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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Spring Forward

Feb 29, 2024 05:30AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

After my mother started wintering in Florida at a senior living community, she often lamented, “All we talk about is our health issues,” and the older I get, the more my aging friends and I talk about the same thing. I remember how much older my mother and her friends seemed to me back then, compared to how I look and feel now at the same age. These days, I have to be more attentive to maintain my health and well-being. 

Luckily, I became interested in natural health in my early 20s and experimented with many of the health food trends that came and went along my journey. We’ve covered many of them in Natural Awakenings in the past 30 years. In this month’s feature story, “Food Trends for 2024: What We’re Looking for at the Dinner Table,” Carrie Jackson reports on personalized nutrition plans that rely on advances in genomics and biotechnology to tailor dietary recommendations to the genetic, lifestyle and health factors of each individual. Unlike previous generations, we now think of food as medicine, and there are many more tools available to us to determine the smartest options. See page 24.

Younger generations are much more concerned about the environment than my generation was (I’m sad to say), and Jackson explains how the food industry is responding with sustainably grown and packaged ingredients. One topic that has been ever-present has to do with the increasing threats to our food supply from GMO farming and the industrial food complex, along with our ever-growing toxin burdens from multiple fronts. For the past 25 years, Jeffrey Smith has made it his mission to educate everyone about the harmful effects of genetically modified organisms, including toxins, allergens and genetic hazards. As a leading spokesperson on the dangers of GMOs Smith encourages everyone to become more educated about the risks and demand that lawmakers protect vital resources and financially pressure GMO food manufacturers by consuming organic products. See our fascinating coverage of his work on page 38.

Another pillar of healthy aging is fitness. I have learned how important it is as I age to stick to my yoga and strength training classes, along with long walks and other types of movement. I found some helpful tips in this month’s Fit Body department, “Emerging Trends in Fitness: The Latest from Workouts to Wearables”, including workout strategies, new fitness equipment and technological advancements that can help us workout smarter, not harder. See page 34. 

If you are reading this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings, you are likely blessed to be here in Southwest Florida enjoying our beautiful weather and bountiful health-inducing opportunities. We are honored to support some of the best body, mind and spirit health resources and events featured throughout these pages. As we leap into spring, I encourage you to try something new that uplifts you and your health and well-being. 

Happy & Healthy Spring,

Sharon Bruckman, publisher