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Green Living: Are You a Biophiliac?Steve Waller

biophilia, love of nature, humans as part of nature, UP holistic wellness publication, UP holistic business

Do you crave a quiet weekend at the cabin with a view of the lake or the ocean?

Are you inspired by a mountainous panorama or a garden bursting with colorful flowers and butterflies?

Does a buck deer running through the woods rivet your attention?

Can a short walk outdoors make you feel a lot better?

Is your dog or cat part of your family?

Are you happy that the house plant you’ve tended for years is doing so well?

Then yes, you are a biophiliac.

Erich Fromm (1900-1980), a German social psychologist, originally said biophilia is the “passionate love of life and of all that is alive…whether in a person, a plant, an idea, or a social group.” E. O. Wilson (1929-1921), Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University, claimed that “our natural affinity for life―biophilia―is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living species.”

Biophilia is the recognition that you are part of the natural world.

Your ancestors, for hundreds of generations, lived in and depended on the fields and forests. In exchange, they were imprinted with an appreciation of the hazards, bounty, and beauty in wild, spontaneous nature. Sure, they had to struggle through some of nature’s challenges, but afterwards they were rejuvenated by a warm breeze on a summer’s night, a conversation at the campfire, or a cool dip in the lake.

That imprint, passed down from the ancestors, has not diminished. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize in the bustle of modern times, but given an opportunity, the feelings are still there.

Artists, photographers, musicians, all strive to capture the “essence” of nature because it is so appealing. Architects incorporate living plants and bright skylit rooms to make their urban structures feel warm, spacious, airy, and inviting, more like the outdoors. Subconsciously, they acknowledge that most of us are biophiliacs, even if we don’t realize it. When the right nature button is pushed, we get warm and relaxed.

For many, biophilia is the reason we live in the UP.

We want to be closer to nature than to Detroit or Traverse City. We want to meander along a river that runs clear and cold, home to wily brook trout. We don’t want to see human trash or fences. If we lived down south, we couldn’t talk about how we are so tired of winter but love how the trees look after a snowstorm. Biophilia makes us endure the cold so that we can see those lacy white trees once again.

Birds come in a dazzling array of colors, yet none of the colors ever clash. All birds’ colors go together. Is it because the birds are just snappy fashion-smart feather-dressers? Or is it because our sense of color and what goes with it is based on what humans have experienced in nature for thousands of years? Biophilia likely shapes our sense of color, beauty, and art.

That sense of beauty even extends to our preferences in partners. When we say someone is beautiful or handsome, is it because we are drawn to a certain brand of makeup or shirt, or are we drawn to the person beneath all that dressing? Our ancestors evolved this crazy habit of choosing partners that they found attractive and passed that imprint on to us. Biophilia shapes our preferences.

You might discount this ancient influence and think your modern choices are beyond primal inheritance. You might think it is all just a nostalgic excuse for common and conventional thought. But it’s not. It’s art. It’s beauty. It’s natural. You’re a biophiliac.

Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Bodies in Motion: Moving Your Body & Perceptions to a New State of Wellness, Mohey Mowafy

weight bias, movement for health, healthy perspective on weight, physical fitness, UP holistic wellness publication, UP holistic business

We may or may not admit it, but we tend to judge people based on their appearance, particularly their body weight/size. Well, there is nothing in any appearance that should be used singularly to determine one’s health.

Back in 1975, I began developing a short, two-credit class about obesity. It was held on summer weekends at a camp that Northern Michigan University owned at the time. The paradigm I developed and taught turned out to be embarrassingly erroneous. Admittedly, I had fallen into the misperception that “if one is fat, everything is wrong about that one.”

A common bias that exists is to judge the entire personality of another human by their body weight, pretending we are simply worried about their health. Worse is the agonizing psychological pain that the overweight person must endure, believing it is all their fault. Admittedly, this is practiced far more fiercely against females than it is against males.

Fast forward to 1978, when I was attending a conference on the subject of obesity and eating disorders. One day, I wandered inside a room where the presenter’s talk convinced me that I had been wrong for so long. Her presentation stopped me dead in my tracks. I felt like I was perceiving the world through a new pair of soul lenses.

She was introducing a brand-new concept—that of “Health at Every Size,” a term later trademarked by the Association for Size Diversity and Health in 2003. Health at Every Size (HAES) opposes the idea that a person’s body weight and size is an accurate, full-picture representation of their health status. Naturally, I formed the NMU student organization “Good Health for All Sizes.” Yup, got the T-shirt to prove it! The concept rests on an enlightened assumption: A person’s health is much more nuanced than one single calculation.

Because we all have an internalized weight bias (applying negative stereotypes to ourselves and/or others),….

….ask yourself what “kind” of images of people you see in ads, on billboards, and in most of our films and series. Large folks are never portrayed as desirable. Yes, we have been doing better more recently. But how many people do you know who dismiss generous-size folks as far less than “okay”? Most of us believe that those who do not fit the “ideal” image have only themselves to blame because they must be lazy and gluttonous. Well, this might be true of some, but I assure you, not all. No wonder those with large sizes also adopt such a devastating belief! I was an obese child; I know.

