The Cannabist Awards and Minnesota Legacy CBD Cup. Nothing But Hemp’s sterling reputation and products are also backed up by various degrees of scientific research, and the company has been featured in the media, including Minnesota Public Radio, FOX, ABC, CBS, the Tom Barnard Show and Marijuana Ventures. Money-Saving Opportunity. Those interested in experimenting or who already take CBD can also look to save a pretty

Erin Thole: Certified Natural Healthcare Practitioner


any people have come to realize that the current healthcare system is one that compartmentalizes the body and typically addresses the symptoms instead of the root cause of diseases and conditions. As a natural healthcare practitioner, I see the body as one whole unit and am not interested in addressErin Thole ing symptoms; I am looking to get to the root of an individual’s health conditions. I often have clients come to me with various diagnoses from their medical doctors and they are on various cookie cutter medi-

penny with Nothing But Hemp. They partner and work directly with farmers and hemp manufactures so customers see direct savings. A Wealth of Experience. Nothing But Hemp CEO Steven Brown is the only CBD store owner in the Twin Cities who boasts a cannabis industry background. During his time in the business, he has worked with and advised some of the largest cultivating facilities in western states. He is also a founder of the Minnesota Hemp Association, an industry group with over 100 members. Further, Brown has even helped to design a dispensary featured on the popular Playboy TV series High Indulgence, hosted by Shanley McIntee. Nothing But Hemp industry education is second to none, and Brown empowers customers with a unique expertise and approach—one of the professional connections to knowledgeable representatives who do their very best to give people the muchneeded relief and improvement they require. Locations: Uptown, 617 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; Downtown, 844 Grand Ave., St. Paul; Maplewood Mall, 3001 White Bear Ave. (upstairs near the food court), Maplewood; 143 Lake St. N., Forest Lake; 4762 Banning Ave., White Bear Lake. For more information, visit See ad, page 40.

cations meant for those with that same label (i.e. diagnosis). However, 100 people could have the same diagnosis, based on their symptoms, yet they could all have a different root cause for those symptoms leading to that particular diagnosis. Due to this, many people end up never finding relief for their ailments and become attached to a “label” diagnosis. In my practice, I am always chasing the “why”: Why do you have digestive issues? Why do you have a thyroid condition? Why are your hormones out of balance? Why do you have constant fatigue and poor sleep? If we continue to ask the why questions, we can eventually get to the root of the health condition and address it. I approach each client as an individual. This means there is no one-size-fits-all program. I conduct a series of functional medicine lab tests, an extensive health history review and symptomatology reports to figure out each individual’s “why” and put together an individualized program based on these results and findings. For more information and to request a free 45-minute phone consultation, email or visit See ad, page 12.

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. ~Dalai Lama December 2019


Maintain a Healthy Diet and Weight to Lower Cataract Risk A recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition used adherence to dietary guidelines and total diet scores to assess the effects of diet on cataract risk. The researchers followed 2,173 older Australians for five and 10 years in two phases. They found that maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) of less than 25, combined with a healthy diet, reduced the risk of developing cataracts.

Eat a Better Diet to Improve Gut Bacteria Researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center tested stool samples of 858 men and 877 women in Los Angeles and Hawaii with a mean age of 69—regarded as an ethnically diverse study population with varied food intakes. The study found that those with higher quality diets also had significantly better gut bacteria diversity, a factor linked to reduced risk for a variety of diseases. Diet quality and a reduced risk of developing chronic disease is strongly associated with fecal microbial diversity. 8

Twin Cities Edition

New research offers potential paths for treatment for the nearly 20 percent of patients with high blood pressure that don’t respond well to medications. University of Florida College of Medicine researchers, testing 105 volunteers, found that the populations of gut bacteria differed between hypertensive individuals with depression and those without depression. A second study by Italian researchers found that patients with heart attacks had different bacteria in their guts than patients with stable angina.

Hong Vo/

Researchers followed more than 36,000 Japanese men older than 40 for an average of 13.2 years. They found that those that consumed culinary mushrooms three times a week had a 17 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer compared to those that ate mushrooms less than once a week. Participants that ate mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8 percent lower risk. The trend was even greater for those men over the age of 50 and was unrelated to other dietary habits.

SK Design/

Eat Mushrooms to Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Reduce Blood Pressure and Heart Attacks With Better Gut Bacteria

Train Students in Mindfulness to Reduce Stress and Improve Grades Sixth-graders that received mindfulness training each day for eight weeks experienced lower stress levels, less depression and improved academic performance compared to their peers in a control group that studied computer coding, report Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. In addition to that 100-student study, researchers surveyed 2,000 students in grades five through eight and found those that showed more mindfulness tended to have better grades and test scores. They also had fewer absences and suspensions.

Daxiao Productions/

health briefs


Marry to Halve the Risk of Dementia Wedlock tends to stave off dementia, according to a new Michigan State University study. Analyzing 14 years of data on 15,000 people older than 52, researchers found those in all unmarried groups—cohabiting, divorced, separated, widowed and never married—had significantly higher odds of developing dementia than their married counterparts. The differences were most acute for those divorced, separated or widowed—about twice as prone as married people to develop dementia, with the men faring worse cognitively than the women.

Extreme Weather Events Affect Mental Well-Being People that experience storm and flood damage to their homes are about 50 percent more likely to experience depression and anxiety, British researchers report. Surveying more than 7,500 people after the 2013-2014 season of severe weather, they found that those with homes damaged by wind, rain, snow or floods had mental health risks similar to living in a disadvantaged area. This occurred even when the effects of the extreme weather were relatively minor and did not force people to leave their homes.


Eat Nuts to Reduce Odds of Death From Heart Disease

651-429-4153 Adults that ate nuts two or more times per week had a 17 percent lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, reports an Iranian study that followed 5,432 adults for 12 years. The research was presented in August at the European Society of Cardiology. “Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fat and contain little saturated fat,” says study author Dr. Noushin Mohammadifard, of the Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute. “They also have protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber, phytosterols and polyphenols which benefit heart health.”

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Nature Cure

global briefs

Making Meat Without Animals

Five major food technology companies have converged to form the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood (AMPS) Innovation, which seeks to create real meat from animal cells without the need to slaughter animals. The founding members of the coalition are both cell-based seafood companies BlueNalu and Finless Foods and meat makers Fork & Goode, San Francisco-based JUST Inc., and Memphis Meats. AMPS Innovation ( intends to tackle obstacles presented in the cellular agriculture industry and bring products to the consumer faster with transparency and proper regulatory frameworks for cell-based products. Each member company has made significant strides in the development of these products with the hope they will soon be options in the everyday diets of individuals, as well as a nutrition source for a human population projected to grow to 10 billion by 2050.

A new study based on the National Land Cover Database of 3,086 of the 3,103 counties in the continental U.S. published in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening found that increases in forest and shrub cover corresponded to decreases in Medicare health care spending, even when accounting for economic, geographic or other factors that might independently influence healthcare costs. Urban and rural counties with the lowest socioeconomic status appeared to benefit the most from increases in forests and shrubs. University of Illinois graduate student Douglas A. Becker, who led the new research with Matt Browning, a professor of recreation, sports and tourism, says, “It occurred to me that low-income communities are getting the biggest bang for their buck because they probably have the most to gain.” Other studies have shown that people in intensive care units recover more quickly and have fewer complications after surgery if their hospital rooms look out over trees rather than parking lots and that forest walks can influence potentially health-promoting hormone levels or anti-cancer immune cells in the blood.

BK foto/

Lab Steak

Brent Hofacker/

Forests and Shrubs Lower Medical Costs

Charge It

The RS Automotive gas station, in Takoma Park, Maryland, has been around since 1958, and Depeswar Doley has been running it for 22 years. Now, frustrated by the complicated rules, requirements


Twin Cities Edition

and contracts of oil and gas companies, he has completely transitioned away from offering petroleum and become the country’s first exclusively electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Because there has been a shortage of EV charging stations in the state, the station’s changeover was partially funded by the Baltimore-based

Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration. Its new 200-kilowatt electrical system will now be able to recharge up to four vehicles at a time while drivers wait inside. Doley says, “It’s not something that I expect to become rich overnight or something like that, but it’s a good cause [and] good for the environment.”


Electric Vehicles Get Their Own ‘Gas’ Station

Animal Rescue Tati9/

Government Order Reduces Animal Testing

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler has signed a directive reducing the animal testing that the agency has long required on such animals as dogs, birds, rats and fish to gauge the toxicity of chemicals before they can be bought, sold or used in the environment. The agency also authorized $4.25 million in funding for five universities to research the development and use of alternative test methods and strategies that reduce, refine or replace vertebrate animal testing. He says, “Today’s memo directs the agency to aggressively reduce animal testing, including reducing mammal study requests and funding 30 percent by 2025 and completely eliminating them by 2035.” Any mammal studies requested or funded by the EPA after 2035 will require administrator approval on a case-by-case basis. It directs leadership and staff in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and the Office of Research and Development to prioritize and direct existing resources toward measurable impacts in the reduction of animal testing while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.

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Cruise Line Abandons Plastic Bottles

As a result of its partnership with Just Goods, Inc., the Norwegian Cruise Line will replace single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with the Norwegian Encore. The company’s ships will feature JUST, which is 100 percent spring water in a plant-based carton made of 82 percent renewable materials from trees grown in responsibly managed forests. The cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It’s refillable and recyclable. Just Goods, located in Glen Falls, New York, has a global presence with bottling facilities in New York, Northern Ireland and Australia, allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. It plans to replace more than 6 million single-use plastic bottles every year. CEO Ira Laufer says, “The company is pushing the boundaries of what’s always been done because it knows we all need to do better.” December 2019


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Biosolar Leaf Purifies Air in London

A 2016 study at the University of British Columbia revealed that air pollution is the fourthleading cause of death worldwide, with at least 5.5 million air pollution-related fatalities every year. A new cultivation system developed by researchers from Imperial College London collaborating with the startup Arborea have created the world’s first Biosolar Leaf technology to purify and improve the air in London. They hope it’ll boost environmental outcomes not only in the UK, but all over the world. The process works by purifying the air through photosynthesis of microscopic plants, which removes the greenhouse gases from the environment and generates breathable oxygen at the same time. The startup’s innovative cultivation system can facilitate the growth of microalgae, phytoplankton and diatoms on large, solar panel-like structures that can be installed on buildings and other infrastructure to improve the quality of the atmosphere. Arborea’s cultivation system also creates a sustainable source of organic biomass from which nutritious food additives can be extracted for plant-based food.




