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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter

Nov 01, 2019 05:25AM ● By Marilee Burrell
As we enter our 12th year publishing Natural Awakenings, I’m so very grateful for our readers and advertising partners—thank you all!—and for my amazing business partner, Marilee Burrell. For a dozen years, Marilee and I have traveled together on this amazing journey of business success, supporting each other as we navigated the ever-changing landscapes of our lives. I cherish the connection she and I share with our local wellness community, where we’ve cultivated many friendships and have had the pleasure of working with a variety of wellness practitioners and natural beauty experts. In fact we’ve devoted some of this month’s magazine to the benefits of natural beauty—read more, starting on page 40.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that as I age, getting quality sleep has become something of a quest. This month’s feature, “Chasing ZZZZZs: How to Put Insomnia to Rest,” examines the many contributors to and adverse health effects of compromised sleep, along with natural pathways to a good night’s rest. I find that a few minutes of reading and reflecting to end my day are more soothing than television or electronics. I also enjoy aromatherapy, so I put cotton swabs of lavender essential oil in my pillow to relax my senses as I give thanks for my day and tell my mind that it’s time to rest. These little rituals help me fall into a peaceful slumber, though I still tend to wake at dawn and then do my best to fall back asleep for a few more winks. Poor thyroid function can also disrupt the sleep cycle, so our Healing Ways article, “The Happy Thyroid: Seven Ways to Keep It Humming,” offers remedies from that angle.

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, writer and foodie April Thompson brings joy to the season’s table with “Zenful Eating: Mindful Meals in Quiet Gratitude,” in which three of the nation’s top Zen chefs share their wisdom about being grateful, present and peaceful at mealtime. We’re also excited to offer an update on one of our favorite local vegansshops, Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen, which has cooked up some great fall soups and has a delicious selection of Thanksgiving dishes for vegans and other people with special dietary needs. Be sure to read all about them on page 28. As I’m blessed to have both my grown children and my granddaughters living close by, I tend to host the holiday feast, and since we have a plethora of food allergies among us, following the traditional menu can be a challenge. It’s become a family joke, guessing what I’ll be serving for Thanksgiving. We all enjoy turkey and mashed potatoes, but beyond those two favorites, the remainder is usually a surprise! For me, thanksgiving is about closeness, gratitude and appreciating our time together. I do love to cook, so the act of preparing this annual feast has become a sacred ritual of giving from my heart.

November kicks off such a busy time of year, with lots of fun happenings. Here at Natural Awakenings, it’s always a great time for us to connect with local businesses that want to be part of our Natural Living Directory, which publishes each January to kick off the New Year. This year we’ll be building our online directory as well. Come visit us at and check out our ongoing community calendar, where you’ll discover local events and happenings you won’t find in print.

With joy and gratitude,