Natural Awakenings Comes to Wawa Stores in Montgomery County


Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery Counties has secured a distribution partnership with Wawa Stores. This past February, 22 Wawa and Super Wawa locations throughout Montgomery County began stocking the magazine in their heavily trafficked entryway vestibules.

New and existing NA readers can now find the magazine at Wawa Pick-Up Partner locations in Skippack, North Wales, East Norriton, Blue Bell, Fort Washington, Willow Grove, Roslyn, Glenside, Abington, Huntington Valley, Jenkintown, Flourtown, Conshohocken, Lafayette Hill, Chalfont, Lansdale, Colmar
and Hatfield.

“We have been pleasantly surprised by the demand,” says Publisher Karen G. Meshkov. “Especially because Wawa shoppers are not necessarily all associated with our healthy living niche, we didn’t know what to expect. I think that what this tells us is that the tide is continuing to turn. There are more and more people that are looking for a healthier, more awakened lifestyle in the Philadelphia suburbs, and NA offers them access to the information, services, products and providers that can help them to make that shift.”

There are plans to expand to more Wawa Pick-Up Partner locations in Bucks County and the Main Line in 2017.

For more information, email

July 2016

A CUT ABOVE THE REST: Rodale’s Heritage Hogs Are Best of Breed

by Michelle Bense

ED_RodaleHogs-1_0716At Rodale Institute, in Kutztown, the importance of humanely raised, heritage-breed meat is paramount. Their heritage hog program and facility, running for about a year now, produces organically raised, pastured pork that’s both delicious and good for the whole family. The hogs are raised without antibiotics or hormones, and forage for their food, with free range of both spacious indoor and outdoor facilities, 24/7.

Farm Manager Ross Duffield oversees the whole farm operation. “When I was hired, we had a few hogs and they were not being managed as efficiently as they could have been,” explains Duffield. “I raise hogs not only on pasture, but to thrive on pasture and improve the health of the soil.” Farmers can learn from Duffield and use Rodale’s model, on a scalable level, to raise their own heritage hogs.

“The quality of our pork is superior to most pasture-raised hog operations,” assures Duffield. “Usually hogs are just a cleanup crew, but we treat them as more than that. The common misconception is that hogs destroy the ground, but they do little damage to the ground if they’re managed properly.”

Their hogs are offered a very diverse range of forages, and are encouraged to eat a variety of foods. “Pigs that eat grass, corn, turnips, pumpkins, small grains, kale, apples and beets—just to name a few of our pasture varieties—will have a more robust flavor and different fat consistency than those that are raised on grain and/or milk alone,” says Duffield.

Duffield says that, ideally, someone interested in purchasing this high-quality meat understands what makes their meat different. Rodale Institute focuses on heritage-breed hogs—traditional livestock breeds whose descent can be tracked to their forefathers—which are limited in number nationwide. “Heritage breeds do very, very well on pasture. More of their diet is consumed on pasture than your average confined hog. They’re efficient and make good use of the land. They’re also friendly, easily manageable and have excellent mothering abilities,” he enthuses. “The better they are on pasture, I feel the better quality pork they provide.”

ED_RodaleHogs-2_0716Rodale Institute focuses on selling whole hogs to the customer, at around four to five dollars per pound—about $1,000 for a whole hog, depending on exact weight. “I’ll help people out [on price] if they’re willing to buy meat from me consistently,” says Duffield. About half a dozen hogs are available right now, with “quite a few” expected to be available in the fall.

Customers are welcome to share a hog with others, Duffield notes, but the responsibility is on them to find a partner with whom they may split the cost of the whole hog. Hogs are sold directly off the farm. “We use an Animal Welfare Approved meat-processing company in Mount Joy called Smucker’s Meats. Smucker’s can accommodate just about any option the consumer chooses, from simply dressing the hog, butchering primal cuts or cutting retail cuts that the consumer chooses,” Duffield explains. Primal and retail cuts are vacuum packed, labeled and flash frozen. Rodale Institute sells portions of the meat in its on-site farm store, including pork chops, sliced bacon and other cuts. Duffield says they’re also interested in selling primal cuts of meat to local chefs, restaurants and catering companies.

