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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Embracing Old Man Winter

January presents a meteorological dichotomy for those in the northern hemisphere. As the winter solstice passes, we eagerly anticipate lengthening days and warming sunshine even as we brace for more blasts by old man winter. Like a hibernating bear, I find this a good time to slow up and reflect on inward messages, to take stock of progress and recharge for what lies ahead.

As changes blow in with the season, we sense new opportunities coming our way. Personally, I am intent on realigning my energy and focusing to cast aside ways that no longer serve and instead embrace new lessons that support transformation to a healthier way of being.

When we feel such yearnings, New Year’s resolutions are born, fueled by good intentions kindled by the fireside. Paradoxically, this symbolic rebirth occurs while nature appears to be enveloped in sleep and decay, which in reality heralds boundless re-greening and regeneration.

The megalithic societies of history celebrated nature’s cycles by building incredible monuments honoring seasonal changes. We see echoes of these today as civilizations around the world mark holidays, or holy days, in recognition of necessary transition and transformation.

Emerging from my family’s own holiday celebrations, replete with sugary desserts, is a good time to pause to consider the state of my health and well-being. Resolving to kick it up a notch has become more than a once-a-year plan; it’s about assuming daily accountability for my choices the past year so that I don’t repeat unhealthy habits.

Linda Sechrist’s feature article, “It’s All About Metabolism,” on page 14 opens a new window of thought in understanding the mechanisms that affect the state of our metabolism and its central role in preventing or promoting disease. High blood sugar levels, one root cause of disease, seem to be an American epidemic and everyone needs to pay attention to their consumption of sweets. Growing up in the boomer era of prosperity and license to live it up in often unhealthy fashion, I consumed large amounts of sugar. It was cheap and accessible, and Mom unwittingly supplied us with all kinds of ways to eat it. Just ask my dentist.

In today’s era of convenience foods, there’s no need to add any sugar to our food. It typically comes loaded with it and requires diligence to avoid. It has become hard to find a readymade food without it, and for people like my grandson, Logan, who’s a diabetic, figuring out what’s OK to eat is a matter of life or death.

So my resolve is to cut down and even eliminate sugars from my diet for as long as I breathe. I’m more interested in sticking around with enough energy to help create the world I want my family to live in.

Food for thought: If all the sugar from the prepared products in grocery aisles were extracted into the parking lot, how much food do you think would be left in the store?

To a healthy life for you and yours,

Don Moore, Publisher