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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Letter from The Publisher: Saluting the Men in Our Lives

Bernice Butler

As we begin the summer season when fathers are remembered, schedules are a little less cluttered and wanderlust begins to set in, we’re focusing on health and fitness for him, well-being for the whole family and a greener future for our cities.

First, we dig into something many of the women I know complain about and (as I discovered while putting together this issue) many men admit: the fact that men are challenged when it comes to taking care of their own health. I watched my own brother disconnect himself from the medical apparatus in the hospital room where he was recovering from a mild heart attack, put on his clothes and leave the hospital. A couple or years later he died of heart disease, quickly and suddenly. All my life I had seen him eat whatever he wanted, refuse to exercise and disregard his health. He was my only brother, and I loved him. Unfortunately, he was also my poster child for what not to do to live past 50.

So I’ve seen this phenomenon with my own eyes, and it appears that research bears it out too. In our Men’s Health Roundup, “Too Proud for Prevention,” three male doctors in North Texas discuss the problem and explain how they get their male patients to overcome pride, fears and cultural attitudes and take charge of their own health. I especially like the approach of our ER doc turned functional medicine practitioner who conversationally “eases up” on his male patients to gain their trust, reduce their fears and get them talking to him about their health and wellness concerns so that he can educate and encourage them to do better.

Chris Bruno offers a different kind of inspiration with his personal essay, “Fatherhood’s Pain and Glory: We Must Face Our Own Story First.” While it’s commendable when men take to heart the biblical admonition in 1Timothy to provide for and “cover” their families, they should also follow the basic flight safety rule: Put on your own oxygen mast first, so you can then help others.

Of course, cerebral health knows no gender, and “Food Sleuth” Melinda Hemmelgarn’s “Brain-Savers: Smart Strategies to Keep Dementia at Bay” is a must-read for anyone concerned with preventing and treating cognitive decline and memory loss. More than a third of dementia cases are preventable, she says, so adopting diet and lifestyle risk reduction measures is a “no-brainer.” Judging from my own aging relatives, I’ve decided that we should make these prevention strategies part of our daily routine way before we begin noticing gray hairs. Dallas’s own UT Center for Brain Health also weighs in on this subject, with an eye-opening infographic on page 24.

We’ve packed lots more good stuff into our June issue, including our very timely Green Living feature, “Prewired for the Future: Transportation Drives Urban Planning.” It just so happens that both our longtime sponsor Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the city of Dallas are holding public hearings as they grapple with how to prepare for a future that preserves our natural assets and improves (or at least doesn’t hurt) our air quality, while increasing mobility in this mega-region of more than 7 million people who love their cars, horses and barbecue.

As always, we offer plenty of useful tidbits—about mold remediation, minimalist home environments and pet-safe lawns. These are all small takeaways that you can integrate into your daily routines to help you on your journey to a greener, healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.