January 2020 | Make it a Naturally Healthy Winter!
Welcome to a new year and a new decade that offer both opportunities and challenges in our pursuit of healthy living.
We begin this year with Wise Words from legendary journalist Bill Moyers, who is leading the charge for a new generation to make a critical difference in our world where it counts: climate change. Natural Awakenings has accepted his challenge to join a global media project called Covering Climate Now to spread awareness of the urgency of this issue. Throughout this year, we’ll be sharing with our readers the many aspects of how we eat and how we live impact the planet—and how each of us can shrink our own climate change footprint.
I feel that even small changes in daily life count. We can ride our bicycles or walk instead of driving the few blocks we need to go, buy gently used clothes rather than new, carry our own bag to the grocery and recycle. Everyone doing a small part adds up to a big difference.
Meantime, schools across the country and around the world are growing the next generation of environmentalists with innovative hands-on courses that teach students about climate change, the importance of renewable energy, sustainable food production, water quality/quantity and other conservation issues. Writer Yvette Hammett explores this trend in “Raising Environmentalists: Teachers Prep Kids for the Future.”
Our focus on planetary health will complement our ongoing commitment to leave no stone unturned in all facets of personal health. This month, the eternal quest for the fountain of youth leads us to examine the factors that contribute not only to living long, but living well. Writer Melinda Hemmelgarn’s January feature looks at the role of genes, environment and lifestyle factors; she offers age-defying strategies—from diet, exercise and sleep, to protecting our telomeres and adjusting our attitudes.
Since I began studying Ayurvedic lifestyle methodology through the Chopra Center, I have learned that the simple approach to life is the healthiest. I eat foods that are in season and cooked simply and with love. I try to practice yoga and meditation daily. Nurturing the mind and body through natural methods helps to keep us clean inside and out and living life in the moment.
The mind-body connection takes center stage in writer Ronica A. O’Hara’s take on “Eco-Therapy: Beyond the Nature Cure.” The physical benefits of spending time in nature are well documented; now a number of new studies suggest that nature-based interventions may serve as an effective alternative or additional form of treatment for a range of emotional and mental health issues.
I feel fortunate to live in West Michigan where we have abundant tree-filled parks and pristine beaches just waiting for to me to walk and explore, helping me stay grounded and in touch with nature. It feeds my soul. The added benefit is that it’s a great natural way to boost the immune system, clear the mind and stave off the negative effects of our long gray winters.
The foundation for vibrant health is a healthy immune system and writer Julie Peterson focuses on the nutritional factors that go into building one in “Gut Check: Feeding the Immune System.” Physical fitness is especially top of mind in the new year and readers that have previously struggled to shed post-holiday pounds may be surprised (and pleased) to discover that moderation may be the key to burning fat. In “When Workouts Don’t Work: Why Less Is Sometimes More,” writer Marlaina Donato explains how stress-free exercise can deliver better results by optimizing the response of cortisol, a steroid hormone that plays a critical role in regulating metabolism.
There’s plenty more for readers to love about our January issue. Here’s to a prosperous, productive and very healthy New Year!
To conscious living,
Pamela Gallina, Publisher