Body+Soul Magazine April 2008 Review: Sugars, Sadness and Simplifying

Body+Soul Magazine April 2008It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that to live a greener, healthier life, you have to completely reinvent your ways. But more often than not, lasting change comes by making things simpler, not harder. Instead of thinking about all you should do, try a gentler approach – one that goes back to basics. Reusable shopping bags. Manual can openers. A walk to the corner store. Handmade gifts. A sustainable future doesn’t grow out of a to-do list, but from a desire for the kind of lifestyle that brings us back to ourselves. – Terri Trespicio

Here-here to that, sister! Though it is tough to get away from cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry, most “modern” inventions and products end up making our lives more cluttered and complicated instead of relieving us of senseless stress. Keeping things simple (or at least progressing them towards that end of the spectrum) is the overall theme of Body+Soul Magazine‘s April 2008 issue – right in time for Earth Day, of course.

Learning how to kick back and take things in stride is the theme of this issue’s Reader to Reader column (page 20) . In celebration of the premiere of Sundance Channel The Green‘s second season on April 1st, Body+Soul is giving away a luxury goody bag (worth over $2,500!) to one lucky reader. All you have to do is reply to this month’s Share Your Wisdom – “When’s the last time you did something out of character, unplanned, or spontaneous? What effect did it have, and what surprise you about the act – or results?” Selected responses will be printed in the August 2008 issue. Visit the Body+Soul website to enter and for more details.

One of my own favorite stress busters is to bake (and eat) cupcakes. Not the healthiest habit for my body, I’m sure, but it is fun! The Naturally Sweet article (page 58) gives details on tasty alternative to traditional sugar. When it comes to desserts, nothing is perfectly healthy. This piece tells both the pros and cons of alternative sweeteners, including agave nectar, stevia, maple syrup and more. It is highly likely that I will never have truly stable blood sugar since cinnamon crumble muffins and chocolate brownies will forever call my name. Even despite this, I’m open to experimenting with other natural sweeteners … how about you?

Sweet treats are also a first choice for many who are going through painful break-ups – the topic of Susan Piver’s Love Lessons: Heartbreak article (page 90). Susan shares a wonderful, though difficult, past experience that reveals a healthy mental process that benefits all areas of life. “100 percent of my emotional pain was attributed to my own thoughts. There is a good Buddhist teaching that illustrates this principle: When your throw a stick for a dog, he runs after it. But throw a stick for a lion, and he turns around to see who threw it. Now when a strong emotion comes up, I try to act like a lion; instead of assuming the feeling is worth chasing, I look to its source.” Taking the time to truly stop and think, instead of getting overwhelmed with whatever our minds churn out, would make anyone’s day flow smoother.

Other swank highlights from the April issue: What’s on Your Life List? (page 124); Eco Chic on the Cheap: 25 Ways to Go Green for $25 or Less (page 98); Food for Thought (page 142) – I reviewed author Christie Matheson’s latest book, Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style, recently as well; 10 Best Stress Busters (page 116); Beauty Basics: Label Lowdown (page 48)

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