The Health Hut Celebrates 35 Years


For 35 years, The Health Hut has been a local resource for high quality, natural products and superior customer service. Since opening their doors, the goal of the staff has remained the same: to help local residents live healthier lives.

“We truly try to help people conquer their current health concerns and improve their lives,” says Claude Hutchinson, who has been employed by The Health Hut since the early 2000s. “It’s what all nutritional stores should strive to be.”

Jill Fletcher, who has worked at the West Mobile location for nearly 21 years, is proud to be a part of The Health Hut team. “I watch my co-workers day in and day out and see that they are not only knowledgeable in their different fields, they genuinely want to help people. Their kindness and integrity is undeniable,” she says.

Initially the store operated out of a small house on the corner of Old Government Street and Schillinger Road, when that part of Mobile was still relatively undeveloped. It has since grown to three locations (including a Daphne store), and 35 years later, many of the original customers are still loyal patrons at The Health Hut.

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As the local business has grown, so has the natural care industry. As a result, staff members observe that the customer is now much more informed and open-minded about trying natural products. “More people are starting to view supplements and herbs as an effective way to maintain health,” notes Jeff Freeman, co-manager and grandson of the original owner, Betty Freeman.

To keep up with market demand, The Health Hut continues to expand their inventory and offer customer incentives such as a rewards program and various discounts. They also have their own line of organically grown herbs and essential oils called Hale Ola.

Co-Manager Brock Cole emphasizes that superior customer service has always been the primary focus, saying, “Products have come and gone, but the same great customer service remains.” Education is also a priority. All staff members are required to complete ongoing product trainings so they can educate their customers.

“I am passionate about helping others be proactive with their health,” explains owner Jeff Sheldon. “By educating people, we can empower them to take control of their health and happiness, and that is very satisfying to all of us.”

Looking forward, The Health Hut will continue to focus on the health needs of their customers. The customers and their needs are why the staff members—from the owner to the newest employee—go to work every day.

Summing it up, Fletcher says, “Dream big, but don’t ever forget why we’re here—to maintain principles of love and respect for the customers and for each other. We keep the heart of the business about the people.”

For more information, visit

Pickin' and Grinnin' in Fairhope


The organic blueberries at Weeks Bay Plantation, in Fairhope, are ready to be picked. The public is invited to start picking from 7 a.m. to noon every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday until mid-June.

Weeks Bay Plantation will kick off 10 weeks of Saturday Harvest Nights in May. These family-friendly events feature blueberry picking (cost is $8 per pound), market vendors, food trucks and live music under the stars. Cost is $5 per adult if you don’t wish to pick berries and children 12 and under are free. Coolers are welcome.

Weeks Bay Plantation is an organic farm and venue that offers berry picking, live music, farm tours, field trips, farm-to-table experiences and other organic adventures.


Location: 12562 Mary Ann Beach Rd., Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-279-8746 or visit

Outdoor Learning Program Expands Along Gulf Coast

Outdoor Learning Program Expands Along Gulf Coast


Nature Connect is launching a family program this month in D’Iberville, Mississippi and is enrolling kids for summer camps, preschool and homeschool programs in Daphne and Montrose, Alabama. Serving ages newborn to 12, Nature Connect cultivates a sense of wonder, a love for learning and an appreciation of the natural world. Kids unplug from technology and explore the outdoors to reconnect with each other and the world around them. With lots of educational fun and play, students learn about animal tracking, bird calls, plant and animal identification, and primitive skills and crafts.

“I spent my childhood outside and I want to help foster the next generation of scientists and environmental stewards,” says founder Brinkley Hutchings.

Studies show that time spent in nature increases attention span, ability to concentrate, self-esteem, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Children who spend more time outdoors and who participate in cooperative group activities also tend to have healthier relationships with friends and family.

“Our programs are not only about being outdoors, but also about nurturing the children to be healthy, vibrant and connected individuals,” Hutchings explains. “We support children to be kind and generous, empower them to navigate life’s challenges, and create the space for them to experience the joys of being alive.”


For more information, call 251-747-7846 or visit

Mississippi Retreat Explores Natural Therapies for Personal Care

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Reflex-OIL-ogy™️, a new hands-on educational program, is launching with a Raindrop Retreat on April 28 to 29 in Waveland, Mississippi. The weekend will be restful yet invigorating for professionals as well as parents, oilers, caregivers and those interested in self-help health.

