Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cycling with the Moon

Many of you are already familiar with the nomadic tradition of the "Red Tent" or "Moon Lodge" when women gather during their "moon", or menses, to support each other . The connection between women and moon is so powerful, both physiologically and metaphorically.

Everything that flows has rhythm. Music has rhythm, walking has rhythm, waves have rhythm, the planets have rhythm, etc. The moon's rhythms control Earth's water rhythms. She ebbs and flows just as we do. The tides, weather, plant and animal growth, and female reproductive cycles are all of her influence.
The Mayan calendar is comprised of 13 lunar months of 28 day cycles, just as a woman's cycle averages 28 days. This Lunar calendar made way for the Roman Solar calendar used by most Western communities until recently when we changed to the Gregorian calendar, which ranges between 28-31 days.
This makes it difficult for our moon cycle to fit neatly with our tracking system, and causes difficulties staying connected- ESPECIALLY if we live in a busy, flourescent-lit city. The more connected you are to your true lunar cycle, the more harmonious your menstrual cycle will be (ie, less cramping and PMS, more fertility and consciousness).

Artemis- goddess of the moon, fertility, forests and hills. Associated with the waxing moon, she is the goddess of all things living and wild. She depicts the archer, the huntress, thus the bow and arrow.

So how do we become more connected to our Moon?

***KEEP TRACK of your cycles. Put it in your calendar. Get a calendar with the moon cycles pictured in it. I LOVE We'Moon calendars and products.

***Celebrate with your fellow girlfriends for a Red Tent/Moon least biannually, if not at every full or new moon. Go camping. Get to the beach. My closest and dearest goddess friends get a bunch of yurts at the coast and embrace our womanhood. We have our next planned for April's full moon. It is necessary to bring ourselves together and celebrate our comradery, our blessings, our beautiful abilities!

Miss Julie firedancing under the Full Libra Moon

***Go to bed and wake up at the same time every night. By keeping our circadian clocks in check, we are more able to regulate our hormones. Again, our cycles are all connected!

***SEED CYCLE! By consuming seeds that support the natural hormonal shifts in your body, you will be able to harmonize and balance them in a natural, safe and delicious way. Here's how you do it....

  1. Eat PUMPKIN and FLAX seeds day 1 (first day of menstruation, the NEW moon) through day 14 (ovulation, FULL moon). This supports the ESTROGEN dominant time of your cycle. Grind them up in a coffee grinder for about 3-4 days worth and keep them in the fridge. Add to salads, yogurt, smoothies, apple sauce, etc.
  2. Eat SESAME and SUNFLOWER seeds days 15-28 in the same manner as above. These seeds support the PROGESTERONE peaks of your cycle.

Remember, BALANCING hormones = HAPPY minds and bodies
Thank your moon, meditate with your moon, be your moon. Cycle happy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Do the Truffle Shuffle!

Kris and I have found our golden ticket to making millions. We are going to train our Kanna girl to be a "Truffle Snuffler". That's right. After seeing this video, I am sold. Kanna goes everywhere with us, including mushroom hunting. We may as well get her involved! Oh the hilarity...and convenience. Check this quick video out of a good ol boy. I think Kanna can do it.

look at our little poopie! 15 months ago

Speaking of truffles, this weekend is the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, OR. Kris and I have become very enthusiastic about mushroom culture. So much that we joined the Mycological Society. Now we can go on guided walks, receive newsletters and mushroom hunting secrets, and talk with local shroom heads.

This weekend also happens to be Kris and my 3rd anniversary. It has been an interesting and blessed few years, learning and growing through so many stages. We will be celebrating over a nice dinner, a trip to Eugene for some hiking and mushroom festivities, and hopefully hittin up a vineyard or two in the valley.

Here are a few pictures from over the years. SO many to pick from...

