Natural Health Blog

10 Last Minute Gifts For Hippies On Your List

I got inspired today to compile a list of all of my favorite hippie gifts. These are items I've used over the years to be healthier, happier and for whatever reason they struck me as useful, beautiful or energetically vital. There's time to ship before Christmas too!

These are a few of my favorite things...(yes, cheesy I know but I happen to love cheese)

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Guayaki Brand Yerba Mate´ Gourd with Yerba Mate´ Tea. I LOVE THIS THING. If you know me personally, you've likely seen me toting this thing around with me wherever I go. I love the taste and robust quality of Guayaki Yerba Mate´ tea and it has health benefits such as minerals, it's energizing and it's said to help with weight maintenance also. Bonus! How it works is that you use this vegetable gourd, that has been artistically carved in a far-away place and cured, to drink your tea out of. Mate´ is the national drink of Argentina and there they take Mate´ breaks, just as we take coffee breaks here in the states. Simple add 1-2 tsp (or more) to your gourd and add hot water. Gently suck the tea up through the stainless steel straw or "bombilla" as it's called. The bombilla strains out the tea allowing you to enjoy sipping this sweet nectar of the gods! A mate´gourd is meant to be shared but if you don't want to - just enjoy it all to yourself! It's delicious, energizing and a great conversation starter in the grocery store. Yes, I take really it everywhere. 

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Enchanted Apothecary by Felecia Armstrong. Enchanted is RIGHT! Felecia creates handmade, high-quality body care using a combination of her education in the skincare field and her own strong intuitive abilities. She reinforces her creations with stones and crystals which amplify the healing benefits of the products on the skin. It's truly intuitively designed metaphysical skincare. I love her soaps especially but the Dry Skin Care Collection has really been calling my name with the snowy weather we've had. Say no to flakes! (at least the ones on your face). When you order you'll receive an exquisite gift of a recycled kraft paper box filled with a trio of Artisan Skin Care to nourish parched skin. The gift box is wrapped with an Eco-friendly onyx raffia ribbon and adorned with an enchanting clear quartz crystal. Including Radiance Cleansing Oil with black currant seed and apricot kernel oils that work to cleanse skin without ridding it of it’s natural oils. Nourish Facial Elixir, made with organic rose water, marshmallow root and chamomile blossoms to correct skin’s ph balance and help prepare it for moisture absorption. Jasmine Facial Moisturizer blended with organic green tea, irish moss and hibiscus blossoms to hydrate and heal dry skin.

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A Rainshow'r CQ-1000-MS Shower Filter with Massaging Shower Head. This may not seem like the most glamourous of gifts but trust me! If your loved one is at all concious about the water quality that they drink, they will appreciate bathing in clean water too. They also make a little "crystal-ball" that you can float with you in the tub that filters our impurities too. It's not the end-all-be-all of clean water but it does help and it's better than using nothing and bathing in city water which contains chlorine, lead, arsenic, pharmaceuticals and god only knows what else. My suggestion is to buy the the shower head and an additional filter to last them all year long. Additional benefits besides not inhaling chlorinated and polluted water are that your skin wont be as dry during winter months as chlorine is very drying. Your hair should also improve in manageability and sheen as well. 

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"The Botany Of Desire" by Michael Pollan. I read this book last summer and I just loved it. One of those books that I felt like I could immediately read again. Michael Pollan has a really balanced approach to environmentalism and health that I think just about anyone can appreciate.  It's a great book for the history buff reader. Additionally I think it would suite any gardener, herb grower, lover of flowers, environmentalists, and even pot smokers would enjoy it. Pollan delves into co-evolution of humans four plants; the potato, the tulip, marijuana and the apple and it's absolutely fascinating!

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Young Living Oils Brand Joy Essential Oil Blend. I can not say enough about how wonderful this essential oil has been for me. It's a beautiful blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa and Rose Essential Oil. It's in a word: Comforting. A drop on the back of the neck or the bottom of each foot is beneficial to the body on a physical and emotional level. Since Essential Oils of this quality have the ability to act on every cell of the body, this is a fast acting support to emotional balance and stability. It evokes feelings of love, being loved, being held and supported. It's a wonderful oil as a gift for that special lady in your life especially as this blend is very feminine in my opinion. However men needing it's emotional balancing qualities could use it during a nice shoulder rub from the wifey, on the bottoms of the feet before work or just to inhale during moments of stress or sadness. 

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Lifefactory Glass Bottles. I've been using mine for just over two years now and I've only just recently put a tiny chip in the lip of it. It still closes without leaking though! It's put up with a lot of heavy-handedness on my end because I'm kind of rough on my stuff. So in this way I think it's an ideal purchase for a young adult, college student or adult that is conscious of avoiding plastics in their drinking and eating utensils. Many if not all plastics are endocrine disruptive which can lead to female problems, infertility, male sterility, poor stress management and much more. Our glands run the show, so let's keep them free and clear of harmful plastics wherever we can. Drinking hot beverages in plastics and styrophome is very common and VERY bad for us. Break the habit with a beautiful, stylish and useful Lifefactory Glass container of your choice. Worth every penny! 