Lung Relief

Repurposing Weeds

Pond Plants Offer Protein Strategy

Fast-growing lemna, or duckweed, a flowering green plant that blooms on the surface of still and slow-moving bodies of water that is often mistaken for algae, is finding new utility as a protein source. Californiabased Plantible Foods claims that duckweed, traditionally the enemy of pond owners, is superior to other alternative proteins like pea, wheat and soy. The unusual crop naturally contains higher amounts of the complete protein RuBisCo and is easier to digest than some other popular plant proteins. It can be used as a substitute for egg white, is free of the top eight allergens and has a neutral color and taste. Due to its rapid growth, duckweed is less vulnerable to climate change. Plantible Foods co-founder Tony Martens says that duckweed grows reliably and can typically be harvested daily, no matter what the weather may be.

Photo Port/

Locally owned and independent since

global briefs


Attorney David Paurus

Sunny studio/

eco tip

Burn Notice

Safe and Sustainable Fireplace Practices

One of the charms of winter is enjoying the warmth and glow of indoor fireplaces and wood stoves. It also emphasizes the need for sustainable, safe and healthy practices—especially when it comes to maintaining air quality. Try to buy wood from providers that use good forest management practices such as harvesting during sustainable months, reports Environmentally sound woodlot operations include thinning out dying, less desirable and damaged trees, and including a blend of species. “Have a high-efficiency, properly installed stove that meets local building codes that’s sized for the area to be heated,” says Brad Harr, senior environmental scientist and president of Summit Environmental Inc., in Boise, Idaho. “Use dry, 10 to 12 percent wood moisture. Water sucks up heat to get to combustion temperature. Run at

high heat, generally over 1,000° F in the firebox, to effect complete combustion of the wood and gases.” Denser woods such as ironwood, rock elm, hickory, oak and sugar maple burn longer and conserve resources. Use a higher British thermal unit (BTU) per cord of wood to maximize heat production. ( has tips per region.) Harr adds, “Don’t starve the fire to extend burning time, as smoldering can cause incomplete combustion.” This leads to more carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) being released that can cause flu-like symptoms, and at high levels, unconsciousness and even death. To help maintain proper airflow and prevent soot buildup, shovel excess ash into a covered metal container, store it outside and dispose of it in a few days. Smelling smoke can indicate the fireplace may be backdrafting and needs to be inspected. Harr also suggests checking periodically for potential cracks or rusting in the joints of a stovepipe. Make sure children and the elderly don’t accidentally touch the stove while in use and keep furniture a suitable distance away. Periodic inspections by a professional can address potentially dangerous creosote (tar deposit) accumulations, assure the catalytic converter is operating correctly and detect trapped debris in escape shafts that can force toxic gases back into the home and clog spark-arresting screens on tops of stovepipes or chimneys. If buying a new unit, make sure it’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified, which requires two-thirds less wood to generate heat and emits fewer harmful particles—two to seven grams per hour—compared with 15 to 30 grams for models manufactured before 1992, according to

December 2019





AgeDefying Habits

Plus: Healthy Immune System

Choen photo/

Coming Next Month

The Generous Heart How Giving Transforms Us


To advertise or participate in our next issue, call

763-270-8604 14

Twin Cities Edition

by Cindy Ricardo

ne of the ways we come into balance and connection with each other and with life is by giving from the heart. When we give to others, whether it’s an act of kindness, generosity or compassion, it helps us live from the heart instead of the ego. Living from the ego is painful and exhausting. It’s like feeding a hungry monster that’s never satisfied. Ego craves, pursues and clings to status, approval, material wealth and control. It views the world through the eyes of fear—constantly evaluating, judging and acting in ways that are self-centered, defensive and protective. Like with Scrooge, ego closes our heart and makes us small, fearful and contracted. By contrast, generosity requires that we open our hearts to the world and each other. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable. In doing this, we open ourselves fully to life, love and relationships. We let go of striving and pursuing things. When we stop striving, we begin to see, value and respond to what’s happening in the present moment in ways that are healthy and healing. Our priority shifts from acquiring things to appreciating what we have and being open to sharing with others. Generosity is a quality of kindness, of living from a place of abundance. We see the world through a clear lens that isn’t clouded by fear, wanting or clinging. When we interact with others, our connection is

genuine. We see people instead of judgments or labels. Being generous arises from the heart, not the wallet. We don’t need to have material wealth in order to be generous. The only requirement is a willingness to open our hearts, to see life as it is and to interact with others from a place of compassion and love. Some examples of generous acts are: n Doing a household chore without being asked. n Setting aside what we’re doing and listening to someone in need of emotional support. n Telling loved ones what we appreciate about them. n Listening to children and trying to see the world through their eyes before offering advice. n Smiling at a stranger. n When asking, “How are you?” looking into the person’s eyes and taking time to truly listen with an attitude of curiosity and compassion. Generosity awakens goodness in the heart, and this helps us open to life, love and relationships. Cindy Ricardo is a Coral Springs, Floridabased psychotherapist who blogs at

wise words

Surgeon Mary Neal on Lessons From Heaven by Kajsa Nickels


n 1999, while kayaking on the Fuy River in Chile, orthopedic surgeon Mary Neal became trapped beneath a waterfall and drowned. She was underwater for 30 minutes before the current pulled her out. During that time, Neal experienced what she believes to be a miraculous event in which she penetrated the veil dividing the physical and spiritual worlds. There, she was told that it was not yet her time, and of the future death of her eldest son, a prediction that was fulfilled 10 years later. The experience gave her a new perspective on the purpose of our Earthly existence and life after death. She has since written two books on the subject: To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels and Life Again; and 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life. Her life-altering experience prompted her to pay more attention to those things that are truly important: faith, family and relationships with other human beings. She lives with her family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she continues to mend broken bones.

How do you think your medical background makes you uniquely qualified to speak on near-death experiences (NDE)?

I am a very concrete thinker and analyze everything. Being a doctor also gave me ac-

cess to many resources that the common person would not. I spent many months researching scientific and medical literature to try to come up with a logical explanation of what had happened to me. I was forced to conclude that my experience fell outside of the parameters of both science and medicine. I could not find any examples to disprove what happened, especially when the predicted death of my oldest son came to pass.

What was the most profound moment of your experience?

It’s hard to pinpoint the most profound moment of the entire experience, but what impacted me most was the realization that God is real, and He is present to each and every one of us every moment of our daily lives. I realized to the depths of my soul that all God’s promises are true, not just wishful thinking or a vague hope.

How has your NDE made you a better wife, mother and medical professional?

You can’t have an NDE without having your entire life changed. When you realize that there is more to life than what you can see with your physical eyes, it changes your entire perspective on every moment of every day. The things we say and the things we do create a ripple effect that spreads beyond the boundaries of our human sight. Love

is ultimately the only thing that matters, to reflect love to the world and other people. I was a “good person” before my NDE, but I now see differently. I see that each human being is incredibly loved, and that we are all one: We are them, and they are us. Everything else in the world is secondary to God’s love and presence in our lives.

How is your approach to everyday life different than it was prior to your NDE?

I am able to be entirely present in every moment of my life. I can experience deep and abiding joy regardless of my circumstances. I am able to trust that grace covers my past, that there is life after death and a plan for my life. No matter what is happening, even if it is terrible, beauty will come out of it. Most people are trapped in regrets of the past and worry about the future. With complete trust in God, I am able to fully have joy in each and every moment.

Is there a difference between joy and happiness?

Absolutely. Happiness is an emotion based on circumstances. Happiness can accompany joy, but not always. Joy is a state of being, of trusting in God, of believing that his promises are true. Joy comes from freedom—freedom from disruptive emotions like guilt, remorse, unforgiveness. Even in the devastation of my oldest son’s death, I can honestly say that I experienced a deep joy from trusting in God’s love and promises.

Why do you believe heaven is written in our hearts?

As a scientist, I firmly believe that we are created beings with physical bodies and spiritual souls. I believe that our spiritual self remembers heaven and remembers joy. Part of our journey here on Earth is to rediscover our connection with God. As adults, we often feel that we have to choose between science and spiritualism. The truth is that they coexist, answering questions in different ways. Kajsa Nickels is a freelance author who lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Connect at December 2019


Awakening to the Evolution of Community by Linda Sechrist


en master Thich Nhat Hanh’s suggestion that the next Buddha would likely not take form as an individual but rather as a sangha, a community practicing mindful living, led many people to ask, “Why a community?” The author of more than 100 books that explore the Buddha’s core teachings on mindfulness, kindness and compassion, Hanh clarified the meaning of sangha as a good community necessary for helping individuals learn how to encounter life in the present moment, resist the unwholesome ways of our time, go in the direction of peace and nourish seeds of enlightenment. Even the best intentions, he noted, can falter without such a group of trusted family, friends and co-practitioners experiencing mindfulness together.

A Migration to Forming Community

Today’s trend toward collaborative processes and opportunities for transformation through online communities is made easier by the availability of affordable video conferencing providers such as Zoom, Skype and Mighty Networks, as well as online platforms like Facebook and MeetUp. 16

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Although many groups form for marketing, political, civic or social purposes—allowing participants to share values and common interests—thousands more gather as online intentional communities associated with personal growth and spiritual awakening. Myriad individuals have been able to experience some aspect of community through international organizations such as MindValley, Hay House, the Shift Network and Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Jiyo, a wellness-focused mobile app intended to extend the reach of his ideas on health and social transformation from millions of people to more than 1 billion. In MeetUp, spiritual awakening groups recently comprised 1,113,972 members in 3,631 groups worldwide. Additionally, co-housing communities, spiritual residential communities and eco-villages continue to form around the intention of designing and implementing pathways to a regenerative future.

