Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Time to "Fall" Back

Daughter in front of a Redwood Tree
I am feeling the effects of Fall up here in Northern California. My body has wanted to eat a lot of food compared to my normal consumption, but I've been doing well with it - putting on just enough weight to feel good and slightly warmer though I've already transitioned to wearing multiple layers of my winter clothes.

As the days grow shorter another thing I am "falling back" on is my love and study of herbs. As a busy student of Human Design with many passions and interests, herbs are one of those things I've learned to incorporate into my life slowly as time permits and need arises.

And yet during my research I keep coming across programs for learning herbs and I am wondering if I would be better off joining a class or an online study course. I'm a Projector, and my education is very important to me. I like learning about a lot of different things, especially things that will help me live a healthier, happier life and that I can share with others.

So, stay tuned... I'll be sharing again what I learn about herbs, spices and love more soon. =)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Highly Effective Herbal Ingredient for Poison Ivy Treatments: Goldenseal

Highly Effective Herbal Ingredient for Poison Ivy Treatments: Goldenseal

Poison Ivy
Poison ivy is a plant that contains one of the deadliest natural poisons on the planet the toxin known as urushiol. When Poison Ivy comes into contact with human skin, a rash will result, characterized by swelling, blisters, terrible itching and pain. If you scratch the affected skin, poison ivy rash spreads rapidly during the first three days.

Besides pain and itching, the effects of rubbing up against this poisonous plant may cause red bumps, intense sensations of burning and inflammation, as well as fever. Symptoms may appear anywhere from a few hours to ten days after the original contact with the plant.

If you’ve gotten a Poison Ivy rash, keep itching and pain to a minimum while the rash is active by  avoiding direct sun and heavy physical exertion to keep from breaking out in a sweat. Refrain from ingesting all forms of caffeine (which elevates histamine levels and increases the itching). Promptly and properly treat your poison ivy rash to keep the symptoms to a minimum, as Poison Ivy rash can cause great suffering if left untreated.


Goldenseal and Aloe – highly effective herbal treatments for Poison Ivy

Mother Nature has provided many safe and natural remedies for poison ivy, including the highly effective Goldenseal. Goldenseal is not only effective in preventing and treating the common cold when taken internally but also works effectively for a variety of health conditions, including the topical treatment of Poison Ivy. Goldenseal root has also been used to draw out poison oak's toxins.

Aloe Vera with Goldenseal is known for its beneficial soothing and healing properties when applied liberally to Poison Ivy affected areas.

To create a soothing, healing topical remedy for Poison Ivy, mix Goldenseal Root and Aloe Vera gel and apply directly to the rash. The aloe works to stop the skip from scarring. To take internally, add 1 teaspoon of dried root in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10-20 minutes; sweeten with stevia if desired.

Poison Ivy Rash

Other natural remedies for Poison Ivy Rash that you can add Goldenseal to:

Oatmeal and Goldenseal for Poison Ivy

Boil oatmeal in water as you would if you were going to eat it. Let it cool for a few minutes, add Goldenseal powder, then apply warm directly to the affected area. Mixture should be applied until a thick layer forms. It will harden as it dries. Most people swear by this treatment, which is sometimes combined with a tablespoon or two of baking soda for extra relief.

Baking soda and Goldenseal for Poison Ivy

Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with a teaspoon of Goldenseal to 1.5 teaspoons of water until a thick paste forms. Apply to the rash and let dry. Another tried-and-true method for many poison ivy sufferers is full immersion into a soothing baking soda and oatmeal goldenseal bath.

Apple Cider Vinegar with Goldenseal for Poison Ivy

This combination seems to help draw out the "poison" from poison ivy rash and also helps healing.

Banana peel with Goldenseal for Poison Ivy

The inside of a banana peel combined with Goldenseal and placed on poison ivy rashes seems to bring instant, cooling relief.

For more information on the many healing properties of Goldenseal click here (this is where I buy my Organic Goldenseal Root Powder).

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Uncommon or Not? PHS & Food Preparation by Feel

Once upon a time, I tried really hard but was a terrible cook.

I LOVED baking though! Made the most amazing peanut butter cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, spice cakes and blueberry pies. I carried around between 20-30 pounds more than I need to because of it.

But even when I switched to alternatives and supposedly healthier versions of flour and sugar, I was chronically sick, moody, and still overweight as well.
RA explaining PHS (the video that inspired
me to get a reading & learn what mine was)
Since I went mostly raw, gluten-free and paleo early in 2012, that all changed - even more so after discovering I am supposed to ingest my food cooler than my body temperature for best digestion according to my Human Design Personal Health System.

Now, one of my skills is making raw (dehydrated) herb crackers, chips and spice cookies - oh, yeah, sometimes with meat in them! I am often told I should write a book with recipes for people interested in Raw Paleo. =)

But how do I transmit to written word the art of crafting in-the-moment, appropriate for my current health and nutrition needs, my raw paleo food creations that change with every meal?

Besides, no one diet is perfect for everyone. Since I met my Human Design, and learned my Personal Health System (a fairly recent development), I no longer preach my nutrition beliefs or attempt to convince anyone of anything. I just write or share when I'm inspired or asked.

One of the things I've learned is to create meals by feel. Now I tend to reach for various organic herbs and spices to add variety to my meals. I have a large variety now of different herbs and spices from MaisonTerre, sometimes because I know of its health benefits or taste, sometimes just because I feel adventurous, and sometimes I just follow an inner feeling.