Think of someone you know who has struggled with her/his weight all of their life, then ask yourself this question: Why is it that every time they starve themselves on a diet, they gain all the weight back plus a little more? Heaven knows, I tried to convince my sisters not to follow the unenlightened crowds, to no avail.

In my classes, or in any presentation to any group about this subject, I use a moment from the movie Gone with the Wind. When Scarlett went back to Tara, hungry and with no food in the mansion, she had to dig a potato from the ground. She swore “As God is my witness, I shall never be hungry again.” That is what our body tells us when we starve it. My stock answer when anyone asks me about a diet they want to follow to lose weight is this—“if you can live on it the rest of your life, go for it.”

So, if going on a diet is something we always do but it always fails us, or we fail it (96% of those who attempt to lose weight by “going on a diet” regain it, plus a few more pounds), consider a new possibility. The answer will not sound “conventional” to you, I am afraid. Try this to liberate your mind by considering a far more realistic paradigm to be healthy and yes, spunky. I have always asked my students to add to the list of health measurements one that I call “spunk.” Well, academically, it is called “activity.” It simply requires muscle movement, which the muscles were born to love. Seriously, when we are reasonably active, our muscles not only work, they work better, and they just love it! Science has shown that our muscles do not just move us around; they are also potent metabolic regulators on a cellular and sub-cellular level.

Moving our muscles need not be called exercise.

It’s okay if the word doesn’t frighten you. But if it does, just don’t call it anything. Moving need not be a chore and certainly oes not dictate a gym membership. My personal favorite now (or perhaps I should add, at my age), is walking. Yes, just walking. Ask those who walk. They not only feel alive, they have a special relationship with themselves (including their emotional/psychological/spiritual selves).

How about just dancing, even when no one is watching? It is much more fun when we act silly on purpose. And, how about finding some simple movements that you can do at home even while you are sitting if you need to? The idea of “use it or lose it” may apply very well here.

Finally, I would like to clarify that I am not advocating obesity if it is not a person’s normal state. Yes, it can be helpful to calculate Body Mass Index and waist size as a measurement of general health. But how we go about “fixing” it needs to become more enlightened than what has been typical so far.

Mohey Mowafy is a retired Northern Michigan University Professor. He graduated from the University Wisconsin (Graduate work at the Muscle Biology Institute and the Biochemistry Departments). He is married to Kristen Mowafy, and is the father of Adam Mowafy.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: The Art of Blueberry Pie, Val Wilson

There is nothing as sweet as wild blueberries picked fresh in the UP! The challenging part is not eating all of them as you pick so you still have enough to make a pie. The beautiful flakey crust and rich blue color can make that pie look like a work of art!


There are many health benefits in these little sweet berries. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which are important for getting rid of free radicals in our bodies that can cause disease. What gives those beautiful blueberries their blue color is the antioxidant anthocyanins which studies have shown can help prevent neuronal diseases, cardiovascular illness, cancers, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases. 


Containing vitamin K, iron, calcium, and zinc, blueberries are good for your bones. They also contain vitamins C, A, E, magnesium, folate, manganese, and beta carotene, and are high in fiber and protein. Plus research has shown consuming blueberries can help increase the rate of muscle strength recovery and muscle repair if you suffer from exercise induced muscle damage (EMID). And the wild berries are reported to have more of the healthy antioxidants and, in my opinion, more sweetness. 


In the following recipe I use whole grain flour. I prefer spelt or kamut flour. If you want to create a gluten-free crust, I would suggest using oat flour. Any flour will work to create the crust for this recipe. 


Blueberry Pie*

Crust 
3 cups whole grain flour 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup water 
Pinch of sea salt 

 
Filling 
5 cups blueberries 
1/2 cup brown rice syrup 
2 T. lemon juice 
5 T. arrowroot 
1 tsp. cinnamon 

To make the crust, mix together all the ingredients until you get a firm dough that will hold together. Divide into two equal parts, form into round discs, and cover in plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then roll out the crust between two pieces of plastic wrap and put in an oiled pie pan.

For the filling, put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan, then cover and heat on low. Once the filling starts to heat up, the blueberries will release their natural juices. Once this occurs, mix everything together. As it heats, the arrowroot will thicken the filling.

Pour filling into bottom crust. Roll out the top crust in the same way as the bottom crust. Place the top crust over the pie and pinch the edges to create a decorative edge. Bake at 350 degrees or one hour. Let cool before cutting.


*Recipe from Chef Val’s new cookbook Simply Healthy Scrumptious Desserts

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. She offers weekly, virtual cooking classes that all can attend. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Positive Parenting: Planning a Family-Friendly Food Forest, Aster Michelsen

family-friendly activities, positive parenting, planning a food forest with your kids, UP holistic business, UP holistic wellness publication

Think back to the last time you relaxed or played in nature. The calming presence of trees… the rich aroma of earth…the invigorating tickle of sand or grass on your feet.

