Our BerkshireTimes Magazine, May-June 2017

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May-June 2017 vol 31



Our BerkshireTimes

Local Events | Art & Culture | Home & Garden | Vibrant Living

Health & Wellness / Visit us at www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Cover Art by Leon A. Comstock / www.neumannfineart.com Cover Art by Elisabeth Ladwig  VisitJr.us at www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

CARING FOR PETS SINCE 1957 Convenient Location with Ample Parking on Route 7 less than a minute south of Guido’s

Monday-Friday 10a-6p Saturday-Sunday 10a-4p



photo courtesy of Alden Beane, True Balance Animal Wellness

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. - Theodor Seuss Geisel -

Our BerkshireTimes™ PUBLISHERS Kathy I. Regan publisher@ourberkshiretimes.com Kevin J. Regan kevin@ourberkshiretimes.com _______________ EDITORIAL Kathy I. Regan editor@ourberkshiretimes.com Copyeditor/Proofreader Rodelinde Albrecht _______________ DESIGN Magazine Design/Layout Kathy I. Regan Brianna I. Regan _______________ TO ADVERTISE CONTACT Account Representatives Kevin J. Regan kevin@ourberkshiretimes.com

Contents 4

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Cover - Once Upon a Time by Elisabeth Ladwig, Artist www.elisabethonearth.com Elisabeth Ladwig is an award-winning photographic artist who lives with her husband, David, and dog, April, in the New Jersey Highlands (a.k.a. bear country), where an abundance of protected land offers endless opportunities for creative inspiration. More of Elisabeth’s striking creations are on display locally at The Wit Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, www.thewitgallery.com. Also see Elisabeth’s website at www.elisabethonearth.com, and read more about her on page 8 of this issue of Our BerkshireTimes magazine.

art, culture & entertainment







shop local gift guide fashion & beauty



food & drink



home & garden

education & workshops LET'S GO OUTSIDE



mind & spirit RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN



health & wellness


1900-1925 WOMEN'S


featured advertisers





animal talk

Like Us On



Debra Johnson debra@ourberkshiretimes.com _______________ Our BerkshireGreen, Inc. P.O. Box 133, Housatonic, MA 01236 Phone: (413) 274-1122 advertise@ourberkshiretimes.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com _______________

May - June 2017

This publication is printed with soy ink on environmentally friendly satin Forest Stewardship Council ® certified paper.


Once Upon a Time

ver the course of our lives, together in this fairytale land, we all will have watched winter beckon spring, spring grow to summer, summer produce autumn, and autumn yield to winter once again. This is the beautiful, predictable flow of the storyline, the events in which we can always place our faith and trust. But once upon a time, there was a plot twist. Once upon a time, there was You. This is your story, and it’s never too late to fill the chapters with wonderful surprises. Prints available framed and unframed in various sizes at www.elisabethonearth.com Our BerkshireTimes magazine was first published in early 2009 and is enjoyed by community members and visitors alike. We publish and distribute bimonthly (six times per year). Most of our editorial content is contributed by our readers. We welcome your ideas, articles, and feedback, and encourage you to submit original material for consideration through our website. To find out more about advertising and submitting articles, see our website at left, and join our mailing list to receive our free eNewsletter. All content in Our BerkshireTimes™ is accepted in good faith. We do not necessarily advocate and cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by our authors, illustrators, and advertisers. We reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason. For printing errors of the publisher’s responsibility, liability is limited to the cost of the ad space in which it first appeared. Unless otherwise noted, we use a Creative Commons License in place of a standard copyright. May | June 2017


art, culture & entertainment

Break Out & Explore the Berkshires! FUN THINGS TO DO

Sit & Knit

Emerson String Quartet

When: Every Wednesday & Friday, 2-4pm Where: The Spin-Off Yarn Shop, 130 Water Street (lower level), Williamstown, MA Cost: Free

When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7pm Where: The Hotchkiss School, Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center, 11 Interlaken Road, Lakeville, CT Cost: Free

Knitters, crocheters, and yarn enthusiasts of all skills welcome every Wednesday and Friday. Project help, inspiration, and fellowship are plenty. Join this lively group at The Spin-Off Yarn Shop for an afternoon of fun! (414) 344-6257, www.spinoffyarnshop.com

The Hotchkiss Concert Series is thrilled to present the Emerson String Quartet, which has long enjoyed exuberant praise. The Times (London) says of the Emerson String Quartet “. . . with musicians like this there must be some hope for humanity,” while the Boston Globe asserts “The Emerson performances represented an extraordinary fusion of experience and authority with audacity and freshness.” The program will include Mozart’s Quartet in C Major, K. 465, “Dissonance”; Debussy’s Quartet in G minor; and Dvořák’s Quartet in C Major, op. 61. (860) 435-4423, www.hotchkiss.org

Kenneth Young Solo Exhibition When: Saturday, May 6, 2017, 5:30pm artist reception; art on exhibit through June 24, 2017 Where: Neumann Fine Art, 65 Cold Water Street, Hillsdale, NY Cost: Free Oil paintings on exhibit by Kenneth Young. Artist’s reception Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 5:30pm. Ken Young has been sketching and drawing with pencil and with pen and ink from a very young age, but oil is his favorite medium. Young takes a deeply spiritual approach to his art. His subjects range from landscapes of every season to human and animal portraits. (413) 246-5776, www.neumannfineart.com

Tea & Talk, 1900 to 1925: Revolutionary Fashion at Ventfort Hall When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 3:30pm Where: Ventfort Hall, 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA Cost: $35 Lynda Meyer, fashion historian and Adams vintage clothing shop owner, will focus on what she calls “the most revolutionary generational transition in fashion history.” She will examine the circumstances that forced the world to be reconfigured. Art, technology, a tragic world war, and woman’s suffrage created not only a new look in fashion, but new roles and aspirations as well. Lynda will demonstrate with original period clothing, photographs, and period magazines the amazing clarity of fashion changes taking place within one generation, but worlds apart. A special Victorian tea will be served. Reservations are recommended. (413) 637-3206, www.gildedage.org 4

May | June 2017


CATA’s Annual Performance & Gala: Everyday People When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 5pm; Sunday, May 14, 2017, 1pm Where: Shakespeare & Company, 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA Cost: Call for more information Please join Community Access to the Arts (CATA) for Everyday People, CATA’s annual performance and gala celebrating the artistry of people with disabilities. Saturday, May 13 – CATA’s Gala evening includes cocktails at 5pm, performance at 6pm, buffet reception with music and dancing to follow. Sunday, May 14 – CATA’s Matinee is $20 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Performance begins at 1pm. (413) 528-5485, www.cataarts.org

Great Barrington Farmers’ Market When: Every Saturday from May 13 through October 28, 2017, 9am-1pm Where: 18 Church Street, Great Barrington, MA Cost: Free The 2017 season will include several community events celebrating local food and agriculture including a “Kids at the Market” day in June, multiple food-themed festivals throughout the summer, produce tastings, kids’ cooking classes, and food and cookbook swaps. Weekly music throughout the season. The market is a 100-percent producer-only market offering a wide assortment of vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread, bagels, seedlings, cut flowers,

art, culture & entertainment honey, maple syrup, mushrooms, eggs, sauerkraut, coffee, dried and fresh herbs, pastured meats, baked goods, jam, prepared foods, and more.

