Letter From the Publisher February 2021 Edition
Hello, readers! Welcome to another issue of Natural Awakenings—I hope this season finds you in vibrant, healthy spirits. From the designation of American Heart Month to the celebration of Valentine’s Day, the theme of our February issue is all about heart-centered living. This holistic, balanced, conscious way of life can benefit everything from relationships to nutrition and exercise to mindfulness to emotional resilience. So join me as we unpack what it means to live with heart-centered intention this month.
To kickoff the issue, our feature article explores how to maintain a “Heart Healthy Lifestyle.” Cardiovascular disease kills an estimated one in four Americans each year, but there are simple and effective lifestyle changes all of us can make to prevent around 80% of those deaths. Some of these include consuming mostly plant-based foods, taking nutritional supplements, exercising on a daily basis, allowing a cardiac specialist to screen your heart for inflammation and other risk factors, and practicing mindfulness, gratitude and forgiveness. These shifts not only strengthen heart function, but can also reduce stress and uplift your mood.
On the topic of mental and emotional impacts of heart-centered living, this month’s “Healthy Ways” article delves into the nuances of mindfulness and meditation. While these two practices are often viewed as interchangeable, in reality, there are different approaches and philosophies associated with each of them. This article examines the distinctions between mindfulness, which is used to create awareness in the present, and meditation, which focuses on accessing deeper levels of consciousness. While they are not the same, both methods naturally complement each other, and are equally beneficial for mind-body-spirit wellness.
Of course, it would be remiss not to mention all the various ways that balanced, wholesome nutrition can bolster the heart, and our “Conscious Eating” article has this covered. A plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, healthy oils and whole grains is the most beneficial for optimal cardiovascular function. Whereas processed, artificial foods with refined sugars can lead to serious cardiac issues over time. For some heart healthy cooking inspiration, this article also includes recipes such as Quinoa, Edamame and Carrot Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing; Blueberry and Pumpkin Seed Yogurt Bark; and Lentil, Raisin and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash. Are your taste buds salivating yet?
I am so grateful for your continued support of Natural Awakenings, and I hope this issue fills you with enlightenment and enjoyment as we look ahead to the month of February. Please email comments, questions or feedback you might have to [email protected], and here’s to a year of heart-centered living!