As with the arts, nature immersion provides a healing experience for mind, body, and spirit. You may even agree that it’s an essential element in the art of life!

While time outdoors is good for everyone, the benefits for children are especially compelling. Hundreds of studies show that spending time in nature is essential for their development, including helping them develop:

  • A stronger immune system
  • Improved cognitive development
  • Better memory and attentiveness
  • Lower risk of myopia
  • Lower stress hormones
  • And many more benefits

Sadly, children are spending less time outdoors in nature than ever before. And it’s taking its toll in skyrocketing levels of childhood obesity, attention difficulties, depression, and other physical and mental disorders.

A Natural Solution

Most parents don’t intentionally separate kids from nature. It’s a byproduct of the world we live in. Gone are the days when parents could safely let their kids roam the neighborhood unsupervised. And with most parents now working full time, it can be tricky to find time for a daily nature walk between juggling work, school, after-school activities, and life in general. Fortunately, there’s a very simple (and delightful) solution: plant a food forest in your backyard!

What Is a Food Forest?

Permaculture food forests, or forest gardens, are becoming the next big trend in landscape design. The concept is simple: an attractive woodsy garden that provides an abundance of food right in your backyard. Food forest design aims to mimic the beauty and feel of a natural woodland area—with the added benefit of providing fresh, healthy, delicious food for your family. For kids, this can be life changing.

Why Plant a Food Forest for Your Family?

Food forests provide nourishment for mind, body, and spirit. The three main benefits of a backyard forest garden are:

Clean, healthy food: Perennial plants such as berry bushes, hazelnut shrubs, and fruit trees produce a yield of uber-fresh produce year after year without toxic sprays or intensive labor.

Low-maintenance beauty: Just as traditional landscaping beautifies a space, so do forest gardens. Food forests often include flowering plants, shrubs, and trees that attract essential pollinators such as butterflies. It’s food for the eyes!

Sanctuary space: Forest gardens provide a safe environment for the whole family to play, relax, and gather. Plus, unlike a hike in the woods, you don’t have to worry about getting lost!

Kid-Friendly Food Forest Design Tips

Mindful planning helps ensure that your food forest meets the needs of both plants and people! Planning a food forest with children in mind can be a lot of fun. But there are a few things to think about that adults might overlook.

Safety


We can’t talk about family friendly food forests without touching on safety. This can become a bit of a gray area because each child has different needs. For example, incorporating a pond may work well for older children, but can pose a drowning risk to babies and toddlers.

One safety element that stands out for all ages is a fence. Adding a fence around your forest garden gives children a clear boundary and helps them feel confident that they are safe within the garden space. It’s also a great support for climbing vines such as arctic kiwis, pole beans, or grapes!

Another important consideration is plant toxicity. Some food plants, such as rhubarb, may have toxic parts. Use your discretion and either avoid these plants or take care to teach your children respect for them.

Incorporate the Senses

Kids are meant to interact with the world around them. A food forest gives them every opportunity!

When planning your forest garden:

  • Think about fall and spring color as well as different visual textures.
  • Incorporate the wonderful aromas of many herbs and flowers. Kids love them!
  • Add wind chimes or bird-attracting plants to create a musical garden.

Because all the plants in a food forest are edible, children can also explore taste in a safe way. A food forest garden is also the perfect place for sensory play. Consider adding sensory materials for children to play with, such as sand and potting soil. You may be surprised at all the creative things kids will do with earth, flowers, twigs, and seeds as inspiration!

Sanctuary Space for Kids

Sanctuary space for adults may look like a space for mindful meditation or hanging out with friends, but children’s sanctuary needs can look quite different.

Incorporating structures for hiding and/or climbing can make children feel more at home. This could be a temporary structure like a sunflower house, or a more permanent space such as a treehouse or a clearing inside a circle of shrubs. Or, help them create a fairy garden or a little playhouse for their dolls or trucks tucked under the leaves.

As Children Grow


As kids grow up, their needs change. A five-year-old may love making mud pies, but a teenager? Probably not. When planning a backyard food forest, consider not just your family’s needs in the moment, but also five or ten years down the road.

One of the best ways to do this is to involve the whole family in the planning process. And if you have a family friend who is a few years older than your own children, consider consulting them too!

Planning Your Family Friendly Food Forest

A well-thought-out food forest plan, or blueprint, can make the essential difference between a bunch of plants thrown in the ground and a beautiful, practical forest garden that will provide maximum enjoyment and yield for your family for years to come.

Consulting with a certified permaculture designer can be a valuable investment in ensuring your food forest benefits your family in the best ways possible. But whether you purchase a blueprint design or dig in and do it yourself, don’t forget to include your kids in the planning. Kids are natural artists. You may be amazed at the creativity they bring to your backyard food forest garden!