Ventfort Hall Summer Tea & Talk Series When: June 6, 2017, 4pm every Tuesday afternoon throughout the summer. Where: Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA Cost: $26 with advance reservation; $32 day of Series of lectures by different presenters each week on a variety of historical topics related to the Gilded Age. Every lecture is followed by a Victorian tea. Call for reservations as seating is limited. (413) 637-3206, www.gildedage.org

Jacob's Pillow 85th Anniversary Gala When: Saturday, June 17, 2017, 5pm Where: Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket, MA Cost: $375 Celebrate the 85th Anniversary of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and start your summer dancing! Highlights of the event include cocktails with pop-up performances, a performance in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre, a fabulous Browse & Bid Marketplace, dinner on the Great Lawn, and an after-party with live music and dancing under the stars. Contact Gretchen Weber, (413) 243-9919 x126, gweber@jacobspillow.org. www.jacobspillow.org/events/gala


296 Main Street, Williamstown, MA

Emerson String Quartet


May 13, 7 p.m. ~ free SAVE THE DATES

Hotchkiss Portals ~ Piano Concert Series


July 15 - July 30, 2017 Featuring

Fabio Witkowski, Gisele Witkowski, Luiz de Moura Castro, Benjamin Loh, John Perry, Mina Perry The Hotchkiss School 11 Interlaken Road, Lakeville, ct 860.435.4423 | hotchkiss.org/arts

17 Main Street South Egremont, MA 01258 413-528-9580

theegremontvillageinn.com theegremontbarn.com


May | June 2017


The Fish Whisperer By Michael Romano

Here fishy, fishy, fishy . . .


any of us have heard about a gentleman called The Dog Whisperer. You may also have heard of The Horse Whisperer. But I bet I’m the only guy who knows The Fish Whisperer! The practice started quite by accident when my friend Mark and I went fishing at a local pond. We had a beat-up old canoe bungee corded to the top of my car that we were planning to launch from the bank. We undid the cords and carried the canoe to the water so we could load up our tackle and launch it for an afternoon of fishing. Mark was not watching where he was going and tripped on an exposed root from a nearby tree, falling face first into the shallow water. He yelled an expletive while his face was still in the water, much to my hysterical delight! This caused a fairly large fish who happened to be near him to jump and swim away to deeper waters. When Mark pulled his face from the water, I told him he would have to talk nicer to the fish if we were going to catch any. He responded by sticking his face back in the water and whispering here fishy, fishy, fishy, and we dissolved into fits of laughter . . . but it worked! We ended up catching and releasing loads of fish that day. So began the tradition of The Fish Whisperer! We went fishing a lot that summer. Not wanting to jinx our newfound good luck, Mark started off each trip by sticking his face in the water and whispering here fishy, fishy, fishy, and each time we were not disappointed. We caught and released bass, trout, pickerel, and other assorted species, all larger than the ones we usually caught. I told fishing friends about this trick and they would tag along just to watch Mark perform his magic ritual. We became kind of famous with the locals but also earned some strange looks from other fishermen. I didn’t care because it was Mark getting his face wet (not me!) and most importantly we were catching fish! 6

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They say all good things must come to an end, however, and our good fortune ended the day we went fishing for pike in the Housatonic River. Those familiar with the river know it was infamous for being very polluted. It’s somewhat better now but still kind of scary. We arrived at a part of the river called Oxbow in Sheffield, carried our tackle down the steep bank, and prepared to go after giant pike. I looked at the slowmoving muddy water and then at Mark, he looked at the water and then at me and said no way! I couldn’t blame him, the water even smelled bad. We didn’t catch any fish that day and that broke our string of good luck. A few weeks later Mark moved north with his family and we had to stop fishing together – the end of a sacred tradition. I sometimes drive by the boat launch where our tradition began . . . hapless Mark with his face in the water whispering here fishy, fishy, fishy, and to this day I still break out laughing. The Fish Whisper will always live on in my memory and probably in a few of the fish’s memories as well! ~ Michael Romano, a Great Barrington, MA, resident for almost 40 years, is an avid fisherman who in his own words “kind of treats fishing as a contact sport and has had more than a few misadventures in the process.” He has fished many local waters and also enjoyed quite a few saltwater trips. Michael is a retired chef – he and his wife Susan worked at the now closed Kolburne School in New Marlborough, MA, for many years where he enjoyed taking many of the students fishing.

art, culture & entertainment

Join us for Sit & Knit! Wed & Fri, 2-4pm. All skill levels welcome. Open Wed-Thurs 12-5pm, Fri-Sat 10-5pm

130 Water Street, Lower Level, Williamstown, MA

www.spinoffyarnshop.com ● (413) 344-6257

SATURDAY JULY 89 Unusual and Thoughtful Gifts

● Free Family Activities

North Becket Village

● Book Sale & Silent Auction

A Treasure Trove of Beautiful Things Visit our store in Lee or shop online at ebay: stores.ebay.com/arcnoli

● Music & Entertainment


266 Main Street, Lee, MA gifts@theuptownstore.org


● Food & Beer

Food ● Fun ● Dancing

See Becket Washington Community Partnership’s Facebook page for more information.

 TO


● Vendors & More

Visit us and find out more about our Frequent Buyer Program! Discounts available for seniors, teachers, students, and military.

C: 413-441-2239 ● P: 413-243-0025 395 Laurel Street (RT 20), Lee, MA



RECORDS & CDs New ● Used ● Imported Stop by for a visit!

10am-6pm Tues-Sat, 12-4pm Sun

413-458-5229 131 Water Street, Williamstown, MA www.toonervilletrolleyrecords.com

(413) 528-1521 ● Great Barrington, MA ● www.thebookloft.com

Stop by the GREATEST Hobby Shop in all of New England! For Father’s Day, check out our wide selection of Metal Detectors and accessories. models & kits ● kites ● remote control trains ● airplanes cars ● metal detectors ● puzzles ● paint sets ● and more!

(413) 743-7223 ● 171 Grove Street (Rt 8), Adams, MA www.hobbyworldonline.com ● follow us on Facebook www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May | June 2017


art, culture & entertainment



ge 11, I think. That’s about the age when I decided adults were wrong: magic does exist. As I lay in the grass watching pretornado skies, I realized it was all around me, hidden behind the sciences of meteorology, botany, astronomy . . . the warmth of miracles suppressed by experiments and equations and proofs. It became clear that the beauty of science, nature, and magic was indeed one and the same, and it saddened me that the miraculous nature of it all had been dismissed so irresponsibly over time. Photo compositing allows me to create metaphorical reminders of the magic and miracles in an attempt to bring humanity back home to its roots: kin of the Earth. So with a nod to Mother Nature and her fairy tale existence, I work to seek out equal beauty in the storm as in the sunrise. ~ Elisabeth Ladwig Elisabeth Ladwig is an award-winning photographic artist living in West Milford, New Jersey, with her husband, David, and dog, April. Upon finishing her studies in graphic and digital design at Parsons School of Design in NYC, her artistic career began in the music industry where she designed for the likes of Liza Minnelli, Barry Manilow, and Patrick Stewart, as well as for Broadway and major motion pictures. Her work is the convergence of a graphic design career and a fondness for collage art and photography. A grade-school revelation connecting science, nature, and magic fuels her creations – the idea that all of life’s mysteries fall within the parameters of scientific explanation, that science abides by the Laws of Nature, and that all of it is magical. The result is a collection of surreal, painterly artworks that offers viewers a variety of metaphors for humankind’s relationship with the Earth and with the Cosmos. Once an idea is born in her sketchbook, Elisabeth sets out to take the photographs she needs to create the image. Her process is variable and spiritually instinctive; often, an image is well on its way or even completed before its concept is fully understood, and that meaning may vary from one viewing to the next. All of her scenes have a strong natural connection, set completely or partially outdoors, often with an anonymous subject. “Anonymity 8

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allows the viewer to take part in writing the story,” she says, “and that story is going to be different for everyone.” Elisabeth’s current photo artistry has been represented by galleries from Scottsdale to Rome, and has been digitally displayed in Times Square and at the Louvre. Elisabeth’s work was also chosen for “Presenze” (“Presence”), an international exhibition of Women in the Arts 2016. Visit The Wit Gallery in Lenox, MA, to view more of Elisabeth’s work. You can also visit her website at www. elisabethonearth.com to order limited editions in a variety of sizes, unframed or framed. Each piece is printed on museum-grade, textured fine art paper (100% rag archival) with Canon IPF Pro-2000 and 11-color Lucia Pro pigment inks that ensure visibility of the smallest details, and colors that appear as fresh as day one, even after 100 years.


