The holiday season is really about helping each other and cherishing the relationships we have in our life. What are you going to do this year for the people you love? How can you improve the lives of those around you?Read More
Get my look: Sue Wong Dress, Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Jacket
Flower Essences are one of my all-time favorite energetic treatment modalities because it is very low force yet can have profound effects! Flower Essences can be used to rebalance the emotional & energetic state of the body and help with common complaints from anxiety to emotional eating.
- Still crying over your ex-boyfriend 6 months later?... Honeysuckle (for those who dwell on past relationships or events with dreamy reverie)
- Trying to quit smoking?... Chestnut Bud (for those who fail to learn from experience, repeating patterns or mistakes again and again. Also addresses obsessive-compulsive tendencies)
Photography by Jared Duhon of J. Duhon Photography
Okay, so most of my close friends know that cooking has never been my strength except for the occasional raw "cooking", my famous beet salad, and juicing. This recipe for Raw Vegan Gingersnap cookies is so easy and they taste incredible so I had to share it with my fellow fashionistas!!!
- 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups of dates
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons of fresh minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil
- raw sugar to sprinkle on top
1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and blend!
2. Shape each cookie as desired and sprinkle raw sugar and small sprigs of ginger on top.
3. Refrigerate for 3 hours and Wholaa!
Hydrotherapy certainly isn’t a new type of treatment since it was first documented as far back as the 5th century B.C, but it is having a revitalization with the sprouting of new spas around the area. 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. The photos were taken at Yuan Spa which has an absolutely stunning spa!
1. Warm Pool
Begin in the warm pool to get in a more relaxed state from the dilation blood vessels that increase the blood flow through them, diverting blood flow to the extremities and to the skin’s surface, opening the pores of the skin, activating sweat glands and relaxing muscles. Increased blood flow has important effects on your body, including: more efficient oxygenation of tissues, thereby helping injuries heal faster, and more efficient removal of toxins from tissue, which helps prevent or ease injuries and increases tissue resiliency.
2. Eucalyptus Steam Room
Inhaling steam has a beneficial effect on the lungs as well. The moist, hot air causes the small airways and air sacs in the lungs to dilate and increases the lung’s ability to move phlegm and mucus out. It can also help people breathe in more easily, since the volume of space in the lungs slightly increases. The eucalyptus mixed within the steam helps to clear any sinus congestion while lining the mucous membranes with antimicrobials to fight colds.
Sweat it out! The most gentle way to rid yourself of toxins is as simple as heat and sweat! By eliminating toxins through your skin you are able to avoid integrating the toxins into your blood stream and increasing the burden to your kidneys and liver. The heat from the sauna induces lypolysis (many toxins are stored in our fat cells) and the sweat increases the elimination pathway.
4. Cold Pool
Cold water and ice causes the body to conserve heat. As a result, blood vessels in the body constrict, decreasing the amount of blood that flows through them. Blood flow is diverted from the extremities to the core of the body and to internal organs, to help keep them warm and operating correctly. The pores of the skin close, sweat glands shut down, muscles tense, and some endocrine system organs, like the adrenal gland, become more active. In naturopathic medicine we call this part "Stimulating the Vis" because it forces the body to work harder and warm itself which in turn promotes healthy immune function.
It can be used to:
- Boost the immune system
- Heal injuries
- Detoxify the body
- Treats cold & flu
Want to learn more about the benefits of hydrotherapy on the body? Read My Water Cure by Sebastian Kneipp, which was written in 1894 detailing his experiences with 35 years of water treatments.
Get my look: Vintage purple dress, Jimmy choo for Hunter rain boots (similar here)
Resveratrol is believed to be responsible for "French Paradox" (how the french are able to smoke, drink, and eat red meat yet have a lower cardiovascular rate than the US). It is found in the skin of red grapes, grape juice peanuts, and some berries including blueberries, billberries, and cranberries. Resveratrol is actually in the same plant compound group as polyphenols which are potent antioxidants. It is thought that this antioxidant is linked to longevity, decreased inflammation, and anti-aging.
Check here to watch a Dr. Oz animation video on the benefits on the body.
