Every action and intention begins with a thought! Our thoughts are incredibly powerful but how does one prove that? It's so hard to be able to quantify the power of our thoughts butRead More
Guess what time it is?! ... It's Osteoporosis awareness month which affects ALL of us healthy fashionistas .Read More
Activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years to cleanse and detoxify the body. Whats the difference between charcoal and activated charcoal? Well, they are almost identical – the only difference is that activated charcoal has been created solely for medicinal use. Activated charcoal is heated with a gas that causes the charcoal to expand, creating a porous surface that traps toxins.
No, I'm not referring to hallucinogenic mushrooms! I'm talking about the endless benefits of medicinal mushrooms used for healing and optimal living.
Mushrooms are simply marvelous. The sizes, shapes, and colors are beautiful and the health benefits are HUGE!!!Read More
I'm going to tell you about my secret to many skin aliments from acne, burns, rashes, and even fungus. It's the perfect combination of plants that heal, soothe, and have antimicrobial properties. It's called CCC cream which stands for Calendula, Comfrey, and Cornflower.Read More
Papaya is loaded with wonderful antioxidants and enzymes that will exfoliate your skin and give you a healthy vibrant glow
Seriously, the most effective beauty treatments are located in the produce department of your local grocery store! A special enzyme in papaya called papain acts as an exfoliation agent which breaks down the surface of dead skin cells giving you super smooth skin. Honey has antibacterial properties which can help fight acne while reducing inflammation and providing moisture for the skin. The lemon is a great addition because it helps to brighten skin while adding collagen building vitamin C.
Give it a try... and you can eat any of the delish leftovers
Blend 1 papaya (make sure it's peeled with no seeds) with 1 tablespoon honey and a hint of lemon.
Apply to face and leave it on for 20 minutes
Rinse and Glow!
Do you still want to unwind at a party but not feel gross the morning after? My answer, Kava Cocktails! The Polynesians have been drinking this for hundreds of years and your figure out why soon enough. This wonderful beverage has awesome calming effects on the mind and body, some even compare it to Valium but it doesn’t impair your judgement or inhibit clarity!
1. The root of kava kava should be used and ground up into a powder.
2. Add 1teaspoon of powder (for one drink) to a mesh strainer.
3. Add mesh strainer into one cup of COLD water.
4. Gently massage the mesh strainer (inside the water) for 2 minutes (this is to get out all the kavalactones to mix with the water)
Okay, so now time for the fun part. Simply fill up the cup with 3/4 kava and create your own kava cocktail!
Okay, so I know that its still January but I'm starting to get sick of the grey days here in Seattle. To brighten things up today I thought I would feature some of my favorite spring items.
Who doesn't have stress in their lives? An easy practice to quickly reduce stress is called the muscle tension relaxation technique and it only takes 10 minutes. Seriously, give it a try today... it feels A M A Z I N G afterwards.
1. Find a comfy place and loosen any tight clothing.
2. Tense your toes and feet. Hold the tension, study the tension, and then relax.
3. Tense your lower legs, knees, and thighs. Hold the tension, study the tension, and then relax.
4. Tense your buttocks. Hold and study the tension. Relax.
5. Tense your fingers and hands. Hold and study the tension, then relax.
6. Tense your lower arms, elbows, and upper arms. Hold it, study it, and relax.
7. Tense your stomach, hold the tension, feel the tension, and relax.
8. Tense your chest. Hold and study the tension. Relax. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
9. Tense your lower back. Hold and study the tension and relax.
10. Tense the upper back. Hold the tension, feel the tension, then relax.
11. Tense the neck, back, and front of your neck. Hold the tension, study the tension, and then relax.
12. Tense the shoulders. Hold and study the tension. Then relax.
13. Tense your entire head. Make a grimace on your face so that you feel the tension in your facial muscles. Study the tension and then relax.
