Living Mindfully In Maplewood
This weekend, Maplewood's woman's club hosts the second annual Mindful Living Fair.
Sunday, March 22 marks the second annual Mindful Living Community Holistic Health and Wellness Fair. From noon to 4:00 p.m. the Woman’s Club of Maplewood will become a place for community members to connect with holistic health and wellness providers and learn about green living events and products.
Jen Maidenberg, a West Orange resident and mother of three, is the founder and owner of Mindful Living NJ, the group that organized the event. Maidenberg was inspired to create the fair after suffering from various health issues for many years.
“I had everything from allergies to digestive issues to food sensitivities. Traditional medical doctors did not have answers for me. About 10 years ago, I read two books, ‘Eight Weeks to Optimum Health’ and ‘The Yeast Connection.’ I felt I was reading my life story.”
In the years since, Maidenberg tried to pay close attention to how food affected her body, but often failed.
“Sometimes I would get lazy,” she admitted.
Things changed when her children began experiencing food allergies. Maidenberg’s oldest son experienced a nut allergy at age 2.
“I started really paying attention to food from a sensitivity standpoint as opposed to just allergy while nursing my second son who was diagnosed with milk and soy protein intolerance at age 3 months,” Maidenberg said. “Through my elimination diet with him, I really started to understand my own issues with food sensitivity. I am currently nursing my daughter on an elimination diet that’s benefiting both her and me.”
Since Maidenberg had experience with food allergies, she became known among friends as the alternative health go-to person for recommendations.
“People would come up to me and say, ‘I heard you know about issues with dairy. What can I do for my child?’ I really wanted to heal myself and my family and I suddenly felt inspired to heal the community,” Maidenberg said. Together with two other local moms, Maidenberg reached out to the holistic community in order to create the first Mindful Living Fair.
Last year’s fair took place in January and showcased 40 exhibitors. “We had everyone from Pilates instructors to Chiropractors,” she said, adding that the event was a success. “We expected about 200 people but more than 500 showed up.”
This year, there will be 60 exhibitors and the space is filled to capacity.
“I had to turn away many organizations,” Maidenberg said. “But the good news is that we will also be handing out a directory so I was able to include their information for our guests,” she said.
New exhibitors include Brick City Urban Farms and Maplewood Boot Camps. There are also many returning exhibitors like Acorn and the Gym on Springfield Avenue.
“Most of the exhibitors are from Maplewood or the surrounding areas,” explained Maidenberg. “It’s important to me that these neighboring communities can all be served by the exhibitors at this fair.”
Maidenberg is not surprised at how enthusiastic the community has been. “We are a very involved community. People want to take action and be in charge of their health," she said.
As it did last year, Whole Foods will be providing snacks for children. It’s a Wrap and Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant will be offering snacks and goodies such as smoothies, wheat grass shots and yummy Ethiopian treats. The fair will also fun-filled day for the kids. Did I mention everything is free? Below is a timeline of the events:
12:15: Sister Sing Sister String will be performing.
1:15: Blue Life Karate will be offering a kids workshop.
2:15: Yoga For Kids by Shakti Yoga.
3:15: Cooking Class taught by Wholesome Kids.
Jen Slaw will be juggling throughout the afternoon as well.
If you would like to learn more about the Mindful Living NJ and their upcoming events, check out their website.