Design Well, Live Simply and Celebrate Wellness

Each day we have an opportunity to live the life we want to live, to explore, learn and grow. Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, also known as LOHAS, is an ever expanding group – more of a demographic really – that individually and collectively makes choices in our growing world of accountability and impact.

People who identify themselves as living healthfully and sustainably include not only the areas of green building and energy efficiency, but areas of choice that surround household products, electrical and hybrid vehicles, fair trade purchases, organic and locally owned food sources, medical choices and socially responsible investing.

Here in the Green & Main community, we have frequent discussions regarding choice and action, as it just seems to be in the air that we breathe. In fact, one of my favorite quotes from Chaden Halfhill was made off-the-cuff when we were at a meeting with the Office of Energy Independence in downtown Des Moines last year. As we were discussing the enormity of the project that is before us, its complexities and nuances, Chaden pauses and says, “Design well, live simply. That’s what it comes down to.”

This is a magnificent goal, and to that end I had a discussion recently with Johanna Hoffman, one of the people making this weekend’s Healthy Living Expo happen. Johanna is a very enthusiastic and engaged member of the LOHAS community, though I don’t know if she would identify herself as such. Her approach to the community and world she lives in is closer to the chest, it seems, than a label that one applies to their choices. It, too, is in the air that she breathes.

Johanna tells me, “What people don’t realize is that everything in their life involves health. The mental aspects of what we do in our life impact the physical.” Johanna and others who are putting together the Healthy Living Expo wanted to create an event that encourages the development of community wellness. We will do this, she says, through holding events that educate in fitness, personal care, traditional and alternative health care information, products and services.

The Expo will be at Hy-Vee Hall on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and will include a New Year’s Resolution Run with all proceeds from the run going to Special Olympics Iowa, a Healthy Living Expo Roller Race Championship presented by the Smart Honda Women’s Race Team, a Winter Farmer’s Market and a Healthy Kid’s Zone. A listing of the many classes and workshops can be found at with each one lasting about an hour each. See the pdf here >> HLE 2011 Classes & Workshops

Before Johanna needed to leave for her next meeting, she left these words with me: “When you feel you are contributing to the world, your outlook is richer.”

I wholeheartedly agree.


– Jean Danielson is director of operations for Indigo Dawn. She likes watching people being healthy on TV.


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