14. Now try to tense every muscle in your body. Hold it, study it, and then relax.
15. Continue sitting or reclining for a few minutes, feeling the relaxation flowing through your body. Know the difference between muscles that are tense and muscles that are relaxed.
16. Now stretch, feeling renewed and refreshed; continue with your day feeling like a healthy fashionista!
TCM (traditional chinese medicine) is all about balance, flow, and harmony. It's been around for thousands of years and over a 1/4 of the world's population use it! TCM believes that the human body is a miniature version of the larger, surrounding universe. that harmony between two opposing yet complementary forces, called yin and yang, supports health, and disease results from an imbalance between these forces. The five elements—fire, earth, wood, metal, and water—symbolically represent all phenomena, including the stages of human life, and explain the functioning of the body and how it changes during disease. Last but certainly not least, Qi (or chi), a vital energy that flows through the body, performs multiple functions in maintaining health.
The 5 Elements
The five elements are all about keepin' the flow with harmony and balance. It organizes all natural phenomena into five master groups or patterns in nature. Each of the five groups Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water include categories such as a season, a direction, climate, stage of growth and development, internal organ, body tissue, emotion, aspect of the soul, taste, color, sound . . . the categories are seemingly limitless. The Five Elements reflect a deep understanding of natural law, the Universal order underlying all things in our world.
Your body is an integrated whole.
You are fantastic! Each and every structure in your body is an integral and necessary part of the whole. Along with your mind, emotions, and spirit, your physical body structures form a miraculously complex, interrelated system that is powered by life force, or energy. Everything you need to heal yourself exists within your being!
You are completely connected to nature.
Changes in nature are always reflected in your body meaning the season, geographical location, time of day, as well as your age, genetics, and the condition of your body when looking at your health issues.
You were born with a natural self-healing ability.
Your body is a microcosm that reflects the macrocosm. Think about it: nature has a regenerative capacity, and so do you.
Prevention is the best cure.
TCM teaches you to be aware of your body and how if feels if it in unbalanced.
The concept of chi, which means something like "life force" or "energy," is an invisible energy force that flows freely in a healthy person, but is weakened or blocked when a person is ill. Specifically, the illness is a result of the blockage, rather than the blockage being the result of the illness. How does your chi flow?
Yin & Yang
Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies. Although they are totally different; opposite in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate. For example, night and day form a Yin-Yang pair. (Night is Yin and day is Yang.) Night looks and is very different from day, yet it is impossible to have one without the other. Both create a totality, a complete whole.
It seems as though every healthyfashionista could benefit from a little balance and harmony!
Fermented foods are a great source of natural probiotics! Adding fermented foods to your diet can help maintain healthy gut flora. Your gut has good and bad forms of bacteria that can proliferate and cause an imbalance in your gut health (click here to read my post on good bacteria!). It’s important to have more good than bad to maintain optimal health.
Here are some great food sources of probiotics:
Make Your Own Kimchee
- 2 large Chinese Cabbages, 230g (8 oz.)
- rock salt
- 10 Tb fish sauce
- 10 Tb of red pepper powder
- 1 onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 oriental pear
- 1 Tb of salt
- ½ Tb of sugar
- small touch of ginger
- 4 spring onion
- Cut cabbages into chunks and soak in plenty of water with 180g (6 oz.) of salt
- Soak for 4-5 hours
- To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a blender except the spring onions
- Blend until fine and slice onions into chunks and add to the mixture
- Drain cabbage and mix with sauce until mixed together
- This should be reasonably salty, but all more salt if needed
- Put kimchee into large jars and leave in fridge for a week, then it will be ready to enjoy
- You can store kimchee in fridge for 6-12 months or longer
For more information click on the book below!
As the temperatures drop there's nothing more inviting than a warm cup of tea to snuggle up with next to the fire. The best part about making chai tea is that you can pretty much create it any way you like and it always tastes great!
