Healthy Cooking: Pumpkin Power, by Val Wilson

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Before you know it, there will pumpkins everywhere!

This signals it is Halloween time. The temperature will start to cool down, all the colorful leaves will fall from the trees, and many of us will take part in an ancient celebration of our ancestors. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1st. At the end of summer, the Celts thought the barrier between our world and the world of ghosts and spirits became thin. As part of the celebration, people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts. To outsmart these ghostly beings, people would put on masks when they left their homes after dark so the ghosts would think they were fellow spirits.

Every year around October, people start asking for pumpkin-flavored desserts.

Pumpkin is very versatile. I have used it in many sweet dessert recipes, and created many savory pumpkin dishes too. It is in the winter squash family of vegetables. Pumpkin is high in fiber, making it a great food for heart health. It’s also high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that turns into Vitamin A in your body, which can help your body fight off infections and strengthen your immunity. Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. This incredibly healthy vegetable also contains potassium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and several forms of B.

Pumpkin used in baked goods, such as cookies or muffins, gives an incredibly moist texture and tremendous flavor. If you use fresh pumpkin instead of canned pureed pumpkin, look for the small pie pumpkin. It’s smaller, sweeter, and has better overall flavor than the others. Leave the large pumpkins for decorative carving. Simply cut the small pie pumpkin in half, lay flat side down on an oiled cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until fork tender. Let cool, then scoop out the flesh, and puree for a smooth texture.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

½ cup dried apricots
1 cup pumpkin puree
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup brown rice syrup
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. each: ginger, allspice, cloves
Pinch sea salt
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 cups oat flour

Put the apricots, pumpkin puree, olive oil, brown rice syrup, spices, and sea salt in a food processor. Puree to chop the apricots into small pieces. Put the rolled oats and oat flour in a mixing bowl. Add the pureed mixture and mix all together. Spoon the dough onto an oiled cookie sheet. Press the cookie dough down with a fork. Decorate the cookies with raisins to create faces on the cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool before eating.

Adapted from Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, copyright 2019, Valerie Wilson.

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her new cookbook, Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Holistic Animal Care: Easy Training Ideas for Your Dog, by Jenny Magli

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For many pet parents and families, coming home to a bouncing and happy bundle of fur can’t be beat!

All the kisses and playful antics that come with such warm greetings can really help us forget any troubles we may have encountered earlier in the day. These furry friends have waited all day for their “pack” to come back together, and they are filled with total joy at our arrival. This is the time to interact with them in one way or another (besides taking them out). This could include talking to them, playing, cuddling, sitting with them, walking, or whatever it takes to show our love. Pets crave our positive attention, and look forward to whatever time and affection we can give them.

Sometimes when the weather begins to cool off, it becomes more “comfortable” to be inside. There are some easy activities you can do with your pet to ward off boredom, stimulate the mind, and enjoy each other’s company. Examples of this might include teaching some tricks or basic commands, which can be useful training as well. There are many resources available for training tips and tricks in books and on the internet. Have fun investigating! Here are a few examples to get you started:

Kiss – If you enjoy wet doggy kisses, this is an easy trick to teach. All it takes is applying a small amount of a sticky treat to your cheek. Natural peanut butter (no sugar free or artificial sweeteners in this!) or a little glob of cream cheese should work well. Then add the command/cue of “kiss.” (Of course, if you have a biting puppy or an aggressive/unmanageable dog, it’s likely best to skip this lesson!) Once the trick is done, be sure to reward with praise as well. Kids will likely get a real charge out of this too! Once taught, this trick can also help prevent unwanted licking.

Sit – This is a basic command that is also easy to teach. Repetition and patience are necessary. Grab a handful of treats, and while in a quiet room with no distractions, watch and wait for your dog to sit. When your dog does, reward him or her generously with a treat. Then wait again for another “sit.” Say “sit” right away, and reward with more treats and pets. Repeat this several times. Eventually your dog will figure out it’s worth “sitting” to get a treat!