Aster Michelsen is co-owner of Great Lakes Food Forest Abundance, an Upper Peninsula edible landscaping company. For more information about UP food forests, edible landscape, and building resilient human and natural communities through gardening, visit us at GreatLakesFFA.com.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Spotlight On…. Tyler Tichelaar of Marquette Fiction

Interview with author Tyler Tichelaar, Marquette Fiction,  Superior Book Productions, UP holistic business, UP holistic wellness publication

What do you write about and why?
I write lots of books about Upper Michigan, mostly Marquette, lots of historical fiction, and some non-fiction books. My most recent was a biography of Chief Kawbawgam.

As for why, I think because the advice given writers is to write what you know, and I knew the UP. There weren’t a lot of novels for adults about the UP, and I thought the UP deserved to have its own literature, especially its own fiction. I also write historical fantasy about King Arthur, and literary criticism.

How did you get into writing?
I was always a lover of books. When I was in about third grade, I had a friend who told me her aunt was an author who had written a few mystery novels and that put the idea into my head that “Hey that’s a job, and that’s the job I want!” Ever since then, I’ve written.

When I was in eighth grade, I took a creative writing class at NMU for middle school students in which I wrote a story called “The Ghost of Stonegate Woods,” named for where I grew up in the neighborhood Stonegate Heights near the Crossroads. That story had a mystery about a ghost, and some UP history. It was chosen out of the others in the class to be made into a video on the Upper Michigan Today Show. That was probably my first real story that brought in an interest in the UP and UP history. Of course I had the history all wrong. But the fact that my story was chosen was a big boost to my ego and made me feel like I could become an author.

How many books have you published now?
Twenty-one, and there are more in the works, including a couple of historical novels set in the UP.

What keeps you inspired to write?
I think my desire to share knowledge and also to make sense of out things. I also think in many ways writing is therapy for authors. In some way, it’s my way to make sense of the world, and control the world a little bit, especially when writing fiction. As for non-fiction, it’s more an interest in making sure history is preserved, or certain ideas are preserved.

I had an English professor in college who said that English professors are the keepers of the culture, and I think writers are also keepers of the culture, at least writers of history.

What do you hope to convey to others through your books?
It varies from book to book. Sometimes, with fiction especially, you want to give people a sense of hope, of purpose, to be able to go on in difficult times. With history, it’s more wanting people to draw strength from the past, and understand the past, and not necessarily have romanticized ideas about the past.

What is your writing process like?
I typically write every day for an hour in the evening. On the weekend, it may be two or three hours in the afternoon. The process varies from book to book.

With non-fiction, I do a lot of research and outlines, and try to figure out how the parts of the book will go together. If it’s a novel, the process is a lot less structured. I usually try to write chronologically, but sometimes I’ll have an idea for the middle or the end, and I’ll write that. Then it becomes a matter of just sewing together the different chapters and scenes until you have a whole. And I do many, many revisions. Most of my books go through about a dozen drafts before I finally publish them.

How has your family influenced your writing?
My interest in UP history largely came from my grandpa who was always telling me stories about when he was a kid in the UP, and I had his brothers and sisters, eight great-aunts and uncles, who were always telling me stories about their past and stories about their parents and grandparents, so I became interested in genealogy. So my Marquette Trilogy, the first series of books I published, was largely inspired by my family history. One branch of my family came here in 1849, so I’m a seventh-generation Marquette resident. I had all of those stories to draw upon so a lot of the characters in my books in some ways resemble some of my ancestors. None are intended to be exact portraits but there are elements of them that are very similar to my ancestors.

What kind of feedback have you received about your books?
Initially, I was very surprised at the feedback from my early historical novels. People told me how much they learned from them. I just kind of assumed, growing up here, that everyone else here knew what I knew and that I was just creating fictionalized versions of it, but I apparently taught people a lot of local history through my novels. And I also wanted to entertain people, so I chose to write novels rather than history books in the beginning.

People have told me as they walk or drive around Marquette, they look at the city in a different way now because they know the history of the different buildings and the stories of what happened here based on my books, so I really have helped people understand history better that way. And the same is true with the non-fiction books.

I’ve also received several awards–my book on Chief Kawbawgam was named a UP Notable Book last year, my novel Narrow Lives was named Best Historical Fiction in the 2009 Reader Views Literary Awards. I also received the Barb H. Kelly Award for Historical Preservation in the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Awards, and was named Outstanding Author in the Marquette County Arts in 2011. Twice I’ve also had a short story nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

What was the process of becoming a professional writer like for you?
It’s very difficult to survive on being an author alone. Very few people can do that. Consequently, I got a PhD thinking I’d be an English professor and write on the side. There were hardly any teaching jobs available, so I was not an English professor for long. I came back to the UP and found a day job and wrote in the evenings.

Eventually, once I published my books they sold well, but not enough to live on, so I got involved with the UP Publishers & Authors Association and started connecting with other authors who needed help, and I ended up becoming an editor and founding Superior Book Productions. So the bulk of my income actually comes from editing.books, not writing books. But, of course, writing books is my passion. Being a writer has made me a better editor and being an editor has made me a better author.

