sfischer's picture
Although I went a little piercing and tattoo-happy in my college days, I’ve never been a huge fan of needles. I cannot watch needles puncturing my skin because I WILL get ill and I WILL pass out. Why would I consider acupuncture then, you ask? First of all, I’m all about alternative forms of medicine. I don’t particularly enjoy having to ingest prescribed medications full of manmade chemicals. Lately I’ve been a lot more aware of what I choose to put inside my body, and at the ripe old age of 24, my body needs a little more TLC than in previous years. I want to go on record as saying my acupuncture experience was my least frightening encounter with needles ever. Lying on my stomach without the opportunity to see the needles didn’t hurt, but the needles...
July 25, 2014
sfischer's picture
Growing up, I was always a physical kid. I lived in the middle of the woods on a lake in central Minnesota, where the nearest town with more than 1,000 people was 20 miles away. Needless to say, I had to make my own fun, which wasn’t very difficult considering I had ample amounts of nature’s playground to work with. My brother and I would swim and waterski; we would play baseball and volleyball, and ride our bikes around our yard. I also grew up dancing—enjoying many hours of practice each week for more than 14 years. Through all of that activity, though, I never gave any serious thought to running. I dreaded—dreaded—the mile-run in phy-ed class, huffing and puffing all the way around the track. Then, I went to college. I was done dancing and...
July 02, 2014
etasto's picture
Brace yourselves: We’re taking a trip back to Vegas. Mentally, anyway. Prior to my two-week visit this last April, I researched a handful of gyms to see which could offer a trial membership or a weekly pass for a reasonable rate, or if any allowed existing members—i.e., my girlfriend Kat, with whom I stayed for my entire trip—to bring along a buddy. The results of my research proved to be less than pleasing. The lowest price for a weekly membership still clocked in at $40—more than I pay for my current gym dues for the entire month. It’s kind of hard to justify spending that much for temporary gym access when my girlfriend’s neighborhood offers an abundance of free pavement and hills. Not to mention the natural resistance factors: wind, heat, other...
July 01, 2014
dbenson's picture
Last week’s Supreme Court ruling allowing POM Wonderful to sue beverage giant Coca-Cola is certainly a score for the natural products marketplace.  Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said during oral arguments in April that he found the labeling of a Coca-Cola product called “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of Five Juices”  misleading, and last Thursday he wrote for a unanimous Supreme Court that the company can be sued for it. For those who are not familiar with how the case has progressed so far, here is a quick summary: In 2008, POM Wonderful took Coca-Cola to court over its Minute Maid brand “Pomegranate Blueberry” flavored juice. POM  sued Coke under the Lanham Act. According to the lawsuit, Coca-Cola engaged in false...
June 20, 2014
etasto's picture
I guess you could say I’m obsessed with books. Not the seemingly ubiquitous e-books and e-readers and anything else e­-related. Like, actual books. The ones with crisp pages that you hold delicately in your hands and maybe (probably) smell. Case in point: One glance at my kitchen and you’ll find, in a space that I suppose was meant to be a bar, a makeshift bookshelf. That’s right, folks. All books, no booze. You’ll find fiction novels, nonfiction essays, poetry anthologies, short story collections, various law books, the AP Style Guide from 2009—but you know what you won’t find? Cookbooks. On the makeshift bookshelf in my kitchen, you will not find cookbooks. Considering that if I had to pick one food to live on for the rest of time it would be...
June 02, 2014
sfischer's picture
A few years ago, a friend of mine decided to grow his own produce in a grand backyard garden that he built using simple, but purposeful, tools and his own two hands. He grew an abundance of different vegetables like tomatoes, assorted greens, carrots, peas, peppers—among many others. I looked forward to harvest, and enjoyed many deliciously fresh meals that offered flavors indescribable compared to those made with store-bought counterparts. Going even further back in time, I can remember my mom’s herb garden on the side of our house where she grew chives, basil, parsley, mint, etc. Every time I would walk by, I’d alternate which leaves I would grab to taste. There was really nothing quite like enjoying the fruits of your own (or your mother’s, or your friend...
May 30, 2014
etasto's picture
When I think of foods that contain cinnamon, carb-heavy favorites like gooey cinnamon rolls and fresh apple pie are often the first to come to mind. I imagine that my mid-winter, hibernating self is curled up on the couch, wrapped in my black sweater-poncho and two quilted blankets, sipping on a hot cider and dutifully indulging in a Law and Order marathon whilst delighting in these holiday leftovers as the snow falls outside my frosted windows. With daydreams like these, it’s no wonder cinnamon is usually thought to be a winter spice—you might bust it out when it’s your turn to host the company Christmas party, or you’ll see it added to your local bar’s seasonal drink menu—but this spice doesn’t have to hide when temperatures begin to rise. In...
May 22, 2014
etasto's picture
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing actress Julie Benz for a feature story in the July/August issue of Natural Solutions. Spoiler alert: She’s on the cover! You might know her as Dexter’s wife, or the sexy lesbian from Desperate Housewives, or Mayor Amanda Rosewater in Syfy’s futuristic series Defiance. She recently celebrated her birthday—42 years young—and second wedding anniversary to hubby Rich Orosco. Now, she’s busy filming the horror flick Havenhurst. But having a hectic schedule doesn’t mean Julie sacrifices healthy habits. I asked Julie about her fitness routines and how she keeps herself in shape when she doesn’t have time to make it to the gym. She offered some tips on how to stay fit both on-the-go and at home, and that...
May 15, 2014
sfischer's picture
For as long as I can remember, music has played a vital role in my life as a cure-all, feel-good, natural mood remedy. My favorite songs and artists have lent me a hand, a shoulder to cry on, and most importantly, that warm, fuzzy feeling—you know what I’m talking about. It’s that song you can’t get out of your head, your favorite artist’s new tune, or the anthem you thought said it all when you couldn’t find the words. Based on research, I know I’m not alone. Many cultures have used music, singing, and dancing as healing rituals for centuries, and by that standard, it’s hard to ignore music's healing properties. The best thing about music as medicine? There are no side effects—unless you count impulsive foot tapping...
May 14, 2014
etasto's picture
In the May/June issue of Alternative Medicine, we discuss the growing trend of tea-based cocktails. If you missed it, here’s a quick recap: Bartenders, mixologists, and businesses are teaming up to craft cocktails using tea rather than traditional soda mixers, and these combinations are popping up on drinks menus nationwide to offer healthier and refreshing alternatives. One company that has jumped on the bandwagon is Teatulia, a company named for the region in Northern Bangladesh where its teas are grown and harvested. From their compostable canisters to their natural pest and weed controls, these teas are both sustainable and certified organic—they are eco-friendly and super yummy! To skip the brewing and get right down to business, try Owl’s Brew. This line of...
May 06, 2014