Healthy Food To-Go in Fairhope

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Food from Rootz, Fairhope’s nutrition kitchen, is now available for delivery through from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Rootz provides made-from-scratch meals to-go using local, sustainable and healthy ingredients. Grab-and-go items are always available, and a rotating menu of order-ahead dishes are offered through the weekly meal plan program. Paleo, vegan and gluten-free diets can be accommodated plus the kitchen makes cold-pressed juices and has the locally brewed Wild Magnolia kombucha on tap.

“Many of us live and eat in the fast lane and the speed of life causes us to make impulsive decisions when it comes to food,” say owners Tony Tkac and Sofia Fly. “We too often trade our health for our convenience, and our daily diet can either make us sick or heal our body and promote longevity.”

Rootz strives to provide the healthiest food in a convenient way. By using local farms, their sustainably grown produce is the freshest available, which means that the micronutrient content in the produce is much higher than most store-bought produce.

Location: 209 A S. Section St., Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-270-7120 or visit

A Clean Ocean in the Bag

The It’s in the Bag community cleanup campaign is seeking the commitment of locals on the Gulf Coast to keep communities and waterways clean. According to Keep America Beautiful, litter cleanup costs in the U.S. are $11,500,000,000 each year.


“We want people to join us in picking up the trash we’re stepping over,” says BJ Smith, of the Alabama Coastal Heritage Trust (ACHT) and founder of the It’s in the Bag campaign. “Be happy and join people around the world who know that picking up trash is the fun, easy and popular thing to do.”

The campaign encourages teams of volunteers to design a unique and local cleanup program. Reusable bags to gather litter are available with a donation to ACHT or teams can use their own. To start a dialogue while tracking and celebrating progress, participants are encouraged to post what litter they’re finding and where they’re finding it.

“We want to hear stories of the weirdest trash and weirdest locations, plus, how you’re talking to others as you pick up trash,” Smith says. “Remember, there is no amount too small because truly every piece makes a difference.”

For more information call 251-455-1859, email or visit

Mississippi Cafe Offers Wellness for a Lifetime

Starfish Café, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, serves fresh local food with a pay-what-you-want policy while offering a free experiential education program to students 18 and older. Donations cover the cost of food and experience, and extra donations are used to make a positive impact on the world.

Known as one of the best kept secrets on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the quaint café supports the local economy by purchasing all of its food from local growers and grocers. Purchased products are supplemented by the vegetables, flowers and herbs harvested from the café’s gardens.

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The 20-week experiential learning program offers students free, hands-on training in restaurant, job and life skills. “Our commitment is to minister to, facilitate and equip each Starfish student with tools to fully and completely reach their potential,” says Executive Director Di Filhart. “We believe that every person is created by God for a special and wonderful purpose in this world.”

Location: 211 Main St., Bay Saint Louis, MS. For more information, call 228-229-3503 or visit or

Women Gather to Empower Their Authentic Voice

Women of all ages, faiths and spiritual practices will welcome the sacred feminine at the annual Grandmothers Gathering, from March 22 to 25, at Camp Beckwith in Fairhope, Alabama. This year’s theme, Be Brave, Be Strong, Be You: Claiming Your Authentic Voice, will explore the authentic woman. “She’s me, she’s you, she’s every woman who desires to enter the realm of reawakening to their greatest truths, embraced by the sacred feminine,” says organizer Carolyn Garbett.

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The gathering offers an opportunity to meet and connect with other women for inspiration and guidance—sharing laughter, tears and more. From the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony, participants will open their hearts and minds, receiving points of light into their lives so they can see themselves and the world differently.

A schedule of workshops, meditation, music and healing arts is organized around meals and free time. Each day, small circle groups are facilitated to foster meaningful discussion in a safe and empowering setting. Other highlights include a giveaway ceremony for the practice of detachment and a Croning ceremony to joyfully honor those who have reached the age of 70.

The Gulf Coast Grandmothers gather yearly to embody unconditional acceptance and fulfill the ancient prophecy: “When the grandmothers speak, the Earth will heal.”