This feeling is what I'm now calling food preparation by feel. It's become a wonderful creative process, where I sometimes learn by trial and error, but mostly, everything comes out incredibly tasty and satisfying. I really attribute most of my success to quality ingredients - everything organic, as well as local and fresh whenever possible.

With so many recipes out there, is food preparation by feel as uncommon as it seems? Anyone else out there  having experiences with food similar to mine? I'd love to hear about your experiments with food and especially your Human Design PHS.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fresh Herbs I use every day from my Garden

I'm not sure where this picture came from, but it's pretty and useful so here it is! =) My top current top four that I use an abundance of every day, mostly from my garden (in my daily green drink and meat dishes) are Mint, Parsley, Cilantro & Oregano. Which herbs are your favorite?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Three Amazing Keys to Digesting Raw Paleo Foods

Herbs & Spices I Love!
Key #1 for Digesting Raw Paleo - Helpful  Herbs & Spices

Keys to Digesting Raw Paleo Foods

I have been a mostly (99.9%) raw paleo person for 18 months and I can tell you that in the beginning it was a tough transition to let go of all grain and sugar. I did lots of cleanses to get rid of candida’s tight grip on my gut!

I've experimented with my diet my whole life. Then I met "some One" ;-) and he gave me Robb Wolf's Book on Paleo a year and a half ago. Then I read Nora's Primal Body Primal Mind (An Absolute Must Read!). Going all organic, mostly Raw Paleo this past year and a half has definitely and totally changed my health, looks and my life massively for the better!

Key Number 1: 

Using Digestive Herbs Liberally in Raw Paleo Meals

For the last few months I’ve been heavily into using a plethora of herbs and spices; liberally consuming an abundance of them compared to my past habits in both my food and drinks, with emphasis on those that aid digestion. I can now make EPIC raw, fermented and dehydrated paleo cookies, crackers, kale chips and grass-fed beef jerky. I’ve never eaten as little ( I was a chronic over-eater especially when emotional), with little problem digesting my food and I've never been healthier or happier!

I believe that the addition of high quality organic herbs and spices was the difference. I feel this is an area where it is critical for me to focus my spare time studying now. I don’t shop big stores and don’t like the bulk bins at the health food store – so not sanitary, especially since I eat everything raw! 

I have a new garden growing with Spearmint, Chocolate Mint, Lavender, Rosemary, Camomile, Echinacea, Sage and, Basil - for the rest I currently get my organic herbs and spices online at Maison Terre in small quantities to keep it affordable and fresh. I feel it’s better to do that than have large amounts of herbs and spices deteriorating on my pantry shelf!

Key Number 2: 

Using Fermentation to Pre-Digest Raw Paleo Foods

I am a big fan of ferments. Kefir, Kraut, even fermented Meat - it's how I "cook" my food. By using "controlled spoilage" (lol I know it sounds gross) my food is pre-digested for me and loaded with pro-biotics. It's fun to be creative with our food, it's easy to do ferments once you get the hang of it and after you've tried it and gotten used to it for a while you'll crave and love the extreme depth of flavors and interesting dishes.

Key Number 3: 

Only Eating Raw Paleo when Hungry and Stopping Before Fullness

I think the key for anyone to be able to apply this practically is to first have your candida under control. I only use green leaf Stevia to sweeten my food/drinks, I do not eat any fruits with the exception of lemon in my water, fermented salsa when tomatoes are in season and the occasional goji berries fermented in my Kefir or Kraut. Yes, in the beginning I fell to cravings - cleanses and colonics helped my transition. It is this strict adherence to the rule of NO SUGAR in any forms that has allowed me to maintain a clear head and open heart when faced with extremely emotional situations in the roller-coaster ride that is my life.

There is a huge difference what Raw Paleo has made for me; to the tune of 15-20 lbs of unnecessary fat off my body, clearer, younger looking skin, far more energy and vitality, higher brain function and far far FAR less PMS symptoms – no more yeast infections, no getting sick for weeks… the list goes on and on! 

Raw Paleo isn’t for everyone but it definitely works for me.

Are you raw Paleo? I'd love to hear from you if you are. Comment and include your blog so I can check out what and how you are doing it! =)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Herb and Spice Substitutions

I found this very cool table on a mom blogger's site that she said was from

Herb Substitutions
BasilOregano or thyme
ChervilTarragon or parsley
ChiveGreen onion; onion; or leek
Italian SeasoningBlend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper
MarjoramBasil; thyme; or savory
MintBasil; marjoram; or rosemary
OreganoThyme or basil
ParsleyChervil or cilantro
Poultry SeasoningSage plus a blend of any of these: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary
Red PepperDash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper
RosemaryThyme; tarragon; or savory
SagePoultry seasoning; savory; marjoram; or rosemary
SavoryThyme; marjoram; or sage
TarragonChervil; dash fennel seed; or dash aniseed
ThymeBasil; marjoram; oregano; or savory

Spice Substitutions
AllspiceCinnamon; cassia; dash of nutmeg or mace; or dash of cloves
AniseedFennel seed or a few drops anise extract
Chili PowderDash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
CinnamonNutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)
ClovesAllspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg
CuminChili powder
GingerAllspice; cinnamon; mace; or nutmeg
MaceAllspice; cinnamon; ginger; or nutmeg
NutmegCinnamon; ginger; or mace
SaffronDash turmeric (for color)