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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for July 2021

Jun 30, 2021 03:12PM ● By Marilee Burrell

Eating restorative foods—and eliminating foods that feed problems—is the most critical aspect

of healing any illness or health condition.

—Anthony William, ‘Medical Medium’

Over the years we’ve seen food trends come and go and heard and read about scientific studies—usually funded by those with vested interests—indicating which diet is best. It’s been confusing trying to know what foods to eat, especially when those same studies are often contradicted by other studies later. I bought in to the “eat a lot of healthy fat” diet years ago. The result? I gained a lot of weight and my health went downhill.  

The good news is that enough experts have come together to give us a clear picture of what diet is best for our health—and luckily, what’s best for our body is also best for the planet. The consensus is that the ideal diet for health and well-being is a plant-based, low-fat, low-salt, high-raw-food, low-processed-food diet, with lots of fruits, veggies and greens, preferably from small, local organic farms (or your own garden). The fruit doesn’t need to be exotic or come from a rainforest (although those foods are healthy too). Apples, berries, oranges and other “ordinary” fruits are just as good; they’re packed with amazing antioxidants and phytonutrients, and if they come from a local farm, they have the added benefit of lower food miles. My diet is dairy free and gluten free as well, which may not be necessary for everyone, but I personally recommend it. Knowing the best diet to help you heal from chronic illness and stay healthier into old age is huge, so don’t miss our feature article, “Food as Medicine: The Healing Power of Nutrition,” on page 26. If you’re young and can still eat anything you want and feel wonderful, that’s great, but chances are you will see the effects of what you eat, for better or worse, as you get older.

New to the food scene, and definitely nutritious, are microgreens. Not sprouts, these soil-grown mini-food powerhouses are taking off in popularity. Read about whole-food nutritionist Nicole Harris, who’s growing microgreens at her Dutchess-based Tiny Greens Farm, in our Local Food section on page 20.

One of my favorite places to eat a good plant-based meal is Omega, so I’m excited that they are opening their Rhinebeck campus at the end of this month. Their shorter season means on-campus housing options and workshop space may fill up quicker than usual, so make any reservations soon. For a sampling of this season’s workshops, read “Omega to Reopen Rhinebeck Campus July 23” on page 18. Hope to see you there!

Outdoor yoga has expanded since we first published “Yoga Classes Head Outdoors for Summer” in the June issue. You can now also take classes in Mahopac by the lake, thanks to Sandra Marinelli of Brooklyn Organic Kitchen. To learn more, see page 40. In our September issue we will be featuring local yoga studios, and we hope to be a comprehensive source of information about classes and studio openings as indoor yoga makes a comeback in the fall. So please send us info on any new yoga classes you find, inside or outside.

In the meantime, please head to our website,, in between editions for updates and to find exclusive online content. You can also create a free business listing and post event listings. While you are there, make sure to sign up for our email list so you never miss an issue.

Eat well and enjoy the summer!