During two full days of Reflex-OIL-ogy classes, participants will enhance their knowledge of essential oils and be empowered to share more with others. Topics include the effects of the skeletal and nervous systems on the back, joint and nerve issues; identifying and working the reflex areas in the feet; applying and receiving Raindrop Reflex-OIL-ogy; and the Emotional Congestion Release Technique to help oneself, family members and friends.

The Gathering Place offers a beautiful and inviting meeting place, and accommodations for $35 a night. Mississippi massage therapists can earn continuing education credits by attending one or both days.


For details and to register, visit

Organic MCT Oil Available at the Health Hut


The Health Hut now carries the new Garden of Life Dr. Formulated 100% Organic Coconut MCT Oil. According to Garden of Life, MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil is quickly digested, absorbed and converted into energy to provide a fast fuel for the brain and body. The product, created in partnership with leading neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, is USDA organic and non-GMO, ensuring that it meets the highest standards for third-party certification.

“We’ve had a lot of customers asking for MCT oil recently, especially those on the Keto diet. It provides a great benefit for both energy and your brain health,” says Jeff Freeman, manager at The Health Hut.

The Health Hut also carries other Dr. Formulated products such as probiotics and digestive enzymes. Owner Jeff Sheldon states that, “as our area is recovering from a challenging cold and flu season, we have had many customers who are looking for good probiotics to help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the body. Every day, we help customers find the product that best meets their needs. The Health Hut is your local partner for better health.”


Locations: 680 S. Schillinger Rd. (251-633-0485) and 2032 Airport Blvd., Ste. D (251-473-0277), in Mobile, AL, and 6845 US Hwy. 90, in Daphne, AL (251-621-1865). For more information, visit

Celebrate Earth Day Locally and Globally


Earth Day, on April 22, will serve again as a galvanizing force on ways to save our planet. With the theme of End Plastic Pollution, the Earth Day Network (EDN) is setting a specific focus this year on the importance of reducing the use of plastics and finding more Earth-friendly alternatives (

The nonprofit notes that of the approximately 300 million tons of plastic annually produced to make bags, bottles, packages and other commodities worldwide, only about 10 percent is successfully recycled and reused. The rest ends up in landfills or as litter, leaching dangerous chemicals into soil and water, endangering humans and wildlife alike.

EDN asks everyone to pledge to switch to sustainable alternatives, subscribe to its newsletter, spread the word via social media, educate and mobilize citizens to demand action, and donate to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution that will engage individuals, companies and governments worldwide.

Further, EDN is extending people’s ability to take personal responsibility by self-rating and guiding their involvement via practical toolkits. “People can create and follow a plan to reduce their plastic footprint and also share that data to help others via the Billion Acts of Green online campaign,” says Valeria Merino, vice president of Global Earth Day, adding that participants will be able to create an ongoing record and track their commitments. The initiative is also providing materials, tips on organizing cleanup events and social media tie-ins.

Help Coastal Alabama and Mississippi celebrate and forward progress in sustainability efforts by participating in these local
Earth Day 2018 events.  

All events are free unless noted otherwise.

Foley Earth Day

9 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 21

Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, Foley, AL

Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market will celebrate with Earth Day displays and activities during the market. Master Gardeners will be on site and a yart sale (yard and art sale) and chili cook-off are also planned.

For more information, contact Alescia Forland at 251-709-4469.


Earth Day Mobile Bay

10 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 21

Fairhope Pier Park, Fairhope, AL

This is Alabama’s largest Earth Day celebration, honoring the Earth and the beautiful Mobile Bay. The 47th annual event hosts more than 100 environmental displays. Highlights include a children’s parade, educational activities, environmental film festival, electronics recycling and live entertainment throughout the day. Free BRATS shuttle service is provided from Big Lots parking lot on North Greeno Road, plus free valet bike parking is available at the event.

For more information, call 702-496-5050 or visit See ad, page 4.


City of Gautier’s 2018
Earth Day Celebration

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 21

George Martin City Park, Gautier, MS

This annual event features a farmers’ market, free eco-tours, vendors and children’s activities that promote learning about the environment. Local vendors will teach about efficient, money-saving and earth-friendly practices.

For more information, visit


Earth Day Pensacola

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 21

Bayview Park, Pensacola, FL

This annual celebration and educational forum promotes green lifestyles with a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. The theme is Energy, Transportation and Sustainability and vendors will represent ride sharing, public transportation, hybrid vehicles, alternative energy sources and gardening. Enjoy live music, dancing, yoga and a children’s area.