Horning's Hideout with Matthew- String Cheese Incident, 07/07

Chicago, 08/07

Mt. Hood, 05/08

Beach hiking, 04/09

Got him in a tie! Drea's wedding, 06/08

Santacon, 12/08

Fox Hills, Mishicot 12/07

The Dead show, 05/09

Mushroom hunting on coast, 10/09

Marc bday party, 03/09

Victorianish NYE, Eoto show- 12/09

Spring Break coastal road trip to Redwoods, 03/08

Ocean visit with Gigi, 07/07

A Packer Conversion- 08/07

So much love.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


A SALT GLOW is an easy treatment you can do at home to enhance relaxation, detoxification and skin beauty. Massaging salt over the body removes the top dead layer of skin, stimulating circulation.

I have mentioned using Epsom Salts in previous posts such as in foot baths* and when cleansing the emunctories* (eg skin). Epsom salt, or magneisum sulfate, is found in sea water. It's function in nature is to absorb sound, converting it into heat energy.
When used on the body, epsom salts cause a friction similar to dry skin brushing* in that it is highly exfoliating. This friction causes vasodilation (dilating the blood vessels), increasing circulation of the blood and lymph, eliminating toxins in the skin more efficiently, and cleaning out the sweat/sebaceous glands.
Indications where a salt glow would be appropriate:
  • Many chronic conditions/dis-eases that cause debility
  • Poor circulation especially when applications of hot and cold applications are not advised or tolerated
  • Low vital force, to enhance immunity
  • Local treatment for inflamed, painful joints (arthritis!)

Here's a great idea: Lavender Salt Glow

  • 1 cup dried lavender buds
  • 3 cups Epsom Salts
  1. Grind lavender in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add 3 Epsom Salts, grind until fine
  3. Rinse yourself off in the shower, take a handful of salt mix and massage it onto your skin, avoiding your face as it may be too rough.
  4. Rinse with warm water then ending in cold*(!!!)
  5. Lightly pad yourself dry and moisturize with something that isn't loaded with preservatives and additives. (your body will absorb all of it)

Another option: Oil Salt Glows

  • 2 cups fine sea salt
  • 4 cups grapeseed, apricot or almond oil
  • 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil*
  1. First put the salt in a mason jar.
  2. Pour the oil over the salt.
  3. Add the essential oil and shake well.
  4. Follow steps 3-5 as above.

Just be careful over areas where the skin may be too friable (aging, Cushing's disease) or over skin lesions. Be advised that overdoing it can cause skin irritation as well!

Moderation = Balance = Glow = Happiness

Thank you to Dr. Jeanne of my excellent Nature Cure class!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Enjoy this artistic display of the magnificent mushroom, thanks to Planet Earth.

* * * * *

And some eye candy- a few pictures from our shroom hunting adventures on the Oregon Coast this fall.

I can't wait until spring! MMmmmmm....morels.......

Friday, January 15, 2010


I have had a lot of people ask me what I consider to be the most super of the superfoods. My answer has been and always will be Allium sativa, or GARLIC. This plant is the most universal healing food that one can aquire. It can be used as food, spice, supplement or remedy.

Garlic has many medicinal functions:
  • Anti-bacterial- kills bacteria
  • Anti-viral- prevents viruses
  • Anti-fungal- great for fungi infections such as athlete's foot
  • Anti-flatulant- soothes the GI, no more farting!
  • Lowers atherosclerotic plaques- protects the heart and blood vessels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Anti-coagulant (prevents blood clots)
  • Protective from hyperlipidemia (high lipids and cholesterol)
  • Helps balance blood sugars, especially useful in Diabetics
  • High in minerals like Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Aluminum, Selenium
  • Aphrodesiac- sets the moood:)

Some easy garlic treatments include:

1. GARLIC SOCKS for colds, flu, chest congestion

You will need-

  • cotton socks
  • 3 cloves of garlic (1.5 per foot)
  • olive oil (or any oil or petroleum)
  • plastic wrap or bags

First warm your feet with a nice foot bath or soak. Dry feet and apply oil all over generously. Add minced garlic to soles of feet and slip into socks, then cover with plastic wrap or bag. Leave on overnight. Very similar to warming sock treatment.