Cost: $340-$415 registration fee includes three nights’ lodging and all meals. For more information, call Carolyn Garbett at 251-945-1295, email or visit

Healthy Living Trailblazer Returns to Mobile


Virginia’s Health Food Store in Mobile, Alabama is excited to welcome retired nutritionist Betylou Pierce to their staff. Pierce opened the Mobile health food store Naturally Yours in 1990 and for more than 10 years she used the store to help people live healthier lives, often hosting courses on how the body works and heals. She also owned the restaurant Eats of Eden, where they introduced many locals to vegetarian and vegan cuisine and juicing.

Pierce just recently moved back to the area after living in Mississippi for 12 years and she says, “I love educating people about healthy living; it’s my life and I want to share it with everybody.” At Virginia’s, Pierce will work a couple days a week and be available by appointment to help guide customers on a path of wellness.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be working at Virginia’s,” she says. “I’m seeing some familiar faces and having a good time. It’s good to be home.”

Location: 3055 A Dauphin St., Mobile, AL. For more information, call 251-479-3952 or visit 

Enroll Your Healing Hands in Massage Therapy School

Alabama Healing Arts (AHA), Mobile’s newest, locally-owned vocational college, is accepting applications for spring enrollment of massage therapy school. AHA educators have over 25 years of teaching experience to assist students in becoming professional licensed massage therapists (LMTs).


“Therapeutic massage is a beautiful healing practice. It makes a perfect adjunct therapy to many healthcare professions. This fulfilling career allows for great flexibility, versatility and creativity. LMTs are becoming more and more in demand each year,” says owner Kelly Laurendine.

Evening massage classes are scheduled to begin in April, and daytime classes in October. The 650-hour curriculum meets state requirements for preparing students to become licensed therapists. This interactive massage program emphasizes hands-on technique demonstration and practice, includes specialty techniques, fundamental sciences, student clinic and outreach practicum. AHA currently has a 100 percent pass rate for students taking the licensure exam.

AHA also offers 200-, 300- and 500-hour yoga teacher training, and three levels of reiki certification which may be purchased individually, and for continuing education.

For more information or to request an application, call 251-753-1937, email or visit

Essential Oils and Reflexology Coupled in New Program

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Licensed massage therapist and certified registered reflexologist Laurie Azzarella, of Daphne, Alabama, has launched a new empowering educational program called Reflex-OIL-ogy. In these classes, parents, caregivers, oilers and professional bodyworkers benefit from learning how to therapeutically apply essential oils to enhance the functionality of the body and its systems.

In this 8-hour course, taught in one day, students gain a practical, in-depth understanding of each body system’s function so they can assess reflex areas on feet and hands and then, using a unique application technique, apply appropriate essential oils. Stretching, muscle relaxation, energy and meridian points plus proprietary Emotional Congestion Release Technique is also incorporated into each module.

“I’ve seen how environmental toxins in our air, food, water, media and personal care products have hardened the reflex areas in our hands and feet. When I began using essential oils on the reflexes of the feet they helped create an oxygenized, therapeutic impulse flow of energy into the body,” says Azzarella, who has been an Ingham Reflexologist for more than 25 years, as well as an Essential Oil Educator. “This wholistic systematic program is the culmination of my teaching experience and my passion to empower others.”

For class schedule and more information, call 850-380-4943 or visit

Become a Holistic Health Practitioner


The Southern Institute of Natural Health, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, offers a Traditional Naturopath Degree and the next course begins in May. Registration is now open for this 12-month course, which meets one Saturday per month.

“Complementary medicine is booming in this country, and there is a need for professionally trained practitioners,” says Professional Naturopath Practitioner Betty Sue O’Brian. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage self-healing processes.

Included in the course is an introduction to iridology, herbalism, energy medicine, flower essences, nutrition, natural cancer cures and Eastern medicine. The program helps massage therapists, nurses and other health practitioners integrate natural healing methods into their work, while also introducing traditional healing methods to students new to the healthcare field. Whether taken for personal growth and healing or to pursue a career in naturopathy, students will restore harmony to themselves and connect with others as they evolve into a more natural way of living.

