December 2014 Awakening Humanity + Holiday Themes Issue

Dec14_VABR_Web2_Page_01Happy holidays! It’s the season to spend time with family and friends, to reflect on the events of the past year and start making plans for the year to come. We hope this issue of Natural Awakenings will help you on your annual journey.
Our feature article, “Sacred Activism,” explores paths to becoming an agent for positive change in your community and across the planet. Kids can also start on their own paths to positive change through self-reflection, giving their special talents and joining forces with others. Our Healthy Kids article, written especially for children, can show them how.
Speaking of joining forces, consider joining the newly formed Green Drinks chapter, featured in our news briefs. Green Drinks is a great way to network with environmental professionals in the community in a relaxed environment. The new chapter is being hosted by the Grandin CoLab, which is the subject of this month’s Community Spotlight.
Food is at the core of many of our holiday festivities, and special traditions help ensure that we get the most of our family time. In “Happy Feasting to All,” you’ll find ways to help deepen the meaning of the holidays through food and festivities. We hope you’ll try the handful of healthy holiday recipes as well.
You can enjoy the season of giving even more fully when you know you’re contributing to the local economy. Our Blue Ridge Green Travel feature highlights some spots where you can find arts and crafts made right here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. If you are a crafter yourself, our Eco Tip provides ideas on beautiful tree trimmings you can make that will in turn provide forage for your neighborhood birds.
After the holiday celebrations are through, do your new year’s resolutions include starting an exercise routine? Our Fit Body article, “Find your Fitness Style,” will help you choose the workout that’s most likely to work for you. And if you’re interested in “greening-up” your beauty routine in 2015, check out our Natural Beauty article, which outlines aspects of organic beauty salons, and features two local salons that have made the commitment to organic and natural products and services.
As always, dear readers, please visit our advertisers, whose support brings you Natural Awakenings magazine every month, and let them know you found them here.
See you next year!
Tracy

November 2014 Personal Empowerment + Beauty Issue

November_2014_Page_01Happy Fall, y’all! We’re happy to bring you the November 2014 Personal Empowerment + Beauty issue of Natural Awakenings magazine.

Are you thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet? Get inspired with our feature article “Powerful You! Six Ways to Create the Life You Want.” It is full of ideas to kick-start your journey to a better you in such areas as physical and emotional health, relationships, work, finances and spirituality.

The art and science of creating natural beauty products is fascinating and fun! In our Green Living feature this month, we explore this topic and offer you simple recipes for wholesome, homemade personal care and beauty products. Not only are these great for personal use, but consider bottling some up for holiday gifts for friends, family and co-workers!

Speaking of the holidays, if you’re like me, it’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping and events, and wind up going in too many directions. In doing so, we often lose the meaning and lose out on the real fun. In our Healthy Kids feature this month, you’ll find simple solutions for simplifying the holidays while giving kids the true gifts of the season: time, love and tradition.

One great way to show kids the true meaning of the holidays is to teach them how to help out in their community. In this month’s Community Spotlight, we highlight some local charities and how you can help them, along with a list of other non-profits and their websites for your exploration.

Last but not least, let’s not forget our pets in the holiday rush. Our Natural Pet feature shows you some simple ways to help your favorite companion (dog, cat, fish or bird) celebrate the season with you.

If you read this in time, please be sure to come out to the 15th annual Green Living and Energy Expo at the Roanoke Civic Center on November 7 and 8. The event, hosted by the Association of Energy Conservation Professionals, is THE place to be to learn about product, services, businesses and non-profits who can help you live a greener, healthier life.

Look for our Holiday Gift Guide in next month’s issue of Natural Awakenings. As always, we welcome your ideas and input!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Tracy

October Sustainable Communities + Chiropractic and Acupuncture Issue

October 2014 Natural Awakenings Magazine

October 2014 Natural Awakenings Magazine

Hi and welcome to the October 2014 issue of Natural Awakenings magazine. This month, we delve into the topics of Sustainable Communities + Chiropractic and Acupuncture.