Providing the hogs a low-stress environment, Duffield says, makes for much better pork. “Our hogs are happy. Happy pigs make good pork.”

Rodale Institute is located at 611 Siegfriedale Rd., in Kutztown. To purchase a whole hog for your family or business, call 610-683-1474 or email

For more information, visit or

Michelle Bense is a freelance editor and writer for Natural Awakenings magazines. Connect with her at

July 2016

Summer Cold Sores: Tips for Reducing the Burn

by Hyo Lim

WomanEthnicCoveringMouth_46009499_lIt starts as a tingle on the lips, and in a few days a painful blister appears, announcing to the world the arrival of a cold sore. This condition affects many and often occurs at the most inopportune times. Despite its “cold” name, it can be triggered by excessive sunlight, making summer a prime time to suffer an outbreak. Other triggers include stress, trauma (dental treatments), fatigue and hormonal changes. The typical time for healing is two weeks.

The triggers activate the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), which lies dormant in the nerves until it infects the cells in and around the lips. In a few days the sore becomes visible and is contagious. The virus can then spread to other parts of the body and to people that have not been previously infected. For most people who suffer from cold sores, the infection has occurred during early childhood without any visible outbreaks. Cold sores can also be contracted by sexual contact from exposure to genital herpes virus (HSV-2).

There is no cure for this common but bothersome disease. The best approach is to prevent outbreaks by controlling and avoiding the typical triggers. There are, however, products to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. Antiviral medications such as Valtrex and Zovirax taken orally with in the first 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms can be effective in shortening the outbreak and lessening the intensity of the cold sores.

Topical ointments, whether prescription (Denavir, Zovirax) or over the counter (Abreva, Zilactin), shorten the outbreak by only a few days. The products can, however, reduce the symptoms of pain, itching and burning.

There are also some natural products that can help in recovering from cold sores. Lysine, an amino acid, taken daily (1000mg) has been found to reduce the frequency of outbreaks. For those that like the taste, licorice can be an enjoyable way to fight back. Studies have shown that the glycyrrhizic acid found in licorice prevents the spread of the virus. Licorice powder can even be added to petroleum jelly or other creams and applied to the affected areas. Lastly, aloe vera applied topically can soothe the symptoms of burning and itching. It does not shorten the duration of cold sores caused by HSV-1, but it does speed up the healing process of those caused by HSV-2 (genital herpes).

CRG_DentalWellnessCentre_1115As the height of summer approaches, enjoy the long sunny days with plenty of sunscreen for the exposed areas, including the lips. If an outbreak does occur, consult your dentist or doctor or try the natural products mentioned here to deal with the cold sores. Rest assured, the summer is long and the outbreak will be short.

Dr. Hyo Lim, DMD, practices at Dental Wellness Centre, in King of Prussia. Connect with him at 610-265-4485 or

July 2016

Protecting Your Sacred Self

by Kathleen Downey

CoupleBreathingLakeOcean_31808537_lIn our culture, when we speak of protection, we are usually referring to the physical world. We imagine bundling up for winter to protect against the cold, wearing a helmet and knee pads, and home alarm systems—all of the ways that we can protect material belongings. If we understood that the spiritual, emotional realm is our primary self, and that everything in the physical world is a reflection of that, we would be mostly concerned with how to protect the most important aspect of who we are—our spiritual and emotional selves. Whether it’s from our own internal energies or the unhealthy energies of others, attaining this protection is crucial.

During the first part of that process, we learn that we aren’t alone; we have spiritual allies. Then we can venture into the unknown and learn about who we are as spiritual, emotional beings, and what our subconscious expectations are. Our subconscious has stored memory from many lifetimes. Each memory, traumatic or otherwise, has an expectation attached to it. These deeply held memories project or suggest who we are, and with our conscious minds preoccupied with daily tasks, we usually follow those subconscious suggestions. Being guided to discover our truth through a first-hand experience that allows us to pull information from our subconscious into our conscious mind is a powerful, life-changing experience.

