February 2022 Upcoming Issue of Natural Awakenings Charlotte
Feature: The Heart-Mind Connection: How Thoughts and Emotions Affect Our Heart Health
Defying long-held assumptions in Western medicine, emotions being processed by the brain are being shown to play a vital part in cardiac health and the heart is increasingly shown to affect cognitive health. Emotions like anger, depression and anxiety are now conclusively linked to heart attacks and strokes, and the corollary is also true: Optimism and other positive emotions can reverse markers of heart disease. Heart-and-brain-healthy strategies include breathwork, yoga, laughter, letting go, giving and getting hugs, music and meditation.
Healing Ways: Truly Making Love: Sex and Intimacy as a Healing Force
Connecting with a beloved on the intimate level is one of life’s most precious gifts, and we can deepen its life-giving value by putting down our devices and talking while being willing to be vulnerable. Helpful steps include getting enough quality sleep, getting clear through conversation what our partners really want, eating foods that kick up feel-good neurotransmitters and seeing sex as a sacred act which initiates healing for both parties.
Fit Body: Power Up Your Workouts: A Guide to Protein Powders and Shakes
When we fortify our diet with digestible, nutritionally dense, non-meat protein, we amp up our fitness efforts, enhance immunity and offset premature aging. Thirty years ago, heavily sweetened, incomplete, protein powders seemed to be the only game in town, but now there are countless plant-based options, including pea, rice, soy, hemp, pumpkin seed and quinoa. Nutritional extras are also easy to add, from antioxidant-rich pomegranate powder to blood-sugar-supportive monk fruit to adrenal- and thyroid-nourishing maca. With a sidebar listing plant-based protein powders.
Healthy Kids: Parents as Role Models: How to Help Kids Discover Positive Behaviors
Children learn habits, attitudes and values by observing and mimicking their parents—which is a double-edged sword. Actions speak louder than words, which is why saying “Eat your spinach” while regularly gobbling ice cream won’t inspire desired results. Modeling calm and support to an anxious child, rather than concurring with their fears, helps a child to cope with the anxiety and develop the self-confidence to face it head-on, Yale research shows.
Wise Words: David Perlmutter on the Role of Uric Acid in Metabolic Health
The prominent neurologist and bestselling author speaks on the key role of uric acid elevation in metabolic syndrome, which affects up to 88 percent of Americans. High levels of uric acid lead to unhealthy blood sugar levels, increased production and storage of fat and high blood pressure, but levels can be lowered by taking high-fructose items like sodas and desserts off the table; limiting consumption of organ meats and small fish; forgoing beer for wine or coffee; and monitoring health data with wearable devices.
Conscious Eating: Fermenting for Foodies: Preserving Food and Traditions
A fermentation revival is underway as people rediscover its ability to promote health, boost flavor and preserve the bounty of the seasons. Old favorites like yogurt and sauerkraut are being expanded by adventurous chefs that are creating foods like fermented and aged vegan cheeses from acorns and “seaweed” made from fermented broadleaf plantain. Along with encouraging experimenting, they debunk the myth that fermenting foods is difficult or dangerous or that everything must be sterilized to laboratory conditions. With recipes for pickled carrot sticks and curry kraut.
Inspiration: Living in the Frequency of Love
Most of us refer to love as an emotion, but in essence, love is a verb, a powerful call to action that not only inspires but heals. Mother Teresa once said, “We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love.” With our willingness to both give and receive, and to gift one another with our full and authentic presence, all else is possible.
Green Living: Secondhand Fashion: Online Used Clothing Stores Good for the Wallet and Planet
Fueled by the pandemic and economic downturn, online sales of used clothing is booming, with growth projected to double in the next five years, reaching a whopping $77 billion. Younger, tech-savvy shoppers are the primary drivers of the growth, and a host of apps and websites are responding to the demand, serving such niches as luxury and vintage. Major fashion brands are partnering with resale apps or launching their own operations to reach the younger demographic at a better price point. Although buying used clothing has environmental benefits, most buyers are motivated by saving money and shopping convenience.
Natural Pet: Fostering Love: Tips for First-Time Pet Foster Parents
When a shelter is filled to capacity or when a rescue operation needs to quickly place dogs and cats, pet foster parents that provide temporary homes help fill the gap. As important and rewarding as the task of fostering is, it’s important to work with a cooperative, well-run shelter, to make sure to also consider the needs of your own pets, to understand what any financial obligations might be and to know that it’s okay to fall in love with, and even adopt, a foster pet.
Eco Tip: Purposeful Shopping: How Fair Trade Can Change the World
An alternative international business model that puts people and planet first, Fair Trade certification helps growers and producers in developing countries get fair prices while nurturing sustainable agriculture practices and community development. It focuses particularly on commodities like coffee, tea, textiles and seafood, and works to ensure sustainable prices, better working conditions and higher environmental standards.