Increasingly, progressive U.S. cities are rethinking redevelopment based on healthy housing, friendly neighborhoods, upgraded transportation, clean energy, local food and waste reduction. In “Sustainable Cityscapes,” we give you an overview of the top sustainability concerns, plus a brief look at what’s happening in two progressive local communities: the City of Roanoke and the Town of Blacksburg. Both municipalities have hired sustainability coordinators to oversee green and healthy living improvements that will benefit residents and the planet.

Speaking of sustainability, mark your calendar for the annual Green Living and Energy Expo, on November 7 and 8 at the Roanoke Civic Center. This year marks the 15th anniversary for this important regional event from the nonprofit Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP). This educational expo is full of great information, hands-on demonstrations, speakers and inspiration for ways to make our community, and our world, a greener and healthier place.

In health news, chiropractic treatment and acupuncture have long been proven effective treatments for pain individually, but anecdotal evidence suggests that a regimen combining the two treatments creates a whole effect that is greater than the sum of its parts. Check out “Dynamic Duo” for a peek at this newest trend in pain management and stay tuned to Natural Awakenings for results of published studies as they become available.

Halloween is just around the corner and parents like me may be looking for heathier and greener ways to delight our little goblins. Our Kid’s Health feature this month provides some great ideas.

Organizations such as the Roanoke Regional Partnership, the Roanoke/Alleghany Regional Commission and the Roanoke Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are working to increase and promote the region’s outdoor amenities not only for the benefit of local residents, but also to attract more and better economic development to the region. Check out our Blue Ridge Green Travel feature this month on the growing outdoor amenities in the Roanoke region. Also, please note our news brief about the upcoming airing of the nationally televised episode of Growing a Greener World, which focuses on green happenings in Roanoke, and then tune in!

Natural Awakenings’ November issue will focus on Personal Empowerment + Beauty. Plus, we’ll be kicking off the holiday season in a green and healthy way! So be sure pick up your copy orview the current issue and archives online at NABlueRidge.com/Magazine.

Sincerely,

Tracy

 

September Conscious Caretaking + Yoga Issue

Sept14_VABR_WEB_Page_01 Welcome to the September issue of Natural Awakenings, our caretaking issue. So many of us either are caring for loved ones, or have loved ones caring for us, that it seems fitting to offer some great thoughts on this important, sacred and sometimes difficult part of life. Caretaking also applies to the world around us. Natural Awakenings readers are known for their compassion toward others, both human and non-human, and our environment. Here is some food for thought on care and compassion.

There are four kinds of people in the world: Those who have been caregivers; Those who currently are caregivers; Those who will be caregivers; And those who will need caregivers. ― Rosalynn Carter

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. ― Dalai Lama XIV

To love a person is to learn the song in their heart, and sing it to them when they have forgotten. ― Thomas Chandler

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you. ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ― Leo Buscaglia

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness. ― Mother Teresa

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace. ― Albert Schweitzer Compassion is the basis of morality. ― Arthur Schopenhauer

Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ― Albert Einstein

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. ― Maya Angelou

Wishing all of you a month blessed with good care, for yourselves, for your loved ones and for the world around us.

Tracy

August Transformative Education + Kids Health Issue

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We’re pleased to present the August Transformative Education + Children’s Health edition of Natural Awakenings magazine! In this month’s issue, you’ll find information about innovative learning approaches for adults and for kids, as well as holistic ways to keep kids healthier.

In our Feature article “Learning that Transforms Hearts and Minds,” you can explore several innovative and effective ways of learning that are being practiced by businesses, students and individuals all over the world.
In “Schools that Rock: Innovators Blaze Creative Paths,” we uncover several of the most creative educational institutions and techniques. This is supplemented by a tour of alternative educational opportunities in Roanoke by Growing Up in the Valley magazine’s Amanda Powers. “Super-Immunity for Kids” features simple ways to help keep kids strong, and the “Day Care Goes Green” article takes a peek at some green and healthy child care innovations.