Our spirit holds our long-held truths. What we discover with our first-hand experience in our spiritual lives is the magic that will set us free from stagnant lives, pain, depression and fear, imbalance, memory loss, the negative thoughts and energies of others, and our own disempowering, learned beliefs. Understanding, as our ancestors did, how to protect our empathetic sacred selves with knowledge; building our lives and beliefs from our spiritual strengths; overcoming these learned beliefs from soul loss and trauma—this is the “spiritual healing work” recorded in the history of every culture. The shaman’s journey is among the oldest examples of meditation and healing work for the benefit of all.

By using all of our senses to experience our spiritual strengths and challenges, we eliminate fear and doubt, because we feel the experience in safety—a deeply relaxed state where healing takes place. When we work with self-discovery tools and expand into past life therapy, forgiveness can take place, and we experience the bigger picture of our relationships.

CRG_KathleenDowney_0616Kathleen Downey is a certified practitioner of shamanic healing, counselor, past life therapist, yoga teacher, nutritionist and author of Healthy is Delicious. She is available for private sessions in Lambertville, NJ, and video conferences worldwide. She and LMT Courtney Downey will host a two-part workshop, Protecting Your Sacred Self, in Doylestown, July 15 and 24. Email or visit


July 2016

KarmaFest Camping Weekend Comes to Pottstown

KarmaFest.fwKarmaFest, a holistic, psychic and yoga festival weekend of camping and fun, is coming to Pottstown for the Labor Day weekend, September 2 through 5, at Fellowship Farm. Campers can arrive after 7 p.m. on September 2 and will check out by noon on September 5. Daytime-only participants are welcome from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., September 3 and 4, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., September 5.

The festival will feature enlightening lectures, meditation, live music, swimming, vegan and vegetarian food, 50 to 75 interesting vendors and two full days of yoga. Also available at an additional charge will be readings, massage, reiki, reflexology and more.

KarmaFest was founded by Patricia Hawse in 2005, after she experienced the effects of holistic health firsthand, while serving for the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Witnessing the immediate effects of yoga and meditation to relieve tension and increase energy and balance, Hawse vowed to spread the word through a festival—KarmaFest.

BarefootSandHippie_9422419_l“We are so excited that our second year of KarmaFest will be a full holiday weekend experience,” says Hawse. “Think lots of time around the drum circle and bonfire at night, and waking to a great KarmaFest, with all the trimmings, during the day. We also have a beautiful swimming pool, so we’re looking forward to offering an end-of-the-
summer extended weekend getaway.”

Cost: Full weekend pass, with 3-night stay, starts at $88 for tent camping and $122 for dorm stay (early bird prices, before July 15). Day passes: $20. Location: Fellowship Farm, 2488 Sanatoga Rd., Pottstown. For more information, call Diane at 610-220-7817, email or visit

July 2016

Doylestown Food Market Hosts Second Annual Celebrity Chef Farm to Table Dinner


On August 13, twin chefs Keith Blalock, of PA Soup and Seafood and Penn Taproom, and Kevin Blalock, of Lookaway Golf Club, will prepare a farm-to-table meal to benefit the Doylestown Food Market. The tented, rain-or-shine event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow, in New Hope. The event is the Market’s largest fundraiser of the year and will showcase seasonal preparations from local Bucks County farms.

John LaSala, market board president and fundraising chair, says, “We knew it would be hard to top Chef and Mayor Ron Strouse, who we had at our premiere event last year. And then we thought of Keith and Kevin Blalock and realized how cool it would be to have local chefs who are brothers—twice as good; twice the fun!”

tent with lights and people

The dining experience will be accompanied by a silent auction and live music by Cherry Lane Jazz Band. The event is BYOB with local beer, wine and kombucha “mocktails” sampling. Local wine will be available for purchase.

Honey Hollow, the idyllic site chosen for the annual event, is a National Historic Landmark and headquarters for the Bucks County Audubon Society.

Tickets can be reserved at Farm The cost is $75 for members and $95 for non-members, and all proceeds go to support the Doylestown Food Market on its path toward sustainability.

Founded in 2014, the Doylestown Food Market focuses on providing convenient, year-round access to local, healthy, fresh and organic products. The Market works closely with local producers and incorporates the feedback of member-owners in developing and designing the store. The Market is open to members and non-members alike.

The Market is currently accepting volunteers for the event as well as sponsorship inquiries from area businesses.