- Decreased inflammation
- Cardiovascular health
- Protects cells from free-radical damage
It wouldn't be a proper celebration if I didn't include my sister, jewelry & fashion designer Rachel Burklund in this photo shoot.
Having a stylish feast means preparing meals with in-season fruits and vegetables. Here are some of my favorite:
Pomegranate: a potent antioxidant and high in fiber
Eggplant: rich in iron, calcium, and vitamin K
Fennel: great for digestive health along with respiratory infections
Carrots: rich in carotenoids which are strong antioxidants
Squash: rich source of vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin B6. In addition, it is high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose.
Pumpkin: contains vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.
Grapes: the fleshy part of grapes as well as the extract of its seeds contains proanthocyanidins and resveratrol which are powerful antioxidants
Brussel Sprouts: A host of antioxidant ingredients including vitamins C, E, and A, as well as the mineral manganese. Also, flavonoid antioxidants like isorhamnetin, quercitin, and kaempferol also serve well to protect against oxidative stress on the body's cells.
Broccoli: rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and phyto-nutrients
Check out some of the gorgeous pieces used in this photo shoot from the Rachel Burklund!
Mud & peat baths offer many therapeutic benefits from detoxification to immune stimulation. Found from bogs all around the world that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and extracts from a multitude of plants that reflect the environment and not its present day pollution.
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.
For a true naturopathic peat bath experience the duration of the bath is approximately 20 minutes (depends on your comfort), followed by wrapping up in a wool blanket for an additional 20 to 30 minutes while lying down. This enables the body to further sweat out any toxins and aid the body in stimulating it’s own healing powers from within. Make sure to drink plenty of water!!!
My favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is browse the local farmer's market and I'm loving the dahlias everywhere. Eating a diet from in-season fruits & veggies provides many benefits for you and the environment.
Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of their freshness which means you are getting the optimal amount of nutrients from your food. Eating foods based on season (instead of what is in the grocery store) creates a diversity in your diet and creates a natural balance for your digestion.
Autumn is focused on warming food such as carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, onions, cabbage and winter squash are soothing to the soul when there is a chill in the air. Peppercorn, ginger and mustard seed are warming spices that the body appreciates this time of the year.
The economic benefits are great too! Purchasing local produce reduces your carbon footprint & encourages the growth of small farms.
Visiting a waterfall is a cleansing experience for the mind & the body by the sheer beauty of being there are also through the invigorating ions. The waterfall creates negative ions which once they reach the bloodstream, are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
Negative ions are generated by moving water so get out the beach, go on a hike next to a river, or swim under a waterfall.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better" ~ Albert Einstein
Maybe it's the earth sign (I'm a Taurus) in me talking but the place I feel most at home and balanced is when I'm hiking in the forest. I feel like it's easy to lose touch with how truly amazing nature is when living in the city and going about daily life.
I'm sure you gals are all familiar with the awesome benefits of exercise which includes increasing energy, enhancing cognitive function, and increasing your metabolism... but did you know how awesome the benefits of hiking in nature are?
- The soil is much more gentle on the joints than pavement
- Being away from technology helps to push the focus on the moment
- Fresh air
- Vibrant colors... autumn is a perfect time to see the colors changing into gorgeous red hues
...and the best part? It's totally free and all around you!
We are made up of 60% of it and it is essential to every cell in our body. We use it to cool our body with sweat, to circulate oxygen and fuel to our organs, and eliminate waste products via blood. Drinking more water is the simplest task we can do to improve our health. Did you know that the most common cause of mid afternoon fatigue is actually caused by mild dehydration? Go ahead and embrace one your most natural and essential needs. Try to drink at least 1/3rd of your body weight in ounces of pure water each day.
Keeping Hydrated can help with:
- Improves energy
- Increases detoxification
- Eliminates headaches
- Moisturizes skin
- Improves concentration
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance" ~Aristotle
Finding ways to express your passion is an important part of leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I love going to Seattle's sculpture park to get inspired!
Mind Body medicine encompasses all areas of our life and expressing ourselves creatively is a great way to relieve stress and express our emotions. The best part about art... its everywhere and in everything. Some common healing therapies include music, visual arts, movement-based creative expression, and writing. Many published articles have been written about how art therapy increases the healing potential within our bodies, showing once again how the mind and body are so deeply connected.