Come – This trick/command could save your dog’s life! This is pretty easy. Just go up to your dog and give the command you will use to call him or her (for example, “Here, Peaches” or “Fido come”) and give the dog a treat (bacon, chicken, dried liver, etc.). Each time your dog comes to you, give a pet and place a few fingers under his or her collar before you give a treat. This last is to get the dog accustomed to being held).

It’s important to vary the types of rewards during the training process.

Repeat this trick/command at different times throughout the day and in different situations, such as when the dog is interested in something else. Try this when you’re in different rooms as well. Eventually your dog should be willing to honor the command without hesitation!

I hope this article has shown you that with a little searching, there are many ways to learn to entertain both you and your pets when colder weather makes outdoor activities a little more challenging. Regardless, enjoy and have fun with your furry friend!

*Readers are reminded it is entirely of their own accord, right, and responsibility to make informed and educated decisions/choices regarding interaction with your pet. Jenny Magli and Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine disclaim any liability for the decisions you make based on the ideas provided here.

Jenny is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES Bioenergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and via email. To contact, call (906) 235-3524 or email at

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved

Creative Inspiration: Music to Our Ears & Lives, by Kevin McGrath

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Whether you’re listening to the wind dance through the leaves or the song of a robin while sitting under a tree,

or perhaps the rhythmic caw of a resident crow, music is and has always been around for those willing and able to allow themselves to appreciate it. Even the thunderous beat of the big lake during an autumn storm creates a percussive melody for those paying attention.

Taking a walk along the shoreline near Picnic Rocks in Marquette, especially during the morning hours, brings a symphony of chatter among the gulls, creating wonderful music for all to hear within a sonic breeze.

Nature and humanity’s music is available to us in all volumes, tempos, and genres. For me, it’s my fuel. It energizes me, motivates me, relaxes me, gets me in the zone, takes me to another place and time.

Most every trip I take, I look into all nearby concert venues to see if a band or musician is performing. More times than not, I’m able to include a concert in my plans. I’ve attended hundreds over the years, and they always make my trips worthwhile.

I also partake of the U.P.’s ever-growing musical offerings at local venues and festivals throughout the year, and have enjoyed many amazingly talented well-known and lesser known soloists and groups within a five-minute to two-hour reach.

I have learned to enjoy the music while dancing, but simply sitting back and absorbing it never disappoints me. They are two totally different experiences for me, and both of the charts in their own ways.

Music brings flavor and richness to my creative pulses, and keeps me moving forward with a project.

Though I prefer live over recorded, I still enjoy the secondhand option immensely. It can take me through a whole series of emotions. And with YouTube, I can put together a repertoire to my liking, knowing which pieces play on certain emotions.

I wonder about those who don’t care for music. Are they truly happy missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures? I read recently that music uses your entire brain and is extremely healthy for you. There’s plenty of research available showing the healthy benefits music may offer each of us, such as possibly promoting heart health, elevating your mood, helping to reduce stress and relieve symptoms of depression, stimulating recall, increasing workout endurance, and more. But to me, regardless of what any leading health authorities have to say, the most important thing is to feel the benefits for yourself by opening up and giving yourself permission to go wherever the music is going to take you by listening to it at a strong, yet safe volume.

Music isn’t given enough credit in the creative process,

even though most creative people I know listen to it without hesitation when working on a project. I end this tribute to music by referring you to the chorus of an ABBA song entitled “Thank You for the Music.” May its lyrics ring through your heart and head, and inspire you to bring more music and appreciation for it into your life!

Kevin McGrath is a music lover and can be found at music festival, concerts, or other live music venues.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

Spotlight On… Rohana Yoga & Wellness with Owner Be Embley-Reynolds

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What is Rohana Yoga & Wellness?

Rohana is a wellness center that incorporates traditional yoga, bodywork, acupuncture, ayurvedic healing, and other modalities. Through our offerings, you can achieve relief from pain, find improved physical functioning, a balanced mind, and a heightened sense of body awareness, vitality, and well-being.