Want to stimulate blood flow ... add a dash of cayenne
Having digestive problems... put a pinch of fennel
Looking for something a little sweeter... throw in some vanilla bean
Still want more spice... sprinkle on some orange peels or cloves
Going to play in the snow... add a little extra ginger to get warmed up
Ingredients (per cup)
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1-2 pieces cinnamon
- Fresh ginger 2-3 thin slices
- 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons Assam black tea
1. heat water and milk as the mixture warms add the fresh ginger along with the other spices which should be roughly 1/4 teaspoon per cup.
2. When water is close to boil add the black tea.
3. Steep for 2 minutes.
4. Pour into cup through a strainer and enjoy!
This long-time Seattle favorite has a great blend of Black Tea, Ginger, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Astragalus, Cardamom, Coriander, Galangal, Ginko, Gotu-Kola, Fo-Ti, Nutmeg, Cloves, Vanilla Bean
[gallery type="circle" ids="8907,8906,8905"] Who says that you have to wait until the new year to start a resolution. The best time to set a goal is NOW! Whether it's hiking a mountain, starting barre class, training for a triathlon, or losing some extra pounds... write it down and set clear goals to reach by specific dates.
Here's some tools to help you get started!
Join Spark People which is a free online website to help you track and reach your goals.
Join Iron Girl to find and train for women's events.
Metagenics Healthy Transformation weight loss program is a clinical grade program that address all components of weight loss from gastrointestinal function, detoxification, vitamin deficiencies, and setting nutritional goals.
Extraordinary You - A Woman's Guide to Having it All By Megan Wolfenden
Gemmotherapy is pretty amazing! It's technically a form of botanical medicine but it uses only the buds and young shoots of trees (also the rootlets, bark, catkins, seeds, and sap). This is a unique form of herbal medicine because it embraces the plant from a holistic point of view by harvesting at very specific times and cycles to capture the plant's most vital energy. Different than other herbal preparations, the tinctures made from buds have low toxicity because of the embryonic nature of the tissue, and are highly active in the body when used therapeutically. The plants are gathered in the spring which is the highest point of the natural growth cycle and renewal which translates to remedies containing concentrated nutrients, vitamins, and enzymes, growth factors, and phyto hormones. Gemmotherapy has many uses including detoxification and drainage.
Learn more about Gemmotherapy!
As the temperature drops the thought of warming foods such as ginger, cinnamon, and soups sounds delightful.
Here are some great Autumn recipes:
Autumn Salad Mixed With Chicories & Persimmons
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
- Coarse salt
- 2 pounds mixed chicories, such as Radicchio di Treviso, Palla Rossa, and frisee, torn into 1-inch pieces (18 cups)
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 3 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Make the dressing: Gradually whisk oil into vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt. Make the salad: Toss chicories, walnuts, persimmons, and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette, and toss to coat.
Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 tsp Thai curry paste, red or green
- 1l vegetable stock
- half sachet creamed coconut (or ¼ can reduced-fat coconut milk)
- handful coriander, roughly chopped
- mini naan bread, to serve
- 750g sweet potatoes, grated
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan, then soften the onion for 4-5 mins. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 min more until fragrant. Add the grated sweet potato and stock, then bring quickly to the boil, simmering for 5 mins until the potato is tender.
Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the coconut and seasoning, then cool briefly before whizzing with a stick blender until smooth. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with warm garlic naan breads.
Hot Ginger Apple Cider
- 4 cups apple cider
- 2 tbsps light brown sugar
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5/8 ginger
- 4 cinnamon sticks
In a medium saucepan, bring apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon and ginger to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let it infuse for 10 minutes.
Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick if desired.
The Vis is our own healing potential within the body & soul which allows the body to heal itself. The body possesses an inherent ability to restore health and through specific modalities we can encourage that process.
How do we stimulate our Vis?
Well, it all depends on the individual but here are the basics:
1. Get out in nature: Getting away from the hustle & bustle of city life and feeling the calming vibe and beauty of nature is healing for the mind & body.
