Natural Health Blog

9 Gifts for the Earth-Mama (or Papa) on your List!

Got a hippie on your list and have no idea where to begin?

The hippie-type can be hard to buy for, especially if you're not drinking the HFCS-free Koolaid.  Do you get them a scarf made from recycled plastic water bottles? Or perhaps purse made from recycled denim?

The eco-friendly, earth loving, dirt-worshiper on your list is discerning, hyper-aware and educated on what they like and what they need. There are so many choices in this world these days as (forgive the term) the modern-hippie demographic explodes. 

Here are a few ideas to help you wade through a sea of organic this and fair trade that. 

Even people that don't like hippie-dippie incense LOVE the residual aroma of Nag-Champa. I get complimented constantly on the way the house smells when clients come for consults; and it's all because of "the Nag" I frequently burn. Even my hubby likes it and it's universally loved by hippie folks far and wide. Pick up a gigantic box at a head shop near you OR go to Amazon.com and have it sent to your door.

Nag Champa incense is made from a combination of flowers resins, essential oils and herbs which are pure and natural without any toxic aromas. The name of the incense comes from the Champa flower. Nag Champa first became popular in the west when Bob Dylan burned it at his concerts and it spread like wildfire over the last 50 years. 

Pick up an incense holder too if you think they'll like a creatively made holder - I love these recycled wine bottle incense burners. Brilliantly useful design here. The incense attaches to a metal piece that hangs inside the bottle; collecting all the dust and debris. While a beautifully, billowing cloud of smoke comes out of the top of the bottle. Love these! 

Wrap the Nag Champa box around the wine bottle with big red bow for fun! 

If your looking for a good book for the foodie/hippie in your life, you could NOT go wrong with a copy of Nourishing Traditions. It's an absolute classic in Natural Health circles, and it's chalked full of recipes, cooking tips, educational information on all natural manners of preparing "mass-quantities." This book challenges traditional health food thinking. So for the non-tradtional person on your "nice" list, this could be a perfect fit. 

My suggestion is to pick it up at a local bookstore near you. Support your local economy in this way if you have the means. You might pay just a few dollars extra, but you'll fee good about supporting your neighbors. 

This might not be the most exciting gift in the world but for a girl like me - heck - I'd be pretty stoked to get a set of these Ozeri PFOA-Free Stone Derived Pans. Ozeri pans are really gorgeous; and they don't emit toxic fumes into the air (and your food!). PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) is what most nonstick pans are coated with that make them - well, non-stick. When PFOA is ingested, (either by breathing in fumes from  heated pans, or from ingesting food cooked with PFOA pans) we are taking in a toxic and liver carcinogenic substance that even wikipedia says is bad-news-bears I don't cook on any regular non-stick pans anymore. Check these out for an affordable alternative. 

For those that are concerned about harmful toxins in our food, air and water. Check out the Rainshow'r series of water purification accessories. They have a shower filter, (which was on my Hippie Gift List last year) and a Bath Ball, made for that person that loves to take baths. I really love my Rainshower'r Crystal Ball for Bath. I've used this thing so much in the last year, I'm likely due for a replacement! :) 

You just pop the Rainshower bath ball into the tub, wait around 8-9 minutes or so as the tub fills up and I like to swirl it around in the tub for good measure. The contents of the bag render the harmful chlorine molecule inert via a chemical reaction. And - NO yucky chlorine smell. Hallelujah! 

You could get someone the shower head, bath ball, a replacement for both and they would be set for the entire year! That is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ridding the water of harmful chlorine will leave the skin and hair feeling much better, less dry and more manageable. Not to mention the detrimental effects of chlorine inside the body; it destroys healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract and disturbs our bodily pH.

All of which are NO-BUENO. If you want a healthy body, avoid drinking chlorinated water by filtering it with Reverse Osmosis. More info about that at this link.