The Old Story Versus the New Story

The increased interest in intentional communities may hint at a possibility that the website address

human desire for community might be nature’s evolutionary nudge toward a collective leap that helps us to survive a changing climate and Earth’s potential sixth mass extinction. If so, this possibility needs a new supportive story that includes humans as part of nature, with its evolutionary impulse as a guide for body, mind and soul. With our modern scientific worldview, when people talk about nature, they typically mean animals, plants, geological features and natural processes, all happening independently of humans. A more suitable new story is cultural historian Thomas Berry’s moving and meaningful narrative in The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future, in which humans aren’t above nature by virtue of superior intellect, but instead are equal partners with all that exists in a materially and spiritually evolving universe. From Berry’s perspective, humans are the eyes, minds and hearts through which the cosmos is evolving so that it can come to know itself ever more perfectly through us. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell shared Berry’s perspective. Traveling back to Earth after walking upon the lunar surface, Mitchell gazed out of the spacecraft



window, whereupon he was flooded with an ecstatic awareness. “I was a part of the universe I was observing, and I became aware that everything that exists is part of one intricately interconnected whole,” recounts Mitchell, who founded the groundbreaking Institute of Noetic Sciences to explore the nature of human consciousness.

A Guiding Light

Seijaku Roshi, the abbot and founder of the Pine Wind Zen Community, aptly named for its location in a pine forest in Shamong, New Jersey, advises, “People are searching and hungering for community, which is number one on my agenda. If we aren’t talking about community, we’re squandering the moment. Whether it’s an evolutionary nudge or not, it appears that our tragic world situation is pushing us towards an alternative vision for living a meaningful life that meets the needs of people, society and the environment. We are awakening to the fact we’re interconnected, interdependent and need community, which is the spirit and guiding light whereby people come together to fulfill a purpose, to help others fulfill their purpose and to take care of one another.”

Conscious Evolution

Craig Hamilton, the guiding force behind the movement known as Integral Enlightenment, is the founder of the telecourse training program Academy for Evolutionaries. His spiritual guidance and teachings reach a growing international online community spanning 50 countries. “Transforming ourselves in the deepest possible way is, in fact, an evolutionary imperative, and we need to be able to identify the indicators of emergent shifts and participate creatively with change as an evolutionary force. Evolution up to this point has been playing out unconsciously. We’re now waking up and realizing that we can collaborate and participate in an emerging future.” Hamilton’s experience is that where humans awake to the one that is expressed through the many, they also begin to engage together. “Practicing community isn’t as simple as it seems. In online communities, a lot less can go wrong. The stakes aren’t as high. People come and go, share and engage as they like.”

A Community of Sisterhood

Laurie McCammon, author of Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, feels certain that humans are evolving. “We were last to the party with our big brains, and now we’re trying to intellectualize our way to an uncertain future without important feminine values such as feeling, intuiting, nurturing, interdependency and vulnerability,” says McCammon, who is deeply involved in the circle movement, in which women gather in small groups to empower each other. A regular participant in Gather the Women Global Matrix, a worldwide sisterhood that connects thousands of women sharing meaningful conversations and celebrating the divine feminine with the intention of bringing about personal and planetary transformation through cooperation and collaboration, McCammon says, “No one of us can bring about large-scale transformation alone. It’s time to tell the new story wherein our lives and actions demonstrate that together we are enough. Non-hierarchical circles that encourage authentic communication are part of this new story.” Citing other important circle communities such as Tree Sisters and The Millionth Circle, McCammon suggests that women tap into The Divine Feminine app, which allows them to find circle communities and events anywhere in the world.

Co-Creating With the Intelligence of Nature

Teacher and futurist Peter Russell writes books that are focused on consciousness and contemporary spirituality. His lectures help humans free themselves of limited beliefs and attitudes that belie many of humanity’s personal, social and global problems. The author of The Global Brain: The Awakening Earth in a New Century, Russell posits that the evolutionary process naturally draws humans together. “Humans are social creatures that need community, which I find very energizing,” says Russell, who cites the Findhorn Foundation eco-village, in Scotland, as a dynamic experiment in community. “Although residents went through hard times, they recognized the need for

honest communication so they could attune to one another in loving ways that would allow everyone to work through their difficulties. Today, life at Findhorn is guided by the inner voice of spirit, and residents work in co-creation with the intelligence of nature,” he says.

The Collective Wisdom of Community

An uncertain future is emerging, making it necessary for new and more intuitive methods and spiritual practices for developing collective wisdom, human potential and the skills for practicing community. “I’m in the process of finalizing 118 chapters from 90 different authors for a Collaborative Change Library: Transforming Organizations, Revitalizing Communities, Developing Human Potential,” says associate editor Carole Gorelick, who clarifies that spiritual practices are now playing a part in bringing about collaborative change. She notes that several chapters are updated versions of The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems (2007 second edition), which included modalities such as World Café, Open Space Technology, Art of Hosting, Appreciative Inquiry and many others. A living handbook for developing human potential and the skills to practice community, Fred Eppsteiner has been teaching Buddhism for 23 years. A student of Hanh’s since the 1960s, he is the founder of the Florida Community of Mindfulness, in Tampa. Eppsteiner sums up why the next Buddha could be a community: “A better future will be created by people who are living the values they want for the world, not just abstractly using only the intellect. In community, we ask ourselves, ‘Can I be what I want to see in the world? Can I practice these things mindfully in community with love, acceptance, deep listening, compassion and kindness?’ These are values that every Buddha has lived for centuries, and certainly ones we need to evolve from a culture of, ‘It’s all about me’ to a culture of, ‘It’s all about we’.” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at December 2019


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Waste-Free Feasting How to Reduce Holiday Food Waste

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by Yvette C. Hammett

he heaping platters that cheerfully mark the holidays have an unfortunate downside: Americans increase their waste by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The discarded food and packaging burden landfills with an additional 1 million tons of waste each week. That’s in addition to the 40 percent of food Americans typically waste each year— nearly half of all the food prepared at home or in restaurants. Monica McBride, senior manager of food loss and waste for the World Wildlife Fund, notes that squandered bounty is grown in areas that were converted from natural habitat into farm fields, so it’s also a waste of natural resources. “Once you start cooking, you realize the impact on the planet,” says chef and caterer Steven Laurence, owner of Vegan Commissary, in Philadelphia. “My grandmother was the kind of person who, if there was one pea left over, she put it in a container and someone ate it the next day. That kind of informs my cooking. The way I was trained, you didn’t waste anything. You used everything.” In individual households, small changes can have a big impact, especially during the holidays; all it takes is awareness

and a plan. Frugal cooks can make room for a holiday waste reduction strategy by taking inventory of the pantry and boxing up a load for the local soup kitchen or food bank. Then, design a menu with the environment in mind, using portion control to avoid food waste and whipping up dishes that can easily be upcycled into new creations that can be used as appetizers in the coming days or tucked in the freezer for future enjoyment. Start with the Guest-imator at, a great way to determine portions for a holiday party, says Cheryl Coleman, director of the EPA Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. The Guest-imator and Save the Food, a program of the Natural Resources Defense Council in conjunction with the Ad Council, tells cooks how much to make to keep guests happy and includes recipes for leftovers, such as Crispy Sheet Pan Hash, made with leftover roasted vegetables, and Ugly Vegetable Pasta, made with zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant. Spoilage is another way food finds its way into the garbage can, and that too, can be avoided, Laurence says, pointing out that most food goes bad because it’s not cooked

properly or is mishandled in storage. “Mix animal protein with starches and grains in a container and it goes bad because of two different sorts of enzymes. It is a fuel for bacteria.” He also recommends using as many organic ingredients as possible for longer-lasting leftovers. “We guarantee all of our dishes for two weeks,” he says. Encouraging visitors to take home leftovers is another effective food-saving strategy, says McBride. “Have Tupperware or to-go boxes you could provide to your guests.” Reilly Brock, content manager at Imperfect Produce, in New York City, agrees. “Just like repurposing excess product requires creative thinking, food waste around the holidays requires outof-the-box ideas to keep impact low,” says Brock, whose company delivers imperfect produce to customers’ doors for a cost savings. “Why end the fun when the meal ends? The best part about leftovers—and the holidays—is keeping the celebration going.” “Also, make sure you keep food safe,” McBride says. “The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has a really great overview of how to do that for parties. Standard guidance is not to leave food out for more than two hours. So, as a party planner, make sure you mentally note when you put food out.” Coleman recommends taking it a step beyond the holidays by joining a movement to cut food waste year-round. She suggests visiting to learn more. “Through that and additional outreach, we might be able to start to change,” says McBride.

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December 2019


Stick with your favorite recipes that you know are going to be a success and are going to leave everyone’s taste buds happy. ~Pamela Reed


People-Pleasing Holiday Sweets by Julie Peterson


he holidays may send too many sugar plums and frosted gingerbread figures dancing in the heads of people with dietary restrictions. Anyone that chooses to avoid highly processed flours or sugars, artificial ingredients and loads of butter will typically be presented with all of this and more at social gatherings this time of year. They arrive on visually appealing cookie platters that tempt with their cute shapes, vibrant colors and sparkle. Some, like the gingerbread and reindeer cutouts, will beckon with glazed eyes: “Just one,” they whisper. But one can turn into nine and make someone that may


Twin Cities Edition

normally avoid sugar or gluten feel bodily regrets. Someone that is vegan or allergic may feel they can’t have treats. Making healthier choices about food is difficult for reasons many don’t understand. “People have relationships with food—involving family, comfort and traditions—and they don’t want to give that up,” says James Brandon, of Tampa, founder of Facebook’s Vegan and Plant-Based Beginner’s Community. Brandon says that holiday treats are tough to resist, but staying true to health goals is most important in the long run. The best defense to avoid frustration at social food events is to bring a dish to

share that meets your dietary needs, says Megan Gilmore, the author of No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day and a blogger at Detoxinista. com. “That way, you can introduce something delicious to your friends, family or co-workers and be sure you’ll have something to eat!” A batch of simple, delectable, visually appealing and healthful cookies can be that plate to share, a gift to give or something to keep on hand for guests. Keep the focus on simple, advises Pamela Reed, who blogs at There are plenty of recipes that will satisfy the sweet tooth and decorate the holiday buffet (until they’re all eaten, that is). Don’t increase holiday stress by trying a new recipe at the last minute. “Stick with your favorite recipes that you know are going to be a success and are going to leave everyone’s taste buds happy,” she says. Transitioning to a more conscious way of eating isn’t about deprivation or leaving tradition behind. Bring on the new and healthful cookie recipes and name one after your grandma. Julie Peterson writes from her home in rural Wisconsin. Contact her at

Quality of life actually begins at home—it’s in your street, around your community. ~Charles Kennedy

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Oh-So-Healthy Holiday Treats Peanut Butter Cookies (Vegan, Gluten Free)

photo by Pamela Reed

Yields: About 18 cookies 1 cup creamy peanut butter ½ cup coconut sugar ½ cup brown sugar 2 tsp vanilla ⅔ cup oat flour 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt ¼ cup almond milk Additional sugar to roll cookies in Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter and sugars with a hand mixer. Once combined, add vanilla and continue mixing.