Local kids are learning about healthy eating habits through a popular program called “Healthy Happy Cooks.” This month, our Community Spotlight features this innovative program, which has helped thousands of city schoolchildren—and their families—eat better, and feel better as a result. As founder Heather Quintana says, “I believe that people don’t need fancy diets to be healthy, but just a diet of lean protein, and lots of fruits and vegetables—and encouragement.”

Looking for last minute expedition to fill these waning weeks before school starts? Check out “Summer Mini-Getaways: Green Travelers Recharge at Spas, Parks and Vineyards” for ideas. Or maybe you need a respite from the kids after a long lively summer at home. If so, find a few relaxing retreats in “Natural Spas in Central Virginia.” This month marks a full year of our Blue Ridge Green Travel article series by contributor Anne Piedmont. We hope you’ve enjoyed the past year’s installments and look forward to bringing you more in the coming months.
Check out our news briefs and calendar listings for green and healthy living, learning and fun opportunities happening in the coming months, and mark your calendar so you don’t miss out!
September is Yoga Month, so we’re busily preparing our September Conscious Caretaking + Yoga issue. As always, we welcome your ideas and input.

Sincerely,
Tracy

July Food Watch + Natural Medicine Cabinet issue

July_2014_Page_01Thanks for picking up the July Food Watch + Natural Medicine Cabinet edition of Natural Awakenings magazine! Inside, you’ll find freshly prepared pieces to help keep you healthy and happy this summer.

This month’s feature article, “Stewards of Earth’s Bounty: Organic Farmers Sow Seeds of Change,” is a roundup of farmers across the nation who are working hard to provide consumers with local, organic, non-GMO, secure and healthy food stock. To complement this national perspective, our Community Spotlight shines a light on local farm heroes right here in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Additionally, one of our local news briefs features information on a regional food security project currently underway at Virginia Tech. The Appalachian Foodshed Project is  creating a network to improve food access, expand food security and enhance food economies.

For our Natural Medicine Cabinet feature, we explore “Essential Oils for Summer Maladies,” which includes a simple, toxin-free recipe for summer bug repellent. And, if the healing power of essential oils interests you, check out our calendar listings for two local essential oil workshops coming up in July and August. In other local natural medicine cabinet news, we highlight the new Virginia Tech Farmacy Garden project, in which doctors in Montgomery County will be “prescribing” visits to the Farmacy Garden for qualified patients. The goal of the Garden Prescription Program is to emphasize the importance of diet and moderate physical activity as vital components in a patient’s wellness plan. Keep reading our news briefs to learn how you can get your own personal food prescription for healthier living through Holistic Nutrition Source.

Thinking about summer family camping opportunities? Our Healthy Kids feature this month explores how parents can transition kids away from mind-numbing video games and into consciousness-expanding outdoor experiences. Our Blue Ridge Green Travel article highlights three regional family camping venues: Middle Creek Campground, in Buchanan; Camp Karma, in Bedford; and Camp Easter Seals, in New Castle. They offer low-cost, high-return opportunities for kids to plug in to nature.

There are so many fun and diverse events and learning opportunities happening this month, so please check out our calendar listings and find something to get you moving. We’re busily preparing our August Transformative Education + Children’s Health issue, and welcome your ideas and input.  In the meantime, stay cool!

Sincerely,

Tracy

 

June 2014 Inspired Living + Men’s Wellness

 

June 2014 Natural Awakenings MagazineWelcome to the June Inspired Living + Men’s Wellness issue of Natural Awakenings magazine. This month is an enlightened, alpha male-inspired, star-studded issue! First, our Wise Words article features an interview about life lessons with motivational speaker and author Wayne Dyer. This month’s Green Living feature highlights singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s efforts to green his concerts and connect his fans with local environmental nonprofits. Award-winning local novelist and journalist Dan Smith shares with us his thoughts on the topic of our feature article, “The Healing Power of Story.”  Finally, our Inspiration article offers ideas for helping alpha boys become the kind of mature, compassionate and awe-inspiring men we feature this month.

