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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

June 2021 Upcoming Issue


Feature: Men’s Integrative Health                                                                                                           

Byline: Ronica O’Hara                        

Compared to women, American men die five years earlier on average, in part because they eat worse, smoke more, drink harder, exercise less and suffer more injuries. They are also notoriously difficult to get into a doctor’s office, but they can regain control of their health using the mind-body focus of integrative approaches. Using a range of modalities, from medications to herbal remedies to dietary strategies, integrative doctors holistically and effectively treat men’s major concerns of heart disease, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer and depression. 


Healthy Ways: Treating Depression Naturally                                  

Byline: Julie Peterson                        

An estimated 17.3 million U.S. adults had a major depressive episode in 2017, and that number has tripled during the challenges of the pandemic. To avoid the side effects of antidepressants, some people are turning to such natural solutions as herbs like St. John’s wort and American ginseng and homeopathic remedies. Experts also recommend switching to a whole-food diet to reduce the inflammation linked to depression and adopting a steady exercise routine, especially yoga.


Fit Body: Gardening Workouts                                                                 

Byline: Marlaina Donato

The bending and squatting, carrying and lifting, digging and reaching high that gardening involves makes for a great full-body workout that engages every muscle while elevating the spirits. Moving quickly while raking gets the heart pumping, as does running in place for 10 seconds after finishing a task. Using yoga positions while kneeling or squatting eases aches and pains, and simply putting hands in the soil is a grounding experience.


Healthy Kids: Calming Kids                                                                    

Byline: Sandra Yeyati

Even in the womb, children can be bathed in feel-good hormones and chemicals as a mother meditates. As they grow, they can be taught to slow down and calm down consciously with breathing games, animal-like yoga positions, meditative art activities and mindful nature walks. It’s useful for parents to have their own mindfulness or meditation practices, and it’s important to make it fun for children, using imagery and language they understand. With time, children can learn to use visualization to calm themselves. 


Wise Words: Andria Sommers on Holistic Parenting                                            

As the executive director of the Holistic Moms Network, Andria Sommers leads a national organization with chapters in 14 states that brings families together to provide a safe, supportive environment in which they can find resources and camaraderie for natural living and gentle parenting. 


Conscious Eating: Vegan Vacation                                                

Byline: Carol Sanders

With planning, resolve and a cooler in the back of the car, we can take to the road this summer with full joy while still eating a vegan, plant-based diet. Smartphone apps can guide us to vegan eateries and menus, pre-cooked snacks can stave off the munchies, and popcorn, muesli and oat milk can carry us through hotel room fits of hunger. Dried fruit, nuts, rice cakes, individually packaged nut butters and fresh fruits are also portable and tasty.

Green Living: Sustainable Travel                                                            

Byline: Sandra Yeyati

Post-pandemic, many of us are raring to hit the road, but the unprecedented respite of the last year offers us an opportunity to travel differently—with the planet in mind. Eco-friendly planning strategies include booking hotels, transport and eateries with sustainable practices; using options other than planes when practical; and staying and eating in small, locally owned enterprises rather than multinational chains to spread the benefits of our money around. Travelers can also volunteer to carry items to donate like medical and school supplies to places in need and to book using an app that requires donating $10 per night to worthy local causes.


Natural Pet: Dog-Scaping the Yard                                   

Byline: Karen Shaw Becker

No one spends more time in the yard than the family dog, which is why it makes good sense to landscape with a canine in mind. After constructing a fence, strategies can include avoiding carcinogenic lawn chemicals, planting a meadow of tall grasses, choosing herbs that also repel fleas, adding a kiddie pool and making pathways for running and sand pits for happy burying and digging up of toys.


Inspiration: Simple Acts to Change the World                                                    

Byline: Julie Peterson

It’s easy to feel small and helpless in a big, troubled world, but we can create a ripple of positive change by dialing back bad news, turning our complaints into courses of action, refusing to engage with anger and divisiveness, cultivating loving kindness toward others and doing anonymous random acts of kindness—even acts as simple as smiling at everyone we meet.


Eco Tip: Rethinking Fireworks                                                         

Fireworks are part and parcel of July Fourth celebrations throughout the country, but unfortunately, being made of non-biodegradable plastics and harmful chemicals, they pollute the ground, air and water. Some eco-friendlier versions exist that use compressed air or nitrogen, but the best strategies for a festive and green Independence Day might be a drone light show, a laser display or decking the house with red, white and blue LED string lights or lanterns.


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