Add flour, baking soda, salt and almond milk into the bowl and mix for a few seconds, until combined. The cookie dough will be a little crumbly. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking sheets or spray with nonstick spray. Roll the dough into large balls, and then gently roll in sugar to cover them. Use a fork to gently press down on each cookie a little bit—not too much, or they will crumble. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes. This is important, as the cookies will be very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will harden up as they cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze. Recipe courtesy of

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

December 2019


Chocolate Crust: ¾ cup ground almond meal 2 Tbsp cocoa powder 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil Pinch of sea salt Peanut Butter Filling: ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil Pinch of sea salt Chocolate Topping: ¼ cup cocoa powder ¼ cup melted coconut oil 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl, stir together the chocolate crust ingredients until a moist dough is formed. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan and place it in the freezer to set.

Rinse the mixing bowl and use it again to make the final layer. Combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, and return the pan to the freezer to set until firm, about an hour or two. Once the bars are firm, grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan, and use a sharp knife to slice the bars into your desired size. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to a month. (The bars become very firm if frozen for too long, so I prefer serving them from the fridge after the initial firming-up time.) Source:


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photo by Megan Gilmore

No-Bake Pecan Snowballs (Grain-Free, Vegan) Yields: 12 balls 1 cup pecan halves ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut 1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted (about 10 dates) 1 Tbsp coconut oil ½ tsp sea salt ½ tsp vanilla extract ½ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch Extra arrowroot for dusting, or coconut sugar Place the pecans and shredded coconut in a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and process until the pecans are broken down and crumbly. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process again, until a sticky dough is formed. (It should stick together when pressed between two fingers.) Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons and roll the dough between your hands, forming balls. Arrange the balls on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place them in the freezer to set, about 1 to 2 hours. For a “snowball” look, roll the balls in additional arrowroot or tapioca starch—just a light coating will do—since the starch will not enhance the flavor. It’s just for looks! Note: If you’d prefer to roll the balls in coconut sugar or shredded coconut, roll them in one of those options before freezing, so the coating will stick better. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to two weeks for best texture. Source:

photo by Megan Gilmore

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars (Vegan, Gluten Free)

To prepare the filling, you can use the same bowl to stir the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Depending on whether you’re using salted or unsalted peanut butter, consider adding more salt to taste. Store-bought peanut butter cups are quite salty, so I like to add a generous pinch of salt to mimic that flavor. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the peanut butter filling over the top, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return the pan to the freezer to set.

Being highly sensitive is a personality type and is defined by having a finely tuned nervous system. be in nature alone (if they’re old enough); allow time and space for them to spend uninterrupted in a room to themselves, reading, making some art or quietly playing. These are all great ways for your child to restore and be ready for more.

Keep the Holidays Happy for Your Highly Sensitive Child by Amy Vasterling


he holiday season is upon us and with it comes some extra needed attention in parenting, especially if you have a highly sensitive child. Being highly sensitive is a personality type and is defined by having a finely tuned nervous system. Because of this, highly sensitives process information at a very deep level, and this often goes unseen. They do this based on their high level of inner knowing. When something happens that doesn’t align with what they know, they work to take in all aspects and process them quickly. This can leave them overstimulated by large groups or loud noise; they need ample time to be alone or to simply be quiet, which can be hard to come by during the holidays. Here are a few strategies that will help keep your highly sensitive child happy during the holidays: n Make plans that consider the child. You are your child’s best advocate because you know them best. Be cautioned not to let other family members make promises or decisions for your young highly sensitives. Simply tell the adult that it’ll help everybody if you have the child run things by you first. n Trust that your child knows what’s right for them. Coach your child to make sound choices about how much they can do. For example, if their cousin asks them to go skating, to the mall, out for pizza and then to the winter parade, ask your child to tune in to see if that feels like it will work for them. If the child is unsure yet wants to go, it may make it easier for them to decide if they know that they will have time to sleep in the next morning and get a late start with some quiet time (assuming that’s possible). It helps your child, when they’re still young, to learn and respect their boundaries as a highly sensitive. For some children, it might be harder to be at a noisy mall than others. Keep your child’s sensitive areas in mind so you can help them make good choices, empowering them for a positive, enjoyable experience and teaching them a life-long skill. n If any one day becomes too much for your child, step in and offer them downtime. Rub their feet by the fire; give them time to nap or sleep in late; encourage them to

n Let your child have a say in plans; it’s a good way to support their power of choice. As stated earlier, allowing the child to choose how much they can handle, with you as their coach, can help them learn a life-long lesson about managing their energy and time for their future. When making a family plan for the day, find spots for moments of quiet solitude. Stop at a library 30 minutes before meeting other families at the restaurant; stop at the hotel for a 30-minute rest period; or make a side trip to a park for some free play or time in nature for the child to have the freedom to do as they need. Making a plan with some of the child’s input can help greatly in having a successful day and holiday experience. n Holiday foods can become excessive. Your highly sensitive does better away from sugar and high carb foods. Making sure they get plenty of fresh veggies and fruits in between holiday favorites is a good idea. Holidays can also be exciting with presents, visiting relatives, and time away from home. Bring a comfort item for a young highly sensitive to use as needed for soothing and as a signal to you; when you see them with the item, you know they need time to restore. Remind older kids to bring a journal or whatever other tool they use to decompress. These small steps can help all the festivities of the holidays be well received by any child, including your highly sensitive. Enjoy! Amy Vasterling, an intuitive and teacher of parents of highly sensitive children, works with individuals and families throughout the Twin Cities. To learn more, visit See ad, page 9. December 2019


What’s good for muscles is good for bones. ~Susie Hathaway

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by Marlaina Donato

ur bones are the Osteoporosis can be that 44 million Americans have low bone density foundation that prevented, and I’ve and 10 million suffer from supports our seen many patients osteoporosis, facing a high bodies and the quality of reverse osteoporosis. risk of fracture from this our lives. Unlike the brick and mortar and bedrock debilitating condition. ~Leat Kuzniar of a building, the human Fortunately, it’s never too skeletal system is living tissue that breaks early or too late to do right by our bones. down and rebuilds; this constant remodel“Osteoporosis can be prevented, and I’ve seen ing demands much more than just taking an many patients reverse osteoporosis,” says Leat obligatory calcium supplement. Kuzniar, a Nutley, New Jersey, naturopath. Compromised bone health is most often “It becomes more difficult after menopause associated with postmenopausal women, but and if the bone density is very low, but we can it can also impact men and younger adults. always make some improvements in bone Genetics, hormonal changes and nutritional health. We need to assess diet, exercise, gasdeficiencies can all foster bone loss. The trointestinal health, hormones, medications, National Osteoporosis Foundation reports pH and even stress levels.”


Twin Cities Edition

Synergy of Vitamins and Minerals

Walter Willett, M.D., chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, argues that the daily recommended 1,000-to-1,200 milligrams of calcium is based on inadequate studies, and advises half that amount. Other minerals may play an equally critical role. The body robs calcium from the bones when blood levels of this vital mineral fall too low; but taking a calcium supplement—especially without co-nutrients—can increase fracture risk. “Calcium supplementation is complex; more isn’t better. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, and vitamin K2 is essential for getting that calcium to your bones and keeping it out of your arteries,” Kuzniar says. Magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium are also allies in calcium metabolism. Vitamin C, too, is a key player in bone health, promoting collagen synthesis. Nutrient absorption relies on integrity of gut health, so opting for probiotics is a wise choice across the board.

Bone Up on Superfoods Optimally, the quest for stronger bones begins with a nutrient-dense diet. “Plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and some fats create a physiology in the body to support optimal bone health. Avoiding too much sodium and animal protein also helps,” says Mary Jane Detroyer, a New York City-based nutritionist and certified dietitian. She underscores the importance of mineral-packed kale, collards, mustard greens, bok choy and broccoli, but warns against oxalate-laden spinach and chard, which inhibit calcium absorption. “Other calcium-rich foods like tofu, edamame, yogurt, kefir and cheese are also good, as well as milk substitutes fortified with calcium.” Omega-3-rich chia seeds, walnuts and other tree nuts are heavy hitters that boost both calcium absorption and collagen production essential for bone strength. A 2016 Brazilian study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a diet with excessive sweets and caffeinated beverages negatively impacts bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Soda consumption also


healing ways

amps up the risk of fractures. An analysis of female subjects spanning 30 years published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014 reveals a 14 percent increased risk for fractures with each daily serving of soda, including diet beverages.

Get Moving

High-impact activities like jumping rope and jogging build strong bones in our youth, but as we age, low-impact exercise is easier on the joints. Mayo Clinic recommendations include walking, gardening, dancing, stair-climbing and elliptical training. Resistance also yields significant results. A 2018 Korean study published in the journal EnM reveals that exercise employing free weights, weight machines and elastic bands increases muscle and bone mass in both women and men. American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer Susie Hathaway, in Fairfield, Iowa, explains why. “What’s good for muscles is good for bones. When a muscle contracts, it gives a beneficial pull on the adjacent bones, stimulating the bone-building cells to be more active.” Hathaway highlights safety and the importance of bearing weight on the feet. “Gravity is important for bone health. Weightbearing aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, provides a mild stimulus for your bones and helps slow down bone loss.” Kuzniar reminds us that with the right care, our bones can carry us through life. “Once we know what factors are at play in the patient, we can address the underlying causes.” Marlaina Donato is an author and composer. Connect at

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December 2019


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Perfect Pet Presents Safe and Eco-Smart Toys

statement To empower individuals to live a healthier lifestyle on a healthier planet. To educate communities on the latest in natural health and sustainability. To connect readers with local wellness resources and events, inspiring them to lead more balanced lives.