“In a 21st century of fast food, poisoned crops and overindulgence, our graduates will be properly informed with the wisdom of the ages and the latest research in natural healing today,” says O’Brian. “It’s a shift into a lifelong quest for health—for themselves and for others.”


For more information, call 228-257-1946, email or visit

Eastern Shore Church Fosters Spiritual Awareness

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Unity on the Eastern Shore (UES) invites new visitors to gain a new level of spiritual awareness through worship and fellowship. In Fairhope, they hold a Celebration of Life service every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., plus monthly healing circles and blessings for family pets.

“People are more spiritual and less religious, and Unity facilitates that change,” says Rev. Shirley Geer. “We bless and embrace people of every race, culture, lifestyle and creed. We honor the many paths to God, for we know that God, as light and love, expresses equally on every path. Our purpose is to foster a new level of spiritual awareness, to lift one another to a Christ-like maturity and to equip people to demonstrate their truth through service to others.”

UES is a gathering of New Thought believers that come together to be loved and healed in a Christ-centered community. As a spiritual family, they encourage each other to demonstrate the Christ mind that lives within and they celebrate their unity with everyone around the world and with God.

Location: 22979 U.S. Hwy. 98, Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-990-8934 or visit

Untreated Hearing Loss Contributes to Dementia

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Ascent Audiology, in Fairhope and Foley, is offering free hearing aid cleanings and consultations to educate patients on the relationship between hearing health and dementia.

A recent study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found a direct correlation between improved cognitive function and hearing aid use in older adults with hearing loss. “Our study suggests that using a hearing aid may offer a simple, yet important, way to prevent or slow the development of dementia by keeping adults with hearing loss engaged in conversation and communication,” says Dr. Anil K. Lalwani, M.D., professor at CUMC. This leads to overall better mental astuteness, quality of life and less likelihood of social isolation, which fuels dementia in many individuals.

Medical research presented by Dr. Frank Link at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting has found that hearing loss contributes to dementia and mental decline, estimating that as much as 36 percent of dementia risk can be attributed to hearing loss. His 2013 study suggests that hearing loss is linked to a 30 to 40 percent greater risk of cognitive decline in people with hearing loss versus those without.


For more information, call 251-990-0535 (Fairhope) or 251-517-4237 (Foley), or visit See ad, page 19.

IMAX Nature Documentary Benefits Marine Sanctuary

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Alabama Coastal Foundation is hosting an IMAX screening of The Underwater Forest at 5:30 p.m., January 18, at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. A discussion with filmmaker Ben Raines will follow the showing and ticket proceeds will support efforts to designate the area as a marine sanctuary.

This nature documentary details the discovery and exploration of an ancient cypress forest found 60 feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, due south of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The forest dates to an ice age more than 60,000 years ago, when sea levels were about 400 feet lower than they are today.

Scientists believe giant waves driven by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 uncovered the forest. It appears to be a wholly unique relic of our planet’s past, the only known site where a coastal ice age forest this old has been preserved in place. It is considered a treasure trove of information, providing new insights into everything from climate in the region to annual rainfall, insect populations, and the types of plants that inhabited the Gulf Coast before humans arrived in the new world. Scientific analysis of the site is ongoing.


Tickets: $10. Location: 65 Government St., Mobile, AL. For more information visit

2017 Natural Awakenings Gift Guide

During the gift-giving season, Natural Awakenings always encourages the practice of conscious consumerism with an annual guide to healthy and eco-friendly gifts. This year, we’re diving deeper into the concept of conscious giving by highlighting thoughtful gift ideas that also give back to causes and communities.

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With 13 types of minerals in its filter, Peak Alkalinity's  Hydro2Go water bottle can convert tap water into alkaline ionized water in less than 10 minutes. Alkaline water helps raise the body’s pH level so that it can function efficiently.

Giving back: 10 percent of all Peak Alkalinity proceeds are donated to a different charity each month. In December, donations will benefit the PKD Foundation for polycystic kidney disease research. The store also offers free refills of alkaline water to cancer patients.