Event location: Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow, 2877 Creamery Rd., New Hope. Doylestown Food Market location: 29 W. State St., Doylestown. For more information, call John LaSala at 908-337-9670 or visit

July 2016

Growing the Local Food Movement: The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance Tills Fresh Ground with Buy Fresh Buy Local

by Anne Biggs


When Bucks County Foodshed Alliance (BCFA) launched the Wrightstown Farmers’ Market in 2006, farmers’ markets, with their fresh produce and small-farm-raised meats, were still something of a novelty in the area.

How times have changed in one decade.

Now, BCFA operates the Wrights-town market in community with a half-dozen other farmers’ markets that share a commitment to giving families a wide choice of fresh foods raised on small farms in Bucks or just outside its borders. From what was once a strictly seasonal May-to-Thanksgiving market, Wrightstown now operates year-round with a popular winter “mini-market” two Saturday mornings a month from December through April.

WFM_applesIn addition to the farmers’ markets that have popped up everywhere, more individual producers have opened markets or set up farm stands, expanding the offerings for locally sourced produce, meat and dairy. Doylestown Food Market, formerly Doylestown Food Co-op, now runs its borough storefront where farmers can sell—and consumers can buy—exceptional locally produced food year-round. Chain grocery stores are also making an earnest effort to put the harvest of local farms into their coolers and on their shelves.

In the past 10 years, many restaurants and caterers that source ingredients locally have sprung up and become successful, while established venues have changed their menus to reflect the addition of local meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits and beverages.

ChickensEven schools and other institutions in the area are rethinking where their food comes from and, more importantly, what goes into the meals served to students, patients, customers and staffs.

So some might wonder if BCFA, whose early mission was to foster and expand a local, sustainable food supply in Bucks County and to connect producers and consumers, has achieved its goals and is ready to hang up its market basket. Far from it.

Introducing Bucks Buy Fresh Buy Local

“There is still so much to do,” says BCFA board president Gavin Laboski, who points to the community service organization’s newly invigorated mission statement: build a resilient local food system through education and collaboration.

“In our next decade, BCFA will focus on more public education to clarify the most up-to-date data about the benefits of locally produced foods and a strong local food economy.” Their plans include “more partnering and advocacy for young farmers and farming programs. We need greater awareness of the many benefits of fresh food versus food that’s processed, raised in large, petroleum-dependent operations or shipped over great distances to store shelves.”

When BCFA realized it could expand its consumer outreach efforts significantly by collaborating with the respected national Buy Fresh Buy Local program, it established the Bucks County Chapter in 2013 and began offering farmers and other producers BFBL’s proven coordinated marketing program.

WFM_radishesThe BFBL program increases producers’ viability both through practical marketing assistance and by engaging consumers that appreciate the value of food grown locally and sustainably. The program’s objectives are to:

  • increase the percentage of food from local farms and producers that is consumed by local citizens;
  • differentiate the local sustainable food system from large conglomerate global systems that are not sustainable for the community or for the planet;
  • increase access to healthy, sustainably produced local food for every member of the community;
  • strengthen the local farming economy;
  • engage everyone in building an economically viable local food system.

A Powerful Partnership for Farms, Farmers’ Markets, Co-ops, Wineries & Restaurants

“Being a BFBL partner means you are investing in your community. It signifies that you are part of building a unified, vibrant, local food system,” explains BCFA board member Susan Peirson. Beyond the philosophical impact, BFBL partnership directly supports consumer education programs that raise awareness for fresh, local food. Partnership also brings with it considerable marketing resources to help businesses promote themselves to area locavores, from logos and business listings in popular publications to event promotion, networking and more.

The annual cost of membership varies with type of business, with farmer membership beginning at only $80. Individuals are invited to support BFBL as “Vocal Locals” with an annual contribution of $60.

For more information about the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance and to get involved with its Buy Fresh Buy Local program, call 215-621-8967, email or visit

Anne (Cookie) Biggs is a journalist and business communications consultant in Bucks County and an active member of the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance and its board’s Advisory Committee.