Mother's Day: Sunday, May 14, 2017  Father's Day: Sunday, June 18, 2017


Gazebos / Sheds-N-Stuff

Our stylish gazebos come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and materials, and upgrades such as screens, windows, railings, and benches. Sheds-N-Stuff has been in business for more than 25 years and we have built solid relationships with residents in Berkshire County, Bennington County, and across Massachusetts. We strive to build all our relationships on mutual trust, honesty, and respect. We sell quality, Amish-made products ranging from mailboxes to gazebos and everything in between. We also have the ability to customize almost any project to your specific needs. (413) 743-9964, www.berkshiresheds.com / contact us for price quote


Naturally Beautiful / Face Haven

Spring is in Bloom with Jane Iredale’s Makeup On Nude for Spring 2017. Stop in at Face Haven to try this fresh new peachy pink collection featuring two lovely easy-wearing Eyeshadow Triples $30, and two classic PureMoist® Lipstick Shades in Lisa, and back by popular demand, Susan $25. Candid In Touch® Cream Blush will be your new go-to staple for any occasion $28, and for a naturally brilliant glow try our new favorite Peaches & Cream Bronzer $44. Walk in any time at Face Haven; we’re here to help! 323 Main Street, Great Barrington, (413) 528-4053


It’s Thyme! / Bella Flora

Bella Flora brings to you the spring collection by Thymes offering a variety of artisan bath and body products. Indulge in eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender . . . so sweet just like Mom. The Bella Flora staff can compose a beautiful gift for her with our amazing selection of plants, cards, gift baskets, and the freshest floral arrangements you can find in town. Inspired from our family to yours. Visit us at Bella Flora in Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA. Also, watch for our Pop-up Shop at 55 Pittsfield Road, Lenox, MA, opening soon! Local delivery available. Order today! (413) 496-8242, www.bellafloraberkshires.com / $35 - $200


Purple Pebble CuddleMat / BensDotter's Pet

The Purple Pebble CuddleMat is plain in appearance, but this hypoallergenic, versatile bedding has many healthful benefits and is an outstanding option for dogs with special needs. Its soft loft lends itself to elderly, arthritic dogs that require extra cushion; however, it is stuffing-free for safety. Its moisture-wicking properties make it perfect for both untrained puppies and incontinent older dogs. CuddleMats hold up to chewers, and are 100% washable and quick drying. CuddleMats come in eight standard sizes, ranging in price from $28 (cat) to $106 (XXXL). Our cats and dogs love their CuddleMats, and we love them, too! Visit BensDotter's Pet at 940 Main Street (Rte 7), Great Barrington, MA. (413) 528-4940, www.bensdotters.com / $28-$106 www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May | June 2017


fashion & beauty


The Most Revolutionary Years in Women’s Fashion History By Lynda Meyer / Photos by Kate Coulehan countries on earth – were finally awarded full civil rights alongside their male fellow citizens. By the mid 1920s, a new generation arose out of the ashes of World War I, as did a new art. The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) in Paris 1925 brought forth the Art Deco movement that predominated style and fashion for the next 20 years: the revolution in women’s fashion (and lives) was born. Much of the fashions, inspired by painters like Picasso and carried out by designers like Chanel, were characterized by clothes that were simple, mobile, and aerodynamic. Most importantly, the new clothes were not only much simpler in line, eliminating the necessity for layers of tight structured undergarments, they were short. As the 1920s progressed, skirt lengths rose to just below the knee. Never before in the annals of hundreds of years of fashion history have women appeared in public revealing their legs. Prior to this, no reference was ever made to the lower part of the female anatomy. The result of shorter dress lengths not only liberated women physically, but politically and socially as well. Clothes that no longer inhibited women created an environment that encouraged fuller personal freedom.

Rack of Edwardian dresses (1901-1915), Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft, Adams, MA


he first 25 years of the twentieth century brought unprecedented change into the world. In the beginning of the century, technology was revolutionizing societies with amazing new inventions that came to fruition almost all at once. There were telephones, motion pictures, airplanes, radios, and the start of mass production to mention just some of the applications of the new sciences being carried into everyday life. World War I, a truly horrifying and monumental event, changed the world power structure for generations to come. It left most of Europe in ruins, resulting in the evolution of a new social order. Women were called upon to take on roles never asked of them at any other time. At the end of the war, women in the United States and Great Britain – the two most powerful 10

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The 1920s Art Deco movement was truly an art movement. The new esthetics in fashion were quite wonderful – clothes were designed in such a way that the garments assumed the shape of each person’s unique body type. Dresses and gowns were cut on the bias, had lots of floating parts, and moved in many ways. Also the workmanship of these clothes still retained former standards – French seams, hand beading, and the use of fine materials. The revolution in fashion created a new look and freedom, while still providing high standards in art and design to the masses. Although the Art Deco movement of the 1920s swept away the prior fashions of the early 1900s, lately there has been a kind of dewy-eyed nostalgia for the beautifully crafted clothing of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. Thankfully, though woman no longer have to wear the terribly uncomfortable and enforced restrictive clothing of that time on a daily basis, antique clothing shops have made it possible to revisit the past for special occassions. Today, we have come to a place where efficiency and uniformity dominate style, and a wide array of

fashion & beauty

synthetic materials require very little attention. But in comparison to the beauty, workmanship, and fine detail of vintage clothing, the fashions of today can leave us a bit discontented. Sometimes looking backward can have a positive (and more stylish!) influence on the future. The International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts The Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris was a vast state-sponsored fair that dazzled more than 16 million visitors during its seven-month run. [More than 15,000 exhibitors from twenty countries were invited to participate.] The works exhibited – everything from architecture and interior design to jewelry and perfumes – were principally intended to promote and proclaim French supremacy in the production of luxury goods. The primary requirement for inclusion was that all works had to be thoroughly modern, no copying of historical styles of the past would be permitted. Nonetheless, much of what was exhibited was firmly rooted in the traditions of the past. The stylistic unity of exhibits indicates that Art Deco was already an internationally mature style by 1925 – one that had flourished in the years following World War I and peaked at the time of the fair. ~ Lynda Meyer is the proprietor of Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft in Adams, MA. Ms. Meyer has lectured on the history of fashion for more than 20 years, covering 160 years of fashion from 1800 to 1960. Venues for these lectures have included Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge Library, Clark Art Museum, Rowe Historical Museum, The Mount, Williams College, Miss Hall’s School, Pittsfield Library, Adams Library, Bennington College, and Skidmore College.

Tea & Talk, 1900 to 1925: Revolutionary Fashion at Ventfort Hall Ms. Meyer’s next lecture “Tea & Talk, 1900 to 1925: Revolutionary Fashion” will be held at Ventfort Hall in Lenox, MA, on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 3:30pm. Lynda will focus on what she calls “the most revolutionary generational transition in fashion history.” She will examine the circumstances that forced the world to be reconfigured. Art, technology, a tragic world war, and women’s suffrage created not only a new look in fashion, but new roles and aspirations as well. Lynda will demonstrate with original period clothing, photographs, and period magazines the amazing clarity of fashion changes taking place within one generation, but worlds apart. A special Victorian tea will be served. The cost is $35. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Call Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 for more information about the event and for reservations. www.gildedage.org

Lynda Meyer wearing a 1920s cut velvet chiffon gown, made in France, from Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft in Adams, MA


May | June 2017


food & drink

Lamb and Lentil Chili

By Rachel Alves, RD, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace's Dietitian


he zing of the lemon highlights the rich lamb in this bright and tasty chili, while the lentils create a smooth and lovely base. Red lentils are hulled and split for quicker cooking, so this dish comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6) 1 T olive oil ½ pound ground lamb 1 medium onion, chopped 3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and chopped 1½ T ground chili powder 1½ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground sweet paprika 1 tsp dried oregano

1 cup red lentils, rinsed 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley 1 tsp grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon) Low-fat sour cream, lemon wedges, crumbled feta, olive oil, for serving (optional)

Instructions Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano, stirring well to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onions and peppers are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes along with their juice, the broth, 1 cup of water, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and several grinds of pepper to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Add the kidney beans and cook until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the fresh herbs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and lemon wedges, or feta and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. 12

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home, garden & food landscape & drink

Haflinger Haus


Restaurant  Tavern  Inn

17 Commercial Street, Adams, MA 413-743-2221 Welcome to the Haflinger Haus!

Austrian-American Cuisine

entrées available

Opening for Mother’s Day from noon to 6pm. Make your reservation today!