How can someone purchase your books?
Locally they’re available in various stores, including Snowbound Books, the Marquette Regional History Center, the Marquette Maritime Museum, Michigan Fair, and Touch of Finland. They’re also available to order from my website, marquettefiction.com. All of them are also available as e-books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
I would encourage readers to read local books, learn the history of the area and support local authors. Most authors these days are not traditionally published. They’re not New York Times bestsellers. They’re people in your own backyard who have a story to tell and they are independently publishing their books. Just like we support independent films and independent bookstores, we should also support independent authors.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Senior Viewpoint: Creativity – Food for the Mind & Heart, Moire Embley

senior art experience in Marquette MI, UP holistic business, UP holistic wellness publication

I am the program director for the Senior Theatre Experience, an educational theatre program provided by the City of Marquette Arts and Culture and Senior Center. A couple of years ago, I was able to receive training in Art Therapy and bring new methods to integrate into my programming. This training really opened my eyes to understand how much impact creativity can have on one’s overall health and well-being.

Creativity can come in all kinds of forms, and can even occur when we are inspired by another’s self-expression. For some, creativity comes more naturally, and for others, like me… it can take more work. But what I do know is that creativity exists within us all, and it is just like any other muscle in our body—there are ways we can tone that muscle just by simply using it.

As we grow older, we begin to feel the effects of aging and with that, we become more mindful of how we can care for our body, from the food we eat to the exercise we offer it. But caring for our minds is just as important as caring for our physical bodies. Creativity is food for the mind, just as exercise is food for the body.

According to the National Institute on Aging, “participating in the arts may improve the health, well-being, and independence of older adults, and help with memory and self-esteem.” (Aging Fearlessly: Art, Creativity, and Aging, 2021)

There have been many studies linking the positive impact art and tapping into one’s creativity have on the brain.

According to Barbara Bagan, Ph.D., ATR-BC in her article, Aging: What’s Art Got to Do With It? “Neurological research shows that making art can improve cognitive functions by producing both new neural pathways and thicker, stronger dendrites. Thus, art enhances cognitive reserve, helping the brain actively compensate for pathology by using more efficient brain networks or alternative brain strategies. Making art or even viewing art causes the brain to continue to reshape, adapt, and restructure, thus expanding the potential to increase brain reserve capacity.”

One of the students in my program, Lois Stanley, told me her personal experience with this. “If you want to know that value that this program, the Senior Theatre Experience has had for me personally, (other than credibility with my grandchildren), it has opened up all kinds of synapses and new pathways for me… just trying to memorize some of my lines was an enjoyable exercise for my mind.”

Not only does participating in a creative activity improve cognitive function, but it also promotes feelings of purpose, meaning, well-being, contentment, and joy, while helping to alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and isolation. It strengthens our connection to our own identity and to the world around us.

Lina Belmore, another participant in my program, shares her thoughts: “I would consider myself an introvert, and sometimes it is difficult for me to interact with people. However, by participating in this program, I’m discovering that theater is the human experience on stage, and because of that, I am finding so many wonderful opportunities that expand my own human experience, and I’m able to create deeper connections with those around me. I’m so thankful that the City of Marquette recognizes how important the arts are, and how it brings people together, and brings warmth to me and to our community.”

If you are an older adult in Marquette County and are looking to explore new ways of bringing more creativity into your life, I encourage you to check out the wide variety of free programs the City of Marquette Arts and Culture and Senior Center offers, from fitness programs to painting, dance, and theatre. My intention with the Senior Theatre Experience is to provide programming, in partnership with Songbird Creative, Northern Michigan University, and local theatre non-profits, that nurtures your creativity and self-expression. I invite you to come have fun while exploring the different aspects of the world of theatre, and partake in unique experiences that illuminate the creativity, collaboration, and innovation behind the curtain. You’ll have the opportunity to attend rehearsals, lectures, backstage tours, learn about lighting, stage, and set design, and get free tickets to upcoming productions.

Moiré Embley has over eight years of experience in arts programming as well as training in Art Therapy. She is the program director of the Senior Theatre Experience, and founder of Songbird Creative, a little company encouraging creativity, self-expression, and mental fitness in older adults.

Citations:
‌Aging Fearlessly: Art, Creativity, and Aging. (2021, October 21). Maine. https://states.aarp.org/maine/aging-fearlessly-art-creativity-and-aging

Aging: What’s Art Got To Do With It? (2022). Todaysgeriatricmedicine.com. https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/news/ex_082809_03.shtml#:~:text=Neurological%20research%20shows%20that%20making,networks%20or%20alternative%20brain%20strategies.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Creative Inspiration: How to Have an Art-Full UP Summer

UP Summer 2022 arts events, Summer 2022 art & music events in MI's Upper Peninsula, UP holistic business, UP holistic wellness publication

Our precious summertime is here with a rich roster of arts events back in full swing! In fact, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) is so chock-full of great summer art events, one could make a summer-long art-focused vacation a vocation! So let’s consider the possibilities!

