Human beings are smart and adaptive creatures.

For everything we want to or need to do, there are choices. There are hundreds of food options within 15 minutes of Ahwatukee Foothills, you can't drive down the street without seeing something new to do and there are even choices to cure our ailments. Holistic healing has become mainstream and successful so you know they must be doing something right.

In the age of information, the resources at our disposal are infinite. Five minutes on the Internet and you can find legitimate ways to improve your health. Not just exercise routines and diets, but, if curiosity strikes you, you can find out how any ingredient is processed and used by your body and what better choices are. In minutes, you can find out why diet soda or any type of carbonated beverage is horrible for your mouth and body.

But millions drink them anyway because that is what it means to be human: freedom to choose what goes into our body even if some things are bad.

There is no doubt we are becoming more health-conscious as a society. The information is out there and easy to obtain. As information spreads and demand increases for healthy choices, supply increases as well.

For food choices in Ahwatukee Foothills, there places like Hillside Spot, a local market and café; La Regazze, an Italian grill whose owners source fresh and local products everyday; Pomegranate Café a vegetarian restaurant that uses local and organic products; and Caffe Boa Euro-style bistro that also offers fresh and healthy options.

"If you live here awhile, you realize there's a more health-conscious mindset than other parts of the East Valley," said Marlene Tolman of Pomegranate Café. "You notice a lot of families out running, walking, biking on a regular basis."

The options to get in shape around the area are endless. Besides jogging or hiking South Mountain, there is the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA, Gold's Gym, The BAR Fitness and more to break a sweat. To increase flexibility there are more than a handful of businesses that offer yoga, and for those who want a full-on-body transformation, places like Ahwatukee CrossFit and Kosama in Tempe offer programs with daily workouts to get you in shape fast.

"We offer CrossFit classes to women of all ages and all fitness levels," owner Rebecca Parent said. "I guarantee your confidence and body image will soar within four weeks of attending."

Massages are a great option for when you are stressed or your body aches. There are a number of places in the area that offer a wide range of massages and other spa services. A recent development is places that offer reflexology, which targets the hands and feet. First Class Reflexology opened eight months ago and Massage Envy also offers the service.

"Reflexology is an effective way to release stress and tension, and it's also a natural way to re-balance yourself," First Class Reflexology owner Josie Lee said. "Reflexology will heal your body by enhancing the body's natural healing process."

Residents interested in holistic healing have a couple of local choices, including the Phoenix Holistic Health Center, 4747 E. Elliot Road, and the Phoenix Anti-Aging Clinic, 11011 S. 48th St., run by Dr. Matthew Cavaiola.

"People really want answers for their health problems," Cavaiola said. "The diet is very important because there are horrible things found in fast food that we are putting into our bodies on a daily basis."

There are options for people with any level of interest in leading a healthier lifestyle. It just depends on where you want to start.

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