~ The Haflinger Haus Restaurant and Inn was voted Best of the Berkshires two years in a row ~ From Wiener Schnitzel, Hungarian Goulash, and Lobster Spätzle, to fresh seafood, steaks and pasta, we bring the best of Austrian and American cuisines to the Berkshires ~ Dine in the beautiful fireplaced dining room, the casual tavern or seasonal outdoor Biergarten where you can catch a glimpse of our vegetable and herb garden ~ Make it a special treat and stay over in one of our guest rooms located upstairs in this turn of the century mansion ~ We also host special events Like us on Facebook and see our weekly specials


Wholesome ● Homestyle ● Delicious


SoCo Ice Cream ● Local Free-Range Eggs Milk ● Liquor ● Beer ● Wine ● Pastries Lotto ● Post Office ● Fishing Bait Photo by John Phelan

Route 71, North Egremont, MA (Near Prospect Lake)

Call (413) 528-4796

Tues-Sat dinner only • 150 Main St., Lee 413.243.6397 cheznousbistro.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May May | June | June 2017 2017

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home & garden

Mother's Day & Father's Day WHY NOT TRY SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT? / By Julie A. Ulmer Mother's Day: Sunday, May 14, 2017  Father's Day: Sunday, June 18, 2017


e appreciate our parents in so many ways throughout the year, and at holidays we try to find the perfect gift to express our affection and show them how much they mean to us. But over the years, no matter how well intentioned, we’ve probably unknowingly given them gifts that ended up becoming clutter. Then the clutter winds up getting shuffled from room to room, but mom and dad are too guilt stricken at the idea of letting go of that book they are never going to read, the fancy artwork they really don’t like, or that expensive cologne they are never going to use. This Mother’s Day and Father’s Day why not try something different and show your appreciation by giving your time to create fond memories instead of giving more stuff? Spending quality time together is a great gift!

Create Fond Memories ● Turn your time together into something special by signing up for a class that you know your parent would like but does not want to try alone. Even if you’re not that interested in the subject, you’re being supportive and you might end up enjoying something new! ● Go to a ball game, a concert, a museum, or to a vineyard for a wine tasting. Try a scenic hike or a relaxing spa day. Giving a gift certificate is okay, but putting a date on the calendar and following through is part of making it special. ● Volunteer together at a charity that’s close to Mom or Dad’s heart such as being a dog walker or a cat cuddle buddy at an animal rescue shelter. Run or walk together in a fundraising 5K. There are all sorts of volunteer opportunities such as teaching literacy, delivering meals to seniors or those who are homebound, mentoring to at-risk youth, helping immigrants or refugees with assimilation, building low-cost housing, or as greeter for a historic house.

Unique Clutter-Free Ideas ● Buy a farm share from a CSA Farm (community supported agriculture) for the upcoming growing season for a parent who enjoys cooking or wants to eat more local, sustainable food. Farm members pay for the season’s harvest up front in the spring to support a farmer or grower as they buy seeds, fix equipment, and of course begin farming or growing. Members pick up their “subscription” of food throughout the main growing season and there are almost always opportunities to volunteer. Some farms require membership participation in one form or another such as helping with the distribution, administration, or even getting into the dirt and helping to grow your own food! 14

May | June 2017


● Purchase an online subscription to a newspaper or magazine you know are favorites. How about a subscription to satellite radio, audio books, or a season pass to their favorite arts and culture venue? For the movie lover, a full access pass to a local film festival. ● One of the best gifts that I can think of is about taking away instead of giving. As a professional organizer, I’ve been in hundreds of homes and something I come across all the time is space that is being taken up by belongings of adult children who no longer live there. Some baby boomers are trying to begin the downsizing process but their attic, guest bedroom, or garage is filled with boxes of memorabilia, books, graduate school papers, and all sorts of stuff that belong to their adult children. Mom or Dad have been so generous with their space but it’s hindering their progress to declutter – reclaim your stuff so they can reclaim their space! You can help them with their project by tackling the sorting process together. Offer to get those old Super-8 films or VHS tapes transferred to DVD or digital format, coordinate and host a tag sale to get rid of unnecessary belongings, and make a slide show of old photographs for extended family. You can also go through old paperwork together and then take what needs to be shredded for bulk shredding, or offer to list unwanted furniture and deal with the transaction through a local buying and selling group or app. This is a good chance for you to get on the decluttering bandwagon. Do you really need all of those papers from graduate school? Maybe you could have the important ones scanned. Are you planning on keeping your Little League or soccer trophies and ribbons forever? Maybe you’ll be okay with a photo of all of your trophies instead of the actual objects. Sometimes parents work better with an unbiased outside party if the decluttering process seems daunting, charged with emotion, or adult children live far away. If so, they might benefit from working with a professional organizer if your loved ones are receptive. To all the moms and dads out there, may you have a delightful day this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Thank you for all you do! ~ Julie Ulmer is a professional organizer, productivity consultant, and speaker who founded Minding Your Manor in 2003. Julie is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Please visit www.mindingyourmanor.com, email julie@ mindingyourmanor.com, or call (518) 821-4682.

home & garden

Sisters Used Furniture Small Shop, Big Savings

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May | June 2017


home & garden

Solar Electricity From the Center for EcoTechnology's GoGreen Mailbag / By Kevin Pink only collecting a fraction of that light, it’s easy to imagine how it could fulfill your home energy needs. However, solar electricity has many other benefits, many of which are listed below. Nonpolluting: Since the “fuel” is sunlight, once a solar system is installed, unlike most other methods of generating electricity it does not need to be mined, transported, or burned, and adds no carbon to the atmosphere. Quiet: The solar panels make no noise while operating. The only moving or mechanical components are the inverters and possibly a tracking system.


ome of the most common questions we receive at the Center for EcoTechnology are related to solar electricity. Solar is rapidly expanding its footprint across Massachusetts as businesses and homeowners learn about the benefits of renewable energy. Below, we’ve answered some basic questions about how solar electricity works, why it’s a great source of electricity, and how you can go about getting your own solar system.

How Does Solar Electricity Work? The sun has always been an important source of heat and light for us. Now we also have technology to convert the sun’s light into electricity using solar cells called photovoltaic (PV) cells - photon meaning light and voltaic referring to electricity. PV cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as silicon, to generate direct current (DC) electricity. PV cells can be packaged into solar panels and installed on a rooftop or pole or a groundmounted system to provide power for our homes and businesses. Since most of our homes and businesses are connected to the electric grid and use alternating current (AC), an inverter is generally required to convert DC to AC electricity to run our lights, appliances, and other electrical devices. For more detail about how solar PV works, check out: ● How Stuff Works: www.tinyurl.com/95egj8e ● About Solar Electricity: www.tinyurl.com/mehj3d7

What Are Some of the Benefits of Solar Energy? Glad you asked! First of all, by harnessing the power of the sun you are using a “renewable” resource that will never run out. The sun is roughly 93 million miles away from Earth, but its ability to provide us with power is enormous. Just 20 days of sunshine hitting the planet’s surface is equal to all of the energy stored in the planet’s reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas. Even if you’re 16

May | June 2017


Cost-effective: Due to generous federal and state tax credits and incentives, decreasing panel prices, increasing system efficiency, increasing electricity prices, and the ability to receive net metering credits for excess power you generate, solar PV systems installed in Massachusetts can pay for themselves in as little as 5 to 10 years. For comprehensive and up-to-date information on incentives for solar electricity, go to the database of state and federal incentives website, www.dsireusa.org. Spins your meter backwards: Through a system called netmetering (www.tinyurl.com/h4len4o), any electricity your system produces (but you do not use) essentially causes your electric meter to “run backwards.” In Massachusetts you receive a credit for the value of the excess electricity you have produced against the electricity you have to buy from your utility company/supplier. Widely applicable: Solar systems can generate electricity for your urban, suburban, or rural home, a cabin far removed from civilization, and even satellites in space! As long as the site receives strong sunlight, especially with a southern exposure to take advantage of the strongest solar radiation being at the equator (and thus, south in relation to the Northern Hemisphere), you can generate solar electricity almost anywhere. Dependable: Because the sun is a resource nobody can own and it will be there for millions of years, solar power is a very stable source of electricity in a world where electric prices are sometimes volatile. It provides a buffer of stability from market swings.