You could start off June 11 & 12 with Pictured Rocks Days at Binsfeld Bayshore Park in Munising and enjoy free live music and arts & crafts, as well as food trucks, bounce houses;,a beer tent, petting zoo, Coastie the Safety Boat, and interpretive, demonstration and informational vendors.

Then head west June 16 – 19 to the Houghton/Hancock Bridgfest commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at its 35th annual downtown celebration. You’ll find fine arts and crafts, live music, food, helicopter rides, fireworks, a parade, classic car show, water activities and more fun! Visit http://www.bridgefestfun.com for the full schedule.

Discover the many joys of Art Week held throughout the city of Marquette from June 19-25, with exhibits, performances, receptions, studio tours, a bike tour, demonstrations, installations, street performers, and an Evening Art Stroll. For details, go to http://www.mqtcompass.com/artweek.

And be sure to take in a City Band concert at Escanaba’s Ludington Park on a Wednesday evening, mid-June to mid-August (www.escanaba.org/community/page/city-band), or Marquette’s Presque Isle Park on select Thursday evenings (marquettecityband.com), as well as great summer entertainment at Marquette’s Lake Superior Theatre (www.lakesuperiortheatre.com).

After enjoying in any of the many 4th of July celebrations held in UP towns large and small, you can head on over to Festival Ironwood July 13-16 for live music, exhibits, craft/artisan vendors, sports activities, food, and more at Historic Depot Park in Ironwood. Visit http://www.ironwoodchamber.org/festival-ironwood and Facebook for more info.

Tear yourself away from the festivities in Ironwood and you could kick up your heels at the annual Aura Jamboree July 15-16. The event features a lively variety of traditional acoustic music, with performers taking fifteen-minute turns on the indoor stage Friday afternoon and Saturday. Traditional dances are held in the evenings in the historic Aura Community Hall in L’Anse, while groups of musicians jam informally outside on the shaded grounds. For more info, see the Aura Hall Jamboree Facebook page.

You can continue your traditional music immersion July 22-24 with Hiawatha Music Festival’s bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, old-time, acoustic blues and folk, including singer/songwriters, as well as dance at Tourist Park in the city of Marquette. Nationally known performers, regional and local favorites, musician-led workshops, open jams, and dance sessions continue are held, including activities and performances for children, tweens, and teens , with a special teen-only dance Saturday night.  A children’s parade takes place late Sunday afternoon. Artists in the Round, a juried traditional arts show, is on Saturday and Sunday, and Young Artists Corner on Saturday afternoon. For more details and tickets, visit hiawathamusic.org.

The Marquette area fun continues with live music, arts and crafts, and all things blueberry at the July 29 Blueberry Festival from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in downtown Marquette on Washington and Front Streets. Enjoy everything from blueberry pizza to blueberry beer at downtown restaurants and “blue” specials at many downtown shops.

You can follow the festival up with your next art fix at the 62nd Annual Art on the Rocks at Marquette’s Mattson Lower Harbor Park on Lake Superior’s shore in downtown Marquette. You’ll find fine arts and crafts such as painting, photography, blacksmithing, jewelry, pottery, and more at this juried art show, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, July 30th, and 10 am-4 pm Sunday, July 31st.

Then head on up the hill to Outback Art Fair at Shiras Park, aka Picnic Rocks, running simultaneously with Art on the Rocks July 30 – 31 to check out even more creative output, including locally-made soaps, walking sticks, outdoor décor and kitchen gear in addition to fine arts, local books, and more.

Next up, you can drive south to enjoy Woodtick Music Festival’s live bluegrass, country, folk, blues, and rock on August 4-7 at County Park 388 in Hermansville. This year’s performers include Bad Axe Rodeo, Billy Shears Band, The Decendants, Chasin Steel, The Driftless Revelers, Runaway Train, 141 North, Gin Mill Hollow, Norton Chartier & Company, Peltier Brothers, River Valley Rangers,Paul Family Bluegrass Band,Willow Ridge Bluegrass Band, Heartland Express and Dee Dee Jayne. More details and tickets can be found at http://www.woodtickfestival.com.

Or, head northwest to the Keweenaw for Farmblock Music Festival, August 5-7. The festival raises funds for The Dan Schmitt Gift of Music and Education Fund, a non-profit providing free instruments and lessons to youth in the Keweenaw and also after school creative empowerment programming in Kalamazoo. The event is held at 2239 N Farmers Block Rd., Allouez. Weekend and day passes available in advance online at farmblock.com and at the gate with cash or check. Discounts for seniors, veterans, and Keweenaw County residents.