2. Eat it RAW for colds, digestive issues, etc.

  • Excellent for sore throats to help prevent and treat Strept infections.
  • PREVENTS and STOPS GAS!!! That's right, no more embarrassing farts. Just delicious breath.
  • Helps rebalance the gut flora.

3. Apply Topically (minced) for skin infections, acne, athlete's foot, eczema, warts

  • In cases of infection, it is useful to mix powdered charcoal with minced garlic- apply to skin and cover with bandage for 4-6 hours.

4. Roast and Eat!! Garlic makes a deLICIous food and spread.

  • Preheat oven to 400'F
  • Peel away outer layers of garlic skin
  • Cut 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, exposing a bit of each clove
  • Put on a pan, drizzling a little olive oil over the top (1-2 tsp over each)
  • Cover with aluminum foil (or use a garlic cooker)
  • Cook for 35-40 min- it will be done when each clove is soft
  • Squeeze out of skin and pread on crackers or bread.


Moderation = Balance = Happiness


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Diet Drinks- Not So Diet.

So the holidays are over, it's a new year and all the buzz over weight loss is already getting old. Well, here's a diet myth-buster for you to add to your plate.

Beverages that call themselves "DIET" are in fact low in or free of calories. Yes, by avoiding calories, one can lose weight. It's simple math. Calories OUT > Calories IN = WEIGHT LOSS. However, when we drink these diet beverages, we are not considering what else is making its way IN.

The thing about diet drinks is that they use fake sugars like aspartame or saccharin as a calorie-free sweetener. Another nasty replacement artificial sugar is sucralose, commonly known as Splenda. These substitutes have a major impact on the body, leading to inflammation, cancer, and WEIGHT GAIN. Here's a little info on a few...

  • Saccharin has been found to cause bladder cancer in animals, but until someone pays to study humans, it is considered safe for use. Hm. Wanna add to your chances even more just to save on calories? I say no.
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet and Equal)- has been around since 1981 and is considered safe. However, its first chemical breakdown step in the body removes a methyl group making it an incredibly toxic "wood alcohol." This is foreign to the body and is not processed like alcohol, so it is left to do major damage to the body.
  • Sucralose (Splenda) is basically sugar which has chlorines stuck on it. The chlorinating agent is Phosgene, a compound manufactured under the chemical weapons division. It was stockpiled as part of military weapons arsenal from prior to WWI until after WWII. Ummmm... yeah. This scary fake sugar can cause itchy skin, GI disturbance and headaches...and then contribute to chronic disease. Not so super for those with chronic disease already.

They all suck physiologically, too. When the body ingests sugar, whether real or not, it releases insulin, a hormone which processes carbohydrates. Insulin is difficult to control in diabetes, a metabolic disease that affects blood sugar stability, and thus cardiovascular, digestive and neurological health. When we drink fake sugars, we disturb insulin regulation, thus increasing risk for diabetes.

When insulin and other digestive enzymes rise, nothing is there for them to work on, so they then go into a sense of starvation. Any calories found go into storage, that being your adipose or FAT cells. Eh, hem- gaining weight, not the good kind.

So if you MUST have something with sugar, get real. Drinks without synthetic substitutes will be more satisifying and more efficient on the body. Reading the ingredients list is your biggest defense to harmful additives and substitutes.

Some Bad sugars include:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup- found in SO MUCH!! Watch your juices, they sneak it in there. Only drink 100% juice if you can.
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Sorbitol
  • Sucralose

Good sugars:

  • Stevia
  • Agave Nectar
  • Real fruit juices
  • Local Honey
  • Raw sugar, Sucrose

But as always, MODERATION = BALANCE = HAPPINESS. We are all human, and our greatest gift is the power of thought and choice. Be your own teeter-totter.