Twin Cities Edition

he pet aisles are so full of squeaking, plush and colorful toys it can make a dog or cat parent’s head spin like a Frisbee. Add blinking lights, flavors, promises of higher intelligence or cleaner teeth; then toss in concerns about sustainably sourced materials, potentially toxic ingredients and varying degrees of quality. The choices are complex. It would be nice to look for that gold seal of approval from the Pet Toy Regulatory Agency. But don’t bother: There is no such thing. It’s all up to the consumer to figure it out.

The Problem Is Real

Concern regarding toxicants in children’s toys and the realization that they posed a risk of chemical exposure led to regulatory protections. “Similar safeguards do not exist for pets, even though they exhibit similar chewing and mouthing behaviors,” says Philip N. Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of terrestrial ecotoxicology at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. “Owner education is key to limiting unintentional chemical exposure.” According to a 2013 study co-authored by Smith and published in the jour-

nal Chemosphere, common endocrinedisrupting chemical toxins in plastics can enter a dog’s body through saliva. Concentrations of leachable chemicals can increase in older, degraded toys, according to the National Institutes of Health. For anyone that has ever had a pet destroy a toy faster than it takes to calculate the cost per second, durable construction may be the highest concern. After all, if the toy is vigorously ripped to shreds, pieces may be swallowed. The most immediate issue becomes intestinal blockage. This is a common problem for cats and dogs with a propensity to eat garbage, plants and holiday decorations. But when we spend good money on actual toys, we would like to think that it won’t lead to surgery. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee. Poorly constructed toys have required many pet owners to watch for the parts to pass through the animal or, worse yet, make a trip to the vet. Even if a toy seems sturdy, it’s best to observe the animal with the toy. Charlotte Easterling, a graphic designer in Madison, Wisconsin, learned




by Julie Peterson

this from her cat, Hazel, who choked on a common cat toy. “She was playing with a glitter ball and then started meowing kind of frantically, scrambling around and pawing at her face. I jumped up and pulled the ball out of her mouth,” recalls Easterling. Hazel only gets big glitter balls these days.

A New Generation Spurs Change

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey provides insight into the demographics, buying habits and other traits of dog, cat, bird, small animal, reptile, fish and horse owners. The 2019-2020 survey shows that about 85 million U.S. homes, or 67 percent, include a pet. This leads to a lot of money flowing into the pet toy and care community. Annually, dog owners spend about $124 and cat owners spend about $89 on treats and toys. The survey also indicates that Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic. “The pet care community is doing a great job of meeting the demands of a new generation by offering a range of products made from sustainable, recycled and upcycled materials,” says Steve King, CEO of APPA, in Stamford, Connecticut. King notes it’s expected that as Gen Z pet owners begin to assert themselves in the marketplace, we will see more products based on sustainability and transparency.

Shopping for Safety

Experts offer some guidelines for ways consumers can choose harmless toys: 4 Be suspicious of toys manufactured overseas or cheap ones made in the U.S. 4 Contact the manufacturer and ask if toys contain phthalates, BPA, arsenic, bromine, chemical dyes, chromium or formaldehyde. 4 Look for toys made with ingredients from nature (hemp, leather or wool). 4 Find a pet supply store that has natural, safe and sustainably sourced products. 4 Inspect toys periodically for loose parts and watch the pet with new toys. 4 If a pet plays with a toy and then acts oddly, contact the vet.

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Julie Peterson writes from rural Wisconsin. Connect at

Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind. ~Andrew Weil

December 2019


Many people have found that a regular breathing practice has helped them increase energy and decrease anxiety. ~Rachael Walter

tions like depression, pain syndromes, sleep disturbances, anxiety disorders and chronic inflammation. A 2016 study by the Medical University of South Carolina published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows a lower number of proteins associated with inflammation in the saliva of participants that employed breathing exercises. A study that appeared in the journal Psychophysiology in 2015 found that 20 minutes of mindful breathing at bedtime fostered a good night’s rest for people with insomnia.

Breathing Breaks


Conscious Breathwork by Marlaina Donato


ur first breath is instinctual and belly-deep, but as we grow into life, everyday stress and trauma can bring us into the shallows. Mindful breathing can help guide our breath back to its original, healthy rhythm. Both the brain and organs benefit from increased

oxygen, and the vagus nerve that connects the two—prompted by changes in the body’s pH levels—releases acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for lowering heart rate. Breathwork can improve vagal tone, a major component in a wide range of condi-


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Kari Seaverson DDS John Seaverson DDS

From traditional rebirthing techniques using circular breathing to Middendorf Breath Work for somatic awareness, there are many styles of conscious breathing. The gentler approaches best suit everyday needs and taking a breathing break can actually provide more refreshment than one featuring coffee. “Many people have found that a regular breathing practice has helped them increase energy and decrease anxiety. It is a powerful tool to reset the nervous system when we’re overwhelmed and stressed,” says Somatic Breath Therapy (SBT) practitioner Rachael Walter, owner of Breathe-HereNow, in Keene, New Hampshire. Like many forms of breathwork, SBT bridges the chasm between mind and body. “Conscious breathing can also help people access and understand their emotions,” notes Walter. Pranayama, an ancient technique of yoga that focuses on breath control and employs alternate nostril breathing, can be performed while lying down, seated or on the yoga mat. Kundalini yoga teacher Melissa Crowder, owner of 4 States Yoga, in Joplin, Missouri, advises students to start out slowly, three to six minutes a day, and then work up to a longer practice. “Alternate nostril breathing is a great practice for everyone. As little as six minutes of yogic breathing, as needed, can make a profound difference in decreasing pain and stress,” she says.

Belly Benefits

Experience healthier dentistry 28

Twin Cities Edition

The American Lung Association recommends a variety of exercises, including diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, for conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmo-

Robert Kneschke/

fit body

nary disease (COPD). Engaging the diaphragm is key in breathing to fullest capacity. Walter explains, “An open, healthy breath is one in which we use the diaphragm to initiate the breath, followed by the belly expanding and the breath moving into the chest.” Most of us unconsciously fall into shallow and sometimes self-conscious breathing patterns at an early age. “During my training, I read that by age 6, we pick up on cues telling us to tuck in our tummies. This simple, bad habit begins a cascade of physiological responses. Upper chest breathing can create anxiety symptoms and poor digestion,” explains Colleen Breeckner, owner of Colleen Lila Yoga, in New York City. “Diaphragmatic breathing causes the diaphragm to become flat and wide, and in turn, presses upon the stomach and helps to churn the gastric juices. For this reason, it can aid earlier stages of digestion.” When used in conjunction with other modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, diaphragmatic breathing might be beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome.

Breathing Into Feelings

breathing is a doorway into deep meditation, which can help alleviate anger and insecurities. It can also be helpful in dropping addictions,” says Crowder. “Linking pranayama with physical movement [asanas] helps to release tension and emotions that can be held in the body’s soft tissues.” Breeckner agrees, “Developing this awareness can help us to move unpleasant and stuck emotions through the body.” Well-being can be just a breath away, says Walter. “When we open up our breath, we open ourselves to a fuller experience of being human. It has the capacity to bring us into the present moment to access our joy and our life’s purpose.” Marlaina Donato is an author and a composer. Connect at

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The depth and quality of the breath can help us to become aware of emotional states that include “holding patterns”. “Conscious

Noteworthy Breathwork Styles Clarity Breathwork: Developed from the groundwork of Leonard Orr, with a focus on accessing the subconscious mind for self-awareness Holotropic Breathwork: Developed by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, M.D., and his wife Christina and employs deep, rapid breathing to initiate an altered state of consciousness; training in the Grof method is required Integral Breath Therapy: Gentle technique for an altered state of consciousness that works with the body’s natural healing capacity Middendorf Breath Work: Named after German-born Ilse Middendorf, a gentle technique that does not include forcing the breath to promote healing Rebirthing Breathwork: Pioneering and well-known form of breathwork that was also developed by Orr with a focus on releasing unconscious energy blocks imprinted during the birth process Shamanic Breathwork: Uses specific breathing methods, chakras or energy centers, music and movement to overcome emotional blocks for deep-level healing Transformational Breath: Developed by Dr. Judith Kravitz using uninterrupted breathing, Kundalini yoga and other elements of physical and energetic healing; recommended by Dr. Christine Northrup and Dr. Deepak Chopra

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healthy kids HEALTHY PLANET

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Age-Defying Habits Plus: Healthy Immune System


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Twin Cities Edition

Refresh Holiday Traditions Making the Old New and Green


by Ronica A. O’Hara

elebrating classic holiday traditions the same way we always have—and maybe the way our parents and grandparents did—is part of the rich family heritage we pass on to our children. These family rituals are binding, grounding, memorable and much more, says Saul Levine, M.D., professor emeritus in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. A survey of 50 years of family research published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology found that family holiday rituals, as well as everyday routines like family dinners and bedtime stories, build stronger family relationships, enhance children’s health and academic achievement, help teenagers’ sense of personal identity and even boost marital satisfaction. It’s also natural and perhaps inevitable that these traditions undergo changes over the years. “If people from only five or six generations ago could see our modern Christmas, they’d barely recognize it,” says Brian Earl, host of the popular Christmas Past podcast that chronicles holiday traditions. “New trends and customs become traditions in time; every generation has its opportunity to add new chapters to the narrative and continue the story.”