Great! How Can I Get Solar? As you can see, there has never been a better time to go solar, and the good news is that there are a variety of ways to affordably generate and utilize solar power. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center provides a wealth of information for everything from continued on page 30

home & garden

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May | June 2017


Zelda's Story

A Lesson in Overreach in Conventional Veterinary Care By Kristina Dow


his is the story of Zelda, the blind, formerly morbidly obese BensDotter’s store cat whom many of you used to affectionately call Fatso, a nickname Miss Zelda carried without shame and with a fair amount of swagger. To say that Zelda is healthier now without all her excess weight would be to tell only a part of the story of her road to recovery and good health. Just as important as her weight loss was her rescue from a world of chronic illness brought on by overvaccination, the idiopathic use of antibiotics, and the suppressive use of steroids. When I adopted her, Zelda suffered not only from morbid obesity, but also from serious overreach in conventional veterinary care. Zelda came to me through an appeal from an area rescue organization from whom I had adopted other pets. The shelter staff adored the little blind curmudgeon, but, after three years of trying, they still could not find anyone willing to adopt her. Maybe it was because she was blind with a fearless “shoot first, ask questions later” attitude. Or maybe it was because her morbid obesity precluded her cleaning her own tush. Or maybe it was the asthma and chronic diarrhea that turned people off. By all accounts, Zelda had arrived at the shelter a bit overweight, but really packed on the pounds by ravenously stealing the other shelter cats’ food. A barrel-chested cat with a tiny head and frame, Zelda’s body seemingly told the story of a kitten who had suffered severe malnutrition. The barrel chest, disproportionately large for the overall size of the cat, spoke to a metabolic focus on organ growth and preservation during early development, and Zelda’s wicked, wild, no-holds-barred pursuit of food seemed to confirm the suspicion that she had a severe malnutrition-induced eating disorder. She could never be satiated.


May | June 2017


The veterinary “prescription” weight-loss diet mandated by the shelter’s supervising veterinarian met with no success, and Zelda reached the point of morbid obesity with chronic diarrhea. Course after course of anti-diarrheal medications and antibiotics were administered, and then came the steroids for the asthma that she developed. Despite her spunk, Zelda was well on her way to very ill health. I adopted Zelda sight unseen, and as my friend Eve and I first peered into her carrier upon her arrival, Eve exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! She looks like an engorged tick!” Zelda was gray; she did indeed looked like an engorged tick. And was she ever tough to handle! You try cleaning an angry cat’s tush two times a day! To perform that task at the shelter, they needed three people to wrestle her down. Alone, I was lucky to get a spray bottle squirt when she passed by one way, and a paper towel swipe when she passed by the other. Per the instruction of a certified veterinary homeopath, Zelda was immediately taken off the veterinary “prescription” diet and put on a complete and balanced prey-model raw food diet consisting of just muscle meat, organ meat, bone, and a whole-body fish oil balanced with plant-based omegas. Steroid tapering was begun as a homeopathic “clearing” remedy was administered. Zelda’s chronic diarrhea began to clear up almost immediately, and, by the end of the third day, her stools were firm and odorfree. Three weeks later, a homeopathic upper respiratory remedy was administered, and Zelda’s asthma, too, cleared within days. Placed under strict house arrest with no means of access to any food other than the carefully measured quantity she was given, Zelda very slowly but very surely lost ten pounds (half her body weight) over a period of just under two years.

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But truly the most interesting thing about Zelda’s recovery was the appearance (and disappearance) of a hardened mass across her shoulders that revealed itself as the pounds melted away. The certified veterinary homeopath surmised that the mass was a collection of crud under the skin from all of the vaccinations and subcutaneous antibiotic and steroid injections Zelda had endured. But as the pounds melted away so did the mass, weeping its crud out through the skin and leaving the fur in that area sticky to the touch.

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Zelda is a happy and healthy kitty today, still not wanting for attitude, and forever maniacal about food. But none in the house is more affectionate than Zelda; I doze at night with the weight of a purring cat on my chest, her head jammed beneath my chin, waiting for me to get up and feed her. Did you read the Bloomberg article linked with my article in the March-April 2017 issue of Our BerkshireTimes Magazine (currently found at www.ourberkshiretimes.com/magazinearchive.html)? If you didn’t, do it now lest you, too, find your beloved pet overvaccinated, overmedicated, and chronically ill. Forewarned is forearmed in the coming age of corporate overreach in veterinary care! See also www.tinyurl. com/htkvc7j. ~ Kristina “Tina” Dow is sole proprietor of BensDotter’s Pet, a retail pet supply store in Great Barrington, MA, that specializes in raw food diets, including those designed as Nature intended. www.bensdotters.com

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May | June 2017


health & wellness



aargh! Menopause – I’ve been through it – and although mine wasn’t as bad as some of my friends’, it was not without consternation. Also known as “the change,” menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle and reproductive years stop (average age 51), but the years leading up to that last period (perimenopause) can be a challenge for some. During this transition – lasting an average of four years but widely ranging anywhere from several months to 10 years – the production of estrogen and progesterone can vary dramatically and unpredictably, resulting in changes in our bodies including hot flashes, fluctuations in our monthly cycles, brain fog, and mood swings to name a few. And men don’t always get what we are going through even though they may be on the receiving end of some of our rage. The mood swings are bad enough, but if you are one of the unlucky ones with heavy hot flashes, beware! You will need to go out and buy several sets of jammies or nighties because you will wring them out time and time again and change the sheets as well, put your sweaters on, take your sweaters off, and then put them on again. And before each hot flash you may get this feeling of impending doom, shortness of breath, or even panic. Your emotions will sit on a roller coaster with fits of frustration being taken out on anyone within reach, interspersed with bouts of crying and depression. Sounds like fun, eh? There’s more! Things will start to sag as the collagen goes on vacation, and your spine will compress, reducing your tall lanky appearance to a midlife squatty bulge. Wrinkles will start looking like craters in a dried-up lake bed, and your hair will default to grayscale on a color chart. Even if you go to the gym, the hair salon, and have daily facials, underneath you are still aging and there is no getting around the fact that menopause is the cause. So okay, okay, maybe I’ve exaggerated just a little! But there will more than likely be times during this transition that the average woman feels this way, even if she doesn’t look it. There is hope however. Keeping your mind sharp and your attitude positive, exercising, taking supplements, and eating right are all things that 20

May | June 2017


will help us keep healthy, active, and looking good as we get older. Are there also simple things you can do to help? Sure. If you search the internet, though, you will find a bazillion products, books, and articles that preach the ultimate “cure” for menopause. This myriad of information can be overwhelming and it’s hard to determine who is telling the truth and what really works. Plus, if you are like me you cringe at the thought of having to spend each day sorting out a complicated health regime. Starting with just one or two things is easier and a much better way to figure out if its helping or not. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to a deer antler supplement that saved my sanity. You may remember that I wrote about the benefits that deer antler can have for pets in a previous issue of Our BerkshireTimes magazine. Well, in menopausal and postmenopausal women, deer antler is thought to behave almost identically to the diminishing hormone estrogen. It also contains so many menopause symptom alleviators that I call it my miracle pill. Made from the humanely harvested antlers of New Zealand deer (they lose them anyway after rutting season), it has been used as Traditional Chinese Medicine in Asia for 2000 years to lessen joint pain and arthritis, reduce hot flashes, soothe cranky moods, improve quality of sleep and memory, and support the immune system. I’ve personally used it to repair my blown-out knee from skiing, to diminish hot flashes, and to reduce my senior moments. In my free ebook Aaargh! Menopause (which you can download at www.menopausebook.gr8.com) you can find out more about deer antler as well as additional supplements (such as specific electrolytes not found in sports drinks) that can help significantly during and after the menopausal transition. ~ Nina Anderson holds certification as a specialist in performance nutrition and as a neurolinguistic practitioner. She is a retired corporate pilot and in the last 25 years has written 20 books on natural health and on aviation. You can find more about Nina’s book Aaargh! Menopause and the products she recommends on the website www.4easymenopause.com.

health & wellness



e understand that no one wants to ask for help. Seniors Helping Seniors® works with you to provide just the right amount of support to enable an optimal level of independence. We’re the most flexible, lowest-cost, licensed, insured in-home senior service in Western Massachusetts.

It’s like like getting aa little little help from from a friend. ®® It’s It’s like getting getting a little help help from aa friend. friend. ® It’s like getting a little help from a friend. ®

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An active senior from our team can help with everyday chores like meal preparation, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, getting to the doctor or hairdresser, using the computer, and so much more. Your mature personal assistant provides help according to your need and direction, not according to a contract or what’s easiest for us to schedule. Our helpers are background checked and trained. We offer the benefit of a free initial assessment so you’re able to check us out. If you decide it’s a good idea, we’ll match you with a like-minded peer who will help you maintain your independence. It really is like getting a little help from a friend.