Looking for a gift for the spiritual seeker or zen-type? Wind chimes are a nice pick! I was testing these babies out last week at Shulers Books in Okemos Michigan and I wanted one SOOO bad! They are beautiful, and create a literal vibration of peace and welcoming to all who enter your doorway. They are excellent for a feng-shui balanced home as well. Allowing for a positive flow of chi in the home. A little advice (from what my husband had to say on the subject), look for one with lower tones instead of the higher - more "chimey" tones. Lower tones may be more widely palatable. Check these out at a local bookstore near you - OR go to amazon and read through the reviews. I liked the looks of this one.

For your stressed-out-naturally-geared folks; look into high quality bath sea salts and essential oils. Quality DOES matter with regard to these as they are topical and will enter the body via the skin.

Discerning hippies know their stuff! I like Dead Sea Minerals instead of just regular old epsom salts. They are more mineral rich, and from a pure source in Isreal. Picking up a few bags of these will have your loved one soaking and singing your praises! For an extra cherry on top; pick them up a bottle of Peace & Calming essential oil from Young Living Oils. This is by far my most very favorite essential oil and BOY does it do the job. For someone in an emotional crisis, stressful time - or just your average Joe or Jane going through a stressful holiday, this is a total winner. It's not always easy to find so check amazon and google Young Living Oils to find yourself (or a loved one) a bottle. Add 5-10 drops to the bath with salts and bask in the glory of good, clean, peace and calming. 

For the Yogi on your list - look into the Manduka Yoga gear. Manduka makes great mats and bags. I particularly like this one, the Manduka Go-Play Yoga Mat Carrier. I have the one from last year and I LOVE it. I use it everyday and I get complimented on it constantly. This is a useful, durable and inexpensive yoga carrier that has a convenient pocket for your cell phone, keys and wallet. All you need is your mat and you are on your way to a moving meditation! Namaste´:)

As someone who is concerned with environmental toxin exposure; I am highly aware of detrimental exposure to EMF's or electromagnetic frequencies. We are inundated with these frequencies and yes - there is no escape - but, we can protect our nether-regions. Yes - I said it. The DefenderPad Laptop EMF Radiation & Heat Shield will help protect your lap (and you reproductive organs) from heat and EMF radiation. We have an epidemic of infertility & reproductive disease and disfigurements on our hands; do ALL you can to make sure that your hardware is working optimally; even if you aren't having kids! These organs of the pelvis are crucial for hormonal balance in the body so air on the side of caution here and pick one up for the crunchy-techie person in your world! ;) 

Last but not least, Herbal Face Food is an anti-aging serum of the most natural ingredients possible. It's made from Aloe, Jojoba Oil and 12 essential oils including lavender, clove, oregano, jasmine and more. The thermo-reaction or warming sensation felt on the skin when applied are multiple antioxidants working their magic on the skin - protecting skin cells from the signs of aging, sun spots, discolorations, scarring, acne, eczema, psoriasis and much more. It registers into the millions on the ORAC scale which is a measurement of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight cancer and other molecular abnormalities that promote cellular death. Not only will your skin look better but your entire body will be healthier with this lovely serum. Check out my blog post to learn all about it and to purchase it online from yours truly:) Yes, I'm selling it now because it's so so good. I'd love to answer all your questions on this one as it's a product that needs a bit of instruction to use. 







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! 

Organic Herbal Face Food: A Natural Skin Serum That Get's Results!

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Organic Herbal Face Food is a completely natural and even edible antioxidant serum for your face and body. It also works well for bug bites, bruises, acne, scarring and other skin issues. It's made from 100% natural and simple ingredients of Aloe, Jojoba Oil and various plants including Lavender, Oregano, Clove, Thyme, Myrrh, Jasmine and many more.

It's off the charts on the ORAC scale, many times higher than Acai berries which are one of the most antioxidant rich fruits available. The ORAC scale (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), is a measurement of antioxidant potency. Eating foods with high ORAC values is always best, but if your looking for added skin care results, why not slather some on your face?

Read more about the ORAC scale here!

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So what changed in my skin? The first thing I noticed was the texture of my skin became more smooth. My skin feels more firm and smooth. The lines around my mouth don't seem as hard or pronounced. My skin is smoother, softer - closer to what it felt like in my 20's actually. I have quite a few discolorations on my cheeks too–from years of adrenal fatigue. Now those are beginning to fade and that might be the most impressive change. It's as if little holes are being "punched" into the discoloration, breaking it up little by little. I feel like the color in my skin is much more even overall too.