For Elizabeth Newcamp, Christmas festivities took an eco-turn for her military family of five when they were living for a few years in the Netherlands, where “Sinterklaas” traditionally delivers gifts in reusable burlap bags. “In an effort to reduce wrapping paper, we now use the sacks on Christmas,” says Newcamp, who blogs about family travel at She and her husband Jeff also ask for and give experiences as gifts whenever possible; their 7-year-old son asked if he could organize a little library for their Navarre, Florida, neighborhood. Anyone that wants to send gifts to their sons is asked to find them used. “I don’t think we’ve lessened any of the fun of the holidays, but hopefully we are eliminating some of the waste,” she says. For many years, Ginny Underwood’s family in Bluffton, South Carolina, would dress up and go to a restaurant on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts and then return home to watch a movie or play board games. Last year, they tried something new: staying home, putting on pajamas, eating cottage pie and playing handmade “Minute to Win It” games that Underwood, a professional organizer who blogs at, created. “We had a blast; we didn’t stop

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New trends and customs become traditions in time; every generation has its opportunity to add new chapters to the narrative and continue the story. ~Brian Earl laughing all night,” she says. “We saved hundreds of dollars and we had a lovely time.” Lighting red, green and black candles while focusing on principles like unity, self-determination or purpose are key in the seven-day Kwanzaa celebrations; but, “Instead of just lighting the candle amongst friends and family and discussing, I want my family to spend that day exemplifying the principle,” says Vanessa Davis, executive director of the nonprofit African Village International, in Jacksonville, Florida. Now her children meditate, journal and practice mindfulness to learn about self-determination; volunteer or pick up trash outdoors to learn about collective work and responsibilities; and buy something at a locally-owned store and discuss future finances for cooperative economics. “I was inspired to change because Kwanzaa isn’t really a religious holiday, but it is a darn good way to reflect on the past year and goal-set for the future,” she says. “Giving children more hands-on experiences for Hanukkah and taking the emphasis off of ‘What am I going to get?’ makes the holiday more meaningful for the kids,” concurs Pamela Morris, early childhood education director at the East Valley Jewish Community Center, in Chandler, Arizona. Each Hanukkah evening, her family of five lights a menorah and says traditional prayers while also volunteering to wrap food packages at a local Feed My Starving Children event, crafting personal menorahs at a pottery studio, going to see Phoenix ZooLights and gathering to make the traditional potato latkes or jelly donuts. “Each night is a focus on family time and welcoming friends to join us,” she says. By observing and evolving traditions, family bonds can strengthen through time, relates Earl: “By participating in holiday rituals, children are learning about who they are. And by passing them down, parents reaffirm what’s important to them and keep the connection to the past intact.”  Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based natural-health writer. Connect at

Updating Favorite Traditions n Instead of buying a Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush in a store lot, get one in a pot that can be replanted later. n Take a family holiday photo, either serious or wacky, and recreate it every year with members in the same poses and expressions. n Invite someone to a holiday dinner that’s not part of the family, such as an international student or newcomer in town. n Cook up a batch of healthy, vegan cookies with the kids and organize a neighborhood cookie swap. n Have a $10 or $20 gift exchange challenge in which everyone competes to come up with the most useful, creative or ecoclever use of the money. n String together popcorn and cranberries to make a tree garland or door decoration, and later drape it on outdoor trees to feed birds and wildlife. n Give kids $10 to donate to a carefully selected charity of their choice. n Take a favorite holiday story, parable or song and have the kids (and adults) act it out with costumes and all.

December 2019


Seven years without a cold?

had colds going round and round, but not me.” Some users say it also helps with sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a 2-day sinus headache. When her CopperZap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” Some users say copper stops By Doug Cornell nighttime stuffiness if used just before cientists recently discovered time. He hasn’t had a single cold for 7 bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had a way to kill viruses and years since. in years.” bacteria. He asked relatives and friends to try Copper can also stop flu if used early Now thousands of people are using it it. They said it worked for them, too, so and for several days. Lab technicians to stop colds and flu. he patented CopperZap™ and put it on placed 25 million live flu viruses on a Colds start the market. CopperZap. No viruses were found alive when cold viruses Soon hundreds soon after. get in your nose. of people had Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams Viruses multiply tried it and given confirming the discovery. He placed fast. If you don’t feedback. Nearly millions of disease germs on copper. stop them early, 100% said the “They started to die literally as soon as they spread and copper stops colds they touched the surface,” he said. cause misery. if used within 3 People have even used copper on In hundreds hours after the first cold sores and say it can completely of studies, EPA sign. Even up to prevent outbreaks. New research: Copper stops colds if used early. and university 2 days, if they The handle is researchers have confirmed that viruses still get the cold it is milder than usual curved and finely and bacteria die almost instantly when and they feel better. textured to improve touched by copper. Users wrote things like, “It stopped contact. It kills germs That’s why ancient Greeks and my cold right away,” and “Is it picked up on fingers Egyptians used copper to purify water supposed to work that fast?” and hands to protect and heal wounds. They didn’t know “What a wonderful thing,” wrote you and your family. about microbes, but now we do. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more Copper even kills Dr. Bill Keevil: Copper quickly kills deadly germs that Scientists say the high conductance colds for me!” cold viruses. of copper disrupts the electrical balance Pat McAllister, 70, received one have become resistant in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in for Christmas and called it “one of the to antibiotics. If you are near sick seconds. best presents ever. This little jewel really people, a moment of handling it may Tests by the EPA (Environmental works.” keep serious infection away. It may even Protection Agency) show germs die Now thousands of users have simply save a life. fast on copper. So some hospitals tried stopped getting colds. The EPA says copper still works copper for touch surfaces like faucets People often use CopperZap even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of and doorknobs. This cut the spread of preventively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci different disease germs so it can prevent MRSA and other illnesses by over half, used to get colds after crowded flights. serious or even fatal illness. and saved lives. Though skeptical, she tried it several CopperZap is made in America of The strong scientific evidence gave times a day on travel days for 2 months. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she back guarantee. It is $69.95. he felt a cold about to start he fashioned exclaimed. Get $10 off each CopperZap with a smooth copper probe and rubbed it Businesswoman Rosaleen says when code NATA15. Go to or call gently in his nose for 60 seconds. people are sick around her she uses “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold CopperZap morning and night. “It saved toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. never got going.” It worked again every me last holidays,” she said. “The kids ADVERTORIAL

Copper in new device stops cold and flu



Twin Cities Edition

calendar of events WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4 Solar & Suds at Big Wood Brewery Presented By All Energy Solar – 7-8pm. This is an opportunity to learn about the benefits of solar energy. Jeff Wiberg, a renewable energy expert from All Energy Solar, will lead this presentation and answer questions. You will learn how solar power has never been more affordable or easier to install and receive 2 free beers. Free. Big Wood Brewery, 2222 4th St, White Bear Lake.

THURSDAYS, DECEMBER 5-19 Master Your Body, Your Mind, Your Destiny with Chinese Mystery School Meditation Practices – 6:30-8 pm. Three-week course. Calming & Relaxing Meditation. This meditation practice aims to eliminate the resisting mind, allowing it to go from its ordinary state into the higher and deeper states of consciousness. The four-part practice will permit the beginning practitioner to “enter into state,” what classical Buddhist theory calls the calm and relaxed awareness necessary to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. $38. Pay at door. Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist Association. 80 County Road C West, #804, Little Canada. Info@ or 651-278-0697.

type of information is available, who can access it, how it is accessed and why it is helpful. $25. Jefferson High School, 4001 W 102nd St, Bloomington.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16 Sufi Healing Mom Circle – 7-9pm. We will meet in a circle to share songs and prayers for healing and attunement. Sufi meditations and prayer practices weave a wonderful container that opens up into a deep sharing circle. $10 suggested donation. Holistic Gateway LLC/Center for the Healing Arts, 1415 6th Street NE, Apt. #2, Minneapolis.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18 Soul Stories – 6:30-8:30pm. Within each of us lies information that may guide us to the path of a more meaningful life. With the assistance of an ancient spiritual resource you will discover what type of information is available, who can access it, how it is accessed and why it is helpful. $25. Diamondhead Education Center, 200 Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville.

looking ahead to 2020



An Evening with the Archangels & Ascended Masters – 6:45-9pm. This event occurs on the first Saturday of November and December. Nea is called to create sacred space for these guides to share their messages of divine love and peace with you. $30 preregister/$35 at the door. The Metamorphosis Center, 8646 Eagle Creek Pkwy #101, Savage.

An Evening with the Archangels & Ascended Masters – 6:45-9pm. This event occurs on the first Saturday of January-July and September-December. Nea is called to create sacred space for these guides to share their messages of divine love and peace with you. $30 pre-register/$35 at the door. The Metamorphosis Center, 8646 Eagle Creek Pkwy #101, Savage.



Holiday Freedom – 1:30-3:30pm. We will explore how to move through the holidays in a way that feels authentic and true to you. You will learn how to unravel what stresses you out about the holidays and create new habits that feel free, light, and authentic. $35, register by 11/22 & save $10. Lotus Root, 2355 Gordon Ave, Saint Paul.

Total Health Workshop – 6:30-8pm. On the second Wednesday of each month, you will have a relaxed experience. Designed as an opportunity to expand our understanding of the most current natural health solutions available, you will be able to ask questions, receive answers and experience incredible

demonstrations of life-changing techniques. Free. Hope Clinic, 9220 Bass Lake Rd #245, New Hope.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18 Shakopee - Home Improvement & Design Expo – 10am-5pm. Don’t miss your opportunity to explore up to 150 exhibitors featuring the latest products, services and information to help turn your dream home into a reality. Everything from inside/out to basement/roof! Free. Canterbury Expo Center, 1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 Celebration and Dharma Rite Services – 6-9pm. Happy Chinese New Year 2020! Experience Hanmi Buddhist prayer services for uplifting humanity and overcoming obstacles for the new year ahead with the Thousand Lamps Dharma Rite and AnTaiSui Dharma Rites. Free. Donations accepted. Those wishing to receive the AnTaiSui rite give an offering. Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist Association, 80 County Road C West, #804, Little Canada., or email info@ RSVP 651-278-0697.

FEBRUARY 8-9 Healthy Life Expo – Saturday & Sunday, 10am5pm. Nutrition, Fitness, and Longevity - It’s all here! Explore up to 200 exhibitors offering everything for maintaining health and success in all areas of life! Free product sampling, hourly drawings and health information, tips, and ideas. $6 at door/free with food shelf donation. Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom, 1301 2nd St, Minneapolis.

FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1 Rethinking Reality Women’s Retreat – Soulenriching, 3-day getaway for empowering influential women just like you to flourish in a crazy world. This retreat is the perfect way to step away from the hustle and bustle of life to create the conditions for your higher self to emerge; realizing better results in every area of life. Cameorose Country Retreat, 11250 173rd Ave, Becker.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9 An Evening with the Archangels & Ascended Masters – 6:45-9pm. This event occurs on the first Monday of each month. Nea is called to create sacred space for these guides to share their messages of divine love and peace with you. $30 pre-register/$35 at the door. The Metamorphosis Center, 8646 Eagle Creek Pkwy #101, Savage.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11 Total Health Workshop – 6:30-8pm. On the second Wednesday of each month, you will have a relaxed experience. Designed as an opportunity to expand our understanding of the most current natural health solutions available, you will be able to ask questions, receive answers and experience incredible demonstrations of life-changing techniques. Free. Hope Clinic, 9220 Bass Lake Rd #245, New Hope.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12 Soul Stories – 6:30-8:30pm. Within each of us lies information that may guide us to the path of a more meaningful life. With the assistance of an ancient spiritual resource you will discover what

December 2019


ongoing events Please call or check the websites to ensure the classes or events are still scheduled for that week.

ongoing Free Online Classes – The University of Minnesota is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. University/Minnesota. GROOVE Movement Class – Various days, times and locations. A fun, simple and exciting way to experience dance that nurtures body, mind, heart, and soul. No dance experience required. All fitness levels welcome. Classes use all genres of music and include a warmup, dance, stretching, and a brief meditation. Midtown Global Market – Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. & Sun 10am-6pm. If you’re looking for a more unique shopping experience, head to the Midtown Global Market, where more than 50 vendors sell food and trinkets ranging from local produce to Somalian Pastries, Middle Eastern olives and Asian spices. There are also cultural events - from musical performances to Irish step-dancing lessons. Free. 920 East Lake St, Minneapolis.

sunday Chinese Mystery School’s Sunday Services – 9:15am-12pm. Introductory Dharma talk and meditation teaching. Spiritual healing services for your body, mind and spirit. Buddhist prayer services. Donation. Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist A, 80 County Rd C West #804, Little Canada. Restorative Flow Yoga – 9:30-10:30am. In restorative yoga, props are used to support the body so students can hold poses for a longer period of time, allowing the body to open through passive stretching. The focus is slowing down and calming the mind and body. $18. Healing Elements, 2290 Como Ave, St. Paul. 651-348-6216.

Sunday Salsa Dancing – 10:30-11:30am. Join Rene Dennis Thompson for Sunday Salsa Dancing. Free. Midtown Global Market, 920 East Lake St., Minneapolis.

monday Loving Kindness Meditation Practice – 6-7pm. Through ancient, gentle and gradual practices, we learn to let go of fear and ill will and to open our hearts to ourselves and to others, known and unknown. Our time together will include instruction, guided meditation and discussion. Donation based. River Garden, 455 7th St W, St Paul.

tuesday Weekly Guided & Silent Meditation – 11-11:30am. Led by a Prayer Chaplain in the Meditation Room, this meditation is the same one going on concurrently at Unity Village. It alternates affirmative prayer and silence. Donation based. Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center, 4011 W Hwy 13, Savage. Stress Busters Meditation – Noon-1pm. Join us when you can for a free meditation at the University of MN. Mayo Building, Third Fl. Meditation Space, Minneapolis. Pain: Moving Beyond Suffering – 6:30-8pm. We will discuss the root of pain, options at each stage, tools to deal with symptoms, and elements of healing. Topics include nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, guided imagery, and much more. $50/Session. Awakened Living, 3601 Minnesota Dr #825, Bloomington. 20 Wishes – 6:30-8pm. This event occurs monthly on the 3rd Tuesday. This gathering aims to create a community to support every wish, dream, passion, and desire we have for ourselves over the next year and beyond. Free. 3601 Minnesota Dr, Ste 825, Bloomington. Free.



Light Being Tribe Gathering | Online – 6-7am. These events occur monthly and are live and Interactive. Come with your questions & curiosity and continue your journey of expansion in a like-hearted worldwide community. Complimentary. Zoom Online.

change can do you good Join the Natural Awakenings Franchise Family

For more info visit: 34

Twin Cities Edition

Max Meditation Technique – 6:30-7:30pm. Experience a guided meditation, combining ancient meditation techniques with modern NeuroLinguistic Programming to help both beginning and experienced meditators quiet the mind and connect for a relaxing and meaningful meditation. $15. Healing Elements, 2290 Como Ave, St. Paul. 651-348-6216. Chinese Mystery School’s Healing Meditation Series – 6:30-8pm. A different Hanmi Buddhist meditation teaching each week: June 5: Wisdom Dew Beauty Yoga; June 12: Balance Weight; June 19: Diabetes Self-Healing; June 26: Self-Healing for Various Illnesses. Upper Midwest Hanmi Buddhist Association, 80 Co Rd C West, #804, Little Canada. Total Health Workshop January 9, 2019 - December 2020 – 6:30-8pm. This monthly workshop is designed as an opportunity to expand your understanding of the most current natural health solutions available. Complimentary. Hope Clinic, 9220 Bass Lake Rd #245, New Hope.

thursday Hatha for Everyone – 6-7pm. Everyone is welcome to this weekly drop-in class. All levels. Relieve stress, achy joints, improve balance at all levels and increase your sense of well-being. $10. Meditation Center, 631 University Ave NE, Minneapolis. Free Meditation – 7-8:30pm. Join us for a free weekly meditation. Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Eden Prairie City Hall, 8080 Mitchell Rd, Eden Prairie. Contact: JPatpatia@gmail or 651-730-2078.

friday Gentle Yoga for Every Body – 10:30-noon. A welcoming environment for students of all shapes and sizes. $15 drop-in. River Garden Yoga, 455 W 7th St, St. Paul. Drop-in Meditation – 5:15-6pm. A guided meditation presented through the lens of a Wisdom Practice (gratitude, compassion, and inquiry). $20 (or donation). Aslan Institute, 4141 Old Sibley Memorial Hwy, Eagan. Friday Chat & Play Social – 7-9pm. Let’s get to know each other and talk about energy, holistic health, psychic abilities, spirituality and much more. Free. J & S Bean Factory, 1518 Randolph Ave, St Paul. Hosted by SchaOn at Psinergy.

saturday Cardio Fitness Drumming – 8-8:30am. Burn calories in a fun way with this full-body workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. Free. Nutrition Hub, 7880 University Ave NE, Fridley. Text or call to reserve your spot. 612-787-2582. TheNutritionHub.Fridley.

community resource guide


Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email to request our media kit.


Michelle Kitsmiller 3601 Minnesota Dr. Suite 825, Bloomington 952-452-8583 • Michelle assists you in healing on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level via acupuncture and herbal medicine in conjunction with other therapies at Awakened Living. The clinic offers over 36 therapies and services to give clients the most beneficial healing protocol possible. See ad, page 27.


Barb Ryan, LMT • 612-922-2389 Bhakti Wellness Center 7550 France Avenue S, #220, Edina Specializing in persistent, chronic pain relief and mysteries of the body. Serving clients covered by auto insurance and worker’s compensation with a doctor’s referral. Also serving clients seeking the experience of deep relaxation and more selfconnection. Skilled and compassionate care. See ad, page 2.


Chelsea Paurus Hopkins • 612-598-0035 CP Bookkeeping and Accounting takes care of the mess! Let us help guide you and your business through the intimidating world of accounting. We offer as much or as little support as you need. We are very flexible and don’t judge your messy (or not so messy) accounts. We look forward to working with you! See ad, page 25.

BREAST HEALTH AROMATHERAPY NATURE’S WAY Healthy Girls’ Breast Oil Joyce Sobotta • 715-878-4474

Healthy Girls’ Breast Oil when applied with a self-breast massage helps to balance, detoxify, soften breast tissue, improve lymphatic circulation and stimulate the immune system. Improved circulation helps your entire body! See ad, page 29.


Una Forde, DC • 952-922-1478 International Village Arcade Building 220 West 98th St, Suite 7, Bloomington Quality chiropractic care. Experience holistic healing and gentle chiropractic adjustments that allow the nervous system to relieve such symptoms as headache, back, neck pain and numbness which allow your body to return to a state of balance and well-being. 25 years’ experience.


You can have a personal audience with your guides and the Archangels and Ascended Masters. Get clarity. Take action. Feel connected. Book your session today and save 25%, using code: IAMWISE17. Or call Nea for a free consult. See ad, page 24.


Candi Broeffle, MBA, CPC 218-590-2539 Master your business so you can practice your passion. Business coaching for purpose-driven entrepreneurs to clarify your vision, build your confidence and create a soul-centered strategy. Call today for a free Discovery Session and get on your path to business success. See ad, page 33.

Dori Tossen 763-639-9133 • As Health Coach and holistic practitioner, Dori works with clients to reach their health goals. With the use of bioresonance and other complementary therapies, she guides clients in supporting their bodies through individualized plans that help on their healing journey. See ad, page 29.


Barbara Brodsho, MA 612-444-9751 • Providing spiritual guidance to help live your purpose and thrive utilizing your soul’s Akashic Record. Discover your soul’s innate gifts, create a vocation that aligns with your soul’s passion, and gain new perspective, clarity and insight about your life’s challenges by understanding the lessons your soul chose to experience. Schedule a free discovery session to learn how to create a purpose-filled life. See ad, page 19.

COLORPUNCTURE PSINERGY NATURAL HEALTH & HOLISTIC WELLNESS SchaOn Blodgett, CCP, BTAT 80 County Rd. C West - Ste. 802 Little Canada/Roseville 612-217-4325 •

Offering empirical & sciencebased natural health therapies including Esogetics/Colorpuncture, basic Ayurvedic Medicine, as well as spiritual/energy-based therapies like Access Consciousness Bars, I-Ching, reiki and more. See ad, page 11.

COMMUNITY SUSTAINABLE FISHERY SITKA SALMON SHARES We catch your fish, one at a time, with lots of love and care. The fish is then landed individually portioned, vacuum-sealed and blast-frozen to lock in that just-caught taste. Every month during fishing season, you get a box of wild Alaskan seafood hand-delivered to your door by one of our Sitka Salmon Stewards. See ad, page 3.

December 2019



André Thomas - A+ Certified 80 County Rd. C West - Ste. 802 Little Canada/Roseville 612-234-7237 • “Do you have a sick Computer?” We Keep Computer Repair Simple. Onsite/In-Home or Office, Bring-to-Us Computer Repair Services. 2011-17 Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner. Local • Greener • Highly Rated.

DENTIST HEALTH CENTERED DENTISTRY N7915-902 St River Falls, WI • 715-426-7777

Whole Person Dentistry observes and deals with the mind, body and spirit, not just your teeth. This approach to dentistry encompasses both modern science and knowledge drawn from the world’s great traditions in natural healing. See ad, page 13.



Amy Vasterling: Parenting-Intuitive Readings-Wisdom Gatherings • 612-791-3001 Intuitive Readings: Receive clarity around career, decisions, and relationships, and reconnect to your own inner knowing. Wisdom Gatherings: Join with other deep thinkers and spiritual seekers. Parenting: Highly Sensitive Children are misunderstood, and today’s parenting methods do not address their needs. Sign up for Amy’s free webinar at AmyVasterling. com/webinar. See ad, page 9.

