Join me at special events this month!

I have two great events coming up in November! Join me at the Manzanita Wellness Center in Berkeley for a Fall & Winter Wellness Open House, Sunday November 6 from 2-5 pm. Sample healing modalities from the Manzanita Collective including moxa, acupuncture, energy reading, massage, DIY medicine making and acu-yoga, and I'll be there offering seasonal facial treatments. My treatments are free, but I'll be collecting doations for the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council. They are the folks on the ground providing health care to water protectors in Standing Rock in their struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I'll also be donating a portion of the proceeds from all sales that day, and fellow healers are collecting warm winter hats, mitts and coats which will join a package going to the Water Protectors.

The following weekend, I'm co-hosting the second annual Opal Street Center Holiday Faire! I'll be joined by an amazing list of makers, healers and herbalists for a holiday sale. I'll be offering facial acupressure massage demos at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30, and some special products I only offer at in-person events. Enjoy hot herbal bevvies and snax and get all your shopping done. Saturday, November 12 from 4-7 pm, 3947 Opal St. in Oakland.

I hope to see you!

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TCMTalk for October - Holistic Halloween Survival

This month Denise and I doing a special Hallowe'en Perispook, focused on surviving the sugary onslaught that's starting to rev up! Our fave acupressure, herbal support, essential oils and dietary strategies for keeping your balance as we head into sugar season.

Tune in live on Thursday, October 13 at 4 pm PST on Periscope  or watch the replay on our Youtube channel. You can find links to everything we discuss on TCMTalk on our Pinterest Board.

If you have questions, join us live or email us at TraditionalChineseMedicineTalk@gmail.com

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Making Passover Special on a Grain-free Diet

More and more folks are following gluten free, grain free or other kinds of whole food style diets for health reasons. A friend of mind asked his community for ideas on how to make the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover special, given his totally grain free daily diet. It's a great question, and a good idea for all of us to think about how folks who are excluded from the traditional ways we mark special, holy and cultural celebrations can connect and be in community.

Jews observe the eight days of Passover by not eating any 'hametz' - grain products that might have risen  in anyway - basically no grain products (or legumes in many communities) except for matzah. If you're following a paleo, gluten free, grain free or other elimination style diet, you're already eating that way all year.

So how to make the holiday feel special?

If you’re not changing WHAT you eat, change HOW you eat. A special set of dishes for Passover is something most observant families have - why not get a special set of Passover plates and glasses, (get a fun mismatched set at a thrift store) or fresh table linens that will connect you to the ‘reason for the season’. 

Depending on your energy level, this might be a fun time to experiment with new recipes that are within your restrictions. Like recreations of traditional recipes (check out this squash kugel from Elana’s Pantry, instead of potato kugel, and her tzimmes recipe too. (I personally loathe tzimmes, but you do you, tzimmes lovers!)

Check out some other recipe options like paleo macaroons, and Elana's Pantry really has the best collection of grain free Passover recipes online, including gefilte fish.  If that's not festive to you because you’re making paleo gefilte fish throughout the year, I’m impressed with your yiddishkeyt!

Sephardi (North African, Southern European and Middle-Eastern) style haroset (a fruit paste that represents the mortar the Israelites used to build the pyramids) with dried fruit, toasted nuts and spices lasts much longer than Ashkenazi (Northern and Eastern European) style made with fresh apples, and can be a sweet energy boost with a Passover flavour all week long. - here’s a basic recipe that you can make with any dried fruit and spices. Traditional choices would include raisins, figs, almonds and pistachios, spiced with ginger and cinnamon. Moroccan Jews traditionally roll these into little balls, which would be a treat any day.

Passover is a commemoration of a people’s liberation from bondage - that’s what we reenact at the Seder table. The restrictions on grain foods except for flat matzah represent the haste with which we escaped Egypt, not even stopping for our bread to rise. But it is also a celebration of the earth’s liberation from winter and the rebirth of spring. It is this celebration of the earth’s renewal that give us many of the foods we are instructed to eat and to display on the Seder plate. Revel in the miracle of spring, a celebration almost all cultures share, by seeking out seasonal produce, fresh local flowers, or planting herbs for your windowsill. Hag Sameach, may all be happy, may all be liberated!