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Lisa Baumgart ,, MPT Lisa Baumgart MPT Restoring Function & Fitness Restoring Function & Fitness


e offer a different approach to physical therapy by treating the whole body to while addressing specific areasskofLisa pain or sk Lisa to dysfunction. Providing individualized care with speak to your speak to your 1:1 therapist time promotes consistency in company, club or care and full healing.company, By focusing on finding club or organization successful movement patterns and building organization on this, our patients can achieve healing with complimentary! complimentary! minimal to no discomfort.


~ Lisa Baumgart, MPT, FAFS

“Lisa Baumgart “Lisa Baumgart is a very talented is a very talented healer/therapist. healer/therapist. In the very first session In the very first she reduced mysession pain she reduced my well over 50%. Inpain a Greylock PT isIn very well over 50%. few weeks time, Iahad few weeks time, I had proud tonoannounce its almost pain.” almost pain.” 10-yearno - anniversary! Don Rochelo - Don Rochelo

We focus on dynamics Weoffocus on dynamics the whole body to of the whole body to determine your strengths determine your strengths and weaknesses. and weaknesses. Our unique approach to Our unique approach to physical therapy is called physical therapy is called Applied Functional ScienceApplied or ChainFunctional Reaction Science orTransformation. Chain Reaction Transformation.

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s your back pain related to an old ankle injury? Is your shoulder dysfunction caused by poor rotation at your hip? Are you unable to reach full healing potential? At Greylock Physical Therapy we use practical and consistent testing tools to assess all components of movement to treat the root cause of dysfunction. Observing how patients move in standing positions is KEY in determining where they are successful with their function. Treating their whole body using the direction and range of motion they are successful with translates into an accurate and meaningful treatment program. For treatment, we focus on performing manual techniques in standing positions that are purposeful to our patients. These functional positions allow muscles, joints, and nerves to link and react with each other. As all individual parts are moving and interacting with one another, we guide motion directly to improve standing mobility and strength. Traditional techniques on the table are also incorporated, as needed, to facilitate healing. Customized home exercises are given at the initial evaluation and flow directly from functional testing. Each week, patients are challenged with home exercises to be performed with increased frequency. This will strengthen and maintain muscle memory and build on gains made at the clinic. By utilizing these techniques, you really can reach your full healing potential! www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May | June 2017


home & garden



r. Hyman, I’ve recently gone gluten-free, and I’ve seen tons of replacements for traditionally glutenladen foods,” a writer recently emailed me. “I’m a little suspicious, but are any of these choices healthy?” We are all aware that “gluten-free” has become a major buzz term. Restaurants proudly offer options like gluten-free bread, and even mainstream supermarkets have whole aisles dedicated to the trend. Nearly everyone has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon. I don’t recommend this to everyone – at least not until you understand a few facts . . . and here’s why. As a doctor who treats sick patients, I find that gluten often is a major cause of digestive, autoimmune, weight, mood, and neurologic problems. While one would think that I would be 100 percent pro gluten-free, I want to be clear that there are some downsides to this trend. The biggest problem with demonizing a food substance is caused by the food industry. In a nutshell, this industry manipulates basic foods items and turns them into “Frankenfoods.” It does this by removing naturally derived ingredients and adding in other bad stuff to make up for loss of taste, consistency, etc. Witness the past popularities of, say, low-carb or fat-free diets and the so-called healthy fake foodstuffs that manufacturers invented to replace the foods containing the maligned ingredients.

If a food label boasts a health claim, chances are that food (or food product, more likely) is not good for you. So while those cookies say “gluten-free” in big bold letters, turn the box around and read the ingredients: you will find high sugar content, flour (which converts to sugar), and weird food-like additives that add up to big profits for these companies, while adding pounds around your midsection and sabotaging your health. Sometimes patients switch from cupcakes and cookies to glutenfree cupcakes and cookies. And then they wonder “Why do I feel like crap and struggle to lose weight?” Please don’t shoot the messenger, but gluten-free cupcakes and cookies are still cupcakes and cookies. Besides usually being higher in sugar and other junk ingredients, the “gluten-free” claim creates a health halo so you’re often reaching for seconds and thirds. These gluten-free, sugar-loaded, flour-filled foods raise blood sugar levels and contribute to inflammation, both of which play a role in nearly every disease on the planet. Sugar and flour are the main reason we get sick and fat. They form the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most chronic diseases, sucking the life out of our people and our economy. Whatever the problem – heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression, and even acne – sugar probably plays a key role.

A low-carb fake food might be higher in trans-fat, artificial sweeteners, and excessive amounts of sugar alcohols. And a fatfree food is surefire code for higher sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Don’t be fooled: Gluten-free junk food is still junk food loaded with artificial sugars, food coloring, added gums to help things stick together, and additives to increase shelf life while decreasing yours.

Likewise, as gluten-free gains popularity, food companies – that are well-aware of a potential marketing opportunity – turn out processed, sugary junk foods as “healthy” gluten-free alternatives. Look at most grocery aisles and you’ll find gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, breads, and pretty much any conventional sugary, junky food.

They can also lead to serious health challenges like leaky gut syndrome. Even products like brown rice flour or quinoa flour sound healthy; however, they are also highly refined and behave like sugar once ingested. Whole-kernel grains are fine, but not flours made from them. You might as well just have a soda because it all breaks down into sugar and by the way, I recommend none of the above.


May | June 2017


health & wellness

Gluten-free products are also often filled with a deadly fat, such as processed vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils and trans-fats.

it. Naturally gluten-free foods don’t come in a box and certainly don’t have a ton of weird ingredients.

These clear, tasteless, highly refined and processed oils include corn, soybean, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. Like sugar, these inflammatory omega-6 fats crank up inflammation while blocking anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Today, we have a huge imbalance among omega-6 and omega-3 fats, and those imbalances lead to things like mental illness, violent behavior, suicide, and homicide.

 Eat out smartly. If you eat out, choose the restaurant yourself to find the best quality with the most options. Remember, glutenfree menus are great, but don’t replace one bread or pasta with an even worse form of bread or pasta (based on the weird ingredients used to replace the gluten and the effects they have on your blood sugar). Choose grilled or baked chicken, fish, or another protein and pair it with a side or two of vegetables and some healthy fats like avocado and extra-virgin olive oil.

When I tell patients to eat a gluten-free diet, I don’t give them license to eat gluten-free cookies or gluten-free bread. Remember: Nature created its own gluten-free diet; an avocado is gluten-free, as are almonds!

 Don’t let the food industry trick you. If you see a health claim on the label, be very suspicious: The label is food marketing at its cleverest, designed to seduce you into an emotional purchase that tricks you with misleading claims.

Go gluten-free, but do it correctly. Here are nine take-homes I recommend to my patients who are confused about how to go gluten-free without falling into the duplicitous food industry marketing trap:

 Study the ingredients. Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are listed. If a real food is listed at the end and sugar or ingredients that you don’t recognize are listed at top, put it back. The most abundant ingredient is listed first. Others are listed in descending order by weight. If you see any words on the label you can’t pronounce, you should definitely avoid it.

 Cook at home. The cure for what ails you – in your body and in our nation – can be found in the kitchen: the very first step to reclaiming your health.  Beware of trigger foods. The industrial food system has created uncountable foodlike substances that hijack your biochemistry, creating hunger, obesity, and disease. Your taste buds become manipulated, your metabolism spins out of control, and your brain gets addicted to that slick sugar-salt combo pumped into factory-made foods, yet your biochemistry cannot handle these foods. If it sounds too good to be true – we’re looking at you, gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies – it probably is.  Stop buying into the myth that healthy food costs more.

 Go one step further and avoid all foods with labels. Here’s an extra step to guarantee you avoid sugar, trans-fats, and other junk ingredients. Just eat real, whole foods! It’s really that simple. Before you analyze numbers or anything else on a label, ask yourself if this food could have been served at your great-grandmother’s table. Odds are, she only served real food.

A gluten-free diet is a great way to reduce inflammation, improve gut function, lose weight, and improve mood and energy. But this only happens when you eat real, whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, clean animal foods, whole gluten-free grains, and beans.

We have become brainwashed into thinking cooking real food costs too much, is too hard, and takes too long, so we rely on “inexpensive” convenience foods that ultimately take a toll on our wallets and our health. We trade health for “convenience” that hardly proves convenient when we become sick. Research shows eating real food doesn’t have to be more expensive or take longer to make.