You can take a break from Farmblock’s festivities and soak in the very best in health, wellness and spiritual guidance just a town over at Keweenaw Summer Celebration on August 6th at beautiful Lions Park, Calumet. Plus check out the wares of artisans and crafters too! Held 10 am- 5 pm, with children’s Fairy Parade at 1 pm and public drumming circle at 3 pm. For more info, visit http://www.summercelebration.org.

Now head south and west to the Grand Marais Music & Crafts Festival, August 11-13, where you can take in more live music, and arts and crafts at the town’s ballfields. Thursday is free for all. Friday to Saturday is free to children 15 and under accompanied by parents holding tickets. Visit the festival’s Facebook page for the music lineup and more details.

You can zip back to the Keweenaw, or extend your stay there, to peruse the 61st Annual Eagle Harbor Art Show, August 13 -14. This juried art show features sixty to seventy artists. You can check out finely crafted jewelry, ceramics, paintings, woodcarvings, photography and more from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday and noon –4 pm on Sunday.

Now follow this up with a visit to the UP State Fair, August 15-21. Enjoy “Pure Fun, Pure Goodness, and Pure Michigan” with arts & crafts, animals, food and music at the Escanaba fairgrounds. Go to http://www.upstatefair.net for events, schedule, and admission info.

You can continue your summer-long arts imbibing with a beeline back north to the Lake Effect Bar & Grill’s Lake Fanny Hooe-Down 2, August 26 & 27 at Lake Fanny Hooe Resort & Campground in Copper Harbor. This year’s headliners include Country Music Hall of Fame member, 15-time Grammy-winner, CMA Entertainer of the Year and Country Music/Bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, plus multi-Grammy nominated hit-maker Joe Nichols. Also featured are Shawn Lane, a three-time Grammy nominee and 28-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Award winner, plus super-talented eighteen year-old Carson Peters. Peters was a recent contestant on NBC’s hit series The Voice, has been a Tonight Show guest, and performed at the Grand Ole Opry and the CMA (Country Music Association) Awards. Regional music favorites Tom Katalin & Highway 41, Chad Borgen & The Collective, Keweenaw Brewgrass, and On the Spot Blues Band will also perform. A limited number of two-day passes are available at fannyhooe.com. Reserve campsite or hotel accommodations at 833-FANNYHOOE (833-326-6946) or email fannyhooe@gmail.com.

For a different take on the music scene, head farther west to the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival, August 26 & 27, at the Winter Sports Complex within Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Several acres of mowed, open slope will be ready for your blankets and lawn chairs. Attendance is limited, so there’s plenty of room for distancing. Concessions are located in the ski chalet and open throughout the event. A Children’s Tent provides kids’ activities during the festival. Performances take place under a big top canopy, rain or shine, so be prepared for the weather and have your required Michigan Recreation Passport. For details and ticket purchases, visit porkiesfestival.org.

Or, opt for festivities at Marquette’s Harborfest August 26 & 27, where you can enjoy live music and food at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette while helping to fund all the good work supported throughout the year by Marquette West Rotary.

You can complete your art-full summer at the Marquette Area Blues Fest Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-4, also at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in downtown Marquette. World class blues performers, artist workshops, a dance floor, several local food vendors and a beverage tent with fine Marquette-crafted brews will be on hand alongside a world-class view. Headliners include Biscuit Miller, Carolyn Wonderland, and Vanessa Collier. Friday night admission is free. For more info and ticket sales, visit marquetteareabluessociety.org.

Excerpted from the Summer 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Positive Parenting: The Power of Connection, Kristine Petterson

parenting tips, connecting with your kids, mindful parenting, holistic wellness, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

Parenting through the ups-and-downs of our pandemic times can be quite challenging, with ever-changing situations—school open, school closed; mask on, mask off; quarantines on or off, shortened or lengthened, along with all of our health concerns, and loss of loved ones, in-person connection, social activities, and more. It can really take its toll on us, our children, and our parenting.

Perhaps you started 2022 out with hopes of building more connection with your kids, or having more peace in your life and household, but have since found yourself tearing your hair out at some point in the day, or cramming in all those needed chores and collapsing exhausted at night. Yet connecting mindfully can make all the difference in enjoying our lives and relationships despite the challenges.

What is this whole connection thing, really? While connection is described as a link or relationship between people, ideas or things, I like to quote Dr. Brené Brown in my Mindful Parenting program: “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

This connection business is powerful stuff.

I resisted it for a long time thinking I just didn’t have time or energy for one more thing. Now I know that connection is not something extra you have to do; it’s just making a choice to do all the things differently. Whether it’s family dinner, scrubbing your shrieking child’s hair in the bath (we’ve all been there, right?), buying groceries, pumping gas, or even cleaning house. We can rush through our whole day feeling resentful and undone, or we can take each step with love, looking for magical moments to connect with self and others.

It’s helpful to acknowledge that, at first, creating deep mindful connection habits takes work, focus, and awareness throughout your day-to-day grind. For me, it also requires a commitment to reversing downward “should spirals” so that I can put the stuff of life on hold to truly see and be seen. I used to think some people were just born into a life of calm and ease and deep eye-gazing, and other people (like me) were born running around like chickens with their heads cut off and never really seeing anything other than the next check box on the never-ending to-do list.