2. Go Barefoot: The earth has a negative ionic charge and when we go barefoot are bodies are able to ground that charge. Negative ions are proven to detoxify, calm, reduce inflammation, and even synchronise our internal clocks, hormonal cycles, and physiological rhythms.
3. Breathe fresh air: Our breathe is one of the most fundamental forms of life and yet usually taken for granted. Embracing the brisk fresh air and taking deep breaths soothes the soul.
4. Eat foods that are grown locally and organically with love
There are also specific treatments such as...
Constitutional Hydrotherapy: Which can boost immunity through a series of hot & cold compresses applied to the chest and abdomen along with a mild electrical stimulation.
Wet Sock Treatments: This treatment acts to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head and throat which is a great treatment for the common cold.
Peat Baths: Taking a bath with peat supports the body in several ways because the peat itself retains the temperature of the water which aids the body to sweat and further release toxins from the deep within the tissues. The warm bath, in addition to the properties of the peat, support the body by decreasing inflammation and pain while increasing circulation and sweat.
Water therapy: Hydrotherapy is essentially the use of water (hot or cold, ice or liquid) to treat and heal the body of aliments. The use of various water temperatures is very important to treat certain aliments for example; hot and cold contrast hydrotherapy stimulates circulation by causing increased constriction and dilation of the veins which in turn provides fresh nutrients while also stimulating movement of the lymphatic system to eliminate waste from the body.
What are you going to do to stimulate your Vis today?
We are blessed with the gift of fertility and even if your not ready for little ones running around, getting to know your body and cycle is very important to tune into your feminine wisdom.
Stages of your cycle:
Follicular Phase: During this phase, the hormone estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to grow, or proliferate. This lining, called the endometrium starts to develop to receive a fertilized egg should you become pregnant. The increase of another hormone, called the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), in turn stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles. Each follicle contains an egg. By late in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, only a single follicle will remain active.
The lining of your uterus begins to thicken in response to this increase in estrogen. Estrogen levels rise dramatically during the days before ovulation and peak about one day before ovulation. The surge in estrogen triggers a spike in yet another hormone – the luteinizing hormone, or LH. Ovulation occurs as this increase in LH causes the follicle to rupture and release an egg.
Ovulation Phase: Ovulation is what happens when a mature egg (ovum) is released from your ovarian follicle to the nearest fallopian tube during your menstrual cycle. Sometimes two of these eggs can mature in a month.
The increase in LH triggers ovulation. The egg then travels into the uterus. If you have regular 28-day menstrual cycles, ovulation usually occurs on day 14. However, most women have different menstrual cycle lengths. In general, ovulation occurs 11 to 16 days before your upcoming period.
Ovulation occurs when one of the ovaries releases a mature egg. The egg travels out of the ovary, into the nearest fallopian tube and into your uterus. As the egg moves down the fallopian tube over several days, the lining of the uterus continues to grow thicker and thicker.
It takes about three to four days for the egg to travel toward the uterus. If fertilization is to occur, it must happen within 24 hours of ovulation or the egg degenerates.
It takes about three to four days for the egg to travel toward the uterus. If fertilization is to occur, it must happen within 24 hours of ovulation or the egg degenerates. After ovulation, the luteal phase begins.
Luteal Phase: After ovulation, the follicle becomes a hormone-producing structure called the corpus luteum. The cells of the corpus luteum produce estrogen and large amounts of progesterone, with the latter hormone stimulating the uterine lining development in preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg. If you don’t become pregnant, the corpus luteum degenerates about two weeks after ovulation. Because of this, progesterone levels drop and the stimulation for the lining is lost. This causes the lining to shed as a new menstrual cycle starts.
