The Best Journey Is One with Help from Others

As we celebrate our eighth year of publishing in Northwest Florida, I am reminded of my own journey and why I was attracted to Natural Awakenings magazine myself. When I moved to this area, I found my first issue in the mailbox of our temporary residence in Tallahassee. We were searching for a home in Niceville at the time, but I remember thinking, “This is exactly what I need to meet like-minded people and find all the places that support my lifestyle choices.” Little did I know that I would embrace Natural Awakenings as my path in life, spending the next decade getting to know some of the most caring, dedicated and talented practitioners in our area. It was their passion, the reason they do what they do, that I really came to appreciate, and it became my mission to share their passion with everyone who cared about health and wellness as much as I did. 

Each year we focus on those who make up our healthy-, conscious- and inspired-living community with the Natural Awakenings Annual Directory, highlighting all the people bringing new modalities, practices and products to our towns. We combine the directory with feature articles and news, but we understand without this annual resource to help each of us walk the walk, the rest is just words.

I also understand that the journey to conscious living is not always a straight path. There is still plenty of controversy around topics like eating well. For example, we learn in this issue that dieting causes stress and persistent hunger; triggers eating disorders, such as binge eating; and actually makes people gain weight over time. That's just one point writer Melinda Hemmelgarn addresses in “Nutrition Upgrades: Five Strategies for Better Health.” So ditch the diets, eat for yourself and the planet, and learn about the care and feeding of that all-important microbiome. 

I was delighted to learn recently that all my allergies—except to my beloved pets—have gone away. After years of self-care, I am no longer allergic to any outdoor elements. I can’t say exactly what did the trick, except that I applied many of the strategies mentioned in the three articles this month that focus on seasonal allergies. These articles have suggestions to help readers cope with common allergens, including ideas for kids and pets too—plus “All the Right Moves,” about using exercise to significantly reduce allergy symptoms. Everyone is different, and so your response to these strategies may vary, but it’s worth trying a few now, before allergy season sets in.

You'll find lots more to consider this month, including advice on how to heal from GMOs in our food chain, and Wise Words from Phillipe Cousteau, who continues the family legacy of conservation established by his famous explorer grandfather.

Remember, when you’re part of the healthy living community, you are never alone. Hang on to this year’s Annual Directory so you have access to a unique resource for information and inspiration as you continue your journey to wellness. And don’t hesitate to lean on our advertisers if you need a little help now and then. After all, they have built their lives around sharing their passion in order to help others. ~Daralyn

Wishing you a healthy journey,

Scott and Daralyn Chase

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