We have a wide variety of highly trained teachers sharing a traditional approach. Our restorative healing classes are very accessible to people of all levels of ability and experience. Some of our yoga teachers offer private sessions. We also have practitioners offering bodywork, massage, doTerra aromatherapy, AromaTouch massage, cranial sacral work, Reiki, reflexology, acupuncture, Chinese massage, and other types of Chinese bodywork. Ayurvedic healing services are also available.

People feel really comfortable in the space and with the teachers, no matter where they are in their practice. Our yoga studio focuses on yoga as a whole, so it’s not just the physical aspect. Meditation is also a big part of it. You just come as you are. People feel welcome and good, and it’s not intimidating.

When and how did Rohana start?

Rohana began in May, 2017 with the intention of creating a wellness center with pro-active, restorative and preventive practices to help people with their health issues, and to live well and help avoid health issues. We offered yoga and massage to start, and now have thirteen teachers and practitioners offering a full spectrum of yoga classes and wellness services.

What is your role in Rohana?

I facilitate the business end, and work with our teachers and practitioners to support them in providing the services we have.

I’m honored and humbled to work with the women who make Rohana what it is–the training they have and the energy and love they have that goes into their teaching and treatments is pretty incredible. I’m really grateful to be involved in something that helps people heal and address chronic issues in a more natural way, or find more peace in their life. It’s a big deal to me to be a part of Rohana because our intention was to create a healing space. In fact, the name Rohana was chosen because it roughly translates to healing in Sanskrit.

I began practicing yoga regularly in 2016, and completed my 200-hour RYT yoga teaching training this past April. It brought lots of benefits to my personal practice and knowledge of yoga as a whole. I look forward to continuing to develop by learning more from the very well-trained teachers we have here to further prepare me to teach yoga classes in the future.

So who comes to Rohana & why?

We have such a wide variety of students. Many are just beginning their practice. Because we have a lot of different teachers, people can find what they’re looking for in a class. Friends have told them they’re feeling better, and having a good time, and they continue coming because they connect with the teachers and practitioners.

The women who make up Rohana are genuine in their approach, and communicate and treat people with love in a genuine space of wanting to help people find their center on the mat, or relief from pain. From our wide variety of offerings, people find some healing, centering, and peace in our space.

We’re also blessed to overlook Marquette’s ore dock and lower harbor. The studio has a lot of windows, and will get the breeze off the lake. It’s a beautiful space to practice in—the trees and Rosewood Walkway make it feel like you’re in a treehouse. And overlooking the lake gives an incredible view to enjoy while you’re practicing yoga or receiving a treatment.

What would you most like people to understand about Rohana?

We want to help people try something new or address issues in a different way. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to a more holistic approach to self-care—everything we offer is very accessible and there are a lot of people who are happy to explain or introduce anything the person may be new to or have question about. We offer a two-week unlimited membership for $20 so new yoga students can try several classes and different teachers. Our Restorative Yoga & Slow Flow Yoga classes are especially good starting places for many people.

What are the newest developments at Rohana?

We’ve brought in a very highly trained acupuncturist this year–Rachel DeLuca. Her practice also includes Chinese herbal medicine, moxibustion (an herb often used in combination with acupuncture), and cupping (special cups used on the skin to create suction, helping to relieve muscle tension, move congested phlegm, detox one’s system, etc.).

Rachel is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine recognized by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and has also completed a four-month residency in Qi Gong & therapeutic Tai Chi. She’ll be teaching four-week series of classes for each season. “Staying Healthy with the Season According to Chinese Medicine,” incorporates Chinese medicine, some tai chi, chi gong, yoga poses, and suggestions on how to live well in each season. The first series begins September 21st.

Rachel will describe more about the series at a tea ceremony she’s conducting on Aug. 31 in which she’ll share knowledge learned on a trip to China on loose leaf tea and its health benefits.

What’s next for Rohana?

We intend to continue to expand our wellness offerings, and to partner with other like-minded businesses in the community. For example, we’ve held classes at the Marquette Food Co-op the last two winters because it may be less intimidating for some people to drop into a class there for the first time than at the yoga studio.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved