Friday Roundup, June 24, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

Sun Tea Time: It's been warm here in the Bay this week, and I've brought my big mason jars back out to make sun tea! Current faves are lemon balm and spearmint tea, and my standby, hibiscus. More acupuncturist approved summer bevvies here in a blog article I wrote last summer.

Long Hair Care: When I was in acupuncture school I had very long hair, past my hips. That's when I first experimented with hair oils. I would oil my hair using homemade blends and laboriously plait my tresses every night to protect them. I loved having long hair, but my current pixie cut is a lot easier! For some historical insight, I enjoyed historian Mimi Matthews look at Victorian hair care - Angelica & Peony oils smell better than bear grease!

Have a great weekend: happy Summer Solstice, Happy Pride, and wishing us all peace, liberation, and sunshine.

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Friday Roundup, June 10, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

Acupressure Jewelry from  KALÍ ZOË DESIGNS

Acupressure Jewelry from KALÍ ZOË DESIGNS

Travels with TCM: TCMTalk is all about travel this month, as both Denise and I had lots of traveling planned and wanted to share our TCM tips for making summer travel as healthy and easy as possible. Check out my scope about packing a herbal travel kit, and join us this coming Thursday for more info, including acupressure for jet lag and other travel woes.

Truth behind the blog: This honest and moving article from Danielle Walker of popular food blog Against All Grain reminds us that our social media idols are real people, and health challenges don't disappear because someone 'seems' to have it together on social media. 

"Jewelry with a Job": Colleague Jennifer Dubowsky (aka TCM007) introduced me to the Mudra - beautiful acupressure jewelry that stimulates Large Intestine 4, helpful for pain of all kinds. Fantastic!

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup, May 20, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Podcasting about Pain: I'm super excited to have met Shelly Jackson, a coach who works with those living with chronic pain. Next week she's launching PAINIAC, the first ever podcast for mindful pain management. I've donated some A&P balms to a lucky listener, and I'm so happy that she's bringing this much needed resource into the world. Check out her website Peaceful Body Coaching, for more, and join the virtual launch party live on May 25 for inspiring, informative listening for people living with chronic pain or illness and the awesome people who love them.

The Story of Lead Poisoning: The Nightly Show on Comedy Central made this depressing yet hilarious and very informative short explaining how the US came to have a lead poisoning epidemic. Get your depressing history lesson with a side of laughs.

Jojoba Happiness: I LOVE jojoba oil. I quickly became a convert when I started making my own skin care products, and it's now a key ingredient in all my facial serums as well as hair oil. It's a skin and hair care superhero, and it's local too - I get mine from organic farmers in Arizona. This article and infographic lay out just what's so special about jojoba and why you should be using it from head to toe!

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup, May 13, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Prince, Pain and Pills: This moving and thought-provoking article from Lorraine Berry questions the conversation about prescription drug dependency and chronic pain in light of Prince's death and how the circumstances of it are being reported.

Ecosystems of Health: the world of the 'microbiome' - the billions of organisms that live on and in our bodies, is increasingly understood to be hugely important in our health and disease. Chris Kesser looks at our skin's microbiome, its role in common skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, and how we can encourage the health of our skin's microorganisms.

Mandrake Madness: these adorable sculpted Mandrakes with mischievous personalities appeal to both to my herbalist side and my Harry Potter fan side! 

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - May 6, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Rowdy Lamb Herb: Denise and I are focusing on SEX all month long on TCMTalk. In doing some research, I was delighted to find this hilarious list of synonyms for yin yang huo (Epimedium), a renowned aphrodisiac: "Epimedium, also known as barrenwort, bishop's hat, fairy wings, horny goat weed, rowdy lamb herb, randy beef grass or yin yang huo, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Berberidaceae." The list is from Wikipedia, read more about yin yang huo here.

Balancing Bath: do you use epsom salts in the bath? I love making different bath salt combinations, and this article has lots of great ideas - including vanilla bean, which I'm making right now! Yum.

Mama's Day for Everyone: Mothers' Day can be a great chance to celebrate the mothers in our lives - but lots of factors can complicate that celebration. MamasDay.org is a project of Strong Families, with a series of free e-cards created by artists that celebrate the diversity and strength of all families. I look at them every year.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - April 28, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

The Trouble with Clean: I am always inspired by modern American herbalist matriarch Susun Weed. Today she shared one of her occasional essays, this one challenging the notion of 'clean' and cleanses.

"Where are we going to throw away that which we have cleaned away? What shall we do with the toxins, the filth, the disgusting waste, the foul, unneeded, unwanted, unloved parts? Where is far enough away? Can I ever get away from my shadow?" 

Rings of Power: I was mesmerized by these wood and resin rings that capture entire miniature worlds on your finger. Created by Vancouver jeweler Secret Wood, each one is handmade so no two are identical.

