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Letter from Publisher

Peggy Malecki

As I write this letter just before the official start of fall, summer still lingers outside my window. Hummingbirds are regular visitors to the nectar feeder and the monarchs are dining on goldenrod, ironweed and colorful annuals—all in preparation for their long journeys to warmer climates for the winter. All too soon, they’ll be on their way. Yet October is one of my favorite months, as I love watching the colors transition, the light soften and the air take on a new quality of refreshing crispness. Local farmers’ markets are filled with the late summer harvest, tempting us with their selections of  hard shell squashes, cabbages, root veggies, cool weather greens and beans.

             Crisp fall evenings are ideal for cooking aromatic soups, stews, chilies and casseroles. It’s also baking season again, and time to make pies, crumbles and other delectable baked goodies with all of the wonderful seasonal apples, pears and remaining stone fruits at the market. While new recipes are always fun to try, I find myself often returning to time-proven family favorites for apple pie, kuchen and zucchini bread. I’m looking forward to turning on the oven, putting on an apron and baking up with this week’s Michigan pears from my local farmers’ market. Or maybe I’ll start with the peaches …

        I write often about the power of food and tradition to build community connections. Food preparation and dining are powerful human tools for creating memories and strengthening relationships. This month, we examine “Slow Food” in our Conscious Eating section, a movement that’s certainly not new, but one that is seeing a surge in popularity. As April Thompson shares, the concept is gaining momentum because it satisfies our hunger for a deeper appreciation and understanding of our meal’s origins from farm to fork, while also building community connections.

        Speaking of connections, research is increasingly showing how paying attention to the seemingly little things such as the daily care of our teeth and gums affect our overall wellness. In our main feature, “Mouth Matters: A Holistic Approach to Oral Health,” Ronica O’Hara delves into the growing evidence that this “doorway to the body” can usher in heart issues, inflammatory response and even Alzheimer’s if not well maintained. In keeping with this everything-is-related, whole-body approach, Marlaina Donato explores how one region of the body might affect a seemingly unrelated area in “Spinal Solutions: Chiropractic Care Yields Unexpected Results.”

        This issue also marks the start of our 10th year of publishing Natural Awakenings Chicago. We offer a heartfelt and sincere thank-you to everyone that who has been with us on this journey. Thank you to you, our readers, for embracing Natural Awakenings, reading and sharing our pages each month, supporting our advertisers and attending the multitude of events we feature. Thank you to the businesses throughout the Chicagoland area that carry our magazine. And a huge thank-you to our community advertising partners who make this magazine possible every month.

        And finally, a deep and lasting gratitude to our devoted team of sales professionals, designers, writers, editors, production gurus, delivery drivers and other staff members that make this all happen each month. Thank you all!               

Wishing you a delightful October!