July 2016


CRG_BirgitLueders_0516Birgit Lueders has been nominated to the Board of the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA). The IIPA is an internationally recognized accrediting body for the professional practice of iridology, the study of the iris to diagnose disease. As explained on their website, Iridology, the organization was founded in 1982 “for the purpose of increasing and diffusing knowledge concerning the art and science of Iridology and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and research with the goal of promoting excellence in international Iridology standards.”

Lueders comments, “I feel very honored and excited about my new position since I truly believe more people should know about this non-invasive assessment tool. IIPA strives to create a more standardized and certified iridology education worldwide, and I am proud and happy to be part of this.”

IIPA’s vision is to have iridology integrated into the healthcare system worldwide.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 484-222-1441, email, or visit CenterFor or

July 2016

International School of Shiatsu Makes New Home in Pipersville

InternationalSchoolOfShiatsu.fwThe International School of Shiatsu has moved from its Doylestown location to make a new home at Plumstead Crossings, in Pipersville.

The newly renovated center features a 2,200-square-foot classroom that is furnished with Swedish maple wood flooring. The large, modern space will allow for expanded classes in Nia dance, yoga, meditation, tai chi and qigong. In true Japanese tradition, no shoes will be worn on the floor; participants are encouraged to bring socks or floor slippers.

The International School of Shiatsu was founded in 1977. Its mission is to train, nurture and support students while developing their skills to become practitioners of shiatsu, shin tai, lymph drainage and traditional Thai massage, as well as to provide the experience of advanced bodywork modalities to the general public—Zen Day Community Shiatsu Clinic is offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month.

“We are excited for what the next chapter of our story will be, and the possibilities that present themselves with this new space,” says Shirley Scranta, owner and director. Scranta graduated from the Practitioner Program in 1996.

Location: Plumstead Crossing, 6055C Kellers Church Rd., Pipersville. For more information, call 215-340-9918 or visit

July 2016

Letter from the Publisher, July 2016

Karen_LFP_0516Now is a really good time to eat. After decades of Americans wanting their meals fast, highly processed and pulled off the shelf at a gigantic grocery store, food culture is experiencing a renaissance. The emphasis is on slowing down, stripping out what’s unnatural and unnecessary, and shrinking the space between where food is created to where it is served. From growing pesticide-free tomatoes and herbs in backyard gardens and hand-selecting organic local produce, cheese and meats from neighborhood farmers’ markets and CSAs, to analyzing ingredient labels in the local co-op, folks are investing more time, money and thought into the food their families are eating and the impact of that food on their communities.

While all of these changes reflect an increasing concern for the lives of humans, animals and the planet, adjusting to this shift in consciousness can sometimes feel like information overload. That’s why we’re taking the summer harvest time here in southeastern Pennsylvania as reason to celebrate as well as educate.

What makes something “organic”, and does it always cost more? How close does something have to be to be “local”, and why does that matter? What exactly is a GMO? We delve into “Locavore Lingo” on page 18 and unpack the GMO issue and more with activist and educator Jeffrey Smith on page 30.

“Meaty Truths”, on page 14, explores the realities of large-scale meat processing and alternative methods to ensure meat is safe, humane and chemical free. We also get tips on how to ensure that if we choose to eat meet, we get beef, poultry and pork that we can feel confident about. Luckily for us locals, we needn’t go any further than the world-renowned Rodale Institute in Berks County. Farmers there are leading the movement toward healthier, more conscious meat eating through their heritage-breed hogs.

In appreciation and gratitude for the Bucks County organizations that make our trip from farm to table short and easy, we present the Locavore’s Guide on pages 26 and 27, sponsored by the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance, and in cooperation with Buy Fresh Buy Local of Bucks County. Every time you buy local from the farms, markets and CSAs listed here, you feed not only yourself but local farmers, their families and everyone involved with the local economy. Remember the Doylestown Food Market’s motto, “Shop Your Co-op First,” and don’t forget to pencil in their second annual Farm to Table Celebrity Chef Celebration on August 13.

We hope you’ll keep this issue at hand as you explore the countryside during those long, meandering summer days and nights. Chances are, wherever you are, you aren’t far from locally sourced, farm-fresh food that’s as sweet and succulent as it is safe and sustainable.

With you in Awakening,

Karen G. Meshkov