Go find your passion!
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
What is one of the best things for your soul and your health? A furry best friend of course!
I have been so lucky to have a wonderful furry companion named Elvis, he has put up with my crazy schedule through medical school and has been a great support.
Pet ownership has many proven health benefits including an improvement in physical, mental, and emotional well being. These furry friends can also help enhance your social skills and reduce your risk of heart attack. The unconditional love of pets helps to improve your mood and gets you outdoors to exercise more. If your lifestyle has room for a furry companion go ahead and make a new best friend!
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
"The quieter you become the more you are able to hear" Rumi
Finding ways to relax and clear the mind is beneficial to every part of our being. Meditation is totally free and can pretty much be done anywhere.
Click here to enjoy a guided mediation
Perform this muscle relaxation technique below
- Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
- Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.
- When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
- Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
- Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
- Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
- When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
- Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go.
- It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
Have a wonderful day!
Having a picnic with fresh local season fruits and veggies is a great way to appreciate nature and the embrace the wonderful healing foods in your region.
Some of my favorites include:
Watermelon: Rich in lycopene (a carotenoid that is important for cardiovascular health) and also high in vitamin C.
Figs: High in quercitin and other great antioxidants, this sweet fruit also has anti-inflammatory effects through a flavonoid called luteolin.
Nectarines: Ample amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, and potassium.
Cherries: This vibrant fruit helps with sleep because it contains melatonin. It is also has flavonioids (isoqueritrin and queritrin) that reduce free radicals in the body.
Get my look: '70s Henry Bendel Dress (similar here), Vintage Christian Dior Jacket (similar here), Dior Heels circa Hard Core Dior Collection (similar here), Hand Made Fresh Rose Clutch (similar here).
Can you ever go wrong with roses? The fragrance alone makes me feel fancy whether I'm in my Sunday casuals or an evening gown.
But besides the luxury of the fragrance and the sheer beauty of the delicate petals, I'm amazed at how effective rose hip seed oil is at erasing all those years of careless sunbathing in my teens. Rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals; it has long been regarded as the natural alternative to Retin-A because it’s properties that regenerate new skin cells. The oil contains large amounts of vitamin A and retinoic acid which have been proven to reduce fine wrinkles, improve pigmentation, and the texture of skin.
This abundant ocean plant is essentially a seaweed that thrives in the sunlight and takes in a large amount of nutrients and minerals from the water around. Kelp is a great addition to the diet for someone looking to increase their iodine intake or support their thyroid function. This savory seaweed also contains chlorophyll (used by plants to convert sunlight to energy) and can help us stimulate red blood cell production and oxygenation in the body.
What makes kelp different from other seaweeds? It contains high amounts of sodium alginate which protects the body from radiation and removes it.
That’s not all this plant can do… it has been shown to contain 46 minerals, 16 amino acids, and 11 different vitamins including iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, vitamin A, and niacin which translates to a healthy body and glowing skin!
It's the middle of July which means we are in the height of lavender season and lavender just happens to be one of my most favorite plants of all time; that smell, that color, that taste! Medicinally, lavender can be used both internally as a tea or applied externally to the skin as an essential oil. The essential oil has even been called “a first-aid kit in a bottle” because of its range of uses from healing wounds, decreasing pain, and working as an antiseptic.
When infused in water and drank as a tea lavender can:
- Relax the nervous system
- Ease digestion
- Relieve stress
- Mild antidepressant effects
When used in aroma therapy it can:
- Relieve headaches
- Promote sleep and a restful state
- Ease exhaustion
When used topically on the skin it can:
- Ease aches and pains
- Bug repellent (tried this while in deep in the Belize jungle)
But wait… we haven’t even talked about the culinary and beautifying ways lavender can help!
Lavender can be used to add taste and fragrance to pretty much anything from ice cream, cupcakes, salad, salad dressing, honey, and lavender lemonade on a summer’s day.
Lavender can also be used in beauty products to help fight acne, prevent infections, tone the skin, added to lotion, worn as a perfume, or added to the bath.