The loss of the corpus luteum can be prevented by fertilization of the egg. If you become pregnant during your period, fertilization will occur within 24 hours of ovulation. About five days after fertilization, the fertilized egg enters your uterus and becomes embedded in the lining. With implantation, cells that will eventually become the placenta begin to produce the “pregnancy hormone” or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). It interrupts your menstrual cycle by providing continual stimulation of the corpus luteum to produce progesterone. This prevents the loss of your lining.
During this phase of the menstrual cycle, if you become pregnant, the egg moves into your uterus and attaches to the lining. If you are not pregnant, the lining of the uterus is shed through the vaginal opening. Then, a new menstrual cycle begins. (Source)
What are some natural treatments to promote fertility?
Asparagus racemosa (Shatavari)
- Female reproductive tonic, Ayurvedic aphrodesiac
- Supports healthy mucus
- Balances hormones through follicular and luteal phase
- Nourishes corpus luteum, boots progesterone
- Can decrease elevated prolactin
False Unicorn Root
- Fallopian tube and ovarian tonic
- Improves mucous production
Adrenal Support with such herbs including Rehmannia, Glycyrrhiza, Rhodiola, and Withania.
Food & Lifestyle
- Organic whole foods especially for meats and dairy
- No alcohol, cigarettes, or caffeine
- Healthy proteins and fats
- Purified water
- Limited processed foods
- Eliminate exposures to environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and use natural cleaning products
.... and a great prenatal multi vitamin with folate.
It seems like everyone is going back to the basics! Urban farming has become the new standard for living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
It's the height of tomato season right now and the perfect time to discuss the benefits. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene which is a potent antioxidant and has been shown to be protective against certain cancers. They are also a great source of vitamins C, B6, K, A, folate, potassium, niacin, and thiamin.
Unfortunately this night shade fruit is not for everyone, some people can have an allergic reaction.
Photos taken by David Shoup
[gallery type="circle" ids="6140,6141,6143"] Seriously? What's up with all these diets!
Paleo, Mediterranean, DASH, Blood Type, HCG, Atkins, Vegan, Raw, Master Cleanse, Water Fasting...
Certainly they all have benefits and apply to specific populations, but life doesn't have to be so hard!
In naturopathic medicine our first goal is to 'remove barriers to health' by teaching patients to address all aspects of one's life and, diet is typically one of the biggest barriers. I think the most successful approach to seeing a real change in eating habits is to provide them a template rather than stringent rules.
Here are some simple tools to a healthy life:
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Eat Whole Foods (nothing extra added to the food)
Eliminate Highly Processed Foods (this includes sodas, candy,fast food, and chips)
Drinks LOTS of water
Increase your protein intake (includes Spirulina, Organic Grass Fed Meat, Wild Fish) and decrease your grain consumption.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Sweat! this is the best way to detoxify your body.
Listen to your body ( Do you feel better or worse after eating something?)
Do your best but don't strive for perfection.
"Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced everyday..." Jim Rohn
What an amazing summer day to go on a drive with the top down while making random stops for fresh dahlias or to forage for mushrooms in the forest. The crisp air and the vibrant green colors makes me fall in love with Washington all over again, even enough to put up with all the rain.
Douglas Fir: put the branches in a vase to embrace the forest fragrance or infuse them in a syrup for that Northwest taste.
Nettles: dry the leaves out and drink it as a nutritious tea (and don't worry the stinging is eliminated by drying or cooking) but wear gloves when you are picking them!
Morels: packed with B vitamins, vitamin D, and rich in selenium these are great for overall immune support.
Dandelion Greens: a great addition to a salad and the bitterness helps with digestion.
Moss Covered Twigs: put the twigs in a fancy vase and give a whimsical and grounding feel to your home.
Salmon Berries: rich in vitamin A and potassium, this berry would add an unexpected twist to the traditional jam.
Mud: rich in minerals and great at detoxifying your body, cover yourself in a light paste and wash off when it has dried. The most important part is to find quality mud either from a hot spring or mud that comes from a glacier for the highest purity.
Photography by Jared Duhon of J Duhon Photography