 

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Finding Light in the Longest Night: Last in our holiday periscopes!

Join Denise and I for the final installment in our holiday periscope live broadcasts! We've had a ton of fun scoping tips, recipes, techniques and resources for the holidays, starting with Hallowe'en. This coming Thursday, we'll bring you three short scopes back to back focused on mental and emotional health during the holiday season.

Whether you're traveling, spending time with family, or just feeling the frantic activity all around you, you can benefit from some simple techniques! Join us for acupressure, herbs, essential oils and recipes that  you can add to your 'emotional first aid kit' this winter.

We'll be scoping from Denise's account, @cicutoacu. If you'd like to join in live, we'll be starting at 4 pm PST Thursday, December 17. Go to www.periscope.tv/cicutoacu to watch, or download the Periscope app to watch on your phone. You can also find links to everything we talk about and suggest, including recipes and products, on our Periscope Pinterest board, at www.bit.ly/PeriscopePins. Links to archives of the broadcasts will be there too, so you can watch anytime.

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Friday Roundup: December 4

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

There's never any shortage of awful things happening in the world. This week I decided to use my skills and my business to try to make a difference. Read about LOVE Balm and purchase some if you'd like to help me support Black Lives Matter and the National Network of Abortion Funds. (The first batch sold out in a few hours, but I'm making more!)

Positivity: Wow, I really appreciated reading this article about 9 good things that happened this week.

Getting Hairy: Since I started selling beard oil, I've gotten to know the world of beards in greater detail than I ever imagined! I enjoyed this myth-busting article about ridiculous things we heard about beards in 2015. No, they are not full of poop (but you should still wash your beard!)

Press for Emotional First Aid: AcuTake Health has a great series on acupressure. Their latest post is a timely one on Pericardium 8, a point that can relieve emotional distress. I like to do this with a friend and add a little healing acupressure to the comfort of holding hands.

And... Angelica & Peony's Healing Oils got a great review from Behind The Scenes Beauty, gift sets  have popped up in Southern California at Enspirit Wellness, and A&P is part of the new Bloom Box handmade botanical subscription box!  If you'd like to try some handmade skincare, healthcare and pampering, now's the time! Use code LOVERULES to get free shipping on everything in the store until December 18!

Have a great weekend!

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Periscoping for the Holidays Continues!

Denise and I are continuing our holiday themed broadcasts withe a new series of mini-scopes, this Thursday, December 3 at 4 pm PST (tune in for the final one in this series on December 17!).

This Thursday, we'll be talking about gifts! We'll share our fave pics for wellness and natural health gifts, how to sidestep the insanity of over-consumption at this time of year, and talk about giving back - introducing you to some of the groups working to bring the healing power of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to people who need it most.

We'll be scoping from my account, @SFHerbalKitchen. If you'd like to join in live, we'll be starting at 4 pm PST this Thursday, December 3. Go to www.periscope.tv/sfherbalkitchen to watch, or download the Periscope app to watch on your phone. You can also find links to everything we talk about and suggest, including recipes and products, on our Periscope Pinterest board, at www.bit.ly/PeriscopePins. Links to archives of the broadcasts will be there too, so you can watch anytime.

See you Thursday!

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Friday Special: Holiday Gift Guide

Hi Friends! I'm off with friends and family today celebrating the American Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of my usual roundup, I thought I'd share my natural health and wellness gift guide!

This is a VERY popular shopping day in the US, but not everyone is agreed on how great that is, with even some large retailers like REI opting out this year. My town of Oakland, California created Plaid Friday,  with buy local initiatives designed to support small business - check if it's in your town. Everything on my gift guide can be purchased online, so you can shop 'Black Friday' without the mob scene. Jump online and support some locally-owned small businesses, buy some prezzies your loved ones will enjoy, and then strap on your sneakers for a walk in the woods!