$59 at Peak Alkalinity in Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-270-7200 or visit



All of The Little Tree Project’s baked goods are vegan and gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, egg-, soy- and nut-free. Order chocolate chip cookies, brownies, dark chocolate cake, blueberry oat squares, biscuits, banana bread or vanilla cake to brighten a teacher, neighbor or co-worker’s day. Delivery is available in the South Alabama area.

Giving back: The Little Tree Project’s mission is to bring victims of human trafficking to freedom by raising awareness and funds for this unspoken reality in local communities.

$5 to $12.50 from The Little Tree Project in Daphne, AL. For more information, email or visit


Organic Way’s Holiday De-Stress Kit includes Materia soap (made with biodynamic-organic olive oil, fair trade babassu oil and organic poppy petals), a Lamina stainless steel grater and a Giara glass jar. Materia creates a soft lather and gentle exfoliation, or it can be grated with Lamina, an elegant grater that carves artisanal-style bath melts to transform any bath into a deeply relaxing holistic wellness and beauty ritual. Store bath melts in Giara, the 100 percent recyclable glass jar.

Organic Way’s Tratto Fabric and Lingerie Spray is an ultra-luxurious linens spray crafted from farm-grown biodynamic-organic essential oils and zero synthetic ingredients. Linens and fabrics stay fresh with the aromas of organic Mediterranean citrus orchards, biodynamic lavender and jasmine and rose fields.

Giving back: In addition to only using 100 percent recyclable and reusable glass and aluminum containers for all of their products, Organic Way supports Ocean Cleanup with donations and promotions. This non-profit organization’s passive drifting systems utilize ocean currents and are estimated to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in five years’ time.

$29.90 kit and $69 spray at TMAC Hair Studio, in Mobile and Daphne, AL. For more information, call 251-607-6666 or visit


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The yoga-inspired apparel company, Spiritual Gangster is a movement designed to join ancient wisdoms with modern culture. These “Don’t Hate, Meditate” and “Grateful” tops reflect their mission to inspire positivity, generosity, kindness and connectedness.

Giving back: Spiritual Gangster donates a meal to Feeding America for each item sold and has donated more than 10 million meals to date. Proceeds also support Cambodian Children’s Fund, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Make a Wish.

$58 to $98 at Soul Shine Yoga, in Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-225-4597 or visit


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To stuff Fido’s stocking, consider picking up some palatable NOW pet supplements which offer a great way to ensure your pet is getting the nutrients and ingredients he or she needs for optimal health.

Giving back: NOW gives directly to dozens of charities with “self-enabling” models, teaching recipients the skills they need to take care of themselves going forward. Meal-A-Day Americas, Vitamin Angels, School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE)are just a couple of the benefitting charities.

$18 to $25 at The Health Hut, in Mobile and Daphne, AL. For more information, visit



Senhoa’s Clarity jewelry collection was designed by yogi-influencers Cristen Barker of New York and Kimberly Hise of Daphne. Also known as @ChinTwins (, the sister team created a simple yet elegant line that features versatile body jewelry, unique earrings and a drop necklace, as well as a fragrant wooden bead mala necklace and bracelet.

Giving back: 100 percent of sales helps fund Senhoa’s early intervention initiatives which provide safe employment, life skills and support platforms to survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia.

$25 to $95 from



The Kannaway Salve is specially formulated to protect skin from aging, roughness and environmental effects. Its revolutionary combination of hemp cannabidiol oil and proprietary East Asian botanicals brings rich, nourishing moisture to all skin types.

Giving back: Kannaway has chosen ECHO Connection as a charitable partner because of their dedication to connecting those seeking the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids with the resources, community support and medical professional guidance needed to move forward.

$4 to $55 at TMAC Hair Studio, in Mobile and Daphne, AL. For more information, call 251-607-6666 or visit


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Two wheeled travel is more fun than four and Cannonade bikes are tested and built so that every ride is a great ride. For decades the company has meticulously designed bikes for racing, commuting and cruising, both on road and off.

Giving back: When you support local bike shop Pro Cycle and Triathlon, you’re supporting a more bike-friendly community. Pro Cycle and Triathlon regularly sponsors community initiatives such as bike racks and Fairhope Elementary’s Bike to School days.