4700 Lexington Ave N, Suite D Shoreview 651-483-9800

We ’ r e a n i n t e g r a t i v e practice committed to promoting dental wellness and overall assistance to the whole person. We desire to participate in the creation of healthier lives, while being sensitive to physical, philosophical, emotional and financial concerns.


Dr. Amy Ha Truong 6230 10th St. N., Ste 520, Oakdale 651-731-3064 • Pure Dental offers integrative, holistic, alternative and biological dentistry for your dental health. We take pride in providing quality, holistic dental care and service for our patients. See ad, page 31.

COUNSELING & COACHING VALERIE MARSH, M.S., L.M.F.T. Positive Power 600 Twelve Oaks Center, Suite 206, Wayzata • 612-772-2808

Valerie integrates a compassionate, holistic and empathic counseling and coaching, specializing in helping people heal from the negative consequences of difficult life transitions, troubled relationships, anxiety, depression, trauma and/or loss. Utilizing complimentary modalities, such as energy psychology, CBT and solution focused approaches, she shares her knowledge and skills that create more rapid results for a more joyful and happy life! Appointments held online or in the office. Call today for a complimentary phone consultation. See ad, page 12.


4399 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake 651-426-4218 • Crystal Rock, LLC, is a full-line metaphysical store that manufactures its own products. Product lines include rocks/crystals, organic essential oil products, natural stone jewelry, sages/incense, teas, tapestries, and much more. Featuring readers, healers and classes as well as spaces for rent by the hour.


Twin Cities Edition

SEDATION AND IMPLANT DENTISTRY 1815 Suburban Ave, St. Paul 651-735-4661

We are a holistic dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art dental procedures that result in beautiful, long lasting smiles! We specialize in safe removal of infected teeth as well as placing ceramic implants and restorations. See ad, page 20.


1401 Main St, Hopkins 952-475-1101 • We build a foundation of trust by treating our patients as individuals. Understanding how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, we make a difference by providing a relaxing and positive experience. See ad, page 28.


Master Hong Certified Emotion Code Practitioner 9672 63rd Ave N, Maple Grove 763-208-4246 or 914-708-9463 Chronic pain? Suffering from emotions? Relationship problems? Life not going as planned? The Emotion Code is a tool I use to help you break through any emotional and spiritual blocks so you can live your best life. Trial session only $35.


Christina Gregory, Master Reiki Practitioner Bhakti Wellness Center, 7550 France Ave S., #220, Edina • 612-839-5255 When the body or emotions are out of balance and pain is ever present, manifested as physical or mental health issues, energy therapy boosts the healing process. Alone or coupled with other therapies it becomes a powerful healing tool. See ad, page 2.


Children and some adults have the ability to see the spirits that are living among us. Others will hear or see unexplained noises or movement. Read the first two chapters in my book for free at I share many experiences that explain what’s happening and what can be done. See ad, page 25.

ESSENTIAL OILS AROMATHERAPY NATURE’S WAY Essential Oils Joyce Sobotta • 715-878-4474

100% pure, quality, essential oils, and ultrasonic diffusers available on my website. I offer essential oil classes online and in person. Sign up for an essential oil consultation and let me help you create a blend of essential oils that works synergistically for a wide range of health concerns. See ad, page 29.



Jessie Odishaw, Microcurrent Esthetics Technician • 612-859-7709 Bhakti Wellness Center, 7550 France Ave S., #220, Edina •


Connie Bjerk 3601 Minnesota Dr. Suite 825, Bloomington 952-452-8583 • Connie assists you in healing on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level via Guided Imagery Therapy and spiritual and life coaching in conjunction with other therapies at Awakened Living. The clinic offers over 36 therapies and services to give clients the most beneficial healing protocol possible. See ad, page 27.

Voted Best Esthetics Clinic in Edina, 2016 & 2017. Look great and feel great with Microcurrent Facial, your skin will feel so soft you won’t believe it’s yours. Often called a “non-surgical facelift” it reduces wrinkles, puffy eyes, lifts, tones, restores your youthful glow. See ad, page 2.




Robin Gast, GROOVE Facilitator 612-276-5625 • GROOVE – a fun group dance experience that changes your body, mind, attitude and mood. Everyone’s welcome on the Dancefloor – all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities. If you can move, you can GROOVE! No experience required. All fitness levels welcome. See ad, page 9.

NORTHWESTERN ACADEMY OF HOMEOPATHY 7104 W. Lake Street, St. Louis Park 763-746-9242 •

Homeopathy is a safe, effective path to healing. We offer low-cost homeopathic care for everyone. Clinic is staffed by advanced students and supervised by faculty.


Sara Shrode, Graphic Designer Minneapolis, MN 612-554-6304 • Ignite the possibilities of your next project by having Campfire Studio design it! Innovative, fullservice graphic design studio that takes the essence of a campfire—warmth, stories, community—and infuses it into every design project we do.

HEALTH FOOD STORES MASTEL’S HEALTH FOODS 1526 St Clair Ave, St Paul • 651-690-1692

Mastel’s Health Foods is Minnesota’s oldest health and wellness store. We carry a full line of vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbs and more. We emphasize organic, biodynamic, biodegradable, holistic and hypoallergenic products and pride ourselves on stocking hard-to-find items. See ad, page 12.

INTEGRATED HEALTH BHAKTI WELLNESS CENTER 7550 France Ave. S., #220, Edina 612-859-7709 •

Bhakti provides a holistic environment where independent practitioners come together to offer an integrative path to wellness; mind, body and spirit. Our providers offer chiropractic, energy therapy, massage, microcurrent therapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy and much more so that you can feel your best, remain healthy & thrive. See ad, page 2. .



2565 N Hamline Ave., Suite A, Roseville 651-340-1233 • Optimal Wellness Solutions offers a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to wellness designed to relieve stress & pain, transform trauma, detoxify the body & promote life-long health & vitality. Services include Massage & CranioSacral Therapy, Network Spinal Analysis, Ionic Detox Footbaths, Nutritional Therapy, InfraRed Therapies, yoga, and a variety of topical wellness classes. See ad, page 11.

LEGAL - ALTERNATIVE OPTION ATTORNEY DAVID PAURUS Traveling Services based out of Hopkins, MN • 952-594-2804

Person-to-person meetings for all variety of issues. Meetings for all, to discuss legal and life related issues, and determining the best path forward. Utilizing a value-for-value model. See ad, page 12.


The only Progressive Talk Radio station in Minnesota. We strive to provide the best progressive programming available and feature national talkers Bill Press, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Norman Goldman, and more. We are also dedicated to local programming that creates a community forum for important Minnesota Progressive issues. See ad, page 39.


Theodore Rick Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) International Village Arcade Building 220 West 98th St, Ste. 7, Bloomington • 763-913-6722 “I love massage, but too often it feels good temporarily and then the pain and tightness comes back again. I have found with AIS that by stretching and lengthening the fibers, almost like a yoga/massage that the pain doesn’t come back again,” Warren King.

MEDITATION UPPER MIDWEST HANMI BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION Shifu Charlotte M. Steen 80 County Road C West, #804, Little Canada, MN 55117 • 651-278-0697

Offering spiritual healing for body, mind and spirit; Teaching Chinese Mystery school (Hanmi Buddhist) meditations; and conducting dharma rites to support you and your loved ones. Be the peace, the joy, the radiant health that you seek—sbe your change. See ad, page 19.

December 2019


PETS Susan Swanson, D.V.M. 651-429-4153 • 1524 Mahtomedi Ave, Mahtomedi

You can either see yourself as a wave in the ocean or you can see yourself as the ocean. ~Oprah Winfrey

Offering a blend of Western and Eastern medicines including; nutritional counseling, behavior counseling, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, Western herbs, essential oils, homeopathy, flower essences, nutritional supplements, chiropractic, reiki and more. See ad, page 9.


1264 Energy Lane, St Paul 800-620-3370 • All Energy Solar is a trusted leader in the solar energy industry. We provide clean, green, solar energy solutions for residential, commercial, agricultural, and government clients. Our team of industry professionals have been focused on providing long-term, trusted relationships since 2009. Our industry experience allows us to confidently handle every aspect of the solar process. See ad, page 2.




Bhakti Wellness Center • 7550 France Ave. S. Suite 220, Edina 612-564-9947 • As a Licensed Psychologist and holistic practitioner, Fran works with clients to identify areas of potential growth, obstacles to growth, and processes that facilitate healing and transcendence of those obstacles. She provides traumainformed therapy that supports your goals of resiliency, healing and feeling better. See ad, page 2.

ECKANKAR TEMPLE OF ECK 7450 Powers Blvd., Chanhassen 952-380-2200 •

Are you looking for the personal experience of God? Eckankar can help you fulfill your dream. We offer ways to explore your own unique and natural relationship with the Divine through personalized study to apply in your everyday life. See ad, page 31.

FEBRUARY 8-9 Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 5pm

MINNEAPOLIS CONVENTION CENTER 1301 2nd Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55403


FREE Present this ad at door to receive FREE admission for two people. (Regularly $6 per person)





The Midw


nd Health a EXPO! s es ln el W

3 Visit up to 200 exhibitors offering the latest products, services and information for better health and fitness. 3 3 stages of free speakers! 3 FREE goodie bag for the first 100 people in line! 3 Meet local radio personalities from KDWA and KYMN Radio, spin the prize wheel for great prizes 3 The ULTIMATE place to shop for the latest health and wellness products and services! 3 Play booth bingo to win a Fitbit!

3 Price Drawings every hour include drawings for Good Earth restaurant and Expo Guys famous hot sauce 3 Everything A to Z to help you look your best, feel your best & be your best! 3 Demos all weekend including: yoga, martial arts, in-home fitness equipment & more! 3 The SMART place to find resources for looking your best, feeling your best & being your best! 3 Visit with Staci from KS95 and more! • Got a Healthy Product or Service? Exhibit here! (952) 238-1700 38

Twin Cities Edition


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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities December 2019  

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities magazine is your source for healthy living, healthy planet information. Have you visited our website lately?...

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities December 2019  

Natural Awakenings Twin Cities magazine is your source for healthy living, healthy planet information. Have you visited our website lately?...