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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

Feb 28, 2020 09:30AM ● By Gabriella Buchnik
When it comes to the weather, March in Wisconsin can feel like December. We still have to layer heavy garment upon heavy garment to guard against brutal chills, and waking up to a blanket of spring snow forces us to grab the snow shovels that we had hoped we wouldn’t need again until November. Yet March brings dreams of spring: picnics, festivals, balmy nights on the patio and light, nutritious meals crafted from the array of spring produce that’s abundant throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

Speaking of produce, it’s probably a natural progression that the current interest in plant-based diets dovetails with the plethora of farmers’ markets, community gardens and the Local Food movement. Just over the past few years in Milwaukee—a city famously known for beer, brats and cheese—we’ve welcomed several new restaurants and food hall stands dedicated exclusively to vegan and vegetarian food. An even greater number of existing restaurants have added vegetarian options to their menus. Even large fast-food chains are getting in on the vegan trend, adding the Impossible Burgers to their menus.

Our main feature this month, “The Roots of Good Health: Thriving on a Plant-Based Diet,” not only discusses the health and environmental benefits of plant-based eating, but also offers ways to easily incorporate more meatless and dairy-free foods into one’s diet. Our Conscious Eating feature, “Meatless Makeover: A Plant-Based Spin on Classic Dishes,” offers cooking tips to transform plant-based meals into enticing dishes. With any change, starting gradually can lead to steady success.

Continuing with the plant theme, one genus of greenery that’s enjoyed a lot of attention lately is cannabis, a variety of flowering plants in the Cannabaceae family. This family of former outlaws has had a bad rap for many years due to its most famous relative, marijuana, with its psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But marijuana’s cousin, industrial hemp, which has no or very low THC, is being hailed for its medicinal cannabinoids—most notably cannabidiol, better known as CBD. While there’s still very little regulation and research on CBD, it’s become a rock star of natural wellness primarily through word-of-mouth. CBD’s calming and pain-relieving properties are smashing stigmas about cannabis. In our Healing Ways feature, “CBD’s New Frontier: Help for Mental Health,” author Julie Marshall covers the myths and misconceptions about CBD. Be sure to also check out our Green Living feature, “Hemp Gets Hot: Meet the Hardest Working Plant on the Planet,” which explores the ecological advantages of the hemp crop and explains how hemp is a viable, ecologically sound alternative for making products such as paper.

As we look out of our frost-covered windows, it may feel like spring will never arrive. But just when we think we can’t take one more day of gloves, or of scraping ice off our windshields, the thaw comes, tulips and daffodils suddenly poke their heads from the soil and the sun stays out longer each day, ushering in this annual cherished time of rebirth and renewal.

Happy Spring!

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher
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