$260+ at Pro Cycle and Triathlon in Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-929-7060 or visit

Live Music, Bee-Friendly Plants and More at Green Drinks

Green Drinks will have something for everyone at their event on November 14 at Fairhope Brewing Company. The monthly happy hour takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature live music by the Strangled Darlings, a folk-rock duo from Vermont. Throughout the event, Rain Keane of Good Scents Flowers and Herbs will be selling pollinator-friendly, organically-grown plants, and Sunflower Cafe will be selling $5 organic dinners that feature dishes from their Thanksgiving catering menu.


“Green Drinks is a casual event for anyone that is interested in sustainable living,” says Anna Miller, a member of the Green Drinks organizing committee. “It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people in a relaxed environment. Friends and family are always welcome.” Mobile Bay Green Drinks takes place in Fairhope every second Tuesday and in Mobile every third Wednesday.

Location: 914 Nichols Ave., Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-279-7517, email or visit

Get a Live Christmas Tree This Year


Fish River Trees Christmas Tree Farm will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 24 through December 23, to help families celebrate a more sustainable holiday with living Christmas trees.

Located five miles east of Fairhope, in the Marlow/Fish River community, Fish River Trees has been providing the finest choose-and-cut trees, fresh-cut firs and container-grown, environmentally-friendly living Christmas trees for 34 years.

Farm visitors will enjoy a live manger scene open during regular business hours. On the first three weekends, Santa will be visiting the farm from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and visitors can enjoy free farm tours aboard the Tree Train, plus camel and pony rides for a small fee. Donations will also be collected for Trees for Troops.

Location: 13982 Woodhaven Dairy Rd. E., Summerdale, AL. For more information, call 251-988-8114, email or visit

A Purr-fect Yoga Class for Cat Lovers

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In conjunction with Project Purr Animal Rescue, Synergy Yoga & Pilates, in Mobile, is hosting Yoga With the Cats from 9 to 10:15 a.m., on November 11. In this fun yoga class, students meet friendly Project Purr cats and kittens during their yoga practice and a portion of the proceeds benefits the rescue group.

“This class offers an opportunity to experience the energy that only a friendly furry feline can provide, support a worthy cause and leave class with a smile on your face,” says teacher Chris Garrett, who owns Synergy with his wife Dana.

Synergy Yoga & Pilates has been serving the community as Mobile’s first fully dedicated yoga and Pilates studio since 2005. The studio offers multiple yoga formats (Ashtanga, hatha, restorative and gentle), both equipment- and mat-based Pilates, plus MELT Method self-care for active living. All are taught in both private and small group settings.

Dana says, “Our only goal for our students is to walk out of our studio after a session feeling better than when they walked in.”

Cost: $12 drop-in rate; $8 for full-time students and seniors. Location: 3152 Old Shell Rd., Ste. 2, Mobile, AL. For more information, call 251-473-1104 or visit

How Alkaline Water Can Help Diabetes


Peak Alkalinity, in Fairhope, offers a simple solution for the prevention and management of diabetes—alkaline water. Because the body thrives on an alkaline pH as opposed to a lower acidic pH, drinking alkaline water can boost the body’s natural detoxification process, improve immunity, facilitate weight management and slow aging.

Alkaline water can also help the body manage insulin production (and therefore manage diabetes) by neutralizing acidic conditions. A healthy pancreas helps maintain alkalinity in the body but poor dietary habits that cause fluctuating blood sugar levels can exhaust the pancreas and lead to diabetes. The smaller clusters of water molecules in alkaline water are easily absorbed by cells to help hydrate and flush acidic toxins, plus it contains ionized calcium that the pancreas can efficiently use to do its job.

“As you replace the ordinary water you drink with alkaline water, you will start to see the many benefits available to you,” says Missy Guitterrez, owner of Peak Alkalinity. “Over time, the alkaline water will help to balance your system out.” For even faster results, Guitterrez also recommends a more alkaline diet, which includes more fruits and vegetables and less meat and dairy.

“We are passionate about helping customers reach peak alkalinity,” says Guitterrez. “Our mission is optimal health, from the inside out.”

For more information, visit