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Holistic Moms unite

Holistic health practices are quickly gaining popularity in a world where many people make the environment and healthy living priorities. The Holistic Moms Network has been providing a support and resource group for families and mothers since 2003, with 120 chapters around the country and now, mothers in the capital region can get involved too. A chapter is opening in Saratoga and J'mae Shemroske made it happen.

I think it's where we're headed as a planet and society. If we're going to last for future generations, it's really important to share our holistic resources and education with other people; so we can really come together and stay alive for our families, said Shemroske.

With a 21-month-old daughter and eight months pregnant with her second child, Shemroske said she was eager to connect with other parents in the area that approach parenting the same way she does. Since the closest chapter is somewhere near Kingston, she decided to start one herself.

"A friend in Boston told me about it [Holistic Moms Network] and I figured if I wanted to get a chapter going I'd have to do it myself," said Shemroske. "I just wanted to find a community within this area with parents and people interested in raising kids in healthy ways. Being a young mom, it can be tricky to meet people you connect with."

The way she grew up played a big part in why she decided to pursue this kind of life for her family, Shemroske said, but she didn't necessarily realize the connection until later.

"I grew up going to a private school, which was a small community environment I enjoyed. It promoted some parts of this kind of lifestyle. I studied sustainability and environment education in college, so I was kind of on a Greenish path," said Shemroske. "I didn't realize it was this important to me until I had a child and then I knew I would raise [her] alternatively."

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