If you feel inspired to eat local foods, including those grown in your own backyard, then you’ll enjoy the locavore lineup we’ve prepared for you this month. First, our Community Spotlight looks at the recent visit to Roanoke by Joe Lamp’l, host of the PBS show Growing a Greener World, who came to Roanoke with his crew to film a local segment with the help of Blue Ridge Public Television. Roanoke is doing so many things right, he said, and he’s excited to spread the word about our green and growing community. Second, check out “Living Off the Land,” this month’s Conscious Eating feature, which summarizes the variety of ways we can all eat clean, green and local. Finally, if you want to eat fresh on the road this season, check out this month’s Blue Ridge Green Travel feature, which highlights new developments at farmers’ markets throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge region.

Looking to plan some fun activities this month? Look no further than our news briefs and calendar listings. In local news briefs, we feature two events that put the “fun” in fund-raising. The Smith Mountain Lake Songwriters Festival benefits St. Jude Hospital, and the Horse and Hound Wine Festival, in Bedford, benefits local animal welfare groups. The Friends of the Lynchburg Nature Center group invites you to enjoy a day of hiking, crafts and music at the first Ivy Creek Park celebration, and Barefoot Studios at 16 West Marketplace in downtown Roanoke would love to have you visit its second free Afternoon of Healing event.

We’re busily preparing for our July Food Watch + Natural Medicine Cabinet issue, and invite your ideas and input.  In the meantime, enjoy this inspired issue of Natural Awakenings!

Sincerely,

Tracy

May 2014 Women’s Wellness + Bodywork issue

 

May_2014_Page_01Thank you for picking up the May Women’s Wellness + Bodywork issue of Natural Awakenings magazine! The topic of women’s wellness encompasses so many aspects, including physical fitness, emotional health and mental clarity. Many of us find it a great challenge to adequately manage these aspects not only for those we care for but ourselves as well. Our Wise Words article this month is an interview with Gabby Reese, who shares how she balances her diverse and demanding rolls as pro volleyball player, author, fitness expert, fashion model, environmental activist and mother. I love that one of her suggestions is to create a team of other female friends who can help one another on a day-to-day basis!

This month, we also explore ways to use bodywork to promote health in our pets. Local veterinarian Dr. Marge Lewter weighs in with her perspective on holistic health care for pets. Both Dr. Lewter, of Holistic Veterinary Services, in Blacksburg, and Dr. Lori Leonard, of Concord Veterinary Services, outside Lynchburg, can provide a holistic health evaluation and treatment plan for your pet.

This month’s Community Spotlight focuses on Barefoot Studios, in the 16 West Marketplace building in downtown Roanoke. Founded by Jane Barefoot Rochelle, the studio is a healing arts center with four licensed practitioners, who offer healing touch, therapeutic art, massage, Tai Chi, Reiki, reflexology and emotional release therapy. The studio truly embodies the “the art of healing and the healing of art.”

In local news, Floyd Fest is just around the corner. Last year the event sold out early, so grab your tickets now! This month, you can have fun while learning about green living at the EcoExpo in Blacksburg on May 10, or if bike safety is your thing, check out the Rally for Road Safety in Roanoke on May 17. These and other events are highlighted in our News Brief section.

Next month, look for our special Men’s Health + Inspired Living issue. In it, we’ll learn some valuable life lessons from author and motivational speaker,Wayne Dyer. Plus, we’ll hear about how singer/songwriter Jack Johnson has been greening up his own music festivals and supporting eco-causes close to his heart.

Hope your summer starts off with a splash!

Sincerely

Tracy

April 2014 Green Living + Healthy Home Issue

April_2014_Page_01Welcome to the April Green Living + Healthy Home edition of Natural Awakenings magazine! This month, we explore the many ways that you can live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, regardless of your income level or where you live. One of my favorite benefits of going green is that, in doing so, you can live better without breaking the bank. Learn more in our feature article, “Live Green, Save Big.”
Homeowners throughout the town of Blacksburg may find that solar energy is easier and more affordable through a new program called Solarize Blacksburg. This month’s Community Spotlight features the program, which runs through May and had more than 170 homes sign up in the first two weeks alone. This pilot program could pave the way for similar community-wide solar programs throughout southwest Virginia.
Are you gearing up for your spring cleaning fling? Our Green Living article, “Homemade Eco-Cleaners,” provides eco-friendly, DIY cleaning recipes that take minutes to make. After you’re finished cleaning indoors, consider transforming your own little patch of Earth from than just another lawn to mow into a mini-park. Our Healthy Kids feature, “Backyard Birds and Butterflies,” can help you beautify your yard and while making kids and critters feel at home. Even if your backyard is a parking lot, our Inspiration article, “Wilderness in Sidewalk Cracks,” will show you how you can still enjoy small bits of nature in the heart of the city.

Once you’re finished greening up your homestead, you’ll want to check out the April and May events outlined in our news briefs and calendar of events. Earth Day is April 22, and our “Celebrate Earth Day 2014” article provides a global perspective on the event, along with a roundup of local celebrations. Here at Natural Awakenings we invite you to celebrate Earth Day with us through our “7 Days of Earthy Giveaways” promotion. Go to our website at NABlueRidge.com or see ad on page 39 to learn how you can enter to win!

Last, but certainly not least, please read and save our 6th annual Blue Ridge Green Living Directory. Inside the directory, you’ll find all kinds of resources to support your green and healthy lifestyle, including products and services, businesses as well as nonprofit organizations. You can access the directory online in a searchable format with interactive maps at Guide.NABlueRidge.com.

We hope you’ll enjoy this eco-friendly issue of Natural Awakenings!

Sincerely
Tracy

March 2014 Food + Garden Issue

 

Mar14_VABR_WEB_Page_01It’s here: the March Food and Garden issue of Natural Awakenings magazine! In our feature article, “Pioneering Food Trends,” you’ll learn how national food experts predict that local, regional and sustainable foods are among the top mainstream food trends for 2014, and what the term “hyperlocal” means for you. We’ve paired this national perspective with local resources for you in “Eating Local,” a special edition of our Blue Ridge Green Travel series.

We are really proud of this month’s Community Spotlight on how Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op keeps local foods stocked for the region’s locavores. Next year, in 2015, the Co-op will celebrate 40 years of leading the way to provide local, organic, sustainable food and products for the area. It has grown from a tiny group of people to include thousands of member-owners, two stores, farmers’ markets and a farm of its own.

Aquaponics systems are gaining ground in the sustainable food production movement and our Green Living feature this month explores why a home aquaponics system may be one of the best green investments you can make in 2014.  After enjoying the article, don’t forget to sign up for our Jr. Ponics Aquaponics Garden giveaway (ad on page 15) from Blue Ridge Hydroponics (BRH), and check out our news brief on how BRH is helping to provide hands-on opportunities for local campers to learn the benefits of aquaponics and other types of gardening.

Our Healing Ways article, “Powerhouse Herbs,” may surprise you with insights into new research about the powerful healing properties of common herbs. Our Healthy Kids Feature, “Seven Signs of Food Sensitivities,” provides action plans for parents to manage common food-related diseases for their kids.

March and April are full of opportunities to get out and learn about local green living, so be sure to mark your calendars with the events you’ll discover in this month’s news briefs and calendar listings. The Lyric Theatre, in Blacksburg, is host to two eco-friendly film screening events: a green burial workshop in March and a green business movie and panel discussion in April. The Central Virginia Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists is hosting a water summit at Lynchburg College at the end of March, and the Sedalia Center, in Big Island, is hosting its first Health and Wellness Fair in April. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Earth Day Roanoke on April 26, or find out where your local Earth Day celebration is taking place.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue, and be on the lookout for April’s Green Living issue of Natural Awakenings, complete with our special annual directory section!

Sincerely

Tracy