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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for January 2020

Jan 02, 2020 12:15PM ● By Marilee Burrell
Vibrant health for 2020: That’s my positive point of focus. My purpose is to live with joy and kindness, and allow my inner light to shine, so that others can do the same. For me, joy happens when I am physically, emotionally and spiritually balanced. Sounds simple, right? Yet I’m finding that it’s a daily, conscious decision, to make choices that support my point of focus and my purpose.
Now more than ever, we need to be mindful of our lifestyle choices. Self-care must be a priority when it comes to mind-body-spirit balance. (Fred Lisanti, a local naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, calls self-care “the wave of the wellness future.”) To that end, this issue includes our 2020 Natural Living Directory, which is chock-full of local resources for you to reference all year long. Our page 14 feature article, “Living Long and Well: Age-Defying Habits and the Fountain of Youth,” by Melinda Hemmelgan, offers insight into aging well. “No matter how long we live, we want to make the most of our time on Earth. Beyond diet and exercise, finding our personal passion, reducing stress and spending time in nature and with those we love can add years to our lives,” Hemmelgan writes. I checked out her list of the top nine lifestyle habits commonly practiced by centenarians, and I’ll admit that I have work to do. Currently I’m incorporating only five of them on a daily basis. I look forward to spending more time on the nature trail and developing a stronger social network in the coming year.
Getting and staying healthy should be near the top of everyone’s to-do list, and because health trends evolve, we asked several local wellness experts to discuss their health-related concerns and observations as we enter a new decade. They tend to agree that chronic disease is on the rise—an observation borne out by statics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that 70 percent of American adults have at least one chronic condition. The good news is that we can improve our health through lifestyle, and our community has a wealth of experts to help us get there. You can read more in our page 22 local roundup article, “The Future of Health: Local Practitioners Discuss Wellness Trends in the Decade Ahead.”
I don’t know about you, but the thought of having a “rock-star immune system” is exciting to me. Research has shown that good health, including immunity, starts in the gut. So how do we make that happen? Read “Gut Check: Feeding the Immune System,” on page 18, for tips on eating your way to better health. Here’s some colorful dietary advice: National guidelines suggest that we eat 10 servings of plants a day, ideally two each from the green, red, white, purple/blue, and orange/yellow categories. So eat a rainbow to keep your pot of gold—your health—flourishing. 
Natural Awakenings has an exceptional lineup of wellness articles planned for 2020, to keep you educated and inspired, and this issue features a 2020 calendar (page 61) to keep you in touch with the healthy living community. We love connecting our readers with local businesses that embrace our shared mission. So be sure to let our advertising partners know that you saw them in our magazine or at our new website,—another resource for you to reference on the go.

Happy New Year!