Gratitude Sunday

I know I am very inconsistent with my blogger promises... such as compiling a gratitude list every Sunday with things or events or people that I am/have been grateful for for that week. Or doing herbal posts (for which I will eventually have time to write and dedicate to. Sorry if you've been expecting those.) But I will start managing my time more so I can have the time and motivation to write a meaningful list every Sunday. To some, a gratitude list may be corny. But to me, it is fulfilling for my soul. I don't find this corny at all. I find it reverberates positive energy. It is humbling.

So here it is... This week I'm grateful for...

(in no particular order)

  • being present; not thinking about "getting ahead"/succeeding, but being okay with what is happening in the present
  • showing others that they are loved and that they are appreciated by showing a simple smile or a simple greeting... spreading positive energy
  • for new friends
  • for my old friends
  • having The Growing Home Urban Farm as an oasis to return to after my monotonous school-work schedule
  • having innovators/builders/doers/thinkers as friends
  • Rishi's home-brewed kombucha. Always a different brew with a different taste each batch. A sweet surprise, literally.
  • the recent restoration of my health 
  • the rain these past two days
  • being more open about who I am in general. Slowly coming out of my facade and living my inner truth.
  • learning to love myself more each day
If you are compiling a gratitude list also, please link me to your list or write it down in the comments. Would love to hear what others' highlights have been for the week :-)


Ayurveda Institute

Hello friends and family,

I wanted to share this amazing opportunity, so that you or anyone you know may get in on the action too :-)

There is an Ayurveda weekend seminar at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico this coming May. It will be taught by Ayurveda master, Vasant Lad. This seminar spans over three days (May 4-6) and will cover Ayurvedic Herbology. You can find more information about prices here.

I will be attending along with some friends. I cannot wait for this! I'm currently reading a couple of books by Lad which have helped to facilitate my understanding of Ayurveda. I'm looking forward to this seminar especially from an herbalist's point-of-view.

I encourage anyone to attend also if they want to learn more about Ayurveda from a legitimate expert!


Food as medicine - treating a cold

Since early last week and perhaps a few days into the week before that, I started developing a harmless dry cough that I would notice more at night before bed (mostly because I practice deep breathing exercises before bed). Last Friday, this dry cough developed into a full on phlegm-infested cough accompanied with runny nose and congested sinuses--symptoms of the common cold caused by a virus. Because of my congestion and constant sneezing, I had inflamed eyes and nose and, overall, felt a dull lethargy permeating my whole being. I think the culprit might be my mom who caught the cold last week. I hardly get sick, so I was surprised when I suddenly fell ill along with my mom.

Since I chose to forgo pharmaceutical medicine for obvious reasons, I'm currently dealing with my cold in a holistic manner and I wanted to share the natural methods I've been using to relieve cold symptoms and restore health to the body. For the past week, I:

  • increased my consumption of ginger tea to 2-3 cups a day. It's funny to think that I used to despise the taste of ginger, but ever since I learned about its many health benefits I've trained myself to like the taste. Anyways, ginger contains many antiviral properties. In terms of a cold, it suppresses cough and reduces pain.
  • consumed a daily dose of alcohol-free echinacea tincture 3x throughout the day. I simply added 30-60 drops in my tea or juice. Echinacea increases a chemical in the body called properdin, which activates the body's immune response to combat pathogens in the body, such as cold viruses and influenza. 
  • drank a nourishing herbal infusion 2-3x per day. Nettle, to be exact. This helps to restore essential vitamins and minerals to the body. You can read my past post on herbal infusions here.
  • increased my consumption of fermented foods. I ate more sauerkraut, drank home-brewed kombucha and lacto-fermented ginger beer. The lactic acid in these fermented food and drinks can help stop the cold.
  • increased my intake of raw garlic. I simply just minced about 4-5 cloves a day and sprinkled it on top of whatever savory food I ate. Garlic contains allicin, one of the plant kingdom's most potent antibiotics.
  • slept with a few slices of raw onion in my room. I have no scientific evidence to back me up on this one. But I read it absorbs airborne pathogens. This is an old folk remedy that has proven itself with the testimonials of many. Google it yourself and you'll be surprised.  
  • ate, or rather, drank soups with medicinal herbs such as astralagus root and shiitake and enoki mushrooms. Both herbs boosts the immune system and have antiviral properties. Perhaps I'll post a recipe later.
  • ate more foods containing vitamin C. Drank a lot of OJ and ate oranges after every meal.
  • drank lots of raw milk. It is a living food with many beneficial enzymes and friendly bacteria that help to fight the cold.
  • slept. A lot.
  • drank lots of water. Of course.

It's been five days since the onset of my illness and I think the worst might be over, though I will most likely be congested for the entire week. Yesterday, I started feeling vitality being restored to my body as I felt more energized. It was very rejuvenating, as though I became a whole new healthy person. I hope this post helps anyone getting through a cold right now or perhaps act as a holistic healing guide next time you or a loved one catch the cold.


Just a pressing thought on my mind...

I don't get it. Why allow yourself to learn skills rooted in sustainability which can be used as a tool to create social change and instead use it selfishly for your own benefit and pleasure? Like the self-sufficient enthusiast who would rather live alone in the woods as an outsider rather than spreading and sharing his knowledge meaningfully to others who may not have these valuable skills. Self-absorption is something I truly despise. Not using one's own full potential to better society as a whole is sad. I look down upon those who would rather be spectators than be part of the collective minority who make an effort to create positive change.


Gluten-free bliss

Wow it's amazing how much a difference eliminating gluten for an entire day does to ease pain for my arthritis. I'm definitely more conscientious of my internal reaction to gluten after being able to feel the difference. Gluten-free all day from breakfast to dinner. Not sure if my stomach is handling it well though. Or if it's just moon time or environmental factors or a complete set of other problems. I should be more attune to my feminine health tho. I never was conscious about the physical changes that occur during moon time until early this morning. My insides feel inflamed and strange. Time to see a obgyn I guess and/or consult a local herbalist educated on women's health.

I bought bulk amount of virgin coconut oil. Can't wait to make more herb-infused oils for salves and whatnot. Excited to start using coconut oil instead of my regular olive oil. It's a great folk remedy for countless skin problems. Would love to buy some bulk herbs soon. I'm planning on processing some raw beeswax soon so hopefully I'll have time to do an in-depth post on that complete with photos. I also definitely have to reconsider my consumption of alcohol-based tinctures now that I'm gluten free. Have yet to start my anti-candida diet. It'll start soon. I'll give an update on that.