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Winter Rescue Tea by Third Day Botanicals. The gal who blends this tea is a friend of mine and not only is she talented at blending tasty teas, but the formulas are well thought out from an herbalist perspective and the packaging is just plain lovely. The Winter Rescue is an organic blend of echinacea, licorice root (without being TOO strong with licorice), lemon peel, lemon balm, marshmallow root, fennel seed, sweet orange peel and cinnamon bark. It is absolutely delicious hot or cold. I added a squeeze of lemon the other night and the flavor was other-worldly good. The blend is supportive of the immune system, the soothing of mucus membranes and lemon balm lowers fever. It's also a circulatory support with cinnamon bark. Fennel seed adds a digestive note. A very well rounded cold, flu and winter tea. Reach out to Missie on her Facebook fanpage and tell her that the Modern Hippie referred you. I'm sure to be doing some collaborating with her in the future as her medicinal tea blends are top-notch! 

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Rebecca Dolber Collection. I have bought many of her hand made pieces over the last few years, they are beautiful, thoughtful, artistic and have really good energetic quality. I've known Rebecca or "Bec" for over 10 years now, we met back in our California days, when we were young, wild and free (and pretty clueless). She's come so far, traveled all over the world and now lives on the east coast and designs amazing jewelry from her workshop in Brooklyn. I love the natural quality of her work, she's a traveler, a seeker and student of the earth. Her jewelry is a great fit for anyone you love that matches that description. From beaded leather wrap bracelets to spy glasses and pocket watches. She can create something custom for you and what she has ready to rock is always a thoughtful choice as well. Check her collection out to see if she can get you something for the holiday. 

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A Subscription to Door to Door Organics (wouldn't that be nice???) I did Door to Door Organics this summer for several months and I absolutely loved it. What a gift this would be to anyone that is interested in eating organic foods, who has a busy life-style, or doesn't live in a convenient location to a natural health food store (but is in an area that door to door organics delivers). Just pop in the Zip code of the person your thinking of on the Door To Door website to find out if they deliver to this area. It's convenient, great quality, fresh organic produce and organic and natural packaged foods. You have the ability to modify the order also which is nice. If you don't want bananas, simply change the order online prior to delivery. Click the link above for gift cards purchasing. 

I discovered Herbal Face Food face serum this summer and WOW! What a natural, effective and healing face serum for scars, acne, discoloration and dullness in the skin. Major improvements were seen within 3 weeks. I highly recommend this to anyone that has struggled with acne on and off as I have. I know that this has contributed to me getting a handle on my acne for sure. I have struggled with adult acne since my early twenties and sometimes its been really bad! Cystic, boil-type acne on my chin, neck and cheeks. With the Herbal Face Food I rarely (if ever) have broken out since I began using it about 7 months ago. This product contains nothing but jojoba oil, aloe and a healing blend of essential oils - thats it! Read my full review here. My article also contains the links needed to purchase online from Linda Skinner here in Michigan. 

I hope this helps to inspire your last minute purchases for products and pieces with heart, made with love and useful to the modern hippie in the ones you get to spend your time with this holiday season. 

Happy, Happy Holidays! 

How Unplugging Helped Me Plug Back In

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It's nice what you observe when you go for a walk or a run without your phone, iPod, or any sort of electronic device.

I've done it two days in a row now. I like how I feel my energy going inward with thought and outward with tiny connections with strangers. 

So many times, I felt happy, thoughtful, connected and could feel euphoric feelings moving outward and inward simultantiously. All because I was engaged in the world. Or at least that's what I think is the reason. 

Also the silence is nice. It's rare & gentle:) I love it!

Although my attention often went to what I DIDN'T hear, it also went frequently to things that I was more aware of without the electronic stimuli of either checking facebook, changing songs in iTunes or seeing what time it was... I heard interesting private conversations, I got a random high five from a student who may not have engaged me if I had my ear buds in.

I even saw a girl drop something important riding her bike- but she couldn't hear me as I shouted for her, hope she is able to work that out:/

Lastly, seeing nature churn: water move, leaves rustle, & fat daddy squirrels with all their pre-winter scampering. 

I may never take my iPhone for an iRun again! 

The Truly Tasty Green Drink

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Ok, I know GOOD is a subjective word. What's good to me, might not be good to you. 

This spirulina smoothie will redefine your opinion of green drinks forever. It's so smooth, creamy and sweet–it's the best one I've had yet! 

Thanks to Rachel Knapp, my friend and fellow student at the Naturopathic Institute AND smoothie chef extraordinaire who turned me on to this recipe! You rock girl! 

Here's what you need and where to get it! 