Gift Certificates for local services

Your local healer surely offers gift certificates. If your intended recipient has always wanted to try a modality, or has trouble taking time for self-care, this can be a great choice. Two East Bay healers I personally recommend who have online gift certificates include Cicuto Acupuncture and Energy Matters Acupuncture & Qi Gong.

Foodie DIY goodies

Pickling, fermenting, home brewing, cheese making: old fashioned skills are new again! For a friend who's always talking about trying one of these foodie adventures but is intimidated, more and more classes are springing up like these ones at Preserved in Oakland. And these hand made fermentation crocks from Berkeley potter Sarah Kersten are expensive but suitable to become a fermentation heirloom!

Um, Jewelry!

This section could be looong, but I'll control myself and tell you about just two beautiful local jewelry makers I know: Kyla of Impressed By Nature offers utterly unique pieces that are made from real pressed flowers. I snagged a ranunculus set that I'm in love with. Omonivie of tula in bloom creates pieces with a rich, organic feel using materials like hammered copper and horn.

Herbal and Body Care Goodies.

Of course, check out my yummy lip butter and healing balm gift sets, as well as the AcuCare kit curated by Denise of Cicuto Acupuncture. All Angelica & Peony purchases include free gift wrapping so you can gift straight from my website. Concept 47, the online home of the sweet boutique in Oakland's Temescal district, has a fantastic assortment of the best of Northern California herbalists and makers. I especially love these gorgeous teas from Semilla Botanicals, and this Falling Leaves scented candle from KarmaLit (which donates a portion of sales to local Oakland nonprofits).  For remedies made with Chinese and Western herbs, shop at Five Flavors Herbs, an Oakland based herb dispensary and pharmacy with a great line of teas.

Hope you enjoy this virtual browse. Making the choice to support locally invested makers and small businesses means the love you express with your gift extends to the whole community. Thank you!


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Friday Roundup: November 20

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

Festivities imminent: Next week is American Thanksgiving, a holiday I've come to enjoy immensely in my adopted country. Denise of Cicuto Acupuncture and I did a series of Periscopes on handling the food, the travel and the stress of the holiday. Among the many tips and recipes we shared on our pinterest board, check out my family's favourite - almond flour carrot cake from Elana's Pantry (we'll be making them into cupcakes)!

Proof is in the Pudding: The most interesting thing I read this week was this article about the 'mid-Victorian' diet and health. What stuck with me most? This quote: "Mid-Victorians lived without modern diagnostics, drugs, surgery or contraception. Despite that, and because of the high nutrient density of their diet, their life spans were as good as ours and their health spans significantly longer." Whoa!! Read the whole article here.

Liquid Libations: There was so much amazing stuff last weekend at the Opal Street Center Holiday Fair! It was such a privilege to be part of the event with an inspiring assortments of healers and creators. No surprise I did a little shopping! One of the things I got is this water kefir kit from Preserved Oakland. Water kefir is a naturally carbonated and probiotic soda, similar to kombucha. I'm thinking about some cranberry flavoured soda for after T-day!

Have a great weekend!

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Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!

Denise and I are back with a burst of mini scopes, this time all about surviving and thriving through the next holiday here in America - Thanksgiving!

We'll do a series of quickie scopes, covering Thanksgiving Food, Travel Tips and Handling Holiday Stress, with some recipes, DIY and herbal health products you'll want to have on hand, and more.

We'll be scoping from Denise's account, @cicutoacu. If you'd like to join in live, we'll be starting at 4 pm PST this Thursday, November 19. Go to www.periscope.tv/cicutoacu to watch, or download the Periscope app to watch on your phone. You can also find links to everything we talk about and suggest, including recipes and products, on our Periscope Pinterest board, at www.bit.ly/PeriscopePins. Links to archives of the broadcasts will be there too, so you can watch anytime.

See you Thursday!

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