What I’ve learned is that connecting meaningfully is a muscle you build. Step by step, I found I was able to apply strategies to my relationships with myself, partner, friends, kids, and clients that cultivated connection and deepened the fun we had. I took lots of detours on this journey, so I’ve broken down what I feel is the easiest path to powerful connection here for you.

Pause

Slowing down is key, and also really hard to do if you’re not in the habit. I actually had to get ridiculously deliberate about making space for connection, but now the practices that felt difficult and disjointed are comfortable, and I feel irritation and resistance when I don’t stick to them.

It might look like:
• Setting a timer several times a day to just check in with your breath or to put your hand on your chest to see if you can feel your heartbeat.

• Making a sign to put up in rooms where you usually feel rushed and frustrated (for me it’s the kitchen) that says “Stop. Breathe. What about life is beautiful right now?”

• Putting your phone on its charger for a few hours each day so you can connect with certain tasks and people without distraction.

Notice

Check in with what you are thinking and feeling when the timer goes off or you see that sign. Are you frantic and weighed down by the dozens of tasks on your list? Exhausted by the never-ending work of keeping up appearances?

It might look like:

• “I’m overwhelmed by all that I have to do today.”

• “I feel hungry or thirsty or need to move my body right now.”

• “I’m feeling really lonely, yet I’m surrounded by people.”

• “I’m holding my breath, rushing from one thing to the next, as if that will help me go faster.”

Connect

Make a conscious connection to what you want to be thinking and feeling in this moment—you don’t have to change what you’re doing. Keep chopping veggies or mopping the floor and look for something kinder, easier, and more joyful to connect to in that moment.

It might look like:

• Shifting from hate-cleaning to connection cleaning—turn on some tunes, take a deep breath, and sparkle up the home you love.

• Asking loud obnoxious children to play a game outside while you breathe easy and enjoy making dinner in peace and quiet.

• Calling your grumpy child (or partner for that matter) over for a hug and a deep breath. Bonus points if you do it without saying a word—just smile and look them in the eye.

Will they think you’ve been smoking something?

It’s possible. And honestly, these practices can provide a wonderful rush. The hormones created by connection are the real deal and don’t cost anything. I cringe to think about how much beauty and sweetness I missed when I was focused on the miserable acts of doing, cleaning, and box-checking. I know I tend to get distracted by the never-ending emails, errands, and obligations, but that I’m going to do the work to slow down and connect to the everyday magic along the way.

Petterson lives in Moscow, Idaho with her husband and their two children. She left public education to become a yoga instructor, sleep specialist, and mindful parenting educator. She can be contacted via her website at http://www.kristinepetterson.com.

Excerpted from the Spring 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Healthy Cooking: Sweet Greens & Carrots, Val Wilson

healthy cooking, cleansing spring foods, healthy spring recipe, carrots and sweet greens, holistic wellness, U.P. holistic business, U.P. holistic wellness publication

Spring is the time our bodies go through a natural cleansing. We have just spent months indoors, typically eating more heavy foods seasoned with more fat to help keep us warm. When spring comes, it’s time to lighten up your cooking and include cleansing green foods.

Green foods contain chlorophyll, which has many healing properties such as detoxing the liver. The liver, gallbladder, and nervous system are organs to focus on feeding and nurturing during the spring. Chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein that is essential in red blood cells as it carries oxygen around a person’s body, chlorophyll also can help with wound healing, cancer prevention, and is good for your skin.

Kale and collards greens are in this category of green foods. Both are high in vitamin C, protein, and iron. Celery helps to cleanse the blood, which brings one’s energy up to help with the busier time of spring. 

Carrots are a great vegetable to add color and sweetness to any dish. In the recipe below, the sweetness of the carrots and raisins help balance out the bitterness of the greens. Also known for helping to purify the blood, carrots are high in vitamin A, calcium, and phosphorus. Seasoning this dish with lemon juice and brown rice vinegar brings in the signature flavor of spring—sour. 

Sweet Greens & Carrots

2 cup carrots (pencil-cut) 
2 cups celery, including leaves (diced) 
Olive oil
Sea salt 
1/2 cup raisins 
2 cups collard greens (diced) 
4 cups kale (diced) 
4 cups summer Napa cabbage (diced) 
1/4 cup water 
1 T. tamari 
1 T. brown rice vinegar 
2 T. lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds 

In a large pot, sauté the carrots in a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt for a couple of minutes. 

Move the carrots to the side of pot. Add the celery and another pinch of sea salt to the middle of the pot and sauté for a couple more minutes.

Layer the raisins, collard greens, kale, and cabbage on top of sautéed vegetables. 

Add the 1/4 cup water, tamari, and brown rice vinegar. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes, until vegetable are soft. 

Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and sunflower seeds.

Mix everything together and serve warm.

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Spring 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.