  • 3 dates with pits (ideally they would be soaked overnight in water) sometimes these are available in bulk at health foods stores. REMOVE PITS
  • 2 tablespoon chia seed (Chia seed can be soaked for creamier smoothies) Soak 1-2 tablespoons overnight with your dates and nuts.
  • 1/4 cup soaked raw nuts (soaking them over night makes for creamy smoothies, with easy to digest proteins!) I like to use almonds, cashews pumpkin seeds & sunflower) check the bulk section!
  • 1-2 tsp of spirulina powder (for blood type A's, Chlorella for blood type B's) Add more as you get accustomed to consuming it. 1 tbsp per day is ideal.)  I like Health Force brand Spirulina as shown in the photo above.
  • 1-2 tbsp of organic almond butter (for blood type B's and O's), and organic peanut butter (for blood type A's)
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup organic frozen berries
  • 1-2 table spoons of flax seed oil. I like Barleans brand.
  • 1-2 tsp of real maple syrup (Optional! Use to increase the sweetness if necessary)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups Purified Water (Reverse Osmosis or Distilled)
  • sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)

Soak dates, nuts and seeds together in a quart size canning jar on the counter overnight, filled with purified water.

In the morning after soaking:

Blend all chosen ingredients: dates, nuts, seeds, spirulina, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon and a dab of maple syrup (optional) in the blender until smooth, adding almost an entire additional quart of purified water for the perfect consistency. Drink for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack. Keeps in the fridge for 48 hours.

The benefits of spirulina alone make it worthwhile. It's got virtually every amino acid, packed with vitamins, minerals, rich in protein, it's oxygenating, cleansing, nourishing and very mild in flavor. 

Chia seed has more healthy fats by weight than salmon! It's inexpensive, delicious and rich in those healthy fats that we all need so desperately! Read about the benefits of chia seed here:)

Dates are a healthy form of sweetness mineral rich, unlike refined sugar. Nuts lend a bit more protein and make it a heartier smoothie - that really sticks to your ribs! The chocolate and vanilla make it divine! 

Other options for this recipe are doing the following: 

Apple Cinnamon Date Green Drink: 

OR:

Orange Ginger Green Drink

  • 3 Dates (soaked)
  • 1/4 cup nuts or seeds (soaked)
  • 2 tbsp chia (soaked)
  • 2 tbsp hemp oil
  • 1 ripe orange
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 tbsp spirulina
  • 1 tsp Truly Natural Vitamin C Powder

These are just a few of the literally  - THOUSANDS of different combinations you can make. I've also been known to throw in ground flax, unsulphured molasses, soaked flax seeds, maple syrup for sweetness, stevia, and if I have it home made water kefir.

Smoothie making is an art! Enjoy it your creative flow! 


3 Habits of A Modern Hippie

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Just entertaining the idea of hanging your clothes out on the line makes you a bit of a modern hippie. Resisting the convenience of using a dryer for the simple pleasure of hung dry sheets:) Oh yeah! I try to do it whenever I can.

There's something sweet about it. Going out there in my bare feet, clothes-pins clipped on my shirt. I love how everything comes out looking like it was ironed, smells fresh and of course- not using any additional electricity using the dryer. I do admit the towels come out pretty crispy but if I really want them soft (as my hubby is a sucker for soft towels), I just pop them in the dryer for about 5 minutes and voila´!

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Next, I compost and LOVE it! Since I juice pretty much every morning, I'm generating ALOT of rich "food" for the soil. I have 2 compost piles. One that I'm currently adding to and one that I stopped adding to about 5 months ago. Since this summer has been so hot- the one I stopped adding to in April has already turned to dark rich soil. It even has a tomato plant growing out of it which I don't have the heart to till under.

The second pile that I'm adding to right now is one of those tumblers and it works like a charm. I only add vegetable scraps, seeds, egg shells and herb leavings from my teas. I never put any bread, cheese or meat in there as it will rot and putrify in the compost. Always remember to water your compost, keep it damp to encourage breakdown. Also add some grass clippings or straw to it occasionally. Additionally you want to try to turn your compost pile once a week or so. This will ensure that you get a nice consistent breakdown of the vegetation. Compost is a wonderful habit to get into. It's the circle of life in action- what we consume and what we are should return to the earth.

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I grow my own herbs, preserve them, cook with them and make herbal remedies. I really love cooking with herbs. Sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano are a few of my favorites. I grow them each year, dry them once mature and store them in glass for the winter. It's amazing what a little rosemary and garlic can do for chicken, steak and vegetables. Next year I'm going to grow garlic- I've never done it but I'm told it's easy to do. When the garlic cloves sprout "tails" those go into the grown, tail side up. It will sprout and turn into a garlic plant! Plant the cloves in the fall for spring time growing! 

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I also grew Stinging Nettle, Yarrow, Mullein, and those are medicinal herbs with astringent, healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Even the cullinary herbs are medicinal. Sage is a wondeful tea for colds and flu. Thyme is excellent respiratory and is anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. Rosemary supports the digestive system and oregano is a wonderful anti-viral herb. Adding freshly dryed home-growned herbs helps you and your family be healthier and improves the flavor of food without over salting. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing:)