I love the cooking blog My Heart Beets, mostly paleo recipes by blogger Ashley. She has a great collection of Indian recipes, including lots of regional dishes. Her Coconut Egg Curry, a scrumptious and frugal dish of eggs simmered in a fragrant coconut sauce is on my menu this week.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Friday Roundup - April 22, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

My charoset - yum!!

My charoset - yum!!

Paleo Passovers: Tonight marks the beginning of the eight day festival of spring and liberation celebrated by Jews all over. Many of those Jews are gluten free, grain free or have other dietary restrictions - I wrote a blog post with some ideas on navigating the holiday with those constraints.

I say charoset, you say energy balls. I made a special Passover treat this week: charoset! A symbolic food that represents the mortar the Israelite slaves used to build the pyramids, I make a variety traditional in communities in North Africa and the Middle East. I used this recipe from The Kitchn as my basis, used 1 cup dates:1 cup toasted almonds: 1 cup mixed dried apricots, raisins and figs, and added fresh ginger and pomegranate molasses. Blend the food processor until it's a chunky paste and then roll into balls (or eat directly on matza, your choice!)

Imagery of Love: I spent some blissful time on the website of photographer Jade Beall, who's portraits are rooted in 'Truthful Beauty & Self-love"

It's Earth Day today! Hurray to the activists who make this day happen, and all fighting for the future of our beautiful planet.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - April 15, 2016

What I'm reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

dog-family-with-kishimojin-ozuma-kaname (1).png

Spring Salad: Denise and I have been talking about the energy of Spring and sharing supportive practices of all kinds this month on TCMTalk. In that spirit I'll be making this gorgeous shaved fennel salad to support my Liver organ system and wake up my tastebuds for springtime!

Clay-Crazy: I've been reading about and experimenting with clay based masks as I get ready for the Sanctuary Spa Day treatments I'll be giving on May 1 in Berkeley! I loved this article from StyleCaster about the benefits of different types of clays for skin.

Goddess of the Spring Sun: I was captivated by this image of Japanese Goddess/Bodhisattva Kishi-Mujin, portrayed in this painting by contemporary Japanese artist Ozuma Kaname with a very charming mother dog and her puppies. Kishi-Mujin governs easy childbirth, as well as springtime and renewal. I wasn't able to find a lot of information about her online, but this article and this one had some interesting info about her origins and observances.

Have a great weekend!

 

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Friday Roundup - April 8, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Head Space: This week I have been re-integrating into 'regular' life after a 10 day silent meditation retreat. It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I had it! I went to the Northern California Vipassana Center, one of many sites hosting Vipassana meditation retreats. The retreat was run entirely by volunteers who cooked, cleaned and organized so that I and about 100 other meditators could spend 10 days in deep meditation and study, in complete silence. I'm very grateful to the Center, the members of the Vipassana community, and to Alyssa Dazet of The 6-Figure Acupuncturist who shared on social media about her experience at a Vipassana retreat, leading me to try it for myself. There is no charge to attend a 10 day course, thanks to the generosity of past students.

Meditation in prison: I've been limiting my online time a bit this week as I come out of my retreat - but I did find some related content  - a documentary film about Vipassana meditation in prison, The Dhamma Brothers. It's an incredible story about the possibilities of inner transformation, even for those in such completely limited external circumstances. You can watch it online via the film's website.

For the first time, I could observe my pain and grief. I felt a tear fall. Then something broke, and I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I found myself in a terrain where I had always wanted to be, but never had a map. I found myself in the inner landscape, and now I had some direction.
— Omar Rahman, Dhamma Brother

Sneak Peek: More to come soon, but I'm excited to let you know I'll be part of an afternoon retreat for women on May 1 at the Manzanita Wellness in Berkeley. Join me and other practitioners to sample herbal facials and skin care, herbal foot soaks, massage, acupuncture with essential oils, energy readings, as well as some diy fun, movement medicine and more.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - March 18, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

Measuring toxic cosmetics: This new study showed a large drop in detectable chemicals in the bodies of teenage girls just three days after they quit conventional personal care products. This study is also notable because the teenage subjects helped scientists to design it!

More teenage health issues: growing numbers of teenagers are using the Pill and other hormonal contraceptives, for birth control and for issues like menstrual regularity, cramps and acne. This article by naturopath Dr. Lara Briden gives some of the reasons why that's not great news.

Technology Pick-me-up: I probably look at my phone between 1 and 2 gajillion times a day. While I work on keeping technology in its place, I also tricked out my phone with some thoughtful and pretty wallpapers I found here.

Organs at Play: The Awkward Yeti is a favorite comic of mine, following the adventures of impulsive Heart and sensible Brain. This strip called 'overindulgence' features a guest appearance by Liver and made me laugh out loud.

I'll be gone on a ten day meditation retreat starting next week, so no Friday Roundups for a bit. I'll be back to rounding up on April 8!

 

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