 Tighten your wallet. Make your own food in your own

kitchen. Use fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed and organic meats (focus more on plant foods if these are too expensive), healthy fats and whole grains in their whole kernel form if you can tolerate them. For more strategies, check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Good Food on a Tight Budget.”

 Tally it up. Always ask how many steps did it require for food

to get from the farm to your fork? If it took a pit stop in a factory or was made in a factory, avoid it! As Michael Pollan said, if it was grown on a plant, eat it; but if it was made in a plant, don’t eat

~ Mark Hyman, MD, is a practicing family physician, a ten-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Mark is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and was a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The View, Katie, and The Dr. Oz Show. www.drhyman.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May | June 2017


health & wellness

Expand Your Consciousness Gaia, previously known as Gaiam TV, is an online video subscription service providing the world’s largest resource of conscious media for the mind, body, and soul. Enjoy movies, documentaries, interviews with the top luminaries of our time, and unlimited exercise, yoga, and meditation programming for $9.95 per month. You may remember Gaia (under their former name Gaiam), for their fitness products and yoga videos. Stream Gaia’s unique programming on Apple TV, Roku, IOS, Chromecast, and on the web. www.gaia.com HeartMath was founded by Doc Childre in 1991 to help individuals, organizations, and the global community incorporate the power of the heart’s intelligence into their day-to-day experience of life. They do this by connecting heart and science with technology (like their emWave2 hand-held device), to provide heart rhythm feedback and training. You can connect the emWave2 to your computer for new sessions, games, and access to their HeartCloud to greatly reduce stress, build resilience, improve immune function and health, and unlock your natural intuitive guidance for making better choices. HeartMath is being utilized in more than 100 countries and has transformed more than 5 million lives to date. www.heartmath.com

the deep truths of our MISSING LINKS Explore origin, history, destiny, and fate, with

Missing Links series on Gaia. The biggest questions concerning who we are, where we come from, and where we are going have captivated scientists and mystics for centuries. Luminary Gregg Braden connects the missing links between science and spirituality to complete our understanding of humanity’s history, the origins of civilization, and our interconnectedness with all things. Watch the first episode at https://youtu.be/GxERTlbAo7g. You will find the full series at www.gaia.com. Dr. Joe Dispenza explores the science behind spontaneous remissions and how people heal themselves of chronic conditions and even terminal diseases. As an author, teacher, and lecturer, he has been invited to speak in more than 27 countries, educating thousands of people about how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes. This October 20-27, Dr. Joe will be presenting locally at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. Register by phone or online, www.kripalu.org. Visit Dr. Joe’s website at www.drjoedispenza.com.

Messenger Digital Dentistry ● One visit crowns with no impressions. ● Single visit root canal therapy, post, core, and crown. ● Computer guided implant placement allows for less

Dr. Gene Messenger (front center)

Dr. Mohammed Forhad (2nd from right)

More than 25 Years in Practice Graduate from the University Received Diplomate Status in the IDIA of Pennsylvania Has a Fellowship in ACCD and Special Training in Surgical Extractions, Laser Dentistry from WCLI Bone Grafts, Endodontics, Mentor/Trainer for Implants and Cad Cam and Pediatric Dentistry

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May | June 2017

invasive surgeries and precise implant placement. ● Amalgam (silver)-free fillings. ● Digital x-rays we use allow for 90% less radiation. ● On-site laboratories for denture repairs and relines. ● One visit smile makeovers, veneers, crown, and bridges. ● Computerized periodontal evaluation. ● Advanced Zoom tooth whitening. ● Six Month Smiles - clear braces. ● Extraordinary Dental Care.

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health & wellness

for general well-being

Naomi Alson



For general wellbeing . . .


aomi Alson offers acupuncture, a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine that promotes the flow of Qi (internal energy) to allow the body to heal through stimulating points along pathways, or meridians of the body, and rebalancing its systems. Herbal medicine is often used in conjunction with acupuncture, as are various manual techniques. Numerous studies support the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine in reducing symptoms such as depression, pain, fatigue, nausea, hot flashes, and infertility.

With specialized training in: ● Alleviating the side effects chemotherapy ● Infertility ● Herbal treatments ● Regulating the immune system

At Lee Family Practice, Lee, MA

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Wendy is a licensed optician with 25 years experience fitting happy customers with beautiful frames and lenses in the Berkshires.

endy Streeter of Wendy Optical is a licensed optician with 25 years of experience fitting happy customers with beautiful frames and lenses in the Berkshires. Come in and see her fashionable summer styles. Progressive, single vision, high quality, and affordable frames in many shapes, styles, and colors. If you need your glasses repaired, cleaned, or adjusted you can expect excellent customer service. Located conveniently on Elm Street in Pittsfield, MA (next door to the Clip Shop).

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ing Lash, Somatic Movement Therapist, believes in the innate intelligence of the whole person. Ming provides an informed, safe presence, and listening hands and heart, to encourage relaxation, coherence, and wellness. Supportive therapies include GYROTONIC® exercise, creative movement, experiential anatomy, flower essences, and use of grounding and Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field mat, for improved emotional and physical health and well-being. Classes and workshops available.

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he dangers of air pollution are well documented. A study released by a research team from Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston concluded that even moderate air quality can lead to a 34-percent increase in the risk of having an ischemic stoke (from a blood clot). Aerus Electrolux offers air quality tests to Berkshire County residents free of charge. If you are concerned about air quality in your home, workplace, or childcare center, please all us for an appointment at (413) 442-1544.

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health & wellness

Messenger Digital Dentistry


essenger Digital Dentistry, located in North Adams, Massachusetts, is a state-of-the-art dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile. Complete oral health is their main focus and commitment. Dr. Gene Messenger, his colleague Dr. Mohammed Forhad, and their team, provide excellent service with the highest quality of care in a relaxed, friendly, upscale environment. See their display ad on page 24.

Q: Dr. Messenger, please tell us more about what you do at Messenger Digital Dentistry.

A: In additional to preventive dentistry, like checkups and cleanings, Dr. Forhad and I offer the latest cosmetic dentistry enhancements such as dental implants, six-month smile, Zoom teeth whitening, one-visit porcelain crowns and veneers, and much more.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I purchased my first practice in 1994 with a client base of 1,800 patients and a staff of three. Over the past 20 years my practice has expanded, and the growth has resulted in the relocation of my practice to our current 12,000-square-foot building just three miles 26

May | June 2017


south of our original practice. My staff now consists of two dentists, one periodontist, four assistants, four hygienists, three receptionists, an office manager, and a business manager.

Q: What do you offer?

A: I am a high-tech general dentist. I have integrated as much technology into my practice as possible, and continue to do so as new technology is introduced. I offer no-impression and onevisit inlay/onlays, and crowns and veneers using CERECÂŽ. I place guided dental implants with the help of my Galileo 3D imaging. I also offer six-month smile and Zoom teeth whitening. To keep current with the ever-changing world of dentistry, I obtain about 300 hours of continuing education a year. This includes advanced classes in CERECÂŽ, implants, and lasers. In addition, I take my staff to educational meetings and conferences to give them the tools they need to provide optimal care to patients.

Q: How can our readers find you? A: We are located at 1111 South State Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. For more information, you can visit our website at www.reasons2smile.com, our Facebook page, or give us a call at (413) 664-6545.

mind & spirit



ave you ever had the desire to get away from your own thinking and feeling? Wished that you could take a break from whatever was going on in your brain? Perhaps even longed to trade your brain in for a new model – one that spoke to you kindly and supported your ideas? And if your ideas turned out to be unfruitful, responded in a way that encouraged further exploration rather than a feeling of failure? I would venture a guess that most of us have had these experiences. Why? Because we are complex human beings, and while we may know what we want to do, we often have a difficult time actually shifting our beliefs so we can cultivate a healthy self-support system. Luckily we are very fortunate to have many wonderful techniques and modalities available to us today that can help. But since humans also have many layers, programs, and beliefs running at the same time, it may take some trial and error to discover what works best. Negative beliefs (that were either taught to us or formed by repetitive thoughts) are often what holds a person back and contributes to poor self-esteem and other issues. Beliefs can be shifted however to become supportive, and the following techniques are very useful. These methods combine our language, emotions, and physiological action – all of which need to work well together – to create lasting peace within.

Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT You may have heard of Nick Ortner’s “The Tapping Solution,” www.thetappingsolution.com. Tapping has become very popular in the last five years, although it has been around for much longer. By using the techniques in tapping, either with a certified practitioner or on one’s own, the unsupportive beliefs a person carries are addressed by voicing them and shifting the language while tapping specific activation points on the body (like ancient Chinese acupressure). Sometimes referred to as EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique, tapping has helped people overcome many issues including pain, healing childhood traumas, clearing limiting financial beliefs, weight loss, fears and phobias, and more.

According to the EMDR Institute “after successful treatment with EMDR therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced.” It is quite powerful how the brain will unwind the trauma around an event or emotion to create peace within. When unable to move forward in life as one would wish, so often the idea of admitting there is trauma to be released from the body and mind is overlooked.

Belief Re-patterning Knowing that there had to be another way for us to enjoy being human, and still have emotions while feeling secure in who we are, led me to discover another technique called Belief Re-patterning, www.beliefrepatterning.com. Belief Re-patterning is a technique developed during the 1990s by Suze Casey to assist individuals to release limitations, visualize a more joyful and loving life, and create self-empowering beliefs. When you work with a practitioner, you move quickly through limiting emotions that have tied those old beliefs in place. The shifting of perception allows you to create positive beliefs that support your dreams and desires. Telling your story is not necessary and acknowledging patterns that may keep you spinning in circles becomes a discovery process. If you can breathe and speak, you can do Belief Re-patterning. Using a combination of identifying emotions, statements, and deep breathing, the brain will create new neural pathways that in turn will support new behavior. How many times have you tried to move past a certain experience or feeling about yourself, only to realize that you wrapped yourself back up into the story and didn’t make any progress? Belief Re-patterning connects our physiological body to our emotions to help us create the happy life that we are all striving for. ~ Vicki Baird is an intuitive life coach and certified Belief Re-patterning practitioner located in Pittsfield, MA. She is currently the only Belief Repatterning practitioner in the United States. You can reach Vicki at (413) 499-9791, www.vickibaird.com.


Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing, EDMR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), www.emdr.com, is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. EMDR can only be performed by a qualified therapist, but we are fortunate to have a couple of these therapists in the Berkshires. It is an eight-phase treatment that utilizes eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) and patients can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that used to take years, much more quickly. It is an amazing technique that I have used to reprocess some of the trauma I suffered in childhood.

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May | June 2017


education & workshops

Let’s Go Outside:

Benefits for Our Children (and Ourselves!) / By K. Meagan Ledendecker


xhausted and emotionally drained after a ten-hour day, I made a last-minute decision and turned my mini-van toward Kennedy Park. Fifteen years ago the trails of Kennedy Park were my evening stomping grounds, where dog walks brought me out of doors on a daily basis. I needed to again walk along the worn path, let the sounds of cars and stress fade, breathe deeply, and reconnect. Within minutes of walking in Kennedy Park, I began to cry, an emotional release I didn’t even know I needed. A children’s book by Molly Bang immediately came to mind. In the story, Sophie, a young child, runs outside. Upset and angry she runs and runs until she can’t run anymore. Then she cries. She climbs her favorite tree and the wide world comforts her. Whenever I read this book, When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry, to children, they hang on every word, as if soaking up Sophie’s experience. Yet how often do we let our children slam the door, run outside, and seek solace in nature? How often do we, as adults, do this? I think about Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, in which he coins the phrase “nature-deficit disorder” to describe the costs of our alienation from nature. Certainly I see a difference in my own children after they’ve spent time being outside. Maybe it’s the fresh air, or the room to run, or just the possibility they find in a corner of grassy field. I feel a difference in myself when I take the time to be outdoors, even if only to take a stroll down the street as the day shifts to dusk. As humans, we’re biologically designed to be outdoors. E.O. Wilson described this predisposition to connect to nature as the

“biophilia hypothesis.” Numerous studies outline quantifiable benefits to being out of doors. Business Insider even offers “11 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Go Outside.” From restored mental energy to immune system boosts, we benefit from getting out into the natural world. In this age of trying to provide our children the best opportunities, shouldn’t we be giving them more time outside? This summer is an excellent time to pay attention to those opportunities for children to connect to their place and to just be outside. If you are in need of fresh ideas for the children in your life, and even for yourself, Richard Louv’s new book, The Essential Guide to a NatureRich Life: 500 Ways to Enrich Your Family’s Health & Happiness, is an excellent resource. After my fifteen-minute walk in Kennedy Park, I definitely emerged a different person. The stress of the day disappeared. I looked forward to heading home for dinner and bedtimes. I found the solace I had needed. I want my children to have this experience, too. Whenever possible, I’m sending them outside. And in my search for summer camps, I’ll be paying attention to how much time they have for exploratory outdoor play! ~ K. Meagan Ledendecker, cofounder and Director of Education at The Montessori School of the Berkshires (MSB), loves the summer camps at MSB that incorporate art, movement, music, and science through exploration of the natural world. Over the years, her three children have, too! www.berkshiremontessori.org. www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

May | June 2017


home & garden

Solar Electricity Center for EcoTechnology / By Kevin Pink Continued from Page 16

selecting a contractor (www.tinyurl.com/ljqc656) to financing your system (www.masssolarloan.com). The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Residential Guide to Solar Power (www.tinyurl. com/kt7x93r) contains step-by-step information for interested homeowners.

What Are Some of My Options? Install solar on your home: You can purchase your own panels and have a contractor install them for you, assuming the up-front costs and enjoying all the benefits as you pay yourself back over time with the savings. And, if you need to finance the system, the good news is that Massachusetts has just announced a Solar Loan Program for residents to obtain low-interest loans to purchase and install solar systems on their homes. For more information, go to www.masssolarloan.com. Power purchase agreements (PPAs): Another business model in the solar market is the power-purchasing agreement (PPA)/ leasing model. Under this model, the homeowner does not purchase the solar panels. Instead, a third-party company provides and installs the panels, and the homeowner either leases or agrees to purchase the power. This model helps homeowners avoid the up-front cost of solar installation. However, the customer is responsible for paying a lease fee or purchasing the electricity generated by the panels, and the contractor gets to claim any tax credits and other financial incentives. Community Shared Solar: However, if you don’t have a good site for solar power, or don’t have the financial ability to purchase a solar system of your own, there are still ways to benefit from solar electricity. Community Shared Solar (www. tinyurl.com/kkngghf), for example, allows several community members to invest in and/or purchase the power of a system hosted on an appropriate site. For example, a landowner may have an unused field that gets enough sunlight to make it an attractive site for solar electricity. A group of individuals may 30

May | June 2017


come together to establish a community shared solar site on that unused field, all investing in a share of the up-front cost, and reaping the benefits of solar electricity once the system comes online. CET is developing a toolkit for groups interested in developing a participant-owned Community Shared Solar project. Green up your electricity: Another option for supporting solar electricity is to match 100 percent of your electricity usage with electricity generated by a variety of clean energy technologies by paying a small additional premium on your electric bill each month. You can “green up” your electricity by enrolling in Mass Energy Consumers Alliance’s New England GreenStart and New England Wind programs (www.massenergy.org/cet). Your contribution is 100 percent tax deductible – and 100 percent of the electricity sold through New England GreenStart is produced by renewable sources in New England, with 74 percent of that energy supply coming from low-impact hydroelectric power and 26 percent coming from New England solar, wind, and anaerobic digester installations. We hope you found this article helpful and informative. For more information about solar power including exciting developments, keep an eye on our GoGreen News Blog, www.cetonline.org (or you can go directly to the blog at www.tinyurl.com/mftsqdq). ~ The Center for EcoTechnology, www.cetonline.org, helps people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. We make green make sense. For 40 years we’ve offered proven advice and resources to save you money, make you more comfortable at home, and help your business perform better. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3), CET works with partners throughout the region to help transform the way we live and work for a better community, economy, and environment – now and for the future. We provide practical solutions that save energy, materials, and money and have a positive impact on our environment and community. We serve residents, businesses, and communities in the areas of energy efficiency and waste reduction and through our retail store, EcoBuilding Bargains, www.ecobuildingbargains.org.

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