Whenever I do get a pimple, I just begin applying a small drop to the area 2-4 times per day and it heals in half the time, comes to a head easier and faster and I feel like my skin now recovers from a blemish MUCH quicker. All good things. An amazing change from what used to be the "norm". I would have a pimple for weeks– red, sore and totally NOT fun to look at everyday.

I apply a nickel size amount morning and night. Some people use more as they apply it to their neck and chest. It's completely up to you how much you use, but a nickel size amount has been effective for me and my skin to reap the benefits. 

There is a warming sensation when you apply the Herbal Face Food serum. If you have a rigorous workout, a hot shower or are just out in the sun for a while and apply the serum, your skin will heat up. It could feel like a tingly feeling, or for some that are more sensitive, it might feel like a intense warming. THIS WILL ONLY LAST ABOUT ONE MINUTE–and it shows that the antioxidants are doing their job on your skin with this normal and natural thermal reaction. 

For those that have sensitive skin, I would recommend applying it first to a small area of the decollate´ (upper chest) or even the neck to make sure that you aren't too sensitive. Your skin will become accustomed to the product after a few days to a week. Being mindful of your body temperature and whether or not your pores are open before application is important.

I also noticed that your face should be COMPLETELY dry before application. When my skin has been wet from the shower for example, I've noticed an increase in the warming sensation. Avoid your lips and eyes with this product as these areas are very sensitive and the skin is thinner, making the warming sensation there more intense.

The plant extracts in Herbal Face Food are very active. But in a great way! Oregano, Clove and Thyme especially have powerful anti-inflammatory qualities and this is part of Herbal Face Food's benefit to the skin.

Herbal Face Food has an herbal aroma which I've come to love but it does take becoming accustomed to it. If you want herbal, plant action that's all natural with all the benefits that come with it, you may need to adjust to the way more natural products smell. Your body is worth it!  

I really like the smell of it now, it smells medicinal to me and I know it's working so I am ALL about it! 

Herbal Face Food is Organic (wild crafted herbs). You could literally EAT this product - ALTHOUGH I don't think it would taste good at all!  We really should be able to eat the products we put on our skin–because our bodies absorb the ingredients, to be dealt with in the blood, liver and kidneys. Topical products should be every bit as pure as our foods we eat and the water we drink! 

Herbal Face Food is Organic (wild crafted herbs). You could literally EAT this product - ALTHOUGH I don't think it would taste good at all!  We really should be able to eat the products we put on our skin–because our bodies absorb the ingredients, to be dealt with in the blood, liver and kidneys. Topical products should be every bit as pure as our foods we eat and the water we drink! 

Remember, 70% of what we put on our faces goes straight into the blood stream. If you aren't familiar with the ingredients in your skin care - look for options in which you are. This product is completely natural, it's working to improve my skin and I'm excited about the results. My diet is already pretty good so I needed some additional support topically and this is really doing well for me.

Organic Herbal Face Food is a hand made, one of a kind product that comes in a glass bottle. It's also available in a .34oz size for $30. This is a little less than a one months supply. The two ounce bottle is $100 and is a at least a three months supply. It must be shaken before each use and some separation in the serum is natural. 

Reach out to me to purchase any time. I'll ship anywhere in the US. Shipping prices may very:)

Two years later...

I'm still using the Herbal Face Food–every day and night! I love it and I don't know if I could do without it now. It's been amazing for my acne and it's also helped with the adrenal fatigue freckling on my cheeks. My acne is finally under control after dealing with it for almost half my life!! The freckling is much less this summer, and although it's taking longer than I'd hoped - I realize that my biggest adrenal fatigue contributor (caffeine) - only went away this last March. (YES, I'M CAFFEINE FREE AND I DON'T MISS IT! ). So in the next year or two with consistent adrenal support, the freckling will be much diminished or gone. That's the goal!