For more information, call 850-293-3578 or visit


Naturally Inspired Art Exhibition 

6 to 9 p.m., April 21

Marnée’s Studio, Mobile, AL

The Earth Day opening reception for this juried exhibition will feature nature-themed work from local artists and a book signing by local author Lee Ann Ward. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided and a portion of art sales will benefit Mobile Baykeeper.

For more information, call 251-206-5587 or visit


Earth Day Ocean Splash

1 to 5 p.m., April 22

The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL

Ocean Camp is celebrating nature and the ocean—which covers 70 percent of the planet and provides most of our oxygen—this Earth Day. The afternoon event will feature animal encounters, animal face painting, scavenger hunt prizes and marina walks. 

For more information, call 251-802-8605 or visit

Peak Alkalinity Offers Simple Solutions for Overall Health


Can the key to wellness be in the water you’re drinking? Missy Guitterrez believes that the most important step to healthy living is maintaining a slightly alkaline blood chemistry. As the founder and co-owner of Peak Alkalinity LLC, she suggests that the easiest way to do this is to drink alkaline water.

“Sure, you’d probably be alkaline if you ate a raw food diet, lived a stress-free life and avoided coming in contact with toxins, but that’s hard to do,” she notes. “Drinking alkaline water is the simplest and quickest solution, plus it’s all natural.” When pH levels in the bloodstream are at an optimum level (7.2 to 7.4), the body thrives, resulting in a boost in the detoxification process, improved immunity, easier weight management and slowed aging.

Guitterrez practiced pharmacy for six years in Louisiana before spending 20 years in the financial services industry. She is a former collegiate athlete and holder of 10 AAU medals in Shotokan karate, but she has also suffered from several chronic health issues.

After spending copious amounts of time with various physicians, a doctor with a biochemistry background offered Guitterrez some solutions. “She taught me that everything happens at the cellular level, which helped me look at things from a different perspective,” she recalls. Following an intensive round of diagnostics, the doctor incorporated western and eastern medical approaches which, for the first time, led to drastic improvements in Guitterrez’s health. “It motivated me to change my lifestyle—especially my diet, since most everything starts in the gut—and I started drinking alkaline water to change my blood chemistry,” Guitterrez says.

More than a decade later, as a mom and successful businesswoman, Guitterrez experienced another shift in perspective with the passing of her mother. “I knew Mom was a giver but I had no idea to what extent until I started looking through her checkbook and talking with all the people she had touched,” Guitterrez recalls. “Her life was so meaningful and it made me question what mine was going to be about.”

She began researching alkaline water businesses as a desire to give back to the community grew. The multi-level marketing and online sales approach of other alkaline water companies did not appeal to her because she wanted a larger educational component.

“I felt called to help others detoxify and I had a vision for a showroom that could be used to educate the community,” Guitterrez explains. Through a series of serendipitous events, things fell into place and her dream became a reality with the opening of Peak Alkalinity last fall, in downtown Fairhope.

Guitterrez chose to relocate her family from Louisiana to open the store in Fairhope not only because of its small-town charm and proximity to her previous home, but also because of the clusters of rare cancers being documented along the Gulf Coast.

Approximately a quarter of the people that come into Peak Alkalinity are oncology patients. Because cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment, it is believed that a higher pH level in the body can slow or stop cancer growth.

Striving to continue the generous legacy of Guitterrez’s mom, Peak Alkalinity gives free alkaline water to any oncology patient that comes in and is working on installing alkaline water ionizers in area cancer centers. The business also donates 10 percent of all proceeds to a different charity each month.

Customers come in seeking relief from a long list of chronic issues including acid reflux, gout, arthritis and diabetes. “Plus we see a ton of healthy people that want more energy, and athletes that want to increase their speed and recovery time,” she says.

In addition to filling bottles with alkaline water, Peak Alkalinity offers three types of alkaline water ionizers at competitive prices so consumers can transform their own tap water into health-boosting alkaline water. The store also sells BPA/BPS-free water bottles and houses HydroZen, which offers a full menu of massage services, infrared sauna sessions (which include a collagen shower) and detoxifying foot spas.

Peak Alkalinity believes that drinking alkaline water is a form of preventative healthcare. With customers calling to place orders from across the country and talks of a Mobile location opening later this year, it is evident that this locally-owned store is inspiring lifestyle changes for countless individuals.

“Our mission is optimal health, from the inside out,” says Guitterrez. “It’s more important than ever to keep our bodies as pure as possible, because of the contaminants we encounter daily. There’s no better way to do this than by drinking water that gives us exactly what we need for great health.”

Location: 217-B Fairhope Ave., Fairhope, AL. For more information, call 251-270-7200 or visit

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